That’s Western Buddhism. Eastern Buddhism is a religion.
If you sit around and meditate all day long you’ll eventually have enlightenment, complete knowledge of the universe that allows you to break free from the cycle of rebirth. No books, science, or study required. That doesn’t sound ridiculous?
A lot of it would depend on how your relationship with your mother is. If you are able to discuss with your mother how you honestly feel and why you don’t want to go it would be the easiest way. People are afraid of having that conversation with family but it is something that will almost certainly have to happen at some point. There is only so long people can hide disbelief from family and friends. Eventually it comes out.
If a direct approach is not an option it may be easier to simply try to find excuses to avoid it. Find some excuse to not be able to go, try to avoid the question or answering the question directly and eventually she may stop asking. Even with that approach though your lack of belief will likely be revealed which is why I strongly urge people to talk openly whenever it is possible. It isn’t always an option but as long as your family truly loves and cares for you more than they care for their imaginary god, they will want you to be happy.
Buddhism mostly, but it is still ridiculous. They are all ridiculous, some just go out of their way to offend logic and reason more than others.
An epileptic, illiterate, pedophile wouldn’t be on my list of people as a likely prophet of god. The reason that Muslims continue to claim that Islam is a religion of peace is to both convince themselves and to convince others. It is clearly not a peaceful religion but if they continue to chant it enough perhaps it will drown out those that speak out against Islam. In many ways they have done a good job of it, many people can not openly criticize Islam without receiving extreme backlash. In this day and age, in this world we live in, we still have people being put to death and in prison for simply making disparaging comments against Islam.
It is scary to consider how much Islam is growing in the modern day. It uses the same tactics that Christianity uses and used many centuries ago because they know it is effective. Chances are that we will continue to see a growth in Islam in many of the under developed and less educated areas of the world where other areas of the world fiercely reject it as we have seen. Countries are finally beginning to say that we will not allow religious conviction to be an excuse to live like we are in the dark ages. We shouldn’t tolerate it and a great deal of appreciation is deserved for those that are willing to, even with the threats to their physical well being, stand up against Islam.
I am sorry to hear about your situation, it is very unfortunate. It is so difficult to be in a situation where you have to live a lie and hide who you are. Thankfully if you are 17 it won’t be long until you can distance yourself from the situation if you need to. If they are looking for a husband for you it doesn’t like the type of situation you would want to stay in. It is good to love your parents, you just don’t have to love what they believe or what they want. That is why you’ll eventually have to make sure you do what is best for yourself, even if upsets your family, just make sure you are in a safe situation.
Just about as ridiculous as the old age religions, especially considering how many people like to think that they are actually a throw back to the “ancient” religions. Many of them are far more pantheistic than theistic which is a plus but they still end up being as silly as the more traditional religions. Their pageantry and customs are clearly man made inventions. It continually astonishes me that the religions that are most obviously completely invented still draw followers. Scientology being at the top of that list.
1 Corinthians 16: 22 - If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him. Come, O Lord!
Basically, no. Really even the most advance theologians can only present semi-rational arguments for a deistic god. If they even attempt to take it a step further their argument will usually hinge upon Jesus. If Jesus was real they feel their argument has some backing, if Jesus was a myth or a fictional character their entire argument will crumble. The Christian God itself though has no basis for validity and is really a completely self defeating and self contradictory entity, such a being could not exist.
Even if Christians are able to present an argument that Jesus may have existed they still have all their work ahead of them. Even if Jesus existed it does not mean he was divine, does not mean he performed miracles, and does not mean he was the son of god. Even if, somehow, it is shown that some facts in the bible could be reliable and credible the vast majority of them are not. The most important claims of which could never be validated at this point. Even most Christians will recognize how useless the bible is in some ways, yet they will still hold on to it. The only real debates that can be had at this point focus on a non-specific and inconsequential ideas of a deistic god.
Could be arguably less traumatic than being raised Catholic to begin with.
(Yes, I realize this is an obvious troll message.)
I actually think that the majority of Muslims take their religion a bit more seriously than Christians do. In most respects I consider that to be more of a negative than a positive. I am sure things are different in different parts of the world but there seem to be far less people that simply consider themselves culturally Muslims. There is no doubt there are many Muslims that are lazy about their faith and don’t fully follow it but it seems like the vast majority of Christians take that stance. I am honestly a little surprised when I talk to a Christian who really does know the details of the bible and the differences among denominations because it is fairly rare.
People that become deeply familiar with a religion will either end up completely embracing it and letting it override their rational though or they will end up completely rejecting it with good reason and seeing it as an odd curiosity. It seems like there is a great deal more retention in Islam than there is in many other religions. The biggest reason would be that the penalty for leaving Islam is much harsher and disproportionately evil when compared to any other religion. If you’re going to be forced to conform to a religion you may as well at least read the book.
It is hard to say exactly what exactly could constitute proof but there are a good number of things I can imagine. If it was shown that prayer worked with any level of statistical significance. If there were wild changes to events and experiences that could only be attributed to some outside intervening force. If there was irreducible complexity in nature. If there was some type of signature in our DNA or RNA that showed the clear sign of a creator. If a particular religion showed a great advantage in life that was likely attributed to an intervening god. There are many others but since we have absolutely no proof it’s hard to imagine all the things that could substantiate proof. Unlike many believers though I can imagine, at least in principle, many things that could prove my lack of belief to be wrong.
During an interview on CNN on June 2, 2010, this exchange occurred:
Kiran Chetry: And you’ve said before, Morgan, that you’re a ‘man of god.’ When you did this and so many of these questions were posed—
Freeman: When did I say I was a ‘man of god’?
Chetry: You’re not?
Freeman: [laughing} No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o. No no no no no.
Chetry: You’re a ‘man of faith’.
Freeman: Faith! There’s a big difference.
Chetry: Alright, so, the question of faith leads us, most of the time, to a god. What is your view of faith?
Freeman: Questions of faith is whatever you actually believe is. We take a lot of what we’re talking about in science on faith. We posit a theory… and until it’s disproven, we have faith that it’s true. If the mathematics work out, then it’s true. Until it’s proven to be untrue…” —
I really don’t have the necessary experience to rank that. I think you greatly over estimated my sex life. According to “Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality” Atheists make the best lovers. In a way it makes a lot of sense, none of the religious hang ups about sex that many believers may hold on to.
Not all Atheists are white but unfortunately it does seem to be disproportionately white. There are a few Atheist/agnostic POC on tumblr. Doubting Marcus comes to mind as one of my favorites. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a well known African American agnostic, he refuses to refer to himself as an Atheist. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is another well known non-white Atheists but sadly there really aren’t enough. There do seem to be few Hispanic Atheists (at least that I am currently aware of) and adding more diversity to the group would be a huge plus.
It is certainly possible for an Atheist to believe in an afterlife but I’d have to question what exactly they mean by it. I find the idea of reincarnation, in some sense, to be less blatantly offensive to logic and reason than Heaven or Hell. I really don’t believe in it in the way that most people traditionally describe it but I know that the components that make up “me” will return to the earth when I die. Those components will go on in to other forms of life, none of it will retain my consciousness or be “me” in any recognizable sense, but it was part of me in some way. If someone believes in an afterlife in that sense, I would agree. In order for an Atheist to believe in any form of an afterlife where our consciousness continues on would take a lot of explanation and speculation.
I do try to keep “corrupt preacher” as an emergency job options just in case. Solipsism and self-satisfaction are powerful draws, religion relies on that.
Thank you for the message. I appreciate it. I am surprised you would feel that way with how secretive I am about my real identity on here but I am certainly flattered. I actually really liked seeing the clip of Mike Bost making the rounds yesterday. He was impassioned and real, he was genuinely frustrated with the fact that he is not able to do his job the way he should be able to. Real emotion like that is something rare to see from a politician but something we could really use more of.
Politics in the United States, especially lately, have become such a joke. The political system is broken and doesn’t show any signs of becoming any better. We could use more men like Mike Bost getting honestly upset and showing it, that is about the only chance we have of ever pushing for political reform and change. We vote against our interests, we vote for lawyers who are experienced at having the best argument instead of having the best policies, and we allow real issues to get muddles in a sea of distractions. Hopefully we see some real changes to the way we address politics soon.
Hmmm sounds tempting. You know, what I really want is even more powerful than all of that. It wouldn’t matter how much money you have, you can’t buy what I want. No amount of power can really change it. The one thing I want, what I really need is…….proof.
I was raised Catholic but explored other religions on my own. At different times I identified myself as a Wiccan, Buddhist, and a Satanist. I actually read the bible before I decided to try out the other religions and knew Christianity was not for me. I struggled for a while thinking that some religion had to be right before I ever considered the more obvious answer, that they’re all wrong.
I find the good guy Satan memes pretty funny. Sees Jesus starving in the desert, tries to get Jesus to eat but is considered the bad guy. God decided he doesn’t like the Amalekites and says to slaughter every last one of them, but is supposed to be the good guy everyone worships. It is no wonder that most people who actually read the bible end up distancing themselves from religion.
Really the title of agnostic vs. gnostic is a tough one to distinguish for other people because it is a fairly meaningless title. Someone can claim to be gnostic but not have any information at all. You don’t necessarily have to have knowledge but simply claim that the knowledge is available to us. I think most people are realistically agnostic, simply being humble enough to say there are many things we currently do not and can not know leaves agnosticism as the logical choice. When it comes to certain particular gods though that is an entirely different story and I do feel we have good reason to say we can know for certain they do not exist.
Alright so back to answering serious questions and I have a few of them in my inbox right now asking about agnosticism. This is a topic I’ve talked about many times but it is worth answering again because people seem so confused about the topic. So many people want to label agnosticism as a belief they can hold similar to Atheism, theism, or deism when it is actually an answer to a completely different question. No one, despite all those that claim it, is simply just agnostic.
For a quick definition someone who is agnostic feels that we can not have knowledge of god’s existence or non-existence. A gnostic would say that we can or do have knowledge about the existence or non-existence of god. The gnostic/agnostic label only refers to speculation on the availability of knowledge, it has nothing to do with belief or lack of belief at all. It answers a different question.
In my experience people who attempt to take the agnostic label are actually Atheists. Most people tend to call themselves agnostics as a catch all for “I don’t know”. They treat it as if saying they are agnostic allows them to completely side step the entire conversation. They treat it like “I don’t know” is a good answer to “Do you or do you not believe?” when really the only answers are yes or no. For the average agnostic since they do not know, they do not believe, it would be quite difficult to believe in something that you claim to not know anything about.
I think that too many people don’t understand the term and simply use it as a way to avoid the “Atheist” label. I think a lot of people see it as a way they can entirely avoid the topic and the debate completely. If someone doesn’t want to discuss it that it is entirely fine but they should at least acknowledge that they are simply apathetic and as a result likely a non-believer. Often the people that say they are agnostic do so in a completely benign and inconsequential manner, what really bothers me is when people start advancing agnosticism as a proper belief position that is more intellectually honest than Atheism.
In the bible itself Satan is rather undefined. At different times he is referred to by different names and in different forms so it is hard to pin down exactly who/what he is. If you ask most Christians you’ll usually get a view more heavily influenced by the book “Paradise Lost” than what is actually in the bible. Really though, every good book needs a good antagonist and what good would the whole story be without some power actively working against god?
Satan is what allows Christianity to have a write off for any objection that can be brought up. The problem of evil can be answered simply by a Christian by throwing out “free will” and “the devil” that leads people to sin. It is simply a way of scapegoating the problems of the world and the evils that people perpetuate. In order to believe in some ultimate good guy you have to believe in some ultimate bad guy, otherwise you have no way of explaining how the “good” guy hasn’t won out yet.
IF SATN NOT REEL HOW COM PEEPL GET POSESED BY HIM? SATN - 1 ATHEIST - 0!!!
Any “evil empires” that tried to stomp out religion attempted to do so because they saw religion as competition. How can they get people to fully devote their minds and bodies to their cause if they are still being held back by religion? These “evil empires” realized that there was only enough room for one evil con man at a time so that meant religion had to go.
In the “same neighborhood”? As in where they live? You had no flow from one question to another. Many Atheists identify as something other than straight but that has nothing to do with being sexual deviants. They aren’t sexually repressed the way that religious people often are. As a result they are able to express their sexual appetite in healthy and responsible ways with consenting individuals.
Woo, a bunch of trolly questions in my inbox after the long weekend.
The answer is of course no. Unlike many religious people who believe that wonderful just born babies need to be mutilated in order to be more perfect in the eyes of the “lord”, Atheists believe no such nonsense. Many Atheists are actively against this type of mutilation. You would be hard pressed to find anything short of religion that could convince someone to take a knife to a new born babies genitals.
You do realize that the Koran is far, far removed from the time Christ supposedly lived? This is a topic I have been doing a lot of research on lately. Bart Ehrman’s book “Did Jesus Exist?” makes quite a good case for it but I still remain skeptical. Outside of the bible any sources that refer to Jesus are far removed from any of the supposed events of his life. They don’t even come from supposed eye witnesses when they do, so they are more or less hearsay. Even the gospels were all written many years after he supposedly lived by individuals who likely never met their “Jesus”.
I remain genuinely skeptical on his existence at all but I have come to have a better view of who I think he would be if he did exist. I do think that he believed the world was going to end very soon. I think that he was a good Rabbinical teacher, just how good is part of the extreme exaggeration. He was likely entirely illiterate. He likely never traveled more than a few hundred miles from his place of birth. He likely never even claimed the divinity or the miracles later accredited to him. He knew that John the Baptist was killed and likely believed that if there was a god he would not have allowed it unless the world was to end soon. The world, of course, has not ended and that should really be the end of the Jesus story. If it wasn’t for the hundreds of fan-fiction publications put out over the next several hundred years after his death we wouldn’t even contemplate this archaic death cult. Yet the vast majority of his modern day followers remain so ignorant on the topic that it is ludicrous.
I enjoy the show quite a bit. I really like going back to the older episodes because it seems like they had more adamantly religious callers that wanted to challenge them earlier on in the show. It is pretty amazing how long they have been going now and the amount of topics they have covered.
It is often a topic that comes up, people like to point out how non-religious people have done evil things as well. It is all a fairly simple concept though once people realize it. Basically good people will be good, bad people will be bad, but religion has the special power to teach people to be bad. People have killed other in the name of their religion, in defense of their religion, and even sometimes to supposedly “prove” the power of their religion. No one has ever killed anyone in the name of Atheism, ever. Atheism has no doctrine or teaching that will condone, excuse, or encourage killing another person.
Religion is immensely powerful and has a very strong pull. Religion can allow people to justify atrocities and believe that it is for the good of their religion or god. It can make people that seem otherwise sane and logical justify and condone outrageous things. William Lane Craig, one of the best known Christian apologists, condones genocide when it is biblically ordered. He has said that if the Amalekites were alive today it would be every Christians duty to kill them where ever they lived because to not do so would go against “God’s will”. Apparently omnipotent god is unable to resolve this issue on his own.
I enjoy debating people on the bible at times because so often Christians will hold on to misconceptions about it but one thing I have found is that it will always end up being futile. The bible can be used for Christians to justify many points but within the same bible you can justify the opposite as well. The bible is a huge book filled with contradictions, errors, rewrites, additions, and flat out forgeries, because of this it is certainly not a completely coherent book. Any point a Christian attempts to bring up based on the bible can usually be countered by a point in the same bible. It is obviously a semi-historical book of fiction, only the Christians painfully unfamiliar with the real stories of the bible seem to not realize that.
I don’t think they are exactly the same but I think that they do have similarities. Both of them are rooted in the religious idea that women should be modest and should cover themselves. For both of them these are standards applied to women much more strongly than to men. With both religions women must not only express their subjugated place but also physically demonstrate it with what they wear.
There are definitely differences worth pointing out though like the fact that nuns will enter in to the decision mostly on their own and of their own free will. Some women may experience pressure from their family (in some case more than others and certainly more so in the past) but the majority make that choice for themselves, even though it may be because of a lifetime of conditioning and implanted ideas. Women are also free to stop being a nun if they chose to. I have an aunt who was a nun for many years and since leaving has even married, twice. Something that would have been generally unheard of in Catholicism many years ago. Women in Islam, in many areas of the world, are never given that choice. Many are forbidden to leave Islam or forced to follow the compulsion of modesty, if they still attempt to resist oftentimes the consequences can be quite severe.
It is amazing that women don’t reject religion a great deal more than men do. Nearly all religious institutions (even including many of the Eastern religions like Buddhism) subjugate women and have for thousands of years. They are all institutes of oppression and seek to apply even stronger oppression to women. When it comes down to treatment in Christianity vs. Islam many times the acts of Islam come across as much more barbaric and cruel. That is simply part of the current climate of Islam, people will make excuses for it, but it’s nearly impossible to deny that a great deal more women are killed/beaten/abused in this day and age because of Islam than by Christianity because of transgressions against the religion.
Exactly. If someone had the power to cure terminal diseases by simply touching someone they wouldn’t be in some tiny church in a remote part of the country. They would be the most famous and in demand person in the world. It would be somewhat cruel of them to keep such a “gift” away from other people that truly need it. Instead they pass around a collection plate and wait for the admiration of a few people that they were able to trick in to believing their performance.
They expect that people won’t question something like that, especially when there face to face with such a “miracle”. I had someone quite a while back put forward a story about a woman who was paralyzed in a car accident and supposedly cured by faith healers. After looking in to the back story there were several clues that pointed to more than simple “faith”. Sites not only referred to the doctors that she had been seeing on a regular basis since her accident many years earlier AND a physical therapist but made mention of the fact the woman forbid them from discussing her condition with anyone. If she was really “cured” by a faith healer, why put a gag order on the doctors? The only logical reason she would say such a thing is to hide behind doctor patient confidentiality and keep her lie from being exposed.
I can’t believe that there are people around who think they are rational sane individuals that still believe in that garbage. It is a fake, it is a scam, it is either the power of suggestion or a blatant fraud. These people are con men, snake oil salesmen, shysters. You know the reason that rational people don’t believe in faith healers? Because it has never been proven to be anything of value. If faith healing was in any way real you better believe science would have a great deal of interest in it.
There are disease that go in to remission spontaneously and without a currently known reason. This happens to both believers and non-believers as well. These “faith healers” never accomplish anything that could not have been accomplished either naturally or through other means. Have you ever seen a faith healer help an amputee grow back a new limb? Of course you haven’t, that’s because they don’t actually do anything. Just because you’re a gullible fool don’t act as if I am denying something in any way valid or compelling.
Love, like many words, is so hard to define because of our limitations in language. It is also one of those things that can mean different things to different people. Speaking about real, deeply held, earnest love is different than the way that many people throw it around. People will say they love their phones, their car, or whatever material things but this type of love is very different than the love for family or someone you want to spend your life with.
Part of the reason real meaningful love is such an amazing feeling is because of the fact that it goes beyond what we can express in words. I can’t type something up that would allow you to feel and experience love the way that I perceive it and feel it. The best we can do is throw out the same old terms that nearly seem cliche. I’ll do my best to define it for myself, but of course it can be different for everyone.
For me loving someone means that I think about them often, I wonder how they are feeling and what they are experiencing. I care deeply about their emotions and what will give them happiness and avoid sadness. I care very much about their safety, their comfort, and their level of their own self acceptance. I also care very much about how they perceive me and hope to do my best to not disappoint or let down those that I love. I have a longing to be close to those that I love, to be able to share experiences and moments with them, even the trivial. It gives me a reason to push on in life that is beyond myself, love gives me a reason to live and to strive for a better world and a better life for all.
Complete fakes. They’ve never been verified outside of the Catholic church. Is it possible that the Catholic church might have some self serving reason to verify that a piece of bread has blood in it to make their silly little ritual seem more real? I think the only logical answer is yes.