The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
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11-09-2013, 04:23 AM
 
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(10-09-2013 06:59 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Probably already been said in one form or another (I think the first few replies might qualify) but this will occupy my mind for a minute or two while I prepare to the a quiz.

What if I am wrong? I love that question. I love that there is a nagging piece of my brain that never let's me go a day without asking that question of myself. If I am wrong, that means the information necessary to demonstrate it should be out there and I must be missing it (or interpreting it incorrectly). If so, my views can be amended and my positions changed. That is the great thing about the beliefs I try to hold now (some things may be less likely to go than others but one can't be so skeptical about oneself that you lack conviction). I could not honestly say that as a Christian. I might have been able to say it when I was going through my deist/spiritual phase, but that led to atheism so...yeah.

If I am wrong, I want to know. So I constantly ask myself that very question. It keeps me on me toes!

Let me elaborate a bit on this "what if I'm wrong" feeling.

I agree with TheBeardedDude's definition. And I like being skeptical. However, there is so much information out there, maybe even too much for a lifetime to process. Now that I'm in some kind of an "intermediate state," I want to make an informed decision - but a worldview is not something you want to be wrong about, for the reasons already described.

The thing with me is, I loathe dishonesty. Even after 22 years of being alive, and considerable life experience, I still can't completely fathom that some people would use deception and lies to propagate their agenda, and this makes my quest for truth more difficult. Because I don't have the necessary knowledge to weigh the facts in all scientific disciplines, I sometimes have to trust the experts. And if some of those experts deceive, it makes things harder.

For instance, debates about the historicity of Jesus are usually intense, and I'm not an expert on archaeology or ancient history. So let's say that I read a book that presents one view, and think it makes sense... then I somewhere find a rebuttal to the entire book, completely, like all it was talking about was nonsense. Then a rebuttal to the rebuttal. Over time, I started to recognize when smoke and mirrors are used, but it takes a lot of time, patience, energy... It could all be so easier with more honesty, but I understand why things are the way they are... unfortunately.

Ironically, when I was a Christian, I wasn't fully convinced. Yet now that I'm questioning, I keep thinking, "what if they have something that I don't know about or don't understand?" "What if there really are no contradictions in the Bible, and there is a hidden meaning to everything, yet I don't understand it?" Now, I'm fairly sure that's bullshit, but when I look at how much time and resources are being spent on defending that book, and how deeply entrenched it is in our society, such thoughts occur to me. Which brings me back to the previous paragraph - intellectual honesty.

Does anyone understand me? Blush
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11-09-2013, 05:33 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(08-09-2013 03:26 PM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  Today it's been 36 days since I distanced myself from Christianity (and 9 days since I joined this forum). After a short while here, I decided to reveal something about myself here, and ask for advice.

My "deconversion" was surprisingly quick - it took merely a few hours. Apparently, my opposition to Christian doctrines and ideas grew gradually within me, and finally escalated with a simple "enough," which was what I said to myself when my rational self finally prevailed.

I don't fear death in the naturalistic sense - I see it as a natural part of the cycle of life. Our ancestors leave this world to us, we live to make it better, and then we leave it to our posterity. I don't need a better purpose in life. In fact, eternity would make life meaningless - what makes life valuable is its transience. Every moment is precious, and that's why we need to make the best out of it.

However, there is still this lingering feeling of "what if I'm wrong." It's not a fear - it used to be a fear while I was a believer - it's merely a nagging thought at the back of my mind. Maybe I'm expecting too much - after all, not two months ago I was a firm, dedicated Christian. Perhaps it takes time...

There is one other thing that troubles me - confusion. When I was a believer, I was certain that I was right. Yet now that I look at what I used to believe in, I understand that I was deluded. So how can I know that I'm right now? I've become aware that emotions play a role in the formation of a person's worldview. I want to think objectively about religion, but I feel (not think) that I lost trust in my cold, INTJ-like neutrality that used to help me so often in life. I want to be sure that emotions will not lead me to another delusion.

I'm looking for some advice from those who left religion. Did anyone have experiences similar to mine? Did the "what if I'm wrong" feeling go away and when? How to resist emotional influence on objectivity?

Thank you in advance.

My personal take on it is that it is the initial humility setting in. You're not that damn important, and you don't know shit. Don't let that bother you too much, neither does any other primate. We aren't special. This place ain't built for us to rule over, and we aren't ruled over by an ancient man in the sky.

We don't have all the answers. We don't even know the right questions to ask. 42 is just about as good of an answer as any. In any event, I certainly am not trying to give you an answer. I will try to provide what I believe to be true if asked. So will religious folks. The difference between me and them is that I don't have to break the rules of logic to get to my personal worldview.

There is certainly social pressure to be religious, and it can be inconvenient, even deadly, to not be religious, but I seek the truth. Since I don't have enough evidence to know the truth a good start would be to eliminate what I know to be untrue. Good luck! Thumbsup

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11-09-2013, 05:39 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
Lemme tell you something... you're wrong. Thumbsup

I believe in science; science works that way, you're always fucking wrong. So! At the end you're left with:

A) Did I think about it, process it, test it, experiment?

B) Or did I believe in stupid shit?

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11-09-2013, 05:47 AM
 
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(11-09-2013 05:39 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Lemme tell you something... you're wrong. Thumbsup

I believe in science; science works that way, you're always fucking wrong. So! At the end you're left with:

A) Did I think about it, process it, test it, experiment?

B) Or did I believe in stupid shit?

This is exactly the problem I wrote about in my previous post. I'm not always in the position to test or experiment something. In that case, I have to trust those who are educated in that field. However, there are lies and deception everywhere, as there are agendas that are promoted, not only quest for truth. Which makes my path more difficult.
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11-09-2013, 05:58 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(11-09-2013 04:23 AM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  Let me elaborate a bit on this "what if I'm wrong" feeling.

I agree with TheBeardedDude's definition. And I like being skeptical. However, there is so much information out there, maybe even too much for a lifetime to process. Now that I'm in some kind of an "intermediate state," I want to make an informed decision - but a worldview is not something you want to be wrong about, for the reasons already described.
You don't need to make a decision unless you have something to base it on. Let's call your state agnosticism Wink In fact, that's the original position of the philosophic school of Skeptics. They acknowledged there must be a truth in some positions, but they didn't know in which one, so theirs was not to take any position. So you might as well become well-versed in multiple positions. See if you do, and then see if any of these positions gains more evidence than others.
That's what I did, and I can still argue for the atheist side against biblical inerrancy and literalism, although my actual personal opinion is a little more complicated. For the public, I stick with a simple version.

(11-09-2013 04:23 AM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  The thing with me is, I loathe dishonesty. Even after 22 years of being alive, and considerable life experience, I still can't completely fathom that some people would use deception and lies to propagate their agenda, and this makes my quest for truth more difficult. Because I don't have the necessary knowledge to weigh the facts in all scientific disciplines, I sometimes have to trust the experts. And if some of those experts deceive, it makes things harder.
See? Why would anyone lie? That would falsify their own position! It makes no sense! Maybe they lie for comfort, for having invested too much into it, so it better be true. But I'd expect that from a housewife in Utah, not from academics.

But from what I've seen so far, there are experts and "experts". Most people arguing for existence of Jesus don't have much credibility as historians. If they mention Josephus, it's because of the two lines praising Jesus in a non-Christian author, from the time where only a few % of the society could read, write or spot a fraud.
I learned a some Christian history from the podcast of Rational Response Squad. It's not a free one, not as much fun as Seth, but they have a historian Rook Hawkins and then some funny Christian debates, science and skepticism. It's been several years back since I listened to it at work.

(11-09-2013 04:23 AM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  Ironically, when I was a Christian, I wasn't fully convinced. Yet now that I'm questioning, I keep thinking, "what if they have something that I don't know about or don't understand?" "What if there really are no contradictions in the Bible, and there is a hidden meaning to everything, yet I don't understand it?" Now, I'm fairly sure that's bullshit, but when I look at how much time and resources are being spent on defending that book, and how deeply entrenched it is in our society, such thoughts occur to me. Which brings me back to the previous paragraph - intellectual honesty.

Does anyone understand me? Blush
I don't know if I understand you, I have already chosen a few favorite positions. I believe just one position can't express it all. Of course, from a factual, historical standpoint that book is a sheer nonsense. Almost nothing doctrinally important there happened at the time and place where Bible said it happened, neither it's confirmed by extra-biblical sources, it's political and religious propaganda. The most important aspects of the doctrine are contradicted in it.

But at the same time, I'd say, of course there is a hidden meaning in Bible. People tried to smuggle in their hints of mystery religion for centuries. The whole place of Judea was full of Jewish philosophical sects, some of them very popular. Palestine is a crossing between three continents and there had to be traders from India, Egypt, Africa and of course Roman empire and Greeks. So there were all kinds of ideas around, even reincarnation beliefs, indirectly endorsed in Bible.
Gnostics, Pharisees, Essenes. Such sects always have an outer cult for the masses, and inner mystery religion for the faster on the uptake, who demand some explanation and don't just nod like idiots at the vague teaching for the outer circle. St. Paul was probably one of the inner circle of mystics, some say a Gnostic, but not in my opinion. He was definitely a mystic and wrote many hints in the NT on the mystical experience.

Think of Bible as a bill that is passing through a long, long Congress for about 3 thousand years. And there are various political parties, religious right, religious left, political right and political left, and they all make amendments and changes, censorship, secret votings about content, votes decided in advance, the whole document gets more scribbled than Roman public toilets. But each newly elected party thinks it's holy like the Constitution, so it doesn't get all that re-edited, more like amended.
The Christian emperors finally edited the bill to fit them and passed it as a law, for their executive (mindfuck) power branch of the Holy Roman Church to apply as they see fit and that was it, the result is Christianity and what a mess it is.

Yes, there is some mystical and occult value in it, but you won't recognize it, unless you're a mystic as well, unless you did the same thing with your neurology as them when they wrote it. I mean, at one passage St. Paul writes about love, the next is something terrible about women. Christians take it all, but mystics know very well that even a great mystic like Paul can have brain farts and they themselves are the greatest cherry-pickers of Bible.

If you claim there are nuances to principles, there are no nuances to getting arrested or shot for disobeying the power.
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11-09-2013, 06:03 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(11-09-2013 05:47 AM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  
(11-09-2013 05:39 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Lemme tell you something... you're wrong. Thumbsup

I believe in science; science works that way, you're always fucking wrong. So! At the end you're left with:

A) Did I think about it, process it, test it, experiment?

B) Or did I believe in stupid shit?

This is exactly the problem I wrote about in my previous post. I'm not always in the position to test or experiment something. In that case, I have to trust those who are educated in that field. However, there are lies and deception everywhere, as there are agendas that are promoted, not only quest for truth. Which makes my path more difficult.

(11-09-2013 04:23 AM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  Yet now that I'm questioning, I keep thinking, "what if they have something that I don't know about or don't understand?" "What if there really are no contradictions in the Bible, and there is a hidden meaning to everything, yet I don't understand it?"

In my religious studies as a prophet I have uncovered the following:

love is void
tao is the essence of motion (and Holy Spirit)
faith is moral certainty

tao is unity that requires the manufacture of essential dualities. "What if I am wrong" is a construction requiring the hidden element of right. Ya know what's right? Protons. If they decay, it has to be longer than the age of the universe. Thumbsup

Doesn't help. Thing that omnitheists fail to understand - there are always dualities. Trying to make right in a temporal universe makes wrong. It's called inertia.

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11-09-2013, 06:13 AM
 
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(11-09-2013 06:03 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  In my religious studies as a prophet I have uncovered the following:

love is void
tao is the essence of motion (and Holy Spirit)
faith is moral certainty

tao is unity that requires the manufacture of essential dualities. "What if I am wrong" is a construction requiring the hidden element of right. Ya know what's right? Protons. If they decay, it has to be longer than the age of the universe. Thumbsup

Doesn't help. Thing that omnitheists fail to understand - there are always dualities. Trying to make right in a temporal universe makes wrong. It's called inertia.

I found some sense in your post, but overall I failed to understand it. Sorry. Blush
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11-09-2013, 06:33 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(11-09-2013 06:13 AM)Philosoraptor Wrote:  
(11-09-2013 06:03 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  In my religious studies as a prophet I have uncovered the following:

love is void
tao is the essence of motion (and Holy Spirit)
faith is moral certainty

tao is unity that requires the manufacture of essential dualities. "What if I am wrong" is a construction requiring the hidden element of right. Ya know what's right? Protons. If they decay, it has to be longer than the age of the universe. Thumbsup

Doesn't help. Thing that omnitheists fail to understand - there are always dualities. Trying to make right in a temporal universe makes wrong. It's called inertia.

I found some sense in your post, but overall I failed to understand it. Sorry. Blush

Because prophets are insane. Thumbsup

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12-09-2013, 07:18 AM (This post was last modified: 12-09-2013 07:32 AM by houseofcantor.)
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
(11-09-2013 06:33 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  Because prophets are insane. Thumbsup

There's this BBC show about reading. It shows the effect of action in the brain, and how reading about skiing ain't much different from skiing, in the brain. Then there's empathy - simulation of mind of another in mind -

...and WTF d'ya think's gonna happen, reading the words of crazy people all day?

Class?

There's one big ol' WRONG on the Bible thumpin' side. Here's another:

Idolatry.

I mean, duh. Someone coming at you with a Bible is giving you the right to burn them at the stake. Imma prophet, I know these things; but what everybody should fucking know about god, these things are pathways and not destinations.

Third time's the charm... Moses, I am with you. Thinking of getting that line tattooed on my right forearm. Theist wanna talk about "faith" and "certainty," and here's the fucking guy, kicking it with the fucking man, and he - ya know - AIN'T CERTAIN. Fact, he run away scairt.

I'm certain I love my Gwynnies, and it's work, it's an all-day everyday kinda thing. It's ONE THING, one line, but it is 4.... speaking of four...

4 the win. Even if - and it's a very big if - theist is right? Theist is wrong. Omnigod being all truth to all things at all times, a.k.a. GOD IS LOVE, is TRIVIAL*. JUst like me writing, "I am writing in English;" I'm sitting on my fat ass in a gravity well... it's D'UH!

So, what's really going on?

The Uncertainty of the theist. They want you to believe so they will feel more certain that their belief is right. That kinda shit makes me anti-theist. Angry

*
Kinda makes hell - "without god" - rather not possible. Kinda certifies that "theism" is more about the theologist than the theo. Just like I'm doing here. Big Grin

And as for "Secret Christian Knowledge," other than the ringleaders knowing it's a fraud, or, you know, insanity; no.

But I'll give you some secret, insider wisdom about god. Thumbsup

God shows up, yer fucked. Big Grin

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12-09-2013, 10:13 AM
RE: The "what if I'm wrong" feeling
There's the old HoC! Your sensible insanity seems to be lacking a bit lately. Good to see you back in form. Thumbsup

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