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  1. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    I don't want to pick on anyone's posts specifically, but what really irritates me about atheism is that:

    1) Religious people are regarded as naive or weak.
    1) The "God" they don't believe in is invariably the same "God" that religious people do believe in. This is going out on a whim, but could you entertain the idea that something exists beyond this concrete boundaries of religion?

    I sympathise with religious people, and with atheists. We're all looking for answers. I became atheist at the age of 13, and remained atheist for 10 years because it answered all my questions. Then, when the questions started again, I had to investigate, and adjust my beliefs. The only thing I have found satisfactory in explaining life is Quantum Physics, and an understanding that the Bible is a jargonic text, never meant to be interpreted literally. If you read the bible with the meaning of the words in mind it actually makes sense. Examples: Adam = man, Eve = Life (Man develops self awareness because of the knowledge that Life brought him to). Water = consciousness. (Christ walking on water represents man learning to master consciousness).

    The historical "evidence" that Jesus existed is sketchy to say the least, but that doesn't mean that these texts are fairy tales with some heavy handed morals thrown in. I believe there was a time when people did not live to work, or have lists of things they needed to tick to make them happy. At some stage, people recognised that mystery was in abundance, and they devoted lifetimes to understanding these mysteries.

    Unfortunately religion has subverted these texts and presented them as literal presentations of truth, rather than a series of formula.

    It irks me that Atheists keep saying they don't believe in God, because it's religion that they don't believe in (usually just one religion. Most atheists I know haven't studied theology extensively). The interpretation of "God" as a "creator" is so narrow.

    I like to read books that are totally oppositional to what I believe because it challenges me and keeps my mind open. "The God Delusion" is the most ignorant and pompous piece of writing I've had the misfortune to waste my time on.

    I usually keep quiet during these discussions because they really make my blood boil. Why can't we look for the similarities between what we believe instead of constantly picking out the differences? We all say we want a peaceful world, but no one's prepared to start with themselves. [/rant]
    Okay, preface: I like The God Delusion. And I'm the quintessential "atheist zealot" giving all the closet atheists (Like Derp, despite his repeated denials) a bad name. I have a T-Rex eating a Jesus fish emblem, and a bumper sticker that says "Born Right the First Time."

    But my real objection, as I keep saying, is when people try to justify decision- and/or policy-making based on known fallacies (like suggesting that my ancestrally informed diet is misguided because Jesus talked about bread e.g. the original post in this very thread. Or the Crusades. Or limiting women's right to choose. Or flying airplanes into buildings. Or driving an entire people out of a "holy land").

    You want to talk about which gods I object to, specifically? It's really an easy distinction for me. I object to Gods that exist outside the Universe. Gods you have to apply to for salvation. I think spirituality is an inherent human trait, and as much as I don't believe in a sentient creator, I feel like the earth is our home (rather than heaven/nirvana/valhalla/whatever), and I'm saddened when people feel so out of place here that they need to turn to Sky Gods in cloud castles outside the universe and dream of finally being "home" after they're dead.

    I'm home now, and I'll be home when I'm eaten by lions and become part of the lion, and when the worms eat the lion and I become a worm, and when a bird eats the worm, etc... But there's no conflict between science and my spiritual beliefs. They're 2 ways of looking at the same observations, not 1 way of looking at it and 1 way of looking away from it (i.e. Stephen J. Gould's "Separate Magisteria" hogwash).

    And yes, I do plan to be eaten by lions. (worms more likely). But I don't want to be embalmed/preserved/sealed in an air-tight box. I want to return to the community of life that which I've borrowed from it all these years, so that I may continue taking part in the glorious spectacle that is life.

  2. #192
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    YogaBare, I like your posts and I'm glad you don't keep quiet. Don't let this thread make your blood boil, just focus on the people who are actually interested in the discussion. I like hearing ideas that challenge mine, and bouncing my ideas off others who are willing to listen and respond. It's the best way to learn.

    I agree that the universe is mysterious. Atheists see mystery everywhere. You could make the argument that atheists see more mystery in the universe than some theists do, because atheists don't claim to have an answer to it all -- just a lot to explore (most of which we'll probably never comprehend).

    If your concept of God is basically just "all the mysterious and unknown/unknowable stuff" in the universe, then sure, I believe in that. I don't think this is entirely what most people think of as God though.

    Keep challenging us Yoga! I'm more than happy to reconsider my position on anything.
    Last edited by ciep; 04-02-2013 at 06:59 AM.

  3. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    And yes, I do plan to be eaten by lions. (worms more likely). But I don't want to be embalmed/preserved/sealed in an air-tight box. I want to return to the community of life that which I've borrowed from it all these years, so that I may continue taking part in the glorious spectacle that is life.
    Loved your whole post but mostly this.

  4. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    I usually keep quiet during these discussions because they really make my blood boil. Why can't we look for the similarities between what we believe instead of constantly picking out the differences? We all say we want a peaceful world, but no one's prepared to start with themselves. [/rant]
    It's a lovely idea, but we should not pretend that 'the religious' and 'atheists' are on equal footing . . . in the U.S., at least. Many Christians in the United States do not act in such a fashion, but it certain seems like organized religion relies heavily on meddling in the lives of nonbelievers.

  5. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    I'm home now, and I'll be home when I'm eaten by lions and become part of the lion, and when the worms eat the lion and I become a worm, and when a bird eats the worm, etc... But there's no conflict between science and my spiritual beliefs. They're 2 ways of looking at the same observations, not 1 way of looking at it and 1 way of looking away from it (i.e. Stephen J. Gould's "Separate Magisteria" hogwash).

    And yes, I do plan to be eaten by lions. (worms more likely). But I don't want to be embalmed/preserved/sealed in an air-tight box. I want to return to the community of life that which I've borrowed from it all these years, so that I may continue taking part in the glorious spectacle that is life.
    Lions or worms, most of “you”, RichMahogny, will anyway be burnt for energy or end up in the feces of the lions or worms! The rest of the molecules of "you" that is stored inside the worm will also relative soon end up in water or in the soil. So if it makes you feel happy; it's not unlikely that some lions or worms have a water or oxygen molecule or two that have travelled through your body inside themselves already, since huge amounts of molecules are travelling through our bodies all the time. Personally I am convinced that some of the molecules that have earlier been in the body of a Tiger are now present in my body, I can feel it, so then it must be true of course…

  6. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    I think spirituality is an inherent human trait, and as much as I don't believe in a sentient creator, I feel like the earth is our home
    That's a... common feeling, but I'm unsure what does it have to do with spirituality. Yeah, sure, you want to be part of a chain of life and all that, but why call it spirituality?

  7. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumifer View Post
    That's a... common feeling, but I'm unsure what does it have to do with spirituality. Yeah, sure, you want to be part of a chain of life and all that, but why call it spirituality?
    That's an interesting question. When I consider these matters in the way I've described as "spiritual", I'm not really thinking about individual molecules, like Gorbag pointed out. But I'm not one to believe in a "ghost-in-the-machine," so maybe that's not an accurate term. "Emotional" vs. "rational" isn't quite the right distinction either. Do you have a suggestion for better terminology to use in this case?

    I'm gonna have to think about this more and get back to you.

  8. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Do you have a suggestion for better terminology to use in this case?
    Warm fuzzies :-D

    On a bit more serious note, it seems that humans have a hardwired need to belong to something greater than them -- it could be a tribe (see nationalism), could be a supernatural force/being (see religion), could be other things. You picked nature/Earth/life. That's not about spirituality, that's about meaning, about one's place in some (much) bigger framework.

  9. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumifer View Post
    Warm fuzzies :-D

    On a bit more serious note, it seems that humans have a hardwired need to belong to something greater than them -- it could be a tribe (see nationalism), could be a supernatural force/being (see religion), could be other things. You picked nature/Earth/life. That's not about spirituality, that's about meaning, about one's place in some (much) bigger framework.
    I like it, even though it's a little bit verbally cumbersome.

    So while I'm not literally spiritual, I do view humanity's place in the universe as meaningful.

    Despite the fact that I'm a card-carrying atheist.

  10. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    So while I'm not literally spiritual, I do view humanity's place in the universe as meaningful.
    Huh? You said nothing about the humanity's place in the universe (hint: the universe is really big. Really really. MUCH bigger than Earth). You've been talking about your place in, basically, Earth's ecology.

    Essentially the meaning of your life is to provide food for lions :-P

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