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Atheism Would An Atheist Pray In A Life And Death Situation?

Caspian

SPNer
Mar 7, 2008
234
154
I think you should refrain from using the word "religious" because the way you use it is to compartmentalize people into a herd of drones. You approach it as if its something impersonal. And it isnt so, everyone has a different path...I accept that different people are at different stages but I believe that path has the same destination for all human beings.


This is going to fizzle into a *** for tat argument. I say your making invalid assumptions, You say I make invalid assumptions. You depict atheists as if their decision to be an atheist came out of ingratitude or a negative response to a life experience (a gross mischaracterization imo). And I depict religious people as drones (according to you at least).

But all I'm asking is that you at least acknowledge the possibility that someone can and has died an atheist. Is that reallllllly so hard for you?
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,219
I would suggest that the thread is not, at this point, developing any new thoughts or directions. "***" for "tat" would not be how I characterize it. More like lobbing grenades one and two at a time from one foxhole to the other.

Why don't you each sum up your positions on this matter individually. What ideas capture your basis assumptions and arguments? Don't worry about taking up too much bandwidth. Go into detail so we can get to the bottom of your thinking processes. What happens when threads reach this point? Other members are exhausted from reading the point and counterpoint. They don't know where to break in and make some arguments of their own.

So sum up your thinking, and step back. Let's see where that takes us.
 

Navdeep88

Writer
SPNer
Dec 22, 2009
442
655
hukmY AMdir sBu ko bwhir hukm n koie ] (1-9, jpu, mÚ 1)
hukmai andar sabh ko baahar hukam na ko-ay.
Everyone is subject to His Command; no one is beyond His Command.


This is why I cant believe in athiesm, because there is nothing beyond that command, there exists nothing outside of it. I cant stomach anything that goes against it.
I can accept that some people may claim to be it, though.
And I would like to exit here, because this is exhausting and not helpful.
 

Caspian

SPNer
Mar 7, 2008
234
154
admin edit.

The recommendation was to sum up one's personal views before taking on the opposition one more time. The purpose being to get some clarity on what each writer's fundamental thesis is.


One can still be an atheist while being subject to "God's command"—It just means the atheist was wrong in his belief, nonetheless, he is an atheist, however wrong.

I don't really have a "side to my argument" because I don't think there is much of an argument to be made—i think it is common sense (and common courtesy) to assume people are capable of making up their own minds. Even if that results in a disbelief in god, it is all within the realm of human free will.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
14,500
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Two of our posters make comments that echo the thoughts of 19th Century philosopher, Freidrich Nietzsche

"God is dead" was one of his assertions, and though many take Neitzsche as an atheist, others see him commenting on a more abstract view of the divine, something more nuanced than arguments for the nonexistence of God.

Nietzsche, somewhat like our two posters, commented that science and secular values had killed off the Christian God -- of course this observation containing within it the kernels of a conceptual contradiction. But unlike our posters, Neitzsche had a different sense of science.

Minimally, Nietzsche was suggesting that the values that determined the course of social experience, for more than a millennium in the western world, were effectively nullified, because science questioned the very foundations of western morality, embedded in the Hebrew and Christian testaments.

Unlike our posters, Nietzsche in his work predicted the breakdown of any sense of objective reality in favor of multiple realities, which is currently the status of modern philosophical movements, such as critical theory or symbolic inter-actionism. In other words, when God died modern science and the scientific method died along with God. With the death of God any dependence on a singular and consistent standard for judging either truth or morality would be philosophically absurd. Science as a substitute for God, and objectivity as a substitute for faith, were as vulnerable as religion.

The evolution of morality in humankind, like the aim of creative forces in the universe, he termed the "will to power."

Now let's see if we can take a somewhat different course of debate and react to our stance in relation to the death of god and the will to power. These ideas are related conceptually, more or less, to what our posters have stated as their basic view.
 
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Nov 14, 2004
408
388
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Thailand
I’d like to make some comment, but only a general one and not directly connected to the matter of this thread. I hope this is OK…

I came across the phrase "God is dead" and heard about Nietzsche years ago, but wasn’t interested enough to read anything about it. I just looked up "will to power" in Wikipedia and another place, but they were difficult to read (for me, given the aversion to reading in general and unfamiliar ideas here in particular). I’ve only come away with a vague understanding of the concept, and I’m reacting because it goes against my understanding of the way things are.

What I understand this philosophy to be saying is that all actions by all beings are aimed at power over everything around itself and this is a basic instinct beyond that of survival. According to the author it is therefore of equal value one person’s drive for material gain, another person’s influence over other people and another’s quest for moral integrity. In other words, greed aimed at one’s own pleasure at the expense of others, aversion in relation to trying to control another’s behavior and an act of kindness aimed not at one’s own happiness, these are all in fact driven by the “will to power”. One significant conclusion of this philosophy therefore is that, the quest for enlightenment and the achievement of this is nothing but a result of this same instinct.

Well, the very concept of ‘enlightenment’ itself points to the fact that Nietzsche’s “will to power” philosophy should not be taken seriously, which even he would admit as being just a preferred way of thinking about things and a result of influences of ideas expressed by other people. Neither he nor those influences would claim to be enlightened. Of course he would likely dismiss any claim to enlightenment and coming to know the ‘Truth’ as being perhaps deluding oneself and put all the findings there as yet other objects of this “will”. But it would be silly of him not to be open to the possibility of means of acquiring knowledge beyond the one which he knows and relies upon. Besides, he’d have to admit that his own line of thought and quest to develop the idea must have been driven by this very same instinct, and so again, should it be taken seriously at all?

The Buddha on the other hand, had something else to offer.

He was enlightened to the Four Noble Truths and taught this to others. The first which is Dukkha, refers to all that we experience and know, such as seeing, feeling, perception, kindness, compassion, attachment, ignorance, envy, generosity, wisdom, sound, taste, thinking, attention, concentration, pleasure, pain, conceit, calm so on and so forth. By “dukkha”, it means all the above are extremely fleeting in nature and can therefore never be ‘satisfactory’, hence the word ‘unsatisfactoriness’ is sometimes used to describe this.

The second Noble truth is “Cause of Dukkha” or ‘craving’, which itself is also dukkha by nature. However, this is what leads to the arising more and more, of such conditioned and ephemeral experiences through the five senses and the mind. It is what keeps us going on and on in the cycle of birth and death.

The third is Nirvana or the unconditioned reality. It is with the experience of this at enlightenment that first, “wrong understanding” and doubt are eradicated completely, and in subsequent occasions, attachment to sense objects and hence aversion, and finally ignorance, conceit and any little craving which is left.

The fourth Noble truth is the Eightfold Path or “wisdom”, describes sometimes as the Middle Way.

My point is that none of the objects we otherwise seek are in reality, worth craving for. The reason we do it, besides being driven by the accumulated tendency to craving, is because of ignorance which conditions a wrong perception, wrong cognition and sometimes “wrong understanding” of the nature of experience and its object. Indeed these are often expressed in terms of the “three perversions”. Nietzsche may have observed the conventional manifestation of ‘craving’ for sense objects as well as for being and non-being. However this is not the same as coming to understand the Second Noble Truth, and is reflected in that his “will to power” is clearly a philosophy based on self-view. And self-view and wrong view / understanding are intimately connected. In other words, his observations are a result of a perversion not only of perception and consciousness, but most particularly of view / understanding.

The fact that craving rules our lives and that indeed we love ourselves more than anyone else is a fact not to be refuted. But this is not the whole picture. Kindness, generosity, morality, compassion are also very much *real* although they arise very rarely by comparison. More importantly however is the fact that the mental reality which is “wisdom”, this too is real. Wisdom seeks wisdom exactly because it understands the danger in ignorance. Right understanding works to correct wrong understanding, because there is a big difference between the two, in that one leads to the good and the other to more evil. And good and evil are not abstracts created by the human mind while driven by the so-called “will to power”, but are what they are exactly because they each have different characteristic, function, manifestations and cause and lead to different results. Kindness clearly stands in direct opposition to cruelty, generosity to miserliness, detachment to attachment and wisdom to ignorance. This is what the wise know and is reason for their inclination to the one and not the other.

And so it seems that Nietzsche in deriving pleasure from his idea about “will to power” and therefore encouraging craving, will continue going round and round in the cycle of existence quite *powerlessly*. ;-)
 
Nov 14, 2004
408
388
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PS:
One important point I forgot to mention.

While Nietzsche talks about being driven by “will to power”, the development of wisdom involves coming to insight any and everything aspect of one’s experiences, including the underlying tendencies. The “will to power” if this in fact is a shadow of reality, would likely be reducible to instances of craving, conceit and self-view rising and falling away in close proximity, each with an object and accompanied by the corresponding ‘willing’. So again, should I take this “will to power” seriously? ;-)
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,219
Confused ji

Not being a professional philosopher, but having no aversion to reading, I still have to admit that my understanding corresponds to your own where the so-called "will to power" is concerned. In declaring God dead, he was responding to the impact of science on his culture's loss of a core idea, God. He ultimately suggests that modern morality would need to be based on something else. He was not in anyway proclaiming the advantages of atheism. Rather he put the individual at the core instead of an external source, a God. He was "repealing" the master-slave morality that puts control in the hands of another being. His ideas are later expounded through the concept of the Superman in "Thus Spoke Zarathustra."

He also considered that the will to power residing within the individual psyche was nothing more than the "will" of all elements of the universe to evolve toward ultimate goals. So in a sense he was also taking God out of the equation of cause and effect.

Thanks for providing the contrast with Buddhism.
 
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Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Writer
SPNer
Dec 21, 2010
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Navdeep88 you write well your beliefs and basis for the same. Just as they say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", we can equally say that what we take away from written information is also in the "eye of the beholder". There are literal, there are essence behind the statement and context version and there is the holistic view among many other variations. If I may, I have taken from your post below,

hukmY AMdir sBu ko bwhir hukm n koie ] (1-9, jpu, mÚ 1)
hukmai andar sabh ko baahar hukam na ko-ay.


1. Everyone is subject to His Command; no one is beyond His command.
- Navdeep88, many learned men, parchariks as well as many believers

2. Everyone is subject to Command; no one is beyond Command.

- Literal

3. We are not in control of everything. There are reasons and variables which are not always understood or under one's control on how things or results happen.
- My holistic view on this. With this view you will find that it brings the two polarized views of Atheism and unconditional belief in God closer.

For me, the greatest gift that Sikhi gives me is the ability to believe in inclusivity, denial of dogmas or dogmatic beliefs, sseking no intermediaries to see or seek God ("saariann dey dilan wich Rabb wasda"). Rabb is defined by the holder as God, spirituality, consciousness, etc., and no one has the right to dictate on this or say they have monoply or better version than any one else.

Sat Sri Akal (Truth lives for long long time if not forever). Conversely lies and deceit have short life span.
 
Oct 11, 2006
234
425
Patiala,Punjab.
sinister ji, the above post which you approve of, is that not exactly what you found to be the fault in mine? i find it rather silly myself.

mr. jasbir,
you make the assumption that as a believer, i would seek to change what is god's will. that is not so. as a human being i am prone to fear and my mind, seeing all that can go wrong, usually wants to focuse on the "I cant". Its not about questioning god's wisdom, its about acknowledging the limitations of your own. By turning to God, I am speaking about a person's PERSONAL effort to go in that direction and see things very differently, to see the good, the life that blossoms out of situations that your mind tells you are impossible to get through. i dont think true prayer is telling god anything, god already knows exactly where you are, all the things effecting you, and has the solutions for that. its about recognizing the wholeness of your own self, which like, god, is eternal. and in that process, fear is dispelled.

what is capable of killing you is not always outside! external circumstances can never be more severe than that of your own mind in finishing you off. life is not just breathing, and surviving, the way i see it, your ability to live is not constant, the more vibrationally in tune you are with god's will, those are the moments you actually experience life.
mr. navdeep88.
Could"nt make head or tail of what you are talking about.
To me it just seems a play of words.
Everyone knows why people pray and make offerings.swordfight
 

Ambarsaria

ੴ / Ik▫oaʼnkār
Writer
SPNer
Dec 21, 2010
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jasbirkaleka ji I read with interest lot of your posts with pretty precise and logical comments. I do want to comment on the following,

"Everyone knows why people pray and make offerings.swordfight"
Prayer: If I am included as one of the people in your people comments I can give you an example I recall of one of the more recent prayers while bowing my head in front of Guru Granth Sahib ji and saying non-verbally internally(between my mind representing the good, my mind representing wordly and Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji),

  • sarbat da bhalaah ( wellness for all)
  • Meray kolon kisse da bura na hovey (may I not do bad things to others)
  • Main siddeh rastey te turan (May I follow the righteous path)
  • etc.
For me the prayer almost becomes a talk with myself with respectful Guru Granth Sahib ji as a guiding light and witness.

Offerings: When I offer any goods or money at the Gurdwara I do it thinking functionally. I believe it as an institution which is benefitting to many including myself and has practical needs. I do the same when my heart supports it when I experience good examples of kirtan, katha, kaveshar/kaveshri jathas, poetry, etc.

Sat Sri Akal.
 
Apr 14, 2013
4
7
since I am not much old nd not having much knowledge about philosophy etc I would say dat when a lyf or death situation comes
thinking abt god is the last thing to do bt the first thing is to save urself
nd people pray in the sense of 'all iz well' (3 idiots movie reference)
dey knw dat they have to save themselves bt pray jst to calm their heart which literally doesnt work
 

arshdeep88

SPNer
Mar 13, 2013
312
642
35
i think an atheist will calm his/her heart ,take a time out ,sometimes cry to let go off feelings ,learn and most important trust himself/herself more to get out of difficult situations than praying
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
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i think an atheist will calm his/her heart ,take a time out ,sometimes cry to let go off feelings ,learn and most important trust himself/herself more to get out of difficult situations than praying

Would a Sikh pray in a life and death situation :sippingcoffeemunda:
 

arshdeep88

SPNer
Mar 13, 2013
312
642
35
Everyone has his/her way of praying
if you ask me praying is a time for me to surrender my thoughts and actions and seeking strength to keep myself to move forward and accepting the things around me as they are rather complaining in a life and death situation to either be saved or grant me any boons or such.
Praying is a time moreover to spend time with me and yes in some moments it do comes automatically to me ,maybe it works for me.
Just my experience with praying ,yes 5-6 years back i use to pray foolishly for many things and life only got worse now atleast being with the thing i learned till now i get peace and strength.Maybe tommorrow ill get to know the real meaning of PRAYING
 

Harry Haller

Panga Master
SPNer
Jan 31, 2011
5,769
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if you ask me praying is a time for me to surrender my thoughts and actions and seeking strength to keep myself to move forward and accepting the things around me as they are rather complaining in a life and death situation to either be saved or grant me any boons or such.

I like this, today you have taught me something, thank you
 
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