Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

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What generally desribes your religious beliefs?

Agnosticism
6
8%
Atheism
32
42%
Bahá'í Faith
0
No votes
Buddhism
1
1%
Christianity (including LDS and Jehovah's Witnesses)
8
11%
Confucianism
0
No votes
Hinduism
1
1%
Islam
1
1%
Jainism
0
No votes
Judaism
3
4%
Shinto
0
No votes
Sikhism
0
No votes
Taoism
1
1%
European polytheism
3
4%
Wicca
0
No votes
New Age spirituality
1
1%
Other
6
8%
None
13
17%
 
Total votes: 76

IpseDixit

Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-06-02, 13:56

I believe in a God that created the Universe (maybe the Multiverse), I'm not sure whether on purpose or not and I highly doubt it communicates with us, it intervenes in our life and other things of that sort...

I'm very attracted by Neoplatonic philosophy, especially the theological/mystic/spiritual teachings of Plotinus. I hope to read his entire work soon.

I regard the three abrahamic religions as highly immoral. Yes there are some good teachings in the bible and the quran, but you need to cherry-pick them and deliberately leave aside other, less pleasant and more conspicuous ones. Furthermore the whole Weltanshauung of these religions is so naive, static, anthropocentric and simplistic.

Therefore I ticked "other".

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby johnklepac » 2013-06-05, 20:23

I've unvoted agnosticism to leave it at just atheism. If my certainty that there is no God - per any reasonable religious definition - isn't enough for me to call myself a gnostic atheist, I can't really call myself a gnostic anything.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Lur » 2013-06-05, 20:27

I never know what to make of the whole "agnostic" thing. I voted none and atheist.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby johnklepac » 2013-06-05, 22:06

Lur wrote:I never know what to make of the whole "agnostic" thing. I voted none and atheist.

TBH, neither do I. No one can really be 100% sure about anything, nor does it seem likely that anyone who's the tiniest bit educated on religion wouldn't have any opinion on whether it's true. IMO, everyone should just identify with the direction in which he or she leans.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-06, 0:27

I think I might vote agnostic now, since I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe in God, but I don't know there is no god either, and I don't want to imply that by choosing "atheist".

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby linguoboy » 2013-06-06, 1:50

mōdgethanc wrote:I think I might vote agnostic now, since I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe in God, but I don't know there is no god either, and I don't want to imply that by choosing "atheist".

Are you also "agnostic" on the existence of the Little People?
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-06, 2:05

linguoboy wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:I think I might vote agnostic now, since I'm an agnostic atheist. I don't believe in God, but I don't know there is no god either, and I don't want to imply that by choosing "atheist".

Are you also "agnostic" on the existence of the Little People?
Do you know they don't exist?

You know, I've been an atheist since I was 13 years old. You don't have to recap all the atheist talking points to convince me of something I already believe.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby linguoboy » 2013-06-06, 2:18

mōdgethanc wrote:Do you know they don't exist?

I'm just trying to figure out how consistent you are in your statements of non-belief. I don't see a reason for making a distinction when a deity is involved that you wouldn't make elsewhere.

I don't ever see people wrestling with whether they are "afairistic" or just "agnostic". They just say "I don't believe in fairies" and leave it at that.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-06, 2:48

linguoboy wrote:
mōdgethanc wrote:Do you know they don't exist?

I'm just trying to figure out how consistent you are in your statements of non-belief. I don't see a reason for making a distinction when a deity is involved that you wouldn't make elsewhere.

I don't ever see people wrestling with whether they are "afairistic" or just "agnostic". They just say "I don't believe in fairies" and leave it at that.
God is just a little more prominent in people's lives than fairies, so it's not surprising there has been a great deal more thought about the subject and many more descriptors have been invented for people to summarize their beliefs. I thought I was perfectly clear that I wanted to stress that I'm an agnostic atheist, so I was mulling over whether "agnostic" might not be a better word for "I don't believe in God" since "atheist" might be taken to mean a gnostic stance. If I needed to clarify my beliefs about fairies, I might do the same thing.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Lur » 2013-06-06, 9:38

johnklepac wrote:
Lur wrote:I never know what to make of the whole "agnostic" thing. I voted none and atheist.

TBH, neither do I. No one can really be 100% sure about anything, nor does it seem likely that anyone who's the tiniest bit educated on religion wouldn't have any opinion on whether it's true. IMO, everyone should just identify with the direction in which he or she leans.

It's just that it doesn't seem so complicated to me. The agnostic part, when I think about, almost sounds like mere semantic tricks. Maybe it's because in my experience, gods are really just like Santa Claus and fairies. In fact I believed in Santa Claus more than I ever believed in gods (and, where my atheism is concerned, I have that experience embedded in my brain). From the outside, theism looks just like any other of all these fantasies, which are curious and anthropologically interesting, like the stories people of a place tell children, and nothing more than that.

Do I have to "know" that something like that doesn't exist? Does that even make sense?

Or an opposite way of looking at it. I know Santa Claus doesn't exist, why do I have to treat a god differently?

Sure, it can turn out that in some places, a Santa Claus with a TARDIS exists so he can bring presents to a population all at once, and that he inspired Santa Claus. But it wouldn't be the same Santa Claus many young children believe in. It'd be something different.

That would be the cause of my conscious atheism.


The cause of my original proto-"atheism" is that the particular theism I was exposed to, as it was not from my parents, was uninteresting to me, in not enough dosage and it just didn't work. Plus my brain at the time loved the Odyssey and natural history documentaries, which was the kind of stuff that stimulated me. Somehow the theism I encountered just couldn't keep up to maintain my brain interested at that age.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Itikar » 2013-06-06, 12:59

Which kind of fairies are you talking about?
Tinker Bell or the spiritual entities from paganism?
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Lur » 2013-06-06, 13:27

Itikar wrote:Which kind of fairies are you talking about?
Tinker Bell or the spiritual entities from paganism?

The latter, althought I think the latter are contemporary with and the origin of stuff like the former.

A century or so ago it was still common in many areas of Northern Spain to tell children stories that had roots in the local pre-Christian substrate, many of which involved suppsedly beautiful fairy-like women of rivers, ponds, forests... The Pyrenaic laminak, for example (lainas in Aragonese).
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Itikar » 2013-06-06, 13:47

Mila esker for the nice link. :)

Personally I don't see paganism, notwithstanding allegories of course, as more or less believable than (mono)theism. I.e. I don't see any difference between having a big spiritual God or several smaller ones instead.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Lur » 2013-06-06, 14:08

Well, I was thinking more of atheism vs theism in general.

Within theism, maybe one could argue that several many lesser, more human-like gods seems like a less complex abstraction than monotheism centered around an absolute, single, omnipotent Eldritch Abomination. But I don't know. Certainly it feels easier to "rationalize" (through fantasy(*)) certain polytheisms. The difference between a mortal, a nymph, an Olympic and the Protogenoi is basically that of scale in power, among other details. So it isn't that far away from sci-fi stories where you have stuff about human augmentation or alien contact. Aditionally, a polytheistic view might have less trouble with the Problem of Evil. The Sumerians already had pretty clear that the gods were assholes who created as as their slaves and that could wipe us out if we dared enough to make as too much noise. But that can also be sorted out by a monotheistic view that maintains that the only absolute God is not completely omnipotent or benevolent.

(*) Dan Simmon's Ilium comes to mind, although I didn't read the scond book so I don't know how it all fit together in that book.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-06-06, 18:28

Do I have to "know" that something like that doesn't exist? Does that even make sense?
Practically speaking, you don't. I don't know Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny don't exist, but I'm working from the belief they don't, because it's the simplest option. Same thing with Yahweh/Allah/Deus/Crystal Dragon Jesus.

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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-25, 11:50

linguoboy wrote:One of my biggest beefs with Orthodox Christianity has always been its cosiness with the temporal authorities--particularly given how nasty some of these authorities have been. The Enlightenment put an end to that sort of illiberal closeness in the West, but sadly it never penetrated most Orthodox countries. There's no law on the books against "blasphemy" in Russia, but the Pussy Riot trial shows that there doesn't need to be: the judicial establishment will just twist the definition of other crimes ("hooliganism"--really?) in order to prosecute it anyway.

Still, there are occasionally odd throwbacks in Western Europe as well. Today I read a news story about a falling out between the government of Scotland, which wants to legalise same-sex marriage, and the Scottish Cardinal, who has announced that he refuses to negotiate with the Prime Minister one-on-one on the issue. My reaction to the news was: Why the hell is the cardinal even being asked his opinion? This is nothing to do with him. Civil marriage is the responsibility of the state and the state is under no obligation to consult with religious authorities on the matter. Has the Roman Catholic Church ever consulted with the Scottish government when it goes about defining religious marriage? This is the kind of bullshit that has moved me out of the "whatever you believe is fine" camp closer and closer to militant atheism.


As far as I understand you disagree with the court verdict concerning the Pussy Riot? So what should be the right decision then? Just tell 'em to behave properly and let 'em go?

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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-25, 13:40

yggdrasil wrote:As far as I understand you disagree with the court verdict concerning the Pussy Riot? So what should be the right decision then? Just tell 'em to behave properly and let 'em go?

From your tone, it seems like you consider that a ludicrous alternative. May I ask why?

In my country, crimes which disturb public order but do no real harm are often dealt with by giving out a warning or, at most, a fine. Detention is only considered necessary if the offender is abusive toward the police (or fails to pay up). Was that the case here? Did Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina assault the officers who came to break up their performance?
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Re: What religion do you follow? 2nd edition

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-25, 18:06

linguoboy wrote:
yggdrasil wrote:As far as I understand you disagree with the court verdict concerning the Pussy Riot? So what should be the right decision then? Just tell 'em to behave properly and let 'em go?

From your tone, it seems like you consider that a ludicrous alternative. May I ask why?

In my country, crimes which disturb public order but do no real harm are often dealt with by giving out a warning or, at most, a fine. Detention is only considered necessary if the offender is abusive toward the police (or fails to pay up). Was that the case here? Did Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina assault the officers who came to break up their performance?

This is quite simple. Just let them go would be a real bad choice, because that would be perceived by them as an incentive to go further. In fact the so called "performance" in the cathedral was not their stunt of that kind. To name the infamous sex orgy in the Biological Museum. They were forgiven for that act, which by the way may be qualified as a public offense. They were obviously looking for something outrageous to do. And they have finally "found". To fully understand what they actually did you should take into account the context. There are some details invisible to outside observers. Something important was at stake. What they did was actually an insult to millions of believers and non-belivers as well. How could it be otherwise? They performed an act of vandalism in a place, which is perceived as the most sacred by many Orthodox believers. The Western media emphasize the fact that their so-called prayer was directed against Putin and that was in their opionion the only reason why Pussy Riot were actually persecuted. In reality the majority of people here didn't even notice that. And those who noticed didn't give a fudge about this. Because this isn't much of an exploit to curse Putin. One doesn't need to be smart to do that. They thought that by doing so they would buy justification for their action in the eyes of Western media. Furthermore they thought Putin would not dare to punish them because every Western journalist would then cry calling Putin a tyrant. If he did not they would call him a coward and look for something else even more outrageous. This is a cold-blooded calculation. And that must have been stopped. Next time they will think twice before doing anything of that kind. It is quite understandable that the outside world does not understand the essense of the conflict and tend to see Pussy Riot as minor offenders. In fact this was an act of spiritual war. BTW, the name of the group is VOINA, which speaks for itself.

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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby Varislintu » 2013-08-25, 19:11

Heh, I recently saw a documentary on the Pussy Riot case. In it, I saw these Russian Orthodox men from some kind of Orthodox fan club. They had beards, but dressed a bit like bikers,and on their black shirts there were skulls and the text "Orthodoxy or death". They walked around carrying enormous crucifixes and other symbols. I couldn't decide whether to laugh, cry, or just be stunned.

They were saying how mortally offended their religious beliefs were by Pussy Riot, and how in the olden times, the girls would have been burned at the stake.

If I have to choose, my sympathies are with the ideology of the loud young women in colorful ski masks any day.
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Re: Your religious beliefs (or lack thereof)

Postby yggdrasil » 2013-08-25, 19:24

Varislintu wrote:Heh, I recently saw a documentary on the Pussy Riot case. In it, I saw these Russian Orthodox men from some kind of Orthodox fan club. They had beards, but dressed a bit like bikers,and on their black shirts there were skulls and the text "Orthodoxy or death". They walked around carrying enormous crucifixes and other symbols. I couldn't decide whether to laugh, cry, or just be stunned.

They were saying how mortally offended their religious beliefs were by Pussy Riot, and how in the olden times, the girls would have been burned at the stake.

If I have to choose, my sympathies are with the ideology of the loud young women in colorful ski masks any day.


Actually one has not to chose between those "girls" and these "guys". Because there is not much difference between them. Both are extremists and belong in jail if they commit something illegal. But the "guys" are probably just show-offs and sissies, i.e. real pussies compared to those girls, because they just talk about what they would do if need be while the girls are in jail for what they did.
BTW, if you support cursing in a church I would ask you about the details of that particular "ideology" you sympathize.


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