Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

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Aresen
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by Aresen » 21 Apr 2016, 23:13

Jesus died for our sins?

Dammit! Spoiler Alert!

I haven't gotten that far in the book yet.
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Masked Grylliader
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by Masked Grylliader » 28 Jun 2016, 12:49

I grew up religious, though for most of my adult life I was rather conflicted in my faith. But a couple years ago, I lost my belief altogether. It happened when I joined a 12-step group and wrestled with the idea of a higher power, though it might have happened no matter what I did. But suddenly I realized I didn't believe anymore. It wasn't cataclysmic. The only way I know how to describe it is to imagine a lazy Saturday morning when you're sleeping in. A few times you wake up and drift back off. Then one time you wake up and even if you're not wide awake, you realize you're not going to be able to get back to sleep. Even if you really want to. It's just -- poof -- gone.

I don't like being on the outside. My spouse is still religious. My church is a wonderful group of people -- a very intellectual, philosophical group -- lots of good theological conversations I now feel apart from. Beautiful formal religious ceremonies with chanting and classical music that don't touch me the way they used to. I'm still on a number of committees at my church and have part-time work there. And I keep reminding myself to turn down other church volunteer opportunities I would have taken before. Or I sign up and only later realize it was a mistake. I want to work with teenagers and I don't know what opportunity I'd have to do that outside of youth group. But it doesn't feel appropriate to lead when I don't believe. I wouldn't be a good resource.

I wish I could flip the switch back. I guess it flipped once. It could flip again. Other people have sudden religious conversions. But I don't think it's going to.

I guess I just needed to vent or think out loud to someone. I'm not "out" as an atheist to anyone in my real life yet. When it comes down to it, I didn't mind giving up the belief in a God -- what feels true is what feels true and I will follow truth where it leads. But I am not quite ready to give up church, and that makes me feel conflicted.
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Highway
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by Highway » 28 Jun 2016, 13:49

I don't know if you want someone's opinion who doesn't matter much, but I don't see any problem with continuing to go to church if you want to. Even with following all the rituals if you want to, such as taking communion, praying, singing along. If you want to do that stuff, then go along with it, it's not like the god that there isn't is going to shine a big spotlight on you and boom out "Shun the non-believer!"

Now, if it's a case where you have too hard of a time suppressing your urge to shout out "No, this is all BS! There is no god!" then, as you say, it would probably be better for you and others if you eventually transition away from the church. As far as working with teenagers, I don't remember our youth group being particularly gung ho "We're doing this for god!" No, we went white-water rafting and took some trips, and discussed more teen things, and it didn't really center on god or church. So I don't think it's wrong or hypocritical or anything like that if you were to keep working with the teen group and just soft-pedal the religiosity part. Even if you don't believe, it's not wrong to tell someone else who does to look where they can for their answers.
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tr0g
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by tr0g » 28 Jun 2016, 14:37

It's possible to think the rationale behind the teaching (There is no god!) is bullshit but still think the teachings ("Love one another") are valid, just not for the professed reasons. If you're still good with them as a group and you think the message/work has value, why not stay?
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 28 Jun 2016, 14:56

If you're not expected to proclaim what you believe personally, there's no reason not to stay. Many people find a sense of community and an opportunity to help other people as members of churches despite have grave doubts or even firm convictions rejecting the core teachings of the church. Especially in a church you describe as being very liturgical and with members who can engage in intelligent, philosophical conversation, you'd probably be surprised by the number of people there who share your current views but who are circumspect about sharing them. Insofar as you are, say, involved in teaching kids, the phrases "According to the church" and "The church teaches" usually work just fine. So, unless you find your self called to proclaim that there is no God and you're His prophet" there's no reason as a matter of conscience compelling you to leave.

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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by thoreau » 28 Jun 2016, 15:51

If you can participate in the parts you find meaningful without being disingenuous or violating your conscience then go there and do good.
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by lunchstealer » 01 Jul 2016, 04:30

First off, if Yes Minister is to be believed, half the clergy of the Anglican Church are atheists (the other half being communists) , so that's always an option.

More seriously, if you have a particular occupation or set of skills, there is the Explorers program to work with teens in a more secular setting.

Many people find value in the rituals of organized religion even when they don't ascribe any religious truth to the experience. We ate social creatures, after all.

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nicole
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by nicole » 07 Jul 2017, 09:27

Going around today: Ross Douthat on Should Tyler Cowen believe in God?

People seem to be finding this interesting/compelling...I'm like...really, that?
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JasonL
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by JasonL » 07 Jul 2017, 10:16

I think it's interesting in the sense that you don't see discussions like that very often with specific arguments and attempts to address each one without going all tribal. It is not to me a very compelling case by Douthat. It's very much CS Lewisy

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nicole
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by nicole » 07 Jul 2017, 10:49

Yes agreed on all points.
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by dhex » 07 Jul 2017, 15:53

Douhat doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who's going to be compelling to anyone who doesn't already agree with him.
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Jadagul
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by Jadagul » 07 Jul 2017, 15:59

I like to read Douthat because it's a clear articulation of a perspective and value system that's totally alien to me but that a lot of people subscribe to.

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nicole
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by nicole » 07 Jul 2017, 16:21

Jadagul wrote:I like to read Douthat because it's a clear articulation of a perspective and value system that's totally alien to me but that a lot of people subscribe to.
Yeah same.

But at the end I'm still just kinda like hm, that's weird.
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JasonL
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by JasonL » 07 Jul 2017, 18:02

I think jad is right. He's pretty clear and articulate and level headed and that's rare so all those people get a least a nod.

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Mo
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by Mo » 07 Jul 2017, 21:39

Jadagul wrote:I like to read Douthat because it's a clear articulation of a perspective and value system that's totally alien to me but that a lot of people subscribe to.
This. And he seems at least honest and self-aware of his biases and blind-spots. Rod Dreher is equally clear and articulate, but with close to zero self-awareness.
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by thoreau » 25 Oct 2017, 10:42

Scott Alexander pours out 1500 words on "Why are New Atheists disliked by progressives who are OK with other strident social movements?" and somehow never manages to include the words "Islam", "Muslim", or "Elevator."

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/10/24/ho ... miserably/
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nicole
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by nicole » 25 Oct 2017, 10:44

thoreau wrote:
25 Oct 2017, 10:42
Scott Alexander pours out 1500 words on "Why are New Atheists disliked by progressives who are OK with other strident social movements?" and somehow never manages to include the words "Islam", "Muslim", or "Elevator."

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/10/24/ho ... miserably/
I was literally just about to post about this.

But I think the reason he's wrong is actually a shitload of people still believe in god (or similar), even in these educated "Blue" groups.
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JasonL
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by JasonL » 25 Oct 2017, 10:56

I mean, saying obvious things to an audience that gets lathered up isn't how modern movements lose, it's how they win. He's seriously suggesting nuance helps anything ever?

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thoreau
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by thoreau » 25 Oct 2017, 11:05

nicole wrote:
25 Oct 2017, 10:44
thoreau wrote:
25 Oct 2017, 10:42
Scott Alexander pours out 1500 words on "Why are New Atheists disliked by progressives who are OK with other strident social movements?" and somehow never manages to include the words "Islam", "Muslim", or "Elevator."

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/10/24/ho ... miserably/
I was literally just about to post about this.

But I think the reason he's wrong is actually a shitload of people still believe in god (or similar), even in these educated "Blue" groups.
That's surely part of it. But there's a non-trivial segment of progressives who would (at a minimum) nod respectfully upon hearing arguments like "Whiteness is the problem" or "All men are part of the problem" but would push back if they heard "Religion itself is the problem" or "All believers are part of the problem." Many of these people are white males. Some are religious (usually Christian) and some aren't, but either way they reject New Atheism's broad-brush criticisms of religion while accepting broad-brush critiques of other groups.

I think it comes down to a mix of defending Muslims (an understandable impulse, given the way that anti-Muslim sentiments are often mixed with racism and/or abuses by the modern security state) and recoiling from the (real and/or perceived) attitudes of New Atheists towards feminist issues.

tl;dr The impact of "Dear Muslima" is not to be under-estimated.
"ike Wile E. Coyote salivating over a "4000 Ways To Prepare Roadrunner" cookbook without watching his surroundings, the Road Runner of Societal Inertia snuck up on them both and beepbeeped them off the mesa."
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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 25 Oct 2017, 11:17

Boy, the comments there are tone deaf, even if they get that Islamophobia had something to do with it.

Someone should also point out that, in the U.S. at least, New Atheism does zero work against anything but Biblical literalism types. The Catholics and mainline Protestants, officially at least, believe in evolution, etc. I don't think that any NA types touch Russell's teapot for example, probably because they are mostly dense scientistic types who don't think philosophy does anything or recognize when they themselves are doing (bad) philosophy.

Also, did he even read the article at the Baffler? That account is pretty clear and pretty plausible.

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JasonL
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by JasonL » 25 Oct 2017, 11:36

Is there some kind of world where the left isn’t fellating NdGT?

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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 25 Oct 2017, 11:45

Twitter. Everytime I see him mentioned it's as a punchline.

NdGT really much of an NA though, just a dumbass.

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nicole
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by nicole » 25 Oct 2017, 11:45

Fin Fang Foom wrote:
25 Oct 2017, 11:17
Boy, the comments there are tone deaf, even if they get that Islamophobia had something to do with it.

Someone should also point out that, in the U.S. at least, New Atheism does zero work against anything but Biblical literalism types. The Catholics and mainline Protestants, officially at least, believe in evolution, etc. I don't think that any NA types touch Russell's teapot for example, probably because they are mostly dense scientistic types who don't think philosophy does anything or recognize when they themselves are doing (bad) philosophy.

Also, did he even read the article at the Baffler? That account is pretty clear and pretty plausible.
They do touch Russell's teapot, though they are terrible at philosophy in general.
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nicole
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by nicole » 25 Oct 2017, 11:47

thoreau wrote:
25 Oct 2017, 11:05
nicole wrote:
25 Oct 2017, 10:44
thoreau wrote:
25 Oct 2017, 10:42
Scott Alexander pours out 1500 words on "Why are New Atheists disliked by progressives who are OK with other strident social movements?" and somehow never manages to include the words "Islam", "Muslim", or "Elevator."

http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/10/24/ho ... miserably/
I was literally just about to post about this.

But I think the reason he's wrong is actually a shitload of people still believe in god (or similar), even in these educated "Blue" groups.
That's surely part of it. But there's a non-trivial segment of progressives who would (at a minimum) nod respectfully upon hearing arguments like "Whiteness is the problem" or "All men are part of the problem" but would push back if they heard "Religion itself is the problem" or "All believers are part of the problem." Many of these people are white males. Some are religious (usually Christian) and some aren't, but either way they reject New Atheism's broad-brush criticisms of religion while accepting broad-brush critiques of other groups.
Yeah, I just think they're doing that because they still want to think they're going to see their dead grandparents someday. The Muslim stuff is a thing but like barely, compared to the fact that they all think they have souls.
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nicole
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Re: Have you accepted Nothing as your lord and savior?

Post by nicole » 25 Oct 2017, 11:54

Pretty far-down comment from "Art Vandelay" that I think is also extremely correct:
There are more interesting debates to be had around this topic, some of which are already taking place above, but as to the question of why New Atheism is far less popular with the liberal left than social justice advocacy or environmentalism I think the correct answer is the obvious one: most progressives, quite justifiably, don’t see religion as being nearly as bad as bigotry or environmental destruction. There are two main points to this:

1. Religion inspires a lot of good in the world.
2. The negative aspects of religion are non-essential to it.

For number one we have all the charity work done by religious groups. It’s hard to hate the church down the road when you see it running soup kitchens, etc. Racists aren’t known for their charity work. Big oil may invest a lot of money in worthy causes but this is quite obviously a public relations exercise. You’d have to be a particularly cynical atheist to think your local church are running a soup kitchen for the good PR it will bring.

If the priest of the nice do-gooding church mentioned above is also nicely liberal on social issues, why should we get worked up if he wants to read his Bible and say a few prayers every now and then? This is the second point. I know a few religious people and none of them hate gays or think a wife’s place is in the home. Sure, there’s some questionable stuff in those holy books and probably a correlation between religiosity and disliking gay people but it’s perfectly possible to be religious and left-wing on social issues at the same time.

And what puts people off about evangelical atheism is that it’s adherents don’t just want to go after people who take religion as their justification for violence or homophobia, they want to go after our nice soup-dispensing, happily-gay-wedding-officiating priest as well.
"Fucking qualia." -Hugh Akston

"This is why I carry a shoehorn.” -jadagul

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