Does a candidate's faith, matter?

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posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:13 PM
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reply to post by ThaLoccster
 



I live the way I do for the same reasons I try to teach my children to be good people and to do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do.


Ok, so please try to make me understand. Why would you teach your children to waste a portion of their limited time?

What is "right" without spirituality. There is no right or wrong without spirituality. Every notion you have of right and wrong was indoctrinated from a religion whether you realize it or not. Rape, Robbery, Murder are all perfectly acceptable in the animal world. They live in a manner that most benefits the strongest individual. There is no civility.

I'm not criticizing your view, but I don't believe it exists, and I think many people are indoctrinated to religious ideas of right and wrong and don't even realize it.

So, please make me understand where your morality comes from, and why you would teach a child that has at most 80-90 years of existence, that it is best to waste 25 of it in school and 50 of it behind a desk and committing to 1 woman and 1 lifestyle is the best way to spend that time? Are you doing it to benefit me as your fellow man? If so, then don't. Don't waste a life on my behalf. Are you doing it for your descendents? Wouldn't they be better served by you collecting as much wealth and as many siblings as possible without regard to anyone else?

There is no right and wrong without some sort of a God.




posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:13 PM
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To me it would all depend on a few things not just their faith, but what their faith represents, and how deep it goes in their actions.

I would not have a problem with an Atheist, nor would I have problems with a Christian or any other religion as long as it is not some dark shady cult.

I do however worry that just like countries in the middle east, The US could very easily elect a religious radical from any religion. That's why I love to see everyone drag each other through the mud during these debates, because if there was any sort of extremism, people would catch it.

Any time I hear religion debated in a presidential election cycle I get worried because I see how we, the USA, have slowly gone from separation of church and state to "Who do you pray to?!"

It is not being said, but it is there, even in the school systems, freedom of religion is slowly being worn away.



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:16 PM
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Originally posted by 0zzymand0s
reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Why not unicorns? Or Flying saucers? I have a hard time believing that anyone who doesn't believe in unicorns or flying saucers can possibly have a moral compass compatible with being the president of the US. To me -- someones lack of belief in unicorns, or flying saucers is an indicator of their basic immorality. How can someone who doesn't believe in unicorns possibly remain faithful to one woman, or work hard at a job, or choose to do the "right thing?"

I hope you see how utterly ridiculous this argument is.


No. You lost me. What does unicorns have to do with believing there is more than just a random accidental physical existence and nothing more?

Once again, you are trying to define a God. Sure, if we make people believe in Jesus or Allah or Unicorns or any other representation of something beyond comprehension, then we are doomed to fail. But, by the same token, if we say because we cannot define or picture it then it doesn't exist, we are also doomed to fail.

Please tell me where your notion of "right" comes from if not religion?



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:20 PM
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Religious faith? That depeneds on the depth of their religious beliefs. You wouldnt want a fundementalist in charge. Faith in our species should, on the other hand, be a priority for candidacy.



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:21 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Simply put? Because cooperation, fidelity, and hard work are the engines that drive human civilization. To obtain the greatest benefit for myself and my own family, I must encourage as fair and as level playing field as possible, otherwise -- someone stronger or more like an "animal" -- can take it all away in a heartbeat erasing everything I have worked for or care about capriciously.

I don't have to believe in any particular god, magical powers or extraterrestrial threats to DESIRE fairness and decency in human society. I only have to believe in the principal of greatest "good" for the greatest number of people. No one is served in a world of winner take all because there is no stability. Innovation (and good) arise from a world in which the greatest majority are encouraged and allowed to prosper.

Fear is the destroyer of value, and if it weren't for the fact that fear is the major product of most religion, I'd probably be a proponent of it.



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Sorry Get ready, but I will readily disagree here.

When you are religious, religion provides an outlet or an incentive. Your good you to to heaven, nirvana, what have you. If your bad, bad things happen.

Athiests are only beholden to themselves, and as such, no one to hold accountable for their actions then themselves, when you don't have an excuse, responsbility becomes a powerful motivator.

If athiests had no morals, then there would be droves of athiests unleashing mayhem on society. But they don't.

Moral code does not equal religion, and vice versa.

Just like someone who attends church, does not mean they have a moral code.



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:34 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


reply to post by 0zzymand0s
 


Good answers. Working as a unit enables the sum to be greater than the parts. A civilization will have much more success than a lone being, and therefore incentivizes cooperation. Great answers.

But, more specifically, within that society, what about fairness and morality? If one can exist within the society, without breaking any established laws, but can also manipulate and hoarde and rise above the competitors it should be perfectly acceptable, no? Where does charity and empathy and kindness play into an atheist society? How are they justified by logic alone?

I'm not trying to be hard-headed here, this is a long-running debate in two of my personal circles. One was a "free-thinkers" society that I accidentally got involved with and then learned it is just a very close-minded atheist society and the name was misleading, LOL! The other is a well-accepted theory that no human being acts out of kindness. Every action has a perceived reward, even if the reward is just the feeling of satisfaction for doing something nice, it has now changed a selfless act into a selfish act. Can that be true? Are all humans only motivated by their own selfishness even if the actions seem to be kind?



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:36 PM
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reply to post by Praetorius
 


Would you consider the public vetting we do of a candidate's religion, a test of religion?



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


Those are great questions, and sadly -- I don't have all the answers. What I do "know" is that fairness and morality has more "utility" then selfishness and immorality. If I play fair, and treat everyone fairly -- even people I disagree with (especially people I disagree with!) -- than I can rightly expect fair treatment in return. That's all I've got, and it's what I try to live by.

For the record -- I find my local "free-thinkers" to be far too rigid as well. As for the notions of "faith" and "god," I find them fascinating. My concern is that IF the world is roughly 1/4 to 1/3 sociopath, a simple profession of faith or spirituality is no guarantee of right thinking, or right doing. And frankly -- sociopaths are drawn to positions of power over other people, which means they are probably over-represented in politics, making anyone who campaigns on a platform that includes a lot of talk of "god" or "religion" inherently suspect.

Your mileage may vary, of course.



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
reply to post by Praetorius
 


Would you consider the public vetting we do of a candidate's religion, a test of religion?

Personally I would, if people are using the candidate's religion (or lack thereof) as a qualifier for office.

I doubt you could make a legal argument of it, and I know I've always set myself up for disappointment by expecting people to know these guidelines and act in mature and reasoned fashion, but there it is. If someone's the best applicant for a position, then they should be chosen regardless of what they do on their own time, what they personally believe on such matters like this (granted, as long as said beliefs don't lead to undue influence on the performance of their duties), their race or gender, and so forth.

I wish so many people didn't have such a hard time separating these issues out.



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
To me, Santorum answered this question perfectly in the debate last night.

The only thing that matters about one's faith, is that they have one. I don't care what flavor of religion it is, so long as they have a religion, and they make decisions based off a moral code that we can agree with.


That is the WORST answer! Something I'd expect from Santorum, but not from you... What you've written feeds the lie that atheists don't have morals and that having a religion automatically makes a person someone you can trust. I'm sorry, grar, but that's hogwash. People DON'T need religion to have a STRONG moral code. And some of the slimiest people are those smack dab in the middle of organized religion.

To answer the OP's question,
I say no. The personal religious beliefs of a candidate doesn't matter. What matters is his or her public positions on issues that affect the country. What also matters is that they make their decisions based on what is best for the country and what supports the Constitution, rather than on their own personal religious beliefs. I think it's important to avoid someone who would, for example, use their personal religious beliefs to support a platform of bigotry and intolerance.



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 05:02 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 

While I agree with your concern regarding slimy people, GRA's post was not anti-atheist. While atheists are often too traumatized to accept it, an atheist moral code is simply a "non-organized a-theological dogma" (and, ultimately, a "type" of religion). Anti-theists are a more militant, and usually very hypocritical, version of the same.

I can understand why you take offense to GRA's post if I limit my judgment to certain key words, but the nature of the post as a whole is quite fair.



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 05:21 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by ThaLoccster
 



I live the way I do for the same reasons I try to teach my children to be good people and to do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do.


Ok, so please try to make me understand. Why would you teach your children to waste a portion of their limited time?

What is "right" without spirituality. There is no right or wrong without spirituality. Every notion you have of right and wrong was indoctrinated from a religion whether you realize it or not. Rape, Robbery, Murder are all perfectly acceptable in the animal world. They live in a manner that most benefits the strongest individual. There is no civility.

I'm not criticizing your view, but I don't believe it exists, and I think many people are indoctrinated to religious ideas of right and wrong and don't even realize it.

So, please make me understand where your morality comes from, and why you would teach a child that has at most 80-90 years of existence, that it is best to waste 25 of it in school and 50 of it behind a desk and committing to 1 woman and 1 lifestyle is the best way to spend that time? Are you doing it to benefit me as your fellow man? If so, then don't. Don't waste a life on my behalf. Are you doing it for your descendents? Wouldn't they be better served by you collecting as much wealth and as many siblings as possible without regard to anyone else?

There is no right and wrong without some sort of a God.


I do not believe rape, murder, or theft is wrong because "god said so." I also do not believe those things are acceptable in the animal world. I have never seen another animal rape another, or "murder" it, I may have seen one rob another.

How do you,know those things were accepted? Just because an animal cannot speak does not mean it has no ideas, and if it were to see another animal callously murder another, who is to say that animal's opinion of the other would not be changed?

The only time I have seen an animal kill another was to eat, outside of dog fighting, or cock fighting, I have never seen another animal kill another for sheer sport, and in those cases it's fair to assume whether the animal did it because it truely wanted to see the other die, or acted out of fear of reprisal from an owner.

My morality stems from my own sense of self and self respect. I do not need to be promised streets of gold to not murder, rape, or pillage. All I need to do is look at myself in the mirror. I live the way I do so I can look in the mirror and be proud of who I am today, not so I can get 40 virgins in the afterlife.

All I have is right now. If I can't live with the person I am today, then no manner of next life rewards will change that.

ETA: If in fact there was a god, would it be right to be judged simply because I did not believe in his existence? Or would I be judged based on the way I lived my life, regardless of whether I had faith in a spiritual being or not?

If I am to be judged simply because I do or do not believe in the higher power, then that is not a god I want to believe in. I believe the content of my character and the actions of my life should be what the judgement is based on.

It seems childish, and something from a teenage birthday party. "If you don't believe Justin Bieber is the ubercoolest then you can't come to my birthday party." It seems like it really doesnt matter what type of person you are, just whether or not you think this mythical figure is real or not.

Also, if you were to know that there was in fact no god. Would you change your life and submit to things that are outside of your moral code? If so, is it safe to say that you actually have no morals, but only pretend to so you can get something in return?

That's not morals, thats bribery, extortion even. It seems to me that one doesn't actually have morals or a moral code if it is just a ruse to get into heaven.

It seems to me that I'm more morally correct than someone who needs a god to have morals. With or without one I do my best to live an otherwise "righteous" life and to do the right thing, regardless of potential rewards.
edit on 10/19/2011 by ThaLoccster because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by ThaLoccster
 


By GRA's use of the term "God" and the defense in your post, you should understand yourself to be your God. You may not view it that way, and that is well, but the context of GRA's communication is being grossly distorted into a particular manifestation instead of the abstract concept that it, most likely, is meant to be.
(please correct me if I'm wrong, getreadyalready)

Speaking only for my own understanding, the distinction of animals and human animals is found in that humans are judges whereas animals only act by instinct. The evolution, or change, which brought an awareness to the human species, which even has many deluded so that they no longer understand that they are still animals, is a spiritual evolution. With or without a "God," humans deal with: social law, philosophy, conceptual logic (all fields of theory), natural logic (all fields of natural phenomena/laws), etc. These are all immaterial concepts which we try to deal with by issuing definitions (names).

I wish the average person had a better understanding of what is spiritual and what is carnal, regardless of religion, dogma, etc. Our species has become "constipated" due to our ignorance and arrogance.
edit on 10/19/2011 by Dasher because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 19 2011 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by Dasher
 


You right on.


The posters that are "anti-religion" believe themselves to be atheist as a sort of an un-religion. In a sense it replaces religion which makes it just another flavor of religion. I don't believe in a judgement per say. I don't believe in a particular religion. But, I believe there is some common thread that runs through all living things. I do believe I have had direct communication with God, but it isn't the Christian God or Jewish God or Muslim God or Hindu God, it is just a higher plane, or a community consciousness. If I could explain it better I would create a new religion, LOL! I pray often, and whether I am tapping into my own sub-conscious, or a shared consciousness, or ringing the pager of Jesus on a golf course, whatever the mechanism, it helps immediately, and sometimes I even get answers.

I said earlier, the minute we try to define it in human terms we have lost the concept completely. It is literally beyond human comprehension, yet we still know it exists.

I can see why people would interpret my views the way they do, but they don't realize they are narrowing their view to indoctrinated religions that are so common in our society they don't even realize where the views come from.

Yes animals rape and murder and steal. Males will kill entire litters of young just so the female will go back into heat. House Cats hunt mice and crickets and birds and baby squirrels for sport; they rarely eat what they kill. There are the occasional monogamous species, but they are the rare exception, not the rule.

Humans have a sense of self, and a sense of something more than their self. It is no accident.

As this applies to a political candidate, someone said it earlier. The concept of any one seeking out a powerful position means they are pre-disposed to narcissism and sociopathy. I could never vote for someone that claimed to be a purely logical thinker, has no recognizable moral code, and yet also seeks to rule the population? That seems extremely dangerous. I can only vote for a candidate that seems to have a strong sense of purpose and a code that is predictable. Even though George W made a ton of mistakes, I still felt he was following his own code, and I can appreciate that. I would rather vote for a strong leader that I disagree with, than a weak one that will follow the polls or waffle on their decision making.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by Dasher
While I agree with your concern regarding slimy people, GRA's post was not anti-atheist.


I didn't say it was. I take issue with his assumptions that atheists don't have morals AND that religious people do. I don't care if someone is anti-atheist, but to make these blanket assumptions is not like grar, as far as I WAS familiar with him.


And since he has backed up your statements regarding atheists, and agrees with your posts, I guess I didn't know him as well as I thought... My mistake. I still disagree with you both, but you're entitled to your opinions.




While atheists are often too traumatized to accept it, an atheist moral code is simply a "non-organized a-theological dogma" (and, ultimately, a "type" of religion). Anti-theists are a more militant, and usually very hypocritical, version of the same.


It seems assumptions and stereotyping are things you have in common. And most black people are criminals and most cops are pigs, right?
See? Atheists don't have common moral code or dogma. You can call it a religion if you want, but you're still wrong.

Religion:

The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

Nope. Atheists don't have a belief in OR worship of a superhuman controlling power.


But you guys go ahead and claim that atheism is a religion and I'll continue knowing better.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


I agree with you. Religon should have no place in politics. It is a private matter and while it certainly informs a person's decision making, it should no more than other formative things in that person's life, such as what kind of family he grew up in, where he grew up, etc. Politicans should not speak of religion other than that it is a private matter, that they respect it and will support the freedom of religion.

Rick Perry has no business being President after running a day of prayer - that disqualified him, at least for my vote. Huckabee had no business being President as an ex-pastor.

Religion has nothing what so ever to do with morality as evidenced by history and our current conflicts around the world where we are fighting people who, based upon their own religous beliefs believe they are extremely moral. Religon is divisive, almost by definition. Morality is universal.

There are as many tax cheats, wife beaters, child abusers and the like filing out of Sunday services as there are filing out of a football stadium.

Enough of the issue with the candidate's religon. Enough of the politicans walking around with the prop of the family bible and doing photo ops going into church.

I would far prefer a President who spent an hour meditating once a week and thinking about the enormity of his decisions than an hour in church listening to dogma.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I didn't say it was. I take issue with his assumptions that atheists don't have morals AND that religious people do. I don't care if someone is anti-atheist, but to make these blanket assumptions is not like grar, as far as I WAS familiar with him.

He never said that atheists don't have morals. His comment was closer to "atheists are not without dogma/spiritual conduct."
There are two general possibilities (with, I'm sure, many specific possibilities) that exist with moral codes.
First, you may have adopted principles brought about by a religion because you value them as well.
Second, you may view a principle as "justified."

In the first case, you are following a dogma, but disassociating it, in your own mind, from religion (which is not entirely possible - I'll clarify that in a bit).
In the second case, you are following a non-organized dogma premised on "justice" or "progress" or "live and let live" or other "principles," etc.

In both cases, atheists unwittingly enter into spiritual conduct/"dogma" despite the lack of cohesive organization, documentation, in-depth inquiry, godhead, etc.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
People DON'T need religion to have a STRONG moral code. And some of the slimiest people are those smack dab in the middle of organized religion.

This is from an earlier post... And I agree with you. You do not have a religion, but you possibly have a dogma (a STRONG one). And dogmas are founded on the "unseen."

Not believing in a god is not the same as not believing in spiritual things. Now, if you were Aspiritual and were somehow able to conduct yourself apart from unseen principles like law, philosophy, theory, etc, then you would simply return yourself, more fully, to the animal mind. However, as soon as you develop/adopt a moral code beyond instinct, you have entered into the spiritual.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
It seems assumptions and stereotyping are things you have in common. And most black people are criminals and most cops are pigs, right?
See? Atheists don't have common moral code or dogma. You can call it a religion if you want, but you're still wrong.

I made no such stereotypes. You are plainly dealing with concepts of the spiritual realm while thinking you are not. So this confusion is leading you to view my words in a skewed form. I never said that you have a religion, but rather, a type of religion. I clarified it, in similar words, as a "non-organized dogma lacking a godhead." This both satisfies the definitions of atheist and religion. This would not be the case if you were only an animal and without any moral code beyond instinct.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Religion:

The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.

Nope. Atheists don't have a belief in OR worship of a superhuman controlling power.


But you guys go ahead and claim that atheism is a religion and I'll continue knowing better.

Proper definitions of "religion" do not necessitate, but certainly highlight, a requirement of theism. I am fairly sure that most forms of Dao are atheistic. Certainly, word games often make us more comfortable with the beliefs that we settle into, but the true challenge in life is to continue growing in a dry land.

People who express themselves as aspiritual (even lacking a basic moral code) and live primarily by their basic instincts, are usually too ignorant/arrogant to care about discussing the matter let alone setting/getting definitions. And yes, these slimy people can often use religion as a guise, and yes, even they still operate by spiritual principles unwittingly.

I do not intend to dissuade you from your views by saying what I am saying. Whether we agree or disagree in the title of our belief systems, we are all still brothers and sisters who operate by spiritual principles daily, so it is imperative that we move forward in things like law, philosophy, theory, etc. Especially now that we are seeing how our perverse dogmas are separating us from our own bodies; That is to say that we are cutting ourselves off from our planet, and that is truly something we all need to correct. Eating other animals? Not such a problem, unless you're an herbivore or your conscience condemns you. Eradicating other animals faster than they can procreate? That's simply madness.
edit on 10/20/2011 by Dasher because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by dolphinfan
I would far prefer a President who spent an hour meditating once a week and thinking about the enormity of his decisions than an hour in church listening to dogma.

Your preference IS a dogma. Both in terms of it being a preference of your conscience, and it being a ritual that requires diligence. So then, you are not against religion in politics, you are against theistic religion in politics?

I just wanted to point out, again, how often people will use words in such a way that shows they do not understand them. Maybe instead of "dogma," you could have said "theistic philosophy?"

And maybe your poor use of words has entirely confused me as to your point...

Regardless, wouldn't it be more gracious to be more concerned with the fruit of a person's life rather than being concerned with what they are fertilized by?

I am not suggesting the injection of one's doctrine into the public scope directly, but rather, I am suggesting a more balanced disregard for a person's beliefs while maintaining a solid standard for good conduct.
edit on 10/20/2011 by Dasher because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by Dasher
 



Originally posted by Dasher
He never said that atheists don't have morals.


You're right. And when I went back to see what he actually DID say, I found the source of the misunderstanding:


Originally posted by getreadyalready
A "true atheist" that believes a person is a cosmic accident, and the physical existence is solitary and finite, cannot possibly have a moral compass.


I admit, I read, "A true atheist ..... cannot possibly have a moral compass." And now that I look at the post, I see he put "true atheist" in quotes and then proceeded to define something that is NOT a true atheist.

Atheists have one thing in common. They don't believe in a deity. I have many times on these boards talked about my being an atheist with spiritual beliefs. So, it comes down to the fact that grar thinks atheists are people who lack any belief in spiritual connection or non-physical reality. His definition of the term is incorrect.

Other than that, I agree with what he and you have said.


Originally posted by Dasher
Not believing in a god is not the same as not believing in spiritual things


Exactly. And that's why the meaning of the word atheist important. You see, grar stated that not believing in God IS the same as not believing in spiritual things. He calls that a "true atheist"...



I never said that you have a religion, but rather, a type of religion.


"A type of religion" is a religion. Christianity is a type of religion. Christians have a COMMON dogma they follow. It comes from a book. Granted, the interpretations of that book vary widely, but they all turn to it for their dogma. That's a defining character of religion. Atheists have no such book or COMMON collection of ideas, thoughts, values, beliefs. Yes, I have a dogma, but the atheist next door does not share it or even know about it. The ONLY thing atheists have in common is the 'no God' thing.



I clarified it, in similar words, as a "non-organized dogma lacking a godhead." This both satisfies the definitions of atheist and religion.


That does not satisfy the definition of a religion. A religion has both organized dogma and a deity.

I totally agree with your last paragraph. VERY well-said!






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