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  1. #21
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    but it is very hard to detach spirituality from my natural thinking process. i sort of see them as one in the same. so it is rather hard to think about how my behavior would be different, if i did not have the beliefs that i do. perhaps a better answer than it does not really impact my behavior is that it impacts my entire Being so much that i would be an entirely different person without it.
    I agree. I do see some effect of my spirituality on daily life, especially the spirituality I developed in adulthood, after giving up much of what I grew up with. I have become much more tolerant of others, more willing to appreciate and learn from different ways of doing things. I did not act with prejudice before, that would not have been "polite" in my upbringing, but there was always a sense of us and them, with the "them" sometimes having a flavor of "wrong" (gays are a good example). Now I have more appreciation for our common humanity and interconnectedness, and that early, reflexive "this is foreign" response has largely fallen away. I am especially alert to what I might have to learn from others of different background and traditions.

    Second, I feel much more responsibility for the earth and the environment. This has affected my driving habits, energy use, trash handling, etc. I could easily get preachy about it, but restrain myself in favor of living the example I want to set. Of course, I freely answer questions.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #22
    Senior Member Helios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I am thinking principally of your behaviour towards others, are you more or less kind than you believe you otherwise would be?
    There is no such thing as "spirituality", so no influence. I am as kind as the situation and person warrants.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helios View Post
    There is no such thing as "spirituality", so no influence. I am as kind as the situation and person warrants.
    There's no such thing as spirituality?

    Even the internetz knows that's wrong:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

  4. #24
    Senior Member Helios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    There's no such thing as spirituality?

    Even the internetz knows that's wrong:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality
    There is a Wikipedia article on Harry Potter, too. I suppose that means he exists.

  5. #25
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    If one is to call "spirituality" the intense curiosity for learning about the world, the wonder of looking at the night sky, the joy of interpreting literature, the bond between two minds, the need for reflection about life and death, then I guess I'm a spiritual person. But if being "spiritual" means a devotion to a certain God or religious dogma, then I am not spiritual. Either way, I find both attitudes to help me in being a better person (or so I think).

  6. #26
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helios View Post
    There is a Wikipedia article on Harry Potter, too. I suppose that means he exists.
    It wouldnt be the first time you've been wrong about something.

  7. #27
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helios View Post
    There is a Wikipedia article on Harry Potter, too. I suppose that means he exists.
    He does. Not as a flesh-and-blood human living somewhere in the UK, but as an idea in the mind of his author, and ultimately of his many fans. Things do not have to be concrete or tangible to exist.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #28
    Senior Member animenagai's Avatar
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    This is interesting. I'll give it to you straight up. I have no qualms or objections to any faith per se. Some of the smartest people I know are Christians and I respect them greatly. Having said that, I have a problem with people believing in a faith just because they were brought up in that environment or because their priest said so. If someone's reasons for believing any religious doctrine is just circular, and like it or not, it often is, then my respect for them will decrease. I respect religious people who came into their beliefs through well thought out, philosophical processes. If that's not there, I'm sorry, I'm not gonna respect you for believing something you haven't thought out. I think that's really the only way being an atheist would change me ethically. I'm the guy who's not even willing to troll on the internet. At least I think I have a strong moral compass. I would be ethical regardless.
    Chimera of Filth

    A gruesome beast with dripping flesh
    Clings to me as a sick fixture
    My throbbing heart it gnawed apart
    It stalks and hunts me through mirrors

  9. #29
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I agree. I do see some effect of my spirituality on daily life, especially the spirituality I developed in adulthood, after giving up much of what I grew up with. I have become much more tolerant of others, more willing to appreciate and learn from different ways of doing things. I did not act with prejudice before, that would not have been "polite" in my upbringing, but there was always a sense of us and them, with the "them" sometimes having a flavor of "wrong" (gays are a good example). Now I have more appreciation for our common humanity and interconnectedness, and that early, reflexive "this is foreign" response has largely fallen away. I am especially alert to what I might have to learn from others of different background and traditions.

    Second, I feel much more responsibility for the earth and the environment. This has affected my driving habits, energy use, trash handling, etc. I could easily get preachy about it, but restrain myself in favor of living the example I want to set. Of course, I freely answer questions.
    I found this interesting because the idea of "othering" particular individuals and groups, the dividing into in-groups and out-groups, is something which has a major role to play in the creation and sustaining of oppression, it corresponds to a lot of things besides sexuality and it is often operative even among groups which are the victim of it, so there is a kind of one mans out group is another mans in group. I think this sort of thinking is at the crux of most oppression and it is what I try to identify and address or challenge as soon as it arises, especially if it is unconscious.

    What I have found growing up though is that while I've always held the view in your post which is underlined that it is a complex matter, more than I originally believed.

    For one, hold this view does not negate the objective reality of others holding a contrary view or even of an objective reality in which most people are neutral or apathetic but will easily become mobilised into a niche or identity group when a crisis occurs or hostility breaks out, my first experience of this, and thankfully not my last, was to do with religious sectarianism as it divides northern ireland. I discovered that having no sectarian views myself, no bitterness and no bigotry, was absolutely no defense against being labelled sectarian, it also was no defense against others believing it or others being unprepared to challenge that false witness once it was made.

    I also have seen examples of this kind of thing in other contexts, I remember seeing news reel footage of a white reporter getting her ass kicked when she went to report in a black neighbourhood in the US and stories from the LA riots of a white trucker getting beat up by black youths or men. In status terms they're not likely to be victims of racism, they're probably not likely to hold racist views, although they were the victim of the us-them, us-other reality of which racism is one corresponding kind of thinking.

    Also, just because you choose to rescind as near as possible this oppressive process of "othering" and dehumanising does not change other objective factors, such as and probably most importantly minority-majority relations. So you have to ask yourself whether or not proposed changes will inflict upon a majority the present personal and individual troubles of the minority, no one is liberated or prospers through collective and universal immiseration.

    Sorry if that all seems a little tangental or off topic, its just something I do, I didnt used to because when I heard people saying things like that I was inclined to think, well, there's worse evils but I've become less able to sustain that as time has gone on.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    He does. Not as a flesh-and-blood human living somewhere in the UK, but as an idea in the mind of his author, and ultimately of his many fans. Things do not have to be concrete or tangible to exist.
    I dont think that God is a make believe meme.

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