This is a totally serious comment I have gotten from a few religious people when they engage me in a discussion about my atheism, and about why I believe the things I do, the numerous problems I have with religion and religious texts etc. Instead of answering my questions, they sigh and say 'Miriam, you just think too much'. My thoughts:

 

1) Is that even possible?

 

2) Are they saying that if they spent a little more time evaluating what they believe and why, they would also be an atheist?

 

Either way, this seems a strange comment to make. Has anyoe else ever gotten this, or another strange comment from theists?

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I think most atheists think a lot more than what your average Joe would. It takes a lot of thought to actually come to the conclusion that the invisible man in the sky that everyone else seems to believe in is actually just a story. Most religious people simply don't want to think about it too much because they are scared that what they discover means that they may be wrong and that their lives, friends and families may be wrong too. That is why when we aproach them with questions they simply dismiss it and refuse to acknowledge that they are valid questions about their religion. They simply avoid it, and they do this with most aspects of their lives because they are so used to doing it with their religion. They are afraid of the truth.
Every time i get a comment like that my response is... Im always thinking. One can't think too much, only too little.

It says plenty about the theistic mind when they make comments like that.
Actually, you should respond with: Maybe if other people would think more, I wouldn't have to take up all the slack.
I'm going to steal that one !
Do you think Jim Jones told that to the members of the Peoples Temple when he said they were moving to Guyana?

Can you be too good looking? No.

Can you have too much money? No.

And you can not think too much.
Interestingly, you CAN think too much.

http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/01/how_we_decide.php

Apparently, it is possible to become a kind of 'hamster in a wheel' if you try to make decisions entirely by thinking about it. You have to 'feel' about it too - both with your 'gut' (instinct) and 'heart' (emotional brain) or you might just get constantly get stuck in dilemmas - mental masturbation.

However, it is apparent that prayer and ideology are related - they both represent an abdication of real participation in the discovery and development of actual solutions.
As most of the comments here have implied, it seems like some of us can't stop thinking (unless we're making sure to "gut check" ourselves as Howard just wrote about.) I do a lot of driving to referee soccer games (1/2 - 1 hour each way.) Usually a good portion of the route is familiar, so I think. What do other people _do_ with that kind of time??
I drive two hours a day. NPR, write poetry (in my head of course), think - and try not to die (or kill anyone.)
For myself, I HAVE to think and think logically, certainly in the work environment (when I AM working!). I've made a 30-year living as a field service engineer, a "troubleshooter," if you will. In that profession, when you look at the problem, you have to see the entire environment of the problem, not just the machine, but the AC power which runs it and sometimes even the atmosphere it's operating in, if it's a device designed to do things like, say, measure very small currents. The more you know about that machine, its mechanism for operation, its logic and its vulnerabilities, the better equipped you are to take the failure mode it's exhibiting and trace it down to the source of the failure. The process can sometimes involve intuition, but I see intuition as logic and process which is subconsciously perceived and not yet coupled to conscious thought and evident facts. The process is wholly pragmatic.

Certainly, I can and have thought whimsically about this and that, but if something is important, something matters, the intellect comes out, analysis is pressed into service and my "Troubleshooter" hat goes on. It's as natural to me as breathing ... and it has a tendency to cut through the BS.
I consider myself a critical thinker and it sort of became a habit of mines. Its the reason why I'm an atheist now. Faith is part of the religion and most don't take the time to use critical thinking skills and examine the religion.
I believe that you cannot truly call a belief your own until you have questioned it. Obvioulsy believers do not have that view.

Faith is part of the religion and most don't take the time to use critical thinking skills and examine the religion.

It is true. "Faith" kind of excludes any sort of critical thought.
1) I have a tendency to "over think" but in matters of religion, I support more thinking and questioning! If there's a god that puts limits on human brain potential, what sort of puny god is THAT? Who wants to worship that sort of god? People base their religious beliefs on fear: fear of retribution from an angry, jealous god. Who wants to pray to that sort of god?

2) I truly think that anybody who makes the effort to learn about all the cultural similarities and overlapping of religious customs, rituals, concepts, etc will eventually come to the same conclusion that atheists do: Gods are found in stories, not in the natural world. Just because it's a universally held belief doesn't make it factually true.

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