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Old 11-20-2013, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
Atheism - Despair
But atheism because it "just seemed rational"? No, that sounds like an excuse. Nobody comes to this conclusion in a vacuum. They might come to weak faith, or religious indifference in a vacuum, but not an outright rejection.

The reason I believe people believe in atheism, is ironically the same reason people turn to God. They encounter sadness. Instead of saying "I have hope some God will help them after life" they said "there's no hope! All is lost..."

Thoughts?
Atheism is in fact rational ... it is not an excuse, it is just a fact. That is a separate discussion from whether atheism either arises from and/or causes nihilism or despair of some kind.

I will not deny that it was despair that drove me from theism, but not the despair of being without god -- it was the despair of being WITH god. Or at least the sort of god that had been sold to me by my Christian teachers and mentors. This was a god who was my heavenly father -- far more perfect, loving, and reliable than any earthly father. And this was not the case for me. Sorry, but it wasn't I who made these extraordinary claims. My despair was no different than if my earthly father had chained me to a bedpost and refused to feed me and then came into the room once a week and beat me senseless for no apparent reason. My despair was no different than if I had done that to my own children, as, by this time, I was a father myself. And if I treated them better than that, then whose fatherhood was deficient?

I will not deny that there are some atheists who are quite sad, depressed, lonely, and angry. Just like there are some theists who are quite sad, depressed, lonely, and angry. The gentleman in the article you referenced is both depressed and a bit muddled in his thinking and prone to paranoia, and I do not think it's unfair of the author to call him a "bitter old man". That speaks to his mental and emotional state and maybe his character and personality, but does not speak to the theist / atheist debate in any meaningful way. All the guy did was pick a cream puff of an opponent and make largely ad hominem attacks against atheism based on the guy being a Debbie Downer.

The question of where an atheist finds hope is a little more nuanced. It is not so much that atheists have no hope, as that they hope in different things. No theist will debate that there is a vast natural world and an ocean of knowledge to explore, that life is valuable and should not be wasted, that hearth and home, extended family and friends, all exist and (mostly!) deserve our attention and loyalty. No theist will argue (at least not openly) against compassion and empathy for the less fortunate. Atheists find purpose and meaning in things like this, and there is plenty to be found. So do theists.

All theism does is bolt on a bunch of things that are not detectable by or sensory equipment, and exist as unverifiable abstract concepts only: heaven and hell, god, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the new nature vs the sin nature, benefits of prayer and Bible study, the gifts of the spirit perhaps, etc. What happens (and I know, as it happened to me) is that these things become the faux proxy for real-world experiences and actors -- our own minds and emotions and mental life, unresolved angst about one's mortality or various uncertainties about things we don't have knowledge of, etc. A person becomes dependent on these abstractions and backstories as a buffer between themselves and Real Life(tm). Most particularly, it is a buffer against admitting ignorance. There are certain things that all humans are ignorant of and some of those, all humans will probably always be ignorant of. Most of what one loses when one becomes an unbeliever is this certitude, but it was false certitude anyway.

Probably the Big Enchilada is the fact of one's own mortality. Atheism offers nothing as a fig leaf for this and does not apologize for this omission. It just is what it is. The idea that people can't handle this or that it is some horrible realization that ruins one's life, is utter nonsense. It is simply a matter of growing up and relating to life as it actually is rather than as we might wish it to be.

Once you get used to the idea that your existence is a happy short-term accident, you can make the most of it and accord it its proper value. You do not passively sit by and speak of this life as a "vale of tears" through which you must pass before getting on with REAL living. What a waste that is! If that were true, then by all means jump off the nearest cliff and bypass the tears and get on with eternity in the celestial city!
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,411 posts, read 2,991,103 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHartphotog View Post
Psychologically, Atheism is about avoiding cognitive dissonance (the psychological stress that comes from trying to believe two things that are mutually exclusive). While it is true that religion has a way of psychologically "walling itself off" from logical analysis in the human mind (hence its continuing existence), very logical minds have such a huge problem with cognitive dissonance that the barriers eventually break. The less logical your mind, the less you will have a problem with cognitive dissonance--this is why the most brilliant engineers, scientists and intellectuals are much more likely to be atheists (though many won't admit it, to avoid societal censure). They can't understand human evolution and human history, and still think there is some supernatural entity out there with the power to change things (who for some reason stops give any verifiable indication that he exists once modern science explains how things actually work).
Good points, but regarding the section in bold, I've long wondered if some people have a higher tolerance for cognitive dissonance than others, and if this tolerance is not so much a side effect of less logical minds, but a skill in itself.

Atheists are many of the scientists and brilliant thinkers, but regarding atheists I've met...they don't seem any more logical than most theists I've met, until they begin a debate about deep philosophical concepts (which atheists win 97% of the time, agnostics win 2% of the time, and deists win the last 1% of the time, and nobody else wins...ever). Deeply religious persons are often architects, college professors, and managers. They are frequently very creative. They merely seem to cease questioning when certain topics come up. They can think about those topics. They merely don't seem to. Any lack of skill people have at arguing about those advanced philosophic concepts may very well be merely because they haven't done it before...rather than having innately less logical minds.

I apologize if I have misinterpreted some of your intended points.

Last edited by Clintone; 11-20-2013 at 05:22 PM..
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:35 PM
 
40,168 posts, read 26,797,761 times
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Default I don't understand "logical" Atheism

::Sigh:: There is nothing logical about disbelief in God. It is NOT a logic problem . . . it is a brute fact premise problem. Brute fact premises are accepted by preference as givens. You either accept that our reality is the result of God or you don't. When you don't you are simply preferring to accept our ignorance about it as the premise rather than label it God. There is nothing logical about it.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:11 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,987,323 times
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Gods and deities are imaginary. They are the invention of scared men to alleviate fears of the unknown. The collection of gods, deities, supernatural things are totally illogical. There invention is logical, when they physical world, day, night, seasons, disease, death were frankly beyond man's comprehension or knowledge. Today in light of man's advancement in knowledge to believe is such is dangerous willful ignorance.
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Downtown Raleigh
1,650 posts, read 3,012,743 times
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My despair ended when I realized that there was no reason to believe in a god other than tradition and habit. I understand that some people need to believe that they're immortal in order to make it through. I'm just not one of those people.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
269 posts, read 168,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post

The Fray - You Found Me - YouTube

I can personally understand this sentiment. Guy is singing "where were you?" when his gf died. Look, every religion I know of comes from an emotional desire. For example:

Islam - Pride (Submission is seen as a solution to pride, but they also ironically have a problem with it, since the Quran is seen as the final word)
Christianity - Altruism (There's a powerful desire to save people, even people who don't wanna be saved)
Fundamentalism - Fear (You're going to hell unless you change your ways)
Jews - Duty (Logic as an emotional state. The world adds up because of the law given by God)

You get the idea, and it pretty much extends for every religion.

And at times, I've seriously considered becoming an atheist. But for me, no it isn't logical. It's emotional.

Atheism - Despair (At my worst feelings, I most seriously believe that God might not be out there. Why wouldn't someone like that stop bad stuff from happening to those I love? That sorta thing. But then I realize that it is precisely because God is out there, and cruel beyond measure that my loved ones die while I continue to live on and on despite almost dying of cold/exposure/food poison/almost crashing into stuff in my car/even trying to work myself to death isn't working)

But atheism because it "just seemed rational"? No, that sounds like an excuse.

Thoughts?
whatever floats your boat....just don't attempt to float mine...
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:17 PM
 
Location: South Africa
5,563 posts, read 6,325,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
And at times, I've seriously considered becoming an atheist. But for me, no it isn't logical. It's emotional.
This is not what atheism is. It is the conclusion that god does not exist, I am in the camp that states there is no god or gods and if you have been following my ramblings, all gods and god beliefs emanate from indoctrination and are invented/created in the mind of the believer and takes on the attributes of an extension of ego/personality. For the theist, I tell them god is real but only in their heads. None of them will admit this but it is the truth. Whenever they are pushed to prove their god, they invariably share personal anecdotal stories which actually proves my assertion. None of them can call on their god to perform any miracle or make a 3D appearance to settle the argument, their god is always just beyond the horizon and one must dismiss all logic and demand for empirical evidence which we all employ in other matters in life.
Quote:
Atheism - Despair (At my worst feelings, I most seriously believe that God might not be out there. Why wouldn't someone like that stop bad stuff from happening to those I love? That sorta thing.
In all probability he is not out there. Notice the use of the phrase "out there". Based on biblical anecdotes, it appears this god did have the ability to directly interact but it would appear that god is technology shy and since the advent of recording devices, these claims have al but disappeared. Now it seems he is limited to appearing on toast and equally mundane crap.
Quote:
But then I realize that it is precisely because God is out there, and cruel beyond measure that my loved ones die while I continue to live on and on despite almost dying of cold/exposure/food poison/almost crashing into stuff in my car/even trying to work myself to death isn't working)
Not god, blind luck.
Quote:
But atheism because it "just seemed rational"? No, that sounds like an excuse.
Atheism is rational. We are the only ones that do indeed hold god up to a higher standard than the believers do. For an entity capable of instapoofing all that there is into existence, simple stuff like alleviating hunger and poverty in the world should be a snap. Ironically, the ones that hold onto a second coming do proclaim that Jesus will instafix everything and that they will rule with him for a 1000 years in a world2.0, for some reason he is unable to do that right now. Quite ironic as if we all wake up one day and everything is insta-fixed, that would be undeniable proof and we would all be believers.

Man invented gods to explain the stuff they did not understand. That was OK 3000 years ago but we now do have many rational explanations and have no need to believe in some cosmic fairy guiding the storm clouds around the globe.

Believers are offended when we demand evidence and in spite of promises of doing greater things, not one miracle has been witnessed supposed to have been carried out by a believer.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,700,326 times
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You don't "consider" becoming an atheist like you do when you choose to change religions. Atheism is the non-belief in God. You either believe or you don't. It's something you feel is a truth; God does not exist. How people come to this conclusion is personal and there is no one single logic for each individual. You do not have to challenge others to justify whether you should or should not believe in a deity.

Your definition of religion, I was raised Jewish and I don't understand your interpretation of Judaism as "duty" and atheism as "despair" makes no sense to me.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
269 posts, read 168,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
::Sigh:: There is nothing logical about disbelief in God. It is NOT a logic problem . . . it is a brute fact premise problem. Brute fact premises are accepted by preference as givens. You either accept that our reality is the result of God or you don't. When you don't you are simply preferring to accept our ignorance about it as the premise rather than label it God. There is nothing logical about it.
it is a response to a lack of a factual brute premise problem.

Quote:
When you don't you are simply preferring to accept our ignorance about it as the premise rather than label it God.
huh? are you asserting atheists prefer to accept theists are ignorant rather than to place labels on the unknowable?
if that is what you meant....bzzzzzzzzzzt wrong try again.

atheists are in the neutral position about labels...make a claim....prove it.
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:41 AM
 
39,235 posts, read 10,905,565 times
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It is true that atheists, being human, may not be logical. The reasons for being atheist may be simplistic - 'I can't see it, so it isn't there'. That was my position for many decades. The reason for giving up god -belief may be emotional.

But the fact remains that the rationale for atheism itself is perfectly logical. God belief is based either on a brute unjustified premise (existence of a thinking creative invisible cosmic being as an unproven given) or a brute rhetorical trick (labelling a reality that is as likely to be what we would consider material as it is possible to be what we would call a cosmic mind 'God' without any real evidence for it).

The OP can't become atheist as yet. That's fine. All we ask is that it is understood why we can and to not be fooled by these attempts to prove that it is unsound, impossible, incoherent or unjustified as a logical position.

Efforts - strenuous, protracted, and vociferous efforts - to do so using all the methods from cherry -picking dictionaries, misrepresentations, irrelevancies (such as you will never beat us, right or wrong), fallacies (good old 'you must disprove God or He is real') and accusations or dire warnings to the woo of physics, hypothesis as supposed fact and the unexplained as somehow proof of something called 'God' (1) have all failed, even if the protagonists roll up on another thread later on claiming they won.

The rationale of atheism is logical and belief - as fact - life- changing fact - in a hypothetical entity is not logical.

(1) even with all the extended sentences I need a foopnote. Even a peripheral skirmish on the 'hard question' which was more about disproving the valildity of materialism as a default position (until Something Else, e. g dualism, was given some credibility) failed to make its case, once what appeared to be a lot of irrelevancies, and indeed contradictions, (2) were cleared out of the way and it turned out not to be such a hard question after all.

(2) and a sub foopnote. Notably the Why (biological needs and origins) to the how (the mechanism or getting atoms of cake (as an analogy of particles of light) from object to percerceiving subject being irrelevant to the 'What'. Now the 'What' may not be answerable by materialism, but that is no reason to assume that it never can be. Indeed it is illogical and a fallacy to say at this time that it is impossible that it ever can be. Further, it may well be that apart from How and Why the 'What' does not actually exist. Rather like driving, language or mathematics. Why is the reason for us doing it. How is the mechanics of it. 'What' they are apart from that, may be a chimera.

Thus dualism failed to make its case, far less discrediting materials as a default position, and no-where near putting 'God' on the table as anything but an unsubstantiated, hypothetical possibility. This, to remove all doubt, leaves disbelief in such claims as a logical mandatory position. Belief in those claims as reliable, life- changing fact, is manifestly illogical.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 11-21-2013 at 02:06 AM..
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