Old School TA Reflections :)

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #41664

    Belle Rose
    Participant

    To those of you who understand the title, you know what I mean 😂

    It’s crazy to think back on how this community has changed and evolved over time, but in a lot of ways stayed the same…

    I’ve had my ups and downs in understanding a lot of what was being said and it’s taken a long time to sift through everything on my own…

    Going back and forth between belief systems trying to wrestle with the profound questions of life, etc…

    I’ve done some crazy and even unethical things just to sort it out in my own head. Some of which I’ve never admitted to anyone lol ….

    The ultimate takeaway is that I enjoy studying different belief systems, there’s good to be found, so I say “take what you need and leave the rest,” lol 😂 for those of you who know what that means lol…

    At the end of the day I can’t call myself any kind of theist. I don’t have a specific term for my beliefs, I suppose atheist will do for now lol 😂

    #41665

    Autumn
    Participant

    Apparently I joined TA January 12, 2010. Not sure when I quit, but shortly before the site migrated.

    I’ve never practiced a religion, so I don’t have very complex or ambiguous feelings toward it. It was always easy for me to be irreligious. There wasn’t a deep stigma to it, and my friends were pretty split down the middle between believers and non-believers. I wouldn’t say Canadian politics of the time were exactly free from religious influence, but compared to US politics flooding the intertubes from across the border, you’d have thought us all godless heretics by comparison.

    Growing up, ‘atheist’ to me was mostly just the null category. It didn’t describe a positive belief per se, though for some it signified a specific belief that no gods exist. For many, the term atheist is still a null category that is only relevant in contexts where religion is being discussed. At some point, people—mostly religious apologists—I was encountering started attributing lots of positive beliefs to the term. It used to irritate me. Few people like having beliefs they don’t hold attributed to them. But over the years I’ve received a thousand times worse in terms of prejudices and lies about my beliefs for other reasons. I’ve fully accepted that sort of behaviour is more about the other person than it is me. As a generalization, there are people who are willing to try to understand you and there are people who aren’t. The former rarely get tripped up too hard by a single word, and the former are going to misrepresent your views regardless of what words you use. The former aren’t usually worth my time.

    I don’t know how many debates I’ve seen over the definition of ‘atheist’ in my life. I’ve participated in my fair share. In the past, I just liked the debate because it was of little consequence to me, as with most debates on religion. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve largely lost interest. ‘Atheist’ is a clean, simple term. According to the Canadian Census, I am classified as ‘no religious affiliation’. I suppose that makes sense from a demographer’s perspective, but I hate how it leaves wiggle room for belief in gods.

    As for taking things away from religion… sure. Much of it speaks to human experience in some fashion or another. In many cases, I think religious practices come with waaaaaay too much baggage and are inefficient at what they do. But there are some cases where religious and spiritual practices do adopt an intuitive approach that can be useful. I just haven’t invested that much energy into studying religions in quite some time unless it was for cultural reasons. Just feel like the return on investment is poor for me. But for everyone else… whatever floats your goat.

    #41672

    I don’t have a specific term for my beliefs,

    Good. Same as atheists. We strive to learn what we can and reason through the evidence to come up with our best understanding about a topic. We have various “understandings” as opposed to “beliefs”. For theists their beliefs are held as absolutes but for us our understanding of something is open to question. We can change our minds based upon new information. It might further validate what we already think or destroy it completely. Either way is fine with us.

    I understand that we are evolved from earlier forms of life and related to all living mammals of every non-human species. I understand that there is no afterlife. I understand gods do not exist and that they were created in the minds of humans to explain what we once did not understand.

    I am very happy to be persuaded to change my mind on anything I understand to be objectively true. As Feynman one said; “I would rather have questions that can’t be answered than answers that can’t be questioned”.

     I suppose atheist will do for now lol 😂

    If you don’t believe in any god then you are one. I don’t use atheist as a descriptor of myself unless I am debating a theist. I much prefer to be called a militant anti-theist 😊

    It’s been a few years but have another listen to “You might be an atheist…”

    #41673

    @autumn – Je vais manger de la poutine pour le dîner ce soir mais pas de vodka!

    #41676

    Davis
    Moderator

    I’ve read all the major holy books and a pretty large chunk of the Hindu and Buddhist corpus (there is so much of it) and of course on top of that, on top of the traditions and beliefs in practice of such religions, a lot about Pagan faiths and animist practices on all continents. The only thing all of this has in common is:

    • The only ones I remotely enjoyed reading (and enjoy rereading) are the major Taoist ones because they can EASILY be enjoyed secularly
    • Not one single one text or religious work or religious explanation gave me any reason whatsoever to take any supernatural claim seriously, I am still waiting for a shred of evidence and as Reg said, I am totally open to being persuaded
    • Absolutely any knowledge that could be gained from any of such works function just as well if not better in a non-religious form meaning you can enjoy the value of that wisdom without the toxic baggage of religion
    • Once the obligation or familiar pressure for believers of every single one of those faiths go away, faith tends to wane and people lose interest in it, meaning a lot of it has to do with the pressure of others. I know so many 3rd generation Muslims, orthodox Christians, Hindus in Western countries etc who pay token attention to their faiths, mostly to please their parents and possibly their partner and are happy to be done away with it.
    • We are fortunate to live in a civilisation where you are free to pronounce how irrational religion is, that it is all human creation and that it is incredibly toxic and its harms heavily outweigh the benefits…and if you are from the right family, without being harassed, ostracised, beaten or executed. This has never happened before in human civilisation, could easily go away and shows the extreme menace and thought control that is religion.
    • Think Atheists had a better format (thread replies) and I miss a few users from there, though I thank my lucky stars I never have to read another pile of steaming bullshit from Dr. Bob again
    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by  Davis.
    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by  Davis.
    #41679

    Autumn
    Participant

    @autumn – Je vais manger de la poutine pour le dîner ce soir mais pas de vodka!

    With the right gravy and fresh cheese curds, that could be a quasi-religious experience even without the spirits.

    I don’t blame restaurants for not wanting to deal with even more shit from outrageously ignorant loudmouths. Specifically, it would suck for restaurant staff to have to field complaints from irrational people. But there is a special sort of sadness at the thought of poutine being ‘freedom fries’ed, though one restaurant seems to have changed the name to basically a very literal dish description.

    #41680

    Autumn
    Participant
    • Think Atheists had a better format (thread replies) and I miss a few users from there, though I thank my lucky stars I never have to read another pile of steaming bullshit from Dr. Bob again

    I hated the old format for the longest time until I got used to it. The cascading replies had their advantages, but long threads could become a bit of a mess if you were used to strictly chronological sorting.

    Dr. Bob filled a niche, in a way. I’d wager for some members, hashing it out with him provided a certain catharsis. But he wasn’t very engaging, as I recall. If memory serves, he had a bit of the used car salesman feel of William Lane Craig.

    #41688

    I guess I might try Poutine with a glass of Poitín instead. I hear it cures everything 🙂

    #41689

    Autumn
    Participant

    We can’t go putting placing pudding custard next to poutine la frite fromage sauce served with Poítin Irish moonshine for fear that people may be put in overcome by a bad mood due to misunderstandings.

    #41690

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    Don’t deprive yourself for the sake of virtue-signalling. Not all vodka is Russian and in fact, little that is consumed in the U.S. is Russian anyway.

    #41691

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Autumn,

    On another forum, I’ve encountered people spelling the name “Vladamir Putine” and I immediately tell them to please stop giving Canuck gravy fries a bad name by doing that. 😁

    I’ve heard that many pronounce his name “Putine” because the actual pronunciation of “Putin” is taken to mean “bitch” in French. “Puto” is definitely that in Español. I say the French got it right the first time! 😁

    #41692

    I only do my virtue signalling from a safe place padded with extra layers of cotton wool as I have a very sensitive disposition and am easy offended to the point of needing constant positive affirmations that everything will be OK. I seldom drink alcohol. In fact the last time I did I had an excellent beer here 🙂

    #41693

    This “Lessons about Atheism for ages 8 and up” might be of use to some.  It can be printed or saved as a PDF.

    #41840

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    I only do my virtue signalling from a safe place padded with extra layers of cotton wool as I have a very sensitive disposition and am easy offended to the point of needing constant positive affirmations that everything will be OK. I seldom drink alcohol. In fact the last time I did I had an excellent beer here 🙂

    Ever since homebrewing was re-legalized by the Feds in 1979 and ever since more States have made it legal, and ever since the technology has became more available and recipes exchanged online, there has been a multiplication of local beers and wines in every community in the U.S.

    While I don’t partake personally any more for medical reasons, I do salute this change from antiquated, often religion-based restrictions on alcohol. The next step should he home-based liquor stills with no tax-stamp or registration required. Then we can see a multiplication of hand-crafted spirits and even more mixed-drink recipes.

    The distiller who can hit 200 Proof and keep it stable enough to dispense will be the All-Time Spirit-Master.

    #41842

    @Enco – You have reminded me of some quotes by W.C. Fields:

    Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.

    I always keep some whiskey handy in case I see a snake…which I also keep handy.

    Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.

    I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday.

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