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The Growth of Atheism and What it Means for Our Future

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posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:39 AM
I would argue a decline in faith and morals will die and make the world more unstable.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:41 AM
reply to post by madnessinmysoul

Not really. Faith is faith. Unless it can be proven without a doubt, it is faith. I would argue there are varying scales of it. We as humans take the first act of faith in believing all that we see is real. We also take an act of faith that we have the free will to make that choice. That this is reality. That's faith. There is no evidence for or against the existence of reality. And that's just something we have to take on faith. That this is real. Now after that first step in faith we can choose that this reality is created or the product of some intervention. Going on the faith that reality is real, reality seems to be the product of random chance. But that too is faith, for all we have observed is Earth and a couple of planets in our solar system. We do not yet have any proof for or against the great yonder. It takes an act of faith for me to claim that the cosmos are as diverse as life on Earth. That we will never see another bipedal upright humanoid intelligence anywhere near us anytime soon that came about by the random production of evolution.

All of existence is essentially faith. Faith that you are right. When it comes to God, we then have to take it on faith. There is no proof for or against God. There is no way to observe it or him or her. There is nothing but the writings of a few people from long long ago. Thus, there is no way to observe God. All calculable evidence says it is impossible to be 100% sure there is or is not a God. We can observe that a prayer does not get answered many times, but we really have no idea if that's proof of God or not. Could actually prove that the Stoic God is true. A God who just don't care.

In the end, the act of believing without evidence is no different than the fact that there is no evidence for or against something. For if there is no evidence for or against something, no matter where you are on the spectrum, you are believing without any evidence.

Also, "reasonable trust based upon previous experience" isn't faith. I don't really know what it is. Age? Experience? wisdom? It's not faith though. It's basically just consistency.

I should also add that to live without any faith is to be an animal. Because humans, by their own minds, question everything. Only something not mentality capable of choosing can have truly no faith. Most lower animals are true atheists perhaps then. But even Gorillas apparently believe in something. We asked them with sign language. Who knows.
edit on 13-6-2011 by Gorman91 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:43 AM

Originally posted by VitriolAndAngst

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.
If you believe that the Nazi leaders were christian then I really overestimated your intelligence, because to this point you seemed pretty smart for an atheist but that comment lacks real historical evidence as well as just lacking common sense dude, yeah after that one I think ill let you guys have this thread..LOL

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:45 AM
Oops, double post,
Second line - apologies
edit on 13-6-2011 by timepolarity because: Double post - sorry

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:46 AM

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, not a belief in a lack.


Atheism is not a faith, it is an absence of faith. I have no faith in deities. I do not believe in deities. I cannot make with epistemological certainty the claim that no deity exists, though I can make fairly reasonable claims about specific instances.

So you say: I believe there is no God.
I say: I believe there is a God.

They are both beliefs, chosen by the believer based on the evidence presented.  To say you simply choose not to have any beliefs is merely a semantic argument, and doesn't change the nature of your position.  You believe one thing to be true, I believe another.

If you truly lacked ANY belief, then you wouldn't have an argument against Christianity, because you would believe neither that it was true nor false.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:48 AM
Atheist here. After reading a few pages of people talk about faith and praying when all seems so lost, all I can say is "get a hold of yourselves". Really, what is a prayer? An oral iteration of all you hope to achieve during the hard times and nothing more. When times get tough, you know what I do? I determine the most logical course of action to solve the problem and break the action into steps. All is not so hopeless if the problem at hand is viewed as one simple step at a time.

We do not need a "God" to solve all of our problems. We do not need to put faith into an invisible imaginary friend. That faith needs to be, instead, turned onto ourselves. We all have the power to make our world a better place, but most are blind and few care.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:49 AM
Some people forget about nucelar bombs with this discussion,dictators,politics,humans rights abuse,religious rights,Fair trails and economy abuses.Government abuse from so called moderate governments.All of this stuff is the reailty of how the world works.You have to have faith and confidence that these bodies will function correctly.Not if your talking faith just about God.The middle east has not changed its mind for the destruction of Israel and mass murder of jews.
edit on 13-6-2011 by Jobeycool because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:52 AM
reply to post by Dissent

Yeah, it does remind me of Pike's letter as well. Especially this:

We shall unleash the Nihilists and the atheists, and we shall provoke a formidable social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to the nations the effect of absolute atheism, origin of savagery and of the most bloody turmoil.

"Origin of savagery and the most bloody turmoil" Which makes sense imo, if one has no fear of the afterlife or judgement, he can do whatever he wants while on the Earth, and it won't matter right?

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:52 AM

Originally posted by Jrocbaby

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.

>> Well, if you BELIEVE that God intervenes in this life-time, then you MUST believe that the Afghanis believe in the WRONG GOD.

That's why Pat Robertson (who should NOT represent ALL religious figures -- just MOST OF THEM), talks about places destroyed by a storm and says it's "Gods will" if there were perhaps a pro homosexual vote somewhere in their past.

YOU grow up in a America, where likely it was clean and you had hope. WHY did someone grow up in Afghanistan without hope and raised on warfare? A person must justify this with God or their religion and there are many answers they might find. The one that gets PREACHED a lot, is that "God is Just" -- so therefore, what is someone to conclude? That "God likes us more." And this is where we get American Exeptionalism, and many people weren't bothered at all when the REASON for invading Iraq changed from; "Save us from WMDs" to "revenge for 9/11" or "to bring Democracy" or something else until it was finally a shrug and some vague, unjustified notion that "we got cheaper gas and kicked some Arab ass!" I mean, really, WHY doesn't it really piss and embarrass people a LOT MORE that we invaded Iraq? Especially when there is no proof of benefitting their country or ares?

And WHERE did these Americans come from, who are OK with "helping our economy through warfare." The "new religion" is that FDR did not help the middle class and poor and the general economy in this country with the New Deal and public works projects to get people busy and making money -- he "got lucky" because of WW II. Let's not notice that the Great Depression happened AFTER WW I, and that the economy was slowing AFTER 4 years of WW II and picked up again when the war was over -- how could any sane person be OK with helping our economy with a World War regardless of whether or not it WORKED???!!!

>> But this kind of brings me back to the "Pat Robertson's" of the world and the notion that God picks favorites. The chance of someone in poverty and ignorance and fighting for their lives in Afghanistan to live life to a "godly standard" is just lower than someone born in the USA -- it just is. Maybe if your kid is a latch-key kid and gets influenced by Gangs,.... but that ALSO is about environment and conditions -- NOT the Church or what you might believe. There's religion in Afghanistan too. If your parents both work, and can't afford a Nanny or get a UNION JOB so that them might be at home with the kids -- then God obviously, thinks you are Less Worthy than a family who can afford a Nanny and Piano Lessons.

We have less income in my family because my wife doesn't work and looks after the kids -- that's a choice. But it wasn't a choice that she got cancer and we almost went bankrupt. I'm damn lucky, to have friends and family with some money to help out -- but someone else, would either have both parents working, and STILL go bankrupt when one of them died from Cancer -- which is more likely to happen, if you have to keep making a living while going through the process. God had nothing to do with our GOOD OUTCOME -- 30 years ago, we could have depended on the "evil" Government -- today, it's Sink or Swim. But since we have some wealth around us -- we did OK.

People without Wealth around them -- they suffer. They would have lost their house and been a "burden on society."

Whether in Afghanistan or the USA, if life ends up giving you the short end of the stick, Religion can make you think that it will all be better later. Or, if life handed you a "better deal" -- you can rationalize that those people were MEANT TO SUFFER.

>> By the way, all those "charities" that everyone points to, as what is so great about religion and LOW taxes -- because you can donate to one and everything will be fine -- they are, with a few exceptions, band aids, and riddled with more graft, corruption and incompetence, than most any government program that haunts the evening news. Pat Robertson, for instance, used his "charity money" that was going to give food and bibles for children, to buy Mining Equipment. And was caught one time shipping this to Africa, rather than loads of grain. So Pat and some of his 700 Club buddies, make money from people devoutly worshipping God on one end, and from Blood Diamonds and Gold on the other. Then, during the day, Pat gets to tell everyone that New Orleans drowned because God didn't like them. I am absolutely positive, that Pat will not be hit by lightning, nor does he have trouble sleeping at night.

Yeah, God works in mysterious ways -- or maybe he's on welfare.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:52 AM
reply to post by timepolarity

Don't you know what a heretic you are for attempting to reason with the fervent unreasonable faith of an atheist?

If only we had listened to God in the first place, we wouldn't have to have these discussions now.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:53 AM
reply to post by nicolee123nd

read this post with a lot of interest. just so you know, i am a Christian, but i respect those who aren't (and those who don't believe in a Higher Power of any sort). i believe God gave us free will, and it's in God's purpose that not everybody believe. i don't necessarily understand, but i don't have to.

a few points i'd like to make:

-it seems a lot of people are making the assumption that all Christians are fundamentalists. this isn't true. like many Christians (particularily many Catholics), i believe the Bible CAN NOT be taken literally, word for word. the intent of God isn't always clear, even in the Bible, and i think it's arrogant to assume your interpretation is the only correct one.

-it's been stated several times that religion is responsible for (all, most, 85%, 15%) of all war on the planet. i heartily disagree. frequently religion has been the EXCUSE for war, it has been warped and twisted to get the public to go along, but i firmly believe the cause of war is always POWER. not the same thing at all.

-i've also seen many imply or state that people who believe in a Higher Power are stupid, fearful, and don't recognize science. probably the most offensive, prejudicial attitude to be found here. i (like a lot of Christians) believe in science. i believe it was st. augustine (or possibly st. thomas aquinas, both prominent Catholic theologians) who said, "all truth is God's truth." this statement is one of the foundations of my beliefs. as for the "silliness" of believing in some old guy with a white beard who floats around on a cloud, does it make so much more sense to say "there was nothing anywhere, than the nothing exploded, and there was a bunch of stuff." equally silly. the whole point is, there is still so much we don't know about the Universe and the origins of everything, who's to say? in my mind, e=mc2 still stands (part of "God's truth", you know!), and you can't get Something out of Nothing. unless there is a miracle involved

with all that said, i think it's a good thing that more people are turning to atheism. i have to assume a lot of these people didn't really have "faith" to begin with, but were constrained to "follow along" chasing somebody else's beliefs. i really think, in order for faith to have ANY meaning, you have to choose it with full free will.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by ShakaDoodle

If only God never became part of our beliefs, we wouldn't be having this discussion. If only the Crusades never happened we might still have some great wonders of the ancient world ALONG with that ancient knowledge.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:55 AM

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul 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.

I didn't say it always had to go down that way. But the OP was about the religious changing their minds. My own past is such an example so I mentioned how it went down for me.

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

Your attitude may be the right one for you then. I should add that if that is in fact something you seek, you'll never find the evidence in external things. It's something that smacks you in the face and turns your whole life around. I suspect you'd probably call it brain damage (unless it happened to you). In my case it started in 2003 when I was reading online about "narcissism" and realized the personality disorder label suited me perfectly. I am not sure there are many who can understand the suffering that followed (but there are definitely others who have been down that road; there was once a whole forum called "healnpd" full of them). In any case it has all led to some recent experiences that have provided me with certainty that there is more than meets the eye to our existence.

It ain't evidence for you. I understand that. It wouldn't be for me either. I suspect that if one's life is stable, without severe internal conflict, and you're moving forward and being productive and contributing, God (please check any baggage about that word at the door) is happy enough with you as it is and doesn't see the need to intervene. If you live the unproductive, parasitical, emotionally destructive existence that I lived, then maybe you'll be "saved by grace" like I was. I don't think that such "salvation" means having an eternity of doing jack in pure bliss though. What it means is a last chance to turn around and be useful to people, to stop hiding your talents in the earth.

As for what happens after we die, I can only speculate. I do think the observer is eternal, for what it's worth.

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

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:57 AM
Fantastic thread! well done OPs.

The faster we remove conforming structured religion, the faster we will explore our own personal and unique connection to the cosmos.

Some will find this connection in the books of science, progressing forward those whom came before them to make our legasy as a species a bit more set in stone.

Some will find their connection in personal spirituality, meditating and sensing the energy of the universe ebb and flow through them

Some will perhaps embrace both, the hard sciences of our physical realm, and taking their spiritualistic tendencies to explore yet new strange and unique aspects of our universe that traditional science is unaware of...finding unique aspects that would have traditionally been thought of as magical, demonic, angellic, etc...but without the taboo of structured religion to forbid investigation.

Religion supresses the worked very well for a little while and for some people giving support when needed most, however, I think we are becoming mature enough to not require men pretending to be gods and constricting deity discussions to remove the gold you earned to give to a powerful organization of mind controllers in robes.

Let the life raft of religion sink and lets climb onto the stable land of progression and well being for the people. Focus no longer on getting just rewards at death, but instead making just changes and rewards for all during life.

Some say live like you were dying...I would venture to say, live like you were alive.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 11:59 AM
Why is their always an atheist who only will show Crusaders as some massive evil take over of the world.When they felt threatened they where going to wiped out as well.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 12:02 PM

Atheism - lack of belief in a deity

Black - lack of color

If Atheism is not a religion, the black is not a color. Everyone knows that black is indeed a color, so logic dictates that Atheism is a religion.

So much for logical Atheists.

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posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 12:04 PM
Ok, for those who can't seem to comprehend what atheism is.....

Picture a cup, imagine water is faith. An empty cup is an athiest, a full cup is a thiest, and all the agnostics are somewhere between empty and full. Get it?

Not a full cup of red juice is an athiest, and a full cup of blue juice is a theist. Does that help any?

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 12:07 PM

Originally posted by TKDRL
Ok, for those who can't seem to comprehend what atheism is.....

Picture a cup, imagine water is faith. An empty cup is an athiest, a full cup is a thiest, and all the agnostics are somewhere between empty and full. Get it?

Not a full cup of red juice is an athiest, and a full cup of blue juice is a theist. Does that help any?

Fill 2 cups exactly the same.

Test one scientifically for its content. Facts will be forthcoming.

Observe the other one - - have faith in its meaning.

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 12:09 PM

Originally posted by NewlyAwakened
In my case it started in 2003 when I was reading online about "narcissism" and realized the label suited me perfectly.

Everyone is a little narcissistic actually, its actually be devoid of any would spell at the worst, a total stagnation of society. the "can do" spirit is actually a narcissistic trait...and its a good one.

Its only when it gets blown out of proportion is where the problem starts (and a spike in the person's asshattery meter)

it has led to some experiences that have provided me with certainty that there is more than meets the eye to our existence.

I am agnostic-atheist.
I don't believe in a deity (at least as described in any holy book).

I have also had what can be described as paranormal experiences..not bump in the night type stuff, but more on the dishes floating through air, you will not deny this or ever get a rational explanation type experiences (note the S...yes, plural).

I see what I experienced as personal subjective truth that there is far more to the universe than meets the eye. This does not interfere with my atheism stance at all...actually, it makes me deem a society that is atheist by default would be far more beneficial...
Eventually we can remove the good and bad spookie talk from religion and instead come at these experiences from a scientific and rational view...explore and build new tools to find out what is going on.
Who knows...perhaps there is dimensional bleeding, perhaps we will find out our "soul" is conscious energy that is actually extraterrestrial in nature that is attached to a otherwise unremarkable primate..etc...speculate and test hypothesis....the beauty of the science minded.

But the point is, just because you experienced something "supernatural", doesn't suddenly mean some 2k year old book of superstitions = just means you may have taken a lazy way out of truely pondering your experience..which is a sad waste if you consider it.
edit on 13-6-2011 by SaturnFX because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 12:09 PM
If there is an entity who created this universe, it should be smart enough to understand why I don't believe in it.

The NWO and the condemning religious are the 2 major reasons people will never live in utopia. They have the numbers and the power. Fear will keep both groups operating. Fear is a great tool for manipulation. Fear seems to be innate ironically as a survival mechanism. At least the religious have eternity to look forward to.
edit on 13-6-2011 by gentledissident because: Paris in the the spring

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