Introductory Thread

@Bluedoc Oh, good. Glad I’m not the only one who caught that.

That’s subjective, isn’t it. I don’t really find anything in the Bible attractive. It’s like a dictionary or encyclopedia. A tool, if you will, of an historic nature. It’s fallible, of course, uh . . . it differs from other religious texts in that it claims divine inspiration as a source. The actual Bible as we know it is a translation of the source. Meaning the translation itself wasn’t inspired. Jude called it an example. In his time the record of Abraham etc. was an example for those in his time like the record of Jude’s time is a further example along with Abraham.

I need a reason to believe. I grew up in a Christian household. I read the Bible, I attended church, I tithed. This deity never spoke to me the way other Christians claim that it spoke to them. My prayers never came true. People at the churches were rude and took advantage of my kindness.

It wasn’t because I wanted to rebel or to deny this god existed. I just didn’t believe it existed. I just felt lied to and manipulated.

Then I began to think about the other religions and no one and no Christian had a good reason as to why they rejected those gods. They either stated those gods didn’t exist or they existed and were demons. I got a different story every time.

Then I see all of these denominations. Each one with a different version of “god”.

So being 12, I didn’t believe in it. I didn’t buy it.

By the time I was 18 I wanted physical, scientific, and legal evidence that a deity exists. To me it was like Big Foot, Loch Ness, Goat Man, The Jersey Devil, Werewolves, etc etc.

No one had evidence. Just people saying there were “eye witness” and no evidence. We had the Bible but a deity that wasn’t active. We had a prophet everyone talked about but no contemporary or historical sources stating he ever existed or did the miracles Christians claimed he did.

I have hundreds of valid reasons to not believe in it. My whole life people like my parents have been saying since I was a little kid “God exists!” while giving me NO evidence for their god claims.

I’ve been given nothing that is compelling. They all said the Bible and non witness writings were evidence and those have all turned out to be inadmissible because they neither prove the existence of Jesus or the existence of a deity.

Not just Christianity, but the other religions that have a mythology fail to meet the Burden of Proof for their prophets and their gods. No evidence. So when I’ve brought that up in real life, people just tell me that I don’t have faith.

We have Christians come on here and slam us but do the same when it comes to Paganism. How do Christians know they have the right god? It’s all a leap of faith without evidence and I refuse to believe in something that is a lie.

From my experience with Christianity. All it’s been about is control and censorship.

Not really. If you think about it. Your - is that a screenshot? is pretty vague and fits with my own personal definition. Religious is relating to religion means nothing. No surprises there. Having a strong belief in god. Okay, but not necessarily. Buddhist, Confucianist, Shintoist, Taoist, most likely not. Realistically most Jews and Christians are atheists and only go to church or put on some show for social, traditional, cultural reasons.

When I say I’m irreligious I mean that I hate organized religion. No religion has ever stayed true, even to itself.

It’s probably simpler than that. In the vast majority of cases, people believe in gods because they were indoctrinated in that belief by their parents almost from birth. Children have a strong bond with their parents and generally believe anything they’re told without question. There’s no critical thinking involved, just “follow the leader”.

Children believe in god for the same reason they believe in Santa Claus, but unlike belief in Santa Claus, no one’s telling them when they reach a certain age that it was all make believe.

No, it’s not an opinion, nor is it subject to interpretation. Atheism is the simple statement that it’s up to the person making the claim (that god exists) to back up their claim with evidence. That’s not opinion any more than me saying purple is my favorite color is an opinion.

It’s an interesting analogy. The possible flaws are obvious. For starters, children grow into pre-teen and teenagers. The same indoctrination would occur with atheists. No one questions Santa Claus and no one questions the disillusionment. Santa is a mythological character probably based upon some local legend. During the “Holiday season” I pass them on the street. It’s corporate oriented propaganda and probably practiced by most atheists. Long before Christ they had the Saturnalia celebrations which were pagan and usually mischievous in nature. Drunkenness. Today it’s pretty much material nostalgia.

Christian children tend to grow apart from the obvious xenophobic and hypocritical foundations of occidental Christianity and then, after going off and having a good time, return to the social, traditional and cultural - the fragile - religion. I think even that is somewhat archaic. Nowadays they just leave. I think that could very well change in a sort of apocalyptic scenario where the community on a local level will become important to survival.

I’ve already done that in this thread. A god can be anyone or anything. A god doesn’t have to exist to be a god.

What a tremendously stupid observation.

This also altogether obviates the discussion about whether a god exists or not, IMO.

Time saver; I like you more now.


When a child, the parents maintain the Santa myth. But as the children age, eventually the parents stop maintaining Santa. Children talk to each other, eventually the truth is revealed and the parents do not fight to have their kids believe in Santa. But with religion, the parents continue to maintain the god story. All the way to their death bed.

I did not. I grew up theist, became so dedicated to the god concept I left organized religion because it was a waste of time being social instead of devoting every energy in communicating with their creator. I was completely dedicated to a god, but I could not find it. I spent many decades after seeking out my personal creator.

I did not “go off and have a good time”, I joined the military and spent the next few years in a very disciplined environment.

You can see me in my boot camp graduation picture. The guy who didn’t smile.


“Atheist indoctrination” is probably far rarer than indoctrination in a religion. How would one do this anyway? As previously mentioned, atheism is only the disbelief in gods due to lack of evidence, nothing more. Do parents indoctrinate their kids in not collecting stamps?


The term “atheist” was not in my vocabulary until I was at least 60 years old.

Then thanks to the internet I started to watch videos and learn. My intent was never to become an atheist, just learn. But that education put me in the position where I eventually had to admit I was an atheist.

I was indoctrinated to be a theist, and it took me decades to shake it off.


@MrDawn You say you need a reason to believe. Okay. There is a reason you grew up in a Christian home, read the Bible, attended church and tithed. I wouldn’t have done any of those things because I didn’t have a reason to. You and I had no choice in what kind of home we grew up in. You were Christian and I was atheist/irreligious. The reason for the rest of those things in your case was your upbringing. Your home, as you say. I think that none of those things are a reason to believe or disbelieve. The same applies to my own case.

Other Christians lied to you if they said any of the gods of the Bible spoke to them. It’s a lame-assed justification for stupidity. It isn’t logical, and it isn’t Biblical. Usually a cry for attention. You were taken advantage of, lied to and manipulated. But that isn’t a reason to believe or disbelieve unless what you really believed (trust) in then, and disbelieve in now, is the church. Religion.

I wouldn’t classify myself as “Christian” for two reasons. 1) Christian teachings were obfuscated 400 years after Christ and 2) I’ve never been baptized. So, Christianity is a pagan syncretistic mess. Just as Paul said it would be. That isn’t particularly prophetic in the traditional sense because it had already started in his day. Even before Jesus.

Having said that, what gods specifically are you talking about? Amaterasu? Are you familiar with the Nihongi and Kojiki? If I go into it you might not be interested. Perhaps I could make it much more simple and say that if you are looking for answers, then only you can find them. By asking questions and learning.

Again. Only you can find the answers. Careful that you don’t only find the answers you want, but rather, the answers independent of your own desires. The most important part is the questions. The word deity simply means worshipped. You can worship anything and anyone. Even science, truth, knowledge, perception. Evidence is a coin with two sides. There’s always evidence for and against anything. You can’t really deny that a deity exists, especially, as, for example, the aforementioned Amaterasu is a fictional invention designed to instruct Japanese youth as part of the rescript. That is how that specific deity exists.

It doesn’t matter if you believe in God, that is, the occidental concept of the God of the Bible, Jehovah, exists or not. Do you reject or accept him. It really doesn’t matter, ultimately. What difference would it make?

Faith is just trust, Earlier in the thread I used the Latin term credit. If you don’t have faith, so be it. What business is that of anyone else?

Well, Christians are idiots. You might as well ask the cat, but they know they have the right god because it is entirely up to them. I’ve investigated pretty much all of the religions and know they aren’t for me.

Zeus is a god. I don’t believe (trust in) Zeus. I don’t believe Zeus existed literally, other than the Roman leaders also given that title (see my definitions of gods in this thread) Still, Zeus is a god. In the late 1960s it was common to see “Clapton is God” and “Frodo is God.” One literally exists, the other doesn’t. A god doesn’t have to exist. The gods of the Shinto Nihongi and Kojiki. Deus ex machina.

Ooops. Uh . . . it may obviate specific gods only, not, for example, the ancient Hebrew el with the definite article ha. Or satan with the same article. Ha el, Ha Satan. God and satan are Hebrew words. The former meaning mighty; venerated and the later meaning adversary. Both words without the definite article were applied to men. Mortals.

Man, that photograph looks familiar. The guy in the top row, far right, looks remarkably like my uncle Harry. Harry Jackson. There are several unsmiling persons in the photo. I assume you mean center top row? Why no smile? Seriousness or displeasure?

They’re just terms. I don’t think they mean much.

Were you ever willfully theist? Did you know what that meant and if so, what does it mean? Other than just another term.

What I read from your comments is basically adherence to useful concept. And you rightfully accuse church and organised religion for its exploitation of additional aspects of that concept.

Hopefully you will sooner or later understand that religions will see you as a problem also.

Usefulness of the concept can and should be extracted from the baggage that its proponents carry.

I just don’t buy that. Atheism that I’ve encountered is similar to theism I’ve encountered. Little to no evidence. All cultural and traditional. No two atheists or theists are exactly the same. These are only general descriptive terms suggesting ideology more than anything, in my opinion. In a theocracy how could atheism be exclusively the disbelief or lack of belief in gods. Especially if no real definition of god could likely be agreed upon.

To suggest atheism is only about disbelief would suggest that theism is only about belief. And that would be accurate but limited in the sort of results of either ideology. Being an atheist would naturally involve these types of things and theism would naturally involve other things.

They would if it involved ideological fixation or cultural, social and political ramifications.

Now the approach shifts to words maybe not meaning things?

Well, I’ll admit that its a technique.

That ship has sailed, but that realization doesn’t mean much either. It’s hardly surprising. Atheists and theists alike will see me as a problem. Have you not noticed that everyone seems more interested in conforming than - let’s say - tolerance? Why would I object to atheism? There’s no logical reason for it. Or, why would I object to a theistic interpretation I don’t agree with? There’s only two possible reasons that I can see. Xenophobia and ideology.

It’s same on both sides, this is however an atheist forum, so it is expected to be greeted appropriately.

Why are you so afraid of the word atheist, all that you have said sounds like something atheist would say.

You are advocating psychological benefits. It doesn’t have to come with baggage.
One thing that you said caught my attention, you said faith is just like trust. That is something that orthodox priests, where I live, will say immediately when they realise that I’m atheist and that I reject concept of faith all together.

Are you by any chance from orthodox christian background?

Faith is nowhere near trust, not even on the same scale.

You mentioned conformity

It reminded me of this episode.