Hello everyone. Thank you for welcoming me to the group.
On Jan. 19 I started a discussion in the "Water Cooler" section of the forum here on atheistnexus.org. There haven't been any responses yet, and although it hasn't been a terribly long time, I thought I would inquire with the members of this group, since I was invited, with some questions.
What's the etiquette around these parts for "bumping" a message if it falls by the wayside? Is this acceptable at all? If so, is 11 days a sufficient enough wait time before one could feel okay commenting on his/her own message in order to bring it back in front of the community's eyes?
Maybe the questions I asked were too personal, uninteresting, or offensive. Maybe you could comment on this.
Here was the body of text:
Title: Emotional magnitude...
Among those of you who have at some point in your lives held religious beliefs to any extent, have you ever found the full acceptance of mortality since to bring with it a stronger emotional response? For instance, do you find the feeling of terror and sadness that accompanies watching a documentary about the holocaust, say, to be exceedingly more harsh since you've become disillusioned? Or do you feel a much greater need to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you? This is something that I'm experiencing, and at times it can be overwhelming. I'm not saying I remember these feelings being weak or short-lived when I was "a believer", but they feel orders of magnitude greater now. I'm curious if I'm not alone. Any comments are welcome.
As my own critic, I shouldn't have worded it in such a way that assumed the reader would have "fully accepted mortality". I'll state here now, though, that when my mind ventures down that extension of logic, I sometimes feel a heavier emotional weight, and that that was all I was trying to convey.
One final thing. Please tell me if this group is not the place for this type of discussion! =)
Anyone's comments on any of this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Any animal's death stirs up sadness for me, as well. Killing for plain sport bothers me much more than killing for survival, though. Growing up in my household, my father was a deer hunter as well. From his accounts, it seemed evident to me that the remorse and sadness one might feel in taking an animal's life for food could be a healthy barrier to overconsumption. Not to mention the skill required to butcher the animal correctly, as well as the fear of wasting the meat if this isn't accomplished. This is touched on in Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma". This might be better reserved for another discussion, only because it will make for an even longer digression. Perhaps we shall continue?
I am sorry to hear about your illness. It seems like you have a zest for life, however, which I think is something to cherish. I myself have Celiac disease and Hypothyroidism.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
I'm not sure I see how my questions had anything to do with morality, although I can see how one could consider some of them falling under behavior. I would have to say fields like behavioral biology and ethology certainly are branches of science.
My concern was that the topics weren't focused on the origins of the universe (multiverse, or whatever paradigm is currently most widely accepted) or the origins of life.
I graciously apologize and will take your suggestions into consideration when directing further unrelated discussions elsewhere.
Honestly? My feelings didn't change much at all. Besides, I've always found the theists version of after life either vague or just down right strange. Also, personally I don't find to much to fear. When one's gone, they're simply gone. In exactly the same way as I wasn't here before I was born and I don't think of that as a scary time...because I didn't exist. In the same way I won't exist when dead.
I do find some solace in the idea that when you're gone, you're gone, and that there's nothing to be scared of if there's no experience after that point.
Honestly, I'm thinking the hangup very likely has to do with my being raised on the belief that there's an after-life, and the relative comparison of that to the idea of none. It seems logical to me that going from the belief of a conscious immortality to not believing anything of the sort simply gives the impression that something of great significance has changed. The difference between infinity and, well, any other given value, is huge. Of course, we've probably entered into philosophy now.
I had also always found the theists version of life after death very vague, so I think I constructed my own fantasy version of it as well. Even after I had long since realized that it was completely fabricated, I still noticed the habit of turning to it for comfort to remain intact. This concerned, and, still does, concern me.
Thank you for your thoughts, Rudy.
These are some pretty confident assertions. I would love to hear about the evidence you've come across that supports "the underlying reality" of "post[-]life perpetuity of the soul" --this "scientific after-life" you speak of.
...correct me if I am wrong, but the idea is the embrace of the rational non religious, and scientific realities.
Are you asking here what the idea of nontheism is? If so, I'll have to point you to google and scratch my head wondering why you checked the empty box next to the words "I'm a nontheist" when you joined the community without first knowing the word's definition.
We base our scientific "realities" on observations that remain predictable. It is a matter of probability, not "right and wrong". The sun might not rise tomorrow morning when I get up --but it seems pretty probable to me that it will.
Any information I've ever come across purported to be sufficient evidence for an afterlife was unconvincing. Though, for all I know you might hold this gem that would convince me. To me, it doesn't seem very probable.
Thank you! That's exactly what I was thinking. At the very least, we're talking agnostic. People can believe that stuff if they want, but someone's on the wrong site here.
I'd love to here the scientific research as well. Keeping in mind Deepak Chopra and the like are NOT considered scientists here. I'd also like to point out, attitudes/emotions are the direct result of hormones, chemicals, physical make-up of the brain, etc. Shea Show seems to be implying "spirits" still have these physical properties, while (I'm assuming) they are some type of energy force. Of course this really is a rhetorical statement as this is an ATHEIST site, not agnostic.
And yes, thousands or even millions of religions can be wrong...they're made up. Thus why they're called religion.
I have similarly strong emotions about much of what you mention here. I think the reason they feel stronger since I've accepted the full implications of mortality is that there's not even a subtle thought floating around in the back of my mind that allows me to muster up an idea akin to "These people will have another chance." One's actions leave indelible marks on others, and there's no eternity to make up for the ones with harsh consequences.
Thank you for your encouragement.