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The Joy of Freedom

When I became convinced that the Universe is natural - that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, of the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust.—Robert Ingersoll

 

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When I heard Hitchens debate Thom Hartmann on Thom's radio show Hitchens made this same point to which Hartmann was able to juxtapose atheism with religion. Basically saying that religions try to offer something special to their followers. Whether it's eternal life, ridding you of thetons, or calibrating your qi; they all offer something. So the "OMG-atheism-IS-a-religion" camp will take examples like that to prove their point.

It's a tough argument when phrased right. Saying "rid yourself of the chains religion has on you and be free" sounds very similar to, "rid yourself of the chains of your sinful ways through jeezus and be free!"

But my argument against that point is the ramifications or lack there of. Every good quality religion has ramifications for non-believers. Atheism doesn't have that.

Yes. I say let's put him on the $20 bill.

An excellent suggestion.

I'd say that describes the feeling pretty accurately.

I remember going outside and shouting 'fuck God!' as loud as I could, not because I was angry at anyone as many X-tians might say (who was there to be angry at?), but because I wanted to exercise this new feeling of freedom from reprisal. It was a happy fuck-you.

When I became convinced

yeah, that's a pretty good description of endorphin activity whenever anyone becomes convinced of anything. people under the influence of endorphins are dangerous, i try to avoid them.

You're confusing "convince" with "believe".

becoming convinced is the gateway to belief. you may believe for the rest of your life, but there's no rush like that first jolt to the system of becoming convinced.

it's kind of like a junkie who keeps injecting himself for years after "the thrill is gone".

maybe you want to tell me about how "faithheads" are just born into a belief system that they never question. but i would say those people, who are essentially traditionalists, aren't the problem. it's the born-agains who cause trouble. and that includes the majority of atheists. :) believe me, i've been there. and i caused plenty of trouble. i have now reverted to the skeptical freethinking of my immediate forefathers and consider myself a traditionalist in this sense. the few leftovers from my "born again" days i use to torture 1gm readers in an attempt to toughen up the troops, who still don't seem to understand what they're up against- mostly as a result of the closed-mindedness that comes from born-again-ism. that's why red7 is such a good opponent- he's a traditionalist.

i have a sticker on my guitar that says "born o.k. the first time".

who still don't seem to understand what they're up against- mostly as a result of the closed-mindedness that comes from born-again-ism. that's why red7 is such a good opponent- he's a traditionalist.

That's your opinion.

I've never ever EVER seen anyone who claims this even attempt to explain what we're so ignorant about. All I ever see is obfuscation. It is my opinion based on this that even they don't understand what we're assumed to not understand.

I've never ever EVER seen anyone who claims this even attempt to explain what we're so ignorant about. All I ever see is obfuscation. It is my opinion based on this that even they don't understand what we're assumed to not understand.

WHAT?

could you say that in english please?

i think i get what you're trying to say- that atheists are often accused of not understanding the basic principles of religion.

well, my friend, i just showed you, at 2 different threads and over more than 2 weeks, THE basic principle of the "3abrahamicfaiths"- the revelation at sinai- which seemed to come as a complete surprise to everyone here. it's not dealt with in any of the "new atheist" screeds, and no one has mentioned it here either- ever, as far as i can tell. and yet, as i told JoAnn, its' obvious to any 1st year yeshiva student. JoAnn did the research and found out this point even has it's own name and encyclopedia entry- something i myself didn't know- but the point is, it wasn't hard at all to show how modern atheist polemics ignores even the basics, in fact the MOST basic.

i call bullshit. i haven't been obfuscating- i've been showing you in patient detail something of which you were unaware, you ungrateful bastard, you.

No, you haven't obfuscated, I'll give you that. But it's not true that we don't understand your reasons or your explanations. We do, but they're very unconvincing.

We do, but they're very unconvincing.

well, i guess that's ok...

(looks confused)

Yo nunca jamás JAMÁS he visto a alguien que aserta esto siquiera intentar explicar de qué es que somos ignorantes. Todo lo que veo es ofuscamiento. Es mi opinión, basado en esto, que incluso ellos no entienden lo que se nos asume no entendemos.

yikes. are you a "wise latina"? :) well, good for you, i say. take pride in your roots.

I guess you could call me "latino", but I don't take more pride of where I was born than I take of where my grandparents were (not latino-land), nor of where I live, nor of where I don't live. I cringe when I hear "patriotism" cause most people really mean "chauvinist nationalism". But that's just me.

BTW, all my life I have been expected to take pride both of where I was born and where my "blood" comes from. Jebus does it get tiring.

you're right, roots aren't about where your parents and grandparents were born.

i'm trying to be nice. you can take pride in your roots without making it into some nationalistic thing, is what i'm trying to say. ahem.

although it can be loads of fun if you want to take it in that direction. :)

"When I became convinced that the Universe is natural - that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, of the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust.—Robert Ingersoll"

"until I got married"

Zing!

i use to torture 1gm readers in an attempt to toughen up the troops, who still don't seem to understand what they're up against- mostly as a result of the closed-mindedness that comes from born-again-ism. that's why red7 is such a good opponent- he's a traditionalist.

I'm a who? It traditional Atheism a good thing or a bad thing?

There's a statue of Ingersoll in Peoria, Ill., where my dad grew up. We had a thick, yellow volume of his lectures when I was growing up & we referenced it often. Ingersoll was the defense attorney in the last ever blasphemy trial in the US. Here is his address to the jury. Unfortunately, he lost the case.

As Becker says, this is how people tend to feel when they become convinced of any new worldview, true or not. It's easy to imagine virtually the same thing being written by a Christian: "When I realized that Jesus Christ had paid the price for my sins, there entered into my soul...."

There's nothing wrong with an atheist describing how good it feels to be an atheist, but we shouldn't make too much of it. "Believe this, it'll make you feel good" is a religious trope, the last resort of belief systems that just don't have much else going for them.

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