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  1. #11
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraska View Post
    I mean how does it make you feel better to belive there is no God?
    So I'm not sure what feelings have to do with any of this.

    Would it make me feel better if I believed that I could fly? I suppose it would feel pretty nice if I could really fly, but the truth of the matter is, I can't, and attempting to do so result in me plummeting to my death.

    And since I have difficulties with lying to myself, I will stick to atheism... and airplanes.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  2. #12
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraska View Post
    I just wanted to know how exactlly does Atheism help you in your life? I mean how does it make you feel better to belive there is no God?

    This is not meant to insult anybody but I'm just facinated about how some people can live without any kind of faith.
    People rarely become atheist just because it feels better. In fact it can make people feel worse, specially if accompanied with the belief that death ends it all, which can be pretty scary. I'm still in the process of getting used to the idea. I became an atheist because it is the only option that makes sense to me.
    The aztecs believed God wanted them to remove the hearts of living people, as a sacrifice. Crusaders believed God wanted them to crush the Muslims. I think if a real God existed the least he would do was letting people know what he expected. And no, the ''holy bible'' doesn't count, since there is like one different ''holy bible'' for each one of the thousands of religions alive.
    To finish:
    "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." - George Bernard Shaw
    -----------------

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


    -----------------

  3. #13
    Member Kraska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    This sort of "baffled" approach is one that I share but I can understand how people can be athiest at times, when what is described as God is something alien and estranging or particular proofs are involved which I find questionable.

    I've began to seriously believe that when fundamental differences of this kind are discussed its like two people with different languages, which share no common meanings at all even if some words appear superficially similar, when the difficulty in communication becomes clear they think it'll some how get sorted by raising their voices without bothering to really learn what the others words are or mean.
    I also started to belive that when an atheist and a religios person talk, they are like two stubborn goats. They simply refuse to take a moment and consider each other's point.

  4. #14
    Member Kraska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaid View Post
    I imagine the only reason you're okay with believing what you belief cause you've been conditioned to. Someone who may have grown atheist would find it bizarre to believe in some being in the sky with a beard. The idea of a great flood, all of human race came from a single man and woman on Earth would be preposterous from a logical point of view.
    I totally agree with you here. Education has a great (if not the greatest) importance in one's life. It is true atheist might find funny those ideeas but the same goes for religios persons that can find the evolution and Big Bang theories funny. I belive that both of them are wrong because their are two extreme points of view and extremism is not good.

  5. #15
    Member Kraska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntrovertedThinker View Post
    First of all, let me say that I think this is a very interesting question.
    As to how atheism helps people, it seems people can be largely affected by their religious views. For instance, the very notion of "sin" may make someone look down on particular behavior they tend to recognize as "sinful." If someone of great influence and power (such as politician) appeals to particular religious sentiments in order to help pass a bill or win public office, many people will naturally react positively to such appeal. Yet this is politically dangerous, because rather than using impersonal logical reasoning and "independent thought," such decisions made on the basis of religious values or viewpoints really can result in the cheap deception or manipulation of otherwise intelligent people, so that they are essentially conned into ridiculous choices they perhaps would not otherwise make. Not to mention the fact that religious persons of one group often disagree with religious persons of other groups, so that some level of conflict can arise from time to time. Lastly, there is very little logical support (philosophy) or empirical validity (science) for most religious views, so that atheists are often more open to "higher knowledge" or "higher understanding" than those who perhaps struggle to overcome particular personal religious convictions, in which perhaps they have been indoctrinated to believe, or socialized to accept.

    With atheism, none of these problems exist. Generally, if an atheist is concerned with someone else's behavior, it's usually because (a) a law's been broken, (b) a social rule has been broken, (c) or some ethical principle, or other analytical moral awareness, has been violated. For instance, someone has cheated on their partner (an act any human can clearly understand to be an act of betrayal). Or, someone has passed a red light. Or someone has found a way of exploiting the poor. In either case, there's often some actual "reasonable" violation when most atheists consider something "wrong" or "wicked." For clearly, atheists do not ascribe to highly questionable metaphysical moral viewpoints often written in some religious book or another. We instead reason ethical dilemmas on our own. Moreover, given the religious are often seduced into "religious ethnocentrism," atheists tend to lack prejudice towards others, given we do not ascribe to any particular system of "right/wrong" (at least none that are religious in nature - e.g., Kantian ethics is philosophical). So we won't go around saying, "Person X is wicked and sinful, because he was caught masturbating in a public restroom." Secondly, atheists aren't open to any form of "religious appeal." Given we are largely independent thinkers, it's a lot more difficult for any politician to easily appeal to our views, so that rather than easily "marketing votes," a politician - in most atheist's eyes, I'd imagine - would actually have to "work logically for his/her votes." In other words, speaking about "getting rid of abortion and making things right with God" won't win votes. A politician will instead have to actually remain logically consistent and appeal to REASON. Thus, atheists are less susceptible to political trickery and more likely to think their way through the political process analytically rather than emotionally. Moreover, atheists do not tend to hold prejudices or "conflict" other many other groups (other than perhaps, religious persons in general, as the lack of belief in God has largely been seen as a sign of wickedness or corruption in our history). But regardless of the conflict between atheists and the religious, atheists do not generally have a problem with other irreligious persons (such as agnostics). Given this, if society were a lot less naturally opposed to atheistic viewpoints, I'm sure atheists would not have much of a problem with anyone, given atheists do not necessarily claim to know anything as true (as most atheist are probably agnostic in some respect). And lastly, atheists seem to have very little reason to close off their minds to "new ideas, thoughts, or truths." This can easily be seen when most religious persons oppose evolution, while most irreligious persons do not.

    In sum, atheists are often a lot more "intellectually uninhibited" than the religious (though this is not always the case). This, I think, is a very powerful and important sense of freedom that really does liberate people from the horrible chains of mental tyranny often resultant of religious indoctrination. This freedom of mind empowers people to make their own decisions, to see others as equals who are not necessarily "different in the eyes of God," as people who merely see the world differently, rather than "people who need to be saved," or who "have gone astray from the righteous path." I think this freedom is very "helpful" in life, because it really prevents one from being so easily susceptible to the natural corruptive forces of society (as I really do think religion plays a very important part in really enslaving people to particular patterns of "false consciousness" or "bad faith"). It's probably the most important aspect of "ideology," beside political orientation, and that makes it very fundamental, and yet, very dangerous.

    And with respect to how atheism makes me feel better (believing in no God), I think it's a matter of seeing the world "as it truly is." What I mean by this is that there's many ugly aspects of the world which we often do not wish to acknowledge or accept. For instance, when the Nazis murdered so many Jews during the Holocaust, many of the highest war criminals fled to South America, where many eventually died, buried and treated with Nazi burial ceremonies. Now I don't know about the rest of you, or anyone in particular, but I think it's hard to see any "Universal Justice" in the world after something like that. (In philosophy, this is specifically known as "The Problem of Evil," and it's a major reason as to why many atheists do not believe in God, or any deities whatsoever.) At any rate, when we no longer "veil our minds," so to speak, by discontinuing belief in seemingly fictional entities for which there is very little logical support (philosophy) or empirical support (science), we then become open to viewing the world in any fashion which it may be presented to us. Thus, we tend to see the world as the naturalistic, unpleasant, unsympathetic, neutral, hostile, not-so-human-friendly place that it really is. With this awareness of the world "as it really seems to be," we become freed from any notions of "religious illusion." With this freedom, we tend to see the world as a whole new place, where we can use human reason to make things better for ourselves. Instead of an afterlife, we see this world and this one life as utterly important and significant, worth our full attention/devotion. With this, we become more responsible for ourselves and the world in which we live. Instead of relying on some "metaphysical skygod," so to speak, we instead rely on ourselves -- on all humanity itself. With this freedom and responsibility to see the world in this fashion, we become more empowered as free agents -- free individuals capable of growing and learning in this world without reliance on any particular ideas, notions, or entities -- without dependence on any deities to come and save us from the "hostile world." In bearing this awareness, many of us often feel "clam and serene in mind." It's like reaching a state of Nirvana, having realized the truth, and having accepted the world as it is. We become at peace and see the world naturalistically.

    Lastly, we do not feel unnecessarily guilty by pounding ourselves with notions of "sin" (which anyone who's read Nietzsche's "The Anti-Christ" would easily know). Instead, we simply take honest responsibility for unethical actions we have taken in a natural world where we can rationally decide if our actions are right or wrong from a philosophical/analytical perspective. With this, we do not have to "feel bad" for simply masturbating, for instance. We do not have to feel afraid for simply engaging in behavior many consider "social taboo." We can be free to a larger extent, where reason is largely involved in drawing the lines of acceptable/unacceptable behavior.

    Now, again, I don't know about the rest of you, but this is why I feel atheism has truly benefited me in my personal life, and I'm glad religious perspectives do not personally bog my own mind. But to all those who are in fact religious, I know atheism is not necessarily "better." Many religious persons can avoid the many problems I have listed here. I just enjoy the fact that atheism has truly removed me from any contact with those problems entirely.

    Thanks for the opportunity to give my personal take on this matter.
    Peace.
    You post is indeed very interesting and I really appreciate it. Although it's long you made it easier to read, again thank you.

    Now about you said:

    You have described in the first part a very common phenomenon that unfortunately is present even in the 21st century. I am taking about religios indoctrination that creates extremists. It creates those Christians that belive they know God's will and everybody should listen to them, those Muslims that commit suicide in God's name, those Judaists that claim some land because God's gave it to them and those Hindus that used to burn women alive because goddess Khali wanted so. I partially agree with you, because people have used religion to manipulate people in order to fulfill their own agenda for century. However I cannot agree with you when you blame religion for that. I would rather blame the lack of education for it. Because it is the lack of education that makes people vulnerable to manipulation in any of it's forms. That doesn't mean that inteligent people can't be manipulated. One of the best example is USA's "war on terrorism" that made some of the most inteligent people on earth belive they are doing something good while in reality only served someone's agenda. However this in not a political forum so I won't go further.

    You also said that atheists tend to see the world as it is, as a not-so-friendly-human place. That you tend to make this world better by not concentrating on an after life. I do agree went you say that this world is not so nice, but how exactlly do you make it better? As much as I know the atheism is growing but the wars are still present, thousands of people are murdered while their murderers are seen as "peace keepers", there are extreme wealth differences between people, when some don't care about tommorow while others try to survive from a day to another. Misery and suffering still exist in more than half of the world. Illnesses and epidemies are still a big problem. These are just a few of the problems we have to face today. So how have the atheists made the world better?

  6. #16
    Member Kraska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    Atheism is not inherently good or bad

    Faith is quite important

    Faith in the supernatural is, I believe, misplaced and in error
    I personally find atheism just live islamism or devoted christians a form of extremism comming from the misunderstanding of science.
    Just my opinion.

  7. #17
    Member Kraska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    The utility of atheism has to be weighed against the utility of other possible belief systems. So while I don't think atheism has benefited me directly, I feel it has harmed me less than or equally than other possible belief systems (I can't think of a way it would harm me more).

    The scary thing to me about using an external system of belief is that it's harder to challenge. My method of choosing beliefs is to try as hard as I can to challenge all possible beliefs, and then go with the last one standing (or if there are multiples, the most simple one standing). If new evidence were to come up or if I were presented with a viewpoint I haven't considered, I would just add that into my challenging process, and the relative value of each possible belief would change, potentially leaving different beliefs standing. So my belief system is dynamic, and the other option (a faith-based belief system) seems like it would incentivize a more stagnant worldview.

    On the matter of ethics, we run into the same issue. Something isn't right or wrong because someone says so -- it's right or wrong because it either benefits people or it doesn't. Using an invisible external metric to judge morality is just clearly less precise than using a utilitarian model (as long as you are a relativist). I guess it's possible for a religious person to have a moral system completely compatible with my own -- my entire system of ethics could be explained using narratives about God, etc. And I really have no problem with that if it were true. I just choose not to use supernatural invisible beings in my narrative -- seems overly complicated and doesn't help explain anything.

    I'd also like to add that the idea that people need invisible external systems to reinforce their goodness scares the shit out of me. Do people that believe this actually mean that if they lost their faith, they would become sociopaths? People are good because they're empathetic and compassionate -- if they want to explain that as a gift from God or something like that, I'm fine with it. But that's just a description. The actual cause of empathetic behavior is clearly a combination of neurochemical processes and social reinforcement. No need to make it all complicated and handwavey.
    I'm afraid that I cannot agree with you when you say that something is good if it benefits someone, because that thing might very well hurt somebody else. So while it is good for someone it can be very damaging for someone else. A good thing is something that benefits everybody not just some group.

    I belive people need faith more than ever today, because we don't live in world where people are empathetic and compassonate. We live in a world where people exploit people. For example the West has a easy life at the expense of those poor countries we have exploited and invaded for centuries.
    So people need faith and hope in a better after life in order to not go crazy and destroy everybody that oppresed them for century. I mean if there is not Heaven nor God why should they suffer here? It wouldn't matter if they start killing and robbing at all. There would be nobody to condemn them. And the social law can't do anything about this. Because they could take their revenge and then commit suicide. It wouldn't matter at all if there would be nothing afterwards.

  8. #18
    Member Kraska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    So I'm not sure what feelings have to do with any of this.

    Would it make me feel better if I believed that I could fly? I suppose it would feel pretty nice if I could really fly, but the truth of the matter is, I can't, and attempting to do so result in me plummeting to my death.

    And since I have difficulties with lying to myself, I will stick to atheism... and airplanes.
    I don't know about flying but I really feel good to know that there is a better place after death, where I can rest after all the crap I suffered here.
    To belive that there is nothing after death and that you suffer here for nothing is something I find really depresing.

  9. #19
    Member Kraska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    People rarely become atheist just because it feels better. In fact it can make people feel worse, specially if accompanied with the belief that death ends it all, which can be pretty scary. I'm still in the process of getting used to the idea. I became an atheist because it is the only option that makes sense to me.
    The aztecs believed God wanted them to remove the hearts of living people, as a sacrifice. Crusaders believed God wanted them to crush the Muslims. I think if a real God existed the least he would do was letting people know what he expected. And no, the ''holy bible'' doesn't count, since there is like one different ''holy bible'' for each one of the thousands of religions alive.
    To finish:
    "The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." - George Bernard Shaw
    You talk as if God was the one guiding the christian armies or the aztecs directly. You forget that there were people preaching not God Himself. It wasn't God that told the French and British to slauther the Muslims it was the pope and others that used God's name to manipulate and corrupt people in order to fulfill their agenda. The same thing goes for the Aztecs, Indians, Arabs and many other.
    So don't blame God for what people did in His name, guided by corrupt and greedy men.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraska View Post
    I personally find atheism just live islamism or devoted christians a form of extremism comming from the misunderstanding of science.
    Just my opinion.
    What you're talking about is really sectarianism, it comes in a lot of shapes, not just religious but ideological, its no good.

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