Atheists

  • Eyeliner stains

    Eyeliner stains (100)

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    I'm guessing there are some atheists around here, so how did you become an atheists?
    I grew up as a catholic, went to a catholic all girls school (it's actually worse then female porn) for two years but although I like some traditions, such as Christmas masses and all that jazz, wear a crucifix, I don't believe in god almighty. I believe in the universe but my childhood and things I saw slapped that belief out of me.

    What about you?
    April 19th, 2008 at 11:51pm
  • spark is a diamond

    spark is a diamond (150)

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    I don't really know, tbh. I just think the concept of 'god(s)' has always struck me as like... outrageous. It's just like, it seems to me like it's just people desperate for something to cling to, because if there's no deity out there like, governing us or whatever, we're basically purposeless and ultimately lonely. If you have a god to believe in then the isolation isn't so crushing. It doesn't matter that there's infinite space out there that's just filled with indifference and nothingness, because there's a god who cares about our welfare.

    And I don't want to believe in something just because it makes me feel less insignificant, because it just doesn't seem right. It seems arrogant.

    That's just my opinion, of course. ;]
    April 20th, 2008 at 01:18am
  • MachineInTheGhost

    MachineInTheGhost (100)

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    ^ Perfectly worded, Andvari. I agree completely. Personally, I used to have a sort of neutral relation with god until I decided I didn't believe anymore. A sort of "piss off and I won't be completely horrible" thing. I only believed because I was told it was true. I never really had a firm belief, and had my doubts anyway. Then while browsing around on the internet, I saw all the disbelief. I realised that it wasn't out of the ordinary to doubt, and it gave me the confidence I needed to ground myself firmly in my non-belief. People say that without god, life is meaningless. But tbh, it's a big weight off my shoulders for me. No more of the fear hanging over your head of being screwed in eternity if you step out of line in god's eyes. In government, I'm pretty sure that's called a dictatorship.
    April 20th, 2008 at 01:52am
  • cups and cakes.

    cups and cakes. (100)

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    I think it's okay to believe whatever-the-fcuk it is that you want to believe, but some how I find it almost intimidating to be forced into a society of people who believe such and such, and want you to believe it too. Christianity, or any other god-worshipping religion is like peer pressure in itself. You're not you, unless you choose to be, and personally I don't think that following a god or any sub gods makes you individual at all.
    I was born an Anlican, and look at that! I can't even spell it! My family isn't at all religious, although my Aunty was once in some stupid communist cult which I choose not to know about. So, I wasn't baptized or anything. I just haven't been brought up in any religious way.

    ^Not to offend, of course.
    April 20th, 2008 at 01:56am
  • Seventh

    Seventh (150)

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    For me, the difference is that scientists are constantly changing and refining their theories of how the world works as they learn more and more about it; while the religious group cling resolutely to their magic books that were written thousands of years ago.

    For example:

    You find a fragment of a story left behind on a bus. It details how Jack plots to take a radio from Sally’s house while she is out. You are left thinking how bad Jack is, perhaps that he should be punished for such a misdeed.

    Then, the next day, you find another fragment left on the bus. The previous page. THIS details how Sally beat Jack up and stole the radio from him first.

    The scientist will now reevaluate the previous evidence, and may come to a conclusion that Jack is trying to non-violently get his own property back. The new theory is that Sally is the bad person, and Jack is the martyred hero.

    The religious person will deny the new evidence, will claim that it comes from a different story, or that it should be differently interpreted, and will fight and argue and picket to try to cling to the idea that Jack is a bad man and Sally is a good woman, despite all the new evidence to the contrary.

    Now say a THIRD fragment was found, this one following the first and detailing how Jack, on being disturbed by Sally whilst in her house, ruthlessly murdered her where she stood.

    The scientist will once again reevaluate and form a new story with this fresh evidence; while the religious corner will celebrate being proven right all along and will try to undermine all of science because the scientists are not afraid to admit they are wrong, while the religious refuse to acknowledge the possibility at all.

    Now, you might say that you’d prefer to side with the religious people in this example. I mean, they were right after all, weren’t they? And they had faith all the way through, despite hardships and times of little hope. That’s got to count for something, right?

    Me, I prefer to side with the scientists. Sure, for a while they were barking up the wrong tree, but they were fighting for truth with the full scope of the information available. And they got there in the end.

    I have no problem at all with the existence of God. It’s just that at this point in time, I haven’t seen any evidence to convince me of this. If God came to me one day and showed me something to prove to me that He exists, I would be the first person to stand up and say “sorry God, I was wrong, I now believe, thank you for coming to me.”

    Some people would choose to ‘believe’, ‘just in case’. They’ll go to church and sit there, not really convinced by it all, but hoping that in the event of the priests being right at the end of it all, their attendance will give them some brownie points in the Big Totting-Up in the sky.

    Me, I prefer to stand by the evidence as I see it. And if God doesn’t approve of me using the brain He gave me, then I don’t particularly want to be in his club anyway.

    Finally, I’d just like to point out that ‘religion’ and ‘morals’ are NOT mutually exclusive and that you don’t need a magic book to tell you that you shouldn’t kill, steal, lie, sleep around or be disrespectful to your society. These five ‘rules’ crop up in EVERY major religion, and EVERY decent person’s moral code and have nothing to do with God.

    In fact, if you need the thread of a man with a beard in a dress on a cloud in the sky who is WATCHING YOU and will SMITE YOU if you’re bad to make you be a good person, how can you tell me that I’m ‘going to hell’ because I try to be a good person WITHOUT such threats and incentives?

    This was long. Sorry!
    April 20th, 2008 at 01:58am
  • timothy mctague.

    timothy mctague. (100)

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    I didn't really become atheist, I just kinda always was. I went to a presbyterian primary/intermediate school and we always prayed in assembley, had religeous studies once a week where we read from the bible and such, but to me there was never enough proof that god was real and I didn't understand why I had to listen to what he was saying. I decided on calling myself atheist a few months ago, around then I started to really dislike religeon and the idea of a god. But I have nothing against religeous people, I have friends who are Christian... but I just don't like the idea of religeon.

    I felt really guilty celebrating easter this year because that's all about jesus dying and such.

    :tehe:
    April 20th, 2008 at 02:50am
  • lalaliar

    lalaliar (110)

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    I'm agnostic but peoples belief systems absolutely fascinate me, religion is just so interesting

    I suppose you become an atheist when you learn what the word means and want to categorise yourself as an atheist, or you realise when you come across that way of thinking that it's always been how you saw religious entities in the first place, subconsciously perhaps.

    I don't know, whose to say? Thats what is so amazing about religion and religious people and atheists and all the other people that don't fall into a category, everyone has an opinion or take on the subject even if their choice is not to believe.
    April 20th, 2008 at 09:47pm
  • maybe i'm a king

    maybe i'm a king (150)

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    alright, this is a bit random but...

    ....why are there books about being atheist? o_o
    doesn't that kind of.............................defeat the purpose?
    like it makes it seem more of a religion itself, no?
    April 21st, 2008 at 03:13am
  • the endless.

    the endless. (100)

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    ^ Ha, I kind of see your point.

    I'm angostic, and personally, I think atheism is its own form of blind faith. I mean, I don't believe that God exists, but I don't necessarily believe that God doesn't exist.

    It's just something I don't know, and probably won't know until I die.
    April 21st, 2008 at 03:24am
  • Seventh

    Seventh (150)

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    Technically a true 'atheist' will deny all existence in God even when faced with overwhelming proof to the contrary. [Which is why I'm uncomfortable with the term as most so-called 'atheists' are acutally just 'non-believers'.

    But anyway: true atheism is based on a belief about God [they believe He doesn't exist] and as such, could be called a religion. It is certainly a Faith. A true atheist has faith that there is no God.

    A non-believer will be willing to be convinced either way.
    April 21st, 2008 at 03:25am
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10125)

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    mali:
    alright, this is a bit random but...

    ....why are there books about being atheist? o_o
    doesn't that kind of.............................defeat the purpose?
    like it makes it seem more of a religion itself, no?
    I don't think so.Atheism is just the absence of believing in god. I don't see how writing a book makes that a religion. There are books about every kind of lifestyle choice you could make.
    April 21st, 2008 at 02:04pm
  • Eyeliner stains

    Eyeliner stains (100)

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    What I like about it the most is that there's no rules to follow, or supernatural forces to scare you into doing the right things, no shoving beliefs down your throat and no wacky theories.
    I think being an atheist means you can be free of that constricting box of religion must are forced into.
    A person's true nature shines through, if they're kind, they're being kind without expecting to go to heaven, if they're charitable they do it regardless.
    April 21st, 2008 at 04:04pm
  • swollen.and.small

    swollen.and.small (100)

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    Eyeliner stains:
    What I like about it the most is that there's no rules to follow, or supernatural forces to scare you into doing the right things, no shoving beliefs down your throat and no wacky theories.
    I think being an atheist means you can be free of that constricting box of religion must are forced into.
    A person's true nature shines through, if they're kind, they're being kind without expecting to go to heaven, if they're charitable they do it regardless.
    =]
    you basically just put what I was going to post on this forum into words!
    yay.
    I agree. I had a bat mitzvah, and grew up (reformed) Jewish, and although there was a great community, I felt so restricted...
    I just hate that the word "atheist" has become stereotyped as this awful, scary thing in so many cases.

    has anyone read "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins?
    April 22nd, 2008 at 01:49am
  • violent_red

    violent_red (100)

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    I have been studying different religions for my whole life, and I have desided that all religions are the same and really do not answer any questions at all. I have found more answers in science and that study than in any holy place. I also hate how confined you are when you are in a religion, and being forced into it from childhood is just wrong. I just think, overall, is that I turned to atheism just from studying the history and practices of every religion and disliking it all. I just don't believe in any of it.
    April 22nd, 2008 at 01:51am
  • Scars.

    Scars. (100)

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    the endless.:
    I mean, I don't believe that God exists, but I don't necessarily believe that God doesn't exist.

    It's just something I don't know, and probably won't know until I die.
    I feel the same.
    I'm still all confused, and try not to worry about it.
    All my life I went to Catholic schools, but I never believed in it. It's not that I don't believe in it, it's just that I don't bother believing in something.

    ...if that made any sense.
    April 23rd, 2008 at 06:43am
  • Eyeliner stains

    Eyeliner stains (100)

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    violent_red:
    I have been studying different religions for my whole life, and I have desided that all religions are the same and really do not answer any questions at all. I have found more answers in science and that study than in any holy place. I also hate how confined you are when you are in a religion, and being forced into it from childhood is just wrong. I just think, overall, is that I turned to atheism just from studying the history and practices of every religion and disliking it all. I just don't believe in any of it.
    I noticed that it happens to a lot of people. The minute they dare to doubt a certain religion and turn to science for answers they stop believing.
    Basically I don't think any of the great scientists were religious correct me if I'm wrong though.
    April 23rd, 2008 at 02:02pm
  • The Brightside

    The Brightside (500)

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    I'm an atheist. To me science has more logical answers, and I just don't believe in the concept of there being a higher... well, being. Religion doesn't answer any questions for me, and it all just seems too impossible for my liking.

    So much conflict is stemmed from religion, too.

    I got to a private school, where religious education is compulsory, despite my entire family being atheist. My parents were both brought up Catholic, but they didn't feel as though religion was important to them or held any meaning. Having to go through with this form of education has just helped me assert my own opinions in terms of religion, though.
    April 23rd, 2008 at 02:52pm
  • ChemicallyImbalanced

    ChemicallyImbalanced (1365)

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    If you're an Atheist, does that mean you don't believe in a higher power?
    That's what I always thought it was but I'm not really completely sure.
    April 23rd, 2008 at 02:56pm
  • Seventh

    Seventh (150)

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    It means you deny the existance of a God/Gods. Technically, they would deny it even in the face of proof, just as theists believe even without proof. Also, an atheist would not believe in a devil, despite fundamentalist propaganda.

    But most 'atheists' are simpy 'non-believers' and, if presented with proof of God, would willingly accept Him.

    Theists: "I believe, regardless of presence or lack of proof"
    Agnostics: "I admit I don't know"
    Non-believers: "I don't believe, but show me some evidence and I'm wiling to change my mind"
    Atheists: "I don't belive, regardless of presence or lack of proof"
    April 23rd, 2008 at 03:31pm
  • ChemicallyImbalanced

    ChemicallyImbalanced (1365)

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    ^ Thank you. That explained it a lot.
    April 24th, 2008 at 03:12am