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!
Good points. Thanks for raising them, and others have certainly responded more eloquently than I will, I'm sure. Currently I'm in a situation where I am likely to lose my wife to cancer at some point within the coming year, after a 'struggle' of some four years duration now. As Christopher Hitchens has said regarding his own dilemma, are we to give up the convictions of a lifetime now simply because the wolf is actually at the door? No. And actually, having come out of a religious "quest" - let us say - of some thirty years duration, I can say for myself that I am feeling stronger and more honest about these realities as someone who has now confidently discarded the supernatural crutch. A feeling of being more honest with myself, I would say ... more clear-minded and accepting of the plain facts of life. We are disappointed, sure. But that is life, as they say ... and I must admit that it focuses the mind and allows you to savour every moment, every day, every shared pleasure between the two of us over things that are understood between just us two in a common language. Don Henley once said in a lyric that if you find somebody to love in this world you better hang on tooth and nail ... the wolf is always at the door. A simple truth, sure; and once the hurdle has been crossed, I will always be grateful and appreciative of the life we shared together for that time period we had. I feel strong in my anti-theist conviction now, grateful too, I really do ... and with a shared community I am also bolstered with the knowledge that it is okay, it WILL be alright in time, the healing hands of time.
These are just some musings off the top of my head. These realities of life do not frighten me any more. In fact, I would say that a spiritual (as in theist) viewpoint in a situation like the one I am facing would probably bring an unspoken, underlying fear, or at least a feeling of less certainty to the suface. It sounds contradictory perhaps, but I think I'd be less at ease about my impending future if I WAS a believer.
Hope this makes sense and is a contrbution to your topic and discussion.
Vancouver, British Columbia.
Kind of you to say. Appreciated. I did have a sense this morning that ultimately everything will still be alright somewhere down the line. I had (and to some extent still do) this feeling that for this to be happening now takes the natural flow of things, the proper timeline, and turns it upside down. Its all screwed up, having to in a sense 'start over' again at this late stage in life when we should be gradually slowing down together, growing old together. Now that can't happen for this particular couple (as I talk about myself in the third person) and for me to basically be having a clean slate handed to me again does not feel in any way correct or proper. If I was in my 20s, say, it wouldn't be as disconcerting or disruptive, or at least not presenting a problem that was upsetting the natural flow of life and the ageing process so much. Another example of what I mean by that is the fact that my wife's family are Gujarati Indian merchants who settled in Fiji, and have a large, extended family in those small islands, although now many have re-settled in Australia, NZ, and parts of the U.S. and Canada too. She has a couple older brothers who have since passed away recently as well under health-related circumstances, and her nearing ninety-year-old mother has had the displeasure of now seeing herself outliving some of her children. This is what I mean by saying that everything seems to be to some extent now getting viewed through the wrong end of the telescope.
Having said that, I do feel that my atheistic worldview provides me with the tools I need to not only 'cope' but in fact to take it beyond merely coping. I gives a wide-awake and honest opportunity to refuse the solace of illusions. I come back to Christopher Hitchens again, who said something recently to the effect that one has to be able to choose their future regrets. I think we are able to face these situations like sober adults, using the tools that are right there for us; the company of good like-minded friends, literature that discusses, dissects and gives, if not answers directly, then a platform where we work amongst ourselves to understand our predicament ... what we call life in all its many shades of color and nuance.
Nobody said it was going to be easy ... at least not to me anyway, and even though the pill is a bitter one to swallow, you know what? I really do have a feeling that community and thought and tools like literature, art, music, science, reason and probably several other things I can't think of right now are all there to be ingested and exploited ... but in a good sort of way.
Thanks for your support.
Vancouver, British Columbia.
Your words have definitely contributed uniquely. I'm going to need to take a little extra time to reread your posts because you're giving accounts of feelings as they're unfolding. I didn't expect to hear from someone in a situation like this.
Thank you, and I wish for you, your wife, and both your families and friends, the best possible.
I would suggest that you are being emo and weak hearted to so embrace the null post life equation. Ten thousand religions and growing scientific evidence cannot be wrong post life continuance is a reality.
I would suggest you refrain from ad hominem or else consider yourself unworthy of discourse in my mind.
"Ten thousand religions" could be, and probably are, wrong about many things. This "growing scientific evidence" I would be interested to see.
:cough: 'full acceptance of morality' *thats what the post was about? :uh: right?
Would you like a cough drop?
Well then, the James Randi Foundation has a million dollars for you then, as long as you can get someone to confirm it for you.
I have been with people who have saw ghosts. While I was there. They were simply wrong. It was not ghosts...spirits, whatever you want to call it. Sorry. And I realize I won't be able to convince you otherwise any more than I would one claiming "god" talked to them. They too really believe it. And that's fine. Just saying, this may not be the site for you then. In fact, to prove my point, try starting a specific discussion here on Origins, for those not following this particular thread, and see what the consensus is on the "after life".