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  1. #41

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    I think this thread could be more accurately described as what its like to hold popular/unpopular opinions.

    The thing about agnosticism, in some senses it does sidestep the issue, although it is a response to the question of whether or not God exists, not whether or not you believe in any sense besides acknowledging existence. You could for instance believe in America, as in knowing it exists just as the maps and other media indicate, that doesnt make you an American patriot or pan-American. Agnosticism to be me is objectively atheist, although a lot of believers and religious could even fit into that camp to be frank.

  2. #42
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


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  3. #43
    Intergalactic Badass mujigay's Avatar
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    1 - How it is to be an atheist?
    It's kind of like asking me how it feels to have brown eyes. I don't know. It's such an ingrained part in my belief system, I can't really pull it apart and examine the emotions that it gives me.

    2 - Have you ever gotten in a less favorable situation because of it?
    Yes. But I have a deeply, deeply religious grandmother, so that's that.
    Not to mention I live in a highly religious area, and not participating in church-related activities tends to isolate you a bit socially.

    3 - Are you open about about it?
    I don't volunteer the information or jump up on soapboxes or anything, but if somebody wants to know if I'm religious/spiritual or not, I'm certainly not going to lie about it.

    4 - Do your family and co-workers know it?
    My family knows. I always assumed that friends did, but as it transpired, most just kind of assume that I believe that a God exists without bothering to ask, which I can't say particularly bothers me. Let them believe what they want to.
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  4. #44
    Secret Sex Freak Hazashin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    1-How it is to be an atheist? Have you ever gotten in a less favorable situation because of it?

    2-Are you open about about it? Do your family and co-workers know it?[/B]
    To answer your questions, my answer is basically like tinker683's.

    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    Not really much of an issue. One of those after thought type things that come up in conversation every now and then. Vast majority of my time and energy are spent on things not at all pertaining to religion.

    Still, when something does come into my life that forces the issues, then it's just one of those things I try to keep quiet unless I'm around like minded company.

    I keep my atheism pretty quiet so it hasn't hurt me yet. I am surrounded often by people who feel very strongly about their religious faith and "them atheist people" are just one of the many groups that are responsible for the moral/economic/whatever ills that plague this country.

    It's actually quietly amusing to me when these people bash atheists and then in the same breath will tell me what sort of a well mannered, polite, descent guy.

    Makes me wonder how many silent atheists these people commend and compliment in there day to day lives

    No. The only people who know about it are my closet friends, my immediate family, and some fellow aquetances of mine who are also atheists. It simply wouldn't do me any good to advertise the fact. Here in the Deep South, if you're not a God Fearing Person (tm) then you're some sort of moral degenerate.

    My immediate family does (as in, my parents and brothers). I work with my father and a friend of the family, who also knows.

    My mother thinks I'm in denial, my father tells me often how sorry he feels for me, my older brother and one of my younger brothers have informed me that they disagree with me but otherwise could care less (In fact, one of my younger brothers has been veering more toward the agnostic persuasion as his attitude toward religion has soured with his time in the Army and his tours of duty in Iraq).

    My other younger has since softened on his opinion of my atheism but when I first came out he threatened me with physical violence if I ever "bad mouthed Jesus".

    Over all, my life as an atheist is a relatively quiet one but then that's because I keep it to myself. If I were more open about it, I imagine it would get really complicated and frankly I prefer my life to be relatively quiet and simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not an atheist, but the US polling shows a strong detriment to being an atheist in the political arena:
    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/relig...sident-atheist

    Here's another similar list that shows atheists at the bottom of the barrel:
    http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistb...istSurveys.htm

    Can you believe it? It's rather the kiss of death. Atheists were targeted during the Red Scare of the 50's too, along with homosexuals and artists and communists (who were often simultaneously referred to as atheists as part of labeling them an enemy of the state).

    Mitt Romney will suffer some damage in the upcoming elections due to being a Mormon, which many protestant Christians seem to label as a cult, but he's still better off not being an atheist. obama has also take a decent amount of politic damage during his tenure from the conservatives, who keep insinuating he's not "really a Christian." Belief in a monotheistic god of SOME sort seems to be the standard in the US, whether one is a Christian or a Deist or whatever...

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/06/07/...elieve-in-god/

    When I stopped going to church (without anyone even knowing why), my family and community immediately assumed something was wrong with me, and my moral stature in their eyes seemed to immediately drop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
    See, this is what I cannot understand. - It doesn't seem to matter what you think is right, only where your convictions are coming from.

    Apart from that, this poll has its own little curious points. - Not only does atheism seem to undermine your moral authority, but also being a Muslim, or being homosexual, being a woman or black too, to lesser degree. All of these seem to be 'defects' for the common electorate that a potential canditate would have to compensate for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    That's exactly what I have experienced. It doesn't matter whether you are a 'good' person morally, it only matters that you believe in God and believe certain things about God. Those kind of values are specifically inscribed in the type of predominant Christianity. (It's not enough to be a "good" person, you have to believe in Jesus/God. Apart from God, you are nothing.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Unfortunately all quite true. It is almost as bad to follow "the wrong religion", though, as to be atheist or agnostic. Anything that strays from the straight and narrow of mainstream Christianity, or in some circles Judaism.
    To all you non-Americans, this is often the frustration you face for being an atheist in the United States (especially in the South, where I live). My family thinks I'm one of the most honorable, respectable people out there, but if they knew I was atheist, they would think that I was being negatively influenced and going down a "dark path" or something.

    The scariest part about that is that people think less of you and think you're not as trustworthy for simply not believing in God, regardless of all your principles, morals, and values. It's complete and utter bullshit. This is why many of us atheists in the U.S. keep quiet about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    If religious people could really just copy Jesus I think that would be great. The world would have a bunch of mellow, pleasant, accepting people instead of the Right Wing hyper-judgmental control-freak mentality. I'm all for people being like Jesus and would encourage it because I suspect "he" would be just as accepting of atheists as anyone else.
    Exactly! I don't see why more Christians actually emulate Jesus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I do think, however, that I would be uncomfortable talking about it if I lived in a place where people think less of you for being atheist. I admit I got pretty freaked out reading the statistics in the articles people posted about America. Especially this:

    Yes, it's quite frustrating being an atheist here in the U.S.
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  5. #45
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    What's really funny is that most atheists who like science are standing on the shoulders of Christian giants, such as Leibniz, Newton, Galileo, Tesla, Bacon, Copernicus, Kepler, Descartes, Pascal, Boyle, Swedenborg, Faraday, Maxwell, Pasteur, Kelvin, and Planck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    What's really funny is that most atheists who like science are standing on the shoulders of Christian giants, such as Leibniz, Newton, Galileo, Tesla, Bacon, Copernicus, Kepler, Descartes, Pascal, Boyle, Swedenborg, Faraday, Maxwell, Pasteur, Kelvin, and Planck.
    And they're standing on the shoulders of those who held different religious beliefs than they did, including those who teased out the differences between philosophy and scientific inquiry in the first place such as Aristotle (who influenced Christianity but was of course not a Christian). The zeitgeist and our collective notion of 'truth' have been changing over time, as well it should be.

    If you really want to tread down this path, you ought to take a look at the religious views of more modern scientists, of which Einstein and Hawking are prime examples.

    If I were more of an ass and more confrontational with my beliefs, I'd say that people can be wrong with respect to one thing and right with respect to another, and that we ought not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But I'm not, so I won't.

    This is intended to be a "you probably shouldn't head down this path" post rather than a "here's where you're wrong post; let's debate" post, but.. yeah.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    And they're standing on the shoulders of those who held different religious beliefs than they did, including those who teased out the differences between philosophy and scientific inquiry in the first place such as Aristotle (who influenced Christianity but was of course not a Christian). The zeitgeist and our collective notion of 'truth' have been changing over time, as well it should be.

    If you really want to tread down this path, you ought to take a look at the religious views of more modern scientists, of which Einstein and Hawking are prime examples.

    If I were more of an ass and more confrontational with my beliefs, I'd say that people can be wrong with respect to one thing and right with respect to another, and that we ought not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But I'm not, so I won't.

    This is intended to be a "you probably shouldn't head down this path" post rather than a "here's where you're wrong post; let's debate" post, but.. yeah.
    Albert Einstein said this about Jesus:
    "As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene."[17] Einstein was then asked if he accepted the historical existence of Jesus, to which he replied, "Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."
    He also said, "I'm not an atheist. I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's pantheism, but admire even more his contribution to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things."

    Stephen Hawking said this:
    “ You cannot understand the glories of the universe without believing there is some Supreme Power behind it.”

    This does not prove they are Christians, but it does prove they believe in some greater divine force that was the Grand Architect of Creation.

  8. #48
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    of course we could look at the changes IN science over the course of history and how much more we know now than we did then...

    I'm not an atheist, but I'm not conventionally religious either... I think that it's too close minded to decide either way in some manner it's not exactly a popular idea in my family (my mom's side especially enjoys church like octopuses enjoy water)... or with a good portion of my coworkers or people I was raised among, but they pretty much decided to put up with my heathenish ways as just a quirk that they needed to pray about I don't tend to point out what I believe unless specifically asked though, because I really don't think that's anyone else's business in the least... I don't care what they believe, so why should I share?

    I only find it to be an obstacle when confronted with the especially evangelical religious type who can't keep their opinions to themselves... the type of people about whom I have the same feelings as I have for militant vegetarians...
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #49
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    1 - How it is to be an atheist?
    It's fine. I'm an atheistic agnostic, technically.

    2 - Have you ever gotten in a less favorable situation because of it?
    I've had to have the same debate a few more times than I'd care for, and the odd person has judged me a bit for it, but nothing too extreme. Sometimes I have to deal with people trying to admit the Bible in unrelated discussions, but I even know some religious folk who don't always let that fly.

    3 - Are you open about about it?
    I don't go about telling everyone, but I don't hide it. If it comes up organically when I'm talking to a stranger, I'll mention it.

    4 - Do your family and co-workers know it?
    Immediate family and friends do. Extended family (mostly) is unaware (particularly my grandmother, whom I'd prefer not to tell because she's quite religious). Some of my co-workers do, some don't.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

  10. #50
    Senior Member ZPowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    [Einstein on Jesus]

    Stephen Hawking said this:
    “ You cannot understand the glories of the universe without believing there is some Supreme Power behind it.”
    Well, both Einstein and Hawking have been known to describe things like nature and science as a kind of supreme power, which is not supernatural in nature. They both sometimes used the term God metaphorically

    Einstein also said: "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."

    and

    "An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls."

    I'm sure what he said about feeling Jesus there was purely metaphorical, as one might feel a well-drawn character in a book or film.

    Hawkings is more clearly atheistic. His ex-wife claims he is one, and he's said "The question is: is the way the universe began chosen by God for reasons we can't understand, or was it determined by a law of science? I believe the second." and "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing." He's fairly clearly an atheist or at least agnostic.

    I don't see what their beliefs on the subject have to do with the validity of anyone else's though.
    Does he want a pillow for his head?

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