Is Atheism An Intellectual Luxury For The Wealthy?

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PostSat Dec 28, 2013 10:08 pm » by Giovanni


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They prayed whenever they could find 15 minutes. “Preacher Man”, as we called him, would read from the Bible with his tiny round glasses. It was the only book he had ever read. A dozen or so others would listen, silently praying while stroking rosaries, sitting on bare mattresses, crammed into a half-painted dorm room.

I was the outsider, a 16-year-old working on a summer custodial crew for a local college, saving money to pay for my escape from my hometown. The other employees, close to three dozen, were working to feed themselves, to feed their kids, to pay child support, to pay for the basics of life. I was the only white, everyone else was African-American.

Preacher Man tried to get me to join the prayer meetings, asking me almost daily. I declined, preferring to spend those small work breaks with some of the other guys on the crew. We would use the time to snatch a quick drink or maybe smoke a joint.

Preacher Man would question me, “What do you believe in?” I would decline to engage, out of politeness. He pressed me. Finally I broke,

I am an atheist. I don’t believe in a God. I don’t think the world is only 5,000 years old, I don’t think Cain and Abel married their sisters!

Preacher Man’s eyes narrowed. He pointed at me, “You are an APE-IEST. An APE-IEST. You going to lead a life of sin and end in hell.”

Three years later I did escape my town, eventually receiving a PhD in physics, and then working on Wall Street for 20 years. A life devoted to rational thought, a life devoted to numbers and clever arguments.

During that time I counted myself an atheist and nodded in agreement as a wave of atheistic fervor swept out of the scientific community and into the media, led by Richard Dawkins.

I saw some of myself in him: quick with arguments, uneasy with emotions, comfortable with logic, able to look at any ideology or any thought process and expose the inconsistencies. We all picked on the Bible, a tome cobbled together over hundreds of years that provides so many inconsistencies. It is the skinny 85lb (35.6kg) weakling for anyone looking to flex their scientific muscles…

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PostSat Dec 28, 2013 10:16 pm » by Love


I think at some point we should just reevaluate the shit that we believe in. Re-open the case and check the forensics with the updated technology.

Atheism isn't an intellectual luxury. (imho) There is something out there to believe but it's hard to find it with our eyes closed.

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PostSat Dec 28, 2013 10:44 pm » by Thebluecanary


I think that there is a lot of validity in that article.

"I also see Richard Dawkins differently. I see him as a grown up version of that 16-year-old kid, proud of being smart, unable to understand why anyone would believe or think differently from himself. I see a person so removed from humanity and so removed from the ambiguity of life that he finds himself judging those who think differently." This is how I also see Dawkins, and how I see so many of the atheists I know. Smart, mostly decent people who at the core of them are still rebelling against mommy and daddy or the establishment or whatever; look at me! Look at how smart I am! So much smarter than everyone else who does not believe what I believe!

Ultimately, all deeply held religious beliefs (even atheism) are a coping mechanism that allows us to deal with the fact that we have no idea what is really going on in our lives and no real control over the majority of our existence. Those who cling to "rationality" and lionize Dawkins are no different than those who cling to the King James bible and love Billy Graham. They just can't see that, usually.

My dad is an atheist from way back…but he's a different animal all together than so many of the atheists in my peer group, who are as off-putting in their fanaticism and scorn as the scariest Evangelical, if not worse. Every person has deep beliefs that are intensely personal and derived from subjective experience, and those are the beliefs that people fight over needlessly. Nobody has the right to try to take away from anyone else a belief that gives that person comfort in a hostile world. Feeling that you are so "smart" or above it all that you legitimately have the right to try to take away someone else's faith is a luxury of the privileged, yes. I see it most often in the pampered spawn of baby boomers, steeped in video games and popular culture, college educated, their greatest worry whether or not that TV show they love so much is going to get renewed for a new season. Their form of atheism is derived from what is "trendy" and what makes them feel superior, not from any personal experience. I think that many "christians" fall into the same category…they get up in people's faces about their "faith" because it's not really faith….they have to convince you to convince themselves because what is really inside them is hollow.

Pretty much any time you find yourself shouting about your beliefs, be they faith in god or conviction that there is none, you should probably stop and ask yourself why. And if a strong current of your own personal "beliefs" involves intentional mockery of someone else's beliefs, that says something not so great about you and your motivations.
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PostSun Dec 29, 2013 12:13 am » by Chronicnerd


In all religions around the world, there are elements that must be looked upon with unbiased eyes...neither wanting to prove or disprove the existence of any form of "God"...but with eyes that want to understand what our ancestors experienced, what they were trying to say, and what is potentially tainted with our "unique human trait" which is that of control, manipulate, and pretty much all of the negative things we have all done based on our species history.

Whether blood line or not we are *all* from the same "genetic" foundation which yields us our unique physical structure and minds capable of going beyond the primal "just survive" nature we find in all living creatures here on Earth.

For anyone who believes in Aliens or "Ancient Aliens" or any derivation from that line of thinking...there is this unique "similarity" in various religions and their *fundamental* message (after extracting the regional social artistic flare from the era in question from that of any "historical" religious texts are read) for the most part they convey the same "general" line of thinking: Help one another, Strive to be better, Understand Compassion, Humility, and Love...basically just try to be "a better evolution of our race as we progress through the ages".

Whether this message was crafted from "Beyond the physical" or "Beyond our Solar System", the fact remains that there "more than likely", at one point or another, were beings of a much higher intellect and evolution who had reached a point in their civilization that they determined some "common problems encountered" when a sentient race begins to evolve such as we did, have, and will continue to do so.

So, if one can rationalize away the *obvious* era-related sociological blemishes and take the "good stuff"...then you still have religion based on its fundamental purpose:

"Learning to have faith in one self and others while understanding negative actions ultimately will lead to a form of 'hell'...".

This "form of hell" could be viewed in either a spiritual way or a more physical/reality way as we know it.

The spiritual way links your "life/energy" actions in this life to how you will spend the rest of eternity. If one believes in spirituality then it is an easy thing to link your conscious mind/state to potential terror, grief, pain, and misery for the rest of your "Soul's" existence.

The physical way links your current physical based actions to a very long list of probabilities and forecast related math variables which ultimately lead a society, as a whole, in one general direction. Call it a "socially influenced-based consciousness" that will ultimately be the foundation for our distant future generations' reality. If we all do "negative" things that could potentially "adversely" impact the future, then that is all based on each and every one of our daily choices/decisions. As well, if we all do more "positive" things that could potentially create a "better" future, then that too is all based on each and every one of our daily choices/decisions.

Now, our definition of "God" is nothing more than a "Socially Influenced" definition bestowed upon the three Latin based letters: "G", "O", "D"

How we perceive the meaning of these letters is a regional thing (obviously), but there are similar "basic" themes that can be extracted from our various "understandings/definition" of what those three letters means...because depending upon your "belief" (social agreement within your social group) depends upon what those letters mean when they are combined.

God does not have to be a "mystical" man with a white beard who just waves his hand and it is done. Now, does this mean that there is no probability that there is a sentient race within this *entire* universe that hasn't mastered either nano-technology and/or atomic manipulation technology? Could a being transfer their consciousness to another organic body? Is it beyond "possibility"?

So, the concept of "God" is where everyone should start. What does that mean to you? What does it mean to others? What are your differences and why are there differences?

For the Atheists out there, I would invite all of them to redefine the word "God" to that which you believe best fits your social circles. If an alien race where to show up tomorrow, and their technology was tens of thousands of years ahead of our own...they would have...in a generic sense... "God like powers"... how they used them would more than likely be based on how they perceived our race as a whole...not how they viewed us as individuals. Any such race would have the computing power to be able to pretty accurately predict a sentient race's future based on any data given over a snapshot of time in the past or present, and they would be able to easily determine if we, as a world society, would be able to be a "good thing" to have flying around in their back yards...or...a "bad thing".

Finally, to completely discount that there "just could not be" some form of *Highly Evolved* multidimensional consciousness that exists within this Universe and/or the already accepted other *dimensional* spaces that we know exist but have yet to figure out "what they means" or "how to measure/view them"...is just being completely *Thick-Headed Stubborn*...because anyone who claims an absolute truth with no form of evidence to prove their truth...is claiming to know more than everyone on the planet...and every other planet in this *universe*...which very possibly could include *many* sentient races hundreds of thousands of years more advanced than we are at this time.

So, let's look at these "words" a bit more:

Atheism as by definition:
-- a disbelief in the existence of deity
-- the doctrine that there is no deity
-- unbelief in God or deities: disbelief in the existence of God or deities

God as by definition:
--- a spirit or being that has great power, strength, knowledge, etc., and that can affect nature and the lives of people : one of various spirits or beings worshiped in some religions
--- a person and especially a man who is greatly loved or admired
--- supernatural being: one of a group of supernatural male beings in some religions, each of which is
worshiped as the personification or controller of some aspect of the universe
--- figure or image: a representation of a god, used as an object of worship

Worship as by definition:
--- Treat somebody or something as deity: to treat somebody or something as divine and show respect by engaging in acts of prayer and devotion
--- take part in religious service: to take part in a religious service
--- love somebody deeply: to love, admire, or respect somebody or something greatly and perhaps excessively or unquestioningly


So... Atheism believes there is no such thing as deities...God...or any being that could have "great power" or "great knowledge"... which means if an Atheist is going to take religious texts *exactly* as they are typed and not as one might "intellectually" look deeper into, then they must *also* accept the fact that their belief is that there are *NO* beings in this *ENTIRE* universe that could have greater power and knowledge than "ManKind" itself...because that is the "direct translation" from all definitions as understood by our society.

Now, if an Atheist believes there could be beings in this Universe who have a lot more knowledge and technology than we do...and perhaps are now *genetically perfect* because they solved that issue several hundreds of thousands of years ago...then this Atheist must use the same "wiggle room" for religions....

For all intents and purposes, if an Atheist believes "anything" like the above then they are not "Atheist" by definition...more like an Agnostic than an Atheist...

So, I believe we have those who are more than likely an "Agnostic Darwinian" but just claim "Atheism" because they have their own "personal" belief of what the word "God" means to everyone.

There are those who I believe are true "Atheists", but for the most part anyone who thinks we are all that there is in this entire universe and who believes we are the "most knowledgeable" in the entire universe...well...too much ego for me.

Everyone needs to redefine their vocabulary a bit and think more about "what it is they really believe and how that might change their personal view of what religions could or could not be".

For the absolute "Atheist", we are all made up of the same stuff (star dust) and even when we die eventually the same atoms that made you will be part of someone else in the future...what those particles will experience through their journey is based upon your actions today. This system, which defines the rules of how conscious thought changes the future of your very essence (that with which you are made of), was created as a "universal" law in the Universe that we understand today. If an asteroid hits another asteroid, then the trajectory of both asteroids are changed forever...that new motion is the "future" of both asteroids. These rules were constructed via some form of *energy* (whether big bang induced or any other math model), and it is that energy that formed these rules and this universe that you can say "created everything". From this, there is a "God" in a general sense, and as such it makes your very religion self defeating.

Cheers,

:sunny:

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PostMon Dec 30, 2013 2:05 am » by Flecktarn


I don't believe in any religion as they are all used to manipulate the followers ,you can be a good moral person without religion or gods ,
A jeohava whiteness said to me once Jesus will return so I said yes my son here I am ,he didn't believe me ,and I said that's the trouble with religion ,any god could be right by us now but no one would believe it ,
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