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

posted 8 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 92
Member
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012 - Hacienda los Agaves

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 and in some way Oparin’s theory of the origin of organic molecules from the primitive world’s conditions and it’s subsequent evolution.

2. What are the basic elements of your belief system?
We’re here by both mistake and good luck, we evolved and continue evolving.

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 reaised catholic, my parents were not strict but my mom tried to take us to mass every sunday, I was actually in the church choir.

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’t’s weird cause I came up with it myself, one day at sunday school (I was about 12) I started thinking this Adam and Eve thing could not be true (I’ve heard the evolution theory by then) and it all started from then.

5. What are your main objections to belief in God’s existence (e.g – suffering; pluralism; hiddenness)?
It’s not God, it’s religion, it’s sometimes restrictive and strict on people. My only objection with God’s belief is how some people think it’s going to solve and fix their lives and that stops them from acting for themselves, but to each thir own.

6. What is your purpose in life, and why did you choose that purpose? Is it just yours, or for everyone else too?
Live, go through this, reproduce; we’re programmed for it.

7. What happens to a person at death? Nothing, you just turn off and that’s it.

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?
It shouldn’t affect, I believe what I believe, I know what’s right and wrong and act accordingly to 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?
The belief is not a problem, I personally think it sounds great to have that comfort and hope, but sometimes people can be judgemental and offensive because they think they’re following what religion tells them. A lot of religious people have a “my way or the highway” view of life and that’s really difficult to handle.

10. Is there anything else you think I should know about atheism from your perspective?
As the way some people believe in God, I believe in evolution, I don’t go telling people God doesn’t exist and they’re wrong by believing in them, so they should not come and tell me I’m being foolish and going to hell for not believing.

11. Please include a little about yourself, for example: age, gender, worldview affiliation, occupation, education level, married or not, etc.
Engaged, 23 year old female. University graduate in Biotechnology. Mexican, raised in a catholic culture.

Post # 93
Member
367 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

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. Evolution. My question is if god created us, who created god? It’s the same arguement for the big bang theory. We don’t know how it started or what was before it but you can’t use that arguement then not have an answer as to what was prior to god.

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

Science. I was watching a David Attenborough show once with my Future Mother-In-Law (who is christian) and she kept saying she couldn’t believe that he wasn’t a christian after everything he has seen. I said I could because he has seen evolution and all the proof first hand. He believes in the facts that he has witnessed.

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 weren’t religious so it was never pushed onto me. My sister went to Sunday school but I didn’t (???) We never went to Sunday mass or anything like that. My fiance was forced to as a kid and really hated going.

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)?

As I was never raised to believe in any religion its kind of hard for me to answer. I’ve never seen anything in religion that would make me change my mind. Religion causes so much hate and fighting we probably would be better off without it. Lots of wars have been fought over the years because two groups of people believe two different things it’s just sad that people should die over it.

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

I have no real objection but I think there is too much evidence about how the world was created by the big bang theory. There is so much proof of evolution I can’t really argue with it. I haven’t seen any real proof that anything in the bible or god is real.

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 think I have a ‘purpose’ in life. Just to do the best you can and be as happy as you can with your decisions. I’m not accountable to anyone but myself. I can be proud with how I’ve got through life.

7. What happens to a person at death?

I don’t think it’s cut and dry heaven and hell but I’d like to think there is an afterlife. Just not what the bible tells you.

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 think it affects much in my life in terms of decision making. I really appreiciate the world around us because I think of the years of evolution it too to get to this. Sad that we are messing it up.

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 have no problem with people of any religion I just find it very hypocritical. Where I live every Friday night a group of Christians meet at a shopping mall and yell at the people going by that god hates you and god will punish us. They just make me think that if they are right god’s a jerk. They go on about how god hates this and that but if religion is correct didn’t god create everything anyway? I don’t like people trying to force their belief on me. My Future Mother-In-Law has tried on mulitple occations to get me to church.

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

I think that as long as people treat each other well and people try to be as good a person as they can religion isn’t important. It should be able how good a person you can be not how much you can pray. That being said I think as long as everyone can respect each others choices the world would be a better place. Athiest, christain, muslim, buddist, who cares, just get on.

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

23, Female, administration, TAFE, engaged.

Post # 94
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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 don’t know. I’d be interested if someone came up with a very well-supported theory, but not knowing doesn’t really bother me. I feel there are far more important things to worry about.

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

Respect other people and creatures and respect yourself. Do your best to be a valuable member of society.

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 are atheists, but were both raised in Anglican homes. I had scripture lessons in primary school, but didn’t connect with the teachings at all. I asked my parents about opting out (as was allowed) and they were happy to write a letter to the school asking me to be excluded. They didn’t push their atheism on me at all but I never came across a reason to go against their beliefs.

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 was never taught to believe in God, and I have never seen any evidence for myself that God exists, so I have no reason to believe it.

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

I just don’t see how it’s necessary. I can’t see what separates believing in God from believing in Santa Claus. There are also so many contradictions involved in believing in God that I just can’t see a rational reason for doing so.

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 (and everyone else’s, I believe), is to be a functioning, valuable member of the society I live in. There is no bigger plan than that, but I’m not completely nihilistic.

7. What happens to a person at death?

A person’s personality and knowledge (‘soul’ to other people, maybe) disappears when the body dies. If the physical elements that supported the existence of someone’s personality are gone, then how can that personality live on in anything but other people’s memories? Also, I really like the idea of bodies being re-absorbed back in to the earth and contributing something back to the planet — for this reason I could never support cremation for myself.

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 think it’s infused in every decision I make, but I don’t have a written set of rules to follow. I go by what I’ve learnt is right throughout my life. I follow my gut a lot.

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 feel like there are people who get trapped by Christianity (and other religions). One of the problems I see with Christianity is this terrible fear some people develop of being another way (but Christian), and of their loved ones being another way. If someone decides to reject the religion for any reasons, respect that and keep loving them for who they are. It baffles me how some Christians don’t see the hypocrisy inherent in the religion. Christianity is on the right track with fostering a real sense of social responsibility, which I really appreciate, but there needs to be total inclusiveness.

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

Atheism is a belief system just like Christianity. It’s not organised, and we all have different rules, but I see more value in developing my own moral codes and rules than blindly following the pack. I have real respect for Christians who manage to do the same within the boundaries of Christianity (eg. Christian supporters of gay rights). 

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

I’m a 27-year-old Australian, white, middle-class female in a long-term relationship (with a man, but I identify as pansexual). I am about to complete a bachelor’s degree in History and hope to have an academic career in the future.

I am quite happy for people to (respectfully) challenge me on my views if anyone feels it’s called for. I tried to answer this as honestly as possibly, but if I’ve revealed any of my own prejudices or any hypocrisy here I’d like to be called out on it.

Post # 95
Member
2491 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

That truly freaks me out! I am not arguing with this belief at all, but I am wondering if anyone here that has answered the death question with that response is afraid of dying?


I am afraid of dying now. I feel like I haven’t done everything that I want to do. It is my hope that when I am an old lady in a nursing home, senile and angry, I will be ready to go when it’s time to go. I don’t believe that there is a “happy ever after” place that we go to that is filled with love, rainbows and glitter. Because of this, I make it my number one priority to live my life to its fullest now. I know most Christians live life to the best of their ability to enter Heaven, but not believing that there is one, any mistake that I make is permenent until I physically fix it (no asking god for forgiveness). If I choose to do crap all with my life, than thats it. No more chances. My life sucked.

Then again, maybe this is why I have an extreme phobia of needles and do not like heights, turbulance on airplanes and water!

Post # 96
Member
3683 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 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 the Big Bang and evolution.  Not sure how that started exactly, but I’m sure science has an explanation we haven’t figured out yet.

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

I believe in being a good person, treating others as I would like to be treated, and always trying to do the right thing.

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 mom was Lutheran and my dad is either atheist/agnostic.  I went to kindergarten at a Lutheran school and mom took my sister and me to Sunday school.  (Dad stayed home to tape the cartoons we missed on Sunday)  When I was in first grade, we moved to Germany, and the chapel on the Army base just wasn’t comparable to our old church, so we stopped going.  I feel like my morals were already set at that point, but childhood was when I started quesioning the existance of a higher being.

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 makes sense to me.  There’s proof.  I also can’t stand how for thousands of years, people have been destroying each other for religious reasons.

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

I don’t have an actual objection to God’s existence.  I just don’t want to follow anything blindly.  I like neat, tidy, scientifically provable things.

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

I’m not certain that I even have one.

7. What happens to a person at death?

People are made of a carbon-based body and energy.  I think the energy leaves the body and is recycled.  Not necessarily in a reincarnation sort of way, though.

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 only comes into play in a right/wrong type of situation.  The rest of the time, I just try to make the decision that doesn’t hurt anybody else.

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 know that Christianity brings comfort to a lot of people.  And for the most part, Christians are very nice people.  I just don’t like the individuals out there who try to push any religion on me.

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

Nope.

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

age 30, female, married, in college working on my bachelor’s degree

Post # 99
Member
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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?

Something beyond my comprehension, perhaps some astrophysicists can explain it. I do know the universe is more vast than the human brain can comprehend.

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

I don’t have a belief system perse… I have maybe a few basic rules:

a) follow the golden rule

b) do not ascribe to any -isms, political/religious or otherwise. Always think about each point of view critically

c) do not idolize any other humans, no human knows any absolute truths, always consider what brought them to their point of view.

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

Orthodox christian. Went to church every week in childhood, did religion studies in elementary school. By the time we were teenagers, my parents stopped forcing us to go to church and let us decide whether or not to go with them.

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 lost my belief in God somwhere between the ages of 10-12. I can’t pin point a specific event, it faded away along with a belief in fairy tales and the like.

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

Religion is an easy form of social control, and the bible fully reflects the bias of Bronze age goat farmers. Additionally the bible discusses women in an abhorent way, which makes me feel uncomfortable and again reflects Bronze Age ideals. Overall there’s too many flaws for it to be a book of absolute truth.

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 know; however, I treat my life as my one chance to experience as much of the world as possible.

7. What happens to a person at death?

Likely nothing. This is okay, because it reminds me not to waste my time here!

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 consider myself a critical thinker who always tries to find multiple points of view on every issue. I can’t say i have a “belief system”. The things I know/believe change as I learn more about the world.

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 appreciate that most of them are normal harmless people. I do not appreciate the many brands of Christianity that are clearly money grubbing as well as the ones  that are preventing the happiness of other, such as the groups that oppose gay marriage and claim women are inferior to men.

I was pretty tolerant towards Christians, until I met Fiance. FI had a very strict Christian upbringing that brought him a lot of discomfort and isolation. I’ve become more angry towards funamentalist type Christians because I see the impact it has had on him. He is now an agnostic.

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

 Athiests are in no way organized. We are individuals that are not bonded togehter in a group such as a church, thus our beliefs/world views can be very varried. Our one common thread is a lack of belief in religion.. that’s all. 

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

24, Bachelors Degree (starting masters next year), ESL teacher, will be married soon 🙂

Post # 100
Member
1497 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Although I am a Christian, I have found this thred to be so interesting. Honestly, I think a lot of the reason that non-Christians are so turned off by Christians is that there are not more honest, respectful conversations like this. Things tend to get all hell, fire, and brimstone heated and we miss out on opportunities to learn about each other and appreciate each other’s points of view.

I believe very strongly in my faith. Why then would someone else not be able to believe just as strongly in their faith or their non-faith (so to speak)? Think we all, Christians and nonChristians alike, get our blinders on and tend to focus on what is “wrong” with the other person’s views instead of looking at the whole picture.

Truthfully, I’m commenting so that I can subscribe but also to say thanks to everyone for sharing their views!

Post # 103
Member
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

@StuporDuck:  I agree with you. My cells will be broken up and my molecules will be used for new life. But in my mind this is not me anymore. I am the combination of all of my parts, I am the combination of my DNA molecules into cells, and my cells into tissues, blah blah blah to the whole organism. Once those tissues are broken down into DNA proteins and the protiens themselves are broken down it’s not me anymore.

Post # 105
Member
358 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

would just like to follow this so I can read all answers later. =D

Post # 106
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

@MissB2MrsO:  Yep, that’s exactly right. In terms of who I’m attracted to, gender is irrelevant. A lot of people want to pigeonhole me as bisexual but I don’t completely identify with it.

My sexuality is actually another reason that I’m glad I’m an atheist — had I been brought up as a Christian (or as part of another organised religion), I would probably have suffered from a lot of unnecessary guilt/shame/denial. I feel that I really got lucky with that. 

I want to thank you, as well, just for asking about atheism in the first place. It’s very rare that someone (who is not already an atheist or agnostic) wants to talk about it without the aim of trying to convert me. Smile 

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