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Can atheists be happy?
Posted: 17 October 2013 03:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]
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Fish Tumor! - 11 October 2013 10:20 AM

Interesting, I’ve been told time after time that married people with kids live longer then people who aren’t married with no kids. Well for me being married and having kids would be one of the worst things that could happen to me and I wouldn’t be happy at all. If dying sooner is the price I have to pay to be married free and most important child-free then Im very happy to die sooner.

LOL

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Posted: 17 October 2013 03:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]
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Lois - 13 October 2013 06:03 PM
FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 07:53 AM

Very interesting discussion here from a Scientific American Mind article.

Can Atheists Be Happy? Being religious confers big benefits. Time and again, studies have shown that people who have a religious faith are more likely to be healthy and happy than those who lack one. Religious people may even live longer. Go to church and you could outlive your atheist friends by a good seven years, as we report in this issue (see “Healthy Skepticism,” by Sandra Upson). Yet doctors don’t counsel patients to take up Christianity, say, as a way of beating back mental or physical distress. Even if such advice were socially acceptable, it wouldn’t work. Most people can’t just go out and find religion if the idea hadn’t resonated with them before. But finding out the secret ingredients behind religion’s powerful effects might reveal something that could be prescribed.

Post: Can Atheists Be Happy? And Other Answers from Scientific American Mind (The part specifically about unhappy atheists starts near the bottom.)

Basically I think I agree with the general idea. It’s not believing in a deity that confers benefits but possibly more about group identity and support. Which we need more of.

There haven’t been enough atheists surveyed to be able to tell who is happier.  First you have to define what happiness is.  Cocaine addicts are “happy” too, probably happier than Christians when they’re high. What does that have to say about happiness? It’s easy to be “happy” when you’re deluded. There is a lot in this world and this life that only a fool would claim to be happy about. Deluding yourself that everything is going to be all right, is not happiness, it’s a form of insanity that prevents you from understanding what is actually going on around you.

Are you sure you’re not consumed by misery?

[ Edited: 17 October 2013 03:44 AM by mid atlantic ]
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Posted: 17 October 2013 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]
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Quoting MidAtlantic:

Are you sure you’re not consumed by misery?

  I know Lois outside the forum, and I can assure you she’s not consumed by misery.  And, as silly as the comment was, I’ve found that people who accuse others of things like that are quite frequently suffering from their own feelings of inferiority.  Does that ring a bell for you, M-A?

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Posted: 17 October 2013 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]
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Fish Tumor! - 11 October 2013 10:20 AM

Interesting, I’ve been told time after time that married people with kids live longer then people who aren’t married with no kids. Well for me being married and having kids would be one of the worst things that could happen to me and I wouldn’t be happy at all. If dying sooner is the price I have to pay to be married free and most important child-free then Im very happy to die sooner.

You’re being sarcastic right? I can’t imagine a smaller more unimportant life than being single without kids.

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Posted: 21 October 2013 03:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]
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mid atlantic - 17 October 2013 03:41 AM
Lois - 13 October 2013 06:03 PM
FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 07:53 AM

Very interesting discussion here from a Scientific American Mind article.

Can Atheists Be Happy? Being religious confers big benefits. Time and again, studies have shown that people who have a religious faith are more likely to be healthy and happy than those who lack one. Religious people may even live longer. Go to church and you could outlive your atheist friends by a good seven years, as we report in this issue (see “Healthy Skepticism,” by Sandra Upson). Yet doctors don’t counsel patients to take up Christianity, say, as a way of beating back mental or physical distress. Even if such advice were socially acceptable, it wouldn’t work. Most people can’t just go out and find religion if the idea hadn’t resonated with them before. But finding out the secret ingredients behind religion’s powerful effects might reveal something that could be prescribed.

Post: Can Atheists Be Happy? And Other Answers from Scientific American Mind (The part specifically about unhappy atheists starts near the bottom.)

Basically I think I agree with the general idea. It’s not believing in a deity that confers benefits but possibly more about group identity and support. Which we need more of.

There haven’t been enough atheists surveyed to be able to tell who is happier.  First you have to define what happiness is.  Cocaine addicts are “happy” too, probably happier than Christians when they’re high. What does that have to say about happiness? It’s easy to be “happy” when you’re deluded. There is a lot in this world and this life that only a fool would claim to be happy about. Deluding yourself that everything is going to be all right, is not happiness, it’s a form of insanity that prevents you from understanding what is actually going on around you.

Are you sure you’re not consumed by misery?

I’m not consumed by misery but i am also sure that many people are, often for very understandable reasons.

I have certainly met my share of miserable theists, many of whom pray every day. True happiness has nothing to so with belief in the supernatural and such faith often backfires when it comes to happiness.

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Posted: 21 October 2013 03:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]
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Lois - 21 October 2013 03:11 AM
mid atlantic - 17 October 2013 03:41 AM
Lois - 13 October 2013 06:03 PM
FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 07:53 AM

Very interesting discussion here from a Scientific American Mind article.

Can Atheists Be Happy? Being religious confers big benefits. Time and again, studies have shown that people who have a religious faith are more likely to be healthy and happy than those who lack one. Religious people may even live longer. Go to church and you could outlive your atheist friends by a good seven years, as we report in this issue (see “Healthy Skepticism,” by Sandra Upson). Yet doctors don’t counsel patients to take up Christianity, say, as a way of beating back mental or physical distress. Even if such advice were socially acceptable, it wouldn’t work. Most people can’t just go out and find religion if the idea hadn’t resonated with them before. But finding out the secret ingredients behind religion’s powerful effects might reveal something that could be prescribed.

Post: Can Atheists Be Happy? And Other Answers from Scientific American Mind (The part specifically about unhappy atheists starts near the bottom.)

Basically I think I agree with the general idea. It’s not believing in a deity that confers benefits but possibly more about group identity and support. Which we need more of.

There haven’t been enough atheists surveyed to be able to tell who is happier.  First you have to define what happiness is.  Cocaine addicts are “happy” too, probably happier than Christians when they’re high. What does that have to say about happiness? It’s easy to be “happy” when you’re deluded. There is a lot in this world and this life that only a fool would claim to be happy about. Deluding yourself that everything is going to be all right, is not happiness, it’s a form of insanity that prevents you from understanding what is actually going on around you.

Are you sure you’re not consumed by misery?

I’m not consumed by misery but i am also sure that many people are, often for very understandable reasons.

I have certainly met my share of miserable theists, many of whom pray every day. True happiness has nothing to so with belief in the supernatural and such faith often backfires when it comes to happiness.

Well, you don’t have to tell me all this! smile

Hells-bells , I was mainly giving you a hard time with that comment, I should have used an emoticon, though.

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Posted: 21 October 2013 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 112 ]
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mid atlantic - 21 October 2013 03:52 AM
Lois - 21 October 2013 03:11 AM
mid atlantic - 17 October 2013 03:41 AM
Lois - 13 October 2013 06:03 PM
FreeInKy - 13 April 2012 07:53 AM

Very interesting discussion here from a Scientific American Mind article.

Can Atheists Be Happy? Being religious confers big benefits. Time and again, studies have shown that people who have a religious faith are more likely to be healthy and happy than those who lack one. Religious people may even live longer. Go to church and you could outlive your atheist friends by a good seven years, as we report in this issue (see “Healthy Skepticism,” by Sandra Upson). Yet doctors don’t counsel patients to take up Christianity, say, as a way of beating back mental or physical distress. Even if such advice were socially acceptable, it wouldn’t work. Most people can’t just go out and find religion if the idea hadn’t resonated with them before. But finding out the secret ingredients behind religion’s powerful effects might reveal something that could be prescribed.

Post: Can Atheists Be Happy? And Other Answers from Scientific American Mind (The part specifically about unhappy atheists starts near the bottom.)

Basically I think I agree with the general idea. It’s not believing in a deity that confers benefits but possibly more about group identity and support. Which we need more of.

There haven’t been enough atheists surveyed to be able to tell who is happier.  First you have to define what happiness is.  Cocaine addicts are “happy” too, probably happier than Christians when they’re high. What does that have to say about happiness? It’s easy to be “happy” when you’re deluded. There is a lot in this world and this life that only a fool would claim to be happy about. Deluding yourself that everything is going to be all right, is not happiness, it’s a form of insanity that prevents you from understanding what is actually going on around you.

Are you sure you’re not consumed by misery?

I’m not consumed by misery but i am also sure that many people are, often for very understandable reasons.

I have certainly met my share of miserable theists, many of whom pray every day. True happiness has nothing to so with belief in the supernatural and such faith often backfires when it comes to happiness.

Well, you don’t have to tell me all this! smile

Hells-bells , I was mainly giving you a hard time with that comment, I should have used an emoticon, though.

Ok good to hear it. 
Lois

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Posted: 22 November 2013 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 113 ]
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I think it’s important to make a distinction between happiness and joy.  Happiness is a human emotion based on circumstances.  Joy, however, is a spiritual force, a pervasive sense of well-being despite the circumstances, that comes only from God.

The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 6:10).  I recall an evening 20 years ago when my mother was dying and I had just been in a car accident.  I was suffering from severe pain, both emotional and physical.  I was not a happy person.  My circumstances wouldn’t allow it.  I was, in fact, full of wretchedness and despair.

But I recalled the message of the sermon I had heard the previous Sunday, about giving thanks in everything (1 Thess. 5:18), no matter how bleak or desperate the situation.  I started to praise God for my mother, for how glad I was that I had had the privilege of being her daughter, for her gentle spirit, for all the lessons she had taught me, for the way she loved me unconditionally, for the fact that I would see her again and spend eternity with her. 

All of a sudden, I got this tremendous explosion of joy deep within me.  I had never experienced anything like it.  I laughed out loud with the delight of it.  And just as suddenly, I understood exactly what that verse in Nehemiah meant.  I could be joyful because of God, because of who he was, because of what he had done and was doing and would continue to do in my life, because of his love and the fact that I was safe in his care.

So while I think that atheists can certainly be happy by times, I know that they can never experience true joy at its fullest because that is only found in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11) and they have chosen to shut him out of their lives.

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Posted: 22 November 2013 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 114 ]
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Overcomer, you would have to try very hard to be more annoying.

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Posted: 22 November 2013 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 115 ]
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The Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 6:10). 

The Old Testament that you are referring to is a much later recording of oral tales myths that were written down after the return from Babylon to empower a particular ruling class of a small tribe of humans which originated in a small backwater of the today’s Middle East called Jerusalem.  By accident it was also the area where the first alphabet originated, a major advance over hieroglyphics that was the manner of writing of the time.  This combined with the various political and social uses that the natives of the area and the people of later generations have put it to have made of major importance to Western Civilization.  Without the Greek and later Roman invasions of this backwater, few would ever have heard of it, let alone be still arguing about it today.

Bottom line the Biblical writings are human writings used, as always for many different purposes, both good and evil, by many different humans.  There is no big daddy in the sky to bail us out when we screw up.  Take responsibility for your own actions and I will take responsibility for mine.  No one makes either of us do anything but ourselves.

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Posted: 22 November 2013 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 116 ]
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Sorry Overcomer, but I’m limited by both the rules of the forum and my position as a moderator from calling you a nut.  It’s clear from the little story you told that you were in pain and you managed to self-hypnotize to block it. 

As soon as one starts redefining words, one loses both the audience and the argument.  Sorry, but your definition of “joy” is quite incorrect and therefore meaningless to anyone who reads your post. 

I have no criticism of your belief in fairytales, but it seems to be a waste of time for you to try to force them on the thinking people on this forum.

Occam

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Posted: 22 November 2013 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 117 ]
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Overcomer - 22 November 2013 12:58 PM

So while I think that atheists can certainly be happy by times, I know that they can never experience true joy at its fullest because that is only found in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11) and they have chosen to shut him out of their lives.

What about atheists who chose to shut god out, but he comes in anyways?
Then those atheists are not atheists anymore but born again right?

So actually nobody chooses to shut god out right? god is more powerful than that.
god must choose to forsake those people who don’t recognize him. Because he could easily make atheists know him and believe in him right?

But god chooses not to use his powers to make everybody believe.

So how does god view all of the people that do accept him? Knowing that ultimately he forced them to believe in him?

Why did god create people who accept him and people who don’t accept him?

[ Edited: 22 November 2013 02:20 PM by VYAZMA ]
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Posted: 22 November 2013 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 118 ]
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Overcomer - 22 November 2013 12:58 PM

So while I think that atheists can certainly be happy by times, I know that they can never experience true joy at its fullest because that is only found in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11) and they have chosen to shut him out of their lives.

I once looked at a leaf in Fall. It had a rainbow of colors from the green life it had spent all summer to reds and golds then dying brown on its edges. The entire story of what it is to be alive in the palm of my hand. I looked up at the trees around me and marveled at the billions of years it took to create the cycle that they go through each year, without even thinking about it. As I reflected, I marveled further that I could reflect at all. I stopped breathing as I realized how much I knew and how much more I don’t know and how it all goes on regardless of my knowing it or not or reflecting on it or not. I forced my lungs to fill with air again and went back to chopping wood. Winter was coming and someone at home needed me to finish the job.

Joyful enough for ya?

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Posted: 22 November 2013 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 119 ]
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Beautiful, Lausten, beautiful. I’ve been there, usually while off by myself taking nature photos. I get lost in the moment and feel a spiritual connection to my surroundings. This also happens when I am looking through my telescope at the beautiful sights in our galaxy and beyond. I do not need a god to feel this connection. Reality is more fascinating than any mythology.

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Posted: 23 November 2013 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 120 ]
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So while I think that atheists can certainly be happy by times, I know that they can never experience true joy at its fullest because that is only found in the presence of God (Psalm 16:11) and they have chosen to shut him out of their lives.


How would you know what “true joy” is like for an atheist if you never experienced it AS an atheist? You see joy, happiness, fulfillment through the filter of an antiquated belief system where ancient scribes and holy men direct and control your life. You’re living in a self imposed cage of laws and customs attributed to, as Gary aptly put it a backwater community absorbed by a pagan empire and fighting to maintain a cultural existence. Atheists experience joy and fulfillment and also depression and despair but not via some nonexistent puppetmaster. We can enjoy a sunset on the ocean with as much awe, wonder and connection to the real World as any xtian, but without a supernatural connection. Try leaving your cage sometime; you’ll experience true joy in freedom.


Cap’t Jack

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