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Old 08-11-2014, 03:58 PM
 
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The main drawback I see is that it's hard to stay away from all the rich imagery and great parable-based storytelling of Christianity. Not much rushes in to fill the gap once you take that out of your vocabulary. And using it, because of its richness and depth, really misleads people who think I lead a Bible-based life when I talk about not casting the first stone or something like that.

My best friend from high school routed all this great curse-it-all imagery to me through her dad who was a staunch churchgoer -- Episcopal IIRC -- and I'm rather sorry that "Christ in the Balkans!" (her dad's fave) or "Christ on a rubber crutch!" (I got that one from a movie) doesn't mean to me what it means to them. It's still a delightfully loopy image, but...

...You know what I mean?

Do others see drawbacks like this to not having a mainstream religion on board?
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
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Only that it makes it very tough to find like-minded people, since atheists only make up about 2% of the population. But adding agnostics who are also living without god and religion and the number jumps to about 15% Not high enough for me.

Makes it super tough to find a relationship that can relate to your way of thinking.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:26 PM
 
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The numbers among the scientific community are drastically different. On average I don't think most know of the antitheist that may be among the crowd. They generally are satisfied with their choice and see no need to convert anyone. Some cases are brought into the courts for various reasons. Some to correct a harm done or perceived harm. Most to test the constitution and see what changes can/will be made. I do enjoy a good Christopher Hitchens debate. The arguments are most interesting. To bad he went under from cancer not long ago.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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There was getting treated like some poisonous pariah in Catholic high school which I was forced to attend despite my absence of belief, but since then no serious problems.

In general the main downside to atheism/agnosticism is having to tolerate the theists.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
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I don't see any particular downside. People are annoying, regardless of what I (don't) believe. If it's not their theism, then it's their politics, the way the drive, etc.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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I think the percentage of atheists is far higher than 2%. Figures i have seen are far higher than that, between 15-20% in the US and 50% or so in the UK. Depends on your exact definitions I suppose. And on how you ask the questions in the surveys. Many resist the label because it still carries stigma and upsets some folks.

The truth, though, is that it seldom comes up outside the Bible belt, not even organically. I don't see any downsides at all. I missed some of the habits / trappings of Christianity a bit at first, but it's been a long time since I felt deprived. Some things, once seen / known, can't be unseen / unknown. Frankly I miss other illusions that have died more than my theist illusions, which never did serve me well and always caused me a lot of cognitive dissonance. I miss believing in romantic love, that people aren't that different from me or from one another, and I certainly miss my illusions about myself -- far more than I miss my identity as an evangelical.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:34 PM
 
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Maybe 5% of the people that I know go to church.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:00 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,286,683 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John13 View Post
Only that it makes it very tough to find like-minded people, since atheists only make up about 2% of the population. But adding agnostics who are also living without god and religion and the number jumps to about 15% Not high enough for me. Makes it super tough to find a relationship that can relate to your way of thinking.
Not a problem I have had, with the application of some small level of imagination and effort. As a founding member of Atheist Ireland for example I have met and connected with more people than I did throughout my entire education from age 4 to leaving formal education in my late 20s.

15% is quite a high number and perhaps any failure to meet like minded people is merely for want of trying.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,398 posts, read 2,987,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post
The main drawback I see is that it's hard to stay away from all the rich imagery and great parable-based storytelling of Christianity. Not much rushes in to fill the gap once you take that out of your vocabulary. And using it, because of its richness and depth, really misleads people who think I lead a Bible-based life when I talk about not casting the first stone or something like that.

My best friend from high school routed all this great curse-it-all imagery to me through her dad who was a staunch churchgoer -- Episcopal IIRC -- and I'm rather sorry that "Christ in the Balkans!" (her dad's fave) or "Christ on a rubber crutch!" (I got that one from a movie) doesn't mean to me what it means to them. It's still a delightfully loopy image, but...

...You know what I mean?

Do others see drawbacks like this to not having a mainstream religion on board?
I still use them. I figure I'm doing to part to secularize them. I hope soul becomes a secular term. Without the word soul we have to say something cumbersome like: the part of me I call I. I, myself, or my mind, don't seem encompassing enough.

Unfortunately, when I use the word soul in a secular sense about 90% of listeners have no idea what I'm talking about.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:38 AM
 
7,802 posts, read 5,286,683 times
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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
Without the word soul we have to say something cumbersome like: the part of me I call I. I, myself, or my mind, don't seem encompassing enough.
Perhaps you have to say that but I do not. What is wrong with simply "consciousness" as a term? Or "Human subjectivity"? I think there are many terms that one could use in place of "soul" and unlike your experience where you claim "90% of listeners have no idea what I'm talking about" I seem to have 0% of people taking issue with the terms I use.
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