Subject: Re: Atheism as religion (was Wake Up...) Taoism is a belief system with no suprem

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From: perryc@wheelie.Sun.COM (Perry Cross) Newsgroups: talk.religion.misc Subject: Re: Atheism as religion (was Wake Up...) Message-ID: <125049@sun.Eng.Sun.COM> Taoism is a belief system with no supreme being, so I think a few Chinese >might take exception to your opinion. What about Confucists? I think >the problem is that your opinions are based on what you know, not on >what is. You do not need a supreme being to have a religion, and when >you don't, its atheistic. To put this very simply for you and the >rest of our net bigots, just because you have no conception of religion >without G-d, dosen't mean these religions don't exist. I hate to keep >beating this horse, but I can't let such ethnocentric comments go >unchallenged. The problem is that simple theism, or belief in some deity, is a sufficient but not necessary condition for something to be considered a "religion". In my opinion, the difference between theistic or non-theistic religions and atheism is the way they view the relationship between thought and matter. As an atheist, I am also a materialist; that is, I consider thought to be a function of matter. The religious view seems to be that the two are independent of each other. Thus, the christian has a "soul" that exists after the body is gone, and the buddhist seeks knowledge or some cosmic connection through meditation and chanting. (I admit my knowledge of Buddhism is woefully little, but from what I've seen, this meditation is very non-think as opposed to real, introspective thinking) The connection seems to be that in all religions, thought (or soul) is held to be some non-corporeal entity that exists and has influence independently of the body. Most of them have some kind of super-thought, of which this independent thought is a part, but not all religions anthropomorphize it into a conscious god. Wayne Aiken netoprwa@ncsuvm.bitnet "You can BE what PO Box 30904 netoprwa@ncsuvm.ncsu.edu you WON'T!!" Raleigh, NC 27622 StarFleet BBS --"Bob" (919) 782-8171 (919) 782-3095

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