Notice: Forums will be shutdown by June 2019

To focus on better serving our members, we've decided to shut down the POF forums.

While regular posting is now disabled, you can continue to view all threads until the end of June 2019. Event Hosts can still create and promote events while we work on a new and improved event creation service for you.

Thank you!

Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... Remember that we are the largest free online dating service, so you will never have to pay a dime to meet your soulmate.
     
Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Towards an Agnostic Faith      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 8
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic FaithPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)

It's the knowing for sure that I dislike. Why are there no agnostic religions?
Because agnosticism means you don't know 100% for sure that there is a G-d or not, and so everyone is an agnostic, to some degree or another. So, what it means to be a theist, is that although you are not 100% sure there is a G-d, you'll do some stuff just in case G-d exists. So, what it means to be an agnostic, is that you won't do anything at all. So how can you have a religion constructed out of no beliefs and no practises? There is nothing to call anything.

I've got to be honest. I don't have a lot of hope for this world if religion continues.
What about if there is no religion? What then? Consider species in nature. They are usually kept in check by lack of food, or disease, or being eaten by predators. But when species have their natural predators eliminated, and there is an abundant food source, and little or no disease, such species tend to consume everything in sight. Humans have eliminated disease, eliminated being eaten by predators, and grow their own food. So, if evolution is right, and we draw from that that humans are basically just animals, then by and large, we have nothing to stop us consuming everything in sight, and destroying the world in the process. Does that have anything to do with religion? No. That's to do with evolution.

In order for any species to choose to not consume everything they can, requires something additional, that is outside of evolution. It requires something that we do not expect of animals. In one way or another, if we have any reason even to want hope for the world, then it is because we are NOT animals. We might still have come from animals a lot time ago. But we are NOT animals, for we judge that if animals were in our situation, they would consume everything, until there was nothing left.

So, if you believe that humans should not do or be more than animals would do, it makes sense to me that you have litte hope. Hope comes from being different to an animal.
However, as far as a solid "faith" goes I am somewhat drawn to paganism and Buddhism, for some strange reason. What I enjoy about Buddhism is how magnificent a godless religion sounds. Anyone can be a Buddhist if they're mindful and seek enlightenment. Then there's paganism. Also a decent path for it's devotion to nature and the planet, in general. However, there's a lot about both paths which I find difficult to swallow. For one, how does Buddhism purport to KNOW, absolutely KNOW FOR SURE, what happens upon death? This is a hurdling block that's hard for me to overcome. Paganism is sort of the same way. How does Paganism know for a FACT that there is a pantheon of gods to worship?
Upon learning about Buddhism, I was amazed by how much of Buddhist beliefs can be found in my own religion, Judaism. I would expect that many of those beliefs are also found in Christianity and Islam. I was also amazed to find out how much of pagan religion belief and practice are based on getting in touch with nature, because monotheistic religions seem to me, to identify nature as part of G-d, and that getting in touch with nature IS getting in touch with G-d, to such an extent, that most of the prophets in monotheistic history, seem to have had most of their visions when away from humanity, in deep nature, such as a desert, or a forest, or a cave. It's the pagan oracles that seem to only have their visions when at their temples, away from nature. Oddly enough, what you are most interested in, is the main focus of monotheistic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Granted, that's not how such religions are portrayed nowadays in the media. But who in the media wants to say "Stop buying newspapers, stop watching TV, don't buy the products we advertise, just stop buying, go and enjoy nature, and stop making us money"?

So here's what I'm proposing... a meld of the two. We take the devotion to nature and couple it with an agnostic approach to enlightenment. Instead of calling this religion some sort of lame duck portmanteau of Puddhism or Baganism or something as equally ridiculous, we find a new name. My suggestion? Since I am an agnostic and believe the universe is rather indifferent/apathetic towards us we go with that and call it Causianity and just be done with it. The faith for all of us apathetic agnostics (Apagnostics?) based on Cause and Effect. Causianity. Join today. I don't know...
Considering that we already have that, and it hasn't helped, I really don't see the point. It's just going to end up just like all the other religions.

Your problem is with how people behave, and how people treat religion. I really don't think having no religion, or a new religion, is going to help. You have to deal with the actual problem, to sort it out, and that takes dealing with the twin problems of violence and corruption in the nature of humanity.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 14
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/2/2009 8:30:44 AM
RE Msg: 12 by ObfuscatedInOly:
Agnosticism seems like the only sane choice. With atheism you build this brick wall around yourself to keep out these little bubbles of religion that keep popping by to ruin your day. Both atheism and theism are types of cages. Only the agnostic dares to straddle the two barriers and declare both to be shells of limitation and captivity.
I hate to be a party pooper, but AFAIK, no-one claims to have a 100% proof of G-d. So everyone deals with the same issues. The only question to me, is if they are willing to act on the possibility of G-d's existence, and G-d's non-existence, to ensure that in either case, they have been responsible to help people, and not hurt people.

The only real cage that I see, is if you trap yourself to think that you are right, and nothing else can be true, that being theists who cannot discuss the possibility of atheism, atheists who cannot discuss the possibility of theism, and agnostics who cannot discuss the possibility that one can know if G-d exists or not, and who refuse to take such considerations into their actions. That would be a cage indeed, for one day, they might come to conclude they were wrong, and then discover they spent the last few decades of their life doing the very opposite of what they believed to be the right thing to do, for everyone.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 26
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/2/2009 4:32:43 PM
RE Msg: 16 by ObfuscatedInOly:
Both atheism and theism steadfastly apply that both positions are wrong.
Some atheists might have an extreme view of G-d, that consider G-d so improbable that there is no point even considering theism. However, theists on this site keep having it pointed out to them how there is no definite proof of G-d. So while many atheists and agnostics both hold that theism is certainty that other positions are wrong, that simply is not the case, at least, not with people who are realistic about theism, and it's not really practical to make any judgements about unrealistic people, other than they are unrealistic, and so cannot be evaluated. Really, theism always includes the possibility that atheists might be right, and agnostics might be right. It's just that theists tend to believe that they are far more likely to be right than atheists or agnostics.

The very nature of agnosticism is to say that either of the two options could be correct.
That's Pascal's wager, and Pascal concluded that to keep it, you'd have to be a theist, or at least act like one. If either there is a G-d, or there isn't, then it's worth worshipping G-d, just in case, and it's worth enjoying your life, just in case there isn't, and this is all there is, and it's worth treating other people well, in either case. That, to me, would just be a religious person, who enjoys his/her life.

Everyone isn't 100% sure. Agnosticism has to be more than that, that you are so unsure, that you refuse to take action, one way or the other.

I'd much rather see a religion that was based on covering both possibilities, and so that looks after G-d, other people, and you. But I guess that most people would call that theism, and a lot of posters seem hell-bent on attacking it.
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 28
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/2/2009 10:03:57 PM
I like arguing as much as the next guy; maybe more, but you guys are just rehashing the same old tired arguments for the sake of argument. It's a waste of time and effort.

An agnostic faith? The only thing an agnostic can have any faith in is his own "conviction" that he doesn't know what to believe.

If we're so all-fired hot to have something to believe in, why don't we just believe in ourselves? Don't we have any faith in our own judgment?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 33
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/4/2009 10:25:33 AM
RE Msg: 27 by Direlight:
I tell ya what, any person who thinks them self as a Muslim, Jew, or Christian, do me a favor FIND ME CAIN.

The bible states he is still alive, and even has followers, find me this immortal man, i will convert.
Genesis 4 says that G-d promised Cain that anyone who killed him before 7 generations would be punished, and he would have a mark that all could see he was Cain. Lemech was of the 7th generation, and asked his wives if he had slain a man by his wound. Why did he ask? Couldn't he see himself. He asked, because he couldn't see. Lemech was blind, so he never saw Cain's mark when he killed him. The Bible doesn't say that Lemech was punished for killing Cain, because he was of the 7th generation. You'd have a very hard time trying to find someone that the Bible explains is already dead.

I wonder also, if people are so sure of their religion, how do they explain the carbon dating tests from the Shroud of Turin(sp), being from hundreds of years after Jesus.
That would mean the Shroud of Turin could be a fake. But that doesn't show anything about the Bible.

The bible has been translated so many times, any original meaning has been lost.
Jews still read the Bible in the original Hebrew. The Dead Sea Scrolls show that it has remained almost identical over 2000 years.

Besides, how many people who live near the dead sea, are named Mary and Joseph? Sounds like King James did a little editing.
Mary and Joseph are English translations of their names, because the Jews of the time spoke Aramaic, or Hebrew, or Greek. I don't know what Mary is in the original. But I do know that Yosef (Jospeh) was, and is, one of the most common names for Jews. About 15 years ago, a friend told me that it was the top first name for religious Jews in that time.
 desertrhino
Joined: 11/30/2007
Msg: 34
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/4/2009 10:49:04 AM
Why on Earth would you want to found another religion of any sort, except perhaps to extort money from the credulous?

Just go to a UU church, bud. They'll accept your generalized disbelief just fine.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 36
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/4/2009 2:20:20 PM
Within some sects of Buddhism, there are deities. For example, in one Eastern country (and the name escapes me at the moment, but if should be easy to find), small girls are incarnated "goddesses" and revered as such until they reach puberty.

You also lump it under one general heading. I am pagan, and while I believe in the multiplicity of "deity," pantheons are merely projections by humans for their own needs; WE make god/dess in OUR image(s), not the other way around. Some pagans do believe their deities are real and absolute, but to other pagans, the deities are symbolic.

Why the need to start yet another formal belief system? Regardless of how it begins, it will become dogmatic.
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 38
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/4/2009 5:10:07 PM

Old testament is nothing like the new. They are obviously written by 2 different people, yet if they are from god shouldn't the messages be similar?


Oh, don't get me to going on this.

The most widely accepted view of the Hebrew Scriptures is that the Pentateuch, the first five books, were written by four different people or groups and an editor put them all together. The "Bible" as a whole was written by many different people.

As for the god being the same in both the Hebrew and Christian Scripture, supposedly, it is, but in reality, it isn't. Jesus said that he didn't come to change the law but to fulfill it, but change by any other name is still change.

Both books are a mish-mash of pagan beliefs that preceded Judaism and Christianity.
 uniquelyordinary
Joined: 2/5/2009
Msg: 40
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/4/2009 6:29:16 PM
wolffish
They have that, theyre called Unitarian Universalists and they recite poetry and go door to door saturdays inviting people to believe in absolutely nothing at all..




Having been born and raised Universalist (in 1961 consolidated with the American Unitarian Association to become the Unitarian Universalist Association) I don’t remember ever going door to door on Saturday mornings, but it might have been kind of fun!!! Instead of copies of “The Watchtower” I might have given out Shel Silverstein books or “A Brief History of Time” and flowers! Always flowers!

I have a friend who describes UUs as “Atheists who like hymns”.

During my “religious” upbringing, we learned about many different religions/beliefs and their sacred writings. It was a “take what you like and leave the rest” sort of education. UUs are not considered “Christian” in the usual definition but I’d challenge anyone to find a more “christian” organized religion.

Now I’m off to read the “How is the Universe Expanding” thread because that is consistent with my take on spirituality and should go nicely with the old copy of “Wrinkles In Time” that I’m rereading.
 WanderingRain
Joined: 3/9/2008
Msg: 41
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/4/2009 10:37:45 PM
I like angelflyn's answer.

I view religions as a corral for the sheep to be safe in.
But a few of us... we venture outside the boundaries of our churches to find new ground.
Sometimes the wolves get some of us. But some will experience new things while being outside and will bring back those ideas into his or her church and revitalize it. Sometimes we decide not to live in the corral anymore.
It's certainly how I view my own faith now. It's kind of untethered. More free and wilder than any organized faith... and for some of us... we like it that way.

I understand why people worship the way they do and for most part, as long as your faith does not compel you to harm another person or be a detriment to society, I will respect and defend your right to follow your faith, whatever it is.

Peace!

 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 43
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/5/2009 3:32:51 PM
RE Msg: 41 by Direlight:
I am not a expert on the bible , but when i read about Cain on Wikipedia, it stated some quotes and it said FOREVER , so if another part of the bible says otherwise, well then that has nothing to do with me now does it.
Well, when I looked up Cain on Wikipedia, and searched for the word "forever", all my computer found was:
As Abel's murderer, Cain was ordered to wander the earth in punishment, a tradition arose that this punishment was to be forever, in a similar manner to the (much later) legends of the Flying Dutchman or the Wandering Jew. According to some Islamic sources, such as al-Tabari, Ibn Kathir and al-Tha'labi, he migrated to Yemen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cain

I also found this on Cain with the word forever:
12No longer will it yield crops for you, even if you toil on it forever! From now on you will be a fugitive and a tramp place to place."
http://www.geocities.com/earlcain2001/biblecain.htm

Problem is that Genesis 4:12 doesn't have the word "Le-Olam", forever, in the original Hebrew text at all.

Also, i know they are translated, thats why i said King James did some editing, maybe you people should increase your reading comprehension.
Except that you implied that King James added some bits that you think is irrational, and the bits that you have problems with, are either not problems, or only added the words that made you conclude they were irrational.

If there are contradictions in the translation, but not the original text, then the translation is incorrect, but the original text is still correct. Yet you called it fictional. How can that possibly make any sense, to anyone?

I tried reading that aweful book, god its just terrible, the first part is just a list of names for some reason, 85% of you (in the US) believe in that non-sense, ask me how many talking snakes and people who like to be 900 years old you run into.
How many dinosaurs have you run into lately?

Also, thats another reason not to read the bible, it contradicts what it says in other versions.
Again, you read a translation, and you think that means you know what the actual book says?

Your arguments are all valid about translations. But that's just a reason to learn to read it in the original text.

RE Msg: 42 by Gwendolyn2009:
The most widely accepted view of the Hebrew Scriptures is that the Pentateuch, the first five books, were written by four different people or groups and an editor put them all together. The "Bible" as a whole was written by many different people.
That's the most widely accepted view of the German Emancipation movement. But it isn't supported by the text. The theory is based on a whole host of assumptions.

One argument is that different books use different names for G-d. Of course, that assumes that the same person will only call a person by one name, which would mean that only one name for G-d must be used throughout each one book, and that doesn't happen. It also assumes that the same person will only have one name, which would mean that the name on everyone's passport is the same name they use to refer to themselves on POF.

Another argument is that different books use different styles of writing. But then, that would assume that the same person would only ever use one style of talking, which would mean that many people, who do occasionally use different styles of talking, such as logic, satire, and rhetoric, are actually 3 different people, which would put the population of the Earth at 15 billion upwards.

That's why most people who are extremely familiar with the Bible, and not a translation, and can cross-reference several different passages in the original text for comparison, don't take this idea seriously at all.

RE Msg: 32 by CityHorseWoman:
I would suggest reading "Angels and Demons" and "The DaVinci Code" books both written by Dan Brown.
It may not help you with your religious indecisions, but it may give you another way of looking at religion as a whole, especially the Catholic Church.
You do understand that they are fictional books, don't you?
 WanderingRain
Joined: 3/9/2008
Msg: 45
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/5/2009 8:20:37 PM
Regardless of whether you believe or not, your life requires leaps of faith on your part.
Or else you will never fully trust your partner. Every minute of the day, unless you are presented with tangible solid proof that they are not cheating, you will suspect they are.
Or sometimes, you trust that that pacemaker battery will last you until you get back to civilization from a long hike. We already live lives based on faith, all the time.

It's just that some people have more faith in some areas than others. Some people have faith in God, others have faith in their insurance policy. We trust that that faceless corporation will come in and save us. We have faith in banks. Yet how many lost cash in the latest rounds of bank closures? Some place ultimate faith in the FDIC.
You have faith that your car won't break down as you are on your way to an interview of a lifetime. You have faith that cruise ship won't sink like the Titanic. You have faith in the pilot of that jet liner you are riding on.
You are living your life based on faith, whether you like it or not.

Faith is trust in the uncertain. And in this world... in this life... nothing is certain except death...
 JustDukky
Joined: 7/8/2004
Msg: 47
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/6/2009 11:36:18 AM
@TNFa


Actually, strong atheism is a religion under the definition of religion provided by every modern dictionary I've seen. Repeating a false claim does not make it true.


I checked the free online dictionery: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/religion

I don't see how that definition makes strong atheism a religion. Could you enlighten me?

BTW: If you deny the existence of Ganeesh, Zeus, Manitou, or ANY of the thousands of gods, by the definition of strong atheism, you are a strong atheist yourself.
 bulls eye annie
Joined: 8/10/2008
Msg: 50
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/8/2009 5:16:32 AM
This is really getting old. I'm not gonna sit here and tell ya'alls what to believe. I recongize the divinity in all, regardless. Earth is much older than ya think and humans have been here a very very long time. We've been nearly wiped out a couple times too.

It's not the answer that's so important It is the depth of the question. Bravo! You are a thinking, living, beautiful, divine, god. Oops, did I dare to say that outloud. Well, that's just blasphamous, huh? Scared?

Here's my point. Don't look outward and follow. Take responsibility for your OWN spiritual growth. It's okay! GOD isn't gonna strike you down. It's your journey, so own it. Otherwise, you are a slave.

Shamanism, Sanskrit Vedic, Bood of Enoch, Book of Gilgamesh....... that's were it all started. The real truth was hidden, in secret sects, called magic. Well, wake up, no one is being executed anymore for embracing who they are.

GOD is not a being. So, no 'being' is gonna materialize to save you, your "group," or the human race. We are alone (and priviledged) to make our own decisions.

How does one define the infinite, free of time, space, distance, that unknown source, the etheral? Hmmmmmm? Perhaps GOD is a thought, pehaps we are GOD's thought, in form. Perhaps GOD is growing too?

Evolution, let's talk about evolution. We are evolving. Look around you, we are coming out of our sleepy slumber.

All were born 'imperfectly' perfect. Welcome to duality. Welcome to free will. Exercise, stretch, practice, and master as best you can.

Oh, yes, back to you being god (note: not GOD, or God...yet), but, 'god.' Now what? Are ya think'in? Good!

Just a thought..........
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 54
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/8/2009 6:47:03 PM
The definition of atheism is that God does NOT exist. It is a positive affirmation about the existence of God.

Lateley, there have been those, who for some reason or other, seem to think that not having a beleif, at all, is equivalent to atheism. I wish they would stop this. A lack of beleif, is not, in any way, a positive affirmation.

I don't know why these people do these things...atheists must be very, very lonely. :)

Please, atheists, stop trying to paint us free thinkers with your atheist brush. We don't belong with you, or stand with you.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 55
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/8/2009 7:02:43 PM
"Agnosticism seems like the only sane choice. With atheism you build this brick wall around yourself to keep out these little bubbles of religion that keep popping by to ruin your day. Both atheism and theism are types of cages. Only the agnostic dares to straddle the two barriers and declare both to be shells of limitation and captivity."

Seems like you blame religion for everything bad in the world. But what about all the good religion has done?

When the Spanairds conquered South America, they just wanted to work all the natives to death. but the Church intervened, saying that even savages had immortal souls, and thus had to be saved. The Church saved many lives then.

The Church both destroyed and saved Greek philosophy, without which most of us would never have even been born, since science came from the Greeks, along with a system of government that functioned without God, allowing Man to finnaly think for himself. Kudos there!


I see religion more as a natural phenomenon, to be endured until we come up with a pill to cure it. Until then, just apply ointment daily, and keep it under control. Most people are just barely holding on, without the social cohesion that religion provides, they would just go batwhack crazy.

I myself have toyed with inventing a new religion, a step up from the old models we got today.

Unfortunetly...I fear it would mean world war III. Religion is not something you attack head on, you got to work the flanks, and wear it down. SCIENCE is the best way, for now. Keep up the science, the rest will follow.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 56
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/8/2009 7:07:26 PM
"Agnosticism seems like the only sane choice. With atheism you build this brick wall around yourself to keep out these little bubbles of religion that keep popping by to ruin your day. Both atheism and theism are types of cages. Only the agnostic dares to straddle the two barriers and declare both to be shells of limitation and captivity."

Seems like you blame religion for everything bad in the world. But what about all the good religion has done?

When the Spanairds conquered South America, they just wanted to work all the natives to death. but the Church intervened, saying that even savages had immortal souls, and thus had to be saved. The Church saved many lives then.

The Church both destroyed and saved Greek philosophy, without which most of us would never have even been born, since science came from the Greeks, along with a system of government that functioned without God, allowing Man to finnaly think for himself. Kudos there!


I see religion more as a natural phenomenon, to be endured until we come up with a pill to cure it. Until then, just apply ointment daily, and keep it under control. Most people are just barely holding on, without the social cohesion that religion provides, they would just go batwhack crazy.

I myself have toyed with inventing a new religion, a step up from the old models we got today.

Unfortunetly...I fear it would mean world war III. Religion is not something you attack head on, you got to work the flanks, and wear it down. SCIENCE is the best way, for now. Keep up the science, the rest will follow.
 Twill348
Joined: 12/20/2008
Msg: 57
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 5/8/2009 7:12:39 PM
Oops...how did that happen? The page did not refresh! It's not my fault!! WHY GOD, WHHHHYYYY11111
 LunaSlave
Joined: 8/7/2005
Msg: 62
view profile
History
Towards an Agnostic Faith
Posted: 6/4/2009 9:40:48 AM
I'd like to recommend the following book to you:

Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor

excellent book, it's basically about taking the philosophical core of Buddhism as something to DO (in terms of mindfulness practice/meditation) and not simply something to believe - while throwing out the doubtful metaphysical aspects that are holdovers from Buddhism's age and crosspolination with other religions, like Hinduism.

Batchelor actually suggests using the term 'dharma practice' instead of Buddhism to differentiate this approach...he also calls it agnostic Buddhism. it's a very very interesting book, and I recommend it highly. personally i draw very ATHEIST conclusions from the central ideas of Buddhism, and I think Batchelor might be moving in that direction as well - last I heard he was working on a book entitled "Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist" which I can't wait to read :)
Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Towards an Agnostic Faith