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Atheism for Moderates

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posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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Hello, most of you don't know me.
Or at least, I hope most of you don't know me. If you do know me, I humbly apologize for everything.


There, with that out of the way, lets talk about the topic I started this thread about which is.... let me check... oh yes....


Atheism


Why so big like that?

'Cause it seems to be dreadfully important.

I say seems tome because well... to me it isn't.

Well... I mean, it's important to me, sure. But it shouldn't be important to people at large.

Let's talk about moderates.

If I had to (and I don't like to, but for the good of discussion...) I'd classify myself as a moderate agnostic atheist.
Why?
Well, there are a few reasons.

Ultimately, despite all else I may say, I'm ambivalent towards religion. Personally, i hold it as a human invention, and like most human inventions, is itself not good or bad. It's simply a tool.
What it's used for... well, that's a discussion for another time. It's complex.
Like airplanes, tomatoes and relationships.
Not that those necessarily go together, they're just examples, mind you.

Now me, I like to discuss, critique religion.
This I because I do the same with most anything. Books, games, work...
Things I enjoy, things I dislike, whatever.

It helps me to understand things, to learn.
The problem is, however, that for the most part doing this with religion is well... taboo.
Like telling your girlfriend what you really think of those shoes, or pants.

If I try to give examples of why I have trouble with it, I and others don't get the open discourse we are looking for, but instead the usual result is ridicule and eventually insults.

Obviously, this isn't everyone. There are moderates everywhere, and I've had some very entertaining and enlightening conversations, with theists and atheists alike.
There are many types of atheism, just as there are many types of theism.
And not just the "Old Atheist","New Atheist" "Angry Atheist", or "Blue Atheist."

Buddhism, followers of Confucius, or, to go back to labels, "Happy Atheists" (Yo.) "indifferent atheists", "cheesy atheists," ect.

There are zen atheists, pantheists. spiritual atheists... a whole world of atheism just as complex and intricate as religion is.

Myself, while atheism is harder to pin down (there exists no one book on atheism that can be considered definitive, including the God Delusion, by Dr. Dawkins), theism has always carried with it some form of scriptures. Much as I would with anything, I critique, I ask questions, I want to know what this means, what this is understood as, what such and such is held to.

When it comes tot taking something on blind faith... well, the question I have is... why?


However, for me, atheism is not really important.

To me, much more important is the route one took to get there. You can be skeptical and be a theist, and I prefer healthy skepticism versus irrational atheism any day.


But.
Yes, there's a but. You saw that coming, didn't you?

ut, we must be open to free discourse. If questions are viewed as attacks, then no matter what the subject may be, there's no way to find common ground.
And, to borrow a phrase from Carl Sagan, this Pale Blue Dot is where we all call home, and we all have to live with each other.

tl:dr:
Nannoo Nanoo, 42.




posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 04:07 PM
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I think I'm what you might call a moderate atheist. I'm not interested in people believing the same things I do (or don't). I'm not interested in challenging people's beliefs in whatever God or gods they may have. I'm not interested in putting them down or demanding that they prove their stance. I don't care.
I think some people find comfort and guidance in their lives through religion and for them, I think that's just dandy. As long as they don't involve me or hold me to some standard that their religion sets for them, and they don't come to my door peddling their religion, I'm cool.


I have my beliefs in life and other people have theirs. And both of us are 'right'. I like how that works.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 04:15 PM
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reply to post by RuneSpider
 



Myself, while atheism is harder to pin down (there exists no one book on atheism that can be considered definitive, including the God Delusion, by Dr. Dawkins), theism has always carried with it some form of scriptures. Much as I would with anything, I critique, I ask questions, I want to know what this means, what this is understood as, what such and such is held to.


I don't even know what this means. Atheism is defined as the lack of a belief of the existence of god(s), that's it. It's not a belief system like a religion so it really needs anything 'definitive'


You can be skeptical and be a theist, and I prefer healthy skepticism versus irrational atheism any day.


A skeptical theist?


First off here, skepticism and theism do not go hand in hand, and atheism is definitely not irrational, that's just absurd. To be a theist, you must believe in a god, yes? There is NO evidence of the existence of a god, so it makes the belief rely purely on blind faith. Atheism, on the other hand, is merely the lack of a belief in a god, not that there is 100% certainty that there is no god, just the lack of a belief.

One side takes blind faith, the other doesn't need to rely on anything as there is nothing being presented by the other side to be argued.

Of course I, probably like many atheists, prefer other actual 'belief systems' such as pearlism (Physical Evidence And Reasoned Logic) instead of having the atheist title, but that's another matter.


a whole world of atheism just as complex and intricate as religion is.


Again, no, atheism is simply the lack of a belief in god(s), that's it, it ends there, it's making no claims whatsoever. Anything being proposed by atheists is there own idea and separate belief. For example, an atheist promoting evolution does not mean evolution is part of atheism, it just means the atheist supports evolution.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 04:19 PM
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Very important point, Whyhi.
I was going to mention that, but forgot. Yes, there is no "set of beliefs" for atheists. There is but one point they agree upon. The rest of their belief systems are as varied and the people are.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by Whyhi
 






I don't even know what this means. Atheism is defined as the lack of a belief of the existence of god(s), that's it. It's not a belief system like a religion so it really needs anything 'definitive'


Yep, but there are many differences among atheists as to how to approach the world.

I meant there's no central scripture, nothing more than lack of faith in a god, gods, goddess.



First off here, skepticism and theism do not go hand in hand, and atheism is definitely not irrational, that's just absurd.

There are people who have approached theism with skepticism, and found evidence enough for themselves to be convinced.
I'd like to know what that is and discuss it with them, but that's them, and that's fine.
What I mean by irrational atheism are those who believe that there are no gods, there are instead Reptilian aliens who are out to enslave humanity, for example.
Yes, it's atheism, but it's got a distinct taste of nuts.



Again, no, atheism is simply the lack of a belief in god(s), that's it, it ends there, it's making no claims whatsoever. Anything being proposed by atheists is there own idea and separate belief. For example, an atheist promoting evolution does not mean evolution is part of atheism, it just means the atheist supports evolution.





Atheism is a group of unorganized (predominately) people who share one core concept and have multiple ways of expressing it.
There are several ways of expressing this, Buddhism, Confucianism, PEaRL, as you suggested.
You can also believe that aliens descended down and created humanity.

My point mentioning this was to get theists to understand there are more than just one group of atheists, chiefly what are labeled as the "New" (though some of them are getting a little wrinkled around the edges.) Atheists.


The point I'm trying to make here, is that there's room for open discourse between atheists and theists, without the one calling the other heathens and the other calling the one idiots.

Many atheists blame failings in science and scientific education in the United States on the religious.
They do have some point, but it's much more complicated than that. You have politics, the ability to communicate, pop media.
I am, as shown in my profile, an atheist.
To me it is not a matter of pride, simply a fact, who I am. As I stated, I like to believe I am more of a moderate, agnostic atheist.

This either or, us or them mentality is doing neither side any favors. There is, or could be common ground to work on.
And, in the States where the majority are religious, and where many hope to improve the scientific understanding in the States, such efforts may be important.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 05:15 PM
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However, for me, atheism is not really important.



I am, as shown in my profile, an atheist.


Care to explain why at your starting post, you claim that Atheism is not really Important for you, and to your other reply you claim you are an atheist??.
It seems to me that there is some sort of contradiction. It´s just like you saying Christianity is not important to me but i am Christian.

But if i have misunderstood you, then please forgive me.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 05:21 PM
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reply to post by Seed76
 


From my OP:


'Cause it seems to be dreadfully important.

I say seems tome because well... to me it isn't.

Well... I mean, it's important to me, sure. But it shouldn't be important to people at large.


I am an atheist, ye.
But...t hat's it.
I am a martial artist.
I am a uncle, I am...

Well, not much more than that at the moment, really.

To me, there are many thing much more important to me than atheism.



But if i have misunderstood you, then please forgive me.


No worries. I can't convey my meanings and rambling to myself over half the time.
edit on 13-11-2010 by RuneSpider because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 05:22 PM
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Originally posted by RuneSpider
Atheism is a group of unorganized (predominately) people who share one core concept and have multiple ways of expressing it.


I don't agree. Atheism is not a 'group'. Sure there are some that meet together and talk about stuff, but they are a minority. Most atheists don't get together with other atheists and talk about how they don't hold a belief in a deity.


Atheists aren't a 'group' at all. They are unorganized. Because they're not a group.
I don't know how many ways you can express, "I don't hold a belief in a deity". Not too many, I'd wager.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by RuneSpider
 




Wonderful post. Very pleasant and delightful OP. I enjoyed your articulation of religion as a tool.

I fully agree, that every religion should be fully open to mature and respectful debate, critique, and dialogue. Discussion should be held in a tone of mutual respect and maturity from both sides. Not only religion, but every aspect of every manifestation our mind's can conjure.

Peace to you.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

I don't agree. Atheism is not a 'group'.


It's a group as much as "theists" are a group. I
I'm applying categorical classification to a number of people who meet a certain condition, in this case, atheism.


Sure there are some that meet together and talk about stuff, but they are a minority. Most atheists don't get together with other atheists and talk about how they don't hold a belief in a deity.


I'm using group as in grouping, not group as organized.
As I pointed out, atheists are not specifically organized.


Atheists aren't a 'group' at all. They are unorganized. Because they're not a group.
I don't know how many ways you can express, "I don't hold a belief in a deity". Not too many, I'd wager.

Several, actually.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by Sahabi
 


Thank you.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 11:10 PM
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reply to post by RuneSpider
 


People are so mixed up.

Religion and atheism are two different things. You do not have to believe in religion to believe in God. You HAVE to not believe in God to be an atheist. You could actually be a religious atheist though!


Also why does a belief in God have to be taken as blind faith? I have been on the Shamans path for a long time, I have personally done and seen things 99.99 % of the population take as fiction. I don't know why but I have been shown enough miraculous things both good and bad I have had to go from being agnostic to knowing God exists.

I find that after extended discussions with most atheists they are very confused as to what it really is. Most of them are jaded from religion and mix the two together. I find them very lost and very evangelical.

Weird group of people. Worst than Jesus freaks.



posted on Nov, 13 2010 @ 11:16 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't agree. Atheism is not a 'group'. Sure there are some that meet together and talk about stuff, but they are a minority. Most atheists don't get together with other atheists and talk about how they don't hold a belief in a deity.




So what are they if not a group? A bunch?

Are not motorcyclists a group of people that enjoy the same sport? It does not mean they group together for discussion, or to ride together.

A bunch of atheists grouped together and stole my belief.


P.S. Im currently making some changes in my life. If you dont hear from me youre one of them.

Cold as ice...
edit on 13-11-2010 by LoneGunMan because: I added a P.S.



posted on Nov, 17 2010 @ 02:47 AM
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reply to post by Seed76
 


At your starting post, you claim that atheism is not really important for you, and to your other reply you claim you are an atheist?

It seems to me that there is some sort of contradiction. It´s just like you saying Christianity is not important to me but i am Christian.

That is the big difference between atheism and religious belief. If you are religious, then your religion is a big deal for you--it defines your relationship with the higher power you believe in, governs (or should govern) your relationships with all other beings and affects (or should affect) every aspect of your behaviour, and determines your reward after death, perhaps for all eternity. What could possibly be more important than that?

Atheism, on the other hand, is just lack of belief in God. What I do not believe in has no importance to me.

People who insist that atheism is a belief can never understand this.



posted on Nov, 21 2010 @ 01:53 AM
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reply to post by Whyhi
 


And it's this kind of mentality that makes any kind of meaningful conversation between the non-religious and the religious impossible. The way that so many Atheists write off Theists as complete idiots for having a couple of nutty ideas; the way that so many Theists write off Atheists as immoral heathens for simply asking questions.



posted on Nov, 21 2010 @ 07:17 AM
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reply to post by gnosticquasar
 

Atheists and religious folk can have meaningful conversations about just about everything, so long as they don't bring God into it. That's how the world rubs along.

But that's not what you're talking about, obviously. You're talking about a meaningful conversation about whether or not God exists. That is not possible, since the premises are opposed--the only thing either one can do is examine and criticize the other's arguments. There is no final evidence to be appealed to on the subject.

Atheism is strongly supported by science and observation. The world provides no evidence that there exists a God or gods. This is a strong argument in favour of atheism--God is not needed to explain the world--but it is not an insuperable one--it is possible that a hidden God exists behind the façade of reality as it appears to us.

And of course, the origin of the universe (if indeed it has one) remains a mystery. Within this mystery, faith may yet find refuge. Its adherents, however, must be content with faith alone; no resort to evidence is possible for them.



posted on Nov, 21 2010 @ 07:56 AM
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If there existed an Omnipotent God who wished everyone to know Him,
it would be the case that everyone knows God exists.

It is not the case that everyone knows God exists.





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