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Do you believe in God, or some similar thing?

Troj

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dino Therapist
Weirdly enough Anton LaVey was an Obectivist. Like a lot of people you may leave Objectivism but Objectivism won't full leave you. In LaVey's case he started the Church of Satan which is a quasi form of Objectivism. In fact: Satanism and Objectivism | churchofsatan.com

He borrowed from Ayn Rand and Objectivism, just as he did from other thinkers and philosophies. But, if he (and other Satanists) had considered Objectivism sufficient, there would've been no need for Satanism.

Personally, I think that while Objectivism brought some very useful ideas to the table, most of the Objectivists I've met have been humorless buzzkills, and Ayn Rand was a shitty novelist and kind of a bitch.
 

Mandragoras

Inept Abecedarian
I'm honestly not sure what to say. In my more rational moments, my personal philosophy cleaves fairly close to Camus' conception of absurdism: I don't know if there's a higher power, I don't think I can know, I don't think that there's an identifiable greater meaning in life, and I'm OK with all that most of the time. In my more, I don't know, maybe credulous or mystical moments, I think I identify most strongly with animist ideas, older forms of Shinto and so forth, although I also see a distinct value in certain Abrahamic traditions and ideas.
 
O

Okami_No_Heishi

Guest
Religion, in my opinion, is a tool used by those in power to help control the populous. Works pretty well, too. Except it is an outdated tool, no longer necessary, in my opinion. Here is a thought: if an alien spacecraft landed on The White House lawn tomorrow, and a being who looked like Jesus stepped out, proclaimed to be the Son Of God, and told us that all non-believers must be destroyed, how long do you think it would take for the killings to start? My guess would be seconds. Because in my mind, there is nothing more dangerous than a "true believer" ,of any religion.
 

ChapterAquila92

Resident Bronze Dragon Kasrkin
Banned
Religion, in my opinion, is a tool used by those in power to help control the populous. Works pretty well, too. Except it is an outdated tool, no longer necessary, in my opinion. Here is a thought: if an alien spacecraft landed on The White House lawn tomorrow, and a being who looked like Jesus stepped out, proclaimed to be the Son Of God, and told us that all non-believers must be destroyed, how long do you think it would take for the killings to start? My guess would be seconds. Because in my mind, there is nothing more dangerous than a "true believer" ,of any religion.
Why go that far with the alien example? You just have to look at the nations of the Third World to see what happens when religion utterly dominates society unopposed, especially where its authority is not separate from that of the state.

On a similar note:
 
O

Okami_No_Heishi

Guest
Why go that far with the alien example? You just have to look at the nations of the Third World to see what happens when religion utterly dominates society unopposed, especially where its authority is not separate from that of the state.

On a similar note:
I think I was just trying to use it as an example of where blind faith in religion could take us. Believers......worry me.
 

ChapterAquila92

Resident Bronze Dragon Kasrkin
Banned
I think I was just trying to use it as an example of where blind faith in religion could take us. Believers......worry me.
Blind faith in anything is dangerous. It's actually one of the reasons why, in light of the Milgram Experiment, it is simply inexcusable to say "I was just following orders" when explaining why you committed an act that you knew was inherently wrong. It is therefore demanded of you to be conscientious about what you do, no matter how fervent your beliefs and loyalties are, and failure to do so is nothing short of being irresponsibly complicit.
 
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Okami_No_Heishi

Guest
Blind faith in anything is dangerous. It's actually one of the reasons why, in light of the Milgram Experiment, it is simply inexcusable to say "I was just following orders" when explaining why you committed an act that you knew was inherently wrong. It is therefore demanded of you to be conscientious about what you do, no matter how fervent your beliefs and loyalties are, and failure to do so is nothing short of being irresponsibly complicit.
Breeea!
 

zeroslash

WYSIWYG
No. I do not believe religion has a place in a modern society. It baffles me why so many continue to cling to ancient religions with no visible or physical proof of any sort of powerful being.
 

ChapterAquila92

Resident Bronze Dragon Kasrkin
Banned
No. I do not believe religion has a place in a modern society. It baffles me why so many continue to cling to ancient religions with no visible or physical proof of any sort of powerful being.
The most common reason, taking the whole of humanity into account, tends to be that it provides them an illusion of comfort in a universe that simply hasn't been kind to them. Others include existential dread, generally associated with feeling insignificant on a universal scale, and a sense of belonging in a social group, through which the rituals serve as a bonding experience and a means of imparting morals that reinforce it.

In the end though, belief in a higher power holds as much abstract weight in reality as the value of money - it's an illusion for sure, but it's an intrinsicly very useful illusion for those who adopt it, even if they're fully aware of its nature.

Seriously, you can't tell me that you didn't milk dry the Santa Claus illusion as a kid after you found out it was a myth.
 

zeroslash

WYSIWYG
The most common reason, taking the whole of humanity into account, tends to be that it provides them an illusion of comfort in a universe that simply hasn't been kind to them. Others include existential dread, generally associated with feeling insignificant on a universal scale, and a sense of belonging in a social group, through which the rituals serve as a bonding experience and a means of imparting morals that reinforce it.

In the end though, belief in a higher power holds as much abstract weight in reality as the value of money - it's an illusion for sure, but it's an intrinsicly very useful illusion for those who adopt it, even if they're fully aware of its nature.

Seriously, you can't tell me that you didn't milk dry the Santa Claus illusion as a kid after you found out it was a myth.
My family--at least immediate family--has never been very religious. My folks kinda know why we all like Christmas: free shit. My folks are still theists but they aren't very religious. So when I told them I no longer believed in Santa Claus, it was like, "Okay." And boom, free shit by just circling things in a catalogue.

Anyway, I don't deny the usefulness of religion but I'm still iffy about it. I've always felt like if you need religion to be moral then you're not moral yourself. You're just scared of going to hell or some other place of torture. I'd go even further about hell and its function in morality but I'm too lazy and/or I don't want to cause a flame war.

Because, y'know, discussion of religion always leads to happiness and sunshine.
 

Aurorans Solis

cum sol surrexit auroratque dies incepit
There's two little somethings here that bothers me - somethings I just saw in zeroslash's last post. Let me preface this by saying I'm not religious myself, as I'm somewhere between agnosticism and deism myself.

Here's what I find particularly bothersome "I've always felt like if you need religion to be moral then you're not moral yourself," in combination with, "You're just scared of going to hell or some other place of torture." I can say that for anyone who looks to the Pope as a religious authority, this should not be the case. Whether or not it is the case or not is a different matter. As part of the required curriculum from my school, I had to take a one-semester-long course on ethics, which included lessons on Catholic Ethics, so much of the following is going to be based on what I learned in this class. According to the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, God is so immensely forgiving that Hell is not a threat for Christians/Catholics who are immoral, regardless of posterior actions. It is a reality for those who commit mortal sin and then do not seek forgiveness for said moral sin through a priest. Long story short, according to the CCC, God is really, really forgiving.


In hindsight, I suppose this may have been some of the happiness and sunshine you were referring to, zeroslash.
 

ChapterAquila92

Resident Bronze Dragon Kasrkin
Banned
There's two little somethings here that bothers me - somethings I just saw in zeroslash's last post. Let me preface this by saying I'm not religious myself, as I'm somewhere between agnosticism and deism myself.

Here's what I find particularly bothersome "I've always felt like if you need religion to be moral then you're not moral yourself," in combination with, "You're just scared of going to hell or some other place of torture." I can say that for anyone who looks to the Pope as a religious authority, this should not be the case. Whether or not it is the case or not is a different matter. As part of the required curriculum from my school, I had to take a one-semester-long course on ethics, which included lessons on Catholic Ethics, so much of the following is going to be based on what I learned in this class. According to the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, God is so immensely forgiving that Hell is not a threat for Christians/Catholics who are immoral, regardless of posterior actions. It is a reality for those who commit mortal sin and then do not seek forgiveness for said moral sin through a priest. Long story short, according to the CCC, God is really, really forgiving.


In hindsight, I suppose this may have been some of the happiness and sunshine you were referring to, zeroslash.
Being a graduate of a Catholic School system myself and having undergone a similar course on ethics & morality in my graduating year, I can relate to this. Granted, I recall my course focusing on the various philosophers, Christian and otherwise, whose teachings have influenced Christian ethics as a whole, from the days of Aristotle to the Enlightenment.

In short, you certainly don't need to be religious to be moral - morality being the tenets that allow a society to function - but those same moral precepts are generally adopted and codified by religion anyway. How that morality is expressed however is a different story, especially in the instances where it is abused and exploited to justify immoral behaviour.
 

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
There's two little somethings here that bothers me - somethings I just saw in zeroslash's last post. Let me preface this by saying I'm not religious myself, as I'm somewhere between agnosticism and deism myself.

Here's what I find particularly bothersome "I've always felt like if you need religion to be moral then you're not moral yourself," in combination with, "You're just scared of going to hell or some other place of torture." I can say that for anyone who looks to the Pope as a religious authority, this should not be the case. Whether or not it is the case or not is a different matter. As part of the required curriculum from my school, I had to take a one-semester-long course on ethics, which included lessons on Catholic Ethics, so much of the following is going to be based on what I learned in this class. According to the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, God is so immensely forgiving that Hell is not a threat for Christians/Catholics who are immoral, regardless of posterior actions. It is a reality for those who commit mortal sin and then do not seek forgiveness for said moral sin through a priest. Long story short, according to the CCC, God is really, really forgiving.


In hindsight, I suppose this may have been some of the happiness and sunshine you were referring to, zeroslash.

I think there is a flaw in this suggestion, because priests who molest children can console themselves that they have been forgiven by their god. By contrast somebody born into the world with original sin, who acts virtuously and tries to reconcile with anybody they wrong, would be condemned to eternal torture if they were never baptised.

I think the notion of divine absolution is one that priests offer people in order to proselytise their religion, rather than because it makes any ethical sense.
 

Aurorans Solis

cum sol surrexit auroratque dies incepit
I think there is a flaw in this suggestion, because priests who molest children can console themselves that they have been forgiven by their god.

Sure, but here's the thing. Priests who do such a despicable deed must seek forgiveness through reconciliation. Key point of reconciliation: it is not through oneself. This priest must reconcile with God through another priest. If they do so, while yes, God will forgive them for their misdeed, part of their repentance will almost assuredly be handing themselves over to government authorities to go through the legal process and receive due legal punishment for child molestation. If you're expecting some sort of recourse, there you have it.

Additionally...
By contrast somebody born into the world with original sin, who acts virtuously and tries to reconcile with anybody they wrong, would be condemned to eternal torture if they were never baptised.

This is not true in some cases. Reading through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you will find four exceptions to this statement, where people who have not undergone the Sacrament of Baptism are still able to achieve what the Church terms "Salvation," as in going to Heaven. I will include these exceptions here.

1. "The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament," (Catholic Church 1258). In summary, those who are of the Christian faith but died before being Baptized may still reach Heaven.

2. "For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament," (Catholic Church 1259). The definition of "catechumen" according to Merriam-Webster: "a convert to Christianity receiving training in doctrine and discipline before baptism," or "one receiving instruction in the basic doctrines of Christianity before admission to communicant membership in a church."

3. "'Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery,' (GS 22 § 5; cf. LG 16; AG 7). Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity," (Catholic Church 1260). By this rule, your example person:
By contrast somebody born into the world with original sin, who acts virtuously and tries to reconcile with anybody they wrong, would be condemned to eternal torture if they were never baptised.
would not be condemned to eternal torture.

4. "As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them," (Mk 10 14; cf. 1 Tim 2:4) allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism," (Catholic Church 1261). This one isn't necessarily always an exception, sure, however it still offers the opportunity that a child who has not been Baptized may, and is likely to, not be condemned.

Lastly...
I think the notion of divine absolution is one that priests offer people in order to proselytise their religion, rather than because it makes any ethical sense.

Divine absolution isn't just something priests say and don't mean. It is a basic fact in the Catholic faith. Full stop. End of story. You will find many, many examples of things directly and indirectly affirming divine absolution (though most of the time it fails to mention the process). One such example was in one of the quotes I gave: "Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved," (Catholic Church 1261). If you'd like to learn more on this topic, feel free to look up the Catechism of the Catholic Church's teachings on reconciliation.
 
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Aleksion

They killed me
Banned
No, I don't. Why would there be someone? We were created by the nature. While it's not an intelligent force, it had time on its side. When I die the nature will take me back and reuse me for something else. Dying sucks though. Everything is temporary in this world, absolutely EVERYTHING, except one thing, your death. The nothing will last forever. It's a scary thought to be honest. But so freeing at the same time.
 

UnwieldyRoomba

HYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
I would technically classify myself as an agnostic deist, in that idk if there is or isn't a god, but if there isn't, they definitely don't care one way or another. In regards to the big What Happens After question, I would usually shrug but my gut instinct when my life is in danger is to kind of believe in reincarnation? It just ends up seeming the most reasonable on a subconscious level I guess. I would also, structurally speaking, put myself into the more Unitarian Universalist region, in that I believe religion is a very personal thing, and doesn't have much business being a source of profit or such a strong hierarchy that most major religions have today. Religion can be a source of safety and emotional refuge for some, and others don't want anything to do with it for one reason or another, and I think both are fair.
 

M4CH

Member
The war goddess who effectively reigns over nuclear war, compared to pub brawler Ares? Oh yes... :D
Who doesn't want to go out with a bang? Besides, Athena was the better looking one imo. On the subject of caprine-related gods though, I'd probably go with Pan: bad influence, but an extreme party-boy. He was also somewhat of an ally to Athenians.
 

Multoran

Active Member
Thing about religion is that you'll never really know whether you were right or wrong until you die.
Unless nothing is after death, in which case you won't know much of anything. Because you no longer exist.
 

ChapterAquila92

Resident Bronze Dragon Kasrkin
Banned
Who doesn't want to go out with a bang? Besides, Athena was the better looking one imo. On the subject of caprine-related gods though, I'd probably go with Pan: bad influence, but an extreme party-boy. He was also somewhat of an ally to Athenians.
Well, when I say that Athena is the goddess of nuclear war, it mostly revolves around MAD and the strategy it's built around. In short, she plays to win, and the only winning move in a nuclear war is not to play.
 
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