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Am I an Atheist?

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posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 04:50 PM
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I have a question for those like me who do not believe in a God, Gods, or religion. I know that this has been talked about before but this is an attempt at understanding where I belong and what classification I fall into. This is sure to bring many comments and much ridicule. This is nothing new and really nothing to shy away from, but I would like this to be answered by those with similiar beliefs.

I consider myself to be a "rationalist", but for the sake of brevity have sometimes called myself an "atheist". I do not believe in religion or god or even any blend of spiritualism. I try not to howl at the moon so to speak, and try not to belittle anyone for what they believe in. I have failed in both of these. I do know that we are here for a short time and we will die. To me this is a fact of life.

I also know the history of religion and all the things that have happened, both good and bad; so I feel no reason to list them because it will just get in the way of this discussion. To deny history; however, is a cop out and does not bring anyone to a better understanding of the issue. Because I feel this, I do have to concede that there was a historical person named Jesus, but I cannot accept that he is the son of God and was ressurected. I do not get upset when I hear "God" in the Pledge of Allegience and "In God we trust" on our currency does not affect me in any way. I understand the historical status of both of these. Placing the 10 Commandments in the court-house does not bother me, who knows, it just might help someone.

In other threads and discussions some people have claimed that non beleivers are hypocrites because a belief in nothing is still a belief in something and in doing so is a religion in itself. I have never understood this arguement. Maybe it is too philisophical for me or I am to stupid to comprehend it. I don't know.

Immorality has always been a tenant of atheism, at least according to religous people. I have never been arrested, in jail, nor do I knowingly treat anyone badly as a general rule. I do not look down on people unless they have proven themselves to be worthy of such treatment. I try to be courteous to other people until the second someone steps over the line of common decency. I am not entirely successful at this but I do try.

Another aspect that religous conviction holds is that atheism is actually false when we (atheists) feel that there are some social benefits when we do things that uplift and help society. Non belief does not equal anarchy.
Non belief does not equal a lack of compassion. I like to do things because it makes me feel good when I contribute to society.

I do believe in science, but I am not sure about our capacity as a people to use it correctly. I believe in humanity, but considering how we treat each other also feel that this could be just as far fetched and empty as believing in "God". Is it because of religion or due to lack of proof that we treat each other the way we do.

So folks, where do you think I stand on the massive religous, philosophical, societal, humanist, secularist ladder of todays world?




posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 06:08 PM
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If you're looking for a category to place yourself in, based on what you have stated above, I'd say you were indeed a rationalist. My own belief system, or lack thereof, is more or less the same as your own, however I've always thought it best to avoid categorising myself as an atheist or rationalist, because - as you mentioned yourself - those arguing against my lack of religious faith have tried to misconstrue atheism as a form of faith in itself. I consider this a rediculous argument, as atheism is by definition a complete lack of religious faith.

If you wish to align yourself with any theory which might be interpreted as a 'belief system', be prepared to be accused of trying to fill the 'god-shaped hole'. Some people just cannot comprehend a complete absence of spirituality or faith.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 06:58 PM
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Where are you? What are you?

You’re a coward, a rebellious child, and a fool. You’re here for attention, like almost every other atheist around.

A Coward…
Your post is nothing but a very drawn out explanation that you actually stand for nothing and no one. You have carefully placed yourself on the fence covering every facet of religion. To stand for nothing is to be nothing but a coward who carefully avoids everything controversial including his own shadow.

A Rebellious Child…
St. Thomas Aquinas states that all those who chose to deny God are like rebellious children denying what is naturally accepted in most people. 98 percent of all humans that have ever existed on the planet believed, and still believe, in a higher power. To call yourself an atheist is to place yourself in the 2 percent category of all of human existence who denies God’s existence (whatever that may be).

A Fool…
As well, Socrates, who was considered one of the best logical minds that ever existed, stated the argument many thousands of years ago that proves that all those that deny God or Gods are fools. His argument states that death can only be one of three possibilities. The first is that we die and that is the end of our existence. The second is that we die and we are transformed into another form of life on the planet (reincarnation). However, the third and final option is that everything they say about heaven and hell is true and the choices that we make while alive decide our fate. Socrates stated that the only logical choice about how to live ones life in reflection of the possibilities of death is to live our life as if we will be judged and sent to either Heaven of Hell. For the other two possibilities of death make no difference, but only the one of Heaven or Hell and so we should live our lives according to that one possibility.

So, as you see, the greatest religious and philosophical minds, as well as the record of all of human history itself proves that you are, as an atheist, a coward, a rebellious child, and a fool.

Do not bother to respond to this post of mine. For I have little time to foolish children who seek attention. I would rather spend the majority of my time with the other 98 percent of all of human existence who are smart, courageous adults.

PS: to those who say that this post is a personal attack, I disagree. This poster asked for our opinion of who he was. The question that he posed left no other option than to call him names, however positive or negative they may be. He made himself the topic of the post, not his ideas.

[edit on 18-9-2008 by Hot_Wings]



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 08:33 PM
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Hot-wings;

Talk about cowardice. You answered with the premise that you do not want to even discuss anything else with me. How courageous of you.

You also said I was cowardice for not believing in anything and therefore take the easy way out. When almost every religous belief does not fit into your concept of Christianity or your belief, you just automatically shut your mind. In doing so all you have done is prove to everyone how scared you really are.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 08:40 PM
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Atheism is a belief core value in itself. The belief there is no God. So being an atheist is a strong belief core in and of itself.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 08:48 PM
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JPM;

Thank you for your reply. The question I have is, if there is a core belief in nothing, does that constitute a religous idea. I am not a rabid non believer who gets upset over the use of "God" in everyday life.

If the other poster had been willing to read the whole premsie maybe I could have gotten a better understanding of other peoples perception.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 09:03 PM
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reply to post by capgrup
 


It seems to me that you are simply still "searching."

The desire to catagorize yourself tells me that you seek an answer to who and what you are.

Well, that sounds like a person who needs direction.

Maybe a religion would help you with that direction.



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by capgrup
 


You have your head screwed on pretty sound. You are reasonable and already know you dont need labels, labels and language is the whole problem, everyone wants us to use their words and have their 'reality tunnels'.

Hot_wings post was a hate filled load of trash (IMO) Classic example of tunnel vision from a closed mind and hard heart



Judging by things Jesus and many other great world teachers said, including the Native American Indians, we are all one, we are all connected, EVERY THING has spirit, GODS spirit if you choose to use that word it doesnt matter, we should all live love and be peaceful with nature. Laws of quantum physics can be summed up in the teachings of these teachers.. just with different words. So who cares what we call things as long as we understand each other.


simple quantum physics video


EDIT- Your an atheist in the sense that you dont share someone elses belief system and definition of what GOD seems to be, because your brain isnt wired the same. You know there is a SOURCE of creation, because ALL IS t/here. Thats proof enough. You stated you know the history of religion and your post doesnt seem confused and disrespectful at all just common sense. I dont think youre as confused as others, just feeling like a little chat
good thread.





[edit on 18-9-2008 by Observer_X]

[edit on 18-9-2008 by Observer_X]



posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 11:22 PM
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I think your basic atheist is somebody who doesn't believe in the God that other people profess belief in. Unfortunately, that kind of means that you tacitly agree in the unspecified definition of "God" as (un)defined by the believers.

It's sort of like Satanists thinking they're being cool and rebellious by worshiping this character specifically made up the the very people they profess not to like. Satanists are some of the strongest Christians of all, because they buy into the whole story!

I personally don't consider myself an atheist, because I've come to realize that I don't understand what anybody is talking about enough to tell whether I'm for or against it.

People toss around phrases like "supreme being," as if just saying those words automatically means something. What exactly does somebody mean by a "being?" Like an animal or person of some kind? Or what about "supreme?" I don't have a clue, and the more I hear people try to more accurately define this thing (is it a "thing?"), the more convoluted, paradoxical and incomprehensible it becomes.

It's like if somebody asked you to believe in -------------. And you ask, "What is it?" And they can't tell you. Do you believe in it? What the hell are they even talking about?


The thing is, we all still have to live in the world, and most of us have the same basic emotional palette of love and hate and fear and honor and all that stuff. Whatever you believe, the goal is to try to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy as long as possible, and try not to screw anybody else over in the process. And if you can do that without believing in something other people believe, what's the difference?

Even Jesus said that he'd rather have people either completely for him, or completely against him, rather than those lukewarm people who will try to convince you you're a bad person for not believing. So even in the eyes of Jesus, you're probably already higher on his "Nice List" than a lot of people on his "Naughty List," who just give him lip service.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 01:37 AM
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I feel much the same way as the OP (although I don't like the idea of the 10 Commandments being posted in courts). I usually label myself "agnostic" to those who ask.

I am completely convinced that when my body stops so will my consciousness. I am puzzled by people who assert that because I have no fear of punishment or hope for reward after death, I cannot be moral. I take right actions (which usually coincide with the 10 commandments of judeochristianity, but are more firmly rooted in the Golden Rule of "do unto others...") because as a human being I am first and foremost a member of a social species. It makes me feel good to do good for others; it makes me feel bad to do bad things to others. I tend to believe that most people who have not been skewed or harmed by their experience will do the same.

I believe firmly that there are powers greater than myself, but I don't see any reason to believe that they are "intelligent" in the way attributed to Godhood. I believe there are things that cannot be explained in our current state of knowledge, but again I don't see why that means there must be an intelligent Creator.

I think that religious thought usually offers an oblique vision of something that is true and greater than us, but it is not the only means to get glimpses of this. I think that Truth can only be perceived by the human mind by means of metaphors and stories, and that religions provide metaphors that work for many. For this reason I don't consider myself "atheistic", although I imagine many Christians would label me so.

I believe that the world is more complex and more mysterious than I can hope to understand. I don't know how it works, so I call myself agnostic. I am interested, so I consider myself both intelligent and spiritual. I don't think that I am special because I'm in the 2% that a previous poster called the obstinate children, or whatever; nor do I think I'm less than others. I just understand different stories.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 03:37 AM
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If you don't know what you believe, you're an agnostic.

That's literally what 'agnostic' means, as you probably know already.

From your general outlook, however, I'd say you were inclined towards naturalism.

Check it out.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 07:29 AM
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reply to post by Hot_Wings
 





Socrates stated that the only logical choice about how to live ones life in reflection of the possibilities of death is to live our life as if we will be judged and sent to either Heaven of Hell. For the other two possibilities of death make no difference, but only the one of Heaven or Hell and so we should live our lives according to that one possibility.


There is fourth option. What if you do reincarnate in order to experience all the apects of being a human. The whole range of emotions and situations, to become whole. How can you judge anything if you have not experienced it?

You have to be that good person, that bad person, experience power and opression, joy and pain, love and hate, rich and poor, and all the nuances in between.

In this case it's not IF, you go to heaven, or go to a next level,but
When.





So, as you see, the greatest religious and philosophical minds, as well as the record of all of human history itself proves that you are, as an atheist, a coward, a rebellious child, and a fool.


It proves NOTHING. You're a fool if you think that something a thousands year old guy came up with can be considered as proof of any kind.




PS: to those who say that this post is a personal attack, I disagree. This poster asked for our opinion of who he was.


Maybe technically not, your post was just oozing and sliming with arrogance and offensive enough to be considered a personal attack.

Damn, what is it with these people lately.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 12:53 PM
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To all of you who replied with courtesy, Thank You.

I just wish it was easier to have a converstion with someone who has different beliefs. If this ever happened maybe we could actually come to some understanding and move foward.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 02:23 PM
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I would say you are an atheist. All an atheist is is someone who doesn't believe in this thing called "god".

They don't have to have a "religion" of their own or believe in "nothing" or believe in science or Darwin or anything else. They don't necessarily share ANY other beliefs with other atheists or hang out with other atheists or meet on Wednesday evening at the atheist gathering.


All an atheist is is simply someone who doesn't believe in God.




posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 06:47 PM
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With all those fine responses said. I pity those who have not had their souls flooded with the love of the Lord. No offense intended to anyone.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by capgrup
To all of you who replied with courtesy, Thank You.

I just wish it was easier to have a converstion with someone who has different beliefs. If this ever happened maybe we could actually come to some understanding and move foward.


Keep trying -- it is possible, on a one-to-one level anyways. Not with everyone, but with enough people.

My closest friend is a devout Catholic (in the process of deciding whether he is called to monastic or clerical life). We learn immense amounts from each other, about spirituality, belief, morality, and being human. He prays for me to find God and tells me beautiful stories about God becoming man.

I hope that he finds a path that is fulfilling to him personally and spiritually, and prove to him every day that there can be faith without God, morality without punishment, spiritual growth outside the Church.

It has made us both more tolerant, more spiritual, better people.



posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by jpm1602
 


No offence here and none to you. Im not religious or anti religious, and I agree with you. If that makes any sense.

Because I think Love is Love is Love. I pity anybody who cannot feel Love. And I dont think ''God'' would care which words we use for him / IT, as long as we Love.

If he does care about facts and history and details rather than Love ...then he himself is standing in the way of Love



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 12:01 AM
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We had to attend mass daily in my dinosaur age. I have said this before. I will say it again. Singing Ava Maria with all my heart at a very young age did something to me. It opened a floodgate of love.

Yes I have now opened myself to ridicule and scorn. That is ok too.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 04:54 AM
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reply to post by jpm1602
 


Ok forget it. No doubt what you say, friend. I wasnt ridiculing anybody. Congratulations at dodging any and every point, how very 'loving' of you. But then again, we all seem to express love diferently.


I wont be back on this thread so please, dont reply to me.


Peace and love.

B.



posted on Sep, 20 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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Once again Observer I have that taste of shoe leather in my mouth. Give me a moment to get my size 12 out of my pie hole.

I was in no way referring to you. As a matter of fact I found your replies highly complimentary

God Bless





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