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Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
#26

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 04:47 PM)Dexta Wrote:
(05-09-2024, 03:34 PM)brewerb Wrote: Ever considered joining a non-religious charity organization, one that does activities?

I'm yet to encounter a local charity organisation which is nominally atheist, so no.

The church that I grew up in was pretty awesome. On the liberal end of the Christian spectrum and very friendly. I left because I respected them too much to commit the hypocrisy of pretending to believe as they did and have never felt the urge to go back. The church itself has since been reborn as a pub and is feeling much better now. I get my community fix elsewhere.

As others have suggested, unless you live in the Deep South or the Middle East, there are a lot of good secular community organizations. They'll likely have a few religious members but typically you won't know who they are unless you ask. Pick a hobby or interest and ask the interwebs. Most will have some objective or charitable goal, otherwise the organization is really just "A bunch of old farts grumbling about the weather and shouting at kids to get off the lawn."
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#27

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Some Unitarian Universalist churches lean strongly toward atheism. What is it about atheist organizations specifically that you think only they can provide?
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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#28

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
So do most christian churches, lol.
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#29

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-09-2024, 01:00 PM)Dexta Wrote: ..but I just can't make myself believe religion due to my (perceived) knowledge of its absurdity, irrationality and damaging facets.

Any other posters here wish, in a way, they could be a believer and part of that crew?

No fucking way, José!   Why on earth would any sane
atheist harbour thoughts such as these?

Do you seriously think that joining a group who truly
believe in supernatural entities (gods, angels or devils)
or paranormal phenomena (miracles, parthenogenesis
or resurrection) would be advantageous to your mindset
or within your everyday life?

BTW, if you're having these sorts of thoughts, may I suggest
that you're not an atheist, but rather an agnostic?
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#30

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-10-2024, 07:15 PM)Dānu Wrote: Some Unitarian Universalist churches lean strongly toward atheism.  What is it about atheist organizations specifically that you think only they can provide?

An atheist organization provides a place completely free of religious superstition. It provides people a place to talk to who don't involve superstition into every discussion. It provides a place where I can be free of religion during discussions about "the world in general". It provides a place where I'm not being threatened with eternal and painful damnation. It provides a place where religion is not the explanation of all things.

Back in the 80s, I was tasked with finding telephone sites that were not "official business" (back when it was expensive to call them). One I found was "dial-an-atheist". Of course I didn't call them from my office phone. But I called them as soon as I got home. Happiest day of my life. There was a Solstice Party near me and I attended. I stood in the doorway and looked a dozen people sitting inside talking to each other. I said that I had never met a fellow atheist before and they welcomed me in.

No other organization could have provided that long-desired welcome!

Imagine that you thought there was some kind of all-powerful being, and you thought you were alone in that belief, feeling certain but maybe the only one. And then you met a few others who thought as you did. That's how I felt.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#31

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-12-2024, 08:26 AM)SYZ Wrote:
(05-09-2024, 01:00 PM)Dexta Wrote: ..but I just can't make myself believe religion due to my (perceived) knowledge of its absurdity, irrationality and damaging facets.

Any other posters here wish, in a way, they could be a believer and part of that crew?

No fucking way, José!   Why on earth would any sane
atheist harbour thoughts such as these?

Do you seriously think that joining a group who truly
believe in supernatural entities (gods, angels or devils)
or paranormal phenomena (miracles, parthenogenesis
or resurrection) would be advantageous to your mindset
or within your everyday life?

BTW, if you're having these sorts of thoughts, may I suggest
that you're not an atheist, but rather an agnostic?

Hear hear!

I don't want to believe anything other than that which convinces me; not believe for the sake of believing or for the sake of having something to believe in. That sort of Mulder-like "I want to believe" mindset is completely foreign to me.

And as for that "crew", far from wanting to be part of it, it's looking at it in whatever its forms - religion or woo - that is utterly depressing to me.
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#32

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Sometimes the sense of community and belonging in a church can be really appealing. I’ve felt that pull too, but like you, I just can't reconcile it with my own understanding and beliefs. It's good to know we're not alone in these thoughts.
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#33

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
OFC not, that's why churches exist in the first place. Has nothing to do with gods, at the bottom of it.
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#34

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-17-2024, 02:17 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: OFC not, that's why churches exist in the first place.  Has nothing to do with gods, at the bottom of it.

Unsure of that. There really are "true believers". Some even spend their whole lives in support and love for a deity. I think they are serious about that. I give them some credit for sticking to what they believe. If they gave us atheists the same credit for our thoughts, the world might be an "easier" place to live in.

But they really do need to knock off with the "you are going to hell" stuff...
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#35

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Non-overlapping-magesteria.

We are a hyper social species by nature. Every single one of us. The most antisocial individual human is orders of magnitude more social than the least social slug. People want community. If a religion has captured the means of creating community....then people who don't give a fuck about the religion and even those who actively hate the religion will still support it, insomuch as it's community building.

That's what it means to be Nominally X. You don't believe it...but you believe in believing in it. Truth is, christianity is a minority viewpoint in the contemporary world. More people believe in believing in christianity, than people believe in christ. Even among christians. Especially among christians.
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#36

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-17-2024, 07:06 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: Non-overlapping-magesteria.  

We are a hyper social species by nature.  Every single one of us.  The most antisocial individual human is orders of magnitude more social than the least social slug.  People want community.  If a religion has captured the means of creating community....then people who don't give a fuck about the religion and even those who actively hate the religion will still support it, insomuch as it's community building.

That's what it means to be Nominally X.  You don't believe it...but you believe in believing in it.

"even those who actively hate the religion will still support it, insomuch as it's community building". I disagree. I consider the various regions to be divisive and "anti-community building", Most of the brutality around the world is due to mutual religious hatred. The moslems hate the jews, the jews hate the moslems. The moslems hate the hindus and the hindus hate them back. Some christians hate everyone else and each other. There is almost no end to the anger and worldwide social consequences!

Imagine a world with no superstitious religious adherents. I do sometimes. Not "no problems" but many fewer. I would like that world a bit better.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#37

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
I think that you're not engaging. People have commonly, historically, and demonstrably supported things they did not agree with...because they believed that it supported some other thing.... that they did believe in. Big Tent Theory.

To tell you the truth, I can't even imagine a world with no superstitions. The closest I get is here and places like it...except its full of superstition. Not god based, granted....but superstitious all the same.

I get that alot of you interpret a lack of gods as a lack of superstition. A lack of superstition as a lack of religion. Neither thing is true.

Might there be a better world with no religion? Religion as, apparently, exemplified by our currently dominant ones? Easy. Yes all day. Is there a better form or lane for religion, one that would evade common criticism. Yeah - just as easily...and that's why it's so fucking weird that the religious not only fail to avail themselves of that, but reject it's possibility on principle. No one is fucking up christianity...for example...except the committed christians.
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#38

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-17-2024, 07:25 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: I think that you're not engaging.  People have commonly, historically, and demonstrably supported things they did not agree with...because they believed that it supported some other thing.... that they did believe in.  Big Tent Theory.  

To tell you the truth, I can't even imagine a world with no superstitions.  The closest I get is here and places like it...except its full of superstition.  Not god based, granted....but superstitious all the same.  

I get that alot of you interpret a lack of gods as a lack of superstition.  A lack of superstition as a lack of religion.  Neither thing is true.

Not quite.  We view religion as a form of superstition that began a long time ago in human history.  Someone considered an event of Nature and couldn't explain it, but since there had to be a "cause", it became "some mysterious power".  And since there were a lot of things ancient humans didn't understand, the list of "powers" grew larger.  

Since some natural events were dangerous (lightning, floods, illnesses, etc) they came to think of specific powers that might have caused them.  They were incorrect, of course, as we now understand lightning, floods, and illnesses.  The good thing is that they did their best to understand.  The sad thing is that they just didn't have the information to understand them at the time.

So religions were created to organize the "powers" for pleading for help.  Sky (lightning, storms) was usually considered the primary power.  But sometimes it was Earth (animals, wild crops, solid ground).  I suspect most all members of ancient cultures "believed" in some group of powers.  Eventually, there were so many "powers" that the system fell apart from its complexity.

But humans advance.  Too damn slow sometimes, but we do learn new things.  One of the results of learning new things was that we started to understand the causes of what we previously thought came from "powers" (which we called deities).  Over the course of time, as we learned the actual causes of events we once thought were caused by specific deities, we started to consolidate them.  

It wasn't just a panoply of deities anymore (Zeus, Jupiter, and Odin and the Lesser gods).  It became The One in various places.  Different "Ones" locally. That too is slowly fading away and will someday be viewed negatively like a flat earth.   Knowledge and learning will eventually refute those superstitions and blind beliefs.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#39

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
"We" is doing alot of work. I don't think that religion is superstition.
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#40

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-17-2024, 08:05 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: "We" is doing alot of work.   I don't think that religion is superstition.

Well, of course you don't think "religion is superstition". No one saturated in religious beliefs ever does. I was simply explaining how it generally started and how it changed over time. Today, people in more advanced cultures are rejecting the idea of a deity in droves.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#41

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
No one is rejecting the idea of deity in droves. If anthything, we're retconning the idea of diety to fit our contemporary natural sensibilities. No grp more-so than the group who continues to believe in deity.
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#42

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-17-2024, 08:27 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: No one is rejecting the idea of deity in droves.  If anthything, we're retconning the idea of diety to fit our contemporary natural sensibilities.  No grp more-so than the group who continues to believe in deity.

People are leaving the churches and theisms.  Here are a couple of charts...

[Image: PF-2022-09-13-religious-projections-01-01.webp]

[Image: PF-2022-09-13-religious-projections-02-01.webp]

Click to enlarge...

I hope these help...
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#43

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Religious identification and theism are not the same thing. I guess it seems that way to alot of atheists on the boards - but it aint so. Catholics..as an example..more and more dont want anything to do with the church, but that doesn't mean that they're less religious or even less faithful. They're not leaving the church to nothing...they're leaving for other religions. Other visions of god.

Hence "no grp more so than the grp that continues to believe in deity". Their gods, their religions, are unrecognizable to their parents, for better and for worse.
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#44

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-17-2024, 09:46 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: Religious identification and theism are not the same thing.  I guess it seems that way to alot of atheists on the boards - but it aint so.  Catholics..as an example..more and more dont want anything to do with the church, but that doesn't mean that they're less religious or even less faithful.

They are not identical, but they are related. The less people view their churches as providing The Truth, the less faith means in their everyday life. When beliefs are not pushed constantly, they start to fade.
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#45

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
That sort of belief, sure..but we're all retconners and revisionists now. Christ and Karma. There's less belief in traditional religon...and more in imported religion. If what you're focusing on was the dominant religion decades ago..yeah, sure, that fell off a cliff, but another religion sucked up the difference..and then some. From the point of view of the adherents it;s the same damned religion.

Mystifying, I know.
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#46

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
(05-17-2024, 09:52 AM)Rhythmcs Wrote: That sort of belief, sure..but we're all retconners and revisionists now.  Christ and Karma.

I originally thought "retconners" was a typo. What does it mean to you? And please explain a bit of "Christ and Karma".
Two paths diverged in the woods, and I managed to take both...
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#47

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Retconning is when you advance a new line that you've worked to fit with the old line, even if they're directly antithetical. What christ and karma means to me is inconsequential. The majority of self professing christians say they hold heretical beliefs, and the number one heretical belief is karma. Eastern religions have done good infliltrative work on the western mind.
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#48

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Since the Age of Reason arrived on the scene and science developed, has there been a creation of a new religion? I’m not talking about a new sect developing from an older one or redefinitions of past beliefs, I’m talking about a completely new philosophy or “power”?

Obviously it would be a small group but also a growing one. Most New Age stuff is reworking of older faiths. The only one I can come up with was the Hale Bop group that self destructed awhile ago and I guess they worshipped aliens?
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#49

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
Was there ever any new religion that wasn't a rework of older stuff? Christianity obviously wouldn't qualify. Nor would it's source material. Comet worship isn't new, the hale bop guys just picked a different rock and overlayed socially dominant religious tropes from the 90's. I think the ancient aliens thing is on the verge of being a religion..but it's pretty explicitly based on reworking old myths too.
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#50

Sometimes I crave belief in God (which one?) and to be part of a local church..
[Image: 71Vt2yZphLL._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_.jpg]

[Image: il_794xN.1037309626_c72u.jpg]
Mountain-high though the difficulties appear, terrible and gloomy though all things seem, they are but Mâyâ.
Fear not — it is banished. Crush it, and it vanishes. Stamp upon it, and it dies.


Vivekananda
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