Author Topic: Religion for Atheists  (Read 2974 times)

AnimatedDirt

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Religion for Atheists
« on: March 05, 2012, 08:30:02 PM »
(Can a Christian post a topic in this forum? :) )

Religion for Atheists: 5 Religious Concepts That Atheists Can Use

What do you think?

I'm wondering what Atheist holidays we could add to the calendar...?

Tom62

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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 08:36:23 PM »
I'm wondering what Atheist holidays we could add to the calendar...?
April's Fool's Day ;)?
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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 09:09:33 PM »
I recently watched the TED talks on this topic by the same writer of that article. There are areas I certainly agree with such as ceremony when used in the Buddhist/Taoist tradition of recognizing the beauty in simple actions and cherishing the small details in life, I also agree with community and pilgrimage. I totally disagree with his comments on how to use museums and galleries it makes me think he has no fucking clue about art. Our education system is based on the Jesuit construction of education and is totally inadequate, it is time for a totally change not just evolve like it has for past few hundred years, I passionately agree with Sir Ken Robinson on this topic and think repetition is the wrong way to go in education as its just confounding the primary problems we have now.
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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 11:03:51 PM »
I totally disagree with his comments on how to use museums and galleries it makes me think he has no fucking clue about art.
Exactly what I thought, I don't think he has a clue about Christian or any other art, and sometimes when you haven't got a clue it's best not to say things, nevermind publish them as articles on the internet. Mind you, I think his comments on pilgrimage/travel and all the other categories are rubbish too. I travel lots, have plenty of friends, am well educated, and don't really see what more I could learn in those five categories from religions than I could from any other area of society.

I also don't think religious people and practice are vastly different from secular people and practice, religious art's the same as secular art to me, religious travel/pilgrimage isn't any different from secular travel/pilgrimage etc etc It's all done for a reason and it all has something to say, if it's religious or secular it makes no difference to me.

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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 11:48:03 PM »
Exactly what I thought, I don't think he has a clue about Christian or any other art, and sometimes when you haven't got a clue it's best not to say things, nevermind publish them as articles on the internet. Mind you, I think his comments on pilgrimage/travel and all the other categories are rubbish too. I travel lots, have plenty of friends, am well educated, and don't really see what more I could learn in those five categories from religions than I could from any other area of society.

I also don't think religious people and practice are vastly different from secular people and practice, religious art's the same as secular art to me, religious travel/pilgrimage isn't any different from secular travel/pilgrimage etc etc It's all done for a reason and it all has something to say, if it's religious or secular it makes no difference to me.

The reason I agree about the pilgrimage aspect is that I think it has already happened, people don't just travel abroad just for holiday or business anymore, but their is still a large amount of people that don't so the more people that experience and understand other cultures the better, I however do not think it should be about prostrating in large groups around a meteorite or kissing a wall with a box on your head, unless maybe to look at the craziness of humanity.

The community part in his article is rubbish, he must be going to some shitty parties or not have very good social skills, but what I do think is a positive aspect about religious community that should be emulated is that it provides a support network for people that need help who do not have it in any other form, and thus far to my knowledge this element is missing in secular form but I have never looked.
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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 11:55:26 PM »
The community part in his article is rubbish, he must be going to some shitty parties or not have very good social skills, but what I do think is a positive aspect about religious community that should be emulated is that it provides a support network for people that need help who do not have it in any other form, and thus far to my knowledge this element is missing in secular form but I have never looked.
My thoughts exactly, I have a good sense of community with my friends, all I can think is that he doesn't have such a good circle of friends. But I can see your point about the support network, I guess I would look to my friends or be there for them, but if you didn't have a good network of friends who are genuinely nice people that might not be so easy.

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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 02:07:22 AM »
I think that any good rituals and customs that come from religion exist because they evolved naturally to fit the needs of society.  So, it's not really taking the good from religion and apply it to secular life; it's just doing what is fulfilling and productive as a human being.

Education
We all repeat over and over again the tasks and knowledge that we need to retain.  Whether it be work or hobby we keep on doing what we need to do or like to do and our skills remain fresh.  Even ideas that we have which we feel are important tend to get brought up often in conversations with friends and family.  I don't agree that we must repeat and idea multiple times a day every day in order to remember it is important...at least not actively...things which are important will be remembered naturally as they apply to life events.  And, as others have said, straight repeating ideas isn't necessarily the best way to learn or fully embrace a concept....we learn and maintain knowledge a lot more efficiently by doing. 

Mind & Body
Eh...some secular people incorporate meditation.  But meditation is basically just taking a time out to be with yourself away from cluttered thoughts of the day.  I think a lot of people do that even if they've never been introduced to the idea of meditation; meaning that it's not inherently a religious concept either.  I guess the de-baptism ceremonies some people do with a hairdryer fall under this; though I think most do it for the humor rather than to actually feel cleansed.

Community
There are lots of secular people who do get together quite frequently.  The organization I help found, Fellowship of Freethought, actually directly addresses the need for people of a secular mindset to have a community.  But is this really a religious concept?  The first community groups were tribes and small towns...the world has just gotten so big that we have to further subdivide in order to meet new people in what is considered appropriate settings...you get weird looks if you just walk up to some nice looking people at the mall and try to friend them.  In today's world no matter what label you meet under it's going to be with people that are like minded in some way; but that doesn't mean that you won't also be surrounded by variety.  A person could just as easily seek community with an outdoor hiking group and have the same diversity of types of people they'd meet at church.

Art and Museums
Art is not a teaching tool...it can be but that's not the main purpose.  Art is to be enjoyed; often subjectively.  It can mean something or it can just be pretty.  Not to mention that there are tons of examples of non-religious art that was created with the intent of making a statement and statements are teaching tools.  There is, of course, lots of great Christian art (and architecture); but to imply that other approaches to art aren't also sometimes teaching, reminding, loving etc demonstrates a complete unfamiliarity with the art world.

Pilgrimages
I almost don't even know what to say about this one because it's so odd.  What does going somewhere to do rituals have to do with taking in the culture, landscape and architecture of other places?  If anything, traveling simply for the purpose of experiencing a new place is much more of a growing experience than going just because god thinks you should pray to a wall or whatnot.



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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 01:52:45 PM »
Quote
Religions function as hosts: their buildings and rituals allow us to express a latent sociability which lies beneath our cold exteriors. Moreover, unlike Facebook, they don't introduce us only to people with whom we already have much in common.

WTF? Maybe I just don't understand what he means by "in common" but the churches I went to were full of people who shared many things in common, like their beliefs. They also tended to believe that everyone should share the same beliefs or be torchered for eternity.

I also fail to see how the buildings were particularly conducive to sociability. Yes many of the churches I attended had foyers but tended to be a place where you shook someones hand, said "nice to see you" then made your way to the door because it was lunch time and you were starving. An hour or so in a church pew was guaranteed to may me board, sleepy and hungry.

Many churches do have potlucks, ice cream socials or picnics and maybe thats what he means by "rituals" but those aren't something all churches do.   

As we all know, the miracle of fishes and loaves is only scientifically explainable through the medium of casseroles
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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 03:50:53 PM »
Alain de Botton has been here recently, he is a charming person but like most so far I'm not finding much usefulness in his words.

I suppose a holiday dedicated to a scientist, and not even a scientist but the work of a series that brings us something like penicillin would be worth nodding to each year.

I heard him talk of architecture, cathedrals and pyramids and shouldn't there be atheist monuments too, for evolution or something.  I've long thought cathedrals and pyramids are wonderful but I don't blank out the human cost of those things.  If you could come up with something children could climb on that would be OK, and then space telescopes, you may not see them but they show you what they see.

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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 04:03:30 PM »
Quote
Religions function as hosts: their buildings and rituals allow us to express a latent sociability which lies beneath our cold exteriors. Moreover, unlike Facebook, they don't introduce us only to people with whom we already have much in common.

WTF? Maybe I just don't understand what he means by "in common" but the churches I went to were full of people who shared many things in common, like their beliefs. They also tended to believe that everyone should share the same beliefs or be torchered for eternity.
Obviously you've not been to a church board meeting...

Quote from: Crocoduck
I also fail to see how the buildings were particularly conducive to sociability. Yes many of the churches I attended had foyers but tended to be a place where you shook someones hand, said "nice to see you" then made your way to the door because it was lunch time and you were starving. An hour or so in a church pew was guaranteed to may me board, sleepy and hungry.

Many churches do have potlucks, ice cream socials or picnics and maybe thats what he means by "rituals" but those aren't something all churches do.

Not all, but for the most part, the churches I've attended have large kitchens and dining area that can fit at least half the church eating at tables.  Sometimes it doubles as a gym for social activities in the evenings for basketball, volleyball and even group games.  A few have had a separate gym for the youth activities.  If no such enclosed room exists for this, the parking lot makes for a suitable alternative in nice weather.

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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 06:27:27 PM »
Quote
Religions function as hosts: their buildings and rituals allow us to express a latent sociability which lies beneath our cold exteriors. Moreover, unlike Facebook, they don't introduce us only to people with whom we already have much in common.

WTF? Maybe I just don't understand what he means by "in common" but the churches I went to were full of people who shared many things in common, like their beliefs. They also tended to believe that everyone should share the same beliefs or be torchered for eternity.
Obviously you've not been to a church board meeting...

I remember attending a few as a representative from the youth group. Twenty five minutes of discussion trying to decide if they should replace the air conditioning on the west side of the sanctuary or just have it repaired again. Rockin good times!  ;D

Not all, but for the most part, the churches I've attended have large kitchens and dining area that can fit at least half the church eating at tables.  Sometimes it doubles as a gym for social activities in the evenings for basketball, volleyball and even group games.  A few have had a separate gym for the youth activities.  If no such enclosed room exists for this, the parking lot makes for a suitable alternative in nice weather.
I've been to churches with multipurpose rooms and even a few with gyms but I've also been to churches where they got mad at us for hanging out in the parking lot after church was over. We were just broke kids who wanted to hang out and talk with our friends. I remember one pastor telling us "You don't have to go home but you can't stay here".
As we all know, the miracle of fishes and loaves is only scientifically explainable through the medium of casseroles
Dobermonster
However some of the jumped up jackasses do need a damn good kicking. Not that they will respond to the kicking but just to show they can be kicked
Some dude in a Tank

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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 01:59:47 AM »
Obviously you've not been to a church board meeting...

Especially if the church is in the middle of discussions that will eventually lead to half the members leaving....

But the regular weekly sunday services are generally boring (that's part of why I was in choir), even to most believers, unless it's one of those churches that includes a rock band, snake handling, or is otherwise highly energetic (tongues, gospel etc).  And don't try to convince me that SDA services aren't boring because I know better :)

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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 03:46:09 PM »
And don't try to convince me that SDA services aren't boring because I know better :)

Why would I?  SDA services ARE boring for the most part.  Lots of problems in the SDA camp...

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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2012, 05:34:17 PM »

I'm wondering what Atheist holidays we could add to the calendar...?

December 10th, the day of the ratification of the Universal Decleration of Human Rights comes to mind.
Already recognised as Human Rights day.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 05:44:20 PM by Guardian85 »


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Re: Religion for Atheists
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2012, 11:05:33 PM »
I'm wondering what Atheist holidays we could add to the calendar...?
Or September 30th maybe, otherwise known as 'Blasphemy Day'  :D