Atheism ... tell me more

JuLeah - posted on 06/09/2011 ( 50 moms have responded )

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Okay … spin off.

What is an atheist? Dictionary reads: Atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. There is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere. Yet, (it is said) atheists also tend to be skeptical of supernatural claims.

In Western culture, atheists are frequently assumed to be exclusively irreligious or unspiritual. However, atheism also figures in certain religious and spiritual belief systems, such as Jainism and Buddhism. Jainism and some forms of Buddhism do not advocate belief in gods.

I stated that I had never met an atheist. What I meant was, that though I have spoken with several folks who identify as atheists, when we really got into a discussion, I learned they did in fact believe in ….. have faith in …. Felt there is something beyond themselves, something bigger, an order, a path, a way …. We are not, my friends told me, just bones and muscle; we are more. They couldn’t say what, but feel we are more.

So, that sounds like agnostic to me, not atheist.

I can not imagine a world in which I was the highest authority – God help you all.

I can’t imagine a world in which I was it, I was simply this body I live in and nothing more. A world in which energy can cease to exists, simply pop out of existence.

I look at my child and I see, yes the body she live in, but I see so much more. I see her light, her energy, the thing that makes her … her, makes her live.

Tell me about atheism please. I want to understand.

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Charlie - posted on 06/09/2011

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This sums it up for me "According to Buddhism, the whole universe is a single, dynamic web of energy "



Well I am glad Johnny posted because my beliefs are very much the same as hers although as I continue to delve into my own spirituality I am finding I am more so NONTHEISTIC and not so much atheist , the only thing I would like to add is that I believe that the "higher power " is energy , I do not worship it , it is not my god , it just is.

While I know some ...sects? of buddhism have turned it into somewhat of a religion at it's core it is nontheistic.



Everything contains energy , energy is a fact , it is all around us , inside of us , it animates and destroys ( sound familiar? )



I have theories on religion and it's origins relating back to the largest source of energy known to us.



"I can not imagine a world in which I was the highest authority – God help you all. "



I would also like to add that I do not see myself as a "higher power" as in one that rules over all in the sense that god is , it is more from the point that I take responsibility for my actions and my life , we exist in our time , we continue to exist through our children , our DNA , through memory and stories .



We are more than our bodies we have purpose and responsibility as an individual , and as part of a complex of a society within our species .



Im not really sure how to take the part " god help you all "

May I ask how that is intended , it appears to me and I could be wrong to be as some sort of call for help for those who you say may call themselves the "highest authority " .



I look at my children I see their bodies , I see their personalities , I see that "spirit " that is their individual and unique personality that is part of their human nature , But I do not just see them , I see their grandfather in their expressions , I see his dad in the way my eldest walks , I see mum in his dark features ; they will carry part of all of us and one day they will hopefully pass it on .



Nothing is bigger or smaller than me , I am part of everything and everything is part of me , I am a vessal of information at the most basic of levels but I am a human at the most complex.



Life does not lose magic because we do not believe in god or goddesses it simply revels in the happiness that is the here and now .

Johnny - posted on 06/09/2011

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Given that I consider myself an agnostic, I'm not sure that I should be answering this topic. I absolutely do not believe in any idea of God((ess(es))s) that I have seen put forth by human minds. No religion or spiritual faith has captured my full ideas or thoughts about the nature of existence. I am a person who believes that we can not know at this point. That humanity has not come close to developing the ability to understand our own existence and that it is foolhardy to try to explain. I find religion problematic in that it claims to have certainty in the unknowable. I do not have patience for scientific claims to know the unknowable through wild theories either. Although I prefer science in it's ability to investigate and consider any possibility with a great deal less prejudice of thought (in most cases). I do not think that a god or higher power is necessarily necessary for existence to occur, nor do I deny that it is possible that a god or higher power is responsible for our existence.

I do tend to think that there is so much we don't know that I do not discount the "supernatural". Although I think that the only reason that it is considered "super"natural is that we don't yet understand it as opposed to that it necessarily comes from a higher power.

I tend to be a lover of nature, not just of the earth but of the universe. I would not say that I "worship" it, but that I have a profound respect and interest in the natural rhythms of existence. I find solace in the idea that we do not know a beginning nor an end of existence. Obviously there is a knowable beginning and an end to our personal life on this earth, but we do not know where our energy comes from and where it goes. We know how it forms and grows, but we have yet to figure out what makes each and every being unique.

So many faithful ask about the idea that non-believers have no afterlife. That may sort of be true. But like I said earlier, I tend to believe in scientific ideas, and we certainly know that we don't just "poof" out of existence. Our energy dissipates and becomes part of our universe. What we were becomes something new, both our body and our light. My body will decompose to feed the earth, and my energy will go out to float around or form something new. It does not bother me that I may not be able to experience that in my current mode of understanding existence.

The universe at some time formed this earth, which sustained life until it grew the food that my mother ate which nourished the life growing in her (and her mother and her mother before that). She bore me and I lived. When I am gone my body will once again nourish the earth to allow new life to grow. There is nothing "super"natural about that, but I find just being able to sentiently experience the universe a wonderful experience.

Barbara - posted on 07/14/2011

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I feel the need to address the whole "why a term for people who don't believe in something? Why not Anti-unicornist" idea. I heard it analogized in a way that pretty much summed it up. Here goes....
Q: Why be atheist? Isn't that like making up a club for people who don't collect stamps?
A: It would be like that if the world were one in which 90% of the people did collect stamps, and considered the post office to be the ruling law of the world. In that case, making up a club for people who did not collect stamps would be a very worthwhile pursuit.

Charlie - posted on 06/10/2011

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"I just can't imagine that this wonderfull life here just turns to nothing at all."



But it doesnt , our lives affect those around us , we are carried forward in our children and DNA ...they are our legacy why not just enjoy life as it is to the fullest ?



I can certainly see the comfort in wanting to see those we love after we pass on but like I said earlier my father who passed away may be gone but I see him everyday in my eldest childs facial features and expressions , he looks so much like his grandfather , as long as his DNA exists he is always in part still around .



Tara - I would like to address Steves theory with my own .



Energy does not leave the body straight away , it takes energy for the human body to decompose and for our hair and nails to continue growing .



The main types of energy contained in our bodys are chemical energy , electrical energy and heat energy .



Heat energy is dispersed not long after death , this flows evenly through us through out our lives heat energy most likely disapates into the surrounding atmosphere .



electrical energy becomes heat energy and is also dispersed .



chemical energy however is used in decomposition , all the lovely critters like worms , bacteria , fungus and bugs they utilize this energy within their own body and the chemical energy becomes part of their energy make up , birds eat bugs , cats eat birds ect eventually it finds it's way up the food chain



There is so much that cannot be explained though that I do not understand ; like why can some people have full memories of other peoples lives when they didnt exist and it can be varified by others ? can energy store memory ? I don't know but I guess a lot of atheists would say no ...me ? I don't know .



It's the circle of life baby

[deleted account]

I'm a hard atheist. I will come right out and say, "Nope, there's nothing there until you prove to me there is." It's the same stance most people have towards the concept of invisbile lephrechauns dancing on their desk, drinking Harp and singing, "A Nation Once Again." We do not believe the claim because the evidence is lacking in quality.

You may not be able to understand a world like that but that is what I firmly believe you are living in. What would the world look like without a god? Pretty darn identical to what you live in now. We still work, breathe, eat, love our kids. We just do it without anything spiritual sitting on our shoulder.

When I die, I'll live on in the memories of those who knew me. When those people are nothing but memories, I'll be just like one of the millions of people who died thousands of years ago that no one now ever knew about. I'll be just like I was before I was born; nothing. I'm ok with that. When I consider death, I'm more upset that my son will miss me and I'm rather glad that there's no spiritual afterlife because I'd miss him terribly. After all, let's say there is ana fterlife, there's no guarantee you wouldn't sit there pining for your loved ones with as much a broken heart as they have when you die. Not very comforting which is why most theists or spiritualists don't view their afterlife that way. Religion is a comfort device but like all of them, I think they need to go when one matures. No, that's not me saying that theists are immature, I think as a species we are immature.

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[deleted account]

I will come right out and say, "Nope, there's nothing there until you prove to me there is."

There was a philosopher named Wittgenstein who argued that basically it was the duty of philosophy to shut up about unanswerable questions like that.

If there is no way to answer a question, or to know whether or not the answer is right, he argued that it was really a kind of question without content.

I guess that's how I feel. I would label myself an atheist except I think it's a nonsensical question/label in the first place.

[deleted account]

Krista said, "Well now, if it's Liam Neeson, I could probably consider converting.... "

Oh I'm so there too!

Isobel - posted on 07/13/2011

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I think she meant we wouldn't exist because he created people. To which I respond...Without Poseidon there would be no waves, without Zeus there would be no lightening...right?

Krista - posted on 07/12/2011

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Exactly. Many people make it all about the Judeo-Christian god. But we just don't believe in ANY gods or goddesses.

Like the guy said, "It's not all about you."

Charlie - posted on 07/12/2011

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Elizabeth -"Without God, there would be no athiests :) "

The word may not exist but "atheists " would continue to live their life with the same beliefs as before ....The fact God does not exist makes no difference to Atheists as people.

Johnny - posted on 07/11/2011

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Pretty much. It is not intended to insult. It is simply just the way I feel in my gut.

[deleted account]

Johnny, sometimes I tell people I believe in Jesus like I believe in Winnie-in-Pooh.

They assume I'm being disparaging, when I'm not.

Johnny - posted on 07/11/2011

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I love stories. They make me happy and entertain me. The holy books have some real doozies. I just don't give them any greater weight than the last novel I read.

Jenny - posted on 07/11/2011

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Without unicorns, there would be no aunicornists (aka those who don't believe in unicorns). =)

[deleted account]

I'm not sure what I am. I don't know what to believe and I don't really care or put a whole lot of time or energy into figuring it out. Meh, I'm good.

[deleted account]

I just don't believe there is a higher power. We have produced and achieved lots of good stuff (medical technology, engineering marvels...) but we've also made some amazing stuff-ups.

But I don't feel any need to wear my atheism like a banner. I don't feel any need to justify it.It's just part of me.

[deleted account]

I don't like the term atheist because it seems to me to give undue importance to one issue.



If you are skeptical about the evidence for astrology, and think it's mostly nonsense, no one calls you an "antiastrologiest."



There are no anti-unicornists.



To me, there's something weird about having an identifying badge for not believing in something.



I like unicorns. I just don't think they're real. I'm not their enemy.

Teresa - posted on 07/11/2011

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I guess I am not an atheist but I don't view the higher power the way Christians do. I don't believe he hears and answers prayers anymore if he ever did. I dont' believe the bible is the inerrant word of God.

I do believe there is an order to things in the universe that was not an accident. It is far bigger than me and I don't understand it but that doesn't make it one omnipresent being for me.

I dont' have all the answers but when I keep getting red flags from the established religions I have investigated I just know they are not all there is to choose from.

I am a thinking person, one who can't follow blindly as a matter of faith. I need more than that. My husband says so what if its not true, it won't hurt to believe (in Christianity) but I don't want to waste energy on something I can't embrace.

Rosie - posted on 06/13/2011

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I get the whole gravesite thing. It if where u last physically saw that person. It is where they "rest" .

Tara - posted on 06/13/2011

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When I was in grade school, we said the Lords Prayer every morning, "Hallowed be thy name", became to my young non religious ears "Howard be thy name".

We knew a guy name Howard, he was obese and had red hair. When I was 7 I thought Howard (God) must look like the only other Howard I knew.

Lol

Funny to think about that now.

Howard be thy name....

edited to fix typos, my key board is sticky due to an 18 month old one man wrecking crew....

Krista - posted on 06/13/2011

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I also don't understand why people go to grave sites to "talk" to their loved ones. For starters, even if you do believe in a soul, do you really think that your loved one's soul is hanging around the graveyard? I would hope that it would have moved on to a slightly more cheerful locale. And secondly, if you've spent your life with that person, loving them, is their gravesite really the place where you feel closest to them?

Kimberly - posted on 06/12/2011

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wow that is very interesting cause i tell you i have always thought that i was athiest just because i am not a big religious person i have always been spiritual. thank you for sharing that. i have no idea then what athiest really means except what you just said lol.

Isobel - posted on 06/12/2011

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that myth comes from the fact that our skin withers and shrinks back making the nails and hair APPEAR longer than they were when the person first died :)

Jenn - posted on 06/12/2011

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I'd just like to point out that our nails and hair do not continue to grow after we die. OK - back to the topic at hand. I think for those who believe, it's hard to understand those who don't. For those who don't believe, it's hard to understand those who do. I would say that I do believe, with some skepticism, but I don't believe in the idea of our lost loved ones being "with us" or watching over us. It just seems creepy and wrong to me - like, are they always there, or only when you want them there? That thought just doesn't jive with me.

Petra - posted on 06/11/2011

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Krista, when I was little my brother and I agreed that God must look the man from the Glad garbage bag commercials. Makes just as much sense now as it did then.

I tend to fall in line with The Commie and with Tara's husband, Steve. Hard-line atheist, have been ever since I was old enough to understand what faith was and how basic biology works. God couldn't explain all of it for me - biology and mythology clearly set them apart. I see it the same now - this is it, and nothing about that scares me. I don't see why anyone should find it depressing, scary or disappointing. What is wrong with making the most of this life? It IS all we have, as far as anyone on this planet can prove.

And like Loureen said, with the whole "energy is not created or destroyed" argument, when you get down to brass tacks, we don't have a 21-gram soul (which is often credited for our individual uniqueness) that floats away to occupy some fetus' developing brain. The electrical energy that caused synapses to fire, stops doing that and the heat energy in our bodies slowly dissipates as we cool and our bodies decompose, with that energy being consumed and recycled by other organisms. Nothing fancy or pretty, but also not scary. Circle of life, yeah.

Krista - posted on 06/11/2011

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It depresses me to think about believing in some great bearded Liam Neeson in the sky as much as believing in having our souls/bodies burn out like a one of those black snake fireworks..


Well now, if it's Liam Neeson, I could probably consider converting....

[deleted account]

I consider myself an atheist. I don't believe in a god. I don't think that there is any type of higher being... I don't give much thought about religion at all. I just live my life.

I went to church when I was a child and none of it really felt right to me, I guess... Just seems like a way for people to cope.

Becky - posted on 06/10/2011

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I'd think it makes you right, Rebecca! I don't think anyone really does know the answer. We have our theories, our beliefs, but none of us knows for certain. And until one of us dies and comes back from the dead to tell everyone else, no one will really know!
I wanted to expand a bit on my previous post, because I can see where some people would say, "well, if you're accusing your friend of doing too many drugs because he believes in faries, couldn't the same be said about you believing in God?" Fair enough... I can respect a person who does not believe in god, any higher power, or the supernatural whatsoever because they don't believe there is any evidence to support it. I don't think their beliefs are stupid, and I'm not going to try to change them, I'm not that arrogant. I can respect someone who believes in a different god or power than I do. However, if you are going to tell me that I am delusional and stupid for believing in God and then go on to tell me that you had a lovely conversation with faeries - whose existence is equally, if not more - without evidence - the other day, then I am going to laugh in your face and tell you that you need professional help.

Mrs. - posted on 06/10/2011

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I find this whole thread depressing tonight.

It depresses me to think about believing in some great bearded Liam Neeson in the sky as much as believing in having our souls/bodies burn out like a one of those black snake fireworks..

In order to not be depressed, I choose to believe I don't think anyone really knows the answer...I'm have no idea what that makes me. Perhaps less depressed and still able to look at myself in the mirror about the matter?

Johnny - posted on 06/10/2011

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As for believing in the afterlife as a conceptual place where we can meet our loved ones, it just never rang real to me. It's not like I sat up one day and decided to oppose religious ideals simply to be obtuse. From the very core of my being, I find it impossible to blindly believe in things that I have no evidence of whatsoever. I am not one to say these things are absolutely not true. Since I have no evidence of what actually happens when we die. But aside from what other people who have never died either have decided to believe, there is absolutely no information about it at all. Which is why I consider myself an agnostic. I simply do not know. But on the spectrum of things that seem possible, my walking around with my good friends I have lost and chatting about whatever seems one of the least probable. Certainly not something I could suddenly decide to follow as my belief system.

Johnny - posted on 06/10/2011

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Just to clarify Juleah.... I agree that wild theories can become more accepted and "real" as we gain understanding. I do not discount them entirely. I just refuse to put faith in them like one would in religious ideas. If I was to "believe" the string theory was the "truth", I'd be missing the point of the scientific method. It is a proposition, an idea, one that is still being refined and explored, expanded and contracted. It's not to be "believed" in as a whole but understood as an attempted explanation that will help to guide us as we search for more. I find that sometimes people put their "faith" in scientific explanations which negates and ignores the value of the scientific method. It's not about blind faith in an idea. Although most of the time it's people who do not agree with scientific explanation at all who misunderstand the concept of believing in the scientific method and mistake it for a faith.

JuLeah - posted on 06/10/2011

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@ Johnny .... I think you are correct; we can't know. No one religion can capture the full meaning of nature, or existence (some call that God)



Maybe that is why ALL religions (and non) are needed.



Any God I could understand is not big enough for my needs anyway.



I agree too that humans are not yet evolved enough to understand, but in time, maybe.



Religion is a jumping off place, the beginning of the discussion, a common meeting ground .... it is culture, family, community, shared history .... it has its place.



Don't judge wild theories too quickly ... one lone man felt the Earth moved around the sun ... well, he was not alone, but he took the heat for that wild theory.



I think, if everyone were to listen to that ... quite voice within, we'd all be moving in the same direction ... towards greater understanding

JuLeah - posted on 06/10/2011

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Jenny ... No, I don't need require authority to feel comfortable. I follow my own moral code.
The word Israel means to struggle, to wrestle with …. Always searching (spiritually) for the path, always questioning, always growing and becoming … more.
More fully who I am, more fully who I was born to be …. More.
There is a balance between understanding that who you are, where you are right now is perfect AND, continuing to grow and become.
It is a journey, and unlike muffins, we are never done.
I don’t believe in death as most might describe it. I believe we leave these bodies behind, but continue on as … something else. We are energy, which is not created or destroyed.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/10/2011

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Love it, Tara. Thanks :)

I love almost everyones answers so far though

Tara - posted on 06/10/2011

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I'm Agnostic if I must label myself.
But Steve is a true Atheist. He doesn't believe that our energy does anything when we die, except go into the ground or burned up with our bodies. He understands that energy does not end, but only changes forms, so his rationale is that sure, our energy continues but only on the actual electrical energy that makes our heart beat etc. That energy does not contain a part of "us" so to speak.
So he is a true Atheist in my opinion. Does not believe in supernatural stuff, or synchronicity or fate or something bigger than us at all. He believes we are just a part of nature and that the natural world holds not real mysteries per say, only the things we haven't yet discovered and learned about.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/10/2011

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It sounds like you understand Atheism and Agnosticism very well, as you have defined and even compared them so you know the difference of them too.

Between those two, there's not really else more to tell about non-believers or people who don't believe without enough evidence or people who find that since you have to take a leap of logic at any given point in religions (in their minds everything isn't explained 100% there are grey areas or total lapses of information/evidence) to pretty much just believe in something, so they have chosen the non-faith route in their leap. They are obveiously more comfortable with this. That's all.

I've met quite a few in my life time and I think it is interesting to study all religions. Period. We all have so many different ideas out there. I recently started watching a show Ancient Aliens which the show wants to say our acients believed that their Gods came from outer space so this show says Aliens are Gods! Well, whether you believe that or not there is some REALLY good evidence that points to the possibility of extraterrestrial life. That to me is interesting. Just something else to consider too.

I'm a total open book when it comes to religion, swayed not one way or another but do not deny the possibiities. Agnostic.

Krista - posted on 06/10/2011

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Yep, I feel the same way as you, Sara.

It's a lovely thought, to imagine that I'd see my loved ones again. But really, I think it's just a massive case of wishful thinking. People are so uncomfortable with the idea of finality that they will happily believe in a notion that rebuts that.

But I can't believe in it. It just doesn't ring true for me at all.

Like Sara, I believe that we die, the electricity in our brain fizzes out due to no longer being powered by our beating hearts, and that's it, that's all. Game over.

What comforts me is the thought of being remembered by the loved ones who are still living. I want my great-great grandchildren to hear stories about me. But eventually, I will be forgotten. And that's okay too. Because I will have had my time on this Earth, and we all have to eventually make way for the generations to come.

And I definitely do not believe in any god, be it the Christian god, or Zeus, or Odin, or whoever. I think that they are man-made concepts, grown out of an attempt to explain things that we couldn't understand.

Personally, I'm perfectly comfortable with the fact that there are some things that humanity does not understand. Maybe we'll never understand/know some things. Maybe our feeble brains are just not capable of grasping all of the secrets of the universe. And that's okay, too.

I am comfortable with the fact that we seek knowledge and that we attempt to find out these secrets. But I am not comfortable with the zero-sum proposition stating that if mankind can't explain it, that must mean that the Christian god did it. There are an infinite number of other possibilities out there -- so I think it is rather foolish of religious people to say, "Well, we don't know the answers, so that means that the answer MUST be [insert religious philosophy here]"

Sara - posted on 06/10/2011

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It's uncomfortable for people to believe that this is it, and when you cease to live, you cease to exist. For me, I feel that's the truth in my heart, is all I can say. It would be nice, and comforting, to think I can talk to people to that I have loved and lost, and that I will see them again one day, but when I think about it rationally, I just don't feel that it's true. I think that is what is so difficult for people to wrap their minds around when it comes to atheism, is the idea that there's just nothing. I believe my body will decompose, get absorbed back into the earth, sure, but I will not be aware of it. My life will be gone, so will I.



As far as matter never being created or destroyed, well, think of it this way: Our bodies, organs, and consciousness rely on a system of electrical and chemical impulses. When we die, those impulses cease, or in many cases, we die BECAUSE they cease.



When a battery dies, is there an afterlife for the battery? When you turn off a computer, are you creating or destroying matter?



On a side note,modern physics no longer maintains that matter cannot be created or destroyed. In fact, according to quantum mechanics, such processes go on all the time. Ask Stephen Hawking.

Desiree - posted on 06/10/2011

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I just can't seem to reconsile myself with any of those theories. Sorry girls, but I truely hope to see my sister again maybe not here but else where. I just can't imagine that this wonderfull life here just turns to nothing at all. I want more and I am not afraid of whats to come. But I really hope this is not the end. I can still understand the agnostic way and that is to question. I am a eliever but I question my faith often its normal. and besides what exactly is logical and sensible? Atheists thinks its not in believing. Christians think its in believing in Christ. Jews do not acknowledge Christ as more than a prophet and Islam teaches the same thing. There is energy all around us every single day it has to go somewhere it doesn't jus end.

Rosie - posted on 06/10/2011

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i am atheist. i do not believe there is any higher power or being out there. it simply seems too unreal, madeup- like a fairytale.
just as i'm sure you don't believe in the god zues, i don't believe in your form of "god" you are an atheist to all gods but your own, right? :)
i don't believe in the supernatural, i guess i do find nature awesome and awe inspiring. i look at my boys and think it's pretty damn neat that my egg and my husbands sperm created something so beautiful. however, to deem it spiritual, or whatever i just can't do. i know how children are made, and while i think it's amazing, i just don't give it any more credit than it deserves. it's just biology.

i simply cannot give credit to a higher being for the things that happen in this world. we all control how the world works, our actions are what dictates what happens in this world. i look at things with a more practical view than i feel the religious do. i use science and reasoning, more than faith. until someone can prove to me that a god exists i will not believe it.

Becky - posted on 06/09/2011

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The majority of athiests that I actually know personally do not believe in the supernatural at all. No ghosts, goblins, spirits, etc. Although I did have one former friend who decided he was an athiest but he saw faeries. I think he just took a few too many shrooms!

Jenny - posted on 06/09/2011

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Is that because you require authority to feel comfortable JuLeah? Atheists feel we can find our moral code without one. Being good for the sake of being good. If you guys discover there is no god should we expect mass rioting?



Atheism, for me (OK no more disclaimers from now on) is non-belief in supernatural things. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. That goes for UFO's, Bigfoot, Homeopathy and all sorts of things. This is how I phrase my non belief: The current evidence does not support the existence of a god. That's it. Should the evidence change, I reevaluate my stance immediately.



I was raised around religion and attended church, by my own choice, in my early teens but it never rang true. After a period of not having questions answered to my satisfaction I tried other religions and then eventually realized I was an atheist and it immediately felt right.



I do feel a part of something greater, the universe, because we are. As Loureen and Johnny have stated, energy never disappears, only changes forms. That is science, not superstition. We are all made of stars, pretty cool huh?

JuLeah - posted on 06/09/2011

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I can not imagine a world in which I was the highest authority – God help you all.

Being facetious

Johnny - posted on 06/09/2011

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Loureen expanded upon things in a way that meshes very much with my own thoughts. Particularly the last statement.

I was raised by a father who is an atheist, much of his family are. And I also have many friends who are atheists. Ironically, everyone in my division at work is, which came to a surprise to each and every one of us when our bossed once asked us at a lunch about where we each got married. You can imagine that it's not all that common to find oneself in a group of people who all just happen to not be believers. We were all a tad shocked. But amongst all these people, I have never yet heard anyone who does not believe in a higher power consider themselves to be "the highest authority". We are part of an interconnected species and we are all responsible to one another, to the earth, to the universe, etc. I think the very idea of not believing in a higher power negates the idea of seeing oneself as the highest authority. This seems to confuse atheism/agnosticism/nontheism with narcissism.

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