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Author Topic: Made so as not to believe: some people just cannot...  (Read 2723 times)
Agnostic007
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« Reply #50 on: September 03, 2011, 07:17:55 PM »

I have an older brother. He and I grew up in a Christian family. Around the age of 35 I started reading about other peoples views on Christianity as well as books for christianity. Eventually I dropped the belief. My brother, who has a higher IQ than I do, is a staunch believer. He is very distressed that I no longer share his personal belief and has tried to convince me of the error of my ways. He has recommended several books which he felt would open my eyes. I read each book but my eyes remain closed. When I recommended some books for him he refused to read them saying he already knew the truth....

I remember one time he was over at my house and I had a copy of Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker on my table. He picked it up, looked at the back of the book, saw a sentence that conflicted with his belief and he tossed the book down saying "Well I can discount that book, because I know miracles happen"...

I can't help wondering sometimes that if he actually read a few books that didn't support his belief with an open mind, what might happen..
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« Reply #51 on: September 04, 2011, 09:00:48 AM »

I think for nonbelievers the lack of evidence is the biggest issue, for the ones who would like to believe but require evidence that is the crux of the issue but then that is not believing but accepting.

I personally find "evidence" for a Designer of Creation in looking at things in nature, our senses (esp. vision), complexities of cell structures etc.   

I have an older brother. He and I grew up in a Christian family. Around the age of 35 I started reading about other peoples views on Christianity as well as books for christianity. Eventually I dropped the belief. My brother, who has a higher IQ than I do, is a staunch believer. He is very distressed that I no longer share his personal belief and has tried to convince me of the error of my ways. He has recommended several books which he felt would open my eyes. I read each book but my eyes remain closed. When I recommended some books for him he refused to read them saying he already knew the truth....

I remember one time he was over at my house and I had a copy of Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker on my table. He picked it up, looked at the back of the book, saw a sentence that conflicted with his belief and he tossed the book down saying "Well I can discount that book, because I know miracles happen"...

I can't help wondering sometimes that if he actually read a few books that didn't support his belief with an open mind, what might happen..

Is there anything you "want" to happen w/your brother regarding this?  Do you wish he would come to be like you, an agnositic or even an atheist?




garebear and others that accept that we have vestigial organs etc, can you please list the ones that you truly believe are vestigial?

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« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2011, 10:03:16 AM »

I personally find "evidence" for a Designer of Creation in looking at things in nature, our senses (esp. vision), complexities of cell structures etc.   

Is there anything you "want" to happen w/your brother regarding this?  Do you wish he would come to be like you, an agnositic or even an atheist?




garebear and others that accept that we have vestigial organs etc, can you please list the ones that you truly believe are vestigial?



Good question. I think for 99% of the population I could not care less what they believe or don't. I feel everyone has the right to believe as they want as long as it is not imposed on me.

In my brother's case, about once or twice a year I find myself cornered by him and lectured to for sometimes 2 or 3 hours about why I should believe as he does. I have great respect for him so I politely listen until it gets so late I have to call it a night.  I know he means well but I don't look forward to those lectures at all. He wants me to read all his suggested books like I mentioned before, yet refuses to read any I suggest.

So I guess for me I am curious to see what would happen. I know many a brilliant person believes in the bible. The only brilliant person I know personally that believes is my brother. I suspect, that if he did venture out from only reading things that supported his belief, and really dig for the truth, rather than evidence to support his conclusion, he might see I'm not all that dense. If after actually searching for the truth he still arrived at his conclusion, I might give him more credibility.

That was an excellent question and made me think.. thanks BB   
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« Reply #53 on: September 04, 2011, 10:35:52 AM »

Good question. I think for 99% of the population I could not care less what they believe or don't. I feel everyone has the right to believe as they want as long as it is not imposed on me.

In my brother's case, about once or twice a year I find myself cornered by him and lectured to for sometimes 2 or 3 hours about why I should believe as he does. I have great respect for him so I politely listen until it gets so late I have to call it a night.  I know he means well but I don't look forward to those lectures at all. He wants me to read all his suggested books like I mentioned before, yet refuses to read any I suggest.

So I guess for me I am curious to see what would happen. I know many a brilliant person believes in the bible. The only brilliant person I know personally that believes is my brother. I suspect, that if he did venture out from only reading things that supported his belief, and really dig for the truth, rather than evidence to support his conclusion, he might see I'm not all that dense. If after actually searching for the truth he still arrived at his conclusion, I might give him more credibility.

That was an excellent question and made me think.. thanks BB   

Sure!  I have my own analysis of what you just wrote but I could be full of beans and it's not for the boards anyway.

Do his lectures push you further away from what he presents or do they sway you either way or not at all?

And you know of course he likely isn't trying to one up you but loves you and is concerned for your eternal soul.
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« Reply #54 on: September 04, 2011, 07:20:42 PM »

Sure!  I have my own analysis of what you just wrote but I could be full of beans and it's not for the boards anyway.

Do his lectures push you further away from what he presents or do they sway you either way or not at all?

And you know of course he likely isn't trying to one up you but loves you and is concerned for your eternal soul.
Oh I'm certain he isnt trying to one up me and is concerned for my soul. He can't understand why I don't fear the consequences of being wrong.


I've read extensively on things he talks about. While his arguments appear to him to be rock solid, I know that they have holes in them, or for the sake of argument, are arguable. I recall one time several years ago when I had just dropped my belief, and still had a lot of information in my head (that has since diminished over the years for lack of continued studying). He would give me common apologetic arguments for why the bible was true, I would counter with why they likely weren't based on information I had gathered. I could tell he'd never heard or considered the alternative answers and was quite flustered. We were stuck in a car together and I had no where to go so for a couple hours we went back and forth till finally he got kind of angry and abruptly ended the discussion.

He hadn't mentioned religion to me for a couple years until recently he started up but I think he feels compelled to save me from hell because he loves me... I just feel a little insulted when he does.    
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« Reply #55 on: September 04, 2011, 07:50:04 PM »

Oh I'm certain he isnt trying to one up me and is concerned for my soul. He can't understand why I don't fear the consequences of being wrong.


I've read extensively on things he talks about. While his arguments appear to him to be rock solid, I know that they have holes in them, or for the sake of argument, are arguable. I recall one time several years ago when I had just dropped my belief, and still had a lot of information in my head (that has since diminished over the years for lack of continued studying). He would give me common apologetic arguments for why the bible was true, I would counter with why they likely weren't based on information I had gathered. I could tell he'd never heard or considered the alternative answers and was quite flustered. We were stuck in a car together and I had no where to go so for a couple hours we went back and forth till finally he got kind of angry and abruptly ended the discussion.

He hadn't mentioned religion to me for a couple years until recently he started up but I think he feels compelled to save me from hell because he loves me... I just feel a little insulted when he does.    
You just gave a great example of a close minded Christians and believe me sir it is even frustrating for Christians, but it sounds like he is being loving. I have read the Quran/koran from front to back, have read all Jewish writings fom the midrash , book of Jubilees, even the book of Jasher, studied most religions and even read the book of Mormons but most Christians wouldn't even look at these books.
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« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2011, 09:48:43 AM »

I personally find "evidence" for a Designer of Creation in looking at things in nature, our senses (esp. vision), complexities of cell structures etc.  

Is there anything you "want" to happen w/your brother regarding this?  Do you wish he would come to be like you, an agnositic or even an atheist?




garebear and others that accept that we have vestigial organs etc, can you please list the ones that you truly believe are vestigial?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appendix_testis

The appendix testis (or hydatid of Morgagni) is a vestigial remnant of the Müllerian duct, present on the upper pole of the testis and attached to the tunica vaginalis. It is present about 90% of the time.
[edit] Clinical significance

Although it has no physiological function, it can be medically significant in that it can, rarely, undergo torsion (i.e. become twisted), causing acute one-sided testicular pain and may require surgical excision to achieve relief. 1/3 of patients present with a palpable "blue dot" discoloration on the scrotum. This is nearly diagnostic of this condition. Although if clinical suspicion is high for testicular torsion, a surgical exploration of the scrotum is warranted.

Occasionally a torsion of the hydatid of Morgagni can produce symptoms mimicking those created by a testicular torsion; a torsion of the hydatid, however, does not lead to any impairment of testicular function.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_vestigiality

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are vestigial third molars that human ancestors used to help in grinding down plant tissue. The common postulation is that the skulls of human ancestors had larger jaws with more teeth, which were possibly used to help chew down foliage to compensate for a lack of ability to efficiently digest the cellulose that makes up a plant cell wall. As human diets changed, smaller jaws were selected by evolution, yet the third molars, or "wisdom teeth," still commonly develop in human mouths.[11] Currently, wisdom teeth have become useless and even harmful to the extent where surgical procedures are often done to remove them.

Agenesis of wisdom teeth in human populations ranges from zero in Tasmanian Aboriginals to nearly 100% in indigenous Mexicans.[12] The difference is related to the PAX9 gene (and perhaps other genes).[13]

Coccyx

The coccyx, or tailbone, is the remnant of a lost tail. All mammals have a tail at one point in their development; in humans, it is present for a period of 4 weeks, during stages 14 to 22 of human embryogenesis.[7] This tail is most prominent in human embryos 31–35 days old.[8] The tailbone, located at the end of the spine, has lost its original function in assisting balance and mobility, though it still serves some secondary functions, such as being an attachment point for muscles, which explains why it has not degraded further.

In rare cases congenital defect results in a short tail-like structure being present at birth. Twenty-three cases of human babies born with such a structure have been reported in the medical literature since 1884.[9][10]
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« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2011, 10:03:55 AM »

I read an anonymous quote today from an atheist.

It said that science is not at war with religion, although religion is surely at war with science. Science destroys religious claims not on purpose, but it is a matter of collateral damage as more and more is learned. Religions actually attack science when they are proven wrong, often with laughable strategies.

If I were to put forth a theory with one hundred propositions, and you learned that I was factually wrong on half of them, why would you be inclined to believe me afterward? That is what religious people do, keep holding onto the comfort of it, even while having to admit, more and more, that they have simply been proven factually wrong.

When it becomes too ridiculous, they will simply claim that it's a parable, or some other such nonsense, and was never meant to be taken literally. If you point out anything to them, you're just considered a gadfly, no matter the amount of evidence.

Willful ignorance in pursuit of identity. This is a matter of lacking courage. If all of your pseudo-answers are abandoned, not only do you have to face the uncertainties of the universe, but the social stigma of religious cohorts who will surely shun you.
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« Reply #58 on: September 05, 2011, 10:07:32 AM »

Also, why do human beings have (like all vertebrates) tails when in the embryonic stage?

Surely, god could have made this perfectly from the beginning.

And to say that the human body is designed perfectly is silly, even if you refuse to believe the overwhelming evidence. What about people who drop dead from congenital heart defects in the prime of their lives?
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« Reply #59 on: September 05, 2011, 10:12:42 AM »

Also, why do human beings have (like all vertebrates) tails when in the embryonic stage?

Surely, god could have made this perfectly from the beginning.

And to say that the human body is designed perfectly is silly, even if you refuse to believe the overwhelming evidence. What about people who drop dead from congenital heart defects in the prime of their lives?

Human sin. Everything was perfect before the Fall.
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« Reply #60 on: September 05, 2011, 10:21:28 AM »

I read an anonymous quote today from an atheist.

It said that science is not at war with religion, although religion is surely at war with science. Science destroys religious claims not on purpose, but it is a matter of collateral damage as more and more is learned. Religions actually attack science when they are proven wrong, often with laughable strategies.

If I were to put forth a theory with one hundred propositions, and you learned that I was factually wrong on half of them, why would you be inclined to believe me afterward? That is what religious people do, keep holding onto the comfort of it, even while having to admit, more and more, that they have simply been proven factually wrong.

When it becomes too ridiculous, they will simply claim that it's a parable, or some other such nonsense, and was never meant to be taken literally. If you point out anything to them, you're just considered a gadfly, no matter the amount of evidence.

Willful ignorance in pursuit of identity. This is a matter of lacking courage. If all of your pseudo-answers are abandoned, not only do you have to face the uncertainties of the universe, but the social stigma of religious cohorts who will surely shun you.

I actually have a friend who is withdrawing from religious fundamentalism. He was a Christian fundamentalist for several years and now that he is not, a lot of his social contacts have been lost, etc.
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