Can Atheists Feel Joy?
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12-09-2012, 02:11 PM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
(12-09-2012 02:07 PM)Luminon Wrote:  Atheists can definitely feel joy. But there's one peculiar thing I noticed. Atheist joy and spirituality seems to be external. They go to the nature and watch natural beauty like sunrises, sunsets and mountains and then the night comes and there are distant stars and planets. Sometimes even a faint stripe of the Milky Way galaxy. It's all Carl Saganish and that inspires deep spiritual feelings in atheist heart.

No, just no.

That is one joy, a sense of wonder and awe of nature. Do you really think that is the only joy I experience?

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-09-2012, 02:12 PM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
(12-09-2012 01:28 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(12-09-2012 01:03 PM)Phaedrus Wrote:  I can't comment on your field, but... Just saying, if I were hiring for a product team, going through HR's candidates, a degree of Regent or a similar university wouldn't be an immediate disqualifier, but it would be a giant red tick mark. Most people who go to schools like that are religious fundies, and while I don't care much about my co-workers' religion, I do require that they keep it in their pants. Combine a religious schooling with any mention of god or religion in the interview and you're out; I can't hire or work with someone who might waste company time proselytizing.

Fortunately the industry I work in is fairly non-religious. These aren't official statistics or anything, but from what I've seen it's something like:

30% Atheist/Agnostic
25% Mainline Protestant
10% Catholic
5% Evangelical/Fundamentalist Christian
10% "Spiritual"/Buddhist-in-name-only
10% Buddhist
10% Other Religions


The mainline Protestants and Catholics do keep it in their pants, as do most of the "Spiritual" and Buddhist folks. Most of the Buddhists are Taiwanese, and we have some more Buddhists and some Hindus from the Indian workforce. However, most of them end up Atheist/Agnostic within a few years of coming to America.

High-tech? In particular, software?

Close. Consumer electronics. Some hardware, some software.

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12-09-2012, 05:54 PM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
(12-09-2012 03:35 AM)traceparcet Wrote:  He said that Atheists can not feel joy since their spiritual life is lacking.

It's the theists who have denied themselves the ability to experience joy. And they do it fucking willingly and thankfully and gratefully. By choosing to believe in an afterlife and the promise of a postmortem preservation of identity they have willingly blinded themselves to the joy of each and every fucking moment of this temporary existence. ... Morons and idiots.

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12-09-2012, 06:44 PM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
(12-09-2012 05:54 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(12-09-2012 03:35 AM)traceparcet Wrote:  He said that Atheists can not feel joy since their spiritual life is lacking.

It's the theists who have denied themselves the ability to experience joy. And they do it fucking willingly and thankfully and gratefully. By choosing to believe in an afterlife and the promise of a postmortem preservation of identity they have willingly blinded themselves to the joy of each and every fucking moment of this temporary existence. ... Morons and idiots.

Don't whitewash it, GM; say what you really mean.Drinking Beverage

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12-09-2012, 06:57 PM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
I'm pretty sure I'm joyous as of right now. Got an awesome girlfriend, lovin life, and anyone who thinks otherwise clearly has no idea what they are talking about.
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12-09-2012, 07:14 PM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
i feel joy i feel pain, sunshine and rain.
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12-09-2012, 08:58 PM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
can theists have thoughts? /snark
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12-09-2012, 09:41 PM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
(12-09-2012 06:44 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(12-09-2012 05:54 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  It's the theists who have denied themselves the ability to experience joy. And they do it fucking willingly and thankfully and gratefully. By choosing to believe in an afterlife and the promise of a postmortem preservation of identity they have willingly blinded themselves to the joy of each and every fucking moment of this temporary existence. ... Morons and idiots.

Don't whitewash it, GM; say what you really mean.Drinking Beverage

I don't put it to them that way Chas, that'd just be terse and deadly. Evil_monster

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13-09-2012, 04:28 AM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
(12-09-2012 02:11 PM)Chas Wrote:  No, just no.

That is one joy, a sense of wonder and awe of nature. Do you really think that is the only joy I experience?
Not exactly, but it is certainly the most visible kind of joy, triggered by external things. If there are other kinds and you're willing to share, I'm willing to learn.

Because there is another possibility, that I and many other people have inability to appreciate external things. Which is something to do something about, bring it up to my psychologist when I ever get one.

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13-09-2012, 04:48 AM
RE: Can Atheists Feel Joy?
Once I got through the wild depression swing of coming to terms on realizing that everything I knew was wrong... I actually became a lot MORE happy about things.

As I made the transition of deconverting, I found that I was very depressed, very sad and moody like you wouldn't believe. It was because I was having a very hard time of coping with "What, there is no afterlife?" and "So that means I wasn't created? And not created with a purpose? What IS my purpose then?" and all kinds of randomly surfacing thoughts were radically exploding in my mind and it was a total shock for me. For a while, I felt like someone came over, took a huge steamy shit on what I thought was reality and I was left with a heaping plate of hotter, stinkier shit.

As I went through this transition and started to understand things differently, I started to see things from a new perspective...

- I was in charge of my life and I was in charge of finding my own meaning. This was amazing to me.
- The shit that I thought was random acts of god were just... random... if there is no "divine plan" then that means I am the master of my own destiny so to speak.
- No hell? Life is what it is. It wasn't that I had this realization that "sin didn't matter" but that I had nothing to fear when I die. There was none of this "burn in hell forever, or spend forever bored to fucking shit with jesus playing tennis" - I mean come on, forever is a long time.
- I no longer had to fight the most logical arguments in the world to my brain to understand the things that interested me the most. I felt and REALLY THOUGHT that anything that differed from my beliefs were "the devil" and the amount of cognitive dissonance that kept me from my interest in science and technology repelled me to no end. I FINALLY was not afraid to ask hard questions, look for hard answers.
- Reality was reality. Harsh or soft, it was amazing to me either way. Not always what I wanted, but I realize life is literally what it is. Which also gave me a sense of calm, hard to explain.
- No matter what happens in life, I realized that once it's over, there's nothing left to worry about. I will just simply... stop being me. I'll continue on as particles, atoms, part of the universe at some point. But there's nothing to worry about. I didn't worry about this shit before I became human, I won't worry about it after.
- I don't feel shame for being myself. I'm happy. I live my life, I love my wife, I love my family, I don't feel fearful of things anymore. I can be a good person because I feel like it's the right thing to do and because I'm capable of doing so. Not because a book tells me too, not because I feel like I'll deal with eternal punishment if I don't and not because I feel like I'll be rewarded by some ultimate deity... but because I'm human, I can be human and it's the human thing to do. That was a HUGE moment for me. I'm a good person because I CAN be and WANT to be.
- The current way we understand the universe explains that you and I are star dust, that's how we started. Someday, we'll be stardust again. The universe does not give a shit how many lives you change before you get there again. In the grand scheme of things, we're a tiny tiny tiny particle in comparison to the size of the universe. No matter how shitty life can be, I can always look up at the night sky and say... "Hey, that's me." It's an awesome realization when you think about that. How many times can the universe say that? Not sure, but I know I'm part of it! And I know I can Smile

When I wake up and think about these things... it's hard to have a bad day unless I let things get to me or want to have a bad day. But most of the time, I am pretty damn happy. Life is good. I appreciate the life I have. I appreciate the time I have. I have no regret over the fact that someday it will be over, I'm not afraid of the fact that someday it will be over. I'm fine with it. But my only regret is that I don't have more time to enjoy it and see science progress, see humanity progress and at least go to mars or something rad like that. Either way, life is pretty fucking cool.
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