Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal

Journal: 2 links, 2 links, 2 links in one!

Journal by atheists

First up, it seems that even death can't stop people from deciding your views are wrong. Thirty-seven years ago a man, an atheist man, was killed. But now he's become a saint. Does that mean I can declare Jesus to have been an atheist?

And in this link we learn of a poor young girl who's first Holy Communion is null and void. It seems she can't digest the one true wafer. Did anyone ever consider that perhaps she's just allergic to Christ?

Education

Journal: Over 300 Proofs of God’s Existence 2

Journal by atheists

Who says there is no god? Why, with the clear logic presented here it is hard to argue that there is no god. I am wondering how many of you out there have had some of these used in conversations with you.

I know I have had numbers 17, 15, and 19 frequently. I think I may have even seen number 25 tried in these parts. I wish number 32 were used little more often than some of the others listed, like number 36, 39, 41, 215, and 226.

Okay, so I honestly just read the first 50 or so, and then skipped around.

The Almighty Buck

Journal: How would you distribute the money from all the religions? 19

Journal by atheists

What religion is not after money? They may have a facade like they are not, but all religions are based on greed. If not, why organize? Why put a sign on the door? Why try to convert people to your particular way?

Sure they are greedy about things other than money. Like time and thought and invading your personal decisions. Or just through membership count. "Our religion has X number of people, look how good we are." "Our religion 'saved' X number of people." These are all signs of self-indulgence, but the most arrogant of all is the desire for money.

Religions daily blur the line between greed and pride with very little left over for being humble. Religions do well only when their followers do well and in turn donate back to them. There is no such thing as an inverse relationship between the wealth of the followers of a religion and the worldly goods of a religion. People amass wealth through greed; religion is the greatest scheme of all to collect upon this greed. In fact it feeds off of this greed in a continually compounding interest system through shaming followers that have greed and then using guilt to make them pay up.

There are literally trillions of dollars in religious bank accounts and real estate all over the world. The business of religion is larger than all other business combined. McDonald's is the world's second largest private landowner, second only to the Catholic Church, which is just one religious land owner and money holder.

In a recent wealth study done by a church group, the churches that responded to their survey economically grew, on a whole, at a rate of twice the rate of the US economy. "In fact, seven percent of churches surveyed now have budgets exceeding $1 million." If you add up the major budgeted areas listed (23.9 billion + 12 billion + 8.6 billion + 9.1 billion) you have over 50 billion dollars of annual expenses just from those who responded to the survey. And only 28% of those asked responded!

So, if you had all of the money from all of the religions in the world, what would you do with it? Make a grand palace? Feed the poor? Invade a country? Buy a green dress? Well, after taxes that is, you're a private citizen and you would owe your government if you have this money.

Hmm, I wonder how much of the US government's debt could be paid off just from the taxable income from turning all of this money over to one private citizen.

Does anyone have any articles that may shed some light on just how much money (annual income, or currently saved) religions have? This isn't just Christianity, although they are the Microsoft of the religious world.

On an internal issue, you guys need to give me some more topics here. I only have another 4 or 5 in the pipe ready to "go to press" as it were. I prefer to have a larger supply of discussion topics ready to write about so they may be edited from time to time and cleaned up prior to posting. Anyone who is willing to write a discussion, please post with contact information or email address listed for this account.

United States

Journal: 3rd Discussion: National Day of Prayer/Reason 9

Journal by atheists

Thursday (probably today by the time many of you read this) is the National Day of Prayer in the US. This is being officially recognized federally and has been adopted by all states in the union [1]. The "anti-National Day of Prayer" as proposed by some non-believers is to have a National Day of Reason.

If you ask my opinion, this seems a tad silly. In fact, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell rejected adopting this "Day of Reason" saying that, "reason should reign on a daily basis." That is sort of my take on things, having a day to officially recognize reason seems odd to me. Should I not be reasonable on Friday? Then again, after seeing some of the drivers in Pennsylvania, perhaps reason should be explicitly pointed out now and then.

Also, there are several officially recognized Christian holidays where people typically get the day off from work to spend time with family and observe as they see fit (often to pray). Why do we need another day to officially encourage people to pray?

Additionally, asking for a Day of Reason that falls on the same day does not seem to adequately criticize the need for a Day of Prayer. It seems like an evasion from directly attacking the Day of Prayer itself when I can think of several reasons to oppose such a thing.

You know, individual prayer is quite reasonable if it makes the pray-er happy. Without being too crude, prayer is a lot like masturbation. I'm fine if you do it and if it makes you feel better, just don't tell me about it, ask to include me, tell me you were thinking of me at the time, or insist that I do it, too. Also, don't ask for an officially recognized holiday to do it. Any or all of those are just a little creepy. Furthermore, doing it a lot seems to me to be a little unhealthy, but that's just my take on things.

So, what (if anything) are you doing regarding this day of prayer/reason?

[1] - Some people are telling me that it is federally funded, but I cannot find any information about what budget it comes from. I suspect it is merely a privately funded and privately controlled thing, but I would love to hear more.

User Journal

Journal: Second Topic: Is atheism a religion? 34

Journal by atheists

This week I would like to debate if atheism should be classified as a religion. On one hand we have the reasoning that atheism is a decision regarding a god. On the other we have the concept that atheism is the direct opposite of what makes a religion. Yet, the inverse of a color on the color wheel is still a color. On the other hand, black is the absence of color/light while white contains all colors so if white is religion and includes all practiced religions then perhaps atheism is the inky black of the absence of all religion. Yet, Crayola makes black crayons.

Some may say that to classify atheism as a religion would require us to classify not collecting stamps as a hobby. Clearly, the fun of collecting stamps is a hobby that is enjoyed by many, but I hope we agree that if one does not collect stamps (while they may have no objections to people who do) they are not practicing a hobby.

However, we have a problem with another often used and IMHO often misused analogy: hair color. Everyone is born with the potential to have or to get hair (except in some rare cases) but people get different hair colors. Some people change to gray as they get older, some shave it off, some lose theirs naturally, some hide their true color with a dye job, and others practice the art of a bad comb-over to hold onto the concept they aren't hairless. All of these interesting analogies carry over well to the choices people make about their hair and how they are often born into a hair color/type from their parents (mother's father, anyone?), but again, in my opinion, this analogy has a problem. A separate debate of its own is required to use this analogy: are humans born with a religion?

If left alone does a child develop into having a concept of a god? Do they explain things with the use of a higher being? Do they worship?

This is a topic for another debate, but highly related to this topic for if someone presumes children are born with a religion then they may effectively use this analogy.

Another debate I have read/heard is that if you look at certain dictionary definitions for a religion with an open mind you see that to classify atheism as a religion then a whole host of other things must come along for the ride.

For example the dictionary.com definition has several things requiring a deity or spiritual things. The only listed definition that comes close is "a cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion." Well, there are lots of things in life that are pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion. Money for one comes to mind. If you are to use this meaning of a religion to include atheism don't you have to include money itself as a religion?

But, on the other hand, we (well, most of the readers) live in a political society that pursues a separation of religion and legislation. If our system of government declares there is no god then clearly this is favoring atheism over other beliefs and would in spirit promote atheism to be acting as a religion. However, removing all promotions of a god clearly differs from explicatly declaring the non-existence of a god. Thus, the goal of our government is to sort of step aside of the god thing while appreciating that taking any side in the existence of a god deals with religion.

How do you classify things and why?

User Journal

Journal: Mod Bomb 24

Journal by atheists

Some of you may have thought that there weren't any true people opposed to the views of atheists. Well, look at the posting history for this account and notice 5 "overrated" downmods (1 2 3 4 5).

It seems there must be someone out there who hates atheists enough to hide behind the overrated moderation (which goes unchecked in metamoderation). To call me a troll is one thing as you stand behind your moderations and you think they will hold up to metamoderation, to use the overrated in this way shows cowardice.

With this abuse of moderation this account has now reached the "Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily been disabled" wall.

This has also pushed the karma here to bad.

Update:

Thanks to whomever mod'd up a few things. I can post now (obviously from the action below). Whoever did this, thanks, but don't keep doing it as it is my understanding that /. doesn't like you blowing your set of mod points on the same person. Hopefully this will come back to bite the person who spent 5 points on overrated mods.

In other news, we had a freak for a few minutes. mgessner had foed this account, but then undid this. Not sure what to make of this yet. Perhaps they were expecting something else from this account and learned this wasn't the case. I know they are a Christian and go to church in Delaware, OH. Perhaps they saw this account and assumed we hated people in Delaware, but then learned we meant the state ;-)

Update #2:

I have emailed the editor/admin staff about this and someone did get back to me. Not sure what will happen, but if there is a need, I will post an update.

Education

Journal: First discussion: raising children 17

Journal by atheists

Well, it seems that this account is generating some genuine interest from several angles. I hope this interest will bring beneficial things to discussions. I hope to post weekly discussion topics, but don't shoot me if we skip around, sometimes I just don't get good material. If you have something of interest, post a link to a JE suggesting it for a future discussion. Hopefully we won't fragment at that time for a discussion about it, but who really cares.

Following is a post I am copying from an atheist discussion email group I belong to. It is quite long, but you get the gist pretty quickly. She brings up some good points and she obviously cares a lot about her child(ren).

What would you do if you were in her shoes? How far would you go to support your children and retain your individuality? Those of you who have raised teenagers can chime in about trying to pull something over on them and the limitations of genuine support versus going through fake motions.

Maybe since this is our first discussion you could also discuss your upbringing as related to this topic.

*************************************************

Background: I made my decision in my early 20s to choose a non-
religious path. My family, including, my mother, know how I feel but
we do not discuss it very much. My family will not push me towards
religion, although my mother would like it very much. My father
passed when I was 18. My sister is not judgmental and supports
whatever decisions I make.

I am a single mom to an adopted older child, a beautiful 9 year old
girl from Ukraine. I am traveling to Russia to adopt my second
child, another girl between the ages of 5 to 7. I adopted my first
child 2 years ago. I want to keep an open mind as to allowing my
daughter to make her own choice as far as religion is concerned but I
am finding it difficult to lead her in that direction.

I have permitted my daughter to attend services with our neighbors
and she has attended functions with friends of several religious
persuasions. To date she has been introduced to Catholic,
Presbyterian and 7th Day Adventist. She appears to like attending
religious services as it provides a stability she missed in the
orphanage but it is very difficult for me to urge her and when she
discusses things she has learned from religious friends I merely
listen. We don't discuss anything from a religious point of view at
home.

My background is Catholic. My uncle is a priest and I attended a
private catholic girls school in Pennsylvania. Two of my daughter's
adopted friends (girls), one from Ukraine, the other from Bulgaria,
are both receiving first communion this month. It was difficult for
me to purchase congratulatory first communion cards but I got one for
both girls and bought a McDonalds certificate for both. This is,
after all, their celebration. We were invited to attend a party for
one of the children after the ceremony. At first I thought we should
not go but then I reasoned that it would be unfair to keep my
daughter away because I don't believe, although I received first
communion myself when I was her age. My mother saved my first
communion veil and wants me to give it to my daughter. My daughter
will ask questions at this party and will probably want to receive
first communion herself.

I went so far as to inquire at the Catholic Church in our community
about introducing my daughter to catholicism. I am trying to keep an
open mind but, again, it is very difficult. I was told that in order
to receive first communion, my daughter would have to attend CCD
classes for at least a year but first, she would have to be baptized
in the US in a process called "conditional baptism" since there are
no records from her orphanage of her ever having been
baptized. In order to do that I, as the parent, must attend classes
and supposedly must be a practicing Catholic, which I am not. I have
never taken my daughter to Sunday services either, or any religious
services for that matter, except for my nephew's wedding. My sister
says if I want to give my daughter an option I must bite the bullet
and start attending services for her. I love my daughter very much
but when I read the materials the CCD coordinator at the church gave
to me I cringed. I remember all the prayers in the leaflet but there
are so, so many philosophies there that I disagree with.

So at this juncture I have done nothing, and don't know if I will do
anything at all. I need to come to grips with my dilemma, however,
as I am approaching my second adoption and will face this problem
again.

I was afraid to say I had no religion in my dossier (and the upcoming
dossier, including homestudy) because I felt both countries, Russia
and Ukraine, both Russian orthodox countries, would frown upon such
an acknowledgement and not permit me to adopt. Same thing for the
homestudy agency (which is religious) and the adoption agency I am
using. Neither know anything of this.

This is my first post of this kind. I am an elementary school
teacher in Maryland and a non-religious individual.

Dee

User Journal

Journal: Good links 19

Journal by atheists

To get the juices flowing in the group I'm trying to create consider this article.

More links:

link

link

one nation, under reason

Biblical Errancy

a meeting

Gay and Lesbian Atheists and Humanists

Gullibility isn't in the dictionary

Inquisitive Atheists

Positive Atheism

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

Irrefutable proof of the existence of a Supreme Being - After you get past the boring junk that takes up the first half you get down to the assumptions that are claimed as "facts that are irrefutably proven."

Feel free to post more to share. I got the one from LPetrazicis' journal, which often has good links and good discussion.

Here's some disgusting links:

one

two

Here is another article with this good quote: Golen considers it offensive for her and other Christians to have to hear chants from a mosque. "I do not impose Jesus on them because He's quiet," the Hamtramck resident says. "Jesus calls in a quiet, gentle voice -- He doesn't have to blare over a PA system to call His followers.

The anti-atheist webring is quite insensitive.

Don't you just love the insensitive idiots of the world?

User Journal

Journal: Stand Up 14

Journal by atheists

If you're an atheist, stand up and post here to be friended. If you know of someone (or are someone) who are insenstive to non-beleivers stand up and identify them.

Also, point out those half-assed attempts at trying to be civil. You know, people who post those "You're an idiot... you're wrong... you're so wrong you're an idiot... but Jebus and I love you" messages.

Update:

I've been friending people lately like mad. If anyone I've friended does not wish to be listed as an atheist (possibly because I was in error in doing so), feel free to post so I can correct any mistakes. My appologies. You were all friended either by a remark where you openly claim to be an atheist, you were referred by someone else, or you made a very good post supporting views welcomed by atheists and I confused your views to be similar (read: not always the same) to an atheist.

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.

Working...