Why do Atheists see it as the best option?

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Jerram Fahey:

Shock and Awe:
I can see how you get the idea that Atheists seem to think the belief (or lack thereof) is super special awesome based on some of their proponents running around basically linking up a lack of belief with the whole dogma of Secular Humanism. Never really made much sense to me to be so bombastic over Atheism, but to each his own.

Slightly off topic, but the "bombastic" secular resurgence has little to nothing to do with the existence of God, and everything to do with the religious right trying to force their beliefs upon everyone else by law. It's a response to ensure children aren't being fed mythology under the guise of science, or be forced to pray to a god they don't worship, etc. It's about recognising the separation of church and state, and that America is a secular, multicultural nation, and Christians don't have the right to impose their beliefs on everyone else. Even in other nations that don't have a separation of church and state, secularists are pushing to remove specific religious influences from law because those that aren't a part of that religion shouldn't be forced to adhere to its dogma.

Also, 'atheist' is lower case. :P

EDIT: Does anyone think we'll see another post by the OP?

You have a point there. It's been awhile since I have really payed much mind to these kinds of things to be honest. Mostly because it gets really ugly really fast.

Denholm Reynholm:
I honestly believe atheism is just as ignorant as theism.

You can't disprove the existence of God, same as you can't prove the existence. Which leads to Agnosticism and the part of the fence I sit on.

You can't disprove that I'm God and about to smite you if you don't recant what you said. So is it a 50/50 chance you feel that you're gonna get hit by divine wrath? Or maybe atheism isn't the ignorant option and when faced with something unprovable with no evidence the smart thing to do is disbelieve, and to even pretend to treat them as the same is what is ignorant.

Anyway, atheism is the best option because it is best to have the most accurate view possible about the universe.

And any kind of "Well you can't be sure" crap when brought to its logical conclusion means we shouldn't believe in anything ever. Because maybe aliens are making us see things. You can see they're not bringing it to its logical conclusion by how they consistently post here when for all they know their posts will never show up since you can't PROVE they will, have expectations of a world that follows rules, and aren't afraid that they might offend some random imagining of a deity who will condemn them to eternal hellfire by daring to post any thoughts at all.

Atheism: Knee-jerk rejectionism against the more horrifying side of religion. If anything, rather than a pure justification to positive absence of some existance, more truthfully agnostic in belief, or "athiest" without any philishophical justification, but incredibly vocal about their dissaproval of religion in the majority of forms.

Simple answer it is jumping to conclusions, though through my own eyes jumping a shorter distance than Religion leaps. We don't have any reason to suggest that there is nothing, likewise the presence of anything...

Carl Sagan was described by many as an atheist, and he was as atheist as many of those who described him as such describe themselves, but... he always said he was agnostic... he saw so much of the Universe (and yet of course so little), but... he never beleived there wasn't a God... he merely found no reason to believe... therefore called himself an agnostic.

Comando96:
Atheism: Knee-jerk rejectionism against the more horrifying side of religion. If anything, rather than a pure justification to positive absence of some existance, more truthfully agnostic in belief, or "athiest" without any philishophical justification, but incredibly vocal about their dissaproval of religion in the majority of forms.

Simple answer it is jumping to conclusions, through through my own eyes jumping a shorter distance than Religion leaps. We don't have any reason to suggest that there is nothing, likewise the presence of anything...

Carl Sagan was described by many as an atheist, and he was as atheist as many of those who described him as such describe themselves, but... he always said he was agnostic... he saw so much of the Universe (and yet of course so little), but... he never beleived there wasn't a God... he merely found no reason to believe... therefore called himself an agnostic.

Let me use the following definition.

itsthesheppy:

Atheism = There is no evidence to suggest the existence of any god, therefor there is no reason to think there is one.

Agnosticism = There is a god or godlike entity, but its nature is not, or cannot be, fully understood.

The atheist says to the agnostic: "What evidence do you have that this unknown/unknowable god exists?" That is the core difference. Most atheists do not claim to KNOW that god doesn't exist. They simply state that there is no REASON to think that one DOES. It's an important distinction to make. Burden of proof is on the positive claim.

Let's try to first clear up on what definitions we're using. Take for example the Great Old Ones. They or may not exist, if you're an agnostic. You're position would be " I'm not sure if it's Great Cthulhu or Nyarlothep, but I do believe there may be great old ones". Whereas an Atheist would say " I do not believe in Cthulhu, unless someone would show me the insanity inducing proof".

Jeez, too many people misunderstand.

About Carl Sagan.
"The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying ... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity."

I hope people understand what he meant.

Frission:
" I'm not sure if it's Great Cthulhu or Nyarlothep, but I do believe there may be great old ones".

HERETIC!
Nyarlathotep (spelling, spelling!) has never been, nor will ever be considered, a Great Old One! He's a servant of the Outer Gods!

(Otherwise, you are quite correct).

Realitycrash:

Frission:
" I'm not sure if it's Great Cthulhu or Nyarlothep, but I do believe there may be great old ones".

HERETIC!
Nyarlathotep (spelling, spelling!) has never been, nor will ever be considered, a Great Old One! He's a servant of the Outer Gods!

(Otherwise, you are quite correct).

Bah, their real names would turn you into the primordial jelly from whence you came.

I seem to have mixed up, Nyarlothep Naylrthlothep Old tentacle thing:

with Azathoth.

Small mistake really. In the end we'll all be too busy doing this to care:

itsthesheppy:

Atheism = There is no evidence to suggest the existence of any god, therefor there is no reason to think there is one.

Agnosticism = There is a god or godlike entity, but its nature is not, or cannot be, fully understood.

The atheist says to the agnostic: "What evidence do you have that this unknown/unknowable god exists?" That is the core difference. Most atheists do not claim to KNOW that god doesn't exist. They simply state that there is no REASON to think that one DOES. It's an important distinction to make. Burden of proof is on the positive claim.

Frission:

Let's try to first clear up on what definitions we're using. Take for example the Great Old Ones. They or may not exist, if you're an agnostic. You're position would be " I'm not sure if it's Great Cthulhu or Nyarlothep, but I do believe there may be great old ones". Whereas an Atheist would say " I do not believe in Cthulhu, unless someone would show me the insanity inducing proof".

Jeez, too many people misunderstand.

About Carl Sagan.
"The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard, who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying ... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity."

I hope people understand what he meant.

"The idea that God is an overzised white male with a flowing beard"
Rebuking the common American image of God, held up and believed to be real...

"who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow"
Bullshit and/or over Simplified Anthropomorphisms encurred by thousands of years of compiled church dogma, or otherwise known as RELIGION.

"is ludicrous"
made up

The rest is stating what we know and applying the literal term God, to our laws of physics to show an example of the concept.

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

I do understand that people hold different definitions for different terms but it is simple when applied:

Atheism - Positive belief there is no God/Deity/Faith.
Agnostisism - Belief in nothing without proof.
Theism - Positive belief there is a God/Deity/Faith.

You do of course get 2 sub groups of Agnostisism:
Agnostic-theist: Positive belief in the concept of a God/Deity/Faith but the inability to assertain the nature of said God/Deity/Faith.
Agnostic-atheist: Positive dis-belief in the concept of a God/Deity/Faith but the inability to disprove the possibility of a God/Deity/Faith.
A handy Diagram

The latter of which is where the severe majority of modern day atheists would find themselves, if... they weren't being labled as atheists as an insult.

The fact is that Religion created Atheism, as a knee-jerk reaction in most cases as, these people were acting against the common culture of the Religion labling them as such. Therefore formed a counter-culture which is "Atheism", and wearing the intended badge of shame, as a badge of honour or pride! Truely human, but unwelcomly skewering both the defenitions we use, as well as any/some meaningful debate.

While Agnostic-atheism is theortically plausable common, philosophically it is very rare to be able to justify atheism fully in philoshophical terms. One of the more notable ones was Friedrich Nietzsche, and achieved via the route of anti-rationalism, which is not as anti-rationalistic as it may first appear :P

Because nothing else really makes sense. If I am to believe in some invisible man/woman in the sky who controls all aspects of life, I expect a bit more proof than, "This 2000 year old book that some men wrote says so." If I can't obtain any proof of some sort of deity's existence then where is the logic of believing it? It would be like believing in unicorns and dragons despite there being no proof to back the claim of their existence.

And before some go all, "Where's the proof that (Insert god here) doesn't exist!?" well, proof that they don't exist isn't needed, because no one has yet to prove that it does exist. The burden of proof is still very much on the religious, until they show some credible evidence.

Frission:

Realitycrash:

Frission:
" I'm not sure if it's Great Cthulhu or Nyarlothep, but I do believe there may be great old ones".

HERETIC!
Nyarlathotep (spelling, spelling!) has never been, nor will ever be considered, a Great Old One! He's a servant of the Outer Gods!

(Otherwise, you are quite correct).

Bah, their real names would turn you into the primordial jelly from whence you came.

I seem to have mixed up, Nyarlothep Naylrthlothep Old tentacle thing:

with Azathoth.

Small mistake really. In the end we'll all be too busy doing this to care:

Azathoth is an Outer God. Outer Gods are far beyond the grasp of even the Great Old Ones. Really, you're embarrasing yourself here.

But yeah, point stands. Anyone who says he believes in the Christian God based on the fact there's a book dedicated to that one, please explain why Outer Gods would seem crazy to you. They've got books with eyewitness accounts, more subtle racism and a much better story!

deadpoolhulk:
I can tell I'm going to get insulted at some point in this topic. Ah well.
Okay so the very basics is that I live in the UK. And I am an extremely devout Greek orthodox Christian. Been one my entire life, and it has helped me a lot.
But that's not the point, what my point is that on the internet, on TV, and other places. Its really easy to find someone acting like all religions are really stupid. "flying spaghetti monster" is the easiest example to think of.
And I don't get it. I really don't guys. I honestly can't comprehend the concept that the world is better once you decide there is no God. I've tried to understand, think of an explanation and nothing.

See, you're coming at this from the wrong angle. When looking for what the truth of anything is, you don't go "Which would emotionally help me best, then let's go from there". You figure out what is or isn't true, to the best of your ability, and then make the best of that.

In your mind, you're seeing atheists going "It would be better if there was no God, so boom, that's what I believe, now let's find evidence to support it", but that's not generally how it goes down. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure for some people, it is. But generally the cause and effect are opposite.

Somebody finds evidence for things that preclude the need of a god to explain the universe. They then find the evidence in the bible lacking compared to said other evidence. They make a choice to decide what to believe based on the evidence given to them by the world. Then after that, they decide "Now what?", and like everybody else, formulate their own moral and legal systems. Afterwards, they can find that their moral systems are more X, Y or Z and decide that systems that come from other view points to be lacking for various reasons.

If somebody mocks your religion with the flying spaghetti monster it's because they've already weighed the evidence for and against your religion and found yours to be the less compelling argument, not because they really wanted to mock you or hurt you and then built their world view around how best to mock you.

deadpoolhulk:
What follows is MY OPINION if you see things differently, then I 100% accept that, mean you no offence, and have no wish to try and change your mind. Really. Okay we cool? Right then.
So to me, when I try to think of the concept of their being no god or divine power of any kind, and consider a universe where the big bang was an accident and everything is because of how science works. I can't help but see it as darker.

You say that our world view is 'darker', but what is your point? Again, people didn't come up with their beliefs because they felt their beliefs would be grittier than yours.

If I was to build my world view how you suspect I do and how you claim you do, but don't actually, then the only true 'religion' is Hollywood "Feel Good" movie endings where nothing bad ever, ever, ever happens to anybody decent. But you know that to be bull shit.

If I told you that nothing bad ever happens to anybody in the world, and that was my belief system, and I told you that believing in Jesus and all that was nice, but isn't a good enough belief system because it's 'darker' than my everything is sunshine belief system, you'd call me a fool. You wouldn't claim the world is all bad and all evil, but you'd at least be able to admit that at very least good people stub their toes.

What would you do if I went on to say that I can't understand how you believe in God or Jesus when clearly my Everything Is Gumdrops world view is just so much more pleasant? At best you would see me a naive or foolish. At worst you would see me as purposefully deceitful. But you sure wouldn't be abandoning your Orthodox Christianity to favor Gumdropism, no matter how pretty I say it is, would you?

deadpoolhulk:
You see in my beliefs , we are special, we are all loved truly by a God that truly desires our lives to be full of peace and joy. (I'm not going to start on the classic "bad things happen to good people argument" this is more or less the cliff notes.)

Yeah, but you're admitting that even in your world view, bad things happen. Right? You admit that, as you believe it's true that bad things can happen. You don't build a belief system around not believing bad things happen. You just accept bad things happen, and live your life. Right?

deadpoolhulk:
My beliefs hold that the world, maybe even the universe, was created for humanity and that there is a distinct, and concrete meaning of life and everything. No I do not have the arrogance to claim I know what the meaning is.
And I truly do believe death is not the end, everything is going to be alright and that we will all live forever, loved ones, heaven etc etc.
And I really do understand why people choose to say there is no God. Really I do. I've read intelligent and well thought out theories and statements that make good points, even if I disagree with them.

Here's the crux of what I'm getting at above: Our world view is shaped by the world. As is yours, even if maybe to a lesser degree. If that makes the world 'darker' to you, so be it. The world isn't becoming more Gumdropism because I want it to be so. Naive fantasies that everything is Gumdrops and Sunshine aren't going to fix problems for us any more than they are for you. You're not willing to become that naive, so why expect us to? If there are bad shit going down, we can fix it, maybe, but pretending that nothing is wrong is just foolish. Even if the story of Gumdropism is very, very pretty.

deadpoolhulk:
But I don't know WHY it is seen as a good thing. Can someone please help me understand why it's seen as better to believe in a world where life is an accident and holds no meaning. And once you are dead, all that greets you is oblivion. Yes that is the negatives of Athiesm, and that's the point, I can't think of plus sides to it.
Thank you for your time.

For the same reason, I guess that you acknowledging bad things do happen to good people makes you more of an adult and not subscribing to Gumdropism, no matter how pretty it is, makes you a better person. And it allows you to actually do something about it.

Christianity has tenets about donating and aiding to the poor or what not. Acknowledging the reality of the poor can help those people's lives.

By contrast, the everlasting sunshine of Gumdropism has no such tenet, because it can't acknowledge their are people who suffer. It's just too damn saccharine to admit bad things happen.

Accepting a bad situation as real has, in some way, enabled you to make that situation less bad. Whether or not you do.

A Gumdropism practitioner might call you dark and morbid for believing there are people in need, and would denounce your world belief as 'too dark'. They would pretend to have the high ground, because their world view gives them a lot more meaning, in their eyes, than yours does. And yet, those dark parts of the world don't just vanish because you or I don't want to pay attention to them, do they? No.

So you would probably call yourself a bigger person for accepting what is dark about the world, rather than hide from it.

Comando96:
I do understand that people hold different definitions for different terms but it is simple when applied:

Atheism - Positive belief there is no God/Deity/Faith.
Agnostisism - Belief in nothing without proof.
Theism - Positive belief there is a God/Deity/Faith.

Yes, it's simple when you apply the definitions that most people reject. Even simpler when you apply the common definitions:

Atheism - disbelief in the existence of deities (note: not necessarily belief in the non-existence of deities).
Theism - belief in the existence of one or more deities.
Agnosticism - the belief that the existence of deities (or some other subject) is either currently unknown, or inherently unknowable.

And then there are further categories, like:

Ignosticism - the belief that the concept of God is logically flawed, and as such no belief regarding its (non)existence can be held.
Pantheism - the belief that the universe is synonymous with "God".
Panentheism - the belief that God is/controls literally everything.

... I could go on.

As others, including yourself, have noted, (a)theism and agnosticism aren't mutually exclusive. For example, one can believe we'll never know of God's existence, yet nevertheless take it on faith that he does (agnostic theist). Likewise, one can believe we'll never know of God's existence yet still find it unlikely or implausible (agnostic atheist).

Jerram Fahey:

Atheism - disbelief in the existence of deities (note: not necessarily belief in the non-existence of deities).
Theism - belief in the existence of one or more deities.
Agnosticism - the belief that the existence of deities (or some other subject) is either currently unknown, or inherently unknowable.

This. To define Atheism as "positive" belief in the non-existence of god is... kind of to miss the point of the Scientific Method.

Science rejects conclusions that possess zero evidence. If I put negligible probability to a deity, which is what I do, I'm an atheist by almost everyone's rationale. I'm not going to go around calling myself "agnostic" about the possibility of Osiris and Thor, just because I apply negligible probability.

Comando96:
Atheism: Knee-jerk rejectionism against the more horrifying side of religion. If anything, rather than a pure justification to positive absence of some existance, more truthfully agnostic in belief, or "athiest" without any philishophical justification, but incredibly vocal about their dissaproval of religion in the majority of forms.

Simple answer it is jumping to conclusions, though through my own eyes jumping a shorter distance than Religion leaps. We don't have any reason to suggest that there is nothing, likewise the presence of anything...

Carl Sagan was described by many as an atheist, and he was as atheist as many of those who described him as such describe themselves, but... he always said he was agnostic... he saw so much of the Universe (and yet of course so little), but... he never beleived there wasn't a God... he merely found no reason to believe... therefore called himself an agnostic.

Did you read the first few replies? I was an atheist before I learned of Christianity's dark side. You have some misapprehensions about what atheism is.

i get to lie in on a Sunday ?

seriously tho while it might be hard for some religious people to understand as their religion lends structure to their life and plays a major role in their personal associations and how they view life in general for me it has absolutely no baring on my everyday life.

at all.

the only time it effects my life is via public policy affected by other peoples religious beliefs.

and that i reject.

The thing is atheists aren't looking for the answer that feels good, they're looking for the truth.

Not every atheist likes the concept of non-existence after death, but they see it as the most likely based on the evidence at hand. That's why they will often label religious people as delusional; not because they're mentally impaired or anything, but because to the atheist at least the devout are looking for false knowledge that will give them a warm fuzzy feeling instead of reality.

The atheist approach is to find out what they can based on the evidence, whether it's good or bad, and work from there.

Comando96:
Atheism: Knee-jerk rejectionism against the more horrifying side of religion. If anything, rather than a pure justification to positive absence of some existence, more truthfully agnostic in belief, or "atheist" without any philosophical justification, but incredibly vocal about their disapproval of religion in the majority of forms.

Simple answer it is jumping to conclusions, though through my own eyes jumping a shorter distance than Religion leaps. We don't have any reason to suggest that there is nothing, likewise the presence of anything...

Carl Sagan was described by many as an atheist, and he was as atheist as many of those who described him as such describe themselves, but... he always said he was agnostic... he saw so much of the Universe (and yet of course so little), but... he never believed there wasn't a God... he merely found no reason to believe... therefore called himself an agnostic.

Atheism: The lack of belief in a god or deity. Does not imply and is not usually coupled with, but is not necessarily incompatible with the positive belief there is no god.

Some purport to 'know' there is no god. Some merely lack a belief in god because they have stronger evidence elsewhere that shapes their world view. That doesn't mean they're opposed to the idea if evidence popped up, per say, in a deity. Just now has that is sufficient for them.

Agnosticism: The positive belief that whether or not there is or isn't a god or whether or not you believe there is one, their nature would be unknowable.

That Hyena Bloke:
Not every atheist likes the concept of non-existence after death

It does feel me with a particular sense of dead when I contemplate my eventual slip into oblivion. It also makes every day that much more special and makes every moment of joy that much more palpable.

It's extremely hard for me to buy the whole "God loves you" when I'm also told "God hates you because your existence is a sin and you will burn in hell after you die no matter how saintly you behave" (and I don't mean that in the "we all have original sin" thing, I mean the "you are a special kind of sin inflicted upon this world and should kill yourself... except that's also a sin").

I really, really, really, really hope no form of divinity exists, and that all those assholes who have been torturing and killing us really had absolutely no justification for doing what they did in the name of some trumped up god.

Hehe atheism isnt a choice it's a realization. Atheists doesn't have anything particular in common, it just seems like some atheists think that they're part of some community by not believing in god.

Religion continously tells me I will burn in hell for all of eternity for simply being myself. I was born both genders yet had no choice in what one would be best for ME and had it picked for me and can't help but be attracted to both sexes. Religion tells me I must pick, so I tell religion to fuck off for the sin of not being allowed to act the way I felt the most comfortable being and for picking my gender for me because there can be absolutely no alternatives when there ARE and yet get mutilated at birth. Hermaphrodites will continue to get mutilated with the bullshit the bible feeds society about gender roles and sexuality.

I would rather burn in hell for eternity then suffer the same eternity living with an evil and judging god and his zealous followers who follow him blindly and live how he says they should. Since he does not exist anyways I have nothing to worry about but if I do end up being judged at the pearly gates I will tell him off for making me born a freak and expecting me to conform the way he wants and would rather burn in hell.

BC Hermaphrodites were nearly worshipped. Then God and his bullshit religion decided to EXTERMINATE us and we STILL practice racial genocide to this day all thanks to your book of HATE, racial genocide and mutilation!

I do think religions are way more comforting than non-religion, but once you stop believing in gods religion loses its meaning (and its comfort). What I'm trying to say is that ignorance is a bliss.

OP,

I am an atheist because there does not appear to be a God. Every time someone makes claims about supernatural phenomena they invariably cannot show their work, and I simply do not trust other people enough to take their word for it. So, any belief in God that I could possibly hold, then, would be imaginary, that is, I would be forcing myself to pretend that I believed in God. The problem is that I would always know I'm just pretending, that my belief was a lie. The first time I had an actual need for my fraudulent faith, in the face of a personal crisis or whatever, it would shatter, and I'd find myself in no better position than I started. If I know there's no God, and that I can't be helped by what isn't there, why bother?

There are no Christian atheists in foxholes.

GunsmithKitten:
Methinks you confuse Atheism with Nihilism. Not always the same thing.

(Aware Kitten is suspended as of now, this is more for when she returns) Just curious if you are referring to actual (as in actual what Nietzsche wrote about) Nihilism or the misunderstood twisted pop culture "Nihilism". Seems to be alot of confusion between the two.

On topic!

Ultimately it doesn't matter whether us existing is a fluke or not, as we obviously exist. We make our own purpose, and we are in a special position where we can even question our purpose. Now just to unify the collective will and resources of the human species and colonize the stars in a new grand age of exploration.

Abomination:
It also makes every day that much more special and makes every moment of joy that much more palpable.

See, that is just one side of non-belief in an afterlife that I never have got and don't think I ever will. A lot of people say it makes their lives more special and valuable, I just view it as a depressing belief that ironically saps my love of life because of where I'd be headed (oblivion).

Savo:

Abomination:
It also makes every day that much more special and makes every moment of joy that much more palpable.

See, that is just one side of non-belief in an afterlife that I never have got and don't think I ever will. A lot of people say it makes their lives more special and valuable, I just view it as a depressing belief that ironically saps my love of life because of where I'd be headed (oblivion).

I'll put it this way, if I'm wrong then I've enjoyed my life as much as I can and I might even get a second shot.

If you're wrong then everything you've sacrificed and built up for will amount to nothing. I think that would be an even more terrifying end... of course you won't have time to reflect upon that. Your conciousness will simply cease to be.

Abomination:

Savo:

Abomination:
It also makes every day that much more special and makes every moment of joy that much more palpable.

See, that is just one side of non-belief in an afterlife that I never have got and don't think I ever will. A lot of people say it makes their lives more special and valuable, I just view it as a depressing belief that ironically saps my love of life because of where I'd be headed (oblivion).

I'll put it this way, if I'm wrong then I've enjoyed my life as much as I can and I might even get a second shot.

If you're wrong then everything you've sacrificed and built up for will amount to nothing. I think that would be an even more terrifying end... of course you won't have time to reflect upon that. Your conciousness will simply cease to be.

I think a life that is lived with hope is more meaningful than a life that is lived counting down to nothingness (not dissing on your beliefs). In other words, I enjoy life more with the comfort that the party might not stop once I depart this mortal plane. It comes back to your own opinion and how you view things, but I find myself living life (slightly) more fully ever since I stopped being a clear-cut atheist/agnostic and began to contemplate the existence of something beyond this life.

I don't have the faintest idea of *what* comes after death, but anything beats nothing, if you catch my drift (except for some sort of hell, we could easily argue oblivion is better than that).

Now, I must shake my head at the people who invest large amounts of time and money in their religion of choice. Buuuuuut, if it's giving them comfort or enjoyment in some way, I won't judge them too much.

Savo:

I think a life that is lived with hope is more meaningful than a life that is lived counting down to nothingness (not dissing on your beliefs). In other words, I enjoy life more with the comfort that the party might not stop once I depart this mortal plane. It comes back to your own opinion and how you view things, but I find myself living life (slightly) more fully ever since I stopped being a clear-cut atheist/agnostic and began to contemplate the existence of something beyond this life.

But why on earth should it be any likelier to be true, just by virtue of it being a nicer idea?

That's not how truth works. As people have said above (myself included), we don't decide upon atheism because we see it as "the best option". Whether it is or isn't is irrelevant to the truth of it.

Tangent: An eternity of nothingness is scary solely because it's hard to comprehend. But truly, it can't be unpleasant, because we won't be there to experience it. I imagine it'll be much like it was before I was born.

CAPTCHA: "Tea with jam". Thank you, captcha, very kind. How did you know I was English? :3

Silvanus:

Savo:

I think a life that is lived with hope is more meaningful than a life that is lived counting down to nothingness (not dissing on your beliefs). In other words, I enjoy life more with the comfort that the party might not stop once I depart this mortal plane. It comes back to your own opinion and how you view things, but I find myself living life (slightly) more fully ever since I stopped being a clear-cut atheist/agnostic and began to contemplate the existence of something beyond this life.

But why on earth should it be any likelier to be true, just by virtue of it being a nicer idea?

That's not how truth works. As people have said above (myself included), we don't decide upon atheism because we see it as "the best option". Whether it is or isn't is irrelevant to the truth of it.

Tangent: An eternity of nothingness is scary solely because it's hard to comprehend. But truly, it can't be unpleasant, because we won't be there to experience it. I imagine it'll be much like it was before I was born.

CAPTCHA: "Tea with jam". Thank you, captcha, very kind. How did you know I was English? :3

It isn't any more likely to be true, you are correct about that. And I do know that most people decide upon atheism out of a search for truth, not out of it being a pleasant choice. My point was more along the lines of that I have trouble understanding why many atheists/non-believers find there being no afterlife to be a liberating idea that allows them to live their lives more fully.

Oblivion isn't unpleasant per say, but I sure as hell have trouble thinking of a fate that is any more horrifying due to the fact that it spells 100% annihilation of your existence.

Savo:

It isn't any more likely to be true, you are correct about that. And I do know that most people decide upon atheism out of a search for truth, not out of it being a pleasant choice. My point was more along the lines of that I have trouble understanding why many atheists/non-believers find there being no afterlife to be a liberating idea that allows them to live their lives more fully.

Ahh, okay. I apologise, I misunderstood you.

I myself prefer nothingness to most afterlives, so perhaps I can explain my reasoning a little;

Firstly, if Heaven was not open to all, then that (to me) would be the greatest injustice ever perpetrated, no matter what the criteria. I would be just disgusted if it were not open to all.

... but if it were open to all, it would cease to be Heaven for a great many people, myself included.

A big part of the reason is that I believe a positive, pleasant afterlife is just an unworkable idea.

Silvanus:

Ahh, okay. I apologise, I misunderstood you.

No worries, no offense taken.

Silvanus:

I myself prefer nothingness to most afterlives, so perhaps I can explain my reasoning a little;

Firstly, if Heaven was not open to all, then that (to me) would be the greatest injustice ever perpetrated, no matter what the criteria. I would be just disgusted if it were not open to all.

... but if it were open to all, it would cease to be Heaven for a great many people, myself included.

Hmm, that is indeed a very interesting way to look at it. I do agree with your reasoning to an extent, I have trouble imagining how we could work unpleasant individuals such as Hitler into the afterlife. If we forcefully change them into better beings or some-such, we get into some very tricky moral ground, which would be best avoided.

I don't have a problem myself with allowing everyone into the afterlife. If there is a heaven, I'll take what I can get.

Silvanus:

A big part of the reason is that I believe a positive, pleasant afterlife is just an unworkable idea.

I think that if there is a positive/pleasant after-life out there, it would have to be beyond our comprehension. Stuff like, for example, "wouldn't you go insane after an eternity of being in heaven?" are just questions that there isn't much of an answer for. It's partly why I am somewhat fond of the idea of reincarnation, it avoids some of the vaguer parts of just vanilla heaven.

Savo:

Silvanus:

Ahh, okay. I apologise, I misunderstood you.

No worries, no offense taken.

Silvanus:

I myself prefer nothingness to most afterlives, so perhaps I can explain my reasoning a little;

Firstly, if Heaven was not open to all, then that (to me) would be the greatest injustice ever perpetrated, no matter what the criteria. I would be just disgusted if it were not open to all.

... but if it were open to all, it would cease to be Heaven for a great many people, myself included.

Hmm, that is indeed a very interesting way to look at it. I do agree with your reasoning to an extent, I have trouble imagining how we could work unpleasant individuals such as Hitler into the afterlife. If we forcefully change them into better beings or some-such, we get into some very tricky moral ground, which would be best avoided.

I don't have a problem myself with allowing everyone into the afterlife. If there is a heaven, I'll take what I can get.

Silvanus:

A big part of the reason is that I believe a positive, pleasant afterlife is just an unworkable idea.

I think that if there is a positive/pleasant after-life out there, it would have to be beyond our comprehension. Stuff like, for example, "wouldn't you go insane after an eternity of being in heaven?" are just questions that there isn't much of an answer for. It's partly why I am somewhat fond of the idea of reincarnation, it avoids some of the vaguer parts of just vanilla heaven.

I read an interesting webcomic called Jack where in heaven, we all had our own personal space where we could be as fucked up, as weird, as fun, as silly, or whatever as we wanted. It was tailored to our tastes. But it didn't intrude on anyone else. There was ALSO, IIRC, rooms outside of it where people could meet up.

OT: It's not the best option, it's the one that is an intellectually defensible one.

Still waiting for the OP to comment again. He's gotten so many replies - most of them very very similar (truth > comfort). I'm interested to hear his response.

Savo:

Silvanus:

Ahh, okay. I apologise, I misunderstood you.

No worries, no offense taken.

Silvanus:

I myself prefer nothingness to most afterlives, so perhaps I can explain my reasoning a little;

Firstly, if Heaven was not open to all, then that (to me) would be the greatest injustice ever perpetrated, no matter what the criteria. I would be just disgusted if it were not open to all.

... but if it were open to all, it would cease to be Heaven for a great many people, myself included.

Hmm, that is indeed a very interesting way to look at it. I do agree with your reasoning to an extent, I have trouble imagining how we could work unpleasant individuals such as Hitler into the afterlife. If we forcefully change them into better beings or some-such, we get into some very tricky moral ground, which would be best avoided.

I don't have a problem myself with allowing everyone into the afterlife. If there is a heaven, I'll take what I can get.

Silvanus:

A big part of the reason is that I believe a positive, pleasant afterlife is just an unworkable idea.

I think that if there is a positive/pleasant after-life out there, it would have to be beyond our comprehension. Stuff like, for example, "wouldn't you go insane after an eternity of being in heaven?" are just questions that there isn't much of an answer for. It's partly why I am somewhat fond of the idea of reincarnation, it avoids some of the vaguer parts of just vanilla heaven.

Why is it difficult to accept that oblivion follows death? Oblivion preceded your birth. Was it so terrible?

How much did you suffer during the forming of the first ancient stars? Were you miserable when prehistoric life was still swimming around in the primordial oceans? When dinosaurs were walking the earth, did it bother you too much that you still had a few hundred million years before you'd eventually be born?

During the Napoleanic wars, were you beside yourself with anxiety, knowing that you had gone 13 billion years non-existing and now only had a couple hundred (a blink of an eye, really) before you'd be born? So you could live out a (hopefully long-lived and yet cosmically insignificant) 80-90 years of life before you went back to non-existing?

Of course not. You weren't the LEAST BIT bothered by having to wait 13.5 billion years to exist. And you know what? The billions and billions of years that follow your death won't matter to you either. You won't be there for them.

It's like mourning the fact that you missed a sunrise in Tahiti today. Sure, it was probably beautiful, but you weren't there and weren't thinking about it until I mentioned it. It's a non-thing. So enjoy that little time you've got. Live in the moment. Because there's no evidence of an afterparty.

Interesting question and i guess my obvious response would be that my disbelief in god doesn't stem from 'the best option' but more directly from the fact that not a single religious body can prove anything at all to do with their maker in factual form. I see nothing within reality that suggests something deliberately constructed me and my entire race and planet and then watches over us, meanwhile allowing the most depraved and mindless acts of brutality in the name of itself...'god'. Catholic priests are my best example of this. They lecture people on how to live their lives and then rape children themselves, using god as their platform to do it. Now if god really did exist i would suggest that it would either do something about the problem or maybe it really likes children being abused. If god is a paedophile then why would i tolerate anything to do with it unless i am equally depraved myself?

From my perspective, religion gives a large amount of power to easily corruptable humans and doesn't remotely represent a good explanation of anything to do with anything. If that is the case then the only reason for us having a discussion about 'god' the creator of everything is based on a system that doesn't have any validity within me. I don't see religion as anything but a bad thing and only religion tells me there is a god so where would be the logic for me to think any differently than there cannot possibly be a god?

It's not the 'best option' but the 'only option' for rational neutral thought

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