The Non-Religious Perspective (and Q&A)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Kessel Runner, Aug 5, 2002.

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  1. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Hello and welcome to the hopefully new and improved non-religious sanctuary. Since this little nook of the Jedi Council is meant to be a safe haven for controversial discussions and since we have a place for religious types to hang out, I am creating this new and improved version of the old Non-Religious Sanctuary for us to discuss a non-religious perspective on life, philosophy and even a little bit about analyzing religion from a different angle.

    PLEASE, let's make sure and not turn this into a religion bashing thread. I know we've all had our run-ins with organized religion in the past, and that is why many of us are not religious. But, let's keep away from the anti-godsmack. In particular, let's be careful about the language associated with "believers". No need to have posts which could be interpreted as flaming, even if it is not intended.

    Thanks so much and have fun my fellow non-religiosos.
  2. TreeCave Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Here's a starter question for this new thread: what spiritual idea did you have from as early as you can recall, if any?

    My example would be the Force. When I saw ESB for the first time (my first SW movie), my parents and I were discussing it later and I was surprised to realize they considered the Force to be fiction. I thought I had always felt it, and assumed everyone else did too.
  3. Coolguy4522 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    So is that athiest sanctuary thread closed? The one time I took a look at it all I saw was the higher form of flamming of religion, I can only hope this will be different, as I would like to understand where you are comming from without simply flamming religion. However, I do not intend to post here.

    Edit:/confused
  4. cydonia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    That's a good question. I don't know if i can answer it though. The song "Jesus loves the little children" comes to mind. So maybe my first ideas were sunday school things when i was 4 or 5. Apparently when i was 5 i told my Grandmother i had given my life to Jesus, something she still holds me to. But i don't remember saying it, probably blocked it out.

    I think like many little kids brought up in church and sunday school i believed what the adults said.
  5. cydonia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    Oh you mean the athiest and agnostic sanctuary thread wich later became the Non-Religious Sanctuary Thread(which allowed for belief in the supernatural, just not organized religion).

    I intend to post here. :p
  6. TreeCave Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    "higher form of flamming religion"? Is a higher form of flaming.... criticism? :p

    Seriously, I do hope this thread has less trouble from people who view any form of criticism as bashing.
  7. neoxeon2 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2000
    star 4
    i def dont remember my first, but i do know that my parents didn't even talk to me bout religion, at all. i found out from freinds who practice. it was kinda weird.
  8. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Let's avoid the flame stuff so soon... We'll accept all questions about our perspectives, just so long as they are phrased in a polite manner.


    As for my earliest spiritual impression...I can recall as a small child just accepting that there was a god because there had to be. I had no legitimate reasoning other than, how could there not be.

    The older I got, the more I began to intellectualize it. I think that the force or qi or tao or whatever is closest to what I believe now. But I refuse to tie myself to one particular faith because to think that there is one true path just doesn't make any sense to me. It inherently suggests that all who lived before said path was discovered were damned for all eternity and any god who would do that I want no part of.
  9. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    well in defence of the last thread it wasn't all flaming, all though that did creep in on occasion, for which i apologise for my part...........
  10. MrEmh Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 14, 1999
    star 2
    Lets not return to the old thread, rather start fresh in here.

    Coming from a religious perspective, I'd like to pose a question: has life in the professional, post-college world proven any different due to not being a part of any form of religion? If so, postive or negative?

    (Thanks for the title switch, KR. :) )
  11. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    I intended to switch the title yesterday but it didn't take and I thought it did....

    Let's try to invite in and accept others who have a particular faith, so that they can better understand our perspectives...
  12. cydonia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    More debates i see in this. Always in motion the future is.

    Well, after college i became brave enough to research the history of the bible and not be so afraid of HELL?. So in a way, after i became more adult and didn't rely so much on other people telling me what to think, things got somewhat easier. It's still a struggle battling that negative religious programming i've had drummed into me since birth though, don't know if i'll ever completely recover.

  13. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    I think there is alot to be said for exploring other ways of viewing faith/religion. The only way to truly understand your faith faith system is by understanding others as well, I think.
  14. cydonia Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2001
    star 5
    I agree kessel.

    Also, i want to add that just because some of us may speak out against religion, it shoudn't be automatically labelled as flaming or bashing. I can respect individual people who are religious. I really don't care. But if i choose to attack an idea that has had a negative impact on my life and many other people's lives , and honestly feel that said idea has no place in civilized society, i take some offense as being labelled a bigot or a basher. It's deeper than that, i feel.
  15. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    well personally my atheism developed around the start of high school, although i was made to go to church till about 14 or so...........post college, well, i'm only out a few months so its too early to tell at this point
  16. TreeCave Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    I think I was always atheist. As I said before, I always believed in the Force, but I assumed "God" was just the most highly developed consciousness in the universe. I never really beleived in intelligent design in creation. So after calling myself agnostic for many years, I suddenly realized "atheism" fit my beliefs better.

    I also had, as a kid, the strange experience of really believing in Jesus - really feeling this energy in my life, and connecting with it - but not believing in God. I wouldn't mention this, except I've talked to two other people who felt that way. And it wasn't just that God says mean-sounding things in the OT while Jesus is so nice and loving in the NT. It was a plausibility issue for me.

    Anyway, it's a good and peaceful thing that I'm an atheist. While the tragedies of nature don't bother me that much, stuff like - for just one example - the inherent lack of symmetry between the genders in most species seems to indicate either a deity with a very sick sense of humor, or random evolution at work. Think about it - we could have one gender, or three. Why two? And more specifically, where's the symmetry in one being so integral to reproduction while the other only needs to contribute a few sperm? How are males supposed to connect to life and feel like they've done anything but sire competitors for the same resources they fight for every day? How are women supposed to remain semi-human when they're functioning as incubators and later milk machines for years out of their lives? There's no reason the duties couldn't be biologically shared - but they're not.

    Questions like that would make me very, very testy toward "God" - to the point of demanding a much better explanation than "trust my infinite wisdom" - if I believed in him, so the most courteous thing I have found to do is just not to believe in him at all. :)

    I'm sure some of this might offend believers who are used to respecting a god so much that they would never question him - at least not in the way I'm suggesting. But if you are offended, I suggest you think over what I'm saying - these are philosophical quandaries people have debated for centuries. Nothing I've said is an insult to a specific religion. In fact, I'm not insulting any Creator that might exist - I'm just saying I question the concept that nature/life is a brilliant, miraculous setup we should all be undyingly grateful for, no matter what we suffer.
  17. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
  18. TreeCave Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Oh, and a less complex example of things that make me question "intelligent design" is the fact that good nutrition tastes bad. How much more sense would it make for us to crave broccoli, salmon and carrots instead of chocolate, potato chips and cola?

    No, I don't just sit around looking for things to be dissatisfied about, LOL. I write sci-fi, so when I'm "creating" other worlds, I have to think about these things. The more you get down to basics, the more radical yet believable you can make the other worlds and aliens in a story.
  19. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    LOL>..extremely well put TC.

    I understand what you mean about recently changing self-categorization...I recently changed myself to ignosticism. Basically the concept is similar to agnosticism, with one very key difference. I don't really care that much if there is or isn't a "god" since it wouldn't change how I behave or view the world.
  20. Cheveyo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Nice to see civility return to the topic. ;) There have been two questions posed thus far:
    What spiritual idea did you have from as early as you can recall, if any?

    It's difficlut to say. I very specifically remember sitting in Sunday School and refusing to sing "Jesus Loves Me" because I didn't believe he knew who I was (quite the shameful act for the grandson of such highly respected church-goers). On the other hand, I also remember being absolutely fear-stricken by the concept of Hell and Death. even Heaven scared me at that age.

    And MrEmh poses the question:
    has life in the professional, post-college world proven any different due to not being a part of any form of religion? If so, postive or negative?
    This is a surprisingly difficult question. After some introspection, my answer right now would be: No, I see no true difference in a post-college, professional world. But then, I do not surround myself with organizations, companies, people, etcetera where religion plays a key or outward role.

    Internally, however, I celebrate my personal philosophies. This may have an external effect, such as how I am portrayed through my actions.
  21. Cheveyo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    May I pose, for the sake of this particular thread, another question?


    How are we defining Non-Religious in this case? Do we take it in theliteral context, as to mean Atheism, or do we take it in a broader interpretation as being not of an "organized" religion (which would exclude agnosticism or "ignosticism" [LOL- I like that, KR] and the like)?

    In my case, I follow a philosophy as my "spiritual guide". Within that philosophy are "ideas" (I don't like using the word belief... anyone who saw the movie Dogma will understand ;)) of a universal presence, i.e. God, Creation, the Tao, the Force, etc.

  22. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Well it's not my earliest memory, but I do recall going to Sunday School and church with my best friend (Baptist) and being told in the Sunday School class that all evolutionary evidence had been faked by satan-lovers and that Catholics were the embodiment of evil. I was baptized Catholic and a staunch believer in evolution (this was during junior high).

    As for the issue of defining "non-religious". I see this as a place for those of us who do not hold with any particular organized faith.
  23. Cheveyo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    gotcha. Thanks for the clarification. :)
  24. DarthPhelps Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2002
    star 5
    Oh, and a less complex example of things that make me question "intelligent design" is the fact that good nutrition tastes bad. How much more sense would it make for us to crave broccoli, salmon and carrots instead of chocolate, potato chips and cola?

    Good point, TreeCave. As a Christian, I must confess that there are many questions I don't have answers to, and you could chalk this one up on that list. If you think about it though, your example doesn't make sense coming from the other side of the 'belief spectrum', either. ;) lol. I guess we'll just have to label this one under the heading of 'One of Life's Mysteries'.
    *goes back to craving a Pepsi, blast it!*
  25. ArtMaul Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2001
    star 4
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