Cranky Old Atheists Helping Bright-eyed Younger Atheists

I love that Atheist Nexus exists as a resource and community for atheists, and I would like to make sure that we maximize that with very real support for each other. As a 41 year old, I guess I'm an "older atheist," and I would like to offer my experience and support to younger atheists who may have a question or two about what it's like "later in life" as an atheist.

I would also add that I'm a father of three girls, so for those who are wanting to start families but are unsure of what it will be like as an atheist in a religious country, feel free to ask me or my peers about that, as well.

Tags: community, help, knowledge, parenting, support

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Mayo, I look at people that wish they were young again like they're raving lunatics. I would hate to be young in the here and now. I feel for you. It would really suck - the peecee bullshit alone, without even getting into the rest.

Me: The young are here to horrify and appal the old. You: Why don't you do a little search on Wikipedia of 'world teenage suicide rates' and tell me if THAT doesn't horrify you.

It does horrify me. And I really don't think that you actually believe that's what I meant. I meant funnelling your energies into something that will rattle the system.

I guess what bothers me the most about the status quo is that I don't think conformity has ever been at the level it is today. Additionally, there does not seem to be a DIY culture. I grew up at the tail end of punk and embraced hardcore. The ethos was absolute rejection of absolutely fucking everything. Make your own clothes, press your own records, print your own zines, find a working power point in an abandoned factory and turn it into a venue, have nothing whatsoever to with anything even remotely marketable. The epitome of of this was stuff like Raymond Pettibon's record cover art -


"OK you assholes, just try and market that."

But then Nirvana happened and destroyed the entire culture and nothing has happened since.

Tell me, have you ever been to a death metal concert?

I don't know. What is this "death metal" of which you speak ? Seriously, as uber fashionista consumers, only Goths beat the fringes of the metal scene.
Oh Felch, believe me, there ARE people out there who are secretely still trying to rave up people!


I also hang out and write for this site: http://www.antichristian-phenomenon.com/

And random Youtube link brings me up this!


Yes, these stuff piss me off as I am sure it will piss off you too, while at the same time it's painfully hilarious in its sincerity.
Hear that you kids ? Pull your fingers out and do something that puts cracks in our foundations again.

We're trying but there isn't much foundation left! Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll just aren't counter-cultural anymore. We might not necessarily be rebelling in new ways, but there's more of us doing it than ever before.

Some data for your enjoyment...

href="http://cannabisnews.com/news/24/thread24215.shtml">

href="http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_average_age_at_which_te...

href="http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-85370037.html">

Also, might I suggest that old man Feltch is a little out of touch? While the underground rave scene of the 90's is largely dead, dozens of new genres and subgenres are evolving all the time. Where we fail though, is that most of these trends are a-political. Most of us were born during or after the Reagan Revolution and that has translated into a serious watering down of the counter culture. I partially blame the boomers for getting real jobs and families.

Lame.

This brings me to the subject of The Hipster.

By far the most odious product of any youth cultural phenomenon ever.


Oh, how I hate them.
Oh yeah.


Rap sucks. As does the overwhelming majority of the garbage that passes for Hip Hop.
Well, I honestly don't know what you are looking for. But it's true I don't feel like I got something to rebel against, then again, I left those years behind already.
mthoreau: Also, might I suggest that old man Feltch is a little out of touch? While the underground rave scene of the 90's is largely dead,

The only thing ravers ever achieved were giving the tabloids a steady stream of shock-horror-a-15yo-OD's-on-extasy-at-rave-party stories.

dozens of new genres and subgenres are evolving all the time. Where we fail though, is that most of these trends are a-political.

Not a-political, apathetic. Apathy is the killer. Its not like there's a shortage of stuff to get angry about. Just no direction, its aimless. There's more concern that the right brand of underpants are visible above the waist line of the appropriate designer jeans. Simple outright rejection of all fashion and marketing bullshit would be a great way to start. That's not easy for a demographic whose attention span is roughly the same as a moths.

I mean really, it's been almost 30 years since anything major happened.
The "olders" lamenting how the "youngers" are aren't made of the same stuff, are wimps, have no creativity, etc. is so cliche. How we love to romanticize the past. We're all given to it if we don't watch ourselves.

The reality is that we're witnessing the emergence of a very open-minded and bright generation. As for their laziness and lack of "fight", what do we expect? We've worked hard to make things easier for them.
Only think I'm lamenting is the loss of the ability to reject, not embrace, what you are told to consume. Atheism itself has had an incredible marketing push, so its not quite as rebellious as it might seem.
Atheism itself has had an incredible marketing push, so its not quite as rebellious as it might seem.

This would make an interesting topic for another discussion, unless I'm the only one out-of-the-loop.
Ah. The edgier than thou complex. Lovely.

I'm not saying we aren't shallow, but lets keep things in perspective.

Wouldn't someone like yourself be thrilled that what passes for the "counter-culture" now has rejected Marxism and Socialism in favor of consumer Capitalism? What we are witnessing right now is the the cultural triumph of individualism over social responsibility, accumulated wealth over solidarity, glamor over integrity, and conspicuous consumption over self improvement. Besides, why does it have to be the responsibility of young people to drive the culture forward?

The reason that my generation is so vapid is that the "counter-culture" of previous generations were just as shallow in their quest for identity. There are a lot of things that suck about being young in America today, but they are easily ignored because they aren't in your face yet.

For instance, based on the current spending habits of the Fed and the aging of the population I will pay into social security but I will never collect. Same probably goes for Medicare. I also consider it very unlikely that I will be able to retire when I'm 65 if there is no funding for America's two largest social programs.
Atheism being a manifestation of rebelliousness is yet another cliche- one promoted by religion itself. When my parents first commented on my professed atheism, they said "Nate always has been the rebellious one." In reality, my atheism had nothing to do with rebelliousness and everything to do with a desire to live with as few delusions as possible. I wan't angry with God. I was disappointed with myself for so many years spent suppressing my doubts.
The reality is that we're witnessing the emergence of a very open-minded and bright generation. As for their laziness and lack of "fight", what do we expect? We've worked hard to make things easier for them.

I agree that we have made things easier in many ways. Things like multi-culturalism and diversity-mindedness (political correctness). What ever progress has been made in civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, etc. There is the focus on school success and accomodation that was not so common when I was in school. (In my opinion, the national angst over school test scores and global competitiveness is no real service to our younger generations.) And there is the rise of post-modernism (which I feel is ultimately incompatible with strong atheism). In many regards it is easy to grow up in America. "You can be whatever you want to be" (which I do not believe and I do not preach this to my children).

We have not, nor will we ever, resolve societal isses that are practiced by all humans BEFORE they reach the age of majority: It is how individuals actually treat each other based on evolutionary programming. Social cliques, hierarchies, and relational aggression. Picking on and excluding the weak and disadvantaged. Endless dissensions based on the premise that "we don't have to put up with this, we can have our own group that serves OUR needs instead of those ".

Isn't much of the christian revival of the 90's and 00's being driven as a "rebellious" backlash to the all the anti-establishment foundation-shaking that went on earlier? As mentioned earlier by one of our younger members, maybe there are practical limits to individualism.

Sorry if this doesn't make much sense but thanks for letting me get it out there ;-)

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