What's The Point?

granola pilgrim
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-22
User is offlineOffline
What's The Point?

Has anybody here really ever changed anybodies belief? Or is the point of this entire site to be a pissing ground of "I'm smarter than you so I must be right?"

It seems that most people are more concerned with stroking their own ego's than in actual truth.

Am I wrong in this?


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10688
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Yes, I have. And yes, you

Yes, I have. And yes, you are.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5863
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:Has

granola pilgrim wrote:

Has anybody here really ever changed anybodies belief? Or is the point of this entire site to be a pissing ground of "I'm smarter than you so I must be right?"

It seems that most people are more concerned with stroking their own ego's than in actual truth.

Am I wrong in this?

No you are wrong.

People have changed their minds based at least partly on reading and sometimes discussing/debating the issues here - that's only counting the ones who actually admit it in a post.

Since most people, especially in the USA, start out life in a religious environment, a large percentage of atheist's get there by eventually seeing through the fallacies of religious doctrine and teaching, and sites like this very much help people working through that process, as do the books of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, etc.

A website like this goes a step further than a book, by allowing them put questions to and exchange views with others who have already worked through the process.

Religious belief is indeed often about ego, Theists come on here to show us how pathetic and blind we disbelievers are, how they are know the Truth, etc.

 

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


granola pilgrim
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-22
User is offlineOffline
It's funny that you describe

It's funny that you describe yourself as "enlightened."  It's usually related to a spiritual sense of being.

But the thing that cracks me up the most is the Christian dating advert banner on this athiest site. The irony kills me.


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:It's

granola pilgrim wrote:

It's funny that you describe yourself as "enlightened."  It's usually related to a spiritual sense of being.

But the thing that cracks me up the most is the Christian dating advert banner on this athiest site. The irony kills me.

 

The webmaster has said he has no control over the ads put there.  Since the site is related to religion, we get religious ads.    I have AdBlockPlus installed so I don't see them and I don't much care about them.

Why would an atheist not have a spiritual sense of being?

And why would an atheist not be enlightened?

 

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

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


granola pilgrim
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-22
User is offlineOffline
BobSpence1 wrote:granola

BobSpence1 wrote:

granola pilgrim wrote:

Has anybody here really ever changed anybodies belief? Or is the point of this entire site to be a pissing ground of "I'm smarter than you so I must be right?"

It seems that most people are more concerned with stroking their own ego's than in actual truth.

Am I wrong in this?

No you are wrong.

People have changed their minds based at least partly on reading and sometimes discussing/debating the issues here - that's only counting the ones who actually admit it in a post.

Since most people, especially in the USA, start out life in a religious environment, a large percentage of atheist's get there by eventually seeing through the fallacies of religious doctrine and teaching, and sites like this very much help people working through that process, as do the books of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, etc.

A website like this goes a step further than a book, by allowing them put questions to and exchange views with others who have already worked through the process.

Religious belief is indeed often about ego, Theists come on here to show us how pathetic and blind we disbelievers are, how they are know the Truth, etc.

 

 

Thanks for the coherent, well thought out response. I am believer that was once an atheist and the thing I really want to know is what bothers you so much about someone having an opinion that doesn't match yours?

And I'm not trying to show you that you're pathetic or blind. I'm sure you have rational well thought out reasons for your beliefs as I have mine. I'm truly curious.


granola pilgrim
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-22
User is offlineOffline
cj wrote:granola pilgrim

cj wrote:

granola pilgrim wrote:

It's funny that you describe yourself as "enlightened."  It's usually related to a spiritual sense of being.

But the thing that cracks me up the most is the Christian dating advert banner on this athiest site. The irony kills me.

 

The webmaster has said he has no control over the ads put there.  Since the site is related to religion, we get religious ads.    I have AdBlockPlus installed so I don't see them and I don't much care about them.

Why would an atheist not have a spiritual sense of being?

And why would an atheist not be enlightened?

 

I correlate enlightenment with a belief in a power operating in the universe that is greater than oneself.

Do Atheists believe they have souls?

 


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10688
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:It's

granola pilgrim wrote:

It's funny that you describe yourself as "enlightened."  It's usually related to a spiritual sense of being.

Indeed, but that's not what it means. And I was tired of theists redefining words decades ago. So I took this one back. In no small part because it annoys them.
Note the primary definition:

en·light·ened/enˈlītnd/Adjective
1. Having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook.
2. Spiritually aware.

What's really funny is that the primary definition contradicts the secondary, as the very term spiritual is irrational, as is everything it is used to describe.

granola pilgrim wrote:

But the thing that cracks me up the most is the Christian dating advert banner on this athiest site. The irony kills me.

It's not really all that ironic if you know how google ads work. It's what I'd expect in a religion dominated world. Keep your eye on it and you'll see moslem, wiccan, and atheist ads too.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


granola pilgrim
Posts: 5
Joined: 2011-05-22
User is offlineOffline
Vastet wrote:granola pilgrim

Vastet wrote:
granola pilgrim wrote:

It's funny that you describe yourself as "enlightened."  It's usually related to a spiritual sense of being.

Indeed, but that's not what it means. And I was tired of theists redefining words decades ago. So I took this one back. In no small part because it annoys them. Note the primary definition: en·light·ened/enˈlītnd/Adjective 1. Having or showing a rational, modern, and well-informed outlook. 2. Spiritually aware. What's really funny is that the primary definition contradicts the secondary, as the very term spiritual is irrational, as is everything it is used to describe.
granola pilgrim wrote:

This is the definition I found for enlightened.

1. factually well-informed, tolerant of alternative opinions, and guided by rational thought

2. privy to or claiming a sense of spiritual or religious revelation of truth

Purposely trying to annoy people isn't tolerant or rational.

 


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10688
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
I`d like to start with

I`d like to start with apologizing for my abruptness in the first post. I`m guilty of assuming the average theist coming here isn`t interested in a rational discussion, especially when opening the way you did. Experience, unfortunately.

granola pilgrim wrote:

Thanks for the coherent, well thought out response. I am believer that was once an atheist and the thing I really want to know is what bothers you so much about someone having an opinion that doesn't match yours?

And I'm not trying to show you that you're pathetic or blind. I'm sure you have rational well thought out reasons for your beliefs as I have mine. I'm truly curious.

You said this to Bob, but I`d like to respond to it as well.

I was never a theist. My parents never took me to church. My earliest recollection of anything even remotely religious was being in a church where there was food for some reason. It is so hazy a recollection that it never impacted me.

My second earliest recollection was different, though both selfish and emotional. I remember being very annoyed that every Sunday my friends would vanish until the afternoon and I would be forced to play road hockey by myself until they got back. Made me a pretty good shot though. And I readily admit there`s nothing I can rationally hate religion for in that experience. So while it affected me as a child, I discarded it when I learned to divorce myself from my emotions when it was logical to do so. Somewhere in my teens.

My third experience with religion scared me and infuriated me at the same time. I remember being a child in school, somewhere between grade 1 and 4 (I can`t honestly be more specific than that), having a teacher screaming at me just because I didn`t believe in a power above myself. I couldn`t even understand what that sentence means, and still can`t. Not really. There`s too many vagaries in the whole thing. What is power. What is above me. Wtf. I vaguely recall eventually giving up and saying nature just so I could shit my pants in peace. That was the true beginning of my atheism. Until then it hadn`t meant anything or mattered to anyone, but suddenly some bitch teacher thinks she can scream at me and humiliate me in front of 30 peers just because I don`t think the way she does. If I`d been as old and wise as I am now I seriously might have punched her in the nose.

But again, that`s an emotional issue. What does it really matter what some fool and 30 idiots think. Again, when I became capable of divorcing my emotions from my thought processes, it faded from significance.

And yet, it was my stepping stone. From that point on I started paying more attention to religion. Clearly it was something that could threaten me, and the only real defence to an enemy is education. I educated myself. And in every way, in every religious text and person I encountered, all I found was inconsistancy and blatant lies. Lies I KNEW were lies. Some said I believed in god and was denying it, which I KNEW was pure BS. I read a few passages from the bible, and found they contradicted each other. I could never stomach reading the whole thing, and I never will. Unless, of course, god appears to me and convinces me he exists. But 32 years so far and no convincing.

Then it got worse. As I grew older and could sympathise and empathise with my fellow humans, I began to see the ultimate flaw in christianity. They have to travel around the world to spread their gospel, when if their god was truly good and kind he`d have shared with all mankind sufficient evidence to allow people to believe and follow. Not enough to convince everyone, or free will as described in the bible would never be possible. But enough to let people have a choice. No choice, no free will. The knife cuts both ways.

But 99% of the world had never heard of christianity for decades after the supposed events of christ. 99.999999 repeating % to 100% knew nothing before those events. And even today there is a notable segment of the population who have literally not been introduced to the concept. They never came up with it on their own, it had to be taken to them. So all those people were condemned simply for ignorance. Ignorance that WOULD have been prevented if god were good and cared about his children and could do anything he wanted.

So god is either evil, doesn`t care, can`t do whatever he wants, or doesn`t exist. The simplist answer is the last one. And everything I`ve gone through in my life confirms it. Nothing has countered it. I can`t say nothing will, I`m not a seer. I don`t believe in seers, even though I`ve had a dream or two that came true. But as things stand, I simply don`t believe. I have no reason to.

granola pilgrim wrote:

Do Atheists believe they have souls?

Some do. I don`t.

granola pilgrim wrote:

This is the definition I found for enlightened.

1. factually well-informed, tolerant of alternative opinions, and guided by rational thought

2. privy to or claiming a sense of spiritual or religious revelation of truth

Purposely trying to annoy people isn't tolerant or rational.

I am tolerant of alternative opinions. I don`t consider religion an opinion. I consider it a disease. Also, I never claimed to be exclusively rational. The more I`ve argued with theists, the more I`ve found that occassionally being irrational is quite useful. Some theists only understand irrational arguments. Not to mention that I am human, and have emotions. No matter how well I`ve been able to divorce them from my thought processes when I turn inside and think about something, I`m just as prone to anger and happiness and sadness as the next bloke when I`m socialising.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


NoMoreCrazyPeople
atheistSuperfan
NoMoreCrazyPeople's picture
Posts: 969
Joined: 2009-10-14
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim

granola pilgrim wrote:
 

 I am believer that was once an atheist and the thing I really want to know is what bothers you so much about someone having an opinion that doesn't match yours?

Nothing!  Until that belief (if true) would impose on my freedom, my happiness etc...  It doesn't bother me atall people believe different thing than I do, that's what makes life interesting I don't want everyone to be like me.  You could believe giant goldfish from Scaleon are the creators of our universe, wouldn't bother me one bit, I might just think you were cook.  The problem is when someone says "And...if you don't believe what I believe this and that will happen to you and everybody like you..."  "my goldfish god is watching you and he's going to come get get you if you fuck around."  You see, that's where you offend me with your belief system, when you throw in the threat of your imaginary friend, I don't like that, I makes me very angry. 

granola pilgrim wrote:
 

And I'm not trying to show you that you're pathetic or blind. I'm sure you have rational well thought out reasons for your beliefs as I have mine. I'm truly curious.

Can you give me your reasons for believing in god? 


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7523
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:Has

granola pilgrim wrote:

Has anybody here really ever changed anybodies belief?

Yes, too many times to count.  The confirmed number is well over 100.  However there are many more people who left religion because of us that didn't tell us they did so.

 

Quote:
Or is the point of this entire site to be a pissing ground of "I'm smarter than you so I must be right?"

Intelligence has nothing to do with it.  There are brilliant atheists and there are dumb atheists... the same is true for Christians. 

 

Quote:
It seems that most people are more concerned with stroking their own ego's than in actual truth.

Am I wrong in this?

Yes, however maybe you thought of this because you yourself want to do it?  Are you interested is stroking your own ego?  Are you feeling inadequate compared to the people here and therefore have come up with these questions? 

 

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7523
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:I am

granola pilgrim wrote:

I am believer that was once an atheist and the thing I really want to know is what bothers you so much about someone having an opinion that doesn't match yours?

Merely having a non-matching belief doesn't bother me at all.  Imposing that belief on me and society is what bothers me... religious intervention in govt for example.  I speak up because of the root cause though.  The reason religion interferes where it shouldn't is because there are people that buy into it.  I make attempts to impact those people, to show those people the flaws in their logic, so that they abandon religion.  I do so because it's the right thing to do.  I do it for the same reasons that anyone else does good deeds.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7523
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:It's

granola pilgrim wrote:

But the thing that cracks me up the most is the Christian dating advert banner on this athiest site. The irony kills me.

Even funnier when you consider that Christians are therefore paying to keep this site online.

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


redneF
atheistRational VIP!
redneF's picture
Posts: 1971
Joined: 2011-01-04
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote: Has

granola pilgrim wrote:
Has anybody here really ever changed anybodies belief?

Yes.

I'm not sure why you'd assume that people's minds can't do a 180 when they change their surroundings and become exposed to a wider range of wisdom and experience.

granola pilgrim wrote:
Or is the point of this entire site to be a pissing ground of "I'm smarter than you so I must be right?"

What the internet does, is provide a platform for people to express their thoughts without persecution and ostracization by any 'peers', in any way that can affect them in their day to day lives, which enables everyone to explore converging and diverging viewpoints.

Religion (religiosity) was (among many other things) very 'customary', and therefore it's ability to bias people towards it was only natural, especially when religion was supposed to explain the mechanics of the universe.

Naturally, as science began unravelling the 'woo woo' of religion, and demonstrating that things like lightning aren't anything more than a natural phenomena, and don't have a 'purpose' (to express the anger of the gods), religion loses it's explanatory power.

Knowledge is power.

Science trumps religion in explantory power, by magnitudes. Obviously, the church didn't really provide any proper understanding of the more basic mechanics of reality.

Even theologians have backpedaled into accepting evolution and the Big Bang theory.

granola pilgrim wrote:
It seems that most people are more concerned with stroking their own ego's than in actual truth.

That's not only an ignorant comment, it's devoid of any actual meaning, as you've not specified a qualifier.

Truth about what, specifically?

Noah's Ark?

The shroud of Turin?

The garden of Eden?

Miracles?

Turning lead into gold, water into wine?

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


redneF
atheistRational VIP!
redneF's picture
Posts: 1971
Joined: 2011-01-04
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:

granola pilgrim wrote:
Purposely trying to annoy people isn't tolerant or rational.

Since when have pious folk been known to keep a stiff upper lip about other people?...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


BobSpence
High Level DonorRational VIP!ScientistWebsite Admin
BobSpence's picture
Posts: 5863
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim

granola pilgrim wrote:

Purposely trying to annoy people isn't tolerant or rational.

So why did you start a thread on this site which appeared to have little more purpose than to do just that??

We don't set out to annoy people, as such, we value truth, and see that much harm comes from religion, and wish to put it it back in its place as just another of the many superstitious belief systems, which will always be with us at some level.

'God' is a violation of logic, and the doctrines are a perversion of morality.

In a sense, we do it for the same sort of reasons Christians proselytize - we believe that the kind of world-views we have, which vary enormously in many aspects, are in the best interests of individuals and society. Its just that we believe that actions and thoughts should be measured against standards of rationality, reason, and science, and secular morality, not the uninformed and obsolete dogmas, superstitions, hangups, and taboos of people living in the Middle East two thousand years ago.

So if you can understand why you posted, and why Christians preach, you should get it. Otherwise, ask the Christians who come on here the same question.

So what frightened you back into the bosom of your imaginary friend?

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

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1830
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:And

granola pilgrim wrote:

And I'm not trying to show you that you're pathetic or blind. I'm sure you have rational well thought out reasons for your beliefs as I have mine. I'm truly curious.

Really? You have a rational and well thought out reason for your theistic belief? I would love to hear it.  Please enlighten me.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
I'm afraid I just

 

granola pilgrim wrote:

 

I am believer that was once an atheist.

 

 

can't accept that you really were an atheist, Granola. I don't have any information on this but it's more likely you had a godly upbringing and then strayed into 'sin' and as your sense of responsibility developed you felt guilt and sought a way out of these feelings. These are obviously guesses but no one seriously driven by the pursuit of testable explanations is going to opt for a belief system based on feelings and 'divine revelations' that were only 'revealed' to other people. 

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


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
For a start

 

granola pilgrim wrote:

 

I really want to know is what bothers you so much about someone having an opinion that doesn't match yours?

And I'm not trying to show you that you're pathetic or blind. I'm sure you have rational well thought out reasons for your beliefs as I have mine. I'm truly curious.

 

 

your belief system breaches articles 5, 18, 19 and 30 of the United Nations Charter of Human Rights and is morally inconsistent. A literal interpretation of bible constitutes a hate crime. Even if you are fluffy christian you must still believe jesus died on Golgotha for some purpose. I contend that purpose constitutes a general ad hominem against all humans and that the whole concept of hell is no more than a baseless threat designed to persuade weak minds to conform with a doctrine that was unsupported at the time it was contrived. If there'd been real proof in early A.D. there would be no need for insults and threats. But there was no proof. There were threats from the start.

 

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


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5102
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
Good post, Vastet.

Vastet wrote:

I`d like to start with apologizing for my abruptness in the first post. I`m guilty of assuming the average theist coming here isn`t interested in a rational discussion, especially when opening the way you did. Experience, unfortunately.

granola pilgrim wrote:

Thanks for the coherent, well thought out response. I am believer that was once an atheist and the thing I really want to know is what bothers you so much about someone having an opinion that doesn't match yours?

And I'm not trying to show you that you're pathetic or blind. I'm sure you have rational well thought out reasons for your beliefs as I have mine. I'm truly curious.

You said this to Bob, but I`d like to respond to it as well.

I was never a theist. My parents never took me to church. My earliest recollection of anything even remotely religious was being in a church where there was food for some reason. It is so hazy a recollection that it never impacted me.

My second earliest recollection was different, though both selfish and emotional. I remember being very annoyed that every Sunday my friends would vanish until the afternoon and I would be forced to play road hockey by myself until they got back. Made me a pretty good shot though. And I readily admit there`s nothing I can rationally hate religion for in that experience. So while it affected me as a child, I discarded it when I learned to divorce myself from my emotions when it was logical to do so. Somewhere in my teens.

My third experience with religion scared me and infuriated me at the same time. I remember being a child in school, somewhere between grade 1 and 4 (I can`t honestly be more specific than that), having a teacher screaming at me just because I didn`t believe in a power above myself. I couldn`t even understand what that sentence means, and still can`t. Not really. There`s too many vagaries in the whole thing. What is power. What is above me. Wtf. I vaguely recall eventually giving up and saying nature just so I could shit my pants in peace. That was the true beginning of my atheism. Until then it hadn`t meant anything or mattered to anyone, but suddenly some bitch teacher thinks she can scream at me and humiliate me in front of 30 peers just because I don`t think the way she does. If I`d been as old and wise as I am now I seriously might have punched her in the nose.

But again, that`s an emotional issue. What does it really matter what some fool and 30 idiots think. Again, when I became capable of divorcing my emotions from my thought processes, it faded from significance.

And yet, it was my stepping stone. From that point on I started paying more attention to religion. Clearly it was something that could threaten me, and the only real defence to an enemy is education. I educated myself. And in every way, in every religious text and person I encountered, all I found was inconsistancy and blatant lies. Lies I KNEW were lies. Some said I believed in god and was denying it, which I KNEW was pure BS. I read a few passages from the bible, and found they contradicted each other. I could never stomach reading the whole thing, and I never will. Unless, of course, god appears to me and convinces me he exists. But 32 years so far and no convincing.

Then it got worse. As I grew older and could sympathise and empathise with my fellow humans, I began to see the ultimate flaw in christianity. They have to travel around the world to spread their gospel, when if their god was truly good and kind he`d have shared with all mankind sufficient evidence to allow people to believe and follow. Not enough to convince everyone, or free will as described in the bible would never be possible. But enough to let people have a choice. No choice, no free will. The knife cuts both ways.

But 99% of the world had never heard of christianity for decades after the supposed events of christ. 99.999999 repeating % to 100% knew nothing before those events. And even today there is a notable segment of the population who have literally not been introduced to the concept. They never came up with it on their own, it had to be taken to them. So all those people were condemned simply for ignorance. Ignorance that WOULD have been prevented if god were good and cared about his children and could do anything he wanted.

So god is either evil, doesn`t care, can`t do whatever he wants, or doesn`t exist. The simplist answer is the last one. And everything I`ve gone through in my life confirms it. Nothing has countered it. I can`t say nothing will, I`m not a seer. I don`t believe in seers, even though I`ve had a dream or two that came true. But as things stand, I simply don`t believe. I have no reason to.

granola pilgrim wrote:

Do Atheists believe they have souls?

Some do. I don`t.

granola pilgrim wrote:

This is the definition I found for enlightened.

1. factually well-informed, tolerant of alternative opinions, and guided by rational thought

2. privy to or claiming a sense of spiritual or religious revelation of truth

Purposely trying to annoy people isn't tolerant or rational.

I am tolerant of alternative opinions. I don`t consider religion an opinion. I consider it a disease. Also, I never claimed to be exclusively rational. The more I`ve argued with theists, the more I`ve found that occassionally being irrational is quite useful. Some theists only understand irrational arguments. Not to mention that I am human, and have emotions. No matter how well I`ve been able to divorce them from my thought processes when I turn inside and think about something, I`m just as prone to anger and happiness and sadness as the next bloke when I`m socialising.

 

+1

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


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
granola pilgrim wrote:Why

granola pilgrim wrote:

cj wrote:

Why would an atheist not have a spiritual sense of being?

And why would an atheist not be enlightened?

I correlate enlightenment with a belief in a power operating in the universe that is greater than oneself.

Do Atheists believe they have souls?

 

Enlightenment can mean any old thing you want it to.  I happen to believe it means enlightened - as in being in the light.  And that happens every day I go out and the sun is shining.  A little scarce this spring here in the Pacific Northwest but not really all that unusual.  We keep telling each other it will be summer - one day.

Seriously, the enlightenment of the 17th century had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with gaining knowledge and understanding.  I'll go with that definition.

What does having or not having a soul have to do with having a spiritual sense of well being?  I have a consciousness and so I have a sense of self.  And myself can be pleased with what is going on in my mind.  And so - if my body cooperates with the physical part - I can have a feeling of well being.

But if you insist, no, no one has "soul" in the religious sense.  When we die, we will have the same experiences as the ones we had before we were born --- you do recall not being born?  No?  Hm..

edit:fixed quotes

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

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
I always thought being

I always thought being "enlightened" was knowing about something as "enlightening" someone is informing them making them more aware of it. Nothing spiritual about it but then again I'm in a small city in Texas where every tenth business or institution has the word "faith" in the title.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10688
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
That's the primary

That's the primary definition. Being educated and rational. The secondary one has to do with being spiritually aware or some shit. Ironic how the first definition contradicts the second.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.