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Atheist & Agnostics-Hi there!

Giving a shout out to all my fellow atheists and agnostics. Do you have friends who share similar beliefs?

Do you feel pressured by folks who believe differently than you? How did you arrive at your decision, how were you raised?

Do you have any websites to read? Can you give any support/ideas to a new atheist?

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Comments

  • You know what’s interesting? I believe in God, the Bible, and the way Jesus lived according to that, but so far I’ve had no interest in “chiming” in on the christian thread, not YET at least. In fact, some of my friends and I recently discussed at length how we don’t even like to call ourselves ‘christian’ anymore because of the very very valid points that all of you have brought up. : ) It is sooo sad that people (including family members and members of the ‘clergy’) have behaved so badly. I can’t prove there isn’t a God. (I have a psych degree too, queefluff, and its definately not from a christian university). I know that in my life and those around me there have been too many ‘coincidences’, ‘timings’, miracles (i know, i know, that word).... so i choose to believe. God makes me happy and as an intelligent woman who loves ALL people, the planet and all life in it, and after looking at alternatives in the origins of the universe (i took philosophy courses with strong and smart athiest professors), etc., i chose to believe and follow the teachings of Jesus – who is not like all those people we’ve all experienced, because it came down to a matter of ‘faith’ for believing something/nothing. not out of fear. hope you all don’t mind me adding my thoughts – i consider you all friends. love and peace

  • Mamamilk, your post sounds like something my mother would have written. I have had many awful experiences around religious people, but I have many intelligent and loving people in my life who choose to follow an organized religion. Of course your thoughts are welcome, thank you for sharing.

  • I am a spiritual person, although I was raised as Roman Catholic I was never attracted to it, can’t stand the hypocrisy of the establishment and their bloody past. My only God now is spelled N a t u r e.

  • I choose not to belong to any organized religion. Although I do not reject it. To me, religion is a good thing but also a very bad thing. Religion is one of the reasons why this world is in such bad shape today, but it also keeps people grounded, and can give us peace of mind. Lots of religions teach us to love and hate all at the same time which can be confusing and frustrating.

    I do however believe in God. God is love. That good feeling you get inside when you are with someone you care deeply about, or even when you do something you really love. It is not just an emotion you are feeling…You are feeling God. This is why Love is the most powerful and natural feeling anyone can experience. You don’t need a religion to love. You are born with it. Love gives off a very strong energy, so if we all can just learn to connect to, embrace, and share love with all humans, animals, and plants, we can restore this planet to the way it was meant to be, before there was a such thing as religion.

  • “You don’t need a religion to love. You are born with it. Love gives off a very strong energy, so if we all can just learn to connect to, embrace, and share love with all humans, animals, and plants, we can restore this planet to the way it was meant to be, before there was a such thing as religion.”

    So, so true, azulblue. I think at the heart of all religions is love; its all the other STUFF that gets in the way. If people remembered this, there would be no religious crusades, no hatred of those who believe differently, because at the heart of it, its all the same. But you don’t need religion to believe in that love, as you said.

    Very inspiring words, azulblue.

  • I choose not to belong to any organized religion. Although I do not reject it. To me, religion is a good thing but also a very bad thing. Religion is one of the reasons why this world is in such bad shape today, but it also keeps people grounded, and can give us peace of mind. Lots of religions teach us to love and hate all at the same time which can be confusing and frustrating

    ME TOO! Organized religion is not true Christianity. There is a huge difference between the two. I do not belong to organized religion. Organized religion, is ‘church’. The bible says that we (as Christians now) are the church. He is the head but his people are the church. Not going to a church like commonly believed. People make an image of God, and they follow that image. This is organized religion. Then they have to defend the image that they made of God.

    Really, the God that you make, is the God that you must defend. The God that made YOU, needs no defense. That is why I will not defend God. But, I would challenge you to watch that video and ask him, ask Jesus, to intervene, ask him to make a difference. He will IF he is real.

    Yes, azulblue, but if you want the truth about God, you have to read the bible. You have to watch that video. Saying what we think God is, does not help.

  • shgadwa,

    I would argue that the Bible is a product of organized religion. It is the Christian book of choice, edited by various people over time to include/reject various books. You find your truth in that book. A Muslim finds hers in the Quran, a Jew in the Torah, a Taoist in the Tao Te Ching. To tell azulblue that she must read the Bible and, of all things, watch a youtube video to find the truth I find almost offensive. The truth (or God, or Goddess, or whatever you are seeking) can be found in many places. As someone who purports to not follow an organized religion, I would think you would agree with this and leave others to find their truth. After all, there are many paths up the mountain; the only one who will not make it to the top is the one running around it telling others they are wrong.

    I don’t mean to attack you, shgadwa, and I hope you don’t read this as such. However, I don’t think anyone “has to” do anything to find truth, peace and happiness.

  • Oh no…

    I appreciate it. Really, I do.

    Just, please tell me how the bible could be a product of organized religion. It explains everything very well. Countless prophesies have came to pass. It agrees with itself. If you want to understand a passage, you use the bible as its own dictionary, if you understand that.

    So, please tell me where the bible is wrong and/ or how it is a product of organized religion.

    This is interesting… I am listening.

  • Thanks for the thoughts Rawperasinger, I’m not catholic and dont consider myself ‘religious’ I’m just a follower of Jesus who believes in walking in love. (i’m still working on my new title since ‘christian’ doesn’t quite fit – it’s a manmade title and not a biblical term.) i think the traditional church (though i attend a variety of groups who believe in God/Jesus) would consider me a heretic, but then again, Jesus was accused of heresy and working for satan, so there ya go…. btw, rawperasinger – am i wrong or do you sing? : )

    Winona, don’t you love that you’ve begun such a provocative discussion? ; )

    Winona you said:

    the lack of responsibility for one’s own life is a terrible symptom of the age we live in. Young adults act like children, children act like brats. Poverty is abundant, yet no one tries to change it. People are sick – can’t be bothered with taking care of themselves. Folks just go through this educational system to become mass produced drones. And they don’t BOTHER helping those less fortunate, changing the corrupt political system, voting, TALKING to their neighbor. Nope. Cause the tv is on. So, forget actually DOING anything.

    I agree completely, winona! I choose to live my life by what I can do TODAY. We homeschool and try to walk in love, grace and mercy in this world. We don’t watch t.v. either. ; ). I believe in joy, hard work, personal responsibility, helping others and no fear for tomorrow.

    Isn’t freedom, free will and free speech wonderful? and questions are a good thing!

  • As a non-Christian, I see the Bible as a book. To me, it is no different from any other book, because I do not believe it was divinely inspired. It is full of stories, few (if any) of which I believe are 100% historically accurate. The stories give people guidelines by which to live thier lives. Some of the stories are very beautiful. I do not think the Bible is “wrong”, but it does not lead me to my truth. I see all other religious texts the same way.

    All religious texts are the product of organized religion. They are written by people who follow that religion to share stories and advice with people who also follow that religion. They claim to write those books with the divine inspiration of God, so its a religious book, thus, of and for organized religion.

    For you, it is the truth. Everything in it is true. Someone reading THIER religious text would say the same thing, but would probably disagree with things in your book, and you’d probably disagree with things in theirs.

    I am not sure if I answered your question, and I think that’s because I’m a little baffled as to how the Bible is NOT a product of religion as a religious text. Perhaps if you explain why you don’t think it is a product of relgion, I can better explain why I do.

  • Thanks for your wording rawperasinger.

    And no disrespect meant to shgadwa, but this is why I think that Religion dichotomizes people. Spirituality brings people together.

    I personally don’t need a book or a pastor to feel a sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of nature, a sense of wonder and awe about all of life – everything is the embodiment of spirit.

  • mamamilk- I do, in fact, sing. I have no idea where you’d get such an idea… :)

    and greenghost, I thought this was a really lovely thought: “I personally don’t need a book or a pastor to feel a sense of wonder and awe at the beauty of nature, a sense of wonder and awe about all of life – everything is the embodiment of spirit.”

    God, Goddess, Allah, Yahweh, love, spirit, whatever you want to call it- its all over the place, you just have to be open to it. Its a beautiful world.

  • To add on to what rawperasinger was saying at the Bible being a product of religion – I totally agree. My coworker is Christian, but he gets so frustrated in his Bible classes because people in the class take the book literally. They take stories with figurative meanings, and say they are the literal truth. I can understand living by certain principles in your life, especially things like honesty, love, faith, etc. However, reading a book and following it word for word can be dangerous. The Bible is over a thousand years old, and things that probably applied to daily life back then don’t apply now. The main principles still apply, yes, but the details don’t necessarily apply.

    For instance, back in the day, sex was an act of procreation. But now, it has totally evolved into part of everyday life. It’s for procreation, but also recreation, advertising, entertainment… A lot of Christian parents won’t talk realistically to their kids about sex, especially pre-marital sex because it’s “wrong”, so we have generations of people growing up that think sex is this evil, bad thing. I don’t believe sex should be taken lightly, but it’s so natural and beautiful and funny and inspiring, and well, sexy. It’s much safer to bring kids up, talking to them about all the risks of having sex and how to practice safe sex than just avoiding the issue and calling it a sin. Let them make an educated decision about how they want to use their bodies; don’t tell them what they should be doing.

  • i’m an atheist. thought i’d interject.

  • you do come off as preachy. (i don’t want to get into a debate here, i mean no antagonism as i’m not concerned with your beliefs in the least…just thought you should know?)

  • heh heh rawperasinger. thats cool.

    heyenglish, you are correct about bible studies – they are usually products of a persons prism and their worldview. now about sex, yes, sex is good and there happens to be a very sexy read in the bible called the song of solomon. and its all about the enjoyment of love and sex between solomon and his favorite girl. we won’t be skipping that book when we read the bible to our kids. ; )

  • Maybe so but when people have their opinions of the bible, I tell them what the bible says…........about the bible, or something like that.

    I think I think.

    So, sometimes I feel something just needs to be said.

    Yes, song of Solomon is good.

  • also, to the founder of this thread, richard dawkins’ “the god delusion” is a good read, as is “why darwin matters” by michael shermer. look for a chapter of a humanist association in your area?

  • The entire book of Leviticus (correct me if I’m wrong) is rules rules rules on how to live your life, including the famed anti-homosexuality clause. I find it hard to believe that you follow all the rules set forth in the entire Bible. I remember some of them being terribly out of date, about not touching women on thier periods and only wearing one type of cloth at a time. So, if you don’t follow these rules though they hardly apply to modern times, are you sinning?

    “Tell me why you have fear while doing it then if it is not a sin? Same as masturbation…. people feel terribly guilty afterwards.”

    Teens who grow up in restrictive households fear sex and masturbation because they fear punishment. If you don’t believe that its wrong and deserves punishment, then you don’t fear it. I certainly don’t fear sex or masturbation, and view them as natural and healthy.

    I find this quote very interesting, although I do not know who said it.

    “Now, Through the Looking Glass, that poem “The walrus and the carpenter”, that’s an indictment of organised religion; the walrus with his girth and good nature, obviously represents either Buddha, or, with his tusks, the Hindu elephant god, Lord Ganesha—that takes care of your eastern religions. Now, the carpenter, which is an obvious reference to Jesus Christ, who was raised a carpenter’s son, he represents the western religions. Now, in the poem what do they do? What do they do? They dupe all these oysters into following them, and then proceed to shuck and devour the helpless creatures en massé. Now, I don’t know what that says to you, but, to me it says, that following these faiths based on mythological figures ensures the destruction of one’s inner being. Organised religion destroys who we are by inhibiting our actions, by inhibiting our decisions, out of fear of some intangible parent figure, who shakes a finger at us from thousands of years ago and says “Do it, do it and I’ll f*ing spank you!”“

    Fear of heavenly retribution causes guilt, which makes religion more about guilt and unhappiness than peace and love for many people.

  • I think this thread is getting off topic? Winona simply wanted to hear from other atheists on goneraw.com? Why is God interjected here at all?

    An honest debate could be had in another thread. :-)

    I’m not an atheist, I’m actually a Baha’i but I respect everyone’s beliefs.

    In regards to websites, Micki of mickipedia.com is my favorite online atheist! Her youtube vids are of particular interest – you may enjoy this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP9zWI5gCWs

  • Haters blow, especially when they spew evil while hiding behind the Bible. This thread is supposed to be a chat thread for agnostics and aethists. They don’t crawl all over the “calling all Christian” threads, so I would expect the same respect on this one.

  • true. i didn’t bother commenting on the christian thread, despite my not-exactly-respectful view of the religion.

  • I don’t know exactly what I am “called” but I don’t believe in a god that is a person but I do believe in an intelligent energy force that we and everything else is a part of. I believe that Jesus was a great teacher and it is a shame that his words were written thru someone else’s interpetation of it. I would really like to know what he really said. as well as budda. I think organized religion was created to control people and they follow out of fear as so many of you have pointed out. What I am labeled as I have no idea or why we are here but this world is just to breath taking to be accidental. does that make any sense?

  • Yes… a lot of people bring up the law. When Jesus came, he fulfilled the law. We are no longer subject to 613 (if I remember right) laws of the old testament.

    Let me tell all of you about a friend of mine….a VERY good friend of mine. PLEASE READ THIS. This guy was an atheist for a long time. He did not believe that there could be a God. He was very depressed. He struggled with many problems. He told me that he was masturbating since like the 6th grade (about when I started doing that too). He told me that he always felt guilty afterwards and he always had fear afterwards but it was something that he just learned to get used to.

    Anyhow, he was very depressed. Often wanted to kill himself. The only thing that kept him from doing so was the though of it being unsuccessful and he being crazy all his life. He also HATED Christians. He hated them because of many reasons. Mainly because they seemed to think that they have found the way (as if they could be that special). That they had found this God). He hated them because they were living a lie. Also because he believed he ought to be able to rape a girl if he wanted to. Did not like being told what to do. Did not kill Christians because he did not want to rot in prison.

    But, after talking to a Christian, this one true Christian (many call themselves Christian and are not), challenged him to ask God if he is real. If God is real, God will show himself to him. If God is real,.he should show himself to you. He would intervene. That is what my friend did. He asked God to show himself to him and said that if God is real, then he would serve him.

    Within a few days later, he had no desire for any kind of sexual lust, he was not depressed, did not need pills for depression, did not want to kill people. He was DEEPLY moved and convinced that God was real. He then changed and accepted Jesus into his heart and to this day, he is serving God.

  • Haters blow, especially when they spew evil while hiding behind the Bible. This thread is supposed to be a chat thread for agnostics and aethists. They don’t crawl all over the “calling all Christian†threads, so I would expect the same respect on this one.

    I see…..I see…..

    HOWEVER

    Just let me say that I feel that the bible was not talked down enough. It seems like all I got was opinions… can anyone email me and give me more detail? I would really want more detail because if there is a problem with the bible, I should know about it.

    Please email me and we can discuss it.

    Shawn shgadwa@yahoo.com

  • ok…what was the point of that story? that your friend was depressed and religion helped him? so? what bearing does that have on the validity of the religion? i don’t suppose i should go into the extraordinary numbers of people religion forced into depression and suicide as a result of their homosexuality, skepticism, and so forth…as well as the monumental numbers of people tortured and murdered in the name of one or another god…

    also, if you’re implying that atheists are generally a group of depressed, struggling, unhappy and confused individuals with suicidal tendencies, you are greatly misinformed.

    ooooh the gloves are coming off…to quote the mask, somebody stop me!=P

  • It is not religion…it is God. Although this would keep the discussion going, wouldn’t it?

    No, I am not implying that. I am saying that God showed himself to my friend, he has done the same for me….this is proof, that God is real. That is all. It is not religion, it is God. it is Truth.

    Now, you do not have to like it. The bible talks about people like that, Men love darkness rather than light. They do not come to the light because they do not want their deeds to be reveled, so they stay in the dark.

    No, I was not talking so much about atheists alone. Many people call themselves Christians and have the same problem. Because they are not truly a Christian.

    Well, I said what I think I should say, that is all. God bless all of you and though you do not like it, you are in my prayers. ALL OF YOU.

    Bye…

  • Well said, GET him Elizabethh!!! MASTERBATION IS NORMAL AND NATURAL, ALL ANIMALS, EVEN IN THE WILD DO IT MALE AND FEMALE FROM BIRTH TO DEATH Those who feel guilty have been misinformed that it is nasty and evil… YOUNG man GROW UP and GET REAL life is too short and you are too young to be so starchy!!!

  • PLEASE GET ME.

    The bible does speak of that too.

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