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Atheists, How can carry on with such a depressing thought

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posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 01:35 AM
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Originally posted by JonoEnglish
reply to post by arpgme
 


Yes but it will always remain a belief.

To know, would require proof, not just to the select few but to all.


So even thinking that nothing happens after death is a belief, right?




posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 01:39 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 



I'm not asking if it bothers you, I'm asking why motivate yourself things and learn things when your efforts will be nullified when you die and have no conscious and when humanity eventually dies.


My life was not in vane, I shared a lot of the thing's I have learned with my immediate family and friends. They, in turn, will eventually share the same knowledge with others that they care and respect enough to take the time to teach things, thing's that have been taught to them and carried on by others, it goes on and on,
You make it sound as if you were the only person to contemplate this notion, which is not so. And therefore, you are being taught a lesson from a complete stranger, a stranger that has nothing but good wishes for you and hopes that you are not feeling the segregation you are portraying with such statements.
Atheism is something that you (or at least I should say most) people are born with. My derives from sheer investigative knowledge and a pure understanding of what is and what is not. I was not always atheist, I was baptized as Lutheran, but as I was getting older, thing's were unanswerable by the clergy or my immediate family to the questions I had. With your depiction of the "Grimness" of what atheists may well experience (And by the way, this would include you.) of nothingness is a practical submission of the unknown. One thing is for sure, and you had mentioned it in the first statement of your thread, it was something to do with the different acceptances of the ever changing Universe, but we are of the star stuff that makes us essentially interconnected by nothing short of a medium or vessel of energy, and that was well said. But with something that is of substance and energy, it does not really fade away or die as you may think, it transforms itself into another application of another form of energy. The "Cyclical Universe" as you had mentioned is exactly that "Always changing, Ever expanding and continuously altering it's energy into new stars and possibly other Universes."
When I die, it will be the end of me. In one generation I will have been forgotten , that is if the things I have taught are not claimed by my predecessor's acknowledgment of where the training had originally generated. I can accept that, it is alright with me and I find no wrong in being forgotten, I am mortal, just as you and the rest of the member's here on ATS are.
Here is a poem that I was informed of about 7-8 years ago. it does cover everything that "IS" and leaves little to be uncomfortable with. "Enjoy, Ciaos!!"

www.fleurdelis.com...



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 01:45 AM
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Originally posted by arpgme

Originally posted by JonoEnglish
reply to post by arpgme
 


Yes but it will always remain a belief.

To know, would require proof, not just to the select few but to all.


So even thinking that nothing happens after death is a belief, right?


yes, that's why I'm agnostic.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 01:51 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


A-theism simply means (A) meaning without and theism meaning religion or religious belief. Most truly spiritual people I know are without religion or religious belief. Many atheists especially those in Western society deny the alleged omnipotence of the murderous genocidal Judeo Christian piece of S H I T Yahweh and certainly refuse to worship him or show him any respect. Some atheists deny the existence of Prime Creator but that's part of their journey.

Mankind will eventually be liberated once it gets off its knees and stops bowing down and idolising historical entities who wanted to be portrayed as a deity. Prime Creator doesn't need your worship or respect, nor does he need you to believe in his existence, he's WAY too friggin' big for any of that. The only thing that people need to do is to awaken to their own divinity within and treat others accordingly

Peace

edit on 27-11-2010 by SpiritnSoul because: Beat that damn auto censor



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 02:09 AM
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Actually atheist means a (without) + theos (gods) and it came into English as atheist (without belief in god).

So, for example, you can still be very religious and not believe in god, like the Buddhists. So it doesn't mean without belief religion it means without belief in any god(s).

Also, I know that there are some atheists that believe in life after death. I'm talking about the ones who do not obviously. The ones who want to better humanity even though they'll eventually die and so will the rest of humanity.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 02:18 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


Theos may or may not be gods, I don't really care. Theism means ascribing to theistic belief - ie any of the major religions. Buddhism is not a religion, nor is Taoism, nor are many other spiritual practices

Peace once again



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 02:59 AM
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Originally posted by SpiritnSoul
reply to post by arpgme
 


Theos may or may not be gods, I don't really care. Theism means ascribing to theistic belief - ie any of the major religions. Buddhism is not a religion, nor is Taoism, nor are many other spiritual practices

Peace once again


I opine that any followers of a belief from a book is a religion. Buddhism have the sutras that they follow and Taoism has the Tao De Jing and it isn't a philosophy because from it comes rules. So those are religions.

Philosophical ideas tells you how things work without giving you rules to follow. Probably karma is a philosophy because it doesn't tell you how you should live just that if you do good or bad then it'll come back but once you read the Buddhist sutras it tell you about bad karma doesn't led to nirvana and all of that religious stuff.

I didn't really get straight forward answers pertaining to my questions, people got sidetracked saying things like "oh Atheism doesn't mean that! It only means this!". Oh well.
edit on 27-11-2010 by arpgme because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 03:10 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 

You're right, somehow the thread did get sidetracked, mea culpa. My experience has been that atheists do the right thing both by themselves and others because it feels good. The reward is immediate if you want to put it to crudely. They avoid doing the wrong thing because it feels bad and they haven't got the cop out "if you believe in my religion and come to confessional you can be forgiven"

Generally they're not the type of people who need some sort of carrot or reward way off in the distance in order to continue living and experiencing life. Hope that helps....

Peace



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 03:41 AM
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Originally posted by SpiritnSoul
reply to post by arpgme
 

You're right, somehow the thread did get sidetracked, mea culpa. My experience has been that atheists do the right thing both by themselves and others because it feels good. The reward is immediate if you want to put it to crudely. They avoid doing the wrong thing because it feels bad and they haven't got the cop out "if you believe in my religion and come to confessional you can be forgiven"

Generally they're not the type of people who need some sort of carrot or reward way off in the distance in order to continue living and experiencing life. Hope that helps....

Peace


I very clear and straight forward answer, thanks. I guess for atheists, Christians, Muslims, etc. you know when you are doing the right thing because it feels good and when you do wrong it feels bad. I guess the atheists just live because it feels good and it's worth it. Thanks.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 05:20 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


Simple reply: It's not depressing at all. Though it is a bit sad to think that some people think that it's a depressing though. I'm actually quite the cheerful fellow.


Originally posted by arpgme
I'm not a Christian and I tend to side with Atheism more than anything else.


That's good to know.



I believe that the universe itself is good because it is eternal and forever changing (whether it's expanding forever via big bang or expanding and contracting forever via cyclical universe theory).


Well, that doesn't make it "good" insomuch as it makes it pretty damn cool.



My idea of a spirit, is the energy that everything is made of. Everything is made of star light, the entire universe.


...well, we're not made of 'star light' per say, more the results of nuclear fusion in stars, but point taken. We share material elements, but I take it that you add a level of slightly supernatural spirituality to that.



Anyway, how does believing that there is nothing after death, affects your psyche?


It motivates me to be a better person with the time I have left. I only get a short span of time, but there's so much I can do in it. So many people to love, so many friends to make, so many things to create.

It motivated and changed my career ambitions when I became an atheist. I originally didn't care much about my career, but when I realized that it'll be a central theme in the majority of my life....I sort of started to care more. I actually thought about what I was doing with my life.



If there is nothing after death then this life means nothing because no matter how good or bad you are, you'll eventually die and be without conscious.


Yep.
It also means no matter how rich or poor you are, you'll eventually die and be without consciousness.
It also means no matter where you were born, you'll eventually die and be without consciousness.
It also means no matter what color your skin is, you'll eventually die and be without consciousness.
etc.

It's the great equalizer, and I think it's the sort of thought that can help unite people.

And the good and bad? Well, there's enough there to punish you in your lifetime. Also, the concept of heaven and hell is inherently unjust. Eternal suffering for non-eternal deeds? Eternal reward for non-eternal deeds?



Of course, I am not saying that all Atheists are evil because they have no morals, that's an argument from ignorance, rather, I'm saying that there is no motivation to do much since it will all be in vain.


Who said it'll be in vain? When I'm dead I'll have a lifetime's worth of deeds that will hopefully resonate for ages. Every person whose life I help? That means my life had a positive impact. I don't do it for the sake of some sort of immortality, I do it because I have to do something with my life and helping people sure as hell is a good thing to do.

I'd even go so far to say that there is more motivation for an atheist to do things. We have only 60-100 years of life, we have to make the most of them.

What's interesting is that you're accurately describing the sorts of thoughts that a lot of people actually go through when they realize their morality, the existential crisis. It is the realization that your own existence will eventually end.

The basic thing I'm trying to say? Eventually you'll no longer be, so why not do the most with what you have while you be?



Why progress science and try to learn more things?


Because the progress of science helps a lot of people and because learning is fun.

Why have fun if the ultimate goal is either eternal reward or eternal punishment?



Even if it did lead to immortality, then what?


Find a way to control the population without forcing it upon people and then find other planets to live on. And then? Explore. A lot. Discover and learn and create.

I mean, theists have to think god isn't just bored up there doing nothing, and he's immortal, omnipotent, and omniscient. There's nothing for him to learn, nothing for him to do.



Fundamentally, there was nothing before or after death so living forever would just be like an escape of true nature which is exist and then never exist again.


Well, we've been escaping nature since antibiotics, contraceptives too.



Even if we did find a way to theoretically live for all eternity wouldn't the universe eventually cease.


Well, if we lived forever I'm sure the heat death of the universe would be the first goal on the list of things we'd try to prevent.



I mean, if it's true that the universe is eternal and if it's true that the big bang happened, then wouldn't the universe have to eventually contract (killing even our immortal selves), and relive the big bang?


...no. It's actually going to end up in heat death, entirely devoid of energy. It's accelerating, so it won't reach a point where it would be able to contract.



Atheists what's the purpose of anything if there is fundamentally no meaning to anything?


What we make of it.

It's just like a rock. A rock has no fundamental purpose, but we sure as hell found a lot of uses for it.

What's more, what's the point of life if it's just to please a certain being? It's equally pointless and fairly anticlimactic.

At the end of the day all of the options are equally pointless unless you make something out of it.
edit on 27/11/10 by madnessinmysoul because: Added last two lines.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 05:22 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


Nothing after death is not depressing thought! It is the most comforting thought if you know how to take it!

Cheers!

-v



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 05:44 AM
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I read a story, I don't remember were, but I keep this on the front of my monitor, "People who delude themselves into believing the Earth or the Universe is good and kind, that it actually cares about them, I just can’t understand that point of view. It doesn’t care, it’s just a merciless engine that continues to revolve and build and destroy itself over and over and over for all time. Nothing cares and all the lives on this planet are too short to matter in the long run. Ironically, this is what makes the people around us more important, because they actually do care, they actually do listen and some few will even help."



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 08:21 AM
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I used to be an atheist, but then I was raised that way by a parent. When I got a little older I became agnostic. I'm open to all ideas of an afterlife actually, and even a god I suppose, but not in a god that as a poster above me says displays such human emotions as jealousy and hate. I try to study all theologies to a point, just to be semi informed on all viewpoints, but I had one other parent who is Christian so I paid a little more attention to the new and old testaments, and it seems to me to just be too influenced by man himself to be any kind of account from God. I have a touch of existentialist beliefs, on darker days it probably shows more.


But I have never in my life found my personal concepts of the possible afterlife as depressing, even when I was an atheist. The fact that and atheist may think once you are dead you are just dead and that is it, I don't think that in itself is in any way depressing. I think it's a mind set. If you are depressed in general and an atheist then maybe you might find it depressing, but I don't think it is innately depressing. I pretty much agree with all the people who have answered, the quest for gaining as much knowledge as possible and trying to work out your own views seems enough for me, family, experiencing life while in your allotted time, do as much as you can while you can, isn't that enough? We are lucky to exist in the first place, god or no god, we should enjoy it. That said, I believe more in a "higher order" than I do a higher power, and that to me is beautiful and makes every second of life seem worthwhile all on its own.


I believe everything is interconnected, and that even if there is no afterlife I know I will just be put back into that "higher order" nothing is lost in essence. I also sometimes toss around the notion of reincarnation, but not enough for it to really affect my views on life, they stay the same. I also sometimes wonder if an afterlife of sorts does not exist in some other dimension or dimensional plane, but I also follow theoretical physics and cosmology and believe that those explanations of our existence are just as good if not better than anything you can find in a religious text. The simple idea of everything resonating together to make all that we have is grandiose enough for me. Isn't that beautiful? Not depressing in the least.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 08:24 AM
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reply to post by HarmonicNights
 


But if you think critically you will realise that there is no afterlife that we are a collection of cells, when the brain ceases we become unconcious.

It's only the people without evidence who claim there is an afterlife, most of it wishful thinking and it's another unfalsifiable hypothesis unless someone actually does come back from the dead.

Which has never happened, Jesus? Lol, all the other people escaped from the caves and went to the town too, it said so in the bible.

Personally i don't think no afterlife or no god is a depressing thought, to other people it may be.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 08:43 AM
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I find the thought process behind the question in the opening post interesting.

It presupposes that non continuance of the individual spirit in some form or another takes away motivation for life or to improve the world. This is 180 degrees out from the truth.

Knowledge that we each only get one shot at existence (and its finite) is immensely motivating. You live on through your children. The motivation is to make things better for them and for their children and so on.

Your life is an opportunity and a responsibility in one. Talk of 'next lives' etc is all distraction.

Imagine a world where we all knew we lived forever. I find that more detrimental to motivation than the opposite. Why do anything today if you have eternity to try.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by justwokeup
I find the thought process behind the question in the opening post interesting.

It presupposes that non continuance of the individual spirit in some form or another takes away motivation for life or to improve the world. This is 180 degrees out from the truth.

Knowledge that we each only get one shot at existence (and its finite) is immensely motivating. You live on through your children. The motivation is to make things better for them and for their children and so on.


Or, indeed, if we have no children the motivation is still there to strive for the common good of all life on Earth and seek knowledge to pass on to others. Indeed, with no offspring we can only achieve a semblance of immortality if we do make a big difference. We still talk of Plato and da Vinci and Ghandi - but not the petty criminals and thugs who inhabited their same world.


Your life is an opportunity and a responsibility in one. Talk of 'next lives' etc is all distraction.

Imagine a world where we all knew we lived forever. I find that more detrimental to motivation than the opposite. Why do anything today if you have eternity to try.


Exactly! If it doesn't matter what I do; if I have forever to do it, or always another go or if I'll be forgiven for any bad I do, what motivation do I have for good?

I find atheism is a strong motivation to make a real difference with the one shot of life we have. In my opinion religion dilutes that.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 09:41 AM
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Remembering that this is all there is gets me to take my action here. I'll be happy here, and encourage others to be happy as well, because after this, there's probably not another chance to be happy.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 12:28 PM
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There is at least one insect that has baffled evolutionists, and that is the bombardier beetle.
This insect shoots an exploding fart at its enemies, the chemicals that create this reaction
are the puzzle, it seems theres no way it could have evolved this ability without blowing itself
into extinction, indicating it was designed.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 12:40 PM
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Originally posted by HarmonicNights
Lack of a belief in a god doesn't equal lack of belief in life after death.


Perhaps not but if you had a "basket" for god and a "basket" for no god, consider a life after death to be a very heavy "egg" in that basket for god.



posted on Nov, 27 2010 @ 12:46 PM
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Originally posted by The Endtime Warrior

Originally posted by HarmonicNights
Lack of a belief in a god doesn't equal lack of belief in life after death.


Perhaps not but if you had a "basket" for god and a "basket" for no god, consider a life after death to be a very heavy "egg" in that basket for god.


I don't believe that..If God is real then those that have lived a good life without harming others should still receive the same reward if God is just..

It should be your actions that count, not your beliefs..



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