An Argument of Purpose?
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14-03-2012, 07:53 PM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
I would love to think of reincarnation. I would be down for that. It's not true but would be cool if it happened. My luck I would come back as a dung beetle.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a
free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their
political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their
own purpose. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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14-03-2012, 08:09 PM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
I totally agree. Life without purpose has no meaning. Everyone has to have a purpose whatever it may be.

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14-03-2012, 08:24 PM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2012 10:01 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
(14-03-2012 07:53 PM)N.E.OhioAtheist Wrote:  I would love to think of reincarnation. I would be down for that. It's not true but would be cool if it happened. My luck I would come back as a dung beetle.

Why? I like, "I wasn't ... until I was. I am ... until I'm not." - free2011 better. ... And what's wrong with being a dung beetle? They're particularly useful. That's like an insult to dung beetles everywhere. Wink

(14-03-2012 08:09 PM)aurora2020 Wrote:  Life without purpose has no meaning.

I think my purpose is to realize, appreciate, and embrace a life without meaning or purpose.

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14-03-2012, 09:15 PM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
(14-03-2012 07:53 PM)N.E.OhioAtheist Wrote:  I would love to think of reincarnation. I would be down for that. It's not true but would be cool if it happened. My luck I would come back as a dung beetle.

My luck I'd come back as either a speed hump or a toilet Dodgy

Actually considering my life so far, I think I must've been Mary Queen of Scots in my previous life! Tongue

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14-03-2012, 11:57 PM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
I like this article, and wrote about it at The Veridican. But I would also like to address this response below:

(14-03-2012 06:30 PM)lucradis Wrote:  Most of my death worry comes from the dying itself. Of the pain. I hate it when people say someone died painlessly because it's like... did they tell you that?

I worked ICU for five years and cardiology one year before that. That kind of dying is painless for the most part. Or at least there aren't any signs of pain.

When a person dies it is usually very quiet. But of course there's always shark attacks, I suppose, and psycho torture deaths.

And keep in mind that traumatic deaths may be painful, but pain is based on the amount of time one feels it. You can suffer intense, horrific pain for half a second and you'll just go, "Hmmm. That didn't feel good."

I was in a car accident when I was sixteen. My friend ran his car into a telephone pole at 80. We probably actually hit it at 60. I had no seatbelt on. When we got out of the car, I felt fine. My friend pointed at my face and said I had blood running down it. I touched it and I did; then I looked at the front window and I had smashed it, apparently with my head. If I had died. If my head had crushed instead, I assure you I would have felt nothing at all. God would have had to tell me I was dead.

That's just my input for what it's worth.

Quote:Also I would hate to die early and miss a bunch of my daughters life. other than that if there is an afterlife I have a hard time imagining it to be anything like what has been described so I look forward to learning more. Or just dying and having it be over.


Quote:Worst after death fear... reincarnation as another person.

Here, here! In fact in Buddhism, reincarnation is hell, not hope. I only want to do this one time.

Quote: Heaven just doesn't compare to real life.

I have to ask: How do you know?
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15-03-2012, 02:32 AM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
I find some of the atheist posts to be a little condescending. A true atheist should know it doesn't matter what they do in life or experience, they wont remember any of it. To say my dad died at 96, and got to experience life before he died is meaningless. he wont remember ever living to 96 or 26. It's hard even for atheists to understand deep time. billions of years is a long mothafucking time. as i have said in other posts, life is meaningless. now should we all just kill ourselves knowing this. I dont know. its a tough question. i guess if your healthy and enjoying yourself,you could live in a illusion that it matters. I have a passion for politics and other things, but in the end, i know it doesnt matter. i delude myself into thinking i should care. i think in the end, the thought of being dead is scary.we know we shouldnt be afraid of nothingness. just like we werent afraid of the first 14 billion years. bottom line, it just proves the hypocrisy us atheists live in. we are afraid to be dead even though we know there wont be any pain!
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15-03-2012, 03:58 AM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
(15-03-2012 02:32 AM)satan69 Wrote:  as i have said in other posts, life is meaningless.
While you are living and experiencing life it is not meaningless for you.

In the moments before you die, I am sure you are not going to dwell on the things you haven't experienced, because as you say, when you are dead these things won't matter.

I feel people would find value in taking a step back and introspectively sorting out what is important to them. Thinking about what your regrets might be on your death bed is only a tool for this, but the value is only for the living and the life not yet lived.

In my life, my family comes first. Working myself to the bone in order to climb the corporate ladder is not worth spending valuable time away from my loved ones. Time is the most precious resource we have, as each minute passes we will never get that time back.
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15-03-2012, 04:29 AM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
(14-03-2012 01:13 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I have said it myself that the only thing holding theists back from denouncing religion is the fear hiding inside of them. But is this the case?
If it is fear, what is it fear of?
Everyone is different so no one answer is the same.

When I was still a theist my LARGEST issue letting go was the feeling of conflict. It was hard for me because I almost felt like a traitor in a sense. I kept thinking about a lot of "What if what if" and "But I was told and taught that..." eventually that passed and I realized a lot of it was the fear of religion coming back at me over and over.

I heard a lot of "Well your parents didn't raise you like that, what the hell is wrong with you?" and "You must not be a very good person then." when I had never really said anything demeaning or harmful to the people I love. But it is what it is, and the truth is more important to me.

Then of course begged the question: What if I'm wrong?

I eventually realized... sure... what if I am wrong. But if even if I wasn't, to act on pascal's wager was silly to me because I'm not sincere about religion, nor could I be sincere about worship nor could I be sincere about the things about religion. Therefore, pascal's wage would be irrelevant to me.

(14-03-2012 01:13 PM)lucradis Wrote:  Some theists I believe are afraid of change, like my father in law. I firmly believe he likes the way things work for him, and he's a control freak so I can see how this would be. Everything else would point to him being an atheist oddly enough. His love for science (though he won't admit it) his adoration of Mythbusters. Smile Anyways for him I think it's primarily fear of change and loss of control.

This. I think this is one large thing is that for many they don't want to let go because they realize it would change everything.

(14-03-2012 01:13 PM)lucradis Wrote:  Some I think fear death, but not really the dying part, more the being dead part. A fear of nonexistence. It's a pretty scary thought, that when we die, that's it. No take backs. That in a few years time most people will have moved on and even forgotten us. SO in comes the greater purpose.

I don't really fear dying. Although when I was religious, I got that it was easier to imagine dying and being forgiven and everything would be ok. I think to accept the more harsh reality that when you're gone you're gone is more difficult for people, less comforting, less amazing, less provoking and ultimately for some just downright damn depressing.

(14-03-2012 01:13 PM)lucradis Wrote:  That's the big one I think. The purpose of existence. Most people have the hardest time with the idea that everything could be for nothing. So much so that they create a god and heaven to serve the greater purpose even though most atheists will say that having god only raises more questions then they answer. But it soothes them. To "know" that when they die, they are merely reborn.
It doesn't work for me, or for most atheists I'd assume.
It's our Achilles heel for religion.

It can all be boiled down to what's the point?

Right, so what is the purpose? I mean... if there's no god to tell you to be good, then why bother being a good person as well? (I have heard that a few times from people actually)

To me...Life is a journey. One journey. Death is the destination ultimately. But along the way what we make of it is the beauty of that journey. I could of course put a big chip on my shoulder and be mad that I don't believe there is any god and that there is no purpose since once I am dead I'm dead. Or I could embrace my life for what it is, what I can do. I ENJOY making life good for others. I ENJOY providing for my family. I ENJOY watching people achieve good things and I ENJOY watching people succeed. So why is it that I should change any of that now because I'm an atheist? I don't.

I want to be a good person because I can be a good person. For me to think that because of the way the universe came to be, my atoms came from stars, that everything around me is because of that. To think that at some point this star of our own will dwindle, far beyond the years I will live. I won't ever get to see it happen. I won't ever get to see what will come of humanity. I will never get to see my family far down the line. I won't probably get to see other planets or galaxies or the rest of more solar systems.

Fact is... I'm going to die. No one gets out of life alive. Your work may be remembered, your memory may be passed on down in your next generation, you might make change in someone's life and they may remember you. But ultimately, once I'm dead, I realize that's it for me. There's nothing else. My body will decompose and hopefully be used for some other plants to feast off my body. I suppose it's only fair. But that doesn't bother me anymore.

But I like to think that someday, somewhere, someone will get to see all the amazing things I think about. Because I live in a day and an age when humanity is making achievements and pushing forward, despite our differences... I like to think that we can still achieve those things (if we don't blow each other up first). I like to think of those things. I like to think of a day when humanity can unify, when we realize we're a species that wants to survive, thrive and doesn't want to live all eternity (ok bad word, all of the next however long our sun and resources can last) on this rock we call earth... that we WANT to see space, other planets and expand for as long as the universe can support life.

Every now and then I go outside and I look up when it's dark and I imagine all those things. My curious mind will never stop being curious. I think of the time that I accepted that I was an atheist and came to my stance on that and I thought of all the things in science, religion and politics that brought me here and where I am on that stance and I am so happy to have the view and outlook on things that I do. I feel that I can look up at the sky with an open mind, finally, and go.... "That is just some cool shit, and WOW is it amazing to be a human."

The first time I shed a tear over my values was a time when I was out alone working on one of my cars, I went in the house to get a cup of coffee and had been thinking about it all. I stepped out of the garage and sat down in front of my car and looked up and just thought... "That really is some cool shit." and it sort of just hit me. I couldn't help it. I felt free, I felt happy, relieved but sad at the same time because I realized no matter how hard I try, people that can think freely who can learn to be free thinking and understanding and overall free... may never be.. may never get to, might simply go their ENTIRE life never having a shed of a thought about it.

So what's the point?

There is no single point. There's many points. Many places. Many goals. Many benefits. Why does there have to be ONE POINT to life? Why make it one ultimate part? Life is what you make of it, be it beautiful or negative, but it is a choice to do with it what you want. When you can accept that someday you're just going to die but find it within yourself to get over that miniscule point and push forward to make something of yourself, or at least appreciate what there is... life is amazing.

(14-03-2012 01:13 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I was looking at Egors site and he'd written " For me, and I think for most believers, there’s a sense of purpose in life so that the suffering is part of the learning process, part of the shaping, the pruning—character building, if you will. "

To me this added up to atheists having no point for getting up in the morning because all of the suffering we go through in life is for nothing.
How many times have we heard similar things. All this is for nothing.

It ends up in debate and argument usually. They say why get up? and we respond with, what do you mean? life is a beautiful thing, why would we waste it?

Back and forth.

I used to suffer from depression because I couldn't get past the lack of meaning to my existence. I won't lie. I still get depressed but for different reasons. What helped for me was finally understanding that I don't care what my purpose is or isn't. I like life. There is so much in it that is just great! I always want more, but I wouldn't want to live forever because it would sully the experience. It would lose its meaning.

To me it's like if I got to live at DisneyLand. Going on the rides everyday. A time would come when I'd be on a ride and fall asleep from boredom.

To me the purpose doesn't matter. That's why it's so easy for me to throw aside any need for an afterlife. Without a need for heaven, I have no need for god.

So is the god argument just an argument of purpose?

Sometimes I feel it may be purpose. If you give a person a purpose they feel valued, they feel appreciated.

I remember before my uncle died from cancer... he told me something that I would never forget: "No matter what.. no matter how shitty life gets. Never forget to tell your wife that you appreciate her, that you value everything she's done, that you love her and you cherish her. It's awfully hard to hate life when you feel appreciated, valued, cherished and loved."

I often wonder if the god argument boils down to that. Sometimes people have nothing to turn to and in times of difficulty or pure distress, it can be hard to turn to nothing. If you feel that your life has purpose and that some all powerful being says he loves you, cherishes you, appreciates you and values you.. that can be reassuring. Despite that, since I'm an atheist I don't believe it, but I see the awe and appeal it has to people.

Every day I always remember to tell my wife I love her, she makes me happy, I appreciate her and I value what she has done very much. I make sure to remind her.

Sometimes when I need a bit of a boost, I go watch some philhellenes videos or go watch some amazing science videos to remember how amazing life is.
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15-03-2012, 04:48 AM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
Nice post, Logisch.

Ah yes, the circle of life...

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15-03-2012, 07:28 AM
RE: An Argument of Purpose?
the best part of being a theist was when i "knew" i would be able to travel the universe when I die and know all the amswers to it. Now that i am a atheist, i will never know. oh well, when im dead i wont know that i will never know.
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