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Old 27th August 2019, 09:32 AM   #1
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Are atheists inevitably pessimists?

Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
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Old 27th August 2019, 09:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
Facts not in evidence.

I'm pretty upbeat for a man of my age.
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Old 27th August 2019, 09:42 AM   #3
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Who could have predicted that religion would paint atheists darkly?
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Old 27th August 2019, 09:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?
I don't see why they would. Spiritual beliefs can be optimistic or bleak. Atheists can be humanists or anarchists, same as everyone else. One finds meaning in stuff real or not.
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Old 27th August 2019, 09:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering...
Buddhists are all about learning to deal w/ suffering, but they need not invoke any deities to help get you there.
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Old 27th August 2019, 09:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?

No. Next question.
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Old 27th August 2019, 09:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
No. Next question.
Question answered. Thread closed.
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Are atheists inevitably pessimists?
No.
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
What is the prognosis for those going to Hell for eternity? Optimism?

What about those who end up in Heaven for eternity but whose son or daughter or father or mother goes to Hell? Are they going to enjoy their eternity in paradise knowing their loved ones are suffering for eternity?
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
What is the prognosis for those going to Hell for eternity? Optimism?

What about those who end up in Heaven for eternity but whose son or daughter or father or mother goes to Hell? Are they going to enjoy their eternity in paradise knowing their loved ones are suffering for eternity?
Whenever I think of the Christian heaven I see it as having some sort of happiness field: you're happy, but have no reason to be. You're happy because you're in the presence of God. What does that mean? Sounds more like hell to me; one of those sci-fi/fantasy places where people's wills have been removed for the greater good*. Hell, several video games I've played recently have exactly this idea in their core story.


*The greater good!
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
It's questions like this that remind me of how arrogant and smug the religious can be.
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:14 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kali1137 View Post
It's questions like this that remind me of how arrogant and smug the religious can be.
Stop being so pessimistic!
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Stop being so pessimistic!
Darn it, there I go being all atheist again!
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?
That's a very loaded question.

The answer is no.
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:39 AM   #15
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Let's see, "The (human) heart is deceitful and desperately wicked," so we need to get God to come over and put some restraints on it. How pessimistic!
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?


Are such "underlying spiritual beliefs" the only way to mitigate suffering? No? Then that's your answer.
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:45 AM   #17
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In a way I would say yes. In moments when I realise I'll never see the people I loved and lost again. When I accept I'll never see what my grandchildren do or achieve etc, yes it does get me down a little
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:53 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rayheno View Post
In a way I would say yes. In moments when I realise I'll never see the people I loved and lost again. When I accept I'll never see what my grandchildren do or achieve etc, yes it does get me down a little
You're not going to be there then, so be here now.
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Old 27th August 2019, 10:54 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?
The glass is only dark from your point of view. From here it's pretty darn clear.
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:06 AM   #20
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'Trough a glass darkly' doesn't mean pessimistic, it's a comment on the limits of human perception.

Also, not believing in god's isn't more or less pessimistic than believing in them.
Case in point: puritans, doomsday cults, and so on.
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:24 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?

I certainly hope not unless the glass is smoky from the altar fires burning in the places of worship of various religions.


What's to be pessimistic about, in a general way? If you mean that I don't believe in eternal boredom or torment, that's not being pessimistic. Au contraire.


Let's see, sit around all day being tormented in hell. That's bad.


Sit around all day praising some god for whatever. That's as bad as being tormented in hell.


The result either way: Torment.
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:40 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
The answer is no. I consider myself to be an optimist. But we are probably more inclined to be realists and not do a lot of wishful thinking though.
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:45 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by rayheno View Post
In a way I would say yes. In moments when I realise I'll never see the people I loved and lost again. When I accept I'll never see what my grandchildren do or achieve etc, yes it does get me down a little
I'm not sure that's how one defines pessimism. You are describing sadness.


From Dictionary.com:
Quote:
noun
the tendency to expect the worst and see the worst in all things
the doctrine of the ultimate triumph of evil over good
the doctrine that this world is corrupt and that man's sojourn in it is a preparation for some other existence
That sounds like the Christian religion to me. Oh wait, it is.

Here's the other definition:
Quote:
noun
the tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems, etc.:
His pessimism about the future of our country depresses me.
the doctrine that the existing world is the worst of all possible worlds, or that all things naturally tend to evil.
the belief that the evil and pain in the world are not compensated for by goodness and happiness.
I don't see anything in either of these definitions that I relate to atheism.
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:49 AM   #24
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Of course we're cranky. You have any idea how hard it is to get fresh baby to eat in this country?
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:50 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Buddhists are all about learning to deal w/ suffering, but they need not invoke any deities to help get you there.
Stephen Colbert is a huge Catholic. He said where there is life, there is suffering. . Which reminded me of a quote from a Princess Bride. "Life is pain Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

You have to accept the good with the bad. But you have to embrace life and hope. Get busy living or get busy dying. That's God damn right.
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:51 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Stephen Colbert is a huge Catholic. He said where there is life, there is suffering. . Which reminded me of a quote from a Princess Bride. "Life is pain Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

You have to accept the good with the bad. But you have to embrace life and hope. Get busy living or get busy dying. That's God damn right.
I'm sorry, you're only allowed to quote a single movie per post.
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Old 27th August 2019, 11:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
Who could have predicted that religion would paint atheists darkly?
Who could have imagined that those conveying a message of unendurable yet unending torment (for most humans) consider themselves the bearers of good news?
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Old 27th August 2019, 12:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
I find the common religious belief in pre-destination to be depressing. Bad things will happen according to gods' plans, and there's bugger-all you can do about it.

By contrast, an appreciation of the history of science and human endeavor shows me that with intelligence, ingenuity, and effort people can improve their condition. That seems optimistic to me.

Last edited by Pope130; 27th August 2019 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 27th August 2019, 12:21 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by d4m10n View Post
Buddhists are all about learning to deal w/ suffering, but they need not invoke any deities to help get you there.
They teach about existence of nirvana, state without suffering. In atheistic world there is nothing like that. No end of suffering. No meaning. No justice.

I don't have problem with that. I take things how they are, not how I want them to be. Suffering still can be somewhat helped, and meaning nor justice are needed.
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Old 27th August 2019, 12:23 PM   #30
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Just personal experience, but I have known atheists that were not at all pessimists. Quite the opposite. However, yes, I have also known some who were so pessimistic as to be intolerable. The difference seemed to be if the individual had a sense of humor. There is nothing quite as stark as a humorless atheist.
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Old 27th August 2019, 12:40 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Of course we're cranky. You have any idea how hard it is to get fresh baby to eat in this country?
It takes some time, but you can make your own.
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Old 27th August 2019, 12:52 PM   #32
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OP asserts several assumptions:
- underlying religious beliefs mitigate suffering
- underlying religious beliefs are the only mechanism for mitigating suffering
- optimism is not possible without religious beliefs

I am bemused.
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Old 27th August 2019, 01:23 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
They teach about existence of nirvana, state without suffering.
This is true but woefully incomplete. Buddhist teachings about overcoming dukkhaWP primarily focus on how to change your mind throughout your life, rather than how to attain a final state of transcendence.
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Old 27th August 2019, 01:24 PM   #34
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I can imagine atheist do seem pretty cranky from the POV of a religious person who spends all their time either spouting off gibberish at them that's been debunked a million times or telling them they are going to burn in hell.

"So anyways I went and talked to these atheists about how they are horrible sinners who are going to suffer for eternity and how evolution is a lie because of why are there still monkeys and let me tell you... cranky bunch of people."
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Old 27th August 2019, 01:39 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Scorpion View Post
Having no underlying spiritual beliefs to mitigate suffering, are atheists inevitably seeing the world through a glass darkly?


"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." 1 Corinthians 13:12
Wow - I suppose given your bleak and horrendous beliefs you may want to think atheists suffer as you do but remember atheism is not a belief system so has nothing to do with how one may face the world.
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Old 27th August 2019, 03:26 PM   #36
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Welp, I'm a natheist, and I pretty often view life* through a dark glass. Of cab sauv or merlot or pinot or sometimes a zinny. Over dinner on the evening-shady sunporch amid my own flowery gardens. Does that count?

* More accurately, my girl friend sitting opposite me. She takes the same view of me. Have to ask her sometime how I look. Darkish, I expect.
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Old 27th August 2019, 04:35 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I'm sorry, you're only allowed to quote a single movie per post.

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Old 27th August 2019, 04:40 PM   #38
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 20,926
"There's no rules!" *Takes my shirt off and twirls if over my head*
"PUT YOUR SHIRT BACK ON!"
"There's one rule!" *Puts my shirt back on*
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- "Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset
- "Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
- "To the best of my knowledge the only thing philosophy has ever proven is that Descartes could think." - SMBC
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Old 27th August 2019, 07:37 PM   #39
arthwollipot
Observer of Phenomena
 
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 64,368
Quote:
"Isn't this enough?
Just this world?

"Just this beautiful, complex
Wonderfully unfathomable, natural world?
How does it so fail to hold our attention
That we have to diminish it with the invention
Of cheap, man-made myths and monsters?

If you're so into Shakespeare
Lend me your ear:
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily
To throw perfume on the violet is just ******* silly
Or something like that

Or what about Satchmo?!
I see trees of green
Red roses too

And fine, if you wish to
Glorify Krishna and Vishnu
In a post-colonial, condescending
Bottled-up and labeled kind of way
Then whatever, that's okay

But here's what gives me a hard-on:
I am a tiny, insignificant, ignorant lump of carbon
I have one life, and it is short
And unimportant

But thanks to recent scientific advances
I get to live twice as long
As my great great great great uncleses and auntses
Twice as long to live this life of mine
Twice as long to love this wife of mine

Twice as many years of friends and wine
Of sharing curries and getting ******
With good-looking hippies
With fairies on their spines
And butterflies on their titties
- Tim Minchin
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Old 27th August 2019, 08:00 PM   #40
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 23,471
Is that from "Storm"? Gonna have to watch some Minchin tomorrow.

ETA: Or tonight. That's just as awesome as the first time. More Tim tomorrow.
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Last edited by Trebuchet; 27th August 2019 at 08:11 PM.
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