Welcome to SPN

Register and Join the most happening forum of Sikh community & intellectuals from around the world.

Sign Up Now!

Atheism Atheism - What happens when we die?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by Kanwaljit Singh, Mar 13, 2013.

Tags:
  1. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh India
    Expand Collapse
    Apache Spark, Scala developer
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,458
    Likes Received:
    2,147
    A very interesting discussion with all great answers. I believe the members can share their own experience how they explained death to young ones, if any. I don't have any. In recent memory, I have just had one great loss. And I had no small kids to explain to. But when I was young, I suffered a great loss of my own. I was told things back then about death which I don't quite remember.

    https://www.quora.com/Atheism/How-do-atheists-explain-the-concept-of-death-to-a-child
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Loading...

    Similar Threads Forum Date
    Atheism Sikhism and Atheism Interfaith Dialogues Dec 5, 2015
    Atheism Atheism a Religion? Government Says Yes for Tax Purposes Interfaith Dialogues Aug 23, 2013
    Atheism Is Atheism Compatible With Sikhism Interfaith Dialogues May 15, 2012
    Atheism Is Atheism The Ultimate Sikhi? Interfaith Dialogues May 2, 2011
    Atheism Atheism's Odd Relationship with Morality Interfaith Dialogues Mar 27, 2011

  3. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    2,749
    Death has more purity than life.
     
  4. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    2,749
    Atheists just believe in the big bang theory. They don't believe in a supreme consciousness that created all this and they don't acknowledge any real existence of consciousness from what I gather.

    Since an atheist believes that they are just the 'ego' that they are, then they accept that before birth there was simply nothing of them or this ego.
    The same goes for death, that what happens is that you are left again with this same nothing.
    No more life,-(which is ego life)= Nothing
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Lucky Singh ji,

    Guru Fateh.

    I beg to differ with you about the Atheists.

    1. Atheists do not believe in any Deity God, same as the Sikhs.

    2. Atheists do not believe in any supernatural being/power, same as the Sikhs.

    3. Atheists do not believe in Hell or Heaven, same as the Sikhs.

    4. Atheists do not believe in the Absolute Truth, same as the Sikhs.

    I have no idea what you mean by supreme consciousness.

    Would you be kind enough to elaborate that with the help of Gurbani?

    Thanks & regards

    Tejwant Singh
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    2,749
    The supreme consciousness is the almight formless.
    We are just a consciousness trying to see and be part of the supreme !
    You could say that the consciousness is God/creation and is within and 'out' everywhere.

    Tejwant ji, I am not suggesting any deities as such and I don't think I differentiated much from what you state about atheists.

    Simply put, they acknowledge big bang as a physical phenomena and then before your birth there is simply 'nothing'. Thus after death there is also 'nothing'.
    ego+consciousness = us
    but they don't acknowledge any consciousness, just ego.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Tejwant Singh

    Tejwant Singh United States
    Expand Collapse
    Mentor Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,560
    Likes Received:
    6,989
    Lucky Singh ji,

    Sorry to pester you again, but could you please share some Shabads with us from the SGGS, our only Guru, regarding your above claim?

    Thanks

    Tejwant Singh
     
  8. Luckysingh

    Luckysingh Canada
    Expand Collapse
    Writer SPNer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,634
    Likes Received:
    2,749
    ਮਿਤ ਕਾ ਚਿਤੁ ਅਨੂਪੁ ਮਰੰਮੁ ਜਾਨੀਐ
    Miṯ kā cẖiṯ anūp maramm na jānī▫ai.
    The Consciousness of my Friend is incomparably beautiful. Its mystery cannot be known.
    ਗਾਹਕ ਗੁਨੀ ਅਪਾਰ ਸੁ ਤਤੁ ਪਛਾਨੀਐ
    Gāhak gunī apār so ṯaṯ pacẖẖānī▫ai.
    One who purchases the priceless virtues realizes the essence of reality.
    ਚਿਤਹਿ ਚਿਤੁ ਸਮਾਇ ਹੋਵੈ ਰੰਗੁ ਘਨਾ
    Cẖiṯėh cẖiṯ samā▫e ṯa hovai rang gẖanā.
    When the consciousness is absorbed in the supreme consciousness, great joy and bliss are found.
    ਹਰਿਹਾਂ ਚੰਚਲ ਚੋਰਹਿ ਮਾਰਿ ਪਾਵਹਿ ਸਚੁ ਧਨਾ ॥੧੨॥
    Harihāʼn cẖancẖal cẖorėh mār ṯa pāvahi sacẖ ḏẖanā. ||12||
    O Lord! When the fickle thieves are overcome, the true wealth is obtained. ||12|

    on 1342

    Consciousness is referred to chit or sabat surti in many other shabads.

    If you understand it to be something different then please kindly explain.
    I'm pretty certain that my personal understanding is strong enough for me personally and with my own personal experience.

    However,I always feel blessed to learn more from wise beings.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    Atheists are just like Sikhs, they just have a God to not believe in!
     
    • Like Like x 6
  10. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    One should refrain from asserting that Atheists are just like Sikhs. Atheism has no content; it is just the rejection of a certain type of belief system. Atheists are like nobody. You could be an Atheist and a Marxist, an Atheist and a Nihilist and an Atheist and a humanitarian; however one would be keen as to see your reasoning behind that claim.

    In terms of what happens when we die, it just isn't knowable so I must concede that saying: 'I don't know' is the rational position.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    maybe... , however, I find Sikhism closer to Atheism than to other religions. Sikhism is an entirely different way of looking at the relationship between Creator, so different perhaps, that Atheism is the only theism that comes close. Most religions offer some enticement to live in a good way, and also some means of installing fear to ensure you stay on the straight and narrow. Atheists that believe only in the power of Creation, in living side by side with Creation, assisting Creation, helping, and generally 'doing the right thing', for no other purpose than it is 'the right thing', I find extremely refreshing, they are Sikhs, they just do not know it. They do what they do for no reward from a deity, they do not beg the deity for luck, for cars, for houses, for love, they do not inflict their own opinions or wishes on another and justify it by using said deity. The only difference I can see is that a Sikh knows what the 'right thing' to do is by studying Bani, whereas an Atheist has to rely on what they have seen in life to give them a similar take. However, I can confirm, having been both, that having a good kicking at the hands of life, teaches you exactly what is written in Bani, although the former is more painful and leaves a few scars.

    The content if Atheism is humanism, as for rejection of a certain type of belief system, well, I would say that is how Sikhism itself was born.

    yes, just like Sikhs, individuals who shout from the hilltops that the emperor has no clothes.

    as indeed you could be a Sikh and all the above........

    A sikh lives their life in consonance with Creation, adopting the facets of Creator in all interaction with Creation. It is not for looking skywards each time a good deed is done, nor for keeping a track of deeds done, like some sort of balance sheet, it is a way of life, a way of treating all those around you, be they people, animals, insects, but done in a common sense way, it does not mean you let Creation own you, walk all over you, but you treat Creation with respect and be grateful for the resources available to you and make the best of them.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    Okay, so you've just said that you find Sikhism closer to Atheism. So from that I can deduce that that's an opinion. Sikhism is a religion just like other religions. It's content is different, perhaps. But it focuses on worshipping God and having constant praise for him or her. Now this is where Atheists differ. Now being a firm admirer of Christopher Hitchens, I thoroughly agree with him in that this core belief, identical to all religions, is a totalitarian belief. It is like living in North Korea. Kim Jong-un is the God that you worship over there. Sikhism? Your God is Waheguru. Constant praise, constant meditation on his or her name. Kim Jong-un is a human dictator. Your God is a celestial dictator. Atheists do not have anyone they reserve a specific dogmatic praise for so by definition, your comparison is very inaccurate. Now you're throwing around a lot of theistic jargon in the hope that somehow it'll connect the two. I have to say, that is just wishful thinking. The two are completely different. So at the start you said "Sikhism is an entirely different way of looking at the relationship between Creator." Now the difference is that Atheists don't think there is a creator, for that would be believing in God. So Atheism can't be 'closer'.

    You're casting a very general net amongst Atheists. Atheists could be racists, Atheists could be following doctrinal Marxism in which they kill millions of people (sound familiar?). You said that you had been both, so perhaps this is why you see similarities. Just because you found no difference amongst yourself when you became a theist, doesn't mean that every Atheist is like Sikh. You just cannot say that the content of Atheism is Humanism. And if you can't understand that, there's not much I can say or do to change your mind. Hmm, Sikhism was a rejection of religious ideals as Guru Nanak found fault with both Islam and Hinduism. Atheism is the rejection of any supernatural dimension which is where Theism, including Sikhism, belongs.

    Now your final paragraph goes on a lot about how a Sikh lives her/his life. That is simply white noise to me. The bottom line is that Sikhism is dogmatic as it holds the belief around a supernatural creator. One could even go as far to say that many Sikh fundamentalists view the Gurus dogmatically despite Sikh doctrine saying the opposite. My opinion, so sorry for that digression.

    Atheism is just the non-belief in a God and nothing else. Sikhs believe in a God and therefore the two are fundamentally different beliefs.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  13. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
    Expand Collapse

    Moderator

    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,120
    Likes Received:
    7,947
    Harvirji

    excellent post,it is most wonderful to see a young brain at work, I loved reading it, some comments.

    absolutely, that is all I have, an opinion

    God does not need nor require my praise, nor my worship. I praise God and worship God through the way I treat my fellow inhabitants of Creation. I refuse to pray, I see no point in it whatsoever.It is our actions that determine the future, not our prayers.Sikhism gives you a template on how to live, how to act.

    uhmmm well no, not quite, you are looking at Sikhism through lazy eyes. If you look deeper you will see that praise and meditation go far deeper than just praising and meditating.Praise and meditation on the name of God, to me, is to emulate Creator, to act as Creator would, to interact with Creation using love, wisdom, understanding, empathy, to support all, to protect the weak, the stand up for the downtrodden, of course some do spend time praising and meditating, and that is their truth, but this is mine.

    it is true, some look upon Creator as something to be feared, to be dictated to, this is not my view, Creator is the ultimate eternal truth, to emulate Creator is the highest state a person can aspire to, in my view.

    oh but they do, they call it nature, I call it Creation, by just one word I ceased being an atheist and became a Sikh.


    Atheists that do right, believe that doing right is the right thing to do, regardless of 69 virgins with huge breasts, or ambrosia rice pudding, or nectar, or sitting by the side of Jesus, without an enticement, I find this similar to Sikhs that do right, although there are many atheists and also Sikhs that do spend time doing right......

    Agreed!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    You have some very interesting viewpoints. Okay, so I see what you're saying in terms of the Atheists that do right are perhaps similar to Sikhs, in your head. So then perhaps it would be better for you to amend your original assertion that 'Atheists are just like Sikhs' and say that 'some Atheists in some ways can be just like Sikhs'?

    I do however have to call you upon saying that an Atheists dogma is nature. While it could be postulated that a non-believer may gaze upon the cosmos with awe and admire its beauty, it's fairly different from holding it dogmatically which I should add has nothing to do with Atheism as Atheism is JUST the dis-belief in God. A said Atheist may stare into the Sky at wonder and another may be a serf trying to earn a living by working many long hours without the time to even observe nature. So Atheism shouldn't be treated as black and white, it has so many shades of grey.

    Do feel free to challenge any of my assertions.

    Thanks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    So the dogma of atheism is disbelief in "God"?
     
  16. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    I must apologise if my writings seem so obscure for that is not what I try to say. Disbelief in God isn't a dogma, it's just a stance on a philosophical hypothesis.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
    Expand Collapse
    1947-2014 (Archived)
    SPNer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2004
    Messages:
    14,551
    Likes Received:
    19,200
    Harvir07 ji

    You have posted a perspective on Sikhism versus Atheism that is very interesting. I myself do not hold Sikhism to be a form of Atheism even though there are some similarities. I wonder if you would clarify your meaning of "dogma" and also wherein Sikhism you find "dogma."

    I have just listed some questions to make my query a bit clearer.

    1. By dogma do you mean a set of core principles to which members of a religion adhere? (The more common meaning of dogma)

    or

    2. Do you mean by dogma a set of beliefs that believers hold to stubbornly with little room for debate? (The more disparaging meaning of the word dogma)

    3. What dogmas do you find to be true of Sikhism, if any, other than a belief in god. Some do find use of the word "god" offensive. I am using the term god for want of using terms like Har or Govind, and in the sense of Kartar Purakh, Akaal moorat.

    4. How do you define the concept of god? Just a little explanation would be most kind.

    You are really the first SPN member in many threads who has taken a stand, as an atheist, that Sikhism is a theistic religion. Therefore, your reply will be extremely interesting to me. I personally do not understand how one could subscribe to ideas like sat nam, kartar purakh or akaal moorat ajouni saibhang, and be an atheist. Yet there are many who would beg to differ.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    #16 spnadmin, Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  18. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    No your posts are clear as a bell, I just fail to see how someone's belief in "god" is dogma but someone's disbelief isn't.

    Atheists can be just as dogmatic about their (dis)beliefs as anyone else about their (dis)beliefs.

    For the rest, Adminji has summed up nicely, as usual.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    Greetings good sir,

    So my meaning of dogma is probably more similar, in fact pretty accurate, to your first question to which my answer would be yes. Your second question probably matches my definition of a fundamentalist so I do differentiate between dogmatists and fundamentalists.

    Well in terms of Sikhism and its content, I'd say the notion that absolutely no hair should be purposely cut as it interferes with God's creation as you are modifying something that isn't to be modified, is fairly dogmatic. The Guru Granth Sahib itself has got me into trouble when I refer to it as JUST a book as many Sikhs view it as something a little bit higher. The tendency of more fundamentalist Sikhism to produce aspirant Sikh soldiers is also something that can be worrying. I can't really think of much more but if any come to my mind then I shall share.

    My definition of the concept of God is quite simple. It is the postulation of a supernatural creator deity. If I could go further, I would add that this postulation has no underlying evidence to support it, but one could perhaps tell this from the attributive adjective 'supernatural'.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Harvir007

    Harvir007
    Expand Collapse
    SPNer

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    80
    I must forgive you for failing to see the difference then. Believing in ''god'' is a claim which requires evidence to back it up. Disbelieving in ''god'' requires no evidence as the onus is on the believer to back up their claim. Just like I don't have to disprove the existence of Santa, common sense prevails because I'm not the one making the claim for his supposed existence.

    Ah see, now I don't disagree with that. Atheists can be dogmatists, sure they can. Like I've mentioned before, they can be anything. Where you go wrong is when you say 'so the dogma of Atheism is...'. Atheism is a position on a hypothesis and an Atheist is someone who holds that position; however, the Atheist is still susceptible to being other things like: a communist, a racist, a nationalist, so on, so forth. But the things I have mentioned have no connection to Atheism, it's just incidental that the Atheist subscribes to these ideologies. So dogmatism has nothing to do with Atheism as Atheism is simply a stance on a hypothesis. It's as simple as that.
     
  21. Ishna

    Ishna
    Expand Collapse
    On hiatus
    Writer SPNer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,942
    Likes Received:
    5,002
    It's ok, I forgive you for failing to read the dictionary.

    dog·ma

    1. an official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc., as of a church. Synonyms: doctrine, teachings, set of beliefs, philosophy.
    2. a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption; the recently defined dogma of papal infallibility. Synonyms: tenet, canon, law.
    3. prescribed doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true by a particular group: the difficulty of resisting political dogma.
    4. a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle: the classic dogma of objectivity in scientific observation. Synonyms: conviction, certainty.

    [emphasis is mine]
     
    • Like Like x 2

Share This Page