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Atheist country-western songs

Because cowboys know that when they die, all that's left is dust in the wind
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(+9, -4)
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It took me 35 years to appreciate the false Texas accent and slide guitar, but here I am, only to find the radio preaching at me most of the time. I hope y'all can point me to some existing baked good athiest country music, but even so I think there's some songs that should be written. As stevie wonder said, "when you believe in things you don't understand, you will suffer."
white, Jul 10 2011

Aint no god in Mexico - Waylon Jennings http://www.youtube....watch?v=_lDrDd29_OI
Although... double negative. [rcarty, Jul 10 2011]

can't say I'm *up* in country & western tho. http://www.youtube....watch?v=pc0mxOXbWIU
[po, Jul 10 2011]

http://www.youtube....watch?v=hkg2C_EIea0 [xenzag, Jul 10 2011]

Did as I was told http://www.google.c...=1&biw=1259&bih=848
got 4,490 results. [calum, Jul 11 2011]

"I Want my Baby Back" by Jimmy Cross http://www.youtube....watch?v=h0x8S1U7O3w
Country-ish and, if not atheist, certainly godless! [DrBob, Jul 11 2011]

'I Believe' from Not the Nine O'Clock News http://www.youtube....watch?v=O7eCUEfb7U0
In a C&W stylee. Very nearly atheist apart from the penultimate line. [DrBob, Jul 12 2011]

'God Isn't Real' by Robbie Fulks http://www.youtube....watch?v=e8T_G4u1rAs
"atheist country song music" search on YouTube [baconbrain, Jul 14 2011]

"My head hurts, My feet stink, and I don't love Jesus" - Jimmy Buffet http://www.youtube....watch?v=DHw9K9yMots
Although not loving Jesus may not be the same as not believing in Jesus' existence [afinehowdoyoudo, Jul 16 2011]


       You could perhaps ease both the market and into the market gently with an album of countryfied covers of, I dunno, Marylin Mason, Cradle of Filth, that sort of thing.
calum, Jul 10 2011

       Atheism <> anti-Christian. That said, isn't any song that doesn't mention religion atheist?
phoenix, Jul 10 2011

       [waving hi to neighbor in Oakland from San Mateo], pretty much what the others have said about the idea. But I kind of thought it was a sorta good idea for a moment.
blissmiss, Jul 10 2011

       This is your 6th idea in ten years..... hmmmm. Hums favourite country and western song. (see/hear link)
xenzag, Jul 10 2011

       //There are countless songs in the country music genre //
Yeah, bummer.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 10 2011

       I re-read that and it kinda makes sense now.
po, Jul 10 2011

       [21] - that's a particularly trollish thing to say.   

       I can't tell if you're a religious bloke who's afraid of a contrarian view, or an agnostic who can't follow through all the way to their own conclusions. Either way, take the acrimonious shit elsewhere.
Custardguts, Jul 10 2011

       Atheism in the face of unsupported or non-predictive religious theories is the very best science. The rejection of an unsupportable non predictive theory is a very scientific approach. The scientific basis for atheism is beyond reproach. If a supported or predictive theistic theory existed and was not accepted scientifically then atheism would be a non-scientific belief system. Your reductio ad absurdum argument is fallacious.
WcW, Jul 10 2011

       Two top physicists who claim to be atheists, not agnostics, and give good professional reasons for it: Lee Smolin, Steven Hawking.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 11 2011

       I bet you could have a great CW atheist song. No genre articulates despair better that country. The singer could protest that even Job had God show up and let him know where he stood. The tagline: "Have you forsaken me - or ain't you there at all?"
bungston, Jul 11 2011

       //Your reductio ad absurdum argument is fallacious.//   

       I love it when you talk dirty.   

       [21 Quest] For what it's worth, I somewhat agree with you. In some senses, atheism is a belief, and belief is itself unscientific.
spidermother, Jul 11 2011

       Once again:   

       Atheism = not believeing (in a god).   

       The idea that one would take the position of believing there must be no god is something different is alien to any logical thinker.   

       Therefore, anything which does not express any reference to a god or belief in a god is atheist.   

       Atheism is the default position. Agnosticism requires that the individual is prepared to believe in something.   

       Listen to more Frank Zappa, less Jimmy Swagger :-)
Twizz, Jul 11 2011

       This is mostly a semantic argument, now. [Twizz] and [21] are saying much the same thing, but defining the terms differently. 'Atheism' is (unfortunately) used to mean both (1) a belief in the nonexistence of god(s), and (2) an absence of belief in, or reference to, god(s).   

       However, I disagree that //Agnosticism requires that the individual is prepared to believe in something//. Agnostic simply means 'without knowledge', or more loosely, non-believing.   

       Additionally, agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive; it's entirely possible to be both.   

       Personally, I'm kind of metagnostic; these are useful but problematic words, and I'm reluctant to use any of them as a firm label. I think I'm an agnostic atheist, but I'm not completely sure.
spidermother, Jul 11 2011

       As I understand it, the sort of C&W music that is mass-market prevalent in the States often has a quasi religous twang to it, or at least presumes that god exists and is in some way concerned with the actions of each song's subject. If this understanding is correct, it makes sense for someone to plug the theistic gap and start to produce C&W songs in the populist mode which deal with the usual C&W touchstones (uh, guns and, eh, um, bees?) in a manner that is not necessarily explicitly atheistic but are informed by a cold resolution that there is no god, or afterlife. This, to me, is what white was dirving at with the idea's subtitle. There are probably songs that fit this bill (just as there is at least one album of electropop country songs about the undead) but I do not, from my non-US standpoint, think that such a genre, if it exists, could be said to be known widely to exist. I also do not consider googling to be in and of itself, sufficient evidence of the the width of knowness of something's existitude.   

       Accordingly, I ask two things of 21 Quest:
First, that he remove his m-f-d tag, or at least finds a better reason to justify it; and
Second and unrelated to my preceding comments, that he stops pontificating on what is and is not a fitting position for a halfbaker to take. With the exception of 8th of 7, we are individuals with our own thoughts, values and beliefs, which cover the gamut from absolutist atheism, through bewildered agnosticism to concrete-hard knowledge of the mercy or wrath of god of gods. Suggesting that any belief system that is not entirely commensurate with what I can only assume is his own is in some way inappropriate for or debilitating to our participation in the halfbakery is, in and of itself, insulting.
calum, Jul 11 2011

       Also taking a highly abstracted conceptualization of atheism that you have generalized from somewhere and then refuting it is deluded.   

       My position that there is no god, just means that god doesn't factor into any of my own causative explanations for anything. If there is a bump in the night and I'm startled and say "there is no burglar" doesn't mean burglars don't absolutely exist, but simply that any claim that a burglar caused any of the phenomena in my house is incorrect. I could cite my guard dogs, alarm system, night watchman, and electrified fence as reasons for that. However according to the logic you provided I should lie in bed worrying that there is a burglar because I have not proven there is not a burglar. Even if I check the entire house, how can I know the burglar has not evaded me staying one step ahead at every turn, waiting for me to fall asleep content in his nonexistence, so he can perform tortuous acts upon me as punishment for disbelieving in him? What if my small children, of an immature and superstitious age, come running into the room and tell me that there is a burglar, and they have spoken to the burglar and the burglar said mean things to them? What if they pass me this information in a poorly scrawled note in crayon that I have to interpret based on my own advanced knowledge of the world, and of my children? Just like the idea of god can be used to explain things, so too can a burglar be used to explain a bump in the night. It might turn out that there is a burglar one day, but could the burglar really begrudge me for not lying awake awaiting him? He depends on it.
rcarty, Jul 11 2011

       //we are individuals//   

       <OMPR>I'm not!</OMPR>
pertinax, Jul 11 2011

       My favourite Country and Western song involves Carrie Underwood calling on Jesus' renowned emergency (and long-distance) driving skills (also worth noting the once in a lifetime rhyming of the words "Friday" and "Cincinnati"):   

       And I'm not going to tell any of you whether I like Country & Western or not - I think it's one of mankind's ultimate privileges to keep that kind of knowledge to themselves.   

       Jesus, Take the Wheel

       She was driving last Friday on her way to Cincinnati
On a snow white Christmas Eve
Going home to see her Mama and her Daddy with the baby in the backseat
Fifty miles to go and she was running low on faith and gasoline
It'd been a long hard year
She had a lot on her mind and she didn't pay attention
she was going way too fast
Before she knew it she was spinning on a thin black sheet of glass
She saw both their lives flash before her eyes
She didn't even have time to cry
She was sooo scared
She threw her hands up in the air

       Jesus take the wheel!
Take it from my hands!
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go!
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
Jesus take the wheel.

       It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder
And the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time
She bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way
I've been living my life
I know I've got to change
So from now on tonight

       Jesus take the wheel!
Take it from my hands!
Cause I can't do this on my own
I'm letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I'm on
zen_tom, Jul 11 2011

       Whats with all the anti-religion ideas on here lately? [-]
DIYMatt, Jul 11 2011

       "atheism is a specific belief in the non-existence of something, which, having no evidential basis, makes it almost a religion in and of itself"   

       atheism is not a belief. As has been pointed out many many times, the atheist simply believes in one fewer religion than the zealot. What about future and past religions? Must I also accept the potential validity of some lost jungle animism or moony new age faith because to fail to indulge it is "an act of faith on my part". Weak tea.
WcW, Jul 11 2011

       "Jesus take the wheel" is a great song and paints a vivid image - something country does like no other.   

       It also brings to mind my favorite scene from "Great White North"; on finding the brakes have been cut, Bob Mackenzie says "No point in steering now!" and they sit back to enjoy a last beer in their runaway car.
bungston, Jul 11 2011

       Bravo, [calum].
blissmiss, Jul 11 2011

       [Zen Tom], you took the words out of my mouth. I love country music because I like the dancing, but that song makes me SO ANGRY.   

       My friend's brother after going to divinity school actually believed Jesus was his co-pilot, but if that is true, Jesus give the wheel back. He ran off the road and hit a bulldozer. Yes, a bulldozer. (Is there anything worse to hit? Nothing comes to mind, then or since.) He lost his divinity school roommate that day.   

       Sadly country music is a small step from Gospel, so I will bun this idea even though it is decades or centuries before its time. (+)   

       As for the other discussion, I am Atheist. Great claims require great proof. Give me proof and I'll change my mind.
MisterQED, Jul 11 2011

       I'm still working on the "The Path of Least Resistance has been the roadmap of my life" song done in a country and western way. Can't work out the tune..
not_morrison_rm, Jul 11 2011

       Oh look, yet another hash-out on the contrasts and comparisons of different belief systems. Yawn. Old ground. Baked, broiled, and burnt in discussion here.   

       I'm quite atheistic when it comes to Hindu gods and goddesses, as well as the FSM.
RayfordSteele, Jul 13 2011

       I agree. Just like waiting until marriage to lose my virginity, I'm going to wait until I die before I give it up to the wrong God.
rcarty, Jul 13 2011

       Many religions have died out. Are those religions potentially true? If not, why not? If so, why so? Perfect material for music.   

       "Why you done left us Baaaaa'al, why you done gone awaaaay, Ba'al babee I done believed in you, and you promised you'd staaay."   

       "we made you temples and sac're'fise' pictured us together fo'ev'r, called you my migh'ty one, On beneded knee to praaay,"   

       (it goes on from there.)
WcW, Jul 13 2011

       // If atheism is simply a lack of belief in something, then why sing about it? //   

       If loneliness is simply the lack of having a girlfriend, then why sing about it?   

       Feeling lost and lonely and outcast from society is a good country music trope.   

       // Why do you feel compelled to tell everyone who does believe that they're wrong? //   

       That isn't what's going on, really. But, if it was, why the hell not? People in this country like to brag about being the best--atheists think they have intelligence and insight to brag about, and science on their side.   

       // Christians feel that it is the will of God that they spread his word to all who would hear them. //   

       Mayhap that is just their excuse for being braggarts, or for seeking validation by converting others to their POV.   

       // What is the motivation to spread the idea of atheism? //   

       Meet friends? Save people from tithing? Get even with priests? Share the news? Stand up for truth?   

       // No, atheism is a specific belief in the non-existence of something, which, having no evidential basis, makes it almost a religion in and of itself.//   

       No, it isn't a belief. And there's damn good evidence that it is indeed correct--certainly no evidence that it is wrong.   

       Atheism can be a religion, if defined as a worldview and set of values, but it isn't faith-based, nor supernatural, so it hardly counts as most folk's idea of a religion.   

       Isn't there a country song about feeling lonely and misunderstood?
baconbrain, Jul 13 2011

       Again, you seem to be pointlessly squabbling over semantics. Atheism (sensu [baconbrain]) is an absence of belief in deities; atheism (sensu [21 Quest]) is a belief in the absence of deities.
spidermother, Jul 13 2011

       In order to prove theism correct, you must first disprove atheism. What evidence do you have that there is a God in existence anywhere? Unless you have "damn good evidence" that there is a God, then you cannot possibly have "damn good evidence" that the theists are correct, can you?   

       Keep in mind that most religions brag about being faith-based, which is to say without evidence at all. They are proud of that. Science, on the other hand, is all about evidence and proof, and is the "religion" of choice of the atheist "religion".   

       // What evidence do you have that there is no God in existence anywhere? //   

       I don't have to prove that there is no god anywhere. Most gods are considered to be omnipresent, so I needn't examine every bit of the universe for some shrubby little god hidden under a toadstool on Altair 3-III.   

       Assuming an omnipresent god, all I need to do is show that there is no god-essence present in the most likely place to find concentrated god-ness, namely, the heart and head of a professing Christian. And I haven't seen a thing to indicate that there is anything godly there--I can't prove there isn't, but I have no reason to think there is. (I can see that most Christians are afraid to take up serpents or to drink harmful things, and I see that religions keep morphing and splintering out of control... .)   

       "Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be Christians..."
baconbrain, Jul 13 2011

       // you seem to be pointlessly squabbling over semantics. //   

       There are some atheists who believe there is no god. It gets rather confusing.   

       Mostly, though atheists lack the sense of belief or faith or whatever it is that takes things with little evidence.   

       A few folks go from believing one thing to believing another, and it is entirely possible to take atheism on faith--"My dog died, therefore there is no god." But most believers (those who believe things), wrongly believe that atheists are also believers, just following Charles Darwin and believing in evolution.   

       Atheism is closely tied to skepticism, which isn't a matter of belief. Indeed, it is the opposite--though many folks don't believe that.   

       "Atheism is my story and I'm sticking to it."
baconbrain, Jul 13 2011

       Exactly. You are in agreement that belief itself is a problem. (I find it quite grating when documentaries say, for instance, "Some scientists believe ..." I tend to translate that as "Some scientists are psychotically deluded that ...", and get annoyed at such a misrepresentation of the scientific method)
spidermother, Jul 13 2011

       There's nothing inherently wrong with beleif either - I notice that the thing people are getting most upset about is not the notion of belief, but the "loudness" of other people's insistance that their particular viewpoint is wrong. Whether that's from the point of view of an isolated non-believer in the midst of lots of Christians, or from a believer having to justify their world-view - both are unsatisfactory states.   

       Now I know it's not always possible to avoid controversy, there will always be outspoken people who make it on to TV, Radio, The Internet and Public Office - and for me, that is where the line should be drawn - on principle - I want people to be able to practice whatever religious beliefs they like - that is after-all the definition of a free-society - but it comes at a price - and that price is the separation of Church and State. And that means no Church in publicly provided services (private ones are fine) - that way, neither I nor anyone else ever has to get drawn into an argument over religion - because those arguments can never go anywhere useful.
zen_tom, Jul 14 2011

       I do my discussions about atheism and religion over at Pharyngula, where it's more on-topic. I'll close out here by saying that anybody could easily write a country song about being an atheist--and many have--it just won't be popular with the general country fanbase.   

       The idea is more of a let's-all, and this thread is more of a theology debate. [ ]
baconbrain, Jul 14 2011

       hmmmm, I have a couple of questions.   

       What exactly would count as proof one way or the other?
I find myself disillusioned by the whole scientific method discounting the results any experiment or phenomena which can not be reproduced by another scientist.
Just because I can't run a four minute mile doesn't mean that I don't believe that someone else can, (prolly not the best example but it illustrates a point), what proof would be required to change science-based atheism or agnosticism to science-based wonder at something you know dang well can never fully be explained.

       Would witnessing something unexplainable by utilizing the scientific method do the trick, or would such a thing simply be rejected as a personal delusion because of the massive crack it would place on the arbitrary foundation which science sits.   

       See..., I done been cracked by that miracle-y whip a time or three now and I can't find any answers for any of them in y'alls books. I can see only three possible explanations.
1. I'm nuts, and I would buy that if I were consistently the only witness.
2. That I am somehow responsible for these things I've witnessed coming to pass, and I would buy that if they hadn't been so randomly bizarre.
3. They happened as per the will of some external force.

       I'm going with door number three Chuck.
If I'm nuts then it makes no difference anyway.
If I'm not, then attributing these things to myself would be not only overly vein, it would also limit what is possible by tying all of them to my own human weaknesses and frailties, where as far as I know the 'BigGuy' has no limits or weaknesses.

       hmmmmm, yep.
M'sticking with the BigGuy.

       Does this mean I have to turn in my membership card?   

       Undoubtedly someone died today in a horrible accident because god was busy arranging a series of events to take place so 21_Quest wouldn't have to do his own laundry.   

       According to most religious people we have to strongly put our faith in god etc. so we don't get horribly tortured for eternity, and you doubt god, but you think god's doing you regular favors.
rcarty, Jul 14 2011

       And what about [21 Quest]'s goldfish? Did a wise and loving Dog carefully plan for her to be the one to deal with the mess?
spidermother, Jul 15 2011

       God's just the oldest form of the panopticon prison. The oldest trick to get some to watch themselves because they think someone is watching them.   

       Social science is all people need to debunk religion. Hard science presents solid evidence that the world operates without god. But hard scientists are being foolish in presenting that information because there are certain facts they're not acknowledging about people. Hard scientists have to get right out of religious debates because it's on the level of people and the social that religion has to be addressed. Every recent debate I've listened to on the subject involves outward pointing at this and that as proof of one side or the other. Carbon say this, the bible says that, fossils say this, the bible says that, but the only really significant thing is that human beings are crazy and weird. Soft sciences like psychology study all sorts of things about human craziness, and sociology has the weirdness things almost covered. In my opinion atheists and scientists only need to focus on this. As a crazy and weird person myself I don't mean it to be insulting because I know like myself, crazy and weird people can also be very high functioning at times. Religion it seems tries to structure quite common human craziness that seems to develop from existential crises into a normative system of thoughts and behaviours.
rcarty, Jul 15 2011

       //panopticon// good word.   

       Everything you've said is well and good but does nothing to explain the miraculous, and wouldn't the oldest trick to get someone to watch themselves by thinking someone else is watching them be pantheonism?   

       When you've seen things you can't explain scientifically you just roll with it, or you at least try to.
Crazy and weird or not, that which is... is.

       At the risk of getting this discussion back on topic -which is music, BTW - I'd like to suggest the most obvious and simplest solution: instrumentals.   

       No words to clutter up the mind, no language to be interpreted, no theologies to banter about, and not one iota of concern about whether it rhymes.   

       Having said that, though, I will jump back into this with both feet. I believe there is a higher power, I just don't believe in religion. If you listen to Country music (people who call it Country & Western are like folks who wear knee-hi dark dress socks with sandals) you should be familiar with a Don Willliams lyric that says "I don't believe that Heaven waits for only those who congregate. I like to think of God as love. He's down below, He's up above." That's my credo, but I don't expect it to be yours.
Canuck, Jul 15 2011

       //At the risk of getting this discussion back on topic -which is music, //
Beg to differ - country music is to music what military intelligence is to intelligence.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 15 2011

       My posts weren't off topic, I was whining in a nasally tone, and country music doesn't have to rhyme.
rcarty, Jul 15 2011

       You know how when you play some rock albums backwards there are sometimes words?   

       When you play a country album backwards you get your wife back, your kids back, your dog back...   

       Well... it's like Rap music.
I can take it or leave it, but no matter what, y'just know that somebody's gonna be throwin a ho-down.

       //Listen to more Frank Zappa, less Jimmy Swagger//   

       Amen to that. Here is a quote from the Frank Zappa album, Lumpy Gravy:   

       “Everything in the universe is made of one element, which is a note, a single note. Atoms are really vibrations, you know, which are extensions of THE BIG NOTE, everything's one note. Everything, even the ponies.” -- Frank Zappa, 1968   

       Zappa invented String Theory!
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 22 2011

       string theory. really.   

       give the man some credit. that isn't string theory. its a lot more useful than string theory.
WcW, Jul 22 2011


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