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Thread: Are you more afraid now you have lost your religion?

  1. #1 Are you more afraid now you have lost your religion? 
    Forum Ph.D. GhostofMaxwell's Avatar
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    Are you more afraid now you have lost your faith in god?


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    no - what should i be afraid of ? unless it's homicidal apostate-hating fundie maniacs ?


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3 Re: Are you more afraid now you have lost your religion? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Are you more afraid now you have lost your faith in god?
    Afraid of what?
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    Afraid of dying, afraid of rape, afraid of highwaymen.....Anything that you once had faith your god was protecting you from as a result of your constant praise of him.
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  6. #5  
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    Personally, I fear less. This isn't necessarily due to a lack of religion, but the fact I've matured much since I separated from it. I never did understand why we should fear God after all, since at the same time they were teaching how kind God was.

    Catholics and Jehovah's Wittinesses are quite similar in that respect. Because of my somewhat...innate knowledge of how contradictory religion was, I never suffered most of the brainwashing others do.

    That is why my lack of fear is due to maturity and newer ideas, rather than my previous religion.
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    Let me make it clearer:

    Scenario 1: You have your faith in your gods kindness and an afterlife, so you dont fear the pain of death.

    Scenario 2: You have lost scenario one which you once had, so do you now fear Physical violation( Your face being ripped off by a bear, fire burning you alive interrupting your dream of Girls Aloud naked, etc etc....)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Let me make it clearer:

    Scenario 1: You have your faith in your gods kindness and an afterlife, so you dont fear the pain of death.

    Scenario 2: You have lost scenario one which you once had, so do you now fear Physical violation( Your face being ripped off by a bear, fire burning you alive interrupting your dream of Girls Aloud naked, etc etc....)?
    We have lots of Grizzlies, Black bears and Cougars. I've never had one inquire as to my religious beliefs. So far my experience as an atheist of having my 'face ripped off' is statistically (zero)... no different than when I was a kid believing in Santa and Jesus.
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    Why should I be afraid?
    Even if there was a god, he wouldn't protect me from evil. There are many bad things happening to the religious people right now. They are being killed, raped, etc... and god isn't protecting them. He has turned his back on them, or he is just testing their faith. God is a sadist. God doesn't protect anyone. And in my opinion, he isn't even real.
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    you need to have religion and faith to begin with in order to lose it. and I never really did.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jellybrain
    We have lots of Grizzlies, Black bears and Cougars. I've never had one inquire as to my religious beliefs. So far my experience as an atheist of having my 'face ripped off' is statistically (zero)... no different than when I was a kid believing in Santa and Jesus.

    *Banging my head up against a brick wall*

    How are people not getting this ridiculously simple premise?

    I cant think of a simpler way of getting across this question of human psychology by quelling fear with reassurance.
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    maybe you're getting a null-result :wink:
    as in, religious people doesnt feel safer.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
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    Yes, maybe, but people need to get the point first, yeah?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Yes, maybe, but people need to get the point first, yeah?
    Is the point that religious people should be less afraid of death because they have the assurance of a happy afterlife? I think when you get right down to it, the average desire to stay alive is relatively uniform across different religious beliefs.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Yes, maybe, but people need to get the point first, yeah?
    Is the point that religious people should be less afraid of death because they have the assurance of a happy afterlife? I think when you get right down to it, the average desire to stay alive is relatively uniform across different religious beliefs.
    .....Close....ermmmm, maybe more than close actually..

    The point is that if you lose that psychological crutch that god is watching your ass and will whisk you away into an afterlife if you just hold on a bit while someone empties an AK47 clip into you. Are you then going to be more afraid???
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    Quote Originally Posted by paralith
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Yes, maybe, but people need to get the point first, yeah?
    Is the point that religious people should be less afraid of death because they have the assurance of a happy afterlife? I think when you get right down to it, the average desire to stay alive is relatively uniform across different religious beliefs.
    I would think that religious people would be more afraid of life. After all if they screw up, or pick the wrong God, some of them actually believe in places like an eternal hell. God knows all, God sees all, so you better not F up.
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    .....OK, put it this way:

    You have to charge into the valley of death tomorrow . Are you now going to shit your pants because all of a sudden( and unlike the rest of the light brigade) you get a spontaneity of logic and just cannot any longer believe the religious bullshit?
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    Your question has premise, yet you have to understand basic human phycology which is to justify everything, through there basic five senses. Which is impossible. You cannot describe the infinte universe with a human mind. We can not comprehend infinite. If you say there is not God I say prove it. The thing is you cannot. If I take away your sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch how can percieve the world. Are you telling me that it is 100% impossible to be able comprehend the universe at all? Keeping this in mind how can we ever know for certain? We will all find out when we die. =P

    --------

    As for how I would personally feel if there was no God, well you can't prove that he doesn't exist, so this is all pointless now isn't it =D
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Your question has premise, yet you have to understand basic human phycology which is to justify everything, through there basic five senses. Which is impossible. You cannot describe the infinte universe with a human mind. We can not comprehend infinite. If you say there is not God I say prove it. The thing is you cannot. If I take away your sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch how can percieve the world. Are you telling me that it is 100% impossible to be able comprehend the universe at all? Keeping this in mind how can we ever know for certain? We will all find out when we die. =P

    --------

    As for how I would personally feel if there was no God, well you can't prove that he doesn't exist, so this is all pointless now isn't it =D
    Are you blind? or just cant comprehend a simple question?
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  20. #19  
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    I see the problem here: Theists are simply not able to imagine facing danger without their god looking over them....Most interesting...hmmm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    I see the problem here: Theists are simply not able to imagine facing danger without their god looking over them....Most interesting...hmmm.
    You provide me with endless amusment, your so obsessed with saying there is no God, that you offer me useless banter that has no direction nor reason. Please by all means comprehend infinte for me, because you are asking that of others. =)
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    I see the problem here: Theists are simply not able to imagine facing danger without their god looking over them....Most interesting...hmmm.
    You provide me with endless amusment, your so obsessed with saying there is no God, that you offer me useless banter that has no direction nor reason. Please by all means comprehend infinte for me, because you are asking that of others. =)
    ....Dont be a moron all your life Flanders, I have said nothing of the sort!

    I hate having to repeat this endlessly to people who cant see beyond their own need to believe one way or another in everything they encounter, but I obviously have to clarify my position in regards to a god for the hard of thinking: Atheism is merely a lack of belief in the claim of god, not a belief that a god couldn't possibly exist.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell


    ....Dont be a moron all your life Flanders, I have said nothing of the sort!

    I hate having to repeat this endlessly to people who cant see beyond their own need to believe one way or another in everything they encounter, but I obviously have to clarify my position in regards to a god for the hard of thinking: Atheism is merely a lack of belief in the claim of god, not a belief that a god couldn't possibly exist.

    You assume I believe in God the same way everyone else does. Well I do not. You define religion so concretely, yet it is an abstract concept. You assume I am some slave to my religion or some other such outrageous thought. Someone cannot catogorize beliefs. I'm sorry to burst your bubble. =) Though you are still amusing in your resoluteness to call me weak, or foolish. Maybe you should reconsider who is a blind slave to ideals.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell


    ....Dont be a moron all your life Flanders, I have said nothing of the sort!

    I hate having to repeat this endlessly to people who cant see beyond their own need to believe one way or another in everything they encounter, but I obviously have to clarify my position in regards to a god for the hard of thinking: Atheism is merely a lack of belief in the claim of god, not a belief that a god couldn't possibly exist.

    You assume I believe in God the same way everyone else does. Well I do not. You define religion so concretely, yet it is an abstract concept. You assume I am some slave to my religion or some other such outrageous thought. Someone cannot catogorize beliefs. I'm sorry to burst your bubble. =) Though you are still amusing in your resoluteness to call me weak, or foolish. Maybe you should reconsider who is a blind slave to ideals.
    I only assume you are a narrow minded parroter. Your belief in god was self evident.

    Im not categorizing anything here! Im merely asking of the psychological effect of reassuring story's(whether they be about god, the easter bunny or santa) to dispel fear. Im not saying anything about coincidences of humankind's made up bullcrap having physical existence. I agree that we cant disprove the easter bunny is out there somewhere BTW.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell


    ....Dont be a moron all your life Flanders, I have said nothing of the sort!

    I hate having to repeat this endlessly to people who cant see beyond their own need to believe one way or another in everything they encounter, but I obviously have to clarify my position in regards to a god for the hard of thinking: Atheism is merely a lack of belief in the claim of god, not a belief that a god couldn't possibly exist.

    You assume I believe in God the same way everyone else does. Well I do not. You define religion so concretely, yet it is an abstract concept. You assume I am some slave to my religion or some other such outrageous thought. Someone cannot catogorize beliefs. I'm sorry to burst your bubble. =) Though you are still amusing in your resoluteness to call me weak, or foolish. Maybe you should reconsider who is a blind slave to ideals.
    I only assume you are a narrow minded parroter. Your belief in god was self evident.

    Im not categorizing anything here! Im merely asking of the psychological effect of reassuring story's(whether they be about god, the easter bunny or santa) to dispel fear. Im not saying anything about coincidences of humankind's made up bullcrap having physical existence. I agree that we cant disprove the easter bunny is out there somewhere BTW.

    Haha me narrow minded? I believe it is actually you who is narrow minded. You believe only in what is proven through hard science? That to me is not being too open to anything. Again do you think that the universe can be interepted by 5 senses? Thats all? The universe being infinite yet humans will understand it all with our rudementary perceptions? That is actually funny.

    To answer your "question" is impossible. You ask for an answer about whether something reasures humans to not fear death, yet you do not wish to debate the unknown. They go hand in hand. You cannot ask what you are asking without getting the whole enchilada of the theological debate. =)

    Rephrase your question and maybe we won't argue about the existence of God or the easter bunny. Because in order for me to answer we must address that.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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  26. #25  
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    um. I don't see what's so complicated about it. He wants to know if you would fear death more if you honestly believed there was no god or afterlife. would you?
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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    i don't know who said it, but i seem to remember someone saying that on their death bed no-one is that much of an atheist that they don't hope there's an afterlife after all, and that no-one's that much of a believer that they don't fear this afterlife thing was a load of bull ...
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    He who denies the gods is as blind as he who trust them too deeply



    Fear is a thing of instinct - Hard wired into our very nervous system. It is not something one can just override or eradicate with an abstract idea. Evolution has not progressed for over three and a half billion years because all living things are not cautious. No sane human being has ever confronted mortal danger without an immediate sense of fear. However, there are many who have continued on in the path of mortal danger none-the-less. This is a product of Courage: The mental fortitude to push on in the face of fear. So by definition, one cannot be courage’s nor brave without first being afraid. Many may gain strength in courage through their religious beliefs and such beliefs may vary. At the same time, there are others who need only, without any spiritual or metaphysical relation, a strong sense of moral fiber as a foundation for bravery.

    Yet not even the holiest of holy men can go without experiencing a heightened sense of awareness in knowing that his physical integrity may be compromised. This sensation is called fear. And such a thing is as consistent as gravity.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolt
    He who denies the gods is as blind as he who trust them too deeply



    Fear is a thing of instinct - Hard wired into our very nervous system. It is not something one can just override or eradicate with an abstract idea. Evolution has not progressed for over three and a half billion years because all living things are not cautious. No sane human being has ever confronted mortal danger without an immediate sense of fear. However, there are many who have continued on in the path of mortal danger none-the-less. This is a product of Courage: The mental fortitude to push on in the face of fear. So by definition, one cannot be courage’s nor brave without first being afraid. Many may gain strength in courage through their religious beliefs and such beliefs may vary. At the same time, there are others who need only, without any spiritual or metaphysical relation, a strong sense of moral fiber as a foundation for bravery.
    Ah, but fear also comes from what we know and equally dont know.......Would being totally convinced that you wont suffer because your god is protecting you and will guarantee you go to paradise help your fear?
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    Haha me narrow minded? I believe it is actually you who is narrow minded. You believe only in what is proven through hard science? That to me is not being too open to anything.
    No! I believe in nothing! I merely see that which science has shown, take into account scientists confidence in their conclusion and find out for myself whether this looks evident.

    Where in that do you find any kind of faith or belief?
    Again do you think that the universe can be interepted by 5 senses? Thats all? The universe being infinite yet humans will understand it all with our rudementary perceptions? That is actually funny.
    No, I think the universe can be measured by electromagnetic emission amplification(if you like). Then interpreted by a plethora of independent, qualified scientists.
    To answer your "question" is impossible. You ask for an answer about whether something reasures humans to not fear death, yet you do not wish to debate the unknown. They go hand in hand. You cannot ask what you are asking without getting the whole enchilada of the theological debate. =)
    Wrong! I can indeed ask what makes the easter bunny so comforting to a 4 year old without proving or disproving the easter bunny's existence first.
    Rephrase your question and maybe we won't argue about the existence of God or the easter bunny. Because in order for me to answer we must address that.
    I will not elaborate on my question further, it is perfectly clear after the 2 or 3 times I have given examples for the idiots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Ah, but fear also comes from what we know and equally dont know.......Would being totally convinced that you wont suffer because your god is protecting you and will guarantee you go to paradise help your fear?
    Well, you see there is your difference. I am talking about instinctive fear while you are talking about psychological fear. So in answer to the question above, I would say no. I suppose it is possible for one to psychologically convince them selves before hand that the faith in which they adhere to will guide them to a better place unscathed and without pain and this may in turn grant them a sense of peace and acceptance. Yet that doesn't change the fact that death is a new experience for everyone and heading into new experiences almost always guarantees a basic sense of angst and apprehension. Imagine something simple, like how hard it is to talk to a pretty girl for the first time. Sure, you can rehearse the dialogue for hours with the utmost confidence. You can see someone do it on TV and think to yourself how easy of a thing it seems. But it’s Academic vs. Application. It is at the moment of truth, when the situation becomes real, your body and mind still has to adjust to fact that you are about to do something that you have never done before. Through that adjustment yields a primitive heightened awareness. Fear.

    Death is the ultimate experience. So great in fact that no one individual can fully comprehend its totality until after they've experienced it. (Assuming one is still sentient once they have reached the other side). Fear is like a river. You can use strong beliefs to help fortify your state of mind, to build a bridge over that river - But in the end, you still have to cross the river.

    A religiously devout Catholic solder will go into battle knowing that Holy Spirit is with him, granting him strength to carry forth. But that doesn't mean he is going to rush head-on into a firefight convinced somehow that the bullets will bounce off of him. He's a man of God, not an idiot.

    Even those fanatical suicide bombers sweat with fear before they light up.
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    Fair point, but maybe its the edge that makes a man give up his life to death. Death that he otherwise Physically and mentally repels.

    Im not unaccustomed to fighting, but I honestly dont think I would be able to dive headlong into certain death, likewise there is a mechanism that stops me from being able to throw myself off a very tall building.

    Isnt bravery just convincing yourself that you'll be fine?
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    Possibly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Haha me narrow minded? I believe it is actually you who is narrow minded. You believe only in what is proven through hard science? That to me is not being too open to anything.
    No! I believe in nothing! I merely see that which science has shown, take into account scientists confidence in their conclusion and find out for myself whether this looks evident.

    Where in that do you find any kind of faith or belief?
    Again do you think that the universe can be interepted by 5 senses? Thats all? The universe being infinite yet humans will understand it all with our rudementary perceptions? That is actually funny.
    No, I think the universe can be measured by electromagnetic emission amplification(if you like). Then interpreted by a plethora of independent, qualified scientists.
    To answer your "question" is impossible. You ask for an answer about whether something reasures humans to not fear death, yet you do not wish to debate the unknown. They go hand in hand. You cannot ask what you are asking without getting the whole enchilada of the theological debate. =)
    Wrong! I can indeed ask what makes the easter bunny so comforting to a 4 year old without proving or disproving the easter bunny's existence first.
    Rephrase your question and maybe we won't argue about the existence of God or the easter bunny. Because in order for me to answer we must address that.
    I will not elaborate on my question further, it is perfectly clear after the 2 or 3 times I have given examples for the idiots.


    *sighs* thats the bad thing with theological debate, nobody ever wins =P

    now i believe that we can go about this debate in an adult fashion without resorting to calling eachother idoits, blind, etc etc so forth and so on. I feel like i'm in a highschool argument, with all of this immaturity.

    Now I will answer your question, man needs a crutch to die peacefully, whether it be real or imagined. One cannot simply throw his life away without believing something or someone will protect him and give him eternal peace or refuge. Why do you think there has always been religion in every region of the world for as long as man could rationally think? People have prayed to everything from the sun to mountains for some type of divine intervention. Now whether this actually happens is moot point, but rather that the thought is there.

    Your point about courage being to convince yourself you will be fine is i think a partial definition. I rather think that courage is not for the person but rather to protect, another natural response. Nearly every species in the known world protects their nests with their lives, why should humans be exempt from this. Now it could be to protect offspring, but it can also spread to protecting one's ideals, or one's life. If your family was threatened would you not do everything including dyeing to protect them? Or perhaps if you believe that say the ideal of freedom is worth more than your life, that your protecting it for everyone (though i would argue that you still are protectiong your family, or future family rather than the ideal of freedom), or who would not fight if someone cornered them in an alley and had a knife. It is only natural. Whether or not you wanted more rational lines of thought concerning the idea of courage you did not specify.

    Sorry for pushing buttons, You just seemed too easy to annoy, how could i pass up an argument about God's existence and the comprehension of infinite. Some things are just to good to let go.

    Does this finally answer your question?
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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  35. #34  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Now I will answer your question, man needs a crutch to die peacefully, whether it be real or imagined. One cannot simply throw his life away without believing something or someone will protect him and give him eternal peace or refuge.
    speak for yourself - as should have been apparent from some of the earlier responses, many of us don't need that crutch

    provided you've lived a life that you can look back on with some degree of satisfaction, that's good enough for me - no point complaining about all the things you haven't been able to do or see

    + the fact that you dearly would love something to be true doesn't make it so
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  36. #35  
    Forum Ph.D. GhostofMaxwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Quote Originally Posted by GhostofMaxwell
    Haha me narrow minded? I believe it is actually you who is narrow minded. You believe only in what is proven through hard science? That to me is not being too open to anything.
    No! I believe in nothing! I merely see that which science has shown, take into account scientists confidence in their conclusion and find out for myself whether this looks evident.

    Where in that do you find any kind of faith or belief?
    Again do you think that the universe can be interepted by 5 senses? Thats all? The universe being infinite yet humans will understand it all with our rudementary perceptions? That is actually funny.
    No, I think the universe can be measured by electromagnetic emission amplification(if you like). Then interpreted by a plethora of independent, qualified scientists.
    To answer your "question" is impossible. You ask for an answer about whether something reasures humans to not fear death, yet you do not wish to debate the unknown. They go hand in hand. You cannot ask what you are asking without getting the whole enchilada of the theological debate. =)
    Wrong! I can indeed ask what makes the easter bunny so comforting to a 4 year old without proving or disproving the easter bunny's existence first.
    Rephrase your question and maybe we won't argue about the existence of God or the easter bunny. Because in order for me to answer we must address that.
    I will not elaborate on my question further, it is perfectly clear after the 2 or 3 times I have given examples for the idiots.


    *sighs* thats the bad thing with theological debate, nobody ever wins =P

    now i believe that we can go about this debate in an adult fashion without resorting to calling eachother idoits, blind, etc etc so forth and so on. I feel like i'm in a highschool argument, with all of this immaturity.

    Now I will answer your question, man needs a crutch to die peacefully, whether it be real or imagined. One cannot simply throw his life away without believing something or someone will protect him and give him eternal peace or refuge. Why do you think there has always been religion in every region of the world for as long as man could rationally think? People have prayed to everything from the sun to mountains for some type of divine intervention. Now whether this actually happens is moot point, but rather that the thought is there.

    Your point about courage being to convince yourself you will be fine is i think a partial definition. I rather think that courage is not for the person but rather to protect, another natural response. Nearly every species in the known world protects their nests with their lives, why should humans be exempt from this. Now it could be to protect offspring, but it can also spread to protecting one's ideals, or one's life. If your family was threatened would you not do everything including dyeing to protect them? Or perhaps if you believe that say the ideal of freedom is worth more than your life, that your protecting it for everyone (though i would argue that you still are protectiong your family, or future family rather than the ideal of freedom), or who would not fight if someone cornered them in an alley and had a knife. It is only natural. Whether or not you wanted more rational lines of thought concerning the idea of courage you did not specify.

    Sorry for pushing buttons, You just seemed too easy to annoy, how could i pass up an argument about God's existence and the comprehension of infinite. Some things are just to good to let go.

    Does this finally answer your question?
    You didnt push my buttons, Im always like this against ignorant self superiority.
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  37. #36  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    According to me, there is no such thing as true altruism. While courage is an inspiring thing to witness, what happens? Adoration goes to the brave, i.e. he gains points in his social circle. I'm not suggesting that the guy is purpousfully being brave to gain standing, just that it is something that has an evolutionary origin. Every aspect of the human condition has an evolutionary origin (the need for a supreme being, for instance).
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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  38. #37  
    Forum Ph.D. GhostofMaxwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    According to me, there is no such thing as true altruism. While courage is an inspiring thing to witness, what happens? Adoration goes to the brave, i.e. he gains points in his social circle. I'm not suggesting that the guy is purpousfully being brave to gain standing, just that it is something that has an evolutionary origin. Every aspect of the human condition has an evolutionary origin (the need for a supreme being, for instance).
    I totally agree there, which is why I posed the question in the OP.
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  39. #38  
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    Well, if you're talking about evolutionary origins of religion, that's something different. Many behavioral ecologists view religion as a solution to what's called second order problems in social groups. A group functions best together when they all cooperate - however, there are usually cheater individuals who take advantage of the cooperators, often with great rewards. So ideally, there should be some way of identifying and punishing cheaters, so that the group as a whole will be more successful over other groups. However, whoever choses to do so will pay a price. Perhaps that cheaters' relatives will become angry with you, or you become generally untrustworthy because people think you suspect them of cheating. So to solve this problem, societies created an external moral code that looks down upon cheaters and will punish them either in the next life, or in this life in some supernatural way - and conversely, cooperators are promised an equally supernatural reward. By having religion, no one individual has to be singled out as the punisher. And with religious conviction now uniting the group into a solid unit, they can compete better with other groups for resources etc, and ultimately net greater reproductive success.

    Obviously religion itself has evolved and changed to a great degree since it's origin, but that's probably how it began.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony John C
    Now I will answer your question, man needs a crutch to die peacefully, whether it be real or imagined. One cannot simply throw his life away without believing something or someone will protect him and give him eternal peace or refuge.
    speak for yourself - as should have been apparent from some of the earlier responses, many of us don't need that crutch

    provided you've lived a life that you can look back on with some degree of satisfaction, that's good enough for me - no point complaining about all the things you haven't been able to do or see

    + the fact that you dearly would love something to be true doesn't make it so
    Obviously you are much superior to us ordinary masses. Now I have the dream to be just like you.
    Why is hate so ingrained in humans? For the supposed enlightened species we are very limited to such primitive behaviors. Peace is a fleeting in our society.
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