Am I An Atheist?
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04-11-2016, 10:14 AM
RE: Am I An Atheist?
The morning sun has risen and burned away the fog of a long, dark night. You are standing there blinking like a newborn at the glorious new world before you. Who cares what it is called? Just go explore it, savor it, and make yourself home in it.

I just wanted to let you know that I love you even though you aren't naked right now. Heart
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04-11-2016, 10:30 AM (This post was last modified: 04-11-2016 10:35 AM by Keen.)
RE: Am I An Atheist?
I do realize that I tend to take my security blanket back whenever Im afraid or scared. Just knowing that if I were close to death or if I lose a loved one I want to know its not the end. Believing in Heaven or a God that will bring us into a new existence after death is so comforting.

I know that I tend to want to fall back into those happy feelings whenever I think of how small and insignificant we all are. Thats a hard one to think about and if I start to wonder about it for too long I get pretty depressed. I remember an atheist friend of mine saying a loooong while back (back when I considered myself a pretty hardcore Catholic) that Religion was something evolved by humans to cope with things such as this and at the time, I thought it sounded like baloney. But honestly, it makes much more sense to me now. Sentient beings needed to find a way to make existence more meaningful and less scary (thats not to say a life without God is not meaningful) but in a general sense, to sort of cope with the unknown.
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04-11-2016, 10:50 AM
RE: Am I An Atheist?
(04-11-2016 10:30 AM)Keen Wrote:  I do realize that I tend to take my security blanket back whenever Im afraid or scared. Just knowing that if I were close to death or if I lose a loved one I want to know its not the end. Believing in Heaven or a God that will bring us into a new existence after death is so comforting.

I know that I tend to want to fall back into those happy feelings whenever I think of how small and insignificant we all are. Thats a hard one to think about and if I start to wonder about it for too long I get pretty depressed. I remember an atheist friend of mine saying a loooong while back (back when I considered myself a pretty hardcore Catholic) that Religion was something evolved by humans to cope with things such as this and at the time, I thought it sounded like baloney. But honestly, it makes much more sense to me now. Sentient beings needed to find a way to make existence more meaningful and less scary (thats not to say a life without God is not meaningful) but in a general sense, to sort of cope with the unknown.

Look up Carl Sagan's pale blue dot.

It may bring a tear to your eye. But in a good way.

Don't Live each day like it's your last. Live each day like you have 541 days after that one where every choice you make will have lasting implications to you and the world around you. ~ Tim Minchin
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04-11-2016, 10:53 AM
RE: Am I An Atheist?
(04-11-2016 10:30 AM)Keen Wrote:  Sentient beings needed to find a way to make existence more meaningful and less scary (thats not to say a life without God is not meaningful) but in a general sense, to sort of cope with the unknown.

Since becoming an atheist, I have found that, for me, the only thing rendered meaningless is death. On the other hand, life has become so much more precious and meaningful to me as I realize that it is all there is for me. And I love the freedom of knowing that I can now define the meaning and purpose of my own life, as opposed to subscribing to one predefined for me by some ancient religious text.

I just wanted to let you know that I love you even though you aren't naked right now. Heart
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05-11-2016, 01:01 AM (This post was last modified: 05-11-2016 01:05 AM by Velvet.)
RE: Am I An Atheist?
(04-11-2016 10:53 AM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  
(04-11-2016 10:30 AM)Keen Wrote:  Sentient beings needed to find a way to make existence more meaningful and less scary (thats not to say a life without God is not meaningful) but in a general sense, to sort of cope with the unknown.

Since becoming an atheist, I have found that, for me, the only thing rendered meaningless is death. On the other hand, life has become so much more precious and meaningful to me as I realize that it is all there is for me. And I love the freedom of knowing that I can now define the meaning and purpose of my own life, as opposed to subscribing to one predefined for me by some ancient religious text.

I never had any problem with the "death idea", I mean, while I'm alive I can eat pizza, that's all that matters...

Seriously, fuck death, I have pizza...

Welcome Keen my friend, I hope you also find a deep philosophical life meaning and purpose, as I did, and I wouldn't care if you too adopt pizza as the most important truth of life and death, I mean, is hard not to.

That which can be destroyed by the truth should be.”
-P.C. Hodgell - Seeker’s Mask - Kirien
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05-11-2016, 01:11 AM
RE: Am I An Atheist?
(04-11-2016 10:50 AM)Commonsensei Wrote:  
(04-11-2016 10:30 AM)Keen Wrote:  I do realize that I tend to take my security blanket back whenever Im afraid or scared. Just knowing that if I were close to death or if I lose a loved one I want to know its not the end. Believing in Heaven or a God that will bring us into a new existence after death is so comforting.

I know that I tend to want to fall back into those happy feelings whenever I think of how small and insignificant we all are. Thats a hard one to think about and if I start to wonder about it for too long I get pretty depressed. I remember an atheist friend of mine saying a loooong while back (back when I considered myself a pretty hardcore Catholic) that Religion was something evolved by humans to cope with things such as this and at the time, I thought it sounded like baloney. But honestly, it makes much more sense to me now. Sentient beings needed to find a way to make existence more meaningful and less scary (thats not to say a life without God is not meaningful) but in a general sense, to sort of cope with the unknown.

Look up Carl Sagan's pale blue dot.

It may bring a tear to your eye. But in a good way.




[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
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05-11-2016, 04:53 AM
RE: Am I An Atheist?
(04-11-2016 10:50 AM)Commonsensei Wrote:  
(04-11-2016 10:30 AM)Keen Wrote:  I do realize that I tend to take my security blanket back whenever Im afraid or scared. Just knowing that if I were close to death or if I lose a loved one I want to know its not the end. Believing in Heaven or a God that will bring us into a new existence after death is so comforting.

I know that I tend to want to fall back into those happy feelings whenever I think of how small and insignificant we all are. Thats a hard one to think about and if I start to wonder about it for too long I get pretty depressed. I remember an atheist friend of mine saying a loooong while back (back when I considered myself a pretty hardcore Catholic) that Religion was something evolved by humans to cope with things such as this and at the time, I thought it sounded like baloney. But honestly, it makes much more sense to me now. Sentient beings needed to find a way to make existence more meaningful and less scary (thats not to say a life without God is not meaningful) but in a general sense, to sort of cope with the unknown.

Look up Carl Sagan's pale blue dot.

It may bring a tear to your eye. But in a good way.

I was just about to click Reply and post the Pale Blue Dot speech. Glad I scrolled down before doing so.

You guys are awesome. I was taken completely aback by the fundie we got in here last week, when he attacked not only Dawkins (understandable) but also Sagan. I've never understood the vitriol that the fundies hold for Carl Sagan, other than simply hating him because he rejects their religious views and teaches people how to spot religious (and other types of) charlatanism. To me, Sagan was a man who just had a way of putting everything into perspective, and I treasure his memory for it.

For those who can't make the video work, and don't feel like clicking that link, I'm going to just post the speech, here:

[Image: 20140801_PIA00452.jpg]

(Caption on photograph.) This image of Earth is one of 60 frames taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft on February 14, 1990 from a distance of more than 6 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane. In the image the Earth is a mere point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. Our planet was caught in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image so close to the Sun. This image is part of Voyager 1's final photographic assignment which captured family portraits of the Sun and planets. NASA / JPL

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.


-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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05-11-2016, 08:55 AM
RE: Am I An Atheist?
Keen,

You might want to consider skeptic instead of atheist. It has a less negative connotation. I am simply skeptical of the supernatural world. My wife is a practicing Catholic, but is not the apologist or evangelist you might find on a Christian forum. Many have read the following in older posts, but will write it again for you.

My maternal grandfather, a skeptical geologist, “we die in the field with the other animals”, took Grandma to church for 65 years. He would never have considered ridiculing her. Their closest friends, for 50 years, were the minister and his wife.

My paternal grandmother was an atheist (hostile skeptic) who came back to life as Hitchens and Dawkins. She publicly condemned her Catholic convert sister-in-law. How lovely. Her son became a Christian after World War II. Now that is damn funny. I never asked him how she dealt with that little event. Like my wife, he did not evangelize.

I think your growing skepticism is quite normal, but try not to expect it from others. And try not to evangelize. Years ago I read that the largest “denomination” was the non-practicing Catholic. I think ~75% of Catholics are Nones like me, and now, you. But, keep the crucifix up if you like. My wife puts up five nativity scenes at Christmas, four more than I would set up. I still like the story.
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05-11-2016, 02:31 PM
RE: Am I An Atheist?
(03-11-2016 02:28 PM)Keen Wrote:  I cant believe in a God that allows the world to be the way it is. Seems like a big joke. God doesnt make sense to me anymore. Am I an atheist?

I think you may have just answered your question.

Quote:I havent officially called myself that.

Don't sweat the labels. You are who you are. If god had wanted you to be different he'd have put more bend in your knees and less brain in your head.

Quote:someone who joined the leagues of the dammed.

Welcome! The great thing about being hell-bound is that they have no more threats to use against you. It's an utterly idiotic all or nothing moral system that's pretty much guaranteed to produce a "hang for the fleece, hang for the sheep" mentality.

Ironically, I know several catholics who are damned fine scientists. The difference seems to be that they were raised in a more moderate environment so the 21st century didn't come as quite as much of a shock to their system. Sorry to hear that you've lost friends over this but I suppose that just goes to show how much they valued your friendship. Time to upgrade your social circle.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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05-11-2016, 02:35 PM
RE: Am I An Atheist?
(05-11-2016 08:55 AM)Walter Wrote:  And try not to evangelize.

While I agree with what you've said, nobody likes an evangelist of any stripe, I can't help but enjoy the irony of the double standard this sets.

---
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