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The Rise of Atheism and Agnosticism

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    Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jebu wrote:
    And I was positing that there is no God to create the situation of "Cool, no God, I'm gonna go rape/steal/murder!" that we seem to be talking about for these supposed people who are moral only because of religion.

    Speaking of which, if they really do think this, these people seriously need to go reread the goddamn Bible. You don't get into heaven by pretending to be a good person, you go to heaven by being a good person.

    I think this all started from the experience that a lot of us have had, which is:

    "Oh, you're an atheist? But you seem like such a nice person, if you don't believe in God why aren't you out there stealing and murdering to get what you want?" - Naive Religious Friend

    Now, this isn't exactly the same as:

    "I only refrain from murder/rape/pillage because I am afraid of God" - Same Religious Friend

    but it's close. I think maybe we could find some interesting conclusions if we explore the differences between those two statements.

    Zul the Conqueror on
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    Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I'd posit that even if you could prove that God exists, it's not like he'd stop all the rapist and murderers and such.

    In fact, even knowing God exists, I'd say some people would go out and do it anyways.

    God never created morality. God forbid morality in the garden.

    Mad_Morlock on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Atheism and Agnosticism are lazy ways out.

    Agnosticism - Don't know.

    Atheism - Don't care.

    Gnosis is a good idea. Knowing, searching, knowing more.

    The other two just seem to be lazy ways out.

    "know..." you keep using that word. i don't think it means what you think it means.

    Loren Michael on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Scooter wrote:
    I'd probably end up going to Hell in protest of the whole system.
    Now that is spite.

    Eh. It's common. I have the same position. Some people just have ethical systems where threats and gifts do not change what should be done.

    While I don't believe in the various Judaic structures, I personally view them as overall vile in the ethical/moral department. YHWH, in whichever texts, is largely an evil prick.

    My ethics do not allow me to serve a tyrannical asshole, regardless of the power they might wield.

    Incenjucar on
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    Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    "know..." you keep using that word. i don't think it means what you think it means.

    know (n)
    v. knew, (n, ny) known, (nn) know·ing, knows
    v. tr.

    To perceive directly; grasp in the mind with clarity or certainty.
    To regard as true beyond doubt: I know she won't fail.
    To have a practical understanding of, as through experience; be skilled in: knows how to cook.
    To have fixed in the mind: knows her Latin verbs.
    To have experience of: “a black stubble that had known no razor” (William Faulkner).

    To perceive as familiar; recognize: I know that face.
    To be acquainted with: He doesn't know his neighbors.
    To be able to distinguish; recognize as distinct: knows right from wrong.
    To discern the character or nature of: knew him for a liar.
    Archaic. To have sexual intercourse with.


    Now... simply...

    Agnostics are willing to wait to find out. So they don't know. It's a coin toss. Might be, might not. Wait and see. If you're an agnostic you'd still probably hedge your bet though.

    Atheists choose to deny or disbelieve. So they don't care. God doesn't exist, so why should they care?

    Gnostics believe. Life becomes a pathway to the divine. One where you can search for clues along the way towards knowing God. The clues are like reading horoscopes... you're really only looking into a mirror and seeing what you want to see. But the idea is to look into that mirror and search for God... only to discover the God within yourself that is part and parcel of the entirety of creation.

    Morality isn't religion though. Morality isn't God. Morality is a social construct, created by man, to allow civilized (think agricultural) society to function smoother.

    Mad_Morlock on
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jebu wrote:
    And I was positing that there is no God to create the situation of "Cool, no God, I'm gonna go rape/steal/murder!" that we seem to be talking about for these supposed people who are moral only because of religion.

    Speaking of which, if they really do think this, these people seriously need to go reread the goddamn Bible. You don't get into heaven by pretending to be a good person, you go to heaven by being a good person.

    I think this all started from the experience that a lot of us have had, which is:

    "Oh, you're an atheist? But you seem like such a nice person, if you don't believe in God why aren't you out there stealing and murdering to get what you want?" - Naive Religious Friend

    Now, this isn't exactly the same as:

    "I only refrain from murder/rape/pillage because I am afraid of God" - Same Religious Friend

    but it's close. I think maybe we could find some interesting conclusions if we explore the differences between those two statements.
    In the latter case however there is an exceptionally good chance that the person just hasn't thought about the statement very much. They say it because it's the easy thing to say, it provides the easy answer and justification. If you sat them down, and really drilled them about it, then you'd probably find that indeed they wouldn't do those things - however, they've been with religious institutions providing their morality for so long that they're pretty much obstructed from realizing it independently.

    electricitylikesme on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    ...

    Agnostics are undecided as to what they believe. They are, literally, "Unknowing."

    The gnostics call themselves "knowing," but they are simply believers who tend to have vaguer notions, rather than detailed celestial hierarchies and so forth.

    Atheists either believe that there is no deity, or that the question of deity is fruitless and that one should -behave- as if they believed there was no deity.

    Nobody "knows" jackall.

    Incenjucar on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I mean, really. You're trying to say that we should lock up people who disagree with you.

    No, I'm not saying that at all.

    If the only thing that keeps a person in line is the fear of a magical sky pixie and its punishment after death, then that person is not of sound mind. A normal member of society (and since much of society is religious, this *gasp* includes many people with religious beliefs!) shouldn't have to be threatened with eternal punishment and/or promised eternal reward in order to abstain from causing harm to others and to do good deeds.

    And atheism is not "the lazy way out". The "lazy way out" is looking at the universe and saying "god did it, that's all I need to know". :P

    DarkPrimus on
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    werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Now... simply...

    Agnostics are willing to wait to find out. So they don't know. It's a coin toss. Might be, might not. Wait and see. If you're an agnostic you'd still probably hedge your bet though.

    Atheists choose to deny or disbelieve. So they don't care. God doesn't exist, so why should they care?

    Gnostics believe. Life becomes a pathway to the divine. One where you can search for clues along the way towards knowing God. The clues are like reading horoscopes... you're really only looking into a mirror and seeing what you want to see. But the idea is to look into that mirror and search for God... only to discover the God within yourself that is part and parcel of the entirety of creation.

    Morality isn't religion though. Morality isn't God. Morality is a social construct, created by man, to allow civilized (think agricultural) society to function smoother.

    ...... you do realize choosing misleading terms to make what you believe sound better is idiotic in a discussion, right? Just using negative words for the options you don't agree with and positive words for the option you like isn't actually an argument.

    Agnostics say we can't know if there is a God, Athiests say logically there is no reason to believe in god, and gnostics are a quasi-Christian religious movement that seeks understanding of God through personal enlightenment. There is absolutely no non-asinine reason to assume any of these groups "care more" or are "lazy" because they have reached different conclusion, just as there is no reason to assume only Gnostics can interpret new evidence and that they are there for the only group that's really trying to learn.

    werehippy on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    werehippy wrote:
    Now... simply...

    Agnostics are willing to wait to find out. So they don't know. It's a coin toss. Might be, might not. Wait and see. If you're an agnostic you'd still probably hedge your bet though.

    Atheists choose to deny or disbelieve. So they don't care. God doesn't exist, so why should they care?

    Gnostics believe. Life becomes a pathway to the divine. One where you can search for clues along the way towards knowing God. The clues are like reading horoscopes... you're really only looking into a mirror and seeing what you want to see. But the idea is to look into that mirror and search for God... only to discover the God within yourself that is part and parcel of the entirety of creation.

    Morality isn't religion though. Morality isn't God. Morality is a social construct, created by man, to allow civilized (think agricultural) society to function smoother.

    ...... you do realize choosing misleading terms to make what you believe sound better is idiotic in a discussion, right? Just using negative words for the options you don't agree with and positive words for the option you like isn't actually an argument.

    Agnostics say we can't know if there is a God, Athiests say logically there is no reason to believe in god, and gnostics are a quasi-Christian religious movement that seeks understanding of God through personal enlightenment. There is absolutely no non-asinine reason to assume any of these groups "care more" or are "lazy" because they have reached different conclusion, just as there is no reason to assume only Gnostics can interpret new evidence and that they are there for the only group that's really trying to learn.

    Probably a bad sign anytime someone throws in Pascal's Wager.

    Incenjucar on
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    Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    ...... you do realize choosing misleading terms to make what you believe sound better is idiotic in a discussion, right? Just using negative words for the options you don't agree with and positive words for the option you like isn't actually an argument.

    Just because you don't understand what you're reading doesn't mean I have to dumb myself down for you.

    I don't believe you should be able to refer to Gnostics as one religious sect. The word applies to other faiths as well. Buddhism and Islam could both be considered Gnostic faiths, even though Buddhism is more of a belief system, it still implies that insight provides awareness. In fact, Agnostics and Atheists could probably be grouped into the one catergory while the Gnostic faiths could be grouped in the other.

    Spiritual laziness is what I implied. Not physical laziness. Agnostics and Atheists don't search for spiritual enlightenment during life. A Gnostic seeks to cultivate a personal relationship with the God that they know exists. It's like anti-idol worship. Don't worship anything in creation, just worship creation. It's a means of reconnecting with the world.

    Not to be a referee here, but certain things need to be defined to carry on a philisophical debate, and that really hasn't been done here. (It's in the rules.)

    You need definitions for all your key terms if you're going to argue over them.

    Since religion and lack thereof seems to be the topic of debate more than anything, I'll offer a definition.

    Religion - from latin, meaning "to reconnect" or "to tie fast"

    Used in it's modern context, it's assumed a wealth of ritual and dogma. However, the word itself simply means your way of reconnecting with the world.

    Mad_Morlock on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Just because you don't understand what you're reading doesn't mean I have to dumb myself down for you.

    Kiddo. Your britches ain't that big.
    I don't believe you should be able to refer to Gnostics as one religious sect. The word applies to other faiths as well. Buddhism and Islam could both be considered Gnostic faiths, even though Buddhism is more of a belief system, it still implies that insight provides awareness.

    Last I checked gnosticism was a TYPE of theism that tends to have a more impersonal deity, but it has its origins in a specific group.
    In fact, Agnostics and Atheists could probably be grouped into the one catergory while the Gnostic faiths could be grouped in the other.

    Gnosticism is just a form of theism. Agnosticism is not taking a stance between atheism and theism.
    Spiritual laziness is what I implied. Not physical laziness. Agnostics and Atheists don't search for spiritual enlightenment during life.

    Okay. You clearly have no fucking clue what you're talking about here.

    Go take some religious studies before you hurt yourself.
    A Gnostic seeks to cultivate a personal relationship with the God that they believe exists. It's like idol worship of everything. Don't worship anything in creation, just worship creation. It's a means of reconnecting with the world.

    Fixed because you need some book learnin' and to stop using terms based on emotional association rather than actual definition.
    Not to be a referee here, but certain things need to be defined to carry on a philisophical debate, and that really hasn't been done here. (It's in the rules.)

    You need definitions for all your key terms.

    Yours veer away from the vast majority of learned religious and philosophical discourse.
    Since religion and lack thereof seems to be the topic of debate more than anything, I'll offer a definition.

    Religion - from latin, meaning "to reconnect" or "to tie fast"

    Used in it's modern context, it's assumed a wealth of ritual and dogma. However, the word itself simply means your way of reconnecting with the world.

    There are atheist religions.

    Please learn to listen before you lecture.

    Incenjucar on
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    CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    You need definitions for all your key terms if you're going to argue over them.

    Since religion and lack thereof seems to be the topic of debate more than anything, I'll offer a definition.

    Religion - from latin, meaning "to reconnect" or "to tie fast"

    Used in it's modern context, it's assumed a wealth of ritual and dogma. However, the word itself simply means your way of reconnecting with the world.

    The etymology of religion is fairly debatable.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion#Etymology

    CheerfulBear on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Spiritual laziness is what I implied. Not physical laziness. Agnostics and Atheists don't search for spiritual enlightenment during life. A Gnostic seeks to cultivate a personal relationship with the God that they know exists. It's like anti-idol worship. Don't worship anything in creation, just worship creation. It's a means of reconnecting with the world.

    I don't believe in spirits, so you might as well accuse me of not searching for a way of enriching my marklarks.

    DarkPrimus on
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    Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jebu wrote:
    And I was positing that there is no God to create the situation of "Cool, no God, I'm gonna go rape/steal/murder!" that we seem to be talking about for these supposed people who are moral only because of religion.

    Speaking of which, if they really do think this, these people seriously need to go reread the goddamn Bible. You don't get into heaven by pretending to be a good person, you go to heaven by being a good person.

    I think this all started from the experience that a lot of us have had, which is:

    "Oh, you're an atheist? But you seem like such a nice person, if you don't believe in God why aren't you out there stealing and murdering to get what you want?" - Naive Religious Friend

    Now, this isn't exactly the same as:

    "I only refrain from murder/rape/pillage because I am afraid of God" - Same Religious Friend

    but it's close. I think maybe we could find some interesting conclusions if we explore the differences between those two statements.
    In the latter case however there is an exceptionally good chance that the person just hasn't thought about the statement very much. They say it because it's the easy thing to say, it provides the easy answer and justification. If you sat them down, and really drilled them about it, then you'd probably find that indeed they wouldn't do those things - however, they've been with religious institutions providing their morality for so long that they're pretty much obstructed from realizing it independently.

    I think that's very much along the lines of something Loren said earlier:
    I think it's fairly safe to say that their ethical intuitions have been blinded and blunted by religious dogma. they may very well need religion now, but there is nothing significant to suggest that they started out that way.

    And I agree with it. Having always had morality served to them by religion, some number of religious people don't realize, or haven't thought about the fact, that morality can come from within oneself instead of being imposed by an outside force (be it God or the pope).


    Mad_Morlock:
    You say that agnostics and atheists are spiritually lazy. What exactly is spiritual laziness? How do you define spirituality?

    And while I'm all for being informed by the Latin roots of words, I think it's asinine to suggest that we should restrict ourselves to using them only in that way. When we say "religion" we are talking about a set of beliefs that (at least to me) includes supernatural beliefs and makes statements pertaining to morality and the nature of reality.

    Zul the Conqueror on
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    AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Gorak, titmouse: You're missing the point. Even if they are truly bad people, it's still better for society, and for themselves, if something is suppressing that.

    Does this mean we should have a dystopia like society like that of Equilibrium/Brave New World [IIRC], where emotions that might cause people to act irrationally or attack others are stripped away by government enforced medications.

    Are you really so surprised that religion is very much a mechanism for sociological control of people, considering this has been one of the primary purposes of many religions for hundreds of years?

    However, I digress off the point I want to make.

    If we have a person who is mentally insane and is only restricted from doing something because of said impairment- say they can't exit their house from fear of being hit by a lightning bolt from Zeus- would you not agree this person is a potential danger to others?

    The "I would do immoral acts if there was no God" people quite frankly fucking terrify the shit out of me in the same way the mentally insane person above would. One day, they might decide they can leave their house or "moral confinement" and act upon whatever impulses they particularly want to. If the fear of divine punishment is the only thing keeping potential nutcases at bay, I for one do not think that is sufficient and such people should be locked up in a mental asylum and treated.

    I am not willing to play Russian roulette with such people to find out what could make them lose their faith and go on a killing spree. Just in the same way that I think a very seriously mentally disturbed person shouldn't be allowed to just "go off their meds" and get access to firearms. The difference is we don't give firearms easily to mentally disturbed people, we DO allow people of the "I don't kill people because I'm afraid of divine punishment" crowd guns. In fact, numerous such people are sitting on tons of firearms and probably worse right now.

    You think, somehow, this is a positive thing these people exist at all and this is acceptable?

    Baffling.

    Aegeri on
    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
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    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    In the latter case however there is an exceptionally good chance that the person just hasn't thought about the statement very much. They say it because it's the easy thing to say, it provides the easy answer and justification. If you sat them down, and really drilled them about it, then you'd probably find that indeed they wouldn't do those things - however, they've been with religious institutions providing their morality for so long that they're pretty much obstructed from realizing it independently.

    I think that's very much along the lines of something Loren said earlier:
    I think it's fairly safe to say that their ethical intuitions have been blinded and blunted by religious dogma. they may very well need religion now, but there is nothing significant to suggest that they started out that way.

    And I agree with it. Having always had morality served to them by religion, some number of religious people don't realize, or haven't thought about the fact, that morality can come from within oneself instead of being imposed by an outside force (be it God or the pope).
    I don't think I'm quite in agreement with what Loren said there. I don't think these people actually really need religion, just that since they can't conceive of not having it till they have a crisis of faith, that they're going to be inclined to say stupid things re: morality because at the moment they don't have to think about it - it is "The Answer", and that'll do.

    There are probably some people for whom this is generally the case either since they've had their moral compass blunted or they never had it, but I think these are far fewer in number simply because we have to make some fairly egregious assumptions about our population if there were to be a lot of them - i.e. being relatively secular, we should see more of them, but we don't.

    electricitylikesme on
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    Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Incenjucar: My own personal God told me to tell you to kiss my holy ass.

    To debate you have to decide on proper definitions. It's part of the rules. Words can mean different things to different people. Debates can evem go on for days as even words within the definition have to be defined.

    For example... I could call you a fucking douche bag with his head stuck up his ass. If you want to debate that we can, but we should first clarify what I meant by "douche bag." Am I implying that you are actually "a small syringe having detachable nozzles for fluid injections, used chiefly for vaginal lavage and for enemas."? Or am I saying something else?

    Onto the topic of spiritual laziness.

    To be a "practicing" Agnostic, you don't spend your days in meditation or prayer seeking enlightenment. You wait and see. An Atheist doesn't bother to wait and see. Nothing is required. There is no spiritual growth because there's no fuel for the fire.
    Last I checked gnosticism was a TYPE of theism that tends to have a more impersonal deity, but it has its origins in a specific group.

    Islam and Buddhism don't put a big guy with a white beard on a throne up in Heaven. Implying that Christian Gnostics were the only ones to come up with the idea of seeking enlightenment while still alive is stupid and very Western of you.
    A Gnostic seeks to cultivate a personal relationship with the God that they believe exists. It's like idol worship of everything. Don't worship anything in creation, just worship creation. It's a means of reconnecting with the world.

    Fixed because you need some book learnin' and to stop using terms based on emotional association rather than actual definition.

    What emotional association?

    As for my definition of the word religion, that's the latin meaning. That's where the world comes from. If you want to debate it, do it properly.

    What the hell would an Atheist religion be reconnecting with, hmmmm?

    Mad_Morlock on
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    werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Wow, just ...... wow.

    Ok, from the top.
    ...... you do realize choosing misleading terms to make what you believe sound better is idiotic in a discussion, right? Just using negative words for the options you don't agree with and positive words for the option you like isn't actually an argument.

    Just because you don't understand what you're reading doesn't mean I have to dumb myself down for you.

    Trust me, you'll have a hard time talking over anyone's head here, as we tend to be a fairly intelligent group (for an internet forum anyway :) ).

    I was more referring to your incredibly fair and balanced (note the thick sarcasm here) comparison between Agnostism (who you dumb down to it's a coin flip, but they must use Pascal's Wager to believe in God), Atheists
    (They don't believe therefore they don't care therefore are lazy which is both wrong and condescending) and Gnostics (who are apparently the only people who can examine spiritual matters and are therefore full of sunshine and rainbows).
    I don't believe you should be able to refer to Gnostics as one religious sect. The word applies to other faiths as well. Buddhism and Islam could both be considered Gnostic faiths, even though Buddhism is more of a belief system, it still implies that insight provides awareness. In fact, Agnostics and Atheists could probably be grouped into the one catergory while the Gnostic faiths could be grouped in the other.

    The word you were trying to quote from me is "movement", not sect, which is an entirely different matter. And again, your bias is clearly showing here. The opposite of atheism is not gnosticism specifically, it's all at best all religions.

    Simply because you find gnosticism the best religious fit in no way gives it any inherent superiority. ANY belief system should include reflection and analysis of any new information and evidence, and making that the central tenet of a religious movement doesn't give said movement any more credibility or intellectual cache.
    Spiritual laziness is what I implied. Not physical laziness. Agnostics and Atheists don't search for spiritual enlightenment during life. A Gnostic seeks to cultivate a personal relationship with the God that they know exists. It's like anti-idol worship. Don't worship anything in creation, just worship creation. It's a means of reconnecting with the world.

    If you want to use a non-traditional definition of a word, that's fine, but you need to make the extra effort to make your meaning clear. It's not especially reasonable to assume that people will get you mean "spiritually lazy" when all you use is lazy.

    As to your actual point, I can't say I agree with your basic premise. Agnostics and Atheists will almost inevitably, in current society, be required to put in MORE intellectual effort, not less, because of the current bias towards religion. To be publicly athiestic, and to a lesser extent agnostic, requires continual justification and argument against those who assume as you seem to, that it's simply laziness or pain-in-the-ass-ness that leads one to reject religion.

    Speaking personally, and I think for the majority of atheists on this board, I'm atheistic because, after a great deal of philosophical and logical debate and reflection, I have yet to find a single reason to believe in a higher power, and a virtually infinite number of reasons not to.

    So feel free not to assume that disagreeing with your belief system automatically translates into being lazy, spiritually or otherwise.
    Not to be a referee here, but certain things need to be defined to carry on a philisophical debate, and that really hasn't been done here. (It's in the rules.)

    You need definitions for all your key terms if you're going to argue over them.

    Since religion and lack thereof seems to be the topic of debate more than anything, I'll offer a definition.

    Religion - from latin, meaning "to reconnect" or "to tie fast"

    Used in it's modern context, it's assumed a wealth of ritual and dogma. However, the word itself simply means your way of reconnecting with the world.


    No, in fact hell no.

    Unless you're the one starting the thread, it's generally extremely frowned upon to try this kind of mid-debate redefinition crap. You want to have an intelligent discussion, you'll damn well use the universally accepted definitions of words, or else the entire thread becomes a painful descent into futility.

    Religion simply, and only, means "systems of common belief regarding the supernatural, sacred, divine or highest truth, and the moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals associated with such belief or system of thought."

    We're not getting into the whole "but my definition of religion lets me say ...." because once you drift into personal interpretations of common definitions we spend more time bitching about what things mean that actually discussing them.

    werehippy on
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    CheerfulBearCheerfulBear Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    What the hell would an Atheist religion be reconnecting with, hmmmm?

    Okay, look, the actual Latin word "religio" does not mean "to reconnect."

    And again, the etymology in Latin is debatable, so it's really not strengthening your argument at all.

    CheerfulBear on
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    PrincepsPrinceps Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Islam really isn't that similar to Gnosticism in terms of their conceptions of God, Morlock. Rather traditional Christianity and Islam are the similar ones in that respect with Gnosticism being more of an Eastern, pessimistic divergence from Christianity.

    I'm not sure what you've studied about these topics but you seem kind of ignorant of the general spirituality you're arguing for. As someone with Christian sympathies I must recommend you walk away. Just walk away, outlander. Just walk away.

    Princeps on
    It goes like this
    The fourth, the fifth
    The minor fall, the major lift
    The baffled king composing Hallelujah
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    Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fine, then would the original creator of this thread please define the following terms:

    God

    Religion

    Agnosticism

    Atheism

    Gnosticism


    While you're at it, could you define "Allah" as well? I'd like to see it provides a different definition than that of God.

    My implications towards gnosis is simply that of the pursuit of knowledge. Spiritual knowledge is self-knowledge. I'd put forth that any religion that no longer considers itself a gnostic faith has actually schismed away from the original intentions of the faith.

    Mad_Morlock on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    My implications towards gnosis is simply that of the pursuit of knowledge.

    Oh, but science certainly isn't! Those lazy atheists!

    DarkPrimus on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Incenjucar: My own personal God told me to tell you to kiss my holy ass.

    Yeah. You sure told me.
    To debate you have to decide on proper definitions. It's part of the rules. Words can mean different things to different people. Debates can evem go on for days as even words within the definition have to be defined.

    Yes.

    But to change those definitions far away from the actual Philosophical and Theological discourse definitions which are commonly accepted by anyone who knows what the fuck they're talking about in philosophy and theology requires a great deal more function than your personal preference promises to provide.

    Unless your new definitions are going to make the discussion more useful, use the ones the professionals use, so we're working on common ground, and not just YOUR ground.
    For example... I could call you a fucking douche bag with his head stuck up his ass. If you want to debate that we can, but we should first clarify what I meant by "douche bag." Am I implying that you are actually "a small syringe having detachable nozzles for fluid injections, used chiefly for vaginal lavage and for enemas."? Or am I saying something else?

    Yeah. This will end well.
    Onto the topic of spiritual laziness.

    To be a "practicing" Agnostic, you don't spend your days in meditation or prayer seeking enlightenment. You wait and see.

    Yeah, and rape doesn't hurt unless you're using a drill in the ass.

    Many agnostics spend their entire lives striving to be something other than agnostics. Many of them want to be able to make a decision, but are unable to reconcile either side. And, like atheists, they are quite capable of spiritual practices and beliefs, they simply cannot tell you whether they think deities exist.
    An Atheist doesn't bother to wait and see. Nothing is required. There is no spiritual growth because there's no fuel for the fire.

    Go tell that to the Jainists or atheistic Buddhists out there, or atheists like myself who meditate and commune with the world without feeling there's a supernatural mastermind behind it all.

    You really, really, have no fucking clue what you're talking about kid, DO SOME RESEARCH.
    Last I checked gnosticism was a TYPE of theism that tends to have a more impersonal deity, but it has its origins in a specific group.

    Islam and Buddhism don't put a big guy with a white beard on a throne up in Heaven. Implying that Christian Gnostics were the only ones to come up with the idea of seeking enlightenment while still alive is stupid and very Western of you.
    [/quote]

    And aside from the versions of Buddhism where the Buddha is treated like a supreme being rather than just an awesome spiritual teacher, BUDDHISM IS OFTEN CONSIDERED ATHEISTIC.

    Atheism and Theism relate to the supreme entities known as GODS and GODDESSES and the generic DEITIES.

    The stance on the supernatural is not decided by the stance on the existence of godheads.
    A Gnostic seeks to cultivate a personal relationship with the God that they believe exists. It's like idol worship of everything. Don't worship anything in creation, just worship creation. It's a means of reconnecting with the world.

    Fixed because you need some book learnin' and to stop using terms based on emotional association rather than actual definition.
    What emotional association?

    Totem-worship, like the term 'cult', is what one religious group uses to snub their noses at their rival religions. It's a lameass emotional association you're trying to use, with no understanding of the problems with the term.
    As for my definition of the word religion, that's the latin meaning. That's where the world comes from. If you want to debate it, do it properly.

    The etymology of the word "Religion" remains in heated debate.

    Look at the wiki article, it sums it up fairly nicely.
    What the hell would an Atheist religion be reconnecting with, hmmmm?

    Gee, I don't know, the world, each other, some non-deific mystical notion, ourselves?

    Again. Go ask the Jainists and the atheistic Buddhists.

    Incenjucar on
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    werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Incenjucar: My own personal God told me to tell you to kiss my holy ass.

    To debate you have to decide on proper definitions. It's part of the rules. Words can mean different things to different people. Debates can evem go on for days as even words within the definition have to be defined.

    For example... I could call you a fucking douche bag with his head stuck up his ass. If you want to debate that we can, but we should first clarify what I meant by "douche bag." Am I implying that you are actually "a small syringe having detachable nozzles for fluid injections, used chiefly for vaginal lavage and for enemas."? Or am I saying something else?

    Hey, class act! :^:

    Why address the actual point when you can just call them a douche bag! But be careful, if you don't do it in a super-subtle round about way people might notice, and then you'd look stupid!
    Onto the topic of spiritual laziness.

    To be a "practicing" Agnostic, you don't spend your days in meditation or prayer seeking enlightenment. You wait and see. An Atheist doesn't bother to wait and see. Nothing is required. There is no spiritual growth because there's no fuel for the fire.

    I have a feeling from your incredibly mature response so far I'm wasting my time, but what the hell.

    The issue here is you're acting as if your value set is the only logical way of approaching religious discussion, which you're nowhere near establishing (I'll save you the time and tell you that it's not going to happen). You assume days of prayer and meditation and the only way to "grow spiritually" (an arbitrary and so far undefined act you have apparently decided is good).

    If you want to claim that other belief systems can't grow or consider new religious developments, you have to actually put a bit more work in that "no fuel on the fire." Show me how exactly my logically exhaustive, continually defended, decision that there is no God has been less personally useful or led to less "spiritual growth" than your search, and then we can talk.

    Until then, we're back to "Using negative phrases for one option and positive for another isn't actually an argument in and of itself."
    Last I checked gnosticism was a TYPE of theism that tends to have a more impersonal deity, but it has its origins in a specific group.

    Islam and Buddhism don't put a big guy with a white beard on a throne up in Heaven. Implying that Christian Gnostics were the only ones to come up with the idea of seeking enlightenment while still alive is stupid and very Western of you.

    It's not very Western of him, it's very definitional of him. Gnosticism is traditionally associated with Christian religions. You keep using the word "gnostic" and lo and behold, people assume you know what you're talking about and are actually referring to the right thing.

    That isn't to say there are not similar movements in other religious traditions. But they don't fall under the same name, and so there's no reason to get huffy when people don't magically assume you're referring to them when you say gnostic.
    A Gnostic seeks to cultivate a personal relationship with the God that they believe exists. It's like idol worship of everything. Don't worship anything in creation, just worship creation. It's a means of reconnecting with the world.

    Fixed because you need some book learnin' and to stop using terms based on emotional association rather than actual definition.

    What emotional association?

    The entire gist of this critique of what you are trying to say is it only holds up if you already hold the assumptions you seem to, ie that "spiritual growth" exists, is defined, and holds some positive value, and of course that gnosticism is the best way to go about things.

    If you simply rely on the actual meaning of the words being used, and don't add the emotional baggage you seem to, all we are left with is you arbitrarily feel atheism/agnosticism are bad or lazy, and gnosticism is good.
    As for my definition of the word religion, that's the latin meaning. That's where the world comes from. If you want to debate it, do it properly.

    What the hell would an Atheist religion be reconnecting with, hmmmm?

    Lation ROOTS, you are trying to use the Latin ROOTS to overrule the actual definition, completely leaving aside the fact a great many people with a great deal more expertise than anyone here feel the roots definition is quite ambigious and is in no way certain to mean what you claim it does.

    So again, use the actual, universal definition (www.dictionary.com or www.wikipedia.com if you can't do it without help).

    werehippy on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    While you're at it, could you define "Allah" as well? I'd like to see it provides a different definition than that of God.

    While you're at it, I want someone to define "Pisces" as something different from "Fish" and "Avian" as some sort of mole creature that lives in lava.

    Incenjucar on
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    PrincepsPrinceps Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Allah is a continuation of the Hebrew Yahweh as is the Christian God. The only important difference is between the Christian God and the others owing to his triune nature. Excepting that Allah ("the God" in Arabic, as all should be aware) is not a triune-deity it still contains all the essential characteristics of the Hebrew God worshiped by all three Abrahamic faiths.

    I really don't know what you've read about Islam but it is distinctly a Western religion in most important ways. Gnosticism is the intruder, or outsider among the faiths you are mentioning. And by the by your argument pro-Gnosticism seems based on some vague sense that "Gnosis=Knowledge=Good", oh man this religion must rock!

    I assume/hope you must have something better than that or else we should probably all be on board with Scientology as well. (Science! Sounds good to me!)

    Princeps on
    It goes like this
    The fourth, the fifth
    The minor fall, the major lift
    The baffled king composing Hallelujah
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    AegeriAegeri Tiny wee bacteriums Plateau of LengRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    My implications towards gnosis is simply that of the pursuit of knowledge.

    Oh, but science certainly isn't! Those lazy atheists!

    I love how he thinks he gets to define terms (inaccurately) and then insult people who call him out for being an idiot.

    The padawan has much to learn despite thinking he's an internet debating Jedi knight.

    Aegeri on
    The Roleplayer's Guild: My blog for roleplaying games, advice and adventuring.
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    werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Aegeri wrote:
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    My implications towards gnosis is simply that of the pursuit of knowledge.

    Oh, but science certainly isn't! Those lazy atheists!

    I love how he thinks he gets to define terms (inaccurately) and then insult people who call him out for being an idiot.

    The padawan has much to learn despite thinking he's an internet debating Jedi knight.

    Hey, hey, careful now. We already know that he's obviously smarter than any of us here, he's shown it clearly with his blistering wit and clear ability to better right when we're all wrong.



    Not that I usually like playing Dogpile on the Retard, but it's been awhile since someone has just shown up and acted as if pointing out how their wrong was a declaration of our own retardation.

    werehippy on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    It's funny, because most of us probably know more about the big three than he does.

    Fencingsax on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Gnostics believe. Life becomes a pathway to the divine. One where you can search for clues along the way towards knowing God. The clues are like reading horoscopes... you're really only looking into a mirror and seeing what you want to see. But the idea is to look into that mirror and search for God... only to discover the God within yourself that is part and parcel of the entirety of creation.

    "believe"...

    okay, belief, in the epistemic sense--that is belief that aims at representing knowledge about the world (this seems appropriate, as you seem to be very keen on both of these)--requires that we believe a given proposition to be true, not merely that we wish it were so. whyis it wrong to beleive a proposition to be true just because it might feel good to believe it? one need only linger over, you may enjoy this, the meaning of the word "because"(middle english "by" + "cause") to see the problem here. "because suggests a causal connection between a proposition's being true and a person's believing that it is. this explains the value that we generally place on evidence: because evidence is simply an account of the causal linkage between states of the world and our beliefs about them.

    we can believe a proposition to be true only because something in our experience, or in our reasoning about the world, actually speaks to the truth of the proposition in question. this explains why beliefs that are accidentally true do not constitute actual knowledge. the basic fact is that for our beliefs to be truly representative of the world, they must stand in the right relationship to the world.

    you don't seem to understand knowing, still.

    Loren Michael on
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    Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Ok... you want proof of God existence? I had it all typed up. Three pages of gold. Clicked submit and got bumped back to the login window. Clicked back in my browser but it was all gone... I don't choose to anthropomorphize the supreme underlying order of reality, but if I were to for just a moment, I'd agree with the Jews and call him a Vengeful Prick.

    Having said that, my original point was to discuss how language plays a major role in the development of a religion and philosophy. According to both Buddha and Mohammad, an agent of this supreme order speaks only once in a language.

    Moses spoke Hebrew.
    Jesus spoke Aramaic.
    Mohammad spoke Arabic.

    What we're lacking right now is a good solid english-speaking Christ or Buddha. If it's never properly happened in the English language then it's easy to see how the meaning can get lost in translation.

    The Muslim Revelations also make references to the arrival of a time called "The Ignorance," where true knowledge is lost. One generation cannot ensure their children see the world the same way. Old knowledge (ie: the mystery of faith) can be lost between generations. Give the world a few generations of War and Fear and it's easy to see how that happens.

    It's not a question of good, evil, godhead, deities, or prophets. It's just a question of meaning. The history of the world, which by my definition is a history of religion, says life has an inherent meaning.

    This isn't really very close to my original words, but the Act of Friggin' God pissed me off so much I'm going to go watch Appleseed instead.

    Mad_Morlock on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Ok... you want proof of God existence? I had it all typed up. Three pages of gold. Clicked submit and got bumped back to the login window.

    Just so we know how we would've disproved your laughable claim, what was your general reasoning?

    Fencingsax on
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    JebuJebu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jebu wrote:
    And I was positing that there is no God to create the situation of "Cool, no God, I'm gonna go rape/steal/murder!" that we seem to be talking about for these supposed people who are moral only because of religion.

    Speaking of which, if they really do think this, these people seriously need to go reread the goddamn Bible. You don't get into heaven by pretending to be a good person, you go to heaven by being a good person.

    I think this all started from the experience that a lot of us have had, which is:

    "Oh, you're an atheist? But you seem like such a nice person, if you don't believe in God why aren't you out there stealing and murdering to get what you want?" - Naive Religious Friend

    Now, this isn't exactly the same as:

    "I only refrain from murder/rape/pillage because I am afraid of God" - Same Religious Friend

    but it's close. I think maybe we could find some interesting conclusions if we explore the differences between those two statements.

    I think there is a big difference between the two statements in that context. The Naive Religious Friend is most likely someone who has been religious his entire life, and thus has a view that all goodness and virtue emanate from God, and thus is surprised to find out that people who do not believe in God could share these qualities and believe in morals. That's a quality of their naivety, not their faith or their morals. Most people like this wouldn't murder/rape/pillage because they know that it is wrong in the context of their upbringing as well as their religion, and they just don't understand yet that there are different ways to reach these same conclusions.

    That said, there are people out there who have this whole carrot/stick approach to God and heaven, and it really doesn't make sense. The Old Testament was in large part about a God who laid down the law and smote the shit out of anyone who disobeyed, but the New Testament was a huge reform to that. It offered up a promise of a perfect world that was offered to man freely, instead of a contract to be agreed to and followed to the letter. Bible-thumping Fundamentalist Christians who go on and on about the fires of Hell really piss me off, because they completely missed the point.

    Jebu on
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    Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Another question...

    How could Atheists or Agnostics even begin to debate the nature of Gnosism?

    If you don't care, or don't know, then you've never existed in a state of knowing, which is primarily what Gnosticism is all about.

    Mystery cults and what not... the implication there is that there's just something about reality that an Atheist or Agnostic chooses to overlook.

    One of the first steps on the Eight Fold Path of Buddhism is right sight. If taken to mean right preception or right viewpoint, then the intention of the first step on the path is understanding what is in front of your own face. It's more a method of increasing your own perceptual awareness of the world around you and within you.

    To take another note from the Gospel of St. Thomas:
    Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.

    For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised.]"

    Mad_Morlock on
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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    What we're lacking right now is a good solid english-speaking Christ or Buddha.

    L. Ron Hubbard?

    DarkPrimus on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    So your entire problem with a position of disbelief is... that its a position of disbelief.

    Ok, that's nice.

    The Cat on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Dude.

    Please don't go into the lame "No True Christian" style rhetoric. It's been done before, it doesn't do jackall.

    Incenjucar on
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    werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Fencingsax wrote:
    Ok... you want proof of God existence? I had it all typed up. Three pages of gold. Clicked submit and got bumped back to the login window.

    Just so we know how we would've disproved your laughable claim, what was your general reasoning?

    Honestly, I'd pay good money to see something I couldn't tear immediate holes through.

    I've debated (or more accurately argued since no one ever has quiet discussions about religion :) ) people that I outright consider brilliant and who I respect immensely, and I've never heard anything that remotely resembles proof, or that holds up against even the loosest of critical discussions.
    Having said that, my original point was to discuss how language plays a major role in the development of a religion and philosophy. According to both Buddha and Mohammad, an agent of this supreme order speaks only once in a language.

    The first is certainly an interesting topic, though not one that really makes for light talk. There's a fascinating body of research into how language forms the framework of ideas, and some interesting speculative work on what this means for various schools of thought.

    The second part though, I find somewhat more nebulous.
    Moses spoke Hebrew.
    Jesus spoke Aramaic.
    Mohammad spoke Arabic.

    What we're lacking right now is a good solid english-speaking Christ or Buddha. If it's never properly happened in the English language then it's easy to see how the meaning can get lost in translation.

    I 'd say that we've never had a non-laughable religious prophet who spoke English because by the time the language existed we were more likely to diagnose than follow someone who made the kind of claims attributed to past prophets.
    The Muslim Revelations also make references to the arrival of a time called "The Ignorance," where true knowledge is lost. One generation cannot ensure their children see the world the same way. Old knowledge (ie: the mystery of faith) can be lost between generations. Give the world a few generations of War and Fear and it's easy to see how that happens.

    Ignoring the first part as the kind of thing every generic apocalyptic prophecy says, I'd take issue with the second part, about a few generations of War and Fear. As much as horrible things may continue to happen, the world has progressed so staggeringly much that I'm honestly at a lose to think of anything short of a full nuclear holocaust that could be worse than the entirety of human history that has come before.

    Old knowledge, or more accurately religious belief as that's what you actually mean, is being lost because there's is less and less reason to belief, and more and more reason not to. As I said before, I've waited my whole life to hear anything resembling a reason to believe in God, and as the general population becomes more educated more people will want the same before they believe in something that contradicts reality.

    Religion isn't failing because the world is getting worse, it's failing because the world is getting better and we don't need a magic force to make us feel better.
    It's not a question of good, evil, godhead, deities, or prophets. It's just a question of meaning. The history of the world, which by my definition is a history of religion, says life has an inherent meaning.

    This isn't really very close to my original words, but the Act of Friggin' God pissed me off so much I'm going to go watch Appleseed instead.

    I'd disagree with everything except the idea that life has meaning, and even there I disagree with you that the only thing that gives life meaning is religion.

    werehippy on
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    FCDFCD Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Another question...

    How could Atheists or Agnostics even begin to debate the nature of Gnosism?

    If you don't care, or don't know, then you've never existed in a state of knowing, which is primarily what Gnosticism is all about.

    Knowing what? What, exactly, are you talking about?

    FCD on
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