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."
... it suddenly occurs to me that I don't know many intelligent girls.
Wow. I'm popping some popcorn.
no. religion should be kept quiet. everybody needs to keep it to theirselves. bieng a christian means having a relationship with god, not god and the whole world.
I think we can co-exist. I feel the same way about this as I do the gays. As long as they don't try to push their beliefs onto me, I am fine.
By pushing the beliefs, i meant as long as they dont try to turn me gay. im not homophobic or anything. i just dont think its the right way to go. i support them. i just dont want to be them.
One thing I did as part of my on-going philosophy interest/training, I went to several conferences for gay rights/marriage, and bisexual conflicts. After lots of enlightening conversations and good pizza, it became clear that you 'CAN NOT FAKE BEING GAY!'
There seems to be something different, but it is not about belief. Belief issues come into play during and after the emergence of the identity, with the other folks making it hard to cope and survive the expression of that identity.
We each emerge or submerge out of/into the some social construct of 'normal'. Atheism, for many would be an expression of the 'abnormal'. While with large groups of atheists, the belief/attitude appears to be normal, and the linguistic expressions of the group are good attempts to sustain that perception.
Gay folks are surrounded by multiple social constructs, some welcoming, others cruel and alienating. As an atheist, I have seen this in my own life, and can be treated differently just by using my words differently, or mentioning a detail that might not be common knowledge/experience.
Theists generally assume that they are the 'in group', with the divine right to define, normal, moral, justice, knowledge, wisdom, authority, and history.
I suggest not being affraid of gays, be more concerned about the folks that might like to define them out of existence, or deny basic human rights to them. Denying rights to one, can wedge open the gates to denying rights to any that might be convenient or politically useful.
So, being gay is a set of beliefs, not a sexual orientation.
Is that a statement of fact, or a question? See, how it works, is that statements of fact generally end in periods ("."), whereas questions usually end in question marks ("?").
I was feeding my interpretation of her belief back to her. Not a question; a statement.
“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
Rubbish. The atheist rejects the theist's claim that God exists. That's all. If someone says he is an atheist, you know nothing about what he believes. You know exactly one thing he does notbelieve. Anything beyond that is an intellectually dishonest assumption.
I'm an atheist. I don't claim to know the answers. That is the exclusive claim of theists.
I only know what science has revealed: the universe probably originated from a multiverse which exists in every possible state at once and thus without time. That is eternity, which has no beginning, and requires no creation event.
This is one important reason why theists and atheists cannot co-exist: endless encounters with theists who tell me what I believe rather than askme. But it's not the most important reason.
The theist and atheist cannot co-exist in much of the world because the theist will saw your head off with a dull sword if he knows you don't believe.
(Warning: This GRAPHIC video is not for the squeamish.)
[moderator]Not Safe for Work - Article contains footage of a man being decapitated.[/moderator]