But.... WHY bother doing it?

General discussions
Post Reply
Barny
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:32 pm

But.... WHY bother doing it?

Post by Barny » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:34 pm

I have friends who say they are catholics and go to church. When I asked questions like "do you believe in the virgin birth", "that Jesus was the son of god and was god" they complained that I was saying they believed what the church was saying. They said they only believed in some of the things. When I pointed out that they didnt need religion to believe in god they looked at me like I had two heads. They then started to defend the church (weakly). I again pointed out that there was alot about the church they didnt believe, so why defend it? They got really angry again and said that I wasnt listening to them, that they didnt believe everything the church says. They were pretty much saying they were catholic and chuch goers but didnt believe most of what the church is saying.

I am confused by their reasons to go to church but this seems to be the case for a lot of people. They even said the sex scandals were an Irish problem, when I said that it was happening everywhere, Canada, Beligum, Germany, Austria Ect, she seemed more angry and dumb struck at being wrong then at the churches wrongdoing. I dont think I am really intelligant, there are a lot of different things out there I probally will never fully understand, but surely even an idiot can see the hypocrisy in their words and actions.

When I asked my mother why she was a catholic and not a jew or muslim she said,"because they have to do what their religion says, catholics can do what they want." So, does that mean If the pope had a clampdown on the flock would more people leave because they arent doing what they want?

As long as the church turns the head to the odd "sin" it will always remain the no1 religion in Ireland because the truth is people are too lazy to follow Islam.

Does anyone have any idea why no one wants to think logically about what is probally the biggest and most important debate of al time?
You can lead a fool to wisdom but you cant make him think.
Dev
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 914
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:10 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: But.... WHY bother doing it?

Post by Dev » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:53 pm

It does sound like your friends believe what they find comforting and aren't trying to accept what reality supports. Many feel that religion is inherently good and questioning it is simply being an unnecessary rebellious prick rather than a healthy skeptic. Them not accepting facts either about the abuses perpetrated by the church suggests at least as much.

You did one thing right though. Trying to separate to what they actually believe and what the church teaches. Many people are actually deists even when they identify with a religion. Catholics who don't believe in hell are as common as muck; this pick and choose Catholicism is often called cafeteria Catholicism or á la carte Catholicism. Which raises the question - what can one pick and choose and how?

If they don't believe in the virgin birth and transubstantiation, ask them what separates them from Protestants? I think you'll find that they are culturally Catholic rather than religiously Catholic.

Most people do wish to think about religion - rather they just don't want to be critical of it as you say. A lot of it stems from this social taboo of "having respect for religion". You'll find the same people will laugh at you if you said you believed in ghosts. Change that to holy ghost and there seems to be a paradigm shift in the attitude of the discussion.
aZerogodist
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Co. CORK
Contact:

Re: But.... WHY bother doing it?

Post by aZerogodist » Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:40 pm

Dev wrote:Most people do wish to think about religion - rather they just don't want to be critical of it as you say. A lot of it stems from this social taboo of "having respect for religion". You'll find the same people will laugh at you if you said you believed in ghosts. Change that to holy ghost and there seems to be a paradigm shift in the attitude of the discussion.
:) very good
Ygern
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 3003
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:02 pm
Location: Cork
Contact:

Re: But.... WHY bother doing it?

Post by Ygern » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:08 pm

Agree with what Dev says. Most people don't even think about these things. That's sometimes not entirely their fault, they're grown up to accept the status quo and it's never occurred to them to challenge it or even think about it critically.

So when you come along and start asking these sorts of questions they have two problems: they have no answers for you because they haven't ever given the matter any genuine thought, and the only things they can think of on the spur of the moment tend to be bits of illogical dogma that were drilled into them at some stage that surface automatically.

Go gently, let them have some time to think about it. They surprise you pleasantly some day.
The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time ~ Lawrence Krauss
Cork Skeptics
Ter
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:55 pm

Re: But.... WHY bother doing it?

Post by Ter » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:45 pm

I have to agree with Dev, religion is comfortable and familiar to many people, and lets not forgot that the fact that your as good as told not to question it, I remember well the reaction I got when I had the audacity to question the catholic faith at about age 14, kept my opinions to myself for a while after that.

I really surprised myself recently at a first communion when I started chanting along with the old prayers, I'm blaming peer pressure, everyone else was doing it. So there may be societal factors at work for many people also, in that they are simply doing what they feel is expected of them.
aZerogodist
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:04 pm
Location: Co. CORK
Contact:

Re: But.... WHY bother doing it?

Post by aZerogodist » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:07 am

Ter wrote:I really surprised myself recently at a first communion when I started chanting along with the old prayers, I'm blaming peer pressure, everyone else was doing it. So there may be societal factors at work for many people also, in that they are simply doing what they feel is expected of them.
I know that pressure, but just cannot utter those words, in fact hearing that repetitive mumbo jumbo is enough to make me feel like running out. Now I just don't go into a church unless absolutely essential. As far as any of the holy sacraments, I don't agree with them, so even just turning up for the afters is hard to do.
I think a white lie like; "went to wrong church" or "got the time wrong", would be better, rather that saying "I couldn’t reconcile with myself if I went along with this religious indoctrination, which I view as a form of mental child abuse"
Atheist Ireland Youtube
HOME RULE not ROME RULE
If I'm your mission shepherd, best give it up, your welcome on my boat..god aren't. -firefly
Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies-links to local clubs & news
Barny
Atheist Ireland Member
Atheist Ireland Member
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:32 pm

Re: But.... WHY bother doing it?

Post by Barny » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:51 pm

aZerogodist wrote:
Ter wrote:I really surprised myself recently at a first communion when I started chanting along with the old prayers, I'm blaming peer pressure, everyone else was doing it. So there may be societal factors at work for many people also, in that they are simply doing what they feel is expected of them.
I know that pressure, but just cannot utter those words, in fact hearing that repetitive mumbo jumbo is enough to make me feel like running out. Now I just don't go into a church unless absolutely essential. As far as any of the holy sacraments, I don't agree with them, so even just turning up for the afters is hard to do.
I think a white lie like; "went to wrong church" or "got the time wrong", would be better, rather that saying "I couldn’t reconcile with myself if I went along with this religious indoctrination, which I view as a form of mental child abuse"
Yeah, I feel the same too. My parents said they were going to a christening and it just made me shudder. If I was mentioned that to anyone Id be the one made to look crazy, not the people splashing water on a babies head to make sure they can get into heaven and saying the same mantra that was said at their own ritual. No matter what happens I think anyone (myself included) that has a religious upbringing there will always be that nagging superstition there. No matter what crazy things a child has been brainwashed to believe in, it probably will never be fully removed.

Thanks for the advice Dev, that makes sense. My friend also said that people should be left to figure these things out for themselves. All we can do is make them question things that never get asked.
You can lead a fool to wisdom but you cant make him think.
Post Reply