[SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

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Are you religious?

I believe in god and practice most/all things required by my religion.
59
13%
I believe in god but don't practice my religion so much or at all.
55
12%
I don't believe in god.
289
62%
Otter/duck.
60
13%
 
Total votes: 463

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Gelsamel
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:29 am UTC

Talking about God making everyone different and thus accepting them as God's creation yadda yadda...

<flamebait>
Spoiler:
I think the God would be pretty sick guy to make people differently and thus make some people in a way that they require empirical evidence to believe things and then punish them for the way he made them. Or you know, if he made them born into another culture which is almost entirely composed of people of a different 'wrong' religion so that they would almost certainly grow up believing the wrong religion and then punishing them for THAT.

Of course, this excludes the belief of those that think that you don't necessarily have to be believe in God/Jesus to get to heaven but just have to be "Good" (or some similarly vague philosophical concept).

</flamebait>
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby DJorgensen » Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:36 am UTC

I label myself as spiritual.
If we are pushing religious beliefs I'll state that I am ignostic. I really feel that nothing can define god - it is and should be utterly intangible and not something that can be explained or defined.
In that sense, I feel that it doesn't matter what someone else believes or does not believe when it comes to god. Thus I really don't discuss it because I run out of things to say after a couple sentences.

Anyway religion itself is something that I have really honestly struggled with a great deal over the course of my life. Half my family is catholic, half protestant. Neither of my parents practice. My father seems disinterested in religion, my mother seems rather devout with herself although she has no interest in practicing. As for myself growing up struggling with my gender and my sexuality, I really really really had some moments where religion made me stop and try to be normal. It wasn't until one day I rethought the problem and decided that I wouldn't be put here to choose to suffer and that if anything I was put here to challenge my personal feelings and thoughts. Since then I can admit that religion itself has taken a larger backseat to my life. For the most part, I meditate when necessary, I emphasize balance, compassion, freedom and love in others, and I really just try to live life when its possible for me. Even still I almost never take of my Saint Christopher's pendant, or my Celtic shield knot (its the symbol that's forever trapped in my head... and actually doubles as a cross after the Celts were lost). The cross I used to wear as a child rests on another individual's neck.
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby scruff » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:49 pm UTC

doogly wrote:
scruff wrote:To further complicate things, I'm one of those people who believe that science and atheism can both be religions.

That's not a belief, that's a poor grasp of vocabulary.


Oh yeah, I forgot: the other reason I don't like to answer these kinds of questions is that someone inevitably takes disagreement and turns it into an insult. That's the only thing problematic about the fora (echochambers?), regarding the realm of religion, from my point of view.

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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:26 pm UTC

Man.. how did I miss that, as... yeah, doogly's pretty wrong there.

SCIENCE! is totally a religion. As can be Atheism. I'd also say that both meet #6.
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby doogly » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:27 pm UTC

OK, if you want to use their #6, that's fine, but no bait and switch. Qualifying under #6 doesn't let you in as #1, #3 or #7. When people say, "atheism is a religion too," they generally mean "atheism is a religion too, like Christianity or Shinto." That is wrong. If they are clear about saying "atheism is a religion too, like feminism" then fine.
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Sungura » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:49 pm UTC

Snowflake wrote:There's a difference between being a part of the cult of modern Christianity, and being Christ-like.
While I'm not sure I agree with the wording (I don't think I'd call Christianity a cult any more than Islam or any other organized religion) the basis of this, yeah. Someone earlier said something about sometimes not liking to identify as a Christian because they don't fit the sterotypical view of a Christian (I believe that was the essence of what they said, anyway) and that is prettymuch how I feel too. The quote from another forum, about how the girl responded, that's sorta how I am.
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Hammer » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:55 pm UTC

Folks, talking about your own religious views is not the same as talking about what you think of other people's religious views. We've got plenty of examples of the second, so let's keep this thread on the first. Thanks.
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:57 pm UTC

In principle, I am a nihilist. In practise, I can't even be bothered enough to be a proper nihilist.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby blackrose » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:42 am UTC

I'm a scientist. I am in awe of the universe, existence, and life in general. I'm unsure about the existence of any deity/s of any sort.

I'm thinking about joining a Unitarian Universalism church as school restarts. I miss the social ties that religious congregations gave me.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby dedalus » Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:45 pm UTC

Well, to this date I've been completely unaware of any role that some supernatural being has had in my life, so I'll worry about him/her/it/them when I meet them. I'll take pascal's gambit on the belief that they might exist; also, having hope that there is some life after death is kind of comforting most of the time. To addend to my beliefs, I think that since I (try to) follow the same morale/value system as pretty much all major religions bar the 'kill/burn/impale the infidel/non-believer/heretic' clause and the 'worship the divine being' motif, and I really can't much see the logic behind either of those coming from a god that still has all his/her/its/their marbles, I think that should one exist I'm doing the right thing by him anyway. I guess this is an extended Pascal's Gambit really...

On the same line of thought, I think discriminating due to religious differences is kind of stupid. Discriminating against people on the basis that they're (excuse my hebrew) complete fucktards is a different matter, but I've met plenty of christians and muslims and jews who are just as awesome as any atheistic friends I have (and plenty of atheists who are as forceful of their own beliefs as your average door-knocking bible-beater). Yeah, this is the wrong thread for this topic, but it should be said.
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Shpow » Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:50 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Talking about God making everyone different and thus accepting them as God's creation yadda yadda...

<flamebait>
Spoiler:
I think the God would be pretty sick guy to make people differently and thus make some people in a way that they require empirical evidence to believe things and then punish them for the way he made them. Or you know, if he made them born into another culture which is almost entirely composed of people of a different 'wrong' religion so that they would almost certainly grow up believing the wrong religion and then punishing them for THAT.

Of course, this excludes the belief of those that think that you don't necessarily have to be believe in God/Jesus to get to heaven but just have to be "Good" (or some similarly vague philosophical concept).

</flamebait>


But I'd be sure that a powerful being like God would be aware of the circumstance. The main idea is that the person loves, and is not outright trying to stamp out the beliefs (especially, perhaps, Christian ones).
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Schmut » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:32 pm UTC

I'm agnostic, though I've just looked up the definition of "ignostic" (this thread is the first time I've ever seen the word) and it does somewhat fit me.

I believe there may or may or may not be a God/gods but I do go as far as to begin to make assumptions of such a theoretical being. If I were to believe, it would be in a singular deity responsible for designing the entire universe as the way it is. The "god" would have no higher respect for mankind than any other creatures but would not see us as insignificant. This being takes pride in its creation and loves all entities within the universe without favour. This "god" is merely some form of sentient energy existing outside of, or as the whole of, the universe; it is the final sum accumulation of all knowledge and applies this knowledge in order to allow the universe to be.

My other accepted theory as a notion for the existence of a god falls under solipsism. This is the idea that the only thing one can know to truly exist is their own mind. If this were literally true for myself, it would mean that the entire universe is a figment of my own imagination thus making me, to an extent, God. Though, this idea excludes the existence of anything but my own imagination so it would require that "God" be defined as "an over-active imagination that is the soul being of its own creation".

I have a third theory that somewhat combines the two above. It takes the idea that "God" is the "final sum accumulation of all knowledge" and applies it to the framework of the second idea. The idea then is that as an unaware being within my own imagination, I would live out a life that ultimately sees me gathering all knowledge that there is to be known; or at least the bare fundamentals that make my own existence possible.
This third idea can then be re-applied to the first so that as a God, I collect all of the information within an imaginary life on Earth that allows for the universe to be. Upon death (or some "one with God" moment while alive), I assume the "higher-form" of "the God entity" and see the application of all knowledge towards allowing the universe to come into existence.

Of course, all this just tells you that I have a massively inflated ego... But I accept the basic notion of solipsism that all one can truly know is that their own mind exists, simplify it so that I can quote, "All I know is that I know nothing" and remind you that I don't believe entirely in any of my listed theories. Those are merely my personal accepted models for the existence of a deity.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby podbaydoor » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:55 pm UTC

I do not believe in (any, especially the Christian) God, and I suspect that I have never really believed in him, despite 18+ years of being raised to believe in him and nearly as many years very much wanting to believe in him. Now that I've declared my lack of religion (agnostic in principle, atheist in practice), it's a huge relief. I don't have to pretend anymore. Or spend hours in anguished prayer begging God to give me more "faith," without answer. Or go through life with a constant uneasy feeling that I was going to hell for not believing hard enough, despite doing everything "right," and being envious of the people who seemed absolutely content with their relationship with their God. Now I, too, can go about resting easy and content in my disbelief.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby keeneal » Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:47 pm UTC

So, this is my first time seeing the Dawkins Scale, and I think I fit in pretty nicely at a 1.5. If someone were to ask me "Is there a "God" being?", I would answer "yes", not "I believe so" or "I think so". However, I'm not convinced that my "knowledge" of God is anything more than intellectual. Sometimes this bothers me, and I take that as a sign that I'm on the right path. I think that puts me as the "highest" number on the fora so far.
Because of that, I feel kind of obligated to go into detail. Feel free to ignore me if you want (I spoilered it for you), but I'm not dumb, and I've thought carefully about my beliefs, so I'd appreciate it if you read through.

Spoiler:
Hi, my name is Alex, and I'm a Christian. Specifically a practicing member of the Presbyterian Church USA. I believe in a literal Heaven and a literal Hell, although I wouldn't go so far to say that Heaven is a mass of clouds, harps, and wings, and that Hell isn't a pit of fire and brimstone. I especially loved Lewis' The Great Divorce and reccommend it (along with the rest of his works) to anyone with an interest in how Christianity might manifest itself outside of a strong tradition of doctrine.

I believe literally that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God and the sole path both to Him and to salvation; however, I don't believe that Christianity is the sole way to walk that path. I believe that God is Love, and that Love is God - therefore, if one is capable of love, one must have something of the divine in them. To me, this suggests that Christ isn't quite done saving people yet. I believe that not only does God take interest in the affairs of the world, but that He actively participates. I don't believe in coincidence, fate, chance (as it pertains to events), luck, or karma (although the superficial level of karma appears to hold water). I assume that when something happens to stop me just before I make an ass of or injure myself, that was most likely God intervening. Therefore, I believe in miracles - both big and small. I believe that people who use the Bible as an argument to hurt others are doing it wrong. I believe that the Bible is true, inerrant, and divinely inspired, although I accept that the people who help me interpret it are not, and that not all teachings apply to all peoples at all times.

I believe that abortion is wrong, but if you, personally, want to have one you, personally, may. Much like I believe smoking to be bad for you, but you, personally, may do so if you wish. I'd say I'm an Old-Earth Creationist, although I accept the Big Bang theory as true. (It doesn't seem odd to me to think that God could have chosen to create the universe with a bang. I feel like it would be very entertaining.) Beyond that, all of my religious morals boil down to "love your neighbor as you love yourself". I choose to bind myself to other, more stringent codes of conduct such as the Scout Oath and Law and the Obligation of the Order of the Arrow both because I feel that I am called to service and as a way to try and teach myself personal and spiritual discipline. Yes, I just said that I believe something as basic as the Oath and Law as more stringent than the commandments of my faith... I seriously believe that people have blown particular bits of the Bible way out of context. I view the demands of my religion (as opposed to those of my faith) in a similar manner as I do the demands of Scouting.


tl;dr - I'm a devout Christian who is careful about what I believe. As far as I'm concerned, my beliefs are fact, but I'm not bothered if you don't buy it. If you talk to me about your beliefs, I'll listen and will try hard not to judge you - who knows? I may learn something. I don't talk about my faith unless invited, or unless doing so would not be intrusive. I believe that the demands put upon me as a result of my faith are minimal, and that other, more common, standards of behavior (specifically the Scout Oath/Law) are more stringent. I try very hard not to be a dick about my beliefs.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby newnajinska1 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:16 pm UTC

I am a Quaker, and believe in God being in everyone. Finding the inner light is the greatest challenge I have thus far encountered. And no... I don't eat oatmeal every morning, dress in funny-looking clothes, or say "thee" and "thou" instead of you.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby apricity » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:49 pm UTC

I usually label myself agnostic spiritual. I don't really believe in a "God," but I don't reject the idea either. It's just not that important to me at all. What's important to me is what's tangible. The spiritualism side comes from my belief in some higher powers and connections between people, but I also believe it's impossible and useless to try and define any of it. I also believe in guardian angels, but that belief is really complicated and I can't really explain it.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby jlamothe » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:11 am UTC

I've never seen the Dawkins' scale before today, but I'd say that I fall as a 1 on the scale, which I'm sure makes me a minority here. I'm used to that, though. ;)

I was raised in a Roman Catholic family, but always kind of felt that it was expected of me. At an early age I found that there were a bunch of little things that bothered me about the faith I'd been raised with, and I began seriously questioning things by the time I was in my early teens. I dropped as low as a 6 on the scale for a very brief period of time during this period, but was never totally willing to dismiss the possibility of God's existence. This was largely because as much as I couldn't prove that He did exist, I also couldn't conclusively prove that He didn't.

I listened to as many different religious (and secular) views as I could. I didn't believe that anyone had it completely right, but I figured that if I looked at things from enough directions, I could hopefully piece enough of the truth together for myself. I wouldn't say that I went out of my way to learn about other religions, but whenever the opportunity presented itself, I would gladly take it.

Long story short, about two years ago I became a member of the LDS Church (a Mormon) after several discussions with the missionaries from that church. I found answers to too many of the questions that had been plaguing me for so long to simply ignore these people or write them off as crazy (which had been my initial impression). Believe me, nobody saw that one coming any less than me.

I continue to listen to other points of view on religion (and rather enjoy doing so, I might add) but I've found my answers. It simply allows me to look at things I already know from another perspective.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby keeneal » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:21 am UTC

jlamothe wrote:I've never seen the Dawkins' scale before today, but I'd say that I fall as a 1 on the scale, which I'm sure makes me a minority here. I'm used to that, though. ;)
Go Team 1.x!

jlamothe wrote:I continue to listen to other points of view on religion (and rather enjoy doing so, I might add) but I've found my answers. It simply allows me to look at things I already know from another perspective.
I once read "A History of God" (a very secular book, but one that seriously looks at, well, the History of God - the proto-Jewish, Jewish, Early and "normal" Christian, and the Muslim variations), and found it fascinating. I recommend it to you highly. Most highly.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby jlamothe » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:04 pm UTC

keeneal wrote:I once read "A History of God" (a very secular book, but one that seriously looks at, well, the History of God - the proto-Jewish, Jewish, Early and "normal" Christian, and the Muslim variations), and found it fascinating. I recommend it to you highly. Most highly.

I will definitely look into this. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby setzer777 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:45 pm UTC

I'm not religious at all. I don't believe in God or anything most people would classify as "spiritual" or "supernatural". I'd say I'm mostly a materialist, except that some things (such as mathematical and logical concepts) I have trouble defining in materialistic terms.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby New User » Thu May 13, 2010 7:33 pm UTC

I once identified as "no religion" or "agnostic" but I have recently heard my belief system defined as "atheist" so I go by that now. Semantics really. My take: I'll believe in a god or spirit when I see evidence that it exists. Scientific method-type I guess, meaning that repeated experiments yield consistent observations. As soon as I see irrefutable evidence I'll immediately believe in a spirit.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Aardvarki » Thu May 13, 2010 7:54 pm UTC

Selected "Otter/Duck" because my beliefs do not coincide with any of your options, but if I were FORCED to choose between one of the three, it would be "I do not believe in God".

If there were more options available to choose from, mine would be Agnostic, or more precisely, "Ignostic". I believe what "God" is needs to be defined before the question "Does God exist?" can be answered. My definition of "God" differs greatly from most people's. As I described in a thread (that was locked) previously, a fourth-dimensional being would appear to us as Omnipresent, Omniscient, and (almost) Omnipotent - does that make them a "God"? If so, then I believe it's very possible that a "God" exists, and would say that I do believe in the existence of a "God", in much the same way that I do believe in the existence of life outside our Solar System. If the definition of "God" is "The Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient being that created the Universe and caused the Big Bang", then I'm Agnostic - I have insufficient information to judge whether such a being exists (or even whether it is possible that such a being exists).
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby New User » Thu May 13, 2010 8:24 pm UTC

Kind of off topic, hope this doesn't violate the safespace:
Spoiler:
I remember that "four-dimensional god" thread... I came up with a joke that Jesus is the three-dimensional cross-section of a four-dimensional god... none of my friends got the joke ... I need more nerd friends :(

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby MHD » Fri May 14, 2010 1:53 pm UTC

Well, no, I'm not religious in the per se. Actually I see religion as a bad thing for modern society.Don't get me wrong, I'm very peaceful about it, but I am in general anti religious. Why? Because religion can make people do horrifying things to each other over vague, interpretable, unprovable statements.
I was raised and live in a protestant-christian society (Denmark), by atheistic, well educated parents, but in the later years I have come to be very misanthropic, regarding humanity with negative prejudices, believing that strangers are a-holes until proven otherwise. If this is merely a side effect of being 17-years old, or if it is my mild insanity that makes me think so is unclear, but at the present I see humanity's horrifying deeds, before its good ones. And if we look to religion it certainly has made a lot of people do a lot of horrifying deeds over the last millennia.
In regards to my actual beliefs, I am Atheistic or Nihilistic (in the "let's define our own rules" sense), but, having a girlfriend with the ability to see ghosts, I believe in the supernatural.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Indon » Fri May 14, 2010 4:35 pm UTC

I am a deist. This renders me a theist (an agnostic theist, as I make no assertations as to the existence of a deity), and pretty apathetic about it. I don't fit on the Dawkins spectrum because I can not put a percentage chance to the belief (because, being agnostic, I do not know), and because 2, the "live my life on the assumption that he is there" portion is pretty meaningless for a deist.

I am fairly interested in religion and mysticism, though in a practical sense - I feel that religion touches upon a profoundly powerful method humans can use to help each other learn and grow, and I want to be able to harness that force constructively.
So, I like talking. So if you want to talk about something with me, feel free to send me a PM.

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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby You, sir, name? » Fri May 14, 2010 4:59 pm UTC

I'm ignostic. I recognize the hypothetical possibility of a god, but consider unfalsifiable gods meaningless artifacts of the mind.

That being said, I have a limited but non-religious adherence to parts of Christianity. I reject Paul as basically a raving lunatic, but find that some of the things that Jesus said are reasonable (basically boiling down to "don't be a vindictive douchebag"). In general, I have found that if you view heaven and hell as metaphors for states of mind; where virtues tend to make you happy in the long term (heaven), and sins tend to make you unhappy in the long term (hell), some of the biblical teachings make a surprising lot of sense.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Chris Dude70 » Sun May 16, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

I am open to the possibility of the existance of god, but until I see undenyable evidence that there is something like that, I am non religious.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Coffee Stain » Sun May 16, 2010 9:16 pm UTC

Chris Dude70 wrote:I am open to the possibility of the existance of god, but until I see undenyable evidence that there is something like that, I am non religious.

I don't think it's usually whether a person (at least an honest one) has seen undeniable evidence that makes them religious or areligious, but whether they're willing to accept a lifestyle or belief in the absence of undeniable evidence.

For the most part, I find myself willing to do so.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Xeio » Sun May 16, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

I'm not really fond of the "Do not believe" moniker. Belief is a positive thing, in that you think something might be true. God doesn't exist (for lack of any proof), thus it's not that I don't "believe" in it, it just isn't. Or it could be said I disagree with religious theories, if you want to call them that.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby You, sir, name? » Sun May 16, 2010 9:37 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:Belief is a positive thing, in that you think something might be true.


I don't quite see this. Belief can be either positive (justified belief) and negative (unfounded belief).
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Jplus » Sun May 16, 2010 10:18 pm UTC

I would suggest to reformulate the poll options to take polytheist religions into account.
(Not that it makes a difference for me though, I'm atheist).
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Xeio » Sun May 16, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:I would suggest to reformulate the poll options to take polytheist religions into account.
(Not that it makes a difference for me though, I'm atheist).
Well, then shouldn't god just be removed? There are numerous religions with no god, but many practices concerned with the faith. I think the poll is confused as to whether it's asking about monotheistic religious beliefs (or lack thereof), or following the code of laws set by someone's personal religion. Though at this point, anyone in a religion without a single diety is forced to pick otter right now.

Then again, if we want to cover both we'd need at least 2 polls (and lots of checkboxes).

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Wildcard » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:25 am UTC

I'm religious.

My religion is non-dogmatic regarding God.

I voted the first option (believe in God & do most/all things of my religion) because it applies to me...but I would have put the options as such:

1. I am an atheist.
2. I am a member of a church (or mosque, or temple, or other organized religious group).
3. I am a member of a spiritual group that might not be classified as a religion.
4. I have spiritual beliefs but am not a member of any organized group.
5. Otter/duck.

Out of this set, I would have chosen 2.
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Re: POLL: Are you religious?

Postby addams » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:45 am UTC

CVSoul wrote:
J the Ninja wrote:I do consider myself a Christian, but I hate telling this to people, as they automatically jump to the usual fundamentalist conclusions: "Oh, so you believe in young earth creationism?" "You're against gay marriage, right?" "You think everyone is going to hell but you, right?" etc, etc. No, I don't, to answer your questions.


This. I would say I'm definitely Christian, but what a lot of Christians do -- at least, the ones that make the news -- is not OK. I can tolerate and fully respect atheists, and I agree with a lot of their views (except for, obviously, the one that God doesn't exist).

I do believe there is a God that takes an interest in my life, just like everyone else's. However, while I've seen miracles before, I've also seen a lot of times a miracle could (and possibly should) have happened that there wasn't one.
Really, I think that by this point, God had put more control of the Earth in the hands of humanity. I wouldn't have done this if I were God, but then again there are a lot of reasons it's a good thing I'm not.

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You may be wrong.

Yes. You and I agree: God.
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If God exists at all, it exists in the Human mind.
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I do not want to cause anyone to doubt.
I have Faith. I stand in Wonder.
I would not rob another person of that.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Queue » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:56 am UTC

I try not to adopt beliefs for which there is no evidence. In philosophical terms, it's basically impossible. In practical terms, it's easy as pie. Luckily, I don't understand philosophy, so I'm okay until someone asks me to take the temperature of an eternally burning bush.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby ucim » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:26 pm UTC

Suppose somebody created a large enough computer, and on that computer he or she wrote and ran many tiny computer programs which interacted with each other, competed for resources, and swapped bits of code. Such things do exist (even if this article is not the best), but let's take it to eleven. It is not inconceivable that programs (I'll call them cells) that cooperated did better than those that did not, and multi-celled programs began to proliferate. Eventually these multicellular creatures could evolve organs, ganglia, brains, and start asking questions about themselves and their world. In principle, they could perhaps figure out that they were made of indivisible elements that could be in a number of different states, and that that number was a power of two. They might be able to figure out how these elements interacted with each other, and figure out the complex rules that allowed (at least) their environment and the simpler organisms to function. They could perhaps extrapolate this to how they themselves operate.

However, they would not be able to figure out anything about carbon or silicon. That information could be "revealed" to them (to be taken on faith), but so could phlogiston and aether. There is no way for these entities to know. Further, they would not be able to determine whether they were "running" on a Mac or a PC or a computer made of faucets and water pipes.

One day one of these entities might look "up" in wonder and ask whether or not there was a god.

What is the answer?

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:40 pm UTC

as an agnostic henotheist heathen, I am forced to answer otter/duck.

Other points aside, this poll is too monotheistic/legalistic in its assumptions (which means it works for some Buddhists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims...and thats about it).
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby philsov » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:23 pm UTC

What is the answer?


That the argument from ignorance is hardly valid and that some things simply exist without (willful) creation.

In your scenario, you're begging the question. Someone made a large enough computer. So obviously, yes.

But our world is hardly thus, and the sheer existence of a creator is not worthwhile if there is no will attached. If there is a creator, we can't ascribe it with any sort of will or generate any guidance for living one's life, imo. This lands me somewhere between lack of belief and otter/duck.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:54 pm UTC

I take a sort of Schrodinger's Cat approach to this question.

Can't find out 'till we open the box... however that works.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] POLL: Are you religious?

Postby Queue » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:42 pm UTC

I think that an excellent question would be, "Does any description of any observable part of the physical universe require a creator?".


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