It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Help ATS via PayPal:
learn more

The Growth of Atheism and What it Means for Our Future

page: 7
<< 4  5  6    8  9  10 >>

log in


posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:03 AM

Originally posted by Q:1984A:1776 I have to admit that that everything is possible, therefore there really could be a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father that can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

I'm an atheist checking in. Please, let's ditch the self righteousness. Let's realize we are animal and subject to the same behavior. Let's realize that this blip of existence is all we will have. Let's make sure everyone is provided for and has an easy entertaining ride. Let's be good social animals.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:06 AM

Originally posted by nicolee123nd
If you ever get into a religious conversation with an atheist, at one point the person almost always says "I was raised Christian..." How come you never hear a person say "I was born an atheist..."?

Because we are all born atheists, I suspect. The beliefs we carry into adulthood are usually the ones we're raised with, not the ones we're born with. But it's a good point. I was born an atheist, raised as a Christian and then returned to atheism.

In America, studies showed that 8% of people were atheist/agnostic/nonreligious in 1990 source

I'm actually surprised that the number is that low. Considering there are so many preachers who are actually atheists (Preachers Who Are Not Believers) I'm certain there are a number of people who do not believe in God, but claim some religion or the other.

When I have asked friends if they are atheist, they reply "No", but when I ask if they believe in God, they also reply, "No". So, many people don't really know what the word means and I suspect that more still are afraid to adopt the label, as many new atheists are. I think that will be changing shortly, though. I'd like to see a study with results from today. I think the numbers would be even higher than twenty years ago.

Hell.If you think back to the pre-1950s, many people considered it taboo to even not attend church every Sunday, to support homosexuality, to have an abortion or even use birth control, etc. The Christian Church had a much stronger hold on us back then. And now that people have the power to think freely, they may realize that they've put their faith in something that they now realize isn't so legitimate.

This is a good point. The brand of Christianity my parents practiced (in the 60s) was very strict:

Church EVERY Sunday morning (and Sunday School) and evening
Church every Wednesday evening
Attendance required at church camp every summer
Attendance required at all local revivals
NO dancing allowed
NO cards in the house or card playing (gambling)
NO pants for females
NO drinking or smoking
We couldn't even use words like "shoot" and "dang" because they stood for curse words.

Our entire lives were focused on religion and doubting never came into our minds. I remember asking my parents questions about stuff I didn't understand and they always had a religious-inspired answer. It was either God's will or the Devil's fault, regardless of the question,

Some people may see the growth in nonreligious people as a bad thing, weather it's for the sake of their religion or that they just don't like atheists. But I see this as a good thing. I'm an atheist, and I'm gonna admit, I think religion is holding us back from advancing, scientifically and spiritually.

Religion would be fine if the people just didn't push everyone else to hold the same beliefs. I do think that the current practices and politicization of religion is getting us into a lot of trouble and holding us back, as far as progressing scientifically and even socially.

Without religion (Christianity in particular), we could have a better society overall. No longer would gays, women, blacks, and anyone else looked down on in some religions be considered lesser citizens.

I agree. But it doesn't require the removal of religion, it just requires that religion be put in its place. As a belief system. Not a governmental influence. Getting religion out of government would go a LONG way in advancing in science, society and even spiritually. TRUE freedom of and from religion would be a great improvement.

I think the fall of religious importance (and its place of "special treatment" in our society) is a good thing. We are set up to be a secular government. Religious organizations should be treated just like any other business. And no one's 'belief system' should make the rules for everyone else.

Good thread!

edit on 6/13/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:09 AM
Atheism causes us to lament, "we warn that the disintegration of [religion] will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets".

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:10 AM
reply to post by Dissent

I fear atheism, not because i believe there is some great spirit, because its the fringe, where the next step is some kind demon, devil, satan worship, whether you know you are or not. I think an atheist would produce evil, something this world needs reduced.

How would atheists become devil worshippers, In my eyes the Devil is no more real than God, why would i turn from not believing in an all powerful omnipotent, deity, who is vengeful but somehow benign and full of love, to believing in evil fallen angel of the same deity I don't believe in? Evil is a concept invented by mankind personified in the devil, evil comes from man whoever he or she is, it's up to us to take responsibility for our actions, through critical thinking we can do this , admittedly religion has kept mankind in line to a certain degree in the past, when we were more superstitious, but surely we are past superstition by now. The fact that I don't believe in God, means I don't believe in the Devil either, so ergo, I'm am not, never have and never will be a Satanist :-)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:17 AM

Originally posted by iterationzero

Agnosticism and atheism aren't mutually exclusive. Quick summary of positions:
Gnostic theist = 100% certain of the existence of god(s).
Gnostic atheist = 100% certain of the lack of existence of god(s).
Agnostic theist = believes in god(s), but doesn't claim to know with 100% certainty.
Agnostic atheist = lacks a belief in god(s), but doesn't claim to know with 100% certainty.

Thank you for defining the terms! If I could give you 10 stars I would. In my opinion, if every thread started with definitions, half of the arguments wouldn't appear, because It seems everyone is always bickering over the same thing by using slightly different definitions of the same terms.

In my opinion, I believe that we will see an increase in rational scientific thought as atheism washes over our country. Instead of teaching our children to 'have faith' we will teach them to think. Instead of telling them to get on their knees and pray, we will tell them to get up and do something... to build something.

And to those who think that religion doesn't hold science back, I ask you to glance back through history.

There are several instances of religion holding science back. Even in benign ways, like Darwin never saying anything about humanity and evolution in On the Origin because he knew people would not take it well, or look at Galileo and more currently the anger over stem cell research.

While I understand that one could say that religion has promoted science in the past, or one could say that it isn't religion that is the cause of this, but the people in it, I would counter that I'd trust an agnostic atheist over an individual with religious leanings when it comes to scientific research, just because it is easier to fill an empty glass than one that is already full.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:20 AM
reply to post by Shminkee Pinkee

It's funny, many Americans believe there is a God, but also claim to believe there is no "devil", while I find that more Europeans believe in the devil but not God. However the adversary of your soul can seduce you, he will twist your belief from the truth and lead you carefully down to where he wants to keep you, lock and key.
edit on 13-6-2011 by bigrex because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:20 AM
reply to post by VitriolAndAngst

how about all the atheists that commited mass genocide....yeah because they had no conscience...and the reason why atheists do kill eachother when no one is looking is because you would still get caught most of the time. Im talking more minor things like finding a wallet on a sidewalk with a couple hundred bucks in it. Atheists have a massive inferiority complex, as they view themselves as nothing more than a fluke in the universe. BTW i have news for you science is not 100% and never was nor will it ever be so to say that science "proves" anything is a load of one thing that science "proves", just one thing.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:20 AM

Originally posted by NewlyAwakened
I think it might be a good thing just because for many, atheism seems to be a necessary step on the path to true spirituality/religion.

Something like this (a gross oversimplification):

1. Raised a dogmatic Christian afraid to question anything.
2. Mind starts to open, you become an atheist.
3. Mind opens further, heart starts to open, you find God again but have a much different idea of Him than you grew up with.

Collectively, it's like a snake shedding its skin. I think the world might see that in the near future (if we don't annihilate ourselves). Around 2000 years ago the snake (our civilization) shed its old, degraded skin. The new skin is now old, degraded, the symbols have lost their meaning, our lives have become aimless again. Thus the time is ripe for a new skin.

It's just an analogy that may or may not represent the true state of things. Take it with a grain of salt.

edit on 13-6-2011 by NewlyAwakened because: (no reason given)

I "tried" religion for a while. But it was draining on me. Church seemed a place where people go to smile at each other for dressing well and LOOKING like good people, but it's also a place you go to STOP questioning, and conform. The Baptists talk a lot about Hell Fire, and the Catholic churches -- you can stay awake by counting the number of times someone says; "the blood" -- it would make a great drinking game if you were Irish and it 65 swigs wouldn't kill you with alcohol poisoning. I even went to an Episcopal school for a year, where I HAD TO go on Thursdays to kneel at a pew and get some bad grape juice and some tasteless cracker -- other than that, no big deal.

But there was always some Sociopath, up in the hierarchy, using the "institution" for cover. They are always the people who talk the MOST about God -- and who spread the most misery because for some reason, they have a cause and no compassion. The most religious guy I ever met, was a gifted guitarist and body builder, and the most miserable human I'd ever met. He constantly beat himself up for NOT being more Jesus-like. He decided to not go into a rock band -- not because he wasn't so good he was asked by some top tier bands, but because it didn't provide enough punishment and suffering for him. So I learned that the top tier of what these religious institutions produces was, with a Conscience, a Masochist, and without one, a Sadist. People who forget they've been screwed by powerful Sadists over and over again -- those become Patriots.

>> Now I do believe in a God -- but I figure IT is an Atheist too. It's because of Science that I know there is hope and compassion in the Universe, because all the fickle, selfish, abusers of others, end up betraying each other and themselves and die with the most gold but the least love. The ultimate end of evolution, is to be MORE godlike and more nurturing -- so inevitably, there is a God because the Universe is infinitely old and vast, and God(s) have been born and absorbed into the fabric of reality countless times.

Of course, I'm not saying we live in the Matrix -- that is an over-simplification of it -- likely a Matrix will be created, but that is so much more primitive than being embedded in Sub-space itself-- and it's a navel-gazing trap which likely ENDS the progress of a species. Enlightenment is looking outward and inward at the same time. So the final frontier is reality. And our reality matters and you cannot count on some "game reset" to save you from an oncoming Bus. But I do think that something bigger than ourselves, "wears us" or is imbued in us -- for the simple fact that that is the most interesting place to be. Even using the mathematics of Christianity; if their god is infinite, then obviously, everything is god. But everything cannot be pre-determined, nor can "natural things" be evil -- even though everything "natural" seems to be the very definition of evil. It wouldn't be there in the first place if it were not intrinsic to the nature of living things like People.

Life is its own reward, it's own adventure and we don't need a REASON to be a live, or to strive for better -- that's what living things do, and SOMETIMES when there is a religion, they divert from a valuable goal or sometimes course correct from a bad one. But we are BETTER than that now. We can use a telescope to look further than our eyes, and we can make plans and look through history and remember what failed.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:23 AM
reply to post by Shminkee Pinkee

From what I've read, I can honestly say that most believers don't understand atheism. They don't know the difference between atheism and antitheism. To a frightened believer, an atheist is someone who hates God or turned against God or doesn't want to do God's will or whatever. They really don't GET that atheists just don't believe in God (or Satan or the Devil or any deity). They think we still believe, but are mad at God or something... So we just might join the "other team".

It just take a little education outside the realms of the church, but of course, the church supports this fear of atheism in their congregations. To the church, Satanists are virtually the same as atheists... What they don't know is that, to us, Satanism is the same as belief in God. They both take an imaginary figure and hold it in esteem...


edit on 6/13/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:25 AM
reply to post by bigrex

That's very interesting, but you seem to be speaking in tongues, no offence :-)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:26 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

Very true, it's like what another poster put up here, 'It's not God i have a problem with, it's his fan clubs' :-)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:27 AM

Originally posted by Nikola014

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
reply to post by Nikola014

And why is that? I'd just like an explanation of how faith is positive and linked inextricably to our 'future', whatever you mean by that.

Try to imagine a man without faith.
A man without faith it not concern for the future.How much people in difficult moments, turns to faith? Well I can tell you a lot.Because faith gives us one extra strength to fight and it's help us i the difficult moments.That's why i believe if the man lose his faith,he lost his future.
The point is,faith give us hope for better tomorrow and i strongly believe faith is one of the most important thing in human life.

Imagine a man WITH faith, living in afghanistan, his whole family destroyed by foreign invaders, he is compelled by his faith to put on a bomb and avenge his brothers so that they will accept him in the afterlife, or whatever.

I have faith, but in no god, any god where you have to "Defend" him about how powerful he is and how loving, is not a god i would ever worship.

and besides, if your answer to life mysteries is always god, then what future do you have? That would be a very limited universe to me.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:29 AM
reply to post by nicolee123nd

It's good that religion is losing it's hold on Western minds. God is a divisive figure and the ideologies that surround the belief are destructive and volitile.

Religion has led to a purposeful denial of information creating a class of people that are fundamentally out of touch with modern understanding. It's become so ingrained in culture that it has gone beyond disagreement. There is a sea of lies and faith based denials that serve to negate observational science through the use of superstition and social intimidation.

We have a long way to go before we rid ourselves of this darkages holdover but experiencing reality through science is powerful and a rational world view will eventually prevail.
edit on 13-6-2011 by Fiberx because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:31 AM
reply to post by VitriolAndAngst

Welcome to what I'm talking about.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:31 AM

Originally posted by JBeezy
reply to post by VitriolAndAngst

how about all the atheists that commited mass genocide....yeah because they had no conscience...and the reason why atheists do kill eachother when no one is looking is because you would still get caught most of the time. Im talking more minor things like finding a wallet on a sidewalk with a couple hundred bucks in it. Atheists have a massive inferiority complex, as they view themselves as nothing more than a fluke in the universe. BTW i have news for you science is not 100% and never was nor will it ever be so to say that science "proves" anything is a load of one thing that science "proves", just one thing.

The "mass genocide" is from PSYCHOPATHS -- however they get into power, whether wearing the cloak of the clergy, or wearing epaulets from the military -- using and abusing people on a whim is what they do.

Atheism is merely the lack of an object for unproven devotion. It doesn't force good or evil on people. Religion, however, will allow good people to do bad things.

>> And by the way, the Nazis were a Christian Cult and were NOT Atheists. They wore belt bucklers that translated to "With God on our Side." They also had many supporters and intellectual ties with people interested in Wall Street and Eugenics in the good old USA. Godless Liberals were their natural enemies. I know a lot of Conservatives like to use their self-labelled "National Socialist Party" as an attachment to Socialism -- but it was just a label. It's like saying China isn't a Capitalist Totalitarian society because it calls itself Communist -- other than some planned economy and farming and useless "communal votes" -- it couldn't be further from Communist.

Stalin, was a war-monger and Sociopath. I don't know about his religious beliefs. Likely, there were plenty of religious people in Russia killing and being killed, and plenty of non-religious people as well. Perhaps THERE is one example in history where Religion wasn't a tool for bloodshed. It's a very RARE example -- that's all.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:31 AM
I have found over the years as I have progressed in thought from that of a statist to that of an anarcho-capitalist, that my belief is that religion, just as statism, is slavery at its core. One cannot exist with the other, and since I oppose the very idea of slavery I cannot believe in a "god".

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

At birth we do believe in something. We believe in those who raise us. It's just a product of evolution. If a child was born with no faith in their parents then it would be significantly more difficult to raise children. So maybe that's our first idea of religion. But children are not born faithless nothingnesses. While we are all born blank slates, we still have our human nature. And that nature is what makes a child born with faith. A child is born with faith, if in nothing else, that their parent is in fact their God more or less. And until the parent teaches otherwise, that child thinks the parent is the be all and end all of their existence.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:32 AM
reply to post by Gorman91

...skepticism isn't faith, it's rejecting a claim because there is not evidence to support it. You're sort of combining "faith" which means "reasonable trust based upon previous experience" with the one that means "belief without or contrary to evidence".

Two separate meanings.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:34 AM
At least it frees up our sunday mornings, for sleeping, working and McDonalds breakfast menu

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:35 AM
reply to post by NewlyAwakened I wasn't raised in a very dogmatic household, I'd say I go very little in the way of indoctrination and my parents encouraged me to ask questions. My dad is a physicist, so he was always keen on encouraging my curious nature.

And then I examined religion. My mind didn't open, I just took the tools I was using for everything else and applied them to the one thing I had excluded. Eventually I became an atheist.

...and I don't see myself becoming a theist unless someone ponies up some evidence.

new topics

top topics

<< 4  5  6    8  9  10 >>

log in