Why are Atheists Atheists?

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posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 04:48 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech

mojo4sale, I am not saying that you are anything like the things you stated. I am a former atheist (my six-year period of atheism ended 11 years ago) myself. When I compare my periods of being a believer versus being an atheist I find that when I was a nonbeliever I was headed for self-destruction. Because of my experience with atheism, I sometimes try to, no matter how weakly, to inspire others to have faith. Most of my "soap-box preaching" is done through prayer (I may write a brief story of my life on ATS, but only if I can find the words to inspire others to have faith or to increase their faith). I love and care about all of humanity, including atheists, and I want the best for all.

God Bless!!!


Yes, but you are generalizing with your 3 points you made in your OP. Atheists arent less able to influence things in their lives, nor do they all score only a little above average on "standardized tests", or unable to see beauty, thats just crass generalisations.
I would not make sweeping comments about those who do believe in a higher power because their reasons for believing would be as varied as mine are for not believing.
There are as many different reasons for being an atheist as there are for being a christian, a muslim, hindu, buddhist etc. In fact i hate using the term 'atheist', it suggests that i belong to some kind of secret society plotting the downfall of religion when nothing could be further from the truth. Atheists do not all follow the same path, we are as different from each other in our views and beliefs as you are from all the other religions.

I'll tell you the 3 most important things in my life right now.

1. My children.

2. My family and friends.

3. The joy i get out of living everyday like it may be my last.

I work hard, i provide for my family, i will go without before they do, yet i'm destined for hell according to the church, oh well bring it on!


originally posted by Royal 76Because...

They lack faith, and the courage to believe in something bigger than themselves. It real easy to say I don't believe, its alot harder to have faith.


More rediculous generalising,
i have a great deal of faith, just not in abstract belief systems. I have the courage of my convictions and live my life accordingly, its served me well enough so far. There's plenty i believe in that makes a difference to all those around me, those with and without the belief in a God. Why exactly is it harder to say "i believe" than it is to say "i dont believe", that makes no sense at all. If anything it would be harder to say "i dont believe" because it has one extra word in the sentence!!

Cheers M4S.




posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 04:49 PM
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This thread makes very clear how little "believers" know about the atheist belief system.

According to some here, atheists:

have different thought patterns

have different vocabularies (I speak proper English)
are more concerned with knowledge rather than wisdom
frequently take part in the "selling of the soul syndrome."

mind's eyes are underdeveloped...

are headed for self-destruction.
guage right and wrong by political, social climate, fear and gain
lack faith and courage...

What can I say?



posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 06:34 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul

my goal is to simply do what i can to help out humanity
i don't care if i win a prize or gain recognition of any sort
ideally i'll end up doing something that has some sort of perpetual benefit to the world


I cant agree with you more....

I just came to that conclusion as you did and saw that Christ did the same thing.

Atheist or Not..Help out Humanity

But there are those...example of like Hitler, that thought Genocide was doing mankind a favor.

Just what rules do we use in helping out humanity...

Even if your not religious..I think Christs rules work the best...
Humble..Help..Serve..Truth..Love..Heal..Hope

Either way..I like your comment..

Peace



posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 09:10 PM
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Originally posted by runetang

Allow me to pose a question or 3 to the Atheists reading. I'd like to see their opinions on these questions.

1) What existed before the big bang? (Nothing is not an answer. If you want to say nothing, simply say 'dark matter')

2) What caused the big bang to explode?

3) Where did the molecules within the big bang which exploded outwards in all directions come from? How did they come to be? Did they appear out of thin air? (Not being rhetorical..)

4) How did the laws of physics, such as gravity and motion, come to be? Why does a heavy object pull things toward it in space, ala gravity? Why don't they push things away instead, like two positive magnets? Where did the 'order of the cosmos' come from..

5) Where did the first strand of DNA come from? How did it form spontaineously into existance?

6) What is beyond the universe, which contains every star and solar system in existance? Certainly the universe cannot be never-ending, certainly it must have boundaries, because it is expanding at an ever increasing rate. If the universe is getting larger in other words, moving outward in all directions, what is it contained within? It must have boundaries if it is getting bigger. Something with no boundaries cannot become larger or smaller, because boundaries define size.



O.k. I will give my thoughts and answer these to the best of my abilities.

1. I think that in the fact that in the way that scientists don't know where electrons are at all time (they just know where and when to look to find them) they go "somewhere else" be it a different "plane" or "demention", Even if it is for a fraction of a second it is somewhere else. I propose that in the same way that they disappear they can appear elsewhere, say in a empty vacuum for example. But where the whole thing starts is when two electrons appear in this empty vacuum in the same place it bumps one out remaining in the now un-empty vacuum (I don't think that there is such thing as empty really). If you have an eternity for these random occurrences to happen you have a infinite quantity of them.

2-3.electron mass = 9.10938188 × 10-31 kilograms so if they have mass they have gravity. Now granted they are all negative but still pull towards each other until the opposite charges push them back away, At the point when they are the closest their gravity is pulling harder on outside objects than when they are alone. So they go on recruiting more and more until the mass is so great that it overcomes the opposition of the charge. Then it domino's when they clump together the gravitational pull becomes that of one lump object. This carries on until the mass causes a collapse much like a star turning into a supernova or black hole. Under these tremendous pressures something has to give and the other building blocks "Molecules" are born in the same way stars provided all of our elements or the means by which for man to make new ones, and perhaps the first "bang".

4. The laws came about through man's observations. The laws are composed of evidence that supports them. In the event that there is evidence otherwise the law requires a amendment. I.E. if god comes down out of the sky and talks to the masses, it would be fair to say that it's a law because there is irrefutable evidence that he/she/it does exist. The reason why heavy things pull toward each other is because they have mass. This is a law. If you can provide evidence that it is not, then it would need amendment.(good luck with that one though).

5. The first strand of DNA in all likelihood didn't start as a strand, it started as Adenine, Guanine, Thymine, Cytosine. Molecules given the infinite chances eventually found the right conditions by which to join and create these bases, by way of natural attractions in the right environment. And the same way these got together and formed the first chain of DNA. Once established it is given even more chances to accumulate more and more molecules, making longer strands resulting in ever evolving longer chains. I.E. longer strands for more advanced organisms.

6. "Certainly the universe cannot be never-ending", by never ending you don't mean an infinity do you? Coming from someone who can believe that their afterlife can be a eternity in heaven or hell, I would think this could be seen plausible to say the least. I don't know that it is expanding, moving it is but I think cycling would be a better word. In the same way that Galaxies
devour each other with the bigger one "winning out" over the one with less mass and collecting the mass of the smaller. Eventually the thing grows until it acquires so much mass that the force of gravity results in supernova and/or a black hole. Both do a good job of redistributing matter over a vast expanse.

Those are my answers and you are not obligated to accept them. But I think it's fair to say that the probability of the answers I provided being true, have a greater than or equal probability of all of this coming about in seven days from the magic wand of a deity that can neither be studied nor observed.



posted on Feb, 20 2007 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by mojo4sale
In fact i hate using the term 'atheist', it suggests that i belong to some kind of secret society plotting the downfall of religion when nothing could be further from the truth. Atheists do not all follow the same path, we are as different from each other in our views and beliefs as you are from all the other religions.

That's right, you tell em.

So I'll see you at the meeting on Saturday, you bring the blood of a baptised child, and I'll bring those "reports" you asked for.

See, I'm joking. El-oh-el-ing.
There are no meetings, no membership cards, and we certainly haven't secretly usurped positions of power to enact a global overthrow or anything.
Gimmie those ribs, you



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 01:21 AM
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This thread was not intended to be overly-critical of atheists. I was an atheist for six years (11-17 years ago) myself. The thread was intended to bring people closer to God. When I was an atheist, I ended up in the ICU of a hospital for two days and was near Soul death. Seven months later, the all-powerful and all-loving God penetrated my Soul and I have been an incontrovertible believer since. When I was an atheist I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago and I was arrogant and self-absorbed and wanted to conquer the world. I would give the smallest and most fleeting care for the diseased and less fortunate in the world. Now, as a believer, I dedicate my life towards those who have heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, schizophrenia, bipolar, major depression, anxiety, and those that experience hunger, homelessness, or medical-carelessness. Believe me, God is the only way to go. Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me, Believe me...

Love and care for all and this requires faith as God is in the lowest of the low.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 01:28 AM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
When I was an atheist I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago and I was arrogant and self-absorbed and wanted to conquer the world. I would give the smallest and most fleeting care for the diseased and less fortunate in the world.


Because you were arrogant and self absorbed (your words) doesnt make the rest of us the same. I have no opportunity to be either, my kids make sure of that.
Even before i had a family i have done volunteer work in nursing homes and drug rehab shelters, being an Atheist (i hate that word) does not discount a person from doing good works, what is your point.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 12:46 PM
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note to self, give mojo a way above next month

mojo, you hit on an interesting point
i remember my days of theism, i used to do some volunteer work at a women's shelter
i'd do it sporadically
but why was i doing it?
for a reward when i die

now i actually do more volunteer work
sadly i can only find religious organizations to do it with because of the nature of current federal funding regarding notforprofits
why am i doing it now?
because it's the right thing to do



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 05:01 PM
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They don't believe in GOD...

They are way to rapped up in themselves to believe in the possibility of a higher power...higher than themselves.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by Royal76
They don't believe in GOD...

They are way to rapped up in themselves to believe in the possibility of a higher power...higher than themselves.


Sorry mate, dont mean to be rude, but what a crock. How does not believing in some abstract, invisible, all seeing, all knowing deity make someone self absorbed. Instead of some cocky, arrogant comment how about explaining how you reached this conclusion.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
This thread makes very clear how little "believers" know about the atheist belief system.

According to some here, atheists:

have different thought patterns

have different vocabularies (I speak proper English)
are more concerned with knowledge rather than wisdom
frequently take part in the "selling of the soul syndrome."

mind's eyes are underdeveloped...

are headed for self-destruction.
guage right and wrong by political, social climate, fear and gain
lack faith and courage...

What can I say?


You know, I agree with you, if I were an Atheist, I'd get offended by people trying to imply that I am immoral and such. It would be very annoying.

Equally annoying though, are the stereotypes placed against christians and christianity, which is such a joke because there are so many sects and versions of christianity, so many churches with differing practices and beliefs, that you simply cannot lump them all under the word christian. When people do, it demonstrates their lack of knowledge in the religious area.

And you know all christians get lumped into the Evangelical Theist Catholic School Upbringing category so easily during these types of discussions and debates.

But I also see an equal amount of believers being critical of people they dont know simply because they are atheists. I think this is because they feel like they are attacked when they are criticized and lumped into the same category as extremists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, so they lash back out and use the moral trump card on you.

I prefer to just try to explain and depart some knowledge or understanding into someone reading, so that people can co-exist and respect each other. I have plenty of atheist friends, and you know what? I dont discuss religion with them! and i dont think theyre damned, how do i know whats in store for them? I'm not God therefore I will not judge.



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:45 PM
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Originally posted by shizzle5150

6. "Certainly the universe cannot be never-ending", by never ending you don't mean an infinity do you? Coming from someone who can believe that their afterlife can be a eternity in heaven or hell, I would think this could be seen plausible to say the least. I don't know that it is expanding, moving it is but I think cycling would be a better word.


I don't believe that heaven or hell are never-ending, and i refer to it all collectively as afterlife and not heaven and hell, nor do i necessarily think a "somewhere", be it a different dimension much like you proposed that those electrons go to at the start of your reply, exists that fits the description of heaven and hell to a T.

I simply think that 'afterlife' is not bound by the same physics or 'laws' as the dimension or universe that we currently live in. The main measurement that I think goes out of the window entirely is time. There is no time, in my opinion, in the 'afterlife', rather it is a place outside of time, kind-of like some scenes of the 'matrix' series of movies, if you've seen them. Just a place not bound by time where an entity could, if they had the ability to do so, see any event in the past present or future (referring to you and me) as if it were all on a re-recordable DVD that they can burn copies of. I think I'm getting ahead of myself. Just know that theres no time measurement in 'afterlife'.

This physical universe which our galaxy and planet reside within, floating in seemingly perfect harmonous fashion, not drifting aimlessly but orbiting, everything, as if something intelligent took the time to set parameters for the universe before these massive planets, stars and galaxies came to be in their present locations, cannot be never-ending.

Meaning no parameters beyond the last portion, not just endless blackness with nothing anywhere for infinity, with a giant expanding cluster of stars racing behind it to fill up all the emptyness of infinity (this would be the view if something went beyond the universe, travelling faster than the speed of light, and looked back to see the results of the 'big-bang' expanding). It would need to be that way for human being's current understanding of the big bang to be true in its current form, and i dont think it is that way. I dont think there can be endless physical space in all directions.

endless as in if you travel in that direction a MILLION times faster than the speed of light, you'd still NEVER hit ANYTHING.. whatsoever, for infinity.

it could be if the creator willed it I suppose, but that would be rather pointless. so there must be "walls" that one would bump into theoreticly if they could travel faster than light and travelled infinitely in one direction. these limits, in my opinion, are evidence of a helluva lot more than we can understand. When people jokingly say that it seems like reality is one big science experiment under controlled conditions, they aren't far off the mark, IMO.

The difference is, an Atheist thinks everything just appeared here, that the very beginning spontaineously happened to itself to create stuffs to expand and all that. I dont buy it. You dont get everything from NOTHING regardless of how much physics and science and equations you throw it through. Matter requires prerequisites, and it keeps going backward meaning those pre-reqs have pre-reqs and so on to a starting point. I happen to think something vastly more intelligent than human beings with vastly more ability said let it be and dropped the 1st droplet into the bucket soto speak to cause the spark of the big bang. I dont think it just "happened", and I dont see how others can think that TBH.

[edit on 2/24/2007 by runetang]



posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by runetang

Equally annoying though, are the stereotypes placed against christians and christianity, which is such a joke because there are so many sects and versions of christianity, so many churches with differing practices and beliefs, that you simply cannot lump them all under the word christian. When people do, it demonstrates their lack of knowledge in the religious area.

And you know all christians get lumped into the Evangelical Theist Catholic School Upbringing category so easily during these types of discussions and debates.

But I also see an equal amount of believers being critical of people they dont know simply because they are atheists. I think this is because they feel like they are attacked when they are criticized and lumped into the same category as extremists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, so they lash back out and use the moral trump card on you.

I prefer to just try to explain and depart some knowledge or understanding into someone reading, so that people can co-exist and respect each other. I have plenty of atheist friends, and you know what? I dont discuss religion with them! and i dont think theyre damned, how do i know whats in store for them? I'm not God therefore I will not judge.


Probably the most sensible post in this whole thread.


As i said in an earlier post, crass generalisations from either side do not engender any sort of discussion just counter accusations. Nothing is achieved.

My only comment would be is that Atheism is not a religion, therefore you cannot derive any common thoughts or views of what makes an Atheist except for the fact that it is a person who does not believe in a Deity/s.
Whereas a religious person will have more in common with others who believe in a Deity other than the fact that they believe in a Deity.

Hope that makes sense, my brain is mush today, too many snakebites last night.



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by mojo4sale
My only comment would be is that Atheism is not a religion


By the numbers...according to Dictionary.com....

Religion: 6. Something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

3. The body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

It appears that any belief system is a religion..now doesnt it? Welcome Atheists to the religion of those who dont believe in a God.

From the Ages of Ages is the Eternal Thought, and the Thought is the Word, and the Word is the Act, and these Three are one in the Eternal Law, and the Law is with God and the Law proceeds from God.

It is my hope, that mankind achieve Peace and Harmony. Not merely internationally, but both in his community and family, and in the multitude of beliefs.


Peace


[edit on 25-2-2007 by HIFIGUY]

[edit on 25-2-2007 by HIFIGUY]



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by HIFIGUY

Religion: 6. Something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

3. The body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.

It appears that any belief system is a religion..now doesnt it? Welcome Atheists to the religion of those who dont believe in a God.


[edit on 25-2-2007 by HIFIGUY]
Havent you figured it out yet ???? Atheists dont believe that any god exists ........ Thats all... an athesit can believe in ghosts, vampires, werewolves, goblins, orcs, elves, need I go on? - We just dont think god(s) in any shape(s) or form(s) are existing NOW or have done so in the PAST or are likely to do so in the FUTURE!!! Thats it !!!!! our whole common link together. We dont have the multiple links of a religion, we have the one link. WE'RE ATHEISTS!!!!!!
Just dont expect a church of atheism to appear any time soon





G



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 08:10 PM
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Any Belief system is a religion.

Your of the Atheist Faith.

You belief there is no God or Deity and are willing to stand on it for a couple pages of thread..but either way.. its still a religion according to definition...

Read your Dictionary..

Learn the meaning of words..

If your trying to support not belief..then no belief is a support of an ideal.

I dont know how much clearer that can get..lol

Peace

[edit on 25-2-2007 by HIFIGUY]



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by HIFIGUY
Any Belief system is a religion.


communism, capitalism, and nazism are now religions?
i'm going to have to write that down



Your of the Atheist Faith.


there isn't any faith involved with it
saying something exists because there is a lack of evidence for it isn't a faith issue, it's an issue of something not having faith




You belief there is no God or Deity and are willing to stand on it for a couple pages of thread..but either way.. its still a religion according to definition...

Read your Dictionary..


hmm, i just did read a dicitonary
from what i read atheism isn't a religion
it is according to PART of the definition
you selectively chose parts

from merriam webster

1 a : the state of a religious b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices


the first and second definitions of religion in MW
i don't see anything religious about atheism



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by GreatTech
List one or more reasons. I will list three:

1) Atheists have different thought patterns: rarely does God enter their mind for the cause and effect of any event.

2) Atheists have different vocabularies: frequently they score a little above average on "standardized tests" but these tests frequently have little to do with Sacred, Spiritual, and religious texts. They are more concerned with knowledge rather than wisdom. They frequently take part in the "selling of the soul syndrome."

3) Atheists' mind's eyes are underdeveloped: they frequently cannot associate the Creation of something as magnificent as the Universe to anything but a human or an atom of hydrogen.

Personally, I believe in God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When God approaches you, it is filled with love and power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You are very correct, rarely does god enter my mind, I look at people as people. I love the fact that you can practice religion and would go nuts if America set a prescience otherwise. In the same token practice it in your hall of worship and keep it out of my life, same goes for any religious denomination.

I feel I know equally enough about the bible to carry on a discussion about it. I was once a Christian and felt there was not enough substance to carry on life in that manor. Just because people are atheists does not make them blind to the bible. I frequently hear people on this forum state " if I could take your blinders off and show you the greatness of the lord I would give any thing". In the same token belief in a god can be a very large set of blinders in itself.

A fine example is a moderator stating that "YOU don't factor in here." I thought that was the biggest pair of blinders I have ever seen. I know the fellow had a near death experience and I am glad that he is doing well as I do not wish poorly upon anyone but I feel that was a shrewd thing to say. I strongly doubt the particular person was not educated and did not know enough about the bible to carry on a conversation about it. I think the statement was a trump card stating that no matter what he said didn't matter because his thoughts didn't make a difference one way or the other. I personally take anyones word thoughtfully and love to hear what other people have to say.

I also thought the person tried to apologize in a fair manor but the religious person would not accept, rather accusing him of changing his stance, maybe he felt that it was better to be seen as wrong than to fight a dead end argument. All I am saying is we all have to live with each other and to say that someone does not matter (regardless of their beliefs) is playing a poor card.

Please believe anything you see fit but don't look down on people who feel otherwise. I am well aware that your religion states to go forth and teach others the word but, it is the other persons right to argue what you are saying about what you believe. I thought it was a poor statement on the part of the moderator to say what he did.

Take any religion you see fit to heart but keep it amongst yourself. If your religion "gives you the right" to press it upon another then it is no better than the one that bothers you. To make the presumption that atheist lack morals is the equivalent of saying "Vietnamese people are bad because they fought against us." There are all kinds my friend.



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul



hmm, i just did read a dicitonary
from what i read atheism isn't a religion
it is according to PART of the definition
you selectively chose parts

i don't see anything religious about atheism


Is not one grain of sand part of the sandy beach? Is not one player part of a team? Therefore even a single line of definition can encompass a an accepted definition. And since each line is listed as an OR statement or an AND statement, none of them can really be excluded.

To Be religious...Merriam online and Dictionary.com.

3 a : scrupulously and conscientiously faithful

One can be religious about diet or being clean. Paying ones bills.


[Quote from Austin Cline....( About.com )

What is Religion? The Problem of Defining Religion:
Academic literature is filled with attempts to describe what religion is and many of those attempts are very unhelpful. Definitions of religion tend to suffer from one of two problems: they are either too narrow and exclude many of the belief systems which most people will agree are religious, or they are too vague and ambiguous, leading one to conclude that just about any and everything is actually a religion


atheism.about.com...

Redefined...1. (scrupulously) having scruples; having or showing a strict regard for what one considers right; principled. and 1.( conscientiously )controlled by or done according to conscience; scrupulous: ( Faithful ) 1.strict or thorough in the performance of duty: a faithful worker.
2.true to one's word, promises

So..yes..Religious is adopting a way of thinking..even if it does not believe in god. Your are Faithful to your non belief in God or a Deity.

Atheism is a religion or ideal of not believing in God.

I believe in White..you believe in Black.

The religion is in belief. Now do you see? While the defintion of Religion can encompass belief in God..it can encompass a belief in no God too.

Hence we get a Conviction:

1.a fixed or firm belief.
2.the act of convicting.
3.the state of being convicted.
4.the act of convincing.
5.the state of being convinced.

Embracing a Scruple or Regard controlled by ones Conscience and ones willingness to support it. You obtain a conviction...

I merely dont agree with your religion ( Atheism )

Trust in God

Peace


[edit on 25-2-2007 by HIFIGUY]



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 10:08 PM
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Two questions for each atheist:

1) Do you believe in Eternal Life?

2) If you do believe in Eternal Life, is it a "random accident" like the creation of this Universe?

Personally, I believe in Eternal Life and that each of the largest of galaxies and the smallest of subatomic particles is perfectly controlled by a Power, God, Infinitely Mightier than all humans in history.





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