Hello fellow non-believers!

I am new to TA but the question I pose is certainly not a fresh one: Can Atheists and Theists co-exist?

We all know that historically Theists and other Theists cannot co-exist peacefully. War and violence in the name of Religion has been widespread over the entirety of human existence, but it has to be said that civility between believers and non-believers in the modern age has been commonplace. Formal (mostly amicable) debates and the agreement on separation of church and state have somewhat proven this theory, right?

Do the majority of Atheists really strive for a world of empty churches, bible burning and the end of religion forever? Maybe some of us do, just as many Theists probably pray for the conversion of all Atheists to Theism.

What can we realistically hope to achieve as Atheists, and in your opinion is it possible to co-exist with the believers?

I'll leave you with some interesting quotes -

“The whole war between the atheist and the theist comes down to this: the atheist believes a 'what' created the universe; the theist believes a 'who' created the universe.”
  - Criss Jami

"I'm noticing an exciting trend around the country: a resurgence of interest in Christian apologetics (the defense of the faith). This is a reaction to the current attacks on the essentials of Christianity that are coming from militant atheists, radical professors, and Internet gadflies."

- Lee Strobel

"I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world."

- Richard Dawkins

"Religion is part of the human make-up. It's also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy."

- Christopher Hitchens

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Dear Tom:

Thank you!

Wish I had made the point myself, but I have been trying to build a barn, without a theist to tell me that, 'God would place the nail in a different place, if you were listening'. Now I could claim that I can't hear 'God's noises in my head, because I have a disability or need a dose of holy water'.

In the process of building a rather good case for non-co-existence, you have also created a new list of perfect come backs! We can now save ourselves from a nosy web of theists by claiming a cognitive disability, on pare with dementia and retardation. We are yet again to be considered impaired theists, to be protected via the special love bombing, Big Nosey Brother-Sister Program! I now have an even bigger reason to not come out, sadly it is too late!

Atleast theists trying to save the world, can just check their list of impaired theists, and pass us by, 'knowing' that we are are a hopeless bunch! They can just leave it in 'God's hands', safe in their delusion of infalability.

This is begining to sound like a GOOD IDEA!  

Again THANK YOU! What a perfect posting!

James, you were given that horse way back in, what? September? What has that poor horse been doing for a place to live all this time?

BTW, what kind is it? I used to raise Appaloosas.

We were gifted in Late September, but still have not received! Yesterday, my wife mentioned that she will sign a 3 month lease. So all this friging work could give us a gold plated wood shed! I give a shit fit every day just for spite! I should have known this would happen. Our cusian, is leaving in  a few weeks to be ready for the 12/21/2012 end of world prediction. I expect that she is hedging her 'end of world' gamble, and my wife is willing to play along, with me in tow!

Would screaming into a large paper bag help, you think?

Palomino, healthy and well taken care of. If shit hits the fan, I am not above extracting the obvious, on the hoof utility....hint hint

Now I'm really confused - I knew they were giving it to you because they were heading out for the 2012 Apocalypse, but now, they're leasing it to you? What kind of faith is that?

Just so I have it straight - they are boarding their horse with you, and instead of paying you for the service, as they would have to do to put a dog in a kennel, you are going to build a horse barn for it, feed it at your expense, go out in the cold to feed and water it daily, and pay them (lease) money for the privilege? Is that about it?

I'm not sure screaming would help, James - intense therapy, possibly, but as for screaming, that ship has sailed --


I thank you for your, very much needed concern, but I'll get through this. The horse and my wife might not! See no matter what happens, I either not turn 58, and the horse, my wife, the barn and all civilization comes crashing down for a much deserved rest, OR I turn 58, we are stuck with the barn, my wife feels stupid(sometimes a much needed moment of humility), the horse either stays or leaves, and life goes on, with me cutting three more cord of fire wood. In short, 'life in hell/heaven' take your pick!

As the job continues, I have taken on smaller and smaller projects, because I am tired, and I had planned on resting this winter! Wifey seems happy to pick up the slack. She has gotten very good at building roof supports and installing fiberglass.

Next she thinks a new kitchen would be nice, but I only promised her a new floor before she is done. Forcing her to face the amount of work involved, could be the best therapy. 

I wonder if she plans on me donating a kidney? Damn....

Sadly this seems more interesting than the thesis....  


Europe has grown more tired of religion, but in the US, this kid's situation seems like an appropriate analogy of how an atheist could rightly feel.

Yup, this looks like me at about 7. Lifting my head over the praying masses, wondering what the hell this was about? Getting up during the service to get communion, knelling before the priest, and having him point at me, then two big nuns lifting me from behind to remove me from that embarrasing position, and sitting me down at the back of the church between two more nuns. Everyone else was doing this 'thing', why not me?

The rest seems up hill from there, except for a 6 year catholic school stint, first communion, then my science interest fired up.  

You were the one that must recognize my lack of attention to the appropriate pun...;p)

Don't we?

That's more easily said, than done, Sarah.

For us to understand a theist's point of view, we would have to envision a world of invisible entities, of feats that defy the laws of physics, of purposeless violence and the bloodshed of innocents, of clairvoyance, of virgins giving birth, of brain-dead corpses rising and walking and levitating into the clouds, and much more, all without a shred of evidence.

I suspect it would be equally difficult, if not impossible, for a theist to envision a world without those things.

Assuming you believe (and I doubt you do) the Garden of Eden story, could Adam and Eve un-eat the fruit of knowledge? Neither  can we.

When I try to imagine a normal, human  relationship of any kind with a theist, the first question in my mind is how can I trust the judgment of an adult who believes in fairy tales?

Sarah and Arch:

As I have gotten older, it seems unclear if I have to understand every point-of-view, sometimes I just let the other person run with it, and see what happens.

Recently, I was just leaving my massage therapist's office early evening. She and I walked out together, I to my car and she to her mail box. She looked up into a dark clear sky and said, 'Look I saw a UFO, it moved'. I come about to her location and looked at the same patch of sky and saw nothing, but then gave her a short tour of the night sky, identifing a few constelations and planets that were visiable. I realized that she knew basically nothing about astronomy, but still kept track of astrology, and even if Mercury was in retrograd. She seems to be a good soul, but not worldly.

It is unclear if her lack of knowledge concerning astronomy is important, but filling her head with twisted manucia, might displace important insights. Atleast she looks up into the sky and still sees wonder...

All of my lovers have been Christians.


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