Let’s Talk Religion and Faith

Huntn

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I have a long running Being A Competent Theist thread over in PRSI, however this post went into a different thread. If you feel like debating or commiserating, or sharing your outlook here, please jump in. I call myself Agnostic.

These are most religions’ assumptions: God exists, it is focused on us, it punishes and rewards, it frequently grants favors, and the primary hook, it offers the hope of continued consciousness beyond mortal death, hence the attraction.

This does not preclude the existence of God, a God. However, it’s very easy to observe that the Christian/Muslim God as we know it is very much the creation of human beings, it’s characteristics, desires, motivations, moods, hissy fits, all of the human faults we have attributed to this Supreme Being, who is equated to possessing unimaginable power/magic, perfect, while not seeming to under the power it wields or possess the insight an all knowing Being should have.

I think if the premise that God exists is accepted, you can legitimately ask, what evidence is there that it is involved in our lives in any way, beyond existing as a figment of our emotions?

More important imo, is the philosophical debate is there a purpose in our lives? In other words does our existence mean anything at all? It can be argued that if our existence is 1-100 years of consciousness, in billions of years, what is the point? No point? This is where you can seek hope, whether it is well founded or not. I want this case of shared consciousness to have meaning, while acknowledging this is a emotional response and has no basis other than the existence of consciousness itself offers the hope of continued consciousness, and that it is not necessarily tied only to a mortal body.
 
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Alli

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I was thinking of this thread as well. I find myself coming away from current events feeling that it confirms there is no god. Would a true god take Ruth Bader Ginsberg and leave Robert Barr? If there is a deity responsible for actions like this, it has a little too much of a sense of absurdity for me.

But I gave up on God (capital G) back when my first husband and I divorced. I had been the observant one, yet he was the one with whom the community sided. Then there was that nasty bout of cancer. I lived through it despite having thrown up no prayer to any god.

I consider myself a spiritual person now. I hold onto the teachings that I was brought up with, and have been focused lately on “justice, justice shall you pursue.” (צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף) I want us all to focus on justice and righteous living. Being righteous doesn’t require a god. It requires common sense. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Be good. Do good things. That’s pretty much it.
 

ericgtr12

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I like to think of myself as more spiritual and definitely more agnostic when it comes to religion. I don't think any just god would ever deliberately condemn people to eternally burning in hell for not worshiping him. A football player thanks god for giving him the strength to score the winning touchdown, yet a child dies a hideous and painful death from cancer, maybe there's a happy medium in there somewhere but I just can't reconcile that.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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A football player thanks god for giving him the strength to score the winning touchdown,

The Onion did an article some years ago where a pro football player thanked Jesus and God for giving him the strength to commit a double homicide. "Jesus was there when we won the big game and he was also there when I plunged that knife into her chest."
 

Huntn

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I was thinking of this thread as well. I find myself coming away from current events feeling that it confirms there is no god. Would a true god take Ruth Bader Ginsberg and leave Robert Barr? If there is a deity responsible for actions like this, it has a little too much of a sense of absurdity for me.

But I gave up on God (capital G) back when my first husband and I divorced. I had been the observant one, yet he was the one with whom the community sided. Then there was that nasty bout of cancer. I lived through it despite having thrown up no prayer to any god.

I consider myself a spiritual person now. I hold onto the teachings that I was brought up with, and have been focused lately on “justice, justice shall you pursue.” (צֶ֥דֶק צֶ֖דֶק תִּרְדֹּ֑ף) I want us all to focus on justice and righteous living. Being righteous doesn’t require a god. It requires common sense. Don’t kill. Don’t steal. Be good. Do good things. That’s pretty much it.
As frequently said the devil is in the details. :) What I won’t commit to are the details and specifics. Spirituality is a good thing, because for myself, I believe because of my ability to think, that this life more likely has purpose, than is just a chance meaningless occurrence, although I have no real evidence other than possibly, the source of consciousness is an undetermined in our existence.

We know a lot, but scientists, last I heard, have no idea what the source or mechanism of consciousness is. A conk on the head disrupts consciousness, but where does it reside, exactly? Is a link to an anchored soul disrupted? Unknown. What makes a human brain different than a PC, ie a computer running a program, vs awareness as we associate with ourselves? :)
 
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Chew Toy McCoy

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I’m pretty much agnostic and am fine with whatever floats people’s boat as long as it doesn’t negatively impact others. Sometimes I feel religion is the ultimate lazy answer to life not being fair and lack of motivation to do anything about it, and it’s not coincidence that’s often forced on us by those on the winning side of the life not being fair scale. Not all, but most aspects of life not being fair are completely manmade and therefor could be fixed by man. Big improvements in fairness could be made if we were even just slightly less materialistically greedy. Of course there are also those who could afford to be a lot less greedy and still be living great.
 

Scepticalscribe

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These are most religions’ assumptions: God exists, it is focused on us, it punishes and rewards, it frequently grants favors, and the primary hook, it offers the hope of continued consciousness beyond mortal death, hence the attraction.

Great thread, (and your thread in The Other Place is also very interesting).

Another assumption of almost every religion I have examined - and, in my mid to late teens, and early twenties, I did a lot of reading, and thinking, one might almost say "searching" - reading texts with a view to seeking answers to questions - on this very theme.


Anyway, another assumption of almost every religion that I have examined, is the sheer amount of theological energy and effort most organised religion put into oppressing, and repressing women.

By this, I mean the endless reams of dogma and divine diktat defining women as "lesser", "inferior" and, therefore, by definition, "subordinate", which is woven into the very warp and weft of the very fabric of almost every religious belief system.

This also ties in with how public devotion is expressed - a equation where degrees of devoutness are measured in adherence to expressions of piety which are about the control of women - an expression that often takes the form of policing, of controlling, of judging, women, and of placing or imposing strictures on the appearance, behaviour, and conduct of women in the public and the private spheres, on the basic rights accorded to women - and on controlling, dictating and ordering - indeed, circumscribing - their lives, (supposedly supported by divine diktat) very often in the most intimate of areas.

This isn't just confined to the various branches or the Christian faith - which is what I grew up with - but extends also to the more ferocious versions of the two other ancient Abrahamic faiths, namely, Islam and Judaism. (And, yes, I read the Koran, also, at that time).

Indeed, Hindu (yes, I read the Ramayana and various Hindu myths on my various voyages of intellectual - and, I suppose, spiritual - discovery) thought, and of course, Buddhism, which I also took a look at, - perhaps in the hope of something different - was also depressingly predictable at excluding women from the enlightened delights of Nirvana.

Actually, apart from the 'reform' interpretations of Buddhism, which, in common with the reform movements found in many other religions, Judaism, Christianity - were more enlightened on the subject of women - almost every (actually, no, every single) religion I read about had attitudes to women that can best be described as extraordinarily negative, and, arising from that negativity, seeking justification (divinely granted) for quite (or sometimes, extraordinarily) repressive teachings about women - and which were applied to women - as a result.
 
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Huntn

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Great thread, (and your thread in The Other Place is also very interesting).

Another assumption of almost every religion I have examined - and, in my mid to late teens, I did a lot of reading, thinking, one might almost say "searching" - reading texts with a view to seeking answers to questions - on this very theme.


Anyway, another assumption of almost every religion that I have examined, is the sheer amount of theological energy and effort most organised religion put into oppressing, and repressing women.

By this, I mean the endless reams of dogma and divine diktat defining women as "lesser", "inferior" and, by definition, "subordinate", which is woven into the very warp and weft of the very fabric of almost every religious belief system.

This also ties in with how much of how public devotion is expressed that takes the form of policing, of controlling, of judging, and imposing strictures on the appearance, behaviour, conduct of women in the public and the private spheres, and on controlling, dictating ad ordering - and circumscribing - their lives, (supposedly supported by divine diktat) very often in the most intimate of areas.

This isn't just confined to the various branches or the Christian faith - which is what I grew up with - but extends also to the more ferocious versions of the two other Abrahamic faiths, Islam and Judaism. (And, yes, I read the Koran, also at that time).

Indeed, Hindu (yes, I read the Ramayana and various Hindu myths on my various voyages of intellectual - and, I suppose, spiritual - discovery) thought, and of course, Buddhism, which I also took a look at, was also depressing predictable at excluding women from the enlightened delights of Nirvana.

Actually, apart from the 'reform' interpretations of Buddhism, which, in common with the reform movements found in many other religions, Judaism, Christianity - were more enlightened on the subject of women - almost every (actually, no, every single) religion I read about had attitudes to women that can best be described as extraordinarily negative, and, arising from that negativity, quite (or sometimes, extraordinarily) repressive of women as a result.
A very excellent point, which lends itself to the premise based on historical cultural positioning, who (which sex) was in control, (a cultural standard with women as second class citizens) and who was primarily authoring these ideas in spiritual documents?*

Which leads to an assessment that when it comes to the specifics of God, you are seeing at best what started as a philosophical idea, become transformed into a testament of facts, when it is no such thing. At best, regarding the specifics of God, group delusion and unfortunately a successful means to corrupt, control, and profit at the expense the sheep.

The worst aspect of the God Scam, is the notion that we without God, possess nothing. In essence we have no inherent morals other than what God tells us what our morals should be. I’ve said this many times, but the mainstream religions I am familiar with, try to instill morality by turning us into good rule followers, instead of proceeding from the assumption that it is acting on our own accord is the only measure of judging actions, not how good we act to avoid punishment.

* I can imagine, maybe incorrectly, that when sexual roles became provider vs child raiser due to biological constructs, women birth and feed infant though bodily milk, that the men because action figures, and consequently took control of the direction of the tribe. As society, knowledge, technology advanced, the physical role of men has become diminished, exceeded by the role of intelligence of which if you look at modern society, women are succeeding like never before because they bring a different, arguably sometimes a better skill set to leadership roles. This is not an argument that one sex is better than the other. :)
 

Alli

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* I can imagine, maybe incorrectly, that when sexual roles became provider vs child raiser due to biological constructs, women birth and feed infant though bodily milk, that the men because action figures, and consequently took control of the direction of the tribe. As society, knowledge, technology advanced, the physical role of men has become diminished, exceeded by the role of intelligence of which if you look at modern society, women are succeeding like never before because they bring a different, arguably sometimes a better skill set to leadership roles. This is not an argument that one sex is better than the other. :)

I recently watched the tv series “Sirens.” Man and Merfolk might learn to live together. Anyhow, one of the cultural aspects they hit on was that when the babies are of age it is the men who take them to teach them to hunt and fight, but the society is matriarchal. I figured the writing team had to be mostly women.

The fact is, it’s only organized religion that ever causes any problem. It is when we begin labeling ourselves due to our beliefs that we run into issues. If there were no organization to belief, there would be no need of discussing the roles played by men or women - it would just be.
 

iMi

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I like to think of myself as more spiritual and definitely more agnostic when it comes to religion. I don't think any just god would ever deliberately condemn people to eternally burning in hell for not worshiping him. A football player thanks god for giving him the strength to score the winning touchdown, yet a child dies a hideous and painful death from cancer, maybe there's a happy medium in there somewhere but I just can't reconcile that.

That’s because when something good happens, it’s “god’s will.” When something bad happens, it’s “the devils work.” Religious people find ways to justify everything. It’s a neat little setup. You can’t go wrong. You prayed and got what you wanted? God was “with you.” You didn’t get it? It’s “gods way of showing you another way.”
 

Alli

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That’s because when something good happens, it’s “god’s will.” When something bad happens, it’s “the devils work.” Religious people find ways to justify everything. It’s a neat little setup. You can’t go wrong. You prayed and got what you wanted? God was “with you.” You didn’t get it? It’s “gods way of showing you another way.”
Which is why I have a problem with athletic teams and prayer. It suggests god did not like the opposing team.
 
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