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Thread: I think I'm an athiest.

  1. #1
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    Default I think I'm an athiest.

    Hey guys. I'm relatively new to Blizzforums.
    I have a problem that I hope you guys can help me with.

    I'm a Muslim who is very quickly weakening in faith.
    I was reading the Quran at the request of my mother and I noticed that
    many of its verses contain control mechanisms (ie, don't make heretic friends, don't question the Quran, etc.)

    I, for a moment, thought that this book was attempting to brainwash me, but I dismissed the thought.
    I closed the book out out of frustration and gave a heavy sigh. When my mother saw this, she yelled, "Don't disrespect the Quran!"
    I'm used to statements like that, so I was inclined to dismiss that as well.

    What actually pushed me toward atheism was that after she yelled,
    she asked me to look over my shoulder and spit three times because it wards of the devil.
    I found that to be supremely absurd and I believe that is when I became agnostic.

    After much research into the topic of agnosticism and atheism, I found that most atheists are atheists not because they lack morals,
    but because they have reasonably concluded that natural selection provides a scientifically sound explanation for things.
    After reviewing the evidence and applying some personal thought, I believe I might be becoming atheist.

    Is there any insight anyone can offer me for or against atheism?
    Is there any insight anyone can offer me for or against theism or Islam in general?
    Are there any other belief systems that you could recommend. I'm in a transition phase and am open to anything for now.
    I'm sort of torn at the moment and would appreciate any advice I can get. Thanks in advance guys.
    Last edited by daleadil; 08-12-2007 at 04:46 PM.
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    The boy cried and prayed for God to make him rich.
    Suddenly,
    his tears became pearls as they fell from his cheek...

    This story ends with the boy sitting on a mountain of pearls...
    with a knife in one hand, and his dead wife in the other.



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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    I highly suggest following the path of logic & reason when making decisions about such matters. You should critically analyze your beliefs. Those that you have which cannot withstand rational scrutiny will be discarded (and for good cause). Those that do hold up to it will be that much more solid.

    There's a good critical thinking guide that a late forumer that used to visit these boards once wrote, called Refuting Unfalsifiable Claims with Superior, Incompatible Explanations which you should check out.

    Personally, I think the Roman Philosopher Seneca had it pegged when he said 'Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.'. But that's my personal opinion. I encourage people to explore both sides and make their own informed decision based upon the available data.

    Many popular religions will threaten those that attempt to leave or have reservations about the system with various post-mortem punishments. This is an ancient psychological terrorism tactic to try to scare the subject into submission. Those who are weak-minded will fall for Pascal's Sucker Bet and be hooked in, but those who are able to see through it are free from such mental tyranny.

    Last edited by Golgo 13; 08-12-2007 at 06:36 PM.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    People can believe whatever the hell they want to believe. It's their right, but it's not their right to push their belief on to me so as long as they keep it to themselves they can do what they want and if your parents don't see that well tough love.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    This may sound like your everyday cliché but you should find your own path. I hate to see people trying to make someone else change their theories behind the truth to life just because they disagree with each other. Someone may be an atheist and another a jew and they are just becomming enemies towards each other due to their disagreeing with each other.

    Take me for instance, I'm a christian and usually when I start argue as to why I belive christianity to be the true path, people will try all that is in their might to convince me otherwise.

    I'm not going to discuss why it is plausible to believe in one thing or another because I believe no one can give an ultimate proof to anything. It usually ends up in some sort of taint between two or more persons. Let's just say I have my reasons to believe what I believe and I think every person should find their own reason to belive in something for themselves. Of course talking to others may be such a way, but as it risks conflict and hate I think there are better ways to achieve this.

    However, in this case you, daleadil, are uncertain of what to believe. If you think atheism is something for you then I think you should stick to it. At least your parents shouldn't be in charge of your beliefs.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    Personally I was raised a Catholic but you know I am also a big history person and I believe in evolution. I think that there is a god but you know he is the reason for evolution. He made life but didn't control it he let it grow itself. Know what I mean? I believe we were put on this earth to live life to the fullest and we should all make are own desisions. I respect all religion because no matter what you believe it never hurts to believe in a god thats watching over you and maybe he is the greater power. He is someone who guides you to live your life best you can.

    I hope what I just said makes sense. Personally Islam is the only religion I don't like in this day and age it has caused many problems such as Iraq. But don't take that into your play that is my opinion. Look on the side of reason and the side of belief look how the two could go hand in hand.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Golgo 13 View Post
    I approached my uncle with my problem because he's cool like that, and he said (English translation), "Strengthen your faith, It's better to play it safe."

    I feel that this qualifies as Pascal's wager. I tried to force myself to believe after he put up the wager, but again, you can't really choose to believe. Either you believe or you don't.
    Thanks a lot Golgo, your link really clearified what my uncle was trying to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bobtheconquerer View Post
    People can believe whatever the hell they want to believe. It's their right, but it's not their right to push their belief on to me so as long as they keep it to themselves they can do what they want and if your parents don't see that well tough love.
    One of the things that are keeping me from going full-blown atheist right now, is that if I become an atheist, I'll end up alienating my family.
    I often ask myself what is more important,
    Living an externally peaceful life at the expense my mental health?
    Or living an internally peaceful life at the expense of my family?
    sigh. I have a tough decision ahead of me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Murray View Post
    At least your parents shouldn't be in charge of your beliefs.
    ...but the consequences...
    Quote Originally Posted by CajunMan550 View Post
    I hope what I just said makes sense. Personally Islam is the only religion I don't like in this day and age it has caused many problems such as Iraq. But don't take that into your play that is my opinion. Look on the side of reason and the side of belief look how the two could go hand in hand.
    You know, you bring up a good point.
    I would be lying if I said that current events didn't play a role in my decision.
    My mother argues that alot of the terrorism performed by muslims today are the result of extremists,
    but what I always think is that the principles that the extremists are operating under are also tought by moderate imaams (muslim priests).
    So wouldn't, logically, moderate islam be as responsible for the crap going on as extremists?
    The way it seems is that where ever there is moderate islam, you will find extremist islam.
    When I bring up this arguement, my mother usually dismisses me as an (english translation) "Ignorant child." I'm 22 y/o, btw.

    Thanks alot guys, I'm really starting to better define my problem.
    Last edited by daleadil; 08-12-2007 at 09:45 PM.
    sigline
    A boy once fell madly in love with a girl.
    His heart filled with joy as he found out, the girl loved him too!
    But alas, she was from a rich family, and he was just a beggar.
    The boy cried and prayed for God to make him rich.
    Suddenly,
    his tears became pearls as they fell from his cheek...

    This story ends with the boy sitting on a mountain of pearls...
    with a knife in one hand, and his dead wife in the other.



    daleadil is offline

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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    I think you're looking at belief a tad too relatively. Now, I've never found it difficult to loose touch of faith, due in part to a combination of my life experiences, reflection and how my faith deals with the two former ideas. Not only that, but as a child I've always been drawn to the romanticism of faith, meaning and the sturdy morals and ethics that are attached to my own religion.

    That aside, the Qur'an, aswell as the Bible and Taura, offers some of the most enriching teachings and approaches to life I've ever come across. Its difficult to imagine that someone could come across certain surahs and not be completely enthralled by their direction and fundamental purpose.

    I think it would be both prudent and quixotic of you to ABANDON your faith due, to any degree, to the actions of another, whether that other person be your mother or a stranger. There are people who practice my faith in much different manner than I do myself, and yet I still hold my faith to be my own. Furthermore, I think that you're ignoring the personal nature of Islam, which is a religion tailored to the individual and not the group.

    Lastly, I think you should take faith with a grain of salt. Statements such as 'Eve was created from the rib of Adam' or 'You should spit three times over your shoulder' can or cannot be taken literally. It is your prerogative to choose what you follow; thats exactly why there are different sects in Islam. Some choose to believe that you should not converse with any member of the opposite sex after wuthu and before prayer, while others ignore those types of practices.


    Remember: Faith lies in interpretation and practice.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford View Post
    I think you're looking at belief a tad too relatively. Now, I've never found it difficult to loose touch of faith, due in part to a combination of my life experiences, reflection and how my faith deals with the two former ideas. Not only that, but as a child I've always been drawn to the romanticism of faith, meaning and the sturdy morals and ethics that are attached to my own religion.

    That aside, the Qur'an, aswell as the Bible and Taura, offers some of the most enriching teachings and approaches to life I've ever come across. Its difficult to imagine that someone could come across certain surahs and not be completely enthralled by their direction and fundamental purpose.

    I think it would be both prudent and quixotic of you to ABANDON your faith due, to any degree, to the actions of another, whether that other person be your mother or a stranger. There are people who practice my faith in much different manner than I do myself, and yet I still hold my faith to be my own. Furthermore, I think that you're ignoring the personal nature of Islam, which is a religion tailored to the individual and not the group.

    Lastly, I think you should take faith with a grain of salt. Statements such as 'Eve was created from the rib of Adam' or 'You should spit three times over your shoulder' can or cannot be taken literally. It is your prerogative to choose what you follow; thats exactly why there are different sects in Islam. Some choose to believe that you should not converse with any member of the opposite sex after wuthu and before prayer, while others ignore those types of practices.


    Remember: Faith lies in interpretation and practice.
    This is by all means an excellent post.
    When practicing as an atheist...
    there are a lot of times when I feel thankful, and I have no one to thank.
    If ever I were down on hard times, I would have no one to turn to.
    I definitely see your point that Islam is very enriching.

    However, In my personal experience, when I attempt to follow Islam in my own way,
    I find many times that I end up cherry-picking the things in my religion that I agree with
    and discarding the things that I don't agree with.
    In effect, I'm molding my religion to my own values.
    If I am going to follow my own values, regardless of Islam...
    why not cut out the middle man?

    It seems to me that I have only 2 definitive choices regarding Islam.
    Either I accept it completely (fundamental theist), or I reject it completely (secular atheist).
    While typing this response, I have come to the conclusion (thanks to you) that Accepting it in a way that it was not presented does not hold to reason.

    Wow. This thread is benefiting me in more ways than I thought.
    When I write my thoughts down, they become clearer and more formed.
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    A boy once fell madly in love with a girl.
    His heart filled with joy as he found out, the girl loved him too!
    But alas, she was from a rich family, and he was just a beggar.
    The boy cried and prayed for God to make him rich.
    Suddenly,
    his tears became pearls as they fell from his cheek...

    This story ends with the boy sitting on a mountain of pearls...
    with a knife in one hand, and his dead wife in the other.



    daleadil is offline

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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    Quote Originally Posted by daleadil View Post
    It seems to me that I have only 2 definitive choices regarding Islam.
    Either I accept it completely (fundamental theist), or I reject it completely (secular atheist).
    Well, you pose a valid point, although I think I have something to add. When you say you might 'cut out the middle man' (i.e. religion) I think you're forgetting one of the more predominant part of faith. Now, learning to live by a strict code of morality and virtue is one side of religion, and the other is worship.

    As you put it, you had 'No one to thank'. The better part of most religions is giving praise and thanks to God and constantly reminding yourself that there is always something above. Now, it's my belief that as one grows older and is given the tools of education and debate, faith becomes more and more difficult to satiate. Whether or not you choose to abandon (may seem like the incorrect term to an atheist) the belief that there is a greater being or not is your choice.

    I have personally found it very difficult to dismiss the belief in God. Infact, using the 'tools of education and debate' I've found renewal in faith. I've had countless discussions on the subject. Most end up quoting sections big bang theory, being wholly ignorant of the horizon problem or globular cluster or oldness. They'll quote Darwin without having read any of Quinn's works on how religion can infact co-exist with the theory of Evolution.


    At the end of the day, debate and discussion won't take you to the end of the road. You have to look to yourself, and reflect on your life so far and decide whether or not the rest would play out for better or for worse, or play out the same if you abandonned religious belief altogether.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    You mentioned earlier that you're afraid of losing close relations with your family. I can understand if you care about them but I don't think the choice is either stop beliving or keep your bonds to the family. You should talk to them in a convincing manner as to why you are having second thoughts and if they try dismissing you as an 'ignorant child' I think you should defend yourself against that statement and tell them they are being ignorant to you since they don't bring up valid counter arguments. You should at least tell them that you care about them despite your religious beliefs and that you don't wish to become hostile against them due to differences in opinion.

    To tell people what's on your mind is important and I think you ought to give it a try with your family.



    EDIT: Off topic: Woo 42nd post! Go Douglas Adams!
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    If you're maintaining the religion on the grounds that your family will alienate you if they find out you're no longer assimilated into the collective, which is actually a fairly common scenario, then that should make you think about why exactly it is that religious people do that so often.

    It's because religions by large encourage narrowminded, myopic views of the world and promote the wholesale rejection of backsliders and former adherents. People who de-convert are "bad for business" so to speak and aren't likely to further the religious cause, so it is necessary for the existence of the religion to alienate these people as they are apt to cause people to abandon the faith. It's when people get exposed to these heathen ideas outside the religious bubble that they start to question the validity of their beliefs (which is a dangerous thing for religions, since it can only lead to doubt and questioning which is antithetical to blind, dogmatic adherence to doctrine that religions emphasize so much). This is why you see people disown family members that leave their school of thought. It's not that the people want to do it, but they're compelled to by irrational religious beliefs, which speaks a great deal as to the nature of such religions that they would encourage such destructive practices.

    With that said, I can tell you right now that even though you may pretend to be Muslim just so you don't alienate your family, if you're at that point then you already know that you don't really genuinely believe in the system and are simply putting up a facade in order to maintain your appearance to them. You'd be doing it for sociopolitical reason then - which I highly suggest you do. It's not your family's fault, really. They've had thousands of years worth of conditioning drilled into them at a gullibly young age before they ever posessed any rational thinking capabilities to seriously question the stuff. That right there is the reason that most people inherit the religion of their parents and why religion is cultural and specific religions dominates specific regions. It's no coincidence. It's all culture, tradition, and conditioning.

    Is it deceptive to pretend you're something that you're not? Yeah, but it sure beats the alternative of being disowned - which would just create unnecessary problems for everyone and solve nothing since the believers are bound to an irrational system that compels them to act contrary to reason. Maintaining ones' appearance to their family and to the public is important, so I suggest that you just not bring the subject up yourself and pretend that everything is going normally.

    It's like that movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". You can't tip them off that you're not one of them or it will cause major problems, so just put on an act.
    Last edited by Golgo 13; 08-13-2007 at 06:24 AM.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    Since you clearly never had faith in your religion anyways--if seriously, you could turn from "religious" to "agnostic" to "atheist" in like...what, five minutes?--I don't see a reason to worry.

    In fact, I don't even understand why you're worried to be an athiest, and to be truthful, besides the discussion that can stem from your personal story, it's really not SD material...

    Anyways, I've always seen religion as a "thing". And you plainly believe it, or not.

    There's no analyzation--it's faith, you can't think about it, you just believe in it or not.

    When you come to question your God, you don't believe in him anyways, so hell, you're an Athiest.

    Once you start thinking, you join the atheists.

    Period!
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    Quote Originally Posted by PraetorKoronis View Post
    When you come to question your God, you don't believe in him anyways, so hell, you're an Athiest.

    Once you start thinking, you join the atheists.

    Period!
    I think it was Aristotle who said that a little philosophy tends one towards atheism, but in the end tends on towards religion.

    I think then it was either Einstein or Borr who paraphrased him by saying the same about science and mathematics.

    If you've ever had a chance to talk with theoretical physicists and methematicians, they have some very curious views on the existence of a otherwordly intelligence.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    Quote Originally Posted by PraetorKoronis View Post
    When you come to question your God, you don't believe in him anyways, so hell, you're an Athiest.
    Quote Originally Posted by PraetorKoronis View Post
    Once you start thinking, you join the atheists.
    Period!

    I have to say, that's a relatively superficial way at looking at things. Every pious, practicing person has had their mind waiver to some extent, in some point in their lives. Whoever tells you they have not, is a blatant liar. This simple discussion and questioning by Daleadil does not make him an atheist. If anything, it's healthy and could eventually lead to a stronger bond with his faith.

    It would be prudent for Daleadil to think that a little reflection now and again is sinful or blasphemous.
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    Default Re: I think I'm an athiest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clifford View Post
    They'll quote Darwin without having read any of Quinn's works on how religion can infact co-exist with the theory of Evolution.
    Darwinism can co-exist with religion? I cannot make my decision without researching this matter.
    You wouldn't happen to have a link, would you? I would be greatful.
    sigline
    A boy once fell madly in love with a girl.
    His heart filled with joy as he found out, the girl loved him too!
    But alas, she was from a rich family, and he was just a beggar.
    The boy cried and prayed for God to make him rich.
    Suddenly,
    his tears became pearls as they fell from his cheek...

    This story ends with the boy sitting on a mountain of pearls...
    with a knife in one hand, and his dead wife in the other.



    daleadil is offline

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