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Switch to Forum Live View A world better without faith in gods?
6 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 12:30PM #31
gillyflower
Posts: 5,325
[QUOTE=oJameso;640654]Why does religious belief have to be involved in those things? We can include those things (I beleive more richly) in life without any involvement of religions or belief in god.



Yes, absolutely agreed. I did say "ruthlesslessly exploit", but yes of course I accept that I do exploit others indirectly, and sit back and enjoy creature comforts whilst children are starving to death in Africa.[/QUOTE]

I have experienced life as someone who believes in and interacts with gods and I have gone through a spell of not doing either of that. I feel my life is much richer with a spiritual life than without. I also don't feel it is possible for me to disbelieve that which I have experienced which is what you seem to think is possible. The world was no better for my disbelief.
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. Marcus Aurelius
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 12:39PM #32
sydneymoon
Posts: 3,680

gillyflower wrote:

I have experienced life as someone who believes in and interacts with gods and I have gone through a spell of not doing either of that. I feel my life is much richer with a spiritual life than without. I also don't feel it is possible for me to disbelieve that which I have experienced which is what you seem to think is possible. The world was no better for my disbelief.


I think you really nailed it for a lot of theists and succinctly, too.
Excellent post.

Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 12:41PM #33
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,790

sydneymoon wrote:

I think you really nailed it for a lot of theists and succinctly, too.
Excellent post.

Ditto, excellent post Gilly:)

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 22, 2008 - 3:17PM #34
peterthesplitfish
Posts: 1,609
[QUOTE=oJameso;640606]Thanks for the interesting posts.


Absolutely, agreed. I never said its simple.
Imagine a world on earth where everyone did get what they need. Do you think it possible?


Yes. Imagine if they often did get something in return. Imagine if we all shared a common understanding (based upon our ongoing intelliigence of our experience, rather than based on books dreamt up centuries ago) of what it takes to be happy and live in harmony. Do you think it possible?


By 'the highest level' I take it then that you mean when one's behaviour is governed from the pre-frontal cortex rather than the 'more ancient' parts of our brain such as the limbic system? Listen, I am not talking about a world populated by 'higher beings', humans on some spiritual mystical 'higher level'. We are animals and always we are going to have a limbic system. Given the appropriate stimuli therefore, we are always going to have instincts, emotional impulses, agressive urges, sexual urges, hoarding instincts, etc - this is all part of being human rather than some perfect 'cerebral' being. We do not need to evolve into an entirely different creature which does not have these 'animal' things, in order to live harmoniously in peace. But neither is the only route (as you outline) to supress these instincts by 'bringing the mind, body and spirit into balance with onself...rise to the level of the Prefrontal Lobe'. The journey is an individual journey for each of us, yes. And it is also a collective journey, a political journey, the evolution of society. Do you not beleive that this planet has sufficient resources for no-one to go without food, clean water, heat, a nice place to live, a piece of land? Do you not believe that people can organise themselves in such a way as to live fairly, to share equally, to have no motivation to kill, no motivation to steal, no motivation to inflict harm upon another, no motivation to amass and hoard resources and material wealth? Because that is what it boils down to, it boils down to whether you have faith in human nature, or you don't. I do. I have an operating limbic system, but I don't kill. I don't steal. I'm not a suicide bomber. I've never raped anyone. I don't go round damaging people's property or invading their land, I don't go around ruthlessly exploiting disadvantaged people in order to make money for myself. Why am I like that? Because I have been through the higher work of 'bringing the mind, body and spirit into balance with itself'? No. Because I am human it seems natural to me. Because I have no over-riding motivation to do those things. I am content enough with what I have, I have no need to do those things in order to increase my happiness. I ahve better options. I do not beleive that I have anything overall to gain from killng someone. The point is that ALL our behaviours, whether instinctual or 'executive functional' depends upon what is motivating us. Take away the motivation to be greedy, and you will find people will not choose to be greedy. Because everyone knows that being greedy (or killing, or stealing, or lying, etc etc) is at someone elses expense, and we are decended from primates and are therfore social animals, we do know that getting on with eachother is a good thing for ourselves.
I never suggested that we could acheive peace without putting in the necessary work. My prayer wasn't for the creator to 'click its fingers' and suddenly we are all hunky dory. My prayer was to eradicate belief in god(s), religions.[/QUOTE]

Shalom oJameso,

I only quoted so you'd know where in this conversation I was.

How I think of the brain and spirit are far different than the common man. I am quoting the above from Dr. Becky Bailey and my apologies for not putting that down earlier.

The brain is a part of the body the organic body and is therefore limited by the what the organic is limited by. When I mention organic or mechanical, I am referring to people who are spiritually "asleep" or "dead" in that they go through life with no change. They are going through what is called a "karmic loop" to quote a friend. I respect Gilly, but she doesn't buy this, and that is okay. What I mean by a karmic loop is that a couple who are abusing each other in this life as in the husband abusing the wife will repeat this process by changing roles in the next life until one or both break the loop through consciousness and working on the change needed. Through the Law of Grace one can break this cycle by helping others break their loops as well. If I help someone here break out of the shackles they are put under (and they might not even know they are in shackles) I am working on my own shackles of my past as well.

We begin putting on blinders or filters on our mind's eye or third eye early in life because our society does not value what cannot be proven through science or concrete deduction. We have been conditioned to believe that things are because someone else said so. This is why I often tell people they wear filters on their eyes or they are simply living in their own reality or holographic image of what they think is real. I am working on my own weaknesses and loops by addressing them in myself and by trying to show people the filters they are wearing or suggesting that they might want to see if they are wearing some. As organic humans, we are set in motion with karma from our past to either overcome or to use to gain with to a higher reality. This is portrayed in the Old Testament as Jacob's Ladder. In our lives we can either remain shackled to the level we are on, or we can work on our weaknesses and strive for growth from internal change.

I can no more change you than I can make a cat a dog, but I can change me and that is what is important. I have the choice everyday to walk one way or another, but because I have freewill I can choose to break a cycle or loop that has been placed in my path because of my ability to see it. Those who are blind or asleep or dead, don't see these choices as easily or if they do, they throw up their arms and run away from the opportunity for real change and growth. I'm not trying to sell a self-help book of toys and tricks either.

There is more than meets the eyes when it comes to the theory of evolution anyway. Even Darwin questioned it shortly before he died. I am not suggesting that we evolve biologically at all anyway. I'm sure someone here will challenge me on that one. But if you are talking about a Utopian society on Earth, it will never happen because of the Royal Laws that govern all even if you do not believe they are there. To have such a society, humans must be perfect and the mere fact that we are divided individuals of both male and female suggests that this cannot happen on the Earth. My signature cannot be taken literally for it is allegory, but you must be the one to figure it out within not without.

Peter M.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 1:44PM #35
oJameso
Posts: 16
[QUOTE=agnosticspirit;640953]As an atheist, I can still recognize the fact that for whatever reason, throughout history, people seem wired to create gods. I just don't buy into it, ya know?  I do think our god/ess creations go beyond trying to find an explanation to suit the mystery and have more to do with the quest to connect our human consciousness with the universe. This apparent "inherent" tendency in humanity is why I don't think we'll ever be free of god belief. [/QUOTE]

Ok, good point. The fact that independent cultures have throughout history invented different gods into their thinking would suggest that "something" is inherent. But, maybe actually it is what you said, a quest to connect our human consciousness with the universe, maybe THAT is actually what is inherent but in the past this has manifested itself as god-invention (amongst other things too) - well for many of us now and in history that does not manifest itself as requiring to invent gods into existence. In time, that may be so for more and more people.

[QUOTE]The best I can hope for is that at some point, we'll start creating better gods more worthy of our respect. It follows that the "new and improved" versions of a deity wouldn't insist upon being the one, the only and shed the enormous ego that would punish those who don't believe in her/him. [/QUOTE]
Ok, very very good point. lol. Well, I guess that would work too, so long as it didn't give rise to dogmatic religion. But I still think we should, at the outset, aim a little higher. If I imagine a world in which our children's children's children's (..........children) all grow up without being indoctrinated by religious concepts, I could imagine that one day belief in the current range of gods to choose from could fizzle out and be viewed by more and more people in the same way as we view other myths and frauds. Won't you concede that it is at least possible? Humanly possible.

Do I take it that whilst you may hold that god-belief will always be part of humanity, do you agree with the idea that its holding back humanity from progression as compared to if god-belief didn't exist?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 1:53PM #36
oJameso
Posts: 16
[QUOTE=gillyflower;641145]I have experienced life as someone who believes in and interacts with gods and I have gone through a spell of not doing either of that. I feel my life is much richer with a spiritual life than without.[/QUOTE]
Did you see it through to other alternatives, or did you just exist in a vacuum of "non-belief" during this period. I don't say this in a condescending tone. But if you had really given atheism a chance I'm not sure that one would equate "god belief" with "spiritual life", and "not having god-belief" with "not having a spiritual life", and that is probably why you felt you were less rich as an athiest. The human spirit is not rich enough for you? The planet and all its forms and wonders are not rich enough for you? Why not? I find the humanism of many athiests is more spiritually uplifting and embracing and honest than many a phoney god-religion. Thats my experience.


.[QUOTE]I also don't feel it is possible for me to disbelieve that which I have experienced which is what you seem to think is possible.[/QUOTE]
I don't see it in those terms. We can always re-evaluate our experiences. How we feel depends upon our perception. Our perceptions are influenced by many things, including our expectations and our fears and desires. Its no coincidence that something like 90% of alien abductions are experienced in the US, it's no coicidence that the frequency of these abductions increased dramatically in the second half of the 20th century. I think as the belief that god-belief is holding humanity back gains a place in more and more minds, and if children are not indoctrinated as they grow up, we will see less experiences labelled as "god(s)" or "religious".
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 2:01PM #37
oJameso
Posts: 16
Shalom PetertheSplitfish,

If I cut up your posts and only address certain parts, its not that I don't have the rest of it in mind also.

[QUOTE=peterthesplitfish;641484]Through the Law of Grace one can break this cycle by helping others break their loops as well. If I help someone here break out of the shackles they are put under (and they might not even know they are in shackles) I am working on my own shackles of my past as well. [/QUOTE]
Ok, so I religious beliefs may motivate and guide us into moral and unselfish behaviour. But take away the reasons/motivations why we do IMmoral and selfish behaviour and all of us will act according to our human nature -  as I have said before, we are social animals, we take pleasure in other people's pleasure and good fortune, in other people's healing, we laugh when other people laugh, we like to get on with eachother, this is the only motivation we actually need.


[QUOTE]We begin putting on blinders or filters on our mind's eye or third eye early in life because our society does not value what cannot be proven through science or concrete deduction. We have been conditioned to believe that things are because someone else said so.  [/QUOTE]
I couldnt disagree more. Science and "concrete deduction" is the antithesis of "beleiving things because someone else said so" . What you have actually described is dogmatic religious belief in my opinion.


[QUOTE]I can no more change you than I can make a cat a dog, but I can change me and that is what is important.  [/QUOTE]
Again, I disagree with that. Of course it ultimately is a person who decides what to believe for themself, but minds are changed by persuave argument&reason from other minds. Thats if one's mind is open. Religious mindsets are not fully open to that process.


[QUOTE]To have such a society, humans must be perfect and the mere fact that we are divided individuals of both male and female suggests that this cannot happen on the Earth.  [/QUOTE]
I gave reasons why I do not believe humans need to be "perfect" in order to live in a Utopian society. I am not talking about a world populated by 'higher beings', humans on some spiritual mystical 'higher level'. I'm taking about you and me. Don't you think you are up to it? I think we are. If we had what we needed and it was fair between us, I think I could live harmoniously with you, and I would not fear that you were going to take something from me, because you have nothing motivating you to do that. I don't see any reason why the fact that our species has two different sexes precludes them from getting on and living with eachother in a harmonious society. What reason do you see for that that I don't?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 1:44PM #38
oJameso
Posts: 16
[QUOTE=agnosticspirit;640953]As an atheist, I can still recognize the fact that for whatever reason, throughout history, people seem wired to create gods. I just don't buy into it, ya know?  I do think our god/ess creations go beyond trying to find an explanation to suit the mystery and have more to do with the quest to connect our human consciousness with the universe. This apparent "inherent" tendency in humanity is why I don't think we'll ever be free of god belief. [/QUOTE]

Ok, good point. The fact that independent cultures have throughout history invented different gods into their thinking would suggest that "something" is inherent. But, maybe actually it is what you said, a quest to connect our human consciousness with the universe, maybe THAT is actually what is inherent but in the past this has manifested itself as god-invention (amongst other things too) - well for many of us now and in history that does not manifest itself as requiring to invent gods into existence. In time, that may be so for more and more people.

[QUOTE]The best I can hope for is that at some point, we'll start creating better gods more worthy of our respect. It follows that the "new and improved" versions of a deity wouldn't insist upon being the one, the only and shed the enormous ego that would punish those who don't believe in her/him. [/QUOTE]
Ok, very very good point. lol. Well, I guess that would work too, so long as it didn't give rise to dogmatic religion. But I still think we should, at the outset, aim a little higher. If I imagine a world in which our children's children's children's (..........children) all grow up without being indoctrinated by religious concepts, I could imagine that one day belief in the current range of gods to choose from could fizzle out and be viewed by more and more people in the same way as we view other myths and frauds. Won't you concede that it is at least possible? Humanly possible.

Do I take it that whilst you may hold that god-belief will always be part of humanity, do you agree with the idea that its holding back humanity from progression as compared to if god-belief didn't exist?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 1:53PM #39
oJameso
Posts: 16
[QUOTE=gillyflower;641145]I have experienced life as someone who believes in and interacts with gods and I have gone through a spell of not doing either of that. I feel my life is much richer with a spiritual life than without.[/QUOTE]
Did you see it through to other alternatives, or did you just exist in a vacuum of "non-belief" during this period. I don't say this in a condescending tone. But if you had really given atheism a chance I'm not sure that one would equate "god belief" with "spiritual life", and "not having god-belief" with "not having a spiritual life", and that is probably why you felt you were less rich as an athiest. The human spirit is not rich enough for you? The planet and all its forms and wonders are not rich enough for you? Why not? I find the humanism of many athiests is more spiritually uplifting and embracing and honest than many a phoney god-religion. Thats my experience.


.[QUOTE]I also don't feel it is possible for me to disbelieve that which I have experienced which is what you seem to think is possible.[/QUOTE]
I don't see it in those terms. We can always re-evaluate our experiences. How we feel depends upon our perception. Our perceptions are influenced by many things, including our expectations and our fears and desires. Its no coincidence that something like 90% of alien abductions are experienced in the US, it's no coicidence that the frequency of these abductions increased dramatically in the second half of the 20th century. I think as the belief that god-belief is holding humanity back gains a place in more and more minds, and if children are not indoctrinated as they grow up, we will see less experiences labelled as "god(s)" or "religious".
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 23, 2008 - 2:01PM #40
oJameso
Posts: 16
Shalom PetertheSplitfish,

If I cut up your posts and only address certain parts, its not that I don't have the rest of it in mind also.

[QUOTE=peterthesplitfish;641484]Through the Law of Grace one can break this cycle by helping others break their loops as well. If I help someone here break out of the shackles they are put under (and they might not even know they are in shackles) I am working on my own shackles of my past as well. [/QUOTE]
Ok, so I religious beliefs may motivate and guide us into moral and unselfish behaviour. But take away the reasons/motivations why we do IMmoral and selfish behaviour and all of us will act according to our human nature -  as I have said before, we are social animals, we take pleasure in other people's pleasure and good fortune, in other people's healing, we laugh when other people laugh, we like to get on with eachother, this is the only motivation we actually need.


[QUOTE]We begin putting on blinders or filters on our mind's eye or third eye early in life because our society does not value what cannot be proven through science or concrete deduction. We have been conditioned to believe that things are because someone else said so.  [/QUOTE]
I couldnt disagree more. Science and "concrete deduction" is the antithesis of "beleiving things because someone else said so" . What you have actually described is dogmatic religious belief in my opinion.


[QUOTE]I can no more change you than I can make a cat a dog, but I can change me and that is what is important.  [/QUOTE]
Again, I disagree with that. Of course it ultimately is a person who decides what to believe for themself, but minds are changed by persuave argument&reason from other minds. Thats if one's mind is open. Religious mindsets are not fully open to that process.


[QUOTE]To have such a society, humans must be perfect and the mere fact that we are divided individuals of both male and female suggests that this cannot happen on the Earth.  [/QUOTE]
I gave reasons why I do not believe humans need to be "perfect" in order to live in a Utopian society. I am not talking about a world populated by 'higher beings', humans on some spiritual mystical 'higher level'. I'm taking about you and me. Don't you think you are up to it? I think we are. If we had what we needed and it was fair between us, I think I could live harmoniously with you, and I would not fear that you were going to take something from me, because you have nothing motivating you to do that. I don't see any reason why the fact that our species has two different sexes precludes them from getting on and living with eachother in a harmonious society. What reason do you see for that that I don't?
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