Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
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01-01-2012, 02:51 PM
Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
I remember what we used to call stories, including movies and TV shows, set in a year like 2012. We used to call them "science fiction."

For the past several years I've notice that the real 21st Century doesn't much resemble the science-fictional versions of it I read about or saw as a kid growing up in Tulsa in the 1960's and 1970's. Stanley Kubrick's movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which my father took me to see in the theater in 1967, looks doubly dated now. Life in the real 2001 didn't resemble Kubrick's 1960's vision of it, and life in 2012 promises to look even less "futuristic" in some ways, considering America's economic stagnation over the past decade, as economist Tyler Cowen has drawn attention to.

Yet one trend in the 21st Century seems to resemble what some science fiction writers envisioned about our time: The growth of socially visible atheists in the U.S. Not all science fiction writers have expressed nonbelief in religion; but enough of them have to give the genre a reputation for promoting skepticism and critical thinking about religious claims, and often to show this as a dominant state of affairs set in times considered "the future" at the date of publication.

I've met some people who had the good fortune to grow up as atheists, and to me they seem like characters from an advanced civilization out of science fiction. It looks almost as if congenital atheists have inadvertently traveled backwards in time, gotten stuck in our era, and have had to make a go of it in suboptimal conditions, rather like the characters in Terra Nova. People who have had to atheize themselves recognize a kinship with these metaphorical time travelers from the future.

So how do you feel about your position in time? Do you think you belong here and now, or do you suspect you would really feel more comfortable in a futuristic advanced civilization that had outgrown religion? I tend to feel more like the latter, and I enjoy telling christians that I look forward to the coming "Jesus who?" era, when people stop taking the claims of this christian doomsday cult seriously.
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01-01-2012, 03:30 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
I'm quite sure I'm an advanced being who was stranded in your era. Probably our time machine malfunctioned and my parents were killed, then I was taken in by a nice couple who already had some kids.Big Grin

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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01-01-2012, 03:53 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
I believe that we may be a little more evolved than those who are still enslaved by some god. In a way, it is like we came from the future! Religion will hold the world captive and divide it, always causing wars and and hatred. If the world is destroyed it will be because we failed to free ourselves from the gods. All you need do is watch the news to see where religious thinking is leading us.

But just because you do not believe in god does not mean you are a good moral person. Consider atheist Stalin as an example. He was one of histories most notorious and sadistic monsters, mass murdering millions of people and inflicting horrible hardships on the people he was supposed to be leading.

So, as atheists I think we need to be careful of who we allow to lead us in the future and today. And we should never allow any kind of totalitarian authority to gain control of us, whether it be religious or secular. Lets face it, humans are primitive beasts in a hostile environment. I wish we could evolve very rapidly into more civilized animals .

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01-01-2012, 04:15 PM (This post was last modified: 01-01-2012 04:22 PM by kim.)
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
(01-01-2012 03:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  I'm quite sure I'm an advanced being who was stranded in your era. Probably our time machine malfunctioned and my parents were killed, then I was taken in by a nice couple who already had some kids. Big Grin

Uh... why did your time machine malfunction... considering you're an advanced being, and all? Dodgy

Wink Just sayin'!
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I wouldn't say non-Theists are more advanced or "from the future", so to speak. But I do think we represent a direction that would certainly make the future more prosperous, flexible, and expansive both culturally and philosophically, and certainly scientifically. Smile

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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01-01-2012, 04:51 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
(01-01-2012 04:15 PM)kim Wrote:  
(01-01-2012 03:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  I'm quite sure I'm an advanced being who was stranded in your era. Probably our time machine malfunctioned and my parents were killed, then I was taken in by a nice couple who already had some kids. Big Grin

Uh... why did your time machine malfunction... considering you're an advanced being, and all? Dodgy

Wink Just sayin'!
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I don't know - I was just a baby.Dodgy

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01-01-2012, 05:38 PM (This post was last modified: 01-01-2012 05:47 PM by advancedatheist.)
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
(01-01-2012 04:15 PM)kim Wrote:  
(01-01-2012 03:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  I'm quite sure I'm an advanced being who was stranded in your era. Probably our time machine malfunctioned and my parents were killed, then I was taken in by a nice couple who already had some kids. Big Grin

Uh... why did your time machine malfunction... considering you're an advanced being, and all? Dodgy

"Advanced" doesn't mean "infallible."


(01-01-2012 04:15 PM)kim Wrote:  I wouldn't say non-Theists are more advanced or "from the future", so to speak. But I do think we represent a direction that would certainly make the future more prosperous, flexible, and expansive both culturally and philosophically, and certainly scientifically. Smile

Atheists certainly don't represent the human species in the past. (Source):

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01-01-2012, 06:01 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
I think I was born on an advanced planet where everyone has superpowers. And then our planet got destroyed and my parents put me into a kind of rocket when I was a baby and they shot me down to earth hoping I would grow up there and do good. Now everytime I do good I first get my fancy outfit with the red cape!
I AM THE SA (SuperAtheist)

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01-01-2012, 06:07 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
Sweet!
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01-01-2012, 07:16 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
Although atheism may seem more advanced compared to religions, these religions were at one point the 'cutting edge' of understanding - I'm sure in the future something will replace our science, and make it look silly. And then people will think we were silly for believing this.

And besides, although 'the future' isn't all it was meant to be, it is still pretty good. Religion may be holding out strong in the USA and many parts of the world, but much of Europe is seeing a drop in people who are religious. In my village, although there are 2 Christian churches, I can only think of about three people who go to church on a Sunday - and most of us think they're a bit weird anyway. And it's not like my village is an exception either, as church attendance is dropping all across the UK.
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01-01-2012, 09:45 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
(01-01-2012 05:38 PM)advancedatheist Wrote:  Atheists certainly don't represent the human species in the past. (Source):

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But it looks like we are beginning to be a voice to be reckoned with todayBig Grin

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