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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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  • Feb 1 2012: My feelings on this matter (indoctrinated as a Catholic until the age of reasoning) is that you cannot convince a truely convicted theist of the absurdity of their religion until they have some awakening within their consciousness. It just is not going to happen, no matter how persuasive your argument is or how elegantly you present it. A country that could elect George WishIhadabrain Bush twice! Has not awakened and one would have a better chance of creating a spark of atheistic doubt in a rock. Don't mean to be so blunt but thats how I see this topic.
    • Feb 2 2012: Yeah, I've always thought that. But somehow, I stubbornly keep thinking there might be a better way to approach one's resistance to, or a way to accelerate a person towards, an awakening.

      I personally had an awakening after nearly 20 years of being a...Christian, as you might imagine, considering I'm named after the religion. The second I built the courage to stand up for myself in the face of blasphemy and eternal damnation, a chain of thought was set in motion like a snow ball rolling down a hill. A decade later, here I am.

      And my belief wasn't shallow or hokey either. The religion game was serious business for me. I've had some powerful religious experiences, some resulting in tears and damn near hysteria. But I came to learn what a complex organ the brain is and how perception does not always equal reality, no matter how true something might feel on an emotional level. And more importantly, I came to learn that fervent reliance on god and prayer was a waste of time.

      Thus, it dawned on me that, as humans living on a planet floating in space, our fragile situation of life was and always will be influenced primarily by OUR choices and OUR interaction with each other and the environment around us. So I think to myself, if everyone else could get their head out of the clouds, and focus solely on issues affecting people and the environment while we're alive, what would this world look like?

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