What are your views on Atheism?Who are atheists? What do you think about them?

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jmj616's profile pic

jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

What are my views about Atheism?

I don't believe in it.  Ha ha!

dano7744's profile pic

dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

Religious freedom is a cornerstone of this great country. To believe in God is a personal choice. We as a society must be tolerant of others beliefs and choices. It is not up to you to decide what someone else should or should not believe in. You do not have to agree with their choice, but you must respect it.

usbummer's profile pic

usbummer | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

As an atheist I can say that I do not find the thought of no life after death to be at all depressing, any more than I find depressing the fact that grass is green. It's just the way things are.

I have not found atheists to be the kind of people who try to force their beliefs on others like many religious people do. After all, religion does provide, among other things, the perfect excuse to act in holier-than-thou ways from minor issues like forcing us to state a belief in God when announcing our alliegence to our beloved country (or embarrassing us through its omission) all the way to extreme terrorism in the name of God.

I have also found that religion taken to the extreme (as so many people do) provides the perfect excuse for closed mindedness and even "immoral" behavior, if done in the name of God. An atheist cannot make that rationalization.

Having said this, please note that I am not saying that atheists are better than Christians, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or whatever. We're just normal people like most of our next door neighbors.

By the way, the author of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, did not believe in God as described by any of the world's established religions. All references to "God" in that document were added during the Congressional debate stage prior to ratification. Just a thought.

 

MaudlinStreet's profile pic

MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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While I understand how one may view a lack of belief in an afterlife as depressing, it's quite the opposite for me. Instead of encouraging me to "live life for myself only" (to paraphrase poster #7), it encourages me to treat all others here as I want to be treated. Since I believe it's the only life we'll have, I want it to be the best for everyone it could possibly be. My morality isn't tied to one religion or teaching, but to a sense of a common humanity among all people. Therefore, I strive to make the life of everyone with whom I come into contact a bit better while we share our time. Also, it encourages me to think upon what good I can do in the here and now-instead of focusing on rewards in heaven or punishment in hell. I know that I can see the effects (good or ill) of my actions right now, so I choose to do good to bring about those responses.

mstultz72's profile pic

mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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"There is no God, and we are his prophets."  Cormac McCarthy, from The Road.

Even if there is no God, there is still the idea of God.  Worse, there's still the idea of no God.

Does humanity believe in God for fear that there is not one?  Or is He a part of our cultural mythology passed down by oral storytellers (authors and preachers)?

I won't say I don't believe, because I think the search is the main point of the spiritual journey.  I'm happy to seek and never find.

 

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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I have no problem with anyone who is an atheist.  I am not one, but neither am I a Christian.  I am glad I live in a country where I have that choice.

Letter to a Christian Nation, by Sam Harris is a pretty good defense of the atheist point of view he expressed in an earlier book, The End of Faith.  The second book was a response to criticism of the first by Christians.

lfawley's profile pic

lfawley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Atheists are people who do not believe in any one God. Many atheists, however, do believe in the afterlife in a different fashion - they sometimes believe in a sort of reincarnation or in the becoming one with some larger aspect of the universe. You do not have to believe in a deity to believe that there is something more to life than the world in which we are currently living.

As others have said, I am glad to live in a country that makes some attempt toward freedom of religion. That said, I am not so sure that we are really as free as the Constitution states that we should be as there is still a great deal of hatred and discrimination against people who do not conform to the majority ideology. However, a spiritual path should be an individual's choice. I, personally, feel that whatever you believe in is right for you, and whatever I believe in is right for me. We can discuss the differences in pour beliefs and maybe find common ground and learn from one another, but having a different belief than someone else is not a reason to try to change that person, nor is it a reason to feel that there is something wrong with that person.

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ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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I am glad that I live in a country where religion is a freedom.  I think people should be able to have their own beliefs and not be discriminated against.  I believe in a God, but can also understand how someone may not. The only concern I have is that others respect my beliefs as I respect theirs.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Part of the reason some people may place all religious people in the "zealots" category is that it states in the Bible (and I'm sure other religious books do the same) that Christians are to actively attempt to bring others into the fold.  Some go to extreme lengths to do this, and it is sometimes offensive...for instance, when I was in college, an older gray-haired gentleman wearing a feedsack pointed to me and loudly proclaimed that I would go to Hell because I was wearing a skirt and tempting the men around me with lust in my heart.  Poppycock!  Skirts or not, most men are tempted by women.  That's how they're wired.

I agree with the others here that it must be quite depressing to have nothing to believe in for the afterlife.  It seems as though they live life for themselves only, with no other purpose--there is no belief in a master plan, therefore this might lead to a life of impetuousness.  In this way, they can exercise their free will to act benevolently toward others (there are many very good people who are not Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, etc.), to be completely consumed with selfishness (everything always and only for personal enjoyment), or to live somewhere in betweeen, but it seems to me that without a purpose in life, there can be no real fulfillment. This reminds me of the plot of so many movies on the shelves...randomness and roaming through life feeling empty and trying to fill that void with something.

No one on earth is without sinful nature, but at least those who are religious in some way have a purpose, a vision, a goal to live for and toward. 

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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I agree with the previous post that atheists are not as big a threat as religious zealots. I myself am a Christian, but since I believe in the right for people to observe the religion of their choice, I also believe that people have a right to believe in no god at all if they so choose.

booksnmore's profile pic

booksnmore | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I agree with the other posters. I also think it would be depressing to be an atheist, but they certainly have the right to believe as they wish. I've noticed that some of the atheists I know are people who were once religious and became very disenchanted (sometimes with good reason) with modern religion. Perhaps these folks are really atheists...or...perhaps what they really don't believe in is modern religion.

besure77's profile pic

besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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I have known a few people who have been atheists and it really doesn't bother me. The only way it would bother me is if they tried to get me to believe in what they believe in but that never happened.

I personally find atheism to be depressing because I would hate to believe that when I die then that's it-it's all over.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Athiests are, of course, people who do not believe in any god of any sort.

Personally, I think that athiests are less dangerous than religious zealots.  Post #2 implies that athiests try to impose their beliefs on others.  I believe that it is religious zealots who try to impose their beliefs much more than athiests do and in a much more dangerous way.

So I'd rather have an athiest around than a religious zealot.  But mostly, I'd prefer to be around people who don't make a big deal of their beliefs whether it be religious, political, or whatever.

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anthonda49 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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If a person does not wish to believe in God, then they have that right, at least in America. They do not have the right to force their beliefs on others, the majority of whom are believers. No one is forced to listen to a prayer. No one has to pledge allegiance, which contains the words"under God". If these people are offended by words on money or in a public prayer, they have the free will not to accept what others believe.

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stegny | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

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I think atheism does not have any base. It only stands on so called intellectual superiority and nothing more. Atheists simply fail to present any evidence in support of their arguments. Pict

I've just finished reading Dawkin's book, 'The God Delusion'. In it he presented many convincing arguments for why God is extremely unlikely. For me, his most persuasive point was the simple question, 'If complex objects prove the need for a designer, then who designed God?'

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