Religious people arguing as if there is a personal or even a financial profit from the existance for a god
Posted: 18 September 2007 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am generally in favor of analyzing the arguments of people, without trying to understand their psychology, since it is irrelevant to their arguments.

But when talking to religious people (even to moderate ones), I found out that thinking of our talk as an intellectual exchange of ideas is a bad way to describe the situation. Instead, I feel as if the person I am talking to has a vested interest in defending his idea, which he doesn’t show. As if I am talking to a salesman. Or, if that is not a fundie that tries to convert me but a liberal, as if I am talking to a person that has FINANCIAL PROFIT from the idea that there is a god, and that is the reason he tries to defend this point of view.


In the same manner, I do not like marxist analysis of church history as analyzed only from the point of view of power-seeking, since the evidence for it, is usually assumed instead of proven. But church-history indeed makes more sense, if viewed if not as part of the history of ideas, but as if each religious person (and not only the priests) gets money from the idea that there is a certain type of god, and so the different trade unions try to secure their finances for their source of income. Though again, analyzing history of ideas from a sociological point of view seems an injustice to the ideas.

What do you make of it?

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Posted: 18 September 2007 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, part of the general religious ideology is that only members of their religion have access to eternal life, the blessings of God, or some other holy jackpot. So they are prone (even on what appears to them to be totally altruistic grounds) to try to get you to “see the light” ...

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Posted: 18 September 2007 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The extremely despisable are those that do not state their reasons explicitly.

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Posted: 18 September 2007 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I think they do have a financial interest in a God.  It is an effective form of synthetic happiness (or actual happiness).  Religion, until more recent times, had a monopoly on providing esteem, love, belonging and maybe self actualization.  Not believing in God can be difficult.  Being an atheist/agnostic is kind of like doing your own taxes.  It is potentially more rewarding, harder to do, but gets easier with experience.  I can see why religous faithful want to tell me to go to H&R block, it’s convenient not to think all the time.

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Posted: 18 September 2007 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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wandering - 18 September 2007 06:41 AM

As if I am talking to a salesman.

I’ve had the same experience with these people. Most seem to offer nothing but the discourse of a salesman.

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Posted: 18 September 2007 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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does the belief in God increase profit?

it depends on whether you sit in the pew or are behind the pulpit.

those in the pew are generally at a 10% loss while those behind the pulpit make a comfortable living.

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Posted: 18 September 2007 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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truthaddict - 18 September 2007 10:45 AM

does the belief in God increase profit?

it depends on whether you sit in the pew or are behind the pulpit.

those in the pew are generally at a 10% loss while those behind the pulpit make a comfortable living.

For them, their 10% material revenue loss is worth the proposed promise of life everlasting.

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Posted: 18 September 2007 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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morgantj - 18 September 2007 10:39 AM
wandering - 18 September 2007 06:41 AM

As if I am talking to a salesman.

I’ve had the same experience with these people. Most seem to offer nothing but the discourse of a salesman.

I would not be bothered if it were this way with preachers. The issue is that even friends, or normal people, or liberal religious persons who are not interested in converts, when their faith is brought into question, treat it as if they have a vested financial interest to protective with every smoke screen that is possible.

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Posted: 18 September 2007 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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truthaddict - 18 September 2007 10:45 AM

does the belief in God increase profit?

it depends on whether you sit in the pew or are behind the pulpit.

those in the pew are generally at a 10% loss while those behind the pulpit make a comfortable living.

I did not mean an explicit profit. Even those behind the pew, when asked to prove their faith act exactly, as if they have a financial interest, or as if they are covering the back a friend that screw-up.

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Posted: 18 September 2007 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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wandering - 18 September 2007 11:02 AM
morgantj - 18 September 2007 10:39 AM
wandering - 18 September 2007 06:41 AM

As if I am talking to a salesman.

I’ve had the same experience with these people. Most seem to offer nothing but the discourse of a salesman.

I would not be bothered if it were this way with preachers. The issue is that even friends, or normal people, or liberal religious persons who are not interested in converts, when their faith is brought into question, treat it as if they have a vested financial interest to protective with every smoke screen that is possible.

There it is. This “faith” again, which they hold so dear. My understanding of “faith” is that it is to believe in something in which you have no proof of. So It’s no wonder they try hold on to and protect this, because if they don’t, thier fantasy land comes crumbling down. It seems like a requirement to the religion, “believe in this, in which there is no proof, and you will be rewarded. Nobody says it that way though, when faith is sold by their salesman, it’s more like, “Ye who hath faith in god, shall live forever in his name” blah blah… It sells better.

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Posted: 18 September 2007 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Being an atheist/agnostic is kind of like doing your own taxes.  It is potentially more rewarding, harder to do, but gets easier with experience.  I can see why religous faithful want to tell me to go to H&R block, it’s convenient not to think all the time.

Fantastic! I love this simile and intend to shamelessly steal it often. Thanks!

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Posted: 19 September 2007 04:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Can you explain the simile for me?  I’m not american

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Posted: 19 September 2007 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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wandering - 19 September 2007 04:03 AM

Can you explain the simile for me?  I’m not american

In the US there is an old saying “The only reliable things in life are death & taxes.” 

Every year it is your responsibility to file your taxes.  If you don’t you get fined or even audited by the government.  Some people learn to fill them out themselves and nit pick tax deductible items in order to get more money back from their withholdings.  There are thousands of beneficial loopholes such as, teachers can write off some expenses for school supplies, but it gets increasingly more complicated to make these claims on your tax forms.  Many people pay tax professionals to take care of these forms for them.  H&R block is a popular tax professional agency.

I suppose this is a bad example for me personally because I am passionate about religion & philosophy and take the time to learn about them, while I have recently started outsourcing my taxes to professionals after making a mistake a couple years ago.  But that is just it, some people find religion & philosophy to be complicated and become cognitive misers when they hear these discussions.  This is why I am a militant atheist only towards evangelical/ fundamental religions.  The average religious person just wants to outsource the stress that comes from looking for the meaning of life, whether they are conscious of this or not.

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