Smugism

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So I've finally managed to pinpoint what my belief system would be, it took me a while but I think this works out well. See, part of me thinks I should follow my parents and go with the Christian route, but then again I don't think I completely agree with the Bible and I'm more than a little sick of people claiming evolution 'is only a theory' and that the earth is 6,000 years old since I've handled bones older than that and most especially, "WE'RE going to heaven, YOU'LL burn in hell". Not all Christians, but enough that I'm put off.

So then maybe I should go for atheism, but it seems like a lot of non-answers, the answer to questions with no answers being "Because it did" rather than "Something all powerful we don't understand did it", because the second one seems slightly more logical. But mostly it's the sense of superiority by not having to believe in a God, the passing it off as 'oh, your imaginary friend' and such that just turned me off again, which left me with fewer options.

Examined a few other alternatives, but once more Greek/Egyptian/Norse Gods and people who worship them tend to grate on me after a while for the same thing.

So I decided, I'm a Smugist. I like the idea of all belief systems and you are entitled to hold them but if your smug about it then ffs your brain is bankrupt and your first to be thrown to the zombies.

Anyone else agreeing with me? Best thing to believe is that you can't be smug about what you believe and that believing/not-believing does not make you in anyway morally superior?

P.S. It's surprisingly hard to express this view without being smug myself.

Wouldn't that make you an anti-smugist?

Oh, and brace for an xkcd comic to be thrown your way in lieu of meaningful discussion.

But I think you're on the right track. The religious/a-religious group you join is just a color of team jersey. People aren't better or worse for the color of their jersey, they're better or worse because of their actions and intentions.

CaptainMarvelous:
P.S. It's surprisingly hard to express this view without being smug myself.

Which should make you stop and think a moment, shouldn't it?

Seanchaidh:

CaptainMarvelous:
P.S. It's surprisingly hard to express this view without being smug myself.

Which should make you stop and think a moment, shouldn't it?

It did, but I decided hypocrisy is easy and careful wording is hard.

Have you tried the Church of Subgenuis mate?

They are smug but in an anti-smug kinda way.

Regards

Nightspore

*Throws XKCD comic to avoid meaningful discussion*

image

I first wanted to applaud you're "search for truth", but then I saw you rejected atheism because you didn't like some atheists.

Do you mean that not-believing isn't morally superior to believing and vice versa, or do you mean that all religions and non-religions are morally equal?

Katatori-kun:

But I think you're on the right track. The religious/a-religious group you join is just a color of team jersey. People aren't better or worse for the color of their jersey, they're better or worse because of their actions and intentions.

I agree with Katatori here. It it is my opinion that it first and foremost does not matter what exactly you believe in - what matters is what you do. You can believe in the most fraudulent thing ever as long as you do not try to sell it to anyone as truth or makes you become violent - in speech or action.

This is especially true for the theist/atheist divide - there is no reason to assume that either belief leads to any of the exceptions above. Hence, you can believe in whatever you want, its essentially your call. Keep in mind, however, that any social aspects tied to a particular realization of theistic belief (what I usually mean when I speak about "Religion") or atheist non-belief might very well be problematic and can be criticized.

Danyal:
*Throws XKCD comic to avoid meaningful discussion*

Ok, that made me chuckle. Cheers!

Danyal:

Do you mean that not-believing isn't morally superior to believing and vice versa, or do you mean that all religions and non-religions are morally equal?

First bit that neither's superior.

As I said earlier blatant hypocrisy was easier than careful wording. Also mainlined the anti-atheism argument out of laziness, it wasn't solely because I kept encountering smugness but primarily that it didn't really do much to resolve truth except point at science and say "Science has to figure it out, we're content just not believing what they believe".

Which is probably poorly phrased again but as I said, hypocrisy is easier

But is is only a theory...

OT: So what, this makes you agnostic? Or do you believe that the Smug is the one true source of evil and must be stopped at any cost?

EDIT: Can we just take a moment to think about how strange a word "smug" is? And now you're wondering if it even is a word.

CaptainMarvelous:
So then maybe I should go for atheism, but it seems like a lot of non-answers, the answer to questions with no answers being "Because it did" rather than "Something all powerful we don't understand did it", because the second one seems slightly more logical.

Wait, what? When did you get "because it did" as an answer? What were you even asking? Yeah, atheism doesn't have many answers. It's not a belief system. It says nothing other than "I lack a belief in god(s)". PEARLism, Humanistic Naturalism; those are belief systems with real answers and real grounding, but even then, the answer to questions such as "why are we here" is most likely going to be an "I don't know". Because it's true - we don't know. And not only do humanistic naturalists and PEARLists not know this; neither do Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or anyone else. The religions took a guess and decided "Eh, good enough" without ever really examining it further.

But mostly it's the sense of superiority by not having to believe in a God, the passing it off as 'oh, your imaginary friend' and such that just turned me off again, which left me with fewer options.

Hey, I feel mentally superior to the guy who believes that the government is made up primarily of lizard people, assuming all other factors to be equal, and I consider that entirely justified. When a person believes something despite a complete lack of evidence, when a person has faith, they have shown that their mental level is considerably lower than it ought to be in that regards.

Anyone else agreeing with me? Best thing to believe is that you can't be smug about what you believe and that believing/not-believing does not make you in anyway morally superior?

K, first of all, it's not "morally superior" with atheism. It's intellectually superior. Second of all, there's nothing smug about it - it's simply accurate. Granted, we can get pretty smug, but that has nothing to do with our belief system and everything to do with us as individuals. Also, it's worth noting that you technically are an atheist unless you explicitly hold a belief in god.

CaptainMarvelous:
So I've finally managed to pinpoint what my belief system would be, it took me a while but I think this works out well. See, part of me thinks I should follow my parents and go with the Christian route, but then again I don't think I completely agree with the Bible and I'm more than a little sick of people claiming evolution 'is only a theory' and that the earth is 6,000 years old since I've handled bones older than that and most especially, "WE'RE going to heaven, YOU'LL burn in hell". Not all Christians, but enough that I'm put off.

So then maybe I should go for atheism, but it seems like a lot of non-answers, the answer to questions with no answers being "Because it did" rather than "Something all powerful we don't understand did it", because the second one seems slightly more logical. But mostly it's the sense of superiority by not having to believe in a God, the passing it off as 'oh, your imaginary friend' and such that just turned me off again, which left me with fewer options.

Examined a few other alternatives, but once more Greek/Egyptian/Norse Gods and people who worship them tend to grate on me after a while for the same thing.

So I decided, I'm a Smugist. I like the idea of all belief systems and you are entitled to hold them but if your smug about it then ffs your brain is bankrupt and your first to be thrown to the zombies.

Anyone else agreeing with me? Best thing to believe is that you can't be smug about what you believe and that believing/not-believing does not make you in anyway morally superior?

P.S. It's surprisingly hard to express this view without being smug myself.

In determining the nature of the things around us, I use a combination of what I already know about a particular topic, what can I find out with additional research and probability. I don't like to take any pre-packaged position because they tend to be biased in one way or another. I rather examine things on an individual basis (it make take longer to do so but I end up knowing more in the end).
For me, choosing a religion is just a way of saying "I don't know but I want this and this to be true and it feels good when I think this way so there has to be something to it".

If no existing belief system suits you then make up your own. Look at the world around you and make your own conclusions.

I am actually understand exactly where you are coming from on this CaptainMarvelous. Stagnant your post is a perfect example of what he meant about smug atheists.

CaptainMarvelous:
I'm more than a little sick of people claiming evolution 'is only a theory' and that the earth is 6,000 years old since I've handled bones older than that and most especially, "WE'RE going to heaven, YOU'LL burn in hell". Not all Christians, but enough that I'm put off.

[...] So then maybe I should go for atheism, but it seems like a lot of non-answers, the answer to questions with no answers being "Because it did" rather than "Something all powerful we don't understand did it", because the second one seems slightly more logical.

[...] So I decided, I'm a Smugist. I like the idea of all belief systems and you are entitled to hold them but if your smug about it then ffs your brain is bankrupt and your first to be thrown to the zombies.

Sounds to me like you're conflating self-assurance with arrogance, and judging the percieved tone instead of the content.

When two opposing views are expressed with equal vigour, then it doesn't automatically or logically follow that the truth lies exactly halfway between them.

We've been raised in liberal, progressive schooling systems and have had drilled into us the ideas that compromise is good, absolutism is bad, that people's feelings trump observable evidence, and therefore we should constantly be open to relativistic and pluralistic thinking (what some cynical conservatives might call "doublethink"). Disabuse yourself of the idea that there are no absolutes in this world. Some statements are provably 100% false. Other statements, we can de facto decide are 100% false in the absence of compelling evidence.

This means we can reject tone-trolling as a legitimate tool in separating the truth from the bullshit. Yes, it's better to put your facts across in a pleasant and reasoned manner if you expect people to listen to you. But the validity or verity of a statement isn't proportional to the age of the speaker, or the amount of time they spent thinking about it, or the number of titles they have after their name. Case in point, when a Christian theologian who has dedicated his life to study of scripture declares that all evidence points to God existing, and some rude, abrupt, uneducated naif down the pub says "Nah, mate, God isn't real", guess who I'd agree with? The second guy.

A misguided mathematician could dedicate their life to trying to prove that 2+2=5, and yet, a parrot who's been trained to squawk "two plus two is four" is technically more correct than him.

Batou667:

We've been raised in liberal, progressive schooling systems and have had drilled into us the ideas that compromise is good, absolutism is bad, that people's feelings trump observable evidence, and therefore we should constantly be open to relativistic and pluralistic thinking (what some cynical conservatives might call "doublethink"). Disabuse yourself of the idea that there are no absolutes in this world. Some statements are provably 100% false. Other statements, we can de facto decide are 100% false in the absence of compelling evidence.

9_9

...Apparently, this 'relativism' is SO powerful, that the current crop of Conservatives has embraced it wholeheartedly.

arbane:

9_9

...Apparently, this 'relativism' is SO powerful, that the current crop of Conservatives has embraced it wholeheartedly.

A few miscreants invariably slip through the net. No doubt this is being addressed.

2_7

Danyal:

I first wanted to applaud you're "search for truth", but then I saw you rejected atheism because you didn't like some atheists.

In fairness, he also rejected Christianity because he didn't like some Christians.

tstorm823:
In fairness, he also rejected Christianity because he didn't like some Christians.

Actually, 'the world is 6000 year old' can be deduced from the Bible and 'Christians go to heaven, you aren't' can be deduced from the New Testament, making them both rather fundamental parts of Christianity. (But of course you can ignore them, like you can ignore anything)

His complaints about atheism?
-'The answer to questions without answers being non-answers'
-Some atheists talking about 'imaginary friends'

...

CaptainMarvelous:
So then maybe I should go for atheism, but it seems like a lot of non-answers, the answer to questions with no answers being

I just noticed this but seriously... one of your problems with atheism is that it's answer to questions with no answer is a non-answer?

Danyal:

Actually, 'the world is 6000 year old' can be deduced from the Bible and 'Christians go to heaven, you aren't' can be deduced from the New Testament, making them both rather fundamental parts of Christianity. (But of course you can ignore them, like you can ignore anything)

His complaints about atheism?
-'The answer to questions without answers being non-answers'
-Some atheists talking about 'imaginary friends'

...

Yes, go ahead and talk about absolute timelines from a book that includes the line "one day is like a thousand years." Clearly, the writers were all simpletons without any comprehension of rhetorical devices.

And obviously, it's impossible to not read the incredibly few and vague mentions of what we now call hell as anything but "Christians go to heaven, you aren't." I mean, it basically explicitly says that, right? Cause Christianity was totally an established sect when most of the books of the Bible were written.

But this is all totally relevant, because the original post totally said he doesn't want to be a Christian because of those possible beliefs, and not because he was "sick of people claiming" them. Saying his disdain for Christianity is based on the attitude of a few would be totally inaccurate.

Thank you so much for correcting my silly statement.

Being smug, arrogant, annoying, etc. has nothing to do with being correct.

The phrase 'to cut off one's nose to spite one's face' comes to mind, because it sounds like you're willing to reject the truth if you don't like the people you'd be agreeing with.

Yellowbeard:
Being smug, arrogant, annoying, etc. has nothing to do with being correct.

The phrase 'to cut off one's nose to spite one's face' comes to mind, because it sounds like you're willing to reject the truth if you don't like the people you'd be agreeing with.

This is not uncommon or even bad behavior among religious groups. And atheism, at least Internet- New Atheism, while not a religion exactly, is very much a religion-like social group. There is absolutely no reason anyone need associate with people whose attitudes and behavior are anti-social and arrogant.

Don't think of it as rejecting "truth" (because it's absurd to propose that atheists know the truth to an unprovable question). Think of it as rejecting the community.

Think of it this way, we don't have a word for people who don't play golf. Why would anyone define themselves as an anti-golfer? If someone wants to make such a group their welcome to, but demanding everyone else who doesn't play golf join their group just demonstrates their insecure need to form a political unit.

Not joining an -ism puts one in good company. Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to have abandoned the need to identify by which jersey he wears, and I don't think you could find someone more likely to know the truth about the Universe in our era.

Katatori-kun:
This is not uncommon or even bad behavior among religious groups. And atheism, at least Internet- New Atheism, while not a religion exactly, is very much a religion-like social group. There is absolutely no reason anyone need associate with people whose attitudes and behavior are anti-social and arrogant.

I said nothing about atheism (though you sure have), but personally I think it's VERY bad behaviour to pick-and-choose facts based on who you'd be agreeing with.

Katatori-kun:
Don't think of it as rejecting "truth" (because it's absurd to propose that atheists know the truth to an unprovable question). Think of it as rejecting the community.

Again with the atheists...anyway I wasn't talking about unprovable truths. There are many provable, factual truths that people reject because of their communal associations.

Katatori-kun:
Think of it this way, we don't have a word for people who don't play golf. Why would anyone define themselves as an anti-golfer? If someone wants to make such a group their welcome to, but demanding everyone else who doesn't play golf join their group just demonstrates their insecure need to form a political unit.

I agree, there's no explicit need to define one's self by what you are not. The OP, however, was talking about messing around with alternatives ("Greek/Egyptian/Norse Gods") as if you just pick a reality you like and then believe in it. I know lots of people think like that, but I think there's an odd omission of objective observation, or of the idea that the universe may not care what you think.

Katatori-kun:
Not joining an -ism puts one in good company. Neil deGrasse Tyson seems to have abandoned the need to identify by which jersey he wears, and I don't think you could find someone more likely to know the truth about the Universe in our era.

Not joining an -ism says nothing about your company. Atheist is just a descriptive word. I happen to find it accurate in describing myself, but it need no more associate me with Joesph Stalin than the colour of my skin and hair.

Edit*: I actually prefer anti-theist these days. It's a way better conversation starter, and it's accurate. Plus people aren't as used to it as "atheist," so they don't automatically assume everything about me. That said, I almost never get into these discussions in real life.

tstorm823:
Yes, go ahead and talk about absolute timelines from a book that includes the line "one day is like a thousand years." Clearly, the writers were all simpletons without any comprehension of rhetorical devices.

Ah, yes, the classic cop-out. Except it doesn't work, because it says that one day is like a thousand years, TO GOD. See, that last bit is the one you're ignoring. God didn't write the bible, so what view of time he had is completely and utterly irrelevant. It's the authors' view of time that matters. Do they in any way indicate that they themselves mean anything other than "day" when they say "day", or "year" when they say "year"?

tstorm823:
And obviously, it's impossible to not read the incredibly few and vague mentions of what we now call hell as anything but "Christians go to heaven, you aren't." I mean, it basically explicitly says that, right? Cause Christianity was totally an established sect when most of the books of the Bible were written.

I'm guessing you've already somehow managed to circumvent that time when Jesus said that there is no way into the kingdom of god but through him?

Yellowbeard:

Katatori-kun:
This is not uncommon or even bad behavior among religious groups. And atheism, at least Internet- New Atheism, while not a religion exactly, is very much a religion-like social group. There is absolutely no reason anyone need associate with people whose attitudes and behavior are anti-social and arrogant.

I said nothing about atheism (though you sure have)

So?

but personally I think it's VERY bad behaviour to pick-and-choose facts based on who you'd be agreeing with.

Who said anything about choosing "facts"?

I agree, there's no explicit need to define one's self by what you are not. The OP, however, was talking about messing around with alternatives ("Greek/Egyptian/Norse Gods") as if you just pick a reality you like and then believe in it. I know lots of people think like that, but I think there's an odd omission of objective observation, or of the idea that the universe may not care what you think.

It's a fallacy to presume any given religion attempts to make an objective statement about reality. That only describes an exoteric religious interpretation. Many religious interpretations are esoteric, meaning they don't make a claim about reality so much as use symbols to guide people on a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. In other words, choosing between Greek/Egyptian/Norse isn't a choice between different realities. It's a choice between different symbol sets for relating to reality.

This notion that all religions must be an alternate narrative to Truth is a lie propagated by Christian/Muslim fundamentalists and some anti-theists who like to use fundamentalism to undermine the whole of religion. It does not describe religion in the whole any more than "must sacrifice a goat to a mad ocelot god" does.

Elcarsh:

Ah, yes, the classic cop-out. Except it doesn't work, because it says that one day is like a thousand years, TO GOD. See, that last bit is the one you're ignoring. God didn't write the bible, so what view of time he had is completely and utterly irrelevant. It's the authors' view of time that matters. Do they in any way indicate that they themselves mean anything other than "day" when they say "day", or "year" when they say "year"?

Well, now you've set yourself up for failure. If you are saying the authors of the Bible are responsible for the content, you are inserting their fallibility. Thus, nobody should believe the earth is 6000 years old because the people writing that were probably wrong. If you believe that the Bible was divinely inspired, then the words and perspective of God are meant to be represented, and even though it is then complete truth, it also means something different than what we consider 6000 years. Either way, there is no particular reason for anyone to regard that timeline as historical...

I'm guessing you've already somehow managed to circumvent that time when Jesus said that there is no way into the kingdom of god but through him?

Jesus = God. God = All goodness in existance. There is no way into the kingdom of god but through goodness? Works for me.

Katatori-kun:

So?

So nothing important. Just poking fun.

Katatori-kun:

but personally I think it's VERY bad behaviour to pick-and-choose facts based on who you'd be agreeing with.

Who said anything about choosing "facts"?

I did, in the sentence you seemed to be responding to.

Katatori-kun:
It's a fallacy to presume any given religion attempts to make an objective statement about reality.

Surely it's not a fallacy to recognize that some do? I would never say that they ALL do, but perhaps I mistakenly interpreted CapMarvelous's idea of "answers" and "non-answers."

Yellowbeard:
Surely it's not a fallacy to recognize that some do? I would never say that they ALL do, but perhaps I mistakenly interpreted CapMarvelous's idea of "answers" and "non-answers."

I've been following religions for a long time. I grew up in a religious community, went to a religious undergraduate college, studied various non-Christian religions, and have exclusively dated women outside the religion I grew up in. I have yet to meet a single person who chooses their religion based on what exoteric "fact" they want to be true. I've yet to meet a single person who chooses their religion based on what reality they want to be true.[1] It almost always comes down to some combination of whether or not the rituals resonate with them emotionally or whether or not the community is a good fit. Which gets us back to the OP. He's not choosing between realities, he's choosing between communities.

[1] No wait, I'm wrong. I've met one. Some dork I knew in high school was into Wicca because he wanted to claim he could do magic and impress people by cursing everyone whom he ever thought did anything wrong to him. Then he discovered Wicca's rule that harm done by magic returns on the caster 7 times 7 or something like that, and suddenly decided he wasn't a Wiccan anymore. To date he is the only person I have ever met who chose his religion by "whatever gives the most plusses," and it's probably no surprise at all that his life pretty much revolved around table-top roleplaying games. But even in this case, we can't rule out social reasons for his religion over the exoteric ones- after all there is strong evidence that he claimed his religion as a form of rebellion, a way of impressing naive people and of cultivating an atmosphere of being spooky to freak out the squares. He wasn't so much picking a reality as he was picking a team jersey that he thought would get him scary cred.

CaptainMarvelous:

So then maybe I should go for atheism, but it seems like a lot of non-answers, the answer to questions with no answers being "Because it did" rather than "Something all powerful we don't understand did it", because the second one seems slightly more logical. But mostly it's the sense of superiority by not having to believe in a God, the passing it off as 'oh, your imaginary friend' and such that just turned me off again, which left me with fewer options.

So let me get this straight, some atheists are smug, so because of that you discard the whole notion?
And for the record, it only asks one question:
Do you believe in god/s??
If you answer no, you're an atheist.
If you want any other questions answered, look elsewhere.

Katatori-kun:

Don't think of it as rejecting "truth" (because it's absurd to propose that atheists know the truth to an unprovable question). Think of it as rejecting the community.

Think of it this way, we don't have a word for people who don't play golf. Why would anyone define themselves as an anti-golfer? If someone wants to make such a group their welcome to, but demanding everyone else who doesn't play golf join their group just demonstrates their insecure need to form a political unit.

When golfers start demanding that golfing be taught in school, or that politicians make laws based upon the rules of golfing, argue over which golf book is the correct one, what is metaphor and what is meant to be taken literally, then that would be an apt comparison. As it is it's worthless, you're comparing apples and meteors.
Tbh I never knew that atheism was rejecting the community to form a political unit for the insecure. Thanks Kat, you really opened my eyes!

Stublore:
Tbh I never knew that atheism was rejecting the community to form a political unit for the insecure. Thanks Kat, you really opened my eyes!

It's good that you've chosen to ignore my post and replace it with an imaginary version of your own creation. It protects you from encountering ideas that might threaten your preconceived notions.

tstorm823:
Well, now you've set yourself up for failure. If you are saying the authors of the Bible are responsible for the content, you are inserting their fallibility. Thus, nobody should believe the earth is 6000 years old because the people writing that were probably wrong. If you believe that the Bible was divinely inspired, then the words and perspective of God are meant to be represented, and even though it is then complete truth, it also means something different than what we consider 6000 years. Either way, there is no particular reason for anyone to regard that timeline as historical...

You're right, it's absolute bullshit; none of what's written in the Bible is reliable. Problem is, christians kinda believe that it is.

tstorm823:
Jesus = God. God = All goodness in existance. There is no way into the kingdom of god but through goodness? Works for me.

Christians; jumping through hoops since 34!

Katatori-kun:

Yellowbeard:
Surely it's not a fallacy to recognize that some do? I would never say that they ALL do, but perhaps I mistakenly interpreted CapMarvelous's idea of "answers" and "non-answers."

I've been following religions for a long time. I grew up in a religious community, went to a religious undergraduate college, studied various non-Christian religions, and have exclusively dated women outside the religion I grew up in. I have yet to meet a single person who chooses their religion based on what exoteric "fact" they want to be true. I've yet to meet a single person who chooses their religion based on what reality they want to be true. It almost always comes down to some combination of whether or not the rituals resonate with them emotionally or whether or not the community is a good fit. Which gets us back to the OP. He's not choosing between realities, he's choosing between communities.

Perhaps, since the OP talked of atheism (which is one of the most exoteric religious views) and Christianity (which is highly exoteric in most forms, especially in its major centers), he should think exoterically before accepting or rejecting them. I wouldn't judge, say, Native American spiritualism exoterically, but the OP was exploring two beliefs that make truth claims as central tenets.

CaptainMarvelous:

So then maybe I should go for atheism, but it seems like a lot of non-answers, the answer to questions with no answers being "Because it did" rather than "Something all powerful we don't understand did it", because the second one seems slightly more logical.

Atheists agree the second one is more logical. But the difference is religion posits that it was a deity and now we are done. Atheism posits that we dont know yet but the huge powerfull thing may be a physical occurance or law that we dont understand yet. It doesnt have to have a personality or a face. It could just be a force. Sometimes a non answer is the best answer.

To use an obviously bias example:

Light comes from a mountain top:

One man says its a unicorn horn.
Another many says he doesnt know what it is.

One is a non answer. One is a guess. Honestly in this case the non answer is the most honest representation of truth.

"Something all powerful we don't understand did it"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

Couldnt resist.

Id say that forming your views around how others are who share those views is a bit petty. To decide idea X is bad because the idea maker or follower is an idiot is silly. Would you disagree with evolution if darwin was a smug racist nazi? Of course not. The system and idea should appeal to you for its merits and not for its practitioners.

Im confused as to why you even need to decide. Do you not know if you think a giant dog headed god created the world and judgdes your life? Or a man with a hammer? Or jesus? Or nothing? Ive never been in a position where i just parused ideas and rejected/accepted them due to the personalities of those who held them. The idea that all are equally likely to be true to you and you could just as easily be atheist/christian/khaine culitist pegs you down as an agnostic.

EDIT:

Im not being smug here but your position is very unique and interesting to me. Dont take this as sarcasm or me being mean. It isnt.I d say if you want to worship something and care little for what god it is (evidenced by picking between all religions) why dont you just invent a deity with its own rules and morality and follow that in any unsmug way you want.

You shouldn't reject a belief system because of the craziness of the people who hold that belief.

At first I struggled with being an atheist. Every atheist website I visited was selling shirts of George Bush with a Hitler mustache, and ever atheist personality I was aware of constantly made comments like "Our president is a war criminal" or "Our troops are fascists" or "Capitalism is an oppressive system". I called myself an agnostic for many years until I realized that I should not deny what I am just because people who share my belief system are crazy.

I still don't understand the connection between being atheist and being radically left wing. I get the big Christian <-> Conservative connection, but why does not believing in god give you a bunch of radical political beliefs that have nothing to do with religion?

Elcarsh:

You're right, it's absolute bullshit; none of what's written in the Bible is reliable. Problem is, christians kinda believe that it is.

It's totally reliable.

Christians; jumping through hoops since 34!

I've jumped through more convoluted hoops before, and will jump through more convoluted hoops in the future. That doesn't make any of it invalid.

Katatori-kun:
It almost always comes down to some combination of whether or not the rituals resonate with them emotionally or whether or not the community is a good fit. Which gets us back to the OP. He's not choosing between realities, he's choosing between communities.

The point of my original post was that I think it's a bad thing to choose or reject beliefs based on the communities that hold them, and that there are probably more important things in having or not-having a belief than whether it makes you feel superior or smug (or not).

"Belief" being a slippery word, I was talking about things that CAN be objectively evaluated as facts, but if you want to talk about subjective beliefs, my point is still the same.

It's one thing to reject a community while holding the same "beliefs" on their own merit (in the spirit of Neil Tyson video you posted) and entirely another to change what you believe based on those communities, which is what the OP was talking about, although I'm not sure how seriously.

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