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Can an atheist ever be elected President?

kal-el

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I've been pondering this question for quite some time. I think every single President we ever had was Christian. I think any other religion, other than Christianity, would have a hell of a hard time scailing the political ladder. Think about it, I highly doubt an atheist could get elected, even though he might be an upstanding citizen, and obey all the laws, but as soon as his beliefs or lack thereof come out- watch out. Atheism is frowned upon because the public fears what is doesn't know. An atheist might be able to get by saying he won't listen to voices telling him to invade soverign nations, and won't stand in the way of modern medicine. And because most atheists are well-versed on the bible, it definetly won't hurt to toss out some bible quotes. They have a fighting chance, that is, until there beliefs/non beliefs come up.
 
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I doubt it. I think that many people would see an atheist Presidential Candidate as some kind of ACLU frontman, designed to secularise America, as part of the so called 'culture wars'.

Is there much chance of an Atheist becoming Prime Minister of Australia. Mmm, that's tricky to say.

Oh well as an atheist I won't hold on to my breath. As long as the theists don't force their religion on me, I really couldn't care what religion my political leaders are. That's the beauty of secularism. - But that's another matter all together.

:twocents:
 

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No one but a Christian will be elected President of the USA for a long while yet.

As for Australia and the UK - pah, no problem. Atheist, Jew, whatever, they're not so hung up on it over here.
 

bandaidwoman

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He or she will definately be on a democratic ticket should the time come. It won't be in my lifetime.
 

tecoyah

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Can an atheist ever be elected President?


One can only hope.........
 

Engimo

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kal-el said:
I've been pondering this question for quite some time. I think every single President we ever had was Christian. I think any other religion, other than Christianity, would have a hell of a hard time scailing the political ladder. Think about it, I highly doubt an atheist could get elected, even though he might be an upstanding citizen, and obey all the laws, but as soon as his beliefs or lack thereof come out- watch out. Atheism is frowned upon because the public fears what is doesn't know. An atheist might be able to get by saying he won't listen to voices telling him to invade soverign nations, and won't stand in the way of modern medicine. And because most atheists are well-versed on the bible, it definetly won't hurt to toss out some bible quotes. They have a fighting chance, that is, until there beliefs/non beliefs come up.
I think we'd probably be better off with an atheistic president. Religious presidents have an inherent conflict of interest in promoting/acting on their faith, even if it rarely comes to light. For example, Bush's incessant appeals to God as a source of guidance for national policy is something that makes me feel uneasy, as well as the fact that most Americans take that as a good thing.
 

kal-el

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Engimo said:
I think we'd probably be better off with an atheistic president. Religious presidents have an inherent conflict of interest in promoting/acting on their faith, even if it rarely comes to light. For example, Bush's incessant appeals to God as a source of guidance for national policy is something that makes me feel uneasy, as well as the fact that most Americans take that as a good thing.
Yes, an atheist candidate can tell everyone that he refuses to worship an entity that instructs him to wage bloodshed on populations. And being as their usually pretty adept at bible passages, they could probably satisfy the masses by lunging some Jesus quotes, "Love your enemy" "Do unto others" etc. I really don't forsee a problem, as long as there's no direct questions posed about their athesim.
 

HU-210

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I do not understand why inhabitants from the United States place so much interest in their president. Is it because you (in my opinion) naively presume that he actually has power, or because he is a personification of your nation, and you want him to, rather selfishly, to look like yourself, rather than the majority of the nation (that is religious)?

:cool:

Mr U
 

kal-el

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HU-210 said:
I do not understand why inhabitants from the United States place so much interest in their president. Is it because you (in my opinion) naively presume that he actually has power, or because he is a personification of your nation, and you want him to, rather selfishly, to look like yourself, rather than the majority of the nation (that is religious)?

:cool:

Mr U
Well, given he's playing with so many human lives, I'd say it is a very important desicion to make. Sure, he does have power, but ultimately he answers to the media. And I really don't have a religious preference there, but an atheist President would be nice.
 

HU-210

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The President, according to the Constitution, must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." To carry out this responsibility, the president presides over the executive branch of the federal government; a vast organization of about 4 million people, including 1 million active-duty military personnel. A President-elect will make as many as 6,000 appointments to government positions, including appointments to the federal judiciary. The Senate must consent to all judicial appointments as well as the appointments of all principal officers. The President may veto laws made by the United States Congress but cannot personally initiate laws. Congress can overturn the veto with a two-thirds majority in both houses. He is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The President may make treaties, but the Senate must ratify them by a two-thirds supermajority. The political scientist Richard Neustadt said, "Presidential power is the power to persuade and the power to persuade is the ability to bargain". He was commenting on the fact that the President's domestically constitutional power is limited, despite the modern expectation of Presidents to have a legislative program, and successful bargaining with Congress is usually essential to Presidential success.
(from wikipedia)

The text doesn't take in account that the President of the United States is an actual office, a large amount of people at work, further reducing the actual religion of the president, versus his revelated stance on issues.

Mr U
 

George_Washington

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kal-el said:
I've been pondering this question for quite some time. I think every single President we ever had was Christian. I think any other religion, other than Christianity, would have a hell of a hard time scailing the political ladder. Think about it, I highly doubt an atheist could get elected, even though he might be an upstanding citizen, and obey all the laws, but as soon as his beliefs or lack thereof come out- watch out. Atheism is frowned upon because the public fears what is doesn't know. An atheist might be able to get by saying he won't listen to voices telling him to invade soverign nations, and won't stand in the way of modern medicine. And because most atheists are well-versed on the bible, it definetly won't hurt to toss out some bible quotes. They have a fighting chance, that is, until there beliefs/non beliefs come up.
I have a hard time believing that most atheists are well versed in the Bible. I suspect most people become atheists because they're pissed about something that went wrong in their lives or else they're just too lazy to seek answers.

The problem is also that most atheists don't share the moral values that most Americans hold dear concerning such issues like abortion, marriage, etc. Also, atheists tend not to think certain things are immoral like hard core pornography, divorce, and sex before marriage.
 
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Engimo

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George_Washington said:
I have a hard time believing that most atheists are well versed in the Bible. I suspect most people become atheists because they're pissed about something that went wrong in their lives or else they're just too lazy to seek answers.
Wow, that's a little arrogant of you, to presume to know the reasons for all atheists being atheists. Perhaps we feel that theism is not well-grounded enough in rationality and lacks sufficient evidence to be considered as a valid system of belief? Laziness has nothing to do with it, and frankly you have a very close-minded view of what

The problem is also that most atheists don't share the moral values that most Americans hold dear concerning such issues like abortion, marriage, etc. Also, atheists tend not to think certain things are immoral like hard core pornography, divorce, and sex before marriage.
And this is based on what?

Even if those things are true, what does that have to do with anything? The job of the government is not to legislate morality, and the president can only act within the bounds of the law.
 

tryreading

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kal-el said:
I've been pondering this question for quite some time. I think every single President we ever had was Christian. I think any other religion, other than Christianity, would have a hell of a hard time scailing the political ladder. Think about it, I highly doubt an atheist could get elected, even though he might be an upstanding citizen, and obey all the laws, but as soon as his beliefs or lack thereof come out- watch out. Atheism is frowned upon because the public fears what is doesn't know. An atheist might be able to get by saying he won't listen to voices telling him to invade soverign nations, and won't stand in the way of modern medicine. And because most atheists are well-versed on the bible, it definetly won't hurt to toss out some bible quotes. They have a fighting chance, that is, until there beliefs/non beliefs come up.
Constitutionally, he would be on equal ground, but you're right as far as the voting booth goes. Many people elect their president for religious reasons, and the country is overwhelmingly religious, or has a belief in God.

I wonder if we already have had one, someone who was dishonest enough to go through the motions to get elected. Probably not, because somebody from his past would know the real man (or woman), and expose him.
 

George_Washington

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Engimo said:
Wow, that's a little arrogant of you, to presume to know the reasons for all atheists being atheists. Perhaps we feel that theism is not well-grounded enough in rationality and lacks sufficient evidence to be considered as a valid system of belief? Laziness has nothing to do with it, and frankly you have a very close-minded view of what
Well, isn't it just as arrogant of him to claim that most atheists are well versed in the Bible, implying that a lot of Christians aren't? I seriously doubt that most atheists arrive to the conclusion of atheism after actually reading rather lengthy religious texts. Think about it. It's much easier just to say, "I'm an atheist" than to have to go to Church ever week, confess sins, etc. I think far more people arrive at agnosticism than actual atheism, which seems to make more sense in my opinion.





Even if those things are true, what does that have to do with anything? The job of the government is not to legislate morality, and the president can only act within the bounds of the law.
You're right, we can't ban sex before marriage. But my point was that people want to vote for somebody that tends to have the same moral values as they do.
 

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George_Washington said:
Well, isn't it just as arrogant of him to claim that most atheists are well versed in the Bible, implying that a lot of Christians aren't? I seriously doubt that most atheists arrive to the conclusion of atheism after actually reading rather lengthy religious texts.
This is an entirely unsubstantiated, anecdotal statement. Your "serious doubts" are not grounded in reality, and you should not generalize about an entire group of people. That's called prejudice.

Think about it. It's much easier just to say, "I'm an atheist" than to have to go to Church ever week, confess sins, etc. I think far more people arrive at agnosticism than actual atheism, which seems to make more sense in my opinion.
Easiness has nothing to do with it, and the fact that being religious is "more difficult" does not make it any more valid.
 

George_Washington

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Engimo said:
This is an entirely unsubstantiated, anecdotal statement. Your "serious doubts" are not grounded in reality, and you should not generalize about an entire group of people. That's called prejudice.
I was basing my opinion on my knowledge of the behavior of humans, so it wasn't entirely unsubstantiated. Considering most people are fairly lazy, it just doesn't seem rational that most people would even take the time to read the Bible, had it not been for their parents or teachers. Hence, it just doesn't seem probable to me that the vast majority of people become atheists after reading the Bible. Besides, if you consider the extremely high number of Christians in the world versus atheists, the idea that most people become atheists after reading the Bible seems highly improbable.



Easiness has nothing to do with it, and the fact that being religious is "more difficult" does not make it any more valid.
True but I still just think that the average person would rather sit on his couch and watch sports on Sunday than go to mass.
 

Engimo

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George_Washington said:
Hence, it just doesn't seem probable to me that the vast majority of people become atheists after reading the Bible. Besides, if you consider the extremely high number of Christians in the world versus atheists, the idea that most people become atheists after reading the Bible seems highly improbable.
What does that matter, exactly? We're talking about the rationale of atheism not being rooted in laziness, what does reading the Bible have to do with that? Are you saying that someone who has read the Bible is more likely to become a Christian?

I'd say that most Christians have never read the Koran, or any Buddhist texts, or even the Bible (which is statistically true), and the only reason that they are Christian in the first place is because of parental indoctrination.
 

George_Washington

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Engimo said:
What does that matter, exactly? We're talking about the rationale of atheism not being rooted in laziness, what does reading the Bible have to do with that? Are you saying that someone who has read the Bible is more likely to become a Christian?

I'd say that most Christians have never read the Koran, or any Buddhist texts, or even the Bible (which is statistically true), and the only reason that they are Christian in the first place is because of parental indoctrination.
I really don't know if that's true because so many parents also send their students to Christian schools and to Sunday school. But anyway, isn't this just an unsubstantiated statement, that which you called me on earlier?
 

tryreading

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George_Washington said:
You're right, we can't ban sex before marriage. But my point was that people want to vote for somebody that tends to have the same moral values as they do.
An athiest can have the same moral values as a non-athiest. He can even have higher values than a religious person.
 

tryreading

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Engimo said:
Easiness has nothing to do with it, and the fact that being religious is "more difficult" does not make it any more valid.
I've always thought having religion makes ones life easier, not harder. If there is a supreme being, then many things are God's will, and recognized as being out of one's control. Also, one can be forgiven of anything. If you have to depend only on the ability to bear the weight of your conscience, life can be very hard, I think.
 

ngdawg

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The most religious people I know have always been the most judgemental and bigoted(including some immediate family members). Whether that is related to their fervent religiousness, I don't know.
I do think George Washington's statements about atheists was WAY off-base, however-perhaps the same mentality I have encountered in other uber-religious folk?
I've always thought having religion makes ones life easier, not harder. If there is a supreme being, then many things are God's will, and recognized as being out of one's control. Also, one can be forgiven of anything. If you have to depend only on the ability to bear the weight of your conscience, life can be very hard, I think.
This^^^ would be closer to the truth in atheism, agnosticism, etc. Taking the responsibility for one's own actions without chalking it up to some divinity's will certainly gives pause. How many people do any of us know who spout most of the NT, but don't live up to any of it at all?
"judge not lest ye be judged" and yet she tossed off an entire sector of our citizenry with judgemental remarks.
At least a non-believer president would be more prone to self-conscious decision-making and only have the press and the American public to answer to.
 
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kal-el

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George_Washington said:
I have a hard time believing that most atheists are well versed in the Bible. I suspect most people become atheists because they're pissed about something that went wrong in their lives or else they're just too lazy to seek answers.
Dude, where do you get off slamming atheists like that? I suppose your man in the clouds bestowed you with this privledge? I became an atheist because when I read the bible, all the misconceptions and contradictions jumped out at me, plain as day. I won't say I'm a bible scholar or expert or anything, but I know how to find my way among scripture.

The problem is also that most atheists don't share the moral values that most Americans hold dear concerning such issues like abortion, marriage, etc. Also, atheists tend not to think certain things are immoral like hard core pornography, divorce, and sex before marriage.
How can you generalize athesists with these blanket statements? Every bible-thumper thus far that I have ran into on this forum is well adept at judging others; exactly what Christ taught was wrong.
Matthew 7:1,2
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you."
There ya go, the centerpiece of your very own religion uttered these words, live by them. I would suggest you study the teachings of Christ more before you rush to judgement.
 

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tryreading said:
I've always thought having religion makes ones life easier, not harder. If there is a supreme being, then many things are God's will, and recognized as being out of one's control. Also, one can be forgiven of anything. If you have to depend only on the ability to bear the weight of your conscience, life can be very hard, I think.
Well, I happen to agree with you, but I was responding to the other poster's claims. The point that I am making is that you cannot appeal to the consequences of a belief. If, say, being a believer in capitalism invariably made you into a mass murderer, does that have any bearing about the validity and usefulness of capitalism as an economic system? No, it does not.

The same thing follows with atheism/theism. It doesn't matter if it is "easier" to be an atheist, that does not have any bearing on the logical arguments for/against being one.

I really don't know if that's true because so many parents also send their students to Christian schools and to Sunday school. But anyway, isn't this just an unsubstantiated statement, that which you called me on earlier?
No, it's not.

http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/jwhelan/qutoes&notes.html

Look at the statistics (it's easy to find more like it, just use Google). Most Christians have a very cursory knowledge of the Bible, if any at all.
 

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kal-el said:
How can you generalize athesists with these blanket statements? Every bible-thumper thus far that I have ran into on this forum is well adept at judging others; exactly what Christ taught was wrong.
Noooooo you misunderstood me. I wasn't judging atheists. I didn't imply that any of the things I said were right or wrong; I was just stating that most atheists don't share moral beliefs that most Christians do. This isn't an attempt at descrimination; It's just a fact. Are you really going to tell me that most atheists are pro-life? I highly doubt that. Maybe some atheists do but I can at least safely say that the chief atheist organization in America, American Atheists, are not pro-life. But look, I'm not saying that I don't like atheists because they are pro-choice or that I judge them. I was just giving you a reason why an atheist probably couldn't get elected in this country.
 

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Engimo said:
No, it's not.

http://www.faculty.mcneese.edu/jwhelan/qutoes&notes.html

Look at the statistics (it's easy to find more like it, just use Google). Most Christians have a very cursory knowledge of the Bible, if any at all.
Uh, ok dude I guess you just picked out a link, posted it, and didn't really care to read it. Those stats, even if they are true (and we all know that Mcneese State University is the absolute authority on this), they prove nothing. Who cares if only 15% of Christians participate in Bible Studies? Can't you just read it by yourself? And that page says that 59% of Christians read the Bible at least occasionally, which disproves your statement that most Christians have a very cursory knowledge of the Bible. I am not sure whether you're just really ignorant of this matter or whether you just choose to believe that most Christians haven't read the Bible because it makes you feel better about being an atheist. But either way, you really shouldn't assume that so many people in the world are so dumb as to blindly believe in a religion. If people were really that dumb, we'd still be in the paleolithic age.
 
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