How My Beliefs Influence My Understanding: I acknowledge that humans and humanity are both spectacular and unimportant at the same time in the sense that from approximately 3.5 billion years of life and adaptation, life that understands itself came about through the simple process of adaptation and survival— but it all still pales in comparison to the amazing wonders that exist out in the universe, from the revolution of electrons around protons to fields of gas hundreds of light years across in which stars are born. This has caused me to view myself as something completely inconsequential, but able to fully recognize and acknowledge what I do have control over.
How People View Me Due to my Beliefs: I’ve received a wide variety of reactions to people learning about my atheism, from disgust to mild admiration, but most often- indifference. This may be due my heavy involvement in Theatre, which is generally a more loving and accepting work environment than others.
Do I Believe I’m Treated Differently? Yes and no. I don’t think people really care about my non-belief (for the most part.) I will, however, get a good-natured ribbing if I’m caught saying “Ohmigod” or “Bless You” when someone sneezes. I surround myself with good people, so I generally receive negative treatment due to my atheism.
Do I Fear Other People’s Ridicule? The ridicule itself? No. The treatment from other’s who feel that it’s acceptable to ridicule me? To an extent. In an environment where people feel that it’s acceptable to demean and demonize certain people, action and assault against said people is certain to follow. I have been verbally assaulted and escorted from a place of business.
How Do I Want to be Viewed: As an autonomous individual who most likely has a very good reason to believe what he does and may understand the tenets of religion just as well (or maybe even better!) than those who wish to force them upon him.
How do I React to Questions About and Discuss Religion: These are important questions about the nature of humanity and its place in the universe, so I take these questions very seriously. I will make certain that people know my background on religious studies (seven years’ worth, and still going) and know that I have a tendency to be blunt and to the point in answers and discussion without regard to any emotional connection others may have to the beliefs in question.
Will My Beliefs Ever Change? I expect my worldview to change and evolve with my life experience. Do I ever expect to return to religion in any form? No; as I’ve said before, it would take a fantastic amount of evidence to turn me to any religion… and if that evidence were existent and available, there would be many, many more adherents than currently exist.
How Do I View Myself? I’m just a person, no better or worse than any other. I have my goals that I intend to reach before I die, and I hope to stave off death as long as possible while acknowledging that it is inevitable. I am on my way to be an educational entertainer along the lines of Bill Nye or Carl Sagan, but I still have a ways to go.
My Religious Beliefs: I am an agnostic atheist, meaning that I do not believe in the existence of a god or gods, but I acknowledge that there may be some evidence that I’ve overlooked or ignored; although with the amount of research I’ve done into world religions, I would be hard-pressed to find such evidence.
My Family’s Beliefs: I was brought up in a Catholic household, my father’s side of the family being Catholic. My mother and her family are Episcopalian.
Influences from Experiences and/or Friends: None worth mentioning or that may have influenced the direction of my beliefs (or lack thereof.)
Influences from Music: None, unless you count that I find “Our God is an Awesome God” one of the most annoying, pointless songs in existence.
Do I/Have I Attended Church: I attended church once a week growing up until I was eighteen in addition to attending CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) in order to cement my knowledge of religious lore. I stopped attending at the age of eighteen.
Have I tried Other Religions: During the time I realized I didn’t believe the doctrines and lore of Christianity, I explored Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Shintoism, and Wicca. The more I investigated and researched them, the more I found them to be made on the backs of myths and fairy tales.
My Belief System: I believe that as humans, we are currently living the only life that we are going to experience. As sentient beings, we are capable of determining our own purpose (if any) in our lives, and can do what we want in order to see that purpose fulfilled. As for my personal philosophy, I make the assumption that I am not special; that my experiences as a person are no more or less valid than anyone else’s, and I should respect and treat others in a matter I would wish to have done to me. I also make the observation that I am a part of a society, and that in order for me to thrive, the society must thrive as well— I am willing to make certain personal sacrifices for the well-being of others and the society as a whole, and in certain situations put my well-being at risk to assist others who are in immediate peril. I acknowledge that the only things I can leave after my death are my corpse and whatever impact (for good or ill) I have left with the society I’ve lived in.
To Be Continued—
This god that you claims to love me, is by most definitions considered omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. These three criterion are not met in the process of post-mortem judgment, for if this God is omniscient, then it should know the inner workings of my mind better than myself and understand where the mental failings (if any) were in regards to accepting this god’s existence.
Then, with this god knowing my mind and me inside and out, would have the audacity to permanently punish me eternally for doing what it knew I would do all along (so much for omnibenevolence.)
Then again, if your god WERE able to understand me in full (omniscience) and love me unconditionally (omnibenevolence) then it stands to reason it would have the power to NOT punish me eternally and let me into its heaven, regardless of whether or not I believed in it.
However, that is not the case. The majority of Christian denominations explicitly state that no believers are destined to suffer eternally in Hell. This means that either your god is not capable of unconditional love (making it no longer omnibenevolent,) understanding/knowing WHY I did not believe in it (making it no longer omniscient,) or unable to let me into its heaven anyway (making it no longer omnipotent.)
So therefore, with either one or all of its primary attributes being nullified by this notion of post-mortem judgment, I see no reason to believe in the Christian God until it is readily redefined or the lore regarding it substantially updated.
In perusing the #atheism and #feminism pages, an odd connection came to mind; is God a “Nice Guy?”
For those who may not be familiar with the term, a Nice Guy is a person (usually male) who in an attempt to win the affection of someone, will be inscrutably kind and friendly to that person, usually under the guise of being friends until a romantic feeling blossoms. However, when the Nice Guy’s affections are inevitably spurned (due to said affection being unrequited or the like,) the Nice Guy suddenly turns sour and resentful towards their intended target, who usually had no idea of their initial romantic interest.
God (the Judeo-Christian one, at least) seems to fit this criteria to a tee. It allegedly loves you unconditionally, provides you with life, food, bounty, and the like regardless of whether you ask for it or not. Then, if you come to not love (or not believe in) this God, you are suddenly condemned to the pits of Hell, excommunicated, and cast out from this God’s so-called Unconditional Love.
Enticement, Kindness, Encroachment, and Wrath, the four big qualifiers for both Nice Guys and God.
That might just be me, what do you think?
Asking why does G-d not need a cause is like asking why a liar never tells the truth. Because of the definition of G-d as with the definition of a liar, it would be a logical contradiction to say G-d has a cause. So the criticism of the cosmological argument that it doesn’t explain the cause of G-d is not valid.
This argument is like asking why a unicorn has a horn. The horn is part of the definition of a unicorn, if a unicorn didn’t have a horn, then it would just be a horse. This explanation does nothing to add credibility to the existence of unicorn as your example does to the existence of a god or gods.
If you are going to assert that your god exists in any way, shape, or form, then you’ll have to answer questions about it such as “Where did it come from?” “How did it come to be?” “If it existed eternally, where was it before the Universe began?” and “If it exists outside of the realm of space and time, in what manner does it exist at all?”
Clearly, you have a fairly solid idea as to what your god is (as opposed to weak-sauce theists who declare “God is simply love,” or other nonsense) so if you’re inclined to do so, please give us the definition of your god and we’ll put it under some logical scrutiny.
Alot of the time an unbeliever will question the existence of God because of some really bad circumstance they have experienced in their life, and they question how God can allow those things to happen… Well the answer is in Romans 1:18-24.We as humans refused to acknowledge and worship God and instead we made idols in our own likeness and made to fullfill our own desires. So he abandoned us to our own sins and idolatry.We abandoned Him first and yet we still see unbelievers argue that He does not exist because of bad circumstances.But because of their refusal to worship God, they use that argument as a crutch. If they don’t believe in God than they mustn’t complain when He doesn’t do what they don’t believe He is capable of doing( because that would mean they’d have to believe in Him to expect Him to do good) It isnt Gods job to intervene in every moment of our lives, otherwise He than becomes our maid or slave that cleans up or fixes our mistakes, He has given us guideline and instructions that will help us live this life in a good and peaceful life, but when we neglect to follow those guidelines it is of our own fault and not His. Yes God can intervene at any time but than he will be negating the purpose of His guidelines and instructions and rescuing those who claim( they need not be rescued, for by saying there is no God is saying we don’t need saving) however God made a way through His son that we may find redemption and a second chance to live again according to Gods word. He is gracious and forgives in order that we may become His children and with the help of His Holy Spirit we may walk and impact this earth for the ultimate good of mankind;which is salvation!
“God! New Delhi is in flames! Millions of people may die! They could really use your help!”
“New Delhi, that’s in India? That place full of Hinduists?”
“Well, yes, but I don’t see what that has to—”
“What? Why not?”
“Because they don’t worship me. Rule #1 I sent down to Moses is the most important.”
“God, as your PR guy, I gotta say that if you help these people— and in doing so, demonstrating both your power AND existence, you’ll gain a lot more worshipers than through this whole ‘I made you, now love me,’ train of reasoning you’ve been on.”
“Rule #1 is the most important.”
“But we’re still hurting from that whole Job situation.”
“…and that worldwide flood so you could get a do-over?”
“Rule. Number. 1.”
So in your attempt to answer the Question of Evil, you’ve only further demonstrated that your god either doesn’t exist, or is simply a selfish ass who would rather be revered by people than do good things simply for the sake of doing good. By this argument, your god is terribly insecure.
The best description I can give for realizing I was an atheist is when Dobby became free from the Malfoys. It was a lot of anxiety and worry about whether it was real, and I would try to immediate block out all negative thoughts about god, thinking if he were real, I would be punished. But when I finally accepted that there was no god and I had nothing to worry about, I became freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Let atheism be your sock. :)
Forever tired of the atheist movements appropriating LGBT* imagery/slogans and talking about “coming out” as atheist and atheist “Pride” (with a capital P).
Because admitting to close friends and family something inherently true about yourself that you’ve come to acknowledge about yourself, had no choice in, and might lead to scorn and disapproval from said family and friends has nothing to do with “coming out.”
A gay teenager has come to terms with her sexuality, gathers her friends and family at her home, and “comes out” as a lesbian.
A forty year old man “comes out” to his best friend that he’s always felt like a woman trapped in a man’s body and has started taking hormone replacement therapy.
A young man has finally acknowledged his lack of belief in any notion of a god or gods, and decides to “come out” to a coworker that he’s an atheist.
The phrase “coming out” has become a term referring to the admitting of a deep personal truth to someone. While in most cases referring to admission of some form of sexuality, it cannot, and should not, be limited to such things. It would be like saying that only little girls can “frolic,” and that all other people must use terms like “play” and “make merry.”
It’s not cultural appropriation when the spirit and weight of the phrase are maintained in its usage, and in the case of atheists “coming out” to friends and family, I can think of no better phrase to be used.
If you ever wondered why I include Islamic posts or general theist posts on this blog, this is why:
The key to racial and religious harmony is religious tolerance, and that can only really be achieved by religious understanding.
Don’t talk about religions you have not studied and do not understand, it is so SO shaky and more often than not, you just come acorss looking stupid, ignorant and childish.
I am looking especially at a) atheists that think they know things about Christianity and b)Christians that think they know about Islam: unless you’ve studied them at at least intermediate depth, you do NOT have the right to talk down on them whatsoever.
I use those as specifics because they are the majority, of course there are many forms of intolerance towards Jews, Hindus etc.
I don’t know much about Buddhism, I don’t know an awful lot about Sikhism or Hinduism (but I do know the basics and origins) so I avoid talking about them to the best of my ability. On the other hand, I’ve studied Islam and Christianity for years and know a lot about them.
If you’ve read my about you’ll know tolerance is a very fundemental belief for me.
This might surprise you, but in general, atheists know more about religion than its adherents. It’s actually this knowledge about the religion that caused many of us to turn away from it… not to mention stand up to it.
I agree that understanding can lead to tolerance, but some things, no matter how well they are understood, should not be tolerated. Such things include racism, sexism, and the systematic oppression and social stagnation caused by religion.
Religious tolerance toes the line at the point where its adherents use their beliefs to impede upon the lives of others. When the religious stand in the way of fair and equal treatment of all people, they need to back off. When the religious try to force their unsupported assertions into the realm of public education, they need to back down. When the religious use their majority status to try and influence legislative and other government institutions, they need to back down.
Atheists are standing up in a stronger force than they ever have (in the U.S., at least,) because the religious majority are attempting to force their beliefs and customs into the public sphere— to the detriment and harm of nonbelievers. This is no longer a matter of intolerance, but rather an outcry towards the unfair and encroaching religiosity of the majority attempt to impose itself upon everyone’s lives.
Again, atheists as a whole a better versed in religion than its adherents, so please check yourself before you assert that “have not studied and do not understand” them. For many of us, it was the study of religion that turned us from it in the first place.
until this day nobody on tumblr has ever EVER made me cry
perhaps it was ignorant of me to think that atheists weren’t that mean.
i just don’t get why they can’t just accept people have different beliefs.
It’s not just the atheists who are harsh. You should see how your average believer reacts when you contradict their beliefs. I have personally been told to “eat shit and die,” “go kill yourself,” and “…hope i don’t find your mother cuz ill rape the shit out of her while you wach”
There are “mean” people on both sides.
However, to elaborate on why people (or atheists, at least) can’t simply accept that other people have different beliefs: It’s because these beliefs are either demonstrably false, or have little to no reason to be taken seriously. Garden of Eden? Where is it? Adam and Eve populate the Earth? That’s genetically impossible. Worldwide Flood? Where’s the evidence?
Also, even with the parts of Christian belief that don’t add up, the institution itself is a bastion of oppression and social stagnation. Religion has historically stood in the way of science, abolition of slavery, integration, interracial marriage, and (most recently) same-sex marriage.
Now, for all the things that religion does right (community, charity, etc.) it does twice that in the amount of harm it does to society; and the things it does right are done just as well (if not better) by secular charities and the like who do not hold goods and services to the needy at bay until they sit through a sermon, prayer, etc.
All in all, the atheist community, as objective outsiders, can see all the flaws and harm that religion have brought into our society, and seek to end it through education.
Some humans are so egotistical. They are obsess with their autonomy. They want to control everything by understanding everything. They like to believe that they are in control of their own fate. They want to believe that everything happens because they made it happen. They hate the idea that all their hard work can be for nothing. They want to know how things are, and in return dismiss anything that they’re told to accept with their heart through faith. They are unable to think how they are just an atom in the universe. They are very important to themselves. They cannot understand how God can exist so they choose not to recognize His Existence.
Says the person who probably believes that the creator of the universe has a special, personal relationship with them, has carefully plotted every moment of their lives, and has a wonderful, eternal place for them in Super-Happy-Post-Mortem Land after their death— to people who willingly acknowledge their infinitesimal bearing on the happenings of the universe, but still revel in their personal autonomy in determining their own purpose in life, and making the most of what limited time we have in life.
One of the hardest things about being a Christian? People use any excuse to say damn Christians. I want to get mad about a hateful post towards us but then it’s “Oh Christians hate everything and hate people”
I can’t say anything Christian without people telling me to shut up or go away or kill myself. I want to say fuck you but God teaches love and tolerance towards other people. Love others as I have loved you. It is so damn hard with hateful people, especially on this website. I wish you guys could look at yourselves. You have become bullies.
I hate to say this, but it’s very hard to take you seriously when you’re a part of the 74% religious majority in the country, and just because you’ve probably encountered a few in the minority who don’t appreciate having your religion shoved in their face, you suddenly believe that you’re being bullied.
I advise you to look up the term “religious privilege” and see what that entails, because what you’ve posted here is a perfect example of it. Other than that, I refer you to 1 Peter 2:23 which advises someone who is criticized to not retaliate, but instead leave it all to a higher power.
All I could scrounge up through some research is that Animal Planet recently did a mockumentary called “Mermaids: The New Evidence” which is a sequel to its other mockumentary called “Mermaids: The Body Found.” This sequel features a found-footage style evidence featuring some young men on a cliff videotaping what appears to be a sea lion standing upright until it turns around, revealing a humanoid face and torso before retreating into the sea.
Much like the Orson Welles “War of the World” broadcast, the mockumentary either didn’t or glossed over any notification that it was a work of fiction. I’m certain this caused much speculation as to the veracity of the mockumentary’s contents. However, as of this moment, I’ve yet to find any reliable evidence as to the existence of mermaids.