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

posted 8 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 109
Member
3580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@MissB2MrsO:  Ahh, yes.  We should totally do one of these for the Muslim community on the Bee.  They received so much shit undeservedly.  Actually, they still do.  🙁

Post # 110
Member
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@WillyNilly:  I would love to know more about the Buddist Philosophy, or Hinduism!

Post # 111
Member
102 posts
Blushing bee

Just wanting to comment so I can come back to this. This has been really thought provoking, especially as I still struggle with nailing down my beliefs as I am a Catholic-raised agnostic who doesn’t identify with the traditional connotation of “God”. Anyway, I hope this discussion keeps going!

Post # 112
Member
11231 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@takemyhand:  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’m glad I’m not the only one who believes she’s going to be an angry old lady lol. 

Post # 113
Member
3580 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Tangled:  The reasons why I fell in love with Buddhism and Paganism was it’s devotion to the rest of the world.  It’s all about not wasting your time on negativity and respecting your surroundings, concentrating on personal discipline, putting energy out into the world in a positive way and being good to one another.  Of course there is a lot more to it than that but we can easily say that Christianity has the same guiding principles, or any religion as the ‘I’m a Christian unless’ article states.  It’s alllll about the practice.  Although, I have never met a corrupt Buddhist!  lol

Post # 114
Member
1812 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@MissB2MrsO:  Really great, interesting thread to start!  I’m just starting to read the responses now.

Post # 115
Member
1812 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

@StuporDuck:  With you on this.  I have faith, but religion to me is too political.  I believe in God, but I have problems with the bible and how it is twisted by many people to suit their needs and beliefs.  Faith is something personal which I don’t believe one needs a building or symbols to have, religion is more a business. 

I used to be Methodist and was disgusted with the many actions of our chapel (announcing how much each family paid the church every year – errr sorry – The Old Woman with a Silver Coin?), snobbery (we were a poor family and were treated like dog poo on the shoes of the rich in our church).  I was baptized into Greek Orthodox last year as I do go to church here and also to marry in the church. 

I’ve just started reading Greek Mythology, and was amazed at many of the similarities between that and the Old Testament.  Prometheus and Moses – could be twins literally! Pandora and Eve both are blamed for suffering of mankind. (Pandora with her box and Eve with that Apple)

Zeus’ birth is a loose mirror of Jesus’ birth.  Both births were announce in a prophecy and the King(Herod)/God (Cronus) would loose their power to these child demanded that they are killed.  Both mothers went into hiding to give birth and raise sons who eventually go on to become King/God of the people.

If you look at a lot of ancient stories from various countries, you will see many mirroring of stories-  which does raise a question about the validity of the Bible.

Post # 116
Member
2808 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I haven’t particiapted in this thread (somewhat atheist/rather complicated so I don’t want to get into it) since most of what I would say has been said.

I  just want to point out how awesome all of you ladies are for having a respectful, mature, discussion about your differing beliefs. Kudos 🙂

Post # 117
Member
2491 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@vorpalette:  I think my life will be boring if I don’t cause at least a BIT of havoc! For some reason I always think of getting old like one of The Simpson characters.

 

ETA: As soon as I posted this, I realized there is SOMETHING that bothers me abou tbeing an athiest/agnostic that some people don’t get.

1. I believe in something. I am moral. Just because I don’t have a god that I am accountable to, does not mean I eat puppies and harm children for fun.

2. I can relate to Christian references and am not offended if you use a Christian saying/idiom/etc around me. So many people will say things like, “Thank God!” and then look at me with this apologetic look. I guess the difference is that I say it as a saying, just like I might say, “cherry on top”, and Christians usually say that literally… and with a capital G 😉

Post # 118
Member
9976 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@MrsCarnival:   + 1. 

This is an enlightening and intelligently written thread.  I love everyone getting along and being tolerant of each other even if/when disagreeing. 

This is the Bee I know and love.

Post # 119
Member
9976 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@WillyNilly:  The reasons why I fell in love with Buddhism and Paganism was it’s devotion to the rest of the world.  It’s all about not wasting your time on negativity and respecting your surroundings, concentrating on personal discipline, putting energy out into the world in a positive way and being good to one another. 

I love this!  This is the kind of Christian I am.  It’s so hard to explain to people I know who are stuck in their organized religious “church” thing.  I told my Fiance not long ago that I must have my own individual brand of Christianity because I have such a different way of thinking about my faith than almost anyone I know.  Some of my “Christian” friends are so quick to point the finger at someone else and say, “burn in hell if you don’t believe as I do,” and I just cannot agree with that.

I’m also very drawn to Buddishm and Wicca for the exact same reasons you stated.  We must be sisters in spirit or something, I swear.  (I hope you’ve forgiven me for the other thread Embarassed ).

I went to our local Pagan Festival last year and had the most fun and met the most kind, considerate and interesting people and, although I’m Christian and said so, not ONE of them put me down or made me feel out of place or misunderstood.   Ironic, huh? 

Love you!!!

Post # 120
Member
1714 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

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?- Pretty sure multiple advances in quantum and particle physics are answering this question as we speak. It is only a matter of time. I do think the Big Bang occurred many many billions of years ago.
I also consider the theory of evolution and abiogenesis to be wholeheartedly true, though with so much evidence supporting it, it should not be a question of ‘believing’ it is true. Yet for some people, sadly, it is. One thing that irks me incredibly is how creationists often mix up the layman and scientific contexts of ‘theory’. You remind them that the theory of gravity is a theory, yet you don’t see many of them doubting that theory. 

2. What are the basic elements of your belief system?- I believe we are all innately moral, in one form or another, and that we do not need to derive our morals from religion (certainly not from books which advocate misogyny, rape and genocide as perfectly acceptable).- If you are religious, suit yourself, fine. But I am of the mindset that religion should be kept behind your house doors, I don’t know why people want to flaunt their religion out of their home. –  I just find religion fairly irrational in many aspects, and I find that what people do in the name of religion utterly baffling and ridiculous. – I am what one might term a humanist. – I see no reason why we should ‘respect’ people for their religious views. It’s not something you have achieved, it’s not something in my eyes to be remarkably proud of. We can discuss views on politics, on various moral dilemmas, and other things, but the minute we start discussing religion, oh nooooo the horror! No, that is not fair, and I see no reason why I should give anyone ‘respect’. Respect has to be earned for me, and merely having a faith in something is not worthy of respect in my eyes. Having said that, I am mature enough to realise in certain situations (such as in the workplace), one must keep their views to themselves, and especially as a doctor, you must treat everyone in the same way – you cannot pick or choose who you treat (not that I ever would, it is horrifically unethical and if a potential doctor were to consider doing that, they should  not go into med school at all).  

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 family are Hindu. It was fairly strict at home, but things have certainly relaxed whilst I have ‘come out’ as an Atheist.  

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 am a very scientifically-minded person. I consider Atheism as a sort of null-hypothesis position, which has yet to be disproved in my eyes. – Growing up, I considered it incredibly useless, all these poncey rituals and prayers. From a young age, I felt the whole lot of it was complete crap. I did not understand what gratification they give people, aside from some sort of placebo effect.  

5. What are your main objections to belief in God’s existence (e.g – suffering; pluralism; hiddenness)?- Hm, where to start? Lol. For a start, there are so many inconsistencies in the philosophies of various religions, not to mention the amount of hypocrisy. I think prayer is utterly and completely futile, with having an effect that is at best a pseudo-placebo effect. The idea of a ‘personal god’ (one whom you pray to and expect to be answered) is so, so ridiculous. If there were a higher power, I highly doubt he would be sitting there, answering people’s prayers. Pretty sure he has other things to do in this universe he supposedly created. Not to mention the HUGE amount of suffering and inconsistencies in this higher power’s reasoning and logic. If he were to actually exist, he is a sick, deranged, misogynistic, murdering genocidal psychopath. Too many reasons to list here, those are only some, but I think this quote by Epicurus sums it up for me succinctly enough for this question:

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?Then he is not omnipotent.Is he able, but not willing?Then he is malevolent.Is he both able and willing?Then whence cometh evil?Is he neither able nor willing?Then why call him God?”

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 of the greatest use I can be for humanity, and to enjoy my life. So I am applying to med school this September. I chose this goal because it’s a job I feel will incorporate many things I want in life into one neat package as it were. 

7. What happens to a person at death?- Depends on how you’re disposed of. If you’re cremated, you turn into ashes. If you’re buried, you slowly rot in the ground, deomposing, and being used as food for other organisms and therefore continuing this natural circle of life. http://thankgodforevolution.com/node/1960 I feel this sums it up for me very nicely.  

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?-Doesn’t really affect my decision-making process. Rather, my Atheism IS a result of my decision-making processes (in the sense it is a carefully calculated conclusion reached after rigorous thought and analysis).  

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?- many of the moderate Christians I have met do not seem to read a lot of the Bible. A lot of them have admitted to ‘skipping out’ the foul and disgusting parts, and merely focusing on the good parts. Whilst I admit the Bible might have some nice pieces of advice, I don’t see how someone can merely pick and choose as a part of their faith. -As for the fundamentalists I have had the dire misfortune of meeting, I  have often left the discussion incredibly inflamed, disgusted, horrified, or a mixture of these feelings. They have an incredibly skewed view of reality, which is absolutely revolting at the best of times.  -I do not appreciate how many of them consider themselves to be the ‘chosen ones’ and if you are not a Christian, you are immediately going to hell/a horrible person with no morals. They also seem to think their religion is the one true religion, based on what the Bible says/what they have been taught (which in itself raises several questions, which they never seem keen on answering for some reason). -I think many Christians are skewed in their view of the world, of the people that live in it and the various other faiths that can be found. I also think they are skewed about how horrible the Judeo-Christian god actually IS, the acts he supposedly commits throughout the bible are atrocious to say the least. 

10. Is there anything else you think I should know about atheism from your perspective?- I’m an Agnostic Atheist, which means I am 99.999999% sure that there is no higher power of any sort, but there is always a tiny room for gap. – I do not understand the point of faith – for me, there is no logical basis in saying ‘Because I believe it so’. Sure, it might give some people ‘strength’ in hard times, but I know there are many people who do just fine without faith. I guess everyone is different. – It also irritates me when people ask to prove that a higher power does NOT exist – THEY are the ones making a claim, they should be the ones proving it.  

11. Please include a little about yourself, for example: age, gender, worldview affiliation, occupation, education level, married or not, etc.- I am 20. I am female. I am a student, I am in my last year of studying  Philosophy and Psychology, and I am applying to medical school in September. I consider myself a humanist, which this definition by the British Humanist Society: ‘Throughout recorded history there have been non-religious people who have believed that this life is the only life we have, that the universe is a natural phenomenon with no supernatural side, and that we can live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. They have trusted to the scientific method, evidence and reason to discover truths about the universe and placed human welfare and happiness at the centre of their ethical decision making.’ It enables me to be responsible for MY actions, instead of attributing everything to some ridiculous ‘divine plan’ or higher power. My failures are my failures, my achievements are MY achievements. I’m not married, but I am in a new relationship (he is an atheist too).  

Post # 121
Member
1714 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

@Tangled:  Don’t be fooled by Hinduism, it’s just as messed up and inconsistent as the other religions. 

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