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Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:00 pm
by Laurens
Hello,

Just to correct any misunderstanding with regards to my hastily chosen alcohol influenced title. I do not mean in any way that I am no longer an atheist, or that I view atheists with any disregard or mean any of you any insult.

What I'm talking about is a point that I have reached in my own personal development where my being an atheist is no longer a big thing. I went through a phase where I could find myself thinking about and getting indignant about religion without any external stimuli at all. Now I just feel like I was almost wasting my time. I don't believe in God, what more is there to talk about really, unless you want to go round and round in circles with theists?

I've said all I need to. In a way I feel that I've kinda let some folks down on this forum because I want to actively contribute and live up to the honour of being a blogger that was kindly given to me, but I don't find myself moved to comment on many subjects discussed here, let alone post in great length about them. Another reason is that I feel a desire to distance myself from the petty atheists who petition against innocuous memorials and sexist wankers like Thunderf00t and the Amazing Atheist.

Does anyone else feel a loss of passion where there once was a great deal when it comes to atheism?

I love this forum, and I want to stay a part of it, but I feel less and less inclined to comment on things for reasons mentioned previously. I hope at least in part that this discussion may motivate me again in some form or another.

Apologies for being incoherent. Blame the beer.

Laurens

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 8:52 pm
by Inferno
Yes, I know the feeling. I haven't really bothered for two years now, right after the AAI conference. That being said, I still enjoy discussing the topic and getting into debates. I don't have time to post because my life is all topsy-turvy at the moment, but when I can I will get back to it. It's not like the only thing we talk about here is religion...

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:08 pm
by Laurens
Inferno wrote:It's not like the only thing we talk about here is religion...


I appreciate that, I think its more of a far reaching thing for me. I feel confident in my beliefs on most things from the falsity of pseudo-science to the ridiculousness of conspiracy theories. To me there isn't much that moves me to want to discuss anything along those lines unfortunately. Now that the part of me that feels enthusiastic enough to engage in debate about these things has gone, I feel little urge to talk about it.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:23 pm
by Inferno
Laurens wrote:I appreciate that, I think its more of a far reaching thing for me. I feel confident in my beliefs on most things from the falsity of pseudo-science to the ridiculousness of conspiracy theories. To me there isn't much that moves me to want to discuss anything along those lines unfortunately. Now that the part of me that feels enthusiastic enough to engage in debate about these things has gone, I feel little urge to talk about it.


For me, the urge to engage in debates is still there, because this is a small way I can contribute to the sum of human knowledge. Well, in this case to the sum of educated human beings. I perceive creationism and other pseudo-science as a threat. If it isn't dealt with, it may do a lot of harm. That's what keeps me talking.

It's not the non-belief intrinsically, it's the ramifications of the opposing beliefs.
If that makes sense...

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:26 pm
by Laurens
Inferno wrote:
Laurens wrote:I appreciate that, I think its more of a far reaching thing for me. I feel confident in my beliefs on most things from the falsity of pseudo-science to the ridiculousness of conspiracy theories. To me there isn't much that moves me to want to discuss anything along those lines unfortunately. Now that the part of me that feels enthusiastic enough to engage in debate about these things has gone, I feel little urge to talk about it.


For me, the urge to engage in debates is still there, because this is a small way I can contribute to the sum of human knowledge. Well, in this case to the sum of educated human beings. I perceive creationism and other pseudo-science as a threat. If it isn't dealt with, it may do a lot of harm. That's what keeps me talking.

It's not the non-belief intrinsically, it's the ramifications of the opposing beliefs.
If that makes sense...


I do agree that there are threatening beliefs out there that may do harm if not spoken out against.

However, I feel like I've gone round in circles enough times on those topics. In certain ways I feel like it does more harm than good to engage these people. Having a debate with someone after all does imply that their beliefs are worth debating or indeed up for debate.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:33 pm
by Prolescum
I've never been particularly enamoured with "new atheism" really, just enjoy a good ruckus (whether I'm involved or not).

Obviously this site has the reputation of being a place to argue vigorously that very topic, but it's really whatever its users make of it. The more topics people add, the broader the range of eventual respondents. I see JRChadwick has returned to show how to dismantle and identify the parts of NES cartridges.

Wanna get together and do a podcast or a skype jam?

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:44 pm
by Inferno
Prolescum wrote:Wanna get together and do a podcast or a skype jam?


With you lot? Not bloody likely, is it? :lol:

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:50 pm
by Prolescum
:lol:

I'm failing trying to organise my time better...

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 9:51 pm
by Laurens
Prolescum wrote:I've never been particularly enamoured with "new atheism" really, just enjoy a good ruckus (whether I'm involved or not).

Obviously this site has the reputation of being a place to argue vigorously that very topic, but it's really whatever its users make of it. The more topics people add, the broader the range of eventual respondents. I see JRChadwick has returned to show how to dismantle and identify the parts of NES cartridges.

Wanna get together and do a podcast or a skype jam?


Possibly now I am working more sociable hours :)

I would be up for discussing some of my thoughts on this manner once I have gathered them a bit more.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:11 pm
by Prolescum
Okies. It's a pretty good topic for a panel chat though, particularly given that we haven't actually done one in however long...

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 10:17 pm
by Laurens
Prolescum wrote:Okies. It's a pretty good topic for a panel chat though, particularly given that we haven't actually done one in however long...


I have been trying to write something about it for a while but can't quite pinpoint what I mean to say. I think a discussion would help.

Part of me thinks that it is something to do with my location, where the only recent incursions that religion has had on my existence was my neighbour offering me food in celebration of Ramadan and someone saying 'God bless' at work. Perhaps my anger was so disproportional to the effect that religion had upon my life that sooner or later it had to dissipate and turn into nothing.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:25 am
by he_who_is_nobody
Laurens wrote:Does anyone else feel a loss of passion where there once was a great deal when it comes to atheism?


I cannot say I have. To be honest, atheism has never factored into my identity, as it seems to for most people. However, as Prolescum pointed out, I do not believe this forum is solely for discussing atheism or pseudoscience.

Laurens wrote:Another reason is that I feel a desire to distance myself from the petty atheists who petition against innocuous memorials and sexist wankers like Thunderf00t and the Amazing Atheist.


There is something you could focus on; perhaps you can dedicate a few blogs to actually outlining your stance (which appears to align with mine). As everyone loves to point out, atheism is a negative belief, so it might be nice to see some positive beliefs (that are actually positive) held by atheists.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:02 pm
by Gnug215
Yeah, I lost my enthusiasm ages ago.

I mean, I was never in this to create some kind of identity, it was more a matter of fighting the forces of evil (creationism), whilst united with some like-minded people.

I'm not sure if I ever really identified as an atheist, but I certainly wouldn't now, due to so many asshat atheists.

Some may criticize me for that sentiment, saying that it's a cop-out, but screw that! I get to decide what I identify as, and part of my identity is to criticize and shun people who would otherwise identify as "part of my group" if they act like idiots. Distancing myself from idiots is a greater part of my identity than not really believing in any gods. And I'd rather be in no group at all than be in a group with idiots.

"But," you say, "Yadda yadda stand up for what you believe in, yadda your convitions blah blah." Yeah, well, my conviction is still to distance myself from idiots, so shove it!


Beyond that, experiencing discussion after discussion, debate after debate on the topic, among other in this forum, really kills my mood to really debate the topic. Just look at some of our recent examples, and the wall of stubborn ignorance you run into, and the prideful idiocy. You know you're not going to get anywhere with 99% of these people, so it's useless.
And let's face it, when we argue that "well, you know, the on-lookers and fence-sitters may change their minds", we know full well that in 99% of the time, there are no on-lookers, because most people don't care about this debate, and those that two have already made up their minds, and come into the debate "fully fortified".

So yeah... that's about it for me. :)

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:55 am
by televator
Oooooooon a similar topic: I lost my enthusiasm for the figure heads of the atheist movement in the US. (Oh hai everyone! Its been a while. :P ) I started to notice something strange about vocal athiest "celebrities". Muslimophobic tendencies with a good helping of misogyny seems to be all the rage these days. I'd rather not be represented by such folks. I had already departed that train long before Harris opened his mouth again on Real Time and it really makes my blood boil that this he is now the model of what it means to be an atheist in the public eye.

That's sorta why I came back here. Last I remember, it was a relative haven for atheists who had not sucumb to Islamophobitis.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:18 pm
by DepricatedZero
dude I've felt this way for a while.

I've kind of always been an atheist, even though I didn't realize it for a long time. Religion angered me for all the stupid shit it did, but I never really questioned that. Then an ex-girlfriend exposed me to the idea that I'm an atheist. I had never put a label to it or considered it.

When I sat down and analyzed it, I was furious. I was mad as hell, and I wasn't gonna take it any more! So I started talking to other atheists, joined this site, others, etc. This was always my favorite forum though, because the people here were much more reasoned and less knee-jerk emotional about everything than some of the big atheist boards.

I used to be vocal, I'd decry any whackadoo spouting their crap. But I used to go out and seek it, I used to whip myself up into anger just thinking on shit. Now I don't go looking for it, and I only speak up when it needs to be shot down. No sense getting mad at Old Miss Gerhardt for saying "bless you" when I sneeze. I've also removed religious habitual phrases from my vocabulary. Instead of "bless you" I say "salud" - instead of "thank god" it's "thank fuck" - instead of "oh god" it's "sweet cthulhu" - and so forth.

Recently, I've chilled the fuck out with it. I just don't care enough, and I have other things I want to invest my energy in. I have an awesome job that I've worked hard to get, and I love it and want to keep myself sharp for it. I'm getting in shape. As of this past week there's a skirt I've been chasing - and she's stopped to shake it a couple times so I know it's not in vain. I'm working on my band, we're going out and playing shows. Life is too good to spend angry about assholes. I'm taking the Bad Religion approach and condemning them through song, and having a great time while doing it.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:04 pm
by Dragan Glas
Greetings,

As I said in the Atheism Plus thread, the "Old Atheists" were right: it's the social issues that count - the fact that you're an atheist is irrelevant.

Kindest regards,

James

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:02 am
by australopithecus
Annoying atheists is far more entertains than annoying theists, I find. The whole debate bores me at this point, so I've reverted to what I do best; being antagonistic online for my entertainment.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:41 pm
by Duvelthehobbit666
I too have found less of a connection with the atheist "community". I think other things in my life got in the way. Atheism is a very flimsy thing to build your personality on, so I think that a lot of people get bored of being and all out atheist. I think that I really stopped caring when the Atheism Plus movement started. There was a lot of in fighting in the atheist movement and it just got tiring after a while.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:41 pm
by hackenslash
Laurens wrote:However, I feel like I've gone round in circles enough times on those topics. In certain ways I feel like it does more harm than good to engage these people. Having a debate with someone after all does imply that their beliefs are worth debating or indeed up for debate.


Not necessarily. My motivation in these things has never been the person I'm debating. Indeed, I largely don't even talk to them, I simply use their posts as a springboard and talk past them to the onlookers.

I do, very occasionally, begin to become disillusioned with it all, especially after having eviscerated the same tired apologetic bollocks for what feels like the gazillionth time (and I've been at this for about 15 years, give or take), but then, every so often, something happens that brings the vigour back. Here's an example:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/new-m ... l#p2102932

That alone makes it all worthwhile, and keeps me posting. I'm fully aware that the vast majority of those I debate are entirely impervious to facts (although I do still come across ex-creationists who've cited me as the catalyst for them shedding their belief), so I simply don't see that as a motivating factor. I'm motivated by the fence-sitters, the undecided, the onlookers.

I see myself as an educator, and the odd person that comes along thanking me for providing them with the tools to meet nonsensical horseshit head-on tells me that I must be doing something right, so I keep at it, even when I begin to get weary.

Re: Losing your enthusiasm for atheism

PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:37 pm
by tuxbox
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

As I said in the Atheism Plus thread, the "Old Atheists" were right: it's the social issues that count - the fact that you're an atheist is irrelevant.

Kindest regards,

James


Indeed! I can't really understand how anyone can be enthusiastic about a non-belief in the first place, but that is just my opinion. :)