Emotions, Reason, and No God Required

In a recent discussion I met someone who is recovering from an emotional trauma. As you would expect this person is very upset but moving on to a point in their life where they are finding some peace.

In a completely separate conversation I was discussing emotions, rational decisions and the human element with regard to making decisions and how emotions influence them. While there are theories ranging from David Hume to Max Scheler regarding emotions and their use, it is my observation that regardless of their usefulness we must acknowledge their persuasion on our lives.

If we understand, then we may begin to examine how to use them to our benefit or hold them in check when their purpose is detrimental to rational judgment or logical outcome.

Emotional terrorism

People lie every day. I believe all lies are contrived as deception in one way or another, most lies provide only minimal harm and most are engaged to spare feelings. Some lies are used to hide and some are intended to be malicious.

What does this have to do with anything?

As I have stated before I believe theology is nothing more than mankind’s first attempt at philosophy. It is obvious to some that it failed, but to others it holds great truths and guides their lives beyond reason. I believe theism is simply a lie that has been perpetuated over time because it serves a purpose. That being to provide comfort (sparing someone’s feelings) and used to control. I believe most humans have no grasp of atheism simply because they would never be able to physically handle the impact of the theory of chaos. The simple emotion of fear is too strong to overcome.

My point…

Your emotions are extremely powerful, especially ones concerning love and the heart. Regardless of your theological beliefs or lack thereof I strongly advocate close protection of said heart. When you find a heart that is willing to share with you and you with them, be even more vigilant in how you handle it because someone else has placed a very precious thing within your care.

Using your god as an excuse to destroy someone else is not only a cowardly act, but one that is most despicable in deed itself. Claiming that you are governed by your god and then blatantly engaging in acts that contradict your god’s laws not only makes you a hypocrite, but a morally bankrupt individual.

From the atheist point of view you and you alone are responsible for your decisions and the emotions that guide you. Guard your heart at all costs, but when you find the one with whom you can share it the benefits are bountiful. If you are hurt it is not the fault of a god, it is yours and the person with whom you trusted.

Beware the cliff; it is a long way down

I observe people in relationships where it is obvious to me that underlying tensions are present. I am often offended when I hear derogatory comments made by a person regarding someone whom they profess to love. I have a friend who would refer to his wife as “the old lady” when I questioned him about it he laughed and said, it’s just something people say, it is a term of endearment. I honestly fail to see how anyone could make such a comment about someone they care so deeply about that they would marry them. And by the way, this same person will go to church every Sunday and claim to be a Christian. That just makes me sad.

Your words as well as your actions impact all those around you. Obviously they impact emotions, both yours and other people. If you are in a relationship where someone is constantly “jabbing you in the ribs” or “kicking you in the shin” emotionally, it will not take much to push that relationship over the cliff. Keep your eyes open, burying your head in the sand or avoiding a discussion will only lead to a detrimental end.

In closing…

I take complete responsibility for all my actions. I take complete responsibility for control of my emotions and whom I share them with. If I am hurt by another individual I may ridicule them for not being civilized or not engaging in ethical behavior, but in the end it falls to me to recover, understand and learn from the experience. There is no god required to be a better person in the end.


anton said...

Congratulations on a brilliant post! If there is still any missing points, I would believe that they would have something to do with "morality" which does not enter into too many discussions anymore. Arguing "right from wrong", or "good from bad" is pointless unless we could agree on a definition. I offer one on my site, namely, "No one should suffer pain, loss, or deprivation by any action or inaction by another human. There are no exceptions!" Unfortunately, most people employ elaborate smokescreens such as a belief in a God or in Christ to minimize their actual immorality. I invite you to try my "morality test".

The Maze Monster said...


Anonymous said...

I had a person tell me that, because I'm an atheist, that there's no possible way I could know it was wrong to molest a child... That made me lol, a LOT.

anton said...

sunnyskeptic: As Amy Alkon said, the best way to deal with this type of ignorance is ridicule. I have faced similar situations many times and usually respond with a big smile and say, "Gee, I didn't know people could still be so ignorant!"

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About Me

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Houston, TX, United States
I live in Houston Texas, married to my best friend with two wonderful kids (both teenagers). I enjoy philosophy, psychology, theism – atheism, quantum computing. I work in the technology industry with focus on energy and computer theory. I love to engage in discussions of rationality, logic, and reasonability.


Growing Up…
I had a great childhood. I had loving parents and a very easy life. I never wanted for anything. So I was never “mad at god”. I did have a lot of physical problems as a child but I never “blamed” them on anyone or anything. I was just born that way. I believe my parents were “religious” because of my physical birth defects. Because of these defects I spent a lot of time in the hospital as a child. Several times I was close to death. I believe this had a lot of influence on my parent’s belief system.

I have lost friends and family, I have experienced hardships. But that is just life as it happens. I did not have a great first marriage, but I did have two great kids come out of it. I am now married to the most wonderful woman on the planet and am very happy. For the most part life is good. Some have even told me that I have never “found god” because I have never truly suffered in life. That argument doesn’t hold water, but is interesting.

I begin questioning my Christian upbringing about age 10. I was asking questions and wasn’t getting satisfactory answers. I was raised in a small town in east Texas; this does not provide a whole lot of exposure to other religions. As I aged and begin to learn more I found it interesting that there were and had been so many religions and gods throughout the history of man. I begin to question why some believed in one god while others believed in theirs. I wondered how anyone could prove, or at the very least have some level of confidence they were worshiping the “right” god.

I can’t say I ever lost my faith. I never really had any. When I was young of course I didn’t know I was an Atheist. I just didn’t believe what everyone else was telling me. With my friends it never really came up that “I’m an Atheist”. When I told my mother I didn’t believe in god she just dismissed it as something I was going through. My father was indifferent to my proclamation. My closest friend is Jewish. I try my best to honor his belief system and he reciprocates.

Focusing Thoughts…
Once I realized that there were so many different religions it just seemed clear to me that none of them were real. Then I learned that there was a name for what I believed and it is called Atheism. Once I found others who believed as I did I begin to learn more about the religions and how they controlled so much of our lives. I wanted to know as much as I could about all of them. I even wrote an anthology paper in collage on how everyone could be worshiping the same god, just using different names.

I find it extremely easy and comforting to be an Atheist. Life is very simple, and so much less complicated. I follow simple rules for living; be nice to all living creatures, and the earth. Don’t think that you are better than anything or anyone else. I don’t think this is an original way of thinking or living but I don’t subscribe to it because it is part of some other philosophy, it simply feels like the “right” way to live.

I do tend to “pick on” Christianity more than other religions simply because it is the one that is most prevalent and intrusive in my life. While I think extremist or radicals in any religion are responsible for a large majority of the damage done to humanity, I also believe anyone who follows that religious teaching is responsible. You are responsible because you do not get to pick and chose which part of a religion you want to follow. Saying that you are against gay marriage while you are eating a bacon sandwich just doesn’t cut it with me. (If you don’t understand that last sentence look up the Christian bible and refer to the book of Leviticus.) If you only pick out the parts of a religion you want to follow you have just created a new religion.

I do make it evident in my life that I am an Atheist. I have a bumper sticker on my vehicle, I have sayings and quotes around my desk at work or around my house. I do this to let others know who they are approaching if they want to engage me in conversation or wish to ask questions. Just as others put “fish” on their vehicle or place religions symbols around their house.

Why am I an atheist? Because I ask questions and ask for the answers to be empirically evident. I consider my self to be a rationalist. I do not believe in faith, nor do I believe in statements like “we can not comprehend.” Do I have all the answers to life’s questions? Well of course not. It just means that we don’t have all the answers. I also believe that when we die, we just die. We are no different that any other living organism in the universe Wow is it really that simple? Yes it really is that simple. We just keep investigating the world around us as we have done throughout history. I have enough answers to get me through this thing called life. I will enjoy it while I am here and try to help those I care to help along the way. I will do so based on a moral compass in my heart, not one dictated by a religion.

Have a great day