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Category Archives: Atheism

Straight Christians for Gay Rights?

This weeks post is brought to you via our newest GodDam blogger.  Check back soon to hear more from Arayl and feel free to comment with your questions.

             Recently I had an interesting discussion about a new popular Sunday School curriculum known as “The Truth Project.” One of the sections in the curriculum deals with politics and poses the question, “Would you rather have a Mormon or an Atheist as the President?” Because the topic this week is Atheism I thought that my issue with this question might add to the conversation.

It seems that the question assumes someone’s political views and leadership abilities are strictly based on the religion that they claim. But is this really the case?  Plenty of people that would claim Christianity as their religion might also vote pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and pro-plenty of other more liberal views. Likewise, though we could find many stereotypical atheists who uphold liberal views, we could also find plenty who hold one or two conservative views.

Aside from the differences in political views within religious sects, there are plenty of people who hold my same religious and political views, who I would never put in office based on their inability to be strong leaders. One example of this is George W. Bush. As much as I can identify with him as a southern-raised-christian-conservative I would never have voted for him because of his inability to speak with confidence and be a strong leader. This standard for voting goes both ways. Though Bill Clinton claimed Christianity and had strong leadership and public speaking skills, his actions disagreed with traditional Christian morals.

I’m not trying to tell people how to vote here but what I am getting at is something much more universal. This basic principle is summarized simply by saying, “Because of the differences within religions, we can not judge people’s moral or political views strictly based on the religion that they claim.”

What I mean by this is that it is absurd to jump to the conclusion that some one is some sort of free-sex, pro-choice, hippy simply because they don’t believe in God. Rather than jumping to these conclusions we should sit down and talk to people about their views. When they say Atheist, what do they actually mean? When we say Christian, what do we mean?

So do you have any non-stereotypical views? Are you a conservative Christian who advocates gay rights or a liberal atheist who dislikes gun control?  Maybe you’re an Evangelical that doesn’t believe in innerancy, or the trinity.  That’s fine, the GodDam Blog was designed to ask those questions and struggle with those answers.  Comment below with your non-stereotyped views. We’d love to talk to you about them.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list over on the right hand side of the page.

-Arayl

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Atheism, Politics, Religion

 

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Know your Lenses

Know your Lenses

So this month we are talking about atheism. A great topic that I’m sure will generate plenty of hits to our blog. I want to write this week on presuppositions or the lenses which each of us views life. These are things that each and every one of us has within our minds which we bring with us as we interpret the external stimuli and ideas we are presented with. A most basic presupposition that we all carry is that gravity exists. In other words we never really have to think that when we get out of bed our feet will be pulled down, we just assume that they will. Of course this is an extremely basic one that has little philosophical weight.
However even more than something like gravity we all carry with us presuppositions about how the world should work and what should make sense. These can, and often are, a detriment to us unless we spend time double checking them. It is absolutely crucial that we as human beings become aware of these presuppositions lest we shut out ideas or individuals for illegitimate reasons.
This is an issue that time and time again gets in the way of two individuals sharing ideas and discussing them intelligently. For instance, I am a Christian and thus one of the major presuppositions I carry with me is that God exists (this of course brings with it a load of other presuppositions). Any discussion on the beginning of the world or about the nature of man is automatically put through the lens of this presupposition. It is not necessarily a bad thing but it is something that would undoubtedly put me at odds with someone who prescribes to a naturalism world view.
Now I do not have the time or the room to sit and unpack every possible presupposition that I or others have, however this is not my intent with this week’s post. Instead I simply want to begin a conversation on the importance of being aware of the self. In being aware of not only our own but also the presuppositions of others is crucial, especially in the area of philosophical and religious discussions. It allows us to be more open and less judgmental of ideas that are not our own. It makes us better defenders of our stances in that we are more readily able to discuss the issues others have with our beliefs. Most importantly it can aid in making discussions more mutually beneficial and help in keeping them from becoming a heated emotional shouting match.
So I urge everyone; Christian, atheist, naturalist, new age, young old, male or female to realize that they carry with them a lens through which they view and interpret everything in this world. It is not necessary to rid the self of these presuppositions but simply being aware of the impact they have on every aspect of our lives is crucial.
-Ender

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Atheism, Philosophy

 

It’s time for a reality check!

Well, it’s time for a new topic.  In case you’re stopping by for the first time, each month we pick a new topic to talk about and one of our four authors starts it off on the first week of the month.  Then each author takes a turn adding to what the previous author started.  Our hope and goal is to eventually have a GodDam Book where we turn our “topics” into chapters.   Last month was our first month trying this out and we really got a great response and some awesome feedback so here goes round two.

In the last month or so, the God Dam blog actually got quite a bit of traffic from a site called exchristian.net.  It was really cool to connect with a community of people who have been involved in the church in the past but are now atheist, agnostic, existentialist etc… It was interesting to hear some of the stories and dialogue with some of the people involved in a community that to be honest acts more like the church is supposed to than the church usually does.

With that in mind, as well as my own fascination with naturalism, I decided to make this month’s topic atheism.  I’ve recently started following a blog called the “friendly atheist” and this weekend they posted a video of Greta Christina (check out her blog here) and her speech titled, “Why Are Atheists So Angry”.  It’s about an hour-long but at least for me, it was worth it.

She begins her talk explaining why so many atheists are angry.  She talks about the oppressed women, and the raped children that religion seems to ignore if not encourage.  She talks about stupidity and close mindedness and hypocrisy but about 28 minutes in she makes an observation that I really thought was interesting.

To start off you must know her definition of religion. She gives it at about 26:40. She says that, “Religion is a belief in supernatural entities or forces that have an effect on the natural world. These entities or forces are invisible, inaudible, intangible and otherwise undetectable by any natural means.”  Now obviously we can debate whether or not this is the best definition for religion but that’s really not the point, so for the sake of the argument just go with it.

She goes on to say that because religion is based on invisible, inaudible, intangible, and otherwise undetectable sources, it has the potential to be very dangerous because there is no reality check.  This is something that I noticed my senior year in Bible College.  I saw professors and classmates who were convinced by scripture of certain things that simply didn’t work in real life.  They were rigid and unflinching and even made the claim that if evidence could be found to disprove them, they would not change because of what was stated in the Bible.

The general consensus is that Theology informs reality.  To me, that is kind of silly.  What if you’ve read the Bible wrong?  It’s happened before, just ask Galileo.

I feel like a more balanced approach is necessary for Christians. The bible is important but if what we see in reality doesn’t match up, we need to take a step back and re-evaluate.  If God is logical, and if he spoke through scripture into a logical world, then the Bible ought to work in reality. If it doesn’t then one of two things is happening.  Either we understand reality incorrectly, or we are reading the Bible wrong.

Christians need to start using the brains that God gave them and they need to add the reality check that seems to be missing in theology.

~James

P.S. Please leave feedback below, subscribe via email, or rss feed to the right, and come back next week for more on this same topic.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Atheism, Philosophy

 

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