We've all heard this before: "atheists dont believe in anything," and of course that is not true. Unfortunately, I hear this all too often. Since beliefs are an individual thing (especially among the secular community), I pose the question to you: What do you believe in?

 

I'd love to hear as many thoughts as possible. Hopefully this discussion will generate a diverse enough pool that it would be worthwhile to link this as a response to statements like the one above.
 

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I believe in myself, I hope that counts

No, Adam, that isn't enough. You have to subscribe to the current school of thought. All it requires is to be able to regurgitate what you have been forcefully spoon-fed. Think of the influence religion had during the Dark Ages. Now it is simply replaced by public education. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

So what do YOU recommend? Be specific. Provide evidence.

You are against public education????  You compare teaching children algebra, history, chemistry, English, literature, etc (you know....facts) to indoctrinating them into a religion?  Perhaps you should look into what indoctrination really is.  Teaching facts (2+2, the earth is the third planet from the sun, Columbus discovered America in 1492, hydrogen has 1 proton, Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, a clause has a subject and a verb) is NOT indoctrination.  Teaching religion AS FACT (Jesus certainly died for you, Hell is certainly real, you are a sinner and will go to hell without accepting Jesus's sacrifice, and anything said to the contrary is the work of the devil) IS indoctrination. 

You ought to be ashamed of yourself.  You have just insulted every teacher in the free world.  Sure, there are some that don't deserve the title...that's every profession.  But teachers sacrifice much to educate our kids for piddling salaries.  Just to be told by some pompous, no-account, imbelic, self-righteous Pinocchio that everything they do is no good.  Yes, you are a Pinocchio.  You may not have strings directly to any religion, but you are a puppet just the same.  Wake the hell up, and stop letting those morons lead you around because you know they are wrong, and someday you might become a real boy. 

You believe people are sinful?  Evil?  Deserving of hell or wtfever?  You believe that humanity is tainted and destined to fail?  You believe that only your views can save them, but only AFTER they are dead?  You believe that no answers can be found because they weren't found by you?  Science, my dear, has given you a computer, internet connection, and any birthday you celebrate past 50.  Education of this science, along with reading, writing, arithmatic, and other subjects, is what guarantees that the next generation can give us more toys, tools, and better medicines.  

EDUCATION led to democracy.  Public education helps us MAINTAIN democracy.  Is it perfect?  Well, no.  And nothing ever will be.  But to compare the failures of public education to the atrocities of Dark Age religion is APPALLING.  And what makes it even worse is that you are proud of yourself for this idea, as evident in the "meet the new boss" quip.  SHAME ON YOU!

Without public education, you would be an illiterate, toothless serf struggling to feed 4 children, and debating which of your daughters to sell into prostitution or marriage first, and looking for a second wife as your first died in childbirth, all while tithing to a church you must serve regardless of your wishes.

How do you know he isn't an illiterate, toothless serf struggling to feed 4 children.....and all the rest?  LOL!

As a surviving member of the public education student body, I am not so sure about the 'no indoctrination' claim. Being made into 'good little citisens', while hardly more than an attempt, was atleast in the lesson plan. The exclusions of important details of American history, and a few concerning elections(at my time of passage) were rather telling.

Your point is still taken. After an additional survival of 6 years catholic school, I would pick public education any day, but would include other required readings.

Catholic school taught me that conformity was expected/mandatory, reading the Bible on your own was discouraged, science was a no-no, questions of dogma were punished, outside reading was nada, and nuns could use force to enforce their will!  

Good teachers teach critical thinking, so I suppose (by your theory) when their students question what they are told, they are merely barfing up some skepticism and logic.

Atheists don't believe in anything.

I believe you're an idiot.

Standard response.

This is what's known as a "straw man fallacy".

In an attempt to somehow discredit Atheists by firstly making a FALSE negative assertion "Atheists don't believe in anything" or in the positive assertion "Atheists believe in nothing". Both statements I have heard many times and both of which could have easily been stated correctly in the negative "Atheists don't believe in anything god" or in the positive assertion "Atheists believe in nothing god".

Now you have your straw man it's time to beat up on it somehow. In this case by making your false assertion using a tone that infers not believing in this mysterious anything/nothing is somehow a bad thing. So what if I don't believe in "anything" SO FUCKING WHAT. That is my prerogative and not for you to judge lest ye be judged.

Usually establishing the fallacy in the first place renders the second point irrelevant.

Quite simply, I believe in myself.

I feel that I know my limits.That's good information to have. Even though I try to push them always.

I also believe that I cannot change the world, so I won't try.

I also believe that Earth has been visited by extraterrestrial life in the past, and will be visited again.

My tuppence.

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