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Author Topic: If the Western view of God is the leading cause of atheism...  (Read 7299 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 23, 2010, 02:42:18 PM »

Depends on how you define atheist. Over the years I have several times been told I was an atheist when I wasn't, and also been told that I wasn't an atheist when I was. Seems like a fairly unstable word.

Considering that for a long time you have flaunted your dabbling in various non- or anti-Christian ideas, that is, when you're not broadcasting your waverings and perpetual indecision, can you really blame anyone for throwing his hands up and assuming you're an atheist?
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« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2010, 02:43:42 PM »

I don't think the Western world is the cause of all issues and sundry.  Roll Eyes There are atheists in the East, as well.
Yeah. Anyone remember the communist bolck?
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« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2010, 02:51:38 PM »

Depends on how you define atheist. Over the years I have several times been told I was an atheist when I wasn't, and also been told that I wasn't an atheist when I was. Seems like a fairly unstable word.

Considering that for a long time you have flaunted your dabbling in various non- or anti-Christian ideas, that is, when you're not broadcasting your waverings and perpetual indecision, can you really blame anyone for throwing his hands up and assuming you're an atheist?

No, I couldn't blame such a person. But in this case I am talking about deeper philosophical beliefs. There are Christians who think that there is no such thing as atheists, that people who call themselves atheists are just confused theists who are mad at God. Likewise, there are atheists who think that any time you show even the slightests doubt, that it demonstrates that you must be an atheist in your heart of hearts, and that you're just staying a Christian because you haven't quite broken the emotional ties.
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« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2010, 04:02:37 PM »

To be honest, I don't think that the theological mistakes of Western Christianity can be blamed by the current trends, not, at least, in a direct sense.

The West is the most succesful civilization that ever existed. I'm sorry, but it's not the Church's work to create civilizations, nor can it be judged over the its social engineering success. You know there is a succesful church somewhere because it produces saints, not philosophers, artists, scientists or more just societies.

In the fields of science and politics, the West is a model to be followed. In my opinion, the greatest achievements of the West are in the political fields. Hellenic democracy, the English-American ethos of restraining central power (at least a couple of centuries ago), the European-born concept of federalism (of which the most developed is the one in Switzerland), division of powers, a capitalist economy that is not over regulated nor un-regulated and based on the freedom to trade, the respect for freedom of speech, these all are the actual "secret" of the West. Not that we don't have bright achievements in arts and sciences. We do. But it is our particular political "phleroma" that has made the difference.

Atheism is on the rise today, in my opinion. for the same reason individualism in excess is: a globalized society, where we have access to everything, but to nothing that matters. Once we stop making sense out of the world, or of the society around us, we stop seeing God. It's a crisis of meaning in a world that is so fluid that people don't have much anything solid to hold to, thus,in a way or another, leading then to think that we are fluid ourselves, existing for a couple of seconds and fading into non-existance once again, like "everything else".
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« Reply #49 on: November 23, 2010, 04:05:55 PM »

To be honest, I don't think that the theological mistakes of Western Christianity can be blamed by the current trends, not, at least, in a direct sense.

The West is the most succesful civilization that ever existed. I'm sorry, but it's not the Church's work to create civilizations, nor can it be judged over the its social engineering success. You know there is a succesful church somewhere because it produces saints, not philosophers, artists, scientists or more just societies.

In the fields of science and politics, the West is a model to be followed. In my opinion, the greatest achievements of the West are in the political fields. Hellenic democracy, the English-American ethos of restraining central power (at least a couple of centuries ago), the European-born concept of federalism (of which the most developed is the one in Switzerland), division of powers, a capitalist economy that is not over regulated nor un-regulated and based on the freedom to trade, the respect for freedom of speech, these all are the actual "secret" of the West. Not that we don't have bright achievements in arts and sciences. We do. But it is our particular political "phleroma" that has made the difference.

Atheism is on the rise today, in my opinion. for the same reason individualism in excess is: a globalized society, where we have access to everything, but to nothing that matters. Once we stop making sense out of the world, or of the society around us, we stop seeing God. It's a crisis of meaning in a world that is so fluid that people don't have much anything solid to hold to, thus,in a way or another, leading then to think that we are fluid ourselves, existing for a couple of seconds and fading into non-existance once again, like "everything else".
I also think that atheism is on the rise because of the lack of clear thinking.
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« Reply #50 on: November 23, 2010, 04:41:38 PM »

I had no idea Asteriktos is/was atheist, are you still as such?

Generally agnostic is a more appropriate label, but it really depends on the day that you ask him. Sometimes he's Orthodox, other times agnostic, but I would say that he tends to fluctuate between only those two on a moment-by-moment basis. I don't recall, for example, him ever being into Hinduism or whatever.
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« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2010, 04:57:53 PM »

I also think that Asteriktos genuinely wants to be a good Christians. He just has struggles with his faith.
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« Reply #52 on: November 23, 2010, 05:28:14 PM »

I would also add that I became an atheist even though I was an Orthodox Christian and was familiar with Orthodox views.
I think that your case is a bit of a special one though. Wink

Anyway, it's not the Orthodox interpretations that keep you from becoming an atheist. But most atheists nowadays have been let down by Western theology. I believe that an atheist has more chances of converting/not leaving if he is closer to Eastern Christianity.

Perhaps, though I think a case can be made in the opposite direction: upon being exposed to Orthodoxy, someone has been exposed to the best version of Christianity there is. If even this version fails, then where has a person to go?

Is it the "version" of Christianity that fails, or is the fault with the person?
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« Reply #53 on: November 23, 2010, 05:58:17 PM »

I don't think the Western world is the cause of all issues and sundry.  Roll Eyes There are atheists in the East, as well.
Yeah. Anyone remember the communist bolck?

There's still China, of course.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2011, 09:47:48 PM »

As seen in the article "Preachers Who Are Not Believers", by Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola, one of the causes of atheism (in Western forms of Christianity) is an over-reliance on scripture understood in a literal, fundamentalist manner.
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« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2011, 10:34:32 PM »

As seen in the article "Preachers Who Are Not Believers", by Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola, one of the causes of atheism (in Western forms of Christianity) is an over-reliance on scripture understood in a literal, fundamentalist manner.

I think that disappointment is the starting point for their apostasy. If Baptists, disappointment that even after conversion, a Christian may still sin, thus negating the once saved, always saved doctrine. For others, it may be the realization that sola scriptura is meaningless as an operational doctrine because they realize that it is never the scripture itself but one's own interpretation that one believes in and relies upon. In either case, their religion becomes subjective, leading to the elevation of self over the Church and eventually (and I think naturally) over God.
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« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2011, 03:35:46 AM »

I am going to go out and prove how new a convert I really am, so please forgive me beforehand. 

"Atheist" is a title made by man, no? We either serve God or ?  Didn't the serpent tempt Eve to take the fruit because if she did, she would no longer need to rely on God.  It is all our struggle to serve self, or God. Do we acknowledge our need for him or indulge the carnal? To deny the existence of God is the indulgence of the flesh, the carnal, that this is it, there is nothing more, no spirit, no soul.  It is believing the deceitful whisper of the serpent that we have no more need of God because our "reason" has no proof of him.

So is   "the Western view of God the leading cause of atheism" ? I can't say if the word "atheism" was used pre "western view", but it seems to me it is like asking if the "jehovah witness" are new, their heresies are old, they claim their belief goes back to Adam.  Perhaps they are right, just not the way they mean.

Is atheism ( or denial of God) not our struggle as individuals?  Our salvation most certainly is not in the "Western View", it is the Orthodox way or practice.

I hope this makes sense.




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« Reply #57 on: December 05, 2011, 06:26:49 AM »

I think a lot of it has to do with comfort. Western countries are comfy. "Why do I need God if I'm comfy?" some say.  "There are no atheist in fox holes." is one of my favorite phrases.  

A concept of Orthodoxy that has blown my mind is self denial. I didn't find this much in my Western experiences. ASCETICISM. If we want a healthy mind we must exercise it. Certain mental exercises can reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer's. I feel it is the same for our spiritual life.

There was a recent thread, "Black Catholics' survey finds strong ties, strong engagement in church" http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,41408.msg675361.html#msg675361 I think the reason for this is because historically African Americans have faced way more adversity than whites. For many, faith in God, is what is getting them through it all.

I know the economic recession is terrible and I hope we get out of it soon, but I also hope that many Westerners can use it as an opportunity to grow in Christ.

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« Reply #58 on: December 05, 2011, 12:06:05 PM »

Duplicate, sorry.
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« Reply #59 on: December 09, 2011, 11:44:26 PM »

I definitely see a connection between atheism and western theology. I'm a recent convert into Orthodoxy and I grew up in an extremely Protestant home. I think the issue many people have is that in our Western world we place so much of an emphasis on empirical reasoning and knowledge. And then, combining that with literalist Protestant interpretations which, sorry to offend anyone, are sometimes absurd. Such as a 6,000 year old Earth or literal Creation or rejection of evolution. While on the other hand, Orthodoxy has never really had this problem because our theology is so mystical and philosophical compared to empirical. Anyway, getting back on track, I hope I am not scapegoating, but I think that Protestantism is one of the leading causes of atheism, because everything is taken literally and combining that with western thought that demands reason, we see that it could not have been literal and atheists have a hard time trying to understand how Protestants can believe this against all reason.

On the other hand though, then you have Roman Catholicism, albeit, they are not as silly as some Protestant denominations, but, they devote so much time in trying to find empirical explanations to mysteries about God and miracles and all. One of the atheists in here said somewhere that one of the Church Fathers said that a person cannot think their way into the Church or else they will think their way out, I think that he may have had a point, provided the context is correct. For example, let's admit it, there are some things about God and the universe that we can understand, whether empirical, abstract or philosophical. But, there are certain things that we truly never will be able to understand about God, religion and miracles and everything. I think what the Church Father meant, and it is a relevent issue in today's society, is when we try to find answers to these certain problems. What is going to happen is that we are going to craft together an explanation that seems rational, and we will think our way into the Church because of this, but then, just as we thought of an explanation, we will also think even more and will eventually realize how our original explanation was insubstantial and does not make sense. This is perfectly natural because we are talking about the most confusing, deepest questions in the world here. We are bound to make mistakes. Therefore, we are going to leave the Church because of this.

I think that this is what the Father was talking about. Orthodox Christians on the other hand have the distinction between God's essences and His energies.The parts we can understand are through His energies, but the parts we cannot understand are associated with God's essence. When I converted, this is one of the primary things that drew me towards Orthodoxy. I recognized that no matter what you are, there are some questions we can understand and some that we cannot. And I appreciated the honestly and realized that no worldview is without its own mysteries. I think that one of the reasons why people may reject Orthodoxy is that we, as humans, do not like accepting the things we cannot understand. We like to think that we can come to know and understand everything about our world. But, that usually fails. Because when Christians try to do that, mostly in Catholicism or Protestantism, it only leads to pseudo-science, logical fallacy and delusion, as any atheist would agree. I am no stranger to the atheist literature in today's times, and, to be honest, it is no different than the arguments used all throughout history. However, getting on topic, most of these books are aimed at refuting these absurd logical claims about Christianity that Protestants and Catholics make.

And, on top of this, many of the atheist authors do not honestly understand Christianity, at least Orthodoxy, and usually just attack strawmen or crazy Protestant conventions. It is amazing. As I studied Orthodox theology more, I realized that 60% of the atheistic doubts to Christianity were answered by this. And, I honestly feel bad for my atheist peers because Western Christianity is feeding them absurdity andyou cannot blame them for rjeecting it, the only issue is that they are associating all Christianity with these absurdities. I did not convert until a few months ago, right now I'm fifteen years old. A few years ago I was an atheist leaning towards Buddhist concepts about the world.
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« Reply #60 on: December 09, 2011, 11:49:52 PM »

 Roll Eyes Sure, because the 'Eastern view of God' never causes atheists- never mind all those atheists in Japan, China, India and so forth. There's an awful lot of growth in atheism over there, too. Then again, that doesn't fit in with the premise that 'the West' is the source of everything bad, so I guess I'd better get used to hearing this particular broken record some more.
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« Reply #61 on: December 09, 2011, 11:52:26 PM »

I definitely see a connection between atheism and western theology. I'm a recent convert into Orthodoxy and I grew up in an extremely Protestant home. I think the issue many people have is that in our Western world we place so much of an emphasis on empirical reasoning and knowledge. And then, combining that with literalist Protestant interpretations which, sorry to offend anyone, are sometimes absurd. Such as a 6,000 year old Earth or literal Creation or rejection of evolution. While on the other hand, Orthodoxy has never really had this problem because our theology is so mystical and philosophical compared to empirical. Anyway, getting back on track, I hope I am not scapegoating, but I think that Protestantism is one of the leading causes of atheism, because everything is taken literally and combining that with western thought that demands reason, we see that it could not have been literal and atheists have a hard time trying to understand how Protestants can believe this against all reason. On the other hand though, then you have Roman Catholicism, albeit, they are not as silly as some Protestant denominations, but, they devote so much time in trying to find empirical explanations to mysteries about God and miracles and all. One of the atheists in here said somewhere that one of the Church Fathers said that a person cannot think their way into the Church or else they will think their way out, I think that he may have had a point, provided the context is correct. For example, let's admit it, there are some things about God and the universe that we can understand, whether empirical, abstract or philosophical. But, there are certain things that we truly never will be able to understand about God, religion and miracles and everything. I think what the Church Father meant, and it is a relevent issue in today's society, is when we try to find answers to these certain problems. What is going to happen is that we are going to craft together an explanation that seems rational, and we will think our way into the Church because of this, but then, just as we thought of an explanation, we will also think even more and will eventually realize how our original explanation was insubstantial and does not make sense. This is perfectly natural because we are talking about the most confusing, deepest questions in the world here. We are bound to make mistakes. Therefore, we are going to leave the Church because of this. I think that this is what the Father was talking about. Orthodox Christians on the other hand have the distinction between God's essences and His energies.The parts we can understand are through His energies, but the parts we cannot understand are associated with God's essence. When I converted, this is one of the primary things that drew me towards Orthodoxy. I recognized that no matter what you are, there are some questions we can understand and some that we cannot. And I appreciated the honestly and realized that no worldview is without its own mysteries. I think that one of the reasons why people may reject Orthodoxy is that we, as humans, do not like accepting the things we cannot understand. We like to think that we can come to know and understand everything about our world. But, that usually fails. Because when Christians try to do that, mostly in Catholicism or Protestantism, it only leads to pseudo-science, logical fallacy and delusion, as any atheist would agree. I am no stranger to the atheist literature in today's times, and, to be honest, it is no different than the arguments used all throughout history. However, getting on topic, most of these books are aimed at refuting these absurd logical claims about Christianity that Protestants and Catholics make. And, on top of this, many of the atheist authors do not honestly understand Christianity, at least Orthodoxy, and usually just attack strawmen or crazy Protestant conventions. It is amazing. As I studied Orthodox theology more, I realized that 60% of the atheistic doubts to Christianity were answered by this. And, I honestly feel bad for my atheist peers because Western Christianity is feeding them absurdity andyou cannot blame them for rjeecting it, the only issue is that they are associating all Christianity with these absurdities. I did not convert until a few months ago, right now I'm fifteen years old. A few years ago I was an atheist leaning towards Buddhist concepts about the world.

James do yourself a favor by doing others a favor.

Use white space.

More than you normally would in English stylistics.

People ain't just reading this stuff on computer screens.

They read it on smaller devices with tiny screens.

Your posts will be read more often and easily.

FWIW.
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« Reply #62 on: December 09, 2011, 11:57:12 PM »

I second that. I don't mean to be rude but when there aren't paragraphs I just don't read something, it is too difficult to parse. I think they call it 'wall of text.'
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« Reply #63 on: December 09, 2011, 11:59:05 PM »

I second that. I don't mean to be rude but when there aren't paragraphs I just don't read something, it is too difficult to parse. I think they call it 'wall of text.'

Really "paragraphs" are too long for a chat board of this sort.

For most discussions at least.
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« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2011, 12:08:25 AM »

There, I broke it into paragraphs. You gents happy now?  Tongue
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« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2011, 12:15:36 AM »

There, I broke it into paragraphs. You gents happy now?  Tongue

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« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2011, 02:11:45 AM »

I realized that 100% of the atheistic doubts to Christianity were answered by this.
Fixed that for you.
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« Reply #67 on: May 01, 2012, 11:40:21 AM »

I think the Western view of God had an impact on Teresa MacBain.

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MacBain glances nervously around the room. It's a Sunday, and normally she would be preaching at her church in Tallahassee, Fla. But here she is, sneaking away to the American Atheists' convention in Bethesda, Md.
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« Reply #68 on: May 01, 2012, 11:49:08 AM »

What an unfortunate situation.  Undecided
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« Reply #69 on: May 01, 2012, 12:32:20 PM »

In a way, it's not really so unfortunate. The lady is no longer at war with herself, and an atheist is no longer leading the congregation. Sounds like a win-win to me.

But there are some things that are very revealing, like when she says that what she misses most about her old life is the music and the friendships, and of course not God. I suppose it would be hard to miss God if you do not believe in Him, but one wonders just what many people are doing in church (in any part of the world) if what they get out of it is music and friends. I can listen to religious chant on my own, and I can call friends on my own, whether they're friends from church or not. What I can't do is be transformed by the body and blood of Jesus Christ on my own. That's the problem of religion for many people: It doesn't really offer anything that can't be satisfied by other experiences outside of church, usually without the associated downsides (as mentioned in the article: fear of not being "good enough" for God, dreading Sunday morning, etc). Is that the fault of the West in general? I don't know. I wouldn't make such a strong connection, but I do know that if I had stayed a Roman Catholic I would have ended up an agnostic (which was what I was before I was RC), perhaps eventually moving on to atheism. I felt like I had sort of reached the end of the road as far as my experience of Christianity in the RC...that I could go no further because their way of being Christian did not involve the whole life.

So it's not Western societies' fault (I still live in a Western society Smiley), but certainly somebody out there revived the dualism of the Gnostics and recast it as mainstream Christianity, and they are at fault. And to the extent that so many believers have done the same (even while still calling themselves Christian, be they Orthodox, Catholic, or whatever), they too are at fault. You nourish atheism when you divide the spiritual from the physical world. How else do you think the lady in that NPR story can found an atheist ex-pastors' organization for, as her website puts it, "former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs"? Supernatural? It wouldn't make sense to think of religion in such terms if you had not divorced God completely from the natural world. Certainly this is not something God did when He took human flesh and truly lived among us, complete and 100% real (as in, existing in the natural world) in His humanity and His divinity, without compromise, mixture, or confusion.

This is why, by the way, I don't feel the contradiction between science and religion that many apparently do. They may answer different questions or have different standards or conceptions of evidence, but they don't exist on different ontological planes unless you make them do so. I'm happy as a linguist and I'm happy as a Christian, and what is unfortunate to me is that when I tell people that they think I must of course be compromising one or the other. Sorry, but I won't cede "free thought" to the new atheists, no matter how reasonably or dispassionately some of you try to present your arguments. Wink
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« Reply #70 on: May 01, 2012, 12:36:56 PM »

Very unfortunate. Prayers.
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« Reply #71 on: May 01, 2012, 12:38:56 PM »

In a way, it's not really so unfortunate. The lady is no longer at war with herself, and an atheist is no longer leading the congregation. Sounds like a win-win to me.

But there are some things that are very revealing, like when she says that what she misses most about her old life is the music and the friendships, and of course not God. I suppose it would be hard to miss God if you do not believe in Him, but one wonders just what many people are doing in church (in any part of the world) if what they get out of it is music and friends. I can listen to religious chant on my own, and I can call friends on my own, whether they're friends from church or not. What I can't do is be transformed by the body and blood of Jesus Christ on my own. That's the problem of religion for many people: It doesn't really offer anything that can't be satisfied by other experiences outside of church, usually without the associated downsides (as mentioned in the article: fear of not being "good enough" for God, dreading Sunday morning, etc). Is that the fault of the West in general? I don't know. I wouldn't make such a strong connection, but I do know that if I had stayed a Roman Catholic I would have ended up an agnostic (which was what I was before I was RC), perhaps eventually moving on to atheism. I felt like I had sort of reached the end of the road as far as my experience of Christianity in the RC...that I could go no further because their way of being Christian did not involve the whole life.

So it's not Western societies' fault (I still live in a Western society Smiley), but certainly somebody out there revived the dualism of the Gnostics and recast it as mainstream Christianity, and they are at fault. And to the extent that so many believers have done the same (even while still calling themselves Christian, be they Orthodox, Catholic, or whatever), they too are at fault. You nourish atheism when you divide the spiritual from the physical world. How else do you think the lady in that NPR story can found an atheist ex-pastors' organization for, as her website puts it, "former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs"? Supernatural? It wouldn't make sense to think of religion in such terms if you had not divorced God completely from the natural world. Certainly this is not something God did when He took human flesh and truly lived among us, complete and 100% real (as in, existing in the natural world) in His humanity and His divinity, without compromise, mixture, or confusion.

This is why, by the way, I don't feel the contradiction between science and religion that many apparently do. They may answer different questions or have different standards or conceptions of evidence, but they don't exist on different ontological planes unless you make them do so. I'm happy as a linguist and I'm happy as a Christian, and what is unfortunate to me is that when I tell people that they think I must of course be compromising one or the other. Sorry, but I won't cede "free thought" to the new atheists, no matter how reasonably or dispassionately some of you try to present your arguments. Wink
I don't understand your characterization of Catholicism. For me, there is not Christianity apart from the Church.The faith can't be practiced apart from the Church. For me, it's Catholicism or agnosticism.
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« Reply #72 on: May 01, 2012, 12:45:12 PM »

Of course you don't; you're not me. Were you me, you would have made my decision and would now be counting down the days to your baptism into the Orthodox faith. Grin

Point being: In the wider context of the post, I was making the point that while I can't blame some sort of nebulous "West" for atheism, my own personal experience of Western theology (in the RCC, but of course the lady in the story was Methodist, John Shelby Sprong was/is Anglican, etc.) was certainly heading in that direction more than to salvation or Theosis or whatever you'd call the alternative. I think many people (both those who became atheists and those who became Orthodox, and probably still others who I can't conceive of, like the many new Muslim converts) could tell similar stories.
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« Reply #73 on: May 01, 2012, 12:49:35 PM »

Insofar as "Western" Christianity (in certain circles) tends to really emphasize eternal hell, then it can easily lead to a counter-reaction, to atheism, as clergy-turned-atheist/agnostic/skeptic DeWitt notes:

Quote
DeWitt’s transition from true believer to total skeptic took 25 years. It began, he said, with the idea of hell. How could it be, as he had been taught and preached, that a loving God would damn most people to eternal fire? “This thing called hell, it began to rock my world,” he said.

From there he read about universalism -- the idea, scorned by most fundamentalist Christians, that salvation is universal, and all people will be restored in their relationship with God without any action on their own part. After universalism, he discovered the idea, supported by some neuroscientists, that God is actually our inner dialogue.

“I went from God loves everybody to God saves everybody to God is in everybody,” he said. “When you come from where I come from ... it’s not too long before you are” at the American Atheists convention.
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« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2012, 01:47:24 PM »

It was a Marxist state, and where did Marxism come from and which conception of God was Marx aware of when he spoke ill of religion? The western version. Likewise, in Russia, even though it was not the first atheist state, many Bolsheviks wanted to modernize Russia and the West has always been the pinnacle of modernization, so, what does all this tell you?
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« Reply #75 on: May 01, 2012, 04:30:58 PM »

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If the Western view of God is the leading cause of atheism... then why did an Orthodox country become the first atheist state?

I would also add that I became an atheist even though I was an Orthodox Christian and was familiar with Orthodox views.

Of course, you should remember that, while you were familiar with Orthodox views, you were nonetheless still brought up in, taught within, and permeated by, western culture (whatever that is).
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« Reply #76 on: May 01, 2012, 04:33:34 PM »

Quote
If the Western view of God is the leading cause of atheism... then why did an Orthodox country become the first atheist state?

I would also add that I became an atheist even though I was an Orthodox Christian and was familiar with Orthodox views.

Of course, you should remember that, while you were familiar with Orthodox views, you were nonetheless still brought up in, taught within, and permeated by, western culture (whatever that is).

Are you, uh... Are you talking to yourself?

I also feel the need to tell you that I promise I'm not stalking you around the forum.
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« Reply #77 on: May 01, 2012, 04:49:41 PM »

Quote
If the Western view of God is the leading cause of atheism... then why did an Orthodox country become the first atheist state?

I would also add that I became an atheist even though I was an Orthodox Christian and was familiar with Orthodox views.

Of course, you should remember that, while you were familiar with Orthodox views, you were nonetheless still brought up in, taught within, and permeated by, western culture (whatever that is).

Are you, uh... Are you talking to yourself?

I also feel the need to tell you that I promise I'm not stalking you around the forum.

This is good. The concept of stalking + that avatar is somewhat disturbing. So cute and cuddly... I bet it's hiding something!

But yes, I often respond to myself years later  Grin  When I say that I'm skeptical, I don't just mean I'm skeptical of what other people say... I'm also more than happy to critique my own claims (to a fault).
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« Reply #78 on: May 01, 2012, 09:54:03 PM »

Most modern atheism is taught through schools, television (such as the history channel speaking of the big bang, evolution etc.), and people not wanting to be accountable for what they do.

Also I think lying to children has contributed, as Santa Clause (a mythical good being) is known as truth, and later you find out its fake.

Then there are the God blamers - "How could God let my puppy die".

There is a lot that contributes to atheism, but I do believe that the media is contributing the most to the cause.

Western Christianity, though I disagree with on several levels, I don't believe cause people to become atheists.
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« Reply #79 on: May 01, 2012, 09:59:18 PM »

It was a Marxist state, and where did Marxism come from and which conception of God was Marx aware of when he spoke ill of religion? The western version. Likewise, in Russia, even though it was not the first atheist state, many Bolsheviks wanted to modernize Russia and the West has always been the pinnacle of modernization, so, what does all this tell you?

Dude, you really need to chill out on this whole "Eastern" thing.

It is Coke and Pepsi. Same metaphysics in two slightly different tastes.
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« Reply #80 on: May 01, 2012, 10:04:02 PM »

It was a Marxist state, and where did Marxism come from and which conception of God was Marx aware of when he spoke ill of religion? The western version. Likewise, in Russia, even though it was not the first atheist state, many Bolsheviks wanted to modernize Russia and the West has always been the pinnacle of modernization, so, what does all this tell you?

Nothing.
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« Reply #81 on: May 01, 2012, 10:31:42 PM »

I am also confused by what James is trying to prove. Because of the association of the West with modernism, therefore the West is in trouble or at fault...or something. Furthermore, if it has always been so, then what do we make about Rome's Orthodox period (which was not just a few years under influence of the Greeks in Italy or what have you, but many, many centuries in places far away from "Eastern" societies)?

Really, this reasoning reminds me of the most ignorant Islamic fundamentalism, not Christian Orthodoxy.

"While writing a thesis for the University of London in 1948, I paid considerable attention to Islamic societies -- Turkish, Iranian, Afghanistan and Pakistan. When I look at Turkey and Pakistan, I would say that Pakistan is much more religious than Turkey. This is partly because Pakistan uses Arabic characters to write Urdu while Turkey opted for Latin at the rise to power of Kemal Ataturk. Somalis today do not take their religion half as seriously as the Pakistanis. What would happen to us twenty years from now if we were to use Roman characters?" -- Somali intellectual Maxamuud Axmed Cali, quoted in David D. Laitin "Politics, Language, and Thought: The Somali Experience", on the Somali national script issue. These same religious folk in Somalia created a slogan to campaign against the use of the Latin script in the 1960s-1970s. I think some of you would agree with it: Latiin laa diin, or "Latin is faithless" -- meaning "Latin = Western = Godless". There ya go...a good "Eastern" mindset for you fetishists. Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 10:33:40 PM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #82 on: May 02, 2012, 01:14:14 AM »

*whispers* hyperdox Herman
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