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Thread: Perspective from athiests/agnostics

  1. #121
    Boolit Master
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    This is an opinion since it is not backed up by facts.....

    Quote Originally Posted by UKShootist View Post
    Such as "The Earth is flat and the Sun goes around it." sort of simple observation?
    EDG

  2. #122
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    You know, I haven't read the entire thread, but I went back and re-read the original post, and the question was about what or who we worship? And to that, I'd have to comment that many worship what other people have, and seek to have the same or better. And many worship their own looks, or their friends. In actual fact and practice, we WORSHIP whatever we pay the most attention to and whatever concerns us most consistently. And many fail to understand this. We think of worship as ONLY being what we do in church, but there are many forms of worship. A close reading of scripture will reveal and support this. I just can't think of a verse offhand at the moment to quote here, but maybe someone here can.

    Not trying to be picky or critical, just to expand and clarify the nature of the original question.

  3. #123
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    You are really determined to declare that everyone worships.
    Only a practicing worshiper would be so obsessed as to ascribe worship to everyone else.
    I know no one that worships anything unless worshiping a can of beer counts.
    And PS I don't drink - unlike a lot of Christians...
    The people I know get up and go to work, eat, sleep, fish, hunt, mow the grass and do all the things in their life without significant contemplation. In fact it appears the most deranged among the population are those that spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating the color of their skin.
    I don't really think your readings and interpretation of scripture mean a thing. Just because you have wrapped your life around the Bible does not mean the rest of us have. It is typical of your kind to assume that your worshipers view of the world applies to how everyone should think - but it doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    You know, I haven't read the entire thread, but I went back and re-read the original post, and the question was about what or who we worship? And to that, I'd have to comment that many worship what other people have, and seek to have the same or better. And many worship their own looks, or their friends. In actual fact and practice, we WORSHIP whatever we pay the most attention to and whatever concerns us most consistently. And many fail to understand this. We think of worship as ONLY being what we do in church, but there are many forms of worship. A close reading of scripture will reveal and support this. I just can't think of a verse offhand at the moment to quote here, but maybe someone here can.

    Not trying to be picky or critical, just to expand and clarify the nature of the original question.
    Last edited by EDG; 08-05-2019 at 07:40 PM.
    EDG

  4. #124
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    You know, I haven't read the entire thread, but I went back and re-read the original post, and the question was about what or who we worship? And to that, I'd have to comment that many worship what other people have, and seek to have the same or better. And many worship their own looks, or their friends. In actual fact and practice, we WORSHIP whatever we pay the most attention to and whatever concerns us most consistently. And many fail to understand this. We think of worship as ONLY being what we do in church, but there are many forms of worship. A close reading of scripture will reveal and support this. I just can't think of a verse offhand at the moment to quote here, but maybe someone here can.

    Not trying to be picky or critical, just to expand and clarify the nature of the original question.
    Yes. You understood the nature of the question very well and expressed it better than I. Perhaps you can catch on to the twist I used: instead of asking if you believe in god... Ask people what they worship. Although it appears some people are in denial of that even.
    Last edited by Black Jaque Janaviac; 08-06-2019 at 10:21 AM. Reason: clarity

  5. #125
    You are really determined to declare that everyone worships.
    Only a practicing worshiper would be so obsessed as to ascribe worship to everyone else.
    I know no one that worships anything unless worshiping a can of beer counts.
    If you understand the use of the word worship in this thread, yes. Worshipping something is unescapable. We're not obsessed we're just observant. To phrase the question another way - "Is there anything you hold in your life that is more important than yourself? Something that is worth sacrificing yourself for?"

    And yes, a can of beer counts. For the use of the term worship in this thread - you are correct many people worship the almighty can of beer (or bottle of whiskey or...). And many of those people will deny that they've wrapped their life around the booze bottle.

    The people I know get up and go to work, eat, sleep, fish, hunt, mow the grass and do all the things in their life without significant contemplation.
    Socrates said, "the unexamined life is not worth living." This may have something to do with why suicide rates are so high. People don't contemplate their own existence, as a result life can feel like running in a gerbil wheel, exhausting . . . and pointless.

    In fact it appears the most deranged among the population are those that spend an inordinate amount of time contemplating the color of their skin.
    No argument from me.


    Just because you have wrapped your life around the Bible does not mean the rest of us have.
    We're not suggesting that everyone wraps their life around the Bible. We are asking, "If you don't wrap your life around the Bible, what do you wrap your life around?"

  6. #126
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    I think we have reached the point where I will call foul. Claiming to worship and evidence of said worship are very different things.

    Most believers are not recognizable as such apart from their statements. When you decide to use “worship” as meaning what one focuses on, you would do well to look in the mirror.

    Don’t expect honest discourse when you insist that you are different when it comes to human behavior. I strive to focus on my family, but only because they are mine.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Don’t expect honest discourse when you insist that you are different when it comes to human behavior. .
    But they're actually arguing the exact opposite. They are arguing that they are NOT unique. They focus on God and this is their primary focus in life. They would probably go further and say this organizes the rest of their life. They are then arguing that all humans have a primary focus that orders their life. So if it's not God, what is it that is the primary focus?

    I don't see anything disengenuous about this question. You can disagree that a primary focus, an organizing principle, is "worship" but there's nothing out of bounds about the question.
    "There are no solutions there are only tradeoffs" ~ Thomas Sowell

  8. #128
    They focus on God and this is their primary focus in life. They would probably go further and say this organizes the rest of their life.
    In theory yes - exactly. In practice - holy crap! If you examined my life I wouldn't blame you if you concluded that I worship the man-in-the-mirror.
    Most believers are not recognizable as such apart from their statements.
    Guilty as charged.
    Claiming to worship and evidence of said worship are very different things.
    True. But how would you ever possibly go from worshipping the man-in-the-mirror to worshipping the truth (for purposes of this thread I don't mean Christ) without first making the decision that there is something better-than-self to focus on? The alcoholic can take his last sip, but he then declares that to be his last sip, and that is the only hope he has of ever recovering. If said alcoholic admits he's worshipping the bottle but never makes a claim to worship something better he will remain an alcoholic.

    BTW - thanks to all these are some extremely stimulating discussions!

  9. #129
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    Good grief, i know I am talking to an intelligent person, and I think I am intelligentish, why is the written word so frustratingly difficult!!

    I think we are getting close to understanding each other. Maybe.

    I acknowledge that something greater than me exists, but I am ignorant of its true nature (some would say willfully ) That being the case, I focus on what I can comprehend: the recognizable goodness of the world. I try, and fail, to resemble that which is intuitively good and virtuous.

    When you say you center your life around God (or whatever you worship for the purpose of this thread), I see a hollow unknowable entity. It feels to me both forced and contrived. Regardless, I can recognize that an honest attempt to emulate Christian ideals is a worthwhile goal because it generally makes one more virtuous.

    It seems like when I say I center on family or making myself more virtuous, you feel like I am centered on a similar hollow entity. (Pure conjecture, not trying to put words into mouths)

    I am OK missing the big picture because I know the details I focus on are good and right and true.

  10. #130
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    As an aside, do you think your conscience is god-given or akin to the Holy Spirit? I do not as I hear my own voice either admonishing me or congratulating me.

    I only ask as that may be an additional source of confusion. If you see listening to your conscience as a nudge from God where I see it as myself intuitively recognizing my own goodness or lack thereof.

  11. #131
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    This whole thread is nothing more than an argument over semantics.

    semantics
    /sɪˈmantɪks/
    noun
    the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. The two main areas are logical semantics, concerned with matters such as sense and reference and presupposition and implication, and lexical semantics, concerned with the analysis of word meanings and relations between them.
    the meaning of a word, phrase, or text.
    plural noun: semantics
    "such quibbling over semantics may seem petty stuff"

    worship
    /ˈwəːʃɪp/
    noun
    1.
    the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.
    "worship of the Mother Goddess"
    synonyms: reverence, revering, worshipping, veneration, venerating, adoration, adoring, -olatry, devotion, praise, thanksgiving, praising, praying to, glorification, glorifying, glory, exaltation, exalting, extolment, extolling, homage, respect, honour, honouring, esteem; More
    2.
    BRITISH
    used in addressing or referring to an important or high-ranking person, especially a magistrate or mayor.
    "we were soon joined by His Worship the Mayor"
    verb
    verb: worship; 3rd person present: worships; past tense: worshipped; past participle: worshipped; gerund or present participle: worshipping; past tense: worshiped; past participle: worshiped; gerund or present participle: worshiping
    1.
    show reverence and adoration for (a deity).
    "the Maya built jungle pyramids to worship their gods"
    synonyms: revere, reverence, venerate, pay homage to, honour, adore, praise, pray to, bow down before, glorify, exalt, extol;
    My conclusion? I don't worship anyone or anything. In fact, I find the whole concept demeaning.

  12. #132
    It seems like when I say I center on family or making myself more virtuous, you feel like I am centered on a similar hollow entity. (Pure conjecture, not trying to put words into mouths)
    You're right, you picked up on it. I wouldn't call those things hollow though. Family is certainly a bigger, better, more noble goal than self. But speaking as a father, I've learned that my role is to lead them to something, to somewhere, I couldn't worship them. From a practical standpoint it just didn't work for me. Making yourself more virtuous would be a noble goal - I beg pardon if I came across as regarding that as hollow. I don't know why I didn't focus more thought and effort into discussing the virtues. Perhaps that will fuel another "perspectives from atheists" thread.

    When you say you center your life around God (or whatever you worship for the purpose of this thread), I see a hollow unknowable entity.
    Is it totally unknowable? As in what's the point in even trying? Or is inexhaustible (for lack of a better term) a better description? As in, you can pick up pieces of a puzzle, and they fit together and begin to form a picture, but after a while it dawns on you that you can't find any pieces that have a straight side (the ones that make the border)! And to make matters more confusing you put pieces together here, and other pieces there, but you can't figure out how the two pictures ultimately fit together. The more pieces you get the more confusing the whole muddled picture gets; yet at the same time, because the pieces that you do have, fit together perfectly and form a clear image you are confident that you at least have some of the puzzle right.

  13. #133
    In fact, I find the whole concept demeaning.
    Is that because nothing is above you?

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    Is that because nothing is above you?
    Semantics again. The Birkenhead Rules rightly place women and children above me. In the forces I insisted that I did not have 'superiors' but rather 'seniors'. Nobody is either above me or beneath me. Right now I have a ceiling above me, or if you prefer, a bedroom, a roof, clouds, the sky.

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    You're right, you picked up on it. I wouldn't call those things hollow though. Family is certainly a bigger, better, more noble goal than self. But speaking as a father, I've learned that my role is to lead them to something, to somewhere, I couldn't worship them. From a practical standpoint it just didn't work for me. Making yourself more virtuous would be a noble goal - I beg pardon if I came across as regarding that as hollow. I don't know why I didn't focus more thought and effort into discussing the virtues. Perhaps that will fuel another "perspectives from atheists" thread.



    Is it totally unknowable? As in what's the point in even trying? Or is inexhaustible (for lack of a better term) a better description? As in, you can pick up pieces of a puzzle, and they fit together and begin to form a picture, but after a while it dawns on you that you can't find any pieces that have a straight side (the ones that make the border)! And to make matters more confusing you put pieces together here, and other pieces there, but you can't figure out how the two pictures ultimately fit together. The more pieces you get the more confusing the whole muddled picture gets; yet at the same time, because the pieces that you do have, fit together perfectly and form a clear image you are confident that you at least have some of the puzzle right.
    Yes the puzzle analogy is good. I have fragments but not near enough for me to claim to know what the puzzle portrays. And yes I am confident that what pieces I do have are there for a reason.

    And you are correct again in that I don’t “worship” family as much as I focus my attention on them seeing the puzzle as well.

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKShootist View Post
    Semantics again. The Birkenhead Rules rightly place women and children above me. In the forces I insisted that I did not have 'superiors' but rather 'seniors'. Nobody is either above me or beneath me. Right now I have a ceiling above me, or if you prefer, a bedroom, a roof, clouds, the sky.
    Why are woman and children inherently more valuable than you?

    Also, if I recall correctly you do not believe in any higher power, making mankind arguably the most intelligent life form?

    And yes much of this discussion is semantics, getting past semantics is a requirement for any useful dialogue.

  17. #137
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    There is a rather good scene in the film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. I can only paraphrase it. The son, played by Sidney Poitier, is arguing with his father who is arguing that the son owes him some duty or other because the father, as a postman, walked many thousands of miles to provide for his son. The son basically says "I owe you nothing, it's you who own me everything. I didn't ask to be born, that decision was made for me. You brought me into this world, you had a duty to do right by me in every way possible."

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKShootist View Post
    There is a rather good scene in the film Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. I can only paraphrase it. The son, played by Sidney Poitier, is arguing with his father who is arguing that the son owes him some duty or other because the father, as a postman, walked many thousands of miles to provide for his son. The son basically says "I owe you nothing, it's you who own me everything. I didn't ask to be born, that decision was made for me. You brought me into this world, you had a duty to do right by me in every way possible."
    So you owe your best in raising your own kids? I can agree with that.

    What moral duty do you have to strangers’ wives and children?

  19. #139
    The Birkenhead Rules rightly place women and children above me.
    Nobody is either above me or beneath me.
    Then the Birkenhead Rules wrongly place women and children above you?

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Why are woman and children inherently more valuable than you?
    It seems to be hardwired into humans. Would you refuse to try and rescue a drowning child at risk of your own life by doing so simply because there was a danger to yourself? Whatever the reality, the idea is detestable.

    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Also, if I recall correctly you do not believe in any higher power, making mankind arguably the most intelligent life form?
    That I do not 'believe' in any higher power does. not mean I deny the possibility. I don't know is all. As for mankind being the most intelligent life form, that is a horrifying thought in collective terms although a possibility in individuals and inevitable to any self respecting solipsist. But, apropos the idea of a 'higher' life form, all I can say is that if this world was God's exam paper and I was marking itI would have to say "Could do better!" so maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    And yes much of this discussion is semantics, getting past semantics is a requirement for any useful dialogue.
    I would suggest that 'getting past semantics' is the problem and not the solution.

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