Why I Hope
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15-05-2014, 12:55 AM
Why I Hope
Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the terrible things I have access to. With the internet there really isn't very much information that I can't know, and that includes all the awful things the religious people in this world have been doing in the name of their myths.

I can read about the Taliban throwing acid in the face of tiny girl for the offence of attending school. I can read about parents in my own country beating their child to death because they read it was a good idea in "To Train Up a Child". I can read about suicide bombers detonating deadly pounds of explosives on a bus or in a marketplace on the Gaza Strip. I can witness the writhing agony of the whole world if I just keep reading.

Sometimes I naturally withdraw from knowing all of these things. I pull away from being so connected. Sometimes I think its possible to just live my private life in peace, safe from all the fanatacism. Then I have a conversation with someone at work, or in the city somewhere, where I cannot in good faith hide my opinions. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, there is always someone nearby who will not hesitate to share a "message" with me.

No matter how many times I have conversations or debates about religion, I am always aware of how the rules are so obviously stacked against me. Having my own opinion is a threat to them, and an offence if I verbalize it, while theirs is free to be spoken at any volume under any circumstances. Talking about how Atheism has set me free and made me happier than ever before falls in the deaf ears of someone who has yet to fathom a life outside of their faith, and who has been told repeatedly that such a situation is impossible. My experience is meaningless to them, because they a programmed to disbelieve it. Talking passionately about scientific knowledge and the wonders of the universe rouses them to anger. They are enraged by scientific facts about the origins of mankind and issues such as the warming of Earth's climate, when in every other part of their day to day lives they rely completely on what the scientific method has helped create for them to make their life comfortable and successful. I bear the stigma of "The Angry Atheist" while they scream, below, spit, and shriek out their heavenly condemnations with all the tact of a pack of wild hyenas. I am often told to go to hell and burn for all they care.

None of this is enough to make me feel defeated. I have amazed even myself with my lack of surrender and my sense of hope. Since I know what helps me get through the mess, I thought maybe someone else would like to know too. I have come to realize that all of the madness actually has a small silver lining.

1. The crazier religious people get, the easier it is for sane people to see them for who they really are. The very fanaticism that drives them forward, will drive them back when they reach a more mainstream audience. They are their own Achilles Heel.

2. Scientific facts are here to stay. The facts don't need followers or faiths to make them facts. As long as we pursue the scientific method, religion will have less and less of a place in our societies. Our continued reliance on scientific facts, especially the hypocritical reliance of the religious is more than enough incentive for them to lay off the faith, at the very least when it suits them.

3. Human nature will out. Religions sometimes do the most damage in the home and in the heart. It is easy to feel dirty, ugly, and not good enough when your very nature is condemned to your face. We learn to judge others, but especially ourselves when we are exposed to religion. Even with all that though, human nature does not sleep. Take a look the number of people using porn and masturbating in Utah, the majority of whom are Mormon and are violating something they believe to be as terrible as a murder. Their natural sexual impulses are actually stronger than their recrimination and fear. Now that's power. Something tells me the 1960's was only the beginning of a social revolution that is still alive today. We are a part of that.

4. The internet eats religion for breakfast. It might be more accurate to say that factual information eats religion for breakfast, but you get the point. Checking to see whether or not Matthew actually knew Jesus enough to write a firsthand account of his life is only a mouse click away from shock and disappointment. Examining photographs of Joseph Smiths conviction for fraud and witchcraft is only a PDF away from a resignation letter.

The internet also gives us all a front row seat to the consequences of religion. All the horrors that I sometimes don't have the heart to read about anymore get to religious people just as easily as they get to me. It makes it really hard to say "God is Good" when you hear it screamed in rage from a madman firing an assault rifle or detonating a bomb on a crowded bus.

I am sure I will think of other reasons I don't give up hope, but these are a good start. I think about them all the time. They offer me a little peace in a difficult world.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
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15-05-2014, 01:09 AM
RE: Why I Hope
Very well said DP. Those things give me hope as well. Thank you for reminding me why i must continue pushing back against the religious tide despite long odds. In my country, the brainwashing is strong.


If you don't want a sarcastic answer, don't ask stupid questions. Drinking Beverage
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15-05-2014, 07:17 AM
RE: Why I Hope
May you find the serenity to accept the things you cannot change,

The courage to change the things you can,

And wisdom to know the difference.
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15-05-2014, 10:37 AM
RE: Why I Hope
(15-05-2014 07:17 AM)RogueWarrior Wrote:  May you find the serenity to accept the things you cannot change,

The courage to change the things you can,

And wisdom to know the difference.
As far as prayers go I like this one. I guess you took god out of it so it's not really a prayer but still...
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15-05-2014, 11:40 AM
RE: Why I Hope
(15-05-2014 12:55 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Something tells me the 1960's was only the beginning of a social revolution that is still alive today. We are a part of that.

Yes to everything you wrote, and especially to this. That ball is still rolling and I hope it will continue to mow down unreasonable societal attitudes.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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15-05-2014, 03:02 PM
RE: Why I Hope
(15-05-2014 12:55 AM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the terrible things I have access to. With the internet there really isn't very much information that I can't know, and that includes all the awful things the religious people in this world have been doing in the name of their myths.

I can read about the Taliban throwing acid in the face of tiny girl for the offence of attending school. I can read about parents in my own country beating their child to death because they read it was a good idea in "To Train Up a Child". I can read about suicide bombers detonating deadly pounds of explosives on a bus or in a marketplace on the Gaza Strip. I can witness the writhing agony of the whole world if I just keep reading.

Sometimes I naturally withdraw from knowing all of these things. I pull away from being so connected. Sometimes I think its possible to just live my private life in peace, safe from all the fanatacism. Then I have a conversation with someone at work, or in the city somewhere, where I cannot in good faith hide my opinions. Wherever I am, whatever I am doing, there is always someone nearby who will not hesitate to share a "message" with me.

No matter how many times I have conversations or debates about religion, I am always aware of how the rules are so obviously stacked against me. Having my own opinion is a threat to them, and an offence if I verbalize it, while theirs is free to be spoken at any volume under any circumstances. Talking about how Atheism has set me free and made me happier than ever before falls in the deaf ears of someone who has yet to fathom a life outside of their faith, and who has been told repeatedly that such a situation is impossible. My experience is meaningless to them, because they a programmed to disbelieve it. Talking passionately about scientific knowledge and the wonders of the universe rouses them to anger. They are enraged by scientific facts about the origins of mankind and issues such as the warming of Earth's climate, when in every other part of their day to day lives they rely completely on what the scientific method has helped create for them to make their life comfortable and successful. I bear the stigma of "The Angry Atheist" while they scream, below, spit, and shriek out their heavenly condemnations with all the tact of a pack of wild hyenas. I am often told to go to hell and burn for all they care.

None of this is enough to make me feel defeated. I have amazed even myself with my lack of surrender and my sense of hope. Since I know what helps me get through the mess, I thought maybe someone else would like to know too. I have come to realize that all of the madness actually has a small silver lining.

1. The crazier religious people get, the easier it is for sane people to see them for who they really are. The very fanaticism that drives them forward, will drive them back when they reach a more mainstream audience. They are their own Achilles Heel.

2. Scientific facts are here to stay. The facts don't need followers or faiths to make them facts. As long as we pursue the scientific method, religion will have less and less of a place in our societies. Our continued reliance on scientific facts, especially the hypocritical reliance of the religious is more than enough incentive for them to lay off the faith, at the very least when it suits them.

3. Human nature will out. Religions sometimes do the most damage in the home and in the heart. It is easy to feel dirty, ugly, and not good enough when your very nature is condemned to your face. We learn to judge others, but especially ourselves when we are exposed to religion. Even with all that though, human nature does not sleep. Take a look the number of people using porn and masturbating in Utah, the majority of whom are Mormon and are violating something they believe to be as terrible as a murder. Their natural sexual impulses are actually stronger than their recrimination and fear. Now that's power. Something tells me the 1960's was only the beginning of a social revolution that is still alive today. We are a part of that.

4. The internet eats religion for breakfast. It might be more accurate to say that factual information eats religion for breakfast, but you get the point. Checking to see whether or not Matthew actually knew Jesus enough to write a firsthand account of his life is only a mouse click away from shock and disappointment. Examining photographs of Joseph Smiths conviction for fraud and witchcraft is only a PDF away from a resignation letter.

The internet also gives us all a front row seat to the consequences of religion. All the horrors that I sometimes don't have the heart to read about anymore get to religious people just as easily as they get to me. It makes it really hard to say "God is Good" when you hear it screamed in rage from a madman firing an assault rifle or detonating a bomb on a crowded bus.

I am sure I will think of other reasons I don't give up hope, but these are a good start. I think about them all the time. They offer me a little peace in a difficult world.
Great post. You seem to have covered the bases and I can't think of anything else to add. So Bowing

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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