These are my answers. I may feel differently in years or even minutes. This is the beauty of atheism. There is no dogma to explain your way out of at the end of the day. There is evidence that leads to belief.
1. - it is all evolution. How we got here is as understandable without a god as it is with. Why did god make us? Was he bored? The bang happened. We evolved. Meaning is what we make of it. Leaving the world a better place than we received it is also a product of evolution. The traits that give us morality survived while the traits that did not did not. There are exceptions, of course - there are a great many people in this world who are evil, but our moral traits survived.
2. - crisis of meaning is a philosophy held by the religious. I have no crisis. My life is meaningful by the journey. Without a god, it is up to me to find meanings. That is the great journey. To love and raise my family and leave this place better. That is meaningful enough.
3. - historical results of religion is just as, if not more, horrific. The eradication of "infidels" has lead to more blood shed no matter the religious philosophy. What makes it worse is that on the surface, all of these religions are designed to be open and forgiving. Yet they lead the world to the most horrific of genocides. Atheism leads to the study of life. Religion is the focus of destroying life.
4. - we find comfort in each other. History is the judge. We are those who establish justice. The dependence of a god only avoids the responsibility and leads to moral impotence.
5. - we are our own arbiters of truth. Again, depending on myth and legend to judge avoids accountability. Religion is man made fiction. Who made those authors the judge and jury? We establish the rules. We enforce them. This is the meaningful journey. Religion just avoids it.
6. - we are here, we strive, we pass. This makes more sense to me than the whims of some god. The traits of ambition survived natural selection. Those with the will continued. Those without, passed. The search for meaning and purpose is just as important as the completion of the meaning to some fictitious god. It cuts to the heart and makes us accountable for our own actions - not allowing accountability passed to someone else. The devil didn't make me do it. God did not change me. I did all of it on my own. This is the journey of life. To avoid it avoids its true rewards.
In point # 1, Loren Miller appropriately references the YouTube video of the Lawrence Krauss lecture for answers to the questions related to "why there is something rather than nothing.
That explains the how.
The 'why' questions are not so much questions, but implicit highly subjective postulates which themselves are rooted charitably in flimsy evidence. In courtroom procedure, the opposing legal party would raise an objection to the line of questioning on the grounds of "leading the witness." Short of being a hopeless ideologically bent 'fundie', the judge would sustain the objection.
I would follow up my answers and critique with a question of my own? "Why do you find satisfaction with meaning and purpose as supervised by what the late Christopher Hitchens referred to as "a celestial North Korea"? If they objected to my characterization, I would merely refer them to their own foundational literature for their belief paradigm, especially that jumble of an anthology identified as the Old Testament.
Manhukar, The responses have been very interesting and well worth time to read them. As for myself, I enjoy the exercise and intend to continue with answer #2 a little later today. Thanks for the stimulus.
When a theists wants me to have a “rational” discussion on religion...I laugh real hard ...they never get the irony.
Adhering to the fables that most all religions entertain require a “faith” that a supernatural self aware Entity(s) is out there – somewhere. Further, The Entity(s), controls all or part of the physical world and/or created the whole ball of dirt we inhabit. As such, we must pay homage to The Entity for his “gifts” and kill, main, rape the non – believers ...or different believers ….and uh...sometimes believers ..err ..depends on conditions on the ground. And, “we” are The Entity(s) favored creation.
I can't fathom that there are people with even the glimmer of intelligence who passionately believe that mental excrement - that there are billions who do.....depresses the shit outa me.
I can only posit there is some genetic/ epigenetic mechanisms, some random perversity of the universe, that causes people to except the delusion with such ease.
When you are born in this world, you are given a ticket to the Freak Show, and when you are born in America, you have a front row seat - George Carlin
Congratulations. Hoping to find a way to get rid of my depression about people someday.
Ophthorectumy: sever the nerve going between the eyeballs and rectum to stop having such a shitty outlook on life.
Picky language troll go drink your "classes glasses of Merlot"- unless, of course, you are drinking 3 differnt classes of Merlot. :>} ....... hopefully not mixed in the same glass
Jim, you are always saying the rightest things!
Wow. That was perfect. I could just barf sometimes at the realization that people do exactly that. Who so blindly follow in order to be in a societal group. We're hard wired for it. How wonderful it is, I find it, to be to never be burdened with the guilt and fear of dying in flames for sins real and imagined. When I was 10, I knew. I knew that there is no one else except me, and all of us, and that it was okay to trust without fear, another such as I.
I will first deal with the third statement regarding communists and Pol Pot etc.
The killings were the result of intense power striggle and had nothing to do with atheism or god.The opponents killed by Stalin were also atheists and not god believers. Violence in the name of religion and god has seen such brutality that will put humanity to utter shame. The theists completely and hypocritically overlook this fact.
All remaining questions can be answered seperately but all of them suffer from a common flaw and therefore a single answer will do.
Each question presumes that god exists and then leads to the same answer. Take the example of the first question. It assumes that "since there is god, there is something rather than nothing" and then leads to the answer that "since there is something, there is a god". This creates a circular logic that invalidates the assumption that there is god. The theists always need to be irrational.