User Tag List

12 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 16

  1. #1

    Default Athiests and Non-Theists, spirituality and afterlife?

    I've been doing some reading on the topic of the afterlife, the full gambit of it philosophy, scientific research, psychology, metaphysical, what I've found is that there are non-theists and athiests who are prepared to contemplate the possibility of an after life, even reincarnation or cycles of rebirth but not the existence of a God. Does this seem strange to anyone or how do you account for it?

    At the minute I'm reading Eric Fromm's Psychoanalysis and Religion, he considers both Freud and Jung, while I think he is fair in some respects to each of them Freud comes of better, Freud's own perspective in The Future of an Illusion corresponds to Fromm's own pretty much.

    Fromm believes that religious impulses are innate, that everyone is compelled to seek both a frame of ethical orientation and an object of devotion, this he describes as a religious impulse and rationalises that a lot of what passes for ideology, even relationships or compulsions are on closer inspection "religions".

    This position he believes differs from Jung and Freud. He describes Freud as conceptualising religion, in particular monotheism, as having arose as a consequence overwhelming affect, which could only be coped with by an equally powerful affect, reason was insufficient. He describes Jung as describing religion as corresponding to devotional needs, submission to a higher power but mainly takes issue with subjectivity and objectivity of belief systems in Jung (I think he's a little unfair but all the same).

    The thing about Fromm is he's very clearly in some of his books an athiest, does not believe in a God or afterlife, although in some of his books he appears to be more of a non-theist, doesnt discount an afterlife but emphasises the reality of death as an end to all intents and purposes of this life, for the individual and others affectively attached to them. In part I think this is a result of his attachment to Zen Buddhism and non-theist faiths of this kind.

    Would any of the athiests or non-theists here possess any kind of spirituality per se or experience anything akin to what Fromm describes as an innate religious drive? What is it about some athiests in particular, although possibly some non-theists too, that they have to be proselytising as some believers?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    9,129

    Default

    It's atheist(s).

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    It's atheist(s).
    Really? That's what you're going to make your contribution to the thread? An observation on a typo?

    Well, I suppose if it does you then it'll do me, sort of confirming the lowest possible expectations there though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    9,129

    Default

    I have not read the opening post. Should I do that, is it interesting?

  5. #5
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    9 sp/sx
    Posts
    9,422

    Default

    Anyhow, let me get this straight, because there are so many ways to interpret atheists and non-theists.

    Would you agree that this is correct?

    Atheism does not like to base their thoughts on theistic foundations and tries to pull away from those thoughts when they voice themselves strongly. Their atheistic belief is of profound nature. Wether they proselytise or not is up to the individual. An atheist is one that exclude theirselves from a possibility or belief without being able to rationally commit to that descision in full, and therefor may seek confirmation of their choice by trying to be with people of similar beliefs. In order to strengthen their resolves by means such of proselytising. Ofcourse, an atheist may also be of such conviction, their need to proselytise is pretty much unexistant. It all boils down to the individual.

    A non-theist tries to look at both the theistic view as the atheistic view but will always remain indifferent towards either. He does not subject himself or lean towards either. Non-theists are of a passive and phylosophical nature. People who enjoy sampling both spectrums while making and basing their descisions on their own intuition and 'wisdom' they have gained through experience only. They are samplers and aim to take the best from both sides. A non-theist by definition place themselves above atheists and theists (wether they are above them is open for discussion, I'm just pointing out where a non-theist would feel themselves to be.). A non-theist is unlikely to proselytise, since they are of a constantly evolving nature, adding and sampling their beliefs on a daily basis.

    An agnost leans slightly towards theism. He does not want to commit to any existing theism, but does belief there must be 'something' and is therefor essentially theistic. Agnostics rarily proselytise. The reason for this is obvious. How could one attempt to convert someone else to a belief they do not understand or know themselves. "Yeah, you should be an agnost too!" "Why?" "I.. don't know...".

    A theist is much like the atheist in that they have a profound belief in something. And much like the atheist, are more prone to show a proselytistic nature. But with a difference. They proselytise for different reasons than atheists. A belief in God may fulfill their lives and give answer to many questions, and who wouldn't want the same for others? If they belief faith has them better off, then it's natural they belief faith would have others better off as well. Only an antisocial theist would lack the wish to proselytise.

    Ofcourse, you can be like anywhere inbetween those as well. I don't think many people can say they are 100% atheist, or 100% theist, or 100% agnost or whatever. It's only natural people question things from time to time.

    From what you say here in this post, Fromm seems to be an atheist by nature, but keeps asking himself questions about all possibilities. Mind you, I've no idea who he is though. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    From what you say here in this post, Fromm seems to be an atheist by nature, but keeps asking himself questions about all possibilities. Mind you, I've no idea who he is though. :P
    Yes, yes I do believe that to be the case.

    Athiests, I would consider, to be those that disbelief and discount the possibility of be there being a God, at least a God as theists understand it, but who also discount the possibility of other beliefs associated with theism such as an afterlife with God, personal survival of death by an immaterial soul or consciousness.

    While non-theists on the other hand would those such as buddhists or zen buddhists which disbelieve or discount a theist God but not an afterlife or other spiritual thesis such as a cycle of rebirth or reincarnation, they may or may not believe in personal survival of an immaterial soul or consciousness, as I understand it some non-theists believe that a cycle of rebirth is a form of damnation, so you may live over and over again so long as you are not enlightened enough not to want to and break free of the cycle of death and rebirth into a state of nothingness. I'm not authortiy I'm afraid and have read a lot of secondary sources mainly.

    An agnostic I would believe is someone who properly suspends judgement about these questions, possibly doesnt think about them too much but not because they are of no consequence, just because they feel that you cant know for sure.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    9,129

    Default

    Did you know that the German word 'fromm' means 'pious'?

  8. #8
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    9,489

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Yes, yes I do believe that to be the case.

    Athiests, I would consider, to be those that disbelief and discount the possibility of be there being a God, at least a God as theists understand it, but who also discount the possibility of other beliefs associated with theism such as an afterlife with God, personal survival of death by an immaterial soul or consciousness.

    While non-theists on the other hand would those such as buddhists or zen buddhists which disbelieve or discount a theist God but not an afterlife or other spiritual thesis such as a cycle of rebirth or reincarnation, they may or may not believe in personal survival of an immaterial soul or consciousness, as I understand it some non-theists believe that a cycle of rebirth is a form of damnation, so you may live over and over again so long as you are not enlightened enough not to want to and break free of the cycle of death and rebirth into a state of nothingness. I'm not authortiy I'm afraid and have read a lot of secondary sources mainly.

    An agnostic I would believe is someone who properly suspends judgement about these questions, possibly doesnt think about them too much but not because they are of no consequence, just because they feel that you cant know for sure.
    Both atheism and agnosticism (and yes, Buddhism) are forms of non-theism, so this distinction here is not meaningful. Non-theist just means "absence of theism" as in they don't believe in god; it has nothing to do with any other beliefs at all. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheism

    Do you want non-theist answers here from only non-theists who believe in some form of afterlife, or all non-theists +theists (i.e. everyone)?
    -end of thread-

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Both atheism and agnosticism (and yes, Buddhism) are forms of non-theism, so this distinction here is not meaningful. Non-theist just means "absence of theism" as in they don't believe in god; it has nothing to do with any other beliefs at all. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheism

    Do you want non-theist answers here from only non-theists who believe in some form of afterlife, or all non-theists +theists (i.e. everyone)?
    Well, like I said I made the distinction because I'm familiar with atheism is meaning more than simply not believing theism but not believing many other spiritual beliefs associated, at least in the west, with theism, such as an afterlife, cycles of rebirth or reincarnation or spiritualism its the way that the word has been used in the literature which I've reviewed. I'm not trying to make categorical statements and I've no real interest in engaging in a game of definitions or semantics.

    The discussion's pretty open to anyone who wants to add something, now, who do you reckon that includes and excludes? Got a wiki link for that?

  10. #10
    resonance entropie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    MBTI
    entp
    Enneagram
    783
    Posts
    16,761

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I've been doing some reading on the topic of the afterlife, the full gambit of it philosophy, scientific research, psychology, metaphysical, what I've found is that there are non-theists and athiests who are prepared to contemplate the possibility of an after life, even reincarnation or cycles of rebirth but not the existence of a God. Does this seem strange to anyone or how do you account for it?
    No, on the contrary. If they would believe in cycles and rebirth plus in a God that would make no sense. The belief in cycles and rebirth is actually quite easy to imagine, cause nature does present us everywhere with cycles. Like the sun going up and down or the change of seasons, it's always cycles. And even if you consider modern thermodynamics, you'll find words like entropy which try to measure the potential of change in a closed system, you'll be confronted with cycles and structure. The simplest example is when you imagine we are all made of molecules or atoms, however you like your statistical math analysis, and if you then imagine that there is the possibility they could all molecules and atoms of your body could rearrange in the same way. Of course this no real rebirth but the possibilities for an event in nature to reoccur are nearly always given and that could have made people, espcially pantheism religious to believe in a rebirth.

    An afterlife doesnt fit in the above theory. But to me it's this simple: if people are able to believe in a God, why shouldnt they able to believe in an afterlife without a God ? Drugs are a very powerful thing and the mind is a very powerful thing aswell. Rationally tho the belief in an afterlife doesnt make sense to me. On the contrary, I am only nearly 30 but really pissed by mankind already. The imagination that I would have to hang out with them in some paradise sounds more like hell to me. Plus I think when I am old, I will be tired and will have the wish to die now and to find peace. I cant imagine going on in that emotionally tempered, rationally challenged and thoughtfully troubled body for like forever.

    At the minute I'm reading Eric Fromm's Psychoanalysis and Religion, he considers both Freud and Jung, while I think he is fair in some respects to each of them Freud comes of better, Freud's own perspective in The Future of an Illusion corresponds to Fromm's own pretty much.

    Fromm believes that religious impulses are innate, that everyone is compelled to seek both a frame of ethical orientation and an object of devotion, this he describes as a religious impulse and rationalises that a lot of what passes for ideology, even relationships or compulsions are on closer inspection "religions".

    This position he believes differs from Jung and Freud. He describes Freud as conceptualising religion, in particular monotheism, as having arose as a consequence overwhelming affect, which could only be coped with by an equally powerful affect, reason was insufficient. He describes Jung as describing religion as corresponding to devotional needs, submission to a higher power but mainly takes issue with subjectivity and objectivity of belief systems in Jung (I think he's a little unfair but all the same).

    The thing about Fromm is he's very clearly in some of his books an athiest, does not believe in a God or afterlife, although in some of his books he appears to be more of a non-theist, doesnt discount an afterlife but emphasises the reality of death as an end to all intents and purposes of this life, for the individual and others affectively attached to them. In part I think this is a result of his attachment to Zen Buddhism and non-theist faiths of this kind.
    I havent completly understood what you wrote here, pardon me I am not so good at understanding such things. What I wanted to say nevertheless, I love Fromm. I dont remember any text of him but when we read him in school I loved him. He basically said the same, I wanted to say. He had this principle of duality, namely if you consider an eye to be a metaphor for seeing, the eye, formed like an ellipse, would have two focal points. One he named belief, the other he named knowledge and that's what it is for me. These are two different words which have not much in common and this exactly how I see it aswell. Without a strong belief I wouldnt have accomplished alot of things and I think belief in that regards is an important thing in life to find ones own happiness. If you only rationalize everything you will not achieve happiness.

    Would any of the athiests or non-theists here possess any kind of spirituality per se or experience anything akin to what Fromm describes as an innate religious drive? What is it about some athiests in particular, although possibly some non-theists too, that they have to be proselytising as some believers?
    I have no graspable spirituality, like I believe in an afterlöife, or so, but I am spiritual. I like the mystical very much, like the theory of people and things having an aura. It most often is very entertaining and gives one the ability to wonder and to think but really believe in it I dont. It's more like idea fuel.
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

Similar Threads

  1. 'God, Soul, Spiritual and Afterlife'
    By lightsun in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 11-17-2017, 05:06 AM
  2. God, Soul, Spiritual and Afterlife
    By lightsun in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 04-27-2017, 12:50 AM
  3. [Non Spiritual Atheists] Your beliefs and the rest of the world.
    By Rasofy in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-07-2012, 11:22 PM
  4. Can one be an athiest and an INFP?
    By Sahara in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 05-25-2009, 10:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO