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5 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Worship is Degrading S... · 0 replies · +2 points

Contd:
The reason some believers "take pride" in worship/groveling is that it increases their stature in their own eyes and with others in the "group". It is also the reason they often proselytize.

5 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Worship is Degrading S... · 0 replies · +1 points

Our forebears lived in a hostile and often dangerous world, most of which they did not understand.
We are hard wired to find strength in numbers, i.e groups/families/tribes/etc. in order to improve our survival chances.
When the world got darker and darker with the onset of winter, these primitives needed something to provide at least a chance that the sun would return in the Spring, for which purpose every culture we now know about saw fit to create GOD/S. which they could propitiate or pray to for divine intervention.
As illogical and demeaning as worship may have come to be with our much better understanding of and ability to cope with survival needs in the present World, most of us have at least stopped sacrificing virgins or even animals to our chosen Deities. Nevertheless, there remains that "still, small voice" that tells us "you better watch out" or the Boogeyman will get you!! Many of us still need reassurance that when we die that will not really be "the end".

12 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - God Forgives; I Don\'t · 0 replies · +2 points

" It seems unlikely to me that one's Christian values really explain their political views. I suspect that both reinforce one another and that they developed along similar lines for most people."
Since both one's religious persuasion and one's political preferences reflect desired membership in or retention within a social grouping, it follows that you are clearly correct. We are "hardwired" to seek support and safety against the many dangers and vagaries of worldly existence by joining such groups, the price of which is to at least pay lip service to their beliefs/teachings/party policies/etc.

12 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - God Forgives; I Don\'t · 0 replies · +2 points

On Yom Kippur believing Jews read a detailed list of sins out loud several times during the day. They verbally admit to every one of them, recognizing that they know which ones they have actually committed and that GOD knows which ones they have forgotten about.

15 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Spreading Superstition... · 0 replies · +4 points

"After all, many Christians seem to take real joy in the prospect of people who do not share their beliefs being tortured for eternity"
Proselytizers "need" to do so to reassure themselves that their hoped for "heavenly reward" will really be forthcoming. Since they have no other way to accomplish this than by surrounding themselves by as many people who agree that "they have it right" as possible, it follows that they must either get you to agree or "damn you forever". Joining any religion is really about our hard-wired psychological need to be accepted into or be allowed to remain members of communal groups such as family/clan/party/church/etc. We learn early on that individuals have relatively little power, whereas there is "safety" (survival value) in numbers. It seems obvious to me that proselytizing is entirely about the "door knocker", not about the "knockee".

33 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Atheism and a Meaningf... · 1 reply · +6 points

Jack:
When one realizes that the "meaning' of our existence, as is true for all living things, is to survive long enough to reproduce and then further to support our offspring until they, in turn, can reproduce, one must either accept this or, if this is not "enough", one must find further "meaning". We Humans are both blessed and cursed with sufficient intelligence to "need" something more than just survival, especially since we have reached a point in our history wherein we generally have enough food and are safe enough that we don't have to spend every minute in "surviving".. Philosophical thinking/religious activities/any other activity not directly associated with day to day survival is a relatively recent luxury in Human evolution.
"I'd like to be the kind of person others look forward to seeing. I'd like to put a smile on their faces and improve their day. I'd also like to be someone who is not content to leave the world as it is but is always looking to improve it in whatever small ways I can."
It seems to me that this is a modern restatement of "Do unto others..."
But, since Atheists do not expect any "reward" at the end of life, this statement simply recognizes that once we have dealt with daily survival needs, what matters is how positively we then can interact with everyone else. The "reward' is that it makes us feel good about ourselves when we do this.
And, as you said, "That's really about it, and it is (should be) enough."

33 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Atheism: A Choice to b... · 2 replies · +3 points

Coming to the realization that one lacks all God belief is not, by itself, a decision to "be alone". The decision to declare to the world that one has chosen the label "Atheist", may be, however, Since the driving reason for anyone to join and want to continue to be accepted in any religious group is the need to be reassured that there is some sort o/f afterlife or "Heavenly reward", it follows that Believers must avoid, shun, and otherwise denigrate anyone who is not in the right group with them, Hence, the multiplicity of religious wars throughout history. In more recent times, wherein it has become (somewhat) less fashionable to attack your neighbor because "at least he/she believes in (fill in Deity of choice)", anyone else is still fair game. All religions require some sort of "togetherness" for worship/fellowship/mutual support/etc. SInce Atheism, in and of itself requires and provides no group activities, it follows that one must seek "togetherness" elsewhere.

34 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Facing Death Without F... · 0 replies · +5 points

In fact, GOD belief is entirely about unwillingness to accept the end of life that we all inevitably face. The afterlife (Heaven/Nirvana/rebirth/etc), promised in one form or another by all religions, is the single driving force to religious belief. Every culture we know of, throughout the history of Human existence, has seen fit to create GOD(s). In the face of an otherwise dangerous and often very difficult existence, Humanity has needed the appearance of some degree of control over life; hence, prayer, sacrifice, observance of "commandments", and, above all, membership in and permission to remain a member of a group of people who agree that our chosen Deity is the right one. Since very few people have had the experience of "death" and "lived" to tell about it, the reassurance of our coreligionists is critical to our ability to avoid acceptance of the inevitable end of life.
I, for one, have faced open heart surgery twice during my 81 years. As a Physician, I am only too aware of the risk of death that faced me on both occasions. As I approached the time of surgery I imagined that I might wake up in a cold sweat and begin saying the prayers I learned as a young man before I realized that I had no God belief . This did not happen on either occasion. It is not that I don't care about life or its ending; I seem, somehow, to have accepted it as something over which I have no control. As a result, I guess that I don't need to waste any of the time that still may have worrying about it.

37 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - I Was a Teenage Atheist · 1 reply · +4 points

It seems to me that your last observation is actually the main reason for anti-atheist rhetoric. The desperate desire that Christianity's promised Heavenly reward or afterlife could be true is what drives most Believers, in my opinion. Since there is no other way to reassure themselves that this is so, they must surround themselves by people who agree that they are right. In order to be allowed into and, more important, to stay part of that religion, they must denigrate anyone who is not "one of them", let alone anyone who actually says their beliefs are wrong. Since it cannot escape their notice that most Atheists are not covered in boils or frequently struck down by their "loving God/Savior", our willingness to be "out" and honest about our lack of God belief is particularly threatening. It must "appear" that they hate us at every opportunity, mainly for the benefit of the other Co-religionists.

40 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Ignorant and Proud · 0 replies · +5 points

"I found it very easy to maintain by Christian faith before I was willing to examine it critically."
The reason for maintaining any religious belief is neither pride nor ignorance. It is fear... fear of the finality of death and that, in the case of Christianity, the promised afterlife or "Heavenly Reward" is not really going to happen. Believers need to surround themselves with as many coreligionists and/or people who at least pay lip service to believing as they do as possible, since that is the only way they can be reassured that their beliefs are true. That also requires denigrating any ideas that are in conflict (i.e. Darwinism) with those beliefs. Hence, the car magnet proclaiming "I am not only a Believer, but I don't let silly science get in my way in believing."
I think this particular magnet is pretty clever, however.