nontheism

Allow me to explain something...

YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE YOUR IDEAS/BELIEFS SHIELDED FROM CRITICISM.

I’m sick of hearing things like, “If all theists and atheists kept their thoughts to themselves, things would be more peaceful”.

If using my BRAIN to THINK CRITICALLY and discuss things with others in a REASONABLE (ah, but there’s the rub…) manner makes me a “militant” atheist, then… lol I guess I am.

Militant, after all, means aggressive/combative, and you’re damn right I’m combative about religious people in power if their agenda is to push the bullshit of their religion on others.

If my views make you go, “boo hoo! I don’t like you saying that because… I just don’t like it!”

Please keep in mind that YOU DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO NOT BE OFFENDED.

In the words of Stephen Fry,

“It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that’, as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I’m offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what?”

I absolutely do not have to respect your beliefs.

I HAVE THE RIGHT, IN FACT, TO FIND YOU BATSHIT INSANE. Deal with it.

All I have to do is respect your right to choose your beliefs.

If no one ever debated with one another, or philosophized, or tried to reason, or thought critically, or asked questions, can you imagine where we’d be?

Also, a good debate =/= “shoving one’s opinions down another’s throat”

The metaphor of shoving something down another person’s throat carries the connotation of forcing someone to think or behave in a certain way.

In order to force someone to do something, you have to have power over them.

How many openly atheist people do we have in power in the U.S.?

tl;dr: I’m not going to promote stagnation by keeping quiet in order to “keep the peace” (peace?!) so that I don’t ~offend your delicate sensibilities and make you cry into your security blanket because I introduced a new idea that’s different from the one that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.

Bye.

How to be a successfull Atheist

  • Pretend that the term “religion” actually means something from an anthropological view.
  • Mix science, ontology, epistemology and metaphysics in a jumble in your arguments.
  • Pretend that atheism is somehow connected with science.
  • Pretend that theism always has even a remote likeness from case to case, and that theists usually have an Abrahamic view of deity.
  • Make no distinction between theist, nontheist, suitheist or other views on Deity, or solipsist, acosmic,realist, idealist, empirist, rationalist or other ideas.
  • Pretend that atheism is a form of “knowledge” as opposed to a belief / conviction.
  • Try to convert everyone to the “true” belief.
  • Pretend that all theists take their mythology literally.
  • Pretend that all theists belive in an “alternative” to scientific explanations and evolution.
  • Just go on and on and on having a theological discussion mixed with a scientific one, disregarding ontologies and metaphysical distinctions.
  • Fundamentalism is “them”, common sense is “us”.
  • Proselytize, proselytize,proselytize.
I find it facinating how atheists now become just as intolerant,uneducated,fundamentalistic and fanatic as Christians.

They spew hate, hijack science, rewrites history and use the same silly semantics.

When they talk of “religion” they really describe Christianity (or at best Abrahamic religions).

Nobody takes them more serious than they themselves do and everybody with even half an hour of study in Ontology and / or Epistemology knows that their belief is no more than that, a belief. Put some rituals and practices to it and you have yet another nontheistic religion.

How to be a successfull Atheist
  • Pretend that the term “religion” actually means something from an anthropological view.
  • Mix science, ontology, epistemology and metaphysics in a jumble in your arguments.
  • Pretend that atheism is somehow connected with science.
  • Pretend that theism always has even a remote likeness from case to case, and that theists usually have an Abrahamic view of deity.
  • Make no distinction between theist, nontheist, suitheist or other views on Deity, or solipsist, acosmic,realist, idealist, empirist, rationalist or other ideas.
  • Pretend that atheism is a form of “knowledge” as opposed to a belief / conviction.
  • Try to convert everyone to the “true” belief.
  • Pretend that all theists take their mythology literally.
  • Pretend that all theists belive in an “alternative” to scientific explanations and evolution.
  • Just go on and on and on having a theological discussion mixed with a scientific one, disregarding ontologies and metaphysical distinctions.
  • Fundamentalism is “them”, common sense is “us”.
  • Proselytize, proselytize,proselytize.
Behold, The Six Types of Atheists

How many ways are there to disbelieve in God?

At least six, according to a new study.

Two researchers at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga found that atheists and agnostics run the range from vocally anti-religious activists to nonbelievers who nonetheless observe some religious traditions.

“The main observation is that nonbelief is an ontologically diverse community,” write doctoral student Christopher Silver and undergraduate student Thomas Coleman.

“These categories are a first stab at this,” Silver told the website Raw Story. “In 30 years, we may be looking at a typology of 32 types.”

Silver and Coleman derived their six types of nonbelievers from 59 interviews. We’re pretty sure we’ve spotted all six in our comments section.

1) Intellectual atheist/agnostic

This type of nonbeliever seeks information and intellectual stimulation about atheism.

They like debating and arguing, particularly on popular Internet sites.

(Ahem.)

They’re also well-versed in books and articles about religion and atheism, and prone to citing those works frequently.

2) Activist

These kinds of atheists and agnostics are not content with just disbelieving in God; they want to tell others why they reject religion and why society would be better off if we all did likewise.

They tend to be vocal about political causes like gay rights, feminism, the environment and the care of animals.

3) Seeker-agnostic

This group is made up of people who are unsure about the existence of a God but keep an open mind and recognize the limits of human knowledge and experience.

Silver and Coleman describe this group as people who regularly question their own beliefs and “do not hold a firm ideological position.”

That doesn’t mean this group is confused, the researchers say. They just embrace uncertainty.

4) Anti-theist

This group regularly speaks out against religion and religious beliefs, usually by positioning themselves as “diametrically opposed to religious ideology,” Silver and Coleman wrote.

“Anti-theists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or institution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental,” the researchers wrote. “The Anti-Theist has a clear and – in their view, superior – understanding of the limitations and danger of religions.”

Anti-theists are outspoken, devoted and – at times – confrontational about their disbelief. They believe that “obvious fallacies in religion and belief should be aggressively addressed in some form or another.”

5) Non-theist

The smallest group among the six are the non-theists, people who do not involve themselves with either religion or anti-religion.

In many cases, this comes across as apathy or disinterest.

“A Non-Theist simply does not concern him or herself with religion,” Silver and Coleman wrote. “Religion plays no role or issue in one’s consciousness or worldview; nor does a Non- Theist have concern for the atheist or agnostic movement.”

They continue: “They simply do not believe, and in the same right, their absence of faith means the absence of anything religion in any form from their mental space.”

6) Ritual atheist

They don’t believe in God, they don’t associate with religion, and they tend to believe there is no afterlife, but the sixth type of nonbeliever still finds useful the teachings of some religious traditions.

“They see these as more or less philosophical teachings of how to live life and achieve happiness than a path to transcendental liberation,” Silver and Coleman wrote. “For example, these individuals may participate in specific rituals, ceremonies, musical opportunities, meditation, yoga classes, or holiday traditions.”

For many of these nonbelievers, their adherence to ritual may stem from family traditions. For others, its a personal connection to, or respect for, the “profound symbolism” inherent within religious rituals, beliefs and ceremonies, according the researchers.

My mom just told me that last night, while she was out to eat with my grandparents for my grandma’s birthday, my grandma decided to use that time to tell everyone that she is now agnostic.

My grandma, 78, has come to the conclusion that she is agnostic now.

I love my grandparents.

Theism through the Atheist's Looking-Glass

I recall as a theist reviewing the blurred groupings of ‘agnostics’ and 'atheists’ with vague interest; however, the similarities were all too great, and I generally lumped them into one category. A word Google’s spellchecker fails to recognize– nontheists– I later applied to them.  As it turns out, nontheism is a different doctrine entirely, compatible with both religion and a lack thereof. Not unlike Google’s spellcheck, I failed to recognize the intricacies and realism behind a word I did not understand; as a Christian, I misunderstood atheism generalized the term such that it was inclusive of agnostics, theological cognitivists, gnostic atheists, and every school of thought in between. 

As a theological noncognitivist who disregards most definitions of God, I suffer from the reverse problem: the similarities between theists are outstanding. Although I appreciate the insights this perspective brings, I am wary of its disadvantages. I have lost a significant portion of my ability to empathize with the religious and divisive and lack understanding with regard to the schisms and corresponding denominations of religious traditions. I struggle with determining whether my viewpoint is valid or merely the product of apathy. 

Nevertheless, there is a notable similarity between atheism and theism in their most basic forms: that of faith. The theist has faith in the existence of God, while the atheist places faith in the reverse; this distinguishes the agnostics and the igtheists. 

I finally came to a conclusion on what my religious beliefs are

I believe in Nontheism.

Nontheism holds that the universe can be explained without any reference to the supernatural, or to a supernatural being. Some non-theists avoid the concept of God, whilst accepting that it is significant to many

"Why I am an Atheist" 1903 Letter from 23-year-old woman to Kentucky Newspaper

In 1903, Kentucky-based newspaper “Blue-grass Blade” asked its readers to write in and contribute to a forthcoming feature named, “Why I am An Atheist.” Hundreds of letters soon arrived and many were subsequently reprinted in the paper; over a century later, in 2011, they were compiled to form the book, Letters from an Atheist Nation.


Below is just one of the letters. It was written by Minnie Parrish, a 23-year-old divorced mother of four who later went on to become the first female doctor to practice in North Texas.

(Source: Letters from an Atheist Nation.)

Why am I an Atheist

Because it has dawned upon me that it is right to be so, and upon investigation I find no real evidence of the divine origin of the scriptures. And because I cannot, as a refined and respectable woman, take to my bosom as a daily guide a book of such low morals and degrading influences. Written by a lot of priests, I cannot accept a salvation that is based wholly upon the dreams of an ancient and superstitious people, with no proof save blind faith.

Everything that so many people think transpires from the supernatural, and many things that would really perplex the average mind, have a natural and material foundation in the workings of the human mind; that is, things that are not connected with our solar system.

It is ignorance of the scientific working of their own natures and mind that keep so much “mystery” in the air; and as long as there is a mystery afloat the people will ascribe it to the supernatural.

I am an Atheist because I know the Bible will not do to depend upon. I have tried it, and found it wanting.

In fact, I found in the scriptures the origin of woman’s slayer, and that it was one of God’s main points to oppress women and keep them in the realms of ignorance.

I am in the ranks of Liberalism because of its elevating principles, its broad road to freedom of thought, speech, and investigation.

MINNIE O. PARRISH
23 years old
Leonard, Texas

For historical context, in 1903 (that same year), Orville Wright flew an aircraft with a petrol engine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in the first documented, successful, controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flight. Martha Jane Canary, better known as Calamity Jane, died this year. (H/T Letters of Note)
The difference between theism and nontheism is not whether one does or does not believe in God… Theism is a deep-seated conviction that there’s some hand to hold: if we just do the right things, someone will appreciate us and take care of us… Nontheism is relaxing with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the present moment without reaching for anything to protect ourselves.
—  Pema Chödrön
What Does God Mean?

I have given up on the God i used to seek. My true passion has left to pray to the same idea as before. And i feel freed. But let me tell you why.

I don’t say that it doesnt exist. In my opinion i have no clue if it does or not. But my focus in this life must be the universe and my own mind and what that means. A wise owl friend told me that when she feels in a funk she sits and thinks about why she loves living. What a moving activity, why i love every bit of my life. Much more uplifting to me then reaching up to something. It is right here right now.

I am going to do research into reform judaism and some nontheistic interpretations of monotheistic religions and paganism. Why not? I’ll add this to going into buddhist practices like meditation and loving kindness. Seeing every face as that of one you love dearly.

Making mean comments and eating unhealthy food just won’t happen anymore. Not because i tell myself i shouldn’t but because well they don’t make me feel good so of course i won’t do that! Isn’t that so much of a better way of getting things done?

I am me. my spiritual life will be about my mind, not about something outside me.

I love all of you and wish that you see that to love your life is to live it.

Things that upset me about some militant atheists:

Before I start on my little rant, I suppose I should explain my background a little bit. I’m Roman Catholic, but politically liberal. I believe in the separation of church and state. I support tolerance of atheists, which I admit a lot of the religious community does not. But  I find that a lot of the time, the tolerance I extend to my atheist/agnostic/nontheistic/etc. peers is not reciprocated by them to me as a religious person, particularly as a Christian.That being said, here are some intolerant practices that I believe are inherently hypocritical and undermine the atheist cause for acceptance:

1) “Anybody who believes in any god is an uneducated moron.” - The fact that I even have to explain this one makes me upset. You don’t believe in a higher power. I get it. But insulting me and my entire belief system won’t change my mind. It just makes me angry. Because by saying this, you are really only a) making yourself look like the moron, and b) giving me full permission to attack you right back. And I think, and this might just be me, that it’s easier to acknowledge that we believe different things when it comes to what happens when you die. So we should leave it at that.

2) “Nothing good has ever come out of religion” - Nothing will make me want to slap you more than saying that. Religion has had its bumps in the road, sure. And a lot have people have died over religion. But religion has also saved a lot of people, and helped them through difficult times in their life. And regardless of whether or not you believe in a deity, you cannot take that away from them. This issue is connected to issue #3.

3) “Religion teaches backwards beliefs” - Yes, I think we have all acknowledged that slavery and stoning adulterers are, in fact, immoral. And I even support the expansion of reproductive rights and gay rights. The truth is, there are issues with some traditional beliefs. (Sorry, but my knowledge of religious texts is almost exclusively on the Bible, so what I’m saying now is going to reflect biblical beliefs.) But I think we can also all concede that “Thou shalt not steal” and “love thy neighbor” are pretty good rules to live by. Religion, ironically enough, reflects humanity in a lot of different ways. It’s flawed, sure. But it has merit. 

4) “There is nothing wrong with radical atheism. Look at how radical religion has caused suffering” - Cut the crap. Seriously, we’re going back to the Crusades and the Witch Trials now? We are all perfectly aware of religious persecution in our history. And it still happens, which is unfortunate. But we have to move past that to get to a place of tolerance. That is the goal: universal tolerance. And while religion has gotten messy in the past, a lot of those incidents were hundreds of years ago. That doesn’t make them okay, but it means that things have changed (we’re still working on that.) Widespread atheism is more modern, and has rarely gained a majority, which would explain why it’s caused fewer incidents. But incidents have happened. May I direct your attention to Communist Russia and China? Terrible things happened there in the name of atheism. The point is, humanity pretty much taints everything, but we need to move past that to progress as a society.

5) “Atheism isn’t a belief. It’s a lack of a belief.” - This one doesn’t offend me. It just confuses me. Atheism, basically, is not believing in a higher power, correct? Which means that atheists have a conviction that no higher power exists. And conviction is a synonym for belief, right? I really don’t see how it makes a difference if it’s a “not-belief” or a belief. You do your thing, I’ll do mine, we’ll all get along. But if somebody could explain this to me (Nicely.), that would be appreciated.

I want to make it clear that I have no problem with atheism. I don’t believe in it, sure, but I’m more than willing to acknowledge that it has merit. But I feel that a lot of times, militant atheists are intolerant and belligerent in their convictions and expression of said convictions. So I guess what I’m trying to say is I wish these individuals could extend me the same courtesy that I extend them when it comes to freedom of belief. Okay, you can now reblog with whatever hate you so desire. Bring it on.