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Old 11-21-2013, 07:09 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 32,132,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
I understand logic.
Time will tell...

Quote:
I can't buy that a person could have no emotional reasons at all for embracing atheism.

Humans are emotional critters, we could conceivably make purely logical decisions but generally that's not what happens. We instead often make the most insane decisions, so (a) either atheism is somehow inhuman or (b) atheism is fairly human and fairly easily based off our desires, but much like couples citing money as the most common reason for breakup (there are actually other emotional reasons too but so as to not appear irrational, these are never brought up), the reason for being an atheist being personal hurts the case that it is a purely "logical" system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulmabriefs144 View Post
I understand logic.
Not really.

Yes, humans are emotional and emotion is an important component of our humanity but we are also a rational species and over the vast history of our existence we have endeavored to come to some rational, and unemotional understanding of our existence. We have replaced the emotional belief that witches were responsible for solar eclipses with the rational understanding that periodically the moon moves into a position between the earth and the sun. We have replaced the emotional belief that epidemics are not caused by evil spirits but rather by bacterial and viral infections. As a result rational inquiry has chipped away at the emotional beliefs of ancient man with the rationality of scientific inquiry which to the rational mind makes the mythology of those ancient people increasingly untenable.

Personally, to give up on the emotional belief in the existence of a god who would grant us everlasting life, provide us with the opportunity to be reunited with our deceased loved ones, a god who would protect us and grant us security from the natural and unnatural vicissitudes of life was to give up what I would love(emotion) to believe in. But to accept that none of that exists requires just the opposite, an abandonment of emotion in favor of rationality. To accept the finite mortality of my existence is the very opposite of emotionality. To believe in the non-existence of god in general and the Abrahamic god in particular is purely a matter of intellectual evolution.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:41 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,113,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsettomati View Post
The lack of belief in a deity is as rational as a lack of belief in leprechauns.

Your desperate need to be part of 'something bigger' has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with your preening self-absorption.

I'm alive.
Not only am I alive, I have had the good fortune to be born in a liberal democracy of the 20th century, amidst the security of a stable society, modern medicine, and a widespread protection of rights, education and employment and food and shelter almost for the taking.
Despair?
What pitiable nonsense.
The joys of simply living are manifest.
A fine meal, a walk in the woods.
Interacting with my children, making love to my wife.
Playing with one of my cats, watching the sunset, reading a good book, riding a bike.
Those things are sublime, all of them.

But for you, that's not enough. You demand more. You demand some cosmic plan of which you are an integral part, with a grand orchestrater who has an important part all for you to play. That's nothing more than raging narcissism.
Actually, this is a TERRIBLE post, given the OP. The OP pretty clearly outlines that the guy's life conditions are worse than yours. Insensitive to the max. The guy describes himself as a crossdressing gardener (from the profile) whose loved ones keep dying (from the OP), and yet you talk about your ability to enjoy making love to your wife, as if that might be at all applicable to his lot in life...and then you have the audacity to call the OP out for his "preening self-absorption"? Lol, ok.

bulmabriefs, I'll give you a proper response once I get changed out of my running clothes and get a few IPAs in me.

Last edited by Matt Marcinkiewicz; 11-21-2013 at 10:56 PM..
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:01 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,870 posts, read 3,797,576 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekerSA View Post
We hear a lot of Dawkins and Hitchens but their conclusions I only learned of after my deconversion. I was heavily invested in religion and in search of truth™ but that is nowhere to be found. I would have been happier with the middle of the road agnostic as that does not carry as much baggage as atheist does. Problem is that I do have enough knowledge and research under my belt to conclude the extreme of no god(s) exists.

Just like theists walk around with varying ego-centric god concepts, the same can be said for non believers. I use that term as there now seems to be more pigeon holes like agnostic-atheist, strong-atheist and so on. Our individual disbelief is the only conclusion we have in common yet how we came to that conclusion or why differs immensely.

My vested interest in sharing my disbelief is purely b/c I invested so much time into my search for truth. Since I have this knowledge, I hope it helps others out of the cognitive dissonance they are faced with if it is of concern to them or if they are questioning.

Disbelief seems the rational conclusion for now as based on the bible, its claims never seem to materialise. Until it does, this is the logical default to adhere to.

I question everything. I do not accept the Out of Africa evolution conclusions as migration north would not cause black folk to turn white, get blue eyes and blonde straight hair. It does not explain dark Eskimos where the sun don't shine for half the year and the other half is so weak that it would not cause skin pigmentation changes. Even millions of years of evolution does not explain how these very observable changes occurred. Take a latitude and look at the cultures that line up with say Japan. You have mixtures in features including skin tone. The common denominator is that we can breed with one another as the plumbing is sort of the same but not always identical.

Likewise, the biblical explanations are even more dubious and provide no answers to this question at all. I have my own ideas of how this perhaps happened.

Perhaps you have some insecurity issues and I am guessing you are still young. We all had that as youngsters trying to forge a way and identity for ourselves. It gets better over time. Challenging your paradigms is a good thing and you should follow the evidence where it leads. You will find more questions than answers as no single person has an all encompassing reason for what they believe. Religion and religious beliefs are easy as it postulates a god in control for that we do not understand. You will get used to the idea of "I don't know" and you can also add "neither do you" to the die hard folk that claim to "know" everything.

At the end of the day it is like nipples, we all have them as we have opinions. The only area where this is not so is in the fields of science. Conclusions here are derived using rational evaluation of evidence and peer acceptance and the ability to repeat whatever derived the conclusion with consistency. Science deals with stuff that directly affects our lives daily.

The "other stuff" is really of no real consequence. If you find yourself in a situation where belief is sort of an unwritten requirement, it is easy to fake it. Most folk fake it anyway.

Pretty much like the matrix. Once you have woken up, they flush you from the system.

Behind all the veneers of false piety are good and bad people.
Loved this post Seeker. Darn this repping system of late I can't rep anybody.

Although we have very different starting points I think your outlook is very similar to mine. I question everything too. I agree with so much of what you said here, I'd rep you 10 times over if I could.
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:34 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,113,415 times
Reputation: 3965
I lied...I'm going to begin responding with a mere few swigs of an IPA in me. The first several responses that you got in this thread were so ridiculously bad and clichéd that I feel the need to right the wrongs committed by my fellow atheists as soon as possible.

bulma, I'm 27, staunch (but not militant, as I say on my profile...or so I try, anyway) atheist, and I personally have difficulty separating my loss of religious faith from the depression I began experiencing when I was in high school and have endured (in varying degrees) ever since. Pressed to provide a truly accurate chronology, I'd say that the onset of depression preceded the transition from Catholic to atheist by about a year. But I still kind of view the two developments as being somewhat intertwined, rightly or not. There is a psychological phenomenon (perhaps still controversial, or at least not ironclad in terms of it acceptance) known as depressive realism, which posits a positive correlation between depression and the ability to accurately see the world, and, while this might be hard to measure in an experimental setting, I don't think it's much of a stretch to further hypothesize a correlation between "realism" (however defined/measured) and professed atheism.

Now, the majority of the posters on this forum will blithely dismiss your apparent desire to blame a divinity (that's how I read your OP anyway) for your problems as illogical. I will in turn blithely dismiss their blithe dismissals. Sure, it may be illogical in one sense to look for a cosmic scapegoat for your problems (given that it must necessarily be a product of your imagination), but there's also some argument to be made for the logic of doing what you do. Given that nothing but physical/chemical processes are responsible for the totality of what we experience in our little corner of the solar system/galaxy/universe (as with all the other all-but-infinite corners), one would easily go insane if one truly thought "logically", which is to say, no entity or blind force or process is truly worthy of credit or blame. Everything is just a byproduct of what might be called luck (from our perspective). From the perspective of a hypothetical higher intelligence (and I mean that in the sense of an imagined "more evolved" being which has cognitive abilities orders of magnitude greater than us) who can say by the end of childhood intuitively understand the *** totality of all physical interactions and forces in the universe, then that imaginary (or so we think...but no SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) has proven fruitful yet) being would "know better" than to blame person X or group Y or event Z for their troubles. Because that X, Y, and Z can in turn all be explained as the product of some other X, Y, and Z, which can also...etc and so on for the entire biological history of the planet (and more if you believe in panspermia, the theory that the amino acids which came to form the first single-celled organisms originated on Mars) and then for the 13.7 billion-year history of the observable universe.

But that sort of (superior from a conceptual standpoint, but inferior from a survival standpoint) thinking can drive a mere human insane. I know. I've been to the psychiatric ward on more than one occasion. I don't rule out an eventual return trip. So the idea is to TRY to find something to...just get by. That's all life is. To that end I'd recommend investigating existentialist philosophy. Albert Camus would be at the top of the list, but I'd also include some other authors who traditionally wouldn't be described as existentialist: John Gray, Chris Hedges, and even the great debauched poet Charles Bukowski. These are essentially my four favorite authors (and I read A LOT), because they get life. Many atheists are in denial about the ugliness of life. The above either aren't, or weren't (Camus' philosophy was essentially an advocacy of perpetual rebellion in spite of knowing there is no hope...that can also be I suppose be interpreted as perpetual escapism, if you'd like to attempt to out-cynical a great cynic).

If it's logic you're after, read George H Smith's "Atheism: The Case Against God". Although I enjoy the writing of all the New Atheist authors to a greater extent (and by New Atheist I mean Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, Dennett, Victor Stenger), Smith's account was written as if it was a doctoral dissertation on "attempting to prove why god does not exist/cannot exist/why the entire concept of god is incoherent/devoid of meaning" and therefore was probably the best LOGICAL effort of all. I mean, all the listed New Atheist authors are exceptionally logical in their consideration of arguments, but Smith's book was focused. As far as I know, he was the one to posit both the distinction between and complementary nature of the following two dichotomies: agnosticism/gnosticism vs./and atheism/theism (which is to say, belief that god is or is not knowable versus/and belief or lack or belief in a god...Smith claimed that we must have a position on each...so I would be an agnostic atheist while you would be a ______ ______ (gnostic theist, given the OP?)). Search for a recent post by CD user "mythunderstood" if you'd like a fuller explanation of the prior...or just get Smith's book. The post is free, though, heh.

What was the primary motivation for me to write this post in which I attempt to elevate logic? Emotion, as I felt badly for the insensitive responses you received. The presumably false dichotomy that we attempt to create/maintain between logic and emotion (in terms of them being properties or characteristics or "all-consuming motivations" of humans) may in fact have no validity except in the abstract (or perhaps in extreme cases)...as neuroscience progresses I assume it will at some point become an established truth that, well, I'll be able to "reasonably" delete the word "presumably" from the beginning of this sentence.

In any event, one major shortfall of logic is that there is absolutely no failproof logical argument that can be formulated in defense of continued (or discontinued) existence. Fact-value gap that Hume first pointed out pretty much relegates all our desires to the realm of the illogical (ultimately), as much as we try to mobilize logic in our rationalizations of our actions.

--Is it reasonable to believe in scientific inquiry? Yes.
--Is it reasonable that every component of this universe, ourselves included, is theoretically reducible to scientific explanation/mathematical expression to some as-yet-unknown margin of error (Heisenberg Uncertainty-style)? Yes.
--Is it reasonable to believe in ANYTHING beyond the observable universe, whether it be a multiverse theory advanced by a physicist or some grand deistic simulator as Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom might or an imaginary being advanced by any random human you're likely to come across on a given day? No...but given the worldview that results from an answer of "no", I can easily sympathize with the inclination to answer "yes".

Best wishes, man.

Last edited by Matt Marcinkiewicz; 11-21-2013 at 11:54 PM..
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:34 PM
 
Location: South Africa
5,563 posts, read 6,325,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
Loved this post Seeker. Darn this repping system of late I can't rep anybody.

Although we have very different starting points I think your outlook is very similar to mine. I question everything too. I agree with so much of what you said here, I'd rep you 10 times over if I could.
Thanks
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,870 posts, read 3,797,576 times
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^^^ And another great post by Matt.
Matt, I'd have never guessed you were only 27. A remarkably bright head on your shoulders.
(again no reps left)
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:51 PM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,113,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
^^^ And another great post by Matt.
Matt, I'd have never guessed you were only 27. A remarkably bright head on your shoulders.
(again no reps left)
Thank you, I'll rep you instead for your appreciated praise
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:04 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
7,945 posts, read 4,750,815 times
Reputation: 1333
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?
I think the main idea is that Atheism is no one's emotional centerpoint. Atheism is just another of their lack of believes in fairy-tale beings. The Atheists emotional centerpoints are probably based on Love, happiness, contentment, and any of the other emotions.
http://m.youtube.com/index?&desktop_...?v=HkZwZ5xBye4
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:11 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,113,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
I think the main idea is that Atheism is no one's emotional centerpoint.
You're entirely wrong. It's my centerpoint. Once you hopefully read my above post, I forget what Dostoevsky character was made to say "without god, all is permitted"...entirely true. Much as Hume noted that brute facts cannot determine values. I'd punish you for your literary negligence, and other things.
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:26 AM
 
Location: 'greater' Buffalo, NY
3,067 posts, read 2,113,415 times
Reputation: 3965
if we're going to quote songs...listen to this one...including anything that may be said semi-inaudibly...


Infinitesimal - YouTube
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