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  1. #51
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    The question is geared towards you the individual, not a society. State your case.
    Harder. I can't justify or dislike anything because of blind belief.
    I have to rationalize my decisions, actions, ideas and opinions.
    It is harder to be logical than to follow the words of a book just because.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  2. #52
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think Stephen Fry is a bad example when talking about the glory or beauty of a world without God, he suffers pretty bad from bipolar depression and can be pretty despairing and difficult company for many of the teams he shoots documentaries or TV shows with.

    I've always suspected that athiesm can be equated with despair, whatever to the contrary people may say and most of the time when I see his material it reinforces that.
    Did I completely misunderstand you or are you suggesting Stephen Fry is suffering from bipolar disorder because he is an atheist?

    I don´t doubt that religion can be comforting and soothing and add meaning, but I strongly disagree with the notion that "atheism can be quated with despair". You say that you believe this despite what people who actually are atheist tell you, so there is no point in trying to convince you otherwise. Suffice it to say that life is full of trade-offs between liberty and safety. Yes, liberty can be despairing, but it also means opportunity to create. And the absense of a divine order allows for a human (as well as humane and humanistic) order.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  3. #53
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Did I completely misunderstand you or are you suggesting Stephen Fry is suffering from bipolar disorder because he is an atheist?

    I don´t doubt that religion can be comforting and soothing and add meaning, but I strongly disagree with the notion that "atheism can be quated with despair". You say that you believe this despite what people who actually are atheist tell you, so there is no point in trying to convince you otherwise. Suffice it to say that life is full of trade-offs between liberty and safety. Yes, liberty can be despairing, but it also means opportunity to create. And the absense of a divine order allows for a human (as well as humane and humanistic) order.
    No I didnt say that.

    If you're looking for an example of someone who is finding life easier because they are non-religious/athiest there are better examples.

    I dont think Fry is finding life easy full stop. Being and athiest hasnt made him happy.

  4. #54
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beat View Post
    The question is geared towards you the individual, not a society. State your case.
    I think that for an individual, there are two major factors in determining how "easy" it is to live a life without religion:

    1. The community that you find yourself within (whether it be peers, a circle of friends, family, etc.) shares your belief or disbelief. We're social creatures, and fitting in is almost always easier than being an outcast.
    2. Personal preference. Some people are inclined to see value in and gain support from faith or religion, and some aren't. Assuming that #1 was neutral, it's always easier (and more comfortable) to follow your personal preference.


    In order (easiest to hardest), I'd say:

    1. Matches community and personal preference
    2. Matches personal preference, doesn't match community
    3. Matches community, doesn't match personal preference
    4. Does not match community, does not match preference (I bet most people seldom stay here long)


    2&3 may be reversed depending on the severity of the mismatch, how comfortable you as a person are being an outsider, etc.

    Personally, for me? I'm in #2. It's easier and more comfortable for me to live a life without formal religion, but my social circle is primarily composed of people who are religious to one degree or another. Fortunately is it seldom (if ever) a source of conflict -- although it was when I was growing up.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #55
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    I didn´t post that clip because I see Fry as an example of somebody who is happy 24/7 because he is an atheist, but because I like the way he describes the advantages of a humanistic world view. The fact that he suffers from a bipolar disorder doesn´t deminish that. It was about the message, not the messenger.
    On the other hand, my impression of Fry is that of a very gentle, kind, thoughtful, educated man with a very positive, humanistic world view full of love for mankind and what a believer would call the creation.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  6. #56
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    On the other hand, my impression of Fry is that of a very gentle, kind, thoughtful, educated man with a very positive, humanistic world view full of love for mankind and what a believer would call the creation.
    awesome.

    I mean he could be a rough, mean, ignorant, uneducated man with a very negative world view full of hatred for mankind.

    either way it doesn't matter, ultimately.
    the universe is indifferent.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  7. #57
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Infanticide and Indifference

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    the universe is indifferent.
    Infanticide was practised by exposing babies to the elements, as the universe showed itself indifferent to the life of a baby.

    A baby can survive love or hate but it is indifference that is the killer.

  8. #58
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Really? In terms of being taboo I tend to think that religion ranks fairly low down the list, it comes a distance behind criticising the widespread acceptance of or vogue for homosexuality, decline in the nuclear family, stuff like that.
    I don't know about statistics, but I believe I live in one of the most atheistic countries in the world. It is weird.. I don't know what most of my family thinks about religion, the subject is nonexistent here. It's not like hush-hush, it's just that no one is interested in it. I guess that makes the religious people stand out. And often negatively.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The thing is that there are people who use religion as a "big stick", they beat themselves too you know
    The only ones I've had problems with are the ones who think they have it figured out and like to point out that I am not doing as well as they are... They don't beat themselves, as they already know they are saved, but instead they use religion to project on anyone who is less than perfect. Compared to them I would rather have the lazy live-and-let-live atheist.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think that while there are ugly elements in religious ranks there is a problem in that secularists or people who've had bad experiences with religious types often will make the next religious person they meet answer for the actions of others, they might not bare any resembalence to those individuals. I think its a terrible and polarising thing because if someone encounters it often enough they can eventually decide that they might aswell conform to the stereotype being put on them, or that they've no option, they should either join one camp or the other.
    I very much agree. And to be fair, there aren't many of the folks I am talking about, but they are so noisy that they are more likely to be remembered than the good guys. One of them was a pregnant lady with a bicycle. I was walking to the store and had the worst hang-over, needed something to level it off, she came the opposite direction. She had a load of groceries on the handle of the bike and the baby and quite cheap looking clothes, and as I was passing by she looked at me and said "May God bless you" or something like that, and I just froze there unable to reply anything... From my point of view she had it tough taking care of her family with limited resources, but she was the one to empathize with my hang-over...

    The other one was my room mate. He was from Ghana and he had the best interpretation of Christianity I've ever heard of. There was no blame game that you ordinarily find whenever believers are around... He was like "If God didn't want us to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes, why did he put them on the shelves of the supermarket?" For him there was no evil, except "mental slavery". I talked with him a lot about his way of being a Christian, and it was the most attractive version of Christianity I've come across. There definitely was a strong aspect of self-improvement in it, and not in terms of what you do, but what you think, kinda... I don't know, it's hard to explain, but it wasn't like this list of dos and donts that they have in this western kind of Christianity.

  9. #59
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    I've never been able to live life with religion. My intuition has rejected the notion from quite early on in life (around age five I thought of God as analogous to the Tooth Fairy -- I knew they weren't real). Even in times of extreme trauma (the death of my first girlfriend), I couldn't for the life of me believe in any kind of higher meaning of a religious nature.

    I actually feel quite satisfied with the lack of meaning -- all it means is that I can set my own goals and interpretations. I'm totally free -- all I'm faced with are the consequences inherent in a physical world. I fear damnation zero, and honestly find it sad when people speak of their own fear.

    I've never felt like I'm missing anything.

    Interesting note: my current girlfriend's mom is extremely religious and feared the effect of my atheism on her daughter -- that is, until we finally had a dinner-time conversation about capital punishment (not that the specifics of our opinions matter). Throughout the conversation, she realized that our morals were much more similar than hers are with the rest of her family, including her daughter/my girlfriend.

  10. #60
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I think it's easier to surrender yourself to a belief. You don't have to think, analyze and deal with the pain of finding less than ideal realities or possibilities. But I don't think it is in any way better unless you don't have the intellectual capacity to even question your own beliefs.

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