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Old 01-04-2016, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,677 posts, read 6,777,101 times
Reputation: 10247

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal2NC View Post
To you and BrightDogLover (hope I got name right), what a shame they could not see beyond their pointy noses. That should have been put on your tags, atheist. I think they took away your freedom of religion (for that period of time).

I am not sure I'm saying this right, and hope you get my meaning. You have the right to be anything you want. They were shoving their beliefs down your throat.

I have had a lot of religion forced on me. I've come to the realization recently that I am agnostic. First time I've been able to admit it "out loud."
I wouldn't quite call it taking away my freedom of (or from) religion, rather, more like depriving me of the right to speak freely by announcing my true 'preference'. I chalked it up to ignorance...but I drew the line when at attending a "mandatory" religious service. The sarge pressed the issue, trying to tell me it was "non-denominational". I explained that it wasn't the 'denomination' that was the issue, it was the fact that it was religious. He threatened to bring me up on charges for insubordination and disobeying orders, I countered with the fact that I was only required to obey 'lawful' orders and I was willing to go to the CO for a determination as to whether it was 'lawful' or not.

Of course, by the time we did that, the thing would have been over and the point would be moot and I would get my way anyway. He decided it wasn't worth the effort and we came to an 'arrangement'- he would send someone to the snack-bar to get me when they were done.

I've been in the habit of 'going my own way' since I was young, eventually they learned how to use that (and my stubbornness) to their benefit.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,867 posts, read 14,383,691 times
Reputation: 30765
Quote:
Originally Posted by V8 Vega View Post
Are atheists aware that eternity is foreaver and foreaver?
Eternity is often thought of as the absence of time. So, it can't be forever and forever, which means for all future time.
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Old 01-04-2016, 08:46 PM
 
6,256 posts, read 4,734,369 times
Reputation: 12853
Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
Eternity is often thought of as the absence of time. So, it can't be forever and forever, which means for all future time.

No promise of salvation from death, no threat of damnation = no religion
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Old 01-04-2016, 10:06 PM
 
13,320 posts, read 25,569,771 times
Reputation: 20505
Regarding the dogtags, I assumed that if I had a lethal wound, I wouldn't mind any nice person chatting me up to the end. However, I would not want any rituals or prayers or any such.
I did not get to find out. Fortunately.
My father's WW2 dogtag read "H" for "Hebrew." He fought in Europe and being captured by the Germans would have been a very bad thing. That didn't happen and he lived to be 87. Fortunately.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:27 AM
 
466 posts, read 290,771 times
Reputation: 1809
Atheist here, as well. I've never believed in any particular religion. I considered myself agnostic for a number of years but am atheist now. Who knows? No one. What does it matter? Not a whit. Just try to be a good person and do good while you are here. Not because you will get in trouble when you die if you don't, but because it's the right thing to do. That's the extent of my belief system. I don't need to invent a cosmic parent to keep me in line.


When I was very young (7-8?) I became intrigued by Greek mythology and read pretty much everything about the subject that I could get my hands on. Young as I was, I knew/learned that these stories, which were believed as fervently in their day as the bible and other religious texts are today, were 1) made up by common people in order to explain the world around them because they lacked the knowledge for any higher level of understanding, and 2) used by the upper class to keep the lower classes in line and compliant through fear of divine retribution. When I was exposed to Christianity (also around this same time), it was obvious to me that the same dynamic was in play. I couldn't see how the religious people around me didn't make the same connection. Stories about miracles, burning bushes, etc., were no more or less fantastic than the stories from Greek mythology.


I was a bit confused about Mt. Olympus, Washington and Mt. Olympus, Greece, though. I remember being disappointed when I realized that I didn't actually live close to the one in the mythology books...


That being said, I do believe there is some kernel of truth to many of the bible stories. For example, there probably was a good man named Jesus who gathered a group of followers. That's probably the extent of that, and the rest are stories that were made up (parables), taken from other, already existing fables, and/or outright stolen from other religions with the express purpose of subsuming those religions into Christianity.


Just my thoughts. YMMV.
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Old 01-05-2016, 03:23 AM
 
967 posts, read 919,361 times
Reputation: 1890
This has been very enjoyable to read. I am turning 65 in about a week or so (um, what day is it---I'm retired---lol!) and I really don't know how to answer. I still tell people when they ask that I am Christian, but several friends have accused me of being more Humanist than anything. I do not believe that any religion is better or more "right" than any other or than none at all. In that regard, I guess I am not "typical" Christian. Many of my more right-wing Christian friends view me with suspicion, even asking just what kind of Bible I use, anyway! I do not believe that the Bible is inerrant (after all, it certainly involves human beings and we all know there's nothing inerrant about us) nor do I accept everything. I feel there is value in all faiths. And I feel you do not have to profess a faith in any organized religion to be a good and moral person. I am appalled at the attempts by right-wing Christians to force their beliefs and their teachings on all of the citizens of this country. We are not a Christian nation and never have been! I firmly support the separation of church and state. I think so many horrible things have been done in the name of religion over the centuries. As I have aged, and because of what I have gone thru in my life, I find I am content to try to simply be kind to others, treat them as I would want to be treated, and allow them the freedom to think and believe what they wish---so long as it does no harm to others. I hesitate to say I am Agnostic because I cannot agree I have no faith in "God", although I really struggle with the intelligence of that concept, yet I do feel a loyalty to my God. I still pray, but pray with the knowledge that I have absolutely no idea how prayer works or what I really expect.....maybe I'm just too old to change? I wish there were a Unitarian church near me or a Unity group etc. I have been ELCA Lutheran since age 15 because I felt a doctrine of grace, love, and forgiveness was preached rather than one of hell-fire and brimstone and eager pointing-of-fingers like in the Baptist Church I was raised in. But that was my own personal take on it, you understand. I cannot deny God, yet I also cannot define God. I have not attended church for about 7 years due to circumstances (ill health, limited mobility, etc) and guess I have missed the fellowship. Yet on the few occasions I do go now, I find myself impatient with much of it.... well, guess that's my answer/contribution to this thread. Hope you all have a Happy New Year! Just thought to add that my sons are not religious---one firmly atheist, the other more agnostic, and that does not concern me, as long as they are kind and moral individuals who show compassion. (the one is a corporate attorney, so sometimes a little short on compassion---but that's my joke!) I have a close friend who is atheist who didn't want to be friends with me on facebook because she said her posts would offend me---I told her not to worry about that, and I often agree with them,lol!
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Old 01-06-2016, 12:26 PM
 
2,421 posts, read 3,725,330 times
Reputation: 3455
artangel: You represent the good side of believers or semi-believers in that you do not wish to judge or push your personal beliefs on others. This is how it should be. You are accepting of all and don't equate being a good person with religious beliefs.

Last edited by modhatter; 01-06-2016 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 01-06-2016, 05:22 PM
 
28 posts, read 12,928 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kgryfon View Post
Atheist here, as well. I've never believed in any particular religion. I considered myself agnostic for a number of years but am atheist now. Who knows? No one. What does it matter? Not a whit. Just try to be a good person and do good while you are here. Not because you will get in trouble when you die if you don't, but because it's the right thing to do. That's the extent of my belief system. I don't need to invent a cosmic parent to keep me in line.


When I was very young (7-8?) I became intrigued by Greek mythology and read pretty much everything about the subject that I could get my hands on. Young as I was, I knew/learned that these stories, which were believed as fervently in their day as the bible and other religious texts are today, were 1) made up by common people in order to explain the world around them because they lacked the knowledge for any higher level of understanding, and 2) used by the upper class to keep the lower classes in line and compliant through fear of divine retribution. When I was exposed to Christianity (also around this same time), it was obvious to me that the same dynamic was in play. I couldn't see how the religious people around me didn't make the same connection. Stories about miracles, burning bushes, etc., were no more or less fantastic than the stories from Greek mythology.


I was a bit confused about Mt. Olympus, Washington and Mt. Olympus, Greece, though. I remember being disappointed when I realized that I didn't actually live close to the one in the mythology books...


That being said, I do believe there is some kernel of truth to many of the bible stories. For example, there probably was a good man named Jesus who gathered a group of followers. That's probably the extent of that, and the rest are stories that were made up (parables), taken from other, already existing fables, and/or outright stolen from other religions with the express purpose of subsuming those religions into Christianity.

Just my thoughts. YMMV.
I like your thoughts.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:44 PM
Status: "The days are getting shorter" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
3,977 posts, read 1,115,368 times
Reputation: 5618
I'm late to this party but I do have a thought or two about this subject. I'm agnostic and my wife is Athiest. I'm pretty clear on why I'm agnostic; I have no personal experience with god, I've never met or heard from him/her/it. I don't have a belief, I just don't know. My wife believes there is no god. My family and my wife's family believe (strongly) that there is a god who manages to listen to them when they pray and can affect their lives. That's crazy talk to me. I have a bit of a problem with relying on a non-provable belief to guide your life, but, at least in the case of my loving partner, she get's on very well with her life despite her crazy beliefs.
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Old 01-19-2016, 12:30 PM
 
284 posts, read 259,578 times
Reputation: 715
First off, I live in the heart of the Bible belt. Unfortunately, I've attended several funerals over the past few months and they were all religious in nature even in cases where the deceased wasn't necessarily so. I think it's kind of automatic around here that one has a Christian service. Anyway, it got me thinking of what I'd like my funeral to be like. I'm not really a religious person, but I'm not an atheist. It would seem somewhat disingenuous to read scripture and sing hymns that I didn't practice while alive. So I'm curious as to what an agnostic funeral is like.
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