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Old 02-13-2016   #21
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post

Yes, but it becomes unreasonable the moment you claim that one of these entities does not exist.
Ok the contrary, you can read of a master/slave relationship in any work of fiction and then remark how nonsensical the whole thing is. The "Big 3" religions all advocate the master/slave relationship between the big bully in the sky and the worshipper. After considerable thought on the matter, it strikes me as odd that anyone would willingly enter into such a relationship, but to each their own.

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Old 02-13-2016   #22
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

I'm not sure If having a son/father/slave/master relationship would be such a bad thing if it means being a happier person, My approach is utilitarian; if it works, it works. I wouldn't want my ego or insecurity to stand in the way of being a more balanced individual.

Also, why does it matter if it's a fictional relationship anyway? If it's make-believe, it's not hurting anyone. Unless you organize it, force it on other people and ... uhm... yeah. I'm not really sure about this.

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Old 02-13-2016   #23
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

Quote Originally Posted by Revenant View Post

Ok the contrary, you can read of a master/slave relationship in any work of fiction and then remark how nonsensical the whole thing is. The "Big 3" religions all advocate the master/slave relationship between the big bully in the sky and the worshipper. After considerable thought on the matter, it strikes me as odd that anyone would willingly enter into such a relationship, but to each their own.
Ah, so now both are nonexistent?
Again: how useful is it, then, to project a fiction onto actual circumstances and choices, and make deductions from the projection rather than from the actual?

If a relationship can be entered into willingly - without coercion or dependence- then clearly the dynamic is not that of master and slave. If, on the other hand, this relationship exists between every created being and their creator, it can neither be entered into nor be escaped from- then everything is subject to the laws of that relationship much like everything is subjugated to the laws of gravity.

" Gravity is an unjust and tyrannical rule under which i refuse to live. I will float instead."

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Old 02-13-2016   #24
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

This depends on which god you believe in. As a child I believed in the Roman Catholic god or gods if you go for the Trinity. I was taught that anyone who did not believe in my god were destined for Hell. That included all of my jewish, greek orthodox, protestant, and buddhist friends. Even as a child I could not accept this type of segregated Heaven. That was the first seed of doubt. Now I accept that we all have a place in Oblivion.
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Old 02-14-2016   #25
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

It may be seen as part of the human condition, i.e., the longing for something beyond physical existence.
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Old 02-14-2016   #26
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

After a series of experiences, including spontaneous telepathy with family member and significant others (what I have come to call "natural telepathy"), strange synchronicities and very symbolic, yet precognitive, dreams, I've come to the personal view that there's much more going on just inside our heads, let alone the Universe at large, to draw any definite opinions about what may or may not be going on around us.

It baffles me how some people can be so polarizing in their views. It's either this or that, either black or white, meaningful of meaningless, as if it did any difference in this one rock around the sun. In my very limited experience, life is much more porous and interesting than any of those positions; win the lottery today, call in lung cancer next week, see a UFO in between days.

There are plenty of heartful, well intentioned atheists out there, just as there are plenty of selfish religious jerks, and everything in between. I don't think belief in a supernatural entity determines the good or bad in many people. It's true that there's some latent psychotic folks out there who need to believe that they'll burn in an eternal hell so that they can be kept controlled in modern western society, but it's a long shot from there to state that everyone who has as much of an ounce of religious belief is like that. That's the kind of reasoning one finds at r/atheism.

Anyway, I don't even know why I'm writing this. I was going to check something else and somehow wound up here.

Anyway, people die...
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Old 02-14-2016   #27
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

I think keeping in mind the atrocious ability of our senses and psychology in comparison to the unknowable vastness of true reality and the universe is important. I completely understand why somebody would acknowledge the possibility of a higher power, and I believe that is a possibility.

What I don't consider an open minded view of spirituality, which is the general monotheist view, is buying in to the insanely specific guidelines and pseudo-history that the Higher Power is called so-and-so, built the world in a specific amount of days, spoke to these specific people in these specific countries, commanded that this specific holy text with all manner of arbitrary and preposterous rules be considered law, as well as all manner of specific mythological details with zero evidence. I get keeping in mind that there may be more than what we see and that this 'something more' may be a being of sorts that we're a part of. I don't get believing that there was a specific son of a carpenter in a specific country who did this, or a talking snake that did that, or any actual specific element of a monotheist doctrine.

To be an atheist is to not hold a belief in a deity, not to strongly disbelieve in a deity. To be a Christian is to believe in a very specific mythology that precludes all other possibilities. That isn't an open minded belief system. It is a limited, rigid, arbitrary system of thought that inhibit consciousness rather than expanding it. Taking a 'wait and see' or 'I'm open to the possibility' approach, or simply admitting there really is no way of our monkey brains understanding the universe to the degree monotheism requires, will always make more sense to me than just 100% committing to Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Scientology, etc.

The idea atheists are as close minded as Christians just doesn't hold up to me, as somebody saying they don't really know what the universe is will command more respect from me than the certain hubris of 'God did it!' There are jerk atheists who act with a Christian level of certainty they know everything for sure, but overall it's a more humble view than suggesting you 100% not only know that there is definitely a higher power, but what it is called, its elaborate backstory, its family tree, countries of preference and all sorts of stuff there is clearly no way of knowing. They're not even saying a god did it. They're saying a specific being called God did it all, and most of the time their specific god of choice conveniently matches up with the dominant religion of their household or country. What an amazing coincidence.

In debates on here it always comes down to the idea that the central spiritual dichotomy is between Christians vs people who are convinced there is no higher power, and I can find it frustrating as I find both sides limited, even if overall I think the latter category are generally speaking far more sense and working with less cultural bias.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay

Last edited by James; 02-14-2016 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 02-14-2016   #28
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

Quote Originally Posted by marioneta View Post
This depends on which god you believe in. As a child I believed in the Roman Catholic god or gods if you go for the Trinity. I was taught that anyone who did not believe in my god were destined for Hell. That included all of my jewish, greek orthodox, protestant, and buddhist friends.
Is this an American thing? Because I did all of my schooling, except for college and postgrad, in Catholic institutions (Marian and Lasallian) and I was never told anyone would burn for casting doubt. The Lasallians are pretty forward thinking, (The Marians not so much) so I suppose that has something to do with it, but I have absolutely no recollection of anyone telling us that those who did not share our belief were condemned to the eternal fires of hell.

In fact I have very vivid memories of one of the priests, the one running the library, insisting that we should be doubtful and question authority. It is a weird thing to say, but that priest was in part responsible (in a good way) for the atheism I held dear for almost fifteen years.

Anyway, people die...
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Old 02-14-2016   #29
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

It is important to distinguish any system that uses a belief or at least the vocabulary to its own imperialist ends, which abuse James describes so well, from those who may be nominally associated with such a system.

Take post-capitalist society, which is a system most of us find ourselves embedded within- yet not all of us identify with Randian ethics, no?
It is quite common for companies and conglomerates to use and twist, in a nightmarishly Orwellian way, philosophical concepts to their own nefarious ends- yet this ought not to devalue the discussion of such concepts by the more aware and critical thinker of this day.

So, in direct reply to James, i would like, and most respectfully so, to express the hope that he would not discard the option that perhaps there are those, even within the monotheistic denominations, who hold that to mistake the outward mythologies and man-made rules for the inward application of concepts such as Mercy and Compassion, is to fatally misunderstand a religion.

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Old 02-14-2016   #30
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Re: Believing in God makes you a better person

Quote Originally Posted by paeng View Post
It may be seen as part of the human condition, i.e., the longing for something beyond physical existence.
"At the last, soul itself is the longing of the soulless for redemption." - Theodor Adorno

"人生夢幻耳" - 高井鴻山
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