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Switch to Forum Live View The rise of Atheism in the US
2 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2012 - 11:00PM #21
mountain_man
Posts: 38,031

Apr 15, 2012 -- 8:54PM, NATAS wrote:

....They could of course do nothing and avoid being disappointed.


That's like saying a rock will be disappointed it didn't become a diamond. You'll be dead. There can be no disappointment since you'll be dead. One you're dead you'll be just like that rock; a bunch of inert matter with no capacity for feelings.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 15, 2012 - 11:18PM #22
Blü
Posts: 23,928

dave


A religion is nothing more than a god belief


I used to think that before I attended some (atheistic) Buddhist services.  They're ceremonial, communal and meditative and include an address of expert commentary on the teachings of Buddhism.  They have all the feel of religion.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 12:18AM #23
teilhard
Posts: 48,220

Having been a local "Precinct Captain" for many Years, I am sometimes VERY disappointed by a low TurnOut for Precinct Caucuses ... I think EVERYBODY should turn OFF the d*mned TV on Precinct Caucus Night and get INVOLVED ...


Apr 15, 2012 -- 10:03PM, JCarlin wrote:


  


However, that said, atheists are heavily involved in the political process just not as atheists.  We pick candidates carefully, support them with money and activism, (occasionally being fooled once) and vote and get out the vote.  We work beside theists, pagans, and people with no apparant religious beliefs. 





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2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 12:20AM #24
mountain_man
Posts: 38,031

Apr 15, 2012 -- 11:18PM, Blü wrote:

dave


A religion is nothing more than a god belief


I used to think that before I attended some (atheistic) Buddhist services.


I'm not a fan of Buddhism. They still religiously follow a dogma, and, yes, the claim of no dogma is part of their dogma. Buddhism in its original forms included a belief in all the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Some Westerners just sanitized it for sale to other Westerners.


They're ceremonial, communal and meditative and include an address of expert commentary on the teachings of Buddhism.  They have all the feel of religion.


And all the dogma too. All that, and the fact that many versions of Buddhism hold god beliefs or at least some magical beliefs in spirits, aka "devas" and the like. I'd definitely put it in the realm of religious beliefs.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 1:23PM #25
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,760

Apr 14, 2012 -- 10:44PM, mountain_man wrote:


Apr 14, 2012 -- 9:34PM, mytmouse57 wrote:

Not having a specific religious faith isn't always the same as being atheist. There are plenty of non-religious theists out there.


A "non-religious theist" is an oxymoron. A religion is nothing more than a god belief. It need not be "organized," or written down, or believed by more than one  person. A theist is nothing more than a god believer. It doesn't matter which god or gods. So, if one is a theist they have a religion.


Of course believers love to play games using various definitions, even ones they make up themselves, but they always end up being based on equivocations. They use many different definitions at the same time.


Wikipedia: Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.


Dictionary.com: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies...


I can get more, and each entry has multiple definitions. The ones I chose support the definition I used; anyone believing in a god has a religion.





You can think whatever you wish, but that still does not change the fact:


Just because a person states they have "no religious affiliation" on a survey, that does not automatically make them an athiest. Wheter you agree or not, there are many people out there who believe in a God, Creator, higher power -- whatever -- who do not belong to any organized religion, do not affilate with any organized religion and have no desire to join an organized religion. 


If you have an issue with that, then feel free to find such a person (it should not be particularly difficult) and explain to them that they are, in fact, "religious."


The point is, the survey cited might not reflect the number of actual atheists -- but instead, includes a number of people (and I suspect a rather large number), who believe in a God/Creator/higher power, but have rejected formal or organized religion.


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2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 1:57PM #26
farragut
Posts: 3,910

Probably true, but I would suggest that there are far more folks than is commonly recognized, sitting in the pews, who are atheists at heart but remain in the pews for social reasons. And I an certain, admittedly without proof, that the percentage of atheists among educated clergy is way higher than in the general population.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 2:16PM #27
mountain_man
Posts: 38,031

Apr 16, 2012 -- 1:23PM, mytmouse57 wrote:

You can think whatever you wish, but that still does not change the fact:


Thinking helps to understand the facts, not change them. I tried to change no facts. I just thought. Thinking is a good thing.


Just because a person states they have "no religious affiliation" on a survey, that does not automatically make them an athiest[sic]....


I find it, as Mr. Spock would say, fascinating that people constantly bring up something that no one was arguing about. It's a common ploy used by politicians; answer the question you wanted to be asked instead of the one that was asked.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 2:31PM #28
JCarlin
Posts: 5,970

Apr 16, 2012 -- 1:57PM, farragut wrote:

Probably true, but I would suggest that there are far more folks than is commonly recognized, sitting in the pews, who are atheists at heart but remain in the pews for social reasons. And I an certain, admittedly without proof, that the percentage of atheists among educated clergy is way higher than in the general population.


I suspect you are right on both counts if God is defined as in the Abrahamic mythology.  The more you learn about "God" the less believable "He" becomes.  Many resort to Deism, pantheism or panentheism, but I am not sure I can distinguish any of those from atheism. 


Nevertheless, the God myth can be useful to atheists for educational and behavioral reasons.  Particularly for those who have been indoctrinated in God myths from youth.  Those social reasons are not only networking but behavioral as well.  For Christians a retreat to the human Jesus as a moral exemplar perhaps retaining his personally defined God whatever that is can be an atheistic reason for remaining in the pews.  Unitarians made a good living out of this paradigm well into the 20th century. 

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 3:04PM #29
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,760

Apr 16, 2012 -- 1:57PM, farragut wrote:


Probably true, but I would suggest that there are far more folks than is commonly recognized, sitting in the pews, who are atheists at heart but remain in the pews for social reasons. And I an certain, admittedly without proof, that the percentage of atheists among educated clergy is way higher than in the general population.




I would say you are probably correct.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2012 - 3:06PM #30
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,760

Apr 16, 2012 -- 2:16PM, mountain_man wrote:


Apr 16, 2012 -- 1:23PM, mytmouse57 wrote:

You can think whatever you wish, but that still does not change the fact:


Thinking helps to understand the facts, not change them. I tried to change no facts. I just thought. Thinking is a good thing.


Just because a person states they have "no religious affiliation" on a survey, that does not automatically make them an athiest[sic]....


I find it, as Mr. Spock would say, fascinating that people constantly bring up something that no one was arguing about. It's a common ploy used by politicians; answer the question you wanted to be asked instead of the one that was asked.




I wasn't aruging. I was merely pointing out the readily observable fact that a survey that asks about "religious faith" is not the most accurate means by which to determine whether the respondents are, in fact, actually atheists. It's a simple fact that, many people who have no faith in religion, per se, still think a God/Creator/higher power exists.


In order to really nail down the number of true atheists, the question would have to be more specific. 

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