Note: This was a response generated from a short Twitter conversation with Rosa Rubiconido. Her blog can be found at . A few changes have been made and will probably continue to be made as my thoughts progress.

Hello, I had a conversation with you on Twitter that never finished, I suppose because Twitter is a difficult platform to have a discussion about Twitter.

I formed the opinion that Atheism is a religion and you asked for proof. Well, here is my opinion about atheism as a religion, other opinions about Atheism in general, some info about myself and some advice from me:

- Atheists have a shared set of beliefs (a belief that there are no Gods/Goddesses)

- Atheists typically read popular works about Atheism, mainly western philosophical works about Atheism, some published recently, some much older (comparable to Bible and Buddhist scriptures).

- Atheists try to “convert” people and “prove” they are right (quite similar to your targeted religion of Christianity).

- There are “leaders” in Atheism like in all religions. I do not know who “founded” Atheism but there need not be a “founder” for Atheism to be considered a religion. Richard Dawkins could be called a great religious leader of our time. In fact, he kind of reminds me of Joel Olsteen with his public lectures, popular books and TV appearences.

- Very strongly believe in their beliefs: same as Christians.

Some bad aspects about Atheism:

- Atheists are quite similar to (misguided) missionaries of their targeted religion Christianity. Atheists believe they are right and everyone else is wrong.

- Atheists don’t seem to take into account other religions (Buddhism, Taoism, etc.) Eastern religions seem to be left alone while Christianity and Islam are targeted, especially the Holy Bible. Atheists need to take into account other religions, especially eastern.

- Athiests don’t have much (or any) respect for other religions. You may disagree but no need to call Christians and other believers “stupid.” Atheists need to learn to be respectful of other beliefs.

Good aspects of atheism:

- Still give to charites

- Are skeptical of things (as am I). I will also note that skepticism is a western way of thinking. (Many eastern religious people accept things with no “proof,” as do Christians, not that this is bad because it isn’t). Skepticism is necessary and wonderful for science but philosophy and religion are different ways of thinking.

Advice from me:

- You need to be more respectful of other religions, especially the Bible. I love intellectual discussions as well but, as you say, stick with facts and not emotional “Bible-thumping” opinions.

- You need to become more knowledgable about other religions, especially eastern religions since many Buddhists and other followers of eastern religions are agnostic.

- You need to take into account that Gods/Goddesses, especially in eastern religions, are often more metaphorical than literal. Eastern scriptures are fascinating works of literature, like the Bible, but should probably be understood more on metaphorical terms than literal terms.

- Realize that many western MDs and/or PhDs use eastern spiritual techniques in treatment for mental and physical disorders, especially mental health disorders.

About myself:

I am a Buddhist nun in training. I believe in Buddhist scripture and many eastern beliefs (especially Taoism). In my opinion eveything is like a ying-yang: good and bad: NOTHING can be 100% good or evil. I attended Catholic school in my youth and actually read and studied the Bible. I drifted away from Catholicism and Christianity because I questioned the concept of an all knowing, all powerful “God.” I also didn’t believe in eternal heaven/hell. I am an agnostic but also believe I am a reincarnation of the Hindu goddess White Tara (the goddess of compassion). I tend to think of my reincarnation both metaphorically (“White Tara” as a metaphor for great compassion) and literally. I am also very interested in community service and volunteer work. I also have psychic abilities which I didn’t believe existed until I began experiencing them first-hand as the result of opening my third eye (and my fourth, fifth and etc.)

And you will probably take nothing I say seriously because of my religious beliefs.

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