Theistic Inclinations
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23-02-2017, 08:52 PM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
(23-02-2017 04:46 AM)Thinker Wrote:  Deliberate rationality leaves me depressed and feeling empty. Ideally, I'll limit use rationality to only times when I am handling scientific issues, addressing humanitarian issues and dealing with the reality.

It's a little worrying that this statement implies that there's something more. And the rest of the time? When you are dealing with not reality?

(23-02-2017 05:08 AM)Thinker Wrote:  I also imagine that different species each has their own god and heaven. What is heavenly and divine to one species or individual may be hellish and devilish to another.

Here we see the God of the Honey Badgers in its native habitat, your disembowled corpse.

Do you see the problem with having multiple conflicting deities? Aside from the danger of basing the moral code of a nuclear-armed civilization on your contradictory whimsies?

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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23-02-2017, 09:34 PM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
Since the dawn of civilization humans have had a desire to believe in something greater than themselves. Throughout history people have worshiped some form of supreme being (beings). That has always fascinated me as I never understood the concept of belief in a higher power. Sure when I was a child my parents (who are Christian) told me of God and took me to church when the doors were open. But when I came to the age of reason I left belief behind. So while you say that you feel depressed and empty when thinking "rationally" I've no idea how to respond to that. When "I" think rationally is when I'm at peace. I have a belief in myself and that gives me comfort. I'm comfortable with the decisions that I make and I don't look toward a higher power to make those decisions. Sure, I still make mistakes. We all do. But it's not the mistakes you make... it's how you recover from them that makes you a better person. I don't feel the need to apologize or ask forgiveness from the invisible friend in the sky.
In the grand scheme of things we are only on this earth for a tiny amount of time. I try to make the most of every day as we are not guaranteed tomorrow. My moral compass is not directed by some supreme being and I'm comfortable with that. The successes and mistakes that I make are mine to own.

Being torn between two different thought processes seems like a burden to me.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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24-02-2017, 12:53 AM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
Anyway, I only like the idea of God if he/she was originally a human being. I only like the idea if he/she is being fair and equitable to him/herself as much as he/she is to all his/her subjects.

I abhor most notions about God that is almighty, happiest and does little to no work but creates subjects and then enslaves them with misery, poverty, injustice, ecological and economic competition, and starvation. I'd only like God if God is being modest, humble and considers him/herself on par with all his/her subjects.

If you read my other thread Dealing with Depression, my fifth post illustrates a point about equity and does apply to the concept of God.

Dealing with Depression
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24-02-2017, 12:58 AM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
Personally, I would find it depressing to think that there is someone in charge, because they are doing an awful job. To be able to give them any leeway, all this crap about omnipotence would have to be dropped. They'd need to be doing their best with limited resources. But since there's no evidence of any intervention whatsoever, that doesn't make sense either.

I spend a lot of time indulging in fantasy to help me deal with life. It's a form of escapism. There's no harm in it, as long as it doesn't start to affect your real life decisions.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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24-02-2017, 01:05 AM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
(24-02-2017 12:58 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Personally, I would find it depressing to think that there is someone in charge, because they are doing an awful job. To be able to give them any leeway, all this crap about omnipotence would have to be dropped. They'd need to be doing their best with limited resources. But since there's no evidence of any intervention whatsoever, that doesn't make sense either.

I spend a lot of time indulging in fantasy to help me deal with life. It's a form of escapism. There's no harm in it, as long as it doesn't start to affect your real life decisions.

What is even interesting is that I'm exploring my own ideas of justice - not just humanitarian, it is also universal, natural and ecological. Who are we as humans to decide what justice we can do to animals and the nature far and wide? We are incapable of empathy with animals that exhibit almost entirely different senses, behaviours and even values (if they do think along those lines).

We are only witnesses of the 'cruelties of the nature' as you earlier said somewhere. I'd say that nature is discrete and cannot be held accountable for animal and human sufferings - nature exists in its own right. It is only that we live in such conflicting spaces but also spaces of inter-dependencies involving preying, scavenging, eating, perspiring, exchanging chemicals, interactions, mating and so on. I am exploring my own such notions of justice in what some may consider quite 'existentialistic'.
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24-02-2017, 01:09 AM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
Justice is indeed a very complex and difficult subject. I think many people turn to theism as a way to try and impose a cosmic balance on an otherwise unfair-seeming reality.

I agree, nature is nature, and we should basically leave it alone. We are however accountable for any time we destroy habitat, or assume ownership of an animal in the form of "property". I'm highly against this in all forms, and I live in hope that one day, such a notion will be seen as just as disgusting as having humans as property. Of course, this isn't the same as guardianship.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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24-02-2017, 01:17 AM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
(24-02-2017 01:09 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Justice is indeed a very complex and difficult subject. I think many people turn to theism as a way to try and impose a cosmic balance on an otherwise unfair-seeming reality.

I agree, nature is nature, and we should basically leave it alone. We are however accountable for any time we destroy habitat, or assume ownership of an animal in the form of "property". I'm highly against this in all forms, and I live in hope that one day, such a notion will be seen as just as disgusting as having humans as property. Of course, this isn't the same as guardianship.

I hate zoos too! I only started to see this as a form of restraint, along with some aspects of domestication that is really cruel and freedom-denying - when I was around 16 years. I wish animals just have their own wilderness. Hence, as an aspiring architect, one of my visions is to design 'enclaves' and sanctuaries as substitutes where humans can safely be spectators whilst treading across the lands of wildlife. Such ideas are very complex to design and materialise.
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24-02-2017, 01:43 AM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
That is absolutely fantastic Smile I wish you all the very best with it!

I only ever visit sanctuaries, and not zoos. I support the places that have genuinely rescued animals and are looking after them because they wouldn't survive in the wild now. My favorite is Monkey World in Dorset (England), where I got married! Their design is always focused on the animal first, spectator second.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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24-02-2017, 01:57 PM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
It sounds to me like you are struggling to perceive the difference between fantasy and reality.

Fantasy is lovely. It's a source of entertainment. And yes, it can be used to teach moral lessons. Like fairytales.
The difference is that we know fantasy isn't reality. We know the fairytales aren't accounts of history. We can relish in the stories of beautiful, magical unicorns and evil witches. We can be entertained by Tolkien and Rowling.
It is all lovely things. But it is not reality.

The problem arises if you start to believe that this god you are imagining is actual reality and not just an enjoyable figment of your imagination. And it becomes a problem if you start to think that these thoughts of yours are something necessary for morality or beauty. And it becomes a problem if you start to think that other people should share in your stories.
If you start to forget that these things you imagine aren't real.

We have different things we perceive as beautiful. To me actual reality is beautiful. The roses from my boyfriend are beautiful, the forests and river around my parents farm are beautiful, the smile on the face of a baby is beautiful, the enormity of the universe is beautiful.
I prefer the beauty of real things over the beauty of imagined things. The beauty of real things give me hope, while relying on the beauty of imagined things just make you forget that reality is beautiful. If you only enjoy unicorns, you forget that ordinary horses are quite amazing on their own. No horns, magic and sparkles needed.

So my question is. What do you gain from this?
Morality is not dependent on an imagined god. Just look at the amazing people on this forum. Clearly moral and good. Beauty isn't dependent on this god. Just look around you.

Imagination is important in inspiring creativity, as you point out. That is very true! That is where we find the cause and use for imagination! That's the point of it.
But it sounds like you're not just using imagination. It sounds like you are using fantasy to escape from reality, rather than using imagination to shape reality. Very different things!

"I believe that while not all people are essentially good, most are trying" - Adam Savage
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24-02-2017, 02:16 PM
RE: Theistic Inclinations
(23-02-2017 05:08 AM)Thinker Wrote:  God is happy if I improve myself, ethics and code of conduct, and learn from my past mistakes not to repeat.

I like to think of pleasing my parents with my present actions, even though both are long dead. That early conditioning is hard to put aside.
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