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The vacuousness of Atheism

  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago

    Someone once said that if one does not believe in the existence of God, then one ends up believing anything and everything. This emanates from the perception that atheism's interpretation of existence is primarily nihilistic, devoid of purpose and meaning. For what is purpose and meaning but an explanation of why we exist (as opposed to the purely ermpricistic "how we exist").. From perception to interpretation and then explanation, the  atheist's denial of an existential and supernatural being or entity is indeed an ultimate expression of desolation... an emptiness so heart-rending, it defies all logical realism.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Is it then less heart rending to see so many making up a "why" out of nothing, believing whatever makes them "feel" good, with no other reason than the state of their emotions?  Unable to live with reality, they will make up their own to assuage the fear of death or the emptiness that all will face one day.

      Now that defies all logical realism.

    2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
      EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      And yet, reality would show the opposite, that it is "believers" (note the word's meaning) who "believe" anything and everything.



      Which is why the thinking mind creates purpose and meaning rather than falling back on believing in false purposes and meanings that only show mankind are automatons serving an non-existent entity.



      The believer only "subsists" as they toss out all reason and rational in favor of being a robot.

       

      Logic would dictate that the acceptance of one god over thousands is similar to atheism, in that believers lack faith in all other gods except one, whereas the atheist accepts one less god than the believer.

      I must say this is one of the more humorous and silliest atheist bashing threads you've created thus far.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image79
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        At Wilderness and Encephalo:
        No I'm Confused. On the one hand wilderness avers that believers are so emotional they have to invent the existence of God just to satisfy their emotional longing; and on the other hand Encephalo posits that believers are robotical, throwing out all reason and logic in believing that there is a God. So which one is which: In insisting  in the existence of God are believers both mind-full and mind-less? I suppose that could both be true if human's larger existence is also ruled by the perplexities of  quantum mechanics as it does in the sub-atomic realm, i.e. Schroedinger's cat being both alive and dead at the same time.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          I don't quite see that either scenario is your "mind-full".  Both give up reason and logic, switching to imagination instead to answer their fears and curiosity.

          I take you disagree - that making up stories to explain what is not understood is not heart-rending or defying logical realism?  That it is logical to make up a god to allay fear of death or a need for a father figure?

          1. A.Villarasa profile image79
            A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Reason and logic can only lead you so far, so you still need your imagination, that is of course informed by your intuition/instinct/experience, to guide you along further down the path of discovering the inner and outer workings of humanity vis-à-vis the cosmos. Therein lies the importance of also being tutored, while traveling the path towards  man's destiny of unraveling  the mysteries of existence,  of  the ethical and moral underpinning of spirituality i.e. belief in the divine, the  non-material and non-physical.... what you inchoately  term "making up stories to explain what is not understood".

    3. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Having such a narrow and bigoted understanding of how other people think is far more vacuous. 

      I don't even see anything to engage with here.  It is just an insult based on the assumption that the only value in human life comes from the specific God you happen to believe in.  I would note that an atheist can believe in the supernatural.  It's a diverse group.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image79
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        @Psyche:
        Are you  suggesting that  atheists don't have a narrow and bigoted  understanding of how believers think? Please read through Widerness' and Encephalo's post and if you think that they are not narrow and bigoted, then again I suppose human's larger existence is neither dependent on  nor subsumed  by the subjective interpretation of that existence as is objectively so in the sub-atomic realm, i.e. one could not be entirely sure of the position and movement, thus the existence, of these particles  unless they are being directly perceived by an observer.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          What is a "larger existence"?  The subjective one imagined as real, but without supporting evidence?

          1. A.Villarasa profile image79
            A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            The "larger existence" is that which allows humans, having developed the cerebral capacity,  to try to fathom the perplexities and complexities of his existence and that of the wider universe that sorrounds  him, and in the process become witnesses to the grandeur of Creation. None of the other sentient beings on earth, as far as I can gather,  share Homo Sapiens' almost boundless curiosity to know the whys and the hows and wherefores of existence. Therein lies man's  unique place in that creation... a place that Atheists,  in denying the purpose and meaning of that Creator would also deny his meaning and purpose.

            1. wilderness profile image96
              wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Ah.  Intelligence.  Why the funny words, requiring everyone to assign meaning to while knowing that everyone will have a different concept.  Why not just say "intelligence"?

              And if you don't think animals can be curious you've never owned a cat.  But of course atheists deny that we know an imagined creator has meaning and purpose - we can have no idea if that is true or not.  Better question might be why theists insist there IS a meaning and purpose without knowing it to be true?

              1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I had a cat... very curious fellow indeed, but not curiously and or imaginatively  perceptive enough I think come up with an elegant equation such as E-mc2, or build a Taj Mahal, or compose a sonnet, or conceptualize that the universe did not create itself.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Neither did mankind not long ago. We were pretty much on the same playing field as your cat

                  Speaking of cats, did you know they all evolved artificially from a common species, just like dogs?

                  Or, do you believe God made them, too?

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    If we were much in the same playing field as the cat, sometime in the past, then why didn't they develop in the same way that we did? Evolution is neither random nor self-directing because its impetus( empirically termed the "laws of nature or genetics/physics)  was neither random nor self-directing.

                2. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Oh, mine is definitely curious enough, just not smart enough.

            2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
              EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              The thinking mind understands that the brain capacity of humans is simply a branch of evolution, just like the superior eyesight of the eagle, the speed of the cheetah or the ability of chimps to move through the trees. These are all just branches of evolution that have developed in these species.

              And, it was not that long ago, geologically, that humans weren't curious to know the whys and hows and wherefores of existence. That too evolved in us.

              1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Question is why did it evolve in humans, and not in the other sentient entities? Was it enough evolution-wise for the eagle to develop superior eyesight, or cheetah to develop superior speed, or chimps to hang and move swiftly through trees? If so, then I'd rather belong to a specie, that without superior eyesight, or speed or movement through trees, has become the dominant specie in all of earths creation....because of  its superior brain.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  It was obviously enough for the cheetah and eagle.  Until humans arrived on the scene and promptly, before evolution could adjust, are wiping them out.  Something (the mass extinction) that has happened many, many times throughout the history of this planet.  Maybe a meteor, maybe a volcano in a limited area, maybe an ice age, maybe a thousand other things.  Species come and species go, lasting only as long as evolution can cope with the environmental changes.  When it can no longer keep up the species dies.

                2. Dr Lamb profile image61
                  Dr Lambposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  What you rather is irrelevant. We get what we need to survive, humans needed weapons, intellect and 25 years before our brains become fully developed so that we can adapt to environments.

              2. aka-dj profile image79
                aka-djposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                If what you say is true, then man's propensity toward "religion" is, and was, an evolutionary phenomenon, which, according to atheists, is being done away with.

                Curious scenario.

                Do I sense an air of superiority on the side of atheists, as a result of them being "more evolved"?

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't know that religion was an evolutionary phenomenon.  Certainly curiosity is, and certainly a brain big enough to wonder and question is.

                  But religion isn't about either of those; it is about making up answers to the curiosity and wonder, and refusal to recognize reality would not seem to be a trait designed to increase reproduction rates.

                  1. psycheskinner profile image81
                    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Evolutionary psychologist suggest that it was perpetuated by qualities such as willingness to die for a group even if genetically unrelated, and because in early times religious scripts were the only source of life saving knowledge such as about "unclean" (potentially diseased) meat etc.

                2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Superiority? Is that how you see it?

                  No, we are not more evolved. You are just as evolved. However, the fact that you refuse to accept your evolution while we do is the difference.

                  1. Jerami profile image79
                    Jeramiposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    No, we are not more evolved. You are just as evolved. However, the fact that you refuse to accept your evolution while we do is the difference.

                    ==================

                    The way you phrased that ,   sounds like evolution IS your God.     And you are in here evangelizing.

    4. Titen-Sxull profile image93
      Titen-Sxullposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      There is this idiotic misconception among theists that in order for things to have meaning they must somehow be tied to something eternal or completely indestructible. The idea that without eternal life our lives are meaningless, that without eternal cosmic purpose, there can be NO purpose, is absurd and completely unfounded.

      Yet as we look at reality as it actually is we don't see things that are actually eternal, anywhere. Even stars burn out and explode. Everything ends. But that fact doesn't somehow make everything meaningless. What effects embracing reality has on your philosophical view of things may vary.

      In fact having an eternal or divine meaning to everything actually takes away meaning from our everyday lives. For if the meaning of life is to believe in or love God than what meaning does loving our family members have? A Dad playing catch with his son has no meaning if it is overshadowed by some unfathomable cosmic God who demands fealty and threatens damnation.

      No, the things we human beings attach meaning to have meaning to us, in the here and now, and often across human history. Adding a God does NOTHING to add meaning to our lives and adding an eternal afterlife robs everything in our lives of meaning. The meaning of life is a subjective idea, even if there were an objective meaning the vast majority would reject it - AND RIGHTFULLY SO!

      As an atheist I embrace the reality of my finite existence. It may rob the Universe of an overarching purpose, there is no grand cosmic meaning in my world view, but it does nothing to rob my life of meaning in the here and now. It does nothing to negate the time I spend with my friends and family as important to me, as meaningful to me.

      1. A.Villarasa profile image79
        A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Good for you that you have found meaning in your daily life while living it in relation to other sentient beings , and maybe to non-sentient entities as well. I don't begrudge you those as I'm sure you won't begrudge mine.
        Your existence and mine and the existence of the billion other human beings that have lived, continues to live and will live on earth have purpose and meaning beyond what we think and aim for while living our everyday existence. Granted that some if not a lot of us do not necessarily think of   life's/existence's  meaning and purpose beyond what is required for us to go through the day or week or months or years, but if not for anything, almost everyone , would episodically, in some philosophic way would stop while doing their daily chores and engaged in their daily relationships, to think about the larger meaning of life in general and existence in particular vis-à-vis the rest of  earthly and heavenly creation. If none of us have done so, or is doing so, or will do so... then how to explain man's longing for answers beyond the merely physical and material?

        1. Titen-Sxull profile image93
          Titen-Sxullposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          "then how to explain man's longing for answers beyond the merely physical and material?"

          We are self-aware and this means we are aware of our own mortality. It also means that to some extent we are aware of what is all around us, this vast cosmos, this vast planet, with circumstances far beyond our control and certain things beyond our understanding. The current level of scientific understanding we possess is extremely recent in the history of our species and yet already we have eliminated many superstitions that used to send our ancestors to their knees crying out for mercy. We don't have to sacrifice people or animals when we have a bad drought, or seek out the witches among us when an illness strikes our town.

          There will always be unanswered questions and so in some form that longing will always remain. Most of all we want to be something more, we want to be something special, for many people they refuse to accept a naturalistic view of this instead seeking something beyond all of nature itself to give us and our Universe meaning. For me the Universe is big enough and who knows what's out there, we don't need the supernatural when we've already got a billion billion galaxies. Not only do we not need it but really the same enrichment people seem to get out of religion, that feeling of oneness, of communion with something greater than themselves, requires no deities or supernatural forces.

          Carl Sagan once said that we are a way the cosmos can know itself. Each of us is made of stardust.

          We can't all be Neo from the Matrix, and there is this somewhat anthropocentric obsession with the idea that human beings have to be special to someone bigger or more powerful than ourselves for us to be special at all. I think the naturalistic view of things, which is supported by the evidence, that we are mortal finite beings that evolved naturally on this planet without any supernatural interference is pretty damn special.

          1. A.Villarasa profile image79
            A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Religion without a God as you are proposing is something akin to what a rabid delusional person would concoct i.e. cult. And cults never oulast the person who imagined, proposed and established them. Religion on the other hand is undergirded by its moral and ethical precepts based on the spiritual teachings of its founder...teachings that has for its basis the concept of a Higher Being.... there are some notable exceptions of course, where a Deity have not been invoked, but nonetheless the teachings are for  the moral and ethical guidance of its adherents.
            From a purely historical perspective, as was observed by the historian Arthur Schlesinger (and others), a society that does not believe in God, typically and most assuredly follows the trajectory of the monstrous totalitarian creeds, notably during the 20th century rise of Nazism, fascism and communism....authored by Hitler, Stalin, Mao---the great genocidal madness of our times.

            1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
              EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              The flaw in your assertion is that you're blaming genocidal madness on a society as opposed to the insane dictators who ruled those societies. It also shows you are ignoring the fact that the basis of those societies, Nazism, communism, etc. had a great deal of various edicts, religion being only a minor one amongst many, yet you appear to be basing them entirely on belief in a god.

              1. janesix profile image60
                janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                An insane dictator can do nothing without a whole herd of followers to hold him up.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Sure, but the followers may be doing what they're told because they don't want to be killed. Stalin was a perfect example of that.

                  1. janesix profile image60
                    janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    That's true. But all the blame can still not be placed on the dictator. Some yes, but the people must accept responsibility for some of it too.

              2. A.Villarasa profile image79
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                @encephalo:
                As I have stated numerous times in various posts/threads, the common thread that weaves through Communism, Nazism, Fascism-- is Atheism attuned with Nihilism. Atheism on its own is a rather benign i.e. vacuous interpretation of realism, but once tethered to Nihilism, it  becomes quite malignant  resulting in the genocidal madness that we have experienced in the just concluded century.

                1. psycheskinner profile image81
                  psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes, you keep calling us vacuous.  I have no idea why that does not lead to a warm conversation full of fellow-feeling.

                  Really, if you insist on linking atheist nihilism to genocide you should except that it absolutely pales in comparison to what has been done in the name of religious fervor.  The crusades, the inquisition, ethnic cleansing of non-Christians (e.g. CAR right now), the child soldier of the Army of God etc etc etc.

                  Not Christianity per se, of course, just Christianity paired with religious bigotry as it so often is.

                  No offense.

                  [/good for the gander]

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    @Psyche:
                    "...the genocide(sic)....absolutely pales in comparison to what has been done in the name of religious fervor." is a statement not borne by facts. Just on the basis of the amount of human suffering and carnage, and death, nothing can compare with the genocidal madness of the 20th century. Having said that, I am not at all diminishing the historical veracity of what you are saying i.e. that religious fervour, fanaticism, bigotry, malevolence, leads to "crimes against humanity". Anything that human's touch could be corrupted by his overweening EGO.... including religious beliefs.

                2. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  You can say that all you want, but there are all kinds of things common to Communism, Nazism, Fascism, etc. Focusing entirely on atheism is disingenuous as it is only one minor part of them.

                  But, you can learn something here:

                  "Fascism is Closer to Christianity than Liberalism or Marxism"

                  http://atheism.about.com/od/adolfhitler … ascism.htm



                  Atheism is vacuous? What does that even mean? Are you just stringing words together?

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    @encephalo:
                    I am not in the stringing business, but I could be talked into weaving "words of wisdom".

                  2. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    @encephalo:
                    Referring me to a website that  glorifies atheism, and which  strongly  suggest that Christianity is closer to fascism than atheism is.....now that is what I would call vacuous.

            2. Titen-Sxull profile image93
              Titen-Sxullposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I'm not talking about religion without a God, I'm talking about the fact that so-called "religious experiences" are Universal to the human experience and have nothing to do with any supposed supernatural beings or phenomenon.

              Religions and cults have very few real differences, from what I can tell religions are just cults that get popular outside the cult-group. We can look at the Gospels for evidence of this, where Jesus has his close set of followers convinced he is divine. Christianity was, whether you take the Gospel story seriously or not, likely a very small religion to start out, a cult really, one centered around a human sacrifice of its founder. Now it is practiced by Billions and is culturally acceptable even by many who don't adhere to it or who adhere to a different version of it.

              In those examples of atheistic societies you aren't dealing with a population of people who have voluntarily and individually given up theism you are dealing with a society where atheism is imposed by the State in favor of some other equally destructive ideology or religion (such as the bizarre mix of Celtic, Nordic, theosophic and Christian beliefs that were associated with Nazism). These are not, in the real sense, atheistic or non-religious societies, these were people of faith who had their faith stripped away by the State. To suggest that atheism or a lack of religious belief among the people somehow leads to these atrocities and tyrannical states is dishonest in the extreme so I hope that is not what you're trying to do here.

              1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                "Religion and cults have very few real differences"... is another statement that defies logical realism.
                Be that as it may, the teachings of Jesus, most specially the Sermon on the Mount,  is what undergirds Christian beliefs. Nothing cultish about those at all.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  "A cult is a religious group or other organization with deviant and novel beliefs and practices. However, whether any particular group's beliefs are sufficiently deviant or novel enough to be considered a cult is often unclear, and thus establishing a precise definition of cults is problematic.

                  Catherine Wessinger (Loyola University New Orleans) has stated that the word "cult" represents just as much prejudice and antagonism as racial slurs or derogatory words for women and homosexuals. She has argued that it is important for people to become aware of the bigotry conveyed by the word, drawing attention to the way it dehumanises the group's members and their children. Labeling a group as subhuman, she says, becomes a justification for violence against it.

                  At the same time, she adds, labeling a group a "cult" makes people feel safe, because the "violence associated with religion is split off from conventional religions, projected onto others, and imagined to involve only aberrant groups." This fails to take into account that child abuse, sexual abuse, financial extortion and warfare have also been committed by believers of mainstream religions, but the pejorative "cult" stereotype makes it easier to avoid confronting this uncomfortable fact"

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult

                2. janesix profile image60
                  janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  All new religions are cults. So Christianity had to at some time be considered a cult.

                  Modern Christianity has very little to do with the teachings of Jesus.

                  The original message is always lost over time.

              2. A.Villarasa profile image79
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                As I explained to Psycheskinner, Atheism all by its lonesome self is a benign doctrine, but once tethered to and entwined with Nihilism, becomes malevolent, caustic, destructive.
                If there is no other being (in our case, God) to be answerable to for our actions and the dire consequences of those actions, then the supremacy of man over man becomes institutionalized. With nihilism proposing that there is no meaningful  aspect to life/existence i.e. a life that has no objective meaning, purpose or value, then knowledge,  moral certitude and ethical considerations are non-existent as well, then man's supremacy over man becomes the ruling dogma...--- leading to all sorts of  human devaluation, degradation involving not only the victims of such horrific acts, but also  the perpetrators of those horrific acts..

      2. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        What alternative do you suggest offers a Christian the same level of ultimate meaning?

        1. Titen-Sxull profile image93
          Titen-Sxullposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          The alternative is to embrace reality and stop trying to convince yourself a fantasy is real. It is not the job of atheists and the non-religious to provide an alternative to every instance of wishful thinking and fantasy that believers indulge in.

          I think if theists actually think about the things they find meaningful they will find that none of those things, other than the God they believe in, are eternal. A kiss is over in an instant but its meaning can linger for a lifetime. Brevity and scarcity only add meaning and value to life and it is absurd to think that only things which last forever or have eternal consequences are meaningful.

          Obviously there will always be some people who would rather carry on with the fantasy than embrace reality.

          1. Don W profile image83
            Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Embrace reality? Some people's "reality" is crap because they live in dire circumstances, and they have no realistic hope of changing it. Want to change that? Fantastic. Help to end poverty, inequality, corruption and all the other things that cause millions of people to live in misery. While those things exist, then human beings will seek a source of truth, justice and ultimate hope, i.e. all the things encapsulated in the god concept.

            And if you don't think it's the "job" of atheists to offer an alternative vision of hope for people, okay, but if you go around telling people to give up the idea of god, then expect to be asked what can offer the same consolation. If anti-theists cannot answer that question, they may as well pack up and go home in my opinion.

            Suggesting that people "embrace reality" for the sake of some noble, ideal of facing up to the truth, is feeble in comparison to the solace that religious belief brings to people dealing with the traumas of everyday existence. Why should anyone in such a situation, with no realistic prospect of change, face up to the truth? What do they benefit from that, apart from making you feel more content with the world?

            1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
              EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Solutions for those problems? Do you actually believe that turning to false gods is any kind of solution? That only serves to make things worse.

              It's got little to do with noble, idealistic notions of facing up to the truth and more about solving problems with real solutions in a world divided by religions and false beliefs. The problem IS the religions and the gods and the false hopes they provide.

              1. Don W profile image83
                Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                Did I say religion was the solutions to those problems? I didn't, so why ask that?

                What we think are the solutions to those problems are irrelevant to the fact that those problems do create suffering. Humans have a psychological defence mechanism against suffering: the capacity to believe in a positive outcome despite negative material conditions; Commonly known as hope. The god concept is the ultimate expression of hope (by definition you can't get anything more perfect). So it's an aspect of human nature. Telling people to not be religious is like telling people to not be able to hope. It's fruitless.

                We agree on something though (hallelujah) If removing religious belief from society is the goal (is that the goal? It's not clear) then I think addressing real world problems effectively is the best place to start. I personally would not want to tell a mother who has lost all her children to famine or disease that her belief in god is a lie, and she should "embrace reality". I would much rather be able to tell her that thanks to a political breakthrough, or innovations in medicine and agriculture, less children will die in the future. That is how to win the religion vs non religion debate. To encourage people to let go of god (if that's what you want to do) you first need to enable them to have faith in humanity. Many people don't have faith in humanity, and for good reason.

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Like not telling that to an atheist in a foxhole, for example? How about insulting? Certainly, if someone were to express hope to me in the form of a god, I would be insulted, as would many people. Should we tell Muslims to have hope in Jesus?

                  No, it's not an aspect of human nature, it's an aspect of religious indoctrination, which is the real problem.



                  That's highly unlikely to never work considering the religions themselves teach their followers to hate mankind, let alone have any faith in it.

                  However, that IS exactly what non-believers are doing, telling us to have faith in humanity rather than gods. But, the believer once again is influenced by their religion that teaches them humans are evil by nature and that the only salvation is through their gods.

                  Of course, bringing anything up that has science attached to it will have little success, too.

                  These course of action are being tried, but they are fighting a losing battle in the face of what religions teach people.

                  1. Don W profile image83
                    Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Hope is very much an aspect of human nature and is a fundamental requirement for religious belief. It is an expression of a desire for something to happen. Whether it be an atheist hoping to get out of a foxhole unscathed, or a theist hoping to be forgiven by god. The same mechanic is at work. Hope does not rely on indoctrination, it just relies on being human.

                    "religions themselves teach their followers to hate mankind"?? Some Christians believe being a true Christian means hating gay people. Others believe being a Christian means loving gay people. If Christians themselves can't agree on what being a Christian means, what makes you think you are the final arbiter, enough to confidently declare that being a Christian means hating mankind? As you are not the final arbiter what you think Christianity teaches is irrelevant to the multitude of Christians who believe it teaches something else. The most anyone can reasonably say is that some Christians interpret Christian teachings in a way that has led to behaviour which threatens the peaceful existence of others. In the same way we can say some Muslims interpret Islam in a way that has led to behaviour which threatens the peaceful existence of others. We can equally say some non-theists live their lives in a way that threatens the peaceful existence of others. So I don't think your argument is valid here.

                    I know non-theists are trying to encourage faith in humanity. The question is, given the dire circumstances in which some people live (and die) why should people have faith in humanity? It's not good enough to say that the problems are all caused by religion. Firstly, they're not. But secondly, if atheism is correct and god does not exist, then humanity is responsible for religion. Why have faith in humanity if humanity is capable of something which, by your own argument, is the bane of existence? Isn't that all the more reason not to have faith in humanity?

            2. Titen-Sxull profile image93
              Titen-Sxullposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Reality is that way. Believing in a God does not change how harsh reality sometimes can be. When you lose a loved one you take comfort not from some ridiculous fantasy about golden streets and angel wings but from the fact that the person in question loved you, that you loved them, the time you shared together was precious and their impact on the people around them was lasting.

              Obviously the fantasies will continue to be popular. I actually care about what's true, about finding out the real answers to the big questions. Whether the reality at the end of that road is emotionally satisfying or not does not affect what is actually true. This isn't to say atheism is truth or anything like that, just that I reject theism until it is proven, and the same goes for any other supernatural claims. I'm not going to delude myself to believe something just because it alleviates fear of death or can temporarily make a bleak or lonely situation seem better, I've been down that road already. How emotionally attractive an idea is should make us more skeptical. If some Medium comes up claiming they can contact my dead relative who I miss very much I should be MORE skeptical, not more gullible.

              I do expect that even as religiosity decreases superstitions, particularly the belief in some kind of afterlife, will persist, even in the absence of traditional theistic religion.

              The benefits to facing reality are obvious, you focus on what you can do to fix the problem OR, if there isn't a way out, take the brunt of the emotions instead of repressing them beneath false comfort. What, other than false comfort, does someone in a bad situation get from believing a ridiculous lie?

              1. kess profile image61
                kessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                This emphasizes the initial point.......Atheism is indeed obviously empty.

                Any glimmer of hope offers some relief.
                that is why the lie that comes the way of religion is always relevant.

                But Life/God lies separate from and integrated with, in spite of and despite of,   these these two, and is the ultimate reality, which makes it perfect.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Relief.  Relief from what?  If an atheist had a need for what religion offered (s)he would probably be found in a church, but (s)he isn't.  So relief from what?

                  1. kess profile image61
                    kessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Isn't an atheist human?

                    So how come you asking 'relief from what' as if you are something other than human?

                    I find it hard to accept that you really do not know.

                    Otherwise the emptiness of atheism again is made obvious.

                2. Titen-Sxull profile image93
                  Titen-Sxullposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Atheism is the negation of theism. It is disbelief of the claim that a god or gods exist. It addresses only that one claim.

                  I have no desire to find false hope and certainly do not wish to put blind faith in something as flimsy and fantastical as most theistic beliefs and religions are.

                  As I said I've been down that road, whether it was as a Christian, believing in a bejeweled and dazzling New Jerusalem. Or when I believed in reincarnation, seeking to balance my desire never to cease to exist with my equal fear of existing forever with the same mind. I spent years trying to balance what was true with what felt right or "resonated" with me at the time, but that just led to dissatisfaction, confusion and hopelessness in equal measure to the false hope it gave me.

                  I suppose what you are saying is that ignorance is bliss, true ignorance, true mind-numbing stupidity and gullibility to drown doubt and reason. And I cannot argue against the idea that so long as people are capable of deluding themselves to believe a comforting lie they will continue to do so.

                  1. kess profile image61
                    kessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    In your place of supposing that which I am saying,
                    you can only speak from your position not mine.

                    And your words is the true representation of yourself,
                    Which once again validates the point that
                    no matter how hard you look all you can an see is emptiness...

                    ....but in denial you will obviously cast it upon me.

                    I am happy to be the bearer of your burden for a while, that you may find some relief.

              2. Don W profile image83
                Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                You are describing what you take comfort from, which is fine. It's also fine that everyone is not the same as you.



                Again, if that's what works for you then great, and it's perfectly fine if different things work for different people.



                That may be true, it may not be.



                Why does a doctor tell a grieving family their loved one did not suffer when they died? Why does an EMT tell someone who is mortally injured they're going to be okay? Why does a father tell his 5 year old son his painting of his mom looks "just like her"? Why does a grand daughter tell her nan the green jumper she knitted with a reindeer on it is just what she always wanted? Consolation, encouragement, hope, love, any number of reasons.

                The real question is: Why would someone who takes comfort in the belief that their life has some greater meaning beyond the crappy circumstances they find themselves in, want to believe that their life is ultimately futile and all the suffering they are going through is for nothing?

                1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                  EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  That's not really the point, that we want everyone to be the same. The point is whether or not those false hopes do more harm than not, and it appears they do more harm based on what religions teach people.

                2. Dr Lamb profile image61
                  Dr Lambposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  I don't think Titen-Sxull was talking about comforting others, I think he was talking about comforting ourselves. Do you tell yourself these little white lies to comfort yourself? Do you stick to believing in God just because you find it comforting and soothing? If so, than that's okay, but you need to understand that some don't need or want that lie and feel comforted knowing the God of the OT is not real.

                  1. Don W profile image83
                    Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    There are people in the world who feel the need for god. Whether you like that or not, or agree with that or not. It is a fact. Likewise, some people do not feel the need for god. Whether other people agree or like that is irrelevant too, because it's also a fact. Those people live in the same villages, towns, cities, countries etc. They have to share the same places and spaces. It's generally more beneficial to the welfare of human beings to live harmoniously, as opposed to living in conflict. So living harmoniously should be the focus, as that is mutually beneficial. These are all things we know. When we focus on who is wrong and who is right, we focus on things we don't know, things that cause division, not harmony. In other words, we focus on the wrong thing.

                    I do not care what you believe in. God, Allah, Vishnu, the flying spaghetti monster, or nothing at all. It's your business. You shouldn't have to hide what you do or do not believe in, as it's part of who you are. I'm happy to discuss philosophy, religion, politics and morality with you because I believe that enriches both of us. All good. We are in harmony. However, as soon as you start behaving in a way that encroaches on me or someone else's way of life, then we are in conflict. So it's not about beliefs, it's about behaviours. Millions of people who describe themselves are religious live in peaceful co-existence with people of no religious belief, and do not behave in ways that threaten the peaceful existence of others. Attacking the beliefs of those people is pointless and divisive because it causes disharmony.

                    Some people behave in ways that threaten the peaceful existence of others. They include the religious and nonreligious. Everyone, religious or not should be addressing that. The focus should not be on how to prove everyone else's beliefs wrong, but how do we all live harmoniously in the same space while maintaining the differences that makes humanity such a rich and diverse species. Of course, that's only my opinion.

              3. A.Villarasa profile image79
                A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                @Titen:
                Reading through all your posts on this thread, I have concluded  that you are totally closed to the idea of anything beyond what is immediately inferred by your 5 physical senses. I suppose experientially, you have come to the conclusion that  the supernatural and spiritual are just not the kind of icing  that you'd  want placed on the cake that is your individual life/existence.
                Be that as it may, I  have come to another conclusion, and that is,  nothing in  our existence is ever  irreversible, even death or irretrievable, even the ones that we thought we have lost forever. For this reason I would suggest that you read Dr. Eben Alexander's Book titled: "The Proof of Heaven", and  Prof. Andrew Parker's book titled: "The Genesis Enigma", if for no other reason than to give you pause and  to think about possibilities that your mind is so closed right now.

                1. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  You do realize that there is a very wide chasm between accepting something as a possibility and embracing it as something as real as the nose on our face? 

                  Some of us simply need more than a desire for the supernatural to be there to accept it as real.  You are not one of those, but surely you can recognize and accept that such people exist?

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                    A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    @wildernesss:
                    "....that such people exist." is an understatement. I could not count how many encounters I've had with people on HubPages and in the non-internet world whose peroration and perseveration for the spiritual is totally non-existent. Heart breaking really, to think about it. But it does not make them any more unloved by the Divine, than someone who takes to the spiritual as easily as breathing, and smiling despite the daily grind. The mother of all ironies if you must ask me.

          2. A.Villarasa profile image79
            A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            @titen:
            Kindly define for me what you mean by reality. Because one's reality mayne another's delusion and vice versa.

            Even the cosmic space we live in, as some astrophysicist have argued, may just be a mirror image of some other existence in another universe, quantum mechanics and all.
            "Objective Rreality"  to exist at all must first be observed subjectively, and depending on who is observing, the  ultimate interpretation of that "reality" can only be subjective. Thus the validity of the statement: I think, therefore I (and the rest of "reality" ) exist, NOT I exist, therefore I think.

            1. A.Villarasa profile image79
              A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              @titen:
              To elucidate further what I am talking about on the above post, let me quote in toto what Prof. Hans Christian von Bayer, ( a theoretical particle physicist and Chancellor Professor Emeritus at the College of William and Mary) wrote in his article on Quantum Weirdness: "Quantum mechanics is an incredibly successful theory but one full of strange paradoxes. A recently developed model called Quantum Bayesianism (or Qbism) combines quantum theory with probability theory in an effort to eliminate the paradoxes or put them in a less troubling form. Qbism reimagines the entity at the heart of quantum paradoxes-- the wave function, Scientists use wave functions to calculate the probability that a particle will have a certain property, such as being in one place and not another. But paradoxes arise when phycisists assume that a wave function is real. Qbism maintains that the wave function is solely a mathematical tool that an OBSERVER uses to assign his or her PERSONAL belief that a quantum system will have a specific property. In this conception, the wave function does not exist in the world- rather it merely reflects an individual's SUBJECTIVE mental state."

              1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                And yet, we can observe wave functions with the Double Slit experiment, no paradox with accurate, measurable properties

                Me thinks you don't really understand what Baeyer (not Bayer) is saying with that quote.

                1. A.Villarasa profile image79
                  A.Villarasaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Oh I understand fully what he is saying....: To quote him further:" Quantum mechanics flawlessly accounts for the behavior of matter from the subatomic to the astronomical, thus it is the most successful theory in all the physical sciences. Specifically in Qbism, the OBSERVER employs the wave function to assign his or her PERSONAL BELIEF that a quantum system will have a specific property, realizing that the individual's own choices and actions affect the system in an inherently uncertain way. Another OBSERVER , using a wave function that describes the world as the person sees it, may come to a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CONCLUSION  about the same quantum system. One system- one event- can have as many different wave functions as there are OBSERVERS. After observers, have communicated with one another and MODIFIED their private wave functions to account for the newly acquired knowledge, a coherent worldview emerges."

                  1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                    EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    That's bs, it completely contradicts the accurately measured results of the Two-Slit experiment.

    5. Dr Lamb profile image61
      Dr Lambposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Are you saying we should believe in God because it gives our lives purpose that otherwise is not there? Shouldn't we believe in God because he exists? Or do you give your life meaning by inventing a God that needs our belief?

      I don't feel empty and I certainly feel I have purpose, but I understand why you need to hold on to your concept of God as I guess without it you would feel empty and without purpose and since you can't seem to see beyond yourself you assume everyone feels the same as you do. But continue with your bigoted insulting ways if they make you feel superior and closer to your version of God that you seem to think has given you the purpose of attempting to belittle and insult the lives of those around you.

    6. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      The fact is some people would rather spend their 80 or so years of existence dosed up on the morphine of religion, rather than try to hold down another potentially stark and unpalatable reality. I don't think those who are anti-religion have addressed that fully. Until they do, certain religious beliefs will always seem more attractive to some people.

      1. Dr Lamb profile image61
        Dr Lambposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Of course it seems more attractive, so does never never land. Would you switch to another religion if it had greater promises? The Mormons claim that if things are done right here on earth and you learn the secret hand shake you can be a God along side God in heaven. Why not become a Mormon? Sweet deal!

        1. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          It doesn't seem more attractive. It is more attractive than the alternative offered by anti-theists, which so far is not-very-much. And it's not about one religion compared to another. It's about the difference between what some people get from their religious belief, compared to what they would get from no religious belief.

          1. Dr Lamb profile image61
            Dr Lambposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Are you suggesting that we should simply find the most appealing version of the afterlife and tell everyone that that's reality because it will make them most happy? I don't know about you but I'd rather live my life understanding reality and excepting that my job in the afterlife will be to push up daisies. Do you get to decide if other people should be deluded with lies to make themselves feel content because those lies make you feel content?

            1. Don W profile image83
              Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              Nope. But if some people believe that is the reality and take consolation in that belief which helps them get through life, then who are you (or anyone else) to suggest doing so is wrong? Facing up to what you believe is reality, works for you. Great. But people are different. Are you the archetype of the perfect person that everyone should aim to be like? If not, then perhaps it would be useful to recognise there are more ways than one to be a human being, and different doesn't always mean wrong.

              1. Dr Lamb profile image61
                Dr Lambposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I'm of course no where near perfect and I understand that some may need a father figure that helps them through life and some may need to feel someone is always watching. This is perhaps the result of a lack of ethical education. If one's only reason for being good is because of the fear of God than that person is missing something great. The teaching of ethics in religion often stops at "God is always watching and will punish your behavior and reward good behavior.

                At what point do we allow these delusions to go on. Do we allow those that feel that God will heal all wounds for those who pray and yet we have children who die because their parents don't bring them to a doctor or as in a recent case we have a guy bitten by a snake during a religious ceremony and dying because he was taught that the lord would heal him because of one passage in the bible. I suppose this is a fine way of weeding out the stupid adults but I don't think it's fair for the children.

                1. Don W profile image83
                  Don Wposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  My question is how far are you willing to go to prevent religious belief? That question alone, and the fact it has to be asked, is troubling.

                  1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
                    EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Preventing religious beliefs? Since religious beliefs are based often on childhood indoctrination, we should instead be teaching children rather than indoctrinating them to accept false hopes.

                  2. Dr Lamb profile image61
                    Dr Lambposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                    Okay don't answer my question at all, but ask me one of your own. The question I asked was how far and dangerous do we allow the delusion to be. Do we allow parents to not seek medical help and simply pray for the sick child?

                    To answer your question, I don't engage in religious conversation with anyone outside of these forums as I feel people here are open to the discussion. I don't knock or doors or attempt to convert my spouse or children to atheism. I've never told my children what I think and have simple taught them to think for themselves and question everything. When they bring it up and ask questions I try to be either honest or when they were younger I'd avoid the questions.

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    Simple: some "men" yearn for these things in a literal sense ('there must be more to life than this') and others do not.

    Both "men" are normal human beings.

  3. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 2 years ago

    New Zealand is a society that does not follow God (is secular) and where 50% of the people are irreligious. It's very nice there.

    The Central African Republic 80% Christian and 95% deist--and they in the middle of a civil war so horrible atrocities are now a daily event and it is meaningless to even speak of human rights.

    Connecting the virtue of a society to the religiosity of the populace is a fool's errand.

  4. freelancesolution profile image60
    freelancesolutionposted 2 years ago

    Could i point out something very important that to believe in everything is in itself a belief system, that cannot be said to be atheist. so when one does not believe in god we cannot then just assume that he is atheist, for as you put it yourself it could be that he believes in everything.

  5. Jerami profile image79
    Jeramiposted 2 years ago

    looked like somebody saw the word theory; and a bright light came on and it was so bright that ..... I think they missed the point I was making.

    1. aka-dj profile image79
      aka-djposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Not the first time, nor will it be that last! lol

  6. Maimi Florida profile image60
    Maimi Floridaposted 2 years ago

    who is a real vampire

  7. cjhunsinger profile image67
    cjhunsingerposted 2 years ago

    The fallacious tennents of theism

    1. aka-dj profile image79
      aka-djposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Try "tenets".
      That might work better.

  8. EncephaloiDead profile image61
    EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago

    It seems like the Bible was written by schizophrenics for schizophrenics, to make sure they never get help, to make sure they are kept in a constant state of delusion, to make sure they never seek out other people to trust and depend. This is why we have believers who don't accept most of the Bible, they aren't schizophrenics.

    Even the God they wrote about shows all the signs of a psychotic dictator who would kill you if you did not worship and obey them.

    It's too bad we didn't know more about the the mind way back then, so many lives would have been spared, so much destruction wouldn't have occurred, so many wars never fought if those people got some real help.

    1. janesix profile image60
      janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I have a feeling that you are thinking that stubborn religious fanatics are schizophrenics. They're not.

      1. EncephaloiDead profile image61
        EncephaloiDeadposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        The other way round, schizophrenics turn into stubborn religious fanatics.

        1. janesix profile image60
          janesixposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Sometimes. But just as often, their delusions are about "reptilians" "mind control from the Galactic Zar". Sometimes, it's just their candy bar is being poisoned by Ronald Regan.

          And fanatics aren't only of the religious type. There are political fanatics, sports fanatics, etc.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Sometimes I even think there are HubPages fanatics...

 
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