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Old 02-21-2007, 08:33 PM   #1
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Default Atheists and Agnostics Gather Here...

SO...calling all non-theists!! How did you come to your decision to be an atheist? Let's chat. Let's talk about how being an atheist impacts our life. Let's talk. There are threads for all sorts of beliefs in SCS...why not one for atheists to chat?

Hello,
My name is Chris and I'm an atheist.



Editing Chris's post to add this in, which she posted later on in this thread. I think this deserved to be highlighted at the beginning:


Christian Bashing


As most of you know, despite the fact that atheists and agnostics have left other Biblically based/Christian Chit-Chat threads alone, we are being watched. Not only that... but, there are certain people who are just waiting to pounce on any post even toeing the line of the TOS. So, please... keep discussions focused on a topic or issue, not on any person.

However, I have to say that whole point of having an atheist thread was to celebrate what it means to be an atheist. The whole point of an agnostic thread is to "learn" and discover, to gather knowledge (in regards to reliion). An atheist is someone who does not believe in God. An agnostic is someone who is examining all of the information BOTH FOR AND AGAINST religion(s) and/or deities. So, for those lurking and expecting to see nothing but pro-Christian sentiments, you are clearly going to see something that offends you. If you have a problem with a position you see, then start a new thread and bring up your issue. Atheists have run-ins with individual Christians every day. Atheists run into theists every day. It should surprise no one that we will be discussing how these run-ins effect our lives.

The Bible thread talks about how wonderful the Bible is and how true it is. We are going to be discussing the opposite.
The Bible thread, and several other threads, presume that Christianity is the best approach to life.
We will be posing the opposite assertion.
The Bible thread posters congratulate each other on life and accomplishments, church callings, prayers, and other milestones.
We will be doing the same here.
That said, there are a number of incidents, in the Biblical threads, that paint non-believers in a less than flattering light. There's a presumption that those who don't believe are missing out or misguided. It should surprise no theist that we will be discussing the opposing statement: that theists are misguided. Theists make the presumption that atheists/agnostics are "lost". We are going to address this, probably over-and-over again, amongst atheists/agnosics. Just as you celebrate your faith as theists: we will be celebrating our freedom as atheists/agnostics.
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Old 02-21-2007, 08:41 PM   #2
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Hello, my name is Rainsong and I am Pagan--which some would consider really, really even worse than atheist!

Hope it's okay I joined your thread. Should be interesting.

Chris, have you ever read any of Daniel Quinn's work?

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Old 02-21-2007, 08:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainsong
Hello, my name is Rainsong and I am Pagan--which some would consider really, really even worse than atheist!

Hope it's okay I joined your thread. Should be interesting.

Chris, have you ever read any of Daniel Quinn's work?

Rainsong
No. I can't say that I have.
What are they about?

I'm curious: why do you say that pagans are considered to be worse than atheists? I've never heard that claim made. And, I certainly don't think you're a bad person. I always thought Pagans were focused on nature and the plurality of Gods.
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by scarlett75
No. I can't say that I have.
What are they about?

I'm curious: why do you say that pagans are considered to be worse than atheists? I've never heard that claim made. And, I certainly don't think you're a bad person. I always thought Pagans were focused on nature and the plurality of Gods.
Oh, Quinn's books are philosphical. Google his name sometime. I've presented some of his ideas elsewhere on SCS. F'instance, he equates the fall of man as a story told by the enemies of the Hebrew antecedents to be the story of the Neolithic agricultural revolution. (This explains Cain and Abel in a logical way.) ]

No one has ever said Pagans are worse than Atheists, but I'm sure some do think it. After all, most Pagans believe in multiple gods which goes directly against the first commandment.

But--that isn't my brand of Paganism.

Rainsong
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainsong
Oh, Quinn's books are philosphical. Google his name sometime. I've presented some of his ideas elsewhere on SCS. F'instance, he equates the fall of man as a story told by the enemies of the Hebrew antecedents to be the story of the Neolithic agricultural revolution. (This explains Cain and Abel in a logical way.) ]

No one has ever said Pagans are worse than Atheists, but I'm sure some do think it. After all, most Pagans believe in multiple gods which goes directly against the first commandment.

But--that isn't my brand of Paganism.

Rainsong
I'll have to check out some of Quinn's books. I'm currently working my way through a stack of Evolutionary Psych books that I'm reviewing for a publishing company. *bored* Then, I'm going to tackle an older Dawkins title, "Unweaving the Rainbow".

So...can I ask you this... why do you believe in multiple Gods? Is it just a belief in a higher power that drives you to believe? I guess my question is really: how did you come to be a pagan? What is your brand of paganism?
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlett75
I'll have to check out some of Quinn's books. I'm currently working my way through a stack of Evolutionary Psych books that I'm reviewing for a publishing company. *bored* Then, I'm going to tackle an older Dawkins title, "Unweaving the Rainbow".

So...can I ask you this... why do you believe in multiple Gods? Is it just a belief in a higher power that drives you to believe? I guess my question is really: how did you come to be a pagan? What is your brand of paganism?
Don't think you noticed the "some" before Pagans in my previous post. I'm not one of those Pagans.

I believe there is some spark of life force (let the force be with you kind of stuff) but not an entity one could call god who made plans for his creation and sent his son to save us. I've read too much history and anthropology to accept such a theory. I believe religions have evolved over time as man has tried to explain "how things came to be this way." (phrase from Quinn's works)

Michener is the one who got me thinking long and hard about religion after reading The Source. Excellent book, btw.

Rainsong
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:15 PM   #7
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Just wanted to let you know I'm lurking! I'm not athiest nor am I agnostic...or pagan for that matter...but just wanted to let you know I was lurking.
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jusgottastamp
Just wanted to let you know I'm lurking! I'm not athiest nor am I agnostic...or pagan for that matter...but just wanted to let you know I was lurking.
Oh goody! We have an audience!



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Old 02-21-2007, 09:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rainsong
Don't think you noticed the "some" before Pagans in my previous post. I'm not one of those Pagans.

I believe there is some spark of life force (let the force be with you kind of stuff) but not an entity one could call god who made plans for his creation and sent his son to save us. I've read too much history and anthropology to accept such a theory. I believe religions have evolved over time as man has tried to explain "how things came to be this way." (phrase from Quinn's works)

Michener is the one who got me thinking long and hard about religion after reading The Source. Excellent book, btw.

Rainsong
Interesting.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jusgottastamp
Just wanted to let you know I'm lurking! I'm not athiest nor am I agnostic...or pagan for that matter...but just wanted to let you know I was lurking.
Howdy!
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:54 PM   #11
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I am in between the two.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlett75
I'll have to check out some of Quinn's books. I'm currently working my way through a stack of Evolutionary Psych books that I'm reviewing for a publishing company. *bored* Then, I'm going to tackle an older Dawkins title, "Unweaving the Rainbow".
Just want to clarify something from my previous post. My rendition of Quinn's work was a very condensed version and could not possibly cover all his ideas.

BTW, he calls "prehistory" The Great Forgetting. Until quite recently, humans "forgot" there was a time before recorded history in which man lived and lived quite well in the community of life. With the advent of wide-spread totalitarian agriculture man "forgot" his hunter-gatherer roots and determinded the world was made for man and the rest of the community of life be danged.

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Old 02-21-2007, 10:05 PM   #13
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I'm not an overly religous person..more i am spiritual..beleiving what i can. see.nature, animals, u learn so much from whats around you..I know right from wrong..and so do my children. I am bringing up my grand.d's to respect nature..but also torespect people and their feelings..and that all people don have the same beleifs, doesn't make them wrong. I don't beleive the Jehova's can let a chils die because they don beleive in blood transfusions, but that's their beleif. and so on..My sis n broinlaw are agnostics..altho my sis tends to lean more the same as me..spiritually..I will always put my faith in myself..and in my doctors more than anything..i beleive my doctor saved my life twice because of his knowledge and skill and because he's a good doctor..hope i make sense..lol..it is late and bedtime for me..loves ya all..Gail
ps..i did a soot stamping w/a wolf..so u can see what i mean.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:08 PM   #14
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Hi...my name is Shanon and I *heart* Rainsong muchly!
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
I believe there is some spark of life force (let the force be with you kind of stuff) but not an entity one could call god who made plans for his creation and sent his son to save us. I've read too much history and anthropology to accept such a theory. I believe religions have evolved over time as man has tried to explain "how things came to be this way."
That pretty much sums it up for me -- or to quote the title of a short story written by a friend of mine, "And man created god."


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Old 02-21-2007, 11:05 PM   #16
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"And man created god."


Heather
I totally agree. There's just far too much evidence that suggests this to be true for me to ignore it. Furthermore, I think that God was created by man to fill gaps that are now, and will continued to be, filled with knowledge and understanding of the natural world (science, math, etc.,.). I think that the cause for God used to be, "God solves the mysteries." Now that the mysteries are being filled with real knowledge and evidence, theists are now trying to make God the complex mystery... and, in some sense, it's retreating to the safety of an unprovable hypothesis.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:39 AM   #17
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I've been meaning to get back to this.

A couple weeks ago, I told my 18 year old DD that I thought I was an agnostic. She actually laughed, and said, Gee, mom, that's something I expect to hear from someone MY age, not my 55 year old mom!!!

She had told me awhile ago that she was agnostic.

I guess, for me, growing up Catholic, I just accepted things for so long. I didn't get a bad upbringing, even with 12 years of nuns, they weren't overly strict, and I didn't run into anyone who was a perv, either. I guess I was lucky in that sense.

I also had a Jesuit education in college, and they tried to teach us to think.

I've gone without organized religion most of my adult life. When I did attend mass, it was purely a social thing. I didn't follow all the rules.

I guess I feel more like maybe there's some "force" or Mother Nature or something like that. Maybe, possibly.

I just can't conceive of a God who could conceive of the universe as being something man can conceptualize. I think we make God into terms we can understand. I can't believe a God would care if we "worship" him or sing praises or any of that - in any religion. It just feels.... ridiculous to me. I feel that if there is a God, it's something I really can't conceive of.
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:24 AM   #18
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Being a Christian I find this thread very fascinating. I hope I'm allowed to lurk here. I am definately not here to dis you guys for your beliefs so please don't feel that way. I just wanted to read your reasons for your beliefs. They are so far from what I believe and yet, in some ways, very close. Rainsong you belive in a "life force" and I believe in God.
What makes me sad is the whole faction of people who claim to be Christians and yet condemn you guys to everlasting hell because of what you do or don't believe. That is not what being a Christian is all about and I want you to know that.
I hope you will all have a wonderful day...we have freezing rain on the way but we had some beautiful snow this morning. Blessings!
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Old 02-22-2007, 05:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftygirl04
Being a Christian I find this thread very fascinating. I hope I'm allowed to lurk here. I am definately not here to dis you guys for your beliefs so please don't feel that way. I just wanted to read your reasons for your beliefs. They are so far from what I believe and yet, in some ways, very close. Rainsong you belive in a "life force" and I believe in God.
What makes me sad is the whole faction of people who claim to be Christians and yet condemn you guys to everlasting hell because of what you do or don't believe. That is not what being a Christian is all about and I want you to know that.
I hope you will all have a wonderful day...we have freezing rain on the way but we had some beautiful snow this morning. Blessings!
Do you have a Lurking Permit issued by Daven?

Rainsong
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:38 AM   #20
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I'm lurking too. I really am curious about what makes you believe what you do, and I PROMISE I won't be jumping in with scripture to make for a debate. I can make that promise, because I don't know enough scripture to be able to do so.

I'm honestly just curious. Hopefully curiosity won't kill the Cat in this instance.

**heading out to go get that permit**
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:53 AM   #21
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Hi ladies!! I am gonna say, at this time, I'm a committed agnostic. DH is a full fledged atheist. Which is tough living in the rural south where we do. I just started Dawkins' newest book, The God Delusion, and let me tell you...awesome! DH swears I'll be ready to say I am an athesit when I am done with it!

Thanks for starting this thread - I look forward to chatting with ya'll, sharing thoughts and ideas, NOT getting flamed for not believing, and learning from your expertise!
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Old 02-22-2007, 09:40 AM   #22
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I'm an atheist. I grew up in a Roman Catholic household but started questioning things at a very early age. By the time I was 15,16 I was very secure in the fact that I do not believe in any type of higher being at all. I believe the bible is nothing but stories handed down over time.

My husband does believe that there is a god, and we have always agreed to disagree in that area. I've let my 3 kids explore religion and I dont push them in any particular direction. I believe they'll find the path that is right for them and whatever choice they make in the future regarding religion, I'll respect it.
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:08 AM   #23
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For the most part I would consider myself agnostic, and I think the definition of that term pretty much explains it all. However, I have a very bright, independent 15 yo DD who is exploring this issue on her own, which is fine w/ her father and me. Because she is a very logical young lady, she is open to reading material regarding all viewpoints...currently reading "Surprised by Joy" by C.S. Lewis. If it's ok w/ the rest of you, I'd like to have her read your thoughts here as well. I, too, am looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:21 AM   #24
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Hooray! I am so glad this thread was started! I get so jealous every time I see that the Bible study thread got another post (jealous because there was no atheist/agnostic thread). Thank you Chris!

I think I am agnostic right now - I don't know if a god exists, but I wouldn't care if one did. I was raised in an ultra-conservative Christian home. We went to church all the time. Not just Sunday mornings, but also Wednesday nights (choir) and Friday nights (youth group). I did the whole nine yards - volunteered to play preludes and offetories, led Bible studies, participated in prayers etc.

When I was eight and started reading the Bible in earnest, I found the "wives should obey their husbands" thing and that was the first of my disagreements with God (the Christian God) and the Bible. This escalated until I was 22 and finally came out as a "non-Christian" to my parents (the rest of my world had already known). At that point, I still accepted that the Christian God could actually be real - I just thought some of his opinions and attitudes were morally unacceptable to me, as I interpreted them from the Bible.

Sometimes I think that if I am wrong and the Christian god of the Bible really exists - whatever. I tried my best to make myself believe in Jesus (never could) and agree with the Bible. But the more I tried to make myself agree with the Bible's views on some things, the more I felt I was prostituting my mental self.

For years I thought I was an atheist, but I had so much anger directed at certain parts of the Bible that I finally concluded that I must actually be an agnostic.
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Old 02-22-2007, 10:23 AM   #25
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Hmmm - I guess I'm lurking too ... where to I get that lurking permit?
Very interesting ...
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:45 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftygirl04
Being a Christian I find this thread very fascinating. I hope I'm allowed to lurk here. I am definately not here to dis you guys for your beliefs so please don't feel that way. I just wanted to read your reasons for your beliefs. They are so far from what I believe and yet, in some ways, very close. Rainsong you belive in a "life force" and I believe in God.
What makes me sad is the whole faction of people who claim to be Christians and yet condemn you guys to everlasting hell because of what you do or don't believe. That is not what being a Christian is all about and I want you to know that.
I hope you will all have a wonderful day...we have freezing rain on the way but we had some beautiful snow this morning. Blessings!
You are more than welcome to read. But, please respect the fact that no one here has gone into the Chrisian/Bible threads and started a debate. This thread is not for debate. It is for discussion amongst like minded people.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:48 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by stagccva
Hi ladies!! I am gonna say, at this time, I'm a committed agnostic. DH is a full fledged atheist. Which is tough living in the rural south where we do. I just started Dawkins' newest book, The God Delusion, and let me tell you...awesome! DH swears I'll be ready to say I am an athesit when I am done with it!

Thanks for starting this thread - I look forward to chatting with ya'll, sharing thoughts and ideas, NOT getting flamed for not believing, and learning from your expertise!
The God Delusion is AWESOME!! I like all of Dawkin's works. But, this was just the Holy Grail of rationality. If you haven't read it yet, you would probably also enjoy Sam Harris', Letters to a Christian Nation.

If I get a chance, I'll grab some passages from "Letters" for a discussion.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:49 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcojo94
I'm an atheist. I grew up in a Roman Catholic household but started questioning things at a very early age. By the time I was 15,16 I was very secure in the fact that I do not believe in any type of higher being at all. I believe the bible is nothing but stories handed down over time.

My husband does believe that there is a god, and we have always agreed to disagree in that area. I've let my 3 kids explore religion and I dont push them in any particular direction. I believe they'll find the path that is right for them and whatever choice they make in the future regarding religion, I'll respect it.
I think you and I are cut from similar cloth.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:51 AM   #29
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For the most part I would consider myself agnostic, and I think the definition of that term pretty much explains it all. However, I have a very bright, independent 15 yo DD who is exploring this issue on her own, which is fine w/ her father and me. Because she is a very logical young lady, she is open to reading material regarding all viewpoints...currently reading "Surprised by Joy" by C.S. Lewis. If it's ok w/ the rest of you, I'd like to have her read your thoughts here as well. I, too, am looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
I may have my daughter start posting here, too. She has a SCS handle- awesome_possum. She's 12 and has already done some writing on what it means to be an atheist's child.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:09 PM   #30
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Lurking.....
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:20 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlett75
I may have my daughter start posting here, too. She has a SCS handle- awesome_possum. She's 12 and has already done some writing on what it means to be an atheist's child.
I'm sure my DD would love to "chat" w/ her about her views as well. The girls already correspond via email, so I'll definately have Anna check in w/ her. She doesn't have her own SCS user name, so unless she wants to sign up on her own she may have to remain a lurker...her choice. (She will not be posting w/ my name).
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:27 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdbrain
I'm sure my DD would love to "chat" w/ her about her views as well. The girls already correspond via email, so I'll definately have Anna check in w/ her. She doesn't have her own SCS user name, so unless she wants to sign up on her own she may have to remain a lurker...her choice. (She will not be posting w/ my name).
I think it would be cool if your girls did post their thoughts here.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:13 PM   #33
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I would have to say that logic made me an agnostic. Back in 6th grade I started asking questions like:

Why is every religion so sure they are the right one?
Why would god put people on a tiny island in the south pacific and damn them to hell because they were never exposed to JC so that they could accept him as their saviour?
If God is all knowing and all powerful, why would S/He care if I eat meat on Friday?
If you lose something in the translation, then how can any of these religious books, written in dead languages, and translated and edited over and over, be accurate?

So religion just doesn't make sense. I decided I just needed to be a good person not follow silly rules written by random people that conflict with other silly rules written by other random people.
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:27 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by birdbrain
I'm sure my DD would love to "chat" w/ her about her views as well. The girls already correspond via email, so I'll definately have Anna check in w/ her. She doesn't have her own SCS user name, so unless she wants to sign up on her own she may have to remain a lurker...her choice. (She will not be posting w/ my name).
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:33 PM   #35
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Can I just say Namaste...? I am not lurking..well maybe I am...I sorta skimmed...I had to skip out on Yoga...major headache and this class was way too hard for me and too crowded. This should be a cool thread - I read it all later and maybe post if I can make any sense out of what I beleive. I usually rely and Shannon (astrea?) to post these things and then I just agree with her.
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Old 02-22-2007, 02:16 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birdbrain
I'm sure my DD would love to "chat" w/ her about her views as well. The girls already correspond via email, so I'll definately have Anna check in w/ her. She doesn't have her own SCS user name, so unless she wants to sign up on her own she may have to remain a lurker...her choice. (She will not be posting w/ my name).
Hey you guys. I'm said daughter. I'm pretty sure that I'm atheist, but i'M still open to the fact of "god". I think I started questioning his existance in about 4th or 5th grade, but it never really took hold until this year. I never really thought about it until now.To me it just doesn't seem logical that one being could have control over something so big as our lives and world.
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:16 PM   #37
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Miz Scarlett75

I have nothing but the utmost respect for your beliefs, and the fact that you are willing to openly discuss them in a forum that is, I believe, predominately Christian.
And while I may question why you believe the way you do, I would never condemn them. I'm simply trying to understand.

My oldest brother was an agnostic, and you could not meet a better all round person. He passed away several years ago and his death left many people feeling his loss.

Since I don't believe that one's religion or beliefs makes one a righteous or perfect person, who am I to say my beliefs are better than yours?

I have my own struggles with what I call organized religion and have since I was a young child. Over the years I have often questioned what I thought was the right "belief" ... now, as I've grown older, I'm find I'm not so comfortable in the shoes I've chosen to wear since I married.

I think it's really a matter of being honest with ones self ... to that end I have to say that I don't consider myself an atheist but maybe closer to the pagan belief of spirit, earth and nature.

I just need to really admit it to myself and start exploring - so to speak.
It'll be interesting to see what may come of this thread and who knows maybe the discussions that take place here will help find my correct shoe size hmmmmm?

And I'm thinking I need to make a trip tp the book store.
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:05 PM   #38
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Hello, fellow non-believers
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:28 PM   #39
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:42 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cara Denise
I just need to really admit it to myself and start exploring - so to speak.
It'll be interesting to see what may come of this thread and who knows maybe the discussions that take place here will help find my correct shoe size hmmmmm?

And I'm thinking I need to make a trip tp the book store.
Aww, thanks for your kind words.
There are a few books that helped me "determine my shoe size".
Dan Barker's, "Losing Faith in Faith" - a minister who becomes an atheist advocate.
Sam Harris', "Letters to a Christian Nation."
Anything by Dawkins... but, if you want to examine how evolution is credible and can be traced back to one cell, read "The Ancestor's Tale". Give yourself a few WEEKS to read it.
Bertrand Russel's, "Why I Am Not a Christian" (written in the 1920's).
Those are great starters.
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