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What's with all the Atheism?
I have been posting a lot of atheist quotes on Facebook, because that is what I believe.  It seems that posting comments about Jesus or religion is all right, so why not atheism.  I've come under the criticism that atheist quotes attack religion, but I must say that religious remarks attack atheism. 

I find that Christians, for whatever reason, love to feel like the persecuted minority.  If you say something against them then it is taken as a vicious attack from all sides.  Rest assured, you are not under any serious threat.  You are still in power politically and socially.  You can take one person putting quotes on Facebook.

That's the problem though, so much of my life is controlled by religion or religious people.  I find that religious people tend to be more amoral than those that are not.  How can I put this?  Prisons aren't populated with atheists (studies repeatedly show less than 1%).  People who can't figure out right from wrong and need to be told from a book that constantly contradicts itself...well, is it any wonder they only care about themselves?  They don't spend any time pondering why something is right or wrong, understanding it.  The end result is that they don't really understand morals at all.  Even if they believe that the bible is their moral guide, most of them can not tell you the ten commandments from heart.  That won't stop them from saying that our justice system is based on the ten commandments (only two of which are actually illegal, three if you push it).

These religious "morals" are responsible for injustices throughout history.  The bible was used to justify slavery.  The bible was used to justify not allowing black people to marry each other.  The bible was used to justify segregation.  The bible is now being used to justify gays being forbidden to marry.  It has also influenced people to hold on to homophobia.  Go into chat rooms where gays are being discussed, the arguments against are almost always biblical quotes.

"Under God" was added to the pledge of allegiance in 1954.  One child's teacher actually had a child removed by police from the classroom for not saying the "under God" part.  Of course, the teacher's actions were scolded, but just the thought that someone thought that was the appropriate action speaks wonders.

"In God we trust" was added to money in 1864, taking out the more inclusive, historical "E Pluribus Unum", (Out of many, one).

I know your saying, "what's the big deal?!?"  Just don't say "under God" and ignore "in God we trust".  Fine...would you be all right with money saying "God is a farce" on the back of it.  Is it all right for the pledge to say "one Godless nation"?  This might be more in step with some of what the founding fathers actually believed:

Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion? - John Adams

God is an essence that we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world. - John Adams referring to Christ

The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. - Thomas Jefferson

If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mohometans, Jews or Christians of any Sect, or they may be Atheists. - George Washington

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize, every expanded prospect. - James Madison

I know, I know, another argument is that "in God we Trust" doesn't mean the Christian God to which my response is I don't believe in ANY God.

Which brings me to Muslims.  From my point of view, Muslims and Christians are exactly the same thing.  They believe in the same God (Allah is just Arabic for God, although people in America treat it as if it is a different God).  Both of them have holy books with Jesus in them.  Both of them have people claiming their religion is only about peace.  Yes, Muslims right now are the more violent ones, but Christians were there and might be again.  There are people in America that view the war in Iraq erroneously as a holy war; I'm not sure of the percentage that still thinks that Iraq had a part in the Muslims that attacked the World Trade Center.

Are you a Muslim?  Why not?  Could it be the same reason why I'm not a Christian?

Now let's talk personal anecdotes.  Growing up in Utah, my sister and I had the experience of people asking if we were Mormon.  When we said that we were not, they would respond by saying that they couldn't be friends and then walk away.  I was also told not to advance by my den leader in boy scouts because I was not a Mormon.  I'm not singling out Mormons, I believe all religions in a majority behave the same.  Mormons, at least had the decency to tell you to your face.

More recently, in a nursing class, we had to write papers on spirituality.  This is understandable as most people are religious and are especially so when they are sick or dying.  The nursing program tries to make spirituality about some nebulous concept that includes everyone, but essentially fails. 

In any case, one student was asked to talk about her spirituality paper.  She said, "well, the guy I talked to was an anarchist, so he doesn't believe in God."  Of course, I was a little miffed that she didn't know the definition of anarchist vs. atheist, which partly led me to the desire to educate everyone.  The thing that really got me though was the reactions of some of the students at hearing this.  One student shook her head and said, "poor thing".  Another student tsk'd three times.  A student let out a quiet gasp and yet another said, "oh" in shock.  This was out of 19 students.  I know that it seems that people were responding to her saying "anarchist", but she said that quietly and people didn't respond until she said "so, he doesn't believe in God."

I've got too much homework, so I'm going to stop here, but I wanted to talk about the following:

IQ's of atheists vs. Christians
Evolution vs. Creationism (might as well be science vs. alchemy)
Areas of the brain causing the sensation of religious experiences
How Buddhism has evolved to include atheists
and much more!

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Hurry and talk about those things!

I'm on the edge of my seat!!!

Oh yes, all of this.

Did you see OKcupid's wonderful study they recently did of their membership?

The whole thing is interesting, but especially the end -- religion, writing, and proficiency level.

That was a fun read! Thanks...The last part does agree with what I've been seeing regarding IQ's and religion in other studies.

i'm not trying to argue against atheism by any means, i think atheism is a fascinating p.o.v. and like to hear people's reasons for it, etc....

but not all of those people in your "atheism: good enough for these idiots" photo were actually atheists. ben franklin was agnostic (just got done reading his autobio--he explicitly says this in it) and Einstein was a "pantheist". I'm not sure about the rest, but I'm sure after some research, you would turn up similar beliefs.

Edited at 2010-09-23 03:54 pm (UTC)

I think they were both against a Christian God. As for Einstein, every side claims him. He has been referred to as a pantheist because he said nature is God. The "nature as God" viewpoint is really more of a philosophical one lately than a religious one. Everything works together under the laws of nature and he called it God, probably to avoid being stigmatized as an atheist. There's no worship, only a desire to understand. I find that different from theism of any kind where the goal is to worship, pray to, and to attribute any unknown.

With a name like Gothkitten, it seems strange that you are not an atheist. I was Goth in the 80's and my fellow Goths were enamored with religion, not because of a belief, but because of the passion of it. For the most part, we were all agnostic or atheist nihilists quoting Nietzsche.

ahhh.... in that sense of them being atheist (as in the goal is to worship), you are definitely right. franklin kind of bounces around with his beliefs as well, he also may have only pretended to continue to believe to avoid stigmatization as well. there is definitely evidence for that.

I don't really have any strict set list of beliefs, but I definitely have pantheistic ideas--I study Wicca, but don't adhere to it 100% by any means. I was raised Christian, but even as a kid I rejected it if it included anything except gluing cotton balls to paper to make sheep in sunday school class. Christianity has interesting elements, but the problem with it is that it is basically strict patriarchal nonsense slapped on top of the religious traditions of ancient european people (which is where modern witchcraft stems from).
I've contemplated atheism before, but the problem is my ideas about "reality" don't really fit into it--or maybe I've just eaten too many hallucinogenic drugs in my lifetime ;) Hell, sometimes I think that Earth was just a rock covered with primordial soup until some aliens came down started throwin' DNA around. Wait, is that considered atheism? haha. But really, I think atheism is a much more intelligent outlook than Christianity, and actually has some basis in reality--so I do like to learn about it, and the beliefs of those who consider themselves to be atheists.

Anyway, many props to anyone who was Goth in the 80s. Your journal is very interesting as well, so keep posting 'cuz i'm going to have to keep reading it.

Oh damn, I forgot about Wicca....of course, Goths in the 80's were into Wicca, too. See what time can do to you. Wicca makes a ton more sense than Christianity and definitely borders on pantheism.

The alien idea is dangerously close to Scientology, however, I tend to prefer the alien theories to the Christian God theories. The alien theories are actually more believable, which I think can tell you something.

Thanks for reading my blog...I post once every other month on average, so don't expect a lot of reading.

I just realized I did a "When I was your age, young whipper snapper" move.

When I was your age and wearing all black, people would invariably ask "Who died?" My favorite response was to look sad and say "My mother". That always shut them up.

Great post! I want to see a follow up to this topic

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