Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thoughts from a Former BYU Atheist

So regardless of whether or not I post on here I actually have plenty of thoughts and things I could post. Here's some random thoughts I'll throw out there and maybe write posts in the future, cause to be honest, writing on the blog has somehow dropped off my top ten things to do daily list.

The group is almost to 200, and may be over counting all the people who come hang out and do things but are not on the FB page. We still need more adults, but it's finally spreading out.

I don't think atheism is a religion. It has been brought up on here before, in the group, on the FB page, and in conversation with friends. I think there's actually some merit to this discussion as religions do not have to have gods but usually exclude other religion's gods ... which already atheism fits in to on one level. However, I think when you form a criteria for what religion is when compared to, say, just being spiritual, then compare those to atheism ... then you'd see atheism as anything but a religion. But more on that later.

I did my I Am An Ex-Mormon video. So did my gf. I was surprisingly nervous and so I don't think i did nearly as well as i would have hoped but i suspect Daniel will be able to save it.

Totally watched The Prestige with the Leavitt family, awesome movie and awesome family.

In the last month i think the Utah Valley group has gotten a couple dozen new people with the advent of summer and new semester approaching.

Have a few friends who are/were/or may be disowned by their families due to not believing in the church anymore. Go Mormons for the win!

I've read some new good books I will comment on at some point soon, some not related directly to atheism. Has anyone else noticed that the Atheism section at Barnes and Noble is about to need to spread to a second shelf? 5 years ago I don't think there was an atheism section, 2 years ago it shared space with Linguistics, now it's pushing out at the seams and needs a second shelf. Yeah, I think I joined the fad JUST before it was cool, go me.

One reoccurring theme I've seen lately is how Christian's didn't start the dark ages and Christian history is full of the greatest inventions. I talked about this before. How about Islamic culture led for science, especially after rediscovering the Greeks, and then Christianity dovetailed off them, and then how most of the greatest scientists from the later ages usually were Christian but not usually very strong in their faith and sometimes openly opposed popular theologies, and often were persecuted by Christian churches, plural. I don't see the correlation that Christianity means great thinkers, how about Europe produced a lot of innovations that overtook the world. And in that sense, how about China has usually led the world except for about 200 years and may be regaining it's position of leadership, which has been the norm.

Found another atheist at work, even though most employees are Mormons.

I feel completely disconnected from the atheist group in Utah Valley, and I'm usually too busy or tired to do anything with the groups up in SLC. Still, regardless of if i post or not people still find my blog and then join the group, lol.

Read a book on Judaism where it talked about how English was designed with some mal-intent against Jews and that the English language has specific words that are derogatory to Jews or misrepresent Jews and their beliefs where if we want to understand the Jews we may need to leave the English language behind at some points. Didn't take me long to wonder if this is also true of atheists, especially with English definitions of atheism compared to, say, Asian views of those who don't believe in gods.

Asian holy books are far more inspiring than the Qur'an and definitely the Bible.

That's it for now, ciao.


  1. Two comments. First, I would agree that atheism as a philosophy does not constitute a religion. New Atheism as a movement might. More to the point, most atheists do not become less religious as a result of their disaffiliation with organized religion. Generally they become involved with leftist politics, which absolutely counts as a religion, replete with faith-based dogma, apocalyptic end-times scenarios, and messianic utopianism. This is a major reason that atheism evokes negative assessments from the public in all those polls. One cannot live without ideology, and religious ideology is almost always replaced with leftist ideology.

    Secondly, the whole notion of the English language having been "designed" is absurd on the face of it. You should know better than to take a conspiracy theorist seriously.

  2. Read a book on Judaism where it talked about how English was designed with some mal-intent against Jews and that the English language has specific words that are derogatory to Jews or misrepresent Jews and their beliefs where if we want to understand the Jews we may need to leave the English language behind at some points.


  3. Demosthenes /and Daniel - reading back i probably should have put quotations around "designed" cause that was not at all meant to be serious. the serious notion is how, when trying to speak about Judaism, you have to resort to non-English words and phrases and how many English words that should describe Judaism usually are a twist or non-existent. Being that Jews have been in Europe for as long as Christians, or rather, even longer, and that the present English language was formed mainly in Christian society I don't think it is surprising that there are plenty of English words to describe the meanings put across in the Bible, but that when it comes to Judaism we are missing a lot of language (mitzva, avera, and tefilla being three examples and meaning commandment, sin, and prayer, but not in the Christian sense that may come to mind). I think the fact that calling someone a Jew is an insult in most circles, and has been for a long time, also points out how the English language is neither geared towards Judaism (which, as i said, was present in English societies like any other religion common in Europe) nor neutral towards it.

    I guess if this doesn't make sense or doesn't prove my point i could find more examples in the English language that are aggressive or negative towards Jews that we won't find in other languages that arose in cultures where Judaism was present.

  4. Demosthenes - on your main point i'll be writing about that at some point cause as usual, though in different ways, i'm betting we agree. looking at the way people act in new atheism i find that the ideology doesn't seem to be coming so much from a worship of atheism but a sudden turn towards being extremely liberal and all the new atheists agreeing and fighting for what they believe is right. I guess i fit in with that on the whole equality for the gays soap box, but i also feel that i am finally doing the right by fighting for them. now is that being dogmatic if a bunch of us agree on human rights? or is it simply that this position is the correct one, regardless of how popular it is becoming?