Originally posted by Republican08
You're more or less agnostic, at best.
For example, Wikipedia says:
Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the true value of certain claims — particularly metaphysical claims regarding theology, afterlife or the
existence of deities, ghosts, or even ultimate reality — is unknown or, depending on the form of agnosticism, inherently impossible to prove or
disprove. It is often put forth as a middle ground between theism and atheism, though it is not a religious declaration in itself.
And technically, that is my thesis, that you can't know anything for sure.
However, what is very different, is a very key piece to my worldview. Namely that the only reality of any conscious consequence is the subjective
reality. I'll explain more as I move along.
I'm atheist happy to be so, I think the Bible has good points to it, and should be respected. I'm not *well entirely* a hedonistic person. I am
I view all religious texts as essentially the chronicles of how humans deal with existential dilemmas. They all originate from one specific
"How the hell do I deal with this crap?"
If you believe in something that contradicts another of your beliefs, one must be wrong, or both are wrong, ergo, what you believe is not real, and is
degrading to believe in (no offense, I don't know you just IMO).
Ok, here we come back to what I was mentioning earlier, regarding reality.
First, it's very easy to believe two things which contradict each other in a situation where both beliefs can be objectively shown to be effective.
Note, that right/wrong don't figure into my world view as much as effective/uneffective.
An example of two contradicting beliefs which are both effective, is the wave/particle duality of light, which manifests differently depending on the
conditions of the experiment. But, that too is dealing with the objective realm, and concepts of God etc are far from objective.
I attune my beliefs to enable my effectiveness towards my goals. And this is where the major difference is between what I believe Agnosticism to be,
and what I am. Whereas Agnosticism might sit in between Theism and Atheism, and be the a priori to the motive of the individual; in my situation, the
motive comes first, and then the world view which best suits the outcome is applied.
For example, let's say a family member near to me has passed on. As a human, I'm going to experience loss of some sort. Regardless of what my
views might be of death, I will experience the pain of having an intimate relationship, and all of the activities associated with it, removed from my
experience. The result is subjective pain.
So how to deal with it? Well, in my situation, I will begin the process of believing I can commune with "the soul" of that person even to the point
of deluding myself. This can be very effective in relieving that subjective pain, and it doesn't matter if it is objectively true or not, mainly
because the pain is not objective either. Yet because my beliefs are fluid, there is also no fear of any delusional concepts staying with me any
longer than needed to suit the original motive.
Likewise, the opposite is also true. At one point I had an experience which most would say resembles the common abduction phenomena, yet to me the
grey being with blackness where eyes should be wasn't exactly what I would call an Alien. It was more of an ethereal experience which gave the
impression that I was experiencing an interaction with "a soul" on some astral level.
To be honest, the experience scared the crap out of me. And this fear wouldn't go away as long as I believed that I could have interactions with
spirits on an astral plane. However, once I tweaked my belief about the situation, making it more of a representation of my unconscious as opposed to
some sort of communion with "a soul", my fear evaporated.
You see belief often forms most of our motives, which is why I believe that some folks who start out being taught that God exists, become Atheists.
Because those who teach about God, typically are trying to manipulate your motives, for right or for wrong.
However, I have found that if I use belief to suit my motives, as opposed to allowing belief to create my motives, then I am no longer enclosed in
the confines of concepts which are absolute.
Now, you brought up the idea that the belief in something that is wrong is detrimental to the individual. However, I believe that it is Conviction,
which is detrimental to the individual as it puts blinders on the consciousness to any other way of interpreting ones world.
Christians want everyone to believe in God, because if not we will all burn in hell for eternity. It's their beliefs.
Well... I'd say that's true for most of Christians, the whole "burn in hell" thing. Once again, that's a belief conditioning a motive, as
opposed to the otherway around.
However, that doesn't seem to be the motivation for the character of Jesus in my opinion. His stories show him simply relieving the current
suffering of people, specifically those sufferings caused by "demons".
Now I find that without rigid beliefs... "demons", or what we might call neurosis, psychosis, and psycho-somatic disorders today, lose their
We atheists want people not to believe in god, because we feel its more better to question everything instead of full fledging your life into
something without knowing if it is real or not.
And once again, this is why I tend to lump Atheists in the same group of believers as Christians and other religious believers, as instead of putting
belief before motive, the atheist puts doubt before motive, for basically the same reasons, a concern about what's real.
I say again, because you can get angry and work yourself into a heart attack, or die of a broken heart, or any other host of issues which stem from
one's subjective understanding of reality, the only true reality, as it relates to consciousness of the individual, is the subjective reality, and
that is conditioned, primarily by belief. I say primarily, because the other much smaller portion of what conditions the consciousness other than
beliefs, is sensory experience. Which is ultimately a more hardwired form of interpretation of the objective world.
For example, when I feel the pain of fire, it's not really the fire I'm feeling. I'm feeling my central nervous system yelling at me saying "Hey
Buddy, you better move your hand out of that fire, before we lose it!"
Now, lots of traditions try to remove belief from the picture altogether, and guide the student towards concentrating on the sensory experience only.
An example of this is the Zen concept of Mindfulness. I can attest, that the practice of this, is a very liberating one, as during the meditation,
with the concepts and beliefs of the consciousness temporarily replaced with simply sensory experience, worry evaporates.
Once again though, this leads one to certain beliefs as well, which again condition the motives of the individual. Note, I'm not knocking this
practice of mindfulness, because I use it, like anything else, to support my motives.
When I became atheist, I took life that much more seriously, I realized this is my one shot, this is my Mavericks game we they pick one person to
shoot a free throw and if they make it they win 1,000,000 dollars. So far, thats what my life is now, dedication in advancing studies to which are
unknown as of now.
First I applaud you on your motive to advance studies which are unknown currently.
However, I find it interesting that your transition to atheism increased your sense of mortality. This belief in your mortality has then conditioned
your motives toward a more serious stance on your life. The "one shot" position.
As I was making my transitions, I actually had the opposite problem. My religious upbringing actually caused what I refer to as an overdeveloped
sense of responsibility and seriousness in myself.
Today, the only thing I approach with any seriousness is whatever the task at hand happens to be. Well, that and relieving the suffering of others.
Not out of altruism or anything, I'm just hugely empathic and it can be bothersome to be aware of others suffering.
When I was a christian before I thought for myself, (no offense again, just my personal life) I didn't care about my life, cause in the end I
believed we went to heaven and sang for all eternity....ugh... Life is more precious for me now, it's a fleeting moment, which I would be a fool to
Yeah, I can see how a religious upbringing can cause that apathy.
And that is actually why I don't believe children should be taught theological notions such as afterlife with any level of certainty. Keep in mind
that Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people who used guilt as currency. And thus, his message, to those already soaked in the blood of guilt,
didn't lead to apathy so much as a liberation. Whereas, if the individual doesn't even suffer from an existential crisis and is taught all this
theology, it typically leads to a malaise such as you mentioned.
I applaud your courage to move from the world view that was given you, to a world view you have chosen. The only real difference I can tell between
our two perspectives is that I choose my worldview within the moment to suit my motives.
It appears, your motives are still conditioned by your worldview. However, you are choosing your own worldview to start from, which from what I can
tell has lead you to a place of greater joy than you had originally.
Thanks as well for your post!
[edit on 15-4-2009 by HunkaHunka]
[edit on 15-4-2009 by HunkaHunka]