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Grieving the loss of God

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2 hours ago, thenelli01 said:
Can it be grief of a loss in the sense of “loss of the investment of believing in the concept of God”

I used to believe in God, and study the Bible, when I was very young. I don't look at it as "lost time" at all. In fact, those were some of the most intellectually productive years of my life. I didn't just read the Bible, I also read Dostoevsky and several other Christian authors,  but it was all connected to my faith, and it was all very much productive and worthwhile. I highly recommend crazy ol' Fyodor. Every single thing he ever wrote is genius. Insane (or maybe just insanely pessimistic) on some level, but he cuts to the essence of things on every other level. So does Nietzsche (who is very much Christian, and a fundamentalist at that, in his critique of the Church, though he's nowhere near as sophisticated as Dostoevsky). So does most of the Bible, as do some other religious texts.

There's a lot you can learn from religion, when you're really young. You can even learn some stuff from it when you're old. The main things wrong about the Bible are the (occasional) altruism and the supernatural God part. Most of everything else makes quite a bit of sense, and is well worth studying. When you study the Bible, you're studying thousands upon thousands of years worth of human experience. And even the supernatural God part can just be interpreted as a metaphor for reality, and you're fine (well, it's more complex than that, it involves the context of knowledge people had before science was a thing, but there's no reason to get into that here).

Thing is, this is all off topic. The thread is about the loss of a literal God. There's no loss there, because there's no literal God.

Edited by Nicky
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12 hours ago, Nicky said:

Nietzsche (who is very much Christian, and a fundamentalist at that, in his critique of the Church

What do you mean? Calling Nietzsche a Christian in his critique of the church is one of the most controversial things you can say about him, so I'm wondering what you mean.

14 hours ago, thenelli01 said:

Can it be grief of a loss in the sense of “loss of the investment of believing in the concept of God”

That's regret. Grief is an emotion about the loss of value, and wishing you had it. Regret is about lost opportunity (or a failed opportunity), and in this context, wishing you never held god as a value. Coming to realize the parts that made you feel bad or miserable is a matter of overcoming and taking those experiences to become something better than you were. Sometimes, in the case of god, there were some really great values and insights more than likely, but you can take it as a path towards further understanding of reality. That's why a person shouldn't feel grief about the loss of god - rejecting god actually puts you in a better place than you were before.

Edited by Eiuol
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On 1/1/2019 at 10:11 PM, thenelli01 said:


Can it be grief of a loss in the sense of “loss of the investment of believing in the concept of God” - which includes the time devoted to and action taken by result of such belief, as well as the emotional investment. This could include prayers said every night, time spent at church, time following the teachings of God/not following your other passions, which were perhaps restricted by God’s teachings... e.g. think of the 60 year old disabled man that never had sex because he never married and recently realized God never existed. He didn’t lose anything in the sense that God never existed and you can’t lose a non-value, but he did lose his investment, which were the years spent (and experiences never realized) abstaining from sex, derived from the idea that following God's teachings will result in him going to heaven.
Similar situation is when you find out your partner is cheating on you as was described above. You never lost anything in the sense that the relationship you thought existed never did. But you did lose the investment that you put into it - the time, money, possible relationships you could have made if you hadn't spent it with him/her, hopes/dreams for the future, etc.
Yes, you did gain a better sense of reality in both cases, but you did lose the investment, which could understandably cause grief, no?

Well, this is interesting... technically speaking the “loss” of investment was ongoing... its discovery is much delayed and thus can be quite shocking if many years and much effort, thought, and feeling were wasted.  I’m not well versed enough in psychology to judge whether discovery of loss of investment can possibly cause the emotion of grief.  I usually associate grief as the process of coming to grips with a type of loss which is something more psychologically fundamental than a loss of investment... something loved or cherished .... but I don’t know... it’s an interesting dimension to consider. 

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