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Tysyacha
05-06-2009, 08:24 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?

jrrtoken
05-06-2009, 09:30 PM
To not cause confusion, I'll file under the agnostic option.1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an agnostic?I'm not sure, really. Probably my differences and grievances with the local Catholic diocese that I was raised in turned me off organized religion for good. That eventually led to my current belief in "It doesn't really matter if there is or isn't a God". It's not that I'm against theism or atheism as a whole, but more or less, I don't want to waste my time and money with trivial matters.2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?Nope.3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?The majority was fine with it. I don't really enjoy failing and swinging my beliefs around, mainly because they are rather trivial to me, and others. However, when I eventually had to state them, it wasn't a massive shock.4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?I'm against ultra-organization, to the point where the line between a business and a church is blurred. I'm also against the vehemently anti-abortion sentiments that most of the Catholics that I've meet harbored. Another thing was the "fundraiser" that the church held, by partnering up with a local fast-food franchiser, and selling and promoting "coupons" to eateries.

Yet, the last straw was the active crucifixion of one candidate during presidential elections five years ago, where the clergy as a whole stated something along the lines of "Vote for this candidate, or burn in Hell".5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?My church tried to lure me back after leaving. I haven't gone to any others since then, however.6. As an agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?Can't list any off the top of my head.7. Which agnostic authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?Any high-ranking theist who has the common sense and courage to admit the existence of the possibility of agnosticism.
8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?Absurdism. In short, it's essentially the big "maybe" between existentialism and nihilism.
9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?Nothing that I can think of. Every leading philosophy has merit; not a single is inherently "logical" and "illogical".10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?Humanity. The brilliant sense of uniqueness and individualism that dwells within us all. I believe that there is no need for inherent good or evil, but simply whether or not one has lived their life to fullest, and created an overall interesting life for oneself.

Tommycat
05-06-2009, 10:27 PM
A note: I am not atheist, but I am by no means religious. I believe some good lessons CAN be gained from religion, but by no means should it run your life.
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?
Athiest about 10. Agnostic about 29.
2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?
No.
3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?
Didn't tell my dad til I was in the service. Subject just never came up before then. He was proud of me for my service and checked my dog tags. NORELPREF. He asked me if that was what they used for non-religious. I said yep. His response, "Back when I was in I never saw that. As they say, there's no atheists in a foxhole. Oh well... Want another beer?"
4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?
They try to claim knowledge of the unknowable. Many try to scare you into a lifestyle. And to be honest, while individuals of a religion may be good people, when en masse the religion tends to be a scary thing.
5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?
I assume you mean aside from the door to door religion sales? Jehovas Witness and the like. Any religion that has to have people selling it door to door makes me nervous.
6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?
None really.
7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?
I got nothing for you... It doesn't take a book telling you about it to become atheist or agnostic. Just logical thought.
8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?
A few regarding finding inner peace.
9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?
herbalism?
10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?
"Don't worry, Be happy."

Sabretooth
05-06-2009, 11:53 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?
I'm not sure, 13? 14? Probably when I first learnt the meaning of agnosticism. Can't say I was mighty religious or God-worshipping before that.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?
Nope.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?
Wouldn't blink an eyelid.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?
I don't I have any "beefs" with religion, and don't think I don't see through your puns.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?
No one as far as I can remember.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?
Haven't read any atheist/agnostic books.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?
I respect many authors, and I don't keep track of who is religious and who is not.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?
Buddhism, followed by Solipsism, followed by Objectivism. (/cue Ayn Rand line)

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?
Can't think of any, I'm afraid.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?
My will, my ego.

Darth Avlectus
05-07-2009, 01:40 AM
Note: I am a former agnostic/atheist. I would consider myself a spiritual but not religious person. However, I am by no means against religion and freedom of (not from) it. I came back to believing simply as a matter of open mindedness: I noticed the more I defended it and the more fervor I put into it (atheism), the more like fundamentalists (but in an equal yet opposite manner) I was becoming.

1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?
~15 on up to about 22 years old.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?
At first. However it seemed so ever prevalent with people that I began openly opposing it because people would not relent.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react? They let me have my space. However they felt they had failed me somehow. It also put up a rift and it caused my family and I to not get along. For a time.


4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?

While seizing the day is something initially with the best of intent, this central theme actually has lead to a more nihilistic movement in its people.

I hate it (religion) when it is carried out as more of a business. The "god business" or how its people are "bible salesmen".

Or it is used as a justification to try to color deplorable acts as honorable.

Cliques and cultist attitudes.

When it is an egotistical establishment, which is the opposite of true spirituality, true discovery of what's within.

When it fosters more of material wants, or idolizations; selfishness or self centered mindsets. This is not what loving thyself is about.

Ones that insist Left handedness is the mark of the beast--I take *great* exception to that as would any other left handed person.

Its hypocrisy of people who don't even realize they have in fact shaped God to their own idealized image.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?

I'm going to answer in two parts:
a) yes; every main Christian faith has tried to work on me at least once.
Jews have in fact shown interest though didn't press it too hard upon learning I have Jewsih blooded roots. Admittedly, I do have some Jewish tendencies about my thought processes, though one could argue that these are stereotypical.

Then I'd say that there is this militant type/sect of veganism. NOT to be confused with the friendlier and more easygoing (sane?) Vegans and vegetarians. These people are not like other vegans or vegetarians: they are as condescending, patronizing, and rude as their religion-business counter parts if not moreso. You can basically "get ****ed" if you're not "one of them".

A "new aged open-mindedness" philosophical/fundamental trend manifesting itself in certain people and showing up in these individuals when confronting a number of certain political, social, economic issues. What I can really say about it is that it is open minded in name/theme only. This can be adopted by people who don't even believe in anything supernatural. A certain trend of mindset more than religion but it seems to have some clique-ish holier than thou mentality. Perhaps even adopting the above mentalities as well. "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Douchenozzle" syndrome too.

Also encountered various groups of Latino w/ Native American members, trying to either get me to join (I have some red man facial feats and long dark hair despite being mostly white) or to try to aggravate. They have a militant tension about them and tend to hate "the establishment" and ones not of their kind. I'd imagine I would only be of 'second class' to them due to the shade of my skin.

b) Arguments were of varying persuasion levels. while most of the organized religion groups are typically predictable in this aspect, the other groups seem to have tied their mission into something either compassionate or glorious, if not otherwise just basically demonizing and scapegoating. So whatever the argument (regardless of hokiness) it all ultimately was amiss to me. For the most part. What truth it held was little in the way for its saving graces.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?

None. I considered reading (I think) Atheism: the case against God. Not far through, this guy began to seem as bizarre as fundamentalists in equal but opposite fashion. Exactly what I didn't want to follow. Sort of fits into the open minded in name/theme only. I read some smaller books about it.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?Not enough info to reply. Never cared.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave? I'd have to put it roughly between Miyamoto Musashi, and Sun Tzu...I have not read much more books like these, so far. These are non religious but are what I like to call generally spiritual. However, ultra rationalists and purely atheistic types would still not consider it worthy of pursuit. So if that doesn't count for that, I dunno what to tell you.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies? Refer to 5a.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?

Not sure I could give you a simple answer here. I'd rather not reveal too much. Then again, maybe I don't have an answer for you...

Web Rider
05-07-2009, 01:47 AM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?
I wasn't raised with a religion. I didn't see the point of religion, and I didn't find anyone's arguments in favor of there being a God very convincing. Being the weak atheist I am, I don't exclude the concept of powerful beings that are god-like from existing. Just the omnipotent sort.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?
no.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?
My family wasn't religious either, they were fairly open to me just going where I felt comfortable. Some of my friends were religious, but none of them cared.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?
It's limiting, have to believe in this, and that, and those things too even if I don't agree with them. Spirituality is great. Having something to believe in is great. But how that works should be up to you. Not some ancient book.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?
Aside from the annoying Mormon, and some old ladies, no. And as my opinion of them suggests, they were not persuasive.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?
Books on atheism are lame, they're written by atheist equivalents of Ann Coulter. They make a lot of noise and cause a lot of trouble and overall aren't helpful.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?
I don't read them, so I can't really say. I don't like Dawkins for example.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?
I'm not sure what kind of philosophies you mean? Like Hobbes or Nietzsche? Can't say really.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?
*shrug* I dunno. I don't like Locke, but then he uses traditional religious theory to make his case, and it's not real good IMO.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?
Sex, drugs, money, rock and roll, wanton slaughter. /sarcasm

I dunno, being happy. Not in the ignorant sort of happy, but living a good life happy.

Pavlos
05-07-2009, 02:08 AM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?

I am aware of being, at some point in my life, in possession of a belief of some sort of god; one who loved caterpillars and caused me to get upset when my parents used slug pellets to protect the flowerbeds. A god which did not so much give a set of moral codes as it did serve as a sort of Father Christmas character who, if I was good and did what Mrs. Moyra said I should in school assemblies, would ensure I got a new bicycle at my next birthday.

I could not, however, say when that view of the world came to an end. And, indeed, it must have done so a long time ago because my memories of belief are so distant as to seem like dreams. More recent are my memories of observing ceremony without the soul to back it; leaving the mince-pie and glass of milk for Father Christmas, in full awareness of the fact that he will not be coming to eat them.

My atheism is not so much derived from a belief in nothingness as an inability to believe. When things go bump in the night it's usually a fridge magnet falling off, or a gust of wind blowing the letter box, it probably isn't der Sandmann creeping up the stairs to rip my eyes out. The grip of the mysterious lasts for the length of a good [i]Doctor Who[i] episode, but no longer. It has very little power over me other than to make me shed light on what is dark.

Far more breath-taking than unknown simplicity is known complexity. Hearing a dawn chorus and being able to identify that it is not "birds" but blackbirds, robins, wrens, thrushes and being able to hear their individual calls is an exploded world-view that is sought, naturally, by myself in all things. The explanation for existence being one, all-powerful god, seems almost antithetical to that quest for an all-embracing and diversity-seeing perception of the world.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?

I have the utmost respect for most writers whom I have read. Salman Rushdie gets more praise than Christopher Hitchins, shall we say. Most of our current generation of Literary London, forged in "the fires of the summer of '68" (as Hitchins likes to mention every five seconds), have disappointingly vanished into thin-air (Rushdie perhaps understandably) leaving us with a distinct paucity of "great" authors.

mur'phon
05-07-2009, 02:28 AM
1: When I was born I guess, didn't realize I was an atheist until someone told me. Been an atheist since then after a stint with self-made religions.

2: no

3: Turned out that my close family was atheists too, so no reaction.

4: as long as they don't: A: discourage people from thinking for themselves or B: atempt to turn their beliefs into laws aplying to people not of their faith, no beefs.

5: Yes, most sucessfull being myself when I created my own religion.

6: Haven't read many on the subject (sorry J7).

7: Respect? haven't read enough to know. Disrespect? Dawkins, I tried to read him, didn't get too far.

8: Nihilism

10:self interest

Emperor Devon
05-07-2009, 03:15 AM
8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?

objectivism

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?

objectivism :shades2:

Solipsism, followed by Objectivism

Rand hates your guts, looter, and so do I.

Get out.

True_Avery
05-07-2009, 03:43 AM
I posted once already and found my post to be in rather poor taste, so lets try again:

I prefer to be a third party between the theists and non-theists, as both could be called religious depending on those involved. Those that firmly deny that basically fit into those with enough fervor to be religious themselves. I prefer to see the theistic and strong non-theistic viewpoints as subjective coping mechanisms than any attempts to actually explain the universe/world.

1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?
Like I explain in a Senate thread, I never believed in god. I was aware of a concept of god, as I had been to church maybe twice or so and heard the word but basically put that in the same category as Santa Claus. I believed in Santa more than any god, and I stopped believing in Santa when I was like, 5 or 6.

As Mur'phon stated, it was basically something from birth. I honestly thought the bible and such were just fairy tales like "the little engine that could", but later realized that people actually believed it. Kind of an eye opener.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?
My parents are privately a little christian/agnostic. They could care less, as my parents told me and my sister that it was up to us to decide what we believed in and not their job to indoctrinate their children.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?
See above.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?
My beefs are long and listed, but it mainly comes down to a psychological and sociological standpoint I have that god and religion are simply coping mechanism to deal with the world in a subjective way, and that concept was taken too far and organized into an institution that contradicts its own original concept.

If anyone would like to know you can PM me, or you can ask me directly in this thread or another because my extended answer will probably offend quite a few people here.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?
Coping mechanism. If someone finds a way to cope that makes them feel great, ontop of the world, and somehow tricking themselves into thinking they have all the answers the obvious thing they try to do is spread that message for whatever person reasons they have.

For that reason, I've found almost no arguments of faith convincing.

However, there is 1 book that helped me greater understand the subject and I, personally, think its the best piece of religious literature ever made:
Me of Little Faith by Lewis Black
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_of_Little_Faith

It is a fantastic bridge between theists and non-theists. If you have any self respect as either, get this book or, better yet, the fantastic audio cd.

And yes, people have attempted to convert me and so on many times. But, honestly, who haven't?

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?
See above.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?
Agnostic and atheist's who try to preach their message fit into my category of the religious as well. Their beliefs are a coping mechanism if they believe in them with enough fervor, so I take their arguments with as much salt as a theist.

But, can't really name names as I do not read too many books on those subjects or particularly cared about an author's religion.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?
It could be argued that if a philosophy has followers, then it is a religion.

But, off the top of my head I like Existentialism and Nihilism. Nihilism is hard to define as its philosophers have had different ideas on what it means to be a Nihilist.

I need to get around to reading Hobbe's stuff

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?
Don't know. I can think of pros and cons for a lot of them.

But, I'd say the Philosophy I hate the most is Solipsism.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?
Going to be honest here and say myself. But, if we're going to be specific, my imagination.

Miltiades
05-07-2009, 06:48 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic? I guess I've always been. Or at least, from the moment I could think for myself.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know? Never, although most people I know being atheists/agnostics does help.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react? The previous answer should answer this one as well. Perhaps, in my case, a better question to ask would be, how would friends or family react if I told them I did believe in a god. The answer to that would be that most wouldn't care, some would be intrigued as to why, and some would be disappointed.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion? They are plentiful, and I do not wish to list them all. Some of them would be religion's influence on us, even if we don't want it; intolerance to other beliefs; blind faith;...

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey? Aside from the occasional Jehova's Witnesses at our door, no. And their arguments were absolutely not persuasive.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject? I haven't read much on the subject, but Bertrand Russell's "Why I Am Not A Christian" essay was very good.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect? Having not read a lot on the subject, I can't really name any names.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave? Nihilism (Nietzsche), Materialism, Epicureanism and Machiavellianism.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies? Of the ones I know, none, really. They all have some principles that challenge the mind. They all question the accepted views and beliefs in some way.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most? Not an answer I could write in a couple of minutes, if ever. I think, what I've always been the most proud of, is my mind. My ability to think independently, to think critically and of the way I think. From the things I have, I think that's my most precious'.

jawathehutt
05-07-2009, 07:27 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?
A year or two ago

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?
No, my family is pretty unreligious so they didn't really care, a few fundies at school told me I was going to hell but they typically do that on a regular basis so it was nothing new

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react? Apathetically

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?

Organized religion leads to conflict and whatever you would call nationalism for religions. I can't think of a single religion that hasnt had at least one war waged in its name by some overzelous leader.
5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?
Christian fundies, I think they were catholic or something tell me about how I sin and how I need to confess and such. They generally use the whole salvation argument(aka your going to hell) which I generally ignore. I figure if Gods out there he's probably had enough with most organized religions, it just seems like that would be the opinion of a God who apparently doesnt like killing and being evil. Which is pretty much a really short summery of most religion related history.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?
Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti monster... I dont know, I dont read much about it, I would rather form my own views, I dont want to just follow someone elses, that would be the same as being in an organized religion.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?
See Above

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?
existentialism, empericism, skepticism


10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?
Inner peace I guess

Alkonium
05-07-2009, 09:56 PM
1. Maybe when I was 13, though I had always had my doubts about religion.
2. A little.
3. They were fine with it.
4. My view on truth is that it must be observable, and the idea that a millennia old book which has never been accurate is the only source of truth conflicts with that.
5. Criticised, maybe. But not really.
6. I can't think of any off the top of my head.
7. Off the top of my head, I can only think of Richard Dawkins, Douglas Adams, and Bertrand Russell, and I respect all of them.
8. Analytical Philosophy
9. Anything that involves blind obedience/faith.
10. Freedom, Individuality, and Intelligence.

Det. Bart Lasiter
05-07-2009, 10:28 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?I suppose when I began to notice that every Sunday, my only thoughts in church were about whether or not there'd be grape juice and little bread cubes that day.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?Not really.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?My cousin was on me about it for a bit when he had a run-in with religion a short time ago, but that ended when he realized what time church services were on Sunday mornings.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?The unwillingness to admit ignorance and the excesses many religions go to to expand upon their power.

Sabretooth
05-08-2009, 02:35 AM
Rand hates your guts, looter, and so do I.

Get out.

My absolutely infallible integrity brushes off your words.

Also, I don't think of you.

But, I'd say the Philosophy I hate the most is Solipsism.

Yes, because you are but a figment of my imagination!

/muhahahahaha

Ray Jones
05-08-2009, 10:09 AM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?I learned about religion and its "meaning" when I was like, hm, 13, 14? Actually, I asked myself what the holy grail is after I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I learned more especially about Christianity when I did a presentation about the seven crusades for history class. Eventually, that was about everything I ever learned about religion. So, in other words around that time must have been be the moment when I found out I am actually not one of the theistic kind of people.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?Does not apply to me.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?Every one claims they got it right.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?I only met like 5 religious people of that kind IRL. Three of them saw me closing the door after they asked if I read the bible, two of them were accusing me and my friend of blasphemy after he asked me "what's with Julian" and they understood "hallelujah".

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?Not a topic of my interest.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?Depends on their books?

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?Determinism.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?So, traditional religious philosophies are hokey?

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?Life.

Bimmerman
05-08-2009, 12:30 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?

Kinda always have been. Never went to church as a kid, never felt the need to. I suppose you can file me as an apathetic atheist

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?

No. My extended family is religious, quite so in fact, but the issue never came up. Why would they or I care about my religious faith?

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?

I never told anyone. I honestly don't care if extended family knows. My parents and brother aren't super religious, and don't care. There are far more important things to worry about.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?

This is why I call myself an apathetic atheist. I. Don't. Care. If there's a God. I have no particular beef with religion. I have never felt the need for (or presence of) a supreme being, and thus don't subscribe to any religion. I despise the atheists and agnostics that go around attacking religious people and trying to explain everything with "logic" and "science." The facts may support you, but what is logical about requiring someone else to kowtow to your beliefs when they have their own belief system that works? I don't get it.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?

Yes. Friends have. I just smile and nod and eventually ignore them or make some crass comment if they won't stop. Religion (or lack of) is personal; I don't want to hear how you found Jesus, and I bet you don't want to hear how happy I am not caring about religion. Different strokes for different folks.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?

I have no desire to pick up a book by the Dawkins-esque authors of the world, only to have them preach atheism and the illogical-ness of religion to me as if they were Catholic or Evangelical preachers. I find it all distasteful.

My answer's simple-- I don't read atheist books, I read for fun.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?

I don't respect Dawkins, as he is the Atheist's version of Evangelical Preacher Ted Haggart. The fact you're writing books calling everyone else in the world an idiot bugs me. They may be, and statistically, 50% of the population is below average in intelligence, but that doesn't mean you have to write with such vitriol, or inspire such a vibrant hatred of religion. All authors that follow his lead, atheist or not, I detest.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?

No clue. I don't look for philosophies to live my life by; I just live. I am quite happy doing what I want to do, how I want to, according to my own ethical code. I honestly have no idea; any one of the ones that says be nice to others and leave me the hell alone is the one I'd pick.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?

Politics. Blind adherence to anything. The modern atheist cults.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?

Oddly worded. I like living, and I like being able to do whatever I want to achieve my own personal happiness. I would like the same for my friends.


Aside from your questions, I'll go on record saying that the people who make a big deal of the fact they don't believe in god, and try to fight and call people out on their beliefs any time faith is mentioned, are as utterly disgusting to me as the evangelicals who want everyone to know how much they love jesus and how I should too. Neither group is likely to have the answers, and I strongly reject both. Religion, faith, personal philosophies, all that are very personal things, and should be left alone.

I once went to a debate between a somewhat famous atheist writer, a professor of theology, and a guy from Focus on the Family (evangelical). The whole debate, the atheist and professor just yelled at each other, holding up books arguing their narrow world view, and basically made themselves look like complete and utter fools. The atheist wouldn't let the professor get any words in, and attacked and insulted the guy. What was supposed to be a calm, professional, informative debate quickly turned into a shouting match. The atheist guy looked like a complete dick, and the professor was no better.

The only one of the three who had a level head and encouraged the audience to think for themselves, and come to their own conclusions (all without being a douche to the other guys), was the FotF guy. I came away impressed by that, and very apprehensive of and disgusted by the militant aggressive atheism.

Arcesious
05-08-2009, 01:33 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?

Over a year ago. (I was about 14.5 years old)


2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?


Told most of my friends, and one of my uncles, but haven't told my parents.


3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?


A couple of them were of the impression of "Oh my God, why?!", but the rest reacted in the manner of "It's your life."


4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?


I wish not to offend anyone, so I don't debate with anyone about it; but you could say I fit the generalization of a 'Militant' secularist.


5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?


Not really. I try to avoid religion debates now. The arguments I hear now seem ridiculous to me, but I don't blame people for making fallacy-filled arguments, because even as a secularist, I oftentimes make fallacy-filled arguments as well.


6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?


Anything by Carl Sagan.


7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?


Carl Sagan, Sam Harris, Neitzche, Dawkins... I don't like Christopher Hitchens.


8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?


Humanism, but not in a anthrocentric manner. (Not intended as an oxymoron)


9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?


I dunno. Maybe spiritualism.


10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?


Hard question... I value the universe, I suppose. What I treasure most... I dunno, maybe my computer, because it provides me tons of knowledge at the click of a button. overall, I honestly have to say that I value my mind highest. The ability to think and have an imagination, as well a burning desire of curiousity to understand the universe; is what it most important to me.

Vaelastraz
05-08-2009, 02:00 PM
I'm an agnostic atheist. There's no evidence, or any hint for that matter, which suggests the existence of a god.

1. At the age of 17 I think.
2. No. My parents aren't religious even though they do believe in god.
3. They didn't make a fuzz about it.. I actually had lots of interesting discussions with my dad where he played devil's advocate. :)
4. Religion should be a personal, private thing. It shouldn't influence politics or moral issues.
5. No.
6. I haven't read a single book entirely devoted to this issue. I find it very interesting though (the epistemological side of it) so I will probably read one at some point.
7. Contemporary authors? Dawkins, Harris, Dennet.. Hitchens not so much. I really like Hume and Russell. ;>
8. I don't have a favourite philosophy.. even though I'm a philosophy student. I don't live by any philosophy. I'm interested in epistemology, philosophy of science, logic & set theory, morality.
9. I'm not sure what that is supposed to be about.. I'll go with just about anything Descartes has to say about God in his Meditations on First Philosophy..
10. I don't know.

Emperor Devon
05-08-2009, 07:04 PM
My absolutely infallible integrity brushes off your words.

For some two hundred years, under the influence of Sabretooth, the dominant trend of philosophy has been directed to a single goal: the destruction of man's mind, of his confidence in the power of reason...

Today's mawkish concern with and compassion for the feeble, the flawed, the suffering, the guilty, is a cover for the profoundly Sabretoothian hatred of the innocent, the strong, the able, the successful, the virtuous, the confident, the happy. A philosophy out to destroy man's mind is necessarily a philosophy of hatred for man, for man's life, and for every human value.

Hatred of the good for being the good, is the hallmark of Sabretooth.

Jae Onasi
05-08-2009, 08:08 PM
For some two hundred years, under the influence of Sabretooth, the dominant trend of philosophy has been directed to a single goal: the destruction of man's mind, of his confidence in the power of reason...

Today's mawkish concern with and compassion for the feeble, the flawed, the suffering, the guilty, is a cover for the profoundly Sabretoothian hatred of the innocent, the strong, the able, the successful, the virtuous, the confident, the happy. A philosophy out to destroy man's mind is necessarily a philosophy of hatred for man, for man's life, and for every human value.

Hatred of the good for being the good, is the hallmark of Sabretooth.

I thought that was Ayn Rand's job. :xp:

Pavlos
05-08-2009, 09:02 PM
I don't respect Dawkins, as he is the Atheist's version of Evangelical Preacher Ted Haggart. The fact you're writing books calling everyone else in the world an idiot bugs me. They may be, and statistically, 50% of the population is below average in intelligence, but that doesn't mean you have to write with such vitriol, or inspire such a vibrant hatred of religion. All authors that follow his lead, atheist or not, I detest
Terry Eagleton (the only Literary Critic left who's not afraid to deal with the big picture; I'd like to put that down to him being a Marxist but people would probably debate me on that one) pretty much lampoons Dawkins in his review of the God Delusion for the London Review of Books:

Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology. Card-carrying rationalists like Dawkins, who is the nearest thing to a professional atheist we have had since Bertrand Russell, are in one sense the least well-equipped to understand what they castigate, since they donít believe there is anything there to be understood, or at least anything worth understanding. This is why they invariably come up with vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first-year theology student wince. The more they detest religion, the more ill-informed their criticisms of it tend to be. If they were asked to pass judgment on phenomenology or the geopolitics of South Asia, they would no doubt bone up on the question as assiduously as they could. When it comes to theology, however, any shoddy old travesty will pass muster. These days, theology is the queen of the sciences in a rather less august sense of the word than in its medieval heyday.

Dawkins on God is rather like those right-wing Cambridge dons who filed eagerly into the Senate House some years ago to non-placet Jacques Derrida for an honorary degree. Very few of them, one suspects, had read more than a few pages of his work, and even that judgment might be excessively charitable. Yet they would doubtless have been horrified to receive an essay on Hume from a student who had not read his Treatise of Human Nature. There are always topics on which otherwise scrupulous minds will cave in with scarcely a struggle to the grossest prejudice. For a lot of academic psychologists, it is Jacques Lacan; for Oxbridge philosophers it is Heidegger; for former citizens of the Soviet bloc it is the writings of Marx; for militant rationalists it is religion.

Linky. (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/eagl01_.html) Worth the read.

SpaceAlex
05-11-2009, 07:54 PM
~snip

I like this guy already. :D

Q
05-11-2009, 11:17 PM
Told most of my friends, and one of my uncles, but haven't told my parents.
*shudders*

My advice to you would be to wait until you're 18 and they can't legally do anything about it. You've told more than enough people already and they're bound to find out before then, though, so for your sake I hope that they're not fanatics. If they are, get a lawyer. I'm not kidding.

Arcesious
05-12-2009, 09:12 AM
*shudders*

My advice to you would be to wait until you're 18 and they can't legally do anything about it. You've told more than enough people already and they're bound to find out before then, though, so for your sake I hope that they're not fanatics. If they are, get a lawyer. I'm not kidding.

Don't worry about it. It's not a very big deal. And by friends I mean five people.

Q
05-12-2009, 12:52 PM
Chances are, it's a big deal to your parents. Just be careful.

Qui-Gon Glenn
05-12-2009, 01:10 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?Like Pavlos, I prayed to Jesus as a very small boy, letting him know what I wanted for Christmas - I figured he'd tell Santa, assuming they worked in adjacent offices. Around age 11 I started to have significant doubts about the conception of an "all benevolent god", and started towards agnosticism. High school friends of mine (Aquinas HS) who were catholic (I was not) engaged me in debate quite often, and I ended up having a group of friends known as I.N.G.A.G. I am still a powerful member of this group :lol:

I became a near atheist, strongly agnostic, upon reading The Brother's Karamazov, my sophomore year in college. The suffering of children....

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?My mom has been in and out of many faiths, and is agnostic herself, although highly spiritual. She started asking me the questions, so my independent thinking is a result of her questions. Thanks Mom, really!

My parents split when I was 5, so I could care less what my Dad thinks of my opinions, on, well, anything. Friends like me for me anyway, so I have never edited myself on this topic, or just about any other for that matter.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?Big surprise..... they have all heard me talk for a long time. I am the loud voice of dissension.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?Organized religion is guilty of creating just about every modern problem we face today. That is a giant blanket statement with no evidence provided, yet I think it will a giant task for any of you to dispute this. So, Macro-Religion is my biggest beef.... I do not like group-think, I do not like conditioning.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?Ever and anon. I have heard very few persuasive arguments, more often hokey to the extreme. I have had many people in the south here try to lay hands on me for healing purposes.... that is pretty wacky, when someone you met today wants to heal you with the divine power of God working through your hands.... then "heals you" and looks for gratitude. If I had ever been healed, I would have been grateful, but not to the person who healed me... but to God herself!

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?Hmm... not sure. I like to read philosophy, so I guess Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus. On the flip, Descartes, Kierkegaard... no specific titles, I have read to much and forgotten most of it.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?I respect most any author, it takes a lot of work.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?The idea of someday living a life worthy of a human being.

Arcesious
05-12-2009, 03:23 PM
Chances are, it's a big deal to your parents. Just be careful.

Thank you for you concern, but I have it all under control. :thmbup1:

Salzella
05-12-2009, 06:03 PM
ooo a set of questions. *slobber*

1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?
since as long as i can remember.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?
hah, hardly. they're all atheists aswell, and the ones that aren't are either agnostic or haven't really thought about it.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?
with ambivalence. they don't mind what i believe i think.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?
the organisations and the extremist elements. as Ghandhi said "i like your christ..."

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?
never.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?
never really read any to be honest.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?
see 6.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?
again, i haven't really studied in depth any (i'm not that well suited to these questions actually, but what the hell), but i guess my view is solipsistic - a bit. only in that i would need to experience any supernatural of any sort personally and irrefutably before i would accept it.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?
most really.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?
choice, and myself.

that last answer sounds cold, but its hard to explain. give me several beers and a willing audience and i'd hold forth with vigour :xp:

Taak Farst
05-12-2009, 06:06 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?
Like a year ago, after a few R.E lessons, I found it really ridiculous.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?
Nope :D
3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?
I told them, because I was baptised as a baby but I don't believe in that stuff. They didn't mind - were not really a religious family.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?
God making it all in 7 days is wayyy ridiculous. Jesus being the son of god and god giving mary her baby is ridiculous. IMO its Big Bang, and Darwin's Evolution theory. - You cannot deny evolution..its something people have studied for years.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?
My nan is religious, but argued by telling me everything I already knew, which I find ridiculously unrealistic.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?
The Bible, it makes me laugh..

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?
You mean theories? Mainly Darwin's Evolution, molecular biology and all that, it's way more realistic. Plus, if your spokesperson is god for creationism..you don't stand much a chance as there is a chance he isnt real. (or a full chance IMO) Science explains a lot more than books and ancient scrolls.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?
my main problem..is the simple fact that the religion states he made EVERYTHING is one week..and even on the 7th day, I think he rested..

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?
My Friends and Family. And surprisingly, school.


EDIT: Sorry if this offends anyone, I'm just stating my beliefs as an aethiest..

Tysyacha
05-14-2009, 06:31 PM
Here's a follow-up question for you: What do you think is religion's aim, besides to get people to believe in (a) god(s) and follow their religious commandments and prohibitions?

Totenkopf
05-14-2009, 06:38 PM
Well, I'd say that pretty much encapsulates it all, whether you view religions as nefarious or benign. Self perpetuation and control.

Tysyacha
05-14-2009, 06:40 PM
By the way, Toten, does your username mean "killhead" in German?

Totenkopf
05-14-2009, 07:03 PM
Deathshead (ie skull). It was also the name of the 3rd SS Panzer Division (not to worry, I'm not a nazi-lover or anything). Bit of a miltary history buff, especially 20th Century. I'd figured when selecting a username it'd likely have the virtue of being unpicked. I hate wading through the "select a username" process.

Miltiades
05-14-2009, 08:53 PM
Here's a follow-up question for you: What do you think is religion's aim, besides to get people to believe in (a) god(s) and follow their religious commandments and prohibitions? Do not confuse 'religion' with 'theism'. Not every religion has a deity, a supernatural being whom they worship, not every religion has a missionary function, not every religion is oppressive and binding.

Religion may want to explain the inexplicable, or may be used to deal with certain everyday occurrences, like death, in such a way that it gives people comfort. It wants to give meaning to a life, or to a deed. I think those are the aims of most religions, though there are bound to be a few that have other goals.

Arcesious
05-14-2009, 09:02 PM
Here's a follow-up question for you: What do you think is religion's aim, besides to get people to believe in (a) god(s) and follow their religious commandments and prohibitions?

At first, I suppose it was just one person's answers to things he/she did not understand. Later, it became far more popular and self-righteous/arrogant people began to use it to control people.

As of modern days, it seems to be a mixture of both, except that it is not very much so used for control anymore.

Now, it seems that leftover things from ages of control, pre-modern philosophy, and troubling questions are simply making a big, unneccessary mess of things. Religion doesn't really have an aim, in my opinion, religion seems to me to be a person's or a group's prerogative.

Web Rider
05-15-2009, 12:08 AM
Here's a follow-up question for you: What do you think is religion's aim, besides to get people to believe in (a) god(s) and follow their religious commandments and prohibitions?

Depends on the religion, I'd say that that is pretty much the goals of the major Abrahamic religions, but not so much of some of the Asian ones. But only some. Some sects of Buddhism, Hindu, ect... are just as controlling as many sects of Christianity are. Self-perpetuation, money, power, control.

I do agree that, at it's base, it's an attempt to help people live well and answer some big questions.

Darth Avlectus
05-15-2009, 02:19 AM
Here's a follow-up question for you: What do you think is religion's aim, besides to get people to believe in (a) god(s) and follow their religious commandments and prohibitions?

It could be so many things. I'm not sure just how to answer that.
Not every religion is theistic, necessarily. Nor is religion the same as spiritual.

At its basis similarly to Web Rider in the post above, I do believe it to attempt to be a positive social construct. Initially. I would say, it is not necessarily the belief, so much as the people in it that cast its image. IE are bad or good. Don't knock something just b/c there are people who make it look bad.

Strengthening character. Making them ultimately better people. That's what I hope such things would ultimately achieve. Not some compromise where it is more concerned with edicts, or agendas of exerting some kind of control over people.


A Coping mechanism (or as some call it a crutch for the weak) is how it could be seen? Maybe. However, where people are of an addictive personality or highly dependent...well when you consider the grim alternatives likely to happen to these sorts of people in reality, ask yourself "Is it such a bad thing?" I'd say if there is more success than failure in re-routing addictions to something positive, let it be. I really wonder if those who mock the weak and tempted could come up with a better (more overall positive) solution than this. Letting them scrape and stew and burn seems to be most mocking people's attitude. To a degree depending on what the situation is, I might agree. However generally, I'd say allowing their indulgence to displace and kill them is not a good thing.

So I guess helping people attain inner peace and order in their lives in some measure. That's an aim.

Also as I mentioned social construct. It is a sort of glue or pillar for community. The common values despite our differing background. What pulls us together. Symbolizing it is not necessarily arrogant, though the conviction of character in so doing may be seen as such--in which case it is challenged.

Social construct may be something as simple as a group of friends getting together. They have it in common, but do not need to practice values each necessarily the same way. Just some point of juncture and meeting. Old folks probably do it b/c let's face it, elderly are not as attractive as they once might have been and younger people seem to disconnect.


EDIT: Provision of a coherent focal point as a centrality of lives. Which is why it seems, regardless of numbers, they can unite so well. Something to relate to, to grasp. Something in common.

Samuel Dravis
05-15-2009, 03:58 PM
Here's a follow-up question for you: What do you think is religion's aim, besides to get people to believe in (a) god(s) and follow their religious commandments and prohibitions?This may appear obvious, but the avowed aim of Christianity (at least) is to save your soul and to live with God. Following commandments and even believing in God are only means to achieve this end; they're not ends in themselves.

Questions like this are strange. I mean, what is supposed to be a religion's aim besides what the religious believe it is? And if you wish to imagine an evil cabal conspiring to create a religion for social control or what have you, there needs to be some reasonable bit of evidence for such a conspiracy before it becomes the slightest bit plausible. Dan Brown novels really don't count.

I'm not saying that religion does not enact a form of social control. But I don't think this is an aim, only a consequence. And even if it was an aim for certain members of the clergy (and it may be, who knows), it still wouldn't follow that social control is an aim of the religion in question.

Alkonium
05-15-2009, 04:04 PM
I suppose it was early man's attempt to explain things they did not understand, and grew into a way to control the masses, and for the most part, religion fails at both nowadays.

Totenkopf
05-15-2009, 04:12 PM
I suppose it was early man's attempt to explain things they did not understand, and grew into a way to control the masses, and for the most part, religion fails at both nowadays.


You may be a bit premature, here. Religion still has a massive influence on people worldwide. Probably more so than secular thinking.

cire992
05-15-2009, 05:48 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?

Aside from my parent's early attempts to raise me christian when I was very young (they were never believers, they were pressured by their parents), I have been raised in an agnostic family. When I was a kid and throughout my teenage years, I didn't think much about religion, gods, spirits or any of that sort of stuff.
It wasn't until college, or sometime soon after that my opinions about theology really changed. Whereas before I was indifferent, these days I find that I'm fairly intolerant. I'm not proud of my prejudices, but I just can't help it. I'm an atheist.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?

I try to avoid discussing religion with my family. While none of my immediate relatives are spiritual in any way, they come from catholic families (all four of my grandparents were devote catholics), and I would never want to say something stupid or offensive.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?

We don't really talk about religion. When they do talk about it, it's usually a joke or comment on something in the news or something.
I've had one or two friends that turned out to be very religious. Things didn't work out that well.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?

Antiquated, irrational, illogical, repressive, demeaning, unjust, chauvinist (often) beliefs. Religions thrive on replacing education which has historically led to exploiting innocent people. Only good religion I've ever seen is Buddhism. And it isn't exactly perfect, but it does lack a lot of the garbage nonsensical trash that the unwashed here at home so willingly believe in. It's disgusting.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?

Yeah, constantly. Best example: I worked with this guy a couple years ago from Virginia. One of those evangelical weirdos. Someone at work must have told him about me because he seemed to make it his mission in life to convert me. After I told him one too many times to leave his god's number so I could get some more information he gave me a sock in the face. He got fired, never saw him again. Convert or die, it's a southern thing I guess.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject?

As a gamer, I've got better things to read about. :p

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?

Don't know any?

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?

Principle of non-violence. People always say that humans are violent by nature as a justification for blowing each others' heads off and worshipping their warrior-class as heroes, then they say sex and women are evil because it's in their godbook. If we as a species (or even just some of us) spent half as much time, money and effort trying be more constructive instead of destructive, religion/lack of education wouldn't be an issue, and no one would think that starting a war (also known as 'kill humans living in [insert location here]) for any reason is not a good idea.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?

Well, as I pretty much alluded to above, war, under any condition. It is a purely destructive act. And by extension of that, anyone with enough literacy or competency to say "violence is in human nature" is following a pretty hokey philosophy unless they honestly believe that humanity does not attempt in any way to perfect themselves. Of course, if that were true we'd all still be living in caves, hehe.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?

Highest value? At one point I was over 9000. :thmbup1:

SkinWalker
05-18-2009, 05:39 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic? I settled on agnostic-atheist at around 1999. But I've always questioned religious doctrine and beliefs. I just never had a need to choose one side of the debate or the other until 1999.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know? No. Not afraid. Cautious and concerned about how they might deal with it, but not afraid. There are still some family members who don't know about my atheism primarily because the subject has never come up (they probably suspect, however). But I don't push it because I'm sensitive to their beliefs and, perhaps, their need to believe. If they ask or inquire, however, I won't hesitate to tell them about my position(s).

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?Some would not be surprised. Some would be dissapointed.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion? Its important to note that not all atheists, agnostics, or agnostic-atheists have "beefs" with religion (most don't, actually). Since I do, I'll answer with a couple: 1) religionists (not all) seek to impose their particular brand of religion on others via legislation, policy, and education; 2) extremists in religions are tolerated by some of the more moderate members since they're of the same religion rather than criticized and questioned for their behaviors and actions; 3) Religionists make positive claims in public then take offense when those claims are questioned, criticized, or ridiculed. I could go on, but this gives you the gist.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?Many have tried over the years, even before 1999. They all seemed hokey at worst and superficially comitted to their beliefs at best. Public displays of piety are particularly interesting to me since its obvious that an inquantifiable amount must be superficial and put-on -a front, if you will.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject? Dan Barker's Godless. A great read. Even if you're a religious person, I think you'll find his story fascinating, interesting, and -at times- funny.

7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?They each have a unique and interesting position. I'm a fan of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett among many others, but, with the sole exception of Harris, I've read other works these authors have written that aren't on the topic of atheism. Contrary to position that some atheists and agnostics take, I happen to think that very little of what these authors have written is off-the mark. Indeed, I've actually debated with atheists on the subject of whether the works of Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris have merit and I've yet to see the compelling argument that invalidates their works. Theists have remarked that Dawkins' work is "shrill" and angry, yet when pressed for a quote that shows this, you get none that are when the context of the words are examined.

The thing about these authors that I like is that they generate buzz, get people talking, and perpetuate discourse. This all in addition to taking religionists to task for their irrational claims and doctrines. The net result is a consciousness-raising.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?

Utilitarianism.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?

Anything written by Berkeley.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?
My DNA -> specifically, my daughter.

Qui-Gon Glenn
05-19-2009, 12:22 PM
Berkeley :lol:

Blix
05-19-2009, 12:37 PM
I haven't really told my family, but I was never too hip on the whole "god" thing. I think I knew that I was atheist/agnostic when I realized that the ones going out of their way on a hot May afternoon to accost a random stranger at a bus stop about the bible are the ones who seriously need "saving", not the "sinners" in question.

HdVaderII
06-05-2009, 10:07 PM
1. When did you first become/find out/decide you were an atheist/agnostic?

I guess I never really believed in religion in the first place, but I always just went along with it because It didn't seem too much of a big deal to me whether i cared or not, but as I got older, it became more important to me.

2. Were you afraid to let your family and friends know?

Not at all. A couple of my friends consider themselves atheist/non-religious, and the others who are religious don't have any problems with my judgement. All of the people I know are pretty tolerant of all mindsets.

3. If you told them you were an atheist or agnostic, how did they react?

Some would ask why, but others would just be cool and accept it. I don't think anyone's ever reacted badly to me telling them.

4. Other than the obvious one (you believe God does not exist and/or it is impossible to know whether God exists), what are your "beefs" with religion?

1. The problems it causes. From the dawn of time, it seems that half of the problems that have happened in the world have either happened due to want for land, or religion. It seems to me that historically, people who classify themselves as true believers are very hypocritical. People have fought, killed, and done all sorts of other nasty things in the name of their god/gods who they say tells them to be "kind" and "do not kill".

2. People who try to put religion in government/public life. The biggest problem i have with religion is when people try to put their religious beliefs on to other people. Can't people just keep it in their own homes and societies. For example, same-sex marriage. People who don't want other people to marry because of what their god tells them, never mind what the other people think, just makes me mad. You can believe what you want to believe, and let other people believe what they want to believe. Just keep it to yourself.

5. Have other people tried to proselytize you to convert to their faith? Which faith(s)? Did any of their arguments seem persuasive, or were they hokey?

Very, Very Hokey.

6. As an atheist or agnostic, what book is your favorite on the subject? and 7. Which agnostic/atheist authors do you respect? Which don't you respect?

I think that organized non-religion is almost as strange as organized religion. Why does it have to be any sort of label to put on someone. You can just not believe.

8. Of the philosophies out there that aren't religious, which one's your fave?

Peace. Dog loving. Free hamburgers for all.

9. Which do you think is just as hokey as traditional religious philosophies?

Atheists going out and trying to promote atheism. Its like promoting a religion, except without the god. It's kind of annoying. Everybody just leave each other's spiritual life alone.

10. What is your highest value in life? What do you treasure most?

My friends, my family, and my dogs.