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Old 01-18-2013, 11:52 AM
 
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I see fellow Atheists here (like RebelYell) who also post on the politics forum. RebelYell is quite obviously a staunch conservative. I consider myself a pretty left-wing liberal (socially speaking anyway... I do have some conservative views when it comes to fiscal policy). Yet we both share a rejection of god.

I know Atheists come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and values, but doesn't it make sense that if you have conservative values, you are accepting of conservative philosophy which is often rooted in the bible? When it comes to gay rights, reproductive rights, blue laws, creationism being taught in schools, etc., it would seem to me that an Atheist would likely fall on the side of "liberal" since those who argue the right-wing perspective on those issues are primarily supported by "god's teachings" and not common sense or rational thought.

For me, my non-belief is often reinforced by my liberal views (and vice-serva) along with my strong political disagreements with the "religious right."

How does a conservative Atheist reconcile these seemingly inconsistent values?
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:25 PM
 
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Mitt Romney is in no way a "Jack Mormon". He was so devout that he was a bishop in the church. There is footage of him inside the sacred Celestial Room at the Mormon church in Salt Lake City last year.

But back on topic: how does a conservative Atheist reconcile these inconsistencies in values?
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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I think so. I'm probably more liberal because the agenda of the fundies is dictating conservative policy to such a degree. As a bible believer I was definitely conservative.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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I was raised in a fairly moderate household where I guess that the best way to describe things was, "people are welcome to live life however they want so long as it doesn't hurt anyone, but, in this house we follow JESUS." And, in terms of learning and education: "we should learn as much as we can, because all of this learning will strengthen your faith in JESUS" (my dad went to Yale and Harvard and both parents are educators).

I did start to lean more liberal as I got older, and the more firm I became in my nonbelief, the harder it was for me to hold on to any of the more conservative opinions or beliefs I'd been raised with: nearly all of these beliefs were rooted in Christianity. Once I removed faith in Christ from my beliefs, for me to continue to hold on these beliefs, I had to scrutinize then and try to rationalize them in an objective sense rather than through the prism of religion. When I did this, few of the more conservative political beliefs I'd had remained intact.

How could I possibly vote for a politician who says that I'm evil simply by proxy of a theological difference?
Why would I vote for a politician whose main platform is contingent on trying to run the country based off of a faith I don't share?
I don't mind people having faith or spirituality at all, but I don't feel comfortable when suddenly this faith is publicly sanctioned.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by logline View Post
How does a conservative Atheist reconcile these seemingly inconsistent values?
So for me, I started as an extremely conservative Fundamentalist Christian. I was raised that way, homeschools, grew up believing that Focus on the Family, Mike Farris (Homeschool Legal Defense League), and the ACLJ were the touchstones of political truth.

My slide leftward ( and maybe other directions as well) began with my deconversion. When I left Christianity, I could no longer come up with compelling reasons why interracial marriage should be frowned upon, why gay marriage would destroy the country, or why "bad" words or boobs would destroy a child's psyche. I lost most of my social conservatism in favor or a very laissez faire approach.

At this point I was approaching the stereotypical Rand-ian libertarian. But then, mostly through exposure to art, literature and music, I began to think more about the issues dear to the left, the corporate oligarchy, racial and class discrimination, America's responsibilities for the horrors of its past. I don't think of myself as a leftist, by any means, but I do think that too many conservatives and libertarians overlook the role of government in instituting and propping up the insane corporate and financial structure we have today. I am not sure that things as fundamental as the way we handle corporation or markets are healthy for the nation, wise, or even moral.

To sum up the immediate result of losing my faith was a dramatic shift away from social conservatism. long term it was a willingness to examine my own preconceptions and reduce the number of "sacred cows" I had in my political and philosophical thought. I still feel conservative, but over the last couple years I have felt increasingly alienated from the Right. I campaigned and held signs for Ron Paul in 2008, and 2012, but more and more I get turned off by the irate Tea Party, the irrational Birthers, the Christian theocrats, and the bluster and threat of the gun lobby. I just am not one of them any more, but I still don't feel liberal. I am still very fiscally conservative, probably for more radically so than most. I own firearms, and believe strongly in the value of the Constitution. I just can't go for most of the rest of what conservatism has come to mean.

-NoCapo
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:42 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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I'm an atheist, but I'm also very pro-business and pro-capitalism. I believe that capitalism, in spite of its flaws, is still the greatest economic system in the history of humankind. I believe that participating in wealth creation is the best way to ensure a happy and secure life for the citizens of a nation. This is the reason I prefer to live in the U.S.

As far as my individual values go? Live and let live, love thy neighbor, work hard, give to charity, pursue big goals and dreams,... those sorts of things.

Last edited by BigCityDreamer; 01-18-2013 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I'm an atheist, but I'm also very pro-business and pro-capitalism. I believe that participating in wealth creation is the best way to ensure a happy and secure life for the citizens of a nation. This is the reason I prefer to live in the U.S.

As far as my individual values go? Live and let live, love thy neighbor, work hard, pursue big goals and dreams,... those sorts of things.
I can totally see how an Atheist can be fiscally conservative and adopt that position politically, but the truly emotional issues which seem to define us as people tend to be social issues. These cut to the bone and expose our values, beliefs and self-identity. How does a conservative Atheist vote for a party that is based on the bible, god and his teachings?
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:36 PM
 
7,378 posts, read 6,733,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logline View Post
I can totally see how an Atheist can be fiscally conservative and adopt that position politically, but the truly emotional issues which seem to define us as people tend to be social issues. These cut to the bone and expose our values, beliefs and self-identity. How does a conservative Atheist vote for a party that is based on the bible, god and his teachings?
Simply because most "fundies" are Republican doesn't mean every Republican is a "fundie". I'd prefer to vote for a Libertarian, but Obama is so opposed to my fiscal views, I felt I needed to do whatever possible to remove him from power. I was involved in the early Tea Party movement until the Religious Right hijacked the movement. As an Atheist, this perturbed me so profoundly that I quit supporting it.

I feel the government shouldn't be involved in any aspect of individuals' lives, including financial, social, and religious. So, I don't feel its difficult at all to be an atheist and a fiscal conservative simultaneously.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
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Originally Posted by Amaznjohn View Post
I feel the government shouldn't be involved in any aspect of individuals' lives, including financial, social, and religious. So, I don't feel its difficult at all to be an atheist and a fiscal conservative simultaneously.
That is exactly how I feel too.
I identify more with libertarians more than anything.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Behind the rhetoric, there really isn't much of a difference between the two major parties in this country.

A Christian libertarian. Jesus didn't lobby the roman govt on social issues. He led by example and others followed
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