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Old 01-23-2012, 11:05 AM
 
7 posts, read 5,851 times
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I just have a question to Non-believers, but mainly Atheists. Please don't call me ignorant or troll... Atheism is very interesting to me.

- Why aren't you cultural Christian (Like many Europeans)?

- Does your family and nearest people know that you are non-believer? What was their reaction when you told them?

- Is there, by any chance, you will ever convert to Christianity (but not necessary become religious)?

- Why don't you just believe in God (Not be religious) and rather wait to see it's not true that God does not exist, rather than denying him now and not being 100% sure God does not exist. You never know.... after death anything could happen. Don't you rather be on the safer side?

- What do you think of "IN GOD WE TRUST" as our motto, in our currency and pledge of the flag?

- Do you feel that Christians control to much in our society, or do you respect that they are by far the majority, and therefore fair for them to control? Remember the U.S. has 247 million Christians (around 80%) of the population.

- What do you think of the Christian holidays/culture in the U.S.?

PS! Cultural Christian usually means that you mainly don't believe in God, the bible or anything, but still celebrate the Christian holidays, having church wedding, sometimes baptize your children etc. basically the Christian tradition and culture. Most Scandinavians and many Europeans are Cultural Christians...

Take care.

Last edited by Mamitas; 01-23-2012 at 11:29 AM..

 
Old 01-23-2012, 11:15 AM
 
9,412 posts, read 11,736,470 times
Reputation: 20226
- Why aren't you cultural Christian (Like many Europeans)?
I am an ex christian atheist, why would I want to be a cultural christian when I have rejected these constructs?

- Does your family and nearest people know that you are non-believer? What was their reaction when you told them?
Most of my family are non believers and no-one cares.

- Is there, by any chance, you will ever convert to Christianity (but not necessary become religious)?
I will never reconvert to any religion. I believe religion is a scourge on humanity.

- What do you think of "IN GOD WE TRUST" as our motto, in our currency and pledge of the flag?
I'm not American so I won't comment.

- Do you feel that Christians control to much in our society, or do you respect that they are by far the majority, and therefore fair for them to control?
I feel christianity and religion in general is far too influential in the US, particularly in politics

- What do you think of the Christian holidays/culture in the U.S.?
I have no feeling about holidays or culture here, it is merely an excuse to spend money on useless junk. Commercialisation has taken any real meaning out of these holidays
 
Old 01-23-2012, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
1,807 posts, read 2,165,755 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
I just have a question to Non-believers, but mainly Atheists. Please don't call me ignorant or troll... Atheism is very interesting to me.
Will do my best!

Quote:
- Why aren't you cultural Christian (Like many Europeans)?
Right off the bat I'm going to have to disagree with your definition of cultural Christian - I'd say that cultural Christians are still Christian, they are just very lax in their belief. I do celebrate Christmas, as I feel it is more secular now than anything, but I don't know anyone who would, say, celebrate Easter or baptize their child if they didn't believe to some degree.

And as for why I'm not a cultural Christian? Because I'm not a Christian at all.

Quote:
- Does your family and nearest people know that you are non-believer? What was their reaction when you told them?
They know. Most are indifferent. Many are atheist themselves. Dad is mostly a deist - believes there's something out there, but doesn't worry about it. Mom is Catholic, and is the only one with whom I've had any issues with my atheism. She used to threaten to baptize me in my sleep.

Quote:
- Is there, by any chance, you will ever convert to Christianity (but not necessary become religious)?
Never, because a) Christianity is very obviously fabricated, and b) I find Christianity (and just about every Abrahamic faith) to be odious and terrible. Really detrimental. If I were to adopt any religion, it'd be an eastern one, probably Buddhism. But that is a pretty monumental if.

Quote:
- What do you think of "IN GOD WE TRUST" as our motto, in our currency and pledge of the flag?
Meh. I'd rather it not be there, but I'm not going to worry about it. Much more important things for us to fix before we get to this.

Quote:
- Do you feel that Christians control to much in our society, or do you respect that they are by far the majority, and therefore fair for them to control? Remember the U.S. has 247 million Christians (around 80%) of the population.
I do fear the influence of the more fundamentalist portions of Christian society. The Religious Right is, in my view, one of the most dangerous groups of people threatening America as we know it. I would also point out the constitution has built in safeguards to avoid "rule of the majority."

But the majority of Christians, I feel, are probably just fine.

Quote:
- What do you think of the Christian holidays/culture in the U.S.?
Again, I'm mostly OK with it, since the bigger ones (thinking primarily of Christmas here) have become secularized anyway.

Edit: I think you added this after I quoted you:

Quote:
- Why don't you just believe in God (Not be religious) and rather wait to see it's not true that God does not exist, rather than denying him now and not being 100% sure God does not exist. You never know.... after death anything could happen. Don't you rather be on the safer side?
This is known as Pascal's Wager, and it has been debunked repeatedly. Basically this assumes that there are only two options: god or no god. But that's not the case. There are thousands of religions in the world, and each has their own concept of a god or gods. Even within Christianity, there are around 30,000 denominations. What if one of those denominations has it right, but every single other one doesn't? And seeing how jealous the Abrahamic god can be, maybe 29,999 of those denominations are going to be punished forever for getting it wrong, if Christianity is even the right one to begin with. Maybe Zeus is going to send you, me, and everyone else to Tartarus for all time.

So believing in God isn't any safer than believing in god. In fact, it is even less safe! Better to just not pick a side than to pick the wrong one.

Last edited by Fillmont; 01-23-2012 at 11:54 AM..
 
Old 01-23-2012, 11:48 AM
 
39,165 posts, read 10,865,034 times
Reputation: 5091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
I just have a question to Non-believers, but mainly Atheists. Please don't call me ignorant or troll... Atheism is very interesting to me.
Wouldn't dream.. Nice questions.

- Why aren't you cultural Christian (Like many Europeans)?

Partly because it would be a sham, partly because I resolved as a kid never to put any answer to religion than 'None' and partly because travel made me value other religious traditions equally. While I recognize the historical basis of Europe in Christianity, I am no more Christian than a Greek worships Zeus or an Egyptian worships Amun

- Does your family and nearest people know that you are non-believer? What was their reaction when you told them?

They range from also being irreligious to census - Christians. The at worst feel that I am making a big deal about nothing important.

- Is there, by any chance, you will ever convert to Christianity (but not necessary become religious)?

There's more chance of me becoming religious without converting to Christianity. The Mystic experience may yet take me by surprise. But I doubt that I can ever buy into the Bible now.

- Why don't you just believe in God (Not be religious) and rather wait to see it's not true that God does not exist, rather than denying him now and not being 100% sure God does not exist. You never know.... after death anything could happen. Don't you rather be on the safer side?

It, not Him.. Because the correct logical position is NOT to believe until It is shown to exist rather than believe in what is not validated until it is disproven. If one did that, you would have to believe in all the other gods, too. All at once. And Pascal's wager only works if there is only ONE God to choose from.

- What do you think of "IN GOD WE TRUST" as our motto, in our currency and pledge of the flag?

I regard it as an imposition.

- Do you feel that Christians control to much in our society, or do you respect that they are by far the majority, and therefore fair for them to control? Remember the U.S. has 247 million Christians (around 80%) of the population.

Majority rules, minority rights. Numbers runs democracy but it doesn't determine the truth.

- What do you think of the Christian holidays/culture in the U.S.?

Holidays are fun. I'd like to see more...Diwalli, Kathein, Ching Ming.

Quote:
PS! Cultural Christian usually means that you mainly don't believe in God, the bible or anything, but still celebrate the Christian holidays, having church wedding, sometimes baptize your children etc. basically the Christian tradition and culture. Most Scandinavians and many Europeans are Cultural Christians...
Quote:

Take care.
I'm not american, but I couldn't resist putting my spoke in. Sorry.....

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 01-23-2012 at 01:13 PM.. Reason: needed to 'quote' mine..I mean yours.
 
Old 01-23-2012, 11:53 AM
 
2,319 posts, read 4,095,760 times
Reputation: 2076
I think I'm going to keep my answers saved somewhere on my computer so I can just copy and paste my answers. These sorts of questions are asked a lot. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind, but I sometimes don't answer because I know I've answered before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
I just have a question to Non-believers, but mainly Atheists. Please don't call me ignorant or troll... Atheism is very interesting to me.

- Why aren't you cultural Christian (Like many Europeans)?

I celebrate Christmas with my family. I fly home to my parents' every year for the holiday. I don't do Easter, but if I had kids, I'd do Easter eggs.

I was a Christian when I got married so I did get married in a church, and I will go to church weddings. If something happened to my husband, I would (probably never remarry) not marry in a church again.

I would never, ever, ever baptize any child. It's a religious thing that carries a lot of weight in Fundamentalist Christianity, which I left, and I don't want anything to do with it. I also wouldn't circumcise. I want no part of that nonsense.

- Does your family and nearest people know that you are non-believer? What was their reaction when you told them?
My parents know. My in-laws don't because they would totally and completely freak out. My best friend is my husband's first cousin, and when her parents found out she was an atheist after years as a Christian (including years as a missionary), they have started trying to convert her and then avoiding her. It's very hurtful.

Back to the question, my mom who is a nominal Christian (no church, no praying, no Bible reading) thought I was reading too many books and that I had confused myself. I thought it was hysterical. She's pretty agnostic at this point. My dad is a deist, and he's uncomfortable with my atheism. He doesn't say much. When it comes up, which is virtually never, he'll say, "Well, I believe in a higher power."

Friends have had various reactions.

- Is there, by any chance, you will ever convert to Christianity (but not necessary become religious)?

I was a Christian for over ten years, served as a missionary, taught in a Christian school, taught all sorts of classes. Been there, done that. I can't imagine ever returning to Christianity on any level.

- Why don't you just believe in God (Not be religious) and rather wait to see it's not true that God does not exist, rather than denying him now and not being 100% sure God does not exist. You never know.... after death anything could happen. Don't you rather be on the safer side?
Why do we assume that if there is a Creator that he wants us to believe without critical analysis? How does anyone know that a Creator won't say to agnostics and atheists, "Good for you for thinking for yourself. Welcome to the afterlife."? No one knows.

On the issue of "why not just believe in God," I don't think you mean to sound ridiculous, but it is an absurd question, at least IMO. Every atheist or agnostic that I have personally met made the decision to be an atheist based on their experiences and knowledge (of science, religion, life, etc.). [Note: I don't know many people from a religion-less culture.]

When I left Christianity, for example, I went through a period of deism, but the more I critically looked at the world, there was no evidence of a higher power. Why would I believe in something there is no evidence for? People get cranky when atheists mention it, but you don't believe in purple unicorns "to be safe". It's ridiculous! God = purple unicorns in the minds of (most) atheists.

- What do you think of "IN GOD WE TRUST" as our motto, in our currency and pledge of the flag?
I don't like it. I wish Teddy Roosevelt had been successful in getting off our money long ago. I hate the pledge, and I won't say it. It's a creation of the paranoid, antiCommunist McCarthy era. It's stupid.

- Do you feel that Christians control to much in our society, or do you respect that they are by far the majority, and therefore fair for them to control? Remember the U.S. has 247 million Christians (around 80%) of the population.
I don't like politicians like Santorum who want to legislate their religious preferences and their morality. If people want to vote for him, they are legally permitted to do so, but the goal to convert the population to Fundamentalist thinking will never work.

- What do you think of the Christian holidays/culture in the U.S.?
People can do whatever they want, but I do wish I could sue or lock up door-to-door Evangelizers. I hate it!

PS! Cultural Christian usually means that you mainly don't believe in God, the bible or anything, but still celebrate the Christian holidays, having church wedding, sometimes baptize your children etc. basically the Christian tradition and culture. Most Scandinavians and many Europeans are Cultural Christians...

Take care.
 
Old 01-23-2012, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,998 posts, read 8,421,179 times
Reputation: 15608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
I just have a question to Non-believers, but mainly Atheists. Please don't call me ignorant or troll... Atheism is very interesting to me.

- Why aren't you cultural Christian (Like many Europeans)?
As with a prior poster, I do not agree with your definition of cultural christianity. Even so, getting married in a church strikes me as hypocritical, with me passively giving the church the authority to speak on marital matters. So I did not get married there. Baptizing a child simply seems absurd. Why would I want to do that? I do celebrate Christmas, albeit in a completely secular manner. I ignore easter, and watch football on Sundays.

For me, the big issue is giving any sort of tacit support to a church when I believe that churches are thieving, hypocritical, misogynistic control structures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
- Does your family and nearest people know that you are non-believer? What was their reaction when you told them?
Yes, they know. Some were surprised, some were not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
- Is there, by any chance, you will ever convert to Christianity (but not necessary become religious)?
No. Why would I do that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
- Why don't you just believe in God (Not be religious) and rather wait to see it's not true that God does not exist, rather than denying him now and not being 100% sure God does not exist. You never know.... after death anything could happen. Don't you rather be on the safer side?
Sigh. Pascal's wager. A really, really bad argument for religious belief.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
- What do you think of "IN GOD WE TRUST" as our motto, in our currency and pledge of the flag?
I do not like them. But they also do not really bother me on a day to day basis. They should go away however, as they are unconstitutional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
- Do you feel that Christians control to much in our society, or do you respect that they are by far the majority, and therefore fair for them to control? Remember the U.S. has 247 million Christians (around 80%) of the population.
Yes I do. Lets look at abortion laws for one. Overwhelmingly these laws are championed by christians. They are an unreasonable interference into a person's private life. If christians would simply leave this type of thing alone, I would have no problem with them. But by trying to push their religion through legal/legislative means, they have crossed the line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamitas View Post
- What do you think of the Christian holidays/culture in the U.S.?
Again, I disagree with what you mean by christian culture. But beyond that, I have no real problem with them, in the same way I have no real problem with other religious holidays.
 
Old 01-23-2012, 12:59 PM
 
9,412 posts, read 11,736,470 times
Reputation: 20226
I see you threw in an extra question;

Why don't you just believe in God (Not be religious) and rather wait to see it's not true that God does not exist, rather than denying him now and not being 100% sure God does not exist. You never know.... after death anything could happen. Don't you rather be on the safer side?

People don't just decide one day they don't want to believe in god. That's where those of you who are religious really annoy me. As if it's a trite decision we've made instead of a long, arduous, often deeply soul searching and painful conclusion. Many of us are ex christians of some description or another. I take offense to you assuming I should 'just believe' in your god 'just in case'. Stupid and unintellectual reasoning in my opinion.
 
Old 01-23-2012, 01:23 PM
 
705 posts, read 944,021 times
Reputation: 320
I became an atheist kinda the same way, and around the same age, Ricky Gervais said he did, about the 1:38 mark, classic.


Ricky Gervais on Atheism - YouTube
 
Old 01-23-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,309 posts, read 11,230,213 times
Reputation: 14194
- Why aren't you cultural Christian (Like many Europeans)?

Christianity is a religion, not a culture. While I celebrate Christmas with my family, I do not participate in Christian rituals or observances because they don't make any sense without the religious content.

- Does your family and nearest people know that you are non-believer? What was their reaction when you told them?

Yes, just about everybody I know knows I'm an atheist. They don't seem to care, except for the many who believe the same way and actively support my position.

- Is there, by any chance, you will ever convert to Christianity (but not necessary become religious)?

No. Not only is there no evidence to justify a belief in any god, but I have a hard time imagining any evidence that I would find persuasive.

- Why don't you just believe in God (Not be religious) and rather wait to see it's not true that God does not exist, rather than denying him now and not being 100% sure God does not exist. You never know.... after death anything could happen. Don't you rather be on the safer side?

As others have pointed out, what you are referring to is the utterly invalid Pascal's Wager. Just one of the many weaknesses in the Wager is the idea that belief is a choice, rather than a response to evidence and logic. I could no more choose to believe in the existence of any god than I could choose to believe that 2+2=5 or pi=3.0000000.

- What do you think of "IN GOD WE TRUST" as our motto, in our currency and pledge of the flag?

I consider the statements of religious belief in official U.S. government documents, etc., to be a gross violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

- Do you feel that Christians control to much in our society, or do you respect that they are by far the majority, and therefore fair for them to control? Remember the U.S. has 247 million Christians (around 80%) of the population.

Yes, Christians control too much. To be more specific, a specific type of conservative Christian has been able to pervert many of the mechanisms of government to favor a certain type of religious belief over other religions or no religion. A particular instance of this practice, and one that is particularly pernicious, is the use of state law to provide for the advancement of religious doctrines, such as creationism, in the public schools. While Christians are the majority in this country at present, the use of government to advance the cause of religion is inimical to our fundamental principles, as well as being dangerous.

- What do you think of the Christian holidays/culture in the U.S.?

I celebrate Christmas as a secular holiday, as do most Americans. I find the assumption that all Americans are Christian, or that Christianity (or any other religion) is entitled to special deference or immunity from criticism highly offensive. For instance, it is not unusual on these boards to see people arguing that atheists should be prohibited from, or should refrain from, expressing ideas that are upsetting to religiouis believers.
 
Old 01-23-2012, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,115,423 times
Reputation: 1399
Mamitas, several people have gone to a great deal of trouble to address your questions. I believe you should thank them.

Have you learned anything about us Atheists? Did any of the answers surprise you?
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