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Community => Religion and Philosophy => Topic started by: Sleepy on April 17, 2015, 11:04:46 pm

Title: Your Beliefs
Post by: Sleepy on April 17, 2015, 11:04:46 pm
Or lack thereof. This thread is for people to discuss their religious beliefs (if any) with a healthy amount of detail. If you're Christian, do you believe in Adam, Eve, and original sin? Do you believe your god created the Earth any number of years ago? Did your god "jumpstart" the evolutionary process? What is your god's role in today's society? If you're not Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, what god(s) do you believe exist, and why do you believe as such? Or do you have your own vague belief in a higher power that will remain forever unknown?

Most importantly, why do you believe what you believe? Why is the Christian god more valid than various Greek gods and goddesses? Why do you practice paganism rather than Hinduism? What drives you to hold such beliefs and maintain faith when billions of other people believe in something completely different?

I am atheist because there is no evidence of any deity or supernatural power within our universe. The existence of religion is understandable, given people's natural desire to understand more about their origins. However, as we've learned more about our universe through scientific advancement, religion has become far less fitting in our overall picture of life. Religious belief has appropriately fallen worldwide (source (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/08/religiosity-plummets-ireland-declines-worldwide-atheism_n_1757453.html)) and will most likely continue to do so. Still, even if I believed in one of the more common religious deities, I'd view them as unworthy of worship.

With that said, what do you believe, and why?
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Second Coming of Madman on April 18, 2015, 09:41:37 am
I'm a atheist like the majority of the board, though personal experiences have made me a bit more receptive to claims of the supernatural and the occult.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: dpareja on April 18, 2015, 09:51:38 am
Atheist, unless I want to troll someone, in which case I say Last Thursdayist.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Zygarde on April 18, 2015, 10:01:31 am
Wiccan, not a very devout one but I'm one.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Ultimate Paragon on April 18, 2015, 10:06:24 am
Episcopalian.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Random Dinosaur on April 18, 2015, 10:17:09 am
Protestant in general, I don't really go more specific than that but nominally Presbyterian.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Iczerfour on April 18, 2015, 12:41:23 pm
discordian
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Old Viking on April 18, 2015, 03:15:47 pm
Druid.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Eiki-mun on April 18, 2015, 03:20:21 pm
Wavering.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: mellenORL on April 18, 2015, 03:41:59 pm
Gaia Hypothesis proponent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis)

To be honest, I describe my take on it a belief because I really want it to be true, and because my imagination leaps well beyond the scope of the hypothesis. Wishes do not work in science. So, I have to call this desire a belief: If evolution could work on so vast a scale as a planet-wide biofilm interaction, then that system, if somewhat analogous to a gigantic multicellular creature, could conceivably evolve to the point of sentience, given enough time. Eons and eons of time, mind you. Our species would be long extinct before anything like that could happen, but it gives me a warm feeling to think that something as huge and beautiful as the planet Earth could perhaps one day become a gargantuan, intelligent entity.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Cerim Treascair on April 18, 2015, 04:03:48 pm
Diarchist.  I follow the Sun and Moon, and I've found myself much more at peace.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: ironbite on April 18, 2015, 04:30:14 pm
I worship a ball of light that lives in my head that says it's the embodiment of Time.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: LeTipex on April 18, 2015, 07:34:57 pm
I'm a weird mix between an Atheist and a Pantheist.

As in, I don't believe there is a god, but I do think there is something sacred about the universe and its laws. That there is always worth in exploring and discovering more, and not only because we think so.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: niam2023 on April 18, 2015, 07:37:44 pm
Healing Church Member.

Praise the Great Ones.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: SpaceProg on April 18, 2015, 09:46:38 pm
Theistic Agnostic
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Ghoti on April 18, 2015, 11:17:16 pm
Honestly, I'm more interested in fictional religions than real ones.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: rookie on April 18, 2015, 11:26:16 pm
I'm agnostic leaning atheist. And every Sunday I take most of my daughters to the Lutheran church up the street.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Askold on April 19, 2015, 12:12:12 am
Lutheran Christian. But I consider my religious beliefs to be personal, so I rarely go to church and mainly just pray alone and try to follow the golden rule (also known as the "don't be a dick" rule.)
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Meshakhad on April 19, 2015, 01:54:48 pm
Conservative Judaism. I believe G-d created the universe 14 billion years ago. I believe that the Genesis account is non-literal.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Art Vandelay on April 20, 2015, 07:23:53 am
Strong atheist. The most important thing to me is that my beliefs reflect reality as closely as possible. Naturally, that rules out any and all religion, as it's always based on blind faith rather than any sort of evidence or reasonable logic.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: I am lizard on April 20, 2015, 11:21:11 pm
Honestly, I'm more interested in fictional religions than real ones.
(http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/000/519/423/b62.jpg)
So all of them?
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: I am lizard on April 20, 2015, 11:22:42 pm
I've basically moved around from Christian to atheist to agonist to I really don't feel like caring-theist.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Cloud3514 on April 21, 2015, 12:29:00 am
Theistic Agnostic

You know, I vaguely remember you saying you were a Christian at one point or am I just crazy?

Anywho, I'm a time displaced Viking who follows the All-Father. Or not, atheist, actually.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Ultimate Paragon on April 21, 2015, 12:36:55 am
I've basically moved around from Christian to atheist to agonist to I really don't feel like caring-theist.

So, apathetic?  Or is there a better term for that?
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Vypernight on April 21, 2015, 08:19:19 am
Long answer:  Skeptic.  I'd like to believe in an afterlife, but as my life says, if a ghost were to punch me in the face, I'd think it's my imagination.  Also, I see nothing that makes any religion more or less real than any other, so I choose not to follow any.  However, I think highly of Buddhist philosophies, mostly because going against many have real-life consequences, rather than angering some invisible higher power.

I also consider my Trinity to be Thor (I still claim praying to him when I was younger and Catholic cured my chronic nightmares and insomnia.  Gotta go with the results!), Murphy (whose laws I've see way too often), and William Blake.

Short answer that I give most people:  Atheist or skeptic (Usually atheist because I love the reactions!).
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: SpaceProg on April 21, 2015, 12:20:13 pm
Theistic Agnostic

You know, I vaguely remember you saying you were a Christian at one point or am I just crazy?

Anywho, I'm a time displaced Viking who follows the All-Father. Or not, atheist, actually.

That is true.  Whether I head back that way or not, I don't know.  Stuff happened though that made me really disillusioned with religion in general, but since I'm *Theistic Agnostic,* knowing me, I'll probably head back toward liberal Christianity when I get over my 'issues'.  It could just be my depression talking right now.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Ironchew on April 21, 2015, 02:52:39 pm
Atheist, more specifically anti-theist when the god concept is anything more concrete than an ill-defined mess.

I care about truth; I want to have as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible about reality. Even if the truth is uncomfortable, I would rather know it than be ignorant of it.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Eiki-mun on April 21, 2015, 03:39:40 pm
Okay, time for a more elaborate answer, with a dash of Tumblrisms. I would say I'm pretty religionfluid: I'm a deist most of the time, but there are times when I feel that there is an active presence out there, and it usually seems to like to make my life miserable. And there are times when I don't even feel deist, and I feel outright atheist. But for the most part I believe that there is something out there that created the universe, but I have no idea just what it is, aside from labeling it "God", and I don't believe it took an active role in the universe after that. One thing I can be sure of, though, is that I never feel like there's someone watching over me with benevolent intent.

tl;dr: I'm a deist.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: davedan on April 21, 2015, 06:00:51 pm
I worship my penis and invite the rest of you to come worship my penis too.

If God is defined as an all powerful sentient force that created the universe, I am an atheist. In fact on almost all definitions of God I am an atheist. I do however believe that mindfulness and meditation, which may be achieved through prayer, have both physical and psychological health benefits.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: lord gibbon on April 21, 2015, 06:31:21 pm
Atheist, humanist, and rationalist. I don't believe in gods, magic, or souls. I don't think the supernatural is possible. I believe that while there are things we DON'T know, there aren't things we CAN'T know. I believe in live and let live toward religion. That is, you can believe whatever nonsense you want, as long as you don't try to force it on others or enforce it legally. Religion should be a private matter.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Random Dinosaur on April 21, 2015, 06:40:40 pm
I'm mostly just waiting for Barbarella to post here. I'm really curious as to what exactly that mish-mash of Hinduism/Gnosticism/Wicca/New Age is supposed to be.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Ironchew on April 21, 2015, 07:04:04 pm
I'm mostly just waiting for Barbarella to post here. I'm really curious as to what exactly that mish-mash of Hinduism/Gnosticism/Wicca/New Age is supposed to be.

I was hoping UP would give more than a one-word reponse, myself.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Sleepy on April 21, 2015, 10:47:16 pm
Gaia Hypothesis proponent.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis)

To be honest, I describe my take on it a belief because I really want it to be true, and because my imagination leaps well beyond the scope of the hypothesis. Wishes do not work in science. So, I have to call this desire a belief: If evolution could work on so vast a scale as a planet-wide biofilm interaction, then that system, if somewhat analogous to a gigantic multicellular creature, could conceivably evolve to the point of sentience, given enough time. Eons and eons of time, mind you. Our species would be long extinct before anything like that could happen, but it gives me a warm feeling to think that something as huge and beautiful as the planet Earth could perhaps one day become a gargantuan, intelligent entity.

Back in early high school when I was still wavering in my beliefs, I actually wondered about the Earth (along with the rest of the universe) in this regard. I hadn't fully read about the Gaia hypothesis until just now and it's rather fascinating, although I do tend to agree with Dawkins' criticisms of it.

I've basically moved around from Christian to atheist to agonist to I really don't feel like caring-theist.

This describes my sister pretty well, since her beliefs tend to be rather fluid. I do wonder what causes people to rapidly shift their stance on the matter, whether it's a sudden epiphany or a claimed supernatural experience.

I'm mostly just waiting for Barbarella to post here. I'm really curious as to what exactly that mish-mash of Hinduism/Gnosticism/Wicca/New Age is supposed to be.

I was hoping UP would give more than a one-word reponse, myself.

Agreed. I'm always curious as to why people hold their beliefs, and UP's are particularly strong.

(This is not intended as baiting, but merely a statement of my curiosity.)
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Sylvana on April 22, 2015, 01:55:52 am
I am an Atheist.
Although, there are plenty of times when it really feels like there is some otherworldly force acting on my life. I chalk it off as a mix of the remnants of a strong christian upbringing and my primitive primate brain that demands that random events have causes.

I do admit though, I kind of do wish that religion or the afterlife or whatever was / is real. Oblivion, death and entropy are incredibly scary and depressing. Thinking that all I have ever loved being cast into oblivion is truly sad for me. Facing my own mortality is equally scary, so there is a part of me that hopes for something supernatural to exist.

However, I am still a rational atheist. I realize that those very hopes are the foundations for why people believe in almost all religions. We are such simple creatures at the end of the day.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Sigmaleph on April 22, 2015, 12:05:10 pm
Atheist, somewhat anti-theist. I think religion is probably net negative, but has some worthwhile things for community-building it would be nice to be able to keep, if it's possible to divorce them from the factually wrong parts.

"Sceptic" is probably an accurate descriptor but I don't like the word. It puts undue emphasis on not believing in things. Not believing things is easy, figuring out what to believe is not.

Aspiring rationalist, in the specific sense used by the sort of people who call themselves "aspiring rationalists".

Have been known to make up religions.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Ultimate Paragon on April 22, 2015, 12:57:19 pm
If you'd like a more complete explanation, let me elaborate.  I am also a religious pluralist.  My views go beyond mere tolerance.  That is to say, in the sense that I think most, if not all, religions have at least some truths, and are therefore valid.  And before you ask, yes, Atheism and the like are also valid.

I also have a rather unorthodox view of Hell.  From my point of view, Hell is meant to be temporary, and reserved for those who did not experience genuine remorse for their most egregious sins.  Each soul in Hell has a set amount of non-negotiable "punishment time".  If somebody genuinely repents for what they did, then they will be allowed to leave, provided their term is up.  If not, then they will stay in Hell until they do.  The way I see it, Hell is self-inflicted.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Meshakhad on April 22, 2015, 05:46:13 pm
If you'd like a more complete explanation, let me elaborate.  I am also a religious pluralist.  My views go beyond mere tolerance.  That is to say, in the sense that I think most, if not all, religions have at least some truths, and are therefore valid.  And before you ask, yes, Atheism and the like are also valid.

I also have a rather unorthodox view of Hell.  From my point of view, Hell is meant to be temporary, and reserved for those who did not experience genuine remorse for their most egregious sins.  Each soul in Hell has a set amount of non-negotiable "punishment time".  If somebody genuinely repents for what they did, then they will be allowed to leave, provided their term is up.  If not, then they will stay in Hell until they do.  The way I see it, Hell is self-inflicted.

The concept of Gehenna in Judaism is similar - everyone has a preset time in Gehenna, although there's no notion of being able to get out early through repentance.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: davedan on April 22, 2015, 06:40:05 pm
I thought that the modern view of hell was simply the absence of God? Which is difficult for a number of reasons:

1) Isn't God meant to be outside of the Universe (so we are currently in hell?)

2) On the otherside of the Coin isn't God meant to be everywhere and in everything, that is everything emanates from God (So hell can't exist if it is an absence of God)?

3) Finally as a good comedienne once said (I'll try to remember her name) so we could all be sitting on Chez Lounges sipping Maragaritas saying 'pity god's not here, oh well'

Personally I think the whole idea of hell and punishment is too anthropomorphic for what is meant to be an alien and ineffable god.

Certainly I do not believe in an omniscient, omnipotent god who desires everyone on earth to know about him. Because quite apart from the spectacular things it could do to acquaint us with it, it would (by definition) know exactly what was needed to make everyone believe and would have the power to do it.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Stormwarden on April 22, 2015, 09:18:00 pm
My beliefs these days? Atheistic, but with no grudge against religion, just the asshats who abuse it to fuck over everyone else.

Worship whatever you'd like, but don't make your faith into my laws. That's all I ask.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Ultimate Paragon on April 22, 2015, 09:24:51 pm
If you'd like a more complete explanation, let me elaborate.  I am also a religious pluralist.  My views go beyond mere tolerance.  That is to say, in the sense that I think most, if not all, religions have at least some truths, and are therefore valid.  And before you ask, yes, Atheism and the like are also valid.

I also have a rather unorthodox view of Hell.  From my point of view, Hell is meant to be temporary, and reserved for those who did not experience genuine remorse for their most egregious sins.  Each soul in Hell has a set amount of non-negotiable "punishment time".  If somebody genuinely repents for what they did, then they will be allowed to leave, provided their term is up.  If not, then they will stay in Hell until they do.  The way I see it, Hell is self-inflicted.

The concept of Gehenna in Judaism is similar - everyone has a preset time in Gehenna, although there's no notion of being able to get out early through repentance.

I never said anything about getting out early.  The predetermined sentence is served in full regardless, what happens afterwards is up to them.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Alehksunos on April 23, 2015, 04:09:25 am
Atheist: Secular Humanist and Skeptic (aka "If you can prove this is true without pulling off bullshit, then I'll be convinced." A lot of people mistake what skepticism is). None of that MRA crap.

My two cents on all this: I absolutely hate how most Atheists nowadays have ties to the Men's Right Activism movement (speaking of which). While the few times I've seen anyone jokingly quip *tips fedora* were on people who call themselves "Militant Atheist" and what else but I still express concern that because of said ties that the negative stereotypes of Atheists as "amoral rabble-rousers" is becoming further perpetuated. (Off-topic) And should I mention that the MRA's also back up anti-choice and anti-recreational sex (despite their open lustfulness), anti-LGBT+ and anti-welfare politicians just so they can assure the opposite sex "not be able to take advantage of us anymore" and general self-righteousness and obliviousness toward others? I've already stated that I despise of these men passionately and I almost didn't need to say all this.

Another subject: Despite rejecting the existence of deities and whatever (especially one omnipotent maniac worshipped by Abrahamic religions... sorry. I just can't stand this YHWH "character"), I seem to share Sylvana's views on death and oblivion. I will admit I sometimes have nightmares about dying because of the possibility that there is no afterlife, only nothing as all cerebral impulses are indefinitely shuttered, meaning any of the five senses you have are completely null. I even question my existence because of this.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: mellenORL on April 23, 2015, 11:54:05 am
(Welcome back from your hiatus, Alehksunos!)

Quote
I will admit I sometimes have nightmares about dying because of the possibility that there is no afterlife, only nothing as all cerebral impulses are indefinitely shuttered, meaning any of the five senses you have are completely null. I even question my existence because of this.

Being in a coma would account for that scenario as well, and people do wake up from those. As well as temporary unconsciousness from fainting or a blow to the head, etc. It's analogous to a pc being in hibernate mode - it still has all it's operations and filed memory intact, and can be rebooted into full function.

You might be over-anxious about the, "I think, therefore I am" standpoint of describing human consciousness. Self awareness, cognition and sensory feedback pathways can get knocked out for a while, and then all (or some, in the case of brain injury) get a re-boot. Or, one can die with either a gradual or instant shutoff of all inputs and functions. I think that when someone dies slowly from a non-violent or medically pain-controlled terminal condition, their ability to even get that upset about dying is numbed or damped down as the process goes on; just a side effect of the brain's rapidly diminishing performance ability. I think that people who die instantly in accidents are quite lucky - just POP! All shut off without pain or fear, just a cessation of consciousness.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Ironchew on April 23, 2015, 01:29:58 pm
I still express concern that because of said ties that the negative stereotypes of Atheists as "amoral rabble-rousers" is becoming further perpetuated.

Pastors perpetuate the scary atheist stereotype to their congregation. Since those wild stories have nothing to do with who atheists actually are, we have no control over their perception except insofar as the general public stops listening to pastors. It's not happening anytime soon.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: rookie on April 23, 2015, 07:06:30 pm
I find it interesting that as many people find the no afterlife thing to be a downer. While I get it, I really do, I seem to find it quite the opposite. The fact that this ride is all we get makes me love harder, live harder, feel deeper. The time I have with loved ones I feel is more precious. I feel compelled to spend the highest quality time I can with them. Same with my interests. A bad day fishing is a day I don't catch anything. But I'm still doing something I love to do.

And after I'm done, I'm done. No choirs of angels for eternity. No fiery lake for ever and ever. I find both of those to be a comfort to me. The ones I loved who have passed, their legacies are in my mind and the minds of the others who's loves they've touched. Even my worst enemy I wouldn't wish a fire and brimstone preacher's wet nightmare on. And the very idea of heaven, anyone I consider a friend would do their best to keep me from it.

I really don't talk like this very often. Most of the time the subject of death comes up I don't find it very helpful to inform the grieving these views. If the thought of heaven comforts them, as a not a dick I keep such thoughts to myself. And I've been told it's kind of a morbid outlook. To each their own I guess.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: davedan on April 23, 2015, 07:52:57 pm
I'm with you Rookie. The idea of an afterlife does not excite me. I like the idea of switching off and nothing more.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Sleepy on April 23, 2015, 07:59:09 pm
I think part of people's sadness regarding no afterlife is fear of the unknown. We don't know what death will feel like as it occurs. We don't know what it's like to lose consciousness and never regain it. As my friend once said in fifth grade, "Will it just be blackness forever?" It'd probably be easier for me to cope with my dad's death if I believed he was currently in eternal paradise, rather than just dead and therefore making it impossible for me to see him again. Death is probably easier for people to accept if they know what to expect. And if you expect eternal paradise, rather than eternal nothingness, that's even easier.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Zygarde on April 23, 2015, 08:29:15 pm
My religion believes in reincarnation (which is I think marginally worse than eternal paradise/damnation.) Still I can see the appeal of any kind of afterlife (Except maybe if the Chaos Gods are real in which case yeah fuck that.)
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Rime on April 24, 2015, 08:49:34 pm
I'm sad I missed this thread.  I'd been away for a few days.

I'm a naturalist.  I don't believe in the supernatural.  While this should make me a crazed amoral monster according to the "good" people of the world because I don't have the threat of eternal punishment hanging over my head, just because I believe that justice isn't an inherent part of the universe doesn't mean that my happiness is the only thing that matters.  If it were, I would be a nihilist.

If the definition of a secular humanist is "Be blind to race, religion and culture" then my "religion" also falls in that category.  I don't snub someone because they're a churchgoer.  But if they're fundie enough, they're already accepting a double standard that I'm going to be punished because I'm not interested in competing for (and of course, losing) the seat that they're getting next to Jesus in that Eternal Banquet.  If they aren't, they might even give me a perspective or some insight that I've overlooked.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: Mechtaur on April 24, 2015, 10:58:51 pm
Probably a contender for the biggest non-answer, but I'm still formulating my "beliefs". Well, reformulating I guess. As awkward as it might be the schizophrenia has kind of kicked me in the religious jaw. I'd been practicing reformed Judaism, but now I'm not sure.

That said, I'm still pretty anti-magic when it comes to things, so there's that. I respect rituals that provide either discipline training or certain physical or mental benefits, but I'm firmly against stuff like burning sage to keep bad spirits away.
Title: Re: Your Beliefs
Post by: guizonde on April 25, 2015, 11:30:18 am
anti-theist. i won't hate openly on believers (except bigots), but keep that stuff private, and i'll do the same, thank you very much.