Atheists/Agnostics/Sceptics – Religious questions you want answered

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  • Atheists/Agnostics/Sceptics – Religious questions you want answered
  • Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    I’m serious!
    πŸ™‚

    You choose not to believe in God, but still believe there is some form of ‘meaning’ to be searched for.

    A physical thing, a true understanding of the mechanics behind the universe, or something ‘spiritual’?

    If the latter, you’ve replaced a belief in God with something almost indistinguishable.

    slackalice
    Member

    Which matters to you and not the person who forms such a belief.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    I know.
    πŸ™‚

    I’m interested how we reconcile seemingly unreconcileable concepts.
    It seems to be a universal human trait.

    jimjam
    Member

    slackalice – Member

    Yeah okay, so jimjam, are you feeling the Love?

    No. I’m sitting here wondering why the old testament god was such an asshole.

    slackalice
    Member

    I’m interested how we reconcile seemingly unreconcileable concepts.
    It seems to be a universal human trait.

    You just answered your own question there!

    No. I’m sitting here wondering why the old testament god was such an asshole.

    Fair enough, crack on.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    I’m ok with the why, it’s the how I’m more interested in.
    πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Thanks also to the mods, who I presume have at the very least had a word or two with the main protagonists and as such have enabled an environment for more reasoned discussion.

    I appreciate the thanks, but it’s without justification. Aside from the suspension of blatant trolls and the professionally offensive, we’ve not intervened beyond public warnings. Maybe we’ve grown as a forum. If I’ve personally had anything to do with that then it’s been in public rather than via the hammer.

    Premier Icon onewheelgood
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    Without faith and with scientific evidence at hand, death is truly scary.

    It’s really not. And the older I get, and the nearer death gets, the less I worry about it. I went to a Catholic funeral recently, and it seemed to me that the whole religion was based on a fear of death.

    So, another question for the OP: Why are you so frightened of dying?

    Edukator
    Member

    Could you tell me what’s spiritual about it?

    Well this bloke called Jesus had a mate called Yaakov and they did some interesting stuff that people wrote about. The writings ended up in a books that lots of people read. Anyhow after Jesus got crucified for all the good he was doing, Yaakov saw his resurected mate and decided to carry on with the do-gooding, some people reckon he visited Spain just over the hill from where we live. He went back home though and got killed by the same lot as had crucified Jesus but as he wasn’t from the same genetic stock as Jesus he stayed dead. He was quite popular though, even dead, so some people reckon his followers took his body all the way back to Spain and buried him.

    He still has followers today, such as that idiot walking and they go on long walks in the spirit of Yaakov’s travels and this is good for their own spirits.

    Some people aren’t very good at this spirtual stuff, I’m a real klutz, many geologists like me are, though some see studying geology as studying the work of Jesus’s dad and one geologist friend now has a job in spirituality a bit like Yaakov.

    Anyhow, in things spirituality that track in the photo is one of the go-to places, a bit like Mecca or Jurusalem. The problem is that it’s quite long, well as long as you live from the end which is quite short if you live there but for the rest of us quite long (in fact people who live there often go a long away then walk back so they don’t miss out on walking to the end). You might find a dirt track a bit basic compared with Notre Dame de Paris, but if your brain has any capacity at all for things spiritual then you’ll find out.

    I’m still a klutz at this spirituality lark despite months of walking along that track, a spiritually enlightened agnostic klutz, an improving klutz though. And I smile when people refer to me as a pΓ¨lerin, peregrino, pilger, pilgrim etc., don’t laugh, you might be happy to be called a pilgrim one day. ULTREIA ! SUSEIA !

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    The will to extend oneself for the benefit of ones own and another’s personal growth.

    Interesting. I wonder how common that definition is?

    Do you believe that there is anything that isn’t part of ‘the physical realm’?

    No. As a physicist, the physical world is defined as everything. So if it exists anywhere, it’s physical. For me, describing emotions, personalities etc as chemical interactions does not diminish it at all. There is immense beauty in the workings of a complex machine, and our brains are beautifully complex.

    slackalice
    Member

    Rusty Spanner – Member
    I’m ok with the why, it’s the how I’m more interested in.

    Okay, as we’re all still feeling the love ( apart from jimjam, but we love him anyway), I’ll disclose how I reconcile my belief…

    Which, IIRC, came about from various sources, one being that once I realised that I make my own world, mainly through my intent and attitude – or put simply, smile at the world and the world smiles back – and took responsibility for doing so.

    Another realisation was that we all experience the world and thereby the Universe in our own way and all different, so which one is true? Two people can go bikepacking for a weekend and ask each of them to recount their trip and guaranteed there will be differences and variations in the two. Both of which are equally valid and true.

    In quantum physics, it has long been noted that the observer changes the reality, which for me also means that how I experience my existence in the Universe and what I hold to be true, will be true for me and so long as I maintain my intent and attitude, then I am also free to define my own Universe from what I see and experience. Other people will experience their existence and interpret it it their way, which is still true for them, so I do not expect them to share my belief and I choose not to share theirs, but both are valid and true.

    So, as I said before, be free and give yourself permission to make your own world and take responsibility for your experience, it’s your truth! Furthermore, we are very very fortunate to exist as a human being, where we have the intellect and a range of complex emotions that enable us to do so.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    I agree with the pair of you, but I don’t see anything spiritual in your posts directly above.
    πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    That is basically the same conclusion at which I arrived.

    Premier Icon miketually
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    Without faith and with scientific evidence at hand, death is truly scary.

    Nah, it’s not. As a wise man once said, “when you dead, you dead”.

    The time after your death is no different, to you, than the time before you were born.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    Edukator – Reformed Troll
    Well this bloke called Jesus had a mate called Yaakov….

    πŸ˜€

    I do enjoy a nice pilgrimage.

    Have fun.
    πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Cougar
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    Thanks for that, Slackalice.

    slackalice
    Member

    Rusty Spanner – Member
    I agree with the pair of you, but I don’t see anything spiritual in your posts directly above.

    Probably not, but your question was ‘how do you reconcile…’

    But then again, I’m finding keeping up with your sneak edits and responses is keeping me on my toes! πŸ˜‰

    molgrips – Member
    The will to extend oneself for the benefit of ones own and another’s personal growth.

    Interesting. I wonder how common that definition is?

    Very for those that have read A Road Less Travelled.

    Cheers cougar. HTH

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    Probably not, but your question was ‘how do you reconcile…’

    My question was how do WE reconcile….me included.
    I’m not being judgemental, I’m just interested.

    But then again, I’m finding keeping up with your sneak edits and responses is keeping me on my toes!

    Sorry.
    It’s not malicious or sneaky.
    I’m just attempting to clarify and remove as much ambiguity as possible.
    Let me know if there’s anything I’ve changed that you’d like me to explain.

    Premier Icon slowoldman
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    You could always start your own religion?

    It can be a good little earner.

    slackalice
    Member

    No, not at all RS.

    Rusty Spanner – Member

    My question was how do WE reconcile….me included.
    I’m not being judgemental, I’m just interested.

    You are free to make up your own reconciliation, so long as it is true for you. We each of us make our own reality, if we allow ourselves to and our intent is good.

    As for your other question, now gone, concerning where is the spirituality in all of that… For me, refer back to my definition of Love. See also me being responsible for my experience/reality, my truth and in fact my post. If I want to make my reality one where I believe I have lives between lives, that my soul is a journey and this existence is part of that, with lessons to learn, karma to experience and that belief makes me a happier, more content, loving and compassionate person, then I give myself every right to do so.

    Going out on a limb here, before I retire the day, I’ll share my definition of what some people refer to as God, which I consider to be another aspect of spirituality. I believe in the Universe because I am very much a part and product of it, but why is it here? Why does it exist? My belief is that it does so because it has a will to exist and, by default, so does everything within the Universe because it wills it so, just as it is. If the Universe didn’t have the will to exist, it wouldn’t be here. This ‘will’ by the way is not our common interpretation of a conscious thought from a sentient thing, it is the ethereal will to give and there’s an infinite amount of it. This is my higher power/God, whatever and however others may term it.

    Of course, you are free to find your own and it/they will be valid and true for you πŸ˜†

    EDIT: thanks miketually, saved for listening to tomorrow.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I think the universe is a part of something else. But what? It’s impossible to say. Possibly un-knowable.

    Flatland is a good book for getting in touch with the unknowable, and then another book called Flatterland written about the original.

    If the Universe is infinite and/or there is an infinite number of Multiverses does that mean there must be an infinite number of Gods ?

    tjagain
    Member

    Without faith and with scientific evidence at hand, death is truly scary.

    I have seen hundreds of people die ( its my job to look after dying people). I have seen no difference in attitudes to dying from religious or non religious.

    kerley
    Member

    Without faith and with scientific evidence at hand, death is truly scary.

    I am not scared of dying and having watched my father die was not scared at that time either (if was obviously a horrible experience but I didn’t feel scared at any time)

    You are free to make up your own reconciliation, so long as it is true for you

    Exactly. Some go to a religion for that others go to science, I just don’t find myself needing an answer.

    wilburt
    Member

    So are we going to get answers or is this thread just for the usuals agreeing with each other?

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    centralscrutinizer – Member
    If the Universe is infinite and/or there is an infinite number of Multiverses does that mean there must be an infinite number of Gods ?

    If you believe in a god, it exists as a construct.
    So yes.
    πŸ™‚
    An infinite number of beings all defining their own god.
    Plus all us heathens, of course.

    So are we going to get answers or is this thread just for the usuals agreeing with each other?

    Pretty sure apologetics (if that’s what this is, not entirely sure?) takes some time. Especially with so many diverse questions.

    jimjam
    Member

    wilburt – Member

    So are we going to get answers or is this thread just for the usuals agreeing with each other?

    If we buy the book. Obvs πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    But how do you know the book contains the right answers?

    The book will contain SR’s opinion.
    Your own opinion on this topic is equally valid.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    But how do you know the book contains the right answers?

    I would expect the book, being written by a scholar, to contain many opinions resulting from different lines of thought. And, given its inception, a lot of historical facts and facts about church doctrine. Because a lot of contributors to the usual religious arguments are categorically wrong on certain facts about history or the church.

    I hope it does anyway πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    πŸ™‚

    Theology and history are fascinating topics and I look forward to reading the book.

    However an expert in historical theology has no more valid opinion on the existence of God than anyone else.

    slackalice
    Member

    I think the OP has moved on and is currently collating material for his next book on the history of console gaming πŸ˜‰

    Junkyard
    Member

    However an expert in historical theology has no more valid opinion on the existence of God than anyone else.

    Oh no RS has had enough of experts. Sad

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    πŸ™‚
    Not at all.

    If we discount a physical God, then we have a study of the nature and history of belief itself.

    slackalice
    Member

    tjagain – Member
    I have seen hundreds of people die ( its my job to look after dying people). I have seen no difference in attitudes to dying from religious or non religious.

    Interesting, how would you describe the common attitudes you observed?

    In 1907, an American physician, Dr MacDougall believed humans had a soul and attempted to observe the moment when a soul parts from the physical body. Apparently, he set up an elaborate sensitive beam weight bed scale, upon which a number of patients with terminal illnesses were placed and observed before, during and after their passing. He noted each time at the moment of death, there was an observable weight loss of less than an ounce (21 grams in today’s money).

    Apparently, for comparison, he did the same approach with dogs, where he observed no measurable weight loss, he also tested for loss of air with exhalation of a full lungs breath, which yielded the same no weight loss result.

    AFAIK, there have been no further studies on this, apart from a very good film with Benicio Del Toro I think it was.

    badnewz
    Member

    Since the definition of a soul is that it is spiritual/non-material, it does not have a physical weight to be observed.
    This is the general problem with materialistic approaches to the spiritual world, they are the wrong set of tools; they will tell you about the natural world, but not about the spiritual world.
    In my experience the easiest way to access the spiritual world is to try and do something creative, like write a poem.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    This is the general problem with materialistic approaches to the spiritual world, they are the wrong set of tools

    If it exists, it’s physical, by definition. We may not be trying the right observations. MacDougall assumed it had mass, but now we know not everything observable has mass.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    However an expert in historical theology has no more valid opinion on the existence of God than anyone else.

    Does theology attempt to determine the existence of God?

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    I didn’t say it did.
    πŸ™‚

    If it exists, it’s physical, by definition.

    Excellent.
    Can I have half a pound of anger please?

    In all seriousness, Clarke’s third law applies:
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    slackalice
    Member

    My understanding is that theology assumes the existence of God and tries to divine its nature, but I may be off the mark with my understanding having not studied theology in its academic sense.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Can I have half a pound of anger please?

    No, but you can have a few microgrammes of acetylcholine, see how that works for you…

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
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    πŸ˜€
    I agree with you, btw.

    slackalice
    Member

    I’ve always found that chemicals that end with an’ine’ to be rather good fun πŸ˜‰

    Junkyard
    Member

    Does theology attempt to determine the existence of God?

    Yes it started with ontological* ones – ie by necessity god exists and then moved on to say arguing morality comes from god ** to just basically accepting there is no proof only faith- not least because this is what the Bible says

    * http://www.iep.utm.edu/ont-arg/
    This seems to cover the main ones but only skimmed it

    ** a weak argument as either god chose morals on a whim or there is a real reason why they are good which anyone can see – Adam said this iirc been a long time

    NB i only did it in relation to Christianity and am no expert – please dont overstate my expertise here its quite limited

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