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  1. #101
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    This wasn't the kind of thread that I thought it would be, or I would've participated earlier.


    This is my problem with religion. I am spiritual and believe in (a) God, but I cannot reconcile it with a lack of faith in Jesus Christ as the son of God and the savior. On the other hand, I appreciate that Jesus has done a lot of good in people's lives and remains a huge spiritual leader, nearly two millenia after his death. I agree with a lot of what he says, philosophically, and spiritually. I guess it comes down to this quote by Gandhi, "I love your Christ, but I do not like your Christians".

    I take the same attitude towards Muslims, Allah, Buddhists/Buddhism, etc. Hence, spiritual but not religious.


    I think this has to do with the historical context, and his split with the Danish church... He always considered himself a Christian, and felt that this was divorced from the "brand" of Christianity practiced by the corrupt church. Bearing in mind that this was the 1800s in Europe, faith in God was equated to belief in Jesus Christ as the savior. There was simply no reason to question that, or an identification of Christ as a "cultural" figure (which is a wholly modern perspective).

    As such, his outline of the "leap to faith" would've been the same as leaping into the arms of Jesus.

    (On to the personal section)

    Kierkegaard has had a great influence on my spiritual beliefs. I'm hesitant to call them "religious" beliefs because I don't identify with any religion. I do, however, believe in God.

    My values, as many people have told me, are very Christian. Love thy neighbour, succour the poor and the needy, do my best to be unselfish etc. It's just the faith in Jesus and belief that the church and the bible is the way to God part that I am a total failure at. Perhaps if I had been brought up a Christian (as opposed to an atheist), I would not have that problem.

    The conversion from agnostic to theist happened about 4 years ago on one night; I felt something quite unexplainable, that was completely illogical and yet unmistake-able. I've had several other experiences since which have only served to build on that faith. No one else in my family believes in God, and I don't talk about religion with anyone because of my fuzzily delineated faith. Suffice to say, I'm convinced about the existence of God, I believe that I've become a better person since, and this faith has since worked its way into every bit of my world.

    This, while working in science where supposed "reason" is paramount. No one has ever accused me of being illogical or lacking the ability to reason at work; it's only on the Internet that this happens (with people who don't even work in science). That was the reason for my reticence in participating here. It feels like I'm being attacked - "How can you be a reasoning person and believe in God?"

    Most of my values are similar to those expressed by Christ in the Bible, too--but not because Christ said them, more because they make obvious sense. I don't oppose Christ's values; I think he was a great philosopher--I just don't think he was more than a biologically ordinary man, and he's going to stay dead forever.

    I think you've made a false distinction between "agnostic" and "theist"; in fact, I would argue that you're both. I don't see any problem with agnostic theism of some sort, and neither do most atheists. The only problem we have is with insistence on particular moral values and dogmatic practices, with the idea of God as an external, independently existent person who enforces those values on the world. There's a reason that people tend to assume this is what you're talking about when you openly declare belief in God--your arbitrary conception of God is not what the term means to most people, and so of course they'll misunderstand when you use such misleading terminology for your belief system.

    Don't take this the wrong way, but whatever it is you found--worthwhile and a positive force in your life though it may be--simply is not God by any modern religious standard. Why can't you call it something else? It has little to nothing in common with what the vast majority of people today believe about God, and continuing to use the same term for something completely different only causes confusion and massive internet flame wars.

    For a counterexample, let's pretend for a moment that I'm a Nazi. No, I don't support white supremacy or Hitler's ideals or have anything against Jews. No no, that's not the kind of Nazi I am! Regardless of what 99% of people who identify as Nazis seem to think, I have my own definition of Nazi which involves total racial equality, nonviolence and pure open-mindedness. Not only that, I'm going to get very upset if you say anything bad about Nazis or claim to oppose Nazism--you're just not respecting my personal definition of what a Nazi is! Shame on you!

    See how quickly this gets ridiculous? If there's no standard definition of Nazi, then anyone can classify any belief system as Nazism, and the same goes for theism. If I think God is my big toe but don't believe in one scrap of actual religious tradition or scripture, news flash: I don't actually believe in God, no matter how real my big toe is!

    I'm basing this on what *most* people who believe in God believe about him, not on some arbitrary personal/factual definition. "What is God?" is dependent upon whatever the most popular conceptions of God say about him at this particular point in history, and nothing more or less. If most supporters of God agreed with your conception of him, I'd probably define myself as a theist, because I see validity in the experiences you've described. But the fact is, no matter how uncomfortable it may be for you to accept it, you don't actually believe in God, at least not with a capital G, and if you need evidence of what God really is, just look at popular religion--what other standard could we possibly use to come to a common definition of God?

    I know, I know--we don't need a common definition, right? Because God can be anything anyone wants it to be, right? Well, no--if we accept this premise then all belief is theism and all belief is atheism, and the terms become entirely meaningless.

    Atheists don't claim that science has solved 100% of the universe's phenomena. Not even close! We guess that most of it can some day be explained by science, but we also understand that some of it can't. This is where there is room for spiritual belief--to explain the unexplainable. Fair enough, but I think that those of you who use such incredibly vague, loose definitions of "God" (whittling them down further and further every time something irrational comes up) are simply in denial about being atheists and don't want to alienate others who profess belief in God.

    Atheism doesn't require total lack of spirituality or some silly dogmatic faith that science can explain every question the human mind can ponder.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  2. #102
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I bet Pascal was a big fat ISFJ, that asshole.
    I heard that he had a big butt, his butt smelled, and that he liked to kiss his own butt.

  3. #103
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Here is the reasoning I've heard from some religious NTs:

    1. You can't prove my religion wrong.
    2. Worst case scenario: It's wrong.
    3. Best case scenario: It's right, and I was right to believe, and now you're fucked for not believing.
    4. So it can't hurt.
    My response is usually something like this:

    I am God. Worship me and send me money, or I'll send you to hell.
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
    - Costrin

  4. #104
    Senior Member Darjur's Avatar
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    I haven't.

  5. #105
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    I heard that he had a big butt, his butt smelled, and that he liked to kiss his own butt.
    It can't be true...but it's written on the bathroom wall, so it must be.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #106
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I didn't say that logic was the most intuitive way to reason; I said it's the only way to truly reason. There are other methods of decision-making (not reasoning) that should be taken into account when considering the views of others, but at the end of the day none of these are actually reasonable. Obviously some people find these other methods of decision-making to be easier to use, but people's inability to understand or use logic properly doesn't make these other decision-making methods any more valid in terms of rational argumentation.

    That doesn't mean they're totally useless (note that I began my first post on this thread by stating that religion has a use because it helps people sleep at night), but it does mean that if you intend to justify something reasonably you need to use a logical method of reasoning.

    Unless, of course, you intend to argue that rationality is no inherently better for abstract reasoning than any arbitrary decision-making system you can come up with...but that would seem to open the door to an awful lot of totally silly nonsense.
    Pure logic is certainly a valid way to reach conclusions, and it is clearly better in some contexts than others. However the reason people should use logic is that it leads to conclusions that work. Ultimately reality is the judge of good decision making. It doesn't matter if logic seems to make the most sense, or how good it sounds on paper. What matters is that it leads to ideas that work.

    We use logic today because it has practical use. However it's not used as much as, for example, the ancient Greeks who used logic to deduce things like a projectile travels in a straight line (instead of a parabola). In this case, logic lead to bad conclusions, because it was based on poor assumptions. There is no universal method that is superior in every circumstance. In each circumstance the method that works the best is the one that is used.

    So when discussing "faith in God", it is largely irrelevant what science or logic or anything else tell you what is true. What matters is does "faith in God" work? Does it yield the results that it claims to yield? If it doesn't work then it's a bad idea, and if it does work then it's a great one.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  7. #107
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Some people embrace religion and some people embrace startrek. There always will be something you believe in in your life
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  8. #108
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Pure logic is certainly a valid way to reach conclusions, and it is clearly better in some contexts than others. However the reason people should use logic is that it leads to conclusions that work. Ultimately reality is the judge of good decision making. It doesn't matter if logic seems to make the most sense, or how good it sounds on paper. What matters is that it leads to ideas that work.

    We use logic today because it has practical use. However it's not used as much as, for example, the ancient Greeks who used logic to deduce things like a projectile travels in a straight line (instead of a parabola). In this case, logic lead to bad conclusions, because it was based on poor assumptions. There is no universal method that is superior in every circumstance. In each circumstance the method that works the best is the one that is used.

    So when discussing "faith in God", it is largely irrelevant what science or logic or anything else tell you what is true. What matters is does "faith in God" work? Does it yield the results that it claims to yield? If it doesn't work then it's a bad idea, and if it does work then it's a great one.
    Ahh, that is the most NTJ perspective I've ever heard on that. Did you hear it from one?

    Pragmatic points taken; note that I never said religion had no use in the real world. I think it probably does more good than harm, overall, and I don't support trying to outlaw it, or anything like that. It seems a little simplistic to categorize all beliefs into just two possibilities: "works" or "doesn't work." How about if two things both work but I'd like to suggest that one might work better?

    Besides that, though...it bears repeating that I've got nothing against people practicing personal beliefs, just against the obvious negative effects of organized, dogmatic religion. Also we're debating theology, an entirely hypothetical field, on a forum devoted to an obscure psychological topic. I think we can afford to wander a little into "not so pertinent or useful to real life" territory here, hm?
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  9. #109
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    NTs why did you embrace religion?
    Cause I guess there's NTs who are interested in the truth, and don't have a stick up their ass.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    I bet Pascal was a big fat ISFJ, that asshole.
    Yes, of course he was. I mean how could an INTP possibly ever write something like the Pensées; despite all his earlier work in mathematics and physics.

  10. #110
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Cause I guess there's NTs who are interested in the truth, and don't have a stick up their ass.

    The stick is really hurting today again when sitting in a chair. I need to construct a chair with a hole in it, really -.-
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

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