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Can atheists be happy?
Posted: 23 November 2013 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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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.

Really?  That’s a little insulting, given that you don’t have a clue about human neurology.  Have you ever given birth to a child?  While VERY PAINFUL, there is nothing that compares to holding your first born child the moment s/he comes into the world.  His/her first steps.  Watching them exploring the world with fresh eyes, learning and doing new things, bringing you artwork, flowers, a hug, and seeing them grow up into adults.  There is nothing like seeing a sunset or sunrise.  There is also nothing like seeing a wolf, standing perfectly still as it observes you, looking him/her in the eyes, as s/he decides you are no threat, and moves on his/her way, leaving you to go where you wish to go.  That, is also totally awesome.  The awe and wonder of nature and the universe gives the same sort of awe and wonder as what you attribute to your god concept.  My grandfather, who was a Xian, also experienced these feelings often, in relationship to nature, and he called it God’s Country, but his reaction was no different than mine.  Do an MRI or alike test, the same areas of the brain light up in both the religious and the non-religious.

These are all emotions, including your god concept, and what you attribute to a deity, as well as joy, is nothing more than a neurological reaction.  It’s the same thing, except the external stimuli that you attribute to a deity is nothing more music, candles, a preacher and alike, triggering these neurological reactions.  The only difference is, we attribute our joy to reality and you attribute your joy to your human concept of a deity.  Some people, such as pantheists and naturalists, may say, the wolf is god, but they don’t mean it like you do. Some Taoists do similar.  Hindus also have a different concept of deity than you do and some don’t actually believe in the gods, but they experience great joy.  Some humanists and many atheists drop the concept of a deity when talking about these things.

I think Neil de Grasse Tyson, an agnostic, said it best in his lecture, when he said that he looks at the universe and says things that sound very much like when the religious talk about their god, the only difference is, he knows his joy, awe, and wonder about the world is at that moment, between him and nature, and caused by the neurology in his brain.  I can relate to what he says in this short clip of his lecture very well, which also gives me great joy, because he knows and understands what I often experience from other humans, nature, the earth, and the universe.  It’s a little less than 10 minutes long, so you aren’t missing a thing in relationship to your mental masturbation with your god concept and you might end up learning something too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RjW5-4IiSc

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“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 06 July 2017 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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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.

How gracious of you to allow a little bit of happiness. That filled me with joy.

As far as the superstitious part, Atheists simply do not believe it. You claim and choose.

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Posted: 06 July 2017 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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Snoopy - 06 July 2017 01:55 PM
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.

How gracious of you to allow a little bit of happiness. That filled me with joy.

As far as the superstitious part, Atheists simply do not believe it. You claim and choose.

Oh, the chosen ones are always happier than atheists,  the evidence is all around.  Religious wars, terrorism, and last but not least prejudice and exclusion
                                              choir.gif

[ Edited: 06 July 2017 03:46 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 07 July 2017 10:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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Occam. - 14 April 2012 09:54 AM

I seem to recall a study that showed that people who have a strong social life with a group tend to outlive loners.  While it’s only correlation, this may contribute to the results reported since churches are based on connected groups while there is a low frequency of atheists in the population along with the scarcity of atheist based groups.

Occam

I have found no scarcity of atheist grouos and they are growing everywhere.  Besides that, we don’t need groups that think exactly the way we do. It’s religious people who seem to have a strange need for that, even to the point of demonizing very one who thinks differemtly. Most social gatherengs are non religious and it doesn’t matter to atheists if they are made up of atheists or not. It’s religious people who often restrict their socializing to groups who think just like themselves.  I have never known an atheist who needs people to think the way he or she does about religion or philosophy. There is just no need for it. Atheists might spend some time in atheist groups but they spend most of their time in groups made up of people from all belief systems. It’s certain religious people who insist on being with people to think exclusively the way they do. That’s one reason they are so lopsided in their thinking.

[ Edited: 08 July 2017 12:57 PM by LoisL ]
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Posted: 07 July 2017 11:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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LoisL - 07 July 2017 10:23 PM
Occam. - 14 April 2012 09:54 AM

I seem to recall a study that showed that people who have a strong social life with a group tend to outlive loners.  While it’s only correlation, this may contribute to the results reported since churches are based on connected groups while there is a low frequency of atheists in the population along with the scarcity of atheist based groups.

Occam

I have found no scarcity of atheist grouos and they are growing everywhere.  Besides that, we don’t need groups that think exactly the way we do. It’s religious people who seem to have a strange need for that, even to the point of demonizing very one who thinks differemtly. Most social gatherengs are non religious and it doesn’t matter to atheists if they are made up of atheosts or not. It’s religious people who often restrict their socializing to groups who think just like theselves.  I have never known an atheist who needs people to think the way he or she does about religion or philosophy. There is just no need for it. Atheists might spend some time in atheist groups but they spend most of their time in groups made up of people from all belief systems. It’s certain religious people who insist on being with people to think exclusively the way they do. That’s one reason they are so lopsided in their thinking.

IMO, most all religions claim exclusive Truth, which of course breeds prejudice against all other philosophical viewpoints.

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Posted: 08 July 2017 03:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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Can atheists be happy? Hell yes they can….though it seems to be uncommon - especially around here.

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Posted: 08 July 2017 05:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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Beltane - 08 July 2017 03:35 AM

Can atheists be happy? Hell yes they can….though it seems to be uncommon - especially around here.

Understanding reality sometimes brings pain. OTOH, there is the expression “ignorance is bliss”. Which do you prefer?

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Posted: 08 July 2017 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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Beltane - 08 July 2017 03:35 AM

Can atheists be happy? Hell yes they can….though it seems to be uncommon - especially around here.

I haven’t noticed that. I see a lot more unhappiness among religious people. They are always out to demonize other religions and atheists. Well, I suppose one could make a case that doing that makes them “happy,” but they don’t look happy. They look and act demonic.

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[color=red“Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.”
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Posted: 10 July 2017 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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Beltane - 08 July 2017 03:35 AM

Can atheists be happy? Hell yes they can….though it seems to be uncommon - especially around here.

You noticed that too!

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Posted: 10 July 2017 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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MikeYohe - 10 July 2017 12:45 PM
Beltane - 08 July 2017 03:35 AM

Can atheists be happy? Hell yes they can….though it seems to be uncommon - especially around here.

You noticed that too!

 

Well, it seems that this thread may compared to a long term test. Four years after the last post of the original OP question, we can now ask if anyone is more or less happy than four years ago?

Personally, I believe that generally I am as happy as I ever was.  However with the additional knowledge I have gained during these past four years, I can say that at both ends my emotions have deepened .

I am more emotionally affected to see the horrors being suffered by people or animals from various situations, OTOH I am also more emotionally affected by observing nature and say, watching the incredible variety of courtship rituals dedicated to the survival of species.

It’s truly a wonderful world.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zfgFfC5kOs

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Posted: 10 July 2017 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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As atheist I am standing in awe of the true origins of life as we now understand it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlAQLgTwJ_A  (start watching at 25.10)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzgHZBr_m1Y

This IS truth revealed through science, not religion.

btw. The Pontifical Academy of Science (Vatican) has now recognized that evolution is true.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/10/28/pope-francis-backs-theory-of-evolution-says-god-is-no-wizard/?utm_term=.20b53f187208

[ Edited: 10 July 2017 05:26 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 11 July 2017 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
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mid atlantic - 13 April 2012 11:17 PM

I’ve heard that before, but I don’t really buy it.  There is however a correlation between intellegence and unhappiness; and for the lack of a better word,“stupid” people are less likely to be atheists.  Maybe that is what’s going on?

I also feel that one has to be significantly stupid in order to be very happy. Believing in the absurdities of religions surely can take one’s mind off of seeking the mystery of life and of the universe. The seriously religious minds have less to think and be puzzled with, unlike the ones that are not religious. Believing in an almighty can also be a good way to avoid the stresses of methodically trying to find solutions to one’s own problems as well those of others. Being comfortable with a religious identity precludes even the simple question of “why should I think that what I believe is right and what someone else believes is wrong.”

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Posted: 11 July 2017 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 133 ]
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Sukhamaya (Sam) Bain - 11 July 2017 01:28 PM

Believing in the absurdities of religions surely can take one’s mind off of seeking the mystery of life and of the universe. The seriously religious minds have less to think and be puzzled with, unlike the ones that are not religious. Believing in an almighty can also be a good way to avoid the stresses of methodically trying to find solutions to one’s own problems as well those of others. Being comfortable with a religious identity precludes even the simple question of “why should I think that what I believe is right and what someone else believes is wrong.”

And thus we hit upon the master stroke of Reagan’s marriage with those greedy evangelical christian types.

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/18/the_evangelical_presidency_reagans_dangerous_love_affair_with_the_christian_right/

SATURDAY, APR 9, 2016 12:45 PM MDT
Ignorance, racism and rage: The GOP’s transformation to the party of stupid started long before Donald Trump
Shift from conscience-driven party of Lincoln to anger-driven party of Trump/Cruz has been 50 years in the making
AMY KITTELSTROM

The top leadership of the Republican Party expresses horror at the popularity of Donald Trump as though his positions and values are somehow alien from their own. This is disingenuous. As other commentators have observed, the presidential candidacy of the bigoted, misogynist, ignorant Trump is a creature of the party’s own making.

This Frankentrump was not fashioned in a mere eight years, however. The Obama administration suffered only from an acceleration of Republican partisanship, not a change in its character. Instead, the transformation of the Republican base from the conscience-driven party of Lincoln to the anger-driven party of Trump has been a half-century in the making. ...

... The Republican wooing of these voters took time and delicacy. Never did its strategists aim to become the party of blatant racism. Instead, they created concepts like the “moral majority,” “religious right,” “family values” and even color-blindness in order to attract white voters concerned about African-American socio-economic and political gains. And in so doing, they betrayed their moral roots in three ways.

First, Republicans allowed bigotry safe haven under the guise of morality, in the very name of morality, by broadcasting scary tales of black urban life as though it were proof of the irredeemable inferiority of African Americans.

... Second, the Republican Party adopted fixed positions on issues. The nineteenth-century liberal commitment to open-mindedness had meant that any position was only provisional, awaiting the testimony of further evidence or wider viewpoints for modification. For many decades now, the Republicans have insisted ...

... Finally, the Republican Party has increasingly refused to engage in meaningful dialogue with its opponents. It has betrayed its origins in the culture of learning by attacking higher education in the United States — the colleges and universities all too liable to teach young people how to think critically — and by trying to privatize public education in the names of meritocracy and religious freedom. ...  http://www.salon.com/2016/04/09/ignorance_racism_and_rage_the_gops_transformation_to_the_party_of_stupid_started_long_before_donald_trump/

Sorry for going off topic, but hey it’s a silly topic anyways.  tongue rolleye

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