Author Topic: "Do I believe in God?"  (Read 5943 times)

"Do I believe in God?"
« on: August 20, 2016, 08:29:58 PM »
Would you say this person is an atheist?

"Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline stromboli

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 12:38:42 AM »
I'd categorize him as a deist, belief in a nondescript universal power. With a small kitchen in an old house. And possibly high; his pupils looked kind of large.

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2016, 06:28:43 AM »
I'd say he's more of a Pantheist than a Deist. Also a hippy, and a cat owner.

Baruch (the resident Pantheist) might be the one to give a definitive answer on this one.

Offline SGOS

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2016, 07:23:23 AM »
I couldn't listen to him very long.  He quickly turned into background noise.   And I wasn't that interested, not because his philosophy might not be unique or thought provoking, but because he inadvertently shifts my focus away from a potentially interesting topic onto himself, a guy that is trying too hard to be an interesting person.

Offline Baruch

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2016, 11:21:49 AM »
Yes, a pantheist.  Atheist is a loaded word ... but relative to other posters here, not a deist, not an atheist.  An atheist here, is a purely non-personal ultimate natural view ... usually related to modern physics.

I could deal with each of his points one by one, but I don't think it is necessary.  Maybe a hippie, but that isn't a bad thing.  Influenced by Advaita Hinduism and Buddhism ... something I can relate to as well.  He is not a mystic however.  A mystic has a direct personal or impersonal relationship with the fundamentals of human experience.  Some born-again Christians are mystics, though I think our most recent born-again Christian ... isn't a mystic either.  He talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk.  I can deal with born-again Christians who are mystics, because they are the real deal (in the context of Christianity).

Another distinction ... pantheist vs panentheist.  For a pantheist, there is nothing transcendent ... but a panentheist admits the possibility.  I consider panentheist to be the less dogmatic position, so I prefer it to pantheist ... because I am open to new experiences, my boundaries are fluid, not fixed.  A reality that is entirely immanent ... is too constraining.

Another distinction ... belief vs experience.  I can experience belief, as such.  But usually that is belief in something not yet experienced.  I am too empirical for that, you have to show me (this is similar to others here, but my standard of evidence includes the subjective and the irrational.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 11:24:14 AM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2016, 03:52:19 PM »
Yes, a pantheist.  Atheist is a loaded word ... but relative to other posters here, not a deist, not an atheist.  An atheist here, is a purely non-personal ultimate natural view ... usually related to modern physics.

As Baruch said I think Koi is a actually a pantheist.  What I found interesting about his video was that if God=universe, as Koi asserts, is that really believing in a god? By that definition most people here believe God exists because they believe the universe exists. I think any god would need to be supernatural and possess self-awareness. There is no evidence the universe is either but I suppose that where Koi differentiates from the stereotypical atheist. When most people think of an atheist they think rationality and materialism but doesn't atheism, lack of belief in gods, technically cover more than that? For example, can one believe in reincarnation but not believe in gods and still be an atheist?

Can you be an atheist and believe this?

« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 04:31:04 PM by GSOgymrat »
"Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline aitm

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2016, 04:40:10 PM »
Anything that suggests a human has more of "anything" over a skunk or a daffodil, gets rejected by me. We are all from the same soup, no special treatment from the universe for being lucky enough to be born with a higher intellect and vastly superior motoring skills (compared to the daffodil)
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline SGOS

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2016, 04:52:44 PM »
As Baruch said I think Koi is a actually a pantheist.  What I found interesting about his video was that if God=universe, as Koi asserts, is that really believing in a god? By that definition most people here believe God exists because they believe the universe exists. I think any god would need to be supernatural and possess self-awareness. There is no evidence the universe is either but I suppose that where Koi differentiates from the stereotypical atheist. When most people think of an atheist they think rationality and materialism but doesn't atheism, lack of belief in gods, technically cover more than that? For example, can one believe in reincarnation but not believe in gods and still be an atheist?

A Pantheist I knew (he was the president of the something like the National Pantheist Association and also a person I thought was highly credible) identified the universe as God.  He assigned no supernatural qualities to the universe, nor believed the universe had any special interest in his existence.  However, he added that some Pantheists do assign supernatural qualities to the universe.  In fact, he believed that most do.

OK, so I got into a debate with him over whether the Universe could be defined as an actual god if it had no supernatural qualities.  He changed my mind on this semantic quibble by leading me to one dictionary definition of God, and it was not an uncommon or idiosyncratic definition either:  A god is : "That which is deified."  In other words, by that definition, it is not required to have any special qualities at all as long as someone somewhere, at one time or another, deifies or deified it.

Thinking along the lines of Thor or Zeus, are they not Gods?  They are constantly referred to as Gods throughout literature, and at one time, they were enthusiastically deified.  You could say, "Yes, but they are not true gods," and you would be whole heartedly supported by most Christians, Hindus, and Muslims.  Hell, the vast majority of the planet would insist that they don't even exist, yet by one definition, and others I would venture, they are certainly gods.

Using the definition I gave you, and not getting encumbered in facts like a to be a god, it must exist, or for God Sakes, actually be real, I had to cut that particular Pantheist a lot of slack.  Even we as atheists recognize the meaning of "God" as Christians refer to him, although we have no belief whatsoever that he exists or is actually real.  We just accept that such a god is the God that Christians deify.  The difference between the Universe as a god, and the Christian savior as a god, in my mind is only that the universe actually exists, but I have to consider them equally as somebody's god.

In that light special abilities or even existence itself, don't even come into play in qualifying an actual "thing" or simply an "abstract concept" as a god.  Both would be gods, and I think legitimately so.  The Pantheist god, even gets a wee bit more credibility in that it actually exists.

Edit:  and I should add that the particular Pantheist friend, actually worshiped and defied the universe.  At least I have to accept his claim on its face value.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 04:58:08 PM by SGOS »

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2016, 08:05:03 PM »
As Baruch said I think Koi is a actually a pantheist.  What I found interesting about his video was that if God=universe, as Koi asserts, is that really believing in a god? By that definition most people here believe God exists because they believe the universe exists. I think any god would need to be supernatural and possess self-awareness. There is no evidence the universe is either but I suppose that where Koi differentiates from the stereotypical atheist. When most people think of an atheist they think rationality and materialism but doesn't atheism, lack of belief in gods, technically cover more than that? For example, can one believe in reincarnation but not believe in gods and still be an atheist?

Can you be an atheist and believe this?



Typically the path that leads one to become an athiest leads them to be skeptical of such ideas, but if one day we could do the proper research and validate this information then sure it would just be another fact and everyone (with common sense) would believe, not just atheists.
"To have faith is to lose your mind and to win God."
-The Sickness unto Death - 1849

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2016, 10:32:06 PM »
OK, so I got into a debate with him over whether the Universe could be defined as an actual god if it had no supernatural qualities.  He changed my mind on this semantic quibble by leading me to one dictionary definition of God, and it was not an uncommon or idiosyncratic definition either:  A god is : "That which is deified."  In other words, by that definition, it is not required to have any special qualities at all as long as someone somewhere, at one time or another, deifies or deified it.

Very interesting. I like this definition because it doesn't consider the characteristics of the god, only that someone deified it. Because it focuses on belief rather than some other criteria it essentially makes all gods equal.
"Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Offline Sal1981

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2016, 06:28:04 AM »
"Atheist" only covers one stance; the lack of belief in god(s).

It doesn't cover phenomena which there's no evidence for.
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" --- Richard P. Feynman

Offline SGOS

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2016, 07:28:08 AM »
Very interesting. I like this definition because it doesn't consider the characteristics of the god, only that someone deified it. Because it focuses on belief rather than some other criteria it essentially makes all gods equal.

I like the definition because it does not require either proof of existence or supernatural powers.  The only requirement is deification, which is the one and in fact, the only salient characteristic that all gods have in common.  If it required supernatural powers, the universe would not qualify.  If it required proof of existence, Yahweh and Allah would not qualify.  A more restrictive definition would require anyone in need of a god, to decide from a more limited field of possibilities.

The definition accommodates even those Christians who need to make allowances in the description of their personal god so that it coincides with the limits of their ability to suspend reality.  While one Christian says, "God can do anything," it allows another to say, "God would never do that," and both Christians can still believe they are describing the same god.

In fact, the definition doesn't attempt to describe gods. It just describes how people collectively identify gods.  And that's the limitation of any dictionary definition.

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2016, 12:05:07 PM »
I'm not sure he knows.  This is new-age babble using the completely undefined word "spiritual" to sound smart and feel enlightened without actually having any clearly defined beliefs.  When he thinks about it, rather than come to any conclusions he likely just thinks until his he feels a sense of awe about how little he knows, then tries to explain it without actually saying anything.
This sentence is a lie...

Offline SGOS

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2016, 12:24:55 PM »
I'm not sure he knows.  This is new-age babble using the completely undefined word "spiritual" to sound smart and feel enlightened without actually having any clearly defined beliefs.  When he thinks about it, rather than come to any conclusions he likely just thinks until his he feels a sense of awe about how little he knows, then tries to explain it without actually saying anything.

It always sounds good to be "spiritual" because, well,... it's spiritual.  That helps ward off a potential rain of fire from everyone who is born again to those who are just spiritual.  People need to know that you are "spiritual" because it means your really OK and connected to something-or-other through a mysterious process.  This gives you and edge over those who simply exist without any purpose in life because they lack the spiritual connection to whatever.

Offline Baruch

Re: "Do I believe in God?"
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2016, 06:32:14 PM »
Most people here are refugees from an Abrahamic god.  They know little of polytheism or Buddhism.

If you define all anti-religion as anti-Christianity .. then how are you different from the Church of Satan (LaVeh) ... which is clearly an anti-Catholic burlesque?

It isn't all about belief.  In Buddhism the Buddha says ... be empirical ... try this out ... it worked for me.  Of course the more simple minded tried to make this a belief in Buddha ... but Zen says, if you meet Buddha on the road, kill him!
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.