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The God Delusion
Posted: 12 November 2006 03:50 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I listened to the interview with Richard Dawkins on his new book called the THE GOD DELUSION. He made a statement to the effect that a person who does not believe in life afer death can live a fulfilling life. I’ve been giving this some thought and i come to an opposite conclusion. If there is no life after death this would lead a person to utter despair.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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the existence of happy atheists and other nonreligious folk the world over would lend credence to the contrary.

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Posted: 12 November 2006 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“forthetruth”]I listened to the interview with Richard Dawkins on his new book called the THE GOD DELUSION. He made a statement to the effect that a person who does not believe in life afer death can live a fulfilling life. I’ve been giving this some thought and i come to an opposite conclusion. If there is no life after death this would lead a person to utter despair.

Why?

I don’t believe in life after death but I don’t feel “utter despair”. Of course, I would prefer not to die, but hey, if that’s what’s going down, I’d prefer to have open eyes about it rather than deceive myself.

8)

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Posted: 12 November 2006 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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COULD YOU LIVE A FULFILLING LIFE IF A CLOSE LOVED ONE WAS DYING? (LETS SAY YOU HAVE A 5 YEAR OLD SON WHO WAS DEATHLY SICK)


OR COULD YOU LIVE A FULFILLING LIFE IF YOU WERE DYING OF CANCER OR SOME OTHER HORRIBLE DISEASE?

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Posted: 12 November 2006 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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COULD YOU LIVE A FULFILLING LIFE IF A CLOSE LOVED ONE WAS DYING? (LETS SAY YOU HAVE A 5 YEAR OLD SON WHO WAS DEATHLY SICK)


OR COULD YOU LIVE A FULFILLING LIFE IF YOU WERE DYING OF CANCER OR SOME OTHER HORRIBLE DISEASE?


Absolutely, captial man.

It’s been done countless times and there are those fitting the above criteria that are living fulfilling lives now.  Does that mean living a life without challenges and sadness?  Of course not.

My question would be:

COULD YOU LIVE A FULFILLING LIFE KNOWING THAT YOUR ALL LOVING GOD GAVE YOU CANCER OR SOME OTHER HORRIBLE DISEASE?

COULD YOU LIVE A FULFILLING LIFE KNOWING YOUR GOD ALLOWED A CLOSE LOVED TO BE DYING? (LETS SAY YOU HAVE A 5 YEAR OLD SON WHO WAS DEATHLY SICK)

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Posted: 13 November 2006 04:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“forthetruth”]I listened to the interview with Richard Dawkins on his new book called the THE GOD DELUSION. He made a statement to the effect that a person who does not believe in life afer death can live a fulfilling life. I’ve been giving this some thought and i come to an opposite conclusion. If there is no life after death this would lead a person to utter despair.

Well, considering that the idea of an “afterlife” is relatively recent in religion, and that it is not held to by many people today, this makes no sense.

Most of the thousands of religions that have existed on this planet had no concept of afterlife. Even the Jews had no concept of afterlife until a couple hundred years prior to Christianity, after they had been influenced by the Greeks and Egyptians.

Even many Greeks however had no concept of afterlife, it was only certain branches of Greek thought.

China, one the oldest and largest civilizations on the planet, which has probably produced more people than any other civilization, has had essentially no concept of afterlife for pretty much all of its history.

The Christian concept of afterlife is a relatively new an limited invention, merging views from the Platonic Greeks and the Egyptians.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“forthetruth”]I listened to the interview with Richard Dawkins on his new book called the THE GOD DELUSION. He made a statement to the effect that a person who does not believe in life afer death can live a fulfilling life. I’ve been giving this some thought and i come to an opposite conclusion. If there is no life after death this would lead a person to utter despair.

I think it was Dawkins who also said that, because atheists don’t believe in the afterlife, they have MUCH more appreciation for the life we’re living now.

I do not find “utter dispair” when thinking about death. I would find utter dispair (and many do) in believing that a place existed where people who didnt agree with the true religion would burn for eternity. Afterlife isn’t just about heaven you know :?

Personally, I feel that much more stress comes to pass when people are worried about their acceptance into heaven. Since I don’t worry about that, and since I know (or at least, I’m almost certain) that I won’t have to lead a certain lifestyle to get into such a place, I can appreciate the time I have in this world that much more.

Regarding your question about dying relatives, or diease. Dispair is a natural reaction to these scenarios, regardless of a belief in the afterlife. Few people in the world rejoice at the news they are dying or someone close to them has a terminal disease (I say few because there ARE some people that rejoice, because they believe heaven awaits them - which may be a nice thing, but it is still a delusion. Would you rather live a happy life that was based on fake assumptions, or a life with both happiness and saddness that was real?). So I think that the belief in the afterlife is a moot point for most people in that scenario.

My opinion is just to live the life you have. Cause it’s the only one you’ll get.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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[quote author=“loren michael”]the existence of happy atheists and other nonreligious folk the world over would lend credence to the contrary.

WHEN YOU CONSIDER YOUR OWN DEATH OR THAT OF A LOVED ONE, CAN YOU STILL MAINTAIN YOUR HAPPINESS?

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Posted: 13 November 2006 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“Jaik”][quote author=“forthetruth”]I listened to the interview with Richard Dawkins on his new book called the THE GOD DELUSION. He made a statement to the effect that a person who does not believe in life afer death can live a fulfilling life. I’ve been giving this some thought and i come to an opposite conclusion. If there is no life after death this would lead a person to utter despair.

I think it was Dawkins who also said that, because atheists don’t believe in the afterlife, they have MUCH more appreciation for the life we’re living now.

I do not find “utter dispair” when thinking about death. I would find utter dispair (and many do) in believing that a place existed where people who didnt agree with the true religion would burn for eternity. Afterlife isn’t just about heaven you know :?
  HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH YOUR OWN MORTALITY AND THOSE WHOM YOU LOVE? DOES THE IDEA OF NON-EXISTENCE, OBLIVION CONCERN YOU? LETS SAY FOR EXAMPLE IF A LOVED ONE OF YOURS (LIKE A CHILD) WERE DIE WOULD THE THOUGHT THAT YOU WILL NEVER SEE HIM-HER AGAIN CAUSE YOU GREAT ANGUISH?

Personally, I feel that much more stress comes to pass when people are worried about their acceptance into heaven. Since I don’t worry about that, and since I know (or at least, I’m almost certain) that I won’t have to lead a certain lifestyle to get into such a place, I can appreciate the time I have in this world that much more.

  I THINK YOU CAN SAY THIS IF YOU SINGLE BUT BEING MARRIED WITH CHILDREN CHANGES THIS IMMENSLY. BEING WITH MY LOVED ONES AFTER THIS LIFE IS OF PARAMOUNT IMPORTANCE. I KNOW THIS DOES NOT PROVE AN AFTER LIFE BUT IT DOES SHOW HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS TO ALL OF US.

  IRegarding your question about dying relatives, or diease. Dispair is a natural reaction to these scenarios, regardless of a belief in the afterlife. Few people in the world rejoice at the news they are dying or someone close to them has a terminal disease (I say few because there ARE some people that rejoice, because they believe heaven awaits them - which may be a nice thing, but it is still a delusion. Would you rather live a happy life that was based on fake assumptions, or a life with both happiness and saddness that was real?). So I think that the belief in the afterlife is a moot point for most people in that scenario.
  WHY DO YOU THINK THAT A AFTERLIFE IS A DELUSION?

My opinion is just to live the life you have. Cause it’s the only one you’ll get.

  IF THIS IS ALL I HAVE, I DON’T THINK I COULD LIVE LIFE TO ITS FULLEST. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF THINGS THAT COUNT AGAINST IT.
1- EACH DAY I LIVE BRINGS ME CLOSER TO OBLIVION
2- IT IS ALMOST ENVITABLE THAT ALL OF US WILL EXPIENECE THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE. BE IT A CHILD, SPOUSE OR CLOSE FRIEND. THE LOSS OF ANYONE THESE WOULD BE MAJOR SET BACK IN WHICH A PERSON MAY NEVER RECOVER FROM.
3- IF IT IS TRUE WE FACE OBLIVION AFTER THIS LIFE, THEN WHEN WE REALLY THINK DEEPLY ABOUT THIS, IT WOULD LEAD TO HOPELESSNESS.

I THINK TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST YOU NEED A COUPLE OF THINGS.
1- AN AFTER LIFE LIKE HEAVEN
2- IMMORTALITY
3- A JUST AND LOVING GOD

THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THINGS I THINK WE ALL NEED TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST…

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Posted: 13 November 2006 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“dougsmith”][quote author=“forthetruth”]I listened to the interview with Richard Dawkins on his new book called the THE GOD DELUSION. He made a statement to the effect that a person who does not believe in life afer death can live a fulfilling life. I’ve been giving this some thought and i come to an opposite conclusion. If there is no life after death this would lead a person to utter despair.

Why?

I don’t believe in life after death but I don’t feel “utter despair”. Of course, I would prefer not to die, but hey, if that’s what’s going down, I’d prefer to have open eyes about it rather than deceive myself.

  WHY DON’T YOU PREFER NOT TO DIE?  IF YOU ARE RIGHT THAT AFTER WE DIE THERE IS OBLIVION I.E. NO PAIN JUST NON-EXISTENCE, WOULD THIS MAKE YOU NOT WANT TO DIE?

8)

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Posted: 13 November 2006 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“forthetruth”][quote author=“dougsmith”][quote author=“forthetruth”]

  WHY DON’T YOU PREFER NOT TO DIE?  IF YOU ARE RIGHT THAT AFTER WE DIE THERE IS OBLIVION I.E. NO PAIN JUST NON-EXISTENCE, WOULD THIS MAKE YOU NOT WANT TO DIE?

8)

That makes no sense whatsoever. Just because doug doesnt believe there is anything after life doesnt mean he wants to die. I dont believe in an afterlife. I believe in life. Thus, I know this life is great and I dont want to die.

Consider this: What is your obsession with the afterlife? The afterlife (if you’re going to heaven) is a reward. It is promised eternal bliss. I can see why our view is very depressing to you, because you’ve been promised a magnificent gift, and you dont want someone telling you that the promise may have been a lie. I see what you mean by hopelessness, but know that not everyone is holding out for that big reward at the end of the road.

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Posted: 13 November 2006 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“Jaik”][quote author=“forthetruth”][quote author=“dougsmith”][quote author=“forthetruth”]

  WHY DON’T YOU PREFER NOT TO DIE?  IF YOU ARE RIGHT THAT AFTER WE DIE THERE IS OBLIVION I.E. NO PAIN JUST NON-EXISTENCE, WOULD THIS MAKE YOU NOT WANT TO DIE?

8)

That makes no sense whatsoever. Just because doug doesnt believe there is anything after life doesnt mean he wants to die. I dont believe in an afterlife. I believe in life. Thus, I know this life is great and I dont want to die.

Consider this: What is your obsession with the afterlife? The afterlife (if you’re going to heaven) is a reward. It is promised eternal bliss. I can see why our view is very depressing to you,

DOESN’T YOUR VIEW DEPRESS YOU? DOESN’T THE IDEA THAT WHEN YOU DIE OR A LOVED ONE DIES YOU WILL NOT SEE THEM AGAIN EVER?


because you’ve been promised a magnificent gift, and you dont want someone telling you that the promise may have been a lie. I see what you mean by hopelessness, but know that not everyone is holding out for that big reward at the end of the road.

  I’M NOT “OBSESSED” WITH THIS BUT I THINK ITS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER IT DEEPLY. FROM WHAT I HAVE READ ON THIS SITE, I DON’T THINK MOST HAVE. NOW CAN YOU SHOW ME YOUR PROOF THAT THE AFTERLIFE IS LIE? WHAT POSITIVE EVIDENCE CAN YOU SHOW ME THAT IT IS OBLIVION THAT FACES US AT DEATH AND NOT A CONTINUATION?

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF NEAR DEATH EXPIERENCES? I WOULD THINK YOU HAVE. WHAT MANY OF THESE CASES DO SHOW IS SOME LIMITED SURVIVAL OF AN IMMATERIAL PART OF MAN. HOW IS POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE WHO IS CLINICALLY DEAD FOR 20-30 MINUTES THAT WHEN THEY ARE “GONE” FROM THEIR BODIES ARE ABLE TO DESCRIBE EVENTS MILES FROM WHERE THEY ARE?

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Posted: 13 November 2006 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“forthetruth”]  I’M NOT “OBSESSED” WITH THIS BUT I THINK ITS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER IT DEEPLY. FROM WHAT I HAVE READ ON THIS SITE, I DON’T THINK MOST HAVE. NOW CAN YOU SHOW ME YOUR PROOF THAT THE AFTERLIFE IS LIE? WHAT POSITIVE EVIDENCE CAN YOU SHOW ME THAT IT IS OBLIVION THAT FACES US AT DEATH AND NOT A CONTINUATION?

Most people I know have considered this deeply. Have you really, forthetruth? Have you investigated what happens to people with strokes, brain aneurysms or other forms of brain damage? On your view that the soul is the seat of personality, how is it that these people change personalities so much, lose memories, lose abilities, when their brains are damaged?

How is it that chemicals ingested into the bloodstream (alcohol, nicotene, caffeine, other drugs) can alter our consciousness if we are not dependent on the brain for existence?

How is it that brain imaging shows correlations between mental states and brain states if the brain is not the seat of personality?

Really it is you who don’t know much about the actual scientific research on the brain.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]  HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF NEAR DEATH EXPIERENCES? I WOULD THINK YOU HAVE. WHAT MANY OF THESE CASES DO SHOW IS SOME LIMITED SURVIVAL OF AN IMMATERIAL PART OF MAN. HOW IS POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE WHO IS CLINICALLY DEAD FOR 20-30 MINUTES THAT WHEN THEY ARE “GONE” FROM THEIR BODIES ARE ABLE TO DESCRIBE EVENTS MILES FROM WHERE THEY ARE?

Near death experiences have been studied for years. They show nothing more than the state of the brain before death. There is no credible evidence that people who have such experiences can describe faraway events. This is just hollywood fiction.

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Posted: 14 November 2006 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“dougsmith”][quote author=“forthetruth”] I’M NOT “OBSESSED” WITH THIS BUT I THINK ITS IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER IT DEEPLY. FROM WHAT I HAVE READ ON THIS SITE, I DON’T THINK MOST HAVE. NOW CAN YOU SHOW ME YOUR PROOF THAT THE AFTERLIFE IS LIE? WHAT POSITIVE EVIDENCE CAN YOU SHOW ME THAT IT IS OBLIVION THAT FACES US AT DEATH AND NOT A CONTINUATION?

Most people I know have considered this deeply. Have you really, forthetruth?

Yes. I’m referring to those who make the claim that they can live fufilling lives knowing they face oblivion and will never see their loved ones again. I think people who make such claims have not considered the ramifications of this if true.

Have you investigated what happens to people with strokes, brain aneurysms or other forms of brain damage? On your view that the soul is the seat of personality, how is it that these people change personalities so much, lose memories, lose abilities, when their brains are damaged?
What does this have to do with the after life or oblivion?

How is it that chemicals ingested into the bloodstream (alcohol, nicotene, caffeine, other drugs) can alter our consciousness if we are not dependent on the brain for existence?
Who said we are not normally dependent on the brain for our lives?

How is it that brain imaging shows correlations between mental states and brain states if the brain is not the seat of personality?
Do you believe in the existence of the mind? The mind is not the same as the brain.

Really it is you who don’t know much about the actual scientific research on the brain.
Huh? What does this have to do with life after death?

[quote author=“forthetruth”] HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF NEAR DEATH EXPIERENCES? I WOULD THINK YOU HAVE. WHAT MANY OF THESE CASES DO SHOW IS SOME LIMITED SURVIVAL OF AN IMMATERIAL PART OF MAN. HOW IS POSSIBLE THAT SOMEONE WHO IS CLINICALLY DEAD FOR 20-30 MINUTES THAT WHEN THEY ARE “GONE” FROM THEIR BODIES ARE ABLE TO DESCRIBE EVENTS MILES FROM WHERE THEY ARE?

Near death experiences have been studied for years. They show nothing more than the state of the brain before death. There is no credible evidence that people who have such experiences can describe faraway events. This is just hollywood fiction.


You may want to rethink this. There is a lot in journals and books by people in the field who say otherwise.

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Posted: 14 November 2006 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

[quote author=“forthetruth”]Yes. I’m referring to those who make the claim that they can live fufilling lives knowing they face oblivion and will never see their loved ones again. I think people who make such claims have not considered the ramifications of this if true.

You seem to be arguing that we should believe something because it makes us feel good. That is, we should believe that we survive our bodily death because it helps us “live fulfilling lives”. But this is just a bad argument. We should believe what we have evidence to believe, and nothing more. Further, as you have already seen, atheists do live fulfilling and happy lives. We cherish this life very much because it is our only one.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]Who said we are not normally dependent on the brain for our lives?

You did, by saying that we can outlive the death of our brain. If the death of part of the brain kills someone’s personality, memory, abilities, then it stands to reason that the death of the entire brain would kill the person entirely.

[quote author=“forthetruth”]Do you believe in the existence of the mind? The mind is not the same as the brain.

The mind exists because of the brain. It is like software on your computer. Without a computer there is no (functioning) software. Without a brain there is no mind.

And re. near-death experiences:

[quote author=“forthetruth”]There is a lot in journals and books by people in the field who say otherwise.

This is not correct. People having near-death experiences are basically having an endorphin-rush that comes as the brain shuts down. Their images and hallucinations are all perfectly explicable by brain chemistry.

There are also people who tell tall tales, but their experiences are invariably not carefully tested. For more, click here to read an article on the phenomenon . Here is a second article . Here is a third .

I have been quite patient in responding to your messages although they continue to be nearly illegible. If they do not get more easily read I will cease responding to them. Nota bene.

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Posted: 14 November 2006 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Re: The God Delusion

I listened to the interview with Richard Dawkins on his new book called the THE GOD DELUSION. He made a statement to the effect that a person who does not believe in life afer death can live a fulfilling life. I’ve been giving this some thought and i come to an opposite conclusion. If there is no life after death this would lead a person to utter despair.

In 1976 my uncle crashed in an airplane into the Lake Ontario. He was ‘dead’ for a long time; I can’t remember how long, but he was told his case was one of the very rare ones when people are clinically dead for a longer period of time after which they ‘come back’ without any damage to the brain. Well, he did ‘see’ the light, the tunnel, some of his dead friends, and his father (my grandfather) who ‘told’ him it was not yet his time. It has now been thirty years and my uncle, even though a part of his spine is supported by a piece of metal, is doing fine. He sold his airplanes and decided to build boats instead.

Now, does he believe in life after death? Absolutely not! He is lucky, and happy (!), to be alive. He understands that the whole ‘light/tunnel’ experience was some kind of delusion and he is fine with it. He says “it was interesting.”

You say you ‘have been giving it some thought’ after which you came to a conclusion that “If there is no life after death this would lead a person to utter despair.” Well, the only time I see my uncle to experience any kind of “utter despair’” is when I happen to take his queen in a game of chess.  :wink:

BTW, my uncle has also survived a train crash (him, my father, and my grandmother were of the few lucky ones to be alive) and a scorpion bite. Maybe he doesn’t experinces any utter despair because he is immortal. :twisted:

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