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 No.5616

Do you have faith, sushi?

I have this old memory when I, as a kid, lost a precious toy. Asked God to help me find it, but to no avail. I blamed God for this misfortune and declared that I no longer believe.

Now I would say I am an agnostic, but I think I really want to find God. God, as someone to talk to, to confess to and to find support in. Lately I faced a lot of difficulties and praying helped me. I even made few liabilities, that I now struggle to accomplish.

When things go well I forget about my prayings and obligations, there is that thought that it is all my work and not some old dude above my head. Until now I went by this and it made me feel like a tiny, tiny man.

I really want to believe, but something is stopping me. Please, share something about yourself.

 No.5617

I don't believe in anything, with the exception perhaps that I don't believe in anything.

 No.5618

I don't believe in any god worth worshipping. I used to have faith, at least that God would protect me and protect the things I was grateful for, until something unimaginably horrible happened and I lost it all. I desperately needed help for a long time afterwards, pleaded with God for it, and none came.

To me, if God exists, he is one who betrays freely.

 No.5619

church is a once a week club where sober and successful people hang out
I'd rather go to church than a bar tbh
it's not just spiritual, religion also has a social aspect of it as well
atheists who don't go to church often miss this component of it

 No.5620

>>5619
I can't help but see all churches as nothing more than cults.

 No.5626

nothing organized
I believe there is at least one other higher being, and that being is instrinically tied to this material universe (not apart and distinct from it, as with Judaism)
furthermore, that the interaction of one with the universe is significant, that the overall purpose of life is to transcend this material existence, and to understand the process by which the supreme being/universe is self-creating
I don't have a good framework for this thinking yet

 No.5627

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>>5616
I believe in god but I don't pretend to know anything about him. I consider myself christian in culture at the very least, and I would say I'm a supporter of the church in gwneral. I like catholics a lot, they seem like they look after their own properly. Lots of denominations are too "open" for my liking.
Even if not spiritual, a religion may serve to keep a group working together and looking after one another. Thats the real reason every town would have a church.
If they start caring more for people outside their group then I think it fails at its most important function of keeping a society united, cooperative and secure.

I expect my views are very outspoken though so it's not like I'm going around telling people their way is wrong. I just keep such opinions restricted to people who ask or in the actions I take.

 No.5631

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>>5620
Well, the reason we think cults are bad is because they often turn out to be hotbeds of insane, immoral doings. The Jim Jones cult ended in a mass suicide; other cults only exist to provide a harem for an abusive sex addict. But, some fringe churches aside, the case is not similar in most churches. It might be different where you live; where I live church means a weekly meeting of generally friendly believers who listen to a priest. There isn't much room for a sex cult there.

>>5626
>I believe there is at least one other higher being, and that being is instrinically tied to this material universe (not apart and distinct from it, as with Judaism)
Interesting. There was a philosopher called Benedict de Spinoza who thought that the world was God. That is, all that exists is the same thing as God and he is not apart from the things He created. The physical universe is the physical manifestation of God and all the minds of people and animals are the mental manifestation of God. Sounds like you might be on to something similar.

 No.5647

>>5616
My opinion on religion is that it's fantastic if it helps you out and enriches your life, but as soon as you feel like forcing said religion on others you can shove a rusty pitchfork up your ass.

That's why I'm not a huge fan of christians and especilly muslims.

 No.5649

Yes, I identify as a Christian. I grew up Catholic but I felt like services were more like rituals. I had a time where I identified as agnostic until I realized alot of my issues stemmed from my lack of faith in others, myself and ultimately a lack of faith in God. So I started searching, took a religious studies class in college to learn about different Faiths. I really liked buddhism's middle way idea and still do, although my visit to a Buddhist temple showed me that they do worship Buddha like a god even though they say they don't. Anyway, I was drawn to becoming a born again believer because the church I visited taught from the Bible in a way I could understand, and I felt something personal at the church I decided to attend. I was a huge pothead and dabbled in substance use (nothing hard) and I thought I'd always be like this until I accepted Jesus as lord and savior of my life, then I found I didn't need it. I also found it interesting how Christianity is the only faith where salvation is yours to accept freely, whereas other faiths make the believer do so many good works and hope they've done enough to get to heaven.
I'm not perfect, I still struggle with personal stuff but I know that Jesus is my savior. I know it's hard to believe for some of you out there, I was agnostic once myself and wouldn't believe a post like the one I'm writing if I were to come across it ten years ago, but here I am.
I hope your search for God leads you to Jesus. Be wary of the media's portrayal of us and visit a few local churches and make your own judgement. Good luck and God bless.

 No.5650

Try psychedelics?

I had ego death and saw "god". To me, it's much more than some guy in the sky, god is the eternal rhythm of the universe, life, experience, something indescribable in words. I still consider myself as agnostic, but I felt something larger than me, and it has made me think about life in so many different ways. I would highly recommend it if that's what you're looking for. It's something personal, and I feel not touched by a lot of faiths.

 No.5651

>>5650
Oh also to add, I think the idea of the Tao makes a lot of sense after psychedelics. Yin and yang, in and out, being and not being, togetherness and separation. To me, it seems there is an order to everything, and a constant ebb and flow with how things act.

 No.5652

I am deeply interested in mysticism. I actually spent a month with the Carmelite nuns. I have two years before I have to make the decision to enter officially though.

 No.5654

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>>5616
I was raised to be religious (basically grew up in a Lutheran church), and although I enjoy reading the bible and other religious scriptures, I mostly do it for self improvement and self belief. This helps me when I have to ignore parts that I do not agree with.

> there is that thought that it is all my work and not some old dude above my head.


Maybe you're right. After all, it was you that experienced whatever happened. You actions(be it direct or indirect) caused them to happen. take the time to appreciate your accomplishments. You decided to seek God out in order to gain some form of stability. That was your doing.

I was taught that God is all around us. In my opinion, the Holy Trinity is a good starting point. Holy Spirit is the one I connect with the most. So the wind, the tree branch, that dog you saw yesterday and our feelings/thoughts are all a part of God. I focus more on the feeling of receiving mental strength and being understood. Helps me feel empowered when I realise that everything in this world is connected. The Sushi a few posts above this one explained it better that I did. "God is the eternal rhythm of the universe, life, experience, something indescribable in words."

But at the end of the day, how you view and use the religion is up to you. As long as it benefits you I'd say that it's working. if you don't feel comfortable with where you're at, try reading up on different religions and viewpoints. Hopefully you'll gain enlightenment and peace.

 No.5656

>>5652
Wow, that's interesting. What was life like with the nuns?

>>5650
>I still consider myself as agnostic, but I felt something larger than me, and it has made me think about life in so many different ways.
But you were having a hallucination. I don't really understand how you can draw conclusions about the universe from a temporary alteration of your brain chemistry.

 No.5660

>>5616
I'm not a religious person myself, i was an atheist materialist for some time and that fucked me up really hard, to a point i had a strange lucid dream were i was on the verge of disappearance and desintegration and i couldnt see a reason to keep living and the only thing that made sense on that moment was suicide. When i woke up it was like atheism was the most retard idea ever, and its kinda how i feel till today. I've messed up with the occult for some time after that, but it wouldn't fill my void. Tried some practices from eastern religions like islam, hinduism and buddhism to no avail.
I tried going back to my religion too, but it doesn't feel aesthetically pleasing enough, i honestly am more about aesthetics than theological solidity, which made me live in a paradox between the Catholic church that once was or that could be and a pantheon inside my own head, divine beings i can feel as if they were me in strange times and lives. All this batshit insane post just to say: go read Chesterton, he might do for you what he couldnt do for me.

 No.5675

>>5656
Yeah that's my holdup. A lot of people feel the same thing so it's hard to discern whether or not I actually saw god. Nonetheless, I have faith in what I experience, and believe emotion or experience to be a reflection of some truth. Not an attack on rationality, but I believe there is some value in trusting one's perceptions. Even if they don't line up 100% with reality as we can test beyond ourself, what we perceive is part of our reality.

 No.5676

I was raised by not very religious parents which didn't try to force me into believing or not believing, and after being kinda religious as a kid I ended up being an atheist (despite going to a primary school where religion was considered. We went to pray once a year and had religion lessons)
>>5660
Imo religion is not the only way to fill the void. But it works I guess
>>5675
I've always seen reality as something real, concrete, and that would exist even without me. As such my subjective view is imperfect and partially untrue: if I mistake a ball for a brick, it's still a ball. If I get hit by it I don't get hurt even if in "my reality" I would. All the fear I'd feel while seeing the brick/ball fly towards me would be a mistake, and nothing more.

 No.7916

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Yep, I'm Catholic!

 No.7917

>>7916
same

 No.7918

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Define Faith.
Faith as in faith in the future? Definitely, things are quite shakey right now but you have to consider that the future is made by the following.
Faith as in faith in yourself? More than I have ever had. The beginning of the pandemic was the best time I ever had in imageboards. I look back at the things I made during it and I'm astonished, and seeing how this influenced later the net, spreading all over the place, made me realize that I'm able to change the world. Now I imagine how it would be if I reached my full potential, the stars are the limit.
Faith as in faith in someone else from above? I do definitely think that it's necessary for some belief of a force stronger than ourselves to exist, so that plenty of people can find peace in this fact. Otherwise they would feel alone and prey to a lot of their feelings.

 No.7925

I have faith that there are universal systems in place that we cannot ever or maybe just do not yet comprehend, and I believe that various religions probably touch on aspects of those systems and even sometimes come close to understanding them. That said I don't devote my life to any of that sort of thing or follow any specific belief system, but I think there's "something" there as far as spirituality or the soul or whatever you want to call it goes, if that makes any sense. I guess I'm just a few shades away from being truly agnostic.

 No.7938

Faith kinda means believe without evidence right? In that view, it's a sin. I wanna have happiness and productivity regardless of how things are, and that is probably mixed up in some ways of regarding faith.

 No.7960

>>7938
Faith is kind of hard to describe, you believe unwillingly on something even if that belief if small, and use this belief to fuel yourself in life. Think of it as a motivator

 No.7967

>>7938
"Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself."

t. the CCC

 No.7969

>>7938
Technically speaking there is not a single thing you can believe that has evidence simply because all logical systems are inherently incomplete and need axiomatic starting points that you take for granted and are unprovable by design. For Abrahamic religions that starting point is generally 'God exists', with a few others that differ depending on which branch of which religion you subscribe to. You could argue that 'God exists' is a much more substantial statement than 'between any two points you can draw one and only one unique line', but that I think is a losing battle; you can't actually prove either one without resorting to a new unprovable axiom, and both are things that are obvious to those who take them for truth.

I'm not religious but I'd say I'm spiritualistic, which isn't exactly the same thing, but also hinges on believing something you can't touch, see, or really prove. On some level I think it's more important that you believe in something that you can't prove rather than something you "can" (e.g. science, which is still not truly provable; even beyond the brain in the jar hypothesis, one of the core assumptions of science is that its rules are spacetime invariant, which is inherently not possible to prove), and I'm a physicist.

Fundamentally, science can tell you what will happen or what did happen, but it cannot tell you something which is arguably more important, what should happen. I've heard it said that physics split the atom, chemistry perfected the fuel, engineering designed the bomb, and biology studied the fallout, but none of them could tell you whether or not it was right to drop it. Science is a very cold discipline, and I think that it's not really something you can base your life around because what the provable will tell you is only what is and is not, not what should be and should not. Someone who only thinks about what is and has no notion of what should be is basically just a robot that can respond to stimuli.

 No.7988

>>7969
Yah but the human mind contains all human morality and is a physical object which can be studied. It's just an unbearably complex matter of reading the desires out of the human minds, calculating the most coherent combination of those minds desires, and calculating a sufficiently optimal strategy to move us towards that coherency.

 No.7993

>>7988
The problem here is that coherency does not inherently mean correct and also doesn't force anyone to subscribe to the basic axioms that whatever worldview it comes up with relies on. Optimal strategies don't mean desireable ones, and a sufficiently broad optimal strategy that actually does apply to everyone would just amount to no moral system at all.

Personally I think one of the biggest pitfalls people fall into is thinking that just because you can't find an absolute morality, that morality therefore doesn't exist. You don't need something to be provably so or universally true in order to believe in it, especially for something that basically is only relevant to you, if that makes sense. It's not necessarily a true thing that e.g. rape is inherently a bad thing, but that doesn't mean you can't believe it is anyway.

 No.7996

I barely ever think about it. I am inclined to believe in God, but I don't really care much what's his or her nature, name, appareance, or anything really. I just think he (for lack of a better pronoun) /is/, but I generally despise religion. I think they are coercive and defeat the purpose of religion in the first place. They make people hate each other and do damage to one another. You'll perhaps argue it does not, but experience shows otherwise. I don't think God cares if I eat carrots. Yet followers of religion will constantly nag you about almost anything. I think religion is like pop science while true spirituality would be the actual theoretical physics in this analogy.
But every time I think of God I cannot help but be overwhelmed by my sheer ignorance on the subject. So I blithely forget about him in my day-to-day , and generally about anything that I cannot comprehend. Sometimes I wonder why some people seem to /need/ a religion and actively look for that kind of stuff. In my case the same drive is directed to mathematics, numbers, geometry.

tl;dr I believe there's some god but who cares and religion is s***.

 No.8000

>>7996
The phenomenon you're talking about has as much to do with our modern culture of individuality trumping all as religion itself, though I won't deny the power structure of organized religion can make it pretty annoying to 'hermit' spiritualists.

One of its historically important roles was as a unifying force by basically giving people a prebuilt, fairly robust moral framework, which is why Westerners tend to think of eastern philosophy schools as religious even when they explicitly have nothing to do with the divine or mention it only tangentially; it's not really because of the usual "religion and philosophy are the same thing there" because they were the same thing in most of the world during that time period, see the boom of Christian and Islamic philosophy. You could argue that allowing people to build their own morality is more important, but you could also say that most people aren't capable of doing that coherently and that if they did you'd end up with a chaotic society where nobody agrees with anyone else's morals.

 No.8001

I believe that if a god does exist, all records of its existence have been wiped and replaced with false prophets and texts. And that if that god does exist, it is indifferent to mankind's existence and survival altogether.

But I kind of agree with you here. It's not that I wish to have faith in a god of some sort, but rather just someone I can turn to for reassurance whenever I need it. Someone I trust to that extent, who'll be able to guide me through my worst days.

 No.8004

>>5616
I am christian. The hardest thing for me growing up in protestant circles was reconciling my lack of emotion with my faith. Everyone around me had a conversion story, or stories of repentance and feeling the spirit or whatever. I never had that and it caused me a lot of guilt. But I always felt compelled to believe.

Then as I grew older I saw those same pious people fall away from the church or turn outright against it, sometimes with the same zeal with which they defended it!

Then I read some theology and learned that faith is actually supposed to be more fundamental than just your "feeling" or your "zeal". Then I started reading the bible as an adult and thinking about the people in it as humans rather than heroes, and realized most of the time they probably felt pretty shitty about life rather than filled with rapturous joy.

Then I was diagnosed with depression and learned that it was normal for me not to feel much emotion. Now conversely I have much less guilt about my faith, even if I feel like shit most days.

tl;dr i learned faith is more than your feelings

 No.8013

>>8000
Checked

>but you could also say that most people aren't capable of doing that coherently and that if they did you'd end up with a chaotic society where nobody agrees with anyone else's morals

Have you looked at our world at present?
Anyway, I do come to realize that most people are tools, unwilling to think for themselves and instead defer their decisions to their society or some hierarchy. On the other hand, as per the previous statement on deferring to the culture, this also means that without a hierarchical structure, a society develops a moral (perhaps even spiritual!) code of it's own in a sort of grassroots manner. This is mostly transmitted via oral tradition and kept alive in the idioms and sayings of the common people. It is believed the Daodejing came to being as a compilation of common wisdom of the ancient people of china, for example.
As for eastern religions, well buddhism I don't know in depth, but so far hasn't seemed very harmful for me. I am interested in the scriptires from India (Vedas), but the only contact I've had from them isn't hasn't been very nice. I me n those Hare Krishna people. Though what they have to say is quite beautiful, they fall into the same patterns mentioned in my other post (that's where the carrots comment came from, actually).
Generally it seems like such structures create an unhealthy form of competition and hierarchy that take the focus from the actual intended goal of spirituality and into the social structure itself. One is left not talking to god, but trying to look well in the eyes of the fellow followers.
That and trying to differentiate oneself from the /others/ who hold some other belief, or being coerced to follow habits (even in clothing and diet) which are not germane to the spiritual path but are proper of the particular religious society one engages in, and not those that can be identified with the "opposing" band (we're at the petty little game of the flags here, not unlike politics or soccer teams or linux users)
But everyone's path is their own I understand, I just wouldn't touch religion with a 10 foot pole.

 No.8299

When I was a kid I went to Catholic school, and the teachers told me to thank god for my good grades or something like that. I tried praying before a test and didn't notice any difference; I was just answering like always and generally I always had good grades before high school. There was that and some choir song with lyrics where we had to promise or make some kind of sacrifice to god and I would always whisper after that "not really" because it bothered me.

 No.8300

I'm open the possible existence of a higher power and I would say I definitely believe in the existence of a soul but I really can't align with any particular religion. I wasn't raised in a religious family so maybe I just don't get it but the idea of reading the scripture and just accepting it as truth makes no sense whatsoever to me. And I know there are philosophers like Aquinas that made proofs for the existence of god but that just comes off like playing though games to me. You can make a fairly convincing argument for it on paper but in my opinion there is no way humans could claim to have an answer for how the universe came to be or whether there was a higher power. It's not like we can look back in time to the beginning of the universe, and an almighty being ruling over all of existence just seems like a crazy thing to assume is real.

 No.8304

I want to become a god to fix everything that's broken for everyone. Technology offers a small hope, but I think it is impossible, and do you know who I have to blame for that…?
>>5617
Don't believe in yourself, believe in the me that believes in you!!!

 No.8306

File: 1595903291051.png (3.59 MB, 1280x1687, 15963452324.PNG)

No I don't think I do. Sometimes I have these emotional outbursts and want to hold a higher being responsible for my misfortunes and just take out my anger at him for playing favorites with his creations. I know that sounds stupid but in my defense I had a strict religious upbringing and spent most of my childhood in religious schools so the concept of god is pretty much ingrained into my subconscious at this point. I hate it.

Maybe I wouldn't detest religion so much if it wasn't forced on me like that. Maybe I would have kept my faith. I don't know, I'll never know and I don't know why I keep contemplating about these unpleasant things almost every day. I wish I didn't.

 No.8363

>>5616
I'm gonna try and explain my view on faith and religion without coming off like a pretentious retard.

This ramble pertains to Abrahamic religion (the Buddhists were up to some interesting stuff that I need to keep learning about).

Two to four thousand years ago, the world was a confusing, scary, and harsh place. The story of God and the stories in the Bible were written as convincing and comforting explanations for the nature of the universe. Imagine being a 6 year old kid, 3000 years ago: likely to die from a horrible, violent illness or starvation during a particularly harsh winter. You'd feel a lot more comfortable genuinely believing that on the other side of this shitty world, an eternity of bliss lay before you. Until the scientific method was developed, humanity really had one source for answers to questions like: Why are we here? How was the universe created? What happens after death? Is the universe fair and just, or total chaos? Are there morals? Are there rules to live by?
"Don't worry, the Father is above and he's gotchu fam."

The Church was terrified of science. It poked holes in the story they had gotten the world to believe (and pay them to keep telling.) Galileo, now known as a world-changing genius who explained a great deal about physics, imprisoned until his death for being accused of heresy. The Church wanted Galileo to keep his mouth shut.

Now in 2020, hundreds of years after the Renaissance and scientific revolution, the Church's influence, while still present, is significantly weaker. More and more people than ever before resent having been forced religion in their lives (>>8306, >>8299).

The rise of nihilism in tandem with the world's rapid scientific progress, capitalist growth, and industrialization led to people becoming increasingly anxious about survival and work conditions. Faith began to waver, and people no longer believed the tale of God, the Father figure, which led writers like Nietzsche to come to the conclusion that "God is dead."

Humans crave structure and answers. They simply cannot allow a vacuum of information. People nowadays have a spiritual hole in their hearts, and it leads to real misery. There is nothing to believe in. God is dead, politics is as corrupt as ever. good luck trusting your government. VR and AR are changing people's experience of reality, so no more trusting your own senses.

I wish I had faith in something. I'm truly, deeply miserable without anything to believe in. My personal life experiences have lead me to believe that the universe is totally chaotic, unjust, and unfair, yet with a taste for irony. It's a tough pill to swallow, but once I can come to terms with these facts, the spiritual liberation will be worth it.

Curious to hear thoughts. Please somebody convince me otherwise.

Tl;dr These two bum assholes made me miserable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5zoztwfs40

 No.8369

As cells come together and provide a unified experience of a human self, so too can a unified consciousness arise from the shared belief and action of humans. This is what I believe, and that religions are manifestations of this principle.
There are many gods, and they are born and live and die, alive within our speech and interactions. But when they leave, the institutions supporting them stay around, pretending to act out its will and desperately hoping to still hear it speak…

 No.8384

>>5616
> I blamed God for this misfortune and declared that I no longer believe.
If your faith in a creator was based on whether they would serve you then your faith was thin ice from the start. God isn't a vending machine, he isn't father Christmas here to give gifts to good boys and punishments to bad boys, shit will happen in life and it will be far beyond your control or reason why any of it happened. Job taught as much.

 No.8388

>>8363
Not going to lie, this is coming off as a pretentious retard who hasn't actually read of history.

The 'story of God' was not written as a convincing and comforting explantion for the nature of the universe, because the story of God in the Tanakh descends in large part from pagan Jewish traditions, which - while it was meant to explain the world - is not an organized religion in the way abrahamic religions are. Later Judiasm and then Christianity were heavily influenced also by Zoroastrianism, which as a religion of the Axial age was less concerned with explaining the world and more concerned with how men ought to act. Confucianism, though it isn't a religion, also belongs to this era.

The Church was not terrified of science; for most of the early and high middle ages, they were the only people involved in any sort of learning at all. Galileo himself was not a target until he tipped his fedora and attacked a Church leader (namely the Pope himself), which is politics more than it is theology. The Church didn't want Galileo to keep his mouth shut about rocks dropping from the sky at the same speed. They wanted him to stop talking shit about the Pope.

Nihilism arose as a result of scientific progress and a weakening of faith, but also in tandem with a weakening of traditional communities during a time when very little arose to replace them. While part of it comes down to religion no longer providing the meaning it once did, an equal part of it was the fact that as things changed people didn't know how to adjust, and they often lacked a community to go to in order to find solace. That is something that both caused and was the cause of the decline of faith as well, not just "science".

Organized, centralized religion doesn't arise out of people asking for answers; in fact, there's only one 'branch' of orgainzed, centralized religion in the world today, and it's no coincidence that it arose after hijacking an empire's worth of bureaucracy and prestige. The other branch, Zoroastrianism, was also an imperial religion. China never went steady with Buddhism while India just never went steady period, or else Buddhism might have had the same happen to it.

The questions you're saying were answered by science were answered by science, but in a way that doesn't matter. Yes, we know how baby is formed. Yes, we know why you get sick. But while textbook answers might be technically correct, it still isn't something that the human mind can intuitively grasp, and the big questions - how should you live, what if you die, what does it mean to be happy - are still the ones with the same answers, or same meaningful answers, as back in the Axial age. Saying that dopamine makes you happy is true, but it's also irrelevant - that's not really what's being asked.

tl;dr centralized religion comes from politics, not faith or a need for answers. The questions that need answers from faith are also the ones that science wouldn't be able to answer in a relevant way.

 No.8389

>>8363
From what I've heard and read about religious experiences, people usually start believing because of very personal experiences that cause them to start having faith that God exists. It seems like it's something hard to explain, but if I had to guess it would probably have to do with talking to God or having something happen that seems like it was caused by God. Overall, I think that anyone who believes in pure science as the only answer to everything will never ever be able to convince themselves to believe in a God, or to have any mystic beliefs for that matter. There are indeed arguments against this pure science materialism, but it might take quite a bit of reading to be convinced.

I think the most logical way to lead to non-materialist beliefs is to start thinking about consciousness, one of the areas science can't explain too well. The philosophy of idealism might be something interesting to look towards. Opting for idealism (if you are convinced) can then lead you to be more open toward mystical beliefs in general, including religions.

Another way to lead to religious beliefs is to start rejecting science simply due to the fact that these answers it provides simply aren't important. Of course science gives an explanation for the universe's creation, but knowledge of how that specifically happened has almost no bearing on your life. But believing in a God that can give you hope and happiness does have a pretty large bearing on your life. This is why there are still Christians in many scientific disciplines; their beliefs are not due to an ignorance of what science says, but due to the benefits gained from believing in God and personal experiences that they have with Him. For some reason, atheists seem to think that knowledge about the world's creation, evolution, and other things are essential to one's life and intelligence, but they have almost nothing to do with anyone's personal experiences unless one is specifically studying those areas.

 No.8390

>>8389
I mean, science is also inherently a faith. It is, in some sense, a god. By definition you make assumptions to get anywhere; it's a fundamental drawback in any logical system, that you can never prove your starting point. For some people, they can have the existence of God as their starting point.

 No.8392

>>8390
Science is all about making as few assumptions as possible, and gathering facts in order to minimize (and hopefully eventually eliminate) the assumptions necessary to explain something.
Faith, on the other hand, glorifies assumptions and centers itself around them, asserting that they're true and never doing anything to confirm or deny that.
In science, assumptions are tentative at best and are acknowledged to be assumptions, while in faith, assumptions are considered permanent and are treated as fact.

 No.8393

>>8392
I don't think you really get what I'm saying. Science has assumptions. Said assumptions are pretty wild. It's just that our society has internalized them to the point where you don't realize they make them. For instance, one of the single most important assumptions in science is spatial and temporal invariance - that physical laws are going to be the same everywhere, everywhen. This is inherently unprovable - you don't even really have the ability to get a decent sample size due to the nature of what we're on about. But it's a necessary starting point for logic. The same is true of any logical system, from physics to philosophy and then of course religion; because most religions do come down to a philosophy with the caveat of a sky daddy.

Again: you CANNOT eliminate assumptions. They are an inherent part of logic by straight information theory. I understand the hypocrisy in using a logical system to disprove the soundness of logical systems, but it's all we got.

As for science acknowledging assumptions - it's usually not the actual practicing scientists who are disavowing faith. In fact, a lot of important ones were and still are religious or spiritual, and even they don't tend to acknowledge the more basic assumptions. Faith is inherently about assumptions; but so is everything. You cannot even attempt to disprove an assumption, because it is your starting point for proving or disproving anything. What you're thinking of is a hypothesis, not an axiom.

 No.8394

File: 1596413772941.jpg (51.76 KB, 384x512, unnamed.jpg)

Learning mathematics made me a Platonist.

 No.8395

File: 1596415014416.png (204.29 KB, 397x514, 1925_kurt_gödel.png)

>>8392
"In any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of arithmetic can be carried out, there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F. "
"A formal system cannot prove that the system itself is consistent (assuming it is indeed consistent)."

 No.8396

File: 1596416351773.jpg (24.96 KB, 465x594, 26fb6ba11982cad7f5f1cde754….jpg)

>>8395
"Whenever possible, substitute constructions out of known entities for inferences to unknown entities."

 No.8397

>>8396
Off topic question but was Russell a panpsychist like Whitehead?

 No.8399

Russell was a neutral monist, which is similar to panpsychism in a sense.

 No.8400

>>8399
Oh, I don't know much about neutral monism.
Where should I start with Russell?

 No.8401

File: 1596461158723.png (202.19 KB, 600x698, on denoting.png)


 No.8404

>>8393
Spatial and temporal invariance is not an assumption but an observation of science. If physics failed at predicting at some point in time and space then I don't think current science would have trouble detecting that and accounting for it.

The more limiting assumption, in my opinion, is of being able to locate the observer to an objective non-interfering point of viewer. It is a powerful assumption for learning about physical systems, but is incapable of dealing well with self-reference, psychology, society, and spirituality.

 No.8488

>>8388
truth

 No.8529

I think I'd enjoy the structure of religion in my life but I have yet to come across a major religion that actually speaks to me or doesn't make me feel lesser for being a woman. I think I'd also enjoy the health benefits of fasts and pilgrimages. Most religions have wacky, over-the-top beliefs that I would find very difficult to accept and have a few rules that go against my personal morals. Even if a religion seems mostly good to me, there's always something that holds me back; some off-putting leader or something that says I'll never achieve whatever the ultimate goal is due to who I am and cannot change. I don't believe that, I can't believe that.

I think I would be agnostic (I know it's possible to practice and not join any organised religion) if it weren't for the fact that I've never prayed and "felt" anything out there. I could also do pilgrimages/meet ups and just ignore the things I don't agree with but I don't want to support any group that doesn't see me as equal anyway. I just don't feel there's any motivation or incentive for anyone like me.

If anyone knows of a religion that would suit me, I'm open but I still don't "feel" like there's a higher being so it's probably not for me anyway.

 No.8561

>>8529
Health benefits of fasts lmfao what?
When it comes to religion one of the things you probably have to ask yourself is what you want from it. Are you looking for a community, a higher purpose in life, or actual faith? With communities, any big religion will do if you think you can get along with them. For a purpose in life, try reading Christian theological *philosophy*, as in, Aquinas and such, and then move on to e.g. Spinzoa. Even if you don't agree with what they say, reading them can help you find direction; you don't necessarily need a god to find faith of that sort. If you want faith in a god, specifically, that's really more of a personal gut feeling. It's been said, after all, that every Christian's god is God, but none of them resemble each other.

 No.8572

>>8561
Yeah, Google the benefits. I'm not going to read authors who believed women are lesser than men, sorry. I don't think you understood my post. I've been (unfortunately) raised Christian so if it in any way appealed to me, I would still be Christian.

 No.8581

>>8529
You could start off by trying to convince yourself of spiritual beliefs, as I don't think it is possible to be truly attached and affected by a religion or mystical beliefs if you do not have some sort of open-mindedness or belief in spiritual/mystical things. After you do this, you can then lead yourself on a path of individual or more feminist theology. It is possible to interpret God's message, or the bible, in a way that does not put woman beneath men (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_theology#Christianity).

 No.8588

>>8529
I don't see any reason why you should try to force yourself to believe in a higher power if you don't believe in one. Honestly, the most "structure" that people typically get out of religion is going to church for an hour a week. If you want to fast for health reasons, then just do it for health reasons - you don't need religion as an excuse. If you want to go to a meetup, why not try to find a hobbyist meetup with people who share your interests, rather than a religious one?
Also, maybe I'm just misinformed on this, but is there any particular difference between a "pilgrimage" and just traveling for the sake of traveling?

 No.8591

>>8572
>google the benefits
Google is not a source, especially because it adjusts its results to your searches and clicks which just reinforces confirmation bias. The benefits are not benefits as such but rather your body entering a state of emergency survival because it thinks you're starving to death.

>I'm not going to read authors who held this one flawed opinion, since that means they obviously had no brains at all

This is a fundamental problem. You're not going to find anyone who you agree with wholesale and need to learn to separate a person's opinions from their logic. Newton, like many of his contemporaries, probably didn't think very highly of women; that doesn't make him stupid.

>so if in any way appealed to me

Are you saying you have a strong grasp of Spinzoa and Heidegger after reading and understanding Augustine and Aquinas, for which you needed to read Plato and Seneca? Because you don't need to believe in Christianity to read Christian philosophy, which has roots in Greek philosophy more than anything else, and from which most modern European philosophy derives. Some of them may have held sexist views (though I question your notion of 'thinking women are worse' necessarily) but that doesn't make the rest of their philosophy invalid - in fact, a lot of it is more fluid if you simply treat both sides as equal, if not equivalent.

The key here is not to just say 'yep that's right' but to try to absorb it and form your own worldview from it which you can use as a substitute for faith if you don't really feel like you can believe in a god. For that, though, you have to toss away the notion that 'if they were sexist that means everything they said was wrong'. That falls down the hill of Hitler thought smoking was nasty, ergo he must have been wrong.

 No.8592

>>8529
There are various smaller spiritual or occult practices. As an example Gurdgieff's system https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff

These tend to rely on cultivating certain qualities or mindsets within yourself. You don't really start with a belief of a higher being so much as over time developing your ability to perceive them.

These don't come with established mainstream communities. So it can be harder to find a community. But on the other hand, it can be easier to find one that suits you, or if you are so inclined you can pursue it independently.

 No.8595

>>8581
Have you tried this method of convincing yourself and has it worked?

>>8588
I got the idea from seeing religious friends who are very involved in their community and get a lot out of it but you're right, I don't need a religion to find that. I thought the religious aspect might be extra motivation to get me out of the house regularly and strive to be a better person but it doesn't make sense unless I believe in whatever the religion I'm pursuing. I remember the idea of religious reward/punishment motivating me to pray daily and go to church at the weekend when I was a kid but at some point I stopped believing in it all so it didn't excite/scare me anymore.

Pilgrimages usually involve a hike and fasting but again, you don't actually have to be religious to go on them. I think I'll try one anyway after the lockdown is over. They usually discourage luxuries (so only plain food, limited use of phones, very basic accommodation). My friends mentioned having really interesting conversations on the hikes with strangers and coming back with this new appreciation for what they have.

>>8592
Thanks for the recommendation, I'll try to download some of his books tonight and read them. I like the idea of working backwards by diving into the practices first and then seeing how I feel about a higher being later on, that takes the pressure off a little. I'm very open to the occult/new age religions.

 No.8599

>>8595
>Have you tried this method of convincing yourself and has it worked?
Sort of, but I don't think I was consciously trying to change my mind, I just sort of changed over the years. I used to be a pretty staunch atheist (I guess not completely since I'm not one now) and the ideas of believing in a God just simply didn't make sense to me. I pretty much just considered spirituality to be a bunch of bs and thought that it was insane many people still believed in it. There were multiple things that got me out of this mindset. One was actually thinking about why so many people believe in a God. The idea that millions of people claim to speak to a God, claim to have their lives impacted by this God, and are all actually just lying and in reality talking to no one just didn't make sense to me. This helped me stop thinking that all religious people were simply liars or brainwashed, as I realized many people are truly genuine about their belief. Another thing that got me out of atheism was learning of idealism. This stopped my belief of pure materialism and made me think that mystical beliefs in general were actual possibilities. These together pretty much removed my atheism and now I am much more prone to believing in spiritual things.
Of course, this was a process of over multiple years and a lot of thinking about religion. I don't know if you can really do the same thing, or if anything I talked about would convince you. I guess the main thing I did was simply question my atheist beliefs and look at arguments against it. Until I started thinking of things from a religious person's perspective, I was essentially thinking of atheism as the one and only truth without giving thought to anything else. Of course in the end of it all, you could still find that atheism is the one and only truth anyway depending on your perspective.

 No.8601

>>8599
This sounds similar to what happened to me. Never really thought about religion and spirituality, but kept wondering about why the materialist explanations leave out so much psychology and human experience. Until one day I saw that part of the world that they were trying to comprehend and to create an image of themselves within.
I don't think religions are really true in the way that they claim themselves to be, where god is the start and end and cause of everything. But they aren't complete nonsense either, just something sitting in the middle… Like when a child learns that its parents don't know everything and can't do everything, but are still far above your own understanding and abilities.

 No.8605

File: 1597472265958.jpg (101.29 KB, 1280x720, gits_steelbook_2.jpg)

I grew up in an agnostic home but became a devot protestant a few years ago. I first became "spiritual" by recongnizing that the human soul is real. Kinda lame, but Ghost in the Shell really helped me more than anything to understand how the soul (or ghost) is different from the mind and is real. Theoretically/philosophically a brain could function without a ghost exactly the same. There's no real way to prove one has a ghost. Major struggles with proving to herself that she has a ghost throughout the film despite her clearly having a mind. So recongnizing what Major envied helped me to understand what we as humans have.

Secondly, I was convinced that objective morality is real and that I did not come close to living morally. I can't really formulate a secular argument for that now, I think I came to that conclusion through just personal experience knowing I was hurting myself and others around me. This feeling I've since come to believe is a necessary presupposition to understanding and embracing Christianity.

Thirdly, I read the Bible and was convinced it was accurate and truthful. I dropped out of college and got a construction job. During that time I was as hikikomori as one could be with a job. I decided to spend my free time reading the Bible on a whim for a variety of reasons. I started in Genesis worked my way through 2 Kings and then moved to the New Testament. Sometime during reading all of it I was convinced.

As I was reading the bible I was also researching online what different Christian denominations believed. After for myself I decided I wanted to join a church, I found a niche denomination that I believed had correct doctrine and thankfully had a congregation close to me.

 No.8614

Whenever I find some spiritual landscape that resonates with me I end up backing away and not letting myself contemplate it too much. Each one comes with it's own set of dogmas and aesthetics, which I love, but if I get deep enough to really have faith then I'll lose access to the dogmas and aesthetics from the rest. Like say I became a devout buddhist, I'd be way happier than I am now but the small, vague understanding I have of ideas like humans as an image of god would dissapear. I think many many religious ideas that are incompatible with each other hold value as obscure metaphors for true things, and it would really be a shame to cut off 95%, but it would also suck to live my entire life mundane and empty because I was indicisive. Bleh, sorry, this must be totally incoherant.

 No.8615

>>8614
It's okay - in fact, from my vantage, encouraged - to look at all spiritual contemplations and factions.
It's nice to see I'm not alone in appreciating all of the aesthetics.

 No.8654

Over the past months I've evolved from believing in a despicable God I cannot accept, back around to simple Atheism. I no longer see any reason a monotheistic god has to exist even in the abstract sense. Faith is largely determined by the shape of your own mind and is no more important and no more real to the world than a sudden mood.
All I see is Self, Other, and the dissoluble Barrier between the two.

 No.8689

>>8605
Have you read any C.S. Lewis sushi roll? Regardless if you have I'm very happy to see you've found a congregation of believers.

 No.8690

>>8654
Not long ago I considered: isn't it weird that the people who believe in god are usually the more miserable, always feeling guilty about doing or even thinking anything, always getting into other people's business, always imposing arbitrary rules upon themselves and the rest of the world?
Makes me wonder whether this god is actually a good guy, or rather the bad guy. The self conscious, self- (and by extension others-) judgamental, the personification of the Ego, demanding worship and absolute devotion, exclusive and unquestioned.

On a slightly related note, I cannot help but notice a relation between the need for authority and the monotheistic god. They are one and the same thing. Ancient cultures may have had a pantheon of gods acting on natural phenomena, reflecting the people's lives as subject to the vicissitudes of the natural world: drain, drought, natural disasters. The monotheistic god seems like a justification for the single authority of the state. Other pantheons with more or less passionate gods in constant strife could reflect a reality not unlike that of today, in which political actors in their struggle for power affect the lower classes who can do nothing but watch and try to ride the tide raised by their moves.
In this light I see the more animistic traditions, like shinto, or Daoism (not quite animistic but largely naturalistic), against the ego of man and it's jaelous, conceited God.

 No.8699

sushi roll, there's no obligation for anyone to believe in a god. It's a personal choice. Whether you want your god to be the classic bearded man, a bowl of spaghetti, or Pikachu, it's all up to you, really.
I'm an atheist, and formerly a devout Muslim, born and raised as one, in a Muslim-majority country. Made the leap of faith in 11th grade. Nobody knows I'm an atheist except myself because I don't want to get arrested.

Honestly, I just can't find myself believing in god any longer after shits hit my life, losing all sorts of things, all the prayers and everything. And as a female, I have a lot of things I don't click with my previous religion. Of course, I have the option to put my faith in other religions, but I'm too far of an atheist to be able to believe in a sky-daddy, or sky-mommy. If god is so powerful, why do they ask people to worship them, anyway? "Is there some kind of meaning to it, or it's just because god is bored and therefore instructed people to do so just for fun?" and so my 10yo self asked to my teacher before getting slapped with a wooden ruler.

 No.8701

>>8690
>isn't it weird that the people who believe in god are usually the more miserable
I've always understood this to be the opposite. Growing up, the people in church that I met tended to have stories of sadness and depression being defeated by believing in Christianity, giving them more happiness than prior, but I do concede that a lot of Christians seem quite judgemental. I've always bee under the impressions that atheists were the more depressed of the two (atheists vs Christians) as Christians have a God to fall back upon while atheists have no one (or simply other people).

 No.8718

>>8701
As an atheist you have to me a humanist by necessity, otherwise some form of nihilism or existentialism is all you have left, besides bread and circus of course.

 No.8719

>>8718 (me)
I've tended to notice that atheism/secularism tends to be common in societies where most of your needs are taken care of and hardships are scarce/abstract.
I theorize that is because having faith in something becomes a necessity when uncertainty and chaos are a predominant theme within your reality - be that philosophic uncertainty, lived uncertainty, or existential uncertainty. This would also explain why many of them tend to be online - since netizens tend to only know suffering in an abstract sense, and are very much detached from the harsh realities of life (may also be part of the reason why netizens tend to hold more extreme views than the general public). Unwarranted certainty might also explain why atheists are very often stringent modernists like many of the evangelicals that raised (abused) them, while there are premodern, modern, postmodern, and metamodern christians outside of the american "christianity".

These are just my observations though. Thoughts?

 No.8737

>>8719
>I've tended to notice that atheism/secularism tends to be common in societies where most of your needs are taken care of and hardships are scarce/abstract.
I'm not so sure. First of all, the US is a rich and comfortable place (relative to the rest of the world) but it is also very religious; at least, this is the case in certain parts of the US.

Also, remember that there are lots of atheists living very uncomfy lives. I'm not an expert on Buddhism, but I think there are variants which teach that Siddhārtha Gautama was not a god or even supernatural being, just a human who achieved enlightenment. If you count Buddhists as atheists, then lots of atheists live meagre lives in third-world countries.

 No.8738

>>8719
I think you could say that belief in an Ideal bigger than yourself, in general, is necessary when there's a lot of chaos/suffering, but that doesn't necessarily mean religion. All the most important atheist societies and movements in modern history have come out of periods of chaos (religious movements have too sometimes).

It does seem like religion is more likely to come out of generations of suffering and oppression in which there's no hope for worldly change, and earthly higher ideals out of more dynamic periods in which people have some hope and agency even if there's equal amounts of actual pain.

What you say about modernism makes sense, but I'd just add that atheism/secularism movements are also different in different societies

 No.8744

>>8738
>>8737
>>8719
One of the most interesting things that has come out of (anthropologic) religion studies in the past two or three decades is the realization that there is no such thing as religion in the broad sense of the word. The word Religion was, before the early colonial era, essentially always singular and essentially always referred to Christianity. When Europeans of the late middle and early modern ages came into contact with other belief systems, what they did was they projected Christianity onto that belief system imperfectly and humanistically, but teleologically, proclaimed it to be a "religion" - something that at least somewhat resembles Christianity, but is not belief in Christ.

So before we discuss where the origins of religion comes from and why some places are atheist, it's meaningful to discuss what you mean by a 'religion'. Faith in an ideal bigger than yourself is very much projecting the Judeo-Christian faith onto other religions in a way that's usually not realistic - far from being a model, Christianity - especially with its focus on orthodoxy ('correct belief') instead of orthopraxy ('correct practice') is very much the outlier. This is even more obvious when you go back in time to historical paganistic beliefs, and it's also the reason why modern paganism is so incoherent - it's projecting a Christian doctrinal, ground-up construction onto a belief system that's both older and more practical.

The Matter of the Gods (C. Ando 2008) goes into detail on this matter, and it also explains why - for the most part - religious systems oppression (as opposed to specific gods) didn't happen in the pre-Judeo-Christian world, EXCEPT to Jews and Atheists, and why, exactly, societies that were otherwise known to be religiously open kneejerked so violently at monotheism, why being accused of being atheistic was a massive insult, and why more organized religions could take the place of pagan belief systems [even while leaving the rest of the culture, including pagan rituals, largely intact].

Back to my point here; what does and does not count as atheism in the broad sense of the word, as opposed to 'doesn't go to Church', is actually an unresolved debate in religious studies, as is what actually defines a religion and therefore, historically, what triggered the rise of atheism. It's also something of a misconception that secularism and atheism are the same thing, because the two are really only related in the Abrahamic faiths where orthodoxy is much more important than orthopraxy. The focus on 'faith' is, to me, a relic of the Christian-centric way people are taught to think about religion in the western world, and while it works great for everyday life it makes it difficult to talk deeply about religions as a whole without evoking the specter of what is in many ways the odd one out among religions both present and historical.

 No.8761

>>8744
It's interesting to look at how the myriad metaphysics have adapted in a world in which colonialism and cultural hegemony has left Western European Christianity as somewhat of a religious benchmark against which others compare themselves. Especially in places like South and Southeast Asia and Subsaharan Africa where traditional unorganized religion is still pretty strong and groups try to codify and categorize both beliefs and practices to solidify their place within a wider community among organized proselytizing Abrahamic religion.

A lot of them seem to have appropriated, among other concepts, the Abrahamic notion of apostasy and its relationship with heterodoxy and atheism. Even in "religions" where there have been traditional atheist movements (in the strict sense of the word meaning without worship/belief in deities, but not necessarily a rejection of metaphysics or even some other aspects of theology) nowadays you can see purists outright rejecting such adherents' membership. The example I'm most familiar with is that of modern postcolonial Hindu theological discourse and the parallels with Christian debate and apologetics is striking, even if there's more of a direct relationship with politics considering the ethnic nature of it.

Regarding "faith" though, when I hear that word I generally tend to assume that the user is specifically talking about religion in the monotheistic Abrahamic sense, since in other traditions, even where there is orthodoxy it tends to revolve around some other idea such as dharma. I don't think people who discuss faith really mean to be discussing anything more than worship of a deity, even if they think they mean to be, because in an Abrahamic context that falls more into the field of philosophy. In my experience at least, if a guy asks me about faith, he's not asking what I think happens when I die or what it means to be or to know, but rather what I use to help get me through the uncertainty of an absurd life.

The answer to that question of course, is mai waifu.



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