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ANSWERED on Thu 8 Jun 2017 - 1:44 pm UTC by Roger Browne

Question: Religion

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mahdi2 

Customer

 8 Jun 2017 12:12 UTCThu 8 Jun 2017 - 12:12 pm UTC 

Do you believe in god? Someone from uk and from non-immigrant family please answers (You should be native britans) (those from Jewish family or other please don't answer)

 

Roger Browne 

Researcher

 8 Jun 2017 13:20 UTCThu 8 Jun 2017 - 1:20 pm UTC 

Hello mahdi2,

I live in the UK, and am of UK ancestry, and my cultural background is British. I was born overseas, but I have lived in the UK for the past 25 years.

Would you like me to respond to your question?

 

mahdi2 

Customer

 8 Jun 2017 13:23 UTCThu 8 Jun 2017 - 1:23 pm UTC 

hello
yes

 

Roger Browne 

Answer

 8 Jun 2017 13:44 UTCThu 8 Jun 2017 - 1:44 pm UTC 

Hi mahdi2,

Thank you.

I assume you are referring to belief in a biblical god, and not to belief in a god as a placeholder for the universe or as a placeholder for the unknown.

I don't believe in a biblical god. The last person in my family who believed in a biblical god was my mother's mother.

I believe in things for which I have seen convincing evidence, and I have not seen convincing evidence for a god. I do not even know of an experiment which could be conducted in an attempt to seek such evidence.

Of course it's also true that I have not seen good evidence for the non-existence of a god. However, it doesn't seem useful or interesting to believe in the existence of things just because I have no evidence that they don't exist. Otherwise I would also believe in Thor, Superman, and the Easter Bunny.

I understand that you may have some follow-up questions. I look forward to your response.

 

mahdi2 

Customer

 8 Jun 2017 20:56 UTCThu 8 Jun 2017 - 8:56 pm UTC 

What's your native language?
when you become atheist in UK or before that?

 

Roger Browne 

Researcher

 8 Jun 2017 21:17 UTCThu 8 Jun 2017 - 9:17 pm UTC 

Hi mahdi2,

My native language is English.

In my childhood, I was exposed to the teachings of the Church of England, because my devout grandmother was keen that her grandchildren were exposed to the church. I participated in Sunday School for many years. My parents didn't attend church, but they didn't discourage it either.

As soon as I was old enough to know the difference between believers and non-believers, it was clear to me that I did not have this belief.

Therefore, I did not at any time "become" an atheist.

Best Regards,
Roger Browne

 

nautico 

User

 20 Jun 2017 17:46 UTCTue 20 Jun 2017 - 5:46 pm UTC 

You may enjoy this piece I wrote for American Atheist magazine.

American Atheist: A Journal of Atheist News and Thought

First Quarter 2015

Why They Believe

by [nautico]

I had four imaginary friends as a child: Beddle Bahbahtch, Reach-over Sweeney, Lem Keg, and the Christian god, but I haven’t had a conversation with any one of them for more than sixty years. Theism fascinates me. I marvel at the willingness of the faithful to suspend disbelief in exchange for whatever they are getting in return, and every now and then, I reflect on the probable reasons behind it all. Here are my top ten.

1. The alternative is unacceptable. To be godless remains anathematic in our society.  Atheists are viewed as the epitome of arrogance and their denial of god’s existence an offensive assertion that believers are willing dupes. I think of agnostics as closet Atheists who are uncomfortable defending the unequivocal non-existence of god.

2. Belief is admirable. “Most of the people I know who are intelligent, kind, and moral believe in God,” they think, “and I’d like to be associated with their ilk.” I’m convinced that people in positions of great power — our president comes to mind — display their faith as a means of disabusing their constituencies of the notion that they regard themselves unaccountable to a higher being.

Christians not only use their god as a device to preempt and disparage human arrogance, but also to further buttress the illusory premise of American egalitarianism with rationales like, “We are all equal under the law pursuant to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and also in the eyes of God.”

3. A refuge in extremis. Much of humanity seems hardwired to reach out to a theistic entity when nothing else offers acceptable answers, fills a void, or delivers relief. In other words, whatever works. I call it the Dr. Phil argument. On his television show, pop psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw asks his hapless guests, “How’s that working for you?” after listening to them describe futile efforts to deal with some major life issue. When theists perceive their beliefs to be “working” for them, the question of whether their god exists, whether that major premise is valid or bogus, is irrelevant. Hey, if the sham “works,” what’s the big deal?

4.  The argument of Pascal’s Wager. French philosopher-mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) put it this way: If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing, but if you don't believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you may suffer for it in the afterlife. It is, therefore, foolish to be an Atheist. Pascal ran the first spiritual hedge fund.

5. A necessary foundation for an ethical system. Theists cannot trust that ethical behavior will be the norm in the absence of a carrot-and-stick god to guide humans onto a righteous path and keep them there. The carrot: the approbation of fellow believers. The stick: the promise of Judgment Day.

6. The mysteries of “first cause” and human consciousness. How did this complex universe of ours come into being? An accidental Big Bang or a purposeful Big Divine Decision? And what about the phenomenon of human consciousness, of self awareness? Believers ask, “How could we have possibly been endowed with such extraordinary capabilities unless they had been part of a divine blueprint?”

7. An epiphany. This is the congregant’s equivalent of a ministerial or priestly calling, more common to born-again evangelicals than to adherents in the non-charismatic wings of mainstream sects.

8. Fear of oblivion after death. Humans have a terrible time internalizing death as oblivion. The prospect of being turned off like a light bulb or having one’s life ratcheted down to nothing by the rheostat of aging or disease is often just too much to handle. Theists are quite content to suspend disbelief for god’s promise of an afterlife, and they want to envision that afterlife as one in which they are granted some semblance of the self-awareness they’ve enjoyed in their earthly lives. Otherwise, how would they know they were there?

9. Purpose, community, serenity, and culture. Believers assume that god put them here for a divinely envisioned purpose, one more admirable than any they might set for themselves. Otherwise, what’s it all for? They also seek and find in their faith both a communal identity among like thinkers and a kind of transcendental serenity. The latter is similar in intent and effect to what is experienced by those practitioners of yoga and tai chi who manage to achieve it without the baggage of a supernatural or divine premise. And when theism is deeply woven into a national, ethnic, or family ethos, the thought of disavowing the belief component brings the fear of undermining the culture as a whole.

10. Believing in believing. An expression of what Plato called a “noble lie” and similar to a Hollywood screenwriter’s intent to foster a suspension of disbelief, this reason may well define the majority of theists. It includes an implicit admission that “no, I don’t really believe in God, but I believe in believing in God because I like the trappings of comfort, piety, and societal admiration that come along with it.”

As Tina Turner might ask, what’s logic got to do with it? And as Elaine Benes would most certainly reply, absolutely nuthin’.

 

Roger Browne 

Researcher

 20 Jun 2017 20:00 UTCTue 20 Jun 2017 - 8:00 pm UTC 

Thanks for posting your article, nautico.

 

nautico 

User

 20 Jun 2017 20:03 UTCTue 20 Jun 2017 - 8:03 pm UTC 

I apologize for the extraneous hyphens. I hadn't noticed them after doing a copy-and-paste job from a Word document.

 

nautico 

User

 20 Jun 2017 20:05 UTCTue 20 Jun 2017 - 8:05 pm UTC 

Disregard my hyphens comment. They have all mysteriously disappeared!

 

David Sarokin 

Researcher

 20 Jun 2017 20:27 UTCTue 20 Jun 2017 - 8:27 pm UTC 

>>...They have all mysteriously disappeared!...<

God did it!

 

Uclue Admin 

 20 Jun 2017 21:46 UTCTue 20 Jun 2017 - 9:46 pm UTC 

The power of Admin edit!

 

myoarin 

User

 21 Jun 2017 01:09 UTCWed 21 Jun 2017 - 1:09 am UTC 

Good article, Nautico, an epistle to the subscribers to the magazine.
I reckon your points 6 and 8 are the primary questions religions try to answer. 
When our son was seven or eight, we got him back out of the mobile home parked on the Big Sur to see all the stars.  His awed remark was:  "Who made it?"  

What intrigues me about this and Mahdi2's other question is what s/he believes.
The username suggests the person is a Muslim, Mahdi being the Islamic "redeemer", who will appear sometime before the  "day of judgement" (my term).

 

anton87 

User

 6 Jul 2017 13:38 UTCThu 6 Jul 2017 - 1:38 pm UTC 

If you don' believe in god, you can't have a sense of life! Why do we live on earth? Why do we exist? And who creates us?

You have to read one of the holy books. They are all the same. There is only ONE god and you have to believe in him!

 

katmeg35 

User

 20 Aug 2017 16:02 UTCSun 20 Aug 2017 - 4:02 pm UTC 

i believe in JeSus Christ He's our savior also i love His holy Mother our virgin Mary She's above all angels and will not be judged in the Second coming of our Lord..Father SoN and the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus so many miracles happen..in the Easter in His grave a light always burn the candles light with the light its a miracle

 

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