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Old 04-15-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,881 posts, read 7,313,847 times
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I'll start with the simpler question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
So, I ask you, what makes you get out of bed each day?
I have a job - gotta pay them bills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
I'm asking a serious question: As an athiest/agnostic, what gets you through in life?
Life in general - I want to live my life to the fullest and experience as much as possible. Kinda hard to do if you're dead.

Love - from my husband, my family, my friends.
Music
I've got a list of things to accomplish in this life and I aint going nowhere til I get through it.
The baby boy I am currently carrying.
Travel - I love going new places and there are several countries I want to visit.
That new friend, song, outfit, joke, movie, fad etc. that will come along and be fun.

Living without religion and not believing in an afterlife hasn't damped the quality of my life or happiness at all. I think honestly, if I did believe in a god and afterlife, I'd live with a bit more dread for the impending judgement and afterlife. Cause really, I have no interest in a heaven or a hell. I'd rather take my last breaths and just stop...cease to exist for all eternity. That is good enough for me.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Marcinkiewicz View Post
Barely anything. Believe me, I think about killing myself everyday. Also, all the things that mikebnllnb mentioned, but, they can only provide so much escapism
Matt, as the thread over in the general religion forum about the prominent pastor's son killing himself illustrates, people have serious depression issues pretty much regardless of their religious (non)affiliation, so one thing we know is that religion does not, as such, hold the answers -- although for specific people it can be a catalyst or help. Sometimes what helps is small / simple yet profound. My 27 year old son is prone to mild depression and I have found that when I've drawn back and quit making it easy for him to ask me for help every time he's $20 short until payday, he sucks it up and brings his game to the plate and then feels so much better for his self mastery. The same technique with another person might have just made matters worse. Sometimes I feel as a parent like I'm walking on a tightrope and reading tea leaves!

I hope you leave no stone unturned in finding peace and contentment in life ... medication, talk therapy, exercise, and all the other standard things people talk about -- some of them help some people, some of them don't, but unfortunately almost all of them require repeated attempts to find the right med / doctor / regime. We went through a half dozen therapists with my stepson who had much more serious depression -- the people we tried ranged from "incompetent and dangerous fool" to "marking time and taking up space" until we found one who (1) actually gave a fig and (2) could connect personally with the patient. It was the difference between night and day; he's functioning well now and looking forward to life; before, he was nearly catatonic at times. And all this improvement without long term meds. Some of it I suspect is a happy confluence of his hormones changing and his brain completing some wiring (he's still only 20) coupled with my stepson's dogged determination -- but the therapist has been the key -- someone he can respect and relate to and who respects and relates to him. I guess what I'm saying is don't give up, your answers are out there, and I'm truly sorry that life can be such a slog sometimes when you least need it or deserve it. You deserve as much as anyone, though, to feel well and be well, so don't stop until you do, and do understand that you can get there.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:17 AM
 
12,273 posts, read 9,910,942 times
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Love.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,379,377 times
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Default As usual, open nastiness, purposefully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
√ I'm asking a serious question: As an athiest/agnostic, what gets you through in life?

√ But, it can get to feeling a little empty when you think about the big picture.

√ So, I ask you, what makes you get out of bed each day?
Certainly NOT a belief in a God figure, that part's for sure. That means you have to have such a system to get through life every day? My Gawd!

I would feel horribly dependent if I literally had to call up a God figure, to quote from some pages of an ancient and now thoroughly outdated book, at least as far as a modern understanding of how things work.

Instead, I have a v. pleasant life (outside of my physical infirmities, mostly as a result of age and some genetics...), I'm a loving, generous and socially open and involved person, even to teh extent of harmonizing with my various Christians friends. But without the apparently blatant anti-social and vehemently nasty behavior attributed to us "horrid" atheists.

Simply not the case, ever and never. It's simply a pack of blatant lies that the apparently jealous Christian acolytes, who cannot live a life of freedom, have to spread. How socially sad, huh?
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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Mordant, LOVED your post!!! I couldn't have said it better myself. I feel a lot like you do.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Windham County, VT
10,628 posts, read 4,951,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Curiosity.
Pleasure.
Security.
Aims.

How hedonistic
This^.

Scientific curiosity which appeases my intellect/thinking side,
and pleasure-seeking which sates my visceral/sensory/emotional side.
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Old 08-06-2014, 05:45 PM
 
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In addition to what everyone else said, I like to research anything that sparks my curiosity. Any random thought that I don't know the answer to I make sure to research it. I enjoy debating and getting to the bottom of things. But I see your point. In the simplest terms, life is mostly just collecting as many happy moments as possible and reducing one's (and others') suffering. It does seem pointless sometimes but it seems even more pointless if you expect there to be a point. Sometimes I feel like I'm just distracting myself from the reality that nothing really matters in the end. But some people find purpose in helping others and perhaps leaving some sort of legacy. Me personally, I just take things day by day and try to make tomorrow a good day. I doubt that helps but that's my two cents.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 7,286,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelDragon View Post
First let me qualify: I would never want to swallow a lie(such as religion) as a multi-vitamin.
I'm asking a serious question: As an athiest/agnostic, what gets you through in life?
From time-to-time, I get a little down. I get to thinking life can be pointless (I'm not suicidal, just indifferent). I don't eat as well as I should. I don't worry about too much,but I'm a little too careless. What's to worry about? It's only the rule of man. I'm not driven by money or possessions. I don't fear death, homelessness, debt, loneliness(except from my wife)... I love all of my friends and relatives, but I don't have anything in common with them anymore. Basically, I have my wife whom I love very much and my two dogs. Life would be fine if that was all there is for me.
I am not preparing for an afterlife. I live my life like an atheist. Everything I do and don't do, stem from my atheistic philosophy.
I take care of my family. I go to work. I am a law-abiding citizen, who hopes for a better and free-thinking world someday.
But, it can get to feeling a little empty when you think about the big picture.
So, I ask you, what makes you get out of bed each day?
Well, in the first place it is simply how we are wired. We are the result of 4+ billions years of evolution working to create a drive to live, to survive, to procreate. But even if one does not want children - or has finished the job of raising and setting them off into the world - the drive to live still remains, in the same way that the drive for sexual pleasure remains even when one does not intend a pregnancy to result.

More to the point, there's the simple pleasures of life. A breakfast of eggs, slathered with fried onions and peppers, and some excellent bread toasted for dipping into the yokes. Going for a walk. Reading a good book. Watching a movie. Making love to my wife.

There are goals. The raising of my children. The book I'm writing. The next vacation I want to take, just my wife and I.

And... well, c'mon. I live in 21st century America (not to single out the United States - pretty much anywhere in the First World suffices). In the historical scheme of all things human, I've got it ridiculously easy. I'm safe, secure, healthy, have all I truly need and much of what I want.

Otto Frank went on - the rest of his family wiped out horrifically at Auschwitz.
Soldiers, their legs blown off, blinded and horribly maimed, go on.
Slaves, utterly doomed to life - probably short - in the cotton fields went on.

As I've said before, my big picture is fine - but then, as a lifelong atheist, I was never seduced by the lie of some grand place in some omnipotent scheme, with a glorious reward as a result. As such, I have no concept of having 'lost' such fantastic enticements. Would I like more time, more health, more means? Sure. I'd also like a functioning light-sabre and a pegasus. Oh, well...
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsettomati View Post
As I've said before, my big picture is fine - but then, as a lifelong atheist, I was never seduced by the lie of some grand place in some omnipotent scheme, with a glorious reward as a result. As such, I have no concept of having 'lost' such fantastic enticements. Would I like more time, more health, more means? Sure. I'd also like a functioning light-sabre and a pegasus. Oh, well...
It is harder when you HAVE been seduced, at least at first. But your post is basically spot-on.

I have to say that when an old thread like this gets resurrected and I see a "recent" reply by the late, great Rifleman, it does make me a little wistful for my former illusions. But only for about a half-second, because the comforting lies no longer work on me for any longer than that.

To the point of carrying on despite setbacks, yes, the survival instinct is strong, and not readily overwhelmed by even horrific events. If it were not so, the human race would not have survived as long as it has. Sometimes, on my worst days, I wish I could switch off the will to live and hang up my spurs. But it's probably for the best that I can't. Too many people count on me, I am too curious, and as you point out, I am too lucky.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:51 AM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,709,227 times
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Quote:
Me personally, I just take things day by day and try to make tomorrow a good
day.
Like the OP's post, an honest opinion and a good one. I agree as well but truly have a different box than the a-thesitic. But the OP also questions which is good. And the questions come from the fact that there seems to be a quest for some answers even with a certain belief. So could the 'lie' be an answer in the OP's case as atheism is for the religious? Maybe maybe not. Really, we all have to be 'working Montaignes' and perhaps understand that self-realization and knowledge drives us to describe one thing as a lie and another as truth.
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