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    1. #1
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Ask me about being agnostic/athiest

      I have debated religion in other threads, so no need here. I neither expect nor intend to sway anyone away from their religion in this thread (no promises for elsewhere, though!).

      Atheists are people who believe there is no God, and Agnostics are people who believe the existence of God can never be known. They are not mutually exclusive, but there is plenty of room for overlap. It is also quite possible to be Agnostic and Christian, though some may disagree. I believe quite strongly that there is no God, but I acknowledge that it is impossible to know this for certain.

      This thread is for those who wish to ask me why I am agnostic/athiest, or how my beliefs are working for me in my life. Even the devout should not consider it wrong to be curious, so please ask away! I promise to bash no one here for their beliefs, questions, or comments, even if I am bashed.

      Here are a few quick thoughts to give you an idea about my beliefs:
      1. I have plenty of purpose in my life, and am quite happy and fulfilled. I am for the most part very law-abiding, gentle, caring, and considerate. I believe in the power of good, and in treating others as you would like to be treated.

      2. Yes, I know love, peace, and charity. And yes, I have a moral code I live by. I believe in the concept of Karma to some extent.

      3. I believe that nothing is absolutely knowable. I believe that 100% certainty does not exist in any concept, mathematical, physical, spritual, or otherwise. I believe that "knowledge" is belief based on study and represents the "best possibility of truth" we can assertain. Faith, on the other hand, is belief based on feelings and instinct, and has no relation to a "best possibility of truth." It is because we cannot know anything absolutely that it is so important to question everything that we believe we know.

      4. I believe that if there is a God, I am living my life exactly as he intended.
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    2. #2
      Wanderer Merlock's Avatar
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      Well, from an objectivist point of view to an agnostic: why do you (or why would an agnostic/athetist in general) want to know whether a deity exists or not? Why do you care?

      And, secondly, why do you think it matters, even if there is a God, just like one depicted in, say, Christianity? Also, why do you care?

    3. #3
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    4. #4
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Merlock View Post
      Well, from an objectivist point of view to an agnostic: why do you (or why would an agnostic/athetist in general) want to know whether a deity exists or not? Why do you care?
      Thanks for the questions.

      I will only speak for myself, as I believe agnostics and atheists all have their own personal thoughts on this. I care about an existence of a deity, but obviously not as much as a religious person. Of course it would be extremely interesting to me to discover God existed. That would be a huge shift to my beliefs. I am curious about everything, so why not this?

      To put it in very simple terms, suppose you are considering whether or not a tree will fall on your house today. The skies are clear, and there is no call for a storm. The lone tree in your yard is healthy, straight, and firmly rooted. There is absolutely no reason to believe it will fall on your house. But if it did fall on your house, you'd certainly be interested in the matter.

      And, secondly, why do you think it matters, even if there is a God, just like one depicted in, say, Christianity? Also, why do you care?
      There are many reasons why the question of a Christian God matters, whichever way the truth lies. If there is a God, it concerns me that no one can quite agree on what that means, what he expects, or what to expect for ourselves. It concerns me that he would show preference based on belief rather than on moral integrity. It concerns me that billions would be excluded simply because nobody brought them up in the correct faith.

      If, as I believe, there is no God, then it concerns me that so many are devoting their lives to a non-existent cause. They are expecting a reward that will never come. They are pushing their faith on those who disagree, both in trying to change laws to reflect their interpretation of a false text, and in persecuting those who have other beliefs.
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    5. #5
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
      No.
      Thank you for not asking a question. For future reference, this is much more easily accomplished simply by not posting at all.
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    6. #6
      Wanderer Merlock's Avatar
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      Then what do you say to an objectivist point of view on deities?

      That is, that it doesn't matter if a deity exists because every self-aware, conscious being has unlimited potential and just because a deity exists in the world about, doesn't mean it is a deity that has to be worshipped or any such. Simply because it is a powerful being within the given world and time, not an all-powerful being ultimately, since ultimately all have equal ultimate potential.

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      Hey skysaw,

      I find that religion can really anger me at times, some of things it has caused people to do and it also angers me how people can believe in such ridiculous things in the bible when the bible itself is full of contradictions.

      Do you find that you see some people who follow a religion a bit stubborn to believe such lies. In an athiests opinion that is.


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      Do you feel the world would be better off if they were atheists?

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by BeautifulDreamer View Post
      Do you feel the world would be better off if they were atheists?
      Were you asking me? If so i'll just edit this post with an answer. Thanks


    10. #10
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Merlock View Post
      Then what do you say to an objectivist point of view on deities?

      That is, that it doesn't matter if a deity exists because every self-aware, conscious being has unlimited potential and just because a deity exists in the world about, doesn't mean it is a deity that has to be worshipped or any such. Simply because it is a powerful being within the given world and time, not an all-powerful being ultimately, since ultimately all have equal ultimate potential.
      I hope I am reading your question correctly... please correct me if I am not.

      I'm not sure that anyone really believes that an existence of a deity would not matter, unless they are talking purely about the decisions they make in their day-to-day lives. I do agree with the sentiment that active worship runs contrary to my personal concept of what a benevolent creator would wish. If I put myself in God's shoes for a moment, I would care very much how people treated each other, but I just can't imagine it would matter to me whether or not people went to church, for example.
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    11. #11
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lucid Seeker View Post
      Hey skysaw,

      I find that religion can really anger me at times, some of things it has caused people to do and it also angers me how people can believe in such ridiculous things in the bible when the bible itself is full of contradictions.

      Do you find that you see some people who follow a religion a bit stubborn to believe such lies. In an athiests opinion that is.
      There are certain religious figures and religious movements which at times anger me quite a bit. It can also be frustrating to try to have a logical conversation about faith when faith is the antithesis of logic. However, I do believe that the vast majority of religious people believe what they do with the very best of intentions. I believe that most religious texts have at their core a good set of lessons in morality.

      Saying that all religious leaders or all churches have ulterior motives goes much too far. However, there are a great number of questionable religious leaders out there, many of whom have personal lives that seem to contradict almost every message in the bible. I also believe that many hardcore fringe portions of Christianity absolutely have an immoral or purely political agenda. The Pentecostals, for example, scare the hell out of me.

      In short, the intended message in the bible is a good one. But there are great dangers in allowing faith to be too blind.
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    12. #12
      Wanderer Merlock's Avatar
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      Yes, but do you not gather that a deity, a god, can very well not be an ultimate being? That is, be part of this world, not aware of ultimate existence. Not having ultimate power, or ultimate knowledge, just a deity over the given world, not ultimately powerful or knowledgable.

      Three levels:

      ----- Ultimate Existence -----

      ----- A God Over This World -----

      ----- All Other Beings Of This World -----

      Since all conscious beings have unlimited potential, it doesn't matter if a deity exists or not because ultimately it won't matter, the deity is only god-like in this world. It only matters subjectively in the given life one leads, perhaps, but if it doesn't directly affect one's life - deities don't actively, openly intervene with the life in this world, at least not on this given planet, and if they did there wouldn't be a need to question their existence.

    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by skysaw View Post
      There are certain religious figures and religious movements which at times anger me quite a bit. It can also be frustrating to try to have a logical conversation about faith when faith is the antithesis of logic. However, I do believe that the vast majority of religious people believe what they do with the very best of intentions. I believe that most religious texts have at their core a good set of lessons in morality.

      Saying that all religious leaders or all churches have ulterior motives goes much too far. However, there are a great number of questionable religious leaders out there, many of whom have personal lives that seem to contradict almost every message in the bible. I also believe that many hardcore fringe portions of Christianity absolutely have an immoral or purely political agenda. The Pentecostals, for example, scare the hell out of me.

      In short, the intended message in the bible is a good one. But there are great dangers in allowing faith to be too blind.
      Contradictions, a fine example is Ted Haggard, didn't he buy meth off a gay friend? These such contradictions just show that sticking purely to a religion can be hard. Thanks for the reply though.


    14. #14
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BeautifulDreamer View Post
      Do you feel the world would be better off if they were atheists?
      Thanks for the question. I assume you mean if everyone were atheist?

      It's really impossible to know this, but I have a strong hunch that it would be a much more peaceful place. And really, how could it not? Whatever your religion is, I think we can all agree that many wars were fought and lives lost over disagreements based on religion. This is quite obvious whether you are a devout Christian, Muslim, or any other religion. Throughout history, wars have been fought for two different reasons: Land and Religion.

      I am not pointing my finger at any particular religion with this argument. I am not citing any one religion as being evil or promoting war. I recognize the personal value an individual may draw from their religion. I am simply noting that when religions clash, people die. And because of this, I can say that I very much believe that the world would be a better place without religion all together.
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    15. #15
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Merlock View Post
      Yes, but do you not gather that a deity, a god, can very well not be an ultimate being? That is, be part of this world, not aware of ultimate existence. Not having ultimate power, or ultimate knowledge, just a deity over the given world, not ultimately powerful or knowledgable.

      Three levels:

      ----- Ultimate Existence -----

      ----- A God Over This World -----

      ----- All Other Beings Of This World -----

      Since all conscious beings have unlimited potential, it doesn't matter if a deity exists or not because ultimately it won't matter, the deity is only god-like in this world. It only matters subjectively in the given life one leads, perhaps, but if it doesn't directly affect one's life - deities don't actively, openly intervene with the life in this world, at least not on this given planet, and if they did there wouldn't be a need to question their existence.
      I haven't put much thought into this, and it seems to me like another conversation all together. I'd prefer to stick to the subject of a God as a "supreme being" and/or "creator," so that we can all stay on the same subject.
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    16. #16
      Wanderer Merlock's Avatar
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      Oh, well, nevermind then. No need to go off-topic. I'm just curious as to how theists and atheists, caring about a supreme being, don't think further and to ultimate existence as a whole. Though, aye, a different conversation all together. Thanks for the answers.

    17. #17
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      Hey Skysaw
      I am not exactly sure what religion or non religion I am a part of. I don't really believe there is a god, but I don't neccesaraly beleive there is no god. You said you thought the world would be a better place if everyone was atheists, but a main cause for religion is so people can turn to someone/thing in there life if things aren't going to well. If there was no religion, people would have to find something else to move them along. And p.s. (Please don't take this offensively, actually I guess this goes to everyone) I hope everyone here will not try to convert anyone to their own beliefs. Trying to prove that your religion is right, or that no religion is right gets extremely annoying. Just stay out of other peoples religious lives.

    18. #18
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Flinte View Post
      Hey Skysaw
      I am not exactly sure what religion or non religion I am a part of. I don't really believe there is a god, but I don't neccesaraly beleive there is no god. You said you thought the world would be a better place if everyone was atheists, but a main cause for religion is so people can turn to someone/thing in there life if things aren't going to well. If there was no religion, people would have to find something else to move them along.
      As I mentioned, I do think people take positive things from religion, so obviously whatever that is would be lost. Nonetheless, I stand by my reasoning. Clash of religions can be very unfriendly, as history has shown us.

      But I also believe that people would find things to turn to when life wasn't going their way. Family, friends, art, literature, inspirational talks, communing with nature, hugging a dog, visiting an old folks' home, writing a journal, support groups, taking up a new hobby, going to a show, or any of a thousand other things we do to bring up our spirits. Belief in God may be uplifting for those who do, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be equally uplifted by something else in his absence.

      For me, I turn to my music. No matter what else is happening in my life, music is my rock. I use all of my emotion, positive and negative, and pour it into my work.

      And p.s. (Please don't take this offensively, actually I guess this goes to everyone) I hope everyone here will not try to convert anyone to their own beliefs. Trying to prove that your religion is right, or that no religion is right gets extremely annoying. Just stay out of other peoples religious lives.
      I agree, if for no other reason than it simply drags good discussion on these forums into a never-ending spiral of flames. I don't mind a healthy debate on the subject, but I rarely expect to "turn" anyone. The purpose of this particular thread is so that people can ask me about what I believe. I'm happy to point out what I don't like about a particular religion if there is a specific question on it, but I'm not here to flame. There are other threads that serve that purpose quite well!
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    19. #19
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      Do you think you can disprove God?

    20. #20
      Dreaming up music skysaw's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by BeautifulDreamer View Post
      Do you think you can disprove God?
      No. I don't believe anybody can prove or disprove the existence of a God.
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