1.  Babies

Because we are not able to explain life, especially, how if life began, what happened at that instant is proof that god exists.

2. Thunderstorms

What the OP wrote didn’t make sense. I will copy and paste it below.

I love to sit on my back porch in Florida and listen to the rumbling of thunder. It reminds me of God’s majesty and power. The apostle Paul said creation was the best evidence of God’s existence. He wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen” (Rom. 1:20). Nature is actually full of quantifiable miracles. Just consider the fact that the earth is the perfect distance from the sun to support

life. If we were any farther away from the sun, we would freeze; if we were even slightly closer to it, we would burn up. It’s obvious God created this home for us!

3. Flowers

If you didn’t know why there are several flower varieties, now you know. God created them so we could have many colours to see unless you were born blind which means god only wanted you to smell the flowers.

4. The Bible

Do we need to say anything else?

5. The global spread of Christianity

If something is believed by many people, it must definitely be true!

6.  Jesus

The amazing thing about god is that he had no qualms committing suicide to save us from himself. How obstinate are these atheists to no see this?  

7. My personal friendship with God

Am convinced the moon is made of cheese. You may disbelieve everything else I say but you can’t disprove this. I have this feeling in my gut.

7 things that prove god is real

7 things that prove god is[n’t] real

In this discussion, we will refer to Schopenhauer’s definition of freewill stated as

that a given human being, in a given situation can act in two different ways.

and I think that definition would suffice for the purpose of the discussion we shall have this evening. We have been presented with a problem in this manner

how free will can exist in a deterministic world?

Before we proceed into examining the OP, I don’t know if those who, like me, believe we live in a deterministic universe believe also in freewill of any kind. I think this would be a contradiction of sorts, unless one who holds that the universe is deterministic while human actions are free has to explain in what way humans are exempt from the laws of nature, whatever these be. In this sense, I think the OP has started with a false dilemma.

I think therefore that this assertion that

when one has free will, one has a choice, and can make a choice without anything or anyone impeding, influencing, or forcing their volition. It is the ability to act without constraints, whether the choice is between two options or one hundred

is false. I also would need to clarify that when we say you don’t have free will, we don’t imply you have been coerced into doing something, no, far from it. We are only saying there are antecedent causes that made you act in the way you did and that all circumstances remaining the same, you will act in the same way.

We agree with observation, with reservation, that everything has a cause/ reason for its occurrence.

I realize that many people, for emotional and not rational reasons want to believe they have freewill. The author writes

I also feel very strongly that every human being has free will, and not just because I want there to be moral responsibility, but a world without free will just seems wrong and incomprehensible. Call it the human ‘superego’, but I don’t like the idea that humans are robots.

In what way would a world without freewill be incomprehensible and wrong? If this is an emotional reaction, it has no place in a philosophical debate. Maybe calling man robots seems too harsh for some, and as such I will refer to our race as biological automatons.

She says, she has come to a few conclusions on the matter. These appear under two headings

  1. The future is open and
  2. my will as a cause.

We will look at what she writes about each and explain where we disagree.

In the first instance, she writes, following Hume

that despite our tendency to link two events together and call it cause and effect, we still cannot properly conclude that A will always cause B, even if A has been causing B in every recorded and observable instance.

A point we would agree with. We cannot say effect B was caused by A. We however do not see how she jumps to the conclusion

Thus, when I make a choice, the result has not been decided for me already, and thus I am making a free and open choice.

Maybe am wrong, but I don’t think the proponents of no freewill mean to say when you act someone has decided for you. The argument here is that there are previous events A, B to whatever numeral you like that has influenced your effect Z. To say more here, we argue that due to the complexity of human actions, it is difficult to plot a chain of causes leading to the present effect and as such many people assume they are free. The future can, contrary to her claims, be predicted if we know how one behaved in a particular situation. We can be almost certain that if the circumstances remain the same, we can predict like clockwork how you will act. Many people after acting in a particular way do say I will act in a contrary manner next time. This however, is not usually the case.

Looking at the second point, yours truly doesn’t seem to understand what she means when she writes

[..]These two sentences (deciding on a flavour, and deciding that caramel tastes bad) seem to contain meaning; I am making a choice.

Our problem here being to determine whether this choice is free or not. She has already stated she has tasted caramel and didn’t like it- which to me represents a past cause and deciding on flavour is dependent favourites and motives so that if the greater motive is to try a new taste, regardless of whether she liked vanilla the previous, she will decide to try lets say strawberry.

As Schopenhauer wrote elsewhere, and I think it is persuasive that

[H]e is such and such a man, because once for all it is his will to be that man. For the will itself, and in itself, and also in so far as it is manifest in an individual, accordingly constitutes the original and fundamental desires of that individual, is independent of all knowledge, because it is antecedent to such knowledge. All that it receives from knowledge is the series of motives by which it successively develops its nature and makes itself cognisable or visible; but the will itself, as something that lies beyond time, so long as it exists at all, never changes. Therefore every man, being what he is and placed in the circumstances which for the moment obtain, but which on their part also arise by strict necessity, can absolutely never do anything else than just what at that moment he does do. Accordingly, the whole course of a man’s life, in all its incidents great and small, is as necessarily predetermined as the course of a clock.

In this case, the will is uncaused. Knowledge only comes to support the will and the phenomena of the will, that is our actions, follow like clockwork upon the laws of nature. We can go further and say and we will what we choose but we cannot choose what we will.

We would answer, tongue in cheek, yes to the question

Could we not say that it was their will that led them to their respective destinies? Could we not say that the Will was the cause?

as long as we grant that they don’t chose what to will. It must be understood that the acts of the will are not free and it is with this that the discussion o freewill is concerned. It is on the phenomena that, in my view, is the concern when we are discussing freewill and these I think are not free.

As I have said, I think the OP started with a case of false dilemma and so when she writes

it doesn’t seem like I’m committing any major sort of syntactical or logical error

she is blind to the dilemma she put herself in, in the very first place. I don’t think there are only two explanations available and other possibilities need also be examined.

I don’t know if this claim that

we all have the following two intuitions about ourselves and the world: (1) things are caused, and (2) we have free will.

is correct about everyone.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. I also would like to stop here so this post doesn’t get longer than it already is.

Freewill and determinism

Freewill and determinism

The author of this post, Cornell, is my friend whom we have met before on this blog.

My friend believes the bible is true, so he starts his post thus

I can’t help but think that the people in the Old Testament had it easy when it came to hearing from God. At least then, God would speak directly and audibly through the prophets.

and he says the bible confirms it! How sweet.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways[ Hebrew 1:1]

I think it is not that a god, whatever you designate god to be, spoke to this people but that they thought a god spoke to them. He says,

But today, at least for me, it seems not so easy to know God’s will on the non-moral choices in life.

and we are left wondering on which choices does he hear the will of god? We could end this post here, by saying, as was said centuries ago, that in worshiping god, man adores himself so that whatever he calls god’s will is really his will sugar coated to give it credence and maybe make god responsible for seeing it through.

Please tell me, if this isn’t what happened even to the bible authors

When [most]Christians today speak about hearing from God, apart from the Bible, they are mainly referring to “impressions” on their hearts and minds, “thoughts and ideas”, hindsight and maybe the words of another human being.

Is there a time in history when this hasn’t been the case. Whenever a person says god spoke to me, they have always meant to say what they think their god would want them to say and this is always in line with what they want.

I wish, instead of stopping at

The next time someone tells you “God told me…” or “God led me to…”, do not always assume God spoke to them audibly as He did to Elijah. Prod that statement

he would extend the demand to anyone who mentioned a god. That this statement be prodded. Maybe he would just help his fellow men.

As many people have said elsewhere, there seem to be a disconnect between what believers think of what their god does and what the rest of us think would be the priorities of a god the believer describes. We are told

At least Benjamin Wambugu does. He recalls how he thought God was leading Him into pastoral ministry by providing for Him through His undergraduate theological education. Everyone thought he was going to be a pastor.  ”Through His servants, [God] spoke to me clearly, that He needed me to go to Bible school,” says Benjamin.

And one is left to wonder what really goes in the mind of such an egotist. There are enough pastors already, why would god want more? Isn’t it time god started ensuring there were no kids dying from starvation or at least intervened in some of the wars that end in death by the thousands! Just asking.

And the things the believer prays for!

 Roseanne did not always consider, let alone plan, to be a pastor’s wife. But when she met and befriended a handsome man who had a passion for God, she had to deal with and accept the reality of being a pastor’s wife.

Maybe I should pray, but to who now? and to ask for what?

Am a bit confused at this point. What does the brother mean when he writes

We do not need extra-biblical voices to discern God’s will over right and wrong. But when it comes to choosing between right and left, God speaks to us in amazing and often unexpected ways.

and do they have such a low opinion about our ability to discern those things that are a threat to the survival of our species that only when they are told it has been said by a god they would consider it. I am truly waiting for the day the christian shall follow the over 600 rules and directives as outlined in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Maybe that way we will all agree that man doesn’t use his reason but takes all her instruction from a god.

I honestly would wish my friend applied his reason to think about what he writes and to note how ridiculous it does sound to an observer.

Where is the lord leading you

Where is the lord leading you to?

I have chosen to write this response here because in the OP, in a response to one person who read and commented on his article he wrote

 Most comments from atheists are sent to spam. I have a lot of atheists that attempt to “refute” articles on my website on a daily basis. I simply do not have time to debate all of you through comments on my website. If you must know what I thought of your response, I thought it was crude, logically incoherent, and highlighted some of the glaring issues in the atheist worldview.

and since we are most of the time quite generous and polite, we will have no problem if he chooses to respond to us. However, we will not allow an insult on the host or his friends. That would be against house rules.

On this blog atheism means the lack of belief in god[s]. We spend time once in a while reading posts by theists to just to get to know what new argument they have developed in their arsenal of non arguments for  god. We are here pleased to present to you the existential argument against atheism. If you have never come across it, don’t worry, we too had not heard about it till a few days ago. And here is why you may not have heard it

The Existential Argument is an argument that I developed, and it focuses on how the atheist must borrow from the Christian worldview in order live their own lives.

Let us pause for a while here. The Muslim must borrow from the christian, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the Baha’i, the adherent of Africa Traditional religion! You see what happens when we close our eyes and minds? But let us read on, he tells

I have developed this argument to bolster the Transcendental Argument for God, and I consider it to be an extension of Van Tillian and Clarkian philosophy. This argument can be used by Van Tillian presuppositional apologists, Classical apologists, and Clarkian presuppositional apologists

in the name of all that is reasonable, who are these people and why are several arguments needed to justify  an omnipotent god. Please tell me and tell me clearly, what part of omnipotence requires apologetics. The universe is, nobody argues against its existence. The philosophical question that I have heard is

how do we know that what we see around us is the real deal, and not some grand illusion perpetuated by an unseen force?

More on this for a future post.

We are told the argument has two aspects

These two aspects are meaning(anthropology) and morality(axiology)

and we are told

The argument shows the atheist that they have to borrow from the presuppositions and implications of the Christian worldview in order to live a coherent lifestyle

in a short while we will hopefully be told what these are. Just be patient. However, we will digress just a moment to clear things up. A delusion is defined as

 a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary

and we must ask for a justification for

The Existential Argument is a deductive argument that falsifies the atheist worldview by demonstrating that it is a delusion.

The argument has been formulated thus

1. If a worldview is true then you should be able to live consistently with that worldview.

2. Atheists are unable to live consistently with their worldview.

3. If you can’t live consistently with an atheist worldview then the worldview does not reflect reality.

4. If a worldview does not reflect reality then that worldview is a delusion.

5. If atheism is a delusion then atheism cannot be true.

Conclusion: Atheism is false.

Each of these premises are problematic. Premise #1, a worldview must not be true for one to live consistently with it. My grandfathers believed there were spirits everywhere, good and bad, who needed appeasing and they lived consistently with such a worldview. It wasn’t true. So the premise falls on that point.

#2 unless one is an atheist, this premise is open to disproof. If atheism is a lack of belief in gods, what are these presuppositions it makes?

#3 falls with two.

#4 delusions deal with beliefs. We could grant that 4 is correct

#5 it is this that is in need of proof. It cannot be the argument and at the same time a premise.

There is no way in getting to the conclusion using the above premises. They are weak, poorly formulated and tell us nothing.

A spoiler, the arguments you are yet to see read like WLC copycat maybe it is a clone, we can never know, can we? He lists these as the starting point for Christianity

1. Axiology-There are moral values that have prescriptive value. That is to say, there are things we are morally obligated to do or not do.

2. Metaphysics- Nature exists, but there are also things that exist beyond nature.

3. Epistemology-In the Christian worldview, God is omniscient. Thus, knowledge must be possible, for if an all knowing being exists, then it is necessary that knowledge also be possible, or else the being could not really be all knowing. You can’t have a description of reality where knowledge isn’t possible and still have an omniscient being.

4. Teleology- The universe and its inhabitants have a purpose in life.

5. Theology-God exists.

6. Anthropology-All individuals have purpose in life.

7. Cosmology-God created the universe.

and these

1. Axiology-There can be no objective moral values in atheism, they must be relative to each individual.

2. Metaphysics- Nature is all that can exist.

3. Epistemology-Nothing can ultimately be known because we don’t have perfect knowledge.

4. Teleology- There is no purpose for humanity.

5. Theology- God does not exist.

6. Anthropology- There is no ultimate purpose for the universe.

7. Cosmology-Evolution is the only game in town for atheism.

and these for atheism. In order to refute those  listed under atheism, in no particular order, we contend here that theology being the study of god has offered no results. We are where we were in 212 BCE with Tertullian. Anthropology is the study of humankind, past and present, that draws and builds upon knowledge from social and biological sciences, as well as the humanities and the natural sciences and has nothing to do with whether the universe has purpose or not. And while here, why must things have ultimate purposes. What is the theist’s obsession with absolutes, ultimate-s and infinites? Cosmology  is the study of the origins and eventual fate of the universe and has nothing or little to do with the beginning and progress of life. Naturalistic evolution, the only game in town, deals with the progress of life in the universe and ID or creationism isn’t an alternative theory.  The theist as we have said elsewhere must first tell us what god intended to arrive at the conclusion that the universe is designed. Moral values are subjective but have an objective appearance because of our shared humanity. Nature is all that is. Show me that which is non nature and I will change my mind. Our knowledge is infinite in the extent that we are always able to discover something new about the universe but this is provisional. There can always be a better explanation.

One more point that I need to add; I plead guilty to the charge of nihilism. This doesn’t mean I can’t find things that give my life meaning, on the contrary the realization that life is absurd calls for a revolt not suicide. And to not commit suicide, I have to create meaning or look for those things that would make my days worthwhile. If the theist thinks there is an ultimate purpose in the universe, please tell me what this is. I need to know it.

He tells us about the absurdity of life without god[how he knows this is still unknown] and writes

Loren Eisley writes, “Man is the cosmic orphan. He’s the only creature in the universe who asks, ‘Why?’

He’s the only creature we know asks why, we don’t know whether baboons do. We have no way of telling.

Apart from reading Craig, is lying also part of the deal for apologists? We are told

 Ever since the period of Enlightenment there has been a part of humanity that has been trying to shake off ‘the shackles of religion.’ They began trying to answer the questions in life without God.

which is not true. The Greeks several years before the christian era started questioning the existence of deities. Democritus was a thorough going materialist and determinist. To say the question of a godless universe started with the enlightenment demonstrates that one is either ignorant of the facts, a liar or both, you decide.

He tells us this about the answers, and it is good to hear it from him

the answers that came back were not at all exhilarating, rather, they were dark and terrible: You are nothing more than the unintentional bi-product of matter, plus energy, plus time, plus chance. There is no ultimate reason for your existence, all you face is death.

There is nothing dark about the answers. That they are dark is a subjective judgement of one individual and is not true for all. It is a great mystery being alive considering we are just atoms combined just slightly different from the combination in the stone. This is not a terrible or dark thing, at least I don’t find it so.  It is terrible to think you are the product of a god who is jealous, angry and vengeful. A god who punishes up to the fourth generation and has decided in his great wisdom that a great percentage of our race will be punished for eternity [and that’s a long time] for not believing in him, when there was never evidence for his/ her/ its existence. Please tell me which is darker!

I could be wrong, but Christians have been telling for a long time now we live in the end times. Science in talking about the eventual death of the universe doesn’t anticipate a divine destroyer waiting to pass judgement, it makes a prediction based on mathematical models of what would happen in different scenarios and not so with the theist. Their god is waiting on the day of judgement to try us for mind crimes. He makes no argument against atheism by writing

The universe also faces a death of its own. The universe is expanding, galaxies and other heavenly bodies are growing farther apart. As the energy dissipates the universe will grow colder, stars will become dark, all matter and will collapse into black holes and there will be no light. There will be no heat, no life, but only the corpses of dead stars and galaxies, ever expanding into the darkness. The entire universe is moving irretrievably to its grave. There is no escape, no hope.

I will go with Dante when he said if god did not exist, one had to be created. I will also agree with the philosopher who said with god everything is permitted. I disagree with anyone who argues that without god there is no morals. The universe is ultimately absurd consider the things you do daily; you eat, shit, eat again an endless cycle just so you don’t die from hunger or showering every so often and still having to repeat the exercise, all absurdity. In the dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro, we learn that introducing gods in the discussion about piety/ good does not solve the problem. In fact looking at the argument, it is immediately obvious that good and bad are independent of gods.

When the author tells us

The Christian worldview is the only worldview that is logically consistent when you take all seven presuppositions into account

he ignores the question of their truth. An argument can be logically sound but still invalid. The above presuppositions for the christian worldview though consistent with it are utterly false when checked against reality.

The author anticipates some of the objections and one I already mentioned here. But then he writes

Atheists, like Christians, have a theological portion of their worldview; however, their particular presupposition is that there is no god.

Theology is the study of the nature of god and his interaction with the world/ universe. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. How, tell me, does a person come up with such a ridiculous statement?

In conclusion he writes

 From the very time that an atheist begins to try to engage us, they end up losing the debate because they had to presuppose ideas that are not kosher with an atheist worldview

A statement that has been shown to be false every time we engage theists. They scatter to the nearest hole to bring up Craig, Platinga and CS Lewis or at worst Lee Strobel.

Am done here, if there is anything we have learnt from this argument, it is a rehash of WLC bullshit and makes not a stride against atheism.

As a bonus

Atheism epic fail

Epic atheism fail

On this blog we make no claims that we know more than the rest, no, that isn’t how we do it here. On this blog we try to sift through a lot of material just to give you an inspirational post and we also know you are pressed for time to check out all the god stuff so we do it as a way to contribute to the knowledge base that the human race has been gathering till this point in time.

Today we came to this a post that we thought would be very promising but left us a tad disappointed. It is all the same story, but told differently. The author starts

it takes more faith to not believe in the existence of God then it does to believe that God does exist.

and here we ask ourselves did the meaning of faith change over night? We lack a belief in gods because there has been insufficient evidence to warrant a belief and the word god is so ambiguous that it’s almost if not impossible to have a debate about it.

So when we read

where did God come from?

we thought for a moment that we will get a difference answer from the one we have in mind. Shock on us. We are told

I believe that God has always existed. He did not come from anywhere (He wasn’t created).

And we were like which god was this for we are certain if it is the christian one, he wasn’t known to the Sumerians, the Chinese till some Hebrew herdsmen concocted him from among the pantheon of deities they worshiped. However, our bigger question is how does he know this?

The author admits and we agree that

this may seem like a copout answer, and it kind of is

and we could have ended our post here had he not gone beyond this point. But he proceeds to tell us

My faith starts and ends (in this argument) on two pillars:

1)      God exists
2)      He created the universe

Premise one is the question we are need of an answer to. To say the universe was created and by the particular deity is to float in sea of ignorance from where one can’t be rescued. There are several problems here. One has to demonstrate the universe was in need of a creator, why the named creator created the universe, how and from what and besides we would like to be told how one moves from a creator of the universe to a personal god. We are patient so we will wait for the answer.

The author tells us

I am sure that there is not simply one doctrine that all those who do not believe in the existence of God accept

but we are in no need of doctrine. Is there a code book for non stamp collectors?

My friends now we get to the one doctrine that you and me believe or follow

For the sake of this post, I am choosing one example of why it takes more faith to believe the universe exists without God creating it. Whereas a Christian believes that God exists outside of time and space and therefore He can have always existed without having a physical world; an atheist would have to believe that matter (in some form) has always existed.

I would want to know anyone who believes matter can be created or destroyed. If on the other hand all of us are in agreement that matter can neither be destroyed nor created, we arrive at a single conclusion that it has always existed. My understanding is limited and as such I would want help with understanding existence out of space and time.

I honestly do not and cannot tell how we get to

If matter has always existed, then there would have to be an infinite number of days in the past; the clock would have always been running, in which case we would never have arrived at today (there would always be one more day to get through before today).

and I ask for help in understanding why this should be so. It does not follow that if matter has been eternal we should be a day behind today- if this isn’t an oxymoron then I need a refund from my teacher of English plus interest.

And if we grant this

This would take faith because we have never observed the world without time being in the equation.

as true for the purpose of argument. The question we must ask here is who has observed god out of time and space. I will wait for the answer, am not in a hurry on this one I promise.

We are given two conditions. That either we accept

1)      God exists
2)      He created the universe

or

1)      There is no God
2)      There is a universe

then we are told

the latter takes more faith because my mind is always trying to figure things out, so “just because” is seldom an acceptable conclusion.

Please tell me how the second set of arguments require faith?

To make this a little bit easy for our christian, I have a set of questions

  1. which god exists? If you dismiss Apollo or Isis what criteria did you use to invalidate the belief of the countless people who believed and worshiped them?
  2. what evidence leads you to the belief that the universe was created?
  3. and granting for a moment the universe was created, how do you know it was by your particular god?
  4. how can you tell the difference between an always existing universe and a created one?

The author tells us in conclusion we have to

We are left with the choice to believe, by faith, one way or the other (or we could sit on the fence and be agnostic)

which is not true. We don’t have to have faith that matter has always existed. We don’t need faith that there, has been to the present, no evidence for god[s] other than the claims of priests, charlatans and mystics. There is no faith required in knowing the universe exists. There is no contradiction in the second premises and they don’t require faith.

But he is correct when he says

we exist and exist on a planet that works for us

and whereas the question of

How did we get here?

is important, god did it is not an answer to the problem and we are better of looking for answers from nature instead of creating phantoms in an attempt to answer such an existential question.

We are disappointed for we expected to be told where gods originated but that was not to be the case. In order then to offer a plausible answer to the question, we proffer an explanation that gods were created by our ancestors when they were ignorant of causes and were fearful of things that everywhere around them threatened to devour them whether disease or other calamities as earthquakes, famine and so on. They populated their world with spirits, good and bad, in constant warfare with each other.

I end this post here by answering our questioner that gods came from ignorance and that is why as man grows in intelligence in the same proportion does gods relevance and influence become smaller. I am however aware of those smarts who hold onto to a belief in gods and spirits. These I must say are a fringe group and it is the work of social scientists to explain how such a phenomena is possible.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

where did god come from?

Where did god come from?

I was recently at a funeral and the thoughts that I had written a few days ago about grieving and the subsequent discussions we had resurfaced in my mind. As I was there listening to each person who spoke to the bereaved family and to all those present, it occurred to me that for most people, or rather for those who spoke, that this life is just a preparation for another life, a future life of bliss for those who follow the right god and damnation for everyone else. While this thought alone irks me, for why would a person who thinks his particular god is loving, also hold in the same brain that this god will punish others for eternity for not bending to his whims, forget that the said god is also said to be all-powerful.

There is a particular speaker who did say they believe, or rather their religion teaches, that if a child dies, they go straight to heaven and  encouraged the parents to stay on the path of the lord and they will be sure to go to heaven. He added, even though it is sad to lose a child, the parents should have cause to be happy for their child would at the required time refuse to go to heaven?unless all those she loved are in heaven. I have a problem with this line of thought for a few reasons

  1. If god cares that we go to heaven, and children head there straight away, why not ensure we all die as children?
  2. If to go to heaven, all one requires is the innocence of a child, why not just populate heaven?
  3. Why do people want to live after they have died? 

The other thing I no longer can reconcile myself to belief is that there is more after this life. There was a time, long ago I could have wanted it to be true but not anymore. The life we have here is temporal but it is the ONLY one we know and as far as we can tell the only one we will live. It is time imams, priests, church ministers and other fraudsters in the names of deities started to tell their followers the truth, and that truth is that life here is much more important that any other imaginary life. People must be told that death marks the end of their existence and they will go back to where they were before they were born. To accept this will go along way in making people look to this life in a different light, as a life worth living and that we need not make preparations for a future existence, especially since we did have to make preparations for this one.

If I should remember what others said, I will update this post… I promise 😛

Reflections on bereavement

These are my thoughts based on a post written by a christian as a response to a post by an atheist on grief, entitled Grieving as an atheist- a surprising dilemma. I urge to read the two links to get the correct picture of the matter at hand.

A while back a dear friend of mine lost a baby boy, a small baby. When I went to see him, all those who had come to see him told him how his boy was in a good place- how they know is for another day- that god had his reasons for calling him. I don’t know and still can’t see how those words, no matter how reassuring they sound is of any help. I didn’t tell him much that evening, but I think just being there with him was sufficient. I recall back when my mum died, just knowing my friends were close by was enough for me and we would, to just distract ourselves from all the grief, tell jokes with one another. The passing of a loved one is indeed depressing to say the least and it is not any less for the atheist. To, however, presume there is something magical about telling those bereaved that their relative, friend, child or parent is another place I don’t think is a solution and does not make death any richer!

I  have a big problem when the OP writes

Ms. White is correct on a surface level. Being a friend is important and being a friend in the time of crisis is necessary, but if there is no answer to the grave, if there is no word of assurance which can be offered, friendship does not become a substitute

because the author here feels that since he believes in a heaven or whatever place people go after they die, to be a friend is on correct on the surface! I contend that all you really need is to know there are friends who will listen, offer a helping hand and most of all allow you to cry on their shoulders. It is only when you experience loss do you realize the hollowness of such words as be strong and so and so is in heaven. The only reason sometimes I don’t mourn when I think of ma is knowing that she is at rest, free from all willing and desiring. Do I miss her? Yes every moment!

As I have said in a number of articles, atheism answers to one question and the rest are for grabs. To claim that atheism is bleak because there are no talk of gods is to pretend to be unaware of atheistic religions and is to express an ignorance that shows how one holds their chosen religion in a place of privilege inspite of any evidence to the contrary. It is to act like a child, who having seen no other toys, thinks his wire toy is the best that can ever be!

If to believe that a god loves you and waits to meet you in heaven gives your life meaning, be my guest! I don’t ask you to live my life for me. If after looking at life and seeing it having no meaning or purpose beyond that which we give it is sufficient for me, why should it bother you? I ask though, if the religious person believes their lives have some special meaning, why do they get bored? And what, tell me, is this meaning? Is it same for the Jew as for the Muslim or the different gods have different demands or offer different meanings?

In the face of death, the words of the writer of Ecclesiastes ring true when he says in Ecclesiastes 3

19 Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. 20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.

The OP’s conclusion contradicts everything he has said about atheism and death. He writes,

As Christians, we must be clear that we do not believe in the hope an afterlife simply because it offers us a therapeutic response to death. Rather, we believe in the hope of heaven because of the truths found in Scripture namely, that Christ has come, Christ has defeated sin, and Christ has conquered the grave. There is a peace which comes to us and a satisfaction we can have by our faith in these great truths.

If this is not therapeutic and is told for that reason among others, then someone please educate me on what is meant by therapeutic.

I urge the author of the post to spend time to read Ingersoll’s address at his brother’s funeral, to read letter SERVIUS SULPICIUS TO CICERO on the loss of his daughter Tulia, where there is no mention of heaven or hell but still moving or to read the letter by Epicurus to Menoeceus where he tells him, in part,

Accustom yourself to believe that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply awareness, and death is the privation of all awareness; therefore a right understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life an unlimited time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For life has no terror; for those who thoroughly apprehend that there are no terrors for them in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the person who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not.

And if at the end you still find this as bleak, then you need help.

Painful as it is to lose a loved one, a close friend, telling them they are going to heaven or that you are praying for them is a hollow reassurance. There is much more value in being by their side, listening to their sorrows and offering a helping hand when necessary. This my friends are my thoughts on the matter and I contend here there is nothing bleak about knowing that when I die, I will be no more. It makes this life worth living and fighting for.

Grieving as an atheist