FreeThinkers of Fort Worth Message Board The Door › At What Point Love?

At What Point Love?

A former member
Post #: 18
I think it's "romantic" (using your clarified definition) to think that if you treat people well then they will treat you well in return. The whole idea of giving so you'll get something back sets up a system of expectations that gets in the way of actual love. It winds up not being any different from witchcraft or some people's impressions of prayer. Saying "If I love the right way, people will love me back," is really not that different from saying, "If I love people, then I will be wealthy and successful in life." You can't consistently control what other people will do, even with love.

I say that love is a choice, and that happiness is a choice. We may not always get the response we want from people, or from life, but from a perspective of love we can look at what we get back from other people and life and make the best possible decisions for ourselves. In order to get "results", that love has to be directed at ourselves as well, so that we continue to see ourselves as worthwhile and valuable just because we are, rather than measuring ourselves against any number of criteria that we, our parents, our friends, or our society want to measure by.
A former member
Post #: 51
Ok, but what about love relative to God? Or more specifically, to Atheism?

That's what I was asking in the OP, if god is love, and love is a bond to and within existance, are atheists being left out? Is there a disconnect between love and atheism?

And again, I don't mean love between well, lovers. Or family or even a love people might feel for nature or technology or Paris. I mean the brotherhood of man kind of love.
A former member
Post #: 19
How Christians identify with their mythical imaginary friend doesn't leave anyone out of anything. Besides, they twist that concept around so much I don't think many Christians think of it as more than a platitude. (Although Rob Bell has been branded a heretic for trying to get them thinking about the idea). Atheists are as capable of love as anyone else. Perhaps more so. The idea of a god or gods has been used as an excuse for people to behave badly since man invented religion. Atheism puts things in a pure perspective:
We get to decide for ourselves how we're going to relate to all the folks around us (and ourselves).

Love is a human emotion, and a human choice. Christians, atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, and pagans of all shades have the ability to choose whether or not to be loving. People can feel connected to some higher power in the process if they want, the choice is still intrinsic to being human.
Mark S.
user 14248560
North Richland Hills, TX
Post #: 2
Randy, you are brilliant as always! I keep telling myself I need to take more time to read your writing. Every time I do, I'm glad I did. Carleigh, another great person I also know from Houston is DT Strain. You might find his writings interesting, and I bet he'd be glad to correspond with you.­
Thank you both for this conversation. You are stirring up a lot of deep thoughts and questions, like the meaning of life... I think it's about "being" more than doing. It's about forgiveness, gratitude and love. Applying all of these to myself is the hardest for me. It's about all the different kinds of love. (I've heard the French have many different words for the different kinds of love. I'll have to look into that some day.) Gratitude doesn't have to be to gods or any one or anything in particular. It's about appreciating people, situations, things, life... It's about noticing, valuing and acknowledging the "Gold" in people. Life is about being connected with others and the world. It's about belonging with others, being accepted, understood and valued. I want more than anything else to make a positive difference in the world, in the lives of other people. That's where I get the greatest satisfaction.

I ran across an article from Humanists of Houston that touches on Atheists finding meaning in Life. It digresses a little, but reminded me of this conversation:­
A former member
Post #: 52
Just found this article that opened my eyes a little bit about this and other questions I've posed here on the forum. Apparently, the definition of "Atheist" changed since 2000 and no one told me. This article isn't cited or anything but the info is worth following up on, which I will be doing.

Do atheists love existentialist writers?

Joshua Engel, Polymath

Not the atheists you're thinking of.

The origin of existentialism is explicitly Christian. Søren Kierkegaard is often cited as the founder of existentialism. Kierkegaard's philosophy was against the institution of the Church but in favor of a more personal quest for finding meaning in Christianity.

Many later atheist philosophers, most notably Sartre, further developed Kierkegaard's notion as evidence to overturn all of religion. This is, however, not the form of scientific atheism ("New Atheism") practiced by noted atheists today such as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. The mid-20th-century existentialists were not scientists; they developed their philosophy on an understanding of human freedom. It's more sociology than science, and the New Atheism is grounded in the hard sciences.

So for the most part, the New Atheists don't much talk about the existentialists. In a sense it's a gap in their philosophy, which is in keeping with the philosophy: when there are no answers, they don't purport to give them.

There are a great many schools of atheist thought that trace their roots to 20th century existentialism. You're more likely to find it in the humanities department than the sciences, however, and atheism is rarely its focus. It's also much more popular in Europe than in the US. There are also modern theist existentialists, who trace their intellectual history back to Kierkegaard.

So in short, I'd say, no, atheists as a group don't have any particular feelings for existentialism one way or the other. It's a philosophy that can go either way.­
A former member
Post #: 53

From Conservapedia:


Neo-atheism is the acerbic, shrill polemics of writers like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris or Christopher Hitchens who disparage and refute the truth of the Bible. Unlike their predecessors, they exhibit both a ferocity and antagonism to religion which borders on the manic and seeks to demonize the traditionalist and fundamentalist strains of Christianity and creationism. It also promulgates an excessive zeal for evolution or Darwinism. This is exemplifed by Dawkins being known as Darwin's rottweiller.

The contrast between "traditional" atheists and neo-atheists is that the former merely studied philosophy and rarely pushed their views on anyone, whereas the modern neo-atheists are essentially anti-religious activists.


Anyone here experiencing excessive zeal for evolution?
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