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Anything goes secular spirituality thread

Old 03-18-2009, 08:44 AM
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Why do all of us have to have a belief system?
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:48 PM
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I guess it depends what sort of belief system you're talking about.

Irrational belief systems, ie religion - i don't think anyone has to have one. Then again i'm an atheist so i would say that!

Rational belief systems - well i think we all need those to some extent in order to function.
If you didn't believe that looking left and right before crossing a road made you safer, for example, you wouldn't last long!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belief_system
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:05 AM
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What I understand from wikipedia is that a beilief system is a philosophy. I don't think it has anything to do with looking both ways before I cross a road, that's empirical, no theory to it. I'm willing to explore different philosphies, haven't found anything I completely believe yet. I don't feel spiritual, nor philosophical, but I'd lean toward "empirical".
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:06 AM
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well...the thread says anything goes...i'll take the title at its word
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by californiapoppy View Post
What I understand from wikipedia is that a beilief system is a philosophy. I don't think it has anything to do with looking both ways before I cross a road, that's empirical, no theory to it. I'm willing to explore different philosphies, haven't found anything I completely believe yet. I don't feel spiritual, nor philosophical, but I'd lean toward "empirical".
that's what i meant earlier about potentially getting into semantics over the phrase "belief system".

a philosophy is a belief system, as are religions, scientific theories, world views, etc.

It's a very general term.

I'm of a similar mind that my belief systems are empirical. I don't believe things for which there is no evidence. I prefer scepticism.

But we all need to believe things in order to function.

What helps us to work out beliefs that accurately represent reality is evidence and reason.

Imho the same approach can be made to a spiritual journey. It need not be irrational.

Last edited by spark42; 03-19-2009 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:29 PM
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Absolutely...ways to organize all the data we recieve in some mannor so that we can get through the logistics of living life.......thats it for me i guess.


If I have an experience that seems to indicate the system has an error i acept my expereince as valid and "tweek" so to speak the system.
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Old 03-19-2009, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ananda View Post
well...the thread says anything goes...i'll take the title at its word
heh, good point!

In that case....

PILLOW FIGHT!
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:01 PM
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I WIN






see phally....i am stealthy (grin)
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by spark42 View Post

Irrational belief systems, ie religion - i don't think anyone has to have one. Then again i'm an atheist so i would say that!
I've been wanting to ask an atheist this for a long time!!!!! I'm so excited now. And I'm not just arguing or being a snot (I'm often guilty on both counts, but not this time).

I'm agnostic. I don't see evidence that there is god/gods, but I also don't see evidence that there isn't. In Bill Maher's words, "I preach the gospel of 'I don't know.'"

So, as an atheist, what sort of evidence do you use for your belief (or lack of it, whichever you would like to use)? I see religion and atheism as equally irrational because I don't see evidence either way. We can neither prove nor disprove the existence of god, so believing there is no god is as much a system of faith as believing there is one, and that forces me to shrug and say "IDK."

I really am looking forward to your answer, not attacking you. I've never had the opportunity to ask an atheist this particular question. Thanks!

Last edited by gneiss; 03-19-2009 at 03:10 PM. Reason: Can't type.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:18 PM
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I don't believe that there's not a god. I just don't believe that there is one. A lack of belief takes no faith whatsoever.
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:25 PM
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Atheism, the denial of or lack of belief in the existence of a god or gods. The term atheism comes from the Greek prefix a-, meaning “without,” and the Greek word theos, meaning “deity.” The denial of god’s existence is also known as strong, or positive, atheism, whereas the lack of belief in god is known as negative, or weak, atheism. Although atheism is often contrasted with agnosticism—the view that we cannot know whether a deity exists or not and should therefore suspend belief—negative atheism is in fact compatible with agnosticism.
In Western society the term atheism has been used more narrowly to refer to the denial of theism, in particular Judeo-Christian theism, which asserts the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good personal being. This being created the universe, takes an active interest in human concerns, and guides his creatures through divine disclosure known as revelation. Positive atheists reject this theistic God and the associated beliefs in an afterlife, a cosmic destiny, a supernatural origin of the universe, an immortal soul, the revealed nature of the Bible and the Qur'an (Koran), and a religious foundation for morality.
Atheism - MSN Encarta
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Old 03-19-2009, 03:46 PM
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I guess i just think the god question is irrelevent to my life. I mean I can argue it all day but in the end....where i guess i came out is it just doesnt matter.

If there is a god, and he/she/it...came down and told me to do something... i would evaluate and decide if i thougth it was right or wrong and procede as I see fit....god doesn't get a break from me if he's out there.

If there is something out side me pre-dermining anything in my life at any level....does that mean i stop proceding as I believe I should or that I would just go jee if it's god's will I can't stop it so i'll just sit and do nothng toward a good goal? Not me....there is a piece in the play hamlet where he talks about fighting fate/god's will same to me)

I seem to be more than willing to get into the god debate....at least on the interent (lol)...but as I waffle back and forth on what i "believe" in any given moment...what remains the same for me consistantly...it that it really doesn't matter at all.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:15 PM
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The only reason I can give for stating that I am an atheist and not an agnostic is probability!

An active disbelief in god is as you say the direct opposite of an active belief in god, there is no empirical evidence either way (well there may be but I don't know enough about it) but because two views are opposite they are not both necessarily equally likely.

There is two sides to the arguement but one of them has to be wrong!

I can only use my life experience and the evidence that I have read about and witnessed in other peoples life to make a decision as to what I believe (or don't believe).

I can't prove there is no god in the same way that it cannot be proven that there is, all I can do is live my life in a way that honours the most likely situation as I see it (as you can probably guess that is an active disbelief in any deity or creator).

Agnosticism seems to me to be a bit of a cop out but that is just me.

I also believe that the onus of proof lies with believers.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:26 PM
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Phal you little trouble causer you!

Haven't the will or the energy to argue that one but it can be pretty easily blown out of the water, as long as you approach it from an unbiased standpoint.
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:49 PM
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I can't disprove him either...



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Old 03-19-2009, 05:32 PM
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I don't believe there are gods. Like others have said, it's a lack of a belief. No faith required.

I purposefully say "gods" because there are many gods i don't believe in. Thor, baal, osiris, jaweh, etc etc. I'm a polyatheist!

Of course i can't say for absolute certain that there are no gods, just as i can't say for absolute certain that there are no leprechauns, flying spaghetti monsters, or teapots orbiting the sun.

But not all probabilities are equal. Just because you cannot disprove something, it doesn't mean it's equally likely to exist as to not exist.

I assume people who are agnostic on this principle are equally agnostic about fairies, pink unicorns, etc?

I don't believe in gods in the exact same way that i don't believe in those.

I don't feel the need to describe myself as agnostic, because as far as i'm concerned, the possibility of any of those things existing is so mind bogglingly tiny, that i'm convinced they don't exist.

It's that simple for me.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:42 PM
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Gneiss, i really recommend you read "the god delusion" by richard dawkins, "the end of faith" by sam harris, "god is not great" by christopher hitchens, and "the salmon of doubt" by douglas adams.

They cover the atheism thing very well and will answer your questions in much more detailed, entertaining, and informative ways than i could in a short post in a forum.

Also i recommend reading about russells teapot!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_teapot
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:46 PM
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And listen to Greydon Square.
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:01 PM
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Dude i can't find his stuff anywhere! Going to have to order a cd of his from the 'net...

Also, i forgot to add earlier-

the possibility of these things existing (gods, pink unicorns, spaghetti monsters, etc) is so mind bogglingly tiny, along with the complete lack of evidence, that i'm convinced they don't exist.

Of course, if evidence came to light that proved they exist, i would change my mind. That's a scientific position.

I've yet to meet an atheist who doesn't feel that way as a rational scientific conclusion.

However, NO amount of evidence would change a believers mind. Never!

This is why religious people calling atheists "closed minded" is so amusing... It really is the other way around.

Last edited by spark42; 03-19-2009 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:06 PM
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http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm
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