Author Topic: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing  (Read 5384 times)

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Offline learnin

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #58 on: February 03, 2012, 12:51:03 PM »
But, atheists might do just this if they held power in any particular country....just like all other philosophies have done when they get absolute power.

Not only is atheism not a philosophy (and ignoring the fact that those "philosophies" were, in fact, religions), statistics show that less religious areas are better in virtually every single way. Education, health, crime, et cetera.

Modern day "less religious areas" are democracies which tend not to allow total power of any ideology.   Certain atheists, have gotten that power, and it did not bode well for those they deemed "witches".

I'm not arguing atheism vs. theism.  I'm simply arguing for fairness.  Atheists can be just as cruel and inhumane as believers.  Atheists are not free from the same human weaknesses that haunt all others.   I've read many books, written by atheists against religion, and some have suggested that religion is a threat to humankind that ought to be eradicated.  They could be right.  Religious belief might be detrimental, in the long run, to society.  But you see my point.  If atheists had total power of any government, they might be just as intolerant of religion as religion has been.

Offline Tero

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #59 on: February 03, 2012, 01:06:28 PM »
To the opening post: Take the leap if faith already! It's refteshing! We will have a hot tub too, but nobody gets roasted. ;D

Offline albeto

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #60 on: February 03, 2012, 01:10:00 PM »
Modern day "less religious areas" are democracies which tend not to allow total power of any ideology.   Certain atheists, have gotten that power, and it did not bode well for those they deemed "witches".

I'm not arguing atheism vs. theism.  I'm simply arguing for fairness.  Atheists can be just as cruel and inhumane as believers.  Atheists are not free from the same human weaknesses that haunt all others.   I've read many books, written by atheists against religion, and some have suggested that religion is a threat to humankind that ought to be eradicated.  They could be right.  Religious belief might be detrimental, in the long run, to society.  But you see my point.  If atheists had total power of any government, they might be just as intolerant of religion as religion has been.

The glaring difference being, if one establishes a policy of torturing or at least oppressing religious people, the reason given will never be, "God said so, don't judge me" from an atheist.  Whatever reason s/he provides can be scrutinized, analyzed and argued with information and logic.  It isn't a matter of who is nicer, it's a matter of identifying and addressing motivations, and religious motivations are based on fantasy and emotional manipulation, only and always. 

Offline One Above All

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #61 on: February 03, 2012, 01:24:10 PM »
Modern day "less religious areas" are democracies which tend not to allow total power of any ideology.   Certain atheists, have gotten that power, and it did not bode well for those they deemed "witches".

Atheism is not an ideology, therefore it is not possible to kill in the name of atheism. Religion, however, doesn't have the same benefit, and was in fact responsible for a great number of wars all throughout history.
Democracies are based on "majority rules", more or less. Those "less religious areas" include areas where atheism is the majority (these areas also coincide with the "best" countries in the world, FYI). The events you have described only occurred in situations where the atheists were "all-powerful" - dictatorships. "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely".
You are correct in saying that atheists can be just as cruel and inhumane as theists. But that has no connection to their (lack of) belief. The theists' inhumanity and cruelty, however, do.

I've read many books, written by atheists against religion, and some have suggested that religion is a threat to humankind that ought to be eradicated.  They could be right.  Religious belief might be detrimental, in the long run, to society.  But you see my point.  If atheists had total power of any government, they might be just as intolerant of religion as religion has been.

It has always been my understanding that the vast majority of atheists who state that theists' beliefs (religion) are detrimental and should be eradicated does not extend that to the theists themselves.
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Offline Truth OT

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #62 on: February 03, 2012, 01:26:59 PM »
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statistics show that less religious areas are better in virtually every single way. Education, health, crime, et cetera.

The "less religious" areas do tend to be more affluent and have higher standards of living. That may very well imply that the residents of these less religious areas are not in need of the coping mechanism that those with lesser lots in life may feel the need to have.

Online Azdgari

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #63 on: February 03, 2012, 01:34:32 PM »
^^ Or that more affluent areas have higher standards of education, etc.  Correlecation != causation, as you say.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline learnin

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #64 on: February 03, 2012, 05:12:57 PM »
Modern day "less religious areas" are democracies which tend not to allow total power of any ideology.   Certain atheists, have gotten that power, and it did not bode well for those they deemed "witches".

I'm not arguing atheism vs. theism.  I'm simply arguing for fairness.  Atheists can be just as cruel and inhumane as believers.  Atheists are not free from the same human weaknesses that haunt all others.   I've read many books, written by atheists against religion, and some have suggested that religion is a threat to humankind that ought to be eradicated.  They could be right.  Religious belief might be detrimental, in the long run, to society.  But you see my point.  If atheists had total power of any government, they might be just as intolerant of religion as religion has been.



The glaring difference being, if one establishes a policy of torturing or at least oppressing religious people, the reason given will never be, "God said so, don't judge me" from an atheist.

IMO, this is splitting hairs.  Any man, atheist or theist who is convinced the opposition should be killed off, is not going to be open to judgement.  The said person is a mad man and you cannot reason with mad men....only nature or a fellow human being can stop the madness.

Whatever reason s/he provides can be scrutinized, analyzed and argued with information and logic.  It isn't a matter of who is nicer, it's a matter of identifying and addressing motivations, and religious motivations are based on fantasy and emotional manipulation, only and always.

ditto


Offline One Above All

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #65 on: February 03, 2012, 05:20:45 PM »
IMO, this is splitting hairs.  Any man, atheist or theist who is convinced the opposition should be killed off, is not going to be open to judgement.  The said person is a mad man and you cannot reason with mad men....only nature or a fellow human being can stop the madness.

Thinking that killing someone (under certain conditions) is not wrong does not make one insane, nor does it make one closed to any other alternatives.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline learnin

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #66 on: February 03, 2012, 05:44:09 PM »

Atheism is not an ideology, therefore it is not possible to kill in the name of atheism. Religion, however, doesn't have the same benefit, and was in fact responsible for a great number of wars all throughout history.

Atheism might not be an ideology but atheism can be used to develop an ideology.  As such, atheists can be , and hav been, responsible for the massacre of millions.


Democracies are based on "majority rules", more or less. Those "less religious areas" include areas where atheism is the majority (these areas also coincide with the "best" countries in the world, FYI). The events you have described only occurred in situations where the atheists were "all-powerful" - dictatorships. "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely".

I don't know what you're reasoning, here, proves.  Theists hold a huge majority in this democratic republic, but, I don't believe atheists have ever been singled out for extermination.  We're both agreed that, in democracies, this type of thing does not gain official sanction.  I agree with you that "absolute power corrupts absolutely".  And I would admit that there are theists, in this country, who would love to gain that absolute power.  If so, these would certainly do all they could to eliminate the opposition.  I happen to know more than a few of these.  I would hope, on the other hand, you would agree that there are atheists who would love to gain enough power to outlaw religion if it were possible.
 

You are correct in saying that atheists can be just as cruel and inhumane as theists. But that has no connection to their (lack of) belief. The theists' inhumanity and cruelty, however, do.

I won't argue this point but I believe my arguments, here, have been directed to a poster who implied that we wouldn't have "witchhunts" if atheists were in control. 

I've read many books, written by atheists against religion, and some have suggested that religion is a threat to humankind that ought to be eradicated.  They could be right.  Religious belief might be detrimental, in the long run, to society.  But you see my point.  If atheists had total power of any government, they might be just as intolerant of religion as religion has been.



It has always been my understanding that the vast majority of atheists who state that theists' beliefs (religion) are detrimental and should be eradicated does not extend that to the theists themselves.

I would agree but, if my memory serves me correctly, it seems as if Harris gets close to it.

Offline learnin

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #67 on: February 03, 2012, 05:51:05 PM »
IMO, this is splitting hairs.  Any man, atheist or theist who is convinced the opposition should be killed off, is not going to be open to judgement.  The said person is a mad man and you cannot reason with mad men....only nature or a fellow human being can stop the madness.

Thinking that killing someone (under certain conditions) is not wrong does not make one insane, nor does it make one closed to any other alternatives.

I agree.  Evidently, I wasn't clear enough.  If you have a human being, atheist or theist, who believes people should be exterminated because of race, creed, sex or non creed, then, that person is not going to be open to reason as his or her reason has been so perverted by ideology. 

Offline Lorax

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #68 on: February 03, 2012, 07:22:51 PM »
I was primarily responding to Onesimus, but also Riley. Others on the board expressed empathy or sympathy but i won't presume to know which
Lorax, I’m asking you question and it was not about who you were responding to.  Why do you seem to think that atheists, or perhaps just people on this board are “generally dissatisfied”?
Because the individuals on this board to whom I was responding "said so"
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Right Right Right. "Proper" does often mean "correct" and I wasn't using it that way in this context, So I wrote the second paragraph to clarify that by "Improper" I did not mean "incorrect". Rather I meant that it would be an inappropriate categorization to claim it is a worldview.
  Okay, that’s good. 
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Fuck you very much
  Hmmm, seems I was right.
at least one of us was almost certainty right
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I made no such claim, in fact I made very much the opposite claim several times. I believe most (perhaps all as you insist) atheists do indeed have a worldview. That worldview simply is something other than atheism.
Please do show how anyone can exist without a world view and we can go with the wiki definition. 
Holy trifiling minituia Batman! Fine!

I Lorax, here in front of the internet and everyone in existence do certify that everyone in existence certainty has a worldview of some kind or another.
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I have already defined worldview in my previous response. and to answer your question, No, I believe you are permitted to have any sort of worldview you want no matter how inscrutable
  I agree, to a point.  As soon as a worldview causes harm, then it should be challenged and hopefully eradicated. 

Sure
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I am curious about one phrase you used “I define knowledge as justified true belief.”  Can you expound on what you mean by “justified”?   I don’t find your response to Lucifer to be adequate, simply claiming that “It doesn't necessarily need to be well justified, so long as it is justified” is just avoiding defining what you mean by justified.

Justified implies that you have some reason for believing the idea is true

Offline velkyn

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #69 on: February 06, 2012, 09:56:24 AM »
Because the individuals on this board to whom I was responding "said so"
Good.  And now you might realize that talking in generalizations about all atheist wasn’t the right way to address the claim of an individual.
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at least one of us was almost certainty right
Yep, I know.
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Holy trifiling minituia Batman! Fine!
I Lorax, here in front of the internet and everyone in existence do certify that everyone in existence certainty has a worldview of some kind or another.
Finally.  Which is completely not what you initially said. I’m glad that you can learn. 
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Justified implies that you have some reason for believing the idea is true.
Do you believe that theists believe in something that is true e.g. real, valid, actual?   Knowledge, and I’m defining that as here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knowledge  has evidence supporting it, not just a baseless belief, or as many theists claim, a “feeling”.
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Offline Lorax

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #70 on: February 07, 2012, 06:44:01 AM »
Because the individuals on this board to whom I was responding "said so"
Good.  And now you might realize that talking in generalizations about all atheist wasn’t the right way to address the claim of an individual.
I didn't make any generalized claims about atheists. you put those words in my mouth.

I said the opposite 20 times. That I did not believe it was a problem for most atheists.

You chose to believe what you want to
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Holy trifiling minituia Batman! Fine!
I Lorax, here in front of the internet and everyone in existence do certify that everyone in existence certainty has a worldview of some kind or another.
Finally.  Which is completely not what you initially said. I’m glad that you can learn. 
I have other neat tricks too

I can also admit when I'm wrong
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Justified implies that you have some reason for believing the idea is true.
Do you believe that theists believe in something that is true e.g. real, valid, actual?   Knowledge, and I’m defining that as here: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/knowledge  has evidence supporting it, not just a baseless belief, or as many theists claim, a “feeling”.

To be fair I do think a "feeling" can be a justification for certain kinds of knowledge.

If my idea is "Jenna Loves me" and my main justification is "I feel like she loves me" I think that can count as knowledge provided that that is also true.

If it's not true, then it was Justified false belief. Turns out that justification was wrong.

I think the problem with the theistic worldview is ultimately going to come down to what is true not what is justified. Justification is a means to tip the scales, allowing us to measure the claims for atheism against the claims for theism. It is not a criterion that can be used to dismiss either outright.

Online Dante

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #71 on: February 07, 2012, 07:50:31 AM »
If my idea is "Jenna Loves me" and my main justification is "I feel like she loves me" I think that can count as knowledge provided that that is also true.

Does Jenna tell you she loves you? Does Jenna demonstrate to you that she loves you?

Stalkers have a feeling certain celebrities love them, too. Theists have a feeling gods love them, too. But unless that person can demonstrate that the love is true, the feeling means nothing.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Lorax

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #72 on: February 07, 2012, 08:09:27 AM »
If my idea is "Jenna Loves me" and my main justification is "I feel like she loves me" I think that can count as knowledge provided that that is also true.

Does Jenna tell you she loves you? Does Jenna demonstrate to you that she loves you?

Stalkers have a feeling certain celebrities love them, too. Theists have a feeling gods love them, too. But unless that person can demonstrate that the love is true, the feeling means nothing.

Again I don't think the problem with stalkers is that their beliefs are based on feelings. The problem is that their beliefs are not true.

Online Dante

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #73 on: February 07, 2012, 10:33:24 AM »

Again I don't think the problem with stalkers theists is that their beliefs are based on feelings. The problem is that their beliefs are not true.

Fixed. Now, it's possible I missed it, but I dont see how you can possibly, and demonstrably,  differentiate between the two.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #74 on: February 07, 2012, 11:48:32 AM »
I didn't make any generalized claims about atheists. you put those words in my mouth.
My apologies, you were speaking to "some people". 
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It seems to me that the generalized sense of dissatisfaction that some of you are feeling stems from the fact that atheism is not a proper worldview.
  Onesimus seems a little less than that but okay.
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I have other neat tricks too. I can also admit when I'm wrong
good for you, it only takes a while.
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To be fair I do think a "feeling" can be a justification for certain kinds of knowledge.
Really? What kinds and how?

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If my idea is "Jenna Loves me" and my main justification is "I feel like she loves me" I think that can count as knowledge provided that that is also true.
And Jenna shows that she loves you.  Your feeling is based on evidence. Not just a feeling. 

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If it's not true, then it was Justified false belief. Turns out that justification was wrong.
I think the problem with the theistic worldview is ultimately going to come down to what is true not what is justified. Justification is a means to tip the scales, allowing us to measure the claims for atheism against the claims for theism. It is not a criterion that can be used to dismiss either outright.
 

This seems to be headed toward claims that we can't know what's true "really" and that evidence isn't a "real" way to know what's true.
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Offline Energized

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #75 on: February 07, 2012, 01:07:33 PM »
To the OP, I know exactly how you feel.

For me, it was more a sense of guilt when I gave up on the belief. There are so many verses that were written to almost "shame" people into belief, along with warnings if people fell away. You also get that from the Chosen.

My sense of guilt has recently turned to anger, though. Their holy book offers:

1. stories with NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE they actually occurred
2. more contradictions than you can choke a horse with
3. a god who's psychotic at best
4. Followers of the religion that can be bat crap crazy

This same book insists I will go to hell for not believing? If the rest of the book is crap, the threat of hell is crap too.

I also had a let down for quite some time. I mean, going to church and getting caught up in the frenzy can be an emotional rush. And until you find something that will fill the emotional void, you'll likely continue to feel down about it.

Some have suggested other organizations you can join - I would take their advice to heart. There can be an exhilaration at being a part of something that doesn't have an imaginary being as its head.

E.
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Bringing torment and pain to others.
O damned soul wallowing in your sin.
Perhaps it is time to die?'

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Offline Lorax

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #76 on: February 08, 2012, 12:37:12 AM »

Again I don't think the problem with stalkers theists is that their beliefs are based on feelings. The problem is that their beliefs are not true.

Fixed. Now, it's possible I missed it, but I dont see how you can possibly, and demonstrably,  differentiate between the two.

nice one

Offline Lorax

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #77 on: February 08, 2012, 12:42:31 AM »
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To be fair I do think a "feeling" can be a justification for certain kinds of knowledge.
Really? What kinds and how?
Example below
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If my idea is "Jenna Loves me" and my main justification is "I feel like she loves me" I think that can count as knowledge provided that that is also true.
And Jenna shows that she loves you.  Your feeling is based on evidence. Not just a feeling. 
What is an objective way to show someone loves someone?
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If it's not true, then it was Justified false belief. Turns out that justification was wrong.
I think the problem with the theistic worldview is ultimately going to come down to what is true not what is justified. Justification is a means to tip the scales, allowing us to measure the claims for atheism against the claims for theism. It is not a criterion that can be used to dismiss either outright.
 

This seems to be headed toward claims that we can't know what's true "really" and that evidence isn't a "real" way to know what's true.
Might seem that way.

It's not
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 12:44:49 AM by Lorax »

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #78 on: February 08, 2012, 09:53:55 AM »
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To be fair I do think a "feeling" can be a justification for certain kinds of knowledge.
Really? What kinds and how?
Example below
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If my idea is "Jenna Loves me" and my main justification is "I feel like she loves me" I think that can count as knowledge provided that that is also true.
And Jenna shows that she loves you.  Your feeling is based on evidence. Not just a feeling. 
What is an objective way to show someone loves someone?

Behavior.

Or do you take the word of the abusive husband?
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Online Azdgari

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #79 on: February 08, 2012, 11:33:40 AM »
^^ She has to have faith that he loves her when he beats her...
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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #80 on: February 08, 2012, 01:16:34 PM »

Again I don't think the problem with stalkers theists is that their beliefs are based on feelings. The problem is that their beliefs are not true.

Fixed. Now, it's possible I missed it, but I dont see how you can possibly, and demonstrably,  differentiate between the two.

nice one

I think so.

Care to explain why you think so?
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline garrcoln

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #81 on: February 08, 2012, 02:48:36 PM »
I'm not an atheist so maybe you don't want my opinion but I'll give it and you can disregard if you want. Ask yourself, is there a purpose to my life? Your answer doesn't have to be the same purpose as I feel nor others. I notice a lot of atheists say their purpose is survival, not what I believe but notice that they identify a purpose. Then of course, if you say there is a purpose, you have to ask what is that purpose and naturally the whys come around. For me, the whats and whys are pretty difficult questions and very subjective. If you come to the conclusion that there is no purpose, don't forget to look at causes and effects. I don't want you getting suicidal as this would effect the ones that know and love you in a negative way. I'm Catholic, but I still struggle with my purpose in life all the time, outside of a deep need to be loved and happy and the same for others. Good Luck.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #82 on: February 08, 2012, 02:53:40 PM »
I'm not an atheist so maybe you don't want my opinion but I'll give it and you can disregard if you want. Ask yourself, is there a purpose to my life? Your answer doesn't have to be the same purpose as I feel nor others. I notice a lot of atheists say their purpose is survival, not what I believe but notice that they identify a purpose. Then of course, if you say there is a purpose, you have to ask what is that purpose and naturally the whys come around. For me, the whats and whys are pretty difficult questions and very subjective. If you come to the conclusion that there is no purpose, don't forget to look at causes and effects. I don't want you getting suicidal as this would effect the ones that know and love you in a negative way. I'm Catholic, but I still struggle with my purpose in life all the time, outside of a deep need to be loved and happy and the same for others. Good Luck.

I have plenty of purpose to my life.  I just don't need teh belief in an imaginary being to give it to me.  My purpose is to help my fellow man, to protect the innocent and helpless, to love my husband, etc.  Simply survival is useful but rather boring.

What purpose do you have, garrcoln?
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #83 on: February 08, 2012, 02:56:17 PM »
What is an objective way to show someone loves someone?
wow, you really don't know?  I have sympathy for any one around you.  I care for my husband. I help him.  I get him things he likes.
Quote
Might seem that way. It's not.
that remains to be seen.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 03:07:03 PM by velkyn »
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Online Azdgari

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #84 on: February 08, 2012, 03:02:44 PM »
...

There are lots of purposes.  They just happen to be ours.

If you've decided to adopt your god's[1] purpose for you as your own, then that's not qualitatively different from just coming up with your own.
 1. Taking its existence as granted for the sake of argument.
I have not encountered any mechanical malfunctioning in my spirit.  It works every single time I need it to.

Offline Aaron123

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #85 on: February 08, 2012, 03:17:19 PM »
I'm not an atheist so maybe you don't want my opinion but I'll give it and you can disregard if you want. Ask yourself, is there a purpose to my life?

There is no inherent purpose to life.  We give purpose to our lives ourself.


Quote
Your answer doesn't have to be the same purpose as I feel nor others. I notice a lot of atheists say their purpose is survival, not what I believe but notice that they identify a purpose.


Who are these "a lot" of atheists that answers 'survival'?  Survival is not a wrong answer, but there is more to it than that.


Quote
If you come to the conclusion that there is no purpose, don't forget to look at causes and effects. I don't want you getting suicidal as this would effect the ones that know and love you in a negative way. I'm Catholic, but I still struggle with my purpose in life all the time, outside of a deep need to be loved and happy and the same for others. Good Luck.

Do you imagine atheists to be a suicidal bunch?  If so, then you'll soon find out that this is not the case.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline wright

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Re: Still trying to get the hang of this non-belief thing
« Reply #86 on: February 08, 2012, 03:55:48 PM »
Welcome to the forums, garrcoln.

You seem to have some stereotypical ideas about atheists. Most of us are no more pessimistic or angst-ridden than other folks. Aside from a lack of belief in gods, you can find atheists espousing pretty much any view on politics, social issues and Denny's menu choices; we're a varied lot. Stick around this forum for awhile and you'll see us arguing with each other as enthusiastically as with a theist.

Speaking for myself... As someone who struggles with chronic depression, I haven't considered suicide as an option since I was 17 (over 30 years ago). That was well before I became a Christian, and since losing my faith some 7 years ago if anything I've gained an increased appreciation for my life and what I want to do with it.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius