Some atheists even acknowledge that they would prefer a universe in which there were no God, no immortal soul, and no afterlife. In God: The Failed Hypothesis, physicist Victor Stenger confesses that not only does he disbelieve in God, he doesn’t like the Christian God: “If he does exist, I personally want nothing to do with him.”
Philosopher Thomas Nagel recently confessed, “I want atheism to be true….It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God….I don’t want there to be a God. I don’t want the universe to be like that.”
The aversion to religion and the embrace of atheism becomes especially baffling when you consider that, on the face of it, atheism is a dismal ideology.
Many atheists like End of Faith author Sam Harris and The God Delusion author Richard seem serene and almost gleeful about living in a world whose defining feature seems to be nature red in tooth and claw.
This is an odd reaction, because as a number of evolutionary biologists like George Williams have admitted, Darwinism would seem to be a repulsive doctrine. Williams expresses open disgust at the ethical implications of a system that assigns no higher purpose to life than selfish bargains and conspiracies to propagate one’s genes into future generations.
According to Williams, a moral person can respond to this only with condemnation! Yet Dawkins and others embrace Darwinism with genuine enthusiasm.
Why are they drawn to such a philosophy and where, in its grim hallways, do they find room for such evident good cheer?
So you assume the universe conforms itself to what you would like to be true? I don't find it to be that obliging.
Many theists are adamant that their religious beliefs and their gods are the right ones, despite there being many religions and many gods. Christians would not prefer an Islamic universe and vice versa, for example. This argument against atheists is therefore irrelevant as theists make exactly the same acknowledgment with their god pitted against other gods.
Atheists also can read scriptures, something few theists actually do with their own scriptures. Contained within are the alleged words of their gods and the atrocities they commit to humans. Atheists want no part of that psychosis.
Theists also have an aversion to religion, other religions. They embrace their own beliefs and gods because they don't accept those other ideologies for a variety of reasons; dismal being just one of them. Again, this argument is irrelevant.
That is not true, it is the OP wrong assertion about "nature red in tooth and claw" being the defining features and being gleeful. Personal opinions are irrelevant to the argument.
"Dawkins describes Williams as "one of the most respected of American evolutionary biologists" ~~ Wiki article on George Williams
Read scriptures, you'll get all your answers there, just like they did.
Any system that requires any individual to believe in a higher cause other than self is religion. DUH! Mystical religions based on nothing more than imagination or delusion in a belief in a god is missing the point of living life.
The fact that people miss humanity as a whole, to be a higher cause, you know, the survival of the species is appalling.
No god is required for understanding life.
No god is required for a moral system of belief.
No god is required for breathing.
No god is required for eating.
No god is required for thinking.
No god is required for gaining wisdom.
No god is required for loving self.
No god is required for loving other people.
Just a thought.
I see your point; however consider this If a person wanted to live a degenerate life, God is their mortal enemy.
He represents a lethal danger to their selfishness, greed, lechery and hatred. It is in their interest to despise Him and do whatever they can to rid the universe of His presence.
So there are powerful attractions to life in a God-free world. In such a world we can all model our lives on one of the junior devils in Milton’s Paradise Lost, Belial, who was “to vice industrious, but to nobler deeds timorous and slothful.”
If God does not exist, the seven deadly sins are not terrors to be overcome but temptations to be enjoyed. Death, previously the justification for morality, now becomes a justification for immorality
This methodology of thinking will disappear in the coming years.
Well, to be honest delusions help no one, regardless.
Nice conjecture. There is no need for a belief in god, if one has faith in oneself.
This is irrational thinking to say the least. As you say "if god does not exist", then "sin" doesn't exist either. You carry it forward, as separate things.
Both god and sin ARE religious terminology. You take away both, then there is neither in the world. Morality is tuned by your conscience. If you live within your own conscience, and your actions are honest, then you have NO problem being more moral than any god could ever be.
Those who practice a mystic faith based religion are selfish and their actions prove it to be true. So, with that said- god or no god, people are selfish. Why? Because they lack knowledge and wisdom of life.
But we mustn't ignore the facts of indoctrination; Consider the benifits of children raised in religious households. What if morality wasn't a consideration in everyday life (Whatever the religious basis for it.)
As biologist Julian Huxley, the grandson of Darwin’s friend and ally Thomas Henry Huxley, put it, “The sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous.”
Religion places human action under the shadow of divine scrutiny and accountability.
Even Freud believed that we learn morals and values from the people who take care of us in childhood
There are no benefits in mystical faith.
Actually, when I did have some vague thoughts of the idea of god, I felt as if there was a pressure to bare. As a person who now rejects the idea of god or a god, I feel so much better. The simple acceptance of death and the fact it happens to each person is also a weight lifted.
Actually, it does not. It places human action under the shadow of those who claim the is a divine entity scrutinizing human actions and will hold them accountable. It's B.S.! So, people will be under control.
You know, it is kind of ironic that 40 years ago, psychology was discredited by the religious establishment, yet the religious zealots love to talk about those who practiced it, because it suits their argument.
I'm no religious zealot and I don't believe that religion is necessarily a form of control. Only a powerful attraction of life.
People do seem to have an attraction to religion.
Not all of us though. I never had it. Many people turn from it as they mature. So it isn't universal - it's not the "God shaped hole" some theists insist is there.
Rational studies of why we are this way suggest that our brains try very hard to explain everything - that most of us are unsatisfied when cause cannot be determined. Those of us without such needs may be "defective" or we may be "improved" - it depends on whether doggedly demanding a cause is a better survival trait and I sure can't begin to guess at that.
You may not be, but the latter is actually true. It is a form of control. It requires someone to seek outside guidance other than their own conscience.
A powerful attraction of life? No, not quite, just ignorance and a refusal to learn is all religion teaches.
If you are talking about the attraction, such as living eternal life, is yet another concept outside the scope of those who believe in religion. They simply expect to waste the life they are living for a life believe to exist after death. Completely irrational and shows a lack of understanding of life on each individuals part.
Enough said, this is getting boring. In the end, the results are a bunch of selfish, good for nothing people, who are dumb down and controlled to think.
It's interesting that you should feel this way, Religion is a form of control...a bunch of selfish, good for nothing people who are dumb down and controlled to think...are you baseing this on some personal experiance you've had? Or just lumping every person who believes in religion into this catagory?
Good discussion can be a learning experience; however, your Kingsley Amis’s approach is hardly that.
Some people feel great anger toward religion. My wife feels like that.
She was brought up in a Catholic family. Religion made no sense to her, but since everyone around her believed it so passionately, she thought there was something wrong with her.
Eventually she learned better, but the years of confusion and repression made her very angry. She would never direct that at a religious person, but she has plenty to say to me about it and the TV often gets a strong tongue lashing :-)
I agree...his person seems to be one of those. While through my discussions with him I find him seemingly intelligent, he always seems to end his discussions in the same way.
You find people puzzling?
How strange. I always understand everyone perfectly from just the tiniest shred of evidence.
Yeah, right. People really are the funnest toys ever made.
.Not people I know personally.
You seem intelligent and open minded. Just the ones who resort to insults and emotionalism.
You insinuating my approach as anything other than my approach is absurd.
Good discussion? As for generalizing them all together in one unit? Yes, absolutely. Those who follow a mystic religion is purposely dumb downed so it is easier to control them.
This prevents growth of society and humanity as a whole.
I'm sorry...it's just, you sound just like his paper.
I apologize. Your comments seemed tinged with negativity and cynicism, two important signs.
Or could it be more true that ...
Without Him there is no understanding life.
Without Him there is no form of true morality.
Without Him you wouldn't be breathing.
Without Him there would be no food.
Without Him there is no wisdom.
Without Him you can't truly love yourself.
Without Him loving other people is rather shallow and lacks real depth.
Most importantly without Him there would be no salvation or forgiveness of sin ...but of course if you don't believe in Him none of this matters.
Actually your statement that it could be more true??? Is a joke.
Truth is truth.
Life does NOT require a god in any manner. You fail to understand that. Those who fear death look to god for salvation. How pathetic.
Actually you have that backwards many followers of religion do not fear death...as you say. Some would argue that that they are more prepared for it.
Over the years with our advancements in communication, technology ect… very supportive and almost overwhelming results have emerged to strongly suggest that the concept of physical death does not mean we permanently cease to exist.
Whether we choose to believe that some sort of nirvana (heaven) is our destiny, in the concept of reincarnation or something else to help us in understanding life and death, though they may seem pathetic to you,we are still left with one indisputable fact. WE DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE.
Are you purposely trying to distort things or are you serious with the words you use?
People believe in god, because they believe god will save them, after the died. The fear of death is final is why people look to god for extending it, because they do not want to die.
There is nothing backwards except for your skewed view of people in general. Never mind what topic is being discussed.
LOL...you insinuate people believe in God because they fear death, (which is laughable in itself) but perhaps that is what you've been taught and I can't speak to that since I don't know you and vice-versa.
For some, beliefs provide a degree of comfort.
If you don't see that, then I would suggest sir, that you are the one with a skewed view of people.
Perhaps "skewed" isn't the right word...
And at some point even if there is nothing after this life.... We kinda are ready to get out of this cesspool.
At any cost, And I think that is the lesson that god wants to teach us ???????? Then we will be happy almost anywhere else but here.
I agree with Casgil that God isn't necessary for eating, thinking, loving each other, & etc...
But what we'd miss is a sense of wonder, how wonderful eating, thinking, loving each other, & etc, really is.
And what's far bigger than ourselves, what's way, way out there, a Creator of Everything! The Creator of thinking, eating, loving, & etc...
I think there's neurosis on both sides of the spectrum.
some atheists really had difficult lives and to some extent I don't blame them. On the other hand, no matter how nice the faithful are, sometimes they can be horribly crazy.
Very well said. Concise and yet rather brilliant.
That really is rather brilliant. A balanced perspecitve! Yeah!
Thanks but I have met crazy on both sides and decent people on both sides too. so.
I would like to think that most people behave due to their own internal controls rather than their religious beliefs.
I'd rather people do things for the benefit of society and of others rather than doing good because they are afraid of what might happen after they are dead.
Delusions help no one?
I'd say nothing could be farther from the truth. Most of us couldn't survive without some delusion - or faith, if you want to say the same thing another way.
I'm a life long atheist. My parents took me to church and I realized that what those people were saying could not be true. Scared me, honestly - what was WRONG with those people?
I was very angry at religion in my youth. Eventually I saw that this delusion does help some people. It makes them happy and may even make them a better person. I still wonder why they are so gullible, but if it makes them happy, that's fine.
I know religion can do great harm. I choose to believe it does more good than harm. That could be a complete delusion, but it makes ME happy to believe it.
Why would a specific God put instinct into life and not put God into life? Why no free will of instinct, but free will to believe in a God? If we really needed a belief in a God to keep us alive, wouldn't it have already been instilled in all life? I agree with Cagsil, a person that holds themselves accountable can far exceed a person that looks to a God for accountability. As for morality, many moral teachings of religion are wrong or contradictory without explanation. I am not against the idea of creation, but against the idea of controlling the belief of creation. Both atheism and religion are guilty of this. thanks
Why no free will of instinct?
Consider...The distinctive feature of animals, of course, is that they have no developed sense of morality. A gorilla cannot be expected to distinguish between what is and what ought to be.
Animals live on instinct and while living life using only animal instinct may be appealing to many in relation to the id...(sex, aggression, "primitive" emotions)
To the extent we successfully tame our animal nature and turn its energy toward higher goals approved by society, we are civilized. However, this means we are always fighting our inner nature. Freud thought this was the underlying reason for many conflicts and problems in modern humans. We are torn between the impulses of the primitive id and the dictates of society.
Without those dictates (various religions etc....) we are take a step back to the primative.
You are wrong about animals lacking morality. Recent research and experiments have shown that animals DO have morality. Try Googling "ape morality".
You have to keep up with the science if you want to argue with atheists :-)
Thanks...but I didn't mean to argue, just discussion.
I will check out the book I hadn't heard this theory that animals have morals other then natural instinct.
I was simply applying Frueding theory. My bad.
Thanks, but I think you are incorrect. Many animals show what we call morality and altruism in caring for their young. Some animals care for their young better than some human parents do. I think morals are simply a higher awareness in developing new thoughts for survival. I don't think our future depends on either primitive impulses or religion, it depends on learning from the mistakes of all in raising our senses to a higher awareness.
An interesting concept - is morality simply another tool of evolution? Humans, being cursed with intelligence, have developed more and varied morals than most animals, but so many of those morals simply involve keeping other people happy. That is reflected back to the original moral person and happy and cheerful people may reproduce more and most likely the children from a strong and happy family may continue the process.
I think morality is evolved. Some animals eat their young, some humans still sacrifice their young. Intelligence isn't all that bad, intelligence introduced more morals to make it immoral and illegal for humans to kill their young or anyone else.
Then morality is a product of evolution. At the same time it is a tool of evolution because it promotes species survival. I think you're right.
But intelligence may actually be bad. If we blow ourselves up only a couple of million years after developing intelligence, then we weren't a very successful species from an evolutionary standpoint. Perhaps morals will prevent that. Perhaps not. Time will tell........
Don't forget that creation doesn't necessarily imply a god-thing. A third year physics student in another universe might have created our universe as part of their coursework.
It might have even been done accidentally in some physics experiment by another alternate universe scientist who never was aware of what she created.
I'm open to that possibility what with the mapping of the human genome...
My goodness, haven't you read The Secret?
Of course the Universe changes to meet our wishes. Just yesterday I was sixty two years old and making only 60% of what I was before the big crash stuff.
Today I am 19 and have 400 billion dollars in the bank. Also, I have been elected Supreme Ruler, granted immortality and eternal bliss.
I just love the way I can push that old Universe around!
Other peoples opinions of such are just that opinions and none of my business ... Peace Just follow peace
What is neurotic about not believing the fairy in the sky dunnit?
That is called common sense!
Religion creates much more neurotic behaviour than atheism. (Religious wars speak for themselves, and I won't go into the current sexual crisis at the Vatican)! Moreso because there is a major neediness in religionists to find something externally that is meant to be inside themselves. Whenever a person looks outside to something to satisfy a loss there is the creation of a neurotic tendency.
Faith is that which is required because experience is missing. If you experience yourself as an amazing whole human being you don't need faith. As has been said here before, you don't need a god to make you whole. You become it, and you do that by your actions not who or what you believe in.
Neurotic? Nah. Try "Gonadic". The odd thing is the location of the human spirit is exactly the same place as the human sexual organs. It's gonad way before neurotic. Both belief & disbelief (which are the same) come from the same source -as Jewels said -necessity.
We are merely the most intelligent of animals. We still have the instinct of survival and reproductions, just as the other animals do.
Except on rare occasions, animals do not kill those of their own kind because this would eventually mean the end of their particular species. Is because they are afraid of what happens after they die? Do they know anything about sin? I do not think so.
Why should we be any different being animals ourselves? Most of us have an innate sense of right and wrong even if we do not always follow it.
Ancient tribal laws meant for keeping harmony in the group were the basis for the Ten Commandments which came along many thousands of years later.
Religion is, and always has been, about control. It still works well, even today!
Happiness is the choice to be happy. Religious or non-religious beliefs don't have to have anything to do with it. It is often the case that a religious person will see their belief system as a cause to be happy, and as such project this way of looking at life on non-believers and assume that because these atheists lack what you have they must like being unhappy. The case is simply that most "happy atheists" don't look for external reasons to be happy, but instead make the internal choice to just simply be happy.
I hold no attachment to any belief in the existence or non-existence of God, but personally I'm not particularly fond of any currently existing theist description of what this God is if He exists. I too would not want anything to do with that God.
Ok, I don't know if this is bad timing or not....but I have read all these posts from top to bottom and......did someone bring food?
Snoreville@Christianity et al. You guys have had some 2000 odd years to get your stories straight. Church is losing numbers, I'm off to google: 'local church bankrupt, sells up to strip club.'
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