Post Reply Atheist Church?
Posted 4/20/08
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Posted 4/21/08
First off, Shibole, where do you get the time to find all these article?? It blows my mind.

About the article, I'm completely divided. Part of me is offended as a Christian...this is almost like "why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free"...these people are searching for a church that that gives them all the benefits of congregation, with out any expectations. It's not the most tollerant attitude to take, but there it is.
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Posted 4/21/08 , edited 4/21/08

kimmm6 wrote:

First off, Shibole, where do you get the time to find all these article?? It blows my mind.

About the article, I'm completely divided. Part of me is offended as a Christian...this is almost like "why buy the cow, when you can get the milk for free"...these people are searching for a church that that gives them all the benefits of congregation, with out any expectations. It's not the most tollerant attitude to take, but there it is.


huh? without any expectation? its a free thought group of people who share ideas and happen to meet regularly. as simple as that. The usage of the word church is incorrectly used by the article and the ones interviewed. While a church is generally a place where people who share a religious belief system associate with one another, the word church is not that concrete. It could also be a concept and with time has become a diluted term of our regular language.

"The Christian concept of a "Church" is used for the Greek (ecclesia,church,ekklesia"
The Greek term 'ekklesia', which literally means a "gathering" or "selection" or "called out assembly", was a governmental and political term, used to denote a national assembly.


Not only that but the forum title is merely an attention grabber just as is the title of the article, this can be proved just by reading the article.

I'm sorry but I got nothing from that article.
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Posted 4/21/08
By "without expectation", I meant that there is no expectation from a supreme being to accept sovereignity. There is no call to become a "better" person, within particular guidelines. People are bonded together in religion by a standard set of beliefs in worship. No matter who is worshipped, certain things are expected of worshippers. These "Religious Atheists" are reaping the benefits of church sociality, without sacrifice.

There is nothing wrong with joining a group to find commonality with others, do good works, and expand understanding. (Elks, Shriners, Legion, IOOB, Masons, I could go on), but calling themselves a church is where I get hung up. If they truly want church, then by all means...GO TO CHURCH. But please don't call a group of people with no faith at all congregating a "church"...I've thought about it some more, and I DO find it offensive. (Of course, most atheists, especially on CR, don't really care if they offend me, so I may be barking up the wrong tree here.)
Posted 4/21/08

kimmm6 wrote:
First off, Shibole, where do you get the time to find all these article?? It blows my mind.

I don't spend a lot of time looking for this kind of thing. I just set up google reader and subscribed to a bunch of newsfeeds like fark that have bizarre news stories.

At least these people are honest about not believing in God. Lots of people just go to church pretending to believe in God for social reasons.
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Posted 4/21/08

kimmm6 wrote:

By "without expectation", I meant that there is no expectation from a supreme being to accept sovereignity. There is no call to become a "better" person, within particular guidelines. People are bonded together in religion by a standard set of beliefs in worship. No matter who is worshipped, certain things are expected of worshippers. These "Religious Atheists" are reaping the benefits of church sociality, without sacrifice.

There is nothing wrong with joining a group to find commonality with others, do good works, and expand understanding. (Elks, Shriners, Legion, IOOB, Masons, I could go on), but calling themselves a church is where I get hung up. If they truly want church, then by all means...GO TO CHURCH. But please don't call a group of people with no faith at all congregating a "church"...I've thought about it some more, and I DO find it offensive. (Of course, most atheists, especially on CR, don't really care if they offend me, so I may be barking up the wrong tree here.)


What gives you the right to decide what a church is? You are right I don’t care if you are offended by this, as what these people are doing together harms no one, and is really none of your business.
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Posted 4/21/08

kimmm6 wrote:

By "without expectation", I meant that there is no expectation from a supreme being to accept sovereignity. There is no call to become a "better" person, within particular guidelines. People are bonded together in religion by a standard set of beliefs in worship. No matter who is worshipped, certain things are expected of worshippers. These "Religious Atheists" are reaping the benefits of church sociality, without sacrifice.

There is nothing wrong with joining a group to find commonality with others, do good works, and expand understanding. (Elks, Shriners, Legion, IOOB, Masons, I could go on), but calling themselves a church is where I get hung up. If they truly want church, then by all means...GO TO CHURCH. But please don't call a group of people with no faith at all congregating a "church"...I've thought about it some more, and I DO find it offensive. (Of course, most atheists, especially on CR, don't really care if they offend me, so I may be barking up the wrong tree here.)


Once again let me emphasize, the usage of the word is diluted because the context in which is used is just casual and for practicality. That and one should always set aside the attention grabbing or purposefully used semantics in every article in order to look at it as objectively as you can.

Now I will list some assumptions you made whose basis is not really solid because is a relative thing that should not be generalized

1.There is no call to become a "better" person, within particular guidelines

So humanism, philosophy of ethics, rationality, they just don't count? the third formulation of the categorical imperative, a moral theory made by Immanuel Kant is called the principle of autonomy. It states that each of us are able to view ourselves as rational beings and therefore we are also makers of the universal law. This means that morality is not bound to a certain authority like God for example, and that each of us is able to discover by the use of reason the exact same principles of duty, justice, good will and virtue; regardless of one’s religion, culture, and experience.

This is just one of the many facets that a person can use as guidelines to become a better person. There are numerous ethical approaches to morality as a whole.

2. These "Religious Atheists" are reaping the benefits of church sociality, without sacrifice.

First of all saying religious atheists is like saying 'All natural artificial flavor' =P Second, benefits of church society you say, so it is wrong to look for a sense of togetherness and belonging just because God is not in the equation? Humans are social animals. A couple of atheists decide to meet once a week, discuss their worldviews and share with their families an intellectual intimacy... I am sorry but I don't see what the big deal is about.

And without sacrifice? because every single religious person makes an effort, yeah right. Sacrifice or no sacrifice, these are members of a society where religion happens to be the common norm so their current state of mind which goes against the view held by the majority has as much obstacles and negative sides as it has positive and rewarding things for them.

3. But please don't call a group of people with no faith at all congregating a "church"...I've thought about it some more, and I DO find it offensive.

Words don't mean, people mean. To be offended it takes two, the one who delivers a message and the person who gives that message permission to be offended. I understand it has an emotional factor for a religious person to read things like that article but that does not cancel the fact that words are words period. It's a bunch of symbols expressed by people and communication works best when shared meaning is reached. ask yourself first if the manner in which you decode a persons message matches their context and intent before you get offended because maybe is not worth it.

This brings me back to my first point. The manner in which the article and the people interviewed use certain words is not really the best so yeah is expected to perhaps get offended like you did.
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Posted 4/21/08 , edited 4/21/08

YouAreDumb wrote:


kimmm6 wrote:

By "without expectation", I meant that there is no expectation from a supreme being to accept sovereignity. There is no call to become a "better" person, within particular guidelines. People are bonded together in religion by a standard set of beliefs in worship. No matter who is worshipped, certain things are expected of worshippers. These "Religious Atheists" are reaping the benefits of church sociality, without sacrifice.

There is nothing wrong with joining a group to find commonality with others, do good works, and expand understanding. (Elks, Shriners, Legion, IOOB, Masons, I could go on), but calling themselves a church is where I get hung up. If they truly want church, then by all means...GO TO CHURCH. But please don't call a group of people with no faith at all congregating a "church"...I've thought about it some more, and I DO find it offensive. (Of course, most atheists, especially on CR, don't really care if they offend me, so I may be barking up the wrong tree here.)


What gives you the right to decide what a church is? You are right I don’t care if you are offended by this, as what these people are doing together harms no one, and is really none of your business.


-one of the groups of Christians who have their own beliefs and forms of worship
-A place for public (esp. Christian) worship
-Church service, service conducted in a house of worship
-perform a special church right or service for
(Wordnet, Princeton)

-A church is an association of people who share a particular belief system.
(wikipedia)

-The word frequently used to describe a building used for prayer, worship, or other public religious service, usually referring to those for Christian worship.
(wikipedia)

- I DON"T- have the right to decide...if they are going to call themselves a church, then by definition, they should be worshipping. Otherwise they are just another organization.

*edit* to Mauz: *heavy sigh*. Mauz, I don't like to shove my version of Christianity at anyone. I have my beliefs, I've stated them, and others can infer what they wish. I try to keep my posts to facts, expressing my opinion only where it is relevent. Unfortunately, you are asking me to back up my opinion, so I guess I'm going to have to be a little more specific. As a Christian, (I can't speak for other faiths, I will have to let them speak their own piece), we are expected to take upon us the name of Christ. Baptism and faith buy us fellowship, but it is not "free". Baptism is a covenant with God to try to become more like Him. I do not believe in "deathbed repentance"...but it is up to God to accept or reject our efforts, depending on how sincere they are. That is our sacrifice...a sincere and a broken heart. If our hearts are truly fixed on the Saviour, then our actions will automatically follow. These are the "expectations" to which I refer. I have no problem what-so-ever with atheists congregating, doing good works, improving their lives, and teaching at least some sense of morality to their children. I will be the LAST person to tell you that they must follow MY faith in order to be a "church". As I said, though, by definition, they should follow some faith, to be called a church.

I guess I am offended that a group of people with no faith can just band together and call themselves a church. I feel like it's a lie, and I abhor dishonesty. (Thank you for making me look deeper, to find the root of my offense, I can now deal with it, and let it go)

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Posted 4/21/08

kimmm6 wrote:


YouAreDumb wrote:


kimmm6 wrote:

By "without expectation", I meant that there is no expectation from a supreme being to accept sovereignity. There is no call to become a "better" person, within particular guidelines. People are bonded together in religion by a standard set of beliefs in worship. No matter who is worshipped, certain things are expected of worshippers. These "Religious Atheists" are reaping the benefits of church sociality, without sacrifice.

There is nothing wrong with joining a group to find commonality with others, do good works, and expand understanding. (Elks, Shriners, Legion, IOOB, Masons, I could go on), but calling themselves a church is where I get hung up. If they truly want church, then by all means...GO TO CHURCH. But please don't call a group of people with no faith at all congregating a "church"...I've thought about it some more, and I DO find it offensive. (Of course, most atheists, especially on CR, don't really care if they offend me, so I may be barking up the wrong tree here.)


What gives you the right to decide what a church is? You are right I don’t care if you are offended by this, as what these people are doing together harms no one, and is really none of your business.


-one of the groups of Christians who have their own beliefs and forms of worship
-A place for public (esp. Christian) worship
-Church service, service conducted in a house of worship
-perform a special church right or service for
(Wordnet, Princeton)

-A church is an association of people who share a particular belief system.
(wikipedia)

-The word frequently used to describe a building used for prayer, worship, or other public religious service, usually referring to those for Christian worship.
(wikipedia)

- I DON"T- have the right to decide...if they are going to call themselves a church, then by definition, they should be worshipping. Otherwise they are just another organization.

*edit* to Mauz: *heavy sigh*. Mauz, I don't like to shove my version of Christianity at anyone. I have my beliefs, I've stated them, and others can infer what they wish. I try to keep my posts to facts, expressing my opinion only where it is relevent. Unfortunately, you are asking me to back up my opinion, so I guess I'm going to have to be a little more specific. As a Christian, (I can't speak for other faiths, I will have to let them speak their own piece), we are expected to take upon us the name of Christ. Baptism and faith buy us fellowship, but it is not "free". Baptism is a covenant with God to try to become more like Him. I do not believe in "deathbed repentance"...but it is up to God to accept or reject our efforts, depending on how sincere they are. That is our sacrifice...a sincere and a broken heart. If our hearts are truly fixed on the Saviour, then our actions will automatically follow. These are the "expectations" to which I refer. I have no problem what-so-ever with atheists congregating, doing good works, improving their lives, and teaching at least some sense of morality to their children. I will be the LAST person to tell you that they must follow MY faith in order to be a "church". As I said, though, by definition, they should follow some faith, to be called a church.

I guess I am offended that a group of people with no faith can just band together and call themselves a church. I feel like it's a lie, and I abhor dishonesty. (Thank you for making me look deeper, to find the root of my offense, I can now deal with it, and let it go)

He already explained that the word was diluted.I will say though that you should beware of calling their "church" a lie. You are a mormon right? I think I was reading through some thread, or something and you said you were. If I am wrong about that...I am sorry. If you remember that to most Christians your church is a corruption of their faith, and founded upon what they consider to be lies. Keep that in mind.

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Posted 4/21/08
LOL...I think I know that a lot better than you do...which is why Latter-day Saints aren't included in the traditional Christian thread in this group. Before you make any judgements, though, I suggest you educate yourself, and read up on what we believe. (Try the thread of the same name, right here.) Of course, I do need to ask what my personal affilation has to do with the price of tea in China??

Most words in the English language are corruptions of words from other languages, which is part of the reason it is such a hard language to learn. My question here is how many people are going to say "oh, you know, the word 'church' is actually a derrivation of a greek word meaning gathering or selection, commonly used at national assemblies, so the word does technically apply here" (thank you Norm!) when they hear of the Atheist Church. In the vernacular, church is for religious worship. That is the only point I am trying to make. I am not trying to say they shouldn't assemble, or teach lesson...Heck, they can even assemble on Sundays, if that's a day they want. It's sophistry, to try and make their religious lack of affiliation seem more socially acceptable, and in my books, it's dishonest. Call a spade, a spade. There is nothing wrong with spades.
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Posted 4/21/08 , edited 4/21/08

kimmm6 wrote:

LOL...I think I know that a lot better than you do...which is why Latter-day Saints aren't included in the traditional Christian thread in this group. Before you make any judgements, though, I suggest you educate yourself, and read up on what we believe. (Try the thread of the same name, right here.) Of course, I do need to ask what my personal affilation has to do with the price of tea in China??

Most words in the English language are corruptions of words from other languages, which is part of the reason it is such a hard language to learn. My question here is how many people are going to say "oh, you know, the word 'church' is actually a derrivation of a greek word meaning gathering or selection, commonly used at national assemblies, so the word does technically apply here" (thank you Norm!) when they hear of the Atheist Church. In the vernacular, church is for religious worship. That is the only point I am trying to make. I am not trying to say they shouldn't assemble, or teach lesson...Heck, they can even assemble on Sundays, if that's a day they want. It's sophistry, to try and make their religious lack of affiliation seem more socially acceptable, and in my books, it's dishonest. Call a spade, a spade. There is nothing wrong with spades.


I see your point. I really think though just call it a social club or something, as that would not offend people. Oh well. People will do what they want I suppose. What I was trying to say....who cares what people wanna do together you know?

I totally respect the latter day saints by the way. Out of modern religious groups they have more conviction, work ethic, and integrity than is normal. I may not agree with their views, but they do teach a lot of good values like family, community, and healthy living. I just wish they would not wake me up on Saturday mornings...JK JK JK What I meant by my earlier post is we should try not to call anyones beliefs a lie-it usually offends people, and we should avoid that.

I have read the book of Mormon incidentally.
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Posted 4/21/08
Okay...I gotcha.

Thank you for the respect. I appreciate it. I also understand about the saturday morning thing (I wish the JW's wouldn't wake me up on Saturday mornings...I totally get ya!) Now, hustle on over to "communication, or I'll de-rail the thread.
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Posted 4/22/08
I think they chose the word church for a very specific reason. This thread is perfect evidence of that.
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