Posts tagged ‘atheism’
One of the things I noticed not long after becoming an atheist was how much christianity and religion is soaked into the fabric of society.
Here are a few glaring examples:
- Taking Sundays off
- Blue States where they won’t sell alcohol on Sundays
- Saying “bless you” when someone sneezes
- Christmas, Easter, St. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, All Saints Day, etc., etc….
- Common expressions like oh my god, jesus!, jesus christ, damnit, damn, holy anything, etc., etc…
As an atheist, I wonder, is it necessary to remove and de-christianize ourselves as much as possible? My husband sneezed this morning and I said “bless you.” It’s a habit to say it. I apologized and said, “you’re so good looking” instead. (A Seinfeld episode reference.)
Saying “bless you” is a very old superstition. Is it really necessary to say it when we are trying to rid ourselves of this woo thinking?
For holidays, I find that it’s a time to get together with family. Since I’ve gone godless, I wish people happy holidays, not merry christmas, and so on. Most people don’t even notice. But for me, I find that it’s important to de-christianize my thoughts, actions and words…
My parents weren’t religious when I was young, but my older sister got sucked into the local baptist church, so of course she dragged me along. It was the typical fire and brimstone kind of preaching. In the summer, we would go visit my grandparents, and my grandmother would take us to the christian scientist church. They didn’t conflict too much for my young brain, so it wasn’t that bad. I was a good little christian girl, and got baptized as soon as I could with the god fearing baptists.
When I was about 12, my parents suddenly got religious in the church of christ. More fear of god preaching filled my head, including bible study once a week with the minister. I got baptized two more times in two different churches, for good measure, and went to church faithfully. I was terrified of burning in hell. It didn’t help that my parents were crazy… good christians on Sunday morning, screaming and abusive the rest of the week. Of course they both blamed me for their abusiveness, so I felt damned to hell for being so wicked, even though I was exceedingly good most of the time.
Not long after we started bible study, the minister decided he wanted to go bowling instead of teach us about the lord’s word. He said I asked too many questions. This was the first blatant sign I had of the hypocrisy of the church and I wanted no more part of it. My stepfather thoughtfully punished me severely for not wanting to go to church. But after a month of it, he inexplicably stopped trying to make me go, much to my relief…
My friend Eric Maisel has written a new book about atheism, The Atheist’s Way: Living Well Without Gods. Instead of being a tirade against religion, or an anti-apologetics polemic to try to disprove the existence of God, Eric has written a book about how those of us who already are unbelievers can live meaningful and productive lives without belief in gods. Here’s a short guest post by Eric. Enjoy!
The Atheist’s Way: Living Well Without Gods
By Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
I see my new book The Atheist’s Way: Living Well Without Gods as primarily providing a roadmap for non-believers who are looking for an answer to the question, “How can I invest my life with meaning if the universe takes no interest in me or in human affairs?” At the same time, I think it will serve the many believers who have questions about their belief system and who harbor a lurking doubt that believing in gods makes good sense. For both groups, I see The Atheist’s Way as providing real answers and a vision of an “atheist lifestyle” characterized by personal responsibility, meaning adventures, and joy.
In writing the book, I thought it wise to skip the arguments for the non-existence of gods. Those arguments have been presented many times already, sometimes thoughtfully, sometimes thunderously. From my point of view is made better sense simply to state that there are no gods and to proceed on to the really important next questions. For the non-existence of gods is a starting point, not an end point, and merely sets the stage for the play…
…. According to a New Survey
This is being reported in numerous news agencies. Here is a link for the report itself: http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/
This survey had 54,461 respondents and was conducted over 10 months. So it’s not one of those worthless, “barely 1000 surveyed with one afternoon’s phone calling” polls.
- Summing up those who said of the existence of God “There is no such thing”, “There is no way to know”, “I’m not sure”, & “There is a higher power but not a personal god” gives as 24.4% of all respondents! Of course there is the downside that there are still 69.5% who said, “There is definitely a personal God”. But that first number is a vast improvement over what was seen 15+ years ago.
- Those who identify themselves religiously as “none” amounted to 15% of respondents. Up from 8.2% in 1990!
- 27% do not expect a religious funeral at their death.
There’s still a long way to go, but this is great progress. I would like to hope that it’s a sign of increasing sense and honesty among people, but I’m NOT that optimistic (naïve?).
:D – LeoPardus
To celebrate our 2nd Anniversary, 1,000,000 page views, and 22,000+ comments, I’d like to highlight a few of the images posted on this blog by our contributors. These images give a great summary of the general topics of our posts for the past 2 years:
[Art by Jim Huger from Dead To Rights, a parody of Jack T. Chick's tract]
Well team, it looks like we’ll hit the million mark sometime this weekend ahead of our 2nd Anniversary in March. This is being achieved without counting the page views of our many contributors since WordPress does not accumulate those views in their statistics.
Of course, we could not have accomplished this without our many visitors who came to d-C via StumbleUpon.
On our busiest day, we saw 13,834 views and it’s an honor to be ranked in Alexa.
- The de-Convert
The taller, louder half of the magic and comedy act Penn and Teller, tells what the absence of God means in his life. [The bits of emphasis are added by me at points I though particularly cool or poignant.]
I believe that there is no God. I’m beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy — you can’t prove a negative, so there’s no work to do. You can’t prove that there isn’t an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word “elephant” includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?
So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The atheism part is easy.
But, this “This I Believe” thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life’s big picture, some rules to live by. So, I’m saying, “This I believe: I believe there is no God.” Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I’m not greedy.
I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it’s everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I’m raising now is enough that I don’t need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day…