What Kind of Atheist?
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24-12-2013, 11:54 PM (This post was last modified: 25-12-2013 12:24 AM by anonymous66.)
What Kind of Atheist?
Anyone else not sure what to think about religions, and/or not sure what kind of atheist you want to be? I became a Christian at a very young age, grew up in a fundamentalist church, but grew weary of the ridiculous assertion that they had the correct interpretation, and kept searching for God in many denominations, but finally about a year ago, I decided there just isn't enough evidence to believe, and not only that, found that there is just too much evidence that all religions and God are in fact, man made.

But, do I have to be dogmatically opposed to religions? I've been to listening to The Atheist Experience, Skepticon conferences, you name, it, I've probably listened to and/or read your favorite atheist.

I really like Robert Price and Jerry DeWitt right now, with Dan Barker also amongst my favorites.

Can we live and let live, or am I being naive? Part of me wants to be the guy who stands up and says, "it's okay to be an atheist!", and part of me just wants to be quiet, and try to live a good life. Part of me wants to do what I can to disparage religions (they are after all, just another messed up human invention), and part of me just wants to live and let live.

Right now I"m leaning towards just being quiet about my beliefs and trying to live and let live in regards to religions.
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25-12-2013, 12:03 AM
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
(24-12-2013 11:54 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  But, do I have to be dogmatically opposed to religions?

No. The only thing the definition requires is that you not believe.

(24-12-2013 11:54 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  Can we live and let live, or am I being naive?

As much as I'd like to say live and let live it's a little worrisome when the guy with his finger on the button for global thermonuclear Armageddon gets his morality from his imaginary friend.
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25-12-2013, 03:55 AM (This post was last modified: 25-12-2013 05:03 AM by Raptor Jesus.)
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
I've been a life long atheist, and for most of my life I've taken the live and let live approach. Even to the point of studying various religions and reading their material in order to find something redeemable in them. The only things I ever found positive about them, were things that I still found when the facade of religion was striped away from them. But I found, that addition of "meaning" found in the facade caused a world of problems, literally.

I went from a live and let live approach, the viewing religions as an actual negative thing, but nothing worth taking on in any respect. Still live and let live, but with some annoyance. A huge part of my annoyance, besides the religious superiority complex and judgment of others based on false ideas, was also the general ignorance of the reality of the world and interacting with people who refuse to view the real world as it is, in favor of an artificial world made up by their religion. But we still share the same world, yet speak different languages about how reality works. But I still wouldn't tell them they were wrong, no matter how freely and consistently they would tell me I was wrong.

As I became older, and really got to understand how drastically religion is effecting the world, politics, personal freedoms, civil rights, and even redefining long understood notions such as, we've seen recently, of freedom of speech. That it's actually damaging our country, and our planet, and our very future as a species as many look forward to the end of the world, I no longer felt I can live and let live, because they don't take that same approach, and they are aggressive in repressing others, and controlling the country based on ancient concepts of how the world and reality works. Today, religion seems to be the greatest threat to humanity.

If we, as a species, do not survive the next couple hundred of years, it will only be because of the presence of the work of religion.

I used to still not tell them they were wrong, no matter how freely and consistently they would tell me I was wrong, but I no longer feel I can afford to sit on the side as they do so. Though oddly, as freely as they felt to tell you what's what, and all the years I polity listened and said nothing in reply, they take offence and exhibit strident outrage the second you feel free to express yourself. They unironically start making calls of oppression and persecution on their part. Even when all we are asking for is true human peace and compassion.

They will not afford you the same courtesy you show, or have shown them. They and their religion is dangerous. It's a malignant tumor. And I'm afraid I do not overstate it when I say the fate of the world, as we understand it, and the human race resides in this conflict.

So you are free to do what you wish, but I, for myself, can no longer remain quite.

...
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25-12-2013, 04:30 AM
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
Yet there are different ways to demonstrate dissent.
You don't have to start a tv show or be a ra-ra-rabble-rouser at rallies.

Use whatever means are at your disposal to show that the consensus view is not the only view.
Many around you are victims of Informational Influence and Confirmation Bias (well, we all are at various times in various ways).

A lone voice of dissent can have many echoes.

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25-12-2013, 04:38 AM
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
I was a quiet atheist. Now I debate for fun. Frequently on youtube since, honestly, all I have are a little bit of science, almost no biblical knowledge, and the ability to think my way out of a paper bag... so I can beat most youtube theists but wouldn't trust myself in a genuine debate with someone who has two brain cells to put together. It gets worse because I pretty much refuse to listen to videos over 20 minutes. The last ten-minute video I listened to generated a comment from me that spanned 150+ lines. I barely have time to LISTEN to videos that long let alone trash the arguments inside it.
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25-12-2013, 05:58 AM
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
Coexistence is a nice thought but I don't see it happening without moderates. People that don't let their idea of god interfere with how they look at the world as it really is are totally okay in my book. It's when they start using their idea of god to perpetuate ancient laws, ethics and try to teach ancient cosmologies in schools then we have a problem. Oh and we certainly do have that problem although hopefully the moderates will always outnumber them. Just would love for much more of them to speak out against the detrimental aspects within the group.
I feel as though religion should evolve with the changing times, maybe in some aspects this is happening now with the rise of moderates but so many just cling to the ancient past and ideas. You wouldn't go to someone who practiced two-thousand plus year old dentistry would you? I'd say you wouldn't want anyone to do that. Speak out when the need arises.

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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25-12-2013, 06:19 AM
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
I try to live and let live except for when I'm around judgmental Christians. Then I have a tendency to throw that, do not judge, part of the bible in peoples faces. It drives me crazy.

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25-12-2013, 02:49 PM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2013 01:03 PM by anonymous66.)
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
In some ways I want to be and should be an angry atheist, trying to convince everyone that religions are doing a great deal of harm. My parent's church was ridiculously anti-evolution and anti-science. I just recently confirmed that my dad is still a young earth creationist. Our fundamentalist church did a lot of harm to our family. My mom was encouraged to stay with an abusive husband, and the church itself promoted the idea of women being subservient to men. In my search, I attended many churches of various denominations, and I came across some other ridiculous ideas. According to some churches, the only music anyone should listen to is classical music, women and men should never swim together.
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25-12-2013, 03:04 PM
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
Have you thought of moving to a more liberated area?

I dunno... maybe Saudi Arabia?

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26-12-2013, 01:04 PM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2013 01:14 PM by anonymous66.)
RE: What Kind of Atheist?
(25-12-2013 03:04 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Have you thought of moving to a more liberated area?

I dunno... maybe Saudi Arabia?

LOL. Well, while I do live in the U.S., I have my own family now and I don't see my parents all that often. So I do have that going for me.

I do attend a Unitarian Universalist church from time to time and I go with my wife to her church very infrequently.
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