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Old 03-05-2014, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
...Do you find that people lack understanding that an atheist, or non believer can experience wonder, or be moved by all of humanity or astounded at the beauty of the world?
I am more moved by the beauty and power of nature, and the challenges and triumphs of human beings, than most "religious" people I know. I think the idea of some idealistic human in the sky, running things from behind the scenes, only degrades the magnificence of the universe, and pushes the false idea that humans are the pinnacle of all creation. Our entire planet is nothing but an insignificant speck in the vast universe, and we as individuals are a spec on our planet.

Organized religion has always been at war with atheism and agnosticism, because people without religious beliefs are not going to be giving power or money to any Churches, and they also show those who are dismayed how little comfort religion provides that reality has its own sort of comfort.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHartphotog View Post
I am more moved by the beauty and power of nature, and the challenges and triumphs of human beings, than most "religious" people I know. I think the idea of some idealistic human in the sky, running things from behind the scenes, only degrades the magnificence of the universe, and pushes the false idea that humans are the pinnacle of all creation. Our entire planet is nothing but an insignificant speck in the vast universe, and we as individuals are a spec on our planet.

Organized religion has always been at war with atheism and agnosticism, because people without religious beliefs are not going to be giving power or money to any Churches, and they also show those who are dismayed how little comfort religion provides that reality has its own sort of comfort.
In my experience most of the source of a sense of awe is in an individual's ability to appreciate awesomeness, and that is mostly a matter of nature rather than nurture and has very little to do with religion.

My two older grandsons are different as night and day -- same parents, same household. The older is emotionally fragile, pessimistic, easily frustrated. The other one's response to nearly everything is an enthusiastic and sincere "awesome!".

I can't dredge up much in the awe department if I try. It's just not in me. I'm not a Debbie Downer to be around the vast majority of the time, but neither do I try to be something that I'm not. I appreciate natural beauty, great art, etc., or I'd never voluntarily spend discretionary income to have those experiences -- but my appreciation is rather cerebral and emotionally muted compared to, say, my wife. And then my son makes me look like a holy roller by contrast, he is almost devoid of emotion, sort of like Spock without the pointed ears.

In religion, god always gets the credit for whatever it's desirable for him to have credit for, and never any blame, either. Religion hijacks human aesthetics like the ones under discussion here, societal morality, and a bunch of other things and claims credit for inventing and sustaining them. They are just expressions of the human condition, nothing more.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
In my experience most of the source of a sense of awe is in an individual's ability to appreciate awesomeness, and that is mostly a matter of nature rather than nurture and has very little to do with religion.

My two older grandsons are different as night and day -- same parents, same household. The older is emotionally fragile, pessimistic, easily frustrated. The other one's response to nearly everything is an enthusiastic and sincere "awesome!".

I can't dredge up much in the awe department if I try. It's just not in me. I'm not a Debbie Downer to be around the vast majority of the time, but neither do I try to be something that I'm not. I appreciate natural beauty, great art, etc., or I'd never voluntarily spend discretionary income to have those experiences -- but my appreciation is rather cerebral and emotionally muted compared to, say, my wife. And then my son makes me look like a holy roller by contrast, he is almost devoid of emotion, sort of like Spock without the pointed ears.

LMAO!!!! So funny Mordant!

In religion, god always gets the credit for whatever it's desirable for him to have credit for, and never any blame, either. Religion hijacks human aesthetics like the ones under discussion here, societal morality, and a bunch of other things and claims credit for inventing and sustaining them. They are just expressions of the human condition, nothing more.
I agree, and I get irritated when it's stolen. You've hit the nail on the head for me, it's all masked by some sort of powerful being who gave it to you under which certain conditions apply. It's used as bait, or the thought of losing it is used as punishment. It's a shame, really it is.
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Old 03-05-2014, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Here
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There are people who don't understand the psychology of atheism. There are a lot of people who think that people are atheists because they are "mad at god". There are people who will say things to atheists such as, "Don't worry, if you don't feel like praying, I'll pray for you." As if there is a god belief but the person just doesn't have the time or energy to do the work to sustain it. I feel like Oprah's statement is just one more example of that kind of mentality. But as an atheist, I do not feel angry about it. I do not take it as an insult.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
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Originally Posted by GalileoSmith View Post
There are people who don't understand the psychology of atheism. There are a lot of people who think that people are atheists because they are "mad at god". There are people who will say things to atheists such as, "Don't worry, if you don't feel like praying, I'll pray for you." As if there is a god belief but the person just doesn't have the time or energy to do the work to sustain it. I feel like Oprah's statement is just one more example of that kind of mentality. But as an atheist, I do not feel angry about it. I do not take it as an insult.
I get that a lot as well. Are you misunderstanding God's meaning? Are you angry or has God disappointed you? Then they proceed to let me know the real meaning behind anything bad that could have happened in my past to drive me away from God.

They also think we are a bit scary, I've noticed them backing away slightly like without God I might go totally bizzerk at any second. No moral fence around my property. lol

I posted a funny picture of our description in the joke thread. Beware of approaching the atheist children, best to let an adult talk to them about God. ha ha We're the beast that needs a special approach.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
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Here I am We are "Mr. Gruff" the cranky old atheists unapproachable to children. lol
Couldn't be further from the truth. I'm a woman and pretty happy go lucky. I also love children, oh, but not to eat just to talk with.
Attached Thumbnails
The myths of atheism-atheist-joke.jpg  
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:29 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,947,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
I think that is absolutely right. Believers cannot imagine anyone having the sense of awe, wonder and beauty w2ithout labelling it 'God', which it is not.

I can imagine that it is a sense of wonder awe and sense of beauty at nature- which it can be said is the work of God- I understand that, but to claim that this feeling IS somehow to be regarded as negating atheism is denying atheists the respect that Christians expect from us.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is revisiting the original Carl Sagan's Cosmos series starting this Sunday on NatGeo and Fox. I am eagerly awaiting this series to start and will suspect my sense of awe and wonder will not be disappointed.

I suspect that many Christian apologetics will not watch, nor allow their children to watch this series, or actually most of the shows on the Science Channel or NatGeo.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Summit, NJ
1,462 posts, read 1,368,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
Here I am We are "Mr. Gruff" the cranky old atheists unapproachable to children. lol
Couldn't be further from the truth. I'm a woman and pretty happy go lucky. I also love children, oh, but not to eat just to talk with.
I was just about to look for that image myself; thanks for finding it! I loved that whole website; it's like just one step away from reality, you really have to scrutinize it to realize it's a parody.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averysgore View Post
I was just about to look for that image myself; thanks for finding it! I loved that whole website; it's like just one step away from reality, you really have to scrutinize it to realize it's a parody.
I know, I did link the whole website on the joke thread if anyone is interested. Funny stuff! It's how I feel when I am in a spot where I have to state my non belief. As I state I'm an atheist I notice people around me giving me the "Mr. Gruff" gaze. I always think of that and laugh to myself. I sometimes want to jump toward them and say, "surprise, it's Mr. Gruff in disguise!"
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Old 03-06-2014, 01:20 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
I think this is more evidence, along with her credulous acceptance of "The Secret", that Oprah Winfrey is pretty soft-headed.

I know there are people who say they are atheists but hold onto some concept of spirit or spirituality. In general I think they're mostly talking about emotional or psychological experiences, but if they are really talking about the existence of some kind of spirit that has some kind of existence independent of the human organism then they aren't thinking clearly enough about things. If you're willing to believe in some kind of soul or spirit, for which there is literally no evidence, then why wouldn't you believe in whatever god appeals to you?
They are probably talking about spirituality in a more natural sense: Hope, Meaning, and Purpose.
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