Posted by Ezekiel 25:17 on February 10, 2002 at 03:58:28:
In Reply to: Re: Religious quotes posted by Sandra on February 07, 2002 at 13:33:40:
There are many interesting points raised in this previous well-written post and its a sheer pleasure to read :)
The conflict between emotion and logic is one of the essential elements in the reasons for belief.
Let me attempt to answer each query as best I can.
Firstly, I would agree that my viewpoint has grown more atheist in the past few months. Without the balancing force of Aslan and James who helped me keep perspective, I've tended to become slightly more controversial in an attempt to raise debate. I acknowledge my even-handed stance has grown somewhat lopsided. Anyone can feel free to pull me back from the brink :)
Secondly, the question 'how does it feel to be an atheist?'. I think ultimately it comes down to fulfillment. Most people need something to believe in, whether its a person, an object or a concept.
Does an atheist naturally feel more empty and less satisfied than a believer?
Each answer is highly individualistic and personal. I feel atheists in general transfer their belief in God to other matters. Which is the more fulfilled? I can't claim to know.
In the end, does it even matter who is more fulfilled?
Thirdly, if anyone has been brave enough to read this far. Why do I care so much about this topic? (Warning: traverse further at your own risk)
I believe the concept of God and belief has had a critical impact on society in the past, present and undoubtedly the future. No other topic has quite as much emotion, passion and energy devoted towards it, and rightly so.
The underlying notion of God encompasses so many things which should be essential knowledge to us all. From free-will, to happiness, to justice and finally life and death.
For me, it comes down to the fact that I believe society will be a better place when we sort out what is important to us, and how we can all become more fulfilled. I consider religion to be potentially the most divisive of topics, and if some sort of resolution can be reached, than hope still remains on all matters less consequential.
It all comes down to hope. Hope for a better world, a better society and a more open and understanding one. Which path is brighter?
Is blissful ignorance or stolid logic the better?
If even one person out there can be influenced to a more altruistic lifestyle or even gain some insight into their lives by reading these posts, than something worthwhile has been achieved.
I want to bring up issues which are not discussed openly enough and which we all seek answers to, even though often there are no answers. What is important is the ability to be open-minded and learn and grow. Too often we become mired in the harsh realities and mundane existence we all live in. Its far too easy to lost sight of where we want to be. We can easily become too concerned with the destination to admire the scenery. This topic provides an opportunity to discuss our mortality, and how we cope with it. The question of 'what is the meaning of life?' and more importantly, just 'why?'.
'How does my heart feel inside?'
It yearns for hope, salvation and it asks 'why?'
It has always been my curse or blessing to want to know the reason behind the world, even if I have no hope of understanding it. I want to believe that someone, somewhere out there, knows why things are the way they are, and that we are heading towards the light and not the darkness.
That we are all here fulfilling a useful goal and that in the end, our efforts will be recognised and rewarded.
I have made many mistakes in my life. It is easy enough to believe, I want to believe for the right reasons.
I think it all comes down to this.
Ultimately, are you wiser if you follow your head or your heart?
This is the hardest choice we all must make ourselves.
: This is a long and demanding thread to get through and it seems that the voices come and go but there is a voice in the way back when of this thread that no one may remember who asks certain verbose members of the conversation how they feel inside.
: It seems the athiests want the conduct this conversation from their heads, seeking to ridicule the oposition while the believers seem to ask frequently, how does it feel to be an athiest?
: The athiests don't seem to be answering. Let's move this conversation down from our heads and into our hearts. I've never heard any believer say, "Hey, I've got God right here," as he points to his temple.
: The question is: How do we feel inside.
: To Ezekiel especially I would like to ask -- Why do you care so much about this topic. You seem to have become progressiveley more atheistic as the conversation has progressed. Very often as even handed as possible. But certainly more convinced that there is no God. Am I right? But why do you care to discuss it much.
: One of your quotes mentions that man was born to believe. I agree with that. And I think that your preoccupation with this discussion is your own way of coming to believe in God. I think that anyones interest in it is the same -- except for those frothing at the mouth Christians who are intent on converting everyone.
: What is the gentle belief? How does your heart feel?
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