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Atheist?



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kingdomkey96

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Okay I have found that there are quite a few 'atheists' on this site. Some of them even cause me to spend time thinking about the concept of God before I go to bed and 'allow' me to test my beliefs (guys like Orion comes to mind) That isn't to say that they've changed my opinion but meh.......

However, my faith in God isn't what this thread is about. A lot of the time when I see Atheists 'dismissing' the idea of God, I see them using Christian beliefs and examples alone. They use Christian concepts as the basis of their arguments.

Therefore, I want to ask you Atheists how many of you have exposure to other religions? How many of you Atheists have tried to find other religious philosophies? Do the majority of you Atheist disbelieve in God or simply the Christian God?

I think that it's a fairly interesting question so please respond. :confused:
 

Tenyas

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I think the reason the Christian God is used as an example so often is because the members on this site fall into a few dominant factions. You have some Hindus but they remain relatively quiet, you have a lot of Christians, a lot of agnostics, and a fair amount of atheists, along with a mixed bunch of Muslims.

Now, the loudest of these groups are the Christians and the Atheists. :B

Also, you have to take into account just what the most common religions are. Christianity and Islamic faiths are connected, if not distantly, so they can actually blur together in some discussions. All the others just aren't as big anymore. I try to expose myself to more religions to get a better idea, the most easiest being Native Tribal beliefs and such, but the fact of the matter is that a lot of conflict these days comes from the aforementioned Atheists, Agnostics, and Islamic/Christian believers.

Also, Christianity's God is peculiar in that it is often interpreted as being separate from a lot of things while being everything at once. It's also rather strict compared to other philosophies, and has many historical bits and pieces in it that can lead to either some sort of moralistic value or just contradictions/confusion if you're looking in a literal sense. Then again, most any religion could have this going on... Anyway, most of the 'Tribal' philosophies I know of relate Gods to just nature, parts of nature or the whole of it. Christianity, at once, says that their God is creator of nature and in all of it while being outside of it. Rather ambiguous to my knowledge. So it can lead to a lot of interesting debates.
 

Solar

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OP is spot-on

Dear Atheists and Agnostics:

Please don't lump Islam with Christianity (not specifically at you Tenyas, but just in general) c:

i hate that comparison
 

Orion

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I say that you should do whatever you please and not let anyone influence your beliefs! :)
This is pretty stupid considering most people form their most core beliefs based on what those around them believe.

★;5538649 said:
Dear Atheists and Agnostics:
Who, the agnostic christians or agnostic muslims? Agnostics don't bash or even necessarily disbelieve religions - they just posit that empirically confirming the validity of their beliefs is impossible, which is good, really. It's them totally acknowledging their religion is a matter of faith.

Most Atheists grow up with knowledge of Christianity in some form of another, so it's only natural and in some cases easy for them to talk most readily about the flaws of Christianity - because that's what they've had the most exposure to.

I personally don't believe in any form of creator God who is still with us and watching/caring about us. As I addressed in a thread recently, the idea that an eternal and all-powerful being would care about us to any degree is stupidly wishful thinking. However, I am perfectly open to the idea that a god of some kind may have initiated the big bang and then let the universe go ahead on its own steam, I've just yet to see any reason for that to be believed.
 

Solar

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I was going to say 'and/or' because there can be agnostic atheists but of course there are those who are on the precise fence of theism and atheism (there are varieties of beliefs and non-beliefs under people using that label, which may or may not have anything) would obviously do their research or debate or whatever but a lot of these talks are centered around Christianity and Euro-Christian history, which is why issues with Islam come up because our history and religion have vast differences than theirs'.
 

Victor

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I have exposure to all kinds of religion but when debating there is no point in going into ones that aren't relevant to the Christian that I am debating. Why should I start talking about Islamic beliefs to someone who couldn't care less about them or has already dismissed them and accepted Christian beliefs, and vice-versa.
Do the majority of you Atheist disbelieve in God or simply the Christian God?
An atheist does not believe in any gods. Is a Christian an atheist because he doesn't believe in Allah?
 

kingdomkey96

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An atheist does not believe in any gods. Is a Christian an atheist because he doesn't believe in Allah?

I understand that, that is why I meant to ask, "Are you a 'true' Atheist." Are you open to the concept of God, while dismissing the 'Christian God' or do you simply disbelieve in God entirely.

The point of thread is to find out what your reasoning is if your answer is the latter.
 

Victor

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I dismiss all gods on based on the fact that there is no evidence to support something that is physically impossible. Something so ridiculous that tries to take the wonder out of the universe. Something that encourages for you to settle with an [unproven] answer and never wonder about the origins of all that is out there. Something that demotes free thinking and learning and expanding our knowledge. The universe is a wonderful place, it is magnificent and full of wonder. There is no reason that we shouldn't learn about it, no reason not to study it, no reason not to explore it, no reason to not think.

We shouldn't accept something ridiculous when there is no evidence to support it. If it wasn't socially acceptable most people would view religion as an insane concept.
 

kingdomkey96

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I dismiss all gods on based on the fact that there is no evidence to support something that is physically impossible. Something so ridiculous that tries to take the wonder out of the universe. Something that encourages for you to settle with an [unproven] answer and never wonder about the origins of all that is out there. Something that demotes free thinking and learning and expanding our knowledge. The universe is a wonderful place, it is magnificent and full of wonder. There is no reason that we shouldn't learn about it, no reason not to study it, no reason not to explore it, no reason to not think.
We shouldn't accept something ridiculous when there is no evidence to support it. If it wasn't socially acceptable most people would view religion as an insane concept.

Classic example of not knowing another religion. In this case, Hinduism.

Hinduism grants absolute and complete freedom of belief and worship. Hinduism conceives the whole world as a single family that deifies the one truth, and therefore it accepts all forms of beliefs and dismisses labels of distinct religions which would imply a division of identity

You do not have to settle with an 'unproven answer.'

Hinduism promotes understanding of every aspect of life, including Hinduism itself. It doesn't encourage blind faith. In fact, science is an integral part of Hinduism

When we say that science is an integral part of Hinduism we don't claim that every thing we believe is scientific but instead we mean that we do not dismiss scientific notion. We encourage different theories and concepts such as the Big Bang and Evolution. We do not view them as stupid but fact until proven otherwise.

(PS. I don't want this thread to be seen as me promoting Hinduism or anything like that. Anyone whose faith isn't Christianity can share their ideas. I say anyone whose faith isn't Christianity because that is what this thread is about, however, if you do want to say something you can of course :D )
 

Victor

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Classic example of not knowing another religion. In this case, Hinduism.



You do not have to settle with an 'unproven answer.'



When we say that science is an integral part of Hinduism we don't claim that every thing we believe is scientific but instead we mean that we do not dismiss scientific notion. We encourage different theories and concepts such as the Big Bang and Evolution. We do not view them as stupid but fact until proven otherwise.

(PS. I don't want this thread to be seen as me promoting Hinduism or anything like that. Anyone whose faith isn't Christianity can share their ideas. I say anyone whose faith isn't Christianity because that is what this thread is about, however, if you do want to say something you can of course :D )
You do realize I was speaking about most gods and not Hinduism right? Hinduism is very different from most religions when it comes to god(s). I suppose I should have specified but I figured it was fairly obvious to someone with exposure to it.
Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, atheism, agnosticism, gnosticism among others;and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each particular tradition and philosophy. It is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization
 

Siren

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I recognize that it's poor form to make a statement without a legitimate source at hand, but there have been studies that most atheists actually know more about religion than their believing counterparts. Why this is remains a mystery--I would say that it's because without having a dog in the fight, so to speak, atheists can be more open-minded about the study of all religions--but it is the truth.

As for providing examples with Christianity, you need to remember that a large portion of our members live in English-speaking countries where Christianity is the dominant religion. It's like Victor said: when you're arguing with a Christian, you don't point out how silly it was to believe in the Olympians. If someone were to argue with Sunny/Solar/bonk-you-I-have-a-symbol-for-a-name up there, it would be important to have at least a cursory knowledge of Islamic beliefs; the argument has to be specific to the person that you're arguing with.

[As an aside, I recognize that there are certain logical arguments that are valid or invalid without a context, but when dealing with actual people a context is embedded and can't be ignored.]

It's also important to remember that just as the members of the various religions are different in their beliefs, so are those that define themselves as atheistic/agnostic/some combination of the two. There are those that base their (lack) of belief on the lack of empirical data (see Victor and Orion above) and there are others that simply don't care whether there is a Creator. Others, still, look at the cruelty of the world and decide that no Supreme being would allow such injustices.

Beliefs, like everything, are part of the overall context. We are creatures of our environment, creatures of separate physiological, psychological, and physical makeup, creatures grappling with the concept of free will and the mind-boggling expanse of the universe. There won't be a satisfactory answer to everyone's questions--including yours--because as humans we often find it impossible to accept the ideas of others.

As far as my own, personal evaluations of different religious philosophies--or just philosophies in general: I'm unsure. For a long time I was convinced that calling myself an atheist was the simplest way to explain a rather complicated set of (or lack of) beliefs.

I do believe that there is, or was, some greater force. I can't grasp infinite density and infinite mass expanding into the universe as we know it today, without some form of trigger. Whether this trigger is sentient or not I'm unsure of, but I do believe (Postscript: I originally wrote 'know' here, which just about proves the beginning of my post) that there was something.

I've had trouble coming to terms with this lately, as I've been finding it hard to define myself. There are certain things that I take from Taoist and Buddhist philosophies, but those are largely for physical reasons and a desire to experience a more 'zen' way of life. I also, however, find myself seeing the appeal of Christianity in very many ways, with a large exception--I do not have concrete faith that Jesus Christ was the child of God (or, for any of you other religions in the trio, YHWH, Jehovah, Allah, etc.).

In regards to studying other religions, though, I've always been particularly fascinated with the Greek and Roman pantheons. There's something appealing about their large numbers of gods that lived in an earthly-yet-unearthly place. [Anyone that knows me or has followed my blog knows that 'something like rome' has been a big thing of mine.] I've made a large effort to understand Christianity, but haven't yet begun more than a quick glance at Judaism and Islamic beliefs.

More than anything, though, I believe that I will follow with Buddhism/Taoism or something along those lines, simply because I would like to enrich my life and have a more mindful, purposeful existence on this Earth. Despite grappling with a desire for Christianity lately I believe that those ideals will last longer than what seems to be a passing fancy.

Time will tell, though. As my context changes, I will change; there is no knowing what I will believe a year (or hour) from now. It's part of the human experience.
 
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Oberon

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I've looked into plenty of religions, both western and eastern (shinto and tao religions are among my favorites). I didn't grow up with those, though, so at most I feel like they'd simply be life philosophies as opposed to a personal religion or faith.

I'm agnostic, personally. Though I lean more towards atheism because they have a more reasonable approach to the God question. One that isn't all about "that's just the way it is."
 

Orion

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It's also important to remember that just as the members of the various religions are different in their beliefs, so are those that define themselves as atheistic/agnostic/some combination of the two. There are those that base their (lack) of belief on the lack of empirical data (see Victor and Orion above) and there are others that simply don't care whether there is a Creator. Others, still, look at the cruelty of the world and decide that no Supreme being would allow such injustices.
Not saying you're wrong, but I will take this opportunity to clarify my own position: I don't believe in a religion or deity for all of the above reasons, and the wonders of the physical and biological world that Victor was talking about.
I mean, I find it much more amazing and gratifying to believe that I'm among the 'end' products of three billion years of struggle and growth, as opposed to something popped into existence alongside everything else in far less ancient times. Ironic that science makes man seem far more amazing than most religions tend to.
In regards to studying other religions, though, I've always been particularly fascinated with the Greek and Roman pantheons. There's something appealing about their large numbers of gods that lived in an earthly-yet-unearthly place.
This is something else I've really liked about those mythologies - the Gods, their actions and relations were all dynamic, and they weren't perfect. They were almost like people, just with more power and wisdom. A similar reason to why I also find Norse mythology really nice (plus war gods bonk yeah)
 

kingdomkey96

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You do realize I was speaking about most gods and not Hinduism right? Hinduism is very different from most religions when it comes to god(s). I suppose I should have specified but I figured it was fairly obvious to someone with exposure to it.

I know, I was trying to keep with the theme of the thread. Which was showing different religious beliefs that aren't brought up in the average God or no God debates on this forum.

You worded your post in such a way that it seemed like a real generalisation and I simply wanted to show an example of how one reason for being an Atheist doesn't apply in another religion.
 

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What am I if I don't necessarily disagree with the idea of a god, but I'm more inclined to perceive the universe as a force?
 

Siren

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I mean, I find it much more amazing and gratifying to believe that I'm among the 'end' products of three billion years of struggle and growth, as opposed to something popped into existence alongside everything else in far less ancient times. Ironic that science makes man seem far more amazing than most religions tend to.

I believe that this is a by-product of that very same evolution; we've always been socially oriented animals, and there's generally a single, dominant leader within a social group. Religion not only comforts and bolsters the faithful, but also provides a superior that, in their mind, is never-failing. A grand leader calms the fears of many, and that's exactly what religions offer--many of them, anyway.

I haven't read as much on Norse mythology as I would like to, but I'm sure that they've got some badass war gods. :D

@stooge: Once you find the answer to that question, let me know; I'd love to be able to provide a name for that particular belief.
 

Hamster Lord

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I don't believe in any gods. Mainly the Christian god. Loads of contradictions, tbh. I've yet to find any contradictions anywhere else though I haven't really searched much.

my $0.02
 
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