In continuation to the discussion on the conception of God, let me share interesting conversations. It is a popular belief that in the remembrance of God do hearts find solace, but what about atheist for that matter? Do they have a serene soul? Without believing and remembering God how do they get the required comfort which is quite essential for a peaceful life? The matter is so serious and demands contemplative inputs from those who believe / don’t believe in God. So the question:
What actually provides solace to the heart of an Atheist?
Chipmunk says: A sunrise, kisses, sand on a beach, softly falling snow, owls in the moonlight, friendship, laughter, campfires, clean sheets, body warmth, going home, poetry, contemplating cosmic possibilities, a well-placed adjective, pianos, discovery, mystery, that girl across the room… Of course, that is just a few of the things for which I have words.
Muhammad Abdullah Javed (MAJ): Thanks Junk, if it is this way that gives him comfort then what relation he has with these things and with the One Who has provided them?
Chipmunk: None. Same as everyone else. He just doesn’t pretend that his imagination is an absolute truth.
MAJ: If he doesn’t pretend his imagination to be absolute truth then how come he enjoys and finds comfort?
Chipmunk: He finds comfort knowing that his imagination is only the beginning, beyond which lies infinite possibilities and wonder.
MAJ: Oh that’s great. What’s that strength called, which has such a strong sense of imagination? How he develops it?
Dremer says: I can’t speak for all atheists, but for me it’s storytelling. Whether that comes in the form of a book, movie, television show, or even a video game. Wrapping oneself in a story provides perspective, camaraderie, and a deeper understanding of the human experience. It does this while also illustrating our endless creativity and honesty.
MAJ: Thanks Dremer. It means your heart has been synchronized with a few things of the outside world. What do you think of the agency that acts between your heart and the outside stuff, and why it’s ultimately resulting in pleasure?
Dremer: Stories are vessels of communication and understanding. We enjoy them because they prompt us to think and take us places we can’t physically go. It is simultaneously escapism and fitness for the brain.
Ericd says: This made me think about the fact that most people do not “always” stay focused on God. So a believer would much of the time, find solace the same as an Atheist. A warm embrace, little puppies, the smile of a child, reassurance from a loved one. Trying one’s best. Knowing that tomorrow is a new day. Plants they grew and plants they find beautiful and interesting. Even certain foods. A good night’s rest. A positive attitude. Maybe I am wrong.
MAJ: It may be true, but how is that the results of both belief in God and disbelief are the same?
Ericd: Well why not? If one is a believer they can also see God in all the wonders of the world. I can’t imagine that an Atheist would not find wonderment and solace. But there is no solace like the one found in belief.
MAJ: That’s what I wanted to know Ericd, what’s that “solace” which is different from that of a believer?
Grandma says: What sort of solace do you mean? Why does a person need solace? Do they need it all the time or only at particular times, for instance, the death of a loved one? Or are you talking about general living?
MAJ: Thanks grandma, I mean in general and also at the time of sorrow, grief, losses and testing times.
Grandma: People do not necessarily need solace or comfort from outside every day, unless they are depressed. Solace is seen as sanctuary, help, comfort and protection from woes. Does anyone need solace every day?
MAJ: If your heart is at peace and content with both favorable and unfavorable things the resultant condition is what we term as ‘solace’, not needed from outside rather it’s an inner urge and an inside feeling. It is as comprehensive and encompassing as our demands and necessities are.
Another topic of discussion, it’s about attachment with God, how do we know that our attitudes towards God are conditional or unconditional? This was the topic:
What if your prayers are not answered? Do you continue to pray or fight with God?
Lawrence says: There’s always an answer to prayer. Sometimes it takes a while to materialize. Other times we might not like the answer but it’s still an answer. I keep on until I know what it is
Muhammad Abdullah Javed (MAJ): Well Lawrence, prayers are for you what you are to God, I strongly agree with you that regardless of the answers of the prayers, a continued attachment with God show purity of faith. Thanks for the response.
Kathlin says: Maybe He did answer it, but you couldn’t recognize it because it wasn’t the answer you wanted. God helps/answers those who put in an effort into what they are praying about, or maybe the answer will come in time, His time, when it’s right. Personally, I keep praying…and I don’t fight or blame Him for my calamities, or for the badness, the evil that happens…He is not the ruler of Earth…Satan is. If it isn’t Satan’s domain, Satan couldn’t have offered all “the kingdoms of the Earth” to Jesus. He couldn’t give something unless he owned it first, could he? Sorry…back to the question…I would pray, hope for understanding His answer…and He does answer. It’s up to us to have a close enough relationship with Him, to recognize His answer.
MAJ: Excellent views Kathlin. We should regard our God as the Ruler of both ourselves and the universe, how do you justify that God rule ourselves but not the planet we live in? Thanks for the response.
Kathlin: God is the Creator of ALL, yet He doesn’t rule us. We have free will. He has given us a written, inspired book with what He wants us to follow, He gave His son to tell and show us what we should do to please God, and Earth is given to US..
MAJ: If any one does not believe in God then you are right but when we say we believe in Him means that belief should consider Him the Ruler, Cherisher & Sustainer of the worlds. As far free will, its the test of life, being servant of God we should try to integrate our free will the will of God.
Rajan says: I agree with Kathlin’s answer fully. I just want to add one thing: A ‘no response’ could mean God is not in favor of the specific response you are hoping for.
Bruce says: More likely when there’s “no response” it means that no one is hearing your prayers other than yourself! Prayer is a way for people to comfort themselves.
MAJ: Interesting Bruce, then what do you do for your living? Don’t you call Him even at the time of severe hardships?
Bruce: Javed, are you assuming there’s no way to meet one’s needs or cope with hardship other than praying to a god? And to which of the thousands of “gods” of human history would I be praying?
MAJ: Bruce, it’s the human nature that during hard times or in urgent need the inner self do inclines towards the mercy of God, as far the selection of God, you just ask your inner self.
Bruce: Yes, it’s probably part of human nature to find a way to comfort oneself in hardship, including creating a “god” in one’s mind to give mental comfort. That’s totally different than actually proving that any of said “gods” exist.
MAJ: Not just for comfort Bruce, but to show steadfastness during trials. Actually one thing is missing that is a rational approach to link the human nature with the will of God, it’s not about proving God, as the created being can’t prove the Creator.
Kathlin says: Hey Bruce! Here to make another argument? Just one other question… Have you ever been mad or hurt or scared where you say, “Goddamn”? With that one word, you believe even if you think you don’t…
Peach says: Yes, i still ray to God regardless whether he answers or not, because you can’t expect Him to reply all your request. Just pray earnestly and someday, miracle may happen
MAJ: That shows your steadfastness Peach. The true faith has varied shades, one of this get reflected through your attitude, praying for even intense faith. Thanks for the response.
As discussed earlier, the dialogues are not for winning or losing the conversational battle, it’s about a win-win-situation wherein everyone tries to present their view points in the nicest possible ways. Hope the conversations might have helped in realizing the fact that the belief in God is pivotal in getting the required peace in life.
© Muhammad Abdullah Javed – April 2016
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