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Switch to Forum Live View What follows from Atheism
2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 7:02PM #161
Abner1
Posts: 6,403

Sparky_Spotty wrote:


> I think whether you are theist or athiest does, or at least should, have huge impact


> on how you view, percieve, value, and act in your life.


Not if atheism is itself the consequence; basically, for a lot of us the causality runs the other direction.  Atheism is the *result* of other traits or ideas or decisions; it's towards the bottom of the chain.  It's like saying that "being against the death penalty causes you to respect human life and distrust the certainty of trial outcomes being right" when actually, for many people, respecting human life and distrusting the certainty of trial outcomes being right causes them to be against the death penalty.  Being against the death penalty doesn't cause an impact on their life; it *is* one of the impacts of other traits.  The same thing for many of us and atheism: it's one of the impacts, not the thing that causes the impact.


In my case it was a huge regard for truth, a desire to think for myself, and a tendency to weigh evidence carefully and judge everything by its merits that led me into atheism.  Once I realized that none of the reasons for my belief were good ones, my theism just crumbled and I became an atheist.  My being an atheist didn't cause those traits; it was caused by those traits.  Thus, for me, atheism has very little impact ...  it doesn't cause much of anything.


Make sense?

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 7:13PM #162
Abner1
Posts: 6,403

Hrm - thinking on it a bit more, this may be one of the reasons why so many theists think that atheism is at the core of the atheists' worldviews.  They're using their own theism as an analogy for atheism and not realizing it's a false analogy.


Theist:  "I have belief in the existance of my god(s) at my core and works my way out from there.  Therefore the atheists must have disbelief or rejection of belief in the existence of my god(s) at their core and work their way out from there."


Atheist:  "No, atheism is really out at my periphery; it's not the core at all."


Theist:  "But how can that be?  Belief in my god(s) is so central to my worldview, it has to leave a huge gaping hole in yours!"


Atheist:  "No, I just don't roll that way."

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 7:58PM #163
steven_guy
Posts: 11,751

May 2, 2012 -- 7:13PM, Abner1 wrote:


Hrm - thinking on it a bit more, this may be one of the reasons why so many theists think that atheism is at the core of the atheists' worldviews.  They're using their own theism as an analogy for atheism and not realizing it's a false analogy.


Theist:  "I have belief in the existance of my god(s) at my core and works my way out from there.  Therefore the atheists must have disbelief or rejection of belief in the existence of my god(s) at their core and work their way out from there."


Atheist:  "No, atheism is really out at my periphery; it's not the core at all."


Theist:  "But how can that be?  Belief in my god(s) is so central to my worldview, it has to leave a huge gaping hole in yours!"


Atheist:  "No, I just don't roll that way."




I think that you've hit the nail on the head, Abner. I think this is why I've felt such frustration with the theists on this issue.

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 8:49PM #164
Sparky_Spotty
Posts: 793

Well perhaps I'm not typical, I don't know.


If I sit on a hill looking at beautiful sunset, for example, part of the essense of its 'beauty' for me is its fragile transitory nature, and in fact MY fragile transitory nature. I'm looking at a beautiful thing in nature which has esthetic qualities, but I'm also looking at it with eyes that tell me I should treasure every moment because it might be my last, and with eyes that say, I've only got so much time and energy to experience as much beauty and peace as I can before I'm gone forever.


 


The christian can't or shouldn't attach the same level of importance to it. How can he. This life on earth is a relative micro second compared to the eons of blissful eternity at God's side. There is no 'end', its just a small part of the path. The small town you pass through on the way to disneyworld.


Each sunset, each orgasm, each peice of music, sure they're nice, but small insignificant potatoes compared to whats coming.


 


And never mind the positive aspects of life. The negatives are much harder to bear for the atheist. If I'm diagnosed with terminal cancer tomorrow, there's no comforting assurance that a painful death will be insignificant compared to eternal bliss of afterlife.


There's no God to answer my prayers and cure me. Its just arbitrary brutal nature deciding to cut my time short and give me a long painful crappy death. No loving paternal "God" to take care of or protect me.


Not so easy to face that when you can't sleep at 3 in the morning and start thinking about stuff.


 


I personally can't help but think, when faced with these core human experiences, that the theists and atheists are coming from two completely different ball parks.


 


My atheism colours many or even most aspects of MY world view.

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 9:15PM #165
steven_guy
Posts: 11,751

What follows from atheism? Hopefully, a tasty meal and some fine wine.

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 9:22PM #166
Abner1
Posts: 6,403

Sparky_Spotty wrote:


> I personally can't help but think, when faced with these core human experiences, that


> the theists and atheists are coming from two completely different ball parks.  My atheism


> colours many or even most aspects of MY world view.


You're right that atheists and theists are often coming from completely different ball parks.  It just seems that our causality is running in the opposite direction from yours.  Your atheism is apparently causing elements of your worldview; elements of our worldview are apparently causing our atheism.  For you, lots of things follow from atheism; for us, atheism follows from a lot of other things but almost nothing follows from it.


It just goes to show, atheists are not the monolithic group that some theists try to claim (or even just assume outright as an axiom).  There's a lot of internal diversity not just in our views on other subjects, but even in our views on atheism itself.


As for which direction of causality is more common among atheists, yours or ours, I have no idea.  My personal experience is that my direction is more common, but that's just anecdotal and may well be because of selection effects.

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 9:52PM #167
Knowsnothing
Posts: 1,150

It's one of those chicken vs. egg issues, and apparently, it just varies from individual to individual.  To each his own.

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 10:30PM #168
steven_guy
Posts: 11,751

May 2, 2012 -- 9:52PM, Knowsnothing wrote:


It's one of those chicken vs. egg issues, and apparently, it just varies from individual to individual.  To each his own.




How so?


Was it that you didn't like or expect the responses that were given to you?

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 12:10AM #169
Knowsnothing
Posts: 1,150

May 2, 2012 -- 10:30PM, steven_guy wrote:


May 2, 2012 -- 9:52PM, Knowsnothing wrote:


It's one of those chicken vs. egg issues, and apparently, it just varies from individual to individual.  To each his own.




How so?


Was it that you didn't like or expect the responses that were given to you?




Sparky and I seem to be agreement.


Which is first, the out-look on life taking you to atheism, or atheism influencing your out-look on life?


If you notice several pages back, I had already mentioned this


I appreciate the perspective everyone brought, and I was corrected.  Not everyone's atheism is the same. 

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2 years ago  ::  May 03, 2012 - 12:29AM #170
JCarlin
Posts: 6,779

May 2, 2012 -- 9:22PM, Abner1 wrote:


Sparky_Spotty wrote:


> I personally can't help but think, when faced with these core human experiences, that


> the theists and atheists are coming from two completely different ball parks.  My atheism


> colours many or even most aspects of MY world view.


You're right that atheists and theists are often coming from completely different ball parks.  It just seems that our causality is running in the opposite direction from yours.  Your atheism is apparently causing elements of your worldview; elements of our worldview are apparently causing our atheism.  For you, lots of things follow from atheism; for us, atheism follows from a lot of other things but almost nothing follows from it.


It seems to be related to how you get to atheism which direction the causality runs.  If you start from a theistic view where God is in control and find that view confining atheism is a result.   But if you start from atheism, making sense out of the many challenges in life must be influenced by the lack of a big daddy to help make sense of the world. 


Added to that are frequent suggestions that pre-packaged answers can be found in God.  Almost by default you must look to atheism for solutions, and atheism will inevitably color your answers. 

J'Carlin
If the shoe doesn't fit, don't cram your foot in it and complain.
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