Why Would an Atheist Join a Faith Based Forum?


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a figment of your imagination
I hear you both... You two with your words...

For some no words are enough...for others no words are not required.

I also am of the camp of not buying into man's religions as complete and factual. And that response is typically inundated by whichever believers are around trying to convince me that their particular one of thousands has it right.... That their documents are ordained by, written by, or channeled by the almighty....therefore...

Some of us wear size 6 shoes, others size 15, others use different nomenclature for sizing... But in reality we don't always need shoes...but especially we don't need ones that don't fit, and we don't need flippers when we are walking or dress shoes when we are riding horses.

Merry Sunday morning to all (even those reading this afternoon or tommorow)


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I think you misunderstand me, Thomas, but that's no surprise when all we have are words.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't talk or write about spiritual experience at all. We should be writing more, and creating more art that attempts to share these experiences, as well as recognising that every creative expression of human experience imperfectly communicates something about our spiritual awareness. Not just sacred texts. Some profound spiritual moments can come from plumbing the depths of popular culture.

I was trying to explain that we need to seek understanding beyond the words themselves, recognising that there is usually more to someone else's experience of what they are saying than their words can convey. I think this is as true for the authors of the Bible or the Koran as it is for posters on this site.

Yes, the right word can appear to change lives, and the wrong word can do the same. But in my experience the power is in the connection of human experiences, not in the words themselves. The same words can just as easily fall flat, confuse or even alienate another reader who has a very different experience of life. The bible illustrates this so well. My own understanding of scripture or any piece of writing doesn't come from just the words. The words draw my attention to a connection that exists between my personal experience and the experience of the author, and anyone else who may have ever felt a similar connection at those words, and words, images or experiences I am reminded of that guide my awareness of a connection to other experiences of other writers, to the experiences of loved ones, and so on.

Where I believe religion (and society, for that matter) fails is when we are led to believe the power is in the words, the symbol, the image, the person, the relic, the law or the ritual. But in my opinion the power is in our connection with all humanity, all life and all matter: past, present and future. Everything else merely points to this.

The more words we read and and write, the more art, music and rituals we create and experience, and the more communities, individuals and natural elements we engage with, from as broad a range as possible (recognising that they enter our consciousness as imperfect and limited expressions of life experience), the more we become aware of this universal connection.

Don't overestimate the power of words - they are just lines on a page or sounds without this interconnection of life experience. Wielding them with skill as a weapon of choice does not make one powerful. The right words don't exist - it is all a means of connecting with life.

I am on this site to witness and participate in the capacity we have to recognise an interconnection beyond the constructs of nationality, culture, language, ideology, time, space - and religion. Some posters and bible authors deliberately use the ambiguity (or possibilities) of language to unite, while other posters and readers seem to see ambiguity as a point of weakness to be exploited, an opportunity to divide.

The words are a tool - they fail as much as any tool, and aren't always up to the task at hand, despite our best efforts. If we focus on the connection between human experiences instead of on the words, we can work our way around all disagreements with patience and kindness.