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Atheist Chat

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posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 04:04 AM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
I disagree. We are all born atheists, with no knowledge of god or the supernatural until it's instilled in us.


indeed



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


i wish you the best, but maybe some exposure to the ideas presented by the religions using them as philosophical allegories wouldn't be a bad idea.... granted you should wait a decade or so for that.

best of luck!




posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 08:04 AM
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i have a good quote to share with the "godless heathens" that have gathered here.


"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it."
-Buddha



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 08:16 AM
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Teach Your Children Hell


Originally posted by discomfit
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.

But this is not passing on information; it's passing on falsehood and disinformation. All right, the parent doesn't think of it that way, but that in itself suggests -- doesn't it? -- a certain desperate, wilful blindness, given the ample evidence that now exists (it's coming in from all over) that religious dogma is a crock.

This refusal to face facts is understandable, but it amounts to moral cowardice. And attempting to recruit one's children as delusive fighters in a battle against reality is most certainly immoral.

And in the case of MajorMalfunction's child, where one parent is doing it against the express wishes of the other, it is most certainly a disgrace.


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.

Ah yes, that old solution to a thousand inconveniences and problems of parenthood: lie to your children until they're old enough to find you out.


"Because Jesus said so" is a great way to instill values that the kid can later in life.

Yes. Values such as:

1. Truth is elastic
2. Lying is okay for reasons of pragmatism and convenience
3. Jesus is some kind of final arbiter of what is true and right

...not to mention the entire sorry, bloodstained, fear-drenched, chauvinistic, patriarchal, impractical, self-contradictory mess that slops about inside the ditch known as 'Christian values'


To say someone is an atheist implies they have had exposure to religion of some sort and have rejected... religion.

Bunk.

This is the sort of thing faith-heads tell each other to console themselves. 'Atheism is a religion too' Ha!

Atheism is scientific empiricism applied to a particular field of inquiry. It is the hypothesis (not belief) that God, at least in the sense of a defined entity that can be separated from its putative 'creation' -- the physical universe -- does not exist. This hypothesis is based on the lack of evidence for any such entity, the further circumstantial evidence for its nonexistence provided by the lamentable tendency of science to explain what were formerly miracles and wonders in physical terms, and above all by Occam's Razor, which in the finely-honed form usually employed by philosophers, states that:

Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.

And so out with the ultimate unnecessary entity, God.

If the evidence changes, atheists will stop being atheists.

But however much evidence is adduced against their beliefs, the religious just keep on being religious. That's the difference between us, why your definition of atheism is wrong, and why your post -- I'm sorry, but it is true -- is strongly redolent of moral hypocrisy.

[edit on 8-8-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 10:12 AM
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It's hypothetical in my case, too, but...


Originally posted by xpert11
What did or will you tell your young kids ?


Nothing.

When they come to me asking about this "God" that their friends are talking about I will tell them it's just like Santa Claus. A story that people like to believe because it makes them feel better. By the way, I wouldn't tell them lies about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy either.

There IS enough joy, happiness, love, passion and wonderfulness in life without making up icons to worship and believe in. Life is worth living just as it is.

Donoso Welcome to ATS and to this thread.



Originally posted by discomfit
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.


That's true. It's easier in today's world (in the US, at least) to be a theist. It's easier to face other people when you can say, "I'm a Christian" instead of "I'm an atheist". Quite different reactions. It's easier to turn one's problems over to someone else, even if they are make-believe. It's easier.



"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.


Exactly! Instead of taking the time to explain true compassion to our children, we can just say, "Jesus said so." Instead of making our children think about the consequences to their actions, we can just say, "Jesus said so." Instead of having our children decide what the RIGHT thing to do, we tell them to ask themselves, "What would Jesus do?"

And instead of teaching them the importance and honor of telling the truth, we can tell them, "Lying makes baby Jesus cry."

:shk:



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.


Uh... No it isn't different. An atheist is a person without a belief in God. These "implications and conditions" you speak of are added by OTHER people. Atheism is simple. Lacking a belief in God.



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.


This is incorrect. Atheism doesn't imply a past with or without religion.

Astyanax, Love your posts.

Major. This thread continues to be one of the best on te board! In my opinion, of course.


[edit on 8-8-2007 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic


And instead of teaching them the importance and honor of telling the truth, we can tell them, "Lying makes baby Jesus cry."

:shk:



Ah, BH, I love ya dawg.

This is the most rewarding thread for me, and I'm glad you've all joined in and helped keep it going.

It never fails to give me a smile, and smiles are in such short supply in my life right now, I want to thank you all for giving them to me.



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 04:40 PM
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I have a question for everyone... Coming from an agnostic point of view.. So, if you(those of you non-belivers) don't believe in some sort of "god" or higher being, what do you believe.. Because frankly, the whole "Big Bang" theory doesn't seem to believeable to me.. Neither does Evolution for homosapiens. I mean, it's quite obvious we weren't apes at one point in our lives, but more on the lines of just cave men. anyway, i'll make this more interesting. I'm not trying to burst anyones bubble here, coming from an agnostic you can expect any thing
Because we don't have a place to go to, religion confuses us, and believing in nothing is just ludacris;P Anyway, if God doesn't exist, how did the world get here?

How did matter become such a thing? I mean, supposedly big bang created a vast thing called space. And life is "limited" in this space. But how can such an object such as an atom be "waiting" to burst, when there is no space so sit in? And wait a minute, what is this atom? Where did it come from? And oh my freaking god, if god does exist, where did he come from? Is he/she nothing but an experiment such as us? Maybe there's a whole series of gods controling eachother for leaisure?

Blargh! Everytime I think about this, it hurts the brain.. I hate being agnostic
But I don't want to limit what's out there, nor do I want to deny it! Either way, I honestly believe we'll all have a "peak" of what it's all about sooner or later.. Wether it be self enlightenment, or constant realization, it'll hurt.. I'm prepared, are you?

Cheers to all of you who don't limit what's out there



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 04:41 PM
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Oh, by the way, i'm not one for spell checking or grammar.. I just.....Go with the flow baby, go with the flow



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 05:38 PM
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For one, we weren't apes. Apes and we evolved from a common ancestor millions of years ago. Evolution is real, is factual, and there is actual evidence for it.

For two, just because science can't answer questions about where the universe came from -- yet -- doesn't mean that god is the fall back position. It just means we don't know now, but will figure it out someday because we keep trying to find an answer that doesn't include a sky fairy of some sort.

I hope that answers your questions MadSeason, and welcome to the thread.



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by MajorMalfunction
For one, we weren't apes. Apes and we evolved from a common ancestor millions of years ago. Evolution is real, is factual, and there is actual evidence for it.


I'll add, there's actually a MOUNTAIN of evidence for it.


For two, just because science can't answer questions about where the universe came from -- yet -- doesn't mean that god is the fall back position.


"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. " I. Asimov.



posted on Aug, 8 2007 @ 10:54 PM
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Here's a fun project to keep you all busy while I'm away for the weekend. I finally got permission to take my kids to my father's downstate, we'll be gone Friday through Monday, so I won't be much in evidence.

I'd like to compile a list -- just for our amusement and discussion -- of myths and insults you've heard because you're an atheist, or about atheists in general.

I'll start with a couple:

Atheism is worse than murder.

Atheists don't have morality (because to be moral you have to be religious).

Atheism is a religion.



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 12:18 AM
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I Believe...

I believe that the universe came into being as the result of a singular cosmic event, which has left behind a highly readable physical signature. Elements of this signature include the cosmic microwave background, the size of the universe (which suggests a certain age), its expansion (but why is it accelerating?), and so on. These phenomena are not easy to understand and require expensive equipment to detect, but they are real.

I believe that the universe came into being the first time a conscious being opened its eyes and looked around, and that it is re-created with the birth of every new such being.

I believe the universe is created afresh with every perceived quantum event, although I am open to the question of whether it is the perception that creates the event, or the event that creates the perception.

I believe that these three positions are reconcilable through science.

I believe that the question of whether or not the universe had a creator is both (i) unanswerable and (ii) irrelevant.

I believe it is not necessary for the universe to have had a creator.

I believe that, even if it did, that creator has no special interest in human beings, and appears to be, from a human point of view, entirely amoral. Not immoral: amoral.

I believe that the universe revealed to us by science is awesome enough to inspire deep spiritual feelings and even the impulse to worship, though the origin and meaning of these feelings is obscure.

I sometimes wonder whether God may not be the beginning of the universal process, but its end.



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 12:22 AM
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Originally posted by MadSeason313
Because frankly, the whole "Big Bang" theory doesn't seem to believeable to me.. Neither does Evolution for homosapiens. I mean, it's quite obvious we weren't apes at one point in our lives, but more on the lines of just cave men. anyway, i'll make this more interesting.


Well if you look at the likes of apes using the likes of sticks as tools then the idea that humans are related to apes is hardly out of this world. The big bang theory leaves one question but the absurd notion that a higher power(s) created everything naturally leaves two questions unanswered. If there was more then one gods the master of the pack so to speak had to come from somewhere.

Besides no one who thinks that a higher power exists has explained what a higher power is made up of .



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 03:17 AM
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I'm not really trying to discredit anyone beliefs, even if it may appear that way. I'm simply trying to create topic within a topic
As everyone else does. Back to the evolution bit. I know evolution exists, I just KNOW that we weren't little monekys running around sniffing our figner that came right from our anus. Of course we evolved from something lesser than what we have become, but it sure as hell wasn't a monkey. Sure we have similair actions as them, but all actions are similiar in a snese. The proof from being apes to sapiens is just a "theory" which doesn't seem plausable anymore. I know they found a dwarven society miles underground somewhere in Europe, maybe that's a hint? But friggin monkeys? I mean, c'mon now, get real.

We will have the answer to life eventually? Yeah, I believe that. But it's not going to come from science, it's going to come in the more natural way, "D-E-A-T-H". I do believe that when we die, we will get our answers, and we won't need a note pad and pen either.

I respect all religions, to an extent. When one religion claim that they're religion is more dominant, and that if it's not followed, everyone is dammned to hell, then I tend to become a little uneasy about it. Or when a man claims god is speaking to him to, "Declare civil action in Iraq", it also tends to be a little iffy! You know what I mean billy jean? Hey, that's a good song.. not really though.

That's just my 2 cents on what I believe, and MY personal thoughts. I would like to continue more of this discussion if anyone is willing to add. A little criticism never hurt anyone, well.... I'll take that back, look at columbine



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 03:27 AM
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Astyanax,

Thank you for responding to me.

In the below bit you drove the point home with the part I've italisized. The parent doesn't think of their religion the way you and I describe. The parent thinks of it as fact. That alone precludes them of being the "willingful liar" and "denier of reality".


Originally posted by Astyanax
But this is not passing on information; it's passing on falsehood and disinformation. All right, the parent doesn't think of it that way, but that in itself suggests -- doesn't it? -- a certain desperate, wilful blindness, given the ample evidence that now exists (it's coming in from all over) that religious dogma is a crock.

This refusal to face facts is understandable, but it amounts to moral cowardice. And attempting to recruit one's children as delusive fighters in a battle against reality is most certainly immoral.



Originally posted by Astyanax
And in the case of MajorMalfunction's child, where one parent is doing it against the express wishes of the other, it is most certainly a disgrace.


It's not uncommon to have disagreements between parents on how a kid should be raised - this situation is no different in my view.


Originally posted by Astyanax
(1) Ah yes, that old solution to a thousand inconveniences and problems of parenthood: lie to your children until they're old enough to find you out.


"Because Jesus said so" is a great way to instill values that the kid can later in life.

Yes. (2) Values such as:

1. Truth is elastic
2. Lying is okay for reasons of pragmatism and convenience
3. Jesus is some kind of final arbiter of what is true and right


(1) Kids have no problems dispelling the myths of santa clause, the tooth fairy, the easter bunny and lots of other mythical creatures, why should god be any different ? Did you have an extra-ordinarily hard time getting over god ? I didn't.

(2)
a) Truth is elastic, it changes with the information we have. There are very few "absolute truths".
b) Lying plays a huge role in human society. I'd wager to say lying is critically important to survival.
c) See (1)


Originally posted by Astyanax
...not to mention the entire sorry, bloodstained, fear-drenched, chauvinistic, patriarchal, impractical, self-contradictory mess that slops about inside the ditch known as 'Christian values'


This list is hardly what you describe.

No other gods.
No idols.
No using my name in vain.
Chill on Sunday.
Be nice to mom and pops.
Don't kill folks
Don't commit adultery.
Robbery=bad
Don't be lying
Don't be envious of other people things

As I'm sure you'll agree there is a wide gap between "Christian values" and how that plays out in real life.


Originally posted by Astyanax

To say someone is an atheist implies they have had exposure to religion of some sort and have rejected... religion.

Bunk.

This is the sort of thing faith-heads tell each other to console themselves. 'Atheism is a religion too' Ha!

Atheism is scientific empiricism applied to a particular field of inquiry. It is the hypothesis (not belief) that God, at least in the sense of a defined entity that can be separated from its putative 'creation' -- the physical universe -- does not exist. This hypothesis is based on the lack of evidence for any such entity, the further circumstantial evidence for its nonexistence provided by the lamentable tendency of science to explain what were formerly miracles and wonders in physical terms, and above all by Occam's Razor.....


That's my point precisely. Atheism is a complex concept. Atheism is not the same as having never heard about religion. There fore to say all humans at the time of birth are atheist is not correct since they aren't capable of such complex mental processes.



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 03:31 AM
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Originally posted by MadSeason313
I know evolution exists, I just KNOW that we weren't little monekys running around sniffing our figner that came right from our anus. Of course we evolved from something lesser than what we have become, but it sure as hell wasn't a monkey. Sure we have similair actions as them, but all actions are similiar in a snese. The proof from being apes to sapiens is just a "theory" which doesn't seem plausable anymore. I know they found a dwarven society miles underground somewhere in Europe, maybe that's a hint? But friggin monkeys? I mean, c'mon now, get real.


Your entirely right, humans did not descend from monkeys, rather humans and the great apes (not the monkeys) descend from a common ancestor.

That's right, Chimpanzee's and Gorillas are not monkeys !!


[edit on 9-8-2007 by DarkSide]



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 08:27 AM
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sorry this might be a little bit off subject, but what really annoys me, is when a follower of faith says to an atheist or agnostic.. "why don't you believe in god? wouldn't you rather live eternally in heaven, rather than just dying and that being the end?".

i've seen this sort of mentality crop up quite a bit while i've been on these forums, more-so in previous years.

its not that we DON'T want to believe in god, i'm sure that everyone here would rather eternal life in happiness and bliss? rather than dying and thats being that.

but the thing is, people can not choose what they believe in.. of course people can say they believe in something (when they know they have a lot of doubts) and built up a barrier of self denial. but these people are more WANTING to believe, than actually believing. of course we could directional our education and understanding by not learning various concepts and theory's that go against religion and other believes, but then if this was the approach, any intelligent person would understand that they are missing apart of the cake and that there current understanding of the world is a ignorant one because they aren't informed.

hopefully that made a little bit of sense.
basically what i was saying is that, we cant choose what we believe in, its more of what seems intuitive and logic from what we know (or at least think we know).



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 08:29 AM
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Discomfit, you're over complicating things.

Atheism is only the lack of belief in the supernatural. That's it. We are born not believing in such.

All the other stuff is added on once we CAN use complex mental processes.

My son is an atheist. He isn't even afraid of the monster in the closet yet, having no framework for supernatural beliefs whatsoever.



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 08:31 AM
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ohh yeah,
and atheism isn't a religion!
that gets really annoying.

even on online surveys and networks such as myspace.

Please select your religion:
Agnostic
Atheism
Christianity
etc...

of course there are atheist BASED religions (and cults). But atheism itself isn't.

Its like saying theism is a religion?
lol

edit-spelling mistake


[edit on 12/17/2004 by cheeser]



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 09:23 AM
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Originally posted by cheeser
ohh yeah,
and atheism isn't a religion!
that gets really annoying.


That reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, which I forget if I mentioned or not.

"Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color."
-Don Hirschberg



posted on Aug, 9 2007 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by xpert11
What did or will you tell your young kids ?


Even though I don't have kids, yet, I wanted to answer this.


When/if I have kids I'll raise them in an environment where they are taught about
all beliefs and the reasons behind them, in fact I'd probably even take them to a
Unitarian-Universalist church.

If/when they were to come u to me and outright ask me if there is a god, I'd tell them
that I don't think there is, and than explain why people believe in god, but I would also
tell them not to think assume they can explain everything using what is known right now
and that there are things we don't understand and can't explain, but that they are not
caused by a deity, rather just science and/or technology we have'nt developed
or learned yet.



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