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I Am An Athiest And Religion Does Not Bother Me

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Some more zealous atheists get the idea that the existence or non-existence of God is the end-all-be-all of religious faith. I was at a class taught by a Buddhist monk, and someone asked him about his beliefs in terms of the more mystical aspects of Buddhism, like believing in beings like Devas, and he said something that really stuck with me. I don't remember his exact words, but the gist was "well, when I took my vows and became a monk, part of that meant that yes, I do believe in things like Devas, because that's just part of the package. But the truth is that it doesn't really matter if Devas exist - that's not what it's about." To him, the existence of Buddhist mythical beings was one of the least important parts of his faith - it was just something that came as part of the package.

Religion and spirituality have a million effects on the people who practice them, and on the world - very few of which really depend on the existence or non-existence of God or Gods. The important question isn't "does God exist?" - the question is "what effect does believing in my religion have on me, and on the people in my life?"
36-40, M
12 replies
Jan 20, 2017
SW User
Its not about the existence of a god or gods, its about what people do in the name of religion.

For example, in Tibetan Buddhism when a Lama dies they use an oracle to find out where they have reincarnated. These reincarnated Lama are about 2 or 3 years old. They take the child with the permission of the brain washed parents and indoctrinate the child making him belief he is a reincarnated being. I think this is abhorrent.
BlueDiver · 36-40, M
I define "having an agenda" as someone who focuses utterly on either the negative or the positive of something (depending on which side their agenda is on), and ignores the other half. It's the approach of a debater, instead of a truth seeker. You sound like someone who has an agenda.
SW User
@BlueDiver: I understand that there are good and bad people and aspects in every religion, like with anything or anywhere, but I think in general religion does more bad than good. Society needs to progress. And I have no agenda, there is nothing I can do personally.
BlueDiver · 36-40, M
You might be right - I'm honestly not sure whether religion does more harm than good, or vice versa. I think that most not-completely-fanatical religions provide a lot of powerful, positive things in the individual lives of their members, along with some negative ones, sure, but that on the larger scale of the world, religions have done more harm than good. But does the more-positive-than-negative (at least in my opinion) in people's individual lives outweigh the more-negative-than-positive in the larger world, or is it vice versa?

I look at it this way - any religion or spirituality (aside from ones based only on hate) has a zillion good things that they encourage in their members - things like compassion and forgiveness and generosity and the like - but that every religion also has a zillion negative things that they encourage in their members - things like closed-mindedness and mindless submission and control. At the end of the day, it's who YOU are that determines which facets you focus on.
SW User
liberal extremist = religious extremist
BlueDiver · 36-40, M
What do you mean by that?
SW User
@BlueDiver: We now experiencing liberal extremist just like religious extremist. I see no differences between them. If one don't believe in GOD, live ur life and be as good as possible instead of making it a motive to slur those who believe in GOD.
BlueDiver · 36-40, M
I thought that might be what you were saying, but I wanted to be sure. Yup, I agree with that - extremism exists in every belief system, be it atheism, liberalism, conservationism, Christianity, etc, and this whole ultra-liberal PC thing does seem to be in the ascendancy right now, though thankfully the nuttier elements of it seem to have caused it to start falling out of favor recently.
SW User
I´ll go a little further and know I´ll sound and smell like Hell to some: I think people go to religions on one of two basis: either ignorance or own interest. There. Said it. Come what it may. Won´t reply to any comment here.
BlueDiver · 36-40, M
Ehh, you don't have to reply to this if you don't want to, but my response to that is: what's wrong with making life choices that are in your own interest?
SW User
@BlueDiver: I meant something different. Too hard to explain in writing and not in my native language. You took it wrong.
BlueDiver · 36-40, M
Understood - fair enough.

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