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It's been a while since I posted in the Enhanced forum, and I don't think I've ever started a thread before in here because I never really knew what to talk about. This idea came to me as I was thinking about what religion I would be classed as having.
I have always put 'Jedi' down as my religion on the national census as a bit of a joke, as I heard that if enough people put it down, it would become an official religion:w00t: Apparently at one point they were going to start introducing fines for that, but I never got one.
So I was thinking the other day about what religion I would be classed as having, and I remember my friend telling me he was an agnostic pantheist or somesuch, and I thought, what the hell is an agnostic? So I looked it up on the wonderful site that is Wikipedia, and it came up with this.
'Agnosticism is the philosophical view that the truth values of certain claims—particularly theological claims regarding the existence of God, gods, or deities—are unknown, inherently unknowable, or incoherent, and therefore, (some agnostics may go as far to say) irrelevant to life.'
Now, while I didn't particularly agree with this, I scrolled down and read a bit more. I came up with this -
'# Agnostic atheism—the view that God may or may not exist, but that the non-existence of such is more likely. Some agnostic atheists would at least partially base their beliefs on Occam's Razor.'
And I found myself more inclined to put myself in that category. If you're wondering what 'Occam's Razor' is -
'Occam's razor states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory.
The principle is often expressed in Latin as:
entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem,
which translates to:
entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity.
Furthermore, when multiple competing theories have equal predictive powers, the principle recommends selecting those that introduce the fewest assumptions and postulate the fewest hypothetical entities. It is in this sense that Occam's razor is usually understood.'
So, I believe I find myself being an Agnostic Atheist, for reasons expressed in it's description - God may or may not exist, although I believe it is less likely that god does exist, but there is no way to prove either claim.
I'd be interested in finding out the religions' (or lack thereof) of fellow Enhanced members, and their reason's for choosing them, as religion is so often discussed on the ED. Feel free to discuss your beliefs on the existance of a god, but keep in mind that this is not a thread arguing whether or not one exists, simply people's viewpoints on it.
Well I will dip my foot into unfamiliar territory and forward an opinion:
I am a christian, (methodist, if denomination is important to you), although I do have beliefs that do not entirely adhere to this particular religious background.
I personally believe in a womans right to choose, something that all sections of the church frown upon, or condem in some cases. I also believe in the big bang theory, or something close to it because, being an engineer, I find much more comfort in the science side of life, and find that theory much more rational. Also, being a scientist, I do find the miracles of Jesus, a little hard to swallow, but they are a leap of faith, and I take them as that.
I however do believe in a higher power, (from my perspective god, but whatever you lot would like to call him/her/it is fine), and that there is an afterlife. Again, this is a leap of faith as there is no conclusive proof either way, but I figure what have I lost by trying to live a good life and believing. If i'm wrong i'm dead anyway, what does it matter?
I do have huge problems with religions being used for a cause for war though. I believe that no religion in essance condones war, (ignoring old testament bible here), and that interpretations that do appear to be missing the idea of their chosen faith. If everyone just left everyone elses religions alone, then I believe some problems might just vanish, but that's ideolistic drivel and would never happen. There is always going to be someone/group of people of one race ore religion picking on another. It's human nature, we fear what we don't understand.
Anyway, there's my opinions. Take them or leave them as im happy with them. :ninja:
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As people may have guessed, I'm a Christian. I am such because I believe it to be the most likely explanation for existence, given various factors, such as the historical existence of Jesus and various corroborations of parts of the Old Testament.
I could write it off as mere mythmaking were it not for my theological studies during a Religious Studies A-level. Granted it was taught by a baptist minister, but it expanded on the accuracy of the gospels and pointed out how such mythmaking as the Bible is usually accused of making couldn't happen in the New Testament, or is at least unlikely.
The argument that swings it for me philosophically speaking (ironically enough) derived from an Islamic argument, the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God's existence. The way I was taught it was that things happen in two ways in this world: either by accident (in which case such things are resolved according to the laws of nature) or by intelligent intent (where the intent initiates and guides the things that the laws of nature resolve). At the start of the universe, there were no laws of nature, and so there must have been an intent behind it. OK, it doesn't point to any particular god, but it's a basis for it.
My testimony, which I read out at my baptism, charting my course of faith through atheism, Paganism and then to Christianity can be found here.
I am a Christian a Catholic to be precise.
On a general note (and without going into to much specific Catholic doctrine) as to why I think there must be some supreme moral authority and by extension judgment after life it just makes more sense to me.
People see Good and Evil contrasted all around us every day, from Mother Teresa or Martin Luthor King to Hitler 9/11 etc and you have to think to yourself if there is no good or evil other than what society makes it, if all there is after death but Oblivion then how can we condemn or condone any actions?. Why should we help relieve third world debt?, Why should we punish war criminals?.
The alternative is that there is nothing. Simply for survival society has determined a set of morals but ultimatly they are meaningless and individuals are free to break them in any way they whish without fear of punishment, any excess or barbarity would be permited so long as society as a whole did not crumble and even if it did what would the individuals care?
"God is dead" Nietzsche- 1886
"Nietzsche is dead" God- 1900
Why are there scams? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q71FLDIMBc8
Why indeed?Originally Posted by Berny Mac
But if the universe was moral would there be any need to do these things?
I will call myself an agnostic in that I lack the coherence of opinion to believe anything. I incline towards atheism, but I can never proove anything, so I stopped trying. I merely acept that I'm entirely ignorant, and I attempt to live in the manner least bound by 'knowledge' of what is true and false.
In other words, I question everything I possibly can to destruction, because no opinion can survive the erratic and nonsensical nature of reality. Some things may be true, but there needs to be some kind of quantifying proof first, and there is no such thing as quantifying proof for me.
I can come close to believing things, I just recognise that my knowledge is limited and my belief is therefore temporary, and could be changed by new information at any moment.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; June 7th, 2006 at 13:23.
I was baptised as a Presbytarian. But I have had issues with organized religions and their inconsistancies. Especially the greed, hatred, and general ill will they tend to encourage towards each other.
So I guess I would call myself an 'Independant'. I believe there is some form of 'intelligence' responsible for creation and I believe that 'intelligence' to be as benign as any 'parental' type deity in that it gave birth to everything but mostly wants it all to makes it's own way where ever and when ever possible, with as little interference or guidance as possible.
I sometimes selfishly attribute human frailties to it, such as loneliness and arrogantly assume its ultimate purpose for creating life was to evolve humanity towards achieving omniscience and thereby provide itself companionship. Since it's purpose is known only to itself; though; as far as I know it could have invented us just to get a laugh at how we bumble and stumble around like we were stars of our own cosmicly imbecilic sitcom.
I usually call the being 'God' for lack of a more appropriate term and usually send prayers to it at my leisure. It has its own way of dealing with me and I with it, but so far we get along just fine.
I had my children baptised also, although the denomination is irrelevant and I allow my wife to take them to an organized church and Sunday school meetings. I didn't make my decision to become 'Independant' until later in life and if they never do, I'm completely fine with that.
edit> I should probably change the part about 'allowing my wife' to something less sinister sounding because I'm not the boss of her or her decisions and she may actually see this and rip off my...well, you get the picture. What the hell, I'll leave it in.
Last edited by Joker; June 7th, 2006 at 16:45.
LOL, I couldn't help but notice that your signature says "Chuck Norris doesn't believe in god, god believes in chuck norris."Originally Posted by dr_nick22
I am agnostic as in I don't follow any religion but I'm pretty openminded. There's a lot of things int he universe that don't work the way physics say they should work (dark matter for example), so I'm not against the idea of divine entities ruling us and stuff. But I am against believing in something for no reason other than that someone or something told you to believe it. Look at all the crazy religious predictions that have been wrong, for example, when jahova's witnesses thought the world was going to end in the 70's (my dad's mom didn't want him to study and go to college for that reason, lol).
My parents are both agnostic as well, and we're basically waiting for someone to prove that a god exists and how. There's a lot of crazy stuff that happens (like when you think about a relative and a few seconds later they call you), so I don't think it's impossible at all.
The laws of physics aren't set in stone, they haven't been proven. They are conclusions people have come to from observation. So if something doesn't fit in with these it doesn't mean that there's divine intervention, it simply means we need to re-evaluate the "laws".
As for what i believe, i don't believe in a God. When i turn on my TV i see a whole lot of violence and suffering in the name of religion, it's not something i want to be a part of.
There was a story in England a few years ago, around Christmas time. Basically a vicar was talking about the meaning of christmas etc, and at the end he went on to say that santa couldn't possibly exist because if he were to visit every home in one night he would have to travel so fast that he would burn up!
This is coming from a guy who believes in the virgin birth...:rolleyes:
I was born Catholic and raised Atheist. My own beliefes have so far defied classification.If any of this looks familiar please let me know, 'cause it would be nice to know what definition my beliefs fall under.
I believe that there is a god, wether or not she's a loving god is debatable.I do refer to her as a woman simply because I believe she is genderless and it's fun to see the look on conservative Christians' faces when I refer to her as "her". The way I see it, if the entire purpose of having a gender is so that you can procreate with other members of your race and create future generations, then what need would god have for a gender, being the only member of her race.I don't believe most of the Bible or other holy texts.People wrote those, people with ambitions and opinions and points to make. The way I see it, wether or not Jesus, Muhammed, Buddha, or whoever taught you your religion was being lead by divine guidance is irrelevant. What's important is that most of thier teachings ecourage you to be a better person, and as far as I know god likes good people (who doesn't?). It's generaly just a good idea to not be an ass.I do not believe that god is in control. I believe in free will. God did not make your grandpa die, old age made him die. God did not "bless you" with the winning lottery numbers, a few little white plastic balls did that. Every thing that happens in your life is the result of a choice you conciously made..untill you ask god directly to intervene. A cancer patient gets cancer. Why? Not because god punished them, but because they got cancer. Now let's say this person prays every day and is a good person and is suddenly and inexplicably cured without ever once having been treated medicly. That would be god. God was there because you asked her to be. God does not interfere, positively or negatively, untill you ivite her to do so. I believe that heaven and hell are the same place, just seperate areas. Heaven is the gated community of the afterlife,where everybody is chillin' with god herself and having a great time. Hell would be the outside, which wouldn't really be so bad if it wasn't for the evil **** that prowls around outside the gates. And with god inside the gates and not there to watch your back, I figure you're going to have a pretty rough time.I don't subscribe to the increasingly popular Christian notion of an "End of Days". Reading a history book and the bible at the same time would show you that everything predicted in revalations has already happened at least once already. History is full of Anti-Christs, and whose to say god wasn't involved in thier fall? Armageddon isn't a singular event it's a continuous cycle.
Those are just a few points. I have a somewhat Agnostic view on most of it. I think there are a great many things we are simply not meant to know. We will never know the answers, so why ask the questions? Just be a good person and you'll be alright. That was all probably full of holes and contradictions, but hey, aren't all religious beliefs? I just try my best to figure out the questions I think I can answer. The great part is nobody can tell me if I'm right or wrong because nobody knows,and anybody that claims they do is missing the point.
Just a clarification. Actually the laws of physics ARE proven. That's why they are called laws. There exists mathematical proofs that detail how they can be proven. This is in contrast to theorems, with have some proof, but may have exceptions. The lowest is the hypothesis, which is a guess, and is not proven or disproven.Originally Posted by Stonehambey
That being said, the "laws" of physics are based on empiric observation, backed by mathematical formulation. Yet the argument can be made that math, while very pure and noble, is nonetheless a human construct and is not perfect. Furthermore, as the number of observations grow, previously held "laws" no longer seem to apply as well as they once did. Thus, the "laws" are overturned, and a paradigm shift occurs.
OK, enough of the science talk. Back to religion......
Marion: You're not the man I knew ten years ago.
Indiana: It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
For the last time, there are
NO FEMALE SPACE MARINES!!!!!