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Skummer
5/01/2003 6:44pm,
What religion do you believe in, if any, and why do you believe in that particular faith (or philosophy)?

I often frequent athiest and religious forums and observe the discussions there. I have a keen interest in what makes people believe the things they do.
I also note many similarities betwixt martial art forums and religious forums. The arguments back and forth sound surprisingly similar. hehe..

Anyway, let's hear what you believe and why...





- Skummer -

If you think you can speak about Tao, it is clear you don't know what you're talking about.
-Lao Tzu

grecoman
5/01/2003 9:19pm,
I'm too much of a logical/scientific thinker to believe in a higher power. In addition, I don't really hold organized religion in very high regards. Most religions are very hypocritical and condescending, at least from my personal experiences and observations. I don't look down upon people who are religiously devout, if they choose to worship a certain god or practice a certain religion, then more power to them. I personally just choose not to take part or encourage it.

Boyd
5/01/2003 9:24pm,
Oh Christ, you've opened up a proverbial can of worms here...

It's late, and I've got homework to do, but you'd better fucking believe that you'll get a response before this thread gets buried. In the meantime, I'll post something I wrote in a PM:


I agree wholeheartedly that we shouldn't be granting humanity to just anyone born a human. I've been thinking about that a lot, actually; what difference is there between a Human Being and the millions--if not billions--of completely expendable people walking the earth right now? It's certainly not intelligence. I've met far too many unintelligent people I would hardly consider 'expendable', because they're friendly and interesting. Besides, I've met plenty of intelligent people who were utter pricks.

It's not based on achievements. Hell, I haven't done anything whatsoever with my life (a fact that consistently gnaws away at me every minute of every hour of every day) and I consider myself to be human.

Right now, the conclusion that I've came to--and this is a very rough idea, since the idea needs much refinement and specificity--is that a person becomes a human through individuality and nothing else. At first, it pretty much comes off as a "no ****" conclusion, seeing as to how the original goal was to separate the individuals from the crowd. But how can a person, completely average in every way, be considered any different from all those that surround him? The answer lies in whether or not the person is sentient.

Does the person think for themself? The kneejerk response, of course, is to say "Of course they think for themselves. Who doesn't?". But the simple fact remains that the vast majority of humanity does not even have a rudimentary SENSE of being, nor do they realize they're missing it.

Opinions, they say, are like assholes; everyone's got one. But is it really their own? Probably not. It's common knowledge that most people inherit their opinions from their environment, so common, in fact, that these days no one bothers to stand up and say "My God. That is the most irresponsible thing I've ever heard.". Most people's ideas, thoughts, and opinions are not their own, but merely one drawn from a local stock. Choosing between opinion A and opinion B a couple dozen times does not make you any more than the some of your parts. Monkeys can choose between A and B. Rats can choose between A and B.

From here, I don't care what you pick. I may disagree, but you've got a right to your opinion etc. etc. In my opinion, the ubermensch doesn't have to meet this long list of requirements to meet my standards, they just have to have standards of their own. And this idea, the willingness to have standards of your own, is something you're born with. Everyone can look at themself and say "I need to change this and this and this, but this is fine", but not everyone can say "I believe this, even though it's something most people don't talk about, and I believe this, even though almost everyone except me sees this as the greatest of all goods."

Last year, we had to make a powerpoint in my US Lit class describing ourselves as people. It was very, very disturbing to see most of my classmates try to be introspective. They were completely out of their element. One girl made a slide called "My Beliefs", and it consisted entirely of "God" (clip art of cross) and "No abortions!!!!!!!". I giggled a bit, and she snapped back with "You don't have the right to judge me!". Lady, if all you believe in is "God" (clip art of a cross) and "No abortions!!!!!!!", then I should be able to legally put you in a slave-labor camp, because you clearly won't be doing any good here.

At this point you're probably wondering where people who are pleasant and good fit on here. The answer is that people who treat kindness as a virtue are, by default, in possesion of their own virtue and are considered to be human. By me, anyway.



HEY! YOUR WIFE IS UGLIER THAN ANY UGLY PIG!!!

Vapour
5/01/2003 9:51pm,
"What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence." Ludwig Wittgenstein

Skummer
5/01/2003 10:04pm,
I understand what you mean, Grecoman, about being too logical/analytical to believe in a higher power. My nature, since childhood, has been to try to think about things from every possible perspective before making any important decisions on belief, morality, etc. Unfortunately, this seems to be incredibly rare in most other people.

I have some interesting perspectives on common beliefs and their evolution through the centuries. Especially christianity.

I have a very long story to tell about the evolution of my own beliefs which will come in a seperate message later as I don't have time right now.

Boyd,
You're a Niestchze fan I take it? You don't hear the term "ubermensch" everyday. hehe.

I knew I was opening a wound in some by making this thread. I use to post on the old excite religion message boards daily for a couple of years. I was amazed at how people are so incredibly defensive about their particular religious "label".

Anyway, I'll post a mighty message tomorrow explaining my own philosophy.. until then...



- Skummer -

If you think you can speak about Tao, it is clear you don't know what you're talking about.
-Lao Tzu

Mercurius
5/02/2003 2:37am,
As for religion, I'm a two-timer at the local Catholic church, though I go regularly when I'm being hosted by more devout relations.

My philosophy, though, is Taoism all the way. The thing that got me about Taoism was when I was reading the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu comes at you with all this contrary stuff which totally broke up my preconceptions about anything and forced me to think about stuff that people tend not to give much introspection.

My favorite illustration of this is in chapter 11. Generally, you ask a person, if they were going to build a house, what would they need? They might say wood, nails, glass, concrete, etc. but they're leaving out the most important thing: nothing! How the hell are you going to live in a house if there's no space inside? A window that you can look out of is defined by there not being a wall there, a door you can walk through, a room you can sleep in, etc.

Taoism, as far as I can understand it, is about giving up any attempts to govern your circumstances and going with the flow. "Do nothing, nothing left undone," so to speak. One day, at work, I was able to embrace this for about 30 seconds before getting pissed off at my boss and our customers again. I still think the transmutation of Taoism into a ritual and alchemy religion is against Lao Tzu's intentions and the Tao itself, but I can't deny having felt physically different for those 30 seconds, like you do when you're pulling a heavy load and out of nowhere it gets incredibly easier.

Deadpan Scientist
5/02/2003 9:25am,
I believe in Thermodynamics...

Fighty McGee
5/02/2003 10:09am,
Diuretics, I mean Dianetics.

Seriously though... Atheist.

All religions were made by man in part to explain death, and in larger part to exploit this explanation: to control others. If anyone can make an example of a religion where there are no shamans, preists, nuns, spirit guides, monks, preistesses, gurus, or other 'holy' folk, then that would be an exception to the rule of control (and a bloody rare one.)

matzahbal
5/02/2003 11:37am,
All my friends that are "religious" or at least go to church every sunday to find religion are the most hyprocritical people I know.

Perhaps because every sunday somebody is forgiving them for being bad, so it's like a reset button. Who knows, I'm Jewish, well now I'm agnostic, but even then we only got once a year to say were sorry, and if god didn't dig that we would die.

"But some apes they gotta go, so we kill the ones we don't know" - 'Ape shall never kill Ape' by The Vandals

The Wastrel
5/02/2003 12:23pm,
I believe in literature.

"I'm devastating, looking for some refreshment!"

Courtesy of flubtitles.com

KC Elbows
5/02/2003 12:54pm,
Fighty McGee,
I believe there were some gnostics that conducted their mass so that everyone had a part, and those parts changed, so, essentially, everyone was a priest/oracle/etc. I could be mistaken on this, but if memory serves me correctly, it's true.

Of course, they were all declared heretics and persecuted by the catholics. So there you go. Clearly god wants there to be people benefitting from pyramid schemes in his name, or there wouldn't be so many of them.

IndoChinese
5/02/2003 1:44pm,
when the atheists and the scientists can tell me where 'everything' came from, and prove it, then i will become an atheist too.

the 'big bang' theory is lovely. what made the 'big bang'?

look at the interaction of everything around you.

random?

i hardly think so.

i also 'hate' personification. the conception of a 'creator' is inevitably a reflection of those who consider such a 'being'.

the best they can manage is to say," he is like your grandpa, but much nicer"


i have already said more than i should about a subject which no human being is qualified to speak about. it like asking an ant to explain quantuum physics. i am not qualified to talk about it.

neither are any of you.

peace.

The Wastrel
5/02/2003 2:02pm,
The question, kuntaokid, was: What do you believe?

We are all uniquely qualified to answer that.

"I'm devastating, looking for some refreshment!"

Courtesy of flubtitles.com

Fighty McGee
5/02/2003 2:44pm,
I don't necessarily believe in the Big Bang theory. It is not a prerequisite of atheism.

I have problems with the concept of a finite and survey-able/explainable universe, but I don't think there needs to be a diety to explain the existence of everything.

poet
5/02/2003 2:53pm,
Wastrel -
"I believe in literature."

Heathen!

Religion - best description is a quote I heard describing an agnostic belief:
"I believe there is something out there I just don't know what it is."

Philosophy - Taoist


"I do not agree with what you have to say but, I will defend to the death your right to say it."
-Voltaire

Vapour
5/02/2003 3:21pm,
This everything have to have beggining so there must be ultimate begiining (i.e. god) is one of the three main arguments (ontological, cosmological and tetlogical arguments) employed by the Christain church to argue for the existence of god. All main arguments were soundly defetated long time ago. Plus, anyone who done theology in university do know that these arguments can't hold so if someone with theology degree throw around this argument in church sermon, he is relying on people's ignorance.

Cosmological argument is the easiest to defeat. If you say everything have beginning, it contradict the existence of god. On one hand, you are asserting that everthing have to have beggining and on the other hand you are saying that there is something which doesn't have beggining (i.e. god).

So your argument hold only if you *assume* exceptionalism of god to the general rule which is same as *asserting* the existence of god without logical proof.

Bid bang is beginning of this universe (law of physics in this unvierse). No one is saying there weren't anything there before big bang.



Edited by - vapour on May 02 2003 15:27:06