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(Patheos)   Seminary professor announces that he will "live like an atheist" for a year as an experiment. Step 1: Facing religious bigotry as your seminary fires you less than a week into the experiment   (patheos.com) divider line 347
    More: Asinine, religious bigotry, seminary, Adventist Church, Hemant Mehta, experiments  
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13634 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jan 2014 at 2:08 PM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-06 03:01:47 PM

Chummer45: This is just like the guns n' ammo editor whose entire career was utterly destroyed just because he suggested that it might be reasonable for a state to require handgun training before issuing a concealed carry permit.

This is how right wing groups respond to critical thinking.



How can they have a stance on something they don't believe in?
 
2014-01-06 03:01:48 PM
Let me summarize what I read.

He was an adjunct professor, operating under a contract at a SEMINARY SCHOOL, presumably to teach people religious doctrine. Living as "an atheist" would presumably preclude him from teaching the Bible as gospel truth, because it must be taught from a position of faith unless you're just treating it as a scientific text to be taken apart point-by-point.

He is clearly an attention whore and couldn't be teaching in the capacity under which he was hired. They HAD to fire his stupid ass.

No outrage available.
 
2014-01-06 03:02:54 PM

TheOnion: How does one live like an atheist? Stop praying and going to church?


Rule 1:  THERE IS NO RULE 1.
Rule 2:  No poofters.
 
2014-01-06 03:03:09 PM
The only thing I do differently than the vast majority of Christians is that I don't feel bad about not going to church.
 
2014-01-06 03:04:09 PM
So, this has to be a scam, right? I'm sure the whole reason he's "living like an atheist" is because of some high-minded moral experiment, and not as a ploy to build sympathy when the seminary he'd been working at told him he was going to lose his job next semester, right?

I mean, count me cynical, but this sounds too much like something designed to push the internet's buttons, same way as "lesbian waitress" did with her fake evil receipt. I mean, the timing on this just seems to convenient. Guy announces he's going to live like an atheist, boom, loses his job for religious reasons, and step 3: big ass gofundme raises $8,200 in 12 hours so far. He's writing a blog on HuffPo about the experience, he'd already been kicked out of his church this past May, and he's got paypal/donate links all over his website.

I mean, the guy probably really is having a crisis of faith and questioning the leadership (and possibly the doctrine) of the 7th Day Adventist church, but this "live like an atheist" experience seems like a stunt.
 
2014-01-06 03:05:53 PM

phyrkrakr: seemsseams to convenient.


/pet peave
//d'oh
 
2014-01-06 03:07:14 PM

digitalrain: Raider_dad: how would that work? not go to church , not say prayers , sleep in on Sunday , eat meat on Fridays. He might enjoy himself.

That meatless Fridays thing is only during Lent, you know. And even then, children under the age of 13 (I think that is the cutoff) are exempt.
The very old might be exempt too, but I'm not sure about that.

I don't get why folks just don't adopt a 'live and let live' attitude. You want to believe in Allah, Buddha, Odin, FSM, or nothing at all? Knock
yourself out. You don't have to believe in the same God (or any god) as me in order to be a good person. It's your actions that define you,
not whether or not you show up to a pretty building once a week for an hour.


^that's catholicism.
 
2014-01-06 03:07:24 PM

Pangea: Let me summarize what I read.

He was an adjunct professor, operating under a contract at a SEMINARY SCHOOL, presumably to teach people religious doctrine. Living as "an atheist" would presumably preclude him from teaching the Bible as gospel truth, because it must be taught from a position of faith unless you're just treating it as a scientific text to be taken apart point-by-point.

He is clearly an attention whore and couldn't be teaching in the capacity under which he was hired. They HAD to fire his stupid ass.

No outrage available.


To be fair, he did manage to accomplish one of the few things only accessible to someone pretending to live as an atheist.
 
2014-01-06 03:08:02 PM

AgentPothead: Ant: Pants full of macaroni!!: You also have to loudly inform everyone within hearing range that you are an atheist

I've never done that. Usually it starts with a question from a believer like "What church do you go to?" or "has your son been baptized?"

How those conversations actually go down in my experience.

Religious:What church do you attend/denomination do you subscribe to/another religious question
Atheist: Oh sorry I'm an atheist, I don't believe in any of that.
Religious:OH AN ATHEIST, HEAR THAT EVERYBODY AN ATHEIST, OHHHH AN ATHEIST.
Atheist: Yeah, I don't believe in organized religions as they are all organized by man as ways to control the masses and ignorant.
Religious:OH AN ATHEIST, HEAR THAT EVERYBODY, ETC.....
Atheist: I'll just be leaving now.


Think that's fun, try telling them that you're Jewish: The struggle to keep their traps shut is visible and hilarious.
/"He must know attorneys; must avoid unlawful discrimination lawsuit." vs. Urge to tell that heathen all about Jebus like Solly the Greek commanded.
//"He must know attorneys" has always won. So far.
///To be honest, you couldn't swing a cat in my congregation without hitting several attorneys, physicians, a full professor, and a judge or two.
\\\And, about half the time, an animal rights activist.
\\With a cat allergy.
\Slashied!
 
2014-01-06 03:10:22 PM
How to live like an atheist:  masturbate... a LOT!
 
2014-01-06 03:11:43 PM

ScaryBottles: A Cave Geek: [global3.memecdn.com image 850x890]

[media.tumblr.com image 500x282]

I bet that goes over great with all the wannabe psdeudo-intellectual libertarians sisterfarkers on your facebook wall doesn't it.

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it."

Neil deGrasse Tyson -


Oh, for fark's sake -- it was funny.
 
2014-01-06 03:11:47 PM

A Cave Geek: [global3.memecdn.com image 850x890]


Does the hot "Eve" come with the first choice?
 
2014-01-06 03:12:24 PM
This is either the second or the third "weird atheist" thread greened today.
Did I miss a memo?
 
2014-01-06 03:14:20 PM
He only had two weeks savings? WTF, no atheist has enough faith to only keep two weeks cash reserves. Never know when some shiat will go down, necessitating reliance on the higher power of "preparedness".
 
2014-01-06 03:14:40 PM

The Southern Dandy: meanmutton: jigger: HotWingConspiracy: LOL

So very Christ-like.

Here's some trivia for you: Jesus hated anyone that wasn't a Christian.

He doesn't hate them. He loves them. Just because he sends them into a lake of fire for eternity doesn't mean he hates them.

Technically, Christians believe that Jesus tries to get people to go to heaven but they choose the lake of eternal fire.

So Jesus/God is impotent?  He has no power to stop a person from going to hell? Why pray to him if he's impotent?


Christians believe that God gives individuals free will to choose between Heaven and Hell.
 
2014-01-06 03:14:42 PM

LoneWolf343: Yeah, that certainly won't color his perceptions any.

Personally, I don't know how my old Bible professor kept his job at my college since he would say openly "Alcohol ain't going to send you to hell."


Monks brewed awesome alcohol for a really long time. Only certain types of Bible thumpers preach alcohol as evil.
 
2014-01-06 03:17:19 PM
And just because I like telling it, I often relate the story of Job, a Godly man who did everything right. A man who then lost his fortune, wife, children, and health as a result of God making a bet (which both parties already knew the outcome of). When God wins the bet he gives Job a new wife and kids and says, "So we're cool now, right?"
 
2014-01-06 03:17:43 PM

gimmegimme: Itstoearly: "A lot of atheists remain in the closet precisely because they're afraid of the ramifications of coming out."

Yes, and a lot of Christians hide their faith for the same reason.  Sorry if I am not surprised that humans across the board tend to be biased against people who are different than them.

[ic.pics.livejournal.com image 350x262]


Can we get some citations on that? I'm not arguing your point, but I am arguing those numbers.
 
2014-01-06 03:17:54 PM
See, the thing is, just being a atheist insults people of religiosity. You've called them idiots as soon as you tell them you're an atheist. Worse, you've called their mama an idiot too (because you generally don't get religious people without them having religious parents).

People hate being called idiots.
 
2014-01-06 03:18:52 PM

ampoliros: Just to be clear, you can (pretend to) be an atheist and be employed by a religious organization. That's not really a big deal.  What is a big deal is (pretending to) be an atheist and be employed by a religious organization to teach religion.

If you're in accounting or IT at a religious institution and someone says, "Do you believe in God?" your answer has no bearing on your ability to do your job.  If you're a religion teacher and a student asks what you think of the material you're teaching and you're answer is, "It's a nice story with lessons we can learn but a story none-the-less" then you've got some issues that arise.

That said, the school seems pretty but-hurt over this and they reasons they give are not religious in nature (they even praise it's merits). They're simply worried about funding. That's something they need to worry about for sure but it just seems wrong to do so.


Well, that may be true... but it could be that Mr. Bell was just a dick to begin with.
 
2014-01-06 03:21:06 PM

MindStalker: A Cave Geek: [global3.memecdn.com image 850x890]

Does the hot "Eve" come with the first choice?


A crazy lady that eats things because a snake tells her to?  You can have her.
 
2014-01-06 03:21:21 PM

demaL-demaL-yeH: AgentPothead: Ant: Pants full of macaroni!!: You also have to loudly inform everyone within hearing range that you are an atheist

I've never done that. Usually it starts with a question from a believer like "What church do you go to?" or "has your son been baptized?"

How those conversations actually go down in my experience.

Religious:What church do you attend/denomination do you subscribe to/another religious question
Atheist: Oh sorry I'm an atheist, I don't believe in any of that.
Religious:OH AN ATHEIST, HEAR THAT EVERYBODY AN ATHEIST, OHHHH AN ATHEIST.
Atheist: Yeah, I don't believe in organized religions as they are all organized by man as ways to control the masses and ignorant.
Religious:OH AN ATHEIST, HEAR THAT EVERYBODY, ETC.....
Atheist: I'll just be leaving now.

Think that's fun, try telling them that you're Jewish: The struggle to keep their traps shut is visible and hilarious.
/"He must know attorneys; must avoid unlawful discrimination lawsuit." vs. Urge to tell that heathen all about Jebus like Solly the Greek commanded.
//"He must know attorneys" has always won. So far.
///To be honest, you couldn't swing a cat in my congregation without hitting several attorneys, physicians, a full professor, and a judge or two.
\\\And, about half the time, an animal rights activist.
\\With a cat allergy.
\Slashied!


Difference is the atheist doesn't have powerful groups that will run to their aid if they are offended by an off the cuff remark.
 
2014-01-06 03:21:46 PM

Vangor: DeaH: The problem with that is that his beliefs have not changed. He never said he no longer believes in God, just that he will try to "live like an atheist" for a year.

I know Fark is not in the habit of reading articles, least of all a reference to a previous article which is itself a reference to another article, but I wanted to note this is wrong; his beliefs have changed and are changing:

In short, I will do whatever I can to enter the world of atheism and live, for a year, as an atheist. It's important to make the distinction that I am not an atheist. At least not yet. I am not sure what I am. That's part of what this year is about.


You start out with "I know Fark is not in the habit of reading articles." Sure, you walked it back a bit by then saying we should not only be reading the linked article but every link in the linked articles (because that's reasonable). Then you pull a quote that was not in the linked article (which I read), and you didn't bother to link to the article from which you pulled the quote. And the quote notes that he is not an atheist. He is, at best, questioning. Or, as the article you referenced does go on to say:

"That's a very good thing, no doubt, but scrutinizing your own beliefs isn't a substitute for being godless."

As for your assertion, you may very well be right. This man could have opened himself up to the idea that there is no God. He may also just be setting up a situation where he can come back and say, "My life is better with God." We don't know because he beliefs have not yet changed. After all, in the very article you quote, he talks about questioning his church's actions "through the years." And through those years, he talks about being active in his church. Mother Theresa questioned her faith and her church, but she did not leave her faith.

It is an interesting topic, but why did you choose to be such a jerk about it?
 
2014-01-06 03:22:13 PM

MadMattressMack: gimmegimme: Itstoearly: "A lot of atheists remain in the closet precisely because they're afraid of the ramifications of coming out."

Yes, and a lot of Christians hide their faith for the same reason.  Sorry if I am not surprised that humans across the board tend to be biased against people who are different than them.

[ic.pics.livejournal.com image 350x262]

Can we get some citations on that? I'm not arguing your point, but I am arguing those numbers.


They are American demographics
 
2014-01-06 03:22:15 PM
They fired him because his breath reeks of the blood of Christian babies.
 
2014-01-06 03:23:14 PM
Some atheists go to Church.

Some atheists keep Kosher.

Some atheists are bishops.

So what is an atheist lifestyle? Doing your own laundry instead of taking it home to Mom?
 
2014-01-06 03:23:17 PM

meanmutton: The Southern Dandy: meanmutton: jigger: HotWingConspiracy: LOL

So very Christ-like.

Here's some trivia for you: Jesus hated anyone that wasn't a Christian.

He doesn't hate them. He loves them. Just because he sends them into a lake of fire for eternity doesn't mean he hates them.

Technically, Christians believe that Jesus tries to get people to go to heaven but they choose the lake of eternal fire.

So Jesus/God is impotent?  He has no power to stop a person from going to hell? Why pray to him if he's impotent?

Christians believe that God gives individuals free will to choose between Heaven and Hell.


"Worship me or I torture you for eternity!" doesn't seem much like "free will" to me, it sounds like a false choice. Something lots of abusers do.
 
2014-01-06 03:26:02 PM

Pitabred: "Worship me or I torture you for eternity!" doesn't seem much like "free will" to me, it sounds like a false choice. Something lots of abusers do.


Reminds me of these threads
 
2014-01-06 03:26:09 PM

A Cave Geek: [global3.memecdn.com image 850x890]


You're half right.
 
2014-01-06 03:28:03 PM

meanmutton: jigger: HotWingConspiracy: LOL

So very Christ-like.

Here's some trivia for you: Jesus hated anyone that wasn't a Christian.

He doesn't hate them. He loves them. Just because he sends them into a lake of fire for eternity doesn't mean he hates them.

Technically, Christians believe that Jesus tries to get people to go to heaven but they choose the lake of eternal fire.


The lake of eternal fire created by Jesus (God) for that purpose.
 
2014-01-06 03:30:02 PM

Marcus Aurelius: A Cave Geek: [global3.memecdn.com image 850x890]

You're half right.


Dude...snark....You can make any belief system sound ridiculous when you break it down far enough.
 
2014-01-06 03:31:27 PM
jigger:

The lake of eternal fire created by Jesus (God) for that purpose.

Nice soul you got there. Be a shame if anything happened to it. Maybe you love me and nothing bad happens to it. Maybe you get down on your knees and tell me how much you love and worship me and you want be in for a world of hurt.
 
2014-01-06 03:31:35 PM

TheOnion: How does one live like an atheist? Stop praying and going to church?


That and complain a lot and take high doses of SSRIs.
 
2014-01-06 03:31:50 PM
Is "living like an atheist" similar to those "gay agenda" posts I've seen?
 
2014-01-06 03:32:26 PM

meanmutton: Christians believe that God gives individuals free will to choose between Heaven and Hell.


25.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-01-06 03:33:28 PM

Pangea: Let me summarize what I read.

He was an adjunct professor, operating under a contract at a SEMINARY SCHOOL, presumably to teach people religious doctrine. Living as "an atheist" would presumably preclude him from teaching the Bible as gospel truth, because it must be taught from a position of faith unless you're just treating it as a scientific text to be taken apart point-by-point.

He is clearly an attention whore and couldn't be teaching in the capacity under which he was hired. They HAD to fire his stupid ass.

No outrage available.


I have no argument that the school has the right to fire him. They could do it even if he weren't doing this "experiment." Where I disagree is the statement that an atheist can not teach from the Bible. Textual analysis and understanding parables is not just for Christians. Selected internet atheists aside, most atheist I know are very polite. They have no wish to "convert" believers into atheists. There would be nothing that would get in the way of teaching the Bible or even passing on the dogma of the particular faith. What he could not do as an atheist is preach or evangelize.

But again, the school has a right to fire him. Just the fact that he has been open about this is grounds for firing him, and private schools do not even need grounds for adjunct.
 
2014-01-06 03:35:58 PM

Pangea: meanmutton: Christians believe that God gives individuals free will to choose between Heaven and Hell.

[25.media.tumblr.com image 850x566]


Jesus said there is only one unforgivable sin, look it up.
 
2014-01-06 03:38:28 PM
I think I've got it!

Living like an atheist for a year means you don't watch Duck Dynasty!

That kind of heresy can get you excommunicated from the Southern Baptist Pinhead Convention, not to mention the Rick Perry Bible Fellowship.

I refuse to watch Duck Dynasty, but it's not because I am an atheist. I refuse to watch day time soap operas and night time reality shows because they teach back-stabbing, back-biting and contrived plotting and phonyness. Also, marrying your fifteen year old cousins and treating them like sex slaves or mongrel dogs. And, of course, the use of non-union labor, amateur actors, and uncredited writers. In short, it is the crassest form of exploitation of the audience's vices, the insane aspirations of unskilled actors, and cheap production values.

If I want cheap production values, I can watch a proper ten-a-penny game show on Canadian TV. If I want bad acting, bad directing and low production values, I can watch B-movies. This is my Faith. This is my Rock. I stand on it.
 
2014-01-06 03:39:16 PM

Captain Darling: Not teaching at a seminary sounds like part of living like an atheist.


Yup. That's pretty much it. It would be absurd for a seminary to keep an openly atheist teacher in opposition to their beliefs, and it would be absurd for an atheist to teach at a seminary. His experiment, interesting though it may be, renders him incompatible with that particular employment. Like a man who decides to live a year as a blind man working as an air traffic controller.

Of course, he can certainly teach religious studies or philosophy at any number of universities that will have him.
 
2014-01-06 03:39:44 PM

HotWingConspiracy: LOL

So very Christ-like.

Here's some trivia for you: Jesus hated anyone that wasn't a Christian.


Problem with that logic is that Christians didn't exist until after Jesus died.
 
2014-01-06 03:39:49 PM

InterruptingQuirk: demaL-demaL-yeH: AgentPothead: Ant: Pants full of macaroni!!: You also have to loudly inform everyone within hearing range that you are an atheist

I've never done that. Usually it starts with a question from a believer like "What church do you go to?" or "has your son been baptized?"

How those conversations actually go down in my experience.

Religious:What church do you attend/denomination do you subscribe to/another religious question
Atheist: Oh sorry I'm an atheist, I don't believe in any of that.
Religious:OH AN ATHEIST, HEAR THAT EVERYBODY AN ATHEIST, OHHHH AN ATHEIST.
Atheist: Yeah, I don't believe in organized religions as they are all organized by man as ways to control the masses and ignorant.
Religious:OH AN ATHEIST, HEAR THAT EVERYBODY, ETC.....
Atheist: I'll just be leaving now.

Think that's fun, try telling them that you're Jewish: The struggle to keep their traps shut is visible and hilarious.
/"He must know attorneys; must avoid unlawful discrimination lawsuit." vs. Urge to tell that heathen all about Jebus like Solly the Greek commanded.
//"He must know attorneys" has always won. So far.
///To be honest, you couldn't swing a cat in my congregation without hitting several attorneys, physicians, a full professor, and a judge or two.
\\\And, about half the time, an animal rights activist.
\\With a cat allergy.
\Slashied!

Difference is the atheist doesn't have powerful groups that will run to their aid if they are offended by an off the cuff remark.


[notsureifserious.jpg]
I mean sure, the atheists aren't like "controlling the media and all the world's finances" powerful, but they'll jump in the butthurtmobile and create a media circus just as fast as any other group.

/ Also you guys need to move or find new people to hang out with.  I've never experienced or observed that sort of conversation in real life, and I live in Texas.  Most people 'round these parts don't give two shiats.
 
2014-01-06 03:40:10 PM
If he dies within that year does he die unshriven?
 
2014-01-06 03:42:52 PM

Satanic_Hamster: Captain Darling: Not teaching at a seminary sounds like part of living like an atheist.

Yep.  Also, how exactly does one live as an atheist?  I don't go to atheist lectures or clubs, apparently I'm doing it wrong?


Well there is an Atheist church according to this thread:

http://www.fark.com/comments/8087692
 
2014-01-06 03:43:05 PM

InterruptingQuirk: Difference is the atheist doesn't have powerful groups that will run to their aid if they are offended by an off the cuff remark.


"Off-the-cuff"?

Ever been the object of aggressive proselytization?
I have. Many, many times.
My children have been aggressively proselytized.
I still have total strangers ring my doorbell and interrupt my meals to tell me all about Jebus.
On the Sabbath.

Having grown up in the overly-polished buckle of the Bible Belt, let me tell you a truth:
There is nothing "off-the-cuff" about this behavior. It is deliberate, demeaning, disgusting, and, in a place of business, absolutely unprofessional.
 
2014-01-06 03:43:17 PM

Whiskey Dickens: HotWingConspiracy: LOL

So very Christ-like.

Here's some trivia for you: Jesus hated anyone that wasn't a Christian.

Is this a troll?  The number of practicing Christians while Jesus was alive varies between 0 and 12ish.


It's sarcasm you twit. That's exactly his point.
 
2014-01-06 03:43:44 PM

DeaH: I have no argument that the school has the right to fire him. They could do it even if he weren't doing this "experiment." Where I disagree is the statement that an atheist can not teach from the Bible.


I'm not honestly saying an atheist can't teach from the Bible, notice how I said it would "presumably preclude him from teaching the Bible as gospel truth"

The Bible quickly falls apart when taken as the living word of God, as many Christians treat it. If taken as parables and allegory it's very powerful. Jesus even talked about that. I can't quote the passage, but it was something along the lines of having to teach from simplified examples because people couldn't understand the true teachings.

The problem is that you can't force people to do exactly what you say under fear of eternal damnation if you give on the "direct word of God" angle.
 
2014-01-06 03:45:19 PM

HotWingConspiracy: LOL

So very Christ-like.

Here's some trivia for you: Jesus hated anyone that wasn't a Christian.


Jesus didn't know anyone who WAS a Christian - he was a Jew.  Christianity should be called Paulism, 'cause that nonsense didn't start until Saul had a detour on his trip to Damascus and changed his name.
 
2014-01-06 03:45:24 PM

manbart: Atheism is simply the non-belief in the supernatural


That's only half of atheism.  The other half is the sneering derision of anyone who does believe.
 
2014-01-06 03:45:45 PM
It sounds like this guy has a perverted view of what an atheist is. He makes it sound like living a year as a crack whore. Which on second thought is probably more fun than living a year as a christian.
 
2014-01-06 03:45:48 PM
When I was back there in seminary school
There was a person there
Who put forth the proposition
That you can petition the Lord with prayer
Petition the lord with prayer
Petition the lord with prayer
You cannot petition the lord with prayer!
 
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