Isn't atheism just the other side of the fundamentalist coin?
Atheism means non-theism. Lack of belief in gods. Atheism is a religion like bald is a hair color.
Unfortunately, Pox, some vocal atheists put a little too much faith and not enough reason behind their beliefs. Then they go out and evangelize. The parallelism Nick points out is totally embarrassing.
Now, if atheists allowed that they too have a big assumption (albeit utilitarian) at the base of their worldview, would that make them less fun at parties?
Really, though, lets put theological discussion aside and address what's really on our minds: How will these nation-sweeping changes affect getting laid?
I think that it is high time for a "Protection From Marriage Week".
interesting... do you have a link for the source of the fastest growing "religion" statistic?
What's the assumption? Lack of assumptions?
The only religion is horses!
I heard a great description of atheists once:
"Atheists do not boldly proclaim that there is no god. Atheists demand that extraordinary claims be accompanied by extraordinary evidence."
Since there are so many gods these days then everyone is an atheist about 99% of other gods. A devout Christian for instance would be an atheist regarding Zeus.
Funny how so much emotion is attached to the word atheist. Some avid belivers would try to make me suffer here on Earth merely because I reject their god. Well guess what bible thumpers. I am a happy atheist, leading my life, raising my children with no religion and declaring my atheism whenever I choose. I have decided that the only consequence I will ever face for my atheism would be punishment by your god on the long shot chance that he actually exists.
Or, maybe their God is actually all-loving and won't punish a good person for not believing.
My problem with atheists is that, while they make the point that there is no proof of God and therefore no reason to believe in it, they seem to ignore completely the other side of the coin, which is that there is no proof that there isn't a god. It's the same kind of blind faith, just in an opposite belief. So I call myself an agnostic-- I don't see proof either way, so I'm going to go on my way and let those who believe one way or another go theirs.
You CAN'T prove a negative. You can never prove that there is no god. But if there were one, it's possible that it could be proven. I consider myself an athiest, not an agnostic, because my position isn't merely that I don't know, but that everything I do know points away from the concept of god. Doesn't mean it's impossible that there's a god. It's also not impossible that there are unicors, but I don't consider myself a unicorn agnostic. I assume they don't exist until I have a reason to believe otherwise.
Athiests are not fundamentalists (that quote was so perfect I'm gonna repeat it: "Atheists do not boldly proclaim that there is no god. Atheists demand that extraordinary claims be accompanied by extraordinary evidence.") and a person isn't an athiest about one god or another. If you believe in any gods, you are not an athiest.
Glad I could clear all of that up. lol
SNT@3: Agreed that some people act like jerks no matter what their beliefs or lack thereof. As far as I can tell, my chances of getting laid remain unchanged.
Megan@12: Anyone who lacks belief in gods is an atheist. Some percentage of that set of people also make the unsupportable claim that there are no gods. It sounds like you are describing that subset. The word "agnostic" makes a statement about having knowledge, not about having belief. By your description, you sound like an agnostic atheist. One could also be an agnostic theist - "I believe a god exists, but there is no way to know anything about it."
For practical purposes, "agnostic" gets a much less emotional response, so is easier to get by with socially.
Everyone's missing the point of this entry: a) the majority of citizens are not married. Society is slowly breaking from marriage as a compulsory rite of passage. b) Atheism is evolving from a fringe sect of outsiders to a more popular belief.
I define myself as more of an apatheist. I don't know the Ultimate Truth of the Universe, and frankly, I don't much care. I'll find out, or I won't, when I die. Until then, WGAS?
The part about religion I don't get at all is the part where God is deeply interested in our activities, to the extent that he has set up eleborate systems to reward or punish us for obeying or not. I don't understand why God, who is presumably a pretty bright fellow, would give a shit whether WE believe in HIM or not.
God strikes me as being about the same as a sadistic ten-year-old with an ant colony and a magnifying glass on a sunny day.
After reading the post about the Russian immigrant evangelical community above, I'm going to go further and explain that I call myself atheist for not only the reasons Violet lists above, but also because religion scares the shit out of me. I can see how blind faith can be very useful to help people structure their lives, but it also puts an inordinate amount of power in the hands of those doing the preaching. It is blatantly a mass control mechanism, and while over the course of history this has done more good than evil, it's clear what the dangers are, and what other alternatives exist in a world of mass communication and formalized education.
Religion is all about social control. That is why I celebrate the fact of growing secularism. I am glad it is getting more difficult to control people. When I was a kid I actually believed that God watched my every move and would torture me for all eternity just for masturbating. Instilling that kind of terror in little kids is IMHO a form of child abuse.
Thank God we live in a secular nation :)
The Church of the Militant Agnostic: We Don't Know, and You Don't Either!
Also, I believe in myself and the power and abilities of humans... since that's the only thing that actually gets anyone anywhere.
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