How to Be an Apatheist

In a world torn by religious zealotry, not caring much about other people's beliefs (or even your own) can be a virtue.


06/12/2006 12:22:00 AM

seperate religion and god. There are no rituals nor dogma to take part in. make the concept of "God equating love" your dogma and be the change you wish to see in the world. Practise tolerance to those who deem themsleves more worthy because of their religious beliefs. Practise being kind instead of right. Afterall, does it really matter? By expressing aversion to those who practise another faith, you participate in the problem of being seperate from others instead of being a solution to the problem. We all need an egoectomy!


07/27/2005 01:09:39 PM

But of course...not caring is the ultimate truth! Don't rock the boat, don't even get near the boat..In fact who needs a boat! We can all live and breath in the world of apathy and let those who care do the work of taking care of the world..By the way ~ pass the Merlot and hand me the keys to my car..It's my life! What makes YOU Jewish...?


07/26/2005 06:20:09 AM

What God, in his right mind, would care what we believe? What God worth worshipping would ask us to play a roulette wheel of religious choices - and then hammer us if we got the answer wrong? Apatheism is a great choice. It surely leads to a lot less trouble. Jesus said, "Peace be unto you." Finally, somebody has explained how to bottle it.


07/26/2005 06:17:57 AM

I personally got a big chuckle out of this article. In a world where zealotry is no virtue, apatheism may turn out to be no vice. Even hardcore atheism, when you get right down to it, has no reason to get militant. If you say there's no God, but then you spend all your time and emotion preaching the nonexistence of God, aren't you no better off than the person who is always going to church for that God you say doesn't exist? Isn't atheism, in practice, more likely to produce apatheism? And isn't it refreshing when the devoted Christian, who lives next door, isn't trying to convert you? Apatheism is just fine with me. I don't see it as cowardice at all, nor do I find quotations from the Book of Revelation determinative. It's just common sense.


04/02/2005 08:14:13 AM

Apatheist is just another word for coward."Be hot or cold but be luke warm and I shall spit you out"Standing in the middle of the road gets you hit buy bought sides of traffic.One spouse edit anothers sin.


09/10/2004 01:40:14 PM

As a Christian married to an Atheist, I have heard negative remarks from people from both sides, yet my husband and I continue to maintain a loving marriage. That's because other people's opinions have to do with them, not us. We both feel that it is important to experience and enjoy our own beliefs/thoughts and to respect those of each other and other people. It also helps to not care much what other people think about one's own belief/nonbelief. I'm all for Apatheism! Can't we all just get along?


06/28/2004 07:33:54 PM

I think the best thing the author is saying here is "tollerance". Because if we have no tollerance then, yes, religon will be the death of humanity. We must all respect each other's thoughts.


04/21/2004 03:09:06 PM

Not necessarily disrespecting them, just realizing that it shouldn't matter to you what other people believe. If they want to be religious, let them be religious. If not, don't try to force or convince them to be. If they don't want to care what your beliefs are, they don't have to. That's what religious freedom is all about, after all.


03/10/2004 04:07:40 PM

oh just dont care what others think? sort of like disrespecting them?


02/05/2004 04:34:22 PM

I think one of the most important aspects of apatheism is not caring what other's believe...whatever that may be... everyone should really tolerate everyone else's religion... if they don't it shows just how selfish, closed-minded and arrogant they are. Even if you truly believe in something with all of your heart, you can't force other people to believe it, and you shouldn't put them down if they don't... please don't discrimate against someone because of what they believe ^_^


10/22/2003 11:55:21 PM

Apatheist... really? I have considered myself an agnostic/atheist for a while here(what this author considers most to be "apatheists") Some of it is true about me though. But not the part about not "caring" I guess I could say that I DO care about the notion in general, but the end result or conclusion does not matter. If someone finally IS able to prove that there is a god/isn't a god, it is not going to change the way I do things or live my life. And personally, I think that the apatheism that the author describes is dangerous. He is asking people not to think, and it is easy to control those that can't/don't think for themselves.


10/22/2003 03:55:04 PM

lizarosier, I understand your point of view, seeing as how you've been deluded for most of your life into believing a complete myth. But the fact of the matter is, nobody wants you here and neither does the God of whom you speak, because he DOES NOT EXIST! It's hard to believe, but you'll figure it all out when you're dead and there's nothing there to give you a nice warm hug. So keep your mindless dribble to yourself and spare us the time it takes to listen to you.


10/14/2003 06:56:27 PM

lizarosier: I would like to see you take that rude, insulting, misinformed drivel over to the Atheist Debate Discussion Board. Note: if you do, you'd better wear your flak jacket.


10/12/2003 09:06:14 PM

I find it truly sad that this writer had to figure out what he did or did not believe in through a 'wine-induced haze." That being said it just goes to show the mindset of those who call themselves atheist's or apatheist's or whatever. These are not people who do not believe. These are people who do not WANT to believe because they are so incredibly selfish. I admit, I am of no perfection, but there is no way to not care one way or another.They only deny God because they are afraid to take the consequences of their sins. They want to live in their so -called "freedom." What they don't realize is that God WANTS to forvive them. They just have to ask for it.


09/07/2003 09:18:27 AM

I agree with many of the sentiments about being tolerant of other religions, but included in the word "apatheist" is the notion that relgion is distinct and separate from moral action. I don't think for example that many people here would agree with, or want to tolerate or condone the action of murder. Once a grave immmoral action has occurred, it's time to get "off the pot" and take action, or at least speak to the issues.


09/01/2003 04:31:37 AM

hmmm.. i think this is a very thoughtful subject especially for someone intoxicated such as you were, but i do think one can personally worship without attending an organized setting so i don't think everyone lies about being religious. Most don't feel comfortable with fanatics/hypocritical individuals. Most don't agree with everything and most don't want to be pressured. What's the definition of "religious" anyway?


08/28/2003 09:26:54 AM

BS"D I really wanted to engage my mind around the startlingly honest concept of apatheism, but upon extremely brief reflection I find that I am way too apathetic about the subject to give it the consideration it deserves. ;-)


08/25/2003 11:26:23 AM

When it comes to religion, values and beliefs, I think we need to put the line where is belong to be. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian is "one". Certainly going to church by itself doesn’t make us one. Is all about "humanity" and how we treat other people, if we treat them as we ought to, then, we are "good" AND also "godly" people, regardless of what WE want to "call" ourselves. Whether we want call ourselves "Apatheism" or "Christian" or........ It doesn't matter to GOD as we are already doing his wishes which is "to care for one another." Lets not argue about "words" but lets focus of their "meaning".


08/25/2003 12:37:03 AM

Apatheism is a great idea. The problem with the world at the moment is that people care about the religious persuasions of others too much. Everyone should be an apatheist - regardless of what religion they have.


08/18/2003 07:11:21 PM

We don't need a new word. This is just atheism. Many, many more people say they believe than actually believe. Most people will agree with this statement. Of course, when you start to ask if THEY might be one of those "many, many more," they protest vehemently. We are in a day and age where it is far more important (apparently) to look religious than to be religious. FWIW, I'm a Buddhist and share the author's outlook on the rest of the religions -- just don't care. Investigated them, didn't find anything that rang true, glad to leave them behind. I don't go ranting and raving at every hint of religion (although I do regularly lend my hand to support the more egregious encroachments of Church upon State, such as attempts to replace evolution theory with ID "theory") -- I just quietly and unobtrusively don't give a damn about afterlives and angels and holy books. I'm too busy trying to live my life in an ever more complex world...


08/18/2003 11:49:01 AM

Some would disagree: I don't care which faith you are, just that you have faith, and that you show it with Love.


08/15/2003 02:55:30 PM

Also, I would challenge some of you to truly do some homework, and examine the gosples. Go to the words of Jesus, go to the stories of his life and see how he challenged the people of his day, and what challenges his teaching may provide for us in our time. Mahatma Ghandi said that christianity was a beautiful religon, what a pity it has never been tried. I don't think that is totally true, but he had a point. All I can say is that I am going to try christianity, because of christ's message of love, not because of anything else. Anybody else with me?


08/15/2003 02:47:57 PM

(continued) Rather, the solution is that we should keep an open mind to the beliefs of others, and understand that everyone is a seeker in a search for a higher truth that we can only glimpse at and interpret. Instead of keeping God in a Box, let us appreciate a truly awsome God who has no limitations, who calls everyone to lead a life of service, and who cannot be defined by our human limitations. Some would say this is not chrisitanity. I would humbly disagree. Say of me what you will, for I hold that nothing else matters except faith working through love, which the Bible calls the greatest gift of all.


08/15/2003 02:42:37 PM

I consider myself a religous person, but I have had my doubts and beefs with organized religon in the past. Coming from the standpoint of the christian religon, I believe that we ought to think of Dogmas, scrpitture and creed as the human expression of what God has revealed to the heart of his childeren. Apathy to anything is never the answer to a problem in my humble opinion.


08/12/2003 03:08:27 PM

Sorry about that. Duh (my worst fear), I read the article. I just forgot to read below the picture of the latest ordained sinner. Opps, not too PC eh?


08/12/2003 03:04:19 PM

I don't wish to appear duh, but what is an Apatheist? Is there one definitive definition?


07/31/2003 12:34:49 PM

gitelremel wrote: "Pfft. Whatever. If he was possessed by demons, he'd be running around, frothing at the mouth, biting himself, and yelling "MY NAME IS LEGION!" Have you ever even read the Bible? " ----------------------------------- Yes you are definately right there. Demon possession can manifest itself in that way, but I don't think we can assume from the bible as you have that this is the only manifestation. There's pleanty of evil people in the world that DON'T run around as though totally mad. (cont.)


07/31/2003 12:34:38 PM

Total evil is little more than the absence of empathy. A person that not only relaxes in his disbelief, but goes about to encourage others to do the same is, according to believers, doing greater harm than if they would keep their ignorance of spiritual things to themselves. When you "do harm" by causing ignorant misdirection(once again according to believers) , you are expressing a lack of empathy for your brothers and sisters by continuing the facade of hiding the spiritual truth from them. You may not think there is a spiritual truth, but you don't and can't know there isn't one, so how could you and why would you go about insisting that there is no such thing when you can't possibly know that for certain. There are no absolutes within science or history that could PROVE that there is no spiritual reality, so what then would drive someone who cannot know there is no spiritual reality go about promoting the fact that there isn't one? (cont.)


07/31/2003 12:33:46 PM

So you see that there is evidence of evil in this article as it misdirects with an ignorant insistency that "it's ok" to not think about God(since, according to the author, He obviously doesn't exist, just look how unfaithful supposed believers are...right?) This kind of focused effort to warp the mind from God's spiritual truth is more than this author could undertake alone. Without demonic will directing his thoughts, he simply wouldn't have the will to attack God, more or less encourage others to follow along. Demons are all around us at all times of day and night, always ready to strike. Christ Lives


07/30/2003 10:25:22 PM

Apatheist.. cute neologism. What you're describing is still, of course, atheism. But instead of anti-theistic _A_theism, it's mellowed out to non-theistic disinterest. Atheism as most people tend to conceive it starts as apostasy against theism, but that's the typical hangup of Western atheists. However there's plenty more (or less) one's atheistic POV as it evolves, namely the progression into non-theistic indifference. FWIW, your non-theistic apatheism is considered by some to be "The 3rd View" (it's also the Buddhist view BTW): Throw the entire coin away! /leebert


07/27/2003 05:27:37 PM

Because he's possessed by demons and their objective is to silence the mind from the search for God. Pfft. Whatever. If he was possessed by demons, he'd be running around, frothing at the mouth, biting himself, and yelling "MY NAME IS LEGION!" Have you ever even read the Bible?


07/25/2003 04:42:43 PM

Someone wrote: "Hmmm...a well-written article. However, if Jonathan is indeed an "apatheist," why did he care enough to write this article?" ------------------------------ Because he's possessed by demons and their objective is to silence the mind from the search for God.


07/19/2003 03:55:53 PM

And to the other post that claimed that Christians who share their faith don't want anyone to be happy....thats a pretty typical comment from someone who claims to be an "apatheist" and then judges and name-calls those who do not share his beliefs (or non-beliefs as it were)


07/19/2003 03:55:38 PM

when I stated that it was the responsibility for Christians to go out and reach people with the Gospel, I was quoting another post. I happen to believe that statement however and I stand by the fact that Christianity needs more Christians who actually live out what they claim to believe (rather than apatheists posing as Christians). However, when johnbog asserts that NO Christian lives out the standard set by Jesus I have to disagree. His reference to Jesus telling the rich young ruler to go out and sell everything that he has in order to be perfect is taken woefully out of context and shows a real lack of understanding about what Jesus was saying. (the point He was making was that you cannot ever get to Heaven on your own merit or goodness)


07/17/2003 01:44:00 AM

Now that I actually read the article, I think he did mean that he was in fact Jewish by religion. And I can't really agree with his stance: though he stated at the end that it was not in fact an act of laziness, but one of concious betterment; he endorses not caring about the statutes of your own religion. Religious tolerance is one thing, but neglecting to justify the assertions of your own religion or philosophy and simply displaying a nonchalance towards religion is neglectful to the spiritual needs of the individual. I think that finding a religion or philosophy that suits your needs is essential to living a guilt-free, confident life. It's all good and fine to not care about other's spiritual preference, once you have seen to your own.


07/17/2003 01:11:33 AM

true: Being "Jewish" can refer strictly to culture and ethnicity. However, many Jews still do think that way. It's like saying that just because you're Irish means you should be Catholic, and if you're not you're some kind of traitor. My one good Jewish friend gets great joy out of running around screaming "I'm Jesus Christ, I'm invincible!" while people beat him with blunt objects and "I'm a dirty freakin' Jew, somebody show me where the showers are." Of course, I suppose you stop having acquaintances like that once you leave highschool, but until then.


07/16/2003 06:01:35 PM

Hmmm...a well-written article. However, if Jonathan is indeed an "apatheist," why did he care enough to write this article?


07/15/2003 09:49:18 AM

frtuck; you think Judaism is just a religion? Wrong. It is also an ethnicity. Otherwise the Holocaust would have been about a quarter the size that it was since about 75% of Jews don't believe. I know this annoys you Christians to no end. Tough; accept it. Jews decide [or don't decide and argue] who Jews are. Not everyone gets a label in the same way you do.


07/14/2003 11:04:01 PM

"I have Christian friends who organize their lives around an intense relationship with God, but who betray no sign of caring that I am an unrepentantly athiestic Jewish homosexual." What makes you think it's apathy? Most Jewish people I know think you're nuts to claim to be athiest-jewish-homosexual all at the same time. According to them, Jewish can't be the other two. It's a religion; Not an accident. Perhaps your Christian friends care enough not to let on that they care. You probably don't want this kind of feedback anyway. You probably call it a bashing tirade. Sometimes I myself get tired of religious questions. Maybe it takes all kinds to make a world. It's hard for me to think about life without acknowleging that someone much bigger has to be in charge somehow. Just because I don't have it all figured out doesn't mean I have to give up on doing something with regards to that big mystery.


07/14/2003 05:13:46 PM

Scottnjaime writes, "Give me zealots!" Hmm. Well, overflowing, aggressive, 'total' faith may be a positive good to you, sir (or madam). But to the rest of us it seems less like admirable conviction than simply being a 'busy-body'; a nosy person unable to sit still with the notion that other people think differently from them. It's the inquisitorial mind-set; H.L. Mencken--hardly an effete liberal--called it, "The creeping fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."


07/14/2003 03:43:53 AM

scottnjaime writes: ...a Christian has a responsibility to spread the gospel to all types of people. If they do not, they are not carrying out Jesus' wishes, and they will be judged for it later. I guess that pretty much places every Christian in jeopardy of judgement. Curiously, Christians rarely seem troubled to heed their God's word. They are forever judging others. Their classhouses are full of stones. They are all too willing to ignore the needy. Certainly, one encounters almost none who have followed Christ's teaching on giving and lending to the fullest extent (maybe pastor scottnjaime is an exception): "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor'. In fact, and in accordance with Jesus' wishes, a truly Christian society would have to be one where no one were ever punished, where no one owned or owed anything, and which would give any portion of its wealth to any individual or organisation that asked for it. Is such a state desirable?


07/13/2003 02:41:48 PM

I agree whole-heartedly that church is the best place to find a bunch of hypocritical, apathetic, time-wasters who don’t believe. I am a pastor. I see “Christians” every week who are playing a game with God. They may not call themselves “apatheists” but they do a good job at being one. I also agree when you say, “Any person who calls themselves a Christian has a responsibility to spread the gospel to all types of people. If they do not, then they are not carrying out Jesus' wishes, and will be judged for it later.” That’s why I find an idea such as “apatheism” frightening. As said before, give me zealots! Give me people who will go all over the world, giving up soft, comfy lives to spread the message that Jesus loves them. note: Those who call themselves “apatheists”; think before posting. If you really were an apatheist, would you care what I think, would you care enough to make it known to us what you think? Why are you reading this? I thought it didn’t matter. What a pickle!


07/12/2003 04:04:05 PM

"Well, "blinding vision" may be an overstatement. "Wine-induced haze" might be more strictly accurate." Here's a newsflash - drunk decides he doesn't care much. Wow, that changes everything!


07/12/2003 07:56:00 AM

mikeatle If they didnt obsess, then they would take more time to read the "Good Book" and realize how much time they have wasted with their head's up God's heavenly rump. :) Oh well. I know I wasnt created to waste my life in such a manner.


07/12/2003 07:53:33 AM

Scott, if you want to see more of these "people" that you speak of, go to church. Here, you will find people who do not believe in Jesus as their savior... You will find people who do not believe that Jesus existed at all. Dont be so depressed about it, you probably talk to several people each day who feel that way, but never voice their opinions to you. Nevertheless, Christians are not supposed to deny respect to others, or disregard their opinions, simply because they do not believe in Jesus. I know SEVERAL Christian Apathiests who do so constantly. They would never admit it, but their actions speak for them. Any person who calls themselves a Christian has a responsibility to spread the gospel to all types of people. If they do not, then they are not carrying out Jesus's wishes, and will be judged for it later. How can you spread the gospel to someone if you are busy looking down upon them because of the beliefs that they already have?


07/12/2003 12:04:03 AM

Ultimately, I think Apatheism is a moot point. Look back over the posts from the past few days. People are ready to fight tooth and nail over the issue of apathy. It's interesting reading. For me, Apatheism is about the freedom to think about things other than religious issues. Perhaps at heart that's what it's all about. When we are obsessed with anything, including religion, we miss out on life. And, horror of horrors, you might be able to be a Christian without obsessing on it 24/7. Imagine that.


07/11/2003 05:25:23 PM

I don't know if I would have liked Jesus or not, as scottnjaime suggests. But I think, say, that the Buddha was a far more impressive character as far as that goes. I mean, unlike Jesus, there is no record that the Buddha became vindictive and petulant in response to detractors, nor was he known to be cruel to animals or abysmally indifferent (apathetic?) to the property of others as was Jesus. Actually, there are a quite a number of historic characters that cut a better example of how to live and what should be our major concerns as humans than that found either in the character of Jesus or his teachings.


07/11/2003 02:34:48 PM

So thats what I Apathist!! An excellent..excellent article.


07/11/2003 02:32:29 PM

No Christian could (or should) ever call him or her self an "apatheist". This goes against everything that Jesus taught and died for. He wasn't crucified because He didn't care what others believed. He was crucified because He was a "zealot". His death on the cross was no accident of history. He knew exactly what He was doing. I get the feeling that many who have posted here would not have liked Jesus very much! Remember His last words on earth were instructions for His followers to go out into the world and spread His message. He obviously cared about what people believed. Give me more passionate people! Give me more people who CARE about the world. Give me people who will give thier whole lives loving people the way Jesus loved them and gave His life for them!


07/11/2003 12:23:14 PM

I think apathism is a good thing for society. I'm not an apatheist, but I think it's had a positive influence on me. In religious discussions, I can say "So what?" in an attempt to make a person justify their zeal. I'd prefer not to have a world of apatheists, but they do represent a necessary part of genuinely religious and spiritual people: The ability to be serene and accepting.


07/11/2003 10:30:45 AM

I believe that people shouldn't be so concerned with other's religious beliefs. I was raised Christian -- primarily Baptist. That never felt right with me. Once I got married, I started looking into other religions and spiritual beliefs. I have become Wiccan. I don't try to push my beliefs on others. If someone wants to hear what I believe or asks questions, I'll answer them. I don't think any religion is better than another. I don't think any religion has gotten it completely right. Even my own. What's right for one person, isn't right for another.


07/11/2003 07:02:36 AM

I think that the zealot's stance comes from the process that one enters into a religion. If you are brain-washed by a rabid christian fundamentalist, or are raised in a closed Islamic society, then there is a good chance that you will be agressively against any other path. Any group that leads you down a path like that is nothing more than a cult. Go read Isacc Bonewits "ABCDEF" document sometime... A Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame" Some of you might be surprised to find yourself in a cult like religious group!


07/10/2003 11:32:08 PM

Oh, for pity's sake! Mr. Rauch is mistaking motivation for faith. He is simply a lukewarm atheist. You would not find people who Mr. Rauch would label as "apatheist" any place where religious expression is punishable by criminal prosecution or death. You don't find a great many "apatheists" in the Middle East. You do find "apatheists" in church-states like the historic British Isles (where to be anything but Anglican was to be stuck in a ghetto, so everybody was at least formally an Anglican) and in pluralist societies like the US (where it is possible because nobody is going to give you much grief about it). Mr. Rauch thinks that living life without the courage of his lack of belief is a good thing. I disagree. We naturally become passionate about that which is important to us -- our family, our children, our country, our spouse -- and to remain dispassionate about the nature about ultimate reality (whatever one's perception of that reality is) is like saying "I don't care if the sun rises tomorrow."


07/10/2003 09:52:21 PM

In Australia the is a great deal of Apatheistism, many evangelicals as i would claim to be, see it as important to allow others to see their own views as having relevance. I think communication of ideas concepts and caring can only take place in an environment of real relationship. In fact as it is Gods work to convict and convince, ours only needs to be communicate the reality of God to us and enjoy our relationsghip with others. One of the pleasures of being Australian is learning not to take ourselves seriously we are generally a bit apathiestic about ourselves. An underground view from downunder


07/10/2003 09:12:36 PM

I think proselytizing is specific to Christianity, and crusades and jihads are specific to extremist sects of Christianity and Islam. Religion by its nature does not imply expansionism, a view that Rauch seems to assume. Many faiths are content to be private about their beliefs, unless someone asks, and even then some don’t tell, let alone try to convert. As for religious apathy, this is something I find common to many, for a time, especially when more practical issues than existentialism require attention. It is in the throes of calm that we ponder our roles in the higher orders of the universe.


07/10/2003 09:12:29 PM

This is mostly in response to MinisterWYA. I want to comment on MisisterWYA's assumption that Christianity is the only life-changing religion. I used to be Christian. I also used to have anxiety attacks and was a bit selfish. When I found my new religion, I overcame my anxiety attacks and I've been told I'm not selfish like I used to be. I think that there are lifechanging decisions and that it's different for different people. For some, it might be Christianity, for others, it might be something else. I think I can go along with the Apatheist in not caring about others beliefs because I think a person should be a part of what makes them a better person. Jessica


07/10/2003 08:30:51 PM

We're out of natural gas too, so don't roll your tanks over our border!


07/10/2003 08:28:52 PM

Canada has worse electoral problems that you. We can't vote for Prime Minister at all. Liberals are still in power, but Bush rhetoric is popular in Canada's Bible Belt, Alberta. Also, unlike the US, Communism never went away in Canada. They became the NDP and have retained considerable strength. NDP Commies get union support, but they were the ones most against War in Iraq. Canada suffers a lot from opposing the US, but our dollar is up and yours is down. tachyx


07/10/2003 08:16:35 PM

:) close, anyway ;) sure you can't pop down and help save the usa from further electoral disaster? good neighbors and all... btw, you might be comfortable in a uu congragation. there were plenty of happy athiests in ours, bunches of secular humanists, some buddists, a few pagans, and mostly lots of ex's, too, especially ex-catholics.


07/10/2003 08:10:49 PM

Some people have this idea from Brewster's Millions "NONE OF THE ABOVE", that there should be an entry "NOT BUSH". Or you get to vote AGAINST everyone you don't like rather than for anyone in particular. Whoever got the least votes against wins. Survival of the fittest doesn't pick one candidate, it kills off everyone else. tachyx


07/10/2003 08:07:00 PM



07/10/2003 08:04:14 PM

sorry, didn't mean to presume. figured you were a brit from 'rubbish'. since i can remember, it's always been the lesser of the evils in american elections. i'm somewhere between libertarian and democrat. hoping for a true multi-party field to develope here.


07/10/2003 08:02:57 PM

How else could God be a merciful murderer?


07/10/2003 08:02:23 PM

They do believe it. It is perfectly normal for fundamentalist Christians to believe two completely opposite things at the same time.


07/10/2003 08:00:31 PM

Community and networking are great advantages of church. I really am disappointed that there are no atheist groups in my community. Willingdon church was right across from BCIT college where many people in my technical field went to school, so it was professionally related association as well as personal. I really miss that. Too bad they are all ignorant lying hypocrites. tachyx


07/10/2003 07:59:31 PM

i can't imagine this administration actually believes its own hype. now THAT would be really scary.


07/10/2003 07:57:46 PM

I am not American, so I depend upon enough people having the sense that "Not Bush" will not be on the ticket, so vote for the Democrat, PLEASE NOT the independent.


07/10/2003 07:56:51 PM

what church is it you stay away from? i was lucky to be raised unitarian universalist, but since moving from the midwest to the bible belt, i miss the sense of community.


07/10/2003 07:55:48 PM

Actually, I sense fear in Bush when he does the snort/crooked grin thing. Imagine someone you don't like after you accuse them of something: [snort with crooked smile] No, I didn't. Hell, if he really didn't he'd be ANGRY, wouldn't he? I would. tachyx


07/10/2003 07:54:21 PM

good grief, no! i vote, therefore, i am! activism and communication are my weapons of choice.


07/10/2003 07:51:36 PM

Does your plan involve lead, rabbit?


07/10/2003 07:51:09 PM

I don't agree that all humans are dangerous, although it is dangerous to be in the wrong group. That's why I stay away from church now. It's a scary place to me.


07/10/2003 07:50:27 PM

bush is quite the manipulator, eh? it'll pass, and, if i have anything to do with it, sooner rather than later.


07/10/2003 07:48:01 PM

all humans are dangerous. but not all of them/us can accept that. easier to point to the 'evil outside'.


07/10/2003 07:47:57 PM

I forgot to mention the snorty laugh he does, as if his lies were obvious truths.


07/10/2003 07:45:32 PM

Every time I see Bush on TV he puts one elbow on the podium and gets a crooked grin, and out come the lies. It's not about oil. He's confident there are WMD. He didn't lie about the uranium purchase in the SOTU. Lies drive me mad!


07/10/2003 07:43:23 PM

People who feel security under a blanket of lies are not just hard to convince but dangerous.


07/10/2003 07:42:25 PM

well, tachyx, i'm not an atheist. didn't mean to scare wya off, either. there was a sliver of hope for some understanding there, i think. what this country needs is to wake up and smell the constitution. i got the impression mr. rauch was aming, in a relaxed way (ha, ha) at that point.


07/10/2003 07:42:18 PM

I wonder why (as if I didn't know) MinisterWYA assumed that we had all signed off, considering there had been no break in the discussion? I believe you are right, tachyx. Lions one, Christians nil.


07/10/2003 07:38:41 PM

ok, johnbog.


07/10/2003 07:38:13 PM

Atheists tag teaming against a fool Christian. Of course he will run away. He's a weak faithed coward. They all are. It happens every single time. tachyx


07/10/2003 07:37:05 PM

truth is concensus... :lol


07/10/2003 07:36:36 PM

I haven't signed off, MinisterWYA, but patiently await a response to my previous post. rabbit-usa: I think it would be more accurate to say that atheists have no god-belief, rather than that they say "I don't believe in God". There is a difference.


07/10/2003 07:33:58 PM

I was taking a moment to consult an article I had on Josephus. I can't read that fast. tachyx


07/10/2003 07:31:31 PM

Anecdotes! Rubbish! What lots of people believe says nothing about truth.


07/10/2003 07:30:20 PM

Christians are cowards who run away when their faith shields go below 50%. Faith is worthless after 2000 years. tachyx


07/10/2003 07:29:54 PM

I will assume you all have signed off, or are tired of me. That is Ok. I pray that God will open you to the idea that Jesus could in fact be the only way. I encourage you to come to my web site and read peoples story of how God changed their lives. Listen to their hearts. I am not a rich man, but I love people, all people. I don't have to agree with them to love them. I am trying to be more like Jesus and even love and pray for those that hate me. Again, please consider reading a few testimonies on it certainly can't hurt you. I hope you might not be apathic. like how I tied it to the article. It has been nice talking with you. may God Bless You. Jack -


07/10/2003 07:29:21 PM

The instances of Jesus in Josephus were added later probably by Catholics. There are three distinctly different individuals that are interpreted into Josephus as being Jesus: Yehuda of Galilee, Theudas, and Benjamin the Egyptian. None of them exactly match the bible.


07/10/2003 07:26:46 PM

xobeto, i think the author meant to modify atheism with the term 'aptheism'. agnostics say, 'i don't know for sure one way or the other', whereas atheists say, 'i don't believe in god.' it seems the author finds atheists as passionate as theists and thus wishes to differentiate himself as dispassionate, considering that view more healthy and enlightened.


07/10/2003 07:23:20 PM

If Jesus is alive, where in the world is he? HE'S DEAD! Josephus was not a witness to Christ, but assumed Christ was real because of the vast following. No evidence. Do your own research, ignorant. The bible is a bottomless pit of fallacy. Start at the beginning. The Fall of Man is a total fraud if you think about it objectively. Try it! Would Eve be found guilty in a court of law? Rubbish! The leading four commandments are rubbish, but some ancient fool put them first. Even Jesus only listed the last six. "Reason bases its decisions on evidence available to everyone, and allows people to disagree when evidence is lacking. Religion will never do that." -- Richard C. Carrier, Jr., from "A Fish Did Not Write This Essay" (1995), as quoted in Positive Atheism's predecessor, Critical Thinker (November, 1995), front page


07/10/2003 07:21:12 PM

ah. fear of physical death. not much reasoning with that one. this will be very difficult for you to get your head around but try: some of us are not afraid of losing our physical bodies, nor afraid of the dissoulution of identity. i don't dismiss out of hand that my consiousness may continue intact beyond physical death, but if it doesn't that's ok. i don't need a savior. i don't need a 'god'. in my personal experience, we're all facets of Her, all connected, so there's nothing to fear. and if you or tachyx sees it differently, i don't mind at all. but, like martin luther, i will not profess a false faith to make 'the chruch' (you, or anyone else) more comfortable. sorry.


07/10/2003 07:19:27 PM

i haven't read much of the other posts so forgive me if i repeat someone else, but what is the difference between "apatheism" and "agnosticism"?


07/10/2003 07:19:06 PM

MinisterWYA challenges: "What verse did Jesus tell someone to go buy a sword?" Luke 22:36. The admonition lead to an act of violence. But violence, even if it was only verbal, was never far away from Jesus, especially when he was challenged or mocked by detractors. As the New Testament clearly shows, Jesus' petulance and vindictiveness on such occasions identified nothing less than a flawed character. But you failed, MinisterWYA, to respond to the other verses of scripture I quoted. Perhaps you advocate the cafeteria approach to scripture favored by so many believers, the approach which picks and chooses what it wants and disregards the rest.


07/10/2003 07:18:47 PM

What you guys don't understand is my heart. I am not at all concerned that I am somehow correct. This is too serious to have anyone play with who is correct. All I want you to consider is that Jesus might very well be the Son of God, and that the Bible just may be true. If all roads go to heaven, I will see you there and we can laugh about these e-mails, but if Jesus was correct, the Savior, the only way, you will be asking yourself why in the world didn't I even give this a chance.


07/10/2003 07:14:48 PM

Rabbit: I know people that tried to be moral on their own, like myself, but there were certain things I could shake off. Once I asked Jesus into my heart, and asked for Him to make me the man He wanted me to be, He changed me. He litterally took away some vices that I had been sick of. He proved Himself to me.


07/10/2003 07:11:59 PM

Rabbit: I also follow the only "teacher" who rose from the dead. All other so called "teachers" are but dust. I don't have to prove Jesus, He did just fine on His own.


07/10/2003 07:10:42 PM

is that what scares you wya? you don't understand how people can be moral without dogma?


07/10/2003 07:08:32 PM

Rabbit: None of the other "teachers" claimed to be God. Jesus asked why someone called Him good teacher. I follow the only one who said He was a savior.


07/10/2003 07:06:54 PM

Trachyx: Even you said some things were true. I am not looking for softballs to hit. I am truly interested in what you find so inaccurate. As for having no moral good. Do you not think the ten commandments are good moral teaching. Don't murder; don't steal; don't envy (covet); don't lie. Do you have children? I hope you teach these things.


07/10/2003 07:06:47 PM

so? buddha existed too. great teachers all. but one is no more valid or divine than another. find the 'savior' in your own heart, not in some old book.


07/10/2003 07:03:11 PM

Tachyx: Have you never read Josephus? Or other Roman history? There is no doubt that Jesus existed. There is even the body tomb of James that was found years ago, that indicate he was the brother of Jesus. These tombs almost always only included the father's name, but in his case, having a famous brother, it also had Jesus' name.


07/10/2003 07:00:59 PM

MinisterWYA You want me to convince you or you want me to throw balls so you can hit them back at me with your contrived borrowed arguments? The bible has already been proved to be of limited historical value and worthless in terms of moral value. It's just so many of you don't accept the facts for what they are. It disturbs your worldview. It scares you. Face the facts or live in ignorance. Those were always your choices, before you ever heard of me. tachyx


07/10/2003 06:59:27 PM

you don't get it. not everyone cares about 'proof'. dig up words from any 'holy' text you want, they're all the words of humans reaching for understanding. we're not done reaching yet and not content to rest on old interpretations.


07/10/2003 06:58:40 PM

Tachyx: I believe that the Bible is true, because I have no reason to believe it is not. I read it cover to cover and find nothing inaccurate.


07/10/2003 06:57:13 PM

I wasted my life studying every chapter and verse of the bible. Why? What was important about it to me? Is it important that everyone believe the same thing? Why? Is truth important? Is the bible actually true? Some of it might be true, but truth is measured against physical evidence. The truth of the bible cannot be measured against itself. You should understand the problem of giving witness of oneself. There is no historical evidence of Jesus. tachyx


07/10/2003 06:56:40 PM

Tachyx: I again ask for any specifics that you can say prove the Bible inaccurate. You speek well, but I am hearing nothing of substance. Anyone can discuss generalities, can you take it deeper?


07/10/2003 06:54:29 PM

Tachyx: Jesus never told anyone to kill anyone. In fact He told Peter to put away his weapon, because He didn't need it. He said He could call down 20 legions of angels if He wanted to. He went to the cross with enough love that He knew some wouldn't even take Him up on His offer to die in their place.


07/10/2003 06:53:14 PM

MinisterWYA, Even I can easily validate the bible internally against itself. But whenever there is a conflict, it's all about interpretation. There are vast reserves of contrived arguments on the Internet. It is so important to you that the bible be validated at any cost. It is a vain effort to support rubbish. tachyx


07/10/2003 06:50:56 PM

Tachyx: What specifically are you talking about when you generalize "slightest objective look at the bible reveals it to be the fabrication of primitve people". Can you give any examples to support you position? Have you in fact ever read it? All?


07/10/2003 06:50:55 PM

again, thank you. faith is a humble state. it requires no certainty.


07/10/2003 06:49:10 PM

...excpet that people with faith will go to incredible lengths to make things "right" that apathetist will not. What you mean is religious faith. You don't mean the concept of faith, becuase of you had no faith in your own views you wouldn't share them.


07/10/2003 06:48:40 PM

tachyx; Have you read Lee Strobel's book?


07/10/2003 06:47:25 PM

Johnbog; What verse did Jesus tell someone to go buy a sword?


07/10/2003 06:47:18 PM

THOU SHALT NOT KILL [your own kind, but them okay]


07/10/2003 06:45:51 PM

Lee Strobel, like all Christian authors, preaches to the choir. None of his arguments are fundamentally valid. They just make the weak of faith feel comfortable. Better to toss out faith instead. tachyx


07/10/2003 06:43:52 PM

The slightest objective look at the bible reveals it to be the fabrication of primitve people who couldn't make heads or tail of nature and justified killing their enemies with "gods" to subdue their consciences.


07/10/2003 06:42:10 PM

The results of apathy are that people make general conclusions on the Bible, without taking the time to really read and check the validity of it. The book Case for Christ by Lee Strobel gets into depth in the validity. Some would rather feel good about what they heard, and never take the time to check it out. That was me two years ago. I thank God I finally checked it all out.


07/10/2003 06:40:13 PM

Jesus motives are clear in the story, but Christians in this world live in the exact opposite way. Hypocrisy is the way that you are defending.


07/10/2003 06:39:43 PM

MinisterWYA wrote: "...I challenge anyone to find a single teaching of Christ from the New Testament that directs anyone to violence." What about Jesus' direction to one of his disciples to go purchase a sword? Even if you want to respond to this with the asinine rationalization that it was simply to fulfil somekind of prophecy, the direction lead to an act of violence to which Jesus must put up his hand. The Bible tells us that "God" commands no pity in murdering someone who believes differently from the dominant paradigm (Dt.13:6-10), and the New Testament carries on in the same vein, having inspired its followers to burn hundreds of thousands of unbelievers at the stake (John 15:6). Even if only presented as a parable, Jesus, if truly omniscient, would have forseen the terrible consequence of his words and would, surely, have to bear some of the responsibility for the horror they wrought.


07/10/2003 06:39:12 PM

The relationship between liberal and conservative has fundamental meaning, even if there are issues that politicians try to cross over. Conservatives try to conserve traditional morality, particularly ancestral Christian ways passed down for over a thousand years. Liberals allow people to do whatever they want on their own property AS LONG AS NO ONE GETS HARMED. Liberals always feel that conservatives are trying to restrict their freedom. Conservatives are always trying to keep unseemly behaviour out of their neighborhoods. Politically, conservatives are funded by hypocritically greedy corporate types and liberals are funded by pseudo-socialist unions. As for science, the war between creationism and naturalism is never ending, even though the vast bulk of evidence favours naturalism over the fairy tale creation story. tachyx


07/10/2003 06:38:41 PM

Jesus did turn over a table, but did you even consider His reason? He was angry because they had made His House a den of theives that corrupted the true teachings in the Bible. If you came home and found people selling tings in your house, what would you do.


07/10/2003 06:35:37 PM

"the point here is that apathetic people will be FORCED to to do what others say. Freedom was not a result of apathy. You have to fight for it." Perfectly written. The article is about apathy, not J.C. Stay on topic, please, evangelists.


07/10/2003 06:34:55 PM

thank you tachyx. and, wya, if you don't recognize that your coersive insistence upon adhearance to corrupted interpretations of countless flawed and dirivitive translations of an abridged account of the life of a great teacher (aka the bible) is a form of psycho-social violence then shame on you. you've missed Jesus's message completely.


07/10/2003 06:34:11 PM

tachyx-- I agree completely on the poverty of Christ and the hypocricy of many Christians. I think true Christianity is a very demanding lifestyle, and I think people who try to sugar coat it are bs-ing. Also, an emphasis on evangelism, while not part of every protenstant faith, makes the un-churched skeptical of the intentions of "believers"


07/10/2003 06:31:40 PM

Jesus DID lie. He said he would be back SOON, several times. I can't imagine how you can consider 2000 years soon. Besides, the point here is that apathetic people will be FORCED to do what others say. Freedom was not a result of apathy. You have to fight for it. tachyx


07/10/2003 06:30:54 PM

tachyx, And how do I discuss liberalism and science? What do you know about these subjects? I never use these words because to me they have no meaning, but don't you think that being blindly "liberal" is no better than blindly "conservative." I am convinced that those two words are only used as empathic tools, and are more suited to ad hominem appeals than any kind of real discussion. The really have no inherent, objective meaning. I think humanity has to move beyond subjective definitions of thought collectives and re-envision reality apart from the current machines of control--an inherently bloodless revolution of consciousness that will probably take lots of bloodshed to convince the stubborn, lazy, and apathetic.


07/10/2003 06:29:14 PM

MinisterWYA, No, turning over someone's table is not violent. If I come to your house and throw over your dining table, you won't be offended by that. It's not like I haven't seen the worst intentions in every Christian I've ever met. Trying to disguise your personal greed as a virtue. Jesus was a poor man. If he lived today, he would NOT own a computer or even a house. Live like that do you? Hypocrites all. tachyx


07/10/2003 06:25:31 PM

It is amazing society has functioned this long with so much corruption, ignorance, and utter laziness. It is easy to live by stealing from others, but once you have stolen everything everyone else has, then what? Explain how the world's greatest consumer can be the world's richest? America had to steal Iraq's oil because it could never afford to pay for it legitimately. In ten years a barrel of oil will pass $100. tachyx


07/10/2003 06:23:53 PM

Tachyx: I don't know what kind of Bible studies you have attended, but I have never been in one that preached any for of violence to others. In fact I challenge anyone to find a single teaching of Christ from the New Testament that dirrects anyone to violence. MinisterWYA


07/10/2003 06:20:57 PM

Did you not read what I wrote. I trust what Jesus said was the way. Just like if you are trying to get somewhere and ask directions, you then must put your faith in that persons directions and go. For you to simply say that I am choosing my way is not accurate. I am trust Jesus' way, because I believe He is God's Beggotten Son, God with us. If He lied, I have a trust in a liar. Jack


07/10/2003 06:19:24 PM

The 9/11 terrorists were and are members of Qu'ran study groups not unlike bible study groups. They discuss America the same way you discuss liberalism and science.


07/10/2003 06:18:52 PM

And this is the "freest" country in the world--where Nazis are allowed to have meetings (unlike France of Germany), where brutal harcore porngraphy is protected as free "speech" (unlike MANY civilized nations), and where the government is controlled by the rich AKA "the market." If that isn't a prime example of what people do to themselves when they have the most freedom, I don't know what is.


07/10/2003 06:18:46 PM

I also believe, and not for any particular religious reason, that our civilization is in a rapid state of decline, and that the foundations we have built for modern thought are folding in on themselves. We are exhibiting so many of the same characteristics of previous fallen societies. I could site a thousand examples, but I think this article speaks for itself. A hundred years ago many people actually read books, MEMORIZED poems, were aware of basic geography and political machinations, and had at least a rudimentary understanding of Western music. Today, a man is considered "smart" or "erudite" for writing from his "wine-induced haze" that the best solution is apathy, while most Americans don't know anything about geography or science, and more Americans voted on American Idol than the President.


07/10/2003 06:15:00 PM

MinisterWYA, There is no "His" way, just your way. It is exactly this attitude that everyone should be living their life your way that causes strife. People whose eyes are open to this manipulation resist, conflict. So we should just shut up right? tachyx


07/10/2003 06:07:25 PM

My personal feeling is that in 9/11 we are coming face to face with the reality of life that civilizations have known for eons--that anything you believe in strongly is worth dying for, hence the seemingly neverending human death toll. I think a lukewarm belief is closer to no belief than anything. How can you hold a belief and not be compelled to defend it? Again, I firmly believe only rich, safe, and insulated people can subscribe to an apatheistic ideology, becuase life is too REAL for the rest of humanity to live like you don't care about it.


07/10/2003 06:03:31 PM

You may be correct about Rauch's methodology, but his wordchoice is horrible--to build one's belief system on life on the word "apathy" is pathetic. And although he doesn't extend his argument to "everything" as you say, the implication is obviously that caring about what other people do is wrong, or at least a bothersome trait to be cultivated out of the human condition with "civilized" advancement of society.


07/10/2003 06:03:29 PM

Jesus teaches He is THE WAY, that is to heaven; THE TRUTH, that is "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God - Jesus is the Word of Truth that makes up His Bible; and finally He said He was THE LIFE - the source and means by which we may have eternal life in heaven. The Gospel is not hard but a purely simple thing, the hard part is that some just want to do it their way, not His way. God allows them their own free will, but does not allow them to tell Him how He should be. He said "I am, who I am"; He isn't who you say He is. Jack


07/10/2003 06:03:01 PM

Christians are not trying to prove our way is correct; but are just having faith that Jesus was who He said He was, God with us, and that He didn't lie about being the only way. To deny Jesus Christ as the only way, is to deny Jesus Christ; thereby discounting any statement that one may make to being a Christian. I am no more a car, if I come through a car wash; then a person is a Christian, just because they attend church.


07/10/2003 06:01:47 PM

There seems to be misconception about defining ones self as a Christian, and being a follower of Jesus Christ. The term Christian came out of those that followed the teachings of Christ. In John 14:6 we find Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."


07/10/2003 05:59:43 PM

Mr. Rauch didn't suggest apathy toward everything -- just religious matters. And he was mostly reporting, favorably it is true, on what he observes rather than suggesting something new. His article reveals to me that I come from a long line of apatheists. I just didn't have a name for them. They weren't atheists or agnostics, I assume, since they were all members of some church or other at an early age. They just didn't bother to go to church if it was inconvenient nor did they discuss religion with anyone, nor did they read the bible or any other religious literature. I think they accepted that God was somewhere but didn't matter much till you were dead.


07/10/2003 05:48:15 PM

Apatheist are narcissitic and almost solipsistic. Agnosticism is fence-sitting. Apatheism is for stoners or people who can convince themselves that things like logic don't exist. I would rather spend a year with a hot-blooded athiest than ten-minutes with a boring apatheist.


07/10/2003 05:45:16 PM

I don't think anyone is missing the point. Yes, zealotry breeds explosive confrontation, but to suggest that apatheism is the natural or best response is absurd. I would be inclined to fail a student if they were assigned a project to hypothetcially solve international conflict and they came up with apatheism.


07/10/2003 05:43:20 PM

I would suggest that apatheism, along with agnosticism, is simply part of the art of fence-sitting in face of feilds neither of which offers greener grass. Alternatively, apatheism is the absence of belief in virtue of an absence of arguments. I would argue, on the other hand, that atheism is the plausible and probably correct belief that God does not exist and that theism is the implausible and probably incorrect view that God does exist. In light of the lack of compelling arguments for theism and the strength of the atheist position, the apatheist may desist from fence-sitting and start grazing in pastures greener.


07/10/2003 05:39:58 PM

I think you're all missing the point. I'm having a hard time thinking of a social conflict that doesn't involve one group trying to force another group to conform to their belief system. Zealotry breeds hate. Remember 9/11 ?


07/10/2003 04:37:50 PM

"Hey, everybody! I have an idea on how to solve all our problems! Let's not care!" Seriously--I don't think my college newspaper would have published this article. I think I may write the Atlantic Monthly and complain about their editorial standards. Hopefully the Editor in Chief isn't an apatheist...though I'm sure the executive producer isn't.


07/10/2003 04:35:40 PM

Tachyx is totally correct--the only people who can afford to be apatheists are the very rich and secure. Being an apatheist is cool until someone who has strong beliefs troes to kick your a$$ or steal from you or take over your schools. There are a thousand examples for why this article should have remained a wine-laden conversation, and never have been published. And not to bring this into it, but Mr. Rauch is most likely not a parent--what parent could be apathetic to his/her offspring?


07/10/2003 04:34:07 PM

This article could be construed as a form of propaganda. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 0.


07/10/2003 04:32:07 PM

Hey, everybody! I have an idea on how to solve all our problems! Let's not care!


07/10/2003 04:31:42 PM

What a wonderful gift to humanity this generation has, then: Apathy...Which Mr. Rauch elevates to the highest level of civilized behavior. If the notion of a society built on apathy doesn't make you cringe a little, what does? Explain to me how apathy unties the real problems that occur when belief systems clash? In what belief system does apathy to other humans equal a good thing? To grant a positive connotation to the word apathy is inhuman...secular and religious people alike agree that sympathy and a sympathetic response are trademarks of human beings. I can't believe the Atlantic Monthly published this garbage.


07/10/2003 04:29:52 PM

TRUTHchangesYOU, I agree with you completely. Christ said his burden was light, it's those who came after him to tell us all what he meant that made the burden heavy again. Personally, I don't adhere to the Pauline version of Christianity. I have always thought Christ's teachings were self explanatory. Ernon


07/10/2003 04:29:46 PM

It's easy to be an apatheist until theists in government start taking away your civil protections.


07/10/2003 04:22:14 PM

Vorpal, What did you mean when you said: "Apathy in the USA is the main reason why the sheople allow illegal actions that kill thousands of innocents each year." Aside from the talk-radio lingo, what illegal actions are killing thousands of innocents each year, and who are these innocents are you talking about? I'm not saying you're wrong, I just have no idea what you are talking about and would like to understand. Thanks for clarifying, Ernon


07/10/2003 04:16:07 PM

In reference to the article--God tells us in Revelations in a letter to one of the seven churches that He would rather we be non believers than lukewarm. He'd rather us be hot or cold, because He hates lukewarm believers so much, He says "I will vomit you out of my mouth".


07/10/2003 02:36:11 PM

I think Mother Theresa knew what true love is. She gave of herself to poor people. She loved them without forcing her beliefs on them. In our eyes, her life could be described as difficult, but, somehow, I don't think she would have used that word. Could most Americans truly follow Christ's lead? I doubt it. We're too brainwashed by consumerism and modern life. Money is too important. Does Jesus have all the answers? Most of us would like to think so.


07/10/2003 08:28:02 AM

I think TRUTHchangesYOU meant that it is a huge burden for a person, without a belief in Christ or being certain in his religons teachings, to listen and understand all the nowadays SMARTYPANTS who think they see into the "Gods pants"...20 plus religions listed in the far left window of this window. They are the burden bigger than the one Christs example might be. But if I may add another point, I believe Christ said love all people. So I think following the Crist the burden in the idea of the work you are called to do is only greater. Being a Crists child one shouldnt put himself on a lonely island no? But share and spread (not by fire and insisting) love. But who today knows what love was to Christ anyway. Does any of us know the true beauty of love? I doubt. Can one be an apatheist when it comes to believing in PEOPLE?


07/09/2003 08:09:18 AM

TRUTHchangesYOU, could you explain your idea a little more? I'm not sure I understand your reference. How, exactly, would it be easier to follow Christ's example than that of other people? More specifically, how would you define Christ's example?


07/08/2003 10:36:08 PM

I believe a mature Christian would say that the burden of following Christ's example is much easier than living under the burden of other people's examples :)


07/08/2003 04:23:52 PM

response, part two: That's where the problem seems to lie with regard to this issue. I can be apatheistic, but I don't have to be apathetic in my politics or my responsibilities. It's not an all or nothing proposition. Unfortunately, we keep making that mistake over and over again...just like our friends in the Middle East. Extremism just takes too much energy, and I have grass to mow.


07/08/2003 04:23:02 PM

I agree with dzynr. Apatheism is about minding one's own business. Frankly, I don't care what people believe, as long as they leave my beliefs alone. It's that simple. Regarding 9/11, the ignorant fanatics who planned and executed that catastrophe could not leave our beliefs alone. They had to intervene, or at least they thought they had to intervene. The best thing we can do, now that we've bombed our disapproval into their consciousness, is to help build back their world and show them that we are not truly the "great devil." If we ignore our responsibilities in the Middle East now, we will sow the seeds of countless future attacks. I am definitely not apathetic in that sense.


07/08/2003 01:43:00 PM

This article is what I have felt for years!!! I and most of my freinds have radically different religious beliefs, yet we rarely talk about them, or even care about them. As a result, we don't fight or bicker about petty differences. I don't really care what anyone else thinks, as long as they are not shoving it in my face, and I would never force my beliefs on anyone else. It's a live and let live attitude. I hold strong to my beliefs, but really, life is not about pointing out people's differences. I used to consider myself an Agnostic, but I am officially "converting" to apatheism!!!


07/06/2003 10:56:06 PM



07/06/2003 11:49:23 AM

I have came across these endless blogs, so many opinions confronting eachother and arguing over sth or better sbd that majority believes he exists. And I can not stop myself from feeling pitty towards all of us, whom we call ourselves believers...of whatever religion. I just need to scream out "Do we really need a religion? DO we really need to be a part of a religion? Can we not be just a man and just a woman? Each with what we know we have-mind, soul and heart?" Life would be million times easier if humans were not after sth out there but for sth they have in them. And then theres a question "what do you believe?"...I believe in a caring heart in careful eyes noticing a man in need, I believe best salvation is to behave like being a man that is alive now. In the best meaning of the word "man".


07/06/2003 10:31:18 AM

This doesn’t seem such a new idea. It is a simple expedient to misdirect someone from their own self development by getting them to complain or interfere with another’s self development. This goes back centuries and was such a problem that Jesus said “ask not to remove the nit from your neighbor’s eye till you have removed the log from your own.” Our duty is to be strict with ourselves so that we may be lenient to others.


07/06/2003 09:28:20 AM

Hey CMAC1425 I really hope people heard what you said. Apathy is here and as we see here it is being promoted. Any opposing force would love it if that force that it is opposed to, is apathetic. Apathy, I feel is an direct result of the "Me Generation" and those generations it brought forth.


07/06/2003 01:58:38 AM



07/06/2003 12:29:31 AM

Unfortunately, the problem addressed by Apatheism isn't necessarily the pity one might feel for someone of a different theology. It runs more toward the fear and loathing groups of religious people hold against one another. Perhaps Apatheism isn't the best term, but it certainly does attract attention. It encapsulates the MYOB perspective that most religious fanatics seem to ignore. From a Christian perspective, Jesus encourages his followers to love and respect one another. An Apatheist could argue that implicit in both approaches is a healthy dose of Apatheism. Jesus was saying, in effect, "live and let live." Thomas Jefferson said that we have the right to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but he added a proviso which, I think, addresses Apatheism. He argued that we have the right to all these things as long as we do not impinge upon our neighbor's rights.


07/05/2003 12:17:59 PM

Pitying someone gives you a feeling of moral supperiority and makes you feel the need to "save" them from their own foolishness or talk about them behind their backs about how sad it is that they dont see the light. I agree with some of you on the fact that apathy is not the right word, it bleeds into other aspects of your life and those around you. Are you apathetic about paying your bills, taking responsibility for your own actions, your jobs, your children or spouses? Apathy can be in all those things too. What I believe is how I live my life and what you believe is how you live your life. How about calling it respect for yourself and someone else. Not for their views or beliefs, but for that person. My views may not be yours, but their mine and should be respected for being a small part of me. I think, that, respect is the biggest thing we can offer each other and apathy is the worst. In one way they are one and the same. Live and let live. In the other, one embraces while the other pushes away.


07/05/2003 02:53:26 AM

Anyone seen maltheist lately?


07/05/2003 02:50:37 AM

Someone wrote earlier that America has not prospered they way it has by espousing an Apatheist philosophy. Actually, if we look back carefully at people such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, we see that, indeed, they were Apatheistic, after a fashion. Both men held personal beliefs about God, and both men wrote about their belief system. However, both men operated under what might be termed Deism. They believed that God created the heavens and the earth and then backed away to allow the universe to function on its own. Unlike the Puritans--zealots in their own right--eighteenth century Deists understood God as a non-participatory deity. They also believed that religion, while certainly an important part of one's private life, should not be expressed in fanatical or showy terms. They emphasized the private nature of the religious experience. In that sense, I would classify America's philosophical bedrock as decidedly Apatheistic.


07/05/2003 01:06:28 AM

I am an apathetic atheist.


07/03/2003 08:47:05 PM

bbbejt: I understand the casting of pearls before swine to mean don't bother telling anyone anything that they're not going absorb. And I think just loving everyone as you love yourself is better than feeling sorry for them, at least by just loving you can serve as an example, as Christ did for us.


07/03/2003 08:07:38 PM



07/03/2003 06:48:58 PM

The truth that sets you free, in my opinion, sets you free to let others have their own opinions, kinda like God respects your choices, but doesn't let you skip past the consequences.


07/03/2003 04:57:54 PM

I'am going to show this to all my Christian friends. This is all true stuff and I hope this article may stir up the gift. I also know this, America did not prosper to where it is on this philosophy, and I wonder can it stand on it


07/03/2003 04:01:48 PM

According to Thomas 42 Jesus said - "Become passersby" Perhaps Jesus was one of the first apatheists?


07/03/2003 03:24:36 PM

In the process of unifying, we divide from others. Example: Catholics unified as one group SEPARATE from other Christians. Or Christians unified SEPARATE from Jews. Thus, we get the mentality of "If they are not for us, they are against us." Our beliefs should not separate us, but rather unite us all as seekers of the truth. If a person finds his or her truth in Islam, while mine rests in Paganism, what do I care? I am not that person, and it is not my place to judge whether Islam is the "right" religion for him or her, just as it isn't any of his or her business to tell me Paganism is wrong. We are both regular people who simply believe different things--it should not separate or differentiate us from one another outside of a religious context. Paganism does not define who I am, it is merely one of the many definitions of me. I firmly agree with this article. Any person can believe whatever they want and I couldn't care less, provided no one is being harmed in that belief.


07/03/2003 03:19:57 PM

The author is quite confused. Atheism is not a belief system. And most free-thinking people today prefer the more postive 'secular humanist' term. And what does his 'Jewishness' or 'Homosexuality' have to do with any of this? Nothing, so why mention it? Apathy in the USA is the main reason why the sheople allow illegal actions that kill thousands of innocents each year. I don't care for Apathy.


07/03/2003 02:29:57 PM

I will give apatheism 2 cheers, but not 3. My hesitancy is due to the fact that much of morality is based upon religious beliefs. That may be good, that may be bad; that may be necessary; that may be unnecessary. But that's the way it is: most moral systems are religion-/faith-based. I don't want "theological apatheism" to shade over into "moral apatheism". I don't want indifference to another's beliefs about God to shade over into, to cite just a single example, indifference to another's beliefs about whether African-Americans are fully human, gay folks are sexual perverts, etc., etc. I do care, I must care - in fact, I believe it is immoral not to care - what others believe about those issues. And since religious beliefs feed those moral stances, I care what others' religious beliefs are insofar as they affect their views about the worth and dignity, or lack thereof, of other people. Jim


07/03/2003 01:54:28 PM

McCara, there are many ways to celebrate someone's passing. They do not always include God, but are just as meaningful for those who celebrate it.


07/03/2003 01:19:52 PM

According to the definition of Apatheist, I suppose I'd fit into the category. However, I don't see it as apathy, but of acceptance of others as they are; perhaps "acceptatheist", or some such thing?


07/03/2003 01:10:40 PM

You're right that the Nazis and Communists (who were also anti-Semites; they simply were better at hiding it than the Nazis) were atheists who rejected Christianity. But they nevertheless 'stood on the shoulders of giants' when it came to being anti-Semitic: they built on everything that had come before them in Christian Germany and Russia.


07/03/2003 01:08:01 PM

Priam, I mean no disrespect to you personally, but to say that Christianity bears no blame for anti-Semitism is simply wrong. Each of the five major Crusades between 1100 and 1400 was kicked off by a massive pogrom of Jews in France and Germany. Then there are is the Passion Play itself, where the players all wear white but the Jews wear black and are symbolically stoned by the audience at the end. Many Passion Plays from the Middle Ages up to the present day have sparked major rioting and burning of Jewish neighborhoods. Finally, there are the words of St. Paul, St. Augustine and St. Peter the Hermit himself, all of whom chose words like "unholy race" and "stain upon Christ's robe" to describe the Jewish people. You say that anti-Semitism is against Christian philosophy and you're probably right. But religion is not just philosophy: religion is about behavior and history as well.


07/03/2003 12:46:48 PM

I would love to see what Mr. Rauch does when he has a funeral to plan. I'll bet all that great apathy will go right out the window and he will go straight to whatever religious institution he can. I would even venture a guess he would be angry if they acted as if they had never seen him before.


07/03/2003 12:45:54 PM

I don't especially care what anyone's religion is. Well no further than, say if you're kosher I won't cook you a ham. But that is more a respect for your way of life I think.


07/03/2003 12:28:03 PM

Rauch said, "I believe that the rise of apatheism is to be celebrated as nothing less than a major civilizational advance." I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you, Rauch! May many people heed your words of sanity. I'm just jealous that I didn't write the article.


07/03/2003 12:26:03 PM

Or the gigantic part that the Russian Orthodox Church had to play in the pogroms or the other major massacres that routinely involved killing Jews in Russia?


07/03/2003 12:02:06 PM

I guess you've never read about Hitler and "The Church", have you?


07/03/2003 12:01:23 PM

This article reminds me of a inspiring interview with Katherine Hepburn regarding religion--something along the lines of "..some people are religious, but I've just never felt any real need for it.."--she sort of pooh-poohed the whole religious question from the interviewer. Now here was a person who lived through a life of struggle and triumph like many people, but who never really cared about religion either way. I hope I can cultivate an equally admirable outlook in my dotage...


07/03/2003 11:30:51 AM

whether you really think the Nazis would have attempted to eliminate the Jews if not for almost two millennia of Christian anti-Semitism. A little info for you, Jesus was Jewish. As well were the apostles and many of the early church fathers. The Nazis were driven by an athiestic philosophy influenced by Nietzsche and Kant. Darwinian influenced their survival of the fittest idealogy where eugenics was edorsed. Nazis wanted to eleminate all non-germanic peoples and as such not just Jews but Gypsies and Slavs were also targeted. This is all in direct opposition to Christian philosophy. The Soviets literally killed anyone who opposed them. The victims included many of their own people.


07/03/2003 11:13:42 AM

Priam, you didn't read the article very carefully. Mr. Rauch was not saying, "Have no beliefs." He was saying, "Believe whatever you feel is right and don't concern yourself with what others believe." Also, let me ask you--rhetorically, I suppose--whether you really think the Nazis would have attempted to eliminate the Jews if not for almost two millennia of Christian anti-Semitism.


07/03/2003 10:34:22 AM

Wake up Doubtnet, every one has beliefs. Everyone has guidelines that they live by. Don't forget that the athiestic states of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany caused almost all of the carnage of the 20th century.


07/03/2003 10:24:46 AM

On the other hand, participating faithfully in religious ritual and service, study and reflection on the Bible and in all things a sort of quiet, methodic following of one's own religion--taking no time to become agitated that not everyone is similarly dedicated to their faith or that their faith varies from yours--is a mature and sane way of life. The same goes for proper atheism: rather than shrieking and retaining the ACLU to press frivolous lawsuits to stamp out the most cursory mentions of God or prayer in school Christmas concerts or what not, just don't go to church. Sleep in on Sunday mornings and quietly read your Nietzsche and Freud.


07/03/2003 10:20:27 AM

I think that Mr. Rauch may be on to something, though. To profess religious belief--or unbelief--these days, most people assume they have to shout it from the rooftops and relentless browbeat people who disagree or haven't heard the News yet. This is, in a word, annoying. To me it seems to evidence personal insecurity; these people do not seem confident in their faith (or faithlessness)--instead they seem to be trying to shore it up by drowning out their inner doubts with outward shouting. They don't accept that doubts and uncertainty are the natural human condition, because, well, that wouldn't be properly Christian would it?


07/03/2003 10:10:48 AM

I agree with you at least partially, rahhma--people have shown themselves willing to kill and maim as readily for secular causes (Communism, Fascism, military dictators, gang warfare, ethnic hatred) as for religious ones (the Iranian Revolution). And there are plenty of cases where secular and religious motivations get bound up together: the Balkan Wars, three different Intifadas, the Northern Irish "Troubles".


07/03/2003 09:56:34 AM

To claim religion in itself is violent is a falacy and to think that the solution to violent acts is to be unreligious is foolish. Human being tend towards violence, regardless of their belief in God. In the past century more people have died at the hands non religious ideologies then at the hands of those claiming to be influenced by God. Religion is not the cause, it is mearly the excuse. Take away the religion and people will find another reason to kill, mame and torture: pride, greed, nationalism come to mind.


07/03/2003 08:34:08 AM

Elgabilon...I couldnt agree more. However, I think apatheism can come in handy when one is dealing with a freind or someone they are close to that doesn't have the same religios veiws. For example...My best freind is Christian, and I am not. When we are together we hardly ever discuss our beliefs about god. When we do, we just end up in heated debate, and it doesn't do us any good. Since we've known eachother since the ripe age of five...we are wonderful freinds with much in common...and choose not to allow our beliefs come between having an apathiest veiw towards on another.


07/03/2003 12:57:20 AM

I have to admit--part of me finds the notion of "apatheism" interesting. It means not caring about God, or about what others think about God. Think of all the strife in the world caused by "caring" about God, about what God says, about what other people believe about God. If we could just forget about all that, and concentrate on living our lives and enjoying our freedom in this world, without getting "upset" or "offended" about the way others might think about God, imagine what a wonderful world it would be. At the same time, we DON'T all share that view--and the fact that there ARE people who DO care what others think about God, who care about what God tells them to do (and who try to convince others to do so as well--not caring about whatever negative effects this causes, since after all, it IS "God's will"). Apatheism is a sort of appeasement of those forces who would try to control our lives by convincing us that "God knows best" and telling us what we "have to" do because God says so. continued below...


07/03/2003 12:56:49 AM

While I think it would be a FANTASTIC world if people did learn to "not care" about God, about what they or other believe about God, and concentrate on living human life to the fullest. The problem arises when those who DO care, who think living life to the fullest is not as important as kowtowing to God, try to set the social agenda for all of us. When it comes to that kind of horrific notion of morality, and the imminent danger that it might be foisted upon us all, we cannot afford to be apathetic. Be well, Paul


07/02/2003 11:34:54 PM

Whether we wish to be or not, we are an intricate part of the universe. We are the universe in mind and body.The universe cares little about religion. It is a concept of man in an attempt to explain and answer the questions he cannot answer about himself. Why am I here, where am I going, How did the universe come to be. Thousands of books, articles and phamplets have been written about religion, which amount to little more than a hill of beans. Religion is big business. Stop talking, silence the mind, look inward and you will experience what you are. Then you will dump Apatheist, Atheist, Catholic, Protestent, Islamic, Jewish, etc. All you see now is one side of the coin.


07/02/2003 09:21:19 PM

Though I can see Rauch's point, it's been my experience that apathy is something that spreads from one part of a person's beliefs to another. It might be good to be apathetic about faith or cultural differences, but it seems inevitable that such a person will become apathetic about important moral issues as well.


07/02/2003 08:59:40 PM

First off, "apatheist" is hardly a new word. My friends and I were kicking it around in college in the early 90s...and I've heard it used repeatedly by others. Rauch is being a little...disingenuous here, I think. Secondly (and more importantly), not judging people based on their beliefs is a virtue. Not being interested in their beliefs is not. A person's spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) are an intrinsic part of who they are. Someone who doesn't care about my beliefs devalues me, and makes it impossible for me to have a true friendship with them. What's wrong with genuine curiosity and exchange of ideas? With people we call friends, indifference is not something we should strive for.


07/02/2003 08:39:24 PM

I hardly think apathy would qualify as "anti-religious"--or "anti" anything else for that matter. Apathy refers to indifference, and in this new application, seems to have a live and let live approach. Rauch's "apatheists" aren't offended by religion nor are they especially moved by it. I actually kind of get this and like it (but then I may be something of an apatheist myself)


07/02/2003 07:35:57 PM

What the difference is being a Fundimentalism and a Apatheism? We are certainly not striving for a better future with such an utter disregard for religion because some idiots misinterpret religion or use it to committ horrible violence in the name of G-d. Apatheism is as terrible and precarious then any extremeist religion. It's a poor and sad attitude to hold. Tolerance and acceptence of all beliefs weather religious, secular or spiritual, is the first step toward peace and true freedom. But anti-religious, anti-secular, anti-spiritual beliefs only make people rotten and bitter, there is no need for apathy.


07/02/2003 07:15:53 PM

Not sure what to make of this. Apatheist. I do not really think apathy is a virtue, so it is kind of weird to see it used in this way. I think being tolerant of religions is a virtue. This mixes apathy and tolerance, which is new to me. I wonder if God is an Apatheist?