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Switch to Forum Live View What follows from Atheism
2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 2:46PM #11
Eudaimonist
Posts: 2,036

While it is true that there isn't "perfect" justice in the universe (e.g., good people dying of cancer), I think that overall there is justice in the universe due to cause-and-effect.  Generally, good decisions yield good results, and bad decisions yield bad results, at least psychologically.  So, people's decisions make for lives either worth living or not worth living.


 


eudaimonia,


Mark

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 3:47PM #12
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

1. This life is all you have and its best to make the most of it. 


It's best to make the most of every moment. Not doing so will leave you ill prepared for what comes next.

2. There is great beauty and wonder in life and the universe, in addition to pain and suffering. 


Sort of stating the glaringly obvious... but I agree.

3. There is no fairness or justice in the universe. Great people die of cancer, lousy people live on.


That's true only in limited perspective. We can't see all ends. Immediate "bad," chaos and confusion from our perspective, most probably plays into greater good, order and justice. Dying is not a tragedy for those who die. It can be difficult for those left behind. But, when one realizes this stage of our existance is merely a means to an end, rather than an end in and of itself, it puts things in a whole new perspective, and one that isn't nearly so sad or dire. (I have this going on first-hand right now, as somebody close to me is in the process of dying.)


 Humans however can strive to behave in a fair and just manner.


 Well, another obvious statement. And not exclusive to atheism. Of course we can. But, more than that, we should. Or, more even than that -- I think we are expected to. 


4. By our choices and actions we can make the world a better place.


Again, sort of a no-brainer, and hardly exclusive to atheism. And again, I agree. And again, not only should we... I think we are expected to by our Creator. After all, we were not given those potential capacities or abilities with the expectation that we would just sit around on our butts and not put them to good use. 


5. Love and compassion are the remedies for a difficult and sometimes painful existence.          


Once again, obvious. And hardly exclusive to atheism. And, what I said twice already. Not only can we, we should, and are expected to.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 3:53PM #13
wohali
Posts: 10,227

"2. There is great beauty and wonder in life and the universe, in addition to pain and suffering." 


Mytmouse:


"Sort of stating the glaringly obvious... but I agree."


Evidently it isn't "glaringly obvious" to lots of folks. You know, the ones that just hope and pray for the end of this "sinful", "fallen" world.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 3:56PM #14
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Apr 25, 2012 -- 3:53PM, wohali wrote:


"2. There is great beauty and wonder in life and the universe, in addition to pain and suffering." 


Mytmouse:


"Sort of stating the glaringly obvious... but I agree."


Evidently it isn't "glaringly obvious" to lots of folks. You know, the ones that just hope and pray for the end of this "sinful", "fallen" world.




Well, perhaps they might want to consider pulling their heads out of their arses, eh?

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 5:56PM #15
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,779

Apr 25, 2012 -- 11:06AM, Knowsnothing wrote:



People with crappy lives might not be satisfied with that.  Any belief that promises something better, would seem like a better alternative.  There is also the fact that some actually change for the better as a result of religion in their life, regardless of it's validity as truth.





With little exception, life is what you make it. If you have a crappy life (and I am not talking about job losses and disease. ) It can be change, you can change your life from crappy to not crappy by changing your attitude. Not your religious beliefs.


And a good atitude can even make those other things seem not so bad.

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 6:44PM #16
Sparky_Spotty
Posts: 751

Apr 25, 2012 -- 3:47PM, mytmouse57 wrote:


2. There is great beauty and wonder in life and the universe, in addition to pain and suffering. 


Sort of stating the glaringly obvious... but I agree.




As some have stated already, many religions downplay earthly things, and in fact teach not to enjoy them too much. (hint  sex is one of them)


 


Apr 25, 2012 -- 3:47PM, mytmouse57 wrote:



3. There is no fairness or justice in the universe. Great people die of cancer, lousy people live on.


That's true only in limited perspective. We can't see all ends. Immediate "bad," chaos and confusion from our perspective, most probably plays into greater good, order and justice.




Really? Can you explain how childhood cancer fits into this? (hint, theist arguments are useless, this is about what athiests can feel or believe.)


 


Apr 25, 2012 -- 3:47PM, mytmouse57 wrote:


 Dying is not a tragedy for those who die.




It isn't ?  How so?  Please explain how a young father dying of cancer or getting killed in a car reck is not a tragic thing.  (hint, theist arguments are useless, this is about what athiests can feel or believe.)


Apr 25, 2012 -- 3:47PM, mytmouse57 wrote:


 It can be difficult for those left behind. But, when one realizes this stage of our existance is merely a means to an end, rather than an end in and of itself, it puts things in a whole new perspective, and one that isn't nearly so sad or dire. (I have this going on first-hand right now, as somebody close to me is in the process of dying.)




Please explain this 'means to an end' and how it benefits the dying person.


 (hint, theist arguments are useless, this is about what athiests can feel or believe.)



4. By our choices and actions we can make the world a better place.


Again, sort of a no-brainer, and hardly exclusive to atheism.




Well, thats kind of my point. Relgious folks do not hold a monopoly on this. There is no reason why it can't coexist with atheism.



And again, I agree. And again, not only should we... I think we are expected to by our Creator. After all, we were not given those potential capacities or abilities with the expectation that we would just sit around on our butts and not put them to good use. 




No creator, sorry. Atheism, remember.


5. Love and compassion are the remedies for a difficult and sometimes painful existence.          


Once again, obvious. And hardly exclusive to atheism. And, what I said twice already. Not only can we, we should, and are expected to.




See above. Religion or a belief in the divine is not necessary.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 7:31PM #17
Knowsnothing
Posts: 1,150

Apr 25, 2012 -- 1:37PM, Sparky_Spotty wrote:



Apr 25, 2012 -- 11:06AM, Knowsnothing wrote:


People with crappy lives might not be satisfied with that.  Any belief that promises something better, would seem like a better alternative. 




Maybe?  But the cost is that we then trivialize this life for some imagined future superior life.


I mean why bother trying to make this life good for yourself, your children and your friends, this is just a stepping stone to the future afterlife bliss and doesn't really matter much.


To each his own I suppose, but I can't magically make myself believe in some sort of blissful afterlife when I have nothing to support that belief.



Disease and loss of close friends/family members.


Apr 25, 2012 -- 1:37PM, Sparky_Spotty wrote:


Apr 25, 2012 -- 11:06AM, Knowsnothing wrote:


There is also the fact that some actually change for the better as a result of religion in their life, regardless of it's validity as truth.




Aye, and some change for the worse, using religion to support discrimination against gays, murdering abortion doctors, enslaving africans etc.



You forgot some religious people are charitable and moral.  I'm sure atheists can be accused of the same things you pointed out.


Apr 25, 2012 -- 1:37PM, Sparky_Spotty wrote:



That's the problem.  If there is no fairness or justice in the universe, then people can do as they please, along with the consequences, and then remember they are going to die anyways. 




But there ARE consequences. Don't minimize that.



I'm not.  I'm just saying they could try use that as an excuse to get the "most out of life", in a bad way.


Apr 25, 2012 -- 1:37PM, Sparky_Spotty wrote:



All I'm saying is that there is no pushing reason to behave in a fair and just manner, unless of course you want to avoid punishment in the here and now.




Sure there are reasons to behave in a fair and just manner.


1. I for one have empathy and a concience that makes me feel bad when I do wrong.



Good for you.  Too bad for psychopaths.


Apr 25, 2012 -- 1:37PM, Sparky_Spotty wrote:


2. If I do wrong odds are the law, or at least my close circle of aquantances will find out and I will suffer as a result.



A lot of harm can be done, in the meanwhile.  Pablo Escobar went unchecked for more than a decade.


Apr 25, 2012 -- 1:37PM, Sparky_Spotty wrote:


Also, your statement just trades 1 thing for another.  Either humans are afraid of punishment in the here and now, or punishment after death. Whats the difference?


You're just trading one form of negative reinforcement with another.



All I said was that it can be used as an excuse, not necessarily that it is a valid one.


Apr 25, 2012 -- 1:37PM, Sparky_Spotty wrote:



Yes, that's true.  However, sometimes that implies sacrifice, and some people may not be to keen on that.




And its their loss. The point stands though, one does not need to be a theist to recognize or follow it.




Agreed.  Theists might not be inclined to sacrifice, but say in the case of Christians, their dogma demands it.


There is no such moral responsibility upon atheists.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 7:33PM #18
Knowsnothing
Posts: 1,150

Apr 25, 2012 -- 1:45PM, wohali wrote:


"People with crappy lives might not be satisfied with that.  Any belief that promises something better, would seem like a better alternative."


I have diabetes. I can pray and "believe" that some supernatural force will heal me, or I can exercise, take my medication and educate myself about my disease and work at improving my condition.


Which do you think will have the most effect?




A positive belief can serve as a placebo effect, which guess what, is clinically shown to help improve a condition.


No one is advocating throwing away modern medicine.  Imagine a worse disease, such as incurable cancer.  It doesn't hurt to have a positive belief.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 7:36PM #19
Knowsnothing
Posts: 1,150

Apr 25, 2012 -- 5:56PM, mainecaptain wrote:


Apr 25, 2012 -- 11:06AM, Knowsnothing wrote:



People with crappy lives might not be satisfied with that.  Any belief that promises something better, would seem like a better alternative.  There is also the fact that some actually change for the better as a result of religion in their life, regardless of it's validity as truth.





With little exception, life is what you make it. If you have a crappy life (and I am not talking about job losses and disease. ) It can be change, you can change your life from crappy to not crappy by changing your attitude. Not your religious beliefs.


And a good atitude can even make those other things seem not so bad.




That is what I am talking about.


Sometimes, a religious belief gives that good, positive attitude.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 8:03PM #20
F1fan
Posts: 11,157

Apr 25, 2012 -- 7:33PM, Knowsnothing wrote:


A positive belief can serve as a placebo effect, which guess what, is clinically shown to help improve a condition.



It means more of a positive attitude.  Not all belief is the same.  If you believe you will have a great day, you may create the circumstances where you end up having a great day.  This doesn't mean you believe in irrational and implausible concepts.  


No one is advocating throwing away modern medicine.  Imagine a worse disease, such as incurable cancer.  It doesn't hurt to have a positive belief.




Yes, studies have shown that a positive attitude helps the immune system.  This can happen in many ways.  Even belief in irrational ideas can help a person cope with tragedy.  But let's be clear that this helps cope with stress.  There is no need to believe in irrational concepts as a basis for daily living.  There may be a dependency on such belief, but that is a behavioral issue.

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