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 To Believe, Or Not To Believe,

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PostSubject: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:31 am

I'm an etremist moderate. I think logic is the tool of the devil. Positivism is a load of crap. I believe in God but don't love him (big difference).

Mod: This thread is split from cactus flower's World View discussion here. If necessary they can be merged again if the discussion returns to world views as opposed to belief in (a) gGod. Drop me a pm if you think it's better un-split. Kate P
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:31 am

905 wrote:
I'm an etremist moderate, and a methadological relativist. I think logic is the tool of the devil. Positivism is a load of crap. I believe in God but don't love him (big difference).
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:58 pm

I'd be a pragmatic libertarian. I don't believe in any particular ideology like socialism, capitalism, anarchism or any other "ism". I like to find out what actually works in a situation and apply it. However, I would be coming at decisions, choices and problems from a libertarian angle. I feel that adults should be treated like that, adults. Nanny state nonsense really annoys me and I feel that adults should be able to come to decisions by themselves. I like the State to keep out of people's lives inasmuch as it can.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:24 pm

There is no God. There is only the here and now and what we make of it. It is a world of uncertainty for you can rely on no one not even yourself and regret is pointless for what is done is done. Objectives plans and dreams are the threads that link up time and give point to being.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:12 am

Reading Tariq Ali last night, I liked this anecdote - it's from Mullahs and Heretics , LRB 7.2.2002

<< ... Some years later, when I came to Britain to study, the first group of people I met were hard-core rationalists. I might have missed the Humanist Group's stall at the Fresher's Fair had it not been for a spotty Irishman, dressed in a faded maroon corduroy jacket, with a mop of untidy dark brown hair, standing on a table and in a melodius , slightly breathless voice shouting: "Down with God!"
When he saw me staring, he smiled and added "and Allah" to the refrain. I joined on the spot and was immediately roped into becoming the Humanist rep at my college.
Some time afterwards when I asked how he had known I was of Muslim origin rather than a Hindu or a Zoroastrian, he replied that his chant only affected Muslims and Catholics. Hindus, Sikhs and Protestants ignored him completely. >>


Last edited by Atticus on Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:13 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spacing ... why didn't i just cut-and-paste?!)
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:45 am

Isn't funny how political parties who claim to oppose each other describe themselves using the words which appeal to vast swathes of people:
Democrat
Republican
Christian
Socialist
Liberal
Nationalist
Labour

I have to say that all of the above words appeal to some part of my outlook. It is some of the parties that don't.

I think Margaret Thatcher was very smart when she rebranded "socialism" as an evil and characterised it as being a philosophy which took freedom and independence from individuals. If you can attack or redefine the oppositions ideoloy then you can do huge damage to them. Perhaps this is why the SDLP is in difficult times Smile ?
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:33 pm

Good point Zhou. The success was so triumphant that even the Labour Party abandoned all pretence of socialism.
If there is no such thing as society, how could there be socialism.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:32 pm

Didn't she have a go at the concept of 'society' itself? What an idiot.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:34 pm

905 wrote:
I'm an etremist moderate. I think logic is the tool of the devil. Positivism is a load of crap. I believe in God but don't love him (big difference).

Why don't you love God if you believe in Him?
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:59 pm

He's one of them bloody deists. These are the sort of people who when asked 'daddy or chips' reply 'daddy with chips', when asked 'gay or straight' they reply 'bisexual'.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:24 am

riadach wrote:
He's one of them bloody deists. These are the sort of people who when asked 'daddy or chips' reply 'daddy with chips', when asked 'gay or straight' they reply 'bisexual'.
I'll have you for libel, how dare you insinuate I'm a deist (looks up deisty on wiki), how dare you?

I would love to love God, think how easier that would be for me. But I can't lie to myself; I don't follow all of his rules, I often put myself before Him and I like worldly things. I am thus a sinner, and until my heart on the matter changes I am an unrepentant sinner. Please God I'll become atheist one day and that will solve all my problems.

The word belief used to mean something akin to love. There was a time when it went without saying that God existed, the real question was whether one loved God or not. It raises the important distinction between merely judging to God to exist and cherishing that God.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:26 am

Ah that's easy. You just then have to establish whether God's rules are actually god's rules. I suggest you follow the example of Ibn Rushd, Maimonides and Augustine and question whether God would do anything contrary to reason. And if not, accept those rules which you find reasonable, and discard those you don't. Although, I imagine some humanist will arrive soon and ask if we are to use reason as a criteria for what we believe and what we reject, should we not throw out religion altogether.


Last edited by riadach on Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:14 am

905 wrote:
I am an unrepentant sinner. Please God I'll become atheist one day and that will solve all my problems.

That plus a lack of conscience makes life so much easier.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:18 am

Squire wrote:
905 wrote:
I am an unrepentant sinner. Please God I'll become atheist one day and that will solve all my problems.

That plus a lack of conscience makes life so much easier.

On the other hand, being an atheist with a conscience is just confusing.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:55 am

ibis wrote:
Squire wrote:
905 wrote:
I am an unrepentant sinner. Please God I'll become atheist one day and that will solve all my problems.

That plus a lack of conscience makes life so much easier.

On the other hand, being an atheist with a conscience is just confusing.

Now now, we all know such a creature doesn't exist. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:01 am

riadach wrote:
ibis wrote:
Squire wrote:
905 wrote:
I am an unrepentant sinner. Please God I'll become atheist one day and that will solve all my problems.

That plus a lack of conscience makes life so much easier.

On the other hand, being an atheist with a conscience is just confusing.

Now now, we all know such a creature doesn't exist. Smile

Well, something twinges whenever I bite into a toasted baby. Possibly I should just go to the dentist.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:47 am

ibis wrote:
riadach wrote:
ibis wrote:
Squire wrote:
905 wrote:
I am an unrepentant sinner. Please God I'll become atheist one day and that will solve all my problems.

That plus a lack of conscience makes life so much easier.

On the other hand, being an atheist with a conscience is just confusing.

Now now, we all know such a creature doesn't exist. Smile

Well, something twinges whenever I bite into a toasted baby. Possibly I should just go to the dentist.

Well, you're obviously not a complete animal, you do cook your babies afterall.

Nothing more uncouth than eating raw baby.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:43 pm

Known as two legged pork in China, needs the right seasoning.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:51 pm

Squire wrote:
905 wrote:
I am an unrepentant sinner. Please God I'll become atheist one day and that will solve all my problems.

That plus a lack of conscience makes life so much easier.


As Ogden Nash said:

He who is ridden by a conscience
Worries about a lot of nonscience;
He without benefit of scruples
His fun and income soon quadruples.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:56 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
Squire wrote:
905 wrote:
I am an unrepentant sinner. Please God I'll become atheist one day and that will solve all my problems.

That plus a lack of conscience makes life so much easier.


As Ogden Nash said:

He who is ridden by a conscience
Worries about a lot of nonscience;
He without benefit of scruples
His fun and income soon quadruples.

Hmm, at least until they have to explain themselves to St. Peter!
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:41 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:

Hmm, at least until they have to explain themselves to St. Peter!

Intangible considerations only hinder.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:46 pm

It's an oldie, and you all know it, but it's a goodie.

Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal for dealing with the population boom in Ireland in the first half of the 18th Century.

Quote :
That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table.

A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

I have reckoned upon a medium that a child just born will weigh 12 pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, increaseth to 28 pounds.

I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.

Infant's flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more plentiful in March, and a little before and after; for we are told by a grave author, an eminent French physician, that fish being a prolific diet, there are more children born in Roman Catholic countries about nine months after Lent than at any other season; therefore, reckoning a year after Lent, the markets will be more glutted than usual, because the number of popish infants is at least three to one in this kingdom: and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of papists among us.

A variation on a toasted theme, Riadach.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:02 am

riadach wrote:
Ah that's easy. You just then have to establish whether God's rules are actually god's rules. I suggest you follow the example of Ibn Rushd, Maimonides and Augustine and question whether God would do anything contrary to reason. And if not, accept those rules which you find reasonable, and discard those you don't. Although, I imagine some humanist will arrive soon and ask if we are to use reason as a criteria for what we believe and what we reject, should we not throw out religion altogether.

Whose reason, mine? I suspect my reason looks different from God's reason, just as an ant's reaspn looks different from my reason.

I don't have a problem with His rules, I just don't follow them. Do you think criminals only break the laws that they disagree with? This reason stuff sounds terribly old hat.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:30 am

905 wrote:
riadach wrote:
Ah that's easy. You just then have to establish whether God's rules are actually god's rules. I suggest you follow the example of Ibn Rushd, Maimonides and Augustine and question whether God would do anything contrary to reason. And if not, accept those rules which you find reasonable, and discard those you don't. Although, I imagine some humanist will arrive soon and ask if we are to use reason as a criteria for what we believe and what we reject, should we not throw out religion altogether.

Whose reason, mine? I suspect my reason looks different from God's reason, just as an ant's reaspn looks different from my reason.

I don't have a problem with His rules, I just don't follow them. Do you think criminals only break the laws that they disagree with? This reason stuff sounds terribly old hat.

I hope you will be able to love God one day, 905. I find He is such a source of strength and stability in a world where that can be very lacking. Interviews, exams, deaths, break-ups, crises of confidence and so on have been salved by faith in and prayer to Our Lord. I find my relationship with God enriches my life.
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PostSubject: Re: To Believe, Or Not To Believe,   Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:12 pm

I've split this because it seems to have moved onto the issue of faith specifically.

Following on from A-T's post above, I'm a baptised Catholic and while I fall back on Catholic habits, my strongest inclination is towards buddhism. I don't go to mass - I used to love special occasion masses in school. Group prayer is very powerful, meditation is more powerful.

I grew up in a non-religious house with one very catholic parent, got married in a Catholic church to a Presbyterian and have always found comfort in knowing that there is something greater than us at work in the world. I believe absolutely that thinking of a person and willing them well is a prayer, lighting a candle for someone is a physical expression of that well-wishing and a reminder of that person. That 'prayer' doesn't need to be diverted through an intermediary.

One of the most amazing times of my life was spent at a Buddhist retreat centre in Beara, Cork. I felt I'd come home. I think my natural inclination has probably always been towards Buddhism and that is not easy for me. It requires a far greater degree of self-awareness and personal responsibility than I've ever associated with Catholicism, which in my experience requires acceptance of too much without question - and I mean that on a spiritual and an institutional level.

Faith is not rational, having a religious impetus in life is not rational, nor is founding a life on religious principles. None of it is rational but we believe in many things that are not rational, such as love, hope, the triumph of good over evil, the willingness of others to make sacrifices, the ability to overcome insurmountable obstacles in all areas of life.
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