(Closed) Calling All Atheists–Please Give Me Some Insight

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
Member
10288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

1.   In your view, what is responsible for the existence of the universe? Where did the world come from? How did it come into being? I believe in evolution. I don’t know how the universe came to exist.

2.   What are the basic elements of your belief system? I believe that everyone should treat others how they want to be treated and live by their own set or morals. Just try to be a decent human being.

3.    Explain to me in which religion you were raised by your parents, if any. How did your parents approach religion in the home (strict, lax, etc.)? I was raised Catholic but I use the term “raised” loosely. I went to Catholic school so I was pretty much forced into religion but my parents were indifferent on the subject. The older generations in my family are religious (which is why I went to Catholic school) but my parents never were. I received my first communion but that was where my religious upbringing stopped. After I moved away and started attending public school, I no longer had religion shoved in my face. My mother allowed me to come to my own conclusions which led me here.  

4.   What events in your past affected your beliefs about God’s existence (e.g. – I studied biology; comparative religions or anthropology; or I met a boy/girl I liked and was influenced by him/her)? Science can be proven. Gods existence cannot. I can’t believe something that has no weight behind it.

5.    What are your main objections to belief in God’s existence (e.g – suffering; pluralism; hiddenness)? Until I can see some proof, I’ll never believe.

6.    What is your purpose in life, and why did you choose that purpose? Is it just yours, or for everyone else too? I don’t really have a purpose. I don’t think that anyone has a purpose. We’re just here until we die. We can do great things with the time that we spend on Earth but I don’t think that anyone is destined for greatness. You work for what you have and accomplish.

7.    What happens to a person at death? Nothing. They’re dead. The end.

8.    How important is your belief system to you in terms of your decision making process? How does it enter into the ways that you establish priorities and goals? My belief system has nothing to do with my everyday life. I just try to be a decent human being.

9.    If you could say anything you want about what you perceive to be the Christian community, what would you say? What are the problems with the Christian view of reality? What do you like/appreciate about Christians? What do you not like or appreciate? I for-see this question ruffling some feathers but I’ll answer. My main problem with Christianity is the judgment that many of it’s members exude (not all but many that I’ve met in my lifetime). Many Christians believe that their beliefs are right and everyone else is wrong. I have a huge problem with this.

10. Is there anything else you think I should know about atheism from your perspective? We’re not devil worshipers. I’ve yet to meet an atheist who even believes in hell.

11. Please include a little about yourself, for example: age, gender, worldview affiliation, occupation, education level,  married or not, etc. I’m a 26 year old female from NY. I’m an auditor with some higher education (never graduated) and am married.  

Post # 4
Member
3175 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I would define myself as more agnostic than atheist. Most people lump those two together, but I don’t want to skew your results…would you like input from agnostics, as well?

Post # 5
Member
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I can see this thread getting really heated. I’m ust leaving a comment so I can find this later when I have time to answer the questions for you properly. Hopefully people just answer the questions and no one gets angry.

Post # 7
Member
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m really confused. I responded to this thread about an hour ago, and that thread (along with the other responses) disappeared.  Did the mods shut it down for some reason? Anyway, I’m too lazy to retype everything I typed before.

Post # 8
Member
4327 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 1992

Glad to oblige, Doll!

 

1. I am by no means a scientist, and I do not pretend to know absolutely what created the universe. There are theories now in which the entire universe as we see it is a component of a very LARGE life; we are but microscopic bits compared to the rest of it. I think that’s an interesting theory emerging, and I’m interested in learning more about it. The most sensible creation is the Big Bang theory, but as science introduces evidence to prove other theories, I would be open to learning more about them.

2. This question is too broad. I don’t understand what you want from me here. What “belief system?” A spiritual one? I think I identify with the ideals of a Buddhist existence, in which one should be mindful of experiences at all times, and be engaged in life, because it is what you make of it.

3. Erhm… Difficult question, because my parents were teenagers when I hit the scene. I had an interesting dichotomy going between parents’ home and grandparents’ home. My grandparents each were Catholic families, and are the basis for my religious experiences. My parents on the other hand, had a lackadaisical attitude about religion. If my sister or I had questions about a religious principle, our parents generally answered with a Catholic response, but they did not push it upon us weekly like my grandparents did with church visits.

4. There were varying factors which lead me to an agnostic / athiest belief system. I think the pivotol moment for me though happened in high school when my history class really delved into religious wars. Total destruction during the crusades, wars being fought in the middle east, an entire holocaust against a religion in the same century I was born…. All because of a “guy” no one could prove existed. It made no sense to me. It seemed that religion perpetuated more hate than it produced love, in terms of the larger scale anyway. And the control the Catholic Church had on people in the middle ages… dont’ get me started. I thought about how vehemently each side fought for their “faith,” but no one could say with certainty which side was right. It just seemed so stupid.

I would be remiss if I did not mention something that happened before this though: My father expatriated himself from the Catholic Church and in the early 1990’s, began listening to a radio program designed by Harold Camping. Harold Camping INSISTED that the world was coming to an end in 1994, and my father would tell my sister and I that we needed to repent, because we’d be dead soon. He bought us bibles, he cried, he pleaded, he scared us shitless… We were 12 & 13 each. And the next day after the world was due to end, we woke up. And the world continued to turn. After climbing in the same bed together, clutching eachother with gut-wrenching fear that the world was going to explode, my sister and I felt ridiculous when the sun came up, the birds tweeted, and no rapture was happening. I think that was my first taste of scepticism, and the above example from my high school days just solidified it for me.

5. Just logically thinking about the Greek God system, in which the Greeks made up fictitious characters to explain events around them— it makes sense. People want answers as to why things happen. Because our earlier ancestors did not have the means to REALLY answer these questions, they started making up things their brains could handle. I think all religions serve this function. And there isn’t anything wrong with a series of stories explaining the unfathomable… but when there is proof to an earthly event that puts the argument to rest, it discredits the concept of “God.”

6. I don’t pretend to know what my definitive purpose is. I think this is a fluid answer, that evolves as life goes on. Ask a teenager, they might tell you their purpose is to be popular, and well liked. It’s all relative. On a higher level, I am still figuring out my place in the world, how I best serve myself and those who I love, and I hope I never stop improving.

7. Of course their body ceases to function, but in a sense, I can’t allow my mind to accept that a spirit ever stops existing. Why? Because it’s too painful to think that the friends and family I’ve lost over the years just GO AWAY forever. In that way, I think my mind is making up an explanation for this, because it’s too depressing to choose to believe what is probably the truth. But I’ve never died before, so I don’t know what “truth” is.

8. This is a subjective question. I think I seek out goals and priorities based on societal norms, and pursue the types of goals that best suit my personality type, and give me a sense of satisfaction. In terms of religion, I don’t let it influence me and how I conduct myself, but my choices may coincide with popular religious rules. For example, it’s a personal practice of mine not to kill others, but “Thou Shall Not Kill” does not impact my decision not to.

9. I don’t think this question is fair. This is setting people up to attack Christianity specifically. Why aren’t other religions addressed? This question seems to assume that Christianity is the RIGHT religion. But I will take a stab at it.

MY experience with Christianity has not been a good one, and mostly because of my father. I mentioned his irrational allegiance to the Harold Camping movement in 1994. The idiot got sucked into this same junk in 2011 when the world was supposedly going to begin rapture on May 21, 2011. He didn’t learn. But the entire time, he was so pushy about his beliefs, and insisting everyone else was wrong, and was riding this religious high horse because of it. To that end, because of my extreme experience, I tend to get terribly defensive when other people begin spouting Christianity at me, and judging other people for not being a “good Christian.” There is almost an intolerance out there for those who do not buy into Christianity. What’s good about Christianity? It provides a moral basis for people who need someone else to instruct them on how to live their lives. What are problems with Christianity? People read a text which has been translated over and over again, and take the precise words in a literal way. And they pick and choose what to believe, based on their own preferences. Religion cannot be a la carte. It’s either all or nothing, otherwise you’re not being a good little follower bee.

10. Not especially.

11. I am 30, female, the definition of “worldview affiliation” is not clearly defined for me, so I will not answer. I am pursuing a curatorial / collections career (museum industry), and I am presently earning my degree to that end, and am married.

Post # 9
Member
9631 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@MissB2MrsO:   Thank you so much for posting this thread!  I’m not an atheist, but I’m very interested in learning others’ opinions and beliefs.

 @UpstateCait:   I for-see this question ruffling some feathers but I’ll answer. My main problem with Christianity is the judgment that many of it’s members exude (not all but many that I’ve met in my lifetime). Many Christians believe that their beliefs are right and everyone else is wrong. I have a huge problem with this.

 As a Christian – this is the exact same problem I have with * some * other Christians as well.  I don’t understand the point in being close-minded.  I believe in being respectful of everyone regardless of whether they believe as I do or not.  Live and let live.

I’ll be following this and hope a lot of people respond.  🙂

Post # 10
Member
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I wrote a really long reply and it said the thread was closed 🙁

OP you cna feel free to PM me if you want my answers but I can’t type them all in the thread again and have it say Thread Closed again… I’d be cranky! 

Post # 11
Member
6598 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

1.    In your view, what is responsible for the existence of the universe? Where did the world come from? How did it come into being? 

             – Big Bang Theory. Although, we (scientists) do not currently understand how the original molecules came about to create the big bang, I have Faith that there is a scientific explanaition for it.

2.   What are the basic elements of your belief system?

             – Science is the fundamental element of my belief system. I believe that there is no higher power and that everything has a scientific explanaition even if we do not yet understand it. 

3.    Explain to me in which religion you were raised by your parents, if any. How did your parents approach religion in the home (strict, lax, etc.)?

             – My parents raised me with Christian values. I did attend sunday school when I was really young and we used to read biblical bedtime stories; however, the issue was never forced on us in everyday life (meaning god was not brought into day to day life discussions). My mother started questioning the exsistence of god when my 4 year brother died of menengitis; however, I did not know this until much later in my life. As a child my parents exposed me to any religion I asked about and always said my faith was my choice to make.

4.   What events in your past affected your beliefs about God’s existence (e.g. – I studied biology; comparative religions or anthropology; or I met a boy/girl I liked and was influenced by him/her)?

            – I started questioning religion, before I started questioning the existence of god. I started questioning religion when I was in highschool and learnt about religion and it’s relationship with war. Once I discovered this relationship I started to look further into why people ‘needed/wanted’ to have religion in their life. This is when I realized that I did not need nor want religion in my life and started to question the existence of god.

5.    What are your main objections to belief in God’s existence (e.g – suffering; pluralism; hiddenness)?

             – I don’t have any objections to the belief in god’s existence really, I just don’t believe there is a higher power. Scientific explanaitions just make a lot more sense to me and there is proof in the scientific theories that currently exist. To me religion was created as a guideline of morals and values to help people follow and live their life well. I believe that my personal morals are strong enough that I do not need a religion to help follow them. 

6.    What is your purpose in life, and why did you choose that purpose? Is it just yours, or for everyone else too?

             – My purpose in life is to be happy. In my career my purpose is to educate the younger population in anatomical sciences. In my personal life my purpose is to live a happy life with my husband and hopefully in the future with my children. And when I have children my purpose is to raise them well, with good morals and values, educate them well and allow them to live out their own lives so that they can find their purpose in life.

7.    What happens to a person at death?

             – You die, basically! We are all made of carbon and when we die I believe that we should follow the circle of life and give our carbon back to the earth. I find that a lot of people find religion so that they can believe there is something after death and I can respect that. Those same people seem to think that my outlook on death is disturbing and morbid. I think it’s beautiful – it’s the circle of life. As I mentioned previously, I work in anatomical sciences and I work with cadavers (dead humans) daily. I am around death all the time and it doesn’t bother me, death is just a part of life. I want to give back with my body and so I will be donating my body to science to help educate the younger generation even after I die. And then when the University is finished I will be cremated and my ashes will be put in a cemetary plot and my carbon will be given back to the earth.

8.    How important is your belief system to you in terms of your decision making process? How does it enter into the ways that you establish priorities and goals?

               – I don’t believe my belief or my disbelief in god has any affect on my decision making process. My decisions, goals and priorities are established via my and my husband’s personal values; religion, god or science does not have anything to do with it.

9.    If you could say anything you want about what you perceive to be the Christian community, what would you say? What are the problems with the Christian view of reality? What do you like/appreciate about Christians? What do you not like or appreciate?

               – I respect other people’s beliefs and choices; however, I am not going to push my beliefs on anyone and I do not want anyone to push their beliefs on me.

               – The only problem I have with religion is I believe that politics and religion should be 100% separate. I do not think anyones religious views should have any weight on what happens in the governing of a country.

10. Is there anything else you think I should know about atheism from your perspective?

               – I think that about covers it!

11. Please include a little about yourself, for example: age, gender, worldview affiliation, occupation, education level,  married or not, etc.

  • Age – 29
  • Gender – Female
  • Worldview/Affiliation – Athiest
  • Occupation/Education – BSc, MSc, PhD Candidate (finishing in 5 months) already have an Assistant Professor Position lined up for January 2013
  • Marital Status – Married
  • Sexual Orientation – Heterosexual

         

Post # 15
Member
10288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Boston Bee:  Yea, it was shut down because it violated the TOS due to the OP doing research for a school project. This thread shouldn’t be shut down since it doesn’t break any of the rules. 

ETA: OP beat me to it. 🙂

The topic ‘Calling All Atheists–Please Give Me Some Insight’ is closed to new replies.

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