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Post Reply are you religious? if so, why?
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Posted 10/24/13 , edited 10/24/13
Heathen.
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Posted 10/24/13
"as such, it bothers me when atheists say they believe in nothing. Science was originally driven by philosophy, remember. The bible, for example, is just a long book of people trying to explain the answers they have found to their questions. What you take from it is up to you. Also, you shouldn't just claim atheism simply because christians can be annoying."

No science was not driven by philosophy, it was driven by curiosity. Philosophy came second. Your example of the bible is grotesque and offends me, even as an Atheist, and so does your observation of Atheism. Infact most people here that "claim" they are atheists aren't, same goes for some of the "religious" folk here.

The Bible is a collection of >stories<, not answers, written by Jesus' apostles after his death in 33 AD. These stories were used to give a sense of lifestyle to the people that read them. They define "morals", "right and wrongs", and "things that you should do in the name of their Lord and Savior". It was written in a time when Paganism was rampant and the beliefs started with the slaves of that time period. It eventually worked its way up the food chain into the noble system of that time period. It wasn't long before it had completely destroyed government, education systems, farming methods, technological advances (Things that we know now today that they had IN ROME) and ideologies. In fact it destroyed so much that Humankind relapsed into a Dark Age (This is no longer used, Middle Ages are) which lasted from the 5th to the 15th century.
So yea, thanks for that Christianity, you did a great job "saving" everyone. We learned our lesson from that.

Atheism is NOT the belief in nothing. It NEVER has been. Atheism is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. It is a LITERAL term. We don't believe in GOD. See the difference? I believe in a lot of things, just not God. The power of love, kindness, politeness costs nothing/rudeness costs you everything, equality: pretty similar to things any good human being believes in.
The only thing that separates atheists from the religious is whether or not one believes in "a greater being that lives in the sky". And people wonder why aliens won't talk to us.

Now that I have cleared up the confusion, I am off to watch satanic anime, as the devote would call it.

"Enjoy burning in Hell."
There goes your chance to get into Heaven. Last time I checked, being a dick wasn't on the list of the Pure. See you down there. =)
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Posted 10/24/13
@Grodgen

*claps*

*Bow of respect*
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Posted 10/24/13

Grodgen wrote:

"Enjoy burning in Hell."
There goes your chance to get into Heaven. Last time I checked, being a dick wasn't on the list of the Pure. See you down there. =)


You could have left out the last part. Your audience might have actually listened and heeded your words until you turned them away at the end.

Thinking of you,

-Emerald Mercy
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Posted 10/25/13
Before. But due to the developing environment it made me realize .... i changed a lot.
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Posted 10/25/13
Science is based upon quantitatively refutable theories or hypothesis. It is based on discovering what is not, rather than telling you what is. Science has never proven anything, but simply shown that something probably is a certain way, until we can find a better model for the way things are.

Religion is based upon faith, and belief, which cannot be quantitatively refuted. Ask a 5 year old if he believes in god, and it means something completely different than if he says yes than a 35 year old man saying yes to the same question. No individual will say yes for the same reason, as it is developed through personal experience.

The two are not mutually exclusive. Believing in god does not mean you cannot accept science. For this same set of reasons, creationism is not a proper substitute for geology or evolutionary theory. These two things are based upon quantitative observation and hypothesis, and can be tested. I can give you very concrete and numerical reasons for why we think that mankind evolved from an ape like mamal. I can also give you a very concrete reason for why we believe the earth is millions years old. It is necessary for children to understand why and how we came about these reasons, and is less important whether they put faith in them. If you put faith in science, you are no scientist.

I wouldn't say that science was driven by curiosity, I would say that it was driven by doubt. People who doubted what was currently held to be true, and then developed a new idea, tested it against the old one, and found it to be more correct. The old idea was what was not, and until there is another new idea, we go ahead with our current understanding of what probably is. but that philosophy has little to do with science I will more or less agree to that point. Philosophy did, however, develop the logical structure to analyze a hypothesis. We still use proofs in mathematics to explain many relationships quantitatively.

The above post by Grogden is more or less a fine post, until the end when he decides to just straight up mock people. At the same time, there is some information in the bible that is very interesting when taken less literally. For example, the new discovery of the nature of the rift valley where humans were originally thought to have come from. The description of the area in the article describes one that went from lush vegetation to arid and dry, and repeated this cycle a number of times. If this were a story told by ancient people few thousand years, maybe today it would be said that we started in a garden of eden, and god kicked us out, when in reality, we started in a lush fertile land, and the whether quickly changed, forcing early humans to develop tools and farming in order to survive. You can also relate different parts of genesis to different periods in time that we believe to have happened. That life came from the sea and developed in a certain order, etc.

Personally, I believe that it existed, is existing and will exist. What is it? I have no idea. I my mind, to describe it would demean it. It cannot be explained, and the further I educate myself, and the greater my knowledge and understanding of the world, the more I understand what it isn't. Therefore what is left is what it is. I will always seek it, and I will never attain it. But it is my goal, my hope, my dream, and my belief. It always has been, always is, and forever will be. If I had to give it a name, to separate it from other its, God would be as fine a name as any.
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Posted 10/25/13
Im a religious person.
I don't believe in evolution.
I believe that Earth, Sun n Moon was created.
I believe that there is a Supernatural power who is omnipotent n omnipresent, i call him God.Jesus Christ is my superhero.
I believe in Bible,it makes more sense than science to me.
Its not like we believe everything blindly.We too think from scientific perspective.What is written in Bible is actually proof for science.

What is your purpose in life?
One life begins -- a series of events- life ends.
Is that it???or there is more??what happens to me after i die??u have a brain to think it out.

What matter most in my life?
I think its my family n relationships.
I wanna see my family in heaven wen the times comes.
Read Bible,if u want..
Religion,Christianity..its all a matter of Faith.
Nobody is forcing you anything,its just that i have a choice to believe or not to believe,i believe.
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Posted 10/25/13
I'd say I'm agnostic, but that is just a personality thing really, I'm scared of committing to anything (especially life altering beliefs) so the agnostic path is what I choose.
I've only read the last two pages of this thread, but I'd like to try and tie in. Props to metal smith for the solid post, and to emerald mercy for moderating and providing nice insight and encouragement, keep up the good work :D


Izual wrote:
I think Nietzsche would be very appropriate to elaborate on this point. Controversial as he was, he made some good points, "God is dead" is more or less true as humans have now slain god and become deities in any such beings place. Just look at the remarkable feats of science and you get that very impression.
People can believe what they want, that is their right of freedom and though I am no Libertarian, it is something to be respected. Science fails since it is wholly empirical when ethics play such a tremendous role in life and science often hits roadblocks it can't get around. My advice is just be more open minded and ignore the fanatics trying to force their will on you whether that be in the form of religious appeal or pure empirical appeal.


I do quite like Nietzsche's stance on this issue, but I think his poetic "God is dead" statement often gets mistaken for being more blunt and less nuanced than it is. I believe what he means by this, is that any absolute, be it God, rationality, common sense no longer exists in the world today. In his genealogy of morality, he speaks about how considering different moralities in different cultures and in history, can open your eyes to how arbitrary your own beliefs are. He also has a lot to say on nihilism, and disregards and devalues ultimate truth. God, rationality, empiricism, and other methods of constructing a belief system, and like beacons in the darkness for people, and I think Nietzsche is saying that if you look around the world, you realise that you can no longer see those beacons anymore, the confusion of life shrouds you in darkness. However since he's such a culture geek, he doesn't want us to despair, but to construct our own beacons and find our own beliefs (even if they are in a god). He does believe though, that these beliefs come through us, and not externally, and so in doing this, as you said, we are replacing the gods we have slain. Sorry for the opiniodump, bit of a Nietzsche fan :P

I agree with what a few people above me have said, I don't think that we "know" anything (I even think the, I think therefore I am, statement is both highly misleading, and unimpressive once properly analysed) and so I think all beliefs rest on some article of faith. And so for that I respect religion, particularly christianity as of all the religions I know of, it seems to be the most self aware about how important it is to just believe without knowing.

At the end of the day though, I think we all need to chill out a bit during these religious debates, it's easy for things to get heated, insults to be thrown, misunderstandings to be made and so on. We're all here on this earth together, most of us really don't mean much harm to one another, and if we were all a little more patient, humble and understanding we might learn a lot more about one another and the world.
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Posted 10/25/13

EmeraldMercy wrote:


Grodgen wrote:

"Enjoy burning in Hell."
There goes your chance to get into Heaven. Last time I checked, being a dick wasn't on the list of the Pure. See you down there. =)


You could have left out the last part. Your audience might have actually listened and heeded your words until you turned them away at the end.

Thinking of you,

-Emerald Mercy


I'm not a messiah. I don't have an audience. And what I said was perfectly on par. It is a fact that most atheists that call themselves such and have no bloody idea what it actually stands for. It is a fact that most religious people say Atheism is the belief in nothing and it isn't and they have no idea where, how, or the history of their said belief. My simple post was to clear up misunderstandings on both sides, nothing more, nothing less. What I said at the end was a simple rebuttal to an otherwise inconsiderate bigot. If you can't take the fact I don't like bigotry, then please refrain from silly replies.

Cheers,

- Grodgen
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Posted 10/25/13 , edited 10/25/13
I am hearing a lot of, "I'm not religious. I'm an atheist". I'd like to first point out that all religion is is organized faith. That being said, there is a such thing as organized atheists. Atheism and humanism are both faiths. Any organization centered around such would make it a religion IMHO.

Also, about religion possibly being a joke someone came up with... Faith is one of the natural aspects of humanity. It's what we use to explain the unexplained. We hypothesize there exists a greater power that controls what we don't understand or what we have no control over (like the weather). A lot of science is based on faith. We hypothesize and we pursue an answer with the faithful assumption we will come to an answer. Sometimes, people are biased to the hypothesis and it's more about being faithful to the hypothesis. The point being, faith probably precludes humor which probably puts religion existing before humor; therefore, it couldn't have been created as a joke. This doesn't mean someone can't make their own religion as a joke. For example, The Church of Slack or the Church of Scientology. One was created as a joke and the other was created on a dare.

IMHO. Humans are inherently religious. The question should really be, "What are you religious about?"

If there's any question, I am myself a Christian. At least, I consider myself one. There are a number of hypothesis on who/what was at the beginning of existence and witnessed it all go down. I happen to put my faith in the one that puts Jesus Christ there.
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Posted 10/25/13 , edited 10/25/13

paddlefish wrote:

I'd say I'm agnostic, but that is just a personality thing really, I'm scared of committing to anything (especially life altering beliefs) so the agnostic path is what I choose.
I've only read the last two pages of this thread, but I'd like to try and tie in. Props to metal smith for the solid post, and to emerald mercy for moderating and providing nice insight and encouragement, keep up the good work :D


Izual wrote:
I think Nietzsche would be very appropriate to elaborate on this point. Controversial as he was, he made some good points, "God is dead" is more or less true as humans have now slain god and become deities in any such beings place. Just look at the remarkable feats of science and you get that very impression.
People can believe what they want, that is their right of freedom and though I am no Libertarian, it is something to be respected. Science fails since it is wholly empirical when ethics play such a tremendous role in life and science often hits roadblocks it can't get around. My advice is just be more open minded and ignore the fanatics trying to force their will on you whether that be in the form of religious appeal or pure empirical appeal.


I do quite like Nietzsche's stance on this issue, but I think his poetic "God is dead" statement often gets mistaken for being more blunt and less nuanced than it is. I believe what he means by this, is that any absolute, be it God, rationality, common sense no longer exists in the world today. In his genealogy of morality, he speaks about how considering different moralities in different cultures and in history, can open your eyes to how arbitrary your own beliefs are. He also has a lot to say on nihilism, and disregards and devalues ultimate truth. God, rationality, empiricism, and other methods of constructing a belief system, and like beacons in the darkness for people, and I think Nietzsche is saying that if you look around the world, you realise that you can no longer see those beacons anymore, the confusion of life shrouds you in darkness. However since he's such a culture geek, he doesn't want us to despair, but to construct our own beacons and find our own beliefs (even if they are in a god). He does believe though, that these beliefs come through us, and not externally, and so in doing this, as you said, we are replacing the gods we have slain. Sorry for the opiniodump, bit of a Nietzsche fan :P

I agree with what a few people above me have said, I don't think that we "know" anything (I even think the, I think therefore I am, statement is both highly misleading, and unimpressive once properly analysed) and so I think all beliefs rest on some article of faith. And so for that I respect religion, particularly christianity as of all the religions I know of, it seems to be the most self aware about how important it is to just believe without knowing.

At the end of the day though, I think we all need to chill out a bit during these religious debates, it's easy for things to get heated, insults to be thrown, misunderstandings to be made and so on. We're all here on this earth together, most of us really don't mean much harm to one another, and if we were all a little more patient, humble and understanding we might learn a lot more about one another and the world.


Your view on what Nietzsche was getting at is false. Allow me to explain why. We currently have one religion that is "alive" at the moment. Their God is "alive". That religion is Islam. Compare their actions to that of history's older monotheistic religions, Catholicism, Christianity, etc. The actions of the fervent are basically identical with certain outlying uniqueness. Like the actions of the whole to a Crusader meant more to God than his death, where as the action of dying in the name of God mean more to God to an extremist Muslim. (This is not an attack on the religion by the way. The are an incredible amount peaceful Muslims in the world that are targeted by extremists because they believe they aren't following the true words of the book. There is a huge difference between the two, don't confuse them.)
And thus we get to the ideal Nietzsche was trying to convey. Take Christianity. God is "dead". That is to say "the fervor that existed within the religion is now but a flicker." Entire nations don't bow to it anymore. People don't band together to go and slaughter other people that don't follow their own ideals and beliefs. Their God is "dead". This is what he meant. The fervor is gone. There isn't any special meaning to this idea. It is a very simple statement for a very simple ideal. At the time he was talking about European religions. The current situation in the Middle East is actually quiet new. The only reason people are appalled by it is because humanity has taken a more "human" direction in how we perceive the world. Love, kindness, compassion, unity, passion, equality, life, knowledge, selflessness, pleasure, free will, individuality.... these were foreign ideals and emotions long ago and some were even considered evil at one point. As an example, look at Muslim women and how far they have come. They are experiencing something the USA went through in the 1800s in the 2000s. Almost 200 years later.
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Posted 10/25/13 , edited 10/25/13

narutosmiling wrote:

Im a religious person.
I don't believe in evolution.
I believe that Earth, Sun n Moon was created.
I believe that there is a Supernatural power who is omnipotent n omnipresent, i call him God.Jesus Christ is my superhero.
I believe in Bible,it makes more sense than science to me.
Its not like we believe everything blindly.We too think from scientific perspective.What is written in Bible is actually proof for science.

What is your purpose in life?
One life begins -- a series of events- life ends.
Is that it???or there is more??what happens to me after i die??u have a brain to think it out.

What matter most in my life?
I think its my family n relationships.
I wanna see my family in heaven wen the times comes.
Read Bible,if u want..
Religion,Christianity..its all a matter of Faith.
Nobody is forcing you anything,its just that i have a choice to believe or not to believe,i believe.


Watch this for evolution... take an astronomy class for everything else. Get both perspectives before refuting the other. If not, then you are ignorant of already known probabilities in the world. Message me about anything... I can usually tell you about the bible, or philosophy, or the arts, or the sciences.



Grodgen wrote:

I'm not a messiah. I don't have an audience. And what I said was perfectly on par. It is a fact that most atheists that call themselves such and have no bloody idea what it actually stands for. It is a fact that most religious people say Atheism is the belief in nothing and it isn't and they have no idea where, how, or the history of their said belief. My simple post was to clear up misunderstandings on both sides, nothing more, nothing less. What I said at the end was a simple rebuttal to an otherwise inconsiderate bigot. If you can't take the fact I don't like bigotry, then please refrain from silly replies.

Cheers,

- Grodgen


Yes, most Atheists are like that, and yes, most blindly religious people are like that, but the truly religious just happen to take a side since there is logic there for those few who found it... usually because they find religion and science to parallel each other.. It is why I am agnostic... since we could never truly know, though I do aim for the most probable answer, which currently points out that evolution, and other accepted theories are very probable, while physics and chemistry are nearly true, but about 99% probable. They are true for our physical world, but not for anything beyond what the physical world, that we can measure, is.

Also, I want to try to spread a common ground philosophy about our world, so less people will be fighting in the end. I understand you do not like bigotry, but neither does many others. The problem is that if you want to insult others, you push them away, and destroy your merit as a person. You also make it harder on these folks to find truth in our world. If you want more bigots, insult them. If you do not, reason with them past their own reasoning, and if they don't budge, try asking why? over and over again until they show what they believe in and why they do, so you can properly refute them. I know, it takes a while... but you can undoubtedly change anyone's mind except those who claim to have had an encounter with God or something else along those lines...

Anyway, be seeing you... You do not have to heed my words, but I wish you would note them well for your own use in the world.










Thinking of you,

-Emerald Mercy




Posted 10/25/13
Because I can rape, murder, beat my wife and treat my kids as objects, yet all is forgiven so long as I repent. Therefore, I'm religious so I can sleep at night.
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Posted 10/25/13

Grodgen wrote:

Your view on what Nietzsche was getting at is false. Allow me to explain why. We currently have one religion that is "alive" at the moment. Their God is "alive". That religion is Islam. Compare their actions to that of history's older monotheistic religions, Catholicism, Christianity, etc. The actions of the fervent are basically identical with certain outlying uniqueness. Like the actions of the whole to a Crusader meant more to God than his death, where as the action of dying in the name of God mean more to God to an extremist Muslim. (This is not an attack on the religion by the way. The are an incredible amount peaceful Muslims in the world that are targeted by extremists because they believe they aren't following the true words of the book. There is a huge difference between the two, don't confuse them.)
And thus we get to the ideal Nietzsche was trying to convey. Take Christianity. God is "dead". That is to say "the fervor that existed within the religion is now but a flicker." Entire nations don't bow to it anymore. People don't band together to go and slaughter other people that don't follow their own ideals and beliefs. Their God is "dead". This is what he meant. The fervor is gone. There isn't any special meaning to this idea. It is a very simple statement for a very simple ideal. At the time he was talking about European religions. The current situation in the Middle East is actually quiet new. The only reason people are appalled by it is because humanity has taken a more "human" direction in how we perceive the world. Love, kindness, compassion, unity, passion, equality, life, knowledge, selflessness, pleasure, free will, individuality.... these were foreign ideals and emotions long ago and some were even considered evil at one point. As an example, look at Muslim women and how far they have come. They are experiencing something the USA went through in the 1800s in the 2000s. Almost 200 years later.


I'm sorry, but I must disagree with your reading of Nietzsche. While I agree it is true, that the "God is dead statement" is partially a cultural critique, I think that critique was only relevant in intellectual circles at the time (and probably stil only relevant in intellectual circles today). There was still pleanty of fervor left in the world after Nietzsche died, 2 world wars and all the other crazy stuff that happened in the 20th century. I am quite confident saying that when Nietzsche speaks of God, he isn't just refering to the head of a conventional religion, he means a source of meaning/truth that we take from outside ourselves. For instance, you speak of "human" perception of the world, some of which, by the way I think, are very very old values. "Love, kindness, equality etc.", these were the values that Nietzsche described as the slave morality, created as a way to comdemn those who took what they wanted from the world. He said that these formed the basis for religion, and that they themselves were just a baseless attack on the strong, from the weak. Now I know many people believe that he shouldn't be taken at face value when he says this, and I agree, but I'm fairly sure Nietzsche rejects the idea of a unifying "human" value system that you speak of, he considers that idea another religion with it's value system as God.

So imo, if that's the working definition of God to Nietzsche, then multitudes of religions are "alive" today, people are fervent about all kinds of things all the time, just because we don't go slaughtering people doesn't mean we aren't set in our beliefs. If, for instance, you are fervent about not killing people, as many of us are, it makes sense that we wouldn't go slaughtering others. The soldier who dies on the battle field protecting his country because he believes it's the right thing, dies for what he believes in, as does the crusader and the "extremist muslim". As long are people are acting on values that aren't just "I want to so therefore I will", as long as people see meaning (other than self defined meaning) in the world, religion/God will continue to be alive for individuals and communities.

I don't agree with everything Nietzsche says, but in this regard I think he's pretty spot on. I think any claims about objective truth, or any claims about meaning, that don't consider themselves opinions but fact, are religions. This includes typical religious types, atypical religions types (zealous communists and scientismists) or even the liberal down the street who demands that gays have equal marriage rights because that's "the right thing". I'm not saying it's dumb or anything, it's what we do, I'm sure I'm religious in pleanty of ways, but if you're a nihilist like Nietzsche you don't walk around convinced what you think is right is actually right, and what you think has meaning, actually does.
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Posted 10/25/13
When Nietzsche stated "God is Dead", this was a cultural critique. He stated that we had killed off God in our lives and beliefs, now what will we do to replace it. This is where he brings in the overman/superman. Nietzsche might have been insane, but he called it the way he saw it.

I am a former fundamentalist christian. Been on two mission trips and used to go to church 3-4 times a week. Yes I was very involved and a devout believer.

Now I have lost all of that faith and would best be described as a deist. I am absolutely convinced that there is no loving God. Don't care what any book says, the proof is in the world around us. Since I have stopped going to church, most of my christian friends have shunned me. I am not an atheist, although I have many friends who are. Funny, they never try to convert me to atheism... perhaps because it is NOT a religion. A world view? yes. But don't insult them by calling it something that it is not. I am also very scientific. There are many natural explanations for how the world runs; I don't need to add a supernatural element into the equation. I do believe that there is a God, but not one that has anything to do with us. My only proof for this is the logical argument that was presented by Aristotle in his 'unmoved mover' argument. All the other 'proofs' are pretty much nonsense.

I do recognize that religion helps many people cope with life. Also, it is actually easier for the brain to believe something is true, than to not believe... its the way the brain has evolved. For those who are "true believers", read "The Believing Brain", by Michael Shermer... it would explain a lot of so called supernatural beliefs with a scientific explanation for them.

My suggestion for everyone is to question everything. If it is scientific, look at the studies, don't just believe everything you are told. The same goes for religion. Just because you read it in a book does not make it true. Do actual Philosophy... question everything. Life is actually more fulfilling when you do.

Remember the wise words of Socrates. The unexamined life isn't worth living...
So remember to look at all sides of an argument, and keep an open mind.
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