Hello, I have been vegan for more than 12 years  now. I am from Indonesia, where vegetarianism/veganism is always related to religion. So many people think I am a Buddhist just because I am a vegan. When people know that I am a vegan, they always ask me "Are you a Buddhist?"

I am an Atheist. It's strange that being Atheist is illegal in my country. Everyone must have a religion. I am so confused what to answer when people ask me "Are you a Buddhist?"

What do you think about this? Do you all really think that being vegetarian means being religious?

I am vegan because I love animals!

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I am an atheist too.

I think that is kinda crazy that everyone is forced to have a religion..and i didnt know it was illegal to be an Atheist in Indonesia.
I believe Atheism is a religion!

I am all for free speech and belief, im from Canada and thats how it is here.

I'm an athiest to but don't consider it a religion because to me athiest is knowing there is no god and because there is no god there is no religion so how can atheism be a religion when the very meaning of it means there can be no religion?

I'm not hating I'm just curious. Lol for all I know I'm absolutely wrong. :)
Ok should of kept reading Daniel said what I wanted to say in a music chi better way lol :)

Just depends on the definition of religion. If you define religion as "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power", then atheism is a non-religion. If you define religion as a belief about the supernatural, then I think atheism can roughly be called a religion.

I'm an atheist as well. I think that since atheists don't go to a holy book for their morals, they're more likely to pay attention to the world's problems and think for themselves. There's actually a correlation between atheism and being a vegetarian so being vegetarian certainly doesn't mean being religious.

//I believe Atheism is a religion! //
I don't consider atheism as a religion. It is just lack of religion. :)

I'm also an atheist and cringe whenever I hear New Age or religious talk, or an 'each to their own' type attitude to food ethics. There are no auras, or mystical energy vibrations (if you're going to use physics terms, use them in the way they were intended), or spirits, or God/gods, or subjective morality, or any other postmodernist nonsense you care to mention.

Aside from loving animals, I'm also vegetarian (moving towards veganism) for solid, objective and secular ethical reasons. So no, you don't have to be religious to be vegetarian.

And Charlene, atheism is a religion in the same way that bald is a hair colour, i.e. atheism is most definitely not a religion.

true enough.

Just because you can't see something with the naked eye, or because you haven't experienced it yourself, does that mean it's "Nonsense" and doesn't exist? Can you be positive?

 

For me to believe something is true, I need sufficient evidence that it is true; it doesn't necessarily need to be proof, but it does need to be sufficient evidence. To believe something is true without sufficient evidence is to have an unjustified belief. If there is an issue where there isn't much evidence for or against it, I will suspend belief rather than take an unjustified position. To believe in something that has plenty of evidence to the contrary, that is the definition of a delusion. In short, you shouldn't assume something is the case until you are proven wrong (assuming you aren't being dogmatic), but rather suspend belief until sufficient evidence/arguments can be found and then go where the evidence and arguments lead you.

People think there are auras, mystical vibrations, higher consciousness, etc. because it sounds cool, not because there is actually any evidence for them. Furthermore, there are pretty convincing arguments against spirits, God/gods, subjective morality etc. so to believe in them would be delusional.

If we lived in the same city, I'd invite you to my tutorials for Science: Good, Bad and Bogus (which is a course all about critical thinking), but unfortunately we don't.

I see your point. I've seen scientists and atheists such as Richard Dawkins that challenge these things and they make a good point about the insanity of religion. Such as the incompehensible number of people that have been killed in the name of religion, but religion aside there's more to this existence than the Newtonian model and what we can only see. I don't think you need an organized religion to be spiritual. Some atheists like yourself go even further though than just pointing out the ridiculousness of organized religion by saying that higher consciousness levels dont exist and so forth. How can you KNOW that? If someone's mind is closed to achieving higher states of consciousness then of course it couldn't ever happen to them. If you've never been involved in deep meditation and an inner search, how can you dismiss the effects? Because it can't be proven? We don't know, that's the point. Just like the religious fanatics don't know, neither does anyone. So maybe saying that you don't believe something exists makes more sense than saying it doesn't exist. After all Buddha was an atheist, he didn't believe in a Godhead. Through deep, intense meditation that took years, he came to his own truth and helped millions realize a way out of suffering. It had nothing to do with religion or God. God could just be a name for the life force that runs through us all. So to say that the experience of the enlightened mystics throughout history is untrue is some of the same ignorance the religious fanatics display, because you don't KNOW. How can you if you haven't traveled their path?

You jump between sound epistemology and "you can't prove me wrong therefore I'm right" type thinking, the latter of these is a fallacy. Something doesn't need to be completely disproven for anyone to reject it. I don't have 100% absolute, definitive proof that higher consciousness doesn't exist, but I don't need to have. I just need good reasons with supporting evidence. Even if I dedicated my life to finding this state of higher consciousness and even found something that might resemble it, it doesn't mean I've found it; the brain can play some pretty wonderful tricks on us sometimes. (Plus I simply don't have the time to thoroughly research every idea society produces). What would it mean to have a higher consciousness? To be able to perceive things in a way physically impossible according to our anatomy? What can deep inner meditation find out that a decent philosophical discussion over coffee can't? Why do you think there IS something outside of this Newtonian model (I presume you mean 'deterministic model')? From both a physical and a common sense perspective the idea of 'something more' really doesn't stack up.

I don't need to engage in any meditation to become enlightened, or a better person. I think this world is all there is, we are nothing more than molecular machines that will die, cease to be conscious and our bodies will rot. There is no life force, but just cells that continue to metabolise. It may not sound all that poetic, but I have no reason to think otherwise and I feel no need to think otherwise.

The most comprehensive research into near-death experience deals a kill shot to skeptics and aims to change how science views the afterlife.

Science has studied the near-death experience for more than 20 years. Most research has concluded NDEs are real and unexplainable, but scientists have been slow to accept consciousness beyond death. A new scientific study by Jeffrey Long, M. D. may change that. The research compiled in  his new book, Evidence of the Afterlife, represents the largest, most comprehensive study of near-death experience and according to the study’s author is, “a real game-changer”.

Dr. Long explains, “we looked at nine lines of evidence that indicate the reality of near-death experiences and their consistent message of an afterlife. With each of these lines of evidence we carefully reviewed all prior scholarly research on the subject and made our contributions with our original research… from my point of view, the scientific term is compelling, but you can put it another way — the nine lines of evidence that I present is proof of the reality of near-death experiences.”

The conclusions of Dr. Long’s research are paradigm smashing for near-death experience skeptics who’ve argued that limited brain functioning may explain NDEs. “What near-death experiencers see correlates to their time of cardiac arrest and it is almost uniformly accurate in every detail. That pretty much refutes the possibility that these could be illusionary fragments, or unreal memories associated with hypoxia, chemicals, REM intrusion, anything that could cause brain dysfunction”, Dr. Long stated.

“I looked at over 280 near-death experiences that had out-of-body observations of Earthly ongoing events… If near-death experiences were just fragments of memory, unrealistic remembrances of a time approaching unconsciousness or returning from unconsciousness, there is no chance that the observations would have a high percent of completely accurate observations. They’d be dream-like or hallucinations. But 98% of them were entirely realistic… In fact, these observations of Earthly ongoing events often include observations of things that would be impossible for them to be aware of with any sensory function from their physical body. For example, they can see the tops of buildings. They can see far away. In my study over 60 of these near-death experiencers later went back and independently attempted to verify what they saw in the out-of-body state. Every single one of these over 60 near-death experiencers that reported checking or verifying their own observations found that they were absolutely correct in every detail.”, Dr. Long said.

While some near-death experience researchers have been reluctant to make the leap from NDEs to proof of the afterlife, Dr. Long is convinced by his research findings, “I’ve gone over every skeptic argument I can get my hands on. At the end of the day, I have no doubt in my mind near-death experience is for real. It’s a profound and reassuring message that we all have an afterlife. Every single one of us. And it’s wonderful. It is probably the greatest thrill of my life to be able to carry forward that important message to the world. I wouldn’t do it if I weren’t absolutely convinced that it’s correct.”

The conclusions of this research will be controversial, but Dr. Long stands ready to take on the critics, “I would be delighted to debate any near-death experience skeptic, any time, any place, on any media, as long as they’re scholarly, well informed, and as long as it can be a very high-level, intellectual debate.”

Jeffrey Long, M.D., is a physician practicing the specialty of radiation oncology (use of radiation to treat cancer) in Houma, Louisiana. Dr. Long has served on the Board of Directors of IANDS (International Association for Near-Death Studies), and is actively involved in NDE research. His book, Evidence of the Afterlife (HarperCollins), was published in 2010.

From Dr. Long’s website: Does Near-Death Experience (NDE) Evidence Prove an Afterlife?

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