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ollypitts2
03-17-2003, 03:21 AM
Here's a link to a website that answers some really common questions people have about atheism.

Just FYI :D

http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/ath/..._atheism101.htm (http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/ath/blathq_atheism101.htm)

ETA: One more link. This one goes to a secular humanist site.

http://atheism.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsit...%2Forg%2Faha%2F (http://atheism.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.infidels.org%2Fo rg%2Faha%2F)

DivineSpirals
03-19-2003, 11:59 PM
Thanks for the links. If you do not mind, I'd like to address this question to you personally...

Do you beleive in "consciousness"? What you you think about it? Or maybe a better way to phrase that would be, how do you perceive your own awareness?...the awareness of others?

curlygirl
03-20-2003, 02:32 AM
Olly thanks for that link, it's very comprehensive. I realized when I began looking over all the topics that I really don't know much about atheism.

Tigersi
03-20-2003, 02:53 AM
i appreciate the link. thanks very much.

i think it is essencial that religious people remember the intelligence & validity of atheism. i am deeply spiritual & i know i must be able to respect & work with people who are not.

this is the core of peace & harmony in the human realm: diversity, respect, openness, acceptance of difference.

thanks again for this excellent site. :)

ollypitts2
03-20-2003, 04:50 AM
I'm glad that the links were helpful! :)

@DivineSpirals

As usual, you asked a tough, but interesting question. :D I think my awareness of others is shaped by my awareness of my Self. I'm able to use my intellect, emotions, and senses to provide me with important information about others. I can use my vision to be aware of the physical existence of others. I can also use my own experiences of various emotional states to understand the feelings of others and provide them with empath (e.g. I know that I would feel sad if a loved one died, I'm going to make a guess that another person suffering the same loss might feel similarly. Empathizing (all thinking, really) appears to be a projective process, but it seems to be the most certain way that I (maybe most of us) can begin to truly understand how another person feels emotionally. Of course I can be wrong and misunderstand what the other person really feels so this is where intellect comes in.

My intellect or ability to reason also shapes my awareness of others. For example: if a woman is sitting in my office crying and she tells me that her husband is dying, and she hasn't eaten or slept in days, I can make an educated guess about what she may be feeling and thinking, I can also hypothesize about her psychiatric diagnosis, given the information presented. This is the best example I can think of to illustrate consciousness. My cognitive abilities, emotional attunement, and senses all work together to provide me with a multilayered perspective of someone else's consciousness.

I also believe that we have subconscious that is shaped in our early years through our interactions with significant care-givers. Because we lacked the cognitive abilities to process those interactions as infants or young children, we may have difficulty remembering those events. I also think that a preconsciousness may exist that we are just barely aware of, but can't really verbalize. This is one theory that informs my thinking about the levels of human consciousness.

In general, I think that my awareness of others is only as deep as my awareness of my own reality.

PEBBLES
03-24-2003, 05:56 PM
The message alot of people get about atheists is that they are bad people. As a child I was scared of them :lol:
Good thread!

Cococure
03-26-2003, 07:04 PM
What I find is that a lot of people confuse agnostcism with atheism. I was born and raised a Baptist, by my Mother who was born Baptist converted to Islam then converted back to Baptism. When I was about 10 years old she told me she wasn't going to force anything on me and that I could choose to believe whatever I wanted.

After looking into this I honestly couldn't decide, so I'm an agnostic. I personally believe that there is a higher (omnipotent/omnicient) being in this world. But who am I to say which it is? Why should I name it so that it is one thing and nothing else?

I'd like to believe that that being does not care by which name it is called. Whether it be Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, Jesus, The Goddess or whoever, for we are all it's children.

I'm also confortable with the idea that there may be nothing watching over me or anyone else. I accept that notion of there being nothing is not impossible. The fact is: No one really knows for sure.

I find the concept of heaven and hell facinating, but I also find reincarnation intriguing. A lot of people tell me my beliefs as they are is a 'sitting on the fence' position. But I don't think it should matter what specific thing I believe in. Just as long as I belive in something and I have hope.

Nothing else should matter.

I'm lucky that I was given the opportunity to choose. Few have that option. Now if I could only get my Mom to be as liberal and understanding about my hair, that would be something.

GalaxyGirl2010
03-26-2003, 07:56 PM
What I find is that a lot of people confuse agnostcism with atheism. I was born and raised a Baptist, by my Mother who was born Baptist converted to Islam then converted back to Baptism. When I was about 10 years old she told me she wasn't going to force anything on me and that I could choose to believe whatever I wanted.

After looking into this I honestly couldn't decide, so I'm an agnostic. I personally believe that there is a higher (omnipotent/omnicient) being in this world. But who am I to say which it is? Why should I name it so that it is one thing and nothing else?

I'd like to believe that that being does not care by which name it is called. Whether it be Allah, Buddha, Vishnu, Jesus, The Goddess or whoever, for we are all it's children.

I'm also confortable with the idea that there may be nothing watching over me or anyone else. I accept that notion of there being nothing is not impossible. The fact is: No one really knows for sure.

I find the concept of heaven and hell facinating, but I also find reincarnation intriguing. A lot of people tell me my beliefs as they are is a 'sitting on the fence' position. But I don't think it should matter what specific thing I believe in. Just as long as I belive in something and I have hope.

Nothing else should matter.

I'm lucky that I was given the opportunity to choose. Few have that option. Now if I could only get my Mom to be as liberal and understanding about my hair, that would be something.
fellow agnostic here as well.. :D that's how i see it noone knows for sure andI'm ok with the idea that maybe my beliefs arent correct. i tend to just read and research alot and question alot and am more drawn towards buddhism since it's a philosophy and not really a religion.

afrikankween
03-26-2003, 09:04 PM
i appreciate the link. thanks very much.

i think it is essencial that religious people remember the intelligence & validity of atheism. i am deeply spiritual & i know i must be able to respect & work with people who are not.


does religion mean a deep belief in god or a deep belief in something?
technically,cant atheist be religious? a deep belief in not beliveing in god?

Cococure
03-26-2003, 09:21 PM
does religion mean a deep belief in god or a deep belief in something?
technically,cant atheist be religious? a deep belief in not beliveing in god?

I suppose they can. Good point

ollypitts2
03-27-2003, 06:13 AM
AK, the question about the possibility of a "deep" belief in nothing is really interesting.

It seems that there are a couple of different kinds of atheists--weak atheists and strong atheists. The weak tend to stay away from making absolutists statements about the non-existence of a higher power. They're actually called agnostic atheists. They do not believe that supernatural beings/entities exist, but they will say definitively that they know for a fact that their existence is not real. There is very particular yet subtle difference between belief and knowledge that seems be lost on some people.

The strong atheists are more willing to assert and attempt to rationalize/intellectualize their lack of belief. The zeal with which they make their case seems to fit with the idea of a deep, religious like belief. The irony, of course, is that some people in this group would probably bristle at the thought that atheism was a belief/orientation rather than a purely intellectual concept.

I consider myself more of the former type (weak/agostic-atheist). Although I'm not a theologian (of course), I was raised in the Catholic church and went through Catholic education until I finished my undergrad degree. I also formally studied various religions and philosophies for many years (some studying intense; some not so intense :)). If I had not had exposure to various belief systems I would not feel comfortable in my own "lack of beliefs". No one has been able to give an indisputable answer to the question "Does God Exist?". Neither the atheists nor the believers have been able to provide enough unequivocal evidence to support their respective hypotheses about a god. I think this also means that neither agrument can be quickly dismissed due to a paucity of proof. For this reason, I would never say with certainty that what I believe is an actual fact. The only fact is that I don't believe and some people do believe; other observations are open for discussion among interested and willing parties. 8)

Again, the atheism link in the first post is great jumping off point to learn more and get answers to very important and common questions about the topic.

chocol8diva714
03-27-2003, 03:24 PM
Interesting and very informative...thank you!!

afrikankween
03-27-2003, 05:20 PM
The strong atheists are more willing to assert and attempt to rationalize/intellectualize their lack of belief. The zeal with which they make their case seems to fit with the idea of a deep, religious like belief. The irony, of course, is that some people in this group would probably bristle at the thought that atheism was a belief/orientation rather than a purely intellectual concept.
That is exactly what I was going for. People are so quick to say atheism in the negative rather then the affirmitive. Atheist dont believe vs athiest believing in not believing.


If I had not had exposure to various belief systems I would not feel comfortable in my own "lack of beliefs". No one has been able to give an indisputable answer to the question "Does God Exist?". Neither the atheists nor the believers have been able to provide enough unequivocal evidence to support their respective hypotheses about a god. I think this also means that neither agrument can be quickly dismissed due to a paucity of proof. For this reason, I would never say with certainty that what I believe is an actual fact. The only fact is that I don't believe and some people do believe
right!

This reminds me of a quote I saw on a church sign

"Its better to believe and be wrong, then to not believe and be wrong".
As if religion is a crutch or saftey net, just in case. I have a problem with that. :roll: