Atheist & Agnostics-Hi there!
Sticks and stones can break my bones but your words can scar me for life.
I would rather I had been beaten and recovered from the wounds than to have to learn to deal with the cruel words of spoiled children and the years of fear instilled by the oh so wonderful christians.
Life is hard enough without having to take many decades to find you are worth something and have a right to live.
Elizabethh – I was looking for that quote. It is very close to something that Mark Twain said. He was asked that, if he didn’t believe in god and there was no afterlife, did he fear that his body would just rot in the ground and that was it – or something to that effect. He said pretty much what you said, something like “I wasn’t alive for thousands of years before now, and I did okay with that.” Probably some kind of cross between the two.
rawperasinger – You are right. I remembered incorrectly about the origins of Islam.
And back to Winona’s original post – what can you tell the new atheist/agno for support? One thing is that religious folk require you to prove that god doesn’t exist, whereas those promoting extraordinary claims should be providing the proof. They need to prove god exists, not the other way around. If anyone argues otherwise, then you tell them that you believe in Zeus, or Santa Claus, and they have to prove he doesn’t exist. I think Sam Harris had that argument, which is great.
rawperasinger & Mr. Mickmaster~ Recently I listened to a podcast about the relationship of Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism and their intertwined roots from Abraham. If you are interested in clarification of this complex relationship, check out “Children of Abraham”, an interview with Bruce Feiler.
Mickmaster – GENIUS!! I love how you said that if religious people tell me to prove god doesn’t exist, i can turn the tables and ask them to prove Zeus doesn’t exist. LOVE IT!!
blue_eyes – agreed! We are important, beautiful people, we are not fallen women, and we have every right to a good life free of harassment.
My immediate and extended family is religiously intolerant.. If you’re not their religion, they don’t want anything to do with you. They socialize exclusively with their religious buddies. I’m the fall women in their eyes. A cousin even told me I’m going to be struck by lightening because I’m not attending an important religious function.. BEFORE he knew i’m not even of that religion! My parents lie to everyone they know, pretending i’m of their religion. I have a REALLY hard time visiting them because of it.
OOOph. the religion has been the biggest cause of conflict in my family, i want NOTHING to do with it.
Hey Winona, we should set up a fallen women website, lol!
Count me in..
By the way, my family didn’t disown me but I was expected to turn up to church and play the game or I was given a hard time, but as my relatives have got older, they have realised that they need me and have also realised that they manipulated me with religion. They are just happy that I love them still. It is so sad that your family are so instilled with it because they cannot then express their real love for you because it is clouded by doing the right thing by god. I lost my Dad when I was young, and so I went through life thinking I never wanted to be at odds with any of my family in case they died and I could never tell that that I loved them. However, there have been times that actually I hated the things they did.
Debs – I am glad your family realized that they would like you to stick around! That is wonderful! Unfortunately, my family are fanatical religionists, and i’ve had to write them off. i keep in contact with my immediate family, but every conversation is a struggle. it’s natural for them to inject god pray holy into every sentence, they even greet people with a phrase about how god is great. so for them to even have a CONVERSATION is difficult. Beyond that, religion or now, i don’t like them as PEOPLE. creepy.
My problems with religion are so deep seeded, but it mainly comes down to them not letting ME live my life. I don’t want to be approached to join a religion or religious classes, I don’t want folks to tell me that i’m going to the devil for being religious, and most of all I do not want some creep like Sarah Palin to become Vice President and try to RUIN women’s rights! That S.O.B. is against women, that’s for sure. Her, and the religious right in this country, are exactly what’s wrong with the USA. EWWWWWWWWW.
Hey guys, Bill Maher’s movie Religulous (religion and rediculous combined) comes out this Friday. I can’t wait to see it. I love Bill Maher’s comedic logic.
Winona, thanks for that. It is the fanaticism that is worrying, whatever religion in the world. The fact that it can break up your family, which it has essentially, is so sad. I remember my four year old son saying to his father, I love you but sometimes I don’t like you (which was brave in my opinion) and that is how I have viewed my family. As they have grown old, they have woken up and smelt the roses. It has dawned on them that what is the good of religion if you have not made peace within the family who are there to look after you (despite being looked after by the fallen woman lol).
Perhaps try to see your family in the same way. Love them, but not like them. Perhaps you should tell them that. Then you have kept up the relationship with them. As they get old, they will (hopefully) understand, like my mum did. At the moment, your family’s love is conditional, ie conditional on you towing the line and being a ‘good christian girl’. If you tell them you love them but do not want any part of their religion, then your love is unconditional. At present, they will not understand that but I wonder if in time, they will.
You sound though like you are not really in a position to be near them and I quite understand that. They may see it as an opportunity to rope you back into the fold and that is not acceptable. For what it is worth, you are part of a family on this forum and we all luvs ya, ok?
Aww, thanks a bunch debs! Maybe one day I’ll come to terms with my frustration. For now, I visit occasionally but I won’t pretend to be what i’m not. I’m glad to hear that someone else has gone through this. I figure that things won’t turn out well, but I’ve finally accepted this. I’ve created a new life for myself, and I’m very content.
Despite what they say, someone CAN be moral and have deeply held values AND be atheist. Shocking, i know! I’m atheist – and a good person!
I found a fun website here, it has lots of information I never thought of!
I love this quote from this website http://godisimaginary.com/i28.htm
“If you believe in God, you have chosen to reject Allah, Vishnu, Budda, Waheguru and all of the thousands of other gods that other people worship today. It is quite likely that you rejected these other gods without ever looking into their religions or reading their books. You simply absorbed the dominant faith in your home or in the society you grew up in.
In the same way, the followers of all these other religions have chosen to reject God. You think their gods are imaginary, and they think your God is imaginary.
In other words, each religious person on earth today arbitrarily rejects thousands of gods as imaginary, many of which he/she has never even heard of, and arbitrarily chooses to “believe” in one of them.
The following quote from Stephen F. Roberts sums up the situation very nicely:
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
Interesting stuff Winona, esp. the near death experiences as i watched a programme the other day where they interviewed some people who had had an NDE and most were saying they had experienced the light, etc, but a few said that it all got dark and they were in the equivalent of hell! That was horrible! A part of me wants to believe in the fluffy heaven and that our lives are meaningful though, and that, for me, is the painful bit. Esp as I was brought up to that idea :(
So cool she called you a satanist I love the way they resort to personal abuse and scare tactics. My definition of a satanist…yet another idiot that worships something that doesn’t exist.
I watched a TV documentary app. 10+ years ago that reported on people who had NDEs. What was unique about this piece was it examined reports made by those from all over the world. The people were of different faiths and cultural backgrounds.
Each person reported an experience consistent with their personal religious beliefs or cultural background, indicating their “experiences” were a product of mind.
For anyone who is interested in a good debate with christians (I am afraid I rather enjoy it, but only do so if they bring it up) I actually found the Jewish Anti-missionary web sites really helpful in first getting me out of christianity and providing ample ammo. to throw at christians who confront me. I did judge the OT with the same yardstick and also dismissed it as a fairy tale but I still really enjoy keeping refreshed on the topic as I hate to be caught off gaurd by the ‘warrior christians’.
Some good ammunition links
http://www.messiahtruth.com/response.html (serious web site this)
http://jdstone.org/cr/index.html (this one has some pretty funny stuff too)
and this last one is a link to an article I wrote when I left christianity for karaite judaism then asked my name to be removed from it after pitching the OT as well, I liked the article and still wanted other to be helped by it.
I’m also an Atheist, but I never really found it to be a problem once I got a little bit older. No one really bothered me about it. It was more like, “Woah, she doesn’t believe in God…weird…”
However, it has been hard being an Objectivist. I’m in college and it seems that 90% of the students and teachers are liberals. It’s rather frustrating because I don’t know many people who share my views…not even anything close to them, actually. Oh well…
By the way, my parents are also Atheists. People assume that they spent their time bad-mouthing religion during my youth. Nope…all they did was tell me that other people believe in God(s), but because there is no proof, they do not. They also never tricked me with the false belief in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny either, for the same reason.
Hey! I am so glad there are so many atheists around!
My mother is agnostic, but she makes me go to a Unitarian Universalist church. I HATE that church. I am completely against religion, but mostly against religious adults who brainwash children and make them CRAZY for the rest of their lives.
Hey ~ just wondering if anyone has seen Bill Maher's film "Religulous"....
I keep looking for it but no luck yet. I live in the bible belt so it may never come here. If it did come, I would not be surprised if it was picketed;
I believe in YWH and I believe in the Messiah, Yahushua. Although I believe in Him I also believe in free will. Cheers!
Sigh.... I don't know what I am. I kindof share Mamamilk's perspective about believing in the teachings of Jesus but not really identifying with the majority of the Christian community. I have a bit of a weird background. My father is a pastor, and I grew up in a VERY liberal, VERY small, VERY open church. I grew up in Atlanta, part of the Bible Belt south, but almost all of my youth leaders were gay because we were the only church in town that allowed gay people to be part of the leadership in the church and (gasp!) work with children. I loved all my youth leaders and they taught me alot. So unlike many people's experience growing up, I grew up with learning that Christianity's mission is about loving others, forgiveness, and the good Samraritan stuff, not about moralism, conversion, and exclusion. We actually marched in the Gay Pride Parade with our church's banner to show people that there are inclusive Christian communities. We also stacked up the chairs at the end of Sunday service and laid down mats on the Sanctuary floor and we housed a shelter for 30 homeless men each night, and we had a food pantry and handed out food to families every Saturday. That kind of service is what Christianity should be about, and that is why I still feel connected to Christianity.
What I have trouble with is that I don't feel like I want to call myself a Christian because what I see most Christians representing is so far removed from what Jesus was really about, and they are focused too much on judging others instead of trying to help the poor like Jesus taught. Jesus didn't spend his time telling everyone how to have sex, he spent his time teaching about how to treat each other with love and respect. So I feel like Christians have hijacked my religion and I don't want to be associated with their patterns of intolerance. I also don't really believe in all the mythical stuff like the ascension into heaven and coming back from the dead and all that. I just think Jesus was a good teacher, the same way that Ghandi and Martin Luther King were. So I kinof consider myself agnostic now, because I believe in spirituality, but not neccassarily religion, as I see organized religion as destructive. It can be good for some people, but I don't need to go to church every week to feel connected to God. I still enjoy going to my dad's church when I go home, but unless I could find another church like the one I grew up in, I don't really want to associate myself with an institution that promotes intolerance in the name of Jesus, because THAT is what the real perversion is.
PS- I saw REligulous and I thought it was HILARIOUS! No word yet on if my dad's seen it.
Yes, we are born with a spirit of love and that love can only come from the one true living God. I have found more freedom in serving the Lord. You don't have to attend a organized group to worship. When you get down to the real basics, just love and honor God and love others and basically forget the manmade rules of religion. Go with the spiritual aspect of the creator, and not what man has imposed as the truth. Only God is truth.
Christians hijacking the agnostic thread again:-)
Anyhow, here is a fun site to read: http://www.vegetariansareevil.com/index.html
It's not as amusing as Biblelife.org and their spin on vegetarianism and religion, but it's full of the usual meat-eater hysteria against evil veggies who are conspiring to take over the world and make children gay, blah, blah, blah.
I'm not really keeping up with this thread... but, I was talking to my husband about the inauguration and the courts... and how they put one hand on the bible and swear to a higher power... "swear to defend the Constitution" or "swear to tell the truth", etc.
I'm Christian, so I found it interesting that the bible says that God "swears by himself" since after all (for Christians), there is no higher power than Him.
But, I was wondering what do athiests and agnostics do/say? Don't they have to swear by a higher power? But, if they don't believe in one, how can they swear by themselves? If they do, aren't the courts a higher power? Do they say something else? (I'm not here to witness or convert anyone... I was just wondering these things...)
Maybe I just don't understand the word "swear".
There has never been a requirement to swear on the bible in a courtroom or during an inauguration. Either would violate religious freedom.
While the majority of our founding fathers identified themselves as christians, they had great respect for and understood that there should be a separation of church and government or religious tyranny raises its ugly face.
The ritual of taking an oath on a something deemed sacred was intended as a visual assertion to testify honestly. Because most early americans identified themselves as christians, bibles were staples in the courtrooms.
Sometimes people who believe in the bible's text will not swear on a bible because they see that as an act of blasphemy. On the other hand, many people swear on the bible to avoid the discrimination that comes with being identified as non-christian minority in an intolerant community.
No judge should make a witness swear on a bible unless she was trying to interject her own religious viewpoint in the courtroom. Ethically judges are forbidden to do so for the reason just stated and that drawing attention to someone who does not swear on the bible is interpreted by many christians as proof of an intent to lie and they would then unfairly discount or dismiss the testimony. This is nothing short of religious discrimination and judges are suppose to protect the process against unfair prejudices.
Swearing by God is worthless and without meaning, germin8. I find it offensive as hell that a courtroom would force a person to mouth this to begin with. It does nothing to stop evil people from lying on the stand if they are so inclined, christian or otherwise.
Agonistics tend to not have to rely on God or any threat to keep them from lying. They either tell the truth because it is the right thing to do . . . or they just lie.
Mediating, the last time I was in a courtroom, I had to swear before God when I went on the stand. I used to wonder if that was illegal. Was it?
Interesting comments... yeah, I guess Christians shouldn't swear either! "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'". Our word should be good enough. But... *sigh*... the world we live in...
The way this sounds is that we all have to "swear" in a courtroom even though it goes against our beliefs (athiest, agnostic, christian). Hmmm, doesn't seem right...
Oh... You Guys are so Bad and Your all Going To Hell... I Guess I'll see You there... I'll be the Guy with the ' www.FlourideAlert.Org ' and 'Stop The FDA' T-Shirt On... Religion is the 'Opiate Of The Masses' and I haven't been 'Loaded' in Years....