I don't really believe in either atheism or religion. I did however find Von Daniken's research to be pretty cool despite the lack of evidence for it. I saw him in a documentary and I'm currently half way through one of his books. Cool stuff.
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Albert Einstein believed in a God who "reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind."His belief was that furthering our understanding of science and the way of things furthered our understanding of God Himself, and felt the "crusading" of Atheists was more a rebellion against childhood religious indoctrination than a belief system. Leonardy da Vinci was, like most Italians of his day, Catholic and was known to try to live as moral and ethical a life as he could. He became increasingly religious toward his death. Stephen Hawking shares a view of God similar to that of Einstein's, although he views existence as having been created by God's rules and not necessarily something God interacts with (as Einstein believed). Edwin Hubble was raised Christian, and never contradicted anyone's opinion of assuming he is/was such (to be fair, he also almost never spoke of his religion). Benjamin Franklin strongly supported organized religion as a method of instilling morality to men, and while non-dogmatic in his beliefs, his strength in his own belief in God is what led to his involvement in the American Revolution; "Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God". Zoologist Rachel Carson's environmental ethics are grounded in existing religious spirituality.
To branch out from scientists, John Locke was also a fervant believer in God who viewed creation as God's own property, and based much of his philosophical writings on the notion that we do not have the moral authority to damage arbitarily God's property. Some of Locke's views border on Deism. Ludwig von Mises had a very keen understanding of religion, and wrote much to protect the idea that liberalism (in its truest sense, not the misused term of today) and religion can coexist side-by-side, and he believed that religion was an important ingredient to ensure that a moral backbone kept the free market 'in check'.
I could go on, but to spare everyone an e-Peen measuring contest I think you get the point. Religion and spirituality are not mutually exclusive with analytical, scientific mindsets. Science is separate from faith; they can coexist, and only conflict when people forget that boundary separating the two.
You're oversimplifying. Spinoza's ideas are only one way of viewing God and religion, as I thought I clearly indicated with the examples of Carson, da Vinci, Franklin, Hawking, and Hubble. Hell, this doesn't even begin to touch on the non-American / European scientists that have contributed to the great pool of knowledge we access so readily from Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, nearly all of whom held the faith common in their time periods.
IE I could view a rock as gray or hard. IF I viewed it gray, I would classify it has gray, and vice versa, I would call the rock 'gray rock'.
I don't think there's really such a thing as oversimplifying.
Just breaking down a problem to its tidbits
Last edited by k-kid; 06-21-2009 at 11:42 AM.
Well peeps, Bruno is out. So go and either download a rip or buy a copy.
Wedding is in October. And I'm going to be a dad. Super excited.
I'm quite an agnostic myself, though on a thin line between a believer and an atheist. It's sometimes difficult to accept morality in clear reality, so along comes religion to bring forth virtues and morality to keep people in place. So, I'd say religion do have a place in life as long as it's not too much radical or of dogmatic approach, upon which along shall come belief of atheism. But that's clearly me...
"To do is to be" - Descartes, "To be is to do" - Voltaire, "Do be do be do" - Sinatra.
NOTHING OUT OF THE ORDINARY
I believe in God. I believe in a heaven and a hell. Op mentioned prayer and that if you pray, you get what you want. That is not true. Prayer is not meant to be a device in receiving. Prayer is a way of connecting with God and developing a relationship. God does not always give what you prat. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away". From what I have learned, Christianity is not easy. It is a hard thing to be in. To live in persecution, sin, and hardships make it hard to keep the faith. Why I came to the Faith was because of Jesus Christ. A man who became the ultimate sacrifice. Death for the eternal salvation of man. A chance for us to be saved.
You can think of me as whatever you want. I don't care. I believe in Christ.
Where my point is that you're not breaking it down into its tidbits. You're using one man's description of God to encompass a variety of individuals who don't share the same view. Some share the perspective, but not all, and I intentionally listed more who don't than who do for that reason. Your example is a false dichotomy, since there is nothing mutually exclusive about a rock being hard and a rock being gray, and has really nothing to do with the conversation.
And yes, oversimplification certainly exists. It's used all the time in advertising, pervades all aspects of the medical and technical worlds, and is more harmful than most realize. You say a plant's poisonous and not to touch it, when in fact it's only poisonous when boiled into a stew, and the oversimplification creates a harmful perspective of the plant. I didn't think I was being that subtle...
I believe in theory of evolution (most of it), psychology and neuroinformatics, which pretty much makes me an atheist, though I also believe there might be something in this universe seemingly omnipotent from our point of view, but I think it's too complex to explain and would by no means create heaven and hell, impregnate a woman, so that its son could spread its word or anything similar, unless it's a part of the bet it made with another one of its species or something else that would pretty much prove that it's not perfect.
Now, when you say Christianity, I assume you think Catholicism, which makes even less sense than the Orthodox Christianity. You see, I'm not religious, but I do approve of some religions (i.e. don't attempt to refute them) and not a single sect of Christianity is one of them. In fact, the only mainstream religions that I approve of are some sects of Buddhism and Judaism.
Here's my criteria, what I consider unacceptable in religions:
Detailed, yet (in a way) simple description of afterlife: For instance, Catholic interpretation of heaven and hell are guilty of this. I'll give you Orthodox Christianity and Judaism as examples of complex and very simple, respectively.
Orthodox Christians don't believe in hell. According to them, when people die, sinners or not, they constantly grow closer to god. Now, if they have sinned against him, they're going to experience this as hell. God does nothing, he welcomes all of them and his love stays the same. It's just that the sinners will be terrified and penitent. Therefore, if someone is a sinner, but is unaware of it, will not suffer.
On the other hand, Jews keep it simple: afterlife is something unexplainable and unknowable and that's what it is. All they know is that you WILL be punished if you do people wrong.
God demands money: "He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, but somehow just can't handle money!" --the one man I'd bring back to life, even as a brain-hungry zombie. Nevermind lawsuits, this is why I hate Scientology and pity those who believe in it.
God guilty of what he himself labeled as sins: According to Catholicism, an ANGRY god throws you in the depths of hell to suffer for the eternity. He's also a PRIDEFUL bastard, who thinks that you deserve to burn for not believing in him, even though you lived by every single one of his rules. This is the case in like 99% of religions. Imagine that:
- Hey, God, I liked your book!
- True that, but you LOVED Orwell's! Take him away!
Allegedly omnipotent god is not omnipotent: Now I don't even know where to start. Some of the cases were already mentioned above, but let me give you the ultimate example: Why the hell did God even create us? I mean, if he's all-mighty, he can do perfectly fine without us. Then why did he have to create us in the first place? Christian answer to this question is: out of love. So, instead of not giving us free will, he gave it to us, but if we use it in any way other than the one he expects us to, we lose it for good and suffer until the end of time. Yeah, that makes perfect sense! Honestly, if that's the case, I would like to be stripped of my free will. And if he truly loves me, he'll do it.
These are just some of the problems I have with Catholicism, which I think is officially the worst benevolent religion ever (nevermind the pope and all the other bastards who use it as an excuse for violence; they will always be around).
I think that it is alright if someone wants to believe in something. But I think that those people should keep their beliefs to themselves. I don't really believe in religion because it just doesn't hold water in my book. It's perfectly o.k. to believe in something, just leave me out of it.
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