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Why Should I Enjoy Life?


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I want to know why it is ok to go out and have the time of my life. I basically feel like if we decide to reject the idea of a God existing, we have no reason not to also reject the things we have faith in daily.

 

I see a human being as a closed, biological object. This object has evolved to survive in its environment by, in many ways, lying to itself, self deception. I think we have imperfect memories because we have not yet evolved the ability to deal with everything that is happening to us all the time, therefore as a mechanism we forget the bad. We can only focus on one thing at a time really, I see this as a good thing, because this is the only way distraction is possible. Think about it. Painful events always become less painful with time. Would this happen were our memories perfect?

 

Then think about things as simple as our optimism. We have faith when we are being optimistic, do we not? Why should we believe things will get better? We have faith when we fall in love do we not? When we take friendships? The difference between this sort of faith and a faith that there will be something after death is that we get to see what happens with these other types of faith. Yet for a split second, faith was still necessary.

 

This is what is bothering me so much.....if we look at ourselves as imperfect evolutionary beings, with a need to believe certain things in order to reach our maximum level of health (be optimistic, lie to ourselves about our past, etc), why is it that we should choose to deny ourselves one of the beliefs that fits so well into our minds? A belief that we just WANT to have, in exactly the same way we just WANT to have friends, or WANT tobe optimistic.

 

This is what I'm saying...please give me your slant on this issue...I need help thinking about it. I want to be an atheist who is able to reach out and grab and enjoy everything about life. For some reason though, that just seems hypocritical. Why should I believe in optimism just because I want to? I decided not to believe in God just because I wanted to. Why shouldn't I come up with a logical reason to believe in optimism? I mean I feel like us humans are searching for logical answers to things when our bodies only want happy answers. But logical answers need to be logical whether or not they make us happy. Logical thoughts are perhaps thoughts better had by computers than men with feelings. I'm freaking depressed.

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Logic does not equal happiness, it is not an emotion. Happiness is an emotion and can be achieved in many ways.

 

Optimism is an outlook on life and the future and is hard to be optimistic in this economic climate. I agree it is a choice and happiness normally precedes it. If you are unhappy, it sure as hell is going to be difficult to be optimistic. Not caving to pessimism is a choice we all have to make now and again.

 

My mother always "this too shall come to pass" nothing lasts forever. Even in this climate we find ourselves in, you can still choose to do something positive.

 

Remember there is always someone else worse off than you.

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Seems logical to me to embrace pleasure and avoid pain. I'm someone who has been accused of thinking too much my entire life. That said, you are thinking too much. ;)

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I want to know why it is ok to go out and have the time of my life. I basically feel like if we decide to reject the idea of a God existing, we have no reason not to also reject the things we have faith in daily.

 

. . .

 

This is what is bothering me so much.....if we look at ourselves as imperfect evolutionary beings, with a need to believe certain things in order to reach our maximum level of health (be optimistic, lie to ourselves about our past, etc), why is it that we should choose to deny ourselves one of the beliefs that fits so well into our minds? A belief that we just WANT to have, in exactly the same way we just WANT to have friends, or WANT tobe optimistic.

 

This is what I'm saying...please give me your slant on this issue...I need help thinking about it. I want to be an atheist who is able to reach out and grab and enjoy everything about life. For some reason though, that just seems hypocritical. Why should I believe in optimism just because I want to? I decided not to believe in God just because I wanted to. Why shouldn't I come up with a logical reason to believe in optimism? I mean I feel like us humans are searching for logical answers to things when our bodies only want happy answers. But logical answers need to be logical whether or not they make us happy. Logical thoughts are perhaps thoughts better had by computers than men with feelings. I'm freaking depressed.

 

1. The kind of "basic trust" we have about the way things work when we do not see them (Things that are out of our view or control or "events" that can or might possibly happen in the future) is based on a combination of our neurological composition and experiences in the physical world. To equate optimism about the future or the desire to seek pleasure somehow with faith in an unseen, unknowable god who has never interacted with the world is an unwarranted stretch.

 

2. Optimism is a matter of expectations. Some people are naturally optimists, others are pessimists. I don't see it as hypocritical to want to be optimistic since the opposite is such a drag on ones mind and emotions. It seems like you're saying "I want to be happy!" How can that be hypocritical? If you believe "People should seek to be negative about the future and look for the worst in people," and then said "I want to be more optimistic," you might be hypocritical. But who holds to such an ought?

 

3 I don't know how to tell you to be happier or how to be an optimist. But there is no moral imperative to be a pessimist. And since we owe it to ourselves to do what we can to be happy and healthy, then there just might be an imperative to be an optimist. I would say, in a slight alteration of Alan Parsons' Project "Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether," "Do what you need to make you feel better!"

 

And Vigile is right. Don't over think things. I'm do the same thing too. And it really sucks!

 

 

Edit: Okay. Disclosure here. The phrase is "Just what you need to make it

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Ya gots one life. Spend it moping and dreary and disparate, or spend it with a smile and appreciation. It's all up to you. No one is little miss Sunshine all the time (except Petunia) but all in all, life ain't half bad.

 

I decided not to believe in God just because I wanted to.

 

Hope you put a little more thought into it than that!

 

 

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I basically feel like if we decide to reject the idea of a God existing...

We, as a whole, did not "decide" to reject anything. We simply didn't find enough evidence to support the fantastic notion of gods existing.

 

 

...if we look at ourselves as imperfect evolutionary beings...

Imperfect by who's standard? Evolution has no end goal to strive for.

 

 

Why shouldn't I come up with a logical reason to believe in optimism?

I don't think that seeing your glass as half empty vs half full is a logical decision. It seems to me more of a personality trait. Some like to focus on the positive while others really get off wallowing in gloom and doom scenarios. Some people just aren't happy unless they're miserable. That's fine, but they usually try to spread their misery.

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I can only guess That at least some if not all of your depression is tied to the feeling of loss you have in the realization that heaven and eternal life are not real. The way I think about that is that when you really think about it, eventually heaven would get boring. Think about it like a theme park, you wait 15,000 years in line to talk to god, them you wait another 20,000 years to talk to Jesus, 5,000 years to talk to some other historical dude like Honest Abe. Wouldn't that get old. So instead, I think about how I'm just like everyone else where I get but one life and I'm for sure going to live it up. The closest thing to immortality is children. Make your mark on them. Be better than your parents were. Encourage your kids to do better than you did. In that way you can contribute to making the world a better place; heaven on earth.

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I want to know why it is ok to go out and have the time of my life. I basically feel like if we decide to reject the idea of a God existing, we have no reason not to also reject the things we have faith in daily.

 

I see a human being as a closed, biological object. This object has evolved to survive in its environment by, in many ways, lying to itself, self deception. I think we have imperfect memories because we have not yet evolved the ability to deal with everything that is happening to us all the time, therefore as a mechanism we forget the bad. We can only focus on one thing at a time really, I see this as a good thing, because this is the only way distraction is possible. Think about it. Painful events always become less painful with time. Would this happen were our memories perfect?

 

Then think about things as simple as our optimism. We have faith when we are being optimistic, do we not? Why should we believe things will get better? We have faith when we fall in love do we not? When we take friendships? The difference between this sort of faith and a faith that there will be something after death is that we get to see what happens with these other types of faith. Yet for a split second, faith was still necessary.

 

This is what is bothering me so much.....if we look at ourselves as imperfect evolutionary beings, with a need to believe certain things in order to reach our maximum level of health (be optimistic, lie to ourselves about our past, etc), why is it that we should choose to deny ourselves one of the beliefs that fits so well into our minds? A belief that we just WANT to have, in exactly the same way we just WANT to have friends, or WANT tobe optimistic.

 

This is what I'm saying...please give me your slant on this issue...I need help thinking about it. I want to be an atheist who is able to reach out and grab and enjoy everything about life. For some reason though, that just seems hypocritical. Why should I believe in optimism just because I want to? I decided not to believe in God just because I wanted to. Why shouldn't I come up with a logical reason to believe in optimism? I mean I feel like us humans are searching for logical answers to things when our bodies only want happy answers. But logical answers need to be logical whether or not they make us happy. Logical thoughts are perhaps thoughts better had by computers than men with feelings. I'm freaking depressed.

 

So this is not replying to everything you put, since I don't have all the answers by any means and have found myself asking similar ones myself, but . . .

 

Here's some food for thought: is our criteria for not believing or believing things really based on what we want or don't want to believe? If you say you won't believe in something just because you want to, that doesn't imply that everything that we believe in and happen to want to believe in is invalid. We can bring in other criteria.

 

For instance, I like to believe that the earth goes around the sun and spins around once a day. If it didn't, the earth could plunge into the sun or one side would bake and the other would freeze. But just because I want to believe that doesn't make it false. We have empirical evidence it does.

 

Now when it comes to happiness, we can't measure that with some scientific instrument and come up with an objective measure of it. We have to rely on our subjective experiences. But that doesn't make them any less real. Everyone agrees emotions exist, just like consciousness (and you can't measure that scientifically either). We're our own emotion meters, so to speak. Now with things like the supernatural, people tend to disagree a lot and no consensus can be reached on what is actually out there (if anything). But notice you won't find anyone say that happiness feels bad, or sadness is uplifting.

 

In short, why should we try to do things that make us happy and strive for positive things in our lives? Because we feel good when we are, and the reason is self-evident to us in a subjective way. We're not going beyond any evidence - we can point to the brain and say these emotions are caused by chemicals in our brains, and accept that, and still say our emotions have validity. Pointing to the supernatural on the other hand is positing things beyond the evidence. We're not doing that. We're engaging with what we feel on a real level and not jumping beyond anything on faith.

 

I hope that made sense and hope it helped :)

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I want to know why it is ok to go out and have the time of my life. I basically feel like if we decide to reject the idea of a God existing, we have no reason not to also reject the things we have faith in daily.

 

Religious faith and everyday faith are different. One believes in the supernatural magical world unseen in the present and future. The other believes that which is or can happen in verifiable reality. How can you reject reality? :twitch: Get fitted for your straightjacket! We have every reason to trust what is, not what ain't. It's impossible to stop believing anything without compelling reasons, just as it's impossible to believe something just because you want to.

 

Then think about things as simple as our optimism. We have faith when we are being optimistic, do we not? Why should we believe things will get better?

 

We also have faith when we are being pessimistic. We believe things will get worse. But the don't always, right? What you need now is to learn what took me some time to learn. BALANCE. I used to come from the pessimist's corner, because -one of a few reasons- I was around some people who were blind optimists. They would always believe things were going to be better no matter what, and when the shit hit the fan they pretended the shit was candy. But the shit doesn't always hit the fan, so I learned to be a realist. I see things for what they are, can be, and hope for the best. Optimism is a good thing when used wisely. Skepticism replaced pessimism for me, and I can say I'm a cautious optimist when I put my mind to it. I don't know if that made sense to you...

 

I think you should get out there and try to enjoy whatever comes to your mind, without harming yourself or others.

 

 

Why shouldn't I come up with a logical reason to believe in optimism? I mean I feel like us humans are searching for logical answers to things when our bodies only want happy answers.

 

Your logical mind and your emotions can coexist when you factor in experience. You won't be happy if you overdose on alcohol, and get alcohol poisoning. It's not the logical or happy thing to do. Yet if you got a little drunk, you may be happy and have fun without any damage to your health. Maybe that's a poor example, but I hope you get the idea. Logic and emotion need balance to live the best possible life.

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Why Not Enjoy Life?

 

Seems to be a better question especially if the “death of God” means that “all things are possible.” That meaning; now that the authority has died there are no “standards” or “values” to which I must conform. Everything is somewhat “loose on the deck!” There is no longer any authority I can “trust that can reliably tell me how I am to live. The "plan" was just a tale told by an idiot, a yarn. Now I must decide for myself why I need to be moral or how I am going to enjoy my life.

 

We tend to seek “truth” (whatever that subjectively is) through conformity. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it is although problematic. As a child I learned not to kill, steal, destroy, plunder etc. Gosh I wanted that Imperial Yo-yo at Woolworth’s badly, so I took it. My uncle had me to march back to Woolworth’s and tell the manager why I “stole” his yo- yo. Hell I was eight years old, mom told me it was wrong, but I wanted it, getting caught was just an inconvenience.

 

After the death of the authorities (God, my parents) I learned why conformity is necessary for civilization. I don’t kill because I do not want to be killed. I do not steal because I do not want what I possess to be stolen. I do not rape because….is it not obvious?

 

Conformity is problematic when becomes substitute for morality: when getting “caught” is the primary concern. When morality is a matter of whether I get caught or not, basic trust is "out the door" --anything is up for grabs, anything goes as long as it works in my favor--to hell with the “poor bustards” that trust--to hell with the world. Conformity is problematic when it means I must "ware other peoples faces." Be Jesus or Buddha or Mohammad and think like they "think." Conformity goes terribly wrong when I must extrude my meaning of enjoyment though someones supernatural belief system if I'm to be "happy."

 

One thing I notice in your writing is your use of “should.” Would-ah, Should-ah, Could-ah, were for me outgrowths of a punitive mind set, "hangovers" form not doing what you are told by the Big people!. If I’m not extremely careful I will SHOULD all over myself and you too, if you do not stop me! I still suffer the hangover!

 

Something I find helpful is to take a look at the “words” I use to inform my thinking. Words are powerful symbols. Investigating a word’s traditional meaning as well as it’s contextual meaning is sometimes breathtaking and emotionally revealing. Substituting punitive and self defeating words with words that suggest potency and strength and allow a larger view of myself and the world are part of my path toward "fullness." It also entails becoming responsible for myself.

 

Words like faith, belief, God etc.--I strive to deflate their "emotional energy." I strive to disentangle their suggestive over tones. Faith doesn't necessarily mean-- firm belief in something for which there is no proof or complete trust. It also means allegiance to duty or a person: loyalty :fidelity to one's promises :sincerity of intentions: or trust. Believe doesn't necessarily mean to have a firm religious faith.

 

Rejecting the existence of God does not mean for me that I give up “trust” or "faith" (fidelity,loyalty, allegiance). The only things I choose to deny are those things that would do myself, others and the world harm! God is dead (or at least is dead in terms in which I once thought) and things are really possible!

 

I see life as an evolutionary process. We are born to reproduce/ replicated, nothing more nothing less. We may think that we influence evolution by meme, make living better or worse.

Life as I know it will change and end. It will continue after I'm gone.

 

Empirical data always has the last word. There is no place for dogmas, sacrosanct theories or a priori statements. Remember shockwaves, we as human creatures came up with all the rules. We are the imperfect authorities. So it isn’t surprising, at least to me, that imbedded in our purest thinking there are problematic theories and a priori statements. The principles of objectivism, monism, universalism, reductionism, the closure principle and physicalism while they are not scientific fact, they are commonly presented in popular media as if they were on a par with genuine scientific theories that are subject to empirical verification or refutation. It is easy to conflate genuine science with “metaphysical ideology.”

Do diligence when structuring your philosophy, know from whence you speak. Life is paradox and not to be flexible is to be misinformed.

 

After God died I fell head long into another metaphysical ideology that was just as flawed as the one from which I was fleeing. Get your feet wet, buck what has you angst "up." Rewrite the story of you life. Discover what lights your fire!

 

From what I gather the old story does not work for you any longer, Daddy is dead. Given what you have--what do you really got to loose?

 

Another question "What do you have to gain-- to enjoy?"

 

Jess Lair, one of the first to hit the "self help" stage wrote a book entitled “I ain’t much, baby--but I’m all I got,” flawed and pathetic as it may seem that's it. Welcome to the beautiful world of the good, the bad and the ugly! Life is tragedy, comedy and fairy tale! Grab yourself a big chunk and join the party!

 

We have a powerful drive “to pull everything … into ourselves” and let “nothing live for itself.” (Robert Bly). I'm guilty as charged!

 

saner

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Enjoy life because if you don't one day when it's too late you'll look back and wish you did. It sounds cheesy, but follow your dreams. Tell fear to fuck off and do what you've always wanted to do. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Feeling good when you get your rocks off, or you see a beautiful mountain vista, or enjoy a superb dinner, doesn't mean you have an irrational belief. It just means feeling good feels good.

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