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Atheist & Agnostic Family

Discussion in 'Clubs' started by Darato, Dec 13, 2014.

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  1. Darato

    Darato (o,..,o)

    To start Sweet May approved this Club to come back.

    In it we'll discuss the life of be an Atheist, Agnostic, anything between and beyond it, and the stuff we face in our life we of being one in modern times, and stuff as past times, and how life is changing for our people.

    We'll also talk about religion in as much of a respectful way as we can, but we are. only human and will make mistakes.

    Thank you Neferka & Profesco for these.

    1: First things first: Let's clarify our terms.

    One of the biggest obstacles to clear communication on the topic of atheism is how confusing and interconnected the different terms are. It may be convenient to categorize the different terms you'll encounter by claims made and beliefs held.

    Gnostic Atheism: Commonly called "hard atheism," gnostic atheism makes the affirmative claim that no gods exist.

    Gnostic Theism: The kind of theism you'll see on TV, gnostic theism makes the affirmative claim that a God or gods do exist.

    Agnostic Atheism: The most widespread form of atheism, agnostic atheism is the lack of belief in any god or Gods, while making no affirmative claims about the existence of them.

    Agnostic Theism: Without making the affirmative claim that a God or gods exist, agnostic theism nevertheless is a belief that a God or gods do exist.

    2: Gnostic? Agnostic? What is that?

    Gnostic is a term that means "with knowledge." Basically, gnostic claims are claims to know something. Since God is by some definitions a supernatural being beyond human comprehension, plenty of folks don't think it's possible to know for certain whether he exists. Agnosticism itself further splits into two kinds, that in practice and that in principle. Agnosticism in principle is the belief that knowledge about the existence of God is and always will be epistemologically impossible. Agnosticism in practice is the belief that knowledge about the existence of God is possible in principle, but that we just aren't capable of achieving it yet.

    3: I've heard the term "atheism" used interchangeably with another term. What's Anti-Theism?

    Anti-theism is very often conflated with atheism, yes. But even though the two do coincide, there is a difference. Anti-theism is the proactive stance against theism and, usually, religion in general. Anti-theists believe that the theistic worldview is dangerous, immoral, corrupt, false, or otherwise harmful to humanity, and that it should be discredited or abolished altogether. If you've heard talk of "militant atheism," this is most likely what the discussion was actually about. Be wary of the way these terms are misused in conversation!

    4: Well that clears things up a bit. So not all atheists or agnostics hate religion?

    That's correct! While atheists certainly don't agree with theists' divine beliefs, most are content to live and let private individual convictions live. In fact, plenty of atheists are able to recognize that there have indeed been some positive aspects of religion's influence on historical and even modern life. We only see so much heated arguing when private religious convictions are foisted on public policy. The debate we see today is not so much one of theism versus atheism, but rather of theism versus secularism.

    5: Hold on there, sport! Now just what is Secularism?

    Secularism is the social/political stance that public policies, particularly in the areas of law and education, should be defined or composed without recourse to the teachings and beliefs of any religion or theistic worldview. It's not only atheists who are secular, either. There are many good, upstanding theists who agree that, while their personal religion is fine as a guide for their personal lives, it has no special right to be a forced command for those who don't share it. The people arguing against secularism are those who would rather have religious doctrines (specifically, their own religious doctrines and no one else's) decide our society's laws and what we teach in our schools.

    6: This is all making atheists sound like saints. Surely that's not the whole story?

    Fair enough. You've already read about anti-theism and militant atheism, so you know that even the diverse ranks of the atheists have their own brand of extremists, just like the religions they don't believe in. Being an atheist does not automatically make someone free from all error and dogma. Exactly how good atheists will respect that all theists are individuals and the extremely dangerous or uneducated ones don't necessarily speak for their entire religion, we hope that good theists will show us the same consideration.

    7: This brings up another question: Can atheists really be moral people?

    ABSOLUTELY! This is one of the biggest misconceptions about atheists. Not believing in any gods or deities doesn't take away the concepts of right and wrong, or good and bad - and in fact most of our basic moral principles are the same as those theists have, we're just able to justify them in terms of a common ground everyone can discuss rather than by appeal to a supernatural being we can't easily prove to everyone's agreement. Atheists run charities, raise healthy and kind children, give back to their communities, help people in need, obey laws, and stand up for freedom and decency. It bears repeating: not believing in God does not make someone an immoral person.

    8: Hmm. So it sounds like there's more to atheism than just not believing in God. What are atheists all about?

    Good question! If you take it right down to the nuts and bolts, the only specific thing relating all atheists is, in fact, not believing in any gods or deities. One of the most famous contemporary atheistic figures, Sam Harris, even goes so far as to suggest that the term "atheist" is completely unnecessary. He says we don't really need the term "atheist" any more than we need a term like "non-stamp-collector."

    But you're right, there is pretty much always more to the atheist "movement" than that. Some very common threads tying atheists together include a committment to the scientific method as the best path to legitimate knowledge, rational discourse on all matters of import, freedom of thought and speech, and a fierce opposition to oppression and inequality of all kinds. But each atheist is as individual as each... well, individual! Every atheist's goal is to think critically for him- or herself, so it's just about impossible to lump us all together under one conceptual description!

    9: I think I've heard of that Harris guy. Are there other famous atheist figures like him?

    There certainly are. Actually, Sam Harris happens to be one of a group of popular contemporary public proponents of atheism, slyly called the ""Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." The other three are Richard Dawkins, professor of evolutionary biology; Daniel Dennett, professor of philosophy; and the newly late Christopher Hitchens, journalist, polemicist, author, and general well-heeled intellectual. These are the most famous representatives of atheism at the moment, for better or worse, but there is of course a long and dignified history of the concept. We encourage you to self-educate!

    1: All of SPPF rules apply

    2: Must be respectable of other's and their beliefs

    This is important. Either if you come here to ask a question or are member, you must respect others while talking with one another. While talking about news article or videos, it's a different story.

    3: Anyone is allowed to make a topic.


    By Neferka


    By Neferka


    By Neferka


    By Piggelz

    Divine Retribution
    Tattooed Tooth
    Kung Fu Ferret
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  2. taeuknam

    taeuknam OTP is Amourshipping

    Hi! I'm an agnostic atheist, and I would like to join.
  3. Darato

    Darato (o,..,o)

    Welcome to the club
  4. Jazzy-Strings

    Jazzy-Strings Aggression

    Hello! May I join? I'm not really an agnostic atheist, nor an agnostic theist. More of an agnostic agnostic? If that makes sense...
    I'm kinda open minded about both sides, ut I can't ring myself to have a definitive answer on which one is right or wrong ahah
  5. Darato

    Darato (o,..,o)

    Yes you may, and welcome :)

    Let's try a topic

    What's your religious background if any; and how did you get to where you are today with what you believe?

    For me, I grew up in a Mormon household, but we were never really forced to go to Church, but a majority of the neighbors went over the top with it, as were some of my other family like aunts and uncles. At one point I stopped going altogether, and stayed home. At one point my brother-n-law's sister and her husband rented out our mother-in-law apartment and he was put in charge of the age group for people my age so I started going again, for a couple of years, but stuff I did was met with some people freaking out, like how I supported same sex marriage, then in 2005 I joined here, and got to see different viewpoints, and started to talk with some of the Athirst members, and instead of you should join its the right away, I got support and was told to look at things and really think about it. So, I took a while and looked at storied in the Bible that didn't match up, and science things, and how we treat people who say god talks to them nowadays, and realized I felt better being an Atheist than anything else, and slowly over the last ten years, I've pout more agreements together for it and seen more support and ways to make me feel that way.

  6. Kiruria

    Kiruria La Melancolie Noir

    What do you know, I'm actually in a real-life club dedicated to exactly this - we're mostly atheists and agnostics, and have lots of discussions on religion and its role in society, and how religion should or should not mix with politics. I think I could contribute some of the things discussed in that club to this club...

    I'm definitely a theist, but might be on the agnostic side as well, for I also think it's perfectly okay to believe that there is no God. And yet, I know that at least to me, God exists. Like many atheists I know, I have seen problems with society related to religion (i.e. holy wars and restricting people's rights for religious reasons). However, I blame this not so much on the practices of the religion itself, but more on a group of fanatics of that religion who are making their religion look bad. I believe that religion can be a very positive experience for people, but that it should not be used to control people or as an excuse for causing violence or other harmful acts, and that nobody should be forced into it.

    Ah, I'm glad you brought up that topic! It certainly is an interesting one. That story, particularly about the Bible inconsistencies, was reported quite a bit with other atheists I've talked to. When things just don't logically match up in a holy book, it's easy to question the credibility of that book at that point. I've seen holy books as essentially books of fables and philosophical talks, so some of the details could be taken with a grain of salt. That's not to say the books don't inspire people and give good advice, though, because they most definitely do.

    I might as well contribute to the topic while I'm at it... I myself am Wiccan, which is a rather loose religion based on various pagan traditions, and often associated with witchcraft. So it's not surprising that I'm a bit wary of the problems with religion in society, given how many of those other religions were ridiculed during the Dark Ages. I was introduced to it by my mom, who was attracted to the religion for its ties to goddess worship, since she's a feminist. Back then though, I was more atheistic, not being spiritual at all and certainly not believing in God. I attended a couple of rituals and other gatherings with my mom, but was indifferent to it all. At the time, I was also attending a church that focused not on one specific religion, but on the common themes across all religions, and the morality behind many different faiths. That probably had a lot of influence on my openness to different faiths - and besides, Wicca kind of encourages respect for other faiths.

    But as I got older, I just naturally became more spiritual in nature (probably was in my genes or something - there have in fact been findings of a "God gene", where those who have it are more likely to believe in a higher power). I became quite active in the aforementioned church, liking the emphasis on morality and incorporation of spiritual practices like meditation and the singing of hymn-like songs or chants. At one point, I even attended a Christian church (which my mom was not too pleased about), but I didn't mind that specific one because it focused more on the morality of religion rather than encouraging everyone to firmly adhere to the Bible. I guess all this allowed me to see the positive aspects of religion and understand how it can help people without harming non-believers. Meanwhile, as far as Wicca is concerned, I became more of a solitary practitioner, though I occasionally found a pagan community group who got together on occasion.

    ...And I'm just rambling on and on. Needless to say, I am pretty excited about this club.
  7. Darato

    Darato (o,..,o)

    Welcome to the club/family Kiruria.

    I'm glad you shared all that with us. Sounds like you'll have a lot of personal insight to offer us when it comes to discussions.

  8. fitzy909

    fitzy909 Just another guy

    Hello! I am a gnostic atheist and would like to join this club.

    Personally, I have never been religious. Of course we were taught about it in RE at school (so basic and boring) and we still celebrated the Christian holidays, but with little to no reference to that baby called Jesus. As such, I as a child was an agnostic atheist for the longest time. I didn't or couldn't decide that a God or Gods may or may not exist. However, as I entered my teenage years I realised that a being that is supposed to be omnipotent and omni-benevolent would have to be able to stop evil and yet does nothing about it. (inconsistent triad for you there) People still fight wars and murder and rape and so on and so forth. I couldn't accept that a God would not stop his creations from suffering if he was as I mentioned before. (and don't give me any of that God's plan and free will nonsense) I'm also a man of science. I do not believe in things that we don not have proof for. (except certain theoretical physics) I don't like the idea of it all being created by a God (apparently calculated to be 4000 years ago) when there is a perfectly logical scientific reasoning. The final nail in the coffin was when I started Philosophy at High School. We looked more in-depth at the bible and the many faults and flaws with God and the Bible. We looked at arguments for and against God's existence and the different interpretations of the Bible and God's teachings. I could no longer in good faith even consider the notion of a god with there being so many flaws with the Bible and a God themselves.

    I will stress however that I do not condemn those who do believe. I will not force upon them my beliefs, or lack thereof, and will be fine as long as they don't force their religion upon me. (I'm looking at you Jehovah's witnesses)
  9. Jazzy-Strings

    Jazzy-Strings Aggression

    Personally, I come from a religious household. I grew up in asia, so my parents were rather weary of where we were. As such, I had to attend church every Sunday until I was 9. Then, due to circumstance, I had to move in with my grandmother, who is a somewhat conservative Christian, so I went to church every Sunday until I was 13 when I finally stopped as we moved out of her house and into our own. nowadays, My mother is a Church of England priest, and, ironically, it was when she was training when my faith started to fade and I left Christianity.
    For a very long time, I lingered in the agnostic theist/very very liberal Christian group (the kind where they treat the bible, especially Genesis, as a metaphor rather than something that is absolute truth.) And I even toyed with the ideas of going into another religious group, such as Judaism, Hinduism (As I spent part of my life in a Hindu country I already had some idea as to what the religion entailed before I started my research) and Buddhism. After that, I decided that I didn't like the idea of being held back by the restraints and rules and radicalism perpetuated by religion, no matter which, and I stayed as an agnostic theist.
    As I've grown older, I've started to look at things more logically, and I've come to the conclusion that both sides are entirely possible, even a mix of the two. So that's how I came to e in the complete middle really. I don't think it's plausible, logically speaking, and for me at least, to leave everything and anything down to only one side. My Mum's still a priest, and she still thinks I'm a devout Christian, despite the fact that I haven't een to church for the past year or so. because my house is so deep into the faith, I keep my mouth shut about being agnostic ahahaha I hope that's not too complicated.
    And like Kiruria, I'm rather excited about this club too. I'm sure we'll have some interesting chats \(^0^)/
  10. Pyroli

    Pyroli Banned

    Hiya, I'm an Agnostic Theist and I wouldn't mind joining.

    I was raised, and am still currently growing up in a Christian household. My parents support all the beliefs of this religion, however my family has never gone to church or anything of the sort. My parents have an odd attitude about most things as they are very conservative people (I believe the American counterpart is Republican? I'm not sure how your political standpoints work.) The issue with this is they oppose a lot of things I believe in, like gay-rights and my acceptance for all types of people and other religions. Due to what they pushed on me (Including the jokes about disowning me because I'm a liberal and threatening me with bible camp to learn good morals.), and the fact that I can't support the ideals my parents support. (My mom always likes to say love is only between a man and women, which really bothers me).
  11. taeuknam

    taeuknam OTP is Amourshipping

    I was raised Christian, but I had seeds of doubt since age three. This escalated until one night, when I was eight years old, I realized that there are dozens of confidant religions in the world and my religion was just a product of where I grew up, and I stopped believing in god. My unbelief went a secret for five years, until I was 13. I read the God Delusion by sheer chance, and found that rather coincidentally, the arguments I made to myself from when I was three to eight years old were almost identical to the arguments Professor Richard Dawkins uses in his book. From then on, I began calling myself an atheist, as that was when I found out that there was a word for that.
  12. Mystic_Blaze

    Mystic_Blaze Fabulous~

    I'd like to join!!! \(^-^\)

    Im an gnostic atheist and always wanted to join this club but never bothered to before
  13. Tangeh

    Tangeh Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't mind joining. I can't say if I'll be super active but if I pop in during a topic that interests me I might post. ^^; I'd describe myself as agnostic atheist - in that I don't believe God exists in any form but I accept that I or nobody else can say for sure and don't believe we should spend our lives dwelling on it regardless. Sometimes I kind of wish I could believe in a deity and have that sort of faith and especially a hope for an afterlife but especially because I was raised without religion... it just doesn't make logical sense at all to me and I really don't think it ever will.

    My parents are non-religious and haven't tried to sway my brother or I in any direction. My brother is agnostic-theist. I was actually baptized Anglican though because my Godfather was coincidentally a priest so my parents did it for them lol because they didn't really care and neither do I. xD I'm glad they did though, because as a child I had a lot of really religious friends and looking back they would have thought it was really weird that I was never baptized. But I haven't been in a church since.

    An interesting fact my father discovered recently was that my great-great-grandfather in 1930 put on his census under the "religion" section that he was a "free-thinker". I think it was pretty unusual back then to be non-religious so I think that's really cool!!
  14. Darato

    Darato (o,..,o)

    Welcome to all our new family members

    Seems everyone of you has a good story of how how you got to where you are today, and didn't just go with Atheist, cause it sounds cool like a lot of people go with. Personally I think that helps our club and people as a whole be taken more serious, than we could be.

  15. Mystic_Blaze

    Mystic_Blaze Fabulous~

    Thanks for the warm wlecome. Soooooo to the topic:
    What's your religious background if any; and how did you get to where you are today with what you believe?

    I actually was enrolled in a private Catholic school from Pre-K to 2nd grade even though my Dad is a gnostic atheist. Being there led to me believing in god and trying to be a perfect little kid who never sinned. One day I was praying before a meal at home and my dad just looked at me and said "What are you doing?" That's when he told me that he was an atheist and stuff. Once the idea that there isn't necessarily a god or gods entered my mind I ended up becoming an atheist too.

    Today i am a proud atheist. In Elementary and Middle School classmates were really against atheists; they thought of them as horrible sinners and bizarre people so I never really spoke about what I believed. Nowadays I ignore that crap and openly express my opinions. Even though most of my friends are religious they are accepting of my belief (or lack thereof) and I accept that they believe in god.
  16. JohnMango95

    JohnMango95 Loyal magma grunt

    This group looks pretty interesting. if i may, i'd like to join as an Agnostic Atheist.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  17. Darato

    Darato (o,..,o)

    ^ welcome

    So new topic

    If over the next 20 years or so religion disappeared, how do you think the world will be?

    Personally, I think for the most part wouldn't have a huge impact. They'd be a few with some of the things religions do, like charity events and things like that, but a few of them like the LDS church for example only helps you if your part of them. There's also the people who only don't do things like kill and stuff because they fear God, but I don't think that would have too much of an inpact because a lot more people kill in the name of God. People who get work within the church would also have trouble, but just no more than if companies go out of business.

  18. Tangeh

    Tangeh Well-Known Member

    Well, religion isn't going to disappear in 20 years (I don't think it will ever completely disappear), but it's definitely on a downward trend and I'm sure in 20 years the percentage of Christians at least will be down significantly. But what if it did? Hmm.. even as a non-religious person I find it difficult to imagine a world where nobody has religious beliefs and therefore everybody has the same religious belief. There wouldn't be those crazy religious extremists... my university's church would stop e-mailing me twice a day... I'd imagine people would have a lot more time to dedicate to things besides worship - and I think that Sunday preach or whatever it is Christians do on Sundays is great for socialization and feeling like a part of a community, but I have to wonder... what if that was gone? Shouldn't we be able to come up with an even bigger community event that allows everybody to take part? ...Or would we lose that part of religion (the most beneficial part of religion, imo) forever and grow more distant from each other?

    On a somewhat related note, this is a great video for demonstrating how much of an impact Christianity unknowingly has on America and how alienating that can be for somebody who isn't Christian. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wguAQHWVcZY
  19. JohnMango95

    JohnMango95 Loyal magma grunt

    perhaps church based aide organizations and missionary groups in third world countries would be severed, so that could be a problem especially to impoverished people, but i suppose you were talking on a more ideological level. if that is the case, and all religion was forgotten somehow, a great deal of social issues that were tied to religion would be cleared up. certainly political gridlock associated with religion would be eased, which in a country two party country like the U.S is definitely good thing. and in regard to the aide organizations, i'm sure there's more secular groups that can bring education and assistance to countries in need.

    also, thanks for the warm welcome, i'm glad to be here :D
  20. fitzy909

    fitzy909 Just another guy

    So this is all religions? Well then we would have less religious extremists. No fighting, because people worship God(s) differently. (man no religions would have saved a lot of people throughout history: the Jewish in WW2, Christians during the early reign of the Romans, many people during the crusades.) It would also be interesting to see how certain fields would advance. Currently, religions thrown upon some scientific experiments, but would that mean scientists could continue and advance quicker in these fields? Stem cell research, cloning, would all be able to carry on with less negativity towards them. (I acknowledge that religious people aren't the only people who disapprove)

    What would those dedicated to religion do? Those who found religion to be the only comfort in life. If everyone else had turned their backs on relgions would they do the same? Would they lose their purpose? Similarly, would people who otherwise would be saved by religion (I know of a dead beat alcoholic who got over it thanks to picking up a bible) not find a better path? As much as relgion isn't anything big for me, it is for many other people.
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