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A: Actually yes I do, but I have a pantheistic view of God (which is considered heretical by some, but in fact agrees with the fundamental truths that all western religions and eastern philosophies reveal in their core, the east and west of this world do not have the same definition for "religion", FYI). The Tao Te Ching has it right I believe if you change the words, the God that can be described is not the True God. Islam has it right when they specifically do not draw "idols" or images of God (instead using beautifully abstract artwork and mathematics to describe God). Hinduism has it right when talking about recognized that aspect of the divine in each of us. Buddhism has it right when discussing the nature the world being one of suffering but that we can choose to find paths towards enlightenment (oneness with the universe and therefore God). Both Mohammad and Jesus had it right with their lessons about loving your neighbor and showing respect for life and those not as fortunate as you (and both of their respective religions share Judaism as their common ancestry). And many of the "non traditional" world religions such as Wicca and various native tribal religions of the world have all had something valuable to teach. Every one has an important take-away lesson that will make you a wiser, better person. It's a shame we label and dehumanize others for not sharing the same beliefs, what a total waste of potential -- how illogical for survival in a world where we are all connected. And I believe in what is said in the "non-canonical" Gospel of Thomas in which Jesus says something that is historically highly likely to be the real reason the Romans executed him and processed him through their system quickly to execution: "The Kingdom of God is within you" (i.e.: you don't need organized religion, and Rome had a state religion if you recall) As far as God having a direct-intervention role in natural selection? It's more complicated than that to me as God is existence itself, so yes there's involvement but what the real question then become is: Fate or Freewill? Are all actions you've chosen predicted? Everything is open to freewill and God doesn't take sides? Somewhere in-between? (and somewhere in between is the most problematic because then you run into things where it's why is one thing freewill and another thing predetermined?) Layers of complexity arise, but this is a more fundamental truth about the world and answer questions such as why does evil exist and why does God let bad things happened to innocent people. Does God hate cripples? I don't think God hates anybody, if anything I think some of the choices that are made make God sad (if you can personify existence itself that is), because existence prefers creation. Proof? The universe is asymmetric. If God felt equal about everything then God wouldn't exist, none of us would. Also keep in mind, any deity exists as long as there are those who believe. It is said to kill a deity, you'd have to kill the believers, erase them. To do this one would need to destroy all life, and THAT is what evil ultimately seeks.
In fact I have been working gradually (a novel for now I guess) that I hope one day can become the next great Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, or whatever science-fiction world. In this work, the main protagonist, Alyssa Q'Uzixola has to struggle with the question of fate (the prophecy about herself) versus freewill (the choices she makes, especially compared to her half-sister who falls from a hero into one of the two main antagonists in the saga, because of hate and vengeance that eventually poisons and corrupts her judgement) To my friends that have read part of the story, both of those two are fascinating, especially Kali for some reason (I dunno, I just people just enjoy the fallen-hero villain thing) But yeah, it's a very complex question to answer.
so, you are an agnostic?
I'd also like to point out that "The Church" which later split into Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic Church was originally going to approve the Gospel of Thomas (as it was accepted common in democratic Greece at the time) but several hard-conservative Bishops at the Nicean council blocked that motion and struck that book down as non-canon. Why? Well because they were making an organized religion of course! (and one of the messages in that book is well, as I said, says you don't need organized religion to be with God) It had more to do with money and power, and at the time was much easier to label as heresy (and later burn those who didn't agree at the stake), don't be so naive! ;-D
I am none of the above. I am spiritual, but I do not claim credence to any one religion and can feel relatively comfortable with anyone's belief systems as a result as long as they are not forcing others around them to believe what they believe (i.e.: the jerks that come on campus and tell everybody they are going to hell if they don't convert... I respect their belief but what they are doing is sinful in my eyes, "sin" being defined in most religions as "against the will of God the creator" or "against the will of creation". If God gave us freewill, then it up to each of use to find our own path. Those that want you to convert are more of the fate line of though, i.e.: if you don't convert you are fated to reside in hell.)
but do you believe that God exists? if yes, you are an agnostic. if no, you are an atheist.
I am a strong believer in freewill. And I celebrate this in small ways every day, with a sense of humor, a hard work ethic, and an appreciation that any day could be my last. Sadly most don't gain this appreciation until they experience loss. Ask the survivors of the recent massacre at the theater in Aurora, Colorado. They have seen senseless cruelty face-to-face. Ask the 4 year old daughter if such arguments really matter in the face of "why is daddy not coming back". Want to know why we need religion? Because we die. Because there is the unknown. Mankind has always feared the unknown, we need to explain it. And science, much to the surprise of those who initially viewed it as oppositional to religion, has shown us there is far less we know about the world than we though, even more questions, deeper ones. One we may never know the answer to. For example did you know that we are the ideal light intensity range (distance from our central star, the sun), lucky to have such a common polar molecule as water, or carbon, or that our solar system orbits a black hole that is at just the right strength to not irradiate us but not to weak that is doesn't start up star formation, or that we have a magnetic field that protects us, or that life could adapt all the way from simple proteins (which are very large & complex molecules) and go on to becoming something so complex it can think, reason, and self-identify when looking at a reflection of oneself a mirror? Life is amazing complex, and lucky it exists at all. :-)
so do you believe in creation?
You're trying to categorize me when in fact I don't fit into a category that exists (yet anyways). Isn't that the way of nature in general though? Things are rarely black and white, true or false. You're proposing an either-or fallacy by trying to classify me, your logic is the one that is flawed. :-)
We are in existence right now are we not?
You and I were born and developed a self-consciousness yes? Then we were created. It's axiomatic, self-defining.
compared to what you believe in, my beliefs are simple (although you may consider them blind) -God created the world and humans -Humans disobeyed God -God offered redemption through Jesus -Jesus died and rose again, and through him I have eternal life.
*addition to the second point: when Humans disobeyed God, they separated themselves from Him. After Adam, all humans are innately sinful.
Your view for the first two points agrees with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Your second two restrict to Christianity (Jews believe the Messiah hasn't come yet for example). Your last one restricts to most types of Christianity (there are some exceptions, mostly in the precise wording, and not all Muslims would disagree with your wording here; they would more disagree with that Jesus is the Son of God). :-)
Where I would disagree is in literal interpretation of any scripture. Adam and Eve to me a metaphor, a powerful one. One that probably won't diminish in human cultures until we meet an extraterrestrial culture that has it's own creation story. :-) People who interpret scriptures literally are scary to me...
God does exist.
Do you believe in evolution?
Big Bang Theory?
Evolution isn't contrary to the existence of God anymore than existence is contrary to there being a process of natural selection. Science and religion are not at odds with one another, they in fact compliment each other: Science answers what is know, facts, theorems, formulas, units of measure. Religions answers the unknown, that which requires faith, belief. So yes, I believe in evolution, why wouldn't I? Facts show it exists, overwhelming evidence in fact in multiple areas of study. However, that doesn't explain why there is existence in the first place does it? Why do we look this way and not say furies with tails or lizard people who are evolved dinosaurs? Keep asking why enough times and it's like taking the derivative of a function over and over, eventually you get to zero. At that point you have to ask yourself question of the unknown, questions that have not or cannot be answer yet, and that's where faith comes in. Rest assured the universe has no "vested interest" in human survival, as evidenced by suffering. However, we have a choice, that's what I believe.
The Big Bang Theory is a model for existence, but so what? Does it explain the origin? Does it explain before a singularity? Is the singularity we think existed us just not understanding how matter and energy interacts?
I think this question isn't kind of appropriated to ask in OS last time someone said something about religion went all chaotic.
Science does prove that earth is expanding.
By all means you put on a good show. Though I lack in science knowledge and religion. I enjoy hearing sage wisdom by others.
@pokemon23 people who can't discuss stuff like this rationally and without close-minded emotions had best just move on. Zealotry in my experience is a disease and a cause of TREMENDOUS suffering throughout history to this very day. Don't believe me? Research it!
Well, i believe in the big bang theory, in the matter of fact, i mean there had to be a beggining at somepoint.
I know everyone in this question are mature.
I agree with you agent.
Lack of knowledge just kills me.
What amazes me most, in my travels and experiences, is just how damned similar we all really are, how all belief systems are for that matter. I'm talking about the core messages here, not the specifics of each unique creed, code, and cult.
@cshalvey you would probably love this discussion, from seeing the one on time earlier :-D
@Calcmathlete What's your opinion?
A the moment, I am undecided on whether or not to believe...I am going to decided later on...
Actually, now that I have read the whole thing...I find myself in agreeance with @agentx5 . Science and religion may seem to be at odds, but when you think about it, they aren't. I am a believer of both I suppose and that is my view...
Science and religion kind of balances out each other.
They are just two sides of the same coin a Zen Buddhist karate sensei once told me, knowledge of the known, and faith in the unknown.
science = knowledge , that is :-)
I agree science and religion are paralleled. I however, do not agree that because someone is to disagree and state an opinion that means anyone should deem them zealous. In fact, the catholic church has not disregarded science, they have become to embrace it. I love that you love knowledge because it is power. Religion is a comfort to some and rightfully is. For one I believe in a god. This is a touchy subject and will have many opinions. I have know never to take the scripture literal, it was written in a time much different today, so it would be naive to take it that way. Anyways, are we not all naive, we do not know for certain on many topics of science or history and there is always a change and shift. So, I guess everyone can agree to disagree because not one person is right ever. :)
As many say, "nothing is set in stone"