We all know how it feels when we lose an opportunity that could change our life. I know people who repent throughout life because they didn't complete their education, which in the end forced them to accept a 'lower' form of employment. Deep in their heart they know that they 'deserved' something better ~ but their own choices in life had blocked their way.
Atheists - when they are over 60 - might feel something similar. They have spent their life believing that God doesn't exist. But now, as they've reached the end-part of their lives, they might get that terribly disturbing precursor on the back of their minds that they might have squandered away an opportunity cherishing an illusion.
The atheists have no button at their disposal to undo that mistake. They have only one way open to them to relieve: advising others (especially young adolescents) to become as successful atheists as themselves.
Most people seem to have a tremendous fear of death, and/or want to live forever - as death approaches and becomes inevitable the fear increases. An obvious solution to the problem is to believe in eternal life, and whether it has bearing on reality is of no import. Some embrace the solution, keeping them happy, and some continue to embrace reality, keeping them happy. In neither case is an earlier desire for reality a "mistake" - as we age our wants and desires (and fears) change for all people.
You might want to reconstruct this sentence: "In neither case is an earlier desire for reality a "mistake""
Why? Is the grammar police after me? It sounded correct to me...
What I mentioned in the opening post was not anything as if (some) old atheists suddenly realize that they were wrong about God ~ and now they want to follow a spiritual path, or reinvent that 'interest'. It isn't as simple as that.
You need to realize (I hope you do) that 'a life with God' - and a 'life without God' ~ would be two totally different experiences even when experienced by the same person. That's the argument here.
Yes, I understand that. The point was that "a life with god" is not very desirable until the point of death becomes emotionally real and close; only then does that "life with god" take on a desirable quality as a method of avoiding both death and fear of that death. Up until then the atheist is not concerned and does not desire it as living in an imaginary reality (so they see it) offers little of value and certainly nothing to override the desire to learn and grow in the real world.
Not exactly so. They (the 'old' atheists) might also realize that they could have utilized their 'spiritual potential' had they only known the reality of God, when they were young. It is comparable to the situation when someone inherits a large sum of money at the age of 60 ~ from a deceased grandparent who lived in another country.
The recipient is 60 years old now, and is suffering from various diseases.
That would be incorrect; utilizing one's "spiritual potential" does not require belief in a non-existent god. Not unless you define the world "spiritual" to mean just such a belief, and most people today do not.
Utilizing one's 'spiritual potential' requires the knowledge of God. At-least the knowledge of oneself being a part of God.
One can only regret if they receive that at 60 ~ after living a life as an anti-God atheist.
Then you HAVE defined your personal concept of "spiritual" to mean a belief in a specific god.
Most of the people throughout history would violently disagree with that definition. It's probably true that most would include their definition of a god, but a great many find "spiritual" outside of any requirement for such an entity as well.
But...using your definition, the elderly don't commonly find a need for your god, only the need for eternal life (or at least to ease their fear of death). Any belief that will accomplish that goal is acceptable; it just happens that in the US the most common is the Christian god.
But you still haven't said what benefits accrue before the desire to alleviate that fear. You claim they are there, but decline to illustrate what the benefits actually are. In practice, I find there are none - that until that fear raises it's head there is nothing to be gained from such a belief. If that's true, there is no reason to ignore reality in favor of the make-believe, and it will in fact have a negative impact on the person wishing to live in reality and reason rather than belief.
Can you offer any other reason that such a large relative percentage of believers are elderly? Given that not a single one has ever found solid evidence for their belief, it must be something else; the intense desire/fear for it to be true is all I can come up with. You?
It's those talks that make me think it is fear of death/unknown and a desire to live forever. After all, it always seems to come up that they will now live forever because they're "saved".
Recently how they distinguish betweens "Gods voice" and their own conscience. The answer was that an ET lives inside them and controls their thoughts - their conscience is god. And what to have for breakfast and what kind of car is best.
Because it seemed to me that you don't take them seriously.
??? That they believe because they think they'll live forever in happiness is why I think that's the reason for belief. I MUST be taking it seriously.
That there is an ET controlling their thoughts, that they are a prophet that god speaks to directly, that a god controls every minute detail of the universe while at the same time allowing free will, not so much.
This is a false premise based on your complete lack of understanding. Your anti-understanding attitude is the problem. Most people who think they have all the answers without doing any work tend to suffer the same fate. When you get to 60 you will realize you have wasted your life and regret the missed opportunity. By then it will of course be too late to embrace reality.
Wow, you are just full of little nuggets that make no sense at all.
One can fell the same sense of spirituality without any Gods, just like one can have a spiritual experience and believe in millions of Gods.
As for your argument for regret… I wonder if you will regret trying to convince people that God exist? It seems to be a growing trend.
What you have said is partially true: "One can fell the same sense of spirituality without any Gods, just like one can have a spiritual experience and believe in millions of Gods."
True. But partially'. Yes it is very possible to be 'spiritual' ~ everyone is 'spiritual' whenever they are genuinely happy. But whenever someone wants to utilize themselves, fully, giving expression to whatever is inside them, they will require the knowledge of their origin (which is God).
They will stumble upon 'God' even if they are not 'consciously' looking for 'It'. It's almost a mathematical sequence.
You have no idea what a spiritual experience is.
How many other gods have you had a spiritual experience with? Do you have a basis for saying that YOUR God provides the only path to fully recognize your own spiritually or is just a statement without any knowledge or experience to back it?
Good sidestep. Difficult questions, that one doesn't want to answer, often result in a change of subject, don't you think?
No really so. I've answered those questions many times previously (in great detail very often). It gets tiresome when someone asks the same questions just to gain some additional score in a lost game.
Then I must apologize: I've never seen a post of yours indicating that you had a spiritual experience with any god but the one you capitalize.
You see, I've spent a considerable part of my life understanding the relationship between the outer world ~ the inner world ~ and if there is any 'ultimate' meaning in life (as much as we can observe it).
The conclusions that I've reached are almost as precise as any mathematical equation is: We are not made of 'matter' ~ and we belonged to a place before we were born into this (material) world. We are parts of an "I". People have invented numerous names for this same entity, across cultures.
It looks like something whiter, and more bright, than a full summer sunshine (around 11 am) in any hill region.
@God shet Here you go again, posting BS about things that are way over your head. You should be more worried about proving the existence of your god than making stupid comments about atheists - thinking you're sound so smart. The burden is on the accuser (that means you) and thousands of years later, there's still no proof. Everyone is born atheist. Kids are lied to about Santa, Easter Bunny and God/Jesus and they outgrow Santa and the Easter Bunny but the other disillusion still continues. Some kids out grow this BS while others are beyond brainwashed, like you.
I met a man in the hall of of a beautiful old Unitarian church in Pasadena, which I had wandered into out of curiosity. He was sitting in a wheel chair and he invited me to sit down next to him on a bench. We chatted and discussed his beliefs. I discovered he did not believe in God and really only believed in himself, according to the teachings of his so called (?) church! He was very old and in a wheel chair. He did not seem happy and yet he proclaimed, "I have done well in living as long as I can." And that was all he had. Nothing more. The emptiness I saw in his eyes gave me cause to sympathize.
You saw emptiness in his eyes because you assumed he was empty. "I have done well in living as long as I can." doesn't seem empty.
I know when I see joy and fulfillment in someone's eyes and when I don't.
Living to be old for the sake of living to be old, is really wonderful... is it not?
I really doubt it.
( ! You are right. I should have looked more closely…)
Well, do you think we would have been happier if he convinced himself that he is living his life to gain access into heaven for eternity. What you are saying is ignorance is bliss. BTW, we don't live our lives to get old, we live our lives for the experience.
Fair enough - I won't bring it up again.
Even if your completely made up scenario is true which I doubt, where is the problem? They repent and go to heaven, right? No worries.
by James Q smith 10 years ago
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Truth? or not?
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