I am trying to know what Atheism is and also to validate myself please help me

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Discussion by: fritzrayner
I am from the Philippines brought up by my parents as religious kid. Nevertheless in my teens I had a lot of curiosity about God/Religion, a had a lot of life problems this maybe contributory factor for me to not believe in God. My question is merely believing that God does not exist or even having doubts about him/ her can you be called an Athest?. What is the context of being an atheist? 

I am so sick of these people trying to judge me, shove religion in my face and even my family members.

36 COMMENTS

  1. To be an atheist is simply to refuse to believe any of the myriad non-scientific theories regarding the creation of the universe, due to simple lack of evidence. No more, no less.

    • It doesn’t matter in your case what you call yourself.

      All you have to say is that you don’t believe what they believe. That the evidence doesn’t support it.

      I’m pretty sure that makes you an atheist (not a theist) but that word is used as a weapon by theists which takes all the heat off of their claims. The last thing you want to do is get sidelined into a discussion about the definitions of labels in a situation like yours.

      They have the burden of proof. They are making specific claims. Keep the conversation where it belongs, or you’ll lose your mind.

    • In reply to #1 by Alternative Carpark:

      To be an atheist is simply to refuse to believe any of the myriad non-scientific theories regarding the creation of the universe, due to simple lack of evidence. No more, no less.

      Going to have to disagree (see my post above in addition). An atheist is merely not one who adheres to theism. Atheism has no intrinsic ties to science, rationalism or the creation of the universe.

      To be honest, this increasingly made claim really does come off as arrogance, and really isn’t valid at all considering (for example) some schools of Buddhism that don’t hold any belief in deities – and hence are atheists- still hold some other supernatural beliefs, such as in reincarnation and Karma. An atheist can have other views that some deem irrational even without a belief in a god.

      • I have to agree with this, although I clicked “like” on AC’s comment.

        Atheist seems like a simple word to me.

        -Do I believe in god(s)?

        -No.

        -I’m an atheist.

        That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in god(s) because I arrived at not believing in god(s) through reason, nor does it mean that I’m not completely irrational on a number of other subjects.

        Alternative Carpark’s comment just explained why I don’t believe in god(s), so I couldn’t resist.

  2. There seems to be a lot of focus on the Great Commission these days. I’d be tempted to call it the big sell. I think people of faith try to convert others to help convince themselves.

    Atheism is the absence of faith in a higher power (in contrast to theism). A safe position (and a direction Dawkins has leaned in recent years) is agnosticism, which (in its contemporary sense) accepting that you’re unsure what to believe.

    Other than that, there are numerous labels. I consider my position closest to Naturalism which is to say I accept that events transpire without supernatural influences, and thus according to a set and knowable hierarchy of rules, such as the laws of mechanics. I am incidentally atheist in that there are countless other supernatural things I also don’t even consider.

    But there is an entire gamut between being a disciple of an organized religion and being an atheist. You may accept that gods exist but favor none. You may accept that an ambiguous higher power exists but don’t agree with any given set of properties for It. You may have decided you really don’t know for lack of good information. All these are fine.

    • In reply to #2 by Uriel-238:


      Atheism is the absence of faith in a higher power (in contrast to theism). A safe position (and a direction Dawkins has leaned in recent years) is agnosticism, which (in its contemporary sense) accepting that you’re unsure what to believe.

      Atheism concerns a lack of belief given unavailable evidence, whereas gnosticism/agnosticism concerns knowledge. So for instance I am an agnostic atheist – I don’t know but I don’t believe either. If your mention of “the contemporary sense” was implying a mutually exclusive meaning, then it would be more correct to say the colloquial, incorrect sense. It’s important to promote the correct meaning of these terms IMO, despite these alternative definitions creeping into online dictionaries, particularly when some people equate atheism with “knowing” god doesn’t exist. The word atheist is then ascribed to those with an irrational position.

  3. About the context of being an atheist (in a highly religious country).

    People will judge you. Even your own family. Unfortunately that is a fact. They do this for a variety of reasons: Your parents may be worried that you will go to hell, your community may think you can’t possibly be moral or productive without religion, your friends may believe atheists are by definition assholes.

    The important thing for you to remember at all times is that these claims are absolutely baseless. When they accuse you of these things, look them straight in the eye and ask them why. Just because you don’t base your moral code on a outdated book doesn’t mean you don’t care about your family, that you don’t appreciate the Golden Rule, that you’re not a nice person. Have they ever seen you drink the blood of a baby, beat up a beggar in the street just because you could, steal from your grandma? Of course not.

    If they tell you you will go to hell, you can say that is what they believe, but that there’s no evidence for it. What, because the Bible says so? The Bible also says the sky is a solid dome, that bats are birds and insects have only 4 legs. Jesus himself said divorce is a sin, yet I’m willing to bet many people around you are hypocritical enough to have been divorced or otherwise gone directly against his words, and still criticize you!

    If possible, increase your knowledge of the natural world, the only world you and I think exists. Read up on science, on arguments for atheism, on arguments against religion. This website is riddled with interesting articles in all these categories. Look around the internet for Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Bertrand Russel, for evolution theory, Big Bang theory and even basic biology or physics. Buy a few books if you are in a position to.

    If you do these things you will find yourself grow more and more able to resist the religious shoving, and maybe even able to make those around you realise they could be wrong themselves.

    • I am overwhelmed by your answers. I thought only a few would reply to my post for that i thank you. I am glad I had been given an answer maybe , I would continue on to ask more more questions that are lurking in my mind. I would like to pursue the path of science, I would like to be a doctor and all of you can be my inspiration.

  4. Don’t worry about the precise definition of “atheist”.

    Words are often crude labels and you can’t always precisely define someone or something by a single word.

    However, if you don’t believe in any gods you can legitimately call yourself an atheist.

  5. nowadays atheist simply means non-theist. someone whoe does not hold any belief in gods. in the past it has been used as a term for followers of satan (Paradise Lost) or, I expect anyone belonging to a religion not recognised in a particular society.

    being a non-believer invivtes arguments whatever you call yourself or others call you. nowadays there’s a beleif that it means you “believe” there’s no god or are absolutley definite there’s no god. is the difference subtle? yes, is the difference utterly irrelevant? yes, will religious people hang onto the difference like a grumpy old dog to a bone? hell yes!

    if you claim to be an atheist, then accept that there is no such thing as disproof in god, religidiots claim victory and insist you must call yourself agnostic, and if you’re agnostic you’re not one way nor the other, therefore must be halfway between the two and gleefully claim a partial victory in proving the existance of god.

    so basically, what religious people call you isn’t important. they believe in a man in the sky who acts like a bronze-age petty warlord with homophobic issues created the whole universe but still talks to them personally.

    on the one paw can you honestly ever hope for people with that mentality to not judge you? nope. on the other, i care no more what a religious ape thinks about me than i care what the old tramp on the corner shouting at trafic thinks of me. it’s sad they have to be like that but i got my own lives to live.

    interesting you mention your curiosity about god. i was the same, brought up to believe in something, took an active interest in what i’m told to believe, and stopped believing in it thanks to my curiosity. stay curious, let them judge, enjoy this life without worrying about what boxes others are trying to fit you into

  6. For me .. It’s I don’t believe in God because there is no evidence to support such a claim. I am not only talking about scientific evidence , I am saying also, based on my rational, analysing my life experiences I don’t find anything that would presume a God of any kind.

  7. I don’t think there is a context? For me it is a complete inability to believe in any gods, and I think that is about it.

    I did try very hard. I was brought up with no religion at to speak of beyond the normal christmas and easter stories at school. I had religious friends tho and did envy them quite a lot – though they never tried to convert me at all. When a friends child died and both she and my religious friends took real comfort in the fact that unlived life wasn’t really over I tried even harder and nearly succeeded, tho it was hard work. Because that was something that seemed to be worth making the effort to believe in. Their god was wonderful, loving, forgiving, non judgemental, non sexist, scientific, kind, with life everlasting etc. Love thy neighbour, do unto others and so on. The fact he’d taken her 15 year old child after several years of suffering from cancer was glossed over a bit. But without anything to go on I was intrigued.

    What finally killed it for me was going on maternity leave with little to do but watch tv and eat. We had numerous god based sky channels that we’d never looked at – all American. Here I thought I’ll learn more and it’ll help with the doubts. So I got to see the American take on the same god my friends believed in! And boy was he different. Homophobic, misogynistic, evil, murdering, hateful, anti science, stupid and judgemental! Drown everyone in floods, people looking forward with glee to the suffering of the end of the world when only they’d be saved and so on. Even if they could have proved him real there is no way he’d be worth worshipping.

    Two completely irreconcilable versions – polar opposites in fact – of the same deity? My eureka moment? My friends were lovely people – so was their god. The evangelicals and creationists and extremists were not very nice people and neither was their god. God was just what people wanted him to be – therefore not real just an perfect imaginary friend. Nobody really chooses an imaginary friend they don’t like.

    I’d consider myself closest to reluctant atheist having moved from optimistic agnostic. But what I can say is I’ve found no real differences in general between believing peoplem not sure people and atheist people. Some are lovely, forward looking and rational. Some are just a sexist, backward looking, and irrational. So I can’t say I’m particularly anti theist.

    Belief or lack of it seems to be a trait independent of all the others. Tho it seems the nature of the god worshipped does seem to be dependent on personality.

    I still kind of hanker for the comfort they get. Especially now I have a child.

  8. Atheism is just the state of not believing in a deity or deities. If you’re looking for a coherent framework to replace a religious one, I recommend Secular Humanism, which embraces the good humans can do for each other and wise and sustainable interaction between humans and their environment.

  9. Read Atheism: A very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, and (if you are interested in philosophy of atheism) Atheism: A Philosophical Justification by Micheal Martin. You’ll get most of your answers from these books. And read The Magic of Reality: How We Know What is Really True, to see how we know the fairy tales of religion are not true.

  10. You sound pretty sad maybe Atheism is the name you’re giving to that sadness. You could lose interest in it. I hope you don’t, but you could.

    Anyone that doesn’t believe in God or Gods is an Atheists (Buddhists are also not Atheists, just to clear up any confusion). That’s about everything Atheists have to have in common, they are wildly different among them; the consensus you see on this site simply reflects social concensus (otherwise I’m an outsider!).

    Best
    Stardroid

    • In reply to #14 by Stardroid:

      You sound pretty sad maybe Atheism is the name you’re giving to that sadness. You could lose interest in it. I hope you don’t, but you could.
      . . .

      Best

      Stardroid

      To FriztRayner . . .

      To some people, notably some devout Christians, any other person who is an atheist is the lowest of the low. But that is just an irrational prejudice on their part. If one views atheism like one might view incurable cancer, or a horrible physical disfigurement or something, then it will be viewed as an extremely poor state to be in. On the whole, atheists are just nice people, going about their pretty unremarkable lives. Atheists are not cancers or disfigurements or blights or any such thing.

      Atheism is not a rejection of “God”, because in atheism one does not believe, so one is _not _ rejecting anything which one holds to be a truth. In atheism one is not angry with “God” for “his” supposed failings, because the atheist has no belief in a god ~ there is no god against which one can hold any anger. In atheism, we do not necessarily say that we can prove that there is no god, nor even that there is no god.

      All that it means is that, as informed people, atheists do not express a belief that a god exists. In most cases, it is probably because there is insufficient reason to believe that a god exists. It’s just a lack of belief. A new born baby is an atheist, because it does not have any belief that a god exists. God-belief comes about only after some form of learning, and acceptance of a positive position on the question of a god’s existence.

      If one examines some aspects of the theology attached to certain religions, which uphold certain definitions and concepts of a “God”, then one can reject or criticise or dislike those concepts. But this is only a rejection of the words and ideas which come out of the mouths of human beings, and not of an entity or being which one actually acknowledges as existing.

      You don’t turn your back on “God”, like you could turn your back on your father, (which I don’t suggest you should do). As a thought experiment, suppose you have no twin brother, (you might in reality have a twin, but for discussion’s sake, let’s just say that you don’t). You can’t reject or turn your back on your twin – you have no twin on whom you can turn your back. Same with “God”

      You don’t go about seeing, hearing, feeling, putting “God in heaven etc. etc and turn your back on that. You simply don’t accept any of it. You see, hear, feel, witness, make placement of . . . nothing.

      I am an atheist, and proud of it, because it means that I have thought for myself, and come up with my position, which I consider to be the best I can adopt.

  11. Atheism is the rejection of the belief in god(s) or deities. But simply repeating the definition does not address all the accompanying issues that individuals face when leaving a faith. It often involves a process of changing one’s entire semantic network of beliefs and facing social pressure to remain faithful. For me, atheism is not my final destination. My reasoning and observations have lead me to become an anti-theist. When we realize there is no supernatural god, is that the end of our intellectual journey? I hope not.

  12. Hello Dear fritzrayner,

    First of all simply because I am the first one to respond to your letter does not mean that I am in no way in a position to answer your questions,, only you are. And as you delve deeper into philosophy and science you will come to understand that there is a thing such as truth, and that level of truth,, religion and faith cannot deliver. Science have factual answers to some but in no way all of your existentialist questions, however that is to be compared to religion that claims that it has all the answers and has in fact not even a fraction of a real answer to even one of the questions besides repeating : Believe; Trust; Faith,,,
    Anyone asking me to do that with that much fervor would give me pause and think he/she was selling me something that in the end would cost me greatly,, so why cant modern rational people do the same parallel?
    I am sorry but the opposition against religion is, and should be a bit like the Buddhist and/or Ghandi movement (I am Sorry Dawkins to express a different opinion, you might be correct and right,, but in the long term to win against low-educated heathens from USA, id have to say,, let the idiots die out,, and we that are more enlightened keep solitary and to our selves ( as to avoid being picked out/picked upon/source of ridicule/being a point of focus for persecution (as in some states),, I am A vivid and fervent advocate for Anti-Theism and Anti-just-about-everything-except-science, but I am also a pragmatist and realist – that I know that living in certain places at certain times,, it might be deadly/lethal to question the local custom/pragmatism.
    You say that you are from The Philippines which means depending what part of the country you are from,, you not only have to challenge your parents and families belief-system but crossing a border would have put you in mortal danger from conflict with Islam as well,,
    If I would try to say anything at all worth a grain of sand to you it is this;
    While Living in Philippines as the climate as is today,, shut up and never speak publicly about your ideas and beliefs other than to other atheist people on places such as this where people in the Philippines cannot get your IP adress and track you down, do not talk openly about atheism in the Philippines today unless you are willing to become a martyr for the cause of reason and science.

    You are doing the right thing taking your discussion here, since here you will most likely find the greatest number of people that is if not sympathetic (and by that I do not mean that people here do not feel with you,, but that they cant understand your situation) then you will at least here find the largest number of people on line that share the same questions as you.

    And as having been lurking here just as a reader for 10 or so years, and only happened to register as member same time as I saw your predicament, I can only congratulate you and welcome you, but the official welcoming into science and a way of thinking,, only the major members and moderators can do.

    However, I would personally like to keep in contact since your path away from religion might help me also.
    Since I am writing several papers, and also is having some of the same kinds of internal questions as you do, i would like to talk to you again.

    I know I have not given you any answers,, but that is like the point,, Science is not about definitive answers,,, its about asking better questions,,,,,

    Kindly

    Chris

  13. Hi fritzraynor. Poor you! Coming from the Philippines means that you have more than your fair share of superstition to contend with as well. I can imagine candles being lit for your salvation, and perhaps an exorcism, or even worse. I agree with the writer who suggested that it might be wise to keep your opinions to yourself for a while, and only air them in safe places such as this.

    Unfortunately a belief in a supreme , benevolent creator doesn’t always result in an expression of kindness and compassion in it adherents, but quite often the contrary.

    Good luck in your life journey. I hope in time , you may be in a situation in which you’re free to think your own thoughts and follow your own reasoning.

  14. The definition of what an atheist is, is simple: someone who does not fall under the umbrella of theism. Now, theism describes the belief in one or more gods. If you’re not that, you are (axiomatically) an atheist. It doesn’t mean you [necessarily] believe the opposite of theism, which is that no gods exist.

    And no, merely having doubts does not make you an atheist by any stretch. Anyone who asserts that is Biblically, historically and philosophically ignorant.

  15. Deist = existence of god. Theist = existence of personal god (intervenes in human lives etc.) Gnostic = Claim to knowledge

    A gnostic-theist is someone who believes in a god and believes they have information about that god (what it wants etc), an agnostic-theist is someone with a theistic belief but makes no claim to have knowledge what the personal god wants. An agnostic deist is the same as an agnostic-theist except they also do not positively claim whether or not this god intervenes in human affairs.

    Atheism is “without theism”, meaning that an atheist is someone who does not positively claim there is a theistic god. All atheists are technically agnostic because you cannot positively assert that no god exists or ever has, whereas anti-theism I think means that you do positively claim that a specific god does not exist (Most people are regarding Thor etc.)

    Don’t confuse atheism with anti-theism. If you are not convinced about theism then you are by default an atheist. A jury doesn’t rule “Guilty / innocent”, they rule that they are not convinced that the person is guilty – therefore they are “not guilty”.

    I hope that helps :)

  16. I think being an atheist just means you see the world and its surroundings for what it is, and not what we would like it to be, or you could say we choose what is most likely to be true, rather than what we would most like to be true, there are many disadvantages to being an atheist, but the best thing about being an atheist is ‘we are always right’.

    Benjamin Roadley ”Anything is possible with the right amount of time”

  17. Atheism will be defined in the contemporary western sense: not just the lack of belief in a god, but the assertion about the non-existence of any gods, spirits, or divine or supernatural beings. Atheists in this sense are metaphysical naturalists.
    “Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair color”
    Atheists make such claims so Atheism can avoid legal imperatives placed on religions in many countries, and can avoid some of the ideological hang-ups people have about “religion”. It also creates a false dichotomy between science (which they claim must be naturalistic and secular) and religion.
    Religion is a difficult thing to define. Various definitions have been proposed, many of which emphasize a belief in the supernatural.But such definitions break down on closer inspection for several reasons. They fail to deal with religions which worship non-supernatural things in their own right (for example Jainism, which holds that every living thing is sacred because it is alive, or the Mayans who worshiped the sun as a deity in and of itself rather than a deity associated with the sun); they fail to include religions such as Confucianism and Taoism which focus almost exclusively on how adherents should live, and the little they do say about supernatural issues such as the existence of an afterlife is very vague; they also don’t deal with religious movements centred around UFOs—which believe that aliens are highly (evolutionarily) advanced (but not supernatural) beings.
    A better way to determine whether a worldview is a religion is to look for certain characteristics that religions have in common. The framework set forth by Ninian Smart, commonly known as the Seven Dimensions of Religion, is widely accepted by anthropologists and researchers of religion as broadly covering the various aspects of religion, without focusing on things unique to specific religions.

    The seven dimensions proposed by Smart are narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material. Not every religion has every dimension, nor are they all equally important within an individual religion. Smart even argues that the “secularisation” of western society is actually a shift of focus from the doctrinal and ritual to the experiential.
    Every religion has its stories. Almost all religions have stories explaining where the universe came from and what humanity’s part in it is. Smart calls this Narrative.

    Narrative is a particularly important aspect of western Atheism. As the prominent Atheist Richard Dawkins said, referring to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution:

    “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”
    

    Evolution is an explanation of where everything came from: the cosmos (came out of nothing at the big bang—nothing exploded and became everything); humans evolved from non-human creatures, hence humanity’s place in the cosmos is being just another species of animal. Some have gone so far as to say that humanity is a parasite on earth, and advocate killing up to 90% of humanity. There are some who attempt to combine belief in God with belief in evolution, not realizing the foundational nature of evolution’s connection to Atheism.The testimony of those who after learning about evolution in “science” reject Christianity should alert church leaders to the incompatibility between evolution and the Gospel.

    • In reply to #27 by Unbiased Bias:

      Narrative is a particularly important aspect of western Atheism. As the prominent Atheist Richard Dawkins said, referring to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution:

      “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

      Evolution is an explanation of where everything came from:

      Darwin’s theory is certainly not an explanation of where everything came from. It is only an explanation of where life evolved from LUCA came from.

      the cosmos (came out of nothing at the big bang—nothing exploded and became everything);

      Some use the term evolution to explain the development of the universe through time, but this should not be confused with the Darwinian evolution of life on Earth.

      humans evolved from non-human creatures, hence humanity’s place in the cosmos is being just another species of animal.

      That and being an ecosystem of symbiotic organisms within the larger ecosystems of the planet.

      Some have gone so far as to say that humanity is a parasite on earth, and advocate killing up to 90% of humanity.

      I’ve not encountered those, although human stupidity could achieve this or more.

      There are some who attempt to combine belief in God with belief in evolution, not realizing the foundational nature of evolution’s connection to Atheism.

      Atheism existed centuries before the scientific theory of evolution was presented and confirmed beyond reasonable doubt.
      It is just possible, though unlikely, that some speculative deist god or ancient alien life, could be compatible with evolution and natural sciences, but most theist gods are utterly incompatible.

      The testimony of those who after learning about evolution in “science” reject Christianity should alert church leaders to the incompatibility between evolution and the Gospel.

      I am not what the quote marks around science indicate!
      However use of theist blinkers, and “rhetorical interpretations” of words, will aid the cognitive dissonance of church leaders, who fail to recognise the incompatibility and contradictions with science that their mythical beliefs have.

  18. In my opinion, an atheist is someone who thinks there is no God and who practices atheism. I think even if someone (like myself) thinks there is no God, he need not practice atheism. if you think there is no theism, where is the need for atheism? Atheism is also a belief like theism. Today atheism has become a big movement which is unfortunate. Not believing in God is a choice of an individual.

    • In reply to #28 by Sri100:

      In my opinion, an atheist is someone who thinks there is no God and who practices atheism. I think even if someone (like myself) thinks there is no God, he need not practice atheism. if you think there is no theism, where is the need for atheism? Atheism is also a belief like theism. Today atheism has become a big movement which is unfortunate. Not believing in God is a choice of an individual.

      I have to disagree with you there. Theism is an active belief, atheism is just the lack of that belief. So if you don’t actively believe a god(s) exists, then you’re an atheist by default. Atheism is not a belief in itself (it is not a faith or religion) it is the absence of belief, that’s all.

    • In reply to #28 by Sri100:

      In my opinion, an atheist is someone who thinks there is no God and who practices atheism. I think even if someone (like myself) thinks there is no God, he need not practice atheism.

      I have been an atheist for decades, and I have no idea what you mean by “practices atheism”.

      if you think there is no theism, where is the need for atheism?

      If there is no theism and no deism, then everyone is an atheist!

      Atheism is also a belief like theism.

      No it isn’t a belief system. Atheism is an understanding of the improbability of gods because of a lack of evidence for gods.

      Today atheism has become a big movement which is unfortunate.

      Can you explain on what basis, or in what way it is unfortunate, that many people are losing their superstitious beliefs, and some of them are organising groups to defend science, reason and populations from the imposition of theist dogmas?

      Not believing in God is a choice of an individual.

      Why “God” with a capital “G” as if there was only one god ever claimed to exist?
      Not believing in fairies , leprechauns, Zeus, or Harry Potter’s magic, is also an individual choice. – but the views of other people about those who choose to take such deluded claims seriously, is also a personal and rational choice!

  19. In reply to #31 by Alan4discussion:

    In reply to #28 by Sri100:

    In my opinion, an atheist is someone who thinks there is no God and who practices atheism. I think even if someone (like myself) thinks there is no God, he need not practice atheism.

    I have been an atheist for decades, and I have no idea what you mean by “practices atheism”.
    When I said “practices atheism” I refer to people who propagate atheism. Then it becomes another ‘ism’, a concept. Whereas truth is not a concept. We should stop conceptualising.
    if you think there is no theism, where is the need for atheism?
    What I wanted to convey is atheism is another ‘ism’.
    If there is no theism and no deism, then everyone is an atheist!

    Atheism is also a belief like theism.

    No it isn’t a belief system. Atheism is an understanding of the improbability of gods because of a lack of evidence for gods.

    Today atheism has become a big movement which is unfortunate.

    Can you explain on what basis, or in what way it is unfortunate, that many people are losing their superstitious beliefs, and some of them are organizing groups to defend science, reason and populations from the imposition of theist dogmas?
    Not believing in god is fine ( I don’t believe in god) but organizations should not be formed to propagate atheism.
    Not believing in God is a choice of an individual.

    Why “God” with a capital “G” as if there was only one god ever claimed to exist?
    Not believing in fairies , leprechauns, Zeus, or Harry Potter’s magic, is also an individual choice. – but the views of other people about those who choose to take such deluded claims seriously, is also a personal and rational choice!
    It should not be externalized.When .you externalize, it becomes a concept. Whereas truth is not a concept

  20. I’m from Australia as my username suggests.
    Back in approx approx 1987 (a year after Marcos was deposed) I went to the Philipines for a 3 month holiday.
    I mixed with and lived with people from the very rich (with millions of US dollars) to the very poor (living in slums). I also mixed with soldiers living in army barracks. I met people who voted for Marcos and those who didn’t. I got an incredible idea of what Filipinos were like. Keep in mind that I didn’t go South of Manila though.
    I also saw first-hand how catholic the Phillipines is.
    I also knew Filipinos back in Australia.
    I have a real idea of what you are up against.
    My take on religion in the Phillipines is this (allow me to generalise).
    Phillipinos are catholic because of the spanish influence which lasted hundreds of years up to approx 1900. It has remained catholic ever since.
    Everybody grows up Catholic.
    Everybody considers catholism a good thing when speaking in public.
    Women tend to like catholism because it gives them a degree of protection (against being raped etc…) and helps them to raise their families and provides a safety-net against poverty.
    Men (say 30yrs onwards) in private dont care half as much for catholism as women but only say so amongst themselves – not normally in front of their women or children.
    So it is more of a pragmatic attitude that adults really have rather than a dogmatic belief.
    So I would suggest that you talk to a few older men first about it and you will probably find that their beliefs are similar to yours. Be brave and dont be scared – you wont be considered an outcast for it – just choose carefully who you talk to and be polite and respectful. Then you can decide what to do next.

  21. understands that we’re a primate species from the savannas of Africa. We are just as apart of the web of nature as any other living thing.This of course has a few implications. We don’t particularly like the fact that we’re going to die, but death doesn’t really care how we feel about it. As an animal I do not have a body I AM a body. We believe that civilization is a real thing and not some warm up test for the afterlife. By accepting all these thing I feel like Atheist is a accurate statement of what I am but it seems to lack a huge chunk of my true feelings. Also it isn’t too good to define yourself as what you are not. A better word is something that has been around for a very long time and is a more compete summary of my beliefs. What I am is a Human. As Humans we don’t have a Theist god. Humans do not have an everlasting soul. The Earth is not fine-tuned for us we are fine-tuned for it. If we make these distinctions, we have to realize that people who believe these false things but still call themselves humans. If they believe in things like souls, afterlives and creation their definition of a human is incorrect. So just like Dr. Dawkins wants us to call ourselves “Brights” I say we should identify as Human but at the same time let the religious and superstitious know that even though they’re obviously humans they should find a new word because they are using our word wrong. : )

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