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NothingSetInStone

Someone said I should be an atheist...

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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

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The almighty god of gaps.

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

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"Someone said I should be an atheist.."

========================================

Don`t believe them!!!

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~Agnostic~

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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
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~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?

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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.

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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?

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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

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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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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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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.

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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.

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

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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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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.

Dogs less intelligent? So tell me...can humans predict earthquakes before they hit?

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Dogs less intelligent? So tell me...can humans predict earthquakes before they hit?

That's an instinctual thing. Usually intelligence is based off of knowledge that has to be learned during the creatures life, abilities and so forth it wasn't born knowing how to do. Nonetheless, dogs are still some of the smartest dudes around.

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

Or tries to force you to be.

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You sound like a Deist but even at that you don't seem fully sure of yourself. Although I did see the god of the gaps in there = We cannot explain it = God(s).

You might go to church and consider yourself Catholic but that doesn't make you so, especially if you don't believe ina Christian God. Standing in a football field does not make yo a football player, the same goes for a Christian/ Catholic church. Also, you mentioned the suffering in your life and how you cannot believe it was for nothing...sorry but as that guy on the left (Gregory House) said, "Life is pain". The universe owes you nothing so there's no point in complaining about it; you're one little human and I can bet all that I own that there are people who's suffering is 100X worse than yours. I made a little resolution this year not to complain about my life as best i could, the small things and that because I seen this video of starving people in slums being eaten alive by bot flies and living in filth and being burnt alive for being gay; beaten by mobs. I looked at my room, at my house and myself and realized that all of the problems that have come in my life, as bad as they seem to the common person, they're nothing to the things that are going on now on this very planet; I'm living in luxury, like a king, it's ravaged my outlook of life for good.

I've taken so much for granted over the years but I'm trying to amend it and the bad things that have and are happening to me at this moment - I'm trying to keep in mind that I'm a first world complainer who should shut the **** up and look at the bigger picture. We all should, even if we fail sometimes.

Edited by Sean93
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It's been said, but you sound like a Deist. You also seem to have the occasional dose of ritual from the Catholic Church. Ritual can be a very comforting experience, providing a framework to work through your issues and find closure/catharsis. You don't have to believe in Jesus to take comfort in ritual centred around Jesus.

Personally, I'm not a Catholic for the same reason - I actually don't much like the traditions and rituals associated with the Catholic Church. But other Christians find great comfort in them and I wish them the best.

Considering you still attend a Catholic Church, there is an argument to be made that you are Catholic, whether or not you believe in Jesus. You may not be a "good Catholic", but still a Catholic nonetheless.

Whatever you are, it is important that you know yourself first, rather than let other people define who you are. You'll be a stronger human being for it. I wish you the best in that search :tu:

~ Regards, PA

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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?

The way I see it is simply that you've approached a more scientific perspective on it as opposed to just blindly believing what some group tells you to be true. I don't see that as being as much atheist as it is agnostic. but even so you're still only leaning towards that beleif system with the 'I don't really know' mentality.

I don't entirely agree with you on it but I can certainly sympathize with you. I myself am a hardcore devout Christian who doesn't accept a majority of the bible. I simply believe that God is a more action-based God as opposed to a sit-and-read-about-me-all-day kinda God, and that the best way to commune with him is through his son Jesus Christ. I try to look at things more scientifically myself, but that doesn't mean I still go to church and pretend to believe and preech the same things most Christians do. I personally just like to practice what I believe whenever the situation happens to present itself, such as right now.

Either way man, it certainly doesn't make you atheist. It means you're a thinker. You simply approached the situation with your own personal thought as opposed to just give in to blindly believing the majority. Atheists must think all believers are just a bunch of nutjobs that don't put any thought into anything or something, but there are plenty like you that have done their own researching and soul searching and end up coming to their own 'yes to a higher power' conclusions.

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Dogs less intelligent? So tell me...can humans predict earthquakes before they hit?

Yes, we can predict the likely hood of an earthquake knowing about plate shifts. And not every dog can predict earthquakes, so what's your point? And just cause they can that makes them more intellegent than humans? Right.

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You sound like a Deist but even at that you don't seem fully sure of yourself. Although I did see the god of the gaps in there = We cannot explain it = God(s).

You might go to church and consider yourself Catholic but that doesn't make you so, especially if you don't believe ina Christian God. Standing in a football field does not make yo a football player, the same goes for a Christian/ Catholic church. Also, you mentioned the suffering in your life and how you cannot believe it was for nothing...sorry but as that guy on the left (Gregory House) said, "Life is pain". The universe owes you nothing so there's no point in complaining about it; you're one little human and I can bet all that I own that there are people who's suffering is 100X worse than yours. I made a little resolution this year not to complain about my life as best i could, the small things and that because I seen this video of starving people in slums being eaten alive by bot flies and living in filth and being burnt alive for being gay; beaten by mobs. I looked at my room, at my house and myself and realized that all of the problems that have come in my life, as bad as they seem to the common person, they're nothing to the things that are going on now on this very planet; I'm living in luxury, like a king, it's ravaged my outlook of life for good.

I've taken so much for granted over the years but I'm trying to amend it and the bad things that have and are happening to me at this moment - I'm trying to keep in mind that I'm a first world complainer who should shut the **** up and look at the bigger picture. We all should, even if we fail sometimes.

House is basically my religion and you sir made my day. I subscribe to the church of Greg House lol!

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Now sometimes we are rich and healthy and have a computer to fill our spare time and so think life ain't so bad, but consider most of humanity through most of history. Then consider all the wild animals, who without exception live lives of fear and danger and die painful violent deaths. And even we who are lucky know we will die, and sometimes think about what kind of death it will be.

This is the reality of the world, and in such a world it is hard to say there is a beneficent deity behind it. It seems to me to take a particularly blind form of blindness to hide from this reality and still believe in God.

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If anyone could view all of me wee videos, @ YouTube, and not become an Atheist, I'd be mildly surprised.

Of course, me visual parodies ain't too scary.

album_1193377878.png

Edited by Tor_Hershman

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