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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:19 AM

Christianity and atheism are two sides of the same coin

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/27/christianity-atheism-two-sides-same-coin

Those of us with no faith have a lot to learn about the value of halting the normal rhythms of life and stopping to reflect

Matthew Engelke
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 27 June 2013 05.22 EDT


The annual parliamentary prayer breakfast in Westminster Hall is an excellent example of the importance of public ritual. Photograph: Rex Features

Earlier this week I attended the national parliamentary prayer breakfast, which takes place each June in the magnificent surrounds of Westminster Hall. As usual, there were hundreds of guests, including church leaders, community activists, diplomats and politicians. All for a 7.30am start. It was my third time, but my first as a speaker at one of the post-breakfast seminars – perhaps notable above all because I am not a Christian or otherwise religious.

I wasn't the only non-religious person there, although it is definitely a Christian occasion. On the event's website, Stephen Timms MP is quoted in a promotional video as saying the breakfast captures "a very important movement, across Britain today, of people whose starting point is faith in Jesus". Nicky Morgan MP says she's in parliament not only for her constituents, but "to remember the Word of God and serve the Lord".

At the breakfast we recited the Lord's prayer. We sang a hymn and we listened to a gospel reading. There were other prayers too: one for the government (delivered by a Labour MP, who joked about the irony), one for parliament and one for the nation.

Many secularists go apoplectic about this kind of public religion, but I'm struck by how little attention these events garner at large. I'm sure most Britons don't even know the breakfast takes place, and I suspect most wouldn't care one way or the other. It's not funded by taxpayers, which removes one bone of contention.

more at link

51 replies, 3390 views

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Arrow 51 replies Author Time Post
Reply Christianity and atheism are two sides of the same coin (Original post)
cbayer Jun 2013 OP
trotsky Jun 2013 #1
Warpy Jun 2013 #19
cbayer Jun 2013 #23
Starboard Tack Jun 2013 #39
trotsky Jun 2013 #46
niyad Jun 2013 #2
cbayer Jun 2013 #3
longship Jun 2013 #4
trotsky Jun 2013 #5
longship Jun 2013 #7
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2013 #26
cbayer Jun 2013 #27
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2013 #29
Starboard Tack Jun 2013 #42
trotsky Jun 2013 #47
Starboard Tack Jun 2013 #48
trotsky Jul 2013 #49
Starboard Tack Jul 2013 #50
trotsky Jul 2013 #51
cbayer Jun 2013 #6
Warren Stupidity Jun 2013 #9
cbayer Jun 2013 #13
Warren Stupidity Jun 2013 #14
cbayer Jun 2013 #16
longship Jun 2013 #10
cbayer Jun 2013 #11
longship Jun 2013 #15
Lordquinton Jun 2013 #18
cbayer Jun 2013 #21
Lordquinton Jun 2013 #24
cbayer Jun 2013 #25
Lordquinton Jun 2013 #28
cbayer Jun 2013 #30
Lordquinton Jun 2013 #31
cbayer Jun 2013 #32
Lordquinton Jun 2013 #33
cbayer Jun 2013 #34
Lordquinton Jun 2013 #35
cbayer Jun 2013 #36
Lordquinton Jun 2013 #37
cbayer Jun 2013 #38
Starboard Tack Jun 2013 #43
Lordquinton Jun 2013 #44
Starboard Tack Jun 2013 #45
Starboard Tack Jun 2013 #40
longship Jun 2013 #41
LibAsHell Jun 2013 #8
cbayer Jun 2013 #12
dimbear Jun 2013 #17
LostOne4Ever Jun 2013 #20
cbayer Jun 2013 #22

Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:25 AM

1. I found this article to be highly insulting.

It implies that "those of us with no faith" don't typically stop and reflect, that somehow we are less human than wonderful god-believers.

It also doesn't help to use inflammatory language like "apoplectic" when referring to secularists who are extremely aware of the appearance of government endorsement of belief.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 01:58 AM

19. I know, a certain type of believer seems incapable of civility

anywhere near a nonbeliever, requiring some sort of consensus to keep his own doubt at bay through bullying anyone he or she can get to listen.

This is a worthless, insulting article by just such a person.

Atheists not only don't make up a side of a coin, we don't even believe the mint for it exists.

Perhaps believers like this chap would do better to start minding their own business. There is no way for them to relate to ours except in the most offensive terms.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #19)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 12:43 PM

23. Er, the article was written by an atheist.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 05:38 PM

39. Nota bene

"Many secularists go apoplectic about this kind of public religion"
I guess you prove his point. Why do you get so apoplectic?

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #39)

Sun Jun 30, 2013, 08:00 PM

46. Nice to see you again too, ST.

You take care now. See if you can figure out the two things you got wrong in that post and get back to me!

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:26 AM

2. it doesn't take being a person of faith to do that--many people have practices that allow them

to pause and reflect.

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Response to niyad (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:27 AM

3. That is what I read as his overall point.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:54 AM

4. Yet another article about atheism being just like theism.

I've heard and read these things for years. I no longer feel insulted by it because it's almost like a tic to many people. I guess I just shake my head and think to myself, "Not again."


No, atheists do not need to attend church services or pray to be fulfilled.

We keep seeing these types of articles all the time from many sources. Thanks for posting it, my friend. It shows how much farther culture has to go for non-believers to be accepted for whom they are. And that would not be praying, church attending people.

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Response to longship (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:58 AM

5. It's also rather telling that the article tells atheists/secularists...

what they should learn from faith, but nothing is mentioned for the reverse. This perpetuates the prejudice and bigotry experienced by many non-believers, that we are somehow lacking or lesser than those who are religious.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:10 AM

7. Indeed. That is what is not being said.

But, as I wrote above, one almost never fails to hear or read some variant of this flawed argument.

I began rereading Dennett's "Breaking the Spell" last night because of a similar article posted yesterday about praying non-believers. I like Dennett's ideas on these issues, and these are the precise elements of the spell which religion holds over culture which have to be broken.

We have a long road ahead of us.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 08:01 PM

26. Those who are religious are much more clever.

 

Who gets tax-free income? Who gets to tell incredible stories contrary to known physical facts?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #26)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 08:03 PM

27. All non-profits get tax free income.

And many groups tells stories. Teaching them as science is, however, a whole different ball of wax.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #27)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 09:45 PM

29. No. 1) Some nonprofits don't receive income. 2) Some only receive income taxable under 26 U.S.C. 511

 

26 USC § 511 - Imposition of tax on unrelated business income of charitable, etc., organizations

(a) Charitable, etc., organizations taxable at corporation rates
(1) Imposition of tax
There is hereby imposed for each taxable year on the unrelated business taxable income (as defined in section 512) of every organization described in paragraph (2) a tax computed as provided in section 11. In making such computation for purposes of this section, the term “taxable income” as used in section 11 shall be read as “unrelated business taxable income”.
...
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/511

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Response to trotsky (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 08:55 PM

42. Maybe you could point out where it tells us what we should learn from faith

What i read was "Those of us with no faith have a lot to learn about the value of halting the normal rhythms of life and stopping to reflect ", nothing to do with faith. He's just pointing out the value of reflection. I see no harm in that. He makes no claim that reflection is an exclusive practice by those of faith. If he had, then I would share your objection. Let's not get hung up on the "Prayer Breakfast" nomination. Even non-believers are capable of prayer. It all depends to whom or what you are praying that differentiates us, but prayer, meditation, reflection, call it what you will, is between an individual and whatever he/she believes in, be that a deity, one's personal convictions, one's personal integrity, or whatever.
Let us save our outrage for those occasions when others try to impose their beliefs on us.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #42)

Sun Jun 30, 2013, 08:01 PM

47. Yep, guess we just read it differently.

Carry on!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #47)

Sun Jun 30, 2013, 09:10 PM

48. No, I actually read it. You rewrote it to suit your agenda.


Naughty!

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #48)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 08:36 AM

49. OK, sure!

Thanks buddy!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #49)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:08 PM

50. You're welcome.

Just trying to keep you honest. No hard feelings.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #50)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 03:04 PM

51. Okey doke, you can think that.

Take care, buddy!

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Response to longship (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:59 AM

6. I really read this one differently.

I found it more about the power of "interfaith" events, particularly when they include non-believers.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:44 AM

9. interfaith excludes those without belief in imaginary beings.

 

even when the faithists proclaim that they welcome those without belief, the fact is that they don't, at least not on equal terms.

At the breakfast we recited the Lord's prayer. We sang a hymn and we listened to a gospel reading.

Did "we" also recite from e.g. Feuerbach? I'm guessing: no.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:54 AM

13. This one didn't, but I understand that we probably need a better term.

Do you have any suggestions for what to call events that include both believers and non-believers?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #13)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:59 AM

14. The opening of the "event" made it clear that by "interfaith" the organizers meant "christian

 

denominations", even if a token atheist and some non christian believers were allowed to participate.

That is the general use of the term. Interfaith typically means multiple christian denominations with a token or two outsiders.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #14)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:44 PM

16. Agree and I don't think this was ideal by any means.

But I do thing the author pointed out some of the positive things which might be gained from a similar event that included people of different faiths as well as non-believers.

I would like to see more of those and see them titled with some word that is clearly more inclusive.

Any ideas?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:48 AM

10. Well, why the silly title, then?

That certainly doesn't sound like outreach to me. And the author is talking about saying prayers and actively participating in a religious service, two things I do not do.

I do understand this guy's perspective, and there are aspects to religion I like, certainly some cultural a aspects, particularly music and art. I have attended many church events that featured religious music -- mostly classical. Often such events will feature an invocation or some such thing. I do not mind that, but generally do not participate beyond respectful silence. No bowing or folded hands, for instance.

You know I am for interfaith outreach. But I would prefer it on neutral ground or at least not presumptuous. I don't see how attending a worship service accomplishes much. PZ Myers has recently been attending church services and writing about this.

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Response to longship (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:52 AM

11. Sometimes the authors don't write the titles, the editors do.

I thought it was interesting that they discussed the relationship between science and religion at this breakfast and seemed to incorporate ideas from vastly different perspectives.

To me, it was about increased communication and common goals.

I do strongly agree about their being a great advantage to neutral ground and hope to see more of that in the future.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:02 PM

15. Yes, stupid editors!! ;-) Very bad title. nt

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:08 PM

18. Interfaith specificly excludes non-belivers

the very term has it inherent, you might not notice it unless you are in the group being excluded (Atheism being not a faith and all).

As an aside, due to your sig .gif, I always confuse you and longship, and I have to stop myself before I post something that would just be confused ramblings (moreso than usual, that is...)

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #18)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 12:37 PM

21. I agree with you, but am searching for some help in what we might call

gatherings that purposefully include members of many faiths and non-believers.

They seem to be part of a growing (and very positive, imo) trend. Having a name might lead to more inclusiveness.

Interesting that the place we gather on DU is called religion. But that is clearly not going to work.

longship and I are friends, so don't worry about posting something that might confuse us. We will understand.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #21)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 06:03 PM

24. They would have to be non-religious in nature

unless you want the atheists to take the podium and declare their reasons why god is not great, doesn't exist, why it's stupid to follow organised religions, etc. Otherwise it's just a gathering where they pray, sing hymns, and the non-believers just sit there silently and are forced to be respectful of people who aren't respecting them.

We do have secular gatherings, town halls, bingo parlors, what have you, but somehow religion always finds a way into them. Even AA and it's kin are vocally "non-religious" but there is prayer and mentions of god constantly, people don't realize how pervasive and exclusionary it is, and when the real opposite is shown to them, it causes all kinds of fits and accusations of infringing their rights.

Atheism, plain simple atheism is the neutral ground, we don't want to put "in no god we trust" on our money, we just want God removed all together, just like the Democratic party, it has been pulled so far to the right, that what was once the middle ground is now far left radical ideas (in the mainstream)

As for confusion, it would be me that gets confused...

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #24)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 06:39 PM

25. I agree with much of what you say. AA/NA have been particularly difficult for non-believers.

AA was firmly founded on belief in a god and the twelve steps speak directly to that. Attempts to have non-religious AA groups have had limited success, as have recovery programs based on things other than AA principles. Well, to be honest, all recovery programs have limited success, but that's another story.

Many communities don't have many secular gatherings. The bingo games are often at churches. Fundraisers often have religious underpinnings.

It's seems it's either bars or churches in many communities, and anything that would promote secular intermingling of a variety of believers and non-believers would be positive, imo.

Unfortunately, and this is just my opinion, pure atheism is tainted by anti-theism at times. And the converse is also true.

I guess I am looking for ways and terms to encourage people from different perspectives to share time, experiences, etc.

When I was growing up, public schools did a lot of this. But in other communities, schools are sharply divided down various religious lines.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #25)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 08:06 PM

28. Recovery programs do have issues

the main problem is that AA is government sanctioned, at least in spirit, so they get a free boost, where truly non religious treatment is hampered by little support, and a stigma along the lines of "God = good, no god = bad" you get a free pass on a lot of things if you just go to church, or claim you found god.

Anti-theism gets a lot of flack around here, but there is little mentioned about anti Atheism, which is the default stance of any religion (maybe not actively, but it's always there as an undercurrent) so I really don't see it as such a big deal, some people believe that religion is a bad influence in the world, many more people believe that lack of religion is bad, one side almost always gets a free pass, while the other gets blown off just hinting at it.

Anti Theists really don't hurt anyone, well, beyond their feelings, while the converse is very-much not true, and even now there are atheists hiding for their lives in countries around the world, an din the US, Atheists have to be very careful who they let know, as if they tell the wrong person they could face consequences.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #28)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 11:35 AM

30. I am not sure what you mean by "government sanctioned".

While most recovery programs use AA/NA as one of their tools, no one pays for those meetings and no government payment program I am aware of requires them. I have seen courts order them though.

I see both anti-theism and anti-atheism here and couldn't be less interested in a contest as to which is worse. They are both bad, divisive, harmful and bigoted, imo. I don't agree that either is the default position for either theists or atheists, though there are those within each group who think it is.

Anti-theists do hurt others, and in particular they hurt causes that I value.

Again, I'm not interested in teams or contests as to who is right or who is wrong or who does the most damage. I think we should all be working for those who are marginalized or persecuted, whether they be believers or non-believers.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #30)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 12:55 PM

31. AA is endorsed but the courts

sanctioned, whatever terminology, it is a rather blatant violation of the first amendment to order someone to attend a religious organization, and there have been many cases brought against the practice.

Anti-atheism is rampant in every religion, every little comment of "You need god" or suggestion that a life is unfulfilled without spirituality, or that we need some form of mystic help is all anti atheistic. there are no anti-theists that go door to door telling you to stop believing, and this forum doesn't count because we come here knowing that we will most likely encounter that.

Even culturally there is a strong anti atheistic bent, if you are religious you start at a better overall level of respect than someone who is not, and if you don't go to church and get into trouble you can go to church and suddenly everyone's opinion of you jumps, you are now a better person.

It's more subtle, it's not someone standing at a podium saying "Religion poisons everything" but it is far more widespread.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #31)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 01:06 PM

32. It's a sticky wicket.

AA is not really a "religious organization" and there are some meetings that alter the program to have a decidedly non-religious bent. Courts sometimes order "90 meetings in 90 days", or something similar, but I've not seen one that says it must be a religiously based group.

That being said, many non-believers complain that AA is overtly religious and in some areas it is hard to find those that are not.

Again, I'm not interested in which is worse. Anti-atheism is a bad thing. It needs to be challenged and discrimination needs to be eliminated. Perhaps it is the next civil rights movement.

Are you saying that you have encountered proselytizing from believers here? While I do see some anti-atheism from time to time, I have really not seen proselytizing. I would maintain that neither anti-theism or anti-atheism belongs here and that both lead to more harm than good in terms of achieving the shared goals of the site.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #32)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 02:10 PM

33. AA, NA, etcA make the claim that it is "not religious"

and people take their word for it, because unless you're an addict, there isn't a reason to go to a meeting and find out what they are like. I've been to them in support, and I can say that they are very much religious. They say "Non religious" when they mean "Non-denominational" that's a huge difference. And they often meet in churches.

I'm not saying one is worse, I'm saying that one is frighteningly pervasive and accepted as the norm, where the other is demonized when it's hinted at. A person stating their personal beliefs that "religion is poison" is a far cry from someone coming to your door and refusing to leave until you've heard their speech about how you need their god. Theists don't see anti-atheism so much because they don't view most of it as what it is.

Yea, I've seen people proselytizing from believers, it's just accepted as "ok" to do because that's the norm in our society.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #33)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 02:25 PM

34. I think I am being unclear.

AA/NA do not generally make any such claim. They are firmly rooted in the concept of a "higher power", which generally means god, and make no bones about it.

But, there have been some AA/NA groups that have re-interpreted the "higher power" concept and made honest attempts to make this a non-religious concept. Some have done better than others. Some people in recovery find a way to use that, others don't.

Things are changing and I think it's important to note and embrace that. There is still prejudice and discrimination, but there is also a growing trend, particularly with younger people, to form alliances between believers and non-believers.

You've seen proselytizing on this board? I spend a lot of time in the religion group and I can honestly say that except for the occasional troll, I don't see it. And I don't think it would be "ok" here. At any rate, it's certainly not "the norm".

I think that most believers and non-believers who post here are accepting of other members that see things differently.

FWIW, if someone came to my door and refused to leave, I would call the police.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #34)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 02:48 PM

35. I do see what you are saying

There are some groups that are now doing that, but they are the exception not the norm. The main problem with AA and such is it's success rate, which is undetermined because, unless there has been a big change in the last year or two, they don't release any of their data, and what has been studied on the program is that it's effectiveness is on par with cold turkey.

There are more and more research programs on addiction now showing more effective ways to treat it than submission.

This is the part I guess I'm being unclear on, what an atheist might see as proselytizing might be seen as benign from a theist, and what a theist sees as anti-proselytizing (so to speak) might not be seen as such from an atheist. There is a lot more of it coming from the religious side then from the atheist side. I think that looking at this one board is a bad comparison, because this is where the anti-theism is supposed to be, we come here to discuss our views and differences and how religion affects our every day lives, so naturally if we feel it's bad we say so here, the other side says "No you're wrong, religion is good" but that's seen as pro-theism, not anti-atheism, but the two are really the same thing, they just get the luxury of not having to state as such.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #35)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 03:14 PM

36. Recovery rates have only been positively correlated with

length of time in residential treatment, as far as I know. AA/NA are rarely the only tool used in recovery programs, so they wouldn't really have data on success rates.

As they are not detox programs, "cold turkey" vs. AA isn't really a valid comparison. What would be is recovery/relapse rates in programs that use AA vs those that don't. But relapse rates are high across the board, no matter what you include.

I'm not sure what you mean by "submission" and would be interested in the research you refer to.

If anyone on either "side" (and I am really reluctant to even use that term, as there are many who fall somewhere in between). What you do seem to refer to is a lack of communication and understanding from those that hold different positions.

I strongly disagree that anti-theism is supposed to be here. We share common goals. If theism or atheism has had a net positive or negative impact on one's life, that's one thing. To demonize or attack all those who hold a set of beliefs or non-beliefs that are different than your own has no place here at all, imo, unless those belief sets infringe on the rights of others.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #36)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 05:04 PM

37. Addiction isn't really the focus here

we could go all day with that alone, and that isn't really the focus.

By submission I mean "3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him" (straight from AA.org, from the 12 step guide) and from webster's dictionary "3 : an act of submitting to the authority or control of another" pretty cut and dry there.

also makes it very clear that it is a religious thing.

The thing is that what is often labeled anti theism isn't. Like the removal of "In god we trust" form our money, it's an anti-atheist statement, removing it would be the neutral position, no one is asking to put "in no god we trust" anywhere (well, I'm sure someone is, but we don't talk about them...)

I think there is another confusion here, we're talking anti-atheist/anti-theist when we should be talking anti-theism/anti-atheism the sides are talking about ideas, personal attacks have no business anywhere.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #37)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 05:23 PM

38. Yes, I have repeatedly said that the original 12 step program is a religiously based program.

I don't think we have any dispute about that. What is needed are more programs that further define and institute concepts other than god for those that do not believe in gods (or those kinds of gods, anyway).

I don't think secularism is anti-theism in the least. One can be a theist and a secularist and come down squarely with you on the goal of having "god" removed from the currency. It is theocracy that would lead one to insist it should be there, not theism per se. I think our government was clearly founded on the concept of secularism and we need to get back to that.

Your point about anti-theism and anti-atheism is one I totally agree with. There is no place for personal attacks here, imo.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #18)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 09:10 PM

43. Faith is an interesting word

Most people assume it means a belief in a deity, but really it means belief in something that cannot, or at least, has not been proven.
As an atheist, I must admit that I cannot disprove the existence of a deity. I see no proof that one exists and logic tells me that the evidence for it's possible existence is unconvincing, to say the least. Consequently I believe life , us and the universe came into being without any outside help. I have faith in that belief, just as a deist has his faith. So, interfaith includes everyone, or should, by definition.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #43)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:32 PM

44. Meanings are clever

We might start a discussion about a word, but two people will go back and forth all day because they are coming from different meanings of the same words.

You see it as faith in that belief, I don't because I can say "We don't know" and leave it at that, it's simply beyond or current technology and understanding, there is zero faith involved. Therefore I am not included, and I know I'm not alone in that belief.

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Response to Lordquinton (Reply #44)

Sun Jun 30, 2013, 01:30 PM

45. Therefore you have faith in your belief that we don't know.

I have faith in the scientific process. It isn't always right, but it's usually very reliable because it is based on observable (in most cases) and verifiable data.
Deists, OTOH, tend to have faith in unobservable and unverifiable data. That's what I call "blind faith".
My point is, they are both about faith and any interfaith group should be all inclusive, regardless of belief or disbelief in a deity.

You are right about the different meaning of the word faith. I'm using it in it's more generic, or secular meaning.

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Response to longship (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 05:40 PM

40. Of course the two are alike. They're about belief.

One believes in some kind of deity, the other doesn't. Heads and tails. You can't have one without the other.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #40)

Sat Jun 29, 2013, 05:48 PM

41. I bow to your simple, but eloquent logic.

You, of course, are correct.

However, my brain was going for the more usual, "atheists really believe just like us theists" argument.

Cognitive bias, I suppose.

Thanks, friend.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:39 AM

8. In my opinion, religions are different sides of the same coin

To me, atheism is not only not one of the sides of that coin, but isn't a coin at all.

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Response to LibAsHell (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 11:53 AM

12. I guess the argument could be made either way, but I would suggest that

both can have some validity.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 05:14 PM

17. Know who else don't reflect?

Vampires.

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 03:11 AM

20. Non Sequitur

"Faith or no faith, and whether you're enthusiastic, indifferent or apoplectic, the breakfast is a brilliant example of why public ritual matters. Those of us with no faith have a lot to learn about the value of halting the normal rhythms of life and stopping to reflect. We could all benefit from prayer breakfasts, or at least something akin to such a metaphysical break."

How is it an example of public ritual mattering? I saw nothing to suggest that.

THEN it says "those of us with no faith" need to learn to halt the normal rhythms of life and stopping to reflect? We don't reflect on life? Wow i have been doing it wrong. Also we need to stop the rituals we already have in order to take up other rituals? Yeah that makes soooo much sense.

" And yet staunch secularists, humanists, and atheists might have taken comfort from the fact that they were not forgotten,"

I would take more comfort in being forgotten by them myself, especially if they are going to argue: "faith and knowledge are both central to who and what we are as humans."

I can live quite well without faith. I still love and am loved, I function just fine on a daily basis, and so on.



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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #20)

Fri Jun 28, 2013, 12:42 PM

22. I'm think he loses some of his audience when he generalizes, as there are

a significant number of atheists/non-believers who seriously object to anything that feels like encouragement to adopt religious ritual (understandably).

But his point that some public ritual may serve more than a religious function makes sense to me.

If a group is getting together to do some hard work, it is often in the midst of a thousand other demands. To stop at the beginning and just focus together for a few moments might make a lot of sense.

Is it so bad to recognize that while some of this has been draped in religious clothing, perhaps being stripped would not only preserve the positive benefit but decrease the feeling by others that they are being excluded?

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