It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Atheist Chat

page: 18
15
<< 15  16  17    19  20  21 >>

log in

join
share:
Edn

posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 10:33 PM
link   

Originally posted by MajorMalfunction

Let me ask you something along this line: do you consider other animals to have something "after" as well? Or plants? Bacteria? I tend to think that we want there to be an afterlife because we want to be important enough to merit something like this.
To me everything regardless of its form is equal, we are simply animals our selfs so I consider all other animals though not always equal in intelligence as the same, just because they may have a lower brain function, they may not create or invent, they may not philosophize or 'believe' they still depending on the specific animal show emotion, feed there family, build remarkably robust nests and tunnels. What they actually lack is nothing at all in there own right they are the most intelligent species of animal at what they do. Built to survive they don't need what we need, we weren't built to survive hence why we build to survive.

Insects, I also regard as above. plants though slightly different in that they have no central brain, no way to show emotion etc, and commonly regarded as not having any self (i guess is the right word) i regard in almost the same way as any other animal the plant is simply a lower (in the sense of the amount of functionality it has) form of life which imo should be given equal rights as I (and imo everyone else should) give any other animal.

Plants grow, die, react to its senses (heat, light, cold, etc), reproduce, we do just the same when you bring it right down to the basics.

Bacteria i have not thought much of i admit (i probably should think more) essentially its the same as everything else.

Can plants have an afterlife? I have no idea i suppose it would come down to if they have a self (again, no idea if thats the right word i should be using).

Essentially animals physical body's are simply a vessel that contains a mind, at least least they way I see it, so assuming the 'afterlife' exists and you mind can survive outside a physical body then yes other animals could have an afterlife, the same would apply to anything, regarding yourself as any different from anything else would be selfish.

One thing that is certain (if us, me, self does die) is everything is reincarnated in the most logical sense that we can never die, we can never be destroyed or created, only transformed. One day I will be a plant, i will be a star, i will be nothing and eventually I will be everything.

edit: on a side note this is why i find vegetarianism illogical, though i can understand people not eating meat because of they way the animals are treated.

[edit on 25-8-2007 by Edn]




posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 10:38 PM
link   

Originally posted by Edn

One thing that is certain (if us, me, self does die) is everything is reincarnated in the most logical sense that we can never die, we can never be destroyed or created, only transformed. One day I will be a plant, i will be a star, i will be nothing and eventually I will be everything.


I can go along with that, in the "we are all star dust" sense of it. I always thought the Cash/Kristofferson song The Highwayman summed up this idea nicely.


Edn

posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 10:50 PM
link   

Originally posted by MajorMalfunction

Originally posted by Edn

One thing that is certain (if us, me, self does die) is everything is reincarnated in the most logical sense that we can never die, we can never be destroyed or created, only transformed. One day I will be a plant, i will be a star, i will be nothing and eventually I will be everything.


I can go along with that, in the "we are all star dust" sense of it. I always thought the Cash/Kristofferson song The Highwayman summed up this idea nicely.

That in its self is an incredible journey for me, even if we do cease to be at the end of our days the journey ahead for me is still real, i don't need to experience it, because in a sense I already do. Who even needs god when you know what lies ahead.

Reincarnation and continued life after physical death are probably the only two things I have any belief without a great deal of proof in, though I also recognize that which is why I will never say its is what happens.

Some of my reasoning behind it is the fact that everything simply transforms so is there a possibility of transforming from a physical vessel to a non-physical vessel without loosing the data stored in your physical brain. I think the possibility could be there and possibly in a few hundred years we may prove or disprove this. Transferring peoples minds into a computer is still science fiction but maybe not for long once you hit physical-physical transformation physical-non-physical doesn't sound all that absurd.

edit: hope were not going to off topic?


[edit on 25-8-2007 by Edn]



posted on Aug, 26 2007 @ 07:50 AM
link   
I agree with Major Malfunction that death is the end. It's only a belief (not an article of faith or anything) but I too find it rather a relief to think of a final end. It's also, I believe, realistic.

Children claiming to remember their past lives pop up quite often in my country, where most people believe in reincarnation. When these claims are investigated they usually seem strained if not altogether bogus. Certainly none of them has been properly substantiated.

To believe something is not in itself enough to identify a person religious. The sky is overcast as I type this, and I believe it will rain before the night is out. I don't think this belief makes me a religous person.



posted on Aug, 26 2007 @ 10:26 AM
link   
I think you've hit a nail on a head, there, Astyanax: Faith and a belief that it will rain before night is over are not exactly the same things. At least your belief that it might rain has some evidence attached to it, plus the benefit of your experience -- it's overcast, feels muggy, your body probably senses barometric changes that it's felt before and this adds up to a feeling that it might rain.

Faith has not even any of these ephemeral pieces of evidence to support it, but people still believe. Even when the rain never comes.

I was talking to Mirthful Me at the UFO Expo yesterday and we touched on this subject briefly, though in a different context. I was stating the opinion that belief in UFOs and religious belief are the same type of thing, caused by the same brain phenomenon, but MM thought they were different, that religious faith is stronger in some ways.

What do you guys think? I don't know a lot of UFO people -- are they also religious? Or has the belief in UFOs filled in a gap where their religion used to be? I noticed an odd phenomenon at the Expo. Almost all the people attending were caucasian. I saw maybe two African Americans and a handful of Asians, Hispanics or Middle Eastern types. I also noted that there was more "new age" stuff for sale than UFO stuff -- crystals, weird metal hanging sculptures, psychic readings, etc. Are the UFO and new age movements the new religion for a certain segment of white society? (at least here in the US)



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 05:04 AM
link   
reply to post by MajorMalfunction
 


(Are) belief in UFOs and religious belief the same type of thing, caused by the same brain phenomenon... has the belief in UFOs filled in a gap where religion used to be?

Well, you being a Jungian an' all, you'll be familiar with this:


In the threatening situation of the world today, when people are beginning to see that everything is at stake, the projection-creating fantasy soars beyond the realm of earthly organizations and powers into the heavens, into interstellar space, where the rulers of human fate, the gods, once had their abode in the planets.



I noticed an odd phenomenon at the Expo. Almost all the people attending were Caucasian.

Other cultures have different problems and fears. The objects and characters that populate their myths are correspondingly different, though the myths themselves are, of course, the same.


Are the UFO and new age movements the new religion for a certain segment of white society?

Yes.

Science is the product of one particular cultural stream, whose course we can trace from Ancient Greece to somewhere out beyond the heliopause, where Pioneer 10 is taking the first human steps into interstellar space. Only the West ever developed science. Non-western cultures can and do adapt it but it is not intrinsic to them, a defining element in what they are. Western culture is defined by science and the mindset that produced it.

Now science is a way of understanding and explaining what we see around us. It is very successful at this, so it has gradually supplanted older types of explanation regarding how the world came to be and how we came to be and what we're doing here and so forth. What were these older, now discredited explanations?

They were myths. Science has usurped the essential function of myth.

Then again, consider how applied science enables us to manipulate the world in such impressive ways. This power is of mythic proportions. If science can confer such god-like powers on its followers, is it not a god?

Science has usurped -- and far exceeded -- the potency of myth.

Thus it too acquires mythic potency and proportions.

Naturally, those who understand science don't often think of it in such terms. For us it's practical, day-to-day stuff. We're initiates; we understand and use it. This awsome, mythic potency, while we may apprehend it even more keenly than members of the general public at certain times, has no real power over us.

For the general population, it is very different. They do not understand science. It permeates their world; there is no escaping its productions and its effects, yet it is a mystery to them. Rather than helping to explain anything, it baffles them further. Another mystery to add to all the rest.

People who have not learnt the skill of thinking in a scientific way have no option but to misunderstand the world in just the way their mediaeval ancestors did, through myths and fables. The only difference is that in for today's groundlings the myths and legends are furnished forth with the trappings -- the symbols, the phrases, the devices -- of science.

Heaven and Valhalla are replaced by planets in orbit around faraway suns, or 'hidden dimensions' that are conceived, not as extensions of the reality we live in, but as other places entirely. Gods and demons have turned into alien visitants. Such are the cultural myths of contemporary white people of Western European, mainly Protestant extraction. Other peoples have other myths, based on their own cultures and histories, which is why you don't see so many of them at UFO conventions.

For white Western culture, the objects and ideas of science are the storehouse from which its members furnish forth their myths. That's what's happening at the UFO convention. That's what's happening with the orgone boxes, the energy-balancing crystals and all the other useless tat peddled by what our friend the Devil's Chaplain calls the 'irrational health service'. They are idols and fetishes, cobbled together from pieces plucked at random from science's carefully-laid mosaic, with no understanding of the story that mosaic tells.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 08:17 AM
link   
i think i just realized the first real cognitive doubt i had and the first step i took on my path to freethinking...

it was the sixth grade in social studies class and it was one of the first days. we were talking about what the definition of a civilisation was and one of the defining features, according to the book, was a religion...
i called my teacher out on it. it didn't make any sense and i actually took a stand on it. some of the other points were, in retrospect, a bit euro-centric, and i should have challenged them too, but this one really stood out. i actually brought up the point that they could've spent more time building things and expanding their knowledge instead of wasting time and resources on a religion...

it only took me 4 more years to become an atheist... i wonder if the textbook my old school uses still has that part in it...



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 09:00 AM
link   
reply to post by Astyanax
 


Astyanax, again I am utterly impressed by your grasp of the subject at hand. I had asked this question sort of idly, for the purposes of continuing this chat, but also because I had half an eye towards doing an article for the newsletter. You've blown me away with your answer and I realize that YOU should write the newsletter article.
Here I am sort of toying around with the idea of going for a Conspiracy Master forum and you are the one that should have it.

Thanks for the explanation, it really did put everything in place that I had observed, and makes total sense.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 09:04 AM
link   

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul


it only took me 4 more years to become an atheist... i wonder if the textbook my old school uses still has that part in it...


Probably.
Kids have been asking uncomfortable questions in school and in bible class for generations and they still keep teaching the same old stuff.

For me, even when I thought I was believing, looking back on it now, under it all, there was a voice of doubt and fledgling reason, even back as young as 8 or 9 when I was exploring the Christian churches. It seems to me now, and perhaps the memory is colored by 35+ years of life in between, that the death of Santa Claus and his other fictional relatives in my belief system, when it shattered my magical thinking, predisposed me to not believing any of these un-provable things.

All the time I was seeking I know there was a seed of doubt 'way down in the bottom of my psyche that just wasn't buying it. I didn't listen to it for years, but it was there, even when I was barely aware of it.



posted on Aug, 27 2007 @ 01:31 PM
link   

Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
One of the defining features [of civilization], according to the book, was a religion...

Toynbee? A Study of History?

You're right, it doesn't make sense.

MM, don't know what to say except thank you.

Edit to add: madnessinmysoul, you should now go back and answer junglejake's opening question in your signature thread...

[edit on 27-8-2007 by Astyanax]



posted on Aug, 30 2007 @ 09:56 AM
link   
Wow! I did it! Someone asked me what sign I was yesterday, and I told them that astrology was superstition and I didn't believe in it and wasn't keeping track!

It was a small step, but it was easier telling people I don't believe in astrology (despite its huge place in our popular culture) than it is saying I'm an atheist to hard core Christians. Just felt a little weird at first, but I'm sure it will get easier with time.



posted on Sep, 3 2007 @ 12:46 PM
link   
I'd like to ask a question to my fellow atheists here.

How do you manage to not be nihilistic? Ever since I read "The Selfish Gene" I've been having nihilistic thoughts. I mean if that's all we are, a conscious neo-cortex sitting in a survival machine what's the point in it all?


Edn

posted on Sep, 3 2007 @ 05:44 PM
link   

Originally posted by DarkSide
I'd like to ask a question to my fellow atheists here.

How do you manage to not be nihilistic? Ever since I read "The Selfish Gene" I've been having nihilistic thoughts. I mean if that's all we are, a conscious neo-cortex sitting in a survival machine what's the point in it all?

To survive.

Though I think you answered it your self, if we were here simply to just survive then you wouldn't be sitting behind a computer asking a question to increase your knowledge of the world and people around you. That isn't required to simply survive. We have come to a point where we no longer need to just survive another day and we have come to a point where more and more people do not need belief in a god or gods anymore to be able to live there lifes.

Religion is a bit like a medicine for the brain, some people see the need to believe in a god or gods because they cant understand why we wouldnt be here without such beings, others see the need for other beliefs without god(s) and others require nothing but them selfs and there own idea of there existence to survive and live peacefully.



posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 03:47 AM
link   
reply to post by DarkSide
 
I don't see why a naturalistic view of the world has to be nihilistic as well. I know this is a problem for the Western mind, but it is not obvious to me why the universe needs a God to give it meaning. Put like that, the question actually sounds a bit bizarre.

God or no God, objective reality continues to exist and its value to you as an organism has not changed. Your ability to make a contribution to the life of the universe remains the same. The relative importance of this contribution -- and of your life -- in the scheme of things has not changed either.

Frames of reference are self-drafted. You don't have to look at things from a universal perspective all the time. On a human, personal scale -- the scale of work, love and family, of pain and pleasure -- your life has not lost one iota of its meaning. And remember, the human scale is the one that is natural to us. By this measure, every life is fraught with meaning.

Besides, the universe is just so interesting and delightful. Who cares whether or not it means anything? I certainly don't.



posted on Sep, 4 2007 @ 05:40 AM
link   

Originally posted by DarkSide
I'd like to ask a question to my fellow atheists here.

How do you manage to not be nihilistic? Ever since I read "The Selfish Gene" I've been having nihilistic thoughts. I mean if that's all we are, a conscious neo-cortex sitting in a survival machine what's the point in it all?


the future is an adventure, my friend. that's all you need to know. climb a tree, find some squirrels, get down, and lay next to the one you love. what's the point in it all?
why must there be a point?!

you have something, don't squander it away with wondering what the point is!



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 07:32 PM
link   
reply to post by MajorMalfunction
 


love the new av, MM.



posted on Sep, 5 2007 @ 08:50 PM
link   
reply to post by madnessinmysoul
 


Thanks, MIMS. The old one had to go, so I commissioned this one from a friend.

In answer to DarkSide's question about nihilism, I don't feel that way. I have to second what Edn and Astyanax and MIMS said. The universe is so very interesting, each leap forward in scientific knowledge and technology just makes me want to stick around and see more and more and more -- the PC was just getting into popular culture when I was in high school. The two computers my high school had were Commodore 64s, that had a cassette tape for memory storage. And thinking back how far we've come, I get such an excited feeling, thinking about the advances yet to come in computers, in medicine, in astrophysics.

Anyway, I'm too busy just living my life to think about what does it all mean? On a personal level, anyway, I'm always on here asking what, where, why, show me. It's part of the learning experience.

And personally, if you need a reason to live, the pursuit of knowledge is a dandy reason. Never stop learning, go with your excitements in your research, interests and hobbies and let them carry you.

Evolution gave us these brains as our survival mechanism. Look to your brain for reasons to enjoy life and carry on.

Besides, this is all there is. Make the most of it while you have it. Isn't that enough of a reason?



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 05:40 PM
link   
Hey MM, hows it going, hope things are going well for you.

Sorry for butting in without really having anything to offer, but i thought you might get a giggle out of this. It is related to religion.





posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 05:53 PM
link   
Mojo, you KNOW you aren't butting in, this thread's for you as well.

Things are pretty brutal right now, can't really go into it, but I'm having a hard time.

Still not praying though.



posted on Sep, 6 2007 @ 06:30 PM
link   
reply to post by MajorMalfunction
 


No need to pray when you have good friends around you, even if some of us are half a world away.



new topics

top topics



 
15
<< 15  16  17    19  20  21 >>

log in

join