How does religion give you hope when tragedy strikes?

Part of intelligence is understanding things that we cant know.

“Can’t know” is giving up. “Don’t know yet …but striving to find out” is what feeds our intelligence.

Im mean sure we can try but we cannot know things that are beyond the ability of our senses and sciences to know. Also, the universe is massive and we dont have the ability to collect more than a tiny fraction of the available data.

We cannot know what things are beyond the ability of our senses and sciences to know. There is a difference between hitting the wall and striving to push past it, and building the wall and refusing to go near it.

I appreciate and agree with your attitude to keep fighting for the goal. But there is no possible way to understand it. After decades of study of our brain we still know so little about it and we can hold it in our hands.

The goal isn’t to “know it all”. The goal is to know more and more each day, and build on that knowledge. Who gets to determine where the walls are, what questions can’t be asked, what solutions can’t be found?
The religionists?
The government?

We can ask any question we want but without actual evidence the questions come down to belief. The correct answer, imo, is to resist drawing concrete conclusions until someone can prove their hypothesis beyond any doubt.
Einstein did just that with his Theory of Relativity.

This is so nonsensical that I cannot begin to form a response.
Congratulations, I guess.

There is no actual evidence for or against the existence of a creator of the universe. Only belief.

I appreciate this. I was having a difficult time putting myself in my family members’ shoes on this one, because my relative’s sickness has been so awful for a long time. I couldn’t grasp how someone, even a true believer, could find comfort from a God that could prevent the suffering, but doesn’t. Thanks.

I think that this is why most atheists would use a definition of atheism that denies there is sufficient evidence to believe the claim that there is a God, not that there absolutely cannot be a god.

I have gotten that impression here and there too. But why is that called atheism? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call it agnosticism?

A neighbor and a friend just two months ago learned she had cancer and was dead in six weeks. It was a tragedy, but I could deal with it far better knowing that the cause was chance and was not God’s will or some sort of punishment.

Atheism, right in its name, is about belief. Agnosticism, right in its name, is about knowledge. You can be both an atheist and an agnostic, sure that we’ll never know for sure but lacking belief. You can be a theist and an agnostic, sure that we’ll never know for sure but still believing in some god. The concepts are orthogonal.

Maybe this takes it off topic, but I don’t think there is such a thing as a true atheist (in the sense of, someone who’d refuse to believe in God’s existence regardless of any proof ever brought to them), or if so, they are extremely rare. Rather, almost every atheist is someone who would/could accept the existence of a God if there suddenly one day were presented with convincing (to them) proof of God. They just haven’t seen it yet. It’s like how a scientist might say, “There are no glow-in-the-dark butterflies in the world,” but if one day someone brought a glow-in-the-dark butterfly to his laboratory, the scientist wouldn’t say “Nuh-uh, my eyes are deceiving me” but rather, he’d accept that - yes, here it is; here’s one all right.

As a religious person (Christian, specifically Catholic), I would never say something like that to anyone who’d experienced a loss. Seems pointless. Either the person to whom I’d say something already beleives that, in which case it doesn’t need to be said, or doesn’t believe it, in which case it’s not going to be comforting. In any event, for me, it’s too simplistic. Phrases like that are devoid of meaning (to me – I understand that they mean a lot to some people who say things like that).

Speaking only for myself, I’m not sure faith (as opposed to religion) give hope or comfort. Faith can be helpful when it comes to acceptance, but that’s kind of a different thing.

The rituals of faith, however, can be quite helpful. The funeral mass, the timeless prayers we’ve all been hearing and saying since we were children, and that our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents and so on and so on all knew and said, have real meaning, and connect us to countless past generations, and to others at this very moment, who have dealt and are dealing with similar situations.

As to why God permits suffering, the problem of pain is as old as Christianity. I don’t have the answer. I can recommend C.S. Lewis’s book, The Problem of Pain, which is helpful, but ultimately unsatisfactory. To me, anyway. But Lewis was a great apologist. It’s worth a read.

Voyager, thank you. I had understood the word “atheism” to refer specifically to a specific belief that God does not exist. You seem to take it to mean simply a lack of belief in God. I had not considered your meaning to be correct, but I have now looked at several dictionaries, and found that some use my explanation, some use yours, and some use both. Ignorance fought!

I would go further: Even if the person does already believe it, if the loss is too recent, it will feel cruel to the mourner.

Yes. I am not religious but a good friend is and her faith that God has a reason for her illness was something that kept her going.

Woohoo, this is the shortest atheism vs. agnosticism discussion ever! (You’d be amazed at how much fuss this stirs up.)