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Jewish or Muslim Agnostics or Atheists

How many Jewish or Muslim converts to Atheism or Agnosticism are in this group. All that I have seen comment so far are Catholic or Protestant Christians. I am curious if those stories of conversion are similar

AmelieMatisse 8 May 14

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Nobody 'converts' to atheism.
You might say they 'revert' or 'progress'.

@AmelieMatisse I baulk at the word 'beliefs' - it smacks of faith when nothing could be further from the truth in atheism.

@AmelieMatisse you're probably correct... we very quickly get into sematics. I guess I could be accused of being anti-semantic πŸ™‚

Faith is one word that really needs to be unpacked... I know I'll make a post about it. πŸ™‚

@AmelieMatisse, @Flettie Not all beliefs are equivalent. I agree with you both.

@AmelieMatisse Absence of belief is not in itself belief; just as an absence of colour (black) is not a colour. Those of us from the engineering/physical sciences world tend to use the word "belief" very sparingly. I would never say that I believe there is no god; I would prefer to observe that there is no reason for me to think that an anthropomorphic god exists, but if you or anyone else shows up with any evidence to the contrary, I'll be happy to listen. So far no one has. I realise that is lot more wordy but it does avoid the use of the "B" word.

Minor quibble:
To artists, who deal with light as color, black is very much a color.
To scientists, who deal with light as wavelength, black is not a wavelength.
So we have to be careful as scientists to not to confuse color with wavelength.

More unpacking from my perspective
Absence of belief would IMO deem you agnostic: you have neither belief nor unbelief. And while you don't have reason to believe,neither do we have falsifiable tests for you to not believe... it's rather like the statistical "reject" and "fail to reject"... since we have no tests to "reject" the god hypothesis, we "fail to reject" but that is not the same as "accept"

But if you believe in absence, if you believe that gods are absent, then that "absence" is a belief since in the scientific sense, it cannot be falsified. IMO, most atheists are in this camp insomuch as they believe that gods don't exist and thus their "absence of belief in gods existence" is clearly "a belief that gods don't exist"

@AmelieMatisse creo cogitare ergo sum? You're right. It does not have the same je-ne-sais-quoi of RenΓ©'s original. (-:

@AmelieMatisse, @TheMiddleWay I'll meet your quibble and raise you a quibble. Visual artists can call their tools whatever they want, but what comes out of the tube is not black, which is the total absence of visual light. If it has visible texture and highlights, then it isn't black by definition. I am not ready to abandon my analogy. Your remaining comments depend on extensive use of the word "belief" or its derivatives and therefore your conclusions beg the question. Here is a definition (I know there are others.): "...acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof." By that definition, I am neither agnostic nor atheist, though I don't object to being described thus. So if someone asks me whether I believe in god(s) yes, no, or maybe, my answer is that the question is pointless and undeserving of a reply.

"If it has visible texture and highlights, then it isn't black by definition"
By whose definition though? The problem with your analogy, and the point I was making, is that color has different definitions based on context. This article goes into all the ways we've discussed, and more, and showcases how different contexts lead to different answers.


""...acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.""
If you think my definition flawed, then I have no problem making my point equally well in your definition. My definition is just like yours, only that I add "doesn't exist" to the mix. Thus, if you accept something that doesn't exist, especially when there is no proof of it's non-existence, then I submit you have faith that that thing doesn't exist.

"By that definition, I am neither agnostic nor atheist, though I don't object to being described thus. So if someone asks me whether I believe in god(s) yes, no, or maybe, my answer is that the question is pointless and undeserving of a reply."
That stance is usually classified as ignostic. And in this case, like agnosticism, you are not making claims that something exists or doesn't exists and, like agnosticism, you are free of faith. Welcome to the faithless club, brother! πŸ˜€

@AmelieMatisse One last comment and then I'll drop it. "Believe" implies not only a lack of evidence, but a certainty missing in "think" or "opine". I understand that the word is used carelessly in some dialects, e.g."I believe I'll have another beer", but it is only the root meaning that I care about and object to.

Never heard of Derrida, but as he seems to care about meaning, and is dense and argumentative, I' m sure to like him.

Good luck crushing your one (other) friend's hopes and dreams. Let us know how that worked out.

@AmelieMatisse, @TheMiddleWay Amen & hallelujah, Bro! (Oops, Freudian slip)

HAHAHA! A-women to you as well!

But how about: "have faith in me". Which also could be seen or worded as: "Believe in me". I named daughter #2 Faith. When I hear someone say, "just have some faith", I am able to say, "I do, I raised her. Now that she is married, I just get to have 'some' Faith". So 'faith' is a sensation to me, not so much a word to indicate following a creator.


Jewish here! I spent a looong time living a very observant lifestyle, even leading Saturday services in shul (b/c I knew how and had the best Hebrew). But I did it all whilst not believing in a deity! Hey, it’s a very Jewish thing! Lol.


All believers of any theology are former atheists. It is where we all begin. Family and culture interject premature answers for what our brains would ultimately cause us to question, left to develop without interference. That is, to make sense out of this reality. The task of our brain is actually to make sense of all information.

Whether afflicted early or not with theologies, getting in touch with reality is still a task, a journey.

I was afflicted early with Roman Catholic delusions, rejected them for Protestant delusions and believed for awhile that answers could be best found in a religion that respected individual intellectual integrity. Judaism, reform Judaism in particular seemed to hold-out that kind of attraction. For more than half my life it was reasonably comfortable until discovering that one needs actually no religion to validate intellectual freedom or integrity. We are each in possession of the same basic allotment of 'grey matter'; some a little more damaged and some a little less.

None of our kind are endowed with superior equipment or knowledge about any possible hereafter; least of all savage, nomadic Middle Eastern Patriarchs of six thousand years ago. Science is completely unnecessary for disproving myths. Common sense and reasoning are all that is required Unfortunately, damage caused to some of us as a result of early indoctrination and abuse can be life-long. The very idea of asserting ourselves solely on the basis of our personal reasoning and opinions terrifies many and in some parts of the world, for good reason.

I think what is important is the escape itself from mental captors who kidnapped our developing minds regardless of what they call themselves. We return 'home', often still unaware exactly what home is; still clinging to habitual vestiges of what religion imposed on us and applying old bad habits to new 'religions' or political isms. There is really nothing to fear in asserting our native common sense as what the song says about 'old time religion'.

It's good enough for me.

By 'savage, nomadic Middle Eastern Patriarchs of six thousand years ago' you must be referring to all/most tribal groups of the ME and on that I can agree. 'Savage' of course can also refer to tribal groups around the globe: mayan, vicking, American Indians (Comanche tops the list). Savagery is, sadly, part of the HUMAN experience.

@crazycurlz Only for about the last 6,000 years give or take a few centuries.

@Silver1wun do you really believe that? I don't. We are not bonobos, after all. For instance, what happened to the otherwise peace-loving buddhists that they attacked rohingya? Buddhism didn't spring from western monotheism. I think there's a bigger, more sinister [something] in our DNA/socialization than western religion.

@crazycurlz Your point of view is consistent with the androcentric platform upon which all 'modern' societies have formed over the last six millennia. Within the scope of history that includes neolithic and mesolithic human, particularly Occidental history, what is seen as pathology or a flaw is actually the product of the platform. (platform is my term)

@Silver1wun in other words, we agree to disagree

@Silver1wun, @AmelieMatisse possibly ancient brain as exhibited by people like Silver who because they can't see the forest through the trees, wax intellectual. πŸ™‚ Sorry to twist your words, Amelie to serve my purpose. Silver and I will do battle at every turn and it's to our liking. πŸ™‚

@AmelieMatisse, tribalism. The us versus them survival syndrome. Heard an interview with the author on NPR. []


It may not be safe for atheist (former) Muslims to admit that they are...


I am a pagan atheist--does that count?

@AmelieMatisse I was a practicing pagan for about 15 years. I had a circle in California but after moving to Missouri, never met any pagans with whom I clicked. The Earth is All to me: I do not believe in deity, but the pagan ways still resonate within me. Good to "meet" you. πŸ™‚

@AmelieMatisse The solstices are my favorites.

Gaia pantheism and paganism is the only kind of reverence I can respect. ...astrology is so I wonder anyone participates in that scam

@GreenAtheist I have never bought into astrology--it is just silliness. I did, however, used to know two "real life" astrologists who truly believe. I still have friends who buy into it.

I do read the cards, but they are reading the person.


My parents were raised Jewish. Father from Poland and mother's parents from Russia. No religion taught, followed, practiced in my home though. My mother took my brother and I to a Unitarian "church". That's where my brother and I found friends to play with who didn't shame us for not knowing what Christmas is like the neighbor kids and the kids at school were doing. My father taught my brother and I that only science proves that there is no such thing as a creator. My father told us that there may have been a man named jesus who had been crucified, but that he was just a man. My father didn't continue his Jewish teachings after he was released at the age of 17 from a Hebrew orphanage. He had stories of brutality experienced there.

@AmelieMatisse did Disraeli "convert" ? In order to win xian votes


Secular Jews have been a thing for a while, culture over religion, not the case with Muslims.


I was born Jewish. I questioned the hypocrisy at a young age


Well, I wouldn't say I am a convert. I am culturally Jewish but I don't believe in God.


Reform Jew. Never believed what they were feeding me.


Most jews that I know are secular atheist anyways. I was never really asked to believe in g-d

It is harder to pretend alleged gawds exist with no vowels in language. ....Hebrew looks too much like Arabic and both languages are home to 1000 years + violence & rape culture. glad you escaped into Atheism. ..freedom from theism


Raised in Reform Judaism. Stopped believing in my teens.


I was raised as a conservative Jew but never embraced the religious side. Always used the term cultural Jew to describe myself. Now I am just me. My brother turned modern orthodox. I avoid holidays since I went to Passover at his house and the kitchen was tin-foiled. Don’t ask?. I don’t like categories because it is used to separate us.

jab60 Level 6 May 15, 2018

This conversation is interesting. I have not had the time to read all the comments but let me say that I think it is not uncommon to be Jewish and a non-believer. I identify as a Jew because of history and culture. Buddhism introduced me to meditation. I am not a Buddhist but I am very thankful for meditation. The middle east troubles me. The Palestinians should have their own State. Hamas should acknowledge Israel's right to exist.


I was raised in a predominantly Jewish community (orthodox to secular) and in my household, we were culturally Jewish, mainly, Spartan also. The city was a 'haven' for immigrants (my best friend growing up was Iraqi) and African American kids bussed in (post Detroit riots and this community didn't do white flight).
What I found (huge generalizations of course) through my exposure was Christians in the US (children anyway) are raised with concrete thought, rigid almost. The Jewish raising of kids is centered around education and learning (similar I think to Catholic education). Christianity I think is based on 'don't blaspheme God. And, sure, orthodox Jews will be more strict.
What I'm trying to say is that what I've seen of Judaism is many Jews are nonbelievers and active in Jewish rituals and this is dichotomy is often acceptable. I think nonbelieving Christian friends that are American, want that kind of acceptance and to be 'culturally Christian' (w/o the religion) and many are finding it. Islam is not so forgiving for nonbelievers.
I'd also like to hear from religions other than the big 3 (historically that's Auto Industry talk lol).

I think with Judaism its difficult to be culturally Jewish without the religion. Even their state and faith are inseparable which leads many who criticise Israel being called anti-Semitic. It's also why the Jewish lobby has a strangle-hold on US foreign policy. #AmericanEmbassy

@Flettie your thinking leaves a lot to be desired. Living the dream, man!

@Flettie, @AmelieMatisse maybe if you folks talked more with Jewish people about what matters, you would learn something. Cultural Judaism is fairly common and with EASE Jews are able to keep their identity without being religious. I hope you step away from your stereotypes and get to know Jewish people for who they are not by the lobby groups.

@crazycurlz I don't have much contact with Jewish people where I live its fair to say. Those who I have talked to tend to be transmitters rather than receivers and come across as a bit boorish if I'm honest. Perhaps that's a function of the feeling of victim-hood that pervades their culture. The tone of your response kinda re-enforces my view.

@Flettie you think your narrowness only applies to Jews, but I've no doubt you view everyone through a narrow filter. Control freak?

@AmelieMatisse forgive me then for jumping to conclusions. In truth, sometimes in writing and even in speaking, one has to question intent and expect to be corrected at times. I stand corrected and am grateful you are not narrow in your views towards well, ANYONE. And, as that is the case, then, I'm happy to meet you and hope you'll forgive me. Obviously it meant enough to you to put up the post and I should have recognized that.

@crazycurlz ah gift wrapped insults.

@Flettie oh, shit, did I gift wrap that sucker? THAT was unintentional.

@AmelieMatisse uhm....Amelie Matisse...OMG any relationship to Amelie Matisse?

@AmiSue hahaha some part of me lives for engagement! Hope you're having a good day! πŸ™‚

@crazycurlz in a forum for debate you made your distaste for my position well known. There was no effort on your part to educate, persuade or to discuss nor was there any effort to validate your opinion. Just thinly veiled abuse. I think you need to use another forum for your defensive approach


I was raised Jewish, but I'm just culturally Jewish. My dad was also at most agnostic, though he didn't advertise it. The rest of the family is varying degrees of moderate to reformed Jewish.


It seems like many Atheists, even if they are not on here, leave the Jewish faith or are non practicing. Given the treatment of those who leave the Muslim faith, from family banishment to death, I would think many would be leary of joining any group that would make them easier to identify. But I hope you get some responses from other faiths. They are out there!


I am an Atheist of Christian heritage. I have to say that I agree with Richard Dawkins on the Christ myth. The whole thing is barking mad.


There are Jewish women here and I have zero interest in dating any brand of believer males


Atheist catholic.


I know of one Jewish atheist and a few Muslim atheists on Twitter but haven't encountered any to my knowledge in here.

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