The least important questions of all time.

Deadly Fingergun
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The least important questions of all time.

Is there a god?

I have no reason to think so, and some reason to think not. But, it really doesn't seem to matter. With a god (or gods), or without: We are still affected by our decisions, and other's decisions still affect us. We still have to work to live. We still do better in groups than alone. We still have to work within the confines of our society and its mores. We still blunder into suffering - whether we "deserve" it or not. We still blunder into windfall - whether we "deserve" it or not.

Even if there is a powerful arbiter of justice out there punishing evil after life, the damage of that evil is still with us. We still have to clean up the mess ourselves. The suffering still happened. We still have to watch for evil to protect ourselves. We still have to work very hard to improve the conditions of our lives.

Is there an afterlife?

There is again no reason to think so, and more reason to think otherwise. But again, it doesn't seem to matter. What we do now, affects us now. Even if we're due an eternity of paradise, that doesn't excuse us from making the here and now a better place.

What we do leaves an impression on this world, even if it is just a small impression. If we die and simply cease to be, we still had an effect here. Even if we can't "see what comes next" or otherwise enjoy the long term fruits of our efforts, someone will. Isn't that a far greater motivator than the idea that we won't "really" die?

My instinct for self-preservation says it's an important question - but that's its job. It sees everything as a matter of "stay alive", and it is too stupid to deal with the fact that I can't stay alive forever. I can't let such a simple beast make my decisions about how to live.


In the end, I don't really give the slightest little shit whether others believe in god or an afterlife or not. I'm concerned with here and now. Which is why I dislike religion, as odd as that may sound. Religions tend to be a collective effort to ignore the here and now. They tend to put all one's eggs in a single basket that doesn't exist yet - and probably never will.

Think of what could have been done if all the effort put into prayer was put into answering the question "How can I make this better?" or better still "How can I make this better with and for others?" How much better might the world be if instead of a hundred "one true" paths we had a hundred "ways of helping".

Well, sadly, I don't really think we'd have any sort of utopia without religion's divisiveness, but I do feel safe in saying that more attention on here and now would do far more good than harm.

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BobSpence
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Just heard a BBC podcast

Just heard a BBC podcast asking some members of the public in the US what they felt about Global Warming, as a lead-in to the Copenhagen meeting.

Most didn't seem to concerned, but one guy was quite unconcerned - "God will take care of it", or words to that effect. That is a bad consequence of religious belief, or at least one common reaction to it.

Just as an aside, they chose to go to the village of Copenhagen NY...

 

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fortitude
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I agree

I agree, Fingergun.  How much better off could we be by now if those things concerned us less?  How much better off will we be in the future when those questions are shown to be the waste of time and resources that they are?  I say it would be a vast improvement, but I'm sure there are theists that would say we would all be reduced to rape and baby eating without those questions.

"There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right." Martin Luther King


Atheistextremist
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Yep - if it weren't for christians praying

constantly, the world would have been destroyed by the huns and visigoths who eat their children yet manage to multiply by some satanic miracle.

I think it's not until you dump god that you realise how little has changed and how much of 'you' actually went into making the god inside you in the first place. My christian brother maintains with a straight face, that when he is saying and doing the best possible things, it's not him doing it but god doing it through him. Now David is a nice guy - always has been.

It's clear as day that the best parts of David are David. But not for him. What sort of mindset do you need to get into to give over all your own better qualities to something that isn't there and to cleave furiously to your flaws? It's like a complex and subtle mechanism for the backwards worship of self pity.

Deadly et al are right. Godness is the greatest cop out humans ever perpetrated on each other. We do so much better operating in real time.

 

 

 

 

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


Eloise
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Deadly Fingergun wrote:I

Deadly Fingergun wrote:
I don't really give the slightest little shit whether others believe in god or an afterlife or not. I'm concerned with here and now. Which is why I dislike religion, as odd as that may sound. Religions tend to be a collective effort to ignore the here and now. They tend to put all one's eggs in a single basket that doesn't exist yet - and probably never will.

Think of what could have been done if all the effort put into prayer was put into answering the question "How can I make this better?" or better still "How can I make this better with and for others?" How much better might the world be if instead of a hundred "one true" paths we had a hundred "ways of helping".

I can't help joining the club in agreeing with you, DFG. I think the most important questions are:

1. What can be done with life? What's possible, what's interesting and what's fun? and 2. What you wrote in your OP - How can it be made better? What is worth contributing (or contributing to) and how to be a part of it?

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

Well, sadly, I don't really think we'd have any sort of utopia without religion's divisiveness, but I do feel safe in saying that more attention on here and now would do far more good than harm.

Part of religions divisiveness, to me, seems to be that it claims to address the really important questions like 'what is possible in life' and 'what is worth contributing to and being a part of' with itself. 

Not sure if that's unique, it's probably not come to think of it, but it's true, nonetheless.

 

 

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Definitely agree.  But

Definitely agree.  But then, read my signature ...

(Okay, my signature only shows up if I add this line)

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


Deadly Fingergun
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*raises glass of 'nog* Merry

*raises glass of 'nog* Merry solstice season, here's to making it good right now.


rdklep8
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It just seems to me the

It just seems to me the question of afterlife is consistantly vaulted to the top of many people's priorities and I, like many of the people who posted before me, could care less.  I've said before, I have no reason to believe that there is a God, an afterlife, or anything at all waiting for me when I die.  I think that through my actions in life and how I've treated people, if there is a God of some sort waiting for me, I will have no problem facing what I did while on Earth.  There have been thousands of different civilizations in our history, and some have held wild religious views.  Those views, however, were all that they knew.  The Mayans believed in the Sun and the Moon as Gods, and sacrificed people in order to appease such Gods.  Hypothetically, when they died did their entire civilization go to hell because they were murderers  even though they were living life following what they thought was 'morally' right?  I just fnd it hard to believe that the vast majority of people who have lived on this planet are going/have went to hell just because they didn't believe in the correct God.  If there is a God out there who plays by those rules, then I don't give a shit about him anyway.


Atheistextremist
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Life after death

 

It really is the stupidest concept humans have yet come up with...

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


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Deadly Fingergun

Deadly Fingergun wrote:

*raises glass of 'nog* Merry solstice season, here's to making it good right now.

 

....And to making an even better toothbrush than the last 4217 improved models!

Happy New Year and Goodnight.