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How many of you do and don't believe in God?


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#76    Kambambaluckabam

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:46 AM

I believe in god but i definitely see where being agnostic can cone from, does it really matter what we believe so long as were good people?


#77    Paranoid Android

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:17 AM

View PostKambambaluckabam, on 18 January 2013 - 03:46 AM, said:

I believe in god but i definitely see where being agnostic can cone from, does it really matter what we believe so long as were good people?
If you ask ten different people what it meant to be "good", you'd get ten different answers. And if God exists the question turns to whether God has a measuring stick, in which case the question becomes "how good is good enough".

Certainly I agree with your premise - living a life that helps others rather than hurts them. But I don't think it's that simple when it comes to a coverall statement such as the one you made. That's just my opinion though.

~ Regards, PA

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#78    sslama

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:34 AM

I think the probability is very low that there is a God that sits up in a place called heaven and judges us and is in control of everything.  I believe we ultimately have control over our own lives and we have free will...we can achieve great things if we work together.  That doesn't mean I don't believe in a creator....I actually think that is quite possible but our creator would be like our scientists today.  Or that there isn't something more to life than science.....I like to see people step outside the box on this subject.

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#79    shadowhive

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:57 AM

View PostSpiritWriter, on 17 January 2013 - 06:10 AM, said:

Or how about a god who only cares about one particular nation? As we evolve our minds and spirits evolve. Compared to a nation we are small, compared to the planet even smaller, compared to a universe? But we, with our little minds still contemplate "him"... he hasnt changed but we are constantly changing. If we say "I believe" what are we striving for? What is the significance of knowing god???

Shadowhive these questions arent for you I was just inspired by your post... although I have to say I dont agree that god is not interested in our race... I think he's interested in our race as a whole and each of us individually as well.

I don't see why a god would care about anyone, either individually, as a group, nation or species.

There's several problems with 'knowing' god. The first is the most obvious. You have a friend that you've known for years. If someone asks to meet them you can introduce them and they will know it's the exact same person you do. God's not like a person. You can't get to know him or ask questions in the same way. You can't say to someone 'this is my god' and expect them to see the same thing as you would with introudcing them to a friend. You're reliant on third party information, past through religious men or texts. You're reliant on interpretation, often based on something that is etremely old, has been editted or mistranslated, that could have been an outright lie or was based on uniformed information.

God's also very much a mirror to the person. People in the past were rascist and sexist and guess what? Their god was too. If you're kind and loving, you believe your god will be too. And this is meant to be the exact same entity. And there's also the thing that a usual good person can condone cruel or heartless behaviour because 'god says so'. Or be ok with condemning people to hell for the same reason.

Let's say god does exists and does care about us. If he's the god of the bible (which I'd never believe) he's a cruel, heartless psychopath. If, however, god does care about us and isn't like that, then I'd be very surprised.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
"There's the trouble with fanatics. They're easy to manipulate, but somehow they take everything five steps too far."
"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevent, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

#80    shadowhive

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 18 January 2013 - 04:17 AM, said:

If you ask ten different people what it meant to be "good", you'd get ten different answers. And if God exists the question turns to whether God has a measuring stick, in which case the question becomes "how good is good enough".

Certainly I agree with your premise - living a life that helps others rather than hurts them. But I don't think it's that simple when it comes to a coverall statement such as the one you made. That's just my opinion though.

~ Regards, PA

There was a cartoon I saw a bit ago. In it there were a group of animals: a fish, a bird, a tiger, a bear, a tortoise and a few others and they wre all posed a test. This test assigned the value of the animal and it involved swimming.

Now why do I bring that up? Well that's simple. The animals all have different skills and have evolved to cope with different things. So if you test tortoise on it's ability to swim it'll be labelled as a failure. Just like a fish can't climb trees, or the bird can't sprint. People are the same in that it's not really fair to judge people by the same standard of goodness. There are a few general 'good' things that a person can be judged by, but as a whole it depends on the person's skills, abiities and what the person faces.

Take an example: a person drowning. Now if someone sees them and is a confidant swimmer, they may swim out and help them. if someone else is unable to swim, they can help by calling the revelent services (or getting a lifeguard who can). Both of these actions count as being good, but if you judge someone who can't swim for not swimming to save them than that's not the right approach at all.

So like I said, people should be judged on what that person can do, not some universal standard (again, bar a few excptions).

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
"There's the trouble with fanatics. They're easy to manipulate, but somehow they take everything five steps too far."
"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevent, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

#81    Paranoid Android

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:56 PM

^ I agree in part, people with different skill in different areas use those skills appropriately. That wasn't really what I was referring to. To extend on your image if a person drowning, what if they are good swimmers but are afraid and therefore freeze. Or if someone isn't a good swimmer but has a phone to contract emergency services but freezes under pressure and doesn't call? Are these people doing right or wrong? I'd argue neither. How a person reacts to a stressful situation has nothing to do with morality. I've been through things that show me the truth of this.

I was thinking along different lines. Take theft, as an example. When I was 14 I stole a packet of chewing gum from the local store. It was wrong but I was just a dumb kid who now regrets it. Am I still "good enough"? What about someone I was involved with recently who had been convicted of fraud, stealing about $100,000 from neighbors to feed a drug habit - now he's clean and repentant but can't pay them back - is he "good enough"?

Both these cases involve repentance, so perhaps repentance is the key. But what if the dude who stole 100k isn't repentant? What if the guy who stole a packet of chewing gum isn't repentant? Are either of these "good enough"?

How good is "good enough"?

~ Regards,

Edited by Paranoid Android, 18 January 2013 - 01:00 PM.

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#82    shadowhive

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:28 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 18 January 2013 - 12:56 PM, said:

^ I agree in part, people with different skill in different areas use those skills appropriately. That wasn't really what I was referring to. To extend on your image if a person drowning, what if they are good swimmers but are afraid and therefore freeze. Or if someone isn't a good swimmer but has a phone to contract emergency services but freezes under pressure and doesn't call? Are these people doing right or wrong? I'd argue neither. How a person reacts to a stressful situation has nothing to do with morality. I've been through things that show me the truth of this.

Obviously, in a stressful situation people do react diffrently, and people do freeze. I'd agree if someone does freezee it's neither right or wrong, some just can't handle such situations.

Quote

I was thinking along different lines. Take theft, as an example. When I was 14 I stole a packet of chewing gum from the local store. It was wrong but I was just a dumb kid who now regrets it. Am I still "good enough"? What about someone I was involved with recently who had been convicted of fraud, stealing about $100,000 from neighbors to feed a drug habit - now he's clean and repentant but can't pay them back - is he "good enough"?

Both these cases involve repentance, so perhaps repentance is the key. But what if the dude who stole 100k isn't repentant? What if the guy who stole a packet of chewing gum isn't repentant?

How good is "good enough"?

~ Regards,

Repentance I find is an odd concept. I think a lot of the time it comes off as valueless (repenting for thinking of something), as lip service (repenting without meaning it) or even harmful (being made to feel like something needs to be repented when it doesn't). As such I place as much value in 'repentance' as I do in 'sin', which is none.

Those two cases are very different. Pretty much every kid does something stupid and regrets doing it later.

Now as for the guy that stole all that money that's different. He was an adult so he doesn't have the excuse of 'he's just a kid' but he did have a drug habit, which is a problem. I'd say what matters here is that he served time, saw it as a problem and he got clean. I think the key part isn't necsssarily the repentance, but that he got clean.

How good is good enough? As I tried to point out depends largely on the person and how much good they can actually do, as well as their ability to do it. I don't think that a universal measure of 'good enough' is possible.

Now lets go back to those two examples you used again. Are you not 'good enough' for one mistake you did as a kid? Of course not and it'd be idiotic to say otherwise. Your life is not defined by that one action and, indeed, it's was just gum. It's not as if you broke in someone's house and stole their tv or held up a bank. You've done many things after that and have likely done more than enough good to cancel it out.

Is the guy that got clean good enough? Time will tell. It depends if he stays clean, but most likely.

Being good enough is not defined by one action. It depends on your whole life. If you go to god and he says 'sorry, you're not good enough because you stole some gum at 14' then I'd say he was an ignorant god to narrow your whole life down to one incident.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
"There's the trouble with fanatics. They're easy to manipulate, but somehow they take everything five steps too far."
"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevent, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

#83    sslama

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

I think we are here to learn.  The saying "know thyself"...is a great saying.   Sometimes people think they would react a certain way in a situation and they find when they are in that situation they act nothing like they thought they would.  Some people show courage and some don't.  People change as they grow and their ideas and thoughts change with them.  I wouldn't look at any mistakes you made as wrong, even if they were moral mistakes.  Look at them as a learning experience.

We don't hold our children totally responsible for their actions because they are too young to understand that what they have done is wrong.  Same with us....many of us are at a level of just not understanding life totally....that's why age and experience is so important....it's how we learn.  If there was a God, he wouldn't fault you or I for our mistakes. He would forgive us as we would our children.  That's how I see much of humanity....children, learning to be wise, independent, loving adults.

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

#84    King Fluffs

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:19 PM

I'm not religious.


#85    Ryu

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:42 PM

I have this on my computer and found it to be quite useful and SO very, very true:

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

- Buddha


and one more:

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

and another:

Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.
Buddha


Edited by Ryu, 18 January 2013 - 07:46 PM.


#86    Rafterman

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:50 PM

I'll admit that I still struggle with this one.

I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church, went every Sunday to church and Sunday school, attended Vacation Bible School in the summer, was active in the youth group, youth choir, and even went to two church affiliated schools.  I could tell you more about the Holy Bible than pretty much anyone you know.

But as I've gotten older (I'm 44) and more rational, I've become a non-believer.  Frankly, I see religion as nothing more than folk tales packaged for the masses by leaders whose only goals are control, power, and money.

Edited by Rafterman, 18 January 2013 - 07:51 PM.

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#87    sslama

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

That is a very mature and wise way to look at life Rye.  I'm not religious either but if I had to pick a religion I do like most of what the Buddha says.

@Rafterman....I think in the beginning our ancient ancestors wrote down many truths, but, as you say over time man has twisted and changed a lot of it for control.

I am on a spiritual journey but it's an inner one.  I've looked at different religious teachings to find what was behind it all.  I especially liked the work of Krishnamurti...he says the whole of life is a process of learning.  Everything is inside you...you just have to know how to look and learn....no one can give you the key to the door, you have to open it yourself.

There are universal cosmic principles at work on the way to enlightenment.

"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

#88    Ryu

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:36 AM

I am not religious either but when I look at what Buddha said (if he did exist) he simply conveyed his thoughts based on his experiences. He never demanded that people follow or listen to him nor did he claim his way was the only way. He never even addressed the notion that everyone was naturally evil just because they were born.

You do not need to be religious to be moral and ethical...the Buddha even says "Peace comes from within; do not seek it without" and the same applies to morals, compassion and so forth.
But sadly many won't even consider such basic concepts, most which we learn in preschool, unless it is packaged in religious confines.

The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.

-The Dalai Lama



Edited by Ryu, 19 January 2013 - 12:39 AM.


#89    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:47 AM

View PostJ. K., on 15 January 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

I never realized there was a third choice.  Either you do believe in God, or you don't believe in God, or ... ?
Or you chose to suspend active belief and active disbelief; and admit you dont know, and aren't prepared to take a position of belief on this issue.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#90    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:05 AM

View Postshadowhive, on 18 January 2013 - 11:57 AM, said:


I don't see why a god would care about anyone, either individually, as a group, nation or species.

There's several problems with 'knowing' god. The first is the most obvious. You have a friend that you've known for years. If someone asks to meet them you can introduce them and they will know it's the exact same person you do. God's not like a person. You can't get to know him or ask questions in the same way. You can't say to someone 'this is my god' and expect them to see the same thing as you would with introudcing them to a friend. You're reliant on third party information, past through religious men or texts. You're reliant on interpretation, often based on something that is etremely old, has been editted or mistranslated, that could have been an outright lie or was based on uniformed information.

God's also very much a mirror to the person. People in the past were rascist and sexist and guess what? Their god was too. If you're kind and loving, you believe your god will be too. And this is meant to be the exact same entity. And there's also the thing that a usual good person can condone cruel or heartless behaviour because 'god says so'. Or be ok with condemning people to hell for the same reason.

Let's say god does exists and does care about us. If he's the god of the bible (which I'd never believe) he's a cruel, heartless psychopath. If, however, god does care about us and isn't like that, then I'd be very surprised.

I care about all those things. Why shouldnt an older wiser more evolved individual or species also care?

Actually both with a metaphysicala and a physicla god you can introduce it to a friend. But the friends relationship will depend on the friends nature This happens in real life. You can love and respect two friends but when you introduce them to each other they just dont get on. It is not that god cahnges but that we perciev egod through our hearts and minds. God works to mature the minds and hearts and increase our wisdom

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.




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