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Veg*n Atheist/Agnostic/Freethinkers Chat

Starting this since it came up in another thread that we'd like to chat. (Even if it's just me and JessaCita professing our love for Julia Sweeny!;))

I probably don't have to say this because of how cool everyone on VegWeb is but...
Let's please not get into heavy debate in this thread.

Let's just chat about veg*n Atheist/Agnostic/Freethinkers issues...
For example, books that we're reading or would like to recommend, how we/if we celebrate holidays etc. that kind of thing. Or whatever else takes your fancy.  :D

I'm an atheist. Was raised Catholic, and went to an all girls, Catholic high school. I lived in the "bible belt." I was even quite religious for a while - wanting to be a missionary in some Brazilian jungle. Though, in truth, I was more excited about the adventure of the amazon than building churches.

Eventually, as I grew, I developed a huge interest in science and biology. I'm a very logical, rational thinker. And I began to apply my rational thinking to religion. Pretty much was an atheist by age 18.

I haven't read any books about it, though. I'd love to hear of any good ones. My S/O is also an atheist. For holidays, we celebrate with our families. But, for us, it's more of a good time to see our family, than any religious meaning.

When we have kids, we plan to start a tradition of celebrating solstice instead. Which will basically be just a time to celebrate life, the past year, family, etc. We'll wind up doing gifts, and have a tree ... but all of that will have a secular meaning. The xmas tree was originally a pagan symbol, anyway, until the Catholic Church adopted it. So, I figure, I can adopt it to mean something else too, lol.

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I'm interested in reading but have heard mixed reviews on the book "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Has anyone read it or does anyone have an opinion of it?  

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Nice idea for a thread.  I rarely post but I wanted to show my support. 
No gods, no masters.  :)

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I dunno what I would be. Spiritual, I guess.. LOL! I don't follow any religion, I just kinda go by what I think and feel is "right" for me. I guess it's also 'cause I'm HUGE into learning about any religion and culture! Different religions and cultures fascinate me! I love learning about them (I guess that's why my one major is going to Anthropology.. lol). I've always had an open mind about things like that. I suppose you have to if you're going into Anthropology (you see and learn about some CRAZY things ie. cannabalism). I don't have a particularily favourite book in that field, by chance (it's been two years since I've been in university, and I'm just getting ready to go back in the fall, so I'm psyching myself up to get back in the swing of things). Like I said, I just find cultures and religions fascinating!

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As for me... I was raised Roman Catholic, with a heavy Russian Orthodox influence. My wife was raised with Quaker grandparents who later became Baptist, an Agnostic mother and a non-practicing Jewish adopted father.

Good mix, eh?

In high school through about half-way in college, I was an atheist. I actually got an article published in an Atlanta magazine on the subject. You can read it here if you want. NOTE: My real name is there, as is my "business" e-mail. Please refrain from using it. If you want my regular e-mail, ask any old time and it's yours. Thank you.

Then I read 'The Tao of Pooh'. Cheesy as it sounds it changed my life. I believed in something again. I wasn't sure what, but it was something.

Long story short, when my wife and I thought we were going to have our first child (another long story short, it didn't happen), we found Unitarian-Universalism. It was like everything we'd developed on our own had been copied down, and put into a religion. It was weird, but we went to a church and haven't stopped going.

To sum up UU: One church, many paths. While some religions say they have the "one true way", UU's encourage people to find their own way, by whatever means they have (with reason) at their disposal. In my church, atheists sit beside Christians, beside Buddhists, beside humanists... check out uua.org if you really want more. (Actually the best Christmas pagent I ever saw was there. An atheist mom put together a kids service saluting Jesus, Martin Luther King, Moses, and Gandhi. It rocked.)

It's a lay-led group, so I we even get to get up and give sermons our selves every now and then. I actually should be writing mine for this Sunday right now...

So within the UU frame work, our family keeps questioning minds and loving hearts. We explore where our spirits seem inclined, and we plan to expose our daughter to as many religious customs and ideas as we can, within the framework of the seven UU principles. We celebrate the holidays we knew as kids(Russian Christmas, Passover, etc.) and plan to dabble in more.

Probably more than you wanted to know, but hey...

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and_it_spoke, I have to say, I checked out that site (being the religious nut I am.. LOL!), and from what I saw so far (I'm at work, so I'm only semi-seeing it. I'd like to look at it more thoroughly, but I just had to post this.. LOL! I'll get back to going through the site when I'm done with this post), that "church" (not really sure what to call it), is EXACTLY what I'm looking for! I only wish Regina has something like that!!! I would totally attend it! The Unitarian-Universalism sounds like a wonderful idea! It's about time a congregation was formed where there is religious tolerance and acceptance for each other. It just kills me when I hear about the intolerance some religions and beliefs have for one another. ALL religions are fascinating, and I'm a great believer that we can learn a thing or two from every one! Thank you so much for posting that!

I'm going to go back to checking out the rest of that site.. LOL!

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Definitely do it! There is a find a congregation near you link. That's exactly how we found our church.

I'll give you fair warning: UU seems to attract both honest, intellectual seekers... and nut jobs. The harmless new-agey type, but still, they can be off putting. I find the crystal zealots genuinely good at heart though, and they probably think better of me than I deserve.

But still, heads up.  ;D

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Heyya.
Our next door neighbors (and very best family friends) when I was growing up were Unitarian. I think it's really cool.  I'm not religious at all.  I guess I'm atheist, or maybe agnostic.  I leave open the possibility that there could be a God, afterlife, etc., but I'm not sure I believe in it.  I want proof, I guess.  I, too, was raised Roman Catholic.  I currently work for two religious intitutions, one Jewish and one Presbyterian, so it's a little weird.  I feel like I need to keep my ideas to myself...especially at the church where I work as a soloist...

I think religious music, art and history are really cool though.  If I could go to a church where they do tons of ritual and no actual sermonization or belief in anything, that would be the place for me.

I celebrate most Christian holidays and take part in Jewish services and holiday/festivals on occassion as well.  Regardless of faith, my favorite celebration is Christmas and the season leading up to it.  :D

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OK, so, the closest one to me is in Saskatoon (about a 2 hour drive from Regina), so I can't go there. I wrote to their office asking them if Regina has one I'm not aware about, or how one can be formed! I'm super excited about that! It's like finding a hidden treasure! I've often wondered if there was a church or congregation out there that incorporated all religions! This is such a great find! LOL...

::) Sorry about the gushing. Like I said, as a religion/belief nut, stuff like this really perks up my interest!

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I think religious music, art and history are really cool though.  If I could go to a church where they do tons of ritual and no actual sermonization or belief in anything, that would be the place for me.

Isn't the ritual so comforting? In college a buddy of mine, also raised Catholic, went to church one time during finals. Not to actually pray, but just to take comfort in the ritual (Stand, sit, stand, kneel stand, sit...)

And frankly, Religious choral pieces - especially by Mozart, Handel, Hayden and others - is some of the flat out prettiest music I've ever heard.

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OK, so, the closest one to me is in Saskatoon (about a 2 hour drive from Regina), so I can't go there. I wrote to their office asking them if Regina has one I'm not aware about, or how one can be formed! I'm super excited about that! It's like finding a hidden treasure! I've often wondered if there was a church or congregation out there that incorporated all religions! This is such a great find! LOL...

::)Sorry about the gushing. Like I said, as a religion/belief nut, stuff like this really perks up my interest!

That's great! The church I'm part of now actually started through a newspaper ad. They met for years at each others houses. Eventually, they put together enough collective money to rent a space and then buy a building.

Start somewhere, but make sure your spiritual needs are being met. I'm sure you'll find others who at least need to discuss the possibility of the divine.

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Sorry, I don't like organized religion at all. I'm nothing; not even atheist and I like it that way. Be whatever you want that makes you happy, just don't harm anyone in the name of your belief system, judge others for not sharing the same system, or try to convert me. I have no supernatural belief system per se, but that doesn't mean I don't have ethics. I don't think they have to be tied together.
I was raised Mormon. Kinda funny. ;)

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Be whatever you want that makes you happy, just don't harm anyone in the name of your belief system, judge others for not sharing the same system, or try to convert me. I have no supernatural belief system per se, but that doesn't mean I don't have ethics. I don't think they have to be tied together.

I absolutely agree 100%! Just because a person doesn't have a belief system doesn't mean they don't have morals! And in terms of judging people based on religions, what happened to plain ole' respect? That's what it should be about... respect for others, no matter what belief or religion (or not) they belong to. Period.

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Sorry, I don't like organized religion at all. I'm nothing; not even atheist and I like it that way.

I struggled for a word for a very long time to describe this exact "belief".  One day I was reading a collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens and the word he used was "antitheism".  I wish I could find exactly where I read it, but I have referred to myself as an antitheist ever since then!

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Isn't the ritual so comforting? In college a buddy of mine, also raised Catholic, went to church one time during finals. Not to actually pray, but just to take comfort in the ritual (Stand, sit, stand, kneel stand, sit...)

And frankly, Religious choral pieces - especially by Mozart, Handel, Hayden and others - is some of the flat out prettiest music I've ever heard.

YES!!!  I just saw a performance of Handel's "Solomon" last week.  And don't even get me started on Brahms' Requiem.

I'm interested in reading but have heard mixed reviews on the book "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Has anyone read it or does anyone have an opinion of it?  

I heard an interview on NPR with Richard Dawkins about this book.  He fascinates me!

Foofie, I also heard one with Christopher Hitchens, and he was discussing
"antitheism," saying that to him, atheism is becoming too much like a religion.

Anyway, so I was raised strict Southern Baptist.  Went to church twice on Sunday and then again on Wednesday night...because I wanted to.  I always felt uncomfortable with the thought that it was my duty to "spread the gospel" and "save the lost," but for myself, I was a religious nut (not in a bad way, i don't think).  I loved reading the Bible and discussing it with my pastor and youth director.  I always thought about how my actions would affect my salvation, and vowed to save my virginity for my husband, because as you know, fornication is the ultimate sin (i love the word "fornication").

Anyway, not sure of ONE event that changed things.  I went to church a few times freshman year of college and eventhough I had pretty much stopped going sophomore year, I was little disturbed by the fact that my boyfriend didn't believe in God. 

Anyway, I think I believe in God.  Definitely not in the way I used to, or in the way that my mother does, but I do believe their is a spiritual power in the universe.  Chicyuna, I also love learning about religions.  Most recently, I have been focusing on the Hindu way of life.  The Bhagavad-Gita and other Hindi writings are absolutely beautiful!  Christianity is also very beautiful.  In reading the bible as a "regular" book, there are some great stories in there! 

There are so many things that freakin piss me off about religion though.  >:(  For instance, I work in a very very conservative, rural school and everyone goes to church, and just assumes that everyone else believes what they do.  They know I don't go to church and I have Liberal bumper stickers all over my car (literally, I have one that says "I'm proud to be Liberal"  :)) Anyway, I often feel uncomfortable when they talk about God in the school setting.  Sometimes I feel like they are looking at me in disgust because I'm a Dam*ed heathen hippie.  Not that I think they are thinking about my life, but you know, it just kinda bothers me that they talk about church at work and think that EVERYONE believes the same thing as they do, and those who don't will burn in hell.

For my spiritual health, I watch the sunset as I drive home or if I have a free weekend, I go to the mountains and hike.  I sit and look at all the beauty around and marvel in it!  Something created that!  Whether it was God or combustion, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  The Earth is freakin amazing!  So yes.  I a dam*ed heathen hippie.  Haha.

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Sorry, I don't like organized religion at all. I'm nothing; not even atheist and I like it that way.

I struggled for a word for a very long time to describe this exact "belief".  One day I was reading a collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens and the word he used was "antitheism".  I wish I could find exactly where I read it, but I have referred to myself as an antitheist ever since then!

Antitheism implies opposition to the existence of God. I have no problem with the existence of God. What I meant is I don't like to personally participate in organized religion.
Atheism is a belief system that there is no God. For one to be an atheist you would have to take a position on a super natural being.
Agnostics believe our minds can't know. I don't think an individual can't know.
See no position, no label. :)

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Sorry, I don't like organized religion at all. I'm nothing; not even atheist and I like it that way.

I struggled for a word for a very long time to describe this exact "belief".  One day I was reading a collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens and the word he used was "antitheism".  I wish I could find exactly where I read it, but I have referred to myself as an antitheist ever since then!

Antitheism implies opposition to the existence of God. I have no problem with the existence of God. What I meant is I don't like to personally participate in organized religion.
Atheism is a belief system that there is no God. For one to be an atheist you would have to take a position on a super natural being.
Agnostics believe our minds can't know. I don't think an individual can't know.
See no position, no label. :)

I dig it.  Great explanation.

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Forgot to include holidays in my original post.
I only celebrate the 4th of July, but I'll gladly accept the vacation time. :D

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Sorry, I don't like organized religion at all. I'm nothing; not even atheist and I like it that way.

I struggled for a word for a very long time to describe this exact "belief".  One day I was reading a collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens and the word he used was "antitheism".  I wish I could find exactly where I read it, but I have referred to myself as an antitheist ever since then!

Antitheism implies opposition to the existence of God. I have no problem with the existence of God. What I meant is I don't like to personally participate in organized religion.
Atheism is a belief system that there is no God. For one to be an atheist you would have to take a position on a super natural being.
Agnostics believe our minds can't know. I don't think an individual can't know.
See no position, no label. :)

Works for me!

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Wow, what an interesting topic. My husband and I were just talking about religious thought on our way to go canoing today. I was also raised in the bible belt. I was made to go to church three times a week (for a while). I used to have nightmares as a child about the second coming when I was in middle school. I went to an independent babtist church. As children, we were shown movies of people rising to heaven while driving down the road. The people left on earth were on the run, hiding from the people who were forcing them to get 666 tattooed on their foreheads. If the people left on earth refused to get the "mark of the beast" imprinted on their foreheads, then they were strapped to a guillotine and beheaded. I am a bit scarred. Also, I could never accept that there was this one religion that was right, and everyone else in the world was wrong.
Then I went to college, and discovered all the atrocities that have happened in the world that are associated with religion. Examples would be fighting between different thought groups such as calvinist, Lutheran, and roman catholic. More disturbing crimes against humanity include missions going to countries and changing cultural believes, while western civilization colonized the land in order to make more money and be more powerful.
With that said, I am not sure what I am. I am quite fond of the earth and feel connected. I feel that humanity and morals do not come from a religion, they come from within.

Holidays..... We have been kinda of celebrating the December holiday. This we have been struggling with. We try to steer the celebration toward solstice. The grandparents play a role here. I do not celebrate easter at all. Again, my children got their first commercial easter basket from grandma this year.

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