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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:06 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor
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Atheist here. Raised Catholic. My mom was a nun and my father is very religious.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Huffs Nooch
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Yup. Dad was an atheist, I'm pretty sure, but we never talked about it. Mom tried to give us a good church upbringing (liberal Presbyterian) but nothing made sense to me. I kept questioning things and just grew more and more distant. I've experimented with a few other faiths, Catholicism because I love the ritual, threw myself into Wicca for yet more ritual, but Faith, is the thing I could never find. I've accepted that I'm an atheist with a strong interest in Buddhist philosophy and a veneration for nature and natural cycles.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:45 pm 
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I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools my entire life (Kindergarten through high school). Eventually, I started to feel that most religious people were incredible hypocrites, preaching about "loving thy neighbor" while remaining homophobic or racist or molesting children. Then I started to look at the Bible and all the stories upon which the Catholic faith are based through skeptical eyes. Man, some of those stories are hilarious! I've been an Atheist since the age of 16 and I remain one of the biggest hearted, most moral people I know.

My sister was married in an Episcopal church this weekend and just sitting in a church for the first time in over a decade felt so strange. The crucifixes, the images of Jesus with his crown of thorns and bloody wounds, the creepy, somber songs... I thought I would burst into flames! It did make me giggle when no one under the age of 50 took communion. :-) I think the times may be changing.

I think the world would be a far better place if, instead of churches, we had communal gathering spots where people could meet every Sunday to meditate, commune with nature, read, share meals, get massages, sing, and revel in the beauty of life without the persecution of religion hanging over our heads. I want to go to there.

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:34 pm 
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OddCoupleEats wrote:

I think the world would be a far better place if, instead of churches, we had communal gathering spots where people could meet every Sunday to meditate, commune with nature, read, share meals, get massages, sing, and revel in the beauty of life without the persecution of religion hanging over our heads. I want to go to there.


Sign me up!


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:57 pm 
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Quinne wrote:
OddCoupleEats wrote:

I think the world would be a far better place if, instead of churches, we had communal gathering spots where people could meet every Sunday to meditate, commune with nature, read, share meals, get massages, sing, and revel in the beauty of life without the persecution of religion hanging over our heads. I want to go to there.


Sign me up!


+1

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:04 pm 
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once i accepted the tooth fairy as my Lard and savior, i never wet the bed again -- not even once. take that, emmer effers!

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:56 am 
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dazee wrote:
once i accepted the tooth fairy as my Lard and savior, i never wet the bed again -- not even once. take that, emmer effers!


Hahahah :) to many emmer effers effing with my ship


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:30 am 
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Another atheist here. I was raised in a strict catholic household, so breaking away was awkward and unpleasant. I'm open to the idea that I could be totally wrong, but I just haven't seen any compelling evidence of a higher power, so I'm the science and logic camp.

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:26 am 
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Another athiest that was raised Catholic here - wow, what is it about Catholicism that turns people completely off religion?

I do have a bit of a Pagan sensibility (all that Catholic schooling made me love pageantry and ritual) and I guess I do like to think there may be something more to me than my body and the chemical reactions therein, something like a soul but...the best way to describe myself is humanist.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:02 am 
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Both my boyfriend and I are atheists, I was raised a liberal christian, he was raised in the new age tradition.

When we see a baby Jesus in a crib, we joke that it's a baby Newton (who was born on 25 December). We fantasize about celebrating secular holidays such as Darwin day (if we had kids we would tell them the story of Darwin's journey, and decorate the house with beautiful cardboard finches that have various types of beaks); world animal day and world vegan day (getting the whole family together for a vegan meal). Maybe we should stop fantasizing and just do that! New traditions have to start somewhere, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:41 am 
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Crust wrote:
Atheist here. Raised Catholic. My mom was a nun and my father is very religious.

Wait... your mother was a Catholic nun? How does that work?

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:48 am 
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I was a Christian, until I started coming out on twitter and people started trying to "help" me. I'm really just critical of religion now.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:11 pm 
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I think this sums up my view of religion: It is more likely than not that god (of any particular definition) does not exist, and in the unlikely chance that god does exist, there is no reason to assume that he has any moral authority.

This passage on human rights captures what I mean to say:

"[N]o divine authority can provide a ground for basic human rights. On the contrary, the logic of argument runs the other way: we must assume the independent and logically prior existence of human rights in order to accept the idea of divine moral authority. . . . You can sensibly declare that a god is good and that his commands should be obeyed only if you accept some further background premise about value on which you rely. . . .

We need not rely on our own religion, leaving those of other faiths behind, when we argue for the innate rights of all human beings. We can argue not from what divides us but from what unites us. We all--Muslim, Jew, or Christian, atheist or zealot--face the same inescapable challenge of a life to lead, death to face, and dignity to redeem."

- Dworkin, Justice for Hedgehogs

I find religion to be absolutely absurd--interesting, but absurd.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Atheist here. As a young child, I decided I wanted to be religious despite growing up in a secular, agnostic household. I went to church for a few years, tagging along with my Christian grandparents. I tried really hard to believe, I read the bible, but even as a kid it always struck me as a fairytale that you had to try really hard to believe in. I had a moment at about age 9 or 10 where I was sitting in church and I looked around and it just dawned on me that it was all not real.

During those formative teenage and early 20s years, I tried on a few different religious hats. Trying to find something to believe in, but really, never believing in any of it. Infact, atheism is more comforting and fulfilling than anything. The here and now is what you have; do what is right for yourself and not some skybuddy. Atheist for life.

ETA: And you know what? Even if there was a god, so what? What difference would that make? Why would I have to worship them? Infact, they sound like a smug, self-interested, narcissistic crasshole.

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:45 am 
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"I believe in swordfish, he believes in swordfish"


Marry Me.

Wait, I'm already married.

Be part of my vegan nerd harem.

As someone who has been raised in a patchwork quilt of religion, I'm ecstatic to share that I don't know anything and it is perfectly okay to believe in nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:41 am 
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Another Atheist.

Actually, when I want to be around atheists I seek out vegan gatherings :). I always find at least a few atheists.

I find groups dedicated to atheism tiresome. First, all they want to do is talk about religion, which um, I don't have that much interest in being an atheist. A number of ( not all ) of the people are sophomoric and smug. Those qualities usually extend to bashing veganism ( and with weak arguments for people so smug about their own intelligence ).

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:44 am 
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I was raised in an atheist family, so I've been an atheist since birth... but I've spent the last 8 years or so studying Buddhism on an academic and personal level, so I suppose now that technically makes me a non-theist rather than an atheist. I still tend to identify much more strongly with the average atheist than the average American practitioner of Buddhism, however, and I don't necessarily find the two belief systems mutually exclusive.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:19 pm 
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mandycoot wrote:
I was raised in an atheist family, so I've been an atheist since birth... but I've spent the last 8 years or so studying Buddhism on an academic and personal level, so I suppose now that technically makes me a non-theist rather than an atheist. I still tend to identify much more strongly with the average atheist than the average American practitioner of Buddhism, however, and I don't necessarily find the two belief systems mutually exclusive.


Ditto ( aside from being raised as atheist ).

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:53 pm 
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I'm one.

My family wasn't religious, but then I had to move in with an Orthodox Jewish foster family and was forced to become Orthodox. I then had to get my religious teachings and go to temple and all that (and give up all my friends since none were Orthodox and only one was even Jewish). All of this was against my will and l do feel like I was abused while I lived with them (the social workers didn't really take my side with that, so either the family was lying or compared to other foster families and horrible things that other kids have been through, my problems just didn't seem big enough). Does my background offer any explanation for why I'm an atheist? Who knows.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:18 pm 
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GreenDuck wrote:
Crust wrote:
Atheist here. Raised Catholic. My mom was a nun and my father is very religious.

Wait... your mother was a Catholic nun? How does that work?

Yes. She passed away when I was nine so I was never able to get all the answers. She started corresponding with soldiers during the Korean War and one of them ended up being my father. She bailed on the convent (obviously). I don't think she entered by choice. She became an English teacher at a middle school for many years. She did teach as a nun also. I was even an alter boy.


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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:35 pm 
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There are many, many atheists on the PPK. I am one of them.

+1

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:51 pm 
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mandycoot wrote:
I was raised in an atheist family, so I've been an atheist since birth... but I've spent the last 8 years or so studying Buddhism on an academic and personal level, so I suppose now that technically makes me a non-theist rather than an atheist. I still tend to identify much more strongly with the average atheist than the average American practitioner of Buddhism, however, and I don't necessarily find the two belief systems mutually exclusive.

You are correct. Buddhism is a religion but it is not necessarily theistic. There are more than a few non-theistic religions.

Back to the topic at hand...I prefer the term humanist. I find that many atheists are ex-Christians with an axe to grind. They are more interested in talking about what they hate about Christianity than talking about what they believe.

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:13 pm 
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There are a lot of us atheists who were raised that way!

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:33 pm 
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The word humanist has always made me feel cringey.

I'm happy to talk about what I believe in as far as my atheism goes, but that's a short list.

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 Post subject: Re: Any Atheists out there?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:09 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
The word humanist has always made me feel cringey.

I'm happy to talk about what I believe in as far as my atheism goes, but that's a short list.

I guarantee that you could never be ruder about atheism than my son is. He would make Dawkins AND Hitchens blush. We are working on that.

I will admit that when I hear "atheist" I think of the nutters in the local atheist society who show up at every local event simply to set up a booth and argue with Christians. I prefer people like Greg Epstein at Harvard who is creating something.

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