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Discussion When did you realize that there was no God.

W

worried_to_death

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Because this was the only universe that we could exist in in the first place
But why any of it was my point.
Even if no superintelligence guides the natural selection of universes, the question still remains as to why the process exists as a whole rather than not.
p.s. let's not get into a debate about infinity again lol
 
Wayfaerer

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But why any of it was my point.
Even if no superintelligence guides the natural selection of universes, the question still remains as to why the process exists as a whole rather than not.
p.s. let's not get into a debate about infinity again lol
Evolution is a physical force akin to gravity. Does gravity prove god's existence even though it's marvelous to witness? I think not.
 
Sarahlynn

Sarahlynn

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But why any of it was my point.
Even if no superintelligence guides the natural selection of universes, the question still remains as to why the process exists as a whole rather than not.
p.s. let's not get into a debate about infinity again lol
I think the "why" is the wrong question. There is no grand scheme or meaning to anything. Everything that occurs and has caused us to be here are mere chemical reactions that has happened over a very long time. Physical laws and mathematics are just tools we use to describe how basic stuff works and behaves.

In the beginning, there was a chemical soup. "why" it's there and where it comes from are hard questions to answer, maybe it just "is". The chemicals interacted, created planets and stars. The chemicals on earth, due to the composition and proximity to the sun, just happened to react into more and more complex structures, ending with sacks of bones and meat which we humans are part of today. We have a pretty good idea how life formed on earth, from single RNA molecules to simple organisms, all the way up to complex animals.

Our brain and consciousness is basically just chemical reactions happening between our neurons. The neural network in your brain is what makes you "you". Give this network some damage, and you are not "you" anymore, there are countless examples of how brain damage alters peoples personalities. And prevent all of these processes from happening at all, there is no more "you". You're dead.

Of course I can't give proof that this is the ultimate truth, but based on science I have seen so far, this is the most likely explanation. And I don't see where a god fits in here, except maybe making the chemical composition of the universe in the first place. But from that, to there being some omnipotent guy in the clouds being pissed of at homosexuals (or all the other arbitrary things apparently the gods are offensed by), I just don't get it.

And where are we supposed to end up afterwards? Billions of people has been alive since humankind evolved. I don't like crowds, most people are dicks, I don't wanna be stuck somewhere with all those people for eternity.
 
foxdie

foxdie

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I am agnostic with hard leanings toward atheism. Functionally I am, I don't believe in any religious god because I feel they are man made from humans who knew less about the universe then we do now. When I stopped believing was when I was a kid, one of my friends died in a snow fort when it collapsed. What kind of moral god would allow that? What kind of God would let babies and children die from horrible infections leading to a slow and agonizing deaths? If God exists, it is a monster.
I think the "why" is the wrong question. There is no grand scheme or meaning to anything. Everything that occurs and has caused us to be here are mere chemical reactions that has happened over a very long time. Physical laws and mathematics are just tools we use to describe how basic stuff works and behaves.

In the beginning, there was a chemical soup. "why" it's there and where it comes from are hard questions to answer, maybe it just "is". The chemicals interacted, created planets and stars. The chemicals on earth, due to the composition and proximity to the sun, just happened to react into more and more complex structures, ending with sacks of bones and meat which we humans are part of today. We have a pretty good idea how life formed on earth, from single RNA molecules to simple organisms, all the way up to complex animals.

Our brain and consciousness is basically just chemical reactions happening between our neurons. The neural network in your brain is what makes you "you". Give this network some damage, and you are not "you" anymore, there are countless examples of how brain damage alters peoples personalities. And prevent all of these processes from happening at all, there is no more "you". You're dead.

Of course I can't give proof that this is the ultimate truth, but based on science I have seen so far, this is the most likely explanation. And I don't see where a god fits in here, except maybe making the chemical composition of the universe in the first place. But from that, to there being some omnipotent guy in the clouds being pissed of at homosexuals (or all the other arbitrary things apparently the gods are offensed by), I just don't get it.

And where are we supposed to end up afterwards? Billions of people has been alive since humankind evolved. I don't like crowds, most people are dicks, I don't wanna be stuck somewhere with all those people for eternity.
Imo the "why" is just a human construct. The universe just is. Everything we use to understand the universe are just constructs for us to manage reality. Language and concepts don't exist without us, it's how we collectively understand this place.
 
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W

worried_to_death

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Our brain and consciousness is basically just chemical reactions happening between our neurons. The neural network in your brain is what makes you "you"
this is all still speculative though.
Consciousness is one of the biggest mysteries in science. It is not 'basically just' anything as far as we know. Everything is still up in the air when it comes to consciousness. The 'hard problem of consciousness', as david chalmers introduced it, is no nearer to being solved. Maybe it will never be solved. Some very smart people believe it may never be solved (the 'new mysterians', i.e chomsky, pinker, t.nagel, m. gardner, r.penrose).

There are people like r.penrose who believe you have to go down to the quantum and wave functions and microtubles to even begin understanding it, but that is speculative at the moment too, and he still thinks it may never be completely understood. Because it is a bit of a paradoxical task if you think about it, as the only way we can understand consciousness is through the use of consciousness, but doesn't that get you into some kind of Escher-esque geometric conundrum?

There is no grand scheme or meaning to anything
You cannot possibly know this. This is just your subjective opinion.

Everything that occurs and has caused us to be here are mere chemical reactions that has happened over a very long time
This is very probably true, although over-simplified.

But just to add, the materialist hypothesis begs the question as to what 'material' actually means. Because when you get down to the quantum, atoms are made up of mostly empty space (99.99999%), and the subatomic world is weird and counter-intuitive, and seems to consist of information and intangible mathematical entities (Heisenberg said: "Modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language"). Matter is still a mystery, let alone consciousness.
We have a pretty good idea how life formed on earth, from single RNA molecules to simple organisms, all the way up to complex animals.
But we still have no idea as to how life actually got started from inorganic compounds.
The origin of the line between life and non-life is still a mystery. Some also think that there was far too little time between the formation of the earth and the first prokaryotes for it to have actually originated on earth. But even if life did come to earth on a meteor or something, the question as to how it arose exactly would still remain.

And I don't see where a god fits in here, except maybe making the chemical composition of the universe in the first place. But from that, to there being some omnipotent guy in the clouds being pissed of at homosexuals (or all the other arbitrary things apparently the gods are offensed by), I just don't get it.
I agree with you here

Billions of people has been alive since humankind evolved. I don't like crowds, most people are dicks, I don't wanna be stuck somewhere with all those people for eternity.
lol I get your point.
If God exists, it is a monster.
I like your use of the impersonal pronoun 'it'. I often use it too to refer to 'God' as I find it strange to call it 'he'.
Surely something as unknown and metaphysical and abstract as God should be referred to as 'it'.
Everything we use to understand the universe are just constructs for us to manage reality. Language and concepts don't exist without us, it's how we collectively understand this place.
I certainly understand this way of viewing things.
If a meteor destroyed the earth tomorrow and there were no more humans, the universe would just go on as it is, vast and cold and dark and impersonal, just forces and energy and spacetime warping, for billions of years to come...

As Pascal (the religious philosopher) said:
“The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.”
 
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foxdie

foxdie

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I like your use of the impersonal pronoun 'it'. I often use it too to refer to 'God' as I find it strange to call it 'he'.
Surely something as unknown and metaphysical and abstract as God should be referred to as 'it'.
Yeah and if it exists my belief is that whatever that "being" is would be beyond all human comprehension just fundamentally. I'm not even sure refering to it as being or entity would be accurate.
 
BPD Barbie

BPD Barbie

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When I randomly prayed one night and asked for my car journey the next day to be smooth and without problem, the next day came and my car broke down.
 
RottenDeer

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Pretty early. It didn’t make sense to me and when I saw all the horrible things that happen, I was sure that there is no god.
 
Sprite_Geist

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I don't know whether or not a God/Gods exist - they might do, but personally I lean towards them not existing. Why? Well I'm not spiritual. I have never had a "connection to the divine" as some theistic people talk about, and I've never experienced the presence of anything else other than the biological life that we know of. You could argue that this is because a being such as a God is beyond our senses, and maybe this is true, but it still doesn't answer the question of suffering. There is a lot suffering and it's unnecessary. To me this leaves 3 answers:

A): God doesn't exist at all.
B): God does exist but he/she/it is unwilling to help us. For all we know God they may well be something malevolent like an Eldritch being.
C): God does exist and it does actually care, but they are unable to help. God could be sleeping, or weakened or in a stasis of some sort.
 
W

worried_to_death

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D): God does exist and does care about the suffering of all beings, but it is unwilling to help. Because Got thinks that suffering is required for some kind of spiritual progression or existential lesson. 'Bigger picture', 'mysterious ways' stuff that humans cannot comprehend.

E): God exists but is unwilling to help...because this actually is hell. Yes, the 'afterlife hell' that we're told about is actually life on earth. Therefore we are being punished, but only for a finite time, after which we ascend to a more peaceful realm. Hence no help from God, since it wouldn't send us to hell only to help us once there.

Sorry, just trying to think through a few more variations of your options lol
 
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B

Brokenwithbpd

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When I randomly prayed one night and asked for my car journey the next day to be smooth and without problem, the next day came and my car broke down.
Tests of faith are real
Interesting conversation. My messages are always open ❤
 
deadbeat

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At around 9 or 10, I guess because I never heard God speak to me while praying. Kid me thought you were supposed to have full blown conversations with a disembodied voice I guess.
 
Wayfaerer

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Once you see through the veil, you cannot unsee it. You cannot go back to theism once you see through the illusions in place. Once you see it, you wonder why so many still cling to the delusion. That so few even want to see past it. This is why atheists come off as "arrogant." You would have to see for yourself. It requires not only scientific literacy but also secular philosophy and a critical mind willing to analyze the "sacred" from an objective point of view. And that's not even delving into the numerous and glaring contradictions in the wholly fable books which are atrocious and say a lot on their own.

If "God" were guiding evolution, and he was truly "God" so he'd be perfect, then there wouldn't have been so many evolutionary failures and extinct species. If we are truly made in the image of god, then why are we just animals? You'd think if there were an all-powerful god he could just poof things into existence and fundamentally separate them but there isn't a single case of this anywhere. Why would god choose hairless apes to be his avatar? If by "image" god meant consciousness, then aren't dolphins and chimpanzee's also made in the image of god as they have self-awareness as well? What would be the point of making your greatest creation called humanity a whopping 4.5 billion years after you make the planet for which you've made your creation for? If god were smiting heathens with lightning bolts and spontaneously turning people into pillars of salt 2000 years ago then why is he so silent today? Did he just get tired? It just does not add up, not even close.

You have to understand that back in the days when the major world religions were forming that they didn't know squat about the world in which they had lived in. They were very ignorant and superstitious, to the point where they would interpret the direction of a flock of birds as being a message from god. Yet here we are, with a much greater understanding of the natural world than then yet there are billions of followers today. Sure, we cannot be 100% absolutely dead sure about anything but that's no excuse for agnosticism. If we are to remain agnostic about god, then we would also have to be agnostic towards the existence of the tooth fairy, santa claus, leprechauns, etc. My prediction is that the vatican is going to be a museum within the next two centuries tops if not sooner.
 
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W

worried_to_death

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My prediction is that the vatican is going to be a museum within the next two centuries tops if not sooner
I'm not sure about this. You may be right about catholicism, but not religion as a whole.

I think that given how long humankind has been religious, or at least has had a sense of the numinous and transcendent (hundreds of thousands of years probably), it probably had evolutionary and adaptive advantages. So there may be a genetic and hereditary component (the 'god gene' hypothesis) which won't just evaporate within a few generations.

Studies have suggested that religious people are generally happier, more optimistic and community-oriented than the non-religious.
 
Wayfaerer

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I'm not sure about this. You may be right about catholicism, but not religion as a whole.

I think that given how long humankind has been religious, or at least has had a sense of the numinous and transcendent (hundreds of thousands of years probably), it probably had evolutionary and adaptive advantages.
It certainly does as well as a hard-wired fear of death is why people refuse to abandon it.

Studies have suggested that religious people are generally happier, more optimistic and community-oriented than the non-religious.
That doesn't surprise me in the least, but I think one can still be atheistic yet adhere to traditional practices that generate those things. The problem is is that so few will unless there is a big reward for them. Humanity is entirely reward driven and it's all cynical when you get down to it.
 
W

worried_to_death

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one can still be atheistic yet adhere to traditional practices that generate those things. The problem is is that so few will unless there is a big reward for them. Humanity is entirely reward driven and it's all cynical when you get down to it.
I agree, but it is harder for atheism to generate the same kinds of structures and functions as religion. Regardless whether any religion has anything approaching to truth in it, it does/did act as a social cohesive and repository of nontrivial symbolic meanings.

Humanity is reward driven yes. But if I had to choose between the instant gratification, consumerist, vapid, nihilistic techno-gadget culture of today's world, or a religious society where ritual and communal participation contribute to a deeper sense of purpose and meaning, I know which I'd go for, regardless of the truth-value of religious claims.
You cannot go back to theism once you see through the illusions in place
although this is an important idea you raise
 
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Wayfaerer

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I agree, but it is harder for atheism to generate the same kinds of structures and functions as religion. Regardless whether any religion has anything approaching to truth in it, it does/did act as a social cohesive and repository of nontrivial symbolic meanings.

Humanity is reward driven yes. But if I had to choose between the instant gratification, consumerist, vapid, nihilistic techno-gadget culture of today's world, or a religious society where ritual and communal participation contribute to a deeper sense of purpose and meaning, I know which I'd go for, regardless of the truth-value of religious claims.

although this is an important idea you raise
I understand the sentiment, but I couldn't live a lie. It seems as time goes on, we solve old problems but create new ones. I've always idealized older times because of how simple and straight-forward things were but you know what, during the past couple of years, I think I would rather live now than back then. Sure, today is nihilistic but there is so much more possible now than ever before. You just need to be more willing to take advantage of it.

I think it's possible to still have community without god but it only works on the local level and technology is the greatest hindrance. I've had a fascination with survivalism from a young age and would've loved to live in some primitive commune should a societal-disrupting event occur. I couldn't have given up what I had though, which was an all-expenses-paid gravy train. Still, it was nice to dream.
 
lostangel

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When I was 9 or 10 I think. I couldn't wrap my head around the thought of a being in the sky that sends people who sin to hell and let others go to heaven.
 
Life_and_Death

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always. none of it ever made any sense to me for 1. 2 would be when i almost died when i was about 7....there wasnt anything there
 
X

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I'm a Christian and yes I believe in God although I must say atheists calling me inferior certainly does not help them is the slightest hell I would probably be an atheist right now if they weren't such narcissistics
Not all atheists are narrow-minded. I am an atheist but I respect other people’s religious beliefs.
 
Wayfaerer

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Not all atheists are narrow-minded. I am an atheist but I respect other people’s religious beliefs.
I can respect religious people as people and if someone in person were religious than I wouldn't ever say a word to challenge what they believe unless it's invited, but I cannot respect their beliefs as theirs is not equal to mine. I know it sounds "closed-minded" but really it's not. A quote from Dawkins comes to mind: "Let's be open-minded but not to the point where our brains fall out.
 
catalepsy

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I dont think I ever thought there was a God, and I studied theology. It was always an empty hypothesis for me.
 
T

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I don't think I've yet had that 'epiphany,' I was very much raised christian, forced to go to a christian school and studied with the family. I don't want to believe it and actively deny it, but it's locked in there. I choose to believe there is no god because I feel no god capable of omnipotence would want suffering like this. I'm sure there's a strange meta element regarding the scale of suffering on a deific level, but fuck if God's not just utterly dumb sometimes. I chose to accept this a couple years ago when I realized that strange feeling wasn't "gods presence" but instead just my imagination.
I'm slowly starting to think that the concept of "God" is actually an memetic infection. That'd explain some stuff
 
catalepsy

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I don't think I've yet had that 'epiphany,' I was very much raised christian, forced to go to a christian school and studied with the family. I don't want to believe it and actively deny it, but it's locked in there. I choose to believe there is no god because I feel no god capable of omnipotence would want suffering like this. I'm sure there's a strange meta element regarding the scale of suffering on a deific level, but fuck if God's not just utterly dumb sometimes. I chose to accept this a couple years ago when I realized that strange feeling wasn't "gods presence" but instead just my imagination.
I'm slowly starting to think that the concept of "God" is actually an memetic infection. That'd explain some stuff
There was no epiphany for me - I just realized that God was a habbit, like a coping strategy or a device to give structure to my perception. After that, it was all downhill.
 
X

XYZ

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I can respect religious people as people and if someone in person were religious than I wouldn't ever say a word to challenge what they believe unless it's invited, but I cannot respect their beliefs as theirs is not equal to mine. I know it sounds "closed-minded" but really it's not. A quote from Dawkins comes to mind: "Let's be open-minded but not to the point where our brains fall out.
People’s freedom to believe anything - literally anything they want - is holy to me.

If that means my brain is falling out of my head, I’m fine with that.

But please remember that intolerance to divergent religious beliefs has bathed Europe in blood for the past 2000 years.

My stance is very simply: As long as you keep your beliefs out of science books I have zero problems with what you believe and who you worship. Knock yourself out believing whatever makes you feel good and gives you meaning!
 
scorpiooo2

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I wish I were one of those spiritual people who let some "God" make me feel at peace with myself.

I stopped believing in that quite some time ago, If this god (of any religion) is real, they are a cruel and hateful God.

I can't stand people who hate others for things they cannot control, I give no exceptions, not even to God.
 
Lupgevif

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It was a very slow, gradual, process. I truly can't say exactly when. Just that by the end of 2012 I knew for sure my prayers weren't being heard by anyone.
 
Blank Dreamer

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I was probably around 9 - 10 years old when my belief in God started to decline. Maybe a little younger. I attended a Christian school back then. Going to Church once a day every week. As a kid you just go with it, not really thinking or aware what is going on most of the time.

I was the loner kid back in elementary. Which usually meant that I was bullied semi-frequently. Not anything too bad but bullying is bullying. Didn't also help that I was being bullied at home by my older sibling. I had two older siblings, one who would always constantly mess with me and the other one who would take care of me (since he's the oldest sibling). I later knew that the reason my sibling bullied me was because of my father. My sibling's step father. They didn't have a great relationship with one another. So my sibling would vent his frustration and anger with my father at me. All that makes you question a lot of things as a kid. Some things you don't understand no matter how much you try to.

Something in me made me want to deny the existence of God. Maybe I just wanted to be different or gain attention from my peers? Maybe it's because I was thinking and asking to God why am I not liked as much? It felt that I wasn't one of God's children. More the opposite. Maybe it's also because of my mother. I lived in a neighborhood that had a mostly different racial background to my family. She never wanted me to play with any of the kids outside due to their race. Only kids that are with the same race as ours (which there weren't much of if any). The only exception was in school which... well the whole bullying thing... With what I learned in religion class was that everyone is the same, that we were one. I tried telling my mother but she berated and silenced me. Was the first and only time I conversed with my mom about religion, ever. So it showed me that there was something wrong... very wrong at that age.

There were probably more instances that I can't remember. Throughout middle school, high school and college I was an Atheist. Guess I would consider myself an Agnostic Atheist. I do not believe in God or any other gods. I don't believe in any form of religion that their own God/s exist. Whether the existence of some kind of God exists is none of my concern because it is unknowable. And I prefer not to waste my time on it. I cannot believe in a God that can allow so much hurt & pain to individuals, or his own followers. Those that are undeserving get blessed with miracles and those that are in need do not. More often times than not.

I don't have problems with others having their own beliefs. So long as they don't use it to hurt or gain leverage over others. Religion does help people, and I can acknowledge that. But religion definitely has its ugly side that most don't want to see or know. I envy them at times... to be able to have a blind hope. A blind hope that can still motivate you. Lol... I really hope I'm not sounding like a hypocrite.
 
AMG44

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When I prayed and prayed and prayed that there would be a sign, a sign that God existed, and it never came. The fact that good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to us also played a factor.

So many things contributed to me realising that God might not exist. Atm i’m agnostic, but I’m really not convinced of any supreme being.
 
ItsOverIsntIt

ItsOverIsntIt

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I think I started to realize it when I was around 10-12. My family always forced me to go to church but I realized that there is no way God or some "higher being" or whatever exists. But if they do they obviously don't care because this world sucks.
 

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