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Old 02-16-2013, 02:05 AM   #42
rank sentamentalist
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: goodbyecruelworld
Posts: 16,877
Default Re: Atheism vs. Theism

A very common attribute for atheists (especially young adults, thinking they understand the entire world around them, and that the average Christian is a mindless moron) is that atheists always have God on the brain
that's not a common attribute for atheists, it's a common attribute for anybody even remotely interested in the mysteries of life. and i'm not just talking about the metaphysical questions like "what started it all" and "is there life after death", though that's obviously part of it.

mostly i'm talking about the questions that arise from the inevitable shortcomings of whatever explanations we've managed to scrape together to understand our everyday human affairs, both personal and social. we certainly still don't have much of a grasp on any of it as far as i can tell. most generally, what's human nature? what's our primary psychological drive? survival instinct? love thy neighbour and cooperation? a will to power? how do we navigate the pros and cons of emotions like guilt, resentment, or the institutions of dependence and authority that are at once so helpful and yet so harmful? how the f*ck do we reconcile the fact that we live our entire lives on a core assumption that we're the center of the universe that revolves around us.... but everyone else does to? what justifies our love and our hate and our passions, or is their very nature the fact that nothing justifies them, and more than that, nothing should justify them? should we question them? why should i obey my parents? for how long should i obey my parents? is cynicism towards the political life acceptable or is a failure to participate in the great problems of the world the one unacceptable decision a human can make? is hedonism the only way out? should i deride that lazy bum on the street or consider how he got there? am i in it for myself or are we all in it together?

our social sciences have compiled an unbelievably thorough record of peoples behavioural tendencies... but that's all they are. tendencies that remain totally inapplicable at the individual level and still far too subject to a myriad of circumstance at the general level to give them any predictive weight. the hard questions persist and remain mysterious.

it's THOSE mysteries that are precisely what makes life interesting and fun and worth thinking critically about and contemplating with others. at the end of the day, experiencing all of that mumbo jumbo is what makes us human beings.

so finally, it's the limits of our understanding that make people consider god on a serious level, regardless of self identity or social affiliation, christian, jew, atheist preaching at the pulpit, satanic cult leader, buddhist monk, w/e. because the thing about god is that he/she/it is among the most multifaceted concepts humans have ever created. the fact that god is infinite by definition only underscores that fact. from the most restricted version of theism to the broadest pantheism, they all fundamentally serve the same purpose. to make sense of that which is beyond our senses and seemingly, perhaps even permanently, beyond the very tool of the rationality that even allows us to consider this shit. try to reduce all the conflicts and paradoxes and everyday dilemmas to a simplicity thats actually within the constraints of our thinking capacity.

and really, in my opinion at least, if the endgame is getting answers, it's all an effort in futility. if your endgame is enjoying the process itself, well, you're in luck. but it's all still worth thinking about, and if upon reflection of all the mysteries of life, you can't find room for at least some idea of "god", well all i can suggest is that you keep reflecting.

thats what i think anyway

more on the topic of what you guys are talking about, there is a definite shift coursing through modern society. it was only a matter of time before our secular politics would eventually come to bear on our religious convictions. organized faith in the traditional sense is unquestionably receding. and for the americans here, most of you probably, your country is among the most religious in the world so your view is a little skewed in terms of global trends.

Last edited by RidonKs : 02-16-2013 at 02:09 AM.
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