[ExI] psychology

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Fri Apr 24 17:23:16 UTC 2020

On 23/04/2020 22:58, bill w wrote:
> If we think of atheism as a religion, and I don't, then we can think 
> of what religion offers - here is a start:
> rapture - feeling of oneness with the universe and god- nirvana - peak 
> experiences accompanied by speaking in tongues - feeling of lost identity
> forgiveness of sins - purification into a better person perhaps 
> through suffering and flagellation and fasting - being forgiven by an 
> agency of the church and thus a god (Jesus loves me)
> merging identity with fellow believers - being a part of a whole - 
> loved and loving in return
> more to come - what do you think atheism offers comparable to those 
> things above?

The 'forgiveness of sins' assumes that 'sin' actually means anything 
real, and to atheists, I should think it doesn't, seeing as how the term 
relates to the concept of a god. If you don't believe in gods, you don't 
think 'sin' is a meaningful term.

The other things for the most part still seem irrelevant and possibly 
delusional, but for me, all those things mentioned aren't anything 
positive at all, so I don't need or want anything to replace them, and 
there's no need for atheism to offer anything like them. With perhaps 
two exceptions. The 'oneness with the universe' thing, and love. I am 
one with the universe, that's just a simple fact, no need for anything 
mystical or special about it. It certainly doesn't involve a feeling of 
lost identity. I have no idea why anyone would want that!

You can love and be loved without merging identity. Again, nothing 
special about it, just part of human nature.

So, I see no need for atheism to compete with religion for delusional 
fantasies. That's what we're trying to rise above.

Becoming a better person, though, well, that's transhumanism. Except it 
won't be achieved through daft things like suffering and flagellation, 
but through technology. And probably the definition of 'better' is going 
to be different. It definitely doesn't mean becoming more of an abject 
slave, which is what most religions seem to mean by the term.

Bottom line, atheism doesn't offer anything comparable to those things 
mentioned. It offers far better things, especially when coupled with 

Ben Zaiboc

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