So, people lie to themselves by believing that being less than perfect leads to torment. So, do religious people lie to themselves because it's easier, or lie to themselves because it makes them stronger, more capable people? Atheists can't seem to decide.
I could never be an atheist because it is simply too convenient: "If I don't believe in a wrathful, all-knowing entity, I don't ever have to feel shame, guilt, or inferiority." Sounds pretty ideal to me. No matter how you look at it, atheists and theists are wrong. You are deciding on beliefs concerning things you do not have the capacity to understand. That's metaphysics. But, theists are stronger, tougher, and better looking than atheists. I'd rather be wrong and not be an uppity asshole than be wrong and look like Bill Mahr.
That has to be the most self serving and most self congratulatory statement I have ever read.
People that think they should be perfect and do not match up to those expectations DO suffer serious psychological problems. In fact its a known abusive profile to convince someone that they are "not good enough" and make them feel they deserve the "punishment" they are getting. At what point has an atheist ever said that religious people lie to themselves because it makes them more capable, stronger people? I can't honestly think of a single statement that would make you think that.
Further, by not believing in a wrathful deity of whichever choosing you wish, I have to take full responsibility for my own actions. Any actions I take that hurt others are entirely my own fault, I cannot claim to dislike gays because "God" said it was immoral, I cannot say that a woman should know her place because "Allah" foreordained it.
More, trying to say that I am talking about things I do not have the capacity to understand is simply another "god of the gaps" argument. Why am I unable to understand the concepts involved? By what reasoning have you come to that conclusion? Do you know anything about me? Besides which, I do not need to understand every single concept involved in there being a deity to know that every single religion I have studied contradicts itself on so many levels that they refute THEMSELVES. I have no need to do so.
Tell me, what religion do you believe is correct? And why is your religion correct, and not the Jainist religion (for example)?
"Theists are stronger tougher, and better looking than atheists". What complete and utter crap. I argue, and always have, that there is no fundamental difference between atheists and theists. And my point of view is born out wherever it can be tested.
Both theists and atheists can be found in every profession, at every level of intelligence, and every social position you can think of. Although it is an interesting correlation to note that the more someone is trained in any form critical thinking, the more likely that person is to be an atheist.
It has to be one or the other: either theists adopt religion to comfort themselves from the harsh realities of mortality, or they fabricated an all-powerful being that condemns them to an eternity of suffering for being flawed and weak. That's two contradictory criticisms of religion that I've seen used at the convenience of atheists. I've heard the former much more often, and that makes Carlin's rant seem like an aimless insult.
Strength and capability being the product of harsh religious beliefs was my own input. I see no denying that the foundation of theism is transcendence through sacrifice and suffering. Without cost, there is no benefit. The greater the cost, the greater the benefit. The cost of a life dedicated to religion is greater than that of an atheist, and, therefore, so is the benefit. Comparing shame and suffering to psychological abuse is an attempt to excuse one's self from feeling guilt and shame, which is convenient, and results in mediocrity.
Metaphysics is the study of the supernatural, which religion falls under. The whole point of metaphysical concepts is that they are not understood. Once they are explainable, they no longer qualify as metaphysical topics. That's what I meant when I said you do not have the capacity to understand, and whatever you have decided about religion is inherently false - like everyone else - but, relying on your limited comprehension is a mistake that theists do not make.
I only view religion in the most pure sense: it is a branch of philosophy concerning a proposed supernatural cause of existence. If there is an unexplained cause for existence, that is religion. Any customs, systems, or ceremonies relating to religion are just a by-product of the philosophy of religion.
I would argue that there is a persistent atheist archetype for a very logical reason: atheists are generally intellectuals, and are often observed as being arrogant. Arrogant intellectuals consistently have many things in common: they are outcasted as children, they are viewed as socially inferior, and they hold an intellectual advantage that is not acknowledged as a desirable quality by their peers. The popular jocks are considered superior human beings, and they are often religious, as most successful athletes are today. You can see how this can create an internal conflict that is associated with religion: "Why did God bless them, and curse me?" "Why would I want to believe in a god that favors those who are not like me?" "Their god is not logical, and I want them to know that so badly so I can be recognized for the intellectual superiority that they refuse to credit me for."
Much like middle child syndrome, this is a product of circumstance, not a stereotype. A lot of atheists just come to their conclusions naturally, and that's fine, but George Carlin, Bill Mahr, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins are definitely men who have had awkward childhoods.
Lastly, I would like to point out that religion is philosophy, not science. Scientists are intelligent, but intelligence is separate from wisdom. Insight, awareness, and sensibility are traits that are not often possessed by scientists, or else they wouldn't be so socially inept.
Why does it have to be one or the other? Do you know anything about psychology?
Without cost there is no benefit? What makes this an unalterable truth?
How does comparing certain rather direct forms of shame and suffering to mental abuse in any way become an excuse to deny that I should feel those emotions under other conditions?
Saying "I only view religion in the most pure sense" is complete bullshit.
And actually I would call religion an experiment in social science. Involving psychology, sociology, anthropology, communication, cultural studies, history, law, linguistics, and very definitely includes many aspects of rhetoric. All of which are very definite scientific studies. And I would also suggest that rather than showing such a narrow view of scientists you actually spend a bit of time finding out what they are actually like. "Insight, awareness, and sensibility are traits that are not often possessed by scientists, or else they wouldn't be so socially inept." Again, what complete and utter bullshit.
In fact you talk so much complete shit that I cannot be bothered dealing with you.
So now that you're done congratulating yourself for being so superior I bid you good day.
I've never heard him tell a joke - whether it was religious or otherwise. He just stands on a stage and expresses his opinions, but that's not comedy, it's preaching. Daniel Tosh is a comedian, it's not about his opinions or beliefs, he's just trying to make people laugh.
I think Henry Rollins, Bill Hicks, and Dennis Leary are like that too. They never got a laugh out of me because they were just preaching or ranting. Compare them to Carrot Top or Louis C.K. for the difference between a comedian and a public speaker.
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