Comfort without God
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08-08-2016, 01:56 AM
Comfort without God
Hi,

Someone once said, “An atheist is a person without an invisible means of support.”

I think it is a plain fact that many people find comfort in religion. My concern and question is about non believers: atheists and agnostics. Believers are told to go to God for comfort in their most challenged times, and churches organise all kinds of support around the core concept of caring for those lost in the world. The concept of ‘flock’ and ‘shepherd’ emphasizes this.

For the atheist, things are different. Of course, there are efforts in communities to deal with health problems, addiction, poverty, old age and loneliness etc, but these efforts are specific to the practical problem presented, I do not know of a place to go with a deeper ‘existential crisis’ in the absence of a mental health diagnosis. Maybe the secular world regards existential crisis as a mental health problem? I don’t know.

When I faced an existential crisis (which still lingers) I went to a University philosophy department. This resulted in years of study, two philosophy degrees and I was none the wiser on what was concerning me most. I did meet other students who were on a similar quest to mine, but none with answers outside a religious context, which brings me back to the question at hand.

Where do we find comfort without God?

D.
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08-08-2016, 02:03 AM
RE: Comfort without God
You cannot find, by searching, something that is inside of you. You can take joy in friends, family, and in enjoying the beautiful world in which we live... or not.

Even the Christians, when they claim to have found it "in god", are just finding it in a sense of belonging to a community and finding a placebo for the emotional hurts they have been taught to internalize-- it's all an internal thing which they have been taught to externalize by projecting their own egos onto a concept of an invisible friend (er, I meant god).

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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08-08-2016, 02:08 AM
RE: Comfort without God
I went to see the doctor of philosophy,
With a poster of Rasputin
And a beard down to his knees.
He never did marry,
Or see a B-grade movie,
He graded my performance
He said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind,
Got my paper, and I was free.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains,
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains.
There's more than one answer to these questions,
Pointing me in a crooked line--
And the less I seek my source for some definitive,
The closer I am to fine.





"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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08-08-2016, 02:08 AM
RE: Comfort without God
(08-08-2016 01:56 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Believers are told to go to God for comfort in their most challenged times, and churches organise all kinds of support around the core concept of caring for those lost in the world. The concept of ‘flock’ and ‘shepherd’ emphasizes this.

I wouldn't say it's about caring. For me it's about being afraid of taking responsibility for one life and searching for someone who will show "the right way".

(08-08-2016 01:56 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Where do we find comfort without God?

I don't need such comfort, I'm perfectly fine with uncaring universe, nothingness after death and finding/making my own purpose in life.

Sure, life is shitty sometimes, but would it be less shitty if I were to think that some space wizard planned for it to be so? Without believing in space fairy I need not concern myself with questions like "why god allows it".

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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08-08-2016, 02:21 AM
RE: Comfort without God
.....and there's me thinking this is a thread about Bananaman Ray Comfort...

But to answer your question...............the reality of our world.......of our universe is so much more amazing, enthralling, beautiful and intriguing than any rather dull fairy tale.

There is so much I want to do and to learn before I die. Life is for living and living to the full rather than having to double-think everything because you're told that faith beats reason.

To me that's so much more important than "taking comfort" from superstition.

The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike
Excreta Tauri Sapientam Fulgeat (The excrement of the bull causes wisdom to flee)
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08-08-2016, 02:23 AM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2016 02:28 AM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Comfort without God
(08-08-2016 01:56 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Where do we find comfort without God?

D.

Perhaps mindfulness mediation can bring you comfort. Dan Harris is an agnostic and wrote a book about his journey to find the happiness and comfort mindfulness can bring you.






changed the video
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08-08-2016, 03:14 AM
RE: Comfort without God
(08-08-2016 01:56 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  ...
Where do we find comfort without God?
...


[Image: sisyphus640px22.gif]

[Image: 225672631297809770_Rg7ptHQS_c_thumb.jpg]

"... a song to pass the day
And a girl to share the night."





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08-08-2016, 03:31 AM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2016 03:37 AM by Dworkin.)
RE: Comfort without God
(08-08-2016 02:03 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  You cannot find, by searching, something that is inside of you. You can take joy in friends, family, and in enjoying the beautiful world in which we live... or not.

Even the Christians, when they claim to have found it "in god", are just finding it in a sense of belonging to a community and finding a placebo for the emotional hurts they have been taught to internalize-- it's all an internal thing which they have been taught to externalize by projecting their own egos onto a concept of an invisible friend (er, I meant god).

RS,

Thanks for a serious and helpful answer.

I was expecting the friends and family response to come quickly. In part, I agree, (as I am blessed in this respect). However not all families provide the deep level of resolve that an existential crisis calls for, if that resolve is even possible. My own crisis called for: What is this place? What is it's purpose? Why am I here? These questions linger, but do not "hurt", to use your choice of language.

"...a sense of belonging...". This is a good point. I see the congregation in a church as very powerful in this respect. The nearest I can remember coming to this "sense" is as part of a labour union. However, such membership was temporary according to employment and for a specific secular purpose.

I am not a member of any organised religion, or a believer in one, but I have enjoyed Catholic mass sometimes, just to allow the unity of a large and devoted congregation to wash over me. I particularly enjoy the bit where everyone turns to his/her neighbour with 'pax vobiscum'.

D.
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08-08-2016, 03:55 AM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2016 03:58 AM by Dworkin.)
RE: Comfort without God
Sisyphus cartoon Yes

DLJ,

Excellent.

My favourite philosopher, Albert Camus, said, "We must imagine Sisyphus happy".

I shall cogitate on these words and your image whilst out today, shopping for a new frying pan.

D.

PS - Just to be clear, this thread isn't a trolling job on atheists. I just enjoy a lively debate more than backscratching, so like to present questions to others and myself which bring out some ideas, hopefully something new or newish to me.
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08-08-2016, 04:12 AM
RE: Comfort without God
(08-08-2016 02:08 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  I went to see the doctor of philosophy,
With a poster of Rasputin
And a beard down to his knees.
He never did marry,
Or see a B-grade movie,
He graded my performance
He said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind,
Got my paper, and I was free.

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains,
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains.
There's more than one answer to these questions,
Pointing me in a crooked line--
And the less I seek my source for some definitive,
The closer I am to fine.

RS,

Good band Smile

My old philosophy prof said one thing that sticks in my mind.

"The only thing I can be sure of is that I might be wrong".

I'm not sure that is true (lurking infinite regress?), but I like it. Huh

D.
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