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DWise1_AOL

Is "Belief in a Supreme Being" an Actual Rule by Now?

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

Although, if you think about it, compared to most of us, Buddha was superhuman

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

Buddha understood there were/are many gods. He just didn't believe thwere was/is a creator god. Anyway, what does an atheist believe in? Anything?

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

Boomerscout, I believe lots of things. Gods are not on that list.

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

Even BSA seems to agree that almost any belief could form the basis of an acceptable religion, for the basis of membership. So what's the difference between a superstition and a religious belief, if the difference isn't merely a matter of perspective?

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

Merlyn

Are any of your beliefs RELIGIOUS beliefs? As for me, I believe I'll have another brew.

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

A couple years ago, another forum member who claimed to be Buddhist and atheist noted that he maintained faith in the 'higher power of reason' or something along that line. It made a strong impression on me at the time because other forum members who seemed fairly strong-willed about these things also seemed to back away from that one carefully. But evidently BSA found that sufficient and it didn't involve superstition or supernatural beings or imaginary friends. It only required faith in a personal ideal. I still think it was one of the better responses I've ever read.

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

Boomerscout, I wouldn't categorize any of my beliefs as religious beliefs, though my assumption of, say, an absence of any afterlife could be considered a belief "about" an afterlife. I have come across a few atheists who believe in things that I would put under religious beliefs, like belief in the existence of ghosts, or reincarnation, but they're pretty rare.

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

The idea of the superhuman controlling power is a feature of an Abrahamic religion and the split off groups that emanate from those religions. That is the "Western" version of religion. The two major divisions of Eastern religious tradition tend more toward the totality of everything being connected and us understanding the true nature of that reality.

 

That is to say, Buddhists do not necessarily but can believe in supernatural things. However, the achievement of enlightenment is the realization of what is actually going on - that is that none of this is real. Your goal as a Buddhist is to have this realization and transcend your connection to your own individuality.

 

There are definitely atheist Buddhists out there. I know quite a few.

 

I do not practice Buddhism. But as an atheist, I see myself as a very, very small, minute part of the massive existence of the Universe in its vast variety. As such, when I die, I will be recycled and my atoms will become the atoms of something else. What energy I exerted for good and bad will flow out from me like waves on the ocean and wash up on shores unknown for who knows how long in a chain reaction. Or I could have no impact at all.

 

When I die, I will no longer exist as a consciousness. It will be the same as it was before I was born: nothing. It will not be a state of suffering. It will simply be a non-existence no worse than the 13.7 billion years prior where I did not exist.

 

I do have beliefs in things I cannot prove, however, because like all people, I draw conclusions from my observations which make sense to me. For example, there are 200 billion stars in this smallish galaxy. A trillion stars in Andromeda Galaxy. And there are trillions of trillions of galaxies. I believe, without any evidence other than my own assumptions, that there are probably a trillion civilizations out there in the Universe. Some of them are far beyond us. Some of them are far behind us.

 

But I cannot believe in a human-personified God because such myths and stories only make sense on a planet that exists alone in the universe. These myths were all conceived on a world that most believed to be the only world, with hell (lava) below and heaven (stars) above. In a galaxy with 200 billion stars and perhaps 1 billion habitable worlds, such a belief system is silly to me. Because a God in charge of a Universe this size where another planet may be controlled by trisexual octopus like creatures with the ability to be spacecraft that go faster than light - that being isn't going to care about human homosexuality or humans worshipping images of other gods. Nor is it going to make ten commandments about mothers and fathers.

 

I wouldn't believe in a supreme being even if I saw it for myself. I would assume it was a superior life form but not a God, and that it was using technology and psychic ability beyond mine to amaze me.

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

But I cannot believe in a human-personified God because such myths and stories only make sense on a planet that exists alone in the universe. These myths were all conceived on a world that most believed to be the only world' date=' with hell (lava) below and heaven (stars) above. In a galaxy with 200 billion stars and perhaps 1 billion habitable worlds, such a belief system is silly to me.[/quote']

 

Which doesn't necessarily make one an atheist, of course. I do not believe in a "human-personified God" either, but I am also not an atheist.

 

Because a God in charge of a Universe this size where another planet may be controlled by trisexual octopus like creatures with the ability to be spacecraft that go faster than light - that being isn't going to care about human homosexuality or humans worshipping images of other gods. Nor is it going to make ten commandments about mothers and fathers.

 

And after reading that, I wonder whether you are actually an atheist or not, yourself. It's up to you, of course. But there was a time in my life when I believed I was an atheist, when it probably turns out that what I didn't believe in was the anthropmorphic, involved-in-our-lives version of God. I eventually came to the conclusion that the Universe had to have been created by something "bigger than us" (us including your alien octopus, the Romulans, the Vulcans, Jedi Knights and whatever or whoever may inhabit the apparently habitable planets circling the star Gliese 561, etc.) I call that something "God" for sake of convenience, so I don't have to go through this whole explanation when the word "God" is sufficient for the occasion.

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

Seems that TJ (if he truly exists and is not some random bits projected on the internet in advance of a trisexual octupus-like exploitation of our blue orb) would be squarely in the non-religious/atheist camp. He makes it clear that he has no need to align himself with the powers of the universe. Any thing that is represented as a power is mere atoms just like the rest of us.

 

That is where my Buddhist atheist friends seem to distinguish themselves. They act in such a way that seems to be out of obligation to a higher order than the material world. -- Along the lines of NJ's thinking.

 

I have never conversed at length to any UUA's like DLWise describes himself. So I don't know how I would categorize that flavor, really. But then again, I am also told that systematic categories are just another artifact of Western civilization, so it may be a moot point. :)

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Earlier I asked about how an atheist can have religious beliefs since religion implies the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power.

 

Really? That would be news to a whole bunch of Buddhist (and a bunch of people of quite a few other faiths). Though I guess you could be one of those people that don't believe Buddhism is a real religion.

Qwazse, I think you'll find that every UU is unique in this particular aspect so don't expect, necessarily, to 'understand' TJ by meeting other UUs. Better to just work with TJ if you really want to figure out TJ. This probably applies to everyone else too, lol, IMHO.

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And "they" say we don't need a "Faith and Chaplaincy " forummmmmmmmm.

 

Is the "Supernatural Ruling Entity of the universe" real or mythological? Depends on your attitude.

Is it a Deist type (set the rules and components of the universe in motion and stand back to watch) or a (don't have a title) activist God, who takes personal inerest in his creation? Or some sort of combination? Can't rescind the law of gravity , but maybe help a human along the way.... Can't prevent cancer if the certain conditions are met, but maybe help show the way to avoid breathing toluene and ammonia.

 

The recorded miracles of Jesus are part of how/why the Christian faiths were created. We don't have BIG miracles anymore to "prove" faith. Parting seas, raising the dead, curing deseases from a distance....

So we have to learn to recognize the "small" miracles. Some folks call these "coincidences", or "accidents". But they are the personal attention getters that fall across our path every so often.

 

People we meet, "just in the nick of time", who are just the right person to help at just the right moment. The tree that falls across your cars path, not hitting it, thus preventing you from driving into another problem you meet later. The right words that come to your lips , despite your not being prepared to speak on that subject. Remembering that odd piece of something that you saved for no good reason on the back of the top shelf that happens to be just the thing to fix the necessary part you need for that important project. That piece of broken rock that could have hit you , had you been a foot further along the sidewalk, but you hesitated to glance at the pretty flower. This is more than "not boarding the Titanic".

Recognizing the godspark can allow more to be recognized.

As Quakers, we meet in silence, allowing the Spirit to inspire us and (perhaps) speak the message given us. I participated in a workshop once on the subject of recognizing when to Speak in Meeting, and when to Wait. We recognized there are "symptoms" indicating a need to speak, sweaty palms, nervous feet, inability to sit still, an urgency to say ,,,,something. Sometimes the subject is not known until we stand and give voice to it. One of the older women in the workshop circle was seen to be crying as we discussed these "symptoms". She finally said she had experienced all of them at one time or another , over the years had successfully fought them down, and now they no longer occurred.

 

 

Look for and acknowledge the Small Miracles in your life.

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Never heard of them pulling out an adult unless they were loudly proclaiming and promoting being an atheist.. Most the adults I know I have no idea what the believe or if they believe in anything it is just accepted that if they signed up they were at peace with what they signed. Many are not affiliated with any church at all. The only time I have heard of anything is if a boy gets a question at their eagle board, and they proclaim they are atheist or whatever, at which point it is usually as much of a surprise to the scoutmaster, and the boy may not even know that he is saying something that will hurt his chances of getting his eagle (or he does know and it is an "in your face" move)... That it also was an ambush by district leaders tells me that you had a corrupt bunch on your district staff and there was something other then your religion that caused them to want to take you down..
Khaliela, no apology necessary for not standing up. La familia. Watch out for your family and take care of them. Es lo màs importante.

 

Pilot? Going for the Air Force? That is the most person-oriented of the services. My father was a Chief Carpenter's Mate in the US Navy Seabees. He never pushed it, but as a child I read through his 1944 Bluejacket's Manual many times over; I could read naval officer's rank early on and found it very interesting that Star Trek:TNG followed US Naval rank of insignia, albeit with pips instead of gold braid -- and I was severely disappointed that it took them several seasons to finally come up with enlisted insigniae of rank, including for Chief Petty Officers. When I enlisted in 1976, it as a toss-up between Navy and Air Force. Since I was about to get married, I went Air Force -- the USAF sends its officers off to get killed instead of the enlisted. Also, my active duty assignment allowed me to attend the local university to get my Computer Science degree, something that active-duty Navy and Army assignments allow much more rarely.

 

So then after my active duty enlistment, I affiliated with the Naval Reserve (albeit renamed about a decade ago to "Navy Reserve"). In 1991, I made Chief Petty Officer. And I went on to serve until Nov 2011, when I turned 60, the maximum age allowed without waiver. 35 years of service.

 

Is your son intending to apply for the US Air Force Academy? I have heard much about how fundamentalist Christians have taken over the Academy. I don't know what the situation is right now. Though I have heard within the past year that the US Army requires all members going through a divorce to go through the Baptists' DivorceCare program. A friend had talked me into going through that program (she was promoting dance classes for the Singles Ministry of her mega-church, Saddleback, which was lacking men (150 would sign up for a dance class, 100 of which were women) and the alternative I was considering was on the same night. DivorceCare is only of any possible use to a conservative Christian, or at the absolute least a Christian, since they repeatedly and emphatically emphasized that only Jesus H. Christ could ever possibly help you, that nobody could ever possibly recover from a divorce without the direct and personal intervention of Jesus H. Christ Himself. And the US Army is requiring this very nonsense of each and every member going through a divorce. I have personally been through a divorce. It is, according to some book that my sister has, the third worst stressor in one's life (I have also in very close proximity been through the first). To impose a blatantly religious and sectarian requirement and condemnation like that on somebody going through such an experience is totally inconscionable.

 

Your son knows what he wants to do. Support him and guide him as much as you can. But at no point can you stop worrying about him. That is the fate of a parent. I know that.

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Hi DWise:

Please catch me up with this. You say you don't accept a Supreme Being, but had no problem with accepting Duty to God. How did/do you define "God"? Also, in a later reply you talked about your religious beliefs. How can an atheist have religious beliefs?

DWise1, I am having some difficulty with what you wrote. In one section, you write that you are strongly agnostic (I'm not sure one can apply the adjective "strongly" to agnosticism, but that is another matter), but then you write that you are an atheist. Would you mind explaining how that is not a contradiction?

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Hi DWise:

Please catch me up with this. You say you don't accept a Supreme Being, but had no problem with accepting Duty to God. How did/do you define "God"? Also, in a later reply you talked about your religious beliefs. How can an atheist have religious beliefs?

Merlyn:

A better explanation would be like the region in the UK our minister told us about called "The Black Spot" by a major church (CoE?). Populated by Unitarians, it has a reputation for being impervious to all their proselytizing efforts. They hate us so much because they cannot convert us. Kind of like with Martin Luther's vicious hatred for the Jews.

 

But a better explanation would be that they are acting in ignorance upon their prejudices which they have learned from their churches. I'm sure that you've been pontificated at by Christians who "know" exactly what atheists think and believe, only the more they pontificate the more obvious it is that they are completely clueless. Even worse, they refuse to stop and listen and learn from actual atheists what actual atheists actually do think and believe.

 

So where do they get their prejudices from? I found it interesting that over the decades some of the same false ideas about atheists would keep appearing. Then one night while browsing through http://ex-christian.net, an ex-Christian sharing his deconversion story remembered what he had been taught by his church about atheists and he even quoted from some Bible verses about those teachings. They were the same false ideas that I had observed appearing over and over again! Unfortunately, when I tried to return to that post the next night to write down the citations, I couldn't find it anymore. So that's it! They're getting some of those false ideas from the Bible!

 

That could also explain why they work so hard to not learn the truth about atheists. I started studying "creation science" over 30 years ago and have been discussing it for almost as long. Now, mind you, we're talking about biblical literalists there, who are almost exclusively fundamentalists. One of the things that I find very disturbing about them is the brinksmanship that they insist on playing with their own faith. Creationists have repeatedly insisted to me emphatically that if there's even one, just one, error in the Bible, then you should throw the entire Bible in the trash and become an atheist. And that's what they teach their kids! And since their claims about the real world are contrary-to-fact and the truth of the Bible depends on them being true, that's a sure recipe of disaster. So how then do they deal with the evidence of the real world? They turn a blind eye to it and invent their own "evidences".

 

I think that's part of what's happening in our "conversations" (ie, they pontificate and then refuse to listen to the truth) with that kind of Christians. They're getting their wrong ideas about atheists from the Bible, but if they learn that those ideas are wrong, then that means that the Bible is wrong about something and that's when it all starts to unravel for them. They have a vested interest in remaining ignorant.

 

And because their prejudices are hateful, they act them out with hatred. Against boogeymen who don't even exist regardless of how many innocent people get trampled.

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