Atheists, Agnostics and many more
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09-08-2010, 03:12 PM
 
Question Atheists, Agnostics and many more
Hello there;

It is really hard to find a community (actually don't know whether atheists really need one) that shares my opinions at least mystical point of view.However, here you are! or should i say Thank God!Angel

I just checked forum, i think comunity mostly lives in christian regions, since bible title (or contextwise) is seen on lots of threads. I live in Turkey and grew up (like most of muslims) with the love of Allah and Qu'ran.

Anyway, it was a little brief about me. Lets come to main argument.

I know all people here must have come across with the idea "am I really an atheist?" or "How can i explain myself?" We all know Non-beleving is devided into many sections like.

1. Full Agnostic
2. Agnostic but tends not to believe in God
3. Agnostic but thinks existence of God cannot be proven, it is more likely non-probable and lives his/her life without considering the idea of God.
4. Full Atheist (I know there is no God)

And i wonder where you stand at? Which one would you prefer?
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09-08-2010, 03:55 PM
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
Hey, Madblood.

Turkey eh?

I guess I'm what you'd call a full Agnostic. What about yourself?

On a personal note, I'm curious. I don't know what the religious climate in Turkey is but how is it there for one living as an open Agnostic or Atheist?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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09-08-2010, 04:34 PM
 
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
i've never had the thought "am i really an atheist?" if anything, the question would be "did i ever really believe in god?" which i can honestly answer, no. i don't explain myself unless i'm asked. usually, when asked and i simply say i'm an atheist, then i'm met with one of two outcomes. either joked with that i worship the devil or the subject is dropped immediately.

no religion was ever introduced into my childhood. i can happily say i have no idea what the fear of god feels like.
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09-08-2010, 04:50 PM
 
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
For a side note,

Turkey is a secular state, a republic although we are in middle-east. As you all can guess more than 90 percent of population is Muslim, maybe 95 percent. All my family and relatives, as well.

I think determining yourself as "Full Atheist" is hard to consider for all non-believers. From my point of view there are 2 reasons for that.

1. Most of non-believers has religious background that comes from his/her childhood. (It has also psycholgical roots in itself)
2. Scientific thinking phenomena which obseletes to think for anything 100% true.

I would consider myself
"Agnostic but thinks existence of God cannot be proven, it is more likely non-probable and lives his/her life without considering the idea of God."

All children in my country have been brought up with some kind of religion here. Mostly Islam of course and cant say it is not hard to express your belief freely. I have had hard times to tell my family, they still dont want to accept this, though. But not a big deal as in Iran or Saudi Arabia. Noone can judge you, at least legally since here is a seular state. But you wouldnt wat to express it anytime, community pressue might be felt heavily.
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09-08-2010, 05:42 PM
 
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
I would technically consider myself agnostic, but I believe that the probability that God exists is so low that I can discard this possibility and in a practical sense be an atheist.
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09-08-2010, 08:10 PM
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
I don't really understand the concept of agnosticism. The idea of a God comes from a religion. So, if you are a Christian, you believe that Jesus is the son of God, died on the cross, was resurrected and went on a hunt for colored eggs, or something like that. You believe it or you don't.

As little evidence as there is to support the concept of God as set forth by religion, there is even less for the idea of a God outside of these religions. The Bible, the Torah, the Q'uron all provide some kind of religious authority by which we claim to believe in God and understand his intentions and his laws. When you start to vary from that, when you start to say "I'm a Catholic but I don't believe in all the teachings of the Catholic church" or variations to that effect, you've now left the realm of religious faith and now entered the zone of just making shit up because you feel like it. There is no basis for the middle ground.

I sat in the middle ground for years. I claimed agnosticism, said I believe in God but not organized religion. I said these things and convinced myself of these things because I wanted to believe there was a kindly old man in the sky who looked out of us, answered our prayers and provided a place of eternal peace and joy. However, there is simply no reason to believe any of that.

I can understand a fundamentalist Muslim, evangelical Christian or Orthodox Jew because they have a text which they believe is the inerrant word of God and tells them what to do and how to live. They have that faith. I disagree with them, but I understand them. What I struggle with is the people who sit on the fence and try to have it both ways. To me, those people are the dangerous people because they make excuses, look the other way and, perhaps out of their own feelings of squeamishness, demand that we give religion some kind of deference that it has not earned and clearly, based on the number of recent atrocities by religion, does not deserve.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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10-08-2010, 06:28 AM
 
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
I think the ones on the fence are the least dangerous because they aren't the ones committing the atrocities.
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10-08-2010, 08:31 AM
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
(09-08-2010 08:10 PM)BnW Wrote:  What I struggle with is the people who sit on the fence and try to have it both ways. To me, those people are the dangerous people because they make excuses, look the other way and, perhaps out of their own feelings of squeamishness, demand that we give religion some kind of deference that it has not earned and clearly, based on the number of recent atrocities by religion, does not deserve.

(10-08-2010 06:28 AM)TruthAddict Wrote:  I think the ones on the fence are the least dangerous because they aren't the ones committing the atrocities.

I think you're both right. The fence-sitters are not the most immediately dangerous - they rarely (if ever) pose much of an actual threat to anyone. But as BnW stated, they are often less likely to criticize religion when it is deserved, or more likely to just ignore the evils of religion because it does some good. They're enablers.

I too was a fence-sitter for a long time. I had a heavy Christian background, but I was probably more of an agnostic overall - I did not claim to have any proof of God, nor did I rule out the possibility that God did not exist, but I believed He did. I "felt" things, and believing in a spiritual realm felt good. And, I often wondered (or worried) that Christians, even the fundamentalist type, were actually right - that I was turning away from what God wanted and blah blah blah. So I was afraid too. Afraid of looking further into the religion, for fear that they were right. Or for fear that they were wrong and there was no God - I felt I would be lost. So out of all these feelings, I often looked the other way or made excuses for religious people and their ignorant statements and prejudices. I'm still working on speaking my mind now when I think someone is wrong.

It wasn't until someone close to me re-converted to Christianity and began to get heavily involved in a very conservative church that I finally sat down and began to examine things - and realized that these religions had no ground to stand on. And now I'm watching that person waste so much time and energy, and often destroying our relationship in the process. Had I not been such a fence-sitter for so long, I might have been able to stop this before it got started. The fence-sitters might not be dangerous individually, but fence-sitting does pose dangers, in my experience.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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10-08-2010, 08:55 AM
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
I respectfully disagree with you both on where the danger lies here.

Religion seems to sit on a pedestal in most societies. The faithful and non-faithful alike make excuses and apologies for it. Imagine that changed, though. Imagine if secularized Jews questioned a 5,000 year old claim that justifies building settlements in Palestinian backyards. Imagine if secularized Muslims more openly questioned spiritual leaders calling for jihad and murder. Imagine if more secularized Catholics were offended by pedophiles and demanded justice when the first round of scandals broke in the Church instead of giving the bastards who moved these animals from Parish to Parish some amount of deference and benefit of the doubt?

Religious fundamentalists are what they are. However, they are allowed to proliferate by people in the middle who take positions like "well, I don't believe but who am I to question someone's faith?" without regard to how obscene the actions taken in the name of that faith is. I'd say all non-Muslims drew a line in the sand on this issue on 9/11 but there are plenty of Muslims who, while they won't condone what happened, are not willing to outright condemn it either. There are plenty of Jews who turn a blind eye to what the Israelis are doing in the occupied territories. There are plenty of Catholics who turned a blind eye to the Church's handling of the child abuse scandals. If more people in the middle would let go of this "who am I to judge?" mentality and started screaming in horror at what goes on either in the name of religion or is allowed to hide behind religion, the world would be a much, much better place.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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10-08-2010, 09:36 AM
RE: Atheists, Agnostics and many more
(10-08-2010 08:55 AM)BnW Wrote:  I respectfully disagree with you both on where the danger lies here.

Religion seems to sit on a pedestal in most societies. The faithful and non-faithful alike make excuses and apologies for it. Imagine that changed, though. Imagine if secularized Jews questioned a 5,000 year old claim that justifies building settlements in Palestinian backyards. Imagine if secularized Muslims more openly questioned spiritual leaders calling for jihad and murder. Imagine if more secularized Catholics were offended by pedophiles and demanded justice when the first round of scandals broke in the Church instead of giving the bastards who moved these animals from Parish to Parish some amount of deference and benefit of the doubt?

Religious fundamentalists are what they are. However, they are allowed to proliferate by people in the middle who take positions like "well, I don't believe but who am I to question someone's faith?" without regard to how obscene the actions taken in the name of that faith is. I'd say all non-Muslims drew a line in the sand on this issue on 9/11 but there are plenty of Muslims who, while they won't condone what happened, are not willing to outright condemn it either. There are plenty of Jews who turn a blind eye to what the Israelis are doing in the occupied territories. There are plenty of Catholics who turned a blind eye to the Church's handling of the child abuse scandals. If more people in the middle would let go of this "who am I to judge?" mentality and started screaming in horror at what goes on either in the name of religion or is allowed to hide behind religion, the world would be a much, much better place.

I think you and I might be describing two different sets of "fence-sitters" but people who essentially take some of the same positions. I agree completely with what you just said.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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