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Old 02-18-2014, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
If we decided to ban the Bible or execute Christians, again, it would be because we're mean and evil people. We don't have a God to hide behind. We can't shove a supreme being onto center stage and point at him saying, "He did it. He said to do it. We're just following orders."
^^^ This. Atheism is, a you point out, nothing more than lack of god-beliefs, but the rationalism and humanism that generally flows from that unbelief are all about personal responsibility -- for our actions, our ideas, our engagement with reality. Religion would like to paint us as irresponsible and dangerous; but the truth is that religion is altogether a flight from personal responsibility and uncertainty, and above all, it keeps the limelight squarely on the believer and his heroic role in an epic struggle against good and evil with the help of an invisible sky-buddy.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:29 PM
 
39,206 posts, read 10,887,543 times
Reputation: 5096
Yes. It is a right lark (as we say in Limeyland) that we have no sooner explained how simple atheism is, than we have to start dealing with all the complicated knock -on social, political and moral implications that (as you say) 'Flow from it'.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Mesa, Arizona
546 posts, read 417,165 times
Reputation: 187
What's an Atheist?

It is a person that does not include a belief in a god in their determinations of themselves or their surroundings.

Most of the other things that have been said are not related to the question, but I'm glad that many of you have expressed opinions on how atheists feel, and the rationale they use. Being a Christian, it is refreshing to get perspective from other angles. Personally, I don't feel the need to 'convert' others to my way of thinking. I will always state what I believe and why, but this is not a contest to gain numbers, (even though organized religion needs numbers to economically survive). But then again, if organized religion were honest with itself, and if God is for real, economical reasons should play very little part in the whole thing.

I'm not concerned that all the atheists are going to spend eternity in hell, because I don't believe that that is God's plan. Death is the great equalizer, and if God is real, since atheists are logical and look for tangible evidence, they should have no problem after death in becoming a believer, because the proof will be in front of them. And if God is not real, there will be no consequence!

I AM VERY SORRY that believers feel so compelled to ridicule, demean, and condemn the belief of atheists, (and other believers for that matter). The world is full of enough strife and trouble without another straw on the camel's back. If the God that they believe in is really leading them to the correct end, then that end should be of an irresistible quality that would draw others to a similar belief, and it would be a fulfilling experience, filled with pure love for all involved. Unfortunately, that is not the case as of this day, and many believers take what little they do know and think that they are God's gift to mankind and expect others to follow them. They just don't seem to realize that THEY are not the leader!
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:35 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,534 posts, read 2,452,165 times
Reputation: 24038
[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpethim View Post
Most of the other things that have been said are not related to the question, but I'm glad that many of you have expressed opinions on how atheists feel, and the rationale they use. Being a Christian, it is refreshing to get perspective from other angles. Personally, I don't feel the need to 'convert' others to my way of thinking. I will always state what I believe and why, but this is not a contest to gain numbers, (even though organized religion needs numbers to economically survive). But then again, if organized religion were honest with itself, and if God is for real, economical reasons should play very little part in the whole thing.
It's nice to see a professing Christian not be argumentative or condemning, that does far more for the cause of Christianity than anything else imo. And that is the main difference between atheism and theism as I see it, with atheism there is no agenda to recruit (at least the majority) while the believers feel they have to try and convert to gain more brownie points with their sky-buddy. I know, I used to be a Christian. I was one of the worst kind though, bible-thumping fundamentalism at it's best. It was taught to me that atheists were evil people and to be avoided if at all possible. What I've learned becoming an atheist is that they/we are simply just people without a god belief because we need proof. There's no agenda and I think that crazy woman atheist who was responsible for having prayer taken out of schools ruined our reputation. A god belief or not aside, that is just extreme behavior and she is not the norm. Like Westboro Baptist Church is not the norm for Christianity as a whole. People are just people, and if certain people weren't obsessing about religion it would be something else for sure. It seems to be a need for some. Having a live an let live attitude serves each side so much better.

Quote:
I'm not concerned that all the atheists are going to spend eternity in hell, because I don't believe that that is God's plan. Death is the great equalizer, and if God is real, since atheists are logical and look for tangible evidence, they should have no problem after death in becoming a believer, because the proof will be in front of them. And if God is not real, there will be no consequence!
Ha you must be a Universalist if you think people have a chance at salvation after death. I was a Universalist for a brief period but ultimately I needed more proof to be a believer of any kind. I had never heard of Universalists when I first came to C-D and I used to argue with them fervently in the religion forum as a fundamentalist.....it was not pretty and eventually they won me over because they didn't believe in an eternal hell and held out hope that everyone would eventually be saved. It's a nicer way to believe if you must, I suppose.

Quote:
I AM VERY SORRY that believers feel so compelled to ridicule, demean, and condemn the belief of atheists, (and other believers for that matter). The world is full of enough strife and trouble without another straw on the camel's back. If the God that they believe in is really leading them to the correct end, then that end should be of an irresistible quality that would draw others to a similar belief, and it would be a fulfilling experience, filled with pure love for all involved. Unfortunately, that is not the case as of this day, and many believers take what little they do know and think that they are God's gift to mankind and expect others to follow them. They just don't seem to realize that THEY are not the leader!
I know, I'm sorry I ever did that too but I am guilty. It was pure naivety and brainwashing on my part (in my defense) but ultimately my doubt and questioning led me to where I am now....atheist. As a Christian, I was sooooo concerned with the soul situations of EVERYONE and felt it was my duty as a Christian to convert as many as possible because there was no more chances after death to believe, just a fiery eternal punishment for disbelief. That belief in eternal hellfire is what started this whole thing, I just found it too hard to believe that a loving god would do that to us simply for requiring proof of his existence. Even if I were to somehow regain my faith (won't happen without indisputable evidence) I would never be a fundamentalist, I would go back to Universalism. That's a mighty big IF though.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:02 PM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,709,227 times
Reputation: 3109
Quote:
Yes. It is a right lark (as we say in Limeyland) that we have no sooner explained how simple atheism is, than we have to start dealing with all the complicated knock -on social, political and moral implications that (as you say) 'Flow from it'.
Ah and I am not trying to be facetious but Are, all 'isms' are 'complicated' and perhap contemplation would be good. Wouldn't hurt to knock that one around in a study group or do papers on it! And I'll admit it's a selfish thing of mine since I'm very interested in the kind of society that would exist under the circumstances. Intrigues me very very much.As you are well aware I've been told soooooooooooo many times I've been 'brainwashed' in a way that is completely alien to the one discussed...;-)....
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Arizona
546 posts, read 417,165 times
Reputation: 187
[quote=Northsouth;33541168]
Quote:
It's nice to see a professing Christian not be argumentative or condemning, that does far more for the cause of Christianity than anything else imo. And that is the main difference between atheism and theism as I see it, with atheism there is no agenda to recruit (at least the majority) while the believers feel they have to try and convert to gain more brownie points with their sky-buddy. I know, I used to be a Christian. I was one of the worst kind though, bible-thumping fundamentalism at it's best. It was taught to me that atheists were evil people and to be avoided if at all possible. What I've learned becoming an atheist is that they/we are simply just people without a god belief because we need proof. There's no agenda and I think that crazy woman atheist who was responsible for having prayer taken out of schools ruined our reputation. A god belief or not aside, that is just extreme behavior and she is not the norm. Like Westboro Baptist Church is not the norm for Christianity as a whole. People are just people, and if certain people weren't obsessing about religion it would be something else for sure. It seems to be a need for some. Having a live an let live attitude serves each side so much better.


Ha you must be a Universalist if you think people have a chance at salvation after death. I was a Universalist for a brief period but ultimately I needed more proof to be a believer of any kind. I had never heard of Universalists when I first came to C-D and I used to argue with them fervently in the religion forum as a fundamentalist.....it was not pretty and eventually they won me over because they didn't believe in an eternal hell and held out hope that everyone would eventually be saved. It's a nicer way to believe if you must, I suppose.


I know, I'm sorry I ever did that too but I am guilty. It was pure naivety and brainwashing on my part (in my defense) but ultimately my doubt and questioning led me to where I am now....atheist. As a Christian, I was sooooo concerned with the soul situations of EVERYONE and felt it was my duty as a Christian to convert as many as possible because there was no more chances after death to believe, just a fiery eternal punishment for disbelief. That belief in eternal hellfire is what started this whole thing, I just found it too hard to believe that a loving god would do that to us simply for requiring proof of his existence. Even if I were to somehow regain my faith (won't happen without indisputable evidence) I would never be a fundamentalist, I would go back to Universalism. That's a mighty big IF though.
Thanks for your comments, Northsouth. Yes, if I were to be labeled as something, I suppose it would be a universalist of some sort. I too, was a fundamentalist at one time, yet I still believe the Bible. I just think that the Bible has been grossly misunderstood. As far as I can tell, Jesus was a loving guy, and even though He stood in the midst of a time of confusion and trouble, He never condemned anyone, yet He gave answers as to how to develop the in the best way, as far as God would be concerned.

The controversy over hell is the center, I believe, of a great misunderstanding, and wrong thinking polarizes most Christians into a rash of finger pointing. When I came to this problem of eternal punishment, I ignored it for years. But eventually I began to think in terms of those that were being condemned without a cause, such as children and those that may never have had the chance to hear. So, I went to the Bible and looked into the original languages. Once I found out that the words for "eternal punishment" could also mean "correction over a period of time", I had to take the God of love into consideration, and it wasn't long before I realized that sending most of the world to a hell forever just wasn't in His character, nor would I want to believe in a God that would do such a thing. I then proceeded to find out that God is not trying to condemn the world, and rescue some (if they play by the rules), but I found that He is just organizing His creation in a relationship manner. I have found out much more about God by allowing the Bible to speak to me, as opposed to following some doctrine, and it is much like a marriage bed. The intimate things about your partner are things that, like the Vegas commercial states, "What happens here, stays here." I figure that if someone else wants a relationship with God, they need to do it themselves. After all, would the pastor of any sane church be welcomed into your bedroom with you and your mate to offer pointers?? That's crazy! But that is sort of what is going on!

Well, anyway, thanks again. We've got nothing to lose in being friendly and helping towards everyone, and lots to loose in being polarized.
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:09 PM
 
39,206 posts, read 10,887,543 times
Reputation: 5096
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpethim View Post
What's an Atheist?

It is a person that does not include a belief in a god in their determinations of themselves or their surroundings.

Most of the other things that have been said are not related to the question, but I'm glad that many of you have expressed opinions on how atheists feel, and the rationale they use. Being a Christian, it is refreshing to get perspective from other angles. Personally, I don't feel the need to 'convert' others to my way of thinking. I will always state what I believe and why, but this is not a contest to gain numbers, (even though organized religion needs numbers to economically survive). But then again, if organized religion were honest with itself, and if God is for real, economical reasons should play very little part in the whole thing.

I'm not concerned that all the atheists are going to spend eternity in hell, because I don't believe that that is God's plan. Death is the great equalizer, and if God is real, since atheists are logical and look for tangible evidence, they should have no problem after death in becoming a believer, because the proof will be in front of them. And if God is not real, there will be no consequence!

I AM VERY SORRY that believers feel so compelled to ridicule, demean, and condemn the belief of atheists, (and other believers for that matter). The world is full of enough strife and trouble without another straw on the camel's back. If the God that they believe in is really leading them to the correct end, then that end should be of an irresistible quality that would draw others to a similar belief, and it would be a fulfilling experience, filled with pure love for all involved. Unfortunately, that is not the case as of this day, and many believers take what little they do know and think that they are God's gift to mankind and expect others to follow them. They just don't seem to realize that THEY are not the leader!
That's quite a nice post. I appreciate it. You and I have clashed about what I consider to be unfounded and illogical Bible -claims. But I never for a moment deny you the right to believe whatever you think stacks up. If more Believers took your line, we atheists would find other tings to do with out time.

Unfortunately, the conflict between what the Bible says and what valid science and sound logic says is ongoing and irreligion is not considered the best system to have by the majority, let alone the VERY bad reputation we atheists have.

So we do still have a LOT of work to do.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Arizona
546 posts, read 417,165 times
Reputation: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
That's quite a nice post. I appreciate it. You and I have clashed about what I consider to be unfounded and illogical Bible -claims. But I never for a moment deny you the right to believe whatever you think stacks up. If more Believers took your line, we atheists would find other tings to do with out time.

Unfortunately, the conflict between what the Bible says and what valid science and sound logic says is ongoing and irreligion is not considered the best system to have by the majority, let alone the VERY bad reputation we atheists have.

So we do still have a LOT of work to do.
I agree completely! We will always clash over these things until touchable proof comes, but I respect and understand the fact that you want that kind of obvious proof. Granted, you are in a minority, but, then again, so am I. I would dare say more than you! In fact, the belief of most secular Christians is closer to atheism than it is to real belief in God.

The main-line Christian view of salvation is well off the mark, and if I were to have told my beliefs in the middle ages, I would be looking at being the main course in a BBQ!

As far as the work that needs to be done...All we can do is be civil and put out the information on what we believe. It IS fun to an extent, and I enjoy getting a look at how others think. I also believe that much of Christianity is about to be eclipsed by a "new" way, which is actually the "old" way. Just as the sacrificial religion of the old Jews passed away, so will this form of Christianity, and kindness and understanding will become the rule. It's either we learn to respect each other, or we will be killing each other off. And on that note, it will be the most self-demanding people that will be gone.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:18 PM
 
40,107 posts, read 26,772,494 times
Reputation: 6050
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpethim View Post
What's an Atheist?
It is a person that does not include a belief in a god in their determinations of themselves or their surroundings.
Most of the other things that have been said are not related to the question, but I'm glad that many of you have expressed opinions on how atheists feel, and the rationale they use. Being a Christian, it is refreshing to get perspective from other angles. Personally, I don't feel the need to 'convert' others to my way of thinking. I will always state what I believe and why, but this is not a contest to gain numbers, (even though organized religion needs numbers to economically survive). But then again, if organized religion were honest with itself, and if God is for real, economical reasons should play very little part in the whole thing.
I'm not concerned that all the atheists are going to spend eternity in hell, because I don't believe that that is God's plan. Death is the great equalizer, and if God is real, since atheists are logical and look for tangible evidence, they should have no problem after death in becoming a believer, because the proof will be in front of them. And if God is not real, there will be no consequence!
I AM VERY SORRY that believers feel so compelled to ridicule, demean, and condemn the belief of atheists, (and other believers for that matter). The world is full of enough strife and trouble without another straw on the camel's back. If the God that they believe in is really leading them to the correct end, then that end should be of an irresistible quality that would draw others to a similar belief, and it would be a fulfilling experience, filled with pure love for all involved. Unfortunately, that is not the case as of this day, and many believers take what little they do know and think that they are God's gift to mankind and expect others to follow them. They just don't seem to realize that THEY are not the leader!
Excellent post!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
Yes, if I were to be labeled as something, I suppose it would be a universalist of some sort. I too, was a fundamentalist at one time, yet I still believe the Bible. I just think that the Bible has been grossly misunderstood. As far as I can tell, Jesus was a loving guy, and even though He stood in the midst of a time of confusion and trouble, He never condemned anyone, yet He gave answers as to how to develop the in the best way, as far as God would be concerned.
The controversy over hell is the center, I believe, of a great misunderstanding, and wrong thinking polarizes most Christians into a rash of finger pointing. When I came to this problem of eternal punishment, I ignored it for years. But eventually I began to think in terms of those that were being condemned without a cause, such as children and those that may never have had the chance to hear. So, I went to the Bible and looked into the original languages. Once I found out that the words for "eternal punishment" could also mean "correction over a period of time", I had to take the God of love into consideration, and it wasn't long before I realized that sending most of the world to a hell forever just wasn't in His character, nor would I want to believe in a God that would do such a thing. I then proceeded to find out that God is not trying to condemn the world, and rescue some (if they play by the rules), but I found that He is just organizing His creation in a relationship manner. I have found out much more about God by allowing the Bible to speak to me, as opposed to following some doctrine, and it is much like a marriage bed. The intimate things about your partner are things that, like the Vegas commercial states, "What happens here, stays here." I figure that if someone else wants a relationship with God, they need to do it themselves. After all, would the pastor of any sane church be welcomed into your bedroom with you and your mate to offer pointers?? That's crazy! But that is sort of what is going on!
Well, anyway, thanks again. We've got nothing to lose in being friendly and helping towards everyone, and lots to loose in being polarized.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpethim View Post
The main-line Christian view of salvation is well off the mark, and if I were to have told my beliefs in the middle ages, I would be looking at being the main course in a BBQ!
As far as the work that needs to be done...All we can do is be civil and put out the information on what we believe. It IS fun to an extent, and I enjoy getting a look at how others think. I also believe that much of Christianity is about to be eclipsed by a "new" way, which is actually the "old" way. Just as the sacrificial religion of the old Jews passed away, so will this form of Christianity, and kindness and understanding will become the rule. It's either we learn to respect each other, or we will be killing each other off. And on that note, it will be the most self-demanding people that will be gone.
I am truly impressed with these posts, trumpethim. You have a loving heart and are filled with the Holy Spirit of God. It is very encouraging to see it, especially in a self-confessed former fundamentalist. Bless you!
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:07 AM
 
39,206 posts, read 10,887,543 times
Reputation: 5096
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpethim View Post
I agree completely! We will always clash over these things until touchable proof comes, but I respect and understand the fact that you want that kind of obvious proof. Granted, you are in a minority, but, then again, so am I. I would dare say more than you! In fact, the belief of most secular Christians is closer to atheism than it is to real belief in God.

The main-line Christian view of salvation is well off the mark, and if I were to have told my beliefs in the middle ages, I would be looking at being the main course in a BBQ!

As far as the work that needs to be done...All we can do is be civil and put out the information on what we believe. It IS fun to an extent, and I enjoy getting a look at how others think. I also believe that much of Christianity is about to be eclipsed by a "new" way, which is actually the "old" way. Just as the sacrificial religion of the old Jews passed away, so will this form of Christianity, and kindness and understanding will become the rule. It's either we learn to respect each other, or we will be killing each other off. And on that note, it will be the most self-demanding people that will be gone.
I like your talk of a 'new way'. And also of 'this form of Christianity'. I have maintained that there is only one kind of science but many forms of religion, and indeed of Christianity. We see it in the arguments about doctrine and Scripture -interpretation.

But a 'new way' that would tend towards a less doctrinal and more all - embracing form of Christianity would avoid all those less than edifying wrangles.
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