Do we really understand that this portal is occupied by personalities like you and me who can grasp the simplest of scientific views as they are intended to be?When someone asks me "why are there still apes" what I feel is not anymore sympathy, but anger in my mind towards their parents who wanted them to be morons! We are here because we really want to make some change in the positive direction! And we are 7 of us online now! out of the 7 billion we are 7 online! Singular times 7! My wife left me because I do not believe is BS! I am cool with that! I am sure I will be more an asset to this world than any nother holy book preacher!
Why are we not a unanimously technological civilization yet when it is quite true that the theists enjoy most of the advancements that we atheists achieved!
Your views are shared by hundred of thousands of people ... likely millions ... that are willing to admit it. I would argue (and others as well) that billions actually know the truth and are afraid to come clean.
Sorry to hear about your wife leaving you, but it may be for the better if she is that closed minded. Either way, it must be difficult.
AND YES ... you will be more of an asset than a holy book preacher. Frankly, if you did nothing, you are more of an asset than a holy book preacher. The absence of a negative influence is a positive influence. Best wishes.
Well said Mike. Having no negative tends to be more positive. Thanks for the reply
People have a vested interest in religion. It is big business, monetarily speaking.
yes, I understand that but difficult to contemplate!
Not only is it big business Lillie but also a multi national political business, monastery speaking :-)
We live in tense times, people can't or won't find the time to relax and appreciate our temporary existence.
Sorry about your wife leaving you. My entire family and extended family except for my younger brother are theists. We tolerate each others belief or non belief.
I can tolerate anyone but it becomes difficult approve them when I get punished for what I don't believe! Guess its the fabric of being human.
In the short term, failure of a marriage can be painful; in the long term, no marriage or no relationship is worth having if you have to silence your understanding of how the world works. I find being at family gatherings with people who express their beliefs while denying me my beliefs isn't worth the time and aggravation. People don't like me saying this, but according to World Population Clock, the World Population is 7,045,863,838 as of Oct 15, 2012. There is no reason to limit oneself to a narrow group of people, whether family or friend. After all, we all are part of the same family, whether from Africa, Europe, Asia, or the Americas.
Religion is learned, it is not innate. The need for community is innate. So build your community as you would build your home, on solid foundations and according to healthy and health affirming principles. The purpose of an individual is to flourish; the purpose of a community is to empower flourishing; the purpose of government should be to provide protection so people can flourish without coercion or submission to any one or any religion.
One of my pet peeves is the group who think they are doing good when they go to people who are starving and homeless and give them food, shelter, medicines and clothes. So many times I hear people say, with a bit of superior attitude, how many bowls of soup or how many shelters they built, or how many medicines they delivered. Why are they not pounding down the doors of religious and political leaders and demanding opportunity for all? We take away job opportunity by finding cheaper labor sources or inventing machines to replace humans and then wonder why there are so many jobless people in the world. We tell people to submit to church and government even as those institutions put into place the rules and regulations that maintain and perpetuate poverty and exploit them.
Capitalism cannot work without a poverty class. It has to have a larger group of people who want jobs than there are jobs. That is easy to do by taxation policies and limiting access to education and preventing labor organization. Just look at what is happening now -- Working class people can't afford to pay for education of their children, whether trades, crafts or professions. It is very difficult to organize labor because of all the stigma attached to the poor who organize. First of all, organizers are called "Commies" or "Pinkos", as if that were some dread disease or major crime. McCarthyism did it's work and it still resides in our working poor.
Why are churches and those religious not going to the source of poverty? Why are they not joining together in a supportive environment to join with those who are poor to secure opportunity for flourishing? Where is Paulo Freire when we need him? or Cesar Chavez?
I sympathize with your situation, it is not easy to be at odds with ones family's beliefs.
I have noted that at atheistnexus there seems to be a strong positions along these lines:
"It is so obvious that reality is just as we perceive it, and that science is the most obvious way to move the human race forward. How can the rest of the world believe in something else? The really should open their eyes!"
I, however, believe that each person has the right to believe whatever brings the most meaning to their life. Unfortunately some of those beliefs are self defeating, or downright dangerious to the entire human race. IMHO we need to be patient (and I mean for centuries), natural selection will eventually sort out the most beneficial course for society and beliefs.
In the meantime, I trully believe in coexisting - live and let live.
As far as "theists enjoy most of the advancements that we atheists achieved" - I couldn't disagree more. We stand on the shoulders of giants. And they are millions of shoulders streching back millions of years, some meek, some murderous. ...more on this later :)
We stand on the shoulders of giants... (continued)
We owe our current state of humanity (all 7+ billion of us) to all those people who made advances in technology in a broad sense. The person or people that first used stone tools, those that first used fire, the first who planted seeds, the first who sailed the seas. Ancient people all had one thing in common - religious beliefs. Even more profoundly, we owe our existence to those people (maybe more broadly mammals) who suffered through near extinction events and who had the tenacity and resourcefulness (and maybe some luck) to pull through unimmaginable suffering. I would put these individuals, no matter what their beliefs, at the top of human achievement.
So I don't knock people or their beliefs, for they believe what their ancestors believed. And in many cases, these beliefs and the societies built around these beliefs made significant contributions to humanity. It is also true that there were horrendous attrocities among neighboring societies with different belief systems. But on balance the way forward is to coexist, and live harmoniously.
wow - feels good to have an outlet for these thoughts - Thanks Atheist Nexus!
I appreciate your calm and reasoned response and wholeheartedly agree "We stand on the shoulders of giants". Indeed, I respect your approach to the ways you handle differences of opinions and tolerate those who believe in god, or other disputed issues.
I am not so tolerant. My life experience informs me that if we remain silent in the face of beliefs that bring suffering and dispute, then I imply agreement. To each statement of belief in god I can only respond with a statement of not having enough evidence there is such a power.
Being polite or being tolerant is not the issue. Human beings throughout time have believed in some higher power and make decisions based on those beliefs. However, for those who do not believe, we are expected to accept without question or we are accused of being ... well there are so many things non-believers are called, you can fill in the blank.
As for myself, there is so very much to be grateful for that have absolutely nothing to do with beliefs. Just look around, smell the flowers, taste the harvests, hear birds and wind and conversation, I feel calm and serene inside even as I feel with my heart. All my senses spring to life with the joys of family and friends and neighbors and my garden visitors and the delights of daily living. I have work to do that brings me pleasure, even if I don't like to dust or scrub floors. Great friends, virtual and otherwise, fill my need for community, and I have the great joy of thinking and imagining, hoping, exploring, examining.
For me, life is sweet indeed. May all have their basic needs met and enjoy each day as it comes. That sounds like a prayer, and maybe it is. However, I still hope for peace and joy for all.
Out of the 7 Billion there are several million that are closer to the Stone Age than they are to the technological world. However even 7 like minded people can grow to be a powerful influence.
Much empathy, into my third marriage :-(