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Author Topic:   Introduction
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


Message 1 of 31 (789977)
08-23-2016 12:54 AM


Hello EvC! I probably should have done this to begin with, anyhow. I have been reading here sporadically for several years, so I know quite a bit about most of the views you guys have discussed. You know next to nothing about me, so here's a bit of background.

I am 28 years old, live in Tasmania and work as an engineer. I am married with a 10yr old step-son and a 7 month old baby boy. I rejected super natural explanations at the age of 12 when a priest was brought in to teach scripture at school. I remember thinking something along the lines of 'Santa all over again'. The night of the first scripture class I asked my mother to write me a note excusing me from attending in future. She refused, but I had already made up my mind.

I see all the worlds religions all claiming to be the right one and promising spiritual fulfilment to those who follow. I see the people of all these religions ALL claiming it works. The only thing that basically all religions have in common, is that they promote social interaction and unity behind their ideals. I am left concluding that social interaction, unity and feeling a part of something bigger, are the real sources of human spiritual experience. By accepting a particular dogma, people are limiting themselves spiritually rather than opening up, in my opinion. Spiritual experiences are not limited to religion unless you define them as such.

It follows then, that humans should be able to have spiritual experiences absent religion. The goosebumps and tingle up the spine you get at a sporting event when the 100k people roar in unison is just as much a spiritual experience as the same thing at a church gathering. The feeling I got when my wife wanted to give up during child birth and I encouraged her over the line, I can only describe as spiritual. Sex with someone with whom you share a deep emotional connection is as spiritually fulfilling, probably more so, than loving any deity.

To me, humanism is not about rejecting God or concluding no god. It's about realising that gods cause division and setting them aside for practical reasons. While we can't agree that prayer and fasting will help the impoverished, surely we can agree that sending resources and engineers to build infrastructure will. It may not have all the answers to our problems, but putting aside our differences and coming together to get behind the things we can agree on is surely the first step toward a better future.

I don't see humanity as having a special or ultimate purpose. I believe our self-imposed purpose should be to colonize space. This requires that we reform our system to one that puts sustainability before profit, we must use our remaining resources wisely to ensure we can survive long enough to develop the technology we need to colonise space.

Sorry if this is jumbled, I wrote it on my phone while the boss wasn't looking at work so that's my worldview in a nutshell.. Critique away!


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 08-23-2016 3:30 AM Riggamortis has responded
 Message 5 by Stile, posted 08-23-2016 10:53 AM Riggamortis has responded
 Message 6 by ringo, posted 08-23-2016 11:59 AM Riggamortis has not yet responded
 Message 8 by nwr, posted 08-23-2016 12:40 PM Riggamortis has not yet responded
 Message 10 by dwise1, posted 08-24-2016 1:20 AM Riggamortis has responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


(4)
Message 4 of 31 (789987)
08-23-2016 6:40 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
08-23-2016 3:30 AM


Re: Future Vision
I am hopeful, it is hard to maintain an optimistic outlook though, given the current situation. Have you heard the Cherokee story about the wolves that fight inside us?

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

There is wisdom to be found in tradition and religion, but we can't equate religion/tradition with wisdom. Christianity feeds the evil wolf by imposing undue guilt on its followers. Capitalism feeds it by promoting and rewarding greed. If we start feeding the right wolf, all of us, then I have no doubt we can accomplish great things.

We need system wide change, starting with the finance/economic model. Money is to labour as matter is to energy, we need a financial/economic system built around that fact. That would be the first major step in my opinion. An economic enlightenment.

I use social media to put the real issues in people's faces, I've just started making my own pages and will make a website eventually. Then I'll go into politics if I have to. I refuse to go to the grave knowing I did nothing to change this shitty system, imposed on me at birth. Doing so would be the real sin, the way I see it.

Edited by Riggamortis, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Phat, posted 08-23-2016 3:30 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-23-2016 2:27 PM Riggamortis has not yet responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


Message 12 of 31 (790038)
08-24-2016 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Stile
08-23-2016 10:53 AM


Hi Stile, thanks for making me think!
I would say that social interaction, unity and feeling a part of something bigger are *A* source of human spiritual experience.
If you can prove to me that they are the *ONLY* ones... then I'll change my mind

Of course! I did not mean they are the only ones, I was just attempting to show that the religious spiritual experience is just regular HSE(human spiritual experience), in a religious setting. Sex etc, were only intended as my examples, not the definitive guide. I could have been clearer on that. I also have no problem with people deriving their HSE from religion. Religious traditions were surely invented as a means to express our spirituality and with language as their only means of transmission, they evolved with us. Writing changed the game, allowing power and authority to usurp spirituality.

However, I would say that there's at least someone out there that actually receives great, genuine human spiritual experiences from following dogma. A true soldier who finds great comfort in following orders and "knowing" that those orders are always good and perfect even if they don't understand them.

Everyone here is aware of epigenetics I'm sure. Do you see a distinction between someone conditioned to have particular HSEs and someone seeking and fulfilling their own HSE?
My problem with religion, capitalism and consumerism is how they affect our children. We promote irrational beliefs and wonder why people are capable of suicide/abortion clinic bombings. Capitalism promotes and rewards selfishness, greed and the exploitation of others, and we wonder why large companies are assholes. Consumerism wastefully depletes our resources. We have a class society built on possessions and wonder why people are possessive in relationships.

The problem here is that you're doing the same thing.

Pushy, overbearing religious-people will say that they have it right, and you're doing it wrong.
By definitively saying "gods cause division..." you're being pushy and overbearing and saying you have it right and others are doing it wrong.

I concede that I may come across as arrogant or self righteous and advice on how to phrase things differently will always be welcomed.
It almost sounds like you think I want religion abolished or something. I'm not asking people to abandon their beliefs, but gods *do* cause division. We should acknowledge that, rather than ignoring it, or feeding it.

Collectively? No, me neither. I don't think it logically works with the word "purpose."
"Purpose" is subjective, therefore, it's logically individually-related... therefore, there can't possibly be some "grand purpose" that *EVERYONE* agrees with, perfectly. It's just not the way humans work.

I think you may be looking at it as a false dichotomy, why can't everyone have their own 'purpose' but we collectively set and agree on a 'goal' for humanity? I think humans have enough in common to agree on a basic set of goals. If we can set aside the irrational for a moment our chances increase!

My self-imposed purpose is to make life as comfortable/fun/good as possible for my family and friends I care about most.

That's a great personal goal, I doubt many people would disagree with some from of that statement as at least one of their life goals. By extrapolating agreeable personal goals to humanity goals, we might be able to agree on a few things! Not EVERYONE but keep in mind that we're not turning people into slaves for the humanity goal, no one loses the right to their own goals. Our current infinite growth goal is certain to end in catastrophe, however, so sitting back saying 'well I've got lots of freedom and stuff' is like humanity is the frog in the slowly heated water. Fuck that.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Stile, posted 08-23-2016 10:53 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by Stile, posted 08-24-2016 11:06 AM Riggamortis has responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


(2)
Message 14 of 31 (790074)
08-24-2016 9:55 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by dwise1
08-24-2016 1:20 AM


Childbirth
I was in the delivery room with my wife all the way. And all the way I was always concentrated on her and on her needs. They practically had to drag me away in order to pay any attention to my new, my first son.

Were there complications? Is that why the mother and baby were separated, or is that just how it was done? In any case they don't seperate them anymore, short of necessity.

After an hours of feeling helpless as my wife endured clearly the most intense pain imaginable, she looked at me and said she couldn't do it anymore. I looked down and the head was already out, I looked at her, squeezed her hand, told her she could do it, took a deep breath and 'pushed' with her. That was all she needed, and at the same time, I felt less helpless, like I had contributed, however little.

A minute later, my son was laid across my wife's bare chest, their first bonding experience. He hardly cried at all, my wife and I just sat watching him take his first breaths and gaze around, taking everything in. You could hardly tell my wife had been in so much pain just minutes earlier. All her pain, my sense of helplessness, washed away in an instant. Hands down the most amazing moment of my life thus far. Fundies be damned!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by dwise1, posted 08-24-2016 1:20 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Faith, posted 08-25-2016 5:36 AM Riggamortis has responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


Message 16 of 31 (790083)
08-25-2016 5:45 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by Faith
08-25-2016 5:36 AM


Re: Childbirth
Is my child being born experience 'just' a magical moment? Or is it a human spiritual experience also?

If I am not mistaken, you were first raised to believe, before a period of non-belief, and then found God, yeah?

Edited by Riggamortis, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by Faith, posted 08-25-2016 5:36 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Faith, posted 08-25-2016 5:51 AM Riggamortis has responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


Message 18 of 31 (790085)
08-25-2016 6:47 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Faith
08-25-2016 5:51 AM


Re: Childbirth
I was sent to church as a child but learned just about nothing.

You were exposed to the idea that you'll live forever for believing a particular story, that by rejecting this story, you'll be punished forever, no?

Then you rebelled as a teenager and became an atheist for decades. After researching other religions and some soul searching, you miraculously ended up finding the same God you were exposed to as a child. Forgive me for not being overly impressed, though I am not in doubt of the sincerity of your experience, I don't believe it's source is really God.

I wouldn't call such a magical moment "just" a magical moment.

I emphasised 'just' hoping to convey that I didn't mean it literally, just as a side by side comparison.

You can call your experience of the birth of your son spiritual if you like.

I can, if I like, but it's not really. That's what you mean isn't it? 🙄


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Faith, posted 08-25-2016 5:51 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Faith, posted 08-25-2016 8:03 AM Riggamortis has responded
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 08-25-2016 9:25 AM Riggamortis has responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


(4)
Message 22 of 31 (790119)
08-25-2016 7:24 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Phat
08-25-2016 9:25 AM


Re: Childbirth
I don't believe it's source is really God.
Seeing as how you have "set God aside for the moment" how would you conclude that the source was human nature and interaction rather than God Himself?

I have no God to set aside. I only want the religious to set their gods aside in settings where including them is counter-productive to human progression. It's not just gods, however, I made it about religion mostly to make my post more relevant to the forum.
Nationalism, patriotism, self-interest, racial differences are all things we need to learn to set aside, for the greater good.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 08-25-2016 9:25 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


Message 23 of 31 (790121)
08-25-2016 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Stile
08-24-2016 11:06 AM


Just wanted to point out that if you "condition" enough people... you're bound to run into one who's "own HSE" was wanting to be conditioned anyway...

But I'm not a fan of conditioning people in the first place

In principle I agree, it does lead to a chicken or the egg dilemma, however.

Except to the extent that conditioning is part of the way we learn. I'm all for conditioning our children to respect/not hurt others and think for themselves, for example.

Problem: We're running out of recourses within our environment.
Suggested solution: Expand our environment so we can get more resources from elsewhere (space).

Space is definitely not the solution to our problems, just the only logical thing to do after we have sorted out problems here. So basically we agree on everything 😂😂


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Stile, posted 08-24-2016 11:06 AM Stile has not yet responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


(1)
Message 24 of 31 (790123)
08-25-2016 10:51 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Faith
08-25-2016 8:03 AM


Re: Childbirth
I remember the birth of my daughter in very similar terms, particularly her looking right into my face and then turning her head to look up at her father who was standing beside us. A magical moment.

But why compare it to any other magical moment? Discovering God was for me a very big moment indeed after years of not believing. Staggering, breath-taking.

You need to ask why, in a thread I made to introduce myself, summarise my worldview and how I formed it, I'm comparing religious HSE to non-religious HSE?
Comparing regular HSE to religious HSE is what made me realise it's not God causing the experiences but same things that cause atheists to have HSE's.

Faith writes:

You can call your experience of the birth of your son spiritual if you like.

Rigg writes:

I can, if I like, but it's not really. That's what you mean isn't it?

I'm not interested in justifying my experience to you. I told it truthfully, you've distorted what I said.

The question mark usually means I'm seeking clarification, rather than simply putting words in your mouth. Having said that, 'but it's not really' IS implicit in your post and you didn't deny that's what you meant either. So how did I distort it?

I'd suggest, if you want to avoid having me question your experiences, that you don't come into a thread about my experiences and imply that the experience of my sons birth is less spiritual than you finding God. Or not actually spiritual at all.

Consider how many people will be in hell if your God does exist, that's a lot of people with an eternity to help Satan figure out how to overthrow God 😂


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Faith, posted 08-25-2016 8:03 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Faith, posted 08-25-2016 11:31 PM Riggamortis has responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


Message 26 of 31 (790131)
08-26-2016 5:31 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by Faith
08-25-2016 11:31 PM


Re: Childbirth
The thing is, you aren't in a position to make the comparison since you would of course admit you've never had a "religious HSE."

See how we can know things about one another sometimes, without them explicitly stating it? Yes, I admit that, but as you so kindly point out, I do have access to testimonials and video to base my comparison on. I could find plenty of Muslim testimonials and their experiences are less valid how?

I'm not going to deny that atheists have spiritual experiences, but I would deny that they are the same as an experience of the reality of God.

Great, and many religious people, from many sects/religions, will no doubt say the same thing. Which is exactly why I concluded, that the actual religion/God itself, is not the real source of those experiences.

You can say it's not really God, although you have no way of knowing that, but you can't claim it's the same kind of experience atheists have who would never describe ANY experience as knowing that God is real.

Just as you have no way of knowing that a Muslims experience of God is real or not. I'm rational, that's why it'd take a pretty substantial experience for me to say that any particular God is real. I would say that I have had a transcendental feeling before, such as my sons birth, but I cannot attribute it to anything specific.

How do you know that there isn't just some mystic force or entity that humans interact with in ways we may never understand? We could be interlinked by quantum brain functions or some other means. A non-intelligent entity could interact with us based on physics we don't understand. Alien mind control. The matrix. Perhaps we're all just animals, looking to bond with others and deriving great joy and experiences from it. Those things can explain all the evidence. Your God being the only God for reals real, can't.

I don't know.
I don't care.

I will live my life, love my family and do whatever I can to make the world a better place for humanity in general. I try not to act on belief, I try to act on knowledge.

I know if I am good to my family and loved ones, I can die happy with my life.

I know if I can be a part of the change we need to undergo as a species, for our longevity and to become truly enlightened, I can be proud when I die.

I know if I were to become an influential figure in the movement that leads to our enlightenment, I would be remembered for as long as we exist and teach history!

And thus, even the atheist wants to live forever!

Faith writes:

The distortion I had in mind was your suggestion that I somehow engineered my own experience of belief, perhaps by having learned in church about eternal life and the eternal punishment of Hell. You sarcastically mocked the experience as "miraculous" given your assumption that having had some experience of religion as a child I merely went back to it as an adult. I'm particularly allergic to people denying what I say about my own experiences and motivations to substitute their own views in their place. And as a matter of fact I did not deny your wonderful experience of the birth of your son. That's why I described my own experience of childbirth.

Rigg writes:

Then you rebelled as a teenager and became an atheist for decades. After researching other religions and some soul searching, you miraculously ended up finding the same God you were exposed to as a child. Forgive me for not being overly impressed, though I am not in doubt of the sincerity of your experience, I don't believe it's source is really God.

I meant only to convey how unsurprising it is. I do think everyone's experiences are sincere. The adult we become is largely shaped by our childhood, every last one of us. I didn't mean to imply you consciously had anything to do with it. That's why I'm in favour of not forcing anything down childrens throats and letting them explore life with a free and open mind.

Anecdote. My step son was waiting for me to get home from work one day. I walked in the door and bang 'do you believe in God'? He must've been talking to school friends about it that day. I told him I didn't and he said he didn't either and began to run off. At that moment, my first thought was 'that's my boy' but then I stopped him. I told him not to just follow what I or anyone else says, that he didn't need to worry about it yet and he could just wait till later in life to even bother thinking about it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Faith, posted 08-25-2016 11:31 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Faith, posted 08-26-2016 5:39 AM Riggamortis has responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


Message 28 of 31 (790134)
08-26-2016 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Faith
08-26-2016 5:39 AM


Re: Childbirth
It's all good. I have nothing to gain from conversing with you. Except tolerance for repulsive ideas I guess. Adiós

This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Faith, posted 08-26-2016 5:39 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
Riggamortis
Member (Idle past 1083 days)
Posts: 167
From: Australia
Joined: 08-15-2016


Message 31 of 31 (790145)
08-26-2016 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by jar
08-26-2016 9:01 AM


Re: Childbirth

Faith writes:

There is such a thing as false spiritual experiences.

And there is absolutely no way to determine which is true or false.

From my point of view, the only false experience is one that the person literally lied about. You have to assume a specific God exists, to think that their are false spiritual experiences in the sense I think Faith meant it. That is, some are from God and some are from satan, or whatever.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by jar, posted 08-26-2016 9:01 AM jar has not yet responded

  
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