Hi all, I'm relatively new to this site and would welcome your thoughts on what I've been pondering over. I'm an atheist and that is a given but remain confused about some things. I worked as a psychotherapist in the UK and am now retired. However I had to delve into the mysteries of language, what it is, where it is and how we use it. I'll try to cut to the chase. I'm an admirer of  Merleau-Ponty and Lacan in that "we speak ourselves into existence" and should be "wary of the image". I learnt that there is no such thing as "normal" and that we only have a "cultural" .Does this affect our atheism? e.g. our sense of humour, the way we speak in the world and how this is interpreted by other cultures, how we take offence, how we give offence, how we imply things that are then inferred by others as something completely different or even opposite to what was intended, like satire for instance.

I could go on for ages about this but would welcome your opinions.

Regards Bob

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Are you asking the question, do atheists have a different way of seeing life and the world?  Do we have a different sense of humour, do we think differently? 

I've not mixed or had much contact with Christian culture, but when I do, I am struck by how much euphemism they tend to use.  Have you ever received a dressing down from a Christian?  You're left wondering, wtf?  They just won't come straight out and criticise you (or each other).  Rather, you get a string of passive aggression.  This is generalising I know, and maybe it's a UK thing. 

One thing I notice on this site - there aren't any leaders.  All very anarchistic. 

I am a fan of a particular Christian web site.  http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/deeper-walk/features/26861-even...  for example.  It strikes me how much more willing these people are to question their beliefs than atheists are. 

As an atheist I rely on myself and my own brain to get through life.  But I have seen Christians do the same thing - asking "Jesus, what should I do?"  It amounts to the same thing in my opinion, if it is honestly done, which it can be. 

Hi Simon thank you for your answer . i will visit the site you recommended. What I'm trying to ask (rather crudely I may add) is that, if the mind is structured by language including say "the self" and given that we are "within" language as it were, does language have a cultural bent (so to speak) as to how we understand the non-existence of "God" which is itself just a word. Is it sort of culturally "twisted" or distorted?

thank you for responding

Hi Bob,

for me to answer that question I would have to speak more than one language, and I only speak English.  It is intriguing, though I am more intrigued with the question of how Christians and atheists might see life differently. 

Although that doesn't mean the discussion's closed.  I'm listening....

Hi Simon I'm not thinking of different languages like Spanish or French etc.(taking into account they have different cultures)This is difficult to explain as I'm not really very good at explaining it. I'm thinking more in terms of how (say) Wittgenstein changed his mind on the Tractitus when he saw somebody scratch his chin. like gestures and all other non-verbal communication,,,

Bob, you're going to have to spell it all out, if you would - Nuts and Bolts.  Concisely, to save my brain from having to work too hard. 

sorry Simon  for hurting your brain :). this is one of the points I'm questioning .For me its a "dialogue" that will probably not have an ending...good to hear you're still listening tho. I'm just tying to understand things as best as I can


Hi Dave thanks for your reply. I've not heard of Stenger or Zizek so I've already learnt something new which I will look into. I too believe human rights are universal.

I'm happy to agree and disagree and to agree to disagree






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