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Religion (and lack thereof) at Hypography

What are your beliefs?  

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  1. 1. What are your beliefs?

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Okay, let me interject here.


Faith does not mean believing things you know aren't true. Science does not mean that you live your life without expectation.


Or at least, it shouldn't.


One does not have to believe in a big man in the sky with a chip on his shoulder to believe in God. One does not have to believe in a bunch of mythopoeic stories about people coming back from the dead and water with unnaturally high surface tension to be a Christian.


People here seem to be arguing about which one of these two falsehoods is more true.


1) Religious people are morons who believe stupid, obviously impossible, things.

2) Scientific people are coldly rational automatons who have lost touch with human feeling.


Seriously, does anybody really consider those two statements worth arguing about? Cause that's what I'm hearing. It's a shell for the real discussion - it's the discussion children have about faith and science. "I believe in God," and "Then where is he?" It's a response to a different question. It's like answering the statement "I believe in rational scientific observation." with "Oh yeah, can I set my drink on it?"


For an observation closer to home. Pianoman observes - "I believe in AA." If Ughaibu had responded - "AA doesn't exist." Everyone would have blinked in confusion and gone about their lives. We all know that Pianoman meant "I believe that AA works." If Clay says "I believe in scientific exploration" and somebody says "Scientific exploration doesn't exist." Well, it's just a non-sequiter.


Whether God exists externally or not doesn't seem relevant to me. And a scientific explanation of whether or not "belief in God" is good for the majority or not isn't terribly relevant either. Ultimately, you can't tell other people what should make them happy. You can give them advice, you can point them in a direction you think will help, but at the end of the day nobody gets to say: "You are now happy!" other than you.


I cannot rationally say to C1ay: "If only you trusted in God, then you'd be happy," because it cannot rationally be true. What I mean when I say that is "I trust that if you trusted in god, you'd be happy." Clay cannot rationally say to me: "If only you abandoned this foolish trust in God for trust in rational explanation, then you'd you be happy," because he's only saying "I trust that if you trusted in science, you'd be happy."


Statements that claim to tell other people what would make them happy or complete are statements of faith on the part of the observer, pure and simple.


Statements about whether God exists or not are non-sense. Does rationality "exist?" Does it have a place where it lives? If you were dead, would rational thought continue? How do you know? Does God exist? does it have a place where it lives? If you were dead, would God continue? How do you know?


Faith in not faith about. Both of the "sides" of this argument have concluded that the concepts which they trust in are eternal and unchanging.


How is it possible for 1+1 not to equal 2? How is it possible for God NOT to be among us? If you can explain to yourself how whichever one of those things seems most self-evident to you isn't true, then you'll be in a position to tell people that what they believe in isn't true. Ya dig?



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Nah, Beak, they're just Questioning Unreality!   I for example still question whether or not LZIV will pass muster with St. Peter...   I prefer my Gods to be corporeal like Santa and the Easter Bunny

Atheist as in a·theist, i.e. not·theist...

I believe in no god, but I do worship the mind, consious or otherwise.

You must pick out only disfunctional atheists to "know".


I can counter your "observation" with my own very easily. I have known entire churches full of the "faithful", the "spiritual", the "righteous", etc, who were miserable, disfunctional, arrogant, judgmental, angst-ridden, holier-than-thou, emotionally abusive, ignorant, withdrawn, lonely, helpless, fearful and possessed by dogmas/demons.


Back when Alabama had large state mental hospitals, the third largest "cause" of "insanity" was attributed to religion -- or at least taking the physical reality of gods, angels and demons a bit too seriously.


I attend the Unitarian Church. Possibly 1/4 of the congregation would say they are agnostic or non-believers. They are the most functional, emotionally grounded, rational, mature and content bunch of people I have ever, EVER, met. (by and large)


Good point. I've seen human misery on both ends of the spectrum. The most severe human misery stems from unconsciousness. I am with Jung on this one. It's the religious right who seem to be the most unconscious, blinded by their own self deception. Christians need to understand that it is because of the reality of the human heart that a Pharisaic attitude is so destructive. Our greatest delusion is thinking that we can avoid the unconscious and solve the moral problems of life by creating a righteous exterior, or by an ethic of outer obedience to laws. It is not the wearing of a mask that is a problem, it is the unconsciousness of that mask that can get you into trouble. After you've been "fake" for so long, you begin to identify with this falseness and lose connection to the real self. This is a state of low-harmonic unconsciousness that most people operate at. Organized religion sucks you into this state.


With the ripping away of the masks we have been wearing and the exposure of what has been hidden within, we come to the key to the ethic of faith. This ethic of faith (or the kingdom as Jesus said) is a radically new ethic because it is based on the inner person and takes into account what is in the "heart." It is founded upon the way of consciousness, for only those who are conscious of the total self and whose 'hearts' are not hidden to them, can reach a deeper morality than that of the scribes and Pharisees. All else is facade and bars the way to the kingdom.


Jesus' message was profound. Leave it to the people to misconstrue it and turn it into a religion that actually contradicts the original meaning, misleading and hurting so many. What He spoke of was the development of consciousness. To heal the split in our psyche. To be made aware of that which has been hidden. To free ourselves from our unconsciousness so that we may move into true relationships with others and express our creativity openly. I believe it is the meaning of life for each of us to express our unique talents thorough our own creativity.

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It appears some of the disagreement is in your proposition that the 12-step program works in this manner. There are many reasons why AA does and does not work for different people. The analogy was not a very well chosen one (don't worry, I choose crappy analogies all of the time :turtle: ), so people have called you on it. Try to avoid being defensive. How about you describe what you meant?




What I was touching on with the sock monkeys comment was the take in AA regarding faith - the only important thing being that you believe in a higher power. It can be a higher power of your choosing. They speak of "God as you understand Him". You can create a God of your choosing if you wish.


It's basically a mechanism to undue ones prejudices and associations - which psychologically speaking must be done for one to heal.


The Buddhists say that it is attachment that causes suffering. Many people are attached to belief systems that are restricting growth. The 12-Step program detaches you.

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Pianoman1976: As you are citing Vaillant, I assume you take him to be credible, remember, Orange is also citing Valliant. Also, none of your direct quotes contradict Orange. That you are a recovered AA is also not a contradiction of the conclusion that AA is worse than useless.

So far, you have not successfully challenged my assertion and, accordingly, have not demonstrated any use for faith.

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Pianoman1976: As you are citing Vaillant, I assume you take him to be credible, remember, Orange is also citing Valliant. Also, none of your direct quotes contradict Orange. That you are a recovered AA is also not a contradiction of the conclusion that AA is worse than useless.

So far, you have not successfully challenged my assertion and, accordingly, have not demonstrated any use for faith.


I suggest you attend a meeting and see for yourself - otherwise your argument doesn't carry much weight - especially hiding behind Orange like you do.


We could go on forever, but I'm not going to go there. This is getting more and more futile. I laugh every time I read your responses. We are speaking two separate languages. I really dig Hypograpghy and am not here to fight with atheists. This is me signing off on this topic.


God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change

the courage to change the things I can

and wisdom to know the difference.



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I guess I've been an atheist since I was 9 or 10 in the mid 1950's. My parents were church goers and I was shuffled off to Sunday school every Sunday. But the bit about God didn't seem any more real than Santa or the Easter Bunny.

The arrangement was that once I attended confirmation classes and learned the basics and became a church member, if I went to church once and didn't want to go any more, then I didn't have to. So after that first time I never went again and wasn't hasseled to do so. End of organized religion and religion in general.


This was also the time that Life Magazine began publishing serialized portions of "The World We Live In" a wonderful compilation of what we knew at the time about natural science - everything from the birth of the Solar System to geology, to weather, to evolution. I read everything I could about science and the world of nature. (Would that there was available then what there is now). I collected "stuff" and learned about it too. In high school I studdied ripple tanks, magnetism, chemical reactions, and the guts of frogs.


I went off to college and within a year settled on geology as a major. Continental drift was not taught - though at the more advanced levels of academia there were stirrings about it. J D Dana was the authority.


"J.D. Dana (1813-1895), an influential American geologist, claimed (1873) that these geosynclines couldn't be a result of subsidence due to sediment loading because sediments are not dense enough to depress the crust. Downwarping must have occurred first, leaving a trough which collected sediments.


Dana accepted isostacy. He believed the continents were less dense granitic and sedimentary materials that "floated" high in the mantle while the relatively more dense basaltic crust of the oceans did not float as high in the mantle. He also believed, following Kelvin and others, that the Earth cooled from an initially molten mass. As the Earth's surface solidified some areas formed less dense granitic crust that formed the highstanding continents and some areas formed somewhat more dense basaltic crust that became the ocean basins. As the Earth continued to cool it contracted. The boundaries between the oceans and continents were prime zones of focused stresses. The contraction caused downwarped troughs to form near the edges of the continents. These troughs were filled with sediments produced by weathering on the continent. The deposited sedimentary layers were deformed and folded and uplifted as a result of continued cooling and contraction. " Isostacy and Geosynclines


By the time I graduated the work of Alfred Wegener was again being considered seriously. He noticed, among many other things, the match-up between the west coast of Africa and the east coast of South America. He suggested that there was some mechanism by which continents could move. His theory has been first derided, then ignored.


"Perhaps Alfred Wegener's greatest contribution to the scientific world was his ability to weave seemingly dissimilar, unrelated facts into a theory, which was remarkably visionary for the time. Wegener was one of the first to realize that an understanding of how the Earth works required input and knowledge from all the earth sciences.


Wegener's scientific vision sharpened in 1914 as he was recuperating in a military hospital from an injury suffered as a German soldier during World War I. While bed-ridden, he had ample time to develop an idea that had intrigued him for years. Like others before him, Wegener had been struck by the remarkable fit of the coastlines of South America and Africa. But, unlike the others, to support his theory Wegener sought out many other lines of geologic and paleontologic evidence that these two continents were once joined. During his long convalescence, Wegener was able to fully develop his ideas into the Theory of Continental Drift, detailed in a book titled Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane (in German, The Origin of Continents and Oceans) published in 1915." Alfred Lothar Wegener [This Dynamic Earth, USGS]



What I'm getting at here is that I learned and used the scientific method and realize that no theory is immutable. Each new discovery may strengthen or weaken, or even replace an established theory. Do we have to know how gravity is generated ( is it waves or something else?) to be able to calculate what orbit an object will follow if certain forces are applied to it? Theories help us to figure things out and it does us no good to refuse to replace them if better evidence is discovered.


Organized religion ,especially, develops adherents who remind me of fans of organized sport. Our team (or belief) is the best and is the only on worth rooting for. You say something is bad about a fanatics team and derision, invective, and perhaps a pounding, follow. You dare to suggest that science has a good explanation based upon evidence from many separate disciplines and you meet with antagonism and shunning. Can you even imagine a proclaimed atheist gaining office in the US? Evolution threatens "our Beliefs". Don't allow it to be taught - or at least make creation "science" an equally valid "theory". We might as well make the theory of a flat earth co-equal with the thoery of the Earth as a sphere. The Earth is 6000 years old. It says so in this book written at a time when everything was a big unknown. So make it known - "because God said so" became the explanation. I'm afraid at a time when we have developed our knowledge and tools to acquire it, the majority of the population is becoming more scientifically ignorant - purposely.


I could go on and on... but I already have. :shrug:


But I feel a connection to this world we live on and this universe we inhabit. I am constantly amazed and feel uplifted by the wonder of it all. Is that spirituality? Perhaps it is.


I think Carl Sagan was best at expressing the spiritual feeling that comes from beginning to understand the universe. From Cosmos:


The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us — there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, of falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.


The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. In a cosmic perspective, most human concerns seem insignificant, even petty. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries about the Cosmos and our place within it, explorations that are exhilarating to consider. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky.


We are made of star stuff. For the most part, atoms heavier than hydrogen were created in the interiors of stars and then expelled into space to be incorporated into later stars. The Sun is probably a third generation star.


For we are the local embodiment of a Cosmos grown to self-awareness. We have begun to contemplate our origins: starstuff pondering the stars; organized assemblages of ten billion billion billion atoms considering the evolution of atoms; tracing the long journey by which, here at least, consciousness arose. Our loyalties are to the planet. We speak for Earth. Our obligation to survive is owed not just to ourselves but also to that Cosmos, ancient and vast, from which we spring.
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Speaking of 12-Step programs, my favorite one is devoted to the recovery of people who obsessively write long rambling posts:




Point taken :confused: And I agree. There are times ya just get on a roll though. And of course when I find things getting longish and rambly, I just stop reading and move on. :confused:

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Raised by a Catholic mother, a J.W. father and a protestant step father (oh so many contradictions there :hihi: ), I quickly found religious beliefs to be far to subjective to be credible.


I had though for most of my young life that I was atheist, and would proudly claim so when asked (or challenged).


Due to a very serious incident in my lift, I found that against my will I did have a faith in god, weather I liked it or not. Coming to terms with this core I did not understand took some fairly serious introspection as I could not abandon my commitment to reason and science.


In the end, I came to an understanding with myself and the universe that much later I discovered actually had a name. As it turns out, I am (or turned into?) an Agnostic Quantum Deist.


(I find it odd that I post on this subject twice in one day when I have not thought on the subject in years)


There may be a deficit of religion at Hypography, but there is certainly a surplus of belief.

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I think you would actually find that many of the atheists here are actually religious. I personally am a secular humanist. Atheist does not mean irreligious, just not-theist....


I see I have much to learn.

I thought secular humanism was a philosophy, not a religion.

I stand corrected :hihi:


In my mind, religious always implied that a person practiced the tenants of their beliefs more rigorously then most. I must learn to choose my words more carefully :)

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Any religion is a belief system. Secular humanism is a philosophy but it could also be referred to as a religion in a sense since it is a system of beliefs. Unlike other religions, there is not any particular set of beliefs that are common to all secular humanists. Each person has their own beliefs that they usually form through their own reasoning. This set of beliefs will be called religion by some.

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This may be a repeat, but: The bible was written by man (men). Surely it is confusing to some. 1) What is your state of mind when you read it?


I have no judgement against any religion except those that cause physical harm to people, especially children.


I personally believe humanity needs religion, a guidance to do good. What if we had no religion? How can you be spiritual and not have religion? I don't understand this or I fail to see the possibililty of separation. I was born baptist and now attend Catholic Mass. I see a lot of fault in the people of the churches (with their sins), but that is not a result of their religious beliefs.

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Any religion is a belief system. Secular humanism is a philosophy but it could also be referred to as a religion in a sense since it is a system of beliefs....This set of beliefs will be called religion by some.
And, of course, they will be totally mistaken when they do so.


All safety pins are made of bits of metal. Therefore, all bits of metal are safety pins? I don't think so. Or maybe, bits of metal will be called by some 'safety pins'? They might if they have severe mental issues and are off their meds.


All A are B does not commute.


C'mon, how many belief systems do I have to rattle off before it becomes clear that a 'belief system' <probably> has no correlation with any known religion at all?


Belief systems:

--dogs make loving pets and friends

--cats, too

--never annoy or draw the attention of the cop on the corner

--it is wise to live without borrowing money

--it is good to make at least one person smile every day

--lustful thoughts will cause me to waste my vital bodily fluids

--always choose to live in houses with wooden floors

--an apple a day keeps the doctor away

--never turn off the TV because it annoys the gremlins inside

--Buffy for President


What 'some people' say is irrelevant. Some people say the color orange attracts Satan*. That still isn't a "religion". Maybe it's a superstition.


There seems to be an obsessive, compulsive desire on the part of MANY people to call LOTS of things "religions". Their agendas are not always clear. Often they do this by expanding the definition of "religion" to the breaking point, until my aunt Polly's recipe for apple pie becomes a "religion". And in that case they may be right--aunt Polly's apple pie was heavenly. Please read 1st sig below.


*And I agree with them. :turtle:

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