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Thoughts aren't the problem. Non-useful thoughts are the problem. Actually, for the same reason that "Life requires death. Bliss requires non-bliss. Dark requires light. Eternity requires time", useful thought requires non-useful thought. Without the distinction, thought is meaningless. The "problem" is that problems exist to be solved by the mind, which can't exist without a problem. Until the mind understands its own nature, it is religious, i.e., obsessively yearning and striving for escape from its condition.
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...I love science more than religion. I love science and deplore religion...but that's just my experience.
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Many commenters here have a more 'not-knowing' and questioning attitude. Not "many"...one or two, perhaps...but most are believers. What is this upgraded graphic proof and why are you wasting your time, as you call it? You should read more carefully before commenting. The phrase I used was, "constantly updated", not "upgraded". For your sake, I'll explain what I meant: in real life, atheists tend to avoid believers because they're irrational (not to mention, boring, tedious, and emotionally overwrought). But when an atheist has a blog, it's success is dependent on how many people go to the blog, and as it happens, believers flock to atheist blogs. Therefore, a successful atheist blog is dependent on how many believers come to it to provide written proof of how irrational they are. Why does your contribution to the activity on this blog have to be so cold, calculating and vicious? Why so defensive of your own atheistic approach? As I said, I was indulging in wishful thinking. I am now enlightened.
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Don't address any of the issues... For me, the only issue is whether one indulges in wishful thinking or remains with facts. People who indulge in wishful thinking and build their lives around what they believe (as opposed to what they can verify the existence of), live in a world of rosy imagination. Most of them congregate in religious support groups, but many operate as freelance advocates of their particular brand of faith. The latter group tends to be attracted to atheist blogs and websites because of their compulsion to testify, and no doubt all atheist and realist blogs and websites are plagued with these preachers. But in another sense, this plague is a blessing because it amounts to "activity", the lifeblood of any blog. So it turns out that I'm the wishful thinker in this matter. In real life, believers are a waste of an atheist's time. But online, an atheist blogger lives and thrives only by providing constantly updated graphic proof of what a waste of time believers are.
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Apparently believers have nothing better to do than seek out unbelievers to preach to. It seems that calling your blog "Church of the Churchless" is tantamount to putting up a brightly lit sign saying, "Religious nuts welcome!". Like moths to a flame, believers fly to where their tedious, trite, self-serving drivel will be most annoying because preaching to the choir gets no response. Religious faith would sooner die than listen to reason, and this obstinacy, moronic and fanatical as it is, is the pride and joy of the believer.
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...beliefs of transcendence and the unlimited potential of mankind to achieve a God-state... ..."transcendence and the unlimited potential of mankind" are fantasies. There is no reason to believe in such grandiose notions - only the pathetic yearning you spoke of. But there most certainly is a crying need for people to come down to earth and attend to what's going on in the very real world.
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...in the case of someone who feels they have had transcendent experience, who is to say what is appropriate for them in terms of what they should focus on in their personal, private lives? A psychiatrist
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Yet there's a thread of consciousness in mankind that a transcendent reality exists, a potential, a super-consciousness lying latent. A sense we're not meant to be at the mercy of thoughts or chained inescapably by the materiality we perceive outside. The yearning is timeless. But, perhaps some have faith that a super-scientist will discover a brain flaw and we can put this childish fantasy to rest forever. This "yearning" is for escape. Why yearn for what you don't have and are not? Why not face what is and work with what you have? Why not use your imagination to find practical solutions instead of indulging in grandiose, childish fantasies of a "transcendent reality" or "super-consciousness"?
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If there is Something that transcends normal everyday perception, awareness and thinking processes, it is, therefore, obscured by every objective description used in an endeavor to reveal that which is beyond the scope of the tools used in an attempt to describe it. "If", indeed. Why distract yourself with the notion of "Something that transcends normal everyday perception, awareness and thinking processes" when everything real and perceptible is in dire need of attention? Why not pull your head out of the clouds and address the facts of life, one of which is that religious people make life on earth a hell of a lot more difficult and dangerous than it need be.
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Why is a sense of self a problem? Why would anyone want to be selfless? You're human, you have a sense of yourself. It goes with the territory. Call it "ego", if you like, but why make a problem of it? Each one of us is a self, and one is either undergoing constant change as new information is processed, or new information is unwelcome and one's self stagnates in a putrid pool of belief. The problem isn't the sense of self, but the reluctance to change and adapt as old assumptions are upended by new realities.
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Nobody is "fighting against belief". When you believe in what you can't prove the existence of and someone asks you why, and all you can say is that it's your prerogative to believe in whatever goddamned thing you choose to believe in, you are the problem.
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...if you have "faith" in science you should probably be a bit more wary... Thanks for the advice, but you can't have "faith" in science because one can only have faith in what is beyond one's ability to prove the existence of, and no one doubts the existence of science.
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Jan 27, 2015