I think I can finally admit, I'm an atheist. - Page 2 - VeggieBoards
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#31 Old 11-30-2013, 03:33 AM
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The things that get me are the Facebook memes. Sharing 'like if God comes first in your life' or 'if they allowed Bibles in schools, there would be less people in prison'. You are not converting me when posting these things. I feel like I have to prove that I'm not about to commit murder, theft, and perjury because I don't use the Bible as a behaviour manual. I recently saw religious flyers saying 'being good is not enough. If you do not accept Jesus, you will burn in eternal suffering'. It gets a bit much.

One of my favorite Christian writers is Tolstoy, that guy wrote the coolest short stories. He was a peculiar kind of Christian though.

http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/bright/tolstoy/chrisanar.htm (1)
Christianity in its true sense puts an end to the State. It was so understood from its very beginning, and for that Christ was crucified.
– Leo Tolstoy

'Even for a Christian anarchist, Leo Tolstoy’s reading of the Bible was unusual. When he ‘converted’ to Christianity near his 50th birthday, he did not embrace the orthodox Christianity of the traditional church. For him, Jesus was no ‘son of God’, nor did he perform any supernatural miracles. Tolstoy was convinced that these superstitious stories in the Bible had been added by the church in order to keep ‘Christians’ hypnotised enough to ensure that they did not question the unjustifiable compromise that the church had reached with the state. He was convinced that an honest and full application of Christianity could only lead to a stateless and churchless society, and that all those who argued the contrary were devious hypocrites.' (1)
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#32 Old 11-30-2013, 03:33 AM
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In the words of Bill Maher name something else from the Bronze Age that people today still adhere to?

how to make bronze?

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#33 Old 11-30-2013, 06:50 AM
 
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Well played sir/m'lady!
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#34 Old 11-30-2013, 07:21 AM
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They are ALL crazy.
I disagree.

"Colombo, Sri Lanka — The concept of ‘ Ahimsa ‘ had its origins in the movement to oppose Animal Sacrifice initiated by the Buddha and Mahavira (also known as Nigganta Natha Putta ) the founder of Jainism, in the 6th Century B.C."...

..."The fundamental thrust of this movement stems from the realisation that animals are like us when it comes to suffering, pain and the prospect of the deprivation of life. It is this very sympathy with the suffering of animals and other sentient beings that is at the core of Buddhist compassion or loving kindness (mettaa). Says a verse in the Dhammapada, the most popular of Buddhist texts:“All fear the rod of death are all scared."

(Understanding others) from one’s own example, One should neither kill nor cause to kill.

”In the very next verse much the same is said with this addition: ‘For all is life dear’. Here in simple terms is the ‘philosophy’ behind the Buddhist ethic of Ahimsa: other living beings are like us; we should treat them the way we want to be treated ourselves. This is the spirit behind the first precept which enjoins us neither to kill, nor to encourage killing as clearly explained in the Dhammika Sutta.

This is the spirit that prompts the Noble Eightfold Path to forbid the trade in flesh and engaging in fishing, hunting etc. for those who profess to follow that Path. It is the same spirit that projected an ideal of kingship in which the ruler provided defence and protection (rakkhavarana-guttim) not only to the different classes of the human population, but also to birds of the air and beasts of the land (miga-pakkhisu).

The natural corollary of such a teaching in modern parlance is that animals have the same right to life which we humans claim for ourselves. And it is the sensitivity to this right that made Emperor Asoka, whose life was abundantly inspired by the teachings of the Buddha, to promulgate, in the well known Rock Edict I: “Here no animal shall be killed or sacrificed”. This is an outstanding example of an ethical teaching being made the basis for a legal pronouncement.

The tradition of royal decrees based on the ethic of respect for animal life was also followed in Sri Lanka prior to the advent of colonialism. Consider the Maaghaata (Do not kill) proclamations of five kings of Lanka from the first to the eighth century, beginning with Amandagamani Abhaya, which forbade the killing of any living being within the realm. King Vijayabahu I in the 11th century, and Parakramabahu the Great in the 12th also made proclamations of protection of wildlife and fishes in the forests and lakes of Sri Lanka.Kirti Sri Nissankamalla, one of the kings who came after Parakramabahu, promulgated a remarkable decree, which he publicised in six of his famous inscriptions, forbidding the killing of all living beings in the irrigation lakes of the entire country. In his Anuradhapura inscription he decreed that no animals should be killed within seven leagues of the city..."
http://zenpeacemakers.org/2012/05/the-philosophy-behind-the-buddhist-ethic-of-ahimsa/
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#35 Old 11-30-2013, 07:56 AM
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I think religion can be simplified that much. It is often an emotional crutch for people who can't handle something, or a set of ideas that causes people who may otherwise be sane do crazy things. Jew swing live chickens over their head, muslims slaughter countless animals, christians hate or keep a dead tree in their living room for weeks, hindis bathe in a dirty river, jains let animals suffer unnecessarily because it is their karma.

It is absolutely insane and based on NOTHING but ancient philosophies or mythologies.

If people started over tomorrow, they would eventually redisocver the theory of gravity and begin the periodic table again. No religion that was developed would be a carbon copy of old religions, because people make them up.
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#36 Old 11-30-2013, 08:15 AM
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Theories of gravity might be different though. Newtonian gravity is just an approximation, and so might be any theory that ever follows. How would you really ever know whether a theory was gravity was accurate to the infinite decimal place?

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#37 Old 11-30-2013, 08:22 AM
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Theories of gravity might be different though. Newtonian gravity is just an approximation, and so might be any theory that ever follows. How would you really ever know whether a theory was gravity was accurate to the infinite decimal place?

You wouldn't, but the principle is the same, science is there whether you believe in it or not.
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#38 Old 11-30-2013, 08:38 AM
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by 'science' do you mean the reality of how the Universe works?

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#39 Old 11-30-2013, 08:58 AM
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anyway, I think it is good if atheists can come out of the closet about it. I almost don't want to tempt them back to believing in religious stuff......there are probably too many closet atheists in religion. It's not good for the religion, and it's not good for them.










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#40 Old 11-30-2013, 09:36 AM
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They are ALL crazy.

:whack:

 

you're just being diplomatic. few people are knowledgeable enough to have an informed opinion on such things anyway.

 

Quote:River
 Have any other agnostics come out of the closet as atheists? Do any strongly spiritual or religious folks want to counter?

well i used to be plain agnostic and now i consider myself an agnostic theist. just being honest with myself I believe there is a god. i'm not saying it's rational. maybe i just was raised that way and it's permanent.

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#41 Old 11-30-2013, 11:11 AM
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i don't think you are a real "god doesn't exist-er" if you continue to use words that rely on god for their definition. 

 

hi otomik! :hi:


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#42 Old 11-30-2013, 12:12 PM
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Aside from that - I'm a deeply religious person. I find people who snort at that offensive and short sighted. I believe in all the gods - from Ezili to St. Margaret, to Internet. I believe in magic, the moon, fate, astrology, burying your cut hair so the witches can't harm you, women's work, the omens in double yokes, talking to the wolves outside my house, making the trains run on time, the healing power of Morrissey and bourbon.  My experiences with atheists is that they all try and tell me that life isn't fair and bad things just happen to good people sometimes, what kind of merciful god lets little girls die of cancer? That's not my problem, and it's not my gods problem either, and life is fair so stop using that as an excuse to deny the gods. Pray to St. Catherine or St. Ursula or Erzulie Freda, but seriously, take your dying kid to the doctor? I bristle when religion is brought up, the whole definition of god is presented as - sky faerie who watches you masturbate. Seriously? I know five year olds with more imagination and nuance about what god means. Even my partner, who won't use -"theist" to discuss this subject because it relies on a deity in it's definition, doesn't think that's a very fair explanation of what god is.  I don't pray to the gods to save my dying child, because that's what we have science and doctors for, and death is something way too complicated for gods to understand, since they are made of the same stardust and galaxies as we are.  I pray to the gods to help me seduce a romantic conquest for an evening, I pray to the gods to banish the squirrels from my chicken feed stores, I pray to the gods to keep my tape player from warping my Smiths tape, to help me finish a poem, to help me pick a tart clementine instead of a sweet one, a cool breeze when I'm walking home on a steamy sweet Georgia afternoon. I watch the moon, I know when the stars are for me or against me, and I try and plan accordingly, but if need be, ask for a small favor when I can, and never without a payment of some kind.  I take total responsibility for myself, my decisions, all the absolutely terrible things that have happened to me in my short life - because how stupid is it to blame anyone but yourself for your life?? (not to mention weak) - but I also can't live without magic and mystery and the simply divine and that's what the gods give me.

 

 

 

TL;DR - I'm super religious and reject the judeo christian notion of god and what god does in mortal life, and I find that atheists can't (won't?) enjoy tiny moments and use stupid examples and cliches to try and deny the existence of magic of life and the magic of powerful beauty. 

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#43 Old 11-30-2013, 12:35 PM
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^beautiful post.

 

I am kind of like that.  I engage in sub-clinical magical thinking, or being nearly lost in fantasy in daydream, if you prefer.  I love sci fi and spend lots of time imagining things like Star Trek are real.  I've read tons about the lives of the saints and again imagine them to be real.  I'm working on a steampunk costume for a character of my own making--a result of hours of using my imagination to pretend something's real when it's not.

 

I like to go to Christmas Eve Mass and imagine the Creator caused himself to be born to a virgin and was born in a stable while visitors gave him gifts.  What promise that would have been for the world in that moment.  I like to imagine it to be true.

 

I clink my wine glass together with someone else's to scare the demons away.  I sweep the bad luck over my doorstep on New Year's Eve at midnight.  I eat oranges and nuts for good luck on New Year's Day.

 

All the while, I know I'm just having fun and there is no such thing as luck or the supernatural.

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#44 Old 11-30-2013, 01:35 PM
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If I create a religion and a new god after wandering in the Appalachian Mountains for 40 days suffering from hallucinations, am I no better than a common woo merchant? I starved myself, talked with deamons, saw a burning tree stump that talked, and got swallowed by a giant river bass. You'll take my word for this if I compile it into a book? Would you believe in this god Kenickie? What if I add this god mandates genital mutilation, death penalty for homosexuality, and permits slavery? To what point do we suspend our critical thinking to have a mystical quality in life?

I pray when there is little else I can do to help my loved ones or myself, I imagine how neat it would be for wizards to exist, and I would very much like to believe I would meet my loved ones again in an afterlife. Just because I would like for these things to be so does not mean that a religion that offers these things is delivering the goods, no matter what some words say in a old book. Instead, let us spend time with our loved ones, be kind to each other, and practice common decency to the best of our abilities.
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#45 Old 11-30-2013, 04:28 PM
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My life philosophy:  Do good for the environment, animals and other people.  Do good for yourself.  Make the most of the 'gifts given to you by the Creator', including using your mind, experiencing all that life has to offer, and enjoying yourself.  If some day he/she/it/they make themselves known, they will be pleased at what you've done with their gift.  If not, you've had a good time and made life better for others too.  Either way, you win.:guitar: 


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#46 Old 11-30-2013, 05:12 PM
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If I create a religion and a new god after wandering in the Appalachian Mountains for 40 days suffering from hallucinations, am I no better than a common woo merchant? I starved myself, talked with deamons, saw a burning tree stump that talked, and got swallowed by a giant river bass. You'll take my word for this if I compile it into a book? Would you believe in this god Kenickie? What if I add this god mandates genital mutilation, death penalty for homosexuality, and permits slavery? To what point do we suspend our critical thinking to have a mystical quality in life?

I pray when there is little else I can do to help my loved ones or myself, I imagine how neat it would be for wizards to exist, and I would very much like to believe I would meet my loved ones again in an afterlife. Just because I would like for these things to be so does not mean that a religion that offers these things is delivering the goods, no matter what some words say in a old book. Instead, let us spend time with our loved ones, be kind to each other, and practice common decency to the best of our abilities.

 

No?

 

You didn't read my post, I guess. I'm the sole entity responsible for myself and for my actions and my decisions, and I make them outside the 'rules' of any religion. No god has any say over how I think or what I do - that isn't taking responsibility for yourself. That's weak, and I am anything but weak. That's also continuing to define god in a way that I stated I absolutely rejected - multiple times. Just because I mentioned a couple holy helpers doesn't mean I'm a catholic, and just because I said Internet doesn't make me a cyberpriest so don't assume and make an ass out of you and of me. If you read my post - I am making the simple, everyday things we all experience holy and magical and mystical - and allowing that to fill the spiritual in my life. It's great, that girls have an acknowledged symbol, helper, just for them, with lots of pictures and beautiful paintings to fill my tampon drawer with. So why not use her as my representative when I'm having a terrible period? Does that mean that I have to observe her feast day, glare dagger at wheels, spend my life trying to punish heathen scholars? Of course not. Does it mean that now, that I've made a decision to take some aspirin and get in the shower and ask her to please let up on my uterus, I have made the decision to accept every writing attributed to her, every interpretation of her passed down from the Holy See, accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior? Of course not, because this is a personal and solitary party, here in my shower. I pick and choose what speaks to me and disregard the rest - just as I do, critically, with everything else in my life. Music, movies, lovers, books, pantyhose. My right to these thoughts and forms of worship and devotion stops at your nose, just like everything else in this country.

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#47 Old 11-30-2013, 05:37 PM
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No?

You didn't read my post, I guess. I'm the sole entity responsible for myself and for my actions and my decisions, and I make them outside the 'rules' of any religion. No god has any say over how I think or what I do - that isn't taking responsibility for yourself. That's weak, and I am anything but weak. That's also continuing to define god in a way that I stated I absolutely rejected - multiple times. Just because I mentioned a couple holy helpers doesn't mean I'm a catholic, and just because I said Internet doesn't make me a cyberpriest so don't assume and make an ass out of you and of me. If you read my post - I am making the simple, everyday things we all experience holy and magical and mystical - and allowing that to fill the spiritual in my life. It's great, that girls have an acknowledged symbol, helper, just for them, with lots of pictures and beautiful paintings to fill my tampon drawer with. So why not use her as my representative when I'm having a terrible period? Does that mean that I have to observe her feast day, glare dagger at wheels, spend my life trying to punish heathen scholars? Of course not. Does it mean that now, that I've made a decision to take some aspirin and get in the shower and ask her to please let up on my uterus, I have made the decision to accept every writing attributed to her, every interpretation of her passed down from the Holy See, accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior? Of course not, because this is a personal and solitary party, here in my shower. I pick and choose what speaks to me and disregard the rest - just as I do, critically, with everything else in my life. Music, movies, lovers, books, pantyhose. My right to these thoughts and forms of worship and devotion stops at your nose, just like everything else in this country.

I did read your post, perhaps I misunderstood. When I hear people say they believe in the Judeo Christian God, I expect that they acknowledge the message God delivered to Moses is a central pillar of their belief. Worshipping other gods isn't looked favorably upon by the Abrahamic God, but I'll leave that up to you to figure out how that God feels about it. I understand picking up methods to live a more ethical life, that sounds nice. I hope that if these gods fail to comfort you, you can still find comfort in the human hands and minds that are willing to help you up. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
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#48 Old 11-30-2013, 06:49 PM
 
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I also find that many atheists try to be unrealistically calm about death. Honestly, death is super terrifying. I can't wrap my head around the idea of sleeping for an eternity, never to wake up again. Whenever I try to philosophise about it, I always stop because I'm too terrified to continue. Of course, a huge theme in literature is being able to find the strength to face death courageously, but I don't think that this kind of strength can be obtained by simply being an atheist.

 

Letting go of supernatural belief is important to dealing with the reality of death. I had the same difficulties until I let go of unfounded wishful thinking, and started identifying as atheist rather than agnostic. Such hope in death not really being death is like a bandage on a bleeding wound, which soothes and seems to help but becomes attached unless removed before drying, and causes further pain and bleeding when it's torn off, over and over. Religious leaders use this pain and fear to manipulate believers. As an atheist I have come to terms with death. It's still a big deal because I highly value life, but no longer terrifying. It's only as atheists that we can fully process the inescapable reality of death, and properly come to terms with it. Supernatural belief or hope keeps us in an infantile state of fear.

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#49 Old 11-30-2013, 07:01 PM
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I'm not calm about death. I... have a thing for immortality and would sell my soul if I thought I had one for it. I never want to die. Maybe science will advance to where I won't have to for over a hundred ans twenty years. I don't want to not exist.

Religious people I always thought were cavalier about death, thinking there is something on the other side for them.

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#50 Old 11-30-2013, 07:04 PM
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I did read your post, perhaps I misunderstood. When I hear people say they believe in the Judeo Christian God, I expect that they acknowledge the message God delivered to Moses is a central pillar of their belief. Worshipping other gods isn't looked favorably upon by the Abrahamic God, but I'll leave that up to you to figure out how that God feels about it. I understand picking up methods to live a more ethical life, that sounds nice. I hope that if these gods fail to comfort you, you can still find comfort in the human hands and minds that are willing to help you up. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

 

And I said I reject the judeo christian idea of god - mainly because it's boring and narrow. Perhaps I should have said other beings instead of gods, or saints (which is a closer dictionary definition) and avoided other 'religious' terms like worship and devotion because they are loaded. I have seen my partner pray against the steering wheel to get the car to start. Seen him pray to the football gods to get his Georgia team to win (which they did, this evening). What I'm saying I do is exactly that, just with more feeling. Acknowledging that there is something that allows me to get every single sock out of the dryer, without one missing a mate. Sock God surely is blasphemous, and I don't care, because there is solid evidence that a Happy Sock God gives you all the socks and an unhappy Sock God steals one when he's hungry. And I feel like everyone, the world over, participates in Sock God worship, or perfect rising Cake God worship, or you-didn't-eat-my-Smiths-tape-Tape God worship, and the only difference is that I acknowledge and actively participate in it. That participation is religious, and devotional, and totally divorced from judeo christian thought of a vengeful, omnipotent, vicious, petty, sky faerie. Some gods get more attention, more gifts, more concern from me - this is not daoism. I do not care about my desk chair. Our actions do not exist in a vacuum. That the wolf pack who runs through my yard and doesn't destroy the crops or my pets is an Act of God, and not just a coincidence, or 'luck', because I saw it was the Wolf Moon and thought lovingly and passionately about wolves and their power and gave them my respect, out there in the snow. I think that that behavior is just as important, and relevant as Christmas or Easter or Eid, and I feel so strongly about it that I will never consider myself an agnostic or an atheist, and is just as strong as Evangelicalism. It has no rules, no moral code, because morals are not an intrinsic religious thing - but it has beings.

 

I was not raised religiously, and I was never baptized. My biggest influences in this development of mine were the women who surrounded me as a child - midwives, healers, women who practiced The Old Ways, and the priestess who runs the Voudou temple in New Orleans. Women who warned me to never cut a child's hair before they were a year old because their hair was tied somehow to their Life String - and cutting it early was interfering with the Fates. Women who told me about the plants deer eat as birth control, about the slave songs that women sang to their babies, under the guise of catholic hymns. That's straight up magic, and straight up godliness, and it has nothing to do with "God", and everything to do with the power of the human spirit and our capacity for beauty and wonder and self generated miracles. 

 

eta: I do not have any cavalier attitude about death, or even imagine that there is anything on the other side for me. I honestly don't think about it, and don't go looking for answers about it in my gods. I've been on the wrong end of a gun, I've been in "you could die any second now" situations and I never thought - it's fine, god's there for me. Honestly, I just thought - ****. a deep black hole of nothing forever. Death is frightening - especially for gods (since they can die too.). The thought that gives me comfort is that I am blessed and alive and in love, and I live life in a way that if there is nothing on the other side, I have enough emotions, experience, and memories to last eons in a black, never ending sleep. Whatever is on the other side, whatever it takes to die, I can't imagine it's painful. Was our birth painful? Seared into our memory? No, and we don't remember it. And we won't remember dying either.

 

 

TL; DR - Apology accepted, and everyone prays to the Sock God, the only difference is is that I do it actively and haven't lost a sock in years, but Sock God can't promise a reunion with my loved ones and I wouldn't ask him to. 


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#51 Old 11-30-2013, 07:06 PM
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Aside from that - I'm a deeply religious person. I find people who snort at that offensive and short sighted.

I believe in all the gods

- from Ezili to St. Margaret, to Internet. I believe in magic, the moon, fate, astrology, burying your cut hair so the witches can't harm you, women's work, the omens in double yokes, talking to the wolves outside my house, making the trains run on time, the healing power of Morrissey and bourbon.  My experiences with atheists is that they all try and tell me that life isn't fair and bad things just happen to good people sometimes, what kind of merciful god lets little girls die of cancer? That's not my problem, and it's not my gods problem either, and life is fair so stop using that as an excuse to deny the gods. Pray to St. Catherine or St. Ursula or Erzulie Freda, but seriously, take your dying kid to the doctor? I bristle when religion is brought up, the whole definition of god is presented as - sky faerie who watches you masturbate. Seriously? I know five year olds with more imagination and nuance about what god means. Even my partner, who won't use -"theist" to discuss this subject because it relies on a deity in it's definition, doesn't think that's a very fair explanation of what god is.  I don't pray to the gods to save my dying child, because that's what we have science and doctors for, and death is something way too complicated for gods to understand, since they are made of the same stardust and galaxies as we are.  I pray to the gods to help me seduce a romantic conquest for an evening, I pray to the gods to banish the squirrels from my chicken feed stores, I pray to the gods to keep my tape player from warping my Smiths tape, to help me finish a poem, to help me pick a tart clementine instead of a sweet one, a cool breeze when I'm walking home on a steamy sweet Georgia afternoon. I watch the moon, I know when the stars are for me or against me, and I try and plan accordingly, but if need be, ask for a small favor when I can, and never without a payment of some kind.  I take total responsibility for myself, my decisions, all the absolutely terrible things that have happened to me in my short life - because how stupid is it to blame anyone but yourself for your life?? (not to mention weak) - but I also can't live without magic and mystery and the simply divine and that's what the gods give me.



TL;DR -
I'm super religious and reject the judeo christian notion of god and what god does in mortal life

, and I find that atheists can't (won't?) enjoy tiny moments and use stupid examples and cliches to try and deny the existence of magic of life and the magic of powerful beauty. 

I believe part of what threw me off was believing in all gods, which includes the Judeo Christian God, but rejecting the notion of that very Judeo Christian God. I wasn't realizing you were manipulating previously established gods and God to represent everyday magic. Honestly I'm quite confused by it all, but I don't have to understand.
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#52 Old 11-30-2013, 07:13 PM
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I am a Christian, that is a believer in the Biblical doctrine established by the Trinity (Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit) and all tenets prescribed by God Almighty. I believe that all people have the right to believe what they wish as I also have my own doubts and lack of understanding and wisdom. We are all on a journey; some people will arrive at their spiritual or pragmatic destination sooner than others. Some people will find their spiritual anchor, some will deny it, and others will wander aimlessly until death. With that, I'm off to bed so that I may be refreshed to attend church tomorrow morning and lead a worship service of hymns and praise under the wings of faith, love, and fellowship.

 

Aristede:book: 


"Now listen, I know you've got to think about your image, 'cause image is important to you, because of course your friends are gonna dictate your actions through the rest of your lives, and I wouldn't want you to step away from them and become an individual, that would almost be too much!"...

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#53 Old 11-30-2013, 07:23 PM
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Some things require no proof, because they are self-evident. I conceive infinity; therefore, it exists. Because it exists, I choose to access it, which requires me to live beyond death; therefore, I shall. Just sayin.'


"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
"Anyone who doesn't believe in miracles isn't a realist." -Billy Wilder
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#54 Old 11-30-2013, 07:51 PM
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And I said I reject the judeo christian idea of god - mainly because it's boring and narrow. Perhaps I should have said other beings instead of gods, or saints (which is a closer dictionary definition) and avoided other 'religious' terms like worship and devotion because they are loaded. I have seen my partner pray against the steering wheel to get the car to start. Seen him pray to the football gods to get his Georgia team to win (which they did, this evening). What I'm saying I do is exactly that, just with more feeling. Acknowledging that there is something that allows me to get every single sock out of the dryer, without one missing a mate. Sock God surely is blasphemous, and I don't care, because there is solid evidence that a Happy Sock God gives you all the socks and an unhappy Sock God steals one when he's hungry. And I feel like everyone, the world over, participates in Sock God worship, or perfect rising Cake God worship, or you-didn't-eat-my-Smiths-tape-Tape God worship, and the only difference is that I acknowledge and actively participate in it. That participation is religious, and devotional, and totally divorced from judeo christian thought of a vengeful, omnipotent, vicious, petty, sky faerie. Some gods get more attention, more gifts, more concern from me - this is not daoism. I do not care about my desk chair. Our actions do not exist in a vacuum. That the wolf pack who runs through my yard and doesn't destroy the crops or my pets is an Act of God, and not just a coincidence, or 'luck', because I saw it was the Wolf Moon and thought lovingly and passionately about wolves and their power and gave them my respect, out there in the snow. I think that that behavior is just as important, and relevant as Christmas or Easter or Eid, and I feel so strongly about it that I will never consider myself an agnostic or an atheist, and is just as strong as Evangelicalism. It has no rules, no moral code, because morals are not an intrinsic religious thing - but it has beings.

I was not raised religiously, and I was never baptized. My biggest influences in this development of mine were the women who surrounded me as a child - midwives, healers, women who practiced The Old Ways, and the priestess who runs the Voudou temple in New Orleans. Women who warned me to never cut a child's hair before they were a year old because their hair was tied somehow to their Life String - and cutting it early was interfering with the Fates. Women who told me about the plants deer eat as birth control, about the slave songs that women sang to their babies, under the guise of catholic hymns. That's straight up magic, and straight up godliness, and it has nothing to do with "God", and everything to do with the power of the human spirit and our capacity for beauty and wonder and self generated miracles. 


TL; DR - Apology accepted, and everyone prays to the Sock God, the only difference is is that I do it actively and haven't lost a sock in years. 
I think I understand your views better with your background being in Voudou and 'The Old Ways', which I gather to mean either Wicca or Paganism. I find praying for such inconsequential things such as football game outcomes distasteful no matter what religion you adhere to, but to each their own. While I am pleased to find all my socks match when I take them out of the dryer, I do not associate it with any god, magic, or planet alignment. I generally view religion as both a coping mechanism for being unable or unwilling to handle reality, and a method of population control used in conjunction or in substitution of a State. However mundane the chemical processes by which aspirin takes effect, there is no evidence gods or magic play any role.

To accept supernatural influence on everyday occurances is on faith alone, and faith by it's definition is building a house upon sand. Perhaps my dismissal of magic and supernatural occurances are a byproduct of my science based education, which gives me a glimpse of the mechanisms by which the Universe operates. I am able to see great beauty and splendor in life, but believing in the supernatural would be a contradiction to my scientific evaluation of existence. Some religious people have a hard time believing a purely scientific view of the world could impart any deep welling of emotion in the subject, but it is indeed possible. The vastness which is scientific knowledge will leave most anyone in awe should you see the entire subject presented before you. This knowledge will only snowball with time, ever increasing the known complexity of the Universe.
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#55 Old 11-30-2013, 07:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Capstan View Post
 

Some things require no proof, because they are self-evident. I conceive infinity; therefore, it exists. Because it exists, I choose to access it, which requires me to live beyond death; therefore, I shall. Just sayin.'


I conceive that I have invisible wings. Therefore they exist, and when I jump from this cliff I shall fly away with the birds...

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#56 Old 11-30-2013, 08:19 PM
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And I think I understand a science based background - we are all made of stars - everything in us is everything in the stars, the universe. Science will keep my child from dying from cancer, not sock god, as I said. 

Praying for your outcome in a football game is distasteful - but so is telling a woman she can't be holy without cutting off her clit. But i'd rather my partner send positive energy out (even if it's for a petty, trivial thing, like socks, or football) than be hateful or spiteful and dismissive. 

 

 

I'm hesitant to say Old Ways = Paganism or Wicca, because some of the things that are listed as 'old ways' are true now (deer really eat certain things to have less young) and none of them are deity based. I feel more that it's like just "Mountain Wisdom", like "Old Wives Tales" and don't have any deity based ideas. 

 

And you might find it a coping mechanism - but I think it adds that dash of mystery and magic that science, or statism, or realism has a tendency to bury. Science is not conflicting with these beliefs, and Science is a huge part of my life. Science is the reason my home was flooded with water and my relatives died during Katrina, Science is the reason my childhood friend survived leukemia, and I see nothing wrong with adding a bit of the Unknown to a modern lifestyle which is so filled with instant verification and acknowledgement of Science and Mathematical Understanding. It's not coping - because science destroys that. What god would be there to comfort me when I can point at the Army Core of Engineers and their bad calculations as to why my people drowned? Not the Moon, not my own sexual drive, not Sock God. There is no comfort to be provided when there are facts to ruin it. Maybe I'm lucky as to everything that I would ask god to comfort me has a science reason to ruin it and I take responsibility and move on from it. I elected those officials who let my city drown, I pay the federal government for my own demise. I don't have any scientific explanation for why at blue moons (and only blue moons) my period makes me vomit, or when I talk to my mother under mercury retrograde it always ends in fights, or why my god mother's shelter has done so well after she buried pieces of silver at the corners.

 

That's what gods are good for, not for explaining the explained to me.

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cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war.
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#57 Old 11-30-2013, 09:04 PM
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I generally view religion as both a coping mechanism for being unable or unwilling to handle reality, and a method of population control used in conjunction or in substitution of a State. However mundane the chemical processes by which aspirin takes effect, there is no evidence gods or magic play any role.
And what exactly is "reality"? In any case, religion predates large nation states so that can't be the primary function of religion in human culture.
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which gives me a glimpse of the mechanisms by which the Universe operates.
This is a metaphysical assertion, not one rooted in science. Science is just an empirical methodology, whether or not the these methodologies uncover how "reality" works is not something that can be determined by science.

Science, in modern culture, operates like a religion. There are a lot of metaphysics that get packed into the "scientific world-view" that aren't in fact part of actual science. Pure science doesn't provide the sort of explanations people want....and perhaps this is the fundamental function of religion in human culture, namely, it provides context and meaning for ones life.
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#58 Old 11-30-2013, 09:11 PM
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I also don't like how religion is still anchored to a judeo christian/abrahamic notion. There were religions, for thousands of years, that were based entirely on what we today call 'luck' - how to foster it, how to have a bunch of good of it, what to do with a bunch of bad. They were crushed, by slavery, by genocide, by 'religious figures' who said that religions have to explain the nature of death. To that I say horse****, because I religiously follow vegetarianism, I religiously experience miracles in the mundane, and none of those have anything to do with what happens to my 'immortal soul' or my relationship with a 'Savior'. 


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#59 Old 11-30-2013, 09:45 PM
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And what exactly is "reality"? In any case, religion predates large nation states so that can't be the primary function of religion in human culture.
This is a metaphysical assertion, not one rooted in science. Science is just an empirical methodology, whether or not the these methodologies uncover how "reality" works is not something that can be determined by science.

Science, in modern culture, operates like a religion. There are a lot of metaphysics that get packed into the "scientific world-view" that aren't in fact part of actual science. Pure science doesn't provide the sort of explanations people want....and perhaps this is the fundamental function of religion in human culture, namely, it provides context and meaning for ones life.

Reality is how things appear to the observer, instead of how we would like them to be. It's real that those dead are no longer living, their body rots. We can watch that happen. It's not of reality that objects spontaneously appear as in Spontaneous Generation. It's science which has allowed S.G. to be disproven. Religion has provided an answer for S.G. prior to Pasteur disproving it, as in Gods creation caused these flies to exist around this dead body. Religion plays many roles, I don't pretend to know them all.

My claim to understand some of the mechanisms by which the Universe operates is not metaphysical in the slightest; it's taking Physics, Chemistry, Calculus, Trigonometry, Astronomy, Biology classes and applying that knowledge to the Universe. The mechanisms I was referring to are equations and chemical reactions related to occurances in the Universe. My professed amazement and awe of the Universe would be much closer to metaphysics, but I would just call those feelings and emotions. Pondering my place in the Universe, that would be metaphysics.
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#60 Old 11-30-2013, 09:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kenickie View Post
 

And I think I understand a science based background - we are all made of stars - everything in us is everything in the stars, the universe. Science will keep my child from dying from cancer, not sock god, as I said. 

Praying for your outcome in a football game is distasteful - but so is telling a woman she can't be holy without cutting off her clit. But i'd rather my partner send positive energy out (even if it's for a petty, trivial thing, like socks, or football) than be hateful or spiteful and dismissive. 

 

 

I'm hesitant to say Old Ways = Paganism or Wicca, because some of the things that are listed as 'old ways' are true now (deer really eat certain things to have less young) and none of them are deity based. I feel more that it's like just "Mountain Wisdom", like "Old Wives Tales" and don't have any deity based ideas. 

 

And you might find it a coping mechanism - but I think it adds that dash of mystery and magic that science, or statism, or realism has a tendency to bury. Science is not conflicting with these beliefs, and Science is a huge part of my life. Science is the reason my home was flooded with water and my relatives died during Katrina, Science is the reason my childhood friend survived leukemia, and I see nothing wrong with adding a bit of the Unknown to a modern lifestyle which is so filled with instant verification and acknowledgement of Science and Mathematical Understanding. It's not coping - because science destroys that. What god would be there to comfort me when I can point at the Army Core of Engineers and their bad calculations as to why my people drowned? Not the Moon, not my own sexual drive, not Sock God. There is no comfort to be provided when there are facts to ruin it. Maybe I'm lucky as to everything that I would ask god to comfort me has a science reason to ruin it and I take responsibility and move on from it. I elected those officials who let my city drown, I pay the federal government for my own demise. I don't have any scientific explanation for why at blue moons (and only blue moons) my period makes me vomit, or when I talk to my mother under mercury retrograde it always ends in fights, or why my god mother's shelter has done so well after she buried pieces of silver at the corners.

 

That's what gods are good for, not for explaining the explained to me.


This post started off so well... Superstition isn't necessary for mystery and magic! There's plenty of that in the real world -- in nature, the human mind, the universe. Such appreciation for the practical benefits of science, yet the beauty, mystery and magic it explores and reveals is far more fascinating and awesome than anything limited human minds of darker past ages have conceived.

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