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Old 05-31-2013, 01:01 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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I came to this realization after a lot of reflection over many years. Have you ever wondered why prayers go unanswered? Why innocent people suffer? Why you never hear from a person again once they're dead? Why good things often happen to bad people? Why bad things often happen to good people? Why an asteroid can strike this earth at any time and literally wipe out all life from our planet?

It's not because God works in "mysterious ways" or some contrived explanation like that. It's because we live in a universe that is guided completely by blind naturalistic forces, and there is no supernatural being or creator of any kind who looks after us, cares for us, or will save us. There never was. This is the only good explanation for why things happen the way they do. Take God out of the picture and everything becomes crystal clear.

Well, that was easy enough to explain. Now, if we can only get more people to swallow this bitter pill.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:37 AM
 
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It certainly becomes a lot easier to explain - except how everything started.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Now, if we can only get more people to swallow this bitter pill.
For me, at least, it's only a bitter pill initially because of preconceived ideations. We think we need an explantation centered on ourselves and our (significant) role in the great scheme of things. Paradoxically, thinking rationally and pragmatically about life is considered to be "unthinkable", the implication being that "this way lies madness". Because Nihilism (or at least caricatures of it) and despair and hopelessness are the only possible outcomes.

The truth is that after some two decades getting theism pried out of my head and really getting cozy with this "bitter pill" it's actually not bitter at all; it's just the way things are. No one on high is failing me, or picking on me, or baffling me -- that alone is a tremendous improvement in my quality of life. I am enjoying a real life now while I can rather than deferring peace of mind to an imaginary life safely out of sight in the future and beyond the grave.

And as my wife is fond of reminding me, how can I possibly mourn the loss of something that I never actually had in the first place? The best I can do is to feel wistful about how things I used to imagine were superficially comforting at times -- but I have seen too much and lost too much to forget that everything is impermanent and largely illusory, and the direction in which madness actually lies is in believing that illusion of permanence, me-centeredness and comprehensibility.

I also tend to think of it as living within my true scope -- that of a limited mortal being with imperfect but generally "good enough" conceptual and perceptual equipment for purposes of the here and now. The idea that I would expect to know the origins of life, the "meaning" of life, and that it would all be externally given and constructed for my benefit, is alien to me now because I realize that some things are just beyond me and beyond humanity collectively. Meanwhile there is a lot that is not beyond us to enjoy and we need to do so while we can.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
It certainly becomes a lot easier to explain - except how everything started.
Yes, if you (1) think that theists actually explain anything and (2) if you really need to trouble yourself about it. If you don't demand an ironclad, humanly comprehensible explanation for the Where and Why of Everything, you can get on just fine without it. We don't need to know how things came to be in order to live anymore than we need to know the detailed engineering behind an automobile in order to drive it. These things are "nice to know" and "interesting to discuss", nothing more.

The main difference in this regard between theists and atheists is the (un)willingness to say "I don't know" and to refuse to default to "godditit" or anything else until we do.
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Old 06-01-2013, 07:46 AM
 
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As you say. There are many problems arising from Christian belief or Bible belief. The problem(s) of evil, the absurdity of Genesis and the hellfire thing.

Believers of course find equally easy explanations (not to say excuses) God knows what he is doing, he gave us free will, evilution is wrong or, Genesis is metaphorically true, and we put ourselves into hell, not God.

These are quite inadequate and only work if one refuses to think any further than the stock apologetics explanation and plant Faith on that like a sign saying 'No entry'. But the mind is a pesky thing and will keep asking questions (never mind the ones posed by those darned aytheeaiests) and one can't always keep saying 'It's Stan talking' especially as the Voice you talk to in your head sounds the same as when you talk to God.

I don't deny that the 'Who made everything, then?' question had always been a troublesome one for the Hellbound satanspawn and the 'We don't know' response, while logically correct, sound a lot more feeble than 'We know - it was God dunnit'.

Abiogenesis ran a close second with the Goldilocks zone stumping up behind, though recent research has probably put Goldilocks in second place with abiogenesis at least having a feasible mechanism. If some progress can be made on the something from nothing front, Goldilocks might get the front spot.

However, those are the only bothersome retorts for the hellbound pondslime of atheism and all the other ones, we got their number. Though Qualia gave me a scare over the past year or so.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 06-01-2013 at 08:04 AM..
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,116,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
Now, if we can only get more people to swallow this bitter pill.
Why do you want other people to swallow the "bitter pill"?

If they want to believe in gods, then let them. It helps them deal with life. They ain't hurting you.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:33 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Why do you want other people to swallow the "bitter pill"?

If they want to believe in gods, then let them. It helps them deal with life. They ain't hurting you.
I'm all for freedom of religious belief. That goes without saying. But a little bit of rational thinking based on modern knowledge doesn't hurt either.

We now know that there are sextillions of stars in this universe. We can't even see all of it even with the most powerful telescopes in the world. Even if there was a supernatural being that created our universe billions of years ago, our earth would be like an invisible atom to this being. A single bacterium crawling on our skin is way more significant to us than all life that has ever existed on earth would be to a creator God.

So, it is irrational to think that such a God would care about us or even know of our existence.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:53 PM
 
40,100 posts, read 26,767,323 times
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Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I'm all for freedom of religious belief. That goes without saying. But a little bit of rational thinking based on modern knowledge doesn't hurt either.
We now know that there are sextillions of stars in this universe. We can't even see all of it even with the most powerful telescopes in the world. Even if there was a supernatural being that created our universe billions of years ago, our earth would be like an invisible atom to this being. A single bacterium crawling on our skin is way more significant to us than all life that has ever existed on earth would be to a creator God.
So, it is irrational to think that such a God would care about us or even know of our existence.
You seem to take for granted and ignore the fact that we can THINK about these things in our consciousness, CARE about them and KNOW anything. It is very typical to NOT think about the existence of these processes of thought when thinking about processes to think about. But they are amazingly unique phenomena within the massive universe of material things. It is NOT likely that it is limited to us . . . but it is also NOT likely to be irrelevant to our Creator!
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,101 posts, read 18,595,226 times
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
. but it is also NOT likely to be irrelevant to our Creator!
Based on what is such a thing likely or unlikely? Your personal wishes that it is so?

How can you construct and present odds for a question, the answer to which no one knows? What are the odds that King Arthur didn't like the taste of chicken?

You are postulating a creator when we do not know if there is one, and further postulating on the nature of this creator when you don't even know if there is one. Do you not grasp the problem with doing such a thing?

What you are doing is akin to presenting an impressive scientific paper on your theory of the temperature of the flames coming out of a dragon's mouth. There is no probability associated with such a thing, there can be no probability.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:53 PM
 
40,100 posts, read 26,767,323 times
Reputation: 6050
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
You seem to take for granted and ignore the fact that we can THINK about these things in our consciousness, CARE about them and KNOW anything. It is very typical to NOT think about the existence of these processes of thought when thinking about processes to think about. But they are amazingly unique phenomena within the massive universe of material things. It is NOT likely that it is limited to us . . . but it is also NOT likely to be irrelevant to our Creator!
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Based on what is such a thing likely or unlikely? Your personal wishes that it is so?
Based on its absolute uniqueness within our reality.
Quote:
You are postulating a creator when we do not know if there is one, and further postulating on the nature of this creator when you don't even know if there is one. Do you not grasp the problem with doing such a thing?
YOU do not know if there is one . . . but you do not speak for me. I am postulating nothing . . . I am describing what I know to be true FOR ME. That is what witnessing is all about.
Quote:
What you are doing is akin to presenting an impressive scientific paper on your theory of the temperature of the flames coming out of a dragon's mouth. There is no probability associated with such a thing, there can be no probability.
Cute! But the skepticism of my views is all in YOU . . . not me . . . and a ballpark probability assessment is feasible given what I know and am certain about.
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