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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Not Christian, Buddhist, nor Atheist....What now?
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04/16/2012 06:42:53 AM · #1
Hoping this will open up some of the folks for whom the whole religious thing gets overwhelming......

From where I sit, it's pretty simple. I don't have the answers, I just want to go through life being the most decent and caring individual that I'm capable of being. I see lots of goodness and beauty in life; I also see lots of sadness and horror. I don't necessarily think life is random, but I also don't necessarily have some concept of a supreme whatever at the helm. I simply don't know, and I really don't have to have an answer to go to sleep at night.

I believe that the human critter is fascinating, wonderful, beautiful, complex, scary, and ugly on many levels. But I also feel, at least for me, that life is all about choices, and what life is to you is the result of those choices.

I choose to believe in the basic good of the critter, in all its variations, and I am excited by the prospect that each and every day I will discover something new about my brethren.

What I really try to do is to learn, honor, and respect my fellow man's persona, without any need whatsoever to try to tell him/her how to live.

It just seems nuts to me that in all the machinations and workings of people over the years that certain groups band together, decide they have it all figured out, then spend their lives trying to convince the rest of us that they have the answer to it all.

How does that happen? Especially when in order for any of these groups to support their answer, they have to convince others to believe in something that cannot be proven, or in most cases for that matter, have not one shred of tangible evidence to support their stories.

Honestly, I don't get it.......I have my own ideas about things, but I'll be damned if I'd try and make someone else believe my way of looking at life.
04/16/2012 08:06:14 AM · #2
Exactly how I live my life and feel about religion as well. Nicely said.
04/16/2012 08:48:09 AM · #3
Yep... well said.

Though all I can say is - death.

For a very large portion of the world, death is their biggest fear. Religion of some sort generally gives hope or meaning to life and death and brings us human critters some amount of comfort in the face of death.

Without death, would we have religion? I'm sure it would exist, but not with such ferocity.
04/16/2012 09:17:45 AM · #4
It's human nature to see the effects of what one believes in everywhere one looks. We believe in lots of things we can't prove, but see evidence of. You can't see light unless it's reflecting or refracting off something, but we all believe in the light. You can't prove electricity by your five senses, but the effects of its presence are easy to see or feel. IMO, science is the world's most powerful, pervasive belief system & science is based on a few basic things that can't be proved. At least, IMO.

Message edited by author 2012-04-16 09:20:06.
04/16/2012 09:29:08 AM · #5
Well said Jeb.
04/16/2012 09:53:55 AM · #6
Originally posted by NikonJeb:


Honestly, I don't get it.......I have my own ideas about things, but I'll be damned if I'd try and make someone else believe my way of looking at life.


+1
Being a happy, contented atheist as I am is not for everyone in any case, but I'd be really uncomfortable trying to impose my views on others. My extended family are mostly churchgoing folk, and they know that I respect their views although mine differ.
IMHO, the separation of church and state set forth in the US constitution was one of the wisest things the founding fathers did. Neither governments nor individuals should impose specific religious thought on others. When this happens, only bad things can result.
04/16/2012 11:40:26 AM · #7
Anybody who is truly comfortable in their own beliefs, won't try to preach or impose them on anybody else, when we try to convert somebody to think like we do, it's because on some level we still have doubts, we feel less intimidated by these doubts when we can convince others to believe, or when we decide to follow exactly what others believe. The web of self illusion is vast and complex and is born of fear, the extent that we become untangled depends on the depth and sincerity of the questions we ask and the effort we give to them, these questions can only be answered by us and nobody else.
04/16/2012 12:36:45 PM · #8
The monster chicken has noted all contributors to this thread.
04/16/2012 12:57:35 PM · #9
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

in order for any of these groups to support their answer, they have to convince others to believe in something that cannot be proven, or in most cases for that matter, have not one shred of tangible evidence to support their stories.

I agree with you Jeb, and I tend to stay out of most of these religious threads. However, in reference to your above quoted statement: to those who believe, the evidence is clear. They don't understand how some of us can NOT see it. They are doing a disservice if they don't attempt to help others out of their "ignorance".

Originally posted by jagar:

Anybody who is truly comfortable in their own beliefs, won't try to preach or impose them on anybody else

Agreed. My wife and I are of differing beliefs. She has never tried to convert or convince me, and I respect that. Finding a Priest and a Rabbi who were willing do do a joint ceremony was a little tricky, however.
04/16/2012 02:17:16 PM · #10
+1 Jeb. Exactly how I see it too.
04/16/2012 02:39:56 PM · #11
You don't drink.

You don't smoke.

What do you do?
04/16/2012 05:58:27 PM · #12
Originally posted by posthumous:

You don't drink.

You don't smoke.

What do you do?


First I cut out drinking,
Then I cut out smoking,
After that I cut out women...

Now, I cut out paper dolls :O)

Ray
04/16/2012 06:00:04 PM · #13
Originally posted by posthumous:

You don't drink.

You don't smoke.

What do you do?

He has a problem with Topaz abuse
04/16/2012 07:24:52 PM · #14
Originally posted by posthumous:

You don't drink.

You don't smoke.

What do you do?


Subtle innuendos follow ;)
04/16/2012 07:50:26 PM · #15
Lets see how long this takes.....
04/17/2012 07:04:03 AM · #16
Originally posted by pixelpig:

It's human nature to see the effects of what one believes in everywhere one looks. We believe in lots of things we can't prove, but see evidence of. You can't see light unless it's reflecting or refracting off something, but we all believe in the light. You can't prove electricity by your five senses, but the effects of its presence are easy to see or feel. IMO, science is the world's most powerful, pervasive belief system & science is based on a few basic things that can't be proved. At least, IMO.


computer_grief.gif
04/17/2012 01:24:25 PM · #17
Originally posted by raish:

The monster chicken has noted all contributors to this thread.

I'm glad you have your monster chicken........doesn't work for me, though.....
04/17/2012 01:36:21 PM · #18
Monster chicken what? Maybe I need to spend more time reading these forums. That sounds like a religion I could get behind. ;)
04/17/2012 01:46:34 PM · #19
Originally posted by JamesDowning:

Monster chicken what? Maybe I need to spend more time reading these forums. That sounds like a religion I could get behind. ;)


It's a splinter sect that broke off from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster... :-)
04/17/2012 03:38:07 PM · #20
Originally posted by pixelpig:

It's human nature to see the effects of what one believes in everywhere one looks. We believe in lots of things we can't prove, but see evidence of. You can't see light unless it's reflecting or refracting off something, but we all believe in the light. You can't prove electricity by your five senses, but the effects of its presence are easy to see or feel. IMO, science is the world's most powerful, pervasive belief system & science is based on a few basic things that can't be proved. At least, IMO.


*sigh*

Scientific principles are very proven. Electricity isn't a "belief", nor is light. Science is NOT a belief system. I don't BELIEVE that a combustion engine works. I don't BELIEVE that that the sun warms the earth. I don't BELIEVE that mammals produce milk for their young. If I am questioned about why a beer forms foam when poured, I don't have to understand why it does it, but I can grab any beer in front of any person, pour it into a glass and have it foam. The same cannot be said for beliefs in the supernatural. Ever.

It's human nature to be curious and try to understand the world around us. Science is the ONE true way of doing so on a factual, observational, repeatable basis that allows us to grasp things we otherwise would leave to superstition, fear, awe and worship.

Your examples are all things we can prove. We can PROVE light is there BECAUSE of reflection and refraction. Those same principles are what make our eyes WORK. We can prove electricty by many of our senses. We can see it work, we can hear it work, we can feel it work and we can smell it work. Ever put a 9 volt battery on your tongue? That's not a belief system that is still unproven. Not fully understanding the sub-atomic level of WHY electricity works is simply not an 'unproven theory'.

What blows me away is that anyone ever has to explain this even on this level.
04/17/2012 03:43:31 PM · #21
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by JamesDowning:

Monster chicken what? Maybe I need to spend more time reading these forums. That sounds like a religion I could get behind. ;)


It's a splinter sect that broke off from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster... :-)


An evil and heretical cult which will be crushed by His Noodly Appendage.
04/17/2012 03:49:55 PM · #22
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by JamesDowning:

Monster chicken what? Maybe I need to spend more time reading these forums. That sounds like a religion I could get behind. ;)


It's a splinter sect that broke off from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster... :-)


An evil and heretical cult which will be crushed by His Noodly Appendage.


Oh ye of little faith...
04/17/2012 03:55:19 PM · #23
Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Science is NOT a belief system.


I disagree. We have faith in the scientific method, but it is a faith. In another two thousand years our mastery of science will look as pathetic and faith based and the Norse explaining lighting through their understanding on Thor. It may be the best tool we have to come to grips with the unknowns in the world we can measure and grasp, but the better our tools to understand our world, the more we know, the greater our perception, the more mysteries we stumble upon. Black matter, string theory, a 25 dimensional omniverse and transubstantiation all seem equally magical to me.

Whenever you are about to label something as impossible, keep in mind Clarke's three laws;

1.When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2,The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3.Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

from "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination" 1962

Message edited by author 2012-04-17 15:56:45.
04/17/2012 04:07:02 PM · #24
Originally posted by BrennanOB:

Originally posted by K10DGuy:

Science is NOT a belief system.


I disagree. We have faith in the scientific method, but it is a faith. In another two thousand years our mastery of science will look as pathetic and faith based and the Norse explaining lighting through their understanding on Thor. It may be the best tool we have to come to grips with the unknowns in the world we can measure and grasp, but the better our tools to understand our world, the more we know, the greater our perception, the more mysteries we stumble upon. Black matter, string theory, a 25 dimensional omniverse and transubstantiation all seem equally magical to me.

Whenever you are about to label something as impossible, keep in mind Clarke's three laws;

1.When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2,The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3.Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

from "Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination" 1962


I don't remember labelling anything 'impossible' :)

Also, I disagree with your 'faith' assessment. At least if you are to mean that our faith in something being able to work repeatedly, consistently and accurately is on the same level as a faith in something that CANNOT be done so. Sure, our understandings will change as our tools get better and/or more advanced, but the PRINCIPLES are the same. If the day ever comes when we can understand, scientifically, a power that controls us in a way that people believe some 'god' does, then that power will cease to have any power over us :)

Message edited by author 2012-04-17 16:14:48.
04/17/2012 08:15:39 PM · #25
I won't weigh in heavily here since I obviously don't fit the group. Two thoughts.

K10's description of science is fair. It is powerful. The scientific method is perhaps the most powerful discovery of the last millenia if not civilization. However, it is not all powerful (and that's where I tend to have a beef). Science cannot answer questions that many if not most people deem important. What is my purpose? Are there such things as good and evil? What is right behavior? Is there a God? Why does the universe exist? What is reality? (Just a limited example.) The more people sell Science as the tool for all questions, the more I get uncomfortable. The more people think questions not answered by Science are unimportant, the more I get uncomfortable.

The other thought is generally good natured, but I always have to take note that Jeb loves saying that he would never try to get someone to take on his view, but he says it an awful lot and with passion while getting upset with people who don't see life that way...
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