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Christian Howardson

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Religion and Atheism

Here's my take on an "Atheism 2.0" - all quotes are for emphasis:

Imagine a continuum; on the left side is a 100% conviction that a god(s)/afterlife do not exist, and on the right is a 100% conviction that a god(s)/afterlife is real. In the middle of this continuum, 0%, is a conviction that a lack OR presence of a god(s)/afterlife are on equal terms.

-100%--------------------------0%---------------------------100%

Believe in a god(s)/afterlife? If so, where do you think he (it?) resides on the above mentioned continuum? Why? As a point of reference, where do you think the existance of the toothfairy falls on this continuum?

Now, while my own personal opinion might be that the existence of a god(s) and/or afterlife (especially the one depicted in any of the three desert dogmas) are of extremely low odds (say, 99% for does not exist) and are not worth adopting as real, the important thing is that I am not absolutist in my point of view, because it is unprovable, even if only technically unprovable (ya can't bring back evidence of nothingness, can you?).

In my opinion, the "thoughtform" of the future is one were people do not claim an absolutist stance on impossible to prove concepts such as these. Arguing whether a god does or does not exist is pointless. Fighting over which god is or isn't a true god only leads to war. It's possible that the most humble and honest position is one of uncertainty. Imagine if everyone would just concede that they really just didn't know...might be a lot more peaceful world.

Also, the terms "atheist" and "believer" should probably be removed from our vocabulary. Not only have these terms been evacuated of any substantive meaning, but they've become words regularly used to express contempt or ridicule, which makes people defensive, and basically blocks any hope for open communication regarding the greatest mysteries of the universe.

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  • Jan 26 2012: I assume most if not all participants in this discussion predominantly refer to a christian god. Would it make sense to define what we mean by god in this context?
    Actually, the reason why I think it might be a good idea to define god is because it helps frame the question in exploring its existence. My exploration beginning with the Big Bang to our existence indicates that there is plenty of evidence that god, as defined by conventional religions does not exist. Nevertheless, there are still meny questions about the cosmos and our existance. This in turn leads me to the question of the meaning of life ( sometimes a la Monty Phyton)
    • Jan 26 2012: I would assume you can define the term any way you feel the need. I agree that most of the participants refer predominantly to yhwh, but if you want to be more general, just try to be specific in your definition. For me, a fairy tale is a fairy tale. There is no evidence that ANY religion is valid and there is no evidence of any "afterlife", so no matter how you define the term, I'm going to be atheistic about it. Seems pretty cut and dried to me. If there is some sort of afterlife, IMHO, it makes no difference. The xian version is clearly false, so we couldn't possibly have any idea what it would be like, so it is really just an exercise in futility to even try to imagine it.
      • Jan 27 2012: I fully agree with you. The issue of religion could be approached from the point of view of the vacuum created by the renounciation to the religion that we grew up with; i.e.: for former religious people, how do we meet needs for belonging, rituals, morality, spirituality, etc.?
        • Jan 27 2012: Except for "morality". Morality does not come from religion, but from socio- and socio-economical evolution and pressures. If we took the "morality" of the bible, we would still be slave holders, burning people at the stake, raping virgins in order to obtain a wife, stoning her to death when we find out she isn't a virgin on our wedding nights, beating children, stoning children to death if they talked back to us, committing genocide and more. Sharia law comes from Yhwh, it is not something that mohammad made up. it comes from the Old Testament, just like xian law does. Notice that in the 10 commandments, there is no mention of fraud, or rape, or destruction of another's property, or pedophilia. Notice that the bible can be interpreted to allow people to treat homosexuals as not just sub-citizens, but sub-humans, despite the fact that no person has any control over their sexuality, or who they are attracted to. And yet at the same time, it condones and even commands that people hold slaves and details just how severely they are allowed to be beaten.

          No, morality does not come from the bible or even from god himself. He is such a inept leader, teacher, parent (whatever you want to call him) that he ended up having to wipe out the entire human race because he couldn't figure out how to communicate how he wanted them to act. The, 2000 years later, had to have a brutal blood sacrifice to himself just to allow some humans to be acceptable to himself. Sad, sad, sad. I am amazed that people actually think that any decency could come out of fairy tales that are even more horribly, disgustingly brutal than even the Brothers Grimm could imagine up.

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