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Last words of eminent athesits

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by wayne-scales, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. wayne-scales

    wayne-scales Well-Known Member

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    David Hume: I am in the flames!

    Sir Thomas Scott: Until this moment, I thought there was neither God nor hell; now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty!

    Thomas Paine: I would give worlds if I had them, that The Age of Reason had never been published. O Lord, help me! Christ, help me! . . No, don't leave; stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of Hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one.

    Voltaire [to his doctor]: I am abandoned by God and man; I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six months' life. [Doc says no dice] Then I shall die and go to hell!


    And many more, I assume!


    Normally, I'd say that anyone would go mad on their death bed, or become uncertain of their convictions and become frightened, or I'd call shenanigans on the whole thing; but fuck me if reading this didn't scare the shit outta me!
     
  2. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Interesting stuff, the final confessions of atheists. Surely, not all atheists had such 180's when they died. Or maybe they weren't famous enough for anyone to take note. I'm unsure if there's anything beyond. My experiences with entities in my old house makes me wonder. And my dreams of the future make me wonder if I'm actually god taking a new body for a ride. I'm a mess.
     
  3. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    That's crazy talk, Gross, but a neat summary of mystic theory.

    Creature and creator are in essence one,
    They differ only in adjuncts and awareness.


    The question is whether everyone is god, or just you; it's the difference between mysticism and schitzaphrenia.
     
  4. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

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    I'll worship Grossenschwamm just to be on the safe side.
     
  5. Drog Alt

    Drog Alt New Member

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    I'm not really an atheist. I just don't care. Nobody in my family was religious, so I never had much interest in religion or anti-religion (that's what atheism really is).
     
  6. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    The Bible teaches that God gives people over to their own depravity and their minds are darkened, incapable of comprehending the truth about God. Perhaps at the end, He opens their eyes. How distressing that would be, to know that your life had been wasted and that you would shortly have to give an account for it before the Almighty.
     
  7. wayne-scales

    wayne-scales Well-Known Member

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    Saying that though, I think I read somewhere that some religious fanatics, like St. Thomas Aquinas, did a bit of a turnaround on their deathbeds too.
     
  8. DaneKoponen

    DaneKoponen New Member

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    Religious beliefs in general are so preposterous, so utterly insane that it truly boggles my mind. I have difficulty even talking with someone who is deeply religious, much less respecting their ideas, since they've already proven themselves incapable of logical thought.

    That anyone formerly rational would give in to such madness in their dying moments is a testament to the power of the fear and emotion that must have overcome them. I've been around enough terminally ill folks to have seen people look for comfort in anything in their last few weeks... the thought that perhaps the failure of the physical shell is not a permanent death, and that there is a world beyond our own must be such a tempting insanity. If it gives them even a glimmer of hope, it might just be a blessing...

    I've been in a serious accident where I believed I was dying, and without emergency medical care I certainly would have. I believe the feelings I felt at the time could be expressed primarily as fear, panic, desperation... but primarily an overpowering sense of urgency to keep living. My mind did not stray to any abstract thoughts beyond what my next step should be to ensure my survival. With maybe a little bit of "Shit! Is this really how I'm doing to die?" mixed in there :/

    Interestingly, at the time, and to this day, I believe that everything is meaningless. What we do with our lives, what our beliefs are... a hundred trillion years from now there will be no effect. So, prior to that event I had seen the world through pretty apathetic eyes. Really, what did it matter if I died? And yet, the rush of chemicals that determine our emotions was so great at the time as to overcome any reasoning. I would have liked to have been calmly accessing my options and taking the best course of action. Sadly, I think my thoughts were slightly less orderly. Just goes to show how when it comes down to it, really we're pretty much programmed to feel and act as we do. All our emotions and motivations... just brain chemicals and hormones. And boy, these bodies of ours really hate dying!

    But in my case I didn't have the time to really think like those who have been awaiting their deaths for days, months, or years. The thoughts that might take hold when in that state...

    I was probably going somewhere with all of this at one point, but somewhere along the way my train of thought kinda got derailed. It's 5 AM and I haven't eaten in nearly 24 hours, both of which are bad for thinking about well constructed posts. Or thinking in general.
     
  9. Archmage Orintil

    Archmage Orintil New Member

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    I wasn't capable of being frightened of nonexistence before I existed, therefore I reason I shall not be capable of being frightened of it after I cease to exist.
     
  10. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    The Bible teaches many things. Like how it's right to stone people for blaspheming. But apparently some of Gods words (God wrote the bible, remember?) are considered old fashioned, and aren't followed anymore.

    Maybe these poor dying bastards got desperate in their final hours and looked to whatever could save their asses. Human willpower can only be so strong, and enough trauma will break it.

    This is nothing to be afraid of. I bet there are more than a few religious people who have cursed their God/given up belief in their final hour because it let them die.

    Also: Atheism is not anti-religion, but some atheists are. Big difference.
     
  11. Xz

    Xz Administrator Staff Member

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    No.

    The term atheism originated from the Greek ἄθεος (atheos), meaning "without god".
     
  12. Archmage Orintil

    Archmage Orintil New Member

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    Pretty much. Most anti-theists are also atheists, but there's also anti-theists who believes in a god/creator, but are against organised religions.
     
  13. Drog Alt

    Drog Alt New Member

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    My point is that most people who call themselves "atheists" turn out to really hate religion. Some even go so far as to devote themselves to try and prove that God doesn't exist.

    People like me who just don't give a damn about religion usually simply say "I don't believe in anything".
     
  14. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Ergo, you're an atheist. Or, if you're unsure, an agnostic.
     
  15. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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    Incapable of logical thought? Why, because I don't believe that nothing suddenly and for no reason exploded into everything?


    The Law of Moses never applied to Gentiles, as you would know if you had ever read the complete canon rather than picking verses out of context in an attempt to make asinine arguments about religion. And as was pointed out countless times in the New Testament, the law was never intended to make people righteous. The law was given to reveal the unrighteousness of man and the need for a savior. And, as the savior Himself said, "Let him who has no sin throw the first stone."
     
  16. magikot

    magikot New Member

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    I'll worship Cthulhu and let him eat me on my death bed. My soul makes his tummy happy.
     
  17. wayne-scales

    wayne-scales Well-Known Member

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    I used to be one of the first to start a barrage on religion, as it is completely unnecessary and stupid; however, almost against my will, I have recognized that things like reason and faith, while pretty much mutually exclusive in their important aspects, are just different. Thomas Aquinas wrote, in his Summa Theologica, that you can't really argue faith with someone who doesn't believe in it; you can argue with a believing heretic, by quoting scripture etc., but it's like trying to prove physical theories to someone who just won't accept maths or reason at all if you endeavour to convert someone to faith while they abhor and reject its very essence.

    I'm not religious, and I'm not anti-religious. I suppose I'm non-theist, cause I just don't get how you could come up with something like that. If we'd never heard of Jesus or God, or any of those fine gents, to the day, I don't really see that someone would concoct it as a valid explanation of anything with everything that we now know and everything that we now know that we will later know. It just seems kinda stupid when you consider it rationally, and it's merely the remnants of a time when we just kinda made up fairy-stories to explain things (pre-585 BC?); but I don't really think it's meant to be considered rationally at all. Faith is just like a completely different mode of investigation, which is completely distinct from reason, which does make it senseless and ludicrous; but those who are of Faith shouldn't really care, by definition and distinction.
     
  18. ytzk

    ytzk Well-Known Member

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    I'm just literal about it. Religion means 'binding together', of people and ideas. Science is a mythology of who we are and what we should do, as well as a technique for experimenting.

    Even though the facts are presented faithfully in science, they are arranged to feed the human religious instinct: We evolved as the smartest beast in the universe; We discovered Science; We conquer the Earth, Disease, Death and the Galaxy; We live forever. Nice... praise science!

    The premise of scientific endeavour is that God does not play dice, that we are in an orderly universe and together we can learn its laws. Our dim and fragmentary existence yet plumbs the utmost depths of reality. Halelujah!

    All the ignorance, predjudice and hate in the world's religions are just people being people, rather than something caused by the existence of religion itself, which is generally a good system of ethics and basic hygeine.
     
  19. DaneKoponen

    DaneKoponen New Member

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    I would definitely disagree with regards to the ethics, but perhaps I've simply had the misfortune to have been exposed to a particularly hateful/zealous group all my life.

    Heart Of The Matter: God Under The Microscope | BBC (1996)

    The problem I have is that a lot of the hate, prejudice, etc. comes from the fact that a person's beliefs have closed their mind to understanding. It is difficult to hate with an open mind...

    And then there's all the obvious widespread political influence on a wide variety of issues... the impact is serious. In this day and age its... saddening to think it would still play such a role.
     
  20. Wolfsbane

    Wolfsbane Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    ytzk: there's a big difference between what science is and how you portrayed it. The premise of science is not that there is no God. The premise is that the more concrete evidence a theory has to back it up, the more probable it is that the theory is correct. A good scientific approach to anything is to think and analyze before you make up your mind, and to constantly know that the theory you believe to be true might be wrong in reality.

    Religion, on the other hand, teaches faith without question. Circular logic. You don't have to understand what is happening or why, you just have to believe. While it is true that religion has done good throughout history, this kind of behaviour provides evildoers with the ultimate weapon: people who doesn't question what they're being told. Suicidebombers, cult murderers, mass suicides, war. It is true that other forces inspire such acts as well; nationalism, politics. But none can provide as strong an argument as religion, because religion is immune to questioning. It is defient of reason. It is faith without proof.

    If a scientific fact is discovered to be wrong, it is corrected.
    But you don't correct religious texts. You adapt everything else to them.

    You should all read the works of Richard Dawkins. They make you think.
     

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