Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
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01-01-2012, 10:23 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
Just imagine how advanced the world would be without religion?
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01-01-2012, 10:40 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
I don't think I'm a further evolved species than my religious companions, but I think in order to evolve we'll have to lose religion. I think it's the next necessary social step in order to advance.
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02-01-2012, 02:03 AM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
I don't want to be a kill-joy, but personally, I rather think it’s the other way around. I don't think the world is progressing because there is more atheism now. I think that, because there is more and more progress, there is more education, education brings information and information brings atheism.

Ask yourself the question whether YOU would be an atheist it you where born 100 years ago. Personally, I don’t think so.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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02-01-2012, 04:27 AM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2012 04:37 AM by Sinjis.)
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
(01-01-2012 02:51 PM)advancedatheist Wrote:  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.

I hate to say this, and it may be because i've had a bit to drink, but...this might be a bit pompous. This whole post. Just because we're atheist, doesn't give us the right to judge others as lesser people, or less advanced, as you put it. How long did you struggle with your understanding of self?

Yes, I also would love the Utopia of everyone agreeing on their beliefs, and world peace, and harmony. But...(and I know it's grammatically incorrect to start a sentence with but...but), human behavior pretty much contradicts that. I pride myself at not going with the herd, so, if everyone just agreed there is no god, universally, I might still question otherwise. Which is why I became an atheist in the first place. I don't like people dictating what is true, without facts, proof, evidence.

Basically, for what you try to say, for me to be happy, wouldn't involve people saying which side of the line they're on, but to realize that line doesn't even exist.

God? what's God? Another old mythology that defined too much of our history? How did we ever get past that destructive hurdle? How did humanity resrict itself to those parameters as opposed to realizing what it could achieve on its own? How did we ever limit ourselves by the restrictions of other people's beliefs?


Now that I've gone off on a tangent, back to the original question. No. I'm glad I'm in this time. Just think how much we have to teach others. Not as betters, but as equals. Atheists will never (NEVER) prove them wrong, but we can definitely prove they're not right! We are here to teach rational thought. To help those who question the way of things. To teach what we know, when people are ready to know it. We are fighting a war against thousands of years of indoctrination, persecution, hallucination, illiteracy, fallacy, (i could go on with long adjectives here...oppression comes to mind), where people honestly think that this is how it is!

This is not a Barrista type war against Belief. You can't go toe to toe against a believer. Don't assume you're opinion can overpower their indoctrination. Atheists (as far as I've known) have come to their own conclusion by themselves. You can show them, you can reference them to facts, studies, other opinions, but ultimately, THEY MAKE THAT DECISION.

I hate to say it, but Atheism is still a belief. Now, we do use better tools to get to that belief (logic, science, reason, mathematics, proof, etc.), but honestly we don't know the truth (yet, or if we ever will).

But we're the ones searching for it. We're the ones opening any and every door to find it out. Not closing them to facilitate our beliefs. We're the ones changing our views based on evidence. We are the ones who can accept the fact we don't know everything yet, and don't close our minds to the possibilities.

We do follow rules though. Laws of nature. Laws of time, space, reason, logic, and anything defined by our known (and presently unknown) universe. We are the ones who can say, "I don't know, but let's go find out." We are the ones that say, "That doesn't make sense. Why would that be true?" We are the ones who question EVERYTHING until there is a definitive answer.

But, (there I go again with bad sentence grammar) we are not better than any other human being. We are all flesh and bone. Stardust. We are all born and we will all die. As an atheist my job? is to help and progress Humankind. To honestly and truly make the world a better place. To help people understand what humanity is, and what it should be. Not with a Big Brother watching over us, to make sure we do things in His favor, but...

To do things to better ourselves.
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02-01-2012, 09:15 AM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2012 09:32 AM by advancedatheist.)
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
(01-01-2012 10:23 PM)Kaos MD Wrote:  Just imagine how advanced the world would be without religion?

I think about that a lot, considering that I grew up in a "rapture ready" religious culture in 1970's Tulsa. I can't wait for 80-something Hal Lindsey to die so that I can troll all his fan sites about how he wasted his life waiting for the rapture. Nobody should have to grow up exposed to the teachings of doomsday cults like christianity.

Even the forms of christianity which don't emphasize the "end times" still assume doomsday thinking when its preachers say that a god will "judge" you in the afterlife.

In a way, the Harry Potter and Twilight fads could help to weaken the hold of christianity in the next generation. The time youngsters spend on these new mythologies subtracts from the time that could have gone towards their religious indoctrination. On top of that, parents have to force their kids to learn about Jesus, but some children will defy their parents' prohibitions to read these novels, see the film adaptations and discuss the stories with their friends.

(02-01-2012 04:27 AM)Sinjis Wrote:  I hate to say this, and it may be because i've had a bit to drink, but...this might be a bit pompous.

So?

Quote:I hate to say it, but Atheism is still a belief. Now, we do use better tools to get to that belief (logic, science, reason, mathematics, proof, etc.), but honestly we don't know the truth (yet, or if we ever will).

Well, that differs from defining atheism as a mysterious void in the universe called "non belief in god," analogous to "non stamp collecting." But people really understand the term to mean something like "criticism or skepticism of theism & related beliefs." Otherwise we would have to experience "atheists" as mysterious holes in reality with borders shaped like human bodies, and books about "atheism" as full of blank pages.

Quote:But, (there I go again with bad sentence grammar) we are not better than any other human being. We are all flesh and bone. Stardust. We are all born and we will all die. As an atheist my job? is to help and progress Humankind. To honestly and truly make the world a better place.

That doesn't mean you can't make yourself better than other humans, for example by working to conquer aging & death through scientific means. I have a history as a cryonics activist, and I think the skeptic, atheist and humanist communities have blown the opportunity over the past generation by not looking into this as way to show their seriousness about improving the human condition. Otherwise I don't see the point of "making the world a better place," if you won't live to see the fruits of your efforts.
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02-01-2012, 04:55 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
(01-01-2012 10:23 PM)Kaos MD Wrote:  Just imagine how advanced the world would be without religion?
I've thought about this a lot, lately. What would we all be doing with our brain energy, instead of focusing on trying to get people who believe in a myth to see something from a reasonable and logical perspective?

Also, the whole stem cell thing would be well in gear, possibly finding cures to lots of diseases, instead of being impeded by people who think those cells potentially have souls and shouldn't be used for experiments.
Yeah, I look forward to the time when all the religions of today are on the heap with Zeus and friends. Probably not for awhile though, unfortunately...

"Religion is the binky of a teen-age humanity."
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03-01-2012, 04:53 PM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2012 05:07 PM by houseofcantor.)
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
Exactly local to the temporal. Big Grin

Atheist is my position, my philosophy; journeyman prophet my occupation currently manifesting as naive philosopher, and prophets equate with prophetic times - atheist also means those terms only have local meaning. Wink
(01-01-2012 10:23 PM)Kaos MD Wrote:  Just imagine how advanced the world would be without religion?

I differentiate between imagination and simulation; that's probably the advance we've been waiting for. Wink

Today is probability one. I think it is more probable that today would be less without religion yesterday, not more. But that too may represent an imbalance in the tao making me all "Religion GTFO!" Wink
(01-01-2012 10:23 PM)Kaos MD Wrote:  Just imagine how advanced the world would be without religion?

Then the imagination kicks in... Wink

I am a series of hypotheses centered around the truth of I am 4. How is that not a religious notion? And the Living Word of Gwynnite has a dang impressive eleven-year history of valentining people...

Yeah, that's some religious nonsense; we're gonna try and keep it atheist from here on out, K? Heart

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03-01-2012, 05:44 PM
RE: Do atheists belong in, or metaphorically come from, "the future"?
Does the past count too?

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"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."
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