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Richard Dawkins stated something in a debate with a creationist...?

He said in essence that being an Atheist is the best way to live because this is the only life you get; therefore, you should live it for all it's worth. Once you're gone, you're gone for good, so don't waste this life. He said Christians and other religions are waiting for heaven or some afterlife so they don't live this life to the full.

At first I thought, hmmmm, he's got a point...you know... "go for the gusto!" I was pondering it in the following days and this cold reality set it. For a vast majority in this world, they don't have the power, the circumstance, the money or the freedom to do so. Most do not enjoy the freedoms we have in America; most are not wealthy or even middle class, millions live "hand-to-mouth" each and every day, and many are born with life-long disabilities or are severely injured or deformed.

Also, many unseen heroes spend their entire lives sacrificially giving to others rather than seeking to fulfill their own desires.

Given these factors, doesn't it seem that Dawkins' world view in this regard is a little lacking and maybe even selfish?

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    It is called Epicurean and Richard Dawkins did not create the thought. Been around for a very, very long time. "Eat, drink, and be merry........why?.....because tomorrow we shall die".....the trick they try to achieve??.....do this "merry" just short of causing pain.......yea, right.

    This is the problem with Dawkins.

    It is like a person with sight telling some one who had lost their sight in a car accident 3 years earlier, that "it is all good,....since you never had sight....you will develop other "enhanced senses'....."

    The problem? The person did not realise that the blind person did have vision. The whole effort to "help" changes when discussing sensitive issues with someone who knows both sides.

    Try and use this Richard Dawkins Epicurean nonsense on some one who has been atheistic and who has been hurt by it???........they often will feel absolute rage.

    Any good Christian knows that their day of judgement can occur at anytime with an untimely death and they do value their life, doing all they can to safe guard what has been given to them.

    What Dawkins does not get???....... there is a lot more to life than just "merry."

    His thought, that "faith is a delusion" a "virus of the mind" has no weight with me. When his godlessness beats him bloody and in desperation becomes a Christian to save his little butt, then discuss this subject, KNOWING BY EXPERIENCE both sides of the issue.

    God, I believe some of these smart people are Brain Dead.

    I addressed just one issue and it is not that others who have accepted the atheist "truth" are nuts. I did and I am not a stupid person. It is the ARROGANT, intellectual presentation I addressed.

    Rant, yes but Good Grief !!

    A fiercely independent Irish Christian Eschatologist.

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  • Me
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    I'm not always that keen on Dawkins, but I think you've heard him out wrong. I think...it's not supposed to be applied like that. I think he meant that in the case of religion, what would probably be best suited for most to live their life to their fullest is atheism. Because as far as religion goes, it really is the one telling you to enjoy now, and not wait for an afterlife. So I don't find it cruel, because it's not saying 'Hey, you can't live your life to your fullest, handicapped and poor,' it's saying 'Hey, you can live your life to your fullest even though your life is hard, you can do it, you don't have to wait for the next life to be happy.' He's still incorrect, though, because...because for some, though it should mean that, it doesn't. Some people don't believe in other religions for the afterlife (some do, my mom, for example) the believe for other reasons, eve just the church community. Also, some atheists are just depressing, when you have a world view of death and purposelessness, a lot of people don't realize you don't need a purpose, and you don't need to live forever. And Buddhists are atheists, yet they believe in giving everything up, and the afterlife. So, Dawkins is...lacking in this view, but you're not completely right.

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  • 9 years ago

    No, it is about making the most of what you have.

    "Also, many unseen heroes spend their entire lives sacrificially giving to others rather than seeking to fulfill their own desires. " - Had it not occurred to you that these people desire helping others and by doing so they are living their life as they want to.

    Dawkins is not saying "neglect your responsibilities and do what you want." What he is saying is "don't let religion stifle you. Don't sit back hoping for a second chance, because it's probably not coming."

    A poor person can pray for a better lifestyle, or they can take steps to create a better lifestyle but if they do nothing hoping that a better lifestyle will arrive in the next life, they have wasted their opportunities in this one.

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  • 9 years ago

    That's an interesting point! I think it is a selfish view on his part. In the developed world, the financial elite can write and lecture a lot because real life doesn't impact them.

    If I was a starving person in a third world country and someone offered me a copy of Dawkins' book or a ride to the nearest mission so I could get food and medical care from someone not living their life to the full, I'd take the ride :)

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  • Not at all. Those of us who see that this life is all we get are all the more inclined to help those in need, because we know this is the only life *they* get too. Christians believe that "the poor will always be with us," and some see that as justification for ignoring their plight (and the plight of all people in need for whatever reason.) If you don't expect some kind of divine retribution after death, you do all you can to make this life as good as possible; you don't just sit back and say, "Oh, well, they're suffering now, but they'll get their reward in heaven."

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  • 9 years ago

    No, and here's why not.

    Because those huddled masses living in misery are placated with dreams of another life (blessed are the meek). The poor are told if they siddown and shuddup, that they'll get their reward in heaven.

    Following Dawkins advice, they would realize that this is the only life they get and they need to rise up and make a difference now. It is this kind of thinking that led to the French and American Revolutions. To change your circumstances when you're being treated unfairly because you ain't gonna get a second chance at it.

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  • 9 years ago

    No.

    Yes, there are people who do not have our liberties and opportunities. So what? Does their suffering or lack of opportunity make God real? But they can still do the best that they can rather than sit and wait for some god to do it for them.

    Also who is to say what makes a life worthwhile? Maybe you think that a good life is one with a big TV, lots of food and personal gratification - fine, go for it. But for some people a good life is one where they spend time helping others.

    Dawkins view is selfish to some, lacking to others maybe. But the real question is whether it is right or not. And all the evidence suggests that it is.

    This is reality. Get used to it because no amount of wishful thinking and no amount of prayer is going to alter it one jot.

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  • haydz
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    It is an interesting point you make. I don't think his world view is selfish at all. If there was no concept of an afterlife maybe people would cherish life more and some wouldn't blow themselves up just to be rewarded with 20 virgins. Atheists also give to others out of humanity, not because a book tells them to do it.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Yes.

    It's an easy assertion in a contemporary Western society, but predicated on false assumptions that all think like he does, and have shared the same experiences he has.

    If he were to explain this to a Buddhist who is, in their view, living far more fully, they might not even understand his proposition.

    Dawkins is simply stating his position on moral relativism, and perfectly entitled to do so, but I find many of his theories fundamentally flawed, especially in areas of alethic and doxastic logic.

    With blessings and light,

    S

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    No. I don't think it's really selfish. Why not enjoy yourself and take care of yourself. He's not saying "Ignore everyone and everything for yourself and never do anything to help the world." He's just saying take life by the horns basically. If you get a chance..take it. "Carpe Diem" if you will. Don't let things, people or fears hold you down.

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