Atheism: a good first step

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There is no God. I take that as given.

But atheism (and naturalism, and rationalism, and skepticism) are only the first step toward freeing ourselves from a host of similar, ubiquitous, harmful, mistaken ideas about meaning.

Most of the harm done by religion is not due to supernatural beliefs, but due to the eternalist stance. Non-supernatural eternalist systems are equally false and have the same malign emotional dynamics.

Atheists (particularly new ones) are especially susceptible to non-theistic eternalism, because of the experience of groundlessness when the supposed source of meaning is removed.

Then it is highly tempting to find some other ultimate source of meaning, as a bulwark against nihilism. In the next several pages, I’ll discuss several non-theistic alternatives to God, which are just as harmful.

Navigation

This page is in the section Non-theistic eternalism,
      which is in Eternalism: the fixation of meaning,
      which is in Meaning and meaninglessness,
      which is in Doing meaning better.

The next page in this section is ⚒ Belief in belief.

This page’s topics are Atheism and Eternalism.

General explanation: Meaningness is a hypertext book (in progress), plus a “metablog” that comments on it. The book begins with an appetizer. Alternatively, you might like to look at its table of contents, or some other starting points. Classification of pages by topics supplements the book and metablog structures. Terms with dotted underlining (example: meaningness) show a definition if you click on them. Pages marked with ⚒ are still under construction. Copyright ©2010–2017 David Chapman.