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Old October 9 2012, 10:16 PM   #1
RAMA
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Great news, number of "Godless" increases

http://atheists.org/american-atheist...eligion-report

I'd seen the number of theists decrease from 91% to 89% in the last decade or so, so this latest report is really quite a leap. Of course a lot of progress is still to be made!

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Old October 9 2012, 10:26 PM   #2
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

Is being atheist a bad thing? The last I checked, it just meant that they didn't believe in any sort of g-d.
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Old October 9 2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

What an odd and offensive way of presenting this information.
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Old October 9 2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

This is both good news and bad news. It's good news because an atheistic society would be more rational and more progressive, with fewer ancient prejudices hindering the Arts and Sciences (not to mention civil rights). It's bad news because most of this decrease in the theistic demographic will be at the expense of the more benign individuals, leaving more extremists with less moderating influences-- indeed, as the total percentage of theists in society decreases, extremists will grow more extreme in response.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:04 PM   #5
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

Umm, gratz to the OP on insulting every religious person on the board? Religion in and of itself isn't a bad thing. Neither is being atheist in and of itself a good thing. If we're talking purely about fundamentalism I might agree, but simply following a religion or believing in a god doesn't make a person any less progressive or more bigoted.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

RAMA wrote: View Post
http://atheists.org/american-atheist...eligion-report

I'd seen the number of theists decrease from 91% to 89% in the last decade or so, so this latest report is really quite a leap. Of course a lot of progress is still to be made!
Had you simply presented that information as an increase in the number of atheists, there wouldn't be an issue (well, there might be, but there shouldn't). However, by equating the decline of people with religious belief in America with "progress," you insult people with those beliefs. They both convey the same information, but one frames it from a positive outlook and the other from a negative outlook. Regardless of what one believes, with a sensitive subject like religious belief or the lack thereof, it's best not to make waves in the OP if you want to have a reasonable discussion. Thanks.

Now, with that out of the way, I would appreciate it if people would try and discuss the information from a factual perspective instead of being offended by the wording of the OP.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

Hooray for more of us "godless" heathens! (kidding) Actually, I think it's just that we're seeing more people in America being able to admit being agnostic or atheist without as much fear of being labeled "evil" or "immoral."

You have no idea how often people have told me I'm soulless or "too logical" (like that's a bad thing?) or that I should never EVER publicly admit to being an atheist. When we were trying to adopt, one of our social workers actually gasped in horror when we said we didn't believe in any god; I have had friends tell me that it's hard for them to friends with someone who is "damned" and neighbors who physically backed away when we told them we're atheists and therefore had no interest in church.

It's very hard and probably very bad for one's social standing, especially in Texas, to admit that you're an atheist.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:19 PM   #8
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

^I'm sorry to hear you've gotten such reactions, especially when adopting, which is a fantastic (and I imagine painstaking) thing to do.

Also interesting how the original article paints the shift more as a "coming out" than a conversion. Like auntiehill says, it seems like quite a difficult thing to do in some (most?) parts of the States, and implies greater numbers than are reported even in that article.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:34 PM   #9
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

I'd have to go with pumpkin's sentiment. The tone of the OP is hostile intentional or not. By saying there is a loot of progress still to be made. Implies that you want to impose your beliefs (that there is no God or Gods) on others. Which is just as bad as those that have a religious belief trying to impose their belief on you.

Most religions teach tolerance and respect of others no matter their beliefs. Unfortunantly the extremists found in many religions give religion as a whole a bad name.

In the example auntihill cited above, why should religion even matter when it comes to adoption, surely it is more important to find loving/caring homes for children that need adopting. Atheist/Agnostics/RReligious people can all be loving/caring.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:48 PM   #10
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

I'm more or less in the closet in terms of being an atheist. My immediate family shares my (lack of) belief, as does my maternal grandfather. Other than that, a few close friends know. I specifically avoid ever talking about it at work because some religious parent would hear and demand that I be fired for being 'a poor role model' or somesuch. I have no doubt that the school would go along with the parent's demands, too - they've fired women for getting pregnant out of wedlock, apparently.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:50 PM   #11
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

antichristhill wrote: View Post
. . . Actually, I think it's just that we're seeing more people in America being able to admit being agnostic or atheist without as much fear of being labeled "evil" or "immoral."
^^ This. No doubt there are many "closet" atheists and agnostics. Maybe in a few more years, atheists will be the new gays!
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Old October 9 2012, 11:51 PM   #12
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

I'll also echo The Mediocre Pumpkin, and add my own two cents.

It's unbecoming to be concerned with what people's religious beliefs are, if they are leaving others alone, especially when atheists just want to be free to be atheists themselves. The religion clauses of the First Amendment are meaningless if the existence of religious people who aren't interested in imposing their beliefs on others cannot be tolerated. The only problem that atheists should have from religious people should also be the only problem that people from other religions should have, which is when they try to impose their religion on others. As long as religious people respect the wishes of others not to join, for whatever reason, and atheists respect the wishes of theists to hold onto their beliefs, theists and atheists of various persuasions should—I think—be able to get along.

Therefore, counting the number of theists isn't really the best measure of progress. Better would be to measure how tolerant the various groups are of each other, for example in terms of legislative agenda. For example, a decrease in legislation deriving from religious fundamentalism and a rolling back of such laws already on the books would be a definite and welcome sign of progress. The idea that social problems will be solved by everyone going atheist is a pipe dream, one reason, not the least of which, being that that will never come close to happening anytime this century.

A great deal of scientific progress has been made by theists. Sir Isaac Newton is quite possibly the greatest scientific mind in human history, but he was certainly a theist. Although I'm an open agnostic, and therefore atheistic, I recognize that a lot of people are just simply happier in their religion. Atheism isn't for everyone, and I won't be going along with any program to stamp out any and all religion, especially so long as it stays out of the secular halls of society that should be open to and work for everybody regardless of their religious persuasion, or lack thereof.
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Old October 9 2012, 11:52 PM   #13
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

mimic wrote: View Post
I'm more or less in the closet in terms of being an atheist. My immediate family shares my (lack of) belief, as does my maternal grandfather. Other than that, a few close friends know. I specifically avoid ever talking about it at work because some religious parent would hear and demand that I be fired for being 'a poor role model' or somesuch. I have no doubt that the school would go along with the parent's demands, too - they've fired women for getting pregnant out of wedlock, apparently.
Aside from here, I don't talk about it much, though I'm more along the agnostic line than a straight atheist, though that's a conversation for another time.

Still, around here one doesn't talk about it, as it is a deeply religious area.
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Old October 10 2012, 12:03 AM   #14
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

Conscious Circuits wrote: View Post
theists and atheists of various persuasions should—I think—be able to get along.
Hope springs eternal (pardon the pun ).

As for this thread: 1) I'm VERY surprised it isn't already in TNZ. 2) Meh. Atheists are not a threat to me, so I'm having a hard time figuring out why I should be particuarly pissed.... even at the confrontational tone of the OP.
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Old October 10 2012, 12:22 AM   #15
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Re: Great news, number of "Godless" increases

Conscious Circuits wrote: View Post
A great deal of scientific progress has been made by theists. Sir Isaac Newton is quite possibly the greatest scientific mind in human history, but he was certainly a theist.
I liked your whole post, Conscious Circuits, but this in particular. So many people erroneously think that religion and science are mutually exclusive.
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