I believe that many people get confused about the term "Atheist." Is an Atheist just a person who doesn't believe in a supreme being or is there more to it? How does one become Atheist? What is it like be in a world that is dominated by religion? Please give me your feedback on this topic. Help me gain insight on the Atheist community so to speak.
We just answered all of these questions for a guy calling himself Stephen, who deleted all his comments and left with his tail between his legs.
Quite simply Keith, we are all born atheists until some of us are corrupted by superstitious adults.
Are you guys working in shifts?
Stephen self-destructed too? Not even a little pile of smouldering ashes? Tragic
I suspect he was Raptured, but let's keep it our secret --
Gen 5:24 "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
For me, only the most fundamental definition is necessary. For me personally this seems to stem from a stronger need for truth.
OK, Ladies and Germs, I have a confession to make. It will likely get me kicked out of the Atheist's club, they will probably, effective today, change the secret handshake, strip me of my decoder ring, and if they could find where I've hidden it, take back my recipe for baby Bar-B-Que.
Let me preface my confession by saying that I do not believe in ANYthing supernatural, but I just watched a rerun of "The Santa Clause 2," with Tim Allen and Elizabeth Hamilton ("Juliette," from "Lost"), and I'll admit I laughed, and I cried.
I've also teared up at every episode of "Ghost Whisperer," for the very same reason.
I've come to the conclusion that - and don't ask me which evolutionary survival technique it involves - we Humans WANT to believe in things supernatural. We Atheists, of course, and rationally so, discount any possibility of magic, but the concept is so ingrained within our heritage, that, at least subconsciously, we bemoan our loss of innocence, an innocence that didn't depend on mathematical formulae or carbon dating - magic did it. The tooth fairy was real, and Santa, and the Easter Bunny, and yes, gnomes, and elves and fairies without any specific professional occupation.
This need of ours, and again, I have no empirical evidence, is responsible for all of the gods we Humans have ever worshiped. To lose the need, is to lose our collective childhoods, our collective innocence, and although we know, in our minds, that it's the logical thing to do, logic is not a thing that makes us laugh or cry.
And no one's getting my recipe --
The difference is that you can differentiate between fantasy and reality.
There is an evolutionary survival technique in imagination. With imagination, we can decide that we would not eat a mixture of fish, custard and crushed spider - even though we have never actually tasted it. Someone else will probably have a far better analogy, but with imagination we can make choices, because we can imagine several outcomes of different actions, etc. I'm sure you see what I mean.
Fantasy is simply a spin-off from imagination. We, as humans, entertain children and ourselves with magical stories, but even so, you will note that the underdog usually wins, and good triumphs over evil in an absolute way in these stories. So I can see that we might yearn for that to be as clear cut in life - which it isn't.
The films you watched were actually designed to have the emotional effect that they seem to be having on you. That is the precise outcome that makes people want to watch them. But tell me, do you really look around you and imagine you can see real ghosts, after watching the Ghost Whisperer? Of course you don't.
That is because you can differentiate between fantasy and reality. At some stage, you discovered that Santa and co were not real. I wonder if you would have been so certain of that discovery if all the adults around you were seriously certain he did exist. Eventually you might have worked it out anyway, but not necessarily immediately.
Religious folk have not managed to learn how to differentiate, because nobody in their surrounds has taught them how to tell the two apart.
Far be it from me to discount your analogy, but the only good spider is a crushed spider, whether you eat it or not --
I think there could be an error with the "..nobody in their surrounds has taught them how to tell the two apart."
I really think they know, but the social conditioning makes demands on their common sense, to always silence doubt, and replace it with constantly refluxing dogma. A little like an invasive thought, or a well composed piece of music that you just can't get out of your head!
I do have a few of these as part of my chemistry education, like 'Leo and his Ger', 'Leo= loses electrons oxidises', 'Ger= gains electrons reduces', and 'PI=3.141592657...'. Happily, I can control these just by making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or checking the statis of our junk food inventory...;p).
Freud and infants.
Sadly, for some, they wish to know how we got to 'here'.
Looking back, it feels that for some, it was an easy walk in the park. For others, a vast web of cruel moments, tortured trust, slamed doors, and love betrayed. And then others, a life time of study, moments of insight, and testing of boundaries. I wonder how many of us might consider our destination as an outcome similar to the lives of Old Testiment characters.
The letter "A" means "non", the word "theist" means something different to every person who chooses to wear the "Theist" label.
I don't wear the "Atheist" label myself, I'm a self described "Realistic Absolutist" ie. That which is real is true, absolutely true unto itself.
There are no doGs, only doG lovers and they can't be trusted.
Hope that helps.