I have not been following you for very long, so I'm not sure you have addressed this before, but what are your thoughts on Pantheism? As a poet and an Atheist, it seems very much in line with how I feel (as well as how I wish to explain myself), but I also understand the argument that using religious metaphor and language in order to convey the sense of wonder and awe for the universe can result in a lot of confusion and opportunities for things to be taken out of context. Your musings?
I think the quote from Richard Dawkins sums it up fairly well “Pantheism is sexed up Atheism.” For the most part here is very little difference between Atheism and Pantheism except for the level of veneration for nature seems to be higher with the Pantheist. They turn nature itself in to a bit of an entity as if it can be all represented in one form. For the most part I see virtually no difference though. An Atheist can just as much love and appreciation for nature as a Pantheist but if they both share their views they will probably be fairly similar when it comes down to it.
I'm anon because I find it too stressful to talk to someone as smart as you >.< I was wondering : have you study ?
I promise I’m not that scary to talk to, unless you start throwing around assumptions about me of course. :) I don’t usually comment on it because it is something I am a bit ashamed of it but I’ve never had any formal schooling after high school. I consider myself an autodidact and when it comes to religion I think it is the best way to learn about religion. Anytime you have someone teaching you about religion they will provide their spin or their view point of it.
Just so no one makes assumptions about me though allow me a moment of self indulgence. I was originally offered early acceptance into the university in my home town when I was 13. I took the ACT test early as part of a program and my scores were enough to be offered a spot. I didn’t take it though because I didn’t want to stand out. I was a math prodigy and growing up would score in the 98-99th percentile on standardized testing. The problem? I really didn’t enjoy doing math at all, which is somewhat of a shame because I am sure I could of done a lot with it. School bored me, I never saw it as a challenge and as a result started skipping and acting up just for the fun of it. Perhaps some day I will go back to school and if I do I plan on going for journalism. Someone needs to try and fill the huge void Christopher Hitchens will leave once he’s gone. Thanks for the question.
I’m a fan or mostly late 90’s rock and rap music. Marilyn Manson, NIN, Mudvayne, Rob Zombie, Slipknot, Tool, Otep, Rammstein, Jay-z, Tupac, Biggie, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Nas, and a lot of others from that time period. I used to go to a lot of concerts and have seen probably 70 or 80 live concerts from fairly big name bands. I loved to be in the mosh pits. Lately I’ve been getting back into listening to classical. I’ve really been enjoying listening to Vivaldi and Ralph Vaughan Williams. I sometimes will have brief periods where I explore other music but still usually go back to what I listened to most in my teenage years. (The rare personal question. :) )
Hi there c: Many people has said that Athiests are part of a religion, and what they believe in is materialism. Would you agree to this? Oh and since you're an Athiest, does that mean you point towards the "everything can be explained by science"? And do you believe in such things like ghosts and reincarnation? Sorry I have a lot of questions but there aren't really any Athiests around me as most my friends are either religious or agonostic about the topic. Thanks :3
Thanks for the message. That is actually part of the reason I have this page is so that people who don’t really get to talk to or interact with Atheists will have a chance to. I enjoy being able to provide my opinion on the topics but of course I am not any definitive source for Atheism and many people that are also Atheists may disagree with some of the things I say.
Overall I do not consider Atheism a religion and the majority of Atheists do not. Religious individuals often like to say it is like a religion but it lacks so many of the characteristics that make a religion. There is no dogmatic belief, there is no such thing as a fundamentalist Atheist because the fundamental belief is simply one statement, “I don’t believe in any God or gods”. That statement and one shared view point is not enough, in my opinion, to constitute a religion.
There are a great number of Atheists that are strictly materialists. Personally I try to be a bit more open to outside possibilities. I won’t necessarily accept them as true but I enjoy hearing them and definitely have an unsatisfied curiosity when it comes to things like spirits or whatever you chose to call them. Science definitely can not explain everything at the moment, but that doesn’t mean it is not possible for science to one day be able to explain more. Like with most things though each new discovery will lead to more questions and more mysteries, that is what will continue to drive science.
Feel free to let me know if you have other questions, I am around quite a bit and don’t mind answering questions. Thanks again.
I used to be a full-on atheist. I have now realized that it is ridiculous to claim that there IS A GOD WHO IS THE REASON BEHIND EVERYTHING WE DO. Yet I also find that the existence of some "higher being" can't be out of the realm of possibility. I'm not saying that the bible is right, or that there is ONE god, being the Christian god, but there has to be some "order" to it all, you know? Your thoughts?
Nothing is out of the realm of possibility. That doesn’t mean that everything that can be thought up should be seriously considered. That’s really the source of the FSM, Russell’s teapot, and invisible pink unicorns. These are all designed to show why it is not reasonable to say that since we can’t prove something doesn’t exist we must accept or even contemplate that it does.
Your statements are all logical and reasonable until the point of saying that there “has” to be some order to it. Why must there be? There is certainly nothing saying that there has to be although it is a view point many people hope to be true. We just may be the “lucky” ones so to speak. We don’t know how many countless billions of planets or even universes may exist, and how many of them may be able to support any type of life. Just because we happen to have one that does doesn’t mean that everything needs to have any type of overarching order controlled by any entity in order achieve that.
Many people like to believe in some over all purpose or reason for us to exist, some sense of cosmic justice or balance. There is nothing to indicate that there is though. Accepting that is not something that is hopeless as so many people see it, I think quite the contrary. It is marvelous to be able to realize just how improbable it is that any of us would ever exist at all, yet we do. It is understandable wanting to be humbled by existing in spite of such magnificent odds but yet be humble to what? Nothing as far as I am able to tell.
How do you address all things religous to your son? Generally curious.
Thankfully I haven’t had to yet. Since he is only 4 it really hasn’t come up yet. We spend a lot of time with his mother’s side of the family at holidays (since mine lives farther away) and they are religious but when they pray or things like that I’ll take my son and walk off for a few minutes. He hasn’t come to me yet with any questions about anything related to it but I’m sure he will. When he does I’ll simply attempt to be as honest and direct with him as I can. He does like to rub the belly of my large golden Buddha statue though but he says he needs a shirt.
I’m not, I have been with my girlfriend about 8 years now and have known her for 15. I also have an amazing and wonderful son who is 4 years old. He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and means the absolute world to me.
You, my friend, are just like all the religious people. But instead of religion you have anti-theism. You tell and scream and annoy the fuck out of people with it and you're constantly trying to tear down religion and its people. Also you're extremely close minded. Sounds an awful lot like religion to me, yeah? For instance, Christians aren't open-mined to atheism, and atheist aren't open-minded to Christianity. But when you're neither you can give both consideration but don't have to ever label yourself. Don't think about it too hard, champ.
Funny how you start out with a presumption and don’t stop until you get to the end. You most certainly don’t seem to be a “friend” considering I don’t believe we’ve ever spoken before. You sure seem to believe you know a good deal about me though despite this and feel the need to share your split second judgement upon me. Do you expect that I am going to respect that view and simply acknowledge it and move on? Then you certainly don’t know me at all.
I don’t yell (t?), scream, or annoy anyone with my views. The only time I ever engaged anyone about Atheism unsolicited is on Twitter, and that’s due to them posting regarding Atheism. The majority of my discussions take place on my blog page where people contact me with comments and questions or I post things I’ve found from around the internet. People have to chose to come to my page. How is that screaming at anyone?
Would you perhaps like to give me examples of how I qualify as “extremely close minded”? Considering that you’re the one that seems predisposed to making snap judgements about the character of a person I’m sure it will be insightful and enlightening. Please go ahead and try to point out to me my own short comings drawing from your wellspring of knowledge. The anticipation is killer.
I don’t accept Christianity to be true as a religion at all but that doesn’t mean I am close minded to it. If anything I am far more open minded to it than many people. I have read the bible several times, I have explored Christianity at great length. I’ve read many books, watched many documentaries, and heard just about every argument that can be made in favor of religion. Simply because I think it is a load of garbage that qualifies as being close-minded?
Of course then we get to the grand finale. The point in time where you tell me how your view is superior to both mine and those that I disagree with. Your shining star of logic and reason to say “Ha ha I am not in to any of that shit!” Really though, how is this supposed to impress me? You’re not a Christian or an Atheist so you’re what a deist? A Hindu? What does it matter? No matter how beautiful and unique you’d like to think your views are snowflake they would still fit a description regardless of if you’re willing to accept the “label” or not.
I am never opposed to people providing me criticism, that is fine. If you disagree with something I say, let me know, I am open to discussing things. If I am wrong about something, I would love to be enlightened to it, with real information and proof of course. If its legitimate and honest I will discuss it, but this is not valid and I am not going to get anywhere near validating your incredibly ignorant claims. If you still feel like taking issue with me, please let me know with what, if you don’t feel the need or want to do that, please save your idiotic judgements for someone who cares for your opinion.
Why do you ask me what the world would look like if I admitted to myself that God holds no power over the world? Why do you still capitalize god? Is atheism not increasingly just becoming a stance taken as a rebellion? Any pre-defined ideal is harmful. What do you mean by doing good? What would you define as good?
These questions are verging on trolling questions but seeing as you’re not anon and they seem at least somewhat legitimate I’ll go ahead and answer them. I asked you about what you think the world would look like if you admitted that because it is one of those questions meant to make you think. What would it look like if God had never intervened in any way? Would there be any differences at all? I can’t see a single one, considering there is nothing we can attribute to being the work of God.
I still capitalize God not out of any form of respect but because in almost all conversation about God we are referencing specifically the Judeo-Christian version of God, which would be a proper noun.
Many people use Atheism as a way to rebel. Many people do lots of various things to rebel, how is that relevant to its validity? Why some people turn to it does not in itself make it more or less valid. Also, I can assure you I’m much too old to feel any need to “rebel” from anyone.
Good is relative. We all work on relative terms, there is no absolute morality and no absolute good. I would define good as doing something that provides more benefit for either a particular person or all of humanity, than harm. Of course admitting that this is all relative leaves it open to many objections. “Well who decides what is best for people or provides more good?” Quite simply, we do, and science can help us. We can look at the consequences of our actions. It’s really how everyone decides what is good or not good in some ways.
What is the root of your hate for religion, and what keeps that going, to an extent where you dedicate a whole tumblr to it and even centre your identity around atheism?
Well doc, if you want to psychoanalyze me, it all started a long time ago. When I was young I started to turn away from religion, I become disillusioned with it personally and found it to be a vile and scary proposition in general. As I grew up a bit more I become more and more curious about why people found this stuff so appealing, why it was able to still draw in so many people. So I studied it. I read the bible, I looked into the history or the church and how it effected the people of different areas, I studied what they taught and who they taught it to, and I looked as best as I could at how valid or invalid all of it is. After that, it was easy to become an Atheist and I can’t really understand how anyone that put a similar amount of time and effort into actually objectively analyzing their beliefs wouldn’t if they are being intellectually honest.
The more I continued to learn the more unsettled with the whole idea of religion I became. Every new story of an unnecessary death or torture in the name of religion. Every story I’ve read about a war, about child abuse, about mental abuse, about subjugating people, about controlling the masses with these appalling ideas made me even more upset. I started to run into it myself, persecution due to my own lack of belief, mainly during my teenage years.
I look at all of these things and the fact that they still go on even in this day and age and I am stunned. I am amazed that we can still live like this. I am amazed that we can still validate these irrational ideas and hold them in the veneration that we do. I am disgusted by the fact that religion is given the place that it is in society after all of the evils it has done. If it didn’t have such a grasp on the majority of the world’s mind we would of tossed it out like the rubbish it is long ago. So, in brief, that’s a lot of it.
Isn't it rational to choose God over atheism? One one path you suffer for all eternity for a fleeting feeling of being right during this life, on the other you gain all of God's Love For Ever And Ever.
That would be what’s called Pascal’s wager. It’s a very common argument in the debate of Atheism vs. theism but is more or less completely worthless once you actually think about it beyond just the surface level. I recently read a little story though that might do a better job of showing just why this is a ridiculous stance to take.
Suppose Jebediah, a devout Amish, approaches you (a Christian) and proposes the following wager:
“Good fellow Christian, we believe in the same Lord our God, that He died for our sins, was crucified, died, and was buried, and on the third day He rose again. We both know that accepting the Lord into our hearts carries with it eternal salvation; an infinite reward. We both know that failing to accept the Lord into our hearts carries with it eternal damnation, an infinite punishment. Now, as a member of the Amish community, I believe that one must shun the fruits of technology, and live as they did in the Bible, without buttons, zippers, and iPods. Should one fall to the temptation of such devilry, one is surely lost and doomed to Hell forever. I see that you have a smartphone, and a zipper, and you drive a car. Good fellow Christian, what if you’re wrong? What if you are judged at the Pearly Gates for indulging in such sins, and though you believe in the One True God, he casts you out for failure to keep the Laws? We all know that a True Christian keeps the Laws. Is your zipper, button, iPod, or car really more valuable to you than your soul? Surely these items do not provide infinite satisfaction. If you give them up, and live as the Amish, and we are wrong, then your loss is merely finite, but if you fail to give them up, and we are right, then your loss is infinite! Listen to reason, and shun the iPod!”
Behold, Jebediah’s Wager:
If you shun technology and the Amish have the correct theology, then you gain eternal reward.
If you shun technology and the Amish have the incorrect theology, then you suffer a finite loss, but still live a rewarding life of simplicity and devout Christianity, and so may still receive an eternal reward!
If you do not shun technology, and the Amish have the correct theology, then you suffer eternal punishment.
If you do not shun technology, and the Amish have the incorrect theology, then you gain some finite pleasure from the technological comforts (mmmm, the joys of zippers!), and perhaps still an eternal reward.
Thus, by shunning technology, one is guaranteed an eternal reward in Heaven, and by refusing to shun technology, one will either suffer eternal damnation or perhaps eternal reward anyway. Why gamble with salvation? Take the sure bet, and shun technology.
How will the Christian respond to this? If he or she does not immediately become Amish, then he or she realizes the weakness of Pascal’s Wager.
How is your belief in there not being any gods better than a belief in gods? Surely any passionately held belief not based on simple objective evidence limits your thinking?
Depending on how you look at it, it is not a belief at all. I simply do not accept the illogical argument put forth by religion. I do not say that I know for certain there is no God, I say that I see absolutely no evidence or reason for the belief in God. I think we can say with a very high likelihood that there is absolutely no God but I am not saying that I know that for certain. My statement is basically just refuting the statement of others and is not me making a statement of special knowledge. I’m not saying I know better than anyone else I’m just saying that the explanations put forward by religion are completely ridiculous and shouldn’t be accepted by anyone.
What would the world look like if you admitted to yourself that God did nothing and holds no power over the world? Wouldn’t it look exactly the same way that it does right now? Can you see anything in the day to day mechanics and functions of the world changing in any way if tomorrow every person on earth renounced any belief in God? What world view is based on evidence? Certainly not the religious.
As for how it is better that is hard to say because that is something quantitative. I feel that it is a honest. It is real, it is making a logical observation of available information based on what we see, experience, and know about the natural world. It is extremely exhilarating to be able to let go of all the garbage and baggage that religion drags with it. You see the real world for what it is in a new way, in a way that the religious may never get the chance to. You understand the fleeting nature and preciousness of life, you realize that life is finite, not infinite. Happiness in this life, and doing good in this world becomes a bit higher of a priority once you realize you don’t have eternity.
Could you please tell me what the diffrent is between Satanism and Lavey-Satanism? Atheism is almost the same as Lavey-satanism, right? I just want to know little about the diffrents between them all.
I see myself as an Atheist, but i just want to know what the diffrent is.
Thank you for an awesome blog!
For the most part Lavey-Satanism is the only Satanism there is. I often use the qualifier myself when talking about it and call it Lavey-Satanism just so there is no confusion as to what we’re talking about. Really before Lavey the only thing that could be deemed “Satanism” was just a perverted form of Christianity. Occult practices in general are different than Satanism, although many worship and even attempt to summon up demons and entities they do not specifically venerate the figure of Satan in the same way Christians would venerate Jesus. Satan is usually treated as just one of the many demons of the underworld and another entity that could be called upon with the right preparations and rituals.
Historically the only time we run into someone actually worshiping “Satan”, as it is commonly defined in Christianity, is usually from a member of the clergy gone mad. For some reason, be it mental illness or just general confusion, they feel that turning to the “dark” side of the religion will give them power. Many have attempted to enter into pacts with Satan in exchange for power or knowledge. They will sign contracts in their own blood and even arrange for “sacrifices” sometimes human, sometimes animal. For the most part in the last 150-200 years this type of thing has been more or less non-existent. If it does still exist they are doing a better job of keeping it secret.
So overall Lavey-Satanism is the only Satanism people should really think about when rationally discussing the term. There are other occult and demonology studies but they would not identify themselves as Satanists. The idea of a literal devil worshipers making rituals and sacrifices to the “dark lord” existing today seems to be more a product of overactive religious imagination and 80’s death metal bands. Once in a while you hear of a random semi deranged teen who makes sacrifices in the name of “Satan” but this is just mental illness or weakness, not a religion by any means.
How are you hateful to religion but yet you are a "atheist"? atheist don't believe in religion there for there would be no reason to hate it!
I really need to figure out where people pull out all of these random made up definitions of Atheists that they hold to be true. I constantly see “Atheists believe in nothing” or “Atheists worship the devil” or “Atheists all think ____”. If you run into a situation with an Atheist where they are discussing their view points it would serve you well to ask them about their opinions and beliefs instead of rushing to incorrect judgements about what they are.
By definition the only requirement to being an Atheist is to not believe in any type of God or gods. That is the simplest and most direct explanation for what an Atheist is. In what world would an Atheist not believe in religion as if it doesn’t exist? It really doesn’t even make sense, of course religion exists. Atheists may think that it is damaging and dangerous but there is no reason to question the existence of religion.
If you could press a button that made every religious person on the planet disappear, would you do it? Another effect of the button is that the people left behind don't question why all the religious people are suddenly gone, but continue life as normal, trying to cope with the sudden population decrease.
P.S. the button only works in this way. It's not the most ideal button. One would rather have a button that just wipes the idea from the face of the planet, but this button doesn't. It eradicates the people, too. (n.b. harmlessly, though -- not violently. They just disappear).
No, I wouldn’t. Part of me would really really want to and maybe I personally would be happier if I did but I couldn’t. I’d much rather have the ideas than the people disappear. There are many intelligent, good, honest, thinking people that also happen to be religious. Getting rid of the bad with the good comes down to a matter of a trade off but I know personally I could never push that button.
I have to consider that there is always the possibility these ideas will fade away on their own. It is extremely unlikely especially since the tendency seems for people to turn more to religion as they get older instead of away from it. There is still a lot of positives that religious people can provide to the world, I just have to hope that they will provide more than they detract generally.
"God knows us. He knows how fixed we are on ourselves and how inclined to make our own ego the center, even in our love. He knows that if he lets us experience his sweet presence too soon or for too long, we will become so satisfied with our love for him that we will think more about that than about him. Yes, our nature is such that God’s sweetness can make us forget God. God’s love for us forces him to seem to withdraw, so that our self-love and pride will no longer have a stronghold. When self-love no longer receives any nourishment, in the end it can only starve to death. Only when self-love is dead and the center has moved from the individual to God can he communicate himself without any risk involved.”
Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, Into Your Hands, Father
You know they have porn on the internet? If you’re worried about self love, I suggest you stay off the internet. Otherwise if you spend too much time here you might start doing some self-loving and lose the weird delusional state you’re pushing to get yourself into, assuming you buy into this garbage of course.
If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve read so much religious writing in my life I would say this is one of the most idiotic things I’ve ever read. This type of thing is one of the most vile and horrible things about religion, people who want you to “love God” more than you love yourself. Anyone who wants you to believe that is simply trying to turn you into a mindless drone for the cause of their religion. I feel sorry for people who honestly believe this, their life has been ruined and chances are they will never get it back.
This type of mindless dribble should only be effective as a tool for further enforcing the already brainwashed into their subservient place to an imaginary sky daddy. It’s something echoed over and over again by the devout. They say the same silly metaphors at every turn and then won’t even admit that it is metaphor, they often believe it is quite literal. The shocking level of intellectual dishonesty, even to themselves, would be unfathomable if it wasn’t so common in religion. This type of thinking must die if we want the future of humanity to be able to fully prosper.
Please say something about that psycho Michele Bachmann. It's amazing that she thinks she can get away with running for president while chatting about being submissive to her husband and saying that intelligent design is credible. Please. Please.
I mention politics a bit more often over on my Twitter page. Usually it’s best for me to keep it to short little blurbs about something that is going on or something in the news since that’s not really a main topic of conversation on my blog. I make mention of Michele Bachmann fairly often because she actually follows me on Twitter. I have absolutely no clue why but it is showing her official verified account is following me, creepy.
She is absolutely frightening in terms of actually imagining her running the country. I don’t think she stands a legitimate chance. The current possible Republican candidates are a big mix of loonies and completely unqualified people minus a few legitimate options. She represents a fairly small but very vocal demographic and once it comes down to the hard numbers there is no way she will ever have enough support with her controversial views.
Her husband himself is a real piece of work. People speculate about his sexual preferences and the fact that he spends all day trying to “rehabilitate” homosexuals, it shows his level of Christian fundamentalist ignorance. Him and his wife deserve each other, they’re both a couple of ignorant fools that were lucky enough to be successful in life. The fact that people can take them serious at all is something I really can not understand.
I wanted to know your thoughts on dream interpretation. It's something I've always followed, but I'm not sure if it's something logical.
With dream interpretation for the most part I don’t think there is a lot to it. The majority of people and the majority of dreams they have are not consciously remembered, just by a matter of peer chance the great majority of them will mean nothing at all and have no deeper message. There are often times though that dreams may be a simple reflection of our current emotions and mental state. It has happened to most of us from time to time, we have money problems and our dreams reflect that trouble, we’re worried about something at work or school and dream about scenarios there, simple things like that.
I think the problem is when people want to push much deeper meaning on to dreams as if it will provide us answers to our every day problems. They really don’t, they may provide us a bit more insight into what we’re feeling or thinking but they are not the key to any new information. Any attempt to provide them deeper meaning or great significance is usually a pointless endeavor. The only insight they’re able to provide is about as simple as our surface thoughts and emotions.
Even if I dismiss a lot of the meaning to it dreaming can sometimes provide us a little more in other aspects. I used to be a big fan of tantric dreaming and with the popularity of the movie “Inception” there was a small resurgence in its popularity. I used to spend a lot of my time focusing on it and interacting with my dreams, I do feel as if it has helped me to draw from my subconscious memories and knowledge much more. More of an explanation about that could take up a whole other post but personally I’ve found that to be one of the best things we can get out of dreams.
I've a question. I am SO sick of seeing and hearing about "God's eternal mercy, Yay Jesus, In Christ I am saved, etc, etc" from friends and relatives and it irks me that it is so easy for them to be openly ignorantly religious, but that if I were to contradict the things they say, I would instantly be pegged as the hateful, ignorant one. How do you find the courage to point out the fallacies and evils of religion to these people? I always have a well-argued, logical and (in my opinion) not too blatantly hateful thing to say, but I never end up saying these because I know as soon as I openly attack religion, I'm going to be burnt at the figurative stake by everyone I know.
This is unfortunately something that seems to be deeply engrained into people when it comes to the subject of religion. Even many Atheists have issues where they are just hesitant to speak out against religion no matter how much they personally disagree with it. It is understandable in many cases because it is a topic that gets people so impassioned. It can often go very poorly because when someone’s religion is challenged they feel as if it is a challenge to them and who they are, people too often define themselves by their religion.
There is a matter of balance depending on who it comes to. I have found myself personally becoming even a bit more outspoken in my every day life than I was previously. There are still times though that even I bite my tongue and I sometimes regret that I did. Almost no one wants to start a knock down drag out fight with a family member, but having a spirited disagreement with an acquaintance is very different.
Something I’ve come to realize that has helped me feel less guilt about being blunt and honest is that you can’t help what someone else is going to be offended by. If I say that Christianity is a disgusting institute and the bible is a vile book, some people would agree and some would feel as if I slapped them right in the face. Is it my fault that they decided to take so much offense to it? Not really, and not something I need to be too concerned about. If someone is offended by your honest opinion, chances are they are not going to be open to a logical discussion at all. We are all free to share our opinion on anything but someone has to chose for themselves what they’ll take offense to.
You also have to take in account your own level of comfort and the environment. In a more relaxed setting with people I am at least familiar with I find it much easier to speak up on a point I disagree with. Usually others will listen and offer their opinions and most the time it ends in a good discussion. Perhaps I’m a little spoiled in the fact that most people I talk with are intelligent and rational people, but in an ideal situation it would always turn out that way.
It’s something that becomes much easier and more of a second nature the more you practice it. The first part would be to push your limits just a bit more. Speak up in a few situation where you would maybe otherwise shy away, but it is still good to pick your spots. Don’t jump on every opportunity but when a good one presents itself make use of it. Perhaps it will go much better than you expected and you’ll walk away from it feeling like it was a positive experience. Perhaps not, and if not it will be a lesson learned, but you can never know for sure unless you give it a try. Thanks for the message.
A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.
An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened.
The project’s scholars have been at work on their critical edition of the Hebrew Bible, a version intended mainly for the use of other scholars, since 1958.
The scholars note where the text we have now differs from older versions — differences that are evidence of the inevitable textual hiccups, scribal errors and other human fingerprints that became part of the Bible as it was passed on, orally and in writing.
Wow, you mean, the bible has been altered and changed multiple times throughout history to not only change meaning but even add in events that were supposed to be prophecy after they happened? This is the unalterable word of God given to man as his greatest gift that we are all supposed to worship and adore! Or…it’s just a poorly cobbled together book, how much more clear does that need to be to religious individuals? Check the link for the specific examples and more information on the project in general.
“Remember this: You are not a depraved human being.
You have no sins to atone for.
There is no need for fear.
There are no ghosts—holy or otherwise.
Stop making yourself miserable for “the love of God.”
Drive this monster of tyrannic fear from your mind, and enjoy the inestimable freedom of an emancipated human being.
The only duty you owe is to yourself and to your family.
The duty you owe to yourself is to do the best you can, and the duty you owe to your family is to endeavor to make them happy.
Emancipate yourself from these stultifying creeds, and protect your children from the contamination of religion.
Get off your knees, stand erect, and look the whole world in the face.
Get all the joy and happiness you can out of life.
Enjoy the fruits of your labor and waste it not upon the myth of heaven; support not the parasites of God.
Do not knowingly harm another human being; do not knowingly injure your fellow man.
All forms of life have feeling, do not make them suffer.”—
Joseph Lewis - An Atheist Manifesto - 1954
This book is a short read and even though it is over 50 years old it has just as much passion as any modern Atheist writer. I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the book but have enjoyed reading it and agree with a lot of what it says. If you want to check it out it’s available as a free download here.
Young woman offering $50 to whoever can give her the best way to convince (aka force) her boyfriend to believe in God. I still run into people constantly who believe they can convert me. Go ahead, give it a try. It’s like free money right?
I have to wonder how angry she would be though if she found out her boyfriend posted an internet ad offering $50 to anyone that can give him the best way to get his girlfriend to grow up and act like a mature adult.
you give the most amazing advice, you are an amazing human being! :) I wish i could just give you a huge hug! The world needs a million of you! xD
Thank you so much, that definitely put a smile on my face. I always try to do my best and am glad that I can provide advice for people on something that there isn’t really a lot of places to go for. :)
I have identified as an Atheist for about 9 years now. Before that I would sometimes refer to myself as a Buddhist/Satanist taking a combination of the two philosophies and combining them into a “religion” but I still didn’t believe in any type of God or gods at that point. I’d say that I have actually been an Atheist for close to 15 years, that is when I was able to let go of the fears I had in youth and move on to accepting non existence. It is much less of a burden and a great release.
“As long as man loves a phantom in the sky more than he loves his fellow man, there will never be peace upon this earth; so long as man worships a Tyrant as the “Fatherhood of God,” there will never be a “Brotherhood of Man.”—Joseph Lewis - 1954 - An Atheist Manifesto
so every since ive been in high school i knew i was atheist but it wasnt until about 3 years ago that i told my family about it, i think at first they were ok with it because they thought it would fade but i knew it wasnt and now its like im this horrible kid because of it, and because of the hostility from my parents because this so called "phase" didnt pass as they hoped, i made the decision to live on my campus for school, but i do come home for "holidays" and breaks, being that its summer break im home so this naturally causes conflicts
So now that im home ive been hearing a lot of shit from them usually i can dish it back or just try to show them my side , but today my dad got involved and said i was a "devil worshiper" i think i was so mad and full of hate at the moment i just walked away, i dont want to disrespect my dad and i dont want to piss him off cause he pays for my school, but what can i say to possibly help him see that i am not a "devil worshiper", without offending his religious belief ? Ive explained atheism a hundred times to him so i have no idea where he got this devil shit from, please help, i dont have many friends that are atheist or that would understand this situation
The devil worshiper comments are something I think we would all be better off without. It is just odd how everyone automatically jumps to that as the worst possible accusation they can throw at someone. It’s unfortunate that after a few years your family is becoming less tolerant of your choices instead of more, which is unusual. Hopefully though there is still time to try and salvage whatever may be left of your relationship with your family.
The only way you’ll be able to address the topic directly is a sit down face to face type conversation. You don’t want it to be something in passing, you should let them know it’s very important to you to have this talk and hopefully it can take place in a relaxed environment where you will have time to talk things through. I wouldn’t even worry so much about the topic of Atheism specifically and their misunderstandings about it but focus it on them and you. Ask them why they are afraid of you not believing, chances are they will say it is out of concern and love.
If that is the case, as it often is, you can at least know in their own misguided way they are doing it out of concern. If that happens it is great way to open the door to focusing on the relationship between you and your parents. Let them know that if they care and are concerned name calling and belittling who you are is only going to drive them away. That you’d rather focus on simply being a family and maintaining a positive relationship where you’re able to communicate instead of all the animosity and aggressiveness that is currently happening.
Make it clear to them that it is your choice and that if they feel like they’ve raised you well they shouldn’t worry about the decisions you’re making. Let them know you’re still good, still a real human being, and perhaps even more socially aware and concerned with the world because of it. Let them know this is not a rejecting of them or a way to rebel against them but you making a decision for yourself and being honest with your perception of the world.
I hope that this helps and that you get a chance to talk to them. In this situation it seems like things would go better if you focus on the fact that you’re still a member of the family and still want to maintain a healthy relationship, but if things continue the way they are that may not be possible. I also hope that they have the good sense to realize that a difference of opinion is less important than family, if that is a priority for them. Good luck, thanks for the message.
A few days ago you responded to a hypothetical situation where if a God or gods were proven to be real, that you "nothing in [your] day to day life would change at all."
Now, personally I think this is a stupid hypothetical situation because, at least in my understanding of a modern Judeo-Christian God, faith is a major and necessary factor and and proof would get rid of this. But if a being was proven to exist who was all-powerful and threatened to send you to a place where you suffer for all infinity unless you worshiped him, you really wouldn't change a thing? This seems absolutely foolish to me. Could you please explain your reasoning?
Well when we play in hypothetical there are a lot of things to clarify. The questioner asked if God was proven to be real how I’d react but didn’t really specify what this God would be like. If I was to envision a God figure like most everyone else I am basically molding him in to what I think he would be like. If a being was sufficiently advanced enough to create, control, and “watch over” billions of sentient beings that have been given logic and reason it would make sense to me that this entity is even more logical and more reasonable and would value the use of those “gifts”.
Basically I think that if there was any type of God proven to exist he would value truth, honesty, inquiry, and general goodness. These are things that I value myself (hence the molding in my image) and feel that as long as I continue to do my best to maintain these things that would be what this entity wants most. If it is supposedly the source of all life, why would it want us to waste it? Why would it want us to squander the “gifts” that we’ve been given? I’d also have to imagine that it would most value the things we most value which are the things that provide the best quality of life for the most people.
So in answering the question I did the typical Christian thing, but since it is all just a hypothetical it’s just one of the ways to approach the topic. If the entity ended up being very different from that or had other different qualities we specified I’d have to change based on that, but that is something that we could do all day. Even in saying the Judeo-Christian God there are many additional things we’d have to specify, obviously most Christians don’t have a consensus on exactly what defines God. They like to keep his qualifies amorphous so that they can mold and bend him to their own personal liking.
An Atheist is not one who hates religion. That is an Anti-theist. I would advise you learn the difference.
Really?….really? You’re going to send me this message? Have you not even looked at my page at all before you decided to send this to me? Did you not even think for a moment that perhaps it is something incredibly obvious that any Atheist who spends a good amount of time discussing the subject would realize?
I am both an Atheist and an anti-theist, thank you. There is a difference but there certainly doesn’t have to be. I can maintain both without any issue. I would advise you to spend more than three seconds looking at someone’s page before you send them an ignorant condescending message. It only serves to make you look like the foolish one.
So unfortunately it looks like Dr. Pepper is not actually planning on releasing a can like that. This whole controversy was one that started up a while ago: http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bldrpepper2.htm Darn people on Facebook posting things 8 years too late. I am still going to leave my screen cap up but wanted to put this note up to clarify before I get emails about why people can’t find the can in their area.
I have been an atheist for most of my life, and 'realized' this at least two years ago. The problem is, my family cannot accept this and believes I am only going through a phase, and as a result they belittle my attempts to make my disbelief known. I live away at college but I go back home during the breaks, which unfortunately correspond with various religious holidays. Last Christmas was a disaster as my family treated me like trash because I did not purchase gifts, though I told them months in advance, (and reminded them at Thanksgiving) that I would be doing so, as I believe participating in any form of religious expression prolongs the time we have to deal with it being around.
My question is, at what point do I sever this relationship? They are providing the money for my schooling right now, so that would be unwise, but if they continue to mock my ideology, I see no reason to continue this once I can support myself. Thank you.
I don’t know if I would ever be able to advocate completely severing your relationship with your family. It is still your family regardless of how much you disagree. Distancing yourself, yes, perhaps not getting in contact as often, completely understandable, but unless they are completely hostile to you I wouldn’t suggest a complete cut off. You just may not be able to be as close or talk as openly.
As people get older, especially after college, families do often seem to lose contact or at least become much less frequent. If you continue on with your life, keep your views strong, and live the best you can it is likely your family will eventually come around at least a bit more. When there is distance and you don’t get to see each other as often the petty things usually get pushed to the side easier in order to enjoy the time you do get to spend together.
I am definitely not suggesting to give in on your beliefs but the topic of religion is something that really gets people going. It doesn’t sound as if you and your family are able to simply have a rational and honest discussion on the topic, so it is probably best to just avoid it. Realize they are your family and that means you don’t always have to agree but they are still always going to be some part of your life. Of course though there are always extreme cases and if this happens to be one of them, perhaps cutting them off is the only choice. I certainly hope that isn’t the case though because I’d like to think it would take a fairly extreme case to justify completely cutting them out of your life.
would you say that it is hypocritical for atheists to display shock or excitement by saying 'oh my god' or 'jesus christ'? i hadn't really thought about it until now, but i use both phrases frequently and they do seem inappropriate for me to outwardly declare seen as i believe in neither god nor jesus christ. what are your views on using religious terms metaphorically like that?
Honestly I don’t think it is an issue at all. It is part of our language and is so common that it something people will pick up on regardless of their religion or non-religion. When people use these words they are simply expressions and belief or non-belief doesn’t play a factor into it when they are used that way. Personally I try to avoid using them much myself but that is simply personal preference.
It does get to me a bit how many people think Atheists shouldn’t be allowed to say it. Do people have to believe in Thor (or Thunor) to say Thursday? Of course not, it would be ridiculous. It is simply part of our language and as long as it is a common part of our language anyone is free to use it however they please. Of course you could always change it up for fun. Oh my Ra! Oh my Shiva! Oh my Vishnu! Oh my Allah! Buddha damn it! FSM boil it!
Hi, I was raised in a-very-Christian family but have recently become atheist, so, I've been wanting to read the Bible all the way through just so that I can have a thorough understanding of it(and so that I will be able to debate with Christians). The thing is, I don't think I have the stamina to read it by myself and I think it would be beneficial to have someone explain it as I go along because I tried reading some of it and I got confused. I had the idea of going to a local church because some of them offer classes in which they read through the whole Bible. But, I'm worried that it will be too biased. Do you know any websites or books that would be helpful? I also want to read the Koran and there aren't even any mosques within 30 miles of where I live. It's not like I can ask my parents (even though they have pretty good knowledge about the Bible) because I would have to tell them that I'm an athiest. I'll probably never be able to tell them now that I think about it. Anyway, thanks in advance.
Reading the bible can definitely be an endurance test. There are many parts to it that are not really worth while at all (genealogy in particular) and a lot that may not make sense. There is the Atheist Bible study page that often goes over particular passages in more depth. I personally also enjoy The Brick Testament as a site that presents it in a campy fun manner, but is definitely not a serious way to learn the bible. I honestly can’t think of any good sites that I know of that provide help that aren’t strongly religious in nature. I do use Bible Gateway just for passage look ups myself.
Chances are with something as complex and in-depth as the bible you won’t be able to avoid all bias with anyone. There are several versions each with slightly different translations in some passages, people will have different visions with the KJV, NIV, ASV, NKJV, RSV and many more. I’d probably personally recommend RSV because it’s much easier to read than many versions but there are many opinions on which one is “best”.
The Koran/Qu’ran is a quicker read. It is no where near the size of the bible but also has its own issues as well. Since it is so much shorter the vile disgusting nature of it seems to stick out more to me personally. With the Koran I’d actually be a little bit less concerned with seeking out assistance in interpreting it because from everything I’ve come across there are thousands of different views and opinions. Muslims can not seem to agree on many of the most basic things that the Koran says so anyone you talk to is going to have their own personal interpretation of it.
I have a huge problem. My mom and her boyfriend know the president of Goshen college in Indiana, and because of that, he's shaving off $10,000 off my tuition, plus I'm Hispanic so I get money for that, and I got super good SAT scores so I get Financial Aid no matter what. The problem is, it's a Mennonite school. I want to study Anthropology; why on Earth would I go to a school that promotes integration of Christ in education when I want to study the diversity of the human race. To make it more difficult, I want to minor in Religious studies. I feel like going to a Christian school isn't the right idea at all. What do I do?
That does sound like a difficult choice. I don’t honestly know anything about that particular college to provide an opinion on it. Many private colleges can still provide good quality educations. There are many instances of student’s not of a particular faith still going to a religious college. It seems to be more and more common all the time.
What I would look at most is if they are considering to have a good Anthropology department. As long as it generally seems to be a respected college in that field given the perks you could get from going there it may not be so bad. You just want to make sure you don’t end up getting a degree that gets laughed at by everyone in your field for going to a school no one can take serious.
I’m sure the rules on the campus itself would be fairly strict as well, I somewhat doubt it would be a party school. That may or may not be a good thing depending on your outlook. Then again who knows, people repressed by religion the majority of their lives do often like to break out the moment they can get free of their parent’s watchful eye.
There are a lot of factors to take into account when making an important decision like this. Lay out what is important to you and see where the school ends up in your opinion. I’d say try not to let it being a religious college scare you too much though, it can still provide a degree which is often the most important thing, ending up with some kind of degree and $10k less to worry about doesn’t sound too bad.
There are a lot of Christians who believe in evolution. Have you ever considered the possibility of a higher being using evolution as his tool for creation?
I know there are many Christians that are logical enough to recognize evolution as fact. (Facts don’t require belief, evolution is true regardless of who “believes” in it.) I realize many of them like to twist and contort religion and science to try and make them work together, but it’s pointless. Science and religion are incompatible. I’ve considered what you mentioned but don’t pay it any mind because it is simply idiotic. Why add in some “higher power” for no good reason? Why throw in another factor that is not needed, is not shown, and only adds unneeded complexity to the topic? Basically I don’t consider it anymore because I understand science, adding in something like that isn’t science, it’s worthless.
Yes, and to be blunt if you oppose equal rights for any LGBT people you’re an asshole and have a narrow world view. (I mean this in a general sense, not directed to the asker specifically.) This shouldn’t even be a topic of discussion anymore. We have huge life threatening issues facing us at every turn and we’re really still having to argue with a bunch of backwoods idiots if two loving adults should be able to get married? Do we really even need to waste more time on this topic? In the United States, we’re either no longer a first world country or on the verge of losing that, climate change is causing disasters throughout the world and is only getting worse, we have wars and famines in many areas of the world killing thousands and thousands of people every day and people are honestly still worried about 2 guys living together? This is no longer even a topic that should be open to discussion, if it is honestly an issue for someone, they are simply an idiot and their opinion shouldn’t matter or count for anything.