i don't regard myself as being an atheist, even if that is what I actually am because for my mind atheism is a mere affectation, it is merely a useless label that means nothing to me and couldn't possibly convey what sort of person I am to others, so I wouldn't call myself an atheist because it would feel like I was speaking bullshit.
Which is no different to anybody else to be honest, because people tell me they are American, Australian, New Zealander, Ford driver, Holden driver, chocolate lover, a tea drinker, a coffee drinker, vegan, meat lover, christian or atheist or whatever other banner it is that they fly before themselves that makes them feel like they belong to their particular group and be proud of belonging to that group but no single banner can tell me what sort of person you are, how can it?
But if people want to fly their banners, then that's fine with me for all these groups *except* for atheism because I see atheism as the neutral position so to fly the atheist flag before oneself is to fly an empty banner devoid of any meaning whatsoever.
For me, the mistake in atheism is touting that you are an atheist in the first place, because for my mind, the atheist represents the "clean-slate", the pristine human being that is free to act as an individual in all regards.
In other words, the atheist is free to be an independent and individual observer to all points of view *including* atheism itself even though it doesn't really have a point of view, so to see a lot of people openly declaring that they are individuals is somewhat redundant to my way of thinking.
We all consider ourselves to be "me" from our own point of view, right? So to me, atheism is a label given to declare that you are yourself, that you are your own "me", which is a somewhat redundant label when thought of in that particular context, I mean, you don't go around telling people that you are indeed yourself, that you are indeed your own "me", do you? Imagine that conversation?
"Hi, I'm me!"
"Hi there! I am *also* me!"
"Please to meet you, me!"
But perhaps that is just me and the culture I was raised in because where I live in Australia, religion is generally something that people keep to themselves, which in my personal case may be because I end up correcting people in my life about their own religion when they talk to me about it so they tend not to tell me their (incorrect) ideas about their religion in the first place to save themselves the hassle of being told how they have their religion wrong.
What I am saying is that it has never been necessary to flaunt my lack of belief in gods and such because where I live, in spite of there being a christian majority, there has never really been a need to counter the religious bullshit that can crop up at times that would require that I drop into "atheist-mode" in order to put religion in its place.
A simple and polite "oh just fuck off with that Jesus bullshit!" (yes, that is being polite) is usually sufficient to shut down anybody blabbering on about their Jesus and besides that, in general terms, regular christians in Australia usually do something about the more extremist christians anyway. Like when some dumbarse christians shoot their mouths off over here, it is often the moderate christians telling the extremist christians to sit down and shut the fuck up.
This is something I rarely see elsewhere. From what I have seen online in the USA, it is the atheists that feel compelled enough to tell extremist christians to pull their heads in, the christians in the USA generally avoid speaking out against other christians, now matter how fucked up their fellow "christians" behave, at least in my experience it has been a rare occasion to see a USA christian tell another USA christian to shut the fuck up and stop being a fool.
At any rate the consequence of my rarely needing to "debunk" religion has meant that I have rarely needed to use the anti-religion view point to support my views. Instead, I support my anti-religious views by using a person's own *religion* without getting within cooee of using the atheist/scientific viewpoint at all.
For instance: if some christian were to go on about how evolution is just a theory, then I would say "so fucking what? what the fuck does evolution have to do with christians being good people?" ...
After all, being a good person is the entire point of Jesus' teachings so *whatever* it is that christians bullshit about, if it is *anything* beyond a discussion of how to be a good person, then their argument can and should be summarily dismissed because what they are bullshitting about is irrelevant to the teachings of Jesus so it is *nothing* to do with christianity and means nothing to furthering any argument for christianity.
So for my mind, atheists are going about debunking religion the wrong way in that they do not need to put across their own atheist viewpoint to win a religious argument at all, they don't even need to focus on all the bullshit bad things that religion touts either.
For example: believers don't give a flying fuck about how we would be all inbred if we descended from just two people (Adam and Eve), if anything, they make up some bigger bullshit story to account for this so it is utterly pointless to take the scientific point of view (which the adamant believer refuses to understand anyway) and explain why a diverse genetic sampling is required to make a healthy population of humans. Nor do believers give a fuck that marriage isn't solely defined as being between a man and a woman (eg. King Solomon had how many wives?) nor do believers care that slavery (eg. it is okay to beat your servants as long as they don't die within three days of that beating) and rape are condoned (eg. if you rape a girl, you are obligated to marry her) in the bible...
all believers care about is what they know, and to be brutally honest, when it comes to christianity, believers know little to nothing about their religion nor its origins. All of these little rituals they do (eg. going to church, communion, prayer etc etc) and these holidays that are supposedly celebrated because of Jesus are frivolous and unnecessary and are nothing to do with the actual christian message as taught by Jesus.
In fact pretty much anything that is identified as "christian" these days can be regarded as frivolous and/or an out-right admission that the believer does not comprehend their religion which is by far the easiest way to commit idolatry and break their precious first commandment. Ironic that the people who shout the loudest that they are following Christ's teachings are the ones that are some of the people that are the furthest away from actually following those teachings of Jesus.. Although the irony has worn off for me and it is now the expected behaviour from christians to be utterly oblivious to their pissing all over their precious religion.
An example of frivolous christian bullshit: putting the "Christ" back in Christmas makes me roll my eyes because Christmas is a ritual usurped from the pagan celebration of the winter solstice by the Romans in order to encourage people to be christian three hundred years after the death of Jesus. Giving and receiving gifts once a fracking year to and from people you already know was not the point of Jesus' teachings about loving thy neighbour, you are supposed to give to people who are in *need*, getting an iPod or giving the latest Sony Playstation hardly counts as something you *need* ... Seems to me that people think that they are good christians merely because they do this gift giving thing once a year and that justifies them calling themselves christian for the rest of the year... nope! that is NOT how it works, dickhead. I even get the impression that some people even go to church once in a blue moon and that somehow makes them a good person without actually fucking doing anything for those in need.
"Oh I put TWENTY FUCKING CENTS INTO THE COLLECTION PLATE!! WHAT MORE DO YOU FUCKING WANT?!?!"
Fact is: if you are christian and you are doing good things for those in need, then that is *all* you need to do to be a good christian. Going to church is pointless because Jesus said to not be seen in public offering your praise to him so that others can see that you are a offering praise (that's called "showing off", by the way); catholic communion is another pointless ritual to make it seem like you have taken a vow to your Messiah; even merely saying that you believe in Jesus as a person is a pointless exercise in actual terms of following JC's teachings; nearly everything a christian can bullshit about can be summarily dismissed as nothing to do with JC's teachings of loving thy neighbour aka giving to those in need.
That is the complete extent of what you actually need to know about christianity, so why is that so FUCKING HARD for 2.2 Billion christians to do???
Jesus taught that you are to give to the needy if you want to get to heaven - that is all that is needed to be "christian" and this is the mistake that atheists make, they concentrate on debunking the frivolous rubbish that the believer touts when that frivolous rubbish should be summarily dismissed as nothing to do with what Jesus Christ taught seeing how JC's teachings are the fucking point of christianity....
Do you want proof that Jesus exists and that people actually follow their god? Have a look at how many people live in or near to poverty and you will find that near three billion people are living in poverty, there is your proof that Jesus does not exist, because if Jesus existed, christians would be falling over themselves to make sure that there was no poverty anywhere in the world.
For my mind, as long as there is poverty in this world, Jesus is a myth. In fact, Jesus is a disgusting lie that people follow in lieu of their actually doing something about all the needy people in the world.
Believing in Jesus, for the most part, is how people tell themselves that they are good people because they don't have the courage to acknowledge that they are good people of their own accord, but this label that they throw on themselves means nothing, so we get christians who are abusive and disgusting and hateful who will claim black and blue that they are a follower of Jesus when plain and simply to the eye of anyone with even half an eye open, they are clearly NOT following JC's teachings. It's a guilt trip that people can whip out when they feel guilty about not actually helping the needy.
"Hey I believe in Jesus, so why the fuck should I help the needy, Jesus will be back soon to fix EVERYTHING, real soon, in about five minutes.... just wait ... "
ahem ... NO!
but "Jesus died for my sins" .. ahem... no he did not, the manner in which he died was an *example* of how *christians* are supposed to live their lives and that example he taught was that no matter how much people mistreat you, you will *still* be forgiving of them and that you will NOT raise a hand or even a single thought of violence towards those people that would hurt you.
"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do..."
That is where atheists make their mistake, Jesus will not do squat for this world because Jesus taught his *followers* to fix the world and its problems, so Jesus will *never* magically (re)appear to set things right because fixing the world is what he commanded his followers to do by giving to the needy and that is all there is to christianity, to make arguments beyond that simple concept is to demonstrate your inability to understand the simplicity of what christianity was supposed to fucking be about, which is something that believers need to be taught. ie. either start following the teachings of Jesus Christ or fuck off with this utterly bullshit set of elaborate lies that the christian tells the world because they think they are getting into heaven for merely calling themselves "christian".
If Jesus really does exist, then it is his own followers that are going to hell for pretending to be something that they are not. The atheist should take advantage of the christian inability to follow their own set of rules in disassembling religion and not bother with the petty bullshit that the religious don't give a fuck about either.