How has being an atheist made you a better person?

Sapient
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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.

 

 

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DoubleB
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deludedgod wrote: It is

deludedgod wrote:
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.

Exactly!  I often wonder what people will think of us 2000 years from now.  I wonder if they'll give Harry Potter the same credit that theists today give to jesus.  I hope they don't!

BB

 


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I was never really

I was never really religious. I've managed to be a pretty good person without the fear of eternal damnation over my head, and I think that says something.


Allex Spires
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I can't really say.  I've

I can't really say.  I've always tried to be helpful to people, it's part of my nature.  I've been an athiest since I was eight or nine, kept going to synagogue until I was twelve.  There was always just something wrong.  I remember when I was fifteen or sixteen(my family's always been kind of poor) we fell on some really hard times (remember the WorldCom crash?  My dad was laid off) so my mother went around hoping to 'pass the hat' among the better off Jews in our community.  She managed to come back from several millionaires with two-hundred-fifty bucks.  Tdzedakah is a mitzvah, as long as nobody sees who or how much actually goes into the tdzedakah box.  Otherwise it's clearly highway robbery when the poor actually come to the well to do and ask for help.

 

When I give to charity, I put it directly where it goes, into the hands of the poor, where 100% of every dollar will help a needy person eat or drink.  At one point I had a bunch of counterfiet Panera cards(don't ask) and just wandered around passing one into every hand that reached out for a dime.  Eight dollars worth of bread goes a long way in an empty stomach.

All expires.


zntneo
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I realized today that since

I realized today that since i have become an self-proclaimed my self-esteem. Since I became a self-proclaimed atheist i have learned how to be a good argumenter. This has made it so that i am not as afraid to debate someone or to even ask people for things.


Debauchrist
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I really don't see how

I really don't see how atheism makes me more or less moral than a theist. The question seems to be akin to asking "how has not believing in the FSM made you a better person." No one believes in FSM beyond satire, hopefully. Morality isn't dependent upon what you don't believe. Not believing in FSM doesn't make a Christian more moral.

Religious faith is really incongruent when talking about morality. Using Christianity as an example, we don't see masses of Christians killing off people who eat shrimp or disobedient children. If the Bible is used as a morality reference, we can clearly see that Christians are picking and choosing. Something else must be guiding the morality of Christians, it's clearly not the Bible or their faith.

It would seem that morality is more a mechanism of evolutionary altruism. However, it seems to be too simplistic to reduce morality down to instinctive response. If that's the case, there would be no way to be more moral than you are right now.

I really don't have a guideline for how to be more moral because this subject applies quite differently to everyone else. However, if you want to be a better person, rational thought and the practice of critical thinking seems to be a good start.


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One thing that I know for

One thing that I know for sure is that I am a happier person since I became an atheist. I took the Bible seriously when it said that if you don't believe you are going to hell. Well my dad doesn't believe and obviously it was a pretty distressing thought that he was going to hell. Also god hadn't "spoken" to me so I was pretty sure I was doing something wrong. Then I went to college and realized he wasn't talking to me because he didn't exist and I felt much better.

I think that I am also a better person. As a Christian I think I had a tendency to be a bit self-righteous, you know, the whole I am such a good pious person I am not going to hell but the rest of you are sort of thing. I am also able to see people not as sinners but just as people. Homosexuals aren't sinners; they are people, no different from me. People who have sex out of wedlock aren't sinners, they are just people (just like pretty much every one else, check out the stats, they are crazy), that sort of thing. Get rid of the silly rules and prejudice and there is a lot more room for acceptance.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein


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I've always been an atheist

I've always been an atheist so I don't think I've become a better person because of it.  However, I think my atheism has allowed me to be a good person because I don't have the same hangups a religious person might.  I don't think homosexuals are sinners, I don't think that I'm an inherently bad person.  I don't really care what people do as long as they're not hurting themselves or others.  Because I'm an atheist I have a huge community of friends that are very important to me.  They come from all walks of life; many that would be unacceptable in a religious point of view. I don't accept faith, which means I need ansywers.  In order to get answers, I study, I read and I reach out to other people to get my answers.  I feel like sometimes theists just take everything on 'faith' and don't question anything.  I think part of human nature is to question.

My mistakes are my own; I alone can bear the consequences.  Likewise, my triumphs are my own; I can claim them and take credit for them. 

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What I'm reading here is

What I'm reading here is that whether your are an athiest or theist (like myself), it's generally destructive to stand too far to the right (fundamental) or too far to the left (liberal).  In the center, there is balance...which is where healing and a healthy sense of self resides.  A center exists in both philosophies, and both philosophies have the potential to be destructive if the person's path moves to either extreme within that philosophy.


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What a pointlessly broad

What a pointlessly broad statement.


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sugarfree wrote: What I'm

sugarfree wrote:
What I'm reading here is that whether your are an athiest or theist (like myself), it's generally destructive to stand too far to the right (fundamental) or too far to the left (liberal). In the center, there is balance...which is where healing and a healthy sense of self resides. A center exists in both philosophies, and both philosophies have the potential to be destructive if the person's path moves to either extreme within that philosophy.

This thread is called  "How has being an atheist made you a better person?"  This post has nothing to do with the stated topic. 

Please do not derail post topics.

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Copying the rules of the

Copying the rules of the Freethinker's forum here so everyone will see them as they read through the posts.

From this point forward the moderators will be destroying posts made by theists in the "Freethinking Anonymous" forum.  If you are a theist please be careful not to waste your time posting in this forum by looking at the top of the screen to determine which forum you are in when posting.  If you are an atheist and what theists to be able to weigh in on your topic, use "General Conversation" or "Atheist vs. Theist."
 
 Thanks,
 
RRS Mod Team

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Susan wrote: Copying the

Susan wrote:

Copying the rules of the Freethinker's forum here so everyone will see them as they read through the posts.

From this point forward the moderators will be destroying posts made by theists in the "Freethinking Anonymous" forum. If you are a theist please be careful not to waste your time posting in this forum by looking at the top of the screen to determine which forum you are in when posting. If you are an atheist and what theists to be able to weigh in on your topic, use "General Conversation" or "Atheist vs. Theist."

Thanks,

RRS Mod Team

 

While I respect that you're a moderator and I find most of your posts insightful, I have to disagree with how the rules are being applied. If this is a freethinking anonymous forum, then censoring theists is neither free thought or anonymous. As long as us atheists or those theists are being respectful, I really have no problem. Is it really so bad that a theist post in this forum?

 


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This is the Freethinker's

This is the Freethinker's Thread.  If you wish to post something for theists to repond to, you are welcome to post in Atheist vs Theist or the Kill 'Em With Kindness threads.

"Freethinkers Only" has always been the rule in this thread (please read the notation for this thread on the main forum page), but rarely did we enforce it. 

This was discussed among the moderators and core members.  It was the concensus that we enforce the rule.

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thingy
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I honestly don't think

I honestly don't think atheism has made me a better person.  On the other hand, I don't think it's made me a worse person either.  I still have all the same morals I had when I was a theist.  

I've also gained new ones as I started questioning back in 8th grade before all my morals were formed and before I had knowledge on certain subjects.  Homosexuality for example is something I never thought of while I was a theist, it's only something I had to develop morals on after I had denied christianity.

For me, atheism is the result of being taught in school by my teachers to have an open and questioning mind.  They wanted me to open my mind and question what I was told, what I saw etc so I could come to a logical conclusion, one that made sense.  So that's what I did - even on the topic of religion in an upper-class religious private school.  Atheism for me is one of many results of my teachers, but it's not the cause of anything in my life.

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I'm always reminding myself

I'm always reminding myself that while I am not accountable to any deities, I am accountable to my friends and fellow humans, and most of all, myself. THere's no "repent, and get out of hell free card". I can only be forgiven or accepted by other people. And if I do something bad, I have to live with that, which is something I don't care to do.

It makes me very careful about my actions and words. That's how atheism makes me a better person.


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Well, I was quite a

Well, I was quite a homophobe, sexist, anti-atheist and anti-immigrant bigot as a christian, and justified it by my christianity. But when I went to liberal christianity and liberal politics, this disappeared. The judgement disappeared only when I dumped christianity, though. I used to be a real prick that way. "You had sex before marriage? *shakes head* tut tut." Now, I don't care. Also, I can have more fun now. I mean, I don't, I lost a lot of friends when I left Jesus...some friends. But, hypothetically, since I can have sex and do drugs (no alcohol, alcoholism is prevalent in my family, both sides, so it's a dumb idea for me) and can tolerate that stuff more, and can swear without having to pray about it, I'm more capable of having fun.


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BenfromCanada wrote: Well,

BenfromCanada wrote:
Well, I was quite a homophobe, sexist, anti-atheist and anti-immigrant bigot as a christian, and justified it by my christianity. But when I went to liberal christianity and liberal politics, this disappeared. The judgement disappeared only when I dumped christianity, though. I used to be a real prick that way. "You had sex before marriage? *shakes head* tut tut." Now, I don't care. Also, I can have more fun now. I mean, I don't, I lost a lot of friends when I left Jesus...some friends. But, hypothetically, since I can have sex and do drugs (no alcohol, alcoholism is prevalent in my family, both sides, so it's a dumb idea for me) and can tolerate that stuff more, and can swear without having to pray about it, I'm more capable of having fun.

Isn't it interesting how you became LESS judgemental after shedding theism?

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BenfromCanada
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Susan wrote: Isn't it

Susan wrote:
Isn't it interesting how you became LESS judgemental after shedding theism?

Yeah, SUCH a surprise! ! Eye-wink I used to think that those awful Darwinist monsters who wanted to brainwash us and keep abortion legal and outlaw religion were judgemental. Turns out I was projecting. Who knew? 


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hmm.

i've been an atheist since i was 12, i'm 37 now. being so has made me a better person in numerous ways. but i think the most important way that atheism has bettered me is by making me more sensitive to the suffering others, not in a "all god's children" superficial sense, but in a sincere way. whereas prior to the onset of my "disbelief" i would have looked at helping those less fortunate than me as beneficial to my own salvation, now my concern for others is genuine.  i can say that when i reach out a hand to someone else it's because i actually, really care for them as an individual, a human being, and i'm sympathizing with them as a creature whose well being is dependent on both themselves and the compassion and understanding of others, not the random intervention of a higher power.

 

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I am 16. And I am an

I am 16. And I am an atheist. I think that for the most part I have always been and atheist because... I've always felt troubled and disliked religion and the fact that a god exists. It never logically made sense to me. Not untill recently, oh about a year or so have I truly started calling myself and atheist. I think that being an atheist is much better than being religious for the fact that... we allow reason, logic, free-will, and the use of our minds to dominant our thinking rather than blind faith and rampant emotion. I am an atheist, and I can gurantee you that I have better morals and ethics than any christian that I know. Atheism... more or less gives you more of an appreciation for life. Since we believe that this is our only chance, life becomes much more precious to us and we value it much more. As well as, it provides us with a wider-mindset, or a wider-outlook on things, rather than a close-minded religious view. Although this is only what I think. I'm sure many would agree with me however. The only reason I think that atheism is better than religion is because... really we use our minds, we question, we learn, we exercise our free-will. Religion takes away from us all of that.

"Why would God send his only son to die an agonizing death to redeem an insignificant bit of carbon?"-Victor J. Stenger.


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>How has being an atheist

>How has being an atheist made you a better person?

 

It hasn't. To let my lack of belief define my personality would be, essentially, to choose a religion, even if that religion was one that had no god.

My athiesm rises from my self-reliance, my education in math and science, and the fact that I was raised to take care of my responsibilities through hard work and effort.

All of these things were taught to me, ironically, by my christian mother. 


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I used to be a christian but

I used to be a christian but have recently become an atheist. I was a christian for many years and sometimes it really seemed to help me by providing hope and meaning while others it was very frustrating because I couldn't get the peace and love in my life that the bible seems to promise. After many years of ups and downs I finally decided that I had given it my best shot and just couldn't continue.

To be honest I feel pretty sad about it now. I mean, I wish god did exist and that one day I would be able to see my dead brother and my grandparents again and live in total peace and love. But now I realize that was all just wishful thinking and that peace and love are just feelings and don't even really exist. Maybe this is something all new atheists go through but it still has been hard.


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Becoming a full fledged

Becoming a full fledged atheist has changed me in alot of ways. I no longer fear my "rebellion" may one day end in tragedy as I would find myself burning in hell for thinking. Well my new convictions tell me that there's no chance of a hell so I'm guilt/fear free. Realizing the truth is almost like being freed from The Matrix (I'm sure this analogy has been used before). I am a new red pill in a sense. I see the world without the restrictions previously veiled over my eyes. When I feel that something is right, I no longer have to worry about it contradicting ancient dogma. There is also an effect often felt by someone who accepts that the afterlife is most likely a crock of shit...APPRECIATION FOR THE LIFE THAT YOU HAVE.

I just feel so damn free and enlightened. 

The more you know about the world around you, the less you have to make up.


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Im not better than anyone

Im not better than anyone else because im an athiest. Im an athiest because it makes me feel better about myself.

 

(hey, if nobodys ever said this quote before can I coin it for myself? I feel so profound! LOL)


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Being an atheist just means

Being an atheist just means part of your life is more rational it doesnt in itself make you a 'good' person nor does believing in god.

 We all have many facets to our personalities and we are the sum of them all.

 I can't pull women as an atheist but I doubt very much Jesus could help me either


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Honestly, atheism hasn't

Honestly, atheism hasn't made me 'better' or 'worse' in any way. I am still fundamentally the same person I was when I followed a 'spiritual' path. I still have the same morals and ethics, I am still as outspoken and brutally honest prior to my 'deconversion'. Since I can remember I have had a 'seeker' kind of mentality and accepted quite early on that as new information came to light that I would have to be prepared to revise my worldview. Which makes it sound like atheism was an easy transition. But it's not (my shift has been quite recent).

 I spent over 12 years dedicated in the pursuit of a spiritual path and there is a certain pain and emptiness when you remove such a large part of your life. And no theists, it's nothing to do with a God-shaped hole. The fact is humans crave meaning, and once you take one meaning away there has to be a replacement. I now have to reconcile with becoming an adult of sorts and create my OWN meaning. Luckily I have creative pursuits that give me goals and satisfaction. But it is still something I am struggling with. I have found life as a atheist more difficult and challenging than when I was a theist. But I guess walking on two legs is more difficult than crawling too.


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I've always been an

I've always been an Atheist... Even at the age of 5 i would never sing the christian hymns at assembly or say the grace prayer at lunch time in school... Ironically, my mother named me Damian and most of my family, after learning my strong Atheistic beliefs, now lovingly refer to me as the anti-christ. Cool So, i can't really say what becoming an Atheist has done for the better because i always was one, i can still answer the question though.

 

For me, Atheism has it's good points and just one bad point. I'll start with the good. Firstly, with a rational, logical open mind, i can think more. I can look up at the stars and ponder the great question of life. What made it all? I can generate my own theories, none of which ever leave my head i might add... I can watch documenteries about space, stars, life on earth 10 million years ago, broaden my knowledge of the universe... Educate myself. I am able to do this because there is no book or text that simply answers these questions for me: "God dunnit".

 

I can enjoy life to its fullest without worrying about the life afterwards. I can cherish the most important things in life like friends, family, love, children, (when i have some) being happy and making those you love happy, and not spend half my day worrying about making an invisible friend happy so he will let me in his kingdom after my time here is up.

 

It has taught me that this life is precious. I would never hurt anybody, except in self-defense obviously, and i would never go to war. I have too much to live for here on this earth to risk my life for some fat politician who's sat in a nice cosy office eating fried chicken while his countries young men die for his cause, and i would never kill a man for the very same reason.

 

But i think most importantly because of Atheism i can treat everybody as an equal. I don't look at somebody and see them as nothing but sin. I don't look at somebody of a different religion and see them as un-equal, or evil or whatever just because they don't worship the same god i do. (Or would do, if i had any god at all) I see everybody as equal. From the Westboro Baptist Church idiots to Osama Bin Laden to Chief Mokolulu of the Click click whoop tribe of Southern Sri-Lanka. Even if they don't see us as equals, i still see them as equals.

 

Just my 2 cents.

 

Edit: Oh, i forgot to say the one single bad point of Atheism for me. Laughing

 

The dismal, depressing realization that one day it's all gonna end. 


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Changes . . .

. . . since becoming an atheist.

Well, eventually I came to be more tolerant, but less accepting, of stupidity.

 


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If religion is a crutch,

If religion is a crutch, fundamentalism is a wheel chair.

 I have to say there's a lot of positive statements. So many people feel that atheists can't possibly be good or ethical people. I find that being responsible for my own actions, and being self reliant, is not only good for me, but for my kids too. We spend our family time discussing relevant and important issues on Sundays, rather than waste time memorizing bible verses. My son is 10 and could probably hold his own against most children his age when it comes to discussing evolution. I think my kids will be better prepared for college, as well as the real world. Family first. Here and now is what matters when you realize this is all there is.

Am I a better person? Maybe, maybe not. But at least the crutch is gone. 


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My view on life's purpose

My view on life's purpose has been, in my view, improved.  Instead of holding onto religious dogma that states you should convert people and prepare for the afterlife (the latter seems sort of selfish), I have acquired a greater appreciation for the fragility of life and what humans can do with the time they have on the earth.  When you're an atheist (at least, for me) you seem to consider your impact on the world, because you know you can't come back as a spirit or a ghost and apologize or communicate with others.  It makes me want to treat others (and the world around me) with greater respect, because I know that what I leave behind will be my "afterlife".

It has also made me a more forgiving person.  You wouldn't think it would, but when things are boiled down to a science, you tend to judge people less.  When you view everyone as individual spirits with free will it gets to be sort of a blank slate thing that they fuck up themselves.  All of the factors are included in science, and people become more similar when united by nucleic acids. 

I've already answered this, but whatever...

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


CrimsonEdge
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Being an Atheist has vastly

Being an Atheist has vastly improved my life. Not only am I not restricted by dogmatic blind faith, I'm free to actively think and make decisions on my own without having to worry about showboating infront of fellow Christians or worrying about some guy in a cloud thinking bad of me.

Eh, I had made a video response, but it ended up not having any sound. :|

 


thano13
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Since we're talking

Since we're talking morality, I just had to mention what happened at work today.

A coworker and I were having a discussion a couple weeks ago. Just a general discussion. During the discussion, I mention the importance of family first. That's why I'm there doing that crappy job, rather than sitting at home collecting unemploument. He corrected me and said GOD first. I saw where this was going, and ended the conversation for the moment.

This morning, the same GOD first guy asked me and another coworker to cover for him. He was gone for over two hours. Then he came back and bragged about hooking up with some girl he met. And this guy's married. Less than one year to boot.

That's Xtian morals for you.


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Becoming an atheist has

Becoming an atheist has allowed me to be truly open and honest with myself and with what I know and with what I am ignorant of. Nothing is more emancipating or refreshing.

I shed an outlook on reality that was causing me a great deal of cognitive dissonance when I ceased being a Christian. I no longer have a need to persistently try to stuff reality into a box in which it simply does not fit. Reality is whatever it is, my personal desires notwithstanding.


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Interestingly, there are

Interestingly, there are even theists who can see that an atheistic posiiton has merits for one's life. Alan Dershowitz writes:

There is a wonderful Hasidic story about a rabbi who was asked whether it is ever proper to act as if God did not exist. He responded, “Yes, when you are asked to give to charity, you should give as if there were no God to help the object of the charity.” I think the same is true of morality and character: in deciding what course of action is moral, you should act as if there were no God. You should also act as if there were no threat of earthly punishment or reward. You should be a person of good character because it is right to be such a person.

I think this says it all: even a rabbi can conceive of a situation where atheism makes better sense of morality and the human condition than theism does....

Just as ironically, the bible itself suggests the merits of atheism:

(Dershowitz again writes) 

The author of Ecclesiastes explicitly tells us that he (or she, since the original Hebrew word for Ecclesiastes is Koheleth, which means “female gatherer”) does not believe in any hereafter.

I have seen everything during my vain existence, a righteous man being destroyed for all his righteousness and a sinner living long for all his wickedness.

[T]he fate of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As the one dies, so does the other, for there is one spirit in both and man’s distinction over the beast is nothing, for everything is vanity. All go to one place, all come from the dust and all return to the dust. Who knows whether the spirit of men rises upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?

Not surprisingly, Ecclesiastes concludes that “there is nothing better for man than to rejoice in his words, for that is his lot, and no one can permit him to see what shall be afterwards.”

 

 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'


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Ouch. Questions like "how

Ouch. Questions like "how has atheism changed you?" really alienate me.

Atheism hasn't had the opportunity to change me. I was born without a belief in God, and the moment I was introduced to the concept I was skeptical (asking all sorts of verboten questions).

I can remember as a 7 year old, getting together with my friends after a religious education session at our public school (there is no seperation between church and state for our state Governments in Australia) and going over the questions that the proselytisers refused to answer. We all balked and re-affirmed not to surrender our critical faculties to a religion that wasn't being straight with us.

To be honest, I think that atheism is more the product of virtuous character (ie honest, reasoned) than the cause of it. One isn't better because they are an atheist, but rather they are an atheist because they are better. 

Conversely, you see many people becoming religious as a consequence of being rotten; murderers looking for easy forgiveness, shysters looking for a buck and a flock to exploit.

Not that I'm saying that religious people are intrinsically of poor character, I just think we need to be careful of buying into their traditional competition of "this belief will make you better than that belief"; the one they run between denominations and against other religions. Atheism isn't a competing religion.

I suspect that the improvement one feels in their life when switching to atheism is more a realisation/closure of whatever aspect of/deficiency in their previous lives caused them to be religious, rather than the change to atheism per se. Sort of a correlation/causation thing; atheism correlating with improvement, but not causing it.

Of course, you should take what I say with a grain of salt. I've never experienced the change to atheism. I've been that way since I could think; no God hypothesis here. Eye-wink 


josephpalazzo
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Being an atheist does not

Being an atheist does not make me a better or a worse person. I am what I am. And I am an atheist because truth matters to me more than religion or morality. It has to do with not deceiving myself with irrational thoughts or fears. That alone gives me courage to face anything... even cancer, which I had to do. I survived it due to medical advancement and science. I owe my life to that, and I have no regrets of being what I am... an atheist.


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Welcome,

Welcome, josephpalazzo!

When you get a minute, we'd love it if you'd hop over to General Conversation, Introductions and Humor and introduce yourself. 

By the way, glad to hear you beat cancer and we hope you're doing well now.

 

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I am a first generation

I am a first generation atheist, I didn't know I was an atheist untill I heard about god in bible school, at a young age. I didn't think I was doing it right when we were asked to pray. At a latter age my friend said something about Jesus always being this great guy. I naturaly questioned "I bet he stepped on ants by accident."

That was as good as it got for me as some sort of philosophical counter attack. Eventually I quickly discovered I didn't believe in anything hocus pokus. But I was still afraid of the dark.

I can't say atheism has made me a better person, or worse for that matter. Atheism is just something I do when religion is around.

 

 

"There was a 100% chance I was going to write this" - Heisenberg.


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Welcome, Bornright. When

Welcome, Bornright.

When you get a chance, we'd love it if you'd hop over to the General Conversation, Introductions and Humor forum and introduce yourself. 

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Since i became and athiest

Since i became and athiest i no longer live my life for a higher power, for a god, or for any holy spirit, i live my life for me and i dictate my life around my own solid code of ethics, not a 2,000 year old books.

God Sucks


Bornright
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Moondawg wrote: not a

Moondawg wrote:

not a 2,000 year old books.

 

Cool! This one isn't as old as the one I think you're referring to.

 

"There was a 100% chance I was going to write this" - Heisenberg.


lester ballard
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better? different surely

I suspect evangelicals are validation junkies, in need of continual reassurance (that they have the jump on loss, death, etc).  Thus the frantic recruitment.

1. more civil:  I don't harass others to think/believe as I do.

2. think I'm more fun to be around, usually.

3. extremism, of any kind, burns a lot of energy; likely that I have more for contribution and giveback.

4. better able to tap the higher things in life (e.g., music, literature, culture) because I'm not following a two dimensional script.

Different, more flexible for sure.  "Better" is someone else's call.


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I just posted a thread

I just posted a thread about this before I saw this thread, but I'll respond here to with a short response.

I love life more. I used to think about killing myself because I thought life on the other side was better. And I never understood why others had it so much better. I thought it was because God liked them more. I used to think I wasn't good enough to be blessed by God and that I was one of God's ignored children and that made me sad.

Well now that I know there is no God, I understand things better now and why some have it better then others or why some people are born deformed.

It's because that's how things are. God doesn't play favorites or curse people because there is no god. It just happened. It's no one's fault and anyone can change their life. They don't have to depend on a god to help them.

It's really, really hard to explain. But my point is...I know now that this is the only life I am ever going to get, and I love life more and realize how wonderful it truly is and that I don't have it so bad and that I don't have to beg God anymore to help me or think that things didn't go my way because I wasn't good enough.

I know that if I put my mind to it, I can do anything and when I do it....I can pat myself on the back and take all the cred and not give the glory to some fake character.

That's another thing....I like myself more. I used to think I was worthless because I was a sinner, I thought God didn't help me because I did something wrong, I used to feel guilty about having Jesus's blood on my hands and I used to hate feeling lust.

But now I know I am a good person despite what Ray Comfort may think. I didn't do anything wrong. I'm a human being and it's okay to lie or have lust in my heart because I'm only a person and it's okay to be a person.

 And it's okay to live for today.

 

 


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Well, having an atheist

Well, having an atheist father and a mildly christian mother I naturally grew up somewhat agnostic-atheist anyway but didn't really affect my life for a long time, I was what is commonly known as an 'apatheist'. It wasn't until I was browsing the website of an artist who's work I like an found a journal-entry linking to their atheist testemony on ex-christian.net that I realised how big the problem of theism, and religiocity in general, really was. I spent a few days flicking through ex-christian.net's content and was continually aghast at the reports of pedophile priests, embezzeling televangelists, theocrats imposing religious laws on multi-faith societies, evolution deniers, religiously-motivated factional wars in africa and the middle east, blatant hypocrisy and open bigotry of a kind I thought had died out in the 1800's.

The lasting result of this is that I started taking a greater interest in humanist philosophy, science and geopolitics. Ironically it was religion itself that made me so determined to improve my knowledge-base in order to undermine it. So yes, becoming a self-identifying atheist, bright and secular humanist has caused me to grow as a person, one determined to bitchslap irrationality back into the dark ages where it belongs.

Your book. Your god. Your rules. Your hell.

You burn in it!


Raki
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My little story

Being an Agnostic(now Atheist) has made me a better person because in the 9 years i was a Christian,i did whatever i wanted because i believed that god would forgive me. I treated people like shit,only to pray and ask for forgiveness. I declared that my version of Christianity i learned from the Church i attented was right,and everyone else was wrong. The years went by,and began to notice that my parents were more moral and good to others before they became Christians. They do bad to others and themselves and think its okay because god will forgive them.

I began to question whether Christianity was for real. I thought to myself that if this religion really changed lives,then they wouldn't act the way they did. Then i started to think about all the violent wars and mass genocides that happened during history( i like history and the happenings of the past a lot. Questions came up like "Why would God allow that to happen" or "Where was God during the Holocaust?". Eventually i became an Agnostic,and i then i started to treat people right because it was the right thing to do. Helping others and respecting them not because a religion said so,but because it was truly right. Even my parents notice i change,but i didn't tell them i gave up Christianity cause i still live in their house. Recently upon viewing logically facts(thanks to RRS and others), i gave up any notion of a deity existing or the rational posibility of one existing. Thanks to that i can finally sleep at night without worrying if i pleased an imaginary being. 

Nero(in response to a Youth pastor) wrote:

You are afraid and should be thus.  We look to eradicate your god from everything but history books.  We bring rationality and clear thought to those who choose lives of ignorance.  We are the blazing, incandescent brand that will leave an "A" so livid, so scarlet on your mind that you will not go an hour without reflecting on reality.


TakeCashToChurch
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Wow.  What an awesome

Wow.  What an awesome question.

 When I was a Christian, I was a child.  Figureatively and literally.  Once I rationalized to myself (I knew no non-beleivers at the time) that it was all a hoax, and that it was make-believe, I then started learning.  I learned why this planet was here, how it happened, where we are, and where we're going.  My mind has expanded in ways unimaginable to me before.  Granted I was young, and I know this sounds completely self-absorbed, but I cannot believe hwe logical and rational I am, and I do not think I would be if I were tied back by their holy spirits and all their ridiculousness.  When life presents me a problem - I solve it - without kneeling down and asking my mattress to make it better for me before I go to sleep.

 

 That said, the one true way that atheism has made me a better person: 

 I have absolutely no ability to pass judgement on other people.  I know that I am *NO BETTER* than anyone else, and I have my lack of belief to thank for that.

Every step I took in faith betrayed me

-Sarah McLachlan


Mjeck
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TakeCashToChurch

TakeCashToChurch wrote:

When life presents me a problem - I solve it - without kneeling down and asking my mattress to make it better for me before I go to sleep.

 

I love this line.

 

 

I'm a better person because I quit drinking; I can sympathize with others; I don't judge anymore.  I am not afraid to go after my earthly goals.

 


TakeCashToChurch
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Why thank you kind sir! 

Why thank you kind sir!  Ah, the mattress line. 

 Yes, that is one of my favorites - I came up with that during a heated argument betwixt me and some Christian pusher.  I'll outline the events, so if you don't care, now is the time to stop reading...

I was walking down the street downtown, and this man walked right up to me, and delivered me some eternal damnation!  Right there, out of the blue, on Main St.!   I was like "what?!?" 

Then he goes on to tell me about Jesus, and nobody can get into heaven without going thru Jesus.  So I say "Lemme make sure I have this right... Jesus is the Heidi Fleiss of the heavengate?"

Needless to say, he didn't appreciate my humor.  So he asks me what religion I follow, which is when I explained to him that I do not follow any religion, I am in front of it - running from it - because if it catches me, I may just wind up spending a Saturday damning people I don't even know to hell - just like you're doing to me right now...

He didn't like where it was going at all.  I don't know what he expected!  He was calling me godless, and a sinner.  Then - get this - he said I was crazy.  CRAZY! 

That is when I stepped up to him, and said:

Excuse me, but you sing to the sky, and you're calling me crazy?  He had no answer, which irritated me.  That's when I told him he is the crazy one, because he asks his mattress to forgive him, and thinks it's going to work.  I love hitting the Christ pushers with the mattress line.  It leaves them speechless, and you can almost see the cranks and wheels turning in their heads.  I think underneath all the god stuff - they can think - and realize how stupid their actions look to an outsider.

It didn't stop there.  He kept trying, even after I pointed out that he talks to his Serta Sleeper.  I had to end it because I wanted some divine coffee and it was kinda cold out...

 

Dude, seriously, if you ever want to send a Christ pusher over the edge....  Hit 'em with this:

"Jesus didn't die for my sins, or anyone's for that matter.  He came back to life 3 days later, so he just had a bad weekend.  It happens to everyone"

 

But be careful, because they're programmed, and may very well lose control of themselves, and their jesus-blessed fists.  I guess Righteous indignation does that to some...

Every step I took in faith betrayed me

-Sarah McLachlan


isaac
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I was raised in a houshold

I was raised in a houshold of different faiths. My parents both read of the same bible, taught the same 'morals', and both prayed passionately. Yet the subtle differences in interpretation were a constant source of friction; each putting a greater emphasis on one thing or another, each under the guidance of prayer. Which to choose? I prayed as a child, I prayed as an adult, and as I grew older I realized that all the solutions I saught came from my own frame of reference and not divine intervention. I am an athiest. Not believing in a god came as naturally for me as not believing in Santa. I no longer had an excuse for my actions, everything I did was my own doing, not demons w/ temptations or angels guiding me for good deed, and now I am a better person because of this. I have true morals, not based on fear of buring in hell or 'kissing up' to get a slot in paradise.


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Hmmm... better huh.

I would have to say tha I am less tolerant of injustice.  I no longer belive that god will make it all better or that if someone dies that they are in a better place.   We have to act to get the results we want and we get one shot at this life.   I value my life and the life of others much more now.