I want to get off my chest, it seems like a disproportionate amount of time I run into arguments that one "should" believe in some sort of supernatural entity (a god, of some sort) because that is the way to be happy. One can lean into the Bible, or some other faith, and life is good with faith, and that's that.
This argument to me amounts to: "It doesn't matter whether a god exists or not, I don't want to argue that, I just think life is more likely to be happy if I throw out my reasoning ability and throw my hands in the air and engage in a lot of meditation or prayer or whatever, but view it as communing with, or having faith in, a god."
You don't believe in god because you want to sin.
I usually find those that assert such nonsense are openly dishonest, selfish, self-righteous and condescending, immoral hypocrites.
@anglophone That is always a part of my counter argument towards those idiots. Followed by a list of horrific (morally corrupt) actions such as slavery, killing children with bears if they ridicule a priest, etc. that the bible endorses.
Yes, save one self of a lifetime of guilt and regrets from dark ages of ignorant people who rarely can lived pass the lifespan of 30. Make adjustments of mistakes as life moves along. Not holding on sins for dear life. Why not call up amnesty international for JC and get that shit fixed up..
Can't say the number of times I've been asked what would stopping me from killing someone......
good one, I should have included that, "what keeps you moral?" I was writing quickly, trying not to let over-complication get in the way.
@anglophone Not only have they not stopped murderers they are responsible for creating most of them.
Excellent survey! adding to each one based on experience with others:
... because that will make you happier...
this i find usually comes from others who have high level of anxiety and or depression, or both.
... can't explain how you got here ...
oh yea, this falls into the 'god-of-the-gaps' category, but is at least more agnostic and allows belief in at least something, this is a perfect opportunity to make up your own god and pitch it to them (xtian or other typical of the top theist beliefs)
... could not exist naturally ...
These are the cherry pickers, where they only focus on the good their belief system mentions, while ignoring all the bad and arbitrary things that occur (see example of Stephen Fry when asked in an interview 'what would you say to god if you met him?'
Other reason some say is, "you need to believe in something for a moral compass" as if a person couldn't just follow the golden rule (which predates most current popular religions)
That last one is really stupid and not only shows their ignorance and bigotry towards non-believers, it also shows their arrogance that their religion is the only and superior way to be moral and ethical.
@TomMcGiverin as it's know in the atheist/agnostic community: "if you need the threat of eternal hell and promise of paradise to keep you align as a good person, you're not a very good person to begin with."
@MacStriker You got it, man. No fucking shit... Along the same line as the saying, "Going to church each week, makes you a good person or a good Christian, about as much as sleeping in a garage, makes you a car"....
Statements like "When my dad died, suddenly there was a rainbow and a cardinal jumped on my windowsill. It was him, and now he's with mom and jesus" also really turn my crank.
After my sister died, a Christian former friend told me my sister was in a better place. I had some sharp words for her.
All of the above, but the one I hear the most is, "How can you explain a beautiful sunset or a rainbow, without a God?"
The reason I never tell anyone who is religious about a problem I'm trying solve is that their response is always "trust in God and he'll show you the way" and I simply have more confidence in myself and those around me to figure out solutions based on the evidence around me. Usually problems resolve themselves in time or naturally regardless of whether anyone is praying or not.
Yes, life is wonderful and complex, but it can be explained by natural consequences, and the interconnectedness and interdependence of various factors, with the growth forward often happening in that split between opposing forces. It's amazing, but fascinating to learn more about and explore, rather than stunt our curiosity by crediting a supernatural magic figure.
I heard it said that god is love and beauty. Ugly exists to emphasize beauty. But what if the opposite is true. God is a sick jokester who wants his creations to feel misery. Beauty exists to emphasize ugly. What if, in a gods world, ugly is really beauty?
I voted for the life is wonderful argument. Except that growing up, I watched any number of films showing the Holocaust victims. What a wonderful experience that was, thanks to Christians. Then I learned of all the other Christian genocides and mass murders.
B., because there is a huge mass of evidence indicating that all life on Earth evolved by natural selection acting upon the natural variations in populations. Failure to accept this is nothing but rank science denial.
So yeah it's an annoying argument to say you could be happier if you just believed, just like it would be annoying if someone kept telling me I'd be happier if gorgeous women woke me up with blowjobs instead of using my alarm. Sure, that's obviously true, but it ain't a fucking option for me, so shut the fuck up about it already.
"...You can't choose to believe...."
I had completely forgotten about that part of the annoyance, but you're right. There's such a deep epistemological issue with someone saying to me that I can choose to believe.
Furthermore, this will specifically make me deeply unhappy (if I throw my brain out the window and "choose" to "believe" in something that I do not fact believe is true at all.)
And yes, in a sense, if we would just throw away the demands of reality, and "trust in God" or some such, then belief is sold to us as making things easier. Then we can actually do the work (our brains would still keep on working at some level) but attribute the work and output to God, or belief in God, and, as long as we don't resent this too much, maybe we can be "happier".... there's no having to take personal sole responsibility for one's judgment or actions, and there's no difficulty of facing that sometimes, in some things (and in a way in all things), we are on our own.
@Flyingsaucesir They actually don't. If one could choose to believe, they could wilfully believe something that is patently false. Only believing things that aren't apparently false only seems like you're choosing it, but you're not.
@ChestRockfield Many in the MAGA crowd still believe Trump's Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen, in spite of all objective evidence to the contrary. They choose to ignore that evidence, and they choose to believe the lie.
Many evangelical Christians choose to believe in creationism, in spite of the huge mass of scientific evidence that all life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor. They choose to ignore that evidence, and they choose to believe the lie.
@Flyingsaucesir Can you choose to believe the Earth is flat?
I assume you don't, so you should be able to admit you can't (I'm not asking if you can say you believe).
If you can't, why would you assume these other things are choices?
If you don't get it, I don't really know how to explain it to you.
my definition of belief, and i think that of many other people whether they have thought it through explicitly or not, involves actually thinking about something and then reporting honestly to myself what i think if it. i may reach a conclusion that makes sense to me.
thoughts and conclusions which are not what i think on the matter are not, by this widespread vernacular use of the word belief, beliefs of mine. i can choose to lie to myself and others as to what i think on a matter, but i think this diverges from being a belief to something else.
there is arguably some psychological condition where sone people are so broken that they can just change what they supposedly think, and so claim easily revised "beliefs,ñ" but either they are horribly broken, or they are at least deeply confused.
chestrockfield's point is a rare and important one, in my opinion.
@Flyingsaucesir Okay, how about this. Can you choose to belive they if you send me $10,000 you'll be the happiest human on the planet? You can choose your beliefs, right? And who wouldn't want to be the happiest they could possibly be?
So I guess if you don't PM me for my Zelle information so you can get that money sent over, we'll know that you're only saying you could believe that, but you don't actually believe it.
@ChestRockfield Yes, I could choose to believe that giving you X$ would make me happy. But I am not making that choice. Not today, anyway. But please go ahead and hold your breath. I could change my mind.
@Flyingsaucesir Change it however you need to. Lower it to $100 and choose to believe that sending it to me will Karmically make you a millionaire by 2024, or some other thing you value most in this world. The point is all the same. You can't actually believe these things at will, you can only say you believe them. If you actually believed them you would would carry them out. It's absurd that you won't admit this.
@ChestRockfield, @kmaz I think the mistake you guys are making vis-a-vis belief is that you give it too vaunted a position in the hierarchy of intellectual stances. You seem to think that belief is somehow uniformly fixed and even respectable. The fact is, beliefs can be deeply held or they can be tenuous. Often they are based solely on tribal affiliation. This is what my tribe believes, therefore this is what I believe. And when someone makes the choice of membership to a given tribe, they are making a choice to embrace the beliefs of that tribe. Even without tribal affiliation, to make the choice to ignore certain facts because they conflict with a given belief is equivalent to choosing to believe. In the end, belief is not monolithic. Rather, it is fickle, changeable, even fugitive. It exists on a continuum, ranging from strong to weak. For all of these reasons, belief, at least in the realm of science (and perhaps elsewhere) is irrelevant.
@Flyingsaucesir You have it backwards. It is precisely because you can't choose what you believe that you may reject things that you "should" believe to be part of a group. It is facts that are irrelevant here, as facts aren't facts to those that don't believe them for whatever reason. But it's not a choice either way. Nowhere in our arguments did we claim that beliefs are uniform, fixed, or respectable. They just are. And they can at times remain unchanged for an entire lifetime, or they can waiver with the wind, and none of it is a choice. And they can be really strong or really weak, which is also not a choice, and also irrelevant to whether or not that belief can change. I've had beliefs so strong I was actually calling contradictory evidence bullshit in my head, and then suddenly, it clicked and I instantaneously held the complete polar opposite position. There was no choice in that. It's not even logical to entertain the thought there was considering if I could choose, I would have chosen the belief I didn't think was bullshit (at the time).
It is clear to me now that you likely will not understand. Maybe in time you will, but that won't be your choice, and none of it really matters anyway.
@ChestRockfield For some people, some beliefs are, as you say, not a matter of choice. But I maintain that for some people, some of of their beliefs are definitely a matter of choice. Admittedly, these people probably have not thought deeply about the subject in question. They just take it on faith, because that is what their tribe or their religion demands. But they always had a choice in whether or not to subscribe or join or remain. It might be a very difficult choice for them. Nevertheless, the choice is always there. This, by the way, is the basis of our legal system. Except in the case of mental defect, an inability to distinguish right from wrong, we are assumed to possess free will.
@Flyingsaucesir Those are also not choices and I'm sure you'll also not be able to understand that at this time. No big deal. I was where you are a few years ago and I didn't have the choice to listen to someone like me either.
The most common reason I've heard is," If Christianity is real you should hedge your bets because you have nothing to lose by believing in it and everything to lose if you don't."
I consider this a perfect example of the ethical failing of Christianity since it encourages people to at a minimum lie to themselves.
Also known as Pascal's Wager.
I am reminded of Bart Simpson: "What if you are praying to the wrong god and the real god is getting madder and madder?"
The one that gets me is the obnoxious assertion that unless I believe in Jesus, my life can have no purpose.
Such people are immensely arrogant, and assume that you cannot give your own purpose to your own life.
I DO believe I tossed a number of pictures of Jeebus and a handful of miniature crosses into the trash recently, And I Gaveth Not One Shit. (The book of Ben, chapter 38, verse 6).
I didn't vote because all of those listed are annoying. The problem is that there are so many more things believers say. They wonder why you haven't robbed a bank or killed somebody. If their god was real he could see right through this. They want a reward for being good.
i didn't want to provide an all or many of the above choice as i figured it would be interesting ti get folks top annoyance and they can always put it under "other"
My dad told me one time that you need to believe in something. If not a god or deity, at least believe in yourself. Though he never said so, I believe he was an agnostic. And I think his belief was in himself.
I voted for the first one, because these are always people who don't really know me at all, much less what I have experienced, so they usually make an argument that boils down to, "Be grateful for what you have and thank God for it, etc. because it could be worse, other people have it worse, etc.". And that is bullshit, because unfairness is something real and not easy to be happy about. Secondly, even if I need to adopt that attitude, it's already all there in psychology and therapy, that does not have to involve religion or a God in any way, so they can blow it out their ass, as far as I'm concerned, with their grateful to God and believing in him will solve all of your unhappiness crap. To me, that would be using religion as an anti depressant drug, and just another addictive crutch, same as Marx's remark about religion being the opiate of the masses..
When I ask christians why they believe in god, the vast majority of the time I get one of 5 responses:-
'Prove he DOESN'T exist!'
'I feel his presence in my heart and/or soul'
'It says so in the bible'
Variations on Saint Thomas Aquinas's 'Argument from Efficient Cause' (number 2 of his 5 arguments) - basically 'Something must have been the initial cause of everything'
Variarions on Saint Thomas Aquinas's 'Argument from Design' (number 5 of his 5 arguments) - basically 'Complex things cannot exist unless they had a designer', the 'Watchmaker Argument' and similar.
The invalidity of all those responses has been clearly understood and known for many hundreds of years. The only way they maintain any credence is because people WANT to believe.
As someone who has been a debate coach, if anyone makes a truth claim, the burden of proof is on them. Plain and simple. Prove there is a God is the proper answer, as atheists aren't claiming the existence of one. Religious people are. Thus, you make the claim, you provide the proof.
The belief in a creator is mankind's obsession to make himself into a superior being, rather than believing that we are just one of over a million species that happened to have evolved on a small planet, in a small corner of a vast galaxy, which consists of billions of planets, that may have other lifeforms living in some of those planets. This Galaxy is just one of a multitude of galaxies in a vast universe.
Why should you engage in such arguments in the first place? Don't waste your time, mate.
"Where is your falsifiable evidence to support your existence claim of your particular god?" soon shuts them up.
thanks, i generally don't engage in arguments about whether god exists. my use of the word argument here is one of the other dictionary definitions;
""...a reason or reasons why you support or oppose an idea or suggestion, ...."
I generally try to stay away from discussion with any other person who has trouble with logic and the meaning of words.. This includes atheists who have trouble with logic and the meaning of words.
>>> I generally try to stay away from discussion with any other person who has trouble with logic and the meaning of words.
Then, why did you say in your original post 'I want to get off my chest, it seems like a disproportionate amount of time I run into arguments, etc., etc.'? Hence my response 'Don't waste your time'. You've changed your tone. Be consistent, mate.
Ultimately yeah if. If they don't love you fuck em. Who ended up more loving in the end???
@Ry01 In my opinion nay discussion on this site is EVER a waste of time. You decided to visit. Why would you waste time?
God-mobster to me: "You have to believe in something."
Me to god-mobster: "Shut up, you ignorant twat! I am not stupid enough to have beliefs, I have an evidence-based world view, and if you are too moronic to understand what that means then that is your problem, not mine!"
I picked the second one, but honestly, that's not quite it. The real justification that irritates me the most isn't that that there must be "a god" but that their mythology of choice must therefore be true.
“What is the most annoying argument for belief in a supernatural entity?”
If I were to play devil’s advocate in the construction of an annoying argument for the existence of a supernatural entity I would at least try to base it in some scientific facts, so let me see what I can do here.
The two I hate the most is "Wow, I could never be that brave" (which basically translates to a condescending trope, really meaning "Thinking is just too hard for me!" )
"Don't you think you should believe in god? You know, just in case?"
Yeah that's it. Religion as an insurance policy. I find it ironic that people who believe this, miss the point of religion and spirituality ENTIRELY!
Coincidentally, this group also happens to be the source of most of the world's problems today.
people who talk about their "faith" irritate me. they don't care about facts they just have a vague feeling that their Christian god is looking after them.
"Sin requires the existence of your fictional god. Think about that - take all the time you need."