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Old 01-14-2014, 05:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
I still don't see the harm in hoping for an afterlife and quite honestly the "explanations" as to why it's harmful are lame at best. It's a personal choice that we can make as adults, unlike the Santa Claus/Easter Bunny beliefs which are force-fed to us as children. If I find out that I'm completely wrong then it's no different than the realization as we grow up that Santa and the EB aren't real.
But in the majority it is force fed, and probably starts before Santa and EB. When a child misbehaves Santa is watching is used to threaten the child instead of good parenting. But this only works during a couple of months a year, so 'god is watching' is used the majority of the time.

Teaching children with no concept of death stupid prayers like "if I die before I wake" which is beyond a 3 - 4 (perhaps older) child's ability to comprehend.

Religious teaching start (typically fear based) long before potty training is even started. The most important people in a childs life begin this misguided brainwashing at a the most impressionable time in a growing child's development. So yes, the vast majority of theists have not only been force-fed, it should be classified as brainwashing.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:32 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
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Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
But in the majority it is force fed, and probably starts before Santa and EB. When a child misbehaves Santa is watching is used to threaten the child instead of good parenting. But this only works during a couple of months a year, so 'god is watching' is used the majority of the time.

Teaching children with no concept of death stupid prayers like "if I die before I wake" which is beyond a 3 - 4 (perhaps older) child's ability to comprehend.

Religious teaching start (typically fear based) long before potty training is even started. The most important people in a childs life begin this misguided brainwashing at a the most impressionable time in a growing child's development. So yes, the vast majority of theists have not only been force-fed, it should be classified as brainwashing.
You have a point because I was force-fed religion from the beginning but as an adult I reject it just like Santa and EB.

I guess I see the prospect of an afterlife as plausible, not because of my upbringing, but because it just makes sense to me due to the possibility of our energy continuing on after death. All this is conjecture of course but gut feelings go a long way with me.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
You have a point because I was force-fed religion from the beginning but as an adult I reject it just like Santa and EB.

I guess I see the prospect of an afterlife as plausible, not because of my upbringing, but because it just makes sense to me due to the possibility of our energy continuing on after death. All this is conjecture of course but gut feelings go a long way with me.
Because we are a sentient being in no way indicates we are anything more. Who we are, our consciousness, our personality, etc., is nothing more than how an organ developed, controlled both by heredity, and all the experience throughout our life. When this organ ceases to function, which happens very quickly once the blood/oxygen supply is stops, it ceases to function and all of who we are also ceases. We then exist only in the memories of those that cared about us.

The desire, wish, hope, desperation and fear for there to be more, plus an ego of being more special than other life forms helps feed this fantasy.

That's the reality regardless of how many fairy tales to the contrary.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:54 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Because we are a sentient being in no way indicates we are anything more. Who we are, our consciousness, our personality, etc., is nothing more than how an organ developed, controlled both by heredity, and all the experience throughout our life. When this organ ceases to function, which happens very quickly once the blood/oxygen supply is stops, it ceases to function and all of who we are also ceases. We then exist only in the memories of those that cared about us.

The desire, wish, hope, desperation and fear for there to be more, plus an ego of being more special than other life forms helps feed this fantasy.

That's the reality regardless of how many fairy tales to the contrary.
It's the same thing as how you view a 1/2 glass of water or in other words whether you're a pessimist or an optimist. I choose to see the glass 1/2 full and any harm that may come from being an optimist has yet to affect me in a negative way. Negative being the operative word here.
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Old 01-15-2014, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
It's the same thing as how you view a 1/2 glass of water or in other words whether you're a pessimist or an optimist. I choose to see the glass 1/2 full and any harm that may come from being an optimist has yet to affect me in a negative way. Negative being the operative word here.
Mark Twain is supposed to have said that a man must have a few illusions so that there is something to throw overboard when there's a storm. Or words to that effect. My problem is that I ran out of illusions awhile back, and I've gotten to prefer going into storms with as little ballast as possible so I don't wallow in the swells.

To each their own. Intuitively, I believe that dealing in reality always works best in the long run, for most people, most of the time. It has the added bonus that what you believe and therefore what you act on, is accountable to something ... whereas the tenets of faith are accountable to no one, being made out of whole cloth. Sticking with reality (= what is definitely known) helps prevent you from hurting yourself and others by acting contrary to reality.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:16 PM
 
40,043 posts, read 26,725,598 times
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Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
Because we are a sentient being in no way indicates we are anything more. Who we are, our consciousness, our personality, etc., is nothing more than how an organ developed, controlled both by heredity, and all the experience throughout our life. When this organ ceases to function, which happens very quickly once the blood/oxygen supply is stops, it ceases to function and all of who we are also ceases. We then exist only in the memories of those that cared about us.
The desire, wish, hope, desperation and fear for there to be more, plus an ego of being more special than other life forms helps feed this fantasy.
That's the reality regardless of how many fairy tales to the contrary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
It's the same thing as how you view a 1/2 glass of water or in other words whether you're a pessimist or an optimist. I choose to see the glass 1/2 full and any harm that may come from being an optimist has yet to affect me in a negative way. Negative being the operative word here.
It is because we are using our consciousness to think about these things that we simply do not acknowledge that it is a unique form of energy distinct from the body that produces it. That is why atheists do not see that the specific form of energy produced must continue or be transformed into something else. Nothing we currently know about changes consciousness energy into anything else. Ergo . . . it continues.
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Old 01-15-2014, 06:58 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,953,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
It's the same thing as how you view a 1/2 glass of water or in other words whether you're a pessimist or an optimist. I choose to see the glass 1/2 full and any harm that may come from being an optimist has yet to affect me in a negative way. Negative being the operative word here.
I am an optimist, but intelligent enough to know that being a optimist or a pessimist, reality is the trump card.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:02 PM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,953,508 times
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
It is because we are using our consciousness to think about these things that we simply do not acknowledge that it is a unique form of energy distinct from the body that produces it. That is why atheists do not see that the specific form of energy produced must continue or be transformed into something else. Nothing we currently know about changes consciousness energy into anything else. Ergo . . . it continues.
So you really think that you possess a unique form of energy that will continue when your body ceases to function. Is this an ego driven process, or the desperation to deny your mortality.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:41 PM
 
40,043 posts, read 26,725,598 times
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
It is because we are using our consciousness to think about these things that we simply do not acknowledge that it is a unique form of energy distinct from the body that produces it. That is why atheists do not see that the specific form of energy produced must continue or be transformed into something else. Nothing we currently know about changes consciousness energy into anything else. Ergo . . . it continues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
So you really think that you possess a unique form of energy that will continue when your body ceases to function. Is this an ego driven process, or the desperation to deny your mortality.
Neither. It is physics. Your body is not doing the thinking and responding on here and its unique personality and perspective has nothing to do with your body. It is pure intellect . . . a form of energy within our reality that is identifiable and interactive. It is no illusion . . . so it IS a real energy form. Only real energy forms exist within our reality.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:14 AM
 
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That's a fair way of putting it, but the question really is: does it continue to exist after death when the body had diffused? The way it looks is that consciousness, like life, is linked to the corporeal body, and while the energy that animates the body has to go somewhere, what evidence is there to suggest that it continues to function when the corporeal body is dissipated? And you can save the circular 'personal experience' chat, old mate. It won't do.
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