So, I was thinking earlier how I hadn’t really got to have an actual discussion with my fellow primates on what exactly atheism means to us.
Usually our opinions are badly strawmaned by a drive by theist and I have occasionally see responses from members correcting these ridiculous claims by believers.
So what is atheism to you?
For me, it is simply an answer to the question, "do you believe in a god(s)?.. to which my answer is a resounding no.
For all intensive purposes, I live in the knowledge and with a world view that is as close to 100% sure there is no god that its possible to be.
Perhaps more of a hard atheist…
I don’t have an atheistic world view other then the answering of the aforementioned questions, I tend to live my life as I do and do not push my views on others, nor tolerate that do so to me.
Another question, what is theism to you? This doesn’t have to be a definition of the term… i just wonder how you view it.
Personally, I’ve always believed it to be a mental sanctuary for those that fear death, miss those that passed etc… and an early attempt at behavioral control, as well as an primitive to explain tough questions.
I would not really have an issue with religion, nor theists, if it wasn’t placed upon some sort of pedestal, where it cannot be critiqued and yet has its talons dug firmly withing the cultural fabric of society.
For myself, being an atheist is the result of applying rational thinking, living by evidence, and coming to terms with the harsh realities of life. I no longer believe in products of the imagination, I enjoy life much fuller, I live without fear of some sky daddy, and I live with a greater appreciation of everything in life.
I will always adopt the agnostic position, although in the back of my mind, I am convinced evidence of any god will never come.
Atheism gives me a sense of privacy. The eye in the sky is gone, so I don’t feel I have someone watching and judging my every move. (Of course, I’ve probably been filmed by several surveillance cameras today.)
Atheism is freedom from fear. I don’t have to worry about eternal agony in the fires of hell, or worse still, eternally kissing god’s hairy arse in heaven.
Australia is one of the most secular nations on earth. It is generally considered very bad manners to question people about their religious beliefs. Only the most crass proselytizers usually break that unwritten rule. (Mormons. JW’s etc)
Day-to-day my atheism rarely comes up. Probably because my siblings and all friends I’ve had in the last 40 odd years are/were also atheists or like many Aussies, simply indifferent. .
I joined the Australian civil service in 1966. At that time,there were two controlling cliques; Free Masons and Catholics. Fortunately for me, I was a practising Catholic at that time,and freely identified as one. Didn’t see it was anyone’s business when I became an atheist. I let them assume whatever they wanted.
Today I can say honestly that I am far less conflicted than I was as a rabid Irish catholic. My existential position is one of relative contentment.
To be honest. I think much of it has to with age. I understand an older man’s body produces much less testosterone than he did at 20 odd… Consequently , one tends not to become truly passionate about anything. (or anyone)
Like others have said, “freedom” is a good 1 word response.
Increasingly, of late, the atheist position to me represents a big clue about us as a society.
How is it that so many billions of us believe in huge claims of which there is zero evidence for, and fail at critical inquiry at every turn? Something that is from the outset, laughably false, of which there is countless examples of such hilarity?
If a strong majority humanity got something as obvious as this so horribly wrong, what else have we all gotten wrong that we are not aware of? What else have I gotten wrong? I am part of humanity, I am prone to the same error. What can I learn from realizing there is such a large gap of knowledge in something so basic? The greater the claim the greater the burden of evidence.
I used to frequently think along the lines of “uneducated,” and possibly even a more cruel: “stupid.”
Now it is possibly worse: pity, and a little bit of fear, (we should have a healthy fear for the irrational.)
Sounds a lot like Alcoholics Anonymous; claims of a higher power/ god of your understanding and being hugely successful for getting on for 100 years… Neither is proved.
Seriously? People believe the most appalling nonsense because they need to believe.
I keep saying religions exist because they meet deep human needs. Religions explain the why of things and I think help satisfy a human craving for meaning and order. Illusions, but desperate people are extremely gullible—Billions fall prey to the parasitic organised religions.
Atheism is being born right the first time and with no invisible means of support. Atheism and theism are two sides of the same coin. On one side people prefer to use their heads and on the other they use tales.
It is to me simply the lack or absence of belief in any deity or deities, however it means i strive to keep an unbiased open minded critical rationale of ALL claims, and that of course includes god claims, and all religious claims.
I’m lucky enough that my childhood religious indoctrination was of a very mild type, and has left little lasting impression beyond the ludicrous nature of some of the claims. Trying to constantly think rationally is something I’ve had to learn in adulthood, but nonetheless is a critical part of trying to examine all claims and arguments as objectivy as possible.
I’m re-reading God Is Not Great by the Christopher Hitchens, and came across this passage, and thought it seemed apropos.
And here is the point about myself and my co-thinkers. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free enquiry, open mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically.
Ah - the “identity” crisis. For me, when I let go of “belief” in favor of reality, I could be “me” (since then, hmmmm I have been pretty much a loner; lol “by choice, I tell myself”).
Too many self-identify with beliefs whether they be god or politics or health or parenting … and when it starts going down the toilet well, fuck me, they will defend their “identity” and go down with it.
I like to keep whatever is not fact based or sufficiently evidenced away from who I am - and realize that I can fuck up as I have fucked up in the past.
Just a personal observation in talking with theists, woo woo health nuts, political dipshits who are ideological…
Atheism is a life for me . I didn’t live my life as ex-muslim, because I always feel scared of punishment or after death. i couldn’t allow myself to do what i like in life because of religion, so atheism are making me to open my mind into a lot of stuff and people in life. being better person to myself and educating myself continuously. its reshaping my mind and life in positive way.
Couldn’t agree with you more. Religions seem to be invented by people afraid of their own shadows. They are restrictive by their very nature,. Don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t think this way or that way, if you see this or that … run away. Evil is everywhere and it is just waiting to jump out and grab you. Isn’t it amazing to walk through the world with the ability to make choices without the burden of a God clinging to your back?
The claim that God gave man free will is nonsense. The believer is free to love and obey God (Islam means ‘submission’) If the person declines to love and/or obey god, he’s punished, more harshly than a human being can imagine… That’s called ‘Hobson’s choice’ meaning no real choice at all.