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Date: 04/23/13 06:41 PM

174 Responses to I Don`t Want Atheism Shoved Down My Throat [Pic]

  1. Profile photo of SweepOfDeath
    SweepOfDeath Male 18-29
    938 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm
    Link: I Don`t Want Atheism Shoved Down My Throat - Atheism - A non-prophet organization.
  2. Profile photo of ExtraCredit
    ExtraCredit Male 50-59
    451 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 6:55 pm
    It`s funny cause it`s true.

  3. Profile photo of Draculya
    Draculya Male 40-49
    14544 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm
    Religitards who cannot put up with being told the truth about how a small group of twisted old men has manipulated their gullibility for their own gain using nothing more than a lame story about an imaginary friend should go live somewhere people still live in fear and dare not speak up about the obvious deception.

    I love run on sentences. There; I said it.
  4. Profile photo of HalfPintRoo
    HalfPintRoo Female 18-29
    2758 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm
    Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion.
  5. Profile photo of carmium
    carmium Female 50-59
    6381 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:01 pm
    It`s reminiscent of the argument that it`s not really a hobby if I don`t collect stamps.
  6. Profile photo of Draculya
    Draculya Male 40-49
    14544 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm
    "Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion."

    Er, no. It`s the conclusion of mankind`s collective logical and enquiring thought. I am willing to be proved wrong.
  7. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36172 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    For the most part, the religious types sincerely believe their way is good, better. They just don`t get why it is not appealing to the majority of people. And it is the majority, how many people do you know actually live by those standards? I know one, only one. Nice lady though.
  8. Profile photo of NottaSpy
    NottaSpy Male 40-49
    881 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm
    Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion.
    That is absolutely true, if you decide on your own definitions of words.
  9. Profile photo of CynicalGamer
    CynicalGamer Male 40-49
    450 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:17 pm
    "Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion." NO, no it isn`t. What people have done with or to it could support your statement but not fact.
    Don`t blame the state of Atheism on a few idiots just like you wouldn`t for any other large group.
  10. Profile photo of FeelTheRide
    FeelTheRide Female 18-29
    515 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm
    "Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion."

    ...yeah, the same way "off" is a TV channel.
  11. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36172 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    "Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion."
    Forgive me Roo, but that is one of the dumbest statements I have ever read at IAB. It`s like saying "Black, in a lot of cases, is white". Yes an atheist can be over zealous to the point of irritation, but "religion" requires the ritual of spiritual faith. There is not ritual in atheism. There is no alter, no services, no pews. Lots of kneeling on a drunken Saturday night but that`s another story.

    Smart, in a lot of cases, IS stupid.
  12. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36172 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    @ FeelTheRide - you said it better than I did.
    You win one internet.

  13. Profile photo of FeelTheRide
    FeelTheRide Female 18-29
    515 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm
    @Gerry: " "Black, in a lot of cases, is white""

    Much better than what I said...much.
  14. Profile photo of FeelTheRide
    FeelTheRide Female 18-29
    515 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:29 pm
    jinx; and thanks for the internet!
  15. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:47 pm
    @Gerry1 and @FeelTheRide: Know what channel is being broadcast over my TV right now?
    "Off"

    I rest my case. :-P

    (Smileys make everything better!)
  16. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm
    Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion.

    Be brave @HalfPintRoo! Don`t let the h8ters shout you down!

    Atheism is a WAY of looking AT religion. It represents a SET of beliefs about spiritual stuff.

    Hockey is a sport.
    Football is a sport.
    Golf is a sport.

    Yet the three have seemingly NOTHING else in common. But they`re all "ways of doing sports" just as Atheism is a "way of understanding" God-related stuff.

    You know, STUFF!
  17. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36172 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    @ 5Cats - I see your point, I just think it`s wrong.

    A belief does not mean religion. I believe my boy was the best son ever born and has grown into the greatest man any father could wish for. That`s my belief. His ex girlfriend believes he`s a douchebag. Neither is a religion.
  18. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 8:19 pm
    5Cats:
    "Atheism is a "way of understanding" God-related stuff."
    --------

    Not at all. Atheism is a disbelief of religion and a supreme being. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Being an Atheist isn`t about what you believe, but about what you DON`T believe.
  19. Profile photo of whodat6484
    whodat6484 Male 30-39
    3907 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm
    "Being an Atheist isn`t about what you believe, but about what you DON`T believe."

    That`s EXACTLY what Atheism is, I don`t why it`s so hard for people to grasp such a simple concept.

    I once had someone try to tell me that in order to deny the existence of god you must first believe that he exists which means there`s no such thing as an Atheist because technically you do believe.
  20. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36172 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    If not believing in God makes me religious {of sorts} then not believing in Affirmative Action makes me African American. {that bit`s funnier if you know how cracker-white I am}

  21. Profile photo of DuckBoy87
    DuckBoy87 Male 18-29
    3142 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 8:41 pm
    @patchouly, I would say a "disbelief" is still a "belief".
  22. Profile photo of AvatarJohn
    AvatarJohn Male 30-39
    1059 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 8:53 pm
    Just curious: how does an atheist justify morality? Is it just self-interest (if I kick that guy in the nuts, he`ll beat the crap out of me) or... Hmmm... I honestly can`t think of any non-religious reason for morality. So does might make right? Whomever can kill the best gets to be king? Or are you all hypocrites?
  23. Profile photo of El_Chinche
    El_Chinche Male 18-29
    546 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 8:55 pm
    @whodat6484
    My cousin pulled that line on me once. So I asked him if he believed in Thor. He told me that that wasn`t point. But I continued and I told him that by his logic if he doesn`t believe in Thor the norse god of thunder, that it means he does believe in Thor. Which means he`s violating one of the then commandments (thou shalt have no other god) and he is now going to hell.

    He realized I wasn`t taking him seriously and he walked away. It was a good day.

    @DuckBoy
    Well then by that logic you believe in Ra, the ancient Egyptian sun god. Which, assuming you`re christian, means you are going to hell.
  24. Profile photo of HalfPintRoo
    HalfPintRoo Female 18-29
    2758 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm
    Cool debate I started.

    Except I didn`t mean to start it.

    I just simply meant that (some) Atheists preach and spread their beliefs the same as those who have a religion. Atheism has become a religion to stand against religion.
  25. Profile photo of paperduck
    paperduck Male 18-29
    1745 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm
    It`s possible to be an obnoxious dick and be either religious or atheist. It`s also possible to be cool and be either. Being an obnoxious dick is bad (all of you can go drat yourselves), being cool is awesome (keep doing your thing and ignore the as$holes).
  26. Profile photo of NottaSpy
    NottaSpy Male 40-49
    881 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm
    So rather than trying to understand the simple concept that Atheism is not a religion, HalfPintRoo goes on to explain her own personal definition. There is the core of how religion survives.
  27. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36172 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    AvatarJohn, "how does an atheist justify morality?"
    We acknowledge that morality is a choice. The difference is we make our own choice rather than having it impressed on us. Religious morality is not absolute. A muslim`s morality may vary from a Buddhists. In my case, I believe in one moral law, do not harm others without a just cause. Anything else is window dressing.
  28. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm
    "I honestly can`t think of any non-religious reason for morality."

    Morality makes life more livable and provides stability to society. That was the entire initial reason for the invention of religion. Primitive man wanted to not worry about getting killed or his stuff stolen or his mate leaving him. Naturally, another primitive won`t NOT do those things without fear of a more powerful enforcer, so a god was invented. It`s just like Santa for kids. Santa is all-knowing and you won`t get presents if you aren`t "good". Over time, the basic laws became abused by power-hungry men who distorted the rules in their favor, knowing less-educated people are too fearful to question them.

    Atheists don`t want to live in anarchy any more than anyone else. Some of the most "christ-like" people are atheists and some of the least profess to be religious.
  29. Profile photo of whodat6484
    whodat6484 Male 30-39
    3907 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm
    @AvatarJohn - Here`s a short 2 1/2 minute clip from a Q&A session where Richard Dawkins was asked about Atheism & Absolute Morality that should answer your question.
  30. Profile photo of charcape
    charcape Male 18-29
    12 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 9:48 pm
    @AvatarJohn I cannot speak for all atheists but I learned my moral code from my parents. I was told as a child I shouldn`t steal, or kill or anything of the like because that is how society works. But now that I am an adult, I think the reason I keep my moral code is because I wouldn`t like something bad done to me. In a way, I can say Christianity is good at teaching things such as "do to others what you would have them do to you". I just don`t believe the supernatural part of it.

    I think there can exist someone who is a christian and an atheist at the same time. One can follow his teachings but not believe he`s god.
  31. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm
    "One can follow his teachings but not believe he`s god."

    Exactly. Just like one can follow Ghandi`s. Jesus was definitely a real person with a philosophy that appealed to many people searching for meaning and direction in their lives. The people in power became nervous about this and had him killed. Jesus happened to live in an age where repeated tales became more and more fantastical and an ordinary human became an extraordinary god. Nothing more, nothing less. If people simply took the admirable teachings of Jesus and used them as a basis to live a good and honorable life, without wielding that philosophy as a way to denigrate or abuse others, the world would be much better off. Jesus simply as a role model.
  32. Profile photo of pacojohnson
    pacojohnson Male 18-29
    16 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm

  33. Profile photo of Atrayu4u
    Atrayu4u Female 18-29
    1478 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 11:34 pm
    This might not be fair for that second person to say.. the first guy doesn`t represent his whole religion.
  34. Profile photo of carmium
    carmium Female 50-59
    6381 posts
    April 23, 2013 at 11:58 pm
    pacojohnson: Oh, I love that! I want a poster for my workspace. Kudos to whoever said that first.
  35. Profile photo of madduck
    madduck Female 50-59
    7421 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 12:01 am
    for what it is worth, I don`t believe in God, not since I was a child. but for the last 4 years I have been studying philosophy and it has hardened me into an absolute materialist. The more I evaluate things the clearer it becomes- but that has subtly changed my morals- the idea of virtue ethics really appeals. Live a good life, explore fully what it is to be human, use reason etc... some religious people do this, but many simply don`t- they blindly accept what they are told, and as far as I can see that means they are missing a large part of what a human can do, and what they should do in order to fully relish their own humanity, using reason.
  36. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:27 am
    HalfPintRoo

    "Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion."

    Much in the same way that not painting is an art form.
  37. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:31 am
    DuckBoy87

    "@patchouly, I would say a "disbelief" is still a "belief"."

    So not believing in santa is in fact a belief in santa?
  38. Profile photo of jay
    jay Male 30-39
    1533 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 4:15 am
    Me, I`m a bit of an agnostic I suppose. Which is to say, I"ll believe it when I see it...

    It has been my experience though that most true atheists persue their beliefs or lack thereof with as much vigor and furvour as any other religious group.
  39. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 6:00 am
    The previous posts are dead on. "Do unto others" is a rule I live by. Not because I have a fear of God, but because I have compassion and a want to co-exist with my fellow humans in a way that benefits all of us.
  40. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 6:47 am
    DuckBoy87:
    "@patchouly, I would say a "disbelief" is still a "belief".:
    --------------
    By definition you are absolutely wrong. "Disbelief" is the opposite of "Belief". A lack of belief is not a belief. Otherwise you`d have a belief system in every possible thing that one could dream up. I don`t have to have a belief system showing how I don`t believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, anymore than I have a belief system showing I don`t believe in God. The big difference here, between us, is I don`t lend any more credence to God than I do to the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Both are equally as ridiculous and neither are worthy of having a "Belief system", over.
  41. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 7:05 am
    @patchouly: "If you chose not to decide you still have made a choice" - Rush

    @El_Chinche: So what is your cousin`s BELIEF ABOUT Thor? He`s Thor Atheistic, correct? Believing in the non-divinity of a non-existent God is still "a belief" correct? It`s "a disbelief". But he can no more disprove Thor than you can prove him.

    It has been my experience though that most true atheists persue their beliefs or lack thereof with as much vigor and furvour as any other religious group.
    EXACTLY! Well said @jaysingrimm!

    @patchouli: "Disbelief in God" would mean you believe NO ONE believes in God`s existence if you really want to get anal about it...

    "I believe Santa exists"
    "I believe Santa does not exist"
    "Santa never existed, nor has anyone ever believed in Santa. No likeness, image or story about him exists either, even if fictional"
  42. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 7:10 am
    Now the question is: What are your beliefs about Santa...
    1 Santa exists!
    2 Santa is a fairy story told to children but does not actually exist
    3 No such thing as Santa, even as a work of fiction, has ever existed.

    Obviously #3 is wrong, eh?

    Now apply that to "Corbolate Cat" (Something I just made up)

    Until this post? #3 would be the correct answer.

    Get it yet?

    "I don`t believe in..." is an expression OF your belief.
  43. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 7:55 am
    @5cats,
    Holy semantics, Batman. Okay, if you want to play that game; I will say that I believe that I don`t believe in God. To be fair though...what freaking difference does that make?

    What all of this boils down to is that we, as Atheists, are tired of having religion shoved down our throats. There is ZERO proof of a God yet, year after year, generation after generation, you brainwash your kids and keep the fairytales alive. Then, you try to ram it down my kid`s throat.

    What we are doing as Atheists, is standing up against that. The actions do not define the title. They are just actions in response to one stimuli. I could just as easily be standing up against the beliefs in a "Corbolate Cat".
  44. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:02 am
    5cats, duckboy, et al - no matter how many times you try to insist it`s so, disbelief is NOT belief. Don`t you understand that words actually have meanings, and you don`t just get to cheange the meaning to suit your argument? At best, disbelief could be said to be a position *about* beliefbut it is not itself a belief.
    To use 5cats` sports analolgy (where the sports mentioned are all religions), you`re trying to argue that sport commentary is a sport too, because in that analogy that`s the best analogue you can find for atheistic critique of religion.
  45. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:03 am
    I get annoyed when people think they have the RIGHT to not be offended. There is no such right. You have three basic rights (according to the US Constitution): Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT of Happiness. No one said you had the right to be happy--just the right to pursue being happy.

    This country was founded on freedom by men of a particular faith. No one is saying you have to be Christian just because our money says "In God We Trust". Does it really frickin` matter? It`s just text on a piece of paper/cotton.

    Separation of church and state only means that America will never establish one religion to be THE religion (i.e., The Church of England was for England). You`re free to be Atheistic.
  46. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:07 am
    @patchouly, I don`t ram my religion down anyone`s throat. You disbelieve something and will raise your kids to disbelieve. I believe in something greater than myself, and will raise my kids accordingly in hopes they do so as well.

    To quote Morpheus: "My beliefs do not require to ."
  47. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:08 am
    TruTenrMan:
    "our money says "In God We Trust". Does it really frickin` matter? It`s just text on a piece of paper/cotton."
    ----------
    Easy to say. But what if it said "God is a freaking lie", instead? Would you also be satisfied with the explanation that it`s just "Text on a piece of paper/cotton"?
  48. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:10 am
    Easy to say. But what if it said "God is a freaking lie", instead? Would you also be satisfied with the explanation that it`s just "Text on a piece of paper/cotton"?
    If they just changed it randomly; yes. If it had been that way my whole life (as it has been for yours), I would chalk it up to a system that was founded on beliefs I don`t share. Having "God is a Lie" on currency wouldn`t infringe on my personal beliefs.
  49. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:15 am
    Atheism is not a religion, no matter how frequently theists try to insist that it is. And to be honest, I kinda find it amusing when they do so, becuae it`s invariably said in effort to dismiss the validity of atheism ... by calling it a religion. Maybe deep down they recognise that religions are easily dismissed - otherwise that technique really doesn`t make much sense.

    Christians (for example) are always quick to cry mischaracterisation whenever someone secular assumes they must believe everything in the bible is literal truth, but they regularly practise the same (or worse) mischaracterisation when they`re talking about atheism. When someone says they`re atheist, all you can assume is that they don`t believe in gods - that`s it! That`s all the term really means - a-theist: not theist. If you agree that it`s unfair to assume all Christians are exemplified by WBC, then please stop doing the same to atheists.
  50. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:16 am
    Religion and the Church are morally bankrupt. They perpetrate evil and spew hatred. They take rights away from other humans and perpetuate an ongoing raping of our children`s minds with the non-stop onslaught of brainwashing. The saturation of the Church, within our society is exactly what I am standing up against. It`s not a case of "you believe what you want and I`ll believe what I want", if you are constantly pushing it on others. That is why folks like me constantly push back. It takes an equal amount of volume to wash out the crap. To let other Atheists know they aren`t alone. To help us rise up and put an end to the evils in society that religion creates.

    Imagine no religion.
  51. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:19 am
    TruTenrMan:
    "If they just changed it randomly; yes. If it had been that way my whole life (as it has been for yours), I would chalk it up to a system that was founded on beliefs I don`t share. Having "God is a Lie" on currency wouldn`t infringe on my personal beliefs."
    ---------
    Another one that is easy to say. But the way folks reacted to removing the Nativity scene from in front of public buildings is a good indication of how folks really react to the diminishing of their public representation.
  52. Profile photo of StickmanJ
    StickmanJ Male 40-49
    18 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:21 am
    I don`t have a problem with athiests not believing in religion or religious beliefs... but to say God doesn`t exist only amounts to a theory. It can`t be proven, and science clearly states you can`t make something from nothing... so how did all of this universe get here? It just is? That`s theory and has no basis in fact or science. Be careful how you phrase your opinion, it might prove you`re an idiot.
  53. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:22 am
    I`m not pushing it on you. Nor is the Pope. No one says you have to listen to a damn word he says. Don`t like religion, why care what a religious leader says? I couldn`t care less what an atheist leader says. Is our society saturated by religion? Maybe so. 76% of the US population (in 2008) claimed to be Christian. Is it surprising then that Christianity is so predominate in society?

    As for lumping atheists into a group, the lumping I do is lumping them into "I don`t believe in God(s)". Is that not an accurate statement?

    Personally, not believing in SOMEthing is sad to me. All you believe is that you live and die, and that`s it? What`s the point of living then?
  54. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:24 am
    Another one that is easy to say. But the way folks reacted to removing the Nativity scene from in front of public buildings is a good indication of how folks really react to the diminishing of their public representation.
    Public or Government? If it`s Government buildings, I have no issue with that. If it`s a public (i.e., privately-owned) building, then they can do whatever they want.
  55. Profile photo of Zeegrr60
    Zeegrr60 Male 40-49
    2105 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:27 am
    I feel bad for people who have religion. I generally feel bad for anyone with a mental illness.
  56. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:28 am
    StickmanJ:
    "I don`t have a problem with athiests not believing in religion or religious beliefs... but to say God doesn`t exist only amounts to a theory. It can`t be proven, and science clearly states you can`t make something from nothing... so how did all of this universe get here? It just is? That`s theory and has no basis in fact or science. Be careful how you phrase your opinion, it might prove you`re an idiot."
    ---------
    Ignoring the pure irony of your last statement...

    Because you can`t disprove something, does not make it suddenly true. It adds zero credence. See the "Russell`s teapot" argument to better understand.

  57. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:28 am
    Having a faith-based belief is not a mental illness.
  58. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:28 am
    ...continued.
    As for the "you can`t make something from nothing" argument, it is just as empty. It is not unreasonable that time will continue to push forward, infinitely. That there won`t be a point where time suddenly stops and everything suddenly stops existing.

    Knowing and accepting this, it makes equal sense that time is infinite in the other direction. That matter not need to be created because it always existed. The Universe always was and always will be. No need for a creator at all.

  59. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:30 am
    TruTenrMan:
    "Having a faith-based belief is not a mental illness."
    -------
    Studies have shown that it is indeed a mental issue. That there is something wrong in your brain that makes you accept the idea of God more willingly than another person might.
  60. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:34 am
    TruTenr - given what you`ve said so far, can I assume that you believe you have an immortal soul? If so, how can your life *possibly* have any meaning whatsoever? If you think your consciousness it going to exist for all eternity, then the brief few years you`re actually alive in a living body are ultimately CONPLETELY IRRELEVANT. The *only* way your life can have any meaning is if you recognise that it`s finite, and strive during your life to imbue it with whatever meaning is important to you. And if the only meaning you can come up with is subservience to a bullying, capricious despot (who may not even exist), then your imagination and ambition is seriously lacking.

    You have children. Your life already has far more meaning than any religion could ever give it. It would be a shame to water that down by deliberately (if unthinkingly) limiting their ambitions too.
  61. Profile photo of Kegomatix
    Kegomatix Male 18-29
    1341 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:36 am
    "Having a faith-based belief is not a mental illness."

    I disagree.

    "Personally, not believing in SOMEthing is sad to me. All you believe is that you live and die, and that`s it? What`s the point of living then?"

    For me? To reproduce and carry on my bloodline, which is our most basic instinct. The purpose of life, is to carry on life. Don`t over complicate it. I`m curious, though... As a believer, do you find your entire reason for existence is to serve your god, or what?
  62. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:40 am
    @patchouly: So, 76% of the population is mentally ill? Hmm... yeah. Don`t believe that one. Sorry. These studies were most likely done by atheist scientists.

    @artminki: Yes, I believe in an immortal soul. I also believe that we are tested while we are alive, and the results of the testing decides the fate of my immortal soul. I view my children as a gift from God, and an overflowing of his love in me and my wife`s life.

    Whether one is moral based upon religion or no religion, does it really matter as long as that person is moral?

    Side-note: I am not making any of my comments personal in nature, and for the sake of discussion, I would appreciate it if y`all did the same.
  63. Profile photo of StickmanJ
    StickmanJ Male 40-49
    18 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:42 am
    Patch - I didn`t suggest not being able to disprove something added validity to it`s existence... those are your words. But if it can`t be proven or disproven, there is always a chance. Agree?
  64. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:44 am
    As a believer, do you find your entire reason for existence is to serve your god, or what?
    My entire reason for existence is to be a moral person who strives to be like Christ (i.e., loving others as I`d love myself) as much as is possible. I strive to be as morally positive as possible. There may be times where I slip up; sure--we all do. But my sole purpose to be a "good" person in life in hopes that I earn the right to spend the rest of eternity in a paradise.

    Knowing that, does the reasoning behind WHY I do what I do really have any affect on WHAT I do in the end to an Atheist. The end result is my being a morally good individual.
  65. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:44 am
    TruTentrMan

    "I get annoyed when people think they have the RIGHT to not be offended. There is no such right. You have three basic rights (according to the US Constitution): Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT of Happiness."

    Can you please, pretty please, PLEASE stop trotting out "the constitution" when you obviously don`t have a clue?

    What you just said is basically like saying "my favorite line in Romeo and Juliet is "to be or not to be""

    Although, my guess is that analogy just went right over your head. Try googling it. Then try googling "Declaration of Independence" and "U.S. Constitution".

  66. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:45 am
    It`s unfair to typify religious belief as mental illness. It`s true to say that the patterns of religion take advantage of a number of weaknesses in the way our brains work, but this doesn`t mean that the mental faculties of believers are necessarily any more faulty than those of non-believers. I`ve encourntered plenty of atheists who are every bit as wooly-minded as the most beligerent bible-bashers that other believers prefer to distance themselves from. Just because someone is atheist doesn`t mean they`re rational, and just because someone`s a believerr doesn`t mean they`re irrattional. Most people fail to consistently apply proper critical thinking to their *own* beliefs, no matter what those beliefs might be.
  67. Profile photo of StickmanJ
    StickmanJ Male 40-49
    18 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:45 am
    As far as the "universe always existing and will always be" Nice theory... no basis. The smartest scientists in the world would love to hear your proof, or even a reasonable theory on how something came from nothing.
  68. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36172 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:48 am

    "Personally, not believing in SOMEthing is sad to me. All you believe is that you live and die, and that`s it? What`s the point of living then?"
    Yeah, facing reality is a real bummer. Much better to make up a magical plan for the whole thing. And the point of living is what you make it. YOU decide your lifes direction, not what some organization tells you you should be doing.
  69. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:48 am
    @HolyGod, I said the wrong document title. Sue me. I`m on cold/sinus medication, so I`m "blah". But thanks for taking the one mistake in the entire post to completely ignore the point of the post.
  70. Profile photo of papajon0s1
    papajon0s1 Male 40-49
    578 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:48 am
    Yes, that`s right. Every week when I go to mass we discuss ways to push our religion of hate down everyone`s throat. No, we never listen to Word of God about living a life in service to others, doing good works, helping the poor and sick. NO, it`s all about hate and how to be more evil than we were yesterday. /end sarcasm But let me ask you why is your right to no religion supercede my right to practice mine? Religion isn`t the problem. People are. People that use religion for evil and hate I`m looking at you radical Islamists and the Westboro Baptist Church.

    I only have one question for the Atheists of the world... "Why bother?" If you don`t believe in God or that there`s anything beyond death, then why bother doing anything? Keep the humans going? Why? Why live through all the pain and suffering and heartbreak if there`s no purpose to any of this? Why procreate when we leave only more of the same suffering to our children?
  71. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:48 am
    StickmanJ

    "but to say God doesn`t exist only amounts to a theory. It can`t be proven"

    There is a magical invisible tiger that lives in your butthole and if you read the encyclopedia backwards it will come out and give you a lifetime supply of skittles. Now prove that isn`t true.

    "science clearly states you can`t make something from nothing... so how did all of this universe get here? It just is? That`s theory and has no basis in fact or science."

    OK. We will use that argument. God exists because the universe HAD to come from SOMETHING. So where did god come from? Did god have a god? who had a god, who had a god, who had a god? Into infinity?

    Just because you don`t understand something doesn`t mean it needed a magical being to create it. I`m sure you don`t know how an iPhone works either, that doesn`t mean God made it.
  72. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:49 am
    TruTenrMan:
    My entire reason for existence is to be a moral person who strives to be like Christ (i.e., loving others as I`d love myself) as much as is possible. I strive to be as morally positive as possible."
    ------------
    You`ll find that, sans the whole living for ever in Heaven thing, most Atheists feel the same way and want the same thing.

    Here`s an interesting thing. As a child, the idea of "Living for the rest of eternity in Heaven" was terrifying. Tomorrow, the day after that, the week after that, the year after that, the decade after that... The idea of living forever, to anyone who can grasp the concept of what that means, is terrifying. It brings me great peace to know that there is an end for me. That I won`t have to suffer the horrors that "eternal life" offer.
  73. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:50 am
    Yeah, facing reality is a real bummer. Much better to make up a magical plan for the whole thing. And the point of living is what you make it. YOU decide your lifes direction, not what some organization tells you you should be doing.
    Due to the tone of your comment, I won`t even respond, Gerry. Again, I`m not making anything personal. All, I said was that I find not believing in SOMEthing sad. I didn`t specifically say believing in GOD.
  74. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:53 am
    TruTentrMan

    "My entire reason for existence is to be a moral person who strives to be like Christ (i.e., loving others as I`d love myself) as much as is possible."

    That is odd because you are always on here, as I recall, railing against gun control and social programs. I`m pretty sure Jesus would be against guns and for helping the poor. Wouldn`t you agree?

  75. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:53 am
    TruTenr - sorry, I didn`t intend that as a personal attack at all. I was just pointing out the incongruity of thinking that your life has any meaning if your consciousness is going to continue existing for eternity, and I threw your kids in because, as I said, they give your life more meaning than any religion can.

    But to address your other point - yes, being a decent, moral person always has value, no matter how you derive your morality. But I would argue that you have developed your morality *despite* your religion, not because of it. That`s how you know that genocide and slavery are wrong - conclusions which you cannot derive from your religion without disregarding passages which specifically condone these practises ... and you only know to disregard them because you`re *already* a moral person.
  76. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:55 am
    @TruTenrMan,
    It`s not sad at all. In fact, it`s quite a relief. To know that you can be good to others, because you want to be. To enjoy life, because it`s there.

    As I`ve mentioned in other threads, I work (or used to) with the poor. I used to be an administrator of a food program. I helped people because I wanted to. Not because of God.

    As for the "meaning"? I get meaning by spending time with my wife and child. Hanging out with friends. Making music. That is as fulfilling and satisfying as any of the "God will burn you in Hell if you screw up" crap that I was raised with. As for the afterlife, you can read my previous post.
  77. Profile photo of StickmanJ
    StickmanJ Male 40-49
    18 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:55 am
    Holy, I CAN prove the non-existence of your invisible tiger. And I never said God did exist, only your preconceived notions implied that`s what I meant. Did your ancestors sit on the dock waving goodbye to Columbus as he sailed to fall off the edge of the world. I hate humans that think they know everything, they don`t even know they`re ingnorant.
  78. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:56 am
    ou`ll find that, sans the whole living for ever in Heaven thing, most Atheists feel the same way and want the same thing.
    Great! Glad to hear it! Now, you having said that, it doesn`t make me bash you on why you choose to be moral. Why bash my for why I am moral?

    Here`s an interesting thing. As a child, the idea of "Living for the rest of eternity in Heaven" was terrifying. Tomorrow, the day after that, the week after that, the year after that, the decade after that... The idea of living forever, to anyone who can grasp the concept of what that means, is terrifying. It brings me great peace to know that there is an end for me. That I won`t have to suffer the horrors that "eternal life" offer.
    Hey, to each his/her own. Personally, living eternally with my wife, children, family... never getting sick... never suffering... seems like a good deal to me.
  79. Profile photo of Kegomatix
    Kegomatix Male 18-29
    1341 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:57 am
    I am glad I do not need a set of moral codes derived from religion to tell me I need to be a good person.
  80. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:58 am
    TruTenr - Oh wait, I missed that bit - you say you want to be a moral person "like Christ"? You mean you think it`s moral to punish one person for the misdeeds of another? Or that it`s moral to torture someone eternally for a finite misdeed? See, that`s the damage religion does to your morality. If you want to be a decent, moral person, you should strive to be more moral than either Christ or your god, because both characters demonstrate very susbstantial moral failings.
  81. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:58 am
    Well, I have to get back to work, folks.

    Gotta make a living. Later.
  82. Profile photo of StickmanJ
    StickmanJ Male 40-49
    18 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:06 am
    Patch - If your "infinite universe" theory holds water, explain why everything we know to exist in this universe has a beginning and end. Every planet, star, solar system, galaxy, black hole comet... all have a beginning and end. PROVEN. Raed more... it helps.
  83. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:07 am
    And one other thing regarding morality. What is more moral - to do the right thing because you know it`s the right thing to do, or to do the right thing because your community expects you to do it, because you`re afraid of being punished if you don`t, because you hope to be rewarded for doing it, or because you can get a tax-break by doing so? Religious people certainly can be genuinely moral, and can (and do) do good things, but any of the normal religious motivations for good deeds actually cheapen the morality of those deeds.
  84. Profile photo of Bakcagain21
    Bakcagain21 Male 18-29
    560 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:08 am
    Atheism, in a lot of cases, IS a religion.

    Hate it when theists say this. I don`t have a set of mutually supportive beliefs. I don`t have some moral or speaking point guide to tell me how to act. Want to say we`re treating Dawkins militant atheism as a belief as I`ve had chucked at me well that would be Dawkins Atheism and not Athiesm.

    And absence of religion does not mean absence of morality. I don`t believe in stuff I think about it. Advantage of that I can be shown why I`m wrong you can change ideas you can`t change beliefs because you either do or you don`t.

    As for criticism of religious leaders etc. He`s not your Pope etc. Of course he isn`t going to endorse abortions, homosexuality etc but he`s not your leader.

    And for public use, want to ban religion. Ban any other belief or cause. No gay pride parades, no feminist parades etc. I get as much harm from a gay pride parade or march as I do from a nativity scene being on public prop
  85. Profile photo of Bakcagain21
    Bakcagain21 Male 18-29
    560 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:12 am
    For the most part, the religious types sincerely believe their way is good, better.
    @Gerry Totally agree. Yes when someone offers to pray for me it`s patronising, sure it can be rude to us. But just think of it this way. In accordance with their beliefs they care enough about you to try and save you. They`re trying to be nice.
  86. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:12 am
    papajohns1

    "Why live through all the pain and suffering and heartbreak if there`s no purpose to any of this? Why procreate when we leave only more of the same suffering to our children?"

    I love life. Almost every minute of it. If yours is nothing but misery and heartbreak you have my pity. I hope you are able to fix that at some point.

    To answer your question, the purpose of life for me is to enjoy life as much as possible and to help the people I care about enjoy it as well. Very simple.
  87. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:17 am
    StickmanJ

    "Holy, I CAN prove the non-existence of your invisible tiger."

    No you can`t. I promise you can`t. Go for it.

    "Did your ancestors sit on the dock waving goodbye to Columbus as he sailed to fall off the edge of the world."

    No my ancestors knew the world was round. Most people knew the world was round. Columbus knew the world was round. Pythagoras figured that out a couple thousand years earlier.

    " I hate humans that think they know everything, they don`t even know they`re ingnorant."

    You mean like how you`re ignorant about people believing the earth was flat in the time of comlumbus?




  88. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:17 am
    StickmanJ

    "everything we know to exist in this universe has a beginning and end."

    OK. Then where did god come from? What was his beginning? Who created him?
  89. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:20 am
    StickmanJ:
    "Patch - If your "infinite universe" theory holds water, explain why everything we know to exist in this universe has a beginning and end. Every planet, star, solar system, galaxy, black hole comet... all have a beginning and end. PROVEN. Raed more... it helps."
    ------

    Okay...not sure if you are really slow or a just a troll.

    It is not "PROVEN" at all. We are discussing the Universe around us and the matter contained within it. This variation of the Universe was born from the Big Bang. Most likely a rupturing of a higher dimension, releasing the matter and, what we know of as the Universe, into this dimension.

    The planets and stars are made of that matter. When a planet explodes, it`s matter does not cease to exist. It simply rejoins the matter that makes up our Universe and eventually, gravity will cause it to become something else. Most likely another planet or moon.
    ...
  90. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:22 am
    ...,continued

    This is the same matter that has always existed. The shape it takes is irrelevant. When this Universe finally comes to an end. It`s matter will continue on. Whether it be in this dimension or another one. Our Universe`s rules are dictated by the forces in it. Those forces are specific to our dimension. Who`s to say how matter will act or behave in another dimension. But no matter what, it will still continue to exist in one form or another.
  91. Profile photo of YugureKage
    YugureKage Female 18-29
    1205 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 9:40 am
    Absurdism. I am all about the Absurdism.
  92. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 10:02 am
    @patchouli: What is "religion"? A SET or SYSTEM of "beliefs" correct?
    Beliefs include things both proven AND unproven. I do not need to "prove my belief" to make it "real". I believe! THAT is real! True? False? idk, but I still believe! OR NOT (it`s the same thing).

    "I believe God exists" = religion IE: it`s a belief
    "I believe God does NOT exist" = religion IE: it`s a belief

    Neither has "absolute proof" and both are, by definition: ARTICLES OF FAITH

    You seem to be confusing "religion" with a building. Just because there`s no "Cathedral of Atheism" doesn`t mean Atheism isn`t a FORM of religious belief...

    @artmunki: No, commentary is one way of WATCHING sports. You confuse the observation with the actual activity, I think...
    Reading a book about "beliefs" is not the same as HAVING a belief...
  93. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 10:11 am
    Atheism is not a religion, no matter how frequently theists try to insist that it is.
    @artmunki: Golf is not a sport, no matter how many times non-golfers say it is.

    You`re locked in (it seems to me) on the word "religion" as meaning a brick building, preachers, worship & etc. Not at all! One`s "religion" is entirely internal. The EXPRESSION of religion is what others can see. Philosophers said this. Jesus said it too!

    THUS: Atheism is an expression of one`s religious beliefs.
    A Religion: Something you DO (like a sport)
    Religious Beliefs: Something you THINK (rightly or wrongly)

    However the two are 100% connected. If I play golf with a baseball bat (because that`s my belief) is it still "golf"?
    IT DOESN`T MATTER!
    It IS still a "sport"... hope that`s clearer.
  94. Profile photo of Langer
    Langer Male 18-29
    394 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 10:12 am
    "Columbus knew the world was round. Pythagoras figured that out a couple thousand years earlier. "

    Actually, Columbus himself thought the world was pear shaped...go figure

    " I hate humans that think they know everything, they don`t even know they`re ingnorant."

    I hate when people try to generalise their own species as if they are not human themselves...everybody poops!

    "Why live through all the pain and suffering and heartbreak if there`s no purpose to any of this? Why procreate when we leave only more of the same suffering to our children?"

    Well for one thing, we`ve evolved to a stage where when we do something that sustains our current existence or extends the continuation of the species, we`re rewards with all these great drugs being pumped around our bodies (i.e. love, happiness, relief, adrenaline, etc.)
  95. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 10:24 am
    "My belief that God does not exist is NOT a form of believing in the existence of God."

    That`s what I keep hearing...

    Morality is both "moot" and "relative".

    One of the Laws (capital L!) of the universe says it WILL end. So unless a "new Law" comes along to correct that one? Which is ENTIRELY possible btw, the end is certain.

    Oh sure, it would take a LONG time! LOLZ! But again, that`s "moot"...
  96. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 10:42 am
    5Cats:
    "One of the Laws (capital L!) of the universe says it WILL end"
    ------------
    No. The current state of the Universe will end. Nothing more. If our universe collapses and the matter is released into another dimension, it is still the existence of that same matter/energy. The Higgs/Boson field that provides mass to matter allows us to exist in the Universe as it currently is. However, Humans are not a required part of the formula. The Universe can continue to exist without us.
  97. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 10:47 am
    @5cats,
    I think the issue here is that religious folks can`t conceive of a Universe without a creator. Therefore your feeling is that my religious belief is that I don`t have one. What I`m saying is that, when you don`t take a creator into consideration, lack of belief is not a belief system at all. You can`t have a belief system without the grounding of some sort of reality.

    Is your disbelief in Santa part of your belief system? What about unicorns? What about flying spaghetti monsters? Where do you draw the line. Does every single possibility, no matter how obscure and ridiculous need to be included as part of our "belief system"?
  98. Profile photo of Denogginizer
    Denogginizer Male 30-39
    821 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 10:54 am
    Oh, hey, another anti-God post. Haven`t seen one in a whole day. How fresh and creative for this site.
  99. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:06 am
    The current state of the Universe will end.
    @patchouly: It`s a different "universe" then, correct? In a different dimension. That means this one (which we briefly occupy) in this dimension will cease to exist (move) correct?

    Auto correct re-spells your name, sorry if it came up patchouli before...

    Meanwhile: Yes! Every single possible belief or non-belief is included in your personal "belief system" by definition!
    Standard "forms" of beliefs are lumped together by different people as being "the same" but chances are they are not "identical" eh?

    Even two "identical things" are not really identical, since they occupy different locations is space/time, eh? So to argue that "my belief in the existence (or not) of God is not identical to yours" is... moot.
  100. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:10 am
    And I honestly don`t care what you call your "Atheism"... it`s no skin off my teeth.

    (2 hours until I`m at the dentist! eek!)

    But to claim I`m mistaken in MY understanding requires you to "prove it"... sorry if that sounds confrontational, it`s not intended as such! Merely observational.

    Like... watching sports! :-) As opposed to golfing with a baseball bat.
  101. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:25 am
    I can`t prove Santa and the Easter bunny don`t exist. Many books have been written about them and there`s a ton of movies and tv shows and other commerce surrounding their "existence". Many people all over the world, albeit usually very young people, believe in them. Their parents and other adults tell them they exist and you should be able to trust your parents. So, do they really exist?
  102. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:28 am
    " "Why bother?" If you don`t believe in God or that there`s anything beyond death, then why bother doing anything? "

    I believe in ME and the positive differences I can make in other people`s lives. Why else would I recycle and live a fairly green lifestyle? I won`t live to see the benefits so I must be doing it for other people`s benefits. I don`t need an omnipotent being or promises of a heaven to tell me to be a good person.
  103. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:29 am
    5Cats:
    "it`s a different "universe"
    ---------

    Well, no...it`s not. It`s just taken on another form. Time still marches on. The matter is still here. The point I`m making is that everything didn`t sudden;y pop into existence. It was always here, in one form or another. Or at least, that`s my belief system, backed by lots of science and proof.
  104. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:32 am
    5Cats:
    "Auto correct re-spells your name, sorry if it came up patchouli before... "
    -------

    No worries. It`s actually my cat`s name and I don`t think he minds. ;)
  105. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:32 am
    "The smartest scientists in the world would love to hear your proof, or even a reasonable theory on how something came from nothing."

    Your primary assertion that something came from nothing is based entirely on what you read in the bible. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and Earth." So it`s not based in science and reality. You can`t start a scientific proof with a religious foundation.
  106. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:39 am
    "all have a beginning and end. PROVEN. Raed more... it helps."

    Ever heard of the law of conservation of mass? Things come and go all the time but the total amount of mass in the universe always stays the same. Maybe YOU should read more.
  107. Profile photo of TruTenrMan
    TruTenrMan Male 30-39
    2553 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:40 am
    religion (n.): people`s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life.

    Atheism IS a religion, though it isn`t an organized religion.
  108. Profile photo of chicagojay
    chicagojay Male 40-49
    2018 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:45 am
    "attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."
  109. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:47 am
    TruTentrMan

    "Atheism IS a religion, though it isn`t an organized religion."

    Is not playing basketball a sport?
  110. Profile photo of whodat6484
    whodat6484 Male 30-39
    3907 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:49 am
    @TruTenrMan - Can you not read? The definition you just posted for religion says, "WORSHIP OF A DEITY OR DEITIES" and you follow that up by saying "Atheism IS a religion, though it isn`t an organized religion."

    Now, please tell me what "deity or deities" Atheists worship. If you are able to do so, then I`ll believe you when you say Atheism is a religion.

  111. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:49 am
    "Atheism IS a religion, though it isn`t an organized religion."

    This is the same kind of argument as when people say "A Mac is a pc, you`re stupid, nana nana boo boo". Or when people say "I`m not homophobic. I don`t FEAR gay people."

    Everybody knows what people really mean when they use the term "religion".
  112. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:53 am
    "Is not playing basketball a sport?"

    I`m the Shaq of not playing basketball!!
  113. Profile photo of chalket
    chalket Male 50-59
    2712 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 11:58 am
    Man, I just LOVE these religion debates!

  114. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36172 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    HolyGod "Is not playing basketball a sport?"
    That made me laugh.
  115. Profile photo of frnttrndy
    frnttrndy Male 50-59
    49 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm
    While Atheist and Christians try to wear the other thin Satan is looking from behind. You Know when You Know
  116. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:06 pm
    frnttrndy:
    "While Atheist and Christians try to wear the other thin Satan is looking from behind. You Know when You Know"
    ---------
    You realize that is pretty much illegible, right?
  117. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm
    TruTenrMan:
    "religion (n.): people`s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life.

    Atheism IS a religion, though it isn`t an organized religion."
    ----------

    I`d question that definition; At least the "concerning the existence" part (which is the basis of your argument).

    By your definition, I am also part of the "There is no unicorns" religion. I also belong to the "There is no tea pot in space" religion; And I belong to the "there is no purple people eaters" religion...and on and on for ever.

    Everything can`t be a religion. What I believe is that Christianity/religion is a sham. I am an Anti-theist.
  118. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    5Cats - no, no and once again no.

    Atheism is not a belief that gods don`t exist; it`s a LACK of belief that they do. Why can`t you understand how fundamentally different that is? You have to *choose* to believe something (or be convinced to believe it) - I have never either chosen or been convinced to believe in any such thing, so I`ve never had any of those beliefs. That isn`t a belief; that`s a LACK of belief.

    I`m afraid it`s *you* who`s confusing observation with the actual activity - after all, you`re the one trying to insist that commentating is a sport (that atheism is religion), not me. You`re right - commentating is a way of watching sports, not taking part. Just as atheism is frequently the root of criticising religion, NOT taking part in it. Atheism is not golf, it`s commentating.
  119. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:36 pm
    5Cats - (cont.) religion is absolutely NOT internal. A religion is a codified system of beliefs and practises followed by a large group of people. What specific beliefs those individual followers draw from that religion is what`s internal, but the religion is the wholly external basis of those beliefs. The bible is an external thing, not just an idea in your head. If your religion is entirely internal, guess what - you`re not religious; you`re probably a Deist (or possibly Pantheist). You`d still be a believer/theist, but you would only be following the internal rules of your own belief system, not the entirely external rules of a religion.
  120. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm
    Another biased post. Not every person with faith goes knocking on the doors, neither does every country have "in God we trust" on their money. Not every person with faith is `shoving their beliefs down people`s throats`, but living it.

    I`ve seen billboards atheists make of their belief. They go into faith based forums and try to stir up trouble, saying how their way is right and everyone elses is wrong. There is no question they are trying to shove their beliefs down people`s throats. Of course, this is just one side, and i have no doubt that some people go in to atheist forums to stir up trouble.

    The problem is not atheism or faith, the problem is the extremes that people go to (regardless of which side), and the point of crossing the line into rejecting neighbourly ways, and brotherly love.

    You can go there if you want, but it`s best to not and just be excellent instead.
  121. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm
    5Cats - (more cont.)
    Language works because we assign meaning to collections of sounds, and we collectively agree on what those meanings are. When you decide to make your own meaning for words and then try to assert that *your* definition is the only one that matters, you completely pervert the point of language.
    `Atheist` is a word, and it means `not-theist`; not someone who believes in gods. `Religion` is another word, which means a codified system of beliefs and practises, usually with elements of spirituality and specific rituals. Atheism is just a position of NOT having ONE specific belief - in no way can this be typified as a system of beliefs. I really don`t know what you think you acheive by trying to claim that atheism is a religion, but I will not let the utterly dishonest way you`re going about it go unchallenged. And I hope you`re not actually Christian, because if you are, you`re breaking the ninth commandment in doing this.
  122. Profile photo of SmagBoy1
    SmagBoy1 Male 40-49
    4432 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm
    Here in the US, that *is* religion--at least as felt by those without it. We (atheists) have no choice but to live with it. And we are in the heavy minority, too, although you`d never know it to hear all of the whine coming from the right...
  123. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm
    wow, so many comments, and so repetitive. I mean, nothing new, just the same old thing you can see on any forum about the subject all across the Internet.

    So you dont think atheism is a religion? cool. So you do think atheism is a religion? cool.

    Really, who cares? The main thing is that we are excellent, and upholding brotherly ways. because without love we`re going to get no where. Love one another is an excellent lesson in the Bible, and has many other lessons there in the scriptures to help support it and let it make the change in your life to love one another. Ya, sure some people read that and are now thinking of some prejudicial or biased thing that generalizes a religion or makes the love taught of in the bible less valid, but so what? Prejudice and bias doesn`t really have any place in love.

  124. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm
    TheGuySmiley

    "Love one another is an excellent lesson in the Bible, and has many other lessons there in the scriptures to help support it"

    Where? Do you actually read the bible? The whole thing?

    Because I see god dishing out wrath, vengeance, misery, and torment with little regard and for the most trivial and selfish reasons.

    "Ya, sure some people read that and are now thinking of some prejudicial or biased thing"

    Nope. I`m thinking of the bible. The words in the bible.

  125. Profile photo of HolyGod
    HolyGod Male 30-39
    6183 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 2:36 pm
    Genesis 19

    Lot offers his virgin daughters up to be gang raped.
    Lot`s wife is turned to salt for LOOKING.
    Lot has sex with and impregnates both his virgin daughters.

    SOOOOOO much love. Hahahahahaha.
  126. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm
    GuySmiley - who cares? Well clearly I do, for one. I care about honesty and what`s actually true. I care about morality, and what`s actually good. I care about reality, and what`s actually real. And when I encounter someone expressing dishonest or immoral ideas in a public forum (and I`m the mood), I care passionately about challenging that dishonestly or immorality. The only reason you keep hearing the same things again and again is because theists keep perpetuating the same tired, dishonest depictions of atheism (or, for that matter, the same tired, dishonest theological ideas), and atheists continually try to correct them. Not that it makes anyh difference, bcasue they`ll ust come back and perptuate the exact same lies again next time. Believers tend not to let mere pesky facts get in the way of clinging to their beliefs.
  127. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm
    HG: "Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses."
  128. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    HolyGod - that`s not entirely fair. Yes, there are bad things in the bible (actually, there`s a LOT of bad things), but there are good things too. True, you have to be extremely selective to only get the good stuff (sometimes stopping mid-line), but you`re just as guilty of cherry-picking the bad stuff as Smiley is of cherry-picking the good. You can`t justify faulting him for that and then doing the exact same thing (from the opposing perspective).
  129. Profile photo of SmagBoy1
    SmagBoy1 Male 40-49
    4432 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm
    TheGuySmiley, it`s interesting that you think of "Love One Another" as a Christian ideal or goal toward which to strive. I mean, sure, it`s in there, sure, in the NT. But it`s also a basic tenet of Paganism, which predates Christianity by just a wee bit. ;-) And, fact is, all of the big ideas of the Bible (10 Commandments, etc.) are all just good rules for civilization and were around thousands of years prior to the Bible.

    So, yes, let`s love each other. But don`t force your form down our throats. It`s not unique to your book, nor did it come from there. It`s a human condition, brother.
  130. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 2:49 pm
    artmunki: I`ve seen the same happen with people claiming to be atheist too. But honestly, i can see how people say it is a religion, and i can see how people can say it`s not. It`s really no concern of mine if someone calls it one way or another, it`s just a word, a name. But i can relate, because i`ve never really seen my faith as `religion`, since it`s a bit of a dumbed down name for it. But i understand it helps some people to understand it and makes it easier for them to speak of, and i`d be just wasting time trying to correct every person i come across on the internet..
  131. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:00 pm
    SmagBoy1: Love is the way of the future no doubt. I`ve studied many faiths and ways of love, true neighborly love, like what we see in some videos on here sometimes (the motorcycle guy and the old guy recently). I`m not going to say i`m an expert on it, but after studying for years, I`ve come to see that most of the important keys to understanding the depths of love are contained within the pages of the Holy Bible. the reason i think this is good is because it`s all contained there in one book, there`s no running around to look for lessons. Plus, if anything ever happened, you can grab it right quick and take it with you to be sure the important lessons are with you. To me it`s like an ancient zip file.. there are many scriptures that can be expanded into a lifetime of wisdom. But hey, thats just me, and to each their own.
  132. Profile photo of SmagBoy1
    SmagBoy1 Male 40-49
    4432 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm
    The only thing atheists have in common is that we don`t believe in the existence of a god or gods. If you want to call that a religion, be my guest. You`re already in the habit of naming that things that don`t exist (God, Allah, Zeus, etc.), so, it`s pretty par for the course far as I`m concerned.
  133. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:03 pm
    Sorry Smiley, but that`s completely missing the point. If someone wants to critique problems with atheists/athesim I`m all for it (I`m actually considering a series of essays/maybe videos on exactly that topic myself), but if they want to do so *honestly* they have to critique what atheism *is*, not whatever is convenient for them to think it is (in order to make their argument). As I said, I care about honesty (far more than I care about a simple concept like atheism). Making up your own definition for something and then arguing against that definition is what`s known as a Strawman Argument - a particularly common and dishonest logical fallacy. And anyone arguing that atheism is a belief system or a religion is making a Strawman argument. Do you think there`s something wrong with challenging dishonesty, or anything admirable in defending it?
  134. Profile photo of SmagBoy1
    SmagBoy1 Male 40-49
    4432 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:04 pm
    Fair enough, TheGuySmiley. I will never begrudge you your faith or religion.

    The ONLY problem I have with religion is when it tries to impose itself into laws that govern all of us. That`s patently unfair, and, IMHO, not very loving. But please know that I wish YOU peace and love.
  135. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:11 pm
    SmagBoy1:
    "I wish YOU peace and love."
    -------------

    I take it you missed his "Death to the President" chant? He seems to have issues with actually applying the "years of studying love" that he claims.
  136. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm
    Oh, and GS - I too have encountered plenty of dishonesty from the atheist camp. And you know what - when I encounter it, I challenege that too. I`ve already done so a couple of times on this thread. This is precisely why I`m thinking about writing a series on criticsim of public athesim. Dishonesty is still dishonest even when it comes from someone you otherwise agree with, and should be challenged just the same. That`s the basis of proper critical thinking - you have to question the ideas you agree with just as rigourously as those you oppose. And developing my capacity for critical thinking is the main reason I got interested in the religious debate in the first place.
  137. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm
    artmunki: i`m just saying it`s not really my cup of tea. Granted, i do try to correct dishonesty as well, like with my first post on this thread. But i feel my time is better spent doing other things than going on and taking it to the max. we`re all unique though
  138. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm
    SmagBoy: i know where you`re coming from, but you can`t deny that it has affected our laws in a positive way. After all, most people do like the fact that we can walk out on the street without some one with a gun killing everyone that walks past, or robbing them of their money and clothes. That being said, there have been times when people have taken it to the extreme and it turned out badly, nourishing more of hate and fear rather than love.
  139. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm
    patchouly: open another tab in your web browser, and then go and find that chant. When you find it, compare the words of the chant vs. what you say here that i said. When you find it, you may benefit from a dictionary. Then using some common sense you might be able to see that they are two different things completely. Then, if you feel like it, you can take it up a notch and try to figure out why? You probably already know the answer.
  140. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm
    If you`re going to challenge dishonesty Smiley, start with yourself. You know fine well that Smag was specifically addressing the imposition of false religious "morality" to restrict the freedoms of everyone, regardless of belief. The laws which help make it safe to walk the street are derived from common natural philosophy, NOT from religion. These rules are common to almost every human culture we know about, past and present, and predate any current religion.
  141. Profile photo of SmagBoy1
    SmagBoy1 Male 40-49
    4432 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 3:33 pm
    TheGuySmiley, as I explained before, *those* laws aren`t Christian-based. They`re far older, developed far longer ago than Christianity and the Hebrew Bible, and were born of the need for everyone to get along in community, not of religious imperative.

    But, laws based in Christianity like prohibiting atheists from testifying in court, or from holding office, or laws criminalizing homosexuality, etc., are *not* good for society, *not* good for our culture or country, and *not* good for togetherness as a nation.
  142. Profile photo of whodat6484
    whodat6484 Male 30-39
    3907 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 4:39 pm
    @TheGuySmiley - There is no god, religion was invented to control the masses using fear and intimidation, not love. No wonder you`re such a douchebag, I`d be pissed too if I was lied to my entire life and wasn`t smart enough to realize it.

    My theory on why religious people are so quick to get angry when defending their "faith" is that they can`t bring themselves to admit the fact that they`ve been trolled their entire lives.
  143. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 6:21 pm
    If your religion is entirely internal, guess what - you`re not religious; you`re probably a Deist
    @artmunki: Bingo! I am indeed a Deist.
    I should have said "worship is internal". It`s one specific part of religion, although if you don`t "have religion in your heart" I doubt very much it`s "real" eh?

    Faith, Worship, Deeds.
    Faith is internal: No one can "give you" faith like it was herpes. You "find faith" in your own way.
    Worship is internal: What you do or say on the outside isn`t "worship" even though it reflects what your FEEL inside.
    Deeds: The ACT of worshiping (prayer, sign of the cross, washing one`s feet & etc) as well as everything you say or do.

    Anyhow, what you believe is entirely up to you! I`m just saying what I believe and expect nothing as a result.
  144. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm
    whodat6484:
    "My theory on why religious people are so quick to get angry when defending their "faith" is that they can`t bring themselves to admit the fact that they`ve been trolled their entire lives."
    ---------

    I think that`s it in a nutshell. I honestly believe that, with the exception of the real nut jobs, most religious people know, there is no God. How could they not? The evidence is overwhelming. I think they cling to it because it`s all they have, but deep down, they know it`s fake.
  145. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm
    For the record:
    Atheist One who DENIES the existence of God (or a Deity)
    Atheism The DOCTRINE that there is no Deity
    Doctrine Read it yourself! Lazybones!
    Lazybones

    Finally: Agnostic

    @artmunki: I say that someone who believes in a Deity is a Theist, someone who "doesn`t know" is
  146. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 6:32 pm
    Stupid cutoff! I should have used TinyUrl!

    Anyhow, MY definition is that an Atheist KNOWS THERE IS NO GOD. Websters agrees.

    KNOWING is not the same as "having no opinion" eh?

    If you have an opinion on the (non)existence of God? You`re "in the game" and not "on the sidelines" :-)
  147. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm
    Lot`s wife is turned to salt for LOOKING.
    @HJolyGod: You`re working under the mistake that the Bible was written in English: it was NOT. The translations of various languages INTO English often leaves much to be desired. Especially when there`s "slightly different" interpretations of what the original words meant!

    The word(s) used for "look back" (what Lot`s Wife did) could literally have meant to return somewhere and look around -in the original language-.

    Don`t impose the limitations of English on another person`s BELIEFS! It`s RUDE.
  148. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 6:38 pm
    @HJolyGod was a typo... (honest!) but calling you @JollyGod is highly tempting at the moment... }-)
  149. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 7:33 pm
    5Cats - come on, I know you`re smart enough to know better than that, man. You seem to be keen enough to look up pages of research & figures for every other topic, but you`re relying on an eight-word dictionary definition to define atheism? Would you ever be satisfied in anyone understanding what you believe from eight words?

    Please don`t accuse me of being lazy if you can`t be bothered to do a little reading yourself. Atheism

    But I think we`re getting somewhere. Yes, I`ll certainly concede that worship (or at least, some modes of worship) is internal, but worship is only *part* of religion, not religion itself. Deism can include many aspects of religion, but it`s a sort of catch-all term (more or less) for non-religious forms of theism. Without a coherent shared belief system, it isn`t a single religion; just lots and lots of little private ones.
  150. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm
    Now, I`ve encountered Deists who were still essentially Christian/Jewish/whatever, except that they observed few (if any) of the rites and didn`t attend any places of worship. At the other end of the spectrum, I`ve met Deists who are more nebulously `spiritual`, and pay heed to no religious practises at all (some are even more stridently anti-religion than many atheists). Between these poles is a wide array of varying beliefs - all personal, all with different basis and details, sharing only the belief that some kind of deity exists and that no existing religions really have it right (at least, not totally right). You`d be rightly annoyed if I argued against Deism, using only a particularly narrow selection of those who identify as `Deist` to make my argument. I only ask that you show the same courtesy.
  151. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 7:56 pm
    @artmunki: Sorry, I`ve referred to myself as "lazy" several times lately, in that joking way, so that wasn`t serious.
    I`d hoped linking the Thesaurus of "Lazybones" would convey that... El Oops! I guess not. You`ve been polite (thx!) and I hope I can return that, despite disagreeing.

    "Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities."

    Sounds like what I said.

    "...there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere."

    Which applies to every rel... I mean "belief philosophy" ;-)

    (Should I include more smileys to indicate humour? @davymid would blow a gasket...)

    Deism used to be more organized, sort of a "humanistic branch" of Christianity... not so much now. Oh well!
  152. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 24, 2013 at 8:13 pm
    whodat6484: You`re entitled to your opinion, but I know God is real, I hope some day you`ll know it too, because it is truly an enlightening experience. I figured you would know that calling names is generally the last resort of those who have no argument. Hopefully now you do.

    patchouly: actually it`s quite to the contrary. A lot of people know that God is real. In fact, scripture states that all people have knowledge of God in them. While you can imagine its not the case, the reality is that those with true faith don`t even need to question the existence of God - It`s the fact of life.
  153. Profile photo of patchouly
    patchouly Male 40-49
    4746 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 5:27 am
    TheGuySmiley:
    "I know God is real"
    -------

    No, you don`t. You can claim you do, but you really don`t. And if you insist on it, you are lying.

    There is zero proof of God`s existence. There is a mountain of proof that he does not exist. The only reason you believe is because you were told to and grew up being brainwashed. If you had grown up unaware of it, you would automatically have taken on an Atheist role. It is only because of the brainwashing that you believe.

    There are only three types of people who continue to believe under the huge mountain of evidence. Those who are too stupid to wrap their heads around the concept so choose to blindly follow (which I don`t think you are); those who have been so totally and completely brainwashed that they are afraid to question and look at the facts and those who know, deep down, that it is fake but don`t want to admit it to themselves.
  154. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 7:23 am
    5cats - no worries, man - I didn`t take the `lazy` thing personally. I was just pointing out the incongruity of calling me lazy while you were relying on one-line dictionary definition for your understanding of athesim.

    But let`s see if we can round off here.

    ""Atheism is..."
    Sounds like what I said. "

    Sounds a bit like what you said, but actually means something quite different. You said repeatedly (and inferred by analogy), that atheism is both a religion and a belief, which is simply not true. Atheism is simply the non-acceptance of *one* aspect of many religions, specifically the belief in gods. Maybe it`ll be clearer if I switch the playing field. (these damn sporting analogies just won`t go away! ;p) ...
  155. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 7:52 am
    (cont.) ... I think it`s reasonable to assume you`ll agree that it`s possible to have an opinion about politics without actually being involved in the politicfal system. And I would hope you also agree that it`s possible to have opinions about politics (in general & specific ideologies), and even to take part in political debate and discussion, without having any affiliation or involvement with any ideology, or with the political system in general. Simply having an opinion (or even a LOT of opinions) doesn`t mean you`re involved in the system or with any ideology. And atheism is just *one* specific position, addressing one specific binary question: do you believe in any gods?

    Atheists do believe other things, but the only reasonable assumption you can make about anyone who can be identified as atheist is that they don`t have belief in any gods. Any other beliefs, including any sepcific beliefs *about* gods, are in addition to the position of atheism.
  156. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 8:17 am
    From what I`ve read, Deism had it`s roots in the Enlightenment, the original distinction being a rejection of the concept of a god with direct influence on the world. This was expanded to include rejection of religious scripture etc., and the term was often used to defend such beliefs from Christian theist equivocations of these `new` Deist beliefs with atheism. Like, it was a way of saying `unlike atheists I do believe in god, just not *your* god`. But even from this early period Deism included both Christian-rooted beliefs and entirely non-religious beliefs, and the scope has since broadened. I`m not even sure the `non-involved god` part is still anything like universal to all Deists.
    The only thing you can assume from the term `Deist` is that someone believes in a god but *probably* doesn`t belong to any particular religion. And the only thing you can assume by the term `atheist` is that a person doesn`t believe in any gods.
  157. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 8:29 am
    @TheGuySmiley: "I have FAITH that God is real."

    Fixed it for you! I don`t think even @patchouli can disagree when it`s worded this way. Saying "I know" implies positive proof (of some sort) or 100% certainty. A so-called true Christian should have 100% faith, but NO certainty! He should ALWAYS be open to learning, correct?

    @artmunki: Well, if you lump Agnostics and Atheists together (which a lot of folks do!) then sure!
    I equate between "believing in" and "having A belief" eh?

    Theist: I believe God(s) exists
    Atheist: I know NO God(s) exist
    Agnostic: I`m not sure / it`s impossible to tell
    Christian: I have FAITH but need no "proof"

    For me? Atheist and Theists are two sides of the same coin. While an Agnostic has little in common with either of them.

    But I do see your point(s), they`re not uncommon.
  158. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 8:38 am
    From what I`ve read,
    I`d say you`ve read some accurate stuff! :-)

    I`m of the "Whomever created the Universe is God" camp. It could be that the "Big Bang" is God!

    Early Deism maintained a strong "Christian" feel to avoid persecution, I think. But since it`s a VERY open-ended philosophy there`s nothing wrong with that.

    >Idiot/Accidental God: The Creation was an accident, mistake or force of nature. No "intelligence" behind it.
    >Inactive/uncaring God: God created the Universe and set it in motion, and hasn`t touched it since.
    >Slightly Active God: Lets things take their course, but occasionally steps in to make small or huge changes
    >Active God: Listens to prayers, watches sparrows &etc.

    I find it endlessly fascinating! As you can probably tell by the way I blather on about it...

  159. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 9:06 am
    Nope. you`re still not getting it. Let`s try a different tack.

    Theism/athesim address the question of belief in gods - if you believe in any gods you`re theist; if not, you`re atheist. As I keep saying, athiest means not-theist, and that`s *all* you can reasonably assume it to mean.
    Gnosticism/agnosticism address the question of claimed knowledge of the existence of gods; if you think you know whether gods exist, you`re gnostic; if not, you`re agnostic (again literally not-gnostic)
    Accurate use of these terms to describe any individual position on a more general question about `what do you believe?` (with regards to gods) requires that you address both belief *and* knowledge. This gives you four basic positions: agnostic atheist; agnostic theist; gnostic atheist; gnostic theist. (definitions to follow)
  160. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 9:22 am
    agnostic theist - believes in god(s)/doesn`t claim to know god(s) exist - not sure how widespread this position is, but may be more common in Deistic beliefs.

    agnostic atheist - doesn`t believe in gods/doesn`t claim to know that gods don`t exist. This is the position of the majority of people who identify as `atheist`, and almost all those who identify as `agnostic`

    gnostic theist - believes god(s) exist/claims to know they exist - this seems to be the position Smiley is arguing, which he shares with the majority of religious theists.

    gnostic atheist - doesn`t believe in god/claims to know gods don`t exist - this is broadly the definition you`re trying to define as atheism, but only represents a minority subset of atheists

    These are all descriptive terms which can be applied on the basis of an individual`s responses to these two questions (belief and knowledge), regardless of whether or not a person personally identifies themselves by these terms.
  161. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 10:54 am
    "agnostic atheist - doesn`t believe in gods/doesn`t claim to know that gods don`t exist. This is the position of the majority of people who identify as `atheist`, and almost all those who identify as `agnostic` "

    This is true. Since you can`t prove a negative, it`s impossible to say you KNOW something doesn`t exist. I don`t KNOW know Santa doesn`t exist since I haven`t explored every corner of the Earth looking for him but I can be pretty darn sure about it based on evidence in my lifetime. You can believe in Santa for all I care but please don`t make public policy decisions that affect me based on that.
  162. Profile photo of artmunki
    artmunki Male 30-39
    176 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 11:54 am
    lauriloo - actually, it is entirely possible (often easy) to prove a negative, but only if the claim in question is at least reasonably well-defined.
    If I hold out my hand and tell you I`m holding a coin and you don`t believe me, you can prove me wrong by opening my hand - if there`s no coin you`ve just proved a negative. This is dependant on us agreeing on what`s meant by `coin` and `hand`.
    However, if I then say `no, I meant the other hand`, you have to check again to prove me wrong, but I`m guilty of having moved the goalposts. If I then keep altering my definition (the coin`s invisible; I have an invisible hand; gloves count as hands; the coin is transcendental; `my hand` refers to all possible hands that could ever exist) it quickly becomes impossible to prove the coin isn`t in my hand. But it also quickly becomes reasonable to question whether there`s any reason to accept my claims, or even whether I have any idea what `hand` or `coin` actually means.
  163. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm
    artmunki guess ya got me on that one :) Maybe the rule is you have to be able to reasonably measure the absence of that thing. Like, you can measure a vacuum, which is the negative of air.

    Religious people foil the attempt at measuring whether there is a god by saying "god`s will" for both having a prayer answered and ignored.
  164. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    patchouly: You`re entitled to your opinion, but you don`t know what other people know; only what you know. For example, I`m thinking of a number between 1 and 1000 as i type this, you have one guess, what is the number i`m thinking of? See, you don`t know. Knowing God is kind of like what Morpheus said about the matrix, one can`t be told what God is, they have to see Him for themselves, and then they`ll know. You can know God a bit better yourself by studying the scriptures and following the procedures contained in them, like an ancient science text book (even though the procedures may be old, they still work today). But based on your responses, it could require you to let go of things you`ve come to rely on, such as prejudice and bias, and learn to be more open and humble. But it may be for the best.

    5Cats: Some people have met God, so they not only have faith in God, but also know that He`s real.
  165. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 1:54 pm
    5Cats: Lets say you were 5 years old, and you had a birthday, with all your 5 year old friends over at the house. During the excitement you had to go to the bathroom, and as you were walking down the hallway you passed a room and saw your mum in the room, and behind her you glimpsed a 3 layer birthday cake. Your mum saw you and said "run along" and closed the door. You went back to the party after the bathroom and opened your presents, but you know that there is a cake in that room. So you open your presents, you play pin the tail on the kittycat and have some supper, and then your dad brings out a single twinkie with 5 candles on it, and says this is your birthday cake. Now, you know there is a cake in the other room because you saw it, but your dad is giving you this twinkie. he doesn` tlet up either, for 30 minutes he cuts the twinkie into small slices and gives it to your friends. But you know there`s a cake in the other room.
  166. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm
    5cats: so you have faith that this is not the `real` cake, and that the real cake is in the room and that`s going to roll out soon. No dice. Your dad opens up another pack of twinkies and people are still eating twinkies. "But daaad!" you say, "there`s a cake in the other room, when are we going to eat that". "i dont know anything about any cake" says your dad. "There is no cake!" your friends tell you "These twinkies are just great" they add. So now even though you know there`s a cake, everyone`s against you about what you know, you are now hoping and having faith that that cake will still be coming out. Sure enough, at long last your mum rolls out the 3 layered cake, and all the kids get a a big surprise, a piece of cake with lots of frosting, and everyone lives happily ever after until they turn into teenagers.

    That is examples of how you can know, and also have faith, and also hope that the things you know are real
  167. Profile photo of TheGuySmiley
    TheGuySmiley Male 18-29
    1243 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm
    ...will come to be known by others
  168. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm
    The cake is a lie.

    I love Portal!

    Anyway, I can`t with your story because I find it hard to believe anyone literally "saw" God like someone could see a cake. You can see something, call it a miracle and say it`s evidence of God or have a hallucination during some trauma but that doesn`t empirically make it actually God. I could see the same miracle and say "wow, that was an amazing series of totally possible events."

    In your analogy, an atheist keeps getting told there`s cake but every time they look into the room there`s no cake. People keep insisting there`s cake and even point in some general direction but there`s no cake there. So the atheist says "whatever" and leaves to get some ice cream on their own.
  169. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm
    @lariloo: The cake is a lie! (I love Portal too, even though I`ve never played it! lolz!)

    @artmunki: I`ll gladly agree that "atheism" is broken into two groups, gnostic & agnostic. BUT when someone says "Atheist" I believe it`s most common meaning is "Gnostic Atheist". In EITHER case, the question of: Do you believe God exists? Their answer is NOT YES.

    idk if an Agnostic Theist is possible! Deism takes the existence of "God" (in whatever form) as a given... is SUPPOSE one could "stretch it" and say that Deists "don`t know for sure" what God is (that`s true) but I`d argue that`s an entirely different topic...

    Theist (whatever sort): Yes God(s) exist(s).
    ALL OTHERS: different than Theists...

    Instead of "Atheist" I`d agree that "NON-Theists" would be a better term... except no one ever uses it... In my opinion: "Atheist" is slang for "Non-Theist"
  170. Profile photo of 5Cats
    5Cats Male 50-59
    31759 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm
    @artmunki & @lauriloo (and @GuySmiley too!)

    I have a coin in my hand.
    You examine my hand, there`s no coin there!
    You`re wrong (you say)
    But it`s true, and I am right...
    (answer below)
    ...

    @TheGuySmiley: So you`ll agree that "God is internal" :-) and that one needs to "find faith on one`s own" too! Cool. But other people "seeing God" still isn`t proof of anything, correct? Except for them, internally.

    you play pin the tail on the kittycat
    Awww! That`s sweet! :heart:

    That`s a LOT of faith for a 5 year old. But yeah, that is how faith is SUPPOSED to operate, I`ll agree (after thinking it over a bit. I was all set to argue...)

    Also: The Twinkies Are A Lie! (lolz!)
    ...

    That coin?
    I didn`t say -which- hand it was in...
  171. Profile photo of lauriloo
    lauriloo Female 40-49
    1803 posts
    April 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm
    5Cats- I think basically some people are willing to take the big gamble that there really is a god and build their life around that (with some self-imposed limitations and guilt about certain pleasurable things and for some people, some really crappy behavior towards people they think are living incorrectly) and others who are more interested in what they actually know to be real by experience and live their life knowing they are primarily responsible for their destiny and how they deal with people and events. I suppose there`s also a gamble that I`m wrong and I`m going to hell for not practicing a religion but it`s pretty sucky if I never do anything seriously wrong compared with people who go to heaven and still go to hell. just my opinion :) On the plus side for religious people, if death is really just a big off switch they`ll never really know they were wrong about the whole thing.
  172. Profile photo of liabach
    liabach Male 40-49
    3242 posts
    April 28, 2013 at 7:08 am
    oh come on guys, that poor theist gets oppressed with book learnin at school. see it from his side.

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