Being A Competent Theist

Religious, Spiritual, What Do You Believe? (Note: Poll structure limits the number of answers)

  • I believe in the one God (term as popularly used). Clarify if needed ie, Christian, Muslim, etc.

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • I am Agnostic

    Votes: 5 62.5%
  • I am Atheist

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • I am other.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I believe God hands out Earthly favors for belief in and following its rules during my life.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Earth is the Jungle, God does not hand out Earthy favors.

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • This life represents an ongoing journey, but that is just a feeling.

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • I hope there is a spiritual framework that allows for the continuation of consciousness.

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • I believe that my life is a one time experience, when it’s over that’s it, over and done, period.

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Other- my belief is not addressed in this poll (clarify in a post)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    8

Huntn

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You all may remember the original version of this thread… changed it up a little. Some of these questions are asked in the poll. Forum structure restrictions limits the number of answers listed in the poll to represent most religious/spiritual perspectives.
  • Do you believe in a deity, or are you agnostic or atheist?
  • Are you a hedge your bets believer?
  • Simply stated, how did you arrive at your belief? (indoctrinated as child, learned on your own, other)
  • Do you believe God demands belief in it specifically and worship for admittance into heaven or some other basis such as living a moral life and being a good person?
  • Do you believe God rewards loyal followers and good behavior with favors on Earth or is Earth the Jungle and any rewards (if there are any), are received after mortal death?
  • Conjecture- Could there be a spiritual framework that exists outside of the traditional theist God framework?

The problem of particular knowledge of God​


If the central theme of traditional theism, that the finite world depends in some way on one transcendent and infinite Being, can be sustained, then a crucial problem presents itself at once: the question of how a being whose essence can never be known to human beings—a being who, as infinite, is bound to be beyond the grasp of reason and to remain wholly mysterious—can be said to be known at all, much less known and experienced in the close and intimate personal ways that the theist makes equally central to his claim.

Part of the answer is that the theist does not claim to fathom the ultimate mystery of God or to know him as he is in himself. All that is claimed on this score is that humans see the inevitability of there being God in the contingent and limited character of everything else.

Though this line of thought could not be adopted for any finite existence—since one could not normally affirm in any sensible way the existence of anything without specifying in some measure, however slight, what it is like—one can, nonetheless, regard the case of God as unique and not subject to the conditions of finite intelligibility.

In these ways, an insight or intuition into the being of God may be claimed without a commitment to anything about his nature beyond the sort of completeness or perfection required to account for there being limited finite things. This insight is much in line with the “deliverances of religious consciousness” in which it is claimed that God is “hidden,” is “past finding out,” that his ways are not human ways, that he is eternal, uncreated, and so on. But the theist still has a major problem on his hands, for he also makes a central issue of the claim that God can be known—“met” and “encountered” in some way—indeed, that some very bold affirmations about God and his dealings with humanity may be made
 

Pumbaa

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I believe that if there ever was a creator, he/she has long abandoned us just as a child abandons a toy that is no longer entertaining.
From an outside perspective, that’s pretty much indistinguishable from parents creating life, nursing it for a while and later letting go, allowing it to be the master of its fate and captain of its soul.
 

theSeb

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I believe that aliens visited the planet many, many years ago and chose a particular species of ape and gave them an evolutionary boost as an experiment. The aliens are the basis of the universal mythology of "gods living in the clouds". This is also why they don't really care about what happens to one particular ant in an ant colony to use an analogy.
 
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Huntn

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I believe that if there ever was a creator, he/she has long abandoned us just as a child abandons a toy that is no longer entertaining.

I’ll set aside if there is or was a creator who relates to us, because that is a complete unknown imo.

However my impression is that a debate might arise from the empirical evidence as shaky as it seems is the belief in some corners that God (if you accept God exists) somehow takes care of those during their lives, who believe in him.

The counter arguments:
  1. That too many bad things happen to good people and too many good things happen to bad people.
  2. That any benefit a believer in God is just in their heads, ie inspired, feeling good or being looked after.
  3. There will be a benefit in Heaven, ie going to Heaven.
My position, notice I did not say belief, is that 1 disproves the notion of God handing out Earthly favors to those that believe in him. I hear have a blessed day almost daily and I cringe at the idea that God hands out blessings like daily party favors.

I believe 2 is true and for 3, it’s conjecture, but not impossible, just not proven.

I selfishly like the idea of spirituality because it offers the opportunity for the continuation of consciousness, and I like to think of the Earth as a simulator that souls come to visit either to learn, have a new experience, or go on Holliday. :) I also view the Earth as the jungle all bets are off, no guarantees and the vacation could be cut short at any moment. :D
 
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Huntn

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I believe that aliens visited the planet many, many years ago and chose a particular species of ape and gave them an evolutionary boost as an experiment. The aliens are the basis of the universal mythology of "gods living in the clouds". This is also why they don't really care about what happens to one particular ant in an ant colony to use an analogy.
I assume you watched the movie, Prometheus. :)
 

Edd

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Read The God Delusion about 15 years ago. At the time I thought it was good; I may give it another read someday.

I wasn’t raised religious. My dad just didn’t care and my mom was a lapsed Catholic. Always on a spiritual search, she believed in virtually anything, from Bigfoot to reincarnation. She didn’t force it on me. We argued a lot, but it was good natured.

Atheism clicked in me when I was about 13, and that was pretty much it. Loved to argue about it, but tired of that long ago. For a few years in my 30s, I tried calling myself agnostic but it never fit.

Since science is a thing (except for Republicans), the onus is on those worshipping the sky daddy to prove existence of God, which of course they can’t, because faith. It frustrates me that we can’t beyond this, but we won’t in my lifetime.
 
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Huntn

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The God gene or is it human God psychology?
I listened to a interview with a former Houston Astros pitcher on National Public Radio, who fell from grace lost everything and ended up living under a bridge. Someone who knew him, gave him a place to live (until he could support himself) and a job. He found God or God found him, and he climbed back up, and among other things, became a minister.

While I would have to experience this first hand to know what he felt, I do believe people, when a dire situation turns around, some of the. tend to attach a divine event to this, believing that it was not a chance occurrence, or something of their own making, or just good luck. It’s possible that the psychology of our brain attaches something outside and greater than ourselves as having a meaningful hand in the event for our benefit.
 
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Huntn

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Read The God Delusion about 15 years ago. At the time I thought it was good; I may give it another read someday.

I wasn’t raised religious. My dad just didn’t care and my mom was a lapsed Catholic. Always on a spiritual search, she believed in virtually anything, from Bigfoot to reincarnation. She didn’t force it on me. We argued a lot, but it was good natured.

Atheism clicked in me when I was about 13, and that was pretty much it. Loved to argue about it, but tired of that long ago. For a few years in my 30s, I tried calling myself agnostic but it never fit.

Since science is a thing (except for Republicans), the onus is on those worshipping the sky daddy to prove existence of God, which of course they can’t, because faith. It frustrates me that we can’t beyond this, but we won’t in my lifetime.
Not an attack on your position, but I view Atheism as a position of knowledge (I know), and Agnostic as a position of not knowing or unknowable. For myself, Agnostic is the most reasonable choice, because I don’t know, can’t possibly know. :)
 

Edd

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Not an attack on your position, but I view Atheism as a position of knowledge (I know), and Agnostic as a position of not knowing or unknowable. For myself, Agnostic is the most reasonable choice, because I don’t know, can’t possibly know. :)
Going Agnostic feels like giving too much credit to the Jesus lovers, as if they have a reasonable position. They don’t.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Going Agnostic feels like giving too much credit to the Jesus lovers, as if they have a reasonable position. They don’t.

Agreed, they don't, but I have always considered atheism a sort of firm declaration or affirmation that some sort of God like being (or beings, or divinities) do not exist, whereas I do not know this, and cannot know this.

I cannot prove that a God does not exist.

And, these days, I am not so much engaged in this debate, whereas I will freely admit that I spent a lot of time in my teens thinking about these things and reading about them, and struggling with them.

Agnosticism has always seemed to me to have the courage to admit that there are things you do not know, and cannot know, and to be okay with that.

Not an attack on your position, but I view Atheism as a position of knowledge (I know), and Agnostic as a position of not knowing or unknowable. For myself, Agnostic is the most reasonable choice, because I don’t know, can’t possibly know. :)
This is pretty much my position, as well.
 
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Huntn

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Going Agnostic feels like giving too much credit to the Jesus lovers, as if they have a reasonable position. They don’t.
From my perspective, not at all, Agnosticism gives zero credit to Jesus as the Son of God or the Christian God. Atheism states with surety there is no such thing as a deity, or a higher intelligence or maybe some intelligent entity that could be responsible for the organization of the Universe.

As an Agnostic I acknowledge that the Reality we exist in is so mind boggling enormous and beyond me, especially any intelligence possibly capable of manipulating the Universe, I would not dare claim to know anything. :D
 

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From my perspective, not at all, Agnosticism gives zero credit to Jesus as the Son of God or the Christian God. Atheism states with surety there is no such thing as a deity, or a higher intelligence or maybe some intelligent entity that could be responsible for the organization of the Universe.

As an Agnostic I acknowledge that the Reality we exist in is so mind boggling enormous and beyond me, especially any intelligence possibly capable of manipulating the Universe, I would not dare claim to know anything. :D
I’m thinking of it more as, with science as a guide, atheism must be the default position. A god is ghost stories and fairy tales. There’s no debate for me.
 

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I believe 2 is true and for 3, it’s conjecture, but not impossible, just not proven.
Hence the saying “religion is the opiate for the masses.”

I’m also exhausted hearing “have a blessed day,” especially when I know a large number of the people saying it either don’t believe or are saying it sarcastically.

There cannot be a “thank god” without also having a “damn god.” And don’t get me started on the fable of the ongoing soul battle between two almighty beings. Either one is god or he isn’t.
 
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Huntn

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Just noticed, not bringing this up to pick on Israel but this seems harsh to me, an Israeli citizen who practises Judiasm (as far as I can tell) has a father who is Jewish, a mother who is not, and the Jewish religious establishment will not all him to get married in the Orthodox Jewish Church, the official Jewish church In Israel, because (drum roll) he is not Jewish enough. How Catholic of them. ;)

But getting married as a Jew through the Chief Rabbinate, the only possibility in Israel, requires that both parties be Jewish according to Orthodox practice — i.e., having a Jewish mother.

Now I think I know there is a requirement to be married in the Jewish church, you have to convert to Judiasm? If so, I assume the girl friend in this case is Jewish. I believe this is the same for Catholics. But I have never heard of a requirement for the parents, required to enable children to get married. That is more stringent than Catholicism. They need to join the modern ages.

Also, there is no civil marriage in Israel, so you have to leave the country to get married if you don’t meet the standards. 👀

In addition to many immigrants from mixed families or ones that are not recognized as Jewish, those unable to wed in Israel also include gays and lesbians, non-Orthodox converts to Judaism, and various others.
 
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Alli

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Just noticed, not brining this up to pick on Israel but this seems harsh to me, an Israeli citizen who practises Judiasm (as far as I can tell) has a father who is Jewish, a mother who is not, and the Jewish religious establishment will not all him to get married in the Orthodox Jewish Church, the official Jewish church In Israel, because (drum roll) he is not Jewish enough. How Catholic of them. ;)
And this is why you’ll find so many Jews here in the US who do NOT support Israel. My aunt is a convert. She may be a Reform Jew, but she is observant. The Israeli government would not consider her a Jew. Drives me crazy.

BTW, there is no “church” in Judaism. Just substitute Rabinate when you want to refer to the guiding religious power. Unless you’re talking about the Lubavitch, in which case it’s always the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
 

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It sounds like I may be the resident (practicing) Catholic, and maybe even the resident believer. :) I'm always so unreasonable. Haha. :)

@Huntn, one party has to be Catholic to get married in the Church, but both do not.
 
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It sounds like I may be the resident (practicing) Catholic, and maybe even the resident believer. I'm always so unreasonable. Haha.

@Huntn, one party has to be Catholic to get married in the Church, but both do not.

I was thinking there was a time where it was insisted upon that if you were not Catholic, you were expected to convert to be married in the Catholic church, or maybe I am confusing that with agreeing to raise any kids you have in the Catholic Church?
 
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