What is the point of life?

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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edwardmurphy
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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby edwardmurphy » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:49 pm

Philip wrote:
Edward: Ice, literally everything that B.W. ever says about atheism is false. He doesn't understand atheism and he doesn't want to. He'd rather just make something up.


What a statement to make, Ed - apparently you do not know that B.W. spent much of his own life as a militant atheist. I'd say he intimately understands how atheists think and well knows all of their many assertions and supposedly intellectual arguments. So, Ice, please just ignore Ed's ridiculous comment.


I know that he says that he was once an atheist. He and I have discussed it at length on these boards. The problem is that while claiming to be an atheist he adds that back then he was angry with god because of some things that happened in his life. That's NOT and atheist. Maybe it's a lapsed Christian, or a disgruntled theist, or a harsh critic of organized religion, but if you're mad at god then you believe in him, and if you believe in him then you're NOT an atheist. I've also seen B.W. build and demolish a great many really crazy "atheist" straw men. Long story short, asking B.W. about atheism is like asking Glen Beck about Woodrow Wilson. You're not going to get detailed, dispassionate analysis, you're going to get a raving mad diatribe.

@Ice -

Neo covered your original question better than I could have. He's 100% correct - there's no dilemma. I haven't killed myself because I want to live. I want to go to ballgames, and hold my wife, and watch my daughters grow up. Whether or not there's an afterlife is completely immaterial. I'm here now and I'm going to stay for as long as I can, because I value this experience. If you can't understand that then I'm sad for you. Stop wasting your time here and go find something to care about. Seriously, get a dog.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby edwardmurphy » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:09 pm

B. W. wrote:Your comments to me prove that you do not value my life or point of view and prove you incapable of being able to live up to your own progressive liberal standards...


Horse pucky. I'm not sure what valuing your life has to do with anything, so I'm not going to get into it. As far as valuing your point of view, you've frequently informed me that socialist, communist, liberal, progressive, atheists like me are deliberately destroying the country. That's silly, inaccurate, and insulting. Why would I value it?
If you're accustomed to privilege equality may feel like oppression.

Something for us all to consider. (Thanks, Paul)

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby patrick » Fri Jan 22, 2016 11:50 pm

IceMobster wrote:
neo-x:Seriously?

I think it's quite insulting to say that an atheist should kill him or herself because they don't think there is an afterlife.

I said I would do so if I became an atheist.


IceMobster, I'm a bit confused about your position. Are you saying that you'd never consider atheism, because if you did you'd see no point in living and kill yourself?

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby neo-x » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:31 am

Nicki wrote:
neo-x wrote:@Icemobster
No one should believe in God because there is an afterlife, period.

I am amused you are trying to appeal to this to point out the "atheist dilemma". They don't have this dilemma. It's like asking a fish about the charms of travelling on land and if they reply they don't care, you think they have a dilemma.

Seriously?

I think it's quite insulting to say that an atheist should kill him or herself because they don't think there is an afterlife.


Agreed by me - not sure about the bit in bold though. I don't think I'd be too worried if I was an atheist to think there was no afterlife - I'd think that this life is what we have, however it came about, that we're lucky to have it (especially us Westerners who tend to live quite comfortably) and we should make the most of it. When we die, I'd think, we'll probably know nothing, so there will be no ultimate judgement for how we lived - no need to worry about our final destination!

But I believe that the universe must have been made by God, and because of the special nature of the Bible over other writings I believe it reveals this God, so it's what he says about life after death that goes.


I Nicki, all I am saying is that the scare of afterlife or the meaninglessness of life with God are moot points to convince someone that there is a God. I have seen countless people who try to be religious and pious just so that could escape hell on judgement day. I just think it's the wrong reason to do so.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby neo-x » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:46 am

@Icemobster
neo-x wrote:
@Icemobster
No one should believe in God because there is an afterlife, period.

I am amused you are trying to appeal to this to point out the "atheist dilemma". They don't have this dilemma. It's like asking a fish about the charms of travelling on land and if they reply they don't care, you think they have a dilemma.

Seriously?

I think it's quite insulting to say that an atheist should kill him or herself because they don't think there is an afterlife.

I said I would do so if I became an atheist. Sorry for insulting you (or anyone). That was not my intention.
Anyway, I am not sure such allegory can be given to correctly describe the theism and atheism situation?
Could you explain the first sentence, please? How do you see the afterlife, then?


Not all atheists (or theists for that matter) are the same. Just look at the Christians on this board, all Christians but we argue on a lot of stuff and probably disagree on a lot more than we agree on. The same is for atheists. I know atheists who believe in telepathy, ghosts and aliens but not God. There are atheists who like to live and let live and then we have the ones which are fanatics. Some follow atheism as a philosophy of life, a way of life, others don't.

Meaning doesn't always have the same resonance with us like emotions do. People die for their love for their partners, country or religion, sometimes senselessly, with no meaning at all really. But it has meaning to them, just not in an objective universal, afterlife way. And that is why no atheist is agreeing with you because it is simply not true for them. People love their children regardless of any meaning of afterlife. You only have to open your eyes to see that.

To them, life without an afterlife is still great and it doesn't make things meaningless, only meaningless in hindsight. Something that is not important to them when they are already dead!!!

This is just a silly way to convince them that their lives have no meaning. I doubt this is going to be meaningful to anyone. Unless you only want to insult non-believers which whether you know you're doing or not, you actually are. We call it a strawman, just something that has no meaning to them.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby Philip » Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:01 am

Neo: Nicki, all I am saying is that the scare of afterlife or the meaninglessness of life with God are moot points to convince someone that there is a God.


Well, Jesus and the Apostle Paul certainly found it important to warn of such - Jesus most bluntly and redundantly. So, there are proper times and situations to warn of such.

And I'm sure when B.W. says he was angry at God - and he can elaborate - I'd imagine, at the time He didn't actually believe He existed, but was very angry that the cruel world we see could be the result of a God (and, no, the evil is man-caused), and thus his ever greater anger at people exspousing a God belief, especially with the many that were hypocrites. But was he aware, at the time, that he was angry at God - ask him - I doubt someone whom declares himself a passionate atheist has such an insight. B.W.'s likely came with spiritual hindsight. B.W.?

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby IceMobster » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:05 am

edwardmurphy wrote:@Ice -

Neo covered your original question better than I could have. He's 100% correct - there's no dilemma. I haven't killed myself because I want to live. I want to go to ballgames, and hold my wife, and watch my daughters grow up. Whether or not there's an afterlife is completely immaterial. I'm here now and I'm going to stay for as long as I can, because I value this experience. If you can't understand that then I'm sad for you. Stop wasting your time here and go find something to care about. Seriously, get a dog.

I can understand that. No need to be sad for me. This is what I ask for - to hear other's opinions on the topic. I am far from "wasting time here", imo.

patrick wrote:
IceMobster wrote:
neo-x:Seriously?

I think it's quite insulting to say that an atheist should kill him or herself because they don't think there is an afterlife.

I said I would do so if I became an atheist.


IceMobster, I'm a bit confused about your position. Are you saying that you'd never consider atheism, because if you did you'd see no point in living and kill yourself?

I'd never be an atheist. By asking questions about it to hear other people's opinion about it is considering, no? And, yes, that pretty much sums it up.

neo-x wrote:@Icemobster
neo-x wrote:
@Icemobster
No one should believe in God because there is an afterlife, period.

I am amused you are trying to appeal to this to point out the "atheist dilemma". They don't have this dilemma. It's like asking a fish about the charms of travelling on land and if they reply they don't care, you think they have a dilemma.

Seriously?

I think it's quite insulting to say that an atheist should kill him or herself because they don't think there is an afterlife.

I said I would do so if I became an atheist. Sorry for insulting you (or anyone). That was not my intention.
Anyway, I am not sure such allegory can be given to correctly describe the theism and atheism situation?
Could you explain the first sentence, please? How do you see the afterlife, then?


Not all atheists (or theists for that matter) are the same. Just look at the Christians on this board, all Christians but we argue on a lot of stuff and probably disagree on a lot more than we agree on. The same is for atheists. I know atheists who believe in telepathy, ghosts and aliens but not God. There are atheists who like to live and let live and then we have the ones which are fanatics. Some follow atheism as a philosophy of life, a way of life, others don't.

Meaning doesn't always have the same resonance with us like emotions do. People die for their love for their partners, country or religion, sometimes senselessly, with no meaning at all really. But it has meaning to them, just not in an objective universal, afterlife way. And that is why no atheist is agreeing with you because it is simply not true for them. People love their children regardless of any meaning of afterlife. You only have to open your eyes to see that.

To them, life without an afterlife is still great and it doesn't make things meaningless, only meaningless in hindsight. Something that is not important to them when they are already dead!!!

This is just a silly way to convince them that their lives have no meaning. I doubt this is going to be meaningful to anyone. Unless you only want to insult non-believers which whether you know you're doing or not, you actually are. We call it a strawman, just something that has no meaning to them.

Well, boohoo, is there something I can say that doesn't insult someone in 2016? As I said, all I want is get information from them as to why they are living (where eddie gave a good reason) and why are they atheists...
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

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Fecisti nos ad te, Domine, et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te!

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby neo-x » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:07 am

Philip wrote:
Neo: Nicki, all I am saying is that the scare of afterlife or the meaninglessness of life with God are moot points to convince someone that there is a God.


Well, Jesus and the Apostle Paul certainly found it important to warn of such - Jesus most bluntly and redundantly. So, there are proper times and situations to warn of such.

And I'm sure when B.W. says he was angry at God - and he can elaborate - I'd imagine, at the time He didn't actually believe He existed, but was very angry that the cruel world we see could be the result of a God (and, no, the evil is man-caused), and thus his ever greater anger at people exspousing a God belief, especially with the many that were hypocrites. But was he aware, at the time, that he was angry at God - ask him - I doubt someone whom declares himself a passionate atheist has such an insight. B.W.'s likely came with spiritual hindsight. B.W.?


When I was an atheist, I was not angry at God because to me he was never there. And the cruelty of the world was not my concern at all. But yes I'd like to know B.W thoughts on his own experience.

I agree that there may be a proper time for such warning, right now in this thread that is not it.

Also, Jesus did warn more bluntly but then he was also doing stuff B.W, you and me are not able to do, like making blind people see or raising the dead. Those words were accompanied with powerful stuff, not logical debates.

But anyways, I think over-zealous behaviour can backfire, like we are seeing here. For all good intent and purposes of those proposing this argument, it is quite weak and quite unfruitful so far. You haven't even found a common ground. It's just strawmen trading blows on both sides.

How hard it is to accept that this so called "athiest dilemma" is no dilemma to them? If you guys keep on misrepresenting each other to convince the other person they are wrong then I fail to see how this dialogue will progress.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby neo-x » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:10 am

IceMobster wrote:
edwardmurphy wrote:@Ice -

Neo covered your original question better than I could have. He's 100% correct - there's no dilemma. I haven't killed myself because I want to live. I want to go to ballgames, and hold my wife, and watch my daughters grow up. Whether or not there's an afterlife is completely immaterial. I'm here now and I'm going to stay for as long as I can, because I value this experience. If you can't understand that then I'm sad for you. Stop wasting your time here and go find something to care about. Seriously, get a dog.

I can understand that. No need to be sad for me. This is what I ask for - to hear other's opinions on the topic. I am far from "wasting time here", imo.

patrick wrote:
IceMobster wrote:
neo-x:Seriously?

I think it's quite insulting to say that an atheist should kill him or herself because they don't think there is an afterlife.

I said I would do so if I became an atheist.


IceMobster, I'm a bit confused about your position. Are you saying that you'd never consider atheism, because if you did you'd see no point in living and kill yourself?

I'd never be an atheist. By asking questions about it to hear other people's opinion about it is considering, no? And, yes, that pretty much sums it up.

neo-x wrote:@Icemobster
neo-x wrote:
@Icemobster
No one should believe in God because there is an afterlife, period.

I am amused you are trying to appeal to this to point out the "atheist dilemma". They don't have this dilemma. It's like asking a fish about the charms of travelling on land and if they reply they don't care, you think they have a dilemma.

Seriously?

I think it's quite insulting to say that an atheist should kill him or herself because they don't think there is an afterlife.

I said I would do so if I became an atheist. Sorry for insulting you (or anyone). That was not my intention.
Anyway, I am not sure such allegory can be given to correctly describe the theism and atheism situation?
Could you explain the first sentence, please? How do you see the afterlife, then?


Not all atheists (or theists for that matter) are the same. Just look at the Christians on this board, all Christians but we argue on a lot of stuff and probably disagree on a lot more than we agree on. The same is for atheists. I know atheists who believe in telepathy, ghosts and aliens but not God. There are atheists who like to live and let live and then we have the ones which are fanatics. Some follow atheism as a philosophy of life, a way of life, others don't.

Meaning doesn't always have the same resonance with us like emotions do. People die for their love for their partners, country or religion, sometimes senselessly, with no meaning at all really. But it has meaning to them, just not in an objective universal, afterlife way. And that is why no atheist is agreeing with you because it is simply not true for them. People love their children regardless of any meaning of afterlife. You only have to open your eyes to see that.

To them, life without an afterlife is still great and it doesn't make things meaningless, only meaningless in hindsight. Something that is not important to them when they are already dead!!!

This is just a silly way to convince them that their lives have no meaning. I doubt this is going to be meaningful to anyone. Unless you only want to insult non-believers which whether you know you're doing or not, you actually are. We call it a strawman, just something that has no meaning to them.

Well, boohoo, is there something I can say that doesn't insult someone in 2016? As I said, all I want is get information from them as to why they are living (where eddie gave a good reason) and why are they atheists...


Not if you want to really understand why they are who they are. Carry on, if your tone is understanding you may get the reasons.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby edwardmurphy » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:15 am

Philip wrote:And I'm sure when B.W. says he was angry at God - and he can elaborate - I'd imagine, at the time He didn't actually believe He existed, but was very angry that the cruel world we see could be the result of a God (and, no, the evil is man-caused), and thus his ever greater anger at people espousing a God belief, especially with the many that were hypocrites. But was he aware, at the time, that he was angry at God - ask him - I doubt someone whom declares himself a passionate atheist has such an insight. B.W.'s likely came with spiritual hindsight. B.W.?


I just read what he said and took it at face value. One conversation is in the middle of that thread about the Paris attacks if you want to see it. Anyway, I came away with the following:

1) When he was an atheist he hated god.
2) He turned away from god due to painful personal experiences, and he assumes that I (and presumably all other atheists) must have done the same.

B.W., if I'm misinterpreting your words feel free to correct me. I will now stop talking about you like you're not here. It's starting to feel weird.

IceMobster wrote:Well, boohoo, is there something I can say that doesn't insult someone in 2016? As I said, all I want is get information from them as to why they are living (where eddie gave a good reason) and why are they atheists...


If your goal is to communicate, especially about a potentially divisive subject, then you have to choose your words carefully. I have pretty thick skin, and Audie and Kenny seem to as well, but asking atheists why they don't just kill themselves is a pretty rude question.

I wasn't actually offended, just kind of taken aback by your comment. It baffles me that anyone could possible come to believe that their life is finite, and then respond to that revelation by shortening it even more. That makes no sense at all. Oh well. Whatever. As an atheist I have to field a lot of unintentionally stupid, deliberately hyperbolic, and intentionally insulting questions. For example:

- Are you an atheist because you just want to sin all the time?
- How can I trust you if you don't believe in god?
- God gives us morality, so as an atheist you have none. Why don't you just run around stealing and murdering people?
- What went wrong in your life to cause you to reject god?
- When you're sitting at your dying child's bedside you'll change your tune, right?
- Why are you trying to destroy Christianity?
- How can you be an atheist when Hitler and Stalin were?

and finally,

- If you don't believe in god and life is meaningless why don't you just kill yourself?

Those kinds of questions don't really bother me anymore. Often they're intended to wound, but I've just heard them too often to care anymore. All they accomplish is to reveal that the person asking them can't get their head around any worldview other than their own, and probably doesn't want to. So be it. That's not my problem.

Anyway, Neo is right - if you're asking questions out of a sincere desire to understand an alternative worldview then it would make sense to take it down a notch.
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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby Storyteller » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:20 pm

Maybe people ask those sorts of questions to shock, to make you pause for thought? Remember ed, according to what we believe, we are discussing the most important thing in our lives. Salvation.

What hope do we have of convincing you of what we believe, really? Personally I think all we can do is explain, like you did why.

Sure, I believe in God, and Christ. I have always believed in God. Not having any belief is as alien to me as my belief probably is to you.

One thing though. Faith and religion are different.
Religion doesnt always have to be part of God but faith is.

Just because I have faith in God doesnt mean I have all the answers, or that I am somehow superior to anyone else, it just means that I believe in God.

Sometimes, passions run high. People get passionate about things they care about and as condescending as it sounds Christians care about atheists because we want you to be saved.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby IceMobster » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:40 pm

edwardmurphy wrote:
IceMobster wrote:Well, boohoo, is there something I can say that doesn't insult someone in 2016? As I said, all I want is get information from them as to why they are living (where eddie gave a good reason) and why are they atheists...


If your goal is to communicate, especially about a potentially divisive subject, then you have to choose your words carefully. I have pretty thick skin, and Audie and Kenny seem to as well, but asking atheists why they don't just kill themselves is a pretty rude question.

I wasn't actually offended, just kind of taken aback by your comment. It baffles me that anyone could possible come to believe that their life is finite, and then respond to that revelation by shortening it even more. That makes no sense at all. Oh well. Whatever. As an atheist I have to field a lot of unintentionally stupid, deliberately hyperbolic, and intentionally insulting questions. For example:

- Are you an atheist because you just want to sin all the time?
- How can I trust you if you don't believe in god?
- God gives us morality, so as an atheist you have none. Why don't you just run around stealing and murdering people?
- What went wrong in your life to cause you to reject god?
- When you're sitting at your dying child's bedside you'll change your tune, right?
- Why are you trying to destroy Christianity?
- How can you be an atheist when Hitler and Stalin were?

and finally,

- If you don't believe in god and life is meaningless why don't you just kill yourself?

Those kinds of questions don't really bother me anymore. Often they're intended to wound, but I've just heard them too often to care anymore. All they accomplish is to reveal that the person asking them can't get their head around any worldview other than their own, and probably doesn't want to. So be it. That's not my problem.

Anyway, Neo is right - if you're asking questions out of a sincere desire to understand an alternative worldview then it would make sense to take it down a notch.

Well, those questions, apart from mine (imo), make no sense.
Anyway, Hitler was not an atheist.
"Often they're intended to wound", as I said a few times, that was not my intention.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby patrick » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:46 pm

IceMobster wrote:
patrick wrote:
IceMobster wrote:
neo-x:Seriously?

I think it's quite insulting to say that an atheist should kill him or herself because they don't think there is an afterlife.

I said I would do so if I became an atheist.


IceMobster, I'm a bit confused about your position. Are you saying that you'd never consider atheism, because if you did you'd see no point in living and kill yourself?

I'd never be an atheist. By asking questions about it to hear other people's opinion about it is considering, no? And, yes, that pretty much sums it up.


Well if you'd never consider atheism for yourself, then no, not in the way I meant, but I understand where you're coming from now.

And while I'm no longer an atheist, I think as long as there's something you care about that you'd be abandoning by killing yourself, it's rather absurd to choose to abandon prematurely. Yes, our lives will ultimately come to an end, but so too will the lives of those we care about.

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby IceMobster » Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:20 pm

Audie wrote:Why enjoy summer if you know winter is coming?

I am not sure I fully understood what you wanted to say with this. Mind explaining it?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGOXMf6yDCU

Fecisti nos ad te, Domine, et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te!

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Re: What is the point of life?

Postby Nessa » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:08 pm

IceMobster wrote:
Audie wrote:Why enjoy summer if you know winter is coming?

I am not sure I fully understood what you wanted to say with this. Mind explaining it?

You can can enjoy summer knowing winter is coming as you can enjoy life knowing death is coming.

But the enjoyment would ultimately be meaningless.


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