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Atheist Chat

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posted on Aug, 2 2007 @ 04:07 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
I'll shut up now.


Please dont.

I havent posted alot in this thread lately but i have been following it and your input has been extremely enlightening. Great stuff.




posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 07:29 AM
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i thought i'd share one of my favorite quotes relative to this thread, it puts a smile on my face every time i read it.

Sam Harris
"We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification. When their beliefs are extremely common we call them 'religious'; others, they are likely to be called 'mad', 'psychotic' or 'delusional'... Clearly there is sanity in numbers. And yet, it is merely an accident of history that the Creator of the universe can hear your thoughts, while it is demonstrating of mental illness to believe he is communication with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window. And so, while religious people are not generally mad, their core beliefs absolutely are."



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 08:33 PM
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Excellent quote, Cheeser.

I'm in a foxhole right now, beleaguered on all sides by a family court that does not dispense justice nor does it protect the children it's supposedly there to protect, a narcissistic ex who can act like peaches & cream when it counts, but is an amoral, twisted, cruel man, and his bi-polar, living in a fantasy world girlfriend that acts as his lawyer and has been stalking me online for two years.

If I'm not praying now, I'm not ever going to.

BTW, I'm not praying.

Just wanted to check in, say I'm still about, and I have one more week of horridness before I hope for a brief hiatus so I can keep this thread alive.

Keep talking, people, this thread is so interesting!

Be back soon ... I hope.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 10:12 AM
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MMF, we'll keep this thread going

here are some nice quotes i've found

"I don't want to believe, I want to know".
- Carl Sagan

"Faith: Not wanting to know what is true."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.�?
- Richard Dawkins

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."
- Benjamin Franklin

"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth."
- Henry Mencken

"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church."
- Thomas Paine

"I viewed my fellow man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape."
- Desmond Morris


Edn

posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 01:50 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Just wanted to check in, say I'm still about, and I have one more week of horridness before I hope for a brief hiatus so I can keep this thread alive.

Keep talking, people, this thread is so interesting!

Be back soon ... I hope.
I hope that goes well.

Since were on quotes, something I tend to try and life by is the quote in my signature.



"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." ~Siddhārtha Gautama


Siddhārtha being the first recorded Buddha (basically the guy who started Buddhism), I like the philosophy of the religion, if you want to call it that and I tend to live by it a lot, in fact ive probably lived following those similar rules before i knew about Buddhism in the first place.

On to the quote, I think its a great one, you shouldn't just believe something because some god(s) or apparently enlightened man (the Buddha) said so, you need to question it, study it and research it and then make a decision if it agrees (as the quote says) with your own understanding, common sense and the evidence you have collected to its proof or disproof.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 08:02 PM
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Here is the topic of discussion for today:

What do you think is the mechanism by which an atheist who speaks against religion in a calm, rational manner is somehow transformed in the eye of certain religious people into a bully, hate-filled and spitting invective?

What is it about religion in peoples' eyes that makes it taboo to question? Any other belief held by a person is open to debate. Most people can handle discourse to the contrary, even strong opposition, on most other subjects.

Religion is the exception. People get indignant if you disagree with them. They get hostile (but accuse us of being so) when you continue to question their belief.

Why is blind faith the topic that it is not OK to examine and throw into doubt?

Opinions?


Edn

posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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Because none of its true. I mean when you put everything on the table this is the only conclusion ive come to, why do you think that the gods of numerous religions have always said never to question anything these gods say, just follow and believe.

If a religion was really true the god(s) or top person of that religion would insist that you question them, after all if you question it and it turns out to be true it only strengthens whats been told to you and the religion will list forever without the need of mass murdering of non-believers, crusades and witch burnings.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 01:02 PM
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Hey, I'm glad I found this thread. I spent my younger years being carted off to church whenever I was with my grandmother, or if I was visiting my mother in CA. At that time, I was still too young to know the difference and have a solid belief. As I grew older, into my teen years, I really began to take a look at the bigger picture. Eventually, I pulled myself completely into the belief that there was no god.

I didn't "come out" on it though until my mid-20's. And for that, the only reason is that it just never came up. I've since told my mom, and I think my grandmother has pretty much figured it out on her own. We never discuss it, so it's a non-issue. My mom actually took it pretty well. When I told her, she was kind of taken back by it, but she didn't really react to it. In fact, she just asked me why I felt that way, and as I explained my position, she tossed out a few other questions, to which I answered each one.

My wife's family is religious, they go to church every Sunday, etc... Her grandfather was very much so, and though he was set in his ways, he was very accepting. Her father and step-mother, well, it's just not discussed. For holiday dinners, I sit at the table, and when they pray, I just kinda keep to myself. Nobody has ever commented that I never bow my ., of say Amen afterwards. The only thing that's ever stuck out is when my wife's nephew sort of glared at me when he saw that I wasn't joining in prayer. He was 9-10 years old at the time, and still being brainwashed.

My wedding was in a courthouse, rather than a church. My wife isn't strongly religious, though she does believe. Before we even discussed getting married, I told her I would not get married in a church, and that I didn't believe in the church. She was fine with that.

My wife actually has alot of respect for my views. I've read the bible cover to cover, and because of that, she feels that I'm not somebody just spouting off. Sometime, I would like to read the bibles of other religions, just to understand them better. To be more educated on not only my own beliefs, but the beliefs of others.

To the OP, thanks for this thread. There's never really been a place where I could tell my story without getting "The Wrath of God Will Rain Upon You" or whatever.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 01:50 PM
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To MM,

The reason you cannot question religion and it is considered taboo to do so?

Faith, you either believe it or you don't. Questioning faith can cast doubt on the belief, too much doubt in the faith/religion can destroy the faith of a believer in most people. (never underestimate the power of denial though.)

Unlike science, if the current science theory/belief is proven wrong beyond reasonable doubt, most people should not have much a problem adepting to the newer more correct theory. The older theory would just be considered a mistake, a learning step.

Should a faith or religion be wrong..... believers live their lives for their faith/religion/God, they cannot see the point of living on without it. I think the more fanatical ones consider any challenges to their religion/faith an attack on their very lives and existence. (which seems to be the reaction of most theists)

Faith does not need logic or reason the way science does.

[edit on 6-8-2007 by ixiy]



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
What is it about religion in peoples' eyes that makes it taboo to question?


I think it's because religion is the very center of many people's lives. They live their whole lives based on the belief that their religion is the Truth. They go to church, preach to other people, they think they have a secured spot in heaven and what they do in everyday life is keeping them out of hell. And they can feel calm and secure in that "knowledge".

When someone comes along and puts forth the idea that there are other options and very real, believable options, it's pretty scary, I would think. When someone questions their "knowledge", they go on the defensive because they really don't want to hear that they might be wrong.

That's my opinion, anyway.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 06:11 PM
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Welcome to the thread, Mekanic. I hope you enjoy your stay.

Ixiy, BH, Edn, thank you for your insights.

I mean, this stuff should just be so glaringly obvious, but I still have to ask "why"? I swear, if I could grasp higher math, I would have gone into hard science. I don't know who asks why more, me about theism, or my five year old about everything else under the sun.

Court again tomorrow, I'd say wish me luck, but that's just superstition.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 01:30 AM
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The iron butterfly fears the wheel


Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
What is it about religion in peoples' eyes that makes it taboo to question?

Religion provides the religious with many valuable things: comfort in distress, certainty amidst confusion, a sense of security when all the world feels as if it is crumbling. It makes difficult moral decisions easier. It answers all or most of the uncomfortable Big Questions that keep people from sleeping at night and lays out a simple programme of action they can follow by day.

And, of course, it assures them they will live for ever.

It's hardly surprising that possessors of such a valuable gift would fight to protect it, nor is it cause for wonder that they would regard anyone who seemed likely to damage or devalue this gift as an enemy.

Most of the people engaged in this thread have come to the conclusion that religion -- all religious belief -- is false. Because of our disbelief, religious faith has lost its value to us; its comforts are insubstantial, its security is false, its morality unconvincing or repugnant, the answers it provides mere fantasies. And no-one, we know, lives for ever.

Most of us have been religious at one time or another, so we are not unaware of the comforts of religion. We enjoyed them once and many of us would probably like to have continued enjoying them. The trouble is, we stopped believing. When one stops believing, the comforts of religion are no longer accessible, and faith becomes a liability.

Religious people are not unaware of this. They understand that, if they begin honestly to question their faith, they will lose it. And they don't want to lose it. Not unreasonably, they want to go on enjoying the comforts of religion. So when an unthinking atheist strides onto the scene, broadcasting doubt and trampling cherished beliefs underfoot with his hobnailed Sceptic Boots, he has to be resisted -- by force, if necessary -- lest his thoughtless, inconsiderate disbelief shatters the illusion for everybody.


Why is... faith the topic that it is not OK to examine and throw into doubt?

Because, dear Major, it is so frail.

[edit on 7-8-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 02:08 AM
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I have friends who are Christians but I have never discussed there beliefs with them and nor do I ever have any intention of raising the topic in conversation. The only time I can ever recall having such a conversation was when I was a kid and one of my friends was saying something like that if you don't believe you wont go to heaven of course I wasn't buying at the time.

I have a couple questions for Atheists who are parents.
What did or will you tell your young kids ?
Do you tell them that a higher power doesn't exist or do you just leave them to make there own decisions about such matters later on in life ?



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 04:01 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11
I have a couple questions for Atheists who are parents.
What did or will you tell your young kids ?
Do you tell them that a higher power doesn't exist or do you just leave them to make there own decisions about such matters later on in life?

It's a hypothetical in my own case, but:

What will I tell my young kids? I shall tell them that there's no God; if they want to stay happy and healthy, it's Daddy they have to obey.

What does it matter, anyway? Parental influence on children is minimal, at best.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 09:06 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11

I have a couple questions for Atheists who are parents.
What did or will you tell your young kids ?
Do you tell them that a higher power doesn't exist or do you just leave them to make there own decisions about such matters later on in life ?


I tell my daughter that some people believe in heaven but there's no proof it exists and I personally think it's make believe. Her dad, however, as a method of trying to get back at me for leaving him, is telling her HE believes in heaven, so she says she does too. Asks me if she'll see me in heaven again someday.

I made it clear during the marriage that I thought small children had no business being exposed to religious concepts, which he respected while I was with him. But now he's not. In my opinion, this is abuse of my daughter, but I can't do anything about it.

I tell my kids that Santa, et al., are just pretend, too. She still enjoys Santa at Christmas, but knows he's a guy in a suit playing dress up.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 09:46 AM
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This is my first post on BTS and I have to say, it's in the right place.

I completely agree with the fact that teaching any children any sort of dogma for "cultural" reasons or what not is completely immoral and disgraceful. Every single human being is born an Atheist, it's that child's surroundings that determine their future belief(s). I can attribute my Atheism to my parents and their lack of pushing me in any direction. My mother is a biologist and my father a physicist, that's a deadly combination for religion. My parents never really mentioned it to me though, I had to discover everything by myself. In fact! My parents sent me to a private school which obviously taught theology.

That's where my initial doubt began. While all my peers back then were entranced by the magical story that's all I saw it as: a story. For some reason everybody around me thought it was as true as World War 2. Then as I progressed through studies and different courses of theology I learned that the Bible is thick with contradictions, immoral behavior, and hypocrisy.

As I aged I realized more and more how much of a gimp, a crutch, and an unnecessary one at that it is. Not just religion but the thought of an all powerful god dictating what can and can't be done. My current fear is that a thousand years from now, we could yet again be discussing if the world is round or not simply because of the dangers religion poses. It's about time that belief becomes a private one.

Anyways,

Carry on!



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 09:53 AM
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Welcome to the thread, Donoso, I hope you stick around and contribute!



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
Here is the topic of discussion for today:

What do you think is the mechanism by which an atheist who speaks against religion in a calm, rational manner is somehow transformed in the eye of certain religious people into a bully, hate-filled and spitting invective?

What is it about religion in peoples' eyes that makes it taboo to question? Any other belief held by a person is open to debate. Most people can handle discourse to the contrary, even strong opposition, on most other subjects.

Religion is the exception. People get indignant if you disagree with them. They get hostile (but accuse us of being so) when you continue to question their belief.

Why is blind faith the topic that it is not OK to examine and throw into doubt?

Opinions?


Guilt.

I wonder why people find the Exorcist the scariest movie...? When Lynda Blair's cursing at Jesus that was what horrified me when I saw that at a young age. In Christianity you are constantly made to feel guilty about Jesus or guilty of something.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by Donoso

I completely agree with the fact that teaching any children any sort of dogma for "cultural" reasons or what not is completely immoral and disgraceful. Every single human being is born an Atheist, it's that child's surroundings that determine their future belief(s).


In reference to that bold part I think what you meant to say was opinion.

I don't see why it should be considered "immoral" much less "disgraceful" that a parent passes on their beliefs to their child. This is to be expected, it's what humans do - pass on information.

I could even understand two atheist raising their kid to be a theist. It's easier for theist to assimilate in society and gives an easy reason for moral choices.

"Because Jesus said so" is a great way to instill values that the kid can later in life learn have different reasons behind them besides "because Jesus said so". Many things in life are dumbed down for kids, religion fits this bill perfectly.

I don't agree that all people are born "atheist". The terms atheist / atheism has certain implications and conditions and I don't see a new born child meeting those conditions. Now if you wanted to say "all people are born without a belief in god" that'd be something totally different.

To say someone is an atheist implies they have had exposure to religion of some sort and have rejected that religion (and/or others) for whatever. A new born child simply doesn't fit the bill.



posted on Aug, 7 2007 @ 06:11 PM
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I disagree. We are all born atheists, with no knowledge of god or the supernatural until it's instilled in us.

My 17 month old son is currently an atheist, and I hope to keep it that way.



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