Who decides what you believe?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by wil, May 17, 2022.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Who is the arbiter of your religion?

    Every religion has various sects, denominations, beliefs...

    How often do you hear someone is not _______________ enough to be a ___________?

    I am definitely guilty of feeling that I am more.Christian than expressed by the actions of many tv evangelists I see . Yet I would not be considered Christian with many based on my beliefs.
     
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  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Nice one! Tell you a secret, I think adherents of all faiths continually fail to live up to their ideals and precepts. But then, I'm a strange kind of Atheist myself, who likes to talk about the immortal gods, and claims mystical insights. So there is that.

    All that being said, I think there is a good chunk of psychological projection going on in any exercise in finger-pointing.

    Regarding my own philosophical stance, it must be noted that my fellow skeptics tend to leave a building by the doors rather than the windows, which really begs the question how serious they are about Skepticism ;) ‡ Looking at you, Mr. Dawkins.

    All that being said as well, I think those Atheists and skeptics who get into street-corner rants about The Irrational, really ought to do some self-discovery work to find out what they are really so angry about, it's a great relief to figure it out, and I'm saying this out of experience.

    BTW, @wil, I think you're wrong about every religion, the Baha'i faith for example is noted for its Unity and lack of denominations (ducks and runs ;) )

    ‡ if only I could find the original reference... one of the great skeptics...
     
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  3. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    You may be right.
    Yeah, the Mormon Temple in DC is open for visitors for the first time in 50 years (I toured it 50 years ago) so some Mormon folks were visiting and told me about vicarious baptisms....this incensed me... I don't wanna be baptized a hundred years from now if some descendant converts and then tries to save my soul.

    And then i thought if I dont believe in it why do I care.

    I think it is because I feel like a hypocrite today when someone says "I will pray for you"

    My anger is more about me than them.
     
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  4. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    I think the message of the Christ is so universal that it reaches everybody. From kings to beggars, little children to wise old thinkers.

    People didn't used to be able to read, and anyway books were expensive and the scriptures were in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. Now everyone can read the scriptures, and everyone will be interested in a different and unique way.

    The problem is insisting that my truth has to be your truth. In my own opinion, the American tithing, mega-church celebrity pastor movement has done more to damage and turn people away from the gentle message of the Christ than even warlords and evil tyrants abusing Christianity as a banner to rally violence and killing.

    A third of the world population are Christian. They are all different individuals. Most go their own quiet way, and every one of them has a personal Christ that themselves alone relate to.

    Imo
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
  5. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Good observation, imo
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
  6. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    I like to use the Kalama Sutta as a handy guide for determining which teachings will lead to long-term benefit and which teachings will lead to long-term harm. (If a doctrine preaches greed, hatred or delusion, it will lead to long-term harm.)
     
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  7. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    As a kid, I got in trouble for using the windows instead of the doors to enter and exit buildings. I asked why I was getting in trouble, because the route is quicker.

    My mother told me that it's considered rude and pointed out how many people put the rugs and the coat racks by the doors, or otherwise wish to greet people entering a building by the doors, and how using the windows to enter and exit can get the window sills dirty, which is quite inconsiderate.

    I still tested this and, to my amazement, I did get the windows caked in mud every time I used them. Perhaps that was why she was so irate with me to begin with! :p
     
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  8. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    Regarding Welfarist Utilitarianism, there are no authorities on it. It's a rather loose term and more of a movement, although several ethicists devote their careers to hashing out their own perceptions on it. It isn't like Hedonic or Preference Utilitarianism, which are more or less tied to Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, respectively.

    By contrast, however, Welfarism in general is a rather niche field and can refer to a wide variety of perspectives. It's currently more of a descriptive term than a prescriptive term. If that ever changes, I will probably need to come up with a new word to describe myself.

    I consider the "authority" on Welfarism to be the evolutionary process itself, which imbues our DNA with a tendency towards a specific naturalistic teleology. I think a more accurate description might be something like "Survivalism," but that word has completely different connotations and health is generally a good indicator of how well one is surviving, anyway.

    In that sense, the "authorities" would probably be doctors. They're the ones who debate on what "health" means, both physiological and psychological health. Another "authority" might be evolutionary biologists, who might one day refute the idea that evolution naturally selects for the survival of organisms, but I don't really expect this to happen. In both cases, the "authority" comes from valid expertise on the subject which anyone can learn and verify for themselves.

    Outside of that, I do have a high reverence for logic, but logic itself is a methodology and not a set of beliefs. To perform logic well one must try to remain objective and be aware of the limitations of logic. For that reason, I do take some bits and pieces from Stoicism and Skepticism, but I don't necessarily consider myself a Stoic or a skeptic.
     
  9. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    I don't understand this. Jesus was a reformer of Jewish law. Christianity does accepts gentiles, but that's only through conversion. What is there in the message of Christ that's universally applicable?

    I don't mean to bring things up from other threads, but I thought you considered the resurrection of Jesus to be central to his message? If that's the case, then wouldn't the message have no real application to people who don't believe in his resurrection?
     
  10. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    It goes far beyond that. Christ isn't limited by people's boxes.
    I don't get this? In 2000 years Christianity has been a major influence in everything. Libraries are filled with books about it, it has been a major source of art and philosophy. Christianity has accepted gentiles from earliest time.
    Yes, but Jesus still reaches people who don't believe in the resurrection. Christ isn't limited by by what people say he has to be, or by what they want him to be, imo

    Obviously nothing can reach somebody who doesn't want to believe a word of it. A third of the world's population do directly find something in it, and it goes beyond that to many people who are not Christians, such as Muslims, who nevertheless venerate Jesus.

    Many teachers from other religions use Jesus as an example in their talks and writings, and there are unknown countless others who just quietly take it in without saying anything to anybody.

    People are still talking about it here and countless other platforms.

    If you are going to limit the Christ, that's your own limitation, imo
     
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  11. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    The ways of the spirit are not required to satisfy human logic. We're in Plato's cave. Christ and others remind us of the fact, and show us more , imo

    Anyway, like the majority of people inspired by the message of Christ's life, I'm not a theologian or a logician. It is what it is ...
     
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  12. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    This sentence in particular answered all of my questions for me, thank you. I understand. The Bible might be the most quoted book of all time and, even if it isn't, it's certainly up there. You're right that I've seen everyone from Humanists to Hindus quote words attributed to Jesus from the gospels.

    I'll keep an eye out for more examples of that going forward.
     
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  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I think the reason Jesus is oft quoted and written about is the same reason Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Muhammad, Ghandi get quoted....because their readers find their words valuable and share them.

    Like our golden rule thread we find in many instances the cream not only rises to the top but spreads thruout as universal.truths are...universal.

    That being said I don't believe the mere numbers of.followers or books written holds that much weight....otherwise Budweiser would actually be good beer
     
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  14. Ella S.

    Ella S. Logoic Logician

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    To this in particular, you definitely shouldn't have to be a theologian or a logician to be religious, and I apologize if I have ever indicated otherwise or somehow implied that you are lesser for not being involved in those fields.

    I appreciate your perspective, whatever you bring, and I never want to make you feel unwelcome to voice it.
     
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  15. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    Me, through the sum total of my experience on the planet, both past and present.
    God.

    Just so happens Christianity checks all the right boxes for me, but not necessarily as defined by any particular division or denomination.
     
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  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    As I wrote this I figured maybe you have had this discussion more than once.
     
  17. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I knew there was a rational explanation :D
     
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  18. RJM

    RJM God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    There is absolutely no call for apology. Thank you for your gracious response
     
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  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    big hugz
     
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  20. Modesty

    Modesty Active Member

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    I feel like this is such an interesting question. I've known people who refuse to become involved in organized religion because of the 'rules' and because they don't want anyone 'telling them what to do/believe'. But in a very real way, we're all sort of bound by the religious customs and cultures we've been raised with. Even religious leaders like Jesus, Mani, Zoroaster, etc. who were revolutionary in their particular tradition drew on older teachings and cultural concepts. We do have choice when it comes to our beliefs, but its never a choice made in a vacuum.
     
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