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August 21, 2012

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It is nearly impossible to totally avoid speculative discourse on the "God" issue: someone you know assumes that there exists an autonomous entity that is responsible for the universe, and they will find a way to engage you in the consideration of this assumption.

A friend of mine once asked me why I did not consider myself to be an atheist. I told him: for the simple reason that there is no God to NOT believe in. He accused me of double-talk. But there we were: he, secure in the knowledge that there is in fact a God, and I, secure in the knowledge that there is no God. Life and the universe persist with no regard to human opinion.
With the exception of proselytizers, theists inadvertently maintain a blissful insularity from unlike-minded people. Their ideas are basically harmless, and the transparency of their human nature does not blatantly support their ideas.

Regardless - Reality is inescapable for all and sundry.

"...theists inadvertently maintain a blissful insularity from unlike-minded people. Their ideas are basically harmless..."


If their ideas were harmless, we wouldn't be talking about them. Their ideas are retarded and regressive, and to minds not developed enough to examine them, pernicious.

What hath ~God~ wrought?:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97WA46li9s8

Robert Paul Howard

This need to be a new "atheist" definition time.

Last Sunday morning, while watching a particular religious program, one Bible student stated,

"An atheist is a person that has an extreme hatred of God."

Okay, so this atheist must first acknowledge
the existence of God, then proceed to obtain a hatred of such.

Anyone have any other goofy definition examples?

I have something goofy to contribute. =^) I was an atheist for most of my life. I am fairly literate in science and I over-all respect science, including such concepts as the Big Bang and evolution.

One major turning point for me was when I no longer framed the question of a deity or deities between Judeo-Christian beliefs versus Darwinism, a nice clear cut cage match. Taking the Bible and Christianity and any number of religious people out of the question altogether, might various religions be imperfect attempts to grasp something valid?

There are any number of experiments designed to illustrate how nature manifests order, complexity, and life at random. One I have come across online is to take a tumbler. Place matching nuts and bolts inside the tumbler and let the machine spin, tossing them around. After a certain period of time, depending on such variables as how many matching sets of nuts and bolts were placed in the tumbler, some of them will have begun to thread together all on their own. Random nature can assemble things.

What I find interesting about this experiment though is to ask how much of it we should consider? The intent is clearly that no one had to manually assemble the nuts and bolts. Other facets of it that I notice, though, is that the tumbler was designed and manufactured and procured, as were the conveniently matching nuts and bolts. A power source was produced and accessed for the machine, and of course someone placed the nuts and bolts into that tumbler and turned it on. Conditions were deliberately set into motion by which nature can build things at random.

By analogy I think of a part of the unauthorized collection of essays by Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything. Toward the end of that book, he asks why there are any laws of thermodynamics in the first place, resulting in a universe to describe. He then asks if God made it all. And if so, "then who made him?"

I feel that it is valid to ask, instead of the universe see and ponder and are a part and product of, why, instead, hadn't there been a universe of absolute disorder after the Big Bang? Or why, really, hadn't there simply been no Big Bang at all, and no universe, ordered or otherwise, and none of us or life or earth or anything else?

I continue to agree with my former tribe, the atheists, that nature and evolution unfold at random. The only essential difference now is that I no longer happen to believe that they unfold purely at random.~Mike.

Agreed with Sam Harris.

That is why I am quite hesitate to use the term "atheist" to describe myself. Theism does not worth non-believers labelling themselves by adding an "a" before the term, otherwise all of us will have to call ourselves with a thousand names: a-unicorn-ist (I really agreed wtih Sam), a-Santa-ist, a-fairy-ist, a-lake monster-ist, a-UFO-ist, a-martian-ist, a-ghost-ist, a-paranormal-ist, a-divination-ist, a-Nuwa-ist (Nuwa is a Chinese creator goddess), etc.

That is why I am searching for a better name to identify myself. Naturalist (Naturalism) and Humanist (Humanism) are high on my list. How do you think of these?

Naturalism: "If you don’t believe in anything supernatural – gods, ghosts, immaterial souls and spirits – then you subscribe to naturalism, the idea that nature is all there is."
http://centerfornaturalism.blogspot.hk/2008/11/worldview-naturalism-in-nutshell.html

Humanism: "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity."
http://www.americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_III

Inspired by your remark "Why not simply call people who believe in God, 'theists,' while having no special word for those who don't?," a new choice came to my mind: "normal person!"

How about a non-ist, that is not a follower of an -ism. That said, I'm still a pickup truck driver, now living in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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