Existential Atheists

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Existential Atheists

A place for existential discussion and exploration...

Members: 65
Latest Activity: Oct 13, 2013

"The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment."

Viktor E. Frankl

"A myth is a way of making sense in a senseless world. Myths are narrative patterns that give significance to our existence. Whether the meaning of existence is only what we put into life by our own individual fortitude, as Sartre would hold, or whether there is a meaning we need to discover, as Kierkegaard would state, the result is the same: myths are our way of finding this meaning and significance."

~ Rollo May, 1991, The Cry for Myth, p. 15

"I call a lie: wanting not to see something one does see, wanting not to see something as one sees it... The most common lie is the lie one tells to oneself; lying to other is relatively the exception."

~ Friedrich Nietzsche, 1894/1990, The Anti-Christ (R. J. Hollingdale, Trans.), p. 185

Forever I shall be a stronger to myself. In psychology as in logic, there are truths but no truth."
~ Albert Camus, 1955, The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays, p. 19w667q

Discussion Forum

People Who Died

Started by Edward Teach Jul 21, 2012. 0 Replies

For my good friend, Pat Swann... Miss you, brotherhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mcloY9BlOU&feature=relatedContinue

Existential Angst

Started by Edward Teach. Last reply by Edward Teach Jul 9, 2012. 7 Replies

One of my most memorable encounters on A/N was with a fellow with whom I had fiercely debated on the nature of morality. I think we both got some insights. At some point, we discussed existetial…Continue

Existential Humor

Started by Edward Teach. Last reply by Edward Teach Jul 9, 2012. 6 Replies

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Comment by coyote on February 8, 2010 at 8:20pm
Is there anyone here who actually thought Brave New World would actually be an appropriate future scenario? I loved the fact that they converted the dead into fertilizer...much better than preserving corpses and sealing them in boxes underground. Soma is already here, benzodiazepines are quite popular and effective at that. Though they do have a substantially detrimental discontinuation syndrome is improperly applied, when used appropriately they don't cause much harm. For some reason I just feel awkward when I hear peoples gut reactions to that book(which I am certain high school teachers assign as some kind of scare tactic), especially living in a conservative-christian dominated area
Comment by Edward Teach on February 2, 2010 at 7:41am
Hey Free,

I actually came to atheism through Buddhism/Taoism, then made the Western bounce to Existentialism. I want objective information, but my experience in this human life is always subjective. I know determinism is the objective truth, but since my experience will always be subjective, life will feel as if free will were operating.


Existentialism has profoundly affected the quality of my life. The objective truth in this case, is that experience is subjective. I totally LOVE this idea. I can create any meaning I like and my options are limitless.

I like mythology, as long as there is no confusion that it IS mythology.


BTW: Right back at ya on the insightful comments ;-)
Comment by Atheist Exile on February 1, 2010 at 11:42pm
Hey Rusty,

I had no idea this group existed until I saw it in the Latest Activity column. I've always associated you with astute insights but I've got to say that existentialism seems a bit incongruous with atheism. I mean atheists generally embrace objectivity and determinism but existentialist generally embrace subjectivity and free will. That's a simplification but I think you know what I mean.

Personally, I'm a mix of the two: I embrace objectivity and free will (compatibilism). I do like the humanity and personal appeal of existentialism, though.
Comment by Howard S. Dunn on January 19, 2010 at 9:50am
Heard a great, concise definition of existentialism the other day:

What makes you feel alive? (I always love a definition that comes in the form of a question.)
Comment by Edward Teach on January 12, 2010 at 12:46am
Hey Howard,

Yea, just a little reading on Campbell. It fits well with the Jungian stuff. I think humans are "wired" for stories. The idea that themes repeat across cultures and time is really interesting to me.

I believe that there is no objective, external meaning to life, so choosing or creating a mythology I like makes sense to me. I think the rub is when people confuse myth with objective truth.

I've heard Marines (and bikers) say they like to live by a code. No one thinks the Marine or the biker code was created supernaturally. I think such mythologies are simply structures on which to hang one's existential hat. This is infinitely more appealing to me than the free fall of meaninglessness.

On A/N, most of us love science, as it provides the closest thing we have to objective truth. However, adding in the idea that science povides humans with existential meaning is just one more code or myth folks have chosen to believe.

BTW Great Sartre quote ;-)
Comment by Howard S. Dunn on January 11, 2010 at 12:41pm
"In my journey to the end of night, I must rely not only on dialectical paths of reason. I must have a good solid automobile, one that eschews the futile trappings of worldly ennui and asks only for basic maintenance. My Dodge Dart offers me this elemental solace, and as interior parts fall off I am struck by the realization of their pointlessness. I might not know if the window is up or down. It is of no consequence."

Jean Paul Sartre on his Dodge Dart(re)
Comment by Howard S. Dunn on January 11, 2010 at 12:36pm
@ Rusty - Have you read much Campbell. I love his approach to mythology. Some people think 'myth' means widely accepted fallacy.

It can mean 'oral almanac', 'metaphor', 'thought artifact', and a variety of things that can help us better understand our world rather than, necessarily, cause us to misunderstand it.
Comment by Rob van Senten on January 11, 2010 at 7:37am
Hi People,

After some reading and investigation i found another philosophical -ism that I apparently belong to....
Comment by Edward Teach on January 11, 2010 at 6:45am
For me, existentialism has a couple of components:

1. We are thrown into the world into a situation about which we have no control (poor, rich, sick, healthy, minority, majority, male, female, etc). But, we are 100% responsible for what we do with our particular situation, so there can be no blaming others, or the fates, or God, or whatever.

2. Human existence is time limited.

3. We have the freedom to create meaning in any way we choose.

Remember that old cowboy on "City Slickers?" You find the thing that gives you juice in life... and let that be your guidepost.

I really like the idea that, within the confines of my situation, I can create and/or adhere to any mythology I choose.
Comment by Howard S. Dunn on January 10, 2010 at 4:08pm
Probably similar to 'no-nonsense' in that it explores what 'is' - nevertheless, this is a little more 'artistic' for more taste - which is to say - existentialism (without the 'ismic' tendency to mean - ideological movement') seems more supportive of imaginative inquiry and the extension of consciousness beyond some tiny nexus of neural connections.
 

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