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  • #31
    Originally posted by cruncan View Post
    I highly recommend the Unitarian Universalist Church for someone who would like the community aspect of religion but without the dogma. This may be what your gf needs. Ask.
    I live in Alabama and I bet there aren't any of those around here LOL If you know where I'm coming from. I am intrigued by this church though. Interesting. Thanks Paleo bird!
    This will help you locate one in your area. UUA: Find a Congregation I'm not sure where Livingston is but there are several in Alabama. You can do a search by zip code.

    There are people at the UU churches who are christians, atheist, jews, buddhists, muslims, humanists, wiccans and whatever else. Everybody gets along and works together. Those who are Christian tend to be more like Knifegill, open to and understanding of science while not having any conflict between that and their spiritual beliefs because they are not believing in fairy tales on a literal basis. There is no one set of "thou shalt believe this" dogma or else get out in a UU congregation.

    I think you might fit in really well there. Perhaps it might even be a common ground that you and the gf could both agree on. Enough of a "church" for her but open minded enough for you.
    Last edited by Paleobird; 11-28-2012, 10:25 PM.

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    • #32
      I'm not Christian (or religious) but I believe I have high moral standards, many of which are aligned with the teaching of the church. I don't think being a good person and being Christian (or any other religion!) are mutually exclusive.

      Honestly, your girlfriend's reasoning behind not wanting to marry you sounds like an excuse to me... If she didn't care before, it makes no sense that she cares so much now!

      I actually find a lot of Christians far less moral in their behaviour than many non-Christians, so to me, being Christian or religious or not means very little about the core of a person!

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      • #33
        I was born in a non-Christian country and religion has never been particularly significant in my culture. I still don't have much use for it now. I try to be a good person in life, if there is life after death or some kind of judgment I won't be too stressed about where I'm headed.
        F 28/5'4/100 lbs

        "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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        • #34
          I think this is relevant to the no faith/UU discussion:

          Can an Atheist Be a Unitarian Universalist? (Part 1) | Daylight Atheism | Big Think

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          • #35
            Originally posted by mark h View Post
            I'm an atheist. I also like the Buddhist philosophy.
            Same here. Parents tried a little baptist on me but I would have none of it from about age 8. Don't believe in magic...make that don't have faith in the supernatural. Wife is a non practicing catholic and shudders when I proclaim I am an atheist in mixed company. When I was a young pup I searched long and wide for enlightened truth only to find out no one knew the answer.

            As Bob Dylan sang in one of his tunes: If god's a coming he shoulda been here by now?
            Primal/Paleo is not for everyone, it's for those who have committed to understand.
            READ THE BOOK! ...as Robb Wolf says: "Trying to convince people to save their own ass will burn you out."

            Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for -- the pure enjoyment of food. Anthony Bourdain

            and yes, calories DO count my little piggies

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            • #36
              Him, that was interesting reading. I'm surprised that a self proclaimed atheist (the author of the link) goes to a house of worship. I'm surprised that he is then surprised that any religion demonizes atheists.

              Religion is pretty much about control. Be good (each religion has its definition of good) or you burn for eternity is a pretty good weapon if you can get people to believe it. Trouble with atheists is that we don't. If I live a moral life, it is because I have chosen to do so with no thought of after life reward. If I live an amoral life, I don't fear after life punishment. It's pretty hard to control people like that, and those that need to control others have to create myths about the uncontrollable folks that serve their own purposes.

              It's hateful stuff like that that pushes non-judgemental believers out of organized religion.

              Anyway, no houses of worship for me, which is why I thought the little quiz was funny. When I see beauty, I feel joy. When I see ugliness, I feel pain. I neither praise nor question a god as to why either exists. And I don't understand why any atheist would look for a place of worship, when for the most part, believing in a god isn't destructive, but the politics diguised as the word of God and the us-against-them components of organized religion often are.
              Last edited by JoanieL; 11-29-2012, 07:06 AM.
              "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

              B*tch-lite

              Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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              • #37
                I was raised Episcopalian/ Roman Catholic. I started asking questions and not getting answers I could swallow in my early teens. I bowed out of the church not long after my confirmation. I have since studied many religions in an attempt to find one that meshes with what I do believe. The closest I have found are paganism (some of humanity's older faiths especially) and Buddhism.
                I still respect the faith of those who believe in an organized religion, even if I do not agree with it. I went through a harsh atheist phase in college, looking down my nose at those who "had religion" (I equated that with having some egregious disease.) After meeting good people who so happened to be religious and jerkwad atheists, my stance has evolved. Different strokes for different folks.
                I would note that, while folks can make multifaith relationships and marriages work, that requires both partners to be open minded enough to accept someone not of their flock to be a mate. Many faiths actively discourage interfaith dating, or outright ban interfaith marriages. Many more have tenets of belief/ life structure disagreeable to the unwashed heathen. It takes work to make it work, which is why many simply say no. In my time as a harsh atheist, I tried dating a fundamentalist Southern Baptist (trust me, that relationship was a study in opposites in more ways than that.) We spent more time trying to convert one another than loving each other. It takes acceptance from both ends to make it work.
                I have shied away from houses of worship since my early teens. I have been in twice once since then (a wedding and a memorial service.) Each time, I could feel the sacred space and holy energy, and also knew the deities called to sanctify that space were not my own. I love the look, especially the older Catholic and Episcopalian churches. I feel like a blasphemer and that I disrespect their space by bringing a separate faith in. It is more out of respect to those who worship there that I stay out. Kind of like a master chef not barging into the kitchen at a restaurant.
                Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
                My Latest Journal

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                  Him, that was interesting reading. I'm surprised that a self proclaimed atheist (the author of the link) goes to a house of worship. I'm surprised that he is then surprised that any religion demonizes atheists.
                  I see two sides to it... I think a lot of atheists, especially those raised in church-going families, end up missing the social and perhaps ceremonial aspects of church. They want a place to go and talk and in general be among like-minded folk, they just don't want it dripping with god/christ references. My parents, especially my mother, were probably like that. Both raised in families that went to church because they had to (if you are a school administrator, school teacher, etc., in some parts of the US, you WILL go to church...or at least that was true in the 1940s thru '60s) and when my parents found themselves far removed from family and friends (they moved from the midwest to Washington DC, 1000+ miles from their social groups, just before getting married), UU was an easy social fit. So they hung out at a UU church, got married by a UU minister in that church, and in general thought positively about the UU church even though they had no religion to speak of.

                  I grew up as completely outside the church experience as is possible in the US. The first time I visited a church was when my school did a field trip to an old Spanish Mission in SoCal, which happens to include an active church. After that it was only passing contact. In the last 20 years I have been inside a church once, attending a wedding. Heathen borne and raised...but my mother has suggested I find a UU church and participate (probably mostly because I'm 37 and single). I bet there is a fair amount of that floating around...UU is a place that will let an atheist participate openly, vs. a lot of religions where you'd damned well better keep those sorts of views to yourself.

                  Nowadays there are a growing number of secular churches trying to address just that need. Around here there is the North Texas Church of Freethought, for example, which is styled as a church but is specifically by and for atheists. It is there because people feel a gap I guess, and the only name they have for that gap is, "church."

                  On the flip side, well, you said it and I agree 100%.

                  For myself... I can't stomach most of the fantasy aspects of religion. I looked at Buddhism, for example, but most forms are pretty aggressively "you must believe" about some pretty absurd notions. So I'm just not anything, and I'm OK with that.
                  Last edited by Him; 11-29-2012, 08:18 AM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                    I believe in Jesus, but I DON'T watch Fox News or vote republican. I believe in the Jesus who shared wealth and healed the hurting - you know, the one in the Bible! The modern church makes me ashamed of the Gospel.
                    ...
                    Anyway, GO SCIENCE! And GO JESUS! And everywhere they intersect, I'm glad.
                    Woo! Chiming in to agree. That being said, most of my friends are agnostic or atheist or just don't care enough to even think about it. I couldn't be in a relationship with them, but we're still close friends.
                    carl's cave

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                    • #40
                      I am an athiest and I am not afraid to tell people that, although the area I live in is very Christian and mostly Mormon/Catholic. I am a social worker and I see the lowest of the lows every day. I have also had problems with relationships who felt, if we were to have children, there would be too many issues because they were Christians. My philosophy is to treat others as you would like to be treated, don't sweat the small stuff, and don't let others control the way you feel. I don't know anyone personally who is Primal and I would love to meet others like myself also.

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                      • #41
                        I'm always fascinated by threads like this, coming from the province of Quebec (Canada). I know I wouldn't date a religious girl, simply because our ways of seeing life would be too different anyway, but it's never been a problem since... I have almost no religious friends, and those who are are the minority, and no one my age I know is religious. Creationists don't exist here, and the only religious people left are either immigrants, or old people who have been brainwashed in their youth back when the church still had power over people's lives. It might be because I live in a city with a huge university in it, and most people I know are educated, but religion just isn't an issue here anymore. Churches are being turned into useful places like indoor climbing centers or living spaces, and in about 20 years there won't be any priests left because there is no succession.

                        Before reading message boards like this one, I never thought a sane educated adult could not ''believe'' in evolution, or finding an atheist to date would be a challenge, it's always a shock.

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                        • #42
                          A big part of it is how sheltered a person is. From what I can tell Quebec (as an arbitrary example) boasts a 0.06% atheist population, vs 93.5% who are Abrahamic (muslims, christians, ba'hai... all those monotheistic religions that share the god of Abraham even if they claim it's a different god). That 0.06% is certainly low (just as homosexuality is usually undercounted due to closeting) but even so, even if you count the 5.8% who acknowledge they have no religion but resist the label 'atheist', it's not a huge pool... but it is completely possible for a person to live entirely within that pool, especially if their contact with people outside the sphere is superficial. Step just 1 meter to the left and everyone you encounter will be Abrahamic even though you've hardly moved at all.

                          In the US, there is a far more robust competition between churches. They are constantly evolving to attract new members. That's the irony of thinking that religious folk don't believe in evolution...the reason US churches are so aggressive is because of evolution.

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                          • #43
                            Catholic here (with leanings toward the Catholic mystics. I love sitting alone in old churches to meditate and collect my thoughts)

                            When is comes to marriage and raising kids it's going to be a lot better if you and your spouse share the same religious values. For example, if she's Catholic the expectation is she will want to raise her kids Catholic. Are you willing to let her have that much control over your kids? Marriage isn't just about the two of you unless you plan on not have any children.

                            Based upon what I've read in this thread I want to clear up a few things. Since I am Catholic, went to Catholic school, and was taught by a priest with a master degree in philosophy that's going to influence the following.

                            Urban Mythology: "The Catholic Church has a history of being anti-science." Not truth. It's urban legend that was largely put forth by Andrew Dixon White in 1896 Wiki Andrew Dickson White - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                            "White's conflict thesis has, however, been discredited by contemporary historians of science.[34][35][36] The warfare depiction nevertheless remains a popular view among the general public.[37]"

                            From the Guardian: Science and religion: a history of conflict? | James Hannam | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

                            This series of video lectures is going to come across as bias but Thomas E Woods is noted PhD historian (Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Woods): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5siHd1P5zk

                            This could have been written yesterday about Genesis creationism instead of circa 400AD Saint Augustine on Science and Scripture

                            PBS: Big bang theory is introduced 1927 A Science Odyssey: People and Discoveries: Big bang theory is introduced

                            Slide the bar to 40 minutes for the beginning of atheistic arguments: BBC Did Darwin Kill God? BBC Did Darwin Kill God? 2009 - YouTube

                            Enough of the religious apologetic stuff.

                            Moral philosophy: I've seen a number of posts on this thread by atheists speak of morality....as if... there is such a thing as a Universal Moral Code/Truth....a moral order. Sorry, in a Richard Dawkins' metaphysical-materialistic reality moral codes are nothing more (or less) than a given culture's set of shared values. AKA Cultural Relativism. In that reality there is no room...at all...for a theory about Universal Human Rights (Philosophy of human rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). In metaethics morality is either Realism (Moral Realism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)) or Antirealism (Moral Anti-Realism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)). What I consistently hear are atheists making moral statements as if there were such a thing as a transcendent moral reality (contrary to materialism). Materialism's anti-moral realism doesn't simply apply to moral actions being relative, it also applies to moral entities. There is no scientific definition for person. Since person hood is a moral description, what/who is or isn't a person becomes arbitrary. If morals are only normative, and subject to arbitrary change as a culture's values change then it follows that the definition of what is a person entitled to whatever rights, is also arbitrary.

                            Arguing that someone's rights are being violated in, say, Afghanistan might be true relative to your cultural values but it doesn't follow that it's a violation of some implied universal moral code (a human right) or that it's immoral within the Afghan culture. For Cultural Relativism, what makes one culture's moral values more correct than another culture's values? Nothing. In a materialistic worldview there is no such thing as a better/superior morality, a more correct/worse morality.....or more moral. 10 Reasons Atheists Are More Moral Than Religious Fundamentalists de-conversion In a materialistic philosophy what is good and evil, right and wrong, and who gets defined as a person are arbitrary.

                            From Infidel.org: Philosophical Materialism
                            "[14] An evolutionary account of the origin of moral judgment in human beings does not tell us what (if anything) makes a specific action moral. On a materialist view, all codes of conduct must ultimately be man-made or socially constructed; there are no objective moral laws existing independently of sentient beings in the way that laws of nature do. Thus there are no objective criteria for determining if human actions are right or wrong. The objectivity of laws of nature is clear--our approximations to them (laws of physics) are publicly falsifiable and can be corroborated by empirical evidence. Moreover, unlike natural laws, moral laws can be violated. But if what we call moral laws are really man-made inventions, our ethical rules are arbitrary and thus individuals are not obligated to follow them. Nothing makes an action objectively moral or immoral; individual and social codes vary because ethics, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But then there are no compelling grounds for arguing that Aztec human sacrifice, Nazi or Serbian genocide, or infanticide is really wrong [or to profess that someone's human rights are being violated]. Core ethical rules are no doubt determined by intersubjective consensus across cultures--for example, incest and murder are universally prohibited [within the given culture]. But such consensus does not demonstrate the objectivity of ethics; it merely demonstrates that human beings or societies are largely 'built' the same way and react similarly to certain types of behavior. Suppose we have inherited an aversion to committing murder. That such a genetic disposition would be widespread makes evolutionary sense. A known murderer's neighbors will fear that the murderer might kill them. Out of mutual self-interest they would be wise to band together and eliminate the murderer before he could eliminate them. Since murderers would tend to be eliminated before they could reproduce, individuals with a genetic inclination to commit murder would tend to dwindle. But this is merely an accident of natural selection, and trying to base morality on the fact that adhering to certain ethical norms will make you more "fit" to stay alive and reproduce is insufficient. The origin of behavior is irrelevant to whether a behavior is right or wrong; what makes an individual evolutionarily 'fit' (e.g. infidelity) is not necessarily moral. There will no doubt still be some individuals who are genetically inclined to commit murder; but we do not conclude that the are exempt from moral prohibitions on murder because of this. Furthermore, the fitness of certain evolutionary traits changes when the environment changes. Would murder suddenly become morally acceptable--even obligatory--if it provided us a selective advantage? On a materialist account, the only foundations for behavioral codes are preserving self-interest and satisfying one's conscience--there are no additional 'moral facts' which motivate behavior." And to add to this quote: Nothing objectively makes you a person, either.
                            Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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                            • #44
                              Was raised Baptist, now just another unwashed heathen....and proud of it.
                              Randal
                              AKA: Texas Grok

                              Originally posted by texas.grok
                              Facebook is to intelligence what a black hole is to light
                              http://hardcoremind.com/

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                              • #45
                                Scott F.... what's your point?

                                The Catholic Church has a love/hate relationship with science for a long time. Yeah, I know all the "dual spheres" talk, and I know they run some cool observatories and the like... but does the word "heliocentric" ring a bell??? You may wish to brush that away as ancient history, but it's YOUR history. Still, the Catholic church is today one of the more pro-science religious organizations around. That should sound some major alarm bells.

                                As for moral philosophy, it comes down to this: Of course. Of course we're dealing in relative terms. Of course we're seeing the world from a 21st century, 1st world, human, primate, mammal, animal, earth-based, life perspective. Of course we would see things differently from a different perspective. All of us. That's the truth you don't want to admit: so are you. Your "objective" is only objective to you because you believe something you cannot prove. In other words, it isn't. We're both in the same muddle, the only difference is that I acknowledge the problem and deal with it openly, whereas most religious people take refuge in Authority.

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