The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
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12-12-2011, 02:53 PM
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
(12-12-2011 02:19 PM)kineo Wrote:  
(12-12-2011 02:16 PM)The_observer Wrote:  
(12-12-2011 09:35 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  And WTF is this Wreck dude? I feel as if I came to the party way too late.

Oh him...
He's a fairly intelligent member providing good feedback and food for thought unhindered by any form of social skill. Smile

That is a hilarious awesome and spot-on summary of what I read of his replies in this thread. That just might be sig-worthy right there. Big Grin

If he were still around, I definitely would put that as my sig.
He pops in on rare occasions but never have the impact like he used to have.

Observer

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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12-12-2011, 03:17 PM
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
(12-12-2011 02:16 PM)The_observer Wrote:  I'm sorry to inform you that I'm also an apaltrowist..

It is my sin, spreading the divinity of the Gwynnies... but I'm Setian now. Sin, baby, sin! I love that girl. She makes a much better god than that dusty ol' fuck YHWH. Wink

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10-04-2012, 10:09 AM
 
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
I was asked to give my opinion on Observer's post, and so I will.

I've read it, and I like it and dislike it. I like the fact that he has created his own religion, which I believe is the only rational path a person can take in regards to increasing their spirituality. However, the religion he's created is devoid of any knowledge of God or Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is not the way, the truth or a system that leads to eternal life. So, what good is it?

If this life is all there is the only rational motivation is hedonism: fuck, feed, and stay as stoned as possible for as long as possible. If you get off on money and power, then do that as well. That’s it. If there is no God, then there is no right or wrong. There is no sin; there is no purpose for anything. If there is no God and no afterlife, we are basically dead, because even our consciousness is of no relevance whatsoever. If there is no God, there is only the fight for survival for no reason at all and the drive to maximize whatever pleasure the world can give us.

So, Observer’s religion is quite literally insane. His opinions are worthless (if he is right that there is no God, that is). In fact the most ludicrous cult you can imagine is more rational than an atheist religion, if that cult exists as a means for drawing closer to God. If following David Koresh gets a person closer to God, and God exists, then it is more rational than Observers religion, because Observers religion is atheistic. If on the other hand there is no God, putting any constraints on human behavior is pointless.

I applaud Observer for having the balls to make his own religion. That’s the way it should be, but the formation of any religion must begin with a conviction in the existence of God. If it does, and if it is rational, it will lead to Jesus Christ from there, not Christianity mind you, but toward Jesus Christ as he really is.

Thanks for inviting me to express my views on this intriguing attempt at an atheistic religion. Smartass
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12-04-2012, 01:41 PM
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
Thanks for the response Egor. It was really challenging and thought provoking for me to find me some decent answers to the issues you raise.

My first task was to define this issue.
Egor sees the lack of a higher being as a lack of purpose in life.

My first reaction was an act of retaliation where I thought that there is no real connection between the need of a higher being for purpose and the God worshiped by Egor as described in his scripture. But then I realized I am not here to attack Egors religion, but to defend mine. So I don't want to walk that way

Then I thought that there doesn't NEED to be a purpose in life. Then again, that would make me nihilistic and I don't really feel that way. Since religion is an application of emotion, what I believe is supposed to make me feel good. (pretty ironic to defend against hedonism that way isn't it Consider )

I thought for long and I found the higher purpose.
It's humanity itself.
Hedonism is fine to certain level, but once you see the big picture of humanity, you realize there must be a limit to such. Hedonism is inversely proportional with an emphatic form of humanity. The obvious next question would be "then what is the higher purpose of humanity?" The answer would be "I don't know"... No one does... Solving that riddle might be one of humanity's higher purposes.
I realize this is a weak position. It stems from my agnosticism. "I don't know" seems to be a valid answer in many religions.

Personally, I already moved beyond the point of a "why" question as I understand that this question is mere a reflection of us, social evolved beings wondering what "our place is in the group" or, to put it in other words "what our place is in life"

So, It was tough but insightful. Thanks again for the feedback Egor.

Bonus insight:
When two parties of different ideas are willing to seek a common ground to start from, and plot out their differences from that position, a civil debate is much more likely.

Observer

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13-04-2012, 04:26 AM
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
What horrible timing! I'm up -supposedly briefly- between first and second sleep and only wanted to read a little. Then you have to go and post such an interesting and insightful original post. So I've read through from the beginning with much interest.

I hope to get back to say more but for now, as I've already said, I found it very thought provoking. That you've framed the effort exclusively in terms of "I messages" and started by saying that you, like the rest of us, are a limited knower of some things but not everything is so fitting.

My only reaction against your project here is to notice that I've always resisted concretizing my beliefs out of respect for the fact that by my (and I think, our) nature I realize I can't at any moment be conscious of every contingency. But from what you write, obviously you understand this. In actual practice, I don't wish to live my life by way of a set of rules - even if these represent my best effort to articulate what seem in fact to be the values I live by. That is, I don't want to refer to a list of beliefs and values when a new situation arises where the decision feels important. I'd like to think that the same reflection which would go into to articulating such a list, can be applied directly to the decision at hand.

Anyhow, now I really must be back to bed. More later.

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13-04-2012, 11:34 AM (This post was last modified: 13-04-2012 11:44 AM by Observer.)
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
(13-04-2012 04:26 AM)whateverist Wrote:  What horrible timing! I'm up -supposedly briefly- between first and second sleep and only wanted to read a little. Then you have to go and post such an interesting and insightful original post. So I've read through from the beginning with much interest.
LoL... The OP is quit old. I know the feeling thoug Smile

Quote:My only reaction against your project here is to notice that I've always resisted concretizing my beliefs out of respect for the fact that by my (and I think, our) nature I realize I can't at any moment be conscious of every contingency. But from what you write, obviously you understand this. In actual practice, I don't wish to live my life by way of a set of rules - even if these represent my best effort to articulate what seem in fact to be the values I live by. That is, I don't want to refer to a list of beliefs and values when a new situation arises where the decision feels important. I'd like to think that the same reflection which would go into to articulating such a list, can be applied directly to the decision at hand.
I was once challenged by someone (I can't remember who, where or what his philosophical flavor was) who asked: Then what DO you believe? Over the next 3 to 4 weeks, I compiled this OP.

To quote forum member Ghost: What DO you believe, that's what defines you

Quote:Anyhow, now I really must be back to bed. More later.

Looking forward to that.

Observer

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14-04-2012, 04:18 PM (This post was last modified: 14-04-2012 04:45 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
(13-04-2012 11:34 AM)Observer Wrote:  To quote forum member Ghost: What DO you believe, that's what defines you

What if I don't even believe in me? Huh There is no one left to be the believer.

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15-04-2012, 08:13 AM
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
(14-04-2012 04:18 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(13-04-2012 11:34 AM)Observer Wrote:  To quote forum member Ghost: What DO you believe, that's what defines you
What if I don't even believe in me? Huh There is no one left to be the believer.
I'm pretty sure you believe in something Girly ...

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15-04-2012, 09:32 AM
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
Haha, kids can be such an anchor for us. I have a couple of them in my life right now thanks to my 10 years younger brother and his 20 years younger (than him) wife. My niece is 6 and my nephew is 3. We have so much fun together.

It was my brother's 9 year anniversary so I went right over to their house after work Friday and 'babysat' until after lunch yesterday. They went out and then stayed at a hotel and celebrated not too far away. It was the first time mom has slept away from my nephew. My niece has done sleepovers here lots of times but it was my first sleep over there.

Well I thought I was going to be inspired to put down some beliefs and values of my own. Funny but I have a real resistance to doing it. Perhaps I am just being intimidated by how organized and thorough your post was? I think I'll just put down a few highlights and not worry about thoroughness.

BELIEF - The universe and everything in it has come to be through natural causes. If there are any deities out there whose will is reflected in some of the results, nice work you guys. But I'm not sure who the praise should really go to since I have to believe the deities too would have to have arisen by natural causes. So if their choices are reflected in 'creation' then in some sense their choices too are but a reflection of the great what-is-and-will-be. In the same way my 'creations' are but the further unfoldment of this universe. Maybe this is what should be understood when Jesus says "I and the father are one".

BELIEF - I am in no better (or worse) position to understand what we are, where we came from or what it all means than anyone else. Everyone's beliefs are on equal footing. Of course when people's beliefs include empirical claims which are falsifiable by science then I judge them to be mistaken in those regards. But that doesn't make everything they believe wrong.

BELIEF - our epistemic position regarding the important questions in life is not very good. It is very hard to subjectively grasp the objective nature of everything when everything includes the very one attempting to do the grasping. Certainty is a will o the wisp whose pursuit can go too far. It's better to cultivate some comfort in living it. Wisdom is recognizing where it can and cannot be had.

BELIEF - what is morally and aesthetically good are not platonic goods which exist apart from ourselves. They are truths about ourselves which must be discovered within ourselves. They cannot be arrived at by reason alone. If there is convergence between what you arrive at in your search and what I arrive at, I'm not surprised but I do not count on agreement over every detail. Justice is how we negotiate what is morally acceptable in the way we interact when our choices impact one another.

Okay. Life is calling. Not sure what else might come up with more time but this is what came up first.

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15-04-2012, 02:02 PM
RE: The common ground - Open letter to religious folks and free-thinkers
(15-04-2012 08:13 AM)Observer Wrote:  
(14-04-2012 04:18 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  What if I don't even believe in me? Huh There is no one left to be the believer.
I'm pretty sure you believe in something Girly ...

Don't need to sacrifice my principles, Observer, voluntary suspension of disbelief is all that I seem to require. Wink

(15-04-2012 09:32 AM)whateverist Wrote:  BELIEF - our epistemic position regarding the important questions in life is not very good. It is very hard to subjectively grasp the objective nature of everything when everything includes the very one attempting to do the grasping. Certainty is a will o the wisp whose pursuit can go too far. It's better to cultivate some comfort in living it. Wisdom is recognizing where it can and cannot be had.

That's very good. ... I mean, meh, whatever.

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