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Author Topic: Why I am an athiest  (Read 4885 times)

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Offline ThesunmaidTopic starter

Why I am an athiest
« on: April 26, 2014, 08:53:57 PM »
I am going to start this off with saying that I don't hate any religion in itself...I don't mean any disrespect to any one who holds beliefs in what ever god they believe in and this is just my personal experiences. The reason I am angry is I was out the other day and I was walking through the park in the up town area of my city. There was a church group there passing out fliers and such. I was just trying to come home from taking my step son home(we get him on weekends) and one of these people came up to me and offered to speak to me about Jesus and gods love. I turned them down politely stating I am an atheist  and started to walk away when the man growled I was going to hell. I spun around and glared at him telling him"If I can respect the fact that you believe in god...You respect the fact I don't and back off." He seemed sort of scared of me at this point but I have been told I have a fairly scary glare.

I was raised catholic. I grew up hearing about Jesus and Mary and all the saints. And I admit they are sort of interesting..the angels falling...some of the saints stories are kind of cool as well. I was never made to go to Sunday school..I also didn't have to go to church and my parents accepted the fact I did not want to be confirmed. There was a baptist church up the hill from where I grew up and we would go to a weekly young peoples group called joy club. My parents thought it was good for us to see how other religions work and I was not a very good little faithful person. I asked questions....a lot of them...like with how many different species in the world how did they all fit on the arc? How did adam and eve make all the people in the world? Is that why dinosaurs went extinct because they did not get on the arc? Why did god not talk to people himself if he was so powerful?  And I was told in each and every instance that my parents were not asked..You have to have faith. My parents would say go to the library and look things up. And because of this I have had a life long love of books and learning. And I love my parents for it.

I also have a problem with the catholic church condoning until recently child abuse simply shuffling the priests around. The tax breaks churches get as well as its seeming hatred of any one who does not believe in what they do. I am an atheist..not a Nazi or a cannibal. I am not a bad person..I am not evil...I just choose to believe in things that can be proven. Atheism is not a religion to me. Science is awesome...science can be proven and if the world ended and we had to do it all over again with no memory of things past...science would be the same. We might get there in a different way but..it would in the end be the same. Would god?

I have very good friends who are Christian(I play D&D with them every Sunday)...I have a friend who is a Muslim( a lovely young woman I used to work with at a call centre) as well as I recently went to a wedding of a beautiful woman who happened to be born a man who married a man. And they are very very happy.I have gay friends(two of which are a couple which are gay men who have been devoted to each other for 15 years of marriage)...I have other atheists who are friends.And even a few Wiccans(who by the way no they do not dance naked in the woods and try to curse people) You will have to forgive me if I am not willing to believe that the Muslim,gay,Wiccan,atheist and trans woman friends I have are going to hell because they don't believe the right things or they simply want to be the right gender...or love who they love. They are all wonderful sweet caring and still human people who love and are sad just as any Christian types.

I have a problem with religions that are supposed to promote peace and love and instead are used to promote hatred and anger towards anyone different. I feel badly for these groups because some are seen as zealots..The so called Christians that believe in gods love the right to life and blow up abortion clinics. The Muslims that say they will kill in the name of Allah and the people who spout that they are so much better than anyone because they believe in the"right." god. There's nothing wrong with having faith...there's nothing wrong with wanting to do "gods" work. And the catholic church finally has a pope that does not make me want to cringe at the fact I was once one of them. I fully believe "Religion is a lot like a penis. It's all very good to have one but don't wave it around in public and please don't try to force it down my children's throats."

So I sometimes wish I was less cynical and not needing proof of things..but other times I am happy that I am not blinded by faith with things as well. I am sorry if this offends anyone but honestly this is my opinion and I am not looking to be turned to Jesus. He sounds like a great guy and awesome ideas. Love your neighbour and treat people kindly.But I don't see why I can't simply do these things because its the right thing to do..Not because some creator who watches everything I do (anyone else a little weirded out by this?)says so. If god is real in my opinion he needs to stop worrying about gay people getting married and appearing on grilled cheese sandwiches and worry about why people keep killing in his name and hating any one who is different. 

Well I am done..I am off to make a grilled cheese sandwich now..who knows..maybe Jesus will decide to make his presence known and if not...I still have a delicious snack so go me.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2014, 09:15:25 PM »
Offers a hug.

Offline Rhapsody

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 06:49:13 AM »
"[Atheism is] not even my hobby. That's the great thing about atheism, it takes up so little of your time." -- Bill Maher

Like you, I was raised Catholic. I am philosophically at odds with a large number of my family members, because they are anti-divorce, anti-abortion (or rather anti-choice), anti-gay marriage (even though we have it), anti-freethink. I think that they have a number of lovely ideas -- the thought of heaven is a very comforting one, after all -- but they just don't understand why I risked my kids souls by not baptising them, why I don't go to church, why I think that whatever other people do in the privacy of their homes is none of my fucking business.

They still claim I'm Catholic, because I haven't been ex-communicated.

They hate Pope Francis, because he's an Antichrist. I love the man.

I don't get them, and they don't get me. We love each other, but ideologically, we're at such polar ends, I wonder how I came from these people.

Offline Mathim

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 02:38:23 PM »
I am going to start this off with saying that I don't hate any religion in itself...I don't mean any disrespect to any one who holds beliefs in what ever god they believe in and this is just my personal experiences. The reason I am angry is I was out the other day and I was walking through the park in the up town area of my city. There was a church group there passing out fliers and such. I was just trying to come home from taking my step son home(we get him on weekends) and one of these people came up to me and offered to speak to me about Jesus and gods love. I turned them down politely stating I am an atheist  and started to walk away when the man growled I was going to hell. I spun around and glared at him telling him"If I can respect the fact that you believe in god...You respect the fact I don't and back off." He seemed sort of scared of me at this point but I have been told I have a fairly scary glare.

I was raised catholic. I grew up hearing about Jesus and Mary and all the saints. And I admit they are sort of interesting..the angels falling...some of the saints stories are kind of cool as well. I was never made to go to Sunday school..I also didn't have to go to church and my parents accepted the fact I did not want to be confirmed. There was a baptist church up the hill from where I grew up and we would go to a weekly young peoples group called joy club. My parents thought it was good for us to see how other religions work and I was not a very good little faithful person. I asked questions....a lot of them...like with how many different species in the world how did they all fit on the arc? How did adam and eve make all the people in the world? Is that why dinosaurs went extinct because they did not get on the arc? Why did god not talk to people himself if he was so powerful?  And I was told in each and every instance that my parents were not asked..You have to have faith. My parents would say go to the library and look things up. And because of this I have had a life long love of books and learning. And I love my parents for it.

I also have a problem with the catholic church condoning until recently child abuse simply shuffling the priests around. The tax breaks churches get as well as its seeming hatred of any one who does not believe in what they do. I am an atheist..not a Nazi or a cannibal. I am not a bad person..I am not evil...I just choose to believe in things that can be proven. Atheism is not a religion to me. Science is awesome...science can be proven and if the world ended and we had to do it all over again with no memory of things past...science would be the same. We might get there in a different way but..it would in the end be the same. Would god?

I have very good friends who are Christian(I play D&D with them every Sunday)...I have a friend who is a Muslim( a lovely young woman I used to work with at a call centre) as well as I recently went to a wedding of a beautiful woman who happened to be born a man who married a man. And they are very very happy.I have gay friends(two of which are a couple which are gay men who have been devoted to each other for 15 years of marriage)...I have other atheists who are friends.And even a few Wiccans(who by the way no they do not dance naked in the woods and try to curse people) You will have to forgive me if I am not willing to believe that the Muslim,gay,Wiccan,atheist and trans woman friends I have are going to hell because they don't believe the right things or they simply want to be the right gender...or love who they love. They are all wonderful sweet caring and still human people who love and are sad just as any Christian types.

I have a problem with religions that are supposed to promote peace and love and instead are used to promote hatred and anger towards anyone different. I feel badly for these groups because some are seen as zealots..The so called Christians that believe in gods love the right to life and blow up abortion clinics. The Muslims that say they will kill in the name of Allah and the people who spout that they are so much better than anyone because they believe in the"right." god. There's nothing wrong with having faith...there's nothing wrong with wanting to do "gods" work. And the catholic church finally has a pope that does not make me want to cringe at the fact I was once one of them. I fully believe "Religion is a lot like a penis. It's all very good to have one but don't wave it around in public and please don't try to force it down my children's throats."

So I sometimes wish I was less cynical and not needing proof of things..but other times I am happy that I am not blinded by faith with things as well. I am sorry if this offends anyone but honestly this is my opinion and I am not looking to be turned to Jesus. He sounds like a great guy and awesome ideas. Love your neighbour and treat people kindly.But I don't see why I can't simply do these things because its the right thing to do..Not because some creator who watches everything I do (anyone else a little weirded out by this?)says so. If god is real in my opinion he needs to stop worrying about gay people getting married and appearing on grilled cheese sandwiches and worry about why people keep killing in his name and hating any one who is different. 

Well I am done..I am off to make a grilled cheese sandwich now..who knows..maybe Jesus will decide to make his presence known and if not...I still have a delicious snack so go me.

You have to understand that if you really look at these faiths critically, you will see that the gods of these religions are NOT kind and loving (and terribly inconsistent) nor do they wish for you to be. This is a pervasive illusion that can be demonstrated to be false repeatedly and in every possible way and yet a believer will completely dismiss them because dogma teaches them that evidence is worthless in the face of faith. Once you let go of these false attributes of religion you can be perfectly free not to respect them and not be so naive as to have ever expected them to give any in return. If ever there was a true definition of hypocrisy, it is the human interpretation of religion.

Don't ever second-guess your critical thinking faculties as being wrong, that's exactly what they want and it's exactly the open wound into which these ideologies creep in and multiply like bacteria. The answer to the question of whether it's right or wrong to believe in something without evidence is so obvious it hardly needs to be stated. If you receive no satisfactory answers from your religious peers or clergy then that just goes to show you that even faith can't provide all the answers it claims to. If someone shouts at you on the street that you're going to hell because you're an atheist it just proves that you're the morally superior person (ironic given how often religion is purported to be the supreme authority on morality) for not attacking them in return simply out of anger.

If you want more information I can recommend a lot of books disproving just about every claim religions make about life, the universe and everything.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 02:45:38 PM by Mathim »

Offline ThesunmaidTopic starter

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 03:04:09 PM »
MasterMischief- accepts the hug"Thank you."

Rhapsody- I have the same thing with my parents and some friends. I am not religious and they are. I love them but while I ask people not to shove their religion in my face I respect their right to not believe in what I do.So my friends and family that are religious we just talk about other things and when someone tells me I will pray for you. I simply say thank you...they mean it as a nice thing with good intentions...and that's how I will take it..although the ones who tell me I am going to hell I take it about as seriously as someone telling me I am walking into mordor.You love your family but sometimes you just sort of shake your head.

Mathium- I agree that god is not loving and snuggly and handing out snow cones. But some people do use religion as a reason to hate and be an asshole. And me personally I think that a lot of good intentions and prayers would be better served by actually doing something.But this also falls under my annoyance of people who think putting cartoon characters as their avatar photos on face book will stop people from abusing their children. Some people hold their beliefs quietly and don't throw them on people. Its the in your face screaming at the tops of their lungs..oh you bet I will gleefully tell them how silly I think they are believing in their magical sky wizard. I am often mistaken for a pentecostal. I have long hair and I like long skirts.The ones who keep their beliefs to themselves or only mention them in passing..I am not going to be angry at. The loud obnoxious ones..those on the other hand oh you best your sweet ass I will be just as obnoxious and loud as them. Its not God I have a problem with its his fan club.I basically give what I am getting. I don't throw my atheism in peoples faces..if they ask or it comes up I will say so..and if someone tells me I am going to hell..I will go on a Denis Leary like rant about how the magical man in the clouds who watches everything we do like a giant cosmic voyeur who has a zombie for a son who is his own father got stuck up on a stick and died for my sins that have not even happened yet. And all this came about because the rib lady ate the apple the talking snake told her to.And I am going to hell because I am a good person because its the right thing to do not because an invisible cosmic daddy will ground me for not believing in him..Yeah..trust me I have it in me to think they are puzts. I get what your saying totally.But hating someone for believing in god is the same for them hating me for not believing. I have to admit at times I wish I could be as happy as some of them are...there is a certain charm in being happy and knowing everything will be ok in the end..

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 04:50:45 PM »
I am a Christian who has recently been made to see a handful of things that I didn't like, considering that they didn't really conform with my idea of the world, how it came to be, where it's going, etc, but for some reason, I remained a Christian. It took me a little while to rationalize this. Several of the building blocks of my faith were crushed to powder and here I am, still teetering on the very edge.

I slowly saw that what kept me believing in God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost (Who, for some reason to me seemed more like a female persona than a male), creation, etc, because I loved the illusion of it. I have had a handful of hard times in my life where that illusion kept me afloat, kept me from doing bad things, kept me the jolly and only slightly insane person that I am. I guess you could saw that I am blind to the facts by choice. If you wanna convince me that what I believe is wrong, I have been trying to know that I am wrong, smile and maybe grin a bit and say," Look bro (or sis): I know you're right, I know that you have all the facts straight and all I have is some weird conjecture and faith, but I like how I see the world. I like thinking that there's some big huge deity up there that is just and righteous, and I like that he loved us so much to send his son down here to become undead in about as painful a way as there was back then to save us from eternal damnation. Gives you a feeling that you are a part of something bigger than just 'Wake up. Go to work. Make some dough. Party. Repeat.'"

Now, if I have children, I intend to send them to a Catholic School, not out of any faith of my own but because they simply are the best schools in this here country. If I move elsewhere, I intend to have my tykes going to the best schools there too. I have a handful of homosexual friends of both genders, and when their folks and family gave them shit, I'll admit that I wasn't there to tell said folks and family to go ahead and do unto themselves some things that are anatomically impossible all the time, even though I got to do so a couple of times, I know that it's rough for them, especially here in Brasil where it's less of a religious thing and more of a well... machismo item.

As you say, Thesunmaid, give as good as you get. You can be an asshole whether you are Catholic or non-religious, and by being an asshole you allow the people around you to treat you as such. Don't like what I believe? Whatever, hey do you like sports?(Not that too? Writing? Movies?) What you believe doesn't define the kind of person that you are, for better or for worse. I will try not to let it influence how I see you so long as you extend me the same courtesy.

So, Thesunmaid, I extend an apology on behalf of my fellow Christians who are assholes. They deserve to go to whatever hell there is. not you. I say that knowing that I was that guy once, and I am ashamed that I drove good friends away because of it.

Offline Blythe

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2014, 09:44:23 PM »
For me, atheism was a complex choice. It started out as a tacit rejection of the religion of the majority of my family, most of which were various denominations of Christianity. I was angry for a long time, felt very betrayed by Christianity for what I felt was a failure to uphold what I felt should have been the most important tenets of a religion: peace and love. Now, not every Christian church I've encountered in my life has been bad or corrupt, either. Not every Christian I've encountered has been a bad one. But I became slowly disillusioned as a teen regarding what that particular faith would offer me. It...offered me nothing.

So I left it (not without some arguments and tears with my mother and sister and extended family).

I'm not sure I can claim to have been truly part of it; my mother sent me to church when I was very young, a bit too young to properly understand what I was even doing there. I just knew that a bus would come pick me up on Sundays, there was singing, and Sunday school where I was usually required to write out Bible verse in silence, and then we would be brought to the main sermon, which as a child, felt like it consisted of a lot of yelling and a lot of mentions of fire. So I don't think I can rightly claim to have been a Christian when I highly doubt I'd had the capacity at the time to understand what was meant by a higher power. As a child, I didn't really get what sin meant, either.

I got a little older. I hovered as an agnostic for a time as I looked into other belief systems, none of which I was able to make a vital connection to, although there were many I still find that teach lovely things.....except there was always one very important aspect of religion I never grasped, never managed to reach.

I could never grasp the concept of faith, the idea that I should trust without evidence.

It was a short route to atheism afterward, and I've been an atheist for years now. I'm honestly not sure if I'll always be an atheist, either. I certainly didn't start as one. How and if I choose to believe anything seems to have always been a long and tiring search, but I like to think that it's human to keep asking questions.

Interesting topic. Made me reflect a little about myself. Thanks for posting, thesunmaid.

Offline Sabby

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2014, 04:09:10 AM »
I am an Atheist, and when it comes to social matters, I'm an Anti-theist. I am of the opinion that the ideas and dogma behind Religion are outdated customs, but the institutions that hold them are destructive to society, perpetuating and celebrating ignorance. They need to be phased out, and they will only go when the standards for life, medicine, education and happiness raise.

Offline ladia2287

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2014, 04:23:24 AM »
Coming from the other end of the stick, I was not raised to any particular denomination, though my parents were expected by their families to raise me to be a Catholic. Their reasons are their own and although I have never been baptised, nor taken communion, nor confirmed, I have for several years identified as a catholic.

When I was 18, I set foot in a church for the first time since I was in kindergarten (my parents weren't too impressed with the local 'public' kindergarten so they sent me to one run by the local Lutheran church, but that's another story).

I was nervous. I had no idea what to expect and expected Hellfire and Brimstone. However, I found the opposite. I spoke to the priest, explaining that I hadn't set foot in a church since I was quite young. My heart sank when he asked if I had been baptised, but I decided to be honest. No, I hadn't been, I told him. My parents took the oath of Baptism very seriously and wanted to make sure I was taking it myself, with full understanding of what it meant, and because I wanted to, not because any nasty relatives said I should.

To my immense relief (and pleasant surprise) the priest smiled, and told me many parents within his congregation had made similar choices, and with a friendly smile told me if I sat in the back and copied everyone else, no one would know the difference.

And so I did. And I found myself welcomed with open arms, and invited to take part in choir and readings even though I still hadn't agreed to be baptised!

As the years have progressed since that fateful Mass, I find myself more and more eager to formally convert to the Catholic faith, even though I disagree with some of the teachings. Even after moving an hour's drive away, I still attend Mass at that same church every chance I can.

However, I still get angry at people from both sides who see it as their right to condemn others simply because of a difference of faith. In the city shopping precincts here, it used to be impossible to shop without being accosted by 'street preachers'. I still recall the look on the face of one particular man, who, despite not knowing me or anything about me, proceeded to lecture me about my relationship with God. I told him, in annoyed tones, that my relationship with God was not any of his business. When he told me such comments would condemn me to Hell, I replied sarcastically that by his doctrine I was going to Hell anyway, because I hadn't been baptised.

And it can hurt the other way, too. The former Mr Ladia (yep, the one featured in my post about breaking up over text message) identified as agnostic. Like me, he claimed to believe that no one has the right to judge another based on their religious beliefs. Despite this, during one recent discussion in which we were trying to organise the disposal of certain mutually-owned property, he rather nastily referred to God as my 'imaginary friend'.

There are good people who are either religious or non-religious, but sadly, there are those who use their faith or lack thereof to pass harsh and sometimes hurtful judgement on others.

Offline Florence

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2014, 03:13:18 PM »
Disclaimer: My posts contain my own personal opinions and are not meant to offend. I understand that some people are religious on here, and I 100% completely respect your right to your own opinions and beliefs. That said, this is how I view things:

Also raised Catholic. Funny how many Atheists were raised Catholic.

... why, its almost like there's something hard to believe about Catholicism. ;)

I personally think the entire concept of "faith" as a positive is counter-intuitive to the entirety of human nature. We're clever and curious little buggers, so it hardly makes sense to treat blind obedience as a positive and thoughtful skepticism as a sin. There, really, is my problem with religion as a whole. Anything that tells me "Oh hey, don't think about it too hard, just believe what I'm saying", sort of sends red flags for me... like 'hey, I think this MIGHT be a scam'.

It's just all too... convenient. What? Eternal life and bliss in the kingdom of heaven? All I have to do is blindly accept everything you tell me, never question what you say, and donate money to your organization? Oh, and of course, you have no actual proof of any of this? Oh, yes, this sounds incredibly reasonable. Oh, and you don't want to pay taxes? Certainly.

I also find it bizarre and confusing how whether or not you receive the CORRECT religion, and thus avoid going to hell (or whatever happens to non-believers in your particular faith), seems largely to be based on geography. Born in Saudia Arabia? Islam is clearly and obviously the one true religion. India? Hinduism, of course. Peru? Catholicism is obviously the right answer. If you're born in Iceland, then Lutheranism is the clear and obvious truth. You would think if there was an all-powerful deity out there, their religion would be nigh-universal, right?

Of course, the simple fact that religions widely seem to be fairly critical of scientific thought is another red flag. After all, the true word of God should be able to stand up to a little scrutiny, don't you think?

I also have to deal with religious family. Oddly, though, I admit, none of mine really fit too terribly into the stereotypes... except perhaps my mother. On one hand, I have my Catholic grandmother, who I love and adore and is absolutely one of the most wonderful people in the planet. Like... she embodies everything GOOD that can come from religion. She believes in love and kindness towards your fellow man and doesn't buy into all the hateful garbage spouted by others. I even heard her talking to my mother once, and my grandmother said quite clearly that she supports gay marriage.

My Aunt is a strange example to me. I love her too, don't get me wrong, she's always been amazing to me. It just baffles me that she is a lesbian, with a wife, who is strongly religious. I know that religious people come in all shapes and colors, but I just find it confusing why one would so strongly adhere to a faith that's so commonly used to deny your rights. I'm sure there are gay people on here who are religious too, its just a strange concept to me.

My mother... eeeeeh... I mean... she's my mother. She's always done great by me, raised me the best she could, and alone at that, since my dad was never really... well... much of a dad. But she's just... stupidly religious, that's the best way I can put it. She gets along great with her sister (my previously mentioned Aunt), so... its not like she's... bigoted and hateful or anything. But she just has this ridiculously old-timesy way of looking at certain things. She ALWAYS seems to mention someone's race, regardless of its relevance to the story she's telling, she regularly (especially after drinking) makes a point to inform me that the Muslim terrorists are coming to take away our freedom, she thinks teaching kids that gay people are normal human beings is some form of indoctrination (ignoring the fact that she tried to have me indoctrinated into Christianity), and so on.

Like Blythe, I honestly don't really know if I would ever have considered myself 'part of' that religion. I was raised Catholic, but I pretty much rejected that from the moment my critical thinking skills were fully developed enough for me to realize all the errors and holes in what I was being told. I also considered myself agnostic for a while, until I realized that how I felt was more in line with atheism than agnosticism.

As I've said, I don't judge people based on their religion. The family members I mentioned above I love dearly, despite ideological disagreements I may have with some of them. I personally identify not just an Atheist, but as a Buddhist. I find many of the teachings of Buddhism do not require faith in anything supernatural, and many of them I personally find to be very logical and intuitive. I do not believe in the Buddha as some divine being, but I do believe that he was a wonderfully wise teacher, far ahead of his time. I believe strongly in a secular interpretation of his teachings, and I find that trying to incorporate them into my daily life has had an overall positive effect on my well-being. Granted... I'm not a monk, I still drink and have fun and all that other distracting stuff that is typically frowned upon for monks. :P

At any rate, Buddhism does have a lot to say about simply accepting the world for what it is, and I think a part of that is accepting others for who they are. Even if someone else has different beliefs than me, if they're a good person, they're a good person. Likewise there are other Atheists who are right pricks.

I really do love that quote, by the way. "Religion is like having a penis..." Pretty much sums up my feelings on that matter.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2014, 03:38:24 PM »
I was raised, and currently still am Hindu, there are literally hundreds of interpretations.  I believe that god is simply the energy of life, a reservoir of the life spirit of every living being that resides within all of us.  At the top of the temple Sabarimala in India, there's an inscription with translates to "god" saying, "I am you."

I don't question my faith all that much, I believe in god.  When I am at my lowest points in life, or feeling sad, I simply close my eyes and pray/meditate, and tap into this rich energy of our existence.  It brings me peace and comfort, and helps me to realize that I am simply a tiny piece of this large universe.

If atheism brings someone peace, that is all that should matter.  It is for each person to decide what brings them peace.

Offline Sabby

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2014, 08:46:05 PM »
If atheism brings someone peace, that is all that should matter.  It is for each person to decide what brings them peace.

That's not what Atheism is for. It's not a mindset, or even a set of beliefs. It's merely a single stance on a single question. "I'm skeptical of God" is the ONLY position held by Atheism. That's it. It really does frustrate me when people try to treat it as if it's just one of the many varieties of belief out there. I get that people want to go "To each his own" on the matter, but it's a faulty sentiment. It would be like "Oh, some people drive a Lexus, some people drive a Chrystler, and some people don't like driving, we all have our own preference in cars" See how that doesn't work?

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 08:52:09 PM »
Sorry, I did not mean to imply anything.  I only meant that these types of issues are a personal decision.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 08:59:07 PM »
I am an Atheist, and when it comes to social matters, I'm an Anti-theist. I am of the opinion that the ideas and dogma behind Religion are outdated customs, but the institutions that hold them are destructive to society, perpetuating and celebrating ignorance. They need to be phased out, and they will only go when the standards for life, medicine, education and happiness raise.
You misunderstand the concept of faith and the place that it holds in a lot of people's lives. Faith isn't just religious. It is, by definition, the concept of believing without evidence. You have faith in the love that a person has for you, even if they could be faking it. You have faith in a doctor who will be holding your life in the twist of his scalpel without knowing him almost at all. I could go on, but so long as people aren't constantly surveilling their loved ones for signs of treachery, or running background checks on doctors about to perform their appendectomy, there will always be faith in the psyche of a human.

So there, so long as there are phenomena that we cannot explain, reduced with the amount of science advancements in the past few hundred years, admittedly, or the 'coincidences' in life that people will see as some sort of deity watching over them for better or for worse, there will always be that little niche in humanity for religion. *shrugs* Can I explain it? Not really, but there is a reason that humanity has been going through groups of religions over their history. Unless you get rid of all the unanswerables in science and even then managed to infuse every human on earth with that knowledge, it looks like it'll be there to stay. I don't see it as a particularly bad thing, so long as it is held in check. You obviously do, though.

Offline Sabby

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2014, 09:01:52 PM »
And I also didn't mean to imply you frustrated me xD should have been more clear on that. I do have to disagree with you that Atheism is a choice. I mean, can you choose to believe/not believe in, say, Fairies? No. You hear the concept (fairies exist), and your brain either accepts it or rejects it. We can no more choose to be Atheists then we can to be Christians. We can certainly change our minds as we learn, though, but that's about it.

I mean, look at the Clergy Project. That wouldn't exist if this was a choice.

DeamonBane, I think you need to reread my post, as I never once mentioned faith, let alone dismissed the idea of personal faith. Also, the examples you gave are hardly belief without evidence. When you get an operation, you can reasonably expect the doctor whose about to cut into you to know what he's doing, and you can believe your partner loves you based on the experiences you have with them. None of that is blind faith.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 09:05:50 PM by Sabby »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2014, 09:06:57 PM »
I mean, look at the Clergy Project. That wouldn't exist if this was a choice.

This doesn't quite follow.  Many people, for example, "choose" to go to the gym regularly but struggle to actually do so and need a support network to ensure that the choice they wish to make is actualised.  It could be that the Clergy Project is simply helping members of the clergy who have chosen that path to actualise and reify that decision.

Offline Sabby

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2014, 09:11:31 PM »
Someone whose entire life and future has been sunk into a Priest position, someone who agonizes day and night about how the hell they are going to function, how they could lose a lifetimes worth of work and relationships and be left with nothing because of their loss of faith, and it could all just go away if they could just choose to believe? No. That doesn't sound right to me. If it was as easy as a simple choice, these people wouldn't suffer so much.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2014, 09:14:19 PM »
DeamonBane, I think you need to reread my post, as I never once mentioned faith, let alone dismissed the idea of personal faith. Also, the examples you gave are hardly belief without evidence. When you get an operation, you can reasonably expect the doctor whose about to cut into you to know what he's doing, and you can believe your partner loves you based on the experiences you have with them. None of that is blind faith.
*nods* And my point was that, while there is faith, there will always be those assholes out there that will exploit that faith for whatever reasons.

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2014, 09:14:55 PM »
Someone whose entire life and future has been sunk into a Priest position, someone who agonizes day and night about how the hell they are going to function, how they could lose a lifetimes worth of work and relationships and be left with nothing because of their loss of faith, and it could all just go away if they could just choose to believe? No. That doesn't sound right to me. If it was as easy as a simple choice, these people wouldn't suffer so much.

Not everyone does.  The six hundred and odd members of the Clergy project are far from representative.  Many others just carry on with their lives without bothering to agonise or suffer.

Offline Rogue

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2014, 09:15:20 PM »
I'm basically going off four posts ago but I still think this is relevant so....

Basically I think, as far as what Sabby is saying (Forgive me if I assumed incorrectly), is that theological beliefs should have no place outside of your personal belief system. It shouldn't affect the government at all or much else for how society views things.

This is ironic in that it mostly affects the US line of government (as far as "first" world countries are concerned). Note: Gay marriage is still illegal in several parts of the US and Abortion, a personal choice, is still being argued on religious grounds, not even mention potential medical successes having been hindered by the US government because some religious asshole got their panties in a twist about us playing "God". This is also true in other parts of the world, which is why I said first world countries, but especially ironic in the US where we were founded on freedom of religion and exclusion of religion from the government.

Anyways: My personal views are rather... interesting? I've identified most heavily with Shinto beliefs, because nature is a very powerful driving force and I think that if there were a God they'd be a ruthless scientist watching what's going on in the universe. I honestly can't believe in any religion that tells me that I'm wrong to love who I love. As such I prefer Eastern ideologies, but I'm essentially an Atheist. I can't honestly say I believe there is a god. I can say I believe that nature should be protected and there's something inherently sacred about certain things for me but I can't say there is a god.

As for what I grew up as: Mixed religious. I was basically raised non-denominational and both my brother and I have become atheists. 

Offline Sabby

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2014, 09:22:59 PM »
I'm basically going off four posts ago but I still think this is relevant so....

Basically I think, as far as what Sabby is saying (Forgive me if I assumed incorrectly), is that theological beliefs should have no place outside of your personal belief system. It shouldn't affect the government at all or much else for how society views things.

You are quite correct :) I do not attack Religion as a personal matter, I merely see it as having no positive utility in any other fashion beyond that. Thank you for not trying to take my disapproval and make it seem a personal attack on those as faith, and actually reading and understanding what I've said. I know I can have trouble conveying myself and keeping my tone neutral, so I'm very used to misunderstandings on the topic, most of them my own fault.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2014, 09:26:33 PM »
Basically I think, as far as what Sabby is saying (Forgive me if I assumed incorrectly), is that theological beliefs should have no place outside of your personal belief system. It shouldn't affect the government at all or much else for how society views things.

Whilst I agree with you in principle, Rogue, the problem is that line is all but impossible to tread.  I know from conversations we've had that you believe in marriage equality.  That's part of your personal belief system.  Presumably though you also vote for candidates who believe the same?  Lobby for changes of laws to align with it?  And so on and so forth.

If my personal belief system is that all y'all are hellbound, why wouldn't I take the same steps in voting for sympathetic candidates, in lobbying, etc etc etc,

Offline Rogue

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2014, 09:33:23 PM »
You are quite correct :) I do not attack Religion as a personal matter, I merely see it as having no positive utility in any other fashion beyond that. Thank you for not trying to take my disapproval and make it seem a personal attack on those as faith, and actually reading and understanding what I've said. I know I can have trouble conveying myself and keeping my tone neutral, so I'm very used to misunderstandings on the topic, most of them my own fault.

:) It helps having similar beliefs. Though in some ways it's impractical: Like expecting people to not lobby against things that contradict their personal belief system when it is their right to do so. It's also more practical for those in power to realize that you shouldn't inflict your personal beliefs against others.

I never would expect a catholic priest to marry my girl and I. I would always expect a government official (as a hand of the government so to speak) with the legal power to marry a couple to do so.

Just like I'd never expect a doctor to perform an abortion when it goes against his personal beliefs. All the same thing.

Whilst I agree with you in principle, Rogue, the problem is that line is all but impossible to tread.  I know from conversations we've had that you believe in marriage equality.  That's part of your personal belief system.  Presumably though you also vote for candidates who believe the same?  Lobby for changes of laws to align with it?  And so on and so forth.

If my personal belief system is that all y'all are hellbound, why wouldn't I take the same steps in voting for sympathetic candidates, in lobbying, etc etc etc,

Yes you are correct, which is why this post was coming in the first place. :)

But I think that it should be everyone should be able to have the same things. Same rights to marry, same rights to health care, same rights to basically anything you can think of with appropriate consequences for the negatives performed with those rights. And yes, in practice it doesn't work well. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try for them as a people.

Offline gerreccia

Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2014, 10:58:00 AM »
Your belief in no god is a product of reason. Dpn't let other peoples' fantasies scare you.

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Re: Why I am an athiest
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2014, 11:17:29 AM »
You misunderstand the concept of faith and the place that it holds in a lot of people's lives. Faith isn't just religious. It is, by definition, the concept of believing without evidence. You have faith in the love that a person has for you, even if they could be faking it. You have faith in a doctor who will be holding your life in the twist of his scalpel without knowing him almost at all. I could go on, but so long as people aren't constantly surveilling their loved ones for signs of treachery, or running background checks on doctors about to perform their appendectomy, there will always be faith in the psyche of a human.
As an atheist and generally faithless person, I get a lot of this. And it's dead wrong. I don't "have faith" in people's love for me, I have the evidence of the way they treat me. (As Tim Minchin put it, "Love without evidence is... stalking.") I certainly don't have faith in doctors - I have their certification and ongoing monitoring by expert organizations. Projecting your faith on others in this manner comes across as condescending and rude - by positioning faith as an intrinsic human trait, you define those who lack it as less than human. By claiming to know another person's mind better than they do after minimal contact, you define them as either incapable or completely lacking any sort of introspection. Perhaps people of faith could take it on faith that we mean what we say on the subject?