Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is it a worthy cause to pursue the fundamentals of our existence?

  1. Jul 3, 2003 #1

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    is it a worthy cause to pursue the fundamentals of our existence?
    i am an atheist but when the final results of a long search are
    realised it comes down to two posibilities, we dont know ,or god created everything full stop, so that leaves me two options become
    religeous or stay ignorant, or is there another option?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 3, 2003 #2
    Because we are ignorant we may learn. Is that such a horrible fate?
     
  4. Jul 3, 2003 #3
    Actually there's just one option: ignorance. Rather than religion being a matter of "be religious or stay ignorant", the real options are "be ignorant and pretend you're not or admit ignorance".

    Religious people don't know anything more than we atheists, they simply choose to believe in one of the infinite possibilities above all others, and then convince themselves they "know" it. That is not a remedie for ignorance. If anything, it is another layer of it.

    The reality is that a bunch of primates crawling around on a speck of dust in an insignificant corner of this vast cosmos has about as much chance of knowing WHY the universe or anything exists in the first place, as a spider in my bathroom has of knowing what I should claim on my next tax report.

    But the good news is that it's not really all that important. The fact that such a thing is so far removed from our grasp is one side of a coin. The other is that it's also therefore largely irrelevant to who we are, our experience and joy at living, what meaning we CHOOSE to have for our lives, and how we contribute to others around us. These are the things that give meaning to life, and we have all of them right here on this speck of dust.
     
  5. Jul 3, 2003 #4

    Hurkyl

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm going to ignore the debate about the fundamentals of belief and knowledge to get straight to the question asked.


    If you think you're missing out on something by not believing in a religion, then you should learn more about it. You should investigate religion so you can make an informed decision for yourself rather than let others make it for you. You should listen to all sides with an open mind, and make effort to find those who really know about what they're talking. (I emphasize that last part because it's easy to find a whole slew of looneys on both sides of the fence, and makes it very easy to set up straw men arguments to make either side look unattractive)
     
  6. Jul 3, 2003 #5
    I agree. If you think you're missing something by not being religious, then maybe you are one of those people who do infact need religion in your life.

    Of course now comes the big decision! Who to believe, there's alot of differning religions out there!
     
  7. Jul 3, 2003 #6

    megashawn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think anyone who was raised up religously would have a sort of withdrawal from the habits its formed in them.

    If you've managed to break away from whatever religous hold you've been in, by all means don't go back.

    But I don't really think thats what he was asking at all.


    I'd have to agree with the first 2 responses. If we can never know everything, then we've always got something to learn.

    If we've got something to learn, we can always improve.

    If we can improve, then hey, we got a purpose in 3 freaken sentances.

    And it doesn't take a whole book filled with confusing metaphors to give it to us.

    And I was working on a poem I guess you call it, just kinda popped in my head. Its unfinished, but seems relevant here.

    You keep your attention in a single book.
    Afraid to open yours eyes, move around and take a look.
    The more you look, the more questions you find.
    You answer one and 20 more put you in a bind.

    Well, I'm not a poet, but you get the point.

    But by all means just because your an atheists doesn't mean you should spend a lil time researching various religions. Before I claimed atheism, I went from christian to wiccan, back to christian. I've read about many world religions, old and new, and this small amount of reading is what leads me to my conclusions.

    I don't even need a scientific understanding of anything to find reasons not to believe in religions. Usually, the religion provides enough reason if one looks with an open enough mind.
     
  8. Jul 5, 2003 #7
    i used to think the meaning of my life would be to find absolute scientific truth, you know the 14 year old dream of the unified theory and all. i attributed all my existence to understanding the universe physically, then something changed i don't know what, but now it seems so shallow to me, so insignificant compared to humanity, beauty, suffering, love. i suppose it would be nice to know the whys of the universe but it's so futile and materialistic, the physical universe is an interesting backdrop, but we should try more to understand what's happening on stage instead.

    so i say, no it's not 'a worthy cause to pursue the fundamentals of our existence', an interesting intellectual exercise yes but there's no meaning to it.
     
  9. Jul 5, 2003 #8
    What I find humorous is that people assume that if you don't buy it, you don't have an open mind. I rejected religion early, on fairly logical grounds for a 6 year old(I read the Bible), and you just don't get more open minded than that.
     
  10. Jul 5, 2003 #9
    If it isn't possible to know then it isn't possible to know, period. And yet if it is possible to know, then ignorance is no excuse for claiming otherwise.

    And indeed there are those who claim it is possible to know. So what gives here? Why two opposing viewpoints, and how can they be reconciled, "if possible?"

    Thus, based upon the "possiblity" that it is possible to know, I would say go ahead and pursue it if, in fact that's what you "choose to do." :wink:
     
  11. Jul 5, 2003 #10

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: creation

    It sounds like you are asking for a third option to "believe" or "don't believe"; at least as I understand you. I say that you don't even have a second option much less a third. Your choice is not really IF you believe, but WHAT you believe. As an atheist, I assume that you mean that you choose to "believe" that god does not exist. This is a belief based on faith. This is a belief with no hope proof. Beyond this, I think that your choices for belief are much greater than yes or no. To believe in a God mean something different to each person. However, if you pose a yes or no question, you can't really expect a third option.

    Why did your search lead you to atheism? Lack of proof I assume? Prove God doesn't exist. Of course we can't by definition. Why choose at all. Perhaps this is your third option. As others have indicated, you don't have to believe in order to learn. However, true spirituality can never be learned other than by direct experience. So the key is not belief, but a willingness to believe. Only in this way can your truth be found. One can remain objective and still be willing to believe; so long as one recognizes the difference between faith and what we call objective knowledge.
     
  12. Jul 5, 2003 #11

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: creation

    I can name about 4000 years worth of people who thought so.
     
  13. Jul 5, 2003 #12
    Not so. Is it possible to be duped into believing something? Yes. Does that mean that everybody who believes has been duped into believing it? No.

    I think if anything, it's more a matter of questioning people's motives, for which reason it's expressly stated, "Many will come in my name to lead many astray."

    And not only should we question other people's motives, but we should question our own. And here I think the keyword here is "sincerity."
     
  14. Jul 5, 2003 #13

    Hurkyl

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There's a word for someone who spends three days on a subject and thinks he knows more than someone who has spent thirty years on it; a crackpot.

    If you want to make an informed choice about religion, I suggest not listening to someone who already made up his mind on the subject after reading the Bible once when he was 6. :wink:


    edit: typo
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2003
  15. Jul 5, 2003 #14

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Who would this be? How can one know?
     
  16. Jul 5, 2003 #15

    Are you refering to iacchus32?

    Why someone who has such strange irrational and illogical views would be at a site like this (and not some other crackpot-esque site) is beyond me!
     
  17. Jul 6, 2003 #16
    It's funny you should bring that up, because I think it was something that Hurkyl said on the old PF 2.0 that brought me to Physics Forums in the first place. And, while I for one don't believe in coincidences, I do believe it's possible to contrive such things, in which case I will have to withold comment (for now).

    By the way, how many aliases have you assumed thus far in the last week?
     
  18. Jul 7, 2003 #17

    wolram

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    the bible is a story book it has very little fact in it ,if one wants to base their religeon soly on the bible its their chose,to believe in a GOD one has to have a completly different mindset to an atheist
    how can someone change their mind so radically?
     
  19. Jul 7, 2003 #18
    Let's be careful of personal comments.

    BTW, he was talking about Zero.
     
  20. Jul 7, 2003 #19

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How do you support this claim?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Is it a worthy cause to pursue the fundamentals of our existence?
Loading...