A fantastic conversation with my German friend
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28-03-2012, 10:20 AM
A fantastic conversation with my German friend
I was on a skype call today with a friend of mine who lives in Germany. Halfway through our conversation we stumbled upon the subject of politicians. I told him about our candidates and he said he's been reading some of the German news sources about it and it sounds crazy. I told him about the subject of the birth control issues and the religious issues and all the things our politicians are going on about and he was pretty blown away.

We got onto the subject of schools in Germany along with education. Some interesting things he told me:

- You can't home school there, it is mandatory that you must attend school for at least 10 years
- There is a class on religion, but it's more of a listening class, not teaching that it is or isn't how you should or shouldn't believe. More than anything just a "this is this, that was that, there ya go."
- Science is accepted, the way of the world and understood. When I told him some people want to put "religious science" in school in place of evolution or as an alternative to evolution, he said.... "That's stupid." and of course... I wholeheartedly agreed with him.

Other interesting talking points:
- He said over there most people do not believe in god. I told him that here, religion drives politics a lot. He was surprised by this but said also it's unfortunate, politics should be about decisions, not religion.
- When I told him that when you say you're an atheist here that some people are easily offended or become upset he replied with "Sounds like a bad place for me!" and laughed. He was actually surprised that it's "a big deal" as to whether or not you're an atheist.

He has only been here twice to visit a relative so he hasn't had the chance to really see the perspective on things here but when I explained them to him he was surprised both about the school system and religion and everything to do with it.

I have to say it was comforting at least to hear someone else in the world, time zones ahead of me, in a different culture, a different place to affirm that just because I'm an atheist, that I'm not batshit crazy.

Anyway... had to share that, it was a nice conversation with my friend. He is pretty open about talking about stuff and overall it was a really fantastic conversation to hear perspectives on things here for him and to hear what it's like there as well. While I totally realize that "the grass is not always greener on the other side" in the sense that I'm sure their government and their own things probably have it's own quirks and such, it is nice to hear that elsewhere in the world that lacking a belief in god doesn't make you a hated person for simply having a different world view and that in fact... is pretty normal.
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28-03-2012, 06:08 PM
RE: A fantastic conversation with my German friend
...and we (the US) have the stockpile of nuclear weapons

...in our defense, They, massacred 11 million people in concentration camps and only stopped there because they were forced to.

The entire world is "bat-shit crazy". We're just in a race to see who can blow it up first.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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28-03-2012, 06:20 PM
RE: A fantastic conversation with my German friend
(28-03-2012 10:20 AM)Logisch Wrote:  I was on a skype call today with a friend of mine who lives in Germany. Halfway through our conversation we stumbled upon the subject of politicians. I told him about our candidates and he said he's been reading some of the German news sources about it and it sounds crazy. I told him about the subject of the birth control issues and the religious issues and all the things our politicians are going on about and he was pretty blown away.

We got onto the subject of schools in Germany along with education. Some interesting things he told me:

- You can't home school there, it is mandatory that you must attend school for at least 10 years
- There is a class on religion, but it's more of a listening class, not teaching that it is or isn't how you should or shouldn't believe. More than anything just a "this is this, that was that, there ya go."
- Science is accepted, the way of the world and understood. When I told him some people want to put "religious science" in school in place of evolution or as an alternative to evolution, he said.... "That's stupid." and of course... I wholeheartedly agreed with him.

Other interesting talking points:
- He said over there most people do not believe in god. I told him that here, religion drives politics a lot. He was surprised by this but said also it's unfortunate, politics should be about decisions, not religion.
- When I told him that when you say you're an atheist here that some people are easily offended or become upset he replied with "Sounds like a bad place for me!" and laughed. He was actually surprised that it's "a big deal" as to whether or not you're an atheist.

He has only been here twice to visit a relative so he hasn't had the chance to really see the perspective on things here but when I explained them to him he was surprised both about the school system and religion and everything to do with it.

I have to say it was comforting at least to hear someone else in the world, time zones ahead of me, in a different culture, a different place to affirm that just because I'm an atheist, that I'm not batshit crazy.

Anyway... had to share that, it was a nice conversation with my friend. He is pretty open about talking about stuff and overall it was a really fantastic conversation to hear perspectives on things here for him and to hear what it's like there as well. While I totally realize that "the grass is not always greener on the other side" in the sense that I'm sure their government and their own things probably have it's own quirks and such, it is nice to hear that elsewhere in the world that lacking a belief in god doesn't make you a hated person for simply having a different world view and that in fact... is pretty normal.


Yes...Europe is light years ahead of the good ole USA in this regard. I think we are here in Australia too. I have no hesitation admitting I'm an atheist, and even my Christian friends/patients don't hold it against me. In fact some of them are quite embarrassed to admit they still go to church. There is almost a general attitude that if you are a Christian you are a bit less intelligent/educated, although I am generalising.
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28-03-2012, 06:29 PM
RE: A fantastic conversation with my German friend
Americans go on and on about "God" this and "Jesus" that, but no church would ever schedule a Sunday service at the same time as a football game. A prime example of just how serious Americans really are about religion. Americans probably are world leaders in pretending to care about things they really don't care about.
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28-03-2012, 08:12 PM
RE: A fantastic conversation with my German friend
(28-03-2012 06:08 PM)Thomas Wrote:  ...and we (the US) have the stockpile of nuclear weapons

...in our defense, They, massacred 11 million people in concentration camps and only stopped there because they were forced to.

The entire world is "bat-shit crazy". We're just in a race to see who can blow it up first.
That happened a long time ago and I haven't met a single German that is proud of it, thinks it's right or thinks the same way. The people I've interacted with are awesome.

However, I feel your point is not that but why we justify having nuclear weapons instead?
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28-03-2012, 09:45 PM
RE: A fantastic conversation with my German friend
(28-03-2012 08:12 PM)Logisch Wrote:  
(28-03-2012 06:08 PM)Thomas Wrote:  ...and we (the US) have the stockpile of nuclear weapons

...in our defense, They, massacred 11 million people in concentration camps and only stopped there because they were forced to.

The entire world is "bat-shit crazy". We're just in a race to see who can blow it up first.

That happened a long time ago and I haven't met a single German that is proud of it, thinks it's right or thinks the same way. The people I've interacted with are awesome.

However, I feel your point is not that but why we justify having nuclear weapons instead?



Most Germans in those days were Christians.
Now they're not.
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29-03-2012, 10:17 AM
RE: A fantastic conversation with my German friend
(28-03-2012 10:20 AM)Logisch Wrote:  I was on a skype call today with a friend of mine who lives in Germany. Halfway through our conversation we stumbled upon the subject of politicians. I told him about our candidates and he said he's been reading some of the German news sources about it and it sounds crazy. I told him about the subject of the birth control issues and the religious issues and all the things our politicians are going on about and he was pretty blown away.

We got onto the subject of schools in Germany along with education. Some interesting things he told me:

- You can't home school there, it is mandatory that you must attend school for at least 10 years
- There is a class on religion, but it's more of a listening class, not teaching that it is or isn't how you should or shouldn't believe. More than anything just a "this is this, that was that, there ya go."
- Science is accepted, the way of the world and understood. When I told him some people want to put "religious science" in school in place of evolution or as an alternative to evolution, he said.... "That's stupid." and of course... I wholeheartedly agreed with him.

Other interesting talking points:
- He said over there most people do not believe in god. I told him that here, religion drives politics a lot. He was surprised by this but said also it's unfortunate, politics should be about decisions, not religion.
- When I told him that when you say you're an atheist here that some people are easily offended or become upset he replied with "Sounds like a bad place for me!" and laughed. He was actually surprised that it's "a big deal" as to whether or not you're an atheist.

He has only been here twice to visit a relative so he hasn't had the chance to really see the perspective on things here but when I explained them to him he was surprised both about the school system and religion and everything to do with it.

I have to say it was comforting at least to hear someone else in the world, time zones ahead of me, in a different culture, a different place to affirm that just because I'm an atheist, that I'm not batshit crazy.

Anyway... had to share that, it was a nice conversation with my friend. He is pretty open about talking about stuff and overall it was a really fantastic conversation to hear perspectives on things here for him and to hear what it's like there as well. While I totally realize that "the grass is not always greener on the other side" in the sense that I'm sure their government and their own things probably have it's own quirks and such, it is nice to hear that elsewhere in the world that lacking a belief in god doesn't make you a hated person for simply having a different world view and that in fact... is pretty normal.
I live in Germany, and all your friend says is true. On weekends, churches are damn near empty and the only religious people are old people.

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29-03-2012, 03:11 PM
RE: A fantastic conversation with my German friend
I wish I lived in Germany.
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