What Will Athiest/Nihlist/Nonbeliever/Heathen Death Be Like? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-19-2010, 12:58 AM
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I want to start a thread to represent those who worship science, logic, and accepting that death is certain without the need to use a religion to accept it. Personally, I must admit I have disdain for those that believe in religions, that is those who refuse to question their 'faith'.

I have spent my time doing the 'Buddha thing', looking inward for answers. We have a consciousness, and that is thanks to our brains. When a body dies, the consciousness ends because the brain ceases to function.

There is no heaven. There is no hell. The only judgment you will face is from the living.

I'm the type that will talk with bible thumpers and Jahova's Witness followers and send them home with their heads spinning.

To me, if there is something of a god, it is existence as a whole and it does not have awareness and didn't create anything. To imply there is a creator is to assume a creator must have been created as well.

I believe death is simply the end of functioning of a shard of existence. In that, our individual lives are not important in the grand scheme, but life overall is. We die and our body is broken down and recycled in to another form of life. I do not believe in souls.

So many people have this idea that they will see an afterlife in which they are conscious without a body, that they can even eat food and talk with others. If you have no body, you have no senses and have no thought.

Thoughts?

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#2 Old 08-19-2010, 01:16 AM
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I don't worship science or logic, but I have a lot of respect for them. I'm sure I have a bit of prejudice against those believing in religion, but I'm working on that. Although I do have some issues with those who cannot question all their beliefs (including their belief in science, logic, religion, or whatever you want).

As for what happens after death for 'myself' the following is about what I conclude:
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Originally Posted by Exitof99 View Post

If you have no body, you have no senses and have no thought.

I have no evidence for a soul though and what I think of as 'myself' is the sum of my parts and kind of a specific interaction of those parts. Since death terminates a very specific interaction I have no reason to believe there is something after death. Although that is all my reasoning, and I realize that I may have misjudged (since I have not other data points). Just as others misjudged in thinking that since spinning objects fling stuff off them, like a spinning wheel flings off water or mud, and that we as humans and the things around us stay on the Earth, then the Earth must not be spinning.

:shrug: I don't get too worked up over my own death other than taking measures to insure my security or my perceived security.

I believe everything.
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#3 Old 08-19-2010, 01:26 AM
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Although I do have some issues with those who cannot question all their beliefs (including their belief in science, logic, religion, or whatever you want).

The beautiful thing about believing in science is that science is not absolute fact, rather it is assumptions based on study. This means that something that has been taken as true and had branches of science built off of it could be disproved and send a whole lot of things taken as true to be questioned all over. Someone was just recently proposing a theory that gravity doesn't work the way we think it does - something we seemed to have accepted without consideration suddenly is analyzed all over again.

This is a far cry different than believing in a book written by man that supposedly is the word of a god and never questioning it because it then challenges you faith.

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#4 Old 08-19-2010, 06:29 AM
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This is The End...The End my Friend...This is The End...

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#5 Old 08-19-2010, 06:47 AM
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Poster, I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish. You sound fairly convinced about an absence of an afterlife so why can't you accept it and move on? If you have doubts, there are many faithful people who can help you. Otherwise what do you really want to talk about?
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#6 Old 08-19-2010, 06:59 AM
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Exitof99, I tend to agree with your idea of things. I consider myself something of an existentialist. While I cannot disprove the existence of mystical powers beyond human perception (and sometimes even sense that there might be some), I do not believe in any and certainly am not banking on them. I don't think life has any meaning given to us from above, and that consciousness is most likely just a great accident. I think death is probably just the end. A great blankness of being not-alive, like the time before we were born.

My Dad was talking about his interesting ideas the other day though. Though he doesn't explicitly believe in a god, he does see order in nature that leads him to believe in an afterlife. His idea is that in nature, nothing is wasted and everything is recycled. Everything we learn and become in our lifetime won't be wasted either. I don't find this terribly convincing, but it's another non-organized-religion idea on death that isn't just nothingness.
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#7 Old 08-19-2010, 07:25 AM
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To steal a term from an atheist on another board, I'm an I-don't-carist. My current belief is that we all simply cease when we die. But I don't see how it matters in how I live my life. None of us can be sure what happens, because none of us have died permanently. If something other than ceasing happens, I have no doubt that it is a natural process, and will be the same for all of us. What matters to me is what I/we do in our lives. I strive to live the best life I can. If it turns out there's a judgemental god, and if doing my best isn't good enough for him, then he doesn't deserve my worship. Which brings me straight round to it doesn't matter what happens when we die. If its anything other than ceasing to exist, we'll all find out when we get there.

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#8 Old 08-19-2010, 09:15 AM
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Poster, I don't understand what you are trying to accomplish. You sound fairly convinced about an absence of an afterlife so why can't you accept it and move on? If you have doubts, there are many faithful people who can help you. Otherwise what do you really want to talk about?

I'm trying to see what other people think on the topic and am open to debate. I believe this is the best way to learn. Feel free to offer your opinions.

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#9 Old 08-19-2010, 09:29 AM
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The beautiful thing about believing in science is that science is not absolute fact, rather it is assumptions based on study. This means that something that has been taken as true and had branches of science built off of it could be disproved and send a whole lot of things taken as true to be questioned all over. Someone was just recently proposing a theory that gravity doesn't work the way we think it does - something we seemed to have accepted without consideration suddenly is analyzed all over again.

This is a far cry different than believing in a book written by man that supposedly is the word of a god and never questioning it because it then challenges you faith.

Sure, they're different, I guess I was just commenting on the 'worship' word you put in the original post in 'to represent those who worship science, logic, and..."

I believe everything.
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#10 Old 08-19-2010, 09:59 AM
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Exitof99, I tend to agree with your idea of things. I consider myself something of an existentialist. While I cannot disprove the existence of mystical powers beyond human perception (and sometimes even sense that there might be some), I do not believe in any and certainly am not banking on them. I don't think life has any meaning given to us from above, and that consciousness is most likely just a great accident. I think death is probably just the end. A great blankness of being not-alive, like the time before we were born.

My Dad was talking about his interesting ideas the other day though. Though he doesn't explicitly believe in a god, he does see order in nature that leads him to believe in an afterlife. His idea is that in nature, nothing is wasted and everything is recycled. Everything we learn and become in our lifetime won't be wasted either. I don't find this terribly convincing, but it's another non-organized-religion idea on death that isn't just nothingness.

I agree that there may be things that we are incapable of comprehending as well as things that may very well be right in front of us that may explain things a bit more. Personally, I've looked in to past lives, the idea that we might have lived before, as well outer body experiences and trying to test whether the mind and body are separate or linked. Also other phenomenon like Mothers' Intuition and people that have died and been resuscitated.

I had an idea that if we all come from a common center (which may be a larger presence that encompasses us all or existence as a whole) then perhaps certain things are possible that seem mystical. I started thinking on how to achieve such states. For instance, perhaps the way to reach outside of ourselves is to remove the senses we are relying on in hopes to recognize other senses. To see and not see, hear and not hear, so forth. I assumed that this would be essentially meditation, and through this process perhaps given enough time we would be able to focus on other senses.

Upon born, we are closest to this state. We do not understand was vision is nor hearing, taste, touch, smell. It takes time for the brain to study and correlate what the senses pick up with a mental understanding of environment. The same would apply if there actually are other senses to be discovered and verified.

I recently watched a program on past lives which made a point that young children are more likely to claim that they remember a past life. They followed one boy to test his perception of another family that he believed in. The video leads the viewer to believe that past lives may actually be real, but it is hard to say in media if this was done with intent and scripted or it was truly a study with no interference with the outcome. It's interesting either way:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdmMEKPFDTY&feature=search
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOUIE...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGlUS...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rn2i...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv_U8...eature=related

My response to this is to find a logical solution. If indeed we are all linked, then perhaps we can access other lives. I thought about it like this. If our bodies were radio controlled, we all could have individual frequencies. Perhaps some could tune in to other frequencies? Some issues that this thinking raises are:

1. If humans began with small numbers, say 10,000, then we have 10,000 individual frequencies. What happens when another life exists which couldn't match a previous life, a new frequency is established?

2. What happens if the general population drops, are these frequencies lost forever or put on hold?

3. Is it possible for someone to tune in to a frequency of someone living (psychic ability)?

I don't believe in these things, but all things should be considered and studied.

My mother always quoted Einstein as saying that energy can not be destroyed. It does sound interesting, but I don't see how to apply that to anything. Assume we have a soul which is our energy. Then once we die, we are separated from the flesh and the energy then exists, but without the tools of the body. This then would mean no seeing, no hearing, no thinking, no memory, nothing. I don't see any way that we could wake up in another life that is eternal, but perhaps there are other senses, like I discussed above, that can be developed during life which will lead to a different form of consciousness. This is an idea, but one would have to first prove that the mind and body are truly separate in some fashion or that the existence of a soul is real.

Just like science, multiple theories can try to explain something not understood. It takes testing and study to determine if any of those theories hold any water. I love the fact that we can endlessly wonder and debate these things.

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#11 Old 08-19-2010, 10:03 AM
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To steal a term from an atheist on another board, I'm an I-don't-carist. My current belief is that we all simply cease when we die. But I don't see how it matters in how I live my life. None of us can be sure what happens, because none of us have died permanently. If something other than ceasing happens, I have no doubt that it is a natural process, and will be the same for all of us. What matters to me is what I/we do in our lives. I strive to live the best life I can. If it turns out there's a judgemental god, and if doing my best isn't good enough for him, then he doesn't deserve my worship. Which brings me straight round to it doesn't matter what happens when we die. If its anything other than ceasing to exist, we'll all find out when we get there.

I like that. Except, I do enjoy discussing and searching for answers. It's like an unsolvable puzzle, you might think you can figure it out and will die trying.

Reminds me of a thought I had the other day:

"I'm dying to find out what death is like"

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#12 Old 08-19-2010, 10:26 AM
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someone i know, used to smoke dmt & he had some really freaky, but beautiful & intense hallucinatory experiences under the influence that left a jaw dropping impression on him & helped to increase his insight into brain processes & function. as its been scientifically documented that there is a surge of naturally occuring dmt in the brain at the time of death , im really hoping that the whole death experience is going to be somewhat similar to those trips. in reality tho, i think it will be way less intense. maybe theyll be a few white lights [of the kind that people refer to when theyve had a near death experience], & then a brief, but comforting & timeless feeling trip that will slip into a dark nothingness for good.
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#13 Old 08-19-2010, 10:47 AM
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If you have no body, you have no senses and have no thought.

I have a question for you, with that quote you're telling us that thoughts are just a part of the chemical reactions of our bodies? So if our body stops working our thoughts are just simply gone?

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#14 Old 08-19-2010, 10:49 AM
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I remember reading a zen proverb a while back thats something like: a man asks a great zen master where we go when we die the zen master replies "How should I know?" and the man says "But you're a zen master" and the zen master says "Yes, but not a dead one."

I don't really think too much about what will happen to us when we die. I believe that the energy that we are made of never goes away. I like the idea that when we decompose we become part of the earth that feeds more life, and when that dies it will feed more life and so on. I don't need some personification of an all knowing force to give me a pat on the back when I'm done living out this life cycle, the bliss that we are able to experience now is enough for me.
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#15 Old 08-19-2010, 11:38 AM
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What matters to me is what I/we do in our lives. I strive to live the best life I can. If it turns out there's a judgemental god, and if doing my best isn't good enough for him, then he doesn't deserve my worship.

That's sort of a reversed Pascal's wager. (The idea that we should lead our lives as if God does exist, since supposedly we'd got nothing to lose and everything to win by that assumption.)

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#16 Old 08-19-2010, 01:25 PM
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I have a question for you, with that quote you're telling us that thoughts are just a part of the chemical reactions of our bodies? So if our body stops working our thoughts are just simply gone?

Yes, this is what I believe. I have not seen anything to prove otherwise and have found some things that support my view.

Someone I talked to that died for 10 minutes said it was like a light switch, off and then on again. There are drugs that can effect the way people think, as well as natural things like hormones. A friend of mine went through sexual reassignment surgery and had to take estrogen for a year or so prior. She told me that she could feel how it changed her. Then there are countless brain injuries that could be reviewed.

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#17 Old 08-19-2010, 02:08 PM
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Yes, this is what I believe. I have not seen anything to prove otherwise and have found some things that support my view.

Someone I talked to that died for 10 minutes said it was like a light switch, off and then on again. There are drugs that can effect the way people think, as well as natural things like hormones. A friend of mine went through sexual reassignment surgery and had to take estrogen for a year or so prior. She told me that she could feel how it changed her. Then there are countless brain injuries that could be reviewed.

Very interesting! And I agree, if you look at the evidence the light switch analogy is probably the most accurate. I guess we'll all find out when we die though.

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#18 Old 08-19-2010, 02:13 PM
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When I die, I'll post in this thread and let ya'll know.
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#19 Old 08-19-2010, 03:02 PM
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When I die, I'll post in this thread and let ya'll know.

LOL!

I think people can believe anything they want as long as they don't harm others, force their beliefs down another throat, and their beliefs make them better people. I don't mind if people want to believe in a unicorn in the sky as long as that unicorn helps them be kinder, compassionate and thoughtful.

I personnally believe there is more to "me" than just a sum of my organs and body parts. If there is a higher power I don't believe it is the christian version but more of an energy that allows.

But hey, that's just my 2 thoughts... not near as interesting as the unicorn thing..LOL

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#20 Old 08-19-2010, 03:25 PM
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Yes, this is what I believe. I have not seen anything to prove otherwise and have found some things that support my view.

Someone I talked to that died for 10 minutes said it was like a light switch, off and then on again. There are drugs that can effect the way people think, as well as natural things like hormones. A friend of mine went through sexual reassignment surgery and had to take estrogen for a year or so prior. She told me that she could feel how it changed her. Then there are countless brain injuries that could be reviewed.

That's interesting, like really really interesting. I can't say it's my view but it's logical.

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#21 Old 08-19-2010, 03:26 PM
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when i die, i'll post in this thread and let ya'll know.

looooooooooooooooollllll!!!!!!!!!!

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#22 Old 08-19-2010, 03:40 PM
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Well, I think that death will be the same for atheists/nihilists/nonbelievers/heathens as it is for believers.
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#23 Old 08-19-2010, 04:10 PM
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Im not sure if this thread is only for non-believers, and if it is, a mod can just delete this, but I dont feel as if im Christian just because everyone else in my family is, because its what was expected. I was raised Christian, but as I grew, I questioned. I questioned myself, my religeon, and many other things, and I really wasnt sure who I was. It was in this time I became vegetarian and progressed to vegan, because as I realized who I was, I realized I'm not violent, I dont enjoy meat enough to ignore the evil in it, but I AM Christian. I really had to look at myself and I was really sceptical, but durring a recent trip with a bunch of my closest friends (who are Christians) it became very clear. I completely opened myself, and I found God. What I experienced can't be explained, Im just..........changed?
Any q's?

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#24 Old 08-19-2010, 06:12 PM
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I guess we'll all find out when we die though.

Or we won't find out because we will be dead and not realize it?

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#25 Old 08-19-2010, 06:27 PM
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LOL!

I think people can believe anything they want as long as they don't harm others, force their beliefs down another throat, and their beliefs make them better people. I don't mind if people want to believe in a unicorn in the sky as long as that unicorn helps them be kinder, compassionate and thoughtful.

I personnally believe there is more to "me" than just a sum of my organs and body parts. If there is a higher power I don't believe it is the christian version but more of an energy that allows.

But hey, that's just my 2 thoughts... not near as interesting as the unicorn thing..LOL

I also try not to impose on others views except when others decide to raise beliefs as a topic or try to preach to me. I had a coworker who was a Jahova's Witness and we had some great conversations. He even made use of a system that they have to get answers to difficult things. Apparently, they can ask their leader, who then asks their specialists, and someone at the top returns an answer. It all depends on how people approach me.

Some guy was on the street with his family bible-thumping around the bars. He was accosting everyone for having fun and telling them that they are going to hell for not following Jesus. I was the guy that stopped to calmly talk to him and after about 8 difficult questions, the guy grabbed his family (wife, son, and daughter) and took off in their minivan. He was so sure of what he was preaching, but obviously didn't think it through. He was an alcoholic that found Jesus and decided that he had to 'save' anyone that was out drinking. From my interaction with him, I don't think he was saved, just very confused.

When I was in 9th grade Humanities class, they asked everyone what they thought god was. I was the only one in the class that didn't think god was some man in the sky. At the time, I imagined that god would be just light or raw energy. People looked at me funny for that (among other things I suppose). I was raised in a Christian family setting, but had my own ideas.

I grew up in a family that attended a Methodist church. My brother, my sister, and myself all made a decision not to go to church and fortunately, our parents allow us that freedom. All three of us are 'heathens' or nonbelievers to this day. I remember seeing through Christianity at a young age and not wanting to have anything to do with it.

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#26 Old 08-19-2010, 06:32 PM
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That's interesting, like really really interesting. I can't say it's my view but it's logical.

I've been called 'Spock' by many of my girlfriends. Sadly, a lot of them wished I showed more emotion, but I think that is just standard mans' pride of being a stonewall in the face of sadness. I certainly show happiness, goofiness, playfulness, depression, but I generally do not respond emotionally when they want me to - when a fight happens. I did find an article that explained that this is common though, that women respond emotionally while men seek a resolution to the problem at hand and therefore seem cold.

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#27 Old 08-19-2010, 06:41 PM
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Im not sure if this thread is only for non-believers, and if it is, a mod can just delete this, but I dont feel as if im Christian just because everyone else in my family is, because its what was expected. I was raised Christian, but as I grew, I questioned. I questioned myself, my religeon, and many other things, and I really wasnt sure who I was. It was in this time I became vegetarian and progressed to vegan, because as I realized who I was, I realized I'm not violent, I dont enjoy meat enough to ignore the evil in it, but I AM Christian. I really had to look at myself and I was really sceptical, but durring a recent trip with a bunch of my closest friends (who are Christians) it became very clear. I completely opened myself, and I found God. What I experienced can't be explained, Im just..........changed?
Any q's?

Andrew, if that is your path, all the power to you. I'm not going to ask you to defend your beliefs, that is for you to do figure out for yourself as you have been doing already.

Myself, I simply see religion as a way to control or educate the masses. You have to consider the time when the bible was written. There wasn't a public education system, most were illiterate, and science was not something something people thought about. Religion served in those times to guide those that had no direction, to teach morals, and sadly to wage wars. We still have wars waged over difference of opinion. Most religions have a good base to them, but I believe the stories that their related books of teaching are just stories to me to help guide someone to what that religion considers just.

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#28 Old 08-19-2010, 06:45 PM
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I'm trying to see what other people think on the topic and am open to debate. I believe this is the best way to learn. Feel free to offer your opinions.

I don't know what I am supposed to give my opinion on. That you did "the Buddha thing" and now don't believe in an afterlife? I can accept that. What is the next question?
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#29 Old 08-19-2010, 07:08 PM
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Andrew, if that is your path, all the power to you. I'm not going to ask you to defend your beliefs, that is for you to do figure out for yourself as you have been doing already.

Myself, I simply see religion as a way to control or educate the masses. You have to consider the time when the bible was written. There wasn't a public education system, most were illiterate, and science was not something something people thought about. Religion served in those times to guide those that had no direction, to teach morals, and sadly to wage wars. We still have wars waged over difference of opinion. Most religions have a good base to them, but I believe the stories that their related books of teaching are just stories to me to help guide someone to what that religion considers just.

Oh I completely agree, and I disagree with a lot of what the bible says actually. Its just the general God+be good+accept Jesus=no Hell. And even at that, I think Jews and Muslims go to Heaven, even though they dont believe jesus was the son of God. But the entire God doesnt love *insert whatever* so theyre going to Hell is crud.

Misstress of Fabulousness and Fashion! - *AHIMSA*
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#30 Old 08-19-2010, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Exitof99 View Post

I've been called 'Spock' by many of my girlfriends. Sadly, a lot of them wished I showed more emotion,

Think "vulcan mind meld", only put your hands on her boobs instead of her head.
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