Atheism and universal loneliness

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by wynn, May 30, 2012.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Atheism and universal loneliness



    The threads on the FSM and "evolution is wack" got me thinking -


    The ideas of the FSM, "evolution as a blind, non-intelligent process," "we are merely bio-mechanical systems" are also related with ideas and expressions of a sense of loneliness, abandoned-ness, a Weltschmerz, a resignation and apathy that follow rejection and disappointment.

    Atheism is not born out of happiness. Atheism is not born out of being content with one's life.
    Atheism is born out of disappointment, atheism is born out of misery.

    Happy people don't say "In the Grand Scheme of Things, we don't matter, and we just have to suck it up."
     
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  3. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    Warning- Long Post Follows. - Narrated by Carl Sagan LOL

    Atheism is rather free. It is not a belief- it is a lack of belief.

    What an amazing thing it is, to study the Universe, to see where we came from. To know that you can research, test and examine to find answers, not chalk them up to a mystery, that only the mind of God can fathom.
    It's a delight to observe our natural world, to see life emerge from a womb- to know how these things happened, where we most likely came from- It's a wonderment how self replicating molecules work in accordance with Emergence- Because it tantalizes the imagination that we are not Alone In The Universe. That out there, there are other life forms- maybe even on the Moons of the Jovian worlds in our own solar system.

    Without the study, the research and the technology, we could never know of such things. We can verify this, see this, not pray about it or be left wondering, uncertain. We would not be able to communicate so efficiently, with such a diverse population as we can now. We would not be able to question our own baser instincts and improve upon our nature, such as overcoming racism, sexism, territorial and predatory instincts. Being able to question ourselves, our origins allows us greater ability to improve, rather than to try to pray, accept as Faith or follow "divine doctrine" that is often violent, archaic and self-conflicting. Yes, we have a long way to go- but we have time. We have the desire. We have many who will fight for it and many who are willing to teach young minds.
    No longer are we constrained to live in the shadows, to question and not get answered, to fear eternal damnation over petty human differences in opinion.

    It frees a person from the fear of death and assures us of a Special Place, not one in an afterlife of Heavenly wonder- But one in which we are empowered by our drive and desire to move forward, explore, find new heights of creativity and express ourselves without fear of condemnation by a fundamental establishment.

    By examining our concepts of Morality, rather than just accepting desert scribblings, we can question their validity, search for a better way, a more productive way, a way that brings our differences together, rather than driving us further apart.

    We are able to be more accepting of our nature, more understanding of our limitations, more open to progress and change.

    We have ourselves, eachother, our differences and our similarities. We cannot be lonely. There is a diverse ecosystem that begs to be examined, explored and sometimes, just appreciated as you sit in quiet introspection watching the natural workings of life buzz around you. We have an amazing world of our own, that has new discoveries waiting to be made. We can even examine the lives of our ancestors, our roots. Where we started, how we progressed, how we lived. We can share in their experiences, from our earliest ancestors on up to the present. What could be more amazing than that?
    We are not abandoned- we are able to Unite.
    We are not rejected, we can speak a Universal language of Understanding.
    We are not apathetic, we are driven by curiosity, motivated by progress, impressed with our ability to bring about change and can take small pride in what we accomplish. What we accomplish by ourselves.
    We are not resigned to fate; we are enabled by our evolution to examine fate and encourage change.

    Wynn, maybe you need to do what I do- get up on the roof of your house, kick back and LOOK at the Universe. It's amazing in every detail, and we are very much a part of it. A part that has the ability to SEE it.

    I, for one, cannot imagine anything better than the kind of enlightenment that comes from hard work.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
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  5. Buddha12 Valued Senior Member

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    It is not hardness of heart or evil passions that drive certain individuals to atheism, but rather a scrupulous intellectual honesty.

    STEVE ALLEN, 2000 Years of Disbelief


    I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.

    — Andrew Carnegie


    Lighthouses are more helpful then churches.

    — Benjamin Franklin



    The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

    — George Bernard Shaw


    Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

    — Denis Diderot


    A man is accepted into a church for what he believes and he is turned out for what he knows.

    — Samuel Clemens


    Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

    — Edward Gibbon
     
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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Apparently Mr. Shaw never got drunk.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  8. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    "Good morning, Pooh Bear," said Eeyore gloomily. "If it is a good morning," he said. "Which I doubt," said he.
    "Why, what's the matter?"
    "Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can't all, and some of us don't. That's all there is to it."
    "Can't all what?" said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
    "Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush."
     
  9. spidergoat Turd Reich Valued Senior Member

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    Where? I wasn't aware of this.
     
  10. spidergoat Turd Reich Valued Senior Member

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    Obviously. I'm not upset that there isn't a God, I never believed in it and I'm quite happy there is no evidence for one.
     
  11. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Inserting "blind" and "merely" into those phrases makes them into circular, self-confirming prophecies.

    It might be very closely associated, in the thinking of theists, when they try to imagine reality without the deity that they believe in (or want so badly to believe in). Empty and forsaken.

    If a theist imagines him or herself with the theism ripped out, then they are going to imagine a bloody painful hole in themselves.

    The flaw in your thinking is that you are imagining this situation from the theist's point of view.

    We could just as easily say that it's the theists who feel the sense of emptiness and incompletion, the feeling that you spoke of up above, and respond to it as children do, by imagining that they have an invisible supernatural friend.

    That won't make the theist's occasional feelings of emptiness go away. But at least the theist can imagine that those feelings of suffering are only temporary, and that they will finally be banished when the theist finally dies and gets to be with their invisible friend for ever and ever. Everything will finally be happy... then.

    Perhaps a better, a more mature, way to address this is to address the feelings of suffering more directly.

    Happy people don't put themselves into a psychological place where they can't feel happiness and can't find peace, unless they imagine that the whole universe revolves around them and is focused precisely on them.

    Is that a realistic expectation? Why do so many people feel so strongly that it needs to be so?

    There's a strong element of self-centered egoism in that kind of thinking, and that egoism might arguably be a big part of what's causing the suffering in the first place.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2012
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    It does, yes. And I see this as one of the core problems of atheism.


    No. I am using atheist terminology.

    Atheists do say that the process of evolution is "blind" and such.

    It is the atheist discourse itself that is so suggestive of theistic meanings even as it opposes theism.

    It's the atheists who need to actually separate themselves from theism and come up with a discourse that is independent from theism (although I've no idea how they are going to do that).
    If they want to be seen as a viable alternative to theism, that is.


    I'd very much like to see a discourse about human life in which the words and phrases are suggestive of neither a mechanical, robot-like existence nor an opposition to theism.


    (Although I already have one such discourse in mind, but I doubt that the atheists can top that one.)
     
  13. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    That might be the case for you personally. It is not the case for me nor any atheists I know personally.

    That might be the case for you personally. Atheism (the non-belief in deities) for me is born out of values. I value truth highly and theism is incompatible with that value. Atheism (the political position) for me is also born out of values. I value freedom, open inquiry, discovery, self determination, and identity. Theism is incompatible with these values.

    If the person doesn't have any kind of psychological issue of not being objectively important (because that doesn't exist) then they can be perfectly happy and issue the statement.

    Wynn, you are unimportant, you don't matter, and you have no purpose. Do those statements make you feel bad? If so, then you may have a dependency on the non-existent and it's purely psychological. Those very same statements mean nothing to me because they aren't based on reality.

    What does affect me for example is when someone I know says "you are important to me" or "you matter to me". That is healthy.
     
  14. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    But you're working with a false dichotomy - "Either the Universe revolves around me, or it's all for naught."
    Why not allow for a meaningful sense of personal worth and relevance that is between the two extremes?


    Back to "No man, no problem"?
     
  15. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    You mean that your idea of theism is incompatible with those things.



    I know you don't like philosophy.

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  16. spidergoat Turd Reich Valued Senior Member

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    Atheism already does allow for that. You can find worth in whatever you want, as long as it isn't a fantasy. But you have to know that there is no evidence of any meaning in the universe, it's all rocks, gasses, and nuclear reactions. We aren't trying to craft an appealing outlook on life, we assume you are mature enough to deal with the facts as they appear to be.
     
  17. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Up to the point you say "...are also related with ideas and expressions of ...", at which point you move into projection.

    We do, because that is how we see it... the same way as an ocean is blind with regard its erosion of coastlines.
    We do - but you're unlikely to find it in a Religion forum.
    Given that atheism is merely a lack of belief in God, it might be that you have read many such discourses but merely failed to realise whether those involved are atheist or theist.
    People don't generally introduce the concept of theism or atheism unless as part of a discussion where those labels have meaning.
    And if you want a discourse independent of theism then look in non-religious threads. Philosophy is full of non-religious discourse on life.

    But it is odd to go to a soccer match and then complain that people kick the ball too much.
    Viable for who? It's viable for me. It's up to others to decide what is viable for themselves. All anyone else can do is point out what they consider to be flaws in their thinking.
    Then looking in a religion forum of a predominantly science-based website is probably not the best place to look.
     
  18. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

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    For the first part, my idea of theism is based on how English speaking human beings in America have defined it:

    the·ism
       [thee-iz-uhm] Show IPA

    noun
    1.
    the belief in one God as the creator and ruler of the universe, without rejection of revelation ( distinguished from deism).

    2.
    belief in the existence of a god or gods ( opposed to atheism).

    For the second part, my idea of theism is based on how people all over the world behave under its influence.

    In either case I am working with either an objective definition or objective behaviors.

    I like avoiding the issue even less.
     
  19. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

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    wynn

    Another pile of male bovine excretory barnyard fertilizer you've dumped on the forum. And here's why...

    The FSM is a critique of the inanity of religious claims manufactured by those trying to point it out, it has ZERO to say about the psychology behind the one putting it forward as an analogy.

    Claptrap! Atheism is simply the rejection of ancient superstitious beliefs, beliefs that are becoming more and more incompatable with rational, knowledgable society.

    Atheists do not claim anything like that. We just concentrate on the things that really matter, advancing knowledge, morals based on logic and reason, interpersonal relationships and real world problems without the distraction of worrying about how non-existent dieties might feel about such things. There is as much liberation and wonder in looking at the Universe as it really is as any mind numbed theist zealot can acheive through religious fantasies, likely from the same quadrant of the brain.

    Atheism is not a replacement for false religious beliefs of man's importance in the Universe, it is freedom from such delusions.

    You keep claiming to not be a theist, but it is obvious in your posts that you are incapable or unwilling to think as anything but a theist.

    Grumpy

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  20. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    That was well put! I couldn't have said it better myself! :bravo:
     
  21. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

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    wynn

    Reality is always a viable alternative to mysticism and superstition. Atheism is not an alternative to religion, it is simply a rejection of non-sense.

    Grumpy

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  22. Grumpy Curmudgeon of Lucidity Valued Senior Member

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    neverfly

    I echo Troopers sentiment, excellent, cogent and thoughtful post!

    Grumpy

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  23. spidergoat Turd Reich Valued Senior Member

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    More likely it's that existential loneliness led misguided people to invent an imaginary friend that could never leave them.
     

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