Daily encounters with the religious opiate

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Vexen, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. Vexen Registered Member

    Messages:
    27
    To fellow atheists

    The emotional comfort religious belief provides is something I observe on a daily basis. Everyday I read a Facebook post about putting your trust in God during difficult "times".

    Personally, I have a girlfriend who is a dedicated Christian. As you can infer, I am an atheist. This contradiction in belief, at "times", plays its tole on my mind. However, I have learnt to deal with such contradictions as all my family and friends are apparently religious. Additionally, I remain, in their view, a fellow theist.

    I'm just looking for some allies, people who are expressing this strange dilemma I encounter. Provide your story about people you know who rely on God's grace or whatever your view is on this dilemma.

    The presumption of this discussion is that an all-caring God does not exist and a belief in such an entity is mainly, in a sense, an opiate.
     
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  3. elte Valued Senior Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I had a friend who referred to such belief as a crutch. I see it doing it's job holding people I know up, though. It causes them to socially interact generally in a pleasant way, too.

    As I got older, onward from childhood, my religion got weaker and weaker. People have used the saying, "Just do it." Following that became harder and harder.

    It turns out that my brain doesn't allow me the same effect, though I do interact pleasantly because I believe that "What goes around comes around." I see what that saying describes operate in a purely secular manner.

    I feel a bit bad about people doing things for me with my view that they are saving up illusory riches for a non-existent future. But I feel I'm in a bad position because my lacking the type of belief they have leaves me without the motivation to invest a lot of effort, unless the worldly cost\benefit figure is biased usually a little favorably in my direction. That is, I gain more than I lose. However, according to the principle of secular karma that I mentioned above, I strive for everything I do to also be a positive experience for the people I interact with, where everyone becomes better off.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
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  5. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    My view is people could easily do without the comfort religion provides, they are stronger than they think. But to lose all your friends for lack of religion might be devastating.
     
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  7. zgmc Registered Senior Member

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    Welcome.

    For the most part, my friends are either atheists, or don't really care about religion. I only have one friend who is religious, and we just agree to disagree. My wife's family are all Catholic, some fairly devout. They know where I stand, and we just don't discuss it. Where I work, there are only 5 of us. Three atheists, one YEC, and a middle age Catholic woman. We can't talk religion or politics in the break room.

    I know the time is approaching fast when my daughter will start asking questions(she is almost 5). My wife takes her to church on xmas. Other than that religion is not even brought up at home. It was a bit weird at thanksgiving when grandma thought it would be a good idea for our daughter to say grace. I had to remind her(grandma) that we don't really do that at home.

    At the bookstore the other day, I was asked at the checkout if I wanted to donate to Ministry with Community. It is a local religious org. that "helps" (Sure, you can get a meal, but you are going to get a healthy does of religion to go along with it) the homeless. I declined, and told the girl behind the counter that I don't agree with the message they are pushing. She just stared at me.

    We've had salesmen come into where I work, and start throwing in some religion with their sales pitch. They only do this once. I will, very kindly, let them know that I don't buy into that stuff, and that it could be a good way to lose business.
     
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  8. Vexen Registered Member

    Messages:
    27
    To: elte, spidergoat, zgmc and others

    How do the religious tolerate us. We don't believe in something that they hold dearly. Further, they know we are destined for an eternity in hell, limbo or any other fate that excludes heaven. I remember C. Hitchens told one of his religious that he should be more concerned about him. How can our religious friends, family members and partners be so complacent with our demise? Do they really believe in their own doctrine?


    It's 9:17 am in SA.
     
  9. zgmc Registered Senior Member

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    Instead of being upfront with what they think our soul will be subjected to for eternity, they can just pray about it. That way they have no responsibility.
     
  10. elte Valued Senior Member

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    I'm of the opinion that if society keeps making general progress , religion will become less and less an influence. That has been the general trend that I think has been happening already for the past century or two.

    Since I and my family were raised religious, and losing belief in the good afterlife has been hard for me to take, I quit mentioning that I don't believe, especially after a friend committed suicide after I had made a case for why religion was solely man-made and with no evidence at all of supernatural input.

    So Vexen I think it's good how you don't indoctrinate your child into religion. For me, the withdrawal symptoms have only weakened some over the years, but have stayed with me.
     
  11. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    I feel like an alien marooned on a planet of madness.
     

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