Does a candidate's faith, matter?

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posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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My 2 cents is as long as whatever flavor of a "moral compass" they have fits with the overall norms of the world, and leads them to making decisions for the greater good, etc - then it doesn't matter if they are christian, muslim, buddhist, atheist, etc.

So 99.9% of the time it wouldn't matter... it would only really matter if their faith led their first thought to be, "Would these people make an acceptable sacrifice to my lord, Cthulhu?!"




posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 05:16 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



They don't believe in a deity. I have many times on these boards talked about my being an atheist with spiritual beliefs. So, it comes down to the fact that grar thinks atheists are people who lack any belief in spiritual connection or non-physical reality. His definition of the term is incorrect.


I've heard that my version of atheism is incorrect before, but I don't understand it. By your definition, I would be an atheist, because I don't personify my God.
I had an uncle that was an atheist, and he believed in the Cosmic Accident, pure evolution, nothing more, nothing beyond the observable whatsoever. I have also seen atheists on TV described in that manner. For example, the TV show, "Bones."

I think it is possible you are not an atheist after all, and have been mislead, LOL!


It could be me that is misled, because in all the definitions I find it does say "supreme being." So perhaps the big disconnect is assuming a "being" has to be personified in some way?



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 05:41 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I admit, I read, "A true atheist ..... cannot possibly have a moral compass." And now that I look at the post, I see he put "true atheist" in quotes and then proceeded to define something that is NOT a true atheist.

I understand. He defined a person who is aspiritual. I can see why that might be upsetting to a spiritual atheist, but in all fairness, it is a mix-up which is easy to make if not being very careful with words. Others have done it flagrantly in this thread. It's not really a problem so long as we each can be humble about our lack of individual perfection.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
"A type of religion" is a religion.

Somewhat, yes, and I see why even many are not able to appreciate the state of being versus the state of appearing. So then, to clarify; When I state "type of religion," I am referring to a concept which does have things in common with a religion, but is not clearly organized or defined as such (I do think I did attempt to delineate this already). An atheist can possibly have religion, but not necessarily "a" religion. Also, an atheist can have "a" religion (like Daoism). An atheist who is truly aspiritual and discusses the very same matter is probably so unpleasant to deal with, it would not be of much use to engage them or their confusion beyond common civil courtesy or execution of "helps."


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
That does not satisfy the definition of a religion. A religion has both organized dogma and a deity.

It does, because theism is not necessitated by religion as you stipulated. Again, Daosim is a better known example of this, but I am sure there are many more. Do understand that many theists would claim that "reason," "the earth," "oneself," etc., are different forms of gods that atheists follow despite a the formal worship of such. However, that doesn't change, by logic and common word meaning, that an atheist religion is not possible/consistent.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I totally agree with your last paragraph. VERY well-said!

Thanks.
I do pray/desire that spiritual wisdom will increase in the body of Man so that our spiritual decay/sickness is purged in a godly way.

I challenge you to conisder:
If life is life, then it is alive. And just as our own bodies' cells operate within certain boundaries, we do also. As each cell is unaware of and lacks full communion with our own greater consciousness, please consider that the "cycle" is continued on "upwards" so that we should be seeking out communion with the greater consciousness.

I do trust, personally and specifically, that Life did "come down" and manifest as a person for the purpose of communing with us, since we can not commune upward just as our cells cannot. I know, it's strange to consider, except that wouldn't our bodies' cells (if they could reason) find it hard to believe that a greater consciousness often subjects them to chemicals in order to alter their conduct? How much more does Life do for those who are alive? As I said, law is spiritual, so let us grow in our understanding and not call dead what is living.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 06:19 PM
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I feel bad about being off-topic and I apologize, but this is the most interesting discussion I've seen for a while.


Originally posted by getreadyalready
I've heard that my version of atheism is incorrect before, but I don't understand it. By your definition, I would be an atheist, because I don't personify my God.


I'm not in the position to say whether or not you are an atheist. But the fact that you say "my God" leads me to believe that you believe in a deity of some sort. And just to be clear, by deity, I mean

Definition of DEITY
1 a : the rank or essential nature of a god : divinity b capitalized : god 1, supreme being
2: a god or goddess
3: one exalted or revered as supremely good or powerful

By that definition, I would guess that you are not an atheist.


I had an uncle that was an atheist, and he believed in the Cosmic Accident, pure evolution, nothing more, nothing beyond the observable whatsoever. I have also seen atheists on TV described in that manner. For example, the TV show, "Bones."


That makes my point that we (atheists) don't all have a common set of dogma that we adhere to or try to. Some atheists do believe as your uncle did. But others believe that we are more than our physical being. Some believe in life after death. You can't make any generalizations about atheists' beliefs because their beliefs about life and death are as varied as the color wheel.



So perhaps the big disconnect is assuming a "being" has to be personified in some way?


Perhaps. I don't think personification is necessary, because to me a supreme being indicates some central source figure, who is a creator and/or controlling force in the Universe. Something or someone aside from ourselves or our spirits that is powerful and aware of us and can communicate with us.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



Perhaps. I don't think personification is necessary, because to me a supreme being indicates some central source figure, who is a creator and/or controlling force in the Universe. Something or someone aside from ourselves or our spirits that is powerful and aware of us and can communicate with us.


I don't consider myself an atheist, but then again, I don't consider you an atheist either.


Yes, I do believe in a "creator," but I don't believe it is necessarily a "being" as one could possibly picture or attribute any characterizations to. I believe it is something far far beyond our comprehension, but I believe a piece of it is shared in each of us, and is recycled throughout all living things. I believe it does have influence over us, but doesn't control us. I believe it can communicate with us through prayer, but it doesn't do so with words. When I pray, and I receive answers, they might be coming from my own brain, or maybe from a collective consciousness, or maybe from a Socratic type of universal knowledge, I don't know, but I am certain it happens. I pray, and then I instantly "know" the answer. Even if I don't agree with the answers they still come. In that way, I am certain they are not my own imagination, LOL!

Is it just a thread of energy that connects all things, and is this world just a physical manifestation of it? Maybe. OR maybe this world is an illusion in that consciousness? Maybe. Or maybe the creator has its own consciousness and we are an ant farm? Could be. I can't make my pets do anything, but I can influence and nudge and train them and get somewhat decent results.

I don't have very many answers, just questions and experiences, but I know with certainty that the creator exists and I can access it for my own development.

As for a political candidate, I would never vote for one that didn't believe in something. I don't care what it is they believe in, but if they don't feel some universal connection and some duty to a higher expectation, then they can't lead effectively. In my opinion.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 06:32 PM
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It only matters if the candidate puts his faith above the law.

We are a country of laws. We also respect peoples rights to practice the religion of their choice or no religion at all.

Just my opinion.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by Frogs
My 2 cents is as long as whatever flavor of a "moral compass" they have fits with the overall norms of the world, and leads them to making decisions for the greater good, etc - then it doesn't matter if they are christian, muslim, buddhist, atheist, etc.

So 99.9% of the time it wouldn't matter... it would only really matter if their faith led their first thought to be, "Would these people make an acceptable sacrifice to my lord, Cthulhu?!"


My thoughts exactly. At the end of the day I consider a persons "faith" to be among the most intimate of secrets. Bottom line? Act decently and judge others not, lest you will be judged. As far as I'm concerned the farther faith and politics stay apart, the better. Being so intimate a thing, it has no place as a yardstick on wether someone is a good administrator of the public good or not. With faith were talking abut very personal stuff here, and my self i'm just not qualified to define ones "legitimacy in their faith". And when it comes to government, it shouldn't matter. Just do the damn job we elect you to do, let God, Ghia, Nature whatever sort it's self out in the end. Fair?



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


Well I could pretty much say outright that most people would hate it if I were
a candidate with my beliefs.

Don't you think? Then again America is still very backwards.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by Dasher
I understand. He defined a person who is aspiritual. I can see why that might be upsetting to a spiritual atheist


It's not upsetting at all. It was a matter of me reading only part of the sentence. I do realize these things happen in Internet communication.
It's not a big deal. We are understanding each other now.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
An atheist can possibly have religion, but not necessarily "a" religion.


I guess you'll have to define religion for me or tell me what you mean by "having religion" because I don't have religion or "a" religion. I have my own personal set of beliefs about life and death, but it is not religious in nature, so I call it my beliefs. You can call it religion if you wish.



An atheist who is truly aspiritual and discusses the very same matter is probably so unpleasant to deal with, it would not be of much use to engage them or their confusion beyond common civil courtesy or execution of "helps."


I don't share your assumption about aspiritual atheists.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
However, that doesn't change, by logic and common word meaning, that an atheist religion is not possible/consistent.


I didn't say that an atheist religion is not possible. I said atheism isn't a religion. There are atheists, who meet once a week and discuss atheism and science, I presume, and they do this "religiously" every week. That doesn't mean that atheism is a religion. I religiously take my dogs out for exercise, but that doesn't mean I have a religion around it. So,while some atheists are "religious" about their beliefs and positions, atheism itself is not religious OR a religion.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I challenge you to conisder:
If life is life, then it is alive. And just as our own bodies' cells operate within certain boundaries, we do also. As each cell is unaware of and lacks full communion with our own greater consciousness, please consider that the "cycle" is continued on "upwards" so that we should be seeking out communion with the greater consciousness.


Why do you assume that I have not considered that? And I haven't called anything dead.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 07:02 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
I don't consider myself an atheist, but then again, I don't consider you an atheist either.


Well, as I said, it's not my position to say whether or not you are an atheist. That's for you to say. And I will respect that. I wish you would do the same for me, but it's not necessary.



Yes, I do believe in a "creator," but I don't believe it is necessarily a "being" as one could possibly picture or attribute any characterizations to. I believe it is something far far beyond our comprehension, but I believe a piece of it is shared in each of us, and is recycled throughout all living things.


That's beautiful. And I certainly think it's a possibility. It's a lovely thought.


When I pray, and I receive answers, they might be coming from my own brain, or maybe from a collective consciousness, or maybe from a Socratic type of universal knowledge, I don't know, but I am certain it happens.


I totally believe you. When I have problems or issues of insecurities, frustration, sadness or just need an answer, I go inside and figure it out and get my answer, too.
I don't know if it's from my brain, a collective conscienceless or something else, either.
But I'm not going to name it as any of them just because I don't fully understand it. As far as I know, I am operating autonomously here on earth and there is something more than the physical. But that's all I can say. And I'm not even entirely sure about THAT.


It's good to talk with you.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



Well, as I said, it's not my position to say whether or not you are an atheist. That's for you to say. And I will respect that. I wish you would do the same for me, but it's not necessary.


Fair enough. It is odd though, that we are so close together in our beliefs and almost opposite in our labels? I guess we are a perfect example of why so many labels are more destructive and divisive than descriptive. But I will respect you by whatever you call your self, I was just joking anyhow.



posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 07:42 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I guess you'll have to define religion for me or tell me what you mean by "having religion" because I don't have religion or "a" religion. I have my own personal set of beliefs about life and death, but it is not religious in nature, so I call it my beliefs. You can call it religion if you wish.

First response to a search for "religion def" on google
And I can only reiterate Daoism so many times to exemplify my point. Further, in a loose, but accurate, definition, the "plain" or basic atheistic religion is easily defined by the common belief that there is no god. Again, as soon as you deal with any judgment of unseen things, you have entered the spiritual realm. Not believing in a godhead is part of the atheistic dogma, which normally extends further out from there in many varied, and often undefined, forms.



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I don't share your assumption about aspiritual atheists.

Well, I have never met a person who is actually able to turn themselves back into an animal, but I have heard stories...
People who claim aspirituality are either willfully ignorant or in denial of what defines something as spiritual. Which they are free to do, but I was not referring to them by my comment that you responded to.


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Why do you assume that I have not considered that? And I haven't called anything dead.

I challenged you to consider it, but I made no estimation as to whether or not you already have, as I do not even now because of your lack of clarification. In the same light, if you are interested in civil exchange, you might offer your assessment or, at least, a gentle refusal to consider the idea/to share your findings, instead of a non-sequitur.

Not communing with "Life"/god, by spiritual logic, is perfectly equal to saying within yourself that Life is not living, and therefore dead. Unless, of course, Life is like a giant fungus and instead of being a higher consciousness is simply a bigger and dumber consciousness. But that idea declares Greater Life to be regressive and follows no rational form of logic. And again, I did not specifically say that you did it, just that we shouldn't do it, and we shouldn't in word or in understanding.



posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 06:51 AM
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Originally posted by Dasher
First response to a search for "religion def" on google




a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.


OK, I do NOT have a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe. I do not have ANY beliefs about a superhuman agency or agencies. I am not involved in ANY devotional or ritual observances. I don't even celebrate birthdays, Christmas or anniversaries. I do have my own personal moral code, but it's for me only, and does not govern human conduct, only mine..

If you can twist all that into the thought that I have religion, then you're very imaginative.



Originally posted by Dasher
And I can only reiterate Daoism so many times to exemplify my point.


And your point is that a godhead isn't necessary for a religion, is that correct? But lacking a godhead, the Daoists still have many common beliefs and dogma that come from "sacred texts". They all follow the writings in these books. Atheists don't have a book and they don't have SET of common beliefs.



Further, in a loose, but accurate, definition, the "plain" or basic atheistic religion is easily defined by the common belief that there is no god.


One common belief constitutes a religion to you? So.... those who believe in aliens are religious. Those who believe in karma are in another religion. Those who believe in fate are another religion... and so on? I guess, in your world, EVERYONE is religious because they have beliefs. The two are synonymous. I'm curious what religion you belong to.




Not believing in a godhead is part of the atheistic dogma,


It's the ONLY atheistic dogma.



Originally posted by Dasher
People who claim aspirituality are either willfully ignorant or in denial of what defines something as spiritual.


Again, I will not make that judgment.


Originally posted by Dasher
... because of your lack of clarification.


Please let me know what you would like to have clarified and I'd be happy to. I've been as clear as I possibly can be. If you want something from me, let's hear it.


Originally posted by Dasher
In the same light, if you are interested in civil exchange, you might offer your assessment or, at least, a gentle refusal to consider the idea/to share your findings


Are you asking me what I Believe?

As regards the idea that you want me to consider, I have considered it and many, many other possibilities, and I have come to the conclusion that we cannot know any of what you stipulate. I am comfortable not knowing. But I'm not going to MAKE myself believe in something (a god, a structure, a cycle of upward spiraling entities) just because I don't understand or know the nature of ourselves and our relationship with the Universe. I don't need to pick a story.


Originally posted by Dasher
Not communing with "Life"/god, by spiritual logic, is perfectly equal to saying within yourself that Life is not living, and therefore dead.


You are saying that Life is the same as God? I'm sorry. I don't understand that. If it's your spiritual belief, that's fine, but I don't share it. Whatever logic you're using is making no sense to me. Sorry. Life is not God and Life is not dead. That's one of the silliest things I've heard. Life is life. If you want to call it God and communicate with it, go for it. But saying that because I don't (in your estimation) that I believe life is dead is just silliness.

.
edit on 10/21/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 07:02 AM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
It is odd though, that we are so close together in our beliefs and almost opposite in our labels?


I'm not sure our beliefs are that similar. You believe in God. I do not. That's pretty basically different.




I guess we are a perfect example of why so many labels are more destructive and divisive than descriptive.


I hear that. Sometimes I regret saying that I'm an atheist here. So many people don't know what it means and want to impose their own definition and judgments on a word that really is fairly unimportant, IMO. And then I (and other atheists) end up defending our positions and I really don't care to. I don't need to defend my beliefs. I don't really even WANT to. But when people start telling me what I believe based on a label, I can't seem to shut myself up!




But I will respect you by whatever you call your self, I was just joking anyhow.


Thank you. I SO appreciate you and our discussions. You're a bright spot here.
edit on 10/21/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 07:48 AM
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Something on topic:



But I do want to know if a candidate places fealty to the Bible, the Book of Mormon (the text, not the Broadway musical) or some other authority higher than the Constitution and laws of this country. It matters to me whether a president respects serious science and verifiable history — in short, belongs to what an official in a previous administration once scornfully described as “the reality-based community.” I do care if religious doctrine becomes an excuse to exclude my fellow citizens from the rights and protections our country promises.

And I care a lot if a candidate is going to be a Trojan horse for a sect that believes it has divine instructions on how we should be governed.


Source

I agree with this. It doesn't matter to me what brand of religion a candidate is. What's important is whether they recognize that their job requires the Constitution and our secular laws (not their own sacred text) to be the authority on which their political decisions should be based.

,
edit on 10/21/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2011 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 

I well vote for an atheist, as long he is not fanatical about it and try to take people's freedom of religion away. I think a atheist can make a good president if he is qualified. I will also vote for a christian, Buddhist, Hindu, pagan, ect president, as long they not frantic.



posted on Oct, 22 2011 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


I sure as hell would elect an atheist. The mixing of religion and politics is to bluntly put it, stupid. One's belief should not guide decision, as decision should be based on logic. Which logic and faith, are direct enemies, in my opinion.

Look at George Bush, the man who thought god told him he should go into Iraq. What a well guided mess that was.





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