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Christianity &Islam &Rationals Thomas on 24 Nov 2009 12:12 am

A theist asks: “If there is no God in any sense, what possible reason could you have for not killing yourself.”

Theist logic: “If there is no God in any sense, what possible reason could you have for not killing yourself. A simple question, to which i am absolutely confident you cannot present me an answer.”

The question is asked in this thread:

you present a very bad argument

The theist expands: “It feels as if, becoming an athiest, you succomb to a life a no purpose. If i, and all other are only to eventually fade into non-existence, why should i care about them, or further still, why should i care about me. From your perspective, i believe, its a choice between false security, and the bitter truth. Somewhat like the matrix, blue pill or red pill? (i forget which is which). I guess atheists took the pill the winds up in the real word. But, compared to the luxuries of the matrix, it kind of sucks dosent it? You tell me.”

The answers are interesting. Here are several harvested from the thread:

1)

This attitude pisses me off like nought else. So you’re telling me that unless there is a supreme being of infinite power and intelligence, possibly one whose arse I must kiss for the whole of my (possibly eternal) existence, my life is meaningless and I should kill myself?

I only have one life. I value it more than anything else. It’s brief, but it’s precious and can be very wonderful. I have family, I have friends; many of whom would be very hurt if I were to disappear, especially by my own hand. I want to enjoy the things I love–art, music, games. I even enjoy those grey and rainy Sundays because even those will be gone forever one day. There are so many reasons not to kill yourself.

2)

If you are an atheist, then you understand completely that this is the ONLY life we get. You understand that after you die, there is most likely nothingness. Existence ends right then and there. So the atheist has to come to terms with that and understand that something, is always better than nothing. An atheist lives their life knowing that this is all we KNOW we get. So we value it much more than any Christian ever could.

If you believe in God, however, then you believe you have another life after this one. And you know that the other life is going to be infinite and full of greatness with no pain, no death, no suffering. You have something to look forward to that is way better than this life, and all it takes is the stopping of your heart. So I ask you, WTF are you waiting for? Go out and kill yourself so you can get to that next life. This one is so full of terrible, awful, baby eating atheists, what keeps you here? What is your “purpose” for being here that supercedes God’s ultimate purpose for you in the kingdom of heaven? Giving glory to God? So your purpose is to be a cheerleader for a fictitious supreme being? Nuts. Just nuts.

In life, the things atheists live for are real. Family, friends, love, entertainment, learning, and so much more. Do you find those to be bad reasons to choose life over death? Do you place no value on those things? Do you find those things not worth living for? The difference is that we choose to live our life without the belief in something for which there is no evidence. It seems to me, you are saying the only thing in this world that is actually worth living for is your God. Well, I hate to break this to you, but that’s really, really sad.

So tell me again, why you think you have more to live for? My wife and kids should be home any minute from the gym. What better thing to live for than seeing them every day?

3)

Unlike people who don’t believe in an afterlife, we know that this is the only opportunity we get. That makes it valuable beyond measure. Whereas you christians believe this this is merely a blinking of the eyes, and that the world is going to end soon anyway making life cheap beyond measure.

4)

I’m sure my fiance would miss me. I don’t want to him to be sad. The reason is because I have feelings for those around me who I love.

5)

You make your own purpose, just because one day I will die and be forgotten does not mean I wish to slit my throat and die. Christians believe they will live forever in a magical kingdom where their every want is granted.

It is the religious who should be looking for death, because it is they who think this world is meaningless, a test.

6)

I came from nothing, I’m going back to nothing, why would I throw away the precious time I have on this planet?

7)

Here is the flaw in that:

1) Your argument essentially says that unless one can “live” for eternity there is no point in living.

2) But what IS living in eternity? Well, it says nothing about TODAY. Living for eternity means exactly that you KNOW you will be alive tomorrow. The only thing that is different between someone who can die at any time and someone who will live for eternity is that the second person KNOWS he will be alive tomorrow. It’s the only difference.

3) Thus, what you are saying is that you can’t have meaning as you exist TODAY, unless you know you’ll be alive TOMORROW. But if the only MEANING in being alive today is the KNOWLEDGE that you will be alive tomorrow–then…what you really….”want” is somehow always something that you will “have” TOMORROW and never TODAY.

The idea that Monday can only be meaningful if you know you will be alive Tuesday is inherently absurd. Indeed, for most thoughtful people, knowing they would be dead tomorrow would make today quite a meaningful one indeed!

8 )

Unless you believe you will be presented with 72 willing perpetual virgins in heaven, why bother having sex or love now?

Unless you know you will never get divorced, why bother getting married?

Unless you know that your child will live a long and healthy life, why bother having a child?

9)

Think of a prisoner in prison for life. He thinks of escape. If he could somehow KNOW that all his attempts to escape would fail it WOULD be pointless to keep trying them, of course. But would it be pointless to try to make friends with others? To try to be kind to others who were suffering, who he might be able help? To help a friend who he knew was innocent get a better lawyer? To work in the kitchen and think of better recipes, etc., so the food was more enjoyable? To read books with amazing stories or great insights?

But the more direct answer to your question is simply the experience of atheists[1]. Do you REALLY believe that being in love, seeing their children born and grow and be happy, accomplishing a difficult or meaningful task, seeing the beauty of nature, or the advancement of human knowledge and works; that these things bring no meaning or satisfaction to atheists?

You’re just completely wrong, and that doesn’t require argument, debate, or logic. It’s discoverable directly from observation.

10)

I visited Rapture Ready yesterday to read the buzz about the new EU President. One thread consisted mostly of Christians wishing this life to end so they could go live with Jesus in heaven. They stated repeatedly that they couldn’t wait until Jesus came back to reclaim his children because they were tired of this world. They also talked about how they had the same rapture conversation last year before the holidays and couldn’t understand why he hadn’t come back yet.

I think this mentality is very sad indeed. They are wasting their life waiting for an event that will never happen. They will grow old wishing their live away waiting for the godman to take them to paradise.

11)

I don’t kill myself because I know that other people’s feelings would be hurt.

I don’t kill myself because it would achieve nothing positive for anyone, besides one or two theists, but why give them the pleasure?

I don’t kill myself because I don’t know enough yet: I still have questions and I don’t want to leave until I’ve got some good answers. Scientific ones, of course.

I don’t kill myself because I have no reason to.

I don’t kill myself because it’d probably hurt.

That enough for you?

12) From Chapter 27: When you die, you die

Understanding death

From the story in the previous section you can see that the idea of death is disturbing to children. Many adults never outgrow it, so death can also be disturbing to adults — even to adults with Ph.D.s. These adults, of course, are acting like children.

You are not a child. Imagining a place called “heaven” does not change the central fact about the chemical reactions that drive your cells. You simply need to grow up and face death like an adult, in the same way that you face other childhood traumas.

It is quite beneficial to see your mortality for what it is. A week or two from now, when you are thinking like an adult about death, the truth about death will begin to change your self-image and the way that you imagine the future. Religion and its concept of an afterlife skew your thinking by making you believe that you will live forever. You will not. You’ve got 70 or 80 years if you are lucky, and then you are gone forever.

At the simplest level, an understanding of your permanent mortality should help you to realize more clearly how precious your life is. If you live to be 82 years old, what you have is approximately 30,000 days of existence. You are not going to then commute to “heaven” to live for eternity. 30,000 days is all that you’ve got.

Here are some of the things in your thinking that will change once you understand and accept this simple fact:

* Your time on earth becomes much more precious to you.

* You begin to realize that everyone else’s life is just as precious, and you start looking at them differently.

* You think more about what you are leaving behind when you die.

* You think more about the human species as a continuum, with yourself as a part of that continuum, and you start thinking about the future of our species and the planet.

Like it or not, your total experience is here on earth. That realization should make you see a day wasted in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, or a week wasted preparing your taxes for the IRS, a little differently. All that you have is 30,000 days. Everyone who wastes your time — every bureaucracy, every long line at the store — should give you pause.

When you die, what is your legacy? What do you leave behind?

* Whatever material objects you own, to be given to whomever you like in your will.

* Whatever contributions you have made to society as a whole. If you have done research into the cure for cancer, you leave that. If you have written books or made movies, you leave them. If you funded a building at your university, you leave that.

* Images of you in photographs and video, as well as any letters, writings or recordings.

* Your children and their memories of you.

* The memories you leave with your friends and family.

That’s it. Now that you understand that your death is final, you may look at those things in a different light.

28 Responses to “A theist asks: “If there is no God in any sense, what possible reason could you have for not killing yourself.””

  1. on 24 Nov 2009 at 1:01 pm 1.Enlightenment said …

    I feel sorry for christians because they have been brainwashed since a child and too ignorance to know the real truth that god was mad up by man and doesn’t exist.

  2. on 24 Nov 2009 at 1:03 pm 2.Enlightenment said …

    God Hates Christians!

  3. on 24 Nov 2009 at 2:41 pm 3.Xenon said …

    This is actually a great thread. The old atheist argument turned back on the atheist. Now maybe the atheist wll stop asking the ridiculous question:

    “duh, if Christians go to heaven why not just kill you all’s self”

    Now, they understand.

  4. on 24 Nov 2009 at 3:20 pm 4.Nyarlathotep said …

    I think you are a bit confused Xenon… well probably a lot confused but its probably best to start with your comment here.

    It’s an old theist “argument” used against atheists to show that they are all depressed nihilists. I think you theists need to learn to stop asking that question since your little death cult tells you that life on this earth is nothing more than a futile exercise fellating an imaginary sky wizard and hoping that he will remove you from this world into his happy little amusement park in the sky.

    You still don’t really understand…do you?

  5. on 24 Nov 2009 at 5:40 pm 5.Xenon said …

    I spun it just a little to fast and you still are dizzy. Give it time you get the irony. Of course you reside in a fictional universe yet I am confused. Good luck with that.

    Now why is this life a futile exercise? Is this the new atheist position? I not familiar with it.

  6. on 24 Nov 2009 at 6:06 pm 6.????????? said …

    If there *IS* a god in any sense, what possible reason could you have for not killing yourself?

  7. on 24 Nov 2009 at 6:15 pm 7.Crocoduck said …

    Xenon, it’s funny that you chose to name yourself after an element used to illuminate.

    Give it time you get the irony.

    Equating atheists with nihilists is a foil of the religious unthinker. It seem to always come as a one-two with the “If there’s no higher moral authority, then everything is permitted” accusation.

    The responses on the thread are great.

    I have to feel concerned about anyone who would consider suicide an alternative (indeed it seems, the ONLY alternative) to a world without God. Is God’s prohibition the only thing stopping you from offing yourselves right now?

  8. on 24 Nov 2009 at 8:11 pm 8.Just said …

    This question came on Reddit

  9. on 24 Nov 2009 at 8:15 pm 9.Xenon said …

    Well croco (better moniker) lets look at your question. If there is no god, I have no more reason to end my life than you. Therefore your question is without merit.

    Since there is a god, if you know anything at all about the Bible, we a multitude of purposes here in this life. Therefore once agin, your question is pointless.

    Live a great life coroc-otep and stop asking others about nihilism.

    I still think quite ironic the age old request of atheist to the Christians is now being asked to the atheist.

  10. on 24 Nov 2009 at 10:22 pm 10.Crocoduck said …

    Xenon, my question was inferred from the assumed viewpoint of the original questioner. I can’t understand your reply.

    I never asked about nihilism.

    I don’t think it is a serious question (let alone an “age old question”) to ask of a Christian “If there IS a God, what possible reason could you have for not killing yourself”. Most religions scorn suicide, some even banishing suicides to hell as punishment.

    Therefore your comments are without merit.

  11. on 24 Nov 2009 at 11:10 pm 11.xpositivityx said …

    Killing myself would seriously cut down on masturbation time. I JUST GOT FIOS!, and subsequently carpel tunnel.

  12. on 25 Nov 2009 at 5:02 am 12.Bonerlover said …

    masturbation, marijuana, and to help the needy

    this guys a fuckin asshole

  13. on 25 Nov 2009 at 5:18 am 13.Will said …

    The theist seems to imply that the only reason people chose to not kill themselves is because they believe in some deity. Obviously, this is a false assumption, since there wouldn’t be any atheists around if it were true.
    It’s amusing that this theist seems to think that believing in a deity somehow gives them a purpose in life. (This is esp. amusing since the Christian god is supposed to have given us free will.) In any case, my reasons for not killing myself are quite simple- I lead a fairly happy life; I enjoy learning things; and I have a natural curiosity for what will happen in the future. Under different circumstances, I would consider killing myself (for instance, if I knew I would have to lead a miserable existence.) But seeing as that’s not the case, I see no reason to waste effort killing myself when I could fulfill my previously listed desires, esp. since I have no fear of death. Why should care if I die, after all? It’s rather illogical to fear the inevitable.

  14. on 25 Nov 2009 at 7:25 am 14.Vitta said …

    This IS a great thread! I only wish a new theist would enter the discussion to keep things so interesting…

    Xenon is a word-twister and though it makes things amusing, any attempt at a serious or intelligent discussion on the topic at hand just fails miserably.

  15. on 25 Nov 2009 at 12:58 pm 15.Lord Ipsulot said …

    So many reasons for to killing myself, there is so much fun to be had. Laughing about stupid remarks by theists and creationists being one of them.

  16. on 25 Nov 2009 at 9:13 pm 16.nick said …

    I think what Xenon was originally saying is that Christians appreciate the Friends/Family etc. side of life as much as an Atheist, therefor, giving reason other than God to live. I’m also pretty sure that life is a gift from God to Christians. And I’m definitely sure suicide is forbidden, making the ‘If there is a God why don’t you just kill yourself and go to heaven now?’ question ignorant.

    But Xenon, seriously, is it not enough to admire the beauty of the garden without having to imagine there are fairies living at the bottom??

  17. on 25 Nov 2009 at 10:46 pm 17.Xenon said …

    Um, Nick…..I don’t believe i fairies. I don’t believe in Mother Nature magic either. But hey, thats just me.

  18. on 26 Nov 2009 at 12:39 am 18.nick said …

    Idiot.

    World = Garden.

    Fairies = God.

    Its called a metaphor (meh-ta-fore)

    If there is a God, (S)He was must have been on an off day when (S)He created you ;)

  19. on 26 Nov 2009 at 2:29 am 19.Xenon said …

    Uh um nick, that was sarcasm (sar-cas-um). It means……ah never mind ask your teacher.

  20. on 26 Nov 2009 at 6:58 pm 20.nick said …

    i tried. i really did. now shush; go felate your sky wizard before he becomes annoyed and sends you to an eternal flaming damnation.

  21. on 30 Nov 2009 at 11:48 pm 21.chris said …

    Let me answer this very simple question. If a christian kills his/her self then hell awaits them, you are not suppose to take your life with your own hands.God speaks of that very clearly in the bible, and yes the christians treasure there lives and time here on earth as much as a non believer, but the question is, what makes life worth living if you just up and vanish like a fart in the wind after you die. To have family and friends for a short while then thats it. What crap is that, if that were true then why not live as if you have one life to live, wait thats a soap opra. Ha ha anyways if as a christian i really belived my life was to live and die thats it ,well then whats the point of living on hell i mean earth when everything you do is for what nothing, but as a believing christian i try to live by Gods rules which if read right is the golden rule as well, then what i have accomplishment on earth will be taken with me to heaven ( not objects).

  22. on 02 Dec 2009 at 9:12 pm 22.heww said …

    the bible was written by men, and re-written bits taken out and bits added etc.. different languages.. translators with different agendas etc.. even if god is real, the bible cannot express gods desires

  23. on 03 Dec 2009 at 2:52 pm 23.chris said …

    Heww…. You have it wrong my friend, Look in the holly bible no other one….Revelations 22:18-21 , it says nobody should add or take from these words written in this book, Heres the strange thing in this book though, its about (prophecies). We as people believe in magic,voodo,fortune tellers, and basically anything that people tells us, which is funny in 2 ways 1 we are Gods sheep, and the anti-christ well fool so many into his peaceful and so called right ways. As a non-believers he well be worshiped like a God. Then will reveal the ugly truth about deception.

  24. on 03 Dec 2009 at 9:06 pm 24.Crocoduck said …

    chris, I don’t think you should quote passages from the bible to make your point, as if the bible has an authority that can’t be dismissed. It’s a weak-sauce appeal to authority and it doesn’t even appear to address Heww’s comment, let alone show him his error.

    I don’t know what you mean about the anti-christ, but you’re making me nervous. Should I brace myself for a rant about the rapture?

    As to your earlier comment, it seems as if you’re saying that the prospect of no afterlife would make life unbearable. So do you turn to faith as a crutch against that which we’re all aware of – our inevitable deaths?

    If you were to be like me not a believer, and have yet to discover any conciliation about death, it still does not make suicide an attractive option. I don’t believe in any afterlife, not even hell, so why would we bring that about all the sooner?

    Whatever the way to deal with the thought of our deaths is, I’m sure part of it involves cherishing life and the lives of those around you. From my experience so far, the nearest comfort I can give myself about death is the thought that I won’t know I’m dead when I’m dead, because I’ll be dead, see?

    Not as warming as clouds and harps and such, but certainly not cause for jumping under a train.

    Now the thought of dieing and knowing I’m about to die…that moment (if I’m unfortunate enough to have to check out that way) – THAT’S what gives me the cold sweats in the wee small hours.

    Possibly this is where the suicide appeal comes in? You can opt for an instant or peaceful death, on your own terms. It makes an argument for euthanasia for example.

  25. on 04 Dec 2009 at 3:07 pm 25.chris said …

    Croco duck.. I like the way you think, The thing that is hard to grasp as a non-believer is why should i take the word of a book that has no showings of facts in todays times i get that. Lol no im not going to bring up the rapture. But i do have one question for you to answer? Have you looked (studied) on my side of the fence of life? If so then, its very simple in this way, I do turn to faith for everything that is needed and of course the answers i get half of the times are not what i think i need but they always help me in the ways i didnt see.As for death explain this, There was a study done to people about to die(death bed)and when they died thier body weight dropped by .005 ,might be wrong about weight but, it dropped after calculations of air in lungs ect… Does this mean we have a (soul) when they study this scientist could not explain it but that something inside us other than our body has weight. Now that says to christian duh its our soul and if you have a soul then thats why we have to go…….

  26. on 04 Dec 2009 at 3:51 pm 26.chris said …

    Continued,…. Somewhere? This is a fact not a made up story or in the bible and as a non-believer you like facts theres one to loopk up. and i know they can be wrong but it still brings to mind for anybody (wow), now with that being said my opinon as a christian we have a soul it goes to heaven or hell but hell to me is for only one person and that is a person who face to face with God still rejects him with proof before your very eyes then hell is what you get. Thats why God became Jesus to show that even a higher being can suffer like us as sinners to show his love for us. Thus the new testament.Now keep in mind God is perfect so the n.t. Isnt to fix what was a mistake but yet to change with the times. We still have the ten commandments as well as God already knowing that if we should be forgivin then so shall he. So Jesus is our way to heaven and our (save) (your).

  27. on 04 Dec 2009 at 6:14 pm 27.Crocoduck said …

    Hi Chris,

    To answer your question, I have indeed studied the other side. I was raised as a Christian and attended church and went to a Christian school. I even sang in the choir as a kid. I prayed with sincerity.

    I’ve read the bible, and it’s got some interesting stories, some very strange stories, some good teachings and some very bad ones. It seems to me very human originated and flawed in a very human way. I could not find the divine in there. Someone once pointed out to me that it’s completely devoid of humour. I find that strange.

    I’ve been an atheist (technically an atheist agnostic) for the last few years. I went from believing as a child, to wishing I believed as a youth, to being agnostic and then finally coming to terms with what I know to be true now – there is no evidence for God and there is a great deal of evidence that we’re the product of unguided evolution through natural selection. It seems every new scientific discovery pushes back further the boundary of what believers can plausibly claim to be God’s domain.

    I don’t dismiss the Christian way of life entirely as it’s hard to separate aspects of Christianity with what I hold dear in my culture and society, but the beliefs of Christians I cannot share. Sometimes in moments of despair I’ve wished I had that belief but in my deepest being I cannot force myself to believe in something I know to be untrue or unfounded.

    I try to approach all aspects of my life with the same integrity – with what is evident and just and moral.

    If after I die there is a God and he condemns me to hell for not believing in Him rather than judging my actions in life as a moral person, then I’d judge him right back, especially an almighty who hasn’t yet left one shred of evidence to persuade me of His existence.

    As to the facts you presented, I can’t agree. If you have some evidence I can read about then I’d like to see it. A cursory search on the net for a soul being weighed casts doubt on the validity of the research conducted, and it occurs to me that even if it were proven true that a body does weigh less on death it does not follow that God, Jesus and the bible are all true.

    We’ve digressed from the original post, but I thought I’d reply again as I appreciate the civility of your posts.

  28. on 04 Dec 2009 at 7:53 pm 28.chris said …

    Hi Croco duck, i respect your point of view and im not judging or tring to convert you just like a good debate. Now you said as a child you were christian thats because we dont sin as children only taught or see it quote( you can not enter the kingdom of heaven but only if your heart is pure as a childs) That being said sin began to set in and the sin i mean is you know temptation .Now you went to church and the saying goes your believing is as strong as your faith, and if your faith is weak so shall your mind. If the father isnt in the heart how can he be in the mind. im betting you have alot of head knowledge of christ but it stops there?look at this logically,you seem to be a very smart person but with everything you know, if you were givin a test on math or history you would apply on paper what you know did you do the same with christ?Nothing is a givin and patience is the key.God himself is even one who says i will never leave you nor forsaken you now thats love.And when you walk away he will follow.

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