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Old 12-06-2013, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
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I fail to see what popularity has to do with atheism...One either believes in god or doesn't.....Regarding how theists see atheism, that is an entirely different story...In the US the only demographic hated more than atheists are rapists, and that makes holding any public office almost impossible.
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
I'd say it offers reason, clarity of mind, freedom of thought, the unhindered ability to accept new ideas, freedom to accept change and progress, freedom to accept other people and cultures based on what you learn about them instead of someone else's preconceived ideas, freedom from guilt about things there is no reason to feel guilty about in the first place, and freedom from the fear of hell.
Yeah, yeah... but how do those things compare with everlasting life...

...what would I do with everlasting life... seems like it would be kind of boring after the 2nd or 3rd millennium.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:47 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,111,078 times
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Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
I don't understand. There's no incentive for me to convert people to atheism. Other religions lead their believers on to believe that they get extra bonus points in heaven for converting people . But the great thing about being an atheist is there there's no point system.
Solidarity is an incentive, always. Regarding atheism or anything else you may claim to stand for. This message might not resonate much in Seattle, land of the stereotypical loner, but there tend to be "life benefits" in sharing a worldview with those around you. I used to know such benefits.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:07 PM
 
Location: WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Solidarity is an incentive, always. Regarding atheism or anything else you may claim to stand for. This message might not resonate much in Seattle, land of the stereotypical loner, but there tend to be "life benefits" in sharing a worldview with those around you. I used to know such benefits.
I don't know. I seem to be able to be friends with both atheists and theists with equal ease. I just don't talk about religion very often for it to be an issue.

Dare I ask why you said that you used to know such benefits?
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:32 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,111,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlenextyear View Post
I don't know. I seem to be able to be friends with both atheists and theists with equal ease. I just don't talk about religion very often for it to be an issue.

Dare I ask why you said that you used to know such benefits?
Sure. I used to gain reciprocally from people who believed like me. Some of this was post-atheism; when I was atheist but less confident in my epistemology, I used to befriend people who seemed confident in their iconoclastic selves. I never really inquired about their actual beliefs (this was when I was age 18-23 I would say); rather, I deferred to their seniority. I'm talking, to generalize, about wannabe Beats types...latter-day Kerouacs, Ginsbergs, Burroughses (there used to be quite a decent deviant literary scene in Buffalo, NY)

This is no longer the case; I am a loner myself for all intents and purposes. I still can easily communicate with people, but I'm always left with an aftertaste...what did I just say? What just happened? Who is that? Who am I?

And now I don't care about literary types. I am all about science. I wish I could go back to thinking that poetry could transcend _____
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Old 12-07-2013, 03:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mommabear2 View Post
I think it's not popular because it makes people uncomfortable. Religion gives them comfort in a difficult world. It helps them make sense of senseless situations. It gives them a feeling of control because you have an all powerful deity backing you up (pray to god and he just might help you in your interpersonal relationship even if you're a jerk). How many times have you heard, "God must have needed an angel... that's why that 4 month old baby died" or whoever). The thought of not having a "sky daddy" is not fathomable for most people... "what? You mean... when I die I'm totally DEAD? No second chance in the afterlife? No seeing my dead loved ones? No getting my riches in heaven?" etc and then they automatically go in defense mode instead of inquiring mode. Also, being spoon fed theist ideology from infancy makes it hard to think any other way and our society doesn't exactly promote "free thought" as much as we'd like to think it does IMO. There's also a negative connotation to being a godless heathen. We're all indulgent, egotistical, loud mouthed degenerates in the eyes of many religious folks. If we (atheist) question the validity of someone's faith we're being "disrespectful."

I don't think I can convince anyone to be an atheist and I'm really not interested in trying. But I do like talking to other atheist and non Christians about their views.
Yes. That's the way it is. What I am arguing for is patching. Assuring people that there could be an afterlife, for all we know. there may even be a creative cosmic mind, even if it worked the act of creation through a big bang and what looks like evolution through natural selection.

While the loss of practical signs of belief in this through mega churches and evangelical TV might make some feel that 'something is missing', the realization that they no longer have to worry about doctrinal minutiae that could just possibly bar one from the heavenly turnstyle if not gotten just right would be a lot less stressful in the long run.

Succinctly, going about secure in the knowledge that an afterlife is assured, no matter what religion, denomination or lack of it would be better than the smug feeling that one is going to heaven and all those who interpreted the word 'Aeon' differently would all be shovelled into gehenna. And suddenly there would be no 'true' religion to fight about.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:00 AM
 
39,202 posts, read 10,880,280 times
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Originally Posted by sanspeur View Post
I fail to see what popularity has to do with atheism...One either believes in god or doesn't.....Regarding how theists see atheism, that is an entirely different story...In the US the only demographic hated more than atheists are rapists, and that makes holding any public office almost impossible.
And yet, Gldrule does have a point with his immovable object 'Numbers' objection. It is a matter of popular appeal. Atheism may not have the benefit of colourful ritual or the smug satisfaction of feeling that an hour spent mumping in church is somehow earning you cosmic street cred. But it does have the great advantage that it doesn't need to battle against increasing doubt, or to struggle daily to believe the less probable explanation rather than the more probable one.

Deconverts have universally attested to the difference that atheism has made to their lives. The metaphor is so often suddenly being able to breathe fresh air. I can attest to a release from a weight of threatening guilt and worry. The nonsensical hate -speech accusation about those who lose faith - belief in a mythical deity then lose all morality, and become mass -murderers, rapists and as one turbanned twit put it 'want to fornicate in the streets' transpires to be palpably untrue and thus the benefits of unbelief far outweigh what one loses, if indeed one loses anything other than being able to get through life more easily on daily doses of Oofle dust.
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Old 12-07-2013, 06:08 AM
 
Location: Florida
19,837 posts, read 19,927,191 times
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I see no need and little desire to try to "spread the word" but absolutely believe there are a very great number of 'closet atheists' so do think we should be more open and matter-of-fact about it so as to pave the way for those that fear censure if they stop pretending to be what they're not and to get the general population well used to the fact that perhaps, just perhaps, this nation, especially, may not be all that religious after all.
(And, of course, that we don't eat babies)
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:04 AM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,975,384 times
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"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." – Thomas Paine
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:15 AM
 
2,693 posts, read 2,206,968 times
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I still consider myself "spiritual" although I don't believe in a deity. No, I don't consider myself a deity either. *wink*

By spiritual, I guess I mean an interconnection.

At my job, people come in and say they're "blessed" . I would say half of the people I work with are somewhat uneducated, as my job is a mixed bag from PhDs to dropouts. We atheists have joked that our office hashtag is #jesus.

We just talk amongst ourselves here and don't try to argue. It would be too much of a cultural shift.

I brought cutlery for our office Thanksgiving dinner, but didn't participate, and that was accepted. They know I'm a vegetarian. That's another story.

Yeah I think there are lots of closet atheists out there.

For all I know, there is an afterlife and a cosmic mind, as someone else as stated. If so, I don't think it's anything we can comprehend, and for all I know, that is actually what the Bible and all the similar folk tales are trying to say.
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