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  • #76
    How about I site the Webster's dictionary right in front of me:

    a-the-ism n. 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God. 2. disbelief in the existence of God or gods. [<Gk 'athe(os) godless + -ISM]

    Of course you could argue your higher than though semantics that your philosophical references are more meaningful than a dictionary definition, but I'll stick with the commonly accepted English language since that's what we're all using here.

    It does appear that you've made the distinction now between Deism and Theism though, which is nice of you.
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    • #77
      Originally posted by Dead-Air
      a-the-ism n. 1. the doctrine or belief that there is no God. 2. disbelief in the existence of God or gods. [<Gk 'athe(os) godless + -ISM]
      I think LSN's point is that in the etymology of the word, the a- is a negation similar to the mathematic negative. What I don't like about the dictionary definition you supplied is that there is the implication that atheism has to be active in nature. I suppose that would be accurate if you want to describe yourself as following the doctring of atheism. Though I would think in the case of an atheist, that it is possible to not beleive in a God rather than to actively disbelieve in one.

      So yeah, that might be a philsophical perspective, or it could be some perspective of the dictionary people that lack of belief equates to disbelief. I don't believe in the tooth fairy, but that doesn't mean I expend energy actively disbeleiving in her. It doesn't really cross my mind much at all.
      Yuki says, "Krimson used to be known as Kommando, but he rarely uses that name anymore. Sometimes he appears as Krimson Gray as well. Do not be confused, he still loves cats and bagels."

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      • #78
        I've been toying with the idea of becoming an Evagelical Agnostic.... I Want to go out and convince the people of the world that they don't really know weather there is a God or not.

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        • #79
          Concerning Danisty's heated diatribe against the apparent horde of so-called "atheists" who appear to be trying to deprive her of her Xmas tree, I'd ask to what extent these remarks are the result of her personal experience and to what extent something she "heard" or "read." I've some experience of the American Southeast (actually, quite a bit), and the media there is to an unfortunate degree in bed with fundamentalist elements, who like to put out exaggerated or distorted stories of this sort. So if you have read it in the local papers, or heard it via local broadcast media, I'd take it with a grain of artificial salt substitute.
          So basically you think because I am from the Southeast that I'm ignorant? If you want to get that specific with all of the things that could possibly be offensive, I'd like to go ahead and be offended by that. Being a Luciferian in Georgia should have made it obvious enough that I understand the biased crap the south hands out. The stories about the Christmas tree as well as stories about Nativities were on National news and didn't even happen in the southeast...it was the New England area.

          In part, I think it's important to define what is meant when one uses the word "atheism." Atheism doesn't require an agenda against religion.
          Of course it doesn't require an agenda. Christianity doesn't require an agenda either. Nevertheless, some will group together to push one on others. I also find it quite convenient that you have ignored the part where I stated that it wasn't all atheists and that apparently there are some atheists out there who are fundamentalists.

          When I see the expression "a lot of atheists are on the move against religion" I have to suppress laughter. First, I'd deny it and demand proof; second, I'd point out that, at least in the U.S., there aren't a LOT of atheists. We're a very small, minority.
          I think perhaps you are not moving in the right circles. About 20% of the people I've met are atheist. Regardless, I assure you that the percentage of Luciferians is lower than that of atheists, so you don't really need to preach to me about being a minority.

          I know it bothers me pretty often, and I live in a state where religion is very understated, compared to the American Bible Belt. Sometimes, it seems very valid to raise objections against things such as enforced school prayer, etc. However, freedom of religion, which in THEORY the Constitution guarantees, includes both freedom to choose or reject religious affiliation.
          You're preaching to the choir here. I am 100% against prayers in public schools and I am also 100% against "under God" being in the pledge of allegience.

          What Danisty describes has the ring of a vendetta.
          Vendetta for what? I still put up my damn Christmas tree completely lacking Christian elements whatsoever. They aren't hurting me any, I just think it's stupid.

          I will readily admit that being caught in this sweeping categorization (by implication) of "atheists" acting as a group bothers me to no end. I suggest people take the word "atheist" and replace it with any small splinter or ethnic group of their choosing, and see whether it might give offense.

          I'd hoped not to see such bigotry loose on this forum Oh, well.
          Which is precisely why I clarified in the original post that I was referring to what can only be described as fundamentalist atheists.

          However, I do hate the prejudice build into many religions and have a desire for it’s practitioners across the world to shut the hell up and it’s clerics to stop hustling people.
          I have this same desire.

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          • #80
            Well, it's all a lot simpler for me. I just believe that organised religion of any kind is politics by definition. Private beliefs I respect and expect my own to be similarly respected. I suppose an organisation of equally militant atheists is a political organisation by definition and therefore has an agenda of some kind which other political groups find threatening.
            Personally, I feel that if we substituted the word 'Party' for the word 'Church' we might get a more coherent idea of what's going on.
            And some interesting plays on words to have fun with, come to think of it.
            Tradition, whether its Christmas trees or the Latin Mass, connects us with the past. It shouldn't be used, in my opinion, to keep us in the past.

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            Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
            The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
            Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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            • #81
              Originally posted by Kommando
              I don't believe in the tooth fairy, but that doesn't mean I expend energy actively disbeleiving in her. It doesn't really cross my mind much at all.
              Yes, but the point is that you don't define yourself by not believing in the tooth fairy either. If people ask you what your beliefs are, you probably don't reply, "I'm a non-tooth fairyist". From what I've seen of your writing hereabouts, I kind of doubt you'd have an answer with an -ist or -ism at the end period. Neither would I, my answer would be, it's kind of complicated...
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              • #82
                Originally posted by Dead-Air
                If people ask you what your beliefs are, you probably don't reply, "I'm a non-tooth fairyist". From what I've seen of your writing hereabouts, I kind of doubt you'd have an answer with an -ist or -ism at the end period. Neither would I, my answer would be, it's kind of complicated...
                Tis true. I prefer the term Afaerieodontarian, as people tend to think you're some sort of freak if you call yourself an Afaerieodontist.

                Yuki says, "Krimson used to be known as Kommando, but he rarely uses that name anymore. Sometimes he appears as Krimson Gray as well. Do not be confused, he still loves cats and bagels."

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Kommando
                  ] Tis true. I prefer the term Afaerieodontarian, as people tend to think you're some sort of freak if you call yourself an Afaerieodontist.

                  Yeah, they either think that, or they worry you're going to attempt to perform oral surgery on them! b-ding ;)
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                  • #84
                    Ah, a thread on religion-- the topic that can even get people who believe the same way to argue with each other.

                    Oh, well, I may as well jump in. Both feet. What the hell. Or Hades. Or Abyss, if you prefer. Goes along with engineering Chaos, I suppose.

                    I agree with Mr M that when any religion becomes organized it becomes politics. Kind of ironic that the more organized, or "lawful" the religion becomes, the more it leads to Chaos.

                    As for me, my personal belief system is Nature Spirituality. I'm mostly interested in Paganism in general, but I have also studied Wicca and Druidism. I'm also interested in studying ancient Egyptian and Sumerian beliefs (I have a long involved story about Ancient Egypt, but that'll have to wait for another thread), Buddhism, Shinto, the Gnostic Gospels, ancient Celtic and Norse religions, Native American Spirituality, and Jainism.

                    But I don't define myself as anything in particular. I'm a little bit of a lot of things: Witch, Druid, Wise Woman, sometimes a Wise-ass Woman, Yarb Lady, Shaman.

                    For me personally, religion is experiential and not organized at all. Even the Wiccans, much as I like a lot of their traditions, tend to get too ritualistic and organized for me.

                    When I was six years old, we lived in the country and I played in the woods all the time. I was never scared in the woods-- it was my home. One day I walked through the forest and came to a clearing on a hill. I sat quietly and listened. After a while I felt a presence that I can only describe as Divine, the Spirit of the Woods, the Spirit of the Earth. I came to the conclusion that "God" was in nature. I went home and told my mother that I didn't need to go to church anymore because the woods was my church. I've felt that way ever since.

                    Eventually my mother found Women's Spirituality and Nature Spirituality on her own, but not before going to various churches and feeling something was missing in each one. For my mother and me, there was something big missing: the Goddess. We couldn't stand the sexism in church anymore. As women, we both felt the need for the Divine Feminine. I always thought, "if there is a Father, there must be a Mother." Later, as I studied ancient history, I was delighted to discover that for tens of thousands of years people around the world worshipped The Great Mother. In fact, it wasn't until about 8,000 years ago that people had the concept of a male deity.

                    It's not that I never feel the need for a Father. I need Balance. I need both a Divine Mother and Father. Sometimes I don't feel the Deity has a gender, but It is simply the life force, the conciousness, the intelligence behind everything. As worlds evolve, the Divine is that energy that infuses all things and starts the single cells dividing into plants, then later animals. But such a force is hard to comprehend so I think that is why people anthropomorphized it. It's easier to comprehend It as a God or Goddess.

                    I hate fundamentalism. I don't think that the divide amoung religions comes from whether they are organized and un-organised (non-organised?) so much as whether the adherents to the religion take the teachings literally or not. I think things go very awry when people take a religion literally. If there really was one true religion, we would all be members of that religion by default, in the way that we breathe by default. If there was one true religion and one true god, then all of these hundreds, perhaps thousands, of religions would not have come into being. People experience and perceive the Divine in many different ways.

                    Fundamentalists, of any religion, take things literally and are wont to be intolerant to the point of vilifying all other belief systems. And that pisses me off big time. I can't stand it when one religion says it is right and the one true religion with the one true god and all others are evil. That's so wrong!

                    In many of the books I've read and documentaries I've watched, there is strong evidence to suggest that some sects of early Judaism shared ideas and practices with various Pagan groups, but especially the Hellenists. There is much evidence that Jesus took many of his teachings from Hellenistic schools of thought. Various Jews, Pagans, and later early Christians and Muslims, shared a lot of information with each other. They weren't afraid of exchanging ideas, like so many people in this era. But it sounds like then, as now, there were fundamentalists who were too stupid to understand non-literal thought and got everything buggered up. Why are they the ones who seem to garner the most power and influence?

                    What bothers me most about mainstream Christianity, besides the sexism, is how it vilifies other religions. Same with fundamentalist Islam and Orthodox Judaism-- all three took influence from Paganism, but all three refuse to acknowledge that and instead have spread lies about Paganism for centuries. Why can't they just acknowledge that much of their myths, values, and beliefs came from various Pagan schools of thought and why can't they work with Pagans instead of vilifying them? The one thing that bothers me the most about America today is the increasing lack of tolerance for minority religions (and the erosion of women's rights, but that's another can o' worms altogether!)

                    I went to a fundamentalist Christian school for two years. Ironically, this was in the late 70's when my mother was getting into feminism, so I went to ERA rallies on the weekends, then the church school during the week. Of course I questioned everything they told me and repeated pointed out their faulty logic. Needless to say, both the students and the teachers were mean to me. I never went to church again. I have a fear of fundamentalists. I remember the teachers telling us that God's law was above man's law and that we should infiltrate the government at the grassroots level, starting by getting on a school board for example, then work our way up until we got into the highest levels of government. Basically, the teachers at this "Christian" school were teaching us how to commit...well, I was going to say treason, but that's not the word. Damn, can't think of the word. Happens a lot now that I'm over 30. Oh, well, one of you out there will think of it. You get the idea anyway. A lot of other bad things happened there, but that's another thread, too.

                    Anyway, I like to find out about the Divine for myself, not take anyone else's word for it. My husband, on the other hand, says he feels comfortable with his religion (he's a Christian, but not a literalist) because that is what he grew up with, it's familiar, and he says it keeps him humble (of course, I told him he had a wife to do that!)

                    Cheers,
                    Marie-Bernadette
                    WWED -- What Would Elric Do?

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                    • #85
                      Fundamentalism is a state of mind -- associated with the undereducated, uncertain, frightened people who are unable to accept changes in their
                      culture. Fundamentalists usually increase in numbers during a period of rapid change or of economic upheaval. It's possible to feel sorry for them, but I suppose we have to defend against them if they get aggressive. At this moment in time I think we're likely to get caught up in a battle between various fundamentalists, each sect insisting it has the whole truth and willing to kill those who disagree. An unhappy irony that those of us who aren't so scared are as likely to become victims of this aggression as the various combatants.

                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Personally, I see all kinds of religions, perhaps with the exception of Buddhism (although I've heard of groups worshipping Buddha as a kind of deity), as different means to express the same thing. I think it's more important how you live than how you call a certain otherworldly power you sometimes make responsible for your actions (that's to Mr. Bush and Mr. Bin Laden...).
                        I also have to agree that organised religion is nothing more than politics, perhaps with a bit of mysticism to please the crowds (I loved it when Jack K. said more or less the same in Blood!), and politics too often results in war of one sort or the other. Any guesses how many amendments were broken by good Christians, with the blessings of the Pope, during the Crusades or the conquest of South America?
                        I very much like the idea of a "patchwork-religion", which seems more like a kind of personal philosophy and doesn't put you in a strait-jacket of dogma. For example: If you believe in christian philosophy and see some truth in buddhist teachings, why not acquire them for yourself. It's not the baddest way to go, if you don't take the mythology too seriously...
                        And to fundamentalism: Many people nowadays seem to equate fundamentalism in general with islamistic fundamentalism in particular. A friend told me his grandmother beliefs that "Islam is the plague God sent because Christians are not pious enough any more" and "if the Pope dies, the muslims will come and cut our heads off." So again, it seems to be different expressions for nearly the same thing...

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                        • #87
                          And the Pope is indeed in a pretty bad shape these days ...!
                          Google ergo sum

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                          • #88
                            Atheist here. For my part I don't mind identifying myself with this word in the sense that it is a negation or rejection of theism. The majority of the world are Theists. By making it clear from the get go that I'm the opposite, I'm in a good position to further explore the complicated issue of metaphysical philosophy with people.

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                            • #89
                              Ribitt:
                              I very much like the idea of a "patchwork-religion", which seems more like a kind of personal philosophy and doesn't put you in a strait-jacket of dogma.
                              I like your term "patchwork-religion". That's pretty much my approach to it. I like to read about various religions and incorporate different philosophies into my own belief system.

                              Islam is getting a bad rap lately, but they certainly don't have a monopoly on fundamentalism. I don't believe that fundamentalist thinking is part of Islam as a whole, either-- not the majority. Islam has too many rules for me, but there are things I like about it. I was listening to National Public Radio a while ago and I forgot the main topic exactly, but there was some discussion of Islam. A woman called in and said that in the 6th century, the Koran was used as the basis for giving women the right to vote, the right to run for public office, the right to own property, and for stating that men and women were equal.

                              All religions have some good points, even organised ones. Some people need the structure of an organised religion. Personally, structured institutions don't work for me. I want to make my own decisions, do not want to be told what to think or do, do not want to be controlled. But some people are lost without that structure and need it. Conversely, I can also see how and why some people don't believe in any religion or deity. So this is why I'm a big proponent of freedom of religion (which includes freedom from religion.) It's about personal choice. Which is what the fundies want to take away.

                              Mr M:
                              Fundamentalism is a state of mind -- associated with the undereducated, uncertain, frightened people who are unable to accept changes in their culture. Fundamentalists usually increase in numbers during a period of rapid change or of economic upheaval. It's possible to feel sorry for them, but I suppose we have to defend against them if they get aggressive. At this moment in time I think we're likely to get caught up in a battle between various fundamentalists, each sect insisting it has the whole truth and willing to kill those who disagree. An unhappy irony that those of us who aren't so scared are as likely to become victims of this aggression as the various combatants.
                              I agree. I not afraid of change, but I'm afraid of the people who are afraid of change! That's exactly why I'm afraid of fundies of all sorts. At that religious school I got to see and hear their insanity first hand and it shocked and terrified me. I was only 11-12 years old. Their ignorance and hatred and desire to control others still shocks and terrifies me. I don't know how to deal with these extreme people. How do we deal with them?

                              My husband thinks I over-react and fundamentalists aren't as much as a threat as I perceive them, but I know I'm just being realistic-- they did, after all, tell me their agenda. They are the ones who told me how they wanted to force their religion on everyone and had a plan to do it. How should I have reacted when I heard that? How would anyone react? I think my reaction was normal. I think my husband should get his head out of the sand. Pretending that extremists are not a threat is just naive. I'm not going to sit around while they stoke the pyre. I had an ancestor, a great grandmother about 7 generations back, Rebecca Chamberlain, who died in prison after being arrested for witchcraft in Salem, Mass. I feel I have to do something to keep that sort of thing from happening again-- speak out, at least, promote tolerance (a couple of good sites about religious tolerance, by the way, are religioustolerance.org and tolerance.org.)

                              And yes, there does seem to be more sects of various political and religious fundamentalists than ever. How can we keep out of their crossfire? When will the voice of reason finally carry any weight? Where is that cure for the world's pain?
                              WWED -- What Would Elric Do?

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                              • #90
                                I'm praying :lol: that there is some sort of reincarnation thing going on as I find the idea of ego dissolution appaling.
                                Personally I doubt by a long shot that we are adequately equipped mentally to understand what is actually going on.

                                I always liked the idea that divine manifestations in the christian bible were the result of extra-terrestrials.
                                With the vastness of the observable universe, I tend to favor the existence of life beyond earth.

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