Hello I'm Karlee and I identify as a human being.
I believe in love, respect, tolerance, friendship, understanding, education, compassion, knowledge, wisdom and a whole host of other abstract ideas. I have what I think to be a pretty decent set of ethical and moral standards. I do my best to live on the principle of not harming others.
I have plenty of questions about the world and the universe we live in, and I am constantly reading and looking for new material to help me to learn and gain knowledge. Oh I also happen to be very comfortable and at peace with my atheism.
I don't have the desire to argue with people about their individual beliefs. I can't be bothered and I don't really have enough background knowledge of any specific religion to debate. I will defend anyones right to hold a religious belief. However I abhor anyone who uses their belief as a tool to bring harm to others. Also I really don't appreciate people trying to convert me to their religion. I don't try to force people to reject their religion, so I expect them to do me the courtesy of respecting my atheism.
I'll probably do a lot more reading than posting, but I wanted to say hi instead of simply lurking.
Welcome on board Karlee. Does your community have a considerable number of freethinkers like yourself? Is organized religion a formidable force in Australia like here in America?
Hi Ed, thanks for the welcome.
Growing up I was taught that in polite society you don't talk about money, politics and religion. It's been my experience that unless people are particularly religious (e.g. my grandparents) they don't tend to talk about their personal beliefs, they are kept personal. However, I know many "Catholics" who only go to church at Easter and Christmas, and don't otherwise do much regarding religious observance. So it seems like here in Australia we are moving away from organised religion, it's becoming more personal or maybe people are "losing faith". I can't really speak for other religions, as I haven't had as much experience (again it's the not talking about it in public thing). Although I know a few Jewish people who don't particularly observe many of their traditions either.
I also think here in Australia we generally have a pretty relaxed attitude towards organised religion. You are usually left alone regarding your beliefs or lack there of. Sure we have some rather zealous religious folk pushing their agendas, everywhere does. But the majority of the country tends to be laid back and very casual about religion. It's definitely not as oppressive as it seems to be in the USA. Although I'm not happy that our current Prime minister has been bringing more of his religious beliefs into politics (e.g. Not allowing his political party to have a conscience vote on Gay marriage).
Has there been any secular 'pushback' towards the PM and his anti-gay marriage stance?
How do you feel about atheist spirituality? Have you come across it? It's pretty much like Buddhism crossed with evolution theory and other sciences, and philosophy, in my opinion. But it crosses over well with the existing religions.
Welcome to Think Atheist by the way. We have another active member from Melbourne.
Hi Simon and thank you for welcoming me to the forums.
To be honest with you, I'm not a particularly spiritual person. For example I believe that when I'm dead that's it, there is no more Karlee. Therefore I must live my life to it's fullest and enjoy it while it lasts.
I suppose the closest my beliefs come to anything spiritual is that when I die, the electrons that configured themselves into making up Karlee are dispersed into the universe, and will configure themselves into something else. But my consciousness, my essence will be gone, there will be nothing left of me.
It may seem like a pretty bleak outlook to some, but I'm comfortable with my beliefs (or lack thereof).
I'm glad you like my comment about identifying as a human being! I may be atheist, but I don't think that really defines who I am - it is just one aspect of many dimensions. I hate labels of any kind because in my experience all labels do is force us into a predefined box, like a one size fits all when it really doesn't. That's why I only identify as a human being. It is the broadest label I can give myself, and I then have limitless parameters within which to further define myself.
As for how I like Australia. Well no place is perfect, but I've grown up living in the suburbs of Melbourne and I've found it to be a pretty decent place to live. In Australia we are lucky in that we basically have the freedom to live as we please (clearly within the boundaries of the law!). We are not usually persecuted for our beliefs, which means we are a wonderfully multicultural county - there are many diverse religions, theology's, belief systems, etc.
Unfortunately it's not always the case, there is increasingly a more negative attitude by ignorant people who are anti-muslim because of the unspeakable actions committed by the fanatical minority groups. However they seem to conveniently forget that all major religious groups have been guilty of terrorising others at one time or another.
We still have a long way to go towards equality. I've previously mentioned that we don't yet have marriage equality for the LGBTI community. Discrimination against people with Mental Illness still exists - although we as a community are becoming much more accepting and understanding. There seems to be an increasingly bigger divide between the rich and the poor, and it's making life next to impossible for those near to or below the poverty line. Sadly there is also still racial inequality for our indigenous population, we just don't seem to be doing enough to improve their access to health services, education, employment, etc.
But in reality I can't particularly complain - I'm a middle class non-indigenous heterosexual and I live in an area where I can easily access support for my struggles with Bipolar disorder. I have it pretty easy compared to many. And at least I know that in Australia I have the freedom to think and feel how I want, as long as I cause no harm to or threaten the wellbeing of others. I don't have to live in fear of being shunned, incarcerated, tortured, murdered or worse for my personal views.
Hello I'm Karlee and I identify as a human being.
I would really hope so or else it would be very weird if a human wasn't using the computer.
But welcome aboard Mate!
Haha you cracked me up! Thanks for the welcome. I suppose it would have been a bit weird if I said I was a Chicken or something!