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  #1  
August 31st, 2006, 12:35 PM
oicyur's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
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I have some questions, that I hope you all don't mind me asking. i'm curious about the atheist's view on life and would respectfully like to learn more about what you all believe.


For a lot of people they are moved and motivated through life by the belief in a higher power and an afterlife. If you do not believe in a higher power or an after life what moves you and motivates you through life? What gives you hope? What motivates you to do good? What keeps you from commiting suicide?

Thanks for your input!
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- Thomas Jefferson


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  #2  
August 31st, 2006, 01:16 PM
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We are all part of society. We have duty to human rights, and it is up to us to create the world we want to live in and the world we want to be present for our children. I am motivated by these ideas and by the drive to persevere for my family and the future for each and every adult and child.

I find hope everywhere. I find it in the small deeds that my children do for each other, that makes me comforted to know that they, too, see the value in helping those around them. I see hope in society all around me....my friends, family, aquaintances, and people I don't even know.

My motivation to do good is pretty much stated above. Beyond my family and just society there are other things. There is a right and a wrong direction for society to head in; there is a better and a less desirable choice. There are certain ways to come to full realization of human rights and certain ways to go in the other direction.

THe world is too good to leave prematurely. And there is a lot of work to be done to make it better.
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  #3  
August 31st, 2006, 01:46 PM
kadydid
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What motivates me to do good, is a mixture of my own conscience, my family and our society. (What may be good in one society is wrong in another)

I know the world is far from perfect, I doubt it ever will be. But I am hopeful that the needless suffering will someday end. I care very much about the people on this earth and their lives, I know that we can learn from the past and see what is right and what was wrong and try to avoid those. I want better for my children and their children.

The suicide question is actually very ironic, because I am the type of person who dwells on the negatives. When I was a theist, I thought about suicide all the time. I thought that I was a bad person for some of the thoughts or feelings that I had. I no longer feel that way, because I know there is nothing wrong with me, and that I am not a bad person.
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  #4  
August 31st, 2006, 04:24 PM
Athey's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Personally I think it's kind of sad if a person's only reason for being good in life, is because a god is judging them, and if they 'sin' they'll end up in hell. If avoiding eternal suffering is your only motivation to be a good person, then I don't think you're really a good person. That's a very selfish reason for being 'good'.

I try to be a good person because it makes me happy. It makes the people I'm good to happy. It makes my life more enjoyable to be happy and make others happy. To do the right thing by people so they do the right thing by me. It doesn't always work out that way, but as long as everyone tries to do right by each other things work out a lot better. I don't need a book to tell me what's wrong and whats wrong. I can clearly see it for myself.

I don't believe that morals are at all reliant on a belief in a higher power, and I'm sadened that there are people out there that think that if you don't believe in a god, that instantly means that you have no morals.

I often question the 'moral actions' of people who DO believe in god, and the number of atrocious actions taken in the name of god seem more then enough evidence that 'moral actions' and faith are NOT linked.

A person can believe in a higher power and still do bad things, just like a person can believe there is no higher power and still do good things. Personally I see no direct connection between the two. Doing good things and trying to be a good person is up to the individual's choices, actions, culture, goals, and the enviroment their raised in.


As for the suicide thing - I guess you're refering to the whole 'if you kill yourself, you'll go to hell' thing, right?

If a person is so miserable that they want to die, the idea is that if they're dead, they will either be less miserable, or they wont' exist anymore. So the idea that if you kill yourself, you'll go somewhere even worse (hell) is supposed to keep you from doing it - right? I think that's a miserable reason to go on living.

I go on living because people would suffer if I died. There are people, among the living, who would be sad if I were to die, and I keep going for them. I live to be a better person for them.

When I die that's it for me. I won't care when I'm dead because I'll be dead. But my DH and my baby, and my mom and friends would all miss me. So I'll keep going as long as I keep going, for their sake.



Edited for typos cuz I can't spell
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  #5  
August 31st, 2006, 08:30 PM
kadydid
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Quote:
Personally I think it's kind of sad if a person's only reason for being good in life, is because a god is judging them, and if they 'sin' they'll end up in hell. If avoiding eternal suffering is your only motivation to be a good person, then I don't think you're really a good person. That's a very selfish reason for being 'good'.[/b]
I have often wondered the same thing when I am asked these questions.

Are theists only good because they are afraid of god? Pretty scary, we should almost post it on the debate board



Quote:
I often question the 'moral actions' of people who DO believe in god, and the number of atrocious actions taken in the name of god seem more then enough evidence that 'moral actions' and faith are NOT linked.[/b]
ITA!
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  #6  
August 31st, 2006, 08:35 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,496
Quote:
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE
Quote:
Personally I think it's kind of sad if a person's only reason for being good in life, is because a god is judging them, and if they 'sin' they'll end up in hell. If avoiding eternal suffering is your only motivation to be a good person, then I don't think you're really a good person. That's a very selfish reason for being 'good'.[/b]
I have often wondered the same thing when I am asked these questions.

Are theists only good because they are afraid of god? Pretty scary, we should almost post it on the debate board



Quote:
I often question the 'moral actions' of people who DO believe in god, and the number of atrocious actions taken in the name of god seem more then enough evidence that 'moral actions' and faith are NOT linked.[/b]
ITA!
[/b][/quote]

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
-Blaise Pascal

While I don't completely agree with Blaise here, I think even back centuries people saw that faith didn't have the monopoly on moral actions.
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  #7  
August 31st, 2006, 10:20 PM
oicyur's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 3,978
Quote:
Personally I think it's kind of sad if a person's only reason for being good in life, is because a god is judging them, and if they 'sin' they'll end up in hell. If avoiding eternal suffering is your only motivation to be a good person, then I don't think you're really a good person. That's a very selfish reason for being 'good'.[/b]
I couldn't agree more. Thank you for your input!

I hope I haven't ruffled up any feathers by asking these questions. I've always enjoyed learning about other people's beliefs and understanding what makes people tick, so I appreciate your answers here!
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"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
- Thomas Jefferson


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  #8  
September 1st, 2006, 08:01 AM
picklesmama's Avatar <;,><
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 22,604
My answers would have been pretty much exactly (but in my own poorly composed words) what Athey wrote. So I'll just borrow her responses if that's ok

Quote:
Personally I think it's kind of sad if a person's only reason for being good in life, is because a god is judging them, and if they 'sin' they'll end up in hell. If avoiding eternal suffering is your only motivation to be a good person, then I don't think you're really a good person. That's a very selfish reason for being 'good'.

I try to be a good person because it makes me happy. It makes the people I'm good to happy. It makes my life more enjoyable to be happy and make others happy. To do the right thing by people so they do the right thing by me. It doesn't always work out that way, but as long as everyone tries to do right by each other things work out a lot better. I don't need a book to tell me what's wrong and whats wrong. I can clearly see it for myself.

I don't believe that morals are at all reliant on a belief in a higher power, and I'm sadened that there are people out there that think that if you don't believe in a god, that instantly means that you have no morals.

I often question the 'moral actions' of people who DO believe in god, and the number of atrocious actions taken in the name of god seem more then enough evidence that 'moral actions' and faith are NOT linked.

A person can believe in a higher power and still do bad things, just like a person can believe there is no higher power and still do good things. Personally I see no direct connection between the two. Doing good things and trying to be a good person is up to the individual's choices, actions, culture, goals, and the enviroment their raised in.

As for the suicide thing - I guess you're refering to the whole 'if you kill yourself, you'll go to hell' thing, right?

If a person is so miserable that they want to die, the idea is that if they're dead, they will either be less miserable, or they wont' exist anymore. So the idea that if you kill yourself, you'll go somewhere even worse (hell) is supposed to keep you from doing it - right? I think that's a miserable reason to go on living.

I go on living because people would suffer if I died. There are people, among the living, who would be sad if I were to die, and I keep going for them. I live to be a better person for them.

When I die that's it for me. I won't care when I'm dead because I'll be dead. But my DH and my baby, and my mom and friends would all miss me. So I'll keep going as long as I keep going, for their sake.[/b]
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  #9  
September 2nd, 2006, 08:17 AM
Number_3's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,122
you can find some similar q & a in this thread

http://www.justmommies.com/boards/in...owtopic=294814
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  #10  
September 3rd, 2006, 06:45 AM
smt smt is offline
Mega Super Daddy
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,587
Quote:
I have some questions, that I hope you all don't mind me asking. [/b]
Atheists/agnostics rarely ever mind being asking them questions, we have no beliefs that are threatened by questions.

Quote:
For a lot of people they are moved and motivated through life by the belief in a higher power and an afterlife. If you do not believe in a higher power or an after life what moves you and motivates you through life? What gives you hope?[/b]
I TOTALLY understand where this question is coming from. I once wondered the exact same thing about "non-believers". When I left Christianity, I had to learn what it is to REALLY be alive, and to no longer be living by someone else's concept of "life". Everything I know and enjoy is because I AM alive. I have relationships with people that bring me pleasure. I have family I care for. I enjoying doing many different things. I can stand in awe of the wonders of nature and appreciate that I have a minuscule amount of time as a sentient being to experience all of this. When I am dead, it is all gone for me, but I can help pass my knowledge along to others first, and hopefully make their existence, and this world, a little better and a little more enjoyable.

Quote:
What motivates you to do good?[/b]
I really struggled with this for about two weeks after I realized I no longer believed in a god. I had to totally relearn what it meant to be a "good person". My whole life was developed around someone else's concept of "good". I tried to be a good person by doing what a book said to do, not by doing good things for the right reasons. I eventually realized that most people desire to do good things because it is what is best for them, and their community. Once I came to understand the true difference between "good and bad", I realized the criteria I had been using for what was good (the Bible) was often calling bad things good, and good things bad.

Quote:
What keeps you from commiting suicide?[/b]
Because I am alive and enjoy life. I have family that depends on me, I have friends that I care about. That being said, I think suicide is a valid option for some people, under some circumstances.
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