I am an atheist, but maybe not in the meaning that most people think of. Even though I have no belief in a God and religions, I consider myself open and spiritual. I like to think of the true atheist as one who knows there is more on earth than you can sense, and not a person who resents religion and only believes in what you can sense. This is mostly due to a (so far) single spiritual event I have experienced myself (as an atheist).
I love being met by religious preachers/messengers on the street. They often ask after they see I’m not a believer "well, what do you believe in then?", and then I’ll answer something like this: "I believe in humanity’s capability to think rationally and do good from their own hearts, instead of being told what’s wrong and right. People should carve out their own path in life and embrace their ability to think for themselves. Inspiration is good, but try to sculpture that inspiration into something of your own fitting".
look in the mirror…the image looking back at you is god :D
I believe in God. I disagree with you, Josh. I think that everything in this world is very connected to God. I see God in everyday things and moments. For example, in how the sun shines or the snow falls. I see God in everything I experience every day of my life.
Show me a loving God in something like a mother driving her van into a river with her young children inside and killing all but one of them and herself.
Show me the same God that you see in sunshines and soft sparkling snow falls…show me that in innocent young children drowning, strapped into carseats, completely unaware what was going on….in the terror and fear in those little wide eyes, and fighting bodies…
And don’t be pathetic, and say something completely ridiculous like “At least now they don’t have to suffer through this life of pain”, etc… Give me TRUE answer that YOU believe that any GOOD could be had in that kind of thing.
@Rain and Flip
Like many you seem to think that not only does God have to have a direct hand in what goes on down here (Hint: He doesn’t). You also have like millions of others failed to see the flaw in Epicurus logic.
((((“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.))))
This assumes God is both unable, and willing. God is unwilling because it is not his place, and is capable. However that would totally defeat any point in there being Creation. Thats right, BIG C creation.
((((Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.))))
Incorrect. That would imply he is causing the evil himself or it would allow it to go one without purpose.
((((Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?))))
((((Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?”))))
Because thats what we decided to call him. Because that is what we do by nature, name things without understanding them. There is no evidence of God. I believe in evolution, we came from single cell organisms and crawled our way up the chain. We invented him, he is what we want him to be. But even if he is only an idea, man makes nothing, we only reproduce what we have inklings of. We put pieces of other things together, rearrange them to make the illusion of complexity out of the banal.
I firmly believe in something greater. Maybe it’s god, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just a personification of the universe. But if he’s NOT real and you believe he isn’t, then atheism becomes a moral choice as well as a logical one because the time spent talking about it could be better spent.
LOLOL….no no Kayne, I don’t misunderstand anything. Especially not the logic behind what Epicurus says. I was merely posing a question to challenge an answer. I certainly think man is behind the fallacies in what we believe. If there is a God, a higher being, then I don’t think there are many mortals who truly understand it at all.
I don’t think there are any. Mostly I connected you to the post because of what you said about the car crash example. God didn’t make that happen. God had nothing to do with it. If he IS real, and how I think of him is correct, then they died because their mother killed them. He isn’t part of the equation, he’s not supposed to be.
Actually you are forgetting God’s righteousness. What does every game have before it starts? Rules. God made his righteousness such that he would not be willing to stop evil…giving Satan his chance to work. He allowed Satan to test his firstborn son, how much would he allow Satan to test his children. We just have to be wary for such tests.
If I think about 2 supreme beings, my next thought is “Why just good and evil, I want way more!!” There would definitely be a trickster one in there fucking with God and Satan, like Loki from the Norse gods. and maybe laughter and sadness Gods too. but that’s not me.
The god I believe in is everything, everywhere. Infinity *and* beyond! On the rare occasions when I’m successful at meditation I slowly feel my body, then the room. the earth, and eventually the universe melt away . . . what is leftover is what I would call “god”. and it is neither good nor evil – in fact the bummer is that I’m not really aware of it while it’s happening, but only after I come out of the meditation do I realize “hey, that was that feeling!” and then my stupid human brain starts trying to name it or classify it or categorize it, and that pretty much smacks the god-essence out of the experience.
So, I try again the next day!
I’m going to be curt as can be as concerns this particular can of worms…
My experiences with religious groups led me to find the single thread which ties all of them together. This led largely to a setting-aside of conventional social belief dogma. What remained was purely metaphysical and something with which even atheists, at least those who came to their decisions through due process of thought rather than through mere rebellion against the belief structures of their parents, would agree when the subject was treated dialectically.
This led me to the Tao.
On a somewhat related subject, has anyone read Language and Myth by Ernst Cassirer?
@ David Bristol, I was reminded of this by your post.
@Dave….don’t you get so irked, sometimes, at being in this often so limited body and mind? The process of opening it up and broadening everything takes such mentally exhausting work sometimes! (Of course, though, it is well worth it, and many times, the work is fun and enlightening, not stressing at all, I’m just expressing my frustrations in general)
I know God personally. I talk to Her some of the time and He talks back through my experience of life. I believe this dialogue is occurring through all of us all of the time. Some, those who are aware of it, can hear what God has to say because they practice listening and can quiet their mind.
This lets us hear the infinite peaceful silence that permeates every moment, letting us view our experience in the most objective of possible states of being. This silencing of the inner dialogue brings on in the individual a curious feeling that cannot be easily described. This is because the experience of this feeling is determined by your perspective of it.
It can either feel like you are completely deterministic and are a mere leaf floating on the wind of life, or it can feel like you ARE God and that you have infinite potential. Advocates of the latter often find themselves jumping off buildings and such. Of course, both experiences are true, though they seem contradictory. Both perspectives are true in that they describe a valid FEELING which is untainted by linear logic and symbolic, rational, grammatical associations.
This feeling, when experienced in full, overcomes all intellectual inhibitions and beliefs with a sense of connectivity to the universe. Others, with egos too armored, will sterilize the experience with cultural terminologies or rational philosophical dissection. What I think is important is the FEELING which FEELS true, not the thought that seems true based on other thoughts that seem true. When I experience this feeling, I notice a curious blurring of the lines between individual and environment. For me, this brings on a more all-encompassing experience of existing which takes in all information and events, internal or external, and allows the individual to perceive them as parts of the same process.
This is how I believe I came to meet God, and how I believe I can talk with Him. The interaction between organism and environment is the vessel for understanding God. But understanding is not enough. To truly confirm the existence of God as All There Is on a personal level, an experience of this feeling is, in my opinion, the key.
Faith doesn’t have to mean religion. I’d say it is just about commitment; a scientist will only commit as far as the probabilities they calculate, this is a strength in a way because they are grounded in logic, but a weakness in another way because they do not fight with the zeal success requires.
A person with faith can commit well beyond probabilities and that is a strength in a way, because they can fight with powerful zeal, a weakness in another way because they may be driving at a flawed logic.
I’d say both bring something to the table, but rather than doing nothing but squabbling about their differences, they could unite, respecting the strengths their unique diversity brings, and compliment each other to get things done.