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June 10, 2008

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Brian,

you wonder if there must be a middle way between being sure and being in a state of doubt.

I also have thought about this. When one at first believes there might be a nice force out there taking care of us, and then questions this, the temptation is to run to the other, dark side of the coin, and believe that a god that doesn't give a shit about us or itself is bad news.

If there is a middle view, I think it would be something like the question simply not arising in the first place as opposed to for or against. As long as we are in a state of -self-consciousness, seeing the universe as fluctuating energy, of which we are a fully integrated aspect, feels more like a stoner's observation, as in "dude, we're like totally connected" as opposed to the simple profundity of "form is emptiness, emptiness is form."

I am pretty sure that for me, such a middle way lies in the disengagement between short term and long term memory.

When I listen to stories about our shared child hood told by my sisters, or descriptions of how I was when I was younger, I always chuckle at how different my recall is, of those same events.

I doubt as a natural recourse, as in the current slang riposte, "...or not." I have to present a certainty to my co-workers, so that I can play effective leader, but only over the very short term: most of our jobs consist of re-checking facts, and factoids. Our memories don't function well enough to really be sure of much, and our reason can't really keep up with the impinging factors that change information.

Belief in a universe that holds me at its center is a juvenile, maybe infantile, "default setting" that I am perfectly willing to use when necessary. I use that point of view especially when I'm being chased by a big, empty, fictional evil non-entity.

No horror can be greater than that of the atheist facing either eternal oblivion, Hell, or reincarnation into unknown forms.

Joe,

Your three horrors an "atheist might face," i.e. "eternal oblivion, Hell, or reincarnation," sound totally childish. Where did you get these ideas? Please define "Hell" and "eternal oblivion."

Adam,
I'm not going to waste my time answering your foolish questions; you can look it up in an online dictionary and encyclopedia if your ignorant about such basic philosophic concepts.

By the way, there's no "guarantee" that if God exists and you believe in Him/Her that you wont go to Hell or be reborn depending on your karmas; conversely the atheist could spend time in a Astral Heaven or have a better life if he sowed good karmic seeds this lifetime.
Sorry if my comments frightened anybody!

Joe,

So you are admitting that you base your version of reality on concepts I can find in an online dictionary?

Joe, you have a good imagination. As noted by another commenter, how did you dream up "eternal oblivion," "hell," and "reincarnation into unknown forms" as the only possibilities?

And why are atheists singled out for these after death destinations? Muslims would say that Christians are doomed. Christians say that Hindus are doomed. And so on.

As is often noted, religious believers are just like atheists, because they don't accept the hundreds of gods in the human pantheon. Atheists just go one step further and don't accept the single divinity that believers do.

So I have to ask: how do you know which god dispenses after life destinations? Are you sure about your knowledge? What prevents me from substituting "religious believer" for "atheist" in your comment?

Brian,
I modified my comments in my 3rd post to include religious believers in general. Of course your correct about members of one faith thinking other religionists are doomed.
The reason I "singled out atheists" is merely to point out what Atheists themselves believe; If God does'nt exist what else is there after death but oblivion(you have written about similiar fears yourself in previous posts!)I'm sure there are some atheists or agnostics who might be worried that if they guessed wrong and God exists there may be some punishment coming their way-however I reposted that a persons good conduct would create good karma regardless of what they believe.

Joe,

You are wrong about what "atheists themselves believe." In Richard Dawkins, a famous atheist, has written about not fearing death,. He concludes that he can't remember anything prebirth and has no memory of it being unpleastant, so why should he assume anything different being on the other side of life?

The main point I want to emphasize is that atheists, I think, don't believe that their belief would change what will happen in the least. And Joe, the reason I asked to to define Hell and oblivion are not because I have no understanding of the concepts. Instead, I think if you actually tried to define them your own words, they would be revealed for the conceptual imaginings that they are. You simply read or heard about these things somehow and have elaborated them in your mind. I encourage you to try it as an exercise for yourself. What is hell? Can you really define it in your mind? What is oblivion, can you really define that? And most importantly, do you REALLY think that whether or not god exists, believing one way or the other can really change anything?

Adam,
I don't give a shit what you believe; I wrote what SOME atheists may think.How the fuck could you possibly know what more than a few believe? I'm not responding to anymore of your dumbass comments.

By the way Adam, I apologize for the harsh language and the put down-I'll try harder to keep my cool from now on! Peace

I think there might be a differnce between; your and you are. Then, I might be wrong.

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