Why is atheism so important to you?

Adroit
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Why is atheism so important to you?

 I was having a conversation with my girlfriend (atheist), and i made the statement that i consider atheism the most important cause that i support.

She is a vegan and she supports ethical treatment of animals. I agree with her, but i don't feel like making that big of a sacrifice to support it if such a large majority of Americans believe in the bible which says they are superior to animals.

Similarly, I don't pay too much attention to politics when so many people are voting Republican for the simple fact that they are against abortion.

I tend to focus entirely on atheism because theism prevents many other causes i would support.

I was just wondering what you thought of my view and also...

Why is atheism so important to you?


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Hi Adroit - good point.

 

I'm a bit like you. Atheism is very important to me and underpins the way I relate to the world. Trying to untangle why that is could be complex. I guess atheism really is about free choice and choosing to follow the evidence. Of course, theists insist their evidence is what they follow, but you know what I mean. Atheism feels like being prepared to think things through and trying not to see what we perceive as reality - lol - from an entirely human perspective. I'm shaped by a fundy upbringing so in a way with atheism I feel a bit like one day I woke up as a battery in the matrix after taking the red pill and, after a lot of near drowning, managed to escape to reality...a reality that while real can also be difficult and ugly. I'm wanking on a bit but in some ways theism is like finding a safe bay to drop your brain's anchor in. You can just let go and relax. But as an atheist I feel I'm always at sea, always questing. Somehow this lifelong journey feels intensely to me like the truest way a human being can live. Maybe I'm projecting Battlestar Galactica.  

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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:
 Maybe I'm projecting Battlestar Galactica. 

Not a bad thing, in my book

I've never been particularly religious, but I've watched in horror as this army of fundies has become who and what they are. The First Amendment is important to me, and there is no greater disregard for OUR rights than to restrain our SPEECH for reasons based entirely upon RELIGIOUS opinion.

I'm more interested in getting their delusional bullshit out of public policy and education than I am of talking people out of personal beliefs. If they want to be ignorant slaves of an invisible friend, they can have at it... just keep it to yourselves for fuck's sake! Isn't having every 5th building be some kind of church enough for the greedy bastards? We're supposed to refrain from criticizing them when they're peddling snake oil and violating our constitutional rights? I say fuck them. In the ass. No kiss, no grease.

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I don't know if any "ism" is

I don't know if any "ism" is as important to me as the community and support that I can find within the groups that are important to me.

Nurturing atheism and atheists and the atheist community is more important, I guess, than the atheism construct, but,  of course, it's important to me to have a paradigm that I find most logically embraceable, and atheism is it. 

I like knowing that I can go online after a day of living in the repressive, oppressive world of  religious hegemony, and see there are other people who feel and think a bit like me.

It's good to see that atheists exist and are politically and socially active, and that we aren't the terrible spawns of Satan that many would have us be.

I like being able to connect and network politically as an atheist and freethinker with groups like CFI, the Brights, and others, where I can find opportunities to fight public policy initiatives that are anti-science or discriminatory.

 


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I, like Atheistextremist

I, like Atheistextremist feel that it's the truest way a human can live. I see such unbelievable dishonesty in theism. I see the fear and guilt that this perpetuates.

I can't speak for anyone else but when I was a theist I felt so insecure with my life. I was told to feel sorry for every random thought I had or told that questioning my beliefs was wrong. I was constantly afraid of making mistakes or screwing up in the eyes of a God that it made life very hard to live.  I see the guilt and insecurity in almost every aspect of theists lives and I simply can't believe that is a healthy way to live.

 

 

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It's also a fun perversion

It's also a fun perversion to bash the religiously-obsessed oppressors, from time-to-time.  I know it's wronnnng, but I have to get it out somewhere.


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I regard positively

I regard positively rejecting and making it clear what I think of the evil nonsense that is Theism, is part of what I think my core passion is, which is the pursuit of whatever we can grasp of Truth about "Life , the Universe, and Everything".

Theism is one of the most blatant offences against the honest pursuit of truth, and as such I find it difficult to tolerate the more aggressive pushers of this drug.

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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 Atheism is not important

 Atheism is not important to me at all.  It is a result of my scepticism, which is very important. It’s how I discern what works from what doesn’t.  What is real from what is not.  It forces me to base my decisions on the best data I can locate, not matter how painful the results.  It drives me to interact and effect the real world as effectively as possible.  It is the basis of my life.  Question everything.

 

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I am like Askegg in the same

I am like Askegg in the same sense that atheism is a systemic result of how I approach thought.  However, I have become more "active" in my belief as I have seen the US become so engrossed in fundamentalism that it affects how I can freely live my life, even when there is no negative effect on other people (in fact, it may be positive).  When I see high school biology text books that have warning labels on them because they teach evolution, I realize that the net effect of theism is the dumbing down of our society to the point where it becomes increasingly difficult to live my life.  20 years ago, it wasn't the case.  But now...

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


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Adroit wrote:She is a vegan

Adroit wrote:

She is a vegan and she supports ethical treatment of animals. I agree with her, but i don't feel like making that big of a sacrifice to support it if such a large majority of Americans believe in the bible which says they are superior to animals.

 

This is a terrible rationalization.  You don't believe in the bible, presumably, so have no reason to call that an excuse- note that many vegans are Christian anyway.  Also, and most importantly, what you do to harm animals has nothing to do with what *they* do to harm animals.  Be responsible for yourself- the excuse that "everybody else is doing it" is not rational.

 

Quote:
Similarly, I don't pay too much attention to politics when so many people are voting Republican for the simple fact that they are against abortion.

 

Veganism is a moral stance.  Animal rights is a political stance.  These are different things.

I am vegan (moral).  I do not support animal rights (political).

You are entitled to your own moral opinions, and to follow your own moral standards, but you have already admitted that you agree with your girlfriend.  As such, I do not respect your rationalizations- and you should be ashamed of them.

 

Just say "I don't care enough about animals to sacrifice a modicum of flavour in my diet"- THAT I can respect.  I may not like it, but I can respect it.

You- I can do neither at the moment.

 

You're rational enough to be atheist- at least be consistent in your approach to critical thinking.

 

Quote:
I tend to focus entirely on atheism because theism prevents many other causes i would support.

 

Were it a case for the necessity of spending TIME on being vegan which you would otherwise spend tirelessly on advocating atheism, that would be an argument. 

However, veganism is the lack of eating meat- merely- and does not require a time investment in *not* eating meat.  Abstain from marching in animal rights parades?  Sure!  Not go around handing out pamphlets?  Absolutely!

Dietary change would not affect your time as an atheist advocate negatively.

 

In fact:  I use the fact that I am vegan in debates with theists when they accuse atheism of being immoral.  It has been extremely useful in shutting down that avenue of argument from them.

 

 

Atheism is very important to me- this is evident in that I am active in secular advocacy, and not active in animal rights. 

That doesn't mean I have to be cruel to animals, though.

 

Think about it.

And if you feel your wheels churning to try to come up with another excuse, realize in the process what you're doing: Rationalizing.


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It is important to me

It is important to me because the only planet I have to live on is being used in a giant game of "capture the flag" between fans of fictional gods, whose leaders have weapons and are willing to die for their invisible friend.

 

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Quote:Veganism is a moral

Quote:
Veganism is a moral stance.  Animal rights is a political stance.  These are different things.

Veganism isn't always a moral stance.  A friend of mine is Vegan, and I was Vegetarian for a while, more for health reasons (safety concerns with meat and meat by-products).  I now eat meat from local farms which has alleviated the concerns.  My vegan friend is unable to afford local meats and eggs (it is much more expensive to go with local farms), so he stays vegan.  But he doens't have a moral problem with eating meat.

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Moral/ethical

Veganism and animal rights can be more or political stances.  How the government makes laws relative to these things is a political stance.  How people should act regardless of laws is a moral stance.  What you feel like doing because you like animals for food or companionship isn't necessarily either one.

I'm not vegan because I'm weak willed and therefore allow myself to be negatively influenced by the depraved, animal abusing culture I live in..  I don't pretend it's 'ok' to participate in an economy and culture that tortures animals for food just because it's too complicated.  I do my best and hope the animals forgive me (and the starving guy in the street and orphans and all the other need souls* in the world).

Jason

* by souls I mean the emergent property of agency that arises from entirely natural components and interactions, that I care deeply about.

ps. technically "light" isn't a theory.  wave-particle duality could be called a theory.  quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, and the heisenberg uncertainty principle might be called theories (help?), but I think "light" is more of an observation, a traditional colloquialism referring to a phenomenon that must be described by a whole variety of theories.


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atheism and everything

This is a challenge for me as well.  As I do the atheist activism that I do, I wonder why I'm not out saving the world.  My answer is always that I am saving the world, or at least a large proportion of it.  Even if I save no Christians or Hindus from their crazy ways, there are tens of millions of Americans walking around out there that are isolated atheists or at least skeptical believers.  They're all wondering what to do with these ideas they have, and they're probably feeling alone and scared of retribution.  I say this because when I find them, they always confirm my hypothesis.  They're so happy to be involved, that spreading the 'good news' gives me the opportunity to free minds, not necessarily from their own religious dogma, but from the cultural religion that is so often heaped upon them.

I'm confident that over time, as this core is broken out of their siloes, we will all as a group help the world evolve into one inspired by science-based facts and reason-based ethics focused on humanity and the natural world.  As others have noted, atheist activism gets us to the end goal much faster.  We're teaching people to fish, so to speak.

Jason


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 Essentially it's the

 Essentially it's the extremely high value I place on the search for Truth. These are some of the biggest philosophical issues humankind has ever dealt with, and to me, the debate waged here and by the likes of Dawkins, Dennet, etc. has shed more coherent light on them than anywhere else I can think of.


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kidvelvet

kidvelvet wrote:

Quote:
Veganism is a moral stance.  Animal rights is a political stance.  These are different things.

Veganism isn't always a moral stance.  A friend of mine is Vegan, and I was Vegetarian for a while, more for health reasons (safety concerns with meat and meat by-products).

 

Veganism also involves abstention from most common animal bi-products (to the extent that is practiced by the individual- this leads to the "more" and "less" vegan arguments, but that's not the issue).  Veganism can't be merely a health issue, because one could easily dress entirely in leather and eat nothing but vegetables, and would not be called vegan.

Pure vegetarianism, however, which is dietarily equivalent to veganism, can be a health thing.  Veganism can also be a religious thing, but that is ostensibly a moral issue- in that case, the person is just taking their moral cues from their religion (or rejecting them, as the case often is when something perceived as 'difficult' is required of them).

 

Quote:
My vegan friend is unable to afford local meats and eggs (it is much more expensive to go with local farms), so he stays vegan.  But he doens't have a moral problem with eating meat.

Then good chances are that he isn't really vegan.  In Texas, colloquially, vegetarians are considered people who eat chicken- that doesn't mean it's correct.

Not to nitpick definitions or anything.

 

By the way, though:  Props to both of you for rejecting factory farmed meat.


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ignorance

Particularly deliberate ignorance is my driving force.  Atheism is secondary to my focus since once you actually get educated, there is no basis for theism except a wish to have an invisible friend.  I do not allow myself to lie to myself, to self-justify, to pretty things up with nice language.  And I never allow myself to expound on subjects about which I know nothing.  My family and friends know to call me out if they catch me at it.  If any of you catch me, feel free to do the same.

It drives me crazy - I was once arguing with some YEC over paleontology.  He asserted that he knew more than a respected author with a PhD in paleontology, a person who had not only studied to get that PhD but had followed it with a very distinguished research career.  His reasoning?  The bible was his source of information, the hell with actually learning anything.  I never again responded to any of his posts on any message board or forum.

I can stand most any kind of nonsense from other people, but deliberately ignoring facts should be grounds for drawing and quartering.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Blake wrote:kidvelvet

Blake wrote:

kidvelvet wrote:

Quote:
Veganism is a moral stance.  Animal rights is a political stance.  These are different things.

Veganism isn't always a moral stance.  A friend of mine is Vegan, and I was Vegetarian for a while, more for health reasons (safety concerns with meat and meat by-products).

 

Veganism also involves abstention from most common animal bi-products (to the extent that is practiced by the individual- this leads to the "more" and "less" vegan arguments, but that's not the issue).  Veganism can't be merely a health issue, because one could easily dress entirely in leather and eat nothing but vegetables, and would not be called vegan.

Pure vegetarianism, however, which is dietarily equivalent to veganism, can be a health thing.  Veganism can also be a religious thing, but that is ostensibly a moral issue- in that case, the person is just taking their moral cues from their religion (or rejecting them, as the case often is when something perceived as 'difficult' is required of them).

 

Quote:
My vegan friend is unable to afford local meats and eggs (it is much more expensive to go with local farms), so he stays vegan.  But he doens't have a moral problem with eating meat.

Then good chances are that he isn't really vegan.  In Texas, colloquially, vegetarians are considered people who eat chicken- that doesn't mean it's correct.

Not to nitpick definitions or anything.

 

By the way, though:  Props to both of you for rejecting factory farmed meat.

Actually my friend doesn't wear leather or animal parts either.  He feels that if he isn't eating the animal, no reason to wear it either. 

However, where I think he differs is that, at least from what he has told me, that if he were attacked by a wild animal and had to kill it to survive, he would have no problem eating the meat and using the skin.  Point being that he doesn't see anything particularly wrong with the choice to eat meat or use skin, but his body doesn't digest most meats very well, so he just cut everything out.  If he could eat meats, he said that he would eat from local farms.

He also sees an environmental problem from mass produced animal materials (meats, cheese, milk, etc.), which could be considered political as well, but the line kinda blurs there.

I don't find anything wrong with eating an animal, but I think that we factory farm way too much and consume way too much in the US.

Dolt:"Evolution is just a theory."
Me:"Yes, so is light and gravity. Pardon me while I flash this strobe while dropping a bowling ball on your head. This shouldn't bother you; after all, these are just theories."


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kidvelvet wrote:Actually my

kidvelvet wrote:

Actually my friend doesn't wear leather or animal parts either.  He feels that if he isn't eating the animal, no reason to wear it either.

 

Sounds kind of incidental to me.  Like the difference between an agnostic and a positive atheist; they both happen to lack belief.

 

Quote:
He also sees an environmental problem from mass produced animal materials (meats, cheese, milk, etc.), which could be considered political as well, but the line kinda blurs there.

 

Environmentalism is definitely a moral conviction, unless you're only following it for purposes of public perception (most politicians).  Like anti-abortion ****s in politics, for example, who usually do so politically for support from their bases, and not as much because they care.


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I don't consider it good or

I don't consider it good or bad, just the way it is really. I'm not deluded, and can consider more realistic reasons about why we are here, so I guess that would make it a good thing.

Edit: nice how I contradict myself in the span of 2 sentences lol it's 1 am /yawn

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Atheism is important because

Atheism is important because theism is the most puzzling of all irrational beliefs. When I hear normally-intelligent people suddenly start giving obviously dumb answers for why they believe in gods, I can't help but wonder, "How the heck can they be convinced by that?!" It has never made sense to me, and it's only recently that I've started to learn possible explanations for theism that make actual sense. And those explanations illustrate more and more clearly how sinister theism really is.

It's not just irrational, it's actively dangerous in the world. And as the world gets smaller via technology, it's a danger we need not, and cannot, any longer abide.

If I was only concerned with science and rationality, focus on atheism, but at the same time, I would be ignoring the obvious elephant in the room. Of all the forms of irrationality, theism is the most important one to tackle.

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"Dawkins and Dennet have

"Dawkins and Dennet have shed a more coherent light on this issue than anyone else I can think of" !?!?!

 

Have you ever read a real philosophy book? By a philosopher not a scientific technician with pretensions towards being  philosopher... like Plato, for example. He gives some extremely rational concepts which are quite antithetical towards both theism and atheism - in that the Platonic 'Logos', the 'form of the good', is considered to be a sort of 'ordering principle', and he works throught the various spheres of human existence demonstrating the existence thereof. Plato is very profound, very powerful reading. Unlike Dawkins which is merely childish 'bashing' of a bunch of unfortunately rather ignorant people, but certainly not true philosophy.

 

Most importantly you should study Hegel's dialectics if you are on a search for truth. To every thesis there is an antithesis, and from these always comes a synthesis. This concept is really rather undeniable and can be used to describe the entirety of history in fact. To 'theists' (I wouldn't even say the majority of modern Christianity even warrants these belief, 'superstitious anthropomorphists' is perhaps a better word - there is certainly a great difference between the deeply humble and comtemplative and individual theism of St Augustine and the supersitious anthropomorphic creature of degenerated modern Protestantism) - to every theist, a thesis, there is an antheist, their anthesis. However, the thesis and antithesis are the same thing.

 

There are atheists who are easily as superstitious as theists. I've met one who told me "Science will bring us ETERNAL LIFE, Don't you want to live forever?". I've read Schopenhaur, Buddha and Nietzsche, and they have taught me that living forever would be an unimaginably terrible curse. Aside from that, it's unlikely to happen, that belief is as superstitious as theism - yet the arrogance attached to it is incredible!

 

What kind of 'search for truth' is that, arrogantly clinging to a belief?

What I am saying is, we need to look beyond the thesis and antithesis to find a more profound Synthesis, a deeper level of comprehension. This requires humility and self-examination, and an active and liberated life. That's how you find truth, not by clinging to a belief, shouting about those who think differently and meanwhile trekking on blindly like a sheep through the capitalist 'Babylon' which is destroying the earth and cutting down all the rainforests. Philosophy, said Socrates, is a process whereby one changes their way of living in order to seek the deepest levels of truth in existence - not just a matter of the intellect, but of the whole life. Perhaps these people you are always angry with are just a little bit 'simple'. Well, let them be simple. What right do you have to interfere? Just because you go to university it doesn't make you any better than a farm labourer. Perhaps, in the cycle of the seasons, in the country and the woods, these people See God, they feel something incomprehensible - maybe you just don't yet fully understand that feeling? Is it not arrogant to think that your feelings about these matters are so superior?

You are all Americans, or most of you, by the looks of it. Have you read Henry David Thoreau? You may find his feelings on this matter quite interesting and enlightening if you are a Romantic sort of soul.

Personally I say with Carl Jung 'I know there is a God' - this is I will leave to your own 'search for truth' to discover the inner meaning of. Perhaps once one questions things to a certain level it is discovered that in this 'Nothingness' of Nihilism - Atheism, is it not just Nihilism without the practical side? Within every Nothingness is a potentiality, surely, for this nothingness must be infinite, must possess the properties of all potential things. Anyway, work that one out for yourself, I'm talking Buddha and Schopenhaur in a certain sense.

I hope this little anonymous sermon will hope you on your search for Truth, whatever that may mean to your own Spirit.

 

 

ALLAH HU AKBAR!

 

Sorry, tourettes.


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I contend

 

that philosophy cannot provide us with the answers most of us seek. I'd rather read a list of facts any day of the week. Most theists do not understand this imperative. I want to know for real, I don't want to play a game of intellectual twister. How will embracing the form of the human concept of good assist me in understanding the universe? And if you're going to bitch about dawkins, why not real the Ancestors Tale instead of that angry crap in the God Delusion? Why have theists only ever read the God Delusion? And why do theists insist atheism is about nothingness when it's about realness.

Anyway Govinda, why don't you go away and play with your noo noo in your own alternative reality for a while?

 

 

 

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I read philosophy---

The Tower of Babel by Robert T. Pennock


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natural wrote: Atheism is

natural wrote:
Atheism is important because theism is the most puzzling of all irrational beliefs.

I disagree, it is not puzzling at all to me. It is quite understandable. Our species evolution didn't start with all the answers. Irrational beliefs are a placebo, and defaulting to placebos as gap answers has served, all be it false, a useful tool in human survival in the "safety in numbers" aspect of our evolution our social contract with each other.

Dawkins describes this evolutionary flaw in our evolution as a moth mistaking the light bulb for the natural moonlight it guides itself by. We are a pattern seeking species, but our flaw is that gaps answers are much easier for social structures to form than admitting that we don't know.

Every human, including atheists ARE capable of irrational beliefs. I can even say in other aspects of my life, in my daily life, I have reacted irrationally to a certain event. In these cases my natural protection of my own ego overrides objectivity.

I don't think in our rightful skepticism and questioning we should se ourselves as being outside the species or better than others in our species. Many atheists certainly have better use of logic skills and better educations and better self introspection, true. But since all humans have emotions we must accept that we do to and are capable of the same flaws as every other human.

HUMANS are all capable of the same range of human emotions and actions.

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OP: Probably because theism

OP: Probably because theism was such a huge part of my formative years.  If my theism had been more liberal, or even if my fundamentalist environment had been less pervasive, I doubt I would care about religion much at all.

But it wasn't and it was, and now that I see the kind of life those people have and the kinds of things they believe, it creates some fairly intense negative passion.  I actually feel driven about it, and I don't feel driven about much.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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 Atheism isn't importnt to

 Atheism isn't importnt to me in and of itself...

 

Truth is.

 

Rationality is.

 

...and this is what led me to atheism... if the synaptic pathways in my brain were misfiring and allowed me to find logic in the existence of an invisible, almighty, omnipotent creator... then I would believe that, and probably feng shui... I expose the hypocrisy of religion or embarrass duplicitous politicians on my show because my passion is truth.

Having said that... I do manage to have a lot of fun at the expense of theists...


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Adroit wrote: Why is atheism

Adroit wrote:

Why is atheism so important to you?

Mainly because belief in something that isn't immediately perceivable seems pointless to me, and has for quite a while. The 20th century "Skydaddy" beliefs provide many of the best examples of why not to give a shit about the imperceptible... the most of such examples are unintentional. The Abrahamic belief systems almost appear to undesign themselves by default.

There is also the level with which belief systems vary so deeply between each other and how they change over time so as to not risk becoming obsolete. Atheism, on the other hand, remains largely uniform, uncomplicated, and more consistent than any other belief system I have ever come across.

However, I don't think this alone qualifies me as an atheist. I'm simply apathetic to everything else out there.

Quote:
i don't feel like making that big of a sacrifice to support it if such a large majority of Americans believe in the bible which says they are superior to animals.

You must remember that if Christianity can start out as a magic show in the face of an overly aggressive and monstrous empire, then the complete absence of spiritual beliefs can eventually spread and shape the future of any civilization that finally accepts it.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Me too :)

I believe similar to what einstien and regardie believed, I believe in an All. So much more than a "god". So much more, because it is the spirit of everything, not just some old guy somewhere up there, standing next to some fluffy, cheesy, mindless hell-hole (no pun intended). If Christianity was true, i wouldn't think twice about hanging in hell, lol. You can actually have a mind there...... But it's not true, its all a lie, and the fire is just meant to scare you. Don't let a lie scare you. I love to tell this to Christan people, it makes them go like "Hmmmmm......" Though some are like "Whatever".... Im What you may consider a spiritual atheist. I am a practicioner of High magick, i also study the philosiphy of Aleister Crowley exstensivly. I have a mind ballanced between Logic (science) and Illogical (art). At the same time, im a fan of the writing of richard Dawkins, and I love the non-theistic beliefs of buddhism.... So..... I guess im not your average atheist. I left this one site because everyone there were like christans. They hated you if you challenged their beliefs, they hated animals and said we were greater than them and more intelligent.... Im sorry, but I didn't know war, and hate, and murder, and slaughter, and traping animals in dens..... How the hell is that smart?

Christ, i don't like half of the Earths population..... People believe what they like. I don't think in general, that christianity is bad, just most Christans. Why? Becuase quite aq couple aren't even Christian. They were most likely raised into it, and its all they know......   It becomes brain washing, and loses all belief, which is stupid.


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Gods evil

Also, Ive never understood why people think Satan would be evil. If God existed, its killed MANY people. As for then "devil", who questioned god (whats wrong with that????) I guess in Christianity, Individualism, Intelligence, Love for those who deserve it, and being un-tyranical must be evil, lol.

 

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Anti-theism rather than atheism

I do not identify as an atheist, though I'm not sure how important the distinction is. I identify as an apathetic agnostic. (I don't see a reason to believe, and don't care to find one, since any deity that may exist doesn't seem to care.) I am heavily anti-theist, though.

I came to a similar conclusion regarding environmental activism (though it also applies to the social equality issues I care about) upon watching The God Who Wasn't There and its coverage of the apocalyptic nature of Christianity. 44% of people in the U.S. at the time that film was made thought it likely that Jesus would return to Earth in their lifetimes. (It's only 41% in the latest poll, but we can probably write that off to margin of error: http://people-press.org/report/?pageid=1740.) How can one expect to martial any inertia behind environmental initiatives when the planet isn't going to be around long enough to matter? If I thought the world was ending inside the next 40 years, I wouldn't care how much oil it took to get my food to market, either.

So, if we wanna save the planet, we first need to fight the delusion.

Good topic.

Thanks,

Brian


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BT

 Before you blame Christianity for eco-destruction you might want to look to into Environmental Rhetorical Studies.  Start with the racist nature of the Kyoto Protocol.  You will find that people cannot simply AFFORD eco-friendly behavior--but Jesus is Free.

 

So until the environmental movements stops telling poor minority americans that they are evil and destroying the planet by shopping at winco, and Kyoto rhetoric stops making developing countries dependent on Western/US Green Tech---stop blaming Christians for all your problems--cause they are not the ones selling you the 8 dollar plum at Whole Foods.

 

 

"So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah's ark is a problem." River


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Why Atheism is so important to you

Adroit

I have to admit that I agree with entirely.  For me just about every problem we have can be traced back to religion in some form.  If we eradicate religion than we will pretty much clear up most of what ails society today.  Granted other problems will arise I am sure, but atleast they will not be from the out-dated belief system we call religion.


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Aidan Acquaire wrote:Also,

Aidan Acquaire wrote:

Also, Ive never understood why people think Satan would be evil. If God existed, its killed MANY people. As for then "devil", who questioned god (whats wrong with that????) I guess in Christianity, Individualism, Intelligence, Love for those who deserve it, and being un-tyranical must be evil, lol.

 

                                                                                      ????????? :s ?????????

The "devil" character is evil as sold by Christians. And is evil as god.

Merely questioning something doesn't make one moral. If I "rebel" against a police officer over a speeding ticket, I am not rebeling against authority, I am breaking common law that is the consent of society by verbally or physically assaulting the cop or refusing to pay the ticket. If I want to "rebel" I work within the system to change the laws.

Both the god and devil concepts are absurd and both are products of human imagination.

There is a difference between enlightened questioning with the intent on testing to insure the quality of data, and being a "rebel" just for the sake of attention getting. Both God and the devil as claims are characters out to get attention and both equally monsters as characters.

I don't want an "atheist" saying they like the devil it because they want to be different and shock people or rebel against society. Blasphemy, criticism and ridicule are not weapons to be used merely for shock value. They are tools we use to demonstrate the absurdity of a claim.

I get a lip twitch in reading your post because I don't want some layperson to misunderstand this thinking we advocate anarchy and lawlessness.

Questioning is fine. But lawlessness is as absurd as absolute rule. The most open and most diverse societies are neither lawless, or authoritarian where one party or person rules.

The devil as a concept is just as horrible as his arch rival god and more importantly equally fictional.

But saying that the devil questioned god makes the devil moral is silly. That would be like saying Dahmer is more moral than John Wayne Gacy because he killed fewer boys.

 

You question claims because they haven't been proven, not because you like being viewed as the antagonist.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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ksskidude wrote:AdroitIf we

ksskidude wrote:

Adroit

If we eradicate religion than we will pretty much clear up most of what ails society today.  Granted other problems will arise I am sure

And exactly HOW do we "eradicate religion"? Force? It doesn't work for believers, it didn't work for Hitler. We didn't like the Muslim "FUCK YOU" of 9/11.

Utopias don't exist. I would like to see the end of religion too. But I doubt seriously that will ever happen in my lifetime. The only thing I can do is debate and ridicule any and all absurd claims. "eradicate" implies a fascist government force. I think Jefferson's questioning without physical threat is a much more powerful tool, because when someone comes to your position on their own it doesn't create resentment or bitterness.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:ksskidude

Brian37 wrote:

ksskidude wrote:

Adroit

If we eradicate religion than we will pretty much clear up most of what ails society today.  Granted other problems will arise I am sure

And exactly HOW do we "eradicate religion"? Force? It doesn't work for believers, it didn't work for Hitler. We didn't like the Muslim "FUCK YOU" of 9/11.

Utopias don't exist. I would like to see the end of religion too. But I doubt seriously that will ever happen in my lifetime. The only thing I can do is debate and ridicule any and all absurd claims. "eradicate" implies a fascist government force. I think Jefferson's questioning without physical threat is a much more powerful tool, because when someone comes to your position on their own it doesn't create resentment or bitterness.

 

 

Agreed Brian... "eradicating Religion" is not realistic... But I don't think he meant it litterally... I think the best we can hope for, and probably what most of us are striving for is to introduce the concept of "Skeptisism" to the world rationally, and hope that metaphoric interperetation of religious doctrines will come easier... Perhaps eventually cause a decine in fundamentalism...and a rise in deism, and agnostisism...

 

Personally, I would like to eredicate reality television...


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Atheism:

Atheism is important to me partly because it allows, even encourages, free-thinking and does not include the mind-dampening 'faith' idea. To believe something because we are told to, where there is no way we can obtain and test evidence, seems utter folly to me. To believe there is a god "because, well, there MUST be" is an exercise in absurd illogicality and specious argument. As for a particular god being the true god, or belief in a particular form of worship of the "true god" I think this just extends the problem to become sheer futility.

(Aside: I also believe we should not try to bring up our children to a particular religion but should educate them as to the various world belief systems and allow them to make up their own minds).

Well, that will do for my 1st post.

 

 

Mephus


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Welcome.Unfortunately, I'm

Welcome.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if atheism discourages dogma and blind faith...certainly removing religion helps, but you really need to teach people rationalism of some kind.  I'd rather be around mostly rational theists than irrational atheists.

 

Good point about kids, it is terrible that we let the religious indoctrinate children when they don't have any mental defenses.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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I agree with several here.

I do not necesarily consider atheism a cause, however when I see someone who seems overall very intelligent spouting some religios dogma with such conviction I have to say something. I think none of us would be here if we did not investigate and come to our own realization of who we are and why we are here. I am atheist due to my seeking a truth. I speak out against these religious dogmas(regardless of which one) when I see others using it to control people. I cannot stand the televangelists or the radical muslims  or whatever else when they spout their nonsense to what I call sheeple. I want to alert these others that they can actually think for themselves, do their own investigations, research etc!

 

Please people think for yourselves.. Will you come to the same realizations that i did? maybe , maybe not but at least you will come to your own thoughts not someone else's!


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This is why

I was raised by my mother who is a hard core non-denominational Christian, I was forced as a child to go to church every Sunday and I had to go to Christian schools, I have seen to this day my mother who is unfortunately mentally weak use Christianity/religion as a mental crutch for her entire life, and my sister now does the same. I love my mother and my sister but it makes me sick to see what religion has done to them, they cannot make their own decisions in life for ANYTHING, in their minds god tells them how to live, what to do, what to think, and everything is "god willing" and "god bless you" and "god spoke to me" and  "god gave me a sign". These people are my family but they are brain washed and severely misguided and so mentally weak, without religion could they think for themselves anymore? This is what Christianity/religion has done to them and many others!! It's so SICK!!

I am lucky that I got out with my free will and my mind from all those years of being brain washed growing up being forced to believe in things that do not exist!! I am 45 years old now and I glad to know the decisions I make in my life are my own and I do not believe in anything that does not exist and if I am an Atheist I am proud of it!

God cant help my Mother and my Sister, I have too!!

That's why it's so important to me.

~~Be Real~~


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Why is atheism important?As

Why is atheism important?

As an american, it shames me that so many of my countrymen ascribe to he fantastic and moronic views of theism. It certanly pains me to  know how deeply some of my own family members ascribe to their particular faiths. More than this, I see theism, especially christianity, as a destructive force in our culture. While I can recognize that there were some good things (as in the history of western music) that arose through christianity, I do not for a moment believe that those things needed christianity to come about.

Also, I see the many issues in American politics clouded by religious thought (such as gay rights, educational standards, scientific discover and so much more) as dangerous things on which to allow such foolish people such a major impact. I see the Pat Robertsons and Glenn Becks of the world as threats to the american way of life, and to life for all people. I agree with you that many issues are important, such as the ethical treatment of animals, and I agree that religion is very probably the root cause of all things wrong with the world.

Finally, I think that atheists are one of the last groups in society about which the majority feels comfortable maintaining such bigoted and hypocritical views. It is important for atheists to "come out" in as large numbers as possible, and to as many people as possible.


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I am thankful to have found

I am thankful to have found this website and this discussion. My girlfriends parents are hard-nosed born-again christians. The inexcusable things they have said to me and her make me proud to be an athiest, thankful i am not brainwashed, happy to say i saved her from a life of extremism, yet scared that so many people subscribe to this way of life. The born-again movement is sweaping across Britain at an alarming rate. To quote my girlfreinds parents:

- 'You are never happy untill that boy is between your legs'

- 'I know a person who will find you a perfect man, God'

- 'you used to have class'

- 'you are all in the same pit, you wont see the light becasue of the darkness! fact'

- 'as the word promises... "all will NOT go well with you."

- 'we are moving on with our lives...all in the wonderful plans of GOD. as dad and i are saying, praise GOD!'

If this is the attitude of a born-again Christian, then I am genuinly worried for what the future holds. I hope some will realise the truth. However I know that in reality, as one realises, another 10 seem to subscribe.

Keep up the good work everybody


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belief is the problem

Strictly speaking, I'm not an atheist, but an agnostic because I can't say absolutely that we weren't made as some other creature's experiment. However for all practical purposes I am effectively atheist because the likelihood of such a creature (or creatures) existing is vanishingly small, also I can say with certainty that all the religions of mankind are utterly wrong -- they themselves are their best disproof. And all the gods manufactured by humans quite clearly exist only in the minds of their makers.

But religion is only part of the danger. Its insanity is the most visible, so it is easiest to see the threat it poses. The larger danger is belief, and it comes in all forms. Only by letting go of preconceptions and being willing to see the reality of the world as (scientific) experiment and logic reveal it can you free yourself from belief systems.

Belief is a lazy way of viewing the world and is amazingly seductive. Belief in a country, or a race, or a religion, or an economic system, or whatever, can get us into real trouble. I can see a country as an imaginary thing mapped onto geography, and race as an imaginary construct using superficial traits to erroneously generalise about individuals, and religion as a futile attempt to get ready-made answers without the need for thinking, and economic systems as ways to justify one or another way of dealing with money without resorting to facts... and so it goes on. There are plenty of people who ditch their belief in some religion in order to believe in atheism. This is probably less dangerous than believing in religion (at least while atheists are disempowered), but even that belief is a risk to your and others' health.

Antitheism is important because it takes back some of the world from those who would so quickly destroy it in the name of their imaginary friend. Being against all other beliefs is important too, but perhaps less pressing than antitheism. If we could get rid of national boundaries then we would be forced to help fix tragedies elsewhere in the world (if only to prevent them spreading here). If we could get rid of racism (both negative racism where someone thinks less of someone based on superficial characteristics, and positive racism where someone is proud of the idiotic accident of lineage) then we would be forced to acknowledge all humans as brothers and sisters. If we could get rid of all the various, equally unfounded economic beliefs then we might begin to use coins humanely, as merely the stupid little trading tokens that they really are, rather than a weapon to crush supposed competitors or a tool to confine most people to miserable poverty.

Life is for living, and your brain is for thinking, and beliefs are poisonous to both.

(Note that the word "belief" has two quite different uses. When belief is something you invest some of your identity in, then that is dangerous because of how easy it is for reality to appear to threaten your manufactured identity. That is the form that is often synonymous with "faith". The more casual form is harmless, where I might believe the bus is due in a few minutes but am happy to desert that misconception when it turns up earlier or later. This second kind of belief is not what I'm talking about in the danger of belief. I wish we had different words for the two.)

 


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Adroit wrote:I was just

Adroit wrote:

I was just wondering what you thought of my view and also...

Why is atheism so important to you?

I'll ignore the first question (what I think of your expressed views re: veganism) as I think I want to stay out of the whole vegan question until I think about it some more.

As for why atheism is important to me, I think that's the more interesting question.

Only when I put on the spectacles of rational inquiry and intellectual curiousity, and put my assumptions on hold, does the world even begin to make any kind of sense. All of the wiggly bits that previously never quite fit suddenly fall into place. It's a great relief. It opens the door to wonder. I just think that the made-up-stuff is neat, and you won't find me knocking human imagination and creativity in general. But the made up can't hold a candle to what actually *is,* once I start looking around me. Existence is an incredible, impossible miracle. To mythologize it and fantasize it actually cheapens it. I'm struggling to find metaphors that aren't spiritual in their connotations.. an awakening, a rebirth, was blind and now I see, etc.

Why is it important to me? The utmost depths of emotion can't speak. The world is real, the real is infinite, the infinite is unimaginable. That we even try in the face of it is wonderful.

I didn't even get close! Guess I'll have to work on it some more.

Jackie