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Author Topic:   Why Belief?
Phat
Member
Posts: 11322
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 46 of 220 (203559)
04-29-2005 3:57 AM
Reply to: Message 45 by crashfrog
04-28-2005 6:07 PM


indoctrinate -nated; -nating 1 : to instruct esp. in fundamentals or rudiments : teach 2 : to teach the beliefs and doctrines of a particular group indoctrination \()in-dak-tre-na-shen\ n indoctrinator n
==================================================================
impart-1 : to give from one's store or abundance 2 : to make known
==================================================================
Crashfrog--you are right in that the terms are similar.
The indoctorination was also experienced by me. My point is that my salvation came first through an impartation. The indoctorination confirmed it in some ways, confused it in other ways.

My faith as to the validity of the original experience never wavered, however.
In other words, I experienced God through Him becoming known to me.(salvation experience.) This happened before any indoctorination took place. (apart from the culture)

One could argue that I was a victim of a sub culture and that were I hanging out with astronomers or hotel desk clerks with active imaginations, I may well have never experienced my salvation. :rolleyes:

Perhaps I could speculate beyond the reality shown to me. after all, if God IS real, as I believe Him to be, no amount of curiousity will ever cancel out His reality.

This message has been edited by Phatboy, 04-29-2005 02:05 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by crashfrog, posted 04-28-2005 6:07 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by contracycle, posted 04-29-2005 7:22 AM Phat has responded

  
contracycle
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 220 (203589)
04-29-2005 7:22 AM
Reply to: Message 46 by Phat
04-29-2005 3:57 AM


No, your indoctrination occurred before you were able to think rationally. It oprobably occurred at the same time you learned to speak and was probably complete by the time you were 6 or 8 or thereabouts.

I agree with Mick completely - religion is so heritable its a good predicrtor of geographic birth location. Not entirely reliable, of course, but it must be in the region of 80%.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by Phat, posted 04-29-2005 3:57 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Phat, posted 04-29-2005 10:28 AM contracycle has not yet responded
 Message 52 by Monk, posted 04-29-2005 11:23 PM contracycle has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 48 of 220 (203599)
04-29-2005 8:04 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Hangdawg13
04-27-2005 2:08 PM


quote:
So why am I not a Buddhist?

Because you weren't raised in a predominantly Buddhist country, mainly.

It's really that simple.

quote:
1) There are lots of nice guys in the world; no perfect ones.

That's right. There's no such thing as "perfect" at all, really.

quote:
2) Buddah never claimed to be God, nor did he say if there was a god.

Yes. The power to be blessed is within each of us, not an outside entity.

quote:
3) Jesus performed miracles (a few of my close friends would testify that he still does); Buddah didn't.

Unsupported claim.

quote:
4) While much of Buddah's teaching is wisdom, it does not carry the same message of the Gospel. (not that this means his message is false, just that it doesn't seem complete to me)

Huh, how so? What more do you need to know to live a good life than the Eightfold Path?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Hangdawg13, posted 04-27-2005 2:08 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by Hangdawg13, posted 04-29-2005 7:47 PM nator has responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 49 of 220 (203600)
04-29-2005 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Jackal25
04-28-2005 2:20 PM


quote:
I couldnt disagree more. I personally became a Christian while my family and I would say 80% of my friends at the time were not. To say the majority believe in God for that reason is a far stretch.

Were you raised in the US?

In Texas?

Then you became a Christian because that is the dominant religion in your culture, by far.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Jackal25, posted 04-28-2005 2:20 PM Jackal25 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Jackal25, posted 05-05-2005 11:29 AM nator has responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 11322
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 50 of 220 (203629)
04-29-2005 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by contracycle
04-29-2005 7:22 AM


My claims of impartation are unsubstantiated according to your rational standards, I will admit.
Others who have had similar experiences will understand perfectly well what I mean, but, again according to your standards of verifiable evidence, I can not define this impartation according to your satisfaction.

Nevertheless, your standards are not the only standards that humanity need accept. Many of us accept our belief based on a verifiable objective reality within our acceptable standards.

You are right in that we need question how we arrive at our conclusions. You obviously have different methods of evaluation than we do, for many of you were once believers. this in and of itself does not delegitimize our "subjective" claims. The jury is still very much out on issues of Faith and Belief.

Schraff writes:

Then you became a Christian because that is the dominant religion in your culture, by far.


Many have become Christians even while living in cultural regions dominated by other religions. These instances are, I theorize, due more to impartation than sub cultural indoctorination.
Conversely, those who adapt Islam or any of the other religions while living in the Christian cultural world do so because of willful indoctorination. (There is no impartation in any other religion.-strictly an opinion)

This message has been edited by Phatboy, 04-29-2005 08:43 AM


This message is a reply to:
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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2831 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 51 of 220 (203811)
04-29-2005 7:47 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by nator
04-29-2005 8:04 AM


Because you weren't raised in a predominantly Buddhist country, mainly.

Sure, that's one reason I've never been a Buddhist. But now that I have the benefit of understanding both Buddhism and Christianity, I can safely say that I am not a Buddhist or a Christian simply because I was raised that way. My experience here at EvC has forced me to doubt everything I've ever believed and wiped away the blind faith that was indoctrinated in me since youth. All that is left is my choice to trust.

It's really that simple.

It is for those that never have a choice. But I have a choice.

That's right. There's no such thing as "perfect" at all, really.

You don't know this. This is a belief, and it is a belief that strips the meaning from everything in life.

Yes. The power to be blessed is within each of us, not an outside entity.

I disagree. How can one have the power to bless one's self, if one does not have the power to give one's self the greatest blessing of all: life? No man is an island. Can a man who lives alone his whole life, bless himself? I think we can bless each other, but we cannot do it on our own.

Unsupported claim.

It is supported by the unverifiable gospels and the unverifiable testimonies of my friends. ...and I've been through this many many times before here... due to solipsism, the question of verification is really a question of subjectively determined levels of confidence. IOW, acceptance or rejection of these claims is based on trust. I trust. I trust because to deny Christ is to deny everything that I believe to be good, true, pure, and meaningful in the world. I fully recognize the weakness of my position, and I accept this weakness. I believe the weakness of righteousness is stronger than the strength of physical evidence. I value the intangible things more than the tangible.

Huh, how so? What more do you need to know to live a good life than the Eightfold Path?

What is the thing that many people fear as much or more than death? Being alone and unloved. The eightfold path does not mention love. What is the biggest question on many people's minds? What is the meaning of life? I see no meaning in the eightfold path. The first of the "Four Noble Truths" is that Life means suffering. Is that all we're living for? To suffer and die? Should I tell Dr. Ortiz who just lost his beautiful daughter, Nancy, of 18 years that he is only suffering because he desires to have his daughter back, and that to end the suffering he must end desire? I do not see Buddha's wisdom as being complete.

This message has been edited by Hangdawg13, 04-29-2005 08:01 PM

This message has been edited by Hangdawg13, 04-29-2005 08:09 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by nator, posted 04-29-2005 8:04 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by nator, posted 04-30-2005 10:33 AM Hangdawg13 has responded

    
Monk
Member (Idle past 1849 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 52 of 220 (203856)
04-29-2005 11:23 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by contracycle
04-29-2005 7:22 AM


quote:
I agree with Mick completely - religion is so heritable its a good predicrtor of geographic birth location. Not entirely reliable, of course, but it must be in the region of 80%.

That's probably true. But it doesn't matter, religion is man-made. A relationship with God is not.


My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. ---Albert Einstein
This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by contracycle, posted 04-29-2005 7:22 AM contracycle has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Phat, posted 04-30-2005 2:37 AM Monk has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11322
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 53 of 220 (203880)
04-30-2005 2:37 AM
Reply to: Message 52 by Monk
04-29-2005 11:23 PM


monk writes:

...religion is man-made. A relationship with God is not.

Hear,Hear! Encore! Some things can't be seen but can be measured. All of our truth claims are beliefs and are unverifiable.

Think about it, however. Dark matter is said to exist because it can be measured by instruments. By its effect on other things, right?
Similarly, belief is measured the same way.

The evidence is not strictly empiracal, but it is measureable. Talk to a few hundred believers who have had experiences out of the norm and you will be impressed with their honest belief, even if you reject their proof.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Monk, posted 04-29-2005 11:23 PM Monk has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by Monk, posted 04-30-2005 9:41 AM Phat has not yet responded
 Message 58 by sidelined, posted 04-30-2005 12:21 PM Phat has responded

  
Monk
Member (Idle past 1849 days)
Posts: 782
From: Kansas, USA
Joined: 02-25-2005


Message 54 of 220 (203924)
04-30-2005 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
04-30-2005 2:37 AM


quote:
The evidence is not strictly empiracal, but it is measureable. Talk to a few hundred believers who have had experiences out of the norm and you will be impressed with their honest belief, even if you reject their proof.

True, and many of those individuals are highly intelligent yet they will be described as ignorant sheep herders.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Phat, posted 04-30-2005 2:37 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 95 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 55 of 220 (203932)
04-30-2005 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by Hangdawg13
04-29-2005 7:47 PM


quote:
It is for those that never have a choice. But I have a choice.

Fair enough. However, if you never stopped being a Christian, didn't you just become a less dfundamentalist Christian rather than really having no inclination at all?

Did you really investigate Buddhism from the viewpoint that it was actually just as valid as Christianity?

I rather doubt it.

There's no such thing as "perfect" at all, really.

quote:
You don't know this. This is a belief, and it is a belief that strips the meaning from everything in life.

I've never seen anything that is perfect, so why should I accept that "perfect" exists?

Also, it does not logically follow that if "perfect" doesn't exist that all meaning is stripped from life. I find that an absurd statement.

I think your engineer brain is getting in your way again. There is not an answer to every question, dawg. Why do you think there has to be?

I swear, you have the most discomfort with uncertainty of anyone I have ever met.

quote:
How can one have the power to bless one's self, if one does not have the power to give one's self the greatest blessing of all: life? No man is an island. Can a man who lives alone his whole life, bless himself? I think we can bless each other, but we cannot do it on our own.

Let me be clearer. What I meant was that we do not need a deity to bestow blessings upon us, that we are whole and complete as we are.

quote:
I believe the weakness of righteousness is stronger than the strength of physical evidence. I value the intangible things more than the tangible.

See, here I don't really believe you.

No matter how "rightous" someone is, they are just as fallible and mortal and subject to the laws of physics as the rest of humanity. You can say you value the "intangible" but when it comes right down to it, you probably spend the bulk of your time thinking about and working for the tangible things in life.

quote:
What is the thing that many people fear as much or more than death? Being alone and unloved. The eightfold path does not mention love.

The Eightfold Path is love in action, dawg. Living the Eightfold Path is to show love and compassion for all living things.

Are you sure you really investigated Buddhism?

quote:
What is the biggest question on many people's minds? What is the meaning of life? I see no meaning in the eightfold path.

Why do you think that you are entitled to know the answer to that question?

Just because you have difficulty with ambiguity doesn't mean the universe is obligated to indulge your discomfort.

quote:
The first of the "Four Noble Truths" is that Life means suffering. Is that all we're living for? To suffer and die?

Now I am sure you never really studied Buddhism.

"Suffering" in Buddhism means "desire" or the wish to control things.

Once we stop trying to control things (particularly other people), we let go of much of our dissatisfaction and discontent with life.

quote:
Should I tell Dr. Ortiz who just lost his beautiful daughter, Nancy, of 18 years that he is only suffering because he desires to have his daughter back, and that to end the suffering he must end desire? I do not see Buddha's wisdom as being complete.

You don't understand.

Of course, a Buddhist philosophy does recognize that he is suffering because he desires to have his daughter back, but it also is much more honest and less fearful about death, considering it a normal part of life instead of something to be avoided, ignored, and feared. Buddhism accepts that we will feel grief and loss and pain, and we are to have compassion for ourselves and others when experiencing them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by Hangdawg13, posted 04-29-2005 7:47 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by Phat, posted 04-30-2005 11:28 AM nator has responded
 Message 57 by mike the wiz, posted 04-30-2005 11:40 AM nator has responded
 Message 60 by Hangdawg13, posted 04-30-2005 4:08 PM nator has not yet responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 11322
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 56 of 220 (203940)
04-30-2005 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by nator
04-30-2005 10:33 AM


Buddhalicious
Are you a Buddhist, Schraff? Or are you merely presenting a rhetorical argument?
Schraff writes:

Did you really investigate Buddhism from the viewpoint that it was actually just as valid as Christianity?

Actually, No. My definition of belief is as an absolute. For me to think otherwise is something that I toy with, but I can not elevate my own intellectual judgement above my belief, as you have done.
Schraff writes:

No matter how "rightous" someone is, they are just as fallible and mortal and subject to the laws of physics as the rest of humanity.

You can speak of humanity as being subject to the laws of physics yet the stumbling block in your mind refuses to acknowledge that humanity is subject to the laws of god.
Schraff writes:

What I meant was that we do not need a deity to bestow blessings upon us, that we are whole and complete as we are.

To be correct, what you should say is that YOU do not need a deity to bestow blessings upon YOURSELF.
Schraff writes:

Why do you think that you are entitled to know the answer to (the meaning of life)?

And why do you believe that your logic is enlightened and absolute enough to tell others that they do not need a deity in their life?

All religions require some sort of effort or self effort to find God, enlightenment, or Nirvana except Christianity. Christianity is the story of how God found us rather than of our search for Him.

This message has been edited by Phatboy, 04-30-2005 09:54 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by nator, posted 04-30-2005 10:33 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by nator, posted 04-30-2005 9:55 PM Phat has responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4621
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 57 of 220 (203943)
04-30-2005 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 55 by nator
04-30-2005 10:33 AM


Just because you have difficulty with ambiguity doesn't mean the universe is obligated to indulge your discomfort

It is obligated to indulge his disconfort if it is responsible for making him, as you claim, lil miss naturalist.

Since his ego exists, and he thinks therefore he is a persona, these questions become weighty.. Can he just be a product of random reduction pertaining to kulling traits? I doubt it miss Shraffy. One doesn't have to think like a lil agnosto Shraffy thinks.

Of course, a Buddhist philosophy does recognize that he is suffering because he desires to have his daughter back, but it also is much more honest and less fearful about death, considering it a normal part of life instead of something to be avoided, ignored, and feared

That's your own baby Shraff, you've preached this strawman about Christians for centuries now.

It's not because we fear death our belief. We accept that we die, as biological death is a certainty, as the bible says we return to the dust and so venturing into any kind of afterlife is just as scarey as death.

Why do you think that you are entitled to know the answer to that question?

Because he is life. There is meaning and purpose and function in all things, pertaining to my hypothesis of consciousness. His conscious endowment alone = meaning beyond human application.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by nator, posted 04-30-2005 10:33 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by nator, posted 04-30-2005 10:03 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded

  
sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 58 of 220 (203952)
04-30-2005 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Phat
04-30-2005 2:37 AM


Phatboy

The evidence is not strictly empiracal, but it is measureable. Talk to a few hundred believers who have had experiences out of the norm and you will be impressed with their honest belief

An honest belief does not make mean the measurement is in fact reliable.People for centuries beleived that the world was composed of the four elements Earth,Air,Fire and Water.That the arguement put forth was even self consistent{as long as you did not probe to deeply}did not make the model correct and as time went by and better questions were asked we found the entire model to be lacking in veracity.
I am also curious as to just what you feel it is that you are measuring among these people?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Phat, posted 04-30-2005 2:37 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 59 by Phat, posted 04-30-2005 2:55 PM sidelined has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11322
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 59 of 220 (203965)
04-30-2005 2:55 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by sidelined
04-30-2005 12:21 PM


What is the measure of a man?
sidelined writes:

I am also curious as to just what you feel it is that you are measuring among these people?


Several things, all of which are usually found together.
1) Similar belief and experience
2) Honesty...
3) Love for Christ
4) Acknowledgement of Spirit above human wisdom as pertaining to source of wisdom.

These traits automatically come together. Other traits that critics ascribe to us....
1) Right wing fundies
2) Ignorance
3) intolerance

Are not usually there.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by sidelined, posted 04-30-2005 12:21 PM sidelined has not yet responded

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2831 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 60 of 220 (203981)
04-30-2005 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by nator
04-30-2005 10:33 AM


I enjoyed your post, dawg. Don't agree with all of it, of course :), but it was interesting and enjoyable, thanks.

Anyway, I only have a few comments...

quote:
Why do you think there isn't an answer to every question?

Because there isn't.

"What would I have been like as an adult if I hadn't been abused as a child?"

"What would my life be like if I hadn't gotten married 12 years ago?"

"What would it be like to live for 300 years?"

"What would it be like to have been raised in Ecuador?"

I could go on, but...

quote:
The Eightfold path is simply eight things to do "right". What is "right" is really the issue. There are many things that are "right", and if you believe love is right, then yes, you could say "the eightfold path is love in action." However, if you are the anti-Buddha and inclined to believe that killing Jews is "right", you could also say, "the eightfold path is the 'Final Solution' in action," and that to not kill Jews would be harming yourself and your fellow humans. This is hyperbole of course. I realize Buddhism says to do no harm to yourself or others. I just believe that if love is not the central theme, then something is wrong.

The thing is, dawg, that buddhism has been around at least as long as Christianity, and even though your point that Christianity has love as a central theme, it seems to me that the actions of buddhists have been much more loving than the actions of christians in the last 2000 years, by a long shot.

I mean, can you name any wars started in the name of the Buddha?

So, Christianity seems to preach a lot about love but it has been Buddhism which has actually practiced it.

This message has been edited by AdminSchraf, 04-30-2005 10:14 PM


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Phat, posted 04-30-2005 4:36 PM Hangdawg13 has responded
 Message 65 by Hangdawg13, posted 05-01-2005 1:27 AM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

    
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