Posted by Ezekiel 25:17 on December 04, 2001 at 20:57:00:
I must say, your post amused me and that's a worthwhile achievement in its own right :)
: It seems to me, after reading this conversation, that the atheists and agnostics seemed to have carried the day. But let's talk about what it FEELS like inside everyday for those people who believe and who don't believe. Perhaps this discussion should not be titled, Why do you believe or not believe in God, perhaps it should be titled, What does it feel like to believe in God and NOT believe in God.
: I know that there are those intellectual participant of this discussion will look at this line of reasoning as a veiled attempt to prove that athiests are miserable and convince them that faith will improve the quality of their lives and they will ask, "Is it appropriate to choose faith because one believes it will make one feel better?" Or one hopes it will. That is another question that could be explored. Faith is a very interesting concept.
Indeed :) I look forward to arguing this with you at a later point.
: But to this small facet -- who experiences more calm and peace and contentment in their lives? Believers or atheists.
On this note, it can also be noted that many studies show that optimists are not necessarily happier than pessimists. I prefer to look at it as separate viewpoints, neither being more valid in its own right :)
However, assuming believers are more calm and peaceful. Is calm, peace and contentment necessarily a good thing?
We live in a volatile world, where it is easy to ignore other people's problems and stick with a laissez faire approach. It is also arguable that without the human drive for ambition and success, that nothing would really be ever achieved.
: I don't want to talk about my personal beliefs just now -- I'd like to mention a cult that I can't really stand -- the LDS or the Mormons. Those people. Now i grant, we can not take their pastered on smiles as true indication of the feelings of their hearts but I grant that your average Mormon experiences on a daily basis more peace and happiness than, say, you average porn addict -- who we will assume is agnostic if not athiest. I am not saying that all athiests are porn addicts but my guess is that while they are not spewing dissension in discussions like this they are pursuing the one handed websurf or at bambi's 24-7 free webcam site.
LOL. That's a pretty large guess, but we'll also assume its true :) Not that I'm advocating porn, but who is to say that the same amount of happiness and contentment cannot be gained by perusing porn sites? Who is the ultimate judge of happiness?
The key question however remains: why should happiness be the key to belief?
Furthermore, I think that being a believer doesn't necessarily imply that they do not also peruse porn. (Catholic priests do not exactly have a spotless record :))
: You know what, I am not a saint. I don't know where my own vitriol comes from. Where is the love? The love in me, even. I mean, I started this post hoping to bring up this question and then revealed my own personal discontent, which surely is not an expression of the light of the spirit... but here's the thing, and the cards come tumbling down, as soon as i feel the digression from the light, as in my jab at the athies, and acknowledge it in my heart and acknowledge that I am responsible for blocking the light of the spirit out of my life, the light of the spirit pushes through the darkness of my own prejudice and I feel a lightening in my spirit... hmm... I'm not going to delete this post even though it may make no sense at this point -- it is a stream of consciousness experiential display of how my own prejudice caused me pain and how my own acknowledgement of spirit released me...
As with most debates and arguments, we often find that our frustration leads to the degeneration of our arguments into personal taunts. I won't pretend that I myself have managed to keep impersonal and logical in many of my arguments (that and the numerous factual posts).
That's the factor that is common amongst us all, whether believer or atheist, the human factor. Belief in a deity, like many other controversial topics is in essence a divisive one. The battle lines have been drawn long ago, numerous factions exist, and the battle for truth has long since been muddied.
Love doesn't come easily, nor does belief. Yet that does not mean they are not worth fighting for. At the end of the day, our beliefs make up our personalities and the willingness to forgive and overlook the bad traits of others is perhaps the most admirable attribute we can possess.
You are very passionate in your beliefs. I would really like to hear how you first became a believer and what your core tenets are. I think you can provide a good example for many out there struggling to come to terms with faith and I strongly encourage you to do so.
: What release is there for people who have no light of the spirit and must live in their prejudice until it festers into hate? Do they wreak explosion or just explode inside?
Prejudice is a word that defines human existence. Throughout the centuries there has always been some facet of the makeup of every human that has caused conflict. If any of you out there explore your own beliefs, I would be surprised if you were not prejudiced in some way against others (in terms of sexuality, wealth, race, age, disposition).
I believe your mistake lies in the assumption that atheists and agnostics are naturally unhappy and angry. From this you infer that this results in many of the problems in society today. I think you believe that if more people could find inner peace than the world would be a better place (correct me if I'm wrong).
However, its not that easy. If it was, the world would have lived in harmony long ago. The human race since its inception has always found some cause to bicker over. It is the nature of humanity for better or worse. I personally believe that knowledge and less ignorance is the beginning for a better world, as opposed to mindless happiness.
: The goal of this whole thing is love, right? I am wrestling with myself. My own spirit. (Not the piece mention above wrestled with by athiests at bambi's).
: There is came again... does the light of the spirit clean us completely. No. For just a few breaths. This is why the numbing comformity of sects and religions can create distress -- because the lives become facade -- the growth comes in living, making mistakes, acknowledging, feeling releif and then wondering how we made the same mistake again...
If more people acknowledge their mistakes and did not blame others, this world would be a better place. My hope is that we will eventually reach this goal of our own volition and nature but I fear that it will never happen.
Cleansing of the spirit and reaching a state of happiness by taking a few deep breaths is a common mantra in more than one religion and sect. Its not a bad thing to do in any case, believer or not, as you assess the decisions you made today.
I don't believe the goal of everything is 'love'. I advocate love in the strongest possible terms :) But I believe as good a concept as 'love' is, it ultimately also acts as a blind. I'm not saying love and knowledge are mutually exclusive, only that more caution is required.
Oh well, I think that's it, back to the porn and cheese sandwiches for me :) (that was a joke) (I can't believe I needed to add that - refer previous post).
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