FEAR NEED NOT PRECLUDE AN ATHEISTIC WORLDVIEW

 Fear of hell being the cause of persistence of faith is not a new concept, but what most theists don’t understand that just like the admittance of any other kind of fear, admitting fear of hell and/ or the wrath of god is an essential element in the faith of anyone who had ever developed any doubt about his faith. I hold the view that since doubt is the one of the most basic element of human thinking, there never existed a believer, no matter how unshakable he may sound, to have never entertained a doubt about his/her faith. But there is Pascal's wager which is basically stupid, yet powerful tool on the theist's mind.

As some men are more courageous than others, some fear the unseen and unreported more than the others, this goes a way in deciding as to precisely what kind of theists will have the fear of god's wrath, as an important factor in determining the persistence of their faith. So what if u are a coward and keep as priority your own safety above all truth? What if your life or your genes made you so helplessly afraid of the unpleasant things that in order to have a stable and non-suicidal mind it becomes essential for you to be a hypocrite in all sensitive matters in life? What if u are so hopeless that your therapist advises a world of fantasies for u to stay sane?
Is there a way to allow such people to stay cool without religion?

Here goes my imaginary argument between a theist and an atheist which tries to show a point…..

Theist : I don’t care about truth and I m so scared of god that I m going to follow his words so I get a place in heaven.

Atheist: What If it gets proven that god doesn’t exist, wouldn't it shatter your fake world and your self confidence?

Theist: I m not going to be proved that god doesn’t exist, so long as I live. And when I die, if it is so that god doesn’t exist, well I wont be existing either, to know that I had led a foolish life. So I m ensuring that so far as my existence goes, I will lead a happy life, whether or not god exists.
now what about your life?

Atheist: I think that most probably god doesn’t exist and that I will cease to exist as soon as I die. I will stay happy thinking that I am living a life based on acceptance of reality the way it is and am not making a fool out of myself.

Theist: What If it gets proven that god does exist, would u not feel like a fool then, wouldn’t you lose the reason why u are happy?

Atheist: No, in fact I will be even more happy. For several reasons…….
the world wont suck any less than it does now.
god will still not be great. I will still be happy that I never prayed to such a violent and indifferent entity, such an egomaniac, misogynist, homophobic psychopath.

About going to hell, well that would add a lot to my happiness because I would love to exist in some form after death (compared to my present situation where I live with the uneasy truth that I wont exist after death). And who knows I could bribe or deal god into getting a fake passport to heaven? I would get to meet the dead people I love and admire.

Since the worst thing that could happen to me then, would be me being sent to hell, I wouldn’t have a reason to fear the cessation of my existence from militant theists announcing a fatwa against me and would continue my anti-theist expressions with increased enthusiasm.
And If Satan is found to exist too, I will make partners with him and piss god more than he already would be (seeing that there are people like me who still don’t give a shit about him)

The point here is that whether in reality god exists or not, whether u are a theist or not, if u don’t give a shit about seeking the truth, u can find reasons to be happy. Our mind is inherently capable of making itself happy, irrespective of basic orientations of faith or the lack of it. Our ego defense mechanisms can be more diverse than we can imagine, and rationalization is by far the most effective of them, whose examples we see in our everyday encounter with theists who will put every mistake of god as "god's will" or every anomaly or argument as "god works in mysterious ways".

I don’t claim to know how we can install atheism into a coward and ignorant person who only cares of his safety, I only intend to point that we can since we can rationalize our way into curing the fear of the slightest chance that god might exist, we can make it a form of psychotherapy for such a paranoid person too.

To cite a random example where this thought might be practically applied, there was in recent news, this "ex-atheist" who accepted christianity at the age of 63 years. The reasons cited by this man are rather too fishy and unconvincing. It might not incite a debate If we label those reasons as a cover up for something else, not necessarily suggesting that he was lying though. Accepting christianity might be this guy's way of dealing with his situation, especially when he is too fond of suing people and supposedly has a persecution complex. Old age and a persecution complex are enough reasons for one to suspect a possible role of exaggerated fear in making him become christian. So such a psychotherapy might work for him

PsychSATANi

Brian37's picture

Atheism is not a worldview,

Atheism is not a worldview, nor should it be. The only thing all atheists have in common is a lack of belief in a god or gods. Other than that we have diverse political and economic views. Those political and economic views are the views, not the "off" position the word "atheist" describes.

I do not suggest atheists create a dogma when dogma itself has been the problem, both political dogma and religious dogma. Ultimately life is diverse and so are atheists.

 

"Atheist" describes one thing and one thing only "lack of belief in a god or gods". It says nothing about their personal views or even their individual morality.

 

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37

 let me clear what I meant

 let me clear what I meant by a worldview. I didnt actually say atheism is a worldview or a way of life. I just meant that we all non-dogmatic atheists "view" a "world" without "god". Atheists are different in more ways than theists, no new story. But we all have a common thing about our individual "worldviews", which is atheism. Yes, it was pretty clear to me that I was writing about an "off" position called atheism, a word that wouldnt be required if there werent any religion. But there is religion, and if a segment of the world's population live their lives indifferent to god (being never 100% sure), they do have a common "nearly off" position as a part of their worldview, as opposed to the alternate views. 

PsychSATANi

digitalbeachbum's picture

I didn't "think" that a

I didn't "think" that a "person" could "write" a "paragraph" with so many "quotations" around so "many words". The "facts" are that "quotations" are "abused" by "people" who "misunderstand" the "usage" of them in a "post".

"Sorry" for being so "sarcastic". "I" just had "to" "do" "it".

 

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams

Beyond Saving's picture

 Someone saying "Yeah, my

 Someone saying "Yeah, my religion probably isn't true but it makes me happy to believe it." is an argument I find exceedingly honest and I really don't think a good counter argument is possible. If having an invisible friend makes you happy but you know that it is imaginary, who cares? People lie to themselves and others all the time to be happy ("Yes honey, you are as beautiful as you were when you were 20.", "Don't worry, everything is going to be fine." "I love romantic comedies." "No, you're not bothering me at all." "I'm sorry.&quotEye-wink

I have little doubt that many people who go to church don't truly believe, but they find comfort in the lie and the social aspect. Anyone who has the self perception to realize that and is willing to admit it is brave in my book and I don't see anything wrong with it. As long as you don't come over to me and tell me I have to believe in your imaginary friend too.  

digitalbeachbum's picture

Beyond Saving wrote:I have

Beyond Saving wrote:
I have little doubt that many people who go to church don't truly believe, but they find comfort in the lie and the social aspect. Anyone who has the self perception to realize that and is willing to admit it is brave in my book and I don't see anything wrong with it. As long as you don't come over to me and tell me I have to believe in your imaginary friend too.  

AHEM BROTHER!

Free will is an illusion. People always choose the perceived path of greatest pleasure.

-Scott Adams

iwbiek's picture

none of us live "in

none of us live "in reality," all or even most of the time.  our perceptions are constantly modifying stimuli, our mind is sorting and cataloguing and thus modifying a great deal as well, our memories are half-true at best.  self-deception, both willful and involuntary, is part of how our organism works and, yes, in many instances keeps us from going mad or offing ourselves.  if religion keeps a person sane, i would prefer him to be religious.  it's the people whom religion makes mad that i have a horror of.  i do not see this as "cowardly"--that term is far too subjective to be useful in genuine dialogue--i just see it as "whatever works for you," i.e. makes you as useful and benign a member of society as possible.

do i believe atheism to be the most "rational" default based on current data?  yes.  but i also believe, based on my 31 short years of contact with the human race, that not every person is capable of the same degree of rationality--in fact, i believe most people are capable of only a low degree, and thus to expect them to embrace a life without religion is unrealistic.  (note i do not say "to expect them to embrace atheism"--such a thing is not terribly difficult if the cultural conditions are right.  the whole of the buddhist world, for example, is atheistic by definition, especially the theravadins). 

i do not see people who incorporate religion into their lives as "cowardly," because religion is nothing more than a type of therapy, and we all incorporate therapy into our lives in some form.  like beyond, my only objection to the religious is when they try to give their subjective experiences objective status and try to apply them to others--when a benign recommendation (i have no problem with someone merely telling me "you should try jesus" ) moves into the realm of threat and violence, both social and physical.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen

harleysportster's picture

There was an interesting documentary

     There was an interesting documentary on the series: "Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman" called : Did we invent God. One segment happens to mention how superstitious types of fears seem to dominate our thinking and when it develops in our childhoods. One psychologist noted that he lied to his grandmother at a young age and when he concluded the lie with : "I swear to god that I did not do it." That every single bad event that happened to him in the following weeks he attributed to being "punished" by a god. This lead him into the fields of science to try and discern how people develop these types of thoughts. The whole 10 part series covers a lot of ground about what causes belief and how people react to it. Much like Michael Shermer's book : Why people believe ridiculous things. Part of it is on youtube.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno

harleysportster's picture

Beyond Saving

Beyond Saving wrote:

 Someone saying "Yeah, my religion probably isn't true but it makes me happy to believe it." is an argument I find exceedingly honest and I really don't think a good counter argument is possible. If having an invisible friend makes you happy but you know that it is imaginary, who cares? People lie to themselves and others all the time to be happy ("Yes honey, you are as beautiful as you were when you were 20.", "Don't worry, everything is going to be fine." "I love romantic comedies." "No, you're not bothering me at all." "I'm sorry.&quotEye-wink

I have little doubt that many people who go to church don't truly believe, but they find comfort in the lie and the social aspect. Anyone who has the self perception to realize that and is willing to admit it is brave in my book and I don't see anything wrong with it. As long as you don't come over to me and tell me I have to believe in your imaginary friend too.  

I agree

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno

harleysportster's picture

iwbiek wrote:none of us live

iwbiek wrote:

none of us live "in reality," all or even most of the time.  our perceptions are constantly modifying stimuli, our mind is sorting and cataloguing and thus modifying a great deal as well, our memories are half-true at best.  self-deception, both willful and involuntary, is part of how our organism works and, yes, in many instances keeps us from going mad or offing ourselves. 

I definitely agree with that.

iwbiek wrote:

i do not see people who incorporate religion into their lives as "cowardly," because religion is nothing more than a type of therapy, and we all incorporate therapy into our lives in some form.  like beyond, my only objection to the religious is when they try to give their subjective experiences objective status and try to apply them to others--when a benign recommendation (i have no problem with someone merely telling me "you should try jesus" ) moves into the realm of threat and violence, both social and physical.

That would be my viewpoint as well.

It just so happens that bikes, booze and babes is my therapy Smiling

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno

iwbiek's picture

"through the wormhole"

"through the wormhole" rocks.  i wish he'd make more.  it's the only documentary series on cosmology since i was a kid watching "nova" that is worth anything.  despite not being a scientist, morgan freeman might just inherit carl sagan's mantle when it comes to explaining complicated astrophysics to the average joe.  at least, i can say that about the first season.  i haven't seen the others.

it really is a gem in an age when discovery, history, etc., have all gone to utter shit.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen

harleysportster's picture

iwbiek wrote:"through the

iwbiek wrote:

"through the wormhole" rocks.  i wish he'd make more.  it's the only documentary series on cosmology since i was a kid watching "nova" that is worth anything.  despite not being a scientist, morgan freeman might just inherit carl sagan's mantle when it comes to explaining complicated astrophysics to the average joe.  at least, i can say that about the first season.  i haven't seen the others.

it really is a gem in an age when discovery, history, etc., have all gone to utter shit.

I agree.

History Channel used to be decent. Now, its Ancient Aliens, conspiracy theories, ghosts and Holy Grail quests with wild speculation about the Bible. I don't even watch it anymore.

I feel the same way about Discovery and a few others I used to watch. It seems that NatGeo can't decide what it wants to do these days. Whether it wants to be a reality show channel or not. Its really too bad these channels have gone down the drain like they have.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno

Atheistextremist's picture

I think iwb's

 

post makes excellent points. Humans are flawed, we are generalists. We can't help it. That includes atheists. Fallibilism seems to me the most rational 'position' to 'take' in terms of human comprehension of the world. My anti-theism has changed shape a little recently. I like Beyond's point that a theist honest enough to own their doubt is to be respected. That's the sort of believer we could all live with. In the interests of avoiding accusations of christianophobia and islamophobia my current position tends towards a focus on criticising the underlaying irrationalities of monotheistic doctrine. 

I would argue:

That no argument by insult can be rational (original sin, doubters are evil, human wisdom is from satan, etc).

That no argument from threat can be rational (lake of fire, boiling water sloughing of skin, beheading for apostasy, beheading for questioning. Given this, I would also argue jesus death for our 'sins' is equally irrational. We are being saved from a doctrine's fallacious appeal to force thanks to a gruesome murder). 

That intolerance for and victimisation of out group behaviours/characteristics that do not harm others shows moral inconsistency.

 

Further, I've come to believe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights breaches its own articles. It contains an immutable paradox - freedom of religion. It declares no violence, no vilification, no restriction of personal freedom, no use of the freedoms contained in the declaration to impinge on the freedoms expressed by the declaration.

Yet it insists on freedom of religion. And as we know, a religion is an organic construct. A collection of ideas claimed by adherents to contain a divine moral code - largely in the form of out-group bigotry. What are some of the ideas in the religions the declaration demands we include as legitimate individual freedoms? Homophobia, racism, sexism, the vilification of religious and secular out groups. Argument by violence and threat. Restriction of expression, education, personal freedom. Just to name a few. 

By failing to recognise the paradox engendered by freedom of religion, I think the left of politics has lost the capacity to debate in this pivotal area. Further, and perhaps more importantly, the political left fails to see that religions are broken moral codes. Broadly speaking then, the Declaration at once says "This is your universal moral code" while insisting through its demand for freedom of religion that "All religious moral codes are valid".

Yet it does not take a great deal of effort to see that all moral codes are not valid. That subjective perceptions of human morality enshrined in monotheistic doctrines which may have worked acceptably well in a city state or region in another time, are not sufficiently balanced to guide human behaviour in a global village.

I generally agree with psychosatani's negative position when it comes to monotheistic doctrine. And I think it's easy for us to forget that many monotheists read their bible/koran/torah literally, and thus, irrationally. A believer brave enough to confess to fundamental philosophical doubts in monotheistic doctrine would be a pariah in most congregations, at the very least an oddity. Most certainly, they'd not be considered a 'true' believer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck