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Old 01-06-2014, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
I still have hope even if it comes in the form of reincarnation which at this point sorta makes better sense than "goddunnit" or some such nonsense. But if we get reincarnated do we know it?
If we are reincarnated but don't remember past lives it is in practice no different than there not being an afterlife. It's a little like saying if god is absent or indifferent or uninvolved then how is that any different than no god at all in terms of how it impacts us?

If our consciousness is somehow independent of its physical substrate, which I think highly unlikely, then the metaphor I've heard of each of us being a drop which returns to the ocean on death and loses its identity as that particular drop, is the only sort of "immortality" that makes any sense. We would cease to exist as ourselves but the raw stuff of our consciousness would get reused somewhere eventually. This is basically the idea that this life is a duality, and exists within some nondual ultimate reality. If I were going to pick something that was sheer speculation that would resonate with me in terms of what "feels" likely or right, that had some note or hint of immortality, it'd be that. Mainly because it mirrors what happens to our bodies, which returns to its component elements eventually and is recycled, maybe or maybe not in other living things. There is a certain symmetry to what happens to one's consciousness being similar to what happens to one's body.

However, I am reduced to making stuff up or cherry-picking borrowed ideas and concepts, just like anyone else, because this is all Information Unobtanium. Generally, when you turn on a radio and hear nothing, it's because nothing is broadcasting. If there is no information to be had about an afterlife, it's likely because there is no afterlife in the first place.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:31 AM
 
3,682 posts, read 4,942,236 times
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The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

- George Bernard Shaw
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:35 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,534 posts, read 2,452,165 times
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
If we are reincarnated but don't remember past lives it is in practice no different than there not being an afterlife. It's a little like saying if god is absent or indifferent or uninvolved then how is that any different than no god at all in terms of how it impacts us?
That's true I guess as far as if we are unaware of reincarnation but I like to believe that we DO or WILL know of and remember past lives even if it's in the form of deja vu.

Quote:
If our consciousness is somehow independent of its physical substrate, which I think highly unlikely, then the metaphor I've heard of each of us being a drop which returns to the ocean on death and loses its identity as that particular drop, is the only sort of "immortality" that makes any sense. We would cease to exist as ourselves but the raw stuff of our consciousness would get reused somewhere eventually. This is basically the idea that this life is a duality, and exists within some nondual ultimate reality. If I were going to pick something that was sheer speculation that would resonate with me in terms of what "feels" likely or right, that had some note or hint of immortality, it'd be that. Mainly because it mirrors what happens to our bodies, which returns to its component elements eventually and is recycled, maybe or maybe not in other living things. There is a certain symmetry to what happens to one's consciousness being similar to what happens to one's body.
Highly unlikely but not an impossibility. That's just it, it's all just speculation on our part since there is no evidence for an afterlife so it boils down to solely what one chooses to believe. I believe in equality and justice and in an equal and just world there has to be a continuance to lives that were cut short by premature death at birth, war, tragedy, illness or what have you.....just doesn't make sense to me that those souls don't have any other chances to live on in some manner. That's just my personal belief.

Quote:
However, I am reduced to making stuff up or cherry-picking borrowed ideas and concepts, just like anyone else, because this is all Information Unobtanium. Generally, when you turn on a radio and hear nothing, it's because nothing is broadcasting. If there is no information to be had about an afterlife, it's likely because there is no afterlife in the first place.
Exactly, it's unobtainable but doesn't hurt to believe in something in spite of no evidence. Christians do it all the time.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
I believe in equality and justice and in an equal and just world there has to be a continuance to lives that were cut short by premature death at birth, war, tragedy, illness or what have you.....just doesn't make sense to me that those souls don't have any other chances to live on in some manner.
Fairness and justice are only possible in interactions between sentient beings of sufficient self awareness who have an explicit or implicit social contract. It doesn't exist as some built-in feature of reality. Who is to say that anyone is "entitled" to 72 years on this earth, or to their dreams or whatever? The length of one's life is a function of dumb luck and one's own limited self determination and ability to get others to cooperate and assist with that.

Don't get me wrong, I want equality and justice too, but this is NOT an equal and just world. Our job as humans is to try to obtain equality and justice and safety and other such things despite that the universe is indifferent to those concerns, and that the only force operating even at the macro level -- evolution -- "cares" only about survival of organisms long enough to propagate one's genes, not about what we would term "quality of life".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
Exactly, it's unobtainable but doesn't hurt to believe in something in spite of no evidence. Christians do it all the time.
I actually think it DOES hurt to believe in things with no evidence. In the long run, most of the time. It disconnects your decisions from reality, and from checks and balances. Even with respect to the fear of death, what you might call the Big Kahuna of human concerns, it does not really address the fear, only deflects and distracts. If you know at some level you're kidding yourself, then the loan comes due with interest, so to speak, sooner or later.
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Middle of nowhere
20,332 posts, read 10,461,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyOyIn8 View Post
Even Richard Dawkins said he is uncertain whether there is God or not.

Better to believe than not
You're really going to go with Pascals wager? Seriously?
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:37 AM
 
39,207 posts, read 10,887,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyOyIn8 View Post
Even Richard Dawkins said he is uncertain whether there is God or not.

Better to believe than not
Believe what. That a god exists? Which one? You'd better get it right.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:29 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,978,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OyOyIn8 View Post
Even Richard Dawkins said he is uncertain whether there is God or not.

Better to believe than not
That is nothing but irrational fear based on a fantasy. The monster under the bed
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:33 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,978,161 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Believe what. That a god exists? Which one? You'd better get it right.
That would be a kick in the teeth, spend a life time believing in, kowtowing to, praising a god, and then when you die, find out you worshiped the wrong god, and the one you are standing before is really really ticked off at you.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Middle of nowhere
20,332 posts, read 10,461,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
That is nothing but irrational fear based on a fantasy. The monster under the bed
Pay that poster no mind. It's just Nunnor back AGAIN.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:05 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,534 posts, read 2,452,165 times
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Fairness and justice are only possible in interactions between sentient beings of sufficient self awareness who have an explicit or implicit social contract. It doesn't exist as some built-in feature of reality. Who is to say that anyone is "entitled" to 72 years on this earth, or to their dreams or whatever? The length of one's life is a function of dumb luck and one's own limited self determination and ability to get others to cooperate and assist with that.
If fairness and justice exist now doesn't it make sense that it would exist and be the standard in an afterlife? I could ask the same question in reverse.....Who's to say that anyone IS NOT "entitled" to 72 years and their dreams or whatever? WHO is the real question here isn't it? The agnostic in me says there's some hope, the atheist in me says what the hell is wrong with you (meaning me)?

Quote:
Don't get me wrong, I want equality and justice too, but this is NOT an equal and just world. Our job as humans is to try to obtain equality and justice and safety and other such things despite that the universe is indifferent to those concerns, and that the only force operating even at the macro level -- evolution -- "cares" only about survival of organisms long enough to propagate one's genes, not about what we would term "quality of life".
But we're not talking about this world are we? In my version of it, the "afterlife" of my dreams is this life, just no suffering or death. I'm not delusional but I am hopeful.

Quote:
I actually think it DOES hurt to believe in things with no evidence. In the long run, most of the time. It disconnects your decisions from reality, and from checks and balances. Even with respect to the fear of death, what you might call the Big Kahuna of human concerns, it does not really address the fear, only deflects and distracts. If you know at some level you're kidding yourself, then the loan comes due with interest, so to speak, sooner or later.
You're going to have to explain to me why it hurts better than that......how is deflection and distraction from death ever a bad thing? Geesh what a miserable life we would have if we all were to constantly dwell on dying......that's why we deflect and distract isn't it? So what if the loan comes due and we're just dead....we don't know it anyway. But while I'm still alive and kicking I'll believe whatever the hell I want to, rational or not. Do your children or grandchildren believe in Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny? Same damn thing.
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