Showing posts with label legacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legacy. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Thoughts on an Old Legacy

LEGACY
by
John Dobbs

I leave you this space
which I have occupied
temporarily,

now clean as a vacuum
to hold short sorrow,
and brief remembering.

There are no shards,
no broken statuary.
I had no idols.

The proud thoughts
and the humble things
remain unshattered.

I leave you this valuable
and useful
space.



Posted with permission from the old boards.



The proud thoughts and the humble things I have taught to others are enough for me. I did what I could to make my space a little more valuable, useful, beautiful and loving for those who will occupy it temporarily and make it even more valuable, useful, beautiful and loving based on what I have given them while occupying that space.  That is the way of life.  We do what we can with what we find and the next generation will be able to do better with the results of our doing and our taught wisdom.  

I learned what I could, did what was possible, and taught what I learned.  There is no need for me to continue in my present limited and obsolete form, I have done my part.  I have lived a life worth dying for. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Humanists With Children

beliefnet
Your thesis then, is "the very existence of religion is an affront to womens' progress", correct? IronLDS

Talk about misinterpreting a post and fighting a strawman! But to respond to the strawman, religious influence in Western society is an affront to women's progress, as it is the source of the property status of women and the concept that women should STFU and stay home.  All the talk of separate but equal roles is just more religious BS to justify keeping women barefoot, uneducated and pregnant. 

As noted earlier humanist men support women in all roles totally ignoring their haughty status as made in the image of God.  I even know of humanist men who assume the role of househusband to provide their children with proper nurturing while their wives work full+ time at their economic comparative advantage role in society.  She may well be a better mom than he is but her overall worth to society is higher as a medical professional e.g. than his as contract laborer.  More commonly they share both roles usually to the detriment of their careers, more so for the woman, due to the fact that she is working above her station, but both chose children and careers, rather than not having children.  Which by the way is a common choice for humanists as their service to their society as full+ time professionals may be more important to them than raising cannon fodder.  Their legacy is their social service rather than another mouth for the world to feed.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

What is Now?

 Blü wrote:
If time is an illusion then how can you age?

If only the moment exists, why can't you put yourself in any part of the moment at will, so that you can be in the part of the moment when you're 7, and when you're 77, just as you wish?
I can remember an incident over 50 years ago that had a profound effect on many aspects of my life as if it were happening now.  I can replay it in my mind as if it were a video.  Is the replay happening now, or 50 years ago?  Since the major protagonist is now deceased, what is her status in the memory? The store which was the setting is now a library, what is the status of the main foyer containing the roped off piano?  There are others. One when I was in fact 7 that I can be and have been many times in that moment. 
Blü wrote:
JCarlin
I can remember an incident over 50 years ago that had a profound effect on many aspects of my life as if it were happening now.
It's called memory. Surely to cripes it demonstrates, rather than debunks, the notion that time exists?
I can replay it in my mind as if it were a video.
Except that the video will be more accurate, and remain a record even when all the participants in the scene have died.
Is the replay happening now, or 50 years ago?
The replay is happening at the time you recall the memory / rewatch the video.
Since the major protagonist is now deceased, what is her status in the memory?
She's dead. She's remembered. Photos (and videos?) of her continue to exist, showing her at different times / ages of her life.  Same with the piano and the foyer.
Yet you were asking about a personal now, not an abstract now.  In my personal now the alive, vibrant, virtuoso is in that foyer at the piano any time I choose to recall the incident.  It is not happening in the past although in another sense it is clear that the eclectic time frame is the '50s.

A photo or even a video is merely a mnemonic to stimulate a live memory if not of a live event, a memory of a story told.  My great grandmother died when I was a child, but she had an important influence on her society.  I can read her books and sing her songs, but they are just ink on paper.  It is the stories told by those who knew her that make her live in my now. 

I am not sure I can draw a bright line at where now ends and history begins.  In a real sense what is in my mind now is all there is for me.  I am not solipsistic to think that what is in the now of others is unreal. All have their own reality that is now for them.  I agree with John Dobbs "The world began on the day that I was born. On the day I die the world will end." It is not the only world there is.  I am aware that I have affected others and my society and I am content that those effects will survive my demise.  But for me "now" will end.

Yet if now, the memory tracks in my brain aka the world began on the day that I was born, now is all that is there.  Duration is measured by interaction with the now of others.
 
If there is a God, per Iwanta, with a longer and richer now, its relevance to my now is unclear.  Either I am a puppet, which offends me.  Or I am a contributor to that now.  Either way my contribution ends in the foreseeable future and the existence of God will be moot.    


 Blü wrote:
JCarlin

Yet if now, the memory tracks in my brain aka the world began on the day that I was born, now is all that is there.

Subjectively that has to be true, but it's only one way of looking at it. One of my assumptions is that a world exists external to the self, and the external world has a past, some of which I can recall and some of which I've learnt about; and as we presently understand it, it will have a future of hundreds of billions of years, unless and until at some stage after the decay of the last proton the Big Rip robs it of identity.
I have no argument with the idea that there is a world external to the self.  Indeed much of what I do is aimed at affecting that world.  Its past is a useful resource and affects much of what I do.  There is a future as well, that those that follow me (and those that don't) will deal with. 

In fact most of my now is dealing with that external world,  trying to insure that it will be a better place for those that follow and even those that don't follow.  I can see evidence that it will be but at some point it will no longer matter.  Which is as it should be.  I see people who have grown far beyond my capabilities.  It is their now that matters. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Why Argue Against Scripture

beliefnet
Fundy wrote:

Why do posters who do not subscribe to CHRISTIAN scriptures argue against CHRISTIAN scriptures? What possible point can they be making other than that they have nothing better in their sad lives to do...poor wretches with no God in their lives - nothing to look forward to after their demise in the first death. Poor wretches who cannot even read the scriptures they are denying yet put themselves up as opposers to this that that have no knowledge of... Phew!!

  Fair question, wretchedly formulated.  OT on original thread.
 

The main reason we argue against Christian scriptures is your proposed answer.  We have that argument thrown at us based on scripture and are expected to cower and convert.
 

In order:  Our lives are not sad.  Each day is filled with new opportunities to add to our legacy of improving the space we will leave to our intellectual heirs.  Those heirs are mainly friends and relatives, but occasionally we may affect our society as well. 

We are not poor wretches with no God, we are vibrant living beings managing our own lives for the benefit of our society not the glorification of that little vuvuzela in a fancy dress in an over decorated balcony.

We have no need to look forward to some imagined "Big Rock Candy Mountain" after death.  We are aware of and comfortable with the fact that we are mortal and look back on our lives that we are making worth dying for.  (Hat tip to Forrest Church, theist, for that trope.)

We read and understand scripture of many faiths and sects particularly that of the faith dominant in our society primarily because those scriptures have a profound effect on the society of which we are a part.  Before you can love your neighbor you must at least understand the important things in your neighbor's life.  Secondarily there are parts of scripture that we find to be dysfunctional both for our neighbor and for the society.  Therefore we oppose those parts.

The above is a personal statement, the use of the plural is an acknowledgement of many teachers, mentors, and loved ones who made it possible and necessary.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

More on Living and Dying


A well integrated atheist has a different view of death.  It is a natural result of not being able any longer to continue working on one's legacy which is an atheist's reason for living. There is no fear of consequences, they have already happened.  At any point at need I can and do remember the valuable life lessons taught me by my atheist predecessors which I have passed on to their and my successors.  When I have nothing more to pass on due to pain or infirmity, there is no reason to want to continue.   As a well remembered member of the DA community, Charles Fiterman/Gaius_Caesar, expressed it so well I ask daily what am I doing with my time that justifies the pain and expense and inconvienience to others of going on. When the answer becomes bad enough I will do the right thing.  Not surprisingly he was working on his legacy up until the right thing was necessary.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happiness and Suffering.

Beliefnet
 
What awareness has you come to you through happiness?  What awareness has come through suffering?  -  Seefan

Happiness, both for those important to me and for myself brings awareness that my behavior especially my social behavior is correct and moral.  Technically it means that dopamine and serotinin are stimulating the social awareness compliance centers in the brain to produce the feeling of pleasure in complying with social rules for good behavior.  

Suffering, both for those important to me and for myself means that something is seriously awry in my social system and I must do whatever is necessary to repair the damage.  As an example I hear a baby crying in a burning building indicating that it is suffering.  Since a universal evolutionary imperative for social animals is to protect the next generation at any cost including a serious threat of survival for the adult, I am compelled to enter the probably fatal environment to attempt to get the baby out.  If I can get the baby out of a window safely, the dopamine and serotinin will activate the social compliance centers to mitigate the pain and suffering I feel from the fire.  If I can get out the window myself great, if not I have done the socially necessary thing and will die happy as the building collapses around me.  

Please note that death is the other bookend to my life and nothing follows.  My social group may remember me as a hero, but I won't be aware of that except momentarily as the building collapses.  But no matter. I have done other beneficial things for my society, and when death comes the dopamine and serotinin will flood the social compliance centers so at death I will be happy and I will indeed rest in peace.   

No God. Just evolutionary success that allows the baby to live to enjoy my legacy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dog's Last Will and Testament

A Dog's Last Will and Testament
(Author unknown)
Before humans die, they write their last Will & Testament, and give their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what I'd ask....
To a poor and lonely stray I'd give:
My happy home.
My bowl, cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys.
The lap which I loved so much.
The hand that stroked my fur and the sweet voice which spoke my name.
I'd  will to the sad scared shelter dog the place I had in my human's heart, of which there seemed no bounds.
So when I die please do not say, "I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand."  Instead go find an unloved dog; one whose life has held no joy or hope and give MY place to him.
This is the only thing I can give...the love I left behind.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Keys to Heaven

beliefnet
Do you ever wish there was a jesus, a god, a day when all that is wrong will be made right? Do you wish there was a place where children go after they leave this place in terror to a place where they can play and smile and have no knowledge of the terror we witnessed them go through.    matica

Thanks for your thoughts, by choosing this forum I assume you are not looking for confirmation but discussion. 

Very early in my life I came to understand that God, or Jesus, or whoever holds the keys to heaven is a cop out to avoid dealing with the real issues of the world.  If you try to filter out the real Jesus from the crap taught by Christianity you find a single person working with the poor and powerless to give them help in the world they live in.  Being a responsible person does not mean personally changing the world, even Jesus didn't do that, but making as much difference in the lives of others, the children especially, to release their potential is much more important than wishing God will take care of it.   Available evidence is nil that he will either in this life or the next.  

Note that Jesus did release the potential of a few fishermen, who were able to keep his ministry alive to produce the Gospels.

I am an older person, many of my important relatives who shaped my life are no longer alive.  I do not wish they are in a better place, I do however remember how they made my valuable and useful space a better and more beautiful place to be.  I expect to continue building on their Legacy until the time comes when I will leave that valuable and useful space to those who follow.  In the mean time I will continue to tell their stories that were important to me in the hope they those stories will be helpful to others as well.  I admit to a bias for only the good stories, as those make the world a little better than it was before.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Christian asks about Dying

Beliefnet
I hope you followed the link to legacy it should explain much. With nothing expected after death, you look backward, if you have taught your children well, all of them, not just your own, you should be confident that there are many who can build on your legacy for a better world for all who follow.

Thinking about the unknown that happens after death is a waste of time. All the data points to no answer. If there is something after death it would make no difference at all in how I live. If I have lived a moral, useful life any possible afterlife concierge would consider that and nothing else. Or as Forrest Church frequently charged "Live a life worth dying for." Note the active verb is "live."

Consider the second runner in a relay race. What does hesh think as hesh passes the baton? Hesh is probably the weakest runner, but if hesh did herm very best, the others may win the race. So, as hesh ran all that mattered was that hesh ran well. Focusing on anything else would doom the race.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Is Life Enough?

beliefnet
When is one's current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality enough? Shouldn't one desire more?
ctcss

One's current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality is never enough. But by sharing one's current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality with others with perhaps more wisdom or drive to make it more accurate and adequate is how human progress happens.

I have no intention of ceasing to share my current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality with others, indeed that is why I get out of bed each morning, even though I know I will be unable to do so relatively soon.

I have already seen how others with more wisdom and drive have taken what I have shared to places I cannot get to. I see others in the process of doing so, and am quite confident that they will achieve goals that are beyond my capabilities. Have I personally changed my world for the better? I think so, but others are doing as much or more.

I have no time to appease some God so that I might increase my current (often rather inadequate and inaccurate) understanding of reality after I die. I do the best I can with what I have. If I haven't learned enough and shared enough by now one thing is certain: all the learning I achieve after death is useless. I never will share it with anyone who can affect humankind.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Self Realization and Religion

Your Zodiac sign - Beliefnet

The essence of religion is the belief that life cannot be managed by oneself. Indoctrination begins at birth and continues to puberty and beyond if possible. At puberty a few find this indoctrination onerous and search out other paradigms.

For women especially the indoctrination that life consists of the missionary position under the husband is easily rejected, but the self management of ones life is harder, as there are fewer opportunities for most women. The insignificant self worth for women taught by most religions makes pleasing men via beauty contests, provocative dress, cosmetics, etc. one outlet. Astrology provides a gender neutral way to get guidance in life management while breaking free from that little vuvuzela in the fancy dress in the over decorated balcony. I see astrology as training wheels for self-management of ones life as the choices still need to be made from the options provided. I also find the predominance of women in Wicca is another way to break the stranglehold of misogynistic religion for women without giving up the direction from other.

In atheistic communities this is less of a problem as young women as well as young men are expected to learn self-realization early in life through participation in sports, the arts, and science fairs. Sometimes the young men long for religion as the young women excel in all areas as they mature earlier than the young men.

In atheistic communities the choice for women is not the 'Turning Point' of career vs marriage, but which career to choose among several options. I know of several young women who are combining science at Eg. Harvard with music at N E Conservatory. or Music and Physics at Cal or U of Miich. (My world is music pardon the bias.) Somehow the missionary position isn't anywhere in the immediate future.

This is not to say that reproduction is out of the picture, in fact a dual career in the arts and academia/business research is seen as an ideal basis for family support. For both men and women I might add. Many atheist men view parenting as a critical part of building a legacy that they would be willing to die for. No need for pie in the sky, the echo of the meaning and purpose that has been taught from ones children and their friends and seeing them take it and grow with it makes the end of life a welcome coda. I need no heaven after I die. It is right here. Now.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Believe?

Case for God a "Fraud" - Beliefnet

Personally I would change the statement [of a willingness to believe] to a indication of a legitimate God. I have no need in my life for one, I am doing quite well without God. However, if some religion could show how a God could help manage the life I am sure of better, I would be a believer in a heartbeat. In other words If someone could show me a God that would help me build a more valuable, more useful space to leave for those who follow me I would certainly accept such help. So far, God seems to be a distraction from that process and therefore a hindrance rather than a help.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Atheist Belief Systems?

How many flavors are there? - Beliefnet:

"In a lifetime of living as an atheist, and primarily with atheists, I have yet to find any with belief systems. They may incorporate items from other belief systems into their world view, or as I prefer to call it their paradigm for making it from birth to death and in my case building a legacy in the process. Is the space I am building for others to enjoy when I die a belief in an afterlife? I don't think so. I won't be there to enjoy it.

I do not spend any time on the supernatural, the natural contains enough transcendent wonder for my needs, especially when enhanced by the beauties of well done science at all levels. It is amusing to build fantasies on Universalist afterlife theology (which I am not sure even they believe in) but they are fantasies not a reason to abandon a focus on living."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Christian for Eternity

The Bright Line - Beliefnet:

"We atheists will die and as a result of our living a righteous and moral life according to our chosen society that society will be a little or a lot better because we lived. We get continuous feedback from that society that we are doing the righteous and moral things that improve that society so that when we die the society will be better than when we were born. We have no need to imagine what will happen when we die, we can look back as others will and see how we made our society better. I am using 'we' here not to represent all atheists, just the ones that think as I do about living and death.

I am glad you, as a Christian, believe that God will take care of you when you die. You seem to have done nothing of worth in this life but annoy strangers with your blather about God and the Hell you created for yourself in this life as a rebelling Christian. I hope God will ignore all that and reward your belief with His eternal presence. I doubt it, but hang tight to that belief. It is all you have."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Legacy and Reminder

substance - Beliefnet:

**Stands and shuffles some papers behind the pulpit.**
Ahem.
I have been asked for a self supporting defense of atheism as a religion. This is of course impossible as any definition of religion requires acceptance of or belief in some higher power that creates and gives meaning and purpose to the universe or at least to those arrogant apes that think the universe was created to give meaning and purpose to their lives. Without this higher power there is no religion. Atheists have none.

Thank you. And good evening. For those of you with a higher power may that higher power bless you with the meaning and purpose that you are unable to discover for yourselves. Amen.

What is that? You in the back. You will have to speak louder. It sounded like you said 'Without God there can be no meaning and purpose or even morality in the world.' That is what you said? Thank you. I am so very sorry that your religion is so constraining that you are unable to interact with a larger society to build a moral, meaningful and purposeful life for yourself, but must rely on dead males to tell you what to do.

I have no such constraints. I am constantly learning from the best and most intelligent people about what behaviors will improve the society of which I am a part as well as improving my tiny part of it. This entails the intensive study of past and current moral teachers of all genders. (Moms, even gay and lesbian moms, have a lot to teach if we would only listen to them instead of those dead men.)

My studies which began with my mom, have taught me that meaning and purpose in my life must come from within myself, my family and the larger society of which I am a part. I am expected to pay attention to what works for others and ask meaningful questions based on my studies to date. This provides me enough meaning and purpose that I do not worry about creation myths, I was created for a purpose by loving parents, and when I die I will leave a Legacy of a beautiful, valuable, and useful space for those who remember me affectionately as well as:

From John Dobbs who wrote Legacy

REMINDER

The world began the day that I was born
and on the day I die the world will end.
Between these dates there will have been
Matters of great importance.
But no awakening apparently
to the neglected knowledge
that energy lies in the grains
of wheat and rice
as well as mass twice multiplied
by the speed of light.
The poor are as poor
as history has ever recorded
and there is nothing I can leave
on the final date
but a legacy of urgencies.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Funerals

The Bright Line - Beliefnet

hopefully I will never, ever attend a atheist funeral... and there hear someone speak words to those who mourn without hope...
Leight


"I have been to many atheist 'Celebrations of the Life Of .....' There is no mourning. Death is the bookend that says the person's active contribution is over, but those who knew and loved herm remember and celebrate all of the contributions the deceased has made to their lives and celebrate the Legacy of the deceased.

I have been to many Christian funerals, where mourners sing sad songs and hope against hope that somehow their prayers will help the dead avoid Hellfire and damnation. And also secretly hope that when they die they will also avoid Hellfire and damnation.

The 'High point' in a Requiem Mass is always the Dies Irae. The day of wrath and anger when the trumpets will sound and the dead will be judged. It is always scary music: Pay attention sinners! Get right with God or Hell awaits! Kind of fun to sing, but I wouldn't want to be a believer in that wrathful God. I particularly like the Tuba Mirum from the Berlioz Requiem The brass blares from the four corners of the hall "You are Damned" the chorus responds musically "I have hope?" The horns repeat, louder. "NO WAY." The chorus tries again. Again the horns deny. Finally the chorus gives up and joins the horns in the damning chord.

It is for this that we gather at the death of a friend? No, thank you! I much prefer the celebration of a friend's Legacy. To contemplate all those volumes on the bookshelf that we can remember at will and share with others when appropriate or necessary."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Community or God?

Can a cohesive community become our higher self? - Beliefnet

Can a cohesive community and a sense of belonging become our higher self? And be a substitute for a belief in God?
Dareesedelrae


"It depends on what you mean by a cohesive community. If you mean the village, either global or local I don't think it would be possible.

As a self chosen community among like minded friends and friends of friends I think it is the only way to replace the community of God believers. My chosen community has a similar set or mores, a similar rational approach to problem solving and a similar view that the only important activities are those that affect our community. Ourselves certainly, but the effects on the community reflect back on us. I am reminded of the famous image of the drop of water on a still water surface. Certainly the ripples radiate outward, but the reflection inward is the dominant effect of the action.

I don't really need a substitute for God. I never had one to substitute for, and all the meaning and purpose I need comes from and is directed toward that community that will carry on my legacy after I no longer can."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Why a Legacy?

Why answer these questions - Beliefnet

Why do you find a need to build some sort of legacy? I certainly do not.
Passionatereason


"Fine. Stumble your way through life, doing whatever is necessary to achieve the promised fulfillment on death.

I have a definitely limited time to accomplish the things that I have chosen to accept as my duty to my genetic and spiritual ancestors who left the legacy I am building on; to my family, friends and my chosen society who are helping me shape that legacy; and to those who will carry on after I have done all I can. You will notice that my duty is to real people alive, dead, and yet to be born. No imaginary entities in the lot. This is the way I choose to live my life.

I have no need for advice from those who choose differently. I sincerely hope their pie in the sky after they die does not turn out to be rhubarb with no sugar."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Life after death?

Problem with Pascal's wager - Discuss Atheism - Beliefnet Community

We RESENT The Facts of Mortality, Contingency, Suffering, and Death ... So we BLAME 'God' or 'diss' Existence Itself as 'shit' ...
teilhard

Some of you may do either. The most common is to blame God, or diss the human condition as shit. Both of which are religious concepts. Others have come to terms with the fact that life is finite and while there are unpredictable intervals of suffering we realize that this life is all there is, and we had best work through the suffering and contingencies to make what we can of it before our inevitable death. We try to live so that our legacy at death will be something that those following us can build on and enjoy. I don't resent the challenges of building a life worth dying for, and I don't waste a bit of life worrying about what might happen after. Particularly as nothing at all that I can change in this life will make any difference afterward. Re. Pascal's wager: If there is, paraphrasing Grantland Rice, One Great Scorer that makes Herm mark against your name, Hesh marks not that you won or lost, but how you played the game."

Friday, July 31, 2009

Purpose in Life?

Beliefnet Community > Thread - Purpose in Life?:
When looking at life in general, many things can be attributed to giving an individual purpose in life.
Stoic-sage
"I think purpose in life really boils down to make the people who are important to you happy. It starts of course with mom, but expands to family and the larger society of which you are a part. In general, happy friends means good things happen to you which is the selfish interest in having a purpose in life.

If you are part of a religious society buying into the religion will make your friends happy. If you are not, it may be a bit harder and take a lot more empathy and consideration for your friends, but for me it is worth it. I can pick and choose which friends are important to me and act accordingly."

The legacy space is of course part and parcel of the process of making my life a place where friends will be happy. It certainly begins with myself, but selfish indulgence does not do anything for friends, so making myself and my space a better place to be in both for myself and for those sharing it seems to be all the purpose I need.