I don't really consider myself an atheist, if anything, I'll squeeze out the term "non-theist." In my life, and in the area I live (NY- NYC), you don't encounter much opposition to the lack of beliefs in the traditional Judeo-Christian culture.

In fact, I think I am more interested in religion. Watching Jesus Camp, the God Who Wasn't There, Bill Maher's show, George Carlin- I find the whole evangelistic culture interesting yet scary at the same time. I guess I've always felt like an observer, not really in either worlds.

To me, atheism as of late has not only been a rejection of mythical deities, but an identity based off of that rejection. Perhaps for some, this is necessary in order to combat rising opposition from peers and family. But it seems the atheist identity is the antithesis of theism. I don't think that needs to be. I guess I'm on the same page as Sam Harris with this; There are no anti-Zeus groups hanging around. There simply is a lack of belief in Zeus.

On the flip-side, I know that groups need to form, and often identities need to be made in order to rise up and collaborate. I wrote a little comment on a friend's blog about this, but the jist of what I'm thinking is: Although you need to form identity to collaborate, to group together, does it need to be the opposite of theism? I know we don't all do this, but I can't help but notice that we have developed our own beliefs and worldviews.

I can't easily talk about spirituality, religion or even experiments in consciousness without careful and delicate use of words, or else the discussion is dismissed with the rest of the lot. Are some of us just as fundamental in our own worldview as the evangelicals we so firmly oppose? In some circles, I was even mentioned as a troll and a fundie for merely bringing up meditation and Buddhism. For sure, no community will be perfect, and I find this website to be certainly more open minded, but as 'atheists' I think there are certain road blocks we're building that in the end will have to come down in the spirit of progression and understanding ourselves. What say you?

Tags: atheism, christianity, consciousness, harris, religion, spirituality, worldviews

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To me, atheism as of late has not only been a rejection of mythical deities, but an identity based off of that rejection.
Well yes, to a degree I agree. Just to use myself as an example, I was once a "non practicing atheist". Sounds silly, but what I mean by that is I lacked a belief in god but didn't think about it much beyond philosophically. Now I would say that I have a naturalistic worldview based on a lack of belief in the supernatural. The political climate makes me an activist. So yes, I have a worldview AND I act on that worldview. But is that typical of atheists in general, or only typical of atheists you meet online? IOW, I suspect that many people that identify in polls as non-religious or atheist would not agree that they have a particular worldview, just that religion plays no part in their lives. I don't agree that atheism and theism are opposites although at the moment I don't have the presence of mind to explain why.

Are some of us just as fundamental in our own worldview as the evangelicals we so firmly oppose?
This sounds like the argument against so called "militant atheists'. Do you mean that we hold our lack of belief just as strongly as evangelicals hold their belief? The difference is that I have never heard an atheist say that they are 100% certain that there is nothing supernatural and if evidence that something supernatural existed many of us would certainly alter our perspective.

I don't know why you would be treated as a troll for mentioning meditation. I can only imagine it may be in the context that it is presented. Personally, I see no reason why meditation can't be part of an atheist worldview because it doesn't need to belong in the supernatural realm.
Maybe my experience with talking about this has been unpleasant. I don't mean the "militant atheism" argument, but I think it applies in some cases. I have heard people state they are 100% certain- and this sort of thing is disconcerting. This group was one of my earliest encounters with atheist communities, but perhaps they were extremist in their own right.

Not all of us do this, but I suppose you could call it picking up on how people are internalizing the literature, attitudes and arguments. Some do so in a simpler, herd-mentality (ironically) sort of way, others are, in my opinion, far easier to talk to and agree with - our discussion, for example, and this forum in general. I don't think atheism is the opposite of theism either. I suppose unhealthy forms of atheism seem to come off this way.
Dawn K: The difference is that I have never heard an atheist say that they are 100% certain that there is nothing supernatural and if evidence that something supernatural existed many of us would certainly alter our perspective.

Deja vu creeps me out. I can see how religious nutjobs get there.
Deja vu is weird indeed. So is synchronicity! Even this, though, could at least be theorized as something to do with quantum mechanics and consciousness.
Advanced physics will find "god". Then the purges will begin.

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