I’m new and very intrigued. I have known atheists but never had an actual discussion. So I’m curious as to some of the questions you might have, if any. Also, let’s just talk!
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I know I’ll have some questions too!
First and Foremost, you must understand what is meant by atheism today.
We refuse to believe the preposterous claims by any theists for the existence of any deity.
Some more discussions on definitions I have used for about 50 years. Others here may not agree with my definitions.
Agnostic - This means nothing more than "without knowledge." Agnostic, from the Greek: γνοσι (gnosi) = knowledge; ενα- [usually shortened to α-] (ena- [usually shortened to a-]) = to be without; thus, αγνοσι (agnosi) agnostic = to be without knowledge. I am agnostic in there are many things I do not know. Thus, I am without that knowledge, thus agnostic. Everyone is agnostic to a certain point. I cannot put this any simpler.
Atheist - If translated literally, this means "without god." Atheist, from the Greek: θεος (theos) = God, Lord, Creator; ενα- [usually shortened to α-] (ena- [usually shortened to a-]) = to be without; thus, αθεος (atheos) atheist = to be without God. However, in today’s terminology, and more accurate, atheism actually means "a lack of or disbelief in any claims for the existence of any deity."
Anti-theist - This one, in my definition, means exactly as it says; anti- = "against," theist = "belief in one god." Or better, "against belief in any deity."
Anti-religionist - This one is exactly as it says: "against religion."
Apistevist - lack of blind faith; one who does not rely on religious blind faith in order to discern true facts.
How about another breakdown?
Agnosticism: I do NOT know whether an Umaäxalis (V: All Creator) and Athanorama (V: Lord Fatherer) exists or does not exist.
Atheism: I do NOT believe the preposterous claims without substantiation whether an Umaäxalis (V: All Creator) and Athanorama (V: Lord Fatherer) exists or does not exist.
Anti-theist: I am against believing the preposterous claims without substantiation in an Umaäxalis (V: All Creator) and Athanorama (V: Lord Fatherer) exists or does not exist.
Anti-religion: I am against any harmful religions that do believe without substantiation in the existence of an Umaäxalis (V: All Creator) and Athanorama (V: Lord Fatherer) exists or does not exist.
Apistevist: I refuse to utilize blind faith in believing without substantiation in the existence of an Umaäxalis (V: All Creator) and Athanorama (V: Lord Fatherer) exists or does not exist.
That was incredibly informative. In the end, they all have a clear meaning but they run so close together sometimes, it’s hard not to mix them up without time & understanding. I also agree that everyone is agnostic to a degree, just like you mentioned. Where you anything before that?
"Where you anything before that?"
I was raised in a christian household, my father was a Mason, my mother Eastern Star. I attended Sunday School, church, all of the religious functions for my community. In my very late teens I concluded that organized religion was more of a business and social club than a center for worship and place to communicate with a god. I then spent the next forty years searching for anything spiritual. I even spent many times on my knees, sincerely praying and hoping for any revelation or any sign.
After turning over every rock I could examine, I eventually came to the conclusion that there was zero evidence of any god.
I really wanted to believe in something, anything, and even today my mind is open to the possibility. But I require proof.
I was born an atheist, been an atheist all my life. When I was 5 to 13 years old, I eventually had no alternative but to pretend to "get saved" (whatthefuckever that means), "get baptized" since getting save meant you MUST be baptized (whatthefuckever that means), even to the point that I memorized huge chunks of scriptures just to show I was a "good Christian" (whatthefuckever that means), and to get them and me mom to leave me the fuck alone.
When I turned 13, due to traditions from my father's side, I was able to choose whether I wanted to go to church or not. I decided not. But I did continue the "falsehood" of still being a believer. I even asked me dad the first Sunday I stayed at home with him why I could not believe the Bible or Christianity. His reply, "Your brain and mind thinks like a computer. If it ain't logical and/or rational, it does not compute."
While growing up, unlike all other little boys who emulated Kirk, Mr. Spock (à la Star Trek) was my greatest hero. And it was my emulation of his logic that saved me from being brainwashed by those Pure Evil Religious Absolutists. And to be wholly honest, Mr. Spock has been my greatest hero for my entire life. Shall be until I die.
And fire away. I am always willing to answers questions.
Hi, can you demonstrate any objective evidence for any deity?
No, it is subjective.
That just saved a lot of time.
Though I am curious, if you hold beliefs based on personal opinion and feelings, rather than objective evidence, then how is your belief anymore valid than any other subjective belief anyone else holds? What I mean is we could believe literally anything based on personal opinions and feelings, couldn't we? Literally anything...
I hadn’t yet reached the part where I’m supposed to validate him( just kidding) Guess you beat me to it! ;)
Yes. Absolutely. Cult anyone? But that’s the point. Everyone has a difference in morals, a different perspective. Cults are essentially a fanatical form of religion, gone out of control. In truth, cults and “regular” religion have much in common. So which one are you going to devote time and effort in, to spread the “message”? Without knowledge of the Bible, I’m sure most would agree that the lesser evil of the two is better (not historically, because we’ve had a bloody one) but the actual “message” that’s being conveyed. To sit in a pew while reading a book about a man being swallowed by a whale or to leave the country and drink kool-aid. Always be critical. And you see, the example given is based on feelings, opinions and facts. Individuals who have a “neurotypical brain chemistry” have primal drives, thanks to evolution. One to protect (children for instance). Now thinking of Jonestown again, having read the Bible or not, you know instinctively it was harmful, devastating and wrong. Even indiginous tribes understand “togetherness”, “safety in numbers” and to “protect your own.” Instinct is not feelings or opinions. Instinct is a fact, in that it exists and it is real. We cannot measure it, taste it, possibly feel it (fight or flight) and see it but only through a lense (watching an animal display an instinctual response). My instincts are real and I have something that (to me) validates my instincts and my beliefs. I know that not stealing, again without the Bible, is still wrong. At least from a primitive perspective. You don’t steal from your own. Okay. So here’s the rub. Someone could easily say that about any other religion. Now how would I validate (subjectively) my belief once I’ve found it and not say, Hindu? Because the Bible itself doubts. Devote believers die, never having all of the answers, and in doubt even then. I find that to be very realistic ( I know, the Bible is like 2/3 fantasy).
I don't think instincts are a reliable benchmark for validating reality, instincts are fallible of course, and they certainly don't compare to objective methods, and evidence. You seem to be implying religion is innate in us, but that is true of all superstition, if objective reasoning came naturally to us we wouldn't have to create objective methods with strict principles of validation like logic and science. Both of which are demonstrably successful methods for helping us understand reality.
Human instincts believed the world to be flat, and at the centre of the universe, some polished glass lenses properly aligned destroyed those instincts.
You’ll see with my original statement I agree with you.
“Someone could easily say that about any other religion. Now how would I validate (subjectively) my belief once I’ve found it and not say, Hindu?”
The first sentence acknowledges that it can be said about any religion ( or superstition, one could argue one and the same ). The second sentence asks how then would I validate my instincts, specifically why Christianty ( loose term ) and not another religion?
Because of the doubt represented. To believe in God can also mean to doubt him. But in the Bible they go a step further. They don’t doubt he exists but instead whether or not he really has our best interests at heart. They witness these events firsthand and yet are still uncertain about God’s intentions for us. My original reply, just touched up.
I agree with you on instincts as well, since my statement tells you “how then can I validate”? My answer was not instinct, but doubt.
Oh, you said that I might be implying religion is innate to us.. I think what’s innate is our desire for all that “togetherness” stuff I mentioned. Religion is the name we’ve given it, but it created a way for us to do that. A reason to go on, to get together, to have a purpose and a reason. We’ll never know if humanity as it first walked the earth, would have done those things without a diety of some sort (also includes those religions involving sacrifice ) but coincidentally we’ve always had them or a higher power in our history. Despite science, interestingly enough, religion is still here after all this millennium. “If objective reasoning came naturally to us, we wouldn’t have to create objective methods”. So then I ask, what about what came natural to humans then. Should we have ever thought of a “higher power” if there isn’t one?
Lastly, you mentioned the word “reality” and I said that doubt was my “realistic” reason. Reality is different for everyone, it’s “what is real”. That Bible on the table is real but so is science. So it’s realistic to me in that it’s admitting even those who had no reason to doubt, did. They didn’t get their hopes up is what I’m saying.
This is my opinion.
All animals, including humans are genetically programmed for just two things, to survive and propagate. That is why the young man smitten by a lovely lass will do almost anything to get into her pants. That is why we feel fear and want to flee at the sign of anything strange. And since we are a social animal, that is why we feel the need to belong to a group. All of these instincts are part of our makeup to either survive or propagate.
But where does the genetic programming stop and stupidity or false concepts replace them? That young man may go too far and commit rape. How far do you run before you stop to check out what made that sound? Was the social group you feel comfortable in actually beneficial to you or your survival?
And it is my last sentence is what I wish to unpack. If you are a member of a religious group, a church, is it survival, is it the desire to just belong, or is it just confused thinking?
IMO joining a religion or church should not be confused by legitimate instincts. A church does mix in a lot of instincts, to survive, to propagate, to protect the young as legitimate instincts, but the rub is that one can be just as healthy in every metric without a church.
I do not accept the argument that being a member of a church and worshipping any god is a legitimate instinct, but rather confused thinking.
No, worshipping a god is not instinct. It was not an instinct for humanity to begin believing in a “higher power”. I just asked that question myself to the reply above yours, in fact. What led humanity to do that, do you believe? To create the idea? I asked because it obviously cannot be instinct. And you should also not have to attend church or go anywhere to do worshipping of anysort. You ask for it if you desire it, you should not be thrust it.
Hello Maddie, I welcome you.
I am an atheist, and lack a belief in any god. Please understand that I am not denying the existence of a god, only that I lack enough evidence to believe one exists. And for me, this is exactly like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster.
Atheism is just one thing, a lack of belief in a god. There is no worldview, it is not a religion, and we may practice different political viewpoints and other subjects.
Personal experience is not proof, it is just personal experience. And just because a great majority of people hold the same opinion or belief, that does not make it true. For example, just a few decades ago the great majority of people did not believe that cigarettes were harmful.
Please never use the bible to provide proof of a god. Because if you go down that route, I can use the same methods to prove Spiderman or Harry Potter exist.
Please tread carefully, please be honest and not evasive, and I sincerely wish that your time in this forum is a positive one.
I said earlier the proof in god is subjective. And though I believe the message it attempts to get across is consistent, doesn’t mean it happens. People use the Bible to justify bad deeds as well as good. I don’t want to only use the Bible as proof. But how would you not like me to use it?
The history of the bible is a questionable one. According to what I understand, it was written a few hundred years after the death of jesus, by unknown authors and it's compilation is questionable. We will probably never know what was added and what was left out. But we do know that the organization(s) that compiled the bible did have an agenda.
As far as historical accuracy, the Brooklyn Bridge and New York are mentioned in Spiderman comics.
Nice touch at the end. Oh god, what you said was a lot nicer than I would have put it, the Bible being phony (sometimes). That reminds me of something I was told at bible camp, that you either believe in ALL of the Bible or none of it. That doesn’t make sense, since it was written by humans. They perceived the healing of someone with Leprosy as a miracle. By those standards, it was. If it happened, does it mean it was a miracle? Or could it still have happened and not have been? Interesting concept, though. To have witnessed but still doubt. Wouldn’t we have and don’t we all still?
So you believe in the message of the buybull...despite evidence that that message has its origins in innate human behaviour?
Is your faith not better served by your own actions, as opposed to belief in a book whose ideals are identically portrayed in thousands of other fictional books. If you put faith in fellow human being's, you would not fail at reason and morality, as all theists do.
Well, that depends on what message I believe I’m receiving, is worth receiving. And if it’s the one that’s even meant to be portrayed. I recently mentioned in a reply about your comment on there being many religions that are similar ( true ). I also believe that great portions of the Bible are fantasy. And finally I agree with non-thiests when they say you should do good regardless of the Bible, because what does it matter? But Pascal’s Wager takes that idea further.
@Maddie You keep saying "most of the Bible" is a fiction. I, however, think it's all a fiction, and I think that because when I have read it (cover to cover, not just cherry-picking my favorite parts and ignoring the others like it is meant to be read) in the past, I found that none of it seemed to make sense, as there were countless fallacies and contradictions, and the many rules seemed random and arbitrary. Some were good, but the good acts they encouraged were already being done long before the Bible existed, and the reasons given by the Bible as to why we should do them were based on being bribed with eternal reward and threatened with eternal punishment, and it is claimed that this is the same thing as "morality"- when in reality it is just following orders. Morality is selflessly doing good because you feel that it is the right thing to do as the result of the altruistic instincts humanity has always had, as do not only our tree-dwelling ancestors from prehistoric Africa, but also in many other social species as well, as the result of natural selection favoring the social species that develop drives to band together and look out for each other rather than mindlessly killing each other and thus decreasing the likelihood of surviving in the long run and passing down their traits to their offspring.
Just out of curiosity, what parts of it do you believe to be fact, and what makes you think that your particular interpretation is true out of the countless others?
I'm not sure what sufficient objective evidence for a miracle would be, nor is it for me to guess. However witnessing something we can't explain is evidence we don't understand what's happened, and nothing more.
To make any assertion based on a lack of understanding or explanation, is the very definition of an appeal to ignorance fallacy.
"To witness and still doubt"
Its interesting the way you worded this, as to me there is nothing rationally to doubt. If we witness something we can't explain, then that's all we can rationally assert, is that we don't know what happened. until or unless sufficient objective evidence offers an explanation of course.
This renders ALL anecdotal claims insufficient to base any rational belief on. Of course not everyone cares whether their beliefs are rational. However every single claim for miracles or anything supernatural always falls into this category, and not once has anyone been able to demonstrate objective evidence to support the claim.
Often claims for miracles are demonstrably falsified as well, as with the biatification process the RCC used to canonized Mother Theresa for instance. Where objective testimonies and evidence were ignored in favour of subjective anecdotal claims from members of her order, and it's impossible here for me to imagine any Nun not toeing the line when ordered to by the Vatican.
So of course perception is an important determining factor in what we believe. Which is why objective evidence is vital if we care that what we believe is true.
In the Gospel of Mark Jesus meets Simon Peter and Andrew, who were casting a net. He then meets James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were in their boat with their father and their hired servants mending their nets. One can't begin to truly call oneself a Christian until one understands what this business with nets is all about. What is the phrase "casting a net" usually taken to mean?
Are you, by posting here, seeking to cast or mend your net?
"One can't begin to truly call oneself a Christian until one understands what this business with nets is all about. What is the phrase "casting a net" usually taken to mean?'
That is an interesting observation and I believe you are the first person I've seen make it. There are some interesting verses
in the Old Testament regarding nets. It could be a good thread topic.
Do you consider yourself a Christian who believes eternal torture is acceptable?
No. I do not believe in the idea that is prevalent in the Bible, as well as the intolerance it displays towards them. I believe that to be of human origin.
I find that very commendable.
But if you follow your own conscience rather than Christian dogma, why consider yourself a Christian?
1.) Christian, Baptist, Methodist. I don’t understand the names/favoritism. One of the many ways we go against exactly what we teach. It’s so obvious too.
2.) But, it’s the closest I can come to labeling myself. So my response would be, Christianity is not dogma but you can make dogma from Christianity. Want something to be the reason you hate gay people? Use the Bible!
"Want something to be the reason you hate gay people? Use the Bible!"
The biblical texts condemning homosexuality are hardly ambiguous though. How do you know it's not what your deity wants?
I mean according to your religion your deity took the time to visit in human form in ancient Palestine of all places, why not take the time to set the record unequivocally straight, instead of wishy washy platitudes about generic love, delivered second hand decades after the fact by persons unknown.
I mean, "I'm Jesus, God in human form, and this contraption is called a video camera, and these people are here to notarise what I say for posterity."
1. Slavery in any guise is appallingly immoral.
2 Murder and rape are unconscionable and anyone doing this will be punished.
3. The worst punishment is reserved for anyone who ever harms a child.
Etc etc etc
Not hard is it? Instead we get blessed are the meek ffs.
Because despite what the Bible says, no I don’t believe it is what he wants.
Maddie does not believe anything you can pin her down on. It's all subjective,. It's her personal experience and that is enough. There is nothing you can say that will change her mind because she wants to remain a mushroom.