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Author Topic: "Coming out" as an atheist  (Read 6037 times)

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Paul

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"Coming out" as an atheist
« on: August 16, 2008, 07:01:32 AM »

I've regarded myself as a weak atheist for a very long time (and talk about it almost to a fault), but only recently did I start reading up about it and meeting other people who are also unbelievers. When we got on to talk about the subject, it was clear that people like myself who had made their atheistic position known and not had a single word said against it (even by my Catholic parents) were apparently rare. One person in particular described revealing his lack of belief in a God(s) as traumatic as coming out as gay (which he is) - with some people shunning him as a result, although his parents were church goers but not very committed Christians. I can only imagine what it would have been like have to reveal yourself in Bible Belt states or Sharia countries with laws against apostasy...

I'd like to hear from other atheists or agnostics about their experiences in revealing their views for the first time, or anybody with a view on the matter.
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Johnny

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2008, 08:37:22 AM »

I used to pray.

I used to mostly pray asking god to watch over my family and make sure they're ok and safe.
I felt a connection. I felt safe.
i think it was just the mind over matter scenario that was happening there


I never went to church though.
I always felt uncomfortable, I think deep down, I have never really believed in the bible or anything, that's why i always felt so out of place.


anyway, i finally admit to myself that i really don't believe and never have.


i tried to pray shortly after that but the prayer seemed hallow.
i was just talking to myself no one else.
it seemed pointless


i haven't done it since.


I suppose I have more of a scientific view on the universe.
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Indja

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008, 11:22:03 AM »

I find it hard to believe that anyone is 100% atheist. I mean, surely any belief in anything beyond the physical world would counteract that? So acceptance of stuff like justice and unfairness and love or whatever would mean that you (meaning like "one") aren't really an atheist. You might not of found a religion that incorporates whatever it is you do believe in, but that doesn't mean you don't believe in it.

Or you know, whatever. *reverts back to sullen teen mode*
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CeeGBee

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008, 12:28:14 PM »

In my own experience, the vast majority of people who label themselves as "atheist" have
actually just rejected organized religion.  I think it's great that the term "agnostic" is finally
getting a little exposure, since it is a much better descriptor of most situations.

To further insert my own opinion of my own observations, most "atheists", the ones who insist
that they really really really don't believe in any sort of...  well, anything, tend to be bitter bitter
people just looking for attention, and if it's an argument, so much the better.

Whatever you believe, I hope it works for you.

I believe I'll get some more tea and maybe a waffle...
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2008, 12:35:52 PM »

I've been an "out" atheist since the age of 12. :glasses9:

If religion helps you center yourself and get you through your day, cool. Just don't try to sell it to me.

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2008, 02:53:01 PM »

I've found that most atheists and theists share several frustratingly common traits.
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The Angel Raliel

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2008, 02:55:09 PM »

A belief in nothing  is the same as a belief in something........ I prefer to remain open minded and explore all possibilities
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2008, 03:07:07 PM »

Oh, I remember that day very clearly. I was 15, and had announced I did not believe anymore the day before. The relaxedness with which my parents absorbed that message should have started my inner alarm, but I thought I was lucky and it wasn't a big deal, until a priest entered the house and looked at me and started praying and sprinkling holy water all over me, while my father held me and my mother wrung her hands in the background. It was hilarious, really. However, it did not change my mind.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2008, 03:08:13 PM »

did you manage to puke any mushy peas over the priest?
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fishbulb

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2008, 03:10:17 PM »

I tried, but I was just doing that head swivelling thing so it landed on the night stand.
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The Angel Raliel

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2008, 03:11:31 PM »

oh well.... I hope you managed to get a few insults out in ancient mesopotamian, anyway
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Paul

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2008, 03:25:36 PM »

I find it hard to believe that anyone is 100% atheist. I mean, surely any belief in anything beyond the physical world would counteract that? So acceptance of stuff like justice and unfairness and love or whatever would mean that you (meaning like "one") aren't really an atheist. You might not of found a religion that incorporates whatever it is you do believe in, but that doesn't mean you don't believe in it.

Or you know, whatever. *reverts back to sullen teen mode*

Some points:

1) Atheism is a position defined solely about belief in the existence of God or gods, and it is still technically possible to believe the supernatural/afterlife etc. and still be an atheist. Buddhists do not believe in a Creator/Personal God, yet they do believe in a reincarnation-based afterlife. However, most modern atheists don't believe in the supernatural/spiritual, for the reason outlined in 2).

2) My reason for not believing in the existence of a God is the same reason that you (hopefully) do not believe in unicorns... There is no evidence for it, and the ideas I have heard for his existence can be refuted, require some level of suspension of reality or are just beyond the boundaries of common-sense. Since most religions and cults have some sort of supernatural/faith-based position, I put them in the same level of improbability as a God or other transcendental creator being.

3) Saying that atheists and agnostics, since they believe in love, justice and fairness cannot possibly be atheist is something I find a bit offensive. It is a bit like saying - "human beings cannot possibly be moral/compassionate/loving without God (or some sort of divine reward/retribution), so it is impossible that one can disbelieve God and have good deeds/character." This is just totally untrue, as secular humanists and brights will tell you.

In my own experience, the vast majority of people who label themselves as "atheist" have
actually just rejected organized religion.  I think it's great that the term "agnostic" is finally
getting a little exposure, since it is a much better descriptor of most situations.

To further insert my own opinion of my own observations, most "atheists", the ones who insist
that they really really really don't believe in any sort of...  well, anything, tend to be bitter bitter
people just looking for attention, and if it's an argument, so much the better.

Whatever you believe, I hope it works for you.

I believe I'll get some more tea and maybe a waffle...

Agnosticism relates to what is knowable (i.e. with 100% certainty), not what is believable. I take the view of weak atheism, also known as agnostic atheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism), which is supported by people like Richard Dawkins and Bertrand Russell i.e. -

I cannot be 100% certain that a God may not exist somewhere in the universe or beyond (agnosticism), but on the balance of probability God most likely does not exist (atheism).

As an example, I cannot prove 100% that leprechauns/Father Christmas/Loch Ness Monster/Tooth Fairy exists, but I can safely rule them out as believable beings.

The philosopher Bertrand Russel illustrates the point using his Celestial Teapot metaphor -

Quote from: Bertrand Russel (taken from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_teapot)
If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

W.R.T. what you said about atheists you have met using it to be bitter individuals, I can say that I have never met any open atheist like that (although I agree that some like Richard Dawkins are quite arrogant). I wpuld say that it is the opposite - atheists believe that this life is the only shot we have, so we'd better get on with making it as happy and productive as possible.

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fishbulb

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2008, 03:26:42 PM »

I did, no worries. I'm sure he regretted that day for years to come. Especially after he apparently had some magical pull on herds of wild goats and sheep and camels who wanted to nibble his crotch. He just could not get rid of that smell of freshly picked clover in the testicle area, no matter how much holy water&soap he used. It became a real nuisance and in the end he was fired by the Vatican. They don't like their churches muddy, you see, nor their bibles eaten.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2008, 03:43:06 PM »

Some points:

1) Atheism is a position defined solely about belief in the existence of God or gods, and it is still technically possible to believe the supernatural/afterlife etc. and still be an atheist. Buddhists do not believe in a Creator/Personal God, yet they do believe in a reincarnation-based afterlife. However, most modern atheists don't believe in the supernatural/spiritual, for the reason outlined in 2).

2) My reason for not believing in the existence of a God is the same reason that you (hopefully) do not believe in unicorns... There is no evidence for it, and the ideas I have heard for his existence can be refuted, require some level of suspension of reality or are just beyond the boundaries of common-sense. Since most religions and cults have some sort of supernatural/faith-based position, I put them in the same level of improbability as a God or other transcendental creator being.

3) Saying that atheists and agnostics, since they believe in love, justice and fairness cannot possibly be atheist is something I find a bit offensive. It is a bit like saying - "human beings cannot possibly be moral/compassionate/loving without God (or some sort of divine reward/retribution), so it is impossible that one can disbelieve God and have good deeds/character." This is just totally untrue, as secular humanists and brights will tell you.

First off I'd like to apologise for any offense I caused - I'm not the most articulate of people, so sometimes what I mean doesn't quite mesh with what comes out. I certainly didn't mean to offend you - sorry!

I think the application of the word "God" is sort of misleading. When/if I talk about "God", I don't mean a big beardy bloke in the sky, or any kind of creationalist/interventionalist power - I just find it's the easiest word to use when I'm trying to define what I'm talking about. The God that I believe in is just the goodness in people. I truly believe that everyone is essentially good, and is born with an innate understanding of right and wrong as well as a desire to do "right". From this stance, to say that there is no evidence for it is just not true - the evidence is everywhere, in everyone. When I said that belief in love and stuff means you're not an atheist, it's because for me, God is love and justice and fluffy puppies and fairy-dust.

On second thoughts, I think I'm applying my own beliefs a little too broadly... Y'all should just ignore me until I learn how to function in the real world ^.^
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The Angel Raliel

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2008, 03:45:26 PM »

This is what I mean about atheism being a religion......
just go ahead and believe whatever you want as long as you are open to the idea that you may be wrong
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Paul

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2008, 04:00:12 PM »

Some points:

1) Atheism is a position defined solely about belief in the existence of God or gods, and it is still technically possible to believe the supernatural/afterlife etc. and still be an atheist. Buddhists do not believe in a Creator/Personal God, yet they do believe in a reincarnation-based afterlife. However, most modern atheists don't believe in the supernatural/spiritual, for the reason outlined in 2).

2) My reason for not believing in the existence of a God is the same reason that you (hopefully) do not believe in unicorns... There is no evidence for it, and the ideas I have heard for his existence can be refuted, require some level of suspension of reality or are just beyond the boundaries of common-sense. Since most religions and cults have some sort of supernatural/faith-based position, I put them in the same level of improbability as a God or other transcendental creator being.

3) Saying that atheists and agnostics, since they believe in love, justice and fairness cannot possibly be atheist is something I find a bit offensive. It is a bit like saying - "human beings cannot possibly be moral/compassionate/loving without God (or some sort of divine reward/retribution), so it is impossible that one can disbelieve God and have good deeds/character." This is just totally untrue, as secular humanists and brights will tell you.

First off I'd like to apologise for any offense I caused - I'm not the most articulate of people, so sometimes what I mean doesn't quite mesh with what comes out. I certainly didn't mean to offend you - sorry!

I think the application of the word "God" is sort of misleading. When/if I talk about "God", I don't mean a big beardy bloke in the sky, or any kind of creationalist/interventionalist power - I just find it's the easiest word to use when I'm trying to define what I'm talking about. The God that I believe in is just the goodness in people. I truly believe that everyone is essentially good, and is born with an innate understanding of right and wrong as well as a desire to do "right". From this stance, to say that there is no evidence for it is just not true - the evidence is everywhere, in everyone. When I said that belief in love and stuff means you're not an atheist, it's because for me, God is love and justice and fluffy puppies and fairy-dust.

On second thoughts, I think I'm applying my own beliefs a little too broadly... Y'all should just ignore me until I learn how to function in the real world ^.^

Don't worry, I knew it wasn't meant to be an offensive statement.

If you describe God as the goodness demonstrated in people, then I can't possibly disagree with that. However, peoples' innate goodness did not create the world in six days, nor die on the cross for our sins, nor can it rise from the dead, nor will it give us a heavenly (or hellish) afterlife when we die... Such things are claimed as acts due to God in Christianity (and a lesser extent Judaism and Islam), and this idea of an omnipotent, omniscient, all-good Creater God is what I have trouble with.

This is what I mean about atheism being a religion......
just go ahead and believe whatever you want as long as you are open to the idea that you may be wrong

I don't think atheism is a religion any more than non-belief in faeries is a religion. It's a default position due to lack of evidence. Actually, I'd prefer there was a God out there and that good people go to heaven when they die, but there's no grounds that I should believe it yet. If God (or faeries for that matter) reveals himself or his unmistakeable fingerprints on the universe are discovered tomorrow, then I'd think that any sane person (I included) would put up his hands, state he was wrong and get on his knees and start praying.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2008, 04:01:41 PM »

As an example, I cannot prove 100% that leprechauns/Father Christmas/Loch Ness Monster/Tooth Fairy exists, but I can safely rule them out as believable beings.

Inability to prove something in scientific terms does not rule out logical exclusion. In the cases of Leprechauns and the Tooth Fairy, you can trace the stories to their origin. Therefore, intent to create fiction becomes a known variable. I have heard people use "Flying Spaghetti Monsterism" to discredit religion (which was why the "faith" was invented). That places it solidly outside of the realm of applicability to the question of truth.

Defining atheism can be an obstacle to any meaningful conversation about the nature of reality or the beginning/nature of consciousness or the beginning of/nature of time. There is a level of respect I have for those claiming faith (and acknowledging that it is faith) that is waning in my view of many atheists. "I don't believe in god... I believe in science" really doesn't mean anything when you factor in the fact that science has not really approached many of the questions in play.

My personal obstacle to communication stems from an either/or question. Either consciousness is material in nature, from its origin, or it has a non-material basis or facet. Either conclusion is open to consideration until one is proven to be true. The fact that science has no beginning of an answer for us mean that "science based atheism" is an act of faith- no different than theism.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2008, 04:04:09 PM »

If you describe God as the goodness demonstrated in people, then I can't possibly disagree with that. However, peoples' innate goodness did not create the world in six days, nor die on the cross for our sins, nor can it rise from the dead, nor will it give us a heavenly (or hellish) afterlife when we die... Such things are claimed as acts due to God in Christianity (and a lesser extent Judaism and Islam), and this idea of an omnipotent, omniscient, all-good Creater God is what I have trouble with.

So, really, you're just not a Christian? JOIN THE QUAKERS! We don't care what you worship, so long as you do it quiet-like!

Well, no, technically, they're a Christian denomination, but they're pretty fucking lax about it...

Also, you know all the chat about science? Well, for b-jillions of years, science proved the earth was flat and the sun moved round it...
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2008, 04:05:15 PM »

By the way, I consider my self an atheist. I do, however, believe in a non-material facet of consciousness. I do not consider it at all supernatural. I do not believe it judges, and I do not necessarily believe its relationship with the material universe is a precipitate of any sort of intent. It may have been, and it probably followed an intent influenced course of history from the moment of its recognition of its material state.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2008, 04:08:13 PM »

By the way, I consider my self an atheist. I do, however, believe in a non-material facet of consciousness. I do not consider it at all supernatural. I do not believe it judges, and I do not necessarily believe its relationship with the material universe is a precipitate of any sort of intent. It may have been, and it probably followed an intent influenced course of history from the moment of its recognition of its material state.
pretty much my point of view, but Iavoid the term atheist as it implies a belief in nothing
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2008, 04:11:16 PM »

By the way, I consider my self an atheist. I do, however, believe in a non-material facet of consciousness. I do not consider it at all supernatural. I do not believe it judges, and I do not necessarily believe its relationship with the material universe is a precipitate of any sort of intent. It may have been, and it probably followed an intent influenced course of history from the moment of its recognition of its material state.

Fuck, Wyatt - speak English! I'm sure whatever it is you just said is very interesting, but my foggy little brain just can't figure it out!
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2008, 04:14:55 PM »

very basically......... a motivating force or principle that underlies the fabric of reality..... non-human, and non-defined
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2008, 04:30:02 PM »

So many posts I want to reply to... lol

If you describe God as the goodness demonstrated in people, then I can't possibly disagree with that. However, peoples' innate goodness did not create the world in six days, nor die on the cross for our sins, nor can it rise from the dead, nor will it give us a heavenly (or hellish) afterlife when we die... Such things are claimed as acts due to God in Christianity (and a lesser extent Judaism and Islam), and this idea of an omnipotent, omniscient, all-good Creater God is what I have trouble with.

So, really, you're just not a Christian? JOIN THE QUAKERS! We don't care what you worship, so long as you do it quiet-like!

Well, no, technically, they're a Christian denomination, but they're pretty fucking lax about it...

Also, you know all the chat about science? Well, for b-jillions of years, science proved the earth was flat and the sun moved round it...

Haha, I shall just have to stand very quiet in the Quaker Hall then, silently observing the wallpaper! However, as I said before, there is no evidence for a higher power, so I don't believe it exists.

Regarding science (which actually hasn't been mentioned up till now)... pre-Greek science (before Pythagoras) stated that the Earth was flat. Then, as Greeks began to study phenomena that indicated the Earth was round, that idea was proposed and in 240BC Eratosthenes worked out the circumference of the Earth to anywhere between 16.3% and 1% of the present value. Since then, a round Earth has been an accepted view. That is how the scientific method ought to work - if an idea seems not to be compatible with observable evidence, then you find a better idea and test that against reality.

As an example, I cannot prove 100% that leprechauns/Father Christmas/Loch Ness Monster/Tooth Fairy exists, but I can safely rule them out as believable beings.

Inability to prove something in scientific terms does not rule out logical exclusion. In the cases of Leprechauns and the Tooth Fairy, you can trace the stories to their origin. Therefore, intent to create fiction becomes a known variable. I have heard people use "Flying Spaghetti Monsterism" to discredit religion (which was why the "faith" was invented). That places it solidly outside of the realm of applicability to the question of truth.

Defining atheism can be an obstacle to any meaningful conversation about the nature of reality or the beginning/nature of consciousness or the beginning of/nature of time. There is a level of respect I have for those claiming faith (and acknowledging that it is faith) that is waning in my view of many atheists. "I don't believe in god... I believe in science" really doesn't mean anything when you factor in the fact that science has not really approached many of the questions in play.

My personal obstacle to communication stems from an either/or question. Either consciousness is material in nature, from its origin, or it has a non-material basis or facet. Either conclusion is open to consideration until one is proven to be true. The fact that science has no beginning of an answer for us mean that "science based atheism" is an act of faith- no different than theism.

You are right that inability to prove does not mean exclusion, but scientists and rationalists are expected to go and make theories by what they know and can demonstrate (which is why for example String Theory is still a not-yet-fully-accepted hypothesis).

Pastafarianism (the Flying Spaghetti Monster) is a parody religion set up to counteract the inclusion of Intelligent Design in biology lessons in Kansas in 2005. It's existence alone (while not adding to ultimate truth as we may call it) is an attempt to show what is flawed and illogical in organised religion and irrational thinking. In this respect, it does an excellent job in my opinion.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2008, 04:31:53 PM »

very basically......... a motivating force or principle that underlies the fabric of reality..... non-human, and non-defined

What do you mean exactly - an intelligent mind behind the scenes or an as yet undefined/ineffable law of nature?
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2008, 04:36:12 PM »

You have had these conversations with me in the pub!
a unifying force, that may or not be sentient, but probably not in a way which we would understand, and certainly not humanly moral, the Outer Gods of lovecraftian Mythos are more human than any true Deity that may have created reality(ies)
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2008, 04:46:45 PM »

You have had these conversations with me in the pub!
a unifying force, that may or not be sentient, but probably not in a way which we would understand, and certainly not humanly moral, the Outer Gods of lovecraftian Mythos are more human than any true Deity that may have created reality(ies)

I forgot .... you're right.. yes we did! I do miss those conversations over Guinness in the Dev. :'(

I said before to you that there were gaps in our knowledge of the most fundamental process in the universe (i.e. the long-searched for Theory of Everything that would tie all four known forces together). Maybe this will reveal the force that you describe!

A fundamental, unifying force that is beyond our knowledge but probably non-sentient is something I think is possible. However, this is not God as humans have usually defined it. There are four known forces of nature at present (Electromagnetism, the Strong and Weak interaction and Gravity), and the first three are shown to be aspects of one force unified in the past (known as Quantum Electrodynamics). Gravity is still exceptional. I think the best idea to approximate a universal, uniting force like you describe (from a Physics point of view) is one that unifies all of them together in some currently unknown way.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2008, 04:47:34 PM »

You have had these conversations with me in the pub!
a unifying force, that may or not be sentient, but probably not in a way which we would understand, and certainly not humanly moral, the Outer Gods of lovecraftian Mythos are more human than any true Deity that may have created reality(ies)

I hope to one day be able to discuss such things with the two of you in the pub.  I might drag Wyatt along too.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2008, 04:49:13 PM »

You have had these conversations with me in the pub!
a unifying force, that may or not be sentient, but probably not in a way which we would understand, and certainly not humanly moral, the Outer Gods of lovecraftian Mythos are more human than any true Deity that may have created reality(ies)

I hope to one day be able to discuss such things with the two of you in the pub.  I might drag Wyatt along too.

I'd love to sit around with you, Wyatt and Raliel for a good, universe-pervasive chinwag......
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2008, 04:51:06 PM »

It would be fun!........ However it would also require some airplane tickets..... but it may happen  at some point soon
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2008, 04:53:30 PM »

It would be fun!........ However it would also require some airplane tickets..... but it may happen  at some point soon

I think that we should meet up over a pint again if you fancy it.... In fact, get the London-based Shadowboxers together for a night out...
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2008, 04:56:57 PM »

That would be a great idea.... are you going to the 21/08/08 show?
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #31 on: August 16, 2008, 05:02:57 PM »

That would be a great idea.... are you going to the 21/08/08 show?

Sorry I'm not. I heard about it too late to get tickets. Will have to make arrangements for another day, or if you go for drinks afterwards then give me a ring and I'll join you.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #32 on: August 16, 2008, 05:05:51 PM »

Pm me your number again as I have probably lost it since losing the pub
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2008, 05:19:36 PM »

Pm me your number again as I have probably lost it since losing the pub

Sent it to you by PM.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2008, 08:11:47 PM »

If religion helps you center yourself and get you through your day, cool. Just don't try to sell it to me.

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2008, 07:55:25 AM »

very basically......... a motivating force or principle that underlies the fabric of reality..... non-human, and non-defined

What do you mean exactly - an intelligent mind behind the scenes or an as yet undefined/ineffable law of nature?

Intelligent... conscious. It would probably be hard to conceptualize from our perspective. Once we remove everything that is biological and material, the remaning entity (that which experiences material reality) would be, at the same time, very familiar and very alien.


You are right that inability to prove does not mean exclusion, but scientists and rationalists are expected to go and make theories by what they know and can demonstrate (which is why for example String Theory is still a not-yet-fully-accepted hypothesis).

...and I wish them to keep doing it. I only wish that they would also acknowledge the parameters and limits of their understanding and the possible limits of their tool of understanding. I wish they would not, so often, use their trade to justify their prejudices.


I hope to one day be able to discuss such things with the two of you in the pub.  I might drag Wyatt along too.

I would like this.
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2008, 07:41:56 PM »

mmmmm. the belief in ANY system of organized religion holds no weight for me ---since THEIR beginnings and history are as incredulous as what we term "mythology" --but ignore in regards to its influences on organized religion, etc.

the belief that there is Something Unkown seems more like a grab at two factors. for one, science can't answer all questions. particularly about anything faith-based, (and gnomes?) and on the other hand--one may have a desire to try and feel a certain universalist "vibe" to be short about it.

science can't answer faith, and faith Has been noted to (they hung a cow for sorcery not that long ago...)cause a Lot of human warfare and damage...

Yet. We who are typing aren't dead, are we? So...how do you know ANYTHING is correct. It's impossible and full of catch-22 boundaries.

---I do Object that ALL of us are born with a fundamentally good nature. Most, certainly. But what of the severely retarded --who may spend their whole lives behaving violently? Certainly they can't help it, but it doesn't change the Fact they are violent from beginning to end. I Loved these people though, so don't get on me for being an arse when it comes to the challenged. Second. What of serial killers. They may have been taught right or wrong, but they disregard it for their needs. There are enough individuals who appear to be born "without a conscience" to argue that not all of us are born innocent and lovely.............mmmm.........we could discuss the possibility of genetic barriers and sociological barriers that create people like Hitler or other famous "villains" ---but here's the funny part: It is almost always in retrospect, looking backwards, that we note someone for some sort of heinous desire or reckless abandon in terms of violence.

On the other hand, yes. I do think most people are born with a good heart, so to speak. I just think you can't refute the probability of other individuals who are not, or who don't Behave within the confines of customary idioms.

And I would like to join all of you at the pub. I try to keep an open mind, but have a very hard time with organized religions -- probably due to my history studies.

mmm. God, Are you there? It's me. Margaret. hahahaha          --unknowable. unknown. don't hold on to a system without making damn sure you're willing to commit your life to it. 100 years from now, "they" may be laughing at us.
I wonder if the 165 million year old dinosaurs believed in any kind of spiritual or religious dogma? Hmmm. Are you there, God, it's me, T-rex.


Point: We are only distinctive as animals in our knowledge of our own deaths. (certain other species included possibly--elephants for example) That is why we are soooo smitten with trying to toil about with religious belief. And I Do toil with this subject a bit. But it doesn't permeate my ---poor Fishy. That is just Wrong. 
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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2008, 10:57:24 PM »

she's just a jeepster for your love. :glasses9:

jdfu!

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Re: "Coming out" as an atheist
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2008, 11:52:29 PM »

God, Are you there? It's me. Margaret.

I got that.
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