How to tell a believer from a non-believer?


Machjo
#1
I used to profess irreligion, and later professed faith. Yet in reality, it wasn't a big change since it was really nothing more than redefinition.

for instance, when I professed not to believe in God, I was effectively saying that I did not believe in superstition or certain outdated laws, etc. And sinse my definition of God was of a mythical being teaching all kinds of outdated laws, then it was natural that I could not believe in that God.

Later, as I came to understand God differently, I finally professed faith in Him. But here's the thing. Looking back on it, the God in which I believe now is a God in which I have always believed even when I called myself an atheist, because the spirit for which He stands it the same one in which I believed when I thought myself an atheist (even though I didn't call it spirit of course). At that time, if you should ask me, I did not believe in spirit or soul. Now I do. But in fact, I did beleive in it, but I just used all kinds of secular terms for it. I still don't believe in the God in which I did not believe then. So in the end, i must say that I never truly was an atheist so much as a person who simply did not understand what God or spirituality was.

Yet based on this, then how can one so easily judge irreliginists when we don't know what's really in their hearts. They might belive but just don't know it.

On the flip side, I've met people who profess belief because their parents believe. I remember one man, when asked of his fait, responded:

"I don't know. I'll ask my parents next time I call them."

So how many so called atheists are in fact believers and how many so called believers are in fact atheists. In the end, words are cheap.
 
selfactivated
#2
You sound like me 5 years ago lol Its refreshing. I have a new (or old) thought. There's no such thing as athiesm. To not believe in a "god" you have to believe on exists to not exist......Sounds like every preacher Ive ever incountered LOL Spinning their wheels in the simplicity of life.

I like your closing sentence....."In the end words are cheap" That is SO true, so why do we kill millions of trees to prove each other wrong about each other beliefs? I believe you used the word Judged.......in my belief "judged" is the founder of all evil. But as a faithful follower of nothing/everything judging is the hardest part of my path to shake off. I judge myself the most. Who do I believe in? Why cant I just follow the croud, Noones going to like you unless you conform. I contantly am my own worst Judge. Theres a wonderful book by Don Migual Ruiz called the Four Agreements. Its a book I read often and try to daily remember Not to Judge anothers path including my own.

Theres a huge difference between religion and spirituality and In my humble opinion they BOTH lead to Goddess/God
 
Kreskin
#3
I think there are many atheists who believe there is a higher power of some sort but nothing like the definitions created and written by organized religions.
 
cortezzz
#4
i geuss i am a---sort of panthiest--
the closest ive feel ive gotten to feeling that there is a god is a strange mystical feeling when contemplating natural things----
particularly things such as the structure of the atom-- for example--- its logic--- how the electrons are arranged in distinct quantum energy states-- etc--

the atom appears to be an engineered object
i find that spooky
and wonderfull at the same time

i dont believe in any --organized religion--
i just dont feel anything for example when i attend mass--
i think there probably is a god-- in the sense of an organizing intelligence-- but i dont think he has actually communicated with us

i dont think the human intelligence can ever be sure about the exixtence of god or not---- we can never know this

i am wary of so organized religions because they pretend to give you answers to questions that can never be known---

in exchange for a great degree of social and political control
 
selfactivated
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Kreskin

I think there are many atheists who believe there is a higher power of some sort but nothing like the definitions created and written by organized religions.


I was a sworn agnostic forever lol It was the only "box" I fit in.

Cortez, quantum physics and the string therory are two things I can rap my silly blonde head around The logically explain what I cant explain. My sister (a catholic) gets mad at me for trying to label my belief system. Ive tried wearing the wiccan badge, shamanism, Faery wiccan......tons of others including salvation army, Jehovahs witness, Baptist, catholic.......She says I am my own belief, she calls it Tamism LOL Im not comfortable in the box, its stifling and dark and scary. So my Goddess came and plucked me outta da box and now I can fly Every human being has their own box they choose to live in or they choose to live out. Either way Goddess/god/doorknob is the end product.

Try renting "What the bleep do we know?" its an awesome movie.

Namaste
Tam
 
Jersay
#6
What about faith in many gods and goddesses.
 
selfactivated
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Jersay

What about faith in many gods and goddesses.

What about it? At this very moment in my life I call to Pan (god) and Fae(goddess) Its just names. Your god , my god all gods are THE sorce........the atoms that makes the molecule. The matter and non matter, theparticles and the space. It ALL exists within one realm, layered apon layer in seperate time frames. Something so simple makes me crazy trying to find the right words to express what I KNOW in my heart. Im sorry......I cant totally express it, I just KNOW that the god my sister prays to and my Fae and Pan all are apart of the same existance. Its just packaged differently.

Namaste
Tam
 
the caracal kid
#8
"g-d" is a construct, to many an ideal.

Cortez, the "wonderment" of the atom is there because it is the state that was stable. We don't know how many failed states occured before a stable state arose, so people have a tendency to look at the process "in reverse", saying "it is perfect now, so it must have been designed" where in reality what they are doing is applying their own bias for being in the current result.

the human thought process does a wonderful job of creating all on its own. One of the things it naturally seeks to create is stability/order to reduce stressors. Thus, the great orders of the world were constructed ever to the limits of man's understanding.

"We see what we want to see." Look for order, and ye shall find it. The reality is the highly dynamic system is in constant flux, which is why it is stable.
 
Jersay
#9
Now are we discussing about not an actual person or people but a thought that keeps our 'faith' because in my religion, the gods and goddesses are believed to be apart of human psyche, not really there but something or someone that people can strive for if I have explained that properly. This religion stuff is kind of difficult when you get to the nuts and bolts of it.
 
zoofer
#10
Did you see the pic of that Goddess CHAH?
 
cortezzz
#11
CK
yes im familiar with the argument---
i believe its referred to as the anthropomorphic principle
the idea is that only an ordered----- universe could have given rise to our--- brains -- and hence our awareness-- so -----of course we look at it and marvel at its order- when what we are really doing is observing the conditions that have made our awareness possible

anyway--- as i said--- we can never know

your substituting the term
order
with
stability
does not however invalidate the argument
stability--- may require intelligent design
stability is an ordered state
what defines-- this stability...

and all of the above
is beside the point--
when we consider the depth of the question

why is there something rather than nothing

not the actual words of that question
but the very deep emotional----state-- that stands in awe of that fact
maybe that has something to do with god
maybe not

i dont know

and by the way-- you seem to be steering clear of the political threads these days
 
selfactivated
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by Jersay

Now are we discussing about not an actual person or people but a thought that keeps our 'faith' because in my religion, the gods and goddesses are believed to be apart of human psyche, not really there but something or someone that people can strive for if I have explained that properly. This religion stuff is kind of difficult when you get to the nuts and bolts of it.


In the past 5 years Ive read 100's of books, not understanding all but taking this and that along the way. In every fraction Ive read about there seems to be a single golden thread that twines betwixt it all. "Treat others as you wish to be treated" In everything Ive read it tells me to look within and to not judge.


Quote:

The Universality of the Golden Rule in the World Religions


Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:1
Confucianism Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.
Analects 12:2
Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Udana-Varga 5,1
Hinduism This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.
Mahabharata 5,1517
Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Sunnah
Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
Talmud, Shabbat 3id
Taoism Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.
Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

So in my mind the nuts and bolts actually are quite simple.......Allow......allow others the freedom to Be who they choose to be with one thought in mind......as the wiccans put it "Do No Harm"

Not sure that made much sense but its late and I prolly should back away from the comp lol
 
Jersay
#13
I can see, let people be what they want to be. But that is difficult to some people in most religions, including my religion that has between 200,000 and 1,000,000 people. We are the same at that.
 
cortezzz
#14
the problem with love thy neighbour as yerslf is
many people--- are mentally unwell--- in the sense that they unconciously-- hate themselves
and are actually --unconsciously --- seeking punishment of some sort thru messing up others lives
 
cortezzz
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Jersay

I can see, let people be what they want to be. But that is difficult to some people in most religions, including my religion that has between 200,000 and 1,000,000 people. We are the same at that.

just curious jersay

what religion are you--- are you really a viking

you know the vikings werent any better than the christians
 
Dexter Sinister
#16
Quote:

Try renting "What the bleep do we know?" its an awesome movie.

It's a piece of ignorant crap, generated by people who have no real understanding of quantum theory and are trying to twist its counter-intuitive findings into giving significance and justification to their particular brand of mystic nonsense. It's a wholly unjustifiable extrapolation and misrepresentation of what quantum theory actually says, by people who haven't a clue what they're talking about.
 
Machjo
#17
When the perfect order (Great Tao) prevails, the world is like a home shared by all. Virtuous and capable people are elected to public offices; trust and peace are the maxims of living among the people. All love and respect their own parents and children, as well as the parents and children of others. There are caring for the old; works for the adults; nourishment and education for the children. There are supports for the widows and the widowers; for all the people who are alone; and for the disabled. Every man and woman has an appropriate role to play in society and family. A sense of sharing displaces effects of selfishness and materialism. A devotion to public duty leaves no room for idleness. Intrigues and conniving for ill gain are unknown. Villains such as thieves and robbers do not exist. The door to every home need never be locked by day or night. These are the characteristics of the Great Unity.
The Great Unity Chapter, Confucius, in The Book of Rites, Book IX.
 
Machjo
#18
We desire but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations...That all nations should become one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and differences of race be annulled - what harm is there in
this? ...Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the "Most Great Peace" shall come...

Bahá'u'lláh [A Traveller's Narrative (Episode of the Bab), pp. xxxix-xl.]
 
Machjo
#19
All within the four seas are brothers.
Confucius, Analects, 12:5
 
Machjo
#20
O ye children of men, the fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race... The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.

The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, p.112
 
Machjo
#21
The way to Great Learning is to illustrate illustrious virtue; to serve the people; and to persist until perfection.... To know what comes first and what follows will lead near to the way of the Great Learning.... The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom first administered well their own states...harmonized their families...cultivated their persons...rectified their hearts...sought to be sincere in their thoughts...extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of the nature of things. Things being investigated, knowledge became complete...thoughts were sincere...hearts were then rectified...persons were cultivated...families were harmonized...states were rightly administered...the whole kingdom was made peaceful and happy.
The Great Learning Chapter from Confucius.
 
Machjo
#22
The essence of faith is fewness in words and abundance of deeds.

Tablets of Baha'u'llah, (Words of Wisdom), p. 156
 
Machjo
#23
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbour, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be
unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish
all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an
ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 285.
 
selfactivated
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter Sinister

Quote:

Try renting "What the bleep do we know?" its an awesome movie.

It's a piece of ignorant crap, generated by people who have no real understanding of quantum theory and are trying to twist its counter-intuitive findings into giving significance and justification to their particular brand of mystic nonsense. It's a wholly unjustifiable extrapolation and misrepresentation of what quantum theory actually says, by people who haven't a clue what they're talking about.


Thanks for the critique Dex Now tell me how you REALLY think :P
 
selfactivated
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by cortezzz

the problem with love thy neighbour as yerslf is
many people--- are mentally unwell--- in the sense that they unconciously-- hate themselves
and are actually --unconsciously --- seeking punishment of some sort thru messing up others lives

hmmm well I wont tell ya Im BiPolar
 
Zan
#26
haha Tam, I've just finished touting What the Bleep in another thread..... see? where's the flux whan ya need him? <ducking>


btw girl, in lieu of Happy Easter, Happy Day tomorrow.
 
selfactivated
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by Zan

haha Tam, I've just finished touting What the Bleep in another thread..... see? where's the flux whan ya need him? <ducking>


btw girl, in lieu of Happy Easter, Happy Day tomorrow.


In his proper place FAR away from me! :P And thanks Love Ive been searching for local places to share Beltane with. Cross your fingers I may have found a local group of unintellegent Blondes that LIKE What the bleep AND if Im REAL lucky a 6 foot + Guardian that finds me not so blonde! LOL
 
Zan
#28
LOLLL - sorry girl, couldn't resist....

good luck with the 6' + biz.... keep yer eys peeled fer an extra that travels my occassionaly will ya?
 
FiveParadox
#29
Must be getting late ... I read that 6' as being 6".
And there I got all excited for nothin'.
Wow... this teenager needs some sleep...
 
selfactivated
#30
LOLLLLLLLLLLl no doll thats just "Tam 101 Typing" Its ALL intention! LOL

And Zan? I'll trade ya a wiccan Virginian for an open minded Canuck (about my age please)
 
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