I'm an atheist and need (short) words of comfort for my grief. Bulleted list, haiku, your own account in 100 words or less, real articles, books. I have Frankl. [more inside]
I'm an atheist. I don't wear this fact on my sleeve. Most of the time, I actively avoid religion as a conversational topic. There are some conversations, however, where you can't duck the topic, because you're providing support to someone who has experienced a personal tragedy, such as the death of a loved one, and in the course of that conversation, they will invoke their religious beliefs. The question I am posing is: how can I provide emotional support and maintain proper boundaries while respecting their beliefs and my own as well?
To those who converted into a religion or identify as a "born again" Christian (going from no faith/not sure -> faith) what was that journey like? [more inside]
A very close friend (American) is marrying someone from another culture (Iranian), and they currently both live and work in another country (Singapore). They love to travel and neither of them are religious (in fact, both are atheists.) I'm helping them design a wedding ceremony and am looking for a non-religious poem or reading that compares love to the experience of travel and/or encountering new cultures. I've searching online fruitlessly. The couple seems not to like Rumi-style romantic poems, so something more wry/modern would be great. Thank you MeFi!
Are there any words for belief/nonbelief in an afterlife? If not, could you help me make some up? [more inside]
I'm an atheist trying to take the question of secular morality in society seriously. In debates about whether a secular society is better than a religious one, theists often allude to Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc -- the mass murders of the 20th century who were motivated by secular beliefs. Are theists right that atheists killed more people in the 20th century than religious leaders did? What notable examples of this exist, besides the three mentioned above? [more inside]
How does one engage respectfully with a combative atheist who tries to convince you that most major religions are inherently anti-humanist / anti- enlightenment? I am an atheist myself, but I respect people who are religious. [more inside]
I have a gig coming up where I will be spending a LOT of time with very, VERY religious Christians. I have been warned they may try to evangelize to me during this gig, and to politely keep my mouth closed. I assume that's the best advice; however, I was hoping to open this question up to believers and non-believers: If I am cornered into a conversation were it's impolite to not reply at all, what is the most polite way to get someone who's evangelizing to you to stop? Without saying things like "I'm an atheist" or "You're barking up the wrong tree, sorry". Ideally I'd find a careful, diplomatic way to respond without directly putting anyone off, as I have to build a relationship with these people as part of my job. The best response I can think of is "I'm actually very private with my religious beliefs, and don't tend to discuss them with people outside my family and close circle". Any additional suggestions and ideas are very welcome. Thank you!
My fiance and I are both atheists with strong antitheist views. We're getting married in November and want something that represents us. His family, however, is extremely religious (Baptist) and will have certain expectations of us; they don't easily take no for an answer. What is the best way to balance the two worlds? [more inside]
I'm paraphrasing, obviously, but I recently encountered the Thoughts of a Prominent Thinker who's belief in the existence of god is based, somewhat backwardsly, on the sheer ridiculousness? improbability? unlikelihood? of god's existence. I can't for the life of me track down the specific memory attached to this idea, and google only gives me a bunch of websites arguing about how to prove god does or does not exist. Help me out, friends!
I've been basically a lifelong atheist, but a small part of me is extremely tempted by some of the more comforting aspects of various religions (such as the idea of an afterlife). But the logical part of me just can't bring myself to seriously believe in things for which there is no evidence. I am interested in hearing stories of people who have gone from being firmly atheist to accepting religion later in life, and how they were able to do so without cognitive dissonance. [more inside]
My kindergartener's class has started learning the Pledge of Allegiance. I told him he could stay silent during the "under God" part. Am I being too strident? Would there have been a better way to handle this? [more inside]
I've been an atheist for most of my life. I've never been to a formal church service outside of a wedding or a funeral. Recently I've realized that I politically agree with the leftist interpretation of the teachings of Christ. I still don't believe in the supernatural aspects of the Christian faith. Would it be wrong for me to seek out a left leaning sect like Unitarians? I'm worried that this is, at the very least, intellectually dishonest to my own beliefs, and more likely, selfish for the church I'd pursue. I'm looking for guidance on how to proceed. I apologize if I've offended the faithful with a misunderstanding of their beliefs. Part of my desire for this is that of community and connection with fellow left leaning folks.
Could some MeFites recommend music that might be considered praise hymns for atheists, freethinkers, etc.; that is, emotive songs with recognizable, traditional melodies and lyrics that can be sung in a group setting? Die Gedanken sind frei, It Ain't Necessarily So, and certainly John Lennon's Imagine are a few examples of what I'm trying to get at. Thoughts?
[This post contains somewhat graphic descriptions of our intimate experiences and sexual topics generally, so if you are sensitive or perhaps at work it is good to know that.] I am in my early 30s and my new boyfriend is in his mid 20s. I am the first woman he has ever dated, the third he has ever kissed and if we progress in the relationship I will be the first he has ever had sex with. He is a phenomenal human being and I can hardly believe how lucky I am to know him let alone get the chance to have a relationship with him. I am worried about a few things, however and want to weigh them carefully before proceeding any further. [more inside]
I am a scientifically-minded person who is trying to sort out my religious beliefs. I think it would be helpful to read some debates between deism, atheism, pantheism (Spinozism), and/or a scientifically-grounded theism. Can anyone recommend me books or essays that discuss these topics in ways that are engaging, well-thought-out, and thorough? [more inside]
Where can I find the George Carlin quote, "Before every football game, both teams pray they'll win. One team always loses." [more inside]
How do atheist or otherwise non-religious parents teach their kids about the Abrahamic mythology? [more inside]
What one book should an atheist recommend to a fundamentalist that will open their mind to atheism but is not focused on the debate about whether god exists? [more inside]
If you think human rationality, and efforts to ‘predict and control’ are, together, shaky ground for ethics, what’s left? [more inside]
Converting a 10 year old Christian to atheism through books. [more inside]
How and why does meditation work? How does one do it properly (that is, in the way in which one may extract the most benefits)? [more inside]
I'm on the brink of proposing to my Catholic, Indian-American girlfriend. However, I come from a long line of athiests/humanists and I am starting to worry about how we will balance our backgrounds in raising our children. [more inside]
What if you don't believe in God anymore? What then? [more inside]
What should I get my sister for her (Roman Catholic) confirmation? Wrinkle: I'm an atheist. [more inside]
Atheist families: how have you talked about death with your small children? [more inside]
Help me identify a participant in a long-form debate on religion, who rebuffed a strict atheist. [more inside]
How prevalent was atheism in ancient civilizations? [more inside]
Conversations with my Father-in-law have lead him to lose his faith in God. My mother-in-law is not coping well with this and blames me. What do I do? [more inside]
IrreligionFilter: When I was around 12 I was baptised and confirmed into the Church of England. I no longer consider myself as theist. What are my options for formally renouncing my religious past (apostatising)? [more inside]
Can an atheist join the Freemasons? [more inside]
My parents are conservative Christians and I were brought up with Christian values. As I grew older, I began to question my faith and after years of searching, I finally discovered that Christianity; like other religions are based on ideas and concepts that are mostly outdated. I am an atheist now and I am happy with that. But the thing is... I have an animosity towards Christianity; I feel that years of my life wasted in believing lies... years that I can not ever claim back. And worse... some of the values taught to me seem to stick like chewed up gum sticking on shoe. I don't know how to get rid of these Christian values I want out. [more inside]
My father unexpectedly passed away last weekend from a heart attack. I am not religious. Part of my family, and most of our community of friends & extended family, are. Help me navigate the religious talk without either going on the defensive, or being complacent. [more inside]
Looking for a paperback with an Alex Grey painting on the cover. Subject is autobiographical, beginning with the author's experience of witnessing his grandfather's senility leading him to conclude that there is no soul. [more inside]
I am looking for one single book, perhaps a college-level read (not much higher), that explains the case for atheism. I'm not looking for any 'new atheist books', though I have enjoyed them -- especially Harris. I have read Bertrand Russell as well. I have a few atheist friends but do not want to talk to them about this as I am a Christian and don't want to give them the impression that I want to change them or judge them. I just want more exposure to it in a sincere and kind fashion without short bumper sticker like explanations. (BTW, I don't look at my friends as "Hey, here come my 'atheist' friends! But mainly here comes "Bob" and "Joe". I just don't think it is right to bug them about their positions or lack thereof. <--Not sure how to state that.) Thanks in advance for your book recommendation.
How can I help my wife deal with the death of a loved one? I am an atheist and I find it hard. [more inside]
As a converted atheist raised in a converted neo-calvinist family. I am regularly flooded with books, newsletters, and other reading material (read emails that are 90% quotes) supporting christianity. I'd like to return the favor (: [more inside]
I have just recently realized I don't believe in god. It's difficult because my father was a Presbyterian minister. [more inside]
Are there any organizations, non-profits, etc. that support or encourage building relationships and positive dialogue between atheists/agnostics and various religious groups? Like interfaith organizations, but including the faithless.
I am very deeply in love with and married to a man who has substance abuse problems - particularly alchohol and cigarettes. I am not interested in leaving him. My powerlessness to help him causes me pain, and my misguided attempts to "fix" him are painful for him. Watching him destroy himself is destroying me, and is making me less loving a partner than he deserves. I've looked into Al-anon but, being passionately atheist and unable to reconcile myself with its higher power BS, I have not been to any meetings. Please help me find alternatives. [more inside]
Atheist and (closet) atheist couple. Parents want a catholic wedding and lots more hassle from us. [more inside]
After several years of soul searching, I have decided that at best, I'm agnostic, and am borderline atheist. The main reason can be traced to too much skepticism and rational thinking - I simply don't believe that a supernatural god can bend the rules of nature. We as a society are getting too advanced for religion, and science is starting to explain a lot of what we chalked up to a divine being. [more inside]
Is it possible for a rather hardcore atheist to find some sort of spirituality again? Long, but I attempted to keep it concise. [more inside]
Atheist/secular filter: How do non-religious people deal with good fortune and lucky breaks? I'm having trouble replacing the whole "God is looking out for me" concept of my youth with something more in line with my current belief system. [more inside]
What are some good resources on Buddhism for someone who wants to remain attached to Western scientific rationalism? [more inside]
AlcoholismFilter: Members of AA who “take what you want, and leave the rest”. How exactly do you DO this? What do you “take”, and what do you ignore? How can I benefit from the mutual support and encouragement of an AA group, and help others and myself, while there are many things about AA I disagree with? (Non-AA groups not available in my area). [more inside]
I’d like advice on how to either leave my church as gracefully as possible, or find a way to reconcile my lack of faith with my continued church membership.
I’d like advice on how to either leave my church as gracefully as possible, or find a way to reconcile my lack of faith with my continued church membership. [more inside]
Letting go of God: Help me deal with my atheism and the five stages of grief. I'm in the fourth stage now.
Please give advice on how to accept my atheism, let go of God and the need for one, how to get over the fourth stage of grief/letting go (depression), and how to find my passion for life again! [more inside]
As an atheist, what sort of activities or practices (that don't involve New Age wankery) can I get into to increase my spiritual welfare?
I need help tracking down a Kurt Vonnegut quote which says roughly that Unitarianism is 'atheism with hymns.' [more inside]
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