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  1. #1

    Default Certainty and doubts

    Whatever your views on spirituality or philosophy happen to be have you ever experienced any major doubts? Why? What happened then and did you find a way out or ever experience a return to the certainty you once had?

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    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Doubt has pretty much been the state of my existence for as long as I can remember. That doesn't prevent me from seeing the good in most things though...
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    i have persistent and recurring severe doubt. i just soldier on and decide to stick to my gut and what i put my trust in. occasionally there are moments when i am not doubting, but i think the doubt is more covered up than actually disappearing.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

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    What is, is. Arthur Schopenhauer's Avatar
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    Lately, all of my doubt has led to growth.
    INTJ | 5w4 - Sp/Sx/So | 5-4-(9/1) | RLoEI | Melancholic-Choleric | Johari & Nohari

    This will not end well...
    But it will at least be poetic, I suppose...

    Hmm... But what if it does end well?
    Then I suppose it will be a different sort of poetry, a preferable sort...
    A sort I could become accustomed to...



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    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Whatever your views on spirituality or philosophy happen to be have you ever experienced any major doubts? Why? What happened then and did you find a way out or ever experience a return to the certainty you once had?
    The only time I ever experienced any major doubts, spiritually or philosophically, was in my early adolescence when I was still a Christian. At that point in my life, I started to find the Bible difficult to believe in, much for the same reasons that a child starts doubting the existence of Santa Clause; for no particular reason--I had no rationale, nor did I have any evidence--Christianity started to seem naive to me. In spite of this, I did try to carry my faith for awhile; the fact that it was waning did not reduce its hold over me. Nevertheless, I eventually slipped into atheism; I have no idea when it happened, because it seems to have been a process rather than an event, and its one consequence was to endow me with a sense of freedom to choose my own truth.

    Since then, my views have continued to evolve--I started out with a moral and scientific rationalism that I now consider shalllow--but I have never experienced any doubt, because I no longer have an external authority telling me to remain set in my ways; I'm allowed to flex my views according to whatever needs or desires arise, and the more I cultivate this flexibility of viewpoint, the less conceivable doubt becomes.
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]

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    Senior Member Robopop's Avatar
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    When I was in my late teens, I began to doubt my christian upbringing. It started with me looking on a atheist website which was about the origins for belief in the human soul. I happened to look at this website out of sheer curiosity, but even then I resisted some of the things that was written on it.

    It basically reduced the soul to a cognitive ghost, and it gave a more reasonable, scientific explaination for how the brain works. This lead me to question the very belief in the afterlife, because to me, if the soul does not exist, there is no place for an afterlife. Then God came next, this was a belief harder to shake off and I spent the next two to three months exploring other ideas like buddism and deism.

    After much introspection and reflection I concluded to myself that the personal God I grew up to believe in probably does not exist and I fully embraced atheism. My mind was expanding so much at this time, I actually call this period of my life my "enlightenment" and grew to heavily appreciate science and free thought. One of the works that still inspires me to this day is Bertrand Russell's why I am not a christian, it was a perfect, logical manifesto of all my thoughts on God, atheism, theism, and agnosticism.

    I began becoming outspoken in my atheism when I was in high school and this made me a target. I almost got jumped at lunchtime by a bunch of thugs at my school, they all gathered around me, questioning why I would even fathom an existence without God. I also had a biology teacher who openly promoted her creationist views on her students. She would ask each individual student whether they believed in evolution or the biblical account of creation. I thought to myself how onesided this was, trying to embarrass students in front of the class that didn't confrom to her(and the majority's) belief system.
    But even through all this, I still speculate on the existence of God, ultimate reality or whatever. I try to be open-minded but still skeptical on the ultimate nature of the universe. I believe the big bang happened, but I don't pretend to have knowledge of the cause of the universe. I am ignorant and I accept that, as all of humanity is in a very small place in the cosmos. I now consider myself a agnostic atheist and even though
    I don't believe in God, I still have child-like wonder for the vast, endless universe we live in. So I still have my doubts about everything, including atheism and science itself. It is important to have healthy skepticism and re-examine your own beliefs.

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    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    Robopop, as a Christian, I encourage you to steadfastly hold on to that child-wonder that you spoke of.

    Here is a pertinent piece of scripture, "I praise you, father, Lord of Heaven and Earth. For you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. For it was your good pleasure to do so."

    As for the notion of the soul as a "cognitive ghost". Chew on this, "People don't have souls. People are souls; people have bodies." - C.S. Lewis

    I'm sorry that those individuals jumped you at lunch. There's a lot of bad Christians out there . . . trust ME on this, as I can be a totally prideful, selfish dick sometimes.

    As I can see you're an introspective, thoughtfully analytical type, an INTP, I highly encourage you to read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. If ever there was an empiricism to morality, C.S. Lewis lucidly details it. He uses pure logic to present his case.

    Here is a link to the full text: Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

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    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    I was born to an atheist mother of High Anglican family and a (very) Liberal Jewish father from an Jewish Orthodox family (who were very upset when he married a "shiksa" (sp)), and who used to eat bacon, pork and shellfish and flippantly say he blessed it and called it chicken.

    I was neither baptised or bat mitzvahed. I attended Saturday School, Sunday School and from 5yo, much to my parents horror, would invite in Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses to hear their stories, and later talk to those of the Muslim, Taoist and Buddhist faiths.

    I read about Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and more but knew without doubt that there was something other and greater. Something so vast that the Bible, Koran, Talmud and other books could only hint at its vastness and that Christ and Mohammed and the Buddah all knew this and created frameworks with which mankind could attempt to understand.

    I believe that our conscience and soul are one with that power that is neither judgmental, nor jealous, nor vindictive but benign providing us with the power to be and affect what we choose. Most of us know when we are doing things that are not right except for those who by some sort of damage have no conscience.

    There is evidence of this benign order of things in so many ways. In what happens to us and our consciousness when we pray or meditate, in the existence of Phi and its application of symmetry from the vast shapings of galaxies to the shaping of strands of DNA and our perception of balance and beauty.

    There is evidence in that all major faiths believe in the power of communal prayer or focused consciousness, where on a large scale the change in transmission of subatomic electrical signals has been noted to have significantly higher output when compared to the norm.

    My problem is man's interpretation of that vast power and the dastardly deeds done in the name of that interpretation, the exclusivity and preferences insisted upon, the murders and wars started in the name of something that man has tried to encapsulate because its vastness is incomprehensible.

    We are nothing and yet we are everything - energy doesn't just disappear it is just re-formed and expressed in a different way - we are the ones that choose to make it what it is and how it is expressed.
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

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    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevrawlings View Post
    Robopop, as a Christian, I encourage you to steadfastly hold on to that child-wonder that you spoke of.
    I agree - s a person of faith I would encourage everyone to do the same
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

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    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    I used to doubt many things, but a lot of times I reason myself out of those doubts, like is there a God etc. I went through so much reasoning and many sleepless nights about the existences of a higher being. I doubt things won't be good for me, but I always have hope somehow. Many times I doubt things will be good at all, and assume worst case scenarios. Whenever that happens, they actually end up worse than I could imagine, which has led me to not really doubt anything anymore. It's an experience I can learn upon, and no matter how much I might doubt myself and what could be, it doesn't matter. It's the only thing holding me back, the only thing to blame if I mess up. I don't need it anymore (at least big doubts, little doubts are unavoidable).

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