1. And dont help people because you think you’ll get a reward after you die. Help people because you want to.

  2. My two rules are: Don't be stupid, don't be a dick. I think stay safe and have fun are covered by the first one, but there's room to fudge things.

  3. Excellent! My Grandmother, who also raised me, had "Don't hurt yourself, Don't hurt anyone else, and have fun." Your wife's last rule is basically what you can summarize pretty much all the worlds religious texts down to. At least it's not contradictory and consistent across all, but no matter if your book has 10 main rules, 100, or just one, it's reeeeaaalllly pretty much all just that one. It seems a good chunk of all the folks who are involved in any religion don't really mind breaking just that one quite often, but I think anyone actually LIVING by your wife's rules would be happily taken in by (insert deity of choice) then they'd kinda have to believe at that point anyway so it'd all be moot anyhow. I picture a, "See you shoulda believed" with a big old H E double hockey sticks LEVER to pull and some confetti and a "PSYCH" joke, "Nah ... C'mon, quit crying it was just a joke, I had to mess with ya a little! Get over here with all that stayin' safe, havin' fun, NOT being a dick, Lemme give ya a Squeeze!" type scenario. Makes more sense (insert deity of choice) would wanna stack the home team with some strong players like that, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm just one dude and it's just my humble opinion. I'd be good to her though, nothing wrong with hedging your bets my friend. ✌

  4. When I was young I used to think that after death you would have access to a PC that you could see absolutely anything about your life. Stats, any question you had no matter how obscure, replays of moments, perspectives of others in relation to you. No matter what you wanted to know, if it was relatable to you, you could see it.

  5. I want this, too. I've been counting to 100,000 across multiple years, a little each night. I would love to know, at the end of it all, if I managed to touch every number at least once. I've made many mistakes, but my goal is to not miss any numbers.

  6. Shit… am I atheist? The universe doesn’t give a shit about you, your bad day, your 6 kids at home, or your empty bank account. The universe just, is. It’s the people you fill your little bubble with that make life easier/harder. Hmmmm gonna have to contemplate on this one for a while.

  7. "The absurd is born of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world. This must not be forgotten. This must be clung to because the whole consequence of a life can depend on it. The irrational, the human nostalgia, and the absurd that is born of their encounter, these are the three characters in the drama that must necessarily end with all the logic of which an existence is capable."

  8. Realistically, I think nothing happens. We literally experience nothing after death. Same thing that we experience before birth. We don't exist, so it's nothing. I think the tenant that we should follow while living is to try to be happy and healthy while minimizing the damage we do to each other.

  9. Rick Riordan played with the concept in your second paragraph a lot in his books. It influenced my views on religion a lot when I was young enough to be interested in his books.

  10. The thing I've been thinking about lately is that, if we return to nothing after death just like how we were nothing before we were born, then what exactly is stopping that nothing from becoming something again? We were nothing and then poof we exist, why wouldn't it not be the same again?

  11. I always say I’m jealous of people that are able to believe in a religion. I’ve tried, my mind won’t let me. Fully agree with you.

  12. I feel this way about death. When I was 5, my grandfather died and my cousin simple said, he is dead, that means you are gone forever. Everything ends up dying, even plants and animals.

  13. You're born. You live. You die. That's it. After you die you cease to exist, the same as before you were born.

  14. This is the best way to phrase it. So when someone counters with "but there must be something when you pass", I reply "there was nothing before I was born".

  15. I think a lot of religious people struggle to understand how people can content themselves with this. Too bleak. I'd rather live with an uncomfortable truth than a convenient untruth though.

  16. Exactly. Our lives have no more meaning than that of a gnat or an amoeba. We exist to survive and pass on our genes in the hope that we evolve into something better. What matters is what we chose to do with our time while we are alive.

  17. Just be a kind and empathetic person not because you’re worried about some cosmic justice, but because it’s the right thing to do. If there is some being that created us there’s no way they actually care about believing in it or adhering to some rules from over 2000 years ago.

  18. "Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones." -Marcus Aurelius

  19. Same, My daughter told me once told me when she was a kid that you shouldn't lie because (as I'm sure she heard from some kid at school) "god will put you in fire" which I straight told her that's not a thing. I said you shouldn't lie because it's a crappy thing to do to people and you wouldn't like it if people were lying to you so don't do it to them, it will also make your own life a complicated mess. And that my wrath in the here and now if what she better concern herself with. But I hate the idea of someone not doing awful things to other people solely because they are worried about their own fate. Like, if you weren't worried about going to hell you'd just fuck everyone over? You have no moral center of that's the case.

  20. My mom is crazy religious but she says no one is “good”. In fact, everyone’s a piece of shit. She says there are no good people on earth.

  21. Right. I feel like people don't get this. Atheism does not have the same epistemological status as belief in a deity. One is a positive assertion of the existence of an unobservable entity or phenomenon. The other has nothing to do with positing the existence or non-existence of anything in particular. I'm an atheist in the same way as a rock is an atheist.

  22. I can't remember who said it, but I saw an interview where an atheist pointed out that a Christian only believes in one more god than an atheist. There are literally thousands of others they have no issue not believing in, yet some can't understand why others don't believe in theirs.

  23. I think this is key. When I tell people I'm an atheist, they often say "so you believe there isn't a god?" My response: "no, I'm without a belief in a god/gods. That's what 'atheism' means -- a lack of belief."

  24. Theists argue that there is no point to life if you’re not religious. I argue this is our one shot at life, and that makes it more valuable than the idea that there’s another life waiting for us.

  25. The last one is a big one for me. The universe is inherently meaningless, we are but a speck in the vast expanse of an uncaring void.

  26. Well said. A lot of folks out there depict atheists as fedora tipping edgelords, but your comment is spot on with my worldview and many other’s.

  27. I'd like to add. Treat others respectfully and nicely because thats the right thing to do, not because a higher power has told me I need to or out of fear of the higher power, or because if I don't I can't get into a good afterlife

  28. I'm not even an atheist and I believe exactly what you wrote - beautifully articulated! Religion is a human construct and a tool of self-comfort, and the afterlife is an unknowable quantity that isn't worth hypothesizing about too hard. All we have for sure is what we can measure, and that's still quite a lot of things. I have a loving wife, a ridiculous cat, close friends and family, and a relatively undamaged brain... these are my life's assets and these are what I believe in.

  29. "All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

  30. Humanity is responsible for all of the greatest miracles. Every time a doctor spends 12 hours in the operating room desperately fighting to keep the person on the table alive, that’s humanity in action. Every time a total stranger goes out of their way to help someone down on their luck, that’s humanity in action. Every time we choose to be good and decent people to each other, it reminds me just how awesome we really are.

  31. There's an awful lot of angry or jaded comments thrown around in this thread about how objectively good/evil humanity is as a whole without any nuance, it doesn't make for a very compelling ethics discussion tbh.

  32. More the reality that the scientific process allows us to understand. Truth is that which accurately reflects reality, and the scientific process is that which best allows us to find truth. We can arrive at truth through other means, but not reliably.

  33. I never understood the appeal of creationism. Why would you want to believe some supreme being created everything around us in six days when the truth is so much more fascinating?

  34. How dope nature is 100%. The Earth and cosmos is my "God". We should worship our home (as in take care of it) because it has the power to fuck us up pretty bad if we don't and it has the power to be the garden of Eden if we do.

  35. There is nothing in this world preventing me from doing unspeakable things. Laws are just words. They have no meaning and only apply if you get caught. The law, in a sense does not exist.

  36. After i understood how easily morality crumbless i understood that the only thing stopping me from commiting destruction is me myself, it is still tempting, but understanding that if everyone is happy then i will be happy too, it lend me to quell the thought and made me continue to be at least half-decent, i am not destined for greatness, and evil will be detrimental to everyone including me, mediocrity is depressing but it's better than suffering, but that still doesn't mean we should't stive to improve what we have, and if we fail, so be it.

  37. The fact that theists are confused about what atheists believe in seems like a product of their particular religions indoctrination. It's not complicated. There is no religion in existence can prove they are right so why should anyone believe in any one of them? Pick the right one and get 72 virgins, pick the wrong one and you go to hell? Almost everyone chooses their parents religion, people rarely convert. Is this a lottery where you win if you were born to the right parents? That seems childish and smells like the ideas of prehistoric tribal sheep herders. Which in fact, it is.

  38. This. The major flaw that religions believe is that only those who believe in their version of God go to Heaven. Yet people forget that there is a significant % of the population who never even get exposed to their religion.

  39. Someone asked Penn Jillette why he doesn't go around raping (edit: all the people you want) if there's no god? He replied that he already does, and the amount of people he wants to rape is zero, and that if the only thing keeping you from raping and pillaging and murdering people is the threat of eternal punishment, then you're not a good person.

  40. I’d say your right that religious belief is a moral guide but I’d also say that the thought of afterlife is more about comforting peoples feelings about losing loved ones more than it is bribery to individuals.

  41. I’m interpreting this question as just polling people who don’t believe in a god as to what they do believe, not restricted to “what do you believe about god and religion?”

  42. Thank you! It was driving me crazy that so many people seemed to treat the question as though it had asked something like "what's the closest thing to God that you believe in?" But that'd be a different question. What does an atheist believe in? Literally an infinite number of things (1+1=2, 1+2=3, etc.)

  43. cont'd - I also don't really "identify" as an atheist either. Because atheists don't really share some culturally shared thing outside of a lack of belief in god. I'm an atheist out of pure technical pedantry. The word exists so therefore I am that word. Just like I have brown hair, I don't identify as a "brown hair person", I just am.

  44. One time I remember one of my friends said jokingly the meaning of life was to cum. He said it without any real thought behind it, but it stuck with me because I think, under a more attentive scrutiny and maybe after some paraphrasing, it's actually a very educate and scientific answer.

  45. I don't believe in Murphy's law, but I do believe in Gambler's ruin. If you tempt fate enough times, you will lose. But for each attempt, it's unreasonable to be particularly optimistic or pessimistic than the evidence.

  46. Taking it a step further, I'm a big fan of Tucker's Law as featured on the BBC series The Thick of it...

  47. I'm an atheist, but I do believe in a higher power. That is to say, I have absolute and unyielding faith that a grizzly bear is more powerful than I am and would 100% murder me in an encounter.

  48. That we're a communal and altruistic species, that we thrive when we come together, and that helping others is the best way to a happier life for yourself.

  49. This is certainly personally true for me. I've never considered myself to be "self motivated". I am in fact most motivated by people asking for help, or demonstrating an opportunity/need for me to offer assistance in some way.

  50. Things I can observe and record (and repeat) and prove. I also believe a lot of our scientific theories are correct, or at least very nearly correct.

  51. I would also add things that are just really likely. I can't prove aliens exist absolutely, but the chances of no aliens is too small for me not to believe they exist somewhere

  52. I don’t “believe” in anything. Because that requires faith in the absence of evidence. I understand scientific research and culture helps to provide structure to how we see the world but even this is just a system of theories that are constantly being revised and updated and replaced.

  53. Science. Look, I get why religion got its start back when we didn't know where the sun went at night. Since then, we have been on an incredible journey of discovery of how we all got to be here. Let it the fuck go.

  54. I don’t have a problem with the idea of religion but do have a problem with it’s repercussions in the world in its current state.

  55. Ricky Gervais had a great quote on this. He basically said that if you wipe out all knowledge of religion and science, after 1000+ years we would have relearned all the things science has taught us today.

  56. Atheism is the lack of religious belief, not the absence of belief in general. There are plenty of things people can belive in that aren't religious.

  57. All possible universes exist simultaneously in the same way that every possible 4 minute songs already exist, have always existed and will always exist. The present, the future and time itself are an illusion caused by our subjective position in the universe. The rest of your life already exist as well as every other possible way the rest of your life could go.

  58. Many atheists are de-facto humanists, but I’m always surprised how few realize it. Wish i could reach more people…

  59. This is missing the point. We accept that we don't have answers to certain questions, or at least we don't have any comforting answers.

  60. I don’t necessarily believe in a singular entity that has control of all domain. If the universe is to be because there must be something, then that would suggest we are just along for the ride that was allotted a seat for a period of time.

  61. I believe that our existence is a happy coincidence, a culmination of events and our planet happened to be the one that hit lucky with an atmosphere and elements that sustained life.

  62. So if you were to find out the truth of all this and find out that we won’t exist anymore after death, would you be depressed?

  63. This is kind of a stupid open ended question. I believe that 1+1=2. I believe in gravity. I believe my wife's cats are plotting to kill me. I believe in all sorts of things but I don't believe that that the actual question you are asking. I believe that you are really asking since you don't believe in a god directing everything in the background and you don't believe that the bible is an error less life manual how can you believe in anything, that's what I believe. The difference of course is I have actual repeatable evidence that can be verified and measured what you believe is what Catholics call faith, something that is unverifiable but you believe it anyway.

  64. Nothing. Other than, the universe is made up of energy. Our conscious is made up of energy (our soul). When you die, that energy can not be destroyed so it goes elsewhere in the universe…

  65. You realise that atheism is by definition the absence of belief, so the question doesnt make any sense at all

  66. i believe that the universe was created last thursday, in its present state, and all memories of everything prior to last thursday were placed in our minds by the creator.

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