Author Topic: why are you an atheist?  (Read 47595 times)

Offline trdsf

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #360 on: December 28, 2018, 12:24:29 AM »
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If I could go back in time, I would slaughter the first damn fool who imagined a deity of any sort.  And every damned idiot who thought of it afterwards.
I'm not worried about one lone nut.  I'd be more interested in stopping the first one who convinced someone else of their delusion.  That's when the idea became dangerous.
Sir Terry Pratchett, on being told about the theory that the universe is a computer simulation: "If we all get out and in again, would it start to work properly this time?"

Offline Cavebear

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #361 on: December 28, 2018, 11:47:22 PM »
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I'm not worried about one lone nut.  I'd be more interested in stopping the first one who convinced someone else of their delusion.  That's when the idea became dangerous.

Still, stopping bad ideas at the original source is better them trying to eliminate the secondary followers.  When a bad idea gets out, it is really hard to catch up with truth.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #362 on: January 04, 2019, 07:31:29 AM »
I think the most consistent and honest stance toward the existence of any kind of god is agnostisicm.
we do not know whether there is a god or not. looking at the issue with our current scientific knowledge, we are bound to say we are in doubt.

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #363 on: January 04, 2019, 10:09:09 AM »
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I think the most consistent and honest stance toward the existence of any kind of god is agnostisicm.
we do not know whether there is a god or not. looking at the issue with our current scientific knowledge, we are bound to say we are in doubt.
That's one way of looking at it.  Are you agnostic about the existence of faries?  Or Bugs Bunny?  Or mermaids? Or trolls? Or...................I could go on and on.  I used to call myself an agnostic for I maintained as you do, there is no evidence that a god does not exist.  But I have changed my mind.  I think there is no god(s) for there is not any evidence there is one.  Yes, the absence of evidence does (for me) lead me to think there is no god.  With billions of believers from the inception of any religion to now, there is not a shred of evidence produced to indicate there is a god.  In fact, the lack of evidence is so profound that it is impossible to give the existence of any god no chance to be fact.  Nature itself is proof that a god is not at work.  The most honest stance for me is that no god could possibly exist.  Show me where I am in error.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #364 on: January 04, 2019, 01:01:14 PM »
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I think the most consistent and honest stance toward the existence of any kind of god is agnostisicm.
we do not know whether there is a god or not. looking at the issue with our current scientific knowledge, we are bound to say we are in doubt.

Human beings, of all kinds, hate to admit uncertainty or being wrong.  Agnostics are a very odd kind of human.

There are scientific issues that are relatively uncertain, like Cosmic Inflation.

Non-scientific issues are purely a matter of opinion.  Religion is in that category.
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luu shalmaata luu baltโ€™aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #365 on: January 04, 2019, 01:17:28 PM »
It depends greatly on the definition of the word "God" as to whether such a thing exists. If God is defined as "love" then, since I do believe that love exists (or better yet, love happens), then I'd have to believe that God exists. But any theistic, Omni-max kind of God such as the Abrahamic religions believe in certainly does not exist, because it cannot logically exist. There are too many (one is enough) You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login of that kind of God that it just can't exist, and so it does not, in fact, exist.
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"Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child,"
Ecclesiastes 10:16
Or: Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is batshit crazy.

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #366 on: January 04, 2019, 02:04:29 PM »
I think there are several factors that contribute to my atheism and Iโ€™ve listed these factors from most influential to least.

1)   I grew up in the United States. The US is primarily a secular society and the government tolerates different religions and the non-religious. The movies, television shows, music and books I experienced as a child were mostly non-religious. Had I been raised in a theocracy or culture that didnโ€™t allow secular entertainment, free speech or blasphemy itโ€™s less likely I would have been atheist.

2)   My family wasnโ€™t particularly religious. We went to Sunday school and services at a Methodist church every week. We said grace before meals and prayers before bed but otherwise religion wasnโ€™t a focus in our home. Prayer was never presented as a means of addressing a problem; nobody in my family was wondering โ€œWhat would Jesus do?โ€ My father didnโ€™t tell me he was an atheist until I was sixteen and he admitted he took us to church to meet social expectations and appease our mother.

3)   Christianity and the Bible donโ€™t make sense to me. Every atheist here knows the contradictions and impossible elements of the Bible. Christians canโ€™t even agree what is literal and what is metaphor. Yet even if I take the most charitable view of Christianity some of the basic tenets seem wrong. If I discovered life, the universe and everything operates the way Christians believe it would be a big disappointment because honestly the story is messed up.

4)   Iโ€™ve never had a spiritual experience. If I felt there was a presence around me, felt โ€œGodโ€™s loveโ€ or had some profound experience that convinced me there was a supernatural element to reality I might be a person of faith. I havenโ€™t experienced anything like that.

5)   My personality isnโ€™t conducive to religious dogma. Iโ€™m introverted, live in my head and for me the entire world is a collection of ideas and stories. Every idea should be open to questioning, re-evaluation and improvement. Every story varies according to perspective. I canโ€™t think of anything that is beyond criticism. Most religions are built on dogma, hierarchy and faith and Iโ€™m not good with any of those.

6)   The American Christian church doesnโ€™t appeal to me. Because of my personality, I dreaded going to church. I didnโ€™t enjoy participating in group activities, I didnโ€™t like making chit-chat with people I barely knew, I rarely found the minister engaging and hugging strangers made me uncomfortable. I found sitting in a Sunday school class where people parrot banal platitudes tedious. I did enjoy the singing. If going to church involved lively debates about existential issues (โ€œTodayโ€™s discussion is โ€œIs God an asshole?โ€™โ€) or spending three hours alone in the woods in contemplative prayer I might be more interested. Christian churches in America are designed around fellowship, collecting money, community service and exalting Jesus and Iโ€™m just not into it. Obviously other people enjoy this and more power to them.

7)   Iโ€™ve never felt unloved or disconnected. I think many people are attracted to religion because they desire connection both to others and to something greater than themselves. Many people seem to have existential angst, โ€œan emptinessโ€ or a longing for something they canโ€™t always articulate. I think this is why some people join religions (I also think this is why some people use drugs). I completely respect those feelings but Iโ€™ve just never experienced them, even when I face terminal illness. I think if I felt lonely, fearful or that my life lacked purpose I would be more succeptible to religion.

8)   I was a gay kid. Growing up I got the message there was something intrinsically wrong with me and this message came primarily from religious people. After years of agonizing and analyzing, I eventually came to the conclusion as an adolescent that society had the problem, not LGBT people. I realized the messages I was receiving were false and it opened my eyes to other damaging narratives. Religions are full of damaging narratives.
โ€œYou are the sky. Everything else โ€“ itโ€™s just the weather.โ€

โ€• Pema Chรถdrรถn

Offline Baruch

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #367 on: January 05, 2019, 12:52:25 AM »
None of which makes you anything in particular; atheist or Democrat.  But they are who you are, a mixed bag of unrelated characteristics.  Otherwise you are engaged in pop psychology (like the rest of us) trying to analyze, often in a prejudiced fashion, what makes one theistic or Republican.

As a centrist, I am neither Democrat nor Republican.  As a human being with unmet needs, I am theist, but heretical.  Too individual for group think.

Now one can psychoanalyze that all one wants to (or any other testimony given here by others, Amen brother GSOgymrat!).  But it is pissing upwind, because the person themselves, even if they have an idea as to why they are the way they are, don't really know.
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luu shalmaata luu baltโ€™aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #368 on: January 05, 2019, 01:23:36 AM »
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None of which makes you anything in particular; atheist or Democrat.  But they are who you are, a mixed bag of unrelated characteristics.  Otherwise you are engaged in pop psychology (like the rest of us) trying to analyze, often in a prejudiced fashion, what makes one theistic or Republican.

As a centrist, I am neither Democrat nor Republican.  As a human being with unmet needs, I am theist, but heretical.  Too individual for group think.

Now one can psychoanalyze that all one wants to (or any other testimony given here by others, Amen brother GSOgymrat!).  But it is pissing upwind, because the person themselves, even if they have an idea as to why they are the way they are, don't really know.

We are the story we tell ourselves and today that's my story.
โ€œYou are the sky. Everything else โ€“ itโ€™s just the weather.โ€

โ€• Pema Chรถdrรถn

Offline Cavebear

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #369 on: January 05, 2019, 02:33:17 AM »
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I think there are several factors that contribute to my atheism and Iโ€™ve listed these factors from most influential to least.

1)   I grew up in the United States. The US is primarily a secular society and the government tolerates different religions and the non-religious. The movies, television shows, music and books I experienced as a child were mostly non-religious. Had I been raised in a theocracy or culture that didnโ€™t allow secular entertainment, free speech or blasphemy itโ€™s less likely I would have been atheist.

2)   My family wasnโ€™t particularly religious. We went to Sunday school and services at a Methodist church every week. We said grace before meals and prayers before bed but otherwise religion wasnโ€™t a focus in our home. Prayer was never presented as a means of addressing a problem; nobody in my family was wondering โ€œWhat would Jesus do?โ€ My father didnโ€™t tell me he was an atheist until I was sixteen and he admitted he took us to church to meet social expectations and appease our mother.

3)   Christianity and the Bible donโ€™t make sense to me. Every atheist here knows the contradictions and impossible elements of the Bible. Christians canโ€™t even agree what is literal and what is metaphor. Yet even if I take the most charitable view of Christianity some of the basic tenets seem wrong. If I discovered life, the universe and everything operates the way Christians believe it would be a big disappointment because honestly the story is messed up.

4)   Iโ€™ve never had a spiritual experience. If I felt there was a presence around me, felt โ€œGodโ€™s loveโ€ or had some profound experience that convinced me there was a supernatural element to reality I might be a person of faith. I havenโ€™t experienced anything like that.

5)   My personality isnโ€™t conducive to religious dogma. Iโ€™m introverted, live in my head and for me the entire world is a collection of ideas and stories. Every idea should be open to questioning, re-evaluation and improvement. Every story varies according to perspective. I canโ€™t think of anything that is beyond criticism. Most religions are built on dogma, hierarchy and faith and Iโ€™m not good with any of those.

6)   The American Christian church doesnโ€™t appeal to me. Because of my personality, I dreaded going to church. I didnโ€™t enjoy participating in group activities, I didnโ€™t like making chit-chat with people I barely knew, I rarely found the minister engaging and hugging strangers made me uncomfortable. I found sitting in a Sunday school class where people parrot banal platitudes tedious. I did enjoy the singing. If going to church involved lively debates about existential issues (โ€œTodayโ€™s discussion is โ€œIs God an asshole?โ€™โ€) or spending three hours alone in the woods in contemplative prayer I might be more interested. Christian churches in America are designed around fellowship, collecting money, community service and exalting Jesus and Iโ€™m just not into it. Obviously other people enjoy this and more power to them.

7)   Iโ€™ve never felt unloved or disconnected. I think many people are attracted to religion because they desire connection both to others and to something greater than themselves. Many people seem to have existential angst, โ€œan emptinessโ€ or a longing for something they canโ€™t always articulate. I think this is why some people join religions (I also think this is why some people use drugs). I completely respect those feelings but Iโ€™ve just never experienced them, even when I face terminal illness. I think if I felt lonely, fearful or that my life lacked purpose I would be more succeptible to religion.

8)   I was a gay kid. Growing up I got the message there was something intrinsically wrong with me and this message came primarily from religious people. After years of agonizing and analyzing, I eventually came to the conclusion as an adolescent that society had the problem, not LGBT people. I realized the messages I was receiving were false and it opened my eyes to other damaging narratives. Religions are full of damaging narratives.

Those are a lot of reasons, and while I'm glad you have become more atheist, I will make an observation on one of your points.

"1)   I grew up in the United States. The US is primarily a secular society and the government tolerates different religions and the non-religious." 

The US is more religious than most developed nations.  There are parts of the US that equal many other nations regarding religious fervor.  Some developed European nations would consider us "religiously-fanatics".  There is just cause to consider that the primary fault line in US politics is between the very religious and the less-religious.  Seen any acknowledged atheist politicians elected recently?

We are a larger part of the US population than most minority groups, but no one is seeking our endorsements...

 
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Offline Baruch

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #370 on: January 05, 2019, 11:03:06 AM »
American atheists think the US is Sweden, and when they discover we are not, they keep trying to turn the US into Sweden.

US secular "religion" is the civic religion of patriotism.  There are anti-patriots just as there are anti-theists.  Thirteen year old autistic males who never grow up.
๐Ž๐Žœ๐Žœ๐ŽŸ๐ŽŒ๐Ž€๐Ž๐ŽŽ๐Ž€๐Ž€๐Žš๐Ž€๐ŽŸ๐Ž๐Žœ๐Žœ๐ŽŸ๐Ž๐Ž€๐Ž๐Ž‰๐Ž€๐Ž€๐Žš๐Ž€
luu shalmaata luu baltโ€™aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #371 on: January 05, 2019, 04:00:12 PM »
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That's one way of looking at it.  Are you agnostic about the existence of faries?  Or Bugs Bunny?  Or mermaids? Or trolls? Or...................I could go on and on.  I used to call myself an agnostic for I maintained as you do, there is no evidence that a god does not exist.  But I have changed my mind.  I think there is no god(s) for there is not any evidence there is one.  Yes, the absence of evidence does (for me) lead me to think there is no god.  With billions of believers from the inception of any religion to now, there is not a shred of evidence produced to indicate there is a god.  In fact, the lack of evidence is so profound that it is impossible to give the existence of any god no chance to be fact.  Nature itself is proof that a god is not at work.  The most honest stance for me is that no god could possibly exist.  Show me where I am in error.

I am, of course, not a believer in faries. as far as we are on the way to much better observer of the world that circles us... we have finally improved scientific knowledge. This is the way of perceiving the environment surrounding us. I don't believe a god like Zeus that can send tornados and lightening... Because meteorology taught us how the weather conditions can be predicted ...and we know that these are noting to do with any hands of any god...

However it seems that there is no god, by assuming from absence of evidences, and from absurdity of existing religions; we can't show ''what if'' there is a god or not. Of couse you cannot prove ''the abcence''... There wouldn't be the prove of the abcence. the best is, at least in practice, to be an ''agnostik-atheist'' who their stance toward the existence of a god like behaving as if there is no god in prior... And assuming that there is no god in interventioning the worldy things... this is required in prantice...




Offline Cavebear

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #372 on: January 05, 2019, 04:30:15 PM »
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I am, of course, not a believer in faries. as far as we are on the way to much better observer of the world that circles us... we have finally improved scientific knowledge. This is the way of perceiving the environment surrounding us. I don't believe a god like Zeus that can send tornados and lightening... Because meteorology taught us how the weather conditions can be predicted ...and we know that these are noting to do with any hands of any god...

However it seems that there is no god, by assuming from absence of evidences, and from absurdity of existing religions; we can't show ''what if'' there is a god or not. Of couse you cannot prove ''the abcence''... There wouldn't be the prove of the abcence. the best is, at least in practice, to be an ''agnostik-atheist'' who their stance toward the existence of a god like behaving as if there is no god in prior... And assuming that there is no god in interventioning the worldy things... this is required in prantice...

I have no more problem not believing in the god of the christians than I have in not believing in the gods of hindus, jews, moslems, zoroastrians, persians, egyptians, greeks, romans, aztecs, incans, zulus, amerinds, or norwegians (and my apologies to all those I left out, but I don't believe in yours either). 

They are all the same superstitious crap to me.  To those of currently active theisms, please don't bother trying to make any distinctions or claims of modernity.  It really is all the same to me. 

There is no evidence of any type of deity, nor is there any requirement for one.  The universe would exist perfectly well if there was just our life, many kinds of life, or no life at all.  I know that is difficult to really and truly understand for some, but that what I think. 

And part of it is that I actually "think" instead of "believing".  And please spare me the
"well you must believe in something".  No.  And not the evil versions of your theisms either.  Just as I don't believe in the judeo/christian/moslem god, I equally do not have any belief in devils, satans, etc.

And I'm not negative.  I have a personally positive outlook about "the world".  It just doesn't involve any sort of deity.  So when I laugh at what I consider to be silly superstitions, that is what I mean.

OK?
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #373 on: January 05, 2019, 05:02:51 PM »
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I have no more problem not believing in the god of the christians than I have in not believing in the gods of hindus, jews, moslems, zoroastrians, persians, egyptians, greeks, romans, aztecs, incans, zulus, amerinds, or norwegians (and my apologies to all those I left out, but I don't believe in yours either). 

They are all the same superstitious crap to me.  To those of currently active theisms, please don't bother trying to make any distinctions or claims of modernity.  It really is all the same to me. 

There is no evidence of any type of deity, nor is there any requirement for one.  The universe would exist perfectly well if there was just our life, many kinds of life, or no life at all.  I know that is difficult to really and truly understand for some, but that what I think. 

And part of it is that I actually "think" instead of "believing".  And please spare me the
"well you must believe in something".  No.  And not the evil versions of your theisms either.  Just as I don't believe in the judeo/christian/moslem god, I equally do not have any belief in devils, satans, etc.

And I'm not negative.  I have a personally positive outlook about "the world".  It just doesn't involve any sort of deity.  So when I laugh at what I consider to be silly superstitions, that is what I mean.

OK?

I wish i prefaced in the entrance of my post, i should have indicated that i am an agnostik-atheist.
I practically don't believe in any god, including allah, but i say there can be... but the probability don't make me behave like as is there is one...in practice...

Re: why are you an atheist?
« Reply #374 on: January 05, 2019, 05:54:36 PM »
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I wish i prefaced in the entrance of my post, i should have indicated that i am an agnostik-atheist.
I practically don't believe in any god, including allah, but i say there can be... but the probability don't make me behave like as is there is one...in practice...
From my viewpoint, I don't see any reason at all to think an unseen god exists.  I know a seen god doesn't exist.  I can't 'prove' that an unseen god does not exist; just as you cannot prove that fairies don't exist.  But the lack of evidence to show that an unseen god exists is so profound that it is impossible to think that one does. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

 

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