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Old 04-29-2010, 08:59 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I understand that Buddhism is really complex. They do not believe in a self or soul. They do believe in Karma (It's all really complex) finding a way to get past the Karma to get to Nirvana. Nirvana is often referred to as a place devoid of thought and emotion to put in a simple term.

So, I tend to think we get to that Nirvana as soon as we die without all the extra stuff. ;-) I had to really look at all of this to see where I actually belong. Another great human writer of the bible came up with "To thine own self be true". I love this. I had to find out was was true for me.
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:31 PM
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lol yep buddhism is complicated for us humans

I won't even try to explain what i believe as a budhist..the moment i open my mouth I'm lying :wtf2
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:32 PM
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Apatheism...that's news to me and I like it...LOL.

I may not have faith but I have had experience with rocks and gravity. Sometimes at the same time.

As for the purpose of recovering from a seemly hopeless state of addiction...fortunately for me it can be done without any supernatural beliefs.

Anywho...there's enough recovery to go around for the believer or not...Live a let live.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:06 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by yeahgr8 View Post

it is important to question what the individual means by athiesm because all athiests i have met passionately dont believe in God and there is a personal reason why they do not, i.e. something that happened in their lives.

As was discussed though even if someone is simply a person who has no belief in God etc, they must believe in something, e.g. laws of gravity...try and float off into the sky if you cant gravity is a power greater than you!
As you say, these are the atheists you know. I had no trauma that caused me to conclude that I can't believe in any god. The idea is simply not supported by evidence. God may or may not be out there, I just don't know. Because in the majority of conversations I've had "atheist" means "believes there is no god" I usually say I'm agnostic (because I also don't have evidence to support the claim that there is no god), but it's semantic, these terms don't really mean anything... or perhaps they have so many meanings the terms themselves are useless.

This made me bristle a little bit (or really, a lot) because so often I hear the patronizing attitude that if I could only get past whatever trauma I had, I'd be able to see the Light. This implies that there's something wrong with the non-religious, that they are damaged goods, when really I just require evidence that something is true before I decide to accept it.

From dictionary.com:
be·lief –noun
1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

Belief is defined as opinion. So a belief in a god (or gods) is completely appropriate, because it's an opinion. There's no way to support or refute it with physical evidence, so you draw your own conclusions.

I definitely take exception with the idea that I have to believe in gravity. I don't believe in gravity, but I can gather evidence to support the idea that mass attracts mass. In fact, I have gathered data to support that. I can draw a logical conclusion that does not require me to believe something I can't support with observations. When I run into something I can't support or refute with evidence the only proper answer is "I don't know." I can have a hunch about what's happening and/or try to develop ways to understand it, but until I can provide evidence I don't know. Whether I believe it or not has absolutely no bearing on the facts.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:27 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Beautifully stated, Gneiss!

Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
I definitely take exception with the idea that I have to believe in gravity. I don't believe in gravity, but I can gather evidence to support the idea that mass attracts mass.
Also, for those of you who have studied general relativity, our perception of the phenomenon we call gravity is only a tiny slice of the reality

-Goat
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:44 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Goat View Post
Beautifully stated, Gneiss!

Also, for those of you who have studied general relativity, our perception of the phenomenon we call gravity is only a tiny slice of the reality

-Goat


Thanks, Einstein!


(Sorry, you said relativity, I couldn't resist!)
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:47 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Yes, very well put, gneiss!

I don't anything about general relativity but I do know I was totally believing in gravity when I hit the floor a few times! Perhaps it was an error in thinking? Or just overly altered perception?

Seriously though, I do believe there is something that binds all things together. It feels feminine to me but then my perception is as a woman.

Love,

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Old 04-29-2010, 11:00 PM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Lenina View Post
Yes, very well put, gneiss!

I don't anything about general relativity but I do know I was totally believing in gravity when I hit the floor a few times! Perhaps it was an error in thinking? Or just overly altered perception?
LOL No, you had supporting evidence!

(I'm just kidding around now! I've finally cracked, my class work has driven me nuts and it won't get better until the end of the semester... I hope. I've been imagining that I had homework that was never really assigned. And I just remembered I have to finish writing a paper tonight. *Sigh*).
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:08 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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gniess,

Well, from my position at the time, it seemed I was on the floor. The world looked a bit different. But was that just a perception? Were the bruises just a manifestation of guilt? Maybe a psychosomatic sort of thing? LOL

I'm in over my head here. Obviously. I leave it to the more educated and wiser. But I still think gneiss summed it up, gneissly!

Love,

Lenina
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:17 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Lenina View Post
Ali,

I suppose the polite thing to say would be "Nice to meet you, Mr. Clapton."

Love,

Lenina
Litterally LOL'd on that one.

so....apathesim
it that being apathetic about belief in a supernatural deity?
as in, yeah there might be a god, there might not, I don't care

but I know there's a Mr. Clapton

well, I decided to look it up first before hitting the ol' submit post buttom and sure as hell, well I'm not so sure there's a hell, but I digress....not only is that a real word (maybe you all knew that and I'm the one that thought someone accidentally typo'd it up here) but get this - there is a church of apathism and it says you might already be a member

for those that are curious, this is from the top of their home page:

There are four main roots of theology (we'll ignore the various ascetic, moral, dogmatic, etc. branches of theology and stick to the roots): theism, agnosticism, atheism, and apatheism - all of which answer to ideas of the existence of supreme beings. Simply put, theists don't deny, agnostics don't know, atheists don't believe, and apatheists don't care about the existence of gods.

Apatheists neither believe in nor deny the existence of gods. They simply aren't interested one way or the other. To Apatheists, the "god question" is profoundly unimportant. Even if there were a blatant, undisputed answer to the question, we would most likely go on living our lives the same ways we already do.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:25 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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To confuse things even farther I think that makes me an agnostic agnostic apathist. Meaning I don't know if there's a God, and I'm not sure if I care.

*rim shot*

<pause for applause>

Thanks, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:27 PM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
Thanks, Einstein!


(Sorry, you said relativity, I couldn't resist!)
When I wake up and look in the mirror at my hair going all over the place, I resemble that
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:38 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
To confuse things even farther I think that makes me an agnostic agnostic apathist. Meaning I don't know if there's a God, and I'm not sure if I care.

*rim shot*

<pause for applause>

Thanks, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
I'm not sure if I care if there's a waitress
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:39 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Cha-shing! gneiss! Where's your tip jar?

That's interesting stuff. I don't know how much it matters to me. My beliefs do shift around a bit. I'm opened minded and like to hear other theories. I do believe in cause and effect. I do believe I get back what I put out. But that could be just an enlightened interest or just me noticing the good?

I do know things happen in the world that have nothing to do with me, nothing I can control or cure. It's about my attitude towards it all, I suppose. I can be at peace with the Grand Scheme of it all or not. I don't know that it matters much to anyone but me.

Does that make sense? LOL

Love,

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Old 04-30-2010, 12:46 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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In my case the reason my beliefs shifted around so much was because I was uncomfortable with what I was professing as my beliefs. I went to church and did all the "right" things but it didn't quite make sense to me. People would discuss how God was leading them somewhere in their lives or how God seemed to speak to them and it never happened for me. They also discussed a feeling of wonder at the power of those experiences. And I sat in church and was bored. I still have no idea exactly what they were talking about, and I've kind of given up on it.

But what was cool was that I realized the world made a lot more sense to me without all the magic. And then my beliefs settled down a little bit, and it didn't bother me so much that others disagreed. I could explain things without leaps of faith and it was a lot more comfortable place. And that sense of wonder? I have 4.54 billion years to play with. That's awesome (and I mean real awesome, like "filled with awe." Not like "Dude, I beat Lou on Guitar Hero, I'm awesome." LOL)

Does what goes around come around? To me that's attitude, and it's never been more apparent to me than in the past couple weeks. For over a year-since about when I quit using- I had this depression I couldn't shake, and in the last couple weeks it's lifted. Nothing's changed EXCEPT my thought processes. When I'm more positive, I notice positive things. If I'm happy and content in my life it's a lot easier to ignore those everyday things that drove me crazy for the last year. Maybe it's part of a Cosmic scheme where what you do in life really does echo in eternity. Or maybe it's my perception. I don't know! And it's ok.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:02 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Agreed, gneiss. It's all about attitude. And I believe I have a choice in what my attitude is about Life. Stuff happens, it's not necessarily an evil or a good thing. But it is a chance to grow personally.

I choose to not be miserable. I choose not to filled with anger. I choose to find things that amuse me in a positive way. I choose to walk on the roses and not on the thorns.

And it took a long time to figure out I had that Free Will.

Hormones, aside, of course!

Love,

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Old 04-30-2010, 06:51 AM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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Gneiss,

I did the same. Joined a church and for a year was quite involved with it. All the while, just growing as an Atheist. I tried a few of them. I had to go through religion to come out of it. To have a concrete foundation for my own belief.

I needed to annihilate some doubts. Just as Christians or other God centered folks do. does.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:40 AM
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Joseph Campbell came up with a great definition of god, which I get along with: God is a metaphor, for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.

I tend to lean my understanding of god,as I understand god, as the unsuspected inner resource..... It's unity within ourselves, where before, there was none. Use any name you want.... Finding wholeness, where before, there was emptiness..... Beyond that, again, I would try to define the undefinable.. Any attempt would limit it, which, to me, implies an arrogance on my part. It's humbling to let go of any prior concept of a higher power and accept that it's not me. I go from there. From my own experience I can say, where as before I would/could not, that there is more than this......

Great thread.

Thanks
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:52 AM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by nocoincidence56 View Post
Joseph Campbell came up with a great definition of god, which I get along with: God is a metaphor, for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.

I tend to lean my understanding of god,as I understand god, as the unsuspected inner resource..... It's unity within ourselves, where before, there was none. Use any name you want.... Finding wholeness, where before, there was emptiness..... Beyond that, again, I would try to define the undefinable.. Any attempt would limit it, which, to me, implies an arrogance on my part. It's humbling to let go of any prior concept of a higher power and accept that it's not me. I go from there. From my own experience I can say, where as before I would/could not, that there is more than this......

Great thread.

Thanks
I very much agree with the metaphor. For me, I still found myself in a place of needing a much more solid concrete base. So, on this theory I could be Agnostic. But as commonly understood, I'm not. I'm Atheist. I suppose I've labeled myself. It seemed the only way for me to grow. Turns out the labeling works for now. Which is odd because I wouldn't have thought so two years ago.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:13 AM
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I'll add that a rather annoying common misperception about Atheists is that we have had an event or event(s) in our life that shaped this belief. It's annoying because it consistantly comes up and isn't true. Nobody's pain is felt any more or less than a believer - in recovery especially.
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