1. Standard memberwittywonka
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    19 Apr '07 22:131 edit
    While in my spare time pondering the world 😛, I've yet again come across a question for atheists out there. Again, pardon my ignorance if this is commonly known, but living where I live, trust me, it's not that common...

    Do atheists find religion interesting? I keep hearing atheists refer to religion as pointless, worthless, weakminded, etc., but even from a neutral psychological standpoint, religion is still interesting. Take for example the ancient Greek/Roman religion; do you not find the religion associated with these cultures interesting? I certainly do; I also find contemporary religions interesting, even those different from mine, but again, I'm biased. What do you thnk?
  2. Joined
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    19 Apr '07 22:49
    No offence, but religion is boring. There really isn't that much to any of them beyond judgement, punishment and death avoidance functions, sometimes with a feeble creation story chucked in.

    But what is endlessly fascinating is that so many people will buy into it.
  3. Melbourne, Australia
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    19 Apr '07 23:01
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    While in my spare time pondering the world 😛, I've yet again come across a question for atheists out there. Again, pardon my ignorance if this is commonly known, but living where I live, trust me, it's not that common...

    Do atheists find religion interesting? I keep hearing atheists refer to religion as pointless, worthless, weakminded, etc., but ev ...[text shortened]... interesting, even those different from mine, but again, I'm biased. What do you thnk?
    I'm with you on this one WW.
    I'm an atheist with a bit of an interest in most areas of human thought and endeavour - but religion has always fascinated me, particularly the variety of religious thought and belief.
    I don't find it pointless or worthless or weakminded. How could I? Some of my best friends and family are religious.
    But, religious belief without question - that's a whole other story.
    Keep the questions coming though - very interesting.
  4. Donationrwingett
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    19 Apr '07 23:21
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    While in my spare time pondering the world 😛, I've yet again come across a question for atheists out there. Again, pardon my ignorance if this is commonly known, but living where I live, trust me, it's not that common...

    Do atheists find religion interesting? I keep hearing atheists refer to religion as pointless, worthless, weakminded, etc., but ev ...[text shortened]... interesting, even those different from mine, but again, I'm biased. What do you thnk?
    Yes, it's interesting. I've read books on Norse mythology. I've also read several books by Bart Ehrman (which I recommend) on the early history of christianity (which is quite different from what many christians would have you believe). From a historical standpoint, religions can be quite interesting. But I have no interest in observing any of their dogma.
  5. Melbourne, Australia
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    20 Apr '07 00:46
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    While in my spare time pondering the world 😛, I've yet again come across a question for atheists out there. Again, pardon my ignorance if this is commonly known, but living where I live, trust me, it's not that common...

    Do atheists find religion interesting? I keep hearing atheists refer to religion as pointless, worthless, weakminded, etc., but ev ...[text shortened]... interesting, even those different from mine, but again, I'm biased. What do you thnk?
    Not sure if you've come across the work of Karen Armstrong - she was a Catholic (?) Nun who became an atheist. Now she works as a historian of religion and religious thought. Her books 'A History of God' and 'The Battle for God' are excellent - well researched, very detailed, interesting and not dogmatic in the slightest.
  6. Standard memberwittywonka
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    20 Apr '07 00:55
    Originally posted by amannion
    Not sure if you've come across the work of Karen Armstrong - she was a Catholic (?) Nun who became an atheist. Now she works as a historian of religion and religious thought. Her books 'A History of God' and 'The Battle for God' are excellent - well researched, very detailed, interesting and not dogmatic in the slightest.
    Yeah, her A History of God is definitely on my top 5 next books to read. However, I'm a little worried she might be over my head, but I'm going to give it a try for sure.
  7. Standard memberscottishinnz
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    20 Apr '07 01:28
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    While in my spare time pondering the world 😛, I've yet again come across a question for atheists out there. Again, pardon my ignorance if this is commonly known, but living where I live, trust me, it's not that common...

    Do atheists find religion interesting? I keep hearing atheists refer to religion as pointless, worthless, weakminded, etc., but ev ...[text shortened]... interesting, even those different from mine, but again, I'm biased. What do you thnk?
    I find the psychology of religion interesting.
  8. Earth
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    20 Apr '07 01:41
    Originally posted by The Sultan of Solid
    No offence, but religion is boring. There really isn't that much to any of them beyond judgement, punishment and death avoidance functions, sometimes with a feeble creation story chucked in.

    But what is endlessly fascinating is that so many people will buy into it.
    I agree. Religion is just so boring. That is why I am always on this "religious" forum, reading and posting. Soooooo boring, ha ha.
  9. Donationbbarr
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    20 Apr '07 18:07
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    While in my spare time pondering the world 😛, I've yet again come across a question for atheists out there. Again, pardon my ignorance if this is commonly known, but living where I live, trust me, it's not that common...

    Do atheists find religion interesting? I keep hearing atheists refer to religion as pointless, worthless, weakminded, etc., but ev ...[text shortened]... interesting, even those different from mine, but again, I'm biased. What do you thnk?
    I don't find them philosophically interesting, except in parts (e.g., attempts to wrestle with Euthyphro or the Problem of Evil). I find them exceptionally interesting for what they indicate about human psychology. But more than this, I find them often stunningly beautiful.
  10. Standard memberChronicLeaky
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    20 Apr '07 19:192 edits
    Originally posted by bbarr
    I find them often stunningly beautiful.
    What constitutes "a religion" in your statement that you find religions stunningly beautiful?

    EDIT For example, what is described by the statement "Sikhism is beautiful"?

    EDIT I'm not trying to set some obnoxious trap; I'm just surprised at what might be a very broad use of the word "beautiful". I'd never say, for instance, that French is a beautiful language, but I'd apply the term to a lot of phrases, grammatical concepts, etc.
  11. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    20 Apr '07 20:00
    Yes, I do find religion interesting.
  12. Donationbbarr
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    20 Apr '07 20:09
    Originally posted by ChronicLeaky
    What constitutes "a religion" in your statement that you find religions stunningly beautiful?

    EDIT For example, what is described by the statement "Sikhism is beautiful"?

    EDIT I'm not trying to set some obnoxious trap; I'm just surprised at what might be a very broad use of the word "beautiful". I'd never say, for instance, that French is a beautiful language, but I'd apply the term to a lot of phrases, grammatical concepts, etc.
    I didn't mean 'religion' as some set of propositions. I meant things like the rituals, songs, art, architecture, etc. through which religious beliefs are manifested and sustained.
  13. Territories Unknown
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    20 Apr '07 20:14
    Originally posted by bbarr
    I didn't mean 'religion' as some set of propositions. I meant things like the rituals, songs, art, architecture, etc. through which religious beliefs are manifested and sustained.
    Unexpected, to say the least. Your writing supports a position of antagonism toward religious beliefs, yet you find worth in the (seemingly) worthless expressions which emanate thereforth? Please explain, if possible.
  14. Donationbbarr
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    20 Apr '07 20:20
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Unexpected, to say the least. Your writing supports a position of antagonism toward religious beliefs, yet you find worth in the (seemingly) worthless expressions which emanate thereforth? Please explain, if possible.
    Just because a belief is false and pernicious doesn't mean it can't be expressed beautifully. I disagree with the point of most Gospel music, but I can't help tapping my feet at revivals. Surely an atheist doesn't contradict himself when experiencing awe in a cathedral.
  15. Donationkirksey957
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    20 Apr '07 20:27
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Just because a belief is false and pernicious doesn't mean it can't be expressed beautifully. I disagree with the point of most Gospel music, but I can't help tapping my feet at revivals. Surely an atheist doesn't contradict himself when experiencing awe in a cathedral.
    You gotta be kidding me. The Most Holy Bbarr tapping his feet at a revival. This is truly a testament to your universalizing "faith." I've long been a proponent of pastors having Sunday lunch at Hooters.
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