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Atheists in America

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posted on Feb, 9 2007 @ 05:08 PM
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Originally posted by Essedarius
Let me ask a sincere question Landis (…and to any Atheist who has an opinion)…do you choose to be a slave to what would typically be considered “moral” decisions such as “I won’t steal from somebody”, “I won’t lie”, “I won’t treat people poorly”? If so, why?


I weigh most difficult moral decisions based on circumstance. I'm not a true relativist, I have my own 'objective' morals, but I could well break them if I feel the circumstance justified it.

I'm not a slave to them, I just decide to do the best I can for those around me. Simple golden rule type behaviour.


That is to say, what is the origin of your “moral necessities” in your opinion?


Neural process, social cognition, empathy, social learning. Generally evolutionary adaptive behaviour.




posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 06:21 AM
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So, it is also illegal at ATS to speak the truth about one's own thoughts and feelings.


I didnt say it was illegal to speak the truth about ones own thoughts and feelings. Where does this come from. Insecurity??


There is no sophistry involved in my attitudes about myself. I am a responsible human being. I don't view that as a burden. I view it as a necessary part of the human experience.


I did not say that responsibility was not a necessary part of the human experience...though I do know some people who have managed to avoid this for most of their lives.


Edit: I forgot to address the statement about why I find my atheism liberating. I am a slave only to what I choose to be a slave to. No gods direct my choices. That is a freedom no theist has.


Now this is sophism...self promotion. Well done. This is something to boast about???

THanks for your post.
Orangetom



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 06:37 AM
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When I moved out of my parent’s home, accepting a level of responsibility that I didn’t necessarily need to take on, I found it to be quite liberating. I disagree with your logic almost as much as I disagree with your condescending tone. (Did I hear a shot at public schools in there…?)


Public Education=television/movie education

I did not find moving out of my parents home liberating. I found it to be alot of work and risk.

What I found satisfying was the realization in process of time that I could do this without being breastfed. To Stand so to speak. Still...it is alot of work...responsibility to keep and maintain this.
There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that one can master a task to thier benifit...or in some the benefit of their familys.



With all due respect, orangetom, we’re not sure we want your endorsement.


I'll get over it!! No problem.

You made some good level headed points in your previous posts. I can respect this in anyone. Not emotional self promotion coming across sometimes as boasting which seems to be a fingerprint of many on this topic.

Thanks for your posts,
Orangetom



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 07:02 AM
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Originally posted by Essedarius...do you choose to be a slave to what would typically be considered “moral” decisions such as “I won’t steal from somebody”, “I won’t lie”, “I won’t treat people poorly”? If so, why? That is to say, what is the origin of your “moral necessities” in your opinion?...

I don't consider moral decisions to be a form of slavery. They limit my lifestyle, yes, because I don't have the right to take what other people work for. Telling the truth and treating other people like human beings is a moral choice, but I do so because it feels right, not because an institution or a book tells me what is right or wrong.

The types of slavery I speak of are believing in a higher being or creator and worrying at every turn whether this or that behavior will earn me a ticket to The Eternal Bonfire. Worrying about going to hell really consumes a lot of people I know. This is a type of freedom some posters in this thread clearly don't understand.

In reference to the second item, I won't deny that the roots of my behavior were my staunch Catholic upbringing. That same upbringing made me the atheist that I am today.

Still, as I posted in either this thread or another one on the same subject, people behaved morally before religion became the rage. They didn't have a book or an institution to guide their morality, yet they remained faithful to their partners, told the truth, didn't steal, and didn't murder their neighbors.

How did they know what was right and wrong before the establishment arrived on the scene? I suppose you could say their higher power endowed them with the knowledge, but that is matter of faith.

We should agree to disagree if necessary. I do, however, thank you for your civility. It is appreciated.



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 07:04 AM
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Edit: Never mind. It wasn't worth it.

[edit on 2/10/2007 by Landis]



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 08:07 AM
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Originally posted by orangetom1999

Edit: I forgot to address the statement about why I find my atheism liberating. I am a slave only to what I choose to be a slave to. No gods direct my choices. That is a freedom no theist has.


Now this is sophism...self promotion. Well done. This is something to boast about???


I believe he was trying to bring you to the other side with the "Look how green the grass is over here, come join me!"

Stop thinking that Atheists think they're better than you. Most of them don't give two sh!ts about your or anyone else's religion. They just don't want to be victim's of double standards. Example, some nut can preach on a stool at a street corner that everyone is going to hell. But if an Atheist tried to do that (obviously arguing the other way around), he would probably be attacked by christians (more-so verbally, but perhaps physically).

People always come up to me, asking me if I've accepted Jesus, and yadda yadda yadda. Should I go around asking people why they don't believe in a flying Spaghetti Monster, and scream their eternal damnation if they do not believe?

As an ex-(extremely devout) Christian, I can say what perhaps some people here cannot. Since sunday school, kids are taught that Christians are the minority, and that need to be on guard to protect themselves... not just from Atheists, but ALL OTHER Theists. It might have been just my church, but I'm pretty sure that message is spread like wildfire.

Fortunately, I read the Bible for myself, and started thinking philosophically. Hence, the now Atheist out look. And for those that think that changing beliefs would be so hard to do, in a short time... try read the bible as though you have never heard about it, or read it before. The inconsistencies are astounding.

It'll change your life.

[edit on 2/10/2007 by Arcane Demesne]



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by Arcane Demesne...I believe he was trying to bring you to the other side with the "Look how green the grass is over here, come join me!"...

I'm not looking to convert anybody. I've never been interested in converting people to atheism. I don't care about what's written on US currency or that a god is mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance. In this thread, I've simply expressed my personal views.

I would appreciate a less "in your face" experience with the theist population though. They are far more judgmental and vitriolic towards my atheism than I have ever been towards their theism.



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 05:28 PM
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I believe he was trying to bring you to the other side with the "Look how green the grass is over here, come join me!"


I am not trying to bring anyone to the other side. This too is sophism. No thanks.

The facts which I know are that I cannot convert anyone. Nor save anyone. Not my job. Sorry.
The facts I know are also that I deserve hell and damnation so I dont worry about going there since I rightly do not deserve better.
Getting saved is entirely not up to me so why burden myself daily with the idea of losing salvation since It is not up to me and I dont deserve it.

To spend such an inordinate amount of time and resources worrying about being saved..putting ones money in the box...doing works to get saved is Paganism..and has its roots in the Pagan traditions...I'm not intrested in this dogma.

I certainly dont think Athiests are better than me..since I know I deserve hell and damnation. It is not a issue..sophism is however..and is often marked by logic and reason. You might want to find out the origins of Sophism. Logic and reason..and philosophys. Historically I mean.

As to the guy on the stool on the street corner and other dramas..no thanks. Im not into drama queens or techniques.

I should probably tell you ..that I actually have more problems with the multitude of variations under which travels much of Christianity than Athiest philosophy..but it is intresting for its pattern.
AThiesm just trys to look different and more individual than much of what passes for Christianity today.

I dont think it occurs to many of you that much of what passes for Christianity today is in fact carefully disguised Paganism. Even many of the Christians are do dumb they dont get it. Dont worry ..it is very easy for many of you to confuse alot of the Christians today. They are what I call "Rice Christians."

Many of you are debating a placebo here when you beat the bushs about double standards.

I am not about to attack physically a athiest or anyone else. That is just plain dumb and uncivil. I am also not about to ask anyone if they have "accepted Jesus." LOL LOL LOL. A proper Christain can tell if one has the Lord living in them in short order..they can also tell too..if one has another god living in them. For all that matter ..so too can Pagans tell without speaking if someone is of the Pagan fingerprint. It is unavoidable to the perceptive.

As a person steeped in logic and reason ..not drama...you should already know this.

I read the bible for myself too..and there is a Christian Philosophy out here. Unfortunately much of the Christian perspective of the Lord and the time of the Apostles has been seduced by the body politic and cheap merchandizing. Which is why I often say that Christians are not even aware of the Paganism which has creeped into thier Faith. Ironically much of this change through divinity schools and universitys/bible colleges.
This is where you run into that "double standard" of which you speak. It is there. No doubt.

Thanks,
Orangetom



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 05:42 PM
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I would appreciate a less "in your face" experience with the theist population though. They are far more judgmental and vitriolic towards my atheism than I have ever been towards their theism.


Landis,

Athiest... A-without Theos-God..

Without God...Athiest.

This is thiest too. Think about it. Public Education??

In like manner with sophism...logic and reason...people make judgements every day..all day. Why is it so sensitive on this topic??

THe fact that you find it judgemental and vitriolic is your baggage..and burden. I do not find it so. I dont believe in "victimization" techniques so popular today.

It gives trace or hint to the concept that some can dish it out but cannot take it. Nor can they tolerate themselves the concept that others do not think or value as do they. This is not "broadminded/tolerant" as required by the philosophys/logic and reason of this world.

Thanks for your post,
Orangetom



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 06:21 PM
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alright
i thought this was simple
i found a horribly anti-atheist spot from CNN
then posted a thread on it
wanting a general discussion of the segment and the releated subject matter
and here i get nothing of the sort

let's go back to basics
what did everyone think of the CNN segment?

oh, and an update
CNN had Richard Dawkins come pay them a visit on Thursday
if anyone can find a link to the segment, i'd be very happy if they posted it
if not, i'll just find it on my own



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by Arcane Demesne

As an ex-(extremely devout) Christian, I can say what perhaps some people here cannot. Since sunday school, kids are taught that Christians are the minority, and that need to be on guard to protect themselves... not just from Atheists, but ALL OTHER Theists. It might have been just my church, but I'm pretty sure that message is spread like wildfire.


I can assure you that your church was not an exception to the rule. I remember many things from my Sunday school that looking back trouble me a great deal. I remember in particular before Halloween the preacher promoting a Christian friendly Halloween party and encouraged everyone not to go out with any of the other children because, they were "satins children"


On another occasion I remember him talking about taking his sons new super mario brothers game and burning it because somewhere in the manual it said king koopa used black magic so it was of the devil.
I'm sure the developers in japan with a population that is 84%Buddhist was trying to slide one in on the Christians.

I remember that we sang "I'm in the lords army" everyday. Now I can here some people state, big deal it's just a kids church song. I say if there is a army there must be a enemy.

I also agree that there is a major effort to drill into every childs head to bring friends to church, they even gave out toys to kids who brought other new kids to church, granted they were the cheap Bag-o-china yoyos and the like but a reward system none the less. Sunday school bothers me more than anything, for the simple fact that they are taking kids open to the power of suggestion and trying to mold them before they have knowledge under their belt. If a kid reaches the age of 18 and desides hey, I like this religion thats fine by me but 6-10 year olds haven't learned enough to form their own opinion, none the less know the benefits/repercussions of their decision. How would you feel if your son or daughter said I'm going to go to sunday school with billy to learn about worshiping cows, and can we stop having beef for dinner? Same idea, different religion and I doubt many parents would be too hot on the idea.

I also have heard Christians talk about starving people in India, and point out (not necessarily in a bad way) "well you know they worship cows
". As if to say well, if they would just give up their religious convictions they could eat steak every night for dinner. I might agree with this but in the same token I have no beliefs there for I am not the pot calling the kettle black. They have every right to believe what they wish though, and I would say the mathematic probability that when we die we will be judged by holstien cattle, is equal to the probability that there is a entity somewhere unseen that watches all we do, listens to everyone that prays to him. If so it is quite the multi tasker.

I can say that down in buckhead (in atlanta near where I live) every day there is a mass congregation every sunday. And all the patrons "comandere" any parking spot they see fit. I am happy to say that alot of the neighborhood had signs made that say NO CHURCH PARKING!!!!!!, I guess the tow truck driver that hauls any off is going to hell unless he sees the error in his ways and repents.


By all means people can believe in anything they want but but when their beliefs infringe upon other people beliefs or lack there of, it is a problem. If you think I'm going to hell, thats cool but when you start yelling I'm going to hell UNCOOL! Atheists just want to live a decent life without having other people beliefs infringe upon the way they live it. Without being looked down upon because others religious beliefs draw them out to be a bad person before any idea of what kind of person they are can be established through common means. I feel it's safe to say the lack of convictions makes for less problems than a presence of them.

[edit on 10-2-

[edit on 10-2-2007 by shizzle5150]



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
oh, and an update
CNN had Richard Dawkins come pay them a visit on Thursday
if anyone can find a link to the segment, i'd be very happy if they posted it
if not, i'll just find it on my own


CNN postponed it in an effort to solve the Anna Nicole Smith death that day.

It will now be shown on monday (unless another z-list celeb dies I guess).



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 08:19 PM
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I think that Athiests are hardly noticed in America. I think CNN is just using that topic to get controversy and ratings.

I didnt see the article/program on CNN as I hardly watch CNN anymore.
I doubt that I would have watched it anyway even if it was on any other channel.

As to the Anna Nichole buisness..I hardly think it newsworthy. WE all had a good laugh last week with the Woman Astronaut drama going on in the news only to have it eclipsed by the Anna Nichole drama of such monumental importance in our daily lives. Some of us are calling all this drama recently "Shock and Awe." It is the very best our media can do lately.

Well I think the Woman Astronaut was not that important either nor newsworthy. But it does get ratings to put people on the string.
I fully expect to be bombarded by the pulp magazines at the check out stands for about a year on both topic lines to verify this...long after the major media have sifted it for every bit of drama they can get.

By the way Shizzle..I dont bother with Halloween, Nor Easter, Nor Christmas, Nor birthdays. I gave them all up when I realized what a bunch of cheap merchandizing they have made of our lives for lucre. There are other reasons but somewhere I decided to step off this treadmill and I am glad I did.
It simplifys alot of things in my life.
Thanks for reminding me.

Orangetom



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 09:26 PM
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Sorry madness, I do get sidetracked like everyone else, In reference to Dawkins on CNN, what are everyones takes an not having a Christian on with Dawkins ? I guess it could be because

A. CNN didn't want it that way.

B. The Christians didn't want it that way.

C. Dawkins didn't want it that way

I strongly doubt it was C. as dawkins usually jumps at the chance to have a civilized debate but in the same token maybe dawkins knew fully well that there wouldn't be a grain of civilized in it when the other party takes the stance that you shouldn't even be able to spew the "trash". For someone who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, he has some pretty good "trash".

I think A. most likely, Seems to me evangelical Christians (not all but certainly quite a few) use the Oriely/limbaugh tactic of being loud and interruptive when the opposing side makes a valid point that they don't want to hear, none the less think about how it impacts their side of the argument.

I also ask Christians here if they support the notion that atheists arguments are "trash" and we should not be allowed to present our side of the argument?

I would like to point out that in Massachusetts being atheist is illegal source possibly Maryland but there is some grey area there sorce

granted However, the US Supreme Court in Joseph Burstyn, Inc v Wilson 1952 held that the New York State blasphemy law was an unconstitutional prior restraint on freedom of speech. The court stated that "It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches or motion pictures."

That still does not stop a over the top religions cop from arresting you leaving the only recourse of the legal system.

Is it fair to say that these laws should be removed... or would that fall into the trash section?


[edit on 10-2-2007 by shizzle5150]



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 09:33 PM
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Originally posted by shizzle5150
Is it fair to say that these laws should be removed... or would that fall into the trash section?



well, i see it as perfectly fair
what if i end up moving to one of these states and want to serve it by holding public office?
i have my citizenship, i spent most of my life in the USA, and i'd call myself an American

also, the ESPN analyst (yeah, nice experts CNN) said something that essentially compared atheists voicing their opinions to "all those other groups that need to shut up" which i thought about
is he comparing us to hate groups like the klan?
or is he saying we're not that bad of "trash"?



posted on Feb, 10 2007 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
also, the ESPN analyst (yeah, nice experts CNN) said something that essentially compared atheists voicing their opinions to "all those other groups that need to shut up" which i thought about
is he comparing us to hate groups like the klan?
or is he saying we're not that bad of "trash"?


"all those other groups that need to shut up" is a horrible thing to say, I don't care if it's the KKK. Not that I condone them, but to say any group needs to shut up creates a precedence of shutting up things that the government doesn't like. I think ALL groups have a right to be heard even if they are as bad as the KKK. That's the constitution and violating it on anyones account is unacceptable.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 02:21 AM
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I'm an Athiest for the record, then again, I live in Australia where about 90% of the population are also Athiest.



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 02:23 AM
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I dont necessarily condone the traditional view of the KKK types either. Little use for it but I would like to hear what people like David Duke have to say whether I agree with it or not. If I dont like it or want to listen I leave or use the remote controller. It is just that simple.

Ive been giving some thought to your post above concerning the law still on the books in Massachusetts. An Intresting law of which I did not know was still on the books. Thanks for this info. I am thinking that Massachusetts is predominantly a RCC state is it not? I could be incorrect about this but I believe the RCC has a great hold on this as well as other states.

I bring up this view in context of a book I purchased at a yard sale some years ago titled " Seperation of Church and State in Virginia." This book was written some time around 1890 or so but was a very intresting read for some of the little known data concerning what the various colonies were up to before the forming of the actual United States and after the Nationhood. It appears that there were states in which churchs ,as they did in Europe, tried to make themselves the official church by state decree. The Episcopalians in some states the RCC in others. Most of the colonies and states were savy enough not to go along with this but nonetheless the churchs tried it.

The state has no buisness regulating peoples beliefs or non beliefs. It is a personal matter. I suspect that those laws you quoted go back some ways in time and are not very enforcable.

I have been told that in Europe there is or was a tax collected in some nations for the state church or for certain churchs. I think this is reprehensible. Irresponsible of the state...the church too.

The government has no buisness collecting taxes for the church nor granting subsidies/price supports by tax deduction for giving or tithing to the church. My opinion is that the government has no buisness working with the churchs in this manner. Nor the churchs with the government.
Such collaboration on both parts is not seperation of church and state. Theyh are in bed together on this. This to me is one of those double standards of which some of you athiests so loudly decry. Ironically this one is being done by both the governments and the churchs.

I will go so far as to declare that a preacher/minister has no buisness handlng marriage licenses for the state. This makes the preacher/minister a licensing agent for the state..again not seperation. Double standard while claiming seperation.

I wonder why they do not teach about this type of double standard of the church and state in public schools. It should be taught for what it is.

Thanks for the info on the Massachusetts law.

Orangetom



posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 02:45 AM
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Originally posted by orangetom1999



I will go so far as to declare that a preacher/minister has no buisness handlng marriage licenses for the state. This makes the preacher/minister a licensing agent for the state..again not seperation. Double standard while claiming seperation.


Go so far? I think being reasonable sounds better for me, that is a job for clerks, not clergy!



The state has no buisness regulating peoples beliefs or non beliefs. It is a personal matter. I suspect that those laws you quoted go back some ways in time and are not very enforcable.


I agree %100 but if a law is on the books it can be technically enforced, even if it won't hold up in court, it's still a potential device to cause trouble in an atheist's life and should be nixed





I wonder why they do not teach about this type of double standard of the church and state in public schools. It should be taught for what it is.


There are alot of other fields that leave something to be desired, I think peoples rights are not given %10 of the value and weight they should have in education.

I'd love to read Seperation of Church and State in Virginia, sounds like you found a real gem at that yard sale. I get lucky every once in a while but have had a dry spell lately.





posted on Feb, 11 2007 @ 03:10 AM
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As for the RCC question, I think this provides a pretty good answer link




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