reply to post by bwinwright
While I can agree with you on some of this, there are elements that I cannot.
1. Not all Atheists hate the idea of an ordered, structured religion. The basic definition of an Atheist (at least, to one of my friends) is that they
are a person that believes that they are in control of their life, and that the "greater force" (God, Divine Consciousness, Thing that oversees us,
etc) does not exist.
2. If you were to compare the difference between my Atheist friends, and those that are Christian, the only major difference is that one may pray, and
another will do nothing. Both help people out, live their lives the best way that they can, and try to make the best decisions possible.
3. If you want to call Atheist a "bad idea", then you might as well call all religions a bad idea. All of them are based on a belief. For example,
the Bible, Koran, Book of Mormon, Egyptian book of the dead, etc that currently exist today has been changed, altered, mistranslated, or even passed
down incorrectly. NOTE: Excluding Scientology, as the sci-fy book it's based on is still relatively recent in comparison to the others
Now, we can argue about the authenticity of said books until I go to purgatory - not my purpose with these points. I could also say that it's absurd
to follow the writings of a book that might not be the entire account of what happened, as opposed to not following the book.
4. Atheism does not promote mental illnesses any more than any established religion. For example, I could use that logic to say that Islam promotes
mental illness because a lot of the terrorists follow Islam and blow themselves up. Or, I could also say Christianity also promotes mental illness
because strict followers deal out punishments to other people because by definition they have sinned (as far as mental illnesses go, homophobia and
mass hysteria come to mind...Witch burning was a awesome idea; bet the Atheists came up with that one
Now, I don't have my copy of DSM-IV on hand, but I'm sure there's a disorder where the patient believes that they are doing the work of God, Allah,
Buddha, by injuring or killing certain people. Also, most of the beliefs in something outside of the normal (aka, reincarnation, ghosts, psychic
abilities) is mentioned in DSM-IV, so by that logic alone I have a mental disorder alright, as do anyone else that believes that they've seen
something religious, paranormal or metaphysical. Sounds like most Atheists are safe
5. The main point to all this is that it's a belief - you purpose it needs to be taken care of with education and forgiveness. Isn't the fact that
you are ranting about this showing that you are ignorant of what Atheism is?
For example, I went out on Halloween this year, and a guy passed me a pamphlet that said, upon opening the first page "You are a sinner, and the
price you will pay is death". I looked at him, and made a comment that I don't drink, hold the door open for people, and try to help others. He
looked at me, and said, "Yes, that may be true, and God blesses you for it; however, you still have sinned, and Jesus is your only hope". To me,
that's an absurd idea, because what that says is that nomatter what I do, I'm a sinner, so I might as just well run someone over, because I'm still
(missing the rolling-eyes smiley).
This next example shows how everyone should react, regardless of which religion you are from, and which religions you consider "absurd".
I was walking my usual stretch of road one nice summer day. On my way back, I ran into two people dressed in suits and ties. They asked if I had some
time to stop and chat, which I did. Now, they didn't instantly tell me that I was a sinner, but they asked what I felt my purpose in life was.
Instead of telling them that I was Agnostic, I simply told them that I didn't know where my place in life was. I lived in the moment, respected
others as long as they respected me, didn't partake in activities that I felt would harm me in the future, and made just enough to live, but not be
overly greedy. Imagine their surprise when I told them what religion I partake in. Not only that, but there were no looks of disgust, no offers to
save me, nothing. They asked for permission to lead a prayer, and asked for permission to leave their material with me - The feel I got was that they
would only do this with my consent, and not push the issue if I didn't want it.
My point OP? Maybe, you are the one that needs educating. Not all Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics are alike, just as not all Atheists fall
into the same boat. As a last example, I could take this post and assume that everyone in your religion is a bigot, just as you can assume all
Agnostics like to butt into conversations about other religions. We both know that all people in your religious beliefs are not bigots, and that I am
the only one in my religious niche that likes to nitpick about other religions.