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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

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
_blackjack_
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:42 am (UTC)
Or never got that bit of the skullmeat stimulated in just the right way.

If it hasn't happened yet, I doubt it would. Moreover, I tend to take a sufficiently analytical, objective approach to my own brain function that if it did happen, I would probably just go "huh," and move on. I'm the sort of guy who uses getting drunk as an opportunity to perform neurophysiological experiements on myself.
chadu
Feb. 23rd, 2005 02:49 am (UTC)
He's not a happy drunk, he's a Skinner drunk!

:)

CU

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