Maybe Nothing: the Atheist/Agnostic/Skeptic thread

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by Meagen Image, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. Emma

    Emma Your resident resident

    I think it's lovely for people that they find meaning in random things, and I will roll my eyes behind their backs if they tell me they come from 'God.'
    • Like x 2
  2. Mercury

    Mercury Well-Known Member

    Not quite. I believe things based on how well the correlate with reality so far as I can tell - but that's the thing. So far as I can tell. I know my perceptions are as limited and biased as anyone's, due to the limitations of the hardware we're all issued at birth, and that since my perceptions are provably limited more than normal due to brainweird, who's to say I'm not missing a piece of reality other people are picking up on? There's no way of knowing, at least not at this time.
    • Like x 3
  3. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    Religion's a comfort for a lot of people; the idea of God watching over their shoulders gives them a "someone is looking out for me" feeling rather than rabid paranoia, I guess. I don't blame people for wanting to seek out that comfort, it's just not something that happens to me.
    • Like x 1
  4. sicklyprince

    sicklyprince giant androgynous glam monster

    awkwardly shoulders my way into this thread, hi hello.

    functionally right now i'm pretty agnostic, but i feel cringy using the word, which i'm pretty sure is a direct result of being raised very strictly Christian. i bounce back and forth a lot between the fact that i've never connected with any of the beliefs i was raised in, never had any connection with any kind of god, and also i don't fit very nicely into church things. i am far too queer. also very bitter, but i haven't gone through an aggressive 'religious people are dumb and unenlightened etc etc' and i would like to bypass that entirely.

    i think i flip a lot because on one hand, as described above, i'm uncomfortable with churches and i don't feel any connection to god. also, most of the people i know frequently bring up wanting to feel like part of a bigger picture and the concept of an afterlife as reasons faith brings them comfort, and to me, those bring the exact opposite. i'm pretty ok with the idea that my life is just a teeny tiny blip that zips by in the blink of an eye, and that once i die that's it for me. the concept of an afterlife, especially, just makes me cringe and i don't understand why anyone would find that comforting. why? why would anyone want to exist for eternity? why does eternity sound pleasant to anyone???

    on the other hand what if my family is right and i'm totally going to hell, and if i say that i'm not a Christian and there is no god then that's blasphemy, which is a Really Really Bad Sin. apparently.
    • Like x 1
  5. EulersBidentity

    EulersBidentity e^i*[bi] + 1

    Oops, I liked your post before I read the last paragraph. Now it seems kind of inappropriate. An inapproprilike. (Sorry)
    • Like x 1
  6. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    This is why my personal concept of the afterlife is "until you don't want to hang out anymore" not "forever." Forever is Too Long and has the potential to Hurt Too Much or Get Way Too Bored. The way I see it, when you stop wanting to exist in that way, you just kind of... let go and don't.
    • Like x 1
  7. sicklyprince

    sicklyprince giant androgynous glam monster

    nah, no worries, also i sniggered at inapproprilike.

    well, that would be infinitely preferable over 'welcome to eternity, you've either got Good Forever or Bad Forever have fun with that'. which. seriously, i never got why anyone would want to exist eternally in any form, any desire i've ever had for that goes away the second i think for any length of time on just the concept of time never ending.
  8. Aondeug

    Aondeug Cringe Annoying Ass Female Lobster

    For me it's a fear of my self existing thing. To the point where I find the concept of being eternally tortured in Hell far less frightening than the idea that this is the only life there is and once it's done that's it. Nothing. This fear I think stems at least in part from my seizures. When I have them there is just this period where there is nothing. Not even dreams. I never realize I am having a seizure either. So suddenly I am just gone and everything is gone and then suddenly the world is back. It's painful but it is back. That pain is far, far, FAR preferable to the nothing in my silly attached mind.

    Though I don't have an "eternally existing" sort of thing with life after death since rebirth whoo. I guess this brings up the matter of "but what about Nirvana" and the answer to that is asking about what Nirvana is after one's final death is dumb and pointless. Maybe I exist, maybe I don't exist, or maybe both! Who knows. No one does and no one is going to. But once you reach Enlightenment you will no longer care. You won't desire it or fear it. You'll just accept it as a natural thing that is going to happen.
  9. asterismThreefold

    asterismThreefold edgewitch

    heh. I have kind of an opposite feeling/experience. I was raised mormon (mainstream LDS, specifically) and spent most of my teenage years trying to figure out what I was doing wrong that meant I wasn't worthy to feel God's presence and growing ever more uncomfortable with the church's messages on gender and sexuality, but I couldn't really let go until I encountered transhumanism as expressed in the Less Wrong sequences and HPMoR. Which, yeah, have flaws (I stopped keeping up with updates to the fic quite a ways before the spoiler that means I'm not likely to go back) but showed me a perspective that said "yes, it *would* be good to live and love and grow and create indefinitely, even infinitely if possible. but! there's no good reason to believe reality is currently set up for that. we should fix this."

    it felt like permission to acknowledge that I'd never felt anything in response to prayer that was not "coming from inside the house" and that some of the beliefs I was raised with were downright hateful without rejecting some of the values I still shared that I hadn't really seen anywhere else. also, "annihilation" was a prospect that worked a lot better for me than "eternal awareness of unworthiness and unfulfilled potential" for fighting suicidal ideation.
    • Like x 1
  10. Meagen Image

    Meagen Image Well-Known Member

    Because I don't want to derail the "energy is real"/"trust your instincts" discussion on Tumblr.

    See, this is why I identify as a skeptic. Because "energy is real, vibes don't lie" may be a useful mental shortcut, but also you have no way of knowing when it fails. You're walking home in the evening and notice a Black man on the other side of the road walking the opposite way, and you feel worried - well, vibes don't lie, so there must be *something* sinister about him. You're at a party and your nerves are on edge and you get more and more wound up until you want to scream and run away - well, must be the energy in the room, all these people are hostile towards you.

    Replacing "energy is real" with "your brain is constantly looking for small discrepancies in your surroundings that may be a sign of danger" may seem like taking the magic out of the idea, but I think it makes it a lot more useful. You can be aware of things like racial biases you've absorbed from your culture, or your sensory processing issues, and be better able to analyze the situation and make good choices.
    • Agree x 5
  11. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    Been going through older threads and stumbled over this one, so I thought I might put my two pence in.

    The best way I've been able to explain my place on the belief/nonbelief spectrum is 'omnitheistic agnostic' (albeit in a somewhat joking fashion, lol) aka I'll believe in whatever actually exists. I WANT to believe a great deal, because I've always loved that which is rich and strange, but I was brought up in a household that grew critical thinking in both me and my brother, who is a straight-up aesthiest firmly in the 'believers are dumb' camp.

    The way I often explain it to evangelists who attack me is that I'm chill about whatever god there might be, and it would be cool to maybe see a proverbial signature at the bottom of the cosmic canvas, but I've got more pressing concerns than chasing around after some great ineffable thing that might well take less notice of me than I do of the average microbe.
    • Agree x 3
    • Witnessed x 1
  12. Kodachi

    Kodachi Well-Known Member

    I used to believe in God as a little kid, because why would all those nice grown-ups lie to me? Then I was agnostic, because the grownups can't even agree with each other about which God story is true and none of the stories actually make logical sense. Then I became strongly atheist because every religious person I debated with, some of whom were very intelligent people, used nothing but logical fallacies to support their viewpoints, and were plainly misinformed or uninformed on a great many topics. There are people who can program five axis CNC milling machines to make turbines for high performance jet engines (as an example), but can't see when they're using circular logic "See, the Bible says that God is real!", and that angers and frustrates me to no end.

    Attached Files:

    • Agree x 2
  13. Musarex

    Musarex Active Member

    *edit* replied to a post on page 1. Oops.

    As for myself, I was raised an unbeliever and could never take the concept seriously.

    However, most versions of Christianity set off giant codependency red flags for me, as a kind of institutionalised negging.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  14. ChelG

    ChelG Well-Known Member

    Minor gripe; search engines refuse to differentiate between atheism and agnosticism and make it impossible to specifically search for the latter.
    • Witnessed x 2
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