Panelists at discussion on atheism: No faith, no problem

Sep 15, 2011 Full story: MLive.com 160

Living without religion: Panelists discuss how they have been affected by not following religion.

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Cornell Navarre-Jones

Seattle, WA

#1 Sep 15, 2011
By not following religion to the satisfaction of the said religion, I have been positively affected. My everyday life is free to make decisions based on real-world and critical thinking skills; that, I am still learning.

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#2 Sep 15, 2011
Cornell Navarre-Jones wrote:
By not following religion to the satisfaction of the said religion, I have been positively affected. My everyday life is free to make decisions based on real-world and critical thinking skills; that, I am still learning.
I would submit that if you had the faith necessary, you would see that you can follow your faith AND make decisions based on real-world and critical thinking skills AND still learn something new every day. I have.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#3 Sep 15, 2011
Faith and reason are mutually exclusive.

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#4 Sep 15, 2011
Arctic49519 wrote:
Faith and reason are mutually exclusive.
Only in your narrow little world.
The Solipsist

Wells, UK

#5 Sep 15, 2011
The Real Sandy wrote:
<quoted text>I would submit that if you had the faith necessary, you would see that you can follow your faith AND make decisions based on real-world and critical thinking skills AND still learn something new every day. I have.
I'm not clear on how critical thinking, which would encourage the questioning of assumptions and reasons for belief, would be compatible with the flavours of religious faith that are most common in the world.

Throughout the course of my life so far, I have met a few people (fewer than ten) who have consciously chosen non-dogmatic, rational approaches to spirituality. Their beliefs would not even be recognisable as bona fide spirituality to the True Believers (TM), however. It is not an easy path to take and personally I don't see the value in it, but I admire and respect the approach.

Where was I? Oh yes. Basically, I don't see religious faith as necessary or desirable. Combining spirituality (in general) with skepticism and critical thinking is a very difficult path to tread, and based on my experiences only very few people can actually pull it off. It's certainly not for me.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#6 Sep 15, 2011
The Real Sandy wrote:
<quoted text>Only in your narrow little world.
Yeah,right... show us with a good example of how your "faith" has benefited anyone... Show us the evidence....

“Come and get it! ”

Since: Jan 09

Traverse City

#7 Sep 15, 2011
Arctic49519 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah,right... show us with a good example of how your "faith" has benefited anyone... Show us the evidence....
Probably has benefited you. If most of us here didn't have religion to guide us, we'd have come over to your house long ago and knocked some sense upside your useless liberal head. Ha-ha-ha!!!
The Solipsist

Wells, UK

#8 Sep 15, 2011
Sneaky Pete wrote:
<quoted text>
Probably has benefited you. If most of us here didn't have religion to guide us, we'd have come over to your house long ago and knocked some sense upside your useless liberal head. Ha-ha-ha!!!
So does that mean that most of the people who are currently religious are inherently immoral and need religion to keep them in check?

I find it unlikely.

“Come and get it! ”

Since: Jan 09

Traverse City

#9 Sep 15, 2011
The Solipsist wrote:
<quoted text>
So does that mean that most of the people who are currently religious are inherently immoral and need religion to keep them in check?
I find it unlikely.
It was a joke. Apparently you people here in this forum are a little slower than most, eh?
The Solipsist

Wells, UK

#10 Sep 15, 2011
Sneaky Pete wrote:
<quoted text>
It was a joke. Apparently you people here in this forum are a little slower than most, eh?
My apologies. In another thread where I was posting recently someone made exactly the same point in complete seriousness.

Unfortunately it is not always possible to distinguish the parody from the parodied, especially when reading someone for the first time.

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#11 Sep 15, 2011
Arctic49519 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah,right... show us with a good example of how your "faith" has benefited anyone... Show us the evidence....
I am not going to "show" you anything. You won't believe it anyway so slamming my head against a brick wall will benefit me not in the least. You choose to not believe, please continue.

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#12 Sep 15, 2011
The Solipsist wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm not clear on how critical thinking, which would encourage the questioning of assumptions and reasons for belief, would be compatible with the flavours of religious faith that are most common in the world.
Throughout the course of my life so far, I have met a few people (fewer than ten) who have consciously chosen non-dogmatic, rational approaches to spirituality. Their beliefs would not even be recognisable as bona fide spirituality to the True Believers (TM), however. It is not an easy path to take and personally I don't see the value in it, but I admire and respect the approach.
Where was I? Oh yes. Basically, I don't see religious faith as necessary or desirable. Combining spirituality (in general) with skepticism and critical thinking is a very difficult path to tread, and based on my experiences only very few people can actually pull it off. It's certainly not for me.
So, do you just accept everything that is told to you without using your critical thinking skills to determine whether what you have heard is correct? I know I don't. I dig and dig and delve to satisfy myself and my need for knowledge. I don't think that critical thinking and faith cannot cohabitate together within me. Faith is merely believing in something you cannot see. I don't have a problem with that, but for some it is an issue.

Since: Mar 09

Grandville, MI

#13 Sep 15, 2011
Arctic49519 wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah,right... show us with a good example of how your "faith" has benefited anyone... Show us the evidence....
Can you show us with a good example of how your "faith" in atheism has benifited anyone?.... Show us the evidence....

“Fortes Fortuna Juvat, ”

Since: Dec 09

Wichita. Ks.

#14 Sep 15, 2011
The Real Sandy wrote:
<quoted text>So, do you just accept everything that is told to you without using your critical thinking skills to determine whether what you have heard is correct? I know I don't. I dig and dig and delve to satisfy myself and my need for knowledge. I don't think that critical thinking and faith cannot cohabitate together within me. Faith is merely believing in something you cannot see. I don't have a problem with that, but for some it is an issue.
I do not know what your religious belief and or denomination is, but I will go on the assumption that it is of the Christian faith.

If so have you used critical thinking and reason in your study of the bible?

“Fortes Fortuna Juvat, ”

Since: Dec 09

Wichita. Ks.

#15 Sep 15, 2011
Gville Jim wrote:
<quoted text>Can you show us with a good example of how your "faith" in atheism has benifited anyone?.... Show us the evidence....
There is no faith in atheism in the sense that a person has faith in a god. Atheism is the non belief in a god.

As for your question, I cannot show you I can only tell you what I have done to help others and make the world around me better to the best of my ability.
The Solipsist

Wells, UK

#16 Sep 15, 2011
The Real Sandy wrote:
<quoted text>So, do you just accept everything that is told to you without using your critical thinking skills to determine whether what you have heard is correct? I know I don't. I dig and dig and delve to satisfy myself and my need for knowledge.
I try to be skeptical (only believing things to the extent that evidence justifies it), but of course none of us is absolutely rational the whole time. That's part of what being human is.
The Real Sandy wrote:
I don't think that critical thinking and faith cannot cohabitate together within me. Faith is merely believing in something you cannot see. I don't have a problem with that, but for some it is an issue.
It's a particular problem for those faiths that contradict what we know from other fields (history, archaeology, etc.), and which also discourage questioning the dogma.

For more rational approaches to spirituality I've seen it done, so I'm not saying you're wrong - not by any means.

:)

Since: Mar 09

Grandville, MI

#17 Sep 15, 2011
Very Cynical Person wrote:
<quoted text>
There is no faith in atheism in the sense that a person has faith in a god. Atheism is the non belief in a god.
As for your question, I cannot show you I can only tell you what I have done to help others and make the world around me better to the best of my ability.
O-K,.... then tell us!
I'd like to hear it!

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#18 Sep 16, 2011
Sneaky Pete wrote:
<quoted text>
Probably has benefited you. If most of us here didn't have religion to guide us, we'd have come over to your house long ago and knocked some sense upside your useless liberal head. Ha-ha-ha!!!
You need an old bronze age book of primitive fiction and superstition to guide you?

That's really sad...

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#19 Sep 16, 2011
Very Cynical Person wrote:
<quoted text>
I do not know what your religious belief and or denomination is, but I will go on the assumption that it is of the Christian faith.
If so have you used critical thinking and reason in your study of the bible?
Yes I have used critical thinking and reason in my study of the Bible. That has led me to this conclusion, "Doctrine is man made, Salvation is God made and I don't need the man made." I know that many don't subscribe to that and that is their conclusion to which they are entitled.

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#20 Sep 16, 2011
The Real Sandy wrote:
<quoted text>Yes I have used critical thinking and reason in my study of the Bible. That has led me to this conclusion, "Doctrine is man made, Salvation is God made and I don't need the man made." I know that many don't subscribe to that and that is their conclusion to which they are entitled.
The whole "salvation" thing is just a con. Christianity had to manufacture the ailment (original sin, eternal damnation, etc.) in order to sell it's cure (salvation.)

It's typical snake oil salesmanship.

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