|12-03-2011, 07:27 AM||#31|
Join Date: Oct 2010
Device: Kindle 3; K4PC; Calibre
Armstrong's books are exhaustively foot-noted. Many are almost like reading a PhD thesis. She is, of course, criticized by the fundamentalists, but her opinions are so well documented that there are few if any chinks in her armor, and I view her as incredibly objective.
To comment on @patrickt's post, I think many people are insecure in their beliefs. Often things such as prayer appear to fail, justice and injustice is distributed unequally and unfairly, and things just seem to go to hell (so to speak). Many people begin to question the existence of a superior being, or the claims of others that are divergent, narrow minded, hypocritical, or just plain impossible, so they seek answers. I suspect most religious people adopt their beliefs from their culture and teaching as children and they begin to see holes or naturally begin to question 'authority,' so they look outside and see the world from other perspectives. That usually does one of two things -- strengthen their beliefs or show them as questionable, if not false or inappropriate. I would guess most atheists have become so because of a lack of acceptance of literal fundamentalism (talking snakes, walking on water, etc.) and they seek to understand how others can claim to believe in descriptions that defy the laws of nature and common sense.
Many of us read to gain knowledge. That may be to support our own biases in the case of believers. It may be to support or accumulate information and ammunition to withstand prosyletization from other beliefs, attempts at which can be overwhelming. It may be to better understand the origins of humanity and the historical origin and divergent nature of human belief back far before the writing of the Quran or the Bible. Those who fear will often avoid looking outside their own belief system, but many of us are naturally curious as to where it all came from, so we read everything and try to understand and adapt something that works.
|12-04-2011, 12:19 PM||#32|
Zorningorg Prize Winner
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Miskatonic U
Device: Kindle Oasis 3G, iPhone 6
Young people growing up are often questioning the beliefs they were raised on. Even people who don't abandon their childhood faith often look for reasons for believing beyond "because that's what I was always told."
|atheism, atheist, religion|
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