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This is a question God

Tell us your stories of churches and religion (or lack thereof). Let the smiting begin!

Question suggested by Supersonic Electronic

(, Thu 19 Mar 2009, 15:00)
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Fucking Pascal and his fucking gambling addiction
I cannot tell you how SMUG proponents of Pascal's Wager are when they throw it in your face. (If you've no clue what I'm talking about, look it up. go on. I'll wait.)

They're never actual Faithful types, either. They don't engage with their religion on any meaningful level, they basically just use it to score points and feel superior to atheists.

Then I point out to them that given the complete and utter absence of evidence in favour of any particular religion, if all you want is to cover your ass on the off-chance that there's an afterlife of some kind you ought to pick the friendliest religion you can find. After all, there's no greater or lesser odds for it than for the one you belong to now, is there, the one you happen to have been brought up in or that happens to be dominant in your region or social class, right?

You'd be amazed how many of them completely fail to immediately convert to unitarianism or buddhism or something.

Don't lay claim to a rationalism you don't even remotely possess, fuckers.
(, Sun 22 Mar 2009, 11:30, 9 replies)
I think it was in a Terry Pratchett book...
that it was mentioned that if there is an omniscient god, then there's going to be very little that annoys him more than a smug bastard going for this kind of reasoning.
(, Sun 22 Mar 2009, 13:06, closed)
That very quote
is in the wikipedia article about Pascal's Wager that I just went and looked up.
(, Sun 22 Mar 2009, 13:13, closed)
Ah yes, here it is (from Hogfather)
A philosopher claimed, "Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it's all true you'll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn't then you've lost nothing, right?" When the philosopher died, "he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, 'We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts...'"

(, Sun 22 Mar 2009, 13:36, closed)
I don't see any reason
why a God who would allow Auschwitz to happen, wouldn't also punish people for believing in him and reward people for not - so atheism is an equally valid response.
(, Sun 22 Mar 2009, 13:15, closed)
*click* *click* *click* *click* *click*
There are not enough superlatives in all the languages in the world to describe the absolute perfection of this monument to stupidity.

You don't "believe in god", you're cheating.

God has sent you an application form for the afterlife, and you're not answering the questions honestly - you're just giving the answers you think you're supposed to give. Do you think that an omniscient being won't know? Do you know what omniscience is?

And that's even assuming that the two options aren't an over-simplification that invalidates the whole concept, which of course they are. There are thousands of religions, and choosing the wrong one is as good as not choosing one at all by all accounts, so that's thousands of options.

Still don't see how ridiculous this is? Here's an analogy: You're at a job interview. You're asked "what qualifications do you have?". You reply "all of them", and you're completely and utterly serious about the answer.

Do you not think that that's ridiculous? Do you think the interviewer would accept that answer? Do you think you'd get the job? And this is something as trivial as a job interview - if you don't get the job, you can try for another one. You're talking about your one and only chance to be rewarded eternal bliss instead of being condemned to eternal torment!

( ...and breeeaaatthhhh. I think I need an outlet of some kind for my atheism... )
(, Sun 22 Mar 2009, 14:42, closed)
You can *make* yourself believe
It took me a long time to cotton on to this idea... All this hanging about in somewhat scary looking buildings, listening to a guy in a dress and chanting ancient drivel is essentially self-hypnosis. You can actually sit down and decide what you'd like to be true and then convince yourself that it's actually the case. I think believing a bit in the first place helps.
(, Sun 22 Mar 2009, 18:17, closed)
Consciously? No, that's just "being in denial" and it ain't the same as actually believing something... and neither is it healthy.

Subconsciously, on the other hand, we do it constantly. It's hard-wired into the brain. www.ted.com/index.php/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html
(, Mon 23 Mar 2009, 2:00, closed)
well, to be fair
I think childhood indoctrination has a lot to answer for there. even children of non-church/whatevergoing parents tend to absorb a bit of wishful thinking about there being a Higher Power of some sort, and you can build a lot on that.

Personally I do not have a problem with people who actively CHOOSE to believe despite knowing there is no evidence, provided they are not dicks about it. If it gives them comfort/helps them live a better life that is good for them. Just because I'm a terrible liar is no reason to get pissy about it.
(, Tue 24 Mar 2009, 11:43, closed)
I've always thought
that if there IS an omniscient all powerful creator who created us whole cloth, than He/She/It has to know about reason and all that. Pascal's wager is for people too dumb to think it through to the other side.
(, Mon 23 Mar 2009, 1:27, closed)

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