?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Huh. Via utforsker. Equally offensive to mainstream Monotheists and Pagans. Yet possessed of a very discomfiting bit of truth. Thoughts, anyone?

Also, today is the 7-year anniversary of my first day working at this organization. Why does this make me queasy?

Some people get motion-sick; I get inertia-sick.

Comments

chadu
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
I'm not fond of equating "faith" and "religion." Not the same thing, to my eyes.

I don't think God is imaginary. Hell, these days I'm more likely to think we're imaginary (the dreams of God, part of the holographic universe, atman blinding itself with maya, that sort of thing).

CU
tripoli
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC)
Faith (and belief) and religion aren't synonymous--and in the period city_of_dis was talking about, they weren't even in the same neighorhood. Modern Western religion tends to conflate them, because faith is central to the practice of that religion, to the point where adequate alternate terms don't really exist in the language. Lately it's becoming vogue to identify with "faith" or "spirituality" as a rejection of dogmatic religion, but that's a reaction rather than a genuine separation. Not saying that's your situation, Chadu, just brain-scratching.
chadu
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
My particular situation is that I'm more-or-less agnostic: I believe in a god, but I don't think anyone or anything can state "this is how God is" without it being an opinion.

In reading city_of_dis' post, I did feel that my simple belief in some sort of God was being equated to my support of a system of "slavery."

CU
tripoli
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I mean, I don't *think* there's a god, but I also don't think that can be proven. So I guess I'm either a dictionary-definition agnostic or a wishy-washy atheist.

As for Dis--if you (generic you) accept that religion is fundamentally a control system, then it follows that any product of religion (such as the belief in a vague form of deity) is a product of that system. Not the same, but not totally separate, either.
chadu
Feb. 22nd, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
I don't see religion as "dundamentally a control system." I see religion as "attempts to share individual gnosis that get co-opted into control systems."

A slim distinction, but one I'm pretty solid on making. I have a hard time believing that religions are founded to control some segment of the population. (However, "religions founded as a control system of information" -- Approved and Not Approved texts, for example -- is a much more arguable point.)

CU
(no subject) - tripoli - Feb. 22nd, 2005 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 22nd, 2005 09:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 22nd, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 23rd, 2005 12:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tripoli - Feb. 23rd, 2005 01:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - splifford - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 24th, 2005 01:07 am (UTC) - Expand
_blackjack_
Feb. 23rd, 2005 12:07 am (UTC)
So I guess I'm either a dictionary-definition agnostic or a wishy-washy atheist.

There's no reason you can't be both. Agnosticism is an epistemological position, and atheism an ontological one. One can admit that absolute objective knowledge is impossible, but still conclude that, within said limits of knowledge, that something does not exist. People rarely feel compelled to qualify themselves as agnostic towards the tooth fairy or the proverbial invisible purple unicorns. An agnostic atheist simple places gods among the very large set of things for which there is no evidence, and thus can be assumed not to be.

(There's a larger epistemological problem revolving around belief in something that operates independent of, and can alter, the basic criteria for knowledge, but I'll save that for later.)
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 23rd, 2005 03:11 am (UTC) - Expand
_blackjack_
Feb. 22nd, 2005 11:19 pm (UTC)
Faith (and belief) and religion aren't synonymous--and in the period city_of_dis was talking about, they weren't even in the same neighorhood.

Indeed. Emphasis on "right belief" as opposed to "right practice" is a fairly recent development. It didn't matter so much what you believed about the gods, so long as you burned the right bits of the cow and did the right chant. Even early creeds tended to be more like "O Dionysus, you make the vines abundant!" or "Yahweh, you brought us out of the two Egypts!" not "There is no God but God!" or "...And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages."
chadu
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:34 am (UTC)
I especially like the Roman's "legal contract" style of prayer.

CU
fenriss
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I absolutely think god is imaginary. That goes for my gods, too. They are mythological. But still arguably "real" in a sense. A myth is a kind of a truth, after all.

But some kind of SuperBeing, personal and separate from us, who sees and knows all? No way, man. I see not a shred of evidence for it.

And I also entirely fail to comprehend "faith". I'm not sure if I have something like faith or not. For example, I am inclined to believe things for which there is both evidence for and against (e.g, that suffering is undesirable, and we should try to help others avoid it), but I think that is more properly named "wishful thinking". I don't know if it's at all rational.

You know, I'd love to talk to someone who grew up in a family like mine (meaning: "No, the god thing is a myth. Some people believe it, but we don't") but who actually does believe in a personal god. Because I always assume that the reason I am 100% percent incapable of buying it is because it was perceived as a myth by my very progenitors from the first day of my curiosity about such things. After that, no number of zealots from a dozen different faiths insisting that I meet their imaginary friend or perish in flames can make me think it's true.

I mean, how does a person from my kind of upbringing ever come to believe something like that?
tripoli
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:47 pm (UTC)
I know a couple of religious people who grew up in irreligious families--I think for them, it was a major event or relationship later in their lives. Born-Agains are scary, but some of them just converted because it felt like the thing to do. I don't get it, but then, I'm a godless infidel.
chadu
Feb. 22nd, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC)
But some kind of SuperBeing, personal and separate from us, who sees and knows all? No way, man. I see not a shred of evidence for it.

My vision of God contains a personal diety that is both indwelling and separate. Quick analogy: people are the fingers, God is the hand. They're all part of the same piece of the body, and are both separate and together.

And I also entirely fail to comprehend "faith".

I'd say that faith is hope that can be blind to reason, which one feels strongly.

After that, no number of zealots from a dozen different faiths insisting that I meet their imaginary friend or perish in flames can make me think it's true.

You don't have to meet God, IMAO. God's already there, in you; you're part of God. God's cool with where you are if you're cool with where you are. . . provided you aren't a self-deluded, solipistic, raving psychopath. Which you ain't.

Again, IMAO.

CU
_blackjack_
Feb. 23rd, 2005 12:32 am (UTC)
I'd say that faith is hope that can be blind to reason, which one feels strongly.

Or, to put it more bluntly, it is belief grounded in emotion rather than fact.
chadu
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:25 am (UTC)
I'd accept that as a definition.

CU
_blackjack_
Feb. 23rd, 2005 12:43 am (UTC)
You know, I'd love to talk to someone who grew up in a family like mine (meaning: "No, the god thing is a myth. Some people believe it, but we don't") but who actually does believe in a personal god.

Such people exist. Simone Weil is a well-known example. She was raised in the tradition of European agnostic socialist Jewry, but embraced Roman Catholicism (of all things) after serving with the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. Generally speaking, such conversions are the result of some sort of "religious experience", usually framed in a I-can't-explain-it-you-just-had-to-be-there context.

Personally, I suspect that there is a biological aspect to the whole thing. There is evidence that a specific area of the brain is stimulated by religious activities, and I think that the intrinsically (as opposed to habitually) non-religious simply don't have that particular bit of wiring.
chadu
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:37 am (UTC)
Or never got that bit of the skullmeat stimulated in just the right way.

I have a couple of the "god part of the brain" books on my wishlist to get and read eventually.

For a fun, wacked out take, there's always Jaynes's The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind which has nearly no scientific credence anymore, but is nifty as hell.

CU
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - chadu - Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:49 am (UTC) - Expand

Profile

ghost
fenriss
Fenriss

Latest Month

February 2019
S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728  

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner