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"There's simply no polite way to tell people they've dedicated their lives to an illusion" Dennet on Religion

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Showing 26-50 of 415 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 17:08:22 BDT
C. A. Small says:
In what context? If someone said I will burn you to death for not believing in Jesus (which christians have repeatedly done) then I would tell them what they wanted to hear, likewise Allah or any other silly sky fairy nonsense. What possible merit is their in dying at the hands of some lunatic who is delusional? However, if they tried the usual theist nonsense of killing me or torturing me for my non-belief, I would happliy slot the delusional buffoons. This is a far better outcome- I survive unhurt, and a lunatic is removed from the gene pool.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 17:21:41 BDT
Heretic says:
C. A. Small says: "This is a far better outcome- I survive unhurt, and a lunatic is removed from the gene pool."

So you're not a candidate for the Darwin Awards?



In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 17:56:11 BDT
it very much looks like you've phrased the question to produce a particular answer.

Deja vous, the person is convinced with all their being that something has already happened. does that conviction mean it must have happened?

i am reading a very interesting book at the moment 'the psychological roots of religious belief: searching for Angels and the parent god' which is putting forward a very interesting theory regarding spiritual experiences which would certainly explain how such things can be completely convincing for the individual without existing externally to the person. it reminded me of Deja vous!

living proof based on internal conviction seems to come down to having convinced oneself even if at a sub conscious level based on 'gut feeling' so to speak.

'life is precious' is a value judgement and not necessarily true for each person. some people do throw their life away or at least so it seems to others.

surrendering one's life for a cause be it religious, political or patriotic is nothing new. dying for god does not make god real.

who is saying that faith is empty or lifeless? for the person having faith it can be all consuming and utterly convincing but that does not make it real outside that persons conviction.

finally i don't think your question............................would an atheist have enough conviction to die for his non-belief position?.................makes much sense. you are trying to compare a person being prepared to die in absolute faith of the existence of god with someone having no interest in dying for something they don't believe in! unless we are talking about someone taking a stand against a religion and being prepared to be killed by religious fanatics rather than profess belief in their god for example! but why should someone who lacks belief in god have conviction to die for? they might but it's not necessary in order to be an atheist.

what if spiritual conviction is like Deja vous where the individual is totally convinced that they have experienced something real but it is just a product of their brain?

just a thought, i have only just started to read the book.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 18:15:53 BDT
kraka says:

How nice to hear from you again and thank you for your reply. And yes, you raise a very valid issue. This is why i tried in my post as briefly as i could to leave the discussion open with the words.."This aspect could be expanded further".

Most of modern life enables us to be wrapped up in a little cocoon world of a comfort zone where we can believe in all manner of things which never gets challenged or tested by life in the raw. I can only imagine the shock and horror at being diagnosed terminally ill, i think we all fear that. We instantly lose our comfort zone and are forced to face the severest of all lifes tests, our own demise, like a death sentence with little chance of a reprieve. I can only imagine how this must make one feel completely betrayed by God, faith, and belief, and sadly my friend i have to admit that i lack the experience to offer any solution. Faith, belief, and trust in God sooner or later often gets tested and sometimes we fail and sometimes we succeed. I have failed many times and this is how we learn and go from strength to strength, but of course this is not always any comfort for those who facing imminent death and feel betrayed are going to benefit. Some people though do draw great strength from their faith when the chips are down.

We are all different and i suppose we all seek a panacea that works for us and life does not always work out the way would wish it.

Whilst i can not offer any solution i hope this addresses your post in the only way i know how. I look forward to hearing from you again.

And you take care as well my friend........................kraka

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 18:24:19 BDT
A customer says:
Hi Kraka,

It's not a current problem for me my friend, but have experienced it with someone (family) before a few years ago, I just thought it was a relevant point for that part of your post so worth the example.

Thank you, take care.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 18:36:32 BDT
Spin says:
Henry; A polite way to tell someone they are wrong is by saying "I am sure you are right".

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 18:37:19 BDT
Acts5v29 says:
I was speaking of catastrophies which were caused by or not halted because of stubbornness.

Posted on 30 Apr 2013 18:37:58 BDT
Dennet was right.

Posted on 30 Apr 2013 18:41:30 BDT
Spin says:
If Dennet said it, it must be true.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 18:46:33 BDT
kraka says:
K. Hoyles Hi

Greetings, and thanks for your reply and I understand what you say, but my purpose for included this part into my post was to demonstrate that for many theists they have found that their belief is more than just what is printed in scriptures and preached from pulpits. That their lives have been touched by the Divine and that it is a living faith confirmed by spiritual experiences. Without these experiences it would be impossible to understand. If i told you that i had tasted a fruit in a distant land and tried to explain it's flavour, no matter how well i described it, it would remain unknown to you, until you tasted it for yourself. Such is the nature of spiritual experiences.


In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 18:55:56 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Well- I have nearly killed myself on numerous occasions from cliff diving, skiing, waterskiing and motorcycling that I might deserve an honorary award!

A chum had some spoof business cards made up for me as an "impact consultant", on the grounds that since I had hit so many different things from so many different angles, at so many speeds , I might as well charge for my experience!

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 18:57:33 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Kraka- you have not posted the parameters you use to define which god is real from the thousands of others- please do so.

Posted on 30 Apr 2013 18:59:32 BDT
Kleist says:
I remember that Star Trek film (I can't remember the name or what number it was) where they went in search of God, because some Vulcan had decided he knew where to find Him. It was very good.

When they found it/him many were not convinced that it was God. The Vulcan was, because he had invested all his religious energy in pursuit of this entity: he wanted proof by means of an empirical encounter face to face. I think it was Kirk who couldn't believe it first. His reason was something like he wouldn't accept any God that threatened and used violence (I'm sure there are more nerdy posters to correct me). Obviously Kirk didn't read the Old Testament.

Anyway that was not why it didn't convince me, and I don't think that is why it wasn't a convincing God. To express the thought in the form of a paradox: the problem I had with this idea of God was that it was too real.

Or, put in more pretentious language: anything that could be subject to such empirical evidence or proof would be insufficiently transcendent for me to understand it as God.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 19:05:23 BDT
Heretic says:
C. A. Small says: "Well- I have nearly killed myself on numerous occasions from cliff diving, skiing, waterskiing and motorcycling that I might deserve an honorary award!"



In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 19:10:50 BDT
Bellatori says:
More likely a permanent place on a ward....

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 19:11:39 BDT
Spin says:
Anthony: Have you seen "Iron Man 3"? =) Ben Kingsleys character, "Mandarin", expresses your point beautifully. I would expand on this comment but I do not want to spoil the film for those who have not seen it yet.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 19:19:08 BDT
Kleist says:
No I haven't seen it yet Spin. I certainly intend to but I usually wait for the DVD. Its years since I went to the cinema and I used to really love it.

You've whet my appetite now.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 19:20:47 BDT
K. Hoyles says:
Oh I know what you were saying Kraka, I just don't buy into it. You mention being 'tested' by god, but most people are tested by life events at certain times in their lives.

I would happily die for my children and loved ones if necessary and I've been through some testing times throughout my life, but facing up to the reality has made me stronger. We need to nurture our inner strength, which religion and spirituality seems to dilute and distract by constantly providing a running inner commentary as to how we should react to difficulties.

Spiritual experiences wouldn't have helped bring up my children, look after my ailing mother or any other tasks we all have to face. Being 'touched by the divine' would be last on the list of what really matters in life. What helps is the ability to learn from our mistakes, enjoy life and accept ourselves for what we are. Human.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 19:22:23 BDT
kraka says:
C. A. Small hi

Greetings Clive, thanks for your post, first i regret that your experiences with christians have been of this nature. My honest understanding is that when any theist uses scriptures to attack a non believer they have sadly and definately lost the plot. Man made religions run by men have also discredited God by false interpretations of scriptures, have allowed corruption to gain a foothold, have allowed wars to be fought in His Name, etc, etc, well I have no need to continue, you are probably more aware of their shortfall than I. Scriptures were written by men and under gone many rewrites and probable contain many errors when compared with the original inspiration from God. So as an atheist you are confronted with a jungle of conflicting and confusing claims and some of it very poorly presented and lacking clarity. I do honestly understand at times how you have arrived at your resentment and anger, and you have my sympathy.

Cheers and take care............................................kraka

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 19:22:44 BDT
Heretic says:
Go to see it - more focus on the story this time.


In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 20:42:48 BDT
C. A. Small says:

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 20:51:51 BDT
Spin says:
Anthony; DON'T wait for DVD, Blu-ray or OLED. Go see it in 3-d at your local flix. Great film...=)

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2013 20:53:56 BDT
Kleist says:
Might do. Babysitter permitting.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2013 11:40:26 BDT
kraka says:
C. A. Small

Clive greetings sorry for the delay in replying to your post. Believe it or not your asking a question which I did answer in my first post where I said, "confirmed by spiritual experiences".

Right you ask, "Kraka- you have not posted the parameters you use to define which god is real from the thousands of others- please do so"

First I will point out that God is beyond the finite notions of parameters if we accept the many scriptural texts that claim God is infinite, and secondly the real nature of God is also beyond definition in that He is a mystery beyond human comprehension. I guess that makes me sound a bit evasive so I will try and clarify a bit further. If we accept that globally throughout the ages man has invented many mythological gods and these invented false gods were believed in but mostly died out because the gods were not real and lacked any *life* of their own.

The one true God is not an invention and is a *living God* and has proved this to countless people through the ages by revealing His presence in their lives either as a loving, guiding influence or by Spiritual experiences within ones soul. This is better understood if one tries to understand that it is our hearts that He touches, so it is more of a kind, loving, caring thing than a mind thing. The mind part comes from seeking further understanding from scriptures. This is the basis of what is referred to as a personal relationship with the Living God, it goes much, much deeper than this when one experiences the Divine within ones soul.

This Living God has sent numerous prophets to mankind revealing different aspects of His Divinity with His message of Love and His Word, and it is by this Living Word that He is known. Scriptures are records of God's Word as delivered by the prophets to mankind, the scriptures are not the Word of God Himself, as it is a Living Word, but only tells us about it. Scriptures are not an end in themselves but rather a signpost for the path that leads one back to God though the Holy Word.

Scriptures claim that this Living God created the universe, that He is all knowing, all powerful, infinite and eternal, the source of love and life itself and that He created us in His likeness with an obligation to honor Him. We are his creation, we belong to Him, He has the power of determination over our existence. He bestows love but can be aroused to anger and even vengeance.

God is the opposite to His created physical universe, non physical, and no physical evidence of His existence will ever be found, He is a mystery that created the universe and the crutch upon which the universe rests by His power alone.

Clive I could rabbit on but I think you will have got the picture by now and I would hate to be the cause of you being rushed into hospital with a severe case of drivalitus (lol) :)

So enjoy the day and take care, regards................................kraka

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2013 12:18:53 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Kraka, none of this answers the question. How do you know the god you believe exists is not Viracocha? The bible was written by men, and is a pretty haphazard amalgam of books, and the gospels that were left out were done so purely on the whim of men.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  44
Total posts:  415
Initial post:  30 Apr 2013
Latest post:  28 May 2013

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