What Would You Do If...

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Bobby Cole, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    If it was deemed suitable to post here I might inform you that I have known love and know exactly the feeling you describe Bob but I didn't think to attach it to any other cause than that the person, I should say people, were deserving of love. And it seemed a perfectly normal emotional reaction to me. Almost everyone falls in loves or loves someone or something. To need permission or enlightenment from an outside source to teach you how makes one wonder just what was missing there. But then that's what I'm looking for, that missing bit that a religious 'epiphany' had to fill.
    . But I can't say that here, it isn't the right place.

    I can't say again either that to view atheism as a religion is not only erroneous thinking but kind of insulting, but not the right thread for me to comment about it ... okay to be accused or denigrated on but not okay to reply.

    I could skulk off and start a little ghetto thread where I won't annoy those who are scared to think about anything that differs from what they consider the norm but really, it's just not worth it.

    I'll leave the subject to be discussed in circles by the convinced and converted.

    It was worth a try.
     
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  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    According to the dictionary, religion means a belief in either a god, or multiple gods. Atheism is NOT having a belief in any kind of god or gods; therefore, I think it can not be considered a religion; it is simply the way a person believes about something, in this case, whether a god does or does not exist.

    Here is the root word for religion, and it definitely implies that a religion has to do with one actually having a belief in God.
    "Middle English religioun, from Anglo-French religiun, Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back — more at rely
    First Known Use: 13th century"

    In any case, what I was asking about was not a sub-forum here for atheism; but one under a different catagory, more to do with archaeology, science, astronomy, paleontology, and just a general discussion about ancient man, as well as the origins of the world, but not from just the Biblical standpoint. It would include cave paintings, and early heiroglyphics, and even translations of clay tablets, as well as pyramids, and other remnants of ancient civilizations, and their cultures and beliefs, religious or otherwise.
    Is this possible to have ? ?
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Would you deny that Buddhism is a religion? Most people wouldn't, yet Buddhism denies the existence of a deity, in the sense that the term is used by other religions. There are several definitions to every word and you cannot choose one that doesn't fit and declare it to be definitive.

    Words mean what people use them to mean. Several definitions are offered, only some of which speak to a belief in the supernatural. However, adherents of some religions worship non-supernatural things. Jainism, for example, holds that every living thing is sacred by virtue of being alive. The Mayans worshiped the sun -- not a "sun god," but the sun itself, as a deity. Confucianism and Taoism are focused on the sort of lives that their adherents should live. There are religions whose beliefs are based on extraterrestrial beings whom they consider to be advanced to human beings but not supernatural. Yet there are few, including their own adherents, who would not consider these to be religions. Certainly, the dictionaries don't exclude them.

    The seven dimensions of religion, as proposed by Ninian Smart, are accepted by anthropologists as covering the various aspects of religion. According to Smart, the seven dimensions of religion are:
    1. Narrative -- Most religions have stories explaining where the universe came from and what humanity's part in it is. Atheists have the theory of evolution.
    2. Experiential -- The first aspect to this are the events experienced before someone founded a religion (the Disciples physically seeing and touching the resurrected Jesus), and the second relates to the experiences of later adherents (Acts of the Apostles). Darwin didn't develop the theory of evolution simply from his experiences on the HMS Beagle. Prior to that time, he had learned a version of evolution from his grandfather's book, Zoonomia and other ideas that were around at the time. As for the second aspect, the atheists have the writings of Karl Marx, and the Humanist Manifesto, hardly the work of disinterested non-believers. Smart also included "faith" as part of the experiential dimension and, although atheists like to define faith as blindly believing the impossible that, too, is not the full definition of the word, as Christians view faith as trusting in the promises of God, whose past promises have been fulfilled. Even by their own definition, atheism requires the faith that the laws of chemistry, physics and biology were once violated, allowing life to arise from non-life.
    3. Social -- The social dimensions of religion involve the hierarchies and organizational structures that are present within a religion. Religions tend to have an organizational structure that may involve who should looked to, and on methodology. Hindus have the caste system for example, while Catholics have a whole hierarchy leading up to the Pope, at the top. The atheists have their own genre of writing intended to convert believers into non-believers, as well as a powerful political lobby that seeks to use the public school system to do the same. This too, indicates something more than disinterested non-believers. In fact, this subject arose in this forum because an atheist couldn't tolerate a discussion of religion that didn't include atheism. In his book, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins was quoted as saying that he hopes his book converts religions people to his worldview, which is precisely what missionaries and authors of many religious books hope to accomplish. Catholics would refer people to the priest, the bishop, or the Pope, as the final word, while atheists defer to scientists, but only to those scientists who believe as they do.
    4. Doctrinal -- A doctrine is the belief and philosophy that develops out of a religion, and is not necessarily specifically stated within the religious narrative itself. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity is not directly stated in the Bible, yet it is a doctrine of several denominations within the Christian religion. The atheists formed a branch of atheism known as secular humanism and, for the most part, they believe in the things stated in the Humanist Manifesto, hardly to be expected of a disinterested non-believer.
    5. Ethical -- Atheism is a morally relativist religion, as most atheist adhere to one ethical system or another, and they are usually proud of that. That they don't all hold to the same ethical standards is hardly proof that they haven't an ethical system, as this is true of many religions. Some atheists will adhere to the principles found in the Humanist Manifesto, while others have created ethical systems based on survival of the fittest, which may have included the Nazi Party of Germany. Oddly, while most people are aware that a moral system that leads to atrocity is wrong, but atheists can't explain why it is wrong, at least not without contradicting themselves. Dawkins said, "I'm a passionate Darwinian when it comes to science, when it comes to explaining the world, but I'm a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to morality and politics."
    6. Ritual -- Although there may have always been people who had trouble accepting whatever religion was prevalent in his or her society, atheism as a movement is still relatively young, so it may be lacking the rituals of Catholicism or Islam. Still, most atheists feel the need to include ritual in their lives, so they practice secular rituals like birthdays, and even the ritual holidays of other religions, such as Christmas and Easter, while injecting their own meanings to the events, much as Christianity did when it adopted many of the pagan rituals as their own, remaking them to fit their own religious beliefs. Interestingly, there have been calls for Charles Darwin's birthday to be recognized as a holiday.
    7. Material -- According to Smart, the material dimension of religion includes all of the physical things created by a religion, such as art and architecture, as well as natural features and places that are treated as sacred by religious adherents. Atheists are divided when it comes to material, with some believing that natural resources are to be exploited because of survival of the fittest, with humans being obviously the fittest species, while others believe that we should respect all of nature, particularly living things, coming very close to the religious belief that all life is sacred. Many of those who define themselves as atheists do indeed worship nature.
    When it suits them, atheists claim that their belief system is not a religion. This permits them to spread their beliefs in settings where other religions are banned, such as the public schools and in government. However, atheism holds to at least six of the seven dimensions of religion as defined by Smart, and they appear to be well on their way to developing their own rituals.

    When it suits them to be afforded the same protections granted to a religion, they take it to court, and the Supreme Court has ruled, more than once, that atheism is a religion.

    It sounds to me like you are proposing that I create a forum for atheism under a heading that reads like "True Stuff," while relegating all other beliefs to a heading that reads like "Silly Stuff," and no, I am not about to do that.
     
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Greeter
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    I am not wanting to create anything to do with atheism, Ken. I only wanted a catagory where we can discuss science, archaeology, ancient history. One not connected to ANY kind of religion.
    To me, it is a totally different thing to discuss archeology and primitive societies than it is religion.
    Somehow, it got all mixed up in this thread about religion. I was only hoping we could unmix it, and add ancient history into some kind of a historical topic.
    If not, then okay.
     
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  5. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Yes Val, I do believe Everyone has experienced some type (or types) of love. I say, "type" because the love between a husband and wife is vastly different from that of a mother and her child. Siblings have another kind of love as do great friends. I believe that you have probably experienced all of the above! It certainly isn't far fetched to believe so. But, the other type of love that one cannot for any reason forget nor give up is the type of......

    Like I said earlier, I cannot even describe an earthquake so you would know all of the feelings involved if you have never been in one. Sadly, all I can say is that the ground shakes, and that would still leave you nothing to compare it to.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    That's because it was brought up in a thread about religion, and by someone who insisted on atheism being included in a topic about religion. I am not going to create two topics on atheism, simply because they don't want anyone to discuss anything they disagree with.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    @Bobby Cole , I apologize for allowing your thread to be hijacked. I've been mostly concerned with my health over the past several days, but I promise that I won't let it happen again.
     
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  8. Jim Veradyne

    Jim Veradyne Well-Known Member
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    @Richard Lee , exactly. God intervenes however and whenever he pleases. As a human being, I cannot limit the power of God, but God can, and I believe that he does. Given both unlimited power and a compulsion to micromanage the affairs of man, we'd be reduced to nothing more than automatons, under his control. I don't believe that God desires to have a relationship with a part of his creation that has no choice but to have a relationship with him.

    Which would be the more satisfying relationship -- one with an automaton that does whatever you wish, whenever you wish it, and however you wish it to be done, agreeing with everything that you say, repeating words and thoughts that you put into its mouth, or one with a person who enters into the relationship freely, albeit imperfectly? God limits himself in order to achieve a relationship that is satisfying. However, even this sort of thinking is flawed in that it came from mind of man, and our minds are not God's mind.
     
    #23
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  9. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    And also, there is the other side Jim. We are told to pray and keep the lines open between ourselves and God but do we not (mostly) ask God for "stuff." ie: heal this, bless that, take care of, make our team win, ect. Sometimes instead of thanking God for the blessings seen and unseen we treat Him like He is some sort of puppet.

    One of the biggest complaints I hear is "God didn't heal my brother, mother, dad, ect." And lately, "Why doesn't God keep us safe from the terrorists?" We sometimes want God to be the great Genie in a bottle and everytime we rub He does tricks for us. Just a thought. God Bless ya Jim.
     
    #24
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  10. Juan Ortega

    Juan Ortega Member
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    If I could I would awaken every living creature into the reality of love. This would change the world in time, but I would in a sense merge all consciousness into one and reveal that truth. I would arrange for peace and happy living along with no pain or suffering. Such a thing I would do If I could.
     
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  11. Adam Fields

    Adam Fields Member
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    Very interesting question. If it were at all possible I would make sure that everyone is happy. Not some materialistic happiness but real happiness that comes from within. If everyone were to truly be happy with life then very many of the causes of what is wrong with society would cease to exist. The world would most definitely be a much better place to live and we could all coexist with one another.
     
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  12. Richard Paradon

    Richard Paradon Well-Known Member
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    That is a pretty good quote from the Buddha. I think one of the problems of religion and paths are that people just assume that they are in the correct mode. One of the first things my monk taught me years ago was that you are not a Buddhist because you read a book and and call yourself one; you are a Buddhist when you are a Buddhist.
     
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  13. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    If I was God for a moment I would really reconsider whether giving us human beings "free will" was the right thing to do. ;)
     
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