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Atheist Sacraments

Why should Catholics have all the fun?
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Secular analogies to the seven sacraments of Catholicism
Deconversion (analogous to Baptism): moment one begins to question dogma and think independently
Analysis (analogous to Confirmation): search for evidence of god and subsequent conclusions derived
Morality (analogous to Penance): Redefinition of ethics without gods (atheists are nice people!)
Holy Sh!t (analogous to Holy Eucharist): Ability to observe the discrepancy between religion and reality
Death Acceptance (analogous to Extreme Unction): Realization that death is inevitable and not be feared
Apolegetics (analogous to Holy Orders): Dissemination of knowledge pertaining to religious freethought
Marriage (analogous to Matrimony): Mutual emotional union between two persons
juan2003, Jun 21 2001

(?) Antons Daughters Page http://www.churchofsatan.org/aslv.html
She discounts Anton, having had a falling out... compares fact and legend [thumbwax, Jun 21 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Bill Maher: New Rule ... http://www.youtube....edded&v=f8U_JveHS8E
On attempting to draw analogies between religion and atheism. [jutta, Aug 09 2012]


       <PostingAgainstMyBetterJudgement> "Believer" versus "Freethinker" is a false dichotomy. You can believe in God _and_ be a freethinker. You can be an atheist and mindlessly spout some nonsense you heard someone else say. The opposite of both of those is true as well, of course. </PostingAgainstMyBetterJudgement>
PotatoStew, Jun 21 2001

       I'm using the analogy to make the observation that there is a process to religious infidelity. I'm not saying that these events should be ritualized; some of these events should probably be kept in secrecy as they happen. For example, a person in a very religious family who announces his deconversion epiphany is unlikely to receive a positive response.
juan2003, Jun 21 2001

       Over-identify much? Is this Juan the Closet Apostate?
Sorry, but what on *Earth* are you talking about?
Oh, and trust me, Catholics do *not* have all the fun.
angel, Jun 21 2001

       juan2003 - I think you're on the wrong website.
goff, Jun 21 2001

       I know several committed Christians who have experienced or participated in Deconversion, Analysis, Death Acceptance, Apologetics, and Marriage as defined in the idea, without ever losing their faith. In fact, most of these things strengthen faith. I would add "Holy Sh!t" to the list if permitted definitions of "religion" and "reality" that I suspect would differ somewhat from juan2003's. And among the Christians I actually know (admittedly, not many Catholics), most believe atheists are nice people.
beauxeault, Jun 21 2001

       [juan2003] There is a little book out there by a gentleman named Anton Szandor LaVey. You might want to read it. You have come amazingly close to the ideals of Satanism (not the crap you hear about on tv).
Reverend D, Jun 21 2001

       Right on, waug. I have read (C.S. Lewis?) that a person doesn't become nice by becoming a Christian, but instead they become *more* nice than they would have been otherwise. But since it's relative, *more* nice won't always be particularly nice by an objective standard. (Please note that in saying "becoming a Christian" I don't mean going to church, although that's often a part of it.)
PotatoStew, Jun 21 2001

       waugsqueke: There should be a scheme like the one British MPs (used to?) operate. Christians who think things would be better if more people were Christians (like yourself?) can pair off with atheists who think things would be better if more people were atheists (like me). Then both parties can agree to talk about it only when asked and be content that the practical results are the same. (I also like to talk about Christ.)   

       PeterSealy: Maybe you have your nihilists and your atheists crossed?
Monkfish, Jun 21 2001, last modified Jun 22 2001

       Well, my understanding is that Buddhists are, strictly speaking, atheists --- they don't believe in god(s). They are religious, though, and do have rituals.   

       I do know a few irreligious people who derive enjoyment and comfort from ritual, sometimes from rituals borrowed from a religious faith. I think it's silly to define an "atheist's ritual" so much in terms of Catholicism, since there are many, many religions in the world, and an irreligious person disbelieves in them all.
wiml, Jun 22 2001

       No wine and crackers, but you are allowed to eat human flesh and drink blood once a week.
wiml, Jun 22 2001

       This bears little resemblance to what your original annotation -- now gone astray -- said.
Monkfish, Jun 22 2001

       I do hereby withdraw my earlier remarks. I blinked and found myself engaged in what appeared to be drive-by pedantics. My trusty Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, in hand, I leveled my sights upon a most trivial of points, and then...   

       (Enough repititous waffle on these religion topics as it is.)   

       [PS] I think we can agree to disagree the point of rituals being specifically animistic in nature. Perhaps it is time for us to contend on points of minutia that are not baked to begin with.
Reverend D, Jun 22 2001

       Gary Cooper said, "I don't like it because it isn't on the level". But he may have been talking about something else.
The Military, Jun 22 2001

       Interesting summary of recent research, in yesterday's Washington Post, showing that the religious tend to live longer and better. (Calling Dr. God <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30449-2001Jul7.html>). So, having become an atheist on rational grounds, it seems the rational thing is to delude myself into belief in a God. Of course, most religions postulate an afterlife that rewards adherents to the faith. So apparently, one of God’s rewards to the faithful is to keep them from their eternal reward a little longer. Seriously though, while a confirmed atheist, I’d rather enjoy some of the ritual of religion in my life. So I’ll vote yes.
protean, Jul 09 2001

       For those who want church ritual without compromising their atheism, I suggest looking into the Unitarian-Universalist church. The congregation where I grew up had both theists and atheists, as well as all points in between. (There are some UU churches that are definitely Christian, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule.)   

       The "Unitarian" part of the name refers to a rejection of the doctrine of the Trinity on the part of the church's founders. It's been joked that the Unitarian creed is "There is at most one God".   

       As to wiml's comments about Buddhism: There are distinct Buddhist gods. (Basically, they're Hindu gods translated into Chinese and then left to evolve apart from Hinduism for a few centuries.) They're definitely not the focus of Buddhism, though, and one can be a Buddhist without believing in them or worshipping them. Indeed, worship of gods has been considered to be an obstacle to enlightenment and best avoided. But they do play a significant role in Buddhist mythology.
baf, Jul 09 2001

       Unitarianism never made much sense to me, but yes, I suppose if one felt a need for ritual without faith, a Unitarian church would fit the bill. So this is Baked, in a sense.
PotatoStew, Jul 09 2001

       That La Vey link with the podgyfaced oddball staring (demonically?)... I don't get why such people do that 'please notice me, I'm spookier than you and wear more eyeliner' thing. I'd expect Satanists to look like any guy just to blend in and get more opportunities to do whatever Satanists do. Imagine an utterly normal-seeming integrated person with that sort of agenda... far more disturbing, because they're blending in perfectly with the herd.
Phrontistery, Aug 11 2012

       [Phrontistery], that would be scarier, especially for the paranoid/religious folks.   

       That guy reminds me of the kids who don't care what you think, and who are working damned hard to be sure you know they don't.
baconbrain, Aug 12 2012

       I think theists are just innately better at the whole ritual/band together/raise a joyous voice thing – explaining, via a little social evolution theory, why there are so many of ‘em.   

       Never mind atheist sacraments – I’d be impressed to the point of giddiness by a foot-spomp’in good non-theistic gospel song.
CraigD, Aug 13 2012

       I don't believe in atheists.
hubby2debbie, Aug 16 2012

       // Imagine an utterly normal-seeming integrated person with that sort of agenda... //   

       Why go to the effort of imagining? Just email the address on [UnaBubba]'s profile page …
8th of 7, Aug 16 2012

       [CraigD] Not so much what you are looking for, but check out Susan Werner's "Gospel Truth". It's more agnostic than atheist, but still has some good music.
MechE, Aug 16 2012

       [+] (That's a cross sign).   

       Being nice Christians: Nice to Jews?   

       The gospel: You have it from the 60's: "Nothing to die or live for. I do believe you can... Imagine all the people" (St. John the Lennon)   

       Longevity: James Randi proves em wrong. Unless he'll turn to religion at old age.
pashute, Aug 17 2012

       I think the basic argument is "there are no referents for most religious objects". That means there's really no basis for knowing anything about them, so there is really no honest approach to belief. It's simply not possible to agree with anything religious people say. But you can disagree with them quite easily. They simply don't know if the things they believe are true, and I don't think that would be becoming to anything that is even remotely godlike, whatever that could possibly mean. Faith is simply a religious virtue, and relies on the circular logic of relgious people who accept it as a virtue.   

       There's no room for agnosticism. To say that "you simply don't know" is simply expressing our state in nature. That's not agnosticism, that's being a relatively small, omniverous, partly furry mammal. At bottom everyone does not know, because frankly there's really nothing to indicate there is anyone or anything that has intended us to know anything about the universe, but its an agony of being a human that makes us wonder and worry until we're sick in our heads. However, atheism is possible. We can say to someone who points at a religious object, that they can not prove, have not proven, and have not satisfied basic requirements for truth in the production of their own belief.   

       Let me reiterate that because there is an important point there about burden of proof. That people do not know, means that denial of the existence of god is of the referentless claim made by theists. Therefore the denial of god is not of any possible god, but simply of the god they claim exists - the one without a referent. As there is no referent there is nothing to be known, and in fact, the word god is used in an absurd sense, referring to nothingness and only what has been imagined.
rcarty, Aug 21 2012


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