fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 06:43 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Well put !
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 06:44 pm
@littlek,
littlek wrote:
People out there have no idea what atheism really looks like. They think we're all prostitutes, criminals and drug addicts - untrustworthy people. I know this not to be true, so do you all. But, many people here in America and elsewhere think it is. So, should we not be more vocal?

It would probably be nice, but I don't see how it's supposed to work. How do you organize people based on something they're not? I spend very little time contemplating my disbelief in leprechauns, fairies, and witches, and can't see myself joining an organization of afairists etc. I am only marginally more inclined to join an organization of atheists.
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 06:46 pm
@Thomas,
wait a minute

what are you trying to say about the non existence of leprechauns, fairies, and witches
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 06:55 pm
@djjd62,
Two things: First, I don't believe in their existence; second, I have better things to do with my time than to contemplate my disbelief in them -- or to speak up about my disbelief, individually or organized.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:11 pm
@Thomas,
I don't think it has to be an organized effort. I do wish I, for one, would speak up about it for my own sake.
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:17 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
I think this goes to a broader point that we atheists -- and even theologically liberal believers -- find hard to grasp. When people read the Bible, the Qur'an, or whatever holy scripture it is they're reading, many of them actually believe this stuff! They hold it to be factually true.


Yes, that's right. Those beliefs cannot be bent, or changed in any way by "non-believers", in my experience. It's a waste of time to try to. You will be greeted by total skepticism.
For quite a few years now I've taught in schools with very high Muslim student populations. Their religious beliefs are their core beliefs, central to their lives. Sooner or later, the question : "What is your religion, miss?" is bound to come up with any new group. The assumption being that everyone must have religious beliefs of some sort. It is incomprehensible, almost, that anyone wouldn't. It is extremely tricky attempting to explain one's godless, atheist position to students who are utterly awed that such a position could even exist at all!
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:18 pm
But, MsO, you do tell them...? I guess I would too, if it came up.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:24 pm
@Thomas,
I probably post once every few years on a2k that I am "without theism", without belief, an atheist. I'm not entirely hostile to religion, think there are many good aspects to it. It's the bad aspects I'm unhappy with (fill in your own blanks on that).
I'm rather like Thomas - I don't think about this much.
My long time friends and relatives know I'm not religions. Some of them say, oh, but you are very spiritual. I say, not me.
A lot of my friends are also non believers. Same with many of my old colleagues. We don't talk about it much either. Maybe some of that has to do with age. We talked ourselves silly back in the sixties and the seventies.

A friend's son who has been in AA for many years had to deal with the higher being thing (I forget the exact words). He decided the roomful of people was the higher being, and stayed in the program.

However, I'm still pretty amazed, as farmerman is, that even today, being an agnostic - nevermind atheist - appears to make you unelectable.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:25 pm
@littlek,
I can see where it could affect your career, littlek. Was no problem in either of mine, luckily, says ms. bigmouth.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:26 pm
@littlek,
This is interesting. I struggle with that too. I don't want to antagonize, but I do want to normalize agnosticism/ atheism, and make it more comfortable for other agnostics/ atheists. (What I label myself varies. In a nutshell, I don't believe in any kind of god but don't have a problem with anyone else believing in a god.)

I love my community but it's very, very religious, and that does bother me. I recently found out that some people I know glancingly are some sort of atheists or pagans (pagan would be fine) who had a solstice party as opposed to a Christmas party -- that immediately made me want to get to know them better.

None of the religious people I know are obnoxious about it, but it's just an element of discomfort. There is this whole social thing centered around churches (group A goes to this church, group B goes to this other one) that we're excluded from. Sozlet's gotten flack from friends about not being religious. Etc.

We do have non-religious friends, (my best friend was raised religious but now isn't anything in particular and doesn't go to church, her husband is agnostic), but sometimes I do wish there were more of them.
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:41 pm
@littlek,
Yes, I do, k. But I had to think long and hard to come up with an "acceptable position" ... one that I thought didn't make me appear to be devoid of any spiritual connection what-so-ever! Wink
I say that the beliefs that are core to me are things like a complete & utter conviction that all human beings have a right to decent lives, to be treated with dignity & fairness ... that we that a responsibility to treat the planet we occupy for the short time we're here with respect & care ... & so on. That these are the beliefs that are unshakable for me, much the same as their religion is unshakable to them. They listen, though I'm not sure that many of them would be convinced I'm not a heathen. Or to put it another way, how can you not have religious conviction & confidently negotiate your way in the world? At least they accept (I think!) that I mean well. Wink

Could I add, most of these students are not fundamentalists, nor do they wander around the place preaching jihad, or anything like that ... they are perfectly "normal" adolescents. Religious belief is simply core, central to their lives.


ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:45 pm
@sozobe,
The only people I've soft pedalled beliefs to in recent years are the cousins that took me on that rv trip to California this last fall. We just covered it in a few sentences, me starting out saying how thrilled I was to be with them again, this after a few days of being together.. and how our life long differences in religion and politics didn't matter now with our mutual acceptance and pleasure at the connection. Much agreement flowing back to me on that. Another day I talked shortly to P (the cousin) about politics and said I'm very liberal now (in the US sense of it, msolga, meaning lefty) but have a few conservative points of view. That's true, and also a few libertarian takes, but those are outliers. And she said she's very conservative with a few liberal points of view. The soft pedalling part was that neither she or her husband or I went on and on about either religion or politics. But then again, it wasn't that kind of visit.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:49 pm
@msolga,
MsO, I am not worried about speaking candidly to the students as much as I am worried about how my admin would like it.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:49 pm
@littlek,
And I was thinking of parents..
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:50 pm
@ossobuco,
yes, and the parents (which basically boils back down to the admin).
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 07:57 pm
@farmerman,
Framerman as he edit the bible new testaments of all things taking out all he found to be nonsense such as the virgin birth so I do not know how secret his beliefs or lack of same could had been at least to the people who know him at all. His version is commonly call the Jefferson Bible to this day and he did this editing starting in 1803 in the White House. The name of the work that he gave it was the "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth"

You can get a copy at http://www.archive.org/details/thelifeandmorals00jeffuoft

Here is a quote from a letter he wrote to Adam in 1823 also.

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.

Now as far as Adam and Jefferson is concern it was a win over Adam as the sitting second president and poor Adam came in third with both Burr and Jefferson tying for the office. In fact Hamilton no friend of Jefferson gave his support to him as he consider Burr to be a far worst choice then Jefferson.

I am trying to think who ran again Jefferson for his second term but I am coming up blank.

In any case you are right we had gone downhill in some regards in the last two hundred years


0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 08:01 pm
@littlek,
Quote:
MsO, I am not worried about speaking candidly to the students as much as I am worried about how my admin would like it.


Yes, I can fully appreciate your concerns, k. But then, religion seems to be so much more a part of the fabric of life in the US & religious (& patriotic) observance, so much more a part of your schools. (That's my perception, anyway.) As well, you are working with primary school students, while I've always worked with adolescents. (Who are naturally exploring, questioning so much as they negotiate their way in the world. These things interest them, they want to talk about them. They initiate the discussions.) I would be extremely cautious in your position, too, lest I be accused of attempting to indoctrinate them, or something ...)
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 08:11 pm
@farmerman,
Oh, Famerman has you ever hear of a man name Charles Cotesworth I had not!

In any case he was the gentleman who ran against Jefferson seeking his second term in 1804 and he only won two states out of then 17 states in the union.

Jefferson wipe him out.
0 Replies
 
Seed
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 08:18 pm
If you don't mind me piping in. I will say a thing or two. Not directed at anyone and mostly just shows my believes and my questions some what:

I consider myself a believer of God. I believe in Evolution as well. i have a hard time believe (well because of you know all the scientific evidence) that the Earth was only created like 5 thousand years ago. I believe in Heaven and Hell. And I believe that when I die, based on my life I will go to one of those places.

I go to church and I listen to the man up front say what he has to say. The message behind what he says is what I am there for. Life rules. Governing rules.

I believe that if you believe in Hinduism or are Muslim that hey, as long as you believe in one thing that's what matters. Life goes on for you. I will not force my beliefs on you and the minute you start trying to shove something down my throat is the minute I stop listening to you.

I have no problem with atheist. I have great conversations and have great friends that have that mind set. Do I pray for their souls? No, does that make me a back christian? Probably in most believers books. I am a firm believer in tending to my own garden and getting out my own weeds before I get in anyone garden, especially unwanted.
Diest TKO
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Feb, 2010 08:19 pm
I find that lots of how things play out are different based on geography. I moved to DC from a University in Rural Missouri. I still hear the same things, but the manifest in different behaviors.

I'm not really a Deist anymore despite the A2K screen name. Keep thinking about changing that... RG says that A2K will change your name once. I just don't know what to change it to.

"Godless Liberal Socialist TKO"

...father hide your daughters...

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
 

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