The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
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05-10-2016, 02:47 AM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
(05-10-2016 02:34 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  Atheism is not a "world-view". It is simply a disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of god or gods. Atheists can have any "world-view" they wish, any belief system they wish, any ideas, any culture.

Does the rejection of other gods by christians mean that their lives are hopeless?

So why does the rejection of just another god - their god - make a difference?

Specifically, for christians, surely it is the acceptance of their "lord" that is the only qualification for attaining the afterlife? Thus all Muslims, Jews, Buddhists etc etc are equally living a hopeless life as they think we are?

Do they just pick on us poor, benighted atheists because we have no real political clout or violent mob inclinations?

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05-10-2016, 05:24 AM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
(05-10-2016 02:47 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Specifically, for christians, surely it is the acceptance of their "lord" that is the only qualification for attaining the afterlife? Thus all Muslims, Jews, Buddhists etc etc are equally living a hopeless life as they think we are?

Do they just pick on us poor, benighted atheists because we have no real political clout or violent mob inclinations?

I think that the concept of non-belief is just so difficult for many theists to comprehend. Such is the depth of their indoctrination. They see "believers" of other faiths as easier to understand in that they have belief but it just happens to be the "wrong one".

I think it's also about their difficulty in coming up with reasoned, rational counter-arguments to atheism. Because faith is by definition belief without evidence, then an opponent who makes them re-examine their reasons for that belief in a manner which makes sense and highlights the absurdities, contradictions and nonsense of religion is to be feared more than an opponent from a different religion whose beliefs are equally delusional.

Thus for a christian an atheist is to be feared more than a muslim, jew, hindu, sikh etc. simply because they can't use the "you're as bad as me" argument.

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05-10-2016, 05:44 AM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
(05-10-2016 05:24 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  
(05-10-2016 02:47 AM)Gloucester Wrote:  Specifically, for christians, surely it is the acceptance of their "lord" that is the only qualification for attaining the afterlife? Thus all Muslims, Jews, Buddhists etc etc are equally living a hopeless life as they think we are?

Do they just pick on us poor, benighted atheists because we have no real political clout or violent mob inclinations?

I think that the concept of non-belief is just so difficult for many theists to comprehend. Such is the depth of their indoctrination. They see "believers" of other faiths as easier to understand in that they have belief but it just happens to be the "wrong one".

I think it's also about their difficulty in coming up with reasoned, rational counter-arguments to atheism. Because faith is by definition belief without evidence, then an opponent who makes them re-examine their reasons for that belief in a manner which makes sense and highlights the absurdities, contradictions and nonsense of religion is to be feared more than an opponent from a different religion whose beliefs are equally delusional.

Thus for a christian an atheist is to be feared more than a muslim, jew, hindu, sikh etc. simply because they can't use the "you're as bad as me" argument.
See your point, Muslims have a belief in an afterlife and Jews sort of seem to have one. So I suppose the christians can associate with that. Even if they believe the non-christians do not qualify.

Presumably they have as much trouble understanding a lack of faith as I have in understanding theirs in the supernatural!

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05-10-2016, 08:43 AM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
I want to thank Fatbaldhobbit for that insight.
I will use that.

"As eternity goes on in heaven, it becomes more and more likely that you'll do something to piss god off and get kicked out of heaven, going straight to hell. It's pretty much a lock that everyone will end up in hell for the rest of eternity."

Then I would say
"Knowing this, you should probably rebel now and get on Satan's good side Smile"

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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05-10-2016, 09:01 AM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism



Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

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05-10-2016, 12:20 PM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
Just because someone is an atheist doesn't mean they stop feeling, we still have emotions. In that case we feel joy and pain, just like anyone else we want to minimize pain and maximize our chances of joy.

As children we learn very quickly the basics of our world, the challenges, rewards and goals we need to reach to gain happiness. The simply premise of a thought of "If I finish school I will be educated and get a job, find love, travel, etc." Is in itself a hopeful outlook.

If all an atheist ever did was tell themselves they will have a good day today, that is a hopeful thought, we want to be happy, we want to love and be loved, we want to face challenges, we want to conquer our fears, this is hopeful, this is life, this is what even Christians, Jews, and Muslims feel every day.

If they can't understand that it's only because they want to believe only their religion can give hope, love, and happiness to them and to others but no, you can be an atheist or an agnostic and be hopeful, loving, and happy and yes moral and good. Even more so in some cases as religion can be a cage around someone's life and actually stop them from having hope or happiness, that is the case for me personally.

How can a person be happy knowing many of their fellow humans will die and suffer forever? How is that a hopeful outlook? To know you have no choice but to accept a blood sacrifice that happened 2,000 years before you were even born or your soul will be cast into a fiery pit of pain forever? I live very happily knowing such a place isn't real. I have hope that my life will be a good life, that's all I need to get through the day, I don't need any Gods, it's just that simple.

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05-10-2016, 12:27 PM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
(05-10-2016 08:43 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I want to thank Fatbaldhobbit for that insight.
I will use that.

"As eternity goes on in heaven, it becomes more and more likely that you'll do something to piss god off and get kicked out of heaven, going straight to hell. It's pretty much a lock that everyone will end up in hell for the rest of eternity."

Then I would say
"Knowing this, you should probably rebel now and get on Satan's good side Smile"

I have an understanding that in Heaven there is no sin so you can't do anything to piss off God up there, you can't even have "impure thoughts" about all the sexy angels flying by. That arcangel Michael keeps coming around with those perfect abs, just asking to be lusted after...but no you can't do it, even if you wanted to.

So you're basically a brainwashed robot, only able to do what God deems as appropriate and good which apparently includes looking down at Earth and enjoying the scent of blood and lifting your fist up like an old man and angrily shouting about those damn iron chariots.

I wouldn't want to spend eternity around histories greatest megalomaniacal con man and dictator, I don't see any hope in that whatsoever.

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05-10-2016, 12:39 PM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
First of all, I don't really have anything against this guy. He might be clueless on a couple of points, but he is acting out of compassion and calling out his own camp. That deserves props.

But moving on to the central question of this thread...

This is a frequent (albeit not universal) conceit among Christians, that their theology has a monopoly on emotions. It's not really hope, unless it's hope that transcends mortality towards their afterlife. It's not really love, unless God's involved in sanctioning it or feeling it or it's felt towards God or something like that. It's not really a sense of meaning or purpose, unless God assigns those. Without God, one does not feel moved to devote one's life to others or feel compassion for their fellow humans. Without God, one does not have a conscience, or self control, or strength, or.... and if an atheist DOES have all these things, they secretly come from God anyway, even if the atheist refuses to acknowledge it and be grateful. Or maybe the emotions have to be qualified by their connection with the Christian God-concept. Everyday hopes versus True Hope, everyday love versus True Love, and so on.

The self-aggrandizing, self-centered arrogance of this attitude leaves me waffling between queasiness and hilarity.

tl;dr: Christianity attempting to claim sole origin of stuff it isn't sole origin of. Again.
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05-10-2016, 12:54 PM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
If you read the memoirs of Mother Teresa, (or John of the Cross, or Teresa of Avila), the "Dark Night of the Soul" demonstrates they are just as subject to "hopelessness" as any other human. At the highest levels of achievement in the Christian cults, they tell of their despair and depression.

So much for that remedy. Facepalm

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05-10-2016, 01:11 PM
RE: The Mythical Hopelessness of Atheism
I've had several family members make this sort of claim about me recently, after a few years of having dropped the issue (I ceased discussing religion with them altogether for a while). I think it comes from them centering their entire life on their religion and making it the foundation of their worldview that they simply can't understand how we can feel fulfilled without that because, from their perspective, they have very little of their life that is outside of their faith and they imagine that all we have is what they have outside of their faith.

Then you have the fact that they will look to any shortcomings, lack of happiness, whatever in your life and blame it on atheism, due to confirmation bias. They believe atheism leads to unhappiness and meaninglessness, and whenever they see elements of that in any atheist they blame it solely on the atheism.

Perhaps another factor is that they associate atheism with negativity because the only place or reason they see atheism is when an atheist is complaining about the latest religious scandal or imposition on politics. They don't see happy atheists living their own lives, keeping to themselves, and not complaining, because they simply don't know that these people are atheists.

Then there may be a *tiny* kernel of truth in it, that it's easier to find "meaning" when you're religious because it's given to you - your purpose is to please God. That's it. Obviously that's not a meaningful life for those of us that don't believe, but for them that *is* meaning. A purpose doesn't need to be useful, true, or even positive to be a purpose. Meanwhile, atheists have no inherent "purpose" given to them - I have to discover what I want my life to be about if it is to have any sort of "purpose". That takes a lot of thought, self-reflection, and honestly I'm still not sure what I could call my "purpose".

Better without God, and happier too.
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