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  • My comment from the xpost:

    This person is openly telling you that the only thing stopping them from being a shitty person is some myth about otherworldly punishment after they die.

    Which, of course, means they’ll be juuuust as shitty as they believe they can get away with.

  • This dumb fuck idea that people would just rape all the babies if not for hell says more about them than anyone else.

    • The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what's to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn't have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don't want to do that. Right now, without any god, I don't want to jump across this table and strangle you. I have no desire to strangle you. I have no desire to flip you over and rape you.

      Penn Jillette

  • People who are only moral because of religion are telling on themselves more than anything else.

    As a species we have evolved basic morals because it compliments our social evolution as well. Success of the group is success for everyone, there is an evolutionary benefit to being able to instinctively recognize the feelings and desires of others. The exceptions would be people who are empathetically disabled, which is more like a parasitic evolutionary trait than a beneficial one for humanity generally.

    We're not all sociopaths because we would never have societies if that were the case, we'd probably be extinct.

  • As I said in the other post- people who say they need a god to tell them what is good and what is evil terrify me because they might decide one day that their god says to rise up and kill.

  • The question of existence ( why live? ) has only some intersection with the question of morality ( why be kind? )

    On the side of the existential question, some folk find it enough to find a place to fit into society and serve a roll. At least this was the position of Jean-Paul Sartre, hence the notion of existence precedes essence. To me this compares too readily with the notion of interchangeable parts, as our industrialist masters are glad to force us to work for them as a component in their big productivity machine only to be discarded when we wear out. I digress, but maybe we shouldn't let industrialists dictate the missions of society.

    In my experience, all my occupational ideals were discovered to be toxic or driven by racketeering. Most music is stolen by the big labels. Game development is run by executives looking to make microtransaction skinner boxes, and gladly crunch their teams even when doing so has been shown to kill productivity. Navy advancement is based on what rich people and government officials you personally know. And so on. Having talked to others, it seems like there's a lot of anecdotal evidence that every occupational dream is quashed by grisly realities that are unnecessary but for our love of dominance hierarchy and doing things half-assed to maximize short-term profits. I have a lot of resentment of capitalism and how it's done in our society.

    But I got really crushed once it became evident we weren't going to respond to the climate crisis in time, if at all, and we expect a population correction, late in my life. It may lead to human extinction in the next couple of centuries, but it absolutely will rend asunder any human culture, so whether I made music or discovered better scientific models or even wrote a sweet novel that was classic material, it wasn't likely to survive the upcoming global famine.

    But this is similar to where Albert Camus was after WWII, recognizing the absolute meaningless of life and the inevitability of death. We all come to this crux, where we have to choose how to proceed from here, knowing that life is pretty awful, pretty meaningless and pretty temporary.

    • You can kill yourself. It's where you're going anyway. (I don't recommend this mostly because it is really harsh on people close to you and some people that aren't. Still, our suicide rate here in the states is high thanks to the crappy state of the economy and rising hate politics.)
    • You can commit philosophical suicide by taking a leap of faith. Christianity offers a personal Jesus and the prospect of eternal life in Heaven, so you don't have to concern yourself with the grim reality of mortality. That said, all the ministries are a sham that will parasitize you much like any industrialist or employer. Heck, pre-resurrection Jesus had a few things to say about this is the case and one should follow their own path to enlightenment spirituality.
    • You can deal. Dealing with aplomb (that is, leaning into it and embracing the absurd mission of finding meaning in a meaningless life) is harder than it sounds, but so long as you don't take either of the other options, you're actually doing the thing, even if not with grace and poise and a perfect landing.

    That said, tacos is as perfectly find a reason to continue onward as any other, an example of a hedonistic approach. I find my cat sometimes provides me with enough cause without further explanation. On the other hand, I do have a desire for my own legacy, not future generations, but of contributing to the body of human knowledge, art and technology, and I can't be sure anything in my fields of interest are going to be useful once the ecology fully collapses.

    Atheism, in my experience, is coming to terms with bad news: We're going to die. The odds are against our becoming significant in the universe. We're not even a particularly happy species or society, and while I'd like to imagine we'll overcome some of these with technology, say some sociological tricks that allow us to curb corruption and move towards egalitarianism, it's much more likely we're just going to go extinct, and let some other critter evolve social brains and have a go at reaching into space.

    In that regard, religious faith is at hubris that we are bigger fish in a smaller pond, and at best a cope rather than confronting how tiny we microbes are in a vast unending ocean.

  • I don't need a mythical book to tell me that stabbing someone in the neck 12 times might be considered a dick-move.

    I never understood the while God = Good thing. In fact it usually goes the other way.

  • Morality, the thing we mythically got from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, is how we negotiate cooperation, specifically in holding back the predators, parasites, famine, disease and the elements (hot, cold, wet, dry) that are all glad to kill us. With enough cooperation we can survive the -40° poles and the big white bears. With too little cooperation, we're homeless in own society and are rounded up in concentration camps.

    But also we're not great at this. In fact, we only are good for migratory bands of hunter gatherers, and while we have developed a robust list of egalitarian ethics by which we might maintain a community of tens of millions, generally, those fall to exploitation by those in power (parasitism is the most effective and most common survival strategy), but even our industrialists can't help themselves and exploit us just enough to stay rich. They are driven to take more and more, and regard their workforce less until the situation becomes untennable. Often an industrial disaster results in discontent and unrest (if not civil war) but if not that, they are gladly polluting our world uninhabitable, dooming even their own legacies and future generations, all for number-go-up.

    So, we can see that not only are we instictually driven to cooperate to survive, but those instincts only carry us so far, and even as we see what the rational choice would be to preserve a functional equilibrium, we are driven by feelings not to make that choice. Hence how Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos and even Christian bulwarks like Sam Alito and Clarence Thomas (whose jobs are to engage in pure rational thought) can't help themselves but be total assholes.

  • My response;

    How do you handle death being the end?

    It's something of a relief to me. I won't be around to worry about projects left incomplete or things not done once I am gone. The sense that there is some great finality to the presentation that is my life is nice now that I've gotten over being told there would be otherwise as a child.

    Seriously, what's the point in living?

    I don't know about you but I enjoy what I do and further enjoy it when it's helpful. Books, movies, video games... most things, really, end. People still enjoy them and I'm treating life the same way. I'm enjoying mine while it lasts.

    Why be good if there is no Hell?

    I don't get off on other people's suffering and to the best of my understanding, including some understanding of computer models, cooperation works better than trying to cheat everyone. So, I'm good because it's the sensible course of action. I don't need a negative incentive when there's already positive ones and all of this being on top of Humans being a social species such that most of us can share in the joy of others, especially if we have contributed to it.

    You seriously don't understand God.

    Well, if he's got the powers you describe him as having then he doesn't want me to understand. How am I meant to believe in an entity with perfect ability to hide from my perception? If it's so important that I believe in him maybe you should tell him he's won this hide-and-seek game and he can come out now.