Alright, so a couple of days ago I was talking to a friend of mine in class. And we began to talk about religion. Now I'm far from the kind of person that likes to showcase my views on things, But I told him I was an Atheist. He Actually didn't believe me at first, and said that people have to take a oath to become an atheist. We literally argued about this for 5 whole minutes before I finally said lets go to an computer and get google the definition. after I showed him what atheism actually is, He still retained doubt. I just said forget it, and ended the conversation on it there.
What I'm asking is how long will people remain that ignorant on atheism. It's not like he's dumb when it comes to other topics. He says He's a christian and he never even read the bible. And when I told him and another friend I read it They Laughed. Oh yeah and I forgot to mention one of the guys laughing has a tattoo that says "blessed" on his chest. And he never read the bible. That's just stupid to me, But I kinda want to know what other people think about this.
Atheism means there is no God- that is what the word means- a theos- no God. So you believe there is no God. But you cannot know that because you do not have complete knowledge of the universe and beyond. So the name you call yourself is contradictory to being able to state there is no God. So maybe the reason for lack of understanding by others of what you believe starts with your name.
So none of us ever knows anything?
And yet, without "complete knowledge of the universe and beyond," the theist maintains that there IS a god - how does that balance, in your equation?
Are you asserting that belief in an unknown, is better than the non-belief?
When someone makes a statement, 'God exists', what does this mean? That a being or object that you refer to by the term 'God', is in the world with us and has effects? Or that an abstract term(convention) 'god', will be used to refer to activitities, operations, processes, etc, that we take for indications of existence? I can make statements that seem to indicate existence such as 'X does y', 'X thinks Y', but this causes your audience to think you have some privilaged position for this knowledge. Attributions are rather common in our language, but what rests behind the words?
Taking a position of non-belief allows atheists to consider what evidence could be possible, while belief can allow a fake certainty, and opens up the use of language for self delusion.
Creating a web of rich narrative(s), with the core assumption of 'existence', while very good for fiction writing, seems to be disrespectful of honesty.
It is very sad to me how negatively people see atheists. It gets especially bad here in the USA if you happen to live in the Bible Belt. My mom actually lives in denial that I am a non believer which is rather amusing at times. But as a reference to how we are seen I'll share this story from earlier this week; I told my mom I planned on getting a tattoo for my birthday and that it would be an atheist symbol of some sort. Her exact response, as well as my sisters later that night, was "You might as well get a swastika". That to me is the exact problem and uphill battle we have in gaining acceptance and spreading logic and reason. It doesn't bother me if someone's beliefs are different than mine, but I just wish they had the courtesy to attempt to understand atheism before they throw me in with the Nazis.
Hi Ryan. You're right. We 'have a very bad rep. This is largely due to preachers having demonized us for so long & so assiduously. The good news is that this is slowly changing. The internet has been very helpful in letting the whole world know that we're HERE. Our numbers are growing with each passing day. I'm 86 & won't live to see our full acceptance. You will, but you'll be old too before this occurs.
"....throw me in with the Nazis. " LOL ;p(
If we become mainstream, will I have to wear a special brown shirt with badges indicatiing my level in the 'party'? Who will be our 'party' leader? I think I know what our salute will be, left hand middle finger, in our nose, pointing at our brains? Hail Sagan!
I'd nominate Dawkins as party leader. But if we're going to have uniforms I'd prefer something a bit more colorful so we don't blend together in a crowd. Patches based on the invisible pink unicorn and flying spaghetti monster seem almost necessary though.
Ryan, don't wish Xians (even if they are family) to attempt to understand atheism before they throw you in with the Nazis.
Instead, wish them off a crutch that serves them the way a crutch would serve you if you sprain an ankle. Yours would be a physical crutch, easy to see and discard when your ankle heals. Theirs is a metaphorical crutch; they don't see it and it's as hard to discard as their belief.
For me, atheism is a denial of most or all theist chaims to the nature of reality, the source of morality/ethics, the origen of the universe, and the developement of life as seen through the theist lense. This can be a hard sell, a little like starting over, with only your wits to guide you, and some help from your friends.
"...afraid yet intrigued."
Jessica, I described myself then as fearful and excited--fearful of an unfamiliar loneliness and excited by the new prospects I dimly saw.
As you said, a profound life event helped me throw Catholicism away. I read about and compared the various xianities, read about and compared the various religions, and finally read about and compared the various origin myths. I became confident and free--though finishing a math degree and seeing a good economic future helped . I wish you a similar confidence and freedom.
As an atheist WW 2 Navy veteran I am outraged when I read of attempts by religionists to place their religious symbols on any place but privately owned land. The Soledad cross has no more place where it is now than the Jesus statue on Federal land ( ski slope ) in Montana. Keep church & state separate, as our founders intended.