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The Atheist Rapture - Comments

chulinn's Avatar Comment 1 by chulinn

This is an interessting argument, just a little too generic. For example what about atheist/agnostic Vipassana Meditation? Sam Harris: How to meditate It is definitely targeted at removing suffering, but it would not lead one to enjoy life but to equanimity.

Wed, 25 May 2011 10:05:42 UTC | #630677

skiles1's Avatar Comment 2 by skiles1

Every day is Invisible Judgement Day, for atheists! The Humanist Bible guarantees it.

@ chulinn:

Somewhere on the web, there's a recorded lecture by Daniel Dennet wherein he eventually fields a question about transcendental meditation. If I may paraphrase, he said that decades ago he was approached about being philosopher laureate of transcendental meditation, but declined on the grounds that he doesn't think there's anything transcendental (mystical) about meditation. However, he also mentioned that there's nonetheless some good evidence that meditation strengthens cognition. So, I would add to what you've written, that meditation might also have physical benefits, and that no benefits from meditation - if there are any - would be available to religious people, which aren't also equally available to irreligious people, specifically because there are either mystical powers associated with meditation, or there aren't. Also, according to Bhagavatism, becoming personally indifferent from all your wants is considered the ultimate state of consciousness. So although Sam Harris wrote about a Buddhist meditation technique, the concept is nothing new. Regarding such equanimity, I can see some value in forsaking anger, but I don't find any value in losing happiness.

Wed, 25 May 2011 11:43:13 UTC | #630713

chulinn's Avatar Comment 3 by chulinn

I don't know anything about transcendental meditation, and I cannot confirm any positive effects of Vipassana meditiation myself. The people speaking of the mental states reachable by Vipassana meditation mention that the happiness is getting more and more subtle (and much better than sex, think about that!). Equanimity should be a good thing because (honestly!) some meditators couldn't stand the strong feelings of happiness during meditation any more. So they confirm equanimity to be a worthy goal. I agree with Professor Dennet's point that there is nothing transcendental about it and since Sam Harris advocates it, it should be safe to explore. Maybe it does confirm Atheist Egberts claim:

And so if you choose atheism today, your life will change for the better.

Wed, 25 May 2011 12:55:29 UTC | #630750

equal2u's Avatar Comment 4 by equal2u

Atheism isn't a choice. It's a stance that comes from rationality. If I could cause an all powerful being who loves me to exist just by believing in him then I would. But it doesn't work like that.

It's just obvious there is no God/ Gods. That's not a choice that's just describing reality. Whether there is life after death is a different question.

Wed, 25 May 2011 16:01:53 UTC | #630812

jon_the_d's Avatar Comment 5 by jon_the_d

Belief or disbelief when confronted with the facts may not be a choice. But many religious people CHOOSE to NOT look at the facts. Or choose not to give them any credit at all and just dismiss them out of hand.

In this sense, Atheist Eggbert saying "choose atheism" makes sense (kinda).

challenging your beliefs or not is a choice.

-

also some people do actually choose what to believe by what suits them and what sounds nice. so yeah, while many rational people believe what the evidence indicates to be true, with no choice in the matter, there are many irrational people out there who do actually choose their beliefs. If we make atheism more appealing, we might just win over a large segment of society!

Wed, 25 May 2011 17:24:00 UTC | #630835

equal2u's Avatar Comment 6 by equal2u

There isn't really any way to make atheism more appealing. It's just one stance on one issue- the existence of Gods. It is what it is.

What Dawkins and co do is promote not just atheism but also the idea that there is no moral obligation to 'respect people's beliefs'. Which I agree with. In fact it isn't actually possible to 'respect people's beliefs' because respecting a belief means believing it to be true and you can't simultaneously believe contradictory beliefs to be true. Atheists who say they 'respect Islam' are just ridiculous. The only way to 'respect Islam' is to be a Muslim, if you don't think it's true you don't respect it.

The problem with Dawkins and co is that they over focus on religious beliefs as the great enemy to humanity. I believe religion is a problem, but there are other ideologies that are far more damaging. Ideologies relating to money, drugs and sex.

Wed, 25 May 2011 17:44:13 UTC | #630838

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 7 by Tyler Durden

Comment 4 by equal2u :

It's just obvious there is no God/ Gods. That's not a choice that's just describing reality. Whether there is life after death is a different question.

A question that can be easily answered with "no evidence whatsoever" - much like god/gods. So, not that much different really, it's just "obvious".

Wed, 25 May 2011 19:19:40 UTC | #630866

equal2u's Avatar Comment 8 by equal2u

Comment 7 by Tyler Durden :

Comment 4 by equal2u :

It's just obvious there is no God/ Gods. That's not a choice that's just describing reality. Whether there is life after death is a different question.

A question that can be easily answered with "no evidence whatsoever" - much like god/gods. So, not that much different really, it's just "obvious".

It's completely different. You're just being dogmatic. There is no evidence for God/ gods and a vast amount of evidence that the God most frequently believed in, the omnipotent omnibenevolent one, does not exist.

Life after death is a different question. If there's no life after death, why do people who've had NDEs suddenly become so concerned with helping others?

Wed, 25 May 2011 19:48:46 UTC | #630871

reebus's Avatar Comment 9 by reebus

Our goal-orientated human existence is engaged in always attempting to create a better world, or our work today is for our enjoyment tommorrow.

Some people also have fun while working hard, ref Jane McGonigal and what motivates gamers.

Wed, 25 May 2011 19:53:55 UTC | #630874

skiles1's Avatar Comment 10 by skiles1

@ equal2u:

We could make atheism more appealing. We'd just have to get The Four Horseman of Atheism to wear amazing robes and bejeweled hats, perhaps carry scepters, we'd have to build highly ornate cathedrals, perhaps theme parks, and write secular spirituals. And we would need to procure a Chair of Darwin.

Wed, 25 May 2011 19:56:36 UTC | #630876

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 11 by Tyler Durden

Comment 8 by equal2u :

Life after death is a different question. If there's no life after death, why do people who've had NDEs suddenly become so concerned with helping others?

Oh dear! Not this pseudo-psycho-babble again.

Perhaps they have a new found respect for life having been "near death", or a change in brain chemistry due to trauma, or are simply more aware that our time here is short, so feel the need to help others.

This change can all be explained in behavioural, physiological, neurochemical and personality elements of psychology - nothing to do with "life after death" for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

I gave you a list of books/journals on the other thread which would help explain this phenomenon, which you've obviously ignored.

This is now off-topic, my apologies.

Wed, 25 May 2011 20:20:48 UTC | #630885

equal2u's Avatar Comment 12 by equal2u

Comment 10 by skiles1 :

@ equal2u:

We could make atheism more appealing. We'd just have to get The Four Horseman of Atheism to wear amazing robes and bejeweled hats, perhaps carry scepters, we'd have to build highly ornate cathedrals, perhaps theme parks, and write secular * spirituals*. And we would need to procure a Chair of Darwin.

I don't know whether you're joking or being serious. But whatever, what we need is a new ideology that incorporates atheism. One that will truly bring about a better world. That's what I'm offering. Dawkins and co are all very intelligent, but I don't think they're actually going to do anything. What I aim to do is bring about political revolution and a new age of enlightenment worldwide. That's because I offer a new and cohesive ideology and not just a narrow focus on religion. But I will only succeed through others I can't do anything much by myself.

Wed, 25 May 2011 20:24:00 UTC | #630886

Moderator's Avatar Comment 13 by Moderator

As Tyler Durden has correctly pointed out, the question of NDEs is off-topic here and is already being discussed on a different thread, so could we ask users to post any further comments about it there rather than here, please.

Thanks!

The Moderators

Wed, 25 May 2011 20:25:10 UTC | #630887

equal2u's Avatar Comment 14 by equal2u

Comment 11 by Tyler Durden :

Comment 8 by equal2u :

Life after death is a different question. If there's no life after death, why do people who've had NDEs suddenly become so concerned with helping others?

Oh dear! Not this pseudo-psycho-babble again.

Perhaps they have a new found respect for life having been "near death", or a change in brain chemistry due to trauma, or are simply more aware that our time here is short, so feel the need to help others.

This change can all be explained in behavioural, physiological, neurochemical and personality elements of psychology - nothing to do with "life after death" for which there is no evidence whatsoever.

I gave you a list of books/journals on the other thread which would help explain this phenomenon, which you've obviously ignored. This is now off-topic, my apologies.

Those psychological ideas you've offered show you have little understanding of psychology. You are viewing humanity through some seriously rose tinted glasses. My theory elegantly describes the underlying motivations behind post NDEers behaviour.

I didn't ignore your list. I asked you if you've actually read any of those books, and if any of them actually say anything at all about NDEs.

This isn't off topic because it's about the 'atheist rapture'. Whatever that is. I'm the only one offering it.

Wed, 25 May 2011 20:30:29 UTC | #630892

equal2u's Avatar Comment 15 by equal2u

Comment 13 by Moderator :

As Tyler Durden has correctly pointed out, the question of NDEs is off-topic here and is already being discussed on a different thread, so could we ask users to post any further comments about it there rather than here, please.

Thanks!

The Moderators

OK.

Wed, 25 May 2011 20:31:24 UTC | #630893

wolfhoundGrowl's Avatar Comment 16 by wolfhoundGrowl

I didn't read this yesterday as the title turned me off ... I had a spare 2 mins today, and f**k am I glad I read it.

A gr8 wee piece!!

Thu, 26 May 2011 10:30:15 UTC | #631058

wolfhoundGrowl's Avatar Comment 17 by wolfhoundGrowl

commet12 ... equal2u

You've heard of Humanism right?

Thu, 26 May 2011 12:15:46 UTC | #631089

equal2u's Avatar Comment 18 by equal2u

Comment 17 by wolfhoundGrowl :

commet12 ... equal2u

You've heard of Humanism right?

Yes I've heard of Humanism. What about it?

Thu, 26 May 2011 13:10:30 UTC | #631106

wolfhoundGrowl's Avatar Comment 19 by wolfhoundGrowl

You said:

I don't know whether you're joking or being serious. But whatever, what we need is a new ideology that incorporates atheism. One that will truly bring about a better world. That's what I'm offering. Dawkins and co are all very intelligent, but I don't think they're actually going to do anything. What I aim to do is bring about political revolution and a new age of enlightenment worldwide. That's because I offer a new and cohesive ideology and not just a narrow focus on religion. But I will only succeed through others I can't do anything much by myself.

But why did you say this?

I for one am happy with Humanism (though I think we do need to make Humansim a bit more dynamic- why not work with me on that? ;-))

Thu, 26 May 2011 13:27:28 UTC | #631112

Anvil's Avatar Comment 20 by Anvil

Comment 19 by wolfhoundGrowl

To try and understand this you need to be on this thread:

http://richarddawkins.net/discussions/627483-existential-anxiety link text

Specifically from around this comment.

EDIT: Though if you want to save some time you can easily pick it up from Page 4 of the comments.

Anvil.

Thu, 26 May 2011 14:12:16 UTC | #631126

wolfhoundGrowl's Avatar Comment 21 by wolfhoundGrowl

Thanks Anvil.

Thu, 26 May 2011 14:24:21 UTC | #631130

equal2u's Avatar Comment 22 by equal2u

Comment 19 by wolfhoundGrowl :

You said:

I don't know whether you're joking or being serious. But whatever, what we need is a new ideology that incorporates atheism. One that will truly bring about a better world. That's what I'm offering. Dawkins and co are all very intelligent, but I don't think they're actually going to do anything. What I aim to do is bring about political revolution and a new age of enlightenment worldwide. That's because I offer a new and cohesive ideology and not just a narrow focus on religion. But I will only succeed through others I can't do anything much by myself.

But why did you say this?

I for one am happy with Humanism (though I think we do need to make Humansim a bit more dynamic- why not work with me on that? ;-))

'Humanism' is a very wide ranging term. My ideology is very specific with precise policies for distinct areas of society. With regards to religion, I wouldn't ban religion itself, but I would ban the means by which religion thrives and perpetuates itself- child abuse. I would ban all ideological indoctrination. This would have minor effects on political and atheistic ideologies but major effects on religious ideologies which are more inclined to indoctrinate their young.

Thu, 26 May 2011 14:52:49 UTC | #631144

wolfhoundGrowl's Avatar Comment 23 by wolfhoundGrowl

Humanism is as wide ranging as 'very'

See the link below

http://www.iheu.org/adamdecl.htm

As for your ideas (having partially read them on the other board) Amm ... ... ... No thankyou.

Thu, 26 May 2011 15:24:58 UTC | #631156

wolfhoundGrowl's Avatar Comment 24 by wolfhoundGrowl

Comment 23 was supposed to say

Humanism is not as wide ranging as 'very'

Thu, 26 May 2011 15:44:30 UTC | #631161

Willa4's Avatar Comment 25 by Willa4

The belief that there is an after life, doesn't make this life irrelevant, far from it. If this life is all there is and we are just material beings, then I would think that that is more likely to produce the attitude: "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die"..Where as if you believe that that life goes on after death, and you are going to be held accountable for your actions in this life, that is more likely to promote a very intense interest in being a good person, or at least in trying to be. Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan then said "Go and do likewise". The New Testament says somewhere: "How can you say you love God whom you can't see, if you don't love your neighbour who you can see.?" I can only speak for Christianity because I'm a Christian. I know there are many fringe elements, but mainstream Christians agree that we're here to build a better world. I'm new here and I've only read a few posts, but the "straw man Christianity" that many commentators are ridiculing and knocking down, is a caricature of Christianity. I'm not here to try and convert anyone, but I will challenge comments that seem to be based on opinion, and not on reason and fact. In the interest of truth and better understanding between religion and atheism.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 17:57:25 UTC | #634308

Seashore's Avatar Comment 26 by Seashore

It is a mistake to put all believers in the same basket, just as it is a mistake to do the same with non-believers. From the original post: "That is the atheist rapture. It is about waking up from the delusion and denial of your former life, and realising that all your former efforts working towards an afterlife were in vain. You weren't so concerned about your real life, or the real lives of others, you were too caught up in building your afterlife."

Many Christians work not for their afterlife but for the lives of others today! Soup kitchens, houses for unwed mothers, housing the homeless or caring for the sick are all committed and recognized efforts of those who believe. Please include all who believe and LOVE their fellow man and not just those who PRETEND to believe!

Sun, 12 Jun 2011 01:12:50 UTC | #637372