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2 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2012 - 1:36AM #1
steven_guy
Posts: 11,739
I would like to know why some Bahais are so interested in atheism?
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2012 - 11:05AM #2
world citizen
Posts: 5,387

Hello Steven ~


I wasn't aware that we were and know of no one personally who is.  Where/how did you get that impression?

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2012 - 1:55PM #3
chevy956
Posts: 1,934

Jun 10, 2012 -- 11:05AM, world citizen wrote:


Hello Steven ~


I wasn't aware that we were and know of no one personally who is.  Where/how did you get that impression?




       From several Baha'is who show up in Discuss Atheism.


                          

Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Jun 10, 2012 - 11:32PM
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2012 - 9:27PM #4
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,521

Don't think that the whole Bahá'í community is interested in Atheism.


This one's interest is in Atheists as people. The main characteristics have found attractive in admittedly scientifically small sample size of Atheist family, friends, and acquaintances are: honesty, courage, candor (sometimes outspoken fervor) and often (though not always) openminded willingness to discuss anything and everything.


Among my good friends are also those who were Atheists who became among the most active and hardworking servants of the Cause. One in particular started out as a devout Irish Catholic named after a Saint, subsequently became an Atheist and then has been an outstanding Bahá'í for many years. He isn't the only one, either.


Staunch Communist Atheists from both China and the former Soviets have become believers. One young woman in particular was own student who had become a follower of the Faith despite the derision of all her Communist Chinese classmates. The government there does not bother Bahá'ís probably because we faithfully follow the Faith's laws of loyalty to our own country, strict non-involvement in partisan politics and non-participation in dissent.


Oh, yes; she was also by far the smartest and hardest working one, in one of the hardest courses. Certainly that year's best student! "Excellence in all things." indeed!

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2012 - 10:23PM #5
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,521

Have also met an Iranian Bahá'í, who did not believe in the existence of God, at a unit convention.* He supported his understanding with quotations from the Writings which he had misunderstood.


We talked privately, and he saw that though the Writings say that any concept of God we may have is only our own fancy and vain imaginations, that far beyond our human limits to comprehend, there is a Godhead who sends powerful Figures who have major impacts in human history and who uniformly attest that they are sent by and carry God's Word to humanity.


This Group includes the Buddha who said that what He brought was not from Himself but the Brahman; the Christ who said that it came from His Father who is in Heaven. Moses who spoke with God and brought His Ten Commandments; Muhammad who called Himself the Messenger/Apostle of God; and Others.


 


 


 


* We cannot have any clergy, and our administration consists of tiers of elected bodies the highest of which then appoints some boards in charge of particular duties.


Unit conventions, which used to be called District conventions, elect a delegate (or two or three, in particularly high populations of Bahá'ís in a relatively smaller area) who then go to the National convention that elects the next National Spiritual Assembly. This annual process goes on in every country which allows us to have an administration. Remember that we are obedient to our own governments and some, like Iran, do not allow us to have one; so, we don't there.


There is no campaigning, no nomination and the process of voting goes on in a spiritual atmosphere of prayer with secret ballots and absolutely no mention of individuals. Local Spiritual Assemblies are annually elected directly by the adults in good standing (rarely is there any not in good standing). Regional Bahá'í Councils (in big countries) are the next level up and are elected by the Local Spiritual Assembly members in their area. As mentioned before a two step election picks the National Spiritual Assembly; and then every five years, all their members elect our international and highest body which is called the Universal House of Justice. All these bodies have nine members.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2012 - 10:37PM #6
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,521

Apart from this is the precedent of Dr. Auguste Forel who wanted to become a Bahá'í.


He honestly asked the head of the Faith at the time, 'Abdu'l-Bahá the son of the Prophet Founder of the Faith, whether he could, being Agnostic. The Master said that he could and he did.


 


There is a Persian saying of the Master that it is better to tell truth and blaspheme than to lie:


"O pure soul! Follow thou in the footsteps of the truthful and tread the way of the righteous, so that, through truthfulness, thou mayest come to occupy a Seat of Truth,[1] and, through righteousness, thou mayest attain to abiding honour. If the sum of all sins were to be weighed in the balance, falsehood would, on its own, countervail them; nay, its evils would even outweigh them and its detriment prove greater. It were better for thee that thou shouldst be a blasphemer and tell the truth than that thou shouldst mouth the formulas of faith and yet be a liar. These clear words are addressed as an admonition to the peoples of the world. Render thanks unto God that it is through thee that this counsel hath been addressed to all mankind. [1 Qur'án, 54:55]"


(From a Tablet - translated from the Persian)


 (Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 338)

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 10, 2012 - 11:46PM #7
chevy956
Posts: 1,934

Thanks for the detailed response. I'm a former Baha'i, so unbeknownst to you ,you were preaching to an ex-choir member. 


If you believe in any kind of god, whether transcendent or otherwise, you aren't an atheist. Baha'i's aren't atheists.


            Respectfully, Chevy

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 11, 2012 - 12:33AM #8
Aka_me
Posts: 11,900

Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.


Deities are depicted in a variety of forms, but are also frequently expressed as having human form.


in respect to corporeal gods (Odin, Zeus, Ra, Baal, Green Man, or Kolobian heavenly father)...


Baha'i reject belief in their existence. making them figurine atheists. when there's 37 different flavors of atheism, what difference does one more type make?



obeying the Great Commandment, and believing Jesus to be Christ makes them Christian.



"if thou callest them all by one name and dost ascribe to them the same attribute, thou hast not erred from the truth."


implicitly makes them believers in the prophets all major religions: Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Abraham, Krishna


culminating in the sum total of Baha'i.



yes... this causes great suffering for some people. and I can't make that my problem. because the suffering was already there before it became directed at me and it will be there long after I'm gone.

internet troll... anyone who won't stop posting about bad spelling.
the government KILLS and EXPERIMENTS and TORTURES people, without ever apologizing, being held accountable or punished. and you expect me to believe they've automagically grown a conscience to not continue? like bloody hades they have.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 11, 2012 - 1:25AM #9
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,521

Jun 10, 2012 -- 11:46PM, chevy956 wrote:


Thanks for the detailed response. I'm a former Baha'i, so unbeknownst to you ,you were preaching to an ex-choir member. 


If you believe in any kind of god, whether transcendent or otherwise, you aren't an atheist. Baha'i's aren't atheists.


            Respectfully, Chevy




Dear Chevy,


Was responding to steven_guy in his opening question. At the time you were not even posted. Our writing may have crossed paths, as it took a while, and some edits, for yours truly to get done.


Bahá'ís, like everyone on any path, have various levels of understanding.


Only the Master is our exemplar of human perfection and only the Head of the Faith (now the Supreme House of Justice) may decide who is, or is not, a Bahá'í.


All the rest of us are just trying to learn.

Moderated by world citizen on Jun 11, 2012 - 11:16AM
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 11, 2012 - 1:39AM #10
in_my_opinion
Posts: 2,521

Jun 11, 2012 -- 12:33AM, Aka_me wrote:


Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.


Deities are depicted in a variety of forms, but are also frequently expressed as having human form.


in respect to corporeal gods (Odin, Zeus, Ra, Baal, Green Man, or Kolobian heavenly father)...


Baha'i reject belief in their existence. making them figurine atheists. when there's 37 different flavors of atheism, what difference does one more type make?



obeying the Great Commandment, and believing Jesus to be Christ makes them Christian.



"if thou callest them all by one name and dost ascribe to them the same attribute, thou hast not erred from the truth."


implicitly makes them believers in the prophets all major religions: Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, Abraham, Krishna


culminating in the sum total of Baha'i.



yes... this causes great suffering for some people. and I can't make that my problem. because the suffering was already there before it became directed at me and it will be there long after I'm gone.




Dear Aka_me,


Loved your post, it reminded of a favourite Atheist cartoonist who drew some panels wherein a pollster interviewed a Theist, asking him whether he believed in each of a long list of gods from various cultures, mythologies, etc. The interviewee got more and more annoyed. After hearing a no to each one; the interviewer delivered the coup-de-grace saying: "Shall I put you down as 99% Atheist, then?"


It still brings a big grin to this old face!

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