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Subject: No one is anything rss

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Agent J
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I only have any doubts about who I am religiously when I forget what God has done for me. Then I remember and all the doubts go away.

But I'm always a Christian, even when I have doubts. But I can imagine if I was a strange, mixed up hybrid person that I would never be one thing for very long.

Christianity is stable. If it was possible to lose salvation... we all would have done so already.
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JonJacob wrote:

"How set in your ways are you?". I mean, do people believe what they believe until they change.. or do you feel these micro changes I'm talking about. Are there Theists here who recognize moments when they lost it all, Atheists who do the same? Even though you still self-identify as something specific.


very set in my ways, no religious argument has come close to changing that

I remember quite clear when I lost all the theist bull shit.

Anecdotal evidence should be left in the psychologist books, and of course the religious texts.
 
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Jythier wrote:


Christianity is stable. If it was possible to lose salvation... we all would have done so already.


you can't claim xtianity is stable then make a very un-stable claim

just saying
 
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Chad Ellis
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Hi Jacob.

With respect, I think you're taking your personal experience and perspective and universalizing it to others. You feel a connection to or belief in a God and you assume that others go in and out of this sort of belief state in a similar way.

That doesn't fit my experience. That's not to say I don't have "metaphysical moments" where I feel some strange connection to the universe; it's just that I don't believe in gods. To me the whole idea of creator beings is just a concept that has no resonance -- it's not that I reject them or consider them disproved but rather that I see and feel no reason to view them as anything other than human inventions.

Merton is right that our opinions about God say something about us and nothing about God...but that's true for any opinions or beliefs.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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One of the things I like most about Judaism is that it very specifically asserts that it is not the right way for everyone and even within it there exist a variety of ways of doing things. For non-Jews, it argues they should find their own path to G-d.

As for changes, a person always changes; it's inevitable. This will naturally change their views and how they deal with things.
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"The significance of a person's life is determined by the story they believe themselves to be in." - Wendell Berry "If nothing lies beyond the pale of death, then nothing of value lies before it." - SMBC
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Yes, it's true that everyone's beliefs are very individualized. Nobody is a walking stereotype (except maybe BJ). However, I think labels like "Christian" and "Taoist" are important because they allow us to group ideas into categories. It would take you a very long time to explain the intricacies of what you believe, but when I hear those two words I immediately have a vague idea of where you're coming from. Obviously, there is no substitute for discussion with you and getting to know you. When labels become weapons to ignore someone rather than tools for understanding them, then they're no longer helpful.

However, I think I know exactly what you mean when you talk about micro changes. My becoming a Christian was like that- no dramatic, road-to-Damascus moment so much as a growing understanding of how the world seems to work. In some ways, what was happening is obvious only in retrospect. I still experience changes like that to a small degree- but compared to those, Christianity is a solid bedrock for me.

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If I meet someone who had a bad experience with one (out of thousands) or religions and decided to become an Atheist... I see that outlook as being only slightly more advanced than someone who just whole heatedly eats up the one religion they were raised with.


I don't think either of those is necessarily more advanced than the other. Either can be done for both good and bad reasons.
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Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
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JonJacob wrote:
whac3 wrote:
One of the things I like most about Judaism is that it very specifically asserts that it is not the right way for everyone and even within it there exist a variety of ways of doing things. For non-Jews, it argues they should find their own path to G-d.

AS for changes, a person always changes; it's inevitable. This will naturally change their views and how they deal with things.


Of the major monotheistic religions Judaism is certainly the most broad and I like that feature as well. I really enjoyed the Mishna when I was in University (we studied theology so some Hebrew was required) and I remember specifically liking Rabbi Hillel (sp?). But I noticed there was a great deal of debate in the community and people could still self-identify as Jewish and yet have different beliefs than someone else who self identified similarly.

Now Islam and Christianity have that feature as well, but when people disagree they usually end up asserting that the other person cannot technically be in the same religion as them since they don't agree. Judaism seemed to allow more wiggle room.

That's because it's not based on belief fundamentally. There's a normal variance of beliefs that fall within Orthodox but that's about it. Non-Orthodox beliefs don't change Jewishness.
 
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Chad Ellis
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JonJacob wrote:

Yes Chad... I am projecting. Certainly.

I'm ok with that. I still believe we have these moments... hope that doesn't sound arrogant. I don't mean it that way.


You're basically saying that you know more about other people's experience than they do -- to the point where instead of saying, "I believe these sorts of experiences are common for many people," you're saying that you believe "we" have them.

Whether it's arrogant or not is a judgment call, but there's really not much point to discussing personal experience with someone whose response to you describing your own experiences is to say, "No, that's not it -- you experience this other thing."
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That's how I got Chad to stop talking about himself.
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"The significance of a person's life is determined by the story they believe themselves to be in." - Wendell Berry "If nothing lies beyond the pale of death, then nothing of value lies before it." - SMBC
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
You're basically saying that you know more about other people's experience than they do


To be fair, this very possible. A person's view of themselves is by no means objectively informed or even necessarily in possession of all the facts.
 
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twomillionbucks wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
You're basically saying that you know more about other people's experience than they do


To be fair, this very possible. A person's view of themselves is by no means objectively informed or even necessarily in possession of all the facts.

We're not talking about facts but about something entirely subjective.
 
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So you're describing your perception of another's person's attitudes etc. rather than the actuality of the experience that attitude is based on?
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whac3 wrote:

We're not talking about facts but about something entirely subjective.


religion/gods/psychology

all subjective
 
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twomillionbucks wrote:
Chad_Ellis wrote:
You're basically saying that you know more about other people's experience than they do


To be fair, this very possible. A person's view of themselves is by no means objectively informed or even necessarily in possession of all the facts.


Absolutely. At the same time, if a person says, "I think we all experience X" based on the fact that they do that's a bit different. And if one person is asserting a view of what I experience based solely on their own personal experience then there's not much of a conversation to be had.

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DrWhoWho wrote:
whac3 wrote:

We're not talking about facts but about something entirely subjective.


religion/gods/psychology

all subjective

Yes, they are. So what?
 
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Chad;

I agree though that asking and dealing with religious questions is a part of the human experience. Atheists just decide in the end the questions really don't matter or come to negative conclusions or... whatever.
 
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whac3 wrote:
Chad;

I agree though that asking and dealing with religious questions is a part of the human experience. Atheists just decide in the end the questions really don't matter or come to negative conclusions or... whatever.


cause they are subjective.....like you previously said

and really don't hold ANY truth
 
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DrWhoWho wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Chad;

I agree though that asking and dealing with religious questions is a part of the human experience. Atheists just decide in the end the questions really don't matter or come to negative conclusions or... whatever.


cause they are subjective.....like you previously said

and really don't hold ANY truth

Truth and subjectivity are hardly mutually exclusive. When you grow up, you'll see that.
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gelrod wrote:

Idk. Maybe it makes you happy to piss people off and hurt your cause. If that's the case, go for it.


cool!! Thanks!!!!

I love all the hallway monitors here!
 
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JonJacob wrote:
I get why you would feel this way but don't a large number of Atheists claim that people who believe are actually suffering from a delusion or fooling themselves? Aren't there a large number of Theists who claim that those who don't feel God are experiencing something different from what they claim? That they are ignoring part of themselves.


Whether other people do it or not isn't really the point. But I would point out that there's a difference between saying, "I think the reason you experience X is Y" and saying, "You think you experience X but you're wrong; you don't."

The atheist that would, IMO, be analogous to your posting would be one who said, "I believe that theists recognize that God doesn't exist; they don't really have these experiences they say are part of their connection to God."

That's the distinction, IMO. It's one thing if I think that you're wrong about a conclusion -- but if I start telling you that I know better than you do what your direct personal experiences are then I think I should have a better reason than, "Because that's what my direct personal experiences are."

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Is it wrong or not conversation worthy simply because I'm being honest about what happens in my brain?


By all means be honest. But there's a difference between, "This is how I experience things and I can't imagine how it's not this way for others" and just flat-out telling someone that your experience trumps theirs for them. That said, if you think it does then by all means say so -- just don't be surprised if someone else shrugs their shoulders and says, "OK," but doesn't find it worth discussing further.
 
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gelrod wrote:

Again, you obviously don't have to take my advice, but I would feel remiss if I didn't at least offer it.


tlr

Thank you HALL MONITOR!!
 
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gelrod wrote:

Better to be a monitor than a zealot, I suppose. You're a parody of yourself, mocking others for the same faults that you possess. The root of the problem isn't religion...it's ignorance, and in that respect you're no better than radical Muslims or snake handlers.


Nope...try again hall monitor.

But try wearing this:



 
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Dr. Hoohoo;

I think it says something about your age that this metaphor comes so readily to mind. Fine. We all start out immature, and many think they know everything when your age. Get over it before you make too much of a fool of yourself.
 
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JonJacob wrote:
As for the first part of what you wrote... most Atheists will say that I don't experience God... I just think I do. That is exactly what I'm doing here.


OK, but I think there's a difference. I may have misunderstood you but it sounds like you're saying that you think we all have the types of experiences you say you have, including that at times we are theists.

If all you're saying is that you think we all have some experience with God but may not perceive it as such, then that's fine...it's a little empty, but fine.

Quote:
We think we are of one mind, we think we are Atheistic all day every day, or Christian or ... but I don't believe it. I think we flip flop much more than we're willing to admit but we put on a brave face to try and keep some consistency in our lives.


See, this is where you lose me. You're welcome to have that opinion but not only are you basically insulting people who don't agree you're just asserting that you know our minds and experiences. I'm not offended by it but when someone tells me that they believe that I flip flip between atheism and theism all I can really do is chuckle.
 
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In many ways, my personal story is the opposite of JonJacobs.

I've dabbled with many different religions, and respect several (Catholicism, Judaism, Shinto, and Theravedan Buddhism come to mind). But I've never had anything that really constituted as a 'religious experience', and therefore, can't in good conscience identify as a member of any of these faiths. I'd be lying, to them and myself.

So I'm an atheist, but I respect that many religion has had a profound impact on many people's lives. Just not mine.

Darilian
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