1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    15 Nov '14 18:27
    Memo to My Atheist Friends

    If your last days are spent in a hospital, hospice or at home is it likely that you'll remember and/or ponder again for the first time information you've received on this forum regarding "the supernatural... and the life after" as you're dying? -Bob
  2. Standard memberDeepThought
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    15 Nov '14 22:37
    How can I "ponder again for the first time"?

    I don't think fear of death is going to change most of our minds.
  3. SubscriberSuzianne
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    15 Nov '14 23:01
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    How can I "ponder again for the first time"?

    I don't think fear of death is going to change most of our minds.
    News flash:

    Fear of death is not the prime motivation for seeking a higher truth.

    Often a greater motivation is the fear of being alone.


    Hello darkness, my old friend
    I've come to talk with you again
    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains
    Within the sound of silence.

    In restless dreams I walked alone
    Narrow streets of cobblestone
    'Neath the halo of a street lamp
    I turned my collar to the cold and damp
    When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
    That split the night
    And touched the sound of silence.

    And in the naked light I saw
    Ten thousand people, maybe more
    People talking without speaking
    People hearing without listening
    People writing songs that voices never share
    And no one dared
    Disturb the sound of silence.

    "Fools", said I, "You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you"
    But my words, like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed
    In the wells of silence.

    And the people bowed and prayed
    To the neon god they made
    And the sign flashed out its warning
    In the words that it was forming
    And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
    And tenement halls"
    And whispered in the sounds of silence.
  4. Zugzwang
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    15 Nov '14 23:041 edit
    Originally posted by DeepThought to Grampy Bobby
    How can I "ponder again for the first time"?
    I don't think fear of death is going to change most of our minds.
    Who are Grampy Bobby's 'atheist friends'?

    "How can I 'ponder again for the first time'?"
    --DeepThought

    Perhaps you pondered once, then completely forgot about it, and so
    you are pondering for what you sincerely assume is 'the first time'.

    "I don't think fear of death is going to change most of our minds."
    --DeepThought

    The popular American saying, "There are no atheists in foxholes', is false.
    For example, Martin Poppel, a German paratrooper, wrote that, as an atheist,
    he never prayed or appealed to God even during his most hazardous moments
    of combat in the Second World War. Atheist soldiers have proven that they
    can be as ready to sacrifice their lives as religiously devout soldiers in battle.
    Some Japanese kamikaze pilots were atheists. Indeed, a Japanese naval
    officer wrote that Americans should not presume that all Japanese pilots were
    so lacking in scientific knowledge that they must believe in life-after-death.
  5. Zugzwang
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    15 Nov '14 23:071 edit
    Originally posted by Suzianne to DeepThought
    News flash:

    Fear of death is not the prime motivation for seeking a higher truth.
    Often a greater motivation is the fear of being alone.

    Hello darkness, my old friend
    I've come to talk with you again
    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains
    ts are written on the subway walls
    And tenement halls"
    And whispered in the sounds of silence.
    Most people fear some possibilities more than the certainty of death.

    "Often a greater motivation is the fear of being alone."
    --Suzianne

    One can be alone and never be lonely, and one can be lonely and never be alone.
  6. SubscriberFMF
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    15 Nov '14 23:12
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Fear of death is not the prime motivation for seeking a higher truth.

    Often a greater motivation is the fear of being alone.
    Coming to terms with death certainly is a factor behind religiosity, at least according to my lifelong observations. We have the capacity to imagine that we might be immortal. Once this notion (or hope) takes hold, in many people, it takes on the feel of being some kind of self-generating "higher truth" that seems to deal with the question of death and the finiteness of life. This is what religions package and offer their adherents. At the root of it all is the disconcerting inevitability of death. For religious people, believing that it isn't final seems to overcome, in their minds, the finality of it. I believe this is a natural and very common aspect of the human condition.
  7. SubscriberSuzianne
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    15 Nov '14 23:16
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Some Japanese kamikaze pilots were atheists. Indeed, a Japanese naval
    officer wrote that Americans should not presume that all Japanese pilots were
    so lacking in scientific knowledge that they must believe in life-after-death.
    I do not believe that a belief in an afterlife is merely the result of a "lack of scientific knowledge". Many with scientific knowledge still believe in an afterlife, and there are many who do not believe in an afterlife who do not posess scientific knowledge. Knowledge and faith are not polar opposites. You can have one, both, or neither.

    And yet a lack of belief in an afterlife IS a result of a lack of faith.
  8. SubscriberFMF
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    15 Nov '14 23:23
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    If your last days are spent in a hospital, hospice or at home is it likely that you'll remember and/or ponder again for the first time information you've received on this forum regarding "the supernatural... and the life after" as you're dying? -Bob
    I will let atheists address your question for themselves. But as for myself, I would say that the "information [I've] received on this forum regarding 'the supernatural... and the life after'" from Christians ~ and the behaviour/demeanour of many of the Christians as they've sought to impart this purported "knowledge" ~ confirms, reconfirms, and reconfirms, again and again, day after day, the validity of me becoming an ex-Christian and now being a non-Christian. As I have said before, several of the prominent proselytizing Christians on this forum are like lighthouses warning spiritually curious people away from the treacherous religionist rocks they sit atop.
  9. SubscriberFMF
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    15 Nov '14 23:26
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Knowledge and faith are not polar opposites. You can have one, both, or neither. And yet a lack of belief in an afterlife IS a result of a lack of faith.
    Is there some knowledge that you have that prevents you from believing in the kind of reincarnation that Dasa preaches about? Why do you have a "lack of faith" in his particular version of the "afterlife"?
  10. SubscriberSuzianne
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    15 Nov '14 23:29
    Originally posted by FMF
    Coming to terms with death certainly is a factor behind religiosity, at least according to my lifelong observations. We have the capacity to imagine that we might be immortal. Once this notion (or hope) takes hold, in many people, it takes on the feel of being some kind of self-generating "higher truth" that seems to deal with the question of death and the finit ...[text shortened]... , the finality of it. I believe this is a natural and very common aspect of the human condition.
    If you have to categorize every single aspect of life into little labeled boxes, you're certainly free to categorize a belief in God any way you choose. Meaning you can belittle anyone's faith if you so desire. Fortunately, this does not diminish that person's faith, nor does it invalidate it, regardless of how you sort your little boxes.

    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." -- John 3:16, KJV

    While this IS the "good news" of the Gospel, a far better truth can be found in this verse:

    "... I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." -- John 10:10, KJV

    A "more abundant" life is the promise of Christ. If you understood the "joy of life" doctrine, you might not be so quick to invoke the "fear of death" doctrine. The first is a celebration, the second only a repudiation. Don't be so quick to judge.
  11. SubscriberFMF
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    15 Nov '14 23:351 edit
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    If you have to categorize every single aspect of life into little labeled boxes, you're certainly free to categorize a belief in God any way you choose. Meaning you can belittle anyone's faith if you so desire. Fortunately, this does not diminish that person's faith, nor does it invalidate it, regardless of how you sort your little boxes.
    I'm sure you do not actually feel "belittled" by me disagreeing with you and by me perceiving things in a different way from you. I'm also sure your faith is not "diminished" by hearing dissenting opinions and analysis. So I wonder who it is you think you are referring to when when you talk, as you often do, about this belittling and diminishing.
  12. Zugzwang
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    15 Nov '14 23:391 edit
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    I do not believe that a belief in an afterlife is merely the result of a "lack of scientific knowledge". Many with scientific knowledge still believe in an afterlife, and there are many who do not believe in an afterlife who do not posess scientific knowledge. Knowledge and faith are not polar opposites. You can have one, both, or neither.

    And yet a lack of belief in an afterlife IS a result of a lack of faith.
    I referred to the exact words (in English translation) 'scientific knowledge'
    used by Masatake Okumiya in his book _Zero!_ (also written by Jiro Horikoshi).
    Masatake Okumiya takes exception to Americans who ignorantly assumed
    that all Japanese kamikaze pilots volunteered only because they believed
    in the Emperor's divinity and that, after completing their suicidal missions,
    their souls would consort in eternal friendship at Yasukuni Shrine.

    Many Japanese kamikaze pilots did believe that or at least pretended they did.
    Yet there were some atheist Japanese kamikaze pilots who believed there was
    no afterlife, the Emperor was a flawed man, or the war was hopelessly lost.
    By the way, I have read some moving letters from a Christian Japanese
    kamikaze pilot to his mother, asking her not to grieve for him because he
    intended to die in the spirit of Jesus Christ as well as for the Emperor.
  13. SubscriberSuzianne
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    15 Nov '14 23:56
    Originally posted by FMF
    Is there some knowledge that you have that prevents you from believing in the kind of reincarnation that Dasa preaches about? Why do you have a "lack of faith" in his particular version of the "afterlife"?
    Only the Word of God:

    "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" -- Hebrews 9:27, KJV

    My faith is in what God says, not what man says. Do you really expect me to have faith in Dasa over God? It's a real "no-brainer".
  14. SubscriberFMF
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    16 Nov '14 00:04
    Originally posted by Suzianne
    Only the Word of God:

    "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" -- Hebrews 9:27, KJV

    My faith is in what God says, not what man says. Do you really expect me to have faith in Dasa over God? It's a real "no-brainer".
    Then isn't it also a "no-brainer" for people to believe differently from you if they don't accept your assertion that texts like "Hebrews 9:27" are "the Word of God". I didn't say anything about you "having faith in Dasa over God". Is there some knowledge that you have that prevents you from believing that the Vedas are, for all intents and purposes, "the Word of God" in the same way and for the same reasons as "Hebrews 9:27 etc." is?
  15. SubscriberSuzianne
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    16 Nov '14 00:05
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I referred to the exact words (in English translation) 'scientific knowledge'
    used by Masatake Okumiya in his book _Zero!_ (also written by Jiro Horikoshi).
    Masatake Okumiya takes exception to Americans who ignorantly assumed
    that all Japanese kamikaze pilots volunteered only because they believed
    in the Emperor's divinity and that, after completing th ...[text shortened]... ve for him because he
    intended to die in the spirit of Jesus Christ as well as for the Emperor.
    Ignorance is a remarkably flexible thing. It is not given solely to any one race, creed, color, gender, nationality or religion, but sprinkled among all humans. Yes, Americans could ignorantly assume the motivations of all Japanese kamikazes, just as Japanese could ignorantly assume that all Americans assumed this.

    Faith, regardless of flavor, is no hamper to scientific knowledge, and vice versa.
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