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Author Topic:   Problems with being an Atheist (or Evolutionist)
Briterican
Member (Idle past 4062 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 27 of 276 (538091)
12-03-2009 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
12-08-2008 10:37 AM


The end is the end, kinda sad eh
Interesting topic, thanks Stile.
My only real problem in my (newly affirmed) strong atheism is that there is no room for an afterlife. When you're dead, that's it, the end. There is a tiny part of me that still wants to entertain some notion of continued existence, but that tiny part is outweighed by my overwhelming feeling (and the overwhelming evidence) that death is the end.
The only consolation I find for this feeling is the realisation that I am priveleged to exist for the time that I do.
I'm thrilled when writers talk about the extremely low odds of being here at all. This concept can be thought about in deep terms, such as the fact that we would certainly none of us be here now if not for various environmental conditions being just right throughout the history of the universe.
But in more immediate terms, the fact that my mother gave birth to me after having miscarried on her previous attempt has always given me pause to consider how close I was to never existing.
My British daughter, as another example, exists solely because of a chance encounter in a Yahoo chatroom with her mother, which developed over time and culminated in my migration to the UK and the conception of our child. Stacey (my daughter) very nearly never existed at all.
If, in just two generations (mine and my child's), our line had two "near-misses" in terms of non-existence, it stands to reason that there were many similar events in the lives of our ancestors that played out in such a "fortuitous" way as to allow me to be here typing this now.
Steve Grand in Creation: Life and How to Make It writes:
Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you.
In the face of my realisation that "the end is nigh" (I'll put it off for a little while longer I hope), I can take solace in having had the chance to inhabit this world, albeit for only a fraction of a second in geological terms.
Edited by Briterican, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 12-08-2008 10:37 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Aware Wolf, posted 12-03-2009 2:58 PM Briterican has not replied
 Message 30 by Stile, posted 12-03-2009 3:38 PM Briterican has replied
 Message 70 by Perdition, posted 12-09-2009 3:55 PM Briterican has replied

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 4062 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 69 of 276 (538754)
12-09-2009 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Bolder-dash
12-09-2009 3:01 PM


Re: What's the Connection?
Bolder-dash writes:
Well, I believe there is a force which connections all of life- ...
All life is ultimately connected. It's called macroevolution.
Bolder-dash writes:
...therefore I believe my sense of morality is connected to all other living things.
You can't equate the morality of a frog and a human, sorry.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 65 by Bolder-dash, posted 12-09-2009 3:01 PM Bolder-dash has not replied

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 4062 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 81 of 276 (538917)
12-11-2009 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Stile
12-03-2009 3:38 PM


Re: The end is unknown, kinda exciting
Stile writes:
The fear of death being the end is a subjective problem. Therefore, it is rational to accept subjective (or irrational) answers. As long as we don't forget to acknowledge that we're doing so.
I'd have to disagree, whilst simultaneously thanking you for your reply.
Firstly I don't really fear death as such, or fear that it is the end. I am simply convinced that it is the end. No amount of "second law of thermodynamics" arguments has persuaded me that my counsciousness will continue to exist in ANY shape or form after my death (apart from memories in others minds and in things I might create and leave behind such as art or literature, neither of which constitutes a continued existence for me).
The act of taking an irrational viewpoint so long as I acknowledge I am doing so is a sort of intellectual dishonesty.
In other words, it's a nice thought, but it doesn't work for me.
Stile writes:
It makes me feel better to understand that I'm not "missing knowledge" that is available to me and that I find important. I know I am missing the knowledge, but the fact that this knowledge is unavailable to everyone makes me feel better.
This made me smile hehe. I wish more people acknowledged that they just "don't know". There are exceptions to this rule who purportedly do have access to parts of this unattainable knowledge, Psychics, Prophets, etc

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by Stile, posted 12-03-2009 3:38 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Stile, posted 12-23-2009 10:13 AM Briterican has replied

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 4062 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 82 of 276 (538919)
12-11-2009 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by Perdition
12-09-2009 3:55 PM


Re: The end is the end, kinda sad eh
Perdition writes:
I want to know how the world is in a thousand years. I want to know if the human race has solved its pressing issues of the dya so it can finally move on to new pressing matters.
I can relate to this. I am absolutely gutted when I realise that there is no way I will get to know what things are like in 1,000 years. Likewise, there is no direct way to glimpse the distant past. Having said that, we live in interesting times where, within a single generation there are enormous advances in understanding. I'm glad my consciousness has arrived now rather than back when i'd have spent my time as a hunter-gatherer.
Perdition writes:
Because my wanting it doesn't make it so.
Precisely. Most sorts of "afterlife" don't sound like something I would want anyway (especially that icky hell place).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by Perdition, posted 12-09-2009 3:55 PM Perdition has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 83 by Straggler, posted 12-11-2009 3:05 PM Briterican has replied

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 4062 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 84 of 276 (538924)
12-11-2009 3:09 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by Straggler
12-11-2009 3:05 PM


Immortality via external storage
Straggler writes:
I am gonna backup my entire conscious brain to a chip and then have it put in a humanoid robot at a later date. I'll see you in a thousand years.
Now we're talking. I'll sign up for that. Unfortunately I don't think it will be available within my lifetime and if it was I probably couldn't afford it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Straggler, posted 12-11-2009 3:05 PM Straggler has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Taz, posted 12-11-2009 5:30 PM Briterican has seen this message but not replied

  
Briterican
Member (Idle past 4062 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 91 of 276 (540307)
12-23-2009 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Stile
12-23-2009 10:13 AM


Re: The end is unknown, kinda exciting
Stile writes:
To me, it sounds like you first need to define what, specifically, your problem is with death being the end. If you are not afraid of it, what is wrong? Do you simply just not like it? Are you extremely attached to some other alternative you can imagine and desire? Wouldn't that be some form of an irrational fear of not-being-able-to-get-what-you-want?
I am having a hard time thinking of a reason why you cannot accept death being the end, and be okay with that, unless you are somehow irrationally averse to that outcome. That is, I do not think it is possible for you to have an objective issue with death being the end. If that is simply the rules of this reality... the way things are, how can there possible be a reality-based, rational objection?
You make some good points here. If by "fear" you mean dread at the notion of ceasing to exist at a time not of my choosing, then perhaps there is some fear there.
I suppose this isn't really as much of a "problem" for me, but more of a sense of disappointment. As I get older I begin to feel like I have wasted a lot of my time, and I start feeling like I'd better utilise whatever remaining time I have better. This (imho)is a good result of my belief system, in that by considering this life to be the only one, I'm determined to make the best of it.
Perhaps you've helped me narrow down my primary concern - the fact that the cessation of my tenure on this planet will almost certainly come at a time not of my choosing. That does give me a feeling of fear. I worry that I'll go out at a time when I have some unfinished business, and that my last conscious thoughts might include "shit - I forgot to turn off the stove" (that part is a joke, but you get the idea).
Edited by Briterican, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Stile, posted 12-23-2009 10:13 AM Stile has seen this message but not replied

  
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