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No thanks no God!

Twilight Hue

Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.
Imagine a country where no-one said thanks or gave praise.
The instincts were removed through brain operation at birth.
It was found that these were the instincts which led people to want to give thanks for life, to give praise for beauty of nature, and this meant seeking God.
The NoThanksNoGod country found that without these instincts, people no longer had a need to worship God.

Would these people be happy?
Of course. You don't require a god to give thanks.
 

Meow Mix

Chatte Féministe
One can appreciate without thanks or praise but it would be deficient.

I can appreciate a classical music concert, without expressing any thanks or praise to the conductor, but I think it would be a very deficient and quite sad appreciation. I would be taking and not giving. I don't think it would be a true appreciation.

This is the same with everything in life. I can appreciate any blessings of my upbringing, but if I don't say thank you to my parents at the same time, it wouldn't feel right somehow.

Is appreciation essential to happiness?

Appreciation without praise for a being is not deficient. In fact, that notion would be alien to me: most of the things I appreciate about the world don't directly have a creator in my worldview, yet I value them all the same.

I think you might be experiencing a problem with projecting a feeling onto other people that they may not share, and assuming they can't experience the same happiness as you do due to that feeling. Do you disagree that this might be the case?

Your premise is basically that "thanking God for a sunset is better than just finding value in a sunset," (just as an example), and having believed in God when I was younger, I've experienced both: I think the premise is false. My finding value in a sunset or anything else that (in my worldview) doesn't have some being as a creator brings me just as much happiness as when I believed it did have a creator.

So I've experienced both. Perhaps you have always believed in God and have never experienced appreciation that isn't the context of thankfulness. Perhaps I can't convince you that it causes just as much happiness, but perhaps you can take my word for it (since it's my introspection to have) that it does.
 

HonestJoe

Well-Known Member
But I believe it conflicts with reality. Appreciation is a relational instinct.
So your assertion is that anyone who doesn't believe in God is incapable of truly appreciating anything? You belief conflicts with reality because lot of people don't believe in God (or any other deity) and yet are able to appreciate abstract things.
 
Appreciation without praise for a being is not deficient. In fact, that notion would be alien to me: most of the things I appreciate about the world don't directly have a creator in my worldview, yet I value them all the same.

I think you might be experiencing a problem with projecting a feeling onto other people that they may not share, and assuming they can't experience the same happiness as you do due to that feeling. Do you disagree that this might be the case?

Your premise is basically that "thanking God for a sunset is better than just finding value in a sunset," (just as an example), and having believed in God when I was younger, I've experienced both: I think the premise is false. My finding value in a sunset or anything else that (in my worldview) doesn't have some being as a creator brings me just as much happiness as when I believed it did have a creator.

So I've experienced both. Perhaps you have always believed in God and have never experienced appreciation that isn't the context of thankfulness. Perhaps I can't convince you that it causes just as much happiness, but perhaps you can take my word for it (since it's my introspection to have) that it does.

No, I've made the opposite journey and so have experienced both also.
There's no argument to be made "from happiness" and in fact I should abandon any wish to convince anyone of anything religious or non-religious, because worse than a sales-man, I'm sure I find ways to put people off!
It's an interesting point in itself though, to do with appreciation.
I enjoyed many a landscape without requiring contemplation of being behind it, but yes, I do see belief as providing an extra enhancement. How so?
You still have the same view, but there are two liberations:

1. When I say, What a beautiful view! I am giving praise, and I do believe that praise - by its nature - is relational. We can continue without making it so, but, in my opinion, something would be missing, which truely connects a person to nature. Again, I know, everyone can chime in, No! I am so intimately connected to nature, and I don't need God - so beit, people are entitled to their opinion - but in my opinion, something is lacking, and that lack will inevitably evolve into a kind of pagan worship, whereby the person does seek a subject in what they are connecting with - because it is different that just a wall - and they will start talking about Mother Nature, and some such. (Okay, as metaphor, perhaps - but people start to believe it really has will of its own! So Basically subverted God-need).
If they don't do that, then it makes the "connection" somewhat hollow - because gramatically, we can see, connection involves two subjects.
I can't connect, in a human sense, to a bottle of water. So why do people talk about nature in the same way?

2. It liberates me from seeking in nature what nature is unable to provide - namely, as above - anything at all. God provides, because God is a subject - gramatically, whether you believe or not -; a person provides; these can have intention. But nature cannot provide, except, again in a metaphorical sense, as an extention of another will. God provides me with apples, through the tree. It's a technical point about language, but it is very revealing.

People will believe what they want to believe and I make no claims on anyone else's heart or mind.

If we think about Art, one of the reasons people love art is this sense of being spoken to by an artist, and it is the reason why a mona lisa painted by a robot, apart from being a curiosity, would not really be of great interest to people. This should say something about what connection and appreciation of beauty amounts to, imho!
 

Mock Turtle

Oh my, did I say that!
Premium Member
Imagine a country where no-one said thanks or gave praise.
The instincts were removed through brain operation at birth.
It was found that these were the instincts which led people to want to give thanks for life, to give praise for beauty of nature, and this meant seeking God.
The NoThanksNoGod country found that without these instincts, people no longer had a need to worship God.

Would these people be happy?
This a strawman argument and seemingly set up so as to target atheists, especially with some deplorable misunderstanding regarding what any atheists might believe and how they might behave. Atheists are likely to be just as happy as any with religious beliefs, can be as moral (possibly more moral), and are just as likely to see themselves as part of nature - and rejoice at such - as any of the religious. This might actually be more of an issue for some of the religious, especially those who tend to see humans as the creation of God (pinnacle even), and hence having some authority over other life - and disregard. Which might be rather arrogant if this wasn't actually true - which so many of us tend to believe, given the similarities we share with so much other life.

As an alternative proposition, what might the dangers be of a world where humans had an inbuilt belief and desire towards 'some particular God' - that didn't actually exist? A bit too close to our existing world perhaps, even though so many (fortunately) don't seem to have this instinct?
 

Mestemia

Advocatus Diaboli
Premium Member
So your assertion is that anyone who doesn't believe in God is incapable of truly appreciating anything? You belief conflicts with reality because lot of people don't believe in God (or any other deity) and yet are able to appreciate abstract things.
Well, it could be that they are claiming they have MORE appreciation because... god...
 

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
Imagine a country where no-one said thanks or gave praise.
The instincts were removed through brain operation at birth.
It was found that these were the instincts which led people to want to give thanks for life, to give praise for beauty of nature, and this meant seeking God.
The NoThanksNoGod country found that without these instincts, people no longer had a need to worship God.

Would these people be happy?

Why can't we have this profound gratitude without deities?

We can attribute our gratitude to anything and anyone we want-god, nature, incarnations, but at the end no one holds a monopoly on what gratitude is,how it's experienced, and whether others need be involved. I assume the majority sometime in their lives experience it.

What does god have to do with it?
 

Polymath257

Think & Care
Staff member
Premium Member
This morning, there was a beautiful rainbow. It was very clear and bright and even started to form a double rainbow. I called my wife out to see it, knowing she would appreciate it.

Both my wife and I very much appreciated the natural beauty of the rainbow even though we do not believe any consciousness produced it.

That seems to destroy your argument.
 

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
One can appreciate without thanks or praise but it would be deficient.

I can appreciate a classical music concert, without expressing any thanks or praise to the conductor, but I think it would be a very deficient and quite sad appreciation. I would be taking and not giving. I don't think it would be a true appreciation.

This is the same with everything in life. I can appreciate any blessings of my upbringing, but if I don't say thank you to my parents at the same time, it wouldn't feel right somehow.

Is appreciation essential to happiness?

To comment. We can see conductors. We can't see deities.

The latter is an inference based on patterns we seeand think we see in the former.

Until the concept of god is detectable onecan place any argument or put a title to anything as a creator. At the end of the day it's just an assumption or belief only based on things we know.

Which means if you're attributing thankfulness to God, you may be right or wrong. If you're thankful in itself whether you know the parent or not, you're thankful for being alive.

One doesn't need to know he has a parent to be thankful whether he has one or not.
 

SalixIncendium

अग्निविलोवनन्दः
Staff member
Premium Member
Imagine a country where no-one said thanks or gave praise.
The instincts were removed through brain operation at birth.
It was found that these were the instincts which led people to want to give thanks for life, to give praise for beauty of nature, and this meant seeking God.
The NoThanksNoGod country found that without these instincts, people no longer had a need to worship God.

Would these people be happy?

It would depend on the individual.

You may have taken away the want to worship or give thanks, but you have not taken away the desire to understand being, which, in my opinion, is more of a reason people are religious than simply to worship and give thanks.

So essentially, little to nothing would change with regard to happiness.
 

KerimF

Active Member
I only say that the logic of atheism leads to certain unpleasant conclusions, and I think those need to be fronted up to honestly.

I never saw a real adult person, theist or atheist, who had enough time and experiences to perceive his unique existence fooling himself by believing whatever may oppose his priorities in life. The fact is that the priorities in life to be lived by someone are not the same to all humans (much like their fingerprint and DNA).

By the way, I prefer living with an atheist than living with a theist who doesn't mind destroying others in the name of his god (for example, to spread Allah's Peace or to restore the Promised Land of Moses' God).
In other words, "the logic of theism also leads to certain unpleasant conclusions, and I think those need to be fronted up to honestly" :)
 

KerimF

Active Member
So essentially, little to nothing would change with regard to happiness.

Actually, God's necessity to almost all theists is that they can feel a very pleasant inner sensation while they submit fully, but freely (usually during certain rituals of worship and praise), to another will, the dominant will (of their god; no matter what his image and/or name is).

But, even without God (as in the case of atheists), one can also have the opportunity to live this special/extra great pleasure even if the dominant will is of a human; for example while living some sexual fantasies.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
So your assertion is that anyone who doesn't believe in God is incapable of truly appreciating anything? You belief conflicts with reality because lot of people don't believe in God (or any other deity) and yet are able to appreciate abstract things.
As well as appreciating natural things. I know lots of atheists who love nature.
 

Audie

Veteran Member
Imagine a country where no-one said thanks or gave praise.
The instincts were removed through brain operation at birth.
It was found that these were the instincts which led people to want to give thanks for life, to give praise for beauty of nature, and this meant seeking God.
The NoThanksNoGod country found that without these instincts, people no longer had a need to worship God.

Would these people be happy?

Imagine if you can people whose joy is
in perceiving what is really there as best they
can, rather than turning it inward to feckless
"worship" of themselves, for such it is, being
that these "gods" are only people's imagination
projected onto nature.

Let me give an example of how
people cheat themselves with their blind
eyes looking inward.

To a geologist, a ⛰ range reveals itself
as the product of millions of years' sculpting
by forces titanic and microscopic.

They are no more the product of cataclysm
as so many "god" believers think, than is
the Notre Dame cathedral.
And it's equally shallow and disrespectful
to think "god" magiced the one as the other.
 

KerimF

Active Member
To a geologist, a ⛰ range reveals itself as the product of millions of years' sculpting by forces titanic and microscopic.

[off topic] A practical well-defined product could be made by forces but while following certain rules. To make a robot, there is a need of energy to be applied on certain raw materials. But, even after a zillion years, a practical robot (for certain specific jobs) won't exist if energy has to be applied randomly. In life, there are zillions of such robots we call them 'living things'. So if a scientist believe that these living things on earth (including all the living cells which let his human body be alive and act as a genius robot) could be the product of 'Chance', I suspect he is a real scientist.
So it is obvious to me that there is a 'higher intelligent Will' (behind my own existence in the least). But, what is not obvious is how someone can perceive this higher Will. On my side, if it is referred by what the world usually defines as God (who is looking to be worshiped, praised and obeyed by humans), such an image of my higher intelligent Will doesn't exist in my reality.
 

Koldo

Outstanding Member
No, I've made the opposite journey and so have experienced both also.
There's no argument to be made "from happiness" and in fact I should abandon any wish to convince anyone of anything religious or non-religious, because worse than a sales-man, I'm sure I find ways to put people off!
It's an interesting point in itself though, to do with appreciation.
I enjoyed many a landscape without requiring contemplation of being behind it, but yes, I do see belief as providing an extra enhancement. How so?
You still have the same view, but there are two liberations:

1. When I say, What a beautiful view! I am giving praise, and I do believe that praise - by its nature - is relational. We can continue without making it so, but, in my opinion, something would be missing, which truely connects a person to nature. Again, I know, everyone can chime in, No! I am so intimately connected to nature, and I don't need God - so beit, people are entitled to their opinion - but in my opinion, something is lacking, and that lack will inevitably evolve into a kind of pagan worship, whereby the person does seek a subject in what they are connecting with - because it is different that just a wall - and they will start talking about Mother Nature, and some such. (Okay, as metaphor, perhaps - but people start to believe it really has will of its own! So Basically subverted God-need).
If they don't do that, then it makes the "connection" somewhat hollow - because gramatically, we can see, connection involves two subjects.
I can't connect, in a human sense, to a bottle of water. So why do people talk about nature in the same way?

2. It liberates me from seeking in nature what nature is unable to provide - namely, as above - anything at all. God provides, because God is a subject - gramatically, whether you believe or not -; a person provides; these can have intention. But nature cannot provide, except, again in a metaphorical sense, as an extention of another will. God provides me with apples, through the tree. It's a technical point about language, but it is very revealing.

People will believe what they want to believe and I make no claims on anyone else's heart or mind.

If we think about Art, one of the reasons people love art is this sense of being spoken to by an artist, and it is the reason why a mona lisa painted by a robot, apart from being a curiosity, would not really be of great interest to people. This should say something about what connection and appreciation of beauty amounts to, imho!

I just don't relate...
I have no need to worship what I give praise.
When I say: "What a beautiful view!", I merely mean I am appreciating the experience. And that's it.
It doesn't mean I am thanking anyone or anything for the view. I feel no need to thank anyone or anything for natural events.
 
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