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Old 03-19-2014, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Maryland
3,540 posts, read 6,093,028 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I would tend to agree with you, Oak.

You did throw one right down the pipe, Oak!!
I gotta admit, the response to my "set up" was pretty funny.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:42 AM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,720,838 times
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Quote:
My opinion.
Science is weirder and more interesting than most religions. It also holds out the only real hope of eternal sapient existence

Hey I think science is great too. Excellent stuff. But that last sentence? An extraordinary claim. I think you are prematurely closing the imagination. The imagination in our quest for knowledge can direct us to many realms of our existence. The study of science is just one of the many ways we encounter our world. The human mind is an incredible organ as it generates thoughts and propels action. As with science, religion is another example of the human mind trying to define so-called 'existence' here. And like science it does use formidable reasoning power in assessing that existence.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,198 posts, read 9,129,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Hey I think science is great too. Excellent stuff. But that last sentence? An extraordinary claim. I think you are prematurely closing the imagination. The imagination in our quest for knowledge can direct us to many realms of our existence. The study of science is just one of the many ways we encounter our world. The human mind is an incredible organ as it generates thoughts and propels action. As with science, religion is another example of the human mind trying to define so-called 'existence' here. And like science it does use formidable reasoning power in assessing that existence.
Reality is what it is, travric, and our minds and senses are the only tools with which to examine it. Science and philosophy (the latter including math and logic) are really all we have.

The only difference between "a theist" and "atheist" is a gap. Gods "live" in this gap. Theists speculate about the unknown just like philosophers and scientists, but unlike philosophers and scientists, theists do not have a mechanism to even imperfectly compensate for confirmation bias. They are free to speculate and invent in ways that comport themselves with the inherent biases in our pattern matching and agency inference wiring and the general frailties and yearnings of the human condition. Hilarity ensues.

I prefer to stick with observation of cold hard facts and building those facts into scientific, mathematical and logical theories.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:06 AM
 
39,550 posts, read 11,024,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averysgore View Post
I was in a really weird mood when I made the original post. That evening, my girlfriend said I acted like I was having a major personal crisis, and it was stressing her out. I had lots going through my mind; it kind of all came crashing at once.

So let me try to rephrase my question. I'm not looking for belief in God, exactly. I'm looking for...new ways of thinking. And I know that many people have found Eastern Religions led them to new ways of thinking. Heck, some friends of mine seem to get things out of pagan rituals. And there's nothing more easily refutable than that...but I can tell it benefits them somehow. Same with reading philosophy.

So what I was thinking is...I feel that I can't go all the way into these new ways of thinking, since I get skeptical from the outset. Was wondering if anyone else felt the same.

(This may be a better question for the Philosophy forum. However, in my opinion the CD Philosophy forum really bites it. "Is this or that commonplace practice morally wrong, deuhrrr?" All things considered, the Religion forum is really not that bad.)
I can only guess at your 'crisis' but it sounds like confusion about all the various 'answers' on offer and perhaps dissatisfaction about not being able to make anything of them and perhaps blaming skepticism for making it hard to buy into any of them. It does take a particular mindset to accept Not Knowing and there is a real frustration at not being able to get all the answers. It must be very satisfying to believe that you can tap into a cosmic mind that will simply spigot Awareness of the truth into your soul.

And it could be true, or it could be just the brain doing things to us. The choice is yours, really, buy into one or other of the Answers on offer or stick with skepticism.

Quote:
Based on your very brief answer, I'd say you got it right in the boldface.
I agree I see a 'Dissatisfied with Life? Buy New Improved God and we guarantee that everything will be great'. and I turn the sound down.

The thing with the sqwort of sqweticism I have is that it leaves all options open. It is a very positive thing in that it can allow you to look at all sorts of claims, with a method of assesssing them, but with your mooring - rope safely tethering you to the only reality that has a good track record.

True, it has an annoying lot of Unanswereds,but I'd suggest that picking Wun-U- Like may seemto provide all the answers you need (personally, I think it just pumps Ooffle Dust up your nose so you don't give any though to other possible answers. And the downside is that,, having bought into one answer, it is very hard to look objectively at any others.

Don't know whether that helps very much but it's simply the way I see it.
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Old 03-21-2014, 04:03 PM
 
Location: London
70 posts, read 55,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averysgore View Post
Some background: I was a pretty religious Catholic until age 23. Now I'm 32 and strongly nonreligious, and I'm not budging there.

I was curious about Buddhism and other Eastern Philosophy (I know the philosophy/religion line is pretty blurred there), not because I want another religion, but because enough people I respect have found meaning in it that, yeah, there must be something there worth exploring. If not a credible religion, at least a new way of thinking, or something.

But when I looked up the basics of it, my first instinct was to find the flaws and be skeptical. Then I realized I would do that with most Western Philosophy too (which I currently know very little of). And that skepticism tends to be my default approach to anything - "schools of thought," personality theories, psychological disorders, etc. Obviously it's the right attitude for astrology and Catholicism, but is it the right attitude for everything?

Anyone else a little tired of being skeptical? I feel like I'm missing out. I think what I need is to slightly believe something without dogmatically believing it. Or just to read things and absorb them without constantly deciding whether they're flawed (most of them probably are).

Thoughts?
Engaging the mind into dissecting everything that others take as granted is not tiresome, it actually feels nice. But even so you can still relate to your peers that are not like that. Just because you don't believe in worshiping the beer (many do) doesn't mean you can't hang out in a pub and drink some. Think about religious people too: they are very ignorant about a lot of their theology, so in their way they are skeptical about a lot, their brain just doesn't recognize it. So, as the religious people pick and choose what to practice, because of their own likes and dislikes, so you can be skeptical about any doctrine, as pretty much any of them end up being used to control people, but you can also choose parts that work for you and you can just practice it. You can disagree with 90% of Buddhism but still like, even practice, whatever it has that sounds like fun or appropriate for you (like laying down with specific music and be surrounded with cool stuff, assuming Buddhism has anything like that)
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,334 posts, read 11,277,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averysgore View Post
I was in a really weird mood when I made the original post. That evening, my girlfriend said I acted like I was having a major personal crisis, and it was stressing her out. I had lots going through my mind; it kind of all came crashing at once.

So let me try to rephrase my question. I'm not looking for belief in God, exactly. I'm looking for...new ways of thinking.
It's still pretty hard for me to track.

To me, the atheist/skeptic way of thinking is to look for and evaluate the evidence and analyze and understand the reasoning.

I've never felt the need for a new way of thinking.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:06 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,393 posts, read 19,666,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccullough View Post
To me, the atheist/skeptic way of thinking is to look for and evaluate the evidence and analyze and understand the reasoning.
Exactly. Why should a rational person NOT be skeptical of ridiculous nonsense (any religion) being claimed as fact?
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:26 PM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,720,838 times
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Quote:
I prefer to stick with observation of cold hard facts and building those facts into scientific, mathematical and logical theories.
mordant..man if we owned a company we'd be covered pretty good. You, keeping a tiger-eye on the facts, only the facts and the dollars and cents, the stat probabilities, the standard error, means, medians, deviations, amount of dark energy, cold energy (probably that's next up!), dark matter in the biz climate etc etc, And there's me when you say the balance in the co's checking account is down to ten dollars and we've just signed a contract for 20,000,000 dollars and we've been denied credit from the bank and clients want their money back NOW. Don't worry. I'll do the praying. It'll be easier on you...Man must be responsible and dispense with arguing about probabilites for a while ...;-)....
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Old 03-24-2014, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,198 posts, read 9,129,015 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
mordant..man if we owned a company we'd be covered pretty good. You, keeping a tiger-eye on the facts, only the facts and the dollars and cents, the stat probabilities, the standard error, means, medians, deviations, amount of dark energy, cold energy (probably that's next up!), dark matter in the biz climate etc etc, And there's me when you say the balance in the co's checking account is down to ten dollars and we've just signed a contract for 20,000,000 dollars and we've been denied credit from the bank and clients want their money back NOW. Don't worry. I'll do the praying. It'll be easier on you...Man must be responsible and dispense with arguing about probabilites for a while ...;-)....
Considering the proven effectiveness of prayer I'm not sure it'd be an even division of responsibility. ;-)
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Hyrule
8,398 posts, read 9,922,599 times
Reputation: 7446
I suggest joining a club that represents something real. You might just miss the community belief in a mythical characters and what that brings. People have to join together to confirm and justify believing in a flying, floating object which created the world like a lego set. It's a good time.

I am involved in all kinds of groups, and a lot of them are charities. I don't feel I'm missing out because of my skeptic nature, I am actually doing something positive by doing something tangible instead of something silly.

I think religious groups are for the lazy, IMO of course, but I think it's just so easy to go every week, pray, and then go home and feel all fuzzy wuzzy like you've actually done something concrete. When in fact you have not, you have group daydreamed and had donuts. lol

I get enlightened by nature, gardening, animal watching and taking care of the elderly. I don't need a God to get my dose of inspiration for the day. I think you're just bored.
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