Do you believe in God, or some similar thing?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Simo, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. Mr.Foox

    Mr.Foox Daddy Fooxy

    My parents didn't do anything religious to me. They threw me into this world and was like..." Son, whatever you follow, whatever you believe, whoever you date, however your sexulity is....As long as you're happy, then we're happy...But if you do, own it and own better then anyone else who does. " I'm not religious though, nor do I believe every one thing I hear or read. I just enjoy the life I was given and let others think what they want. I'm happy if you're religious, I truly am as long as religion makes you happy. Just don't slam it in my face or force me to join or don't use your religion as an excuse to harm others and I'm totally cool with it. I'm just an at peace fooxy. I'll debate only if it's friendly and good fun but just know I don't even believe what I'm saying myself is true, regardless I enjoy it for the sheer purpose of thinking.
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  2. Fallowfox

    Fallowfox T-Tauri

    Most religions require proselytisation. I suppose this is not surprising, because religions which don't instruct their followers to spread them don't recruit enough followers in order to survive through the centuries.

    Also, It has always struck me as strange that England, a country with an official church, bishops in the house of lords, which reviews bills, mandated religious assembly in school and a reigning monarch who claims divine appointment by god himself, is considerably less religious than the USA, where all of those things are forbidden.
  3. Yoshimaster96

    Yoshimaster96 Active Member

    No. I'm not religious.
  4. Ketren

    Ketren Member

    I believe in God, but I'm not religious. Does that make sense? I also don't believe everything I hear from "spiritual" people.

    What baffles me is the prevalent idea that "all beliefs are true" even when they contradict each other. The Bible says to love your enemy; Islam says to kill him. Hinduism says we go nowhere after death, or are reincarnated; Christianity claims we either go to heaven or hell depending on whether or not we trust in God.

    All beliefs are not true and sorry if that offends anyone, but that's how things go.
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  5. Troj

    Troj Well-Known Member

    Though, nonconformity can warp into a kind of lock-step conformity (see: hipsters). "Be unique! Be you! Buy our product to express yourself!"

    The person who parrots Ayn Rand is just as tiresome as the person who parrots the Bible.

    I think the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged have the potential to plant a seed in thoughtful people with potential, absolutely--though, me, I'd tend to prescribe a longer and more diverse reading list, if I really wanted to plant those kinds of seeds in somebody.
  6. Aurorans Solis

    Aurorans Solis cum sol surrexit auroratque dies incepit

    Yanno, I was going to apologise for not responding to Mr. Fallow due to a complete lack of free time because school's been getting a little out of hand homework-wise and that the rest of my time after dealing with all of that has been taken up by family events leading up to my cousin's wedding (which is today), but then I realised, "Literally anything else would be a more practical use of my time."

    Maybe someday I'll find it in my heart to help this poor soul.

    Until then...
  7. SSJ3Mewtwo

    SSJ3Mewtwo Moderator Staff Member

    Please do not end arguments with passive-aggressive departures. It's very well known that these sorts of discussions touch on very sensitive issues, and if you wish to end your participation in one, it's far better to halt discussion, rather than attempt to leave with what looks to be a small attempt at provoking a negative response behind you.

    And to anyone tempted to respond to that by sniping back, please do not.
  8. Cloudyhue

    Cloudyhue Certified Fuzzbutt

    Yeah, that makes sense. It sure is annoying though.

    I guess England has just found a way to have all of that without people storming the castle with pitchforks and torches. Being chill with it is less likely to make people go into attack mode. I don't really know much about the English government, so some of this could be wrong. Just giving my two cents.
  9. Aurorans Solis

    Aurorans Solis cum sol surrexit auroratque dies incepit

    Alright, so this has been eating at the back of my mind for the whole day and I have to respond. First of all, Mewtwo, thank you. What I said was, simply put, in poor taste. I had been having a rough go of it at the time and took it out on Fallowfox here. That was thoroughly impolite of me and I apologise for that. And now on to relieving myself of the words that something in my subconscious was so adamant be put out there.

    Right. First off, I finally got the chance to speak with my ethics teacher on Thursday. It was a fun time. I love the guy. Really fun to be around. Anywho, here's what we arrived at - Fallowfox, Aristotle's medical opinion on abortion and the Church's actions regarding condoms in the past are ad hominem circumstantial. Both of these systems of ethics, at their core, determine the morality of action based on whether the action will bring you closer to true happiness, and if others are involved, whether you hinder their ability to become truly happy. With Aristotle in regards to abortion - by aborting an unborn human baby, you are preventing its happiness, therefore it is unethical (long story short). With the Church - by using condoms, you are giving your whole self to your marriage (keeping in mind the Church says sex should be reserved for married couples), which is hindering you from becoming truly happy. Let's bring this all to a head. You are criticizing Aristotilian ethics for Aristotle's opinions and the Church for its false claims (does that answer your questions?) and saying they are invalid for these things. Doesn't make much sense to me. Nor to my ethics teacher.


    Some of the points in your assessment of morality and ethics in general make close brushes with moral relativism. Careful there, buddy. You're straying into dangerous territory there.

    Thirdly (and lastly)...

    In the end, you claim gods (and God) to be an authority fallacy, effectively dismissing their existence. I challenge you to prove they do not exist. C'mon, let's see it.
  10. Saiko

    Saiko GTWT Survivor

    No, claiming an authority fallacy does not dismiss the existence of a being. It asserts that being's fallibility, or at least the religion's fallibility given the typical characterization of god as infallible.

    The fundamental hole is that many religions, including most forms of Christianity, use a divine mandate morality as their foundation with an ad hoc notion of well being to add a slight utilitarian spin. Despite that spin, when you call into question the existence of the deity (which is easy to do for Christianity due to its immensely idealized deity and human fallibility), the entire system collapses because it relies upon that deity's existence. This metaphysical and epistemological fragility makes these kinds of religions and moral systems very unconvincing to many people.

    This is compounded by the burden of proof generally falling on the one claiming something exists, which can't be accomplished for most deities given their supernatural nature. As a theist, you're better off sticking with the "I just have faith" claim because your claim is untestable. This untestability leaves you wide open to Occam's Razor via the claim, "If we can't know whether a deity exists, we shouldn't rely upon one when constructing a system for morality." The argument here is that a system which doesn't rely upon a deity's existence is more stable than one which does because it doesn't have a controversial, unknowable axiom.
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  11. Fallowfox

    Fallowfox T-Tauri

    Regarding Aristotle:
    I think you are attributing ethical claims and arguments to Aristotle that historical evidence shows he either didn't make or that he didn't agree with. It's not accurate to say that Aristotle opposed contraception and abortion because of his ethical system, when historical records show that he recommended contraception and approved of abortion in some circumstances; indeed historical evidence shows he even approved of infanticide in some circumstances.
    I think this simply shows that the system of ethics you think Aristotle had is simply the one you'd like to imagine he had, because you think that associating the ethical system you like with the name of a revered philosopher will lend credibility to it.
    As you have already argued, it obviously doesn't- and given that Aristotle lived two thousand three hundred years before the discovery of the HIV virus, quoting an imaginary and sanitised version of Aristotelian ethics instead of 21st century Doctors isn't going to help us reach an informed ethical judgement.
    Hopefully we can move on from 'Aristotle said so' now?
    I would like to return to my original question; do you recognise that the Catholic church has been giving misleading and scientifically inaccurate medical advice (such as their widely dispersed claims that condoms are permeable to the HIV virus) to vulnerable people? It's important that you answer this, because it's the central claim from which the rest of our discussion developed.
    Given that the Catholic church has been spreading lies about medicine, our next question is 'Should we view institutions that spread dangerous lies to vulnerable people as moral authorities?'.
    Who knows; maybe we should just forgive the most heinous and unethical behaviour as 'ad hominems', but this isn't exactly useful, because we could obviously use this argument to defend any institution as moral, no matter how unethical their actions are.
    I think I have uncovered a Trojan horse, to be honest, because Aurorans Solis claimed earlier that he didn't believe the Catholic god exists either:
    I think that Aurorans Solis does think that the Catholic god exists, but that he pretended to be an atheist, because he wanted to give atheists the impression that the system of ethics he accepts is rational and well informed, rather than dogmatic.
    He's revealed that he was lying now though, because if he really didn't rely on dogmatic appeals to authority, he would simply have agreed that 'the Catholic god says so' isn't good enough, rather than challenging me to prove this god, who he apparently doesn't even believe in, doesn't exist.

    We're fortunate enough to live in a world where the utility of barrier contraception to prevent the spread of deadly disease has been demonstrated unequivocally by medical science.
    Ipso facto, any ethical system that rejects barrier contraception, because they have misquoted a Greek philosopher who lived 2400 years ago or because they think that god himself has forbidden it, cannot be described as 'well thought out', and indeed would be better described as 'dangerous'.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  12. Abyssalrider

    Abyssalrider The Autistic Otter

    Auro never said he's an atheist, he's agnostic. Learn the fucking difference.
  13. Fallowfox

    Fallowfox T-Tauri

    Whatever you call it, I am suspicious that his response showed that he does believe in a god, but has been pretending he doesn't- I suspect to appear more convincing by providing the impression that his ethical positions are based on reason, instead of faith.

    If Aurorans follows Catholic ethics because he thinks they are well reasoned, then the existence of gods wouldn't have been relevant to those claims' truth.
    It only makes sense to defend Catholic ethics, by demanding proof there is no god, if you think that a god exists and that they are a reliable moral authority.

    As an aside:
    The way you've used the word 'agnostic' implies it is exclusive to theism or atheism, which isn't actually what agnostic means (although it's a very popular mistake). Agnosticism is just a philosophical position that holds that the nature of a claim can't be known. Somebody who is agnostic might still believe, or not believe the claim. It doesn't mean 'in the middle'.
  14. Overall, I think anything is possible, though I guess I'd lean towards Christianity.

    Now, when I say anything could be possible, I mean something like, for all we know, we are the pets of God, and one day any of the other gods, like Odin, stopped by, and some of us liked Odin better than God.
    Maybe we are cancer, growing on the cells (planets) of a god (the universe), and if we grow too much (space travel and colonization) we'll eventually kill it.
    Maybe every time something explodes, it creates a universe (Big Bang) and that universe grows and fades in what seems like an instant, but in reality, civilizations way too small to notice form and fade in a split second before the debris even clears.

    The only thing I don't believe in is pushing religion on other people (I'm not accusing anyone of that right now). Believe what you want, and good for you.
  15. Aurorans Solis

    Aurorans Solis cum sol surrexit auroratque dies incepit

    Point I made about the actions of institutions being prioritized over their principles, regardless of the principles ignored? Check.
    Wow, this too? We'll be generous and say you got unlucky and rolled a 1 for reading comprehension. Let's go back a bit...
    Deism: I recognize the existence of some form of "ultimate good"/god(s)/God.
    Agnosticism in respect to Deism: I am unaware of which religion gives a proper depiction of this "ultimate good"/god(s)/God.
    What was that about claiming that the Catholic God doesn't exist? I'm sorry, I can't seem to find anything supporting that claim. You thought, and you thought wrong, sillyhead ;)
    I'm not dismissing them myself, no. I do not approve of the Church's behaviour in regards to barrier contraceptives (though the intent of dissuading people from using them follows her ethics), nor do I approve of Aristotle's suggested medical practices. However, your use of these things are, in fact, ad hominems. If you want to argue against Catholic Ethics or Aristotle's ethics, make arguments against the ethics rather than the Church or Aristotle.
    This was more a challenge to your moral view (atheistic humanist ethics) than anything else.

    Lastly, this...
    Somehow that turned into...
    Wait, you were only suspicious? Gotcha. Go ahead and state your suspicions as fact in an attempt to discredit me. Good stuff.

    Over and out.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  16. Fallowfox

    Fallowfox T-Tauri

    I'm glad you've agreed that the Catholic church's efforts to spread fake medical information are reprehensible, although I think that you've delicately worded your next point (that the church's attempts to dissuade people from using barrier contraception are consistent with their ethical system).
    I think this is telling, because you say 'consistent with their ethical system'. Once we begin comparing multiple ethical systems by their pragmatic value, it rapidly becomes apparent that Catholic ethical positions about contraceptives are bad ethical positions, because enough evidence exists in medicine to demonstrate that barrier contraception is a useful tool to prevent the spread of diseases that cause untold human suffering, and that this isn't a boon worth trading for religious dogma.

    So who cares whether the church's attempts to stop people using contraceptives are consistent with their own dogma?
    That is obviously a terrible measure of how good an ethical system is.If anything it actually shows that the dogma, the actual principals of their ethical system, are bad- because they motivate people to do bad things.
  17. Reyna Malone

    Reyna Malone Like "Molly Malone"

    I believe that a god/gods exists, and that he/she/they is/are intelligent, but that it certainly isn't the god of any existing religion. Furthermore, I only believe in this god being conscious and intelligent enough to design an incredibly complex, well planned, creative, and methodical universe: this shows nothing about wether such a god is benevolent, wether they would listen to prayers, or how involved they are in human lives.
    I do believe in the afterlife, though. Nearly every religion has some form of afterlife. It's a bit like ancient views on the earth; every culture had many myths about the earth, some of which closely reflected reality, and some of which reflected local culture. Over time, with advances in science, most people abandoned myths of the earth for the science behind it. We now know more than ever about the earth, but it's still just as impressive and awe inspiring as our ancient myths believed it to be. I think that the same thing will happen in the future with regards to the afterlife and the soul.
  18. Aurorans Solis

    Aurorans Solis cum sol surrexit auroratque dies incepit

    ...Or you could make so much as a vague attempt to look for the Church's solution to this whole thing, sweetums. But don't worry, I've been informed by your previous actions that I'm to do that for you. Persons with STIs should not have sex. Full stop. If I'm thinking about this right, not having sex has a 100% success rate of preventing the spread of STIs.
    Me. Practice what you preach, brother!
    Oh, yes. Terrible things. Like not having sex. Gasp! Oh, the humanity!
    But in case you hadn't noticed, in one of my previous posts I discussed this exact notion. Allow me to retrieve it for you as I seriously doubt your ability and/or will to go back and find it yourself...

    So, with that settled, have a lovely day, dearie ~<3
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
  19. Fallowfox

    Fallowfox T-Tauri

    I think it would be best to advise people to avoid having risky sex, and to make sure that they use barrier contraception if they do have sex. It's not realistic to expect that everybody will stop having sex, so that's not a viable means of managing the spread of sexual diseases.

    It is unfortunate that institutions like the catholic church have, because of their dogmatic ethics, spoiled the opportunity to contain deadly disease. It is as though they care more about trying to force people to adhere to their dogma than they do about human well being. Ethics should put human well being first.

    You've insisted that we can't judge an ethical system by the actions it motivates in its adherents. Controlling people's actions and motivations to achieve a better world is the point of ethics though- so if an ethical system impedes our ability to do that, then we need to change it.
    This approach is known as 'pragmatism' and while I don't think it's the only consideration we should have when discussing ethics, it's clearly an essential part of contriving an ethical system that achieves real world improvements.

    Do you agree with that?
  20. Multoran

    Multoran Active Member

    I was actually wondering last night what it would be like to be religious...

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