User Tag List

12311 Last

Results 1 to 10 of 202

  1. #1
    Member Kraska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    MBTI
    ISTJ
    Enneagram
    1w2
    Socionics
    INTJ
    Posts
    93

    Post Is Atheism good?

    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.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,683

    Default

    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.
    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.

  3. #3
    Member Zaid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Enneagram
    3
    Posts
    28

    Default

    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,683

    Default

    Ker-blams all the atheists!!!

    Now goes to the stupid oral sex thread to check on developments

  5. #5
    Member IntrovertedThinker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w4
    Posts
    96

    Default

    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.
    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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    MBTI
    INTP
    Posts
    2,739

    Default

    Atheism is not inherently good or bad

    Faith is quite important

    Faith in the supernatural is, I believe, misplaced and in error

  7. #7
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    1
    Posts
    4,223

    Default

    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.

  8. #8

    Default

    This article is a real gem in that it is the perspective of a biblical scholar and former "born again Christian" that now promotes responsible humanism. One of the issues he points out about atheism and/or agnosticism etc. is that unlike religious institutions, they have not sought to align themselves with a moral agenda, and that humanism as a movement does not offer a safe haven or a tangible sense of community for those shifting their faith in God to faith in humankind.

    Humanist organizations need to become as recognizable as the Baptist church on the corner and the Episcopal church up the street. They need to be seen as the first responders when an earthquake hits Haiti, to be seen as major forces in the fight against poverty, homelessness, malaria, AIDS, and other epidemics. They need to be seen as vibrant and viable alternatives to the religions of the world, which often do so much harm while trying to do good. Whatever else we might say about organized religion, it cannot be denied that it is often the catalyst for much of what is good in the world. But it shouldn’t be the only catalyst, especially since so many people are silenced, oppressed, and harmed by religion. In other words, people must be liberated not only from something but also for something. That, in my opinion, should be the leading goal and objective of every humanist organization.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  9. #9
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    9,134

    Default

    I like this quote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Karlheinz Deschner
    In short, there was an ever more Christian world - and, in many respects, an ever more dire one. For Christianity rests upon several commandments, such as the commandment to love thy neighbor, to love thy enemy, the commandment not to steal, not to kill, and upon the policy to abide by none of them.

  10. #10
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    MBTI
    Yin
    Enneagram
    One sx/sp
    Posts
    13,912

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    This article is a real gem in that it is the perspective of a biblical scholar and former "born again Christian" that now promotes responsible humanism. One of the issues he points out about atheism and/or agnosticism etc. is that unlike religious institutions, they have not sought to align themselves with a moral agenda, and that humanism as a movement does not offer a safe haven or a tangible sense of community for those shifting their faith in God to faith in humankind.
    This is really right in line with something I've been thinking about a lot lately. This in part matches with Sam Harris's ideas that scientists are perfectly good people to discuss morality who have instead dropped the ball and let religious practitioners monopolize it. But it goes further than that.

    I was thinking that while I can recall a secular institution that does any one of the things that organized religions do, or has any one of the things organized religions have, I could not think of one secular institution that did and had all those things at once the way organized religions do. There's no reason that secular people can't, and as long as we don't we yield a huge advantage to organized religions and allow people to perceive a weakness in secularism that does not really exist.

    The other thing, though, is that it's imperative to not create a so-called atheist, agnostic, or secular church. You would not want to label yourself as something defined only by your opposition or difference from some other more prominent entity. There are some reasons I wouldn't necessarily pick the term humanist, but never the less I like the idea he's getting at there. A humanist church asserts its own identity and subsequently sells better. In proving that a secular institution can take up every task that organized religion has, it must also be capable of providing a philosophy beyond the disbelief in deities.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


    _________________________________
    INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp.
    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

Similar Threads

  1. [ISTP] Who is a good partner for the female ISTP ???
    By blucie in forum The SP Arthouse (ESFP, ISFP, ESTP, ISTP)
    Replies: 125
    Last Post: 05-16-2015, 08:43 AM
  2. Why I think Libertarians having a good showing this election year is a good thing
    By ygolo in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 67
    Last Post: 11-11-2010, 01:32 PM
  3. Why is it good that God exists?
    By Virtual ghost in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 10-02-2008, 11:13 PM
  4. Eri is a good Mom
    By Domino in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 66
    Last Post: 03-15-2008, 01:13 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