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I Believe in Religion

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posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 03:56 PM
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(This is meant to provoke a philosophical discussion, not a religious one.)

Everyone these days speaks ill of religion, repeating the exact same arguments that were once en vogue in 18th century France or nineteenth century Russia. We’ve heard it all before, and like any monotony continuously repeating its own song, the results are tiring. Assuming we are unable to rid humanity of our religious needs, evidenced by the failed attempts of the 20th century, it might be good time to change religion instead of eradicating it.

Dear atheists, yes, yes, I understand. Your fate has born you into a precarious circumstance—an environment of religion. Though you were much a part of this environment for some a part of your life, your relation to it was, and perhaps still is, fundamental; this much we know for sure. Wherever there is a saturation of one religion, the inherent risks both personal and tribal in suddenly contrasting with this environment is lofty, and likely dangerous—ostracism, loss of faith, mistrust and the blinding discovery that one has lived a lie certainly has serious consequences for anyone.

Since you claim the label, you are still in relation to religion varying only in context and proximity to it, and define yourself as still in relation to it by asserting your atheism, always quick to provide what that entails and the proper definition, a definition which still no less contains the very thing you can’t help being atheist about—another’s beliefs, and not your own. And anytime you see or hear even the mention of religion—for instance in the title of a lowly thread—you come quickly running, ready with indignation and a repertoire of pre-conceived, and not to mention entirely overplayed, series of arguments. In doing so, you embody and act out the idea of the unbeliever as defined by religion, as an enemy, and give their doctrines credence, for it was always the religious who condemned others as unbelievers. Anyone who considers herself a non-believer in this way always does so in relation to what she doesn’t believe, defined not by any one definition, but by a relationship, a connection; not as its opposite, but as its other end.

Let’s beware of approaching the subject of religion from inside of it. How else can we pick her up, dust her off and carry her to her new destination?

About religion...what is there to not believe in? and to spend precious time not believing in it? A book? A fable? A lullaby? The stories of men? Oh, “a god”, you say. Well, if only there was a god to not believe in, I might understand your irony. It almost looks as if you need to beat away this god idea like it was a mosquito, for fear that it might once again come back to bite you. Although I would argue that gods and deities are at least interesting tropes, maybe you might do away with it altogether one day. Rather, I like books, fables, lullabies and the stories of men. I believe and have sincere faith in these artifacts and those who build them, not only because of what they are, but because of their possibilities. Religion, too, is a possibility, and I foresee a time where people regard life, the earth and themselves as they now do death, spirits and gods. Is it still unfashionable to have hope?

I respect any sort of advance in literature and philosophy, and the writers of religious doctrines were simply the literati of their age. Based on this aesthetic, I prefer the story of the old testament to the new, which seems to me a little too nihilistic in the way it speaks of the body, the earth and the earthly, so much so that one turns away from them to hide in a monastery where he can flagellate himself into chastity and fasting. It’s slavishness is somewhat embarrassing, and there is not much with which I could relate. However, there was one profound moment I had when reading it, and finally a character who seemed interesting enough—Pontius Pilate, the only person to have truly faced reality in the whole story; the only one who had a grasp on what was real, while the madness and delusion of mobs broke out right in front of him. This may be too Nietzschean of an idea, but he was beyond religion, outside of it, facing the gravity and reality of the spectacle of men from a view outside and much higher, proving once and for all who really determines man’s future. When Jesus asserted his authority in the dealings of truth, Pilate asked, “Quid est veritas?”. In not answering, Jesus finally spoke the truth. An important parable—philosophy as the praetor of religion.

My friend, allow me a moment with my vanities. Atheism was never an event or necessity in my life. There was nothing there to not believe in. My relationship to religion was always positive. Though I am a more domesticated animal these days, I consider myself well-travelled, and have played the spectator and guest of many different religions throughout many different cultures. Like any spectacle, I take part in the ceremony and ritual any moment I can for the sake of experiencing it, not only because I am learning about the people I am doing it with, but by doing so I fundamentally alter it.

“Look there, an outsider, one who could easily be an infidel, an atheist, an unbeliever, a nāstika, but who does not seem to embody any of these distinctions; someone taller and of a stranger color then the rest, different than us, unable to speak the language but no less trying (perhaps too hard), wearing the outfit and losing himself in something meaningful to his hosts, obscenely vulnerable, but intent, curious, mindful, enjoying himself, and best of all, smiling and laughing with the people around him while the children watch and thus play.” The assumptions a label elicits slips away and humanity reveals itself.

Indignation, scorn, and mockery towards religion only breeds new religions. Buddhism out of an indignation towards Brahmanism; Christianity out of an indignation towards Judaism and a motley of Roman piety; Protestantism out of Catholicism; and so on. Where the State has replaced gods, the task is the same.

These belief systems seem to function in a myriad of ways: as a standard people may live by, or to ease the suffering of groundlessness for those not light enough to float on their own thoughts, as a moral code, as a template for thinking, or in countless more evolutionary, biological and psychological aspects. In other words, there is no one function or purpose to it. It is an emergent artifact. It’s growth is that of a tree, its unity fracturing not unlike its branches, a fractal that has roots in our communal garden. Only a religion can replace a religion, and one born in contrast and indignation towards the one before it does its origins, and thus itself, injustice. Concretely, religion is shaped exactly like human bodies, behavior and evolution; it is shaped exactly like language, manifested in books, art, performance, architecture and the chaos of population growth. We can go watch it, take part in it, change and influence it, but it is not going anywhere. To the philosopher who unfetters himself from this entire human artifact and its affairs, able to view it from within, without, beneath and above, insert gardner analogy here, and only by being the herald of religion can we direct it where we wish.

LesMis




posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 04:00 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Nice info, thank you for the interesting content.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 04:06 PM
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I usually find that when you're trying to convince others of whatever your belief system is, you're really only trying to convince yourself.

I'm an Atheist, but never try and convert others to my cause. I'm very good at stating my beliefs when they come up in conversation, but don't try and justify them to others.

My biggest problem with Christians specifically is that they're all arrogant enough to think that they are important enough to their God that he has some sort of plan for them.

If there really was a God, you'd be about as significant to Him as ants are to us. We don't have a plan for ants, other than to wipe them out when they get into our homes. It's certainly ridiculous to think that even if we had an ant farm, we'd have a plan for every single one.

The most ridiculous statement I hear over and over from Religion is "but this misfortune is all part of God's plan for me".



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 04:10 PM
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a reply to: babybunnies

My biggest problem with Christians specifically is that they're all arrogant enough to think that they are important enough to their God that he has some sort of plan for them.

Let's look at that again...

My biggest problem with Atheists specifically is that they're all arrogant enough to think that they are important enough to their Belief that it has some sort of plan for them.

Both are spot on, well done!

OP: always enjoy reading your posts, Star for the oversized E.




posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 04:14 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

No day without night. No disbelief without belief. Husband and wife....LOL. ( divorce is not an option...
)




edit on 12-4-2015 by nwtrucker because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-4-2015 by nwtrucker because: afterthought



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 04:18 PM
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You say many people speak ill of religion these days, but then go on to say, believers follow religion to ease the suffering of groundlessness if they are not light enough to float on their own thoughts.

So can we take this to mean that you believe followers of religion are simply brainwashed, and believe these religions because they are too weak minded to be individually minded?

A philosopher can think independently and outside of the mainstream philosophy of religion and could we therefore state that such minds could create their own independent religion?
edit on 12-4-2015 by DAZ21 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 04:46 PM
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The problem I have with the religious is that because they claim "GOD", everyone else is expected to respect their views because "GOD". Well I can't respect a grown, supposedly educated person telling me they believe in Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny, just not gonna happen.

The religious either fail to comprehend or simply choose to ignore the fact that for the nonbeliever their "RELIGION" is merely childish wish fulfillment. That their attempts to create laws & social mores from said superstitions are insulting & quite frankly offensive to those that don't believe as they do.


K~


edit on 12-4-2015 by aethertek because: Paragraphs

edit on 12-4-2015 by aethertek because: ...



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

A good read, LesMis.

I find it best to not just believe in anything in terms of religion and philosophy. Best to embrace life fully, openly, to find out what is true. Most people settle for what only seems to be true, like their local tribal religion, materialism, or whatever, without fully considering it, living it, participating in it, not abstracting from it, nor allowing one's conditioning to determine their choices.

Pre-conceived notions, beliefs, presumptions, etc., only get in the way of really embracing what is going on and finding out for real if anything greater than what we perceive with the senses is actually the case.

Find out, really find out, before drawing conclusions, about this great matter.

When one approaches life fully this way, the truth is bound to begin to show itself.

Once you find out, then relate fully to what reality has revealed.

edit on 4/12/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 06:10 PM
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a reply to: DAZ21




You say many people speak ill of religion these days, but then go on to say, believers follow religion to ease the suffering of groundlessness if they are not light enough to float on their own thoughts.

So can we take this to mean that you believe followers of religion are simply brainwashed, and believe these religions because they are too weak minded to be individually minded?

A philosopher can think independently and outside of the mainstream philosophy of religion and could we therefore state that such minds could create their own independent religion?


I listed numerous reasons why someone might follow a belief system. So in short, no you cannot take that to mean I believe followers of religion are simply brainwashed, as that would be a non sequitur.

Anyone can create their own independent religion. Can one make "religion" a religion? No.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: DAZ21

Have you ever heard of baha'i iT is what I subscribe to it ascertains that all religions have universal truth that because the stories were distorted by men for control you must look deep within all sacred books and find your own personal truth god is the conscious energy that makes up everything and we must strive to reach 0 point or enlightenment which pretty much means finding your niche in the universe and be one with all



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I don't believe that's true. No one can create their own religion out of nothing, as you said religious followers, follow a common faith, because they can't think outside of the box independently.

Look at the abrahamic religions, they are all constructs of one another. Let's look at an even sillier example, the Jedi religion, created from the star wars franchise.

My point is, either God exists and simple men wrote down his deeds, or philosophers created religion, because simple men could not, without independent and creative thought.

So what I'm saying is the majority of the world are following the thought processes of a philosopher.

Unless God is in fact real and the bible et al. are based on fact...



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 06:41 PM
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a reply to: DAZ21

"No one can create their own religion out of nothing" Tell that to scientology.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 06:47 PM
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a reply to: Autorico

Again, is that a religion, or someone's philosophy with a following?



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 06:56 PM
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originally posted by: babybunnies
I usually find that when you're trying to convince others of whatever your belief system is, you're really only trying to convince yourself.

I'm an Atheist, but never try and convert others to my cause. I'm very good at stating my beliefs when they come up in conversation, but don't try and justify them to others.

My biggest problem with Christians specifically is that they're all arrogant enough to think that they are important enough to their God that he has some sort of plan for them.

If there really was a God, you'd be about as significant to Him as ants are to us. We don't have a plan for ants, other than to wipe them out when they get into our homes. It's certainly ridiculous to think that even if we had an ant farm, we'd have a plan for every single one.

The most ridiculous statement I hear over and over from Religion is "but this misfortune is all part of God's plan for me".


Ooooh look, another proud atheist, totally not a dogmatic, self-important adherent to just another cult ("science"). Right, right, because you believe in science, the absolute incontestable truth that can explain every facet of our being. Right.

There's a term for your religion, it's called dogmatic naturalism. Applying scientific naturalism to the universe in an attempt to explain our existence- an absolute fallacy, and supremely arrogant to boot.

I notice a disturbing trend of anthropocentrism in you moderns, you believe "humanity" is somehow the pinnacle of existence, humans are your sacred entity. Like I said, fallacious and arrogant. I've also noticed the trend these days of quantity and matter as opposed to metaphysical quality and virtue. No surprise anyway, your kind is just the logical product of an utterly vacuous and empty culture of self-indulgent humanism. It will not be this way forever though, in the metaphysical sense, qualitative virtue will eventually reign supreme again. Sadly this world will have to decline a bit further before this happens, and I likely won't live to see the end of it.
edit on 12-4-2015 by Connell because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 07:22 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Posted at @ 4:00 pm on a Sunday?
O.K, you get points for framing this as "Pro-Religion" to sucker in the Activist Atheist crowd, but you lose points for posting so late on a "Sunday", a traditional Christian day of worship.

I'd suggest that for better results you publish this type post on Saturday to truly stir the crap and prove your credentials as an enlightened secular humanist.

Good effort, bad timing
Thanks



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 07:45 PM
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a reply to: DAZ21

According to the IRS, it is a religion.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: DAZ21

It is very true that Christianity and philosophy are closely related and have influenced one-another, We have all been influenced by religion, like it or not.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 07:54 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I like the main points in your thread, and making the comparisons of a believer in a religion, to an atheist who has absolute faith in their facts. Where both play a corporate label game on each other, were its like Coco-Cola vs Pepsi since they are both the "SAME"(Watch out, the believers might get riled with their pitch forks on this), just one has more sugar then the other with bright, different coloured labels. Red vs Blue.

True, what sort of all powerful, unmerciful, Judaistic God, banned in the NT would put atheists on a planet still full of religious zeal?

The main methodologies in most religions just seem too out of date or have a lack of insight to even understand them, or to even try to explain themselves to others half the time. Also the threat of a copycat belief keeps them at bay with their constant bickering, but then you get religions or practices like yoga which are commonly shared with little to no argument, but albeit probably debated much like how western philosophy is to be written down on paper. Or Chinese Buddhism may vary from Japanese Buddhism, and there is enough conflict history between the two empires.

Religions do share their tribal or shamanic roots even though the western one distant themselves from such concepts, but where I'd like to get my point is that it like the idea of ceremonies that would be held for young hunters, shamans, or even just to be labeled as a man. Catholics have communions to conformations just so they can be recognized, while schooling follows a familiar path too, where one has to attempt studies for years just to be recognized as a member of society with a set of skills.

Even gangs have their initiations rites, where trouble some boys easily will, vehemently call themselves men .


But hey, it like what Bruce Lee said...
"A wise man can learn more from a foolish question, then a fool can learn from a wise answer."
S+F


edit on 12-4-2015 by Specimen because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 07:54 PM
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a reply to: Connell




"humanity" is somehow the pinnacle of existence,


Never thought of it that way.



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 08:09 PM
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a reply to: Specimen



The main methodologies in most religions just seem too out of date or have a lack of insight to even understand them, or to even try to explain themselves to others half the time


Because the words of ancient historical religious text have been twisted and stripped of their origin and history.

They call the Bible the living word, it is if it is read and studied like it should be;




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