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View Diary: Why Do Atheists Vote Democrat? (98 comments)

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  •  It is probably different for everyone (1+ / 0-)
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    No Exit

    I view it as a moment, but it was series of questions leading up to the moment I'm referring to.  It was a moment when the house of cards fell, but I had been pulling them out on the way.

    As for people of faith, I don't really care.  I've had some very bad experience at the hands of the faithful, so I have a healthy dose of fear when interacting anyway.  If they choose to ignore me, that is market improvement.

    •  Do you think all people of faith are the same? (6+ / 0-)

      You have no problem saying that arriving at non-belief is probably different for everyone, then you turn around and lump all people of faith into one big negative lump. As a fellow atheist, I am dismayed at your blindness.

      •  I think they all share a common trait (2+ / 0-)
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        Ashaman, No Exit

        That trait is faith.

        Now perhaps you can treat that as minor, but go ask a honest Christian what they believe your fate is.

        They will give you one of two answers

        1) That is up to God (a dodge)

        or

        2) That you are going to burn in hell (what they believe)

        Any person of faith comes at every interaction with a certainty unique to the faithful.

        You and I could discuss the best way to wash dishes, and we might have different opinions.  At the end of it all, we could objectively evaluate the actual best way.  We could come to agreement.

        Faith is not an opinion.  It can not be challenged, because it has no basis to be challenged on.

        Every single person of faith is a unique human with many different qualities.  That said, faith is a powerful one, and it is always relevant.

        •  I get the feeling you don't understand (9+ / 0-)

          Christianity very well. We see a lot of Christians who are, indeed, as black-and-white as you portray them but there are plenty of Christian thinkers--both alive and dead--who would give you far more than the two answers you seem to think all Christians would give you.

          Faith can, indeed, be challenged by the very people who practice it and it is challenged by Christians--their own faith--every day of the week. Not everyone who is a Christian is a narrow literalist. Not every Christian thinks the earth is 6000 years old. Not every Christian is even a theist. Yes, you read that right: there are plenty of Christians who are not just agnostics, but atheists. As the retired Episcopal Bishop of Newark, John Shelby Spong once said, the existence of the God of the Bible and the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth is totally immaterial to the practice of Christianity.

          There is a lot going on out there in Christian thought that you're missing, probably because you are unaware it's out there. I can't  blame you for not being aware of it--what folks outside of the intellectual circles in Christianity are mostly familiar with is evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity which gets more press and its adherents are more likely to talk about it than those of us wonky bookish theology types.

          I'll bet that if you spent a week at say Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA just talking to professors and seminarians alike you would encounter agnostics, atheists, universalists, neo-pagans and theists, all interested in wrestling with theological concepts and most of them clergy or people studying to be clergy or academic theologians. I have a feeling you would be very, very surprised at the thinking you found in such an institution.

          I know what Mitt Romney is hiding: Mitt Romney. equalitymaine.org

          by commonmass on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 06:19:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  you missed (3) (4+ / 0-)
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          Wee Mama, Ahianne, commonmass, Dr Teeth

          Progressive Christians might say 3) You're probably going to heaven unless you did some pretty horrible stuff to others and didn't make a sincere and thorough effort to fix it or substantially change the attitudes and outlooks that led to it.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 06:58:22 AM PDT

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        •  there's an atheist Christian on DK. (4+ / 0-)
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          GreenPA, commonmass, Dr Teeth, Rumarhazzit

          I think it's GenXAngster (sp?), who said she's a complete atheist but she thinks Jesus was a radical dude with a lot of darn good ideas.  

          One might call that "philosophical Christianity" as distinct from "religious Christianity," and use the term "Christian" in that context much the same way as one uses the term "Platonic" or "Kantian" or "Jeffersonian" etc.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Aug 13, 2012 at 07:09:21 AM PDT

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          •  That's an odd statement. (1+ / 0-)
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            Dr Teeth

            That sounds like a word game more than anything else.  At that point, it sounds like one is abusing the meaning of the term 'Christian' so much as it doesn't have any value as a word.

            For example, the divinity of Jesus seems to be the most important element of Christianity as a group.  And that is certainly a religious claim and belief.

            We do have names for viewpoints like that without attaching words with religious connotations to it.  Humanist springs to mind.

            Plus, with that you aren't left having to dismiss the sillier stories you're associating yourself with.  Cursing a fig tree?  Really?

            •  you ought to have that conversation with... (1+ / 0-)
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              Dr Teeth

              .... GenXAngster herself, since I can't speak for her in the kind of detail you're asking for.  

              Though, I don't go around trying to tell people on my side of the fence what they "are."  I'd rather let them define for themselves what they "are," even if that means having to build up equivalence charts to mesh their language with mine.

              There may also be entire sets of implicit assumptions that have to be dealt with in one way or another.

              And if someone describes themselves as an atheistic Christian, it may also be that one of their beliefs is that "Jesus said a bunch of stuff about God, and a bunch of stuff that was predicated on God, but if there is no God, then all of those statements are mistakes that we can subtract out or adjust in some way."  

              We certainly do that with Plato and Aristotle et. al., rather than invalidating everything they said just because they happened to hold some of the polytheistic Greek beliefs.  

              And there are plenty of atheists who deeply respect Martin Luther King, while at the same time making adjustments for his belief that there is a deity, as compared with their own that there is not a deity.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Aug 14, 2012 at 12:52:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The vast majority (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Teeth

      The vast majority of people who claim to be either theists, or atheists have done very little actual investigation into arguments for and against.

      Hardly anyone wants to admit to being an atheist.  

      It's one of the least respected cohorts when it comes to polling.

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