Is the general notion of religion that the universe is 'all about humans' one reason to be atheist?

I'm seeing discussions of labels like 'humanist' and others on 'atheistic principles of vegetarianism' or whatnot and have to pull back and point out that the silliness of the idea that the universe is all about humans is one of the strongest reasons that I don't believe in religion or the vast majority of ideas of 'god'.

It is also where I part company with most belief systems all together.

While it may be useful to be anthropocentric (and very hard to get away from) nearly every important scientific advancement points us further and further away from the notion that, if there is even a central purpose to all this, it has much, specifically, to do with us.

Despite your atheism, do you still think that humans have a superior role in existence - or just a particular role? Or perhaps you think that there are no 'roles' at all. I am truly curious.

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Superiority is subjective.

A particular role? Yes. Precisely the role that we play. We can do nothing else. We've adapted specifically to this place in this vast universe as it is at this moment. If we had arisen in some other corner of the universe, at some other time, we would no longer be us. The wonder of human consciousness is the attempt to attach meaning to this unlikely existence.
Aha. I like this answer. We are what we are. Excellent. Sincerely. I am fully there with you.

You can see that most human religions cannot exist within that context. We are central to the overall purpose in their estimation.
The wonder of human consciousness is the attempt to attach meaning to this unlikely existence. Nicely put.
If I was to set aside all thoughts over atheism aside to answer this question it would be that we contain roles set fourth by, and accounting for, the preservation of ourselves and our race. Being at the top of the food chain on Earth that leaves a few questions to answer.

1. What's our highest role?
This would be watching out for ourselves. This includes helping or hurting the ones who could harm. This also includes helping preserve our race.

2. What's our complete role as a racial whole?
Superiority. This meaning that we want to be above all and once there need to progress our rule. Thus, our roles and all roles never end.

I say all of this because it is the nature of everything to help themselves. Creatures and plants. Even Gods and Goddesses (in most religions that I know) pertain to this aspect, so would you not conclude our subconscious gave these attributes to the things we make up that, might I add, are to preserve our lives also?
Top of the food chain? That's a pervasive one I find fascinating.

First, the food chain is a complex sort of cyclical thing. Isn't ebola 'higher' than us? People can get eaten by sharks, large cats, certain canines, etc. We all get eaten by bacteria and whatnot after death - unless we encase ourselves in enough embalming chemicals and whatnot.

Yes, the instinctual 'purpose' must be at the base of our sense of overall purpose. But are we meant to be 'superior'? To what else? We didn't even exist for about 14 billion years of this particular manifestation of observable universe and probably won't for billions after we are gone. What, exactly, does 'superior' mean within that context?
Well, top is a rather relative term. Top as corresponding to ourselves i guess. Yes Ebola and other bacteria like things could be considered as higher but we also develop ways of fighting it and they, in turn, resist that. And the cycle goes on.

This is where superior comes in, the act of resistance and the act of dominance. The act on extinction is something, as a race, we fight against. The way I am using the word superior is not one to be thought to deeply into and there is most likely a better way to put it, namely survival.

  • If it helps, the basic idea that reflects how I am trying to come across is the survival instinct.

Truthfully I have not thought this all the way through, this is completely what I believe but the details have not been sorted through. If your interested I could go over my thoughts for a while and get back to you on this? Perhaps you could point out my flaws in logic that are ever present.
Kyle - logic itself is flawed. Sometime, believe it or not, I want to throttle Aristotle (yeah - it's a kind of mantra) ...

I'm glad you haven't thought this all the way through. Either have I. That's an awesome thing. It would really suck to believe you can think any big question all the way through.

I think that the instinct to survive is what is behind religion - even though it can be successfully argued that religion has often been a tool that has impeded our survival.

I would suggest that while it is a false premise to say that we ARE superior - it is also quite false to suggest that we shouldn't strive to be the best thing to happen in the whole damn universe. It's a paradox that is almost a type of cognitive dissonance if it were not for the concept of 'strive to be'.

Yet another argument against the existence of heaven. Once you get there - is there room for advancement? Perfection seems a dead end to me.
That's is, in itself, the problem with the equation. Perfection, the idea behind almost everything, is actually a nonachievable, nonexistent idea that will never progress past a theory.

Take for instance the imaginary numbers in math (represented with i). We work equations with them and use them to complete mathematical equations but in fact they ignore the rules that we set forth. So perfection is something we can call tangible and use this to progress but cannot, and never will, achieve it.

Yet this is the backbone to many ideas.

Even my idea uses a form of perfection, so how can I ever know my own idea? Nonexistent. :]

It makes me laugh sometimes... disproving myself and, at the same time, thinking I am still right. makes you wonder if Gods and Goddesses started that way.
Despite your atheism, do you still think that humans have a superior role in existence - or just a particular role?

No. Except for arbitrary roles we assign to ourselves. I don't believe in fate or destiny.
No roles at all, or maybe all life forms play a role, who knows! I loved this post, and I agree completely, the thought that we are alone in the Universe really blows my mind because I can never see that as being true, it just doesn't make any amount of sense at all. Most religions like to make a big deal out of us humans but to be honest, I don't think we're much to make a big deal over. I look up at the night sky, I see the pictures taken by the Hubble and I hold out hope for so much MORE then just us. Great post.
There are only two options. There are other sentient life forms in the universe or we are the only ones in the universe - I find either option mind boggling.
Interesting. We are here and we are what we are. We didn't ask to be here or be born. However, at the moment and as far as we know, by way of evolution we are "superior" by the fact that we can enhance our survival.

And if there is one thing that we care about, it seems to be our survival. Inherent in our selfish genes is a will to live. So each one of us as individuals may be meaningless in the time-stream of life, but our genes want to live and continue down the time-stream.

I also think this is why we develop society and culture and ethics...for survival. If you think about it, why be ethical? While in practice we can be ethical without god and we must to live "free" in society, we don't really have to. Ethics is a human invention to increase our survival. If you don't kill me, I won't kill you. If you don't take advantage of me, I won't take advantage of you. I wonder if yhis is why religions developed? To control and increase our chances of survival.
do you still think that humans have a superior role in existence - or just a particular role?

I don't think we play a superior role. I see us as just another interesting phenomenon in the universe. We are waaaaay more like the other animals than we wish to believe. I think Freud was on target when he described the human condition as a constant struggle between insinctual drives and moral socialization... with tons of defense mechanisms that prohibit us from addressing life through clear, rational eyes.




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