To the converted atheists: What do you miss from believing ?

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  • #1
end3r7
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To the converted atheists: What do you miss from "believing"?

I'm a converted atheists, have been for a long time. To cut it short, I could no longer re-conciliate the historical and natural claims that religion makes with my knowledge of science, and I'm certain I'm not the only one.

Now, I know that many believe that science and religion are two distinct subjects whose fields of interests are disjoint sets, but personally I don't subscribe to idea. And more importantly, this is not the point of this thread. I know it's a competing view, but I'd rather not have this particular argument in this thread if possible.

So anyway, what do you guys miss?

I think what I miss the most was the comforting thought of an eternal afterlife. Which is why I don't argue with "non-fanatic" people over their faith: it does serve the purpose of effectively erasing one "big worry".

Other than that, I do think it's slightly easier to get a girlfriend, make friends, and run for office. =P
 

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  • #2
LightbulbSun
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I'm a converted atheists, have been for a long time. To cut it short, I could no longer re-conciliate the historical and natural claims that religion makes with my knowledge of science, and I'm certain I'm not the only one.

Now, I know that many believe that science and religion are two distinct subjects whose fields of interests are disjoint sets, but personally I don't subscribe to idea. And more importantly, this is not the point of this thread. I know it's a competing view, but I'd rather not have this particular argument in this thread if possible.

So anyway, what do you guys miss?

I think what I miss the most was the comforting thought of an eternal afterlife. Which is why I don't argue with "non-fanatic" people over their faith: it does serve the purpose of effectively erasing one "big worry".

Other than that, I do think it's slightly easier to get a girlfriend, make friends, and run for office. =P

When I was heavily into Buddhism I enjoyed the whole concept of multiple lives, but now I realize how wasteful it is. It truly hindered my appreciation for the life I already know.
 
  • #3
nrqed
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I'm a converted atheists, have been for a long time. To cut it short, I could no longer re-conciliate the historical and natural claims that religion makes with my knowledge of science, and I'm certain I'm not the only one.

Now, I know that many believe that science and religion are two distinct subjects whose fields of interests are disjoint sets, but personally I don't subscribe to idea. And more importantly, this is not the point of this thread. I know it's a competing view, but I'd rather not have this particular argument in this thread if possible.

So anyway, what do you guys miss?

I think what I miss the most was the comforting thought of an eternal afterlife. Which is why I don't argue with "non-fanatic" people over their faith: it does serve the purpose of effectively erasing one "big worry".

Other than that, I do think it's slightly easier to get a girlfriend, make friends, and run for office. =P


One has to give up hope for justice.
I wish I believe in a God who would punish evil people (for example people who torture animals). Unfortunately, I have to rely on the (very) imperfect justice of men and that offers very little comfort.

What about people (including children) who have terrible diseases, those who die young, etc...with religion there is hope that they will have something to make up for their hardship.

Not having religion makes life very very sad and unfair.
 
  • #4
Evo
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Not having religion makes life very very sad and unfair.
Not following a religion makes me very happy. I don't have to worry about upsetting some imaginary being and going to an imaginary hell.

I don't believe in false hope and fantasies, but I won't deny them to someone that can't cope with life without them.
 
  • #5
arunma
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What? You mean converted conservative Christians don't get our own thread?

Oh well. If nothing else, the great part about being a fellow physicist is that I know how to get along with you guys anyway (the secret is beer).
 
  • #6
Poop-Loops
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Only thing I miss is the promise that people like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. will get punished for what they did whereas good people such as my grandparents, mother, friends, etc., will be rewarded for their lives.

It's not easy watching the news and seeing something like the Myanmar disaster being used for political gain by the rulers of the country and knowing that they will live and die happy even though they caused so much pain.

But it does tell me that it's up to PEOPLE to make sure justice is carried out. We can't stand by idly and hoping something from the sky just makes everything good again.
 
  • #7
Kurdt
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People with terrible diseases have been deliberately made to suffer if you are a believer.

May I ask to those who were or are comforted by an eternal after-life concept, why is that so comforting?
 
  • #8
I used to miss the chance at an afterlife, but when I realized how crushingly boring immortality would be, I'm very happy the ride has an end.
 
  • #9
turbo
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I became an agnostic shortly after elementary school. I defy any of you atheists or theists want to make your case with me - you'd better prepare for an assault that that has defied centuries of effort. If you want to claim that XYZ is basis for your belief that god does exist, or that XYZ is a basis for your claim that god does not exist, you've got a bit of work on your plate.
 
  • #10
lisab
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What I don't like about atheism is knowing that when a person dear to me dies, I will never, ever see them again.
 
  • #11
Cyrus
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I never converted. I never went to church a day in my life, so I don't miss anything. I simply am an atheist.

I don't have any desires to see dead people, live an after life, or punish people for being bad. It all sounds like silly crap to my ears.
 
  • #12
humanino
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First, I should say that if scientific facts interfere with your religion, it probably means your religious conceptions are a little naive. This is fine. In my opinion, personal opinion, none human are born completely virgin of any religious belief. We can choose to reject them altogether, or we can be interested in them, philosophically, scientifically, superficially, you pick your own preferred one. For instance, anybody participating in this discussion feels probably to some extent concerned in religious beliefs, there own or the one of others. Anyway, if you are anyhow interested in religious beliefs, you should question them at least from time to time.

I was very young when I first asked myself : "Do I have religious beliefs because I am afraid to die ?". It did not take me long to question whereas any of my religious belief was related to some kind of intellectual confort. Any conforting aspect of religion, which you may miss if you turn completely atheist, seems childish to me (I'm sorry to use this word right now, with the recent Einstein's letter). There are other aspects of religion which are far more interesting.

It might be appropriate to define what you call "atheist" to go any further.

Not having religion makes life very very sad and unfair.
I should say I disagree. Let us say for instance that we figure out all the chemical mechanisms responsible for us falling in love. We also understand why it is favorable from natural selection to have human love feelings. But we would still do fall in love, despite the fact that we fully understand it rationally. That is pretty amazing and should fill us with joy.

I have had this argument several times with some of my friends. Basically, they claim that if I understand a rainbow, I can not be fascinated with its beauty as much as if I do not have any clue why a rainbow comes about. This is plain wrong to me. On the contrary, the knowledge of how the rainbow comes about makes the rainbow even more beautiful to my eyes.

Yet another example : despite the fact that I can analyze in full details all the structures of Mozart's operas down to any single note, I still feel an deep and intense pleasure listening to it.
 
  • #13
Poop-Loops
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I became an agnostic shortly after elementary school. I defy any of you atheists or theists want to make your case with me - you'd better prepare for an assault that that has defied centuries of effort. If you want to claim that XYZ is basis for your belief that god does exist, or that XYZ is a basis for your claim that god does not exist, you've got a bit of work on your plate.

I'll take a crack at that.

1) I don't see any evidence supporting the existence of God or a higher power.

2) I'm done.
 
  • #14
humanino
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I'll take a crack at that.

1) I don't see any evidence supporting the existence of God or a higher power.

2) I'm done.
That is a joke of course :rofl:

Indeed, centuries speak in favor of turbo-1.
 
  • #15
Poop-Loops
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Centuries can kiss my heathen ass. I don't see any evidence of a higher power. If you show me some, I'll convert. If not, then I have no reason to believe.

I mean honestly, you call yourself a scientist? When's the last time you accepted inconclusive evidence?
 
  • #16
humanino
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I mean honestly, you call yourself a scientist? When's the last time you accepted inconclusive evidence?
But once again, religion and science have nothing to do with each other. If you want to believe that there is a green monster undernearh your bed as long as nobody tries to see it, and that as soon as you try to see it it disapears, nobody can prove you wrong. Seriously.
 
  • #17
arunma
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People with terrible diseases have been deliberately made to suffer if you are a believer.

May I ask to those who were or are comforted by an eternal after-life concept, why is that so comforting?

I take it this is addressed to me (and the other theists who may be hanging around).

There are many religious beliefs I find comforting, but the concept of an eternal afterlife isn't really one of them per se. Closely related religious doctrines like justification, redemption from sin, etc., are highly comforting, but for whatever reason I don't always mentally connect this to the idea of an afterlife. That is to say, I tend not to regard belief in God as a "go to heaven for free" ticket.

In the Christian religion specifically, the doctrine of an afterlife is essentially a fundamental dogma. But if one is seeking comfort from worldly afflictions, there are other doctrines that are more directly comforting than this.
 
  • #18
Poop-Loops
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But once again, religion and science have nothing to do with each other. If you want to believe that there is a green monster undernearh your bed as long as nobody tries to see it, and that as soon as you try to see it it disapears, nobody can prove you wrong. Seriously.



And that is a logical fallacy so F that.
 
  • #19
Cyrus
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But once again, religion and science have nothing to do with each other. If you want to believe that there is a green monster undernearh your bed as long as nobody tries to see it, and that as soon as you try to see it it disapears, nobody can prove you wrong. Seriously.

Thats completely false. Religions make scientific claims all the time. Seriously.
 
  • #20
humanino
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And that is a logical fallacy so F that.
Please forgive me, I am not native english speaker. However :
wordnet.princeton.edu said:
fallacy, false belief (a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning)
There is no incorrect reasoning unfortunately.

Look, do you seriously think that, after centuries and armies of philosophers, you come about and post on PF the answer to one of the most fundamental question humanity keeps asking itself ?
 
  • #21
lisab
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First, I should say that if scientific facts interfere with your religion, it probably means your religious conceptions are a little naive. This is fine. In my opinion, personal opinion, none human are born completely virgin of any religious belief. We can choose to reject them altogether, or we can be interested in them, philosophically, scientifically, superficially, you pick your own preferred one. For instance, anybody participating in this discussion feels probably to some extent concerned in religious beliefs, there own or the one of others. Anyway, if you are anyhow interested in religious beliefs, you should question them at least from time to time.

I was very young when I first asked myself : "Do I have religious beliefs because I am afraid to die ?". It did not take me long to question whereas any of my religious belief was related to some kind of intellectual confort. Any conforting aspect of religion, which you may miss if you turn completely atheist, seems childish to me (I'm sorry to use this word right now, with the recent Einstein's letter). There are other aspects of religion which are far more interesting.

It might be appropriate to define what you call "atheist" to go any further.

I should say I disagree. Let us say for instance that we figure out all the chemical mechanisms responsible for us falling in love. We also understand why it is favorable from natural selection to have human love feelings. But we would still do fall in love, despite the fact that we fully understand it rationally. That is pretty amazing and should fill us with joy.

I have had this argument several times with some of my friends. Basically, they claim that if I understand a rainbow, I can not be fascinated with its beauty as much as if I do not have any clue why a rainbow comes about. This is plain wrong to me. On the contrary, the knowledge of how the rainbow comes about makes the rainbow even more beautiful to my eyes.

Yet another example : despite the fact that I can analyze in full details all the structures of Mozart's operas down to any single note, I still feel an deep and intense pleasure listening to it.

Yes, humanino, good points. I no longer have faith, but I still feel quite moved hearing Christmas music, or even reading beautiful scripture from the bible.
 
  • #22
humanino
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Thats completely false. Religions make scientific claims all the time. Seriously.
Yes, well that is why my very first point was that, if one's religious belief can, even in principle, come in contradiction with scientific facts, that means one's religious beliefs are childish, naive, not very profound, or worse, constructed to use power against intellectually weak individuals.

Sure, those are aspects of religions, where by using plural, I refer to commonly understood massive religions, by contradistinction with individual, personal religious beliefs.
 
  • #23
Cyrus
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Yes, well that is why my very first point was that, if one's religious belief can, even in principle, come in contradiction with scientific facts, that means one's religious beliefs are childish, naive, not very profound, or worse, constructed to use power against intellectually weak individuals.

Sure, those are aspects of religions, where by using plural, I refer to commonly understood massive religions, by contradistinction with individual, personal religious beliefs.

I wish everyone had personal relgious beliefs and quite simply kept it to themselves, instead of this mass blind following like a buch of sheep.
 
  • #24
Centuries can kiss my heathen ass. I don't see any evidence of a higher power. If you show me some, I'll convert. If not, then I have no reason to believe.

I mean honestly, you call yourself a scientist? When's the last time you accepted inconclusive evidence?

I have to agree with Poop-Loops, here.

Some might say you have to be agnostic because you never truly know whether deity x or y exists or not. This seems wrong to me. People make decisions every day perfectly well without needing (or ever having) all the evidence. I don't need to try the 2,500 flavors of ice cream to know I want vanilla. I don't need to calculate the chances of me getting hit by a car when I cross the street - looking both ways is sufficient evidence for me. I don't need absolute proof (if such a thing exists) that there is no deity when all evidence thus far points to the contrary. I'll make the decision based on the evidence. That's why I'm Atheist.
 
  • #25
humanino
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I wish everyone had personal relgious beliefs and quite simply kept it to themselves, instead of this mass blind following like a buch of sheep.
Completely agreed, for sure. Real religious feelings can not be shared with words anyway. They can only be felt.
 
  • #26
Kurdt
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I take it this is addressed to me (and the other theists who may be hanging around).

Well not addressed to you individually. I just like to take the opportunity to try and understand these things when I can since I've never had any of the feelings so many people so often describe as spiritual, nor have I derived any comfort from some of the classic religious doctrines or even been inspired by songs or writings. But I have said previously I find little stimulation in other art or music. I guess I'm just weird. :tongue:
 
  • #27
Gokul43201
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Humanity can not answer questions, but humanino can.
 
  • #28
humanino
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Humanity can not answer questions, but humanino can.
I am just sharing my opinion. I would be glad if you cared to share yours. Do you have anything to reproach me with ?

I certainly do not intend to teach or impose whatsoever to anybody. The only claim I made strongly here which I think everybody should agree on, is that there is no way to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of god/"any kind of strange unobservable thing that one has decided to believe on". And that was related to turbo-1's post, which I agree with !

Is there something else ?
 
  • #29
end3r7
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humanino, if you feel that "correct religion" (or whatever you seem to believe in) should have absolutely no overlap with science, that's fine. That's your opinion. I certainly do not see it in the mainstream religions, but frankly, I don't want an example (and honestly, I don't think you could conjure up one that would satisfy me). It's, as I have said, not the point of the topic.

I'm, however, surprised at the number of people who said they could care less about having an eternal afterlife. I wonder how many of those opinions are genuine.
 
  • #30
Cyrus
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humanino, if you feel that "correct religion" (or whatever you seem to believe in) should have absolutely no overlap with science, that's fine. That's your opinion. I certainly do not see it in the mainstream religions, but frankly, I don't want an example (and honestly, I don't think you could conjure up one that would satisfy me). It's, as I have said, not the point of the topic.

I'm, however, surprised at the number of people who said they could care less about having an eternal afterlife. I wonder how many of those opinions are genuine.

Im genuine. I really REALLY don't care.
 
  • #31
Cyrus
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I am just sharing my opinion. I would be glad if you cared to share yours. Do you have anything to reproach me with ?

I certainly do not intend to teach or impose whatsoever to anybody. The only claim I made strongly here which I think everybody should agree on, is that there is no way to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of god/"any kind of strange unobservable thing that one has decided to believe on". And that was related to turbo-1's post, which I agree with !

Is there something else ?

The null hypothesis should be there is no such thing as god. If you want to say there is a god, then you need to prove it. I don't see why the atheist has to 'disprove' god. That should be the accepted fact until shown otherwise.
 
  • #32
end3r7
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Im genuine. I really REALLY don't care.

Since I have no reason to not believe you, I'm impressed.

I for one, would rather think that I would live with my friends and family forever than the contrary.

However, that does bring all sorts of nuances... such as how we would "look" in afterlife... not sure I'd dig my grandma looking younger than myself, albeit I'm sure she would more than eager to go for that.
 
  • #33
Kurdt
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I'm, however, surprised at the number of people who said they could care less about having an eternal afterlife. I wonder how many of those opinions are genuine.

The way I see it is if you die and there is no afterlife then you're not going to be sitting round whining about it are you. So who cares. If there is then great. If not, you're not going to know anything about it.
 
  • #34
end3r7
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The way I see it is if you die and there is no afterlife then you're not going to be sitting round whining about it are you. So who cares. If there is then great. If not, you're not going to know anything about it.

Oh, I certainly agree. It's a moot point, but say I had the option of choosing one or the other, I think I'd take afterlife.
 
  • #35
humanino
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The null hypothesis should be there is no such thing as god. If you want to say there is a god, then you need to prove it. I don't see why the atheist has to 'disprove' god. That should be the accepted fact until shown otherwise.
Sure. Agreed 100% on that. That is also why it should be properly defined what is considered "atheist" in this discussion.
I'm, however, surprised at the number of people who said they could care less about having an eternal afterlife. I wonder how many of those opinions are genuine.
Well, you might still be interested in the fact that I do not care the slightest about the question whereas there is anything as an afterlife, and I am still quite interested in the religious topic. Living today and enjoying the life you have is much more relevant to me than worrying about what can happen when you die.
 

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