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Agnosticism and Honesty


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#1    ambelamba

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:51 AM

I've been thinking. Deep inside of me I am gradually leaning to agnosticism. Never atheism, I just feel unsure. Sometimes it seems that there is God. Sometimes...not so much. So rather than living with a false certainly I decided to live with a certain level of uncertainty. And AFAIK, human brain hates to process uncertainty. But I have to learn to live with that. Most people don't give a damn, which is rather desirable to live a normal life. And I think I am naturally more inclined to spirituality. I have to live with that without flying into La La Land. I am trying to desensitize myself when it comes to spirituality.

People are different. Some people are comfortable with uncertainty and others simply need some definite answers. Well, here's what I think. When it comes to the mechanics of spirituality, we will EVENTUALLY come up with a definite answer. But not in this decade, century, or even in this millenium. Probably it will take tens of thousands of years for us to figure out the very nature of metaphysics and such. Just not now.

But some people really can't live without the definite answer and these tend to be religious fundamentalists. Even more interesting thing is that these people also tend to be politically conservative and hate progress. I think neurology can shed some light on this kind of tendency.

Some people in here claim that they cannot think outside of the biblical mindset. Well, I guess I should understand them because the scripture deals with the absolute truth, And there's this human nature called insecurity, which is the driving force of so many human achievements and even atrocities.

I am a rare case that the deconversion came in during the later part of life. Most people don't really abandon their religious inclination after a certain age has passed. Something happened to me, and my overall thinking process has changed once I stopped being a Christian. I became whole lot less homophobic and open to many possibilities of spiritual matters. I became pro-choice and a liberal. I used to be a staunch political conservative, although I always believed in the separation of church and state. Religious deconversion changed so much in my life. I became whole lot more tolerant to casual sex, too. (with only a few successes, though)

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

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#2    eight bits

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:59 AM

Well, agnostic is not a synonym for uncertain. A synonym for that is human. Nobody knows with certainty any contingent fact, which is to say, anything with certainty except tautologies, some subtle (the Pythagorean Theorem), others surface (no thing is not itself).

Religious agnosticism is professing that the current state of evidence and argument is an insufficient foundation for the speaker to form a stable opinion about whether a god exists and if so, whether they interact(ed) with the natural world. I usually combine the two ontological questions into one, calling it the "Question of God," as many others do, too. A being that didn't interact naturally wouldn't be, IMO, what any big number of people have ever meant by "god."

From your post, I can't tell whether or not I'd describe you as agnostic. You, of course, may describe yourself however you please. If all you really meant to ask was your subtitle, "Can't we just say 'not sure'?" then of course we can. However, it doesn't really add anything to what another person already is "practically certain" about you, that you aren't literally sure.

I don't think you're an agnostic, for what it's worth. You seem to be between religions, or if you prefer, a "searcher." It is simply religious bigotry to treat my religion as if it were some kind of way station between "real" kinds of religious belief systems, like theism or atheism. While anything is posible, there is no serious reason to think that I will ever be anything except an agnostic for the rest of my life. You, I suspect, won't be a searcher for the rest of yours.

You didn't much like the variety of Protestantism you grew up in, have obviously abosrbed its anti-Catholic bigotry, and I suspect you have never looked into what the other apostolic-succession churches teach. You live in the United States, and seem politically liberal. I'd recommend Unitarian-Universalist. "Non-creedal," which is how they describe themselves, is much closer to the religious views that you describe in your OP than "agnostic." UU gatherings are also an efficient place to meet socially upscale women without religious hangups about fraternization, which seems to be a major and stable factor in your spirituality.

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#3    krypter3

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 07:29 AM

I just like to be open minded.  I believe there's something after death, maybe a divine being.  But I don't believe in 'God' as he is described.  The god created for the bible may very well be based off something, but the bible is an interpretation.  It was not written by god and cannot be proven as thus.


#4    Rlyeh

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:09 AM

I'm atheist, I don't believe in god. That's honesty.


#5    and then

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:24 AM

View PostRon Jeremy, on 31 March 2013 - 01:51 AM, said:

I've been thinking. Deep inside of me I am gradually leaning to agnosticism. Never atheism, I just feel unsure. Sometimes it seems that there is God. Sometimes...not so much. So rather than living with a false certainly I decided to live with a certain level of uncertainty. And AFAIK, human brain hates to process uncertainty. But I have to learn to live with that. Most people don't give a damn, which is rather desirable to live a normal life. And I think I am naturally more inclined to spirituality. I have to live with that without flying into La La Land. I am trying to desensitize myself when it comes to spirituality.

People are different. Some people are comfortable with uncertainty and others simply need some definite answers. Well, here's what I think. When it comes to the mechanics of spirituality, we will EVENTUALLY come up with a definite answer. But not in this decade, century, or even in this millenium. Probably it will take tens of thousands of years for us to figure out the very nature of metaphysics and such. Just not now.

But some people really can't live without the definite answer and these tend to be religious fundamentalists. Even more interesting thing is that these people also tend to be politically conservative and hate progress. I think neurology can shed some light on this kind of tendency.

Some people in here claim that they cannot think outside of the biblical mindset. Well, I guess I should understand them because the scripture deals with the absolute truth, And there's this human nature called insecurity, which is the driving force of so many human achievements and even atrocities.

I am a rare case that the deconversion came in during the later part of life. Most people don't really abandon their religious inclination after a certain age has passed. Something happened to me, and my overall thinking process has changed once I stopped being a Christian. I became whole lot less homophobic and open to many possibilities of spiritual matters. I became pro-choice and a liberal. I used to be a staunch political conservative, although I always believed in the separation of church and state. Religious deconversion changed so much in my life. I became whole lot more tolerant to casual sex, too. (with only a few successes, though)
Ron it seems to me from your discourse here that you are more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of God.  I'm probably wrong on that but it is the way it sounds.  I'm one of those who does think in absolutes.  That mind that hates uncertainty has to accept that life is full of it for those who require ultimate understanding in all things.  That's why the CHOICE of faith gives so many comfort.  Respectfully, you might ask yourself how many Christians really attack others for their non-commitment to Christ.  Is it really such a large number?  I don't condone their ignorance btw....  but if you don't believe anyway, then why should their opinions matter?  
The day today is about rebirth for Christians.  It is about a promise made and the expectation that it will be kept.  In short, it's about HOPE.  And hope is the one thing humans cannot truly live without IMO.

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#6    Goddess_Lilith

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:09 AM

View PostRlyeh, on 31 March 2013 - 08:09 AM, said:

I'm atheist, I don't believe in god. That's honesty.

You stole my line! Your honest but a thief lol;)


#7    ambelamba

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:04 AM

View Posteight bits, on 31 March 2013 - 05:59 AM, said:

You didn't much like the variety of Protestantism you grew up in, have obviously abosrbed its anti-Catholic bigotry, and I suspect you have never looked into what the other apostolic-succession churches teach. You live in the United States, and seem politically liberal. I'd recommend Unitarian-Universalist. "Non-creedal," which is how they describe themselves, is much closer to the religious views that you describe in your OP than "agnostic." UU gatherings are also an efficient place to meet socially upscale women without religious hangups about fraternization, which seems to be a major and stable factor in your spirituality.

I am already attending one in my area already. But to meet some quality women I will have to drive all the way down to Santa Monica! :D There's one major UU congregation in Santa Monica but I haven't checked them out yet.

Edited by Ron Jeremy, 01 April 2013 - 12:09 AM.

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#8    ambelamba

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:08 AM

In fact, my anti-Vatican (not necessarily Catholics themselves) attitude came mostly from my anti-Christian mindset. I know that there are many good Catholics out there (in fact,too many of them) but I see Vatican as more of a political entity with some agenda than a purely religious and spiritual center of a major religion.

See, I had an epiphany today. When I was attending a UU service for Easter, something dawned on me: God doesn't judge. And this revelation is rather incompatible with certain facets of the Scripture itself. I dunno, Bible is a very multi-faceted book with some nice sides and really ugly sides mashed up together....

Edited by Ron Jeremy, 01 April 2013 - 12:11 AM.

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#9    ambelamba

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:12 AM

View Postand then, on 31 March 2013 - 08:24 AM, said:

Ron it seems to me from your discourse here that you are more concerned with what others think of you than what you think of God.  I'm probably wrong on that but it is the way it sounds.  I'm one of those who does think in absolutes.  That mind that hates uncertainty has to accept that life is full of it for those who require ultimate understanding in all things.  That's why the CHOICE of faith gives so many comfort.  Respectfully, you might ask yourself how many Christians really attack others for their non-commitment to Christ.  Is it really such a large number?  I don't condone their ignorance btw....  but if you don't believe anyway, then why should their opinions matter?  
The day today is about rebirth for Christians.  It is about a promise made and the expectation that it will be kept.  In short, it's about HOPE.  And hope is the one thing humans cannot truly live without IMO.

Sorry to bring out some sci-fi mumbo jumbo, but sometimes I wonder if humans were ENGINEERED to find comfort in faith, so that we can be easily controlled by technologically superior beings posing as gods.

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#10    ambelamba

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:14 AM

View Postkrypter3, on 31 March 2013 - 07:29 AM, said:

I just like to be open minded.  I believe there's something after death, maybe a divine being.  But I don't believe in 'God' as he is described.  The god created for the bible may very well be based off something, but the bible is an interpretation.  It was not written by god and cannot be proven as thus.

This.

They came with a Bible and their religion. stole our land, crushed our spirit, and now they tell us we should be thankful to the Lord for being saved.

-Chief Pontiac (1718-1769)

#11    WolvenHeart7

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:17 AM

I used to be atheist, but I found spirituality in everything.

"When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do." -William Blake

#12    CrimsonKing

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:58 AM

I can fairly easily explain my views summarized....I believe spirits can easily exist,there may be 1 supreme creator(maybe all the religions through time have had their own bit of truth about who/what it really is) though from the religions i have studied in the past a lot of their teachings have way to many contradictions in them for me to set my whole way of life around.Then in turn tell everyone else mine is the one true way or else smoke,fires,and demons.Sorry but if there is one supreme being i think with all the universes,dimensions,time,and space he/she/it would be much more interested in all of this than us humans and our silly little lives and ways.I think we as humans have put far more self importance on ourselves and our ways of being than any one creator ever would have intended.I try not to demean others religions or beliefs though not my place to judge,Live and let live  :tu:

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#13    flbrnt

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:58 AM

I think some agnosticism is good for everyone, theist and atheist alike. We should all keep in mind that we don't really KNOW. When confronted with the unknowable we make mental bubbles for ourselves and defend them to the death against all comers. Uncertainty is keeping open to growth. A rigid belief closes the door. Maybe that is what idolatry is. As Voltaire says, "Doubt is uncomfortable but certainty is ridiculous". Whatever image we have of the ultimate, it is just that, an image.


#14    CrimsonKing

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:17 AM

View Postflbrnt, on 01 April 2013 - 03:58 AM, said:

I think some agnosticism is good for everyone, theist and atheist alike. We should all keep in mind that we don't really KNOW. When confronted with the unknowable we make mental bubbles for ourselves and defend them to the death against all comers. Uncertainty is keeping open to growth. A rigid belief closes the door. Maybe that is what idolatry is. As Voltaire says, "Doubt is uncomfortable but certainty is ridiculous". Whatever image we have of the ultimate, it is just that, an image.

Well said im not exactly what one would call religious,not exactly athiest either.I can never see myself proclaiming to be of any group of organized religion much like politics to much corruption,to much hatred for others based on senseless ideas,to much there is only 1 way OUR way.I can live and die without all of that  ;)

"If it is not advantageous,do not move.If objectives can not be attained,do not employ the army.Unless endangered do not engage in warfare.The ruler cannot mobilize the army out of personal anger.The general can not engage in battle because of personal frustration.When it is advantageous,move;when not advantageous,stop.Anger can revert to happiness,annoyance can revert to joy,but a vanquished state cannot be revived,the dead cannot be brought back to life." Sun-Tzu

#15    scowl

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:06 PM

I used to believe that Bigfoot might exist although I wasn't completely convinced. After 40 years of no new evidence and researchers making money from books, television shows and public appearances, I've now leaned strongly toward believing Bigfoot doesn't exist.

My view of religion has gone through a similar transformation.





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