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The Myth of the Unbeliever in Religious Nomenclature.

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posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I think there is something in Man's nature that causes him to seek some sense of superiority. Either the superiority of "holier than thou-ness" or the superiority of "I am smarter than them"...how dare they be so stupid as to believe in some God and take comfort in their faith.

One could examine logic from this angle: The possibilities are limited. There is either God, or there is no God. In the absence of additional data then one must assume a 50-50 chance.

So...if one is in the no-God universe then it really does not matter what one believes. No harm can come regardless of faith or belief system.

If one, however, is in the "God" universe then you either believe and have faith for everlasting life, or you choose atheism, in which case you are severely screwed.

Given the above the logical approach would be to subscribe to a faith.




posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 07:39 PM
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a reply to: bbracken677


If one, however, is in the "God" universe then you either believe and have faith for everlasting life, or you choose atheism, in which case you are severely screwed.

Given the above the logical approach would be to subscribe to a faith.


So if Hitler were alive and well, and you had to either join his forces or be imprisoned and tortured until death, you would choose to join him?



posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 07:46 PM
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There's one thing I like about this thread (so far) ...there hasn't been one Christian condemning anyone to hell or preaching doom porn of the the end times or Satan the ruler of this world…and, and,and …..atheist …. gotta love em….



posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 08:24 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I know of a few off hand. The Whigs & Tories of the early United Kingdom were both terms of abuse and derision applied by one side to other. The Society of Friends is another. In that groups' infancy adherents often bade each other and nonmembers to "quake at the word of the Lord". They were ridiculed as "Quakers" but the faction adopted the word for informal use. The term "Yank" was originally a derogatory term for pirate that was later applied to the American Revolutionaries(by the British)and used with pride after that. The American Civil war brought "Yank" back into a negative light when the South used it as a negative towards Northerners. More recently, the term "Chicano" was originally a class-based derogatory term that is now used with pride. It is not universally accepted but it is gradually losing its negative connotations.

I know of a number of religious-based terms of derision that have been adopted by the intended targets but, I have forgotten the exact details. It has been a long time since I read about the subject. Anyway, with a little bit of research I could find more examples. As I said earlier the phenomena is not uncommon.

Regarding your other question. Yes, it is an extreme example. An example of the wrong that can be committed for the sake of ideas and goals. I see those people being used as pawns by the state to achieve its revolutionary aims. In most examples in history it is the opposite. A relatively small faction or organization is able to exert a form of cultural independence and be acknowledged as a part of a society.
edit on 14-7-2014 by My_Reality because: ERROR!!



posted on Jul, 14 2014 @ 09:36 PM
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originally posted by: Rex282
There's one thing I like about this thread (so far) ...there hasn't been one Christian condemning anyone to hell or preaching doom porn of the the end times or Satan the ruler of this world…and, and,and …..atheist …. gotta love em….


Good for you. Now lets try doing that every day in every thread. Then I'll be impressed.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 01:14 AM
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a reply to: AfterInfinity


You sound as though being looked down on is something I should be worried about. I'll tell you something, I spent many years thinking that way. Never again. I will never again be told how to feel about myself by someone who isn't me. You don't like how I carry myself? Then keep stepping. I'll stand right here and rock on until you're far enough that you feel comfortable with your own existence again.


I do not know nor care how you carry yourself, and even more, what you worry about is probably the last thing on my mind. Rock on all you wish.

I value your opinion. But I don’t know what it has to do with the topic at hand. The unbeliever, the pagan, the atheist, the infidel are all church devised and church designated ecclesiastical slander terms used against people who didn’t follow the same doctrines. They are false, they are lies, they are myths in a mythical landscape of church propaganda, inquisition and murder.

The idea of the unbeliever is a church idea. In lieu of your “non-belief” towards other church postulates, why do you not do the same to this one? You seem to embrace it.



edit on 15-7-2014 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 01:15 AM
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a reply to: Bybyots


I disagree. Atheists are presently the vanguard representing all peoples when it comes to exploring our spiritual impulses. Go atheists!


I think they put a statue up somewhere one time.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 01:16 AM
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a reply to: AfterInfinity


All wars start in the mind.


Exactly. I wonder when this one will end. Another 2000 years?



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 01:19 AM
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a reply to: bbracken677


Given the above the logical approach would be to subscribe to a faith.


Pascal's wager. The weakest excuse to remain in a cloud of piety—just in case.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 01:21 AM
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a reply to: My_Reality


I know of a few off hand. The Whigs & Tories of the early United Kingdom were both terms of abuse and derision applied by one side to other. The Society of Friends is another. In that groups' infancy adherents often bade each other and nonmembers to "quake at the word of the Lord". They were ridiculed as "Quakers" but the faction adopted the word for informal use. The term "Yank" was originally a derogatory term for pirate that was later applied to the American Revolutionaries(by the British)and used with pride after that. The American Civil war brought "Yank" back into a negative light when the South used it as a negative towards Northerners. More recently, the term "Chicano" was originally a class-based derogatory term that is now used with pride. It is not universally accepted but it is gradually losing its negative connotations.

I know of a number of religious-based terms of derision that have been adopted by the intended targets but, I have forgotten the exact details. It has been a long time since I read about the subject. Anyway, with a little bit of research I could find more examples. As I said earlier the phenomena is not uncommon.


Not to mention the black vernacular usage of the “n-word”. Thanks for the examples. It has indeed become a part of their immediate culture, these groups. It is no wonder they end up politicizing their views under a common banner through which to express their ideologies—they have been taught to identify with them. It is almost ironic that they end up becoming that which they have been told they always were, only to submit to the nomenclature and speech communities of their oppressors, who end up being the ones who created them.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 01:27 AM
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a reply to: Bybyots


Well it's probably better than falling down some dark Tibetan bardo faced with a choice between only nothing or Chöd, which I am pretty sure is where LeMis is in danger of ending up if he keeps on with his ways.


Rivals? No such thing here, friend. We're all stuck in the context of our own boredom. Let's entertain each other.

I believe in many things—my loved ones, my friends, myself. I can have faith in these things in my darkest moments, whereas what do the faithful have? Nothing or Chöde—both are about the same in efficacy.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 03:41 AM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Very well done!! I'm not sure what all the fuss is about either. I thought you expressed the "Atheist Fallacy", so to speak, quite well and without being negative toward any of the "Labels". I fully enjoyed it, as I do most all of your posts I've read here on ATS.

You are gradually becoming one of my favorite writers. Certainly one of my favorite ATS contributors! I always stop to read your topics when I find one. Keep em coming!!




posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 03:57 AM
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It appears that you are taking the stance of a theist (albeit loosely, and not very defined), and from the safety of your non-committal stance you are belittling anything not theist as merely being a subset of your slightly theist agenda.

This all feels quite disingenuous as it clearly puts theism as the "owner" of any and all discussions or rebuttals against the idea of belief... so your opinion is that the terminology defines the stance.

The only way out of the quagmire you have created for non-belief is to define completely new terminology, forsaking all etymology, and starting afresh without any context... which ironically would leave no counter stance/language, until someone could be bothered to define a rebuttal (without context, there is nothing for anyone to relate to).

This is an awfully simplistic approach, wrapped up in some elegant language. It also assumes that theism was first... which is a whole other discussion, as I would postulate that belief only came afterwards, leaving all belief based systems as logical fallacies derived from the idea of non-belief (using your reasoning)... in other words; Which came first? Belief or non-belief?... the "first", in your line of reasoning will have defined the other.

A concept can exist independent of a label.

All your flowery language still leaves the simple question of "Is there god/s or not?"

The answer is "We don't know", and neither side "owns" the other.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 04:51 AM
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LesMis


Thanks for an astute concise OP. Its good to be reminded that labels have no power over us unless we chose to allow them.
I could go on about other memes and how they have gained power beyond imagination. One that comes easily to mind is Psychiatry and the role/power of the doctor to the patient.

I don't subscribe to any "religion", but I have a spiritual side. Since reading your post I think I have felt some baggage lift. I'm not an atheist. Yep...there you go I said it. Why should I be described by the "opposite of what I am not"

Again thanks for a great read


John Lennons "God" lyrics come immediately to mind


God is a Concept by which
we measure our pain
I'll say it again
God is a Concept by which
we measure our pain
I don't believe in magic
I don't believe in I-ching
I don't believe in Bible
I don't believe in Tarot
I don't believe in Hitler
I don't believe in Jesus
I don't believe in Kennedy
I don't believe in Buddha
I don't believe in Mantra
I don't believe in Gita
I don't believe in Yoga
I don't believe in Kings
I don't believe in Elvis
I don't believe in Zimmerman
I don't believe in Beatles
I just believe in me...and that reality

The dream is over
What can I say?
the Dream is Over
Yesterday
I was the Dreamweaver
But now I'm reborn
I was the Walrus
But now I'm John
and so dear friends
you'll just have to carry on
The Dream is over



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 07:40 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
The unbeliever, the pagan, the atheist, the infidel are all church devised and church designated ecclesiastical slander terms used against people who didn’t follow the same doctrines.


That's true. I agree. And.....? What is the problem with that? I don't really care where it came from. It fits.

Other people first approached me and told me that I'm "harsh" in my communications. I now have a word that I can inform others about myself. I don't care that I didn't come up with it myself. I don't care that it came from someone else.



In lieu of your “non-belief” towards other church postulates, why do you not do the same to this one? You seem to embrace it.


There are many ideas that come from religion (or, more accurately, have been hijacked by religion) that I embrace. There are MANY good stories and parables in their books. Religion actually played a large part in my youth and my relationship with my mother, which I treasure. Just because I don't believe in the protagonist of the story, doesn't mean I shouldn't see the movie or that I should throw the baby out with the bath water.

I absolutely get your point. and you are right for YOU. But I choose a different perspective. Just because the idea of atheist came from religion and I don't practice religion, doesn't mean I should turn my back and pretend it doesn't exist or refuse to identify with some aspects of it. I actually find some value in my relationship with religion, even though I don't practice it.

That may be difficult for you to understand, but I don't HATE religion. I have a huge dislike for some of the modern religious practices, but religion itself? It's neutral. It's the PEOPLE that make it something "bad".



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 07:55 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: AfterInfinity


You sound as though being looked down on is something I should be worried about. I'll tell you something, I spent many years thinking that way. Never again. I will never again be told how to feel about myself by someone who isn't me. You don't like how I carry myself? Then keep stepping. I'll stand right here and rock on until you're far enough that you feel comfortable with your own existence again.


I do not know nor care how you carry yourself, and even more, what you worry about is probably the last thing on my mind. Rock on all you wish.

I value your opinion. But I don’t know what it has to do with the topic at hand. The unbeliever, the pagan, the atheist, the infidel are all church devised and church designated ecclesiastical slander terms used against people who didn’t follow the same doctrines. They are false, they are lies, they are myths in a mythical landscape of church propaganda, inquisition and murder.

The idea of the unbeliever is a church idea. In lieu of your “non-belief” towards other church postulates, why do you not do the same to this one? You seem to embrace it.




Because I believe in atheists. More accurately, I can (and do) relate to them. Ignoring atheism because it came from a church is allowing them control over my thoughts. That's the last thing I want. I would much rather be an atheist to their face and laugh because they can't burn me like they did in the old days. It's not like I donate a dollar to the Vatican every time I say the word.

I do understand the point you're making. But the way I look at it is...in calling myself an atheist, I am shooting a terrorist in the leg with the gun he hit me with. Guns do not offend me, mean people with guns offend me. Same with the word 'atheist'.

I hope that was clearer.

edit on 15-7-2014 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 10:40 AM
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What would happen if we switch out the word atheist in the following paragraph with the word citizen?


originally posted by: LesMisanthrope

Sure, you’re a citizen, and you should perhaps be very proud of yourself; but remember that you are only a citizen in reference to the state and to nothing besides. Nowhere outside of the state and political discussion will you find use for your precious label. As a matter of fact, In order to call yourself a citizen, you must in some way hang about society, and refer to yourself from within its shadow. This is, of course, a necessity, because it was the state itself who condemned and slandered human beings with these words, and nowhere outside the state do they have any other purpose. Who would have thought that these human beings would take up the cause and start slandering themselves? In a strange twist of irony, those same people who were condemned for so long started to wear their pejoratives as badges of honour—at least when it was safe enough to do so—as if the politicians and those who seek to impose a social ladder of which and where you seem to remain on the bottom rung, have been right all along.


Does it hold together well?


edit on 708Tuesday000000America/ChicagoJul000000TuesdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 10:50 AM
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It's worth mentioning that the word "atheist" originated with the Greeks, where it means essentially the same thing it does today. Any further connotations are derived from context, which means that the contempt and ridicule you describe is a product of interpretation, rather than direct translation. So my response is, quite simply: there will always be assholes. It's my choice whether or not I pay them heed. There's a quote from Ghandi which describes it quite eloquently: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Another one: "If there is one thing I have learned from video games, it is that running into enemies usually means I'm going in the right direction."

I feel they both apply.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 12:33 PM
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a reply to: mOjOm

I am honoured. Thank you.



posted on Jul, 15 2014 @ 12:36 PM
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a reply to: puzzlesphere


It appears that you are taking the stance of a theist (albeit loosely, and not very defined), and from the safety of your non-committal stance you are belittling anything not theist as merely being a subset of your slightly theist agenda.

This all feels quite disingenuous as it clearly puts theism as the "owner" of any and all discussions or rebuttals against the idea of belief... so your opinion is that the terminology defines the stance.


I avoid all words and doctrines where God and superstition is the root. Theism, atheism, agnosticism, pantheism, deism—all of these are positions regarding the same overused, empty and useless concept. Are there not more important things to consider?

Because I am against one side does not mean I am for the other. I am for and against all of them.


The only way out of the quagmire you have created for non-belief is to define completely new terminology, forsaking all etymology, and starting afresh without any context... which ironically would leave no counter stance/language, until someone could be bothered to define a rebuttal (without context, there is nothing for anyone to relate to).


There is no such thing as “non-belief”. Sorry. The terminology is ridiculous, and the idea of non-anything is a logical abortion and a contradiction. We don’t eat non-apples, we don’t play non-hockey and we don’t practice non-belief. Atheism relies too heavily on theistic concepts i.e. God, the Bible, free will etc. to refute theism. Therein lies the error, and also the humour.


This is an awfully simplistic approach, wrapped up in some elegant language. It also assumes that theism was first... which is a whole other discussion, as I would postulate that belief only came afterwards, leaving all belief based systems as logical fallacies derived from the idea of non-belief (using your reasoning)... in other words; Which came first? Belief or non-belief?... the "first", in your line of reasoning will have defined the other.


Theism was first. How can one be without God if God was never there to be without? It’s like defining the people of the middle ages by saying they were without computers. Sure, it is logically and evidently true, but it’s meaningless. When these terms were used, they were devised under the idea that there was a God there to be without. Take Socrates for instance. If there were no gods to be without, he wouldn’t have been charged with being without gods.

The Buddhists were labelled nastika by the Brahman priests. It wasn’t that buddhists went around calling themselves nastika. It is a pejorative term, used to denounce and slander someone, as to condemn them in the eyes of the populace. This, of course, is all imaginary and untrue.


All your flowery language still leaves the simple question of "Is there god/s or not?"

The answer is "We don't know", and neither side "owns" the other.


Can you paint picture of a colour that doesn’t exist? Then how is it that people are able to picture a deity, and indeed, to paint their images, build their statues and pray to them, if they do not in some way exist?

Let’s look at the properties of a deity—and no, no make-believe properties such as omnipresence, omniscience and the like; such properties are also myths. Gods possess the exact same properties as Orcs, as Tom Sawyer, and Holden Caufield. In that sense, they do exist.



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