A reason why people remain religious
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17-08-2014, 05:52 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
(17-08-2014 04:39 PM)Mozart Link Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 04:20 PM)Baruch Wrote:  I am glad you directly engaged with my comments - and you have some interesting points.
Firstly atheism has nothing to do with depression - its just lack of belief in a God.

For some people getting rid of God was the solution to waking up from depression, I know this from personal experience during my orthodoxy and 'spiritual journey' through comparative religions. I found the false religious beliefs to be temporary solutions, basically delusions which don't empower people but often leave them crippled with anxieties, worrying about afterlives, constantly under the watchful eye of the great dictator. It is far more meaningful to create meaning in a lived experience based on evidence than having it handed down as some sort of prepackaged obligation from an invisible deity which has no evidence.
There are depressed atheists, depressed theists and all sorts of combinations - so depression has little to do with it.


Secondly - about the depressed people "who go through the absolute worst suffering in life and have virtually no positive feelings or outlook on life whatsoever" - what about them ?
Sure one can have HOPE of recovery.
How does pretending a God exist help them ??? God is the one who fucked up their brain in the first place, gave them the screwed up chemical neurological mix - perhaps God should have been more generous with the dopamine + Serotonin, didn't stop them make bad decisions (cos' of free will of course), didn't inspire the doctors to find a cure - basically God is the one factor in common screwing up these peoples life. SO what now, they pretend God loves them despite the fact He is screwing up their life ? God is the one who used an evolutionary process (if one is a theistic evolutionist) and used such a tragic method of utterly incompetent design to increase suffering, torture and torment to these people.
So now just to feel better your supposed to pretend that there is a devil responsible for the suffering and get God of the hook, turn God into a lover and feel some peace ? This is ridiculous because you know such a narrative is a lie and this makes the suffering even worse !!!!!!!!!!! Cognitive dissonance is not a cure but just perpetuates the suffering.


...as for your second point about living forever.
Yes as a kid you love computer games. Yes as an adult you still love computer games and find them meaningful. Perhaps 200 years of computer games is OK and meaningful. Who knows, 500 years and you might still play some re-runs of the games you forgot about, the ones you played 400 years ago.
1,000,000 years of computer games ? Ever heard of getting bored ? Our brains also get desensitized always looking for new stimulation and experiences - after thousands of years of computer games people will be demanding the most intense game of all, the best game made ever - a virtual game. In this best game ever - total immersion game if you lose a level you will DIE. It is a stunning game, only the people with balls and guts can play it and it is rated for over 500's year olds only. This is the most meaningful game in existence at the time and some people try to illegally obtain it under the age of 500.
Consider the scenario - I don't think it is far fetched at all but quite real - the point is that meaning comes when there is a concept of finality.

...and by the way - there are today some combat games which if you get shot and die online you lose everything invested for what could be weeks (time, money etc). There is no resurrection, replay, rewind, saved games, re-boot, bonus lives etc and this changes the gameplay making it very intense and serious - much more realistic due to genuine loss of investment. (Ok you dont actually die, for that you need a real battlefield or extreme sport for the adrenaline junkies out there)
Now continuing on from my previous post about treatment resistant depressed people, I am one of these depressed people. Therefore, consider my arguments in support of those with severe depression and major problems in life and not just blissfully denying the existence of such people by saying things such as what you said about this one and only life being the greatest thing and such.

Our personal beliefs do play a role in us feeling depressed. For me, being an atheist has, in fact, caused me depression. If I knew that there was an afterlife of eternal joy and such to get out of this inferior life of suffering, I would feel empowered and much less depressed. There are people (including me) that, no matter how much they try and change their thinking and to view this one and only life as something great, they are just unable to. Which is why such people like this need a belief in heaven. But, again, the morals of religious belief would not benefit these people at all and is something I am against.

Finally, as for being desensitized and being bored to death of living a life of no problems and such, even if this did happen to me, it would be a much better life than this life of suffering and depression I'm having. Also, people with mental disorders do defy common conceptions about the brain. For example, it is in our human nature to socialize and such. But people who are sociopaths are the opposite of that. Therefore, who's to say that I don't have a mental disorder or that my already-existing mental disorder(s) do not contribute to me not having the ability of feeling how a normal person would feel living an eternal life of no problems (which would be them finding less meaning in it, being bored to death, and wanting to end that life)?


Quote: this one and only life being the greatest thing and such.
I never said this life was the greatest thing - I said it was the only thing we have evidence for to make meaningful. I also said the fact life has an expiry is what gives meaning - if time is limited then objectives can be accomplished within set meaningful time frames. (not left hanging with infinite regress)
It is of no surprise that when some people are diagnosed with a terminal illness they wake up from their slumber and try to accomplish as much as possible finding more meaning in what was previously taken for granted, whether relationships, projects or just enjoying & appreciating the time left much more intensely knowing it is limited. This is well known from marketing that scarcity increases value, likewise time scarcity increases life value. ....in some sense we all have a terminal illness so its time to appreciate whatever we can.

Ever tried mindfulness "presence" meditation ? Just imagine you will die in 10 minutes, take a deep breath and realize NOW - THIS MOMENT you probably have no problems whatsoever [unless there is some acute physical pain]. Yes there were problems in the past, but these are memories and maybe in the future - but these have not happened yet, but this moment now, in that silence between breaths there are no problems, just experience of the moment now - this is empowering, and far more empowering than some after life fantasies.

Why does atheism CAUSE you depression ? There MUST be something else independent of atheism otherwise all atheist people would ALL be depressed ? Its not logical to blame atheism for depression ? What else is going on ?

I am an atheist and not "clinically depressed", on the contrary my journey to atheism has been therapeutic and if anything relieved any depression and false ideologies I was previously attached to - in fact I am now happier than I ever was under various religious & spiritual ideologies......and oh boy I did spend a long time investigating & living through all sorts of new age, old age, orthodox and non-orthodox paths !!!!
However I DONT identify as an "atheist" just like I dont identify as an aghostist (one who doesnt believe in ghosts) or aunicornist.
I identify as a philosopher, scientist, artist, pharmacist (and if married a husband, father if have children etc or a good friend.)

Quote: Therefore, who's to say that I don't have a mental disorder or that my already-existing mental disorder(s) do not contribute to me not having the ability of feeling how a normal person would feel living an eternal life of no problems (which would be them finding less meaning in it, being bored to death, and wanting to end that life)?

I think you need to rephrase what your saying, there are double negatives making me zone out into some hypnotic trance state.
Clear thinking helps depression.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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17-08-2014, 06:39 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
I can usually put them into one of four categories;


1) They were brought up in a religious atmosphere/family so it is ingrained in their way of life, and they have either fully embraced it because to not do so would get one ostracized from their family, friends, community, OR they are too scared to think otherwise because unholy thoughts are the devil's work.

2) They are elderly, and the elderly are naturally scared of their inevitable demise and turn to the church for comfort. The church LOVES this as they are the bread and butter of the offering plates...fear is a great industry in america.

3) They are simply gullible..ever heard the old adage, the stupid and their money are soon parted?...yeah, kind of goes along with that.

4) They are uneducated, and do not know any better, because they get their belief system from reverend johnson who cherry picks phrases out the bible to drive home his agenda that day...the faithful wave the bible and yet few have actually read it.

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17-08-2014, 07:04 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
(16-08-2014 08:53 AM)Mozart Link Wrote:  Just in case anyone is confused as to the point I'm trying to make in my opening post, I am saying that people who think they are special and such apply that perception to life itself and conclude that life itself must also be something special and meant for them. For example, someone who thinks "I am a very helpful and caring special person" might then conclude that this life must then be something special as well and offers a special "higher" reward for who they are as a person (a God and an afterlife). They are not willing to either accept that this is not the case and no longer complain about it, or they still insist on believing that there is a God and an afterlife anyway. I feel that the reason such people believe in such things anyway despite much scientific evidence is because they are just too much of a human being (someone great and special) to, again, possibly stoop so low as to believe or accept otherwise.

Or...you could be wrong...for instance, I think in the grand scheme of things, I am not special, the world wasn't created just for my pleasure...but I do realize how precious life is, and how many people are special to me, and I am special to them. How is that less significant? I marvel at the beauty of the universe, and at nature here on earth, but I also know if I am in the water with a great white shark, my feelings are insignificant to the shark, and that my death would most likely be imminent and terrible...but I still marvel at the shark, and love shark week. So I do hold life as special and precious, but also know it can be snuffed out in an instant.
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17-08-2014, 07:12 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
(17-08-2014 11:41 AM)Leo Wrote:  Mozart Link is in the atheistforums.com purgatory sectionLaughat I think this site need a similar idea for trolls.

Banning is so much simpler.

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17-08-2014, 09:23 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
(17-08-2014 05:52 PM)Baruch Wrote:  Why does atheism CAUSE you depression ? There MUST be something else independent of atheism otherwise all atheist people would ALL be depressed ? Its not logical to blame atheism for depression ? What else is going on ?
Stress is known to cause a complete physiological change in the brain (anhedonia) which is something I am having now and it is there all the time. I had a very bad panic disorder and this lead to anhedonia. I now have this anhedonia (emotional numbness) with no panic or fear at all. From there, I am now depressed since I now have no ability to experience pleasure. Finally, from there, knowing that there is no God or afterlife has then significantly added to my depression. But if it weren't for this anhedonia, I wouldn't feel depressed about atheism at all. I heard that anhedonia, unlike depression which (in my case) is the brain's natural response to a problem that passes over time, anhedonia is not a natural response and is a complete change in the brain. Because it is a complete change in the brain, this is something that is very likely to take years or even an entire lifetime to either get any better or somehow go away completely. Knowing this fact has added to my depression even further (much further).

(17-08-2014 05:52 PM)Baruch Wrote:  I think you need to rephrase what your saying, there are double negatives making me zone out into some hypnotic trance state.
Clear thinking helps depression.
I am saying that, since I have a mental disorder, my brain might not respond normally like most normal people would if they were to live an eternal life of no problems in which they would feel that life would have less meaning, them being bored to death, and wanting to end that life, etc. I, on the other hand, would respond to that life the opposite way since I have this mental disorder.
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17-08-2014, 10:12 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
(17-08-2014 07:12 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 11:41 AM)Leo Wrote:  Mozart Link is in the atheistforums.com purgatory sectionLaughat I think this site need a similar idea for trolls.

Banning is so much simpler.

Of course it is but the mods never ban trolls. Apparently trolling isn't against the rules. So this could be a good alternative.
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17-08-2014, 10:33 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
(17-08-2014 10:12 PM)Leo Wrote:  Of course it is but the mods never ban trolls.

( ಠ_ಠ)

What about Jeremy E Walker, Miss Meng, FZUMedia, Mark Dreher, I and I, TheArcticSage and all the others?

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17-08-2014, 10:42 PM (This post was last modified: 17-08-2014 10:52 PM by Leo.)
RE: A reason why people remain religious
(17-08-2014 10:33 PM)Vosur Wrote:  
(17-08-2014 10:12 PM)Leo Wrote:  Of course it is but the mods never ban trolls.

( ಠ_ಠ)

What about Jeremy E Walker, Miss Meng, FZUMedia, Mark Dreher, I and I, TheArcticSage and all the others?

The mods never banned trolls because of trolling. Those trolls were banned for breaking rules like having multiple accounts etc. The Jeremy walker fucker is one example.
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17-08-2014, 10:47 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
Right now we have 3 obvious trolls like whicked clown , Mozart link and hbl shitting the boards. Nobody is doing anything about it.Dodgy
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17-08-2014, 10:57 PM
RE: A reason why people remain religious
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