Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
18-01-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
A friend asked me today why I constantly "attack" everything religious or godly (he follows the Urantia book). This was my reply:

Just like many others, I am very passionate about the subject of why we are here and how it all came to be. I was raised going to Christian church for a while as a kid and was told that god explained everything that I could not find the answers for. As I grew and began to think objectively, I also began to find the text in the bible to be inaccurate when describing our origins and what is even physically possible. I learned about science, evolution, ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny, evidence of billions of years of Earth’s existence, the fact that the bible said nothing about dinosaurs, and concepts of modern theoretical physics, the big bang, and on. Those were the things that initially pushed me towards the decision of rejecting the concepts of Christianity.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that points to the fact that all religious texts were made up and written by man, I still had an interest in it and could look at religion objectively, so I began to research other religions that I didn’t know so much about. I wanted to learn the basics and origins of all religions, so I learned about Mormonism, Scientology, Judaism, Islam, Confucianism, Buddhism, etc. in a pursuit of religious literacy and perhaps an underlying theme that would stand out. In this pursuit I did find some common threads among each religion, some good, but many others that are just plain destructive.

Many people use their religious faith to comfort themselves and help others, but on the other side of the coin you’ll find that many people also use their religions for violence and persecution of others that don’t believe the same way (e.g. the Christians bigotry against homosexuals). In the end, I found religion to be more likely to cause a bomb to detonate than be diffused (9/11 helped with that). So much death and destruction has happened in the name of religion, and that’s not just Islam extremists, the Christian bible is born and based on atrocities and contradictions (Here’s just a few http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/bible_...ties.html)

With a new open mind on the subject and looking around me at an America that is supposedly 75% religious, I really wanted to make more sense of the fact that so many people choose to deny logic and a huge amount of information so that they could live in a narrow realm that their religion allowed them to. I began to talk to theists as much as I could to learn what they had to say, maybe see if someone has a trail of logic that allowed me to make sense of it. This is where I started to become frustrated in religions, most specifically Christianity. I attempted to approach the subject with respect when I asked questions, but when I pointed out a lack of logic in their thinking I would find that most of these folks would get very emotional/hostile and got to a point where they wanted to remove logic from the conversation and replace it with faith, a belief in something for which there is no proof. My honest objective opinion of the concept of faith is that it is not something to be respected among intelligent individuals.

Another thing I found, if you think that an Atheist or an Agnostic is hostile, try wearing a hat or shirt that proclaims Atheistic views and see how long it takes before you are physically or verbally attacked by a Christian. Take a trip to WalMart with it and I can guarantee that it will not take long at all. The views that Christians have towards Atheists and Agnostics are ignorant and just plain wrong. To live as an Agnostic I feel that I’m a living a truthful life, free from the binds of fear and social control that are brought on by religion. I can live a life with a strong moral compass and know that I do it because I care about how my actions impact others, not because I fear eternity in hell.

I still don’t give up, I want to talk about religion with people open mindedly and with logic. Despite my many efforts, I’ve yet to find this person who can talk about it logically with me. I will find those who will use the bible as circular logic and respectfully agree to disagree without being emotional, but that is rare. Often times the conversation turns into someone telling me that I’m evil and will go to hell, that I have no moral compass, that I’m stupid and denying the evidence, or the other person will try to knit pick about semantics and what “faith” really is. Sitting in a chair that I can see and having faith that it hold my weight is far different from sitting down where there is no chair and hoping one will pop out of thin air and hold your weight.

Then there is the fact that I rarely find two Christians with the same answers and interpretations of their religion. There are over 33,000 denominations of Christianity alone, which is just further evidence that it is all made up. People call themselves Christians, but want to say that god is love and that the Old Testament god has been abrogated by the coming of Jesus. Then in Matthew 5:17 Jesus says “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Which means that Jesus endorses the mass murder, rape, slavery, torture and incest written about in the Old Testament. Then there is the prediction of a violent Armageddon in the future.

If you really trace it back you come to realize that religion has evolved, just like mankind. When our ancestors saw lightning in the sky or a big flood, it was only reasonable for them to assume that some higher power was causing it to happen. They didn’t have science or the scientific method to test and prove these hypotheses, so a reasonable explanation was good enough to be considered fact. They could have easily assumed that little fairies carried the rain drops down and it would have been just as sufficient. So this concept evolved, the Greeks developed a more sophisticated method of naming their gods, then pagan beliefs and myths grew, then the concept on one single god came, then Judaism was invented, which led to Christianity, which led to Islam and the many denominations of all religions we find today. The Urantia Book is just another interpretation created by Bill Sadler as a result of mumblings of a crazy sleep talker. The mind is a very complex and amazing thing, and we’re capable of forcing ourselves into believing just about anything we want. We’re also capable of releasing some serious drugs that induce all sorts of euphoric and highly emotional states that we cannot necessarily explain and people consider it a personal experience with god.

So yeah, I’ve become much more frustrated with the subject in the pursuit of logical debate. I also don’t think I know the answers. A full blown Atheist who says that there absolutely is no creator doesn’t have enough evidence to fully back up their assertion either. My goal in these debates is not only to inspire others to be truthful and open minded, but also to hopefully find the logic in the other side. To an extent, I do understand why people choose to believe it, because it provides comfort in desperate times and when thinking of a life beyond this one. Again, with all due respect, I can only describe this as selective bliss through ignorance.

I also don’t know how people can convince themselves that anything in Genesis is fact or that Jesus was born to a virgin and could do magic tricks like walking on water, healing the blind, and turning water into wine, that our creator is only inherently good, that we can talk to it by putting our hands together, things like that. Nobody knows how the universe began. It seems there are two possibilities, either it all just happened without a designer, or it all came to be as a specific creation of a designer. Suppose it is the latter, that we have a designer. First of all, if that is the case, I would consider this designer to be highly intelligent and a supporter of logical thinking. It would also seem logical to then consider that if we have a designer, then who designed the designer? If we theorize that god’s mind is the explanation of the orderly behavior of our universe, then what could be the orderly behavior of god’s mind?

It would be like characters of a video game simulation became self aware and wanted to know who designed their universe. The answer would be a group of engineers, but would that simulation consider the fact that its own designer has questions about their own origins? Basically, if we do have a designer/creator, does it know where it came from? Does our designer have a designer? This concept could go on in to infinity, with every designer having its own designer. Or, eventually you’ll have to come to the conclusion that it all just happened. At some point everything just went *poof!* and came from nothing. With that in mind, why couldn’t it be our universe and appeared from nothing?

Anyways, you’re not going to be able to go very far down the road of thinking about how it all came to be if you’ve already come to the conclusion that god did it in 7 days and we must follow a book that tells us how to live and not to question it as it is infallible. I think we can be far more significant in this universe if we can open our minds to ask any and every question and not limit the depth of our answers.
Quote this message in a reply
18-01-2011, 01:38 PM
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
(18-01-2011 01:22 PM)Dbutz Wrote:  Another thing I found, if you think that an Atheist or an Agnostic is hostile, try wearing a hat or shirt that proclaims Atheistic views and see how long it takes before you are physically or verbally attacked by a Christian. Take a trip to WalMart with it and I can guarantee that it will not take long at all. The views that Christians have towards Atheists and Agnostics are ignorant and just plain wrong. To live as an Agnostic I feel that I’m a living a truthful life, free from the binds of fear and social control that are brought on by religion. I can live a life with a strong moral compass and know that I do it because I care about how my actions impact others, not because I fear eternity in hell.

Great post!

Hence the importance of Dawkin's Out Campaign:

http://outcampaign.org/

Oh, and I want to thank God, for making me an atheist...

We are a giant minority, even in this backwards, religiously repressed/oppressed country. If we don't stand up for ourselves and refuse to be intimidated by theist bullies - we will discover we have a voice, a real voice! Just saying.... Tongue

"Like" my Facebook page
Brain Droppings Blog
[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT16Rq3dAcHhqiAsPC5xUC...oR0pEpxQZw]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-01-2011, 08:00 PM
 
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
(18-01-2011 01:38 PM)Seasbury Wrote:  
(18-01-2011 01:22 PM)Dbutz Wrote:  Another thing I found, if you think that an Atheist or an Agnostic is hostile, try wearing a hat or shirt that proclaims Atheistic views and see how long it takes before you are physically or verbally attacked by a Christian. Take a trip to WalMart with it and I can guarantee that it will not take long at all. The views that Christians have towards Atheists and Agnostics are ignorant and just plain wrong. To live as an Agnostic I feel that I’m a living a truthful life, free from the binds of fear and social control that are brought on by religion. I can live a life with a strong moral compass and know that I do it because I care about how my actions impact others, not because I fear eternity in hell.

Great post!

Hence the importance of Dawkin's Out Campaign:

http://outcampaign.org/

Oh, and I want to thank God, for making me an atheist...

We are a giant minority, even in this backwards, religiously repressed/oppressed country. If we don't stand up for ourselves and refuse to be intimidated by theist bullies - we will discover we have a voice, a real voice! Just saying.... Tongue

you can't be more right than that. although i live in nz but still the creatards are very ignorant and guess what, they physically/verbally assault the members of their own church members somtimes!!! lol! so much for god's love and together-ness that they claims.
Quote this message in a reply
20-01-2011, 12:21 AM
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
Creatards? I like that. They must get along well with IDiots. Tongue

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-01-2011, 08:08 AM
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
(18-01-2011 01:22 PM)Dbutz Wrote:  Another thing I found, if you think that an Atheist or an Agnostic is hostile, try wearing a hat or shirt that proclaims Atheistic views and see how long it takes before you are physically or verbally attacked by a Christian. Take a trip to WalMart with it and I can guarantee that it will not take long at all. The views that Christians have towards Atheists and Agnostics are ignorant and just plain wrong. To live as an Agnostic I feel that I’m a living a truthful life, free from the binds of fear and social control that are brought on by religion. I can live a life with a strong moral compass and know that I do it because I care about how my actions impact others, not because I fear eternity in hell.

Very true words. Ahem brother Tongue

[Image: websig.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-01-2011, 08:29 AM
 
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
Your post is very sexy o.o .. mind if I use it if I get asked this question? Tongue
Quote this message in a reply
21-01-2011, 09:32 AM
 
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
Awesome story, Love it, I think most of us can relate to it in one form or another. I have to say, it is easier in today's world to be a non-believer than it was 20 years ago. And sites like this and with Dawkins, Hitchens and others publishing books.. Its nice to know we are not alone anymore,( as I thought when I was growing up). Atheism is becoming more mainstream where we don't have to hide in the dark and keep our heads down all the time!
Quote this message in a reply
21-01-2011, 01:32 PM
 
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
(21-01-2011 09:32 AM)AnthraxFan93 Wrote:  Awesome story, Love it, I think most of us can relate to it in one form or another. I have to say, it is easier in today's world to be a non-believer than it was 20 years ago. And sites like this and with Dawkins, Hitchens and others publishing books.. Its nice to know we are not alone anymore,( as I thought when I was growing up). Atheism is becoming more mainstream where we don't have to hide in the dark and keep our heads down all the time!

no more dark age and burning witches/wizard/heretics for us!!!
Quote this message in a reply
21-01-2011, 03:33 PM
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
Thank you for posting this, it was wonderful to read!

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-01-2011, 03:34 PM
 
RE: Why Atheism/Agnosticism for me?
(21-01-2011 01:32 PM)the4saken Wrote:  
(21-01-2011 09:32 AM)AnthraxFan93 Wrote:  Awesome story, Love it, I think most of us can relate to it in one form or another. I have to say, it is easier in today's world to be a non-believer than it was 20 years ago. And sites like this and with Dawkins, Hitchens and others publishing books.. Its nice to know we are not alone anymore,( as I thought when I was growing up). Atheism is becoming more mainstream where we don't have to hide in the dark and keep our heads down all the time!

no more dark age and burning witches/wizard/heretics for us!!!

No, Welcome to the New Dark Ages.. Tongue
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmK6_lKGz10
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: