OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 18, 2014, 03:50:24 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Do those who leave the Christian Faith to become Atheists/Agnostics miss it?  (Read 7626 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,417


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2010, 04:14:32 PM »

I've always saw faith as neither true or false, but one of different levels.  When one loses all types of faith, one is bound to lose all type of hope, and increase in despair.

But there are those who have faith in morals, then you increase that to faith in society, faith in government, faith in one's friends.

Faith in God takes on different levels too.  People simply start to have faith in the afterlife, faith in staying away from hell, faith in wanting rewards.  The ultimate faith of course is one with God alone, and not things associated with getting to God.  But when one thinks on the side of leveling faith, I don't see the other ways of conducting people's faiths as necessarily wrong, just less mature.

One thing that got me thinking though is this.  If I were to fall into non-existence no matter what, even if there was a God, or if I were to live immortally, but have no God, life would seem ultimately vain to me.  Our own ever-existence along with God's "existence" seems to be a necessary part this thinking of mine that no matter how much I try, I can't shake it out of me.

I do find though at times when I fall out of prayer habits, I get troubling and doubting thoughts.  It's as if I haven't went to the gym for a while, and I already feel myself rot away.  I never thought of it as a matter of disagreement with the faith, but more so a relationship with the faith.  Understandably, I'm speaking about one's experiences and that can be questioned itself considering the other religions' experiences.

My questions are these:  What do you think about the prospect of non-existence?  And what if mankind achieved materialistic immortality?  Can one also have faith in them achieving materialistic resurrection in some way to benefit those of the past who didn't get a chance to exist to see this, rewire their brain in some way to continue where they left off in life?  Or can someone be comforted by thinking it is enough that their descendants will achieve immortality without being alive to see it or experience it?

What about your prayer life?  Did you feel a difference between times of prayer and fasting, and times of laxity?
« Last Edit: April 16, 2010, 04:16:51 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,286


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #46 on: April 16, 2010, 04:39:32 PM »



What about your prayer life?  Did you feel a difference between times of prayer and fasting, and times of laxity?

The rest of your post was too deep for my shallow mind, but I can try to answer this question.

I notice a definite difference when I pray and fast, although I do not always feel better. Often I feel nothing. I'm beginning to realize that one of the deceptions of the passions is "feeling." We want to feel something, because when we feel, we feel alive. That's why many people continue to do things that make them feel miserably, because even feeling misery is preferable than not feeling anything at all. And those who try to numb themselves from feeling are actually engaged in trying to feel "better."

But for me, prayer and fasting rarely results in feeling the experience and presence of God. But now I realize this is probably a good thing, because I have lived for too long chasing feelings. Perhaps the true experience of God transcends feelings. Perhaps the authentic experience of God is completely unrelatable to any passionate experience we have in the flesh. Perhaps those who live moral lives and fight the daily battle against the passions without exhibiting any emotional highs and lows are the ones wo are really experiencing God in the most profound way. I am not there yet; in fact I am far from it. I still feel pulled towards things that make me feel something, even if they are not necessarily "bad" things. 

Yet I will say this: whenever I pray and fast, I do sense (not necessarily feel) a certain peace that nothing else gives me. But this peace is sometimes unsettling. It's as if I am aware of something of which I am not worthy, and I feel uncomfortable with this. I am used to sin and failure, shame and guilt; but I don't quite know how to enjoy the peace that comes from drawing near to God.

Don't know if any of that makes any sense. Embarrassed


Selam
Logged

"If we are unwilling to accept any truth that we have not first discovered and declared ourselves, we demonstrate that we are interested not in the truth so much as in being right." ~ Thomas Merton ~
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,417


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #47 on: April 16, 2010, 04:48:15 PM »

That seems to make sense to me Gebre.

What about Asteriktos and Nebelpfade when you guys were practicing believers?
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,191


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #48 on: April 16, 2010, 04:58:26 PM »

This brings up the question of Pascal's Wager. What do you think about it?
I've never really liked Pascal's Wager.  Faith isn't merely something one can turn on and off like a light switch, either it is true faith or it is not.  If I were to declare myself a theist, it would be a feigned faith (seemingly for the chance at a post-life reward), and if there is a God, surely it could see through my feigned faith.  If I am called to be judged after I pass away, my scepticism was honest and not malicious, I hopefully tried to live a good life, and I will be judged upon that.   Smiley

Besides that, Pascal's wager only really works if a single religion is claiming that there will be consequences for those who choose wrong. As it stands, you could just as easily make up Mahommed's Wager, or any other number of wagers, and say that you had better convert to religion X, Y, or Z, "just in case". I really cannot understand why obviously intelligent people think Pascal's wager to be of any value. To me, it's about as worthless as the arguments that go something like: "Well you can't prove/disprove the existence of God, therefore I must be right! Nyah!"
I think it may work for the general purpose of giving us a little nudge in the direction of seeking the ultimate truth/ground for our existence/meaning of life.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #49 on: April 16, 2010, 08:27:03 PM »

What do you think about the prospect of non-existence?
Well, my consciousness did not exist prior to my birth, so if I fall back into non-existence, so be it.  I'd rather avoid it, nature possesses so many secrets still waiting to be uncovered.

Quote
And what if mankind achieved materialistic immortality?
Personally I believe it is a reality we must strive for.  With advances in medical science, I do see radical life extension as something that will be with us in the not too distant future.  With the ability to continually repair our bodies and the prospect of better and better synthetic parts, I believe it is a distinct possibility.

Quote
Can one also have faith in them achieving materialistic resurrection in some way to benefit those of the past who didn't get a chance to exist to see this, rewire their brain in some way to continue where they left off in life?
Funny you should mention that, I have for quite some time been a huge fan of Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov.  He held the position that until we have the ability to resurrect our ancestors, we have truly not conquered death.  It is definitely a fascinating concept, even though I currently have difficulties imagining how it could occur.  But that is what makes the future so fascinating.

Quote
Or can someone be comforted by thinking it is enough that their descendants will achieve immortality without being alive to see it or experience it?
As a parent always wishes for a better life for their child, I don't think it is a far stretch that most people hope that humanity will one day not have to face many of the problems we face now.  Dr. Carl Sagan once said about our predecessors, "We remember those who prepared the way, seeing for them also."  I might not live to see the day when we have immortality, but I take a great deal of comfort in the fact that not only will later generations have it, but that it is through our efforts, our struggles, and our body of knowledge that they had the chance.  We have lost many brilliant minds, but we see for them now, just as future generations will unlock secrets and 'see' for us.

Quote
What about your prayer life?  Did you feel a difference between times of prayer and fasting, and times of laxity?
I never noticed a difference.  Never a sense of peace or anything in particular.  I would find myself more at peace staring into the cosmos at night, or working on a problem of some sort.
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 29,816



« Reply #50 on: April 18, 2010, 12:22:29 PM »

Quote
I've always saw faith as neither true or false, but one of different levels.  When one loses all types of faith, one is bound to lose all type of hope, and increase in despair. But there are those who have faith in morals, then you increase that to faith in society, faith in government, faith in one's friends. Faith in God takes on different levels too.  People simply start to have faith in the afterlife, faith in staying away from hell, faith in wanting rewards.  The ultimate faith of course is one with God alone, and not things associated with getting to God.  But when one thinks on the side of leveling faith, I don't see the other ways of conducting people's faiths as necessarily wrong, just less mature.

Well, this is a very interesting set of thoughts. I'm up in the air about it, but I think you present things well. Some non-believers would consider any type of faith to be anathema. They seem to be allergic to the very word. Yet these same people wouldn't have a problem admitting that they have opinions, a point of view, etc. I've thought that maybe faith and opinion are the same thing: believing something without being able to prove it conclusively. But what you say here, it illustrates the problem with my thinking, because what we call faith is something more. I think I agree that if someone lost all types of faith, they would lose hope and fall into the pit of nihilism. Faith is somehow different.

Quote
One thing that got me thinking though is this.  If I were to fall into non-existence no matter what, even if there was a God, or if I were to live immortally, but have no God, life would seem ultimately vain to me.  Our own ever-existence along with God's "existence" seems to be a necessary part this thinking of mine that no matter how much I try, I can't shake it out of me.

A priest friend that I know said much the same thing to me a couple months ago. Asked what I would consider the worst thing that could happen to me, I said probably becoming a quadriplegic. His response was that the worst thing that could happen would be coming to believe that there was no God, which would mean to him that ultimately that there is no eternal purpose. However, I came to terms with the idea that there might not be a God, so I do not respond in the same way. Perhaps that's why I'm comfortable being an agnostic, intellectually speaking. I don't know, and I'm fine with that. I figure, if there is a God, and my eternal soul depends on making some right choice, He'll get through to me eventually.

Quote
My questions are these:  What do you think about the prospect of non-existence?  And what if mankind achieved materialistic immortality?  Can one also have faith in them achieving materialistic resurrection in some way to benefit those of the past who didn't get a chance to exist to see this, rewire their brain in some way to continue where they left off in life?  Or can someone be comforted by thinking it is enough that their descendants will achieve immortality without being alive to see it or experience it?

I really don't think we'll achieve immortality, though I could be wrong. And I have no problem with non-existence. Not that I'm in any rush to cease existing, of course! But I sort of see it as an end of pain and struggle, even in times when I don't have much pain or struggling (I happen to be in such a place at the moment). But when I am depressed, I find myself looking forward more to non-existence. I've even written about that a bit on the forum somewhere, about how I looked forward to the experience of non-existence (of course I won't actually "experience" it, but I think the terminology conveys something important about my beliefs). I've come to terms with the possibility that there is no God, no soul, no afterlife, and I'm ok with that. I hope there is an afterlife, but if there isn't, well I won't know it, and I'm not going to let fear or worry run my life or strongarm me into intellectual beliefs I wouldn't ordinarily have(I am not, of course, meaning to imply anything about people who do sincerely believe in an afterlife).

Quote
What about your prayer life?  Did you feel a difference between times of prayer and fasting, and times of laxity?

When I would pray and fast, sometimes I felt more... like I was making progress. I guess that's the best way of putting it. It was an intellectual thing: I knew in my mind that if I did X, Y, and Z, with a sincere heart, it was supposed to have spiritual benefits. I'm not really one given to religious or spiritual feelings "in my heart" or "in the depths of my soul". I can only remember once ever having anything that could be described in that way, when I was at Vespers one time shortly before I was chrismated. I felt... something other... come over me, and I had to leave for a moment to compose myself.
Logged

Yes, yes, youth is wasted on the young. And so is accumulated experience wasted on the old, the positives of modernism wasted on moderns, the beauty of Christianity wasted on Christians, the utility of scholarship wasted on scholars, and on and on.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 29,816



« Reply #51 on: April 18, 2010, 12:23:27 PM »

I think it may work for the general purpose of giving us a little nudge in the direction of seeking the ultimate truth/ground for our existence/meaning of life.

Ok, fair enough, I can understand that.
Logged

Yes, yes, youth is wasted on the young. And so is accumulated experience wasted on the old, the positives of modernism wasted on moderns, the beauty of Christianity wasted on Christians, the utility of scholarship wasted on scholars, and on and on.
Robb
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: RC
Jurisdiction: Italian Catholic
Posts: 1,537



« Reply #52 on: April 18, 2010, 03:43:25 PM »

Could it be possible to scientifically resurrect our ancestors, including their memories?  Would they be an actual race of men, or just a synthetic creation (a sub human species).

I remember reading a book years ago called "Arise and to You're Scattered Bodies Go" which was about a race of aliens resurrecting every human who ever lived on Earth and putting them in a jungle type planet.  It was obviously written by an atheist, but I thought that the plot sounded interesting.
Logged

Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert
stanley123
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Catholic
Posts: 3,809


« Reply #53 on: April 18, 2010, 05:13:48 PM »

Well, my consciousness did not exist prior to my birth,....
Is consciousness, awareness of one's surroundings, and longing for meaning and seeking causes of things part of the natural world? How did this arise?
Logged
Entscheidungsproblem
Formerly Friul & Nebelpfade
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Machine God
Posts: 4,495



WWW
« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2010, 06:40:06 PM »

Is consciousness, awareness of one's surroundings, and longing for meaning and seeking causes of things part of the natural world? How did this arise?
My background in the cognitive sciences is extremely poor, so I could hardly do some of the major theories any justice.  The theory I believe has the most promise is that consciousness is the naturalistic adaptation of older recursive brain circuitry, making up key portions of the cerebral cortex.  Further study into synthetic intelligence will assist us greatly.

Could it be possible to scientifically resurrect our ancestors, including their memories?
No idea, possibly one day we could have the quantum computational capacity to simulate any/all life choices and 'resurrect' people.

Would they be an actual race of men, or just a synthetic creation (a sub human species).
I don't see why something being synthetic would make them a sub-human specie.  They might be completely biological (possibly cloned, and therefore the same specie), or we might give birth to an entirely new synthetic race.  Either way, it is fascinating stuff.
Logged

As a result of a thousand million years of evolution, the universe is becoming conscious of itself, able to understand something of its past history and its possible future.
-- Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,417


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2010, 03:04:32 AM »

The more we learn about the brain, the more abundantly clear what we know about psychology may soon become neurobiology.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #56 on: April 20, 2010, 11:50:30 AM »

Could it be possible to scientifically resurrect our ancestors, including their memories?
No idea, possibly one day we could have the quantum computational capacity to simulate any/all life choices and 'resurrect' people.
I doubt it. I think advances in neurobiology will reveal that people are more than the sum of their choices.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,007


"My god is greater."


« Reply #57 on: April 20, 2010, 11:11:56 PM »

Here's some of what I miss about atheism:

Being able to enjoy, unreservedly, a great deal of art, literature, and popular culture that I now recognize as corrupted or morally questionable.

Being able to draw inspiration from numerous religious and philosophical traditions without really investing any devotion into them (I took the religious myths as metaphors).

Being able to adore the beauty of the natural world in itself, without looking for the hand of a Creator behind it (ie, what I would call idolatry now).

Being able to indulge, without any thought of shame, my many passions (I still indulge them, so perhaps I'm worse off now that I know they are shameful).

But I was a different kind of atheist than the sort commonly represented. While modern science interested me to an extent, especially cosmology, I never embraced the glib scientism represented by, say, Richard Dawkins. I was a much more romantically inclined atheist, more interested in art, poetry, etc.- like the surrealists, I considered poetry to be a better gauge of truth than any rationalism or empiricism. My denial of God's existence was in the very romantic strain of Mikhail Bakunin- "If God really did exist, it would be necessary to abolish him." Eventually I got really into William Blake, who, heretical as he is, did a lot to cure me of my atheism.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,286


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #58 on: April 20, 2010, 11:56:32 PM »

Here's some of what I miss about atheism:

Being able to enjoy, unreservedly, a great deal of art, literature, and popular culture that I now recognize as corrupted or morally questionable.

Being able to draw inspiration from numerous religious and philosophical traditions without really investing any devotion into them (I took the religious myths as metaphors).

Being able to adore the beauty of the natural world in itself, without looking for the hand of a Creator behind it (ie, what I would call idolatry now).

Being able to indulge, without any thought of shame, my many passions (I still indulge them, so perhaps I'm worse off now that I know they are shameful).

But I was a different kind of atheist than the sort commonly represented. While modern science interested me to an extent, especially cosmology, I never embraced the glib scientism represented by, say, Richard Dawkins. I was a much more romantically inclined atheist, more interested in art, poetry, etc.- like the surrealists, I considered poetry to be a better gauge of truth than any rationalism or empiricism. My denial of God's existence was in the very romantic strain of Mikhail Bakunin- "If God really did exist, it would be necessary to abolish him." Eventually I got really into William Blake, who, heretical as he is, did a lot to cure me of my atheism.

That's very interesting. Thomas Merton was very influenced by William Blake, but he advised others to stay away from him. I have not read Wiliam Blake, so I am curious as to what is simultaneously spiritually appealing and spritually dangerous about his works. Do you care to share your thoughts?


Selam
« Last Edit: April 20, 2010, 11:56:52 PM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

"If we are unwilling to accept any truth that we have not first discovered and declared ourselves, we demonstrate that we are interested not in the truth so much as in being right." ~ Thomas Merton ~
Robb
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: RC
Jurisdiction: Italian Catholic
Posts: 1,537



« Reply #59 on: April 21, 2010, 12:55:19 AM »

Blake was kind of mentally unbalanced.  It seems to have affected his writting and religious views as well.
Logged

Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
-- Gustave Flaubert
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,286


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #60 on: April 21, 2010, 02:47:48 AM »

Blake was kind of mentally unbalanced.  It seems to have affected his writting and religious views as well.

From what Merton says about him (and the remarks by Iconodule), it seems Blake must have articulated some profound thoughts about the reality and nature of God. Maybe he had a prophetic voice? You know, the Prophets always touched people's consciousness, but the people said "That guy is crazy, stay away from him!"

I feel compelled to read him; but I know he is full of unOrthodox ideas, so I think it best to abstain from his writings right now. But I really want to know what my Orthodox brethren think about him- both good and bad.


Selam
« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 02:48:20 AM by Gebre Menfes Kidus » Logged

"If we are unwilling to accept any truth that we have not first discovered and declared ourselves, we demonstrate that we are interested not in the truth so much as in being right." ~ Thomas Merton ~
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #61 on: April 21, 2010, 10:14:22 AM »

Here's some of what I miss about atheism:

Being able to enjoy, unreservedly, a great deal of art, literature, and popular culture that I now recognize as corrupted or morally questionable.

Being able to draw inspiration from numerous religious and philosophical traditions without really investing any devotion into them (I took the religious myths as metaphors).

Being able to adore the beauty of the natural world in itself, without looking for the hand of a Creator behind it (ie, what I would call idolatry now).

Being able to indulge, without any thought of shame, my many passions (I still indulge them, so perhaps I'm worse off now that I know they are shameful).

But I was a different kind of atheist than the sort commonly represented. While modern science interested me to an extent, especially cosmology, I never embraced the glib scientism represented by, say, Richard Dawkins. I was a much more romantically inclined atheist, more interested in art, poetry, etc.- like the surrealists, I considered poetry to be a better gauge of truth than any rationalism or empiricism. My denial of God's existence was in the very romantic strain of Mikhail Bakunin- "If God really did exist, it would be necessary to abolish him." Eventually I got really into William Blake, who, heretical as he is, did a lot to cure me of my atheism.
Interesting. I do enjoy art, literature, and popular culture unreservedly, and because I understand the meaning of "fiction," I do not believe I am engaging in any sort of immorality. I draw inspiration from numerous religions and philosophies, too, because I am able to recognize in them what is of God and what is not, and therefore these sources give me greater insight into Orthodoxy. I also love the beauty of the natural world, and I can enjoy it in itself, and I do not feel compelled to make a political opinion about how it got here. It is enough for me that it exists. With the passions, I agree with you that I cannot indulge them, but I do not miss being able to. In fact, feasting (which is the godly indulging of the flesh) is so much more meaningful now that I know how to fast.

I say all this not to say how mature I am (for everyone who knows me can testify that I am not), but to warn of the danger of becoming "hyper-Orthodox." Because we know Orthodoxy is true is not a reason to deny that there is truth in anything else. Where we find the Truth, we find Jesus. I found Jesus long before I found Orthodoxy, and He led me to His Church. There are many with a variation of that story, and so we must never say that we must refrain from enjoying anything in the world. "The Earth is the Lord's, and everything in it," says the Psalmist--be it nature, philosophy, culture, or whatever else. It is true that corruptions occur, but never does what is corrupt destroy what is holy.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,567


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #62 on: April 21, 2010, 02:17:04 PM »

Blake was kind of mentally unbalanced.  It seems to have affected his writting and religious views as well.

From what Merton says about him (and the remarks by Iconodule), it seems Blake must have articulated some profound thoughts about the reality and nature of God. Maybe he had a prophetic voice? You know, the Prophets always touched people's consciousness, but the people said "That guy is crazy, stay away from him!"

I feel compelled to read him; but I know he is full of unOrthodox ideas, so I think it best to abstain from his writings right now. But I really want to know what my Orthodox brethren think about him- both good and bad.


Selam
I'm not Orthodox. Having said that, I would say that Blake represents a type of radical acceptance of human desire. His antagonism towards traditional religion originates from his belief that religion tries to stamp out desire. Instead, Blake posited that true religion was the perfect expression of infinite desire, or Energy.

Such an idea can be dangerous if not properly understood, as Merton implied.
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,007


"My god is greater."


« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2010, 02:34:06 PM »

Interesting. I do enjoy art, literature, and popular culture unreservedly, and because I understand the meaning of "fiction," I do not believe I am engaging in any sort of immorality. I draw inspiration from numerous religions and philosophies, too, because I am able to recognize in them what is of God and what is not, and therefore these sources give me greater insight into Orthodoxy.

This is probably more a matter of individual maturity, as you say. I do still enjoy plenty of non-Christian art and literature, but, even if I recognize what is of God and what is not, some elements that might be present in a given work, such as intense eroticism, would awaken too many temptations for me.


Quote
Because we know Orthodoxy is true is not a reason to deny that there is truth in anything else.

That was certainly not my intended meaning. I do continue to find inspiration in Dante, Milton, Zhuangzi, Plato, and many other writers who are not Orthodox Christians.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 7,007


"My god is greater."


« Reply #64 on: April 21, 2010, 03:02:24 PM »

Blake was kind of mentally unbalanced.  It seems to have affected his writting and religious views as well.

From what Merton says about him (and the remarks by Iconodule), it seems Blake must have articulated some profound thoughts about the reality and nature of God. Maybe he had a prophetic voice? You know, the Prophets always touched people's consciousness, but the people said "That guy is crazy, stay away from him!"

My impression of Blake is that he was not particularly imbalanced. Of course I never met the man, but I think his work "makes sense" in light of his premises. I wouldn't say he was any more imbalanced than many other philosophers and religious thinkers.

Jetavan made a good point about Blake's elevation of "desire". Another central concern for Blake was the exaltation of Imagination. What he meant by imagination is not quite the same thing as we normally think of the word, or what the Fathers warned against, but there's enough overlap to make his idea problematic. Essentially he considers imagination, the world of vision, creation, myth-making, etc., to be the ultimate reality, while reason and sense perception represented our lowest faculties. He looked at art as the highest expression of worship and thought of the Bible as the ultimate guide to making art. He took inspiration from other sources, like Dante and Milton, but he rejected anything that could be called a religious tradition. He had for a while been involved in Swedenborgianism but he came to reject it as too limiting. This led him to articulate an intensely subjective and personal cosmology, most fully laid out in his long poems like Milton and Jerusalem, which make for some very difficult and obscure reading. So I think the most obvious problem with Blake is that subjectivity and personal "visions" get elevated to divine heights. Some of his stuff, like The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, is almost Satanic, though I would still argue that that work has its merits. I personally never felt like Blake was someone whom one could have a genuine spiritual fellowship with- he was too far into his own world. Even writers that took a lot of inspiration from him, like W.B. Yeats, seem very conservative and conventional by comparison.

On the other hand, I think Blake makes a very simple but compelling case against a materialist or rationalist worldview (which he personified as Newton). His insistent pointing to the inner world, the spiritual world, manifested in poetry and art, is a good antidote to the assumption that reality is grounded in what can be proven using sensory data or measured mathematically. Poetry and beauty have more truth in them than bare "facts" and rationality. To a degree, his critique of fetishized reason dovetails with the Orthodox critique- I sometimes wonder what Blake would have thought if he were familiar with Orthodox spirituality. (I wonder the same thing about Milton, who had planned on studying in Greece but canceled the plan when the English Civil War started).

Many of Blake's worthwhile ideas are presented in a more digestible and Orthodox-compatible way by Philip Sherrard, who was indeed an Orthodox Christian.

Aside from that, Blake is simply a beautiful writer, especially in his lyric poems such as those collected in the Songs of Innocence and Experience. These poems, for me, show such sensitivity and a depth of insight into human nature unparalleled in any other English poet I've read. His longer poems, crazy and convoluted as they are, also have their moments.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake
Gebre Menfes Kidus
"SERVANT of The HOLY SPIRIT"
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Ethiopian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Tewahedo / Non-Chalcedonian
Posts: 8,286


"Lord Have Mercy on Me a Sinner!"


WWW
« Reply #65 on: April 21, 2010, 06:35:39 PM »

Blake was kind of mentally unbalanced.  It seems to have affected his writting and religious views as well.

From what Merton says about him (and the remarks by Iconodule), it seems Blake must have articulated some profound thoughts about the reality and nature of God. Maybe he had a prophetic voice? You know, the Prophets always touched people's consciousness, but the people said "That guy is crazy, stay away from him!"

My impression of Blake is that he was not particularly imbalanced. Of course I never met the man, but I think his work "makes sense" in light of his premises. I wouldn't say he was any more imbalanced than many other philosophers and religious thinkers.

Jetavan made a good point about Blake's elevation of "desire". Another central concern for Blake was the exaltation of Imagination. What he meant by imagination is not quite the same thing as we normally think of the word, or what the Fathers warned against, but there's enough overlap to make his idea problematic. Essentially he considers imagination, the world of vision, creation, myth-making, etc., to be the ultimate reality, while reason and sense perception represented our lowest faculties. He looked at art as the highest expression of worship and thought of the Bible as the ultimate guide to making art. He took inspiration from other sources, like Dante and Milton, but he rejected anything that could be called a religious tradition. He had for a while been involved in Swedenborgianism but he came to reject it as too limiting. This led him to articulate an intensely subjective and personal cosmology, most fully laid out in his long poems like Milton and Jerusalem, which make for some very difficult and obscure reading. So I think the most obvious problem with Blake is that subjectivity and personal "visions" get elevated to divine heights. Some of his stuff, like The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, is almost Satanic, though I would still argue that that work has its merits. I personally never felt like Blake was someone whom one could have a genuine spiritual fellowship with- he was too far into his own world. Even writers that took a lot of inspiration from him, like W.B. Yeats, seem very conservative and conventional by comparison.

On the other hand, I think Blake makes a very simple but compelling case against a materialist or rationalist worldview (which he personified as Newton). His insistent pointing to the inner world, the spiritual world, manifested in poetry and art, is a good antidote to the assumption that reality is grounded in what can be proven using sensory data or measured mathematically. Poetry and beauty have more truth in them than bare "facts" and rationality. To a degree, his critique of fetishized reason dovetails with the Orthodox critique- I sometimes wonder what Blake would have thought if he were familiar with Orthodox spirituality. (I wonder the same thing about Milton, who had planned on studying in Greece but canceled the plan when the English Civil War started).

Many of Blake's worthwhile ideas are presented in a more digestible and Orthodox-compatible way by Philip Sherrard, who was indeed an Orthodox Christian.

Aside from that, Blake is simply a beautiful writer, especially in his lyric poems such as those collected in the Songs of Innocence and Experience. These poems, for me, show such sensitivity and a depth of insight into human nature unparalleled in any other English poet I've read. His longer poems, crazy and convoluted as they are, also have their moments.



Thanks!



Selam
Logged

"If we are unwilling to accept any truth that we have not first discovered and declared ourselves, we demonstrate that we are interested not in the truth so much as in being right." ~ Thomas Merton ~
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christic
Jurisdiction: Dixie
Posts: 6,567


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #66 on: April 21, 2010, 07:34:52 PM »

Blake was kind of mentally unbalanced.  It seems to have affected his writting and religious views as well.

From what Merton says about him (and the remarks by Iconodule), it seems Blake must have articulated some profound thoughts about the reality and nature of God. Maybe he had a prophetic voice? You know, the Prophets always touched people's consciousness, but the people said "That guy is crazy, stay away from him!"

Some of his stuff, like The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, is almost Satanic, though I would still argue that that work has its merits.
Almost Satanic, but not quite? What stops it from being Satanic?
Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
Tallitot
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Jewish
Jurisdiction: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Posts: 2,609



WWW
« Reply #67 on: April 24, 2010, 11:09:54 AM »

I left the Christiasn faith but did become an athiest or agnostic. I miss some of the people, some of the customs. But I don't miss the belief system.
Logged

Proverbs 22:7
Tallitot
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Jewish
Jurisdiction: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Posts: 2,609



WWW
« Reply #68 on: April 24, 2010, 11:09:55 AM »

Merton is popular with many Christians, but toward the end of his life he gravitated towards Bhuddism and Hinduism.
Logged

Proverbs 22:7
deuteros
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 92



« Reply #69 on: June 08, 2010, 12:26:36 PM »

It is a fascinating field within neuroscience and there are multiple hypotheses as to how spirituality would have at one time assisted us in our survival, and well, just like all things, it evolves.  Personally I tend to lean towards the hypothesis Gould fielded and which a great deal of study has gone into, but some of the other hypotheses are equally possible (except that VMAT2 hypothesis).
They certainly all sound plausible but they all suffer from the same problem: none are supported by any empirical evidence.
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 29,816



« Reply #70 on: December 27, 2011, 03:27:49 PM »

I was wrong about Pascal's wager, and was overly and unfairly critical of it in the past.
Logged

Yes, yes, youth is wasted on the young. And so is accumulated experience wasted on the old, the positives of modernism wasted on moderns, the beauty of Christianity wasted on Christians, the utility of scholarship wasted on scholars, and on and on.
HandmaidenofGod
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (Ecumenical Patriarch)
Posts: 3,397


O Holy St. Demetrius pray to God for us!


« Reply #71 on: December 27, 2011, 03:49:26 PM »

I was wrong about Pascal's wager, and was overly and unfairly critical of it in the past.

How do you feel about it now, and what lead you to this belief?
Logged

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #72 on: December 27, 2011, 04:33:05 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Two interesting themes expressed by Atheists and reiterated on this thread:

A) Atheists to often miss the sense of culture, family, and community created by a religion.


B) Death is a common motif on both sides.


In regards to A), like the Dali Lama said, Compassion and Ethics are the water, religion and faith is the tea.  Religion the spice which makes the tea more fulfilling and satisfying than plain water, however many human beings survive just fine only on water.  That being said, so long as atheists are compassionate and ethical rather than egoistical and vitriolic (I.E. the ever mercurial Dawkins/Hitchkens crowd) then their life will be fine, but if they are atheists simply to argue against religion, that is neither compassionate towards the religious or even ethically sound in the sense of common human decency of mutual respect and tolerance (by the way, it goes both ways, we religious folks equally need to be compassionate to atheists and skeptics). 

In regards to B), it seems only natural that atheists may be even MORE comfortable with death than religious folks, once they ascribe to negating the possibility of an afterlife.  If this life is all there is, then that is simply that.  One thing human beings are really good at is pragmatically accepting the limits of our reality.  If we are going to die, we are going to die and that is that! Now religious folks who believe in an afterlife have a different mindset, death is only a transition, but life continues in some way.  This is an altogether different challenge, now the actions of our current lives can have seemingly eternal consequences and repurcussions? If death is final, then there is sincerely nothing to be afraid of, because if you stop existing at death what realistically is there to fear? Death becomes completely unavoidable, and so in true to human form, we can accept this inevitably with a certain sense of stoicism.  After all, what can we do to stop it?  Whereas the religious mind views the afterlife as a reality, and so the actions of this life have reverberations into the next life, and that can cause a lot of tension, anxiety, and even fear of death. I personally believe that human beings are only afraid of death because we commonly believe in an afterlife so death is not final, more so its just another continuation of the wild roller coaster of unexpected happenings which mark the human experience.  We have no control of a lot of factors  in our lives, and that makes us afraid, and we certainly have little control over the afterlife, or do we?

See, from my perspective, those that fear death are those who fear the afterlife because these are control freaks.  Human beings need to have control in a primal sense.  Our ultimate fear is a complete lack of power or control.  We even try to control God by manipulating Him with the idea that if we please His will through this good deed or that good action, then we can manipulate God into giving into our Will and supplying us with an agreeable afterlife.  However that is wrong.  We should not try to control the afterlife anymore than we can control this life.  We can not earn our way into Heaven, and we cant avoid our way out of Hell. Realistically, it seems that human preoccupation with the afterlife is an extension of our control-freak mentality and approach to this current life, if we think we can control this life we think we can control the afterlife as well.  This is simply up to Grace of God, just as all matters of our current lives are.  We are never in control, God is always leading.  So we in Christianity learn to accept God's Will, both in this life and the next, where as a certain preoccupation with being "saved" or a certain fear of "going to hell" I feel are actually reflections of an inner battle for control.  Humans need to relinquesh control, both in this life and the next, to God.

In this way, atheists actually have one up on Christians in that seemingly they have accepted the reality of their deaths.  They are not trying to vie for control of their afterlife, they are accepting reality as it occurs.  They have relinqueshed control to reality, and they don't even realize that reality is God, whereas we Christians supposedly are trying to submit to God and yet man folks are trying their hardest by force of will to determine the outcome of future events outside of our control.  We clearly have much to mutually learn from each other about death and dying then don't we.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 29,816



« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2011, 04:41:19 PM »

I was wrong about Pascal's wager, and was overly and unfairly critical of it in the past.

How do you feel about it now, and what lead you to this belief?

Just grappling with the idea of... sort of... "what's the point?"  I guess over time I've struggled more and more with the whole "I can make my own purpose" thing. I came to accept it fairly quickly at first, possibly because if I was going to go down that path of unbelief there was either that or some extreme form of absurdism/nihilism/etc.  Lately (this year) I've been reconsidering this stuff though...
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 04:41:38 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

Yes, yes, youth is wasted on the young. And so is accumulated experience wasted on the old, the positives of modernism wasted on moderns, the beauty of Christianity wasted on Christians, the utility of scholarship wasted on scholars, and on and on.
Hiwot
Christ is Risen!
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 1,959


Job 19:25-27


« Reply #74 on: December 27, 2011, 05:17:37 PM »

I was wrong about  Pascal's wager, and was overly and unfairly critical of it in the past.

Amazing! a Mark of a mind worthy of respect!
« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 05:20:28 PM by Hiwot » Logged

To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.
Shiny
Site Supporter
Moderated
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #75 on: December 27, 2011, 06:54:46 PM »

I was wrong about Pascal's wager, and was overly and unfairly critical of it in the past.
Can you explain this further?
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
Shiny
Site Supporter
Moderated
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #76 on: December 27, 2011, 06:54:46 PM »

possibly because if I was going to go down that path of unbelief there was either that or some extreme form of absurdism/nihilism/etc.

If I'm reading this correctly you are saying that unbelief can yield a form of extreme nihilism, which is funny because the atheists who are challenged to follow their beliefs down logical end upon the shores of nihilism and effectively ending any sort of meaningful life.

I got a good chuckle reading Educhtinsugblah's response that before his consciousness existed he was not conscious and from thence will he return to. Basically he says his life has no meaning, no purpose, and any sort of meaning he applies to his own life is arbitrary.

Before orthonormie gets his panties in a bunch, I think the above was on the reasons for Nietzsche's insanity.
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #77 on: December 27, 2011, 10:25:42 PM »

(and make no mistake, atheism is belief system predicated upon tremendous faith.) ...I suspect it's because what they profess is not what actually resides in the depths of their hearts. Wink

Not really, and not really.

Most online atheists are indeed religious, and alot of them like to join christian boards.

Not really, and not really.

Most of the ones I run into are.

Most of the ones I run into

1.) Still celebrate Christmas, St. Valentines day, Easter or both.

2.) Still want to get married in a church

3.) Still read religious or spiritual books from Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism,  Atheistic/materialistic Satanism, Wicca, Vampirism, gothic, New Agism, neo-paganism........etc. Even a number of Jewish atheists do this.

Most atheists I ran into or know are nothing more than cultural Christians, cultural Muslims, or cultural Jews.


Now this doesn't mean they all are like this, but there are a number of atheists who are like this.

To be honest, this sort of thing is nothing new! I mean, didn't the materialist greek philosopher Epicurus do the same-thing?

He was an atheist who still liked religious rituals.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2011, 10:32:04 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 29,816



« Reply #78 on: January 01, 2012, 03:36:43 AM »

Most of the ones I run into

1.) Still celebrate Christmas, St. Valentines day, Easter or both.

2.) Still want to get married in a church

3.) Still read religious or spiritual books from Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism,  Atheistic/materialistic Satanism, Wicca, Vampirism, gothic, New Agism, neo-paganism........etc. Even a number of Jewish atheists do this.

Most atheists I ran into or know are nothing more than cultural Christians, cultural Muslims, or cultural Jews.

Now this doesn't mean they all are like this, but there are a number of atheists who are like this.


Ok Smiley
Logged

Yes, yes, youth is wasted on the young. And so is accumulated experience wasted on the old, the positives of modernism wasted on moderns, the beauty of Christianity wasted on Christians, the utility of scholarship wasted on scholars, and on and on.
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #79 on: January 01, 2012, 04:10:33 AM »

I did.
Logged
stavros_388
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Diocese of Nelson
Posts: 1,223



« Reply #80 on: January 01, 2012, 09:36:00 AM »

...I think the above was on the reasons for Nietzsche's insanity.

I absolutely agree.
Logged

"The kingdom of heaven is virtuous life, just as the torment of hell is passionate habits." - St. Gregory of Sinai

"Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him." - Thomas Merton
biro
Excelsior
Site Supporter
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox
Posts: 13,390


Και κλήρονομον δείξον με, ζωής της αιωνίου

fleem
WWW
« Reply #81 on: January 01, 2012, 05:43:21 PM »

(and make no mistake, atheism is belief system predicated upon tremendous faith.) ...I suspect it's because what they profess is not what actually resides in the depths of their hearts. Wink

Not really, and not really.

Most online atheists are indeed religious, and alot of them like to join christian boards.

Not really, and not really.

Most of the ones I run into are.

Most of the ones I run into

1.) Still celebrate Christmas, St. Valentines day, Easter or both.

2.) Still want to get married in a church

3.) Still read religious or spiritual books from Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism,  Atheistic/materialistic Satanism, Wicca, Vampirism, gothic, New Agism, neo-paganism........etc. Even a number of Jewish atheists do this.

Most atheists I ran into or know are nothing more than cultural Christians, cultural Muslims, or cultural Jews.


Now this doesn't mean they all are like this, but there are a number of atheists who are like this.

To be honest, this sort of thing is nothing new! I mean, didn't the materialist greek philosopher Epicurus do the same-thing?

He was an atheist who still liked religious rituals.



I think this is true. I spent a few years in the wilderness as well, and like clockwork, when the Christmas decorations would start to go up, that's when it would hit me- how much I had lost.

I'm glad I came back.
Logged

Charlie Rose: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
William
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: None
Posts: 4,313


« Reply #82 on: January 01, 2012, 11:17:30 PM »

Asteriktos, where are you in the spectrum now?
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 29,816



« Reply #83 on: January 01, 2012, 11:27:38 PM »

Asteriktos, where are you in the spectrum now?

Stuck in neutral somewhere between practicing Christian and a doubting not-sure-what-I-am. I try to pray when I can, I try to read the Bible, etc. I still read Christian books and do research and such, but that doesn't really count since I enjoy that and would do it even if I was firmly in the agnostic camp (I just find traditional Christianity interesting). But I don't get to Church right now because of transportation issues, and I do have some days that are worse than others when it comes to skepticism/agnosticism. I'm probably/maybe going to be moving this spring, and will be getting a vehicle, which will hopefully help. I've also made a decision, because of my craptacular record of inconsistency, to only change my faith status in my profile if I've been attending a place for at least 6 months.
Logged

Yes, yes, youth is wasted on the young. And so is accumulated experience wasted on the old, the positives of modernism wasted on moderns, the beauty of Christianity wasted on Christians, the utility of scholarship wasted on scholars, and on and on.
JesuisSean
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic
Posts: 2


WWW
« Reply #84 on: January 23, 2012, 12:45:31 PM »

Perhaps some Christians went elsewhere other than becoming "Atheists/Agnostics".

I believe that if I continue to breath, I will remain conscious.  However, I then choose to leave my belief behind, and move to the truth of which it speaks of. If I stuck to my belief, thus became a "BELIEVER", I would soon be in deep trouble, since I would have chosen not to actually/truly perform the act of breathing, but would have chosen to simply believe in it instead.

Some people have chosen to walk the path of truth, the path that grows wider and wider.

Beliefs and disbeliefs are only required if one is located at a distance from the truth, thus be located within the zone of less than truth.  Those who have reached the truth are 100% ignored by believers. What these people speak of, is beyond belief, for it is truth.

To believe in something is to accept something as truth. However, being located at a distance from that truth, only so much of it can be seen. A person who is a "BELIEVER" and thus sticks to his or her beliefs, is a person who sticks to only accepting truth from a distance, via the practice of a belief. Thus one can not successfully hand truths directly to this "BELIEVER" since this believer only accepts truth from a distance. Thus one can only speak to a believer, indirectly. Thus one must in turn speak to believers via parables/stories, for this is a method of indirect/distant communication.

Logged
Tags:
Pages: « 1 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.157 seconds with 68 queries.