Beliefs

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Re: Beliefs

Postby Metatron » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:19 pm

Sabina wrote:David,

I didn't at all mean to imply that you said that.
The part that I replied to you specifically was the part I wrote underneath your quote.
Sorry if that was not clear.
I just added this thought as an addition to the other talks of children and conditioning. Conditioning is bad, not educating is just as bad. As with everything in life it is important to find the golden middle.

"Never stop doubting what you hear and see."
My first instinct was to agree with this, and a large portion of me is that way, however... there is also another side to life, and if you are completely focused on doubting everything you might miss out on some things.


I may have misinterpreted what you said, so it's my fault :P Anyway, obviously one can't consciously doubt literally everything, but when it comes to religion, for example, it is neccessary to doubt. If I had a child, I would let them to be religionists, but only after they told me why they want to believe so.

So, for argument's sake, let's say I believe in afterlife, but I am not religious, I am obviously not nihilist either. I love people and the beauty they are capable of.
What am I then?


Good question =0) In that case I would ask you how have you come to believe in an afterlife? You know, saying I believe in an afterlife but I am no religionist is kind of like taking a half-rotten apple, cutting of its nasty bits and eating only what's still eatable. You conveniently pick what you like, and leave the rest alone. I don't think that's how it should work. Or at least not when you're a person who admires human thought. Those people (at least me) like to have good reasons for what they think. Think of it as a large tree, which can grow countless branches, that is so much nicer then the small, undevelopped tree of those who neglect the importance of good conections between their ideas. I never said one cannot be like the person you described, just that it is a bit weird to make up an idea of afterlife and expect it to be so, without any reasoning behind it. Is that how you meant it?
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Re: Beliefs

Postby mirjana » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:16 pm

Hi David,
Where does a mixture of an atheist/agnostic belong?

The fact that agnostic theists can identify himself both as agnostics and as follower of particular religions, shows agnosticism as a model for thinking about the nature of belief and their relation to revealed truths.

People who are rational or think about themselves as a such begin their talks about the universe mostly with a word-I believe...When somebody says I believe, it only means that the person claims something based on personal knowledge or understanding.
Does it mean that existence of universe is based on personal understanding and knowledge? I do not think so. Everything is like it has always been, but people are limited in their understanding that process evolves.
It turns somehow that really each path is a good one as long as it helps mind to be or stay free and heart to be or stay open.

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Re: Beliefs

Postby Sabina » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:29 pm

Metatron wrote:Good question =0) In that case I would ask you how have you come to believe in an afterlife? You know, saying I believe in an afterlife but I am no religionist is kind of like taking a half-rotten apple, cutting of its nasty bits and eating only what's still eatable. You conveniently pick what you like, and leave the rest alone. I don't think that's how it should work. Or at least not when you're a person who admires human thought. Those people (at least me) like to have good reasons for what they think. Think of it as a large tree, which can grow countless branches, that is so much nicer then the small, undevelopped tree of those who neglect the importance of good conections between their ideas. I never said one cannot be like the person you described, just that it is a bit weird to make up an idea of afterlife and expect it to be so, without any reasoning behind it. Is that how you meant it?


First of all, religion was not an issue in my surroundings at all. If any of them believed in God, or a supreme mind, or anything like that, they did it for themselves, without belonging to any predefined group, and without talking about it.

So I was not indoctrinated in that regard, my mind was allowed to be free and therefore more easily connect to everything that is and always was. I didn't have any proof for any of the things I felt, and felt beyond doubt, and I didn't need any proof either, because I wasn't trying to convince anyone else to see it that way. How other people thought about these matters I didn't know, nor think about.

So it wasn't like picking the good pieces off of a rotten apple and throwing away the bad stuff. I didn't even know about the existence of the bad stuff, yet I was certain of a "God" (nevermind the title) and of an afterlife as well. Perhaps "afterexistance" is a better term.

Growing older I heard of other approaches, other ways of thinking and it was interesting to me. Some of it was fascinating, some of it amusing (such as ridiculous things can be very amusing). I learned of the existence of charlatans, learned to be skeptical, and to question things, but during all of that certain things were always steady, maybe because they never had anything to do with any outward experience with humans.

"Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music."
~ Angela Monet

That's a fitting quote, because I gradually came to realize that some people simply couldn't hear the music. :)

Sabina
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Metatron » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:02 pm

mirjana wrote:Hi David,
Where does a mixture of an atheist/agnostic belong?

The fact that agnostic theists can identify himself both as agnostics and as follower of particular religions, shows agnosticism as a model for thinking about the nature of belief and their relation to revealed truths.

People who are rational or think about themselves as a such begin their talks about the universe mostly with a word-I believe...When somebody says I believe, it only means that the person claims something based on personal knowledge or understanding.
Does it mean that existence of universe is based on personal understanding and knowledge? I do not think so. Everything is like it has always been, but people are limited in their understanding that evolves.
It turn somehow that really each path is a good one as long as helps mind to be free and heart to be open.

Mirjana


I call myself an agnostic/atheist, because even though I am aware of the great deal of knowledge science holds, I am also well aware of that it doesn't. It is just as foolish to claim "I know God doesn't exist" as claiming "I know God exists", because both would be lies. In fact, we may never know the answer to that big question, for three reasons: omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. Three ultimately infinite qualities. How can a finite mind comprehend that what is infinite? If God were to walk down the street, would I recognize him as such? If God were to perform a miracle, like raising a mountain, conjuring a bottle of wine, throwing a fireball, how would I know this is indeed an infinite being and not just a very powerful supernatural evil one, that claims to be God? There is an infinite amount of questions we can think of, but we only have a finite brain and one lifetime. For these reasons I believe God can never be known, that it will always remain a debate about probabilities, which, funnily enough, are different in the frame of reference of a theist and an atheist.

But the reason why I call myself an atheist is that I don't stand up to the characteristics of the opposite; I dislike organized religion, because it promotes ideologies that are usually only held as sacred by those who form the majority (non-highstanding members of a church), not the minority (highstanding members of a church), and in the wrong hands, these ideologies can be deadlier weapons with longer lasting effects than a nuclear weapon. After all, how can one be sure that their priest doesn't drink wine, while preaching water, if one cannot even be sure their religion is the right one? Furthermore, I think the idea of god in general is highly misinterpreted and is full of contradictions, logical fallacies. One is, for example, god being outside of time. Does time even exist? I am one of those people who think of time as a simple term for action and reaction, or a synonym for continuous change. But we see Yahveh getting angry, sad, happy, satisfied etc so many times in the Bible. Isn't going from one state of mind to another a change? Or are those only metaphores? If they are, how do I interpret them? Another one is free wil. If god is omniscient, then he necessarily knows all of my actions centuries before I am born, so a predetermination of my life neccessarily follows. Where does free will come in picture then?

I say god could be the Universe, for example. After all, the Universe is, or it is a likely assumption, infinite in space. The physical laws governing the tiniest of particles are absolute; a photon, in a sense "knows" it can travel at the speed of light, that it holds electromagnetic force, because rather than knowledge, this is its quality. Simply put, a photon cannot be wrong and act as a quark, for instance. So the Universe is omniscient. And it is quite obvious how omnipresence follows; after all, if the Universe is infinite, there cannot a place where it is not present.

What is God then?

So maybe my identification as an atheist is not the usual one, but in a way it fits, since I don't believe in the same god as a theist does.

Once again, sorry for the length.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Metatron » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:53 pm

Sabina wrote:First of all, religion was not an issue in my surroundings at all. If any of them believed in God, or a supreme mind, or anything like that, they did it for themselves, without belonging to any predefined group, and without talking about it.

So I was not indoctrinated in that regard, my mind was allowed to be free and therefore more easily connect to everything that is and always was. I didn't have any proof for any of the things I felt, and felt beyond doubt, and I didn't need any proof either, because I wasn't trying to convince anyone else to see it that way. How other people thought about these matters I didn't know, nor think about.

So it wasn't like picking the good pieces off of a rotten apple and throwing away the bad stuff. I didn't even know about the existence of the bad stuff, yet I was certain of a "God" (nevermind the title) and of an afterlife as well. Perhaps "afterexistance" is a better term.

Growing older I heard of other approaches, other ways of thinking and it was interesting to me. Some of it was fascinating, some of it amusing (such as ridiculous things can be very amusing). I learned of the existence of charlatans, learned to be skeptical, and to question things, but during all of that certain things were always steady, maybe because they never had anything to do with any outward experience with humans.

"Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music."
~ Angela Monet

That's a fitting quote, because I gradually came to realize that some people simply couldn't hear the music. :)

Sabina


A very interesting approach, I must say =0) Of course, as far as someone comes to believe in such things by themselves, that's fine. I just didn't like when a roman catholic priest friend of mine said, that he is christian because that's what he grew up in. As long as one comes to these ideas themselves and leave it there, or practice and talk about them by like-minded individuals, I have no problem with that. It only becomes distrubing when such people try to "show you the way".
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Sabina » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:58 pm

Metatron wrote:I call myself an agnostic/atheist, because even though I am aware of the great deal of knowledge science holds, I am also well aware of that it doesn't. It is just as foolish to claim "I know God doesn't exist" as claiming "I know God exists", because both would be lies. In fact, we may never know the answer to that big question, for three reasons: omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. Three ultimately infinite qualities. How can a finite mind comprehend that what is infinite?

Be careful, because it is exactly such questions that make people be religious, and not be agnostic/atheist. Who says our mind is finite??
A religious person could argue that because they don't comprehend that which is infinite they trust it, have faith in it. That what you name as a thesis against the religious approach could be nicely flipped to explain a religious approach, with almost identical arguments.

__11__


As for everything else you wrote in reply to Mirjana, you seem to be more aware of what all you are not and define what you are mostly based upon what you are not.
That's a good start, but there is more to you than that.
Now you know what you are not, why you oppose it. Excellent!
I wouldn't keep it at that though, because as long as you just talk about what is wrong with these people and those people, you are still promoting them in a way.
So, criticize, get it out of your system and into the open, and then find out who you are and who you want to be. And don't limit yourself.

Sabina

PS: I just read your latest response (I have multiple tabs open), and I just want to say - I understand.. I really do.. if someone would have tried to impose these things on me, I would have rebelled for sure, and possibly went into the other extreme at first, just to "protect myself" from them and how they are trying to influence me. I do think it is important not to only oppose though, it should only be the first step, and then we move on, to better things. :)
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Metatron » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:27 pm

Sabina wrote:
Metatron wrote:I call myself an agnostic/atheist, because even though I am aware of the great deal of knowledge science holds, I am also well aware of that it doesn't. It is just as foolish to claim "I know God doesn't exist" as claiming "I know God exists", because both would be lies. In fact, we may never know the answer to that big question, for three reasons: omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. Three ultimately infinite qualities. How can a finite mind comprehend that what is infinite?

Be careful, because it is exactly such questions that make people be religious, and not be agnostic/atheist. Who says our mind is finite??


Well, I do :P I say it is finite, because our knowledge is finite indeed, we will probably never know everything. Of course, I can imagine countless things, however, somehow, they're based on some previous experience :) I can make up a being with seventy limbs, a hundred heads each with a different expression, that can fly and breath under water etc etc... But I can't think of something that isn't only a further developed idea of something I have seen or heard of before. I may be wrong here of course, so feel free to enlighten me :)

A religious person could argue that because they don't comprehend that which is infinite they trust it, have faith in it. That what you name as a thesis against the religious approach could be nicely flipped to explain a religious approach, with almost identical arguments.


By that logic, I could argue for anything. For example, imagine three theists, each of a different religion. One Christian, then a Muslim and a worshipper of Norse gods. The Christian might say: "I believe in Yahveh because I can feel his presence everywhere, I see him in every small thing, feel his love and believe he will give me a place in Heaven." Do you see how the second and third could simply substitute the name Yahveh for Allah and Zeus, and there you go. But that does not make it a sound argument.

As for everything else you wrote in reply to Mirjana, you seem to be more aware of what all you are not and define what you are mostly based upon what you are not.
That's a good start, but there is more to you than that.
Now you know what you are not, why you oppose it. Excellent!
I wouldn't keep it at that though, because as long as you just talk about what is wrong with these people and those people, you are still promoting them in a way.
So, criticize, get it out of your system and into the open, and then find out who you are and who you want to be. And don't limit yourself.


I am afraid I don't really understand what is expected of me *blush*. I have labelled myself an agnostic atheist, you could call me a bright, a free thinker, any of that. I am a free thinker because I am not limited by dogmas and am open to new views, changing my own if neccessary. That's all I can come up with. Is that what you meant?
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Sabina » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:55 pm

David: We will probably never know everything.

Sabina: Maybe we already know everything, and that which we know is only blurred with all the nonsense that is on top of it. We define "everything" as something infinite, when in fact it could be very simple.. So perhaps we know everything, and don't remember that we do. Or maybe it's that way for some of the people, and different for others. I am not sure.

__4__

David: By that logic, I could argue for anything. For example, imagine three theists, each of a different religion. One Christian, then a Muslim and a worshipper of Norse gods. The Christian might say: "I believe in Yahveh because I can feel his presence everywhere, I see him in every small thing, feel his love and believe he will give me a place in Heaven." Do you see how the second and third could simply substitute the name Yahveh for Allah and Zeus, and there you go. But that does not make it a sound argument.

Sabina: Of course they can simply change the title, after all, it's just a that: a title, a name.
As Shakespeare said:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"
David, you said "But that does not make it a sound argument.".
I don't understand what you mean. It doesn't make what a sound argument?

__4__

David: I am afraid I don't really understand what is expected of me *blush*. I have labelled myself an agnostic atheist, you could call me a bright, a free thinker, any of that. I am a free thinker because I am not limited by dogmas and am open to new views, changing my own if neccessary. That's all I can come up with. Is that what you meant?

Sabina: Once a free thinker, always a free thinker - I think. Ha ha.. eloquently put, right?
So nobody is going to take that way from you. What I meant is, you are a free thinker, but that is not all you are, there is also an anger or perhaps a resentment towards religious institutions and/or overly religious people, is that correct?

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Re: Beliefs

Postby Metatron » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:57 pm

Subject: Beliefs

Sabina wrote:David: We will probably never know everything.

Sabina: Maybe we already know everything, and that which we know is only blurred with all the nonsense that is on top of it. We define "everything" as something infinite, when in fact it could be very simple.. So perhaps we know everything, and don't remember that we do. Or maybe it's that way for some of the people, and different for others. I am not sure.


Well, I guess we're not talking about the same kind of knowledge. I meant science, particularly quantum physics.

Of course they can simply change the title, after all, it's just a that: a title, a name.
As Shakespeare said:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"
David, you said "But that does not make it a sound argument.".
I don't understand what you mean. It doesn't make what a sound argument?


That argument for God. It's statements are based on subjective evidence, normally such arguments are valid but not sound. Of course, there are exceptions, like when you have a headache, only you know you have one, so it's subjective evidence.

But when it comes to arguing about god and religion I tend to be materialistic and arguments like "I feel him" and whatnot cannot really excite me. Because this way I could argue for a pink unicorn:)

Once a free thinker, always a free thinker - I think. Ha ha.. eloquently put, right?
So nobody is going to take that way from you. What I meant is, you are a free thinker, but that is not all you are, there is also an anger or perhaps a resentment towards religious institutions and/or overly religious people, is that correct?


Yes, that is correct. They try to take everything that is good in life, by saying those things are abomination to god. They've created the 10 commandments, 7 mortal sins and virtues, and there you go, live you bastard. If I had a boyfriend, I would obviously be an abomination as well. Are you gay? Fine, no problem, but don't you dare even thinking of a guy, otherwise you'll burn in hell.

I must not say what words I would use to express my annoyance towards them :)

This is, among many other factors, what puts a poor kid into the closet. There is nothing worse than realizing you're gay, and having to fear rejection even from your family. And when they tell me to "pray the gay away", I feel like smashing things.
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Re: Beliefs

Postby Sabina » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:53 pm

Metatron wrote:Well, I guess we're not talking about the same kind of knowledge. I meant science, particularly quantum physics.

Quantum physics... interesting... You mean like the quantum mind? :)

Metatron wrote:...But when it comes to arguing about god and religion I tend to be materialistic and arguments like "I feel him" and whatnot cannot really excite me. Because this way I could argue for a pink unicorn:)

So.. are you saying unless there is physical material proof, then you don't believe in the existence of God?

Metatron wrote:They try to take everything that is good in life, by saying those things are abomination to god. They've created the 10 commandments, 7 mortal sins and virtues, and there you go, live you bastard. ..... And when they tell me to "pray the gay away", I feel like smashing things.

LOL
As you should. Or you could just laugh, because someone who suggests to "pray the gay away".. !!!! ... but that brings me back to what I wrote earlier:
"Growing older I heard of other approaches, other ways of thinking and it was interesting to me. Some of it was fascinating, some of it amusing (such as ridiculous things can be very amusing)."
So such a statement like "pray the gay away" would fall into the "amusing" category for me.
However, it's always much harder to be amused with something when it's personal, and I am very well aware of that.

I think it is possible that once you can leave all the frustration and anger behind you, and other people's ideas of what God is, how you should be, what you must not be, etc. - that maybe then you can begin to truly see things with your own eyes. Right now it's like you are protecting your eyes from seeing the wrong things. Like someone has been trying to make you wear glasses, and you neither need nor want any glasses, and they are telling you "Look through here and you shall see more clearly!", or something like that.
You don't need the glasses, so don't wear them, but be careful that you don't become like those who you are criticizing.

You don't like that they are being fanatics, and that they don't approve of those who are different, right?
You see what I mean?
So by being an anti-religion-fanatic, and not approving of them and the ways in which they see things differently from you is kind of similar like that what you don't like about them. It's just the other side of the coin.

I know this is a sensitive subject, so I really hope I have expressed myself clearly enough... if not, let me know.

Sabina
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