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Cynically agnostic

Discussion in 'Atheism DIR' started by SomeRandom, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    I find that I am once again more inclined towards posting in the Atheist DIR.
    If you’ll indulge my juvenile existential angst once more. And a rant which may or may not be influenced by alcohol.

    On the one hand, I want to be “the good daughter” and carry on the heritage, the faith, the traditions. I’m not sure if that sentiment necessarily translates well for my Abrahamic raised brethren, but I’m sure some on here will know what I mean by that.

    There is a sense of comfort with faith. The strong sense of righteousness. The strong sense of happiness by just losing yourself in a faith. Whatever that may be.

    But on the other hand, there’s a part of my brain that is warning me against that. A part of my brain that tells me I’m being irrational. And I probably am.

    So I find myself agnostic, somewhat jaded and perhaps a little jealous at the ease of others’ strong faith and the comfort that seems to inevitably entail.

    How do you as atheists reconcile the ideal that I have heard from some atheists. Knowledge over happiness. Knowledge being more important than happiness.
    Because as it turns out, I think I would rather happiness at the end of the day. Whether that belies my intellectual deficiencies or not, there you have it.
     
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  2. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    I don't find that it is a choice "Knowledge or happiness"; I enjoy both.
    I do not know everything ... far far from it. But in my sixties I still enjoy learning.
    Most of my family and friends are non-religious so there is no conflict; I'm sure it can be difficult if you are from a religious family.

    The circle I live in means that I'm going to a funeral on Monday, it will be my first religious funeral for about 8-years all others were humanist. That is probably the best part of 10 funerals.
    Even weddings and 'christenings' are predominantly non-religious but in the UK that is becoming the norm.
     
  3. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Perhaps that is a sign of your age? My uncle who is now in his 60s often says tells me similar sentiments. After sharing many existential crisis with me over the years. Either that or the Brits are far more sensible than the rest of us lol
    But I come from two entirely different cultural and religious paradigms. Which perhaps adds to my identity crisis
     
  4. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    As someone who was once Christian, and whose family is also almost entirely Christian, I completely empathize with what you're saying here.

    I think it may be more difficult to find happiness/peace without religion for those who leave religion than those who were never part of one to begin with. There is something very powerful psychologically about the comfort of faith one learns from a young age that is difficult to replicate. Depending on your tradition, there is also a sense of being an outsider when you leave the faith, even from your own family (sometimes this ostracism is very overt, other times subtle).

    Right now, being out in nature is the main way I've found to feel that deep sense of peace. I dont need to imagine that a God made all I see, I can just enjoy the beauty of it for what it is. :)
     
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  5. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    Oh a happy heart and a sharp view is possible but a difficult to get in todays world. Read my what would jesus say. As john muir said"off to the woods i go, to lose my mind and find my soul" very sharp scientist very happy full life very very very spiritual very connected. Might try it. You might like it. You might even see a unicorn along the way! Lovely clouds today!
     
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  6. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I'm a happiness over knowledge kind of guy. Not to argue against science but generally science has very little to do with happiness. We only got one life, I presume, why shouldn't it as happy as we can make it?

    I think he brain is pretty flexible, there's a lot of bad memories for example that would make me very unhappy to think about. So I just shut them off, put them out of my conscious awareness.

    I think in probabilities, not absolutes. The God of the Bible may exist, what do I know?

    Now I think it is highly unlikely, but not impossible. Accepting the possibility, however slight, I can avoid the cognitive dissonance normally associated "irrational thinking".

    Belief doesn't require a lot of possibility. Just a little. Up to you really to decide how much belief to invest into any possibility.

    I think the more important thing is to control your belief and not let your belief control you. IOW reserve enough control to pull back out if you find yourself getting into an area of questionable moral values.
     
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