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DEFINITIVE ATHIESM

Posted Feb. 26, 2014 by Jim Centi in Open

commented on March 24, 2014
by NoetPoet

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14


There has been a change in my subjective experience over a period of a few months and I contribute that change to what will be discussed in this topic.

Several months ago, I addressed a comment to dustproduction and asked him why he was spamming all my topics. He responded by re posting a comment where I referred to him as an atheist.

Dustproduction’s atheism was obvious from his comments. I have known atheists who were proud of their atheism and I was puzzled by the degree of dustproduction’s anger toward me that would cause him to spam all my topics.

Due to the degree of his anger toward me, I considered the possibility that my understanding of atheism was lacking in some way, so I did a search to determine exactly what atheism is.

I stumbled upon a site where atheists were arguing among themselves relative to the meaning of atheism.

One argument was similar to ...it.is not that I do not believe in God or an afterlife, I simply have no belief system relative to God or an afterlife. After a while, it appeared to me that they were simply exhibiting their prowess on the play field of conceptual thought, so I left the site.

Rather than accept one of the definitions provided on that site or the subtle variances of definitions on other sites, I decided to create my own definition of atheism and spend some time experiencing atheism according to my definition…… simply for the experience.

The definition I decided on was: belief in absolutely nothing.....experience existence without any belief about anything.

This was difficult in the beginning, until I came upon a hidden belief that formed the foundation of my belief system.

That belief was firmly implanted in my belief system to the degree that it was recognized as absolute truth or an aspect of reality, rather than simply a belief. It dictated that I was a self that existed separate from or independent of the universe. This belief was so deeply ingrained that it was my experience.

When that belief was eventually successfully abandoned, a sense of liberation and peace took over. The incessant flow of reoccurring thoughts that pass through awareness (sometimes referred to as the monkey mind) ended.

Occasionally, a thought would appear and it would be necessary to reaffirm the position of absolutely no beliefs about anything.

After I was somewhat successful in maintaining the state of absolutely no beliefs, it was like taking a vacation from the world and its illusions, while sitting comfortably in my recliner.

The experience is rewarding to the degree that I now spend some time in my recliner with it just about every day.

The experience occurs within degrees of potency. If I am in my recliner with the intention of experiencing existence without belief the experience is beautifully potent.

If I am engaged in conversation with a neighbor, there are varying degrees of diffusion, but it remains in the background of awareness.

If you decide to experiment with this, don’t expect fireworks and orchestral music. The experience is a subtle sense of peace or liberation, but over a period of a few months, it has enhanced my subjective experience of what I am and am not.

  • 14 Comments  
  • NoetPoet Mar 24, 2014

    That may be the case for you Jim, but it is rather disingenuous and presumptious of you to project your own motivations onto me and my atheism. I spent years searching for a form of spirituality which could 'shield me from the desperation' of the human condition, but my embrace of atheism and skepticism represents a very different approach: rather than vainly looking for a 'spiritual' shield from desperation, I am looking reality straight in the eye and acknowledging it for what it really is.

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    Jim Centi Mar 23, 2014

    NoetPoet,

    Yours is a very perceptive comment.

    On the highest level of cognition that I've experienced, both my orientation toward spirituality and your admitted atheism are nothing more than pet theories that shield us from living lives of quiet desperation.

  • NoetPoet Mar 23, 2014

    Gee Jim, I'm glad you're not a world leader or an army general or anything like that. Your willingness to threaten and forcibly silence people who even question -let alone offer rational arguments against - your pet theories is quite disturbing!

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Mar 22, 2014

    It is past my bedtime.

    The following paragraph was inadvertently omitted from my previous post. It should have been the last paragraph to my comment:.

    A copy of this comment is being sent to Michelle Riddle with the request that if Dr. Weiner agrees to post another topic and someone intentionally disrupts his new topic as was done previously, they be permanently barred from Discussions.

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    Jim Centi Mar 22, 2014

    dustinthewind,

    With respect, I would like to respond to your comment.

    Dustproduction began spamming topics related to spirituality long before I referred to him as an atheist.

    Please refer to the following link:

    http://noetic.org/discussions/open/333/#comment_6290

    The author of this topic is PhD Pc Donald E Weiner, respected author and lecturer on Science and Spirituality. He posted to Discussions with the username drdonw.

    Dustproduction spammed Dr. Weiner’s topic with questions such as:

    Define "soul."
    What is it the soul does for us?
    How does science find the soul?

    In addition to such questions, dustproduction’s many comments were so disruptive that, in my opinion, Dr. Weiner made an amiable excuse, stopped posting and never returned to the IONS website.

    I am considering asking Dr. Weiner to post another topic.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Mar 06, 2014

    Appreciate the comment but I've moved on from this sort of distraction.
    When people talk about me I take it tomean I'm doing something right.
    But for the record, I do not self identify as an "atheist."

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    dustinthewind Mar 05, 2014

    Jim, excuse my feminine curiosity, but I find this is the second such discussion where you are the protaganist. You read Dustproduction’s atheism was obvious from his comments. Isn't this labeling? This whole topic then seem a bit bogus.
    You also had a discussion about Dusproduction here. "Voices from the past: What most of you fail to realize is that Dustproduction is an atheist and he often defends his atheism by quoting materialistic science. Atheists, such as Dustproduction, rarely admit publicly that they see belief in an afterlife or spirituality as evidence of mental deficiency or irrationality." And besides, are people not allowed to reject theism?

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Mar 05, 2014

    dustinthewind,

    I suggest doing a Google search for atheism. In doing so, I found no evidence that would justify your question.

    In addition, in this topic NoetPoet refers to himself as an atheist.

    In the past there have been comments that intend only to distract from a topic. I have seen my topics and the topics of others destroyed by such comments and the mundane bantering that follows.

    In the future, I will participate in Discussions only on a very selective basis, if at all.

    Best wishes to all…..Jim

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustinthewind Mar 04, 2014

    Is "atheist" a label one self identifies as or a term that theists assign to those more humanistically oriented?

  • NoetPoet Feb 28, 2014

    Fine whatever. Good luck with that.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Feb 28, 2014

    I presented this topic to provide others the choice to experiment with what I am experiencing.

    NoetPoet “I'm not sure if abandoning the self is the best option.”

    If that is your position, let’s let it set with that and end our exchange.

  • NoetPoet Feb 28, 2014

    "In abandoning the self, there is the aspect of surrender; then if we succumb to CT, we are logically led to the question…..surrender to what?"

    I'm not sure if abandoning the self is the best option. The self is an adaptive mechanism, an interface which facilitates the human organism's interaction with (the rest of) the universe. For many people, God is yet another evolved interface that the human organism often uses to interact with the universe. But whereas the self is a proxy for the human organism, God is a proxy for the universe. The typical theist therefore interacts with the universe using the following set-up:

    human organism <----> self <----> God/s <----> universe

    Atheists dispense with the God interface, but dispensing with the remaining self interface just begs the question: how can the human organism continue to function in the world without any psychological interface?

    "Do you think it is possible to accept Intelligent Design without forming concepts relative to the nature of that intelligence?"

    No I don't think it's possible. You could be agnostic regarding Intelligent Design without forming ideas about the intelligence, but to accept Intelligent Design you'd have to be able to explain and understand what it was you were accepting.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Jim Centi Feb 27, 2014

    In responding to you, I regrettably find myself drifting into the realm of belief and the play field of conceptual thought (CT)..

    In abandoning the self, there is the aspect of surrender; then if we succumb to CT, we are logically led to the question…..surrender to what?

    In exploring plant intelligence, there is an attraction to Intelligent Design. When I tentatively explored ID a few years ago, it was dismissed as a ploy to encourage creationism as opposed to Darwinism; I am now reconsidering my dismissal of it.

    Do you think it is possible to accept Intelligent Design without forming concepts relative to the nature of that intelligence?

  • NoetPoet Feb 26, 2014

    Your experiental form of atheism is intriguing, it sounds alot like Zen. I consider myself an atheist (yes, I know, what a shocker!) and am not reluctant to describe myself as such. For me, atheism works like this:

    The theist makes a positive assertion that God (or Gods) exists. What I mean by "positive" is that they make a *definite* statement about the *presence* of something, i.e. God(s). An atheist is someone who looks at the evidence for this positive assertion and decides that it is not sufficiently compelling to adopt the theist's God hypothesis. Instead, the atheist chooses a null hypothesis which says "there is no credible definitve explanation for the origin and purpose of the world given our current state of knowledge". This might sound more like agnosticism, but it's not: the agnostic is someone who can't make up their mind whether or not to reject the theist's God hypothesis.

    I like this definition of atheism because it puts the burden of proof exactly where it should be, on the person making the positive assertion. In this case, that person happens to be the theist. In my view the atheist is NOT someone who says "there is no god"; the atheist is someone who says "the idea of God is not plausible enough to accept".

    I found my way to atheism by investigating higher and higher conceptions of God, after noticing that the more literal a conception of God was the more problematic it was in terms of evidence and logic. Even Deepak Chopra has talked about the highest most mystical conceptions of God essentially equating God with primal nothingness. But if we run so far up the tree of abstraction that we start saying God is nothing, then we are effectively saying that God doesn't exist! Like the self, I have found that God is an illusion which, although often useful in helping people to interact with the rest of reality, vanishes upon close inspection. However i find the self to be a far more stubborn and convincing illusion than God.

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