Does it take more pride to be a believer or a non believer?

Does it take more pride to be a believer or a non believer?

Surely there’s atheistic pride in the concept of self-worship. The concept that there is no truth beyond what the atheist can perceive through wordly eyes and ears. Where’s the humility or logic in that?

Pride is when we are motivated by self-interest, self-indulgence, and a false sense of self-sufficiency to pursue self-glorification?

A friend wrote to me saying “remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” That’s what the priest and pastors say when marking foreheads with ashes on Ash Wednesday. It’s a fitting beginning for the forty-day penitential season that we Christians call Lent. We’re called to remember that we are finite creatures—that we were created from dust, and that we will one day return to dust.”

“It’s not a bad thing to be reminded of our finitude, particularly in a world that is full of violence, greed, and suffering”..

He went on to say that we should also remember we are also part of the divine. We are creations of the divine. Does that make us proud? No it makes us humble.

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45 thoughts on “Does it take more pride to be a believer or a non believer?

  1. Surely there’s atheistic pride in the concept of self-worship. The concept that there is no truth beyond what the atheist can perceive through wordly eyes and ears. Where’s the humility or logic in that?
    Sorry my mistake Bryan !!
    You are not a fool !
    You are a IDIOT

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  2. Sorry, I don’t equate atheism with self worship, or self anything. In fact much religious thought is self centred, the hope of heavenly reward, or at least salvation. Not that I am an atheist, nor even agnostic.

    Of course there are many believers who don’t have this self interest, just as an atheist may or may not be self centred. I just don’t believe there is a link.

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  3. “Surely there’s atheistic pride in the concept of self-worship”

    Self worship is not necessary to be an atheist. The only thing an atheist requires is a lack of belief in gods. There may indeed be many proud atheists as there may be many proud theists but is that to say that pride is inherent in either theism or atheism ?

    “The concept that there is no truth beyond what the atheist can perceive through worldly eyes and ears”

    Didn’t you tell me in another forum that atheists were more likely to believe in superstitions ? How can you advance that proposition with the one above aren’t they contradictory ? IF an atheist only accepts what they can perceive through worldly eyes and ears then how can they also be more likely to believe in superstitions ?

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    • As a former agnostic atheist I don’t see any connection between intelligence and atheism. I would rather say that it is a matter of personal experience and, not meaning it insultingly at all, maturity. People who believe in God and creation because that is what they have been taught all their life are no better or worse intellectually or any other way than people who have taught the same thing all their lifes and can not or have not accepted it. Who have actually thought about it and had enough conviction to say I don’t believe this is true.

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    • Yes because atheism is often contradictory. The widespread atheist belief in superstitions merely points out the contradictory nature of atheist philosophy.

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      • If you accept that an atheist believes in superstitions then you can’t also maintain the position that atheists only accept what they can perceive through worldly eyes and ears

        That’s not atheism assuming contradictory positions, thats you assuming contradictory positions.

        IF there is indeed a widespread atheist belief in superstitions then in order to believe in such a superstition that atheist must be prepared to believe in something beyond what they can perceive through worldly eyes and ears.

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      • Here’s an opinin from Anthony DeStefano, author of many saccharine religious books, including The Invisible World-Understanding Angels, Demons, and the Spiritual Realities that Surround Us.

        Here’s his thesis:

        Of course, it’s not quite fair to say that atheists believe in nothing. They do believe in something — the philosophical theory known as Materialism, which states that the only thing that exists is matter; that all substances and all phenomena in the universe are purely physical.

        The problem is that this really isn’t a theory at all. It’s a superstition; a myth that basically says that everything in life — our thoughts, our emotions, our hopes, our ambitions, our passions, our memories, our philosophies, our politics, our beliefs in God and salvation and damnation — that all of this is merely the result of biochemical reactions and the movement of molecules in our brain.

        What nonsense.

        We can’t reduce the whole of reality to what our senses tell us for the simple reason that our senses are notorious for lying to us. Our senses tell us that the world is flat, and yet it’s not. Our senses tell us that the world is chaotic, and yet we know that on both a micro and a macro level, it’s incredibly organized. Our senses tell us that we’re stationary, and yet we’re really moving at incredible speeds. We just can’t see it.

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      • We can’t even count on self-described atheists to be strict rationalists. According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s monumental “U.S. Religious Landscape Survey” that was issued in 2008, 21% of self-proclaimed atheists believe in either a personal God or an impersonal force. Ten percent of atheists pray at least weekly and 12% believe in heaven.

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      • “Of course, it’s not quite fair to say that atheists believe in nothing. They do believe in something — the philosophical theory known as Materialism, which states that the only thing that exists is matter; that all substances and all phenomena in the universe are purely physical.”

        Fair enough that kinda makes sense although energy exists too.

        BUT that is completely at odds with superstition. IF you believe that atheists are just hopeless materialists then you can’t also advance that they are highly superstitious as well. You might as well say that they are strict vegans but consume more meat on average than the general population.

        Aside from that it does raise some interesting points.

        ” We can’t reduce the whole of reality to what our senses tell us for the simple reason that our senses are notorious for lying to us ”

        Agree that’s why things like repeatable verifiable results are important. But doesn’t this also reflect on the theist ? After all their beliefs are based on those so imperfect senses aren’t they.

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      • Atheists believing in God and praying. Look at who is irrational now,

        Sadly, superstitious people often become so absorbed by superstitions that their lives are ruled by them. Instead of enjoying life, they live in fear — fear that they’ll do something wrong and bring misfortune on themselves. Others constantly pursue things they hope will bring them good fortune — usually in vain. They may even become involved in occult practices, which can bring them into contact with spiritual powers that are opposed to God.

        The Bible tells us to avoid such things, however, and to trust our lives into God’s hands. God loves us and watches over us — and once we understand this and commit our lives to Christ, our superstitions will flee.

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      • All that …… ” 21% of self-proclaimed atheists believe in either a personal God or an impersonal force. Ten percent of atheists pray at least weekly and 12% believe in …..”…..proves is that 21% of self-proclaimed atheists are too stupid to know what an atheist actually is.

        However, since they ….. ” believe in either a personal God or an impersonal force. Ten percent of atheists pray at least weekly and 12% believe in heaven.”
        ….they’re obviously perfectly intellectually suited to being ‘Believers’.

        Self-evidentiary, Old Chap.
        ps….. only a dill would deny the existence of “an impersonal force”
        Try tapdancing on the Freeway if you want an example of such a thing at something over 100kmh. 😉

        …and btw:- Are you able to tell us with any sort of authority whether your truth-telling senses or your lying senses are responsible for this wildly unfounded assertion?:- “We can’t reduce the whole of reality to what our senses tell us for the simple reason that our senses are notorious for lying to us.”
        (‘believe’ you see a ‘Smirk’ icon here –> )

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      • You’re talking ….. (“people often become so absorbed by superstitions that their lives are ruled by them. Instead of enjoying life, they live in fear — fear that they’ll do something wrong and bring misfortune on themselves.”)
        ……about the fear of god ~ common to all ‘believers’ ~ here, aren’t you Karen?

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      • True….True –> “The problem is that this really isn’t a theory at all……. that everything in life — our thoughts, our emotions, our hopes, our ambitions, our passions, our memories, our philosophies, our politics, our beliefs in God and salvation and damnation — that all of this is merely the result of biochemical reactions and the movement of molecules in our brain.”

        But it ISN’T a “problem”
        ….and It’s easy to prove absolutely.

        Try a guillotine.

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      • …er…. Not quite. You’ve got it arse-about.
        Atheists ~ by definition ~ HAVE ‘no god’ and therefore have no “belief” in a god.
        ie it’s not lack of “belief” that leads them to being godless, as you suggest; it’s the lack of god that forms their belief that there’s no such thing. (If they think about it at all.)

        That, however does NOT preclude a genuine atheist from forming other beliefs, superstitious or otherwise.

        That hairy little atheist BillyBob understands that. He has this determined “belief” that the right amount of ‘faith’ (in removing yonder bone hence) will spirit the bone right out of Dinkum’s teeth and under the couch (where Dinkum can’t reach).

        About 8 times out of 10 his superstitious belief in spiritual kinetics proves uncannily accurate. Sooner or later.
        …..but he’s STILL (a godless) atheist.

        Beats moving mountains any day….and has a real purpose! 😉

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      • Maybe, maybe not:- Atheists ” do believe in something — the philosophical theory known as Materialism, which states that the only thing that exists is matter;” .
        But the question of the make-up/structure of the universe has no relevance to an atheist’s godlessness,

        As I keep pointing out: the rhodies outside my window are ‘without god’ and therefore definitively atheist. They don’t give a stuff about “philosophical theory”, either.

        But they do have very specific beliefs in the efficacy of a few buckets of horseshit.
        I suspect there’s a message in that somewhere. 🙂

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      • heheheheheheehhhee! “-Yes because atheism is often contradictory.”

        ….as opposed to the cohesively ecumenism of forty or fifty THOUSAND differing christian sects, d’you mean? 😯

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      • That’s a cop out. The rhodies outside your window are ‘without god’ and therefore definitively atheist? No you got it around the twist again. To be atheist you make a choice to be atheist. .

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      • “To be atheist you make a choice to be atheist…”

        Hmm if you asked my children “do you believe in God” they’d probably answer “no”. (they way they’ve been raised and all). But that’s a result of their upbringing not a conscious choice. Later in life they may choose to believe.

        But at the moment are they atheists ?

        And while we are talking about atheists can I ask do you see them as some kind of enemy ?

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      • You seem to agree with me. If you ask your children if they are atheist they would probably say no. You can’t be a Christian unless you make a choice and you can’t be an atheist unless you make a choice. It’s logical.
        Do I see atheists as some kind of enemy? Of course not. Do you see Christians as your enemy?

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      • ” If you ask your children if they are atheist they would probably say no. ”

        Yes but is self reporting the only definition of an atheist? At the moment they have no belief in God. However I’m unsure how to classify them.

        What if they never make a choice and merely continue moving along with the inertia of their upbringing and attain adulthood still non-believers ?

        ” Do you see Christians as your enemy?”

        Nope – but then I’m not writing a blog where I post ad-hoc attacks against them either.

        IF atheists aren’t the enemy why the attacks ?

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      • This is a blog where news and views on faith are posted. Sure there are stories that reflect badly on some atheists but I also post stories that reflect badly on some religious groups and people. If atheists are offended by what I put on this blog they re quite free to go somewhere else or set up their own blogs.

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      • Atheists are the strongest believers once they can see. Since they are based in logic, they are not easily blinded by doctrines and the thundering pulpits.

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      • “Atheists believing in God and praying. Look at who is irrational now,”

        Hmm that reads as though belief in God and prayer are the hallmarks of the irrational.

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      • Been here, done that:- atheist:- A lack of belief in the existence of God or gods
        godlessness
        a= without
        theo= god
        (Sorry if that’s a little difficult to grasp.)

        a·the·ist (th-st)
        n.
        1. (Philosophy) a person who does not believe in God or gods
        adj
        2. (Philosophy) of or relating to atheists or atheism

        [1565–75; < Greek áthe(os) godless (a- a-6 + -theos, adj. derivative of theós god) + -ist]
        ……..(.etcetc.)
        syn: atheist, agnostic, infidel refer to persons lacking religious belief.

        Shorter Oxford Dictionary (Volume One)

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      • Oh puhleese!…”You can’t be a Christian unless you make a choice and you can’t be an atheist unless you make a choice. It’s logical.”

        While you may necessarily need to make a choice to become a doctor/taxi-driver/priest, you do NOT have to make a choice NOT to become a doctor/taxi-driver/priest.
        Being a-thiest (“without god”/godless by definition) isn’t the same as being ‘anti-god’, which WOULD require a decision.

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      • Quite right Karen:- “God loves us and watches over us .”

        ….but you forgot to add:- ‘and then he kills us; often gruesomely and cruelly.’

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      • If you’ll be kind enough to allow me to indulge in a little hyperbole, your attitude towards atheists seems to be
        – attacks on them are fine
        – you;ll keep on attacking them
        – if they don’t like it then they can sod off.

        So are you sure atheists aren’t your enemy ? Seems as though they sure as heck aren’t your friends.

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      • Don’t mind the hyperbole Bubba. Honestly, I don’t see atheists as the enemy. Many of my mates are non-believers or proclaimed atheists. I’ll keep attacking hypocrisy whether it comes from the atheist or Christian, or Muslim or Buddhist etc camps. I’ve been a bit harsh on you and for that I apologise. I’m nowhere near perfect. I just hope that this is a forum where different views can be expressed without rancour or personal attacks. The only ones I’d not post are those who are just here to play the attack game.

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      • It’s the nature of the internet, on one level it allows us to have conversations we otherwise wouldn’t, and that’s great. On the other it’s an imperfect medium for those conversations, not much room for nuance or subtlety.

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      • I don’t know how much further this discussion can go, but my final observation would be that you seem to be confusing two separate issues. eg What one ‘calls’ oneself and what one ‘is’.

        While it’s true to say what you ‘call yourself’ requires a choice :-
        (“You can be in the position of not knowing whether God exists and not caring*. That’s not the same as calling yourself atheist. That requires choice.)
        ….what you ARE requires no choice.

        Once there were ‘sick men’ (‘lesbians’ didn’t even exist in the 1950s!) then there were ‘poofters’, now there are ‘gays’.
        All those tags are a matter of choice.

        The reality is that such people are defined, according to psycho-social descriptions of their attitudes/inclinations/activities/genetics/whatever, as ‘homosexuals’ ………about which they have NO choice nor even a need to make one.

        The labels attached are only a handy way of describing what IS.

        And ‘atheist’ is no more than a handy label for describing what IS “godlessness”.
        Let’s not forget the rules of grammar: ‘atheist’ as a noun describes a (godless/without god) STATE/CONDITION, and “AN atheist” is a person (or anything else) described as being in that state.

        ….in the same way that “A homosexual” is a person who ‘fits’ the STATE described as being homosexual.

        And, in reality, those states (atheism/homosexuality) would exist whether the tags were adopted (chosen) by individuals or not. Or even if such tags didn’t exist at all.

        It’s presumptuous to insist that states (‘conditions’) like ‘godliness’ or ‘godlessness’ can be created by choice at all.
        ….let alone exclusively ‘human’ choice.

        Thus endeth the sermon.

        (* eg. being ‘godless’ ~ definitively atheist ~ like the rhododenrons)

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  4. Any atheist will tell you there is only one definitionn of atheism, yet I know some with widely differing concepts. I know none who are superstitious in any way, most class themselves a sceptics and understand the sciences well. Most are humanists and like Abou ben Adim (may his tribe increase) love their fellow men (mankind). In effect they often follow the teachings of Jesus better than some Christians do.

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  5. Atheism, step required to true knowing oneself. Read the prodigal son and see that we have to experience who we are not to gain true value of who we really are. It seems such noble thing to try to convince an atheist (just to use some word opposing to believer), but they must have that experience before they can accept Christ.

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      • But demi-god may only be a comparative term, showing the huge gap between those of little scientific understanding and those who are now creating living tissue etc in laboratories.

        I dunno.

        Nothing to do with the world around us of Spirit and spiritual understanding.

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