I find that many atheists have become atheists because of the death of a loved one. It seems that their view of a just or fair world, or the fact that they believe God should give them what they want but didn't, leads to general anger, which leads to wanting to lash out at the idea of him. I wonder what the exact correlation between losing loved ones and becoming an atheist is? Perhaps these people just never got over the death of their loved one and have found they can't blame anyone but God, so they start rebelling against Him as best they can.
That was the way I felt when I was younger. I admit it honestly too. I felt that if there was a just, fair, and loving God that he wouldn’t put people through such pain for the sake of “his plan”. I don’t think it directly leads people into Atheism but leads people to question their whole perception of life and death much more closely. It leads to more and more questions and the more searching people do they often find religions answers to be lacking or at least no better than any others.
No one ever completely gets over the loss of someone close to them but for me it’s been a very long time and I’ve certainly come to grips with reality. When I held onto the anger I still held onto a belief in God. You really can’t be angry at God and not believe in him at the same time. I think I’m far removed from that mindset that I used to hold.
I’m sure it’s different from one person to another but I haven’t come across many Atheists that seem motivated by rebelling against God. It takes effort and emotion and at the same time a belief in the God that they are rebelling against, which pretty much discredits someone from being an Atheist. I think moving away from religion allows emotions and feeling to flow more freely, there is less guilt about being human. There is less censoring. There is less reason to hold that built up emotion inside and you can let go. For some people becoming an Atheist can be the most freeing and liberating experience of their life.
What was it that made you want to leave the church? Was there some sort of incident?
The answer "I came to my senses!" is not an answer by the way...
Is I grew up not a valid answer either? The easiest answer is a combination of that and coming to my senses. I did a lot of self exploration and thinking from a very young age. I really started to move away from the idea of God when I was 6 and started to realize the world wasn’t the way religion has been attempting to make me believe it was. I continued on for some years confused and admittedly angry at the time, explored other religions, continued to read and learn and finally just ended up with the only conclusion that fit.
It’s a question I get asked a lot but it’s always hard to answer because it wasn’t as if it was all in a single instant. It was a very long and gradual process that took years of thought. The most triggering event that started my thinking was the death of my father. I wrote up quite a long story detailing my process during that time and is has a bit more insight into what was happening in my mind.
What's your view on this?
Why did God knock up a poor unsuspecting virgin, when he could have just made Jesus from dirt?
The easiest answer would be because then he wouldn’t fulfill prophecy. The writers of the bible need to try to make a convincing case for Jesus to be the savior of the Old Testament prophecies. Even if it meant making up a few things or exaggerating some stories they’ve heard, that’s what makes for good reading.
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Since Jesus/Yeshua translates literally to savior/saved/salvation it must just sound more pleasant than Immanuel.
The majority of the New Testament was written in Greek and most of the writers kept a copy of the Old Testament in Greek close at hand for reference. They used it as a guide to help them build their story and make sure that it aligns with the message they want to get across. The OT says he’s born of a virgin, so they scribble scribble and now he’s born of a virgin. Poor Joseph though, doomed to be the world’s most famous cuckold.
feel free to criticize what i tell you about me.
i believe that there is a god. he's wherever, and he's watching out for you.
i hope i did not offend you too much.
I could believe there is a man named Frank in a bunny suit that is watching out for you, he’s wherever too. Still doesn’t make it true. I honestly don’t know why people even want to share these things with people that obviously don’t want it.
Thoughts on this Einstein quote? "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism."
It is an interesting quote. After a bit of looking it seems there is a bit some contention if Einstein actually said it or not. Einstein was of course brilliant but I’ve never heard of him having any particular interest or special knowledge of Buddhism. Either way it is still an interesting idea.
I do think that if humanity really wants to prosper and reach it’s full potential we have to develop a more universal thinking. There is so much focus on the self especially in America. We’re short sighted, have short attention spans, and care little about education. If we hope to improve the human condition we need to bring about a change in mind set and even possibly instinct.
I think the answer doesn’t need to be a religion. I think science can do a wonderful job of bringing about awareness of how interconnected we all are. It can highlight our commonalities and show us real reasons to want to move away from selfish thinking. The religion of the future is no religion at all.
Buddhism may have a slight advantage over other religions in raising awareness to the interconnected aspects of life. Buddhism can bring about spiritual satisfaction in a way that some people can’t seem to accomplish intellectually. It is generally a more pleasant idea of unity than other religions, but being a religion it still has it’s pitfalls. There are aspects of Buddhism that are worth keeping but for something to be completely universal and fully encompassing it won’t be born out of religion.
So what are 'The Evils of Religion' in your eyes anyways?
Christianity and Islam mostly but the others have their issues too. You mean the evil things that they do? If you can’t spend 10 minutes looking at all the atrocities that religion has committed it’s doubtful a small list from me would mean anything. They’re easily apparent.
"You’re at least close on one thing, the only option is secularism. It doesn’t have to be Atheism but we do have to remain secular."
For someone who claims to have an open mind that's a ridiculously close minded opinion to have...We don't have to remain secular that's your opinion.
Do you need a dictionary? Yes, secularism is the only real option. Would you rather we become a Christian theocracy? Has to be one of the most ignorant things someone could even attempt to contend.
Are you hateful because the idea of someone else being so happy with their religious beliefs that it irritates you due to some sort of jealousy because you haven't been able to understand it?
I must just be a magnet for laughably ridiculous statements. If ignorance is bliss I’d rather be slightly angry at the problems of the world. Happiness through delusions is of no value to me. Please don’t make the same false assumption about what I mean about hating religion that so many others have. It’s not a matter of not understanding as much as you’d like to think it is. It’s a matter of understanding all too well and being absolutely disgusted with what I’ve found.
But is it right to weight someone's life based on how much money it costs to kill them versus how much it costs to accommodate them?
I think it is at least a factor. I did pose the question of it would be better to put someone to death or to make them waste away the rest of their life as punishment, if their guilt is clear. I really can’t decide what I think is more fitting. The morality of knowingly putting someone to death as punishment isn’t something that weight on me as much as if it is fitting justice or not. If I thought it was fitting justice for horrific crimes I think I could see moral justification in it.
Both have their down sides and one thing that plays into the down side is the financial cost of it to people that were no party to the incident in any way. How much money should be diverted from other needed areas to continue to pay for criminals? Of course there are other things in general the justice system could change to help with that, but like with most things money always plays some factor. Especially for me since I am so split on the issue any factors I can weigh in might sway me.
What are your views on the death penalty, since so many "whole-hearted" & "pro-life" Christians support it?
Honestly I’m a bit 50/50 on the death penalty and it’s really hard for me to pick a side. My reasoning being that if someone did something so horrible that we’d consider putting them to death wouldn’t it be a more fitting punishment to make that person wait out the rest of their life in a jail or prison? I would think the despair of being separated from society and living in such a place would be a more fitting punishment than a quick release.
The flip side of this is of course that many prisons and jails in this country aren’t really horrible places. Many criminals who spend a lot of time in the system have no problem with going to jail or prison. They’re still allowed many comforts and commodities, fed three meals a day, allowed plenty of time to read or work out, and don’t have to maintain regular jobs in many cases. Some people take advantage of it easy living. Along with the fact that each prisoner costs around $50,000 a year in tax payer money.
Both sides have their trade offs if our goal is really to deliver justice to some of the worst or the worst. Despite the fact that putting a prison to death is a very long and drawn out process, that itself can cost millions of dollars, is it a good thing to allow them an early out? Is it more worth while to continue to pay for them the rest of their life while they continue to provide absolutely nothing to society? Both sides have their issues to me and I honestly can’t decide what I think would be a better long term option.
“I could not do otherwise without transcending the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without feeling that I might in some degree disturb the security which religion nowadays enjoys in this county in its complete separation from the political concerns of the General Government.”—Andrew Jackson, Statement refusing to proclaim a national day of fasting and prayer.
Hello! Love your blog.
I'm a fellow atheist, but I have a much more forgiving viewpoint on religion than you do, and I just want to know what you have to say about this viewpoint..
I consider religion to be a part of human nature...well, the believing-in-a-higher- power part. Most humans like to believe in an all-powerful being for their own moral and mental support. I don’t consider believing in a god a bad thing; it can bring healing to people and help people cope with the hardships that are in their lives..
What I guess I want to ask is, do you think belief in a higher power part of human nature? (and please correct me if I’m wrong about anything)
Sorry it took a bit to respond to this it got buried away a little.
I think that it is absolutely natural for humans to look for some type of higher power or explanation. We seek patterns and explanations. When we look at our place in the world we realize that we are very tiny. We work in terms of things we understand. We understand that we can tend a garden and make it grow but we can’t understand why the rains fall that make everything else grow. (In primitive times of course.) When we look around and see the majesty of the world with our short sighted view it’s somewhat natural to think that there must be something bigger controlling it.
Nearly all civilizations throughout history have come up with their own explanation. They create their own God or gods and come up with their own stories and myths. Often time there is a great number of similarities even from culture to culture in these stories. Primitive people separated by great distances came up with similar ways to explain the phenomenon that were still unexplainable by putting things into familiar terms that worked at the time.
Not all factors of human nature are beneficial. A great many of them are things we should and probably will outgrow at some point in the future, the need to create gods is one of them. We have advanced our understanding of the world to the point that we no longer need to invent explanations that are just as mystical as what we’re seeking to explain.
I do consider believing in God generally a negative for a great many reasons, mostly the desire to be subservient. Personally as an Atheists I do not seek to convince others to not believe in God, I attempt to convince others not to give into the evils of religion. The evils of religion are a far bigger issue to me than what an individual chooses to believe on their own. Many people can’t seem to separate the two. I will share and defend my opinion and views on the non-existence of God but what each individual chooses to believe on their own isn’t my issue.
Some are better than others and some seem to be a restating of others but it is an interesting list. We we look at the huge number of believers currently incarcerated compared to the extremely small number of non-believers there must be a reason. I think this list might give a bit of insight to at least some possible reasons.
"Chances are I probably know more than you about Catholicism"
Wow, please make more false baseless assumptions? No, I'm sorry, if you slipped up with something as large as the Eucharist, a very central part of Catholicism, you don't know more than I by default. But I don't really need to reiterate this, looking at your other posts about the Catholic church. You've already shown you know little about it.
Considering that you’re a nameless, faceless, person who’s cowardice apparently overrides the odd sense of entitlement and self importance you need to share I have little to base any assumptions on. If I go on the assumption that you’re a regular person I have no problems with claiming to know more about Catholicism than you as I do know more than even the average Catholic. As of yet you’ve done nothing to prove you know anything beyond the most basic information about Catholicism and come across as a desperate troll looking for something to attempt to nit pick. If you go back and reread what I originally wrote carefully I wasn’t even necessarily the one to “slip up” on the interpretation. It was a matter of my grandmother attempting to explain to a young child that they are not actually cannibalizing a nearly dead corpse they keep in the back. Sorry if the fact that it IS a symbolic act overrides what Catholics WANT to believe it really is. Saying it is a symbolic act is not an incorrect statement, it’s just not the Catholic interpretation. Take care, this is the last feeding you’ll be getting on this particular issue.
I don't know if you've answered this already but what are your views on Wicca and Wiccan studies?
I briefly dabbled in Wicca myself when I was a teenager and exploring religions. I felt as if I had to have some type of religion and jumped around a bit and briefly tried Wicca. Most of my experience with it wasn’t so bad but I was quite put off by all the ritual and “magic” involved. The easiest way to sum it up for me is like a built up complicated version of Pantheism.
I have run into very few devout Wiccan practitioners in the past. The few I’ve run into usually have a very vague and grandiose definition to what their religion is. Something along the lines of “Worshiping the God and Goddess of the earth and elements” or something equally non descriptive. Most don’t really follow any type of formal dogma and learn through different books with various sources.
Wiccan is a new religion that likes to try and claim old roots. As a result of being popularized in the relatively recent past and with no formal governing authority it has splintered off into many different factions. Wiccans from one area of the world to the next may have completely different rituals and beliefs. As a result it’s very difficult to give much opinion on it. The only grounds they all seem to share is almost the same as the views in Pantheism. Worshiping nature and giving it the name of “God” which I don’t personally see as a fitting title.
You talk a lot about Catholicism & Christianity. What's your opinion on Buddhism?
I’ve been asked about Buddhism every so often and would usually have to distinguish between Western and Eastern Buddhism. With either one they don’t give me much reason to complain so they go a bit overlooked.
With Western Buddhism I think it can hardly be considered a religion. Most people in the West that identify themselves as “Buddhists” are far removed from any of the real roots of Buddhism. Most barely, if at all, adhere to the rules of Buddhism. I’ve still yet to see any Western Buddhists shave their head, give up all their worldly possessions, and go out with their rice bowl to beg for food.
Eastern Buddhism has a lot to if that Western Buddhism usually does not. There are many schools of Buddhism and most have some differences. Eastern Buddhism is filled with mysticism and fantasy. It’s filled with dragons, spirits, deity figures, and rituals. It revels in a lot of the things that most Westerners would quickly dismiss as pure fantasy.
Both are generally less objectionable than Islam or Christianity. They both encourage non violence and self exploration. Meditation can be very helpful for some and something I’ve enjoyed doing in the past myself. Many teachings in Buddhist philosophy are very interesting and worth studying if you have an interest in philosophy or religion. When looking at the philosophies though it should be treated like that, a philosophy and not a religion.
For someone who claims they hate Catholicism so much, you sure don't know much about it. Like the very core beliefs.
Ohhh looks like someone is asking for an ecumenical throw down. Sorry if the logical side of my brain wants to override the ridiculousness of religion for a moment and refer to communion as a symbolic matter, which it is. I know that Catholics take it as very very literal which is very very silly. I quickly acknowledged a message that pointed out my Catholic faux pas and agreed that it is true. Chances are I probably know more than you about Catholicism, it doesn’t matter though. It’s really not something to be proud of, I just have more experience with their particular cult.
Anon is also assuming a lot by saying the billboards do nothing. The good ones ("There probably is no god, now stop worrying ..." "Millions are good without god" etc.) improve the atmosphere for atheists and make it possible for us to come out of the closet.
Also, it's a mistake to assume that any money we collect which isn't being spent on humanitarian causes is a waste. By creating an atheist community, we bring in new money to causes like Non-Believers Giving Aid and Kiva.
The atheist group on Kiva, if I've heard correctly, has invested more money in impoverished nations than any religious group on Kiva. Part of why (beyond the fact that charitable atheists are probably not tithing) is because we're organizing.
Don't like that atheists are drawing attention to themselves? Too bad. We're going to keep doing it even if it's only as a part of a movement for secular humanism.
Good commentary, no need to add anything. Thanks for the message. :)
You left out the "All Religions Are Fairy Tails" one. I'd say that is meant to offend.
Either way, it's still spending money on something that won't help anyone, when that money could be used to actually help people.
And "You KNOW it’s a myth?" No; I may be an atheist, but I'm pretty sure no one on Earth KNOWS if it is a myth or not. If you have a time machine, please, return it to CERN.
That particular billboard was not put up by any group. That billboard was actually put up illegally. (http://antiadvertisingagency.com/billboard-all-religions-are-fairy-tales/) So it is impossible to say what the reason for putting it up was. Even then how is that really so offensive? It’s all a matter of opinion of course so people are welcome to think it is, but I think it’s fairly tame.
I think you’re quibbling a bit too much over the implication of know. You may not be able to know for a fact that everything in the bible didn’t happen or didn’t happen the way it says. If you’ve done even just a bit of research though you will also know that a great deal of it is a myth. If you honestly can’t say to yourself that you know there are mythical teachings in the bible chance are you know nothing about the bible or you’re brainwashed by it.
As an atheist, I still have to object to the spending of money in order to promote atheism. It makes atheists no better than Christians in desperately trying to convert people to their cause and ultimately spend money on something that doesn't exist. And honestly, what person is really going to be convinced of either side over a BILLBOARD?
I can understand people objecting to it. I can understand the few messages from people claiming I am such a horrible hypocrite, even if I don’t agree, for thinking it’s okay for a few Atheists to put up billboards but condemning Christians for their far more aggressive recruitment tactics. If all churches did was put up billboards chances are I wouldn’t even have this page. The majority of these Atheist billboards are sponsored by small Atheist groups that aren’t well known. They not only serve to provide a message but also as advertisement. Proselytizing and advertising aren’t too different when it comes to matters of religion.
I don’t think that anyone putting up these billboards think it is really going to convert someone. Converting, especially to Atheism, is usually a long process. It is something that take exploring, understanding, and often a bit of research. It all starts with just a few thoughts though and if one of these billboards can spark that in a few people it has more than accomplished it’s goal. There are probably better ways they could spend their money, they probably aren’t winning over a large number of people, but they’re getting their message out there when so many have worked so long to keep it silent. That’s not something I can be disappointed about.
"Billboards may not be the best use of funds but it serves a purpose. People need to be reminded of the fact that it’s okay to not be religious." that would be okay but most of the time the message isn't it's okay but GOD DOESN'T EXIST deal with it. They state facts and through things in your face. They don't say atheism is another option...they're more like atheism is the only option.
Let’s take a look at some of the recent slogan shall we
"Are you good with God? Millions are."
"You KNOW it’s a myth. This season celebrate reason."
"Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone."
"You don’t need God - to hope, to care, to love, to live."
and the one that is probably closest to what you’re saying but still very different.
"There’s probably no God. Stop worrying and enjoy your life."
I don’t recall ever seeing one that says anything along the lines of “God doesn’t exist, deal with it.” It can hardly be considered throwing anything in anyone’s face. Especially when it is something as non invasive as a billboard. You’re at least close on one thing, the only option is secularism. It doesn’t have to be Atheism but we do have to remain secular.
You know somethings fucking messed up when most Americans think public service workers should have their wages cut and taxes increased. All while big corporate big shots like GE pay next to nothing in taxes. I don't understand how people can be so blind.
Tax the fuck out of the rich. Its that simple.
Sorry I know this is a bit off topic. I was reading your blog while watching John Stewart and got fired up. Anyways, I'd like to know your opinions on politics, such political affiliation, the recession, liberal or conservative stances, and health care.
Things definitely are a bit crazy at the moment in our political climate. There are so many global affairs happening they sometime overshadow the domestic issues we are still struggling with every day. Since I grew up in Wisconsin I’ve been particularly interested in all of the drama going on there. It’s a pretty wild situation to say the least.
For the most part I am fairly left politically. I definitely support Obama. I may not agree 100% with all the decisions he’s made or how he handles things all the time but I think he is doing a good job. I have a fairly sour outlook on politics for the most part though after the 2004 presidential election. Anyone who remembers the drama on election day that year knows Columbus, OH essentially decided the election. It was a screw job, Bush shouldn’t of won. I saw them pulling the strings right in front of our faces and there was nothing we could do. That’s an entirely different rant though.
I am in favor of health care in America and don’t understand how people are actually rallying around getting rid of it. How do people think the current system we have is working? There needs to be reform but everyone is afraid of what that means for them. America is very afraid of change.
I definitely have a liberal attitude when it comes to most things. There are certain aspects of the left though that bother me at times. Being liberal often means being so relaxed we allow people to be willfully ignorant. Accepting people being able to do what they want is well and good but often times the collateral damage of such actions aren’t taken into account fully.
I'm struggling with an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
I'm a very liberal atheist, but I deal with conservatives and religious people all the time. I'm also a psychology and english major at a large, engineering fueled school. My majors are seen as 'easy' even though I do so much more work than most of my friends in other 'harder' majors. I'm driven and I'm smart, I get straight A's even in the most ridiculous classes, but it's never a big deal to anyone, because after all, they're all 'easy classes'.
I feel like I'm constantly being put down, like I'm never good enough for anyone, and consequently I look for faculty and peers who share my beliefs to make me feel better.
But I feel cheap doing so...
I just want to be accepted and liked... Is that so wrong? My mom's always been a little unstable hormonally, but now our relationship is all the worse that I'm out. She says she doesn't judge me, but she clearly does. She thinks my atheism is something I'll 'grow out of' eventually, but I don't want to grow out of it. I want to cultivate it, expand it, enrich it.
I find myself hating closed-minded people, but I still feel sad when I don't get others' approval... And I hate that. I hate the ridiculous paradox of it.
I ask you things from time to time, but I felt like being anonymous today, just in case you wanted to post your reply. You may know who this is, though your Ask Box seems to be flooded usually.
I don't know why I'm asking you. I just wanted to share I guess. Maybe you could make me feel better, though that's at once exactly what I want and the last thing I need.
My own ask box is functioning now, though not linked to in my blog. You'd have to add /ask to my url, assuming you'd know it.
Even blathering on like this helps... Thank you.
Well thank you for the message. I took a guess as to who this might be last night and apparently was wrong so don’t want to make any other guesses at this point. I am always available for people to talk and try to provide what advice I can so feel free to message me if you’d like. I can get pretty busy on this page but definitely will make time for something like that.
Either way I can understand how you feel. It’s a natural instinct to want to be accepted by others and to feel like part of a group. It can be very difficult choosing to be different. Especially with something like religion where it is a choice. Sometimes it just seems like it would be easier to go along with everything and be like everyone else. I know I’ve thought that myself before but I always end up stopping short of trying to incorporate myself into the fold.
I try to remember that being different isn’t easy but no one ever accomplished great things by being the same. It’s not as if I’ve accomplished great things with my life as of yet but I still hope to someday. I’d rather push for new things than to repeat what has already been done before. It may not be easy and comfortable but in the long run it will be more worth while.
With family things can be difficult. Especially if you’re younger, since you’re still in school, people may discount your opinions for now simply because of your age. If you continue to hold strong to your beliefs and do end up growing even more as an Atheist eventually the people around you will see it. It seems sometimes the only way to convince family it’s not a phase is to prove it.
Either way I hope things work out for you. Feel free to message me non-anon if you’d like, especially since I’m curious as to who you are. I’m around a lot and free to vent to.
I have grown tired of hearing the pleas of the community here at Tumblr be ignored by staff. We have emailed directly as individuals; we have reblogged requests in mass; we have done almost everything in an attempt to alert Tumblr to our small wish for a religion Directory on Tumblr, yet still we are offered nothing but silence.
While it is true that this isn’t exactly a big deal, and we are more than likely a minority, I think it would be incredibly beneficial to those who blog about religion regularly to have access to a directory that offers easy browsing within the realms of religion.
I have never quite understood why this particular subject is being oppressed or avoided, especially considering Tumblr offers a politics directory, but I’m hoping that it’s sheer laziness as opposed to a genuine reason, as it might give us more of a fighting chance.
I have seen lots of people passing around messages to request a religion directory in the past. Perhaps if we can actually get a particular list specifically requesting it instead of a post with a random number of notes and other commentary it will help.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFviDgyxaaI&feature=related Your thoughts?
The video is a bit long but since I’ve been sent the link at least twice now I’ll comment briefly.
1. Infinite regress. He spends the first 10 minutes talking about the idea of something being eternal. Things have a beginning and like most theologists proposes using God as the answer to escape that regress. It’s a topic that’s been discussed in many other forms at different times and is never in any way a proof of God. It’s a matter of our current limitations in looking back into the past for that beginning.
2. The Qu’ran is a good book because a bunch of scholars say it is. They say it’s divine because it is something that can’t be recreated exactly in the exact same style. It’s so amazing that it has to be “divine”.
This is a matter of opinion for individuals scholars. I am not familiar enough with the people that makes these claims to be able to judge those statements. I can say that as someone who has read the Qu’ran there is nothing that impressed me about it. Muhammad was most likely mentally ill by the end of his life and had spent his entire life developing, crashing, reworking, and rewording this supposedly “divinely” inspired story. He spent his entire life crafting the story, it’s not surprising that after that much work and effort it would be impressive from a linguistic perspective. If it so clearly demonstrated the divine though like this speaker claims then it should be clear to anyone who has read it. As someone who read it, I think it’s rubbish.
3. Muhammad was divine. Like C. S. Lewis said with Jesus “Liar, lunatic, or prophet.”
There is nothing to this idea that is compelling. Muhammad was obviously a very flawed individual. If he was chosen divinely by God to deliver this message as Muslims would like us to believe I would think he’d pick a slightly more respectable messenger. A blood thirty pedophile most likely ravaged with STD’s by the end of his life isn’t the most logical choice. I do not know enough of the specific details of the life of Muhammad to discuss the issue in great depth but nothing I have ever come across has given me the slightest indication that this man should really be considered “divine” in any way.
For Catholics, transubstantiation is emphatically NOT symbolic. They think it really happens. This was one of the dividing walls between Catholicism and the Protestant movement. St. Thomas Aquinas developed the "logical" framework that could make this work.
That’s true, transubstantiation is supposed to be very literal. I guess even my extremely devout life long Catholic grandmother couldn’t bring herself to tell a little kid they were literally eating flesh and drinking blood. Surprising how many people can say it and not even think it the slightest bit weird.
It was humorous when when I went to church (Church of Christ) with my ex-girlfriend last year and everyone looked so serious during communion. I mean, they ate a piece of stale bread that could really use some cheese or something on it and drank a plastic thingy of grape juice.
BLESS THIS PIECE OF BREAD AND CUPLET OF JUICE SO THAT IT MAY BE CLAIMED TO BE SOMEONE WHO DIED 2,000 YEARS AGO THANK YOU GOD!
I couldn’t help but crack the joke, can I have some cheese with this wine?
Let’s just say I received some loathing glances in my general direction.
Ever had this delightful experience?
lol interesting experience. Can’t say that I’ve ever had that myself. Even though I was raised Catholic I was able to get out before I was confirmed. I do remember when I was real little and would watch people go up it would sometimes bug me. I’d whine to my mom “Why do they get snacks? I’m hungry and thirsty too, I want some.” Then she’d tell me that I couldn’t unless I had my confirmation, then I’d tell her well I’m here already why can’t we make it official. I was a bit of a smart ass even as a kid, no surprise I’m sure.
Eventually my grandma tried to explain to me the importance of communion. She told me that they were eating the body of Christ and drinking his blood. The first thing that popped into my mind as a child was a poor man chained up to a wall in the back that they sliced up like bread and drained of his blood to drink it. How could people do something so cruel? She attempted to explain it was symbolic, that part didn’t really stick with my very well, so I had at least a year when I was little where I thought every church kept a Jesus chained in the back for snacks on Sundays.
Because Christian churches can make money when people who didn't believe in God begin to. There is no church of Atheism, so what is the incentive for people to make advertisements to try to convert people to Atheism?
Scientific materialism is just another belief system. They're all BS. :p
I would have to question how many of the billboards are really intended to convert people to Atheism. Many of them are meant to raise awareness to how ridiculous religion is. Some of them are simply to advertise for groups and let people know there is a group they can join with like minded people. Even if some of them are intended to convert people to Atheism, you’re right, there is nothing of real personal gain for the Atheist.
I think if anything it makes their motivation more pure. Anyone who holds any personal belief system does so because they believe it is right. Atheist in particular often spend a great deal of time analyzing their view points before arriving at their world view. Why should they not share that with others? Yes, it is a form of proselytizing which I am generally against but compared to the standards of religion a few billboards is nothing and extremely non invasive. I don’t really think actively attempting to convert people to Atheism works but a few Atheists trying doesn’t put it anywhere near the level of religious proselytizing, yet.
I can sympathize with wanting to wake people up to the evils of religion. It’s something I try hard to do. The alternative is to sit back and do nothing and allow religious individuals to make the same mistakes they have throughout history. Atheists deal with religious individuals every day. A few small signs letting people know there are alternatives should be no big deal. None of it is even close to the amount of advertising and promotion religions do every day.
Glad you are able to find a way to make yourself feel superior about your own particular belief system. I never claimed to be a scientific materialist though.
Why do some Atheist groups spend money on Atheist billboards and advertising the idea that God isn't real when this money could be spent on bettering the world?
Why do some Atheist Christian groups spend money on Atheist Christian billboards and advertising the idea that God isn’t real the world is going to end when this money could be spent on bettering the world?
For countless years Christians have spent millions and millions of dollars to try and spread there message. The tables have started to turn in favor of the Atheists and non-believers so now Christians are saying, “Hey, let’s just relax and all get along.” They abused their power for countless generations and now like to act as if it should all be forgotten and we should all move on.
Billboards may not be the best use of funds but it serves a purpose. People need to be reminded of the fact that it’s okay to not be religious. It’s okay to admit they’re all fairy tales and fantasy. People know deep down many of the things they’re told in religion just aren’t true but are afraid to admit it to themselves. Just knowing that there are others out there that think like them can be a powerful tool in bringing about awareness and drawing religion into an arena where it can be criticized openly as it should be.
I'm not sure if you've been asked this before, and if you have, I apologize.
But why do you think that America has become a "Christian" nation, when the founding fathers were secularists? It baffles me when people say that this nation is christian, and always has been, when the founding fathers found christianity to be a perverted system. Looking at the country today, it seems that America is just as perverted as the idea of christianity.
I have been asked about this in the past and there is a lot of discussion on the topic. The easiest answer would be the fact that the vast majority of the early settlers were Christian, they want to pretend that equals a Christian nation. Many of the foundering fathers were deistic, at that time it was much harder to intelligently defend the position of Atheism and especially for politicians they needed to acknowledge some kind of God. They most certainly were secular though but because of the somewhat mixed messages people like to mix them together even more.
As more time passes it makes it harder for us to try and interpret the exact intentions of the founding fathers. Thankfully since there is a great deal of information still available and a great deal of research done very few people fall for the silly contention that we were intended to be a “Christian nation”. Those that seek to advance ridiculous ideas related to Christianity don’t concern themselves with things like the facts and the truth so they glance over it and look to focus on the few things they feel prove their points.
It is a bit of a harsh topic to bring up but I think so many things that are wrong with this country can be rooted to religion. It is the direct cause of a great deal of issues and indirectly of many many more. The agenda of the strongly Christian conservative right of this country is absolutely choking the life out of us. We watch the rest of the world advance while we sit around pointing fingers at each other and arguing issues that should of been settled 30 years ago. I sometimes honestly wonder if they want to drag us into the dark age, if they’re sabotaging this country, or if they’re actually so misguided that they believe they’re doing what’s right for this country.
“I’ve never not been political, though religion tended to overshadow it in my acid days; that would be around ‘65 or ‘66. And that religion was directly the result of all that superstar shit—religion was an outlet for my repression. I thought, ‘Well, there’s something else to life, isn’t there? This isn’t it, surely?’ …At one time I was so much involved in the religious bullshit that I used to go around calling myself a Christian Communist, but as [psychologist Arthur] Janov [inventor of Primal therapy] says, religion is legalized madness. It was [Primal] therapy that stripped away all that and made me feel my own pain….You are forced to realize that your pain is really yours and not the result of somebody up in the sky….This therapy forced me to have done with all the God shit…..It’s a bit of a drag to say so, but I don’t think you can understand this unless you’ve gone through it—though I try to put some of it over on the album. But for me at any rate it was all part of dissolving the God trip or father-figure trip. Facing up to reality instead of always looking for some kind of heaven.”—John Lennon
I'm wondering what your views are on porn, does this type of exploitation disgust you or is it nbd?
Another taboo subject but I’m not one to shy away from those. Like most guys I enjoy pornography from time to time. Some people turn to it a bit too often but like with most things in moderation it’s not bad. People shouldn’t repress sexuality. When people try to repress their sexuality it often breaks out in other aspects of their life or ends up leading to more serious problems like the Catholic church sexual abuse scandals or cheating spouses.
There are certain types of porn that are self evidently bad like child pornography or coerced/non-consensual. It is certainly a serious issue and one that needs to be combated against. Those types of pornography are a fairly small % of the overall amount of porn in the world or on the internet thankfully.
I’m the type of person that believes what consenting adults do in their own private time is their own business. Many wonderful women work in the adult industry and despite the stereotypes a great number of them genuinely enjoy it. Adults should have the ability to look at or take part in what they’d like as long as it damages no one else. We shouldn’t live in a society that is so afraid of sexuality. The fact that the topic is considered so taboo is one of the things that leads to the repression in the first place and the perception that it is something we should be afraid to talk about.
Are you a cynic as well as a skeptic?
Some people think that if you a skeptic then that means you are cynical, which I think is bollocks.
I can be a cynic at times. I don’t think necessarily everyone that is a skeptic has to be a cynic all the time but skeptics may tend to be slightly more cynical. People who are skeptics tend to be realists. Being a realist often means you’ll look at the motivating factors of why people are doing things more closely. As a result there may be a tendency to be more cynical especially if personal experience makes you encounter selfish people.
A lot of it can be related to personal philosophy as well. Every action we commit on a daily basis we do because we think it’s the right action to commit. Is that selfish? We certainly wouldn’t do something thinking it is the wrong action, but it is based on our personal perception. Doesn’t that make all of our views selfish? I don’t necessarily think so but it is an interesting thought at least.
So do you hate people who live by the creed or their religion or faith? Or do you just hate the church itself? Do you hate everything about religious people or people with faith or do you hate only what you don't agree with?
Part of it would depend on exactly what you mean by “creed”. No one fully lives up to all teachings of their religion. There is no such thing as a “true” Christian so thankfully I don’t even have to worry about that. It simply isn’t possible.
I don’t hate religious people generally. I hate religion. I’ve said this hundreds of times but it seems it always needs to be repeated. I also don’t attempt to hate only specific parts of religion. I do point out specific parts that I do not like to show why I feel the way I do about it. I chose to look at it as an end product, the culmination of ideas. Religion is very disgusting and damaging when looked at in that way but I don’t break it down into the individual beliefs I do or do not agree with. If we look at any religion chances are we will find some small parts people would consider desirable, that does nothing to redeem it as a whole.
"Don’t be so ridiculous to try and put forth an argument that a 12 week fetus and a two day old child could both survive the same."
So where do disabled people fit into your world? Some obviously can't survive the same as other people or without help. Should they be killed because of this?
I guess the ridiculousness rolls on. The treatment of handicapped individuals and the discussion of abortion are two completely separate topics. To try and use one to attempt to make a point with the other does not work.
Of course there are many handicapped people that need assistance in order to survive. There is a huge difference between needing assistance and absolute dependency. A fetus can not survive without the care of one specific person who may or may not be capable of providing that care. For someone with a disability they are able to receive assistance from anyone willing to provide it. If people were unwilling to provide that assistance unfortunately these people would die.
That’s a huge difference and one that seems to brush over Christians with little to no impact. As much as Christians hate seeing women go through with abortions they can not carry that pregnancy for the woman, they can not take the fetus for that person and bare that burden and take all the risks for them. (In any realistic scenario that could be applied on a large scale, fetal transplants are not a realistic alternative.) The messiah complex has to stop at some point, there is no reason anyone should have any say over a woman’s body other than that woman.
Yes, you can kill cells. Is it murder though? No. Because these cells have no potential as humans. Masturbation is not murder as, without fertilization of an egg, it has no possible future. You can keep it in a jar and it won't become a human.
A human fetus, however, will. If left undisturbed, it will grow and become just like us. The right to live easily trumps the right a person has to try to not be inconvenienced.
There is no difference in killing a fetus and a 2-day-old baby. They will both grow into fully developed humans in time and require the care since they cannot take care of themselves.
Well this is at least the most semi-logical of the random asks being tossed my way at the moment but it doesn’t mean I don’t object to it still.
The problem here is with an issue of dependency and when a fetus becomes viable to live outside of the mother. A human fetus can not developed undisturbed, up to a certain point they are entirely dependent upon one specific person for every single aspect of their survival. Once a fetus reaches around 21-24 weeks it would become viable. That is exactly the reason the vast majority of abortions take place is the first 14 weeks of pregnancy and late term abortions are rare.
There is a huge difference between a fetus and a child once it is born. The fact that you can say such ridiculous things shows you’re paying no attention what so ever to the details of the situation and choosing to only see what you feel supports your position. Until a child is born they are a potential human, once they are born they’ve fulfilled that potential. Don’t be so ridiculous to try and put forth an argument that a 12 week fetus and a two day old child could both survive the same and try to dismiss the necessity of the mother.
Also, if you really believe it is as simple as “The right to live easily trumps the right a person has to try to not be inconvenienced.” you should sell all of your possessions and give the money to charity. Sure being homeless will inconvenience you but think of all those people you help with their right to live.
No, it doesn't make me happy to think that if abortions were made illegal there would be back alley abortions or abortions done with coat hangers, as the goal would be to have no abortions. Saying that it should be made legal since people will do it anyway is like handing an axe murderer a gun, because it would be more efficient and less messy.
Wow…this whole debate again, I guess I asked for it.
So you’re in favor of killing women? You’d rather have women just die instead? Or maybe you like suffering? You’d rather see thousands of children born that can’t be fed, clothed, or taken care of properly so they can grow to hate society? Which is it exactly because I’d like to know what particular cruelty you’re a fan of?
There are many valid reasons women have abortions, but it’s never because they think abortions are fun. You can work all you’d like to take away their ability to have one but you can never eliminate all the factors that could necessitate one. There are many legitimate health reasons and concerns that require the termination of a fetus. Why would you want a woman to die simply because you have a moral objection to what she’s doing when it in no way effects you?
"Just give the children up for adoption instead." is one I often hear. That is a lovely dream idea for those that have the privilege to be able to sacrifice 9 months of their life, x amount of $ for prenatal care, and go through the physical and emotional toll it will play on their body. Not all women are able to do that and women shouldn’t be forced into it against their will.
Even if that does sound like a more pleasant alternative to someone, and the woman is willing to do it, it creates a new problem if it was large scale. You’ll have a large influx of unwanted children that aren’t able to be placed in quality homes. Especially when these same people that want to deny women rights to abortion are often the same people looking to prevent qualified same sex couples from being able to adopt, a bit of irony isn’t it?