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Atheism has acquired a cult-like-status, a following of mass proportions, and as a result has developed in to a doctrine that adheres to a particular set of values, much like Christianity, Buddhism etc. In other words it has evolved in to a belief system for non-believers. In my opinion this is far too complex and muddled. True genuine non-belief is just the reverse of true genuine belief; it is silent and gives sign of its existence only when challenged.

SimpleCityDress SimpleCityDress
22-25, F
31 Responses Mar 17, 2008

I am actually a Buddhist, but I used to be an Atheist, and here is what I ask you:
would you rather stay silent while some main world religions promote violence and homophobia or be a voice against the discrimination? I am not against all religion, especially considering I have one of my own, but when you start to belief something just because someone tells you to, that when you know you are wrong. That is true with all religion and non religion. I am only a Buddhist until I realize that I am loosing my individual opinions and becoming one of many in a giant voice. We should always question, and if Atheism tells you not to, then it is not right and it is a religion. However for the most part, I do not think it does, therefore it is not really a religion.

Tell me which part of being an atheist requires a particular set of values. To be an atheist is simply to not believe in god. It isn't a dispute over the existence of a god.

I don't think so, some people like clans and clubs, but in my experience atheism has never been enough to form a community. There's no set of rules and atheists can be very different, some are blunt, others are romantic, for example.

Atheism is not, in and of itself, a belief system in the same way as a religion or an ideology is. That much should be self evident to anyone with an ounce of common sense.

I love what you're saying here but i urge you to watch this: <br />
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxGMqKCcN6A<br />
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I never spoke out unless challenged until i had a child. Now, I find it important to point out ignorance. Quite a few times we will hear some religious BS and I just turn to her and explain and i don't get confrontational. I also don't want to tech her that you can just spout you non-belief at people. But being surrounded with christianity - I try my best to get her to question EVERYTHING - even me - and draw her own logical conclusions. St the same time remaining respectful of others. There has to be a balance there somewhere - right?

(i really need to turn on the browsers spell check...) sorry

You get strawmen from all sides. Atheist-bashers will tell you they're all Darwin-worshipping, Dawkins-loving crypto-Satanists, while some atheists will characterise the whole group as Spock-like emotionless geniuses who never make an irrational decision in their lives.<br />
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The truth is, like many things, it's a label which is factually true of many people, but bestowed with greater significance by those who see it as a political thing.<br />
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You may not identify yourself as a capital-F-Feminist, but if you believe that women deserve rights equal to those of men, you are a small-f-feminist. You might utterly despise Republicans, but if you believe people should be governed by a representative group of citizens, you're a republican. And you might think Atheists are arrogant fools claiming impossible surety on supernatural matters, but if you're not really convinced that there's a god, you're an atheist, like it or not.

PreformedAutomaton: Glad I'm not on my own. The two (Christians/Atheists) are as bad as each other. I also think a lot of people misunderstood my point and like you said it seems some of them are confused about definitions. <br />
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PS 'atheists are godless beasts' Haha! Made me laugh that, something to do with the use of the word 'beasts'. Oh how childish I am!

why dont we all just try to be good people. lets care more about others and a little less about ourselves. i honestly feel, the better we are and the more accepting we become, the less the idea of god matters [imo]. it doesnt mean he wont exist to those who do believe.

Look at what I have just found in the teachings of Babaji:<br />
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" Everything in this world is transient. It has no reality.<br />
True reality is to proceed on the path of truth, to keep the company of saintly people, and to render service to men."<br />
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http://www.haidakhan.net/gallery8803.html?id=7<br />
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In a strange twist of events, Supertramp led me to this.

WOO..you said "open minded and seek the truth." <br />
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Man, I love that. Imagine if we all had some belief fr<x>amework or not. Yours is the Fellowship of Mankind. But under that fr<x>amework we maintained a state of open mindedness and seeking the truth. How much misery would be avoided?

It certainly wasn't. I attempted but failed miserably in trying to point out that one's belief on this was valid, no matter what the belief was, and that we far more in common than our position on the existence of God.

This topic is just one where I dislike labels, or being stereo typed.<br />
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My lifestyle follows basic Christian concepts in regard to others. I don't worship a God. I believe in the Fellowship of Mankind. I do agree that evil people exist, but have little to do with them. The idea being those people will change their ways if ignored, or die out due to a natural elocution.<br />
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Now, some say I am my own self made God. Wrong. I am nothing without my fellow men / women.<br />
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I do accept some concepts of religion in it's many flavours, and adopt what I believe to be good aspects. I am open minded and seek the truth. No, I do not follow Scientology!

I'm speechless. When Kant and Plato are "sophmoric philosophers" I'm at a loss for a reply and if this were an argument you would definitely win.<br />
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But it wasn't an argument and once again another conversation about God or No-God is starting to fail.

Below you will find proofs or arguments for God that have been accepted as legitimate by great philosophers for hundreds if not thousands of years.<br />
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Are they enough for the one who chooses not to believe? Absolutely not! This is because each one can be logically challenged, but not absolutely disproved. That still puts us right back in square one, but they are proofs.<br />
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1. Everything that exists has a cause. However, there must at some time have been a cause prior to all other causes. This 'prime mover' or first cause is necessary to explain existence. This first cause is God.<br />
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2. Although there are variations, the basic argument can be stated as follows:<br />
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1. X is too complex, orderly, adaptive, apparently purposeful, or beautiful to have occurred randomly or accidentally.<br />
2. Therefore, X must have been created by a sentient, intelligent, wise, or purposeful being.<br />
3. God is that sentient, intelligent, wise, or purposeful being.<br />
4. Therefore, God exists.<br />
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3. 1. God is, by definition, a being greater than anything that can be imagined.<br />
2. Existence both in reality and in imagination is greater than existence solely in one's imagination.<br />
3. Therefore, God must exist in reality; if He did not, God would not be a being greater than anything that can be imagined.<br />
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4. The physical nature of the universe has to be fine tuned in a number of ways to permit any sort of life to exist, which can then adapt to its conditions - as one example, 'for life to exist there must be atoms'; and that if any one of several physical constants were different by small amounts atoms would not exist.

To believe and be wrong might have potential negative consequences that you aren't accounting for.<br />
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I used to be agnostic, but years of thinking about this topic have lead me to an atheistic belief.

To believe or not to believe is as simple as a choice.<br />
To believe and in the end be correct is a wonderful thing.<br />
To be wrong? well it is just the end.<br />
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To not believe and be wrong in the end is a serious thing.<br />
To be right? will it is just the end.<br />
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I hope it works out to where none of it will really matter in the end. The lord works in mysterious ways.

After reading through a lot of these posts I'm struck with the idea once again that people should understand the definitions of words that they label themselves with. An agnostic is one who leaves options open, an atheist is one who does not...you either have a solid ob<x>jective belief (atheist) or an open-ended one (agnostic). But you can't accurately call yourself an atheist if you have open ended beliefs.

Alan, I agree, but you can be a fundamentalist atheist also. In fact, a lot of the horror and atrocities of the 20th century were committed by atheistic regimes. This is not to deny the horrors committed in the name of God either.

I think in the past atheists didn't care all that much about whether other people believed in gods or didn't believe in gods. But atheists such as Sam Harris have made the argument that religious belief isn't necessary a benign thing and that it's actually a big threat to our world. So maybe atheists are reacting to religion because it seems potentially a lot scarier than it did in the past. A few fundamentalists can cause great damage, with a little planning and ingenuity.

I haven't read any of the comments here but I couldn't agree with you more. I was prepared for a rant from a christian about how atheists are godless beasts but was pleasantly surprised. I get equally annoyed with atheists and religious fanatics.

That's why I used that quote firetech. lol<br />
I ain't looking to argue. lol

That is great Blue. I'm just not smart enough to come up with a great quote like that. I do know that Russell was one of the greatest atheists of the Twentieth Century, but his quote works both ways.

Bertrand Russell:<br />
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What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.

I like your thinking strangeone, you said you choose not to believe, and that is OK. But you could have said that "because of all the proof I see I choose to believe." , that would have been ok too.<br />
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Because there is proof for the existence of God, but there is never enough for those who choose not to believe. Nor is there ever enough proof of the negative, and there is a lot, for those who choose to believe. One choice is as good as another. The important thing is how you live, not some abstract belief.<br />
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As a gifted philosopher once said.<br />
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"If your idea of God is some entity in which one can argue for or against, then you have know idea as to what the God concept is."<br />
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The best that we can say is that after we look at everything there is in the entire universe, including your love for your child, and you believe there is nothing more, then you are an atheist. That is ok.<br />
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But if after looking at every thing there is, you believe there is something more, then you are a theist. That is ok too.<br />
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But for the life of me, I don't see room for argument here.

Personally, there are two kinds of people I have a hard time really understanding. The without-a-doubt-believers, and the without-a-doubt-unbelievers.<br />
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Are there any out there who just don't know, and feel like life is one search journey?

The original post reminds me of the psychological challenge to "not think about a pink elephant." The harder one tries, the more one see it. What I read was that the actual atheist has no image at all of a pink elephant in his or her mind, while the "cult" atheist of today is focusing tremendous energy on making that mental image of the pink elephant go away. In this respect, the individual is ruled by the elephant.

For those of you who are a confused by this story and the point I was trying to make I offer a very simple clarification which rests on a universally accepted definition of atheism, posited below for ease of reference: <br />
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Atheism (noun) - a: Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God(s) b: The doctrine that there is no God(s).<br />
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DOCTRINE being the key word. Whatever your ideological reasons for being an atheist, and I am sure they vary from person to person, you still believe in not believing and therefore, unwittingly, adhere to a doctrine just like those who do believe in believing. In short, even the non believers believe in something in this case NOT believing. <br />
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I personally would never categorise myself at all. Then again everyone's different.

'Atheists aren't really all that curious, I guess.'<br />
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yes we are celainn. just for me, most believers dont say anything that i havent already heard....and as usual, i tend to disagree with their point of view, but i certainly listen to it first. i choose to be atheist over agnostic because, like you, i acknowledge that i dont know. but i am very comfortable saying that god does not exist, because to me, until i see or hear proof that suggests otherwise, i just cant comprehend accepting the possibility of an unknown great deity.<br />
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simplecitydress, i dont know where you are from, but where i am from, this lone atheist is an outcast.

Gosh It might be nice if this post were true. Atheists as a group don't like to form groups that trample in hive-mind style... but perhaps if they did we could laugh faith out of the way a little sooner. <br />
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I think everyone is agnostic. It's a dud term, if theres proof, there's proof... an atheist would believe as much as an agnostic... doesn't matter what you call yourself.<br />
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Atheists do entertain the idea of a greater being Celainn, to suggest we are incapable is silliness... how could we form our universal views if we didn't consider what we are essentially against/in disagreement with?<br />
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Anyway, back to the story... as I say, perhaps that would be nice... a little unity in our views and actions...<br />
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What circles do you move in? Must be some interesting circles :)

Perhaps where you come from. Tis' certainly true of the circles I mix in.

I haven't seen any signs of this. Atheists have been around since the dawn of time, but tend to be a tiny minority of the population for the most part.