Thany you for the welcome. I don't have a commanding internet presence, but the belief system is something I do hold dear. I've always been frustrated at how tight lipped proper free thinkers are, but I find myself in the same situation, not wanting to run my mouth or voice my opinion, because it could very well ruin someones day. I just appreciate knowing there are more out there who like to use thier critical thinking skills as much as I. Thank you.
Hello and welcome Terry. I am beginning to feel quite at home and among likeminded friends. The evangelicals here in the States are determined to establish a theocracy in which they can dictate their version of (God's) morality. It is very difficult here in the Bible Belt to open a dialog about religion and it's historical and contemporary distain for freedom. I've decided to cast a wider net here.
Thank you for your welcome (2011) and sorry for being late! (I really enjoyed your welcome, but conceited, I didn't want to expose my poor English)
Brought up in a Pentecost-family, but living in a country (Sweden) with 85% atheists I ought to, mentally, feel at home rather in a country with 85% believers, so I read Nexus with high recognition.
With no problem being an atheist, I can pity the minorities of believers here. After all, our common forefather invented religions, deities, angels etc. So for me it's why?
50 years as an atheist (And chemist) my great interest is now evolution and cosmology, topics with build-in evolution. So I'm very grateful living in era with free papers like The Scientist where you can read of all subjects outside your own sphere. If you can sort out the rubbish, Internet is a "blessing". ( I like biblical words because they are so human)
Until recently I was an agnostic, perhaps a little hesitant to declare myself an atheist as most of my family and friends are devout Christians. I get along well with them all, and even celebrate christmas (as a solstice celebration when the long winter nights start to become shorter.) I personally have no problem with people believing what they will as long as they don't dictate to me what I should believe. (I also try my hardest not to laugh at them or insult them for their beliefs no matter how deluded I believe they are.) I used to have long philosophical discussions with my brother who although religious was very open minded and was able to discuss the universe as if God did not exist. Sadly he died a few years back and those discussions were stopped. (I occasionally see an article or come across something in life that I wish I could share with him. But it is not to be. So the memories will have to suffice.) So after I discovered this site, I began to read some of the more interesting commentary and was intrigued and pleased that some of those discussions reminded me of those early morning discussions with my brother. I am looking forward to posting here, and maybe in some small way filling the gap that his loss has left in my life. I don't want to appear as some sort of whiner, so I should just point out that I have a full and happy life. And when time permits (I care for my multihandicapped son 24 hours a day) I will enjoy once again discussing this wonderful and surprising universe again.
I am glad to be part of a site that discusses Atheism. I am a retired teacher, motorcycle mechanic and lifelong Philosophy student. I have never believed in religion, or for that matter any ideology. As a Philosophy student I have been more interested in epistemology than any set of beliefs. I identify freedom of thought with the discipline of not indulging in the impulse to indulge in idealism and making a conscious effort to employ empiricism.
As a motorcycle mechanic, I experienced an epistemological metamorphosis. I realized projecting onto the world how I thought the world should be was futile since the universe was a material thing and no more capable of understanding ideas that a stone. If I wanted to be a successful mechanic I had to learn to use measuring tools and become empirical. The only way to understand the the universe was through observation.
I was also attending university and found my desire to live empirically out of step with the many ideologies that were popular on campus. I wasn't interested in political or social ideals any more than I was interested in religious ideals. For me, Atheism is part of empiricism. It is more abstract and fundamental than a different set of ideal; it is a difference of epistemology.
This has made me feel somewhat isolated in a society where most people identify with a religious, political or social ideology. The philosophers I can identify with are the Encyclopedists. Diderot spent about a quarter of a century gathering knowledge and became a connoisseur of knowledge. He went through the epistemological metamorphosis I mentioned. Unfortunately his contemporary, Rousseau, had much more influence, since most people could relate to his ideals of Romantic Primitivism.
I increasingly meet other non believers and am glad to see increasing discussion about the nature of Atheism. I hope the spread of the epistemological metamorphosis brings about an era of increased intellectual freedom and awareness.
Dr Meaden, for the past month my wife and I have been very ill, she moreso than me. This past Wednesday I had to drive her to the local hospital emergency room. She was hallucinating up until yesterday, and the cause seems to be some greenish black mold that oozed from behind the hot and cold water handles in our bathtub.
For my part I have been experiencing extremely vivid dreams in which my father, who died 3 years ago, is back with the family. These have been full multimedia dreams much more vivid than I have ever experienced. It seems that I too have been poisoned by the mold in the bathwater.
The symptoms also included fever, chills lethargy etc. Now that we understand the reason for all this we are taking means to correct it, I will be sorry to see my dad go back into the Void but I will be able to take a more active role in this forum.