Yeah, I swear, I think at least half of the Catholic clergy must be atheistic. I get the sense that they believe in the institution far more than the mythology.
Honestly? I think if people weren't so attached to the sense of community that is provided by religion, there would be a lot more atheists. That, and fear of sin, hell, etc. Indoctrination is powerful.
Also, a lot of religious groups are preying on LGBT people seeking their acceptance. I talk about that here.
Thanks for the heads up about "spiritual but not religious". I considered dating people like that because I've had such a hard time finding a childfree atheist in my area. Being in my thirties has made it difficult to find a childfree man alone. Who knew there were so many baby crazy men?
DO NOT DATE THEM. Seriously. It is, in many ways, even more twisted than the church goers. A lot of apologizing, rationalizing, internally struggling hypocrites. That's all it is.
You sound like an intelligent, charming, and well-spoken man, Why ARE you single?
I'm single for the same reason that most of us on this sub-forum are single: we are interested in a small and elusive subset of the population, and lack the charisma, the drive and the resources to pursue our ends with the requisite intensity.
But I wasn't always single. For 8 years I was happily married, until my wife suddenly left me last summer, because she developed an uncontrollable and unalterable desire to have a child.
While I do remain optimistic of finding a partner eventually, I'm also realistic: it's going to be a long, frustrating and unnerving struggle.
Charisma is truly a double-edged trait. Viewed as a quality by most, I view charisma as a force for untruths, charisma is the number one trait which determines a successful preacher.
Charisma is not the temerity to open one's mouth in public, but the capacity to influence others without their even realizing that they are being influenced. Successful dating really is much like successful preaching. The preacher sells a doctrine, the dater sells himself. Is it crass manipulation? It can be, if wielded with malicious intent. But even if the intent is honorable, deferential and decent, the means of delivery has something louche about it. The point, therefore, is that even if the deed is good, the method must occasionally partake of the Machiavellian. "Nice guys finish last" not because they are nice, but because they limit themselves to nice means, in pursuit of nice ends.
I've always thought dating was like selling yourself. It's almost like you need a portfolio and references before you are even considered a candidate.
It's strange how people change people change some of their core values over the years. I understand that we change our personalities over the years however your core non-belief or belief system usually remains the same.
Myself, I find it hard to be optimistic at this stage of the dating game. I'm more cynical and realistic than I used to be.
That's the crux of religion, it builds a sense of togetherness and an uniformity that comforts people. It's like the Thinking Atheist says "Religion is easy. When you practice religion you can turn off you brain" (paraphrasing). I've met many religious people who've said to me that I need to just give my life to God so I don't have to worry anymore. One song that REALLY burns me up is Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel". She sings about a haggard single mom who is driving and her car slides on some ice. What are you suppose to do? Well, according her you're suppose to take your hands off the wheel and let God take over.
I think you are truly courageous! It's so hard being Atheist in itself. I've been experiencing a new kind of bias because I don't want kids. I had a date this until he found out I didn't want kids. I'm the atheism had something to do with it.