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I wrote about why I'm an atheist on my old blog, Salon, in 3 parts, going to copy the information to put it all here. I wrote this in 2010 so that was 12 years ago. Why I Am Now An Atheist Part 1- Religious Background Why I'm Now an Atheist- Part 2- Feminism and Women in Religion Um. Thanks. :) I also do not believe that being a woman physically is a curse, that being able to have children, or feel pain during childbearing, is a curse, or that women should be blamed, like Pandora opening the box, for all the world's evils. I've read a number of stories where women have been in abusive relationships and have been told by religious *authorities* to basically put up with it, and wait on god. That's absurd. If a woman genuinely feels that she is being abused, she can make her own decision about whether to get out or not. Again, her OWN decision, because she is an adult, not a child that needs to be told what to do. And I don't want to hear "If people would actually follow the example of God's love...". Belief that one should treat each other kindly and with love is an ethical position that anyone can have; conversely there are plenty who profess to be moral that don't follow loving precepts. From Alternet I've wondered before it was all simply a desire for power. That is, one who wants power must have others to be powerful over. If you can convince half the world that you have a right, simply because of your sex, to have the power and they cannot, because god says so, why wouldn't you do it? But why does any woman buy into this? When I started really considering whether a book had the right to dictate how I should be perceived, only because I happen to have been born female, I decided it could not. That goes for any so-called holy book or any religion or philosophy. To me, a book only has power over you to change how you perceive yourself if you allow it to. If there are women that want to be submissive to the men in their lives, they can be. But because America is a nation of laws, others that do not want to live this way do not have to and can, in good stead, reject that choice of life. I prefer relationships that are based on love, respect and equality. That gets me to the heart of my philosophical argument I had with myself regarding a just god. I don't believe that if god exists, he or she would make a distinction based on a flawed book between male and female, that he would punish a woman just for eating an apple that represented knowledge, or create physical problems and pain. If that were 1, then god would be no better than an abusive husband. I do not see any evidence among religions that claim to speak for god that women are treated consistently better. Is there any reason to have male dominance over women aside from claims for it, or justification based on a book? No. If god existed, and god were good, he or she or it would have made sure that everyone, male or female, was treated fairly and that if there were those that sought to lord it over others were stepping out of bounds, they would be snapped back. Instead there are a host of evils that are done to woman in the name of religion. Therefore, I reject religion as an artifice of humans designed for various earthly ends. Why I'm Now An Atheist- Part 3- Why Even Say Anything Publicly? I'm the same person I was before, didn't suddenly grow hooves, or change my basic moral and ethical beliefs. The only thing that changed is that I no longer believe in god. This is not a bad thing. In fact, there's a real mental freedom that comes with this. I don't believe in a vindictive god that would condemn me to an eternity of torment because of jealousy. I do believe in treating people well during their lives and having the best, happiest, most appreciative, and ethical life one can, because this is when it counts to show love to others. Not later. Now. I don't believe that a god would want me to lie about worshipping him or her IN CASE I'm wrong. As Bertrand Russell said "But sir, you didn't give us enough evidence." People will then often say, "But surely it's better to remain an Agnostic just in case?" This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I've been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would choose not to worship him anyway.) Douglas Adams Everyone is an atheist in his or her own way. If one doesn't believe in the god/gods of another religion, that one is atheist in that regard. I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. ~ Stephen Roberts I really didn't talk directly much on this site about what I was thinking, but instead about other issues that illustrated issues I was grappling with. Like, why, since the pledge of allegiance was altered in only 1954, should anyone stand and say it in its new religious guise? It's a marriage of obeisance to a piece of cloth and god (graven idol anyone?) It also doesn't seem fair that since we are a country that has freedom of religion, which includes freedom from religion, that secular government should include a marriage of church and state. (I may feel extra strongly that way because I was raised as a baptist, which STILL has in its belief statements that church and state should be separate.) I don't see anyone being forbidden to do private religious activities in taxpayer spheres as long as they aren't imposed on the public. (Like children praying in school-who stops them unless they try to stand up and lead the class?) If there are those that want to be religious and worship one god over another, I am not trying to stop them. Again, we have freedom of religion in this country and that includes, for example, Islam. I began recently, though, to feel that I wanted to express myself on this. I"m not ashamed of calling myself an atheist. I am a moral, ethical person. I starting feeling like anyone that thought maybe I was would consider that I was trying to hide it. In this country, though, why would anyone with a difference in beliefs or opinion feel compelled to not treat beliefs as normal and part of life? I know a lot of people who start their meals with a prayer, don't have any problem with telling me how they feel about their god, and, in fact, as in the case of evangelists, consider it their mission in life to do so. I want to express my opinion as well. I'm an American and proud to live in this country where I can speak up, even when I am not sure that my views are popular.