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Eaten By Cheese

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:58 pm
Kralegna Wrote:
I'm not sure if your going to this thread again, but I'll post this anyway. I'm sorry if someone already asked these, but I'm to lazy to read everything in here(maybe I'll read all of it later). I have two main questions, both are very philosophical in nature(I'm a philosopher, so I know all the main questions and arguments), so nether of these can really be answered completely. I'll give you some background as to why I'm asking these questions, so you can answer them more effectively and more completely.

The first has to do mainly with what your perspective is personally, I already have a personal answer; but I would just like to see another side to it. I have been an agnostic and atheist in the past, at that time I was searching every possible belief(science based ones too) to uncover the truth. At the end though, I thought it was hopeless, nothing seemed to be true(not even logic based ones like the Big Bang theory, or atheistic ones). I was very scared of everything, and the rest of my outer life was already in chaos. I thought about suicide many, many times, but I never ever wanted to do it. The reason was that I thought that I would disappear forever and never live again. Many other things happened, but I won't get into it... My question is

What does it feel like to "know" for sure that you're going to just cease to exist at all after death? Is it filled with hopelessness or have you found a meaning of life to follow despite knowing it won't matter in the end?

It's not filled with hopelessness, and I do not feel that my actions will not matter in the end. Rather, my actions will have an effect on future generation, and whether large or small, they will count. I can't pretend to know that I will stop existing after death, but if I assume (based on the lack of evidence that anything else will happen) that I will, then I am content with the knowledge that I will have lived a good life. I think that the impact I make will make my life matter in the end, and I can only strive to make the best impact I can.

Expecting myself to stop existing after death also gives me just as much of a reason to want to continue living as someone who believes suicide causes them to be condemned to hell. But though life may be better than death, I can only accept that someday the inevitable will happen and I will die. Only when I'm unable to accept this does the prospect of death daunt me.
Kralegna Wrote:
My second question is a reaction to your previous answer in earlier posts. It has to do with free will, as the ability to chose an answer that is something out of reality; this includes, your physical mind or brain (conscious, sub-conscious, etc...) your bodies hormones and genes(DNA, RNA, etc..), your "heart's" desires(emotions, feelings wants, dislikes, etc), and the surrounding environment(upbringing, culture, history, ideologies, etc..). It was about the one where you stated that you cannot chose to believe or not to believe. My question is

What are your reasons for thinking that we cannot chose what to believe in? Is in it because you believe that everything is predetermined at the start of the universe, or just that free will doesn't exist(thus we have no soul) and we cannot control our minds into changing our believes...... or is it both of these?

We cannot completely control our minds, but we can persuade ourself in our beliefs to an extent. However, if I told myself right now that 'I believe in God', I still would not believe in God. In situations like this, one's beliefs are defined by what they truly do believe in, rather than what they think they should believe in, or want to believe in. Even if someone wants to or should believe in something, they won't necessarily believe in it.
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:03 pm
Stardust Drifter Wrote:
Ineresting. Well why bring up a discussion? ^^; I mean some people may try to change you. Actually what I find funny.

Is that people don't belive in God because they don't see him. Yet...they belive in aliens...xP lol but you don't see aliens. And then they give because they expect 'some holy power' to grant their wish..xP

But that's just me. I'm a christian, a Prodestant to be exact. I won't change, but I will fight for my faith.

but I'm not here to smash you. I just don't really see a point. ^^; I mean Athiests rely on facts to back up their points of view. ^^; so they really don't understand..xP

Sorry, I'm getting a bit confused here. ^__^;; What's the main point you're trying to convey?

And are you saying that aliens exist or that they don't? I appologize, but I really am quite confused here. smilies/icon_sweatdrop.gif
 

Eaten By Cheese

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Eaten By Cheese

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 7:25 pm
Tarrou Wrote:
Incarcerated_love Wrote:
How do you define morals?

Broadly, I try to live by the Golden Rule ('treat others as you would like to be treated' or 'love your neighbor as yourself'). In more specific cases, I also favor utilitarian and Rawlsian ethics, depending on the situation. In terms of how I prefer to live my life, I'm an Epicurean.

In my eyes, one's morals are vital. A common misconception is that Atheists have no morals, because they do not believe in God and therefore must have no reason to live by morals. However, there are many reasons to live by one's morals other than to get into heaven or please God. Morals are what one reasons will make them a better person and positively impact others, and are therefore vital to a lifestyle beneficial to onesself and others. Personally, I find flaw in utilitarian ethics in that I think the morality of a choice should be based off of the outcome, yes, but also the thought process that factored into the decision-making (in other words, why the decision was made). I myself am in favor of Rawlsian ethics as well as Epicurean philosophy. =]
 
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:51 pm
i dunno i mean its your choice but still i dont get it  

Madelyn Horten

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kuntrykid

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 6:37 am
My understanding of atheism is that atheists only believe in what can be proven. Is this so?

Also, on the subject of the Big Bang theory, matter can not just exist without creation... if there was a beginning of time then it must have been created as it can not just occur. There had to have been a beginning of time because a mortal universe can not be infinite or contain infinity and if there was no beginning of time then there would have to be no end of time making it infinite (and vice versa which is why I believe there will be an end of time)... Imagine, if you will, a pole of infinite length... it would never end and so it could not be contained in a mortal universe. So if there was a big bang, the "singularity" would have to either be created or be infinite and still exist which could not happen... this is why I believe in a creator.  
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:18 pm
Madelyn Horten Wrote:
i dunno i mean its your choice but still i dont get it

All right. That's your choice too.
 

Eaten By Cheese

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Valandil517

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:16 pm
Hey, since I didn't see any of these questions earlier (if so, please forgive me, I am not all that retentive) I thought i should ask them if you don't mind.

*What do you say happened 2008 years ago, and why was it important enough to base the English calander on?
*What do you say happens after life?
*If there is no God or overall ruler, what keeps people from total chaos?
*Like above, but what makes morale of the human race?
*How do you say the world/universe was made?
*Is there a universal doer of evil that tries to convince us to do bad stuff?

Thanks for at least looking at this. It would be cool if you replied.

Valandil  
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 pm
Valandil517 Wrote:
What do you say happened 2008 years ago, and why was it important enough to base the English calander on?

Hey, I'm not the one who decided to date our year zero the birth of Christ. I just go along with it because it's the accepted standard in this society. Be a bit confusing for everyone if I started dating my checks 28th January 1429, wouldn't it?
Point is, the Gregorian calendar's year zero isn't universal. Jesus' birth was only important enough to Christians to turn it into a calendar epoch. Other people use different historical markers, such as Muslims dating the current era to the Hijrah (whence 1429). Had I been born into a nation with a different religious heritage, I'd be using their calendar instead.

Quote:
What do you say happens after life?

Nothing, mercifully.

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If there is no God or overall ruler, what keeps people from total chaos?

You're saying it's not chaos? I kid; but seriously, it ain't exactly organized down here.
To answer your question, though, the social contract, with a bit of residual evolutionary conditioning thrown in (we are a social species, after all). Basically, I won't hit you with a rock if you won't hit me. Mutually guaranteed safety allows for trust and cooperation.

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Like above, but what makes morale of the human race?

The ethic of reciprocity, plus the fact that social cooperation is to a certain degree hardwired into our brains. And given our species' history, I'd question whether human beings are 'moral' in any absolute sense.

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How do you say the world/universe was made?

The Big Bang, followed by the formation of stars, which in turn created the heavier elements that planets are made of. Before that is a mystery.

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Is there a universal doer of evil that tries to convince us to do bad stuff?

To paraphrase the great philosopher Hobbes (the tiger): I don't think we need the help.  

Tarrou

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Valandil517

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:35 pm
So what is the point of living if all you have worked for is for nothing? And if this is people's one and only chance to live a life, why aren't they going completely by pleasure. I mean, if I knew that it would be nothingness after I died, I would live life to the fullest. Since there is no sin orpunishment, I would not to go work, for I could get everything just by stealing. Why would I want to waste my time cleaning? I wouldn't abide by the laws, for imagine how much fun it must be to be going 100 down a highway like some of these video games. Want a girl or guy and you aren't married to them, why go ahead and do it since there is nothing bad that can come out of it. Why not go out killing people for the fun of it? Want something a friend has, why not go ahead and take it from them? Joy to the world, I'm here to live my life as I wish!

smilies/icon_neutral.gif  
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:32 pm
Valandil517 Wrote:
So what is the point of living if all you have worked for is for nothing?

To be alive? What, might I ask, is your suggested alternative? Death? Try reading Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus for one perspective on the matter.

Quote:
And if this is people's one and only chance to live a life, why aren't they going completely by pleasure. I mean, if I knew that it would be nothingness after I died, I would live life to the fullest.

I'd argue that there's a huge difference between living life to the fullest and hedonism, which is what you're describing. Epicureanism holds, for example, that while pleasure is the highest goal in life (with mental pleasures given greater weight than physical ones), overindulgence leads to suffering and is to be avoided. I'd also ask, why aren't you living life to the fullest anyway?

Quote:
Since there is no sin orpunishment, I would not to go work, for I could get everything just by stealing.

And get caught and thrown in jail by the authorities, which is anything but pleasant. Why would you court punishment by temporal authorities just because they have no eternal counterpart, especially if your goal is to maximize your own pleasure?

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Why would I want to waste my time cleaning?

One wonders. I happen to think that it's overrated myself.

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I wouldn't abide by the laws, for imagine how much fun it must be to be going 100 down a highway like some of these video games.

So your goal is to ensure that your life is short and your death gruesome? Again, logic tells you not to drive at moronic speeds, not God.

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Want a girl or guy and you aren't married to them, why go ahead and do it since there is nothing bad that can come out of it.

You mean have sex? Why not indeed. Prophylactics make extramarital sex a calculated (and pretty low) risk. Not that making it a nightly activity is a good idea (again, overindulgence is bad, plus frequency increases overall risk), but no, there's no reason for it to bear a moral stigma.

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Why not go out killing people for the fun of it?

One: there's nothing 'fun' about murder for those of us who aren't psychopaths. Two: the law. Three: it's not in anyone's best interest to allow rampant, unchecked homicide; society doesn't function well when there's no general guarantee of its citizens' bodily safety.

People only kill when given a reason, such as personal gain or ideology. Christianity has already given us, 'Kill them all, God will know His own'. What's your excuse?

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Want something a friend has, why not go ahead and take it from them?

Because you won't be friends for very long thereafter, and believe it or not, human beings put a pretty high premium on friendship.

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Joy to the world, I'm here to live my life as I wish!

Except the behaviors you've describe are characteristic of sociopaths, not atheists. Contrary to popular belief, atheists aren't organized into roaming bands of nihilistic bandits raping, pillaging, and murdering their way across the American heartland. I mean, you ask why atheists don't do these things, but I'm betting you've never actually seen an atheist speeding down the highway at 100mph or murdering someone for kicks or looting the local electronics store. We don't behave that way because we're decent human beings, not because God is wagging his finger at us.  

Tarrou

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Valandil517

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:50 am
So how would it feel living for a short 80 or so years and then dieing? What would nothingness be like? Would you be concious still, or just, nothing? In my life, I try to make the best of things. I go to church, read the Bible almost everyday, help others, volunteer at retirment homes, give to others who need more than I do, and try to please my God. I will occasionaly go out and do something different, but what would be the purpose of that? Pleasure is soo short-lived and I will have all eterntiy to be with my God and live an awesome life. Well, lets say that everyone started living for pleasure. If there were no gods and people did as they wished, then who would get them? Would it be the police officers who are doing the same thing?

--I'll continue this, I just have to leave. I should have the rest posted by about 6 central time.--  
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:47 pm
Valandil517 Wrote:
So what is the point of living if all you have worked for is for nothing? And if this is people's one and only chance to live a life, why aren't they going completely by pleasure. I mean, if I knew that it would be nothingness after I died, I would live life to the fullest. Since there is no sin orpunishment, I would not to go work, for I could get everything just by stealing. Why would I want to waste my time cleaning? I wouldn't abide by the laws, for imagine how much fun it must be to be going 100 down a highway like some of these video games. Want a girl or guy and you aren't married to them, why go ahead and do it since there is nothing bad that can come out of it. Why not go out killing people for the fun of it? Want something a friend has, why not go ahead and take it from them? Joy to the world, I'm here to live my life as I wish!

smilies/icon_neutral.gif


Wow, good to know that the only thing that keeps you from hurting other people is the fear of going to hell.

Me, I don't do those things because I wish to not hurt others. It's a little thing I like to call "basic decency."

(Also: No one is harmed by premarital sex. They are harmed by STDs/STIs and unwanted pregnancy, which can happen even with sex between married persons. Try again.)  

PhaedraMcSpiffy

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Tarrou

Tarrou's avatar

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:10 pm
Valandil517 Wrote:
So how would it feel living for a short 80 or so years and then dieing? What would nothingness be like? Would you be concious still, or just, nothing?

Just nothing. When you die, that's it: the electrical signals in your brain go silent and that which was you ceases to exist. The dead aren't aware of anything, least of all their own deaths.

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In my life, I try to make the best of things. I go to church, read the Bible almost everyday, help others, volunteer at retirment homes, give to others who need more than I do, and try to please my God.

Congratulations on being a decent human being.

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Pleasure is soo short-lived and I will have all eterntiy to be with my God and live an awesome life.

I don't know if I want eternity under any circumstances. Also, wouldn't an eternity of happiness with God be soured by the knowledge that other people are suffering back on earth?

Quote:
Well, lets say that everyone started living for pleasure. If there were no gods and people did as they wished, then who would get them? Would it be the police officers who are doing the same thing?

God doesn't make men moral, the law does. Do you understand the idea of the social contract? Human beings hate anarchy, especially when it imperils their own well being. Life in a world in which everyone did whatever the wished with no regard for the consequences would be, to borrow a phrase, nasty, brutish, and short. That's why we have laws and the means to enforce them: in order to maintain order and to facilitate meaningful and secure interactions between citizens. Living for pleasure is not anarchy. Try to remember that.  
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:34 pm
So there is nothing after death, no re-encarnation or place of eterntiy or anything? How does one's mind comprehend this? How might you try to make your life the best and/or live it to the fullest? If you have read the Bible (no offense if you haven't, though its my favorite book), there is a book called Revaltions. It talks about the end of the world and judgement day, where you are determined wheter you go to hell or heaven. There will be no more of this earth, just heaven and God. There would be no suffering, lying, stealing, pain, or death. We will be completely free from sin. But what makes the men moral who create laws? What gives them a sense of right and wrong? But what do you call pleasure?

--To PhaedraMcSpiffy--
Just wondering, who's side of the argument are you taking, for it doens't seem to go much in either direction. Though it seems that you are disagreeing with me if I may be so bold to say so. About premarital sex not being bad, so you are pretty much supporting prostotution? For if you and the reciever are all clear of STD/STI, than there should be nothing wrong. But wait, aren't there laws that prohibit that kind of thing? Hmm, it would apear that one person is saying that we are ruled by laws and the other is saying that there is nothing morally bad about breaking a law. I don't know about you, but that doesn't seem to add up... smilies/icon_xd.gif  

Valandil517

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Tarrou

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:02 pm
Valandil517 Wrote:
So there is nothing after death, no re-encarnation or place of eterntiy or anything? How does one's mind comprehend this?

It can't; not on an intuitive level, anyway. When you imagine something, you are always an observer in your own mind. Trying to imagine the end of your own conscious existence is futile since, even if you manage to conjure up something akin to unconscious oblivion, you will still be 'observing' the imagined nothingness.

'Eternity' is a similarly incomprehensible concept, as is 'infinity'. We understand them intellectually rather than intuitively.

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How might you try to make your life the best and/or live it to the fullest?

Seek pleasure, avoid pain, neither harm others nor be harmed yourself.

Quote:
If you have read the Bible (no offense if you haven't, though its my favorite book), there is a book called Revaltions. It talks about the end of the world and judgement day, where you are determined wheter you go to hell or heaven.

Yes, ghastly book, Revelation. I haven't the faintest idea why it's considered canon. Blood, death, suffering, mayhem—sure, the faithful get to be with God in the end, but it all seems unnecessarily brutal for a loving, omnipotent God.

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There will be no more of this earth, just heaven and God. There would be no suffering, lying, stealing, pain, or death. We will be completely free from sin.

Except for those in Hell, who will be tormented endlessly for their sins.

'If you love your neighbors as yourself, yes, even if you have just a little bit of human love and are not solely a selfish wretch, how could you have a single happy moment in heaven, knowing that contemporaneously with your blessed estate continues the endless torment and agony of innumerable millions of the accursed?'
—John Persone, Swedish Lutheran Bishop

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But what makes the men moral who create laws? What gives them a sense of right and wrong?

From Epicurus:

'It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing 'neither to harm nor be harmed').
And it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.'

That which maximizes happiness for yourself and others is good, moral, desirable—whatever you want to call it. That which does not promote human happiness is unjust. I have my rights, but they may not interfere with your rights; to live otherwise would be to invite lawlessness and unnecessary suffering. I strongly recommend reading up on the idea of the social contract. John Locke's A Letter Concerning Toleration would be a nice, easy (by which I mean relatively short) place to start. Hobbes and Rousseau are also worth looking into.

The point is that it is not a question of morality, but what is best for society as a whole. Anarchy is bad; mutual toleration and civic peace are good. The former is not conducive to living a fulfilled, happy life, the other is.

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But what do you call pleasure?

Good books, good food, friendship, love, intellectual discovery, the natural world, helping one's fellow man—in other words, living well and happily. You object to 'pleasure', but your definition of the word is so base that anyone would be against it. Pleasure does not mean a complete negation of the little tediums of the world; it is not a thrill-a-minute, impulse-driven romp through every possible physical debauchery. It is about living well and allowing and helping others to live the same way. All I want is a quiet life with the people I love, where I can simply enjoy the pleasures inherent in being alive. If I have to work for that, so be it; if not every moment will be pulsing with ecstasy, so be it. Happiness, after all, is a long patience.

Enjoy life, resist death, and harm no-one—my Absurdist-Epicurean credo.  
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