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 Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't

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PostSubject: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:41 pm

Normally I wouldn't have made this forum, much less this thread because everyone currently posting agrees with each other. However, Ariel promised to come here if I did this, and I'm a sucker for trolling Muslims.


OKAY, so, with no further ado, I'm going to just ask Ariel to type out a written... expose, (?) if you will, outlining her reasons for being Muslim.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:20 pm

Now that I think about it we pretty much are all in agreement .

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:22 pm

Yep, top 5 posters are all atheists. But even amond atheists, we can have our conflicts.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:25 pm

But they are pretty trivial conflicts, at least we don't go to war over fake gods and books written by people who can barely if at all be proven to have existed.

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Last edited by The Neuromancer on Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:27 pm

Maybe not, but if the world were run by atheists, it isn't like we wouldn't have other wars. And that's the kind of thing Kyle and I would argue about. So let me ask you, if given the choice (say you had the easy button), would you eliminate religion from society?

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:29 pm

I'm not sure I know enough about it to make an informed choice about that, I don't think society could function without someone to worship whether it be a human or a god.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:34 pm

Well I think our society could. It already does, in many ways. It's when you have non-prosperous societies that you really need god. It's like the soviets. I honestly believe that godlessness lead to the fall of the soviet empire, because all day long they were working in the fields and they would come home and have nothing greater to aspire to. It was all just the same shit day after day, they needed god in that society because they needed to believe that the shitty life they had would be proceeded by a better one. They didn't think it would, so they became unhappy with the situation they had and felt they needed to change it. In short, atheism has always been a good catalyst for revolution.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:35 pm

I am not a trolling Muslim; and I'm unorthodox.

Both my parents belong to a church called Unity Church. It's a very laid back section of Christianity where you can basically believe what you will about life and the afterlife, as long as you recognize the basics; God is..God, and Jesus did all those miracles and was real. There's all these "I am" affirmations, and no real structure to the whole religion in general. All the people are really nice though, down to Earth and accepting of everybody. After a while I started becoming very skeptical of Unity, and wondering why there was such a lack of structure. Finally, I convinced myself and many of my friends that I was an Atheist, and I believed it.
But even though I 'didn't believe in God,' I found myself talking to him, in times of need, asking him to help me out. Nothing big, and no praying (I haven't officially prayed in a very long time, if ever). Recently, I accepted the fact that even if it is illogical to believe, that I have been wired to believe, since birth, really. I considered going back to Unity and attending church again, but I didn't like the idea of it, so I started looking more into Unity, other branches of Christianity, and other religions in general. I have Mormon, Jewish, Catholic, and Hindu friends. (Hindu being a very close cousin religion of Islam.)
I talked to all of my friends about their respective religion, the philosophies of life, death, afterlife, praying, and anything else I could think of at the time. Instead of researching all this stuff online, a firsthand experience of what they thought of the religion seemed like a better option to learn to me.
Mormons have sacred marriage underwear that they can't commit adultery in, and going to church every morning at 5 seemed a bit too rigid for me, on top of some of the other views and rules of the religion.
I really admire the Jewish faith, and the philosophies surrounding it, but it just didn't hit the right spot. (Yeah, I know Jews aren't a food, but DAMN those potato pancakes are good.) It probably didn't help that my Jewish friend Elysa is kind of weird.
Catholics are just fucking crazy, in my opinion. Jesus DIED for their sins, so WHY do they have to go to confession all the damn time, and the Hail Mary's and all the prayers, it just seems like a ridiculous representation of Christianity, but I let Mikayla tell me about her journey. (and my Dad was born Catholic.) I didn't like it, to say the least.
My Hindu friend, Manthan, is the most down to Earth and one of the nicest people I've ever met. He is kind of quiet, and shy, but still very nice, laid back and worry-free. The way he explained the religion, and I could tell that how he felt about the religion was real, not just brainwashed shit like the other stories I had been told. He loves Allah and Muhammed, and the Faith in general, even though he himself doesn't follow all of the rules. He told me about what days at the Mosque are like, and how all the people respect each other there, and everywhere else. He captivated me. All the philosophies about life, death, afterlife's, respect, love, the the world were how I've been feeling since I can remember, but never knew that I had been learning the wrong religion the whole time.
I connected with him on a different level than I had ever with anyone else before, and not on a deeper level, or as in love, but an understanding level, I felt that I understood myself more that I had learned about Hindu, and Islam, than I did before I knew.
It's all about peace, and love. For everyone, and everything.
The extremist Shia, of Islam, take the "Jihad" to a whole new level, to attack and kill innocent people, and prove their point. I believe that these people are not true Muslims, if they are going to do that kind of horrible destruction to another human being, that is not directly endangering the Islam faith, they don't DESERVE to be called a Muslim.



Garin. I believe in peace, love and acceptance for everybody and everything, and Muslim religion is going to help me find those three things within myself.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:52 pm

I wasn't saying you were a trolling Muslim, I was saying I like to troll Muslims.


And I don't think it's illogical to believe in god. I think it's just a matter of which is easier for you to believe and that it really defies logic as a whole. Islam may be referred to as the religion of peace, but Jihad IS a sacred custom and it DOES say in the Quorran that innocents who die in Jihad are considered to be the holiest of the holy. This is the contradiction of religion. All faiths, barring orthodox judaism, preach love and charity while at the same time trying to justify violence.


I understand your reasons, if it brings you inner peace, then go for it, whatever. I just have one question, though. What is it that makes Allah different from the christian god? Not only that, but why is Allah so much more believable, to you?

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:59 pm

But I think that there will always be people who believe in something more than what is provable by science, I.E. mysticism, godliness, etc. I don't think you could eliminate the from society completely because there will always be people who ask some higher being for favors and who try to escape their own mortality through religion and things like it.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:02 am

Granted, but I'm speaking hypothetically, here. I'm saying if it could be done, if you could press a button and suddenly everyone would be atheist, would you? On a side note, if Ariel had that button for Islam, would she press it?

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:10 am

I would NEVER press that button. Allah is not different than the Christian God, Allah IS God. Just worshiped differently by all religions, We call it Allah, they call it God. It's the same person, just perceived and worshiped differently.
What makes the 'Christian God' more believable than Allah? It's all opinion and personal views/preference.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:19 am

Well of course it's all preference, but I'm asking why you prefer Allah. And I think Allah IS different from the christian god. One example of this is when we look at Muslim vs Christian salvation. In both there is the idea of salvation (Jung just keeps on coming back) but in the Quorran, one obtains salvation through the performing of good deeds, while in the Bible, the only way to achieve salvation is through faith in Christ.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:20 am

Well, I'm sure we could do without Christianity. Look at what the Christian dark ages did to SCIENCE!.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:25 am

True, but at the same time, it was christian monks who kept the knowledge of reading, science, writing, and math and lead us out of those same dark ages.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:29 am

I'm not really sure. I suppose one of the reasons is that he has a name; Allah. It means God, but it's still a name, better than God. I know that the Christians God is most commonly referred to as Yaweh, but he's hardly ever referred to as that. Other than that I'm not sure, other than, he's entices me moreso than Yaweh does.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:29 am

But they caused it.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:33 am

Ariel: well you should think about it. Not to be preachy, but understanding your faith is important.


Brandon: The rise of power of the church caused it, yes, but that church rose because of corrupt government and stupid citizens. Not only that, but power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There's no such thing as a controlling organizations headed by one man, in this case the pope, that will not cause the same thing as the church. This was simply the only time in history that such a group had such power.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:35 am

It's just that I love Allah more than I ever did the Christian God, for the same reasons that I became a Muslim in the first place. The philosophies he instated upon the population, and what the ideas are about everything.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:41 am

So you just connected to it? Interesting. I know you've told me that before.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:43 am

But they ruined mah science :<

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:43 am

Actually, if my understanding of Islam is correct, Allah isn't a "different" god from the Christian's God, they're supposed to be the same. I think the difference is how they address God. I might be wrong though.

Also, I made a revelation sorts today. I was thinking how, throughout my life, I had always been in a losing fight, of sorts, concerning religion. I didn't go to church much as a child, and instead of being instilled with the deep seated reverence for the Christian faith that many of my peers had, I instead took a interest in scientific pursuits, especially paleontology (cause, heck, I was a kid and loved dinosaurs). So, I was always more skeptical of certain aspects of religion. Heck, until I was about eight, I didn't even realize that ANYBODY interpreted the Bible literally (which is odd, since the denomination I belong to is known for a literal interpretation of the New Testament and only practicing things that are plainly stated/obviously implied in the Bible, a religious minimalism, of sorts.).

So, ever since before I could really wrap my head around philosophical topics, I was skeptical/in the dark about creationism and the such. As I got older, and started to realize the big fight between evolution and creationism, and how this seemed to divide those who trusted science at all and those who belonged to religion. I thought, even from a tender age, that this was ridiculous. As for evolution, at about age 11 I'd say, I decided on my own that creationists were wrong, as they thinking God created everything in seven Earth days. My thoughts at the time were that A) A day to God could be billions of years to us, B) If the Earth was created during the seven days, there was nothing to base days on as the Earth and sun weren't there from the get go, and C) It doesn't prove evolution wrong, as evolution would have clearly happened during the days that God created all living things. (what can I say, I was a smart 11 year old.)

Skip ahead to a year or so ago. I started hanging out with atheists, and with my new found interest in philosophy, found myself being influenced ever-so-much by those beliefs. I had a couple of existential crises, spaced a few years apart, where I suffered from existential dread as night fell. For some reason, darkness had, in my mind, become intertwined with the concept of an infinite void, and the concept of nonexistence (which infinity always scared me, even if it was eternal life, but this is probably due to the fact I can't wrap my mind around infinity). So I decided I was an agnostic theist, so that I believed in God, but was reasonable enough to consider the possibility that I was wrong.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I started hanging out on this forum, Koala Wallop, where I am helping the development of a table top roleplaying game about philosophy called Dungeons and Discourse. After a while, I started to check out the rest of the forum and found the forum's philosophy/science/etc board, a mini-community called The Octagon. The Octagon is a good group people, don't get me wrong. But they're fairly unusual in that they're mostly transhumanists and hardcore atheists. I mean, their devotion to atheism and the wiping out of religion was rivaling most of the hardcore religious people I knew. While I have yet to really get involved in a discussion on the board, I now that if I do, I'm more than likely to be in the minority in most instances. Here, I found that as a theist, if I got into a theistic debate, I'd be on the losing side of a very uphill battle.

So, this got me thinking. I have always been trusting of and devoted to science, but I still believed in a god. I wondered how creationists could disregard science as a whole, and how atheists could disregard the possibility that theism could work in a scientific mindset. Then, it hit me. If, and I do mean if, there's a god, then science is the proof that he/she exists! Think about it like so: what is commonly viewed as the creator of and governing force of existence, scientifically speaking? Physics and math, of course. What do the religious believe is the creator and ruler of all? God. So, why is it that few, if anyone, has thought that, and I know this is a stretch, maybe science is the force of God? For some reason, when one is a creationist, that person usually assumes that God uses some sort of magical God force that we humans haven't the slightest chance of understanding without our heads exploding. No one seems to make the connection that science can be interpreted as the manifestation of God in our world. We have empirical evidence that the laws of physics hold true in our world, is it unreasonable to assume that if there's a God, then these all powerful forces are how he works in this world? Following this logic, one could say that scientists are really brothers to priests, growing closer to God by studying his prescence and workings in this world. But that's neither here nor their. The point is, I've come to the realization that science is the possible manifestation of God, and that science is therefore very intimitely intertwined with spirituality and religion.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:54 am

I hate to burst your bubble, dude, but that thing you were talking about there is called intelligent design and it's kind of a big deal.

But I would just like to ask you why you call yourself a christian? If you don't interperet the bible literally, why believe in any of it? It's just you placing faith in something you don't believe in.

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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:47 am

Intelligent design is not at all what I'm thinking. Intelligent design is a way that traditional creationists try to circumvent laws that prohibit the teaching of creationism in schools. They try to explain that all of science is an intelligent design, and that random events are not possible of the complexity to create anything in our world, therefore they don't believe natural selection and evolution are true. It's a psuedoscience, nothing more.

What I suggest is different, and I probably left out some key points. Let me clear that up. What I'm suggesting is closer to the clockwork universe theory that Newton proposed. God created the universe as a machine of sorts, and the laws of physics are what he set to govern his world-machine. You know, lets put it in an analogy. I'll call it the Domino Analogy. In this analogy, God has set up dominoes. There's billions of them set up, stretching to the horizon. The dominoes represent the universe. He flicks the first domino, this is the Big Bang. Now, the dominoes have been set up in such a way that there's all sorts of different courses and side courses and courses running off each other that the dominoes falling can follow. The paths and sub paths weave unbelievably complex paths that seem to make up every kind of path that the dominoes can fall. But how the dominoes fall, that is random. The conditions of terrain, position, and all sorts of other physical variables that are affecting every one of the dominoes individually are different for each one, meaning that domino can cause many different things based on pure chance.

This doesn't mean God has no control over how it will run, nor does it mean that he necessarily know exactly how things will play out. He knows every possibility, as he designed the domino set up, but the random nature of the machine means that he doesn't know which way they'll fall. But if he wishes to intervene in the runnings of the domino course, he can change the variables of dominoes that have yet to fall, changing the possibilities. But that doesn't mean that the change means that he has determined a set course, it just means he has subtly altered it. And this is how it proceeds, God subtly tweaking individual dominoes, slightly changing the course of his creation, working with the random nature of his creation.

As for the Christian comment, I'm not completely Christain. I'm somewhat of a Christain deist, but that's beside the point. The point is, while I don't interpret the Bible as a literal text, it doesn't mean I'm placing faith in something I don't believe in. You mistake believing a text as a metaphor or allegory with not believing it all. I believe the Bible in metaphorical interpretations, so I still believe it and I believe there are some philosophical truths withheld in those metaphors. Does that mean that I'm okay with everything that it teaches? Of course not. But does it mean I think the whole things a pile of shit? I don't think that either.
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PostSubject: Re: Religion, what it is, what you are, and why we aren't   Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:47 pm

Andy, I regret to inform you that you are incorrect as to what intelligent design means. Intelligent design is the belief that God uses the laws of physics and nature to set up the way things are. Or in other words, evolution is the tool God uses to achieve his end goal. That is almost exactly what you said.

Speaking now of the domino analogy, if God sets up both the terain and the rules of physics, then he must indeed know exactly the path each domino will take. There is no randomness to the creator. If he made both the course on which the dominoes run, and the pattern of the dominoes themselves, and he has a flawless understanding of the rules and laws that govern the dominoes, then he must invariably know the path these dominoes will take. Now that I have taken the randomness of the machine away, there is no explanation of why God would ever want to change anything, because if he were truly God, then he would have things set the way he wanted them and wouldn't need a second chance. If he did need a second shot to get things the way he wanted, he would be proven fallible, and a fallible creator cannot create anything infallible. This throws the observable laws of physics into chaos, not to mention the moral/ethical implications.

You do not interperet the Bible as a literal text, therefore, because it calls itself a literal work on numerous occasions, you cannot believe a word that it says. There is no metaphor to "I am literal". It is simply called a lie at that point. It is as if you are accepting that the thing is a hypocritical farse, but still thinking they nailed certain aspects. I simply mean to ask you what it is, exactly that makes you a christian, what is it exactly that differentiates you from being any other religion? Do you believe that Christ was the son of God and died for your sins? Do you believe that the only way to get to Heaven is to believe the previous thing?

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