Hopeless Atheists
#1




I was talking to one of my theist friend, she said, she didn't wanted to be atheist because it offers nothing..

It occurred to me, for some people truth doesn't matter, All it matters is comfort blanket..

For me, atheism offers me nothing, yet it lets me think freely.. creates a starving mind..

I am curious to see post atheist world,

I would like to know, what your views, opinion, and what makes you feel better as atheists or agnostics

Peace,
Kapil
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#2
I've answered these questions so many times that frankly it makes me tired. So I'm going to give you the short version.

Atheism is not supposed to replace religion, humanism is. Saying that atheism doesn't offer anything is like saying that living without a scuba tank is not possible. The scuba tank is only the answer to being underwater, not to the problem of living itself. Similarly, atheism is only disbelief in god, not a philosophical belief system that gives meaning to our lives. Please read about humanism. There are literally thousands of articles and hundreds of books on the subject. In fact, this very forum that you are on has a section on secular humanism.


"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#3
I agree with you ajita, the only reason i brought up this topic, to encourage everyone to express their own perceptive, to see what makes them feel different or special.. and express state of mind or feeling being atheist.. Its not a question..
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#4
(29-Sep-2010, 03:13 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: I've answered these questions so many times that frankly it makes me tired. So I'm going to give you the short version.

Atheism is not supposed to replace religion, humanism is. Saying that atheism doesn't offer anything is like saying that living without a scuba tank is not possible. The scuba tank is only the answer to being underwater, not to the problem of living itself. Similarly, atheism is only disbelief in god, not a philosophical belief system that gives meaning to our lives. Please read about humanism. There are literally thousands of articles and hundreds of books on the subject. In fact, this very forum that you are on has a section on secular humanism.

You are right in saying that atheism is not a philosophical belief but it's also important to note that atheism in lots of ways is a precondition to philosophy. In Hitchen's words 'philosophy begins where religion ends'. Also to insinuate that secular humanism is a natural post condition to atheism is a little disconcerting to me since secular humanism does not include the principles of numinous and transcendent. In the absence of these, secular humanism becomes reductionist and materialist, and while this might not be in direct conflict to ethical existence of mankind, it does leave some of us out of it. We do get a kick from poetry, love, landscape, philanthropy and these things cannot really be reduced to humanistic world view.
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#5
(20-Nov-2010, 10:28 AM)Kruttik Wrote: You are right in saying that atheism is not a philosophical belief but it's also important to note that atheism in lots of ways is a precondition to philosophy. In Hitchen's words 'philosophy begins where religion ends'. Also to insinuate that secular humanism is a natural post condition to atheism is a little disconcerting to me since secular humanism does not include the principles of numinous and transcendent. In the absence of these, secular humanism becomes reductionist and materialist, and while this might not be in direct conflict to ethical existence of mankind, it does leave some of us out of it. We do get a kick from poetry, love, landscape, philanthropy and these things cannot really be reduced to humanistic world view.

Why is reductionism so bad? Knowing how something works in detail doesn't diminish the beauty of it. Here are a couple of articles on why reductionism doesn't mean giving up on appreciating the beauty of the things you speak of:

http://www.naturalism.org/specter_of_science.htm
http://www.naturalism.org/spiritua1.htm
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#6
Kruttik,

I am not sure I agree with your assumption that secular humanism somehow leads to reductionism or materialism. Can you please explain further how poetry, love, philanthropy and a secular worldview are mutually exclusive, when in fact a lot of poets, painters and philanthropists are/were secular humanists.

I do not think rejecting supernatural claims and religious dogma has anything to do with rejecting the finer things in life. I don't see the obvious connection here.
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#7
(20-Nov-2010, 10:28 AM)Kruttik Wrote: In the absence of these, secular humanism becomes reductionist and materialist, and while this might not be in direct conflict to ethical existence of mankind, it does leave some of us out of it. We do get a kick from poetry, love, landscape, philanthropy and these things cannot really be reduced to humanistic world view.

'In the absence of these', there are other reason-based solutions.

Hi Kruttik,
Please read this: http://nirmukta.com/2009/04/01/sacred-re...d-emotion/
Thank you.

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#8
The age-old misconception of reductionist understanding being antithetical to aesthetic contemplation is demolished by Prof. Richard Feynman with his characteristic flourish here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSZNsIFID28

Here is a snippet of a conversation which likewise demolishes the other accompanying misconception that atheism is a recipe for despair:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARUNqisIH08#t=5m1s
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#9
(20-Nov-2010, 10:27 PM)arvindiyer Wrote: The age-old misconception of reductionist understanding being antithetical to aesthetic contemplation is demolished by Prof. Richard Feynman with his characteristic flourish here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSZNsIFID28

Feynman is awesome!
Carl Sagan's entire body of work promoting reason was aesthetically inspired and only intensified by the process of scientific exploration.

On another note, even the idea that science is purely reductionist is not very accurate. Dr. Wadhawan's articles on Complexity provide us with an idea of what physicists are up to in the area of complexity science and emergence.





"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#10
I found a nice website/book primarily aimed at believers, and it articulates quite nicely how one may feel upon realizing the falsity of religious tradition.. and thats pretty much how I felt when I bumped into the New Atheism movement (esp Dawkins).

Quote:Here are some of the things in your thinking that will change once you understand and accept this simple fact:

Your time on earth becomes much more precious to you.
You begin to realize that everyone else's life is just as precious, and you start looking at them differently.
You think more about what you are leaving behind when you die.
You think more about the human species as a continuum, with yourself as a part of that continuum, and you start thinking about the future of our species and the planet.

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/god26.htm
The last 3 chapters (starting from Chapter 26, Reason #3: Understanding why people create religions) are worth a quick read even for seasoned atheists.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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