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  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olin View Post
    Where did I say that? I am not an atheist. And I do believe in evolution.
    Oh ok, I was basing my thoughts on this comment

    There are no sects of Atheism. For example, my atheism doesn't believe in evolution, but theirs does. So what defines Atheism and is common for all Atheists?

    I realise now you were posing a general comment

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atropos View Post
    No.... For Christians it is, sure. But the date and many of the customs are pagan in origin, not Christian.
    What customs?

    Presents? Ham? Christmas tree?

    Still makes all the atheists who celebrate it hypocrites!

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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    But see that is the sticking point here. Just bc we expect our beliefs be respected doesn't make us a a religion. Gays demand equal rights, and that people respect their lifestyle. Homosexuality is not a religion. Feminists fight for their rights to be respected amongst other goals. Not a religion.

    It's hard for me to define, but I see atheism as a movement rather than a religion. Much like feminism, gay rights etc.
    Yes I think movement is a good word to describe it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    Oh ok, I was basing my thoughts on this comment



    I realise now you were posing a general comment
    No probs. I thought surely it's time for a nap if I said that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olin View Post
    Yes I think movement is a good word to describe it.
    I was going to say movement but thought i may offend lol.

    I think religion was used for want of a better word

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  7. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post


    Still makes all the atheists who celebrate it hypocrites!
    How so? My DS goes to school with children from all different backgrounds - hindus, muslims, athiests, etc and they all celebrate xmas. Why is it hypocritical to conform to something that is normal within this society regardless of the background (pagan)?

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  9. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    What customs?

    Presents? Ham? Christmas tree?

    Still makes all the atheists who celebrate it hypocrites!
    Gift giving most likely came from the ancient Roman festival Saturnalia.

    Yule
    was a religious festival observed by the people in northern Europe where they had Yule Ham.

    Christmas trees are fairly recent phenomenons. Earliest indicators are they started around the 16th century, they didn't take off in Britain until Victorian times.

    It was originally a northern hemisphere festival to celebrate the winter solstice. Technically we should be have Christmas in June.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olin View Post
    Lots of things can be seen as a religion. It is quite common to use the word 'religiously' in something you do and follow. It's not out of reach Girl X religion is a word it's not just for churches.


    No ofcourse it doesn't. That's why there are groups that define their set of beliefs. Orthodox Jews, Mormons, Catholic, Anglican etc etc. This is one of my first points regarding Atheism and having a set of vales and beliefs common to all Atheists. Each of the above sects do. Does Atheism? I don't believe so, Evolution can't be, science can't be (this is too broad anyway), nothing belongs to Atheism, unlike baptism which is exclusive to christianity and has thousands of years of tradition. Atheism doesn't, when you do want specific belief systems attached to define Atheism (which would mean all atheists must have the same beliefs), then it's following a religion. Atheism.
    There are no sects of Atheism. For example, my atheism doesn't believe in evolution, but theirs does. So what defines Atheism and is common for all Atheists?
    But that's the thing. The definition of religion is the belief and worship of a supernatural power. To say that lots of things can be seen as a religion is to misuse the word.

    And if that sounds pedantic, it's because I think this is a very important point - and at the heart of what we're debating here. I understand that you are using the word differently from its dictionary definition but, as I said earlier, I think that is why so many people are disagreeing with you. It makes for a complicated debate if someone chooses to use a word differently from its actual meaning.

    I agree that atheism is the belief that God does not exist. There are no rituals attached to that, as there are with some religions. But, as Delirium said earlier, within each religious sect there are a multitude of different beliefs and different ways in which to practice. There are many things that are not common between people who purport to follow the same religion.

    I don't understand why believing in a supernatural being should be held in higher regard than not believing in one.

    There may be many reasons why someone believes in one - but there might not be. And, for an atheist, there may be many reasons why they do not believe - or not.

    We are looking at two opposing sides of a coin. Each stance can then be broken down into what those individuals do and think in line with their stance.

    If someone believed in astrology, or ghosts, or a purple unicorn that followed them around, would you accord all of these beliefs as superior (or 'higher value') to not believing in those things?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Girl X View Post
    But that's the thing. The definition of religion is the belief and worship of a supernatural power. To say that lots of things can be seen as a religion is to misuse the word.

    And if that sounds pedantic, it's because I think this is a very important point - and at the heart of what we're debating here. I understand that you are using the word differently from its dictionary definition but, as I said earlier, I think that is why so many people are disagreeing with you. It makes for a complicated debate if someone chooses to use a word differently from its actual meaning.

    I agree that atheism is the belief that God does not exist. There are no rituals attached to that, as there are with some religions. But, as Delirium said earlier, within each religious sect there are a multitude of different beliefs and different ways in which to practice. There are many things that are not common between people who purport to follow the same religion.

    I don't understand why believing in a supernatural being should be held in higher regard than not believing in one.

    There may be many reasons why someone believes in one - but there might not be. And, for an atheist, there may be many reasons why they do not believe - or not.

    We are looking at two opposing sides of a coin. Each stance can then be broken down into what those individuals do and think in line with their stance.

    If someone believed in astrology, or ghosts, or a purple unicorn that followed them around, would you accord all of these beliefs as superior (or 'higher value') to not believing in those things?
    I think by definition, it depends where you are looking up the word. It is not limited to believing in supernatural beings.

    I don't think believing in a supernatural being should be held in a higher regard either. But when I say religion will trump, this is what I think; If you are married to a Jew and have kids, Judaism will be part of that childs life and around their family. You can't escape a religion steeped in tradition and culture. Religion, baptisms etc. is not always about the actual religion, just about family and traditions. I mean, everyone here celebrates christmas, not because Jesus was born, but because it's a family and cultural/societal tradition. It always trumps a non belief, a belief in nothing, because if it didn't, no one would be celebrating christmas except christians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olin View Post
    I think by definition, it depends where you are looking up the word. It is not limited to believing in supernatural beings.

    I don't think believing in a supernatural being should be held in a higher regard either. But when I say religion will trump, this is what I think; If you are married to a Jew and have kids, Judaism will be part of that childs life and around their family. You can't escape a religion steeped in tradition and culture. Religion, baptisms etc. is not always about the actual religion, just about family and traditions. I mean, everyone here celebrates christmas, not because Jesus was born, but because it's a family and cultural/societal tradition. It always trumps a non belief, a belief in nothing, because if it didn't, no one would be celebrating christmas except christians.
    I was going by the dictionary definition.

    I understand what you're saying, and I agree that in many cases you have to make a decision about what you're 'buying into' if, as an atheist, you marry someone who follows a particular religion. If that religion is a strong part of their life then it would be as unacceptable for an atheist spouse to try to stop them from following it, as it would for the religious spouse to try to make the atheist follow their religion.

    In many cases that will mean that a relationship between two people who hold passionately opposing views simply can't work.

    I think it gets a bit more complicated, however, when you have someone who more vaguely or loosely defines themselves as following a religion (and this seems to happen more commonly in the Christian faith), but doesn't attend to any of the more ceremonious aspects of that faith (e.g., going to church), and for the most part it goes 'undetected'.

    In that instance, I can see how a couple could get together and fall in love, without perhaps realising that they hold conflicting beliefs or - if they do - that it will cause them trouble further down the line.

    I still disagree with your argument that a belief 'trumps' a non belief. Atheism is not (necessarily) a belief in nothing. It is, as discussed earlier, a belief that a supernatural being does not exist. However, as with religious beliefs, there may then be any number of values and morals that go along with that atheism, meaning that it isn't necessarily a 'neutral' stance.

    I agree that for some, religious ceremonies may be more about tradition/ family than the religious significance. However, that does not mean a non-religious partner should be forced to go along with it if it goes against their beliefs too. For example - the belief that a particular church is an immoral institution, with which they do not want their child associated.

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