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For atheists

Discussion in 'Journals' started by AT-AT, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    I've made 3 to 4 pro-Atheist threads in the past.

    For me, the reason why I'm religious, is I can't come to grips with the idea of there being no afterlife, no meaning to a meaningless existence. An atheist may say "Ah, but life does have meaning, and you should enjoy it now!", but no, my life isn't very enjoyable in every sense of the word, and part of it is due to being surrounded by Fundamentalists who always think they know what's best for me.

    Another counter would be that an atheist may say "When you die, your life has meaning because you decompose into part of the environment." Well even fire doesn't destroy atoms, but that statement doesn't mean your life after death will really necessarily be made useful.

    My issues with religion is that every great religious guide, or manifestation of God, has gotten at least one thing wrong. Even my Bahaullah said that homosexuals should see a physician; if they see a modern physician, they will often likely get told that if that's all they're struggling with, well there's no cure.

    I also don't understand why these manifestations of God can't give us hints about science to show they are correct in their statements and guide us.

    My best understanding is that it's all a test. That God wouldn't want people to choose Him over say, helping someone in need. That He leaves people to decide the best morality, then is impressed when people come up with it. That God is a bit of an obstacle.

    I think when people die, they are going to be shocked to be in the midst of everyone who died, in some heaven like place, and have God tell atheists, "Well done, my faithful creation."

    So even though I insert God into some of my beliefs, I still think there are things atheists can teach me about life, morality, and science.

    Maybe a start to all this is me saying I don't quite understand whether it takes faith or not to believe in the Big Bang. Faith that how should I put this, the starting of it all came from absolutely nothing, or how that "something" didn't have to be created.

    I do feel like if God exists, He is kind of trapped rather than trapping us into say, worship - you see, if God punishes people for something no one in the world quite understands, He isn't a God worthy of worship. Yet if he doesn't and IS worthy of worship, Him not establishing this discipline means atheists are not going to be punished anyway.
     
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  2. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    Perhaps that meaning you need to see is in the collective, not the individual. The individual passes away, but his/her contribution to the collective continues on in that collective.

    Existence is more than just the mechanics that produce it. It's also that which is being produced. And that transcends those mechanisms. That is existence being aware of itself, valuing itself, and loving itself. Through us, collectively (and probably countless other conscious beings, out there), existence itself becomes a kind if living thing. A thing that is self-aware and self-valued. And each of us plays a part in that. Each of us contributes to that. And that contribution remains even when we are no longer extant as individuals.
     
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  3. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    Freedom comes when you give up expecting the universe to give you meaning. Instead, you need to make your own.

    Also, being eternal tends to mean *less* meaning. it is the fleeting moments that are the most meaningful.

    At least, that is my experience.
     
    #3 Polymath257, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  4. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    So you're arguing from personal discomfort? How is discomfiture with an idea evidence of it's falsehood?
     
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  5. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    Overall it's more a discussion or an invitation for me to learn more, than an argument. I did argue a few potential "[You can]" statements I may get, with an "[Actually, no]" statement as it was in the proper context. An improper context would be me saying something like "I dont feel evolution is real because I've felt God before and have a feeling of Creationism being correct". A proper context would be "I don't feel that a piece of advice is good based on my personal experiences, or it doesn't apply to me".

    For example if someone says "Find meaning in this life", I'll say "How do I do that?" or "Life seems meaningless without religion right now, due to the state everything is in in my life".
     
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  6. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    I finally figured out what direction I should go, when I studied the revelations of the Baha'i faith
    For example when I said this, it was an invitation to discuss the Big Bang.
     
  7. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    I'm quite comfortable with the atheist ontology, because it doesn't mean "something from nothing." Even the Big Bang isn't "something from nothing" (not for its originator, a Catholic priest). It takes no faith to understand expansion: that image is just an interpretation of mathematics. In a sense, I do believe in creation, but creation that happens in every moment, right here and now before, within, and with us (conscious being). Participation in the creation of the universe gives me meaning.
     
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  8. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    In a closed system (the universe???) energy can neither be created or destroyed.

    So as you say, after death you become part of the environment, your constituent atoms are reused to build something else, could be a blade of grass or another human being (in this way we are all made of dead people), whatever you will be useful to the future of earth.

    In time (millions/billions of years) those constituent atoms could become a part of a new sun shining light on a new planet just evolving life. What better legacy than to help creat a new lifeform? Now that is useful.

    There is considerable evidence to indicate the BB happened. How it happend is unknown, i know of several feasible hypothesis that are based on current observation and extrapolating back and/or mathematics (including a universe from nothing).

    Don't worry about us
     
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  9. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I disagree. I don’t think Bahá’u’lláh ever said anything at all about homosexuals. The quote about doctors is from a letter to an individual, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, and I don’t see it as being about homosexuals at all.
    I’m glad you feel that way.
     
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  10. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, I see.

    That being said... what do you think about this article? Bahá'í Reference Library - The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Page 223
     
  11. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    The way I personally see it, that is not significant either way. The Big Bang does not have any religious significance, nor could it. Nor do any of the alternatives such as Panspermia. Nor is there much of a point in attempting to either believe or doubt them. It is just not important.

    Maybe I am presuming too much, but it is possible that what you are dealing with has less to do with the Big Bang than with some form of sense of loss from not trusting that existence was meant to be. And if such is the case, I don't think that "choosing right" will be of much help either. Instead, some contemplation on the sense of loss and what connects to it could be more productive.

    As an atheist, I have learned that there are people who think of those matters as very important. Mostly or almost exclusively for theists (and pantheists and deists), I must assume. In my experience atheists tend to nearly never consider such matters except when provoked by theists.

    I don't think that it is at all a matter of faith nor of lack of same, but rather of aesthetical inclination. Some people seem to love the idea of an existence that was meant to be by some form of higher will. Others can't even truly conceive of that.

    I don't know whether there is a true or better vocation inside that aesthetical spectrum. I don't expect that there will be any, nor that it is ultimately worth of much thought. We all should just acknowledge and accept our own vocations and, perhaps, that there is no way of truly knowing, yet our lives can't very well stop for that.

    Why would a true, worthy God punish atheists for simply being atheists? That does not really make sense, now does it?

    Establishing lines of cooperation with those willing and likely to be attuned to it, that I can see. But this idea that people "ought to" be theists in order not to displease God... no, I don't think that can be made to work at all.
     
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  12. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I think that there’s some kind of behavior that is prohibited by God, that Shoghi Effendi calls “homosexuality,” but it has nothing to do with homosexuals, gays, or what anyone means by “homosexuality” in public debating. Whatever it is that is prohibited, many straight men do it and always have, and many gays don’t.
    (edited to correct a typo)
     
    #12 Jim, Oct 4, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  13. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    What is it, then?
     
  14. Jim

    Jim Nets of Wonder

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    I’m not sure. What I’m sure of is that it is not every kind of behavior that people call “homosexuality,” and that it isn’t something that all gays do, or that other men don’t do.
     
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