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Atheism: In Your Words - Comments

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 1 by Neodarwinian

Many reasons to get to one point. The probability on the existence of " magic man " is vanishingly small.

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 18:34:31 UTC | #551074

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 2 by InYourFaceNewYorker

I wish I would have known about this. I would have videotaped myself to... Or was the ad for this put out this past summer when I didn't have a moment to breathe?

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 18:42:28 UTC | #551078

BowDownToGizmo's Avatar Comment 3 by BowDownToGizmo

Enjoyed that, reminded me of my early experiences as an atheist. I believe I was discussing some doubts with the co-ordinator of a volunteering project I was taking part in over in Indonesia. The God Delusion came up and later I was given it as a parting gift. As mentioned in this video, the overwhelming emotion felt while reading God Delusion is liberation. Finally the doubt between your logic and the overwhelming numbers who believe in a God is ended, and you feel that freedom to be confident and comfortable in your reasoning and analytical mind.

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 19:44:04 UTC | #551104

MadEd's Avatar Comment 4 by MadEd

This is wonderful stuff, and so encouraging: but why the dreadful, invasive background music? For that matter why background music ever?

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 21:34:56 UTC | #551158

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 5 by AtheistEgbert

Fantastically honest and beautifully edited. What encourages me most is that we sometimes get to change minds, and that alone makes such videos as this worthwhile.

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 22:32:35 UTC | #551177

Jim2's Avatar Comment 6 by Jim2

Thank you. I still have a long way to go to come out of the closet. I didn't become an atheist until I was 59. I'm 60 now. Still reading and learning as much as I can. You're never too old to learn the truth. Having trouble finding other atheists in my area. Thank you for this valuable website.

Sun, 21 Nov 2010 23:17:11 UTC | #551199

A Thousand Eagles's Avatar Comment 7 by A Thousand Eagles

Heart warming to watch. I have been thinking recently how fulfilling and beautiful the life of an Atheist is, contrary to what many religious followers think. The search for the truth is a magnificent, nobel and expansive journey. I don't know what it feels like if you're connected to god or to christ, but when I read Prof Dawkins books; or watch documentaries by Attenborough, or Hawking, about life & the universe I get goosepumps thinking how amazing and beautiful life is. Why do we need all this supernatural nonsense on top of that? And how can we, as a race, ever move forward and colonise other worlds if our minds are being restricted in such a way? I certainly don't have faith in god; but I have faith in life.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 01:15:38 UTC | #551253

biorays's Avatar Comment 8 by biorays

It is staggering how the 'groomed' - those emotionally and intellectually encased by a pre-manufactured belief system, find it within themselves to accuse atheists of being intolerant.

They have no perception that it is their belief that is intolerant - by its very doctrine claiming itself a science, imagined by people about an imagined characters wishes!

Atheists are thenceforth de-facto intolerants by virtue of a preposterously demanding mindset of people making them so - by insisting they respect a system of judgement, which no science ever substantiated, as if it were universal science and unquestionably to be tolerated as such. This de-facto premise by religions, about intolerant atheists, is to live in perpetual denial. Religions own extraordinary presumptuousness affords itself the luxury of aiming intolerance at atheists in order to shroud the elephant in the room - it's own centuries of utter intolerance of atheists intelligence and evidence based morality. This is what posits religious consciousness as absolutely immoral! Religion is its own darkness posing as its own angel of light.

True light stems from atheism.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 01:48:29 UTC | #551264

robaylesbury's Avatar Comment 9 by robaylesbury

There is much satisfaction to be had as a Freethinker. The horizon extends ahead, the mind unencumbered. New information is given a fighting chance rather than batted away by religious dogma.

I'll take the light of reason over the delusion of dogma anyday.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 02:10:51 UTC | #551270

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 10 by crookedshoes

Jim2, I am in your corner whether you come out or not. LIVE YOUR LIFE. I think I speak for many many people her when I tell you that life is too short (especially when you are...... 60......sorry, I couldn't resist) to fake it. I do not know your circumstance and am not advocating coming out or not. I am just supporting you and letting you know that it is ok and you are among like minded people. WELCOME.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 02:14:07 UTC | #551271

beanson's Avatar Comment 11 by beanson

What I find strange in these testimonies is that they all seem to be cognitively struggling towards the great revelation, the reveal- that there is no magic man in the sky. As if it requires prolonged thought or complex reasoning to discover. Surely this is bollocks. No tortured ratiocination need be involved, you just need to refuse to give your consent to bullshit. It seems to me that their descriptions of how they got to the obvious position are just so much window dressing.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 07:17:19 UTC | #551316

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 12 by Vicktor

Comment 6 by Jim2 :

Thank you. I still have a long way to go to come out of the closet. I didn't become an atheist until I was 59. I'm 60 now. Still reading and learning as much as I can. You're never too old to learn the truth. Having trouble finding other atheists in my area. Thank you for this valuable website.

This is amazing. I'm afraid to ask (and this probably depends a lot on your former religion and 'level of faith') but... do you feel like you've wasted a lot of your life, and if so, how are you dealing with that?

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 07:39:51 UTC | #551319

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 13 by Vicktor

Comment 3 by Confucius :

Enjoyed that, reminded me of my early experiences as an atheist.

Indeed. I miss the alchemy of anxiety, fear, curiosity and exhilaration of the transition process. Nothing quite like it.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 07:42:51 UTC | #551320

ap96's Avatar Comment 14 by ap96

beanson,

hindsight is great, isn't it? It still embarrasses me that I didn't get rid of my vague Christian belief until I was 26, and even then I didn't start to call myself an atheist until a couple of years after that. It seems absolutely stupid now, but at the time, it really was a big "reveal".

It's so simple a thing ("don't believe this load of crap, because, well, there's no evidence, is there?"), but very easy not to realise you're even allowed to say that.

I'm one of those people that Richard Dawkins addressed at the beginning of TGD:

"But I didn't know I could."

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 08:38:06 UTC | #551327

foundationist's Avatar Comment 15 by foundationist

Inspiring words. But who added this horrible music? It makes the whole thing sound like a born again christian video.

Well, there's no sense in arguing taste I suppose...

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 08:48:38 UTC | #551329

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 16 by rod-the-farmer

"having trouble finding other atheists".....

Why bother ? This may be a carry-over from your days as one of the believers, who seem to feel the need to associate regularly, and renew their faith. Just to prevent it slipping away, like constantly refilling a leaking bucket of water. Note (to continue the analogy) no one ever fixes the leak so a single filling will last forever, the faith bucket is so full of holes it needs refilling every week. In the case of muslims, it needs refilling five times a day. What does that tell you ?

Last time I looked, I don't recall repeated classes in history (so I would not forget the story of the Roman Empire) or in science (so I would not forget the laws of physics) or in a second language (so I would not forget how to conjugate verbs). So why on earth would a belief in a god need to be 'filled up' with the same old stories every week ? Many of the biblical parables are valuable examples of how to live a good life. Once you learn something like The Golden Rule, or the Good Samaritan, it sticks with you. But I can't recall hearing a parable where my response was "Oh my, I forgot all about that one, and it has only been two months since I last heard it. Good thing they told the story again. I just can't seem to remember that one. Oh, and there are a few more that seem to leak away if I am not watching them constantly. I better come again next week to see if I forgot any others"

Once you drop the belief, you probably don't need to meet with other non-believers, any more than ex-stamp collectors need to meet regularly to discuss how they don't collect stamps any more. Besides, think of all the free time you have to learn MORE science, MORE history, etc. At least then, your personal knowledge bank will accumulate interest.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 08:49:27 UTC | #551330

Netsrak's Avatar Comment 17 by Netsrak

@ Thousand Eagles,

Was going to post something and then read your post, agree 100%, so no need for me to reiterate. Nature is just so much more amazing, exciting and awe inspiring than any myth a human mind can dream up.

Keep the flag flying, its not always easy. I often feel people think I'm an arrogant know it all, that I somehow think I'm special because I dare question this wonderful gift of life from above. And I only ever give my opinions when asked, so now they've stopped asking....its not easy getting people to question their comfort zone, but those that are receptive, promptly get to borrow a copy of TGD and Ancestors Tale.

all the best

Netsrak

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 09:51:21 UTC | #551345

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 18 by Vicktor

Comment 18 by Netsrak

@ Thousand Eagles,

Was going to post something and then read your post, agree 100%, so no need for me to reiterate. Nature is just so much more amazing, exciting and awe inspiring than any myth a human mind can dream up.

Keep the flag flying, its not always easy. I often feel people think I'm an arrogant know it all, that I somehow think I'm special because I dare question this wonderful gift of life from above. And I only ever give my opinions when asked, so now they've stopped asking....its not easy getting people to question their comfort zone, but those that are receptive, promptly get to borrow a copy of TGD and Ancestors Tale.

Even 'educated' theists can be a difficult lot. It basically boils down to this. They will say that no matter how fascinating "nature" is, there has to be one 'ultimate' intelligent creator that is both the beginning and the end of all things and that does not itself require any explanation. Unlike science which just keeps pushing the origin of things further and further back ad infinitum. What they don't seem to realize is that even if there is such a creator, it is quite unlikely to be anything like that demanding character in the Bible or Koran. So it's basically a win-win for atheists. In this life and in the (unlikely) next. :)

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:11:18 UTC | #551352

foundationist's Avatar Comment 19 by foundationist

Comment 17 by rod-the-farmer :

Once you drop the belief, you probably don't need to meet with other non-believers, any more than ex-stamp collectors need to meet regularly to discuss how they don't collect stamps any more.

Nicely expressed, but errr.....

What exactly is it you are doing on this site then?

It is just nice meeting with likeminded people you can relate to. For one thing you can discuss finer shades and subtle aspects of certain thoughts with people who agree with you on the fundamentals. This is what the christians do in their meetings (though not in the holy mass, of course) and it is not soo different from what we do here. The need to find likeminded people is quite understandable and it requires an extraordinary strength of character to hold to your convictions against the rest of the world. I think this feeling of support and confirmation is another reason why many of us post here, although this is slightly embarassing to admit.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:23:03 UTC | #551356

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 20 by Stafford Gordon

Thanks for that.

I didn't realize just how difficult it is in some parts of the world to come out as a rationalist.

I think we Brits need to be on our guard.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 10:45:48 UTC | #551363

Netsrak's Avatar Comment 21 by Netsrak

@Viktor

Yes I agree with what you're saying and have it seen done many times.

My father In-Law is a devout Christian, but not a YEC, he thinks the fundies are bonkers aswell. He sometimes looks through my reading material when he comes to visit, he's borrowed a book on Neanderthals and Stephen Hawking's new book The Grand Design. I told him Hawkins book is quite anti religion, but he didn't seem to mind. All of that I find encouraging. But then every now and then he comes out with these 'Gems'. His lates one is he thinks quantum entanglement (and the property of seemingly transferring information faster than light) explains how God can communicate with everyone, and be everywhere at the same time. I just smile politely, I think its not worth getting into an argument, I don't even think he knows I'm an Atheist. My wife wouldnt tell him, she thinks its something I should best keep to myself...

I do find it all quite frustrating, I get very excited about LHC discoveries and a good talk or book about the wonders of it all. Im a big fan of Richard Fyneman, Brian Greene and obviouly Dawkins, Hitchins and Harris. But it frustrating that when you share your enthusiasm for it all, and start talking about it, most people, even the ones you thought were Atheist, turn out to have a belief in a supernatural entity, because for me that just puts a big damper on it all, and all I want to do is let out a big sigh, and grab the nearest lager.

Anyway, just a few of my thoughts and frustrations, so coming here to this website, although (as mentioned above) is a bit embarrassing, I find it's a fix I quite regularly need, just to confirm I'm not a nutty conspiracy theorist type but rather an open minded sort of type, I hope....

So thank you all..

ps. this is a real gem

link text

ps. just ignore all the crackers comments, and there are quite a few.

all the best

Netsrak.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 12:05:09 UTC | #551408

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 22 by Vicktor

Comment 22 by Netsrak :

His lates one is he thinks quantum entanglement (and the property of seemingly transferring information faster than light) explains how God can communicate with everyone, and be everywhere at the same time.

Okay, this is a new one for me. Now, if a Muslim had said it, I really wonder how he'd go from that to God wanting him to pray 5 times a day and fast in the month of Ramadhan (not to mention do a whole lot of other stuff). Religious people only make it seem like 'belief in something more' is all that matters but really, it's not enough for any of them. If it was, they wouldn't be constantly fighting each other about what god wants them (and of course, everyone else) to do.

I don't know how many times I've encountered religious people telling me with great confidence that god intends to test them or test me or test the world. I'm like... "you don't even know my intentions, how is it you think you know God's?" The conversation usually ends there with a blank look on their face.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 12:33:21 UTC | #551418

keith's Avatar Comment 23 by keith

Now I know what I've been doing wrong! I haven't been eating enough biscuits! That, and the fact that I might be lacking the necessary self-dramatization that seems to come so easily to many Americans. Wow, some of them take themselves very very seriously.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 13:52:56 UTC | #551460

PERSON's Avatar Comment 24 by PERSON

Comment 17 by rod-the-farmer Kind of agree, kind of disagree. It's good to have people to test your ideas against, who'll critique what you say, and to socialise with. It gives you something to calibrate yourself against. You can get that online, but it's not quite the same as off, and there are aspects missing or deficient in both online and offline interaction. Anyway, meeting up needn't be about encouragement, though I don't see what's wrong with that. Atheists don't have to do the opposite of what non-atheists do, indeed they sometimes shouldn't.

Where I do strongly agree with you is that one should not despair if there's no local group to meet up with, or one finds it disagreeable somehow.

Comment 21 by Stafford Gordon

I think we Brits need to be on our guard.

No question.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 14:03:02 UTC | #551462

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 25 by KRKBAB

Comment 17 by rod-the-farmer- "having trouble finding other atheists".....

Why bother ? This may be a carry-over from your days as one of the believers, who seem to feel the need to associate regularly, and renew their faith.-

I couldn't disagree with you more. Bonding with like minded people is one of the most basic desires we have. 

There seems to be several people who post here with your attitude and it strikes me as smug.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:14:58 UTC | #551498

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 26 by KRKBAB

Comment 24 by keith- aaaand, here's another one of those smug comments on here by "keith"! far be it from you, keith, to try to understand how difficult it is in America to admit you accept reality when many people know it will have a huge effect on their lives. Those of us born here in the United States of Credulity didn't request to be born here- it just kind of happened.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:22:46 UTC | #551501

Jim2's Avatar Comment 27 by Jim2

Viktor. I don't think I had any strong convictions about religion. I don't think I wasted my time as a christian. I enjoyed the company of "normal" christians, not the fanatics. It just pissed me off, excuse my language, when I realized that the church never talks about most of what is in the Bible. When I started reading it for myself and realizing how rediculous the idea of God was it was an eye opener. Anyway, life goes on and I just enjoy life knowing that I don't have to face some cruel punisher at the end of my voyage.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 15:33:55 UTC | #551507

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 28 by Vicktor

Comment 28 by Jim2

Viktor. I don't think I had any strong convictions about religion. I don't think I wasted my time as a christian. I enjoyed the company of "normal" christians, not the fanatics. It just pissed me off, excuse my language, when I realized that the church never talks about most of what is in the Bible. When I started reading it for myself and realizing how rediculous the idea of God was it was an eye opener. Anyway, life goes on and I just enjoy life knowing that I don't have to face some cruel punisher at the end of my voyage.

You are truly amazing in being able to 'do the right thing' at a relatively advanced age (quite rare, I think) - and perhaps should consider writing a book called 'Godless Geezers' for the benefit of others like you (just kidding, kind of).

Anyway, that last sentence of yours is perhaps the most rewarding for atheists (what a load off!) and interestingly, something many theists conveniently forget or 'rationalize' away. In speaking to many of them over the years, I was actually amazed to find that quite a few have their own private interpretation of their religion (especially on the more troublesome finer points) that they think everyone else shares but is, in fact, quite contradictory to the actual teachings of the faith they claim to follow. I suppose it's just one of the brain's many ways of coping and making the nonsense 'manageable'.

This is probably why 'crazy' comments by certain priests and mullahs can be laughed off by many followers as if it was 'obvious' that god could not possibly have said or intended such a thing. It's almost as if religious individuals are subconsciously creating their own personal religions as they go along but using the 'mainstream' name for the obvious benefits. Religious memes may actually have evolved a kind of polymorphic 'defense mechanism'; making them that much more resilient. Amazing, really.

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 17:04:44 UTC | #551546

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 29 by KRKBAB

Comment 29 by Vicktor- ummm...although I know your kidding a bit, 59 is hardly geezer age. People are living to 90, 95, 100 and on up now. 59 is barely over half way!

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 17:37:30 UTC | #551568

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 30 by Rob Schneider

Comment 12 by beanson :

What I find strange in these testimonies is that they all seem to be cognitively struggling towards the great revelation, the reveal- that there is no magic man in the sky. As if it requires prolonged thought or complex reasoning to discover. Surely this is bollocks. No tortured ratiocination need be involved, you just need to refuse to give your consent to bullshit.

I can assure you it is not bollocks, even if you may not empathize with the position. A person raised devoutly truly believes in the things they have been told are "absolutely" true, by parents, priests, etc. They are repeatedly chided that even THINKING about believing otherwise is a sin and will lead them to the gorge of eternal peril, or some such. Looking outside the boundaries is a real struggle for some.

So it is with GREAT trepidation and angst that a person changes what they "KNOW" to be true, and willingly adopts a stance that is in direct conflict with what they have been taught... with what they have believed... for their entire life to this point. Something, some set of contradictions or inconsistencies is bringing them to this point of questioning and it is a very difficult, anxious moment to step over and say, "Well, all my foundations are crap and it's time to start rebuilding."

I speak from the experience of being a devout Catholic, so devout as to be in the seminary training to be a priest. So all I ask is that you temper your incredulity with a bit of understanding, especially if you did not have the devout belief or upbringing that some of the people in the video express.

=============

My favorite line from this video, which summarizes my path as well, comes from the gent with the side-cocked baseball cap: "I did not arrive at atheism by seeking atheism. I arrived at atheism by seeking truth."

Mon, 22 Nov 2010 18:04:06 UTC | #551577