Existence: What the fuck is going on?
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29-03-2015, 12:14 PM
RE: Existence: What the fuck is going on?
(29-03-2015 11:44 AM)Pickup_shonuff Wrote:  
(29-03-2015 11:21 AM)Deidre32 Wrote:  Well, first...we give meaning to life. I don't believe in the Abrahamic 'version' of a deity, in which a deity is seen as creating each person with a special 'soul,' designed to carry out the deeds of the deity. Or to even 'glorify' the deity. Rather, we give meaning to life in how we approach others, serve others, etc. Without our assigning some type of meaning to life, yes...in and of itself, life as it stands, seems and perhaps IS meaningless. But, maybe too it all depends on what we consider 'meaning.' You authored a book recently, and to me, there is meaning for you and others, in that endeavor. Otherwise, why did you do it? So, there had to be a reason ...a motivation...behind your desire to write the book in the first place. I think when we get away from the Abrahamic 'God,' we can apply reason to how we view a God, inside of our worldview. Truthfully, there are days when i feel atheism still makes the most sense, logically. Deism however, offers me the ability to believe and extend my imagination to what a potential deity might be like, without the trappings of dogma, etc.
I like that. Beautifully written. I will say though, while I never get depressed over the thought that my life RIGHT NOW is not meaningful in the sense that I have set various goals in life and find fulfillment in their achievement, there is a sense that, while it doesn't depress me per se, still really sucks, that everything I hope to achieve is being a collected into a bin labeled: "To Be Incinerated."

Also, I get what you're saying about the freedom you feel in the absence of any cognitive or emotive restriction to live your life as if there is a god, to dwell on what such an entity could be like, if you so choose... in fact, as an atheist I regularly find myself taking a similar attitude, and I still get enjoyment from reading religious works, though not of any specific brand, if only because I just think of their god as the true mysteries of existence, coupled (and in my view, vulgarized and distorted to the extend that metaphor and analogy is mistaken for literal history) with mythology.
(29-03-2015 11:21 AM)Deidre32 Wrote:  Having said all of that, faith is very much an emotional 'sell.' I think if I'm honest, I spent most of my life as a theist which shaped how I view the world, even after abandoning religion. Atheism, despite having more atheists for friends than theists, is still relatively new to me. Perhaps I will always 'need' something more than my own strength and my own logic to help me grapple with everyday stresses and struggles. Being brought up with faith in a devoutly religious household definitely rendered me weaker in some ways. I wonder how I'd view the world now, had I never been introduced to religion in the first place, and envy those who grew up without religion, for they had to find their way without being told...'this is the way.' I'd say I'm making my own way, now...but it hasn't been easy coming from a strong theist background. Hope this makes sense?
Do you still engage in religious activities?

Oh, but that is not true. What you do right now, will have an effect on others to come, depending on how you spread your information, service to others, etc. You have already touched lives I'm sure, and they will take what you have done and pass it on...and when we all die, there will be this 'energy' from what we did here, carried on through others. I hate to use the term 'footprint' but it fits here. You will leave a footprint behind, good or bad, and so not everything you have done will go into an incinerator. This isn't me being overly optimistic, this is truth. My grandmother died recently, and I miss her terribly...but she taught me so many good things. I watched her life, and how she moved so many people. She will never be forgotten, and her lessons live through me.

Regarding religious practice. I do pray at times, not in a ritualistic or regular fashion anymore, like I once did. I haven't shared this here in the open, but I explored Islam for a short time. The Sufi rituals and meditations (and salat, in general) are really moving. But, after reading the Qur'an, I came away with the same problems with that religion that I had with Christianity,. (that is it a man made set of beliefs, really) So, Deism allows me to believe, but on my own terms. Honestly, I don't care for religion, as it paints God and people into a box that doesn't allow personal growth. Just my opinion of it.

But, I do read the Qur'an on occasion, I read other religious texts on occasion, but not for any spiritual 'nourishment,' but rather just to read another belief system. For educational reasons, etc. I caution any atheist to not turn their own beliefs/lack thereof into a dogma in and of itself. That can happen. I think of Richard Dawkins, and he is rather 'dogmatic' in his approach to atheism, although he's softening as he grows older.

I appreciate you letting me share this. This exchange alone won't end up in the ''Incinerator.'' Wink

Be true to yourself. Heart
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