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June 05, 2009

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I have a feeling I'd like Laurel. She seems to have a way of nailing things :)

Atheism is very much a religion and a set of strong beliefs. People who don't know are agnostics, and they don't try to convince everyone else they are right. Atheism has a creed and a need. It is out there like any other religion on the trail of converting the world to what they 'know' except they don't know either and should settle for being an agnostic but that would require they go onto some other pursuit that doesn't involve convincing the world they 'know' *s*

Rain, I understand where you're coming from. I used to lean more toward calling myself an agnostic. Part of the impetus for my liking "atheist" more came when I went to a meeting of the "spiritual" group I belonged to at the time, Radha Soami Satsang Beas, and heard a high-ranking representative say in a talk: "We are all atheists."

What he meant was, until someone has proof for the existence of God or some other divinity, they don't know this being or power is real. So until then, he or she is an atheist.

Most of the time, we don't have an agnostic position toward whether something exists. At least, that term isn't used. Sure, if someone asks, "Do you believe in Big Foot?" we might say, "Not really. But it's possible a giant creature is wandering in the woods."

We'd be unlikely to say, "I'm an agnostic about Big Foot." So it really is only in the area of religion that agnosticism, the word, thrives. I think it's because atheism is looked upon so poorly by so many people, agnosticism is a safe place to be for non-believers.

I do think that there are degrees of proof that something exists. However, if I see deer hoof prints in my yard, and previously I've seen deer in the flesh, I'm justified in thinking, "Deer were here last night."

God seems to be a much different matter. There is really no evidence of God's existence, so the burden of proof is on believers to explain how they can believe. I'd like to believe in a god or divinity, but I also want to be truthful to myself and not live inauthentically.

Truthfully I don't much like labels period. They frustrate me with their limitations. Some also don't like moderate as a label. It seems if you don't want to fit in the standard groups, labels are the most ineffective

"Letting go", can be quite hard when it's all possibly in your head, http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104291534

Semantics. Spirit is the way you feel. Your rigid conformity of the word sprit is dogma.

Josie, I agree that for me (and seemingly for you), "spirit" is the way we feel. As in, "That boosted my spirit."

But most religious people view spirit as something other worldly, supernatural, divine. As in, "I sensed the Holy Spirit." People who look upon spirit in that fashion are the dogmatic ones, not me.

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