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1 week ago @ Atheist Revolution - Spreading Superstition... · 0 replies · +4 points

"After all, many Christians seem to take real joy in the prospect of people who do not share their beliefs being tortured for eternity"
Proselytizers "need" to do so to reassure themselves that their hoped for "heavenly reward" will really be forthcoming. Since they have no other way to accomplish this than by surrounding themselves by as many people who agree that "they have it right" as possible, it follows that they must either get you to agree or "damn you forever". Joining any religion is really about our hard-wired psychological need to be accepted into or be allowed to remain members of communal groups such as family/clan/party/church/etc. We learn early on that individuals have relatively little power, whereas there is "safety" (survival value) in numbers. It seems obvious to me that proselytizing is entirely about the "door knocker", not about the "knockee".

19 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Atheism and a Meaningf... · 1 reply · +6 points

When one realizes that the "meaning' of our existence, as is true for all living things, is to survive long enough to reproduce and then further to support our offspring until they, in turn, can reproduce, one must either accept this or, if this is not "enough", one must find further "meaning". We Humans are both blessed and cursed with sufficient intelligence to "need" something more than just survival, especially since we have reached a point in our history wherein we generally have enough food and are safe enough that we don't have to spend every minute in "surviving".. Philosophical thinking/religious activities/any other activity not directly associated with day to day survival is a relatively recent luxury in Human evolution.
"I'd like to be the kind of person others look forward to seeing. I'd like to put a smile on their faces and improve their day. I'd also like to be someone who is not content to leave the world as it is but is always looking to improve it in whatever small ways I can."
It seems to me that this is a modern restatement of "Do unto others..."
But, since Atheists do not expect any "reward" at the end of life, this statement simply recognizes that once we have dealt with daily survival needs, what matters is how positively we then can interact with everyone else. The "reward' is that it makes us feel good about ourselves when we do this.
And, as you said, "That's really about it, and it is (should be) enough."

19 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Atheism: A Choice to b... · 2 replies · +3 points

Coming to the realization that one lacks all God belief is not, by itself, a decision to "be alone". The decision to declare to the world that one has chosen the label "Atheist", may be, however, Since the driving reason for anyone to join and want to continue to be accepted in any religious group is the need to be reassured that there is some sort o/f afterlife or "Heavenly reward", it follows that Believers must avoid, shun, and otherwise denigrate anyone who is not in the right group with them, Hence, the multiplicity of religious wars throughout history. In more recent times, wherein it has become (somewhat) less fashionable to attack your neighbor because "at least he/she believes in (fill in Deity of choice)", anyone else is still fair game. All religions require some sort of "togetherness" for worship/fellowship/mutual support/etc. SInce Atheism, in and of itself requires and provides no group activities, it follows that one must seek "togetherness" elsewhere.

20 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Facing Death Without F... · 0 replies · +5 points

In fact, GOD belief is entirely about unwillingness to accept the end of life that we all inevitably face. The afterlife (Heaven/Nirvana/rebirth/etc), promised in one form or another by all religions, is the single driving force to religious belief. Every culture we know of, throughout the history of Human existence, has seen fit to create GOD(s). In the face of an otherwise dangerous and often very difficult existence, Humanity has needed the appearance of some degree of control over life; hence, prayer, sacrifice, observance of "commandments", and, above all, membership in and permission to remain a member of a group of people who agree that our chosen Deity is the right one. Since very few people have had the experience of "death" and "lived" to tell about it, the reassurance of our coreligionists is critical to our ability to avoid acceptance of the inevitable end of life.
I, for one, have faced open heart surgery twice during my 81 years. As a Physician, I am only too aware of the risk of death that faced me on both occasions. As I approached the time of surgery I imagined that I might wake up in a cold sweat and begin saying the prayers I learned as a young man before I realized that I had no God belief . This did not happen on either occasion. It is not that I don't care about life or its ending; I seem, somehow, to have accepted it as something over which I have no control. As a result, I guess that I don't need to waste any of the time that still may have worrying about it.

23 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - I Was a Teenage Atheist · 1 reply · +4 points

It seems to me that your last observation is actually the main reason for anti-atheist rhetoric. The desperate desire that Christianity's promised Heavenly reward or afterlife could be true is what drives most Believers, in my opinion. Since there is no other way to reassure themselves that this is so, they must surround themselves by people who agree that they are right. In order to be allowed into and, more important, to stay part of that religion, they must denigrate anyone who is not "one of them", let alone anyone who actually says their beliefs are wrong. Since it cannot escape their notice that most Atheists are not covered in boils or frequently struck down by their "loving God/Savior", our willingness to be "out" and honest about our lack of God belief is particularly threatening. It must "appear" that they hate us at every opportunity, mainly for the benefit of the other Co-religionists.

26 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Ignorant and Proud · 0 replies · +5 points

"I found it very easy to maintain by Christian faith before I was willing to examine it critically."
The reason for maintaining any religious belief is neither pride nor ignorance. It is fear... fear of the finality of death and that, in the case of Christianity, the promised afterlife or "Heavenly Reward" is not really going to happen. Believers need to surround themselves with as many coreligionists and/or people who at least pay lip service to believing as they do as possible, since that is the only way they can be reassured that their beliefs are true. That also requires denigrating any ideas that are in conflict (i.e. Darwinism) with those beliefs. Hence, the car magnet proclaiming "I am not only a Believer, but I don't let silly science get in my way in believing."
I think this particular magnet is pretty clever, however.

27 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Most Christians Are No... · 0 replies · +3 points

"Their faith seems to be fragile enough that it depends on others to a greater extent than it initially appears it should. It needs the shield provided by like-minded believers, and so they have the urge to gather.
Since Christianity promises a "Heavenly Reward" or afterlife of some kind to those who "believe", gathering together for prayer is essential for reassurance that one "has it right". The only way you can get this reassurance is by surrounding yourself with others who (claim to ) believe as you do. Under the present frightening reality of the pandemic, such reassurance must be even more desirable than usual.

27 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Good Friday Fasting Un... · 1 reply · +5 points

Futility aside, at least this behavior can be carried out without the "need" to gather and. thereby avoid worsening potential contamination of everyone else. As an Atheist, I have no problem in any observances a Believer may choose, as long as such behavior neither impinges on any of my personal rights nor requires me to modify my own public behavior. Unlike the danger to others that religious assembly causes during the present pandemic, individual prayer and fasting are unlikely to harm anyone but the Believer himself.

27 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - Ending Religious Exemp... · 0 replies · +3 points

Assembly of groups of people who then disperse into contact with numerous others who were not part of that assembly will inevitably worsen the spread of the COVID 19 Virus!
It is for the same reason that Trump tried mightily to ignore/downplay the current pandemic and its inevitable effect on the economy that many elected officeholders continue to support organized religion's right to assemble in spite of this warning. In both cases, elected officials dare not alienate what amounts to the majority of their "base" voters. Any reasonable thinker must recognize that we routinely prevent the assembly of subversive or hate groups, especially when such gatherings threaten the general public well-being. Under these circumstances, in which exercising our personal freedoms is often counterproductive to how many of us will survive this pandemic, it seems to me that "Do unto others" ought to apply in the decision making of both our elected officials and those people who claim to believe in the teachings of the major religions.

28 weeks ago @ Atheist Revolution - The Meaning of Atheism... · 0 replies · +5 points

It seems to me that this question would be moot, were it only about the meaning of the word Atheism. Without question, an etomologist would agree that the word means "absence of God belief". And, since a new born can be said to lack ANY belief at birth, all babies are, by definition, atheists. Belief in God, on the other hand, must be taught. Hardly anyone suddenly has a vision or stumbles upon a "Holy Book" and becomes a full grown "believer".
The idea that one must "reject" theism to be an Atheist derives from the fact that because we Humans seem to "need" God(s) (i.e every culture we know of has seen fit to create several deities over the millennia), the vast majority of us are inculcated in one or more of the "established: religions" from early childhood.
Atheism, by any definition, suffers from a lack of the group/family/tribal support that organized religion provides. Were it not for the societal pressures placed upon those of us who do not "believe" or belong to one of the dominant religions that still control much of modern society, the fine points of defining "Atheism" would be of no importance. It is because some of us feel the need to create a defined "group" under the banner of lack of God belief/rejection/Atheism that we are having this discussion at all.