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  • Mik Botvinnik
    As a n _________________________________________________________________ Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
    Message 1 of 29 , Aug 8 3:13 AM
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      As a n


      _________________________________________________________________
      Chat with friends online, try MSN Messenger: http://messenger.msn.com
    • ehdsmith@aol.com
      Hello, My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this group. Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
      Message 2 of 29 , Nov 18, 2008
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        Hello,

        My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this group.

        Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
        many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a
        being that created me and is all powerful.

        The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more
        about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I would
        like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am
        quickly approaching that point myself.

        If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to
        become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.

        Your new friend, who is searching for truth.

        Edith


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Jeff Lewis
        Hi Edith, The turning point for me was when I was 17 (50 years ago) in an English class in college. My professor listed 10 religions on the board.
        Message 3 of 29 , Nov 18, 2008
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          Hi Edith,



          The turning point for me was when I was 17 (50 years ago) in an English
          class in college. My professor listed 10 religions on the board.
          Christianity was number 3, not because on any ranking but perhaps
          alphabetically or randomly.



          I thought people in those religions are taught to believe what the 'priest'
          and the 'holy books' tell them, but they're all different so they can't all
          be right. I concluded none were 'right' and became an immediate agnostic.



          I few years later, with knowledge of evolution and the advances in science,
          I concluded there was no need for a supreme being. While it is academically
          impossible to 'know' there is no supreme being and am certain enough to call
          myself an atheist.



          I do not, however, rule out more advanced civilizations on other planets.



          Jeff



          -----Original Message-----
          From: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ehdsmith@...
          Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 7:19 AM
          To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello



          Hello,

          My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this
          group.

          Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
          many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a
          being that created me and is all powerful.

          The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more
          about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I
          would
          like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am
          quickly approaching that point myself.

          If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to
          become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.

          Your new friend, who is searching for truth.

          Edith

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





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • ehdsmith@aol.com
          Hi, Jeff, Thanks for the note. We are about the same age as 50 years ago I was 18, had just graduated from High School and was working a year to save money
          Message 4 of 29 , Nov 18, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi, Jeff,

            Thanks for the note. We are about the same age as 50 years ago I was 18, had
            just graduated from High School and was working a year to save money for
            College, now they would call it a gap year <G> so I was fashionable long before
            the 90's and the first years of this century but I was that way because I could
            not afford to jaunt around Africa or wherever, on a motor scoter or bike.

            Back then I had no doubts about my Christian faith, they have come more
            recently so perhaps I am just a late bloomer.

            Jeff, I also would not rule out more advanced civilizations on other planets
            and at the moment I think that I am trying to deprogram my self from the
            extreme indoctrination that I have had since birth as I also see no need for a
            supreme being but still can see no need for not having one either.

            Thanks Jeff for your note and keep them coming as I need to break out of my
            sort of self imposed shell and throw off the thoughts of guilt for not
            believing as I once did. I am certain that it is folk like you that can help me.

            Thanks,
            Edith


            >
            > Hi Edith,
            >
            > The turning point for me was when I was 17 (50 years ago) in an English
            > class in college. My professor listed 10 religions on the board.
            > Christianity was number 3, not because on any ranking but perhaps
            > alphabetically or randomly.
            >
            > I thought people in those religions are taught to believe what the 'priest'
            > and the 'holy books' tell them, but they're all different so they can't all
            > be right. I concluded none were 'right' and became an immediate agnostic.
            >
            > I few years later, with knowledge of evolution and the advances in science,
            > I concluded there was no need for a supreme being. While it is academically
            > impossible to 'know' there is no supreme being and am certain enough to call
            > myself an atheist.
            >
            > I do not, however, rule out more advanced civilizations on other planets.
            >
            > Jeff
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
            > [mailto:CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of ehdsmith@...
            > Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 7:19 AM
            > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello
            >
            > Hello,
            >
            > My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this
            > group.
            >
            > Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
            > many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a
            > being that created me and is all powerful.
            >
            > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more
            > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I
            > would
            > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am
            > quickly approaching that point myself.
            >
            > If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to
            > become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.
            >
            > Your new friend, who is searching for truth.
            >
            > Edith
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Jack
            ... more ... words I would ... that I am ... The better question is - what would lead you to stay where you are/were? :) That s really what it comes down to,
            Message 5 of 29 , Nov 18, 2008
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              --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
              >
              > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know
              more
              > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other
              words I would
              > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state
              that I am
              > quickly approaching that point myself.

              The better question is - what would lead you to stay where you
              are/were? :)

              That's really what it comes down to, what are the grounds for belief.
              Is there any evidence to support a belief in a supernatural being who
              watches over us, who created us, etc.

              My conclusion was "no", there is not evidence to support that, and my
              religious beliefs were driven entirely from my upbringing and the
              religious beliefs of my parents. From there, there is no choice but
              to identify ones self as atheist.

              And frankly, it's better here... I think atheists tend to seize life
              just a little bit more firmly and get more out of it... unlike
              believers, we know we only get one! :)

              Good luck with your journey.

              jono
            • Horst Klaus
              Hi Edith, I may not be living in Toronto, but I can give you a few ideas. As the president of the Niagara Secular Humanists , I suggest you check out our
              Message 6 of 29 , Nov 18, 2008
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Edith,

                I may not be living in Toronto, but I can give you a few ideas. As the president of the "Niagara Secular Humanists", I suggest you check out our website - nsh.humanists.ca - and click on "past events", and each of the names of organizations with which we share our ideals. Our past events will give you amongst others a detailed report on a debate "Does God exist?", it was in April between the co-president of the "Freedom from Religion Foundation", Dan Barker and a prominent Christian, the Reverend Peter Youngren, who often appears on TV. Dan was a church minister in the U.S. for years and changed to atheism. FFRF headquarters are in Madison, Wisconsin. Yu will find the websites of FFRF and other non-religious organizations by clicking on the various names. Don't be too surprised to find the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara amongst them, about 50% of their members are Atheists or at least Agnostic. Good luck and let me know how you make out!

                Cheers,
                Horst Klaus
                St. Catharines


                ----- Original Message -----
                From: ehdsmith@...
                To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 10:18 AM
                Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello


                Hello,

                My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this group.

                Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
                many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a
                being that created me and is all powerful.

                The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more
                about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I would
                like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am
                quickly approaching that point myself.

                If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to
                become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.

                Your new friend, who is searching for truth.

                Edith

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





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • RVB
                Hi there Edith, I think the most important thing you have shown here is a willingness to look beyond what you were taught to believe as truth.  It is good to
                Message 7 of 29 , Nov 18, 2008
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi there Edith, I think the most important thing you have shown here is a willingness to look beyond what you were taught to believe as truth.  It is good to question things.
                  If you want to know why I am an atheist, I look into the past at such things as the Salem witch hunts, or the Spanish Inquistion.  Or to go back even further, to a council that met in the fourth century AD where all the prominent christian leaders decided which books and gospels would make up the Bible, and what each of those books would say (god's word altered by man).  Or I look at Gallileo Gallilei who spent the last 9 years of his life under house arrest and not allowed to publish anymore when he mathematically proved the Earth orbits the sun, which we know today to be common fact.  The church in his day branded him a heretic because his discovery went against the common belief.  Then I look at the countless children who have suffered at the hands of child molesting priests....  young lives ruined.  Or how men like Benny Hinn go on TV claiming to heal people when there is no documented medical proof, and if he did have the power to heal and he
                  was a true man of faith, would he not be healing people by the thousands?
                  Those are the reasons I don't believe in God.
                  Go on youtube.com and do a search on atheism, or even wikipedia.org.  
                   

                  --- On Tue, 11/18/08, ehdsmith@... <ehdsmith@...> wrote:

                  From: ehdsmith@... <ehdsmith@...>
                  Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] Hello
                  To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 12:57 PM






                  Hi, Jeff,

                  Thanks for the note. We are about the same age as 50 years ago I was 18, had
                  just graduated from High School and was working a year to save money for
                  College, now they would call it a gap year <G> so I was fashionable long before
                  the 90's and the first years of this century but I was that way because I could
                  not afford to jaunt around Africa or wherever, on a motor scoter or bike.

                  Back then I had no doubts about my Christian faith, they have come more
                  recently so perhaps I am just a late bloomer.

                  Jeff, I also would not rule out more advanced civilizations on other planets
                  and at the moment I think that I am trying to deprogram my self from the
                  extreme indoctrination that I have had since birth as I also see no need for a
                  supreme being but still can see no need for not having one either.

                  Thanks Jeff for your note and keep them coming as I need to break out of my
                  sort of self imposed shell and throw off the thoughts of guilt for not
                  believing as I once did. I am certain that it is folk like you that can help me.

                  Thanks,
                  Edith

                  >
                  > Hi Edith,
                  >
                  > The turning point for me was when I was 17 (50 years ago) in an English
                  > class in college. My professor listed 10 religions on the board.
                  > Christianity was number 3, not because on any ranking but perhaps
                  > alphabetically or randomly.
                  >
                  > I thought people in those religions are taught to believe what the 'priest'
                  > and the 'holy books' tell them, but they're all different so they can't all
                  > be right. I concluded none were 'right' and became an immediate agnostic.
                  >
                  > I few years later, with knowledge of evolution and the advances in science,
                  > I concluded there was no need for a supreme being. While it is academically
                  > impossible to 'know' there is no supreme being and am certain enough to call
                  > myself an atheist.
                  >
                  > I do not, however, rule out more advanced civilizations on other planets.
                  >
                  > Jeff
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: CanadianAtheist@ yahoogroups. com
                  > [mailto:CanadianAtheist@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of ehdsmith@aol. com
                  > Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 7:19 AM
                  > To: CanadianAtheist@ yahoogroups. com
                  > Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello
                  >
                  > Hello,
                  >
                  > My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this
                  > group.
                  >
                  > Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
                  > many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a
                  > being that created me and is all powerful.
                  >
                  > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more
                  > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I
                  > would
                  > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am
                  > quickly approaching that point myself.
                  >
                  > If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to
                  > become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.
                  >
                  > Your new friend, who is searching for truth.
                  >
                  > Edith
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >

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


















                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Brett McKenzie
                  You can t really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, because the only thing we have in common, really, is a non-belief. Forums like this are
                  Message 8 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
                  • 0 Attachment
                    You can't really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, because the only thing we have in common, really, is a non-belief. Forums like this are different, of course: atheists here are more vocal about their agnosticism, and discuss the nuances of agnosticism/atheism, and are more critical of organized religion than many other atheists, and, from what I've seen, tend to be more "liberal" in their political and social views. But beyond that, we just don't believe in god.

                    As for atheism being like a black hole from which there is no escape, that's not entirely true. First of all, it's not that black. Secondly, there's a lot of wiggle room in doubt. Third, there are atheists who have found god: C.S. Lewis and Anne Rice are two examples.

                    We're fortunate here in Canada, because the culture war is less stark. The US is a much uglier place for those who doubt the teachings of religion, any religion. You'll find most people accepting and tolerant if you continue looking for answers, and find that there aren't nearly as many as you were told there were...

                    If Faith is a Virtue, then proof is a sin.
                    --Brett



                    To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                    From: ehdsmith@...
                    Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 10:18:40 -0500
                    Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello




















                    Hello,



                    My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this group.



                    Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having

                    many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a

                    being that created me and is all powerful.



                    The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more

                    about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I would

                    like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am

                    quickly approaching that point myself.



                    If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to

                    become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.



                    Your new friend, who is searching for truth.



                    Edith



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




















                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • ehdsmith@aol.com
                    Hello Brett, Thanks for your most though provoking comments.? While I know that I can t really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, I am certain
                    Message 9 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hello Brett,

                      Thanks for your most though provoking comments.? While I know that I can't really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, I am certain that I will learn much as I travel to my state of non-belief and find what is best for me.

                      It was interesting what you said about C.S.Lewis and Anne Rice,? knew that C.S.Lewis had been an atheist but as for Rice?I thought that she was just someone that had returned to Romam Catholicism after being heavily into vampires but then with all the talk about the blood are Christians not some what like vampires or in the case of the RC's cannibals?

                      Edith

                      ---- Original Message ----
                      From: Brett McKenzie <mcshaggy@...>
                      To: canadianatheist@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 11:52 am
                      Subject: RE: [CanadianAtheist] Hello







                      You can't really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, because the only thing we have in common, really, is a non-belief. Forums like this are different, of course: atheists here are more vocal about their agnosticism, and discuss the nuances of agnosticism/atheism, and are more critical of organized religion than many other atheists, and, from what I've seen, tend to be more "liberal" in their political and social views. But beyond that, we just don't believe in god.

                      As for atheism being like a black hole from which there is no escape, that's not entirely true. First of all, it's not that black. Secondly, there's a lot of wiggle room in doubt. Third, there are atheists who have found god: C.S. Lewis and Anne Rice are two examples.

                      We're fortunate here in Canada, because the culture war is less stark. The US is a much uglier place for those who doubt the teachings of religion, any religion. You'll find most people accepting and tolerant if you continue looking for answers, and find that there aren't nearly as many as you were told there were...

                      If Faith is a Virtue, then proof is a sin.
                      --Brett

                      To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                      From: ehdsmith@...
                      Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 10:18:40 -0500
                      Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello

                      Hello,

                      My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this group.

                      Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having

                      many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a

                      being that created me and is all powerful.

                      The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more

                      about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I would

                      like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am

                      quickly approaching that point myself.

                      If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to

                      become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.

                      Your new friend, who is searching for truth.

                      Edith

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











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





                      ________________________________________________________________________
                      New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week. Listen Now.
                      http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • ehdsmith@aol.com
                      Hi, Jeff, Thank for your comments and your suggestions.?I? question continually and will continue to and look beyond what I have been taught to believe is
                      Message 10 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
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                        Hi, Jeff,
                        Thank for your comments and your suggestions.?I? question continually and will continue to and look beyond what I have been taught to believe is true.
                        Edith


                        .




                        ---- Original Message ----
                        From: RVB <rvb_is@...>
                        To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 12:29 am
                        Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] Hello






                        Hi there Edith, I think the most important thing you have shown here is a willingness to look beyond what you were taught to believe as truth.? It is good to question things.
                        If you want to know why I am an atheist, I look into the past at such things as the Salem witch hunts, or the Spanish Inquistion.? Or to go back even further, to a council that met in the fourth century AD where all the prominent christian leaders decided which books and gospels would make up the Bible, and what each of those books would say (god's word altered by man).? Or I look at Gallileo Gallilei who spent the last 9 years of his life under house arrest and not allowed to publish anymore when he mathematically proved the Earth orbits the sun, which we know today to be common fact.? The church in his day branded him a heretic because his discovery went against the common belief.? Then I look at the countless children who have suffered at the hands of child molesting priests....? young lives ruined.? Or how men like Benny Hinn go on TV claiming to heal people when there is no documented medical proof, and if he did have the power to heal and he
                        was a true man of faith, would he not?be healing people by the thousands?
                        Those are the reasons I don't believe in God.
                        Go on youtube.com and?do a search on atheism,?or even wikipedia.org.??
                        ?

                        --- On Tue, 11/18/08, ehdsmith@... <ehdsmith@...> wrote:

                        From: ehdsmith@... <ehdsmith@...>
                        Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] Hello
                        To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 12:57 PM

                        Hi, Jeff,

                        Thanks for the note. We are about the same age as 50 years ago I was 18, had
                        just graduated from High School and was working a year to save money for
                        College, now they would call it a gap year <G> so I was fashionable long before
                        the 90's and the first years of this century but I was that way because I could
                        not afford to jaunt around Africa or wherever, on a motor scoter or bike.

                        Back then I had no doubts about my Christian faith, they have come more
                        recently so perhaps I am just a late bloomer.

                        Jeff, I also would not rule out more advanced civilizations on other planets
                        and at the moment I think that I am trying to deprogram my self from the
                        extreme indoctrination that I have had since birth as I also see no need for a
                        supreme being but still can see no need for not having one either.

                        Thanks Jeff for your note and keep them coming as I need to break out of my
                        sort of self imposed shell and throw off the thoughts of guilt for not
                        believing as I once did. I am certain that it is folk like you that can help me.

                        Thanks,
                        Edith

                        >
                        > Hi Edith,
                        >
                        > The turning point for me was when I was 17 (50 years ago) in an English
                        > class in college. My professor listed 10 religions on the board.
                        > Christianity was number 3, not because on any ranking but perhaps
                        > alphabetically or randomly.
                        >
                        > I thought people in those religions are taught to believe what the 'priest'
                        > and the 'holy books' tell them, but they're all different so they can't all
                        > be right. I concluded none were 'right' and became an immediate agnostic.
                        >
                        > I few years later, with knowledge of evolution and the advances in science,
                        > I concluded there was no need for a supreme being. While it is academically
                        > impossible to 'know' there is no supreme being and am certain enough to call
                        > myself an atheist.
                        >
                        > I do not, however, rule out more advanced civilizations on other planets.
                        >
                        > Jeff
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: CanadianAtheist@ yahoogroups. com
                        > [mailto:CanadianAtheist@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of ehdsmith@aol. com
                        > Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 7:19 AM
                        > To: CanadianAtheist@ yahoogroups. com
                        > Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello
                        >
                        > Hello,
                        >
                        > My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this
                        > group.
                        >
                        > Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
                        > many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a
                        > being that created me and is all powerful.
                        >
                        > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more
                        > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I
                        > would
                        > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am
                        > quickly approaching that point myself.
                        >
                        > If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to
                        > become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.
                        >
                        > Your new friend, who is searching for truth.
                        >
                        > Edith
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >

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

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





                        ________________________________________________________________________
                        New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week. Listen Now.
                        http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • ehdsmith@aol.com
                        Thanks Horst, I will do that.....Edith ... From: Horst Klaus To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 8:39 pm
                        Message 11 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Thanks Horst, I will do that.....Edith


                          ---- Original Message ----
                          From: Horst Klaus <niag.sec.humanists@...>
                          To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 8:39 pm
                          Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] Hello






                          Hi Edith,

                          I may not be living in Toronto, but I can give you a few ideas. As the president of the "Niagara Secular Humanists", I suggest you check out our website - nsh.humanists.ca - and click on "past events", and each of the names of organizations with which we share our ideals. Our past events will give you amongst others a detailed report on a debate "Does God exist?", it was in April between the co-president of the "Freedom from Religion Foundation", Dan Barker and a prominent Christian, the Reverend Peter Youngren, who often appears on TV. Dan was a church minister in the U.S. for years and changed to atheism. FFRF headquarters are in Madison, Wisconsin. Yu will find the websites of FFRF and other non-religious organizations by clicking on the various names. Don't be too surprised to find the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara amongst them, about 50% of their members are Atheists or at least Agnostic. Good luck and let me know how you make out!

                          Cheers,
                          Horst Klaus
                          St. Catharines

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: ehdsmith@...
                          To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 10:18 AM
                          Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello

                          Hello,

                          My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this group.

                          Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
                          many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a
                          being that created me and is all powerful.

                          The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more
                          about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I would
                          like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am
                          quickly approaching that point myself.

                          If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to
                          become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.

                          Your new friend, who is searching for truth.

                          Edith

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

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





                          ________________________________________________________________________
                          New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week. Listen Now.
                          http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • ehdsmith@aol.com
                          Thanks for our welcome and insight......Edith ... From: Jack To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 7:32 pm Subject:
                          Message 12 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
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                            Thanks for our welcome and insight......Edith


                            ---- Original Message ----
                            From: Jack <jonyahoo@...>
                            To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 7:32 pm
                            Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: Hello






                            --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                            >
                            > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know
                            more
                            > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other
                            words I would
                            > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state
                            that I am
                            > quickly approaching that point myself.

                            The better question is - what would lead you to stay where you
                            are/were? :)

                            That's really what it comes down to, what are the grounds for belief.
                            Is there any evidence to support a belief in a supernatural being who
                            watches over us, who created us, etc.

                            My conclusion was "no", there is not evidence to support that, and my
                            religious beliefs were driven entirely from my upbringing and the
                            religious beliefs of my parents. From there, there is no choice but
                            to identify ones self as atheist.

                            And frankly, it's better here... I think atheists tend to seize life
                            just a little bit more firmly and get more out of it... unlike
                            believers, we know we only get one! :)

                            Good luck with your journey.

                            jono





                            ________________________________________________________________________
                            New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week. Listen Now.
                            http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • randalldek
                            Hello Edith Welcome. I think many of us who call ourselves atheists have travelled a similar journey as you. I was raised in a fairly devout family - went to
                            Message 13 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
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                              Hello Edith

                              Welcome. I think many of us who call ourselves atheists have travelled
                              a similar journey as you. I was raised in a fairly devout family -
                              went to church twice every sunday and all the holidays, prayed before
                              every meal, attended a private christian school etc. At some point in
                              my teens I began to think to myself that all of it was just for show.
                              I recall thinking that it was probable that no-one really believed all
                              the stuff we were told. They were part of a community and the price of
                              admission was acting as though you believed with all of your heart,
                              soul, and mind. At the same time I realized that at a certain level
                              people did, in fact, believe what the bible said. I was somewhat
                              confused as a teenager.
                              Then I went to university and was exposed to writings by people that
                              did not have christian belief as their perspective. I met a lot of
                              folks with a variety of ideas. I found that whatever vestiges of
                              belief that I still carried began to disappear. I realized that what
                              much of what the world believed - and were often fighting over - were
                              a bunch of ideas that were written down by tribespeople a couple of
                              thousand years ago. I realized that most other religious beliefs had
                              fallen by the wayside. For reasons best left to another discussion the
                              Jewish-Christian-Muslim faiths persisted in one form or other.
                              I came to the firm conclusion that people believed in a god for a
                              variety of reasons which may be very valid for them. I also concluded
                              that there was no god and that I did not need to go on acting as if
                              there was. That was a very uplifting, liberating conclusion. I hope
                              you can reach the same kind of epiphany and look forward to hearing
                              more of your thoughts.

                              Randall


                              --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                              >
                              > Hello,
                              >
                              > My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined
                              this group.
                              >
                              > Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been
                              having
                              > many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed
                              existence of a
                              > being that created me and is all powerful.
                              >
                              > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know
                              more
                              > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other
                              words I would
                              > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state
                              that I am
                              > quickly approaching that point myself.
                              >
                              > If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no
                              return to
                              > become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.
                              >
                              > Your new friend, who is searching for truth.
                              >
                              > Edith
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                            • ehdsmith@aol.com
                              Hello Randall, It was really good to hear from you and to learn that someone from a similar background has come to the conclusions that I am slowly coming to.?
                              Message 14 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
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                                Hello Randall,

                                It was really good to hear from you and to learn that someone from a similar background has come to the conclusions that I am slowly coming to.? In my teens I never had any doubts, so I guess that I am a slow learner or late bloomer, whatever you want to call it. ?Actually I attended Bible College and learned all of the mumbo jumbo that goes with that and then for years was caught up in a Cult Like Experience which teached that it is the only true church etc. etc. etc., finally came out of that and joined a Liberal Protestant Church but continued on in my sort of conservative ways as there is a wide spectrum of belief within this church and I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few agnostics and atheist among the group.? I am still a member of that church but for the most part am just going through the motions.

                                I have been exposing myself to reading works that talk about what you mention in the last part of your note to me, that religion was experiences and beliefs written down by tribesmen who lived thousands of years ago. All of the teachings of Christianity are found in other?religions and world views, they just have different names.? I am begining to come to the conclusion that these writers are correct and that all religion is man made and used to support the thinking and world view of the particular tribe, the world view of the ancient Semitic tribes and then the early Christian was very limited and what a travesty that it had continued on down to our day.?

                                I would like to say much more but at the moment my thoughts are getting jumbled so I will sign off by saying thanks for your thoughts and insights and I?am thinking that if someone with your background and come out and say that there is no god then perhaps there is still hope for this slow learner.?

                                I look forward to hearing more from you.

                                Edith





                                ---- Original Message ----
                                From: randalldek <randall@...>
                                To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 2:44 pm
                                Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: Hello






                                Hello Edith

                                Welcome. I think many of us who call ourselves atheists have travelled
                                a similar journey as you. I was raised in a fairly devout family -
                                went to church twice every sunday and all the holidays, prayed before
                                every meal, attended a private christian school etc. At some point in
                                my teens I began to think to myself that all of it was just for show.
                                I recall thinking that it was probable that no-one really believed all
                                the stuff we were told. They were part of a community and the price of
                                admission was acting as though you believed with all of your heart,
                                soul, and mind. At the same time I realized that at a certain level
                                people did, in fact, believe what the bible said. I was somewhat
                                confused as a teenager.
                                Then I went to university and was exposed to writings by people that
                                did not have christian belief as their perspective. I met a lot of
                                folks with a variety of ideas. I found that whatever vestiges of
                                belief that I still carried began to disappear. I realized that what
                                much of what the world believed - and were often fighting over - were
                                a bunch of ideas that were written down by tribespeople a couple of
                                thousand years ago. I realized that most other religious beliefs had
                                fallen by the wayside. For reasons best left to another discussion the
                                Jewish-Christian-Muslim faiths persisted in one form or other.
                                I came to the firm conclusion that people believed in a god for a
                                variety of reasons which may be very valid for them. I also concluded
                                that there was no god and that I did not need to go on acting as if
                                there was. That was a very uplifting, liberating conclusion. I hope
                                you can reach the same kind of epiphany and look forward to hearing
                                more of your thoughts.

                                Randall

                                --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                                >
                                > Hello,
                                >
                                > My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined
                                this group.
                                >
                                > Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been
                                having
                                > many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed
                                existence of a
                                > being that created me and is all powerful.
                                >
                                > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know
                                more
                                > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other
                                words I would
                                > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state
                                that I am
                                > quickly approaching that point myself.
                                >
                                > If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no
                                return to
                                > become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.
                                >
                                > Your new friend, who is searching for truth.
                                >
                                > Edith
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >





                                ________________________________________________________________________
                                New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week. Listen Now.
                                http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Brett McKenzie
                                I just read recently that Anne Rice had returned to Catholicism after being an atheist for many years. However, she said, It s too depressing, being an
                                Message 15 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  I just read recently that Anne Rice had returned to Catholicism after being an atheist for many years. However, she said, "It's too depressing, being an atheist". I admit that sometimes I do feel a little lonely, and wish there was something I could believe in, but wish in one hand and spit in the other, as the saying goes...

                                  I used to play a role playing game based loosely on Anne Rice's vampires, and the "blood of Christ" thing did come up. The rationale was that if the vampire believed strongly enough in transubstantiation, then they could get blood from taking communion. I was raised Baptist, so communion has always been a symbolic gesture to me, so the whole blood of Christ thing always struck me as silly, esp. that vampires could get nourishment from it. It's an odd place to end my suspension of disbelief, but also, I guess, indicative of how I felt about the whole communion thing in the first place.

                                  In retrospect, I'm not sure I was ever a very good christian. The shame thing stuck, but that's about it. It's like a pox scar from a childhood disease.

                                  If Faith is a Virtue, then proof is a sin.
                                  --Brett



                                  To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                  From: ehdsmith@...
                                  Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 14:11:24 -0500
                                  Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] Hello




















                                  Hello Brett,



                                  Thanks for your most though provoking comments.? While I know that I can't really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, I am certain that I will learn much as I travel to my state of non-belief and find what is best for me.



                                  It was interesting what you said about C.S.Lewis and Anne Rice,? knew that C.S.Lewis had been an atheist but as for Rice?I thought that she was just someone that had returned to Romam Catholicism after being heavily into vampires but then with all the talk about the blood are Christians not some what like vampires or in the case of the RC's cannibals?



                                  Edith



                                  ---- Original Message ----

                                  From: Brett McKenzie <mcshaggy@...>

                                  To: canadianatheist@yahoogroups.com

                                  Sent: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 11:52 am

                                  Subject: RE: [CanadianAtheist] Hello



                                  You can't really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, because the only thing we have in common, really, is a non-belief. Forums like this are different, of course: atheists here are more vocal about their agnosticism, and discuss the nuances of agnosticism/atheism, and are more critical of organized religion than many other atheists, and, from what I've seen, tend to be more "liberal" in their political and social views. But beyond that, we just don't believe in god.



                                  As for atheism being like a black hole from which there is no escape, that's not entirely true. First of all, it's not that black. Secondly, there's a lot of wiggle room in doubt. Third, there are atheists who have found god: C.S. Lewis and Anne Rice are two examples.



                                  We're fortunate here in Canada, because the culture war is less stark. The US is a much uglier place for those who doubt the teachings of religion, any religion. You'll find most people accepting and tolerant if you continue looking for answers, and find that there aren't nearly as many as you were told there were...



                                  If Faith is a Virtue, then proof is a sin.

                                  --Brett



                                  To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com

                                  From: ehdsmith@...

                                  Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 10:18:40 -0500

                                  Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello



                                  Hello,



                                  My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this group.



                                  Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having



                                  many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a



                                  being that created me and is all powerful.



                                  The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more



                                  about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I would



                                  like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am



                                  quickly approaching that point myself.



                                  If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to



                                  become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.



                                  Your new friend, who is searching for truth.



                                  Edith



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



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



                                  __________________________________________________________

                                  New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week. Listen Now.

                                  http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045



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




















                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Jack
                                  ... I could no more decide to believe in God than I could decide to believe that water isn t wet. She sounds like a classic case of belief in belief as
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, Brett McKenzie <mcshaggy@...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > I just read recently that Anne Rice had returned to Catholicism
                                    > after being an atheist for many years. However, she said, "It's
                                    > too depressing, being an atheist".

                                    I could no more decide to believe in God than I could decide to
                                    believe that water isn't wet. She sounds like a classic case of
                                    "belief in belief" as opposed to a true believer.

                                    Sorry Anne, there is no God, it is what it is, deal with it. :)

                                    Besides, what's less depressing about Catholicism? I found it far
                                    more depressing to live with the idea that some seemingly minor
                                    transgression could damn you to hell for eternity. In the church I
                                    attended as a child, fear was the order of the day... the list of
                                    things that would earn you eternal damnation was long indeed

                                    jono
                                  • Brett McKenzie
                                    Dude, I m with you. I m married to a Catholic. And was raised Baptist. I ve seen the corrosion shame and guilt can have on a psyche. And choosing to
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Nov 19, 2008
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Dude, I'm with you. I'm married to a Catholic. And was raised Baptist. I've seen the corrosion shame and guilt can have on a psyche. And choosing to believe in anything strikes me as self-delusion of the most obvious and meta- kind.

                                      If Faith is a Virtue, then proof is a sin.
                                      --Brett



                                      To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                      From: jonyahoo@...
                                      Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 02:27:04 +0000
                                      Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: Hello




















                                      --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, Brett McKenzie <mcshaggy@...>

                                      wrote:

                                      >

                                      >

                                      > I just read recently that Anne Rice had returned to Catholicism

                                      > after being an atheist for many years. However, she said, "It's

                                      > too depressing, being an atheist".



                                      I could no more decide to believe in God than I could decide to

                                      believe that water isn't wet. She sounds like a classic case of

                                      "belief in belief" as opposed to a true believer.



                                      Sorry Anne, there is no God, it is what it is, deal with it. :)



                                      Besides, what's less depressing about Catholicism? I found it far

                                      more depressing to live with the idea that some seemingly minor

                                      transgression could damn you to hell for eternity. In the church I

                                      attended as a child, fear was the order of the day... the list of

                                      things that would earn you eternal damnation was long indeed



                                      jono




















                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • ehdsmith@aol.com
                                      Hi, Brett, I had read that Anne Rice had returned to Catholicism but I did not realize that she had been an atheist. I wonder if she really and truly was and
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Nov 20, 2008
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hi, Brett,

                                        I had read that Anne Rice had returned to Catholicism but I did not realize
                                        that she had been an atheist. I wonder if she really and truly was and if so
                                        what brought her back to the RC Church.

                                        Being raised a Baptist I never bought into the doctrine of transubstantiation
                                        but always thought of communion as symbolic. Was always interested in
                                        Vampires though never read any of the books Rice wrote but did see the movie with
                                        Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt which I think was based on one of her books and have
                                        always been fascinated by Vampire tales and movies.

                                        So she thinks that it is too depressing to be an atheist, well she must think
                                        then that she is going to heaven. I would find the RC Church with its
                                        purgatory, limbo, demons and satanic beings much more depressing even more so then
                                        the Baptist <G>! She more then likely started to have a guilt trip so went
                                        back to the faith of her fathers with the history of the inquisition, etc. Well,
                                        all I can say is to each his/her own and hopefully she is happy. I have read
                                        a couple of her book that she has written since returning to the RC Church
                                        and I must say that they are not all that good, she is resting on her laurels
                                        and wrote better, I think, when she was into vampires etc.

                                        Well, Brett, I have rambled on long enough so will sign off for now.

                                        Cheers & Peace,
                                        Edith


                                        >
                                        > I just read recently that Anne Rice had returned to Catholicism after being
                                        > an atheist for many years. However, she said, "It's too depressing, being an
                                        > atheist". I admit that sometimes I do feel a little lonely, and wish there
                                        > was something I could believe in, but wish in one hand and spit in the other,
                                        > as the saying goes...
                                        >
                                        > I used to play a role playing game based loosely on Anne Rice's vampires,
                                        > and the "blood of Christ" thing did come up. The rationale was that if the
                                        > vampire believed strongly enough in transubstantiation, then they could get blood
                                        > from taking communion. I was raised Baptist, so communion has always been a
                                        > symbolic gesture to me, so the whole blood of Christ thing always struck me
                                        > as silly, esp. that vampires could get nourishment from it. It's an odd place
                                        > to end my suspension of disbelief, but also, I guess, indicative of how I
                                        > felt about the whole communion thing in the first place.
                                        >
                                        > In retrospect, I'm not sure I was ever a very good christian. The shame
                                        > thing stuck, but that's about it. It's like a pox scar from a childhood disease.
                                        >
                                        > If Faith is a Virtue, then proof is a sin.
                                        > --Brett
                                        >
                                        > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                        > From: ehdsmith@...
                                        > Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 14:11:24 -0500
                                        > Subject: Re: [CanadianAtheist] Hello
                                        >
                                        > Hello Brett,
                                        >
                                        > Thanks for your most though provoking comments.? While I know that I can't
                                        > really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, I am certain that I
                                        > will learn much as I travel to my state of non-belief and find what is best for
                                        > me.
                                        >
                                        > It was interesting what you said about C.S.Lewis and Anne Rice,? knew that
                                        > C.S.Lewis had been an atheist but as for Rice?I thought that she was just
                                        > someone that had returned to Romam Catholicism after being heavily into vampires
                                        > but then with all the talk about the blood are Christians not some what like
                                        > vampires or in the case of the RC's cannibals?
                                        >
                                        > Edith
                                        >
                                        > ---- Original Message ----
                                        >
                                        > From: Brett McKenzie <mcshaggy@...>
                                        >
                                        > To: canadianatheist@yahoogroups.com
                                        >
                                        > Sent: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 11:52 am
                                        >
                                        > Subject: RE: [CanadianAtheist] Hello
                                        >
                                        > You can't really collect the beliefs of self-professed atheists, because the
                                        > only thing we have in common, really, is a non-belief. Forums like this are
                                        > different, of course: atheists here are more vocal about their agnosticism,
                                        > and discuss the nuances of agnosticism/atheism, and are more critical of
                                        > organized religion than many other atheists, and, from what I've seen, tend to be
                                        > more "liberal" in their political and social views. But beyond that, we just
                                        > don't believe in god.
                                        >
                                        > As for atheism being like a black hole from which there is no escape, that's
                                        > not entirely true. First of all, it's not that black. Secondly, there's a
                                        > lot of wiggle room in doubt. Third, there are atheists who have found god: C.S.
                                        > Lewis and Anne Rice are two examples.
                                        >
                                        > We're fortunate here in Canada, because the culture war is less stark. The
                                        > US is a much uglier place for those who doubt the teachings of religion, any
                                        > religion. You'll find most people accepting and tolerant if you continue
                                        > looking for answers, and find that there aren't nearly as many as you were told
                                        > there were...
                                        >
                                        > If Faith is a Virtue, then proof is a sin.
                                        >
                                        > --Brett
                                        >
                                        > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                        >
                                        > From: ehdsmith@...
                                        >
                                        > Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 10:18:40 -0500
                                        >
                                        > Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Hello
                                        >
                                        > Hello,
                                        >
                                        > My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined this
                                        > group.
                                        >
                                        > Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been having
                                        >
                                        > many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed existence of a
                                        >
                                        > being that created me and is all powerful.
                                        >
                                        > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know more
                                        >
                                        > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other words I
                                        > would
                                        >
                                        > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state that I am
                                        >
                                        > quickly approaching that point myself.
                                        >
                                        > If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no return to
                                        >
                                        > become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.
                                        >
                                        > Your new friend, who is searching for truth.
                                        >
                                        > Edith
                                        >
                                        >

                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • ehdsmith@aol.com
                                        Jono, I agree that Catholicism is much more depressing then atheism and why anyone would ever go back to it after leaving is beyond me. Edith ... [Non-text
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Nov 20, 2008
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Jono,
                                          I agree that Catholicism is much more depressing then atheism and why anyone
                                          would ever go back to it after leaving is beyond me.
                                          Edith
                                          >
                                          > Besides, what's less depressing about Catholicism? I found it far
                                          > more depressing to live with the idea that some seemingly minor
                                          > transgression could damn you to hell for eternity. In the church I
                                          > attended as a child, fear was the order of the day... the list of
                                          > things that would earn you eternal damnation was long indeed
                                          >
                                          >



                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Deb
                                          Anne Rice lost a child, and so likely she feels that Catholicism give her hope that she will see her child again in heaven. In that case, maybe atheism is more
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Nov 20, 2008
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Anne Rice lost a child, and so likely she feels that Catholicism give
                                            her hope that she will see her child again in heaven.

                                            In that case, maybe atheism is more depressing for some.

                                            I have heard it speculated that the girl-vampire in Interview with a
                                            Vampire was a way for her to work through the death of her daughter,
                                            who would "never grow old".

                                            Deb R, Calgary
                                          • ehdsmith@aol.com
                                            Interesting and very likely her reasoning.....Edith ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Nov 21, 2008
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Interesting and very likely her reasoning.....Edith
                                              >
                                              > Anne Rice lost a child, and so likely she feels that Catholicism give
                                              > her hope that she will see her child again in heaven.
                                              >
                                              > In that case, maybe atheism is more depressing for some.
                                              >
                                              > I have heard it speculated that the girl-vampire in Interview with a
                                              > Vampire was a way for her to work through the death of her daughter,
                                              > who would "never grow old".
                                              >
                                              > Deb R, Calgary
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >



                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • Jack
                                              ... All of us have tragedy in our lives, all of us are touched by death of loved ones we d like to see again... it s part of being human. But does Catholicism
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Nov 22, 2008
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, "Deb" <dmrennie@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Anne Rice lost a child, and so likely she feels that Catholicism give
                                                > her hope that she will see her child again in heaven.
                                                >
                                                > In that case, maybe atheism is more depressing for some.

                                                All of us have tragedy in our lives, all of us are touched by death of
                                                loved ones we'd like to see again... it's part of being human.

                                                But does Catholicism really promise her anything positive?

                                                If her daughter wasn't baptized, then she's not in heaven, according
                                                to Catholic doctrine.

                                                And I sure hope Rice hasn't used birth control or any other of the
                                                minor transgressions that would get her damned to hell for eternity...

                                                As with most "believers", she's picking and choosing what she wants to
                                                believe based on what she wishes were true, not what she actually
                                                knows to be true. I don't have a lot of respect for that kind of
                                                "faith".

                                                jono
                                              • ehdsmith@aol.com
                                                I also have no respect for this kind of faith and besides what could be more depressing then Roman Catholic Doctrine?.....Edith ... All of us have tragedy in
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Nov 22, 2008
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                                                  I also have no respect for this kind of faith and besides what could be more depressing then Roman Catholic Doctrine?.....Edith







                                                  --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, "Deb" <dmrennie@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Anne Rice lost a child, and so likely she feels that Catholicism give
                                                  > her hope that she will see her child again in heaven.
                                                  >
                                                  > In that case, maybe atheism is more depressing for some.

                                                  All of us have tragedy in our lives, all of us are touched by death of
                                                  loved ones we'd like to see again... it's part of being human.

                                                  But does Catholicism really promise her anything positive?

                                                  If her daughter wasn't baptized, then she's not in heaven, according
                                                  to Catholic doctrine.

                                                  And I sure hope Rice hasn't used birth control or any other of the
                                                  minor transgressions that would get her damned to hell for eternity...

                                                  As with most "believers", she's picking and choosing what she wants to
                                                  believe based on what she wishes were true, not what she actually
                                                  knows to be true. I don't have a lot of respect for that kind of
                                                  "faith".

                                                  jono





                                                  ________________________________________________________________________
                                                  New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week. Listen Now.
                                                  http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045


                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • kevin.saldanha
                                                  Hi Edith, I just got back from a week away and was catching up with my email when I noticed this thread. Like you, it took me a while to figure this out but I
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Nov 23, 2008
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    Hi Edith,

                                                    I just got back from a week away and was catching up with my email
                                                    when I noticed this thread.

                                                    Like you, it took me a while to figure this out but I have absolutely
                                                    no doubt that there is no god and therefore am comfortable to call
                                                    myself an atheist. However, it is a revelation that every 'mature'
                                                    atheist comes to after considerable reflection. That reflection may
                                                    be due to a religious-free upbringing or an insatiable curiosity to
                                                    reconcile the truths between belief and knowledge. (I use the term
                                                    'mature' not in a chronological but an intellectual sense as there are
                                                    many 'immature' atheists who use the term out of rebellion or laziness).

                                                    For me it was the latter route after a lifetime of compartmentalizing
                                                    my knowledge from my belief. It was only after an attempt to hone my
                                                    spirituality that I got to the deeper questions which only spawned
                                                    more questions than answers. A brief writeup on my journey can be
                                                    found at
                                                    http://www.hsus.org/religion/francis-files-stories/catholicism_to_humanism_112907.html

                                                    I am currently the president of the Halton Peel Humanist Community and
                                                    you can reach me at 416-802-9397 anytime.

                                                    Kevin


                                                    --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > Hello Randall,
                                                    >
                                                    > It was really good to hear from you and to learn that someone from a
                                                    similar background has come to the conclusions that I am slowly coming
                                                    to.? In my teens I never had any doubts, so I guess that I am a slow
                                                    learner or late bloomer, whatever you want to call it. ?Actually I
                                                    attended Bible College and learned all of the mumbo jumbo that goes
                                                    with that and then for years was caught up in a Cult Like Experience
                                                    which teached that it is the only true church etc. etc. etc., finally
                                                    came out of that and joined a Liberal Protestant Church but continued
                                                    on in my sort of conservative ways as there is a wide spectrum of
                                                    belief within this church and I wouldn't be surprised if there are a
                                                    few agnostics and atheist among the group.? I am still a member of
                                                    that church but for the most part am just going through the motions.
                                                    >
                                                    > I have been exposing myself to reading works that talk about what
                                                    you mention in the last part of your note to me, that religion was
                                                    experiences and beliefs written down by tribesmen who lived thousands
                                                    of years ago. All of the teachings of Christianity are found in
                                                    other?religions and world views, they just have different names.? I am
                                                    begining to come to the conclusion that these writers are correct and
                                                    that all religion is man made and used to support the thinking and
                                                    world view of the particular tribe, the world view of the ancient
                                                    Semitic tribes and then the early Christian was very limited and what
                                                    a travesty that it had continued on down to our day.?
                                                    >
                                                    > I would like to say much more but at the moment my thoughts are
                                                    getting jumbled so I will sign off by saying thanks for your thoughts
                                                    and insights and I?am thinking that if someone with your background
                                                    and come out and say that there is no god then perhaps there is still
                                                    hope for this slow learner.?
                                                    >
                                                    > I look forward to hearing more from you.
                                                    >
                                                    > Edith
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > ---- Original Message ----
                                                    > From: randalldek <randall@...>
                                                    > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                                    > Sent: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 2:44 pm
                                                    > Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: Hello
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > Hello Edith
                                                    >
                                                    > Welcome. I think many of us who call ourselves atheists have travelled
                                                    > a similar journey as you. I was raised in a fairly devout family -
                                                    > went to church twice every sunday and all the holidays, prayed before
                                                    > every meal, attended a private christian school etc. At some point in
                                                    > my teens I began to think to myself that all of it was just for show.
                                                    > I recall thinking that it was probable that no-one really believed all
                                                    > the stuff we were told. They were part of a community and the price of
                                                    > admission was acting as though you believed with all of your heart,
                                                    > soul, and mind. At the same time I realized that at a certain level
                                                    > people did, in fact, believe what the bible said. I was somewhat
                                                    > confused as a teenager.
                                                    > Then I went to university and was exposed to writings by people that
                                                    > did not have christian belief as their perspective. I met a lot of
                                                    > folks with a variety of ideas. I found that whatever vestiges of
                                                    > belief that I still carried began to disappear. I realized that what
                                                    > much of what the world believed - and were often fighting over - were
                                                    > a bunch of ideas that were written down by tribespeople a couple of
                                                    > thousand years ago. I realized that most other religious beliefs had
                                                    > fallen by the wayside. For reasons best left to another discussion the
                                                    > Jewish-Christian-Muslim faiths persisted in one form or other.
                                                    > I came to the firm conclusion that people believed in a god for a
                                                    > variety of reasons which may be very valid for them. I also concluded
                                                    > that there was no god and that I did not need to go on acting as if
                                                    > there was. That was a very uplifting, liberating conclusion. I hope
                                                    > you can reach the same kind of epiphany and look forward to hearing
                                                    > more of your thoughts.
                                                    >
                                                    > Randall
                                                    >
                                                    > --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@ wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Hello,
                                                    > >
                                                    > > My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined
                                                    > this group.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been
                                                    > having
                                                    > > many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed
                                                    > existence of a
                                                    > > being that created me and is all powerful.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know
                                                    > more
                                                    > > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other
                                                    > words I would
                                                    > > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state
                                                    > that I am
                                                    > > quickly approaching that point myself.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no
                                                    > return to
                                                    > > become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Your new friend, who is searching for truth.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Edith
                                                    > >
                                                    > >
                                                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    > >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > ________________________________________________________________________
                                                    > New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week.
                                                    Listen Now.
                                                    > http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    >
                                                  • ehdsmith@aol.com
                                                    Hi, Kevin, Thanks for your note and when I finish writing this I am going to go and read what you have written about your story. Thanks for your number and one
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Nov 23, 2008
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Hi, Kevin,

                                                      Thanks for your note and when I finish writing this I am going to go and read
                                                      what you have written about your story.

                                                      Thanks for your number and one of these days I may give you a call. I notice
                                                      that we are in the same area code 416 - so we may not live all that far apart
                                                      or is that your work number?

                                                      Again thanks,

                                                      Edith

                                                      >
                                                      > Hi Edith,
                                                      >
                                                      > I just got back from a week away and was catching up with my email
                                                      > when I noticed this thread.
                                                      >
                                                      > Like you, it took me a while to figure this out but I have absolutely
                                                      > no doubt that there is no god and therefore am comfortable to call
                                                      > myself an atheist. However, it is a revelation that every 'mature'
                                                      > atheist comes to after considerable reflection. That reflection may
                                                      > be due to a religious-free upbringing or an insatiable curiosity to
                                                      > reconcile the truths between belief and knowledge. (I use the term
                                                      > 'mature' not in a chronological but an intellectual sense as there are
                                                      > many 'immature' atheists who use the term out of rebellion or laziness).
                                                      >
                                                      > For me it was the latter route after a lifetime of compartmentalizing
                                                      > my knowledge from my belief. It was only after an attempt to hone my
                                                      > spirituality that I got to the deeper questions which only spawned
                                                      > more questions than answers. A brief writeup on my journey can be
                                                      > found at
                                                      >
                                                      > http://www.hsus.org/religion/francis-files-stories/catholicism_to_humanism_112907.html
                                                      >
                                                      > I am currently the president of the Halton Peel Humanist Community and
                                                      > you can reach me at 416-802-9397 anytime.
                                                      >
                                                      > Kevin
                                                      >
                                                      > --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Hello Randall,
                                                      > >
                                                      > > It was really good to hear from you and to learn that someone from a
                                                      > similar background has come to the conclusions that I am slowly coming
                                                      > to.? In my teens I never had any doubts, so I guess that I am a slow
                                                      > learner or late bloomer, whatever you want to call it. ?Actually I
                                                      > attended Bible College and learned all of the mumbo jumbo that goes
                                                      > with that and then for years was caught up in a Cult Like Experience
                                                      > which teached that it is the only true church etc. etc. etc., finally
                                                      > came out of that and joined a Liberal Protestant Church but continued
                                                      > on in my sort of conservative ways as there is a wide spectrum of
                                                      > belief within this church and I wouldn't be surprised if there are a
                                                      > few agnostics and atheist among the group.? I am still a member of
                                                      > that church but for the most part am just going through the motions.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > I have been exposing myself to reading works that talk about what
                                                      > you mention in the last part of your note to me, that religion was
                                                      > experiences and beliefs written down by tribesmen who lived thousands
                                                      > of years ago. All of the teachings of Christianity are found in
                                                      > other?religions and world views, they just have different names.? I am
                                                      > begining to come to the conclusion that these writers are correct and
                                                      > that all religion is man made and used to support the thinking and
                                                      > world view of the particular tribe, the world view of the ancient
                                                      > Semitic tribes and then the early Christian was very limited and what
                                                      > a travesty that it had continued on down to our day.?
                                                      > >
                                                      > > I would like to say much more but at the moment my thoughts are
                                                      > getting jumbled so I will sign off by saying thanks for your thoughts
                                                      > and insights and I?am thinking that if someone with your background
                                                      > and come out and say that there is no god then perhaps there is still
                                                      > hope for this slow learner.?
                                                      > >
                                                      > > I look forward to hearing more from you.
                                                      > >
                                                      > > Edith
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >



                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    • kevin.saldanha
                                                      Roman Catholicism has taken belief in the afterlife to the most ridiculous extreme. But that is what most people are looking for... someone to tell them that
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Nov 23, 2008
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Roman Catholicism has taken belief in the afterlife to the most
                                                        ridiculous extreme. But that is what most people are looking for...
                                                        someone to tell them that this is not all there is.. which is the
                                                        theme of the Alpha Course ( http://www.alphacanada.org/ ) which I am
                                                        taking through our local (Roman Catholic!) Church.

                                                        I ended up in this predicament on the encouragement of a couple of my
                                                        Catholic (Knights of Columbus) friends who said that it might make me
                                                        change my mind. If anything, it has strengthened my disbelief,
                                                        specially of Catholicism as any way to save anything, least of all my
                                                        'soul'. Nicky Gumbel, who leads the video sessions, may be
                                                        inspirational to those seeking solace in a higher power but is most
                                                        irritating with his shrill, toothy delivery.
                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVanqFyxrfY&feature=related

                                                        Like others on this list, I am happily married to a woman who doesn't
                                                        share my non-theistic passion but expects me to attend church services
                                                        with her.... which I do, if only to gather more ammunition for my
                                                        arguments. I must say, though, that although I no longer can make the
                                                        sign of the cross or mumble the prayers, I do find a sense of solace
                                                        and comfort in the faces around me, whether they are gazing lovingly
                                                        at the tortured, dying man or faithfully fingering the beads of the
                                                        rosary mumbling meaningless phrases about the fruit of a virgin womb.

                                                        Holy Communion is all about making a public showing of their faith,
                                                        which is exactly why many churches prefer to make a big show of the
                                                        procession up to the altar so that you can admire everyone returning
                                                        with their cannibalistic prize carefully melting away into their pure
                                                        hearts. How many of those pious recipients have confessed their sins
                                                        recently?

                                                        They have refined their doctrine into an artform which brings solace
                                                        to many more than could ever be satisfied with atheism.

                                                        Kevin

                                                        --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        > I also have no respect for this kind of faith and besides what could
                                                        be more depressing then Roman Catholic Doctrine?.....Edith
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, "Deb" <dmrennie@> wrote:
                                                        > >
                                                        > > Anne Rice lost a child, and so likely she feels that Catholicism give
                                                        > > her hope that she will see her child again in heaven.
                                                        > >
                                                        > > In that case, maybe atheism is more depressing for some.
                                                        >
                                                        > All of us have tragedy in our lives, all of us are touched by death of
                                                        > loved ones we'd like to see again... it's part of being human.
                                                        >
                                                        > But does Catholicism really promise her anything positive?
                                                        >
                                                        > If her daughter wasn't baptized, then she's not in heaven, according
                                                        > to Catholic doctrine.
                                                        >
                                                        > And I sure hope Rice hasn't used birth control or any other of the
                                                        > minor transgressions that would get her damned to hell for eternity...
                                                        >
                                                        > As with most "believers", she's picking and choosing what she wants to
                                                        > believe based on what she wishes were true, not what she actually
                                                        > knows to be true. I don't have a lot of respect for that kind of
                                                        > "faith".
                                                        >
                                                        > jono
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > ________________________________________________________________________
                                                        > New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week.
                                                        Listen Now.
                                                        > http://music.aol.ca/cd-listening-parties/?icid=AOLMUS00050000000045
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        >
                                                      • RVB
                                                        I also married a girl who was religious.  I am divorced from her and remarried again, so I can honestly say it wasn t a good marriage.  I was at a real low
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Nov 24, 2008
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          I also married a girl who was religious.  I am divorced from her and remarried again, so I can honestly say it wasn't a good marriage.  I was at a real low point in life doing a lot of dope, had nothing to name except a volkswagen jetta that was almost ten years old, and then I met her at work.  Things were amazing between us at first.  We had the best talks, and I had a reason to want to clean myself up.  Her family was a little odd to me, but they were pentacostal christians.  We dated a year, glot married, and within two months of our marriage she was condemning me to hell because I didn't believe in god, and going every sunday to this wacky little african minister preaching out of his living room.   She started giving this guy 10% of her paycheque every week, and all because when she started thinking about starting a family with me her thoughts went straight to god.  After we split up and divorced I met a guy who knew her for years, and
                                                          found out all about how messed up she was from the wacky shit her parents believed, and used to drill into her head (they were all fire and brimsone types, and both went to emanuel bible college in kitchener).  I had tried to talk into getting counselling, but she would only go see a christian counsellor who told her she had a spritual battle going inside of her.....    I didn't know what pentacostal christianity was until I met her....  I learner more than I ever wanted to. 
                                                          Before her I was a non-believer, but because of my experiences with that brand of christianuity touching my life I am a galvanized atheist. 
                                                          So yeah, my simpathies to those of you out there married to "spiritual warrior".   I was, and it friggin' sucked.

                                                          --- On Sun, 11/23/08, kevin.saldanha <vegvet@...> wrote:

                                                          From: kevin.saldanha <vegvet@...>
                                                          Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: Hello
                                                          To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Date: Sunday, November 23, 2008, 8:26 PM






                                                          Roman Catholicism has taken belief in the afterlife to the most
                                                          ridiculous extreme. But that is what most people are looking for...
                                                          someone to tell them that this is not all there is.. which is the
                                                          theme of the Alpha Course ( http://www.alphacan ada.org/ ) which I am
                                                          taking through our local (Roman Catholic!) Church.

                                                          I ended up in this predicament on the encouragement of a couple of my
                                                          Catholic (Knights of Columbus) friends who said that it might make me
                                                          change my mind. If anything, it has strengthened my disbelief,
                                                          specially of Catholicism as any way to save anything, least of all my
                                                          'soul'. Nicky Gumbel, who leads the video sessions, may be
                                                          inspirational to those seeking solace in a higher power but is most
                                                          irritating with his shrill, toothy delivery.
                                                          http://www.youtube. com/watch? v=nVanqFyxrfY& feature=related

                                                          Like others on this list, I am happily married to a woman who doesn't
                                                          share my non-theistic passion but expects me to attend church services
                                                          with her.... which I do, if only to gather more ammunition for my
                                                          arguments. I must say, though, that although I no longer can make the
                                                          sign of the cross or mumble the prayers, I do find a sense of solace
                                                          and comfort in the faces around me, whether they are gazing lovingly
                                                          at the tortured, dying man or faithfully fingering the beads of the
                                                          rosary mumbling meaningless phrases about the fruit of a virgin womb.

                                                          Holy Communion is all about making a public showing of their faith,
                                                          which is exactly why many churches prefer to make a big show of the
                                                          procession up to the altar so that you can admire everyone returning
                                                          with their cannibalistic prize carefully melting away into their pure
                                                          hearts. How many of those pious recipients have confessed their sins
                                                          recently?

                                                          They have refined their doctrine into an artform which brings solace
                                                          to many more than could ever be satisfied with atheism.

                                                          Kevin

                                                          --- In CanadianAtheist@ yahoogroups. com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > I also have no respect for this kind of faith and besides what could
                                                          be more depressing then Roman Catholic Doctrine?... ..Edith
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > --- In CanadianAtheist@ yahoogroups. com, "Deb" <dmrennie@> wrote:
                                                          > >
                                                          > > Anne Rice lost a child, and so likely she feels that Catholicism give
                                                          > > her hope that she will see her child again in heaven.
                                                          > >
                                                          > > In that case, maybe atheism is more depressing for some.
                                                          >
                                                          > All of us have tragedy in our lives, all of us are touched by death of
                                                          > loved ones we'd like to see again... it's part of being human.
                                                          >
                                                          > But does Catholicism really promise her anything positive?
                                                          >
                                                          > If her daughter wasn't baptized, then she's not in heaven, according
                                                          > to Catholic doctrine.
                                                          >
                                                          > And I sure hope Rice hasn't used birth control or any other of the
                                                          > minor transgressions that would get her damned to hell for eternity...
                                                          >
                                                          > As with most "believers", she's picking and choosing what she wants to
                                                          > believe based on what she wishes were true, not what she actually
                                                          > knows to be true. I don't have a lot of respect for that kind of
                                                          > "faith".
                                                          >
                                                          > jono
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                                                          > New Music Releases - Free Full CD Listening Parties Every Week.
                                                          Listen Now.
                                                          > http://music. aol.ca/cd- listening- parties/? icid=AOLMUS00050 000000045
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                          >


















                                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                        • ehdsmith@aol.com
                                                          Hi, Kevin, I am familiar with the Alpha Course but have never taken it and am raher surprsied that they have in in a Roman Catholic Church, I would have
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , Nov 24, 2008
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            Hi, Kevin,
                                                            I am familiar with the Alpha Course but have never taken it and am raher surprsied that they have in in a Roman Catholic Church, I would have thought that they would have their own course?
                                                            Edith


                                                            ---- Original Message ----
                                                            From: kevin.saldanha <vegvet@...>
                                                            To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Sent: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 11:26 pm
                                                            Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: Hello






                                                            Roman Catholicism has taken belief in the afterlife to the most
                                                            ridiculous extreme. But that is what most people are looking for...
                                                            someone to tell them that this is not all there is.. which is the
                                                            theme of the Alpha Course ( http://www.alphacanada.org/ ) which I am
                                                            taking through our local (Roman Catholic!) Church.

                                                            I ended up in this predicament on the encouragement of a couple of my
                                                            Catholic (Knights of Columbus) friends who said that it might make me
                                                            change my mind. If anything, it has strengthened my disbelief,
                                                            specially of Catholicism as any way to save anything, least of all my
                                                            'soul'. Nicky Gumbel, who leads the video sessions, may be
                                                            inspirational to those seeking solace in a higher power but is most
                                                            irritating with his shrill, toothy delivery.
                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVanqFyxrfY&feature=related

                                                            Like others on this list, I am happily married to a woman who doesn't
                                                            share my non-theistic passion but expects me to attend church services
                                                            with her.... which I do, if only to gather more ammunition for my
                                                            arguments. I must say, though, that although I no longer can make the
                                                            sign of the cross or mumble the prayers, I do find a sense of solace
                                                            and comfort in the faces around me, whether they are gazing lovingly
                                                            at the tortured, dying man or faithfully fingering the beads of the
                                                            rosary mumbling meaningless phrases about the fruit of a virgin womb.

                                                            Holy Communion is all about making a public showing of their faith,
                                                            which is exactly why many churches prefer to make a big show of the
                                                            procession up to the altar so that you can admire everyone returning
                                                            with their cannibalistic prize carefully melting away into their pure
                                                            hearts. How many of those pious recipients have confessed their sins
                                                            recently?

                                                            They have refined their doctrine into an artform which brings solace
                                                            to many more than could ever be satisfied with atheism.

                                                            Kevin

                                                            --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            > I also have no respect for this kind of faith and besides what could
                                                            be more depressing then Roman Catholic Doctrine?.....Edith
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            > --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, "Deb" <dmrennie@> wrote:
                                                            > >
                                                            > > Anne Rice lost a child, and so likely she feels that Catholicism give
                                                            > > her hope that she will see her child again in heaven.
                                                            > >
                                                            > > In that case, maybe atheism is more depressing for some.
                                                            >
                                                            > All of us have tragedy in our lives, all of us are touched by death of
                                                            > loved ones we'd like to see again... it's part of being human.
                                                            >
                                                            > But does Catholicism really promise her anything positive?
                                                            >
                                                            > If her daughter wasn't baptized, then she's not in heaven, according
                                                            > to Catholic doctrine.
                                                            >
                                                            > And I sure hope Rice hasn't used birth control or any other of the
                                                            > minor transgressions that would get her damned to hell for eternity...
                                                            >
                                                            > As with most "believers", she's picking and choosing what she wants to
                                                            > believe based on what she wishes were true, not what she actually
                                                            > knows to be true. I don't have a lot of respect for that kind of
                                                            > "faith".
                                                            >
                                                            > jono
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
                                                            >
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                                                            >
                                                            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                            >





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                                                          • ehdsmith@aol.com
                                                            Hi, Kevin, I read your article about Animals and Vegetarianism and found it very interesting and thought provoking. Edith ... From: kevin.saldanha
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Nov 24, 2008
                                                            • 0 Attachment
                                                              Hi, Kevin,
                                                              I read your article about Animals and Vegetarianism and found it very interesting and thought provoking.
                                                              Edith


                                                              ---- Original Message ----
                                                              From: kevin.saldanha <vegvet@...>
                                                              To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                                              Sent: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 7:52 pm
                                                              Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: Hello






                                                              Hi Edith,

                                                              I just got back from a week away and was catching up with my email
                                                              when I noticed this thread.

                                                              Like you, it took me a while to figure this out but I have absolutely
                                                              no doubt that there is no god and therefore am comfortable to call
                                                              myself an atheist. However, it is a revelation that every 'mature'
                                                              atheist comes to after considerable reflection. That reflection may
                                                              be due to a religious-free upbringing or an insatiable curiosity to
                                                              reconcile the truths between belief and knowledge. (I use the term
                                                              'mature' not in a chronological but an intellectual sense as there are
                                                              many 'immature' atheists who use the term out of rebellion or laziness).

                                                              For me it was the latter route after a lifetime of compartmentalizing
                                                              my knowledge from my belief. It was only after an attempt to hone my
                                                              spirituality that I got to the deeper questions which only spawned
                                                              more questions than answers. A brief writeup on my journey can be
                                                              found at
                                                              http://www.hsus.org/religion/francis-files-stories/catholicism_to_humanism_112907.html

                                                              I am currently the president of the Halton Peel Humanist Community and
                                                              you can reach me at 416-802-9397 anytime.

                                                              Kevin

                                                              --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@... wrote:
                                                              >
                                                              > Hello Randall,
                                                              >
                                                              > It was really good to hear from you and to learn that someone from a
                                                              similar background has come to the conclusions that I am slowly coming
                                                              to.? In my teens I never had any doubts, so I guess that I am a slow
                                                              learner or late bloomer, whatever you want to call it. ?Actually I
                                                              attended Bible College and learned all of the mumbo jumbo that goes
                                                              with that and then for years was caught up in a Cult Like Experience
                                                              which teached that it is the only true church etc. etc. etc., finally
                                                              came out of that and joined a Liberal Protestant Church but continued
                                                              on in my sort of conservative ways as there is a wide spectrum of
                                                              belief within this church and I wouldn't be surprised if there are a
                                                              few agnostics and atheist among the group.? I am still a member of
                                                              that church but for the most part am just going through the motions.
                                                              >
                                                              > I have been exposing myself to reading works that talk about what
                                                              you mention in the last part of your note to me, that religion was
                                                              experiences and beliefs written down by tribesmen who lived thousands
                                                              of years ago. All of the teachings of Christianity are found in
                                                              other?religions and world views, they just have different names.? I am
                                                              begining to come to the conclusion that these writers are correct and
                                                              that all religion is man made and used to support the thinking and
                                                              world view of the particular tribe, the world view of the ancient
                                                              Semitic tribes and then the early Christian was very limited and what
                                                              a travesty that it had continued on down to our day.?
                                                              >
                                                              > I would like to say much more but at the moment my thoughts are
                                                              getting jumbled so I will sign off by saying thanks for your thoughts
                                                              and insights and I?am thinking that if someone with your background
                                                              and come out and say that there is no god then perhaps there is still
                                                              hope for this slow learner.?
                                                              >
                                                              > I look forward to hearing more from you.
                                                              >
                                                              > Edith
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > ---- Original Message ----
                                                              > From: randalldek <randall@...>
                                                              > To: CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com
                                                              > Sent: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 2:44 pm
                                                              > Subject: [CanadianAtheist] Re: Hello
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > Hello Edith
                                                              >
                                                              > Welcome. I think many of us who call ourselves atheists have travelled
                                                              > a similar journey as you. I was raised in a fairly devout family -
                                                              > went to church twice every sunday and all the holidays, prayed before
                                                              > every meal, attended a private christian school etc. At some point in
                                                              > my teens I began to think to myself that all of it was just for show.
                                                              > I recall thinking that it was probable that no-one really believed all
                                                              > the stuff we were told. They were part of a community and the price of
                                                              > admission was acting as though you believed with all of your heart,
                                                              > soul, and mind. At the same time I realized that at a certain level
                                                              > people did, in fact, believe what the bible said. I was somewhat
                                                              > confused as a teenager.
                                                              > Then I went to university and was exposed to writings by people that
                                                              > did not have christian belief as their perspective. I met a lot of
                                                              > folks with a variety of ideas. I found that whatever vestiges of
                                                              > belief that I still carried began to disappear. I realized that what
                                                              > much of what the world believed - and were often fighting over - were
                                                              > a bunch of ideas that were written down by tribespeople a couple of
                                                              > thousand years ago. I realized that most other religious beliefs had
                                                              > fallen by the wayside. For reasons best left to another discussion the
                                                              > Jewish-Christian-Muslim faiths persisted in one form or other.
                                                              > I came to the firm conclusion that people believed in a god for a
                                                              > variety of reasons which may be very valid for them. I also concluded
                                                              > that there was no god and that I did not need to go on acting as if
                                                              > there was. That was a very uplifting, liberating conclusion. I hope
                                                              > you can reach the same kind of epiphany and look forward to hearing
                                                              > more of your thoughts.
                                                              >
                                                              > Randall
                                                              >
                                                              > --- In CanadianAtheist@yahoogroups.com, ehdsmith@ wrote:
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Hello,
                                                              > >
                                                              > > My name is Edith, I live in Toronto and have just recently joined
                                                              > this group.
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Presently I am not an atheist, well not yet anyway, but I have been
                                                              > having
                                                              > > many doubts about my supposed faith journey and the supposed
                                                              > existence of a
                                                              > > being that created me and is all powerful.
                                                              > >
                                                              > > The reason I have joined this group is because I would like to know
                                                              > more
                                                              > > about the beliefs of those who call themselves atheist. In other
                                                              > words I would
                                                              > > like to know the WHY that led you to where you are and must state
                                                              > that I am
                                                              > > quickly approaching that point myself.
                                                              > >
                                                              > > If as my Christian and Muslim friends say it is the point of no
                                                              > return to
                                                              > > become an atheist I want to know more before I turn that corner.
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Your new friend, who is searching for truth.
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Edith
                                                              > >
                                                              > >
                                                              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                              > >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > __________________________________________________________
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                                                              >
                                                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                              >





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