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Old 02-14-2013, 04:43 PM   #2161
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Madge, I feel essentially the same way you do, and here's another point of view.

I don't feel like a coward because I don't feel the need to tell people about my personal non-religious beliefs, whether they be friends or acquaintances.

If a friend wants to pray in my home, they are welcome to do so, just as I feel perfectly comfortable in their home to simply bow my head out of respect for their belief, and NOT pray.

I have close friendships of 30 - 40 years who possibly may wonder about the state of my spiritual health, who know that we do not say grace in our family, and know we do not attend church. They have never brought it up. Maybe I just hang out with non-confrontational people, as I am that way, too.

With my temperament, I would probably be the same way if I were a Christian, and doubt I would be out there knocking on doors and spreading the word.

I think each of us, agnostic, atheist, or believer, needs to behave in a way that we are personally comfortable with, and try not to judge ourselves, or others. For those who want to carry the atheist banner, I say, carry on. For those like me, who want to simply think our own thoughts, I say we carry on, too.
Thanks Bugga. I think your philosophy makes alot of sense.


I appreciate all the other comments as well!
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:57 PM   #2162
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Victoria, when I first read this, my first thought was sort of in line with Sophie's - that what you were describing wasn't the "meaning" I was referring to... but your post really stuck with me, and I thought about it some more... and then I read all the rest of the posts between you and Sophie. (I found both your comments interesting - thank you!)

Anyway, I now find myself questioning whether the meaning I've been searching for even matters all that much. Your question "So can't there be meaning without spirituality or God?"... I think that's going to haunt me (in a good way!) for a while.

And this is probably a crazy thing to say here, but I can't help thinking about an old TV show. Anyone here watch Joan of Arcadia? Yes, it was religious... but in a really different sort of way. I really liked the show, not because Joan was doing "what God wanted her to do", but because she had the opportunity to see how one small gesture can have such a ripple effect. (God would tell her to do something, and then she would get to see the effect it had, trickling down through several people over time.) I think that's kind of what I meant about Pantheism and everyone/everything being connected. (The coffee-growers, to the pickers, to your cuppa Joe, to the people you smile at...)

(For the record, though, I think a lot of Pantheists don't consider themselves to be spiritual - and most would say that Pantheists *are* Atheists.)

Anyway, I'm just finding it interesting that what I think of as spirituality isn't really that different from your "coffee joy" analogy. But what I can't figure out (and please don't take this the wrong way - I mean no offense) is if you're more spiritual than you think, or I'm less so, because it just sounds like maybe we aren't all that far apart.
I really enjoyed that show! I got a kick out of "god" being a young punk with piercings and tats, or anything else.


When Christians want to segregate homosexuals, I wonder what would happen if they thought about god sending Jesus as a homosexual.


Green Mile - Michael Duncan Clarke. Jesus figure, right?
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:34 AM   #2163
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Kitty, welcome to this forum. I don't post very often here, but love to read everything.

I'm a lot like you in how I present myself to others. I live in the Bible Belt, smack in the middle of Oklahoma. There is a church, usually Baptist, on every corner. (not really, of course, but there are lots of them here.)

I never get into discusions about religion if I can help it. Partly, it's my nature anyway to be a non-confrontational person. I don't go looking for trouble, lol.

And, also, I respect others' beliefs. I think religion/spiritual beliefs are very personal.

I don't feel a need to explain myself to anyone, nor do I want to disagree with anyone else's personal belief system.

Politics, now, that's a whole other thing. Don't want anyone's religious beliefs turned into laws that I must obey!!
This is how I tend to be on a day to day basis. You can't swing a cat without hitting a church here.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:26 PM   #2164
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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I do understand not saying anything in some areas. Even if you told your friends, they would tell other friends and soon you would find your car being keyed or your house getting egged.

It's a shame it's still like that in a lot of the country.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:32 PM   #2165
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Victoria, I read your post and I'm not ignoring you! I'm just too lazy to respond right now. My brain cells need to recover because I've been watching episodes non-stop of "Say Yes to the Dress" on Youtube. Ahhhh. Gives me joy, but that (the episodes) are relatively meaningless (to me anyway, not to the brides who find the perfect dress).
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:39 PM   #2166
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Sophie you're so funny. I don't expect a reply.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:40 PM   #2167
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Or rather I don't expect one on any specific timeline. Half the time that I post in this thread I don't even know how to properly get across what I'm thinking.

And I purposefully omitted that I believe in ghosts so as not to further confuse everything
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:56 PM   #2168
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I really enjoyed that show! I got a kick out of "god" being a young punk with piercings and tats, or anything else.


When Christians want to segregate homosexuals, I wonder what would happen if they thought about god sending Jesus as a homosexual.


Green Mile - Michael Duncan Clarke. Jesus figure, right?
I think we need more Atheists writing TV shows.

It is sad, and scary, that we live in a world with so much discrimination, but I can see where TV is getting a LOT more open-minded about all sorts of stuff, and that's a good start. A very surprising story line on a popular TV show gave me a lot of comfort at a time when I really needed it, years ago. I really believe that a popular TV show can have an incredible influence on people's perception. I love to see it when producers take a risk, and show another point of view.

And now I'm kind of wishing that I'd been watching The Good Wife. I'm curious, too, to see where that goes.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #2169
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...Half the time that I post in this thread I don't even know how to properly get across what I'm thinking...
You mean it's not just me?
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:03 PM   #2170
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I think we need more Atheists writing TV shows.

It is sad, and scary, that we live in a world with so much discrimination, but I can see where TV is getting a LOT more open-minded about all sorts of stuff, and that's a good start. A very surprising story line on a popular TV show gave me a lot of comfort at a time when I really needed it, years ago. I really believe that a popular TV show can have an incredible influence on people's perception. I love to see it when producers take a risk, and show another point of view.

And now I'm kind of wishing that I'd been watching The Good Wife. I'm curious, too, to see where that goes.
This afternoon I put on BBC America for the Star Trek Next Generation reruns. They had one episode on that I consider important in my own mental journey to atheism. It got me thinking.
Star Trek Who Watches The Watchers?
It's a society that used to believe in gods and when there's an incident, are wondering if maybe they were wrong to give them up. One question that gets asked is, how do you know what a god wants.....


A more recent show that kind of showed a bit of atheist influence was House. I really enjoyed that. He was not a nice person though. But he questioned.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:09 PM   #2171
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You mean it's not just me?
LOL It's a tough subject....


I have another friend who's also been an atheist as long as she can remember. When I would ask her questions, about some of the big atheist authors (like Dawkins), she hadn't read any of them. She felt no need. She's a very intelligent, well-educated person, but also very clear on her beliefs without any need for further study!


Maybe I'll be able to express myself better after 30 years of atheism. Then again, I'll be into my 80s then so maybe not! lol
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:10 PM   #2172
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Or rather I don't expect one on any specific timeline. Half the time that I post in this thread I don't even know how to properly get across what I'm thinking.

And I purposefully omitted that I believe in ghosts so as not to further confuse everything
I was hoping you'd mention that actually. I was wondering how you can not believe in spirits, but believe in ghosts. To me it's kind of the same thing, unless you're talking about "school spirit"!
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:16 PM   #2173
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I was hoping you'd mention that actually. I was wondering how you can not believe in spirits, but believe in ghosts. To me it's kind of the same thing, unless you're talking about "school spirit"!
Because I see a ghost as the remainder of the conglomeration of personality, experience and love of a person or memory.

I actually believe that every persons mind holds the knowledge of what was, is and will be. I have had dreams that come true, deja vu that is more than just a familiar feeling but a true event that I has already mentally seen. It is really difficult for me to describe. I very vividly remember two events that happened. One a day after I dreamed it and one happened while I was asleep in a car on a trip to somewhere I'd never been (long before you could google street views lol) and I woke up with a jolt looked out the window and saw the sign I'd just been driving towards in my dream.
All this and I still don't question an omniscient power mixing things up from the heavens.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:16 PM   #2174
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Oh and I never had school spirit either :P
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:25 PM   #2175
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You know maybe my mind mixed it all up to give me some pattern, or maybe it "remembered" it wrong. Maybe a scent recalled someone and my mind wanted to feel an emotion so gave me a visual. I have no explanation but can say that when I've experienced these things they weren't during traumatic times. The dream in the car I was 17, the other I was in the elementary school that I only went to until 3rd grade.
When I've seen ghosts it was not scary and not each time was it someone I knew. I have seen my aunt after she died but not tied to a birthday or anniversary or anything tangible. I've never seen Natalie. I had a ghost in my apartment at college for awhile and I knew when he was gone. I just sort of take it the same way as every other thing I experience. I don't think much more about it and don't really share it as some sort of checklist, my favorite color is aqua, I like coffee, and I see dead people lol

Over this last year my oldest has come up to me in the house to tell me point blank he feels like someone is watching him in his room.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:32 PM   #2176
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This afternoon I put on BBC America for the Star Trek Next Generation reruns. They had one episode on that I consider important in my own mental journey to atheism. It got me thinking.
Star Trek Who Watches The Watchers?
It's a society that used to believe in gods and when there's an incident, are wondering if maybe they were wrong to give them up. One question that gets asked is, how do you know what a god wants.....


A more recent show that kind of showed a bit of atheist influence was House. I really enjoyed that. He was not a nice person though. But he questioned.
I need to figure out how to use my hubby's Roku-thingy, and try to watch that Star Trek episode. (I'm sure I saw it... watched all the TNG's when they were on, but I've forgotten a lot of it.)

I've never actually watched House, partly because he didn't look like a very nice person, LOL. Well, that, and I suppose my hubby was never interested. I don't actually get to touch the sacred remote. Now, NCIS I *do* watch.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:41 PM   #2177
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I swear I'm not as crazy as I sound
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:56 PM   #2178
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You know maybe my mind mixed it all up to give me some pattern, or maybe it "remembered" it wrong. Maybe a scent recalled someone and my mind wanted to feel an emotion so gave me a visual. I have no explanation but can say that when I've experienced these things they weren't during traumatic times. The dream in the car I was 17, the other I was in the elementary school that I only went to until 3rd grade.
When I've seen ghosts it was not scary and not each time was it someone I knew. I have seen my aunt after she died but not tied to a birthday or anniversary or anything tangible. I've never seen Natalie. I had a ghost in my apartment at college for awhile and I knew when he was gone. I just sort of take it the same way as every other thing I experience. I don't think much more about it and don't really share it as some sort of checklist, my favorite color is aqua, I like coffee, and I see dead people lol

Over this last year my oldest has come up to me in the house to tell me point blank he feels like someone is watching him in his room.
I have to agree that I find it really interesting that you believe in ghosts. I'm not sure what my opinion on ghosts is, since I've never seen one. (To be honest, I think it would scare the beejeebers out of me!)

But I have had a couple of dreams come true, and there have been some really important things in my life that I just *knew*. I've always believed in a "6th sense"... just experienced too many things I couldn't explain.

Probably my most amusing case of "precognition" was in high school, when I worked for a short time as a score-keeper for a bowling league. My mind would sometimes wander a bit, and someone would have to nudge me and let me know that I'd "accidentally" written down their score before they'd actually had their turn. That wouldn't be so strange, except that I was NEVER wrong. Every single time it happened, I wrote down the correct score, before they rolled the ball. It didn't happen a lot, but what are the odds that I would get it right every time?

But I really think all of this has some sort of scientific explanation - we just don't have all the answers yet. (Which is interesting... even as a kid, I don't think I ever thought of any of this as coming from God. I always thought that these things were probably VERY common, and explainable, but most people just simply never noticed them.)
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:58 PM   #2179
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I swear I'm not as crazy as I sound
I don't think you're crazy... but I also suspect that's not much of an endorsement, LOL. If I tell any more stories myself, I'm sure I'll make you look quite sane and normal.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:01 PM   #2180
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I don't think you're crazy... but I also suspect that's not much of an endorsement, LOL. If I tell any more stories myself, I'm sure I'll make you look quite sane and normal.
Well I wouldn't go so far as to say normal lol

And I feel the same way. I grew up thinking everyone had very vivid and precognitive deja vu stories or experiences and maybe they either didn't tell or weren't paying close enough attention.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:35 PM   #2181
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I think there's a lot we don't know about the brain, and our other senses.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:35 PM   #2182
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Kitty as long as you like NCIS, we're good. Ha ha ha!!!
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:37 PM   #2183
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House was my favorite show while it was on...great character! Another show that teases about atheism is Big Bang Theory. The character Sheldon has a mother who is a born again Christian and they go back and forth in the episodes that she is in. And one of my favorite lines from Amy's character: I don't object to the concept of a diety but I am baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:41 PM   #2184
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We actually never got into watching Big Bang Theory, but I have to say, there are a lot of notions about gods that baffle me.

When I think about the vastness of a universe, and the thought that maybe some "thing" created it, I cannot for the life of me imagine this vast power caring one whit about HOW or even whether we worship it!!! I mean what would it matter????
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:30 AM   #2185
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Kitty as long as you like NCIS, we're good. Ha ha ha!!!
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:37 AM   #2186
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House was my favorite show while it was on...great character! Another show that teases about atheism is Big Bang Theory. The character Sheldon has a mother who is a born again Christian and they go back and forth in the episodes that she is in. And one of my favorite lines from Amy's character: I don't object to the concept of a diety but I am baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.
That's a great quote! I love this show, too - the only sit-com I'm currently watching. And you're right... it does flirt a bit with atheism, which makes sense with a bunch of scientists. (Sheldon *had* to be adopted, didn't he? LOL.)
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:36 AM   #2187
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I thought all of you "heathens" might like to look at this map with the annual study by Gallup, showing how religious each state is. Here is a link to Rachel Maddow's blog with the map:

This Week in God - The Maddow Blog
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:09 AM   #2188
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I thought all of you "heathens" might like to look at this map with the annual study by Gallup, showing how religious each state is. Here is a link to Rachel Maddow's blog with the map:

This Week in God - The Maddow Blog
I saw that. I was most surprised by the most religious end of the list.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:37 AM   #2189
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Looks like my state is about as religious as they get! Lucky me

I wonder if the other dark green states have the same kinds of things going on: no separation of church and state (more specifically church and school) and very religious but most are members of the same church. Are there others from the dark greens here in this forum?
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:54 PM   #2190
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Kitty! Thank you for the donation. I really really appreciate it.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:57 PM   #2191
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Did you see the related article about how the church appropriated cemetery funds for some of the settlement money?

Under his (Cardinal Mahoney) leadership in 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles quietly appropriated $115 million from a cemetery maintenance fund and used it to help pay a landmark settlement with molestation victims.

The church did not inform relatives of the deceased that it had taken the money, which amounted to 88% of the fund. Families of those buried in church-owned cemeteries and interred in its mausoleums have contributed to a dedicated account for the perpetual care of graves, crypts and grounds since the 1890s.

The church's use of fund money appears to be legal. State law prohibits private cemeteries from touching the principal of their perpetual care funds and bars them from using the interest on those funds for anything other than maintenance. Those laws, however, do not apply to cemeteries run by religious organizations.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb...-fund-20130210
..........
My goodness, we allow religious organizations to do whatever the hell they want, and pay no taxes too.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:21 PM   #2192
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewsplendidstamper View Post
Kitty! Thank you for the donation. I really really appreciate it.
It's a good cause, and I like to support my friends. Wish I could do more!
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:25 PM   #2193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stampin Wrose View Post
Did you see the related article about how the church appropriated cemetery funds for some of the settlement money?

Under his (Cardinal Mahoney) leadership in 2007, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles quietly appropriated $115 million from a cemetery maintenance fund and used it to help pay a landmark settlement with molestation victims.

The church did not inform relatives of the deceased that it had taken the money, which amounted to 88% of the fund. Families of those buried in church-owned cemeteries and interred in its mausoleums have contributed to a dedicated account for the perpetual care of graves, crypts and grounds since the 1890s.

The church's use of fund money appears to be legal. State law prohibits private cemeteries from touching the principal of their perpetual care funds and bars them from using the interest on those funds for anything other than maintenance. Those laws, however, do not apply to cemeteries run by religious organizations.

Cardinal Mahony used cemetery money to pay sex abuse settlement - Los Angeles Times
..........
My goodness, we allow religious organizations to do whatever the hell they want, and pay no taxes too.
I totally don't understand how this can be "okay" in anybody's book.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:17 AM   #2194
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A belated welcome to Kitty! I don' t get over here as often as I would like. I love it when someone new comes along cause there is always so much acitvity and fun stuff to read. As for the map, if I didn't dislike the cold so much I think I would move to Vermont.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:33 AM   #2195
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A belated welcome to Kitty! I don' t get over here as often as I would like. I love it when someone new comes along cause there is always so much acitvity and fun stuff to read. As for the map, if I didn't dislike the cold so much I think I would move to Vermont.
Thanks for the welcome, Kim! Nice to meet you.

Yeah, Vermont's a bit cold for me, too. (Well, Ohio - where I currently live - is too cold for me, LOL.) Guess I can't complain too much, though - Ohio isn't as green as I would have expected.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:33 AM   #2196
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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I totally don't understand how this can be "okay" in anybody's book.
I think that speaks to why they were so quiet about it for so long.


I've used that tactic. Get a little piece of jewelry and not wear it for awhile, in case DH notices, and I can say, "oh I've had this awhile."


The old "oh that happened a long time ago" excuse.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:38 PM   #2197
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I totally don't understand how this can be "okay" in anybody's book.
Well, look on the bright side; at least they're paying the sex abuse settlement. Remember, this is an organization that just moved offending priests from place to place instead of putting them in prison. That's a lot less okay than moving funds. My bar for them is not high.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #2198
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It's a good cause, and I like to support my friends. Wish I could do more!
Hey it all adds up. I walk because I can't afford to do much personally but as a fundraiser I can make a huge difference.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:27 PM   #2199
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Hey it all adds up. I walk because I can't afford to do much personally but as a fundraiser I can make a huge difference.
I really think it's awesome what you walkers do! I'm pretty sure my knees would protest if I tried, and I'm a lousy fundraiser (too bashful to ask anyone for money).

Although, that's kind of why I'm here (SCS). I had too many hobbies, and not enough time or money... and they all seemed sort of selfish. I knew I wouldn't be happy without a creative outlet, and I loved to scrapbook. I decided to set aside all my other hobbies, put away the scrapbooks, and concentrate on card-making, so I could become a Chemo Angel.

(Really, I'm just justifying spending all that money on paper-craft supplies by pretending it's a totally self-less act, LOL. "But honey, that big box from Simon Says Stamp isn't for me... it's for my Chemo Buddy!")
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:03 AM   #2200
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So many good discussions, I need to take some time to catch up. I love the big bang theory. I can so relate to sheldon (not his genius because I am not even close but his social awkwardness) he is my favorite. Till I get caught up I thought I might post about something that happened to me this morning.

This is a totally rambling and extra long post so I understand if you want to skip it.

For a number of reasons I associate religious types with those who are "fervent" about keeping their guns no matter what the cost to society. Hence the posting here. I am not anti gun at all. My family enjoys skeet shooting very much. I also have a huge population of deer that eat all my flowers that could use a good culling. I am just against having weapons that are meant for war being used by common folk and for using good laws to keep them off the streets.

Anyway, my son was in the boy scouts and recently decided he had grown out of it. I was always conflicted about his participation but it was something he enjoyed and I wanted him to have the freedom of choice. I was even a little sad that he was quitting because he did get a lot of good out of it as the religious element wasn't really a main focus. I was still getting emails from the troop and I recieved one this morning asking if anyone had ammo for the upcoming skeet shooting event because there is a shortage. The troop leader said that the anti-gun zealots in the current political administration have caused a panic that has lead to the shortage in ammo. I thought it completely inappropriiate that he would include a personal and unnecessary remark like that and was just pissed off. I should have let it go since we aren't in the organization any more but I couldn't. I replied by saying that I thought the panic was caused by paranoid, irrational people who think that the government is pounding on their back door wanting to forcefully take away grandpa's shotgun. I also said I felt fortunate that my son had chosen not to continue with the scouts with this type of attitude by it's leaders.

I immediately regretted my reply because I am a little fearful that this person will retaliate against my son somehow. I am not really afraid of expressing my opinions with religious people because I am fully capable of defending myself. I am afraid of my family suffering for what I say or do though so I often withhold my opinions for that reason.

I used to not say what I thought when my or my husband's family went on and on about their religious beliefs but I finally realized I have just as much right to express my views. The more I do it the more natural it becomes. Maybe that is what is happening with TV too. The more exposure people in general get to atheism the less fearful and hopefully accepting they will become. Unfortunately for as many Big Bang Theorys there are there are twice as many religious ones. I used to watch bones ( I enjoy the books but the series isn't as good) but they have recently started incorporating metaphysical crap into it. I hate when they do that. The analytical, atheist scientist has a spooky experience and suddenly believes. I was so disappointed that the author, who is a scientist herself, would allow that garbage.

If you made it all the way to here, you rock! It is so nice to have this little space to rant.
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