1. Standard memberKnightWulfe
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    11 Nov '05 19:48
    I am curious, from both theists and atheists, what is the basis for what you believe? Did you grow up with that belief and have never known different? Self-actuallized theist/atheist? Were you once one and now you are the other? What has shaped your belief system?
  2. Standard memberWulebgr
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    11 Nov '05 20:23
    Originally posted by KnightWulfe
    I am curious, from both theists and atheists, what is the basis for what you believe? Did you grow up with that belief and have never known different? Self-actuallized theist/atheist? Were you once one and now you are the other? What has shaped your belief system?
    Grew up Catholic, became Evangelical in college, rejected literalist readings of scriptures, and became skeptical concerning authority of Bible as I [here the list is too long, but includes:

    -observed the lack of real personal change, and the hardening of reactionary ideologies among so-called believers
    -learned about the world outside my culture
    -gained skill as a competent reader
    -grew in knowledge of history of Christainity]

    Although I do not profess any form of Christianity at present, I believe the Catholic tradition and worship offers more that is Biblical and Christlike than any of the so-called Bible churches. Sometimes I call myself a non-practicing Catholic, sometimes a believing agnostic.

    I pray, but oppose those who prey in the name of religion.
  3. Donationrwingett
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    11 Nov '05 20:26
    Originally posted by KnightWulfe
    I am curious, from both theists and atheists, what is the basis for what you believe? Did you grow up with that belief and have never known different? Self-actuallized theist/atheist? Were you once one and now you are the other? What has shaped your belief system?
    The question is improper. You can only ask theists what the basis for their belief is. As for an atheist, you can only ask them why they don't believe what the theist claims to be true. In other words, atheism is not a belief, but is the lack of belief.
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    11 Nov '05 20:26
    This is actually a pretty cool question. A lot better than the normal Xtian bashers on this forum.

    I count myself now as nondenominational christian. I was bought up Catholic. I really thought there was only two kinds of churches, Catholic and Church of England. Anyway, I was given the choice that at 18 I wouldn't have to go church any more. This was the path I took, I found mass and hangovers on a Sunday morning not a very good mix. 15 years later, I am now living in Texas and heard about this preacher called Joel Osteen, everyone seemed to rave about him. I thought he would be like the normal fire and brimstone southern preacher. I watch one of his sermons on TV and really liked what he was saying. So, I went and bought his book and enjoyed every word of it. Slowly I started praying every evening, and eventually a wonderful girl was bought into my life and we started to go to Joel Osteen's church.

    So, basically I returned to the path. Although not in such a strict way as my Catholic upbringing.
  5. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    11 Nov '05 20:28
    As a non-Christian theist, I'd best speak up as my point of view may very well be original if nothing else.

    First and foremost, my belief in God. Well that is not entirely dissimilar to the idea of the common athiest, "if you cannot prove God then he probably does not exist." My variation goes something like this: " As I cannot prove that God does not exist, then I must consider that God does exist." From there I simple open my heart, and I hear a voice, a voice so beautiful and some unfathomable that I can attribute it to nothing but God. Call this voice the Holy Spirit if you like, or call it a chorus of angels--it makes no difference. From there I devise from horse-sense a few axioms about God that I can work with. This is the major jump, for these axioms have no foundation other than my own faith, but I need something to work with. This is probably the same reason why so many people blindly follow the Bible and the Koran, etc. God is ineffable. God is perfect. Et cetera. Then I make some axioms about our relationship with God based on how I feel about the beautiful voice that I hear. The main one being: we are seperate from God, probably because of what we are, that is, human. This feeling I suspect is not unique and probably the basis for concepts like original sin. From these axioms (and others that come and go as they please from my flimsy mind) I form my ever shifting spirituality. There's plenty of other stuff, of course, but I don't have the time or inclination at the momment to map it all out. If anyone has any questions, you certainly can ask, and if I visit this forum again before this thread scrolls off the first page, I will do my best to answer them. If you desperately want an answer from me, please PM to either draw my attention back to the forums or to have a private converation.
  6. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    11 Nov '05 20:30
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The question is improper. You can only ask theists what the basis for their belief is. As for an atheist, you can only ask them why they [b]don't believe what the theist claims to be true. In other words, atheism is not a belief, but is the lack of belief.[/b]
    Don't start with this pointless babble again. The question is perfectly answerable for athiests, especially as most athiests treat their lack of belief in God as a belief--that is an idea that can and should be spread to others. Just answer the question.
  7. Standard memberColetti
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    11 Nov '05 20:33
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The question is improper. You can only ask theists what the basis for their belief is. As for an atheist, you can only ask them why they [b]don't believe what the theist claims to be true. In other words, atheism is not a belief, but is the lack of belief.[/b]
    So you believe. 😉

    But everyone believes something. To deny belief is to deny all knowledge. You can however lack knowledge and still retain belief. Knowledge is justified true belief.
  8. Standard memberWulebgr
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    11 Nov '05 20:361 edit
    Originally posted by Coletti
    So you believe. 😉

    But everyone believes something. To deny belief is to deny all knowledge. You can however lack knowledge and still retain belief. Knowledge is justified true belief.
    True, of course, but you're avoiding the main question. Get back on task.
  9. Standard memberKnightWulfe
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    11 Nov '05 20:42
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The question is improper. You can only ask theists what the basis for their belief is. As for an atheist, you can only ask them why they [b]don't believe what the theist claims to be true. In other words, atheism is not a belief, but is the lack of belief.[/b]
    Actually, an atheist is one without belief in a theology, hence A-theist.

    It is not one without a belief of any kind. So, in fact, the questioning is correct. If you do not hold a belief in theology, what do you believe? Is evolution your truth? If not, what is?
  10. Donationrwingett
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    11 Nov '05 20:49
    Originally posted by KnightWulfe
    Actually, an atheist is one without belief in a theology, hence A-theist.

    It is not one without a belief of any kind. So, in fact, the questioning is correct. If you do not hold a belief in theology, what do you believe? Is evolution your truth? If not, what is?
    I believe many things. But they have nothing to do with my atheism. Atheism only addresses one question: Whether there is a god. If I believe in evolution, it is not logically contained within my status as an atheist. There are atheists who do not believe in evolution. By finding out I am an atheist, you can only know one thing about me for certain, namely that I do not believe in god. You can make no assumptions about what I do believe.
  11. Donationrwingett
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    11 Nov '05 20:51
    Originally posted by Coletti
    So you believe. 😉

    But everyone believes something. To deny belief is to deny all knowledge. You can however lack knowledge and still retain belief. Knowledge is justified true belief.
    I don't deny all belief. In my capacity as an atheist I only deny any belief in god. I believe in many other things.
  12. Standard memberColetti
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    11 Nov '05 20:54
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    True, of course, but you're avoiding the main question. Get back on task.
    OK. The basis for my belief (I believe) is God - specifically, the God revealed in the Bible.

    As far as when - I was raised in a Christian home - but it wasn't until I was in my 20's before I started really working out the details and questioning my assumptions. Working out my system of beliefs - my world-view - is an ongoing processes.
  13. Standard memberKnightWulfe
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    11 Nov '05 21:00
    That is correct, no assumptions can be made, that is why I asked the question. What do you believe? What is your philosophy of life/death/etc...
    My original question what not do you believe in God. It was what do you believe. You chose to read "God" was part of my question....

    As a side note - I am an atheist. I believe in evolution. There are many more things that I believe that make up my life's philosophy as well.... my belief in or non-belief in God is only a small part of what I believe. So again, I pose the question.... What do you believe? What shaped that belief? Did you grow up with it? Are you self-actualized?

    Personally, I was born to a christian family, made the choice at 17 to expand my understanding beyond that with which I grew up and studied all of the major religions and philosophies on the planet. Reading theological texts, classical philosophy, modern philosophy and even included reading the Bible (new test. and old) from cover to cover. I read of Islamic, Taoism, Judaism, Budha and Confucious. I read philosophies from Plato and Aristole to Sun Zsu and I Ching to Nietzsche and Da Vinci. I studied Wicca. During all of this, I was studying psychology in college as well.
    As a result of all of this, I am a morally grounded, atheistic evolutionist. 🙂
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    11 Nov '05 21:08
    I was raised without religious instruction to begin with. When I began to go to school I was forcibly indoctrinated as per the process of Chruch of England schooling. I was never offered any form of alternative view, confirmed at 13 and until the age of about 18 would probably have considered myself a Christian.

    At 18 I left my previously very sheltered life and moved to London. It became apparent to me that I had never had any course for rebuttal against my spiritual teaching and I began to look into the subject. At ever turn I tried to reassess the reasons I had believed and as my knowledge on all things grew, I realised I could not come up with any reason other than habituation.

    However it was not until 25 or so that I began to understand that atheism was the only position that was not only an unbiased choice, but also a defendable position. The more I researched the subject, the more it became obvious, that I had been deluded for the majority of my life. I am now and through conscious choice, a weak atheist and thus I must remain until god appears to me and shows me the error of my ways.
  15. Donationrwingett
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    11 Nov '05 21:12
    Originally posted by KnightWulfe
    That is correct, no assumptions can be made, that is why I asked the question. What do you believe? What is your philosophy of life/death/etc...
    My original question what not do you believe in God. It was what do you believe. You chose to read "God" was part of my question....

    As a side note - I am an atheist. I believe in evolution. There are ma ...[text shortened]... ollege as well.
    As a result of all of this, I am a morally grounded, atheistic evolutionist. 🙂
    You specifically addressed the question to both theists and atheists, thereby implying the question was about god. Why target those two specific groups otherwise?

    But I'll answer the question in the manner you seem to want:

    I was born into a nominally christian family. Neither of my parents went to church. They briefly took me to Sunday School out of a feeling of "parental duty", I suppose, and at that time I would have considered myself a christian. More so because I didn't know any alternative than out of any deep seated belief. When I was in high school, I finally decided it was all a bunch of hooey and haven't believed since.

    As for what I believe...I believe that Republicans are the ultimate source of all evil in the world today. I believe that George W. Bush is by far the worst President in the history of this nation. I believe etc. etc.
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