I'd say what I can agree with in regards to religion is having ideas (not beliefs, ideas are easier to change) about things that are somewhat immaterial. I like to think that if I'm good, good things will come to me. No god necessary, though. I like to think that humans have an intrinsic value (although when I rationalize it I don't agree) because it makes it easier to tolerate other people. I like to think that there is some semblance of hope in regards to the human race (again, rationalizing it, I don't necessarily come to this conclusion) because it gives me a framework for making something of myself. All of these things, whether truths in the strictest sense, seem to make life easier~ even when you know they aren't really true (the important part is knowing they aren't) So I can agree with having basic ideas that make the framework of life easier to deal with, because working under the ultimate truth will only hinder things, not make them better.
Just about everything else I disagree with.
Ah, you have just outlined the very essence of the existential dilemma. The logical conclusion of objective scrutiny of the meaning and purpose of our lives is that there isn't one, which is very de-motivating, which in turn takes away from, rather than adds to, the quality of our experiences, which is the subjective, intuitive meaning and purpose of life. There are two options (and then a third). Pretend that our lives really do have some sort of objective meaning, either just by feeling that it really does or by going a thousand steps further and creating a whole framework of ideas to enable us to continue to operate under this belief (religions), or gradually lose interest in life. The third option is trickier (I'm making it up). You can know that the objective point of life is to subjectively experience it well, and that there are some very specific things you can do in this regard which will have the effect of motivating you quite well.
I like this existential problem. Its fun.
so start from nihilism and work our way out to purpose????
I love a challenge!
btw, just got another group approved called "Search Hounds" for people who like to do research, and people who need research done.
@Marc: I wanted to copy something that I posted in another discussion today. From the way you've defined "memoryplex", I think I may be witnessing in myself something pertinent to the idea. (I suspect Park saw this coming all along =)
This is the page it can be found on
The following is excerpted from one of my posts on that page:
It seems likely to me that obtaining solace during certain trying times through thoughts of an afterlife has become reflexive for me because of years of patterning. So to consciously unearth something that's [so] deep-seated may bring with it a bit of difficulty. This is just a guess --a bit of psychoanalysis on myself =).
But this doesn't address the increase of emotion I feel with certain thoughts. For instance, to use the example of the holocaust again, there was a time in my life where I felt anger, grief and empathy when thinking about it, but I still had the notion that the heinously tortured victims' souls were going to make their way to paradise in the end. Taking that last bit away changed a lot. The degree of anger, grief and empathy shot up, what felt like 50-fold. I mean, it felt completely unbearable.
I'll let you go ahead and pick from that what you find relevant.
I think there's another important note to take here, though. It might be useful to consider illustrating ways an atheist worldview might suggest a _more_ rigorous moral code.
(Very tired. Sorry for fragmentation and incompleteness.)
I think feeling things like "this is it" does give them more immediacy and power. But I just woke up, I'll have to come back to this.
I do think that atheists can be "more moral" than religious people. They do things because it is what should be done, not because it will get them into god's good graces or to avoid hell. I will start a discussion eventually to deal with atheist ethics.
Sado-masochism seems like a bit of a stretch; I like defining it in these terms.
"do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (supposed golden rule)
this relies on hypotheticals for it to work, but often those hypotheticals are lost. Consider this~ If someone believes because of their religion that gays are supposed to be stoned to death; when they consider the "golden rule" from another's standpoint it shouldn't make any difference. Even if they were gay, it is the word of God, and therefore they would feel it was necessary to be stoned to death. It wouldn't be a matter of whether they like it or not, it would be whether it was what they considered to be the right thing to do. The golden rule asks that someone consider anothers world view~ but if they could really do that, they probably wouldn't be referencing the golden rule to begin with.
Does that make sense?
No, it doesn't. "Do unto others as they would have you do unto them," might. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," has more of a sinister ring to it when you consider that the others might not want the same things you do.
Which reminds me of a little joke from years back:
Masochist: "Hurt me"
The real humor here is quite subtle - think irony and you'll get it (unless you already did).