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agentx5 Group Title

Q: "Do you believe in a god?" -- @BTaylor in a PM with regards to my reply to this topic (which is clearly in the wrong section lol) http://openstudy.com/study#/updates/500d65ebe4b0ed432e0fcb7c , posted publicly with permission

  • 2 years ago
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  1. agentx5 Group Title
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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.

    • 2 years ago
  2. agentx5 Group Title
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    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.

    • 2 years ago
  3. goformit100 Group Title
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    nice

    • 2 years ago
  4. BTaylor Group Title
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    so, you are an agnostic?

    • 2 years ago
  5. agentx5 Group Title
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    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

    • 2 years ago
  6. agentx5 Group Title
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    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.)

    • 2 years ago
  7. BTaylor Group Title
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    but do you believe that God exists? if yes, you are an agnostic. if no, you are an atheist.

    • 2 years ago
  8. agentx5 Group Title
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    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. :-)

    • 2 years ago
  9. BTaylor Group Title
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    so do you believe in creation?

    • 2 years ago
  10. agentx5 Group Title
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    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. :-)

    • 2 years ago
  11. agentx5 Group Title
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    We are in existence right now are we not?

    • 2 years ago
  12. agentx5 Group Title
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    You and I were born and developed a self-consciousness yes? Then we were created. It's axiomatic, self-defining.

    • 2 years ago
  13. BTaylor Group Title
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    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.

    • 2 years ago
  14. BTaylor Group Title
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    *addition to the second point: when Humans disobeyed God, they separated themselves from Him. After Adam, all humans are innately sinful.

    • 2 years ago
  15. agentx5 Group Title
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    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). :-)

    • 2 years ago
  16. agentx5 Group Title
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    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...

    • 2 years ago
  17. mathhasproblems Group Title
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    God does exist.

    • 2 years ago
  18. mathhasproblems Group Title
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    Do you believe in evolution?

    • 2 years ago
  19. pokemon23 Group Title
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    Big Bang Theory?

    • 2 years ago
  20. agentx5 Group Title
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    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.

    • 2 years ago
  21. agentx5 Group Title
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    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?

    • 2 years ago
  22. pokemon23 Group Title
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    I think this question isn't kind of appropriated to ask in OS last time someone said something about religion went all chaotic.

    • 2 years ago
  23. agentx5 Group Title
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    Also consider this, what does this say about the nature of existence? http://openstudy.com/updates/5006f70ee4b020a2b3bc8932 And time is very important if we're discussing Big Bang Theory

    • 2 years ago
  24. pokemon23 Group Title
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    Science does prove that earth is expanding.

    • 2 years ago
  25. pokemon23 Group Title
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    By all means you put on a good show. Though I lack in science knowledge and religion. I enjoy hearing sage wisdom by others.

    • 2 years ago
  26. agentx5 Group Title
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    @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!

    • 2 years ago
  27. mathhasproblems Group Title
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    Well, i believe in the big bang theory, in the matter of fact, i mean there had to be a beggining at somepoint.

    • 2 years ago
  28. pokemon23 Group Title
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    I know everyone in this question are mature.

    • 2 years ago
  29. pokemon23 Group Title
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    I agree with you agent.

    • 2 years ago
  30. pokemon23 Group Title
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    Lack of knowledge just kills me.

    • 2 years ago
  31. agentx5 Group Title
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    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.

    • 2 years ago
  32. agentx5 Group Title
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    @cshalvey you would probably love this discussion, from seeing the one on time earlier :-D

    • 2 years ago
  33. pokemon23 Group Title
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    @Calcmathlete What's your opinion?

    • 2 years ago
  34. Calcmathlete Group Title
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    A the moment, I am undecided on whether or not to believe...I am going to decided later on...

    • 2 years ago
  35. Calcmathlete Group Title
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    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...

    • 2 years ago
  36. pokemon23 Group Title
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    Science and religion kind of balances out each other.

    • 2 years ago
  37. agentx5 Group Title
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    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.

    • 2 years ago
  38. agentx5 Group Title
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    science = knowledge , that is :-)

    • 2 years ago
  39. Day_2010 Group Title
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    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. :)

    • 2 years ago
  40. Day_2010 Group Title
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    As many say, "nothing is set in stone"

    • 2 years ago
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