another discussion about religion - Page 11
Old 03-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #201 (permalink)
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Yeah, yeah, just thought I'd throw it out there for the sake of the argument.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:55 AM   #202 (permalink)
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I'm not sure at all if there's life after life, if we go to heaven or rot six feet under. But Just one question: what's the meaning of a good life if there's no reward? It's just the good life itself that justifies a good life? Maybe we live for our children then we have no individual meaning? And if so, if there're no children?
Just a question
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:11 PM   #203 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by archie63 View Post
I'm not sure at all if there's life after life, if we go to heaven or rot six feet under. But Just one question: what's the meaning of a good life if there's no reward? It's just the good life itself that justifies a good life? Maybe we live for our children then we have no individual meaning? And if so, if there're no children?
Just a question
Once you remove from your life the idea that there's someone/thing/force who will dole out the reward, you've got to figure all of that out. I think a 'good life' is the norm. I think most people live good lives.

For some unknown reason, we're here and that's really where it ends for me. I have a tough time admitting that, but I can't help but think this is all there is. I've had a really tough time coming to terms with it over the past few years. I don't like it and I don't like thinking about it. It's made me horrendously sentimental and this idea that all my memories will rot away with my body is something I can't stomach. I've also formed ridiculous theories in a futile attempt to preserve or restart my old way of thinking - that there has to be something after - but common sense is an unforgiving jackass.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:12 PM   #204 (permalink)
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i don't know if there is meaning in any objective sense. why would there have to be? life is what you make it, what you want it to be. for me that's about family and community, about finding ways to contribute and to try to improve things for the people i come into contact with and who i share this world with. what happens to my mind and my body after i die is irrelevant, since i can't possibly know what that will be. what i can control, to the extent that it is controllable, is the impact i have while i am here. i take great comfort in imagining the possibilities that this life has to offer.

we are but one species on one small planet. it seems enormously far-fetched to believe that there is some purpose to our existence, and that god made the 'land and earth' for us, and the rest of the universe is just empty, with no purpose. it seems far more likely that it is all random, that life has no objective meaning, and that we can do with this time what we want.

i find this idea liberating. i choose to do things without need of reward. many may think this is an arrogant approach, but in my opinion, doing things for the good and not for the reward is precisely what doing good is about. doing things becasue you are fearful of what happens after death or because you want to reap the benifits of heaven is a selfish act, not a selfless one. as long as you posit that good exists in selflessness (which i believe, but which is by no means a certainty), reward and fear cannot be the motivators.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:16 PM   #205 (permalink)
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I got agitated when my girlfriend and her sunday tv-church watching mom taught my son how to pray at night and sing amen, which besides being really cute seeing a 18 month child singing amen, was concerning to me because there is no way he can comprehend anything spiritual at the moment. It seemed like teaching him to put his hands together and sing amen were the first steps into transforming him into a preachy jesus freak.

Of course that's just me being paranoid, I've come to embrace this nightly routine as it will open up doors down the road for conversation on spirituality and religion that might never of been opened up.

A year ago I would of been firmly against teaching my son anything religious, thinking these were adult choices he could make as he became educated and aware of various cultures and religions, consequences being that we might not of had many if any conversations on "god". However I've come to realize it's definitely important to open him up to that line of thought as young as possible, but doing so without imposing labels on what his independent spirituality might become.

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:36 PM   #206 (permalink)
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i don't know if there is meaning in any objective sense. why would there have to be? life is what you make it, what you want it to be. for me that's about family and community, about finding ways to contribute and to try to improve things for the people i come into contact with and who i share this world with. what happens to my mind and my body after i die is irrelevant, since i can't possibly know what that will be. what i can control, to the extent that it is controllable, is the impact i have while i am here. i take great comfort in imagining the possibilities that this life has to offer.

we are but one species on one small planet. it seems enormously far-fetched to believe that there is some purpose to our existence, and that god made the 'land and earth' for us, and the rest of the universe is just empty, with no purpose. it seems far more likely that it is all random, that life has no objective meaning, and that we can do with this time what we want.

i find this idea liberating. i choose to do things without need of reward. many may think this is an arrogant approach, but in my opinion, doing things for the good and not for the reward is precisely what doing good is about. doing things becasue you are fearful of what happens after death or because you want to reap the benifits of heaven is a selfish act, not a selfless one. as long as you posit that good exists in selflessness (which i believe, but which is by no means a certainty), reward and fear cannot be the motivators.
Good answer (as long as the other two), and I agree That doing good for a reward is not a good reason (Calvinist?). I didn't want to make a point just a question on the meaning of life (small question!).
Probably my english don't allowed me to be more clear.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:31 PM   #207 (permalink)
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the only reason anyone believes is because of a fear of going to hell? And it's all about fantastical fairy tales? That's just a reduction that I find too hard to take. Hell wasn't even a notion for the longest time. The origins of all religions would seem to be the attempt to face the unknown and unknowable. Certainly it is what they all have in common, along with basic principles that allow for civilized societies to take root, such as the golden rule. Much of what trane says regarding humans being no more special than trees or stones within the vastness of everything can be found within religious texts.

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i choose to do things without need of reward. many may think this is an arrogant approach, but in my opinion, doing things for the good and not for the reward is precisely what doing good is about
to me this sounds like it could come right out of the new testament, or just about any other text. If we are going to get stuck in old testament readings and literal approaches to all religious texts while further reducing their importance to fairy tales and santa clause, then this just isn't a very meaningful discussion. Of course there is far too much influence with regards to those that wish to push literal translations and teachings that are all about reaping rewards with little sacrifice and feeling special. I could argue against that shit all day long. But it's not where religious thought likely began, nor what made it meaningful. Today it would seem to be a reaction to a modern world that leaves people alienated and searching for an identity. In the past that sort of aberration would have been used by the ruling class in order to promote themselves as being close to God and therefore legitimate.

To see religion merely as a device used to maintain power is to overlook far too much. The new testament was transformative. It's hard to say that it did not mark some form of progress in human history. Even more transformative, arguably, was the mass production of the new testament by the printing press, and further to that, the reformation that allowed for the idea of the individual to flourish, and from there a great deal of progress in all arenas. And frankly, I do not see any influence of modernity that can propose to be superior. Right now I see a nuclear meltdown that was made possible by generations of rational, secular people. I see the aftermath of a financial meltdown wholly created and supported by rational, intelligent beings. I see a massive increase in food prices that is mostly due to rational people betting on derivatives after rational people allowed for such derivatives to be created from the speculation of basic commodities. I see homogenization of cultures through consumerism (and Santa Claus), with some clear benefits, but also no sense whatsoever of our ability to sustain our current way of life. If we could simply say no to new ideas at all, or even consider doing so, then I might think that life without religion altogether would bring a good chance for progress. But from what I see, religion, or no religion, we are stuck coming up with new ideas and new technologies which we will inevitably rationalize as being infallible, or nearly so (because of course you just don't know when a tsunami is going to hit, but fuck it - it's worth discounting the idea of a tsunami, or the limited nature of resources, or the ability of life itself to withstand all the damage that we bring to the table). It seems to me that there might be a place for the non-literal truths evident in religious thought, and the meaning that can be derived from those truths (apart from simple dogma and all the political machinations involving such dogma), alongside the materialism of the last couple of centuries, in taking us to a place where limits are recognized for the benefit of us all, and providing some balance to us playing god with the usual, disastrous results.

Last edited by LX; 03-22-2011 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:03 AM   #208 (permalink)
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So I just learned that friend of mine who is Muslim has a secret agenda to try and convert me and another girl, and I'm not sure how to approach this. Do I let her know that I know what she said when she thought I wasn't listening, and should I also tell the other girl about her intentions? I'm more disappointed by this revelation than anything, but it also explains a lot of things.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:50 PM   #209 (permalink)
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So I just learned that friend of mine who is Muslim has a secret agenda to try and convert me and another girl, and I'm not sure how to approach this. Do I let her know that I know what she said when she thought I wasn't listening, and should I also tell the other girl about her intentions? I'm more disappointed by this revelation than anything, but it also explains a lot of things.
thats a tough situation. theres always option a) where you dont bring it up and stomach whatever she throws your way, not giving commitment but at the same time not being rude about it.

and option b) where you bring it up, i dont know how one would approach this but i believe telling her/him you know about the attempt and nicely but CLEARLY letting her know you have no interest. if it continues, you can be legal about it and argue section 2a of the charter(lol). As in say you have your beliefs, and i have mine. these beliefs i believe should not get in the way of our friendship or partnership(whichever) because a belief is a belief for specifically that reason. neither party is right and wrong and trying to convince the other otherwise is a recipe for disaster. i hope this helps.. i've been in the same situation(different religion) before and it didnt end well and i did the opposite of the above mentioned so... good luck
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:25 AM   #210 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input. I'm going to take the latter route, but I've informed the other girl as well.
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