Debate and Discussion

Is atheism 'cool'?
StaceyMontgomery at 7:42AM, Oct. 8, 2007
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bobhhh - i think your response to my post was unfair. I certainly did not say anyone was weak willed. I simply point out that the US has been awash in religious zeal for some time, and many people are looking for an alternative way of thinking about the world - a way that is more rational, humane, humanistic, and that seems to have a more tolerant approach to living with one's neighbors.

And so this is a moment for Atheists. I myself am enjoying the fact that lots of people are reading Richard Dawkins, He's a favorite author of mine.

The point of my post - and I regret that Bobhhh saw it as me making little of people's thoughts - is that Atheism is actually something that many people in America have not seriously considered. A belief in the supernatural is, in my experience, the norm. I would say it is “the default.”

But It seems to me only natural that many people, tired of the evangelicals rhetoric on science, gays, war, and the importance of one half of the country hating the other half of the country - should take a moment to read a book on naturalistic worldviews, and reconsider a little.

That doesn't mean they actually become atheists, and it doesn't mean they are weak willed or trendy. There is simply a moment where the popular culture seems to have stopped and taken a breath and considered that maybe there is more to life than deciding between levels of religious zeal.

I don't think that huge masses of Americans are becoming, or will become, Atheists. It remains a minority view, I'm afraid, and America remains a very faithful nation. But we may be returning to a place where there is some space secular discussions, and room for atheists and naturalistic opinions to be heard.

And that is a good thing, in my opinion.

But I don't think I will see an Atheist US President in my Lifetime. Alas, for most Americans Hope and Optimism and Love seem so strange that they can only accept them if they claim to come from a supernatural source. Myself, I do have faith - in the glorious wonder of the people that surround us, and what they are capable of.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
DAJB at 8:14AM, Oct. 8, 2007
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I don't know how much longer this thread will go round the loop it seems to be in just now but, if the final conclusion is that being an atheist is “cool”, could somebody tell me.

'Cos, you know, that's the point at which I'd probably want to stop being one!
:D

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
mapaghimagsik at 10:56AM, Oct. 8, 2007
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Naw, being a pagan is the “cool” thing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ozoneocean at 11:27AM, Oct. 8, 2007
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Honestly, I think pagan “cool” was a 90's fad. I'm pretty sure that's over now. I think it's back to being a bit dorky and or earnest and overly sincere again now.

If we're really to think about this in terms of “cool” trends, I would think that it's not so much Atheism that's a trend, but a sort of standard Atheist Humanism. Humanism being the main part of that, i.e; for people who follow that particular trend the Humanism comes first, Atheism is just part of the deal.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:28PM
mapaghimagsik at 12:35PM, Oct. 8, 2007
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Oh no. Nothing gets a parent's blood boiling than “I'm a wiccan”

“I'm an athiest” generates a sigh and the usual “You'll come back to Jesus” comment.

Seriously. Paganism is tons cooler than atheism. You get to wear bells and stuff.

I think the most fun I had in a long time is when I told someone I went to the atheist church. They asked where it was.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
DAJB at 12:45PM, Oct. 8, 2007
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mapaghimagsik
I think the most fun I had in a long time is when I told someone I went to the atheist church. They asked where it was.
Now that is cool!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
bobhhh at 5:18PM, Oct. 8, 2007
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StaceyMontgomery
bobhhh - i think your response to my post was unfair. I certainly did not say anyone was weak willed. I simply point out that the US has been awash in religious zeal for some time, and many people are looking for an alternative way of thinking about the world - a way that is more rational, humane, humanistic, and that seems to have a more tolerant approach to living with one's neighbors.

And so this is a moment for Atheists. I myself am enjoying the fact that lots of people are reading Richard Dawkins, He's a favorite author of mine.

The point of my post - and I regret that Bobhhh saw it as me making little of people's thoughts - is that Atheism is actually something that many people in America have not seriously considered. A belief in the supernatural is, in my experience, the norm. I would say it is “the default.”

But It seems to me only natural that many people, tired of the evangelicals rhetoric on science, gays, war, and the importance of one half of the country hating the other half of the country - should take a moment to read a book on naturalistic worldviews, and reconsider a little.

That doesn't mean they actually become atheists, and it doesn't mean they are weak willed or trendy. There is simply a moment where the popular culture seems to have stopped and taken a breath and considered that maybe there is more to life than deciding between levels of religious zeal.

I don't think that huge masses of Americans are becoming, or will become, Atheists. It remains a minority view, I'm afraid, and America remains a very faithful nation. But we may be returning to a place where there is some space secular discussions, and room for atheists and naturalistic opinions to be heard.

And that is a good thing, in my opinion.

But I don't think I will see an Atheist US President in my Lifetime. Alas, for most Americans Hope and Optimism and Love seem so strange that they can only accept them if they claim to come from a supernatural source. Myself, I do have faith - in the glorious wonder of the people that surround us, and what they are capable of.

Now its my turn to be misunderstood. I didn't mean to lay this all at your door, I was really responding to Ozo's claim that I wasn't getting the point of the whole thread, which he was right in pointing out. I referred to people being weak willed because they adopted a stance because it was popular, not because they had reasoned it out.

It never occurred to me that you may be right that folks are just coming to that conclusion naturally, and just between us, I hope you are right.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM
Short_Circuiting at 4:48PM, Oct. 11, 2007
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I'm not really athiest, more agnostic, but I'm not like that because “everybody's doing it.” In fact, 99% of the people around me are … devout Christians. I believe what I believe because I just thought about it. Christianity doesn't seem logical to me. (I say “Christianity” specifically because it's all I've been around sadly… no diversity where I live.) I've always been a very science-oriented person. It seems to me that the “cool” thing where I live is to be Christian, and I get harassed sometimes when I tell people I'm agnostic. And they always think that means athiest. And they think athiest means “devil-worshipper.” If I were doing something to be “cool”, I would pretend to be a Satanist just to make them crap their pants. xD
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:34PM
CoyoteLongshot at 2:44PM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Ditto with Short_Circuiting. My whole family is Christian, but I never really felt that was the way for me. I'm simply not convinced. I think it's great that people can find inspiration in God, though.

I digress. The point is, I don't think it's “cool”, it's just based on what you personally want to believe, and what your heart tells you. Anybody who believes something just because everyone else is doing it needs to do some soul-searching, I think.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:47AM
trevoramueller at 1:50PM, Oct. 15, 2007
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Where I live, it's just cool to not be Christian.

Which, for me, was so 1992…. ;)

Seriously though, I live in a pretty young and artsy town. But many people here succumb to trends, even with religion. Now, despite my personal beliefs, I tend to try to listen to everyone's stance and I've found that many people go through the motions of being religious - but don't know a lot about what they claim to base their life on.

Example: My friend Jeremy was born and raised catholic. The guy goes to church every week at least once. He's in the church choir. He prays before every meal. He prays before going to bed. He's respectful enough to not preach his views to others, but seems to always lose out on the debates that we have about religion. Then I find out that he's never read the Bible - New / Old Testament. Neither. The guy has submitted his life to follow a lifestyle based on a book that he's never even read.

So I challenge him to read the Bible and form his own opinions. So he does, and he comes out of it an educated person - and changes from Catholicism to another branch of Christianity. He likes it more, it meshes better with his own personal beliefs - although his parents probably have not forgiven me to this day ;)

The point is that if you believe in something, it should be an educated belief. Just like making a decision about politics, you should know all the facts. Likewise, if you don't believe in anything - like an Atheist - then you're given a unique opportunity to learn about everything else that's available to you. I went through this phase in middle school, and spent all that time learning about various religious options out there. It was a good experience.

However, I don't recall going around saying “I'm cool because I don't believe in your god(s).” But it's in most people to question the things we're told. Like teenage rebellion, you need to find your own way and reasons. Discover who / what you are. What you believe in.

So while I don't think any one religion (or lack of religion) is cooler than another, I do think that it can be trendy to take a break and find yourself spiritually. Trendy, but helpful.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:33PM
n_y_japlander at 8:05AM, Nov. 9, 2007
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I for one fall in the Agnostic atheism category. As I feel most “Atheists” do…
Not that I belive there is no God… just I need some tangible proof before disbelief or belief…

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:19PM
Poke Alster at 10:18AM, Nov. 9, 2007
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Im not sure what to believe in although most of me says “believe” not much evidence can back up either side so until the future its still “not sure”
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM

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