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Old 07-20-2013, 12:13 AM   #27
CptPriceless
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Xander View Post
I could rant and go on and on about
These might not be the same as your beliefs, but I felt it was appropriate putting this here, given what follows...

When I was younger, I was a full fledged Christian. Over time, however, I turned into an agnostic, and, soon after, became an atheist.

I can completely understand where you're coming from. Why you would fear death. Well, not fear, but… contemplate, I guess. Humans seem to possess that intrinsic fear or curiosity for things they don't quite understand. For an example, why do some people fear the dark? In my mind, religion is a way of explaining those aspects of the world that seemingly can't be understood through any alternative means. Just like the Greeks used myths of gods and goddesses to explain thunder, ocean storms, spiders, and other such phenomena, modern religion explains what happens after death, why morality matters, how the universe was created, why the universe was created, etc. While I see religion as pleasant fiction, many others see religion as authentic explanations for those unanswerable questions that can't be proven through anything but faith. Note that I'm not denouncing religion and I respect most people who believes in a religion. In fact one is my own mother. Also note that I say "most people" because I happen know one that's a complete hypocritical jackass… Let's not get into that.

But I can't wrap my head around religion. Not anymore, at least. In the past, religion galvanized three bloody crusades, a corrupt papacy that subjugated much of Europe, etc. In the modern world, although only a small minority, extremist organizations in the Middle East and, more recently, in North Africa have sparked years of brutal conflict. Although the media exaggerates the amount of death that has occurred as a result of such conflict, many political scientists agree that the modern world is one where physical, violent conflict is less about territorial or economic competition and more about ideological competition - for an example, humanism vs Jihadism. Even conflicts that have little to do with religious ideology - examples include various intrastate wars in Egypt, Syria, and Central Africa - are not stopped by any sort of divine intervention, despite the amount of devastation they cause. Whenever I bring up these points, the response I get is always the same: "It's a test of your faith." But if someone was raped and tortured, would being faithful and going to Heaven change the fact that that person was raped and tortured? Like I said, I can't wrap my head around it.

Furthermore, cosmologists confidently say that the universe has existed for about 13.7 billion years. 2.5 million of those years are estimated to contain human life. That, and given the size and scope of the universe, we're quite small, fragile, and perhaps even irrelevant. So is there really a purpose to our existence? I don't think so, unless there's a Mass Effect kind of thing going on. And even then, I wouldn't believe in any religion. The Bible didn't mention any Turian... I think... Unless it was written in some cryptic phrasing…

Quote:
Originally Posted by JesusIsGonnaOwnSatan View Post
colloquial existential Nihilism seems to me as the only logical conclusion of Atheism.
Yeah, I feel the same. I don't enjoy being an atheist, but my mind won't accept anything else. For a while after becoming an atheist, I was the most apathetic person I knew.

I guess our superiority complex inherently refuses nihilism, which is why so many people believe there absolutely has to be a reason for why we exist - religion. I think otherwise; if we don't have an absolute, defined purpose, we make our own.

That's why I don't fear death. I fear the pain that might come before it (the feelings of loss, regret, or perhaps being stabbed...), but I don't fear death itself. Steve Jobs once said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” Steve also tried to show with his actions that knowing that you're going to die should also serve as an incentive to make the most out of the life that you do have, and not hold yourself down with questions that you know won't be answered with satisfactory answers - as cliche as it sounds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Xander View Post
These things make me smile the most, and are what make my life worth living... What I suggest, is perhaps sit back like I do and just think and remember all the good things in your life...
Anyways, I'm sorry if I did the absolute opposite of what you asked - to make you believe in something that would comfort you. But if you can't seem to find an answer outside of atheism, I hope this [arguably naive] response at least comforts your position.



Last edited by CptPriceless; 07-20-2013 at 12:28 AM.
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