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Is everything we're doing wrong or useless?

  1. Jun 19, 2005 #1
    Just a bit of background before I start this thread: I'm was raised in an Orthodox Christian family but was recently introduced to the idea of atheism. I didn't really like the idea of atheism because I'd like to have a God in my life more than not...the idea of atheism was just disturbing because I found that all along I had no real proof of God's existence and I was just relying on my faith. So, I kept trying to find some kind of proof for God's existence or something tangible I can use to justify the 18 years I spent worshiping God...as you probably guessed, I failed. I couldn't find a proof against God's existence either so I decided to just stay a good christian like I was raised.

    Anyways, a few days ago I was looking at the alternatives again and I thought of the following: There are two possibilities...either God exists or not.
    Assuming that the best decision to make is the one that gets you the most good in the future, in the first case the best thing to do would be to just worship God and basically do nothing else (ie. become a monk in a monastery somewhere). That, according to my religion, would do me the most good furthest down the road. However, I'm don't think I'm going to do that any time soon.

    In the second case, where God doesn't exist, life just becomes a big mario game without a princess at the end. Why play the game if at the end all that is waiting for you is a huge hole that mario can't jump over? To get married and have children, get a good job, etc...? Then what? If you really think about the big picture it's just like saying: I know this mario game is unbeatable but I'm just playing because I want to get the mushrooms or something. What good are the mushrooms or the gold coins if you know you're heading right to that big hole and you will lose all of it anyways? All the things we are working for are just temporary..right? To me, it seems that the most logical thing to do is to try to have as much fun as you can while playing the game and when the game gets hard or boring or when you're just not having fun anymore you...quit. But then again, I don't think I'm going to do that any time soon.

    Both choices look kindda wrong and pretty depressing so I decided to just ignore what I thought of and keep going with the flow. I only considered those two cases because I'm really not interested in changing my religion to something else like Buddhism. It's either Christianity or Atheism for me.

    I just made this thread because I wanted to know what you guys think. Am I completely wrong? Am I just a bored college kid and when I get older my view of the world will change?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2005 #2


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    I vote for the Mario Game, so much more fun than thinking about something that might be there.

    Note: Who said the game is over anyways?
  4. Jun 19, 2005 #3
    You can believe in God or Not.

    The most important thing is to live your Life to the fullest. You don't have much time on this planet. Religious people make me sad, especially monks whom devote all their life doing nothing.

    You can believe in a Religion, but you don't have to be religious. Being Religious takes it to the extreme. Anything taken to the extreme should be stopped. Look at Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, they are terrorising in the sake of their religion and belief. In other words they've taken religion to the extreme.

    Live your life. I assure you if there is a God, God would not want to see your life wasted by worshipping every second of the day.

    Focus on the real and concrete, that's what Scientist do. Religious people butcher the real and concrete.
  5. Jun 19, 2005 #4


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    Being religious takes it to the extreme.... so going to a building for an hour or 2 every sunday is akin to murdering 3,000 innocent people and toppling 2 rather nice buildings???

    Some Atheists are horrible when it comes to how they bash religion. They need to just let people live their lives because in most cases, there not bugging anyone. Might as well call people who play basketball sad or people who drive BMW's sad. Ive never seen someone successfully defend their hatred for religious people. Its pretty much, fear what you dont understand as usual.

    I edited that to say some because i didnt want to be like the above poster who generalized billions of people based on his own hatreds and prejudices
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2005
  6. Jun 19, 2005 #5


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    No, you do the most you can with the time you have; you be the best you can be; you strive to make yourself better, each day, at whatever you choose as your path. The satisfaction of achievement, of creation, or of discovery, is the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
  7. Jun 19, 2005 #6


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    .... no one has the answers, no one can illustrate whether the right way to go about would be being religious or an atheist, doing what suits ones own perceptions, look on life and "philosophy" is IMHO the way to life your life being "happy". No matter whether you're a monk or doing whatever, IMHO living in a way leaving one feel alive, without being boxed by anyone elses prejudices, motifs, opinions and so forth.
  8. Jun 19, 2005 #7
    U don't need proofs for God existence, u need proofs to deny it...

    If u r on the crossroads, there's no way to determine what's better, u can't go on worshipping God if u don't beleive anymore, so it's gonna be useless anyway. But if u still have faith then i guess u'd better try to find out more, instead of givin it up..

    My whole family including me are orthodox, but i really don't like orthodox style, in anything not just religion...U don't live ur life just to give praise to the lord, u live ur life to enjoy it, be happy through people and make people happy through u...Try to make out the best of it everyday..I believe we were created to be happy..And so be it.

    Monks doesn't live in monastries because they figured out there's nothing else to do as long as there's God, but because they figured out that this is how they can enjoy their lifetime..
  9. Jun 19, 2005 #8


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    If your going to use proof/no proof, you put them in the wrong order Nomy. But of course, religious people dont have proof but thats what faith is about.

    People seem to think that being a monk must suck because they what, dont get to go to vegas? Dont get to enjoy a good football game? ... or is it that they dont have to deal with vegas or getting their next paycheck or getting mugged on the street or "striving" for something that in the end, no one cares about.
  10. Jun 19, 2005 #9
    No i didn't put them in the wrong order, my faith is my proof that god exists, but no one gave me a olid proof that god doesn't exist..

    And don't say science, science isn't even solid enough for such a question...
  11. Jun 19, 2005 #10
    Many religious people look for a 'reason' for their lives - which is fine. Atheists like myself don't need a reason. We are here, life is great, lets enjoy it!

    You don't need to have a religion to be a decent, moral or kind person, nor does religion necessarily give you these things.

    There is no proof of God, or non-proof of God and there never will be - Religion is called 'Faith' for good reason!

    Enjoy life, be nice, help others, love your friends and family and die happy not wishing you'd done more things. If religion makes you happy, go with it. If you don't like or need religion, don't feel guilty about it or just 'do religion' to keep others happy with how you've turned out.

    Personally, I've lived a great life so far and do my best to help others in life where I can. I'm no saint, or sinner but when I die I expect that to be the end.
    If a God does exist who then wants to punish me for not worshipping him, then fair enough, bad call! However, why would I want to spend my life worshipping a God like that in the first place!
  12. Jun 19, 2005 #11


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    See Adrian, what people should do lol, is worship just as a safety precaution. No god... well everyone losses eitehr way... if there is a God, well... the punishment for being wrong truely infinitely sucks.
  13. Jun 19, 2005 #12
    I think atheists need reasons to live; everybody does. Make goals for yourself, give yourself reasons. Believing in God is just one way of doing this.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2005
  14. Jun 19, 2005 #13


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    Regardless whether one is a theist or atheist,

    Or one tries to be a good, kind, thoughtful, considerate, honest, just and otherwise righteous person.

    Simply work at making the world a better place than when one came into it.

    And when that is done, simply marvel at the natural beauty of world, of which we are all parts.

    As for being religious, putting aside the mystical and metaphysical aspects, being 'religious' means living life with due deliberation, with thought as to the consequences of one's action, and accepting responsibility for one's actions. Being religious means living life with purpose and dedication to a set of values (i.e. good, kind, thoughtful, considerate, honest, just . . . ).

    Undoubtedly, as one becomes older, one's perspective will change with experience.

    One can certainly be an atheist and be 'religious'.
  15. Jun 19, 2005 #14
    I don't think so, u see i donno what's the reson for my life except that i should be happy, cause everything is set for my own good...(that's what people who believe in god are supposed to believe)

    But i've an atheist friend who thinks that okay there's a great life there, i cna enjoy my life, take my responsabilities, be happy make others happy, but yet i'm goin to fade away in the end, and nothing more can be done about that..It's hopeless and useless, and this though deprived him from enjoying his life and being happy, he's mostly depressed cause he can't find a reason..

    IMO this is not what makes a person happy or not, it's clear i've chosen my way...But still i know that what i beleive in gives me an xtra something that i know and that i'm responsable for, and that's anothe motivation...And i kno that no matter hwo abd it's goin, that there's something good out there and that i've the right to enjoy it..But also the responsabiliy towards others..

    My little cousins would be extreemly happy if i went by this morning and played a little with them, and i'd spend some nice time, and seeing their smiles and laughters, i knwo i'm having a greta day after wards..

    Alright i didn't want to get this far but here, so i beleive that God is love, and i beleive that also a part of God or this love is inside each one of us, this makes us all one...It gives another dimension to ur life. And this discovery for me came after so long that i felt that god no longer existed in my life, that i tried to look around and forget a out religion and stuff, and try to make out the best of this life..

    Certainly this thought is relacing, i'm not saying that an atheist wouldn't think or do the same, but i'm saying that feelin it deep inside, affects u

    There r many peopel everyday in the church, but they have no compassion for each other, they r just doin their duty, their homework..But after sunday prayers, it's all gone. I donno what kind of use was that??
  16. Jun 19, 2005 #15
    Who said I was atheist? I didn't generalize billion's of people. There are just some people out there that says everything that happens on this planet is an act of God. Some people who think things that are thrown up in the air, come back down because of God.

    What I meant when I said Religious people: I was talking about those nuts who waste everyday of their life praying. I don't look at Christians and say their religious. Some of them are, and some aren't. The one's that are, don't just spend one Sunday of worship, they spend every damn day to worship.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2005
  17. Jun 19, 2005 #16


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    That argument is called Pascal's Wager.
  18. Jun 19, 2005 #17


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    You know you have almost my conserns.I think you're 18 and when I was 18,I really had a terrible hours.I didn't know what the hell I was supposed to do in the world.I met religious people and even atheist people.And I didn't like their lives and beliefs about God,world...
    Some of religious people always tells me not to do it coz it has a bad penalty in the world.if you don't obey God's orders all the time even for 1 second,he'll take everything from you and makes you miserable in both worlds.Th God whom they were talking about was so cruel.I remembered I worshiped him by fear rather than love.
    And I always talked to myself and said " if God is as cruel as they say,I don't like him.How he can be fair when he's so cruel?how could he give me athourity when he doen't let me to choose?".So I always kept saying to myself "I hate this cruel God!"I thought he always left me alone in hard situations and then others told me "he's so kind!"
    Now I think I know him better.after lots of thinking and seeing the result of some bad and god events in my life.I can't remember what exactly Einstein said about God but he meant "God is clever but he doesn't want to bother us!"I think he doen't like alot people who spend whole their lives in a special place and worshiping him.How can they claim they choose God always when they isolate themselves from real world?It seems that there's nothing to take them away from their real path!Although it's really difficult to choose this way at first."out of sight,out of mind!"
    Imagine all people did the same thing,so no we would live like people who lived 1000 years before us.no discovery or anything else.He has angles to worship him 24 seven.so why does he creat us!
    I think he create us in the world and put lots of temptation in our way,he wants us to live in this world and enjoy of whatever he creats but never forgets him and never prefer anything more than his love.
    Do what you like but never hurts others and more important than the others yourself.and remember "You're God is the God of mercy not punishment!"but this nice God will never forgive you if you hurt others and for sure pay you back even in this world.
  19. Jun 19, 2005 #18
    I put my God and Maria even in my toilet . becos i supertious thinking therell be evels from teh toilet bowl, i afraid my kid scarce when enterin at night
  20. Jun 19, 2005 #19
    I think I need to make one thing clear first: I'm not looking for an answer to whether God exists or not right now. I'm just considering the cases and what the best thing to do in each case would be.

    Ok, now that this is out of the way, you all made very good points. I especially liked the one about monks living in monasteries not because they figured out that there's nothing else to do as long as God is there, but because this is the way of life that makes them happy. However, are they really happy? Or are they just happy because they know they are doing something that will make them happy after they die?

    After thinking about this a little more, I figured that in the first case (Where God exists) people should live to make themselves happy in this life and after they die. You don't have to be a monk, you can try to enjoy your life and be a good person to be happy after you die also. The catch is tho...when the game gets hard, when you're struggling with life, and when you're getting no happiness out of it you can't quit you have to try your best to be happy after you die even if it costs you years of sadness in this life.

    In the second case (where God doesn't exist), like I said before, the most logical thing to do would be to live your life and have as much fun as you can but when the game gets hard and you're struggling, you just quit because in the big picture...everything you're doing is pretty much useless if death is the end anyways...right?
  21. Jun 19, 2005 #20


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    You can do this whether you believe in a god or not. My opinion is that living your life in this way is the best approach. If there is no god and no afterlife, you haven't wasted your time away doing nothing and subjecting yourself to an unhappy life in a futile attempt at a better afterlife. If there is a god and an afterlife, then that approach makes you a better person and will help you be better to others around you, surely a good way to win a ticket to a good afterlife.

    Also, believing in a god doesn't mean you have to adhere to the tenets of one particular religion, nor does believing in the existence of a god guarantee there will be some form of an afterlife. There's also nothing that says you can't be a good person while having fun and feeling satisfied in your life. Being a kind, generous person brings many of its own rewards and atheism doesn't require abandoning that approach to life (atheism doesn't require anything; that's the unsettling part to people who have grown up with religion and are accustomed to a set of rules for living and now are on their own to make their own rules). Really, the only difference is that in atheism, you're good to others because it makes you feel good and then they are good to you in return. It maximizes your enjoyment of this life while you're living it. (Being bitter, mean, and hedonistic isn't as fun as it's all cracked up to be; all it gains you is a life of loneliness, which is a horrible way to live.) For those who believe in a god, they are good to others for the sake of the future reward of a good afterlife, but they will still reap all the rewards of being good while living this life too. You don't need to be ascetic to be good, in fact, I think being ascetic is a pretty selfish way to live because it's a way of isolating yourself from the world rather than bringing good into it.
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