Would you be happier as a theist?
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27-02-2011, 09:59 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
When I was a child, I prayed nightly and read my bible when I didn't have my nose stuck in The Indian in the Cupboard, a Choose your own Adventure book, or whatever fantasy/sci fi book I had picked up from the library. I thought that the older you got, the closer to god you got, and that some day he would actually answer my prayers or Jesus would talk to me, or I would have some sort of REAL experience within my faith. When I realized that the straw house that is religion was based not on real personal experience but the shaky foundation of faith, I started asking more questions and being met with more resistance. It's just not in my nature to believe anything on faith, and there is no way I could be happier if I just closed my eyes and followed along. Now if there really was a personal god who began revealing himself to people, I may be happier, but it would be more of an intellectual happiness because I had experienced and learned something new.

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27-02-2011, 11:45 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
The more that I know, the happier I become. Before I considered myself an atheist, I basically shrugged my shoulders and said "We can't ever know one way or the other", yet this mentality did not make me feel any better. It was only once I started talking to theists, learning about neuroscience and evolution, and reading the arguments about religion/god that I started to become happier. Now, if I'm unhappy for some reason, I know why I'm unhappy: a combination of chemical reactions in my brain triggered by an event in my environment. This comforts me more than any deity could.

As I've never been a theist, I honestly don't know if I'd be happier believing, but knowing myself, I kind of doubt that I would be. I'm naturally inquisitive, so either having my questions shut down, or having the answers make no sense would most likely frustrate me to no end. I would probably wonder why I'm so different; why I can't just accept it like all the other theists. Of course, without access to their minds, I would have no idea whether or not they have doubt as well, but because of the general mentality that doubting is practically a sin (and is a sin in some religions/denominations), nobody would openly talk about their doubts, which I think would become very lonely.

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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27-02-2011, 02:09 PM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
I can't believe no one has used the quote yet.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."


- George Bernard Shaw

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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27-02-2011, 07:10 PM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
Religion is the opiate of the masses. - Karl Marx (I think)

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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27-02-2011, 07:16 PM
 
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
No, being a theist community feels like I'm being smothered with polluted air.
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27-02-2011, 07:39 PM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
I don't understand what about being a theist generally would make one happier. Now, being a specific kind of theist - one who believes that God is ONLY mercy and benevolence, and that ALL souls will come to God and know mercy and love and have eternal joy - Mmmmmmaybe that theist would be pretty damned happy. But there are no churches teaching that so far as I know. And if there were, they still wouldn't have anything stronger than hope to prop it on; they'd have no evidence, and what evidence there is would and does prove them wrong. So while a person subscribing to that theology might be happier than me, I still could never believe it. So, no, I wouldn't be happier as a theist, because I could never be the kind of theist it would take to be happy.
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27-02-2011, 08:27 PM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
I can't picture myself as a theist at all, I just don't have that blind faith. So I'm not sure how to answer that.

I do think that there are theists who have so divorced themselves from reality that they probably are happier. Ignorance is bliss, yes?

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
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28-02-2011, 12:47 AM
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
I don't particularly care. I am an atheist because I see no reason to believe there is a deity, but if there were a reason, I would believe. I bet I would be happier as a theist, perhaps christian, because of the social element, and of course the old saying 'ignorance is bliss'. From my position as an atheist I wouldn't want to become a theist even if I would be happier and even if I could choose what I believed.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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28-02-2011, 06:53 AM
 
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
Well maybe sometimes theists are not all that happy. Here is a quote from someone on my facebook (who is Christian).
Quote:Who says Christians have to be dispised and rejected? why do some hold onto that idea as some kind of battle scar to be proud of, If we truly love eachother and help those in need as Christ did, who wants to hate us anyway?

--reply from somebody--> ppl hate not understanding... it's called faith for a reason

For the record he is a Canadian that has been living in various countries over the past 5-10yrs, mainly in Australia though. He doesn't seem to be the type to be happy with a regular 'tied down' and 'boring' live, and think he would be happier as an Atheist. Unfortunately he is a family member and I don't want to get involved with any family religious politics.
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28-02-2011, 10:15 PM
 
RE: Would you be happier as a theist?
I was a believer when I was a kid, and I wasn't at all happy about it, mostly because I was very scared of God. I wouldn't sleep well if I hadn't prayed before and I always had that feeling that something bad would happen, that I would be punished if I didn't pray. I wasn't happy being scared all the time, the existence of God wasn't comforting at all.

Today I was thinking about how studying, learning and investigating different subjects had actually helped me to be happier. When I was little I just to be scared of everything - God, ghosts, aliens showing up in my bedroom at night, etc etc. But as I've grown up ad started thinking more critically about things, and read and gathered information and basically questioning stuff, I'm not scared anymore. When I was a kid I wouldn't go to the bathroom at night because I was so scared of the "ghost" that would be waiting for me in the dark; now I know there's no reason for a ghost or anything "scary" to be there. It was the same with religion, and of course I'm happier if I'm not scared all the time Smile
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