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Atheist Experience
Happiness in belief

Hi, not exactly sure if this topic should go here or the 'General' board area.

Why is it that seemingly all, or most, religious followers of the world seem to be happier than your common awakened atheist?

Now at first look it may seem I'm having a go at atheists over this. But to the contrary I myself am of clear reasoning mind, I'm certainly not religious or have any unfounded ridiculous faith beliefs in any imaginary deity. Plus I cannot see this changing either, mainly due to common sense ie I'm not agnostic either.

But people of faith are seemingly much happier than myself. I understand that ignorance is bliss, but its not that either. I mean if you had a second shot of starting life over again you might actually decide on being a priest instead of a 'lack of belief' debater! You'd have more acceptable (worldwide) respect. You'd be fully noted as a member of society (this also entails all laws, religious or otherwise). And here's the crunch > You'd be happier.

Happiness is not just ignorance in reality. These religious minded people 'search their soul' (note I also don't believe in souls btw) and through years of inward and outward devotion to their belief they are truly (seemingly) more happy and accepted. This happiness, may not be fully attributed to ignorance or lying to yourself. Its a oneness to everything, like everything is connected and 'in tune' with the entire universe.

How many atheists can say they are truly at ease with the universe? The mere word atheism implies they are 'against' something. Something of this world in which they live and fully belong to. This is not a good (or even natural) evolved mindset. Which part of the evolutionary process made some people so bitter to others?

Oh you may say that the bitterness is only towards the modern (only a minimal few thousands of years human evolution) 'religious' faiths. As if you are against a certain human law that needs to be changed. But even religious people state to love all people (for argument sake, lets just agree with this practice what they preach contradiction). And in that, they are truly at one with every person both in mindset and choice. within their present society.

Isn't it a contradiction of atheists to say to their children that they want all the happiness in the world for them? If this were true then you'd get them into religious instruction straight away! They'd be fully accepted respected and happy members of our present (and for the last few thousand years) of society. What could be better than that? Plus they will try to love all others, in doing so (at least in their own mind). They will be so happy you could make similarities with a religious person and someone who has been meditating their entire life. Note, most people don't meditate their entire life. But if you were religious, its like every second is a joy of existence (either dead or alive at that)

Atheist just don't seem natural. Is everything just science? I'm pretty sure if you searched EVERY atheists heart (ie mind or consciousness) You'd see that we ALL have some even tiny amount of spiritual (unfounded) connection to the universe. Maybe atheists are ALSO lying to themselves and others? No we don't believe in one all be it creator of this natural universe. Or rather we ask for proof of others who say they have found god. But the proof is already there in our hearts, its called happiness, please explain to me how all humans, animals you name it, feel happiness and at one with the universe, because that's never going to be a modern science discovery or theory in my opinion.

I'm an atheist (sadly). So I know that there's something else. I'm just one of the few that will admit it. Ideally that something else could be ONE centralized thing. Religious people call it a soul or even god, but even that's too limited ie Which god? And why not a soul in animals or plants etc. But maybe, just maybe they ARE on to something (all misconstrued of course) I mean it just seems natural that there is something else to life as we know it, not imaginary either.

Anyway, that's my only concern :) Pretty sure I'll get the standard reply of atheists believe such and such (there are some tiny differences in this definition within groups) But mainly the lack of belief in a one all creator; and therefore my questions are not relevant to your cause whatsoever. I wonder though if atheists could just open up their hearts a little more, and inform others that the wonders of life allow for unproven fulfillment of a single entity (possibly even belief in!) of something that we all strive to get to. Who doesn't want to be happy god. Is that wrong of me to say?

While you do come across as an internet troll (claiming to be an atheist but then ending your message with 3 paragraphs complaining about atheism and saying that you KNOW there is more, such as a soul or a God!!!) I would like to make a couple of comments.

I think that your concept of religious people being happier is likely to be based on geography and demographics. I am guessing that you live in an area which has a majority religious population, and that therefore atheists are a minority. This makes things more difficult for atheists because their everyday lives are being influenced by religion, and there will be frustration at this. Large parts of the community may frown upon atheists or even snub them because of their lack of belief in a god.

Furthermore when religious doctrine has a strong impact on how people vote for changes to public policy that equally effects theists and atheists it is no wonder that atheists have a hard time accepting certain attempts being made to restrict their freedoms.

All of this contributes to atheists having justifiable reason to be less happy than the religious majority.

Here in Birmingham, England, things are very different. Though England does not have separation of chuch and state, we do have an incredibly diverse society, and this has a major impact on the way our communities function. Lack of belief is the more widely held position, and in most public forums refering to religion to justify an argument is frowned upon and is often considered a sign of someone lacking intelligence and rational thought. The person who makes a relgious based argument will almost certainly be challenged on their position as they will be seen as an easy target.

A religiously diverse community (that includes atheists) cannot be built around the beliefs of any one religion and is instead built around common ground found between all members of that community. They become secular by necessity, and create environments in which atheists thrive and are equally welcomed as drivers of those communities. Furthermore religious people cannot attribute the success of their community to their own religion. To do so publicly would actually be veiwed negatively by the rest of the community, resulting in them being less respected within the community.

Therefore, I would argue that over here, atheists are probably happier within their communities and are more at liberty to express their opinions within their local communities.

There are still pockets of the strongly religious over here, and they tend to hold extremely skeptical views about the benefit of diversity (often openly expressing a fear that Britain will lose its identity when they actually fear their religious strength being watered down), but as our country's diversity continues to expand into these areas they will continue to decrease.


Chris S

"Why is it that seemingly all, or most, religious followers of the world seem to be happier than your common awakened atheist? "

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one" -- George Bernard Shaw.

Hi Don,

Hope you're well.

I appreciate your quote.

I guess the point I was trying to make was that circumstance and even location will influence your perception of whether religious people or atheists are the happier group.

As you rightly point out, it matters not in the grand scheme of things. I was merely demonstrating that over here (in England) the original poster would in all likelihood have been making the opposite comment.


Chris S

kimsland, Why is it that seemingly all, or most, religious followers of the world seem to be happier than your common awakened atheist?

Karl Marx said, "religion is the "opium of the people" from 1843-44 Karl Marx's book Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right

Here's the complete quote: "Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man--state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d'honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion. Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo."

Thanks Chris, Don and Linda. Actually I do feel happier that others before me have seen this 'illusion' of happiness, and stated that its still not ok. So obviously its not happiness alone that we all seek.

Since we're on the topic of quotes. I was on the CNN religious topic area some time ago and someone wrote this (also note, I asked him if I could copy it down and quote it again and he agreed, but I've now forgotten his name)

"Religions are our fantasy when reality is too complex to understand. Simple people like simple answers. How did the universe begin ? Simple - God magically made it. Complex - in the Science of cosmology you can learn about how the universe exists and what we have observed about it's beginnings. The simple answer takes 2 seconds. The complex answer takes 10-15 years of dedicated study and even then, you still won't have all the answers you were looking for, but you will have facts, evidence, observation, models that have predictive capabilities, truth and reality. God & Faith are never answers to anything. They are when you want to give up and let your mind enjoy the simple, untruthful fantasy of knowing nothing at all."

As for the 'troll' part of saying god doesn't exist, but does he? Look I got myself into a loop on this on (hmm I really should get that topic removed one day) All I'm trying to say is we don't know all the answers yet, and I'm thinking (even hoping) that there's more to life. I actually called it an undiscovered 'energy', but since atheists main point is on facts and reality, then I suppose that type of topic is meant for a more philosophical forum, although I can't seem to find one that excludes religion as we know it. So most think I'm being religious! Hence the loop. The closest match are the atheists forums. Its real to say that we will find more discoveries in our universe that may modify some of our known laws.

Here's a couple of examples. Since the Big Bang, it seems matter has evolved basically at light speed away from where it originated from! Isn't that impossible? Plus I've found there is something faster than light speed, I can imagine myself on the other side of the universe in 0.1 of a second. Obviously imagination has no boundaries, and doesn't follow any known law.

Well to save the replies of what the hell are you talking about! I have a dream that one day religion will not exist. I'm just trying to find ways to make that dream a reality.

kimsland said, "All I'm trying to say is we don't know all the answers yet, and I'm thinking (even hoping) that there's more to life. I actually called it an undiscovered 'energy', but since atheists main point is on facts and reality, then I suppose that type of topic is meant for a more philosophical forum, although I can't seem to find one that excludes religion as we know it.

Scientists have never claimed that they have all the answers- but the more we know the less likely divine intervention becomes. Besides it's the theists that have all the answers in one little black book. Another problem is that nobody can study 'undiscovered energy' let alone discuss it. Believing in the existence of something requires some kind of evidence. I think people who are obtuse and just can't entertain themselves with all the amazing things that are real (in life and in the universe) want to believe they will live forever (I don't understand the purpose) and that there will be another life after this one.

kimsland said, "Since the Big Bang, it seems matter has evolved basically at light speed away from where it originated from! Isn't that impossible?"

The Big Bang is a singularity extending through all space at a single instant, about 13 to 14 billion years ago, all of the matter in the universe was thrown in different directions. Galaxies are still moving outward from the first explosion. The universe itself will eventually outpace the speed of light

Einstein's theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum still holds true, because space itself is stretching, and space is nothing. Galaxies aren't moving through space and away from each other but with space. Some galaxies are already so far away from us, and moving away so quickly, that their light will never reach Earth.

kimsland said, "Plus I've found there is something faster than light speed, I can imagine myself on the other side of the universe in 0.1 of a second. Obviously imagination has no boundaries, and doesn't follow any known law.

Einstein's theory nothing with mass travels faster than light: The scientists who announced they had recorded subatomic particles called neutrinos breaking the speed of light have found some problems. The results could have been wrong because of faulty equipment according to the physicists at Cern, where the experiment was performed by the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator.

Special relativity doesn't state that nothing can travel faster than light. It states that no particle can travel as fast as light in a vacuum because light has no mass. Massive particles can never travel at or above the speed of light, and Special realitivity states that massless particles can only travel at exactly the speed of light. Nothing travels faster than the speed of light.

they beamed neutrinos over 450 miles from their base in Geneva to a laboratory in Gran Sasso in the Italian Alps. The experiment came up with the results that neutrinos beat light by 60 nanoseconds - or billionths of a second.

They repeated the experiments and eventually some problems were discovered, that's why experiments are repeated before the scientists make a decision.

One problem was with an oscillator on the global positioning system used to track the neutrinos' progress. This may have overestimated their flight time. Another problem was with the optical-fibre connector that joins the GPS signals to the master clock at Cern that recorded the result.

Unfortunately, they said, "this may not have been functioning correctly when the measurements were taken". They added, "If this is the case, it could have led to an underestimate of the time of flight of the neutrinos."

Scientists think that faster than light particles could be detected by the LHC. One of the major goals of the LHC is finding the Higgs boson particle that physicists call upon to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass. If the LHC succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some scientists predict that it will create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time. These singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past.

kimsland said, "Obviously imagination has no boundaries, and doesn't follow any known law."

The point I'm making is, a theory is determined by what is found it's not determined by wishful thinking, and it's not the same as just deciding something is true first and then going out to prove it's true- or deciding that something exists without any evidence.

Hmm, ok Linda that's pretty clear and informative. So thanks :)

Strangely it seems obvious now. Since I was already aware of 'mass' that cannot reach the speed of light, I obviously didn't have that speed of light 'nothing' statement exactly right. Geez I feel like an idiot.

Plus the stretching/expanding universe I was already aware of too. Pretty sure I watched that space gravity video on that about 10years ago! Um ditto on that. Plus I also previously knew of that neutrinos 'trying' to break the speed of light experiment. So that's all clear too.

Yes, using that 'It exists', so now I just have to prove it! Is all too familiar. I understand its best to start with an actual basis of facts first before deciding on the end result is correct or not, damn it :D

Ok, I'll go back under a rock now :( But what about... Nah that won't work either! Why, why did I have to be born into reality. :) I have no further questions > Please mark this as solved. I'll keep dreaming :)

Seriously that was well written Linda, I'm happy to let you know it helped me. Lets just say no question is a dumb question, and leave it at that :) Oh, not that I'm saying you implied that either, however I feel it now seems obvious. This is obviously how religion still exists today. Someone gets this real silly idea, and thousands of fools agree with him. They should have come here first.

Thanks again.

Does any one think it is possible for a person to disbelieve in a god and at the same time have faith in a god?

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