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What I respect about "True Atheists"

Sidewalker
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12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system. They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less. Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine. They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
popculturepooka
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12/9/2012 1:37:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system. They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less. Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine. They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.

Truth.
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socialpinko
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12/9/2012 1:43:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
A kewl perspective and one that gets overshadowed too much unfortunately. Props broz.
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
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: I disagree.
SarcasticIndeed
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12/9/2012 1:45:27 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system. They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less. Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine. They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.

I guess I am somewhat like that in the sense that I'm not anti-theist and that I don't bash theists, but I still very much doubt my beliefs every day, to great extents.

However, I agree that these atheists are the most appealing to me. I don't get all the anti-theistic posts that are usually nothing more than simple rants.
<SIGNATURE CENSORED> nac
Dirty.Harry
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12/9/2012 1:51:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

Then - technically - they are wrong to describe themselves as atheists because the atheist asserts "God does not exist" - anything less has to be labelled as "agnostic" - this is the traditional meaning of these terms.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system.

Well this is a heavy statement implying that if one is not an atheist then they are "hiding behind" something in some way. Many atheists support abortion - that is the mass ongoing extermination by mutilation of unborn humans which - in my view - is far from ethical and not an example of "high moral" character at all.

They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less.

Richard Dawkins actually advocates disrespect for the views of deists and insists on labelling them as "deluded" - how do you reconcile this what you say above?

Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

There are many topics raised by what you say above - for example how can they claim to be "responsible for their own actions" without admitting free will, yet in a materialist view of reality free will is impossible?

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine.

Can you give examples?

They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.

There are so many ideas and assertions here that it may warrant some separate threads - by and large I disagree with this simplistic assessment of atheists though.

arry.
socialpinko
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12/9/2012 1:58:19 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I've been becoming a more benign non-theist ever since joining the site. There are still some aspects of religion which I don't tolerate (mostly regarding arbitrary/unsupported social rules e.g. against homosexuality, etc.) but I don't think those are unique to religion. I disagree wholesale with most revealed religions but interacting more with religious people makes me at least more understanding I guess. Plus interacting with religious folks who can hold their own in debate isn't too bad (PCP :P).
: At 9/29/2014 10:55:59 AM, imabench wrote:
: : At 9/29/2014 9:43:46 AM, kbub wrote:
: :
: : DDO should discredit support of sexual violence at any time and in every way.
:
: I disagree.
DanielChristopherBlowes
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12/9/2012 2:07:26 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system. They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less. Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine. They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.

The human thing?

Like Nazi death camps?

Or Bolshevik gulags?

Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Or abortion on demand? (Killing more than all of the above combined)

No, I'll stick with the God thing: Jesus.
Everyone on the side of Truth listens to Me. (Jesus Christ)
iamnotwhoiam
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12/9/2012 2:09:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:


So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God.

There is nothing about your favourite type of atheist that makes them a "true atheist". They are only your "favourite atheists."

I understand you don't like antitheism. That doesn't make it bigoted or mean you can dismiss such atheists.
popculturepooka
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12/9/2012 2:13:41 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:58:19 PM, socialpinko wrote:
I've been becoming a more benign non-theist ever since joining the site. There are still some aspects of religion which I don't tolerate (mostly regarding arbitrary/unsupported social rules e.g. against homosexuality, etc.) but I don't think those are unique to religion. I disagree wholesale with most revealed religions but interacting more with religious people makes me at least more understanding I guess. Plus interacting with religious folks who can hold their own in debate isn't too bad (PCP :P).

(^_^)

I'm more of a "friendly theist", anyways. To reverse the terminology of William Rowe (i.e. "friendly atheism).

"Friendly atheism; William Rowe has introduced an important distinction to modern discussions of atheism. If someone has arrived at what they take to be a reasonable and well-justified conclusion that there is no God, then what attitude should she take about another person"s persistence in believing in God, particularly when that other person appears to be thoughtful and at least prima facie reasonable? It seems that the atheist could take one of several views. The theist"s belief, as the atheist sees it, could be rational or irrational, justified or unjustified. Must the atheist who believes that the evidence indicates that there is no God conclude that the theist"s believing in God is irrational or unjustified? Rowe"s answer is no. (Rowe 1979, 2006)

Rowe and most modern epistemologists have said that whether a conclusion C is justified for a person S will be a function of the information (correct or incorrect) that S possesses and the principles of inference that S employs in arriving at C. But whether or not C is justified is not directly tied to its truth, or even to the truth of the evidence concerning C. That is, a person can have a justified, but false belief. She could arrive at a conclusion through an epistemically inculpable process and yet get it wrong. Ptolemy, for example, the greatest astronomer of his day, who had mastered all of the available information and conducted exhaustive research into the question, was justified in concluding that the Sun orbits the Earth. A medieval physician in the 1200s who guesses (correctly) that the bubonic plague was caused by the bacterium yersinia pestis would not have been reasonable or justified given his background information and given that the bacterium would not even be discovered for 600 years.

We can call the view that rational, justified beliefs can be false, as it applies to atheism, friendly or fallibilist atheism. See the article on Fallibilism. The friendly atheist can grant that a theist may be justified or reasonable in believing in God, even though the atheist takes the theist"s conclusion to be false. What could explain their divergence to the atheist? The believer may not be in possession of all of the relevant information. The believer may be basing her conclusion on a false premise or premises. The believer may be implicitly or explicitly employing inference rules that themselves are not reliable or truth preserving, but the background information she has leads her, reasonably, to trust the inference rule. The same points can be made for the friendly theist and the view that he may take about the reasonableness of the atheist"s conclusion. It is also possible, of course, for both sides to be unfriendly and conclude that anyone who disagrees with what they take to be justified is being irrational. Given developments in modern epistemology and Rowe"s argument, however, the unfriendly view is neither correct nor conducive to a constructive and informed analysis of the question of God."

http://www.iep.utm.edu...

I'm certainly not compelled by most of the typical arguments/positions I hear by atheists and I think most are just outright bad but I could see how someone could justifiedly be an atheist because of something like the argument from evil.
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iamnotwhoiam
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12/9/2012 2:18:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:07:26 PM, DanielChristopherBlowes wrote:

The human thing?

Like Nazi death camps?

Or Bolshevik gulags?

Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Or abortion on demand? (Killing more than all of the above combined)

No, I'll stick with the God thing: Jesus.

In 1939, 98.5% of Germans were religious.

Many Nazis promoted Positive Christianity. http://en.wikipedia.org... . Learn.

On the atomic bombs, you think Truman was an atheist??

Anyhow, it is easy to be simplistic about the bombings, but they may have saved up to half a million US lives.
THEBOMB
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12/9/2012 2:18:57 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:07:26 PM, DanielChristopherBlowes wrote:
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system. They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less. Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine. They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.

The human thing?

Like Nazi death camps?

since when to Nazi's == all humans?


Or Bolshevik gulags?

See above.


Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Since when does this equal all humans?


Or abortion on demand? (Killing more than all of the above combined)

Since when do people that get abortions == all humans?


No, I'll stick with the God thing: Jesus.

Okay?

There are killer theists and there are killer atheists. People do bad stuff, saying that because certain people do bad stuff means that this bad stuff is an intrinsic part of that group of people is kind of being dishonest.
popculturepooka
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12/9/2012 2:20:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:13:41 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/9/2012 1:58:19 PM, socialpinko wrote:
I've been becoming a more benign non-theist ever since joining the site. There are still some aspects of religion which I don't tolerate (mostly regarding arbitrary/unsupported social rules e.g. against homosexuality, etc.) but I don't think those are unique to religion. I disagree wholesale with most revealed religions but interacting more with religious people makes me at least more understanding I guess. Plus interacting with religious folks who can hold their own in debate isn't too bad (PCP :P).


(^_^)

I'm more of a "friendly theist", anyways. To reverse the terminology of William Rowe (i.e. "friendly atheism).

"Friendly atheism; William Rowe has introduced an important distinction to modern discussions of atheism. If someone has arrived at what they take to be a reasonable and well-justified conclusion that there is no God, then what attitude should she take about another person"s persistence in believing in God, particularly when that other person appears to be thoughtful and at least prima facie reasonable? It seems that the atheist could take one of several views. The theist"s belief, as the atheist sees it, could be rational or irrational, justified or unjustified. Must the atheist who believes that the evidence indicates that there is no God conclude that the theist"s believing in God is irrational or unjustified? Rowe"s answer is no. (Rowe 1979, 2006)

Rowe and most modern epistemologists have said that whether a conclusion C is justified for a person S will be a function of the information (correct or incorrect) that S possesses and the principles of inference that S employs in arriving at C. But whether or not C is justified is not directly tied to its truth, or even to the truth of the evidence concerning C. That is, a person can have a justified, but false belief. She could arrive at a conclusion through an epistemically inculpable process and yet get it wrong. Ptolemy, for example, the greatest astronomer of his day, who had mastered all of the available information and conducted exhaustive research into the question, was justified in concluding that the Sun orbits the Earth. A medieval physician in the 1200s who guesses (correctly) that the bubonic plague was caused by the bacterium yersinia pestis would not have been reasonable or justified given his background information and given that the bacterium would not even be discovered for 600 years.

We can call the view that rational, justified beliefs can be false, as it applies to atheism, friendly or fallibilist atheism. See the article on Fallibilism. The friendly atheist can grant that a theist may be justified or reasonable in believing in God, even though the atheist takes the theist"s conclusion to be false. What could explain their divergence to the atheist? The believer may not be in possession of all of the relevant information. The believer may be basing her conclusion on a false premise or premises. The believer may be implicitly or explicitly employing inference rules that themselves are not reliable or truth preserving, but the background information she has leads her, reasonably, to trust the inference rule. The same points can be made for the friendly theist and the view that he may take about the reasonableness of the atheist"s conclusion. It is also possible, of course, for both sides to be unfriendly and conclude that anyone who disagrees with what they take to be justified is being irrational. Given developments in modern epistemology and Rowe"s argument, however, the unfriendly view is neither correct nor conducive to a constructive and informed analysis of the question of God."

http://www.iep.utm.edu...

I'm certainly not compelled by most of the typical arguments/positions I hear by atheists and I think most are just outright bad but I could see how someone could justifiedly be an atheist because of something like the argument from evil.

Lol, I don't event think this isn't a word. Justifiably.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
DanielChristopherBlowes
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12/9/2012 2:21:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:18:57 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:07:26 PM, DanielChristopherBlowes wrote:
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system. They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less. Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine. They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.

The human thing?

Like Nazi death camps?

since when to Nazi's == all humans?


Or Bolshevik gulags?

See above.


Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Since when does this equal all humans?


Or abortion on demand? (Killing more than all of the above combined)

Since when do people that get abortions == all humans?


No, I'll stick with the God thing: Jesus.

Okay?


There are killer theists and there are killer atheists. People do bad stuff, saying that because certain people do bad stuff means that this bad stuff is an intrinsic part of that group of people is kind of being dishonest.

It only takes ONE human to do ANY of the above to make it a human thing, just as it took ONE Man to live perfectly to make it a human thing: Jesus Christ.
Everyone on the side of Truth listens to Me. (Jesus Christ)
Apeiron
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12/9/2012 2:27:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Some of the people who are less morally handicapped than I are my atheist friends. But the Christian message isn't,

"You're morally handicapped, and you need Jesus"

Nor is it,

"I'm morally handicap and so need Jesus, whereas you're all good"

Rather it's,

"WE are ALL morally handicapped! No matter how big or small, and so we ALL require a redeemer."

^this last message is a humbling one for both parties, and shouldn't be used as a club against those who disagree. Christ spoke of the true kind of tolerance, 'though I disagree with you, I'll defend to the death your right to disagree with me.'

So he question isn't whether we can live decent moral lives apart from God, it's is God necessary for those moral lives to have more than subjective meaning?

And that question, as agreed with Sidewalker, ought to be answered in love, respectfulness, & sincere rationality. The topic of God's existence is a tough topic, I can't prove I have a head let alone a necessary being. Hence the discussion ought to be respectful.
phantom
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12/9/2012 2:28:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think one reason so many atheists are intolerant and anti-religion is because the leaders of atheism today are, for the most part, New Atheists or at least anti-theistic. Hitchens and Dawkins are extremely popular to the point that atheists are constantly wanting to mimic them (Hitchslap on this site for example). Their extreme anti-theism influences a large portion of the atheist community. On youtube they basically slobber at their feet. Then there's Sam Harris who isn't quite as anti-religion but from the two books I've read by him, he'll jump at most chances to attack religion he can even when it's not relevant to the topic of the book (in the Moral Landscape he spent most of a whole chapter discussing religion while the whole time I'm wandering wtf it has to do with the book).

Overall I think it's unfortunate that the most popular atheists are anti-religion because it results in those they are influencing becoming so as well. It's also amazing how devoted some atheists can be to Hitchens. It's really obvious that in his debate with Craig he lost quite evidently. But make any comment on youtube about it and people will jump all over you saying Craig lost by landslide not realizing how blind they are.

And they can't acknowledge that religion has some good to it or that there are plenty of intelligent theists. On one youtube video I went on I was shocked to see the top comment basically stating that all religious people were stupid. I replied to the comment, making know that I was atheist. I got a few replies back and when I went back on, every one had neg voted my comment. Regardless, I mostly stay away from youtube arguing now.

But point is, it's always best when the leaders, or most popular figures, of any worldview are tolerant to others. The intolerance of the most popular atheists today breeds intolerance of their followers which is unfortunate.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Lordknukle
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12/9/2012 2:29:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:07:26 PM, DanielChristopherBlowes wrote:
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system. They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less. Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine. They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.

The human thing?

Like Nazi death camps?

Or Bolshevik gulags?

Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Or abortion on demand? (Killing more than all of the above combined)

No, I'll stick with the God thing: Jesus.

None of those were actually motivated by a lack of religion.
"Easy is the descent to Avernus, for the door to the Underworld lies upon both day and night. But to retrace your steps and return to the breezes above- that's the task, that's the toil."
THEBOMB
Posts: 2,872
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12/9/2012 2:31:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The human thing?

Like Nazi death camps?

since when to Nazi's == all humans?


Or Bolshevik gulags?

See above.


Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Since when does this equal all humans?


Or abortion on demand? (Killing more than all of the above combined)

Since when do people that get abortions == all humans?


No, I'll stick with the God thing: Jesus.

Okay?


There are killer theists and there are killer atheists. People do bad stuff, saying that because certain people do bad stuff means that this bad stuff is an intrinsic part of that group of people is kind of being dishonest.

It only takes ONE human to do ANY of the above to make it a human thing, just as it took ONE Man to live perfectly to make it a human thing: Jesus Christ.

Since when was it a human thing to commit genocide? Humans commit genocide but it is not characteristic of humans to commit genocide....
000ike
Posts: 11,196
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12/9/2012 2:37:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Firstly, what you're describing are secularists, not atheists.

The same way you feel compelled to express your beliefs on this website and argue with the people that disagree with you, so do atheists. The same way you feel offended when you hear rhetoric suggesting the evil and stupidity of religion, so do atheists in the reverse. And I have just as much a right to voice those opinions, as you do. You need to stop this made-up psychoanalysis of yours where militant atheists are immoral and rude people with no kindness or care for others. You mock determinism as an attempt to be lazy and free oneself from responsibility, when the philosophy is actually far deeper, well-considered, and humanistic than that. The ugliest characteristic of religious libertarianism is the concept of wrath and the lack of sympathy... ignorance of the fact that the circumstances of life do dictate our actions, and if I or you were to be born under different circumstances, we would, by necessity, be very different people with different personalities.

You don't respect atheists at all, because you don't respect the defense of atheism. You don't respect determinism, or actually more accurately as far as I'm concerned "anti-freewill", and you don't respect the amount of thought and consideration and care so richly invested in these understandings.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Apeiron
Posts: 2,446
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12/9/2012 2:40:49 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
DanielChristopherBlowes is a major troll from the atheist camp, who tries his best to make evangelicals more idiotic than what they're already portrayed, ignore him-- he's counter-productive to the friendly atheist-theist debate.
Apeiron
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12/9/2012 2:42:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:37:46 PM, 000ike wrote:
Firstly, what you're describing are secularists, not atheists.

The same way you feel compelled to express your beliefs on this website and argue with the people that disagree with you, so do atheists. The same way you feel offended when you hear rhetoric suggesting the evil and stupidity of religion, so do atheists in the reverse. And I have just as much a right to voice those opinions, as you do. You need to stop this made-up psychoanalysis of yours where militant atheists are immoral and rude people with no kindness or care for others. You mock determinism as an attempt to be lazy and free oneself from responsibility, when the philosophy is actually far deeper, well-considered, and humanistic than that. The ugliest characteristic of religious libertarianism is the concept of wrath and the lack of sympathy... ignorance of the fact that the circumstances of life do dictate our actions, and if I or you were to be born under different circumstances, we would, by necessity, be very different people with different personalities.

You don't respect atheists at all, because you don't respect the defense of atheism. You don't respect determinism, or actually more accurately as far as I'm concerned "anti-freewill", and you don't respect the amount of thought and consideration and care so richly invested in these understandings.

You're assuming determinism when we're at best ignorant on it. Like William James said, the first step in true free will is to believe in it.
000ike
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12/9/2012 2:46:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:42:45 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:37:46 PM, 000ike wrote:
Firstly, what you're describing are secularists, not atheists.

The same way you feel compelled to express your beliefs on this website and argue with the people that disagree with you, so do atheists. The same way you feel offended when you hear rhetoric suggesting the evil and stupidity of religion, so do atheists in the reverse. And I have just as much a right to voice those opinions, as you do. You need to stop this made-up psychoanalysis of yours where militant atheists are immoral and rude people with no kindness or care for others. You mock determinism as an attempt to be lazy and free oneself from responsibility, when the philosophy is actually far deeper, well-considered, and humanistic than that. The ugliest characteristic of religious libertarianism is the concept of wrath and the lack of sympathy... ignorance of the fact that the circumstances of life do dictate our actions, and if I or you were to be born under different circumstances, we would, by necessity, be very different people with different personalities.

You don't respect atheists at all, because you don't respect the defense of atheism. You don't respect determinism, or actually more accurately as far as I'm concerned "anti-freewill", and you don't respect the amount of thought and consideration and care so richly invested in these understandings.

You're assuming determinism when we're at best ignorant on it. Like William James said, the first step in true free will is to believe in it.

I'm not assuming anything. There is a logical impasse in the concept of freewill, and the very compound is oxymoronic. Then there is evidence from the field of neuroscience against the concept. I'm fairly certain that there is no such thing as freewill.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
Apeiron
Posts: 2,446
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12/9/2012 2:50:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:46:43 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:42:45 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:37:46 PM, 000ike wrote:
Firstly, what you're describing are secularists, not atheists.

The same way you feel compelled to express your beliefs on this website and argue with the people that disagree with you, so do atheists. The same way you feel offended when you hear rhetoric suggesting the evil and stupidity of religion, so do atheists in the reverse. And I have just as much a right to voice those opinions, as you do. You need to stop this made-up psychoanalysis of yours where militant atheists are immoral and rude people with no kindness or care for others. You mock determinism as an attempt to be lazy and free oneself from responsibility, when the philosophy is actually far deeper, well-considered, and humanistic than that. The ugliest characteristic of religious libertarianism is the concept of wrath and the lack of sympathy... ignorance of the fact that the circumstances of life do dictate our actions, and if I or you were to be born under different circumstances, we would, by necessity, be very different people with different personalities.

You don't respect atheists at all, because you don't respect the defense of atheism. You don't respect determinism, or actually more accurately as far as I'm concerned "anti-freewill", and you don't respect the amount of thought and consideration and care so richly invested in these understandings.

You're assuming determinism when we're at best ignorant on it. Like William James said, the first step in true free will is to believe in it.

I'm not assuming anything. There is a logical impasse in the concept of freewill, and the very compound is oxymoronic. Then there is evidence from the field of neuroscience against the concept. I'm fairly certain that there is no such thing as freewill.

So you're fairly certain that you're determined to believe in determinism despite there being a possible world in which you didn't choose to believe it?

Also, how can neuroscience have any say whatsoever without presupposing determinism? The philosophers of science at the University of Pittsburgh (a college well known for it's neuroscience and philosophy) are even undecided one way or the other on the determinism-freewill debate.... what are they teaching in High-school that's got you so certain?
Dirty.Harry
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12/9/2012 2:56:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:31:55 PM, THEBOMB wrote:
The human thing?

Like Nazi death camps?

since when to Nazi's == all humans?


Or Bolshevik gulags?

See above.


Or Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Since when does this equal all humans?


Or abortion on demand? (Killing more than all of the above combined)

Since when do people that get abortions == all humans?


No, I'll stick with the God thing: Jesus.

Okay?


There are killer theists and there are killer atheists. People do bad stuff, saying that because certain people do bad stuff means that this bad stuff is an intrinsic part of that group of people is kind of being dishonest.

It only takes ONE human to do ANY of the above to make it a human thing, just as it took ONE Man to live perfectly to make it a human thing: Jesus Christ.

Since when was it a human thing to commit genocide? Humans commit genocide but it is not characteristic of humans to commit genocide....

Only humans do it..

Harry.
Dirty.Harry
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12/9/2012 2:59:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:46:43 PM, 000ike wrote:
I'm not assuming anything. There is a logical impasse in the concept of freewill, and the very compound is oxymoronic. Then there is evidence from the field of neuroscience against the concept. I'm fairly certain that there is no such thing as freewill.

What is this "logical impasse" of which you speak?

Harry.
000ike
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12/9/2012 3:02:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:50:51 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:46:43 PM, 000ike wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:42:45 PM, Apeiron wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:37:46 PM, 000ike wrote:
Firstly, what you're describing are secularists, not atheists.

The same way you feel compelled to express your beliefs on this website and argue with the people that disagree with you, so do atheists. The same way you feel offended when you hear rhetoric suggesting the evil and stupidity of religion, so do atheists in the reverse. And I have just as much a right to voice those opinions, as you do. You need to stop this made-up psychoanalysis of yours where militant atheists are immoral and rude people with no kindness or care for others. You mock determinism as an attempt to be lazy and free oneself from responsibility, when the philosophy is actually far deeper, well-considered, and humanistic than that. The ugliest characteristic of religious libertarianism is the concept of wrath and the lack of sympathy... ignorance of the fact that the circumstances of life do dictate our actions, and if I or you were to be born under different circumstances, we would, by necessity, be very different people with different personalities.

You don't respect atheists at all, because you don't respect the defense of atheism. You don't respect determinism, or actually more accurately as far as I'm concerned "anti-freewill", and you don't respect the amount of thought and consideration and care so richly invested in these understandings.

You're assuming determinism when we're at best ignorant on it. Like William James said, the first step in true free will is to believe in it.

I'm not assuming anything. There is a logical impasse in the concept of freewill, and the very compound is oxymoronic. Then there is evidence from the field of neuroscience against the concept. I'm fairly certain that there is no such thing as freewill.

So you're fairly certain that you're determined to believe in determinism despite there being a possible world in which you didn't choose to believe it?

Also, how can neuroscience have any say whatsoever without presupposing determinism? The philosophers of science at the University of Pittsburgh (a college well known for it's neuroscience and philosophy) are even undecided one way or the other on the determinism-freewill debate.... what are they teaching in High-school that's got you so certain?

They aren't teaching me anything about the determinism-freewill debate in highschool. I reached the conclusion purely independently and reached it before knowing such a debate even existed in the intellectual community. My idea is that responsibility and independence (the central conclusions of freewill, derived therefrom) necessitate control, and control necessitates pure cause. One does not control an event unless he can cause its occurrences. The problem is that cause is a multilateral, regressive concept. In order to determine true cause, me must determine the cause of the cause. And then the cause of the cause of the cause. And if ever in that chain a cause is itself uncaused, the whole resultant event is uncaused as well and the "cause" concept collapses. Either actions are caused, or they are uncaused. The cause leads to infinity. The lack of cause at any point collapses the whole causal chain and we say the event occurred for no identifiable reason. Either way, there is no such thing as individual control in the form of freewill.

The word itself is oxymoronic. If it was free, it was not willed. If it was willed, it was not free.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
drafterman
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12/9/2012 3:06:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:56:45 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
At 12/9/2012 2:31:55 PM, THEBOMB wrote:

Since when was it a human thing to commit genocide? Humans commit genocide but it is not characteristic of humans to commit genocide....

Only humans do it..

If we stopped doing it, would we cease being human?


Harry.
wiploc
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12/9/2012 3:14:41 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:51:04 PM, Dirty.Harry wrote:
Then - technically - they are wrong to describe themselves as atheists because the atheist asserts "God does not exist" - anything less has to be labelled as "agnostic" - this is the traditional meaning of these terms.

Over at freeratio.org, we had a long thread on the question of what atheists mean by the word "atheist." Not one of us gave your answer.
wiploc
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12/9/2012 3:18:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:40:49 PM, Apeiron wrote:
DanielChristopherBlowes is a major troll from the atheist camp,

That's news to me.

who tries his best to make evangelicals more idiotic than what they're already portrayed, ignore him--

Huh.

he's counter-productive to the friendly atheist-theist debate.

Interesting interpretation, thanks.
wiploc
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12/9/2012 3:21:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 2:37:46 PM, 000ike wrote:
Firstly, what you're describing are secularists, not atheists.

If they aren't theists, they're atheists.
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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12/9/2012 3:38:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 12/9/2012 1:33:00 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
I think most of you know I"m a theist and many are probably aware that I"m quite pluralistic in my religious thought, some of you are probably also aware that I"m not a big fan of "us/them" thinking. You may have noticed that I am a fan of broad sweeping generalizations and I don"t think I"ve said much about atheists here, so at this time I would like to talk in general about the Atheists I have known over the years.

Let me also try to be precise here. It is the Atheist who is free of religion that I am writing about here, not those who are angry at religion, anger is a form of attachment and those people are still very much attached. So I"m not talking about the ex-Christians that bash Christianity, the anti-theist bigots, the kids that are "acting out" and think they are clever, or those who have embraced the religion of "Scientism" in opposition to faith in God. I am talking about the "True Atheists" I have known, people who are dispassionate about religion and who have no axe to grind with any faith, the people I have known who have simply chosen to not believe in God. This is what I respect most about them.

The ones I have known tend to be very ethical people of high moral character; they just do not need to hide their humanity behind the elaborate rationalizations of any religious system. They appear to be overrepresented in social programs, and I have noticed that in general, they tend to be more involved in helping others rather than less, and they also tend to be more respectful of other people and other ways of thinking, rather than less. Perhaps it is because they don"t live their life with any anticipation of post life reward that they tend to live in the moment and fully express their humanity in their day to day lives. They bear the burden of human pain themselves, they look into their own heart to understand evil, and they rely on their own mind and power to find peace and meaning in their lives. They are prepared to be responsible for their own actions, their behavior seems to exhibit both more freedom, and more responsibility, and they see their brother everywhere because they are unimpeded by the prejudice of any religious outlook.

They believe in themselves and in other men, I certainly don"t think their life is any easier, but I sometimes think, for many of them at least, it is more real and honest and genuine. They just do not need certainty or absolutes, they only need to be loved for who and what they are, and they tend to love others on that same basis. They are intelligent, courageous, and free to act without any notions about God, and I sometimes wonder if that means God has more freedom to act in them.

They just aren"t doing the "God thing", they are content to only be doing the "human thing', and I often wonder if that "human thing" is the most religious thing of all.

What does atheism have to do with freedom? I find it easy to be objective and try to understand morality the right way even while believing in God.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)