Oh yeah, come to think of it I probably could have guessed what 'Latter Day' implies. As for 'Saints', who are they supposed to be? Perhaps there are a few PRAISE JESUS! LDS salesmen who aspire to the title.
Holy shit! (apt) These people sound like bonafide nut jobs. Especially his family. How ever did a country that showed so much promise fall so far? (I might have mentioned a theory on that earlier that precicely because The US was (or should that be 'were') founded as secular which allowed for an all out religious hard sale scramble).
'Faith is a crock'
It always gets me that religions use the fundamental weakness that the belief is completely unfounded by calling the necessary denial/ignorance 'faith' and insisting that it's a positive trait.
Re: Sexuality and my parents; (ugh, you see? Those two words have no place being so close to eachother!) I used to laugh at my fathers homophobic digs when I was little and when I was a bit older I was homophobic (even though I knew full well I was a bit of a batty boy).
After my own barrage of epiphanies, I went from not saying anything to speaking out in 'their' defence. In the mean time I'd already come out to my closest circle of friends (though most of them turned out to be a bunch of wankers).
These days I keep my business to myself bar a small few but will debate openly (even with my family) about sexuality discrimination and racism. I even had one about recreational drugs. My dad would often tell us that dealers should be 'strung up' and how nothing good ever came from drug use. Ha! Then he'd go and put on a jazz record.
Dawkins said something along the lines of 'I'm agnostic about god as I'm agnostic about fairys'.
The inspiration to play and hear music comes and goes I find. The same can be said about any art (for me at least). Perhaps one day you'll randomly find yourself sat in front of a piano and 3 hours later you'll still be hitting keys.
'...my wife and for my "poly wife," '
Now, here's an interesting point that I'd imagine has popped up on this forum more than once. Poly marriage rights. I wonder how much of a legal headache it would be to decriminalise it. What exactly is in our way here? Also, I think it's important to specify what we're talking about. Firstly, as with gay marriage, I don't think church leaders should be forced to marry anyone. Secondly, I don't think that church leaders should have any autority to legally marry anyone as church and state should be separate. Thirdly, I don't know precicely what marriage entitles (and it varies from country to country of course) but how would it translate to a poly marriage? Would it need to even? Perhaps a poly marriage only needs to be a collection of marriages.
As for children, I'm a bit extremist perhaps in my view that our rights to procreate need to be conditional. Over population and dysgenics/stagnation are among those subjects that need addressing yet few have the balls.
I think the last two subjects deserve their own threads so I'll stop here.
Re: Lacking an afterlife. I'm motivated by the thought that it may well be possible in the future to create an afterlife (or an extension to it). A collective of consiousnesses. Minds converted to AI or brains in jars - whatever. All swimming around in lsd and dmt...
...ha ha ha! I was wondering where to start with 'happiestmanalive' - there are enough studies to support the viewpoint that Atheists are persecuted in America but thatgirlingrey saved me the bother for which I'm greatful.
...then hma does the equivalent of clutching an imaginary handbag and going 'oooooh'.
In response to Kdts ...where are we ... 3rd to last post, there is in fact an Atheist church in London somewhere and I think there are others. I may even go this coming Sunday. A celebration of existence, science/philo talks, charity events, stand up comedy and live music. It sounds awesome!
I would also agree with you kdt that the world is not short of people who look down their noses at others regardless of their beliefs on theology but I think you are too amiable for your own good sometimes. Mr 'I don't mean to be insulting but...' is clearly not a very nice person.
It's terrible that your friend feels that he has to go against his beliefs and pretend to be religious but at least they don't tend to burn people anymore.
Hi Jane, I used to consider myself agnostic (little 'a') but now consider myself a de-facto atheist (little 'a'). It was not a shift in belief, only in semantics. Technically, I'm both agnostic and atheist ('as agnostic about god as I am the tooth fairy' I believe Dawkins put it) but if we interpret agnostisism to mean unsure and atheist to mean firmly in the belief that the notion that a supernatural being exists that created everything and spends its time listening to prayers and suchlike* is a notion not worth entertaining until there is cause to do so then - and I don't want to tell you what you are or aren't but from your description, our position is identical.
I believe only a fool believes they know implicitly that there is no god, tooth fairy or flying spaghetti monster but until there is cause to consider them, best leave them in the fiction section.
Ooh, the much neglected question of free-will. Did I bring this up earlier? Jane, I think you hit the nail on the head again; there seems to be no reason to believe in free-will as we are purely circumstantial entities.
Jane Q Smythe, you sound like a sane person. I'm so excited to virtually meet you.
I concur with you and Kevin both; belief in divine repurcussions should not sway a person to change their attitude. A good Christian might risk Yahwehs wrath and go 'fuck you God, I will not take my children to the town elders to have them stoned to death. What kind of depraved lunatic demands something like that?'
A good atheist would just bypass the lot.
ThatGirlInGrey, please waste no more time or energy on HMA. It's upsetting that there are people like that in the world but don't let it hurt you. I find peace in the thought that now is seemingly the most enlightened time on this Earth and that the trend has always been progressive. It gives me hope that the human race will eventually grow up. Perhaps the most enlightened minds of today are equal to the most neglected minds of tomorrow.
Peace and titilation.