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  1. #1
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    Question Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Okay, so over the last couple of years I've decided I'm not really a believer in 'god'. I believe there is a higher power, or powers, but then again I'm not sure. I think I just WANT to believe there is something else besides this life. That all those who have passed on didn't just cease to exist, that they've went on to a higher level of existence or have been reborn back into this world.

    Deep down inside, I simply don't believe it. I've never admitted this before. However, I just don't think there is anything beyond this life. I think once we die, that's it. It's over. There is no darkness, there just is nothing. We cease to be aware and our bodies cease to function. There is no white light, no angels in heaven, no joyous family reunions with people we have lost and long to see. There is just... nothing.

    What are your beliefs? When you're alone in a room with your thoughts, and you think of spirituality, what do you really believe?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Hi Ayla,

    Long time no see.

    I am a devout atheist. I don't believe in higher powers or anything. We just have one life, and we need to make the best of it. I don't know what will happen after I die. It is something we will never know.

    I am quite comfortable with these thoughts, and I don't have any real desire to promote atheism by proselytizing. I believe, that the best way to convey your message, is to live the message.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  3. #3
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Im afraid i dont believe in God for one moment.

    Too many bad things happen to too many innocent people in this world, i dont believe that for one moment a God would allow this to happen.

    I do believe in Karma, in that what goes around comes around and i believe that you should always help a person if possible.

  4. #4
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    This could be an interesting subject...

    I don't know what I believe.... The thought of a higher power seems appealing but the analytical side of me says I don't think so.... For me, being outdoors and just being in nature is my "church". Whether it's out on the ocean, on the beach, in a forest, or the high desert...being out there in taking it all in is about as close to a religion as I get. I've been to some places that are simply awe inspiring and sometimes I just sit there and admire the wonder of it all.

    On the personal side I practice that one should be honest not only with yourself but with others. I try to treat people like I would like to be treated. Doesn't always happen tho'. Work hard, make good decisions, try to do the right things, be responsible, and you'll be rewarded. I also believe in Karma in the sense that the choices you make has an effect not only on you, but on others. Choose wisely. Helping others is important even if it's something small. I believe we all have the power to make our own destiny. Things rarely happen by chance, fate, or by the influence of a higher power.

    I like to think I make my own luck. After all "Luck or being lucky" is nothing more the opportunity meeting preparedness.

    I'm so much cooler online...

    There is no kill switch for awesome.

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Very nicely put WDH. I am not sure what I believe anymore.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

  6. #6
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    You are a Confusionist? Not to be confused with a Confucianist.

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Not sure what that is!! Ha ha. I assume the second one is the chinese guy? I just don't know is all. I was brought up Catholic but I never followed all the rules. Didn't believe in a lot of them. But it was what I was so did the basics. As an adult I have not attended church much. I did when the kids were growing up because I wanted them to at least have a basis for what ever they ended up believing in. Once I got them though confirmation I pretty much stopped going. I would like to believe there is a higher power but I am like Snooks in that so many bad things happen to good people. If it was the devil at work then wouldn't he just target the bad ones? I don't know. My life is a mess and I don't know what to believe anymore. Too many hypocrites in church too.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

  8. #8
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    I enjoyed a segment on the History Channel the other day. It was said that religion was created for several purposes. One of the main purposes was to relieve "Death Anxiety" to societies.

    What I found quite humorous on this same segment was that the Christian religion by definition is considered a cult. I'm sure that wouldn't go over well with the masses here in the United States.

    Anywho, I love studying various religions and I just come up with conclusions that helps me relieve my own death anxiety. It also helps me understand just a little bit about why bad things happen to good people.


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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    You always make me laugh Ivy. I wish I had your attitude. Hugs!!
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

  10. #10
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    I was brought up thinking Atheists and Agnostics are all evil people with no morals whatsoever. As an adult, most of the Atheists and Agnostics I meet have a higher moral standard than the religiously devout that I know.

    Thank you all for sharing, I'm really struggling with this and my own mortality as I recently turned 30 and with all the life changes I feel like I'm spiraling. Just haven't figured out in what direction.

    And personally, I think all religions are cults.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    That may well include atheism. Often a viewpoint's worst enemy are the people who adhere to it.

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Until about 5 years ago, I was a "christian", pretty fundamentalist in beliefs although somewhat lax in church attendance in the later years. Since becoming an atheist, I am probably a nicer individual than I ever was as a xtian, as I see the world/humanity and my connection to it differently.

  13. #13
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Atheist.

    I don't believe there is a higher power or anything like that. We live in a very complex universe with trillions of possibilities. The Earth and what lives on it is just one of those. There is probably many more out there but so far away in distance or time we'll never even know. Its time we started to not worry about the after life and put more effort into the one life we have.

    No problem with individual religion though, but I cannot abide by organised religion. Its divisive and always seems to serve the needs of the people who run it first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    That may well include atheism. Often a viewpoint's worst enemy are the people who adhere to it.
    I've heard this said before but atheism isn't a belief system, there is nothing to adhere to apart from your own moral code and the one that society requires us to follow aka common decency. People say the religion is science, but in reality its not, its being rational and open minded to new ideas.

  14. #14
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Technically speaking atheism is the belief there is no god. It does not say a thing about the quality of the believers' moral code. It may be completely self-centered, and it may be completely selfless. The same can be said for believers with respect to their religion. Some Christians have been selfless, others find it perfectly acceptable to be completely self-centered, despite religion officially frowning upon that.

    In the case of atheists, that can go as far as contempt for people who do believe in God, whether the other is Christian, Muslim, Hindu etc. For Christians, Muslims, Hindus, etc. the same applies. Sad to say that such a view of others' seems to be the norm, rather than the exception.

    I was actually thinking of politically dubious people such as Stalinists, the House of Saud, and those religious persuasions which boldly state that anyone who does not believe their truth will burn in hell.
    The human mind will sadly generalize from such particulars, with the result that all atheists / Muslims / Christians are seen to be completely nuts.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  15. #15
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin View Post
    I was actually thinking of politically dubious people such as Stalinists, the House of Saud, and those religious persuasions which boldly state that anyone who does not believe their truth will burn in hell.
    Christians need to be added to that list? Just Christians as an organisation have little say in politics in most of the developed world these days. That said, the Pope can still spread sexually transmitted diseases and make sure AIDS continues to kill by telling millions of African and South American Catholics its a sin to wear a condom.


    Stalinist are interesting, because its not true communism, it was pseudo idol worship, a state run religion itself. It's nearly identical to how the Catholic Church worked for most the the last millennium across Europe. It chose Kings, how people were ruled, it ran the courts, it ran the taxes, it waged the wars and it was all utterly undemocratic. The only difference is that the entry level to Stalins USSR, was actually a democratic process...as long as you were a party member.

    Rather ironic given where Stalin when to school.

  16. #16
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    You are right, but you are way smarter than the average member of the population. And that is where the problem lies: the people who can easily conflate opinion with fact.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mondo View Post
    That said, the Pope can still spread sexually transmitted diseases and make sure AIDS continues to kill by telling millions of African and South American Catholics its a sin to wear a condom.
    That is kind of out of context since the preachings also stress abstinence until marriage at which point a condom shouldn't have to be worn so all he is possibly doing is spreading over-population, assuming all the Catholics out there are good Catholics. There are plenty of other religions that have issues and do worse than the Catholic Church.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Quote Originally Posted by TKDLady View Post
    There are plenty of other religions that have issues and do worse than the Catholic Church.
    I understand where you are coming from but as the richest and most powerful church on the planet, doing "less worse" than other churches is still falling far short of being a responsible, shining example for people.

  19. #19
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Quote Originally Posted by TKDLady View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mondo View Post
    That said, the Pope can still spread sexually transmitted diseases and make sure AIDS continues to kill by telling millions of African and South American Catholics its a sin to wear a condom.
    That is kind of out of context since the preachings also stress abstinence until marriage at which point a condom shouldn't have to be worn so all he is possibly doing is spreading over-population, assuming all the Catholics out there are good Catholics. There are plenty of other religions that have issues and do worse than the Catholic Church.
    Doesn't mean its right though does it?

    Many people claim to follow a religion but break daily with what they're supposed to do or not do.

    People will be Catholic and will not always abstain before marriage. Even if they do marry, it still doesn't stop the spread of disease if they have it already from a previous encounter, not to mention children born with AIDs or rape victims who go onto have sexual relationships. The Vatican also falsely claimed that condoms didn't work against AIDs anyway.

    Sure every religion has some sort of downside or what we might interpret as negative but just because one does, doesn't mean others can get away with it or we shouldn't try to change it.


    BTW My problem here isn't with someone being a Catholic, its the organised side of it. If there is a God, and he's the all loving nice guy he's painted out to be, I think he'd look down very badly upon many Churches and people who work for them.

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    I am not praising the church in anyway, or any church for that matter. I don't follow the church much anymore and I was raised Catholic, but it still bothers me that when bad things religious-whys are brought up it is the first and usually only one that gets bashed. They ALL have issues and in my opinion ALL do some form of brainwashing, ALL are some form of a cult. The Pope isn't spreading AIDS and deceases, people are, whether they follow his or any religious leaders preaching or not.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Quote Originally Posted by TKDLady View Post
    I am not praising the church in anyway, or any church for that matter. I don't follow the church much anymore and I was raised Catholic, but it still bothers me that when bad things religious-whys are brought up it is the first and usually only one that gets bashed. They ALL have issues and in my opinion ALL do some form of brainwashing, ALL are some form of a cult. The Pope isn't spreading AIDS and deceases, people are, whether they follow his or any religious leaders preaching or not.
    Well I can certainly agree that people are the problem..or human nature.

    I think the Catholic Church gets a bashing right now because it has put itself in hot water with all the child molestation accusations and its conflicting outlook with a more liberal (liberal as in can talk about stuff without being locked up, stoned, burnt etc) thinking west.

    But I really have a problem with Hinduism or more precisely the caste system. At least in the Catholic system there are only two classes and only in the eyes of the Church. In the Hindu caste system, you're in that caste for life and if you're the lowest caste, you'll never amount to anything because society will not allow you to. That is just immoral.

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    I really don't know what to believe in anymore. There are so many hypocrites out there. I guess I will just continue to be a good person and see what happens.
    The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office. (Robert Frost)

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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Quote Originally Posted by TKDLady View Post
    I guess I will just continue to be a good person and see what happens.
    That is always a healthy attitude, no matter what religion you are. Wish people / politicians / religious figures were not so zealous in prescribing to others how to live.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  24. #24
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    Some would go so far as to argue that good and evil are religious ideas. My current view is to just go through life treating others how you would like to be treated. I want to go beyond expectations and surprise people with acts of generosity, that is when/where I feel the greatest contribution and satisfaction.

  25. #25
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    Re: Agnostic, Atheist, or Baptist?

    I'd like to say I've finally made peace with my lack of religion, but being as I'm still not able to admit to family that I don't believe in a god, I guess I'm still in the closet about my spiritual beliefs.

    When it's just me, or maybe talking with a like minded friend, I know it's okay to think how I think about a higher power not existing. That changes when I'm around my bible beating, isle running, holy ghost getting family. Not that I go to church and participate in their cult, but I just don't speak up when they say something utterly ridiculous and completely bible based.

    I think that religion is a means of controlling the population. Don't drink, don't have premarital sex, don't curse, and don't even think thoughts about bad things because all of these will send you to a blazing inferno for eternity. Really? Um, nope.
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