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atheist/agnostic tribe - Page 30

post #581 of 698
Hello, everyone!
I'm trying my best to make it here in GA.
I recently went to a local Freethinkers group dinner and it was pretty nice. The biggest relief was meeting other liberal folk.
Like a lot of you, I feel so isolated down here. Most of those that belong to the Freethinkers group are 50+. The closest UU church is about an hour away and my husband works Sundays anyway.
We had the big, "Please don't proselytize to our children!" talk with the in-laws (Southern Baptist) not too long ago--after our 3 year old informed us that God made the flowers. At first it went terribly, but I guess that was a misunderstanding. They thought we were telling them to denounce their religion??? It was a mess. We came to an agreement, supposedly. It was one of those conversations where we just had to settle with them ending it by telling us they are confident we will find the truth (the Truth!) if we are looking, blahblah.
It's come up quite a few times since then. I think my MIL has had to gradually accept the fact that her "baby" does not believe in her god. And that means he is going to Hell, if she holds him to the same standards as everyone else. I do feel for her. That has to be incredibly hard.
post #582 of 698
Can someone educate me about what UU churches are exactly? I am just really surprised that an athiest or agnostic would go to a church of any kind so I think I must be missing something because a couple of people have posted that they go to those.
post #583 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by pajamajes View Post
I'm interested in seeing how other people deal with the Atheist life, so to speak, especially in the "buy-bull" belt.
Buy-bull belt!!! I've lived in the South most of my life, and have never seen that- it made me laugh out loud. Thank you!! Glad I found this thread/tribe. My DH's family and mine are both pretty religious, but not oppressive about it. I was raised as Christian, but haven't been for quite some time, and I know both families are going to want to do the good work on her little brain. I'm a little nervous about the pressure as our daughter grows up, with the conflict in theories of life. It's late, but I'll see you all around.
post #584 of 698
Honestly, the way we finally dealt with the Bible belt was to move away.
post #585 of 698
Subbing. I was not raised as any religion and having kids has made me think through this a lot. I went to a UU church once or twice...a church is a church. Not interested. Finally determined we are agnostic. Atheist seems to be such a harsh term. I don't BELIEVE in anything. I like facts. So here I am.
post #586 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Mama Doula View Post
Finally determined we are agnostic. Atheist seems to be such a harsh term. I don't BELIEVE in anything. I like facts. So here I am.
I'm sort of a stickler for the meanings of these two words.

Agnostic means "without knowledge." Agnostics recognize that nobody can know whether or not gods exist.

Atheist means "without belief." Atheists do not believe that gods exist.

I think "atheist" only seems harsh because people have vilified atheists for eons. It's really not a dirty word; I promise.
post #587 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Soltera View Post
Can someone educate me about what UU churches are exactly? I am just really surprised that an athiest or agnostic would go to a church of any kind so I think I must be missing something because a couple of people have posted that they go to those.
I guess I need to google on my own?
post #588 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
I'm sort of a stickler for the meanings of these two words.

Agnostic means "without knowledge." Agnostics recognize that nobody can know whether or not gods exist.

Atheist means "without belief." Atheists do not believe that gods exist.

I think "atheist" only seems harsh because people have vilified atheists for eons. It's really not a dirty word; I promise.
So, with these definitions, I would be atheist, since I don't BELIEVE, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Soltera View Post
I guess I need to google on my own?
UU is just a religion that accepts everyone with open arms. They don't condemn you for being homosexual, there's not a lot of rules, it's just a place for people to gather and be supportive to one another. It's not atheist/agnostic/pagan, etc, because their beliefs are based on the bible and one god. The UU church in my neighborhood hosted plays about transexuals. They just want everyone to be able to practice religion. I stopped going, because, well, I'm not religious.
post #589 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Mama Doula View Post
UU is just a religion that accepts everyone with open arms. They don't condemn you for being homosexual, there's not a lot of rules, it's just a place for people to gather and be supportive to one another. It's not atheist/agnostic/pagan, etc, because their beliefs are based on the bible and one god. The UU church in my neighborhood hosted plays about transexuals. They just want everyone to be able to practice religion. I stopped going, because, well, I'm not religious.
Actually, I don't think UU is based around the Bible or the idea of one God, as it is non-creedal. Their seven principles are:
* The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
* Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
* Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
* A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
* The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
* The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
* Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

Here's an interesting link showing several views of UU members regarding God, including Atheist.

I define myself as a Humanist (and an Atheist) and I have been thinking about attending a UU church because I like having a community of people that share similar beliefs. When I was growing up, I was Christian and attended church regularly. I really liked having that "family" in my life. While I no longer believe in a higher power, I do believe in the power of community.
post #590 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Mama Doula View Post
Subbing. I was not raised as any religion and having kids has made me think through this a lot. I went to a UU church once or twice...a church is a church. Not interested. Finally determined we are agnostic. Atheist seems to be such a harsh term. I don't BELIEVE in anything. I like facts. So here I am.
While I will say I'm Atheist, I don't like the term that much, simply because I don't like defining myself by what I don't believe.

That's why I usually say I am a Humanist.
post #591 of 698
Wow, I can't believe I didn't know this tribe existed. I read the new posts often enough you'd think I would have noticed it before!

Anyhow. I'm a total agnostic (don't know if there is or is not a God, and don't think it really should matter). I live in the bible belt, but have spent most of my time in Asheville or the triangle area of NC. So relatively progressive areas inside the belt.

It honestly very rarely comes up for me. Other people talk about church, but nobody ever asks me where I go to church or anything.
post #592 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
I'm sort of a stickler for the meanings of these two words.

Agnostic means "without knowledge." Agnostics recognize that nobody can know whether or not gods exist.

Atheist means "without belief." Atheists do not believe that gods exist.

I think "atheist" only seems harsh because people have vilified atheists for eons. It's really not a dirty word; I promise.
Actually, "atheist" means "godless." Someone who is agnostic does not believe that a god exists but does also not believe that a god does not exist. Agnostics suspend belief due to a lack of knowledge. Someone who is atheist actively believes that there is no god. I see myself as an atheist because, while I acknowledge that there is no way that it could be proven that there is no god, I believe that the lack of evidence of god is reason enough for me to form an actual belief that no such thing exists (just like I believe that there is no such thing as an invisible pink unicorn, despite the total lack of evidence for or against it). My mother is agnostic because she couldn't care less whether there is a god or not and can't be bothered to waste her time thinking about it. Actually, while we're on the issue of semantics, I suppose that makes her more of a humanist than anything.
post #593 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post
My mother is agnostic because she couldn't care less whether there is a god or not and can't be bothered to waste her time thinking about it. Actually, while we're on the issue of semantics, I suppose that makes her more of a humanist than anything.
How are you defining "humanist" here? I ask because I don't quite follow what you mean here...
post #594 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by odenata View Post
How are you defining "humanist" here? I ask because I don't quite follow what you mean here...
I'm using the standard definition, of a person who cares deeply about humanity and ethics, but not about spirituality or religious morality. Perhaps I was leaving too much between the lines, but my mother just thinks that thinking about god, etc., is a waste of time because she'd rather think about how to make positive changes in the physical, human world.
post #595 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post
I'm using the standard definition, of a person who cares deeply about humanity and ethics, but not about spirituality or religious morality. Perhaps I was leaving too much between the lines, but my mother just thinks that thinking about god, etc., is a waste of time because she'd rather think about how to make positive changes in the physical, human world.
Gotcha.
post #596 of 698
New to this thread, subbing. I've been reading through the thread from its beginning, so it'll take me a while to finish reading all the posts. Have to say it's nice to know I am not alone in my worldview.
post #597 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Mama Doula View Post
I went to a UU church once or twice...a church is a church. Not interested.
I tried going once too just to check it out and was met with this same realization. I know they thought they were being friendly by asking me over and over if I wanted to join and would I please give them my address, e-mail, phone number, etc., but I felt so pressured and couldn't wait to get out of there. Churches are businesses, after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post
Actually, "atheist" means "godless." Someone who is agnostic does not believe that a god exists but does also not believe that a god does not exist. Agnostics suspend belief due to a lack of knowledge. Someone who is atheist actively believes that there is no god. I see myself as an atheist because, while I acknowledge that there is no way that it could be proven that there is no god, I believe that the lack of evidence of god is reason enough for me to form an actual belief that no such thing exists (just like I believe that there is no such thing as an invisible pink unicorn, despite the total lack of evidence for or against it).
I went years saying I was agnostic because the term "atheist" seemed so harsh and final. What finally made me adopt "atheist" is that I realized I could live my life being agnostic about pretty much anything--do I really know if I'm female? even though I seem perfectly healthy, could I actually have some terrible disease or disability? are my parents who they say they are?--at some point you (general you) have to look at the evidence (or complete lack of evidence) for something and decide how things are. I think it speaks to just how irrelevant religion and gods are to so many people's lives that they can live their lives as agnostics and never feel any need to make a decision. Saying I'm atheist doesn't mean I'm not allowed to change my mind if new evidence comes along. I do wish the term didn't have such shock value, though I may be more sensitive to it as a resident of the bible belt.

I'm so happy this thread is getting some activity again!
post #598 of 698
Wow, thank you for all of the information. I am really loving this conversation.
I guess I can understand some agnostics going to UU churches. I'm kind of hung up on the fact that it is a church though, exploring spirituality. Seems like a church/religion/etc.

For me, I suppose I just resist labeling myself. If I had to, I'd go with Agnostic, but I kind of wish people could just be. Again, this probably has something to do with my resistance to religion and that feeling of right and wrong clubs that come along with it.
post #599 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Honestly, the way we finally dealt with the Bible belt was to move away.
LOL. We have been seriously considering it. The only thing holding us back is not wanting to leave family--at this point in our lives at least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Soltera View Post
Wow, thank you for all of the information. I am really loving this conversation.
I guess I can understand some agnostics going to UU churches. I'm kind of hung up on the fact that it is a church though, exploring spirituality. Seems like a church/religion/etc.
Yeah, I think my interest in attending a UU church is really just to meet some families that are like-minded in some significant ways, their spirituality not necessarily needing to be one those ways. I doubt I'd be too into the services and might instead involve myself in other church activities. I'm not sure how acceptable that is as I have never regularly attended a church. before.
post #600 of 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMcC View Post
I know both families are going to want to do the good work on her little brain. I'm a little nervous about the pressure as our daughter grows up, with the conflict in theories of life.
Yes, I have this fear too... that's the main reason I've been going off-and-on to the UU "church" lately. I want to make sure we have a counter-balance for all the Christian influences DD gets. The one we go to is churchy in format, but the sermon part is more like a forum or a college discussion... very little spiritual talk per se. And I enjoy flipping through their song book and reading the words for some of the songs and the quotes, excerpts, and poems in the back... good inspiration for a non-believer.

I love the South... but yeah, the fund. Christians can be overpowering sometimes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by treehugz View Post
Anybody have any fun alternate non-religious lyrics for "Jesus loves me" that I can teach to my 2-yr old?
If anyone's interested, I got some good suggestions on the Summer UU thread.
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