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Atheist FAQ

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I always hated starting threads that no one responded to! It damaged my self-esteem! :biglaugh:

There are certainly a lot of misconceptions about atheists, a poll taken around the time of the last presidential election (or maybe the one before that) indicated that Americans were less likely to vote for an atheist than someone in any other group

Atheists are assumed to be without morals, to have nothing to live for, that atheism is a "belief" or a religion, that they are unhappy, that they are angry with or rebelling against God, and that there are "no atheists in foxholes", that atheists cannot be patriotic or that they worship the devil.

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Well gee by golly there Oakspear,if you are an athiest then I would logically expect you do not believe in the devil either.

No, I realize by personal experience that a good percentage of athiests practice good morals but on the average, athiests do tend to be less moral than God fearing folk - yes, many God fearing folk are also immoral.

I have stated there are no (few) athiests in fox holes; listen my athiest friend, it is true/correct that many soldiers, etc. tend to look to God when their lives are in danger of the exit door. Folks want to cover their bases - it's human.

Well, Oakspear, are you happy? I don't think athism (is that a word) either adds or deflects from happiness, I wouldn't really know (all of you, spare me the arguement about happiness and joy).

Now, since good ol'e Raf started this thread I will honor him with this dissertation. I respect Raf and would hope that reading all the discourse on this site would bring him back but I expect not but who am I to say such. If this site only attracted old twi's then it's missing some of the benefits of the site. Yeh, you can do the twi bashing and trip down memory lane but this site has exceptional dissertation on the Bible (read it or don't). So there Oakspear, you will continue to be innundated with the Bible on the site.

So, tell me athiests, if you believed prior (accepted Jesus Christ) and you now no longer believe then you don't believe in the eternal seed of God placed in you, I got it. Have by chance, in the event you are wrong, what would you say to Jesus at the Bema - now that's the ultimate hypothetical question.

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OK, serious question.

How does the Bible thing work in court?

(".....so help me God.")

edit. Never mind. My friend, Mr. Google, says they don't do the Bible thing anymore.

Edited by waysider

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Well gee by golly there Oakspear,if you are an athiest then I would logically expect you do not believe in the devil either.

A lot of people equate "not believing in God" with folowing or worshipping the Devil
No, I realize by personal experience that a good percentage of athiests practice good morals but on the average, athiests do tend to be less moral than God fearing folk - yes, many God fearing folk are also immoral.
Mileage may vary...I have seen though my own personal experience that religious people in general tend to be less moral than non-religious people, including atheists
I have stated there are no (few) athiests in fox holes; listen my athiest friend, it is true/correct that many soldiers, etc. tend to look to God when their lives are in danger of the exit door. Folks want to cover their bases - it's human.
The folks from "Atheists in Foxholes" (see link on previous post) would disagree. I think the people who reflexively jump to praying when in danger are not atheists (although some might be) but folks who are not habitually religious.
So, tell me athiests, if you believed prior (accepted Jesus Christ) and you now no longer believe then you don't believe in the eternal seed of God placed in you, I got it. Have by chance, in the event you are wrong, what would you say to Jesus at the Bema - now that's the ultimate hypothetical question.
Sounds like a side bet to Pascal's Wager. In the event that you are wrong, what would you say to Allah at the end of time? Or to the Norse gods in Valhalla?

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OK, serious question.

How does the Bible thing work in court?

(".....so help me God.")

edit. Never mind. My friend, Mr. Google, says they don't do the Bible thing anymore.

We as a nation continue to be contradictory about what we mean by not establishing a religion. Public schools cannot have teacher-led prayer, but Congress has a chaplain.

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Well gee by golly there Oakspear,if you are an athiest then I would logically expect you do not believe in the devil either.

That's good to hear. The problem is, a lot of Christians project: Because they believe we are serving the devil by not worshiping God, they presume (unreasonably) that we ARE in fact worshiping the devil, which is ludicrous. There is no devil.

No, I realize by personal experience that a good percentage of athiests practice good morals but on the average, athiests do tend to be less moral than God fearing folk - yes, many God fearing folk are also immoral.

On what basis do you conclude that atheists (please check your spelling) are less moral than God fearing folk? I'm sure you have stats to back this up.

I have stated there are no (few) athiests in fox holes; listen my athiest friend, it is true/correct that many soldiers, etc. tend to look to God when their lives are in danger of the exit door. Folks want to cover their bases - it's human.

As stated already, there ARE atheists in foxholes. But the fact that someone in a perceivably helpless situation looks to God, Allah, The Universe or whatever to intervene in defiance of that such a person actually believes to be true reveals nothing substantive except that they're going through something pretty heavy. On a plane ride recently we experienced turbulence, and I got nervous. I shut my eyes. But I fought off decades of conditioned behavior that would normally have had me praying in such a situation. I told myself to relax, that the pilots had been through this before, dozens of times, and that they knew what they were doing. The plane landed safely. Not because I prayed. Not because someone else did. But because every single day, most planes, the overwhelming majority, land safely. Sometimes they don't, despite prayers.

Yes, there are atheists in foxholes. You know where there are no atheists? The Klan. ISIS. No atheists there.

Well, Oakspear, are you happy? I don't think athism (is that a word) either adds or deflects from happiness, I wouldn't really know (all of you, spare me the arguement about happiness and joy).

Can't speak for him, but I am. Thanks for asking.

Now, since good ol'e Raf started this thread I will honor him with this dissertation. I respect Raf and would hope that reading all the discourse on this site would bring him back but I expect not but who am I to say such. If this site only attracted old twi's then it's missing some of the benefits of the site. Yeh, you can do the twi bashing and trip down memory lane but this site has exceptional dissertation on the Bible (read it or don't). So there Oakspear, you will continue to be innundated with the Bible on the site.

So, tell me athiests, if you believed prior (accepted Jesus Christ) and you now no longer believe then you don't believe in the eternal seed of God placed in you, I got it. Have by chance, in the event you are wrong, what would you say to Jesus at the Bema - now that's the ultimate hypothetical question.

What would I say to Jesus at the bema? Probably the same thing you would say to Thor at Valhalla, I suppose.

OK, serious question.

How does the Bible thing work in court?

(".....so help me God.")

edit. Never mind. My friend, Mr. Google, says they don't do the Bible thing anymore.

I work in court daily. I've never seen anyone swear on a Bible, and only about 5% of the time do I hear "so help me God" as part of the oath taken before testimony.

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I have been in only one life-threatening situation since I left Christianity behind. I was involved in a serious car crash. I was hit on the driver's side of my car by another vehicle that blew through a red light. I remember looking to the left and seeing the car bearing down on me. I am quite sure that I didn't invoke the help of any deities even though I considered that I might not survive the impact.

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But if you DID, it would not demonstrate that such deities exist!

That's the point. "There are no atheists in foxholes" fits the thesis that religion is not born of logic and understanding but of FEAR. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being powerless to change the (apparently) inevitable. Fear of death. It doesn't demonstrate that gods exist. It demonstrates that people in fear hope for rescue. Well, NO DUH! I'm sure the people on the four 9/11 planes hoped for rescue too. I'm certain nine church members in South Carolina hoped for rescue too. I'm certain the passengers and crew of the plane that a suicidal maniac smashed into the side of a mountain hoped for rescue too. Begged for it. Pleaded for it. Fear does that.

But praying in a foxhole does not prove God exists, just like the fact that every person I cited in the previous paragraph is dead right now doesn't prove there is no God.

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Ask away.

Oooo- me!

Do any other atheists out here experience a deeper sense of sadness now at terrorist events/world catastrophes now that mythical deities are not to blame?

Back when I was chugging the Kool-aid of popular mythology, it was easy to dismiss any quackery with "Well, the Devil is the god of this world and has control." or "God would NEVER let that happen to us believers." Example. Example.

Now that I don't attribute these terrible things to myths, I cannot easily sweep them away ("they must have not been believers. They HAD a chance to believe") and I have a profound sadness that humans can use these myths to disregard real human tragedy. Tell me I'm not the only one. I was in a foundational class on 9/11. I kept on hearing that it was the devil that caused it because of Adam and nothing would ever happen to us believers. How dismissive to trivialize the killing in the name of a slightly different god, and the lives lost by saying it will never be you. I was in a Mexican restaurant when the Paris attacks occurred, and the shock of others eating away while the punch-to-the-gut realism on the small TV screen in the corner hit me that this was done in the name of a religion. Same for Charlie Hebdo. I cried for the first time in years at how sad that truly is, striped of the lens/filter of religion.

Anyone else (who has no need for myths) feel this kind of reaction now?

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I do not know as I would ascribe to atheism the new found poignance of your observations, CD. Rather, I would credit your awakening unto our unviversally shared humanity without the man are fear of religious bondage of ANY kind. If that leads you to atheism, wonderful. The most important thing IMO, is that it has not led you away from our shared humanity and to a realization that we are truly "made of one blood to dwell upon the earth", with neither religion nor science changing that reality. IMO, science proves it.

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Oooo- me!

Do any other atheists out here experience a deeper sense of sadness now at terrorist events/world catastrophes now that mythical deities are not to blame?

Back when I was chugging the Kool-aid of popular mythology, it was easy to dismiss any quackery with "Well, the Devil is the god of this world and has control." or "God would NEVER let that happen to us believers." Example. Example.

Now that I don't attribute these terrible things to myths, I cannot easily sweep them away ("they must have not been believers. They HAD a chance to believe") and I have a profound sadness that humans can use these myths to disregard real human tragedy. Tell me I'm not the only one. I was in a foundational class on 9/11. I kept on hearing that it was the devil that caused it because of Adam and nothing would ever happen to us believers. How dismissive to trivialize the killing in the name of a slightly different god, and the lives lost by saying it will never be you. I was in a Mexican restaurant when the Paris attacks occurred, and the shock of others eating away while the punch-to-the-gut realism on the small TV screen in the corner hit me that this was done in the name of a religion. Same for Charlie Hebdo. I cried for the first time in years at how sad that truly is, striped of the lens/filter of religion.

Anyone else (who has no need for myths) feel this kind of reaction now?

Yes - TWI's teachings lead people to process information in a twisted, very narrow and over-simplified way. As those false barriers are removed, new perceptions are realized. Processing the new reality is overwhelming at times.

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Yes - TWI's teachings lead people to process information in a twisted, very narrow and over-simplified way. As those false barriers are removed, new perceptions are realized. Processing the new reality is overwhelming at times.

This new perception of reality hits you like a ton on bricks when you finally realize the law of believing was a wagon load of horse manure and you've been blindly trusting an illusion for longer than you care to admit.

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Yes - TWI's teachings lead people to process information in a twisted, very narrow and over-simplified way. As those false barriers are removed, new perceptions are realized. Processing the new reality is overwhelming at times.

Agreed. When you're only looking at the world through a heavy filter (Wafer lurkers, this means you!), it's like looking at the world in black and white. In fact, they engrained this in us all the time, that everything is black and white. God's way or the highway. A or B. This is the ONLY way to scrub a toilet, every other way is "not the best".

Once you step away from the very forced lens or black or white, you can see color. Yes, it is certainly overwhelming at times, but I'd take the color all day every day. Only taking the "highs" from the myopic view that my cult and my desires are the center of God's thought/world is so trivial. It also resulted in a false (and in my current experience a very limited) sense of happiness. You FEEL like things are blissful, but there's no substance behind the ear to ear grin. The result for me was attributing EVERYTHING to God ("Thanks God for this awesome parking spot!" and "Thanks God for the exact tissue I needed when I needed to sneeze. You know my every need!") and none of it on my own hard work, determination, or just how fortunate things can or cannot be. The colors come in recognizing your (and others) accomplishments and what we as a society can and cannot due.

God=Good, Devil=Bad. Black and White. Actually living in the world and sharing/contributing to the greater common welfare of man and shaping the human experience- Color.

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Agreed. When you're only looking at the world through a heavy filter (Wafer lurkers, this means you!), it's like looking at the world in black and white. In fact, they engrained this in us all the time, that everything is black and white. God's way or the highway. A or B. This is the ONLY way to scrub a toilet, every other way is "not the best".

. . .

And then . . . who benefits from wearing the filter? Or, who benefits from others wearing the filter?

If you can get others to see things from a very limited viewpoint . . . what kind of control does that give you over them?

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And then . . . who benefits from wearing the filter? Or, who benefits from others wearing the filter?

If you can get others to see things from a very limited viewpoint . . . what kind of control does that give you over them?

If you can get others to accept the viewpoint that, without relinquishing a portion of their income, bad things will happen, that gives you great control over them and, ultimately, their money. A steady flow of ABS, in my opinion, was the real heart of the scam.

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This new perception of reality hits you like a ton on bricks when you finally realize the law of believing was a wagon load of horse manure and you've been blindly trusting an illusion for longer than you care to admit.

Ah, but I think there is an effect of believing that is real, regardless of whether thought of as or called a "law," or principle, or act, or however else it can be labeled. It just wasn't identified or necessarily taught in a way that is the best or makes the most sense biblically.

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Ah, but I think there is an effect of believing that is real, regardless of whether thought of as or called a "law," or principle, or act, or however else it can be labeled. It just wasn't identified or necessarily taught in a way that is the best or makes the most sense biblically.

I agree. The Law of Believing is selfishness at its core. Selfishness is very real. VPW had a knack for making selfishness fit Biblically.

There are ways to make selfishness make more sense, I am sure.

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Ah, but I think there is an effect of believing that is real, regardless of whether thought of as or called a "law," or principle, or act, or however else it can be labeled. It just wasn't identified or necessarily taught in a way that is the best or makes the most sense biblically.

Care to explain?

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Care to explain?

Well, I'm not the expert on it.

Perhaps Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking" or David J. Schwartz's "the Magic of Thinking Big" are a place to start.

(But there's plenty of similar stuff out there nowadays.)

It's probably bigger (or better explained, scientifically) than what either of the above write about, but I'd have to dig around and find or recall other things I've read on how the mind works (which, I don't really have time for right now.)

Edited by TLC

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Negative thinking and stress can have a detrimental effect on your physical health. Or, at least, there have been studies that seem to draw that conclusion. Thinking positively about a situation can drive you to take action you might not otherwise take, thus eliciting a desired outcome. Aside from that sort of thing, there is no inherent power in your thoughts that can change things in the physical world around you. You can't think things into or out of existence or change situations by focusing your thoughts on the end result you would like to see. The "red drapes" story was a load of bunk, as was the story of the mother who "believed" her son would be killed by the car. This stuff doesn't have its foundation in anything Biblical. It's merely a twist on the New Age Thinking that was so popular in the 1950's. Wierwille cherry picked some scriptures to fit with it in an effort to make it look more credible..... "Well, you know, it says so in the Bible and I didn't write the book!".

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The "red drapes" story was a load of bunk, as was the story of the mother who "believed" her son would be killed by the car. This stuff doesn't have its foundation in anything Biblical. It's merely a twist on the New Age Thinking that was so popular in the 1950's. Wierwille cherry picked some scriptures to fit with it in an effort to make it look more credible..... "Well, you know, it says so in the Bible and I didn't write the book!".

So what? I already said it wasn't taught right.

Negative thinking and stress can have a detrimental effect on your physical health. Or, at least, there have been studies that seem to draw that conclusion. Thinking positively about a situation can drive you to take action you might not otherwise take, thus eliciting a desired outcome. Aside from that sort of thing, there is no inherent power in your thoughts that can change things in the physical world around you. You can't think things into or out of existence or change situations by focusing your thoughts on the end result you would like to see.

Okay, so that's what you think today. But how far down the rabbit hole do you care to go?

(I'm not endorsing the following, I'm merely pointing out the fact that rabbit holes for this exist.)

http://cosmology.com/ConsciousTime107.html

Edited by TLC

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