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Atheism's Missionaries

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posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 08:47 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


As you would probably expect, my feelings are largely in congruence with yours. I detest churches and persons who use the faith of others for their own benefits, and hope that the darkest corners of hell are reserved for them (well, actually, I hope that they'd stop taking advantage of others, but if they don't...)

I'm not aware of a mainstream church that requires a 20% tithe, the only organized church that I have dealt with that had a "requirement" is the Mormons, who demand 10%, with the punishment being that you can't do anything in the Temple, though you're still expected to go to church (temples and churches being different things for them.)

One off groups, like the one you cite, horrible, horrible example, and I think that there is a point where a church becomes a business, and I'm all in favor of lifting IRS exemptions for groups such as that. It's people like that which drove me away from fundamentalism in the 1980s and I suspect that they drive more than a few people away from Christianity in general. Christ taught that we are to be "in" this world, but not "of" it, I guess that they just don't get that.

For myself, I tithe, giving 10% of my income to the church, and give another fair sized chunk to organizations that range from public education to food shelves and homeless shelters and the Humane Society. Those are personal decisions, and they're made in the light of thankfullness for what I have been graced with, not because I think it has any impact on my relationship with God, because as a Protestant, it cannot. However, I can say that my opinion towards myself, others and money has significantly changed since I started being more charitable, and I'm thankful for that.

Ironic that you grew up in St. Louis -- I've lived in North Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba for almost all of my years, the only "escape" I had from the tundra was three years in South County, just across the river from Arnold. Oh, how I miss Imo's Pizza, Ted Drewes custard and St. Patrick's day down by the arch.




posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


So it seems we're in agreement on this, which is always a good thing. I'm happiest when the religious and nonreligious actually agree on something beneficial to society.

Now, I'd like to mention a few Pentecostal megachurches, who did consider tithing voluntary...but...well, they actually would tell people that a lack of tithing could cause future problems or that current problems could be solved with more tithing, I found it really disgusting when this was in reaction to a member telling them about financial problems. I knew a girl who had some financial issues, had to work a job to help her family make ends meet. They expected her to tithe 10% of the money that was basically going to feed her family and nothing else. They said it would help them in the future, because it would be giving money to god.

I'm quite sure I'd prefer "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's"

Edit:

And yes, Imo's, Ted Drew's, Patty's day by the Arch, are all things I'm currently missing. You know, aside from actual people. Also, City Museum.
edit on 2/1/11 by madnessinmysoul because: Hometown pride.



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


thanks for the u2u MIMS, I was wondering if you would send one...

so it would then seem Atheism's Missionaries do request of your shirt ?

hope you like it, though I highly doubt it will fit or look good on you...



I like the Christian Missionaries more, for it is they who will give another new clean and more dazzling shirt to wear.


Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Again, I was asleep at the time. Mainly because of some insomnia issues.


May peace be in and upon you when you find your rest...



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Well, I'm currently awaiting your reply.

Now, I haven o idea what you mean by the shirt. There are no missionaries of atheism, as atheism is not a religion, the closest we get is people speaking on a subject, but not on behalf of all atheists. I would never claim to speak on behalf of atheists, nor would I ever claim that all atheists agree on me on everything.

We just seem to agree on one thing: We don't find sufficient evidence to accept the existence of any deity.



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
. . . the only organized church that I have dealt with that had a "requirement" is the Mormons, who demand 10%, with the punishment being that you can't do anything in the Temple, . . .


Mormons. Yes - if you want to be in Temple standing - - you follow the rules set for that - including Tithing. Just like any church - - some people are very devout and some are not. Not every Mormon cares about going to the temple. And not every Mormon tithes 10%. There is no punishment. Being a part of the Temple is like being pure in your doctrine. It is something to work for - - if you want it. You definitely do not "buy" standing in the Mormon church by how much money you give.

I remember my grandmother slamming the phone down because of the constant money solicitations from the Catholic church. And she was a devout Catholic.

Many churches have outside business interests - - rent space out - - etc. Few churches depend on collections.



edit on 2-1-2011 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 12:31 PM
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reply to post by Annee
 


We actually have them going door to door asking for things like new bells for the church, new decorations, etc. In fact, the newest church I can get to by 10 minute walk (there are 3 now, 4 if you count the chapel in the Jesuit retirement home) just paid something like 60,000 euros for a brand new set of bronze doors.



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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Response to OP

I don't believe, that I'm nitpicking, when I ask for some clarifications of the intrinsic meaning of the questions of OP. The semantic uncertainties are to big to justify answers from any position.

1/ ["Where in the world is Atheism doing good by their fellow man and helping spread the real truth (or their truth) to others ? (like Theistic missionaries do)"]

a/ Is the existence of a group of 'atheist missionaries' established? And in that case as what? (e.g. being uniform in doctrines or methodology; as a primary ideology or as a common concept of loosely associated systems; does the OP refer to any specific of the possible options?)

b/ What is "doing good"? I would appreciate a reference to specific doctrinal background, if the answer isn't 'live and let live' (my personal favourite, which inside an egalitarian system doesn't need explanation for me).

c/ What is "spread"? This can mean anything from murdering opposition, using machiavellian methods, inventing private (but undefined) epistemological systems, 'pushing' or just plain passively offering of information to those who actively seek it.

d/ How is the difference between " real truth" and "their truth" defined, explained or validated? In relationship to what method of 'reality'- or 'truth'-seeking, if such is implied.


2/ ["Where on the globe are they spreading the "good news" of discovering this truth that there is not a God or Gods ?"]


a/ Is the expression "good news" a label used by alleged atheists missionaries themselves (if they do indeed exist as a defined group, which is uncertain) or by critics of atheism? Does it suggest, that atheism can't bring unpleasant, but nonetheless 'valid' news?

b/ Does "this truth that there is no God or Gods" refer to ALL atheists, or only some atheists?

c/ If a specified group of 'atheist missionries' could be defined, then the question: "Where on the globe are they....." be answered more precisely. Until then I will tentatively suggest ATS as a place to look for atheist missionaries. It's possible to find almost anything here.


3/ ["If they are doing it (spreading the word and freeing people) where can we find this version of the Truth ?"]

a/ " ....where can we find this version of the Truth ?". Does this question refer to the epistemological base of 'this version of the truth', to the methodology used for arriving at it or as a simple doctrinal positioning?

b/ Does the statement "....freeing people" refer to freeing them FROM something or TO something. E.g. people can be freed FROM fascism, but this does not imply, that they come out of it with a welldefined aim in life (well maybe apart from not wanting more fascism, but that's still 'FROM').


To examplify the need of this post I could casually throw out the expression "christian idiots" without any further explanations. ARE christians a homogenous group of idiots? I'm sure I would be challenged on that.



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by Annee
 


We actually have them going door to door asking for things like new bells for the church, new decorations, etc. In fact, the newest church I can get to by 10 minute walk (there are 3 now, 4 if you count the chapel in the Jesuit retirement home) just paid something like 60,000 euros for a brand new set of bronze doors.


Hmmmm. If there was a Humanist group I could join that patterned itself after the Mormon organization - - I'd join in a second. Its just that "God thing" - - that I can't go with. AND their current extreme involvement in politics. They'll call you up to go wash someone's windows - or mow a lawn - or help someone move - or take food to someone - - but they don't solicit stuff or money. They don't even have rummage sales.

I wonder. Humanism seems to be the "new face" of Atheism. They are organizing. Here is a paragraph from an article on the New Jersey Humanist Network site.

The Way Forward for International Humanism

Humanists must come out with a work plan that does not only target Europe, North America, and Asia. Humanist conferences must be organized in Africa to address the many social evils that have kept the continent stagnant. We propose that international humanist conferences be organized even where humanism is not yet developed, for this is the only way to popularize it.

Humanism must work practically to address world issues including such calamities as wars, refugees, child soldiers, AIDS, and other world problems. We hereby propose the formation of organs to address this point, such as the Humanist Relief Services (HRS) or Humanists Without Borders (HWB).

We appeal to the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) to establish a Youth Humanist Fund (YHF) to support the International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization (IHEYO), which would support youth humanist groups throughout the world.

There is an urgent need for humanist missionaries to address various issues throughout the world. We appeal to humanists from the developed countries to visit the Third World and address some of these negative issues such as witchcraft, wars, bad politics, epidemics, and religious fundamentalism.

UHASSO in particular requests that all willing humanists donate old computers and textbooks on philosophy, humanism, science, world history, and education. This will help us to start our information technology training and projects.

Long live humanism. Long live the Enlightenment.

www.njhn.org...








edit on 2-1-2011 by Annee because: forgot link



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 03:44 PM
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Hi Annee

I can wholeheartedly agree to all of your post (and I do practise some of the principles suggested in it), except for one thing:

Quote ["There is an urgent need for humanist missionaries to address various issues throughout the world."]

My reluctance here can possibly be ascribed to a personal allergy (itchings and small green spots) to missionaries of all kinds, or it can be a result of my accumulated old-age pragmatic observations.

While I as a person am extremly weird compared to mainstream, with a lot of extremist ideas and beliefs (both in deed and doctrine), I have no trust in 'missionaries', as they mostly just talk endlessly about fabricated or fabulated abstractions with no relevance to 'real' down-to-earth life, where the thing is to get food on the table and roof over your head.

And if this isn't bad enough, missionaries will be ideological spearheads for competing ideologies and between the different versions, fireworks are more likely to emerge.

It's my experience, that if you want people to listen or look at alternatives, the best way is to demonstrate real-life examples; preferably without any ideological pricetag. A functional well counts for a thousand ideological slogans, and technological education/instruction for welldigging counts for more than knowledge of god/not-god or for that sake the higher principles or blessings of advanced science.

Eventually, telling people what to believe and demonstrating WHY afterwards, is a bit like my I-love-to-hate starting with a pre-arranged answer and then inventing facts to prove it.

And I must add, not an anti-educational attitude, just anti-indoctrinational.

I prefer a pass-it-on instead of bribing people to join you.

Please. Don't take this post as a criticism, only one small friendly comment. I have no intentions of antagonizing you. My own ethics are strictly humanistic and utilitarian.



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Well, I'm still waiting for that response. I and masqua have yet to receive any reply to the u2us that we sent. Though you haven't been posting much today, I'm eagerly awaiting this reply and the debate.



And here's a shirt for you.



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 04:44 PM
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Originally posted by bogomil

It's my experience, that if you want people to listen or look at alternatives, the best way is to demonstrate real-life examples; preferably without any ideological pricetag. A functional well counts for a thousand ideological slogans, and technological education/instruction for welldigging counts for more than knowledge of god/not-god or for that sake the higher principles or blessings of advanced science.


Thank you - - and I agree with you.

I was watching a discovery type show (I would have been a social/cultural anthropologist if it hadn't been for an odd physical problem). The show was just a couple guys and their camera crew living with a primitive tribe. They were learning from the tribe - because that is how you assess their needs. The one tribal leader was telling the guy that he was willing to help him learn because he could tell he was honest and sincere about helping the people. He said "You're not crazy like those missionaries. They help - but they want you to change how you think and live. "We say Yes to their face - then laugh when we turn away". What did the man want/need? He wanted a knife to cut through the jungle to help find food. He did not nor need to change the way he lived.

Several churches who run soup kitchens were told they would lose government funding if they continued to preach/proselytize or if they did not accept gays because of anti-discrimination laws. They church leaders said they would shut down the kitchen. In other worlds Preaching took precedence over humanity.

I am a "Teach a man to fish" supporter.

Not a - - do what I say - believe what I tell you - - and then I'll give you food - - or what I decide you need.



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by Annee

Originally posted by adjensen
. . . the only organized church that I have dealt with that had a "requirement" is the Mormons, who demand 10%, with the punishment being that you can't do anything in the Temple, . . .


Mormons. Yes - if you want to be in Temple standing - - you follow the rules set for that - including Tithing. Just like any church - - some people are very devout and some are not. Not every Mormon cares about going to the temple. And not every Mormon tithes 10%. There is no punishment. Being a part of the Temple is like being pure in your doctrine. It is something to work for - - if you want it. You definitely do not "buy" standing in the Mormon church by how much money you give.


I was of the understanding that, without access to the Temple, one could not have an eternal marriage, legitimate (by the Mormon rite, anyway) baptism or baptism for the dead, all critical components of the Mormon faith, and deficiency in them would result in being barred from the highest levels of the Celestial Realm. If true, then it would appear that money does play an important role.

Is there any truth to belief that the Mormon church demands tax returns and audits members who do claim to be paying their tithe?



posted on Jan, 2 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

I was of the understanding that, without access to the Temple, one could not have an eternal marriage, legitimate (by the Mormon rite, anyway) baptism or baptism for the dead, all critical components of the Mormon faith, and deficiency in them would result in being barred from the highest levels of the Celestial Realm. If true, then it would appear that money does play an important role.

Is there any truth to belief that the Mormon church demands tax returns and audits members who do claim to be paying their tithe?


True (as far as I know) - - but like I said - - there are the hard core (devout) Mormons and the casual Mormons. Just like every other church. But it is NOT a punishment - - it would be more like a gift or reward for fulfilling all doctrine. Not every Mormon is in to all that. If you are a casual Mormon and not willing to do the work - - why should you be in the Celestial Realm? Its something you earn. Do you really think if you don't LIVE your life in purest form - - you deserve the same as those who do?

A Mormon in high standing explained it to me this way. There are 3 levels. If you are more on the wild side and not really good at following rules - - would you really want to spend the rest of eternity with those stuffy do-gooders? Its a choice. You'd probably be happier in the lower levels.

They don't kick you out if you don't do all that stuff. They don't really bug you either (in my experience). It was always about choice. I never felt pressured.

You need to stop using the word Demand. If you want to be in high standing - - want a Recommend to the temple - - you pay your 10% - - and yes you show your tax form. Otherwise its choice. You can say NO. They are not going to kick you out of the church - - or harass you - - or ridicule you - - or anything like that. Its a very private business part of it.

If I've got this wrong - - any Mormon's here - - please correct me.

EDIT: just noticed: If true, then it would appear that money does play an important role. What if you are on welfare? What if you are on a fixed income like Social Security. What do you think their 10% is going to be? You are equating income with wealth. Unlike some churches I've been in - - who list major donors in the bulletins or announce them - - that does not happen in the Mormon church.
edit on 2-1-2011 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by Annee
EDIT: just noticed: If true, then it would appear that money does play an important role. What if you are on welfare? What if you are on a fixed income like Social Security. What do you think their 10% is going to be? You are equating income with wealth.


I'm not sure what your point is. If my income is $100, to be allowed access to the Temple, I need to give them $10. If my income is $1000, it's $100. $1,000,000, I offer up $100,000. Ten percent is ten percent -- it is effectively a flat tax.

Ironically, that makes it even worse, because the person making $12,000 a year is far more likely to need that 10% to meet their basic needs than a person making $120,000 needs $12,000 to meet their basic needs.

Yes, I think "demand" is a good word to use, because if you want to go to the temple, when it comes to the amount of your income and the amount of your donations, the church is not going to simply take your word for it, which is absolutely bizarre when you consider what it implies.

Contrast that with mainstream Protestant and Catholic churches that say that the act of giving is between you and God, and whether you give 100% or 0% of your income, you are welcome in the pews. While I have seen many instances of a "Wall of Donors" (including in my own church,) I've never seen any that indicates whether someone gave $1 or $10,000. In addition, most sizable donations are done anonymously, and there are only two people in our church who know how much anyone gives routinely, myself and the person who counts and deposits the collection.

No matter how you argue it (and I find it ironic that a non-believer is trying to justify such behaviour,) the practice of requiring monetary contribution for religious favour is wrong. What they are doing is no different than the Catholic practice of Indulgences, which led to the Protestant Reformation.

And I'm not even going to get into what they're doing with all that money.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 09:31 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Ironically, that makes it even worse, because the person making $12,000 a year is far more likely to need that 10% to meet their basic needs than a person making $120,000 needs $12,000 to meet their basic needs.



I think you have it in your head that Mormons are wrong - - and nothing anyone says will change it. You completely twisted my point. If you give $10 or $10,000 - - - you are equal.

In my quest to find "truth" - - I've tried Catholic - Baptist - Pentecostal - Lutheran - Presbyterian - Metaphysics - etc etc.

If by law I had to belong to a religious organization - - I would pick Mormon hands-down way above any of the others. You are not just Mormon - - you LIVE Mormon. I found it to be a very happy and healthy way of living - - very focused on family (children and marriage). It is a connected organization as your church time is assigned by location (you go with your neighbors) - - this makes it easier to know each other and help each other. I have no problem with the 10% tithing. In the period we were committed we paid our tithing - - as we became less committed we gave occasionally. We were assigned an appointment time to come in at the end of the year - - we simply did not go. Nothing was ever said - nor were we treated any differently.

I have nothing to prove or reason to do so. You can believe/think whatever you want.

Back on topic: Atheism's Missionaries.

Many people who do not belong to an organized group volunteer their time to help others. Atheists are not an organized group - - therefore there really is no data.

However - - as I said in a previous post - Humanists are Organizing.

Humanist Charity Funds Disaster Relief Effort
www.americanhumanist.org...




edit on 3-1-2011 by Annee because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 12:57 PM
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Um...is it just me, or has Cosmic.Artifact abandoned all of this? I'm still awaiting response on the debate thing, and I'd really like to see everyone here support the fruition of this debate. I want it to happen, and I know more than a few on here would like to see that happen too.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Lo and behold!

I bringeth unto thee the Gospel of atheism that thou shalt readeth of it and knoweth in thy soul that it is true.


I can't speak for the other atheists on these boards but my goal as an atheist, my "mission", is merely to spread uncertainty. No matter what form of theism you believe I want you to come away from a discussion with me thinking and questioning and doubting what you were told. Atheism isn't as important as getting people thinking and atheism isn't as important to me as agnosticism. If I can help create some agnostic-theists than I'm a happy camper.

Socrates is credited with saying "The only thing I know is that I know nothing" which is possibly the wisest phrase ever spoken. I throw absolute certainty out of the window and feel that the most tenable and intellectually honest position is uncertainty.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Titen-Sxull
my "mission", is merely to spread uncertainty[/b


oh well that's easy now


I bet your just angry you didn't make it in the top #4 list


or did you ?


peace guys...



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 03:58 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


When is the debate?

I'm still waiting.



posted on Jan, 3 2011 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Cosmic, please address the issues at hand, or at the very least address the public challenge for debate that you issued to me. We're all waiting on bated breath for the debate of the ages between yourself and myself.

Please, don't disappoint the community.

Now, if you don't want to do the debate, you can issue a formal retraction and apology for your actions. Otherwise, I want this to go ahead.



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