[INTP] What about post-atheism religions?

What about post-atheism religions?

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This is a discussion on What about post-atheism religions? within the INTP Forum - The Thinkers forums, part of the NT's Temperament Forum- The Intellects category; After Nietzsche so brutally killed god over a century ago secularism and atheism has become more and more accepted, and ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality


    What about post-atheism religions?

    After Nietzsche so brutally killed god over a century ago secularism and atheism has become more and more accepted, and in some cultures even the most common stance on the question of religion. Of course many religious people fail to realize that atheism is not as they would have it just another religion, neither is it an anti-religion. It's just what it says it is, the non-belief in a god.


    Unfortunately, most atheists seem to get bogged down defending either their non-belief or others attempts to re-define it into something that they don't agree with. Since there's really nothing much to define, the concept is simple enough already, that's a waste of energy. As is defending, or for that matter, trying to spread it. Unlike religion, which needs someone to communicate it, atheism appears spontaneously in many people as the result of critical thought, or as the result of not being exposed to religion (or being exposed after creating a mental immune system towards their particular memes).


    For example, I did not become Christian when I was exposed to the religion because at the time I had already read several fantasy books. So my reaction was “These stories are kind of boring. Wait... are they expecting me to believe it's true?!”. Same with Santa Claus, of course I believed in Santa Claus I just happened to believe it was a guy dressed up in order to make it fun for us kids. But I digress...


    My point is, atheism itself is only an absence of something, not something in itself. It's a negation, whereas religion is an affirmation. And once you get past the thesis vs anti-thesis stage of atheism, you can look back and go “Hmm. Even though I don't believe in this or that religions god(s), there may be some things of value. I mean I don't believe in Sauron, but I still liked reading Lord of The Rings.” Just like I may not agree with everything a person says, that doesn't mean I disagree with everything or deny his or her value. Because that would be stupid, illogical and dogmatic.


    So the question is, now that god is out of the picture, what can we pilfer from religion? It's pretty obvious that people want a sense of community, something that religion brings, and many have a need or like of spirituality. Atheism does not offer any of that, since it is not affirmative, it's merely a negation. But what would a post-atheist religion look like?


    One interesting version I've found is Syntheism. They've created (or rather, are in a process of creating) an atheist religion based on Nitzschean and Spinozan morals, and the scientific process. They've eliminated god from the process because not only do they believe god to be fictive, but more importantly, god is quite irrelevant. You can have a much better religion if you're not constrained to the limitations and arbitrary laws of an imagined higher being. The process of searching for happiness, community, spirituality and personal growth is better off without one. So far I've enjoyed it, I joined the organization a few weeks ago, and I can recommend it to anyone who's left the 19:th century conflict between religion and atheism behind him or her.


    One can of course also (successfully) argue that Buddhism is a religion available to atheists, as well as the spiritual movements who are focused on Being (for examples look up "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle or "I am that" by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj). Does anyone else have any interesting post-atheism religions that they've discovered?
    Jennywocky, misstheground, RoSoDude and 2 others thanked this post.



  2. #2
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Satanism is essentially an atheist religion, though people have taken what Anton Lavey intended as a (sort of)joke and made it into a big deal.

  3. #3
    Unknown Personality

    You know what.... the next time I fill out a form with a field called 'Religion' or answer a person who asks what my religion is, my answer will be "The Internet"...

    Let's see how much of a mess I can get myself into.
    TaoPaiPai, eks, that and 6 others thanked this post.

  4. #4
    Unknown Personality

    Personally, I believe in God. I say this not to start an argument. I'm going to consider the bible completely from an objective humanistic approach. I just want you to know where I am coming from. I always imagined, that if it is true that I am delusional about the existence of God, a (how'd you put it), a post-atheist world would be like Star Trek TNG. Where there is still an unwritten doctrine of right and wrong. And everyone follows it. of course it probably helps that the starship enterprise is a military vessel, but I always imagined by the way Picard spoke, that civilians were the same way. When he spoke to the man that he had woken out of hypersleep for a century or so, and he said that they had eliminated hunger and thirst, thus the need for personal ownership of land. When you eliminate the need for resources, you've eliminated the most common source of conflict in history I think.
    I always say, that even if I am delusional about the existance of God, the moral code that is written, the wisdom, etc. are still worth the study for me. Makes me a better and wiser person. Makes life easier when you don't have to figure everything out the hard way (ie experience). And I don't shun the teachings of cunfuscious or Buddha or anyone else. I may not believe in their gods, but wisdom is wisdom... no matter the source. :)
    Wolfrahm thanked this post.

  5. #5
    INTP - The Thinkers

    Quote Originally Posted by qingdom View Post
    You know what.... the next time I fill out a form with a field called 'Religion' or answer a person who asks what my religion is, my answer will be "The Internet"...

    Let's see how much of a mess I can get myself into.
    Your avatar makes me very happy.
    qingdom and treschanna thanked this post.

  6. #6
    Unknown Personality

    Surprisingly, the article about spiritual atheism appealed to me (this is the first kind of religion I can attribute this to).

    Parts of it ressemble my world view.

    Pain and affliction are inherent to life. Thus we should accept them as elementary conditions of life and exceed these boundaries.

    Values are never intrinsic, but this does not imply nihilism. Rather we have the freedom to create our own values and live according to them. As well there is no objective meaning of life, rather we give meaning to life.

    Yet, I am a strong antagonist of the idea of free will. As well I don´t idealize happiness. My main focus in life is to improve, to exceed, to overcome myself.


    I am in general not very comfortable with the idea of an organisation promoting a specific world view. So I will probably not join. Still what is your experience with this religion like, so far @Stoneburg? Any "events"? Masses? Conventions?
    Last edited by Orchidion; 09-07-2013 at 10:22 AM. Reason: typo
    A Skylark, Hikikomori, Wolfrahm and 1 others thanked this post.

  7. #7
    Unknown Personality


    Quote Originally Posted by Orchidion View Post
    Surprisingly, the article about spiritual atheism appealed to me (this is the first kind of religion I can attribute this to).
    My reaction was exactly the same as yours, which is why I decided to investigate further. Actually, “joining up” is my way of investigating further since there is absolutely nothing you have to do or agree to join, and you can drop out any time you like. Just the way I like it. :)


    Quote Originally Posted by Orchidion View Post
    Parts of it ressemble my world view.


    Pain and affliction are inherent to life. Thus we should accept them as elementary conditions of life and exceed these boundaries.


    Values are never intrinsic, but this does not imply nihilism. Rather we have the freedom to create our own values and live according to them. As well there is no objective meaning of life, rather we give meaning to life.
    I would call that “affirmative nihilism”, and I agree with that too. You could say that I'm an affirmative nihilistic mobilist with an eternalistic philosophical viewpoint. Well, you probably couldn't “say” that because it's a horribly constructed sentence and contains a bunch of words that most people have no idea what they mean. But strictly speaking it is true, for now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Orchidion View Post
    Yet, I am a strong antagonist of the idea of free will. As well I don´t idealize happiness. My main focus in life is to improve, to exceed, to overcome myself.
    Interestingly enough I was part of a discussion on this in the Syntheist community yesterday. I think most people came down on the side that I was arguing, that “free will” is mainly a necessary legal construction but impossible to sustain in a mobilistic universe. Fundamentally, there is no specific “You” to have a “free” will, since the definition of both “you” and “free” is arbitrary. I was quite proud of this example I provided:


    -“Your honor, we of the left side part of the neo-cortex together with the hippocampus claim innocence! This heinous crime was act executed by the right-side of the neo-cortex in collaboration with the amygdala! It was clearly an impulsive act of aggression, typical of their kind!”.
    -"Bullshit your honor! Everybody knows us left-side cortexes can't read maps, there's no way we would have found that house! It's obvious this was a cold and calculated crime, masterminded by that psychopathic right-hand side! Me and the amygdala are way too emotional to be able to pull something like that off!”


    I wouldn't say anything was “decided” or that one side “won” (though clearly we did), but the discussion was a lot of fun and that is the point. This seems to be an anti-dogmatic religion that is focused on the process rather than the result. As well as being highly pragmatical. This idea doesn't suit you? Try another, we've got plenty.


    Quote Originally Posted by Orchidion View Post
    I am in general not very comfortable with the idea of an organisation promoting a specific world view. So I will probably not join. Still what is your exprience with this religion like, so far @Stoneburg ? Any "events"? Masses? Conventions?
    From what I understand there are events, for example many of the members considers “Burning Man” to be an event connected to this. And I talked to one of the founders last week and he mentioned they had some stuff planned and had also already staged some (very strange sounding) events.


    The Stockholm congregation seems to have been active creating some events/festivals/holy-somethings that you can check out here: http://syntheism.org/index.php/festivals/


    But as I said, it's extremely non-conformist and anti-dogmatic. More focused on asking interesting questions than providing ready made answers. Which of course is just horribly attractive to someone like me (perhaps I've already been brainwashed and just don't know it yet?).
    Jennywocky, Orchidion and Hoff thanked this post.

  8. #8
    INFP - The Idealists

    If religion is the affirmation and atheism the negation, what is the reconciling third force? If you can figure that out, I think you have a big part of the answer.
    Dashing thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INTP - The Thinkers

    I'm a santanist, ask me anything. Well, almost anything.
    Dashing thanked this post.

  10. #10
    Unknown Personality


    Quote Originally Posted by sarek View Post
    If religion is the affirmation and atheism the negation, what is the reconciling third force? If you can figure that out, I think you have a big part of the answer.
    agnosticism?


    To OP:
    I read nietzsche's work and wasn't impressed. He did not ''brutally killed god''. All he did was express his dissapointments and his depressing views on life. Nothing amazing about it, but I guess in the Western world he might have had an impact.
    Cover3 thanked this post.


     
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