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Do you believe in God

 
blacksmith
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Jeroen Wenting:
That classifies atheism in your mind as a religion, therefore a belief system.
Actually, to clarify, when people ask me what my religion is (assuming that I have one), I generally reply "none". In this case, the guy then asked me whether I was agnostic or atheist, and I told him I was atheist.
My 'belief system' is rationalism ("show me"), I guess; I don't know whether that's true of every atheist, though in my experience it's true of most. My ethical system is based on treating all beings using the same ethical framework, and I know that's not true of every atheist.
I respect all religions that respect the fact that I'm not part of them and don't want to be.
Atheism is more respectfull of that point of view than most religions are simply because most religions hold strongly that all should be made members dead or alive.

Well, I'll admit to knowing some atheists that are like that, too, unfortunately - and some agnostics, too. Then again, I'm not actually certain that religions that consider their members too good for other people to join are all that much better than religions that strongly encourage other people to join - I prefer the few religions that don't mind if their members associate with noncoreligionists on an equal basis.
 
author and iconoclast
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
You state yourself that you tell people your religion is atheism.
That classifies atheism in your mind as a religion, therefore a belief system.
As atheism is founded on the belief in the non-existence of god(s), I rest my case.


If someone asks you, a Westerner, which shoe Hang Zhong (an obscure Chinese man living on the outskirts of Beijing) should don first that morning, his right or his left, and you say "it doesn't matter," does this mean that you are a Simultanist -- a category invented in contrast to Rightists and Leftists, who have strong beliefs regarding shoe ordering?
Probably not. It probably means that the question is truly irrelevant to you, and you're baffled by it and by the motivations of the people who ask it.
Now, if you are asked this question hundreds of times, you may come to call yourself a Simultanist, because it's easier than trying to explain to people your real relationship to the question. But this doesn't mean that you have a strong belief that Zhong should put both his shoes on simultaneously. It just means that it's human nature to categorize everything in neat little cubbyholes -- even things that are outside one's sphere of understanding.
It's something like my rudimentary understanding of "String Theory." A particle that looks dimensonless to us may in fact have length in dimensions that our senses can't perceive directly. We humans often seem to forget that there may be other cubbyholes, outside of our experience, that don't fit into our neat little rows at all.
[ May 05, 2004: Message edited by: Ernest Friedman-Hill ]
 
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
Well, I'll admit to knowing some atheists that are like that, too, unfortunately - and some agnostics, too.
The worst one of these is Richard Dawkins IMO. His basic premise is that all 'believers' are dumb. Whenever I hear him blaming religion for all of the world's ills I usually end up rooting for the believers!

The human psyche has two great sicknesses: the urge to carry vendetta across generations, and the tendency to fasten group labels on people rather than see them as individuals. Religion fuels both. All violent enmities in the world today fuel their tanks at this holy gas-station. ... Let�s stop being so damned respectful!
From http://www.world-of-dawkins.com/Dawkins/Work/Articles/2001-09time_to_stand_up.shtml


If it wasn't 'religion' it'd be (and often is) some other label we'd be fighting about; nationalism, ethnicity, economics. I don't understand why he has such a bee in his bonnet about God. Religion offers real comfort and benefit to so many people. Why try to make them God-less? I don't see any real benefits. The only time that humanity may discard religious beliefs is when science is able to answer ALL our questions (and how likely is that?).
[ May 05, 2004: Message edited by: Richard Hawkes ]
 
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At the very least, religion serves as the quintessential tool for social control. Especially for the ancients, belief in damnation and eternal suffering could work wonders in molding behavior -- forget cutting off your hand, damn someone to burn in Hell forever and watch them shape up right quick.
To this day, it provides a sturdy foundation for many believers, though often times it is corrupted and manipulated and commercialized by the Church. Regardless, I do think religion serves a legitimate purpose in our society, and we would probably be worse off it was to be abandoned completely.
Though I have no affinity for organized religion, I do wonder how I will raise my children. I've been told sometimes I have a sinister attitude with regards to the Church, and I fully admit this is probably the case. However, I do not want to plague my child with this attitude, nor do I want to subject him/her to the influences of the Church.
For those of you who have similar beliefs as I, how have you gone about raising your children?
 
Richard Hawkes
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The Dawkins fan-site led me to this article by Rev. Don Cupitt:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,624803,00.html
He concludes:

It's time to throw off the nostalgia and the illusions, and make a fresh start. Fantasies of wielding supernatural power are not of much help to children, and the belief that unseen powers will look after us and make sure that nothing very bad ever happens to us doesn't do adults much good, either. If we could see the old pre-scientific culture more clearly we wouldn't really want to go back to it. If we weren't so weighed down by false nostalgia, we might be able to create something very much better, and more suited to our own time. The very fact that we call literature about the old supernatural world's continuing imaginative hold over us "fantasy" is surely a warning that we need to make a clean break with it, for our own good.


He seems to be calling for people's relationships with God to be redefined. Some people's 'religion' are very personal in the sense that they take bits and pieces here and there to create something that suits their life and world view, although ultimately they still believe in a God. It would seem an impossible task to create a religion that accepts God, Jesus, Mohammad etc, without reference to the ancient texts that seem to be the very definitions of those people/entities. The idea is a worthy one though.
 
Greenhorn
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I believe in nature. Nature itself is a big strange. There is a super power that controls the nature and try to balance it whenever there is unbalance. So this super power can be accepted as God.
 
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Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:
For those of you who have similar beliefs as I, how have you gone about raising your children?


Why would you like to impose your beliefs on your children, let him decide what are his beliefs.. I agree child is "most" influenced by his parents but not "fully".
SO let him have his own beliefs, who knows he could another Budha
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by basha khan:

you are only choosing good.you are only following god.


What is good today can be bad tomorrow .. rt ??
Most of the people think about religion the moment you take word GOD.
But God is not associated with any religion because religious text are written by man and their interpretation changes with time.
So you might find a man who believes in God but not in religion.
Do we have any word for these kind of people.
I think now I believe in God .. why ?? hmmm someone should be there to control my life .. becasue there are things which are not in my control. How he controls .. does he has free will or not .. hmm .. do not want to get in to that...
someone something is controlling me .. I am denoting that thing as God .. thats all.
 
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Originally posted by R K Singh:
someone something is controlling me .. I am denoting that thing as God .. thats all.


I denote the samething as wife
 
Jeffrey Hunter
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Why would you like to impose your beliefs on your children


Is that not our job as parents, to instill our children with a core set of values and beliefs which will eventually turn them into the leaders of tomorrow?
A child is in no condition to make decisions about the world around her, when the world around her is still a novel, alien place. If our duty is nothing other than a simple caregiver, who does our child depend on for mentoring, for understanding about who we are, why we are here, etc.
 
town drunk
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Originally posted by Mani Ram:

I denote the samething as wife



lol
 
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:

If someone asks you, a Westerner, which shoe Hang Zhong (an obscure Chinese man living on the outskirts of Beijing) should don first that morning, his right or his left, and you say "it doesn't matter," does this mean that you are a Simultanist -- a category invented in contrast to Rightists and Leftists, who have strong beliefs regarding shoe ordering?
Probably not. It probably means that the question is truly irrelevant to you, and you're baffled by it and by the motivations of the people who ask it.


I'd tell them I don't mind whether he puts his shoes on at all
After all, it's his shoes and his feet.
That might brand me a heretic towards the Rightists and Leftists both, but doesn't mean I am opposed to wearing shoes
I'm constantly baffled by irrate questions, usually asked by spammers and telemarketeers
 
R K Singh
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Is that not our job as parents, to instill our children with a core set of values which will eventually turn them into the leaders of tomorrow?
Yes, its parents job to tell him about the values which will turn his future bright.
I would not like to go to the extreme, but suppose I fear height, should I allow my child to go the places where I fear ??
Its me who fear height, its me who I believe in God, its me who does not believe in religion.
Should I impose these things to my son ??
Or let him make his own right decision...
I am not talking about 3 yr old child who needs 100% guidance from its parents but a child who is old enough to question his surroundings.
If our duty is nothing other than a simple caregiver, who does our child depend on for mentoring, for understanding about who we are, why we are here, etc.
Question comes, mentoring upto what level ??
There is old saying, if you say your child to not to go to near fire, it will go behind your eyes, better let him to near fire infront of your eyes and let him learn that fire burns.
[ May 06, 2004: Message edited by: R K Singh ]
 
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

Why would you like to impose your beliefs on your children, let him decide what are his beliefs.. I agree child is "most" influenced by his parents but not "fully".
SO let him have his own beliefs, who knows he could another Budha


This is a good way to phase out religion all together if the whole world started doing this. My beliefs aside, this is how one keeps his/her religion alive. By passing it on to generation after generation.
If you have no beliefs then you are not really part of that equation. Debatably though, you are passing your non-belief on to your children. And that is your right as a parent to do so.
Though I have no affinity for organized religion, I do wonder how I will raise my children. I've been told sometimes I have a sinister attitude with regards to the Church, and I fully admit this is probably the case. However, I do not want to plague my child with this attitude, nor do I want to subject him/her to the influences of the Church.
Again, my beliefs aside, your job as a parent is to not do much in this situation except explain your position when asked. So when your child asks about church or about some kid at school talking about God or whatever she may ask, just explain to her how you feel living the sinisterness aside. But here's the kicker...If your child does decide to investigate religion more don't stop her.
My beliefs back up front, from the sounds of your concerns about how you will raise your children I would suggest that you have some internal conflicts yourself. The reason I say this is because for someone that just plain doesn't care, they probably won't have any kind of attitude with regards to church. I suggest that those that feel anything negative towards church/religion still have doubts about their beliefs. There has to be a reason why you feel the way you do.
If I am totally off base here, no harm no foul?
 
R K Singh
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This is a good way to phase out religion all together if the whole world started doing this.
Do we really need religion or we need a Law ??
My beliefs aside, this is how one keeps his/her religion alive. By passing it on to generation after generation.
Question remains same, what am I achieving by keeping my religion alive.
Few lines of Dr. Harivansha Rai's poetry:

Translated by me from Hindi:
Budha was against prayers.
You started praying him.
Budha was against idol worship.
You made his idol and started worshiping.
He was bald.
You put black curly hairs.


So this 'You' is human, who will find God in anything and manipulate Him as per his wish. He will interpret religious text, as he wants to interpret.
you are passing your non-belief on to your children. And that is your right as a parent to do so.
Should I go to temple if my son wants to go ??
Why not, its me who does not believe, let him go and explore.
I will go with him.
But here's the kicker...If your child does decide to investigate religion more don't stop her.
Yes, let him find his own path.
 
Jeffrey Hunter
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:


My beliefs back up front, from the sounds of your concerns about how you will raise your children I would suggest that you have some internal conflicts yourself. The reason I say this is because for someone that just plain doesn't care, they probably won't have any kind of attitude with regards to church. I suggest that those that feel anything negative towards church/religion still have doubts about their beliefs. There has to be a reason why you feel the way you do.
If I am totally off base here, no harm no foul?


Yes, you are on base. As a product of Sunday school, and mass every Sunday at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, I was indoctrinated, so to speak, into my parents' religion at an early age. This continued into my teens simply because it was expected. I did not begin to make my own decisions until leaving home for college and at this point, I journeyed through a whirlwind of bitterness and contempt for Catholicism. Through constant flame wars and abusive conversations with believers, I was satisfied that I had broken all ties with the religion of my childhood.
This anger has since subsided, and now the whirlwind has transformed into self-enlightenment. I'm still staunchly opposed to the Catholic Church, but I've realized, as prevalent as religion is, it is here for a reason. In no way do I want to bring down the same whirlwind on my child, but as you can see, being raised in the Church, never having a decision, had set me on a path of religious self-destruction, so I do not want to involve the Church in her childhood.
I do have conflicts about my own beliefs, and this is primarily the reason for my earlier question about raising children. I do know where I stand on certain issues (e.g. Catholic Church), but looking at the bigger picture, well, I'm still wandering around the DMZ.
 
Warren Dew
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Originally posted by Richard Hawkes:
If it wasn't 'religion' it'd be (and often is) some other label we'd be fighting about; nationalism, ethnicity, economics. I don't understand why he [Dawkins] has such a bee in his bonnet about God.


Just goes to show that great scientists aren't necessarily great philosophers (or even great in other areas of science, in this case sociology/psychohistory).
I've found that point of view quite common among first generation atheists, by the way. And it is true that historically, a lot of warfare has been associated with religious differences; it's easy to blame religion rather than looking deeper for other underlying causes. Nationalism has only been around for the last century or so, so nationalistic wars don't have as much history behind them yet - plus they are closer so we remember more of the details and understand more of the complexity.
 
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