What a world without God means

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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    It struck me today just what a world without theism really and truly means. It means, simply, that what anyone does in life is intrinsically devoid of all purpose. Whether I die this very second, or live another 80 years, becoming the most successful person in the history of mankind, the net outcome is the same. I will forget everything I ever did; I will be unaware of having ever done anything; “I” won’t even remember having ever existed, and it will be as if I never did. Everyone who I ever saw or spoke to will also rot away into the soil, and when the universe grows cold or the sun expands, so will all humanity. No one will remember anything, because ‘we’ won’t even be capable of thought, let alone memory – everything any human ever did will be completely gone.

    You might think that since you only get one shot at life you have to make the most of it, or else you’ll regret all those things you never did. But once you die, you’re not capable of regret. You will feel exactly the same regardless of what you do in life. Now you might think that even if you don’t remember, you still want to be remembered by everyone else. Surely that’s worth striving for. But again, these people will all rot away into the earth, and forget about their own existence, let alone yours. Ultimately your contribution makes no difference (this extends even to the great figures of history, when humanity dies out, their achievements do too). You may also say that life is simply what you make of it: if you want your offspring to be your purpose in life, then they are. This, however, is no more than a delusion – essentially conning yourself into thinking you have a purpose. Your offspring will rot away, and so will theirs, and so will theirs, and so on, until all humanity is gone, and it’s exactly the same as if no offspring had ever existed.That’s not a purpose, that’s utterly pointless.

    Not only, then, is life purposeless if you’re unhappy or in pain (simply, why bother going on?), but equally purposeless if you’re having a great time, as, once you’re dead, you won’t ever remember that you had a great time, or even what a ‘great time’ is. Some people don’t worry about this though – they’re perfectly happy in their self-made fabrications of purpose in life. If this works for you, then fine. But I know it’s a lie, and so do you. There is only one possible escape. I can’t know for sure if there is any truth in theism, but even if there were the faintest chance, it would be worth taking a million times.

    Take this as an analogy. Say you're in your GCSE year and you have 30 exams across 12 subjects coming up. Now, if I were to tell you that the moment you finish all the exams your marks are forgotten by everyone, and you won't even know what you got. In fact, you won't even remember taking the exams at all. Would you still work really hard for them? Cramming loads of revision and late nights? No, of course you wouldn't. So why, when the same conditions apply to your life, do you bother with that?
    Please post your thoughts below!
    Have you ever read the book of Ecclesiastes?
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    (Original post by Pride)
    Have you ever read the book of Ecclesiastes?
    Afraid I've never read it all the way through, but I know of it. Doesn't it essentially agree with what I was saying, that human endeavours are fruitless if not for God?
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    Afraid I've never read it all the way through, but I know of it. Doesn't it essentially agree with what I was saying, that human endeavours are fruitless if not for God?
    well more or less. The bible does teach that everything that happens on earth is for God's pleasure. I think Ecclesiastes basically discusses the conclusions one must make about their life if there is no God. The writer talks about all the things he pursued but he concludes that it's all meaningless. He keeps using the phrase "under the sun" to depict the emptiness of human existence when there's nothing but the sun above us. Then at the end of the book he urges the reader to turn to God. It's a fascinating read that reminds me of your post.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    well more or less. The bible does teach that everything that happens on earth is for God's pleasure. I think Ecclesiastes basically discusses the conclusions one must make about their life if there is no God. The writer talks about all the things he pursued but he concludes that it's all meaningless. He keeps using the phrase "under the sun" to depict the emptiness of human existence when there's nothing but the sun above us. Then at the end of the book he urges the reader to turn to God. It's a fascinating read that reminds me of your post.
    I must give it a proper read in that case, sounds very interesting

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    (Original post by 123teddy)
    more silence and democracy
    Why?
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    no more noise from religious institutions , you should visit india someday
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    Why enjoy life 'now while you still can'? The point I was making is that enjoyment now is futile since neither you nor anyone else will benefit or remember, under atheism. Please explain what objective reasons I have for trying to get enjoyment out of life if I end up the same regardless - without any recollection of joy?
    Why does being able to remember it for eternity give it any purpose?

    So, simply by believing, you'll be able to remember your boring, unfulfilled life whilst you sit in some magical land, devoid of any mortal-feeling or senses as some kind of ethereal entity, for all time?
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    (Original post by Cremated_Spatula)
    Why does being able to remember it for eternity give it any purpose?

    So, simply by believing, you'll be able to remember your boring, unfulfilled life whilst you sit in some magical land, devoid of any mortal-feeling or senses as some kind of ethereal entity, for all time?
    Being able to remember your life isn't what gives it purpose per se, the 'purpose' most thiests would assign to life is to love and serve God and each other. Remembering it is merely an added bonus, if you will.

    As for what heaven is like, if you want to know what Catholicism says about the afterlife, please do some reading. You're asking quite a standard theological question, do I really have to spend my time being your secretary finding the relevant piece of Church teaching? Learn how to use a search function, thanks.
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    Being able to remember your life isn't what gives it purpose per se, the 'purpose' most thiests would assign to life is to love and serve God and each other. Remembering it is merely an added bonus, if you will.

    As for what heaven is like, if you want to know what Catholicism says about the afterlife, please do some reading. You're asking quite a standard theological question, do I really have to spend my time being your secretary finding the relevant piece of Church teaching? Learn how to use a search function, thanks.
    Can I ask you a question? Do you believe everything the Catholic Church teach? Do you think the Catholic Church are correct about the afterlife more specifically?
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    (Original post by Pride)
    Can I ask you a question? Do you believe everything the Catholic Church teach? Do you think the Catholic Church are correct about the afterlife more specifically?
    Not necessarily, no. I normally class myself as a 'theist', though I've grown up a Catholic so that's the tradition I know most about. To know what I actually think about the afterlife I'd have to study the texts on which the Church comes to its conclusions, and the theological reasoning behind their conclusions. This is why it's so nonsensical for people like Dawkins to have a go at Theology as an an academic subject - if he ever wants people to realise how (allegedly) poor various religions' thinking is, people have to study the theology behind them. If the religions' reasoning is actually unfounded/inaccurate/illogical then, guess what? People would realise! And you'd have a whole bunch more atheists on your hands. You can't ignore Theology and just attack religion, it simply doesn't work that way, but Dawkins is such a bigot he'd never even consider this.

    So, to answer your question, I'm in no position, as of now, to comment intelligently on the true nature/existence of an afterlife. Unlike Dawkins, I generally try to talk only about things I've studied/know something about
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    Serving God is my idea of a nightmare, certainly not purpose.
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    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    Serving God is my idea of a nightmare, certainly not purpose.
    I think the idea of being humble enough to devote yourself to your own creator, who made you, gave you your freedom and loves you no matter what you've done, is one of the most beautiful things I can imagine.
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    I think the idea of being humble enough to devote yourself to your own creator, who made you, gave you your freedom and loves you no matter what you've done, is one of the most beautiful things I can imagine.
    For you perhaps. For me it is one of the most horrible things imaginable.
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    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    For you perhaps. For me it is one of the most horrible things imaginable.
    Suppose humility isn't your style then
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    Suppose humility isn't your style then
    Nonsense. The dictionary definition of humility does not mention service to God.

    Not serving God =/= not being humble.
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    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    Nonsense. The dictionary definition of humility does not mention service to God.

    Not serving God =/= not being humble.
    The dictionary definition of goodness doesn't mention giving starving children food.
    But if you refused to give starving children food you wouldn't be good.
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    The dictionary definition of goodness doesn't mention giving starving children food.
    But if you refused to give starving children food you wouldn't be good.
    Who says? There is no objective definition of good and no evidence for an objective morality.
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    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    Who says? There is no objective definition of good and no evidence for an objective morality.
    You used the dictionary defintion, so did I.
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    (Original post by SunnysideSea)
    You used the dictionary defintion, so did I.
    Goodness is defined as the quality of being good.

    It doesn't define what good is and there is no evidence for an objective good.
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    (Original post by Plantagenet Crown)
    Goodness is defined as the quality of being good.

    It doesn't define what good is and there is no evidence for an objective good.
    This is such a silly argument, but I can give an alternative example if you wish:

    The 'dictionary defintion' of tall doesn't mention being over 5 foot 10" in height.

    But if you're a guy who isn't over 5 foot 10" in height you aren't tall.
 
 
 
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