1. Standard membersumydid
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    25 Oct '11 05:08
    The greater the knowledge, the greater the sadness.

    Does anyone disagree?

    I think it's true on a certain level for all people. But I would argue that it's the Atheist that this is most true for.

    Certainly the more we learn, the more we realize what a dreadful, toilsome, hollow, existence we have on this sewer of a planet. And in the end we die--and our best hope is to die quickly and painlessly.

    Now I would say that we Christians have our faith; and this helps mitigate the inevitable sadness we feel as we learn about this cursed place -- because we know that in the end, we will be taken home to a place of beauty, joy, peace, and happiness.

    However, for the Atheists, this life is all we've got. So the adage is especially true for them. In their eyes, all we get is this one miserable existence and then we die and it's curtains. However, since the increase in knowledge makes the Atheist more aware of how dreadful and pointless life is, I am certain that--if not on a subconcious level--the goal would be to stay as blissfully ignorant as possible. The goal would be to turn the radio up, keep the distractions intact as much as possible, and try not to slow down long enough to really ponder how pointless and sad all of this is.

    I've known many unbelievers who act very much like that. They (the people I'm speaking of, too many to mention) keep everything on a very shallow level and stay very busy... many of them party constantly or socialize constantly. I see it as a way for them to avoid those deep thoughts that reveal that everything they are doing is... for nothing. Just killing time.

    Thoughts?
  2. Cape Town
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    25 Oct '11 05:13
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Thoughts?
    I think you have hit the nail on the head. Most believers are in fact ignorant atheists choosing to remain ignorant because they are afraid of the knowledge that there is no God.
    People who profess to be atheists on the other hand, by and large come to accept reality and are on the whole much happier.
  3. Standard membersumydid
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    25 Oct '11 05:30
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I think you have hit the nail on the head. Most believers are in fact ignorant atheists choosing to remain ignorant because they are afraid of the knowledge that there is no God.
    People who profess to be atheists on the other hand, by and large come to accept reality and are on the whole much happier.
    A believer can't be an Atheist--ignorant or otherwise.

    And though I admit that the thought of God not existing does frighten me, in likewise manner, the thought of God existing surely frightens many an Atheist.
  4. Cape Town
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    25 Oct '11 07:41
    Originally posted by sumydid
    A believer can't be an Atheist--ignorant or otherwise.
    That is merely a question of definitions. If someone is ignorant that God does not exist then they are a believer. If they suspect that God does not exist, but don't want to find out the truth because they are afraid, then they are ignorant atheists.

    And though I admit that the thought of God not existing does frighten me, in likewise manner, the thought of God existing surely frightens many an Atheist.
    It probably scares as many theists as atheists. It doesn't scare me however. It deeply saddens me. If a God exists, then it is deeply saddening that such a powerful being is so lacking in compassion.
  5. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    25 Oct '11 09:45
    Originally posted by sumydid
    The greater the knowledge, the greater the sadness.

    Does anyone disagree?

    I think it's true on a certain level for all people. But I would argue that it's the Atheist that this is most true for.

    Certainly the more we learn, the more we realize what a dreadful, toilsome, hollow, existence we have on this sewer of a planet. And in the end we die--an ...[text shortened]... reveal that everything they are doing is... for nothing. Just killing time.

    Thoughts?
    Agree. Ignorance is bliss. When we pry one eye open ,(the inner eye on the spirit/soul), we are faced with the prospect of transcending our egos- a very tough proposition.

    The greater knowledge the greater the sadness because we start to see the many corrupt forces in the world ,not only undermining our financial systems ,(the rich getting richer,etc.), but also throwing doubt into the spiritual systems we have in place. Faith is needed here. Faith that we had it right in the first place and that we generally have things right bar some fine-tuning. (Thats where I'm at anyway)
  6. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    25 Oct '11 11:511 edit
    Originally posted by sumydid
    The greater the knowledge, the greater the sadness.

    Does anyone disagree?

    I think it's true on a certain level for all people. But I would argue that it's the Atheist that this is most true for.

    Certainly the more we learn, the more we realize what a dreadful, toilsome, hollow, existence we have on this sewer of a planet. And in the end we die--an reveal that everything they are doing is... for nothing. Just killing time.

    Thoughts?
    The greater the knowledge of absolute truth, the keener the awareness of the necessity of making pivotal life or death choices and the greater the internal pressure to make them correctly. Life on earth is no longer an 'Eat, drink and be merry' game of mindless diversions and distractions designed to blur the unsettling realization that our souls are immortal and will live at one of two addresses for all eternity. Wallowing in ignorance, buying into the old lie that ignorance is bliss, is no longer on the table as a live option. Crux issue doesn't concern the accumulation of academic information or esoteric speculations. It does concern moving out of darkness into light. Plato's Cave provides a glimpse of this bothersome concept. Paul was initially blinded by it on the road to Damascus.

    gb
  7. Cape Town
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    25 Oct '11 12:06
    Originally posted by sumydid
    Now I would say that we Christians have our faith; and this helps mitigate the inevitable sadness we feel as we learn about this cursed place -- because we know that in the end, we will be taken home to a place of beauty, joy, peace, and happiness.
    I have been thinking about this thread, and I am wondering why you think that the title is still valid. You, as a Christian claim to be comforted by knowledge of God. Does this not contradict you quote? Why are you saddened by greater knowledge?
  8. Donationrwingett
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    25 Oct '11 12:17
    Originally posted by sumydid
    A believer can't be an Atheist--ignorant or otherwise.

    And though I admit that the thought of God not existing does frighten me, in likewise manner, the thought of God existing surely frightens many an Atheist.
    You assume that if there is a god that he will be as you imagine him. It's possible that there is a god, but he bears no relation to your conception of him.
  9. Wat?
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    25 Oct '11 12:29
    Should one find a man who points out faults and who reproves, let him follow such a wise and sagacious person as one would a guide to hidden treasure. It is always better, and never worse, to cultivate such an association.

    Let him admonish, instruct and shield one from wrong; he, indeed, is dear to the good and detestable to the evil.

    Do not associate with evil companions; do not seek the fellowship of the vile. Associate with the good friends; seek the fellowship of noble men.

    He who drinks deep the Dhamma lives happily with a tranquil mind. The wise man ever delights in the Dhamma made known by the Noble One (the Buddha).

    Irrigators regulate the rivers; fletchers straighten the arrow shaft; carpenters shape the wood; the wise control themselves.

    Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so the wise are not affected by praise or blame.

    On hearing the Teachings, the wise become perfectly purified, like a lake deep, clear and still.

    The good renounce (attachment for) everything. The virtuous do not prattle with a yearning for pleasures. The wise show no elation or depression when touched by happiness or sorrow.

    He is indeed virtuous, wise, and righteous who neither for his own sake nor for the sake of another (does any wrong), who does not crave for sons, wealth, or kingdom, and does not desire success by unjust means.

    Few among men are those who cross to the farther shore. The rest, the bulk of men, only run up and down the hither bank.

    But those who act according to the perfectly taught Dhamma will cross the realm of Death, so difficult to cross.

    Abandoning the dark way, let the wise man cultivate the bright path. Having gone from home to homelessness, let him yearn for that delight in detachment, so difficult to enjoy. Giving up sensual pleasures, with no attachment, let the wise man cleanse himself of defilements of the mind.

    Those whose minds have reached full excellence in the factors of enlightenment, who, having renounced acquisitiveness, rejoice in not clinging to things — rid of cankers, glowing with wisdom, they have attained Nibbana in this very life.

    Buddha.
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    25 Oct '11 12:38
    Originally posted by sumydid
    The greater the knowledge, the greater the sadness.

    Does anyone disagree?

    I think it's true on a certain level for all people. But I would argue that it's the Atheist that this is most true for.

    Certainly the more we learn, the more we realize what a dreadful, toilsome, hollow, existence we have on this sewer of a planet. And in the end we die--an ...[text shortened]... reveal that everything they are doing is... for nothing. Just killing time.

    Thoughts?
    You talk about "how dreadful and pointless life is" and observe what you see as atheists "keep[ing] everything on a very shallow level and stay[ing] very busy... many of them [opting to] party constantly or socialize constantly". Mightn't atheists look at theists and see their religionist activities in a very similar light - staying busy, keeping everything on a very shallow level (i.e. memorized and internalized dogma about immortality etc.), socializing at churches/mosques/temples and events - just "mitigat[ing] the inevitable sadness" by subscribing to something so fundamentally speculative and escapist that it could quite easily be framed as just another form of "blissful ignorance".
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    25 Oct '11 14:22
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I think you have hit the nail on the head. Most believers are in fact ignorant atheists choosing to remain ignorant because they are afraid of the knowledge that there is no God.
    People who profess to be atheists on the other hand, by and large come to accept reality and are on the whole much happier.
    that is not knowledge. knowledge is the heisenberg principle (and that might change).

    the absence of proof of one thing doesn't mean that thing isn't real. (sure, it doesn't mean it is). string theory is not proven but that doesn't stops scientists from pursuing it hoping to prove it(or disprove it)
  12. Cape Town
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    25 Oct '11 16:02
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    that is not knowledge.

    the absence of proof of one thing doesn't mean that thing isn't real.
    I never said anything about absence of proof nor claimed that it meant that something wasn't real. I said that ignorance of the fact that God doesn't exist seems to be bliss for many Christians, and they hold tight to this ignorance for fear of what greater knowledge will bring them.

    Interestingly most atheists seem to have come to terms with the absence of God and you do not often hear them expressing fear of death. It is the Christians who seem to obsess about death even though they claim it is of less consequence for them.
  13. Wat?
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    25 Oct '11 16:26
    Originally posted by sumydid
    However, for the Atheists, this life is all we've got. So the adage is especially true for them. In their eyes, all we get is this one miserable existence and then we die and it's curtains
    However, for the Atheists, this life is all we've got. So the adage is especially true for them. In their eyes, all we get is this one miserable existence and then we die and it's curtains

    I think you are missing one important point my friend.

    You have banded all atheists as one belief, and that we ALL believe this is one existance.

    You are not ignorant enough to not know Buddhism, and the belief in after life.

    If you believe we live in miserable lives, despite the current disasters, I surely read you wrong?

    -m.
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    25 Oct '11 17:241 edit
    Originally posted by sumydid
    The greater the knowledge, the greater the sadness.

    Does anyone disagree?

    I think it's true on a certain level for all people. But I would argue that it's the Atheist that this is most true for.

    Certainly the more we learn, the more we realize what a dreadful, toilsome, hollow, existence we have on this sewer of a planet. And in the end we die--an reveal that everything they are doing is... for nothing. Just killing time.

    Thoughts?
    The greater the knowledge, the greater the sadness.

    I think it is somewhat bizarre that you would read 'wisdom' into this: it is just a rather vacuous catch-phrase that serves as proxy for one’s projecting his own feelings of misology and casting them into universals about the human condition.

    Certainly the more we learn, the more we realize what a dreadful, toilsome, hollow, existence we have on this sewer of a planet.

    Which planet are you on then? Could you explain how the things you learn, in say a normal day, imply these sorts of conclusions?

    Now I would say that we Christians have our faith; and this helps mitigate the inevitable sadness we feel as we learn about this cursed place -- because we know that in the end, we will be taken home to a place of beauty, joy, peace, and happiness.

    Maybe you should try to actually address the root of such sadness in some genuine way. There may be many lines of attack to help you out here. For instance, you could try something like dharma practice. You should strive to understand things for what they really are, warts and all. This will give you a clear mind for some path toward acceptance for things you cannot change, while still leaving it in your hands to do the most you can with everything else. I mean, what more could you ask for than this, even in principle?

    However, since the increase in knowledge makes the Atheist more aware of how dreadful and pointless life is, I am certain that--if not on a subconcious level--the goal would be to stay as blissfully ignorant as possible.

    Just because, regarding the set of things you cannot really change, there is some discrepancy between the way things are and the way you would like them to be, that does not imply that things as they are, are pointless or dreadful. That's just bad logic on your part. Anyway, the idea that increases in knowledge invariably promote negative feelings about one's existence is patently false. And, at any rate, if one realizes the impermanence of things and himself, that should just as well give him even more reason to value his life and be ever more vigilant in the present, and it is not at all clear how ignorance would play to his benefit here.

    I've known many unbelievers who act very much like that. They (the people I'm speaking of, too many to mention) keep everything on a very shallow level and stay very busy... many of them party constantly or socialize constantly. I see it as a way for them to avoid those deep thoughts that reveal that everything they are doing is... for nothing. Just killing time.

    What chutzpah. That's incredibly patronizing of you, to presume that you understand the "shallowness" that pervades all the activity and projects of so many unbelievers. But, there is another problem with this argument as well. If you're going to presume to tell me that the "real" reasons underlying my normal activity, say, is that I just cannot bear the thought that I will not live forever and ever and ever and ever and ever; I may as well just presume to tell you that the "real" reasons that you buy into all the silly religious fairy tales is that you just cannot bear the thought that you will not live forever and ever and ever and ever and ever. That is – hilariously -- if your argument were right, we would both in this respect be in the same boat – the boat to which you presume to stick your nose up to.
  15. Donationbbarr
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    25 Oct '11 19:06
    Originally posted by sumydid
    The greater the knowledge, the greater the sadness.

    Does anyone disagree?

    I think it's true on a certain level for all people. But I would argue that it's the Atheist that this is most true for.

    Certainly the more we learn, the more we realize what a dreadful, toilsome, hollow, existence we have on this sewer of a planet. And in the end we die--an ...[text shortened]... reveal that everything they are doing is... for nothing. Just killing time.

    Thoughts?
    How can one disagree with a Rorschach Test? You read off of it your commitments. For one disposed to denigrate this life in favor of some life everlasting, everything unrelated to the pursuit of that end will seem futile. But if you're not with Soloman; if you're, say, with Socrates or Aristotle, then this life will be organized around the pursuit of different ends, the pursuit of which may be more than vanity or "chasing after the wind".
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