Why I'm not an Atheist

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posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 03:43 PM
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[font=Book Antiqua][size=10]M[/font]y ears often perk up whenever I hear someone declare out loud that they’re an atheist, as if they have found a new label in which to be proud of. But when I look intently at this declaration, one which carries with it thousands of years of stigmatized baggage, a label even the Christians themselves once had (all enough reason to refuse the label in the first place), I ask myself how much has really changed where this proverbial line has been drawn?

1.


Add a single letter to the word ‘theist’ you get ‘atheist,’ which from the Greek word atheos means quite literally ‘without God.’ The very word 'atheist' forces anyone who takes up arms for this label to submit that there is at least something there to be without. This ‘something’ does indeed exist; for if it didn’t, there would be nothing at all to argue over.

The atheist, of course, would never concede this something exists, but perhaps only because they are unwilling to realize and be honest about what this something exists as, which, when we look at this mentality psychologically, is an avoidance of truth, dishonesty or pure ignorance.

The truth in this regards isn’t that difficult arrive at. In fact, it’s painstakingly clear; and it represents more a faith in grammar than faith in anything else. What is this something?

We know, beyond any doubt, that ‘God’ is a word representing an idea. We know this because we use this word and idea in our arguments for or against ‘His’ existence, and provide whatever pronouns necessary to solidify the word as the subject of our proposition. My very use of his name in any sentence presupposes that there is a subject or an idea worthy of the label ‘God.’ The word ‘God’ anyone can use and have an idea of. God, as a word and idea, exists.

This fact, though superficial, is nonetheless intuitive, and presupposed by those who utilize the word in their arguments. But knowing this and applying this fact to our observations, we find that it is impossible for the theist to pray to purely nothing. They are instead praying to an ideal—their satisfied conception of what is most suitable in regards to the word ‘God.’

What is the ideal conception in the eyes of the theist? God exists—an opinion in which they find themselves emotionally and intellectually comfortable, a promise on which they hinge their entire life’s work, an ideal they will defend even with their lives.

For the atheist, it’s really no different, for they too find comfort in and seek to defend their God, their promise, their exalted opinion and ideal: namely—God does not exist. Ideology cannot be anything other than what it is.

To simply agree with an ideal is a matter of intellectual taste; to dogmatically express an ideal is religion and religiosity. Minds close at this point with ideals standing guard at the door.

To perpetuate and defend their ideal and label, the self-declared atheist does as the theist and rhetorically attacks any idea that stands in opposition to their own; all of this while remaining with their foot in the religious circle, remaining religious while feigning irreligion. These sorts of contradictions are laughable, and we find that the atheist isn’t ‘without God’ in the slightest.

2.


Anyone who declares openly that they’re an atheist is not unlike the Christian insofar as they are showing their obedience to an ideal and submission to a form of group-think. They are raising their banner as a display of affiliation in regards to their opinions on religion and God. By asserting themselves as atheist, they are saying “Behold, I am an atheist and I am worthy of the label.” They then become not free-thinkers or free-spirits, but advocates.

This label, not unlike calling oneself Christian or Muslim, forces one to submit and be obedient to the prevailing outlook of said label. They must play the part of the atheist in order to see themselves as an atheist, a common religious and platonic motivation found also in those who crusade for theism, paganism, communism, fascism, capitalism, or whatever other ideas they exemplify as desirable means to desirable ends.

3.


Everyone has, at some point in their lives, the metaphysical need to wonder about the invisible forces at work in the universe and the reason or purpose behind our existence. Most seekers, perhaps unable to comprehend their own interpretations of the universe, find comfort in the interpretations of other people both ancient and modern, as if the mere crumbs off another’s table would sustain this need.

Whether out of laziness or fear, they conclude to the point of conviction that these interpretations are somehow more exalted than their own, and self-tyrannize themselves just enough to let go of all doubt and believe in them. We call this rather submissive way of thinking ‘faith’—the hope that in the end, the interpretations and explanations of other people were in fact real and pertain to everyone.

The only difference in faith between the atheist and the theist is the literature in which they subscribe. Both rely on the credibility of the authors and their preachers, thereby eliminating the need to seek the evidence themselves. The obedience involved in such an act is common throughout all ‘isms’.

By expressing, arguing over and promoting one’s ideal metaphysical viewpoint as superior over others, one becomes a dogmatist. Those who declare themselves an atheist are no different than any other religious adherent to an ideal and remain just as religious as anyone else. They declare battle by putting up their banners and flags and becoming crusaders for their ideal—to me a purely religious and amoral motivation.

4.


Despite holding the opinion that there is no god, the atheist nonetheless finds need to argue over it, thereby proving that the concept of God is worth contemplating and arguing over.

Where they perhaps should have left the concept behind in favour of something more practical, they instead resort to such theistic sources as the bible to aid in their conquests, sometimes more so than the self-proclaimed Christian would.

5.


What then is the only difference I can see between the atheist and the theist? That one letter, and the ideal in which they adhere to—an attempt to fill one void with another. This ideal nonetheless takes precedence over the ideals of others and the atheist finds himself not unlike the theist in his plight to justify them. Both parties cannot fathom a difference in opinion and as a result both argue for their respective ideals to the point where it spills out into the public as petty dogmatism.

I’ve seen atheist versions of the Jesus fish on the back of cars; I’ve seen atheist billboards and my fair share of atheist t-shirts; I’ve seen atheists cite scripture; I’ve seen atheists parade for atheism; I’ve seen atheists claim persecution; I’ve seen atheists become dogmatists, and form groups and movements in the name of atheism.

It’s difficult to find what separates, if anything, one form of dogmatism over the other. This need to promote one's doctrine as superior is merely a plight of petty vanity, one I no longer wish to take part in.

6.


My reason for not being an atheist? Atheism is too religious.

Thank you for reading

-LesMis




posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


I don't really care what the root word came from or it's Greek translation. I care about what it means to me, and from what I've read, many other atheists. I don't believe in deities. That doesn't mean there have to be deities for me to not believe in.


I don't believe in many things. That, in no way, means that I do believe in them.
No matter how much you would like to tell me and other atheists what we think and what we believe, I simply don't believe deities exist, any more than I believe unicorns, fairies, or leprechauns exist. Suggesting that my disbelief in leprechauns is "religious" in some way, is just silly.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 04:12 PM
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The main problem with atheism from what I've been able to discern is the low stature that it relegates man to in the creation i.e.: a thing.

From the POV of a non-localized consciousness aka enlightenment, it's an absurd presupposition and presumption, and thus ought to represent a source of much humor.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 





I don't really care what the root word came from or it's Greek translation. I care about what it means to me, and from what I've read, many other atheists. I don't believe in deities. That doesn't mean there have to be deities for me to not believe in.

I don't believe in many things. That, in no way, means that I do believe in them. No matter how much you would like to tell me and other atheists what we think and what we believe, I simply don't believe deities exist, any more than I believe unicorns, fairies, or leprechauns exist. Suggesting that my disbelief in leprechauns is "religious" in some way, is just silly.


I don't care what you do or do not believe in. It's irrelevant. What I do care about is fanaticism.

If you're not fanatic about your opinions, then I wouldn't call you an atheist. Yet here you are defending your label.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 04:27 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan
 



Originally posted by NewAgeMan
The main problem with atheism from what I've been able to discern is the low stature that it relegates man to in the creation i.e.: a thing.


Low stature? As compared to what? To me, the belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing entity creates a "class system" that places humans as lower than their God or gods... Your statement confuses me.



From the POV of a non-localized consciousness aka enlightenment, it's an absurd presupposition and presumption, and thus ought to represent a source of much humor.


Not believing in deities does not rule out enlightenment, self-discovery, belief in a spiritual existence or even in a life after death... So, I'm not sure what either of your statements mean.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
If you're not fanatic about your opinions, then I wouldn't call you an atheist. Yet here you are defending your label.


It doesn't matter what you call me. I am an atheist, just as I am a woman, a dog trainer, a seamstress and a great cook. If you started a thread titled "Why I'm not a dog trainer" and proceeded to speak a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about what dog trainers think and believe, I would come in and "defend that label", too.


If you are going to pretend that atheists are only the people who are fanatical about their opinions and try to force them on others, then you've just got the meaning wrong. An atheist is simply a person who doesn't believe in deities. Not a person who doesn't believe in deities and acts like an ass-hat about it. Those people are ass-hats, not atheists. Your gripe seems to be with fanatical and argumentative ass-hats who don't agree with you. I think that would be a better title.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



Your gripe seems to be with fanatical and argumentative ass-hats who don't agree with you. I think that would be a better title.


I wouldn't call you an ass-hat, nonetheless you don't agree, argumentatively of course. That's fine.

If you feel taking the label atheist quantifies you in some manner, so be it, I would never take that away from you. But I must assume that you attempt to live up to that label, as you are doing right now by defending it as if I was tossing dirt on your very being.

We all know who else operates in the same manner.

edit on 22-2-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 05:01 PM
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I grew up seeing kids, who know nothing of the world, call christians names for just existing, for just the label alone. That, to me, says alot of our society.
Why are 9 yr olds calling eachother names for no reason? It comes from somewhere doesn't it?
So if there is prolonged hate, based on nothing (or ignorance), then why not work towards a better society by pushing out positive reinforcement, rather than the negative alternative?

Adults should know this in their heart. They should be building

Kids mock us with their shenanigans

ps: I am not at all saying I'm perfect



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 05:12 PM
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reply to post by Leuan
 



I grew up seeing kids, who know nothing of the world, call christians names for just existing, for just the label alone. That, to me, says alot of our society.
Why are 9 yr olds calling eachother names for no reason? It comes from somewhere doesn't it?
So if there is prolonged hate, based on nothing (or ignorance), then why not work towards a better society by pushing out positive reinforcement, rather than the negative alternative?

Adults should know this in their heart. They should be building
Kids mock us with their shenanigans

ps: I am not at all saying I'm perfect


Agreed.

Really there's no point in such actions. If one holds a 'disbelief' in deities—which, when more honestly said, amounts to a belief that there are no deities—they should instead walk away from that which they don't believe in, and lead by example instead of shaming through rhetoric.

One only needs to look at the example the atheist sets to know what such fanaticism leads to.

P.S. I'm not perfect either, far from it.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I wouldn't call you an ass-hat, nonetheless you don't agree, argumentatively of course. That's fine.


What don't I agree with? Your assessment of atheists? Yeah, I don't agree. Read over your assessment in the first post and tell me you would agree with someone who lumped you together with all ... men, let's say. If I wrote a thread titled: "Why I'm not a Man", and proceeded to say that men rape women, they're proud and macho, unwilling to be honest, ignorant, basically, ass-hats... Would you not disagree and argue with me about it? Perhaps?



If you feel taking the label atheist quantifies you in some manner, so be it,


It doesn't quantify me anymore than the taking the label "woman" quantifies me. It's just a fact.



But I must assume that you attempt to live up to that label,


The only thing required to "live up to" the label of atheist, is that one doesn't hold a belief in a deity. I don't have to attempt to live up to that.



as you are doing right now by defending it as if I was tossing dirt on your very being.


I am not defending a title. I'm giving you information. Your original post shows me that you are lacking some. There's nothing to defend.



We all know who else operates in the same manner.


I don't know how you're talking about. I would imagine most people would operate in the same manner. Whether it be men, women, atheists, theists, or dog trainers. If someone wrote a thread with a bunch of misinformation they would likely be corrected.

Can I ask you a question? Do you believe in a deity?



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 05:24 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 




What don't I agree with? Your assessment of atheists? Yeah, I don't agree. Read over your assessment in the first post and tell me you would agree with someone who lumped you together with all ... men, let's say. If I wrote a thread titled: "Why I'm not a Man", and proceeded to say that men rape women, they're proud and macho, unwilling to be honest, ignorant, basically, ass-hats... Would you not disagree and argue with me about it? Perhaps?


I don't take the label 'man,' I was born this way and can prove it. You weren't born an atheist, nor a christian, nor a muslim. It is your choice.

But like the christian, the muslim, and the atheist, you stand here defending that choice, all the while promoting an ideology that for some just doesn't work. Can you not go about not believing in deities without letting everyone know about it?



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
reply to post by NewAgeMan
 



Originally posted by NewAgeMan
The main problem with atheism from what I've been able to discern is the low stature that it relegates man to in the creation i.e.: a thing.

Low stature? As compared to what? To me, the belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing entity creates a "class system" that places humans as lower than their God or gods... Your statement confuses me.



From the POV of a non-localized consciousness aka enlightenment, it's an absurd presupposition and presumption, and thus ought to represent a source of much humor.

Not believing in deities does not rule out enlightenment, self-discovery, belief in a spiritual existence or even in a life after death... So, I'm not sure what either of your statements mean.


I am not referring to an external "deity" but to an infinitely intelligent and fully informed first/last cause (father) with intentionality.

To clarify - please review this post that I'm referring to as the Creative Agency.

edit on 22-2-2013 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 05:38 PM
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Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
reply to post by Leuan
 



I grew up seeing kids, who know nothing of the world, call christians names for just existing, for just the label alone. That, to me, says alot of our society.
Why are 9 yr olds calling eachother names for no reason? It comes from somewhere doesn't it?
So if there is prolonged hate, based on nothing (or ignorance), then why not work towards a better society by pushing out positive reinforcement, rather than the negative alternative?

Adults should know this in their heart. They should be building
Kids mock us with their shenanigans

ps: I am not at all saying I'm perfect


Agreed.

Really there's no point in such actions. If one holds a 'disbelief' in deities—which, when more honestly said, amounts to a belief that there are no deities—they should instead walk away from that which they don't believe in, and lead by example instead of shaming through rhetoric.

One only needs to look at the example the atheist sets to know what such fanaticism leads to.

P.S. I'm not perfect either, far from it.



This is why the verse about "knowing them by their fruits", resonates with me. I will be honest, I didn't understand what churchianity was about because I had never tried to.
Jesus was a very respectable man, or should be, from even an atheists point of view.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 05:56 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 



Originally posted by LesMisanthrope
I don't take the label 'man,' I was born this way and can prove it. You weren't born an atheist, nor a christian, nor a muslim. It is your choice.


No. I was born an atheist. I knew nothing of the concept of deity, let alone believing it to be a truth. I was taught everything about deities and religion that I know. I most certainly was born an atheist. But that's beside the point. I wasn't born a dog trainer. And I am one now.
I am neither proud nor ashamed of the labels. They are just who I am. Nor am I going to, in my insecurity, write a thread boasting about it.




But like the christian, the muslim, and the atheist, you stand here defending that choice,


You keep saying I'm defending the fact that I'm an atheist... Hey, I am not the one who wrote a thread on ATS expounding on why I'm so proud and feel so good about myself for NOT having taken a particular label or another. It seems to me that to write a thread claiming, "Why I'm Not an Atheist" is a position of defense of your choice. I'm beginning to think this whole thread is a projection of your position. You seem quite "proud" that you don't take a label. Let me just congratulate you on not taking this particular label, since you seem to think that's a success of some kind.

You have put forth that you're something special because you haven't taken this label. Ok. If that's what you think, that's fine. But you can't tell me who I am, what I think, what I believe without hearing something about it from me.
Not defending, just disagreeing.

Regardless who you are, you take labels in your life. What do you do for a living? Are you married? Do you have kids? All of these have the labels of engineer, fireman husband and father. You're just giving the label of "atheist" entirely too much power. It's just a word. Like boyfriend, skier, swimmer, herbalist or Wicca. If you told me you were a husband, I wouldn't accuse you of "defending the label"...




all the while promoting an ideology that for some just doesn't work.


I have never promoted being an atheist. I totally respect people who have different beliefs and don't try to convince them to stop believing.



Can you not go about not believing in deities without letting everyone know about it?


Absolutely. But, like I said, I'm not the one who started the thread.
Can you not go about NOT being an atheist without letting everyone know about it? Jeez!

Yep. Projection for sure.

.
edit on 2/22/2013 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 07:12 PM
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The essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. This is the way opinions are held in science, as opposed to the way in which they are held in theology.
-- Bertrand Russell

Your OP is nothing more than a few paragraphs of nothingness, that wouldn't fool even the most basic of minds.

Who are you trying to convince of what?

True Atheists don't hold religious beliefs in science, we follow the discoveries that happen all the time and hold them as a working model of proof of the nature of the universe, until such time as they can be undeniably proven, or are proven wrong.

Religion is a joke, it makes no sense,there's no proof for it, and lots against it.

atheism is the only rational answer when all the facts are considered.
edit on 22-2-2013 by loglady because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 08:12 PM
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reply to post by LesMisanthrope
 


I'm impressed and do agree with some of what you've written.

Ahh sociology.



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 





No. I was born an atheist.


Just like you were born a dog trainer? or a wife? or a mother? Aren't these, like you said, the same things? The contradictions here are astounding. How can a child be born with a vocation or a belief of any sort? The thought fails any comprehension.



You keep saying I'm defending the fact that I'm an atheist... Hey, I am not the one who wrote a thread on ATS expounding on why I'm so proud and feel so good about myself for NOT having taken a particular label or another. It seems to me that to write a thread claiming, "Why I'm Not an Atheist" is a position of defense of your choice. I'm beginning to think this whole thread is a projection of your position. You seem quite "proud" that you don't take a label. Let me just congratulate you on not taking this particular label, since you seem to think that's a success of some kind.


Then what compelled you to respond to my post? To set me straight? To knock me down a peg or two?

Obviously not, because here you are defending the fact that you're an atheist, justifying it by making outlandish claims such as one is born atheist, convincing only yourself of your beliefs. Do you also not believe in honesty?



posted on Feb, 22 2013 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by loglady
 



atheism is the only rational answer when all the facts are considered.


It cannot be denied that atheism is a religion, a rational one, but a religion nonetheless. Atheism is a position on deities, much like Hinduism, Christianity, Norse Mythology etc. To claim that something doesn't exist, yet to argue over it is admittedly the weirdest thing I've ever seen.

A "true atheist" isn't an atheist at all, simply because there is no rational need to further discuss the Gods of men.

Also, I didn't mention science.

By the way, since you quoted Russell, you should perhaps know that he too saw the irrationality of atheism in his iconic article "What is an Agnostic." He was agnostic. It might do you good to read it before quoting him out of context.


Are agnostics atheists?

No. An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial.

Bertrand Russell



edit on 22-2-2013 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 02:31 AM
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I never claimed Bertrand was a Atheist, and I quoted him in full, unedited.

The quote still stands.

atheism is not a religion, it's a model of provable facts, do you belive in Thor,Poseidon ,Allah?
We are all atheists, I just belive in one less god than most theists.

You ask why we feel the need to come here and argue? Because you are misrepresenting Atheists and our position. We have no dogma, and deal only in facts.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 02:43 AM
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scrubbed
edit on 23-2-2013 by Leuan because: (no reason given)





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