Posts tagged Atheist
Posts tagged Atheist
Frequency of Miracles
Found on the Atheists Quotes facebook page.
“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”
— Bruce Lee
I LOVE THIS. Seriously, go read the whole article if you have time. If not, I’ve copied a few of my favorite paragraphs below. ~JJ
# Secular Parenting
Yup, my kid’s an atheist. And she pretty much has been since she was 5.
It’s not for lack of exposure to God or god or even gods and spirituality, because she has attended Church and church and a UU “church” and it has made no impact. We’ve prayed together. I talk about God sometimes, in a good way. When I asked her recently why she doesn’t believe in God she told me, succinctly, “Because I know too much about science!”
And there you have it — an evangelical’s worst nightmare. Science trumps God. My daughter is like a mini-Darwin who had a spiritual awakening before she was old enough to stop having potty accidents. And she was able to do so not because she was indoctrinated by the Church of the Holy Dissected Frog, but because she wasn’t fully indoctrinated by the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Because the idea that a man lives in the sky who can see everything you do hasn’t been pounded into her head since birth, she thinks the whole concept is just silly.
I so admire my daughter’s scientific mind. I’m an artist, and an emotional one at that, which is not to say that my daughter isn’t an emotional person, because she is. But I love the way, at such a tender age, she’s able to make a decision like that for herself. To own her thoughts so fully that they are her feelings. “I don’t believe God exists.” Unquestionably. Because she hasn’t been taught to need God to get through her daily life. In spite of the fact that she struggles with things, she has this great understanding that the person she must learn to rely on is herself.
I love that.
I only wish I had been taught self-reliance as a child. Instead I was taught that there was no one in my family that I could rely on, in fact no human in the world I could expect reasonable treatment from. I had to look to God in order to be treated well, to be forgiven, to be embraced and to be loved. God, some phantom father in the sky was the man who loved me, and so of course I spent my life chasing phantom people with half-open or fully-closed hearts, seeking from them what only ghosts can give: nothing. A fantasy. A fallacy. A lie.
What if, by raising my daughter well, by giving her the attention and fortification she needs, by teaching her to trust her instincts, by letting her know help is always there and that she should feel free to ask a real live flesh-and-blood human being for it, what if that means she won’t need God? Because the shit won’t catastrophically hit the fan? Because she has coping skills and can get through life without it being a horrible tragedy that is only made significant by eating the body and blood of a dead dude and then going to heaven at the end? Yeah. How ’bout that?
In October, the Pew Research Center reported that one-fifth of Americans are religiously unaffiliated. This group is known as the “nones.” And what’s the next step from “none?”
Indeed but I kinda think the size of the deficit is a bit out of place. Everything else is golden.
Although humorous, this pic depicts an all too common situation nonbelievers find themselves in.
After all, it’s not always an easy thing to share the fact you are a nonbeliever when you’re dating or even in a committed relationship.
My wife, of 15 years come June, was a Christian when we hooked up and her friends told her I was a devil worshiper. Yet she still gave me a chance and was actually quite relieved when I told her I didn’t believe in the devil either.
She still doesn’t consider herself an atheist but chooses to embrace the agnostic label instead but she still loves the hell out of this heathen and the affection is mutual.
All that being said, don’t be afraid to share who you are once heavily involved in a relationship. If your partner abandons you once you share your non-belief then said partner would have never loved you as much as he or she loved the god they worshiped in the first place.
One of the values of science is to make us uncomfortable says Lawrence Krauss. The particle physicist explains why we should all care about dark energy and the Higgs Boson particle. Science literacy matters, and, more importantly, he suggests we should take joy in science — just as we cultivate enjoyment of arts we may not completely comprehend.
What a wonderful episode of On Being! I’m glad to see that Dr. Krauss was allowed to actually share his views about religion. So often in the media, any criticism of religious viewpoints about existence and meaning are stifled by the host or another guest as being intolerant or blasphemous.
The host here seemed genuinely perplexed by the idea that science can have anything meaningful to say about existential questions.
Dr. Krauss made a good point when he said that “The knowledge that the meaning we have is the meaning we make should inspire us to do better. Every single thing that religion provides, rationality, empiricism, and science can provide. And not only that — they can provide it better.”
The late philosopher Paul Kurtz explained this viewpoint further in his ‘Affirmations of Humanism’ when he wrote that secular humanists “are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.”
I agree with what Penn Jillette once said on NPR’s Morning Edition when he explained that not believing God means that “all the suffering in the world isn’t caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn’t bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future. Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.”
I and many other human beings, including Dr. Kruass, if I’m not mistaken, embrace secular humanism as Paul Kurtz defined it, not only because much of that philosophy agrees with many wise ideas about living a good and fulfilling life but also because many of these ideas are informed by science.
An eloquent professor at Virgina Tech, when responding to an attack on atheists in the aftermath of the 2007 shooting, said “We atheists do not believe in gods, or angels, or demons, or souls that endure, or a meeting place after all is said and done where more can be said and done and the point of it all revealed. We don’t believe in the possibility of redemption after our lives, but the necessity of compassion in our lives. We believe in people, in their joys and pains, in their good ideas and their wit and wisdom. We believe in human rights and dignity, and we know what it is for those to be trampled on by brutes and vandals. We may believe that the universe is pitilessly indifferent but we know that friends and strangers alike most certainly are not. We despise atrocity, not because a god tells us that it is wrong, but because if not massacre then nothing could be wrong.”
It was also implied by the host that science has nothing to say about spirituality but as Kruass stated, “Spirituality isn’t having the answers before you ask the questions… Real spirituality comes from asking the questions and opening your mind to what the answers might be.“
One does not have to believe in an afterlife to find meaning in life or death.
Spirituality is that dimension of the human experience arising from ones relationship with reality. Scientific exploration enhances our relationship with reality by simply introducing us to more of it. The vastness and beauty of our universe is just one of the more spectacular examples.
— Michael Scott Earl, The Spiritual Atheist
“We should enjoy and make the most of life, not because we are in constant fear of what might happen to us in a mythical afterlife, but because we have only one opportunity to live.”
Greg Graffin, Bad Religion
Well done Mr. Ebert.