Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
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09-03-2010, 04:04 AM
 
Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
Does anyone else ever get this?

My old man recently ranted to me about atheism being a generational thing. He says when kids hit college, they turn atheist and liberal, and when they get older and experience more things, their perspective is broadened and they find God.

He also said that at some point in everyone's life, they're going to have a crisis or some kind of event where they'll be forced to "meet their maker"...kind of like "there are no atheists in foxholes", I suppose.

But anyway, it just seems to me that many middle-aged and older people think they have reached some great truth that one can only achieve when they grow out of the narrow-minded teenage/young adult view and hit old(ish) age.

What do you all think about this? I can't wrap my head around suddenly deciding I believe in God at any point in my life. I'm not saying I know everything right now, but I'm quite certain all the old religious farts have it wrong.

Although, I have always wondered why the atheist crowd seems to be younger, and the religious, conservative types are old.

Thoughts?
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09-03-2010, 05:42 AM
 
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
Hi, trevorlawrence.

Great post! Here are my thoughts...

In order to figure out why a great amount of younger folks (ones that fall in the Western definition of Generation X, Y, and Z) are turning atheist, we need to look at a few things:

1. Education - it is quite possible that what the kids are being taught in school nowadays is more around critical thinking, logic and reasoning. It could also be that this battle between creationism and evolution is creating a sort of 'intellectual war', where you have to choose which side you're on. If you look at the creationist arguments, more than likely you would deny it due to all the evidence supporting evolution.

2. At-home environment - if the parents of these students are overly religious themselves, the students may be rebelling. However, it wouldn't be a simple rebellion 'just to piss them off', although it may begin that way. Once they begin researching 'the other side' of the argument, they may see where their parents have been wrong all along.

3. Friends - Kids talk about a lot of different things, explore many different topics in school, share many ideas. We need to do a comparison of education systems from their parents' generation to the students' generation. It may have been okay and widely accepted to talk about god and religion in school during the baby-boomer generation, but it has become less acceptable as time has gone on. This is a good thing! Smile

4. Technology - I come from a technology background, so the term 'technology is an enabler' couldn't be further from the truth. The advent of the Internet has opened up the flood gates to knowledge. Given, a lot of the information on the internet should be scrutinized before deciding it is right or wrong, however it is this detailed scrutinizing process that wires the brain to 'think' for itself. This would most likely lead to more logical thinking, etc. etc. Here's an interesting video from YouTube user gyratedotorg on his thoughts about the Internet and how it MAY be one of the primary reasons for mainstream religion's death (although I don't agree that it will happen in OUR lifetime, I think it will in the next generation or two):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfAZbHQX8ts

5. World crises - 9/11, war in Iraq, Afghan war, problems in Africa...where do I stop? All of these issues have a major question (at least from a theist perspective): where's god? How many prayers have been made to stop these problems, only for them to go unanswered? My question is: how many people have gone through what Julia Sweeney illustrates in her performance of "Letting Go of God"? I know when I heard her stand up routine, I could relate to A LOT of what she said.

Those are my thoughts. Comments are welcome (yes, martinb, even from you).
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09-03-2010, 06:53 AM
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
I'm not the only one replying to bots now. Big Grin

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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09-03-2010, 07:06 AM
 
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
(09-03-2010 06:53 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  I'm not the only one replying to bots now. Big Grin

Maybe you can help me out...how can you tell when it's a bot?
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09-03-2010, 07:16 AM
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
Their signature. It always contains a single phrase, and it's generally a link to some outside website. This one is advertising credit card debt, apparently.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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09-03-2010, 07:19 AM
 
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
(09-03-2010 07:16 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Their signature. It always contains a single phrase, and it's generally a link to some outside website. This one is advertising credit card debt, apparently.

Ah! Good to know.

Thanks, buddy. Smile
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09-03-2010, 08:00 AM
 
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
Still a good issue to discuss, right?

My grandpa was perhaps one of the best mechanics in town. He was briliant. He had made most of the machines he used with his own designs. Anyway, he's always been agnostic, as far as I know. But as he got old (and I mean 75-80 years old) he started lighting candles to the virgin mary and doing that kind of crap.
My guess is fear of death. Coming to think about it, maybe it's a good plan to be an atheist and then worship some gods right before you die, just to cover all the posibilities Tongue
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09-03-2010, 08:00 AM
 
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
Bot or no bot, it's still a good question. I remember when i told my parents i was an atheist, my dad was cool with it but my ma called it a "trend, some new fashion you'll eventually outgrow". Why is it that some people think that atheism is just a way to rebel?
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09-03-2010, 08:36 AM
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
Thank Nahuel. He's the one that tipped me off.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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09-03-2010, 09:31 AM
RE: Atheism? You'll grow out of it.
well, because we are living in a world where most people do believe in god. from some reason, some of the people who don't believe still admire and have an aprishiation to the ones who believe in god (in Israel, the website "hofesh" gave a name to this phenomenon-"the secular but"). Atheism is still consider as something not normal, out of conscensus. everything that out of conscensus, not normal, even bad is consider by the adults as an act of rebolution if it's done by teanagers....

I heard this clame handreds of times. at first it anonyed me- after all its a show of disrespect to my belief because of a factor which has nothing to do with the belief such as my age.
But then I understood- the belivers or the "secular but" need something, need a clame, even if it has nothing to do with the subject, to be sure they are right. the world isn't changing. the world isn't going to be upsite-down in a moment. it's a process to atheism (I'm sure nobody here accepted the atheism in a night) and a clame such as "you'r too young" is easy, convinient and safe-nobody will dare to disagree with you.
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