Question about atheism

Recently I read an article and saw the following words: “The conclusions suggest themselves: a faith built on the most cherished desires, no doubt, was created only to soothe, comfort and reassure us - even with just one promise of the fulfillment of these desires.

This is the essence of the illusion, which Freud defines as “faith born of human desires.” Nourishing illusions is wishful thinking. It is impossible to desire anything more than we desire the existence of God.

Nothing fuels our illusions like faith in Him. And how much I - like other people - want to believe in the existence of God is already a reason enough not to believe in Him. God is too beautiful to really exist. " what is the answer to this?

Believe any way. Take Kierkegaard’s leap of faith, Pascal’s wager. But leap for, bet on, the very best.

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thanks Klax, you are always ready to help and console :slight_smile:

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It’s the golden rule isn’t it Alex? Whatever you want, give.

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God doesn’t exist. God is existence… BEING.

That’s an interesting claim. And I think it must be an ultimate truth, if there be such a God.

But it doesn’t follow that a desire for something makes it necessarily an illusion. People want all kinds of things: food, drink, sex, friendship, … and our desires for those things doesn’t in any way mean they don’t or can’t exist for us. In fact (to channel Lewis here), our desires for all such things seems to have been an endorsement of their reality rather than a denial of it. That’s not to say that wishful thinking - to the point of delusion can’t or doesn’t often exist. But even our delusions will probably carry some germ of reality, however buried. We don’t have that much creative originality - though if we did, it would be a gift found in our higher communions, rather than in our evils.

And besides, there are plenty of people who - in the throes of pleasurable things they chase or have in this world - might very much not want there to be any God; especially if their notion of ‘God’ is that they will be held accountable to any agency beyond themselves and their own pleasures. Should their wish for there to be no God also not be at least as likely to be illusory? In the end the actual resolution must lie beyond any of our wishes, whatever those may be.

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I guess for me it’s nothing at all really. It’s a snippet of someone’s worldview. There are millions of them. It’s no different than someone saying “ comedy is better than horror what’s the response”. It’s something that’s not measured that way across the board.

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Nothing fuels our illusions like faith in love. Is how much I - like other people - want to believe in the existence of love already a reason enough not to believe in love. Love is too beautiful to really exist. What is the answer to this?

The idea that one can live life as an objective observer is the most massive delusion of modern times. Science which is founded on objective observation is an immensely valuable tool. It is the best way of discovering how the world works. Our immediate primary access to information is entirely subjective. But through a process of shared experiences and intellectual abstraction we can construct an understanding of shared reality with written procedures which give the same result no matter what we want or believe.

But this cannot change the fact that life is subjective participation where what we want and believe is central. We alter our reality by work and actions according to what we want and believe. We make love real because we believe in it, and likewise we make God a part of our experience of life in the same way. Why isn’t God an objective reality from written procedures which give the same result no matter what we want or believe? Why isn’t God like the laws of nature which care nothing about our desires and feelings? Why isn’t God something we can examine in a microscope or manipulate in a controlled experiment? When put that way, don’t these questions seem just a little bit stupid?

The whole point is that life is not just things we can manipulate or measure with our machines. Not everything is that small. There are also things too big to grasp and control with our greedy hands and minds lusting for power. So we believe in God to name that which is greater and see this as the origin of everything. To be sure we could believe like the atheists and naturalists that the laws of nature which we can master and use to manipulate things is the only reality. We could believe like they do that everything is really that small – this is in a metaphorical sense obviously, and perhaps the only greatness they need in their lives are the great size of the universe and the great power of the laws of nature in things like the sun. Is this because that is the only greatness they want to measure themselves against? Or is it because they only want to believe in things they can conquer in some sense with their minds and intellect?

On the other hand… it often seems to me like religious people are essentially doing the same thing, where they have made God something they have conquered with their theology and dogma to use as a tool for manipulation of people. If theists are going to do that then the atheist option looks not only more reasonable but vastly superior.

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That is an interesting argument. God is too good to be true. That must mean that God should be evil to be true.

The problem with this and other facile arguments that atheists use is they are false. The life of Jesus is the Christian ideal. He did not live a long life. He did not marry. He did not own a home or a business. He died alone on a cross.

Faith is born of human desires is not born of selfishness, hatred, and fear. It is born of love, joy, and peace. If love, joy, and peace are illusions then life is not worth living, because God does not exist.

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I found this in particular rather amusing.
In almost every argument put forward by atheists, that refers to the character of God, he can’t exist because He is a vengeful, slavery loving, tyrannical monster, so really, you’re better off if he doesn’t exist. But well, that wouldn’t fit this particular one…

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Interesting to note that to the degree atheists hold this view, like fundamentalist creationists, they too believe a creator is required to account for God belief. It is beyond me why they should doubt such belief evolved naturally to make sense of human existence. Of course they would trivialize this by only looking to explain outward things like lightning and earthquakes. Oh, they’ll say, we don’t need Gods to explain the world any more. Indeed science is better for explaining things in the world but what about the world of our experience? In my experience, the scientism held by most fundamentalist atheists will insist science will in time explain absolutely everything: literature, love, you name it. Apparently the entire soul can be replaced with a long list of empirical facts with nothing left out. But of course that is absurd.

I don’t believe God is a being apart from everything which He has brought into being. So I’m an atheist as far as Christianity is concerned. But I’m no fundamentalist nor do I worship science or just my own pleasure.

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Christians believe that God can, did and does reveal himself through legitimate testimony* (and not just the testimony of the beauty of nature and the grandeur of the cosmos). And the Bible also tells us that there is an adversary who wants to dissuade belief and trust in God and excels in lies and counterfeits.
 


*He had been mentioned before as a relatively modern example, and it seems to me that it takes considerable denial to dismiss him casually and portray him as a self-deceived charlatan:

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That seems like a fool proof way to ensure beliefs will never change or be challenged.

Agrees with me = still more support.

Disagrees with me = clever deceiver counterfeit.

It could also be true. Do other religions make a similar claim, to your knowledge?

he is a liar and the father of lies.

even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

And you don’t see Christians changing their beliefs or challenging others’? :grin:

 
Have you read any of any of Müller’s books? One cover:
   

interesting point, Marta

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Altair/Alex…you quoted part of an article without a general reference. It would be nice to read the whole thing so as to have context. The idea that God was somehow manufactured by people has been said by others – and could partly be true — that is, if God is Someone who grants our every wish, approves of hot fudge sundaes for breakfast, is OK with the occasional shoplifting or casual rape, and stops the aging process — or any other thing we “feel” inclined to at the moment. We do tend to make Him in our own image at times, and we do trot this “god” out from time to time, dust him off, and admire the image of ourselves that we see in him. But then, no one really thinks that this is right — not ultimately. And then there is always something that each faith entails which is “hard” to say the least. How can the hard stuff be “born of human desires”? Are we all masochists? Well, maybe Freud would say so…but then we get into other weird things. For me, the real problem with atheism overall is that most atheists are like everyone else — that is, they believe in a lot of things they cannot see (quarks for instance)…and never write that thing off to “faith born of human desires”. …It is only when they get to the notion that there is Someone out there Who transcends ourselves. And this then seems to them like a problem

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Rrrright… I never came across THAT(especially rape, unless you referring to the fact that some think women deserve it)…

Being the devil’s advocate I would say that people made up the hard stuff in order to control the populace i.e to keep them well behaved. Now I’m not an expert but it seems like even the sceptics have come away from this idea lately, besides if there were too many snags then the majority wouldn’t want to follow IT in the first place.

thanks for the answer. this man is indeed quoting Freud here.

Thanks Marta…and as for hard stuff…I suppose just about any idea looks like a control device (no right turn on red…be in bed by nine…eat more calories than you burn up and soon you will be classified as ‘calorically impaired’, or whatever the latest term is, but you surely will not fit into your leggings any longer!) if you do not like or want it…but a control device that turns out to be good for you (thou shalt not commit adultery) plus other people/things (“save some for the fishes”…“you should care for the poor”…“do not gossip”) is probably, in the long run, NOT a bad thing…and the only question is why we do not like it. The “hard stuff” like “gossiping is a sin” or “you break it you own it” is hard because it mostly holds some accountability. I’m sure we can make a list of hard things…and if religion or deity were eliminated from them, many of them would still look reasonable to us psychologically or from the perspective of civic order, good eating habits, etc----and there are other control devices such as police, psychiatrists, prisons — which technically should eliminate the need for deity. …But still the concept of deity remains.

So why do you think it still remains? And was it purely invented because there was no police at the time? And did people were just inventing rules as they went along to suit their needs?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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