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Someone said I should be an atheist...

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#1    NothingSetInStone

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

I run a blog on another site. One of my followers was surprised to find out I identify as catholic. He questioned me on this and insisted I sounded more like an atheist than anything. I do not at all consider myself an atheist so I explained my belief system to him.

First of all, the reasons I am catholic have to do with redemption and forgiveness. Plus I love the rituals on the church. It's also one of the only places that, if I ever feel stressed or upset, makes me feel at peace. Going to mass always calms me down and I can't explain why. As I was raised Jewish and willingly converted to Catholicism (always having believed Judiaism was not for me, fine for others though) I decided to ask about conversion classes. Most of my friends growing up were catholic and I always identified with those teachings more. No clue why.

Now that I'm older, I don't really believe in a Christian god, well not as its defined by Christians. This is what I told him I believed:

That there is some sort of force governing us. Whatever causes the ebb and flow of nature, that's what I believe in. The thing that got the ball rolling. The things science can't explain yet. Though I am very logical and believe there is an explanation for 99% of phenomena, we do not have everything 100% explained yet. The day we do, I will stop believing in god. I think of god much like dogs must think of humans.

Dogs look at humans as all powerful, caring, loving, and wonderful but the dog has no way to comprehend that we aren't all those things. We aren't omniscient, we don't create food and toys from our minds, we are full of fallacies and evil. Yet since they have no way to comprehend how humans are, they see us as something entirely different. So I think the being (or beings) that oversee us, must be like that. We are like their dogs, and we see those things as almighty providers but they really are no better than us, just slightly more powerful or just something we can't comprehend, like dogs.

I don't think any of that makes me an atheist. I don't have a problem with anyone or any religion, unless of course it's an extremist thing, but I can't not believe there is a greater purpose. I can't not believe in karma or fate. My faith has kept me going, and should I stop to think there was no reason for the suffering I've been through in my life (been told that most people never experience the combination of things I've already been through before the age of 30) I'd really want to shrivel up and die.

So maybe I'm weird that I need to believe there is a higher purpose to this. Yet I still think as humans there are things we can't, and may never comprehend.

Is there a religion at all like I'm describing? If not, does anyone have any input on this?

Edited by NothingSetInStone, 24 January 2013 - 05:54 PM.


#2    Rlyeh

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:59 PM

The almighty god of gaps.

However dogs actually interact with us, your god seems to be AWOL.


#3    freetoroam

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:03 PM

"Someone said I should be an atheist.."


========================================
Don`t believe them!!!

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#4    Hasina

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:08 PM

~Agnostic~

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#5    AmpleFyre

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:30 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 24 January 2013 - 05:59 PM, said:

However dogs actually interact with us, your god seems to be AWOL.

That's being narrow minded, in my opinion. My understanding is that most gods aren't thought of as physical entities, rather than being metaphysical, or on another "plane" of existence.
Think of a point on a 2 dimensional graph with X and Y coordinates, and now try and put that point in the exact same spot in a three dimensional graph with the same X and Y values, but with a Z value greater than or less than 0.
Another theory could be something along the lines of the universe = god.
There's lots of ways to enable a "god" to exist, scientifically speaking. It would just be something beyond our current understanding, and probably in a way that's not like any current understand of a "god" as we know it. Just like aether, the four classical elements, alchemy, and many others used to be widespread and accepted theories.
Now of course this could always be turned around and used against belief in spirituality as well, but I don't think you can ever be too old to learn something new. Not just on the individual scale, but for humanity as well.

Edited by AmpleFyre, 24 January 2013 - 06:31 PM.

"All I say is that I think it is damned unlikely that anything like a central cosmic will, a spirit world, or an eternal survival of personality exist. They are the most preposterous and unjustified of all the guesses which can be made about the universe, and I am not enough of a hair-splitter to pretend that I don't regard them as arrant and negligible moonshine. In theory I am an agnostic, but pending the appearance of radical evidence I must be classed, practically and provisionally, as an atheist." ~ H.P. Lovecraft

#6    NothingSetInStone

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

View PostHasina, on 24 January 2013 - 06:08 PM, said:

~Agnostic~

But I know a ton of agnostics and they insist I can't be one if I attend mass, even if I explain to them it's less about being catholic and more about ideas of redemption and forgiveness.

You would define what I believe as agnosticism?


#7    Rlyeh

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:39 PM

View PostAmpleFyre, on 24 January 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

That's being narrow minded, in my opinion. My understanding is that most gods aren't thought of as physical entities, rather than being metaphysical, or on another "plane" of existence.
Better than absent minded, in my opinion. Clearly you didn't read the OP's view of God being the god of gaps.


#8    NothingSetInStone

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:39 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 24 January 2013 - 05:59 PM, said:

The almighty god of gaps.

However dogs actually interact with us, your god seems to be AWOL.

How is my God AWOL if I admit its something I just can't comprehend. Maybe I'm interacting with it right now but it's beyond my comprehension to realize I am?


#9    Rlyeh

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:43 PM

View PostNothingSetInStone, on 24 January 2013 - 06:39 PM, said:

How is my God AWOL if I admit its something I just can't comprehend. Maybe I'm interacting with it right now but it's beyond my comprehension to realize I am?
You admitted it is to explain something you can't, then you go and compare this to how dogs see humans. Are you saying dogs don't realise they are interacting with humans? Really? lol


#10    Hasina

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

View PostNothingSetInStone, on 24 January 2013 - 06:37 PM, said:

But I know a ton of agnostics and they insist I can't be one if I attend mass, even if I explain to them it's less about being catholic and more about ideas of redemption and forgiveness.

You would define what I believe as agnosticism?
I would yes. The Agnostics you've spoken to would probably also say I'm not an agnostic, because for me I just don't give a hoot what the answer is. Go or no God, as long as he doesn't get in my way... lol.

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#11    GreenmansGod

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:21 PM

Quote

That there is some sort of force governing us. Whatever causes the ebb and flow of nature, that's what I believe in.

That sounds bit more Pantheist, to me.  Nature is god.   It all depends whether or not you see god as nature or god as  separate from nature. I am a Pantheistic Pagan. My question fall into whether or not it is aware and if it is, is it aware of us.  We are aware we have cells in our butt, but do we really ever think about them.

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#12    NothingSetInStone

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 24 January 2013 - 06:43 PM, said:

You admitted it is to explain something you can't, then you go and compare this to how dogs see humans. Are you saying dogs don't realise they are interacting with humans? Really? lol

Well for one dogs are less intelligent than humans. And for two, though they interact with us, what about the strays who people leave food out for but they never see that person and just know where to get the food?

Also, I fail to understand why you repeatedly try to prove that I'm some sort of ignorant bimbo when I'm just trying to have a philosophical conversation. Either way I'm going to ignore you now as you aren't adding much but being a troll and the others are at least trying to be intelligent.


#13    NothingSetInStone

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:01 PM

View PostHasina, on 24 January 2013 - 06:55 PM, said:


I would yes. The Agnostics you've spoken to would probably also say I'm not an agnostic, because for me I just don't give a hoot what the answer is. Go or no God, as long as he doesn't get in my way... lol.

Well whatever force I believe in it doesn't stop me, or make me feel like I'm completely damned forever. Yes I like the idea of redemption and forgiveness but I view it as something for my own peace of mind. Further more I still DO the things I ask forgiveness for and am not ALWAYS at church trying to confess. It's more therapeutic than anything actually. Lol. Though I still can't believe there isn't a God and would very much care if I found out there wasn't.


#14    WoIverine

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:02 PM

To the OP, be what you want, not what anyone else suggests.


#15    Hasina

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

View PostNothingSetInStone, on 24 January 2013 - 08:01 PM, said:



Well whatever force I believe in it doesn't stop me, or make me feel like I'm completely damned forever. Yes I like the idea of redemption and forgiveness but I view it as something for my own peace of mind. Further more I still DO the things I ask forgiveness for and am not ALWAYS at church trying to confess. It's more therapeutic than anything actually. Lol. Though I still can't believe there isn't a God and would very much care if I found out there wasn't.
My dad offers up his viewpoint, he calls himself a Deist. He believes there is a god, but the details of this god? That he doesn't know, was he reborn as man as Jesus? Did he send an angel to talk to Muhammed? Those may be just fairy tales for the truly religious folks, but that doesn't mean a holy text can't have one or two good lessons that were the actual 'word of god' which then became misconstrued as humanity wrote and rewrote it.

All in all, god exists but who or what it is is unimaginable and probably not even possible to define in this universe. That's my dad's view.

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