I would like your help on a few questions i pose to friends and family, mostly armchair moderate christians, a few agnostics, and some young nieces and nephews that are atheists but afraid to admit it to their parents...i would like some honest and thoughtful answers that i could possibly use in a section of a book i am writing, nothing that involves names ect; or even specifics of any kinds...its just a fill in section to take the writing from one chapter to another.  here are a few and i thank you for your answers.

1. Will there ever be a U.S. President that is an outright Atheist?

    a. If YES in what approximate year do you think this will happen?

    b. If NO why not?

2. Do you believe Atheism is an evolutionary process in the shape of: Evolved Intelligence>Civilization>Polytheism>Monotheism>Atheism...ect?

    a. Or Not, its just a choice we happened upon

    b. Or Yes but not necessarily in that order or any order at all or couldve been just atheism throughout

    c. Another situation(s)

3. What would/would not happen to organised religion if alien life was found?

4. What was your personal story in the denial of religion?

5. Do you believe, as i DO, that organised religion will die out and...

    a. It will make the earth a better/worse place for it

    b. It will direct the earths focus on prolonging our lives, advancing technology, eradicating disease, ect...

    c. It will never die out

    d. It will just take on a new form since there are people who will never be able to live without some semblance of a higher power



Thank you for your answers, support, and for being true to yourself.  We dont have to deny or justify anything, facts are facts and truth is truth.  I stopped believing in fairy tales and childrens fables when i was younger, and some of them were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the bible, and more believable.  I am glad to have a community of like minded "friends" who i can share, discuss, argue and debate with.  I have been working on 3 books for the past 4 years, 2 of them are novels, one is a discussion of my personal atheism, how it affects my family friends and the like, how i relate it to the world and how it has shaped my view of other humans on this beloved planet of OURS.  I cannot express fully how helpful this site has been, our contributors and their works, both private and public, and how they and you all have shaped my still learning mind down new paths and unexplored directions.  thank you and keep on truckin.....  ~rookie~


Views: 308

Comment by Keith Konecny on May 28, 2013 at 9:22pm

Hawk...2 throw backs...my personal story was fairly straightforeward, my brother and i are 2 years apart in age and we kinda came to the point together around highschool that there was something fundamentally wrong with religion in general.  It was like a splinter in my mind, an itch i couldnt scratch.  I was one of those fools that DIDNT KNOW there were people out there that didnt believe in ANYTHING! when i found that out and cast aside religion forever, it was like a monkey off my back and i felt normal for the first time in my life.

2. It goes with the first, I had no struggle as my parents were cool with my decision, yet my dad has always (jokingly hopefully) had his ass chapped by my brother and I's decision on god and religion in general.  He is a very smart man, yet another one of the multitude that makes no sense what so ever. I have always been upfront about being atheist, and have had the usual b.s. that im going to hell, but i love telling them its impossible since hell doesnt exist for me, and see the look on their faces while they try and work that out.  KEEP EM COMING PEOPLE, THIS IS GOOD STUFF.

Comment by John Cook on May 28, 2013 at 11:59pm

Wow, I see quite differently than the responders above.  Perhaps my training comes in on this.

1. Will there ever be a U.S. President that is an outright Atheist? That has already occurred, not once but twice. Not publicly admitted atheists, but atheists none the less.

 2. Do you believe Atheism is an evolutionary process in the shape of: Evolved Intelligence>Civilization>Polytheism>Monotheism>Atheism...ect?

No. Atheism is a lack of serious thought control my Mother during formative years.  The Catholic Church unleashed a team of psychologists who concocted that plan between 1968 and 1973.

3. What would/would not happen to organized religion if alien life was found? The effect would be small. Christians, as well as others have practiced subversive dogma for long enough to cover almost anything,

4. What was your personal story in the denial of religion?  Knowledge, clear, rational thought, and a peer group of intelligent people who became scientists.

5. Do you believe, as I DO, that organized religion will die out and...  No.  An impossible surmise. (Call it an educated guess, but things change with an absurd slowness in the presence of frightened people)


I can provide you with two points to research well. Young people between 13 and 25, and the Muslim religion. You need to figure out the consequences of those rapidly evolving groups. Where are they going? 

Comment by SteveInCO on May 29, 2013 at 12:13am

1. Will there ever be a U.S. President that is an outright Atheist? That has already occurred, not once but twice. Not publicly admitted atheists, but atheists none the less.

I know we've had non Christians (deists) and people who were apparently skeptical as presidents.  But outright atheists?  Who?  I am curious to see if it is some of the folks I believe to only have been deists.

Comment by John Cook on May 29, 2013 at 9:47am


You asked for this, thus I am pleased to deliver, but for this to be comprehensible, it most regretfully cannot be a short post.  

I ran into Bobby Kennedy at an airport when I was returning from Europe in about 1962. He had been involved politically in the Berlin Crisis as adviser to his older brother John F and I was in Berlin at the time the wall was erected so we shared a strange commonality. Additionally we were both aircraft enthusiasts. 

Bobby was flying his Beech Bonanza if my memory serves me still, and we were heading the same way, so he gave me a lift to New York. We spent half a day together talking about various common interests, and got to know each other fairly well in that time. I am an outspoken atheist with zero political ambitions, and bobby let me know that he also had some doubts about God at times, but other wise was a very committed Catholic. He mentioned that his older brother John was only a Catholic by expectation and convention. Otherwise John F. had no interest in Religion and thought he might actually be an atheist, but he said it with that short laugh and a smile of brotherly love.  

(I have to say this as it seems a bit strange, but my son now works as an executive at Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita, Kansas. Yes, I believe he said it was under a different name now but I do not recall it. Life can surprise us, can't it!)  

We both knew without having to say it that no political office could ever happen if a person was to be stupid enough to deny god. This is the first time I have mentioned names. I can however now because of the plausible deniability the family can make and because John and Robert are no longer alive. I later found that it was widely known in the inner circles that John F. Kennedy was not on the side of religion. 

So, to answer you directly,  John F. Kennedy, our 35th American President was reliably an atheist with political ambitions. Obviously that means a closet atheist willing to make some show of religion to uphold the expected norms. 

It's reasonably clear that many of the original presidents were also atheists, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.  I was not referring to much earlier times when this nation was intended to be secular, but more current atheist presidents. Would it surprise you to consider that Bill Clinton is also an atheist? He was one of the most intelligent men I have ever met, and although he did not openly admit he was an atheist, it was obvious to me and it should have been to many others. 

Before you say anything like "Oh come on, how did you know Bill Clinton" or any of that rubbish, I did, and I have also met and had dinner with President Johnson (in Europe) and I would bet my sweet arse Johnson is another closet atheist. Nobody swears like that irreverent rascal and is a god fearing Christian.

Recall, that more than 80% of all highly intelligent people will be atheists.  Religion makes absolutely no sense to an intelligent mind other than as a long term social expectation and absolutely demanded fairy tale. The 20% of intelligent people who follow the Christian religion were often well indoctrinated to the fears that comprise all religions during their formative years (ages about 2 to 5 or 6) by a fundamentalist parent. That leaves a lasting fear that is often difficult to break. A fear that is not usually not known as a fear in adults who were behaviorally modified as formative age children. They know it as a discomfort connected with any action that seems to reduce that persons duty to uphold well learned social expectations. I doubt it would surprise you that most people over the age of 35 who remain religious are very sadly so deep into the fantasy of religion through long term peer group and social expectation that reality means little and they very likely cannot be recovered.   

I spent my early life as a behaviorist before becoming a businessman, and I continue to study behaviorism still. Few Americans understand much about behavioral science but the study holds many answers as well as more than a few questions. Behavioral psychology is the empirical side of the usual mumbo-jumbo that is cognitive psychology.

Behaviorists observe repeatable events which confirms our premises empirically while the cognitive side continues to guess and invent in a loud strong voice because true proof remains somewhat elusive to them—much to their chagrin.

You don't know me so please do not consider me just another an average person and send me hate mail that asks for proof of claims. I do not engage in such concerns and I will not respond. I may even leave this website over such simplistic annoyances if they continue, and I have much to offer that is often never considered. 

While I could not imagine having any desire to openly display absolute proof of low self esteem by posting a highly critical and unnecessary assault on others, many will without knowledge of what they have just admitted. So if you must spit hate and denial, get with it and get over it.  I can remain unconcerned with your remarks although you should be.

I have no regrets that I have never eschewed any climb up a social ladder and do not regret having never tried, but revel in it. I comfortably admit enjoying life at the bottom now, however I simultaneously have an equally peaceful realm I can visit at the upper reaches of the Bell Curve where I am free to piss off almost everyone with a less than solid sense of self. When I display that position I am despised by almost every obnoxiously average religious American. See, there really is something to look forward to in your old age.   

I hope I have clearly provided the evidence I have found of atheist presidents, however if one thinks about it statistically, 12 to 14% must have had no factual interest in gods or religion. They faked it for power and position, just as 40% of those in the higher circles of religion have so they might live as admired rock stars of religion.

Think of the benefits. Little boys for the Catholics and young girls for the Protestants and Methodists while the Latter Day Saints get magic underwear and plenty of wives, and scruffy Muslim bombers hope to receive 72 equally scruffy and ugly virgins after committing the most serious atrocity possible.

Consider the following as Bill the science guy sez... What woman would wait thousands of years as a virgin only to be committed to some scroungy, bearded, dead bomber intending to dominate and beat her?   

Perhaps religion is even weirder than we ever imagined. . .                                

Comment by Keith Konecny on May 29, 2013 at 3:44pm

thanks john for your indepth answers, and unfortunately there are idiots no matter where you go so ill preemptively go positive.  Whether or not your story/recollections are accurate is irrelevant, it was a good read.  i just had to delete a response many of you may have gotten since i hastily responded prior to looking at your post above and saw your answers already there (i was asking you to venture your opinions to the rest of the questions, now i see that you already have).  So regardless of the idiots who i am SURE will pick apart your post, i thank you for your point of view since that is EXACTLY what this whole post was about.  I lack the evil scientist brain control power to know what everyone else on this planet is thinking at any given moment, so the  best i can do is ask!

as to your #6 "areas for research" i thank you and have already covered both of those groups extensively in my notes.  The muslim area is what it is, yet i believe the more interesting of the two is the age group noted.  I have nieces and nephews in that age range, and in particular my sisters kids (girl 15, girl 17, boy 21) and the first is a church goer, the middle is agnostic, the eldest is atheist to me and my brother, a pocket christian to his parents.  My sister is a christian who never attends church, but believes what she was taught in sunday school all those years ago...she believes all of the stories in the bible are FACT and has never ventured otherwise.  When i show her counter arguments and how some are just fantasy and impossible outside of having harry potters magic wand, You can ACTUALLY see her mind twist and she screws up her eyes to immediately find some type of rationality to the insanity she has never taken the time to investigate.  Most of my relatives are of the same sort, they have never even read the bible, yet believe all the hand me down stories theyve heard about their particular religion.  alas, we just have to soldier on dont we....and they wonder why the higher you get in the educational ranks the more atheist people become....facts are facts and fantasy is fantasy....and speaking of fantasy, id much rather believe in Zeus et.al. than the holy trinity, much cooler gods and scenarios.  ~rookie~

Comment by Diane on May 29, 2013 at 7:28pm

The veracity of religions currently held to be true did not seem appreciably different from those humanity had already dismissed and abandoned.

That is a fantastic sentence.  I have gone on and on at times when all I needed was that sentence right there.  

Comment by kris feenstra on May 29, 2013 at 7:43pm

Glad to hear that. I had to reword in multiple times as concision is not my forte.

Comment by Keith Konecny on May 29, 2013 at 9:17pm

~diane...not to mention the fact that almost every figurehead and special date in current religions can be connected to a pagan religious practice/event/ideal of a former time. and for some reason the people IN current religions tend to disregard that connection or flat out lie that it is untrue.

~kris...i feel ya there, i have exactly the same issue.  another is that ill see a post, comment on it and post PRIOR to rereading all the other newer posts to see if someone already said that or answered something ect, then have to delete it and rewrite, sometimes multiple times. and stupidly enough if you get emails on it itll send em out, so i guess its hard to hide my idiocy at all times im getting at lol...

Comment by kris feenstra on May 29, 2013 at 9:24pm

On the bright side, revision shows we at least care enough to get it right in the end.

Comment by SteveInCO on May 29, 2013 at 10:03pm

@John Cook

Thanks for answering my question that came genuinely from curiosity.  I don't know why you expected hate mail in response to your response; you won't get it from me.

I was half expecting claims about the early presidents; the much more interesting part was what you said about recent presidents.

You are in essence claiming three relatively recent Democratic presidents are atheists based on inference, in turn based on your personal knowledge of them.  None of them confided atheism to you (which is understandable; that particular thing "leaking" could be disastrous).  I can't verify any of this and it is partially inferential in any case, so I certainly can't assert that they were atheist based on this, just that I have heard claims to that effect.  [I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Nixon were too for that matter, based on what little I know of him.]

[One thing that IS certain though is that JFK believed in absolute separation of church and state, which concept makes Santorum want to vomit.  I'd just as soon that incontrovertible word of JFK's atheism didn't get out, that being the case.  Because we don't want people thinking that only a "damned atheist" would]

Back to the older presidents you named:  As I understand it the scholarly consensus is that Washington and Jefferson were deists, not atheists (I think I said in my question they were "non-Christians").  A deist I could get along with a hell of a lot better than Ted Haggard, but a deist does believe in a god of some sort (you will see references to "nature's god", etc., those are deist references and concepts).  Of course Xians today will dishonestly claim that Jefferson and Washington were christians (gotta love that painting of Washington praying at Valley Forge) but that's no reason for us to exaggerate their degree of disbelief.

I know next to nothing about Andrew Jackson.  I do occasionally hear claims that Lincoln wasn't much of a believer either.


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