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Thread: Perspective from athiests/agnostics

  1. #1

    Perspective from athiests/agnostics

    I would like a different perspective on some matters, particularly the perspective of atheist/agnostics.

    It seems a little strange to hear someone claim they don't believe in god when the term is seldom clearly defined in conversation. So I thought it might be better to ask people, "what/who do you worship?"

    By worship, I don't necessarily mean grovel before something. What I mean is what do you center your life around? What do you sacrifice for? I think it is commonly accepted that everyone worships something, money, sex, power etc. In other words there is something in everyone's life that they are willing to sacrifice great amounts for.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Firstly, I don't really know what I am.
    I suppose agnostic is a good enough term, so I will weigh in.


    So I thought it might be better to ask people, "what/who do you worship?"
    I don't worship anything or anyone in the sense that I pray to something, or think something or someone is looking out for me.

    I think it is commonly accepted that everyone worships something, money, sex, power etc. In other words there is something in everyone's life that they are willing to sacrifice great amounts for.
    I don't agree that everyone worships something. The definitions that I have read all clearly define worship as a religious ritual, or admiration for a deity.
    As far as what I center my life around and what I am willing to sacrifice great amounts for, that one is easy.
    I have a wife and daughter that I would go the ends of the Earth for. I would spend and be spent for them.
    When I was younger I may have included money in that assessment, but the older I get, the more I tend to focus on family over money.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    I agree I don’t know what term fits me.

    I center my life on my family. I don’t derive a higher purpose from philosophical ideas. I enjoy the thought experiment, but I don’t base my morality on abstract thinking.

    I do believe in a higher power but my belief falls well short of identifying with any particular religion.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Arkansas Paul View Post
    Firstly, I don't really know what I am.
    I suppose agnostic is a good enough term, so I will weigh in.




    I don't worship anything or anyone in the sense that I pray to something, or think something or someone is looking out for me.



    I don't agree that everyone worships something. The definitions that I have read all clearly define worship as a religious ritual, or admiration for a deity.
    As far as what I center my life around and what I am willing to sacrifice great amounts for, that one is easy.
    I have a wife and daughter that I would go the ends of the Earth for. I would spend and be spent for them.
    When I was younger I may have included money in that assessment, but the older I get, the more I tend to focus on family over money.
    I guess you did answer the question in the end, however I clearly stated that by "worhip" I did not mean groveling (or religious ritual as you put it). Rather, I had intended that for the purposes of this thread, worship was to mean "center your life around, make great sacrifices for..." And to that end you did answer, and admirably.

    So do you put demands on your family? Do you expect them to serve or follow you? Could you ever make a decision that would cost your entire family?

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    So do you put demands on your family? Do you expect them to serve or follow you?
    My marriage is a partnership.
    My wife works her pretty derriere off every day just like I do (makes more $ than me in fact). While I am not religious, I like the way the Bible speaks of married couples as becoming "one flesh".
    There are no demands, other than loyalty. And that demand is just as much placed on me as it is her. And that isn't even so much a demand as it is just a necessary component of a monogamous relationship. My wife feels the same way.
    I do not expect her or my daughter to serve me. We all serve one another at different times because that's what people who love one another do.
    In my opinion, love does not make demands and demand service. Love is unconditional, or it isn't love at all.

    Could you ever make a decision that would cost your entire family?
    Not intentionally.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    I would like a different perspective on some matters, particularly the perspective of atheist/agnostics.

    It seems a little strange to hear someone claim they don't believe in god when the term is seldom clearly defined in conversation. So I thought it might be better to ask people, "what/who do you worship?"

    By worship, I don't necessarily mean grovel before something. What I mean is what do you center your life around? What do you sacrifice for? I think it is commonly accepted that everyone worships something, money, sex, power etc. In other words there is something in everyone's life that they are willing to sacrifice great amounts for.
    I'll take a crack at this, first I guess I lean more to Agnostic though I don't quite feel that title specifically relates to me. I do not, not believe, so much as I do not know. There is enough information to go either way with this, that I just can't make that jump either way. I do not recoil when asked to pray with someone; I will not admonish anyone for believing the way they do, but I definately do not react well when I'm told I am going to hell (or try to kill me) because I don't believe the way they do. I try and make life choices for the good, you know the whole treat others as you would like to be treated thing. I've studied religion(s), grew up Catholic, but the more I question the more that I move outside the norm of an organized religion.

    I will accept your one time definition of worship; I guess first is family, then our country both of whom I have worked to advance/maintain. My priority was to provide my family with everything they needed and sacrifice as much as I needed to to acomplish that. I also felt I owed this country my service, so I joined the military and with that decision acomplished both. I do not require any reciprocation of my sacrifice, just that they, my family, make use of the opportunities afforded to them when at all possible, our country, well, I am an American no matter what.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
    ~Pericles~

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    As an former atheist, there was no entity I worshiped or even thought about.

    Atheists are rather self sufficient (some self absorbed?) and do not "need" a god to be fulfilled. I valued family and friends.

    BTW, people can live a good and honest life without God (or a god) to answer to. Atheists do so not out of fear of the wrath of God but because of what is right.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

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    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post

    BTW, people can live a good and honest life without God (or a god) to answer to. Atheists do so not out of fear of the wrath of God but because of what is right.
    This is a rather fundamental issue. Morality is distinct from any deity.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I once heard a wise Phd Christian give a slightly amusing definition of Atheist, Agnostic and Christian that's worth repeating.

    * An atheist is a really smart fellow who is certain no one could possibly know more about anything than he so he knows there is no God no matter what you may know.

    * An agnostic is also a really smart fellow but he has no idea of what he doesn't know.

    * A Christian is someone who has personal knowledge of God and really doesn't care what the other two think of him.

    There's a lot of sound knowledge to chew on in that.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy nueces5's Avatar
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    Very much in agreement with Arkansas Paul. I feel identified with your words. And I add: the only thing that generates admiration is when a human being does something for another human being without expecting anything in return. Teresa of Calcutta, for example, worked and dedicated her life to others, with nothing in return for it. That for me is worthy of admiration.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I sacrifice for virtue, the planet and those virtuous people I care about.

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    My own freedom & happiness, which depends on / extends to the well being of a small handful of people.
    WWJMBD?

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  13. #13
    I like Dtknowles answer the best so far.

    If you put family at the center of your life, do you risk becoming a helicopter parent?

    If you put your country at the center of your life, do you risk becoming a nationalist, like the French soldiers under Napolean?

    And if you put the planet at the center of your life do you risk becoming an abortion-supporting overpopulationist? (I liked the part about sacrificing for virtue best)

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    My own freedom & happiness, which depends on / extends to the well being of a small handful of people.
    Your own freedom and happiness is what you put at the center of your life? How is that not the seed of narcissism?

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    Your own freedom and happiness is what you put at the center of your life? How is that not the seed of narcissism?
    Who can honestly say they aren’t selfish creatures at heart. I am o my willing to sacrifice for a small group of people. MY group of people.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    Who can honestly say they aren’t selfish creatures at heart. I am o my willing to sacrifice for a small group of people. MY group of people.
    I suppose, you got a point. Even the sacrifices of the greatest Christian saint are done so that they can be with God (and happy for eternity). Yet, selfish impulses are something to be mastered, you don't let them control your life - thus you don't put them at the center of your life.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    If you put family at the center of your life, do you risk becoming a helicopter parent?

    There is certainly a balancing act in effect, and some people don't do very well with that.
    Just because family is the center of my life, doesn't mean I place unrealistic demands or expectations on them.
    They are the center of my life because they are the thing that I love more than me.
    I want my daughter to be independent. I want her to find her own way.
    I don't want to control every aspect of her life, I want to enjoy watching her grow up and form her own opinions and decide for herself what she believes and what she does with her life.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Jaque Janaviac View Post
    I suppose, you got a point. Even the sacrifices of the greatest Christian saint are done so that they can be with God (and happy for eternity). Yet, selfish impulses are something to be mastered, you don't let them control your life - thus you don't put them at the center of your life.
    You seem to be missing the point. Altruism doesn’t exist, we are all motivated by selfish desires. For some, religion offers relief from life’s stressors.... it’s selfish.

    Selfish is not bad when tempered by morality.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    I once heard a wise Phd Christian give a slightly amusing definition of Atheist, Agnostic and Christian that's worth repeating.

    * An atheist is a really smart fellow who is certain no one could possibly know more about anything than he so he knows there is no God no matter what you may know.

    * An agnostic is also a really smart fellow but he has no idea of what he doesn't know.

    * A Christian is someone who has personal knowledge of God and really doesn't care what the other two think of him.

    There's a lot of sound knowledge to chew on in that.
    there is definately a bunch of truth to this. i would also add that those who arent secure in their beliefs be it #1,2, or 3 sure seem to get upset when others discuss the possibilities.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Not really. Christians make up the majority of the photos at the post office.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    I once heard a wise Phd Christian give a slightly amusing definition of Atheist, Agnostic and Christian that's worth repeating.

    * An atheist is a really smart fellow who is certain no one could possibly know more about anything than he so he knows there is no God no matter what you may know.

    * An agnostic is also a really smart fellow but he has no idea of what he doesn't know.

    * A Christian is someone who has personal knowledge of God and really doesn't care what the other two think of him.

    There's a lot of sound knowledge to chew on in that.
    EDG

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