Am I Alone?
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07-02-2014, 02:49 PM
Am I Alone?
I understand that some atheists face some persecution but I'm starting to feel that folks are taking atheism a little to seriously.
I know some folks loose jobs and family and even more because of atheism and so I understand their desire to speak out and to unite. I have never really faced any problems due to my atheism and for a very long time I thought I was the only one. The closest I got to one like me was a friend who claimed to be agnostic. His agnosticism came about not long after I professed my disbelief (I digress).
I find the discussion of god an interesting one but have come to the conclusion that whether god exists or not is actually irrelevant. Just as debating the existence of Bilbo Baggins is. Of course all of us, I would think, are aware that Bilbo is fictional but that does not stop folks from discussing the finer points of hobbits. But there are a vast amount of people who simply don't care about hobbits and the only people that do care are hobbit lovers and hobbit haters. Similarly the only folks that care about god are the fundamentalist and the atheists(generalization I know) while the majority of the middle folks don't give a rats ass!
It seems as well that many fundies delight in their ignorance and threats of hell while we heathens delight in showing our "superior intellect" and as a result we often come off as arrogant.
I myself(about 2 years ago)was sucked into this "movement" and it started to consume me. Everything was about atheism to the point where I started to get on my own nerves.
I would even look for a fight with a religious person just to convince them of the true reality I would tell myself but I suspect it was to convince myself of my "superior intellect."
It took a little while but I learned (as I said earlier) that most folks just don't care. I no longer look for fights and when I'm approached by religious folks I generally just make jokes or shake my head an walk away.
I have learned to approach my atheism the same way I approach life. I take very little seriously. Yes I can have a serious discussion but I won't let it consume me. Give me your side and I'll give you mine but at the end of the day I don't really care what you believe or don't believe and I suspect I never actually did. As I said my desire to argue with theist might have been more about me.
What's my point here?
Well if you haven't lost something important(job, family, whatever) because of your atheism then (and forgive me for this) shut the fuck up. Nobody cares. Stop taking yourself so seriously.
Is there anyone else out there who thinks like this or am I alone?
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07-02-2014, 03:06 PM
RE: Am I Alone?
Oh and please don't take this the wrong way. I don't mean to insult or provoke. Just sharing an incomplete thought!
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07-02-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: Am I Alone?
Excellent thoughts!
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07-02-2014, 03:14 PM
RE: Am I Alone?
I kinda feel like I'm on the line between your two sides here.

On the one hand, being someone who has a lot of negative associations with religion from being brought up in it, it's hard to laugh about it. It takes an amount of self healing from all that and a lot of distance to be able to laugh about the ridiculousness that fundies display. Perhaps if we were less serious about beliefs, it wouldn't be such a hostile situation.

On the other hand, I think a measure of seriousness is necessary because fundies have become more zealous, organized and have a lot of money at their fingertips. Considering what we're seeing in politics today, where religion now is a litmus test of your loyalty to a certain party, I think it's worrisome.

So I don't know if there's an easy answer to what you're bringing up. I'd like to think we'll be able to reach a happy middle, but I don't know how possible that is presently.
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07-02-2014, 03:18 PM
RE: Am I Alone?
I think, in a perfect world, that is how it would work. People that believe in god and have their religion believe it and worship without bothering anybody. We might disagree, and maybe once in awhile we will have a light debate on why we disagree with each other. Atheist would chose not to believe, and maybe once in awhile discuss the reasons for their disbelief. That would be in a perfect world though.

In the real world, you have Christians in the United States threatening secular life. They want to legislate your morals to fit their life, they want to have their church be the policy maker, they want to start wars based on religious differences or perceived biblical prophecies.

In the Middle East you have places where women barley have any rights, non-believers or people of faiths deemed unacceptable are persecuted , and dangerous religiously lead regimes.

In general, you have people willing to kill, sometimes the most innocent of people in the name of religion. One group flies planes into buildings, another group bombs an abortion clinic, one tries to stamp out minorities, while they all try to kill each other.

Generally speaking, I agree. If you have somebody you interact with every so often like a co-worker, friend, family member, facebook friend who is religious and once in awhile will talk about it, you don't have to jump in and demonstrate your superior intellect. Although, there is a double standard here where it is generally acceptable to preach to anybody you come in contact with about god, but just the simple act of saying, I don't believe in that nonsense is somehow controversial.

To sum it up, I have no problem if people are religious, and I don't feel the need to lecture them so long as they leave me alone. The reason I think being a vocal atheist is critical is when religion affects public policy, and lives are lost because of it. Being vocal then is absolutely necessary to preserve secular society, save lives, and let other people know that are not vocal, or have not admitted their atheism, that you are not alone, and that you can make a difference too.
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07-02-2014, 03:49 PM
RE: Am I Alone?
Interesting perspective and I thank you for it . You've mentioned some things that I often forget to consider.
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07-02-2014, 03:55 PM
RE: Am I Alone?
(07-02-2014 03:49 PM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  Interesting perspective and I thank you for it . You've mentioned some things that I often forget to consider.

I understand your point of view very well. I really wish the world worked that way.

One thing I forgot to mention to me that is of importance to me is creationist. I have no problem if you want to believe that, although I think it is utterly insane. However, the second you start trying to put that on equal footing with real science in science classes, as if they are two equally plausible explanation for origins, I have a problem. Science education is very important to the future, and should not be clouded by religious dogma.
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07-02-2014, 04:05 PM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2014 04:45 PM by Drunkin Druid.)
RE: Am I Alone?
(07-02-2014 03:55 PM)mrlmichael Wrote:  
(07-02-2014 03:49 PM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  Interesting perspective and I thank you for it . You've mentioned some things that I often forget to consider.

I understand your point of view very well. I really wish the world worked that way.

One thing I forgot to mention to me that is of importance to me is creationist. I have no problem if you want to believe that, although I think it is utterly insane. However, the second you start trying to put that on equal footing with real science in science classes, as if they are two equally plausible explanation for origins, I have a problem. Science education is very important to the future, and should not be clouded by religious dogma.

On this we agree fully. I have a very big problem with anti-science! Or I should say the teaching of it to children.

Edited...
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08-02-2014, 05:59 AM
RE: Am I Alone?
(07-02-2014 02:49 PM)Drunkin Druid Wrote:  I understand that some atheists face some persecution but I'm starting to feel that folks are taking atheism a little to seriously.
I know some folks loose jobs and family and even more because of atheism and so I understand their desire to speak out and to unite. I have never really faced any problems due to my atheism and for a very long time I thought I was the only one. The closest I got to one like me was a friend who claimed to be agnostic. His agnosticism came about not long after I professed my disbelief (I digress).
I find the discussion of god an interesting one but have come to the conclusion that whether god exists or not is actually irrelevant. Just as debating the existence of Bilbo Baggins is. Of course all of us, I would think, are aware that Bilbo is fictional but that does not stop folks from discussing the finer points of hobbits. But there are a vast amount of people who simply don't care about hobbits and the only people that do care are hobbit lovers and hobbit haters. Similarly the only folks that care about god are the fundamentalist and the atheists(generalization I know) while the majority of the middle folks don't give a rats ass!
It seems as well that many fundies delight in their ignorance and threats of hell while we heathens delight in showing our "superior intellect" and as a result we often come off as arrogant.
I myself(about 2 years ago)was sucked into this "movement" and it started to consume me. Everything was about atheism to the point where I started to get on my own nerves.
I would even look for a fight with a religious person just to convince them of the true reality I would tell myself but I suspect it was to convince myself of my "superior intellect."
It took a little while but I learned (as I said earlier) that most folks just don't care. I no longer look for fights and when I'm approached by religious folks I generally just make jokes or shake my head an walk away.
I have learned to approach my atheism the same way I approach life. I take very little seriously. Yes I can have a serious discussion but I won't let it consume me. Give me your side and I'll give you mine but at the end of the day I don't really care what you believe or don't believe and I suspect I never actually did. As I said my desire to argue with theist might have been more about me.
What's my point here?
Well if you haven't lost something important(job, family, whatever) because of your atheism then (and forgive me for this) shut the fuck up. Nobody cares. Stop taking yourself so seriously.
Is there anyone else out there who thinks like this or am I alone?

Good points. I have not had to deal with much abuse because of my non theism. It's been an easy ride for me, so to speak.

OTOH, people who have suffered because of their non theism have a legitimate complaint, and they have the right (in the USA) to bitch. That said, I think many of the outspoken ones learn to tone the drama down. They learn that humbleness and facts can be a sharp tool when used the right way.
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08-02-2014, 06:29 AM
RE: Am I Alone?
I'm 100% sure you're not alone.

But I don't stand with you. Belief is a disease and must be eradicated as such. Until religion sucks its last, gasping breath, I will speak out. Whether anyone else cares or not is irrelevant. I care.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
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