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Post Reply Religion Vs Atheism
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29 / M
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15
I have a very complicated question that I need answered.

Can you be religious and atheist at the same time?

Can you pray for something that you believe does not exist?

I've recently been paying attention to Reza Aslan, a self-described Muslim, but is he?

He claims the gospels have only been interpreted literally in the past two centuries. I cannot dispute this claim, he is the historian. But I wonder how somebody can have an allegorical view of their religious doctrine and maintain their adherence to their faith.

I can easily cite situations where governance goes against gospel while governance cites gospel.

But certain politicians in America's Christian base and certain politicians in Israel's Jewish base and certain politicians in Iraq's Muslim base are all trying to toss secular ideas to each other. If they all took their gospels as fact and feared divine judgement, they would take pity on each other, but instead they are selfish and pragmatic.

Can somebody believe in a religious teaching without believing in the divine? I have always tied the two together, while keeping very American Christian values and denying the divine.

I wonder if I am a Christian and an Atheist both, which might put me in the crummy camp of Sam Harris. Maybe I miss Extended Discussion more than I let on.
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23 / M / Ontario, Canada
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15
What you're asking is no different than saying you believe in Santa, but you also don't believe in Santa. You're overthinking things way too much.
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38 / M / Kansas
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Posted 6/21/15
I empathize with your plight. I consider myself Christian, but most Christians do not. I believe in evolution, for one. For another, yes, I consider much of the Bible to be allegorical, while I think other parts are legends that have been exaggerated over the course of many more years than it took for fables such as George Washington and the cherry tree to develop.
On the primary point of most Christian belief, that of Christ being both God as well as the son of God... I believe this in a sense, but not as literal as most.
That we are all products of the same creator makes us children of God. Christ included, and, in some spiritual sense, perhaps more so.
But in a physical sense? Am I to so anthropomorphize God such that the essence of this supreme celestial being is compatible with human female ova?
Now, is he also God? John 14:28 would suggest God is indeed a separate entity. But again, that he is God is something which makes more sense when interpreted less literally.
We are all parts of the same universal consciousness. Or simpler, everything in the universe is a part of the universe. If God is the whole of all that is, essentially God=universe. That we are God becomes then a certainty. And Christ, whose soul was possibly forged in such a way as to create an enlightened individual who is more directly connected to God than most, is not only the "son", but, having a "larger" soul may thus give him a larger impact on the collective unconscious, thus earning him the title "God", in a sense.
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23 / M / NY
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Posted 6/21/15
All I can tell you is that with a single glance at the natural order of the world, it screams out in protest of any deity-based religion. Humans are too arrogant. loathing, and full of atrocities for there to be even a remote chance that the "gods" some claim watch over us in benevolence are real. That said, you are either one of the other. There is no line to straddle or grey area. You either believe in your gods, or you don't. As for politicians and others preaching their ideals, the answer to that should be obvious. To answer your question of praying for something you do not believe, then the answer is some sort of denial or reluctance to let go to something you may be ingrained to view as normal possibly. In my opinion, no, you cannot "pray" in the traditional sense if you do not believe in the religion. That is common sense. Like Cotroneo said, you are overthinking.


Preemptive strike:
And before someone bites my head off claiming some humans are full of love and compassion and are godly, your comment is completely null and void if you are anything but vegan. Animals are far too often left out of that equation, and think of it this way: If humans view all other animals below them and view them as ours to use as we please, what would that say about any beings ABOVE us? If that thought does not send shivers down your spine given our treatment of what we view as lesser beings, you should check your pulse.
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15
Can you be religious and atheist at the same time?

The answer is yes, you can be. Like for example, Gene Roddenberry identified himself both as an atheist, and a religious person as well. Meaning, he believed in the esoteric model of universe. Another words, the great mysteries is what gives us depth of spirituality. Also, an atheist can be moved or spiritual by looking at the universe, and its beauty. So there is no issue.

I've recently been paying attention to Reza Aslan, a self-described Muslim, but is he?

I am not a Christian, but from reading a bit of its history. This is entirely false. The gospels have always been taken literally like Justin Martyr took his faith literal enough to be martyred. There has been others as well. If you have any questions you can always read earlychristianwritings.com Plus, its not uncommon for a Muslim to lie though.

Can you pray for something that you believe does not exist?

I am not really sure though. I know there is forms of veneration, and some even reject reincarnation. So I guess its plausible.

Can somebody believe in a religious teaching without believing in the divine? I have always tied the two together, while keeping very American Christian values and denying the divine

The answer is absolutely, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, Confusionism all believe in religious teaching, and remain "agnostic" or make no claims towards God.

I wonder if I am a Christian and an Atheist both, which might put me in the crummy camp of Sam Harris.

Actually you cannot, because Christianity has to affirm the divinity and the belief of Jesus Christ. While atheism rejects the notion of God. So can you believe in two different things, and not remain cognitively dissonant? The answer is no, it would violate the law of non contradiction, but that is besides the point.

P.S. I will say you one thing, please stay away from Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, and Christopher Hitchens. They write popular books, while claiming to be academics, they are not. Even Michael Ruse, a philosopher of Biology called the new atheists an embarrassment, and it wouldn't pass an introduction course in philosophy and religious studies. Remember, this guy is an atheist though, and this should give you a richer understanding why those four people are ignored in the academic world.
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27 / M / Malaysia
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15

vivaramones wrote:

Can you be religious and atheist at the same time?

The answer is yes, you can be. Like for example, Gene Roddenberry identified himself both as an atheist, and a religious person as well. Meaning, he believed in the esoteric model of universe. Another words, the great mysteries is what gives us depth of spirituality. Also, an atheist can be moved or spiritual by looking at the universe, and its beauty. So there is no issue.

I've recently been paying attention to Reza Aslan, a self-described Muslim, but is he?

I am not a Christian, but from reading a bit of its history. This is entirely false. The gospels have always been taken literally like Justin Martyr took his faith literal enough to be martyred. There has been others as well. If you have any questions you can always read earlychristianwritings.com Plus, its not uncommon for a Muslim to lie though.

Can you pray for something that you believe does not exist?

I am not really sure though. I know there is forms of veneration, and some even reject reincarnation. So I guess its plausible.

Can somebody believe in a religious teaching without believing in the divine? I have always tied the two together, while keeping very American Christian values and denying the divine

The answer is absolutely, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, Confusionism all believe in religious teaching, and remain "agnostic" or make no claims towards God.

I wonder if I am a Christian and an Atheist both, which might put me in the crummy camp of Sam Harris.

Actually you cannot, because Christianity has to affirm the divinity and the belief of Jesus Christ. While atheism rejects the notion of God. So can you believe in two different things, and not remain cognitively dissonant? The answer is no, it would violate the law of non contradiction, but that is besides the point.

P.S. I will say you one thing, please stay away from Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennet, and Christopher Hitchens. They write popular books, while claiming to be academics, they are not. Even Michael Ruse, a philosopher of Biology called the new atheists an embarrassment, and it wouldn't pass an introduction course in philosophy and religious studies. Remember, this guy is an atheist though, and this should give you a richer understanding why those four people are ignored in the academic world.


learn something from your post,thanks yo!
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Posted 6/21/15
You can do or call yourself anything you want,as long as you don't try to impose it on me and others.If you don't find religion and atheism mutually exclusive then so be it.With religion there's nothing to understand.There's just faith. I personally don't find what you're proposing any more contradictory than what organized religion offers.
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21 / Australia
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15
A religion doesn't necessarily have to have a god as it's centre piece it just turns out the most religions centre around gods.


pirththee wrote:

You can do or call yourself anything you want,as long as you don't try to impose it on me and others.If you don't find religion and atheism mutually exclusive then so be it.With religion there's nothing to understand.There's just faith. I personally don't find what you're proposing any more contradictory than what organized religion offers.


If there isn't some form of conscious understanding they wouldn't have the belief in the first place.
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Posted 6/21/15

GrandMasterTime wrote:


pirththee wrote:

You can do or call yourself anything you want,as long as you don't try to impose it on me and others.If you don't find religion and atheism mutually exclusive then so be it.With religion there's nothing to understand.There's just faith. I personally don't find what you're proposing any more contradictory than what organized religion offers.


If there isn't some form of conscious understanding they wouldn't have the belief in the first place.


Really? Since you clearly represent a creature of conscious understanding it would be presumptuous of you to speak on behalf of those things that do not.
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21 / Australia
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15

pirththee wrote:


GrandMasterTime wrote:


pirththee wrote:

You can do or call yourself anything you want,as long as you don't try to impose it on me and others.If you don't find religion and atheism mutually exclusive then so be it.With religion there's nothing to understand.There's just faith. I personally don't find what you're proposing any more contradictory than what organized religion offers.


If there isn't some form of conscious understanding they wouldn't have the belief in the first place.


Really? Since you clearly represent a creature of conscious understanding it would be presumptuous of you to speak on behalf of those things that do not.


I don't think we're on the same page. I simply said if a person didn't have some form of understanding or feeling of being "right" then they wouldn't have the belief therefore it's not just blind faith supporting the belief but rather other experiences and circumstances. You also seem a bit salty at me for some reason as you're presuming I share one of these beliefs.

Cheers.
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Posted 6/21/15

GrandMasterTime wrote:


pirththee wrote:


GrandMasterTime wrote:


pirththee wrote:

You can do or call yourself anything you want,as long as you don't try to impose it on me and others.If you don't find religion and atheism mutually exclusive then so be it.With religion there's nothing to understand.There's just faith. I personally don't find what you're proposing any more contradictory than what organized religion offers.


If there isn't some form of conscious understanding they wouldn't have the belief in the first place.


Really? Since you clearly represent a creature of conscious understanding it would be presumptuous of you to speak on behalf of those things that do not.


I don't think we're on the same page. I simply said if a person didn't have some form of understanding or feeling of being "right" then they wouldn't have the belief therefore it's not just blind faith supporting the belief but rather other experiences and circumstances. You also seem a bit salty at me for some reason as you're presuming I share one of these beliefs.

Cheers.


I never mentioned your beliefs or even if you possess any so no presumption there. You and I disagree on the motivations for religion..I'm not sure how "salty" translates.Is it like"crusty" or more like a rime.Could it be that it embodies the connotations of 17th century mariners?
Fascinating expression.Sláinte.
Posted 6/21/15
God: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Heard he tapped a whole cheerleading squad one summer.
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21 / Australia
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Posted 6/21/15 , edited 6/21/15

pirththee wrote:

I never mentioned your beliefs or even if you possess any so no presumption there. You and I disagree on the motivations for religion..I'm not sure how "salty" translates.Is it like"crusty" or more like a rime.Could it be that it embodies the connotations of 17th century mariners?
Fascinating expression.Sláinte.


"Salty" in this context translates to being a tad angry or flustered. I found this line implicated this writing tone, " Since you clearly represent a creature of conscious understanding". I must admit I was a bit "salty" especially with your use of "clearly" as I thought it was meant to be read sarcastically unless again I am wrong, do tell. Back to the argument which I failed to grasp you had presented in your previous sentiment, isn't spiritual understanding in your view akin to belief in the first place? If someone believes they're right don't you think they believe they have some kind of understanding about their supposed "truth"?

Oh and I thought "Cheers" was a shared saying. Must be because I'm Australian.

Apparently Sláinte is a Gaelic saying (From a google search), I only know two words from that languages and they translate to "fish" and "milk".

Cheers.

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Posted 6/21/15
I've known people who are essentially atheist but attend church for the community.
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Posted 6/21/15
Yeah, I believe in Islam (sorta) but I consider myself agnostic. I only attend mosque for the community.
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