Debate and Discussion

Is atheism 'cool'?
snark at 1:41AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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I normally don't post all that often on the Debate and Discussion board, though I do read through a lot of the posts from time to time, and I've noticed a lot of people say that they are atheist or that they find the concept of God(s) unrealistic or unlikely.

I'm just starting to wonder however, are there really that many of us ready to denounce the concept of religion becuase it is intellectual disagreable with us, or are we simply following what everyone else is doing? I know in my personal life, that my friends who are religious are far less likely to openly state that they are as compared to my friends who are atheists, who seem to jump at every oppertunity to proclaim their atheism.

I know this is all based on observations rather then any hard facts and figures, but I was just wondering if perhaps many of us say we're atheists because it's cooler then being religious. Well, what do you all think?
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TnTComic at 4:00AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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New athiests tend to be rather in-your-face about it.

What i've found in the last 10-15 years is more attention given to atheism in the mainstream media. The stigma attached to being an atheist is dwindling, and when that happens more people are willing to explore it.
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Atom Apple at 5:24AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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I usually see the opposite. Conservatives always seem to throw into coocky mode when I'm around. Probably just bad timing.
i will also like to know you the more
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DAJB at 5:38AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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I certainly don't see it as cool or uncool. It's just what I happen to believe (or, more accurately, not believe).

My experience is definitely different from yours, however. I tend to find that atheists wll go about their daily lives without ever mentioning their (lack of) belief until someone who is religious decides to begin a debate about it.

Just depends on the circles you move in, I suppose.
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TnTComic at 6:03AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Couldn't agree more, DAJB. Atheism is not really a belief. A belief is an affirmative thing, atheism is just a description of how someone views religion. It is similar to if they made a word for people who don't like onions. People who don't like onions don't run around saying “I hate onions! Onions are bullshit!” If the topic of onions comes up, they have something to say, yeah. But other than that, nope.
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Jonko at 7:15AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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I feel like most of the people I know that are atheist and proud of it are those that had bad experiences with their religion in the past. For example I have a friend that was forced to go to Church every weekend even though she hated it more than anything on earth, and now she's bitter about anyone that practices any religion.
Then again it probably does depend on the case.
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SpANG at 8:12AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Not sure if “cool” is the proper word. But, as science progresses, Atheism is more “popular” that's for sure.

Why? Things that were once explained “miracles” and “God's work” have been given valid, scientific, explanation. This will no doubt increase the more we evolve as a society. And less and less people will cling to old beliefs.

It's like the old image of a tribal leader thinking you stole his soul by using a camera. You may think “aw, that's cute.”

But ‘the faithful’ will probably be perceived by future generations the same way.

“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
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TnTComic at 8:20AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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SpANG
It's like the old image of a tribal leader thinking you stole his soul by using a camera. You may think “aw, that's cute.”

Excuse me good sir! The amish are not a tribe!
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SpANG at 8:41AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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SpANG
It's like the old image of a tribal leader thinking you stole his soul by using a camera. You may think “aw, that's cute.”

Excuse me good sir! The amish are not a tribe!
I was thinking more aboriginal, but why not Amish? A definition of “tribe” is:
Dictionary.com
a class or set of persons, esp. one with strong common traits or interests.
But the Amish are a perfect example. What were once widely accepted beliefs are now considered “quaint”.

“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
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Kristen Gudsnuk at 9:55AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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snark
I'm just starting to wonder however, are there really that many of us ready to denounce the concept of religion becuase it is intellectually disagreeable with us, or are we simply following what everyone else is doing? I know in my personal life, that my friends who are religious are far less likely to openly state that they are as compared to my friends who are atheists, who seem to jump at every opportunity to proclaim their atheism.

hm… it really depends on the crowd you're with. all of my friends back home are religious (some of them are …very devout…) and so I never really felt like I could open up and let them know I'm atheist. I mean, by now they've all figured it out (thank you, facebook profile thing!! haha) but I guess what I'm saying is that it just depends on who you're with. It's not hard for a christian to declare their love for god in an intervarsity meeting, and it's not hard for an atheist to declare their disbelief in that particular concept.

…it's subjective, but I think atheists probably feel that out-of-the-closet feeling nowadays, seeing as atheism is now becoming less of a taboo, even accepted (gasp!) by the non-zealots of society.
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TnTComic at 10:05AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Do you think the incredibly small numbers of atheists in the political sphere is due to the idea that saying you're an atheist is fatal to one's political career?

To my knowledge, only one member of congress has said he is an athiest.

1 out of 535.

Even if you put the percentage of atheists in America at 1% (i've heard its much higher) that would mean at least 5 congressmen should be atheists. But there's only 1. Why the disparity?

Or is it more an issue of what the people will vote for? I suspect it is. And if so, doesn't that shine a light on how atheists are viewed in America? American voters embrace catholics, jews, mormons… even if they don't agree with their religious beliefs, they vote for them. But atheists?
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Aurora Moon at 10:29AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Jonko
I feel like most of the people I know that are atheist and proud of it are those that had bad experiences with their religion in the past. For example I have a friend that was forced to go to Church every weekend even though she hated it more than anything on earth, and now she's bitter about anyone that practices any religion.
Then again it probably does depend on the case.

Hmm. I was in quite a simlar situation as your friend there… my mother forced me to go to church every sunday until I made a point to humliate her at church by snoring loudly and pretending to sleep. lol.

However to feel bitterness toward all religions about that seems silly to me.

I do feel some resentment toward certain types of religions but for completely different reasons than that.

It's mainly my experiences with highly religious people in the boarding school I went to that has colored some of my strong views. Mind you, the boarding school I went to wasn't supposed to be any part of a specific religious view… was supposed to be multi-cultural.. but a lot of Christians worked/went there.

You have no idea how much of an huge asshole some people can be regarding their own religions. Acting like their religion was completely superior to everyone else's based on the fact that anything they do and ever believe in is right, while anything else that everyone does is completely wrong.

The Lil old “Everything I say and do is right, while you're WRONG! So I'm gonna patronize you, and hound you about topics you feel is right but I feel is WRONG!!”

A teacher of mine even went far as to make up all kinds of shit about me to get the other school staff against me when I kept on pointing out flaws in her logic when she tried to bring religion into a freaking CHEMISTRY discussion.

So while I'm not athetist (more like Angostic), I can totally understand why some would become Athetist based on personal bad expernices with people. After all, is it any less vaid that somebody is Athetist based on the fact that they had a bad expernice over somebody who chooses not to believe in god(s) based on evidence?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
TnTComic at 10:39AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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After all, is it any less vaid that somebody is Athetist based on the fact that they had a bad expernice over somebody who chooses not to believe in god(s) based on evidence?

Yeah, i'd say it is. Choosing not to believe based on evidence is dispassionate, choosing not to believe based on representation just seems kind of petty. Like hating Fords because their salesmen are dicks, you know?
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StaceyMontgomery at 10:44AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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There aren't a lot of atheist politicians because people won't vote for them. Can you imagine an out atheist being president in the US? I cannot.

As an atheist, I'm glad to see naturalistic worldviews getting a little attention from the media and the culture, as opposed to the supernaturalistic worldviews that generally dominate.

However, we're a dueling-duality kind of culture, so the real point is lost, as usual. The point isn't that we need atheism to be cool - the point is that we need Secularism to be cool.

See, the fundamentalists - in their attempt to create an all-religion, all-the-time public discourse, have created the idea in America that Secularism is about atheism. OF course, that's just stupid - the idea of a secular space - and a secular society - is to create a common ground where people of all kinds of worldviews - like many kinds of christians and jews and islamic peoples and wiccans - and even atheists! - can come together and work together and get along.

But Secularism - the idea of creating a public space where there is space for a variety of worldviews - is out of fashion these days. Even the idea of a secular debate seems almost old fashioned these days.

We've seen that problem here on this message board - in the middle of debates on various topics, people have put up frustrated posts that say things like “but this is silly, because you don't share my belief about the supernatural (or lack thereof) - there's no point is us talking!”

that's a bad place for us to have reached.

Make no mistake - various subgroups and religions dream of controlling the rest of us. The solution is not for us to try to rule them - but to create a common public space - a secular culture that is inclusive of all worldviews (even the ones you really hate) and a place where we can work together to build the new century.


But of course, for that to work, you have to believe that coming together and working together is more important than your own worldivew.

And I do believe that.

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TnTComic at 10:49AM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Didn't you get the memo? Secularists aren't inclusive! Their only motivation is to exclude that which they don't believe in!
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kyupol at 4:51PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Atheism is NOT cool. Any extreme belief has always resulted in evil.

What is the EVIL that came of atheism?

Here is the “logic:

-There is no God.
-If there is no god, there is no heaven or hell or angels or demons or any of that magical stuff.
-If there is no heaven or hell, there is no afterlife.
-Since there is no afterlife, there is no reward or punishment for my actions whether they be ”good“ or ”bad“.
- What is ”good“? What is ”bad“? Well… if it is ”good“ for me, then it must be ”good".


for example, a fatter bank account is good for me. Then I dont care if I outsource my labour costs to a cheaper country. Who cares if those countries are human rights abusers? So what if China/India/Pakistan/Taiwan/etc… works its people like slaves while paying them just barely enough to survive? As long as I am filthy rich and getting profits, all is good. Afterall, my employees are just objects at my own disposal.




And in fairness to the “atheists”, here is the evil of too much religious extremism:

- There is God
- If there is God, there is an afterlife… heaven and hell and such
- If there is an afterlife, that means I should do good.
- But if I'm the only one doing good, what about the others.
- The others must be saved too… right?
- Also… there are other “falsehoods” out there preaching the wrong thing.
- For them to be saved, they must believe THE TRUE RELIGION.


And for everyone to believe the true religion, I must do everything in my power to spread the TRUE RELIGION. Even if that means annoying the hell out of people or strapping bombs on my chest to kill the infidels. For the sake of the TRUE RELIGION, all other infidels and the fakes must be exterminated (or demonized). And with the help of God, all the infidels/atheists/non-believers/heretics/etc… will burn in a sea of holy fire!!!



NOW UPDATING!!!
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kyupol at 5:11PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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… and my background?

Born and raised in an extreme form of Catholicism. I had my own negative experiences with that kind of belief system. So… I started following a more moderate approach. I don't care what church I go to. As long as it recognizes God and Jesus I'll go to it.

However, I found a few things that are hypocritical… like how some christians fall into the mistake of hating the sinner and not the sin. Especially among the hard line ones that hate muslims and jews and atheists.

But… Jesus was criticized by the Pharisees for hanging out with the tax collectors and the prostitutes (which were branded as “sinners” during those days). Jesus told them that whoever has no sin should be the one to throw the first stone.

I am aware though that the “preachy” attitude common in christians has turned people into atheism. The explanation for that is because it is believed that the more people you convert, you get a spot in heaven… that is why the christians tend to OVERDO it like an aggressive salesman.

There is also the misconception that christians are dumb as sheep because they tend to worship Jesus even if Jesus died 2000 years ago or something like that. Christians arent dumb. I've met priests and strong believers in God… while being “men of science” at the same time. I knew a priest who was a former chemical engineer… and a doctor who is a strong believer in God.

The doctor told me… that he believes in God because only God has the supreme authority over life and death. A doctor can memorize all those books about the human body and treat diseases. A doctor can REPAIR but not CREATE.


NOW UPDATING!!!
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StaceyMontgomery at 5:18PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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The idea that anyone else's belief is “not cool” and “always results in evil” is always the basis for turning against a shared secular space for all.

Once someone says “people must believe like i do to be good” then you know where we are moving away from a shared space - and towards an attempt at tyranny. Most of those attempts fail, actually. Thank goodness.

I am perfectly happy to share the world with people who have all kinds of worldviews - so long as I will be allowed to have mine. Of course, when people start to assign me “EVIL” in capitals, I shall always be wary.


And no, I don't need to believe in the supernatural to be moral - any more than a belief in the supernatural actually makes people moral. There may - or may not - be supernatural forces at work in the Universe, and there may be meaning beyond what we can see - but i do not need them to be a moral person. My morality is not based on a fear of punishment in the afterlife - we teach children to behave by threatening punishment, but as they get older, we actually expect them to outgrow that kind of thinking, don't we?
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kyupol at 5:29PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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And no, I don't need to believe in the supernatural to be moral - any more than a belief in the supernatural actually makes people moral. There may - or may not - be supernatural forces at work in the Universe, and there may be meaning beyond what we can see - but i do not need them to be a moral person. My morality is not based on a fear of punishment in the afterlife - we teach children to behave by threatening punishment, but as they get older, we actually expect them to outgrow that kind of thinking, don't we?


So what is the motivation to do good for someone who is an atheist? If there is no heaven and hell… if you're just gonna cease to exist at the end of your life.

I'm not asking that to put down atheism… I'm just interested in your opinion.

Personally, I will not find motivation to do good without the idea of Jesus and the afterlife. I can tell… that if I was born and raised in an atheist background, I would have killed myself a long time ago. The only thing that stopped me from taking my own life is a belief in Jesus and the afterlife.


And what is the rationalization of the atheist thought… on how to stop suicide? Perhaps your friends and family will miss you? What if its “friends” and “family” that is the cause of suicidal behavior? I'm also curious about that.
NOW UPDATING!!!
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StaceyMontgomery at 6:06PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Kyupol - if we are going to discuss this, it has to be in a civil context. In common parlance, “rationalization” means “the process of devising a self-satisfying but incorrect reason for one's behavior” - so it hardly seems civil of you to ask “And what is the rationalization of the atheist thought…”

But please, let me tell share some of my thoughts on the topics you raised.

When I was a child, if i stole things, I was generally caught and punished. Or not - but the knowledge that I might be punished was a looming promise. Over time, of course, I became an adult, and understood that our life as civilized people required a code of conduct and behavior. I am an adult human, i make an active choice to be a part of a society around me, to take part in its activities and its rules. Of course, I am not slavishly obedient - I have been very active in trying to change some of my societies rules, and in places where i thought them silly and harmful, i have openly opposed and even publicly broken them. But I have always sought to these things responsibly, as the greater obligation remains.

I was raised to believe in this process - that an adult chooses to take part in human affairs and society, and gets certain privileges and responsibilities because of it.

As for suicide, I must say, the idea that suicide is “immoral” is confusing to me. Actually, I believe in the right of an adult of sound mind to choose the time of their death. However, I also believe that is wrong - that is, “immoral” - to waste anything of value if you can avoid it. I love life, and i love the infinite possibilities available to those who are alive. Since life has value, it behooves us not to waste it where we can.

Let me be more personal, if i may. At several points in my life, I have ended up as the “senior” (that is, eldest) member of social groups made up of people in High Suicide categories - in my case, queer and transexual youth. Spurned by their families and society, wracked with feeling of persecution and guilt and self-hatred, unable to imagine a happy future, such teens are often at a very high risk for suicide. And so it has - more times than i care to think about - fallen on me to “talk someone down” - sometimes quite literally.

I never said to them “this is immoral and you will be punished for it the afterlife!” - though that might work with some people, i think that would have gone over badly in many cases! Instead I talked about the power of love and the value of life, and the endless chances that we all get, every day, to make things better.

It seems to me that this is the hope that we all actually live for. Perhaps for some people, it is the fear of punishment (or the hopes of rewards after this life) that makes them behave, but I cannot find a way to connect to that idea emotionally. Perhaps this life is just a test or a schoolyard, but a professor told me once “Just take the test honestly, don't try to outsmart it or game it out” and I guess that's how I feel about religion. I am living this life honestly and - when i can manage it - with honor. I don't need to try to figure out what the professors are looking for. I am responsible to my own conscience.

But I do believe that the best thing you can do in this life is to forgive. So when i am told there is a loving, all powerful god who does not forgive suicide - that makes no sense to me. But people get all kinds of ideas in their heads.

I try to make space for them all. After all, I've been wrong more than once. And so have all of them.
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kyupol at 6:18PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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“rationalization” means “the process of devising a self-satisfying but incorrect reason for one's behavior” - so it hardly seems civil of you to ask “And what is the rationalization of the atheist thought…”

English is my second language. Sorry for the wrong english and thanks for giving me the definition. :)
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
kyupol at 6:25PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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High Suicide categories - in my case, queer and transexual youth. Spurned by their families and society, wracked with feeling of persecution and guilt and self-hatred, unable to imagine a happy future, such teens are often at a very high risk for suicide.

I feel sorry for you.

Though a possible explanation of the homophobia of christians… boils down to the “hate the sinnER” mentality that they fall into. A priest told me that homosexual acts are SINS… but a man who resists his homosexual tendencies is actually considered to be heroic… because it is often preached to RESIST TEMPTATION. Therefore prolonged resistance to temptation… prolonged resistance to the desire to commit homosexual acts… is a virtue in itself.

and with true sorrow for his sinful nature, he can be saved.


a loving, all powerful god who does not forgive suicide

Suicide is in the same category as murder in the Christian faith.

therefore you murder yourself.

Murder is a mortal sin. (mortal sin - a sin that damns you to hell if you die in a state of mortal sin)

So if you kill yourself, that makes you dead. And since your last act in life is murder, that means you die with mortal sin… therefore sending you to hell.

Its weird… but that way of thought saved my life. :)
NOW UPDATING!!!
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StaceyMontgomery at 7:15PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Kyupol said “I feel sorry for you.”

I have no idea why. Did I say something about myself that deserves sorrow or pity? If so, please set the thought aside. I neither need nor require anyone to feel sorry for me, and in fact, the idea makes me very uncomfortable. I am as flawed as the next person - but surely, not much more flawed than the next person.

I mean, I disagree with you on lots of things - but I cannot imagine feeling sorry for you over them - it would be disrespectful. There is room enough for all beliefs, and good people to believe them all.

And “Feeling sorry” never did anyone any good anyway. As a Priest once told me - “don't feel sorry for the poor - feed them!”


As for why the Christians have such a poor record with homosexuals - I have to admit, I do not really care why. It is only the actions that they take that I care about - and in time, i expect they will grow out of it anyway. The fact is, Christians used to have rules about how to dress and what to eat - They had all kinds of rules that modern christians do not pay attention to anymore. For instance, most Christian men I know shave their beards. That used to be against the rules for a Christian man (I have no idea why).

They have simply come to understand the basics tenants of their faith - the teachings Christ - do not depend on the customs and traditions of forgotten desert tribes, things that once seemed so important. No doubt, in 100 years, most christians will feel the same way about homosexuality as they do now about dietary rules. Of course, much damage will be done while we wait for them to catch up - but patience is the most useful of the Virtues.

(That last quote is generally given to the Poet Virgil - but i got it from watching Mr. Moto movies as a child, which only shows you that a good education comes in many forms!)

(edited for typos and for clarity)
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Aurora Moon at 7:21PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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kyupol
So what is the motivation to do good for someone who is an atheist? If there is no heaven and hell… if you're just gonna cease to exist at the end of your life.

I'm not asking that to put down atheism… I'm just interested in your opinion.

Personally, I will not find motivation to do good without the idea of Jesus and the afterlife. I can tell… that if I was born and raised in an atheist background, I would have killed myself a long time ago. The only thing that stopped me from taking my own life is a belief in Jesus and the afterlife.

And what is the rationalization of the atheist thought… on how to stop suicide? Perhaps your friends and family will miss you? What if its “friends” and “family” that is the cause of suicidal behavior? I'm also curious about that.

Hmm. Whole I'm Agnostic (believing in the possibly of God ), I don't believe in Hell or Heaven at all. I firmly believe that Death is basically equal for all. It doesn't care if you are rich, poor, white, black, etc…. it doesn't care what you did in life and sends you all to the same place. I think that's why it scares so many people on a personal level….because for all their beliefs, they feel that on a subconscious level. After all, people want to be treated special… to be part of something unique and speical. Even in the Afterlife.

So what do I get out of being “moral” and all that if I do not believe in Heaven or Hell? Well that's very easy!
I firmly believe that life on earth is so MUCH MORE important than the afterlife.
I'd like to believe in Reincarnation, as seeing that system makes a lot of sense to me. But in the case that it isn't true, I'd personally like to take the effort to have a positive impact on society.
After all, this is the only life you get if Reincarnation isn't true. And it's the only life for a lot of other people too. So if you want to live life to the fullest and to make the world a better place, why not do that? That's the best possible way to appreciate the life you've been given, whenever it be just by nature itself or by something greater, by being the best good person you know how to be.

And you have to admit that makes sense. After all, this world is going to be where your future children or relatives/and loved ones are going to be in. By personally impacting the world in the most positive way you can think of, there's the chance that you would not only made the world better for yourself but for others too as well. It's what you'll be remembered for once you leave behind this world.
And that's no bigger reward in my eyes.

As for suicide, Stacey said it the best:
I never said to them “this is immoral and you will be punished for it the afterlife!” - though that might work with some people, i think that would have gone over badly in many cases! Instead I talked about the power of love and the value of life, and the endless chances that we all get, every day, to make things better.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
subcultured at 7:23PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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it's kinda funny how Christianity was born as a radical religion fighting tyranny (jesus vs rome) now that religion has become a tyrant forcing people with their beliefs and excommunicate those that don't believe with them.

my complaint about catholicism is the fact that jesus becomes a superhero, really…how do you aspire to be a superhero. I like to think of Jesus doing good with his action and not just words.

actions define you, not what you say.
in the end Jesus did not ask God to keep him alive, he didn't treat God like a genie.
we should follow that path.

make a difference just because you want to, not because you might get some reward in the end. If you think like that you're the same as the suicide bombers and their virgins.
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:03PM
snark at 11:05PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Someone
So what is the motivation to do good for someone who is an atheist? If there is no heaven and hell… if you're just gonna cease to exist at the end of your life.

I'm not asking that to put down atheism… I'm just interested in your opinion.

Personally, I will not find motivation to do good without the idea of Jesus and the afterlife.

Whilst Stacey has made a superbly eloquant counterpoint to this statement, I must say that the sheer commonality of this argument agains't atheisism and sometimes even secularism is both annoying and worriying to me.

I fail to understand why atheism is so often spouted as moraless and even evil. On a personal note, I do charity work from time to time, sometimes with religious organizations, and many fellow aid workers have expressed suprise upon learning that I am an atheist. Many say that they are ‘suprised’ that I would help and ask what my ‘motivation’ is for doing so.

Personally, I've always seen that concept of doing good on earth to get to heaven as been closer to a rewards and punishment basis rather then true charity. Perhaps someone could help enlighten me on this particular issue?

Anyway, I know this doesnt really have anything to do with the context of this current discussion but I felt like I needed to voice this worry.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
Rich at 11:27PM, Oct. 4, 2007
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Personally, I've always seen that concept of doing good on earth to get to heaven as been closer to a rewards and punishment basis rather then true charity. Perhaps someone could help enlighten me on this particular issue?

It is a basic form of control. Nothing more. It's easier to get people to do what you want if they are afraid of you rather than teaching them to do good. All doctrines of ‘good and evil’ lead to are unstable people who would happily do all kinds of evil if they lost their faith.

Atheists do not require that man in the clouds to keep them from acting immoral, and it scares theists that they can be good people without fear. It makes religion look useless other than as a tool to try and cheat death.



I will point out that atheism is growing rapidly because religion is no longer as heavily enforced as it once was. Back in the day (100 some odd years ago) EVERYONE went to church. Over time, less and less people kept going. Without the parents enforcing religion on the kids, they started thinking for themselves and ultimately decided on atheism.

Ugh… tis an odd day that me, a theist, is defending atheism. =\
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:07PM
bobhhh at 12:47AM, Oct. 5, 2007
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it's kinda funny how Christianity was born as a radical religion fighting tyranny (jesus vs rome) now that religion has become a tyrant forcing people with their beliefs and excommunicate those that don't believe with them.

my complaint about catholicism is the fact that jesus becomes a superhero, really…how do you aspire to be a superhero. I like to think of Jesus doing good with his action and not just words.

actions define you, not what you say.
in the end Jesus did not ask God to keep him alive, he didn't treat God like a genie.
we should follow that path.

make a difference just because you want to, not because you might get some reward in the end. If you think like that you're the same as the suicide bombers and their virgins.

Bingo! This is exactly my feeling. God types make a big fuss about free will, and yet they assert that we would be fucked and die sinners without god. The fact that some people insinuate that we need the threat of damnation to make us act properly implies we don't really have much free will.

Why cant we just behave humane and live in peace? Why must there be a punishment for shining off god? Is he intersted in us achieving the fullness of human potential, by treating each other as we would like to be treated, with charity and love? Or is he an egomaniac which insists you bow to him or go to hell.

You gotta wonder about Mother Teresa, She gave her life to selfless acts of kindness and charity, if as her memoirs suggest she doubted her belief in god does she earn herself a ticket to hell?

God types insist you carry a lot of baggage, swallow a lot on faith and accept that there is somebody hiding somewhere with all the answers.

Honestly atheism doesnt assume anywhere near that much. All it pretends to say is “I don't believe that”.

My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
ozoneocean at 3:20AM, Oct. 5, 2007
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Rich
Atheists do not require that man in the clouds to keep them from acting immoral, and it scares theists that they can be good people without fear. It makes religion look useless other than as a tool to try and cheat death.
Awww… careful there, that “theism” definition is only really Christianity. You could maybe say Judaism or Islam in a third hand way, but mainly modern Christianity.

The Subject of why Atheism is popular though, I'd say it's a few things. Ok, you're only talking about places like the US mainly, so for their I'd say the continual move away from smaller communities that support local church groups has fostered a long term drift. Also, the rise of and greater tolerance of the madder aspects of Christianity in the US (charismatic groups, fundamentalists…), that has in some ways been in response to this drift away from organised religion has helped to characterise the entire movement and religion in general in a very poor light in the popular mind.

There are other things, but I think those two are particularly germane. “Atheism” is almost like an alternative faith in a lot of ways to many people, US Atheists are particularly known around the world for their fervour! I was quite amused by Douglas Adam's accounts in that regard. lol!

So rather than a strictly intellectual choice, like you or I might make, I see it as being thus in many cases; for a lot of people organised religions don't do it for them any longer, the religious/spiritual-alternatives are too crazy, but they still need to replace the hole in their lives, the hole in their minds, so they turn to Atheism; a nice, comfortingly organised set of unbeleifs. Where, just like in the religions, the theorists and philosophers have done all the hard thinking before them.

Heh. I'll reiterate that I'm NOT saying that description characterises all Atheists in any way! I'm talking about the popular following.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:28PM
TnTComic at 4:05AM, Oct. 5, 2007
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Atheism is NOT cool. Any extreme belief has always resulted in evil.

What is the EVIL that came of atheism?


That's where you lost me.

Being an atheist, I don't believe in evil.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:31PM

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