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"The quickest way to become an atheist to to read the Old Testament"

#1chukie_suePosted 7/18/2011 6:59:13 PM
... or something to that effect.

That saying really bothers me. It sounds like somebody's becoming an atheist just because they don't like how nice they perceive God to be.

This leads me to wonder:

Most atheists (I know at least), when asked why they believe what they believe (or rather, why they don't) will say something to the effect of "I don't see any reason to believe in a God." I wonder, how many atheists do you think would be theists if they liked the idea of a God? Have you noticed any correlation between the type of "emotional atheist" (not that atheists don't have emotion, I mean the atheist who bases his or her beliefs on what feels most comfortable to them) and a certain lifestyle/environment? For example, most of these atheists could be former theists who, having been affected by a tragic loss of family, lost faith in God.

I realize any information won't be applicable on a grand scale, but I'm just curious.
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A mighty hand, an outstretched arm - You are the God who saves, Deliverer Your name.
#2Hustle KongPosted 7/18/2011 7:02:55 PM
I actually like the OT God... He seems pretty badass.

But no... my belief and non-belief in gods is not based on what I think of them as people.
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Shooting Game never die.
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#3ledzepfan15Posted 7/18/2011 7:13:04 PM
I wonder, how many atheists do you think would be theists if they liked the idea of a God?

I want to say very few. I like the idea of a god, but I'm still an atheist because liking the idea of god is irrelevant to whether a god exists.

And as for basing one's belief on what feels most comfortable- that's a fallacy, so I wouldn't expect an atheist to fall into that line of thinking.
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"If you think, you are late. If you are late, you use strength. If you use strength, you tire. And if you tire, you die." - Saulo Ribeiro
#4squareandrarePosted 7/18/2011 7:14:14 PM
The idea is to read the OT, then figure out that it's totally insane. Once you've accepted that billions of people are capable of blindly believing in a false religion, you should ask if there's any evidence that any god exists. When you figure out that the answer is "no," then you should become an atheist.

So I would mostly agree with the quote, except to note that it's just the first step.
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#5fudrickPosted 7/18/2011 7:14:36 PM
chukie_sue posted...
... or something to that effect.

That saying really bothers me. It sounds like somebody's becoming an atheist just because they don't like how nice they perceive God to be.


Well, the topic title describes what happened to me. Except you could replace OT with just the bible in general. It has less to do with god being depicted as an assh*** and more to do with the book being utter nonsense. Though the fact that the bible constantly proclaims that god is perfect and good while he's such a douche in the OT, and the NT in some ways though certainly less so, also helps.

chukie_sue posted...
Have you noticed any correlation between the type of "emotional atheist" (not that atheists don't have emotion, I mean the atheist who bases his or her beliefs on what feels most comfortable to them) and a certain lifestyle/environment?

I'm not sure. The first thing that struck me when reading that is that there's no way that the correlation you just described can come close to the correlation between theists/religious people and the environment they grew up in. As in, you can pick a person completely at random from a country and, for most countries, you can "guess" which religion they are with incredibly significant accuracy.

The second thing that came to my mind was that, again, I'm willing to bet that far more theists believe in god because it makes them feel good than atheists that lack belief in god because it makes them feel good.
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#6Hustle KongPosted 7/18/2011 7:30:24 PM
fudrick posted...
The second thing that came to my mind was that, again, I'm willing to bet that far more theists believe in god because it makes them feel good than atheists that lack belief in god because it makes them feel good.

I think a lot of people believe what they believe out of convenience and habit too, rather than just a good feeling. It is a royal pain in the ass to examine and abandon/change beliefs. Especially given how much of our identities we tend to associate with things like that.
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Shooting Game never die.
It prays that the clover of luck be always in your mind.
#7OzymandiasIVPosted 7/18/2011 7:46:24 PM
Eh. Judaism makes so much more sense to me than Christianity. I wouldn't say reading any religious text alone would have made me an atheist, because there were a *lot* of factors that went into me becoming an atheist, and it took me a long, long time to get there.
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In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.
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#8king_gimpyPosted 7/18/2011 11:54:38 PM
I don't disbelieve in the Christian God because I dislike him. I disbelieve in him because I've never experienced one compelling bit of evidence for his existence.

The most my dislike for the character of God did was convince me that were he real, I'd have nothing to do with him.
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I am the Devil, and I am here to do the Devil's work.
#9KNessJMPosted 7/19/2011 12:23:37 AM
My 2 cents on the issue....

First off is the idea that the Old Testament alone provides very little reliable evidence for the existence of God. Taken at face value, and compared with what we as modern people know today, it's full of logical and scientific holes. If one were to have no prior knowledge of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam, yet have knowledge of modern scientific principles, it seems pretty clear that one would reasonably conclude that the Old Testament is a collection of ancient mythology, and nothing more.

Secondly, regarding the character of God as presented in the Old Testament, he is a detestable character. One doesn't have to believe that God is real to dislike the characterization presented in the OT. I can say that Invader Zim is a twisted and maniacal character without believing that he actually exists. The character of God in the Old Testament is a brutal and tyrannical oppressor to be feared. If I accepted the existence of God, I would still have a hard time feeling at all comfortable with praising and submitting to such a vile creature. This is not the basis for my disbelief, however, it is simply a secondary hypothetical.
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#10OrangeWizardPosted 7/19/2011 12:39:41 AM
The only people who think God is evil, based off of the OT, are the people that haven't really read the OT.
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