How Do Atheists Talk to Their Children About Death?

In periods following great tragedy, like we saw at Newtown, churches provide a lot of comfort to survivors and the community at large, albeit with their wishful statements that “the victims are in a better place” or that “this was all part of God’s plan.”

Atheists don’t have the luxury of false hope. But that does make it tougher to cope with loss. It’s even harder when you’re trying to explain death to children without invoking the supernatural.

The Washington Post‘s Michelle Boorstein explores that very issue:

Julie Drizin (left) with her family (Marvin Joseph – The Washington Post)

So when [Julie Drizin] pulled her 9- and 13-year-olds together this week in their Takoma Park home to tell them about the slaughter of 20 elementary school students in Newtown, Conn., her words were plain: Something horrible happened, and we feel sad about it, and you are safe.

And that was it.

“I’ve explained to them [in the past] that some people believe God is waiting for them, but I don’t believe that. I believe when you die, it’s over and you live on in the memory of people you love and who love you,” she said this week. “I can’t offer them the comfort of a better place. Despite all the evils and problems in the world, this is the heaven — we’re living in the heaven and it’s the one we work to make. It’s not a paradise.”

This is what facing death and suffering looks like in an atheist home.

Through a variety of examples, what you see are atheists refusing to lie to their children, choosing instead to frame the discussion in ways their kids might be able to comprehend. Nothing about Heaven or Jesus or God or the afterlife or that you’ll be “reunited” one day.

None of that makes it any easier to accept death, but really, what does?

One thing Boorstein doesn’t talk about in the piece is how atheists (and their children) grieve, and if you’re in a position where you’ve lost someone but can’t bear to be consoled by religious friends and relatives whose words of comfort all revolve around faith, Grief Beyond Belief is a group on Facebook that I know has helped a lot of readers of this site. This essay (PDF) by Rev. Dr. Kendyl Gibbons is also worthwhile reading.

(Thanks to Ubi Dubium for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Kspark

    Dear Mr. Hemant

    One year ago, i think it was you who had argued for Richard Dawkins, on a Times of India website. I am Kspark, if you remember. I think you did not read my later replies. please visit: timesofindia[dot]indiatimes[com]/opinions/11618814[dot]cms. If you re not that Hemant, the following still is meant for atheists like you. Thank you. And please make sure you visit: thespiritualscientist[dot]com to see all your nonsense being crushed to pieces.

    Ok, I’m sorry for calling Dawkins a fool. But why does that bother you? I am ignorant. According to you after my death I just cease to exist; after your death you just cease to exist. After Dawkins dies, he will cease to exist. Right? Life is temporary, so why bother about petty name calling? Why is honour/insult so important? What are human emotions? Why are we suffering although we do not want suffering? Have you thought about these? Please self introspect. The problem is, you may not be considering the problem of death seriously. Death is not at all pleasant. You may not like to think about death, but it will come one day. I agree I cannot provide you evidence now, as this evidence is beyond so-called science. Can science define what is consciousness? Can it even begin to understand consciousness? What is happiness, misery, love, hate, anger, lust, greed, humility, pride, fear, envy? What is the purpose of this life? What is the purpose of this universe? Why is one child born into a rich family, and another into a very poor family at the same time? When confronted with these “Why” questions, science can only blink like an innocent child.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Scoggin/100000044792747 Aaron Scoggin

      That may be true – Science can’t answer these questions. However, no known rational in the world can do these things, either. It’s like you’re claiming you can fly, and then mock me because I can’t fly. Neither of us can, but only one of us is foolish enough to believe that they can.

      • Kspark

        I am not interested means: “I cannot put forward intelligent counter-arguments” is what you mean. Sorry for being so straightforward.

        • 3lemenope

          1. Gish Gallop
          2. Declare Victory
          3. ???????????
          4. PROFIT!

          • Kspark

            I found this (i had never heard of the word before):
            “The Gish Gallop, named after creationist Duane Gish, is the debating technique of drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood in real time.”
            You may take your own time (before your death and my death of course). There’s no hurry. The arguments i have put are not lies, nor half-truths, but point toward eternal truths. What is your true identity? Are you this body or are you a [[non-material personality, a spiritual particle]] distinct from this material body made of gross matter, who is encased in this body. Have you ever thought of whether there may be a higher multidimensional (for example beyond gross matter [or anti-matter]) realm of existence which our limited, brains cannot even begin to comprehend of? I have not declared any victory. I know I may not “win” a debate like this. And, what profit are you talking about?

            • Glasofruix

              The arguments i have put are not lies, nor half-truths, but point toward eternal truths.

              I just can’t stop laughing, are you a professionnal clown or something?

              • Kspark

                Laugh all the way. You seem to be deriving fun, eh? Are you not serious about your death? It’s a long way away (I too tend to think that many times). It just seems so, but just think seriously and you should be fearful. Do you know that you are fooling yourself? The problem is death may just be around the corner. What is needed is the quesions, “Why is there death? I don’t want to die; Why is there suffering even though I don’t want to suffer. I was born as a child. What was my fault that I’m born in a poor family and cannot have basic needs?” Think about it. I don’t care if you defeat me in this argument!

                • Glasofruix

                  Oh please, you’re just throwing around “whys” like a kid, the more we answer the more “whys” you throw, and like a child you don’t listen to the answers and then proclaim victory. You think you’re smart with your pathetic arguments, but know what? We have idiots like you coming daily, with the same worn out absolute “truths”…

                • Kspark

                  Why have I not used offensive words when conversing with you till now? Because I am an idiot!

                • Kspark

                  There are 10 types of people. Those who can understand binary and those who cannot.

                • Kspark

                  You answer whys? Why do we exist in the first place?

                • Kspark

                  Ok wait for your death. Another 100 years (maximum [P>0.999], assuming u are 25 now), 80 years, 70 years, 50 years? or even 10 years (same applies to me). Death comes to people at any time! You may get a “glimpse” of what I am talking about. Till then goodbye. You may conclude that I have lost this argument. You WIN, happy?

            • Drakk

              >> Have you ever thought of whether there may be a higher multidimensional
              (for example beyond gross matter [or anti-matter]) realm of existence
              which our limited, brains cannot even begin to comprehend of?

              Yes.

              Having found no evidence to favour the possibility, I dismissed the idea.

              • Kspark

                Evidence means you are speaking of “material, gross” evidence, which your material senses + the mind can sense. That is not the only type of evidence.

                • Drakk

                  Okay, what are the other types, and what have they demonstrated to exist?

        • Kspark

          Well i may not be right. You really may not be interested. But the other thing is a possibility.

          • Kspark

            I don’t say that I know everything. It’s just that my tone sounds confident. Thats because i am confident of certain things.

            • Drakk

              I do believe in fairies! I do!

      • Kspark

        You want to refer to ordinary people as “rational”. I may be an ordinary person like you in body structure. I can’t fly for sure. But I can tell you that a bird can fly. You may have never have seen a bird, but I may know well about the bird. The problem is I can’t get the bird to demonstrate before you. The structure of a bird is completely different from ours.

        Hence Science can’t answer these questions, but something beyond material science has the capabilty to do the things. Science is just “outside of it”. Just like you live in a 3 dimensional spatial world and you say “Oh, I can’t visualize or comprehend the fourth and higher spatial dimensions, so I do not think they actually exist.” Your thinking is limited, God and His power is not.

    • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

      Science uses rigorous, replicable experimentation to understand phenomena. Which means if we don’t have a satisfactory scientific explanation for something, you don’t get to say “God did it” as if that was the ONLY explanation.

      At one point not that long ago in human history we thought it was the supernatural that caused disease. Science eventually uncovered bacteria and viruses. As Dr. Tyson once said, “God is an ever-shrinking pocket of ignorance.”

      Your arguments are full of shit, devoid of intellectual honesty. Please stop spewing them everywhere.

      • Kspark

        Ha ha Mr. Silo. See how atheists get offended. Science discovered bacteria and viruses. But why do bacteria and virus cause disease? Where do the bacteria and virus come from? Science created them? You answer my question: where does gravitational singularity come from, first. Don’t try to run away from the trillion-dollar questions and only answer those you find comfort in. You think ten people flinging dirt on me (saying words like shit etc.) will cause me to bow down to you. You have no culture (you don’t know what is culture. I am sure you eat meat and drink alcohol, and think it has got nothing to do with sin). Sorry its 0250 here, got to go now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

          Completely ignore what he said like a good little apologist.

          • Kspark

            Of course not. I am not an apologist like you think. We have our base in solid philosophy. See how I silenced all of you. Its 01-01-2013 (American or English, doesn’t matter!)

        • tinker

          You certainly ask a lot of ‘where did this come from?’ Let me ask you; Where did your god come from? If you can’t create something from nothing, as the creationist put it, then how did your god come into being and how come your god is the only god?

          • Kspark

            A very common question, but the answer will be long, so wait…

            My tone of the articles was just to agitate the minds of the atheists, and to see how they respond. I have nothing personal against the atheists, but with their false philosophy.

            • Kspark

              tinker, let us first define God, a short concise definition in the uncontaminated Vedic scriptures. (First read, then you are free to try to debunk them)

              <>

              Why should you accept the ancient Vedic scriptures?

              Everything in the universe has a cause, including the universe. God is beyond the created universe and He created it. You may ask, “Who created God?” God is defined as the “Cause of all causes” in various ancient Vedic texts. The Vedas are authoritative because they themselves originated from God and were not creations of human beings. So by definition: God has no creator, He is the ultimate origin of everything else.

              Or if you think you are free to define God in your own way, could you please try? Whether that god exists or doesn’t is a different matter.

              • Kspark

                Something has happened to the sentence in double triangular brackets? Its not what i actually wrote.

                • Kspark

                  A concise definition of God according to authorized Vedic scripture. (We can have more detailed elaborations if needed)

                  “The Supreme Person, the Supreme Consciousness, is The Infinite Reservoir of Pleasure and the Supreme Controller of everything else. He is unchanging, eternal, possesses infinite knowledge, infinite bliss. He is the Cause (Origin) of all other causes (secondary origins) and He Himself has no other cause.”

                  I am not here to convince atheists about the existence God, but to analyze the atheists’ responses, by providing sane arguments.

              • Drakk

                >> Everything in the universe has a cause, including the universe.

                No.

                >> God is beyond the created universe and He created it.

                Citation needed.

                >> God is defined as the “Cause of all causes” in various ancient Vedic texts.

                So?

                >> The Vedas are authoritative because they themselves originated from God and were not creations of human beings.

                Citation needed.

                Shorter Kspark: “THE MAGIC BOOK SAYS SO, THAT MAKES IT TRUE”

                Nothing we haven’t heard before. 0/10.

                • Kspark

                  “You say so, so it becomes true”: don’t you understand that your senses, your brain are all imperfect?

            • allein

              >>My tone of the articles was just to agitate…the atheists

              Well, you certainly seem to have succeeded there.

              • Kspark

                “agitate” means “Try to stir up public opinion”. It does not mean they have succeeded.

        • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

          “Flinging dirt on you” isn’t an attempt to make you “bow down.” It’s to show you how much scorn I have for your cultish bullshit thinking. See how I did that just there?

          You may leave.

          • Kspark

            Cult=Followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices.

            A cult may be actually genuine if the orignator of that cult is God Himself. Please see the above definition. Did you know that ghosts are real, and all around you? You just can’t see them, because you have no “eyes” to see them. It may be called “para-normal” but it is real. You just can’t sense them with your gross, material senses. There are physics professors, with genuine degrees, who have believe in ghosts after doing proper research, and also believe in God. Are they insane?

        • Drakk

          >>But why do bacteria and virus cause disease?

          Because they replicate in the body and produce chemicals which cause adverse reactions with normal cellular function.

          >>Where do the bacteria and virus come from?

          Molecules capable of self replication formed in the early earth. Once said organic compounds formed it was a matter of what gave the most advantages to replication.

          >>Science created them?

          Science doesn’t create things, science discovers them. Engineers create things (based on what scientists discover).

          >>You answer my question: where does gravitational singularity come from, first.

          A body of matter that undergoes gravitational compression and can’t maintain enough outward force to prevent itself from collapsing past its Schwarzschild radius. Once it’s past that point, its escape velocity is greater than the speed of light, and it becomes a black hole, or gravitational singularity.

          I can has trillion dollars plz?

          • amycas

            Here’s your trillion internetz

          • Kspark

            Many scientists say, “there was nothing before gravitational singularity.” So where did that body of matter come from? Define gravitational singularity. And don’t use terms like “Schwarschild radius” that serve no real purpose except to show that proud material scientists and people like you can fool ignorant people by some word jugglery. Were you there to observe the phenomenon of gravitational compression? A theory does not become a fact. What are “dark energy”, “dark matter”, “Baryon assymmetry”, “anti-matter”, “naked singularity” etc.? Simply dubious words created by scientists to show gullible people that they are in knowledge. The common people think that material scientists are highly knowledgeable and speak infallible truths when they (scientists) use these high sounding words! Iam not a Christian, and I am not against Christians per se.

            • Glasofruix

              Many scientists say, “there was nothing before gravitational singularity.” So where did that body of matter come from?

              Yeah, except that non IDiots scientists don’t say that, there was something different before big bang, we just don’t know what, yet.

              • Kspark

                That means Michio Kaku is somewhat of an “idiot”, because he wonders whether it came from… “nothing”?

                • Glasofruix

                  Citation required.

                • Kspark

                  See the Discovery Science programs, “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman”. Kaku is not concluding anything. He even says, “When we scientists want to say we cannot explain/understand something, we take the shelter of singularity”.

                  Ok where did “singularity” come from in the first place? That’s the scientists term for “God”.

            • Drakk

              >>Many scientists say, “there was nothing before gravitational singularity.” So where did that body of matter come from?

              This is not what “gravitational singularity” refers to.

              >>Define gravitational singularity.

              You’re asking this after spewing a whole load of nonsense about it?

              A gravitational singularity is a point in space where the quantities used to measure the gravitational field, such as matter density, become infinite.

              >>And don’t use terms like “Schwarschild radius” that serve no real purpose except to show that proud material scientists and people like you can fool ignorant people by some word jugglery.

              Aw, does the poor little religiot not understand the Big Words? Take a hint, cupcake, we don’t use phrases like these to be obscure. We use them because “Schwarzschild radius” (ooh, scary!) is easier to say that “The distance from the centre of an object which, if all the object’s mass were contained inside it, would cause the escape velocity from the object’s surface to equal the speed of light in vacuum”.

              Besides, I thought we could use any tone we wanted.

              >>Were you there to observe the phenomenon of gravitational compression?

              Yes. It’s what keeps the sun held together. Also, check if there are some predicted supernovae in the near future, you’ll be able to see them first hand.

              >>A theory does not become a fact

              No, but they are fairly good at explaining facts, unlike “magic people in the sky”.

              >>What are “dark energy”, “dark matter”, “Baryon assymmetry”, “anti-matter”, “naked singularity” etc.?

              In order?

              -A hypothesized form of energy that acts to accelerate the universe’s expansion.
              -Matter that does not undergo the electromagnetic interaction or interact with electromagnetic radiation in any way.
              -The observation that there is an imabalance between baryonic and antibaryonic matter in the universe.
              -A form of matter that has the same properties as regular matter apart from electrical charge and quantum spin.
              -A gravitational singularity with no event horizon, that is to say directly observable.

              >>Simply dubious words created by scientists to show gullible people that they are in knowledge.

              You are so full of shit it’s coming out your ears.

              >>The common people think that material scientists are highly knowledgeable and speak infallible truths when they (scientists) use these high sounding words!

              And they still manage to be more intelligent than you.

              • Kspark

                I am not going to say that your definitions are wrong. Those phenomena may exist scientifically. But since you defined them, can you explain them? They are listed in the Wikipedia article “Unsolved problems in physics”. Why invent words (its not wrong to invent words), and use them to show that “God does not exist”. This certainly isn’t intellectual honesty.

                • Drakk

                  >> I am not going to say that your definitions are wrong. Those phenomena may exist scientifically. But since you defined them, can you explain them?

                  Given a few more decades of research.

                  >> They are listed in the Wikipedia article “Unsolved problems in physics”.

                  This means physicists file them under “more investigation required”, not “MAGIC PEOPLE IN THE SKY DIDDIT”

                  >> Why invent words (its not wrong to invent words), and use them to show that “God does not exist”

                  “God” isn’t required to explain any of those things. I do not need to suppose “God” to explain any observed phenomena. The fact that these phenomena are observed does not mean that there’s a magic person in the sky that gives a shit who I fuck and what I eat.

                • Kspark

                  Magic person in the sky? LOL. When did I say God is a “magic person in the sky”? Certainly God is a person. But not with skin, flesh, blood and bones like you and me have.

                  God is a person. The supreme personality who has access to all possible multidimensional realms of existence. Existence means existence of souls and matter. Living beings are actually minute souls and God is the Supreme soul.

                  Have you heard about “polymorphic bi-mono-theism”? It is an invented word, but it makes lot of sense.

                • Drakk

                  Blah de blah, baseless assertions, nonsense definitions, but no, no fucking evidence whatsoever. You’re really a tiresome little shit, you know that? You’re saying nothing that we haven’t heard hundreds of times, and it’s not any more convincing just because you’re using a different magic book.

                • Kspark

                  I told you, I’m not here to convince you. You think you are right. You don’t wish to accept any authority. Lack of evidence does not mean, “No evidence”. The evidence is not material. But, strictly speaking, “science” doe not mean only “material science, but also “spiritual science”. I define science as, “Knowing things as they actually are”. The methods may be many. Have you any objection to that definition? If you are arrogant and think your convictions are right, I am sorry.

                  Go to thespiritualscientist[dot]com. Listen to / read all the questions and answers. Then try to argue with the creator of that site. Please do it. I admit, I may not be so qualified to put forward proper arguments. That does not mean you can conclude I am wrong. But, at the time of your death, don’t say (or think–as you may not be fit enough to speak) that you were not warned. Thank you for your time.

                • Kspark

                  Of course there are are “magic” persons in the “sky” who is watching. Except the “magic” is completely different from what you have in mind and their”sky” is completely different from the “sky” you have in mind. Wait…

              • Kspark

                They appear to be intelligent, but they remain ignorant fools unfortunately. Please ask a scientist about Pascal’s wager.

                • Drakk

                  I know what Pascal’s Wager is. I find it utterly vacuous.

                • Kspark

                  You may find it vacuous, it makes a lot of sense. But have you ever tried to think that what you think is completely asinine.

      • Kspark

        Could you please define “intellectual honesty”?

        Do you agree with this definition?:

        Intellectual
        honesty is an applied method of problem solving in
        academia,characterized by an unbiased, honest attitude, which can be
        demonstrated in a number of different ways, including but not limited
        to:

        1) One’s personal beliefs do not interfere with the pursuit of truth;

        2) Relevant facts and information are not purposefully omitted even when such things may contradict one’s hypothesis.

        3)
        Facts are presented in an unbiased manner, and not twisted to give
        misleading impressions or to support one view over another;

        from Wikipedia, and one reference is:
        Wiener, N. (November 1964). “Intellectual Honesty and the Contemporary Scientist”. American Behavioral Scientist. 8 (3): 15.

        With
        my current knowledge of English, I am sure I am not doing any of those
        three things. You ask yourself first whether you are intellectually
        honest? Anyway, intellectual honesty is much beyond what is given in
        Wikipedia. If you eat beef, pork, mutton and chicken like millions of
        people to satisfy the taste of your tongue, you support killing
        cows/pigs/lambs/chickens etc. when they die painfully everyday in
        slaughterhouses. You tell me you’re not doing that. I’ll agree you are
        intellectually honest. If you agree you’re eating these things,
        drinking wine and alcohol, having sex for fun with someone whom you are
        not married to, gambling away your money, then you are not honest with
        yourself and certainly not with other living beings (humans included).

    • tinker

      If you need to feel offended at the comfort that I take from this website, then you should ask yourself; “Why am I offended?”

      If you need to ask “Why am I here?” Perhaps you should ask yourself if maybe someone else had that same question 4000 years ago and invented a mythology to surround that.

      If you need to point to a few learned individuals that make their living from the supernatural, perhaps you should question them as much as you question other learned individuals.

      If you think that Atheists ‘sin’ secretly then I will be very afraid of you because you cannot tell right from wrong on your own.

      • Kspark

        I am not at all offended, I feel sorry for you. But out of my own pleasure I wish to have a debate. Haven’t I said you may use any tone? And why are you using my username for the replies, may I know?

        • Kspark

          Atheists may not sin immediately, but eventually. And may I know your definition of right and wrong, or sin? We shall continue the debate later. Its 0230 here.

          • Drakk

            What the fuck is “sin”, and why should I care about upsetting the fee-fees of imaginary sky daddies I don’t even care to imagine exist?

            • Kspark

              Don’t care about sin? Then wait for your death. Can you say confidently, “I don’t care about death?” If you can then you are in danger, utter danger. I am NOT a Christian.

              • Drakk

                I’d rather not die, there’s just so much to do here. If they don’t figure out how to prolong life indefinitely before by body stops working, well, I just hope there’s nothing that I still want to do.

                What does your morbid death cult say is going to happen to me?

                • Kspark

                  I can challenge you that no one is going to figure out how to prolong life or stop death completely. Not one. Sorry. Even if they were to prolong life (which shall never happen before another 4,27,000 years), it would be prolonged suffering, and you would say, “I’d rather die”. Hope is not going to work. You will have to face representatives of the highest authority (since you don’t like the Word), after death. It applies to me, too, if I begin thinking like you, or if I do not remain sincere.

                • Drakk

                  >> I can challenge you that no one is going to figure out how to prolong life or stop death completely. Not one. Sorry.

                  Given how fuck-all stupid you are regarding every other scientific matter, you will understand that I do not take this assertion of yours seriously.

                  >> You will have to face representatives of the highest authority (since you don’t like the Word), after death. It applies to me, too, if I begin thinking like you, or if I do not remain sincere.

                  I got at least five cults just like yours telling me something different, why should I listen to you?

                • Kspark

                  It is not a morbid cult. The “cult” does not brood over death all the time, but when it comes to speak about philosophy, the “cult” profusely speaks about death, as it is one of the most “important” topics in this material world.

                  The way you ask your questions shows you have no humility (and you don’t have the slightest idea of humility, in the first place). I need not reveal my mind to you.

                  There may be one trillion cults telling you a trillion different things, but you have to be sincere (shall I define “sincere”?) and honest with yourself, first.

          • amycas

            Afaik, “sin” is an offense against god. I’m not interested in keeping any gods happy; I’m interested in human happiness and well being. We shouldn’t be worried about offending gods; we should be worried about human relationships–strengthen those relationships, make sure you don’t harm your fellows and so forth. So when you say I have “sinned” or will “sin,” frankly I don’t care. If you can show that I have done some harm to a person (or any other animal to some extent), then I will try to make amends with those I have harmed.

            As far as gods go–all I could ever do is possibly offend god(s), I could never possibly harm a god. If someone could show me that a god exists and it is offended by certain actions, I might think about apologizing to it. Otoh, if such a god exists and it’s offended by ridiculous things (such as: teh gey secks), then I don’t care.

            • Kspark

              Do you eat beef/pork/lamb etc., support ruthless slaughter of cows or other animals? Animals are also persons, if not human beings.

              It is not only that atheists sin, but also theists. A person can understand that God (I’m sorry that I have not defined “God” yet, but shall soon, if anyone wants me to) exists (be a weak theist), but still commit sin (I’m sorry I’ve not yet defined “sin” either), because he has a little faith, not strengthened reasonable faith/ complete confidence in the existence of God. But on having a complete confidence in the existence and protection of God, he sins very less and is serious about avoiding sin altogether. Only a person to whom God has revealed Himself (“He” does not reveal to the simplistic male gender in this world with a temporary material body, and foul smelling , impure, private parts), does stop sinning totally. I am NOT a Christian. This concept is common to all bona fide “religions” (I haven’t even defined religion).

              • Kspark

                Errors:
                reveal=>refer

              • Glasofruix

                You’re still gish galloping here, no real arguments, no real evidence, only some shit you pull out of your mouth that is strangely situated in the anal area…

                • Kspark

                  Don’t think I am going to be offended by your uncultured, disgusting remarks. And you people talk of intellectual honesty. Do you have any intellectual substance in the first place? You just “hope” that God doesn’t exist, but you do not have solid evidence.

                • Glasofruix

                  Look wh’os talking about intellectual honesty, the same guy who believes in skyfairy and thinks he’s superior because he believes in his magic book. Mister, you are a troll.

    • JenniferT

      “Why is one child born into a rich family, and another into a very poor family at the same time?”

      Because sexual reproduction is not a function of wealth?

      • Kspark

        Yes but what is the reason? The way for human beings to enter this world is sexual reproduction or other some other method like In vitro fertilisation, which are immediate material causes. The point is not how you enter the world, but why is the financial status of your family the way it is when you entered this world. What is the actual / ulterior cause for their distinct states?

        Suppose, you see a thief in prison and an honest man outside in house, what is the reason? The actual reason is that the thief has done something that the honest man has not, and has been accordingly judged by the state government.

        Would you say the thief was randomly caught from a group and flung in prison (of course it may happen in the real world, that a wrong person is many a times punished, but we are dealing with analogies;)

        • Drakk

          >>The point is not how you enter the world, but why is the financial
          status of your family the way it is when you entered this world.
          Because they don’t have jobs? Poor economic policies? Too little income and too many expenses? Inability to increase said income?

          Take your pick, they’re all simpler than MAGIC PEOPLE IN THE SKY.

          • Kspark

            Why they don’t have jobs, why are there poor economic policies for them? The law of karma (as you sow, do you reap) provides a most appropriate answer. But you must first consider the existence of a soul and past lives, which is a fact. But atheists by nature will not agree to these. Why are they rich and others are poor? Many people work equally hard, yet some are rich and some ore pure. “Why” is the question. It seems you are not able to understand the higher level of the “why”?

            • Drakk

              Or how about: The universe doesn’t give a damn about how happy humans are, and since people fuck all year every year, statistically speaking there are going to be just as many people born during bad times as there are in good ones.

              This explains the observed phenomena perfectly and is parsimonious to boot.

              • Glasofruix

                I’m starting to think that this guy came here just to fap his ego.

                • Kspark

                  Ok say I go to a second grade class and talk about advanced calculus, I may be fapping my ego, but a second grade child may not understand what I am saying. That does not mean I am talking nonsense! I’m sorry if you feel I’m fapping my ego just because I am telling you something advanced and real! Maybe I should not.

                  Do you even know what exactly is ego? Come on, define “ego”! (I’m sure you’ll say , “here’s a guy who seems to want a definition for every damn word.”). Just tell me, “I do not want to know the truth,” I’ll stop. The rabbit closes his eyes when the lion who comes to eat him, gets near. But is the lion going to disappear? You are trying to be like the rabbit.

  • Kspark

    All your arguments for the non-existence of God can easily be refuted by highly learned devotees/scholars in the Vaishnava school of thought. Birth, death, old age and disease are there for everyone (death is sure, if not the last two). Do you understand the seriousness of these facts. We are all going to die one day. Then what? After death of a person, if he just ceases to exist-why does it bother you whether he was believing in God or not. Will you be there after your death to prove that you were right. Even if you become famous after your death, what is the use? You just won’t be there to enjoy the fame. You should not feel insulted by this comment because if you are sure of your silly philosophy, why bother about others comments. You and me are both going to die one day. Death is there for everyone:believers of God and non-believers. Can you prove to me how an atheist can be a moral humanist. I will prove to you how he cannot.

    There are many cheats in this world: fake babas, tantriks, sadhus, astrologers, spiritualists and even material scientists. But there are genuine spiritualists having great wisdom and spiritual knowledge, who are actually rational. Do not think that genuine spiritualists are ignorant fools. There is lot of knowledge filtering by the established scientific community. Did you know they are determined to hide evidence that is against Darwinian evolution? All scientists are not honest. First ask yourself whether you are ignorant or in knowledge. You think that this apparent 3 dimensional world appearing to be made of only matter is all in all. God exists and His inconceivable power also exists. Everything that exists emanates from God, the Supreme Personality. Please introspect, be broad-minded. Else you shall be sorry at the end of your life.

    Just by systematic logical argument no one can “prove” the existence nor “disprove” the existence of God, but one can certainly get reasonable and clear-cut pointers towards the existence of God. Has science proved that the universe began from “gravitational singularity”? It is mathematically indescribable and physically unrealizable. Scientists also have faith that there was such a singularity. So you tell me, where did the “singularity” come from? Then we shall discuss about God. So the gross material scientists also have faith and they accuse religionists of depending on faith! At this point the hapless material scientists stand convicted of the same unforgivable intellectual crime that they have accused the saints and mystics of committing – making physically unverifiable supernatural claims. There are methods of enquiry transcending the physical methods which the material scientists are unaware of. Highly reasonable faith is required in any field of knowledge, even in material science.

    These are some coonversations I had on a Rationalists website srai[dot]org and they no one has relied for the past 5 days

    to POLYTOPE-4D
    you talk baseless and you are a absolutely mad with full of cowdung knowledge in your mind

    To saswato,
    Oh, thank you very much, Did you know that cowdung is pure? You have better knowledge, right? Just wait for you death. then we’ll see.

    To ani.jkd
    It seems you are frustrated with material life! Just wait till you die, there will be proof. There WILL be proof. But before that it is neither possible to prove the existence, nor the non-existence of God, because God is beyond material science. It is said in our Vedic scripture, that every materialistic, and atheistic person repents bitterly at the time of his death that his life has been utterly useless and wasted. Do you want to feel like that? Start introspecting today. And don/t put up silly challenges without having a proper conception of God. First you DEFINE what you mean by God.
    polytope4d 18 December 2012 at 1:45 am #

    Dear ani.jkd, do not be offended. Try to understand by logical reasoning that if I succeed in proving the existence of God by material logic/ wordly logic, it would mean material logic would be greatr than God! Try to understand your own origin and the origin of all tat exists. What is the ultimate source? I have splashed mud on Mr. Ghosh because he has already crossed all limits of insincerity. I’m sorry.
    polytope4d 18 December 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Yes, Satya Sai baba is a FRAUD. Agreed. Full marks to you. That does not mean God does not exist. God has His (why He? He is a principle, gender is a principle: it is not at all like the males with material bodies in this temporary, material world) own true and factual existence. Facts are proved at the time of death. Im sorry, but very little can be proved for a person before his death.Big, bold headings at the the home page of your website does not mean you think rationally. “Atheist but Moral” is a fraud philosophy because one can act ‘morally’ for some time, but eventually one thinks, “Why not sin secretly? Anyway there is nothing called as sin or virtue. After death there is no existence, no God to punish us, no life after death. We just become zero. Our existence is wiped out. Everyone becomes zero after death. Why stay away from the pleasures of life? Let us indulge. we can’t enjoy after death.” Be certain that if the minds of “Moral atheists” are examined, these thoughts shall be found. Hence AN ATHEIST CANNOT BE MORAL.
    Can anyone defeat this? This is sane logic. What do you say, Mr. Ghosh? Contact me and defeat me.
    polytope4d 19 December 2012 at 12:33 am #

    All rationalists, especially Mr. Prabir Ghosh, please go through:

    http://hansaduttadotcom/krsnaworld/2011/07/04/the-challenge/

    (all 8 pages)and thenput forward your arguments.
    Dr. Abraham Kovoor was trying to put a challenge like you but he was defeated.
    polytope4d 24 December 2012 at 1:13 am #

    Contact me at polytope4d-freak@yahoo.co.in if you have substantial arguments to defend your arguments. I want a counter argument for each and everyone of my points.
    You may write challengingly, and use any tone. I don’t mind.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aaron-Scoggin/100000044792747 Aaron Scoggin

      TLDR ; I find your lack of faith disturbing.

      • Kspark

        Faith in what? So you accept you have faith in something?

      • Glasofruix

        Don’t bother, the idiot probably never watched the movie…

        • Kspark

          Just see how you assume people are idiots without bothering to go beyond your in-the-box thinking. No broadmindedness, and limited to the few-ounce brain substance. If you are frustrated with your life, and you don’t want God doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist and He is to blame.

          • Glasofruix

            Oh i am frustrated? Says the guy who comes to an atheist blog claiming to have the absolute truth and assuming that other people are inferior to him because they don’t believe in imaginary friends and don’t want to answer your childish questions.

            • Kspark

              Ok you’re not frustrated? You may soon be in the future (I don’t want you to be frustrated). I don’t assume you are inferior to me as a human being. Your philosophy is way inferior. I hate your silly philosophy, not you. If you really consider all these questions childish don’t answer. That simple.

              But think about Pascal’s wager. 1) If you don’t believe there is no God and I believe in God, and if God does not exist, Then, yes I have indeed been a fool and I was wrong when I was alive, I missed all the sinful pleasures of life. But what do I stand to lose at death? You and me both die. My and your existence is wiped out forever. Deep sleep for rest of eternity (is it not?) My fate is the same as your fate! Who will “prove” you were right? The atheists who are alive? But what difference does it make to me? Deep sleep (Absolutely non-consious) for the rest of eternity. Drakk would be the happiest person if he was somehow completely convinced that this is true!

              2)You and me both die. But, if God exists, and I know that what I am doing and saying is correct to some extent, then I may be appreciated by God to some extent. But what about you? You denied the very fact of God’s existence. It shall be proved that you are wrong. And the beings (representatives of God) you may meet after this life may create trouble for you (I don’t wish for that).

              You should at least think seriously that, that “there may be God”. No need to accept what I am saying blindly! If you are sincere in your search of the truth, you may actually do so. If you think you are already sure about your convictions, I’m sorry.

              • Kspark

                Sorry one statement [# 1) ]had an error in the previous post.

                Ok you’re not frustrated? You may soon be in the future (I don’t want you to be frustrated). I don’t assume you are inferior to me as a human being. Your philosophy is way inferior. I hate your silly philosophy, not you. If you really consider all these questions childish don’t answer. That simple.

                But think about Pascal’s wager. 1) If you don’t believe there is God and I believe in God, and if God does not exist, Then, yes I have
                indeed been a fool and I was wrong when I was alive, I missed all the “sinful” pleasures of life. But what do I stand to lose at death? You and me both die. My and your existence is wiped out forever. Deep sleep for
                rest of eternity (is it not?) My fate is the same as your fate! Who will “prove” you were right? The atheists who are alive? But what difference does it make to me? Deep sleep (Absolutely non-consious) for the rest of eternity. Drakk would be the happiest person if he was somehow completely convinced that this is true!

                2)You and me both die. But, if God exists, and I know that what I am doing and saying is correct to some extent, then I may be appreciated by God to some extent. But what about you? You denied the very fact of God’s existence. It shall be proved that you are wrong. And the beings (representatives of God) you may meet after this life may create trouble for you (I don’t wish for that).

                You should at least think seriously that, that “there may be God”. No
                need to accept what I am saying blindly! If you are sincere in your
                search of the truth, you may actually do so. If you think you are
                already sure about your convictions, I’m sorry.

              • Glasofruix

                Pascal’s wager is a shitty way of living, i prefer the other one, where i don’t have to worship anb insecure maniac.

                • Kspark

                  Define the words for me. You just assume that you understand these words: 1)worship (because, you also “worship” something–I’ll tell you once you define).

                • Kspark

                  You think that you are living a good life. You are assuming that can discriminate between what is right and what is wrong. But, no. Human beings, and especially atheists, by themselves cannot actually even begin to understand, “what is right, and what is wrong?”. God is Absolutely the basis for morality. Read my first post today (29th Dec 2012), on top.

                • Kspark

                  You think that you are living a good life. You are assuming that
                  you can discriminate between what is right and what is wrong.
                  But, no. Human beings, and especially atheists, by themselves cannot
                  actually even begin to understand, “what is right, and what is wrong?”.
                  God is Absolutely the basis for morality. Read my first post today (29th
                  Dec 2012), on top.

        • Kspark

          Let him read the full thing. If its TLDR, I’m sorry–he’s got to have the patience. If you want to be convinced that you are right, even after reading all these arguments, you are just insincere and dishonest.

    • Philbert

      “After death of a person, if he just ceases to exist-why does it bother you whether he was believing in God or not. ”

      Because truth is better than falsehood, and because beliefs about the afterlife influence actions in this life.

      • Kspark

        Defend each and every statement made in the posts, not just a fraction of it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

          Don’t Gish Gallop and maybe people might take you seriously. No one here wants to go into detail why they think you’re wrong. Besides, your post is just recycled garbage posted by every Christian apologist on the internet. Also, your link to the Challenge only links to a blog post with the title “The Challenge”

          • http://profiles.google.com/kelvins273 Kevin Smith

            Yes. I see this guy’s game. He writes an epic Gish Gallop post, insists that it’s not a legitimate reply unless you address every single point, then claims that nobody has replied to him and that he therefore “wins” the debate (or the Internet).

            • Kspark

              Counter-arguments are expected, not backing away… and I can’t really “win”.

            • Kspark

              Funny: the “ups” are always for the “friendly” atheists, but only “downs” for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Kspark

            There may be a technical error, or worse still it might have been hacked by a computer whiz-atheist from your group. ;-)

          • Kspark

            I hope you take my accusation lightly. If not, I apologize. Have you read all the statements? And I am not a Christian, but not against Christians per se. The Bible is incomplete but not entirely incorrect.

    • Glasofruix

      Running in circles?

    • http://www.facebook.com/chriswarr78 Chris Warren

      1. I wasn’t aware that cow dung is pure. Excellent.
      2. My baba is most certainly not fake. I love my baba, so back off.
      3. Until now, I hadn’t been aware that we could reproduce the contents of the dead sea scrolls in the friendly atheist comments section. Good to know.
      4. As an individual claiming to understand the ways of enlightenment, and forgive me for saying this, you seem a bit tense.
      5. Your writing is more challenged, than challenging and your tone is giving me tinnitus.

      • Kspark

        I don’t need to forgive you. What to you mean you love your baba? Do you know who is a “baba” in India?

    • Drakk

      >>Why stay away from the pleasures of life? Let us indulge. we can’t enjoy after death.

      Yes. Exactly. And since there aren’t any magic sky people that are going to get all huffy about what we do, the only concern is that we endeavour to not harm any real people in our actions, or at least minimize said harm.

      • Kspark

        When you kill animals for meat, just for the pleasure of your tongue, are you giving them intense pleasure?

    • Thackerie

      “I want a counter argument for each and everyone of my points.”

      You, and your “points,” mean nothing to me. This snarky little comment itself is more effort than you’re worth. Not going to waste any more time on a religious crackpot.

      • Kspark

        Hee hee, I can sense your frustration. Just wait for your death and see the truth. It may be too late by then. Become serious now. I am not saying you are going to burn in eternal hell, as it is a false concept. Hell is temporary. I am not a Christian.

    • ReadsInTrees

      Is it just me or are we getting more trolls on here than usual lately?

  • Kspark

    If you are that Hemant, time to read this. If you are not, still read it!

    Kspark (Goa) replies to Deep
    Ok, first, have you ever thought what happens after we die? Why is death there in the first place? Why can’t we avoid death? Who are you actually? What is our real identity? Are we this body or something distinct from the body? Think about these questions scientifically, and deeply, and then you may understand that religion is not evil.True, religion is being misused, that does not mean religion is evil. If you develop a cataract in your eye, would you pluck out your eye, or try to cure the cataract? Dawkins is an ignorant fool.

    Hemant (India) replies to Kspark 328 days ago
    Kspark you are totally confused and really the ignorant one here. Everything that lives, dies. Fact of life. Your desire for immorality does not relate to facts. If you get cataract, modern medical science helps you remove it. To compare religion to science is a false equivalence. Religion can make good people do bad things.

    My reply is (i saw the reply by hemant recently):
    Ok, now giving unsubstantial answers, without understanding the statement isn’t going to help you. It is NOT about religion or modern science curing the catract. It is JUST an analogy. Evil due to bogus religious beliefs is the “cataract”. Genuine religion is the cure. The reply is so foolish!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      That wasn’t me.

      • Kspark

        I forgot one thing. To be more precise, conception of God is the original uncontaminated light, false, bogus religion is the cataract affected eye, genuine religion is the cured eye, the understanding about genuine religion is the cure.

        • Glasofruix

          You should probably stop smoking whatever you’re smoking right now, the more you comment, the less sense you make.

          • Kspark

            What is sense to a genuine theist (or one attempting to be), is senseless to the atheist; and vice versa! That simple. Atheists also go by beliefs. It just depends whose beliefs are correct.

      • Kspark

        10 “ups”, just for saying that?

  • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

    I think I’ll comment on the actual article here, for a change. This was on the front page of the Metro section today. I’m appreciative of getting such positive press, especially during Holiday. And, as a bonus, the article quotes Jamila Bey!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    My mother died from cancer at the age of 64 when my daughter was 10. Thankfully my daughter was able to spend an entire week with her which included her 10th birthday before my mother passed. That was the 2nd week of Nov. 2008. Come Jan 18, 2009 her grandmother would be dead. The last night of their visit I had to try and console my daughter over the phone because she knew she would never see her grandmother alive, ever again.

    My daughter was a complete wreck and she could not stop crying. I don’t remember much of what I said that night but I do know god or heaven was never mentioned during our conversation and till this day my daughter knows where my mother is. Part of her sits in an Urn on my computer desk and both of us have talked to the Urn many times.

    Sadly my daughter lost her other grandmother a year later to cancer. That grandmother was a devout Catholic so there was a huge funeral and I know my daughter said prayers then for both of her grandmothers but she only said them to make herself feel better.

    My daughter is now 14 and agnostic. She knows she won’t ever seen either of them ever again and she is fine with that. She no longer says any sort of prayers unless she is forced too which will happen tomorrow when she is dragged to church, which she is dreading.

    I didn’t sugar coat things when my mother died with my daughter nor did I when her other grandmother died. My daughter knew I was an atheist and didn’t subscribe to the heaven concept. My daughter found it very creepy that others could look down on you whenever they wanted, even if it was her grandmothers doing it.

    The bottom line is I’ve always tried to be very honest with my daughter and I’ve told her it is a nice thought you might get to see loved ones again but it is nothing but a thought and she seems to be 100% ok with that for now.

    I’ll end my rant with this. Below is a picture of my daughter and my mother. You would never know looking at my mother she had full blow cancer and would be dead in less than two months.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    My mother died from cancer at the age of 64 when my daughter was 10. Thankfully my daughter was able to spend an entire week with her which included her 10th birthday before my mother passed. That was the 2nd week of Nov. 2008. Come Jan 18, 2009 her grandmother would be dead. The last night of their visit I had to try and console my daughter over the phone because she knew she would never see her grandmother alive, ever again.

    My daughter was a complete wreck and she could not stop crying. I don’t remember much of what I said that night but I do know god or heaven was never mentioned during our conversation and till this day my daughter knows where my mother is. Part of her sits in an Urn on my computer desk and both of us have talked to the Urn many times.

    Sadly my daughter lost her other grandmother a year later to cancer. That grandmother was a devout Catholic so there was a huge funeral and I know my daughter said prayers then for both of her grandmothers but she only said them to make herself feel better but I told her that was ok. If she needed to pray, go right ahead.

    My daughter is now 14 and agnostic. She knows she won’t ever seen either of them ever again and she is fine with that. She no longer says any sort of prayers unless she is forced too which will happen tomorrow when she is dragged to church, which she is dreading.

    I didn’t sugar coat things when my mother died with my daughter nor did I when her other grandmother died. My daughter knew I was an atheist and didn’t subscribe to the heaven concept. My daughter found it very creepy that others could look down on you whenever they wanted, even if it was her grandmothers doing it.

    The bottom line is I’ve always tried to be very honest with my daughter and I’ve told her it is a nice thought you might get to see loved ones again but it is nothing but a thought and she seems to be 100% ok with that for now.

    I’ll end my rant with this. Below is a picture of my daughter and my mother. You would never know looking at my mother she had full blow cancer and would be dead in two months.

    • ReadsInTrees

      Very sorry for your losses. It sounds like you handled them the best way possible under the circumstances. I do have to ask though…why is your daughter being dragged to church today?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        Well she was supposed to go to mass tonight but now they are going to her Aunts church which is UU which my daughter loves because they sing happy songs and it is more like a party;

        Normally when her grandfather is up this time of year he makes everyone fell guilty if they don’t attend mass. For some reason this time of year he changed his mind.

        • Kspark

          I am sorry for your loss, but you cannot stick to an unrealistic thinking. Go through all the posts on this page. It may help you.

    • Kspark

      Then who is in control you think? Surely not atheists!

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        The big purple unicorn floating around Uranus is, duh!

        • Glasofruix

          BLASPHEMY! The only one and true god is the Flying Spaghetti Monster, blessed be his noodly appendages.

          • Kspark

            Not the time for fun. God is not your father’s servant, that he reveals Himself as He is to you. Intelligence, humility and submission are required. Evil is absence of good. God does not want evil. It is we who create evil. So God just punishes us. Meat-eaters (especially cow-eaters) cannot understand some simple logic.

            • Glasofruix

              1) I’m no-ones slave

              2) Stuff without solid evidence of it’s existence is dismissed, there’s no evidence for any of gods, there are no gods. Simple as that.
              3) Good and evil are childish concepts, grow the fuck up
              4) We’re not hindus, we dont give a flying fuck about your mythology
              5) Cows are delicious

              • Kspark

                Thank you for realizing that I’m not a Christian and hope that you are ready to face some solid philosophy. Evidence, evidence! How come a big tree is present in a tiny seed? Is this not a miracle? The problem is we are so much used to seeing miracles everyday that we give them no importance. If you think deeply (I wonder if you’ve ever done that), you will see that nothing that we see or experience everyday is a miracle, yet everything is! Your talk proves that you cannot understand simple philosophy. By eating beef (its not only about cows) you have become insensitive to the painful slaughter of animals–they suffer just as you or I would have if our throat were slit using so-called “humane” methods. Killing is killing, and killing causes suffering. My guess that you eat beef is indeed correct. Thank you. I am waiting for your hate mail (if you’ve managed to get my email id from hemant mehta).

                • Kspark

                  And you say you are no one’s slave? How about your tongue and other sense organs? You are probably so addicted to eat meat that without it you would think it would be impossible to survive even for a few days! Isn’t that being a slave to your senses? It requires a liitle bit of refined intelligence to understand this point. And one more thing, you seem to have no discrimination in using words that are considered offensive, yet you atheists dare to call yourself humanists? Then why don’t you go on a killing spree and then finish yourself. Because there would be no God to punish you right? It would be wiping the existence and saving others and yourself from continued suffering in this world. So you think. The problems in this evil world would be solved to some extent right?

                • Jinx

                  You realize that the vast majority of the human population eats meat. right?

                  Anyhow, since I have no interest in starting a flame war (believe me, there are atheist vegetarians; the creator of this site is one), I will focus on some of your other statements.

                  No, the “problems in this evil world” would not be fixed by mass killing. Believe it or not, but some skeptics (such as myself) are deontologists; while some morality is certainly based on cultural norms (such as your disdain of meat eaters), there are certain things that every psychologically healthy person must acknowledge as wrong. Humans are inherently rational creatures with an inborn ability to discern the difference between right and wrong. This does not require a deity of any sort.

                • Kspark

                  Have you gone through all my posts carefully? I never said that mass killing would solve the problems. I am just trying to point out what should be there in the mind of a true, strongly convinced atheist a-t-h-e-i-s-t (seven letters with an “a” in the beginning). I do not support mass killing at all, since I believe in the law of karma. I would be subjected to punishment–sufferings in my next life / lives.

                  And, Jinx, you are in illusion.
                  God is absolutely the basis for morality. If there is no established standard for morality by an absolute, unchanging authority there is no meaning to morality. Suppose you take admission in a reputed university, can you do whatever you want there? Aren’t rules established by the university authorities? Similarly morality is “rules” established by God. The university rules may be relative and imperfect, but God’s “rules” are absolute and perfect always because God is absolute and all-perfect. We may not be able to grasp the “mind of God”. In short, what God says is right, is right and what God says is wrong, is wrong. Very easy for a theist! Can an atheist define what is right and wrong? It is so difficult for him. There is no sense in denying God. Take the origin of the universe for example. What happened before the so-called big bang? What is the origin of the big bang? An atheist generally accepts that the universe ultimately came from nothing, but refuses to believe that a human being, or an eye, or a wristwatch, or a leaf or a tissue or a living cell came out of nothing. Isn’t that nonsense? Everything in the universe has a cause, including the universe. God is beyond the created universe and He created it. You may ask, “Who created God?” God is defined as the “Cause of all causes” in various ancient Vedic texts. The Vedas are authoritative because they themselves originated from God and were not creations of human beings. So by definition: God has no creator, He is the ultimate origin of everything else.

                  Before assuming that everyone who speaks in favour of God is a stupid fool, just think twice.

                • Jinx

                  Sorry, I have been unaware for all of this time that you posted a response to my comment.

                  Your ideas are not unique in any way; you simply are using one of the oldest arguments for the existence of God:

                  “Since all life comes from life, the universe must have come from an intelligent creator.”

                  Unfortunately, this is not accurate. Some theoretical physicists would proposition that something can come out of nothing; our universe could simply be one of many others, or it could be cyclical and have neither a beginning nor an end.

                  The idea that morality must come from some authoritative source is also not correct; morality could simply be the result of altruism (an evolutionary trait, present even in animals) combined with the natural capacity that all people have for rationality. Think about it: why does almost every culture (and every religion, including yours) have its own version of the golden rule? Some ideas and actions are almost universally thought of as good while others are universally thought of as bad. In psychologically healthy individuals, moral development is a process that occurs in childhood and continues into adulthood. You could even think of this as a secular version of “spiritual growth” if you prefer……

                  Also, your ancient Vedic texts aren’t exactly the most consistent source for morality; for example, despite your dislike of meat eaters, early Vedic priests participated in the ritualized slaughter of animals. It was gruesome, even by modern standards; the Buddha described the Vedic priests of his day as “the blind leading the blind” because of these rituals.

                  You have no proof whatsoever that God directly created the Vedas or any other particular text. The mythology behind Hinduism is very ancient (even more ancient than the mythology behind Christianity), and nothing that you tell me could be reasonably regarded as a reliable account of supernatural intervention by your faith’s many deities (some of whom are not very benevolent).

                • SaneMan

                  You do not know what you are talking about. The slaughter of animals was not for selfish purposes. After sacrificing a horse, the priests were so sure of their power, that the horse would be immediately promoted to a human birth. Buddha was the Supreme Lord in disguise, did you know that. But i can’t convince you.

                • Ksp

                  A vegetarian atheist? Oh, he’s concerned selfishly about his health. He may not care for the suffering of animals.

                • Drakk

                  >> How come a big tree is present in a tiny seed? Is this not a miracle?

                  We get to add “biology” to the list of things you are fuck-all clueless about. A tree is not “inside” a seed, moron. The seed grows into a tree using matter from the soil and water around it. No, it is not a “miracle”. It’s simple science.

                  >> If you think deeply (I wonder if you’ve ever done that), you will see
                  that nothing that we see or experience everyday is a miracle, yet
                  everything is!

                  Nothing is! Everything is! BOTH AT THE SAME TIME!

                  Heh, this is classic religious fuckbrain.

                  >> Your talk proves that you cannot understand simple philosophy.

                  And yours proves you’re lacking in common fucking sense and anything that resembles rational thought.

                • Kspark

                  You talk of biology, assuming that everything that biology explains is right. What about physics? What about common sense? I’ve mentioned somewhere here in this thread that what appears as “rational thinking” to atheists may not be rational thinking at all.

                  Ok lets test your common sense. I am not a dunderhead. You have analyzed only some “religions” and not considering that there are authorized “religions” (The word “religion” is actually a misnomer since trur “religion” is completely different and can have a wide variety of meanings, compared to what you currently know about “religion”), you have concluded that all religion is “fuckbrain”. You seem to forget that some theories of physics also treat light as a particle and a wave at the same time (but my point is a different matter altogether, because physics and you are dealing with material logic).

                  Let’s speak about some mathematics. It has got nothing to do with “religion”, right? What is true 3d vision, according to you? Have you ever seen a sphere (a ball, a 2-sphere in our three-dimensional world), in its totality at once. First, you tell me what this question means, and then I shall talk.

                • Drakk

                  >> You talk of biology, assuming that everything that biology explains is right.

                  And you talk about magic mumbo jumbo, assuming that it’s got any basis in reality. At least biology has got recorded successes to show for itself. I can’t say the same for your nonsense.

                  >>What about physics? What about common sense?

                  …actually, I’m a physics student.

                  >> I’ve mentioned somewhere here in this thread that what appears as “rational thinking” to atheists may not be rational thinking at all.

                  Why should I take you seriously when you’re such an apparent moron?

                  >> Ok lets test your common sense. I am not a dunderhead.

                  Oh, do you just play one on the internet?

                  >> You seem to forget that some theories of physics also treat light as a particle and a wave at the same time

                  Which I accept because there is evidence. You know, experiments that demonstrate the fact that it happens, theories incorporating it which make accurate predictions, such and such. You’ve got nothing in favour of your hokum except you and some dusty old book. I don’t care for your “philosophy”. I want facts.

                • Kspark

                  Philosophy without religion is blind, religion without philosophy is lame. There are facts, first you be ready to go out of your in-the-box thinking. Answer the mathematics question by consulting someonone.

                  Technology does not bring progress, only an illusion of progress. (just a quote for you, which you may not appreciate).

                • Kspark

                  The “philosophy…” quote is not my own.

                  Albert Einstein’s quote was:
                  Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

                  Don’t confuse.

                  I am not fully supportive of either of the quotations as the precise meaning of “religion” by the quoters is probably not known clearly.

                • Kspark

                  I have the answer ready but you are not answering it still. It is not “spiritual” at all.

                • Kspark

                  A big tree is present means, the potency to create a big tree from a small seed the size of a mustard seed (the banyan seed) is present inside. I can challenge you: Use all your or others’ biological knowledge, and make a tiny seed that of a size of a mustard seed, so that a big tree grows in due course of time. No enzymes, no DNA, no cells, no tissues, or don’t take anything from any living matter. Take a thousand years, but make a seed with al your “scientific” knowledge. I do not claim I can make such a seed, but I can challenge you and other materialistic scientists that you cannot make such a seed. After you show me such a seed, and the process you have used, I shall submit to you, without questioning.

        • Kspark

          God is tougher to comprehend than a “big purple unicorn floating around Uranus.” Don’t listen to misleaders. Think deeply. Really deeply.
          Yur fate will be somthing like:

          “God is dead”–Nietzsche, 1883 (on the wall of a church)

          “Nietzsche is Dead”–God, 1900 (underneath)

  • Thegoodman

    When i was a child and believed what i was told, death created a lot of anxiety for me. The idea that some people were “chosen” to go to heaven and some to hell was very off putting.

    Not until becoming an atheist did I come to terms with death. The idea of no longer existing is much more comforting than the idea of living in eternal damnation. I actually think it sounds more comforting than eternity in heaven as well.

    Heaven sounds like a completely illogical place full of holy rollers and boring people. Hell would have all the great parties/music/sex/fun.

    Many adults like to pretend they operate on some sort of higher plane of knowledge than children. They think that the poor helpless little kiddies need things dumbed down so they can comprehend it and make it easier to accept. The reality is that they are telling the children pleasing stories because the questions the kids ask make THEM uncomfortable. Telling a kid a story as if you KNOW it to be true will certainly keep them from asking uncomfortable questions. Telling the kid the truth of “I don’t know” can threaten your power of them and diminish your false sense of superiority.

    Atheists dies the same way Christians do. Kids and adults both mourn the passing of loved ones because deep down they know it is the end.

    • http://www.facebook.com/edwnorris Ed Norris

      Beautifully written good man.

      • Kspark

        >>Heaven sounds like a completely illogical place full of holy rollers and
        boring people. Hell would have all the great parties/music/sex/fun.

        You are assuming things about hell! Hell is not pleasant.

        • Drakk

          You are assuming things about hell!

          • Guest

            Hell is not eternal, for your information, but hell exists. You haven’t heard of any religion beyond Christianity.

    • Ronald

      I had very much the same experiences.

  • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

    But that does make it tougher to cope with loss. It’s even harder when you’re trying to explain death to children without invoking the supernatural.

    Really? I’m always surprised by statements like this, because I don’t think it does. I grew up atheist, and I never believed in an afterlife. Between the ages of 5 and 8, all four of my grandparents died, in addition to several family friends and pets. I don’t think that not being told to believe in “heaven” was detrimental to me. On the contrary, I think that I was perfectly capable of handling the truth, and it boggles my mind that so many adults seem incapable of it.

    Since I was never taught to believe that I was immortal, I didn’t have some huge existential crisis later on. Dead always meant dead to me, and death was final. I think that the truth is so much healthier for children than feeding them fantastical stories of people floating around on clouds. We see the evidence every day of adults who are incapable of accepting their own mortality, and I think 99% of it stems from the fact that they were taught to believe those myths as young children. A lot of that angst could be avoided by calmly, rationally telling children the truth.

    • Kspark

      It is not about magic people floating around on clouds. It is far more serious. Up or above does not mean “up” within three dimensions. There is gross, and subtle matter. There are higher levels of consciousness. This tiny world of material science is just a fractional subset of everything that exists.

      • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

        You might believe that, but since your statement is a baseless assertion, I have no reason to take it seriously. There is not a shred of evidence to indicate that consciousness can survive the destruction of the brain.

        • Kspark

          Just because you say so, doesn’t mean it is false. It may be false from the gross, material viewpoint, but ultimately it is real. There is evidence. Have you heard about “reincarnation cases” by Dr. Ian Stevenson? There is lot of unbiased evidence. But you will say there is some trick. So, I’m sorry. Read other posts for logical arguments for the existence for god.

          • Kspark

            last line: “of God”

            • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

              Egads. You’re certainly entitled to your beliefs. I gather you are a Hindu of some sort. However, you must realize how ridiculous they sound not only to atheists, but to practically everyone in Western society. Reincarnation myths are not even part of our cultural background.

              • Kspark

                Christianity… the Bible is not entirely inaccurate, but it offers incomplete reasoning. There are many westerners who have abandoned Western culture, and the ways of Western society, and are practising “Hinduism”. How much do you know about true “Hinduism”? Hindu is a word not found in the Vedas, not once, did you know that?

                • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

                  That’s nice, but the Vedas are are just as much mythology as the Bible.

                • Kspark

                  You may think so, but you are WRONG.

                • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

                  I can say the exact same thing back to you, LOL. Just because you think you are right doesn’t mean you are right.

          • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

            The burden of proof is on people who are making positive assertions. You are so far in your bubble I’m not sure anything could convince you that reincarnation (just like heaven and hell) is a myth that originates from a certain culture.

            • Kspark

              Have you ever bothered to go through Dr. Ian Stevenson’s research work. Interesting point: he himself did not like to believe in re-incarnation, but he has not hidden anything he does not like. He has presented the cases as they are.
              It took me many years to remain in my “bubble”.

              And may I point, you are in your bubble, sleeping and hoping like Drakk and Glasofruix. Please read my replies to them. have you ever seriously thought that one day death will come to you? Seriously enoug? “I do not like to think about these things. Death is far away.” shall not work. Learn to face the truth. The thought of death is not at all pleasant, and don’t try to pretend like other atheists that “I have come to terms with death.” If you really are unafraid, that is false courage. Reincarnation is NOT a myth, For the proof, wait till you die (I only hope you don’t become a ghost). All atheists follow in-th-box Dr. Frog’s philosophy. Dr. Frog was living in his 10 foot well, and had never been outside; and somebody told him about the Atlantic Ocean one day. Dr. Frogs answer: Atlantic Ocean is a myth, imagination, does not exist. “In the box thinking.” lack of evidence does not mean No evidence. You do not know how to interpret evidence. Material scientists are guilty of withholding evidence. Did you know that.

      • Drakk

        >> There is gross, and subtle matter.

        Show me evidence.

        >> There are higher levels of consciousness.

        Show me evidence.

        >> This tiny world of material science is just a fractional subset of everything that exists.

        Show me- you know what, it’s not even fucking funny anymore. You’re possibly the least intelligent thing I’ve ever had the misfortune to interact with in any way.

        • Kspark

          1. Ok, activate your subtle senses.

          2. Read my posts of today, about evidence.3.
          Go to thespiritualscientist[dot]com and try to debunk whatever topics
          you find there being discussed. (I am not the creator of the site, fyi).

          You may conclude whatever you want, it cannot be “shown”. And whatever arguments I have put are just the weaker arguments. I have even stronger points, but, I’m sure, stubborn people like you won’t agree even with the strongest arguments for God. A person who is actually sleeping may be woken up, but a person who is pretending to be asleep can never, ever be woken up? Are you such a pesron? Decide for yourself.

          This is probably my last post on this site. I don’t care if you conclude that I have accepted defeat.

          • Drakk

            >> 1. Ok, activate your subtle senses.

            AHAHAHAHA- wait, what? The fuck is this crap?

            >> [blah blah blah spiritualscientist]

            No. You don’t get it. I don’t want philosophy. I don’t care for any philosophical arguments. I want physical evidence. There is nothing in the world that starts existing just because people think really hard about it.

            >> You may conclude whatever you want, it cannot be “shown”.

            Oh, but you can’t give me any physical evidence.

            Guess the fuck what, dumbshit. This is exactly equivalent to saying that whatever it is you’re talking about can’t affect me, or for that matter anything in any physical way, because if it did, that would be a measurable physical effect – or rather, evidence. Since according to you, I won’t be seeing that any time soon, I’m going to ignore your “god” nonsense.

            If he does exist, he can blow me. I’ll definitely be able to measure that.

            • Kspark

              You and I seem to be the last contenders left. This is certainly going to be my last post, but please read on till the very end. You may call me an idiot, or a professional clown, or whatever, all the way!

              My answer is simple. God or the soul is not under the purview of this physical world, so you cannot be “shown” physical evidence, just as you cannot measure the acidity or alkalinity of a solution using a Vernier caliper, or a microscope. The “tools” required to “see” God are different.

              However, you cannot neglect philosophy, as your atheistic beliefs are due to atheistic “philosophy” in itself.

              Since you asked me to show you God, I shall tell you something. Probably, you won’t accept this statement as it may seem like nonsense to you, but, “Krishna” (pronounced Krish-na) is one of the powerful names of God in this age.

              You need not become a theist at all. Just for the sake of it, just for the fun of it, (you don’t stand to lose anything), just say within your mind, just ONCE: “Krishna, if you exist, guide me.”

              You see, there is an “if” in the sentence. If you find it uncomfortable, to use the word Krishna, substitute the word(s) “God” or “Supreme Person” for “Krishna”. But please try it once, just for the sake of it, and one fine day, you may “see” God. That’s all I can tell you. Call me an idiot or whatever, but just try it! Hare Krishna (Huh-ray Krish-na)

              • Kspark

                Answer this, Drakk. If your arguments have a point I’ll answer back, if not i won’t care. Why are you silent?

            • Kspark

              >>No. You don’t get it. I don’t want philosophy. I don’t care for any
              philosophical arguments. I want physical evidence. There is nothing in the world that starts existing just because people think really hard
              about it.

              The same thing for you. Don’t try to hide the fact that you atheists don’t have a philosophy. This is how you atheists (at least moral atheists or “good without God” humanists) may think, pushed by your own selfish desires:
              “O my brother, don’t stay away from sense pleasures. Enjoy sense pleasures as you like, as long as others do not know of them. Why not? I do not think the world will collapse because of them. There is no God, an all-seeing God who gives to us the results of our actions. What have you to fear? Just be a little careful, so no one will know. If they learn of it, then you will lose your good reputation, and perhaps the government or bad people will make trouble for you. If that happens neither you nor others will be happy.”

              Know for certain that if the hearts of the preachers of atheistic morality were examined, these thoughts would be found.

              Defeat / Refute the above statement. Philosophy is required, Sir.

              The same thing applies to you:

              There is nothing in the world that starts not existing just because people think really hard about it.

              This positively is my last post. Sorry for talking more and thank you.


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