Am I the only atheist here?

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Puck T. Smith
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Am I the only atheist here?

I sometimes get depressed when I see people posting comments, videos and links basing their hopes for the future on Iron Age concepts of reality.  I'm not looking for an argument.  Reason needs no defense.  I'm just looking for a little encouragement from like minded folk.

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:27

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kevsta
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no, you are most definitely

no, you are most definitely not the only one, and contrary to popular folklore, foxholes are also full of them.

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Admiral Ag Bar
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AG-nostic here...

.... and living in the Deep South.  ~awkward~

Even *IF* there was a God, why would he/she/it be the Christian version?  How can EVERY OTHER religion be wrong? 

Religion to me is more of a way of establishing right and wrong for the community (altruistic version) or a means of keeping the masses in line by the elite few (diabolical version).  The spooky Vatican comes to mind...

But WTFDIK?  I know we are on a tiny blue Goldilocks planet part of a giant solar system, which is but a speck of dust in the greater Universe.  Most everyday folks might be aware, but can't fully wrap their head around that.

dirk
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"Religion is what keeps the

"Religion is what keeps the poor man from murdering the rich" - Napoleon Bonaparte 

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Puck T. Smith
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Well

That's encouraging.  

Peace.

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peckerwood
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try to include, not exclude

start with every religion being right.  i am about to read a book called "the Physics of Immortality".  it discusses God from the perspective of a cosmologist.  if i glean anything profound, i'll stop back here.  otherwise, i'll probably just get stoned.  that was what happened when  i tried to figure out "string theory" :-)

FleetFeet
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You ain't alone

Atheists (except for Madeleine Murray O'Hare) tend to keep their heads down in war zones, and all "western" countries are religious war zones.  

An HT to you for speaking up.  

Dagney Taggart
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In applying pecker's advice, I'll say something....

Puck, religion is a distant second to a moral compass. One doesn't need it to do the right thing. For instance, I see plenty of self-proclaimed "Christians" preaching murder of Arabs and Persians. Christianity is a walk, a state of mind and only a handful actually do it. It's otherwise pretty sickening to see and hear really and I'm certain JC would not approve of how his message has been branded.

I'm not sure what you mean by Iron Age concepts, but production and adding value must always be greater than or equal to what is consumed. Nothing will change that and persist. So much has been hidden from us that would make this easily attainable though. That is what should be depressing. Hope that was your point.

Thank you for including me.

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Lumpy
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Puck

I've come to the conclusion that religion is just another way to control human beings.

If we don't do what the priest says we burn for eternity!   

Fear! Fear! Fear!

The money you give to your favorite religious institution is nothing more than an insurance premium.  Insurance that you will go to heaven because you coughed up the money. 

It's just so perfect.  There is no need for a customer service department to field calls from pissed off dead people.

Puck T. Smith
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@Dagney Taggart

What I meant by "Iron Age concepts of reality" is the irrational thinking inherent in the Levantine monotheisms.  The idea that nothing happens by natural processes and that there must​  be a personality behind every event.  If it does not rain or if a battle is lost it is because the god is angry at us for our impiety or because of some ritual impurity.  I realize that James George Frazer's ​The Golden Bough​ has pretty much been dismissed--and rightly so--by modern anthropologists--but, nevertheless he made some very astute observations on the nature of religion

...if religion involves, first, a belief in superhuman beings who rule the world, and, second, an attempt to win their favour, it clearly assumes that the course of nature is to some extent elastic or variable, and that we can persuade or induce the mighty beings who control it to deflect, for our benefit, the current of events from the channel in which they would otherwise flow. Now this implied elasticity or variability of nature is directly opposed to the principles of magic as well as of science, both of which assume that the processes of nature are rigid and invariable in their operation, and that they can as little be turned from their course by persuasion and entreaty as by threats and intimidation. The distinction between the two conflicting views of the universe turns on their answer to the crucial question, Are the forces which govern the world conscious and personal, or unconscious and impersonal?*  Religion, as a conciliation of the superhuman powers, assumes the former member of the alternative. For all conciliation implies that the being conciliated is a conscious or personal agent, that his conduct is in some measure uncertain, and that he can be prevailed upon to vary it in the desired direction by a judicious appeal to his interests, his appetites, or his emotions.

This is an extremely dangerous way of thinking as it removes any certainty and predictability from the natural world and blinds people to reality, e.g., Jehovah's Witnesses allowing their children to die rather than to receive a blood transfusion.  It also leads to people blaming the Satanic Illuminati New World Order Zionists(TM) for the consequences of the current financial turmoil rather that recognizing it is the inevitable consequence of abandoning sound monetary policy and fiscal discipline in the interests of buying votes with a decades long spending binge and promises of "free" stuff.    

As a wise man once said "The future's here, we are it, we are on our own."

*Emphasis added.

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Dagney Taggart
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@Puck

I think God and faith are widely misunderstood, but it's not my place to judge. In all honesty, nobody is, not even the Pope. It's called faith, right? And absolutely nobody has the patent. Books on the matter are constantly repackaged for profit that find different ways of saying the same thing. I find that repulsive, not the profit, but the deception. Also dangerous: parallel to your concerns. If a person wants to worship a stone, who am I to judge? So long as that person doesn't try to coerce or force me to pay to maintain his stone.

Perhaps even the idea of faith has been deliberately distorted over generations in order to blind and enslave man. All will be revealed eventually. In the meantime, a moral compass helps and my God probably understands.

I was brought up to recognize God as this benevolent force that empowers us to learn and use our discoveries for the benefit of all, not the few, and not to deceive or enslave. God doesn't tell us to ignore the laws of science in explaining the wonders of nature. He put them there to test us and our humility. He supposedly created all and thus, all that's required to navigate and understand it, no? Anyway, I think I might be overlapping in others' dialogue.

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bam
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Puck...

...you crack me up, and I'm not sure exactly why.  Anyway, you're a good dude to have on the forum.

I don't know what I am as far as labels go.   Not a big fan of them.   There's no room for nuance in labels.  Don't have one politically speaking either.

I certainly don't believe in an omniscient god.   I do believe in the concept of spirituality and it's importance to human beings, but I think that it can be found in many things/ideas/pastimes etc.

I do wonder what sort of energetic force created the universe.   The big bang was in vogue for a while (don't know if that's still the case), but what was before that?    Also interested in the concept of parallel universes/realities...but I digress.

Anyway, no problem with people being religious, but I tend to get along better with those who aren't (in general).

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@ Lumpy

you're an uneducated moron on the topic of christianity primarily, however, i'm sure that label could extend to your understanding of all religions. Or beliefs about theistic topics or deities if you understand what I am saying here.  And i mean that with the most respect.  a moron is a label assigned to a degree of intelligence.  It means you are stupid on this topic - an imbecile if you will - a fool.  

i'm not calling you a name because you've offended me or my religion - i'm simply labeling your moronic comment as i see it. You said it, not I. 

There is a God.  There is 1 God. A triune God - Father, Son, Holy Spirit.  I'm sorry you haven't met HIM.  

He's not a planet or a tree like the movie you probably got your theology degree from called Avatar - He's a divine being - a supernatural being that we can comprehend and understand all that He has given us to understand - there is lots more we don't and can't understand - that will be fulfilled in His timing - not ours. . .  

There is a heaven - there is a hell - there is evil in this world.

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

i've got about 3 pages of a breakdown of the moronicitiy of your comment but i'm getting fuzzy eyed so i c&p'd it to another doc and will finish this tomorrow when i make sure it makes sense. 

"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me." John 14:1

Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

I'll continue this soon. good night.  i love you all!

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If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine, And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
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Lumpy
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@Air Garcia

Deleted.  You're not worth it.

Puck T. Smith
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I threw this out in another "religious" forum.

It might be useful here as well.  The first question is very important, most believers will answer it with "no."  At that point it is pretty much a waste of time to continue.

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Puck T. Smith
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Disclaimer

Though I am an atheist, I am still a spiritual person.  I know that may be a difficult concept for some people to grasp, but it is what it is.

Before I finally threw in the towel, my last foray into a religious system was a study of traditional Jewish Kabbalah.  I'm not talking about the Hermetic Golden Dawn claptrap that most uninformed people associate with Kabbalah--though I spent some time on that several years ago--but the Kabbalah of Aryeh Kaplan and Moshe Idel.  They approached the work of Abraham Abulafia and Isaac Luria, among others, in light of modern psychology.  My own experience with it has led me to conclude that Kabbalah has more to do with the mechanics of human consciousness than it does with any external deity.

My next step was the work of Alan Watts, a proponent of Zen.  More than anyone I've come across so far he expresses the idea of atheist spirituality.  He is very challenging, but worth the effort.

In many ways the core of Zen, as I understand it, is very similar to the core of Kabbalah, again, as I understand it.

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Lumpy
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@Puck

http://www.megagenius.com/index.php?s=madalyn+murray+o%27hair

Something you may find interesting.

Puck T. Smith
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Lumpy

Lumpy wrote:

http://www.megagenius.com/index.php?s=madalyn+murray+o%27hair

Something you may find interesting.

Wow.

I never heard that about her death.

Thanks for the link.  The next time someone pulls out the old "at least we don't do what the ragheads do" crap it'll be nice to have a response.

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Puck T. Smith
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(No subject)

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UnicycleJuggler
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I'm an educated atheist

My degree is from a fundamentalist Bible college. I majored in theology. So I really, really know what I don't believe.

145Bluesman
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hey puck,The moooslum wants

hey puck,

The moooslum wants to cut your no believing in anything head off.

You will bow to the towel head's god, or they are going to chop off your noggin...thats right they are going to Nick Berg your ass.

Then after..? at least, for you,............black. nothingness. for. ever. Amen.

And at least we don't do what the rag heads do........(insert your conditioned/learned response here)

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