Originally posted by pcaspian
Read an article in N. Scientist and in a flurry of social experiments, seems when confronted with the thought of mortality, on avergage, people's level of anxiety rose quite substantially. In one study, people tended to become more insular when reminded of their mortality. They tended to group together where they shared common bonds. In another study, a group of judges showed a substantial increase in duration of sentences passed down to convicted criminals just after being show images of death.
I can believe this would happen.
I guess that would explain the behaviour of so many athiests at RHP. Christians truely are a thorn in their sides. The concept of Hell only perpetuates the problem for athiests. Not only are they going to die, but a horrible future awaits them. In that respect I do feel empathy for a athiests at RHP
As an atheist I do not believe in the concept of hell and as such have absolutely no problem regarding life after death. For me, there is nothing else.
Unfortunitely they are constantly reminded of their mortality, the essential insignificance of their existance.
This is true, but why should I have a problem with this? It is christians that believe there is something more, since I do not, I have no fear of what needs to be done in the meantime. In the words of Monty Python in the Life of Brian: "You come from nothing, you end up as nothing, what have you lost? Nothing."
For that reason I think creating a new forum specifically to discuss this topic is good, but still I try to understand why someone who has no interest or belief in God would need to post in this forum. I can only come to the conclusion that the "athiest" is not an athiest, but a person desperately trying to prove their view to themselves, so that atleast they can feel at ease.
I may have no belief, but I have a very great interest. Do not misunderstand me when I say this, I am not seeking answers about the supernatural, or trying to fill a gap in my soul. I am greatly interested in the reasoning of thesits to explain their beliefs, I find it fascinating, infuriating, amusing, awesome and various other adjectives, I seek to know more about their thougts, not my own.
For it would be impossible to live a life believing eternal damnation awaits you in the afterlife and for that reason attacking views that paint you in this light is essential.
As I have mentioned above, you seem to be suggesting that someone can claim not to believe in god, and yet still believe in hell/life after death. I do not see how these two contradictory stances are possible.
Granted there are indeed those that truely do not believe in God, and they will indeed live a happier life, for they truely believe death will be the end for them. I guess these athiests would be the equivalent of a Christian not believing in Budha.
I'm not sure I agree with your analogy, but you are correct in your assumption that they exist and are happy.
They would truely not care about what another person sais primarily because they don't believe any of it holds any truth.
This is not true at all, you are making a leap of reason here. Although I may disagree with a view you put forth, this does not mean I do not care about your putting it forth.
Another article I read a few months ago in N.Scientist regarding happyness was that the very religious and the very athiest were (when regarding theology) the happier, whist those in the middle (who were uncertain of their stance) the most unhappy.
I agree this would seem to make sense. A strong self belief/knowledge is a secure place to build a personality and life upon.
This I would guess also compliments my point above.
Partly, although I have expressed my disagreement with parts of your post thus far.
Why is it that the same posters always need to attack Christians ? Is it the element of truth that scares them, are they truely concerned about Christians ruining the world, or do they simply despise someone reminding them of their lack of salvation. For them I suppose Christianity truely seems a curse.
Let me clarify between these various types of poster.
1) If you mean those who insult and ridicule theists withut offering a rational debate, I would be equally disappointed with these people.
2) If you mean criticism through debate, which may at times lead to heated and confrontational posting, then you misunderstand the reasons for their posts. It is not so much that they are attacking christians, but that they are attacking the abandonment of reason. There is (IMO) nothing more infuriating than the abandonment of reason. It can be witnessed all the time from theists; tangentalisation, changing of the subject, or choosing small parts of a larger point and attempting to shift these into a different area to support an otherwise failing arguement. These things are like waving a red flag to a bull.
I've little doubt this post will anger many. I've little doubt many will reply in anger, or sarcasm.
Actually I was not angered in the slightest, I thought it was provocative, but sensible.
Truthfully I have empathy for those of you that consider yourselves athiests. I can imagine it must feel very crap when someone tells you such news.
I'm not sure where you're going with this, what news do you mean exactly?
It is like someone telling you the world will end in 5 years time and there is nothing that can be done to save you. You may ask "Why did you tell me in the first place!". Now if I tell you that you have a 30% chance of surviving, IF you dedicate the next 4 years and 11 months to building a spacecraft, would you ? Would you not think "What is the point, I'd rather live the next 5 years to its fullest capacity!". Well that is a fair point, for you are weighing the opportunity cost of dedicating your life to building this spaceship that you don't even know will save your life, afterall the next 5 years are extremely precious to you, they're all you have left !
I agree life is the only important thing we really have, how we choose to live it is what defines us, but I am still somewhat unclear about the analogy.
This is the dilemma, for most athiest (heck for most Christians) you have family members, grandparents, parents, loved one's that were not Christians, so, when a Christian claims you need to know Jesus to be saved, what they are really saying is that your loved one's were not saved. And if that is the case then God must be bad, because your parents or loved ones were good people.
That has never been a concern of mine, and upon reading your post it remains without weight. I do not believe they needed saving, you are presupposing the truth of your stance on those poeple and how that will affeect me. Since I do not have a belief in god, I have no doubt that my grandparents were not saved, as there is nothing to be saved by or from.
The problem with this analogy is that every person needs to make a choice. The Christian God is not a God that wants vengeance, indeed He is a God that so much loved the world that He had His only son killed by the very thing that wants His salvation. It is similar to a type of cancer that kills your child and then begs for your mercy. How can this God then create a concept of Hell, but have enough love to offer mankind a chance at salvation and eternal paradise ?
I'm not sure everyone does need to make a choice, I am still undecided about a "Normative State" for humans. However, I can tell you that once I embarked on trying to understand reason more fully, god was eliminated as a choice, I did not opt for one and not the other, one choice was taken away. Atheism is the only possibility if reason is followed properly. I would remind you of the difference between a 'lack of belief' and 'belief there is no god'. I have a lack of belief.
An interesting dilema. I thus ask those that do not consider themselves saved, should there by any, to openly discuss their views regarding the concept of the Christian God (not the reality, the concept) and what problem they have with this concept. Should any of you wish to discuss this by PM, that would be fine with me, otherwise could be reserve this thread for only those that honestly care to debate the issue. Again, I ask only for the input of those that either reject the notion of a Christian God, or do not believe in God at all.
On the subject of hell, I think it is strange to say that christianity is a religion of peace and forgiveness, when there is always the threat of violence. Hell is a threat and no subject concerned with peace and forgiveness would consist of threats. I will add more to the debate when it gets going.