Originally Posted by 'trane
i'm going to quote from wikipedia for simplicity. please forgive this:
i'm using theism to mean the specific sense, not the broadest one. taking a page from sam harris, i'm talking about theism the way it is practiced by the overwhelming majority of people on the planet. if you want to talk about god as consciousness, or as nature or as some new age-y spirituality and being one with the cosmos, that is one thing. but most people are talking about god as an overseer that requires devotion, praise, prayer, that has given his word in scripture, that insists on dogma and that mandates obedience. this is the practical reality of god in the lives of all but a tiny minority of those that consider themselves theists. this is the god that stands in the way of human development.
That's helpful. You are coming at it from a point of view different than mine. And don't get me wrong - I don't try to play the spiritual traveller. I just don't shut myself off to all of it as being fountains of ignorance, and a lot of my reasoning for that approach comes from my actual travels in the physical world, as well as remembrances from a childhood that felt very connected to all things. I see a human pursuit that has been terribly corrupted over and over, and for which I have also railed against in my past. The railing never got me anywhere, so my own context is very personal, in which I see the flaws that make these pursuits human to begin with, note the attempts to encourage a connection with something larger and unflawed and then I move on. Believe me - I give none of it enormous significance, but do find the framing of the big questions helpful. There has been a good deal of good thinking that has come out of various religious disciplines, that I just can't fail to recognize. Perhaps this is veering into minorities. But that is the world I have always inhabited. For that reason, the new age shit is territory that I run away from, even though it may seem I embrace it. It is watered down pap that I find more troublesome than anything. I prefer to try to see warts and all in everything, and generally steer my own path the best I can. And I recognize that there is a level of cowardice in such an approach. I admit that, but don't apologize for it. I wave a white flag at the ignorance promoted by the overwhelming majority, out of necessity for my own well-being. It comes at the cost of not having kids, and being a little closed-off in general while feeling a little selfish about the benefits of remaining sane and living within a tiny utopia.
Thanks for this thread. It's been very cool.