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Everything posted by AlmiraGulch

  1. I've told my kids that there is no evidence that there are any gods at all. Not the god of Christianity, or Hinduism, or Islam, or the ancients like Zeus or Thor. I told them I used to believe, that I no longer do, and that they will have to determine for themselves what they believe. One of my children is atheist. One currently identifies as Pagan, but she explores lots of things. I think that's great.
  2. I've certainly been turned off by the behavior of some Christians, but, like Ishki, I'm put off by the behavior of a lot of people, both religious and non. I don't believe because....well....I don't believe. No one else's behavior can change that for me.
  3. I obviously don't know if the man really existed or not, although for whatever reason I do believe he did. I've never questioned that too much because it simply isn't all that important to me. All of the legends that pre-date Jesus, but make essentially the exact same claims as those attributed to him, were sort of the proverbial nails in the coffin (cross?) of my waning Catholic belief system. The more I studied, the more I realized that not only were the stories of the Bible inconsistent and implausible, they weren't even original. That was it for me.
  4. Pretty much this for me, too. I do believe he existed and that his message was positive. I also don't believe he was divine.
  5. You didn't ask me, but since I feel the same way as Laura I'll say..... I don't know. I've yet to see it. But then, I'm not looking for it. My life is perfectly awesome and full without having to attribute it to a deity. I once believed in God. I no longer do, and don't feel like I need to. It's incredibly liberating.
  6. I'm also a skeptic, so I guess I would say I'm agnostic, but strongly leaning toward atheism. If I had any -ist label at all, I'd probably say anti-theist. I am personally opposed to organized religion much more than I am to an actual god. I like beerist. I'm going to claim that from now on, too.
  7. I have three. I got the first when I was 25 or 26. It does have meaning, but got it sort of on a whim. I still love it. The other two also have meaning. I got the last one about 1.5 years ago and it's my favorite. I have one more I'd like to get, but it's a large rib cage piece and I don't know if I could tolerate the pain anymore.
  8. Well, because she likes it, and she wants it, and it's her body, not his.
  9. I love it. I also don't think you're going to have to touch it up as much as people are saying, particularly if there is no color. And even if there what? It's tiny, so touching up won't be expensive and would take less than 5 minutes. My opinion is that tattoos are very personal. If you like it, it isn't all that important what others say. I have two on my on my toe, and another on the top of my foot. I love them both. I love glancing down and seeing them there. And the toe tattoo I've had for about 7 years and just had it touched up for the first time last year. My two cents.....if you want it, go for it.
  10. This is really interesting to me. I honestly have never, ever experienced any of this, with the exception being the elected officials unless you're in Atlanta proper. Maybe it's because I don't go to church, my friends aren't overly religious, most of the people I know are professional and many are transplants....I don't know. I can certainly understand what you're saying, but it has never been my experience. I live in Cobb County, which is pretty conservative overall, but I don't feel like it's oppressive in any way.
  11. I don't agree with this, but maybe I just don't understand what you mean. I'm an atheist living in the Atlanta 'burbs (and have for 18 years) and don't have any "issues" outside of the "Where do you go to church?" question that people in the South are so prone to throwing out there. Maybe where I live doesn't count as the "far 'burbs" to you, though, since I'm only about 15 minutes from Atlanta? Either way, I'm really curious to know what you mean by that. For real. No snark. Have you had "incidents"?
  12. I'm in Georgia, although I'm in the northeast suburbs of Atlanta and PTC is south. My sister lives in the next city over from Peachtree City. Yes, it's a lovely community. In fact, I find most of Georgia to be very nice. I enjoy living here. Homeschooling here is really pretty easy. You really just have to report attendance, save your curricula in case there's a review, and administer some standardized testing every three years. You don't have to send the results anywhere.
  13. I get that, but of course their experiences are still biased based on what they know. For example, if I had one of those experiences and it would somehow transform me in the way you cited, it would not be unlikely that my story would include something of the "pearly gates", or an angel, or that a close, dearly departed relative would have been there, because those are the stories I grew up with. I doubt that I'd be suddenly converted to Hinduism. I also don't discount their experiences, but I also believe that naturally ascribe what we "know" to new experiences, but there's nothing wrong with that. I think that these types of NDEs are great, frankly. Most people fear or are uneasy by death because no one really knows what happens. To be able to take the fear out of the process for when it ultimately does happen is beautiful, I think.
  14. I think I don't know! I know many people who truly believe they've had contact, and I've personally had some experiences I cannot explain. My husband is convinced there are spirits in our house, and that we were "visited" by someone he knows while on our honeymoon. I've witnessed the same things he has and don't have an explanation but I tend to believe it's just something else of this world, something scientifically explainable, that just hasn't been explained YET. And I don't think it has anything to do with any deity. Also, I think people often hear what they want to hear and see what they want to see, and that many so-called "mediums" take advantage of that, which to me is just disgusting.
  15. Like many have said previously, there is no one, common belief system among atheists. That said, many that I know, myself included, would say that this, along with the White Light many relating near-death experiences refer to, would be part of the brain's natural processes that occur while healing itself or shutting down. I'd also say that some (myself included) don't necessarily completely discount all "supernatural" occurrences, but I don't really consider them to be "supernatural". Rather, I think in many cases things that we see are functions of physics and energy, as we know it works, and not fully understanding the extent of it yet. For example, I posted earlier that while I don't believe in reincarnation, per se, I do think it's possible that the energy that makes us who we are can stick around after our bodies die and make appearances in different ways. I don't think there is divine direction, or that it's my Uncle Chester trying to make contact; rather, I think that since energy doesn't die, it's not out of the question that a body of energy could remain for some period of time after one dies, and that the explanation is scientific (albeit one I can't fully explain) and not supernatural at all. I'm sure others will chime in, too.
  16. Funny you should mention this. "O Holy Night" is my favorite Christmas song. It was when I was a practicing Catholic and continues to be now in my atheist life. I think it's a beautiful song. I love the emotion that the words and lyrics express. It really doesn't matter that I don't "believe" it. I don't "believe" everything I sing. The song still moves me. I recently attended the Catholic funeral of my uncle. I sang every hymn, knelt when I was supposed to, said most of the prayers, because I know what to do and that's just....what you do. I was there to comfort my aunt and I wasn't going to stand almost in silent protest by not doing what I clearly know how to do simply because I don't believe any of it anymore. It wasn't about me and my beliefs, or lack thereof. I did not take communion out of respect for the Catholics there. Some know that I no longer believe what they do, and more importantly that I certainly haven't been to confession, which you're supposed to do before you accept communion. I couldn't have cared less, but I didn't want to be offensive.
  17. Yes, I think that's how it all started, for sure. It's all illustrated very well in the movie Zeitgeist that I referenced earlier. I don't believe that all religious beliefs will ever be replaced by science. People need and crave religion for a variety of reasons, the least of which is, anymore, to explain natural things. They want to be a part of something "bigger". They want to be part of a community. It gives people hope. It assigns reward and consequence in a very grand sense. So, no, I don't think religion will ever give way to science entirely. ETA: I want to think that theist beliefs came about because of this, but that organized religion has always been (and in many cases remains) a means to control the populace, in both deed and money.
  18. I think they're made. I was raised with religion, and at one time in my life strongly believed in a "higher power", even if I always questioned it and have never been particularly religious, even when going to mass every week. Years of study and discernment have led me to the place I am now. I think that it never even occurs to some people to question what they've been taught, but if they gave it some reflection they may find that they could no longer blindly believe, either. I just don't think it's that it's really important to most people. They say the prayers, sit, stand, kneel, face the right way in the afternoon, give up meat on Fridays, master the rituals, read the holy texts, attend the churches and mosques and temples and ashrams....because that's what they've always done. That's part of what bothers me most about organized religion. In many cases, there isn't any thought or intention behind it, really. It's just what you do, because that's what you've always done and what's expected. Clearly, the above doesn't apply to everyone. It's just my general observation.
  19. By the way, has anyone watched Zeitgeist? 1/3 of it is about religion and how most of the baseline beliefs of most of the major religions are based on the same things (a lot of astronomy and other life cycles), and how none of it is original. Not even the story of the virgin birth of the son who is supposed to be the savior, dies, rises again and saves the universe. All of it pre-dates Christ, for sure, and there are countless examples (I have not verified all of it, but did research a lot to see if it was true. It was.). I highly recommend it. You can see it for free on YouTube. It's interesting. (Disclaimer: I remember another part was about 9/11 is an inside job, and I have no patience for that. It was still an hour or so of entertainment for me.)
  20. Thanks for posting this. I agree with much of what she has to say, but I'm just not that angry about it. Does that make me not a true atheist? :lol:
  21. My daughter wants to do this to me! I told her I think it would be awesome, but really, I don't care what they do with me. I'll be dead. I do prefer to be cremated and my ashes scattered in the sea, and for there to be much partying and merriment in celebration after the fact. But really, whatever they want will be fine.
  22. Except in the South, where I swear the first question people ask you when you meet them is "where do you go to church?" I'm not making this up. That's why it comes up so often in my life. The only stranger thing I've seen in my life is in St. Louis (where I'm from) where the first question people ask you is "What high school did you go to?" I'm not making that up either. But I digress.
  23. Because some atheists are militant people, just like some Christians are militant people. I do know some atheists like that and I can tell you that they're like that about EVERYTHING. Religion, GMOs, Republicans, George Bush....everything. It isn't limited to their lack of religion.
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