Enjoying the good life without gods: Why religion is unnecessary

Enjoying the good life without gods: Why religion is unnecessary

Joined: September 30th, 2009, 7:55 pm

September 1st, 2011, 3:36 pm #1

Enjoying the Good Life Without Gods: Gods, Religion Not Needed to Enjoy Life

By Austin Cline, About.com Guide
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Living Without Gods:

It's common for religious theists to be incredulous at the idea that a person could not just live, but enjoy life without believing in any gods and without following any religion. Because of this, religious theists also often make all kinds of assumptions about irreligious atheists and the sorts of lives they must lead. These assumptions are rarely, if ever, true. Religious theists must learn that neither their theism nor their religion are necessary to living a satisfying, fulfilling, and happy life. It's not merely possible to be a godless, irreligious atheist who enjoys a fulfilling, meaningful life, but common.

If We All Die, Why Bother?:

A popular objection to living well without gods is the claim that since life is short, everything we do is temporary and thus pointless. This assumes that something can only have a point if it is eternal in some fashion, but does anyone really believe that? Every meal we eat must end, so is there no point in eating or enjoying a meal? Every movie ends, so is it impossible to enjoy movies? Of course not. What we do will have a point if we create one being eternal is unnecessary. Atheism Does Not Lead to Hopelessness and Despair...

Without God, How Can there Be a Purpose to Life?:

Religious theists also tell atheists that the theists' gods are necessary for life to have meaning, but this isn't true either. Things have meaning to us when we value them, and whether we value something or not and how much is dependent entirely upon us. No god, no spirits, and no humans can force us to value a book, a meal, or a relationship. This means that what we value comes from the choices we make and the presence of meaning in our lives is solely our responsibility. Gods are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Without God, How Can there Be a Meaning to Life?:

Religious theists also tell atheists that the theists' gods are necessary for life to have meaning, but this isn't true either. Things have meaning to us when we value them, and whether we value something or not and how much is dependent entirely upon us. No god, no spirits, and no humans can force us to value a book, a meal, or a relationship. This means that what we value comes from the choices we make and the presence of meaning in our lives is solely our responsibility. Gods are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Your Life is Your Own:

The most important, and perhaps most difficult, thing to remember about living without gods is that your life is entirely your own. This means that you must take personal responsibility for all of the choices you make and for the consequences of those choices. There are neither spirits to blame nor spirits to call upon for help it's up to you do deal with your life and this is the only chance you'll have. There are no do-overs and there is no afterlife where your losses are made up for. If you want to live, it's now or never.

Importance of Learning:

We don't come into this world knowing anything that we need to know; we don't leave this world having learned a fraction of what we could use. In between, we need to spend as much time as we can learning because without knowledge and experience, we won't be able to accomplish anything. Accurate, reliable knowledge of the world around us is indispensable for adequately navigating our world not just physically, but socially and mentally as well. Learning should not stop with school; instead, it should be a life-long endeavor.

Importance of Teaching:

As social animals, our learning won't occur in complete isolation and we shouldn't try to keep what we learn from others. The process of learning should be accompanied by simultaneous teaching. We are all different, possessing different perspectives and experiences. We all have something to offer, if we can figure out how to put it together and we should definitely try, seeking to help others learn even as we ourselves are being helped.

Importance of Loving:

Love is more than an emotion, it's an attitude a way of approaching those around you, the things you do, and even yourself. Love is important because it molds your approach to incorporate attitudes of caring, kindness, gentleness, and generosity. The opposite of love is not hate, for hate still implies that one cares even if in a negative way. The opposite of love is indifference an indifference towards consequences, towards results, and towards life itself.

Striving for Excellence:

There's an old adage that if you are going to do something, you should do it well. The same can be said about life generally. There's a lot that a person can do to get the most out of life, but one of the most fundamental things may able to strive to do the best you can possibly achieve. Mediocre accomplishments will likely result in a mediocre life; excellence, even in the seemingly smaller things like how you conduct your relationships with others, can result in a richer and more satisfying life.

Meaning, Purpose, Value, and Morality Without Gods:

Religious theists may place their religion and their belief in a god at the center of lives, but the fact that they cannot imagine living a good life without that religion and that god doesnt mean that it's impossible and that others cannot. A godless life is not one that is necessarily without meaning, joy, purpose, and love.

What about weathering life's low points, though? Life comes with both its ups and downs; while we may wish for life to always be pleasant, we can't avoid incidents that will make life seem more of a burden than a joy. If religious believers can find comfort in their doctrines what are godless, irreligious atheists to do? That religion can provide comfort is undeniable, but not everything that's comforting is necessarily good for you, especially over the long term.

Regardless of the "comfort" which religion may offer, it's typically based upon promises of what happens in some other plane of existence or future life. Setting aside questions about whether they even exist, it's an indisputable fact that we have to live here and now. As enticing as the promises may be, it will always be necessary to drag our gaze away from them and focus on what lies before us our lives, with all its joys and sorrows. If we don't do that, we'll never really overcome the sorrows and we certainly won't be able to appreciate the joys.

Because of this, the "comfort" typically offered by religion may not be a real benefit at all. Godless, irreligious atheists should thus not look with envy upon the religious beliefs which people try to rely on. Whatever life has in store for you, you won't deal with it any better if your attention is drawn to unreal promises of an unexplainable, unknown future.

http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistacti ... Living.htm

-----------------------------------------------
"Forget Jesus! Stars died so you could be here today." -- Dr. Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist
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Joined: July 1st, 2008, 11:52 pm

September 1st, 2011, 3:49 pm #2

this is why the next life is not for those who still find value in this life, the egoistic life:

the ego has a life span that others have discovered within themselves and like all good evolution, NATURE provides the NEXT LEVEL within the present level:

I don't know why this is such a difficult concept for a scientific person to grasp:

those who are ready for another level should be KEPT at this level by those who find this level to be the BEST they know?

hmmmmm, freedom rarely rings from egoistic people, RELIGIOUS or not

doesn't matter

egos always THINK they have the ONLY way.......

the soul that RISES above the ego understands that the ego had a purpose and it can let those who are not ready to PLAY as long as they desire


everyones ego thinks their level of consciousness is the HIGHEST there is


the soul knows both the ego and the true nature......the one that is ATUNED to NATURE


it has a voice too:

just because egos make a mockery of religious teachings, doesn't mean they would do less with any other idea that they wanted to exploit

like politics, business, anything that gives power over others

every day is a new day to die to the old and live to the newness of life
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Joined: September 30th, 2009, 7:55 pm

September 1st, 2011, 6:15 pm #3

Yvonne said: NATURE provides the NEXT LEVEL within the present level: I don't know why this is such a difficult concept for a scientific person to grasp

There's nothing to grasp. It's just incoherent mumbo-jumbo. But hey, I also don't grasp when Christians "speak in tongues". It's also incoherent mumbo-jumbo to me.

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

You understand a word they said? Me neither.

There's this natural universe. And until evidence arises that there's a supernatural "NEXT LEVEL", I'm gonna have to be skeptical about it. But you are free to believe in it.

hmmmmm, freedom rarely rings from egoistic people, RELIGIOUS or not

Yes, I know... you have all the answers to the universe... but I have an ego problem.

Anywho...

Who's trying to take your freedom away? You can post about whatever nonsense you wish. I'm not trying to stop you. Disagreeing with your beliefs isn't trying to make you stop believing in your superstitions, nor is my disagreement an attempt to silence you.

Please... preach away.

And if there IS someone trying to take away your freedoms, it isn't me. Let's remember that you responded to my post. This thread had nothing to do with your beliefs.

All I did was post about how it's possible for people to live happy lives without believing in made-up, religious nonsense. Does this naturalistic viewpoint threaten your beliefs that much that you think I'm trying to take your freedoms away?

If so, my only advice is: Lighten up. I'm not going to try to force you to deconvert, nor burn you at the stake.

But that's what religious people would have done to me a mere half-millennium ago, so maybe a thank you is in order?

-----------------------------------------------
"Forget Jesus! Stars died so you could be here today." -- Dr. Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist
Last edited by edstrange13 on September 1st, 2011, 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tim
Tim

September 2nd, 2011, 2:00 am #4

But that's what religious people would have done to me a mere half-millennium ago, so maybe a thank you is in order?
-----------------------------------------

Are we confusing Babylonian Catholics and Islamic with Christians again? By the way, who never were Christians.

And Yvonne basically says Nature is our Master.

Is there any indication Jesus will return soon? 2 Thessalonians 2:3
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Tim


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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

September 2nd, 2011, 2:48 am #5

Enjoying the Good Life Without Gods: Gods, Religion Not Needed to Enjoy Life

By Austin Cline, About.com Guide
See More About:

Living Without Gods:

It's common for religious theists to be incredulous at the idea that a person could not just live, but enjoy life without believing in any gods and without following any religion. Because of this, religious theists also often make all kinds of assumptions about irreligious atheists and the sorts of lives they must lead. These assumptions are rarely, if ever, true. Religious theists must learn that neither their theism nor their religion are necessary to living a satisfying, fulfilling, and happy life. It's not merely possible to be a godless, irreligious atheist who enjoys a fulfilling, meaningful life, but common.

If We All Die, Why Bother?:

A popular objection to living well without gods is the claim that since life is short, everything we do is temporary and thus pointless. This assumes that something can only have a point if it is eternal in some fashion, but does anyone really believe that? Every meal we eat must end, so is there no point in eating or enjoying a meal? Every movie ends, so is it impossible to enjoy movies? Of course not. What we do will have a point if we create one being eternal is unnecessary. Atheism Does Not Lead to Hopelessness and Despair...

Without God, How Can there Be a Purpose to Life?:

Religious theists also tell atheists that the theists' gods are necessary for life to have meaning, but this isn't true either. Things have meaning to us when we value them, and whether we value something or not and how much is dependent entirely upon us. No god, no spirits, and no humans can force us to value a book, a meal, or a relationship. This means that what we value comes from the choices we make and the presence of meaning in our lives is solely our responsibility. Gods are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Without God, How Can there Be a Meaning to Life?:

Religious theists also tell atheists that the theists' gods are necessary for life to have meaning, but this isn't true either. Things have meaning to us when we value them, and whether we value something or not and how much is dependent entirely upon us. No god, no spirits, and no humans can force us to value a book, a meal, or a relationship. This means that what we value comes from the choices we make and the presence of meaning in our lives is solely our responsibility. Gods are unnecessary and irrelevant.

Your Life is Your Own:

The most important, and perhaps most difficult, thing to remember about living without gods is that your life is entirely your own. This means that you must take personal responsibility for all of the choices you make and for the consequences of those choices. There are neither spirits to blame nor spirits to call upon for help it's up to you do deal with your life and this is the only chance you'll have. There are no do-overs and there is no afterlife where your losses are made up for. If you want to live, it's now or never.

Importance of Learning:

We don't come into this world knowing anything that we need to know; we don't leave this world having learned a fraction of what we could use. In between, we need to spend as much time as we can learning because without knowledge and experience, we won't be able to accomplish anything. Accurate, reliable knowledge of the world around us is indispensable for adequately navigating our world not just physically, but socially and mentally as well. Learning should not stop with school; instead, it should be a life-long endeavor.

Importance of Teaching:

As social animals, our learning won't occur in complete isolation and we shouldn't try to keep what we learn from others. The process of learning should be accompanied by simultaneous teaching. We are all different, possessing different perspectives and experiences. We all have something to offer, if we can figure out how to put it together and we should definitely try, seeking to help others learn even as we ourselves are being helped.

Importance of Loving:

Love is more than an emotion, it's an attitude a way of approaching those around you, the things you do, and even yourself. Love is important because it molds your approach to incorporate attitudes of caring, kindness, gentleness, and generosity. The opposite of love is not hate, for hate still implies that one cares even if in a negative way. The opposite of love is indifference an indifference towards consequences, towards results, and towards life itself.

Striving for Excellence:

There's an old adage that if you are going to do something, you should do it well. The same can be said about life generally. There's a lot that a person can do to get the most out of life, but one of the most fundamental things may able to strive to do the best you can possibly achieve. Mediocre accomplishments will likely result in a mediocre life; excellence, even in the seemingly smaller things like how you conduct your relationships with others, can result in a richer and more satisfying life.

Meaning, Purpose, Value, and Morality Without Gods:

Religious theists may place their religion and their belief in a god at the center of lives, but the fact that they cannot imagine living a good life without that religion and that god doesnt mean that it's impossible and that others cannot. A godless life is not one that is necessarily without meaning, joy, purpose, and love.

What about weathering life's low points, though? Life comes with both its ups and downs; while we may wish for life to always be pleasant, we can't avoid incidents that will make life seem more of a burden than a joy. If religious believers can find comfort in their doctrines what are godless, irreligious atheists to do? That religion can provide comfort is undeniable, but not everything that's comforting is necessarily good for you, especially over the long term.

Regardless of the "comfort" which religion may offer, it's typically based upon promises of what happens in some other plane of existence or future life. Setting aside questions about whether they even exist, it's an indisputable fact that we have to live here and now. As enticing as the promises may be, it will always be necessary to drag our gaze away from them and focus on what lies before us our lives, with all its joys and sorrows. If we don't do that, we'll never really overcome the sorrows and we certainly won't be able to appreciate the joys.

Because of this, the "comfort" typically offered by religion may not be a real benefit at all. Godless, irreligious atheists should thus not look with envy upon the religious beliefs which people try to rely on. Whatever life has in store for you, you won't deal with it any better if your attention is drawn to unreal promises of an unexplainable, unknown future.

http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistacti ... Living.htm

-----------------------------------------------
"Forget Jesus! Stars died so you could be here today." -- Dr. Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist
It also isn't harmful to some.

The thing is though, that if God exists, God exists regardless of what we believe.
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Joined: May 4th, 2005, 1:31 pm

September 2nd, 2011, 3:00 am #6

Yvonne said: NATURE provides the NEXT LEVEL within the present level: I don't know why this is such a difficult concept for a scientific person to grasp

There's nothing to grasp. It's just incoherent mumbo-jumbo. But hey, I also don't grasp when Christians "speak in tongues". It's also incoherent mumbo-jumbo to me.

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

You understand a word they said? Me neither.

There's this natural universe. And until evidence arises that there's a supernatural "NEXT LEVEL", I'm gonna have to be skeptical about it. But you are free to believe in it.

hmmmmm, freedom rarely rings from egoistic people, RELIGIOUS or not

Yes, I know... you have all the answers to the universe... but I have an ego problem.

Anywho...

Who's trying to take your freedom away? You can post about whatever nonsense you wish. I'm not trying to stop you. Disagreeing with your beliefs isn't trying to make you stop believing in your superstitions, nor is my disagreement an attempt to silence you.

Please... preach away.

And if there IS someone trying to take away your freedoms, it isn't me. Let's remember that you responded to my post. This thread had nothing to do with your beliefs.

All I did was post about how it's possible for people to live happy lives without believing in made-up, religious nonsense. Does this naturalistic viewpoint threaten your beliefs that much that you think I'm trying to take your freedoms away?

If so, my only advice is: Lighten up. I'm not going to try to force you to deconvert, nor burn you at the stake.

But that's what religious people would have done to me a mere half-millennium ago, so maybe a thank you is in order?

-----------------------------------------------
"Forget Jesus! Stars died so you could be here today." -- Dr. Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist
It's hard to understand why "God" would give that "gift", what the purpose is. It's just another thing that folks misinterpret in the Bible and create .. gibberish. Oh, I think there are worse things, like the "End Times" stuff and the "Chosen People" etc.

Now whether the true interpretation of what the gift of tongues is, actually occurred, I don't know. And frankly, am skeptical. But below is also what my Dad taught me :

http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/s ... s/ch18.htm
"The gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in a foreign, human language which was previously unknown or unstudied by the speaker."

http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-tongues.html
A person with the gift of interpreting tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) could understand what a tongues-speaker was saying even though he did not know the language that was being spoken. The tongues interpreter would then communicate the message of the tongues speaker to everyone else, so all could understand.
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Joined: January 13th, 2010, 2:50 pm

September 2nd, 2011, 3:27 am #7

Yvonne said: NATURE provides the NEXT LEVEL within the present level: I don't know why this is such a difficult concept for a scientific person to grasp

There's nothing to grasp. It's just incoherent mumbo-jumbo. But hey, I also don't grasp when Christians "speak in tongues". It's also incoherent mumbo-jumbo to me.

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

You understand a word they said? Me neither.

There's this natural universe. And until evidence arises that there's a supernatural "NEXT LEVEL", I'm gonna have to be skeptical about it. But you are free to believe in it.

hmmmmm, freedom rarely rings from egoistic people, RELIGIOUS or not

Yes, I know... you have all the answers to the universe... but I have an ego problem.

Anywho...

Who's trying to take your freedom away? You can post about whatever nonsense you wish. I'm not trying to stop you. Disagreeing with your beliefs isn't trying to make you stop believing in your superstitions, nor is my disagreement an attempt to silence you.

Please... preach away.

And if there IS someone trying to take away your freedoms, it isn't me. Let's remember that you responded to my post. This thread had nothing to do with your beliefs.

All I did was post about how it's possible for people to live happy lives without believing in made-up, religious nonsense. Does this naturalistic viewpoint threaten your beliefs that much that you think I'm trying to take your freedoms away?

If so, my only advice is: Lighten up. I'm not going to try to force you to deconvert, nor burn you at the stake.

But that's what religious people would have done to me a mere half-millennium ago, so maybe a thank you is in order?

-----------------------------------------------
"Forget Jesus! Stars died so you could be here today." -- Dr. Lawrence Krauss, theoretical physicist
As an observer, these things appear to me as induced tantric group hysteria. Nothing particularly "divine" or "inspired" in them that's any different from any other tantric episode.
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Tim
Tim

September 2nd, 2011, 4:08 am #8

It's hard to understand why "God" would give that "gift", what the purpose is. It's just another thing that folks misinterpret in the Bible and create .. gibberish. Oh, I think there are worse things, like the "End Times" stuff and the "Chosen People" etc.

Now whether the true interpretation of what the gift of tongues is, actually occurred, I don't know. And frankly, am skeptical. But below is also what my Dad taught me :

http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/s ... s/ch18.htm
"The gift of tongues was the supernatural ability to speak in a foreign, human language which was previously unknown or unstudied by the speaker."

http://www.gotquestions.org/gift-of-tongues.html
A person with the gift of interpreting tongues (1 Corinthians 12:30) could understand what a tongues-speaker was saying even though he did not know the language that was being spoken. The tongues interpreter would then communicate the message of the tongues speaker to everyone else, so all could understand.
What's disturbing is the lack of Faith I see.


Tim
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Tim
Tim

September 2nd, 2011, 4:13 am #9

As an observer, these things appear to me as induced tantric group hysteria. Nothing particularly "divine" or "inspired" in them that's any different from any other tantric episode.
That's because you don't consider the Prophets noob.

2 Thessalonians 2:3
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.


Tim

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Tim
Tim

September 2nd, 2011, 4:25 am #10

It also isn't harmful to some.

The thing is though, that if God exists, God exists regardless of what we believe.
""""The thing is though, that if God exists, God exists regardless of what we believe.""""

And HE is going to prove it again
Not by water this time, but by fire.

By the ICBM's HE allowed HIS children to create.

Children of the Creator we are, destroy this world we can. Not too hard to figure out is it Mondo.

Bro Tim





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