New Atheist/Unitarian Universalist

jackinessity
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New Atheist/Unitarian Universalist

Hi there. I'm totally new- just stumbled across this site today while looking for something interesting to read during a slow afternoon at work.

 

I'm a former Catholic and was raised such, but left the church just over ten years ago. I was argued out of my superstitions by a particularly rational and rather mean spirited ex-boyfriend, which wasn't a particularly fun process at the time. But I'm fairly pleased in the end, since I would rather have started my pursuit of truth than to have stayed enmeshed in mythology. I also have rejected many things that went along with my religious doctrine. I am pro gay rights, for example, and for access to contraception and abortion. Etc.

Even though my views are atheist, I do belong to a Unitarian Universalist church in California. Last year the minister gave a talk on those who consider themselves "spiritual, but not religious," and I was amused to think that I was rather the reverse- religious (in the sense that I belong to a church and do social activities/charity work related to such) but not spiritual. I don't know how you use these terms yet, so please allow me some wiggle room there, until I find out.

I read Richard Dawkins _The God Delusion_ earlier this year, so I'm at least familiar with some mainstream atheist works.

I'm not a particularly rational person by nature. Mostly I'm just overeducated, and I like to read quite a lot. I look forward to browsing through the forums on other slow afternoons. I'll try to hold off posting any more until I get my bearings, but I liked the idea of saying hello right away.

 

Jackie


Rich Woods
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Well hi there Jack... Nice

Well hi there Jack... Nice ta meet ya....


Atheistextremist
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G'day Jackie

 

 

Welcome. Your church attendance is kind of interesting given it's not a spiritual thing. You obviously get something out of contributing in a social sense.

Hope you get plenty of slow afternoons...

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Hello Jackie

 

 

 

               From GTA Canada.  I am curious how or why an atheist attends any church?  Post often and don't be shy about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 edit:   post # 1400, like wow.

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cygo
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Thanks for the check-up.

Thanks for the check-up.


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Welcome to the forum.

Welcome to the forum.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


jackinessity
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Re: Well hi there Jack... Nice

Thanks, nice to meet you, too.


jackinessity
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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

Welcome. Your church attendance is kind of interesting given it's not a spiritual thing. You obviously get something out of contributing in a social sense.

Hope you get plenty of slow afternoons...

 

 

 

I do get things out of attending church; I’ll take that as invitation to discuss briefly.   I think the obvious thing is the socializing, just being with other people from my community in a pleasant way. There are plenty of other ways to be social, of course, so that can’t be all of it. I think for me it’s also a comforting routine. Having been raised very religious, church attendance was a ritual part of my week, and during the years when I didn’t have a brick and mortar church, I missed the formal aspects (singing together, saying affirmative things in unison, being in a lovely building, listening to music, quiet reflection, listening to speakers, thinking about morality, doing rituals, sharing life experiences, etc.) I should point out also that at my church, atheism is accepted and even welcomed, due to a respect for diversity of opinion. I find this refreshing after so many years of rigid dogmatism. It’s not perfect by any means, and I don’t mean to over-romanticize it (I’ve run into some extremist UU-ers in the past- crazy people come in all stripes) but I respect the effort to create a space for idealism, and enjoy participating.  I also have two children, ages four and two, and care about their moral education. Church provides a comfortable structure for other people to participate in this effort.    Thanks for the welcome. I am excited that this board is active enough for people to respond so quickly. It's much appreciated! Jackie

 


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Re: Hello Jackie

Jeffrick wrote:

 

 

 

               From GTA Canada.  I am curious how or why an atheist attends any church?  Post often and don't be shy about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 edit:   post # 1400, like wow.

 

Hello! I think I answered the question in the post above. Thanks for the encouragement to post. Will do.

 

Jackie


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Hi Jackie

jackinessity wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 

Welcome. Your church attendance is kind of interesting given it's not a spiritual thing. You obviously get something out of contributing in a social sense.

Hope you get plenty of slow afternoons...

 

 

 

I do get things out of attending church; I’ll take that as invitation to discuss briefly.   I think the obvious thing is the socializing, just being with other people from my community in a pleasant way. There are plenty of other ways to be social, of course, so that can’t be all of it. I think for me it’s also a comforting routine. Having been raised very religious, church attendance was a ritual part of my week, and during the years when I didn’t have a brick and mortar church, I missed the formal aspects (singing together, saying affirmative things in unison, being in a lovely building, listening to music, quiet reflection, listening to speakers, thinking about morality, doing rituals, sharing life experiences, etc.) I should point out also that at my church, atheism is accepted and even welcomed, due to a respect for diversity of opinion. I find this refreshing after so many years of rigid dogmatism. It’s not perfect by any means, and I don’t mean to over-romanticize it (I’ve run into some extremist UU-ers in the past- crazy people come in all stripes) but I respect the effort to create a space for idealism, and enjoy participating.  I also have two children, ages four and two, and care about their moral education. Church provides a comfortable structure for other people to participate in this effort.    Thanks for the welcome. I am excited that this board is active enough for people to respond so quickly. It's much appreciated! Jackie

 

 

My old man was a minister so I understand what you mean about the social structure of the church and the time for reflection and whatnot. I get the same quiet time out of sailing or jogging or driving in the country. I'm not a fan of fundy churches but having quiet places to contemplate big things that did not have a competitive denominational element to them would appeal to me. I loved visiting the Pantheon in Rome - the concept of being devoted to multiple gods is appealing. Shame the catholics couldn't keep their sticky fingers off it, though in fairness, their involvement has preserved the building intact and in use for nearly 2000 years old.

I also get it about the kids. I grew up around the church and in hindsight a lot of the older blokes who really raised us kids had a lot of positive input - they never really pushed the god thing. It was more about bushwalking or mucking about or having some adventure or other. Still - I'd be loathe to leave the moral development and installation of a moral compass to anyone with a punishment-driven holy book in their hand. Life is what teaches morals - and watching the way parents and other elders act with each other and expect us as kids to behave. I sometimes think morals are built on the hurtful lessons of mistakes projected by the disappointments of others.

It's obviously too early, but encouraging the kids to weigh evidence and think carefully is a good thing. Schools and churches don't do this. 


 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


ProzacDeathWish
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jackinessity wrote: I do

jackinessity wrote:

 I do get things out of attending church; I’ll take that as invitation to discuss briefly.

   I think the obvious thing is the socializing, just being with other people from my community in a pleasant way. There are plenty of other ways to be social, of course, so that can’t be all of it. I think for me it’s also a comforting routine. Having been raised very religious, church attendance was a ritual part of my week, and during the years when I didn’t have a brick and mortar church, I missed the formal aspects (singing together, saying affirmative things in unison, being in a lovely building, listening to music, quiet reflection, listening to speakers, thinking about morality, doing rituals, sharing life experiences, etc.) I should point out also that at my church, atheism is accepted and even welcomed, due to a respect for diversity of opinion. I find this refreshing after so many years of rigid dogmatism. It’s not perfect by any means, and I don’t mean to over-romanticize it (I’ve run into some extremist UU-ers in the past- crazy people come in all stripes) but I respect the effort to create a space for idealism, and enjoy participating.  I also have two children, ages four and two, and care about their moral education. Church provides a comfortable structure for other people to participate in this effort.    Thanks for the welcome. I am excited that this board is active enough for people to respond so quickly. It's much appreciated! Jackie

 

   I completely understand the emotional need to be a part of some type of structured social gathering with like-minded fellows.  Perhaps even this forum stands as an another example of the need to "get together with kindred souls" so to speak.  It therapeutic at the very least.   Incidentally I, even as an atheist, was actually fondly thinking about my former church attendance experiences just a few days ago.

   As for the UU's since their beliefs seem to lack the blood thirsty, join us or die aspects of most Abrahamic religions I have no problem with them.  Woo woo or not, I perceive them as benevolent people overall.  End of story.

  Oh, by the way, welcome to the forum.

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


jackinessity
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Atheistextremist wrote: My

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

My old man was a minister so I understand what you mean about the social structure of the church and the time for reflection and whatnot. I get the same quiet time out of sailing or jogging or driving in the country. I'm not a fan of fundy churches but having quiet places to contemplate big things that did not have a competitive denominational element to them would appeal to me. I loved visiting the Pantheon in Rome - the concept of being devoted to multiple gods is appealing. Shame the catholics couldn't keep their sticky fingers off it, though in fairness, their involvement has preserved the building intact and in use for nearly 2000 years old.

I also get it about the kids. I grew up around the church and in hindsight a lot of the older blokes who really raised us kids had a lot of positive input - they never really pushed the god thing. It was more about bushwalking or mucking about or having some adventure or other. Still - I'd be loathe to leave the moral development and installation of a moral compass to anyone with a punishment-driven holy book in their hand. Life is what teaches morals - and watching the way parents and other elders act with each other and expect us as kids to behave. I sometimes think morals are built on the hurtful lessons of mistakes projected by the disappointments of others.

It's obviously too early, but encouraging the kids to weigh evidence and think carefully is a good thing. Schools and churches don't do this. 


 

 

 

Totally with you on teaching kids to weigh evidence and think carefully. I answer my kids as honestly as I can and try not to censor anything, including open acknowledgement of death. My church is a bit fluffy when it comes to the kids education, but at age four I'm not too worried for him. They've gotten as far in his class as asking the kids to share a joy and a sorrow each week, and my son invariably shares something about having lightsaber duels with Grandpa. He's still 50/50 on whether to be a Jedi or Darth Vader, so I guess the dark side hasn't won yet.

Really I have to wonder if my kids' teenage rebellions later on will take the form of embracing fundamentalism in some form, just to tick off their parents?

Jackie

 


jackinessity
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ProzacDeathWish wrote:   

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

 

   I completely understand the emotional need to be a part of some type of structured social gathering with like-minded fellows.  Perhaps even this forum stands as an another example of the need to "get together with kindred souls" so to speak.  It therapeutic at the very least.   Incidentally I, even as an atheist, was actually fondly thinking about my former church attendance experiences just a few days ago.

   As for the UU's since their beliefs seem to lack the blood thirsty, join us or die aspects of most Abrahamic religions I have no problem with them.  Woo woo or not, I perceive them as benevolent people overall.  End of story.

  Oh, by the way, welcome to the forum.

 

Thanks for the welcome. I'm a pretty social person (still friends with people I was friends with in grade school and high school) and I like belonging to things, so yes, that's part of what makes me happy to have found you guys. I can already tell from some of the back-and-forth that I'm not as confrontational an atheist as some- in theory yes, but in practice, I'm not very good at logical debate. I'm more of a "wow, I never thought of that, how interesting" strain. But I enjoy watching the ideas unfold. Of course, if poked at I probably am as liable to be defensive as anyone. I have my pet ideas.

Ok, I admit to the "woo woo" factor. I still like going to a place where I can sing happy songs about joy and love and peace, and listen to somebody play a grand piano really well. So, it is a little silly. I do sometimes wonder if it's worth the effort. At the same time, I get a kick out of having a religious "label," as evidenced by the original title of my post- being able to announce UU membership is a bit like softening the blow of the cold, hard, atheist truth. Underneath, I'm still a bit of a sucker for the feel-good aspect of delusion.

 Jackie