Poll

What is your religious position?

gnostic atheist - I know for certain that there are no gods.
163 (16.5%)
gnostic monotheist - I know for certain that only one specific god exists.
97 (9.8%)
gnostic polytheist - I know for certain that there is more than one god.
4 (0.4%)
gnostic pantheist - I know for certain that that everything is god.
12 (1.2%)
gnostic deist - I know for certain that there is a god that started the universe but does not actively meddle with it or us.
6 (0.6%)
agnostic atheist - I do not know for certain, but I think there are no gods.
285 (28.8%)
agnostic monotheist - I do not know for certain, but I think only one specific god exists.
21 (2.1%)
agnostic polytheist - I do not know for certain, but I think there is more than one god.
4 (0.4%)
agnostic pantheist - I do not know for certain, but I think that everything is god.
24 (2.4%)
agnostic deist - I do not know for certain, but I think there is a god that started the universe but does not actively meddle with it or us.
39 (3.9%)
ignostic atheist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that there are no gods.
90 (9.1%)
ignostic monotheist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that only one specific god exists.
2 (0.2%)
ignostic polytheist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that there is more than one god.
1 (0.1%)
ignostic pantheist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that that everything is god.
10 (1%)
ignostic deist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that there is a god that started the universe but does not actively meddle with it or us.
7 (0.7%)
apnostic atheist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess there are no gods.
39 (3.9%)
apnostic monotheist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess only one specific god exists.
1 (0.1%)
apnostic polytheist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess there is more than one god.
0 (0%)
apnostic pantheist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess that everything is god.
7 (0.7%)
apnostic deist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess there is a god that started the universe but does not actively meddle with it or us.
8 (0.8%)
Any type of henotheist - There (may be/is only) more than one god, but I think of only one specific god.
7 (0.7%)
I am a god!  [checks self in mirror and grins]
82 (8.3%)
Missionary.
30 (3%)
So! Many! Choices! (Karma Sutra)
51 (5.2%)

Total Members Voted: 647

Author Topic: What is your religious position?  (Read 106126 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jynnan tonnix

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2075
  • Darwins +168/-1
  • Gender: Female
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #754 on: April 04, 2016, 03:04:48 PM »
This could be a life-changing post...even just for pointing me to the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows! What a keeper!

Offline nogodsforme

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10806
  • Darwins +1775/-9
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #755 on: April 04, 2016, 03:40:52 PM »
CD, this is a very honest statement, and I thank you for that. Some theists weasel around wasting our time redefining words instead of admitting that they have no real evidence for what they believe. This is what you are saying here.

You have no evidence for any of this, but you just really want to believe that there is "something more" than life and death, or that there is "someone out there" watching over things, setting up the rules, keeping the ol' universe ticking over, and balancing the scales of injustice.  There is no sign that there is any such being or beings. No matter how badly you want there to be. No matter what the bible says or does not say. No matter what the adults in the Catholic Church told you when you were little.

We have had many, many believers, who aggravate us with all the aforementioned wasting of time redefining words like "omnipotent", "perfect", "eternal", "moral" and "omniscient".[1] The more insightful believers realize that their god is not standing around anywhere, and is only available through feelings and unreliable ancient stories. They therefore try to locate god somewhere in experimental physics (god is "energy") or some other area of science where we don't know much, because none of the extensive research in neuroscience, medicine, evolutionary biology, physical anthropology, archeology, geology, astronomy or ordinary physics has found any sign of their god.

The part of your statement that is really weak is this: the idea that there must be "something more" and therefore the god that I was taught about as a child must be real. You need to explain the connection, the "therefore" between those two statements. You cannot give any reason for the something more being the one god you think is real (and you already know that the bible is pretty lame on making the case).

If there is a something it could be Allah or Shango or Ahura Mazda or Brahma or Quetzacoatl just as easily as Jehovah. Same utter and total lack of evidence (besides feelings and stories) for all of them. Yet, all have had firm believers, for hundreds or even thousands of years.  Once you truly understand that people who believe in those gods are every bit as strong in their faith as you are in your god, are as willing to die, kill, change their lives, teach that religion to their kids as any devout Christian, there is only one path open to you.[2]

IMHO, either they are all real, which makes no sense in the way the universe operates, or none of them are. We don't have ancient stories about Jehovah chilling with the Buddha, or Zeus having a thunder and lightning battle with Shango, or Allah showing up in ancient Mexico to hang out with the Mayan or Aztec dieties. They do not all appear in anyone's mythology. Soooo, that suggests that religions are cultural artifacts made up by human beings, and have no real physical relationship to the world, let alone the universe.

Someone compared the situation of all these competing gods actually co-existing to the Harry Potter universe co-existing with the Marvel, Dr. Who, Star Trek and Star Wars universes.  We do not expect to see Harry wandering around the Death Star, or Yoda hanging out with Tony Stark except in crossover fanfiction. Of course, none of those universes really exists. Kinda like the universes inhabited by all those different gods. 
 1. Until they end up shrinking their god down to something like a clairvoyant, universe-creating Incredible Hulk who, although he made everything exactly the way he wanted it, and can see the future, still gets easily frustrated and destroys things when they, strangely, don't go his way...
 2. That was one of the strongest nails in the coffin of religious belief for me-- meeting people in many different cultures who truly, devoutly, honestly believed incredible sh!t that could not possibly be true.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 03:43:39 PM by nogodsforme »
If you have god, why do you need the gun?

Prayer is begging god to change his mind.

Offline CrystalDragon

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 492
  • Darwins +64/-2
  • Gender: Female
  • Proud Whovian
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #756 on: April 04, 2016, 06:35:04 PM »
It's times like this where I wish there was one of those "happy cry" emoticons, because Albeto, I admit I felt touched by one part of your post in particular:

Make your reason. And make it count. Make it count for someone who doesn't have the same opportunities as you. Make it count for someone who suffers more than you. Make it count for someone just long enough to turn around and do the same for someone else. Or don't make one. Enjoy what you have. Just try not to be mean to others, if you can help it. Living for an imaginary deity's reason (fear and obey, how unsatisfying is that?) is a choice you can continue to honor, or reject in favor of more, well... honorable reasons. You already recognize this deity offends your moral code. Why would you want to continue doing things you imagine would please it?

That part in bold there honestly almost had me tear up—especially seeing as I was listening to "Try Everything" from Zootopia as I read it. :). There was just something inspiring I found about it.

And thanks for introducing me to the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows as well.  Ellipsism is exactly the kind of thing I feel, and I never knew there was a specific word for it.   As for the eternal life being torture thing, I, at least, don't feel like it would be.  If I got to see people achieve things like traveling to other solar systems, or creating new film's and stories, that kind of thing would be worth living forever IMO.  To see everything that human ingenuity and imagination is capable of now and will be capable of is something I'd really want to be able to see.

NGFM, you have a point about the "therefore".  I suppose I should have worded it more like this: "I feel there must be something more to life like a greater purpose for our existence, so I feel that some higher power must have been involved". 

I appreciate you guys listening. :angel:
Sometimes what is unknown is the most interesting.

"It is always darker right before the light.  Or for some people, it just stays dark, but they don't seem to notice."

Online Add Homonym

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3818
  • Darwins +379/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • I can haz jeezusburger™
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #757 on: April 05, 2016, 01:51:07 AM »
BASTARD ALERT

I firmly believe that God exists and Jesus exists.

Why does Jesus exist, if God is a vague thing for you? Are you talking about a vague Jesus?

Quote
I do not believe those "lesser gods" exist anywhere near as strongly as I do God, I simply mean thatI feel it's a possibility that they could exist in some form.

I'm statistically certain that they do exist. They could be just super evolved lifeforms, like Q and the Doctor.

Quote
that the universe and us and everything can't have come about by chance (albeit directed through the laws of nature, but with no intelligent purpose behind it),

Except for Jesus, who you know exists.

Quote
probably beyond my lifetime unless scientists find out a way to make us immortal/really long-lived within a few decades—and I may never get to see them.  At least with heaven you might get to see what goes on on Earth and you wouldn't really be missing out on things.

Maybe some child will resurrect us all, using a quantum computer, and then dish out arbitrary punishments.

Quote
I know I probably seem like I'm ranting, but I feel a bit conflicted here. :?

Luckily your consciousness is not much different to somebody else's. You are mainly your memories.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 01:52:48 AM by Add Homonym »
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

Online eh!

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6557
  • Darwins +391/-85
  • Gender: Male
  • jimmy hendrix is jesus
  • User is on moderator watch listWatched
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #758 on: April 05, 2016, 02:07:48 AM »
CD in one post you went from;

"I know that [god exists]"

to

" I firmly believe that [God exists]"

I suggest you neither know or firmly believe at all. I further suggest this might be more appropriate sentence starter for you;

" I don't know with any certainty but I have a fragile emotional and psychological residual attachment to a vague concept I can't coherently define and with no good reason other than fear and intellectual laziness believe something I call god may or may not exist ......"

No need to thank me.
some skepisms,
1. "I have not seen God. I have felt the invisible presence"
2. What if there is a rock in the middle of a road, a blind person is speeding towards it, ...they say that they can't see it.   Would you recommend him to keep speeding?

Online Add Homonym

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3818
  • Darwins +379/-4
  • Gender: Male
  • I can haz jeezusburger™
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #759 on: April 05, 2016, 02:09:17 AM »
OTHER BASTARD ALERT
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be bleedn obvious.

Offline jynnan tonnix

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2075
  • Darwins +168/-1
  • Gender: Female
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #760 on: April 05, 2016, 06:29:43 AM »
CD in one post you went from;

"I know that [god exists]"

to

" I firmly believe that [God exists]"

I suggest you neither know or firmly believe at all. I further suggest this might be more appropriate sentence starter for you;

" I don't know with any certainty but I have a fragile emotional and psychological residual attachment to a vague concept I can't coherently define and with no good reason other than fear and intellectual laziness believe something I call god may or may not exist ......"

No need to thank me.

This does make good points. I'm not entirely sure that the "intellectual laziness" is entirely warranted; the fear part alone can more than make up the entire reason for the reluctance to put actual words to that her doubt, but I do get the sense that those questions are swirling around.

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 8297
  • Darwins +861/-28
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #761 on: April 06, 2016, 11:39:53 AM »
As for the eternal life being torture thing, I, at least, don't feel like it would be.  If I got to see people achieve things like traveling to other solar systems, or creating new film's and stories, that kind of thing would be worth living forever IMO.  To see everything that human ingenuity and imagination is capable of now and will be capable of is something I'd really want to be able to see.
Yeah we all want things we can't have and never can have - so we invent fairies and elves to give us magic wishes. This is what you have done. Despite Albeto's masterpiece it's all about you, isn't it.

You imagine the unimaginable - an eternity. Time enough to read every book that was ever written, every film that was ever made, spend 100 years with everyone who ever lived, visit everywhere on every planet in the universe a billion times.

But what have you done? Nothing. There you are with all that time on your hands and you behave like a spoiled rich kid indulging themselves. Is that what you think God is for?

You worry about the "purpose of life"... what is the purpose of "eternal life"? A Mega-Disneyland where all the rides are free? Is that it? It that the reason you think there's an invisible magician in outer space? So the universe will be at your disposal?

Not very sensible, is it?



Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline jdawg70

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 4015
  • Darwins +912/-10
  • Ex-rosary squad
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #762 on: April 06, 2016, 01:51:02 PM »
If I got to see people achieve things like traveling to other solar systems, or creating new film's and stories, that kind of thing would be worth living forever IMO.  To see everything that human ingenuity and imagination is capable of now and will be capable of is something I'd really want to be able to see.

Let's pretend for a moment that you do end up living forever, and you get to witness the sum total of everything that human ingenuity and imagination is capable of now and will be capable of.

At that moment, you know there is no new human ingenuity that remains to be seen.  You know that there are no new capabilities for humanity to show off.  Could you describe what, in particular, is worth living in between 'this moment wherein you've seen everything' and 'the rest of eternity'?  It's not the 'people achieving' thing - that's now off the table.  It's not the 'human ingenuity and imagination' thing - that's now off the table.  You've seen the things that eternity allows you to see.  Eventually, eternity will fulfill it's purpose of allowing you to see everything.  Now what?  Are you comfortable with the idea of oblivion at that point?  Why or why not?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

- Eddie Izzard

http://deepaksducttape.wordpress.com/

Offline nogodsforme

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10806
  • Darwins +1775/-9
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #763 on: April 06, 2016, 03:28:18 PM »
One of the main things that makes life worth living is the fact that, someday, it will end. We will all run out of time. We will all want a few more days or months or years to do that one last thing on the bucket list. If you have a pretty good life, you will regret losing it.  And despite the rantings of the end-timers, most people today do have pretty good lives compared with any time in past history.[1]

In the not so distant past, the majority of people were slaves or so horribly oppressed they might as well have been enslaved. Poverty, hunger, disability, forced labor and brutal mistreatment were normal everyday life, not problems to be brought to general attention and corrected. No real treatment for diseases or even good pain relief was available. Nothing resembling justice or fairness by today's standards. You were a witch if the local wealthy landowner said you were. The wrong sexual identity or being an uppity female or the wrong ethnicity or wrong beliefs automatically meant your life would suck without letup; people could torture or even kill you for no other reason.   

No wonder the simple joys of Heaven, Valhalla, paradise, nirvana--whatever--were so attractive as to make people change their behavior.[2] The sad fact was that some chance of a different, less horrible existence after you died was your only hope of relief.

These days, very few people are so miserable (aside from the terminally ill with painful diseases, or clinically depressed people with messed up brain chemistry) that death is more attractive than continued life. So the hard-sell on heaven is quite a bit more difficult.

We have moved heaven away from a nice, quiet place where there are soft places to rest,  no hunger or pain, some light entertainment, and people just hanging out with friends and family instead of slaving away in the fields. That would be boring as hell to modern folks--eternity? Really? And besides, most people can have at least a temporary taste of that now. It's called the weekend, or the holiday vacation. Or retirement.

The afterlife these days has to be an eternal episode of Cosmos, or Nova, with god filling in for Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Add in a petting zoo with dinosaurs and unicorns, non-stop top name entertainment, perfect beaches and skiing, and a time machine to hang out with all the interesting figures from history. Indeed, in order to be attractive to the moderately comfortable 21st century believer, heaven has to be imagined as a cross between Universal Studios, Tokyo Disneyland, Branson/Dollywood, Dubai, Bali, the Swiss Alps, the Vegas Strip-- and the Smithsonian.

Even with all that, eternity is a long time. How many billion times do you want to visit Dollywood or Disneyland, anyway?  :P
 1. Defined as decent health, enough food to eat, a place to live, at least basic literacy, not being enslaved and nobody assaulting you, locking up in a dungeon or shooting at you with impunity. This just in: by 2020 about 5 billion people worldwide will have a cell phone!
 2. At least somewhat and mainly when other people besides god were watching. ;)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 03:33:50 PM by nogodsforme »
If you have god, why do you need the gun?

Prayer is begging god to change his mind.

Offline jynnan tonnix

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2075
  • Darwins +168/-1
  • Gender: Female
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #764 on: April 06, 2016, 03:48:18 PM »
How about living forever and being around to witness the demise of the planet especially if it's a slow, miserable process. If overpopulation, global warming, pollution, etc., continue unabated, would you enjoy seeing that impact on humanity? If violence and terrorism become everyday occurrences in ever more corners of the world, would that be interesting to witness?

That's the trouble with living forever...It's nice to be optimistic and imagine a future where our problems are solved and feel cheated by not being able to be around for that time, but it's just as likely that we have already seen things be as good as they will ever get.

And even if we DO sort things out, the planet is not going to last forever. Something will take it out sooner or later, and the chances are that by the time that happens we will not have the technology (or time) to simply move elsewhere.

Do you envision existing in the vacuum of space for eternity after that, or is that when an afterlife kicks in?

I'm not trying to pick on you, by the way, I find these interesting things to think about.

Offline albeto

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 796
  • Darwins +120/-1
  • Gender: Female
  • WWGHA Member
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #765 on: April 06, 2016, 05:22:04 PM »
It's times like this where I wish there was one of those "happy cry" emoticons...

You might like this. Carl Sagan's, Pale Blue Dot.

I recommend the entire Cosmos series, both Sagan's and Tyson's. Brilliant. Informative. Sobering. Inspiring. You'll walk away with more knowledge than you knew you could handle. Hopefully, you'll also walk away with the desire to do something positive around you rather than waiting to die, hanging on a promise, one that is conclusively illogical, unreasonable, immature, and rather insulting and offensive.



As for the eternal life being torture thing, I, at least, don't feel like it would be.  If I got to see people achieve things like traveling to other solar systems, or creating new film's and stories, that kind of thing would be worth living forever IMO.  To see everything that human ingenuity and imagination is capable of now and will be capable of is something I'd really want to be able to see.

All this talk about eternity brings to mind that Star Trek: Voyager episode called "Death Wish." In this episode Quinn, a member of the Q, is arguing the right to commit suicide. He explains to Janeway that "when he was a respected philosopher he celebrated the purity the Q had reached and at the beginning of their era the Continuum was full of discussion on the discoveries and the issues that arose in the universe, but now everyone is silent because there is nothing left to say. Everything has already been said, and no-one has spoken to each other for ten millennia as a result."

I suppose I should have worded it more like this: "I feel there must be something more to life like a greater purpose for our existence, so I feel that some higher power must have been involved". 

That's so illogical, and frankly, childish. To demand a solution only because it fits with a desire is not reasonable. It's petty. It's selfish. Do you conduct other areas of discovery in your life like this? I imagine not, but for some reason, religion gets a pass when it comes to expectations of logic. Instead, we find people encouraging each other to suppress logic, suppress curiosity, and instead hang on really sincerely held true wishes as if they could really be true if they are believed hard enough.

Your arguments present really good examples of how your religion stunts intellectual and emotional growth. I find that not only frustrating, but alarmingly so. My culture is made up of people like you, people who genuinely want to do good things, who genuinely want others to be a peace, find joy, and not suffer, but people who will stop thinking critically and demand others around them pretend their deepest desires could really come true because they can wish it hard enough. Magical thinking isn't quaint, it's intrusive, it's damaging, it hinders progress by thwarting demonstrable solutions to known problems. It encourages people to be happy with ignorance, to celebrate gullibility, to value obedience over knowledge, to reward the ability to manipulate emotions. It is a demonstrable retardant to intellectual and emotional growth, and that doesn't serve the individual or society. It puts us all at risk.

I expect no one wants to feel like they are left out of the Great Experience. No one wants to be unimportant. But this idea of being the Belle of the Eternal Ball is not just silly, it's distracting you from things you could do to experience that right now. It's distracting you from identifying real problems, and contributing to their solution. Hell, you can even put your time to helping others feel that way. There are volunteer opportunities around you right now that would allow you to help some child, teen, or adult be the Belle of the Ball for the first time in their life. You can volunteer to help people learn to read, get enough food or blankets for the weekend, get well-needed respite from taking care of a special needs child, hold babies at the hospital, or any number of things that could replace your natural and understandable emotional desire to experience joy and inclusion with something more productive. If you live too far away to help in person, you can contribute online or through agencies and organizations. Or hey, you can simply enjoy your life, and bring that joy to others just by including them.


Offline CrystalDragon

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 492
  • Darwins +64/-2
  • Gender: Female
  • Proud Whovian
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #766 on: April 06, 2016, 05:38:06 PM »
You know, I have to say this... you guys are pretty inspiring people. :). And you make good points about the whol living forever thing, I wouldn't exactly want to live until the heat death of the universe or anything, that would be way too depressing.  Just watching everything around me fade away...

And Alberto, thanks for the Cosmos YouTube link. :). I watched some of Sagan's but not Tyson's yet, though I do enjoy watching the likes of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman and How the Universe Works, so I'm sure I'd love those. :)

Also, I'll have to check out that Star Trek Voyager episode—I've seen the entire original series and loved it, all ofTNG and loved it more, and a few episodes of Voyager which I think is okay but no TNG (honestly I could talk about sci-fi showslikethat and Doctor Who all day, haha)

I really appreciate the points you guys are making, and you know what I appreciate most?  That none of you have made fun of me for being a theist, or really had me feel unwelcome.  You guys have had me challange my beliefs, sure, but gotten me to start to think more critically about them, and see that you can't just really wait for "eternal life just because you get to see the cool things everyone else will do in the future" kind of thing.  We have a limited time on Earth and we ought to live it, and I guess really that's how atheists most often see the world.  Really putting value into life because you're not just focusing on "the next one".

I actually was talking about this kind of thing with someone I know today, who basically said something similar: "Whatever you do, do in love, get out there and follow your dreams".   And that's something that I think can be agreed on whether you're a theist or atheist.
Sometimes what is unknown is the most interesting.

"It is always darker right before the light.  Or for some people, it just stays dark, but they don't seem to notice."

Offline nogodsforme

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10806
  • Darwins +1775/-9
  • Gender: Female
  • Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
Re: What is your religious position?
« Reply #767 on: April 06, 2016, 07:00:07 PM »
Here we try to criticize people's ideas, not them personally. Most of us were theists at some point. I would not have liked being made fun of when I was [trying to be] a believer, so why would I try to make someone else feel bad for no reason? Golden rule and all. 

And we are not about getting everyone who comes here to agree with some platform of atheist commandments or some such silliness. We are about as diverse as they come and that is what makes it fun to be here.

That, I think, is a big difference between this site and many religious discussion forums where they insult, restrict or outright ban people who disagree with them. You go and read the long statements of faith that you are supposed to sign onto at Christian forums. They tell you exactly what you are supposed to think, and what kind of ideas are not allowed.

You either agree to conform, or else you are relegated to a separate part of the site where your ideas will not contaminate the rest of the participants. Not even all Christian denominations are accepted. Some explicitly exclude Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Adventists, Mormons, Orthodox, Unitarians, non-born-agains and on and on. They tell you which version of the bible is allowed. You can only imagine what they think of Sikhs, Buddhists or Muslims! I have not joined any of those sites-- who has the time to waste with such narrow-minded people?

If you have god, why do you need the gun?

Prayer is begging god to change his mind.