Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
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18-12-2013, 01:19 PM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(17-12-2013 07:17 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(17-12-2013 05:16 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I actually felt relieved when I walked away from religion and became an atheist.

Me too. At least once I could admit it.

In my case it was the other way round, being Swedish and all. I had real problems to show my love for Jesus openly. It is considered rude, here.

When I confessed my atheism to my (lutheran) pastor, he told me he stopped believing a long time ago, too.

Ciao

- viole
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18-12-2013, 01:23 PM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(18-12-2013 01:19 PM)viole Wrote:  In my case it was the other way round, being Swedish and all. I had real problems to show my love for Jesus openly. It is considered rude, here.

What a culture shock that would be for Americans. Sounds awesome.


(18-12-2013 01:19 PM)viole Wrote:  When I confessed my atheism to my (lutheran) pastor, he told me he stopped believing a long time ago, too.

That sounds both wonderful and infuriating. It'd be nice to know that you're not the only Christian who had trouble with it, but it'd be annoying knowing that the guy has been lying to you for quite some time.
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18-12-2013, 01:24 PM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(16-12-2013 10:24 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  One of the most common responses I get when I tell people that I am an atheist is "You mean you don't believe that there is anything out there? Well, that's depressing!"

I have never understood this argument. Why is it a requirement for me to believe in a god or gods to be happy? Every atheist I personally know is a happy, good-hearted person. Sure, we all go through our bouts with depression like any other human being, but we don't need to believe in a god to justify our happiness. In fact, the most depressing person to be around that I know is my Bible-thumping uncle, who says that this life doesn't matter to him and that only the afterlife matters. I love to learn new things and I like helping people when I can and it makes me feel good to help somebody out. Why do I need to believe in a god to do that? The way I look at it is that we only have one life to live, so why not make the most of it? I feel far better being an atheist and spending my time helping others than I would spending countless hours in a church worshiping some invisible being for which no proof exists, only because I had been indoctrinated with that belief.

What I do find depressing is the thought that without religion that people would have no morals. In other words, that people would run amok because they had no fear of going to hell. So, the reason that people do good is because they want to cover their own ass for the afterlife? Sorry, but that thought is depressing to me.

I can understand why atheism could seem depressing for theists to choose that road for themselves. They've been indoctrinated their whole life to believe in a god or gods, and the thought of that not being true scares the living crap out of them.

Do any of you also get this response when you tell people that you're atheist?

I've been asked "then why are you here, and what purpose do you have for living." I also get asked about morals.

It's just a priori assumptions. People who ask questions like those don't even realize that inherent in the question is the assumption that God does exist and that He is the reason for morals and purpose in our lives.

I like to ask them to imagine that this is a world without any deity, and ask them to explain how it is that morals and purpose exist, even though there is no deity.
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18-12-2013, 01:28 PM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(18-12-2013 01:24 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  I've been asked "then why are you here, and what purpose do you have for living." I also get asked about morals.

It's just a priori assumptions. People who ask questions like those don't even realize that inherent in the question is the assumption that God does exist and that He is the reason for morals and purpose in our lives.

I like to ask them to imagine that this is a world without any deity, and ask them to explain how it is that morals and purpose exist, even though there is no deity.

The problem of you asking them that is they won't have a good answer for you, and will assume that their incredulity is proof of God's existence.

You: Imagine a world with no God. Where do morals and purpose come from?

Them: There would be no morals or purpose, but since we know there are morals and purpose, we know there is a god!

It's pretty much given the answer will be pretty close to that. The other likely answer is an argument from adverse consequences, where they assume not having absolute morality would be bad, so therefore, there must be an absolute morality.
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18-12-2013, 01:40 PM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(18-12-2013 01:28 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(18-12-2013 01:24 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  I've been asked "then why are you here, and what purpose do you have for living." I also get asked about morals.

It's just a priori assumptions. People who ask questions like those don't even realize that inherent in the question is the assumption that God does exist and that He is the reason for morals and purpose in our lives.

I like to ask them to imagine that this is a world without any deity, and ask them to explain how it is that morals and purpose exist, even though there is no deity.

The problem of you asking them that is they won't have a good answer for you, and will assume that their incredulity is proof of God's existence.

You: Imagine a world with no God. Where do morals and purpose come from?

Them: There would be no morals or purpose, but since we know there are morals and purpose, we know there is a god!

It's pretty much given the answer will be pretty close to that. The other likely answer is an argument from adverse consequences, where they assume not having absolute morality would be bad, so therefore, there must be an absolute morality.

Perhaps. I've tried it twice, and both people ignored my question. I like to think they at least thought about the possibility. Regardless, much has been written about how morals don't require a deity. There are natural explanations.
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18-12-2013, 03:04 PM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(18-12-2013 01:40 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  Perhaps. I've tried it twice, and both people ignored my question. I like to think they at least thought about the possibility. Regardless, much has been written about how morals don't require a deity. There are natural explanations.

Of course there are natural explanations. If morals required the worship of a deity, then nature would not work the way it does. Take emperor penguins, for example: They lay their eggs and raise their young in the coldest climates on the planet. To keep their body temperatures up they form a huddle and take turns moving around the inside and outside so that nobody stays on the outside too long where it is coldest, because that is best for everybody, not one or a select few individuals. How do emperor penguins know how to do this? Certainly they don't go around worshiping some invisible sky daddy, but they obviously have morals.

Creationists will always dodge the question because they have no valid answer.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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18-12-2013, 09:17 PM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(18-12-2013 03:04 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  Of course there are natural explanations. If morals required the worship of a deity, then nature would not work the way it does. Take emperor penguins, for example: They lay their eggs and raise their young in the coldest climates on the planet. To keep their body temperatures up they form a huddle and take turns moving around the inside and outside so that nobody stays on the outside too long where it is coldest, because that is best for everybody, not one or a select few individuals. How do emperor penguins know how to do this? Certainly they don't go around worshiping some invisible sky daddy, but they obviously have morals.

Creationists will always dodge the question because they have no valid answer.

What are you talking about? They'll answer you directly: goddidit.

Creationists love fapping to the idea that anything that resembles order or a system points to an intelligent creator. Not that this is a good argument, but they will answer you very confidently, thinking that they've just won the debate with that gem.
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19-12-2013, 11:27 AM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(18-12-2013 01:23 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(18-12-2013 01:19 PM)viole Wrote:  In my case it was the other way round, being Swedish and all. I had real problems to show my love for Jesus openly. It is considered rude, here.

What a culture shock that would be for Americans. Sounds awesome.


(18-12-2013 01:19 PM)viole Wrote:  When I confessed my atheism to my (lutheran) pastor, he told me he stopped believing a long time ago, too.

That sounds both wonderful and infuriating. It'd be nice to know that you're not the only Christian who had trouble with it, but it'd be annoying knowing that the guy has been lying to you for quite some time.


Lol. It is more complicated than that.

Apparently, I was the only one in the flock who didn't know, or didn't want to know.

In the Netherlands, there is famous pastor who is officially atheist, too. People just like to listen to what he says from the pulpit, even though they know he does not believe. I think he also wrote a book.

Things are weird in North Europe, lol.

Ciao

- viole
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19-12-2013, 11:47 AM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(19-12-2013 11:27 AM)viole Wrote:  Lol. It is more complicated than that.

Apparently, I was the only one in the flock who didn't know, or didn't want to know.

In the Netherlands, there is famous pastor who is officially atheist, too. People just like to listen to what he says from the pulpit, even though they know he does not believe. I think he also wrote a book.

Things are weird in North Europe, lol.

Ciao

- viole

That's fascinating!
When I was a theist I flirted with Confessional Lutheranism in the LCMS (adherence to the book of concord, verbal plenary inspiration). I was weary of Reformed Theology, but it at least values logic and reason to an extent. In confessional lutheranism, reason is dealt with in suspicion at best and contempt at worst after all it was Luther that said "reason is a whore".
I have heard a LCMS apologist confess that if he hadn't found lutheranism from pop american evangelicalism he would be an atheist by now.

“The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is because vampires are allergic to bullshit.” ― Richard Pryor
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20-12-2013, 09:17 AM
RE: Why Is Lack of Belief In a God/Gods Depressing?
(17-12-2013 01:33 AM)sporehux Wrote:  It is quite depressing for a while after you lose your religion, much like an addict in rehab.

But once the answer to everything is taken away.
The awe of reality trumps an unprovable arbiter.

Awesome gonna keep that! Thumbsup

Music is my religion
- Jimi Hendrix
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