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Old 01-31-2018, 04:31 PM
 
10,372 posts, read 4,064,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
Yeah, I also think that faith stages should be referred to in general terms, not too exactly personally applied. Still, just for someone to relate to it, I think, requires some mature psychology because it acknowledges that 1) Theism isn't the be-all-end-all, and 2) Atheism/skepticism isn't either. There's more.

I can see what you mean about Peck kind of projecting his experience universally. I've found that since my faith crisis, when I read non-fiction books, I am much more aware of how I disagree with the authors - which I always do to some extent. I think it's a good sign, because before, I tended to believe whatever an "authority" wrote.

Do you mean it IS hard to find community outside of faith tradition? I live in Utah, and in a little town in a very Mormon area. We used to attend another Mormon congregation in Spanish for several years and my neighbor thought we were "inactive" so she refused to let her kids play with our kids. This helped me and my kids realize more fully how conditional relationships based on cultish religion can be. Still, we attend pretty regularly and I serve (mostly just non-religious activities and helping widows). My kids have regular activities through the church - so it does serve as an unbeatable social network, but it is very conditional. I need to take breaks and find other sources of support, occasionally. I suppose no one person or group can be all things. And we do need others. I read a longitudinal study finding that the top cause of longer life was social connection.
yup. I guard the unsuspecting from certain type of atheists as surely as I would protect them from a fundy atheist. "science" and "understanding" are available to all people and should be given freely. Withholding information to sell atheism or recruit for atheism isn't my thing. I am irreligious.

And you are right, that understanding requires mature thinking.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,070 posts, read 8,479,321 times
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Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
Do you acknowledge the power of subconscious activity? If so, how do you see symbolism applying?
It's a well-established fact that the subconscious is far more active than we think it is, and that it deals primarily in symbols. It's also fairly well established that the subconscious is naive; I take advantage of this all the time. For example when walking, this exercise-hater tells myself that I'll stop for coffee and a donut at a coffee shop near the end of my walk, as a reward. This motivates me; despite that every time I walk right on past the place, telling myself that I don't really need the carbs.
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Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
Well, that's definitely logically reasonable. Still, what is "actual reality"? It's all subjective! Everything I think is what I think, based on my limited, subjective awareness. And the same with each of us. Reality may be based on the most popular beliefs - but even many science books (esp. medicine) require annual updating because of new findings.
Nothing is 100% objective but I try to approach that just the same as people strive to be perfectly loving, calm, honest, etc., and generally fall short. Also, intersubjectivity is both important and useful.

Reality has nothing necessarily to do with "the most popular beliefs" -- I believe people's perception of reality is probably influenced by that however. I think our task is to control for and compensate for well-known issues with human perception and thinking -- things like confirmation bias for example.

Yes science is continually refined with new findings, that is a feature, not a bug. People toss this around as if science is randomly thrashing about in the dark. No proven scientific theory (the most validated and proven level of scientific knowledge) has ever been invalidated. The canonical example I usually give is that although Newtonian physics was refined by relativity which was refined by quantum mechanics, we still make use of Newtonian physics at everything but extremes of scale and the special cases that obtain there. Most of the changes that we joke about (e.g., the Onion headline, "FDA says eggs are okay for you to eat until next Tuesday") are really an artifact of how the popular press "reports" on science. They constantly conflate association with cause because it produces provocative headlines.
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Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
I try to have beliefs that are not in denial, but also are inspiring to get up each morning and live with some sense of meaning and purpose.
That's a tough row to hoe, because in my experience, you have to BS yourself to be inspired sometimes. Just like BS myself about stopping for coffee. Some of that is okay in my view so long as you know you're doing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
I haven't yet completely decided what I think about Jung because he seemed to go so deep and it seems that a lot of it needs to be experienced, not just read about. I do acknowledge the need to not jump to conclusions too quickly. But when it comes to interpreting serendipitous moments, does it hurt to consider that there is some connection between us that is not seen? I suppose a challenge is to constantly consider multiple possible perspectives, while not being paralyzed by a lack of decisive values.
It doesn't hurt to consider any possibility, it is probably just a question of how likely different people consider any particular possibility to be true. Also ... it's a function of past experience with certain classes of possibilities.

My general principle is that things that can't be directly looked at, only sensed out of the corner of your eye, are highly likely to be bogus, and the bar to that kind of thing is fairly high with me.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,070 posts, read 8,479,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
Do you mean it IS hard to find community outside of faith tradition?
Yes, it is often relatively hard to find real community outside of faith traditions. Which is not to say that in most cases I consider it worth the religious cruft. My wife and I stumbled on a couple of liberal Christian churches in our area that seem very inclusive and open, and make an effort to be. We found one of them to be cliquish nevertheless, and the other, the jury is still out on. I guess all I'm really saying is that community and refuge are at least in theory central to the value proposition of churches (and maybe some lodges / societies, too, but they are often male-dominated and not terribly family-inclusive in the inner circle so to speak). But community seems rather incidental to other kinds of things you might involve yourself in -- secular charities, say. There's a less overt value put on committed relationships so far as I can tell, outside of church. Also ... I think community is cemented by broad and deep shared experiences. Many non-church organizations have a rather narrow basis by comparison.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSoul View Post
I live in Utah, and in a little town in a very Mormon area. We used to attend another Mormon congregation in Spanish for several years and my neighbor thought we were "inactive" so she refused to let her kids play with our kids. This helped me and my kids realize more fully how conditional relationships based on cultish religion can be. Still, we attend pretty regularly and I serve (mostly just non-religious activities and helping widows). My kids have regular activities through the church - so it does serve as an unbeatable social network, but it is very conditional. I need to take breaks and find other sources of support, occasionally. I suppose no one person or group can be all things. And we do need others. I read a longitudinal study finding that the top cause of longer life was social connection.
This is more or less what we're trying to do, participate mostly in the non-religious activities of a religious body. My wife for example has been volunteering at their food kitchen. We make ourselves go to their 90 minute high-church liturgical extravaganza now and then, as a sort of solidarity gesture, but it's hard for either of us to actually enjoy. My wife, who is basically areligious, simply doesn't understand it; I understand it all too well ;-)

Neither of us would bother if we didn't understand the value of social connection and its increasing importance as we age (we're entering our 60s). Like you, I don't plan to have all my eggs in one basket, but I'm a low-energy introvert, so I'm not the sort of person to quickly try a bunch of stuff and see what shakes out of it, either. It's a slow process.

There's an excellent chance we'll both end up saying, to heck with it ... but we're giving it the old college try.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:30 AM
 
2,364 posts, read 2,591,724 times
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
That's a tough row to hoe, because in my experience, you have to BS yourself to be inspired sometimes. Just like BS myself about stopping for coffee. Some of that is okay in my view so long as you know you're doing it.
Well put - and it is a tough balance or keeping oneself in check while realizing the need of functional illusions (inspiring beliefs).

Quote:
It doesn't hurt to consider any possibility, it is probably just a question of how likely different people consider any particular possibility to be true. Also ... it's a function of past experience with certain classes of possibilities.
I'm going to do what I'm criticizing in your comments - analyzing too much, but to make a point. If I were to analyze and pick apart and consider every possibility I could - I'd not only go insane, but also would be so busy trying to "figure things out" that I wouldn't have enough confidence in one of the possibilities to actually act.

Quote:
My general principle is that things that can't be directly looked at, only sensed out of the corner of your eye, are highly likely to be bogus, and the bar to that kind of thing is fairly high with me.
For the sake of finding truth - definitely! Some quotes in my church are excellent, though extremely hypocritical... ie: “If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed.” -J. R. Clark

On the other hand, when it comes to understanding people - sometimes the only option is to see them out of the corner of your eye, so to speak.
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Old 02-15-2018, 09:40 AM
 
2,364 posts, read 2,591,724 times
Reputation: 1180
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Yes, it is often relatively hard to find real community outside of faith traditions. Which is not to say that in most cases I consider it worth the religious cruft. My wife and I stumbled on a couple of liberal Christian churches in our area that seem very inclusive and open, and make an effort to be. We found one of them to be cliquish nevertheless, and the other, the jury is still out on. I guess all I'm really saying is that community and refuge are at least in theory central to the value proposition of churches (and maybe some lodges / societies, too, but they are often male-dominated and not terribly family-inclusive in the inner circle so to speak). But community seems rather incidental to other kinds of things you might involve yourself in -- secular charities, say. There's a less overt value put on committed relationships so far as I can tell, outside of church. Also ... I think community is cemented by broad and deep shared experiences. Many non-church organizations have a rather narrow basis by comparison.

This is more or less what we're trying to do, participate mostly in the non-religious activities of a religious body. My wife for example has been volunteering at their food kitchen. We make ourselves go to their 90 minute high-church liturgical extravaganza now and then, as a sort of solidarity gesture, but it's hard for either of us to actually enjoy. My wife, who is basically areligious, simply doesn't understand it; I understand it all too well ;-)

Neither of us would bother if we didn't understand the value of social connection and its increasing importance as we age (we're entering our 60s). Like you, I don't plan to have all my eggs in one basket, but I'm a low-energy introvert, so I'm not the sort of person to quickly try a bunch of stuff and see what shakes out of it, either. It's a slow process.

There's an excellent chance we'll both end up saying, to heck with it ... but we're giving it the old college try.
I agree on all your points this time. I'm an introvert too (INTJ), but I play the role of extrovert so well, I have many convinced. I realized early on, that my family wasn't going to give me the love I needed so I regularly pushed myself out of my comfort zones to meet people and I still do somewhat. They have "meet ups" in most local areas. So I've gone to different things like that - one secular group for people who want a sense of community and to discuss spiritual things without the religious dogma (called "Oasis") and I've also gone to different Tai Chi groups. I have good friends who we have each others' back if need-be - but they live further away, but we visit occasionally.


You're lucky to have a spouse who's pretty much on the same page as you religiously. Really, you are lucky.
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