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What kind of atheist might you be, if you identify as atheist?


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Do you just reject traditional religious dogmas?

Might you be an emotional atheist? For instance, are you angry at the notion of God (or god)?

Or are you a social atheist, one who believes there's no reason to have a public religious tradition? Or perhaps do you have no interest in the cultural religious practices but maybe are still interested in spiritual questions? 

 

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Raf here.

Not long ago I decided to abandon the "agnostic atheist" label because it caused more arguments than it resolved.

Here's how I answer now: YOUR god is a fictional character whose non-existence is his ONLY redeeming quality. When it comes to YOUR god, I am an atheist with the certainty of a typist hitting the A key and expecting the letter A to show up on the page. 

I can't speak about any other hypothetical gods, but they are irrelevant anyway because you only care if I believe in YOUR God. I don't. He's made up.

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20 minutes ago, modcat5 said:

Raf here.

Not long ago I decided to abandon the "agnostic atheist" label because it caused more arguments than it resolved.

Here's how I answer now: YOUR god is a fictional character whose non-existence is his ONLY redeeming quality. When it comes to YOUR god, I am an atheist with the certainty of a typist hitting the A key and expecting the letter A to show up on the page. 

I can't speak about any other hypothetical gods, but they are irrelevant anyway because you only care if I believe in YOUR God. I don't. He's made up.

Bart Ehrman used to identify as "agnostic atheist."

Agnostic is a term I can get behind, but not as a label. I've said here before that I know next to nothing and embracing this not knowing leads to a healthier life experience. Either I know or I don't, and I am open to following to following the evidence, wherever it might lead.

Atheist, theist, agnostic... Whatever the label, it tells one little to nothing. I'm not sure these labels are helpful at all when one is trying to find out about another. 

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5 hours ago, Nathan_Jr said:

Either I know or I don't, and I am open... to following the evidence, wherever it might lead.

Atheist, theist, agnostic... Whatever the label, it tells one little to nothing. I'm not sure these labels are helpful at all when one is trying to find out about another. 

That's very intriguing (to me, anyway) Nathan. I offered up this thread not because I needed (or wanted) to know anything about anyone at GSC, but as food for thought.

I was raised Catholic in upstate NY until moving w/my mother and two siblings to Arizona. During most of that time in AZ before leaving for basic training, I identified as agnostic. However, I was entrenched in Christian culture anyway. I won't ramble on about my conversion to considering myself Christian.

My 12+ years in TWI and (independent) fellowships in the imprint of TWI thereafter ultimately turned me off to religion. Sure, I tried a church or two after no longer embracing the imprint of twi, but really I had no use for religion because of Victor/Loy and twi. For years, I've considered myself Deist, but really, I'm agnostic and leaning away from the concept of a personal God.

I don't need to tell people I could identify as Atheist. I just don't usually bother.   

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12 hours ago, Rocky said:

I offered up this thread not because I needed (or wanted) to know anything about anyone at GSC, but as food for thought.

Right. I got that from the beginning. The food just brought me to the thought that labels are a product of our conditioning. Labels are insufficient and usually problematic, divisive and destructive for the labeler and the labeled. Whether we realize it or not, labels are constructed out of laziness, immaturity and a lack of clear thinking, intellectually and spiritually. Can we see this about ourselves?

One can not see what actually, truly is as long as one is artificially labeling. And one can never come upon that which is eternal, that which has no name, if one is always seeking to label according to one's conditioning, programming, indoctrination.

This was true in Bronze Age Palestine and it's true today.

 

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I was raised a RC and did everything to be the best young man possible. Went to mass twice a day, being the alter boy at 6:30am low mass, and singing in the choir at the 8:15am high mass. After a number of years realizing all the masses, studying everyday after school, did nothing to make me closer to God. On the contrary, feeling nothing towards God was quite disheartening and led to hating the whole mess, and after graduation, the only time attending mass was at weddings and funerals. However, I did feel God was still important, and when witnessed to at a cafe by a TWI WOW, jumped at the idea to once again do something God wanted me too. I ate PFAL up like a hungary kid. My bible had all the believing and faith markings, and anthing else heard in a tape or from a leader. However, after my branch leader and his wife died in a horrific car accident, and no leader had any intentions of raising them from the dead, but condemned them for missing the revelation God was attempting to give them to avoid the accident, my faith went South. I stuck around for years after that, only because of the fear of becoming a greasespot my midnight overtook me. When I filed for a divorce I was M&A so was forced to leave. Thank goodness I was finally out and able to recover sanity.

Being out and able to think for myself, started realizing the only actions I saw about God performing miracles, was in a book written thousands of years ago. Why no parting of water in a lake when people were overtaken in a storm? Why no water being turned into wine, or the hungry getting their meager food multiplied to them?

At this point, questioning the bible and God really made sense. I can’t put a label on the kind of unbeliever I am, but have determined God, Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny are in the same class. I believe there is some kind of supernatural powers, but don’t believe anyone of them will ever be my savior. Like Sam Harris said, being an atheist allows me to expand my knowledge of life. I cannot explain it all for sure, but can study things I do not understand. 
 

 

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19 hours ago, Stayed Too Long said:

However, after my branch leader and his wife died in a horrific car accident, and no leader had any intentions of raising them from the dead, but condemned them for missing the revelation God was attempting to give them to avoid the accident, my faith went South.

What a horror story! Abject wickedness.

The leaders who condemned the your branch leader? Do you remember their names? Where they live?

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20 hours ago, Stayed Too Long said:

At this point, questioning the bible and God really made sense. I can’t put a label on the kind of unbeliever I am, but have determined God, Santa Clause, and the Easter Bunny are in the same class. I believe there is some kind of supernatural powers, but don’t believe anyone of them will ever be my savior. Like Sam Harris said, being an atheist allows me to expand my knowledge of life. I cannot explain it all for sure, but can study things I do not understand

Thanks for sharing your story, STL – that’s some tough experiences 

I’m not a big fan of putting labels on people anyway…since I left TWI and stopped doing that, I‘ve found I appreciate the perspective of others a lot more.

“being an atheist allows me to expand my knowledge of life. I cannot explain it all for sure, but can study things I do not understand”…  kudos to you, man! Thanks for your input on numerous threads – I know   belief-wise    we’re a gazillion miles apart but folks like you help keep   the journey to understand   real and grounded.

 

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16 hours ago, Nathan_Jr said:

What a horror story! Abject wickedness.

The leaders who condemned the your branch leader? Do you remember their names? Where they live?

I am really taxing my 75 year old memory attempting to recall the names of my branch leaders who died, let alone their bosses, an event that happened over 40 years ago. Neither names presently comes to mind amd probably never will. 

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15 minutes ago, Stayed Too Long said:

I am really taxing my 75 year old memory attempting to recall the names of my branch leaders who died, let alone their bosses, an event that happened over 40 years ago. Neither names presently comes to mind amd probably never will. 

No worries!  It doesn't even matter. Just morbid curiosity. Great suffering and calamity has befallen those leaders who condemned the accidental death of your branch leaders. I was hoping to read the public records and news media chronicles of their demise. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/8/2022 at 7:56 PM, modcat5 said:

Raf here.

Not long ago I decided to abandon the "agnostic atheist" label because it caused more arguments than it resolved.

Here's how I answer now: YOUR god is a fictional character whose non-existence is his ONLY redeeming quality. When it comes to YOUR god, I am an atheist with the certainty of a typist hitting the A key and expecting the letter A to show up on the page. 

I can't speak about any other hypothetical gods, but they are irrelevant anyway because you only care if I believe in YOUR God. I don't. He's made up.

Raf, I have not been informed about your journey into atheism but would like to read about it, if you want to share it.    Am genuinely curious as to what, where, how, why, etc.

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