The wonders of Atheism

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First for the OP I'd like to echo what the rest already said: "Atheism" is essentially as diverse as Christianity is. People ascribe to certain interpretations of what "Atheism" or being an "atheist" means for them. This is the case with every movement that defines a social identity: there will always be people who use this identifier to fundamentally describe themselves via their ingroup and against a perceived outgroup and those that just so happen to share the same social identity out of definition. As such it is for some a position that can border ideologically on behaviours, thoughts and social aspects that are similar to common religious movements, like, say, some of the things that arrive through the "New Atheist" movement.

However, I'd argue that those people are not only a minority but a cultural-specific minority: atheism just refers to disbelief in some notion of one or multiple godlike being/s. Semantically, however, I feel it is too often conflated with a fundamental opposition to religious institutions or policies and that is probably where people who valiantly identify as atheist to such a degree that they try to proselytize come from: from opposition to cultural norms or policies perpetuated by religious institutions or symbolism. More radically I'd even posit that a lot of this "need for opposition" originates from the US, where Christian fundamentalist groups routinely try to push their social backwards agenda and so draw a line between in- and outgroup that has led to people believing it to be a sort of cultural war, between progressively, scientific minded atheists and the evil social backwards religions[1].

Speaking from a German perspective that is not so much the case here: religious institutions or symbolism are neither as radical, important or visible as they are in the states. That usually entails a fundamental indifference from huge parts of the populace towards religious institutions or beliefs as in you don't really care much and the public sphere doesn't either. You needn't belong to a religion and nobody actually gives a fuck. And, frankly, that's how it should be; A difference that is there but is neither as important as some people paint it to be, nor needs to be. Opposition against policies based on religious dogmatism or favouritism in terms of religious belief is needed, but, from my point of view should be addressed from a secularist position and not an atheist one.

My personal view derives from this separation of atheism and opposition to religiousness with a good shot of pragmatism. I simply don't care about what anyone believes in terms of religion as long as it makes them happy and they don't push for obvious idiocy or endanger themselves or others. I, however, demand the same in return: I never had a connection to the idea of a higher being, nor do I have any interest in it or it's ritualistic activities or social components - apart from the academic analysis that is. This coupled with a naturalistic and skeptical viewpoint brings me to the rejection of the usual kinds of extraneous god-claims. Hence, I'm an atheist.

[1] Read: Christianity in most cases

Spinozaad:

Quaxar:

Spinozaad:
Atheism is taking an absolute either - or position on metaphysics, based on an epistemological impossibility. Those who subscribe to the notion of "Atheism" subsequently tend to proselytize in the name of Truth.

Although Atheists will generally argue "it's no religion, because [we] don't believe in a God, LoL!", although the similarities are remarkable. The different "denominations" who argue and bicker on the correct use of the essentially contested concept of "atheism". Or the emergence of what can be understood as a clergy (Hitchens, Dawkins, etc.).

Wait, are you being serious?

If you're one of those people who bicker on the definition of "atheism" (strong atheism, weak atheism, etc.), like to cite or read Dawkins, etc...

Then yes.

I don't even know what the hell strong and weak atheism are supposed to be, they certainly sound like natural forces if anything, but I reject the accusation that atheism is a religion. Mainly based on mutually excluding definitions.
Using your argument I can make anything analogous to a religion. Football: bickering about the correct denomination (or club) and priests (or referees) who interpret the rules set by God (or the football association) for practical use.

Skeleon:

Spinozaad:

The very fact that this fine forum/craphole of the internet consists of self-proclaimed atheist assholes ripping on a strawman version of "religion" is indicative of the "unenlightened" behaviour many here proclaim to detest. This might not refer to you specifically, but in general... A lot of the "atheists" here are as bad as the strawman religious folk they detest.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck... Sure, showing the same behaviour of the Other you detest doesn't technically make you the Other, but it still makes you look like a dick. To me, dickishness is the overriding category.

And this sentiment I understand even less. Why do people keep complaining about this subforum? You must realize by now that a lot of us enjoy it here despite some of the crap. You're not going to change anybody's mind like this, even less so by insulting them. Worse still, how can you try and claim any high ground in this, if you descend into name-calling?

I feel the same way. Perhaps it is because we are part of the majority here and therefore can't relate to the insulting nature of many threads. Still, I'd dispute that this forum is indeed so filled with evil atheist meanies, at least, not from the regulars except perhaps one or two. There is the occasional loon, yeah, but that goes for both sides of the aisle from what I've seen.

Spinozaad:

Quaxar:

Spinozaad:
Atheism is taking an absolute either - or position on metaphysics, based on an epistemological impossibility. Those who subscribe to the notion of "Atheism" subsequently tend to proselytize in the name of Truth.

Although Atheists will generally argue "it's no religion, because [we] don't believe in a God, LoL!", although the similarities are remarkable. The different "denominations" who argue and bicker on the correct use of the essentially contested concept of "atheism". Or the emergence of what can be understood as a clergy (Hitchens, Dawkins, etc.).

Wait, are you being serious?

If you're one of those people who bicker on the definition of "atheism" (strong atheism, weak atheism, etc.), like to cite or read Dawkins, etc...

Then yes.

Actually, what you just mentioned is the crux of the matter.

Weak atheists don't take an absolute position on a metaphysical matter like the existence of gods, but strong atheists do.

Don't condemn atheists for being a particular way, then damn their attempts to point out that they're actually not that way. Your objection at best applies to some atheists, but not all.

(again, irony noted in ripping on atheists for strawmanning religion when this is arguably a strawman of atheism)

BangSmashBoom:
Hey guys, as a lot of you guys would know I'm a Christian; I've been born as a Christian and I have a feeling that I'll die as one.

I was born not knowing shit. I'll probably die saying the same.

BangSmashBoom:
What I'm trying to ask is that can any of you Atheists reading this thread explain the perspective of Atheism to me without any disrespectful comments on other beliefs such as Christianity?

Perspective? Atheism rejects the concept of deities; which is a definition, not really a "perspective".

BangSmashBoom:
Why? Because I wish to simply understand the perspective of Atheism through perspective of an Atheist, NOT an Atheist's perspective on religion.

That's more a personal thing that will vary from Atheist to Atheist.

BangSmashBoom:
Why? Because though understanding breeds love, which is what Jesus says in the bible, we should love their enemies, which I know it must sound weird and controlling to other people, but come on we live in a multicultural society, If you're not a Christian then you don't have to read or obey the bible, but I still recommend it to anyone at least for research.

So... I'm your enemy? I have to say I'm not feeling the love here.

BangSmashBoom:
I've seen and heard other people rant about other people's beliefs to the stage that it's all white noise to me now, trust me I've heard of pretty much every accusation that Christians and Atheists have about each other, and to be honest I'm sick of this childish behaviour, me personally I find mankind's biggest flaw is that we all tend to point out each other's flaws too much, I know this might make me sound like a hippie but "where's the LOVE man?"

That's what I'm wondering; all you've done up to this point is insult others.

BangSmashBoom:
So again if you can give an Atheist perspective on your Atheist life style without writing any negative comments on any religion or organisation than it would be very much appreciated.

Depending on how you approach me, I'm either Ignostic or a strong Atheist. Which means either I'm not going to have the conversation with you because you've utterly failed to properly define the belief for which you adhere to, or I outright reject your beliefs do to their lack of evidence or (usually) arbitrary or hypocritical natures.

Your post reminds me of something...

image

BangSmashBoom:
Hey guys, as a lot of you guys would know I'm a Christian; I've been born as a Christian and I have a feeling that I'll die as one.

What I'm trying to ask is that can any of you Atheists reading this thread explain the perspective of Atheism to me without any disrespectful comments on other beliefs such as Christianity?

Why? Because I wish to simply understand the perspective of Atheism through perspective of an Atheist, NOT an Atheist's perspective on religion.

Why? Because though understanding breeds love, which is what Jesus says in the bible, we should love their enemies, which I know it must sound weird and controlling to other people, but come on we live in a multicultural society, If you're not a Christian then you don't have to read or obey the bible, but I still recommend it to anyone at least for research.

I've seen and heard other people rant about other people's beliefs to the stage that it's all white noise to me now, trust me I've heard of pretty much every accusation that Christians and Atheists have about each other, and to be honest I'm sick of this childish behaviour, me personally I find mankind's biggest flaw is that we all tend to point out each other's flaws too much, I know this might make me sound like a hippie but "where's the LOVE man?"

So again if you can give an Atheist perspective on your Atheist life style without writing any negative comments on any religion or organisation than it would be very much appreciated.

The first thing I should point out is that no two atheists are similar. It's not a structured belief system like most religions are, so what I say could very well differ greatly from what another might say.

As far back as I can remember, I was a scientifically minded young kid. I was actually a bit of a child prodigy really, I was reading by 3 and reading fluently and learning other languages by 6, playing Mozart by 7, IQ measured at 160 when I was 8, etc. etc. But the important part is, I was (and still am) obsessed with knowledge.

Also I was not given to superstition, I absolutely did not believe in magic.

And when I was 5, I started asking my parents questions about the world: how do machines work, why is the sky blue, what makes people sick, where did everything come from. Now, my parents being Christians always gave me the same stock "God made it that way" answer. This was not enough- if God made everything, where did he come from then, and why? Did someone make him? Are there other gods? I asked my parents this, and got the same shallow and unrevealing answers. So I started doing my own research and the answers I found were far more satisfying. They explained the scientific method, how exactly scientists knew the things they were saying, and explaining how theories over time have been formed, tested, and in most cases debunked.

Then my parents didn't like that I was turning into an atheist, so they signed me up for Bible study. That was the final nail in the coffin for me ever being religious. Because I was probably the only 7 year old in the city that could read, I got my friends together to read from the Bible, and let me tell you if you're a bright, scientifically minded kid there is nothing more effective at turning you into an atheist than reading the Bible. I expected that it would give me my answers, that's what my parents said. Instead, I get fairy tales, violence, and a complete lack of rationale and evidence.

So basically, being scientifically minded and reading the Bible is why I am an atheist.

As for how I see the world, well, I see it with no less wonder than a religious person, except when I ask how and why it is I don't stop wondering until my answer satisfies me. And even without the mystery, it's still an amazing place.

Well to answer your question, my "atheistic" life style is that I do not believe in a deity. I believe this because I have heard nothing that proves a god exists that can not prove the flying spaghetti monster exists using the same logic.
There is nothing else to it then that. A lot of the other attributes ascribed to atheism come from other sources and probably will differ from one atheist to another.

As for my life views, I have a fairly nihilistic view of the universe, I don;t think that there is a purpose to humanity existing and there is no punishment or reward. I do how ever think that this does not mean that humanity cannot aspire to something better, to improve life for everyone. This comes from my empathy for others. Simply put I feel bad when others hurt and feel better when I can help them. I also think that if this is only chance we get at life it makes life more precious. I just believe that there is nothing inherent in the universe that makes this so.

Strazdas:

Helmholtz Watson:

....but this is not. Being atheist doesn't mean an you of the things you described. Also nice strawman of all of Christianity.

It does to many people i know.

Which is completely irrelevant. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in a some form of a deity.

Strazdas:
it may be personally biased

It is.

Strazdas:
but thats what it is to me.

That doesn't stop it from being a misrepresentation of Atheism.

"Lifestyle"?

My lifestyle is about the same as most people I know, atheist or not. Go to school, look for jobs, socialize with friends. You really couldn't pick me out of crowd.

Even as a kid I gained no advantage in my 'Christianity'.
Didn't feel anything, no mystical man spoke to me, I was simply brainwashed by my motherfucking school.
Then I went to an actual Christian school.
I always thought of myself to be logical, so when I started to grow some critical thinking skills, especially in the environment of a practically fundamentalist school, I managed to remove the tumor of Christianity from my life, along with the fear, the begging, the timewasting and the judging that come along with it.

Atheism is that you lack a belief in a god or gods. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no other 'view on atheism' as that is all there is to it.

Granted, things like logical thinking, science, seeking for answers even if you think you already found them, etc, often go hand in hand with atheism. But they are still totally separate from it. Atheism isn't a lifestyle or a world view. As it doesn't say anything about how that person lives their life, or how they view the world apart from that god didn't create it.

And...that's about it.

Vegosiux:
To me, atheism is simply about not taking things at face value.

This statement feels totally backward to me. You may not take statements from others (particularly ones you disagree with) at face value, but what you're doing is taking everything as exactly what it appears to be unless someone can show you otherwise which seems more like taking everything at face value rather than not...

BangSmashBoom:
Hey guys, as a lot of you guys would know I'm a Christian; I've been born as a Christian and I have a feeling that I'll die as one.

Well, as I'm sure others have pointed out, you were not born a Christian. You were taught to be a Christian.
If you had been born to another family you would perhaps have another religion that you absolutely believed.
This isn't a point against you or anything, but no one is `born` x or y religion.
I was taught to be a Christian, by my school, not my family. But even as a child it struck me as wrong(for me).

BangSmashBoom:

What I'm trying to ask is that can any of you Atheists reading this thread explain the perspective of Atheism to me without any disrespectful comments on other beliefs such as Christianity?

Well... how do you feel about Zeus? How do you feel about Odin? How do you feel about faeries?
The answer is you probably don't feel anything about them. I just feel the same way about any potential god/s.

BangSmashBoom:

Why? Because I wish to simply understand the perspective of Atheism through perspective of an Atheist, NOT an Atheist's perspective on religion.

I'm not entirely sure we have a unified `perspective` other than being atheists.

BangSmashBoom:

Why? Because though understanding breeds love, which is what Jesus says in the bible, we should love their enemies, which I know it must sound weird and controlling to other people, but come on we live in a multicultural society, If you're not a Christian then you don't have to read or obey the bible, but I still recommend it to anyone at least for research.

Reading the Bible didn't really do it for me. Though since we are sharing, I would recommend Julia Sweeny's `Letting Go Of God`. I think the whole thing is on youtube. It offers an interesting perspective on losing faith.

BangSmashBoom:

I've seen and heard other people rant about other people's beliefs to the stage that it's all white noise to me now, trust me I've heard of pretty much every accusation that Christians and Atheists have about each other, and to be honest I'm sick of this childish behaviour, me personally I find mankind's biggest flaw is that we all tend to point out each other's flaws too much, I know this might make me sound like a hippie but "where's the LOVE man?"

So again if you can give an Atheist perspective on your Atheist life style without writing any negative comments on any religion or organisation than it would be very much appreciated.

My atheist lifestyle is; I live.
I try to be good to others.
But I do not think there is a supernatural reason for doing so.

I do not usually feel negatively towards religion, but I do get annoyed at some religious people declaring me a `militant` atheist for simply saying I do not believe.
Basically, we're not so different, except you believe in God and I do not.
Love for everyone and all that.

BangSmashBoom:

So again if you can give an Atheist perspective on your Atheist life style without writing any negative comments on any religion or organisation than it would be very much appreciated.

There's no mystery or wonder to it; it simply comes down to a different way of dealing with life's ups and downs. When something good happens to an Atheist he feels joy and credits his good luck, hard work, industry, and skill. When something good happens to a Theist he feels blessed and give thanks to God, says a prayer thanking God, and rejoices in God's recognition of his devotion. When something bad happens to an Atheist he curses his bad luck, his lack of hard work, industry, or skill. When something bad happens to a Theist he feels he has somehow offended God, says a prayer of forgiveness, and feels sorrow in Gods punishment.

Interesting factoid here: Early on every tribe had their own god(s), and when a tribe was defeated in battle it was thought that its god(s) were weaker then the god(s) of the winning tribe. This changed when the early Israelites were defeated by the Hittites. The Israelites refused to accept the logic that their God was weaker than the Hittites god(s). Instead they reasoned that their God was in fact the God of all tribes, and that their God was simply using the Hittites to punish them for their lack of faith, or some such affront to their God. It was a watershed moment for Theology. It was the first time in recorded history that the idea of a universal God, one god for all peoples, was proposed. That idea survived and came to dominate Theological thinking in the west.

Spinozaad:

Semantics. You [as in: you, specifically] don't believe in any God? Fine. You [as in: someone who isn't you or me] believe in a God? Fine. That's where any discussion on religion ought to end. The very fact that this fine forum/craphole of the internet consists of self-proclaimed atheist assholes ripping on a strawman version of "religion" is indicative of the "unenlightened" behaviour many here proclaim to detest. This might not refer to you specifically, but in general... A lot of the "atheists" here are as bad as the strawman religious folk they detest.

Now you're just being irrational. I mean, why would you stay in a place you think is a craphole of your own accord? We have this marvellous contraption that lets you out of any craphole, truly the pinnacle of modern engineering. I believe it's called a "door" in some cases and the "back button" in others.

"A lot" is a very vague term that basically doesn't mean anything, it's just a cheap tactic to invoke:

A) "Hey don't call me out on it, not like I was talking about you specifically."
B) "Oh so you take issue with what I said? I must have hit a nerve then, and am therefore right!"

Both of which might catch some people off guard, but around here we're generally conditioned to spot and disregard such hogwash.

Spinozaad:

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck... Sure, showing the same behaviour of the Other you detest doesn't technically make you the Other, but it still makes you look like a dick. To me, dickishness is the overriding category.

Excuse me, since when were "the Other" a hive mind? I might not like their position, but I'm still not going to slap a blanket label on them and pretend they're all the same.

So yeah, if you want to talk about me, talk about me. I'm not "atheists", I'm "Vegosiux, who also happens to be an atheist". So, you want to talk about me, you don't talk about atheists. You want to talk about me, you talk about Vegosiux. Stop hiding behind vague general terms.

Third-eye:

Interesting factoid here: Early on every tribe had their own god(s), and when a tribe was defeated in battle it was thought that its god(s) were weaker then the god(s) of the winning tribe. This changed when the early Israelites were defeated by the Hittites. The Israelites refused to accept the logic that their God was weaker than the Hittites god(s). Instead they reasoned that their God was in fact the God of all tribes, and that their God was simply using the Hittites to punish them for their lack of faith, or some such affront to their God. It was a watershed moment for Theology. It was the first time in recorded history that the idea of a universal God, one god for all peoples, was proposed. That idea survived and came to dominate Theological thinking in the west.

Well, it's interesting to know that the idea of monotheism basically originated from a tribe being butthurt over losing a fight. Yeah, that did sound a lot more rude than it should have, I know, but if the concept monotheism is the result of someone's pride...welp, that just sounds silly to me.

Now yes, I understand the concept evolved over the following centuries, naturally and all, but why things with the most silly of causes always manage to end up on top is beyond me.

My extended family is Catholic, but my brother and I were raised secularly, and in all honesty, there's probably no way either of us will ever become religious at all. Most of this probably came from being raised in a largely Jewish neighbourhood - right out of the gate, we weren't faced with a dichotomy of 'Religious or Not' - we knew people who were Christian, people who were Jewish, people who were neither, etc. This got more complicated by the fact that, at least where I am, for many people being Jewish is more of a cultural than a religious identity.

So, by the time I got old enough to even consider the possible validity of religion, it seemed absurd - which one? There are so many, many of which ultimately say 'What I say is right because I say it is' - demanding a blind obedience which I had been taught was unethical, and personally felt was EXTREMELY unethical - and they also said, either implicitly or explicitly 'I am right, holding my set of beliefs is mutually exclusive to holding another religions, but I AM RIGHT!, and if you don't believe me you're going to hell or whatever'. You see my point - when it's a choice between different religions which you hold to be equally valid, the question becomes absurd - what makes one more valid than the other? And since they both declare the other invalid, it seems they both must be.

Then, of course, with age comes more reasoning, and other impediments form. If I'm not to accept a religion based on blind obedience, and if I'm faced with a choice of multiple ones, then it seems obvious that if I'm to pick one, I should pick one which I feel is ethically correct. But already, the question is, again, absurd. Because firstly, no religion fully encompasses my understanding of ethics. Secondly, if I'm to choose a religion to give me ethical guidance, and I validate my choice on which I find the most ethical, then I don't need that religion, as I'm already using myself as a moral compass, and ceasing that would invalidate my choice of that religion in the first place.

Moreover, there's the question of whether any of these religions can really be true or not. Many religions, at least the Abrahamic ones, claim to take guidance directly from the revealed word of God. But how do I know that's true? Ultimately, a person wrote it, and PEOPLE LIE. Even if the first one didn't, even if the second one didn't, people will have lied about it, twisted it, mistranslated it, misinterpreted it, to the point where anything that now exists can't be accurate anymore, if it ever was, which it probably wasn't.

And it probably wasn't because IF there was a deity which wanted me to do things a certain way and had an accurate revealed religion - he's doing a damn poor job of it by not making it OBVIOUS to everyone what it is, and ultimately, leaving it up to people's own moral compass, which as I've already explained, makes the exercise unnecessary.

And finally, even if there was a true religion, even if there were some great creator who wanted me to do A and B and C because he made the world and is awesome and he says so, for me to do so on those grounds would be unethical. Power doesn't make someone right.

There are, of course, many more reasons that I could have come up with, but ultimately, these arguments were more than sufficient for me. Generally speaking, I've always respected religious people for the peace that their faith seems to give them, so long as that doesn't shape their beliefs or actions regarding anyone else or what they do, but ultimately such faith is radically opposed to my personal nature.

As to how I live? I have no idea what happens after my death - it's entirely possible that everything that I am will wink out of existence into oblivion, as will, ultimately, everything that humanity has ever been, seen, or achieved. Is that scary? Hell yes. Does that make me want to bury my head in the sand? Sometimes, yes. Does that change the fact that it's possible? No. Does that mean that that's what will definitely happen? No. We don't know. Atheists can deny specific interpretations of deities with some degree of strength, but to categorically deny any type of any higher power is an obvious overreach. We're limited in our capabilities, we can't KNOW. Technically, if you throw Cartesian Doubt into the mix (which I often do) we can't KNOW anything, except that we exist. And we have to make the best of that.

Vegosiux:
Well, it's interesting to know that the idea of monotheism basically originated from a tribe being butthurt over losing a fight. Yeah, that did sound a lot more rude than it should have, I know, but if the concept monotheism is the result of someone's pride...welp, that just sounds silly to me.

I suppose anyone would feel bad after lavishing adoration and attention onto a god in return for protection, only to find out they'd been wasting their time when they should have been fawning over a different god. It actually seems to fit perfectly well with the way I was taught at Catholic school; where there is a problem or a failure, the fault is not with God (who is perfect) but with humans. Those ancient blokes must have thought "God can't be wrong, it must be something we did!" and resolved to get back in their deity's good graces.

Pretty horrible really, it certainly makes it seem as if the human race is cut out to be grovelling and subservient.

Why is it no one ever seems to be atheistic from non-Christian religions? Ironruler is the only one I can think of who is obviously from a Jewish family and was raised Jewish who claims atheism. I have never heard a atheist nee Muslim or a atheist nee Buddhism (rejection of the metaphysical), it's always Christians turned atheist.

Bentusi16:
Why is it no one ever seems to be atheistic from non-Christian religions?

This guy is an atheist, or so he says:
image

Ironruler is the only one I can think of who is obviously from a Jewish family and was raised Jewish who claims atheism. I have never heard a atheist nee Muslim or a atheist nee Buddhism (rejection of the metaphysical), it's always Christians turned atheist.

Now that's just insulting. I was not born a Christian, therefore I am not a Christian turned atheist. Yes, my grandmother is Catholic, a rather firm and devoted believer, but she was totally okay with my mother raising me without religion. Basically, she's the kind of believer who respects other people's choices and also believes everyone should find their own way in life, with any given god or without one. Whether she was always like this or is this the wisdom of the fall of her life I don't know, but if all believers were like her, this world would have hell of a lot less problems.

Do not get me wrong. I was not shielded from religion. The first time I read the Bible was when I was 8. By the age of 12, I read two more versions of the Bible, and two "lite" versions, I forget which is which. I considered it a book with some interesting stories and some good points but I preferred the Old Testament because it wasn't all about one guy.

But, at no point, ever, would I have considered myself a "Christian". So no, I am not a "Christian turned atheist", never was.

Captcha: Be nice

Well, okay, I won't be rude, at least.

Vegosiux:

Bentusi16:
Why is it no one ever seems to be atheistic from non-Christian religions?

This guy is an atheist, or so he says:
image

Ironruler is the only one I can think of who is obviously from a Jewish family and was raised Jewish who claims atheism. I have never heard a atheist nee Muslim or a atheist nee Buddhism (rejection of the metaphysical), it's always Christians turned atheist.

Now that's just insulting. I was not born a Christian, therefore I am not a Christian turned atheist. Yes, my grandmother is Catholic, a rather firm and devoted believer, but she was totally okay with my mother raising me without religion.

Do not get me wrong. I was not shielded from religion. The first time I read the Bible was when I was 8. By the age of 12, I read two more versions of the Bible, and two "lite" versions, I forget which is which. I considered it a book with some interesting stories and some good points but I preferred the Old Testament because it wasn't all about one guy.

But, at no point, ever, would I have considered myself a "Christian". So no, I am not a "Christian turned atheist", never was.

Captcha: Be nice

Well, okay, I won't be rude, at least.

Your ability to take offense is truly awe-inspiring. While I admit my wording may have been badly handled, see below.

I was referring only to those people who previously identified themselves as christian and then turned atheist. I did not say atheist nee agnostic, nor just atheist. I said atheist nee christian. And I think there's at least one person who's christian nee atheist.

The iron ruler comment was a sort of open out loud thought on those born into certain cultures and rejecting them. And the Jews are a culture; he is a Jew by birth but not by religion, since Judaism is defined as those born of the mother, those born of the racial stock, and those who convert by Israels own laws. Christianity does not work like that, as it has been noted you cannot be 'born' a Christian, which is probably where the term 'born again' comes from now that I think about it.

Also, are you born an atheist? Is that a thing? I'd think everyone would be born agnostic since they have no idea what's going on at all and all that.

Bentusi16:
Why is it no one ever seems to be atheistic from non-Christian religions? Ironruler is the only one I can think of who is obviously from a Jewish family and was raised Jewish who claims atheism. I have never heard a atheist nee Muslim or a atheist nee Buddhism (rejection of the metaphysical), it's always Christians turned atheist.

Well it depends, how do you define where they were atheist `from`?
I never believed, but was taught Christianity as `fact` at school (but I was never a `Christian`).
My parents are neopagan if that makes you feel better, but they never really put religion on me.

EDIT: Rereading this I wasn't very clear. I meant, if you're taught x religion at school and are aware of y religion at home and are an atheist, are you an atheist `from` x or y religion?

Bentusi16:
Why is it no one ever seems to be atheistic from non-Christian religions? Ironruler is the only one I can think of who is obviously from a Jewish family and was raised Jewish who claims atheism. I have never heard a atheist nee Muslim or a atheist nee Buddhism (rejection of the metaphysical), it's always Christians turned atheist.

There is an Iranian chap working in the room next door to me who is an atheist from a Muslim background. I know a few others who pay lip service to being Muslim (for social reasons) but are disinterested and non-observant. I also know a few Hindus turned atheist.

Agema:

Bentusi16:
Why is it no one ever seems to be atheistic from non-Christian religions? Ironruler is the only one I can think of who is obviously from a Jewish family and was raised Jewish who claims atheism. I have never heard a atheist nee Muslim or a atheist nee Buddhism (rejection of the metaphysical), it's always Christians turned atheist.

There is an Iranian chap working in the room next door to me who is an atheist from a Muslim background. I know a few others who pay lip service to being Muslim (for social reasons) but are disinterested and non-observant. I also know a few Hindus turned atheist.

Right, I know they exist, I'm just saying I don't think I've ever met someone that fits in the category on this forum. Almost every proclaimed atheist on this forum was either once a christian or was agnostic and then went atheist, except again, Iron ruler. He's the only one I can think of, but I may be wrong. The whole Jewish thing is somewhat confusing since it's both a culture and a religion and being born into one means being born into the other, although obviously you can reject it.

Many seem to be "I was raised in a christian situation but my parents were secularist' or 'I was raised in a christian household but I rejected it' and other such scenarios. It seems to be the base standard, is what I mean.

Also I think there is a line between someone who is an atheist an someone who is part of a religion but just doesn't feel bothered by the necessities of ceremony. But that's down to individual cases since some are for that reasons and others who lack belief but are identified as something for social reasons.

Bentusi16:
*snip*

Honestly, I'd expect this to mostly be because of demographics. While, yes, this is an international website, most of the people frequenting it seem to stem from the USA, Canada, Australia and many countries in Europe. Christianity is the most prevalent religion in these areas, so that could explain why almost all the Atheists on here who were religious at some point started out with Christianity.

Bentusi16:

Agema:

Bentusi16:
Why is it no one ever seems to be atheistic from non-Christian religions? Ironruler is the only one I can think of who is obviously from a Jewish family and was raised Jewish who claims atheism. I have never heard a atheist nee Muslim or a atheist nee Buddhism (rejection of the metaphysical), it's always Christians turned atheist.

There is an Iranian chap working in the room next door to me who is an atheist from a Muslim background. I know a few others who pay lip service to being Muslim (for social reasons) but are disinterested and non-observant. I also know a few Hindus turned atheist.

Right, I know they exist, I'm just saying I don't think I've ever met someone that fits in the category on this forum. Almost every proclaimed atheist on this forum was either once a christian or was agnostic and then went atheist, except again, Iron ruler. He's the only one I can think of, but I may be wrong. The whole Jewish thing is somewhat confusing since it's both a culture and a religion and being born into one means being born into the other, although obviously you can reject it.

Many seem to be "I was raised in a christian situation but my parents were secularist' or 'I was raised in a christian household but I rejected it' and other such scenarios. It seems to be the base standard, is what I mean.

Also I think there is a line between someone who is an atheist an someone who is part of a religion but just doesn't feel bothered by the necessities of ceremony. But that's down to individual cases since some are for that reasons and others who lack belief but are identified as something for social reasons.

I'd say Atheism is the neutral position. Agnostic is no certainty as when ether a god exists or not. But without 'someone' explaining the kid what god is. They obviously cannot be stuck between a choice of believing or not believing in said divine being. They just don't believe in it.

Nikolaz72:

Bentusi16:

Agema:

There is an Iranian chap working in the room next door to me who is an atheist from a Muslim background. I know a few others who pay lip service to being Muslim (for social reasons) but are disinterested and non-observant. I also know a few Hindus turned atheist.

Right, I know they exist, I'm just saying I don't think I've ever met someone that fits in the category on this forum. Almost every proclaimed atheist on this forum was either once a christian or was agnostic and then went atheist, except again, Iron ruler. He's the only one I can think of, but I may be wrong. The whole Jewish thing is somewhat confusing since it's both a culture and a religion and being born into one means being born into the other, although obviously you can reject it.

Many seem to be "I was raised in a christian situation but my parents were secularist' or 'I was raised in a christian household but I rejected it' and other such scenarios. It seems to be the base standard, is what I mean.

Also I think there is a line between someone who is an atheist an someone who is part of a religion but just doesn't feel bothered by the necessities of ceremony. But that's down to individual cases since some are for that reasons and others who lack belief but are identified as something for social reasons.

I'd say Atheism is the neutral position. Agnostic is no certainty as when ether a god exists or not. But without 'someone' explaining the kid what god is. They obviously cannot be stuck between a choice of believing or not believing in said divine being. They just don't believe in it.

\

I'd say atheism requires an active component where as agnosticism does not. You have to reach the conclusion or actively choose to be an atheist, whereas simply not having an opinion would make you an agnostic.

Since your incapable of making the decision to be an atheist when your a toddler, and your incapable of making any real higher thought decisions anyway, you'd probably be an agnostic right?

Bentusi16:

Nikolaz72:

Bentusi16:

Right, I know they exist, I'm just saying I don't think I've ever met someone that fits in the category on this forum. Almost every proclaimed atheist on this forum was either once a christian or was agnostic and then went atheist, except again, Iron ruler. He's the only one I can think of, but I may be wrong. The whole Jewish thing is somewhat confusing since it's both a culture and a religion and being born into one means being born into the other, although obviously you can reject it.

Many seem to be "I was raised in a christian situation but my parents were secularist' or 'I was raised in a christian household but I rejected it' and other such scenarios. It seems to be the base standard, is what I mean.

Also I think there is a line between someone who is an atheist an someone who is part of a religion but just doesn't feel bothered by the necessities of ceremony. But that's down to individual cases since some are for that reasons and others who lack belief but are identified as something for social reasons.

I'd say Atheism is the neutral position. Agnostic is no certainty as when ether a god exists or not. But without 'someone' explaining the kid what god is. They obviously cannot be stuck between a choice of believing or not believing in said divine being. They just don't believe in it.

\

I'd say atheism requires an active component where as agnosticism does not. You have to reach the conclusion or actively choose to be an atheist, whereas simply not having an opinion would make you an agnostic.

Since your incapable of making the decision to be an atheist when your a toddler, and your incapable of making any real higher thought decisions anyway, you'd probably be an agnostic right?

Well, I'd say since god doesn't even enter into the equation as an atheist but it does as an agnostic atheism would be the default position. I don't believe in any god, hence I am an atheist. I cannot be sure what religion is true/if there is a higher power. Im an agnostic. Out of those two I see Atheism is the de-facto starting point.

Agnosticism as defined by my dictionary and wikipedia, is an indifferent position between faith in divine and knowledge. As babies only... well.. believe in what they taste/see/hear until someone puts other idea's into their head and the imagination starts to kick in. Well, they obviously don't have any faith in the divine. As such they do not have a position between divine faith / knowledge and only weigh knowledge.

it's like this:

you believe Rangers are the best football team. "you were born a Rangers supporter and you'll probably die a Rangers supporter".

i, on the other hand, have no interest in football.

i am not your "enemy" because of this. i'm just not into "the game".

it has no baring on my existence except when i encounter those who cannot grasp why everyone does not want to be part of their peer group, or shape their lives around their love of "football" and their chosen team and who often react with hostility to the supposed rejection of part or all of the above.

except it's not "rejection" at all. that's ego fuckin' wit cha: "what's important to me should be important to everyone!".

the hard truth is i just don't care.

don't need it, don't want it, not interested.

but i'm fine with people enjoying their "football"...as long as they don't affect anyone else negatively in the process.

It's basically exactly like life as a Christian is, apart from you don't generally gather up with other members of your religion for the specific purpose of discussing it, don't pray to any God that much, and in my case, don't really think about religion that often in daily life. Unless you're very dedicated to religion and actually go to church every Sunday, it makes bugger all difference these days, especially as Christianity seems to be moving to a more informal, personal affair.

It's very simple: Be nice to people, because we all live in the same world.

As you'll notice, there's nothing in that sentence about any of the hundreds of Gods that people have believed in throughout Human history.

BangSmashBoom:
Hey guys, as a lot of you guys would know I'm a Christian; I've been born as a Christian and I have a feeling that I'll die as one.

What I'm trying to ask is that can any of you Atheists reading this thread explain the perspective of Atheism to me without any disrespectful comments on other beliefs such as Christianity?

Why? Because I wish to simply understand the perspective of Atheism through perspective of an Atheist, NOT an Atheist's perspective on religion.

Why? Because though understanding breeds love, which is what Jesus says in the bible, we should love their enemies, which I know it must sound weird and controlling to other people, but come on we live in a multicultural society, If you're not a Christian then you don't have to read or obey the bible, but I still recommend it to anyone at least for research.

I've seen and heard other people rant about other people's beliefs to the stage that it's all white noise to me now, trust me I've heard of pretty much every accusation that Christians and Atheists have about each other, and to be honest I'm sick of this childish behaviour, me personally I find mankind's biggest flaw is that we all tend to point out each other's flaws too much, I know this might make me sound like a hippie but "where's the LOVE man?"

So again if you can give an Atheist perspective on your Atheist life style without writing any negative comments on any religion or organisation than it would be very much appreciated.

Twist it all you like, but in the end there is only ONE, und precisly one, criteria needed to be an Atheist.
Lacking the believe in god(s)

That's all there is to it.

I do not believe in god(s), therefore I am an atheist.
I do not worship science.
I do not go to Atheist meetings.
I just do not believe in God(s)

Nikolaz72:
As babies only... well.. believe in what they taste/see/hear until someone puts other idea's into their head and the imagination starts to kick in. Well, they obviously don't have any faith in the divine. As such they do not have a position between divine faith / knowledge and only weigh knowledge.

I would argue the opposite. Babies take everything on faith since they have no other reference points yet. Food suddenly appears out of nowhere and if they cry they will get more food. If they soil themselves, a new clean diaper will appear magically. They will put themselves in danger because they do not know about gravity, heat or electricity and thus believe that they cannot be hurt by them.

Nielas:

Nikolaz72:
As babies only... well.. believe in what they taste/see/hear until someone puts other idea's into their head and the imagination starts to kick in. Well, they obviously don't have any faith in the divine. As such they do not have a position between divine faith / knowledge and only weigh knowledge.

I would argue the opposite. Babies take everything on faith since they have no other reference points yet. Food suddenly appears out of nowhere and if they cry they will get more food. If they soil themselves, a new clean diaper will appear magically. They will put themselves in danger because they do not know about gravity, heat or electricity and thus believe that they cannot be hurt by them.

What the...? Are you seriously suggesting a lack of developed reasoning capabilities is similar to the choice someone makes in believing in a fairy tale? Unless you're arguing from the perspective of "they don't know any better", then I'd laugh in the spirit of the remark.

But seriously, babies are not born with a belief in any divine creator. They cannot "learn" about god in the same way you can learn that touching something hot will burn you or that when you jump gravity is going to pull you back down. The only 'creator' they can be reasonably surmise is the one that squeezed them out between their legs.

If we aren't talking about a poor refined character that most gods happen to be described as, the best someone could reasonably come up with is the gods of gaps, who exists as an explanation to something beyond someone's understanding. Which then becomes more of a personal lack of knowledge and philosophical dilemma for them.

What you're suggesting is that circumstantial observational repetition, one which babies aren't even capable of understanding, is faith. I laugh at the assertion given it's scientific basis. And of course, that the lack of knowledge in danger has anything to do with faith.

I laugh at that sir; ha ha.

Quaxar:

Spinozaad:

Quaxar:

Wait, are you being serious?

If you're one of those people who bicker on the definition of "atheism" (strong atheism, weak atheism, etc.), like to cite or read Dawkins, etc...

Then yes.

I don't even know what the hell strong and weak atheism are supposed to be, they certainly sound like natural forces if anything, but I reject the accusation that atheism is a religion. Mainly based on mutually excluding definitions.
Using your argument I can make anything analogous to a religion. Football: bickering about the correct denomination (or club) and priests (or referees) who interpret the rules set by God (or the football association) for practical use.

No, no. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: the species of atheism that has clubs, cons, beloved heroes, and internet fora isn't a religion, it's a *fandom*. If it resembles certain species of religious people, it's because they've got a fannish element too. (Online Paganism is *so* a fandom. I ship Asatru/Wicca for all the kinky hatesex, all the time.)

To the OP: This is a terrible question. This is like asking me to describe "the bisexual lifestyle". If "well, I get up, then I eat breakfast, take a shower, do some work, and maybe Skyrim for a while..." doesn't satisfy them, that's the point where I start wondering what exactly they were fishing for.

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