Ask An Atheist Anything

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posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 10:43 PM
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reply to post by WTFover
 


Originally posted by WTFover
For the rest of my natural life and a possible supernatural life, I will never understand why people, in general, feel the need to justify their religious and/or spiritual beliefs to everyone else.

Most of the time it really seems they are actually seeking re-enforcement, acceptance and self-justification.

If you want to be an atheist, go ahead. If you want to be a Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Krishna, etc. go ahead. What another believes has absolutely no impact on my life, in any way, because I do not permit it to. And, due to that fact, I have no need to understand why someone else has established their belief system or what they view as evidence of their beliefs. Conversely, I don't feel the need to win an argument about mine, so I don't explain them.

However, I have been known to jump into threads to defend others' right to have their beliefs.


It's all about freedom of speech. Should Religion be excluded?

When we go from expressing our opinions on our theology - to - If you don't believe my doctrine then your going to hell - that's when we become offensive.

God is a fair Judge. I believe He considers our birth environment.

I'm assuming you're not asking me to keep my opinions to myself.

Freedom of Speech.




[edit on 14-7-2010 by FearNoEvil]




posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 10:43 PM
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reply to post by Esoteric Teacher
 


cute.

for me, it'd be the "do unto others as you'd have them unto you."

kinda funny, huh? most people forget that part.

never came across a holy book.



posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by jenmckin

I sincerely don´t get the connection between former Catholicism and later becoming an atheist, though that is exactly my own case.

Would you care to elaborate your thought?


It was mere curiosity because most atheists I have encountered online, through friends & other wise "real life" situations usually say, "Well I was raised Catholic..." So I wondered if this particular atheist formerly practiced Catholicism.

I have not seen many people from...say...the Baptist or Methodist community turning toward atheism. This was just my observation & experience in my own life, so I sort of developed a personal theory that most atheists were formerly Catholic. Whether it's true or not, well I haven't met enough atheists to do a controlled experiment. So far, it's unscientific research. lol


Again I fail to see a connection here.

Though you tried to sound non-commital by adding the "most, not all" clause, your remarks made me wonder whether you have suffered in the hands of obnoxious debaters.

Unlike you, I won´t try to sound so politically correct, no sugar-coating, so please bear with me..


There was no connection specifically. This was strictly my personal experience with atheists I have had personal contact with. And I meant what I said...the majority I have met feel they are intellectually superior to everyone who does not agree with them. There are a few that I've met that were congenial. Several in fact that are were on my myspace account when I had one...if someone said, "Pray for me/someone I love.." etc they would say back things like, "Why? It's useless. You're only praying to make yourself feel better & it's stupid." Or by asking a simple question such as what the OP has offered here, I have been attacked viciously. So you are right...only it wasn't obnoxious debaters, it was defensive aggressors. lol

As I said, I don't judge no matter whether some one is one religion or believes in nothing at all. But I don't agree with belittling others because they believe differently than you do.

Did I sound like a preacher? Good grief, I'm sorry. Not my intention.

I by no means think that atheists are immoral, degenerates (lol), or anything else negative.




I was only curious to understand the connection you made between Catholicism and Atheism. Let me give you my perspective. I live in a country where most people are born and raised in a Catholic background, and most of them just go through life without questioning this belief system. I remember that once pope John Paul II claimed that Brazil was the largest Catholic country in the world (whatever he meant, large by area, or by population, who knows?)

In the past few decades, however, there has been a noticeable rise in Protestant denominations, mostly of Baptist, or reformed Baptist churches. That was exactly the case with my parents, who recently migrated to the Baptist faith.

IMO, no difference in exchanging follies.


What I´m saying is that I get sick and tired of being labeled all sorts of derogatory terms when I try to discuss this faith subject. Even those who claim to be indifferent seem to consider questioning such beliefs to be improper, or at least very impolite.

I think I understand your point of view though.

It gets rather tiresome to be always corrected when one says "Oh my God!", or "God bless you", or "For God´s sake". I am an atheist and I catch myself using these kind of expressions all the time. But I take them for what they are, simply good will remarks, or conversational protocols.

I think to reprimand so harshly, on so little, would be not only foolish, but also denote an act of self-affirmation.

Oh God, spare me from the zeal of the newly convert! Especially from the newly atheist!


To be fair you most certainly do not sound like a preacher.



posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 10:55 PM
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However, I have been known to jump into threads to defend others' right to have their beliefs.



Originally posted by FearNoEvilIt's all about freedom of speech. Should Religion be excluded?

I'm assuming you're not asking me to keep my opinions to myself.


I guess you missed my last sentence, so I included it here, as the first sentence above.

I assume by "Freedom of Speech" you are referring to the phrase as is stated in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Unfortunately that does not apply, because it only protects you from government infringement.

My only point was addressing all of the unsolicited statements like "This is what I believe and why... Now you just try to argue with me". Those just seem really silly to me.

[edit on 14-7-2010 by WTFover]

[edit on 14-7-2010 by WTFover]



posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by WTFover
 

"I assume by "Freedom of Speech" you are referring to the phrase as is stated in the First Amendment to the Constitution. Unfortunately that does not apply, because it only protects you from government infringement."

Then I guess I haven't broken any laws since they haven't hauled me to the poky yet.

Man, I'm just messing with you. I understand where you're come from. I do want to point out that some of us Christians are compelled to voice our opinions. There's something inside us that makes us want the world to know what we believe is the truth. I'm afraid you'll have to put up with us forever.

If at any time you feel I'm out of line - I invite you to correct me.

Peace



posted on Jul, 14 2010 @ 11:47 PM
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I love to watch the discussions evolve siding between atheism and spirituality. I am leaving strictly organized religion out of this because that’s not what I’m looking for.

Many atheists, at least the ones I know, are highly intelligent, discerning individuals – very strongly rooted in and almost religiously clinging to science. With that said, in my experience there is frequently an element of sanctimony where matters of spirituality come up. The reverse is equally true – it’s the great divide; it’s almost as though the opinions offered up come with a slice of either pity or ridicule on the side whether one is “for or against”. It’s like the opposition views the other as slightly daft or outright deluded for carrying the beliefs (or lack thereof, in this case) that they do. Outright vitriol from zealots (pick either poison) doesn’t interest me whatsoever. That’s not what I’m after.

My question is really about feeling, and particularly how an atheist feels about death or dying. Whether it’s you, or someone you love. It is also my experience that staunch atheism is most often put to the test in matters of life and death. How do you feel about this? Is there any fear there? Or is there complete peace, and if so, what motivates that inner peace? Do atheists tend to ponder the meaning of things the way that the more spiritually-inclined do or does it all boil down to facts and proof? I’m curious.

And thanks, btw. I'm all ears.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 12:12 AM
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There were times in my life I thought I was going to go down the athiesm path. However sophisticated and well argued athiests are though, they fall short on common mathmatical sense.

Lets talk about energy, lets talk about it on a quantum basis. On a quantum basis everything is cojoined. Nothing dies.
everything is immortal. It's a scientific fact. Energy does not die.

I do not care about the death of my personality. I can't wait to shed this life. Like a snake leaving behind its old skin. Can't wait.

Look at the stars, look at your friends and family. Even your pets. Love is an unquantifiable measurement. Look at the beauty of the Earth and of other people.

Nothing can be without purpose. We as humans are limited in our senses. There is more to life and I won't be marginalized or shamed in my spiritual belief system.

I may be critical about others religous beliefs, but we are far more than the sum of the atoms that make us human. DNA is quite complex. It would take billions of years to create a human from scratch based on loose scientific data (primordial soup theory).

We came from something far greater. No doubt in my mind. Not faith. Just an intuitive knowing.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 12:23 AM
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Atheists are definitely one of the most stereotyped groups here on ATS. Many other groups also suffer this, but it seems people have this rock-solid interpretation of Atheists as God-denying, religion-hating, amoral and selfish individuals. Some may have these other attributes, but most don't.

The only characteristic they have in common is their disbelief in the idea of a single, all-powerful deity that rules over all life. This is why I find it hard to call Atheism a religion because it does not have any creeds, customs, traditions or rituals. I think most people call it a religion in an attempt to undermine anyone who classifies themselves in this way. What's the best way to discredit somebody? Associate them with something they are supposedly in opposition to, so that they can be made out to be hypocrites.

I think this is a positive move to bridge the gap between average Atheists and average Theists.

[edit on 15/7/2010 by Dark Ghost]



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 12:32 AM
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Originally posted by jenmckin

It was mere curiosity because most atheists I have encountered online, through friends & other wise "real life" situations usually say, "Well I was raised Catholic..." So I wondered if this particular atheist formerly practiced Catholicism.


I attend the Spiritual Living (power of positive thinking/Science of Mind) church - - occasionally.

Many in that church are former Catholics. Including the minister who was an Irish Catholic nun.

Maybe its just something about Catholics (former Catholics) searching for something or getting away from the guilt or because they are still the largest religion.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 



Atheism is not a belief system. I searched for evidence of many religious claims and found none.

Can you explain to me exactly how Atheism is not a belief system? I have sat with brilliant atheists before you, in discussion, and they all (some of them phd's) had to come to the conclusion that yes, atheism is a belief system.

You can't argue that you know atheism is true .....because that makes it relative to what one knows.

When you say you searched for evidence, what kind of evidence were you looking for exactly?


Religious and metaphysical claims are unsupported by evidence and there is no reason to "believe" in any of it.

I can say the same thing about Atheism. There is no evidence for the non-existence of God ...therefor this stance is null and void.


What exactly is relative about forming a certitude based on the lack of evidence for religious claims?

Well, the evidence you seek is relative to the conditions/standards you have set for your personal definition of "evidence". If you need to see God face to to face and that's the only way you'll have your proof, but in order to see God requires, let's saying putting on a certain set of quantum mechanics glasses that won't been created yet until the year 2300 ...well you get the idea.

So in that aspect you can't have certitude for your stance. Certitude is Absolute, but by absolutes very nature would require all things to be in the same vein, meaning everything would have to agree to this stance and thats not the case.

Atheism is an idea, a thought, a conceptual theory. But ideas/thoughts/concepts are not the actual but are limited to to thought.

Say I had a rock in my hand ......and you had an idea about this rock in my hand. The idea/thought you have about the rock, isn't the actual rock. In the same way ...atheism is just thoughts/concepts.ideas and not the actual. There is in reality no such thing as atheism because ideas and thoughts are not concrete absolute things. They are figments of the imagination. A belief system ....would you agree or is there any way possible to even argue out of this one?



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 01:12 AM
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How do you explain existence itself?

Your belief in no god is just that, a belief.

To say you do not have any beliefs, is to say you have lost the ego.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 01:15 AM
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Originally posted by gandhi
How do you explain existence itself?

Your belief in no god is just that, a belief.

To say you do not have any beliefs, is to say you have lost the ego.


You'll be surprised that Atheist are more connected in the mysteries of life more then anyone else. A deity doesn't have to be involved.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 01:21 AM
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Atheism is definitely not a religion in itself. The athiests I have met are great human secularists that respect life and are more conscious of living in the moment to the best of their ability.

It is their right to hold their belief or non-belief systems they have. But I am aware they respect humanism far better than theists. Which actually makes them more sensible.

Again, I am a human secularist with spiritual views. I'd rather be with athiests than hypocritical theists.

Atheism does not equate to demonism, satan or anything else viewed negatively.

I am not an athiest apologist, I just understand the mind set. And for the record, I think athiests are smarter. However, they do not have all the answers to our mysterious universe. I will hold on to my pantheistic views and still love my athiest brother and sisters.

Everyone has a belief system. Even athiests.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 01:32 AM
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reply to post by dominicus
 


Unfortunately the burden of proof lies in the duty of those believing in Religion. You see the concept of God exists because of religion. The idea that an all-powerful entity created all life and has dominion over all life exists because Religion made it exist. The idea that there will be a Judgement Day, Rapture, Antichrist etc. all comes from Religion.

Why don't you add up the claims made by those following Organised Religion and those that are Atheists. You will often find that followers of Religion claim to know all the answers, whereas followers of Atheism admit that they do not know the answers. Quite a difference don't you think?



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 01:35 AM
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reply to post by traditionaldrummer
 


Would you be prone to support the lifestyle of someone who has their own vision and through hard work achieves that vision? Are you a proponent of altruism? Do you believe in free will (according to newer advances in quantum mechanics this is possible)? I would say that thought has to be matched with action in order to have any effect on reality.

What do you think about recent movements to take out capitolism and people's ability to make comfortable lives for themselves? What do you think about competition?

Do you make close friends with people or have lasting relationships, what are your opinions on those?

What is your opinion on relaxing, doing hobbies or gaming?

How do you relate to other atheists? Do you believe in the possibility of an afterlife, or soul, or karma?

Do you think that there is a higher law than the law of the land?

Do you believe that positive problem solving using imagination is possible?

Are you worried about Islam, I noticed a few threads on here that seem to be promoting Islamic law, which appears to be based on completely disregarding worldly goods and ruling with a lot of fear. I am not sure why, but in the past few days I have sensed something like that on the horizon.

This is not related to the above paragraph. But are you worried about the Obama administration taking away the rights of Americans?

Do you believe in free speech and such?

Also, are you worried that the recent atheist movement is going to basically set us up for some kind of rigid right-wing rule?

[edit on 15-7-2010 by darkbake]



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 01:41 AM
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reply to post by Namaste1001
 


Jacques Fresco would applaud you. Being able to admit that you just don't know that is. That is the problem with North American culture, we have to have an opinion on everything and cannot just admit we do not know. Unless of course your Ben Bernake and are being grilled about where the trillions of dollars are going, or the CEO of BP being grilled about GOM disaster. Ok so we can admit we don't know something but only when it makes us richer or prevents us from going to jail.



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 02:58 AM
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Originally posted by OutKast Searcher
There is nothing to understand in a non-belief. Atheists don't believe in God...that's it...nothing to understand besides an individuals personal opinion.

Unless you are an atheist that claims they can PROVE God does not exist...then there is simply nothing to try to understand.


Unless you are a theist that claims that they can PROVE their God does exist...then there is simply nothing to try to understand.

Back at ya, the two opposite sides on a same coin?

Me? I'm just the metal...



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 04:26 AM
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Could you please tell me what is going to happen to me when I die? am I ever going to see my loved ones again?



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 04:59 AM
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I don't know for sure what really happen's when we die..
I don't believe that it's the end though..We only have to look at the universe to see that nothing truly dies just go's into another from of Energy,rebirth i see it as..We are made up of the elements in our universe,we're the star dust..We're also Energy beings so i believe the Energy will go somewhere else and we'll start over again..?
Same within Mother nature..Death-Rebirth..Every year as winter falls some plants,ect ect look like they've died yet come Spring they're reborn again..
I also remember reading somewhere that scientist think they have found what could be the soul-Something to do with Weight we all lost right after dead??



posted on Jul, 15 2010 @ 05:44 AM
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Originally posted by Lurch

Originally posted by The Djin
reply to post by justwokeup
 





If the question was open to all atheists....Probably because human beings don't normally shape societies, fight wars, blow themselves up, stone people to death etc over belief in Pokemon.


Excellent response, no doubt at some point the apologists will predictably make themselves look foolish by raising the subject of dictators that happen to be atheists .


Just before the inevitable happens (if it hasn't already, I haven't read the whole thread yet);

I'd like to point out that no war in history has ever been fought in the name of atheism. Whether Hitler or Stalin were atheists or not (and it is certainly debatable, there is strong evidence that Hitler was a Roman Catholic for example) - it is irrelevant because there is zero evidence that the actions of those individuals were motivated by their alleged lack of belief in a deity.

Wars motivated by religion on the other hand...


thats hogwash. nazi and communist societys are secular in nature.





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