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Metal => Interzone => Topic started by: Dinaric Leather on August 29, 2012, 11:07:35 AM

Title: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: Dinaric Leather on August 29, 2012, 11:07:35 AM
For most of my life I have been an atheist, I haven't given religion much thought over that past couple years but I believe my philosophical knowledge has grown. Now it's clear to me when religions are talking about god or gods, they are speaking of metaphysical forces.

It's obvious there are metaphysical forces that rule the universe, but why call it god? Doesn't that simply create confusion and lead people to apply human characteristics to something that is not human or even physical (as we know it)? It's laughable when people tell me their god, a metaphysical being, has human emotions such as love, hate, and jealousy. The idea of a binary heaven/hell afterlife is even more absurd.

I like symbols and rituals, no true Hessian doesn't, but is religion merely philosophy with added rituals and symbols? It would appear this way to me. If thats indeed the case, why not stick to philosophy and leave the religious symbolism for the artists? Come to think of it, maybe religion an artform for philosophers to describe their philosophies in a metaphorical and beautiful way?

A related theory of mine, perhaps religion is a tool to direct a given culture to certain goals?




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Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: lost_wanderer on August 29, 2012, 12:16:29 PM
Why God wouldn't  have human emotions like love or hate? If we are a part of god, a part of ''him'' does have thoses emotions. On what basis does an heaven/hell afterlife is more absurd than to return into oblivion? What if life was build  on imagination or at least partly? What we think of the afterlife may be what we will get when we will arrived there.

I believe that some sort of gods does exist, Ones that are anthropomorphic. They come from what we can call the absolute, or the mystery. They are a manifestation of it. Part of the humanity, at least culturally come from them so if they think of a paradise they can create one where our soul or spirit can be trapt in it if we believe in it. We are bond to Gods in a way. But we can create them as they can create us.

You can say that the real ''God'' is the mystery but that mystery is only the raw energy. We are living in the manifestation and we can't escape that. But we can change that manifestation by our will or imagination if we can realise that the manifestation is not the absolute in itself. When we make decisions in our daily lives, we change the manifestation a little bit but not as much as we could we could ''touch'' the absulute, so to speak.

Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: indjaseemun on August 29, 2012, 12:18:22 PM
It's laughable when people tell me their god, a metaphysical being, has human emotions such as love, hate, and jealousy. The idea of a binary heaven/hell afterlife is even more absurd.

But you would not hold in high regard a supreme Being who was not able to feel those things, would you? 

If it is superior it has to be able to have our emotions and more, in my opinion. Otherwise it is as you said, just a "force", and this is not Star Wars.

That being said I don't think The Absolute is like a super-person and I don't think it feels jealous, etc... that is a really bizarre, demented idea. But that does not mean it is a machine-like entity with no consciousness, equally bizarre.

As lost_wanderer I too believe there are other deities with those emotions. It's interesting to note that in tibetan buddhism (I don't know about the others) a god can fall back into inferior states again, a Buddha, even human, would be more than a God because of his wisdom (I have no knowledge of tibetan buddhism, but I read that in reliable source).

Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: username on August 29, 2012, 02:27:36 PM
Religion is the natural way of handling existential questions, as religion is integral to human nature because of gene-culture co-evolution.

Rationalism is unnatural and goes against human nature and the fact, that the very essense of the nature of our existence must be grasped by OBSERVATION and not by EXPLANATION.

In a soundly objective argument all  factors can be isolated on both side of the equation, but that is impossible outside of a controlled laboratory environment with something regarding questions where the observer is completly ingrained in the observed. So religion should relate to what the qualities of the world is, and not how anything is explained. Hence it is called belief, not knowledge.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: Perennial_Man on August 29, 2012, 02:54:38 PM
Perhaps it is best with the Greeks who act against adversity as the centerfold for living and worship their gods, who act mostly human, yet leave the ultimate knowledge of creation, what wills humans and the gods into being, with the gods. In mythology it seems the Greeks believed of the God of their gods, but they concentrated on physical reality and truth immediately beyond that realm.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: Perennial_Man on August 29, 2012, 03:06:47 PM
Perhaps it is best with the Greeks who act against adversity as the centerfold for living and worship their gods, who act mostly human, yet leave the ultimate knowledge of creation, what wills humans and the gods into being, with the gods. In mythology it seems the Greeks believed of the God of their gods, but they concentrated on physical reality and truth immediately beyond that realm.

I've just started reading Schopenhauer's Will and Representation, so I'll simply say that I agree with that.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: crow on August 30, 2012, 10:43:58 AM
Why God wouldn't  have human emotions like love or hate? If we are a part of god, a part of ''him'' does have thoses emotions.


Humans, while in the thrall of emotions, have separated themselves from God-consciousness.
One may not be emotional, and still remain in tune with the universe.
To suggest that God - whatever God is - has any kind of 'personality' would necessarily render God insane.
If God were subject to merely human failings, what would be the point of reverence?
This is exactly why Christianity fails, ultimately. God rendered human(esque) is no God at all.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: username on August 30, 2012, 11:03:01 AM
»This is exactly why Christianity fails, ultimately. God rendered human(esque) is no God at all.«

Don't worry, Nietzsche said he only killed that god : "the only god killed was the god of morality."
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: Cargést on August 30, 2012, 12:29:16 PM
Every time I drop in to see if there's anything interesting going on, there is.  Good work, people.

Crow, surely you must understand that the Absolute, containing All, has the ability not only to exhibit human qualities, but even to become human (see Christ)?
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: Humanicide on August 30, 2012, 12:50:37 PM
Crow, surely you must understand that the Absolute, containing All, has the ability not only to exhibit human qualities, but even to become human (see Christ)?

I would agree, however the fact that the Absolute can become human at will is further evidence of it's powers that are beyond our scope. It doesn't have the same pitfalls we do (we're stuck being human, the Absolute has a choice).
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: lost_wanderer on August 30, 2012, 06:33:10 PM
(we're stuck being human, the Absolute has a choice).


Yes we're stuck being human but what is being a human? I think our potential is far greater than we usually think it is. If only we can find the keys to unlock our mysteries within. But it will not be easy.



Why God wouldn't  have human emotions like love or hate? If we are a part of god, a part of ''him'' does have thoses emotions.


Humans, while in the thrall of emotions, have separated themselves from God-consciousness.
One may not be emotional, and still remain in tune with the universe.
To suggest that God - whatever God is - has any kind of 'personality' would necessarily render God insane.
If God were subject to merely human failings, what would be the point of reverence?
This is exactly why Christianity fails, ultimately. God rendered human(esque) is no God at all.


If we see God shematically as the upper part and human as the lower part, in order for the human to reach God, he has to have a ladder. In this case the ladder is a junction point between the two parts. A part of God has to go down to the realm of Humans in order to grab him. Human cannot do it on is own because he is the product of God. So God has to have something in common like a personality to reach him. Now that God has done is part, humans have to do their part and take that ladder and climb it.
I don't kwow if I explained it well enough.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: crow on August 30, 2012, 08:01:40 PM
This seems absurd to me. But I left Christianity far behind, years ago.
My experience is this:
God exists everywhere, in everything, always. (And so does an eternal part of us.)
While humans have the ability to ignore this, or never know it, and set themselves up as God.
We all do this: it's just a matter of degree, and of when we do it.

I discovered that there was nowhere to go to reach God, and nowhere to go for God to reach me.
I could become it, and it me, by completely bypassing both mind and identity.
It seemed so funny it made me laugh in delight.
This thing, so obvious, and so well hidden from humans.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: death metal black metal on August 31, 2012, 07:00:21 AM
is religion merely philosophy with added rituals and symbols?

Yes, and an outlook that sees metaphysics as the origin of all manifestation.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: Examiner on August 31, 2012, 09:08:13 AM
I find antromorphic gods to be completely absurd, yet as much as I`ve seen that is the general definition of god. If someone gives a definition of something completely different without a form and humanity it is hard to call it a god, yet its a word that gets tacked onto everything of that metaphysical nature. God(s) are a thing to fear and worship, so giving it human-like form and actions does not help the case, at least in my point of view. The unknown instills more fear than the known.

I`m not sure if this is the right thread, but I`m intrigued by the whole realism vs romanticism question, isn`t their co-existence futile?
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: fallot on August 31, 2012, 02:54:44 PM
is religion merely philosophy with added rituals and symbols?

Yes, and an outlook that sees metaphysics as the origin of all manifestation.

Disagree. Religion, or its foundations, are hardcoded and elicit truth of feeling that you can't simply call "philosophy with rituals". It isn't simply rituals or symbols that are responsible here. Philosophy-with-rituals is not the province of genuine spiritual experience. Perhaps I am misunderstanding you.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: crow on August 31, 2012, 05:05:49 PM
"Philosophy-with-rituals is not the province of genuine spiritual experience."

Agreed.
It is a state all by itself, and remains so after associated matter has decayed and rejoined the pool.
Few ever experience it, in life, but those who do know its exact nature.

 
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: aquarius on August 31, 2012, 06:21:29 PM
Are results secondary to the path that leads us to them? Sometimes the unquestioning belief/faith of religion works better than the philosopher that dissects everything.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: crow on August 31, 2012, 08:24:56 PM
You speak of 'results' and things 'working'.
Perhaps this perspective is flawed?
Dissecting something tends to lead one away from the panoramic view.
Tunnel vision does not lead to a wide-angle appreciation.
After many years of actively 'seeking', I suddenly gave it up.
That moment changed everything.

See how language obstructs certain things?
The spiritual reality is untranslatable.

Imagine a pliable ball, compressed down, more and more, more and more.
Suddenly relax all that accumulated pressure, and what happens?
It happens very fast :)
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: Aeternum on August 31, 2012, 10:15:39 PM
idk(/idc) what I am, but if I want to go to church (get some universal wisdom, plus community aspects) or pray to some higher power (placebo effect is still an effect) I'll just go ahead and do it.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: fallot on September 02, 2012, 02:12:42 PM
Imagine a pliable ball, compressed down, more and more, more and more.
Suddenly relax all that accumulated pressure, and what happens?
It happens very fast :)

crow, if it is alright with you, I'd appreciate if you could relate the specific circumstances surrounding your "awakening" at some point. Whether its here or on Amerika.org I think it might make for illuminating reading. I hope that's not an unreasonable request.
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: crow on September 02, 2012, 07:55:30 PM
It is rewarding to see your interest. It certainly is not unreasonable.
I've already done what you ask, more or less, here and there, but mostly what I get for my trouble is ridicule, demands for 'proof' and even vitriolic abuse. Which rather deters me from being too specific.
Anyway, it is really not possible to be specific about something like this.
I do, from time to time, excerpt these things, both here and on Amerika.
Pay attention for long enough, and the many fragments may form a coherent picture.
I hope they do :)

Meanwhile, try this, if you haven't yet:
http://taoteachings.blogspot.ca/
Title: Re: Am I an atheist, agnostic, or theist?
Post by: death metal black metal on September 02, 2012, 09:25:05 PM
Perhaps I am misunderstanding you.

cf. "Religious experience"