@Ms.Sugarsnap: FH and I are childfree forever, but if we did have kids, yes, we would tell them that one day everyone dies. I’d soften it in a “circle of life” kind of way, saying that you die and become part of the Earth. If I thought they’d understand, I’d explain conservation of matter and the origins of our atoms from the explosions of stars, and how those atoms will continue on after you die, just arranged differently. ;D
I saw a survey not long ago that stated that atheists in America were considered about as trustworthy as rapists. http://reason.com/blog/2011/12/01/believers-rate-atheists-about-as-trustwo
“A description of a criminally untrustworthy individual was seen as comparably representative of atheists and rapists, but not representative of Christians, Muslims, Jewish people, feminists, or homosexuals (Studies 2-4).”
So. Some religious ideals are fine, honesty, loyalty, forgiveness, being kind to others… but a lot of the OTHER stuff that goes along with it is incredibly damaging to society in my opinion, and until that OTHER stuff (homophobia, misogyny, sex-negativity, xenophobia, hatefulness, anti-intellectualism, general prescriptiveness about the life script by which people “ought” to live) can be removed and forgotten, I will disapprove highly of any dogmatic religion that involves those things. (In terms of faiths or denominations not so dogmatic, I’m very “whatever live and let live.”)
I don’t have a problem with anyone of any faith who rejects those negative things that so often seem to accompany organized religion. I’ve met quite a few people like that and they’re wonderful. I respect the way they distance themselves from the people who make the faithful look bad.
I also don’t make any assumptions about whether someone does or doesn’t espouse those negative associations. Certainly I would never go against someone for their faith. On an individual level, there’s no reason we all can’t get along — it’s not about any individual and their beliefs, it’s the institution I dislike.
I’m beyond sick of people saying I can’t have morals or be a good person without god, or that without god there’s no purpose. How sad that sounds to me, when to me it seems of higher value to strive to be good even though you don’t believe in any certain rewards or punishments after death, to be generous because you want to be, not because you fear hell or desire heaven. And I am proud to define my own purpose in life.
Also, if you actually read the old testament, (and similar religious texts) god seems like kind of a jerk. Just saying.