Beautiful lies and painful truths
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
29-06-2014, 11:32 AM
Beautiful lies and painful truths
Life asked Death, "WHY DO PEOPLE LOVE ME BUT HATE YOU?" Death responded, "BECAUSE YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL LIE AND I AM A PAINFUL TRUTH"

I thought about this quote after reading yet another apologetic book. The book is "Despite Doubt", by Michael Wittmer ( http://books.noisetrade.com/michaelewitt...pite-doubt ) and it illustrates a weakness in the arguments presented by thinking atheists. When we present logical arguments and point out the lack of evidence for God's existence, we assume the theist has objective reasons to believe. But as this book points out, theists don't believe for logical reasons; they have a strong emotional need to believe. It is the BEAUTY of the lie that attracts them and the PAIN of the truth the repels them. As Wittmer points out, this has been the case since Hume and Kant:

"Hume concluded that the evidence for God is mixed, and since modern people believe only what they can prove, they have no choice but to give up belief in God. Such skepticism may lead to despair, but at least they are being honest."

"Hume’s arguments startled another eighteenth-century philosopher, Immanuel Kant. Kant agreed there wasn’t enough evidence to prove God’s existence, but he knew he had to find a way to believe in God, otherwise life would lose all meaning. "

Hume used logic, Kant agreed with the logic but rejected the conclusion for emotional reasons. The same is true today. Atheists present logical arguments and theists reject them as emotionally unsatisfying. Wittmer makes this plain. He describes the skepticism of science as "ruthless"; a "depressing viewpoint" that "leads to despair". Theists (he says) "cower before the consequences of not believing in God".
He challenges theists with the emotional consequences of disbelief, not the logic of belief:
"I dare you to persuade yourself that God does not exist. Try to make yourself not believe in God, if only for a moment. Tell yourself there is no God, no one who created and redeemed you, no one to raise you from the dead. You live, you die, and then you disappear, never to be seen or heard from again. Try to make yourself accept as fact that God does not exist. I bet you can’t do it. Did a wave of nausea just wash over you? Did you break into a cold sweat and find that you had to sit down?"

While atheists are very good at addressing the logic of belief or disbelief, they rarely address the real reasons theists want to believe, ie. their emotions. We present the painful truth of death and wonder why the theists prefer the beautiful lie of eternal life. Then, we wonder why theists see us as angry and mean.

So is there a way for us to address a theists emotional reaction to the "ruthless skepticism of science" ?
It's been said, "The worst thing about being lied to is knowing you're not worth the truth." It's been my experience that most people who leave religion don't suddenly start to think logically; instead they leave for emotional reasons - they realize they've been lied to and they're hurt by that fact. Perhaps as atheists we could work on the positive reasons for sticking to evidence and fact. I don't tell people the truth about God in order to be "ruhtless" and to cause them "despair"; I tell them the truth (even a painful one) because I respect them too much to tell them a lie (even a beautiful one).
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 8 users Like avalon's post
29-06-2014, 11:44 AM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
The human capacity for "compartmentalization" seem to be unlimited.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compartment...chology%29
I have no answer to your question, but accurate History and Archaeology seem to be two ways to makes cracks in the walls of the compartments.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-06-2014, 02:29 PM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
I think we might need to compile a book, and I am actually dead serious about this.

It would need to be a rather beautiful presentation of the emotional benefits of Atheism, and there are quite a few of them. Along with these benefits, show how to make/find purpose and meaning in life. Show them that, yes, they CAN have their cake and eat it too. The CAN have logic without sacrificing purpose and vice versa.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like Charis's post
29-06-2014, 03:26 PM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
(29-06-2014 02:29 PM)Charis Wrote:  I think we might need to compile a book, and I am actually dead serious about this.


I'm on board! When do we start?

I've always felt that a finite life has more meaning than an eternal one. The temporary nature of life IS what makes it so valuable.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes avalon's post
29-06-2014, 07:11 PM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
As an atheist, I would rather have a life of beautiful truths than painful lies.

When you have a universe of beautiful truths your purpose in life is to experience that truth. Some people may get the opportunity to see as much of the world as they can. Why do they do that ? Its because seeing something, experiencing something for the first time has value. And if you only get to do it once, that value increases.

Some of the most exciting and wonderful events of my life only happened once. If I had an eternity of the best sex I've ever had, it would become a torture within a very short amount of time. If we have souls, these souls enjoy the brief kiss as we say goodbye. They don't crave the eternal. They yearn for the first time you fall in love. They want that last piece of candy, as much as they want that last breath.

The finite is beautiful and it literally takes our breath away.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like Rahn127's post
29-06-2014, 07:28 PM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
I need to check the rules.

Can I put a whole thread into the Words I Want To Remember thread?

Or maybe into the poetry section.

Consider

WARNING: This thread contains beautiful truths.

Some lies can still be painful even if you already know the truth... depends who is lying to you.

But usually lies are painless if you can see them for what they are.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like DLJ's post
29-06-2014, 09:52 PM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
We have always seemed to have an obsession for explaining why things are the way they are (such as the existence of deities, and those deities being responsible for the creation of the universe), because even if it's not right, it's something, and human nature seems to have the idea that a bullshit explanation is still better than nothing.

We have also had an obsession with self-importance, with the idea that a god created an entire universe where we are so mind-numbingly insignificant, and made it all just for us, as though the existence of the universe could never have been there before us, and will obviously fail to go on after we are gone.

Of course, with all of the technological advancements we have made and knowledge that we have gained about the history our existence, as well knowledge of the universe, a number of us have come to the realization that we really aren't all that important.

Some, due to indoctrination with a strong dosage of brainwashing, still hold onto those primitive ideas. Luckily that number is decreasing, even if it is at a slow rate.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-06-2014, 10:24 PM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
(29-06-2014 03:26 PM)avalon Wrote:  
(29-06-2014 02:29 PM)Charis Wrote:  I think we might need to compile a book, and I am actually dead serious about this.


I'm on board! When do we start?

I've always felt that a finite life has more meaning than an eternal one. The temporary nature of life IS what makes it so valuable.

I couldn't have said it any better. Our brief time alive is the very thing that makes life beautiful and extraordinary. I don't want to sound like a smart ass or anything but this is the argument that I've use several times with theists. Were eternal life to be proven true would be most unpleasant and downright depressing. To those theists who what eternal life I say, be careful what you wish for, it just might come true.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-06-2014, 11:11 PM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
I have no bad feeling against people who believe because they can't live any other way. The truth can be a bitter pill to swallow, and some can't handle it.

But there is no need for the angry, often aggressive response to challenges.

Why does belief in heaven and paradise have to also include hell and eternal torment for the unworthy? That is not a beautiful lie... Its disgusting.

Assuming all of it were true... Regardless of whether I'd be destined for heaven or hell, I'd take eternal oblivion over either in such a sick, evil system.

[img]

via GIPHY

[/img]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Sam's post
30-06-2014, 12:37 AM
RE: Beautiful lies and painful truths
Yes, it's all too often I hear theists speak and know there's an emotional overtone to what they're saying. It was very hard for me upon my de-conversion to realize that the truth is indifferent to my feelings. You'd have to have a wonderful sense of naivety to think only things you find desirable are more likely to become true, and you'd have to be blissfully ignorant to not see yourself being the culprit of confirmation bias. There's an unbelievable hedonistic narcissism accompanied by religion. You feel part of some cosmic royalty, and lucky to be born in the right religion, at the right time of history etc.

I guess that's some of the reason why creationists don't want to accept evolution. They think that it's somehow degrading to think we came from other life forms. I'm frustrated they can't easily see that the truth doesn't have to conform to their feelings, and to try to make it doesn't make it any truer. They are adamant about their beliefs because it gives them comfort and makes them feel "higher" over animals, that even when presented with overwhelmingly large amounts of evidence, they refuse to accept the truth for fear that it may hurt them, and so they're not able to change their fragile minds. "I refuse to believe my children are apes"! "If you're told you came from an ape, you'll act like one"! Heard of that before? Yep, when it comes down to it, they don't want evolution to be true, they refuse to because they "feel" more special than that. Anyway, what's funny is if only they could realize that their beliefs that make them feel good are actually undesirable. The reality is what's comforting, if only they were willing to open their minds to the truth and evaluate it, then they'd really be able to see that it's not and doesn't have to be demeaning or unsettling in the very least.


There are some believers that outright confess they are only believing because it makes them happy. They know their religious doctrine is nonsense, but they keep on trying to convince themselves that it's true. Then, there are the theists who may not admit it's what they want, but instead beat around the bush and attempt to prove irrational beliefs logically, and it's quite a no-brainer as to why they don't succeed. You cannot make a square circle theist, even if that's what you want, sorry bud.

Originally for me, when becoming an atheist about a little over a year ago, the years leading up to that were constant fights with myself trying to convince myself that my religion has got to be true, otherwise there's no point in living. Eventually, I abruptly stopped myself and said "Wait! I need to put my emotion and bias aside and really look closer at the arguments." It was really difficult for me to do, but once I did that I was able to understand the quite reasonable arguments that crushed my beliefs until I had to do the logical thing and renounce them. I was only believing because I wanted it to be true, not because it truly was. And along the way, I tried making arguments to defend my belief, secretly in the back of my mind knowing I needed it to be true because otherwise what's the point? I was sorely mistaken but now I can evidently see theists around me falling into the same cognitive trap I once was a victim of. It's great to see now that I'm an atheist that my life is meaningful. If god were to actually exist, then life truly would lose all meaning, and there'd be no specialty or uniqueness to living. And what would the point of life be if god were to exist as well? To worship the guy who created you, who is so insecure he will throw you in hell for not? How petty and cliche! I guess now that I've said that, someone could say that both atheists and theists are guilty of this, but initially upon finally becoming an atheist, I was quite reluctant and hated that it was true. Eventually I was able to realize that these "cold hard facts" weren't cold! I'm enjoying the time I have under the sun.

What's funny about this is that when I was talking to my religious friend at school about something, he said "I'd rather live an ugly truth than a wondrous lie." If only he could see he was guilty of the contrary.

Everyday is judgement day. Use your judgement, use reason.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: