Analyze An Atheist
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06-02-2012, 09:27 AM
Analyze An Atheist
Hey it's only fair right?

Really, what I was thinking this thread would be useful for, is as an introspective examination. Or you know we could just tear each other apart. No names though really. Please.

I'll start by explaining what kind of atheist I think I am and what kind I was not too long ago.

Not too long ago, I was borderline militant. That is easily witnessed by a lot of my early posts. And I still agree with some of my thoughts I was having then. I was very new to being suffocated by religion and it showed by my frustration and aggression. I am now still in the same shitty situation, if not more so, and yet I've come to certain understandings with myself.

I don't wish to be militant, at least not in the same fully fleshed out way I did previous. I also don't wish to be a live and let live kind of atheist either. That I've found, doesn't exactly work. So where do I find a balance of civility?

I don't know yet. I do know that there are certain lines that if crossed would definitely draw my ire. Such as if creationists in my district attempted to get ID taught in schools. I can't let that happen.
But How do I deal with the peaceful, non retarded Christians? The kind that don't agree with ID, the kind that like science, and evolution, and don't care what other people believe? I don't think I can deal the same way with them.
All the while I can't help but think "The world would be better off without you". What a horrid thought. And yet a possibly accurate one. I'm so filled with potential for hate and anger. It's always there. But it's wrong.

I can't become the same level of intolerance that gets me mad. Then I'm just a hypocrite. Not everyone is the same. Not everyone can be dealt with the same.

So there I sit. Struggling to find my way. To balance. All the while knowing it's probably not possible.

So what about you? What goes on inside you head atheist wise? Or as a theist, what goes through your head when talking to atheists? And who do you not want to be?

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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06-02-2012, 09:38 AM
RE: Analyze An Atheist
I can live and let live if the same applies to me. However if I get pushed I push back. I make it clear that I'm not in the mood for being proselytized, which I feel gives me an undeserved rep as an intolerant guy, but honestly, they just want to force me to agree. I used to debate but people just get angry and start spouting verses and bullshit at me so now I just tell them to leave me alone.
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06-02-2012, 12:22 PM
RE: Analyze An Atheist
This is a good idea.

I find in my own introspection I initially had my theism pendulum on the Dawkin's Scale swing from 1 way over to 7. I became just as sure there is no god as I once was sure there was one. In my time here, I've swung back to a more temperate place on the Scale: 6.7. I think I show my open-mindedness this way by allowing for a possibility of some sort of entity out there, but it's highly unlikely. I've also had to remind myself that open-mindedness includes being willing to accept proper evidence for god if it were to ever presented. I don't want to be labelled as a "god-hater." I don't believe in a god so how can I hate it? But I also don't want to be so filled with vitriol toward religion that if evidence ever came to light that I would be unwilling to accept it.

As to the militancy or not...I'm still trying to figure out what's going on in my own head before I enter into any public discussion. This forum provides me with my atheist outlet and is a good place for me to heal from the past as I discover the future without The Voice in my head.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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06-02-2012, 12:44 PM
RE: Analyze An Atheist
(06-02-2012 09:27 AM)lucradis Wrote:  I don't wish to be militant, at least not in the same fully fleshed out way I did previous. I also don't wish to be a live and let live kind of atheist either. That I've found, doesn't exactly work. So where do I find a balance of civility?

Why didn't it work being a "live and let live kind of atheist"? Nobody is forcing you to get angry every time someone's opinion or action is disagreeable. In fact, if you want to incorporate the golden rule into your morality, it's best not to be hostile towards others with disagreeable opinions or actions.

I understand the point-of-view of the theist because I was one. It's easy for me to put myself in the shoes of a theist, so I find it's also easy to give them due respect. However, I am quite willing to state that they are wrong or that their thought processes are incomplete or incompatible with logic, because I was irrational and illogical when I believed in God, and when those things changed my beliefs followed suit.

Many of us are atheists because we understand how the human mind is broken and can be fooled, and it's easy to see how those fallacious parts of our natural thought process result in religion, conspiracy theories, and trouble analyzing evidence. I'm not perfect (obviously) but I like to think that I'm improving my ability to reason through self-analysis, criticism, and active steps towards improving my thinking. I don't know that this always leads to atheism --- I only know that it did in my own experience --- but I can see why this is more probable than it leading to theism. The arguments that theists use always fall victim to one or more logical fallacies, and if you avoid fallacious arguments, you'll find yourself on the side of skepticism --- which includes atheism, or more specifically, agnosticism.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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06-02-2012, 12:50 PM
RE: Analyze An Atheist
Live and let live only works when it's adopted by everyone.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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06-02-2012, 12:54 PM
RE: Analyze An Atheist
(06-02-2012 12:50 PM)lucradis Wrote:  Live and let live only works when it's adopted by everyone.

If not, then it becomes:

[Image: 259118_det.jpg]

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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06-02-2012, 01:21 PM
RE: Analyze An Atheist
(06-02-2012 12:50 PM)lucradis Wrote:  Live and let live only works when it's adopted by everyone.

Never mind what others choose to adopt or not, it works if YOU choose to adopt and actively live by it. It's not easy but you're a better person for practicing it.
If you get angry just because you cannot get a Christian or any other religious person to come around to your way of thinking then you are doing it to yourself.

Sure, I get miffed at my father's own hypocrisy and his subtly veiled criticisms of my views but am I going to harbor thoughts like "The world would be better off without you"? No..of course not. That's crude, nasty, vitriolic and crass. Some religious people would probably have no problem openly voicing the same sentiments to you using the same rationale to support their views as you do for yours.

I am not against religion per se (Well..ok..in many ways I am...) but what I am against is discriminating against others based on religion, making laws or rulings based on it or forcing such teachings, especially on children, at the expense of science and reason.
I am against this parading around of a particular religion and claiming it to be the only right one while the billions that lived before us were somehow SO wrong and misguided.

I try not to argue with my father, for now, about religion because right now he is in deep with his new found beliefs but if he brings it up again and starts criticizing me then I will have to diplomatically explain a few things.

Anyway, balance IS possible but one needs to make an effort to make it so. It's not easy especially if you are in an environment that is more saturated with religion than others but here is the thing, most people I have come across don't seem to be interested in my religious views; occasionally someone has asked if I went to such and such church and I simply say "No" and if they press a bit I simply tell them that I have my own philosophy and that is that.
However because of this greater infiltration of religion in the town I live in, this provides an even greater impetus for me to find a job and get out.

Meal prayers and daily bible readings simply do not mesh well with me so I just keep quiet during those times. So far my father has not asked me to join his church or be "confirmed though I cannot be certain that he never would.
If that happens I will flat out refuse and state my reasons in a diplomatic manner, of course.

Wow..what a rant. I be quiet now. Angel

Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return.
To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.
That is Alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange.
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06-02-2012, 01:22 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2012 01:27 PM by Chas.)
RE: Analyze An Atheist
(06-02-2012 12:54 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(06-02-2012 12:50 PM)lucradis Wrote:  Live and let live only works when it's adopted by everyone.

If not, then it becomes:

[Image: 259118_det.jpg]

Word.
(06-02-2012 12:44 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Many of us are atheists because we understand how the human mind is broken and can be fooled, and it's easy to see how those fallacious parts of our natural thought process result in religion, conspiracy theories, and trouble analyzing evidence. I'm not perfect (obviously) but I like to think that I'm improving my ability to reason through self-analysis, criticism, and active steps towards improving my thinking. I don't know that this always leads to atheism --- I only know that it did in my own experience --- but I can see why this is more probable than it leading to theism. The arguments that theists use always fall victim to one or more logical fallacies, and if you avoid fallacious arguments, you'll find yourself on the side of skepticism --- which includes atheism, or more specifically, agnosticism.

I don't think 'broken' is a useful way to describe the human mind. It is evolved. It evolved living in a simpler, more dangerous, riskier world with many fewer human connections. Reading intention into natural things was good for survival, recognizing patterns was good for survival, believing your elders or the wise ones was good for survival. These are the evolved functions of mind that give rise to belief in gods, spirits, karma, and conspiracy theories.
That we can function in the world we have created is pretty remarkable.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-02-2012, 01:00 AM
RE: Analyze An Atheist
I think I am in my militant phase right now. I've been agnostic for several years, but have just recently come out to friends and family members. This has brought on a defense mechanism inside me which makes me want to announce to every christian (my previous religion) that they need to wake up and pull their heads out of their asses!

So I've tried stating my beliefs and pointing out contradictions in the bible, only to get ridiculous comments back that have nothing to do with my point I'm trying to get across. This in turn makes me more angry and I want to smack some sense into these people.

Maybe I will come to peace with this all in time, until then militant phase here I go.

And if you do any of these (forbidden) things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.
-George Carlin
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