To those accepting the label: Atheist.

What gives that which you strive for reason?
And if I may ask… What do you strive for?

On this Earth, that doesn’t even have one finger clinging to the ledge of peace, but so desperately tries to reach it, only to continue cycles of despair, why do you choose survival?

Cake mostly.

But to be more to the point, there is a lot more going right with the world then going wrong: People are generally semetrical, most of the trees come out right, heck the delicate danse of parts that makes up my downstairs neigbor who spends 90% of her time playing free-cell is enough to celebrate. All thats dangerous, we must always strive for improvement.

The real thing is I generally like, all though its not often the case, fairly good reason to do something. Especially something ‘Big’. So really, I don’t off myself for the same reason I don’t belive in God: I just don’t think I have a particular good reason too. (And if I hold out until tomarrow morning, I probably get a Bagel- Sweet!!)

I also have this concept that I can advance the state of human wisdom. By serveing as a small cog in the machine known as philosophy. I hope that one day later generations will know what ‘is’ is and be able to assert or deny the existance of their desk with absolute certanity. Oh, and perhapse several generations after that can have world peace (through a clear ethical system) and eternal life (due to a complete metaphysic) but right now I’m really concentrateing on that ‘is’ thing. I wouldn’t want to get ahead of myself.

Of course I’m well aware that my existance may be oblitherated. But I’m not particularly selfish. I’m always scared of people that can’t do virtue for it’s own sake and need outside reasons- on both sides of the theistic divide.

Well, on second thought…

I do agree that the world has more right going on with it than wrong, but then I get to wondering, what deems it right? I suppose it is right in in that it is functioning. Are you referring to this, or right according to morals?

While world peace seems all dandy-fantastic, the probability of a Utopia emerging from this machine of philosophy, which has yet to operate without occasional human error, seems unlikely.

But… to steer away from cynicism, it’s refreshing to hear of hope for humanity such as yours. My father never fails to remind me to “Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.”

I cannot criticize.
I respect the path you’re taking.
Thanks for the reply.

“I’m always scared of people that can’t do virtue for it’s own sake and need outside reasons- on both sides of the theistic divide.”

I’ll be pondering that one.

Pantheism: where science meets religion. All my philosophies are either based upon, or take into consideration the pantheistic belief. Pantheism is the obvious answer to theism vs atheism. What is God? God is observable, non-observable, and yet to be observed phenomena. God is everything. Even your denial of God is God. Shape and form are the body of God, events and processes are the vital signs of God, meaning is the intellect of God. It all fits in to my philosophy that uses form, meaning, and process to accurately describe every aspect of the universe through providing “the big picture”.

Form, meaning, and process are all interactive. Through these interactions we have reality. Through analysis of these interactions we can describe reality. Our observations, our interpretations, they are an integral and inseparable portion of the universe. My philosophy says that it is the duty of conscious thought cycles to provide form and process with meaning. In other words, it’s our duty to know God, which we do by asking questions, and providing meaningful answers to them.

Very interesting ACB.

Only recently have I stumbled across pantheism.

So far, I agree with it.

Would the pantheists be more apt to use godly in this sense?

godly (gaawwd-lee) adj.

  1. of existential properties

Can you be an atheist and a pantheist at the same time?

I’m not big on sweets, but I really like Fruity Pebbles.

Bagels are nummy. I’m also an oatmeal fan. And smoothies are the shite.

Their desks? I always used the table as an example. Desks have too many complicated pockets and moving parts, dude. We gotta start simple.

I would particularly like to point out the, “I’m scared of people that can’t do virtue for its own sake and need oustide reasons.” I second, third, fourth, hell I X to the 2100th power that.

Can I add anything? Well, I typically strive to be a better, more capable, and more compassionate person. Think of Buddha for instance. He was an atheist, and yet still managed to be a supremely intelligent and moral human being. I’d like to be much like him, but to also be a successful writer, competent musician, and eventually (if I meet the right girl) a good husband and father. And if I last long enough, a good grandpa too.

I’d like to make whatever meaningful contributions I can to the world, be they academic, artistic, social, political, etc., and still not have to wake up before 10a.m. I’m still not sure how that’s going to happen, but I have hope. :slight_smile:

I find God to be a lame excuse for most things, but I respect the good some of the faithful have done (and I think Jesus and Buddha would’ve gotten along splendidly) and I don’t find theism to be a character flaw so much as just a silly superstition. But many people have supersititions, and so long as you don’t use it as an excuse to be a dick, we’ll get along fine. :slight_smile:

Is that enough for now?

I don’t believe that it would be possible for someone to be pantheist and atheist at the same time, because atheism is specifically the belief that God does not exist. Pantheism is the belief that God does exist, but God is everything including ourselves. A pantheist probably wouldn’t use godly like that because they would believe that God is not only everything that exists, but everything that doesn’t exist at the same time. One of the goals of pantheism is to completely eliminate duality. Duality is the mental separation of pieces of the universe. The pantheist tries to know God (and be closer to God) by only seeing and thinking of the universe as one thing, and not many. Pantheism is central to most eastern philosophies.

Are you referring to Siddhartha Gautama? He was a pantheist. Pantheism is central to Buddhism, at least every form of Buddhism I am familiar with.

I’m not sure I see the difference. In pantheism - it seems to me - God loses meaning. What sense can it make to speak of God as everything?An atheist can believe in the universe. A theist calls the universe “God.” Just different names for the same thing then aren’t they?

Perhaps it makes more sense to contemplate panentheism (as opposed to pantheism). Panentheism is the belief that the universe is an extension of God. An extension of space and time. This allows for God to hold some eternal, unchanging qualities as well. Kind of a “dualistic” God as A.N. Whitehead postulated.

Probably I’m just splitting hairs but I thought the distinction worth noting.

Small point. Atheism, is not the belife in no God, but the lack in a belife of God. I mean I still hold out that God is a possibility, but then agian its a possibility that we are nothing more then a dream of a space alien. So its really apropriate to say I don’t belive in God. It’s not like I’m 50%-50% more like .000…001%-99.999…

Slightly larger point. Pantheism really scares me because, at least if you follow Spinzoa’s line of reasoning, it implies that nothing can ever go wrong. Rape, Murder, and Texas are all simply facets of God, and once we comprehend that we will see the beatuty- to parapharse Spinoza.

Now, to actually answer a question: What determines what is right? Well here is one instance where that machinery is usefull. Realtivism in all its forms is problematic. So problematic indeed that I find it much much less probably than I find God (see above) and I think that in clear moments of thinking on the subject I find it impossible. On the other hand, the thesis that there is no morality, has no such inconsistancy issues. However, in such a case I’m absolutely free to promote what I agree with and dissaude what I find abominable. However, mosty I belive in moral absoluteism. I aslo think its not enterly the right question to ask how this came about. Indeed, I could ask where does V = I * R come from, but indeed its just a property of the universe the way it is. That’s how I tend to think about the rules of morality- they just come with the package so to speak. If you really wanted to you could even think of ethical particles, Ethons, if you will- but thats probably unessisary.

Is that moderately coherent?

I’m not familiar with pantheism. I am familiar with Zen, Shin, Therveda, and Mahayana, and they’re all atheistic. The Buddha himself quite readily denied the existence of God.

“Gods” as they’re commonly used in Buddhism are mental constructs, they’re tools to be used. Maya is not “real” in the sense that a Shintoist or Christian thinks of God(s) or angels, spirits, etc., as being “real.”

Do you have a definition of atheism I am not familiar with? And you’re quite possibly using God in some odd way I’m not also using. The Buddha denied the “traditional” conception of God (that which Christians commonly preach) so perhaps in the pantheistic view you’re thinking of, this is not so.

This is actually a topic of hot debate. A lot of people are sort of taken aback that Buddhism is atheistic, yet teaches virtue. There has been some discussion of this, and some people see Buddhism as accepting the concept of “God” in different ways, such as “God is love” and no Buddhist is going to deny the existence of love. But in reference to the traditional conception, yes, Buddhism denies it (or at least any “Buddhism” based on the Buddha’s teachings).


Thank you. You’re my hero. Well, not really. but thanks for pointing that out. :slight_smile:

Also, Moral Nihlism (there is no morality) is problematic in at least one sense: it denies experience. And that’s not something I’m willing to do.

Ciao babes.

Well, your analysis in pantheism is based upon one assumption: God is infallible. Who says God is always right, all that pantheism says is that God is everything, not that everything is right or wrong. Let’s look at the universe (and therefore god) as we would any conscious organism. For an example we will take you, lost guy. You are an organism. Let’s say that your body is the physical universe, and that your mind is the conceptual universe. Is your body always functioning perfectly? Do you never think of anything wrong? Any conscious organism, the universe included, has it’s good and bad. Without the bad, there would be no good, and vice versa.

Atheism: (according to American heritage) 1.Disbelief or denial of the existance of God 2. godlessness

Yes, I agree that Buddhists do not believe in the Christian form of god, but that is not to say that they do not believe in any God. They believe that the universe itself is divine, so therefore should not be classified as atheists.

back to where this thread started… from where does the Atheist derive meaning in his/her life? Is there meaning for the Atheist? Is there purpose in life? Are there any reasons to choose one path over another (i.e. is anything intrinsically good or bad within an Atheistic worldview)?

as for buddhism… i had never thought it to be atheistic, simply that buddhism denied personal gods… i had thought the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama) believed in the Brahma, the Uncreated back to which man may return… I claim no real knowledge on this subject though and am just throwing out bits and pieces that i remember

I am an atheist. Lost Guy has the right definition, it’s a lack of a belief, not a belief in a lack. Since I cannot definitely prove one way or another about god’s existence, I use observation and experience and I find that the idea of a god is completely unnecessary. The universe is as it is, the particles and energy (if there is even a distinction there) are what they are, doing the only things they can do in their circumstance of existence and causality. Things just are things, I don’t understand why there has to be a guiding hand to cause a bird to shit on my car. So it seems unnecessary to begin with, then I look at the religions I’ve encountered, which are so contradictory and outright silly that they can’t contribute anything to my life, unless certain quotes or concepts are taken completely out of context, where they might make sense. Given all this, that there is no guiding or loving hand, that morality is a repressive behavioral control construct, and so on, why am I still alive, and what value do I place in living? Pleasure. It’s as simple as that. I believe that if I die, it’s just a matter of the chemical reactions in my brain changing into a non-living set (energy can’t be destroyed, so there must still be chemical reactions going on, just not me). If I live, I know there is a potential for pleasure, because I experience it (though not as often or as intensely as I’d like), but if I die I feel very confident in saying that I wouldn’t… anything. No existence means no pleasure, existence has at least the potential for it. So I orient my existence to maximize my joys, pleasures, happiness, contentment, satisfaction… (I use the word pleasure to refer to all of the positives of mental, emotional, or physical experiences) That is the meaning of my life, and the reason for it’s continuance.


Atheist: One who denies the existance of God

Atheism: 1.Disbelief or denial of the existance of God 2. godlessness

Agnostic: 1. n. Someone who believes that there can be no proof of the existance of God but does not deny the possiblilty that God exists. -adj. pertaining to agnostics or their doctrines.

Agnosticism: 1. philos. The doctrines of the agnostics, holding that certainty, first or absolute truths, are unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge
2. theol. A theory that does not deny God, but denies the possiblity of knowing him.

Right, so then one who does not belive in God but thinks there is a possibility of knowing would be a…

Rape, murder, and Texas? shit, man, I mean Damn, Texas ain’t that bad

That depends on whether or not they deny the existance of God in the first place. If they deny the existance of God, and don’t think it could ever be proved otherwise, then they are an atheist according to definition. If they don’t believe God exists due to lack of evidence, but still leave the option of the existance of God open, then they would be an agnostic by defintion, right?