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Can atheists be happy?
Posted: 26 March 2013 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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asanta - 20 March 2013 08:50 PM
Chrisan - 20 December 2012 09:54 PM

You guys don’t know who the sandman is?  C’mon.  The sandman comes and sprinkles sand in your eyes so you’ll get all blinkey and tired and fall asleep.  He ain’t a bad dude or anything.  You guys really don’t know who the sandman is?  Jeesh.

Chris

You’re the only other person I know of, who knows who the ‘sandman’ is. I wonder if it is a regional thing. Your description is exactly the same as the one I grew up with in the 50s. It made me terrified of going to sleep. I never understood why parents thought it was such a great threat to convince you to sleep. LOL

I always thought Mr. Sandman was suppose to bring me a dream and make him the cutest man I’ve ever seen.  LOL

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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: 26 March 2013 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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FreeInKy - 17 April 2012 08:11 AM

Okay… the meaning is the same. I would have stated it the other way but I get it. Thanks.

However it was meant, there are plenty of unhappy 5-year olds, kids without enough to eat, without decent clothes, without decent shelter, without at least one decent parent.  It isn’t belief in god that makes kids happy or unhappy but a lot of other factors that too few people focus on. 

Lois

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Posted: 30 March 2013 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Dead Monky - 19 March 2013 08:10 AM
FinallyDecided - 15 March 2013 05:33 AM

Quite the opposite for me. I became much more happy when I left the Christian faith and religion completely. The constant thought and possiblity of an eternity of torment was very depressing and anxiety provoking to me. Also, the seemingly cruel god, who at the same time supposedly loves us. It just doesn’t make sense and all the super-natural aspects are just not plausible.

Ditto.  I have enough problems with depression and self-esteem.  The extra worrying over why a superpowered god that supposedly loves me wouldn’t help me like myself or get some friends or even just give me a damn pick me up so I’d actually want to wake up in the morning just made it all much, much worse.

Agreed. The worry that I put into pleasing this odd god almost made me psychotic, in retrospect.

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Posted: 31 March 2013 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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mid atlantic - 19 March 2013 02:24 PM
Lois - 19 March 2013 11:03 AM
George - 13 April 2012 08:24 AM

Here we go again, confusing correlation for causation. Growing up in the Czech R. I am well aware of the fact that atheists can be a bunch of grumps, but I don’t think it is atheism that causes one to be less happy or religion to be happier.

Being realistic and rational doesn’t make people “happy.” The world is a dangerous place and we are surrounded by dangerous people.  It’s ridiculous to be “happy” under such circumstances.  But, I, for one would rather be realistic, rational and aware of whats going on around me than happily ignorant.  Nobody with a grain of sense can avoid being grumpy a lot of the time.

Lois, you hate life too much. tongue wink

I see where you’re coming from, but happy dispositions are mainly genetic. Regardless of whatever misery is going on around them, happy individuals still are more happy than not.

Unless I’m describing a different meaning of happiness from yours?

No, you misread me.  I have a happy disposition but I try to be realistic at the same time. That’s the only way I can describe it.  I focus on the brighter side of life.

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Posted: 31 March 2013 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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Occam. - 20 March 2013 06:11 PM

There’s also a difference between situational happiness/unhappiness and conceptual happiness/unhappiness.  For example, my wife died last year after a very long illness and that caused me a great deal of situational unhappiness.  However, my general outlook on life is positive so I maintain conceptual happiness.  I think the latter is the more important.

Occam

That’s a great way to look at it, Occam.  Will keep that in mind.

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Posted: 27 April 2013 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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When they are torturing theists they can be ecstatic.

psik

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Posted: 30 April 2013 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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psikeyhackr - 27 April 2013 01:20 PM

When they are torturing theists they can be ecstatic.

psik

Not nearly as ecstatic as theists when they’re slamming atheists.

Lois

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Posted: 01 May 2013 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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Whether you are an atheist or not has nothing to do with happiness. I am christian, but that’s not really mean I am happy. Happiness is an emotions that comes and goes.

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Posted: 04 May 2013 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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I don’t understand why so many people say that happiness is necessarily fleeting. We can cultivate and practice happiness, as the current Dalai Lama expressed in his excellent book The Art of Happiness. You may notice that some people always seem to be happy. It’s not necessarily a matter of inborn disposition; some people commit to it and work on it.

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Posted: 04 May 2013 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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Oh yes, Dalai Lama, the neuroscientist.

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Posted: 04 May 2013 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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George, seriously, what is your problem? You don’t have to be a neuroscientist to lead a good and productive life or to make wise observations about life. When will you get it through your head that no one can live a life of strict materialism? There’s nothing humanistic about the radical position you keep insisting on taking, no matter how many people point out to you what’s wrong with it. I thought you valued reason.

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Posted: 04 May 2013 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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Of course I value reason. But instead of wise and positive observations, I care about what is true. Dalai Lama’s pearls of wisdom on the nature of happiness are as valuable as those of my grandmother’s neighbour’s; although they can be more fun, I suppose. How exactly does Dalai Lama know that happiness is “not necessarily a matter of inborn disposition”?

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Posted: 04 May 2013 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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He may not even think that. It’s my comment, which I make because I see how people can change their approach to life over time, and have done it myself. And it doesn’t take a whole lot of evidence to deny that something isn’t necessarily so. On the contrary, proving that it is necessarily so would require a wealth of evidence, sufficient to establish that happiness is entirely inborn and not influenced at all by choice, habit, practice or the like. Do you have that? If you do, you will do us all a service to provide some links so that we can educate ourselves further.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 04 May 2013 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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Biology has a lot to do with it, and, like always, the environment plays an important role. How exactly it all works out in the end is still anybody’s guess, but surely your opinions, which sound very similar to those of people like Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra and other expersts, add nothing to figuring out what the truth is. Sorry, but this is the CFI and I simply could let it go.

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Posted: 04 May 2013 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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George: Of course you can’t tell the difference between Deepak Chopra, the Dalai Lama, me and no doubt many others. They all sound the same to you because you don’t draw any distinctions around the related subjects of meaning and emotion, rejecting as you do the entire subject matter. But in point of fact, you’ve named three different people who have different views on these subjects, Chopra being the odd man out on most issues of this nature. You’re making a completely unsubstantiated comparison.

When challenged on your previous claim, you shift your position and of course you don’t provide any evidence to support it because you don’t have any. You claim to be a disciple of reason but you are not. All you do is react to anything that sounds to you like it might involve emotion. How many times do you need to hear it: washing emotion and a sense of meaning out of life is not a reasoned position. In fact it isn’t even rational. Homo sapiens is an emotional creature. We have an active hypothalamus and mid-brain, which processes what we call emotion; we derive a sense of meaning from that. All of us do, including you; you just don’t admit it. Ignoring all of that is no better than the theistic fundamentalist ignoring all the evidence that tells us that the earth is more than 6,000 years old. Unthinking fundamentalism is no better coming from an atheist than from a theist; and it isn’t humanistic.

Take the orgasm, for example. You can reduce it to its mechanics all you want. But go ahead, tell us it doesn’t mean anything to you. If it was all just mechanics and nothing more, you wouldn’t bother with it. And maybe you don’t: after all, I don’t know you. But most people value their sex lives, love their kids and find beauty in the world. To disparage all of that is as pointless an endeavor as anyone could imagine: after all, if nothing has any meaning, then why do you claim to care about being rational?

Admitting that you can’t tell the difference between Chopra and the Dalai Lama is like someone who only listens to Top 40 saying that Bach, Mozart and Stravinsky all sound the same; or more aptly, that Schubert’s lieder sound just like Barry Manilow’s pop songs. Such a person doesn’t understand music, and doesn’t appreciate that he’s admitting his ignorance. I’m not exaggerating George: that’s the category you’re putting yourself into with your radical and unsubstantiated position on this subject. What will it take to get you to take another look?

[ Edited: 04 May 2013 07:25 PM by PLaClair ]
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