New Atheist

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New Atheist

     I consider myself a new atheist, or at least a person who is now admitting to myself that I am an atheist.  I now seem to be free of all the crap that was weighing me down with my former religious lifestyle.  In a way I feel free of overburdening nonsense, but I am suddenly struggling with my own sense of mortality.  I think that it comes back to the old ignorance is bliss argument.  I find that in a way I see everything with a new eye and with a greater sense of wonder, I mean how cool is it to know that everything was not miraculously created, but was actually spawned by mere chance and evolution.  How do most of you deal with your own impending mortal death?  I know that my current attitude revolves around the idea that it is our responsibility to advance culture and humanity for the next generation and for our own futures.  I guess the ultimate question from me to other atheists is, what is it that you do that gives meaning to your life?


MattShizzle
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Welcome to the hizzle! Did

Welcome to the hizzle! Did you get your free toaster for becoming an atheist yet?

To be serious, almost every atheist would agree there is no one "meaning to life. " You have to come up with your own or maybe even decide life doesn't really need a "meaning. "

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Brian37
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That whole "sense of awe"

That whole "sense of awe" argument has been used by both atheists and theists to bolster their positions. That is a non issue. "awe" is merely a reaction we have to a given situation just as "horror" is to a violent event.

The only good reason to accept or reject a claim is that of evidence. Not emotional or anicdotal evidence, but tested and falsifible trials based on prior data.

Does that mean we are robots? No, I am still subject to the same flaws and phycology as any other human, and yes, I have had a sense of "awe" just like I have thought about my own mortality.

I am also aware of my mortality. Does it frighten me? Yes and no. It does not in the sense that I fear punishment after my death, more along the lines that this natural and inevitable event might be protracted and  painfull.

I'd rather not see it comming, but beyond that I am not expecting to be punished by a magical being nor am I afraid of becoming nothing after nor should I be worried if no one remembers me 1,000,000 years from now, just as I was not in existance 1,000,000 years ago.

It does not preclude me from human emotion or empathy. It merely means that I don't asign natural events to myth, superstition or magic.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Welcome! Quote:How do most

Welcome!

 

Quote:

How do most of you deal with your own impending mortal death?

Carpe Diem. Smiling

 

I'll be the first to admit that I don't fnd death to be a very palettable fact of life - though eternal life would almost certainly be a curse. Live with urgency, and remind yourself that you've only got a few dozens seasons you'll likely ever see. Just 80-90 or so spins of the Earth! Imagine if your car only laster 90ish revolutions of it's wheels before it bit the dirt.

Squandering your little time here on pettiness, fear & dogma is foolish. You've shaken-off the last item, so you need to work with the rest of us on breaking free of the other two; get out there and do stuff. Chase your passions.

 

Do all that you can today so that if death happens to show-up tomorrow, you're ready to invite him in.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Hey mate. Good to have you

Hey mate. Good to have you here. I'm new myself, not to atheism, but to this forum.

I was debating a theist about this sort of thing earlier, on youtube. Do you lose a sense of awe from being an atheist? Do you lose a sense of the long-term?

No, not really. I'm a paraglider, and was lucky enough to go paramotoring over Iceland last year. I was as awe-stuck about the beauty of that place as it's possible to be. Seeing Vanajokull glacier from 2000 feet, for me, makes God pointless. I saw it as a physical phonomenon emerging from the geology of the place over tens of thousands of years, and was  more amazed by it than I've ever been by anything. Going to see religious relics in Italy doesn't remotely come close.

That doesn't in itself prove god doesn't exist, there are plenty of other ways of doing that. But does awe die when god does? Absolutely not.

 

 

 


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Welcome!Here's an essay of

Welcome!

Here's an essay of mine that you might find interesting:

For New Atheists: Is This Really All There Is?

You might also like this one:

Does Science Take Away Wonder and Awe?

Quote:
I guess the ultimate question from me to other atheists is, what is it that you do that gives meaning to your life?

It's a great question.  The first thing to do, of course, is make sure we understand what we're asking.  You've said that you have rid yourself of most of the trappings of relgion, but I bet if you dig a bit, you might find some more.  For instance, have you fallen prey to a hidden assumption in the question of meaning in life?

When a theist asks if you have meaning in your life, he generally means something like this:  Does your life have a "higher purpose?"  Do you have something "more" than just this existence?

Can you spot the fallacy in these questions?  They presuppose that there is something more than just this life.  This presupposition begs the question -- Why does there need to be something more than this life? 

Richard Dawkins tells a great story about a conversation with a colleague, in which he was asked if it wasn't just drudgery, living a life with no purpose or meaning, and no hope for the future.  Dawkins casually replied that he did, in fact, have something to look forward to.  He was anticipating a very nice lunch.

(I'm probably paraphrasing that story beyond acceptable limits, but the point is still aptly made.)

This point is not trivial.  The fact is, you do have purpose and meaning in life.  Every day, you perform lots of different actions, each of which is anticipating a particular goal.  When you go to a restaurant, you hope to have a good meal.  If the meal gives you satisfaction, you have acheived a goal.  Maybe you hope to get a better job, or buy a nicer house.  Maybe you want to have children.  Maybe you want to write a book.  You do have purpose and meaning in life.

The only question is whether or not you are devaluing the very real purpose you have by presuming that there ought to be something more!  Life is its own purpose, and if we live it with vigor, honesty, and no fear, it holds plenty to make it worth getting up in the morning.  In a very real way, each person's meaning is their own.  If you don't want to buy a bigger house, marry, and have kids, then that isn't your purpose.  You don't owe it to anyone to do any of that.  That's the beauty of not living dogmatically.

Of course, you do have obligations to your fellow man.  You can read something about that in this essay:

What Does Sugar Have To Do With Murder?!

The thing is, though, that anything that makes you happy and falls within the bounds of reason is pretty much ok.  There is a down side to all of this, though.  Each person is responsible for their own meaning in life, but that means that if you screw up your life, there aren't any do-overs or magical happylands where you'll get to live happily despite your mistakes.  Do you see how this kind of thinking makes atheists inherently more attuned to their moral obligations than theists?  We are responsible for our own lives.  Nobody else.  If we fuck up, it's our own fault, and we have to live with the consequences.  What better way to inspire responsible living?!

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
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deludedgod
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Quote:How do most of you

Quote:

How do most of you deal with your own impending mortal death

Try reading this:

Would life after death truly be desirable?

I would rather be given the gift of a mortal life than the curse of an eternal one.

Cool. I think that one's going in the quote list.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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deludedgod
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Quote:Dawkins casually

Quote:

Dawkins casually replied that he did, in fact, have something to look forward to.  He was anticipating a very nice lunch.

That was Francis Crick. Dawkins quoted it in TGD.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Welcome to the site and

Welcome to the site and hopefully your revelation as a new atheist is a step forward in both mind and body, the beauty of atheism is that no one will EVER tell you how to live your life or what to do and what not to do, of course within reason and logic (no hurting others and all that other good stuff haha..)

"Truly, if there is evil in the world, it lurks within the hearts of mankind." -Edward D. Morrison


Hambydammit
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deludedgod wrote:That was

deludedgod wrote:
That was Francis Crick. Dawkins quoted it in TGD.

Ahh.  Thank you for the correction!

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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nigelTheBold
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I'd kinda like to see the

I'd kinda like to see the world go on existing. I'd also like for as many people to enjoy their lives as possible. So, I try to make sure that I'm making a better life for those around me. In return, I think they try to do the same for me.

Really, it's just about you figuring out what's important to you, and pursuing it. It'd be good if your "pursuit of happiness" both led to real happiness, and maybe left the world a better place, but that's my judgement, and is almost inconsequential, really. It's all up to you to figure it out for yourself.

Meanwhile: welcome. I hope you stick around.

 

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


WBFL
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Meaning of life

If you want to look at it in a very depressing way, death i sthe meaning of life. Regaurdless of what you do there is one simple truth in life, you will die. However, if u dont want to be so depressing the meaning of life is furthing the species by producing offspring. Like most other people have said its really up to you to choose but i think those are a pretty good way to wrap it up. But you know, thats just me...

Knowledge is power
Power leads to corruption
Corrution leads to crime
Crime doesn't pay
So if you study you'll go broke.