Hi Joseph, Agency detection is certainly important, but humans also have unique abilities to create mental simulations of other minds which are important in supporting our complicated sociality. I think this plays a part in creation of gods. Chimps have similar abilities, but to a significantly lesser degree. We say things and think about what others are thinking about what we are thinking. This looping can go on to four or five orders. In a sense, we live in a world populated by complex simulations of other invisible intelligences, so it isn't too large a leap to create invisible intelligences in the form of gods and spirits out of nothing to explain things. About 80% of children have imaginary friends which is just this process in action. Apparently most of us forget these friends which often show up before the age of three.
I was born into an Adventist family and was so convinced of it as a child because my parents taught it to me (seriously, that was my lack of logic) and was a pianist in the church. However, as of 2010, I had my sincere doubts about the faith, and began questioning. After reading Acharaya S's treatise The Christ Conspiracy, I was blown a terrible blow, and then, to confirm my own beliefs, I found an apologist who debunked and tore her apart. To be honest, she was dead wrong. I took this as license to continue my faith. It is an Adventist tradition to select church officers every two years towards the end of the two-year term, and I was selected to lead the Youth Department (AYS, for you ex-Adventists), to be head of musicians, and to be head of religious liberty. I really believed that I was right, all because of what I felt was my calling. i even thought the "Spirit" led them to select me. As of the beginning of this year, however, the doubts returned, and then i realized... we are all practical atheists, buying insurance, and when the church prayed, I saw that the results were left up to randomness, to chance. It spurred in me the impetus to research again. This is when I concluded that I had been so closed minded, been hit with the truth so often, that I didn't want to accept it but the truth was FACTUAL and not FAITHDRIVEN.
So here I am, in a family of 7, and they all are Adventist, and I live with them. I am making moves towards independence, but Im an outcast in my own family. I already know the truth, and when I bring snippets of it to the family, the reaction is willful ignorance or shunning, or the declaration that Im too young to know or that I don't know everything. I cannot wait until I am completely out of this, but out of a sense of obligation, I am still serving as the head of these departments. I will excuse myself when the half-term (one year) evaluation comes, and it is terribly difficult for me to do so, as my patience is running thin. If you have any advice for how to weather this out, I would love to hear it.
I was vers pleased that you wrote me a comment. I come from the Netherlands, and grew up in a strict Christian surrounding in a small community. At the age of 19 i became an evangelical Christian fundamentalist. but when i grew older and had opportunity to study life from many vieuws, i luckily had the chance to intellectuality develop myself. Last year i broke entirely with christianity. But it took me 5 years. Now i am struggling with the mindset of my surroundings. I feel sometimes very alone in a world full of religious madness, so i felt the need to meet other people with more of the same vieuw as myself. Hope to find this trough the internet. Whats your story? Greetings!
I made my escape from evangelical fundamentalism years ago. I've rejected the pat answers as vacant platitudes espoused by the intellectually weak and morally lazy since I was little more than a child. I am searching for answers but not from an all-knowing/all-loving god or any theist who claims to have them, all of them, without errancy.It took a small epiphany recently for me to realize that most of the people in my life are simply horrible human beings. And every one of them is a Christian. I have spent my entire life biting my tongue, not offending and trying to respect the opinions of the faithful and their right to express their belief as they chose. I finally realized that not one of them had ever offered me the same respect. I stopped biting my tongue and cut ties--mercilessly and irrevocably and I am happier for it. In a nutshell, I'm searching for reason and reasonable people. I know they're out there!
Hi Joseph, Tampa is much better than other areas of the south that i have lived before (Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi). However, I work in a rural area north of Tampa (Pasco and Hernando counties) for a non profit organization that includes long prayer sessions at every meeting and I have zero co-workers that are non-believers. This area feels more like Georgia than Florida.
lol I have plenty of Catholics on both sides Irish and Italian but the other denominations are very eager to talk about their god and I can only argue to an extent with my family there's that whole respect for people like my grandmother so I pretty much just have to deal otherwise I'd have no problem returning the favor of arguing what I believe