I’m currently reading “The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins. He talks about how there are most likely a lot more atheists in the world than are reported in most demographic surveys. There are several issues that this affects:
1) Atheists are often made to feel uncomfortable talking about their non-belief, for fear of blowback from those that are religious. Basically, atheists are concerned about being discriminated against by prejudice individuals. They think that they are somewhat alone in the world with their non-belief.
2) Atheists are hardly represented in politics, the media, and other areas. There are a few atheist organizations, but nothing that compares to any of the mainstream religions. This means that Christians, for example, have lobbyists and propaganda to further their agendas; while the atheists virtually have no representation, no voice.
For those of us that are atheists, what do we do about this? I strongly believe that it is our generation’s responsibility to make this turn into enlightenment. A new age of science and love that is not guided by myths that others use to control and discriminate with.
Does anyone agree with me? Disagree? Where do we go from here? How do atheists unite?
I knew it! I just saw the most ridiculous documentary on TV with this Richard Dawkins person, a documentary that talks about science fiction without any evidence of anything. Just like a theological documentary, they lack the imagination to stimulate the minds of a bigger audience.
For realsies. I think if a person plays Bioshock: Infinite he’ll have a better idea about parallel universes than listening to any of this atheistic or religious nonsense.
Arts for the win.
I don’t think there are many atheists here, to be honest. I mean, there are some, I’m sure. But I think you’ll find that most people here would define “god” as….well….Einstein said it best:
“I don’t try to imagine a God; it suffices to stand in awe of the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it. My god consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. Anyone who becomes seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that there is a spirit manifest in the laws of the universe; a spirit that is superior to man.”
I believe that spirit is in all of us, because that’s what we really are in our most fundamental form. We’re spiritual beings having a human experience.
I used to read books by Ayn Rand who was a well known atheist…I even subscribed to her monthly atheist magazine for awhile…I thought I was an atheist. Eventually I realized that atheism is just the antithesis of religion…which means it’s just “more of the same”…All I see in either group are angry, vindictive people who love to argue, and value being “RIGHT!” over any of the values they profess to care about. Atheism is just another religion with “No-God” as their God….same attitude, same aggression and intent to dominate and control people.
@stett454, If you consider yourself an atheist, what exactly are you denying? a-theism… what is theism to you?
I don’t know if you can “unite” atheists. If you tried you might find that they all believe something completely different. But if you were able to somehow unite them, by uniting them into an organized group you are basically making atheism into a religion by many definitions of the word. Which is fucking hilarious.
@stett454, I believe in some kind of definition of God, but it is more based on quantum metaphysics and a nonlinear/nonlocal universal consciousness that underlies all existence, however I ultimately believe it is irrelevant.
I say “God is the line between the relevant and the irrelevant” Atheists will do better to consider that statement. I think cause/effect psychology is the most relevant issue to humanity, so everything else is more or less just a curiosity.
If I considered myself an Atheist I would push other Atheists to drop the whole “justify my beliefs” thing and get on with relevant work.
@trek79, I agree with you and at the same time think it’s pathetic. It’s like atheists only self-label themselves because it’s a way of finding friends. Or money. Anyone that self-labels himself as an atheist must be closed minded if it’s obvious that this issue is always going to be open for debate. A true atheist wouldn’t participate in talking about it unless he’s making money from being against something. Which means that if you understand that you can be an atheist and a believer at the same time, you will probably do well with both arguments. :)
@stett454, Former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Gillard is an open Atheist, but it never really was a talking point against her. Her opponents were more concerned with her not being married to her male hair dresser partner.
Quote: “I think it would be inconceivable for me if I were an American to have turned up at the highest echelon of American politics being an atheist, single and childless.”
@stett454, i agree with you, i think it’s all about not pretending to know things you don’t know
as socrates says: “the only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
as for uniting, i think it’s just all about educating people
educating people about spiritual experience, subjective experience, morality, science, reason, etc…
i think this ted talk can give you an idea of how atheism should progress http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Oe6HUgrRlQ
for anyone who’s confused about atheism and faith and this whole discussion and wants to get some different perspective, i encourage you to read sam harris and also watch this debate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E99BdOfxAE
it’s a rather abstract idea, but i feel like many of the people defending religion and faith resemble deepak chopra’s argument and i think sam harris is the voice of reason, just my thoughts
@Substratum, To be fair, atheism is different amongst different religions. If you take an atheist that was “born” Muslim and an atheist that was “born” Christian, they are going to be culturally different atheists with different disbeliefs and would correspond to only what they know. The simple fact is that when you are actually born, you don’t even know what God or atheism is. So fuck everyone! And at the same time respect everyone…
Great choice of book.
I was just joking with my friend about creating a church for atheists, where we could all come together. I’ll let you know, if I’ve got further than just the idea with that one. ;-) On a more serious note though, I don’t think that people should ephazise their religion or not beloning to any religion when it comes to politics. Though it’s easy for me to say since I’m living in one of the most atheistic county in Europe, if not to say in the world. The religious ones are the minority here.
And I think the lack of representation is due to the fact that most of the atheists don’t feel the need to pressure their views on others, unlike the religious people. And I personally like it that way, I don’t really think there should be some sort of agendas. From my own experience, I’d say that it’s pretty pointless to reason with a religious person anyway. Just spares your time not to do so.
The best place to unite and feel less alone is definitely the internet and I’d say that’s good enough. :-)
@Substratum, i don’t believe in a GOD, i believe science has rendered GOD unnecessary. i believe universe creates its self and we are the product…simple enough right. backed up by science — hypothesis, observation, conclusion. FACTS… Of course we cant disprove a GOD because creationists say GOD works out of our comprehension, all powerful and all. but that could be said about anything. faith vs fact its simple…
@billmasterson098, You believe in NO-God. Thats a belief. And your only goal is to be right about it. Just like religion. You won’t reply directly to any of these specific points because you have only one intention, which is to be RIGHT…just like religion.
Atheists saying they don’t believe in a god is just as unfounded as monotheists believing in one specific god character. They both assume too much.
As someone who’s been both a Catholic and an Atheist, I can now look at both sides more objectively. A lot of atheism revolves around hating monotheism and trying to prove it wrong and spread their beliefs (much like religion). And Christianity, well, I’m not even gonna get into it, because I’m not their biggest fan either. I reject any labels, and religions, or lack thereof, impose very rigid labels. All they do is restrict a follower to their predetermined set of beliefs. I respect anyone’s beliefs as long as they don’t shove them down my throat. I do like debates on the topic, but they usually turn into arguments.
Someone mentioned Deepak Chopra, so here’s an appropriate quote: “Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience.”
Bottom line for me: reach your own conclusions, but accept the fact that you don’t know anything. And reject labels – all they do is restrict thought.
You may notice my user name is an anagram for atheist.
Anyway, I was reading the same book and just cannot finish it, the fact that he is such a “basher” just reminds me of all the other aggressive beliefs out there. Yes Religion is branded as such, but there is also allot of other self-serving propaganda out there being sold as”raising awareness”.
My reasons are personal, but I essentially decided that I could not going on living life harboring hate for the higher being. So I let it all go, each to their own as long as it doesn’t harm others.