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Old 06-18-2013, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Earth
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I think I'll pass.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
You're saying YOU know the definition and then post this garbage???

Here's the definition: Religion | Define Religion at Dictionary.com

Therefore, to be a religion, there has to be a set of beliefs that included the items in definition number one. Next, there has to be some set of practices to go with the beliefs. And last, there has to be some group of people that practice these things.

If you don't have any of these things, it certainly doesn't mean you aren't human. It simply means you're not religious.

A past, an outlook, standing for things, and connections to other people are not even close to what the dictionary defines as religion.

Where did you come up with this stuff, anyway?
I imagine from a loose definition going back to the latin re-ligion 'to bind again' (so my old RI teacher taught me). In fact that is rather selective and loose as I say.

Websters:

Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back — more at rely
First Known Use: 13th century
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:33 AM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
4,891 posts, read 3,979,660 times
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OK all joking aside, let me point out that
I do not like religious services. I never have, I hated it when I was younger, and other than an occasional Buddhist meditation or a Christmas Eve high mass (complete with orchestra and choir, something on competition with the local symphony), I do not want to attend a service of any kind. I simply hate them that much.
And I say this ONLY because I know that there are other non-theists on this forum, like myself , who probably feel the same way.

If a religious service is elevated to a work of art, regardless of content, then I would see it as a work of art and perhaps observe it. I would see no atheist service as reaching that level, and I would know of no other atheists around here who would have any desire to congregate. Atheism is not about congregating. We do not have the insecurity to have our "beliefs" reinforced upon us. Atheism is a natural religion. Pure and simple, it needs no reinforcement. Fundy Christianity, on the other hand, is not a natural religion, and it must be forced and administered onto people, less they come to the awakening that it is neither natural of useful. I use this as one example only.

I once attended a catholic Latin mass. I am neither catholic nor theist, but I have to say, the music, the poetic sound of the ritual, the choir and the orchestra, made for something very artistic and beautiful. While it did not inspire me to any belief in any deity or any religious conversion, I did feel peacefully entertained for that hour. It was a beautiful service, regardless of content. Much as watching a presentation of Julius Caesar or Othello, tragic but beautiful. I once went to a tragic opera, saw a few people crying in the audience afterwords. Art is Art, life imitates it regardless of the mythological content of the presentation.

But I have no desire otherwise to spend Sunday mornings congregating. I do not need congregating to reinforce my position or self esteem. I like people, I like their company, but I do not need a shallow social club, like my parent's church, to give any meaning to my life. And I know, from some discussions on these threads, that there are other non-theists who believe this as well. We are not so shallow or insecure as to need the company of other shallow people on Sunday mornings.
Not to suggest atheists here are shallow, but as another statement of why we won't flock to the local Methodist or catholic church on Sunday morning. We do not need it, and we do not want it either.

So what advantage would an atheist congregation, like even perhaps, the Unitarian Universalist's (who have atheist members) present, other than the social club represented by American religions?
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
Atheism is a natural religion. Pure and simple, it needs no reinforcement. Fundy Christianity, on the other hand, is not a natural religion, and it must be forced and administered onto people, less they come to the awakening that it is neither natural of useful. I use this as one example only.
It's small wonder that theists confuse atheism with a belief-system or a religion when it's neither ... but some of us are confused on the issue too. No offense LKC, but as an atheist you don't believe in any gods, that is WHY you don't congregate. I know we've bandied about looser definitions of religion, but it's unhelpful because religion just means what it quoloquially means to people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
So what advantage would an atheist congregation, like even perhaps, the Unitarian Universalist's (who have atheist members) present, other than the social club represented by American religions?
The only advantage I can see is a perceived one, mostly as a replacement social structure for former theists who miss bake sales and pot lucks and someone visiting you in the hospital or bringing hot chicken soup to your house when you're sick. A church or church-like venue conveys some sense of obligation in this regard; some lodges can provide some of the same vibe, but a social club or secular charitable organization just doesn't cut it in that regard.

Based on my limited experience visiting a UU church, that is exactly what's going on, people with no meaningful level of religious faith and certainly no common doctrinal statement who still want to play church.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:28 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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Well, I think the term "Natural Religion" as opposed to forced religion may not have been the ideal term. Perhaps atheism is a Natural State?
I mean we are born atheists, and if left alone, will remain atheists, but someone somewhere tries to promote the belief in an imaginary being. THAT is not "Natural"

Tonite we have been watching the science shows, my ten year old loves Through the Wormhole. And he has an advantage I never had at age ten: His mind is not cluttered by religious garbage.
He can focus on the reality of the world, and look at shows about the vastness of the universe and realize that no "Creator" or entity could have possibly created all of that.

Perhaps if they had a Sunday morning science gathering, we would have something to do.
Until then, I will take my kids out for Sunday Brunch at the Buddhist temple, when we want to go, and we will appreciate the atheistic philosophy of personal empowerment and social responsibility at work there.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
Tonite we have been watching the science shows, my ten year old loves Through the Wormhole. And he has an advantage I never had at age ten: His mind is not cluttered by religious garbage.
He can focus on the reality of the world, and look at shows about the vastness of the universe and realize that no "Creator" or entity could have possibly created all of that.
I agree, but some people look at the vastness of the universe and say "it couldn't have just happened" and that is where an "all" powerful being comes into it. It is really just the old "god of the gaps" again but couched in noble-sounding sentiment, as if it were small and ungrateful of you to have any other hypothesis about it than a god hypothesis.

I suppose it's not just god of the gaps either, it's also, this is awesome and I feel tiny and alone and frightened so thankfully I have a sky-buddy to make it feel better. But even that is just a patina of faux humility over what is really a demand to be important, a refusal to stand humbled before the vastness of the cosmos. God is a projection that restores a central role to us in some Great Scheme of Things, rather than the entirely irrelevant and unimportant role we actually have. When you really think about it, much of religion is just a salve for our wounded pride. And the irony is that religion has lost a lot of its tools in that regard; it wasn't able to keep the earth in the center of the cosmos and it lost the concept of the heavens as a sort of papier-mache diorama backdrop to support the place -- Earth -- where ALL the action was. Five or six hundred years ago, before those pesky telescopes were invented or celestial mechanics worked out, before it was even accepted that the earth was not a flat pie plate that ended somewhere in the hinterlands beyond the borders of the kingdom, it was much easier to believe that we were ants in a glass jar acting out a preordained drama of the utmost importance. Now ... not so much.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Texas
35,296 posts, read 19,322,938 times
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Lightbulb THE answer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nezlie View Post
Do you think the idea will take hold.... i.e., atheist services?

What does this say about atheism becoming a religion?
It says that atheism is a religion in the same sense that not collecting stamps is a hobby.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,438 posts, read 4,229,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Gringo View Post
It says that atheism is a religion in the same sense that not collecting stamps is a hobby.
Similarly, I've read that atheism is a religion in the same sense that bald is a hair color.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Dallas,Texas
1,378 posts, read 1,468,941 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Silly, imo. I don't want to go to any church including an atheist one and people who are atheist and want to go already have the UUs.
Well said!
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:02 PM
 
Location: California
30,710 posts, read 33,507,042 times
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It's really just a huge, organized Meetup isn't it? I wouldn't be interested in joining a group based on the fact that everyone was a nonbeliever, but I have joined groups that do other things I'm interested in. For fun mind you, not to listen to anyone preach or try to get me to be part of a bigger movement.

People are drawn to JOINING THINGS. It doesn't take much at all. The fact that this is about atheists doesn't make it a religion. Religion has it's own special criteria that this will never live up to. At best it can be a quasi political/social group.
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