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View Poll Results: Which of these statements do you litterally believe in?

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  • There exists at least one powerful being (=God).

    6 19.35%
  • God is older than life.

    3 9.68%
  • God is older than the universe.

    3 9.68%
  • God has caused the universe to be.

    5 16.13%
  • God has created everything like it is now.

    1 3.23%
  • God actively interferes in human life.

    4 12.90%
  • God can read your thoughts and feelings.

    4 12.90%
  • Humans have a soul which lives on after death, independently from memory.

    5 16.13%
  • This soul will be rewarded or punished after death for the human's actions.

    3 9.68%
  • Your religion is the only true one.

    2 6.45%
  • The holy book is directly written by God and infallible.

    2 6.45%
  • None of these (you're an atheist!)

    21 67.74%
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  1. #1
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Default A little (dis)belief exercise

    Warning: doing this exercise can destroy, diminish, but also enhance or refine your beliefs. Nevertheless I dare you to do it. Please consider this: how weak would your beliefs be if they can be shattered by a mere text on the 'net?

    Step 1: answer the poll. Please select only the things you litterally believe in. No metaphors here.
    Also, you should interpret "to exist" quite narrow, as "existing independently from human convictions, ideas and faiths". This because you can say that, in a way, Little Red Riding Hood "exists", because she influences a lot of people and without her, a lot of books and plays wouldn't exist. But Little Red Riding Hood is a figment of human imagination and wouldn't exist without humans having created her and telling/writing/acting/singing about her.
    On the other hand, you should interpret "God" as broad as possible. "God" represents any god, godess, gods or godesses in any number or combination. Don't leave the thing unchecked only because you don't attribute a gender to God.

    Step 2 (warning here): Look at the things you didn't check. Do you sometimes claim you do believe in them? Because then you're lying. You can of course wiggle around it, with saying you believe only metaphorically, but still you're saying "I believe in..." which can be taken litterally. If you believe God can read your thoughts, He's going to know you're insincere or only repeating the Creed out of custom or habit.

    Step 3 (danger here! proceed with caution): Look at the things you did check. Isn't there anything that contradicts another thing? Or itself? Or common sense? Or observation? I'm not telling you have to follow things like observation - I'm telling you you should at least think a bit about it.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    My answer to every question but the last is no, but your conclusion is wrong; I'm an agnostic.

  3. #3
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    I believe that humans have an essence of energy which they can leave behind in buildings and other places, and I believe this to be true - I feel that I KNOW it to be true - independently from any religious concepts, and it doesn't necessarily imply there is a god. But it is. So that's why I checked the "soul independent from memory" item.

    I also believe some sort of energy exists in the universe, Taoists call it "the way" and Buddhists believe in this sort of thing as well without there having to be a god...but it applies to the "I believe that there is at least one powerful being"...though it may not be a being, or a creator, but an energy of life in the universe.

    I also literally believe that strange things can happen which seem like interference of human energy or what, I don't know. I don't necessarily call it "god." I consider myself agnostic. It's more like the broader human consciousness, or the consciousness of life.

    So this exercise helped me to clarify what I believe, though your questions didn't quite capture what I believe, per se. It didn't really change anything for me.

  4. #4
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    Huh? Who checked "God caused the universe to be" and not "God is older"?

    @ lowtech redneck: you're right - I forgot about the agnostics. However, I see "atheist" as anyone who doesn't believe in gods - which is a bit less strict than "denying the existence of gods".
    I can't honestly say "I believe that there is no god" but I'd still call myself an atheist, because I can honestly say "I don't believe in a god". I don't believe in a god like I don't believe in fairies. If someone shows me a fairy, I'm willing to correct my disbelief. Same for gods.
    Are you really an agnostic, who considers the chance of a god's existence or non-existence as more or less the same (let's take it broadly, from, say, 30% chance to 70% chance of existence)? This is of course possible (I don't want to say you can't be a real agnostic), but to me it seems a quite strange option.

    @ marmelade.sunrise: I actually didn't expect most of the people experience shocking changes. A bit of refining, maybe some more sharply defined beliefs, perhaps nothing at all if you're quite confident already. I'm not really out to shock anybody, but I did include the warning against things like "how dare you challenge my beliefs" stances.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    I checked atheist, and only atheist, even though I could be classified as a monist too. But . . . meh. This is boring.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I can probably be desribed as a theist, but I don't think God can be described as a powerful being.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    My answer to every question but the last is no, but your conclusion is wrong; I'm an agnostic.
    An atheist is someone without a (belief in) god.

  9. #9
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    An atheist is someone without a (belief in) god.
    And technically, just about everyone is an agnostic, so why emphasize one over the other? I tend to view the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic' as value judgements in terms of common usage; those identifying as atheist tend to be either hostile to religion or at least view atheism as a positive trait relative to theism (and many simply view it as the best perspective for themselves, which I have absolutely no problem with). Those identifying as agnostics tend to be some combination of nonjudgemental regarding the moral or intellectual capacity of atheists and theists, completely disinterested in the philosophical implications of the question, or lack faith by default rather than by choice. I consider myself among the latter, and tend to feel as alienated from outspoken atheists as I do from outspoken religionists. In short, I and many other agnostics do not wish to to identify with a broad label that is commonly associatted with a much narrower social movement that actively seeks to increase its numbers.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post

    @ lowtech redneck: you're right - I forgot about the agnostics. However, I see "atheist" as anyone who doesn't believe in gods - which is a bit less strict than "denying the existence of gods".
    I can't honestly say "I believe that there is no god" but I'd still call myself an atheist, because I can honestly say "I don't believe in a god". I don't believe in a god like I don't believe in fairies. If someone shows me a fairy, I'm willing to correct my disbelief. Same for gods.
    Are you really an agnostic, who considers the chance of a god's existence or non-existence as more or less the same (let's take it broadly, from, say, 30% chance to 70% chance of existence)? This is of course possible (I don't want to say you can't be a real agnostic), but to me it seems a quite strange option.
    I think its far more likely than not that there is no supernatural aspect to the universe; I also find the notion of no consciousness after death and no free will (I don't much care about the whole 'purpose' thing that many people seek) to be extremely depressing, so I choose to hope otherwise (though I would be unwilling to embrace organized religion even if I was able to). For more perspective on my viewpoint, see my reply to niccodemus.

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