In this video my mom and I talk about how we get along even though we believe completely different things as far as religion goes. We also talk about the false messages contained in the movie: God’s Not Dead.
The term agnostic is usually referred to someone who is unsure about the existence of gods/goddesses or something like that. I think that it could easily be applied to being uncertain about any claim to knowledge.
My WordWeb dictionary has two noun definitions of “agnostic”.
1. Someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something
2. A person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist)
I fall under both categories given that I can’t claim 100% certain knowledge about everything that exists or not. Technically I can’t know that I don’t live in a Matrix where everything is all an illusion, but I dismiss this because there is nothing I could do about it if it was true.
I am what I like to call a practical atheist. When it comes to ideas such as the supernatural, spirits, gods, or an afterlife, there is not really anything I can do about these things even if they were true. I have countless reasons for thinking they don’t exist such as the fact that none of them can be clearly defined by the believers in them.
So when a pantheist says God is the universe, then fine, I believe God exists because it has been defined as the universe. However, this is not what a Christian, Jew, or Muslim means when they talk about God. They describe a person with thoughts, emotions, intentions, etc. What I think they are doing is just taking all their own thoughts, emotions, and intentions and combining them all into a blob named “God”.
I used to do the very same thing. I used to think: “I like ketchup so God must like ketchup. I am sad when babies are aborted so God must be the same.”. There came a day when I realized what I was doing. God was nothing more than a clone of my personality. I stopped believing in hell because I didn’t want anyone to burn forever so I figured that God must not be that way either. I was a universalist type of christian for awhile believing that everyone went to heaven after they died.
So what changed? I realized I had not one shred of proof for this. I could not convince anyone that my beliefs were true. Another problem is that I had another internal conflict that was going on. I became increasingly upset at the abortion situation and wondered why God didn’t just turn everyone pro-life, remove their reproductive organs, or just turn everyone asexual.
Of course by this time I already had dismissed the bible as a bunch of lies. I wanted to believe in a nice God instead of the one that demanded animal sacrifices and struck people dead for certain sins. It all sounded so crazy so I quit basing my beliefs on the bible and instead was entirely emotionally driven.
Perhaps I still am a slave to my emotions an what I want to believe, but I have come to understand that is what everyone is doing. What I mean is that we are all biased and have reasons for believing things based on what we believe the consequences are of believing those things.
Think about it this way, people who believe in Free Will do so because they WANT to believe they are in control of their own destiny and what happens to them. At the same time, people who believe in God WANT to believe they have an imaginary friend or heavenly father/mother that will take control over their lives and help them when they screw up.
There is no escape from our desires that compel us to believe or disbelieve certain things. I have come to see believe in God in much the same way as belief in Free Will. It may be a nice thought to believe there is someone to help you when none of the humans in your life care about you, but that does not make it true.
So could I be wrong? Could there be some type of personal guiding force or creator that people have been referring to as “God”? I suppose so, but until I meet this force I will think the concept is just something that mankind started believing to help them overcome their fears about death.
So I am agnostic about this but I use the label of atheist because belief in something is binary. You either live by it or you don’t. I will live this way until I am proven wrong or until I die.
I wasted the first 25 years of my life in christianity and I have come to hate the way it causes people to shut their brain off and just live in a state of perpetual drunkenness. I think of religion as a sort of drug that makes people feel happier but later causes them great pain.
I heard about the National Atheist Party in a podcast and was completely turned off by the whole idea. I want to explain why I am against a political party based on atheism.
The very idea that you can base an organization off of a lack of a belief is completely insane. An atheist does not believe in a God or gods, but that is all. To think that they will all agree on politics is completely insane.
Imagine a party based on not playing basketball, not having hair, not wearing pants, not eating meat, not doing sex, not watching tv, or not driving a car. Think about it and I think you will see the problem.
Atheism is a lack of a thing. There is a reason that I call myself a pro-life atheist. That is because a person must define themselves by what they are instead of what they are not.
There is a radical difference between a pro-life atheist and a pro-life christian, jew, or muslim. I don’t want to get into all the differences in this post but let me say that all matters of morality are seen slightly different when you don’t believe there is a god controlling everything in the world.
I define myself as a pro-life atheist only for the reason that I want people to know that I won’t use threats of hell or use violence against them when talking about abortion. If people would get rid of all the violence and threats often connected with the teachings of religion, it would be different.
But back to the point, any group that defines itself based on a lack of something is doomed to fail. If a member of the National Non-Basketball Association suddenly decided to try basketball, they could be called an apostate and would be told that they will be sent to a hell where they will have to watch football.
Because I want people to remain open to new ideas and to find what is relevant, true, and good, I naturally don’t like exclusive organizations. I am not against people having groups based on a similar interest but when it becomes a political party, it has become a religion like others which spread their lies.
I do not mean to pick on just one political party because I think politics in general is bad. I am naturally going to disagree with any individual or group about something. The point is to let people know why I agree or disagree. Contrary to popular belief, my decisions are not random.
My decision to not be officially part of a religion or political party is heavily based on my Pro-Life philosophy. To be part of ANY group which has the motivation to hurt, kill, or control others is a bad idea to me. I am of the opinion that religion and politics poison everything.
Since atheism is NOT a religion, atheists need to stop acting exactly like those in the religions they often leave. They become hypocrites. I do not wish to be thought of as one of them.
Make no mistake, there is no atheist great commission or power that dictates what a nonbeliever will do. That is the whole point. I use it as a sign that I am a peaceful person. Perhaps as I learn more, a better term will come to mind.
There is no law that I have to be an atheist for the rest of my life and so I remain open to change my worldview if what I am sure of right now is false.
But me being Pro-Life is one think that is nearly impossible to change without killing me or severely brain damaging me.
Atheism, by definition is not something people can gather around as if it is an actual thing. Imagine a National Non-SantaClausist party. That is how silly the idea is to me.
A trinity is any group of three things that are relevant to each other. This applies to a triangle, a three leaf clover, or a pizza cut into three pieces. Synonyms of trinity include trio, triad, and triplet. You can guess that if a word starts with “tri”, it has something to do with the number three.
Most of the time that someone talks about a trinity, they are referring to the “Holy Trinity”. In Christianity, the three parts of God are referred to as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is one of the teachings of Christianity that I never saw the relevance of. God could have three parts, but it is also possible that there is a fourth part of God that is named Bob. It is not possible to prove or disprove this theory but anyone is free to believe or disbelieve in Bob as they choose.
In case anyone asks why they have never heard of Bob, my guess is that Bob is an introvert who is not interested in showing himself to the rest of the universe. I am 99% sure that I created Bob in my own image, but since I can never be absolutely sure of this, I will not waste my time debating with anybody about the existence of Bob.
Christ Stedman wrote a book titled: “Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious”.
I recommend this book to other people because it provides examples of how the religious and irreligious people can understand each other better.
Like Chris, I have my own experience of trying to overcome religion. I understand very well the anger that a person feels when they learn that they have been lied to and that years of their life were possibly wasted. But Chris did not stay that way. He instead learned to relate to people. He learned how to be relevant!
Far too often, I have found that when people leave a religion, they no longer believe the same way but they remain just as closed minded as they were. There is no quick fix to healing from the fear, guilt, and shame that usually comes with religion. It takes time, but the process is sped up when you read or hear stories of people who were in the same spot as you but found a way out.
Anyone who is involved in interfaith dialogue is someone I need to learn from. All of the things that I find relevant are not possible if people do not communicate.
Here are some links to some of the work of Chris Stedman:
To be irreligious is to simply not be religious. A person who is not connected with a religion would be irreligious. For this to make sense, it is necessary to define exactly what a religion is.
There are many different religions in the world. The key to understanding what a religion is to find what connection, relation, link, or relevance that the most well known religions have in common. Based on my own learning of various religions, I have my own simple definition.
Religion: A set of beliefs obtained, received, or inherited from someone else.
I base this on the fact that the religion of almost everyone matches that of either their parents or the majority of those in the geographical area that they grew up in. Since most religions are a group of beliefs, some of the beliefs may be true and others false. Religion causes problems that divide people. When groups divide, the new groups are called denominations or sects.
The problems often seen in religion come from the fact that if people question or doubt the truth or relevance of even one belief in a set of beliefs, they are often killed, threatened, or shunned. The fear of punishment for not pretending to agree with all the beliefs of the religion. Because of this, you are unlikely to find honest people in a religion.
A religion is not the same as a philosophy because philosophy requires asking questions and thinking about things. Any philosophical beliefs someone has should be their own opinions which are based on current knowledge. Philosophy can change, but religion cannot. Religion can be forced on people, but philosophy cannot be forced on someone. If it is, it becomes a religion.
Almost anything can be turned into a religion. I hate the way that math and music are often treated as religions. When a person’s inability to understand or use any subject is used as the excuse to discriminate against them, then it has become another abusive religion.
Racism, sexism, and ageism are good examples of beliefs that are included in many religions. People are treated differently based on things which are completely out of their control. No one chooses their genetics, how they look, or when they were born.
In the same way, I know that it is also wrong to treat somebody badly because of their religious beliefs too. The reason is because I do not think that people usually choose to be a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Hindu, or many others. If someone does choose any of these, it could only be after they have fully understood all of the beliefs required to be part of that group. Even then, they may not agree with them all.
A lot of people simplify religion by saying that it is a belief in one or more gods, deities, or supernatural beings. The trouble with this is that since even the theistic religions do not agree on the same gods, this cannot be used to determine whether something is a religion or not.
I know that not everyone will agree with my definition of religion, but I would not want them to. If they just accept my beliefs about what a religion is, they have missed the point. People need to decide for themselves whether or not they can believe something. My definition is nothing more than an observation which fits all the religions I know about.
Keep in mind that belief in a god, an afterlife, or a certain type of morality does not make someone religious. It just means that they question, think, or reason.
I say that I am irreligious because I am not related, connected, or linked with any type of religion. I like to learn about religions without feeling like I have to agree with them.
I also don’t want my irreligion to turn into a religion. I do not choose to reject religion. If anything, religion rejects me because I am far too honest to pretend that I agree with people of a religion. To do so would be dishonest.
I am completely confused about what pornography is and how it is defined. So far dictionaries have been no help. When people talk about it, it usually has something to do with naked people, sex, and money.
My current opinion of pornography is that it is a religion. This religion has at least three central beliefs. That physical appearance, sex, and money, are all relevant. As soon as someone doubts the relevance of these three, then pornography completely falls apart.
For example, if someone loses their eyesight, then automatically they care nothing about how things or people look. I think that it makes it impossible to consider anything sexual or to spend money on it.
If someone has no interest in producing children, then there is no reason to do sex or to even waste time or money on anything related to it.
If someone decides that they will only spend money on things that are relevant to a specific goal, then anything else becomes irrelevant.
One really good way to shoot down all three of these irrelevant topics at one time is to think constantly about death. This is the key to destroying all kinds of religion.