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Miscellaneous Ephemera => Scream Of Consciousness => Personal Life => Topic started by: Tiervexx on January 04, 2010, 02:05:42 PM

Title: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Tiervexx on January 04, 2010, 02:05:42 PM
This is not a debate thread, we already have one of those for the topic.  I think it's on the "Grey Maters" forum.

This poll is just to see what the composition of this forum is.  I voted for option number 6 myself (second to last).

I think I remember Amanda Palmer saying that she is a christian but I often get the feeling that this forum is disproportionally atheist/agnostic.  It would be very interesting if her music attracts us in greater numbers despite the fact that she never bashes religion at all...
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: imaginary friend on January 04, 2010, 02:07:08 PM
1 vote for 7

#@!
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: peppamintdynamo on January 04, 2010, 02:11:29 PM
I love mythology, and I was a firm believer in magic as a kid.. like fairytale magic. So... I don't believe in what people normally think of as god, or even that there is one... but if there were gods like the greek ones, or wood spirits out there, it would make my inner child very happy.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: slyvia k on January 04, 2010, 02:12:21 PM
Strongly believe in some theism

although in a different way from most believers, probably. my God isn't mean.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: buttercup. on January 04, 2010, 02:17:57 PM
yes.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: stallionbreaker on January 04, 2010, 02:53:51 PM
I believe in life and that each of us is connected by whatever the life energy inside us is. You could call that god, or light or something else if you want.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: buttercup. on January 04, 2010, 03:01:37 PM
^love it.


Uh, well. I said yes 'cause I don't really believe, I accept and love. which is like believing, except it makes more sense.

Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Cirque on January 04, 2010, 03:11:10 PM
More so I hope there is a god, but I think all current mainstream religions (Can't speak for the ones I don't know anything about) have it wrong.

And though I do hope, I feel it's unlikely.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: stallionbreaker on January 04, 2010, 03:25:50 PM
I don't really believe, I accept and love. which is like believing, except it makes more sense.
Yes. This :)
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Rob on January 04, 2010, 03:47:58 PM
I am certain that there was and is a creator.  I call Him God.  I call Him Him because there is no sufficient gender neutral pronoun in the English language.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on January 04, 2010, 03:58:52 PM
Fairly sure there isn't...
I generally take the Ignostic/igtheist position that "every other theological position (including agnosticism) assumes too much about the concept of God and many other theological concepts."

Amanda quotes: 
1

John 3:16... "For G_D so loved the world that he sent his only son to sit with a big sign in the end zone at football games..."   :sign5:


...but seriously, regarding the original question:
Ms. Palmer is, I believe, an Ordained Minister in the Church of Universal Life (no shit... )  I also believe that organization to be a church for people who are sick of the bullshit that inevitably flows from man's attempts to codify and apply earthly hierarchy to the incomprehensible Divine.  I have a friend who shares that exalted title (Ordained Minister in the CoUL, not incomprehensible Divine). If you're curious: www.themonastery.org (http://www.themonastery.org)
(...and don't be joining any churches or anything anything "because Amanda did it"... I think the term for that is "fucking stupid".)

If she feels like sharing her cosmology, I have no doubt that she will.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnosticism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism

I'm either a Buddostic or an Agnoddist.


2
re-incarnation is something i have never been able to wrap my head around, but i'd believe just about anything if convinced with proof.
i am, by the way, also an ordained minister of the universal life church. really.

i can offically marry people.

Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Hush on January 04, 2010, 04:19:32 PM
More so I hope there is a god, but I think all current mainstream religions (Can't speak for the ones I don't know anything about) have it wrong.

And though I do hope, I feel it's unlikely.
this, basically, though I don't know what to vote for.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Matty on January 04, 2010, 04:26:47 PM
More so I hope there is a god, but I think all current mainstream religions (Can't speak for the ones I don't know anything about) have it wrong.

And though I do hope, I feel it's unlikely.

I kinda don't wish that there's a god. I don't like the idea that there is something watching me.  I said that I highly doubt.

I hope that reincarnation is real. And I'm almost sure that it is. It's probably the closest thing to a belief that I have. For one thing, reincarnation allows you to continue with life, without the burdon of immortality (I've thought alot about it, no one would really want it). Also I think that whole after-life thing is bull.
Also, I'm fairly certain that I'm the reincarnation of my great-grandfather, I won't go into details and you'll probably call me a loon, but yeah.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Pope Totalfrog on January 04, 2010, 04:38:33 PM
I don't believe there is anything out there. I also don't think there is an afterlife. Never have. Never will.

You are born and then you live for a while (if you are lucky) and then you die. I think religion is for people who can't accept that life is that simple.

If you want to believe in something then it doesn't bother me and I won't think any less of you - I just hate it when people think they can change my way of thinking.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: overratedtoejam on January 04, 2010, 04:42:17 PM
i consider myself a christian, though i loath the fundamentalists (of any religion). i do believe in god, but not in the traditional sense. i also know that i could totally be wrong, but life is happier for me when there is a god.

i think that many people have a huge misunderstanding about who or what is god (including many christians COUGH fundamentalists COUGH). it also seems that a lot of people think that god is like a mean babysitter, which is not the case. it's all about reading between the lines. after all, he is the one that said (in some way or another) "only love is real"

and.. i think this SHOULD be a debate thread. why not?
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Pope Totalfrog on January 04, 2010, 04:44:55 PM
and.. i think this SHOULD be a debate thread. why not?

Because we already have a religion thread and debate about something like this is pretty pointless.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: overratedtoejam on January 04, 2010, 05:10:44 PM
and.. i think this SHOULD be a debate thread. why not?

Because we already have a religion thread and debate about something like this is pretty pointless.

oh true, i totally forgot about that thread haha.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Paul on January 04, 2010, 07:15:48 PM
6.7 on the Dawkins' Scale.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Tiervexx on January 04, 2010, 11:13:58 PM
6.7 on the Dawkins' Scale.

His scale is what I modeled my poll after.

I'm surprised there are so many 7s...  I put the probability of god as an infinitesimal amount but I am not a 7 because I can't prove he does not exist in the way I can prove some mathematical theorems.

I kinda don't wish that there's a god. I don't like the idea that there is something watching me.  I said that I highly doubt.

(http://media.fukung.net/images/19933/05e2857197b56f819ee343116244ace3.jpg)

I'd love for there to be a nice god... I want to meet up with my friends in heaven if I must die.  I can understand why someone might not let go of faith for that reason but I don't think it's real...

...without the burdon of immortality (I've thought alot about it, no one would really want it).

Don't project your own preferences onto everyone.  I want to live forever or at least as long as my friends do.  I've thought about it too.

Reincarnation scares me tremendously however.  I don't want to ever forget about my friends or all that I've learned.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Matty on January 05, 2010, 01:05:45 AM
...without the burdon of immortality (I've thought alot about it, no one would really want it).

Don't project your own preferences onto everyone.  I want to live forever or at least as long as my friends do.  I've thought about it too.

Reincarnation scares me tremendously however.  I don't want to ever forget about my friends or all that I've learned.
[/quote]

I'd like not to get into heated debate as per the nature of this thread, but really, life is pointless without an end to it. Everything has an end, friendship and even love. That's what makes it so beautiful, and meaningful, that you have it now, and enjoy it while you can.
And sure it sucks that (in the case of reincarnation) you have to forget things. But I think it's way more exciting to get to learn the important things all over again, and then learn new things. I can't fathom the boredom someone who has nothing left to learn has. The only fear I have (ok, sure, the concept of dying and losing what I am is frightful, but that's something I'm gonna have to face for a fact) is that i might be born in some shitty starving african country or something.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: mariemeier_art on January 05, 2010, 06:33:38 AM
yes but with my own vision inspired by christianism but also by a ancient egyptian religion, this one which inspired christianisme, the belief in Aten : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aten (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aten)
The pharaoh who get it popular is an amazing one.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Mr. Leave Me Alone on January 05, 2010, 01:33:57 PM
I am not sure if I do. I used to, though. I used to go to church every Sunday and I went to a snow camp thing with my youth group and actually sat in a chair staring at a poster of a rainbow, thinking about how totally awesome God was for like an hour and a half (and I was 12. WHAT KIND OF CRAZINESS CAN CAUSE A 12 YEAR OLD TO SIT STILL STARING AT A WALL BY CHOICE FOR THAT LONG?!) and then when I was a bit older I got sick and stopped eating and I don't know what happened but it just faded out of my life and now I mostly don't believe.
But I like the idea that there is a God and sometimes I still think like I used to when I see some of the more amazing things in the world or think about how big it is or how much stuff is in the world and how detailed that stuff is.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on January 05, 2010, 06:40:31 PM
...without the burdon of immortality (I've thought alot about it, no one would really want it).

Immortality: Such a strange thing.

Ever read “Gulliver's Travels” by Jonathan Swift? Poor Immortal Struldbrugs,
And what about “All Men are Mortal” by Simone de Beauvoir. Poor Immortal Fosca.
I can imagine a planet like earth destroyed and floating around like Major Tom for eternity.

I guess the appeal of immortality is tied in with the idea that it would be a perfect immortality or at least an acceptable form.
I would actually prefer "perfect immortality" more than my actual life because it would have better guarantees.
However, you would probably have to be immortal to think through all the clauses and I'm not tempted by package deals. I'm also not sure that I'd be the same person - So much of what is distinct about me is the product of imperfections.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Tiervexx on January 05, 2010, 10:50:03 PM
life is pointless without an end to it. Everything has an end, friendship and even love. That's what makes it so beautiful, and meaningful, that you have it now, and enjoy it while you can.

Subjective subjective subjective!  I simply don't see it that way.  There really is nothing to debate because this topic is every bit as subjective as preference in hair color.

In my view, which is just as subjective as yours, there is something really beautiful about something lasting for eternity and there is something that feels futile and pointless about that which can only last a finite period of time.

And sure it sucks that (in the case of reincarnation) you have to forget things. But I think it's way more exciting to get to learn the important things all over again, and then learn new things. I can't fathom the boredom someone who has nothing left to learn has.

I think that your sentiment on this issue is common but I don't share it.  Having to do things over again is agony to me.  A natural human life time is not near enough time to learn much at all.  I might need thousands of years to learn all that I want to.  And even then it might take infinite more.  Maybe there is no end to all there is to know about math and science.

As I said above.  I don't view this as a debate because the topic is just too subjective.  You have your way of seeing it and I have mine.  My point was that you should not say "no one" would want it just because you don't.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on January 05, 2010, 11:01:47 PM
...without the burdon of immortality (I've thought alot about it, no one would really want it).

Immortality: Such a strange thing.

Ever read “Gulliver's Travels” by Jonathan Swift? Poor Immortal Struldbrugs,
And what about “All Men are Mortal” by Simone de Beauvoir. Poor Immortal Fosca.
I can imagine a planet like earth destroyed and floating around like Major Tom for eternity.

I guess the appeal of immortality is tied in with the idea that it would be a perfect immortality or at least an acceptable form.
I would actually prefer "perfect immortality" more than my actual life because it would have better guarantees.
However, you would probably have to be immortal to think through all the clauses and I'm not tempted by package deals. I'm also not sure that I'd be the same person - So much of what is distinct about me is the product of imperfections.
Let us not forget Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged...
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on January 06, 2010, 06:03:09 PM
...without the burdon of immortality (I've thought alot about it, no one would really want it).

Immortality: Such a strange thing.

Ever read “Gulliver's Travels” by Jonathan Swift? Poor Immortal Struldbrugs,
And what about “All Men are Mortal” by Simone de Beauvoir. Poor Immortal Fosca.
I can imagine a planet like earth destroyed and floating around like Major Tom for eternity.

I guess the appeal of immortality is tied in with the idea that it would be a perfect immortality or at least an acceptable form.
I would actually prefer "perfect immortality" more than my actual life because it would have better guarantees.
However, you would probably have to be immortal to think through all the clauses and I'm not tempted by package deals. I'm also not sure that I'd be the same person - So much of what is distinct about me is the product of imperfections.
Let us not forget Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged...

He wouldn't let anyone else forget it...
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Johnny on January 07, 2010, 10:34:49 AM
No.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Matty on January 07, 2010, 10:56:43 AM
life is pointless without an end to it. Everything has an end, friendship and even love. That's what makes it so beautiful, and meaningful, that you have it now, and enjoy it while you can.

Subjective subjective subjective!  I simply don't see it that way.  There really is nothing to debate because this topic is every bit as subjective as preference in hair color.

In my view, which is just as subjective as yours, there is something really beautiful about something lasting for eternity and there is something that feels futile and pointless about that which can only last a finite period of time.

And sure it sucks that (in the case of reincarnation) you have to forget things. But I think it's way more exciting to get to learn the important things all over again, and then learn new things. I can't fathom the boredom someone who has nothing left to learn has.

I think that your sentiment on this issue is common but I don't share it.  Having to do things over again is agony to me.  A natural human life time is not near enough time to learn much at all.  I might need thousands of years to learn all that I want to.  And even then it might take infinite more.  Maybe there is no end to all there is to know about math and science.

As I said above.  I don't view this as a debate because the topic is just too subjective.  You have your way of seeing it and I have mine.  My point was that you should not say "no one" would want it just because you don't.

Sorry, I suppose I worded that badly, and please don't take this offensively, but I suppose what I mean to say is that I don't think people would enjoy immortality as much as they might think. This is of course my opinion, and you are entitled to your own.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on January 07, 2010, 12:46:19 PM
life is pointless without an end to it. Everything has an end, friendship and even love. That's what makes it so beautiful, and meaningful, that you have it now, and enjoy it while you can.

Subjective subjective subjective!  I simply don't see it that way.  There really is nothing to debate because this topic is every bit as subjective as preference in hair color.

In my view, which is just as subjective as yours, there is something really beautiful about something lasting for eternity and there is something that feels futile and pointless about that which can only last a finite period of time.

And sure it sucks that (in the case of reincarnation) you have to forget things. But I think it's way more exciting to get to learn the important things all over again, and then learn new things. I can't fathom the boredom someone who has nothing left to learn has.

I think that your sentiment on this issue is common but I don't share it.  Having to do things over again is agony to me.  A natural human life time is not near enough time to learn much at all.  I might need thousands of years to learn all that I want to.  And even then it might take infinite more.  Maybe there is no end to all there is to know about math and science.

As I said above.  I don't view this as a debate because the topic is just too subjective.  You have your way of seeing it and I have mine.  My point was that you should not say "no one" would want it just because you don't.

Sorry, I suppose I worded that badly, and please don't take this offensively, but I suppose what I mean to say is that I don't think people would enjoy immortality as much as they might think. This is of course my opinion, and you are entitled to your own.
If "immortality" means simply continuing to live in the same manner forever, I agree.

However, aside from the feast-hall in Norse Valhalla, the eternal life posited by almost all
religions is specifically a transcendent existence, involving a complete change of perception
and state...  quite possibly "timeless" in the sense that there is no perception of time, nor
limitation by it; past/present/future are/were/will-be indistinguishable.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: SomewhatDamaged on January 07, 2010, 04:18:20 PM
I don't believe there is anything out there. I also don't think there is an afterlife. Never have. Never will.

You are born and then you live for a while (if you are lucky) and then you die. I think religion is for people who can't accept that life is that simple.

If you want to believe in something then it doesn't bother me and I won't think any less of you - I just hate it when people think they can change my way of thinking.

Completely agree with this

I'm a 100% athiest.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: embitteredatheist on January 08, 2010, 04:15:55 AM
Simply put, no, I don't believe in God. But if someone came to me with a nice, solid proof of the existence of God, I'd probably say 'Nice proof!' and start believing in God.  O0
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on January 08, 2010, 10:28:59 AM
Simply put, no, I don't believe in God. But if someone came to me with a nice, solid proof of the existence of God, I'd probably say 'Nice proof!' and start believing in God.  O0
You might look into purchasing a Babel fish...
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Psychomeltdown on January 08, 2010, 11:10:53 PM
Nope. Don't believe in the Christian god, but I still believe in some other divinity. 
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: armyoflarry on January 09, 2010, 09:35:58 AM
I believes in Ceiling Cat.
(http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h22/slowmoriot/sistine_ceiling_cat.jpg)
I say hiz prayer everyday before i goez to teh bed.

"Praise Ceiling Cat, who be watchin yu,
May him has a cheezburger.
Wut yu want, yu gets, srsly,
In ceiling and on teh flor.
Giv us dis day our dalee cheezburger
And furgiv us for makin yu a cookie,
but eateding it.
An do not let us be leed into teh showa,
but deliver us from teh wawter.
Ceiling Cat pwns all.
He pwns teh ceiling and teh floor and walls too.
Forevur and evuhr.
Amen."
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: my beautiful idiot on January 11, 2010, 03:44:27 AM
I believe in raptor Jesus.



But seriously, I do believe in a higher being.

I've become progressively more inclined to study the Bahai faith, which is pretty interesting.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: MerelyMarquis on January 12, 2010, 01:00:42 AM
A god may or may not exist but, if one does, it's not worthy of worship. I suppose I'm an agnostic who takes a secular life view.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Savannah on January 12, 2010, 07:35:05 AM
I hope my  signature is clear enough. I say "does he believe in me?". Because there were times when i was religious, and i have seen that nothing changed. instead there happen a terrible earthquake and such a big disaster distracted me from my belief. i think even if there's a god, he never tries to save, he doesn't care about us. now i don't know what to believe, in the religion section of my identity card it's written islam. but i don't think religion is a good thing, it only makes people fight. christians fight with muslims, then muslims fight with jews. it never ends.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: stallionbreaker on January 12, 2010, 09:08:02 AM
Why do your identity cards specify your religion? Isn't Turkey a secular state?
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Savannah on January 12, 2010, 09:22:32 AM
Why do your identity cards specify your religion? Isn't Turkey a secular state?

Turkey is a secular state,and the parliament has been discussing to abolish the religion section for years. But we are governed by a conservative political party, actually all the people here regret because of electing them. They don't let the religion section to be abolished. I hate this government, things have never been such confusing. What i hate more is to have a religion section on my identity card which was written when i was just a baby. You know it's so silly to write down somebody as a muslim or whatever, because people change and nobody has to follow their parents' relilion.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Breschau on January 22, 2010, 08:00:04 PM
Were I to pick a label for myself I'd pick agnostic, as with no apparent way to prove (to myself, nevermind to others) the existence or non-existence of god(s), picking one or the other as a certainty strikes me as somewhat arbitrary.

I admit, I do often find my thought patterns running as though I do believe in one, if only so there's somebody to blame - if I stub my toe I'll utter a "fuck off" to any higher being that might have set up creation within the set of parameters that eventually results in me stubbing my toe (petty, I know).  Typing this made me think of the Tezuman Empire's approach to both their god and the ruler of the world in Faust Eric. 

Certainly if there *is* a higher power, I don't think I like him/her/it/them much.  I'd also never, ever worship anyone or anything, regardless of how much more powerful, divine, intelligent, enlightened, or otherwise superior they may be to me.  And organised religion seems an inherently flawed concept to me.

Ultimately, when I devote any real amount of conscious thought to the subject, it seems much more likely and realistic that there is no god(s), no afterlife, no reincarnation, no higher power, no divinity.  But I'm too aware of my own (and everyone else's) lack of reliable information on the subject, and "what kinda feels most likely to me" isn't sufficient for me to form a definite belief; even if I do think that is most likely, I don't have enough information to give even a very rough estimate of *how* likely "most likely" actually is.  So I remain agnostic.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Devery on January 22, 2010, 09:08:30 PM
Were I to pick a label for myself I'd pick agnostic, as with no apparent way to prove (to myself, nevermind to others) the existence or non-existence of god(s), picking one or the other as a certainty strikes me as somewhat arbitrary....


Certainly if there *is* a higher power, I don't think I like him/her/it/them much....

So I remain agnostic.

I don't know.  I suppose it depends upon what your definition of *is* is.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Breschau on January 23, 2010, 06:23:19 AM
Were I to pick a label for myself I'd pick agnostic, as with no apparent way to prove (to myself, nevermind to others) the existence or non-existence of god(s), picking one or the other as a certainty strikes me as somewhat arbitrary....


Certainly if there *is* a higher power, I don't think I like him/her/it/them much....

So I remain agnostic.

I don't know.  I suppose it depends upon what your definition of *is* is.

The standard definition of is, just with added asterisks for emphasis.  Re-reading I'm not sure why I felt that was necessary, I guess it just seemed a good idea at the time (that time being 1am, so my mind may not have been running at peak efficiency).
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Devery on January 23, 2010, 12:14:02 PM
Were I to pick a label for myself I'd pick agnostic, as with no apparent way to prove (to myself, nevermind to others) the existence or non-existence of god(s), picking one or the other as a certainty strikes me as somewhat arbitrary....


Certainly if there *is* a higher power, I don't think I like him/her/it/them much....

So I remain agnostic.

I don't know.  I suppose it depends upon what your definition of *is* is.

The standard definition of is, just with added asterisks for emphasis.  Re-reading I'm not sure why I felt that was necessary, I guess it just seemed a good idea at the time (that time being 1am, so my mind may not have been running at peak efficiency).


I was making a joke.  I mean, how often does one get the opportunity to jump on the definition of is?  If you're not Bill Clinton, that is.  Here:


Bill Clinton and the Meaning of "Is"
Timothy Noah
Posted Sunday, Sept. 13, 1998, at 9:14 PM ET
Years from now, when we look back on Bill Clinton's presidency, its defining moment may well be Clinton's rationalization to the grand jury about why he wasn't lying when he said to his top aides that with respect to Monica Lewinsky, "there's nothing going on between us." How can this be? Here's what Clinton told the grand jury (according to footnote 1,128 in Starr's report):

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true."


Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Breschau on January 23, 2010, 12:27:43 PM
"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true."
*brain kersplodes*


(I did consider that you probably weren't being entirely serious, but I wasn't sure so went with serious.  or, I'm no fun)
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on January 23, 2010, 02:15:45 PM
in re. "is".....

In Richard Bach's Illusions: The Confessions of a Reluctant Messiah (a book which I recommend for
virtually anyone interested in contemplating cosmology....), he avoids words like "God" in favor of
"The Is"...
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Epigrammic Poultry on January 23, 2010, 08:59:54 PM
I believe in life and that each of us is connected by whatever the life energy inside us is. You could call that god, or light or something else if you want.

I've thought that sorta thing for a while, which I put into a blog post. Ages ago.
http://hangthecensors.blogspot.com/2009/06/stream-of-human-consciousness.html
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: quantuminsanity on February 18, 2010, 05:35:06 AM
I clicked strongly doubt (or whatever the wording was) but now I think about it it's more like don't believe at all. 
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on February 18, 2010, 12:11:46 PM
I beieve in absolutely every god ever and also do not  believe in any of them.....I do believe in a universe where everything is interlinked, interconnected and interspatial, that time is highly fluid and subjective and that so is reality
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Grim Tuesday on February 20, 2010, 04:12:10 AM
no
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Mockery on February 20, 2010, 10:16:27 PM
I believe in a God. I don't think that things in the world were just created by accident.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Vinny on February 21, 2010, 05:39:47 PM
I don't believe in a god; however, if some undeniable evidence was shown to me to convince me that indeed there is/are a god/gods, I would most certainly believe he/she/it/they is/are deists.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on February 21, 2010, 06:07:15 PM
I don't believe in a god; however, if some undeniable evidence was shown to me to convince me that indeed there is/are a god/gods, I would most certainly believe he/she/it/they is/are deists.
See also:  babel fish
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Vinny on February 21, 2010, 06:15:47 PM
D'oh. I meant entities that don't give a shit about mankind.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on February 22, 2010, 01:55:30 AM
I don't believe in a god; however, if some undeniable evidence was shown to me to convince me that indeed there is/are a god/gods, I would most certainly believe he/she/it/they is/are deists.
Unfortunately most believers of any particular faith would immediatly point out that the eveidence is everywhere you just are not looking at it right.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Breschau on February 22, 2010, 02:30:45 AM
I don't believe in a god; however, if some undeniable evidence was shown to me to convince me that indeed there is/are a god/gods, I would most certainly believe he/she/it/they is/are deists.
Unfortunately most believers of any particular faith would immediatly point out that the eveidence is everywhere you just are not looking at it right.
They'd be missing the "undeniable" part if they did though - you need to make a lot of assumptions for the evidence currently available to lead you to only one possible conclusion.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on February 22, 2010, 04:05:05 AM
they could counter claim that no evidence is undeniable and then start on about Truth
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Vinny on February 22, 2010, 11:10:24 AM
Which is one of the (many) reasons why I don't listen to them anyway.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on February 22, 2010, 11:12:20 AM
a very good point... although i actually enjoy winding up street preacher types that try to convert me..... having a good working knowledge of ancient myth and biblical history can be fun!
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Vinny on February 22, 2010, 11:19:18 AM
I also enjoy a good debate, but the thing is that the types of people with whom you could have a good debate that didn't become a name-calling/hell-sending parade are so few. And even the ones that are there often times don't care if you believe in a god or not, they'll just respect you anyway, as you will respect them.

The true fanatics are the ones who will try to convert you and save your soul from the pit of damnation or something and, unfortunately, you can't have a good, rational and logical debate with them because reason has no actual place in these people's lives.

Hope I don't sound too presumptuous, I'm not stupid enough to believe I understand of everything and that my word is the last and the only one that counts, it's really just the way I personally see it.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Breschau on February 22, 2010, 01:25:26 PM
they could counter claim that no evidence is undeniable and then start on about Truth
I'd be fine with them claiming no evidence is undeniable - I'd pretty much claim the same thing (and almost added it to my previous post).  It'd support the "not seen enough evidence" stance at least as much as the "the evidence is there if only you'd see!" stance (if no evidence is undeniable then any evidence of divinity is deniable and therefore divinity is not a foregone conclusion).  I'd happily rattle on with them about Truth too, so long as the conversation remained civil and reasoned.

Nobody's ever tried to convert me though - if anything the atheists I've met have been more forceful with their beliefs than those following a religion (who have mostly just taken the "you believe what you believe and I'll believe what I believe and lets leave it at that" approach).  Although I did once experience a Jehovah's Witness try to convert my co-worker when we were working on a reception desk (council county buildings); I felt kinda disappointed at being passed over for conversion.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on February 23, 2010, 03:41:35 AM
I seem to atract itinerant street preachers for some reason....they look confused when i mention lillith and the nature of original sin being fundamentally flawed ...the sin was commited in innocence and with being misled by the Serpent....not satan or lucifer by the way....but definetely a prejudaic symbol of feminine power and sexuality, one of the main pantheistic religions of the middle east before the rise of the hebrews was a feminine serpent goddess closely related to Innana...so eve was basically set up as she had no concept of right or wrong or of deception until AFTER the eating of the apple
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: mackinm00se on February 25, 2010, 02:56:02 AM
I believe religion was created as a means to explain what used to be unexplainable. As more and more of our world is explained, we continue losing the need to have faith that something exists to explain what we can't yet explain.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on February 25, 2010, 04:08:25 AM
actually it is more to do with a modern phenomenom of people believing in a very materialistic view of reality....this view is not necessarily the correct view, and tends towards ignoring a non material aspect to reality....
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Tiervexx on February 25, 2010, 04:14:51 AM
actually it is more to do with a modern phenomenom of people believing in a very materialistic view of reality....this view is not necessarily the correct view, and tends towards ignoring a non material aspect to reality....

Like what?
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on February 25, 2010, 11:04:13 AM
aaah that is why philosophy and theology exist... to try to explore the aspect of reality that is less tangible than the purely physical ....  material science is great at describing the structure of the universe but cannot explain the why of the universe (some may say that there is no why other than what we ourselves choose to project onto reality.... others, even non religeous types would argue that there is some sort of fundamental meaning to existence)
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on February 25, 2010, 11:43:19 AM
Philosophy has been siphoned off to the sciences and other disciplines. It's possible to argue that what remains of philosophy is predominately linguistic puzzles/misunderstandings. Some have made the disparaging remark that philosophy is a discipline without a subject. The exact same criticisms have all been made for theology too except that theology is additionally charged with positively revelling in linguistic ambiguity.

Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on February 25, 2010, 12:39:00 PM
You kids better not be debating.... 

The title clearly states: (not a debate thread)....
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on February 26, 2010, 04:10:57 AM
no no no....... just discussing and defining the subject!.... me debate about religion? surely not
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Tiervexx on February 28, 2010, 11:35:47 PM
aaah that is why philosophy and theology exist... to try to explore the aspect of reality that is less tangible than the purely physical ....  material science is great at describing the structure of the universe but cannot explain the why of the universe (some may say that there is no why other than what we ourselves choose to project onto reality.... others, even non religeous types would argue that there is some sort of fundamental meaning to existence)

1)  Since it is impossible to prove a negative and there are an infinite number of possibilities the burden of proof is on the person claiming the positive.

2)  There is no reason to believe there is any meaning to the universe.  I think the people who feel that there is are just running with what they feel should be true.  It has nothing to do with what is really true.  I've never seen an attempted argument that there is a meaning to the universe.  Can you show me one?
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: caddy on February 28, 2010, 11:50:20 PM
If there is a god, it is not a sentient force.  This would account for the heinous actions and tragedies of the human race.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on February 28, 2010, 11:52:10 PM
If there is a god, it is not a sentient force.  This would account for the heinous actions and tragedies of the human race.

To err do-heinous-shit is human, to forgive let-the-bastards-get-away-with-it divine....
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: caddy on March 01, 2010, 02:33:50 AM
If there is a god, it is not a sentient force.  This would account for the heinous actions and tragedies of the human race.

To err do-heinous-shit is human, to forgive let-the-bastards-get-away-with-it divine....


Exactly.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Tiervexx on March 01, 2010, 09:04:53 PM
If there is a god, it is not a sentient force.  This would account for the heinous actions and tragedies of the human race.

I agree.  Theologists have come up with good arguments for believing in a vast primordial energy but their arguments break down when they try to personify this entity.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Vinny on March 01, 2010, 09:56:12 PM
To err do-heinous-shit is human, to forgive let-the-bastards-get-away-with-it divine....

I really dig this. Can I steal it for my signature?
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on March 01, 2010, 10:22:54 PM
To err do-heinous-shit is human, to forgive let-the-bastards-get-away-with-it divine....

I really dig this. Can I steal it for my signature?
Be my guest.




Quote from: Richard Bach
Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect.
Then be sure of one thing:
The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have.

Funny how we're willing to accept that there might be a power in/of/to
the universe that's infinitely beyond our comprehension, but not that
such a power might have a consciousness that transcends our notions
of right and wrong....
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Vinny on March 01, 2010, 10:25:25 PM
To err do-heinous-shit is human, to forgive let-the-bastards-get-away-with-it divine....

I really dig this. Can I steal it for my signature?
Be my guest.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: tanqgirl on March 09, 2010, 02:47:53 AM
i definitely dont believe in god/s but i am spiritual for lack of a better word...my man is actually currently working on a book describing what we both happen to believe in, it's kinda sorta not really like Buddhism (i say that because it's the closest thing and makes it easier to explain it to people)

Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: ellietralfamadore on March 09, 2010, 03:29:59 AM
When it comes right down to it I guess I'm more than just a bit of an apatheist.
It's not something I can explain with arguments, just something that I feel. No matter if there is a god, it doesn't play a role in my life and I wouldn't want it to, either.
Maybe it's a matter of autonomy?
I simply don't feel that I need a god-like power to believe in, not for my choices, not for valuating the morality of my life or that of others. It's a way of pretending one is a bit independent, I guess.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: tanqgirl on March 09, 2010, 04:29:52 PM
i think that it really doesnt matter if you believe in a god or not or what religion you believe in (or dont of course) as long as you're happy with it and it works for you...as long as you're true to yourself (as corny as that sounds) and can stand behind it then it doesnt really matter
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CottonCandy on March 15, 2010, 04:17:25 PM
I believe in God but not in an organised religion way, more of concocted-myself-theism. *shurg*

As the previous person said, as long as it suits yourself, but also, as long as you're tolerant of other peoples beliefs, it really doesn't matter.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Indja on March 15, 2010, 04:58:14 PM
^ Tolerant to a degree - I'd argue strongly against tolerating a personal belief system that promoted violence or racism or something.

I am getting more and more Quakery the older I get, but I've not applied for membership yet because I'm still wrestling with Jesus. Not literally. That would be awesome though.... I would take him DOWN xD

I find the idea of a total rejection of the non-physical absurd - people willingly accept terms like "love" and "justice", but if it sounds a little bit spiritual they recoil like a recoiling coil.

As for theology being a matter of linguistic ambiguity, the linguistic side of things is hugely important - when I'm feeling my most Quakery, I simply will not refer to my beliefs as being related to God because of the huge connotations that brings, whereas calling it the spirit or the divine removes those connotations and is much closer to what I really mean. I don't think theological language is ambiguous; it's complex, and at times it might seem daft to have so many words for what looks like the same thing, but it's actually extremely precise. I guess it's like swearing - someone who's a wanker might be much the same as someone who's a tool, but the feeling and sentiment that the two words convey are subtly different, and that difference is important to take into account.

</geek>
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on March 17, 2010, 08:13:49 PM
^
Love and Justice are “Essentially contested concepts”. When we learn what those words mean we take reference points from what our parents and teachers tell us are examples of Love and Justice. Because there is a general overall consistency with the  family resemblance  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_resemblance)melting pot of examples they become meaningful as communal ideas. We continually relate these ideas back to reference points in our environment throughout our lives which confirm their usefulness to us (this does not necessarily confirm the truth content). When the reference points are not in the environment they become mushy because there is no internal  Private language  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_language_argument) there keeping them in shape or providing a definite sense of "being actual." Essentially our memories are distorted by other information and need to be re-established and enforced.

bit of a tangent...
The reason why some ideas do seem to keep shape despite the lack of an internal language is because the reference points we are using are unknown to us… {When people meditate or go on a “walk-about” to find-out-who-they-are, they abandon a number of reference points and assume that what remains is actually what they are (or what it means to be alive). This in turn has led people to somewhat different conclusions about what-they-are depending on the reference points they retained. People communing with nature get different sensations to people who choose solitary environments etc. Even so, all of them have retained the internal bodily sensations which are probably the most enduring reference point anyone will have. Even then, many of these are subject to a degree of shift}   


The problem with abstractions is that it is possible to create grammatical confusion with them. This can happen, for instance, when a concept is mistaken for an object or a thing in itself (it can be more complicated than that). This means that it is possible to ask questions that don’t make logical sense but seemingly appear to make sense. I.e. what time is it on the sun? or what is the sound of one hand clapping? To create further problems you might try to use a concept as a fixed reference point to make further abstractions that could possibly even become self-referential as you try to pull your ideas together into a philosophical system.

Edit: I've not given this the kind of explanation it deserves but I'll leave it at that
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Grim Tuesday on April 07, 2010, 10:57:02 AM
God doesn't seem to believe in me. I have had no random miracles coming my way. So fuck it, I won't believe in god
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: cynthiaskeezy on April 08, 2010, 07:49:37 PM
Yes I believe in God but no certain religion.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: tanqgirl on April 10, 2010, 02:43:34 AM
somewhat a shameless self promotion but not really self....

anyways my hubby is trying to write a book about our spiritual beliefs and he's having problems figuring out how to actually go about writing out this book so he started a blog where he will post about his ideas and would love questions, comments, anything if you guys are interested

http://landofwater.tumblr.com/ (http://landofwater.tumblr.com/)
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: cynthiaskeezy on April 10, 2010, 03:19:29 AM
Totally off topic but your avatar is the shit.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: tanqgirl on April 11, 2010, 03:30:51 PM
hahaha thanks, i found a wallpaper that said "tank girl" (obviously) and just "fixed" it in gimp
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: cynthiaskeezy on April 11, 2010, 05:12:07 PM
Tell your hubby to write about how:

-all religions are basically the same story with different characters
-religions start religious wars
-nobody died for atheism
-basically anything that has to do with religion is a fight waiting to happen. religious territory/terrorism/etc.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Vinny on April 11, 2010, 05:45:44 PM
^ It's never that simple, Cynthia. If religions didn't answer to a basic human need (to be accepted, to believe there's meaning in their lives), none would exist. I particularly believe that even for those needs religion is not the ultimate, the only valid answer, but a lot of people do, and that's why they're still around. A lot of good has come from organized religions, only so much evil has come from it as well. Intolerance, racism, homophobia, religious wars, even deaths due to one's "personal belief", all of that was, at one point or the other, rooted in the most mainstream religions. So, like I said, it's complicated, while I do have an opinion on the whole subject (am proudly an atheist).
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: tanqgirl on April 13, 2010, 11:45:39 PM
Tell your hubby to write about how:

-all religions are basically the same story with different characters
-religions start religious wars
-nobody died for atheism
-basically anything that has to do with religion is a fight waiting to happen. religious territory/terrorism/etc.

he definitely agrees with the fact that all religions are the same story with different characters..i think he would have updated his page more, but he got sick although i do think he just updated it some more
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on April 14, 2010, 02:12:07 AM
not all religions are the same story at all..... most modern western religions are somewhat similar because they all have the same archeological history (all based on assyric,akkadian, babylonian and mesopotamian beleifs)
there are other interesting religious convergences such as the paralells that can be drawn between christs sacrifice and that of Odin... the big difference was that Odin did it to himself to gain knowledge, and lost an eye over it. also worth looking up Mythraism...or the cult of mythras who was an old roman deity that had striking similarities with the christ story....just much older.....One could be forgiven for thinking that certain New testament writers deliberately used the Mythras story and drew parallels with Christs life to reinforce the idea of christ as a deity
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: 85283-071 on April 14, 2010, 03:03:48 AM
I do not believe there is an afterlife, nor do I believe this life is all there is.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Haushinka on April 14, 2010, 06:59:55 AM
I believe in nothing.
Except that if there were a god or gods, things would be much better in this world.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on April 14, 2010, 09:05:17 AM
strangely scientists do NOT beleive in nothing.... and that Nothing in itself cannot actually exist
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: cynthiaskeezy on April 14, 2010, 09:54:43 PM
Tell your hubby to write about how:

-all religions are basically the same story with different characters
-religions start religious wars
-nobody died for atheism
-basically anything that has to do with religion is a fight waiting to happen. religious territory/terrorism/etc.

he definitely agrees with the fact that all religions are the same story with different characters..i think he would have updated his page more, but he got sick although i do think he just updated it some more

LINKS.

I NEED A LINK
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: tanqgirl on April 16, 2010, 11:44:25 PM
oops! forgive i thought i added one...i had intended on adding one but my brain is everywhere these days...

http://landofwater.tumblr.com/ (http://landofwater.tumblr.com/)
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: cbkof on April 17, 2010, 02:32:34 AM
oops! forgive i thought i added one...i had intended on adding one but my brain is everywhere these days...

http://landofwater.tumblr.com/ (http://landofwater.tumblr.com/)

Aside from believing in not believing I also believe in super-heroines, including Tank Girl and some of these:


http://www.cbc.ca/arts/media/blogs/popculture/2010/04/kick-ass-killer-hit-girl-and-10-other-ruthless-heroines.html
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: simon tongue on April 25, 2010, 12:25:56 PM
I was bought up a Christian but am now a commited Athiest, if god does exist he is either very lazy or doesn't really care.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Captain Oblivious on April 25, 2010, 12:43:15 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/7KnGNOiFll4
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on April 25, 2010, 01:57:47 PM
My favourite God quote...

“Everything you read signed "God" is just somebody putting their words in my mouth.”
God
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Arianna on April 25, 2010, 03:29:52 PM
Most of my family is Christian, but my parents aren't, and when I was really little and spending lots of time with my grandma I used to go to the church and stuff, but I don't think I believed in any actual god - I was just a kid and liked the atmosphere in church, and thought prayers were magic spells or something  ;) When I grew up a bit, I got the idea that organised religion is based on lies and it's just some kind of a theater for people who have to believe in something, so I stopped going to church. And right now... I don't really know. I'm really interested in religions, like, they historical and cultural aspects, but I can't bring myself to believe in any, but on the other hand, I can't say that 'God doesn't exist', 'cause, how could I know that? Believing in non-existence of someone/something is also believing.

Soo, I just don't know. If I felt the urge to label myself somehow, I'd say it'll be agnosticism :P
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: 1AC on April 25, 2010, 09:09:53 PM
My mom's side of the family has a strong belief in God, and my dad's side doesn't really, but I was raised Christian. I do believe in God, but now my belief is a lot less pronounced than it was before.
Surprisingly (to me anyway), I seem to be a lot happier without it.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on April 26, 2010, 12:37:28 AM
My mom's side of the family has a strong belief in God, and my dad's side doesn't really, but I was raised Christian. I do believe in God, but now my belief is a lot less pronounced than it was before.
Surprisingly (to me anyway), I seem to be a lot happier without it.
Maybe...  God's still there, but "religion" isn't as much?
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: 1AC on April 26, 2010, 02:27:42 AM
My mom's side of the family has a strong belief in God, and my dad's side doesn't really, but I was raised Christian. I do believe in God, but now my belief is a lot less pronounced than it was before. Surprisingly (to me anyway), I seem to be a lot happier without it.
Maybe... God's still there, but "religion" isn't as much?
It took me a few minutes to figure out what the difference was. God's still there, but I don't know for sure if religion is not as much. I got a little lost because I'm not sure how to separate God from religion. I don't know if religion makes God or if God makes religion, and if religion isn't there do you still have the same God? I'm so tired (and confused... thanks). Haha, sleepy time.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Devery on June 15, 2010, 04:44:27 PM


I was raised to believe in Hank, but as I've gotten older I have completely rejected him.  I am really angry that I was brainwashed as a child and was made to feel "different" when I openly questioned his existence.  I present this little story about Hank and his disciples for those who may be going through the same things I did:


KISSING HANK'S ASS

by JHuger


This morning there was a knock at my door. When I answered the door I found a well groomed, nicely dressed couple. The man spoke first:

John: "Hi! I'm John, and this is Mary."

Mary: "Hi! We're here to invite you to come kiss Hank's ass with us."

Me:   "Pardon me?! What are you talking about? Who's Hank, and why would I want to kiss His ass?"

John: "If you kiss Hank's ass, He'll give you a million dollars; and if you don't, He'll kick the shit out of you."

Me:   "What? Is this some sort of bizarre mob shake-down?"

John: "Hank is a billionaire philanthropist. Hank built this town. Hank owns this town. He can do whatever He wants, and what He wants is to give you a million dollars, but He can't until you kiss His ass."

Me:   "That doesn't make any sense. Why..."

Mary: "Who are you to question Hank's gift? Don't you want a million dollars? Isn't it worth a little kiss on the ass?"

Me:   "Well maybe, if it's legit, but..."

John: "Then come kiss Hank's ass with us."

Me:   "Do you kiss Hank's ass often?"

Mary: "Oh yes, all the time..."

Me:   "And has He given you a million dollars?"

John: "Well no. You don't actually get the money until you leave town."

Me:   "So why don't you just leave town now?"

Mary: "You can't leave until Hank tells you to, or you don't get the money, and He kicks the shit out of you."

Me:   "Do you know anyone who kissed Hank's ass, left town, and got the million dollars?"

John: "My mother kissed Hank's ass for years. She left town last year, and I'm sure she got the money."

Me:   "Haven't you talked to her since then?"

John: "Of course not, Hank doesn't allow it."

Me:   "So what makes you think He'll actually give you the money if you've never talked to anyone who got the money?"

Mary: "Well, He gives you a little bit before you leave. Maybe you'll get a raise, maybe you'll win a small lotto, maybe you'll just find a twenty-dollar bill on the street."

Me:   "What's that got to do with Hank?"

John: "Hank has certain 'connections.'"

Me:   "I'm sorry, but this sounds like some sort of bizarre con game."

John: "But it's a million dollars, can you really take the chance? And remember, if you don't kiss Hank's ass He'll kick the shit out of you."

Me:   "Maybe if I could see Hank, talk to Him, get the details straight from Him..."

Mary: "No one sees Hank, no one talks to Hank."

Me:   "Then how do you kiss His ass?"

John: "Sometimes we just blow Him a kiss, and think of His ass. Other times we kiss Karl's ass, and he passes it on."

Me:   "Who's Karl?"

Mary: "A friend of ours. He's the one who taught us all about kissing Hank's ass. All we had to do was take him out to dinner a few times."

Me:   "And you just took his word for it when he said there was a Hank, that Hank wanted you to kiss His ass, and that Hank would reward you?"

John: "Oh no! Karl has a letter he got from Hank years ago explaining the whole thing. Here's a copy; see for yourself."


From the Desk of Karl
Kiss Hank's ass and He'll give you a million dollars when you leave town.
Use alcohol in moderation.
Kick the shit out of people who aren't like you.
Eat right.
Hank dictated this list Himself.
The moon is made of green cheese.
Everything Hank says is right.
Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.
Don't use alcohol.
Eat your wieners on buns, no condiments.
Kiss Hank's ass or He'll kick the shit out of you.



Me:   "This appears to be written on Karl's letterhead."

Mary: "Hank didn't have any paper."

Me:   "I have a hunch that if we checked we'd find this is Karl's handwriting."

John: "Of course, Hank dictated it."

Me:   "I thought you said no one gets to see Hank?"

Mary: "Not now, but years ago He would talk to some people."

Me:   "I thought you said He was a philanthropist. What sort of philanthropist kicks the shit out of people just because they're different?"

Mary: "It's what Hank wants, and Hank's always right."

Me:   "How do you figure that?"

Mary: "Item 7 says 'Everything Hank says is right.' That's good enough for me!"

Me:   "Maybe your friend Karl just made the whole thing up."

John: "No way! Item 5 says 'Hank dictated this list himself.' Besides, item 2 says 'Use alcohol in moderation,' Item 4 says 'Eat right,' and item 8 says 'Wash your hands after going to the bathroom.' Everyone knows those things are right, so the rest must be true, too."

Me:   "But 9 says 'Don't use alcohol.' which doesn't quite go with item 2, and 6 says 'The moon is made of green cheese,' which is just plain wrong."

John: "There's no contradiction between 9 and 2, 9 just clarifies 2. As far as 6 goes, you've never been to the moon, so you can't say for sure."

Me:   "Scientists have pretty firmly established that the moon is made of rock..."

Mary: "But they don't know if the rock came from the Earth, or from out of space, so it could just as easily be green cheese."

Me:   "I'm not really an expert, but I think the theory that the Moon was somehow 'captured' by the Earth has been discounted*. Besides, not knowing where the rock came from doesn't make it cheese."

John: "Ha! You just admitted that scientists make mistakes, but we know Hank is always right!"

Me:   "We do?"

Mary: "Of course we do, Item 7 says so."

Me:   "You're saying Hank's always right because the list says so, the list is right because Hank dictated it, and we know that Hank dictated it because the list says so. That's circular logic, no different than saying 'Hank's right because He says He's right.'"

John: "Now you're getting it! It's so rewarding to see someone come around to Hank's way of thinking."

Me:   "But...oh, never mind. What's the deal with wieners?"

Mary: She blushes.

John: "Wieners, in buns, no condiments. It's Hank's way. Anything else is wrong."

Me:   "What if I don't have a bun?"

John: "No bun, no wiener. A wiener without a bun is wrong."

Me:   "No relish? No Mustard?"

Mary: She looks positively stricken.

John: He's shouting. "There's no need for such language! Condiments of any kind are wrong!"

Me:   "So a big pile of sauerkraut with some wieners chopped up in it would be out of the question?"

Mary: Sticks her fingers in her ears."I am not listening to this. La la la, la la, la la la."

John: "That's disgusting. Only some sort of evil deviant would eat that..."

Me:   "It's good! I eat it all the time."

Mary: She faints.

John: He catches Mary. "Well, if I'd known you were one of those I wouldn't have wasted my time. When Hank kicks the shit out of you I'll be there, counting my money and laughing. I'll kiss Hank's ass for you, you bunless cut-wienered kraut-eater."

With this, John dragged Mary to their waiting car, and sped off.


Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Epigrammic Poultry on June 15, 2010, 06:27:06 PM
^Graham B likes this^
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: MauraLeeBee on June 15, 2010, 07:49:52 PM
I was never raised as any religion. Despite what my elder's wanted, my mom didn't baptize me, because she felt it was wrong to conform to a religion out of familial habit. She raised me so that I was open to any religion I wanted, and she supports me in whichever way I choose. My mother herself is sort of a Buddhist, and most of my family doesn't really practice Catholicism anymore (except for my one, lone Evangelical cousin. And she's on her own with that one). My stepfamily, on the other hand, are pretty intense Catholics, and they don't even know I was never baptized (it's not necessary for them to know. heh). However, it is a bit hard to explain this whole concept of non-conformist faith to one's ten year-old cousin when she asks if a picture from a ballet recital is a picture from my communion...

All in all, I have a really strong faith in a higher power. However, I think humans DO control their paths, and although we have our own story to follow, we can venture off when we so choose. Example: Mary is born, and has the fate of becoming a doctor, like her parents. As she grows up, she is intrigued by medical sciences, but gets dizzy from blood. She writes medical textbooks instead.

Example B: James has the path of a destructive serial killer. His older brother teaches him to torture cats, but as a neighbor tells him what he's doing is wrong as he gets older, he feels terrible. He becomes a vet to help neighborhood pets. He also has a pet sheep.

It's sort of like that. Sort of an inner-locus type thought, I guess. I think, out there, there is something after you die, and I also believe in reincarnation... I have no idea what belief system includes all of this, plus karma, but it's what I believe, and I'm sticking to it!
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CottonCandy on June 16, 2010, 01:57:08 AM
I don't even know if that's theist or not...

I'm definitely a theist but not of any particular religion... I don't believe in pre-set paths. I don't believe God is controlling them either, but I do believe that if you pray for help it'll come, perhaps not to get you out of a tricky situation but to help you get through it (for example, if you have a friend, dying of cancer, praying might not help him to get better but it might help you get acceptance and strenght).

Not sure what happens afterwards. I like the idea of heaven and hell but on a more spiritual level than as them being places, then again I like the buddhist ides of reincarnation until you get enlightened to join the higher power yourself... Obviously we might as well just not exist anymore after we die, which seems unfair to children who die young or anyone who doesn't get rewarded of good deeds they've done, but if that is true it just makes me want to live my life to the fullest, in case there's just this and nothing else.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on June 16, 2010, 03:29:43 AM
after reading kaken by China mieville (an excellent novel about the nature of religion by the way) i think I may become a Krakenist.... squids are the babies of gods and those gods do not care about us at all....
actually any fictional god is as valid as any mythic god..... Sredni Vashtar would be a good choice.....ferret good of retribution and death!...really.... check him out...I do not kid
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on June 17, 2010, 07:52:13 PM
Just a thought...
Does "God" believe in "God+1"?

If there is a God (a relevant God that is more involved in human affairs than a deistic God) would such a God be an atheist? When I say this I mean: Would that God believe that it was created by something else or would it believe that it simply was and that was all there was to it? Would it ask the questions we ask?

For instance, it is a common belief that God is omnipotent but... it is not impossible that such a God had constraints placed on it that would prevent it from understanding what true omnipotence was. Within its God context it would have complete power but beyond it there could be something more that forced to act under certain variables … An Omni-God perhaps?

Perhaps there is an infinite regress of “Gods” and each with interests that are far less interested in humanity than the supposedly human orientated God is.

Some people say that atheists are immoral because they lack "absolute morality." What would this mean for a God that was unwilling or incapable of acknowledging its "creator"? What would its promises mean?

Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on June 18, 2010, 02:47:35 AM
actually in cabalic lore this is the Void itself what we see in judeo-christian terms is God but that God was born of a prime universal force
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Blue Canary on June 29, 2010, 03:40:58 AM
I would really love to have something to believe in, but I can't.

Way for me to be depressing. haha
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: lacrym0sa on August 07, 2010, 05:27:45 AM
I'm raised in a prothestantic family, almost all my relatives go to church and stuff.
I don't because I think it's dead boring! I've got better things to do than sit and listen to a guy talking about something I'm not interested in!
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on August 07, 2010, 06:21:55 AM
Just a thought...
Does "God" believe in "God+1"?

If you've read the Bible (and I have, several times) it's obvious that God is selfish and believes himself to be the be all and end all of everything.  He is 'the Creator' he does not conceive of anything bigger than himself.
that is only true of the modern edited christian version.... in quabbalic and ancient hebrew texts (what the OT is pretty much) there is a definite creative force that created the OT God who then created the universe and time etc.....
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Indja on August 07, 2010, 01:19:19 PM
AH! AAAAH! I am SO excited about god-crap today! Can't fucking wait until I'm studying it at uni xD (although I think they call it "theology" there, rather than "god-crap" xD)

The thing to remember when reading the Bible, and any other ooooold texts, is that, just as we don't expect people back then to talk about cars and planes and computers and whatever, we simply cannot expect them to talk about the world in the same way as we would. They didn't just live in a different time - they thought using a completely different world-view, and a wholly alien way of thinking. For us, to say we're writing a biography of someone would mean that we're writing down a collection of the facts of their life. For them, it meant recording the meaning behind those facts; they would take events and attribute them to someone who had nothing to do with them, just to get across the general idea of what this person meant to them and their people. For example, you know the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea? Now, there have been plenty of very well-meaning attempts to explain this with ideas of regional flash floods or monsoons or whatever, but the simple fact is there is no evidence and no reason to believe that this ever actually happened. However, just after the event, Moses is recorded as having sung a particular song praising God for his help in the matter. I won't bore you with the details of it, but on close inspection it's clear that it's actually a song talking about some other event entirely (I don't remember it exactly, but it's some king's epic win on the banks of the river Jordan). The person who was recording the story of the exile from Egypt just transplanted that song and put it into Moses' mouth in order to show that Moses was pleased about God doing something very wet ;)

The same is true of almost every single thing in the Old Testament at the very least - even the exodus, one of the biggest parts of the story of Israel, simply never happened. It was written as a myth, as a way of explaining why the people of the time had ended up as they were. It's like the creation story - it was written after the Temple got destroyed (the first time xD) and the people of Israel were shitting themselves about how their big and beastie God could possibly have allowed his house (they believed that God existed solely in his Temple at that time) to be ruined and his people enslaved. So the priests and great thinkers of the time worked out a creation story that showed that their God was so powerful that, unlike the other gods of the time, he could create the whole world without having to battle other gods or, um, sea-monsters (no, really xD). They made it so that the whole of the earth stemmed directly from God, so that no one place could either contain him or be alienated from him. The story of being expelled from the Garden of Eden was to offer some sort of condolence or at the very least acknowledgement of that feeling common to so, so many people, past and present, of being distanced and different from the divine. It wasn't written as a literal history, it wasn't ever, ever meant to be read as such - it was meant as myth, to offer an insight into the way people felt.

When you get to the New Testament, the same principle applies; people are writing to express a feeling, a sentiment about Jesus, not his exact actions. When they say he was born of a virgin, that doesn't have any more literal truth than saying Isaac was born to a 90 year old woman - it's just a sort of Biblical short-hand for saying, "This guy, he was special from the off". Luke wanted to show Jesus' love for the poor and the outcast, which is why three shepherds come and visit him (shepherds were not just poor, but their job meant that they were often unable to wash at the ritual times so they were seen as unclean). In contrast, Matthew wanted to show Jesus' love for foreigners and had wise men from the East visit. Every single thing that happens in the New Testament is a way of saying something about Jesus, not a way of telling us the TRUTH about Jesus.


OK, I'm just gonna shut up rambling now and crawl into my little god-freak hole and die.... I LOVE THE BIBLE!! Best. Book. Ever.  o.O
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on August 07, 2010, 04:20:50 PM
AH! AAAAH! I am SO excited about god-crap today! Can't fucking wait until I'm studying it at uni xD (although I think they call it "theology" there, rather than "god-crap" xD)

The thing to remember when reading the Bible, and any other ooooold texts, is that, just as we don't expect people back then to talk about cars and planes and computers and whatever, we simply cannot expect them to talk about the world in the same way as we would. They didn't just live in a different time - they thought using a completely different world-view, and a wholly alien way of thinking. For us, to say we're writing a biography of someone would mean that we're writing down a collection of the facts of their life. For them, it meant recording the meaning behind those facts; they would take events and attribute them to someone who had nothing to do with them, just to get across the general idea of what this person meant to them and their people. For example, you know the story of Moses and the parting of the Red Sea? Now, there have been plenty of very well-meaning attempts to explain this with ideas of regional flash floods or monsoons or whatever, but the simple fact is there is no evidence and no reason to believe that this ever actually happened. However, just after the event, Moses is recorded as having sung a particular song praising God for his help in the matter. I won't bore you with the details of it, but on close inspection it's clear that it's actually a song talking about some other event entirely (I don't remember it exactly, but it's some king's epic win on the banks of the river Jordan). The person who was recording the story of the exile from Egypt just transplanted that song and put it into Moses' mouth in order to show that Moses was pleased about God doing something very wet ;)

The same is true of almost every single thing in the Old Testament at the very least - even the exodus, one of the biggest parts of the story of Israel, simply never happened. It was written as a myth, as a way of explaining why the people of the time had ended up as they were. It's like the creation story - it was written after the Temple got destroyed (the first time xD) and the people of Israel were shitting themselves about how their big and beastie God could possibly have allowed his house (they believed that God existed solely in his Temple at that time) to be ruined and his people enslaved. So the priests and great thinkers of the time worked out a creation story that showed that their God was so powerful that, unlike the other gods of the time, he could create the whole world without having to battle other gods or, um, sea-monsters (no, really xD). They made it so that the whole of the earth stemmed directly from God, so that no one place could either contain him or be alienated from him. The story of being expelled from the Garden of Eden was to offer some sort of condolence or at the very least acknowledgement of that feeling common to so, so many people, past and present, of being distanced and different from the divine. It wasn't written as a literal history, it wasn't ever, ever meant to be read as such - it was meant as myth, to offer an insight into the way people felt.

When you get to the New Testament, the same principle applies; people are writing to express a feeling, a sentiment about Jesus, not his exact actions. When they say he was born of a virgin, that doesn't have any more literal truth than saying Isaac was born to a 90 year old woman - it's just a sort of Biblical short-hand for saying, "This guy, he was special from the off". Luke wanted to show Jesus' love for the poor and the outcast, which is why three shepherds come and visit him (shepherds were not just poor, but their job meant that they were often unable to wash at the ritual times so they were seen as unclean). In contrast, Matthew wanted to show Jesus' love for foreigners and had wise men from the East visit. Every single thing that happens in the New Testament is a way of saying something about Jesus, not a way of telling us the TRUTH about Jesus.


OK, I'm just gonna shut up rambling now and crawl into my little god-freak hole and die.... I LOVE THE BIBLE!! Best. Book. Ever.  o.O
So, like, when you write your dissertation, you're gonna send me a copy, right?
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on August 07, 2010, 05:57:56 PM
Those who take the non-literal view of the bible actually find it meaningful for the exact same reasons I don’t. There is an abundance of human interest to be found in the bible but I doubt that there are great spiritual insights to be found in what was, for quite a time, an aural tradition of “Chinese whispers” passed from generation to generation. We can’t keep our ideas straight within ourselves or amongst ourselves let-alone make accurate second-guesses about what ancient heads meant others to infer. There is no “mind” equivalent to the Rosetta Stone to join generations of human subjectivity and after the lexicon of languages and historical contexts are exhausted of pointers there is only guessing left to work with. In the end, what we don’t recognise in these stories will remain inaccessible to us; only the humanity of the stories stands out for us to admire. What to some people shows a revealed “God” is just literary otherness to me and it is not much different to the otherness that people feel when reading well-written horror stories. Horror works with the effect that comes when withheld information is slowly released. It teases and excites, the emotional reward is pure process and not understanding, which is the inherent appeal of ambiguity for the imagination.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Indja on August 15, 2010, 09:30:14 AM
@Charlie - sure thing, honey xD There will probably be fewer references to the Israelites "shitting themselves" and their "big and beastie" God...

@Morpheus - I think the spiritual truths to be found in the Bible are often completely lost in the sheer vastness of the thing. I mean, there are 613 commandments in the Old Testament - to go through those one by one and figure out if they're offering any kind of relevant truth to you is just not really reasonable. However, the general themes that run throughout, of kindness to and acceptance of those different from you, or of integrity to one's own beliefs, are ones that will always ring true. The idea of a single entity called "God", separate to human beings and different to them, is indeed one of the underpinning concepts of the book, but it's not necessary to accept that in order to find truth and help in the rest of what's said there.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Epigrammic Poultry on August 16, 2010, 09:05:07 PM
The idea of a single entity called "God", separate to human beings and different to them, is indeed one of the underpinning concepts of the book, but it's not necessary to accept that in order to find truth and help in the rest of what's said there.

I think part of this is that every religion has some truth in it, otherwise no one would believe in any of them. A good example would be the amount of people that think of themselves as Buddist, despite little or no belief in reincarnation or karmic forces, simply because they find the general teachings about how to live one's life a good way to live. Another would be Jesus' parables: they for the most part offer advice about life in a relatively secular way.

When, I say EVERY religion, you could discount most modern sects...
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on August 17, 2010, 11:41:20 AM
@Indja
Point taken… If you’re saying what I think you’re saying then it certainly is a better way of viewing the bible.

However, I believe that it is only the sense of the human condition that people find in the bible and nothing more. As comforting or profound as it might be to its readers, it isn't exceptional in literature; other books have pulled off indirect truths and a bunch of less complete attempts taken together can do a good job of it too. Admittedly, a lot of modern literature might be a little too direct in accounting for the human condition because it has to take us away from the mundane but many of the classics are quite good for experiential content. 

The other thing people seem to like about the bible is metanarrative but that obviously requires the God aspect in order for it to exist. This also comes down to what people get from being immersed in the account of human condition but I suppose it is just as much down to wanting humanity to be imbued with meaning… God is quite taken with absurdism in the Old Testament (at least to my estimation) and because of this I don’t get the sense of metanarrative that other people seem to find in the bible (or in the case of non-reader fans, assume is there). Of course, the sense of absurdity, is in itself a feature of human condition so it can serve symbolic purpose to a non-believer but this too is common in literature other than the bible.

So to me one thing still remains problematic about the bible as the revered book it is to many: If objective truth cannot be found in the bible due to its complexity then how can it fair any better than anything else in this post modern world? It’s only apparent distinction from other literature is its role in a tradition that earned it’s acceptance mostly out monopolising experiential content. 
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Indja on August 17, 2010, 02:15:31 PM
Firstly, I don't know what "metanarrative" means, so until I do I'm going to have to leave that bit of what you said.

Secondly, I'm confused as to what you want from the Bible. Religious texts don't exist in the same context as any other sort of literature we have - they're not historical (and confusion of religious work with literal historical documents leads to all sorts of nasties, as we've discussed), but neither is it meant purely as fiction. They aren't the result of a series of studies of human nature, and neither are they a collection of essays exploring the author's own views of the world and interpretations of the world around them. They exist as something entirely different, although more as a little bit of all of those things than nothing like any of them at all. Even so, to expect them to give you either truth or myth, or to want them to be open to easy analysis like any other text is simply not reasonable. Apart from anything else, the Bible is very, very old - it will simply not respond to being read purely in a modern context, and doing so is only ever going to lead to disillusionment at best and gross misunderstanding at worst.

Thirdly, and this is a point derived from the whole religious-texts-ain't-like-the-others thing, the Bible was made to be interpretted - the only way it can possibly survive, the only way it has survived, is in constant reinterpretation and re-evaluation. Note I said "made" for interpretation, not "written", and that's because (and I guess this is a fourth point, maybe?) the Bible isn't like the Qur'an in it's claim to have been written by a single person, or even compiled by a single voice/mind/etc. It's a selection of books from a vast variety of sources, and was put together by the early church leaders amongst huge debate and argument about what should and shouldn't be included. One of my personal favourite illustrations of this is the story of one man who decided that there was no place for the Jews in his Bible, and so disregarded the Old Testament, Mathew, Mark and Luke, and only included a select handful of psalms. He was excommunicated from the Church and his father, the archbishop of Somewherehot, disowned him xD

Anyway, believe it or not, the Church has undergone some awful, painful and irrevocable twists to it's original purpose since the development of the biblical canon, and as a result it's almost impossible to think that, initially, they were quite happy with - and even encouraged - different interpretations of religious texts. To look at the jealous, slathering monster the Church has become, it's quite spectacular to think that one old-guy-churchy-man (also not a phrase I'm going to use in my dissertation xD) wrote that a good Christian would read the Bible as literal only if the point in question was in keeping with a practical application of Jesus' teachings of love and compassion, and as purely allegorical if it wasn't; that way, the allegory could be turned in order to apply to the person's situation, rather than the situation turned to apply to the teaching.


I think I'm losing my point here a little, but there's some other things that I think are really fucking interesting and think I'd like to share with you, so n'yah.

1. The word "belief", as in "I believe in God and Jesus and Piggly Wiggly" or whatever, has a whole new meaning to the one it had right up until about the 16th century. It's a word translated from the Greek, or Latin, or whatever they were writing with way back then, and meant something much closer to "loyalty" and "trust" than the wibbly-wobbly, taken-on-faith sort of feeling it has now. It's more saying that they trust in God and that they'll stay loyal to the idea of God, but not that they won't challenge it and really chew it over.

2. When it started, Christianity's focus was almost totally on practical application of religious ideas to normal life, not just the mindless fulfilling of sacraments and commandments. It was about genuinely and actively loving every person, and about being aware of God in every action. A man would be deemed far more pious and "Christian" if he practised non-violence, compassion and kindess with awareness of God but had never come across the Bible than one who went to Church regularly and abided by every law but had no real love for his fellow man.


Oh, Oh, I think I found my point again! Did I? I don't know. But objective truth can't be found in anything - every truth is subject to the person who knows it, how they express it, and the context within which they express it. So, obviously, I've found some extremely deep and profoundly moving truth in the Bible, but it wasn't apparent to me until I could see it in the historical context within which it was made. Before then, the truth I found in it was, as you said, just a reflection of human nature and didn't strike anything spiritual in me at all - but then, on deeper thought, it is an incredible reflection of the whole of human nature, a far more encompassing one than I've come across before, and a far more detailed one. I also don't think that something like that is to be sniffed at - something reflecting the human condition is something which reflects the deepest, strangest and most unfathomable, inexplicable element of our lives, and I think that's of value in itself.



Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: CeeGBee on August 17, 2010, 02:42:32 PM
You two had better not be debating...    >:(
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Indja on August 17, 2010, 03:39:06 PM
You two had better not be debating...    >:(

I think I'm actually just whittering on about how rad theology is xD It's more of an open discussion than a debate, anyway. I'm exploring what Morpheus thinks about things, and he's "exploring" (i.e, having foisted upon him) what I think about things. There's no goal at the end of a decision being made or a winner being declared.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Rob on August 17, 2010, 05:45:01 PM
Indja,  could you supply a few refferences re: the red sea, the exodus and the creation myths (ie that bit about the song that Moses sang)

YOr #2 point about the state  of Christianity in its beginnings is spot on and should be as true today.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on August 17, 2010, 07:23:35 PM
the book of Enoch should be put back in.... its got all the good bits..... and is possibly one of the earliest books of the Bible
(3rd century bc at least.... and part of the dead sea scrolls) It is also quoted in the new testament so at the time of Jesus it was considered canonical
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: guuurrrrrllltakeiteasy on August 17, 2010, 07:59:03 PM
I was raised in a strict Catholic household, and although I found many flaws and contradictions in the bible, I still can't let go of the idea of God. I can't say I have a religion nor am I religious except for certain ocd rituals, but I don't deny something exists somewhere beyond the outskirts of the universe. I don't really know what I believe, I'm just confused. Raised by religious people, was educated further in religion and chose not to follow the ways of the Catholic faith, so now I'm caught between the two.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Indja on August 18, 2010, 10:01:11 AM
Indja,  could you supply a few refferences re: the red sea, the exodus and the creation myths (ie that bit about the song that Moses sang)

I'm afraid I can't :( I know that immediately undermines what I was saying, and I'm sorry - I don't remember which bits of the Bible those are in, and I feel loathe to tell you to just read the whole thing again until you find them xD The thing about the exodus never happening though is a very widely held opinion among theologians and biblical historians - I don't know what texts they use, but they can look at other texts from the same period and see quite clearly that there was no sudden change in population at the time of the exodus, and that there's nothing at all to suggest a sudden slave uprising under Egyptian rule. I know that's like blatantly unsatisfying, and I'm kicking myself for not remembering better what journal I read those papers in - feel free to completely ignore that all if you like, I don't think it has much bearing on the rest of what I was saying.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Rob on August 18, 2010, 07:01:41 PM
No, that's cool.  This is just the sort of thing that interests me and I was hoping to investigate for myself. 

The exodus part is much easier to correlate with history than a specific song of praise that may or may not have been sung by Moses.  Just wondering wat sort of eye witness account might exist for such a thing.
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Indja on August 19, 2010, 07:07:32 AM
I'm reading a book at the minute called The Case For God by Karen Armstrong - she talks a lot in it about things like this, and I think that's where I heard the Moses thing. Might be worth a scan? She's a great author anyway, very interesting and, unlike a lot of theological writers, pretty sensible it seems xD
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on August 19, 2010, 12:45:43 PM
@ Indja.

I had to cut down on what I had to say because it was about twice as long as this. In summary of the bits I have left out: In general I know of some of the changes that Christianity has gone through over time because there was a time in my life when I felt that it was important to understand something about the religion I was bought up in but no longer felt sure of. I remember reading about how Hebrew/Greek/Latin angles changed meanings but I also remember being left with the impression that some of the original contexts seemed to point to what might be simple naivety on the part of uneducated people in the way they interpreted their lives. Obviously, that can be an interesting thing to look into but as far as I’m concerned, I can’t remember the details and I don’t really feel compelled to make a case for that point if I can’t even remember why I got that impression…. I also had more to say about objectivity and relativism but it’s not easy to be concise about where I stand on that. If I’ve glossed over anything else let me know.

Onwards…..

I’ll start with an analogy about experiential content related to the human condition: I can walk down the street or through my house and both will feel familiar but in different ways. I don’t have to analyse this for truth content because experience is about seeing and recognising and does not have to be taken further than that. You also get experiential content from books and it can be found in all types of books. It doesn’t matter if the literature is fact or fiction as long as what lies beneath it is recognisable on the level of experience. This is why I can’t see the bible as separate from any other literature with abundant  experiential content. The reason you don’t find totally authentic experiential content in a lot of literature is because it is now commonplace to tinker with the "familiarity" to create effects for escapist purposes. {As a moot point – horror as a genre will deliberately aim to skew experiential content so that it begins to feel distant from the familiar and therefore “otherly” and uncomfortable}

On a closely related note: A Metanarrative is “an abstract idea that is thought to be a comprehensive explanation of historical experience or knowledge.” Basically it can be described as what happens when people turn their life sequences or even multiple life sequences (i.e. generations of people) into stories so that they take on additional weightiness in terms of meaning. In effect I suppose you could think of it like a literary effect carried out on actual experience. Similar things to what I described in the first paragraph can happen here also because a metanarritive is often just something that feels right rather than something that is thoroughly analysed. In fact, we are so used to looking at life in terms of metanarratives (“progress” is typically the secular equivalent) that we don’t realise that we do it. The inherent appeal of weightiness drives people to view human-ness in terms of metanarratives and I think that is what people want to get from the bible in addition to the sense of human nature.

In terms of reading in modern context – there really is no other way to read it – as I mentioned in the post before last (not especially well), you can learn all the history there is to know but you will never posses the subjective mindset of the time. We have enough trouble agreeing definitively on how best to understand some relatively modern texts let alone something that old. Consequently, and perhaps you agree (I can’t tell) it comes down to what people get out of interpreting it. To me, of course, this process is no different to any other process that involves interpretation of complexity because this too involves pieces of the puzzle gradually appearing and clarifying information. In the religion thread I mentioned that I had a bizarre and intense subjective experience after spending considerable time reading a number of related books – my subconsious must have shuffled these ideas around because something happened and the relatedness of the ideas clicked in an intense way. The ideas were not related to religion but it left me with the feeling that if they were I could have mistaken the feeling for something spiritual.   

Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: The Angel Raliel on August 20, 2010, 03:25:52 AM
thoroughly agree except it is moot point not mute point.......
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Morpheus Laughing on August 20, 2010, 04:12:57 AM
Damn! better change that before Indja gets here. ;D
Title: Re: Do you believe in god? (not a debate thread)
Post by: Indja on August 20, 2010, 09:17:22 AM
Damn! better change that before Indja gets here. ;D

She already got here. She was just too tired to reply yet ;) And now she's hungover and has bits of Aldi own-brand Cheese Puff stuck in the burns on her tongue, so she's going to leave it a little while longer.