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Re:"There's probably a God...

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  • david danel
    Dear Jono and Friends, I hope you don t mind that I am writing here despite being one of those in need of help - the believers ... Although being Christian
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 1 5:21 PM
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      Dear Jono and Friends,

      I hope you don't mind that I am writing here despite being one of those "in need of help" - the "believers"... Although being Christian I quite like the ad on the British bus (There's probably no God) as I am fully for the open society ... meaning open for believers and non-believers as well, open for discussion and based on tolerance and respect (hoping such a thing is possible...)

      The problem with me (and with my possible "converting to atheism or at least agnosticism") is that I never really met any "attractive atheists" in my life (so far!). By attractive I mean with an attractive life-style (attractive to me of course). I come from the Czech Republic which used to be "in the heart" of an ideological empire ruled by so called "scientific materialism" where people of mainly Christian faith were laughed at (myself and my family included), not allowed to certain high schools and universities, some imprisoned, some killed. We were taught in schools that religion is for the weaks, primitives and unaware (the famous opium quote etc.) and that it is dying in the progressive society. But in the meantime, this ideology went bankrupt (live! in front of my eyes) and the empire crushed down. It left broken and lost lives behind with no apologies. Somehow the Darwinian premises of my school teachers did not worked out in real life (as
      interpreted by THEM) - the weak and unawared survived and don't seem to be really dying out even in the liberal democracy and wild (in the early years) capitalistic realm. The old "scientific-materialist" empire collapsed some 20 yrs ago. Now I work in the world of arts and education, but have many friend among scientists, doctors, university lecturers - many of them are some sort of Christians and even Dawkins and the very very bright perspectives of the science haven't convinced them to give up on their faith... Are they "the primitives" and "in need of a little help from their atheistic friends"? Why I have met so many Christians that were very educated, open, generous, altruistic, giving to others, not collaborating with regime (really brave and free) etc. and so many atheists that were just so opposite? Of course, I know also many sons-of-b.... who call themselves Christians... but simply put, those who made decisive impact on my life were
      Christians. And so, having had the first-hand experience of how atheistic society worked I don't want to go back there at all and see no positives in progressing to the "land of the brights" as Dennett, Dawkins and others like to put it and where they would like to lead the world to.

      So, why do you think, JONO, that every believer turned agnostic helps?

      My grandfathers, my father and me with had a great chance "to enjoy" the enlightened and atheist system for some 40 yrs and saw no benefits...

      And the people who didn't care about the entity called God didn't seem being really free and enjoying themselves as the ad on the UK bus suggests. Why is it so?

      I still respect you, my atheist neighbours. I think you are making many interesting points about how you see Christianity, the society etc. - but I am just a bit scared of your unreflected optimism about the prospects of an atheist society...

      On the other side and in order to make it lighter: I have a friend, theologian, who says (knowing quite well the American society) that if he was to be born in the USA he would probably have to become either Amish or Atheist to survive it and stay healthy :)

      Take care (and please, be patient with us, the unaware, non-Brights and closed-minds) ;)

      david
    • Gord Leslie
      My grandfathers, my father and me with had a great chance to enjoy the enlightened and atheist system for some 40 yrs and saw no benefits... David. Did
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 1 7:31 PM
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        "My grandfathers, my father and me with had a great chance "to enjoy"
        the enlightened and atheist system for some 40 yrs and saw no benefits..."

        David. Did this "atheist system" you speak of develop over a few
        thousand years, or did it suddenly appear after a major cataclysm? Were
        the adherents of your "atheistic regime" the result of millenia of
        indoctrination, or did the whole population of eastern Europe suddenly
        become enamoured of a belief in the finite limit of human existence
        brought about by the efforts of a fanatical group of people
        indoctrinated in the methods used by another group of people
        indoctrinated by the teachings of millenia of religious dogmatists?

        That is one long winded question, but I can sum it up thus: Can you
        show me one leader or society, who was raised atheist and who committed
        the barbarities of the Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and
        cetera? Please remember: Hitler was Christian, Stalin was raised in an
        Eastern Orthodox Seminary, Pol Pot was raised Roman Catholic, and Mao
        was raised in Buddhist China.

        Do please let us know of an "atheist state" that was founded by
        atheists, populated by atheists and led by atheists that committed any
        of the atrocities we read about in history.

        G_or_d

        david danel wrote:
        >
        > Dear Jono and Friends,
        >
        > I hope you don't mind that I am writing here despite being one of
        > those "in need of help" - the "believers". .. Although being Christian
        > I quite like the ad on the British bus (There's probably no God) as I
        > am fully for the open society ... meaning open for believers and
        > non-believers as well, open for discussion and based on tolerance and
        > respect (hoping such a thing is possible...)
        >
        > The problem with me (and with my possible "converting to atheism or at
        > least agnosticism" ) is that I never really met any "attractive
        > atheists" in my life (so far!). By attractive I mean with an
        > attractive life-style (attractive to me of course). I come from the
        > Czech Republic which used to be "in the heart" of an ideological
        > empire ruled by so called "scientific materialism" where people of
        > mainly Christian faith were laughed at (myself and my family
        > included), not allowed to certain high schools and universities, some
        > imprisoned, some killed. We were taught in schools that religion is
        > for the weaks, primitives and unaware (the famous opium quote etc.)
        > and that it is dying in the progressive society. But in the meantime,
        > this ideology went bankrupt (live! in front of my eyes) and the empire
        > crushed down. It left broken and lost lives behind with no apologies.
        > Somehow the Darwinian premises of my school teachers did not worked
        > out in real life (as
        > interpreted by THEM) - the weak and unawared survived and don't seem
        > to be really dying out even in the liberal democracy and wild (in the
        > early years) capitalistic realm. The old "scientific- materialist"
        > empire collapsed some 20 yrs ago. Now I work in the world of arts and
        > education, but have many friend among scientists, doctors, university
        > lecturers - many of them are some sort of Christians and even Dawkins
        > and the very very bright perspectives of the science haven't convinced
        > them to give up on their faith... Are they "the primitives" and "in
        > need of a little help from their atheistic friends"? Why I have met so
        > many Christians that were very educated, open, generous, altruistic,
        > giving to others, not collaborating with regime (really brave and
        > free) etc. and so many atheists that were just so opposite? Of course,
        > I know also many sons-of-b... . who call themselves Christians.. . but
        > simply put, those who made decisive impact on my life were
        > Christians. And so, having had the first-hand experience of how
        > atheistic society worked I don't want to go back there at all and see
        > no positives in progressing to the "land of the brights" as Dennett,
        > Dawkins and others like to put it and where they would like to lead
        > the world to.
        >
        > So, why do you think, JONO, that every believer turned agnostic helps?
        >
        > My grandfathers, my father and me with had a great chance "to enjoy"
        > the enlightened and atheist system for some 40 yrs and saw no benefits...
        >
        > And the people who didn't care about the entity called God didn't seem
        > being really free and enjoying themselves as the ad on the UK bus
        > suggests. Why is it so?
        >
        > I still respect you, my atheist neighbours. I think you are making
        > many interesting points about how you see Christianity, the society
        > etc. - but I am just a bit scared of your unreflected optimism about
        > the prospects of an atheist society...
        >
        > On the other side and in order to make it lighter: I have a friend,
        > theologian, who says (knowing quite well the American society) that if
        > he was to be born in the USA he would probably have to become either
        > Amish or Atheist to survive it and stay healthy :)
        >
        > Take care (and please, be patient with us, the unaware, non-Brights
        > and closed-minds) ;)
        >
        > david
        >
        >

        ----------


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      • Jack
        ... Who are you quoting? I didn t say anything of the sort... ... I respect people and their right to believe what they want. I don t necessarily respect the
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 1 8:26 PM
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          --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel <david_danel@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Dear Jono and Friends,
          >
          > I hope you don't mind that I am writing here despite being one of
          > those "in need of help" - the "believers"...

          Who are you quoting? I didn't say anything of the sort...

          > Although being Christian I quite like the ad on the British bus
          > (There's probably no God) as I am fully for the open society ...
          > meaning open for believers and non-believers as well, open for
          > discussion and based on tolerance and respect (hoping such a thing
          > is possible...)

          I respect people and their right to believe what they want. I don't
          necessarily respect the beliefs themselves, though.

          > The problem with me (and with my possible "converting to atheism or
          > at least agnosticism") is that I never really met any "attractive
          > atheists" in my life (so far!). By attractive I mean with an
          > attractive life-style (attractive to me of course).

          Atheism isn't a lifestyle, it's a statement of (dis)belief. It's a
          rejection of theism, what you do with your life beyond that is a
          completely separate matter.

          So that being said, I love my lifestyle and my life. I know this is
          the only one I get, and I make sure I get the most of it, and try to
          pass that love of life on to those around me and my children.

          > I come from the Czech Republic which used to be "in the heart" of
          > an ideological empire ruled by so called "scientific materialism"
          > where people of mainly Christian faith were laughed at (myself and
          > my family included), not allowed to certain high schools and
          > universities, some imprisoned, some killed.

          That's very unfortunate, and certainly not something I would ever condone.

          > We were taught in schools that religion is for the weaks,
          > primitives and unaware (the famous opium quote etc.) and that it is
          > dying in the progressive society.

          I don't think you can make such broad generalizations, some believers
          are certainly not weak, primitive, or unaware. They're wrong :) but I
          don't think we need to make personal judgments like that.

          > But in the meantime, this ideology went bankrupt (live! in front of
          > my eyes) and the empire crushed down. It left broken and lost lives
          > behind with no apologies. Somehow the Darwinian premises of my
          > school teachers did not worked out in real life (as
          > interpreted by THEM) - the weak and unawared survived and don't
          > seem to be really dying out even in the liberal democracy and wild
          > (in the early years) capitalistic realm. The old "scientific-
          > materialist" empire collapsed some 20 yrs ago.

          You were dealing with a political system with a certain agenda, I
          don't think it's fair to paint all atheists with that brush any more
          than it's fair to judge all religious people by what the terrorists
          did on 9/11.

          > Now I work in the world of arts and education, but have many
          > friend among scientists, doctors, university lecturers - many of
          > them are some sort of Christians and even Dawkins and the very very
          > bright perspectives of the science haven't convinced them to give
          > up on their faith... Are they "the primitives" and "in need of a
          > little help from their atheistic friends"?

          No.

          > Why I have met so many
          > Christians that were very educated, open, generous, altruistic,
          > giving to others, not collaborating with regime (really brave and
          > free) etc. and so many atheists that were just so opposite? Of
          > course, I know also many sons-of-b.... who call themselves
          > Christians... but simply put, those who made decisive impact on my
          > life were
          > Christians. And so, having had the first-hand experience of how
          > atheistic society worked I don't want to go back there at all and
          > see no positives in progressing to the "land of the brights" as
          > Dennett, Dawkins and others like to put it and where they would
          > like to lead the world to.

          You're making an argument from utility - that you think religion is
          useful - and not one of whether it's true or not.

          I can't say I believe in God just because it makes you feel better,
          that wouldn't be intellectually honest. You make it sound like I
          chose to be an atheist - I didn't, it was the result of a long process
          of examining the roots of my beliefs.

          > So, why do you think, JONO, that every believer turned agnostic helps?

          Because they are closer to the truth.

          > My grandfathers, my father and me with had a great chance "to
          > enjoy" the enlightened and atheist system for some 40 yrs and saw
          > no benefits...

          Forcing people to abandon their religion isn't what I'm advocating.
          The system you lived under wasn't enlightened atheism, it was just a
          political system of control.

          > And the people who didn't care about the entity called God didn't
          > seem being really free and enjoying themselves as the ad on the UK
          > bus suggests. Why is it so?

          Yet I am. Maybe it's more a function of the political system you live
          under than your religious beliefs, what do you think?

          > I still respect you, my atheist neighbours. I think you are making
          > many interesting points about how you see Christianity, the society
          > etc. - but I am just a bit scared of your unreflected optimism
          > about the prospects of an atheist society...

          Remember that nobody is advocating FORCING an atheist society upon
          people. Most atheists believe in freedom of religion (and freedom
          from religion).

          > On the other side and in order to make it lighter: I have a friend,
          > theologian, who says (knowing quite well the American society) that
          > if he was to be born in the USA he would probably have to become
          > either Amish or Atheist to survive it and stay healthy :)
          >
          > Take care (and please, be patient with us, the unaware, non-Brights
          > and closed-minds) ;)

          Honestly, I *hate* the term "Brights"... I find it condescending and
          unhelpful.

          jono
        • Valarie
          I would almost think that it was a coincidence that it was oppressive and atheist. Oppression really doesn t have religious barriers. Valarie
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 1 10:25 PM
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            I would almost think that it was a coincidence that it was oppressive and atheist. Oppression really doesn't have religious barriers.

            Valarie


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          • rvb_is@yahoo.com
            The soviet union was an oppressive force that forced atheism down peoples throats. Those of us here in Canada came to our disbelief in god on our own not
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 2 6:13 AM
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              The soviet union was an oppressive force that forced atheism down peoples throats. Those of us here in Canada came to our disbelief in god on our own not because of an oppressive force. Now in the USA its the atheists who are laughed at by evangelical christians, and I find even in Canada to Make it public that you are an atheist gets some condemnation. Now if you are looking for some form of doctrine that is not god based look up the term humanism. It is not a religion but a life philosophy of everyone being equal and putting religious differences aside to solve our earthly problems and conflicts. I can not imagine what it must have been like to live under such an oppressive government and I don't really know all your life experiences. What I do know is I feel putt for those who let themselves be suckered into sending money to these wack job preachers on tv thinking they are doing gods will. I have a problem with that. Or having our government slanteds towards christianity when our country is made of people from many different countries and many varied faiths and those of us who lack faith. We all need to be represented in our government. The best way to do that is to remove anything of faith from our schools and governement buildings. This doesn't make an atheist nation out of Canada but a nation that represents its true diversity. Every religion claims to be the "true" faith and path to follow in life. What makes your faith right?
              Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

              -----Original Message-----
              From: david danel <david_danel@...>

              Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2009 17:21:25
              To: <CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re:"There's probably a God...


              Dear Jono and Friends,

              I hope you don't mind that I am writing here despite being one of those "in need of help" - the "believers"... Although being Christian I quite like the ad on the British bus (There's probably no God) as I am fully for the open society ... meaning open for believers and non-believers as well, open for discussion and based on tolerance and respect (hoping such a thing is possible...)

              The problem with me (and with my possible "converting to atheism or at least agnosticism") is that I never really met any "attractive atheists" in my life (so far!). By attractive I mean with an attractive life-style (attractive to me of course). I come from the Czech Republic which used to be "in the heart" of an ideological empire ruled by so called "scientific materialism" where people of mainly Christian faith were laughed at (myself and my family included), not allowed to certain high schools and universities, some imprisoned, some killed. We were taught in schools that religion is for the weaks, primitives and unaware (the famous opium quote etc.) and that it is dying in the progressive society. But in the meantime, this ideology went bankrupt (live! in front of my eyes) and the empire crushed down. It left broken and lost lives behind with no apologies. Somehow the Darwinian premises of my school teachers did not worked out in real life (as
              interpreted by THEM) - the weak and unawared survived and don't seem to be really dying out even in the liberal democracy and wild (in the early years) capitalistic realm. The old "scientific-materialist" empire collapsed some 20 yrs ago. Now I work in the world of arts and education, but have many friend among scientists, doctors, university lecturers - many of them are some sort of Christians and even Dawkins and the very very bright perspectives of the science haven't convinced them to give up on their faith... Are they "the primitives" and "in need of a little help from their atheistic friends"? Why I have met so many Christians that were very educated, open, generous, altruistic, giving to others, not collaborating with regime (really brave and free) etc. and so many atheists that were just so opposite? Of course, I know also many sons-of-b.... who call themselves Christians... but simply put, those who made decisive impact on my life were
              Christians. And so, having had the first-hand experience of how atheistic society worked I don't want to go back there at all and see no positives in progressing to the "land of the brights" as Dennett, Dawkins and others like to put it and where they would like to lead the world to.

              So, why do you think, JONO, that every believer turned agnostic helps?

              My grandfathers, my father and me with had a great chance "to enjoy" the enlightened and atheist system for some 40 yrs and saw no benefits...

              And the people who didn't care about the entity called God didn't seem being really free and enjoying themselves as the ad on the UK bus suggests. Why is it so?

              I still respect you, my atheist neighbours. I think you are making many interesting points about how you see Christianity, the society etc. - but I am just a bit scared of your unreflected optimism about the prospects of an atheist society...

              On the other side and in order to make it lighter: I have a friend, theologian, who says (knowing quite well the American society) that if he was to be born in the USA he would probably have to become either Amish or Atheist to survive it and stay healthy :)

              Take care (and please, be patient with us, the unaware, non-Brights and closed-minds) ;)

              david






              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • G. S. Prendergast
              David Your former Czech countrymen were not atheists - they were communists and fascists, believing in as much or more nonsense as Christians do. Their
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 2 1:17 PM
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                David



                Your former Czech countrymen were not "atheists" - they were communists and
                fascists, believing in as much or more nonsense as Christians do. Their
                oppressiveness was not informed by what they did not believe in (God), but
                rather by what they did (fundamentalist communism). Obsessive following of a
                set of rigid beliefs will always lead to oppression. The Inquisitors, for
                example, were Catholic, so was Columbus when he enslaved and murdered the
                Hispaniola natives. All the slave traders and slaves owners in history
                followed some religion. So did the Japanese when they bombed Pearl Harbor
                and occupied Korea and China. The Vikings (a nasty bunch of guys) were very
                religious, so were the Romans, the first great oppressors of recorded
                history. Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il believe they were and are deities on
                Earth. They all felt they had religious justification for what they did and
                wrote about it widely for us to read and consider. And by the way, don't
                tell me Hitler was an atheist - he wasn't. An atheist, like me, is blind to
                the difference between a Jew and a non Jew, so how could Hitler have been an
                atheist? In fact Hitler, it is not widely known, was an admirer of Islam.



                Now, I know what you're thinking; "Isn't Atheism just another set of
                beliefs?" We get this a lot. Let me ask you this: is health just another
                disease? When you pay off all your debts, do you still owe money? Is not
                having a spouse a form or marriage? Atheism does not replace religion with
                "science as a religion", because science, in its true form, is not a set of
                rigid beliefs. It is a set of evolving observations and theories - the very
                antithesis of religion. Atheism is an absence of rigid beliefs.



                You say you have never met an atheist you consider an attractive person
                (with an attractive lifestyle). I would suggest this is your problem, not a
                fundamental problem with atheism. Someone might well say: "Black people
                aren't attractive because I'm only attractive to fair skin and blond hair".
                Think about what you ARE attracted to, David. You may be hung up on
                characteristics that by definition most atheists don't share. I invite you
                to friend me on Facebook and judge my life. I have many friends, most of
                them atheists, but not all. I have a home, a child, a husband, a meaningful
                job (I'm an ESL teacher). I volunteer, donate to charity, am in several
                clubs and groups, enjoy nature, music and art (including devotional music
                and art). I travel. I was a looker, in my day, I think, at least my husband
                still thinks I am. I eat well, exercise a bit, and laugh at least hourly.
                What is un-attractive about my life?



                If you're still not convinced, I invite you to read "Infidel" by Ayaan Hirsi
                Ali, maybe the most beautiful woman I've ever met. She overcame a horrific
                childhood and youth, which included genital mutilation and a forced
                marriage, and many terrible experiences as an adult (a colleague was
                murdered, she has a fatwa on her, she was deported etc) and yet she still
                managed to charm the socks off every man in the room and most of women with
                her beauty, intelligence, grace and dignity. She's an atheist.



                You refer to "the famous opium quote". By this you mean Karl Marx and his
                reference to religion as the opium of the masses. I'm not a huge Marx fan,
                but I will come to his defense in this regard. Here is a more complete
                quote: Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a
                heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the
                people. Marx is saying in effect that religion is a response to oppression,
                which is what you seem to be saying too, David. The difference between you
                and Marx is that Marx preferred to cure the disease of oppression (which to
                him was capitalism) thus eliminating the need to medicate the pain it
                caused. The difference between ME and Marx is that I see religion as the
                oppressor. It is both the disease and the treatment, but not the cure.



                Ultimately I'm perplexed by your "problem with converting to atheism or
                agnosticism". If you don't believe there is a God, then you are an atheist -
                whether you choose to admit it or publicize it is a matter of discretion and
                denial. It is rather like being a homosexual. One doesn't convert to
                homosexuality; it is not a choice. One either is and hides or shows it, or
                isn't. If you're not sure what kind of god there is, then you ARE agnostic.
                Again, practicing as a Catholic or whatnot is denial or hypocrisy. Most
                Christians (I should know I was one) have the Nicene Creed which carefully
                enumerates the things they must believe in. They recite it weekly; it's no
                small thing. If you don't believe all these things exactly, then you are an
                agnostic, whether you like it or not.



                -gabrielle









                _____

                From: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of rvb_is@...
                Sent: Monday, February 02, 2009 6:14 AM
                To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [!! SPAM] Re: [CanadianAtheist] Re:"There's probably a God...



                The soviet union was an oppressive force that forced atheism down peoples
                throats. Those of us here in Canada came to our disbelief in god on our own
                not because of an oppressive force. Now in the USA its the atheists who are
                laughed at by evangelical christians, and I find even in Canada to Make it
                public that you are an atheist gets some condemnation. Now if you are
                looking for some form of doctrine that is not god based look up the term
                humanism. It is not a religion but a life philosophy of everyone being equal
                and putting religious differences aside to solve our earthly problems and
                conflicts. I can not imagine what it must have been like to live under such
                an oppressive government and I don't really know all your life experiences.
                What I do know is I feel putt for those who let themselves be suckered into
                sending money to these wack job preachers on tv thinking they are doing gods
                will. I have a problem with that. Or having our government slanteds towards
                christianity when our country is made of people from many different
                countries and many varied faiths and those of us who lack faith. We all need
                to be represented in our government. The best way to do that is to remove
                anything of faith from our schools and governement buildings. This doesn't
                make an atheist nation out of Canada but a nation that represents its true
                diversity. Every religion claims to be the "true" faith and path to follow
                in life. What makes your faith right?
                Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

                -----Original Message-----
                From: david danel <david_danel@ <mailto:david_danel%40yahoo.com> yahoo.com>

                Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2009 17:21:25
                To: <CanadianAtheist@ <mailto:CanadianAtheist%40yahoogroups.com>
                yahoogroups.com>
                Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re:"There's probably a God...


                Dear Jono and Friends,

                I hope you don't mind that I am writing here despite being one of those "in
                need of help" - the "believers"... Although being Christian I quite like the
                ad on the British bus (There's probably no God) as I am fully for the open
                society ... meaning open for believers and non-believers as well, open for
                discussion and based on tolerance and respect (hoping such a thing is
                possible...)

                The problem with me (and with my possible "converting to atheism or at least
                agnosticism") is that I never really met any "attractive atheists" in my
                life (so far!). By attractive I mean with an attractive life-style
                (attractive to me of course). I come from the Czech Republic which used to
                be "in the heart" of an ideological empire ruled by so called "scientific
                materialism" where people of mainly Christian faith were laughed at (myself
                and my family included), not allowed to certain high schools and
                universities, some imprisoned, some killed. We were taught in schools that
                religion is for the weaks, primitives and unaware (the famous opium quote
                etc.) and that it is dying in the progressive society. But in the meantime,
                this ideology went bankrupt (live! in front of my eyes) and the empire
                crushed down. It left broken and lost lives behind with no apologies.
                Somehow the Darwinian premises of my school teachers did not worked out in
                real life (as
                interpreted by THEM) - the weak and unawared survived and don't seem to be
                really dying out even in the liberal democracy and wild (in the early years)
                capitalistic realm. The old "scientific-materialist" empire collapsed some
                20 yrs ago. Now I work in the world of arts and education, but have many
                friend among scientists, doctors, university lecturers - many of them are
                some sort of Christians and even Dawkins and the very very bright
                perspectives of the science haven't convinced them to give up on their
                faith... Are they "the primitives" and "in need of a little help from their
                atheistic friends"? Why I have met so many Christians that were very
                educated, open, generous, altruistic, giving to others, not collaborating
                with regime (really brave and free) etc. and so many atheists that were just
                so opposite? Of course, I know also many sons-of-b.... who call themselves
                Christians... but simply put, those who made decisive impact on my life were
                Christians. And so, having had the first-hand experience of how atheistic
                society worked I don't want to go back there at all and see no positives in
                progressing to the "land of the brights" as Dennett, Dawkins and others like
                to put it and where they would like to lead the world to.

                So, why do you think, JONO, that every believer turned agnostic helps?

                My grandfathers, my father and me with had a great chance "to enjoy" the
                enlightened and atheist system for some 40 yrs and saw no benefits...

                And the people who didn't care about the entity called God didn't seem being
                really free and enjoying themselves as the ad on the UK bus suggests. Why is
                it so?

                I still respect you, my atheist neighbours. I think you are making many
                interesting points about how you see Christianity, the society etc. - but I
                am just a bit scared of your unreflected optimism about the prospects of an
                atheist society...

                On the other side and in order to make it lighter: I have a friend,
                theologian, who says (knowing quite well the American society) that if he
                was to be born in the USA he would probably have to become either Amish or
                Atheist to survive it and stay healthy :)

                Take care (and please, be patient with us, the unaware, non-Brights and
                closed-minds) ;)

                david





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Swami Manavatavadi
                Noble David, Humblest Greetings. I am not in Canada, USA or in Mexico but in far South Asia-in India. I got moved by reading your posting. I realized a good
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 4 11:26 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Noble David,
                  Humblest Greetings.

                  I am not in Canada, USA or in Mexico but in far South Asia-in India.

                  I got moved by reading your posting. I realized a good amount of
                  pain and sorrow flowing through your heart to your mind and to whole
                  body. I have developed a very good amount of empathy with your
                  conditions. A mere denial of any existence or non-existence is not
                  going to make a life smoother, meaningful, valuable or useful for
                  fellow human beings or other animated species or even to vegetation.

                  Noble David! I am not a learned man. At my base I am a forester came
                  to live nearer to the civilized population 35 years before. Since
                  then I am treated as an untouchable. I came to know the Atheist
                  community in 1996 while some one insisted me to attend the 4th World
                  Atheist Congress. Kindly excuse me where I stand wrong both in
                  language or expression as I don't know English at all.

                  Since I came to know this community in 1996 my position didn't
                  change from an untouchable to normal treated person even among the
                  Atheist Community of my country. You can also read my sorrowful
                  story I sent as my posting in this list with the title, 'We returned
                  with unbroken skull'. It was a report of our participation in the
                  7th World Atheist Conference and how we were treated there. We find
                  no change in their attitude and behaviour since we have joined the
                  community since 1996.

                  But still then we don't feel hurt. I could never agree to the term
                  Atheism yet. Atheism itself seems as a self-denying ridicule. I mean
                  to say that, what is the need to go on an unending war against a non-
                  existence? Atheism the term itself proves that there is some
                  existence as a supernatural being there and as they think, it is
                  their enemy, so they go on a war against it till it exists. This is
                  really a pitiable mentality and acceptance level.

                  If you (they) really understand that there is no possibility of any
                  existence at all as a supernatural imp then the term 'Atheism' is
                  imaginary. No-existence understanding should move with normalcy and
                  having pitiful attitude towards them who have illusion of a belief
                  of existence of a supernatural being.

                  Small children in homes play with dolls. Take their dolls granted as
                  their own children. Behave with their dolls as their mom and dad
                  behave with them with most affectionate manner. They also sing
                  lullabies for their doll child/children as their mother do for them
                  while they sleep, as if their doll child is going to sleep.

                  We never oppose such action of our children or of any child. Rather
                  we enjoy, despite we know that the doll is a dead thing and the
                  lullabies the child is singing for the doll is useless and nonsense.
                  Because we know the reality that when the child will grow to an
                  adolescent age automatically he/she will not do such things.

                  Understanding of non-existence of a supernatural being is a
                  realization state of mind termed as enlightenment. When the child
                  says the doll as its baby it has only the imitation effect and no
                  bio-emotional realization about being a real mother there. Similarly
                  when a person says there is a god or there is no god from
                  intellectual level without a state of realization and responsibility
                  of the state of mind, then both of them behave childish. Just like
                  one child takes the doll as his/her own child and the other naughty
                  child snatches the doll and tears it to pieces. There may be a great
                  battle between the two for the doll issue. Both children may they be
                  one year difference brother and sister, at this state the parents
                  take away the girl child to the doll shop by providing the option to
                  chose the best and costlier doll she can chose and by threatening
                  the brother to put him in the hostel if he would again attack on her
                  doll.

                  It is a matured state to have a realization of this lawful universe.
                  Discovery of the laws of nature is very different from the
                  realization of the lawful nature. When one becomes nearer to the
                  state of realizing the lawfulness of the nature then automatically
                  the amount of illusion of belief in any supernaturality gradually
                  get reduced by illuminating a mind about the relation of the
                  universe, its system and relationships with every individual matter
                  as well as with the individual human beings or with the species.
                  Evolution doesn't remain as a matter of syllabus or a course of
                  study but a state of illuminated understanding. Scientific knowledge
                  doesn't become a substitute for the belief on a supernatural being
                  rather a realization of the reality. I think there remains no fight
                  between the atheism or theism. Both of their antagonism becomes the
                  games of small children to their understanding.

                  Noble David! Every individual needs good and polite behavior from
                  others. Even the criminals and terrorists. Though it is very
                  difficult to have polite behavior with the criminals, terrorists and
                  cannibals but still all simple believers shouldn't be treated like
                  criminals, terrorists or cannibals. We should provide them all
                  possible facilities, scopes, love, sympathy, compassion and space of
                  time to grow to a higher state of realization of the reality of the
                  universe and its lawfulness because of the simple tendencies of the
                  matter and not because of any illusive remote operator.

                  If a wife wants to prevent her spouse from visiting brothel then she
                  would have to learn the pattern of treatment the prostitute gives to
                  the costumers, may there that would be very commercial and hollow,
                  but the female spouse would need to mend her mind to provide more
                  emotional and realistic treatment to her spouse far more superior
                  than the prostitute gives to rescue her partner from this unwanted
                  habit. If she would go on fighting with him with all logics and by
                  insulting him or belittling him in the presence of his friends or in
                  the society, she can't get the desired result rather it would move
                  them for a separation.

                  Just like the tactful prostitutes who know all possible and
                  impossible ways to attract a sexually extrovert male to extract
                  their money, similarly the clergies are. They are well trained and
                  tactful to touch the weak nerves of needy, love craving, feeble
                  minded, humiliated, pessimistic, over ambitious, tortured,
                  depressed, oppressed, schizophrenic, psychological dependents those
                  who need a very over powerful mental support who would be far more
                  powerful than all people of this earth together. Any logic and
                  argument may be scientific would not help to rescue this bigger
                  population of this world from the claws of the clergies and their
                  absurd but affectionate looking behavior to all these in dire need
                  of compassionate behavior. When some one needs compassion a logic
                  will not work. Even a drama of compassion would work there more
                  strongly than any scientific logic. Those who understand that a
                  supernatural belief is an illusion should educate themselves to
                  behave compassionate towards the simple believers so that the excuse
                  of a godhead would lose its paradoxical base from the mind-set of
                  the simple believers and the shops of the clergies of all types
                  would remain without any customer visitor to force them to change
                  there way to realism.

                  How does the term realism sounds to your ears in place of Atheism?

                  Cordially,
                  Swamiji





                  --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, david danel
                  <david_danel@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear Jono and Friends,
                  >
                  > I hope you don't mind that I am writing here despite being one of
                  those "in need of help" - the "believers"... Although being
                  Christian I quite like the ad on the British bus (There's probably
                  no God) as I am fully for the open society ... meaning open for
                  believers and non-believers as well, open for discussion and based
                  on tolerance and respect (hoping such a thing is possible...)
                  >
                  > The problem with me (and with my possible "converting to atheism
                  or at least agnosticism") is that I never really met any "attractive
                  atheists" in my life (so far!). By attractive I mean with an
                  attractive life-style (attractive to me of course). I come from the
                  Czech Republic which used to be "in the heart" of an ideological
                  empire ruled by so called "scientific materialism" where people of
                  mainly Christian faith were laughed at (myself and my family
                  included), not allowed to certain high schools and universities,
                  some imprisoned, some killed. We were taught in schools that
                  religion is for the weaks, primitives and unaware (the famous opium
                  quote etc.) and that it is dying in the progressive society. But in
                  the meantime, this ideology went bankrupt (live! in front of my
                  eyes) and the empire crushed down. It left broken and lost lives
                  behind with no apologies. Somehow the Darwinian premises of my
                  school teachers did not worked out in real life (as
                  > interpreted by THEM) - the weak and unawared survived and don't
                  seem to be really dying out even in the liberal democracy and wild
                  (in the early years) capitalistic realm. The old "scientific-
                  materialist" empire collapsed some 20 yrs ago. Now I work in the
                  world of arts and education, but have many friend among scientists,
                  doctors, university lecturers - many of them are some sort of
                  Christians and even Dawkins and the very very bright perspectives of
                  the science haven't convinced them to give up on their faith... Are
                  they "the primitives" and "in need of a little help from their
                  atheistic friends"? Why I have met so many Christians that were very
                  educated, open, generous, altruistic, giving to others, not
                  collaborating with regime (really brave and free) etc. and so many
                  atheists that were just so opposite? Of course, I know also many
                  sons-of-b.... who call themselves Christians... but simply put,
                  those who made decisive impact on my life were
                  > Christians. And so, having had the first-hand experience of how
                  atheistic society worked I don't want to go back there at all and
                  see no positives in progressing to the "land of the brights" as
                  Dennett, Dawkins and others like to put it and where they would like
                  to lead the world to.
                  >
                  > So, why do you think, JONO, that every believer turned agnostic
                  helps?
                  >
                  > My grandfathers, my father and me with had a great chance "to
                  enjoy" the enlightened and atheist system for some 40 yrs and saw
                  no benefits...
                  >
                  > And the people who didn't care about the entity called God didn't
                  seem being really free and enjoying themselves as the ad on the UK
                  bus suggests. Why is it so?
                  >
                  > I still respect you, my atheist neighbours. I think you are making
                  many interesting points about how you see Christianity, the society
                  etc. - but I am just a bit scared of your unreflected optimism
                  about the prospects of an atheist society...
                  >
                  > On the other side and in order to make it lighter: I have a
                  friend, theologian, who says (knowing quite well the American
                  society) that if he was to be born in the USA he would probably have
                  to become either Amish or Atheist to survive it and stay healthy :)
                  >
                  > Take care (and please, be patient with us, the unaware, non-
                  Brights and closed-minds) ;)
                  >
                  > david
                  >
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