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If you were ever a theist...
#21
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 3:48 pm)Cephus Wrote: I decided that if Christianity was true, it ought to stand up to critical scrutiny.  It didn't.

But, then it wouldn't be called 'faith.' ^_^ But, yes I hear you.

I heard an interesting commentary from an atheist last year who said that he chooses to hope in reality, in humanity, not in something he cannot see or may never see. He said, there could be a god but there very well may not be, why hope in one?

And back then, I agreed.

My own faith journey was an experience that happened, a few months ago...and it changed everything. It wasn't that I was longing for church, or prayer, or Jesus or any of that. It was truly a happening, if you will. I know I must sound like one of those people who come back from being in the woods, proclaiming to have seen Big Foot. lol Big Grin

It requires faith perhaps to believe that it was something not to be explained as a natural occurrence. But, would it fail Occam's Razor, I don't know. lol 

Faith and the belief in something 'supernatural' ...it defies logic, doesn't necessarily mean that the believer is illogical. 

I've read through all of your stories, and will come back to them when I can today. I appreciate them very much, it helps me see where you once were, and how you arrived to where you are.
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#22
RE: If you were ever a theist...
In this thread, I learn that Quantum was once known as Alex K. I need to stop going away from here. >_< lol
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#23
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:22 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: In this thread, I learn that Quantum was once known as Alex K. I need to stop going away from here. >_< lol

Ha, that silly name change was good for something after all!
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#24
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm)CapnAwesome Wrote: In college I got a degree in history with a focus on middle eastern history and studied Islam extensively from a secular perspective. I also am casually interested in a lot of science and anthropology and early man and how he lived. Dealing with the world as it is makes it so much more interesting in my opinion. I take a lot more joy in the world and there is so much real stuff to discover, endless knowledge and information that I don't see the need for the supernatural. The natural world is amazing as it is.

So I wonder how from an anthropological perspective you answer questions like why did religion or god belief arise? Or, what is its purpose?
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#25
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: My own faith journey was an experience that happened, a few months ago...and it changed everything. It wasn't that I was longing for church, or prayer, or Jesus or any of that. It was truly a happening, if you will. I know I must sound like one of those people who come back from being in the woods, proclaiming to have seen Big Foot. lol Big Grin

It requires faith perhaps to believe that it was something not to be explained as a natural occurrence. But, would it fail Occam's Razor, I don't know. lol 

Faith and the belief in something 'supernatural' ...it defies logic, doesn't necessarily mean that the believer is illogical. 

I've read through all of your stories, and will come back to them when I can today. I appreciate them very much, it helps me see where you once were, and how you arrived to where you are.

If you ever feel like sharing any particulars of that journey (either here or by PM) I would be interested to hear them.  Not to try to change you of course but rather just to better understand the whole faith/god belief phenomenon.

It is only when one shoe horns the particular dogma of a tradition into such transformative experiences that faith gives way to belief and falls off the radar of my interest.  I prefer the noumenal raw and messy.  Once it's been dissected, tidied up and edited it .. meh.
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#26
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:42 pm)Whateverist the White Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: My own faith journey was an experience that happened, a few months ago...and it changed everything. It wasn't that I was longing for church, or prayer, or Jesus or any of that. It was truly a happening, if you will. I know I must sound like one of those people who come back from being in the woods, proclaiming to have seen Big Foot. lol Big Grin

It requires faith perhaps to believe that it was something not to be explained as a natural occurrence. But, would it fail Occam's Razor, I don't know. lol 

Faith and the belief in something 'supernatural' ...it defies logic, doesn't necessarily mean that the believer is illogical. 

I've read through all of your stories, and will come back to them when I can today. I appreciate them very much, it helps me see where you once were, and how you arrived to where you are.

If you ever feel like sharing any particulars of that journey (either here or by PM) I would be interested to hear them.  Not to try to change you of course but rather just to better understand the whole faith/god belief phenomenon.

It is only when one shoe horns the particular dogma of a tradition into such transformative experiences that faith gives way to belief and falls off the radar of my interest.  I prefer the noumenal raw and messy.  Once it's been dissected, tidied up and edited it .. meh.

I'll pm you, okay.  Smile
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#27
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm)Deidre32 Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 3:48 pm)Cephus Wrote: I decided that if Christianity was true, it ought to stand up to critical scrutiny.  It didn't.

But, then it wouldn't be called 'faith.' ^_^ But, yes I hear you.

I heard an interesting commentary from an atheist last year who said that he chooses to hope in reality, in humanity, not in something he cannot see or may never see. He said, there could be a god but there very well may not be, why hope in one?

And back then, I agreed.

My own faith journey was an experience that happened, a few months ago...and it changed everything. It wasn't that I was longing for church, or prayer, or Jesus or any of that. It was truly a happening, if you will. I know I must sound like one of those people who come back from being in the woods, proclaiming to have seen Big Foot. lol Big Grin

It requires faith perhaps to believe that it was something not to be explained as a natural occurrence. But, would it fail Occam's Razor, I don't know. lol 

Faith and the belief in something 'supernatural' ...it defies logic, doesn't necessarily mean that the believer is illogical. 

I've read through all of your stories, and will come back to them when I can today. I appreciate them very much, it helps me see where you once were, and how you arrived to where you are.


You say this as if faith is a virtue.

Faith is not a path to truth. As far as I can tell, it is no different than gullibility.

The majority of humanity believes in different gods than you do, with equal amounts of faith. Yet, their faith has lead them to the "wrong god belief" according to Christians. And from the view of an outsider, I have no way to tell who, if any, is correct.

Curious that when you returned to a god belief, it turned out to be the one you were raised in, in a country where Christianity is the dominant god belief. What a coincidence, right?


My own journey is like this.

I was a born skeptic. Unless a claim is accompanied by supporting: demonstrable evidence, reasoned argument and valid and sound logic, I withhold belief for that claim.

About the age of 15 or so, I came to the realization that I was not examining my god beliefs with the same level of scrutiny as other existential claims and supernatural claims. As soon as I did, I discovered that they did not hold up. In order to maintain my intellectual honesty, I could no longer hold on to my god beliefs.

EDIT: I had a quick romance with deism, then pantheism. But as soon as I figured out what I was calling "god" was just the universe, I dropped those beliefs.

You'd believe if you just opened your heart" is a terrible argument for religion. It's basically saying, "If you bias yourself enough, you can convince yourself that this is true." If religion were true, people wouldn't need faith to believe it -- it would be supported by good evidence.
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#28
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:52 pm)Simon Moon Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm)Deidre32 Wrote: But, then it wouldn't be called 'faith.' ^_^ But, yes I hear you.

I heard an interesting commentary from an atheist last year who said that he chooses to hope in reality, in humanity, not in something he cannot see or may never see. He said, there could be a god but there very well may not be, why hope in one?

And back then, I agreed.

My own faith journey was an experience that happened, a few months ago...and it changed everything. It wasn't that I was longing for church, or prayer, or Jesus or any of that. It was truly a happening, if you will. I know I must sound like one of those people who come back from being in the woods, proclaiming to have seen Big Foot. lol Big Grin

It requires faith perhaps to believe that it was something not to be explained as a natural occurrence. But, would it fail Occam's Razor, I don't know. lol 

Faith and the belief in something 'supernatural' ...it defies logic, doesn't necessarily mean that the believer is illogical. 

I've read through all of your stories, and will come back to them when I can today. I appreciate them very much, it helps me see where you once were, and how you arrived to where you are.


You say this as if faith is a virtue.

Faith is not a path to truth. As far as I can tell, it is no different than gullibility.

The majority of humanity believes in different gods than you do, with equal amounts of faith. Yet, their faith has lead them to the "wrong god belief" according to Christians. And from the view of an outsider, I have no way to tell who, if any, is correct.

Curious that when you returned to a god belief, it turned out to be the one you were raised in, in a country where Christianity is the dominant god belief. What a coincidence, right?


My own journey is like this.

I was a born skeptic. Unless a claim is accompanied by supporting: demonstrable evidence, reasoned argument and valid and sound logic, I withhold belief for that claim.

About the age of 15 or so, I came to the realization that I was not examining my god beliefs with the same level of scrutiny as other existential claims and supernatural claims. As soon as I did, I discovered that they did not hold up. In order to maintain my intellectual honesty, I could no longer hold on to my god beliefs.

I'm not claiming anything, just what happened in my own life. And this thread isn't to spar over it, to be honest...it's just an interest I've had to hear why people left their respective faith beliefs and now identify as atheists.

Why do you feel it's intellectually dishonest to hold beliefs that can't be defined by a scientific process, or that level of scrutiny? Unless those beliefs harm others, then that's a different story. But, to me, spirituality, faith, whatever one calls it...is a private thing, and if it edifies my life, why would that be 'intellectually dishonest?'
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#29
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 3:05 pm)Jörmungandr Wrote: I came to my belief through intuition.  As long as my belief remained an intuitive truth, I didn't have to question it.  I was a believing Hindu, but not a very knowledgeable one, as I had not been raised in the tradition.  So I knew what I believed, but I didn't know all the stories and texts.  I decided I wanted to change that, but I faced a practical problem.  Which stories to take as meaningful to my faith, and which to disregard?  I came to realize that the only way to enrich my faith was by picking and choosing based on a rational sense of what was and was not useful.  But I had been avoiding reason as I 'knew' it couldn't trump my intuition.  But I was faced with a turning point in which I could only depend on reason to illuminate my belief.  So I chose reason.  Once having made that choice, I re-evaluated what my intuition had been telling me, and, over time, realised that rational explanations made as much sense of my experience as intuition.  So I abandoned my intuitive grasp of reality as interpreted by Hinduism, and over time, embraced the rationalist account of reality instead.  I'm still somewhat uncomfortable distrusting my intuition, but I had to make a choice, and the only options available to me were reason and reason.

Wow, thank you...I never knew your ''story'' all this time. ''Intuitive grasp of reality'' ...these insights are not lost on me, so you all know. It is very interesting to me to read of what led people to faith, even if it was indoctrination (like I had been through in childhood, but didn't return to it now, due to that, although, it might seem that way lol).

Do you at all believe that life can be a mixture of objective reason towards reality AND intuition? I mean, I know intuition (let's call it in the case, spiritual intuition) is subjective.
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#30
RE: If you were ever a theist...
(December 30, 2015 at 4:33 pm)Whateverist the White Wrote:
(December 30, 2015 at 4:03 pm)CapnAwesome Wrote: In college I got a degree in history with a focus on middle eastern history and studied Islam extensively from a secular perspective. I also am casually interested in a lot of science and anthropology and early man and how he lived. Dealing with the world as it is makes it so much more interesting in my opinion. I take a lot more joy in the world and there is so much real stuff to discover, endless knowledge and information that I don't see the need for the supernatural. The natural world is amazing as it is.

So I wonder how from an anthropological perspective you answer questions like why did religion or god belief arise?  Or, what is its purpose?

Just for the record anthropology is only a hobby of mine. My degree is in history. Personally I think it probably arose from an attempt by ancient man to explain the world around him. The limitation of knowledge of ancient man is pretty staggering. I think we don't have a very good perception of how little truly ancient people probably understood about anything. So when people ask basic questions, why do we die, what happens after death, why are there rainbows, why do people get sick, naturally people want to fill in the blanks. Given their limited understanding, they do their best and come up with supernatural explanations. That snowballs into religion. Although it is important to note the idea Theists sometimes say that 'every tribe worships' isn't really true. Most primitive people have supernatural beliefs but not all believe in deities and hardly all worship them.

As to why, some people have thought that religious belief gives some sort of advantage in survival or something like that. I don't really think so, I think the how of it is enough. There is no why, so to speak. They don't give a society any advantage today and didn't give primitive man any advantage either. Social evolution I think is like biological evolution. Not everything in biological evolution is an advantage, like our appendix or the fact we have 5 fingers rather than 6. Religion is like that, the appendix of social evolution.
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