Question For Athiests

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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Jayson » Thu May 30, 2013 4:32 am

Yeah; it's numbers are off.
You can discern how off it is by just running a google maps search of Wasilla and looking at the footprint of housing. :wink:

A huge amount of people in Wasilla aren't registered as "Wasillians" due to it only being 60 miles away from Anchorage and that they do everything else in Anchorage.

Like I said; it's a wasteland. A false town; living like a parasite off of Anchorage.
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Spiritual: a set of neurological processes dealing with value placement, empathy, and sympathy through the associative truncation of relative identity, and which has reached a value set capable of being described as reverent to the individual, and from which existential experience and reflection is capable explicitly.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Bob » Thu May 30, 2013 9:02 am

Hobbes Choice wrote:
Jayson wrote:No, that's my response to your previous post in where you assert that an individual would be better served by reading John S Mill.
I was stating that the reason people turn to the resources in which they do for spirituality is because society has shown them that this is how a person accesses spirituality if they so want to be spiritual.

If you don't want people to seek the Christian's bible and cherry pick it under the same name, while denying most of its contents, and instead turn to philosophy for spiritual enrichment, then we would need to have society show people how works of philosophy or even a common novel are capable of being adhered to in full capacity of spiritual impact and adoration as otherwise is experienced when people interact with their spirituality through such texts as the Christian's bible.


You cannot gain spirituality from a book. You have only to contemplate the content of your mind and heart.

I suggested Mill for rational arguments for moral lessons. You should give him a try. There are few better intellectuals that established the best aspects of the social revolutions of the 20thC.
If you prefer Jesus or Mohammed then I can only hope that you realise that their day is done.

BTW. what on earth did you mean about a novel?

Probably only a “spiritual gypsy” would understand this.

I was born in England and moved with my parents to Devon at the age of two. During that time I went through the normal rural C of E upbringing, however this was questioned deeply by my father after an accident in an amphibian vehicle in which his whole crew died. Our family went to Malaya when I was eight years old and I was confronted with Buddhism and Asiatic Islam in the local villages because of close ties with our “Alma” called Madeleine, but also with the typical army clerics who my father rejected outright. He was a very adamant atheist – I was fascinated by the religious aspect of life because it was so foreign to me.

After returning to England at 11 and an upheaval due to domestic problems, I got to know my great-aunt better who was a loveable Methodist and had a patience I have seldom found in people. I found out that my great-grandfather had been a Methodist preacher (years later I received the old King James family Bible) and I learnt many of the songs of praise which they sang – much to the disgust of my father. However, he tried to stay open and we went back to Devon, where the rural Anglicans had me interested again, but only marginally, since other things were becoming more interesting.

I went to a school where english literature was being taught by means of enactment and history was being taught with a focus on the everyday lives of people in the day, rather than based on the reign of kings and queens. Also “classical” music was added to the curriculum and, although I never learnt to play an instrument, I was enthralled and caught up in a creative wave which again, had my father frustrated, because his boy was going to be an actor – or worse, a dancer!

After returning to my birthplace there was a distinct break with this development, but I still went on to write and draw on reams of paper, dance trough the room to “classical” music and was so caught up in my creative diarrhoea, that I had to “skive” school and run off into the nearby countryside to soak in nature and find expression for the many churning emotions in me. I was even taken to the school psychologist, afraid that I was “queer” in some terrible way, but my parents were told (as I later learnt) that I was bored with school and needed more advancement of a different kind. This was, unfortunately, beyond the means of my parents and I ended up being pushed in a different direction.

I tried to join the Navy at sixteen, which was more of a romantic flight than anything else, and my father successfully hindered it, but finally at eighteen I joined the army – also not my world, but a door to the world. I even tried to join the Intelligence Corp, which was a bit of a joke, because I ended up becoming a Recovery Mechanic, a more laborious task but, because over many years since Malaya I had been an ardent swimmer and rugby player, I was physically up to it. Of course someone like me wasn't made for the army – I laughed at their games, especially when they were so serious about it, and so I was deemed “immature” and often found myself on fatigues.

I was sent to Germany, where I was at first welcomed but then found to be a “bad influence” and my writings and drawings were confiscated and I was punished with extra duties. On exercise I was once ask by a Major with whom I had radio-watch, “what the hell I was doing in the army”, and we had a fine time discussing literature and the arts in general. But active service changed a lot of that, although here too, I couldn't take the whole thing seriously – and I'm glad the enemy didn't take me seriously either.

Finally, at twenty-two I married a German girl, with whom I have been through the ups and downs of life since. When I left the army, I met old acquaintances of my service who unanimously told me they were glad to see me out of the service. I didn't only leave the army, I became a completely different, bushy haired, bearded and very alternative person, who immediately was taken to be some drop-out or art student – although at the time I was driving big trucks.

I then found a booklet in German on a pile of rubble which had a title that appealed to me, “Foreigner by order” (my translation), which was about Abrahams call to find “a land which I will show you” and I was deeply inspired by the little thing. I went off looking for a Christianity with this kind of expressionism and for a short time found it amongst Pietists, but it became very clear that I wasn't the musty kind of Christian who also enjoyed such expressionism. My escapades put me up front and made a lay-preacher (like my great-grandfather) – which seemed to give the mouldy old chapel building a new lease of life for a while, but I soon came into conflict with evangelicalism, which was progressing through the pietistic lay movement.

In the meanwhile I had taken training in geriatric care and found myself leading a ward and having a good time. My antics were welcomed amongst the old people and because I was also a good nurse, I was given responsibility. The Catholic management even included me in meetings concerning church-services and spiritual counselling.

The Protestants welcomed me too, and I even became an elder of the church, but the conflicts within the church made my expressionistic heart dark and sad. After twenty years I had to leave. Since then I have been a bit a spiritual nomad, but everywhere I have worked, I was (and am) able to encourage spirituality of the kind the people were accustomed to. Most of the time they have also accepted my “interpretation” and way of expression, since I have always been inclusive by character (probably from my mother, who encouraged contact with “immigrants” at a time when Enoch Powell had a lot of support).

I think that this shows that a lot of my spirituality (which I have often seen as equal to inspiration) has come from books, whether artistic literature or devotional, but has been lacking in dogma. This seems to me to be the big question when regarding our living as a collective. Dogma is the dangerous aspect, which I had to ignore when working with the old and those in need of care. It seems to me that it is much more a question of what moral standards I have set myself and whether my actions are appropriate and in accordance with them, rather than where the standards come from.

I may be wrong, but “it works for me!” :wink: :o
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Rhinoboy » Thu May 30, 2013 5:09 pm

Hobbes Choice wrote:
Jayson wrote:Critical analysts will forever be tormented by common fare use of terms.

For example; is Hello Kitty Minimalist Commercial Art, or Superflat Art?
What is "grunge" music, exactly?
What is "Christian"?


Is is nothing if not a person who follows the explicit teachings of Jesus of Nazareth considered as a "CHRIST".
Otherwise it is either a lie or a term of abuse.
Christ is not a surname it implies a person anointed by god's hand.
So in following his teachings you are ipso facto following the advice of a man who speaks with the voice of god.
I'm not sure if it is appropriate even to think of Jesus as a mortal, and be christian, though you may disagree.
SInce i've had my ears chewed off on this site for extending the term "fundamentalist" to include those outside a narrowly defined late 19thC, early 20thC new interpretation of Xity, then I don't feel it is out of order to consider "Christian" in these broad but more closely defined and more precise way.

I think this laissez-faire, cherry picking attitude to religious belief is nothing more that playing Pascal's wager. When you get to judgement day you can always have the excuse to say to god, that's what I thought you wanted, and every one else is wrong, when in fact you feel deep down that 2000 years of Xity is false ideology, and demonstrate that by your approach.


You are of course entitled to your belife that this is simply a version of Pascal's wager but you have no evidence.

Why is it so hard for an atheist to belive that there are different ideas of what it means to be a follower of Christ? You seem to be defending the fundamentalists more even than they themselves do... Do you really think that up until the 19th century that everyone held to the literalist belife? I think if you look deeper you will see that the earliest forms of Chrsitianity found most biblical definition metaphorical. As was the tradition in those times. I am confused as to your motivation in leading this conversation down this particular path, have I offended you or criticised your beliefs?
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Hobbes Choice » Thu May 30, 2013 9:13 pm

Rhinoboy wrote:
Hobbes Choice wrote:
Jayson wrote:Critical analysts will forever be tormented by common fare use of terms.

For example; is Hello Kitty Minimalist Commercial Art, or Superflat Art?
What is "grunge" music, exactly?
What is "Christian"?


Is is nothing if not a person who follows the explicit teachings of Jesus of Nazareth considered as a "CHRIST".
Otherwise it is either a lie or a term of abuse.
Christ is not a surname it implies a person anointed by god's hand.
So in following his teachings you are ipso facto following the advice of a man who speaks with the voice of god.
I'm not sure if it is appropriate even to think of Jesus as a mortal, and be christian, though you may disagree.
SInce i've had my ears chewed off on this site for extending the term "fundamentalist" to include those outside a narrowly defined late 19thC, early 20thC new interpretation of Xity, then I don't feel it is out of order to consider "Christian" in these broad but more closely defined and more precise way.

I think this laissez-faire, cherry picking attitude to religious belief is nothing more that playing Pascal's wager. When you get to judgement day you can always have the excuse to say to god, that's what I thought you wanted, and every one else is wrong, when in fact you feel deep down that 2000 years of Xity is false ideology, and demonstrate that by your approach.


You are of course entitled to your belife that this is simply a version of Pascal's wager but you have no evidence.

Many Xians of my acquaintance have expressed it precisely in those terms.
But it's a bit rich of you to chide me on a lack of evidence! :D
The only "evidence" that you have of Jesus is a book that you largely reject.


Why is it so hard for an atheist to belive that there are different ideas of what it means to be a follower of Christ?

I don't have any trouble believing that: I know it. You are missing the point, or just not expressing yourself well.
I am suggesting that it is ridiculous for there to be so many shades of belief, on the one hand, and a single redemptive god on the other. You can't all be right - so I don't feel obliged to accept any of it - and why should I?
The god you claim encompasses all of Christendom must be a bizarrely capricious being to accept such incompatible diversity and contradiction.
The real question is why do you accept such a laissez-faire, cherry picking attitude to religious belief, and still claim to have it right.


You seem to be defending the fundamentalists more even than they themselves do...

I think not. You are all the same to me.
In other words, you are a fundamentalist, who rejects most of the Bible, whereas they are fundamentalists who mine the Book for inspiration, you just ignore what you don't like. They are "followers of Christ", and follow what he is claimed to have said; and You are a "follower" who rejects much of what he said.
Neither of you amount to a viable way to live your life; they for adhering to a dead book, and you for making it up as you go along.


Do you really think that up until the 19th century that everyone held to the literalist belife? I think if you look deeper you will see that the earliest forms of Chrsitianity found most biblical definition metaphorical. As was the tradition in those times. I am confused as to your motivation in leading this conversation down this particular path, have I offended you or criticised your beliefs?


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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Xen Master Q » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:04 am

Life is simply a form of energy and energy cannot be destroyed. The Buddhist believe that we should not question what happens after death because there is no way of knowing. Coming up with an answer to something, we as mankind, have no capabilities of figuring out is absolutely preposterous. There is no true answer, and once you come to accept that death doesn't seem as scary. I am not afraid of death because death is unknown to us. It is hard but to not be afraid of the unknown, it goes against human nature. But once you accept that no one will ever know what happens after death, it can help you become fearless.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Hobbes Choice » Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:57 pm

Xen Master Q wrote:Life is simply a form of energy and energy cannot be destroyed. The Buddhist believe that we should not question what happens after death because there is no way of knowing. Coming up with an answer to something, we as mankind, have no capabilities of figuring out is absolutely preposterous. There is no true answer, and once you come to accept that death doesn't seem as scary. I am not afraid of death because death is unknown to us. It is hard but to not be afraid of the unknown, it goes against human nature. But once you accept that no one will ever know what happens after death, it can help you become fearless.


The personality is a specific configuration of matter and energy in a physical matrix individual to each person. When death occurs the uniqueness that is YOU, dissipates forever, never to be reconstituted.
When you die you are dead and gone. And it is the act of a sorry person scared of death and their utter end that invents ideas that make them feel they are worthy of eternity.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Helandhighwater » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:08 am

Hobbes Choice wrote:
Xen Master Q wrote:Life is simply a form of energy and energy cannot be destroyed. The Buddhist believe that we should not question what happens after death because there is no way of knowing. Coming up with an answer to something, we as mankind, have no capabilities of figuring out is absolutely preposterous. There is no true answer, and once you come to accept that death doesn't seem as scary. I am not afraid of death because death is unknown to us. It is hard but to not be afraid of the unknown, it goes against human nature. But once you accept that no one will ever know what happens after death, it can help you become fearless.


The personality is a specific configuration of matter and energy in a physical matrix individual to each person. When death occurs the uniqueness that is YOU, dissipates forever, never to be reconstituted.
When you die you are dead and gone. And it is the act of a sorry person scared of death and their utter end that invents ideas that make them feel they are worthy of eternity.


I agree, eternity if it is possible is obtained only in what you do in life, and what people remember you for afterwards, if you are going to live on, it will only be because you were Achiles or Julius Caesar, or Gandhi, or Martin Luther King or whatever, your only chance at eternal life is to be remembered as an example to those who follow you. You die you rot in the ground, your legacy is all you have, make it a good one, no one wants to be forgotten because they were a massive incorigable forgettable asshole. Well no one worth caring about anyway. :)
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Bob » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:53 am

Helandhighwater wrote:
Hobbes Choice wrote:
Xen Master Q wrote:Life is simply a form of energy and energy cannot be destroyed. The Buddhist believe that we should not question what happens after death because there is no way of knowing. Coming up with an answer to something, we as mankind, have no capabilities of figuring out is absolutely preposterous. There is no true answer, and once you come to accept that death doesn't seem as scary. I am not afraid of death because death is unknown to us. It is hard but to not be afraid of the unknown, it goes against human nature. But once you accept that no one will ever know what happens after death, it can help you become fearless.


The personality is a specific configuration of matter and energy in a physical matrix individual to each person. When death occurs the uniqueness that is YOU, dissipates forever, never to be reconstituted.
When you die you are dead and gone. And it is the act of a sorry person scared of death and their utter end that invents ideas that make them feel they are worthy of eternity.


I agree, eternity if it is possible is obtained only in what you do in life, and what people remember you for afterwards, if you are going to live on, it will only be because you were Achiles or Julius Caesar, or Gandhi, or Martin Luther King or whatever, your only chance at eternal life is to be remembered as an example to those who follow you. You die you rot in the ground, your legacy is all you have, make it a good one, no one wants to be forgotten because they were a massive incorigable forgettable asshole. Well no one worth caring about anyway. :)

Although I think that this particular subject is taking the thread off course, I will still react to your statement.

I think that it is sensible to live as if you were going to live on. This is because, when you die, you do so in the manner which you have lived and the baggage you have collected during your lifetime is what influences how you die. I have seen it many times and just presently in my mother-in-law. That is why the attitude is so important, which is the way you will deal with whatever comes your way. Equanimity, compassion and mindfulness help us die peacefully, and so they are the attributes we should seek - or perhaps allow. It may be a wager, but it seems to have benefits in this life as much as in a (possible-impossible) afterlife.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Hobbes Choice » Mon Jul 01, 2013 4:59 pm

Bob wrote:I think that it is sensible to live as if you were going to live on. This is because, when you die, you do so in the manner which you have lived and the baggage you have collected during your lifetime is what influences how you die. I have seen it many times and just presently in my mother-in-law.

This is of course palpably false. People die in all sorts of ways unconnected to their ways of life.
Evil people live long, the good die young, and vice versa.
Also people who live healthily can die young, and those that abuse the temple of their body can carry on rocking. I just saw Keith Richards jamming away with the Stones; average age 71. Keith is renowned for putting it away, whilst Jaqueline Du Pre, his contemporary lived a virtuous life but died in 1987 of MS.

I'm not saying you can't improve your chances with healthy eating, but in terms of social and moral responsibility, or "attitude" it makes not a jot of difference to how and when you die. SO much is obvious.
Bob wrote:
That is why the attitude is so important, which is the way you will deal with whatever comes your way. Equanimity, compassion and mindfulness help us die peacefully, and so they are the attributes we should seek - or perhaps allow. It may be a wager, but it seems to have benefits in this life as much as in a (possible-impossible) afterlife.


Many compassionate, loving and mindful people die violent and tragic deaths.

You can dream on as much as you like. But there is not indication that there is a judge to determine what may or may not happen when you die. You seemed to have sucked up the biggest myth out there.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Bob » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:19 pm

Hobbes Choice wrote:
Bob wrote:I think that it is sensible to live as if you were going to live on. This is because, when you die, you do so in the manner which you have lived and the baggage you have collected during your lifetime is what influences how you die. I have seen it many times and just presently in my mother-in-law.

This is of course palpably false. People die in all sorts of ways unconnected to their ways of life.
Evil people live long, the good die young, and vice versa.
Also people who live healthily can die young, and those that abuse the temple of their body can carry on rocking. I just saw Keith Richards jamming away with the Stones; average age 71. Keith is renowned for putting it away, whilst Jaqueline Du Pre, his contemporary lived a virtuous life but died in 1987 of MS.

I'm not saying you can't improve your chances with healthy eating, but in terms of social and moral responsibility, or "attitude" it makes not a jot of difference to how and when you die. SO much is obvious.
Bob wrote:
That is why the attitude is so important, which is the way you will deal with whatever comes your way. Equanimity, compassion and mindfulness help us die peacefully, and so they are the attributes we should seek - or perhaps allow. It may be a wager, but it seems to have benefits in this life as much as in a (possible-impossible) afterlife.


Many compassionate, loving and mindful people die violent and tragic deaths.

You can dream on as much as you like. But there is not indication that there is a judge to determine what may or may not happen when you die. You seemed to have sucked up the biggest myth out there.

Once again, HC, you have completely missed the point - and you are talking out of your ..... Back on the ignore list .... :-"
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Hobbes Choice » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:26 pm

Bob wrote:
Hobbes Choice wrote:
Bob wrote:I think that it is sensible to live as if you were going to live on. This is because, when you die, you do so in the manner which you have lived and the baggage you have collected during your lifetime is what influences how you die. I have seen it many times and just presently in my mother-in-law.

This is of course palpably false. People die in all sorts of ways unconnected to their ways of life.
Evil people live long, the good die young, and vice versa.
Also people who live healthily can die young, and those that abuse the temple of their body can carry on rocking. I just saw Keith Richards jamming away with the Stones; average age 71. Keith is renowned for putting it away, whilst Jaqueline Du Pre, his contemporary lived a virtuous life but died in 1987 of MS.

I'm not saying you can't improve your chances with healthy eating, but in terms of social and moral responsibility, or "attitude" it makes not a jot of difference to how and when you die. SO much is obvious.
Bob wrote:
That is why the attitude is so important, which is the way you will deal with whatever comes your way. Equanimity, compassion and mindfulness help us die peacefully, and so they are the attributes we should seek - or perhaps allow. It may be a wager, but it seems to have benefits in this life as much as in a (possible-impossible) afterlife.


Many compassionate, loving and mindful people die violent and tragic deaths.

You can dream on as much as you like. But there is not indication that there is a judge to determine what may or may not happen when you die. You seemed to have sucked up the biggest myth out there.

Once again, HC, you have completely missed the point - and you are talking out of your ..... Back on the ignore list .... :-"


"Talking out of your ..." is not different from saying "talking out of your arse."
Is that the best you can do to defend your position?
You do yourself no favours. You just look weak.
What is most amusing about your attitude, is that I am RIGHT ON the "point", and that is why you are running away - running from yourself.
Last edited by Hobbes Choice on Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Helandhighwater » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:55 am

Bob wrote:Although I think that this particular subject is taking the thread off course, I will still react to your statement.

I think that it is sensible to live as if you were going to live on. This is because, when you die, you do so in the manner which you have lived and the baggage you have collected during your lifetime is what influences how you die. I have seen it many times and just presently in my mother-in-law. That is why the attitude is so important, which is the way you will deal with whatever comes your way. Equanimity, compassion and mindfulness help us die peacefully, and so they are the attributes we should seek - or perhaps allow. It may be a wager, but it seems to have benefits in this life as much as in a (possible-impossible) afterlife.


yeah but I think the afterlife is a delusion, so living as if you were going to benefit somehow from something that isn't going to happen is pointless. I think atheists say it best, you can hope for an afterlife if you like, but if you don't get one, perhaps you were missing the implaccable grandeur of this life. Paraphrasing Camus there; I'd rather imgine personally and it is my own opinion that I am going to die, and the only thing that will live on is what I did in this world, the mentallity makes me try harder in this life I think. If I am wrong of course, it's win, and if I am right it's win in what I try to achieve without expectation. It just seems win all round. :)

Taking a thread off course is win too, some threads need some life. :)
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Bob » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:38 am

Helandhighwater wrote:
Bob wrote:Although I think that this particular subject is taking the thread off course, I will still react to your statement.

I think that it is sensible to live as if you were going to live on. This is because, when you die, you do so in the manner which you have lived and the baggage you have collected during your lifetime is what influences how you die. I have seen it many times and just presently in my mother-in-law. That is why the attitude is so important, which is the way you will deal with whatever comes your way. Equanimity, compassion and mindfulness help us die peacefully, and so they are the attributes we should seek - or perhaps allow. It may be a wager, but it seems to have benefits in this life as much as in a (possible-impossible) afterlife.


yeah but I think the afterlife is a delusion, so living as if you were going to benefit somehow from something that isn't going to happen is pointless. I think atheists say it best, you can hope for an afterlife if you like, but if you don't get one, perhaps you were missing the implaccable grandeur of this life. Paraphrasing Camus there; I'd rather imgine personally and it is my own opinion that I am going to die, and the only thing that will live on is what I did in this world, the mentallity makes me try harder in this life I think. If I am wrong of course, it's win, and if I am right it's win in what I try to achieve without expectation. It just seems win all round. :)

Taking a thread off course is win too, some threads need some life. :)

Thanks, but again, "living as if you were going to benefit somehow from something that isn't going to happen is pointless" is exactly where you are missing the point. My observations whilst nursing untold numbers of dying people is that, regardless whether there is a life after death, dying in a bed is where I can benefit from the way I have lived. Unless you have done this any amount of times you may miss this point. Even my wife can only see that it is sad and terrible and all the other things people feel about the death process, but she did agree, that her mother is dying in the way she lived, just as I had said in the many other times when she wasn't emotionally involved.

Just as an aside, have you seen the cartoon of the ecologist meeting, talking about climate change where the caption say's, "What if this is all a hoax and we improve the quality of the air, of the water and the land for nothing!" The cartoon makes us laugh, because improving the environment is a goal unto itself, just as the life with the qualities I mentioned is.

Despite what I think about the conservative beliefs, I have seen people from these churches die in a remarkable peace, and I believe that this is the measure of piety, not how literally they take the Bible or how well they can quote it. If they fall into oblivion, it isn't as though they will know anything ... at they same time, if they have lived good lives, they have profited and helped others profit from them having lived.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Hobbes Choice » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:09 pm

Bob wrote:
Helandhighwater wrote:
Bob wrote:Although I think that this particular subject is taking the thread off course, I will still react to your statement.

I think that it is sensible to live as if you were going to live on. This is because, when you die, you do so in the manner which you have lived and the baggage you have collected during your lifetime is what influences how you die. I have seen it many times and just presently in my mother-in-law. That is why the attitude is so important, which is the way you will deal with whatever comes your way. Equanimity, compassion and mindfulness help us die peacefully, and so they are the attributes we should seek - or perhaps allow. It may be a wager, but it seems to have benefits in this life as much as in a (possible-impossible) afterlife.


yeah but I think the afterlife is a delusion, so living as if you were going to benefit somehow from something that isn't going to happen is pointless. I think atheists say it best, you can hope for an afterlife if you like, but if you don't get one, perhaps you were missing the implaccable grandeur of this life. Paraphrasing Camus there; I'd rather imgine personally and it is my own opinion that I am going to die, and the only thing that will live on is what I did in this world, the mentallity makes me try harder in this life I think. If I am wrong of course, it's win, and if I am right it's win in what I try to achieve without expectation. It just seems win all round. :)

Taking a thread off course is win too, some threads need some life. :)

Thanks, but again, "living as if you were going to benefit somehow from something that isn't going to happen is pointless" is exactly where you are missing the point. My observations whilst nursing untold numbers of dying people is that, regardless whether there is a life after death, dying in a bed is where I can benefit from the way I have lived. Unless you have done this any amount of times you may miss this point.


No one is qualified to disagree with you, eh?
Yet you have not died, and are equally unqualified.
When you die - then come back and shout about who can and cannot know what the point is.
For me, I've been in that bed. But I suppose for you, I don't count.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Helandhighwater » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:47 pm

Bob wrote:
Helandhighwater wrote:
Bob wrote:Although I think that this particular subject is taking the thread off course, I will still react to your statement.

I think that it is sensible to live as if you were going to live on. This is because, when you die, you do so in the manner which you have lived and the baggage you have collected during your lifetime is what influences how you die. I have seen it many times and just presently in my mother-in-law. That is why the attitude is so important, which is the way you will deal with whatever comes your way. Equanimity, compassion and mindfulness help us die peacefully, and so they are the attributes we should seek - or perhaps allow. It may be a wager, but it seems to have benefits in this life as much as in a (possible-impossible) afterlife.


yeah but I think the afterlife is a delusion, so living as if you were going to benefit somehow from something that isn't going to happen is pointless. I think atheists say it best, you can hope for an afterlife if you like, but if you don't get one, perhaps you were missing the implaccable grandeur of this life. Paraphrasing Camus there; I'd rather imgine personally and it is my own opinion that I am going to die, and the only thing that will live on is what I did in this world, the mentallity makes me try harder in this life I think. If I am wrong of course, it's win, and if I am right it's win in what I try to achieve without expectation. It just seems win all round. :)

Taking a thread off course is win too, some threads need some life. :)

Thanks, but again, "living as if you were going to benefit somehow from something that isn't going to happen is pointless" is exactly where you are missing the point. My observations whilst nursing untold numbers of dying people is that, regardless whether there is a life after death, dying in a bed is where I can benefit from the way I have lived. Unless you have done this any amount of times you may miss this point. Even my wife can only see that it is sad and terrible and all the other things people feel about the death process, but she did agree, that her mother is dying in the way she lived, just as I had said in the many other times when she wasn't emotionally involved.

Just as an aside, have you seen the cartoon of the ecologist meeting, talking about climate change where the caption say's, "What if this is all a hoax and we improve the quality of the air, of the water and the land for nothing!" The cartoon makes us laugh, because improving the environment is a goal unto itself, just as the life with the qualities I mentioned is.


Religion helps us cope with death better, well ok, coping with the inevitable is not high up on my list of priorities though.

Despite what I think about the conservative beliefs, I have seen people from these churches die in a remarkable peace, and I believe that this is the measure of piety, not how literally they take the Bible or how well they can quote it. If they fall into oblivion, it isn't as though they will know anything ... at they same time, if they have lived good lives, they have profited and helped others profit from them having lived.


Of course atheists will have lead murderous rapacious satieted lives of excess helping only themselves in an orgiastic indulgence of hedonism. Christians are always so patronising about how much better it is to be religious than not, how it means you are just a better person all round and real good egg, and then you get a happy house in the sky with the beardy fellow 'cause you are so great. It's a pity they are only looking at it from their point of view. The more interesting religious people I have met lost faith, and probably realise how they sounded to others now, the same could be true in reverse too. It reminds me a bit of the episode of Southpark where they started by hybrids and it started causing toxic amounts of smug to build up in the atmosphere. I am sure you don't mean to come off sounding smug, but you do.

What you have really outlined in this whole post is it makes no difference what you believe as long as it makes you happy, and you are a good person, just as my logic is good, yours for the believer is also reasonable. In essence it's all good, believe what you want, which is probably not how you see it, but then I suspect you lack perspective of others views.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Bob » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:03 pm

Helandhighwater wrote:Religion helps us cope with death better, well ok, coping with the inevitable is not high up on my list of priorities though.

OK, that is your choice - perhaps you'll have different priorities when you are older.

Helandhighwater wrote:Of course atheists will have lead murderous rapacious satieted lives of excess helping only themselves in an orgiastic indulgence of hedonism. Christians are always so patronising about how much better it is to be religious than not, how it means you are just a better person all round and real good egg, and then you get a happy house in the sky with the beardy fellow 'cause you are so great. It's a pity they are only looking at it from their point of view. The more interesting religious people I have met lost faith, and probably realise how they sounded to others now, the same could be true in reverse too. It reminds me a bit of the episode of Southpark where they started by hybrids and it started causing toxic amounts of smug to build up in the atmosphere. I am sure you don't mean to come off sounding smug, but you do.

That wasn't the point of what I posted. If you would read carefully:
Bob wrote:Despite what I think about the conservative beliefs, I have seen people from these churches die in a remarkable peace, and I believe that this is the measure of piety, not how literally they take the Bible or how well they can quote it. If they fall into oblivion, it isn't as though they will know anything ... at they same time, if they have lived good lives, they have profited and helped others profit from them having lived.

Having indicated that I have (sceptical) thoughts about conservative beliefs, I mentioned only that I felt that a measure of piety could be seen in the way people die, rather than the conventional way people measure piety. Instead of reading this, you dash off in a list of ideas you have stored up in a drawer somewhere and pour them out on me.

Helandhighwater wrote:What you have really outlined in this whole post is it makes no difference what you believe as long as it makes you happy, and you are a good person, just as my logic is good, yours for the believer is also reasonable. In essence it's all good, believe what you want, which is probably not how you see it, but then I suspect you lack perspective of others views.

Which means …???
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Helandhighwater » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:07 pm

Bob wrote:
Helandhighwater wrote:Religion helps us cope with death better, well ok, coping with the inevitable is not high up on my list of priorities though.

OK, that is your choice - perhaps you'll have different priorities when you are older.

Helandhighwater wrote:Of course atheists will have lead murderous rapacious satieted lives of excess helping only themselves in an orgiastic indulgence of hedonism. Christians are always so patronising about how much better it is to be religious than not, how it means you are just a better person all round and real good egg, and then you get a happy house in the sky with the beardy fellow 'cause you are so great. It's a pity they are only looking at it from their point of view. The more interesting religious people I have met lost faith, and probably realise how they sounded to others now, the same could be true in reverse too. It reminds me a bit of the episode of Southpark where they started by hybrids and it started causing toxic amounts of smug to build up in the atmosphere. I am sure you don't mean to come off sounding smug, but you do.

That wasn't the point of what I posted. If you would read carefully:
Bob wrote:Despite what I think about the conservative beliefs, I have seen people from these churches die in a remarkable peace, and I believe that this is the measure of piety, not how literally they take the Bible or how well they can quote it. If they fall into oblivion, it isn't as though they will know anything ... at they same time, if they have lived good lives, they have profited and helped others profit from them having lived.

Having indicated that I have (sceptical) thoughts about conservative beliefs, I mentioned only that I felt that a measure of piety could be seen in the way people die, rather than the conventional way people measure piety. Instead of reading this, you dash off in a list of ideas you have stored up in a drawer somewhere and pour them out on me.

Helandhighwater wrote:What you have really outlined in this whole post is it makes no difference what you believe as long as it makes you happy, and you are a good person, just as my logic is good, yours for the believer is also reasonable. In essence it's all good, believe what you want, which is probably not how you see it, but then I suspect you lack perspective of others views.

Which means …???


What it says. I think you see religious people as having some sort of betterness and wellness of being over areligious people or atheists or even non Christians because you are one and lack perspective. Mankind has been dealing with death for the two hundred years of his existence, some do it by inventing mysticism and ritual practices around death which eventually leads to organised religion and dogmatic views of the after life, some believe life is what you are trying to escape from, that the goal is to cease to exist and not be reborn, others still think you dwell on as ancestor ghosts, and others yet think you rot in the ground and probably spend more time grounded in the here and now. All of the approaches are fine, none of them outrank any others.

I also genuinely don't understand how smug most religious people come off, when they wax on about how great it is to be with God and how they pity the poor sods born in a jungle in the middle of the Amazon who are going to hell, and all that other stuff, ok bit of an extreme example but when people start explaining about how wonderful it is to be x it always sounds like proselytising, even when it is not. You probably don't get why it makes people feel patronised. That's not something I can explain to someone.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Bob » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:36 pm

Helandhighwater wrote: I think you see religious people as having some sort of betterness and wellness of being over areligious people or atheists or even non Christians because you are one and lack perspective. Mankind has been dealing with death for the two hundred years of his existence, some do it by inventing mysticism and ritual practices around death which eventually leads to organised religion and dogmatic views of the after life, some believe life is what you are trying to escape from, that the goal is to cease to exist and not be reborn, others still think you dwell on as ancestor ghosts, and others yet think you rot in the ground and probably spend more time grounded in the here and now. All of the approaches are fine, none of them outrank any others.

Who is talking about “outranking”? I am talking about my observations of people who have lived and died in my care and my respect and acknowledgement of people I otherwise firmly disagree with.

And what do you mean by two hundred years?

Helandhighwater wrote:I also genuinely don't understand how smug most religious people come off, when they wax on about how great it is to be with God and how they pity the poor sods born in a jungle in the middle of the Amazon who are going to hell, and all that other stuff, ok bit of an extreme example but when people start explaining about how wonderful it is to be x it always sounds like proselytising, even when it is not. You probably don't get why it makes people feel patronised. That's not something I can explain to someone.

I fail to see complacency in what I have said, and I have certainly not been proselytising – I get the feeling that you are talking about someone else. My position is that religion isn't all bad, once you get down into understand where it is coming from. However, most believers do not – and neither do the non-believers, even if they are sometimes a little better informed. That is why such a lot of garbage is written for and against religion.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Helandhighwater » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:32 am

Bob wrote:
Helandhighwater wrote: I think you see religious people as having some sort of betterness and wellness of being over areligious people or atheists or even non Christians because you are one and lack perspective. Mankind has been dealing with death for the two hundred years of his existence, some do it by inventing mysticism and ritual practices around death which eventually leads to organised religion and dogmatic views of the after life, some believe life is what you are trying to escape from, that the goal is to cease to exist and not be reborn, others still think you dwell on as ancestor ghosts, and others yet think you rot in the ground and probably spend more time grounded in the here and now. All of the approaches are fine, none of them outrank any others.

Who is talking about “outranking”? I am talking about my observations of people who have lived and died in my care and my respect and acknowledgement of people I otherwise firmly disagree with.

And what do you mean by two hundred years?

Helandhighwater wrote:I also genuinely don't understand how smug most religious people come off, when they wax on about how great it is to be with God and how they pity the poor sods born in a jungle in the middle of the Amazon who are going to hell, and all that other stuff, ok bit of an extreme example but when people start explaining about how wonderful it is to be x it always sounds like proselytising, even when it is not. You probably don't get why it makes people feel patronised. That's not something I can explain to someone.

I fail to see complacency in what I have said, and I have certainly not been proselytising – I get the feeling that you are talking about someone else. My position is that religion isn't all bad, once you get down into understand where it is coming from. However, most believers do not – and neither do the non-believers, even if they are sometimes a little better informed. That is why such a lot of garbage is written for and against religion.



Look I know you didn't mean what I said, I said that, I am just saying how it comes off generally, something you are probably not aware of as always a Christian. Just saying. You may well not be aware of it, but people tend to do that, on one side think they are just saying x, and on the other side think they are saying y, on either side both sides can come off as patronising. Maybe they shouldn't but this is the problem. You should just accept this that people generally get mildly offended by people who just speak about how wonderful their own perspective is, it's why this forum called religion exists. It's why religious stupidity and irrleligious stupidity can if not cause exacerbate wars. It's just something I noted.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Mutcer » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:12 pm

Mythoughts21 wrote:Not going to mean this in a rude manner at all so please dont take it that way.

So whether true or not religious people find comfort in death from after life. How do athiests find comfort? This is nothing new but death is one scaryyyyyyyyyyyy thing, to me its the scariest thing we will ever face. I believe in a god not one that may be depicted in religions right now, but a god. Im still scared by the thought of death, but I can ease my fear with the thought of after life. When the thought of dying into nothingness to mind it gives nothing really to live for in my book.

Basically just want to know 1. How you cope with death 2. What do you live for?

Before you were born, did you find things to be miserable? Unless there is some form of consciousness after death, then being dead can't be any worse than it is prior to being born. And were you in any kind of misery prior to being born?
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Hobbes Choice » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:44 am

Mythoughts21 wrote:Not going to mean this in a rude manner at all so please dont take it that way.

So whether true or not religious people find comfort in death from after life. How do athiests find comfort? This is nothing new but death is one scaryyyyyyyyyyyy thing, to me its the scariest thing we will ever face. I believe in a god not one that may be depicted in religions right now, but a god. Im still scared by the thought of death, but I can ease my fear with the thought of after life. When the thought of dying into nothingness to mind it gives nothing really to live for in my book.

Basically just want to know 1. How you cope with death 2. What do you live for?



SO what you are saying is that death is scary? Death is nothing, then nothing is scary. But is you know that something is scary , nothing cannot be scary, thus death is not scary.

The problem is about dying. Death is easy, you will be in that state till time ends. But you already have 13 billion years of that state, before you were born, So what is your problem?

I live for myself, and those around me. I do not live to please an invisible being, in the faint hope that I wlll be one of the living dead at some point in the future.

It really does not matter what you believe: it will not make it true. Would it not be better to live your life to the full whilst you can, and not as some sort of rehearsal for death?
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Rhinoboy » Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:23 am

Hobbes Choice wrote:
Jayson wrote:Critical analysts will forever be tormented by common fare use of terms.

For example; is Hello Kitty Minimalist Commercial Art, or Superflat Art?
What is "grunge" music, exactly?
What is "Christian"?


Is is nothing if not a person who follows the explicit teachings of Jesus of Nazareth considered as a "CHRIST".
Otherwise it is either a lie or a term of abuse.
Christ is not a surname it implies a person anointed by god's hand.
So in following his teachings you are ipso facto following the advice of a man who speaks with the voice of god.
I'm not sure if it is appropriate even to think of Jesus as a mortal, and be christian, though you may disagree.
SInce i've had my ears chewed off on this site for extending the term "fundamentalist" to include those outside a narrowly defined late 19thC, early 20thC new interpretation of Xity, then I don't feel it is out of order to consider "Christian" in these broad but more closely defined and more precise way.

I think this laissez-faire, cherry picking attitude to religious belief is nothing more that playing Pascal's wager. When you get to judgement day you can always have the excuse to say to god, that's what I thought you wanted, and every one else is wrong, when in fact you feel deep down that 2000 years of Xity is false ideology, and demonstrate that by your approach.


You are of course entitled to your belife that this is simply a version of Pascal's wager but you have no evidence.

Many Xians of my acquaintance have expressed it precisely in those terms.
But it's a bit rich of you to chide me on a lack of evidence! :D
The only "evidence" that you have of Jesus is a book that you largely reject.


Why is it so hard for an atheist to belive that there are different ideas of what it means to be a follower of Christ?

I don't have any trouble believing that: I know it. You are missing the point, or just not expressing yourself well.
I am suggesting that it is ridiculous for there to be so many shades of belief, on the one hand, and a single redemptive god on the other. You can't all be right - so I don't feel obliged to accept any of it - and why should I?
The god you claim encompasses all of Christendom must be a bizarrely capricious being to accept such incompatible diversity and contradiction.
The real question is why do you accept such a laissez-faire, cherry picking attitude to religious belief, and still claim to have it right.


You seem to be defending the fundamentalists more even than they themselves do...

I think not. You are all the same to me.
In other words, you are a fundamentalist, who rejects most of the Bible, whereas they are fundamentalists who mine the Book for inspiration, you just ignore what you don't like. They are "followers of Christ", and follow what he is claimed to have said; and You are a "follower" who rejects much of what he said.
Neither of you amount to a viable way to live your life; they for adhering to a dead book, and you for making it up as you go along.


Do you really think that up until the 19th century that everyone held to the literalist belife? I think if you look deeper you will see that the earliest forms of Chrsitianity found most biblical definition metaphorical. As was the tradition in those times. I am confused as to your motivation in leading this conversation down this particular path, have I offended you or criticised your beliefs?[/quote]

Response in Blue
[/quote]


We all believe what feels right to each of us. You decide to judge those around you and attach labels inaccurately and arguing against that is pointless. Obviously it helps you in some way, or at the very least you feel it does.

God bless

R
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Follow your heart, and whatever the truth is you can at least be cirtain that you have been true to yourself.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Bob » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:24 pm

I have developed my position towards Christianity and Christ through my experience of it – within Christianity and from outside.

For me Christianity has gone through a number of transformations, leading up to the modern complications that have become so disturbing today.

First of all, we have a young man who is immersed in Jewish tradition but also highly influenced by the school of the Cynics, who challenges the religion of the day calling it hypocritical and who shows the crowds a form of faith which is able to be spontaneously compassionate and caring. The duplicity of the Temple leaders lead to his being whisked away as another “terrorist” and crucified.

His followers are concerned that he should be portrayed differently, as the archetype of faith, rather than as a criminal, and after a few generations of spreading his teaching and living in the way the feel he saw fit, various accounts of his life start appearing, which begin idealising and mystifying his presence.

At a later date, the mystification is continued and expanded; so far that he is for many not just metaphorically, but physically “God in disguise”. Many theories of his nature start emerging and each theory is further speculated, so that theology becomes independent of the source and dogmatic.

Various dogmas compete and with the coming to power of Christians, being politically manipulated, Christ becomes more and more like the perfect Emperor and his church like a court of law.

The rest, we all know … or should know.

Therefore, it is quite possible to see Christianity at all of these stages having some valuable message, whereas not ignoring the fact that the idea of a logical continuation is highly unlikely. Especially since in the growth of the West Christianity has been largely influential, it would be difficult to transport moral expression in different terms, and therefore the symbolism of Christianity is widespread – even if the teaching is ignored.

I personally have failed within my lifetime at Christianity, finding it deeply troubling in parts, and highly idealistic, which can also become fanatical. But even idealism, if contradicted by real experience, can be a source of breakdown and depression – something that we are experiencing widespread in Christianity, albeit not admitted by most.

The evangelic syndrome, of seeing devils and angels, is also a result of deep conviction and devotion towards an idealistic religion.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby LaughingMan » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:55 am

Atheist here.

A. I live for entertainment, pleasure, and sport.

B. I want to believe in the eternal return concept via quantum physics. I have no evidence beyond theoretical explanations for it however.

Of course if I'm incorrect on that where death is indeed the annihilation of consciousness nothing would really matter anyways.
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Re: Question For Athiests

Postby Artimas » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:59 am

Mythoughts21 wrote:Not going to mean this in a rude manner at all so please dont take it that way.

So whether true or not religious people find comfort in death from after life. How do athiests find comfort? This is nothing new but death is one scaryyyyyyyyyyyy thing, to me its the scariest thing we will ever face. I believe in a god not one that may be depicted in religions right now, but a god. Im still scared by the thought of death, but I can ease my fear with the thought of after life. When the thought of dying into nothingness to mind it gives nothing really to live for in my book.

Basically just want to know 1. How you cope with death 2. What do you live for?


I am comforted by the fact that it will be random, and chances are it will be painless and quick. Another thing that helps with the thought is that you do not know what is going to happen, so embracing the randomness of what could come next, it may not be all too bad. Perhaps even better than what we're facing right now. What if this is actually death, and death of which we perceive as such is actually life? We don't know and we cannot know until it happens. It is one of the ultimate experiences, no one can tell you about it, it can only happen.

No point fretting over the inevitable. The next question, since death is inevitable... does this mean that life is inevitable? Were you inevitable? No matter what, were you going to happen?

A "god" who deserves worship will be humble enough to reject it; A "god" who demands worship will not be worthy of it.

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