I am every atheist: essay submissions (PRIZES)

RationalRespons...
Moderator
RationalResponseSquad's picture
Posts: 556
Joined: 2006-08-17
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist: essay submissions (PRIZES)

This thread is part of the Great Big Submission drive, and is where you should post your essays.

Write an essay entitled "I am every atheist"

Special thanks to Jake for this idea. As Jake puts it, "The idea is to show commonalities between atheists. To show that even though people may be diverse, we still have some basic things in common." These essays are much like the "I am the Rational Response Squad" essays, however they are better suited for the atheist that doesn't subscribe to the same sort of activism that RRS engages in. You may submit two essays (one for each category) that are similar, and use one to help compile the other. Like the RRS essay, please start and end with the sentence "I am every atheist." Articles can be as short as two paragraphs and as long as several pages.


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2650
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
I AM EVERY ATHEIST I am

I AM EVERY ATHEIST

I am every atheist because I do not allow atheism alone to define me. I prioritize my own agenda. I control who I am and how people see me. I judge my own actions and accept their consequences. I do not allow blind faith to distract me from a logical conclusion. I do not accept 'Trust me' as a reason to believe in anyone or anything. I want humans to be responsible for the universe in which we live. The unknown excites me with the challenge to find the answer. I allow possibilities but focus on probabilities. I learn from the past, live in the present, and dream of a better future. I am every atheist.

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


ragnarok
High Level Donor
ragnarok's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: 2006-07-05
User is offlineOffline
I Am Every Atheist

I am every atheist, and I am none of them. I do not believe in a god or gods, a 'higher power', or a universal spirit. I do not believe in leprechauns, pixies, elves, or fairies; no ogres or black witches, no trolls or ghouls, ghasts or ghosts, demons or devils. To me, 13 is just the number before 14 and the one after 12. I fear it not, nor do I fear speaking the name of a dead person or walking under a ladder or opening an umbrella indoors. Yes, I also step on the cracks in the sidewalk, and I firmly refuse to acknowledge the existence of a giant paschal bunny and his penchant for hiding hard-boiled eggs for clueless but exuberantly grateful youths to find in all manner of unsanitary places. And my mother pretended to be the tooth fairy, unless, of course they both had the same taste in perfume.
So, many of you who read this will agree with most of the above statements, but some of you may still cling to one or more of these beliefs, or at the very least retain a puerile hope that one or more of them just may be proven to exist some day (I promise not bring up the fat reindeer-herder in the red suit). I mention this because living in our extremely pluralistic society, with all of our access to various types of information services, belief in something is inevitable, and we should embrace that truth as wholeheartedly as possible.
We can believe in science, but we must be careful not to worship it. It is not infallible, and it is not complete. So much of science has helped us, and so much has hurt us, and even more is yet unknown to us. We proceed with caution, but still we proceed.
We can believe in the philosophies of humanism or objectivism, but we must be careful not to allow their rigidly organized mission statements to become the new dogmas that place either an abstract concept or human beings upon the unassailable throne of godhead.
But here we come to an impasse of sorts. We are surrounded by people who actually do believe in all of the things that we do not, and they outnumber us greatly. To fight against them is fruitless; ultimately their response will come in private as they pray for your soul and hope one day you 'see the light' before they retire for the evening.
Recently in America, and Australia and in other parts of the world, Evangelical Christians have played an increasing role in governmental politics, despite the fact that they only represent a small percentage of the entire denominational Christian community. What gives them this power? It is the subconscious residue from thousands of years of religious belief and indoctrination, so ingrained in our psyches because it has been such an integral part in the growth and maintenance of our society.
And yet, all atheists have made at least one basic choice, and that is to not believe in god. We have come to reject our various Judeo-Christian or Pagan ideologies and embrace what we believe to be a different, more correct truth. In this truth, we must begrudgingly accept that our views may never become mainstream thought within our lifetimes, or even in the lifetimes of our children. But we must not react with anger or contempt towards our god-fearing brethren. We must understand that we as atheists were lucky to have the experiences that led us to question, and even luckier to have the strength to accept the answer.
We should not proselytize; we can easily fall into the trap and become just like those immutable door-to-door automatons that irritate us so much.
We should not allow our own disbelief to descend into a kind of hyprocrisy whereby we lose our grasp on our rational, logical underpinnings and repeat the basic tenets of our beliefs just like those automatons, in the process discarding the open-minded psychology and dialogue that freed us from religious dogma in the first place.
We must be vigilant, but we must not be arrogant. We may disagree or dislike, but we should avoid hate. We must show them compassion and patience, for they labor under the same pressures that we did, but just haven't come to the same conclusions--yet.
Let them know that you are an atheist, but do not rail against their religion. Let them ask you questions, but answer them truthfully; tell them what you know, but do not insist that it is absolute or irrefutable. Do not ridicule their beliefs; many of their beliefs survive today in a host of different forms and venues, overt and subtle, and the way that they are interwoven into the fabric of our society has affected all of us whether we all truly understand that or not.
Do not let ignorance be the impetus for your behavior. Certain statements purported to have been made by Jesus contain a very earthy and universal component, which transcends any claim of originality by any one religious belief system. Some of them define aspects of morality, and in the interest of fairness deserve to be debated. But others like 'live and let live' and 'do unto others as you would have done unto you' can be applied equally to all without even a hint of religious influence.
Live by this example, teach your children this example, hope that they teach their own children and someday in the future all will finally understand the truth that you hold right now. You are an individual with his or her own individual thoughts, and it must not be forgotten that you are one among many other individuals whose thoughts differ from one another. Small steps will be taken over long periods of time, but eventually it will happen. In the meantime, be truthful to yourself, be truthful to others, and never stop questioning.

I have little poignant or anecdotal to share in this space, but I'm glad I wrote something that made someone like you waste their time reading it. HAVE SOME.


morning star
morning star's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: 2006-11-20
User is offlineOffline
i'm every atheist

I am every atheist. I've been an atheist since birth, so ive known no different than instinctual morals and ethics, i'm also a communist so the two are like hand and glove! So theres a little of my history, right why i think its time, to call time on religion, as a species we have a much larger intellect and understanding of whats around be it scientific, political,technology and artistic concepts than maybe 100 years ago, this higher intelligence fitted with logic, science, and communication networks is our tools we now have to at last attack this evil dogma of religion.
Man must stand face to face with world leaders/ popes/priests, etc. and say its all over, because religion is a totally narcissitic, selfish,institution which has dominated mankind for eons. This laughble scam as had its day, but with roots embedded so deep we must go straight for the heart. The masses must wake up to smell the coffee, not being involved with cults i really find humans who worship this obvious lie( crap 1 at that) brainwashed at least.. The biggest murderer of mankind since time, its enslaved, its lead with tyrannic power and decieved tortured more than half the world.
This is new centuary lets put this monster to sleep once and for all.I believe every atheist should walk up to every church in their neighbourhood and confront the pastor/vicar/who ever wears the dress.lol, and say we are taking you to court for fraud/genocide/infanticide/rape/torture/theft/mind control/inhumane acts against children/and for the regressive dogma you pass out as education, and intelligence. So i say all those against any form of religion( which in it self is a ego centristic pyramid of delusionary arse-wipes) go slap a court order on the door of the church leader...demanding the abolition of this establishment....THANK YOU PEACE &SOCIALISM.....and this is why I'm every atheist....Cool


Crystalyn
Crystalyn's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2006-11-20
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist.

I am every atheist. I have morals, love, and attitude all at the same time. I am a crusader who informs others that being a good, virtuous person has nothing to do with religion. Moral and ethical principles can be secularly based and still hold just as much precedence, if not more, as those that are religiously based.

The most important way to show other people in our society that atheists are good people is to be an upstanding member of society and exemplify caring, loving, intelligent, and logical behavior every day.

I thank my entire family for a scientific, secular, liberal upbringing; my parents for being non-religious while being faithfully committed to one another for three decades; and my educators and mentors for leading me to a path of science and logic while allowing me to maintain my emotions and passion. I am fortunate to remain in awe of the beauty of the universe and have a true zest for life.

I am every atheist.


Slag
Slag's picture
Posts: 12
Joined: 2006-11-20
User is offlineOffline
I Am Every Atheist I am

I Am Every Atheist

I am every atheist, in so far as I do not believe in a God or Gods. I used to be religious when I was younger but then I saw the light. There are many experiences and thoughts which bought me to the conclusion that God does not exist and I’d like to share just a few of them with you now. I would also like to express how these beliefs affect me in my everyday life and in my work as a senior support worker in the mental health service.
When I was younger the idea of God really interested me. I enjoyed the thought that there was an objective right and wrong to guide our behaviour. At that age I was always looking for ideals to aspire to. I also very much liked hearing all of the popular parables accredited to Jesus. I enjoyed their use of metaphor in giving examples of positive ways in which me might behave and believed that I could learn something of value from them. In part I may have been correct.
As I grew a little older I began to wonder why prayer had no perceivable or rationally justified effect on how things turned out. Nothing happened that wouldn’t have happened anyway. Either God was ignoring me or there wasn’t anyone listening at all. It also occurred to me at this time that behaving in a positive and forgiving way to other human beings and treating every man (and woman) as an equal was probably one of the best ways that one might live their live. However, it was not necessary for any kind of Deity to exist for this to be so. The benefit of this kind of behaviour was the way that it positively contributed to the quality of ones life and others around them, not from the approval of some unseen, unknowable entity.
By the time I was in my mid-teens I had pretty much rejected the idea of God in the Judeo-Christian sense. However, several events occurred that cemented these beliefs and gave me what I consider to be personal experience of the fact that we do not have a soul, in the Christian sense, and thus that God cannot exist.
I was unfortunate enough, in my teenage years, to suffer from acne. It was bad enough that I eventually sought the help of my GP. He prescribed me various antibiotics but none of them seem to have a lasting effect. Eventually I was sent to the hospital where they were allowed to prescribe stronger drugs. After consulting with one of the dermatologists there I was put on a drug called Roacutain. This drug is banned in many parts of the world as one of it’s side effects is that it has the potential to cause ‘suicidal depression’. Apparently, according to some studies, this occurs in up to 1 in 3 people who take the drug. However, this is not the place in which to go into the ethical debate of whether people should be prescribed this drug. I was told that if I ever felt sad for no reason when I was taking this drug then I was to stop taking it immediately and return to the hospital.
The evening after I took my first tablet I learned that one of my close school friends had died suddenly of meningitis. This, for obvious reasons, greatly affected me and my thoughts on whether a truly benevolent God could ever exist and justify such an event. Never the less I continued to take the tablets with the confidence that I was completely justified in my extremely low mood because of the loss of my close friend. The combination of the medication and loss sent me spiralling into a profound depression at a very young age.
It was an extreme experience. I felt very ‘unreal’. It was a burden to exist. I woke every morning instantly pained by the fact that I had regained consciousness and not passed away in my sleep. It was the most intense feeling that I can possibly conceive of. If I had a soul then I was surely experiencing it in an extremely negative state. I once again sought help from my GP who prescribed me antidepressants. As the medication began to take effect I found my mood lifting. An oppressive weight was lifted from very being.
My point is this: The most profound emotional and personal experiences that an individual can have are based upon the levels of certain chemicals within the body. If the deepest depressions, felt to the core of ones being, can be lifted with the introduction of a chemical into the body, does this not suggest that anything felt in the ‘core of ones being’ is purely chemically based? Every passion felt, every longing, every sense of achievement all created by the juxtaposition of chemicals within oneself. Ones very consciousness a slave to these chemical fluctuations. If one can propel oneself the ecstasy by ingesting a pill or significantly shift ones conscious perceptions with LSD then doesn’t it become instantly apparent that our very being is completely biological and has no supernatural component? What will be left of me when this body dies and these chemical fluctuations cease? Unfortunately the answer can only be nothing. It would be very nice to have a soul and, I must say, I would greatly like one. Unfortunately, the most fervent wish will not obtain you one and never will.
Thankfully those dark days are a long time gone and my life is a very much better one. I still believe that the best way to treat everyone is fairly and as an equal. My job is an example of this. I work as a senior support worker in a large mental health hostel in Birmingham, England. We have 68 residents with various mental health problems, learning difficulties and drug issues. I treat each of them as an equal. Equal to each other and equal to me. I strive daily to make their world a better place. It is emotionally draining and underpaid work. But the most important thing to note is that I do not need a God to do it. If that is true of me then, as we are all equal human beings who laugh when we are happy and cry when we are sad, it must be true of everyone. To some having a belief in God may help them to be good people but it is certainly not a necessity.
It is hard for me, in the current climate of respecting ‘diversity’, to voice my atheism in this line of work. By saying that I do not believe that God exists I might be seen as belittling the culture or cultures of individuals that I support. It is interesting to note that the same judgement is not made of a Christian support worker expressing their religious beliefs to a Muslim resident. Even if I wasn’t attempting to make someone who believes consider that God doesn’t exist it is seen as shameful to even express ones own views. This is the kind of religious preferential treatment that the likes of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins hope to see an end of. I would very much like to see an end to it to. I certainly don’t intend to go around destroying the belief systems of people who are mentally unwell. What would I be hoping to achieve with that? I would simply not like to feel that I have to constantly withhold my opinions in certain discussions to avoid being accused of discrimination.
As you can probably see by now, my atheist beliefs are not simply a product of not seeking the truth in religion. I have studied the majority of them and found that none of the explanations that they give match up with my experience of reality. I have thought through the possibilities, debated them with myself and others and come to the conclusion that God does not exist. I am every atheist.


Blue Moose
Blue Moose's picture
Posts: 9
Joined: 2006-11-21
User is offlineOffline
I AM EVERY ATHEIST

I am every atheist, I
Am every star that ever shone,
I am the countless atoms of the sun
And join a thousand atheists in the sky.

Not of clay by hand
Made animate to live after I die,
But to form a billion planets in the sky
I make my meal for worms before I turn to sand.

As I breathe, and think
As I make a child from seed,
As I take apart a body because I need
To find that pulse that makes each eyelid blink-

As I am not blessed
With questions that soon cease
(Because in ignorance I need some peace,)
As I seek beauty, so decline to guess, I am every atheist.


kmisho
kmisho's picture
Posts: 298
Joined: 2006-08-18
User is offlineOffline
For many years and throuhout

I am every atheist. For many years and throughout my teens I prefered to call myself agnostic. Around age 20 I read Joseph Campbell for the first time, which led me to understand all forms of religion as mythology. Current religions are just mythologies of the present. So I dropped the "agnostic" and became a full blown atheist.

I became curious about what other atheists had written throughout history and began to voraciously collect and read all the atheist literature I could find, which was not and still is not very much.

This spate of reading led me to stupendous atheist revelation: other atheists were atheists for the same reasons I was an atheist. We all, in our independent and noncollaborative studies and cogitations, had arrived at the same conclusions about religion.

Religions do not, not one of them, work this way. Apparently they begin as traditions, as habits of being and thinking, and later, by social consent, ossify into dogma or (more kindly) orthodoxy. But these orthodoxies only extend so far geographically from their origins. Beyond this, any given orthodoxy virtually vanishes to be replaced by another. If ths were not so of any paricular religion, one would expct there to be pockets of Christianity or Islam or Judaism or Buddhism appearing anywhere, without necessary connection to any other pocket. In other words, if any given religion were a natural conclusion, discernible by merely observing patterns in nature, its members would not need to get together and collude on orthodoxy. But this is not what we see with religion.

Yet this is precisely what we see with atheism. An ahteist can pop up anywhere. In a word, atheism is scientific. Atheism is evidence- and logic-based. Nothing more is necessary to reach the conclusions of atheism than an analysis of the facts at hand. And this is why atheists, who have never met, who have never discussed atheism with anyone else, who have never met any other atheists, can reach the same conclusions.

For me this is the very strongest confirmation of atheism in a world of theists of many stripes. This is why any atheist is all atheists. I am every atheist.


un0
ModeratorRational VIP!
un0's picture
Posts: 23
Joined: 2006-11-05
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist.

I am every atheist. I am a mother, a father, a brother and a sister. I serve your dinner, and I clean your hotel room. I sign your paycheck, and I defend your country. I babysit your children, and I travel into space. I keep you alive when you've been critically injured, and then I track down the guy responsible and put him in jail. I discover cures for diseases, and I invent better engines for cars. I fix the weapons that keep your country free, and I love doing it.

I am not a monster. I am not immoral. I am not dark, or sinister, nor do I harbor any ill will toward you. I am sometimes angered by your reaction toward me, but can you blame me? I am the last socially acceptable discriminated against minority in this country, and sometimes, it seems like it's too much to bear. I see this country headed for a very difficult time. I see the angry masses at odds with eachother, well on their way to becoming implacable enemies, and I don't know how to stop it. I cannot in good conscience let the country I love forsake the liberty that made it great. And you, with equal passion, see me as a destructive force in the lives of your children.

I have children too. I too want them to grow up in a peaceful world. I want them to be safe, and happy, and live long. I see you as a threat to that. Everything you stand for is devisive, destructive, and historically catastrophic. More blood has been shed in the name of God than for any other reason in history, and now you are met with the increasingly resilient cries of people you consider heretics. People like me. I see the hatred in your eyes, I see the fear and anger, the emotions that are the natural result of the honest belief that the greatest place in all existence will be forsaken for eternity if you entertain, to the slightest degree, that what I have to say may be true. You hold an honest belief that I can, with mere words, damn your children to an eternity of suffering. I don't blame you for your hatred. The fault lies with the belief from which it stems.

Chances are, you have no idea what it means to actually believe in God. What you cling to is the warm and fuzzy idea that to believe is what is important, nevermind the gory details. You've probably never read your good book, you probably have little clue as to it's contents, and you instead cling to the notion of God as a comfortable certainty in an uncertain world. You often say things like "Believing in God brings alot of meaning to my life" and "I wouldn't want to live in a world in which God didn't exist."

My existence is an afront to everything you've ever believed about what it takes to be a good person. You see me with a positive belief that there is no God, and yet I still find meaning in life. I still find joy. You see me, happily going about my life, free from the constraints of your limiting belief structure, yet somehow, I live on happily. You hear me say things that are a slap in the face to the creator you fear, yet not only am I not stricken with plagues or struck by lightning, I continue my life, unphased, unpunished. You envy me. My freedom. My choice. It's a freedom you wish you had. It's a choice you wish you were free to make.

I have a little secret for you.

You are.

Make the choice. Take control of your life. You are infected with a terminal virus of the mind. You have been lied to. You have been made a fool of. The hardest thing you'll ever have to deal with is not the life you live after you've lost your belief, but coming to terms with the life you wasted before you got up the courage. It is not easy, I won't lie to you. But it only gets worse the longer you wait. I am every atheist.

http://www.myspace.com/yakk0

--------------------------------------------------------------
Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.

http://unpleasantcharacters.blogspot.com


Yellow_Number_Five
atheistRRS Core MemberScientist
Yellow_Number_Five's picture
Posts: 1390
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
"You envy me. My freedom. My

"You envy me. My freedom. My choice. It's a freedom you wish you had. It's a choice you wish you were free to make.

I have a little secret for you.

You are."

Very well said.

Well done, un0, and welcome.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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


Suz Stein
Suz Stein's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2006-10-08
User is offlineOffline
I Am Every Atheist

I am every atheist. I am a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a nurse and an atheist. I abhor the religious right and their bashing of what is logical. I seek the truth. The battle that I fought with myself over what I was taught to believe to be true and what really IS true was a long tortuous road. I treasure my identity because it was hard fought. It’s not always easy being in the minority and speaking ones mind and it’s a struggle that I continue with on a daily basis. I am no longer a closet atheist.

I feel a sense of freedom because I am an atheist. I no longer have to suffer from guilt and anxiety over laws and rules that sprung from a medieval time born out of fear and ignorance. Science and logic reign supreme. Humanism and secularism are my guideposts. The relief of such a stance is enormous. I laugh at myself when I occasionally still say things like “Thank god it’s not snowing here today” and realize that old habits die hard. Now my husband and I jokingly say things like “Thank the Invisible Pink Unicorn that it’s not snowing here today”! Today I am thankful to myself and my intelligence for never giving up the questioning that started 25 years ago. I appreciate every day that I’m alive and thinking and free to make my own choices based on evidence and reason.

Quote:
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known
- -Carl Sagan


cath82
cath82's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2006-12-10
User is offlineOffline
People in Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Stones, Christians!

Ninety percent of the world is asleep. The other ten percent, seemingly, are us Atheists.

Recently, the Ninety Percent were bemused by the antics of a so-called Hollywood Star. He is part of what the Ninety Percent perceives to be an evil cult, a religion based on a science-fiction novel that promises a happiness it can’t deliver at a price most people can’t afford to pay. Their version of God is an intergalactic warlord named Xenu who, many years ago, vacuumed up all the miserable creatures that inhabited the universe and threw them into volcanoes here on Earth. Unfortunately, some of the leftover crap landed on humans, and now that’s why you’re sad. Luckily, they can get rid of that for you (result: instant and everlasting happiness) for the bargain price of all your life savings plus whatever you can steal, borrow or obtain by fraudulent means from all your disapproving friends and family. There is – of course – no hard evidence that any of these intergalactic events occurred and in fact, when you get right down to it, every brick in the foundation of this belief system can be traced back to a mass market pulp fiction paperback; in other words, a book.

Or something like that. I was only half-listening.

The Ninety Percent were bemused at first and then dismayed. ‘How can such an obviously intelligent and successful man’, they pondered, ‘believe in such utter garbage?’

Irony is a beautiful thing. It’s almost as pretty as rational thought.


Alex14
Posts: 52
Joined: 2006-10-03
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist. And

I am every atheist. And although a somewhat new atheist, as a person I have not changed. Except maybe for the god belief part. Am still the Alex that my friends and family know. I am also a person struggling with depression. I have been homeless. Many people would tell me to keep the faith. And I tried. I would pray but after awhile I wondered if I was just talking to the ceiling. I struggled with the notion of god for awhile. And although I am not homeless anymore, I still go through my problems. Which is okay, I could be worse off. I've decided, instead of putting faith in some guy (or girl who knows) I'll put in it in myself. I know what I can do. I know I'm here on this earth. I believe what I can see and feel. And science is a wonder to me. It's a wonderful experience to learn how something works. And it's great to know how it came to be. Can't do that with god. I know how I came to be. My mommie and daddy loved each other very much and well you know the rest. It was hard for me to distance myself from the god belief but after thinking it through he's really just like santa or that bunny guy. He is just a delusion to ease the minds of those who are struggling through something. He is just an excuse people use to judge others. They hide behind the bible. He is just like santa or the tooth fairy. Almost like a security blanket. That protects you and makes you feel like nothing can hurt you. Except that the blanket works better. If god really exists then the world wouldn't be like it is right now. So, why would he let the world be like it is. Why did he let me be born if he knew that one day I'd deny him? So many questions and the bible can't answer them. I only have one definitive answer. An answer that makes sense and has really helped me. God or whatever you call the guy doesn't exist. So, I may not have been brought up an atheist and I may not have come to it at a young age but I now know the truth. I am every atheist.


rational_missionary
Posts: 2
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
I am every Atheist

I am every atheist. I say this in the broader sense of having a communion unlike the diatribes of religious affiliations. For much of our lives (at least for the ex-theists), we woke up each day thinking the world worked a specific way which all scientific investigation was unable to penetrate. Our communion became one of critical thought the more we thought about our specific religious traditions. Perhaps invoking the quantum physics to this mix, we were connected in a great sense. Communion is a term I wish to take back from the religious harborers of a bloody mass. Communion is the simple act of fellowshipping on an intimate level, which all atheists can attribute to each other. We bear each other's burdens, knowing the failure of irrationality and knowing the hurt caused by those who proport it.

Realizing it is not "us versus them" mentality so much as it is uniting under a common bond and having a common goal. Ultimately, what is the best way to have happiness, while at the same time not needing delusions to achieve it? The answers are not so simple, given that much of the world, in spite of advances in understanding the natural world and cosmos, still embraces superstitious myths as literal truth. Is there even a way to cause a religious zealot happiness while stripping them of religious ideology?

I think it is possible, but unlocking a universal "code" to do it might take a while. While it might not be understood by the theist, as an atheist, I am still the same person I was. I still love the same, cry the same, have the same eccentric behavior. I simply learned to separate me from my faith. When one is able to achieve this task, then they realize they can be good without a god.

In closing this short, poinant note, I must admit I can think of ways I can do better to do my own part in this world. Small or large, we can do a beneficial action. Similar to natural selection, even if we only contribute a little "added information" to the genome of humanity, it will impact it in a greater way as time progresses. If all I can be remembered for is a simple quote, which is a jolly mindjob, I would be extremely accomplished. Knowing that many people die and nobody remembers them as individuals, but rather statistics, numbers, nations, it can seem depressing to think I will take that so often travelled road. But, any part I can play for the betterment of my fellow homo sapiens is enough for me. I can live for today and leave a small fingerprint of my life here for the future. My hope is that each atheist can have that type of attitude, because we only have one shot at this thing we call life.

I am every atheist.


jonathon wood
Posts: 2
Joined: 2006-12-31
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist

I AM EVERY ATHEIST


I have always wanted to make a movie depicting the life of Jesus Christ the way that I think it was like. Even though I am an atheist I believe that Jesus was a real person. I do not believe that he was sent from God, or that his death is more significant than the countless killed in his name. I think Jesus was a crazy man. His followers were hopeless people, clinging to any shred of faith that they could find. History shows that there were hundreds of men in the time of Christ who also claimed to be supernatural beings, but their legends did not even extend past their own lifetimes let alone two thousand years. The thing that makes us human is our realization of self, our ability to look inside of our selves and ask "what am I doing here?" We don't know what happens after death, and we fear anything that is unknown. That fear is part of the human condition, and to protect ourselves we make death seem more acceptable by creating, in our minds, "the afterlife " and sharing that with our children, and the children of our children. Jesus walked the earth, he had followers that loved him and believed in him, and he started a religion through his execution that has shaped the face of society. Jesus was made into a great man through the written word of his followers. The miracles that he performed were most likely true events, elaborated through rumor, until a simple act of kindness was turned into an act of God.

People throughout history have had a shitty existence, and the people who go without are the ones who hold the most faith in God. The belief that there is some higher power stems from the need to feel "alright" with death. Jesus, God, Buddha, Allah, Shiva, or the protective spirits of the earth have all been created with the same purpose in mind. That purpose is to give us hope when times are at their worst, help us be unafraid to die in the heat of battle, and give a little comfort as we kill each other in the name of our chosen ghosts.

IAMEVERYATHEIST


gwenmead
Posts: 7
Joined: 2006-12-30
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist

I am every atheist.

And I am just like you.

I was born red-faced from screaming, blue-lipped before my first breath. Just like you.

I took a first step and stumbled, but I got back up again. I spoke my first word, and never stopped communicating since. I went to my first day of school, and I still learn something every day. I had a first kiss, a first date, a first love. Just like you.

I have things I like and dislike. I have a favorite color. I know people I can't stand. I have a favorite food. I think some ideas are stupid. I have enemies and I have friends. Just like you.

I get up every day and worry about the mundanities of life. I brush my teeth, take a shower, comb my hair. I pick up groceries and pay my bills. I worry about whether my health will remain good or my car will keep running. I worry about my family: the health of my aging relatives, the ups and downs of their lives. I worry about whether my pets are happy. Just like you.

I have good days and bad days. On good days, I accomplish a lot of things. I remember who I am and what I'd like to do on this planet while I'm here. I enjoy my family and friends and I play with my pets. I look at the wide, blue sky and wonder why it's the color that it is. I see shapes in the clouds and feel the wind on my face. I eat good food and drink good drink and I like myself and my life, on good days. Just like you.

On bad days, I don't get much done. I'm emotional and anxious and I worry a lot. Or maybe I'm sick, with a fever that makes me hear voices and leaves my hands feeling inflated and weightless. I forget who I am and I wonder why I'm here, and the answers are hollow. Maybe I don't eat well. Maybe I cry, or I'm upset, or I yell and argue with people I care about. I don't like myself and I don't like my life, on bad days. Just like you.

I think. I feel. I ask. I wonder. Just like you.

If I do not eat, I will starve to death. If I do not have clean water, I will die of thirst. If I am deprived of air, I will suffocate. Just like you.

If you cut me, I will bleed. If you hit me, I will hurt. If you burn me, I will scar. If you abuse me, my spirit will wither. Just like you.

When my life is over, I will die. Just like you.

I am every atheist.

More than that, I am every human being. Just like you.

 

(c) 2007 M. Dew 

The fool says in his heart: "There is no god". --Psalm 14:1

It is a fool's prerogative to utter truths that no one else will speak.  --Neil Gaiman, Sandman 3:3:6


Kevinissmart
Posts: 13
Joined: 2006-09-30
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist. I

I am every atheist. I understand what it is to be an atheist. The definition of atheist is, simply put, a person who does not believe in a god. Being an atheist has become more than just that because it also means being a skeptic– someone who investigates claims before accepting them, a secular humanist– someone who embraces science and morality.

We atheists are not arrogant enough to believe that an all-mighty deity would meddle in our affairs. We understand that wishful thinking is unnecessary, unwanted, harmful, and foolish. God supposedly gave us all the choice of whether to follow Him, deny Him, or follow a false God. This idea is entirely stupid and clearly wasn’t thought through. I can’t choose what to believe or what facts to accept as many religious people do. I can’t choose to believe in Santa to get presents so how can I choose to believe in a God to go to Heaven?

Atheists are peace loving. When someone refers to a militant atheist, they mean someone who "attacks" theists with knowledge. An atheist would never strap a bomb to his chest and blow himself up in a crowd because of his lack of a belief. Atheists can see that religion is the root of most evil. If religion had been cured long ago, there would not be the "war on terrorism" that is going on today. Religion isn’t just evil in the sense that it kills people– believe me, I think that’s terrible and it should be stopped. I am enraged when I hear about those idiots blowing themselves up to go to that fairytale land, but that’s not the only evil religion causes. Religion is an attack on science. It is a stopper or a weight on scientific advances or knowledge in general. Can you imagine what the world would be like if religion had been cured say one hundred years ago? We’d probably live in a peaceful Star Trek-like world. Stem cell research, which can and will save many lives among many other things it will provide, is going at a turtles pace thanks to religion. Not long ago, scientists were killed or threatened with execution for discovering facts that contradict the Bible and other holy scriptures like the fact that the Earth is not flat. As secular humanists, we have a need to be good people. Our only reward for being good is that great feeling that only a truly good person has ever felt. Our only punishment for doing something wrong is that awful burning weight we feel in the pit of our stomachs. We don’t need an all-powerful being to punish or reward us. Einstein was completely right when he said, "If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."

I’ve had theists pray for me. I guess they hope God will listen to them and save me a spot in Heaven. If I am wrong, and there is a magical cloudy-sunny place and a magically fiery place, it won’t matter where I go. I could go to Heaven and spend an eternity with a deity who condemns often innocent people to an eternity of torture, not to mention, if there were a Heaven, facts (which are so important to atheists) would be meaningless, or I could go to Hell, where I would be burned for all eternity. I’m not sure which is worse– probably Heaven.

In short, Atheists understand the importance of knowledge. We keep an open mind about things, but only to the limit of rationality. Atheists keep their head out of the clouds and into the future. All atheists understand the evils of religion and being a good person is important to us. I know these are a few of the ideals that every atheist follows because I am every atheist.


Andygal
Posts: 2
Joined: 2007-02-17
User is offlineOffline
Comment

I am Every Atheist

 I do not believe in any form of superior supernatural being. I do not believe in irrational supersititions written in a book thousands of years ago. And i certtainly don't believe that a book written in the Bronze Age and which advocates stoning people to death for picking up sticks on a certain day of hte week should be a guide to anybody's morality.

 I am Rational, I do not believe in blind adherence to what anybody says, I believe in making descsions based on evidence and reason. I believe that the scientific method is the best way we have to learn about how things work.

 I do not believe that there is any exsistence after death. I do not believe anybody else will save our skins if we screw up and damange this world beyond repair. I believe we have one chance to get things right and we as a society had better stop thinking about "salvation" and start thinking about ways to solve the world's problems.

 I believe, contrary to the religious viewpoint that humanity needs "help" to be moral, that people can be moral on their own. My morality comes from reason and common sense. I believe in minimizing suffering and in the free distribution of knowledge and learning.

I am every Atheist. 


ugzog
Bronze Member
ugzog's picture
Posts: 84
Joined: 2007-02-08
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist

I am every atheist. Opening my eyes as a babe to the world, only wanting to know and learn. Accepting fear and awe at a universe to immense to be completely understood, yet to tempting and beautiful not to explore. As I wonder through my life, independent from and strangely dependent on my common man, shaking off the shackles of godly parental figures, to accept right and wrong from my own assumptions. I see the well marked path that stands ahead, yet watch the collective mentality stager, trying to walk the worn path of conformity. I understand the comfort of stagnation, and know to fight it as a blanket of slow death. We must evolve, maybe not physically; through, I have not need of a little toe, but socially. Society evolves learning and growing to help its people met the demands of it environment. We have come from tribal thru feudalism to democracy, trying to meet the demands by experimenting in socialism, communism, to the engulfing capitalism. So why is it so hard to realize that this anchor of theism drags behind us sapping are abilities and resources. We are racing ourselves, and losing, tripping on are collective inability to bury arcane concepts, that have needed to be buried with the likes of numerology, alchemy, and spontaneous generation. We need to embrace a path free of superstitions, and place are hope in system that can bring actually return on our investment We are all atheist, if we choose to open are babe eyes and see the truth, doesn’t change the road we must crawl.

Man is the only animal in all of nature that cannot accept its own mortality.


Bradley Horton
Posts: 2
Joined: 2007-06-24
User is offlineOffline
Why I am a proud atheist.

This comment has been moved here.


thedrunkchipmunk814
Posts: 2
Joined: 2007-06-08
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist. I live

I am every atheist.

I live just like you. The sun smiles down upon me just like you. I breathe the same sweet air as you. Water washes over my body just like you. Pain hurts my heart as I mother, father, daughter crying their last tears. I love just like you, whole-heartedly. I am content just like you. Fear floods my veins just like you. I want to be loved and accepted just like you.

I am just like you; like every atheist and theist.

But you hate me for something you don't understand. For one little difference.

You hate me more than you would every fag, every old man, every cripple, every women, every retarded child. You hate me worse with the same malice and fear. You hate me just because I won't worship a Yahweh, Buddha, Christ, God, deity, or spirit. You hate me because you think I'm a murderer. You hate me because I don't have any morals since I don't read a holy book. You hate me because I will rape and criminalize your innocent, good children. You hate me because I am a terrorist.

You see me with blind fear for what you don't understand. You're afraid because you don't have the will to see me as a free person with morals and a conscious. You don't see the fallacies and the horrible logic and contradictions and repulsive lies and immoral lessons that run rampant through your holy book. You ignore all the injustice and pain caused by your holy book. Your holy book that governs your life. Your holy book that you have never read and understood.

What you also don't see is that mirror. If you were to look closely, you'd see all the loving deeds done in the face of a god.

You see me as a murderer. Do you remember Paul Hill? Or Matthew Shepard?

You see me as a rapist that will ruin your children. Do you remember the Roman Catholic priests (priests)\u003c/span\>\nthat terrified children while teaching them the love of God?\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>You see me as a terrorist that will undermind\u003cspan style\u003d\"color:red\"\>(undermined)\u003c/span\> and bring down America. Do you remember\nthe falling of the Twin Towers?\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>All good, moral deeds done in the name of a God.\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>And you hate me for this difference. You hate me because I\ndon't murder people because they are gay. You hate me because I don't burn down\nabortionist clinics. You hate me because I don't brain-wash children while\nmolesting them. You hate me because I don't sacrifice myself for 77 virgins. \u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>You hate me because I am free. I am free to cry for the\nmurders committed in God's name. I am free to cry for the hatred and blame\nspread in God's name. I am free to cry for all the demonstrations that promote\nand approve chilling deeds, such as harassing\u003cspan style\u003d\"color:red\"\>(harassing)\u003c/span\>\ngays and burning down clinics. I am free to cry for all the civil liberties\nthat are taken away from everyone because we must respect a single religion. I\nam free to cry for all the wars waged, for all the lives lost, for all the\nwidowed wives and husbands and children, for all the prisoners tortured, in the\nname of religion. \u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>I am free to have my own morals and not conform to what an\noutdated, old, holy book demands. I am free to see the wonderful reality for\nwhat it is.\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>The stars in the sky. The beautiful dolphin that swims in a\njewel-blue sea. The emerald green eye, as it turns upon to focus on you. The\nlovely red tulip that flowers in summer. The elephant as it bathes. The great\ndane as it races.\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>All natural. All evolution. All done without a God.\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>You hate me for what you don't understand. You fear what you\ndon't understand. You are confused that I'm not amazed what you need. \u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>But what you don't realize is that I'm just like you. I just\nbelieve in one less God. \u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>I live, breathe, and love just like you. I feel pain and\ntorture just like you. I weep just like you. I am just like you. I only see\nwhat you don't.",1] ); //--> that terrified children while teaching them the love of God?

You see me as a terrorist that will undermine and bring down America. Do you remember the falling of the Twin Towers?

All good, moral deeds done in the name of a God.

And you hate me for this difference. You hate me because I don't murder people because they are gay. You hate me because I don't burn down abortionist clinics. You hate me because I don't brain-wash children while molesting them. You hate me because I don't sacrifice myself for 77 virgins.

You hate me because I am free. I am free to cry for the murders committed in God's name. I am free to cry for the hatred and blame spread in God's name. I am free to cry for all the demonstrations that promote and approve chilling deeds, such as harassing gays and burning down abortion clinics. I am free to cry for all the civil liberties that are taken away from us because we must respect a single religion. I am free to cry for all the wars waged, for all the lives lost, for all the widowed wives and husbands and children; for all the prisoners tortured in the name of religion.

I am free to have my own morality and not conform to what an outdated book demands. I am free to see reality for what it is.

The stars in the sky. The beautiful dolphin that swims in a jewel-blue sea. The emerald green eye, as it turns and focus on you. The lovely red tulip that blossoms in spring. The elephant as it bathes. The great dane as it races.

All natural. All evolution. All done without a God.

You hate me for what you don't understand. You fear what you don't understand. You are confused that I do not need what you need.

But what you don't realize is that I'm just like you. I just believe in one less God.

I live, breathe, and love just like you. I feel pain and sorrow just like you. I weep just like you. I am just like you. I only see what you don't. \n\n\u003cp\>I see the letters of hate that get sent to me. I see the\ndeath threats. I see the sharp glares as I pass people on the street. I see the\nwhispers and scathing things. I see that I am hated for what I am. I see that\none little difference that makes me morally inferior to you and deserving of\nsuch malice and disgust.\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>I am that one little difference that will not back down to\nyour intolerence.\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\>I am every athiest.\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003cp\> \u003c/p\>\n\n",0] ); D(["ce"]); //-->

I see the letters of hate that get sent to me. I see the death threats. I see the sharp glares as I pass people on the street. I see the whispers and scathing things. I see that I am hated for what I am. I see that one little difference that makes me morally inferior to you and deserving of such malice and disgust.

I am that one little difference that will not back down to your intolerance.

I am every atheist.

 


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7523
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Please folks, make

Please folks, make submissions for the essay drive.  PLEASE.  Your always asking how you can help... PARTICIPATE.

- Brian Sapient


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


Susan
Susan's picture
Posts: 3561
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
Bump. Where are all those

Bump.

Where are all those folks that want to be content contributors?

 


JB_Montag
JB_Montag's picture
Posts: 68
Joined: 2006-07-27
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist, every

I am every atheist, every theist, every deist, every thinking being walking the earth. Caught between, what came before me and wondering when my trip ends, living a five sense life. I look for love and friends, ejoying every moment the sun touches my skin or the smell of the rain before the storm. I'm always alone no matter how large the crowd, I get louder looking for a glance, some sense that you noticed I'm here too and that I matter. I'll keep trying to find my way of fitting in, I am your brother and your sister, father and mother, friend and foe, the stranger with the grin you just passed on the street, an average example of the ordinary human animal. I'm every thought I've had, every stone you've thrown my way and I wouldn't trade the only chance I'll ever have at happiness, for gold, or gods, or promises, not for anything at all. 

The paper read yesterday, the earth exploded, nobody noticed the passing of this hapless planet.


delta2echo
Posts: 1
Joined: 2007-11-15
User is offlineOffline
I am an Athiest.

I am an Athiest. 

DECLARATION:

When in the course of a persons life, an individual willingly wishes to dissolve the mystical and religious bands which have connected that individual to those similar concepts, and to assume among the free minds of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's Universalness entitles them. In an effort to make an intellectual and moral stand among those still bound by tradition and mysticism, and to a decent respect to the opinions of humanity, requires that individual should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

I hold no truths to be self evident, that not all thoughts are created equal.

That the premises and conclusions of understanding should be tested and retested rationally beyond a reasonable doubt, until it can be shown, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a more fundamental understanding can be achieved.

Never shall I presume to know absolute truth, or allow myself or others to be above or beyond the light of criticism, skepticism, or rational thought.

And to the effect of allowing a world where rationality may flourish, and not be itself construed to be abused, that all individuals are free to believe, express, and act anyway they wish as long as it does not impose upon that same liberty of others.

Religious beliefs are touted as being "THE Path" to Peace, Happiness, and Truth. I find the reality to fall far short of their claims. Often times these beliefs are used as justification to kill, sacrifice innocents, oppress, or to prejudice.  If the claims held any foundation in reality the world would be a much different place.

Three major religions in the world who all have faith in the same God would be able to co-exist which they fail to do miserably (Judaism, Christianity/Catholics, and Islam).

To me this is the most profound evidence to date of the short comings of religions belief.  

Some people will argue that science has been used to do the same. As Richard Dawkins has said "if you want to do evil, science provides the most powerful weapons to do evil; but equally, if you want to do good, science puts into your hands the most powerful tools to do so."

If I am faced with the option of using two forms of thinking that can lead to evil, I will use the one that is not founded in superstition, blind faith, double-think, and mystical thinking, because rational thought is the only hope humanity has to break the bonds of tyranny of the mind.

To quote Steven Weinberg, "(Religion) With or without it 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"

I would like everyone to understand that I was a beliver, I always took the glory of the universe to be a testament to the mind of God. But after seeing how American society has been treating homosexuals, how religious fanatics in America are trying to warp the education system, and how religious individuals will LIE to manipulate others I can no longer in good conciounse accept faith to be apart of my understanding of morality and truth.

People have the power to reason out what is moral and good. People do not need superstition and blind faith to cloud their minds.

The path to make the world a better place is not laid out by a specific doctorine, or political mind set.

It starts with us the individual. It starts with accountablilty. Every person is accountable for the things they say, do and think. Noone has the right to claim Absolute Truth. Noone has the right to claim truth without evidence. We must hold each person responsible for their thinkings.

Its starts with us.   I'm starting with me.


Brayton.l
Brayton.l's picture
Posts: 15
Joined: 2007-11-10
User is offlineOffline
I am Every Atheist

I am every atheist, I am blue collar, I am a father, I am a husband, and I am a human. Being human for me means I have more responsibility than our genes suggest; responsibility to make an impact, to try and shape the future for the young, to educate the ignorant. This is where it all begins.

Morality, conscience, ethics, and knowledge of what short time we have on a long and frightening road.

At any point of the day, we are faced with decisions regarding what we are willing to speak out about, and when we are willing to remain silent. Every corner is a tiny moment of truth.* Surrounded by prejudice, intolerance, outright racism, and a seemingly endless stream of ignorance, when is the right time/place to make our stand? How should I react when faced with such outright hostility towards my fellow man, whether they are of different color, different religion, different nationality, sexual identity, or whatever the difference may be? This is not easy to answer. Perhaps the correct answer for me is not the same for every other atheist. Perhaps there is no right answer that fits for every situation. I am unsure. A gut check is usually in order, and our guts seldom lie.

At times, I am struck in such a powerful way by someones inability or unwillingness to feel empathy for the suffering of others, I find myself losing control, and it feels good. I rampage, blurting out a veritable sermon. Unable or unwilling to stop myself, I climb up on my soapbox, attacking with curses, insults and slander, rambling, I usually only succeed in alienating people I must deal with every single hour of every single day. I have allowed myself to be reduced to shouting matches. Stumbling at the proverbial finish line. I have later been ashamed, compelled to apologize, not for my convictions, (never) but for my own prejudices and lack of control. Passion is at an all time high.

However, There have been moments of sheer epiphany, where “all the planets seem to align” and I find myself inspired; answers, questions, challenges to the status quo, seem to flow from me like I have been possessed of a poet! I am as eloquent as Keats, witty as Twain, sharp as Hitchens! Its these times that inspire me, that "lift the spirit." I am able to hold my head a little higher, hoping perhaps, just perhaps I had planted a seed of doubt or hope, whichever the case may be. Once or twice, I believe I have actually been able to win someone over to the side of humanism. These moments have been sadly rare but they are that much sweeter for being so. I soldier on. I realize that it is these very oppurtunities that compel me to educate myself. Like a theist who goes to church to put on their “spiritual armor,” I read, study, meditate, and reach out to like minded people, so that I may be a light of reason in the darkness that is ignorance and intolerance.

I know that my children’s future in no small way depends upon me, depends upon you, depends upon us! As someone of greater intelligence than I put forward, we are only immortal through our children.

At every moment, in every instance, for as long as I draw breath, I am responsible, I am proud, and indeed, I am every atheist.

 edited to correct ignorant sentence structure.

Brayton.l Nov. 15th 2007

 

 

*Rush/Roll the Bones


Sadzaeater
Sadzaeater's picture
Posts: 90
Joined: 2007-06-30
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist.   I

I am every atheist.

 

I seek, in all things, not to harm the people with whom I share this wonderfully lucky opportunity that is life, at risk to my own well being if needs be.

 

I seek, in all things, opportunities to help my fellows achieve their potential to survive, succeed and enjoy their lives, sacrificing of myself if needs be.

 

I seek, in all things, opportunities to enjoy the time I have alive, living this one shot life until it is utterly done.

 

I seek, in all things, critical truth in the workings of my own mind and in the conclusions of others’.

 

I find, in all things, wonder, awe and fulfilment beyond that of the mere miracle.

 

I am every atheist.

Stop that... It's silly.


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 13668
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
I am every Atheist. I am

I am every Atheist.

I am every atheist because I see a better future for humanity without ancient superstiton. I am every atheist because I see the potiential for humanity to find advancement in improving the human condition. 

I am every atheist because I know that I am only one of many as an individual with  only one core cominality "lack of belief in the super natural". 

I draw from a history of skepticism from diverse people Socrates, Plato, Ingersoll, Jefferson, George Smith, Harris, Hitchens and Dawkins.

I reflect the diversity amoungst the atheist label. I am a Redskin fan who also loves Jazz music and Metallica. I am a economic and free speech Libertarian who accepts that other atheists dont agree with me on all issues all the time. I am every atheist because I am an individual.

I am an atheist who knows that to do good doesnt come from trying to win points from daddy, but to do good with no expectation of reward or threat of punishment. We know that we dont spread cooites are disire to become Hitler. I am every atheist because I can, just like a theist, donate to the Red Cross, or Meals on Wheels, without atributing the good to a magical puppiteer in the sky.

We can overcome claims of disimbodied beings and hocus pocus and replace it with critical thought and rational study. I am every atheist because I know this is the only life I get and no afterlife exists as a cookie bribe someone to be good.

I am every atheist, your son, your brother, your neithbor, your friend and co-worker. I am a human who merely doesnt buy claims of magical parents in the sky. 

I am every atheist knowing that I can and do love theists as my family, friends and co-workers even with the dissagreement on deities.

Atheists know the only differance between atheists and theists is that one issue of the existance of deities. We know we run the gamit of economic class and political opinion and are capable of distiguishing the view of a person as a seperate issue than what the person actually claims.

I am a human and so too the theist with flaws and atributes outside theistic claims. I am an atheist who knows that 6 billion people will not be clones of each other.

I am every atheist.

 

"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


Luciano
Luciano's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: 2008-01-02
User is offlineOffline
I'm every atheist, even

I'm every atheist, even though for a long time I have been somewhat passive about this, satisfied with just being an atheist myself.


In the back of my mind, I remembered enjoying in arguing against the priest that was my religion teacher when I was just a kid (that was Italy's reality in the 1960s, and sadly still is), and not really giving much thought to the need to share this viewpoint. Actually, at the time I was spreading my left-wing political views, which I assumed included by definition an atheist stance.


Lo and behold, as my hair was growing gray, I've come to understand that there also "secular religions", where some kind of belief in the ideas of a human being reaches the point where he is elevated to a higher, almost god-like status, and you can't deviate from this belief -- in other words, you are not really supposed to use your own intellectual faculties independently from the doctrines you were taught.


Which leads to a broader point.


If you are an atheist with respect to organised religion -- and their churches, their popes and ayatollahs, and their hierarchies of bishops, priests and mullahs -- you might still be a believer in some other, perhaps less "divine" beliefs, from the most ridiculous (like the horoscope) to some very serious and time-absorbing political or philosophical ideas.


In other words, it is possible to be a "god-less" person, but still take quite a number of things on faith. To some extent, that's inevitable.


In fact, up to a point, we would not be able to even survive if we really did not have "faith" in anything. How could you step on a plane, if you didn't "believe" that it will take off and fly you safely into the air? How could you go into an operating room and be anesthetised, if you didn't "believe" that the doctors will do their best to treat you?


OK, but where is "the point" of that "up to a point"? There must be some place where one draws the line and says: "No, this is too much!"


That what each atheist has got to find for herself (or himself): and it may vary, overtime and depending upon the situation.


Because although each and every atheist if essentially a materialist in philosophical terms, we are still all of us just human, and like any other human being, we have been shaped by evolution to react in certain ways, even to think instinctively following certain patterns.


And there are events in life when each one of us faces things that appear un-materialistic. Whenever a dear person dies, we might find that all of a sudden we are "sensing" their presence in our thoughts, and we would like to compensate for their absence by finding ways to further communicate with them. In actual fact, we are probably drawing from some of the deepest recesses of our brain cells certain memories of them -- conversations with them, letters from them -- and it feels as if we were hearing their voice speaking to us.


Death inevitably compels us humans to deal with a sad and inconvenient aspect of our existence... that sooner or later it will end. How nice if we could go on longer, if our dearest ones could go on longer as well, and if we could remain all in good health!


Like everybody else, an atheist has the secret wish of being inmortal (at least, this atheist does). But, unlike most other people, we know that our existence will end when we die, and more often than not, it's always too soon when it happens... However, as we recall other people, and we know we can keep them alive in our memories, so we know that we too can survive in the memories of our own spouses, kids, friends and relatives.


And that's why we would like to leave good memories behind us, so that people will speak nicely about us, and thinking of us will do them good, and so we will not have lived in vain.


And we can explain to ourselves, and to other people as well (believers, of one kind or another), that our existence does not have to have a supernatural connection to be worth living. In fact, even though our lives have no special meaning in the Universe -- there being no more "purpose" to the existence of humans, than there is to that of cats, dogs or ants -- each one of us is a special human being, to himself/herself, and to those around us. And each and every life has a meaning in itself, for us, for what we do, for the happiness we manage to enjoy and share with others, for the care we take to reduce the pain, the injustice, the suffering in this world of ours.


A good chunk of this activity aimed at reducing the sufferings in the world, at making people less unhappy and their lives less unjust is inevitably linked to the struggle -- because that's what it is, a real struggle -- to undermine the power of irrational beliefs. This activity, by the way, is also undertaken by an endless string of "believers" -- they just go about it by unmasking somebody's else "god". (Just think to all the theistic scientists, who may be able to do very good and valuable research, their faith notwithstanding).


Some of these beliefs that strangle mankind are explicit in their irrationality ("creationism”), others involve more or less elaborated cover-ups ("ID”), others claim to be materialistic or even atheistic while furthering methodologies and ideologies based on an idealistic approach (this includes many "churches" of and plenty of "believers" in Freudianism, "cultural anthropology", Marxism, or "alternative medicine", for instance).


Every atheist is bound to face this hurdle in the course of their lives. And each atheist will deal with this in his/her own way. My way is different from that of others, their ways and views are unlike mine. And we nonetheless strive to respect one another, for in our life we have chosen to put reason before belief.


And that's why I'm every atheist.


Monica (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist

When Sunday morning arrives I know a break from my mothering duties is imminent. However, as I watch my two sons climb into the car and head for church, feelings of resentment (even hostility) emerge.

Since the time my oldest son was twelve months old my sister-in-law has politely yet persistently asked if she and her husband could take him to church on Sunday. She had long since given up on me as a potential Christian convert and now she was focusing her attention on my offspring. I remember the evening the inquisition began. During one of our regular family get-togethers my sister-in-law and I were standing on opposite ends of the counter while twin bowls of artichoke dip steamed between us. I was not expecting the subject to come up. I was wrong. She tilted her chin sharply to the side like an owl. Her bright hair was a tuft of red and yellow feathers that circled her thin face.

“It would be so wonderful if your boys could come with us to church!”
Her hazel eyes tattooed in blue eyeliner shimmered at me like two pieces of crushed glass. “We can pick them up! It will give you a chance for a break and I just know the boys will love it!”

“Um. I have to wash their hair tomorrow,” I said, my voice sounding like the last wave of a distant echo. She gazed at me with her usual espresso induced enthusiasm. I looked at her hot pink lips and wished I had chosen to wear make-up that evening--a little war paint, something to give me courage.

One week later, after an unusually long bedtime ceremony that included a sock puppet parade, a freeze frame dance party, and no less than four helicopter rides to the moon, I made my way into the bathroom. While staring at the blood blue crescents that formed under my eyes and my oily shoestring hair, it became very apparent to me how tired I was. I’m certain that my fatigue was in direct correlation with my youngest son’s increasing mobility. With an eighteen month old and a three year old now at home, everything seemed to be getting faster and faster. The thought of acquiring a few extra hours of leisure time on a Sunday became a blessing I could no longer forgo. While lying in my bed that night I relished the thought of reading in peace, bathing in peace, or even peeing in peace without the sound of little hands banging on the bathroom door.
Before I knew it another week had gone by. It was Saturday evening again. When I failed to check my caller I.D. before answering, my sister-in-law was able to make her usual inquiry.

“Can the kids attend church with us tomorrow?” There was silence. I was tired. I needed a break. Besides, what kind of mother denies her children the innocent fun of Sunday school?


With hesitation and frustration welling in my throat, I gave in to the temptation of Christ.

“Okay, what time will you be by?” My voice was soft and short. She must have sensed that this was hard for me.

Marrying into a very religious family has provided challenges for me. Being an atheist has only magnified those challenges. I knew I was going to be outnumbered the day I said, “I do.” Atheists are in the minority as it is. According to a 2004 American National Election Study, 77% of Americans still consider religion to be an important part of their lives, while 48% of the population (according to a 2004 General Social Survey) still considers Christianity “truly” American.

Of course, my in-laws mean well. They are nice and responsible people. I deeply care for them and remain hopeful that at some point we will be able to put our philosophical differences aside and look beyond the sharp contrast of their religious conservatism and my more, ahem (not amen), “liberal perspective.”

Once I hung up the phone with my sister-in-law I began to feel the sheer force of implied heritage sweeping my children away. After all, my children are their family too, and not merely by marriage but through a far more unifying arrangement, genetics. I began to feel like my own faith (or lack there of) was never going to stand a chance against the constant indoctrination my children would inevitably be subjected. They were going to grow up surrounded by religious fundamentalism and I was terrified. Immediately after I agreed to the Sunday excursion my fears grew. How could I compete with fun loving bible stories, cupcakes, and happy songs about Jesus? My children were going to like church and there was nothing I could do about it.

When I was a child my father told me to “seek the truth and run from anyone who has found it.” I was raised without religion. Our weekends in California, especially Sundays, were spent outside hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains. As we strolled along, collecting unusual rocks, spotting different kinds of birds, and commenting on the robust hillsides my father constantly reminded us that nature is responsible for everything. Despite his vast interests and prolific approach to research, he was the first to admit when he didn’t know the answer to something. He would shrug his shoulders and grin.

“I don’t know, baby girl. I don’t know what that is, but I’m sure there is a book about it.”

He was right. There was always a book about it. We had fun looking up insects, birds, and plants in our encyclopedia's at home.

In my youth I was encouraged to attend many different churches. My father wanted me to experience and hear it all. Growing up in Southern California afforded me the opportunity to do just that. I had a Mormon boyfriend, a Catholic best friend, and a Jewish boss. Each one of them was kind enough to let me visit their religious services at one time or another. I remember my father eagerly waiting to hear about my observations. We would sit outside throwing the ball for our dog Rufus and talk about the different ways in which people worshipped the same God. What remained a mystery to us was how each religion was supremely convinced that they were absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, correct.

I know how persuasive the varied consolations that religion has to offer can be, especially against some of life’s harshest truths. The sense of community is an attractive feature as well and I understand why people chose to take refuge in all of that. These have always been powerfully persuasive tools for those with whom religion appeals. For me, it does not, nor has it ever, felt right.

I now know why some people feel they should never discuss religion or politics with loved ones. To think that everyone shares the same convictions is an arrogant assumption to make. I've learned that talking with family about personal and/or political beliefs can be a highly divisive tactic. Recently, during one of our family get-togethers we were asked to bow our heads and give thanks to, among other things, George Bush. Apparently, the Lord has blessed us with his divine leadership.

For the past five year’s I have patiently remained quiet while listening to points of view that sometimes were offensive to me. After years of playing possum on some of the most sensitive of issues I realized I had become the kind of person I never wanted to be, a sell-out. Where was my philosophical backbone? It seems that somewhere during my matrimonial merger I had lost it. Perhaps this was the result of some sort of anti-Darwinian, reverse evolutionary tactic, (uh-oh did I say evolution)? I had reverted into the kind of spineless amoeba from whence we came some four billion years ago.

It would have been easier had we chosen to live in a metropolis where cultural and philosophical diversity is the norm. However, living in a smaller town, with a church on every corner, has given me the sense of religious inundation. I constantly feel like a square peg trying to fit inside a cross-shaped hole.

After the first Sunday of attending church my oldest son came home with a gold glittered cross in one hand and a half eaten cookie in the other. He was ecstatic.

“Did you have fun at church today?” His enthusiasm was contagious.

“It was great!” He pushed the other half of the cookie into his mouth.

“What did you learn?” Eager to hear his answer I pulled up a chair and sat down beside him.

“God made the earth.” He said this while he handed me his sticky craft. His little starfish shaped hand was now waving in front of me. This was his way of telling me he needed a towel.

“That’s a nice story.” I said as I wiped his hands clean.

The following Saturday after a week of weighing the pros and cons of our current situation I voiced my fears to my husband. After patiently listening to my concerns he assured me that just because a kid goes to church is not necessarily going to make them hate gays, ignore science, deny reason, and develop an attitude of moral superiority. His calm rationale was effective. I was lulled to sleep just imagining all the delicious leisurely possibilities the next day had to offer.

Later that Sunday afternoon my son brought home another craft, this time a construction paper crown like the one Jesus wore. He also told me with chocolate cookie enthusiasm that,

“Jesus died on the cross! And he had nails in his hands!”

My natural reaction was to explain everything in that moment to him about my personal beliefs on the matter. But I withheld. Instead I handed him a sippy cup filled with milk.

“The stories you hear at church are just stories. And everyone has different stories.”
My tailbone stiffened. I was skeptical as to why anyone would want to share this bit of morbid information with a three year old?

The next Sunday came around quickly and by now the routine had been established. My sister-in-law picked both my boys up at the house around eight am. Car seats were exchanged and the symbolic event of handing over the diaper bag. The control had shifted. Some one else was going to be in charge of my babies for the next several hours. I hugged everyone goodbye and once again they were off to learn about the Lord.

When my children came home they were energetic as usual. Both eager for their lunch. My three year old carried yet another sticky craft into our kitchen. This time an Easter egg with a cross drawn on the middle.

“Mommy, Jesus died on the cross and then he flew way up into the sky and he was okay.”

“Well. What do you think about that?” My concern was bordering on defensive.

“It was sad. Jesus had nails in his hands from the soldiers.” My skin grew hot.

“Listen, those are just stories.”

Later that night I had learned that one of our neighbor’s daughters was going to have her tonsils removed due to recurrent strep throat. I decided to make organic chicken soup for the family. I know it can be hard on the parents when a child is sick. My oldest son and I drove to our neighbor’s home and were greeted by a happy group of children. The youngest of the group squeaked out,

“I’m havin’ an operation on my talker tomorrow!” Her voice was raspy yet sweet.

While her parents carried the soup into the kitchen, I kneeled down to give her a big hug and told her how brave she was. I noticed large crosses hanging on the walls of their hallway. The mother thanked me repeatedly for the soup and my “prayers.” She invited me to her women’s bible study on Wednesday night. As usual, I declined.

Despite my numerous reservations about monotheistic endeavors I had to face the fact that my children may eventually chose to be Christian. We were simply out numbered by Christian folk. The thought saddened me because I had always hoped my children would become, well, more like me. I had hoped that my hard earned philosophical standpoint would find away into their hearts and their own proclamations. Now I was faced with the possibility that they too would view me as the “lost soul” of the herd, the one in need of “saving.” My dreams of raising my kids in a home where freethinking, reason, humanism, and skepticism are the norm seemed more unlikely than ever before.

Often when I close my mind on an issue, the answer comes. Some call it a sign from God, or the Holy Spirit. I prefer to call it the mind, or intellect, which I believe is solely responsible for vast complexities of human problem solving.

A few more Sundays came to pass. Several other construction paper crosses made their way into the recycling bin. Then one Saturday my oldest son and I were sunbathing in the backyard. I had finally taken the time to commit to memory the names of the various desert plants that surrounded our property. Succulents never appealed to me. Compared to the lush and colorful landscape I had grown accustom to in my childhood, cacti looked so unapproachable and insipid. But, I decided to put aside my constant critic and instead learn about this bizarre and foreign flora. As we rested on the lounge chairs I began to teach my son the tree names.

“What do you call that one way over there on the hill?” I looked at him through dark sunglasses.

“You mean the one that looks like a fork?” His nose squished up like a miniature accordion.
“Ahhh, that’s a Sawarrow!”

We were silent again. I looked up into the cloudless sky and closed my eyes. He cuddled up next to me in the chair. Soon after the silence, he began to tap me on my shoulder.
“Mom!” He crowed. “Mom wwwook at dhis!”

I lifted my head to see his latest fascination. A row of black ants had begun their journey in one long and thin conforming line to and from our swimming pool.

“I see baby. Those are ants.” I put my head back down.

“Mom!” He was tapping me again. “Why do they all go together like that?”

I thought of my father. I thought of the way he used the things in nature as a metaphor for life. Now I was aware that during all those walks together he was teaching me not only about nature but about human nature as well.

“I don’t know why honey. I don’t know why they all walk together like that. But, I’m sure there’s a book about it!” I promised him we’d find some pictures of ants when we went back inside.

Later that afternoon my neighbor had come by with a thank you card for the soup. She invited me again to her bible study. This time however I decided to be forthright. I told her that I was a non-believer, that organized religion does not appeal to me. She said she understood. She said it sounded like I was struggling to find my path back to Jesus. She said she would pray for me, she would pray that I would come to know his divine love and eventually follow him home. I pictured the ants.

I realized that my sons were growing up to be like me. Maybe they would spend time in church, but ultimately they will know my beliefs too. They will grow up in a home where they are expected to question everything. I could see my son, already growing comfortable with uncertainty. The notion of having to earn an answer was beginning to resonate in his mind. As we slowly printed out five pages of information from the Internet about ants, his patience was tested. But in the end he was proud of his findings.

We colored the black and white photos of the ants and pinned them around his room. We never did find an answer as to why they insist on following one another in a straight line. If I had to guess, I would bet it has something to do with security, community, and hard-wired biological imperatives. In any event, my son found it peculiar enough to research and so did I.


bsport48
Posts: 2
Joined: 2008-03-24
User is offlineOffline
I am every atheist

Silently screaming to the deaf ear,

Thinking what else could be so dear?

Turning blue inside my pale white face

Trying so hard to distance my space.

 

There is a trinity, of Father, Son, and Ghost.

The third of which infiltrates the Host.

Hallucinates he, who is endowed by Him,

Causing him to do what some consider as din.

 

A book of Five scripts the beliefs of the Jew

Am I proud to know more all of them knew?

Of Jerusalem they say that the land is theirs.

Yet others who Believe are killing their heirs.

 

To only one god, and his illiterate prophet

Must we pray to and pay a small fee for profit.

But know, in the Arabian dunes of sand,

The cartoon of the prophet can sever the hand.

 

Amidst this screaming religious crowd,

I stand up alone, head high and proud.

I do not allow to be swayed by such

Ignorance. Of this we have had too long too much.

 

To all questions, they indeed think they have answer.

They are manipulative, unkind, and deplete of candor.  

The pious is proud to pronounce his proofs

While I have always pointed out his goofs.

 

So long as God’s men attempt to fuse

Logic and that which is sung by the muse

I must stand in front and not allow

Man to turn from sheep to cow.

 

The blind is deaf to logic and reason

He goes on forever, from season to season

Spewing his odious professions of faith

Of which his victims escape with a scathe.  

 

I can't claim to know what lies up Above.

But I know I don’t need the ever-lasting Love.

For my good is one’s bad, my right his wrong

Surely the Divine would not sing just my song.

 

Who am I, and why am I so against

The frolics of faith? It has me incensed.

I am the one whose mind is the freest.

Because, good reader, I am every atheist.