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GoatLord

Question for atheists

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People will argue over the existence of a divine creator probably until the end of time. Those who choose religious practice (at least those which involve a deity) have various reasons, whether it's family tradition, a strong interest in theology, a need to establish faith, or good old-fashioned brainwashing (especially if you're a Scientologist). But why pick Atheism, with its bleak outlook--no life beyond death--and its lack of an explanation for cosmological origins?

I personally chose Atheism because I grew up reading about anatomy, astronomy, computers, and microscopic structures. As a child, I regarded any religious phenomena--angels, demons, resurrection, heaven, hell, etc.--as a little too fanciful to have anything to do with the "real world" that I read about in my books. I actually tried to "believe" a few times, but always felt silly whenever I made attempts.

I have read several books on cosmology and am currently reading Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time," which seems to only further my lack of belief in deities and mystical elements. The idea that a deity has to step in and explain what we cannot (that is, what exactly ignited the "big bang") is too convenient, and ignores the real truth of the matter: the admittance that we simply do not know. I would rather live with the knowledge that I don't know how things really work, rather than make up entities and events to compensate.

The reason I bring this up, is because I'm curious as to other reasons one would chose Atheism. Not everyone comes to the "Godless" conclusion based on rationale and science, as I have.

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st.alfonzo said:

I did not make the decision to become an atheist so much as I discovered that I was one.


That's quite interesting, could you elaborate?

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Well, before I knew of the term "atheism" I was already systematically rejecting religious claims as they were presented based on reason and probability. It was only after I realized what all these claims had in common that I was able to find a name for it. It was a simple enough process.

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That was pretty much me, too. I was thinking that the christian stuff they tried to feed me was kinda fishy in Primary School (like, age 7). And from there on out I just didn't believe any of it. If the very basics were flawed, how could any of it be anything but made up?

That was and still is my perception.

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Did we not just have this same thread with the exact same title less than two months ago?

At any rate, I'm an atheist because that's what I was raised as and it makes sense to me. I do, however think there is life beyond death, of a sort. You seem to have a rather narrow definition of atheism.

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What makes the reality of no eternal life so bleak?
Isn't this one life good enough?

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Danarchy, my bad for not doing a search. I have a really bad habit of repeating things and not knowing it. I probably made that first atheist thread...

Anyway, until this gets locked, I'll continue to discuss the subject at hand. Bucket, you make a very good point. I've been telling people lately that eternity is what's bleak and unrealistic, not living once and never again. Why would anyone want to "keep on going" for an indefinite period? I think it makes life much more worth living to see it as your one chance to leave a mark.

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Bucket said:

Isn't this one life good enough?


Ask a quadriplegic or a or someone with a terminal illness or something. They might disagree.

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It's no so much that I chose to be an athiest. More accurately, I simply can't believe in things like Gods, Hell and other fantastical stuff. If ever I see it or proper proof that its there then I won't need to believe it. I'll know it as a factual entity.

I can no more accept the existance of a God than I can the existance of the Gruffalo.

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Danarchy said:

Did we not just have this same thread with the exact same title less than two months ago?


Yes, and I will create a question for believers and a question for agnosticists threads.
Or maybe not.

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Life is pretty stupid, imo. Like, what is the effing point. Why does anything even exist at all, lols. We're born, then we die. Everything in our world symbolizes beginning and ending. The sun's going to die eventually. Humanity will die eventually, unless we're somehow able to exist "until the end of time". It's just so dumb haha. I like the morals and stuff behind religion, but I can't really believe in a God. Even if there really was a God, I couldn't help but think of he/she as a gigantic asshole. In a world full of murder, rape, pedophiles, starvation, disease, extinction, etc. Life isn't worth that shit. God is the biggest practical joker ever.

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Use3D said:

Ask a quadriplegic or a or someone with a terminal illness or something. They might disagree.


Don't you think it's unfair to assume that such people have a bleak outlook? Haven't you ever met, or at least heard of, stories in which people with horrific ailments have a positive outlook?

To eternal slumber, I think that's a rather poor way of looking at it. The negativity (and finite quality) inherent in existence doesn't make life pointless or stupid. Shit, if peace and harmony were the main factors in life, THEN it would be stupid and pointless, because without conflict life can be pretty boring.

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Honestly, for a second I just thought this was a bump. However, the first one was asking what we atheists thought would happen when we die, and this one is asking why we decided on atheism (as far as I can tell)

Anyway, I like this question better. I choose atheism for many reasons. One of them being that there are so many religions, one or none of them could be correct. Probably none.

Another reason is because (at least in Christianity's case) the arguments for it are often so damn stupid. I remember seeing a video on youtube a couple years back "debunking" all the scientific explanations for the creation of the universe. I believe the main argument for most of them was, as an example, "Scientists can't prove the the big bang happened, so obviously God created the universe."
I know all believers aren't that stupid, but that just really annoyed me and turned me off the whole idea.

If we're honest, most religions were created simply by someone claiming to have had contact with a higher being that told us what to do; an act which, if we did it now in an attempt to make a new religion, would probably deem us insane in the eyes of society.

Another thing is that religion is a way for countries to control their citizens; if you tell someone that if they commit a crime, upon death they will be sent to a place with eternal pain, misery, and punishment, that person will be much less likely to attempt that crime.

As a final thought, in my opinion if there was some all powerful, benevolent being that could control everything, small, innocent children would not be dying of disease and starvation in other countries, no matter what they believed in.

Long post, I know, and I apologize. I really don't have a problem with religious people, as long as they stop trying to push their beliefs on everyone else; people can believe what they want to believe, in my opinion.

Edit: Oh, and for a while I was also in the same position as st. alfonzo, in that I wasn't sure what an atheist was. I always hated being called that because it just made it sound like another religion. In a way, it still kinda bothers me a little because of that, but whatever.

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GoatLord said:

To eternal slumber, I think that's a rather poor way of looking at it. The negativity (and finite quality) inherent in existence doesn't make life pointless or stupid. Shit, if peace and harmony were the main factors in life, THEN it would be stupid and pointless, because without conflict life can be pretty boring.

I don't want some guy having sex with my face, but maybe that's just me. :P

You can honestly say that you'd rather live in a world of murder, rape, and pedophiles, instead of being bored?

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eternal slumber said:

I don't want some guy having sex with my face, but maybe that's just me. :P

You can honestly say that you'd rather live in a world of murder, rape, and pedophiles, instead of being bored?


Duh. And it's not like rapists, kid-touchers and murderers are the only things that define this world. I mean, think about entropy, which if you're not aware, is a measurement of the amount of disorder in a system. With over six billion humans on this planet, capable of far more complex actions than any other creature, it is inevitable that there would be such an increase in disorder, rather than order. If the world were very orderly (that is, containing low entropy), Earth would be a very quiet and undisturbed place. Pretty boring, if you ask me.

Also, to I'myourtarget: I find it interesting what you said about hating being called an Atheist "because it just made it sound like another religion." I ultimately feel a bit uncomfortable with the label too, but I think it's a matter of convenience. If someone wants to know how you feel about deities, you can use the word "atheist" and not have to spend 10 minutes explaining your view. The problem is that some people very ignorantly associate Atheism with Satanism, which is ironic, considering that La Vey Satanists have an Atheistic attitude.

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GoatLord said:

People will argue over the existence of a divine creator probably until the end of time.

Will they? Or, as society advances, will we as a species become better educated and "outgrow" religion?

Use3D said:

Ask a quadriplegic or a or someone with a terminal illness or something. They might disagree.

As GoatLord said, this is kind of a poor way to judge how people are going to feel. There are people of every condition who have a wide variety of outlooks on life.

Also, since GoatLord can't stop saying things I agree with, yes, bad things happen because the universe is dynamic. For example, you can look up and admire the beauty of the stars. But if none of them ever died, you wouldn't exist to admire them.

To answer the original question, as I became more educated, I no longer needed religion to explain things I didn't understand.

Finally, watch this video it's great.

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eternal slumber said:

I don't want some guy having sex with my face, but maybe that's just me. :P


http://www.ctrl-alt-rage.com/userfiles/left-4-dead-2-review-5.jpg


:P

GoatLord said:

The problem is that some people very ignorantly associate Atheism with Satanism


THIS. I had an... acquaintance who, when I said that I didn't believe in any gods, first called me an Atheist. (Back when I felt more insulted by the term) When I gave in to the term, he immediately responded with "So you worship the Devil!?!?"

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Love the L4D2 image. Ellis is completely oblivious. Anyway, DuckReconMajor, I'm going to watch that video on we why believe in gods, looks awesome. I also would like to think that we'll eventually "outgrow" religions. I mean, modern humans can (or should) admit well established facts such as: The Earth is a sphere and thus has no boundary; those dots in the sky are huge balls of gas and are very far way; elements are molecular in design, not composed of phenomenon like water, wind and fire; there are numerous planets, stars and galaxies spread throughout the universe, not just our lone solar system. Perhaps, eventually, this list will include, "Divine creators are outdated explanations for cosmology that are irrational."

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GoatLord said:

Love the L4D2 image. Ellis is completely oblivious.


My guess is that it's a bot. They really aren't that smart.

I've been playing way too much l4d2 lately.

Also, I came across this essay a while back. I put it in bookmarks hoping to read a little bit of it at a time, because it is so long, then forgot about it until now. What I did read, though, made a lot of sense in my opinion.

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eternal slumber said:

You can honestly say that you'd rather live in a world of murder, rape, and pedophiles, instead of being bored?

Quit building arguments not even suggested at. Our world is not defined by murder, rape, and pedophiles. Get your head out of your ass.

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I'myourtarget said:

eternal slumber said:

I don't want some guy having sex with my face, but maybe that's just me. :P


http://www.ctrl-alt-rage.com/userfiles/left-4-dead-2-review-5.jpg


:P

GoatLord said:

The problem is that some people very ignorantly associate Atheism with Satanism


THIS. I had an... acquaintance who, when I said that I didn't believe in any gods, first called me an Atheist. (Back when I felt more insulted by the term) When I gave in to the term, he immediately responded with "So you worship the Devil!?!?"

Here it is, Doomworld's millionth post (in the "new" forums). Doesn't it make you feel proud? We've come a long way from post number 1.

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GoatLord said:

But why pick Atheism, with its bleak outlook--no life beyond death--


Ever read the Bible? Now that's bleak. If the Christian God did exist, I'd support overthrowing his regime.

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GoatLord said:

I also would like to think that we'll eventually "outgrow" religions. I mean, modern humans can (or should) admit well established facts such as: The Earth is a sphere and thus has no boundary; those dots in the sky are huge balls of gas and are very far way; elements are molecular in design, not composed of phenomenon like water, wind and fire; there are numerous planets, stars and galaxies spread throughout the universe, not just our lone solar system. Perhaps, eventually, this list will include, "Divine creators are outdated explanations for cosmology that are irrational."

You put way too much faith in humanity. The average person has no fucking clue what the little bright things in the night sky are...and they don't care to know. Cosmological and astrological concepts, even ones as easy as stars in the night sky are beyond the vast majority of people on this planet. Even as simple as they may be. I mean seriously, the average person believes that a 'falling star' is literaly a 'falling star'. And even if you sat and explained the reasoning for the nomenclature and 'no, it's not a STAR'. You'll end up in so many different areas that you'll make them dizzy. I've actually had to do this exact thing to people I know and care about and go to for advice...and they just don't care to understand, because these thing have no real effect on their day to day lives.

People go for religious ideas because they are easy answers to the ultimate questions. It's that simple. And it will always be that way.

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Man, you are so right. I'm probably being too optimistic and envisioning a future in which everyone is magically enlightened and understands basic concepts like that. I mean, for fuck's fucking sake, there is an active "Flat Earth Society."

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