Why I Believe
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12-04-2017, 05:52 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 05:47 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I went back to page 36 but couldn't find the experiment you suggested.

Warning, this is actually insane:
(11-04-2017 06:59 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  You could try the hell experiment, although it made me totally insane...

That's a warning btw. Wink

Get all warm and fluffy and faithful (I call that high on my Gwynnies, perhaps the spirit of Jesus gets you similarly spun up; mental preparation is key.)

Go up to some random Christians and go -

I will burn in hell for you.

(I used the mathematical chicanery of the plural you here to mean the person in front of me plus my Gwynnies, thus not lying and keeping the faith)

And see what happens. Wink

If you end up in the bin, I was never here. Tongue

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12-04-2017, 06:05 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 05:52 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(12-04-2017 05:47 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I went back to page 36 but couldn't find the experiment you suggested.

Warning, this is actually insane:
(11-04-2017 06:59 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  You could try the hell experiment, although it made me totally insane...

That's a warning btw. Wink

Get all warm and fluffy and faithful (I call that high on my Gwynnies, perhaps the spirit of Jesus gets you similarly spun up; mental preparation is key.)

Go up to some random Christians and go -

I will burn in hell for you.

(I used the mathematical chicanery of the plural you here to mean the person in front of me plus my Gwynnies, thus not lying and keeping the faith)

And see what happens. Wink

If you end up in the bin, I was never here. Tongue
Fair enough Big Grin

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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12-04-2017, 06:08 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2017 08:39 AM by SeaJay.)
RE: Why I Believe
One thing I usually think about is, the ancients believed Heaven was in the, well, heavens, somewhere beyond the sky.

Few thousand years later, we know what's beyond the sky and it doesn't seem to be anyone's abode. This for me (believe it or not) is one of the strongest pieces of evidence Christianity is false.

It's very simplistic but then that to me is what gives it strength.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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12-04-2017, 06:09 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 06:08 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  One thing I usually think about is, the ancients believed Heaven was in the, well, heavens, somewhere beyond the sky.

Few thousand years later, we know what's beyond the sky and it doesn't seem to be anyone's abode. This for me (believe it or not) is one of the strongest pieces of evidence Christianity is false.

Flimsy contrary evidence. We now know that Heaven is in the head.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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12-04-2017, 06:41 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 06:09 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(12-04-2017 06:08 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  One thing I usually think about is, the ancients believed Heaven was in the, well, heavens, somewhere beyond the sky.

Few thousand years later, we know what's beyond the sky and it doesn't seem to be anyone's abode. This for me (believe it or not) is one of the strongest pieces of evidence Christianity is false.

Flimsy contrary evidence. We now know that Heaven is in the head.

I believe it is located elsewhere... anatomically speaking Tongue

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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12-04-2017, 06:48 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 06:08 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  One thing I usually think about is, the ancients believed Heaven was in the, well, heavens, somewhere beyond the sky.

Few thousand years later, we know what's beyond the sky and it doesn't seem to be anyone's abode. This for me (believe it or not) is one of the strongest pieces of evidence Christianity is false.

It's very simplistic but then that to me is what gives this idea its strength.
We have known this experientially since the first astronauts made it to the edge of space some sixty years ago, but we have known it scientifically for much longer. During this time, people simply adapted their understanding of heaven to fit the new understanding of reality. Heaven was simply relocated into the supernatural, and "the heavens" became metaphorical rather than literal. In a sense, heaven didn't move an inch, because it's always been located in the unknown, which is where all invisible beings and realms have always dwelt.

I know a panentheist who has simply relocated god into dark matter, the final frontier of the cosmic unknown in some ways. He will tell anyone unlucky enough to be within earshot that dark matter makes up most of the universe so we know only a fraction of it, therefore god. I don't know what he's going to do when we figure out what dark matter is -- possibly we might even figure out that it's an illusion caused by greater than expected variations in the density of matter in the universe, according to a paper just out.
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12-04-2017, 06:59 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2017 07:14 AM by Vera.)
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 06:48 AM)mordant Wrote:  I know a panentheist who has simply relocated god into dark matter, the final frontier of the cosmic unknown in some ways. He will tell anyone unlucky enough to be within earshot that dark matter makes up most of the universe so we know only a fraction of it, therefore god. I don't know what he's going to do when we figure out what dark matter is -- possibly we might even figure out that it's an illusion caused by greater than expected variations in the density of matter in the universe, according to a paper just out.

If you'll excuse the offtopic...

From my current BTB (bilge to be translated. And. It's a bestseller. And. Her previous one (also translated by yours truly, is being made into a movie



“No, really,” I say. “I get it. Dark matter is twenty- seven percent of the universe, you said?”
“Approximately.”
“And it’s the reason why objects don’t hurtle themselves off into deep dark space? It’s what keeps us bound together?”
Her skepticism turns into suspicion. “What is your addled poet brain getting at?”
“You’re gonna hate me.”
“Maybe,” she agrees.
“Dark matter is love. It’s the attracting force.”


Facepalm

From the same masterpiece:

I squeeze her hand. “You know the way we feel right now?
This connection between us that we don’t understand and wedon’t want to let go of? That’s God.”
“Holy hell,” she exclaims. “You poet boys are dangerous.”
She pulls my hand into her lap and holds it with both ofhers.
I tilt my head back and watch the sky, trying to pick shapesout of the clouds. “Here’s what I think,” I say. “I think we’re all connected, everyone on earth.”
She runs her fingertips over my knuckles. “Even the bad people?”
“Yes. But everyone has at least a little good in them.”
“Not true,” she says.
“Okay,” I concede. “But everyone has done at least one good thing in their lifetime. Do you agree with that?”
She thinks it over and then slowly nods.
I go on. “I think all the good parts of us are connected on some level. The part that shares the last double chocolate chip cookie or donates to charity or gives a dollar to a street musician or becomes a candy striper or cries at Apple commercials or says I love you or I forgive you. I think that’s God. God is the connection of the very best parts of us.”
“And you think that connection has a consciousness?” she asks.
“Yeah, and we call it God.”


FacepalmFacepalmFacepalm

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12-04-2017, 07:11 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 06:59 AM)Vera Wrote:  God is the connection of the very best parts of us.”
“And you think that connection has a consciousness?” she asks.
“Yeah, and we call it God.”

FacepalmFacepalmFacepalm
[chuckle] Well you are pointing out that not only does god live in the gaps, many humans are greatly motivated to salvage him and prop him up, and shrink at the notion of being neutral about god, much less considering him unlikely.

Our special feels are just another subjective aspect of what it is to be human that we don't fully understand or are unwilling to admit that it isn't captivatingly special and ineluctable and inscrutable, and -- again -- therefore, god.

It's almost like god is a default explanation for the unknown. Reminds me of that scene in The Hunt for Red October where the sonar operator is picking up some faint rumbling sounds that he thinks is the stealth-tech-equipped Soviet sub they are hunting. It's pointed out that the readout shows it as seismic activity, but the sonar operator says, "Yeah but this software was originally written to track earthquakes. When it encounters something it's not familiar with, it always runs home to Momma".

That is what we are like, always defaulting to our concept called "god". Except that it is not just a port of last resort, many of us actually ENJOY it and don't want to know anything that would make it evaporate.

Indeed, some theist will come along and read my musings here and claim that it's evidence for the so-called "god-shaped void in everyone" that they're always going on about, or that it's evidence for how we were designed and constructed around this deep yearning to be reunited with the Infinite or some such claptrap.

But they will never consider that this is simply a placeholder in our brains for the unknown / scary. It's our way of turning the existential threat of not knowing, into something comprehensible and potentially reassuring.
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12-04-2017, 07:17 AM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2017 07:20 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 05:25 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I'm feeling edgy, uncertain, and a little confused.

It's like, I don't believe the Genesis creation text is scientifically accurate, I don't believe the Noah's Ark story, I accept not all contradictions in the bible can be explained away. I see there is strong evidence that Jesus started out as an apocalyptic prophet who did believe he was going to die and return soon (in their lifetimes). I believe some prophecies just haven't come to pass, such as Egypt being a desolation for 40 years. I've ordered Karen Armstrong's book because I believe the creation of monotheism is spelt out in those pages. The idea that Adam and Eve were ever in a position to sin like they did when it could have gone any other way, and their descendants being punished as a result. There are things depicted in the bible that I believe are just plain wrong, scientifically, the sun standing still in Joshua, and morally suspect, the treatment of women, slavery, infinite punishment for finite crimes etc.

There's a lot here that just doesn't make sense to me nor do I believe, yet I'm sat here anxious that I feel as if I am still in the same boat I was yesterday.

From a moral standpoint, I find myself in the weird situation where I do not approve of most of what my belief is made up of.

From a scientific standpoint, I find myself in the situation where there's a lot I just don't accept as true.

The confusion is that, despite all the above, it doesn't seem to have much effect on what I believe. My rejection of this or that does not 'turn off' my faith as it were. Truth be told, it isn't because of fear either. It feels like there's something missing, some final piece of the jigsaw out there I haven't encountered yet. I feel flat and numb about it all.

I continue to be impressed with your efforts. So many people would give in to the fear. I wish I could show you how incredibly obvious it is to me that religion is bullshit, from my lucky position of never having been indoctrinated.

One observation: even if you believe Yahweh/Jesus are real or whatever, you don't have to worship them. You can walk away from them. You clearly have moral objections, even assuming they are real. I would certainly want nothing to do with it. Leaving the religion doesn't have to coincide with a possible eventual lack of belief in it being real.

To use a silly example to make the point: the Conservative Party is totally real. I believe it exists. But I wouldn't vote for them. Even if they were threatening me.

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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12-04-2017, 07:25 AM
RE: Why I Believe
(12-04-2017 06:59 AM)Vera Wrote:  If you'll excuse the offtopic...

Anybody who doesn't should be banned with alacrity. Big Grin

I love this fluffy stuff, even though my brain still cringes at the mention of God; earlier I was gonna argue along the lines of being all mathematically connected and whether or not the illogical conclusion of this train of thought was universal consciousness. Heart




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