How has being an atheist made you a better person?

Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
How has being an atheist made you a better person?

So I created a video to respond with my thoughts.
 
I just came off the top of my head and didn't take too much time to think about it, and I know I left a lot of room to improve on what I've said, so I'd like to hear from you. How has being free of theism made you a better person?
 
Or if you think you're not a better person, please explain how you've changed if at all. I directed youtubers to this thread, so if you're a viewer of youtube and want to put your thoughts down in text, please feel free, and welcome aboard.

Here is my video response on the issue, although the jist of what I say is that I think more clearly now.

 

 

- 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: 7522
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
I suppose I'll post some of

I suppose I'll post some of the responses I get from our myspace bulletin on this issue in this thread:

Quote:

----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: WWweeeouttt
Date: Dec 13 2006 6:03 PM

Yeah boy! Atheism has re-enforced my true belief that we think therefore we are. critical thinking has always put me on the edge of reality, some of my friends say that I'd better get a grip on reality, hah! Atheism has keep me consious and has no room for the slippage into unconciusness ever again. That is why I am an atheist! I have a choice and it does matter to me. Can't make a video responce my digital cam is broken on the uploading side. Maybe in the future. Happy everyday to you.

- Brian Sapient


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


Jussi K. Niemelä
Jussi K. Niemelä's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: 2006-10-23
User is offlineOffline
I've been an atheist ever

I've been an atheist ever since youth, so by definition, I've always been a good person Eye-wink Seriously speaking, studying animal behavior, Homo sapiens included, has made me much more tolerant. E.O. Wilson's magnum opus Sociobiology made me a moral person. Hence, science is good for you.


MarxistGirl
Posts: 1
Joined: 2006-12-13
User is offlineOffline
Free of theism

Being an atheist has made me a better person in so many ways. Particularly in not believing that there is a far better world waiting for me in the afterlife. Most religious people are waiting for that better world and have given up on this one and I am not. Instead of waiting for heaven I am trying to create a "heaven" here on earth, a material heaven. I cherish my family and loved ones because I know this is the only time that I get to spend with them. I also take care of the environment and donate to charities that I know will help good cause. I also feel responsible for my own actions and I know that there will be real material consequences and that going to church or repenting will not change anything. Only through my own doing will I better any wrong that I have done. I have been atheist since I was 10 years old and my whole family is atheist as well. We all have a great relationship with each other, our spouses, and our loved ones and I believe that being atheist is the reason. We all strive to create a "heaven" on earth.


Voided
Posts: 1195
Joined: 2006-02-20
User is offlineOffline
My background is probably a

My background is probably a little different then most maybe I might just be an interesting case study of sorts. I can’t really say how I am different now as an atheist because I never really was religious. My parents didn’t really tell me their position on things, although I was baptized and had relatives give me a crucifix when I was little. In any event religion wasn’t a major part of my life and wasn’t something I explored till my teens. Basically I was an agnostic that hadn’t even been given the question or evidence.

Now that I have looked at evidence, explored religions, god proofs, history, people involved, and philosophy I have formed a position. However how has this position improved my life? Well the position is a by product of reason not the reason I’m rational. The reason I would say is what guides my action and I would argue is one of the most important and positive aspects of how I think. The way I think will change how I make decisions and a level head is important in making a good one.

Ok yeah reason is great, but how has being atheist made a positive impact? For one I’m not following silly laws for no good reason. I rely on realities of the world such as myself, friends, or family and not on a sky daddy when I have a problem. That means something will actually get done. When I have a question I can’t just say, “god did it” and be done. Yes, I rather work harder for the right answer then be in the bliss of ignorance.

The idea of atheism and ideas around it has fueled my thirst for knowledge and given me a greater thirst for more. It is part of the reason I will be a philosopher and hopefully add something to this accident we call the human race. It is the reason why I know so much about logic and how to argue a point and how I came to realize the ideas of words are not always what they seem or being used correctly. It certainly has given me reasons to pick up a book, never mind I think some are full of shit.

It has also given me perspective on certain ideas of government and politics. Such as free speech, what is constitutional, and history of it. Like I nor many people around me knew the history of the pledge or religious based slogans that stain the freedoms the nation is suppose to stand for.

It has given me reason to study complex theories of science that I would probably not have looked into. I’m not an expert on it all, but I can pick out who doesn’t know shit about it real fast. Not only that but I can also pick out what is scientific and what is not even if someone is lying to my face.

Yes, it has hindered a few interactions with theists, but I rather try to find truth and be with others who want truth then live lie for them. Not only that but if you are someone who is willing to question mother fucking god don’t you think that will make it easier to question a mere man?


Gwendora
Posts: 1
Joined: 2006-12-14
User is offlineOffline
New Respect for life.

Odd, when I was a born-again Christian I was never really pro-life or against abortion because I really bellived God took all of them to Heaven.
Now that I don't have the belief of an afterlife to comfort me, and I realise that I do not have the answers about life or death, life has become precious.
Precious because it's very possible, that this is all there is, and possible that when you die, then that's it.

Really, I don't see how it could be "weird" that a person could turn pro-life when turning agnnostic. However, most people do consider it weird.

I now realise that I no longer have all the answers of life and death like religion trys to give definite answers to. I now realise that we don't KNOW what happens when we die.

Besides, after reading the Old Testament, I realise that the Bible is not pro-life anyway. There is enough "god ordained" baby slaughter to turn one's stomach!


Insanitys Crescendo
Posts: 8
Joined: 2006-12-14
User is offlineOffline
As a whole, I have not

As a whole, I have not changed much since I became an atheist. The way I look at things (not just religion) has changed. Recently I've been starting to feel the brunt of theists' attitudes towards non-religious people. But presently I'm not too worried about it. I've also been marvelling at how people can still believe in any religion; it is amazing, the way they think. But not in a good way. I also now feel kind of concerned for people I know to be devout followers of their religion, like my grandfather for example. Again, overall, I am still myself and don't believe I have noticeably changed much. I'm a firm believer of keeping your religious beliefs to yourself; just another reason I'm in love with Scandinavia.

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts, unutterably vain,
Worthless as withered weeds
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main


Hambydammit
High Level DonorModeratorRRS Core Member
Hambydammit's picture
Posts: 8657
Joined: 2006-10-22
User is offlineOffline
What a great question,

What a great question, Sapient!

I'm quite different since becoming an atheist, and I believe 95% of the changes have been for the better.

Probably the biggest thing is this: I didn't learn empathy until I left religion. Through the lens of religion, I was able to look at nearly everyone as a product of only one thing -- sin. Therefore, I didn't have to try to put myself in their shoes. If their life was going badly, it was because they were a sinner. What they needed was a sermon, not sympathy!

When I left religion, I was able to look at the world not as a place of good and evil, but a place of better and worse from a certain perspective. Once I learned that people were just animals, and acted based on predictable scientific data, I was able to look at another person's situation and think, "What would I do if I was in their shoes?" Thus, I learned empathy.

Also, as a result of leaving religion, my attitudes towards women have changed completely. It was impossible to not be somewhat sexist as a Christian. I call myself a humanist now... not a feminist, but similar in that I believe that everyone deserves equal respect as a human being.

There are a lot more ways I've changed, but I think those two are the most noticable. Inwardly, I can say that I have very few regrets, and very little guilt about anything I've done in the last ten years, because I make decisions based on logic, not on the dogma of religion. I can also say that the last five years of my life -- the years when I've been openly atheist -- have been the happiest and most fulfilling of my entire life.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism


MarkDavis
Posts: 3
Joined: 2006-12-12
User is offlineOffline
Sapient, I can't really say

Sapient,

I can't really say that being an atheist has changed me in anyway since I havn't believed in God since I was 8 or 9, but I do have a reason why I think atheist are in general more moral then theists. I agree statistical evidence is the best way to illustrate this point and Sam Harris often refers to the UN Development Index which measures a societies social health in a variety of categories(Education, violoent crime, infant mortality etc etc.) and as you pointed out in your video we have hard core statistics to back up this notion that atheists are more moral when you compare a countries religiosity to how well the society fares on the index.

Beyond the statistical evidence, there's also a good philosophical argument that atheists have a much more realistic view of suffering in the world. We do not have our compassion constrained by religious dogma. We see the world and suffering for what it really is. And we can't write off human suffering to "God's Plan". There is no master plan. We all have the same inbuilt human capability for compassion(Dawkins gives a decent argument why this is so), but regardless of where it comes from, the atheist who sees the world as it really is and doesn't have the crutch of God to fall back on is more apt to care about issues of suffering in THIS world. The theist has had their compassion rail-roaded by whatever it says in their special book.

Mark


patches
patches's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: 2006-12-13
User is offlineOffline
I've recently become an

I've recently become an atheist, and I can proudly say it has made me a better person. I never really believed all the religious mumbo-jumbo, but of course my parents were Catholic, so that made me Catholic. I've always been an atheist in a sense, because I never really believed in "God," but rather pretened to. So I guess I don't know how believing in "God" would feel. But I think it makes be a better person, because instead of believing in a false deity that can make my problems go away, I solve my own problems with my abilities. I never try to get "God" to bail me out. My judgement also isn't clouded because of what "God" might think. I'm also more open-minded then most Christians I know, so that in it self makes me better then them.

"Faith: not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
http://www.myspace.com/JuRbAlOiD155


Iruka Naminori
atheist
Iruka Naminori's picture
Posts: 1955
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
I did horrible things in the name of religion.

Granted, I never killed anyone for being of a different religion, but being raised fundy had a negative impact on my morality.

I harshly judged homosexuals and gave my boyfriend an ultimatum: Cut off your gay father...OR ELSE! Similarly, when I was in high school, I cut off a friendship with a boy when I learned he was gay. Years later, after I'd come to my senses, I found out he had died of AIDS. It was too late to even say I'm sorry.

During the last stage of my religious illness, I became a charismatic. My lifelong "personal relationship with Jesus" made me believe I had a direct line to God. I started "discerning spirits" and sensing the presence of demons in other people. I happily joined in when some friends of mine decided we needed to cast a demon out of my best friend's boyfriend. Later, when I began to doubt, my "friends" turned on me and did some spiritual discerning of their own. They decided the demon had left the boyfriend and jumped to me...lovely. To this day, my mother believes that my symptoms of depression can be traced back to the demon that came out of my best's friend's boyfriend.

I was such an obnoxious fucker with my direct line to god. It allowed me to be arrogant with no checks on my behavior. If a person truly believes his or her actions are in line with the will of a god, that person will do whatever he or she wants, believing that the almighty condones it. The conscience becomes disengaged.

Now that I am an atheist, I must take responsibility for my own actions. There is no god to put a rubber stamp on my behavior. If I am obnoxious or arrogant, if I do something to hurt someone else, I must take the blame. I am also forced to THINK about what I say, about what I do. I can't just use that "direct line to god" or "scripture" to determine what is right. Scriptural (and I might add, "direct-line-to-god") morality does not line up with what is best for humankind. It doesn't rely on what creates happiness or suffering. Instead it relies on arbitrary rules written 2000 years ago by a bunch of sexually-repressed men. There is no room for the conscience or for rational thought.

I've heard it said that "Christian" morality is morality from the waist down. That's true...and they can't even get that right! Priest pedophiles, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart...sigh.

Sometimes when I look back on the way I behaved, I wonder what I could have been thinking. But that's the whole point. I wasn't thinking. Or even feeling.

Religion destroys the conscience just as thoroughly as it destroys rational thought.

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."—Steven Weinberg.

Books on atheism, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13254
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:
Granted, I never killed anyone for being of a different religion, but being raised fundy had a negative impact on my morality.

I harshly judged homosexuals and gave my boyfriend an ultimatum: Cut off your gay father...OR ELSE! Similarly, when I was in high school, I cut off a friendship with a boy when I learned he was gay. Years later, after I'd come to my senses, I found out he had died of AIDS. It was too late to even say I'm sorry.

During the last stage of my religious illness, I became a charismatic. My lifelong "personal relationship with Jesus" made me believe I had a direct line to God. I started "discerning spirits" and sensing the presence of demons in other people. I happily joined in when some friends of mine decided we needed to cast a demon out of my best friend's boyfriend. Later, when I began to doubt, my "friends" turned on me and did some spiritual discerning of their own. They decided the demon had left the boyfriend and jumped to me...lovely. To this day, my mother believes that my symptoms of depression can be traced back to the demon that came out of my best's friend's boyfriend.

I was such an obnoxious fucker with my direct line to god. It allowed me to be arrogant with no checks on my behavior. If a person truly believes his or her actions are in line with the will of a god, that person will do whatever he or she wants, believing that the almighty condones it. The conscience becomes disengaged.

Now that I am an atheist, I must take responsibility for my own actions. There is no god to put a rubber stamp on my behavior. If I am obnoxious or arrogant, if I do something to hurt someone else, I must take the blame. I am also forced to THINK about what I say, about what I do. I can't just use that "direct line to god" or "scripture" to determine what is right. Scriptural (and I might add, "direct-line-to-god") morality does not line up with what is best for humankind. It doesn't rely on what creates happiness or suffering. Instead it relies on arbitrary rules written 2000 years ago by a bunch of sexually-repressed men. There is no room for the conscience or for rational thought.

I've heard it said that "Christian" morality is morality from the waist down. That's true...and they can't even get that right! Priest pedophiles, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart...sigh.

Sometimes when I look back on the way I behaved, I wonder what I could have been thinking. But that's the whole point. I wasn't thinking. Or even feeling.

Religion destroys the conscience just as thoroughly as it destroys rational thought.

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."—Steven Weinberg.

YOU SUCK!

How dare you let others be themselves. You should have stuck to your guns. GAY MARRIAGE! WTF? Heterosexuals outnumber gays so by default majority rules just like whites outnumber blacks MAJORITY RULES!

Atheists are outnumbered by Christians so it is our duty to take it up the arse from Christians AND F-ING LIKE IT! I only wish in their needless stereotypes of us kitten barbaquers that they would at least give a reach around.

JEEZE! Tollerance and peace, what the hell good is that unless we can dictate to others. I HATE PEACEMONGERS LIKE YOU!

(Note to Brian37: Did I think that, or type it?)

"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


BarkAtTheMoon
Rational VIP!
BarkAtTheMoon's picture
Posts: 85
Joined: 2006-02-22
User is offlineOffline
I don't think I'm really

I don't think I'm really especially better because of being an atheist. I'm certainly no worse, though, countering the common theist implication that you can't be a good person without faith. I was never much of a believer, drifting gradually through a sort of agnostic deism/weak atheism in high school to stronger atheism in college and later, I was always taught the value of education & science, and I was raised to be a decent person because it's the right thing regardless of the threat of hell or promise of heaven so there was never really any big transition to make.

The couple times a year when I do end up in church, like the upcoming late night Christmas Eve service for example, I tend to not particularly enjoy it much anymore because I'm thinking about the absurdities in the stories and verses rather than just sitting back, zoning out, and enjoying the songs. I'm not sure whether that's a positive or not. I've always had a good bullshit detector and never tolerated it, but I'm much less tolerant of religion as a whole and the retarded arguments theists, including moderates, tend to put forth than I use to be.

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!
- Eric Idle, from The Galaxy Song


Josh Martin
Posts: 2
Joined: 2006-12-19
User is offlineOffline
  My First Real Post My

 

My First Real Post Laughing

My life was very complex at one time.

 

Let me make it easy mode, so that I may not spend several pages on details alone.

 

1. When I was young my mother left my father before I knew him.

2. She moved back (me included) to Michigan with her extremely religious family. Heavily christian.

3. Within in a few years I attended regular sunday schools and religious groups daily in worshipping the almighty god.

4. My mother then married a man who tried to kill us after many years of beating my mother and I. Because of this we moved to spain.

5. Spain was equally a religious place, however because of it being a literal new world for me (Seville, Spain) and my mother working in the Worlds Fair Expo 92' I began to understand that the world is of vast amounts of culture and differences, but generally we all worship some sort of god.

 6. We then moved back to Michigan when all was safe, after a year or so. My mother then remarried to Patrick whom was a catholic but was very much into Tai Chi, music and art. This again broadened my scope, seeing that even religious people have inner conflicts and a great questioning of themselves.

 7. We moved to Pakistan, yes literally. Lahore Pakistan we lived for 1 year because my parents were offered a teaching job. Here I came to witness the muslim religion. 

 

So you can say that I've literally lived in the midst of American Christianity, Spanish Catholics and Muslims in areas like Pakistan and Spain of course all whilst my parents were more or less Catholic, or semi Christian during my entire childhood.

 

Conclusion: What I came to learn is that this world is far to complex and evolving for religion to be concidered. I have no question that knowing myself an atheist was the right choice. I've experienced more culture then 90% of all children, perhaps more. And though lucky yes, I've come to understand that I cannot choose one spot of this world and say that god is "this" or even "everything" For the ideas of science, the realities of history and the progressive movement coming forth from this last century is the heavy weight in the ring.

 

How do I feel about myself? Well, concidering my parents after traveling the world as well became more or less atheist/agnostic its clear that seeing the big picture really casts the notion of a god into a dark corner. I'm a very good person with regards to kindness, sure I have flaws like anyone. But that's what I was born with, thats what Im evolving from when I learn more & more each day. I live for knowledge of myself, others and the prosperty of our pale blue dot (earth) not some giant god, which is the greatest lie... ever told, believed. The lie that kills and kills.


22jesus22
22jesus22's picture
Posts: 208
Joined: 2006-12-18
User is offlineOffline
That was a good read Josh,

That was a good read Josh, you've seemed to experience a lot.

 

Like others I can't really say how Atheism has changed me, because I have always been one.  However one thing I know I get from being an atheist is the gratitude for this world.  When talking to a lot of my theist friends, they ask me why I don’t just kill myself now because I don’t believe in anything.  I don’t know why they ask me that.  Though the thought of this being “it” can at times be depressing I think it allows us to have a much better appreciation for our lives.  When you believe in a paradise, I then don’t understand the point of living this life.  Another thing pointed out by many is the suffering in this world.  Religious people can say its “Gods Plan” and then not feel so horrible about it.  As an atheist I find the suffering very real, and don’t understand why more isn’t done to stop it.  Those are just some thoughts on why I think atheism makes me a more understanding person.


Angelic_Atheist
Silver Member
Angelic_Atheist's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: 2006-04-06
User is offlineOffline
I became an atheist around

I became an atheist around 7 years ago. Since then Im not sure I'm a better person, but a more healthy one. My confidence has shot up since I stopped telling myself I was a miserable sinner, no matter how good I was.

A while back I took one of those (silly) political quizzes and didnt like what I saw one bit. What knocked me out of my seat was that it said (my impression) that I knew what is moral and had no problem forcing others to conform to it. I never thought of my self as pushy, damn, that was a trait I did not want to have.

And so my journey towards Democratic liberalism begins. Now, "If it harms none, do as you will". Im really close to the center now, which I think is far better than being polarized to one corner.

Maybe I am a better person now, but its thanks to IG and RRS. I wouldnt have been at these sites (that linked to the quizz) if i wasnt an atheist.

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
~ Richard Dawkins


rackitycoon
Posts: 11
Joined: 2006-12-21
User is offlineOffline
Angelic_Atheist

Angelic_Atheist wrote:

 Now, "If it harms none, do as you will".

Wow! This is certainly the last place I would expect to find the Wiccan Rede! Smiling
Anyways, like many others here, I have never been a theist, so atheism can't have made me better. I think it's made me a good person in that I embrace other viewpoints. Those who wrap themselves in religion need a certain homogeneity, since that which is different threatens to unravel their entire worldview. Since my views are not based on external dogma, I am free to experience other cultures, viewpoints, even religions! If something doesn't seem true to me, I'm not forced to defend myself, though I do try to examine the new idea, see why it doesn't "click" and understand that sometimes different people have different needs.


Crazybassist03
Crazybassist03's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: 2006-07-16
User is offlineOffline
The problem with theism is

The problem with theism is it allows for people to think they know everything, and not want to learn more. Being an atheist, I have a thirst for knowledge like not many people I know. I'm a person that would rather read an article than play a video game. I actually enjoy learning about things in my spare time. Not just doing mindless activities. It has also allowed for me to create my own set of morals, not just look at a piece of paper for guidance.


girlanachronism
girlanachronism's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: 2006-07-26
User is offlineOffline
Insanitys Crescendo

Insanitys Crescendo wrote:
As a whole, I have not changed much since I became an atheist. The way I look at things (not just religion) has changed. Recently I've been starting to feel the brunt of theists' attitudes towards non-religious people. But presently I'm not too worried about it. I've also been marvelling at how people can still believe in any religion; it is amazing, the way they think. But not in a good way. I also now feel kind of concerned for people I know to be devout followers of their religion, like my grandfather for example. Again, overall, I am still myself and don't believe I have noticeably changed much. I'm a firm believer of keeping your religious beliefs to yourself; just another reason I'm in love with Scandinavia.

 Scandanavia rocks.  Represent. 

Anyway...Being an atheist has shown me to model myself after those I respect (atheists and theists alike).  That way I can die knowing I did what I thought was right.  If I leave a positive mark than that's enough for me.  Because that's what a lot of us want, right?  To be remembered. 

The secret to eternal happines: It's not all about you.


Sekigahara
Sekigahara's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: 2006-05-11
User is offlineOffline
Soo.......

Atheism has allowed to search for horizons that I was never able to touch as a theist. Of course, we have liberal theists who are open-minded and would not mind looking into the ideologies of others. However, my case was different since I was quite a conservative, always considering scripture as a deadly serious matter. As I still grow today, atheism has taught me respect individuals as they are and not because they are somewhat different. This point in theism can be debated to some point, but as a former-theist who had a rather aggressive view on life, this is how it happened. I have also learned to love life as it is and enjoy it by the moment instead of living to expect to enter heaven in return.

Overall, I guess the main thing that caused this to happen was the fact that I have always been extremely curious.... 


Eric Ferguson
Posts: 75
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
While I have not really had

While I have not really had a specific belief in a God I just assumed there is one and that was good enough. But in recent years I've learned that not believing in God and using the word atheist is nothing to be afraid of. After a while I posed the question to myself, who/what am I if I don't believe in God? I am a good, funny, caring, intellectual. He, that feels pretty good, so what else is there. That's where it gets good.

 I cannot be forgiven by anyone other than who I have wronged. Imagine that. No invisible friend to ask for forgiveness. If I've done something wrong only I alone can try to make ammends for that. And unlike Jesus, some people may never forgive me for my actions. As a result I must be as good a person as I can be, making this life the best one I will ever have. I must avoid wrongdoing in the first place. And without direct feedback from this savior how am I to know that I'm forgiven? Did I formulate my prayer properly? Direct feedback from the one I've wronged is far more satisfying.

I have to fight, to get out of debt, for the good job, for the toys I want. I have to strive to better myself. I have to work to make my relationships succeed. Only through my actions will I be awarded good friends. And when I make some of these life achievements there is an overwhelming sense of pride, something I could never have if it were all the will of a God.

I am not better than you. I am not chosen. I am just a man. I'm not at a higher level of existance than anyone else due to my relationship with an invisible friend. The realization that there is only me, and 6.5 billion other individuals, interacting, or choosing not to, is by itself amazing.

I'm not nervous or paranoid. I'm not looking over my shoulder checking to see if I've done something to upset this invisible friend.

Atheism for me is comfortable and refreshing. 

Consider this account closed. It's disgraceful this site has no function to delete an account. I cannot be part of an organization that seeks only to replace the religion of the god of the bible with the religion of "poor me" bleeding heart liberalism. Rational my ass! Not believing in a god is one thing. A rational view of the rest of the world is something else, which isn't found here.


Ripple
Theist
Posts: 126
Joined: 2007-01-02
User is offlineOffline
Being an athiest did little

Being an athiest did little for me. It allowed me to live a life believing that immorality, violence, drugs, and basically being an asshole was...okay. Why be an athiest when I can believe in a God, whether that exists or not, and have my life feel....better. It's a drive. It's something pushing me to say, hey, lets be a good person. Maybe that will make other be good or at the very least decent people. I ask myself, why is society corrupt? Because we have made it to be. You and I. Your mother or father maybe(God bless all you good mothers and fathers by the way) God is something, someone, who is trying to create a worldy good. Us humans have just been exploited for 1900 years of humanity by a system that was meant to be corrupt. Jesus Christ didn't form the lines of the 3rd and 4th Crusades. If any of you were really so rational as I am, then you could maybe understand the fact that God, IF real, didn't cause the fucking flood. You did. I did. The natural tendency of man to sin. That is what caused it. If you Christian naysayers are bashing Christians who just so happen to think that hey, maybe something other then science is the truth, why not believe in it, then Jesus Christ didn't die only for them, but for you. For a person like Salient. I watched 3 minutes of that movie and needed no more to decide that this person never even gave Jesus a chance. He loved you every time you prayed, but did you love him? I don't know and I don't care. If you just try to experience, good. It's worth a shot. But if you just don't care enough about the fact and that just maybe, MAYBE it could make the world better, to just BELIEVE or even CONSIDER something so grand as the perfect conception of God, then why do I really care to even watch a 7 minute video on what you are saying Salient. How much more are you essentially believing that everything the Bible is saying is completely bullshit, if you just use the completely Dogmatic context of such a book. It was the Bible, probably, just probably not written by the hand or spoken by the hand of God. Not the Christian god which you all hate, but God. Ask yourself that, then come to me and really tell me to my face your argument. Because if you are willing to argue that, then I am a warrior of words. For that is all I can be to even have a shot at reaching MY desire. And that is not money, or having a nice TV to watch Georgia football(go Dawgs). My desire is for the world to be a better place. Even if I proclaim myself to believe in Jesus Christs conviction and resurrection, then am I really that low of a person in this society? I believe not for there are many people, much smarter and much slower then I am who can feel how I feel about the world, with any religion and any God. And that is Theism my friends. That is why being a theist has made me a better person.

1 in 5 Americans believe we live in a Geocentric solar system. Who do you blame for that? God? I blame god.


Angelic_Atheist
Silver Member
Angelic_Atheist's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: 2006-04-06
User is offlineOffline
rackitycoon

rackitycoon wrote:
Angelic_Atheist wrote:

Now, "If it harms none, do as you will".

Wow! This is certainly the last place I would expect to find the Wiccan Rede! Smiling
 LOL, I aint no wiccan, but it works. I remember saying that to the very nice but very christian family I was living with. I almost had to duck!!! I just never understood what was wrong with that little saying.

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
~ Richard Dawkins


Antiquehunter
Antiquehunter's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: 2006-12-29
User is offlineOffline
My story is a little

My story is a little unusual.  I was raised from an early age in a very secular fashion.  One of my earliest childhood memories was watching Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos' with my father on Saturday afternoons.  I attended a United church with my Grandmother and my mother on Xmas and Easter, simply because it was the done thing.  My Grandmother did attend church regularly, I suspect mostly for the social aspects, and to hang with her bridge buddies.

Sometime around my 13th birthday, my dad decided it was important to go to church.  He had just lost both his parents rather suddenly, and gone through a business failure.  We've never talked about the nature of his 'epiphany' but clearly there was one.  My dad decided that the only 'right' church was the Anglican church (him being British) and so off we all went.  I was quickly entered into confirmation classes (passed with flying colours), was an altar boy (not in the Catholic sense) and played the piano/organ for services.

Then, my parents started getting rather charismatic - into faith healing, and the 'miracle' at Medjugoria (Mary appearing to some Hungarian chicks) - and their circle of friends became more and more fundamentalist in their approaches (discussions of the 'End Times' etc...)  By 15, I decided that my parents were whackjobs, and became anti-religion.  I can't say 'atheist' because I didn't understand the term at the time - but I knew definitely what I DIDN'T want to be a part of.

What turned me 'atheist' was my senior year high school teacher.  I had written a paper attacking Mormons for their beliefs - because I found some tracts lying around the house that talked about how whacked out THEY were.  The paper was an obnoxious attack, which assumed Christianity as I understood it was 'right' and Mormonism was 'wrong'.  My teacher wouldn't accept the paper, and assigned me Carl Sagan's 'The Dragons of Eden'.  That book changed my life.  Right there and then, I began devouring all of Sagan's work, which led me to Gould and Dawkins (I'm a much bigger fan of Dawkins than Gould) the Skepticsm movement etc...

So - how am I a better person for becoming an atheist?  First and foremost, I'm more open to other ideas.  Rather than dismissing a set of beliefs out of hand, I am sincerely open to learn more about things before simply saying 'Wrong!'.  (Of course, I now know enough about certain belief systems that most of the arguments are repetative and don't bring anything new or compelling to the table.)  I am now more level-headed and a much better critical thinker.  I have a pretty well-developed 'baloney detection kit' which I never needed when I was infected with the illness known as religion.  I also have more self-confidence in how I lead my life.  I no longer can hide behind an invisible friend to protect me, I no longer can assume that there is something better waiting for me if I screw up my life here.  So, I now think through my thoughts and actions, and live for the moment.  I sincerely feel that an atheist worldview is more psychologically 'healthy' and definitely far more personally empowering than a theistic one.


Ripple
Theist
Posts: 126
Joined: 2007-01-02
User is offlineOffline
I'm a sinner. I sin

I'm a sinner. I sin everyday, not because I choose to fully, but because it is so engrained in my existence. I do not fear God. God knows ALL of my sins(which I admit, would send any God fearing Christian probably to the 7th or 8th level of Dante's Hell) and let me tell you I fear God not for fear of Hell, and Rapture, for fear of dissapoint. That he really doesn't have a grand plan in the mix of it all. But you know what I learned, what if he doesn't have that grand plan. Am I really that bad off in the end? No! I created my own religion which told me my own Dogma which told me to act and choose to do or be whatever the hell I want to be. And just because I think me and God are pretty tight on such a subject like that, without claiming to talk or speak to God(a little prayer on my part) then I should feel confident, and fearless, in the fact that my mission in life will bring me only to good, whether God had a part in it or not. SO WHY DO YOU ALL CARE? SERIOUSLY? Why poke at other peoples faith? Because Christianity has set up a system of Cruelty and Corruption. SNORE. Tell me something I don't know. Tell me something Christians don't know. Then, after you are finished BITCHING change this world with something SMART to say. Because you are all SMART people. So open your noggin, and think people. Theres much more to this world, how it works then you really think. It's putting the peices together. And those peices go much farther, and much more detailed then a little childs puzzle with the setting of heaven vs hell, god vs satan. Fuck that guys, its human morality, and human conviction. It's Adolf Hitler, FDR, Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, and every other world leader before and after those men. They were all BRILLIANT people probably much smarter or much less smarter then any of us, or I. So what makes the difference in this world? You guys sitting here on a message board complaining about nothing? Or Hitler who was parading around in little Bars, convincing the German people he was right and he knew the truth. Well I don't come here to have my posts deleted. I come here for the Truth. My username should rather be Servant of Knowledge. Because I truly have dedicated my life to knowing the truth. Help me. I come to atheists and atheism, as I have come to that idea my whole life, not as a source of activism and output, but rather a source of activism and input. Input on activities done in this world to make it better for my son and daughter. My brother and wife. YOUR brother and wife. That is atheism to me. But Theism can NOT be ignored.

1 in 5 Americans believe we live in a Geocentric solar system. Who do you blame for that? God? I blame god.


Antiquehunter
Antiquehunter's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: 2006-12-29
User is offlineOffline
What the flying fuck does

What the flying fuck does your asinine rambling have to do with the original post???  If you want to post a bunch of drivel, why not start a new thread? 

My dork detector is beeping...


Ripple
Theist
Posts: 126
Joined: 2007-01-02
User is offlineOffline
Because someone is deleting

Because someone is deleting EACH AND EVERY TOPIC I create. So I seem not worthy enough to post such topics. So if I must, must I troll other peoples topics? Sure, because noone hear has seemed to answer ANY of my questions, other then labeling me as a troll. Sapient is a troll. A troll who has powers to delete my posts. So that is why I ramble about asinine bullshit. Because if you just read my bullshit, it might have just a hint of insight on the world.

1 in 5 Americans believe we live in a Geocentric solar system. Who do you blame for that? God? I blame god.


MattShizzle
Posts: 7966
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Dude. You seriously need

Dude. You seriously need thorazine. And is that "asshat" pic still around?


Eric Ferguson
Posts: 75
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
Ok, I'll bite. Ripple

Ok, I'll bite.

Ripple wrote:
Being an athiest did little for me. It allowed me to live a life believing that immorality, violence, drugs, and basically being an asshole was...okay. Why be an athiest when I can believe in a God, whether that exists or not, and have my life feel....better. It's a drive. It's something pushing me to say, hey, lets be a good person.

What?! Where's your morality? Are you saying that without a belief in God, even if you know it might be false, you cannot be a good person?

Quite the opposite is normally the case. Because an Atheist doesn't have an invisible friend to forgive them they must try to be the best person they can be.

Quote:
I ask myself, why is society corrupt? Because we have made it to be. You and I.

Who said it's corrupt? Most of society is just fine. Most people get along with others, in fact most people are isolationists. The most corrupt people I can think of are all theists.

Quote:
Jesus Christ didn't form the lines of the 3rd and 4th Crusades. If any of you were really so rational as I am, then you could maybe understand the fact that God, IF real, didn't cause the fucking flood.

This makes no sense. If an atheist doesn't believe in God then how can they believe in the actions of God or Jesus? I suspect you don't understand what an atheist is. It is not a person that is specifically attacking another's faith. They just don't believe in a God or Gods.

Quote:
If you Christian naysayers are bashing Christians who just so happen to think that hey, maybe something other then science is the truth, why not believe in it, then Jesus Christ didn't die only for them, but for you.

What? First, few are bashing Christians, it's Christianity that's the subject. And just because somebody else believes why shouldn't I? Just because I believe Royal Crown is the best cola doesn't mean you or anyone else should blindly believe that. That is probably the worst argument ever for the belief in a God, simply because others do.

Quote:
I watched 3 minutes of that movie and needed no more to decide that this person never even gave Jesus a chance.

Sounds like you're the one that doesn't give chances. It turns out that person was once a Christian fundamentalist. He learned.

Quote:
If you just try to experience, good. It's worth a shot.

I try to experience good every day, without a God. I'm one of the most friendly and easy going people you could meet. I try to always be polite and helpful. You know that one person that stops and asks if you need help when hundreds of others pass by...that's me. I greatly enjoy the things this life has to offer. I like good food, music, friends, conversation, technology, picturesque landscapes, nature, and so much more, all without a God.

Quote:
But if you just don't care enough about the fact and that just maybe, MAYBE it could make the world better, to just BELIEVE or even CONSIDER something so grand as the perfect conception of God,

The course of history shows religion more often than not makes the world a worse place.

Quote:
How much more are you essentially believing that everything the Bible is saying is completely bullshit, if you just use the completely Dogmatic context of such a book. It was the Bible, probably, just probably not written by the hand or spoken by the hand of God. Not the Christian god which you all hate, but God.

Not sure I understand the point. Religious texts are ALL we have as direction by any given God or Gods. Teachings and interpretations are all subject to human error, as can be seen by differences of opinion between religions of the same God. Atheists don't hate the Christian God. Nor do they hate God. They just don't believe in any God. Are you saying there is a God but is not the Christian God?

Quote:
then come to me and really tell me to my face your argument. Because if you are willing to argue that, then I am a warrior of words.

Hello.

Quote:
For that is all I can be to even have a shot at reaching MY desire. And that is not money, or having a nice TV to watch Georgia football(go Dawgs). My desire is for the world to be a better place.

Belief in a God doesn't make the world a better place or allow anyone to reach any goals. It does quite the opposite. There's been the most suffering and death throughout history at the hands of religion. Christianity, and many others, preach that one should give up on their goals, do not try to reach them, just ask God, and he'll decide what's best.

Quote:
Even if I proclaim myself to believe in Jesus Christs conviction and resurrection, then am I really that low of a person in this society?

Yes?

Quote:
I believe not for there are many people, much smarter and much slower then I am who can feel how I feel about the world, with any religion and any God. And that is Theism my friends. That is why being a theist has made me a better person.

Again, just because others believe? That's not theism. So you're saying that the minority must be wrong because they're the minority?

"Candle In The Wind" by Sir Elton John is the most popular song in the world. Popular doesn't equal correct.

When I want my favorite movie to win the awards and it doesn't, oh well. Or when the politician I vote for loses, oh well. You want your faith to be the thing that "fixes" the world. Oh well.

Go ahead and believe. That's your choice. And unlike religion, atheists won't persecute you for it.

My soap box is now flat.

Consider this account closed. It's disgraceful this site has no function to delete an account. I cannot be part of an organization that seeks only to replace the religion of the god of the bible with the religion of "poor me" bleeding heart liberalism. Rational my ass! Not believing in a god is one thing. A rational view of the rest of the world is something else, which isn't found here.


rexlunae
rexlunae's picture
Posts: 378
Joined: 2007-01-07
User is offlineOffline
I never wanted to become an

I never wanted to become an atheist. In fact, I fought against it for quite some time. However, in the end, I was forced to admit the lies that I had been trying to believe. It wasn't until I had the chance to get over the loss of the promises of Christianity that I realized all I had gained.

1. I no longer needed to exert the mental effort required to believe such obviously absurd things as are believed by theists. I was amazed how much less mental effort it was to be an atheist.

2. I no longer had to defer to scripture or dogma in forming my opinions and beliefs. It's very liberating to think without fear of reprisal.

3. When I was a Christian, I felt guilty if my thoughts ever drifted to questioning any aspect of God. As an atheist, I don't have to feel guilty for thought sins.

4. I no longer had to attempt to maintain the corrupt, contradictory, false morality of Christianity. I've always, even while I was a Christian, believed in a live-and-let-live morality, and now I don't need to support the backward theist systems of sin and guilt. Which brings me to...

5. Freedom from guilt. Not all guilt, but guilt related to "sins" that don't harm anyone.

6. No need to attend pointless ceremonies, tithe, pray.

Christianity offers a worldview that can seem very reassuring to some, but I was surprised how satisfying the atheist world view is. But whichever is more satisfying, the truth is always better than I lie that make you feels good.

It's only the fairy tales they believe.


themongol
Posts: 2
Joined: 2007-01-12
User is offlineOffline
Being an atheist doesn't

Being an atheist doesn't change much in my life except that now I'm more honest to myself by accepting reality as it is. I still live a life that i believe to be moral.

Being an atheist and accepting reality as it is, I have come to the realization that life is ABSURD.  


hellfiend666
Rational VIP!
hellfiend666's picture
Posts: 192
Joined: 2007-01-15
User is offlineOffline
how i am better for it

I think I am better for being atheist because I don't need the fear of the big scary cosmic mommy/daddy leveling his/hers/it's retribution on me, and therefore, I act with kindness, genorosity, and honesty out of a pure heart, not out of that fear of hell, or purgatory, or wtf ever.  I am a good person because that is who I am, not what anyone has scared me into being.

The darkness of godlessness lets wisdom shine.


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
I've been an atheist for a

I've been an atheist for a while but coming to this site and learning about James Randi (who I never heard of before) and others, I have been more critical of other things I didn't consider religious.  Such as horoscopes, psychic abilities, ghost sitings, reincarnation, aura curers, etc.  These are things I deal with from time to time when sitting around talking with friends. 

I have some friends that will try to argue that I cannot deny the existance of a higher being and that I should never tell people that they are wrong.  It's definetly harder to be an outspoken atheist. But I think the more that I speak out, it gives my friends a chance to see things from a different perspective.    


Jutter
Jutter's picture
Posts: 65
Joined: 2006-08-24
User is offlineOffline
As George H. Smith put it,

As George H. Smith put it, and I'll parafrase: atheism per sé doesn't make for improvement, but if offers the clean slate allowing personal growth unhindered by religious dogma and mysology.

Hense I get to base my morality on preventing harm and pursuing benifit, for "our sake" in general, and "my sake" in particular, rather than detaching morality from those criteria, rendering it absurd.  

~Let us be reasonable~

You want to claim there's such a thing as "the supernatural"? Fine. I hereby declare you to be "paracorrect" in doing so. 


pooratheist
Posts: 1
Joined: 2007-01-31
User is offlineOffline
Atheism has improved my life

Atheism has improved my life In the broadest way. I am no longer bound to think that my way is better than anyone else. I am forced to consider the rights of others. This has made me considerate of all peoples rights. not just what the old book says.


Clara Listensprechen
Clara Listensprechen's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: 2007-02-02
User is offlineOffline
In The Beginning, I was

In The Beginning, I was raised a theist.  Then I went church-hopping only to discover that there was no such thing as a God-breathed Absolute Truth and that there were DISPARATE versions of Bibles that went beyond the subterfuge of being mere "translations".

And then I saw what religions have done and continue to do in the Middle East--endangering the entire planet, believer and nonbeliever alike.

Becoming anti-theist (and not just a-theist) improved me by giving me a grasp on sanity that has evaded religionists for centuries.  I am a better person for it because I am saner for it. 

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Clara Listensprechen

Clara Listensprechen wrote:

Becoming anti-theist (and not just a-theist) improved me by giving me a grasp on sanity that has evaded religionists for centuries. I am a better person for it because I am saner for it.

 

We have to be careful here when saying "anti-theist" because religious people use that term to say we hate them so it's fairer perhaps to use "anti-theism" just my two pennies.


Clara Listensprechen
Clara Listensprechen's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: 2007-02-02
User is offlineOffline
Cogito Ergo Spud, ms

Cogito Ergo Spud, ms moderator--

I Yam What I Yam.

What I am is an individual with a license to speak only for myself.  I have in NO way assumed to speak for a group, any group.  I hope you're not about the business of abridging my right to speak for myself.  I am entitled under the First Amendment to maintain my license to do at least that. 

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Clara Listensprechen

Clara Listensprechen wrote:

Cogito Ergo Spud, ms moderator--

I Yam What I Yam.

What I am is an individual with a license to speak only for myself. I have in NO way assumed to speak for a group, any group. I hope you're not about the business of abridging my right to speak for myself. I am entitled under the First Amendment to maintain my license to do at least that.

Yep, I agree ms listensprechen.  I was just trying to share with you how picky a theist can get when we (as in "we" I mean atheists) use the word "anti-theist" as if we are all communists like Stalin wanting to eradicate the person not the ism.  Sorry if you took that  the wrong way.  I wasn't implying that you were speaking for a group.  The 1st amendment also gives me a right to say this.  


Clara Listensprechen
Clara Listensprechen's picture
Posts: 117
Joined: 2007-02-02
User is offlineOffline
Thank you for your

Thank you for your understanding; I do know how theists are, but I'm just as adamant about an individual's right to be a unique individual as a religionist is adamant about his attempt to make humanity into a good/bad stereotype.

Inasmuch as I refuse to believe in a Bronze Age barbaric God that was Abraham's, I also refuse to believe in stereotyping and racism. Too often I find that religion has institutionalized both, and insofar as a specific religion has managed to institutionalize either, I stand adamantly against THAT religion and ANY OTHER religion that does so.

And I will not be moved in that.

I shall continue to be an impossible person as long as those who are now possible remain possible. {Michael Bakunin 1814-1876}


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
"Cogito Ergo Stump"

"Cogito Ergo Stump"


LeftofLarry
RRS local affiliateScientist
LeftofLarry's picture
Posts: 1199
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
I was born atheist

I was born atheist converted to catholicism when I was very young (and not by choice), and remained a theist until my later teen years. 

 Once I started realizing that the bible had discrepencies I started to question and became agnostic (in the sense that I wasn't sure what to believe anymore).  Years of catholic indoctrination had left me with a wanting for there to be something beyond me out there, something bigger.  It also has left me, admittedly still today, with the very thing that catholicism uses to control, Mia Colpa (My Fault: the guilt).  As I started educating myself, learning biology (and other sciences), the natural world, evolution....I became more and more critical of a supernatural being, I became more critical of religion in general.  Still, Mia Colpa reigned over me and I still wanted to believe in something bigger than myself and this earth.  However, I had started my intellectual journey to leaving theism. 

I met a woman when I was 20, she was a master's student at George Mason University who was studying philosophy/thought.  She introduced me to the Hegelian (and later incorporated to Marxist) theory of Dialectics, and I had what I needed to seal the mental coffin of theism.  Through her, I started to learn about Idealism vs. Materialism the process of dialectics, and I finally realized that the world is much too complex to have a supernatural being watching over us.  I started realizing the dangers of dogma and religion.  The bloodshed, the control, the money.  I started to see how politics and the xtian right started to melt together and how this was completely anti-thetical to our constitution. I started to understand how religion was more of a political power struggle than the belief and faith in an all loving god.  

 So....how has becoming an atheist made me a better person?  I don't know if that is necessarily what atheism has done to me...made me better?  I believe that there are many attributes that make one better or worse.  What is better anyway? 

I will say this, however, becoming an atheist has led me on a life journey that is more open to adaptability.  This in a sense puts me in better light to understand the world.  I am not tied down by a dogmatic belief, I can look at the world in a brighter and more rational manner.  I am able to see the problems associated with this world in a way that I could have never done as a theist.  I guess this makes me a better person.  But...as the old saying goes...Ignorance is Bliss...I don't necessarily think that becoming an atheist will make you "happier".  I do think that you need a strong heart and a strong mind...to realize that the world is really very ugly and that it is not blanketed by the love and grace of a god.  

We are alone, and we are killing each other and this earth, we use the excuse of a god to do so.  The picture that my mind paints is not a nice one.  But it is a real one.  One that allows me to realize that we need change.  This is why I have become active in my atheism.  I think people need to realize and see the horrors that religion has brought and continues to bring to the world.  People need to realize how they are being exploited by evangelical leaders such as Ted Haggert, Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson who make millions from their followers.  I think the type of enlightment that comes from becoming atheist is one that will allow for real change, and we have to work very hard at accomplishing this.  We have got to help others...if for no other reason, than a selfish one.  Our lives depend on this.  We are seeing too much control from the xtian right on our lives....we cannot afford for these people to take over our government, just like we cannot let extremist muslims destroy our right to exist.

So yeah...being an atheist has made me a "better" person in the sense that through the realization that there is no god, I am now able to make decisions that are more adaptable to the natural world.  I understand that since Jesus won't be coming back to earth, that we need to cherish this earth.  Which brings me to a more brighter note....  

This earth is a gem among the cosmos.  The beauty we find here on this earth, Life, is something that we all need to cherish.  Not just human life, but ALL life.  We need to protect it because I think that is the most beautiful realization I have made since becoming an atheist...that life is beautiful, this earth and it's complex, dynamic ecosystems are beautiful.  As an atheist, I understand the value of life....and we need to help conserve all of it, not destroy it under false religious pretense. 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server which houses Celebrity Atheists.


Eric Ferguson
Posts: 75
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
Clara Listensprechen

Clara Listensprechen wrote:

I also refuse to believe in stereotyping and racism. Too often I find that religion has institutionalized both, and insofar as a specific religion has managed to institutionalize either, I stand adamantly against THAT religion and ANY OTHER religion that does so.

 Religion by it's very nature ingrains a sense of superiority. This leads to things like intollerance and racism. If one believes THEY have THE truth while others do not THEY know THEY are right. But if they're right about one issue, in this case God, it's easy to then believe they are right about many things, without proof or evidence.

I have no idea how many times I've heard theists, regardless of their specific faith, say something like "we have the truth." (and then go to war over it)

Consider this account closed. It's disgraceful this site has no function to delete an account. I cannot be part of an organization that seeks only to replace the religion of the god of the bible with the religion of "poor me" bleeding heart liberalism. Rational my ass! Not believing in a god is one thing. A rational view of the rest of the world is something else, which isn't found here.


voltaire28
Posts: 38
Joined: 2007-02-16
User is offlineOffline
I grew up in a Catholic

I grew up in a Catholic household and went to church weekly.  I remember feeling fairly early on that I was an "outsider" among my peers in a Youth Ministry group my parents signed me up for.  I would be pushed into going to weekend retreats and summer camps with other teens in the local church.  I always felt very uncomfortable when the other kids had "deep" and "meaningful" experiences, began crying, and started confessing their most personal "sins" to a large group (very reminiscent of Stalinist show trials). 

I could never shake the suspicion that these teens were just faking it, that deep down they realized it was all bullshit.  Looking back now, I think that many were actually so deluded that they really had these subjective experiences.  I felt like the only sober person at a wild party.  For a long while I thought that I was alone in my doubts, and that I just needed to try harder to "believe".  I actually viewed my sense of reason and skepticism as an evil that needed to be overcome!

Then, towards the end of my high school career, I happened upon the writings of Bertrand Russell, which in turn led to my discoveries of Voltaire, Diderot, Nietsche, D'Holbach, and Marx.  For the first time in my life, I felt truly liberated and was able to shed the shackles of dogma for good.  Whereas my insecurities about my theological doubts led to my shy, introverted personality as a teen, I now feel confident and secure in my worldview.  I began to view doubt not as a problem, but rather as a virtue that is the basis for freedom.  

 

 

 


ShadowOfMan
atheist
ShadowOfMan's picture
Posts: 187
Joined: 2006-10-12
User is offlineOffline
Born into a Catholic

Born into a Catholic family.  My mother wanted her best friend at the time to be my God Mother and the church denied the nomination because she (my godmother) wasn't putting in on the money plate.  My mother left the church and quickly baptised me Universalist.  We never went to church (except for the occational wedding, funeral, ect.)  At about 7 years old, I stopped believing in Santa and his crew.  At about 10, I began to seriously doubt anyone was listening when I was crying and praying and lying awake at night, but I still did it.  I dealt with that for about two more years, until I heard a new word I'd never heard before.  Atheist.  What's that?  Someone that doesn't believe in a god.  Well that's me, I realized.  It really always had been me.  I never prayed again.  Atheism not only kept me from wasting all that time talking to myself, but I also gave me the will to actually think about solving my own problems.  It gave me a healthy skepticism that I cherish.  Other than that, it gave me the freedom to live my 21st century moral life without any archaic moral guilt to ruin the party.      

A daughter of hope and fear, religion explains to Ignorance the nature of the unknowable. -Ambrose Bierce


inspectormustard
atheist
inspectormustard's picture
Posts: 537
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
 This is the part where I

 This is the part where I digress into more weirdness than you're probably used to with most religions.

Some good things:

After my final bout with religion (Falun Dafa) I felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I was no longer responsible for the well being of some crazy spiritual mechanism that had been "installed" in my "soul." I was no longer being "watched" by a semi-omni-present spiritual master tai-chi/buddhist guru. I no longer had a hundred or more unreasonable expectations of higher morality, where even things out of my control would infer bad karma because "a truely enlightened being knows what is absolutely best." I quit because I found out that they thought the moon was hollow and had aliens inside it. What a load of @$$. The gradual upgrade of strangeness in mystery religions is a powerful force. One moment you're doing exercises in the part, the next you think modern devices emit waves that transform your cells into those of aliens. I'm not making this stuff up; Falun Dafa might be peaceful, but it's really really weird.

 

Some bad things:

I'm more selective about who I allow to do what in my life. I absolutely refuse to employ a surgeon who believes there is an afterlife, on the grounds that I want my surgeon to know that this is my one and only life and there is nothing better for me beyond it. I'm friends with a few moderate christians, and I feel bad about not challenging their beliefs since they really don't know any better, could care less either way, and I value their friendship more than I fear their permissiveness of magic-thinking. Basically, I'm hopeing they'll see the light themselves since they are already 90% there anyway.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10146
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
I've thought about this

I've thought about this question since I started posting here, and finally settled on an answer. It hasn't made me a better person. In order for it to have done so, I would have to have previously been a theist. Or at the very least be able to know what I would have been like if I ever was one. Since I have never believed in god, I have never changed based on my disbelief, and therefore cannot claim to be better or worse than if I were not an atheist.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Named
Named's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: 2007-02-11
User is offlineOffline
There is no First Amendment

There is no First Amendment right in an international domain. There IS no First Amendment right in a PRIVATE forum. I moderate a forum also, and if anyone ever pulled that Amendment shit on me, I promptly reminded them that they signed up to a private community, wherein I was the fucking glorious, infallible dictator, to be praised and revered by all. (slight exaggeration, i'm just stressing a point)

I commend the ideal; it's sweet, really, but your folly is assuming everywhere you are is democratic. Perhaps this should be a universal rule of nature, but it's not and it never will be. I'm not speaking for the Moderator or implying she intended to overrule your opinion. I will, however, say that if she wanted to, it would be within her power, it would be her right and it would be left entirely up to her discretion.

Anyhoo... I'm not a better person because i'm an Atheist. I'm a better person because I adhere to a spartan meritocratic worldview. A worldview which encourages rational enquiry and the continual revisal of the necessary assumptions we must make in order to defeat our ignorance.
Atheism alongside my being a moral person - or so I believe - are products of this worldview and it is that I celebrate.

Live 'til you die.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13254
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Named wrote: There is no

Named wrote:

There is no First Amendment right in an international domain. There IS no First Amendment right in a PRIVATE forum. I moderate a forum also, and if anyone ever pulled that Amendment shit on me, I promptly reminded them that they signed up to a private community, wherein I was the fucking glorious, infallible dictator, to be praised and revered by all. (slight exaggeration, i'm just stressing a point)

I commend the ideal; it's sweet, really, but your folly is assuming everywhere you are is democratic. Perhaps this should be a universal rule of nature, but it's not and it never will be. I'm not speaking for the Moderator or implying she intended to overrule your opinion. I will, however, say that if she wanted to, it would be within her power, it would be her right and it would be left entirely up to her discretion.

Anyhoo... I'm not a better person because i'm an Atheist. I'm a better person because I adhere to a spartan meritocratic worldview. A worldview which encourages rational enquiry and the continual revisal of the necessary assumptions we must make in order to defeat our ignorance.
Atheism alongside my being a moral person - or so I believe - are products of this worldview and it is that I celebrate.

I see both Christians and atheists who are only sold on sound bites "free speech" as license to say anything anywhere.

They do have "free speech in the sense that the goverment cannot have them arrested for dissenting views. But they do not have the right to bust down somebody's house door, walk in and demand that the inhabitiants listen. A private website being owned by a private person is where the public is invited, but is not public property.

A private sports stadium is where the public is invited, but is not owned by the goverment.

I have been kicked out of Christian fourms and chat rooms and as petty as I might think their reasons are, they own it and I dont.

I've even see atheists on other atheist forums demand that they be heard. If you have something to say on any issue on any forum and hold any position, when you get booted YOUR FREE SPEECH IS NOT VIOLATED.

You CAN create your own website or go to another forum. It would be a violation of your rights if our goverment said, "You can never say that anywhere at any time for any reason". 

"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


DoubleB
RRS local affiliate
Posts: 34
Joined: 2006-12-17
User is offlineOffline
hellfiend666 wrote: I think

hellfiend666 wrote:
I think I am better for being atheist because I don't need the fear of the big scary cosmic mommy/daddy leveling his/hers/it's retribution on me, and therefore, I act with kindness, genorosity, and honesty out of a pure heart, not out of that fear of hell, or purgatory, or wtf ever. I am a good person because that is who I am, not what anyone has scared me into being.

I don't think my homeboy hellfiend666 could've said it any better!

BB

 


deludedgod
Rational VIP!ScientistDeluded God
deludedgod's picture
Posts: 3221
Joined: 2007-01-28
User is offlineOffline
I havent believed in

I havent believed in God...ever, so the question on how it has made me "better" is quite difficult. I suppose atheism has allowed me to find peace with the fact that there is no life after death. I wake up every day and think "how can I spend today doing something excellent and constructive"? It was because of my general disgust with religion that I entered the wonderful realm of the scientific enterprise. It is because I am atheist that I have what I consider a strong moral integrity that is not based on the barbaric codes of a book written 2000 years ago.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

Books about atheism