Collaborative belief...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by wispandex_bulge, Nov 19, 2006.

  1. wispandex_bulge

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    I'm very interested in the beliefs of the members of this board... In a way I'm not particularly excited about sharing my own ideas in a forum where people will take me too seriously, despite the seriousness of the argument. So I beg of you to read my works with a grain of salt and ask questions of me and each other.

    I don't believe in God the way the bible describes him, nor do I believe that Jesus's death absolves me of my sins, and yet I believe I am Christian in that I wish to do what I can for mankind in hopes that the world will be left a little better when I'm gone. Christianity is often so perverted by translation, lack of historical context, and hateful, power hungry, money hungry evangelists, and yet there is still a basically good moral code implied. I say basically because while i don't advocate killing, I do believe that certain people should be quickly and judiciously removed from society for acts against mankind. The end does not always but CAN justify the means. Likewise, coveting a neighbors status or possessions is ok in my book as long as the desire drives one to better themselves to earn such rewards. Again please question out loud and internally because enlightenment is not a state but a process...

    In the recent election, 7 out of 8 states with gay marriage amendments passed them, mostly in part due to church-driven initiatives. Once again I am reminded of how the weak-minded are easily swayed and coddled with easy answers. Life, however, is not easy, and nor should be answers about our most fundamental social forces, including religion. I wish more people would question not only their own faith, but the faith of those who lead them...

    I said I consider myself a Christian and yet I do not follow or wholly believe ANY current presentation of the religion. In fact I also consider myself a Buddhist because of my belief in balance, moderation, and renewal. A number of scientists are concerned about the residual effects of the Chernobyl accident. However, I am also concerned that people notice another effect. Now that most human activity has been removed from the area for so long, plants, animals, and nature in general is rather quickly reclaiming the area, proving that earth still has some power to heal itself. For that reason, I am ok with beliefs that divinity is actually part of the earth itself.

    The continuing evolution of the human species is a related concern of mine. Although mixing of ethnicities has lead to a homogenization never before known on earth, we are being further diversified by medicine which allows historically fatal diseases and conditions to be survived and transmitted, genetically, bacterially, or virally. As such, we are no longer hung by as tight a noose of "survival of the fittest". Either that or the definition of "fittest" has become grayer and broader. Communist practices, like democratized/universal health care allow many unfit to survive, while capitalism allows often socially unhealthy ability of some lesser fit individuals to abuse and take advantage of better fit individuals at a pre-existing disadvantage (read: health insurance). A genius in the ghetto is more likely to become a drug lord than a rocket scientist. The inability for me to imagine a system which will perpetuate positive growth for our species scares me to some extent... Are we doomed already?

    Recently on an episode of Futurama (actually a re-run), a god figure told Bender that when you are doing the right thing, they should wonder whether you've done anything at all. Realizing that this philosophy fits our situation perfectly, makes me think that a guiding hand could have been present at ANY time and none would be the wiser, because some are going to believe anything, others will believe nothing, while I'm left in the center wondering what will happen next...
     
  2. headbang8

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    Wispy, forgive me. I'm going to yank your chain.

    It astonishes me that you maintain you're a Christian, yet you cannot point to ANY Christianity on the planet of which you unreservedly approve.

    It astonishes me that the following are "owned" by religion rather than just considered simple common sense and humanity:
    • Leaving the world a better place
    • Balance
    • Moderation
    • Renewal
    • The earth should be sacred to us.
    Christianity doesn't "own" moral goodness. In fact, there's considerable evidence to suggest quite the opposite: the more fervent the believer, the less charity, humanity and grace they display. In fact, as Sam Harris observes in The End of Faith, most Christians live lives of dignity and compassion because tehy ignore their doctrine, rather than follow it.

    You're a fine, moral, compassionate human being. You don't have to give Christ (or Gaia, or Buddha) the credit for that. Chalk it up to your humanity.
     
  3. JustAsking

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    wisp,
    I would not consider you a Christian, but dont' let that stop you from trying to leave the world a better place. I would say you are a Humanist. And if your humanism is not religiously motivated, then you are a secular humanist.

    It sound like you have given this a lot of thought.
     
  4. wispandex_bulge

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    Leaving myself out of the argument, shouldnt all religions make some common sense? Otherwise where would they come from, and why would they exist otherwise?

    Honestly I just coudlnt sleep so I thought id reply. One other thing...
    Recent research (Nov issue of Scientific American) suggests that religion is more of a double edged sword, in that it often does result in higher generosity and levels of happiness, but also repressed societies with higher rates of violence, inappropriate sex (read: rape, unprotected sex, and abuse), and other crimes. As for doctrine, anyone who insists that the Bible or even the Pontiff himself, speaks the word of God, needs their head examined. The Bible has been translated so many times, and not always by those with divine intent. The Pope, like the president is a chess piece in a game of politics. I guess what I want some people to think about is that christianity itself isnt bad, but many of its leaders are.

    Bottom line: American religion probably needs a tune-up or were goign to squabble ourselves to death while the world watches in schadenfreude-ish amusement.

    Personal note: To me being Christian is more about life, love, and productivity than religious dogma. Afterall, the word is almost as vague as a description of God, from all the various definitions that have been attributed to it.
     
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