Insight: An Atheist in Canada

I wrote this post after the blog owner asked me what sorts of disadvantages (if any) there were to being an atheist in Canada and at what age did I lose my faith.

I hope you’ll check it out. I’ll disable comments here but please leave your thoughts over at ‘Living With Atheism’.

Living!

I can’t tell you at what specific age I was when I lost faith.

During my childhood, my parents were very involved with the church. I went to church every Sunday and helped clean the church during the week. I went to Sunday school, and this is where the trouble began as far as my faith is concerned.

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My father loved to read and he often bought National Geographic magazines and I would read them after he was finished. These magazines clashed with a lot of what my Sunday school teachers were feeding me.

I remember them telling me that believing in Jesus was the most important factor when it came to being saved. The problem for me was geography and time periods – how could the Native Americans know of Jesus, for example, when Europeans hadn’t yet discovered North America? How could isolated tribes, which I’d read about in…

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What Has Online Atheism Ever Achieved? And New Avatar Poses For YouTube

I ran across a video asking what has YouTube atheism ever achieved. I thought the person asking the question was doing so in a genuine manner so I decided to make a video response. It’s only four and a bit minutes long. I’ll insert it at the bottom of this post.

Marvin also made me some more avatar poses and he says he’s sending me some more. I’m looking forward to seeing the surprised pose.

So here they are.

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Let me know what you think about the avatar poses and video. Do you think online atheism in general has achieved anything or do you think it’s a waste of time?

Is Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holiday Offensive?

A recent poll came out a few days ago, which took a look at whether people thought Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday were offensive:

 Interestingly, Christians are more likely to be okay with the use of “Happy Holidays” than the general population. Sixty percent of non-Christians supported the use of the term, compared to 62 percent of those who identified as Christian.

Additionally, 39 percent of respondents asserted that holiday-themed branding had no impact on their decision to shop at a particular store.

So yeah. I made a video about it. It saves on typing. *wink*

Do you find either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays offensive?

Spoiler alert: I think this falls under the ‘live and let live category’. Say either and I’m good with it.

 

Re: Hate The Religion, Love The Believer

Today I read a religious post titled, Hate The Religion, Love The Believer. It’s a post basically exploring whether you can hate the religious belief and still love the person. So I thought I’d take a whack at it.

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The post started off with that meme and asked whether that’s a reasonable position for an atheist or secularist to take.

Atheists have often argued that the Christian slogan to “hate the sin, but love the sinner” is tantamount to their claim to oppose religion but love religious people.  However, I think this would not sit well with me (and many people of faith) because we DEFINE ourselves by our faith, whereas sinners do not define themselves by their sin.

For many devout Christians, she’s right in that they tend to define themselves by their religion. I think that’s why many religious people get offended when an atheist mocks or questions that religion – to them it isn’t just an idea but a part of them.

However, people can define themselves by other ideologies.

For example, for some people their political identity is extremely important to them. Could you love an ardent socialist, communist, Democrat or Republican even if you disagree with their political stances?

I think it fairly obvious that you can.

Actually, I can think of only one type of sinner that defines themselves by their sin, being homosexuals.  So to hate their sin is (to them) equivalent to hating them, the same way Christians feel an attack on their Christian liberties is an attack on them as individuals (as citizens and as humans).

You are trying to conflate a belief with biology. It would be like me trying to equate religious belief with heterosexuality – one is a belief and one is my inherent sexual orientation.

I used to be religious but then I lost my faith. I’m never going to wake up in the morning and find myself sexually attracted to men.

Can you think of other sinners that define themselves by their sin?  Maybe Nazis or the KKK, who define themselves by their hatred and superior feelings against people of colour.  If we hate their sin, can we claim to still love them?

Of course you can and this is a more accurate comparison.

Do you really believe that Nazi’s, Neo-Nazi’s or ardent racists don’t have family members who hate that they think that way but love them nevertheless?

Prisons are full of murderers, rapists and criminals who have loving relationships with spouses or other family members. Some of them are racists and Nazi’s.

She basically confirms this is so in this sentence:

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Yeah, and plenty of atheists love their parents, even though they tried to indoctrinate them with hateful religious ideologies, such as the hell doctrine or that homosexuals are abominations or that they are responsible for the sins of their ancestors etc.

She continues with:

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You are more than just your religious beliefs. I am more than my political beliefs. People are complex beings and can disagree on a whole host of subjects and still agree on others. We can love and enjoy people we fundamentally disagree with because that isn’t the only thing that defines them.

In fact, I think you can find some of that being proven right here on this blog. There are comments by people on here who I would enthusiastically disagree with on religious matters, but I agree with on other subjects. I can enjoy conversing with them about everything, including their belief in a deity.

A Rabbi who I used to have spirited religious discussions with used to tell me that we should focus on what we have in common, rather than our differences, and that if we did, we’d likely find we have far more in common than we have differences.

I think there was a lot of truth in that.

But regardless, I think you can definitely hate or oppose the religious ideologies someone holds but still love the person.