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Religious or Atheist? Take Charles T. Tart’s Western Creed philosophy exercise.

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posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 06:43 AM
The Exercise:
The Western Creed (see text below)

STEP ONE: Stand with your hand over your heart like you are taking a pledge of allegiance. The group leader will say a section of the Western Creed. Repeat that section as you feel the sensations in your body. Do this for each section.

STEP TWO: Sit silently and take time to reflect on your feelings. What are these feelings? Were you surprised to find that you may actually believe a lot of these culturally reinforced beliefs? How do you think these beliefs and feelings are impacting society?

A STATEMENT OF YOUR FAITH (see sample text below)

STEP THREE: Choose a prayer, creed or statement of faith that reflects your community of faith. Repeat the process in Step One using your selection.

STEP FOUR: Sit silently and take time to reflect on your feelings. What are these feelings this time? What are these feelings as compared to the feelings you had reciting The Western Creed? How do you think these beliefs and feelings can impact society?

The Western Creed
by Charles T. Tart

I believe in the material universe as the only and ultimate reality, a universe controlled by fixed physical laws and blind chance.

I affirm that the universe has no creator, no objective purpose, and no objective meaning or destiny.

I maintain that all ideas about God or gods, supernatural beings, prophets and saviors, or other nonphysical beings or forces are superstitions and delusions. Life and consciousness are totally identical to physical processes, and arose from chance interactions of blind physical forces. Like the rest of life, my life and consciousness have no objective purpose, meaning, or destiny.

I believe that all judgments, values, and moralities, whether my own or others', are subjective, arising solely from biological determinants, personal history, and chance. Free will is an illusion. Therefore, the most rational values I can personally live by must be based on the knowledge that for me what pleases me is Good, what pains me is Bad. Those who please me or help me avoid pain are my friends; those who pain me or keep me from my pleasures are my enemies. Rationality requires that friends and enemies be used in ways that maximize my pleasure and minimize my pain.

I affirm that churches have no real use other than social support; that there are no objective sins to commit or be forgiven for; that there is no retribution for sin or reward for virtue other than that which I can arrange, directly or through others. Virtue for me is getting what I want without being caught and punished by others.

I maintain that the death of the body is the death of the mind. There is no afterlife, and all hope for such is nonsense.

How did that make you feel? It shook me for a while. 'what if all of that is true?' i would not like it. Then i began to take into account experiences i have had and i knew i could not agree with it. and you?

edit on 20-12-2011 by mandroids because: corrected spelling mistake.

posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 07:49 AM
I'm Australian and we don't do the "Hand on the Heart" routine over here so I guess most of that is lost in translation. In any case, I am proud to say I am an atheist.


posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 06:51 PM
LOL...there are two posts about this! Where did it originate this evening is my question? LOL!

posted on Dec, 20 2011 @ 10:30 PM
Man, you wouldn't want to hear my take on all of that. If one end of the spectrum is atheism and the other end is blind-faith theism, then I'm somewhere off to the side of the whole friggin' thing. Not even recognizable, even though I can agree with most of both points of view.

That Western Creed is as much trash as the Nicene Creed. Nothing's ever been revealed at the extreme ends of any debate. Reality has bits of everything we've ever noticed, imagined, and eventually embraced as truth, but in balances and measures that will always be imperceptible to the competitive mind. The only thing that a competitive mind can ever learn is how to better compete. Too bad that the definition of success - even in the effort to determine the true nature of reality - is based on one argument prevailing in the court of public opinion. Which makes no sense at all, since most folks (the public at large) have no idea how to determine what's real and have traditionally embraced whatever makes them feel safe and/or special.

In short, humanity will never figure any of this out. Mainly because if anyone does ever work it all out, he/she won't be the kind of person that can win the battle for widespread acceptance. Only the boorish and tragically belligerent have what it takes to win that battle, and they're incapable of determining anything beyond how to best acquire approval.

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