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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:40 am 
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Religion should stay out of the question of human sex and ethics and concentrate on checks and balances of the spirit.


I don't believe nor disbelieve. I have all kinds of questions and find people who are staunch believers have a hard time living with questions. They like answers. I am perfectly comfortable with questions.

I love parts of nature, hate other parts. They all come from the same place. What is that place? I have no idea. Science can tell us how things work but it can't tell us whether there is a super being or not.

I have not seen signs of a superbeing, but that means nothing. I don't see oxygen but would die without it. Some people would internally die without their beliefs. If they died, they might stay dead or they might evolve into someone who sees things differently.

I respect people, whether they 'have faith' or not. We all have faith in something, just not the same things.

It is how a person behaves that makes a difference in how I see that person, not whether they believe exactly as I do. Frankly, I don't believe I would like someone who is 'just like me', I am not that likable a person--genetics you know. But to not respect a person is far different from not agreeing with that person's view of reality or life or whatever one wants to call it. Isn't 'not respecting' a person because they believe differently a sign of fear?

I have good reason to fear some people around here because they have already threatened me. But to feel threatened because someone believes in god or a different god or the same god as I do but worships in a different way--I don't understand that kind of thinking. I see it, but I don't understand it. How is that a threat? Is one's faith so fragile it has to be threatened if others don't feel exactly the same way?

We must have faith in our own ability to form our own beliefs. And those beliefs must be strong enough to keep us centered even when others do not see things as we do.

NY brought up the liberal/conservative question. I live in a strongly conservative area but have never doubted my own liberal beliefs. (In fact, they date to the teachings of Jesus.) We must do the same thing with religion--believe in our own faith, whatever it is, and never let others tell us we are wrong. Maybe tomorrow any one of us will believe differently, that is what growth is about.

Never be ashamed, never try to shame others. That is what good people, religious or not, are about.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:49 pm 
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jobot wrote:
DarkKnight2 wrote:
Your exactly right and I have many arguements with those who think their religion is the only right one.



You may not be a part of an organized religion, but you do believe in the god you worship. You worship your god, your way, because you believe it to be true. So, how could you possibly believe that what anybody else worships as god, or people who don't believe in god, to be right? It's not possible. You may accept that they have different beliefs than you, but you can't possibly think that somebody worshiping different than you (or not worshipping) can be right.



Guess there's no response for that?
...that's fine.
...Just don't walk around saying you don't believe that people who believe differently, or worship differently than you, are not wrong.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:48 pm 
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I have not seen signs of a superbeing, but that means nothing. I don't see oxygen but would die without it.
We cant visible see oxygen normally. Its easy to see and recognize the effects of it though. The same cant be said for a deity.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:57 am 
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nygreenguy wrote:
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I have not seen signs of a superbeing, but that means nothing. I don't see oxygen but would die without it.
We cant visible see oxygen normally. Its easy to see and recognize the effects of it though. The same cant be said for a deity.


You are right NYGG. My point though was that oxygen is invisible to the casual observer, not that it can't be proven. And long ago we could not see it because we didn't have the ability at that time.

Superbeings are invisible to those of us who are not true believers. Doesn't mean they don't exist, doesn't mean they do or will be proven to exist in the future.

But my ultimate point is that the respect we have for each other is more important than whether superbeings exist or not. I am not troubled by a person's beliefs unless that person wants to force them on me. Then, it isn't the belief in something supernatural that turns me off, it is the forceful manner of the believers.

We have to extend to believers the same respect we want from them. Their faith centers them just as my skepticism centers me. I don't want my beliefs put down, and I can see that they do not want theirs belittled either.

It is a simple matter of respect.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 2:17 pm 
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dori wrote:

You are right NYGG. My point though was that oxygen is invisible to the casual observer, not that it can't be proven. And long ago we could not see it because we didn't have the ability at that time.
The existance of oxygen cant be proven?

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Superbeings are invisible to those of us who are not true believers. Doesn't mean they don't exist, doesn't mean they do or will be proven to exist in the future.
true.

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But my ultimate point is that the respect we have for each other is more important than whether superbeings exist or not. I am not troubled by a person's beliefs unless that person wants to force them on me. Then, it isn't the belief in something supernatural that turns me off, it is the forceful manner of the believers.
Well, as for respect, I give it when it is deserved of earned. I am more lenient with people than ideas. When it comes to ideas, they must earn my respect.

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We have to extend to believers the same respect we want from them. Their faith centers them just as my skepticism centers me. I don't want my beliefs put down, and I can see that they do not want theirs belittled either.
I dont "put down" beliefs, I only challenge them. I rarely, if ever, even say believing in god is wrong, most often, i focus on their reasoning. I find that most theists have beliefs derived from erronious reasoning, something that is much more objective than the actual truth of their ideas. I see no problem, and have no problem with my reasoning ever being challenged.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 3:09 pm 
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dori wrote:
You are right NYGG. My point though was that oxygen is invisible to the casual observer, not that it can't be proven. And long ago we could not see it because we didn't have the ability at that time.

nygreenguy wrote:
The existance of oxygen cant be proven?



She said it can be proven that oxygen exists.


The difference is...
You can't see air, but we can prove it exists.
You can't see wind, but we can prove it exists.

We can't see "god," and can't prove he exists.


I spent the first 18 years of my life being forced into religion. I went to a private christian school, I was forced to read from the bible everyday, forced to go to church every wednesday and sunday, and even forced to go to a christian camp every summer.
It wasn't the forcing of these things that turned me away from religion. It was the fact that I had to believe in something that had no proof.
I can't do that. I can't blindly defend something without anything to back it up.


dori wrote:
We have to extend to believers the same respect we want from them. Their faith centers them just as my skepticism centers me. I don't want my beliefs put down, and I can see that they do not want theirs belittled either.



DK posted a "A Thought," where he's attempted to tell people to respect each other's religious beliefs and not criticize or belittle them. Yet, in that same plea, he quoted somebody who was indeed doing that!
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Likewise to Non-Atheists. Please refrain from attacking Atheism or Agnosticism. Some have not yet found God or may never. Some are staunch in their disbelief. It is not of a lack of will, rather, it is because their will is very strong.

How is that not being disrespectful?..saying that athiests have not yet found "god" or may never, as if they know there's a god to find.
When you use something like that to try to prove that all should be respectful of others, you're contradicting yourself.

I do believe that you can't help but partially be disrespectful when discussing religious differences with people, because you believe yourself to be right, and others to be wrong. You can't help it!..otherwise you wouldn't believe in what you believed in. Anyone who pretends that they don't believe that people who believe differently than them are not wrong is not only lying to us, but to themselves as well...or just trying to sound better than anyone else who truthfully claims their own beliefs to be right.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:50 pm 
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Im curious as to what qualifies as "disrespect"? If a belief lies within the means of objectivity, is it disrespectful if I point it out and call it wrong? (ie. biblical inerrancy, 6 day creationism, authorship of the bible, etc.)

And is it disrespectful to point out the logical errors in the beliefs that are subjective? (You cant disprove god, atheism is a religion, etc..)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:45 am 
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Oh, my. How in the world can I put this?

I can only say how I deal with this issue. I look at a person's character. If that person is of good character in my opinion, whether he believes in a god or not is part of his character. It is still the character of that person that attracts me, not how they arrived at that position.

I have been fortunate to have a long life and have met many people. Good and not good people.

I have had wonderful friends who are all the things the strict rightwing religionists say we should NOT be, and wonderful friends who are precisely what they say we should be.

Keep in mind, there are just as strict leftwing religious people, and they are as good and not good as those on the right. There are just more of them who are terrific people.

NYGG, you challenge ideas. That is your style. If you challenge beliefs, do you believe people will have better lives if we look for what we see as good in others, or look for what we do not encompass in our own vision of reality? Keep in mind, the other person is just as removed from your reality as you are from theirs.

For me, if that other person is a good person and he/she finds great comfort in god I am not going to question his beliefs. They are not mine, but they are more valid to a great many people than my beliefs are. I don't want to be rejected by people I care about if/when they discover I don't hold the same beliefs they do.

Is it more important to tell someone they believe in a lie (if that is what you believe) or is it more important to find the common ground on right and wrong you both believe in.

Is there no common ground between believers and nonbelievers?

Which of us does not believe peace is more important than war?

Which of us does not believe children need to be loved and have discipline to grow up happy and productive?

Which of us does not believe it is better to have many people with similar means than to have huge discrepancies in income, with a few being uberrich and many being close to destitute?

These questions go on and on. It is our humanity that keeps us caring about each other, not whether we believe in god or not.

I believe we all would be better off if we were to cut each other some slack and respect what we see that is good, not pick at what we do not agree on.

Jobot, thank you for picking up on the oxygen/god reference. And I am sorry you had something forced on you that you did not feel right about.

You have survived what you did not feel comfortable with. That has to be empowering.

As long as we do not force OTHERS the way we do not want to be forced in our own lives, I think we have found the right road for ourselves.

No one gets up in the morning saying, today I am going to be absolutely wrong on issues. Yes, we all feel we are right or we would change our minds. Sometimes we do change our minds, but it seldom is because someone pressured us into it.

I respect the ability of each person to know what is right for her/himself. It took me 40 long years to start on that road, but it was the right road for me and I hope to stick with it. I have been on that road longer than it took me to get to it, so I have found my comfort zone.

And I am happy for each person who has found his or hers.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2006 10:04 am 
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dori wrote:
Oh, my. How in the world can I put this?

I can only say how I deal with this issue. I look at a person's character. If that person is of good character in my opinion, whether he believes in a god or not is part of his character. It is still the character of that person that attracts me, not how they arrived at that position.

I have been fortunate to have a long life and have met many people. Good and not good people.

I have had wonderful friends who are all the things the strict rightwing religionists say we should NOT be, and wonderful friends who are precisely what they say we should be.

Keep in mind, there are just as strict leftwing religious people, and they are as good and not good as those on the right. There are just more of them who are terrific people.

NYGG, you challenge ideas. That is your style. If you challenge beliefs, do you believe people will have better lives if we look for what we see as good in others, or look for what we do not encompass in our own vision of reality? Keep in mind, the other person is just as removed from your reality as you are from theirs.

For me, if that other person is a good person and he/she finds great comfort in god I am not going to question his beliefs. They are not mine, but they are more valid to a great many people than my beliefs are. I don't want to be rejected by people I care about if/when they discover I don't hold the same beliefs they do.

Is it more important to tell someone they believe in a lie (if that is what you believe) or is it more important to find the common ground on right and wrong you both believe in.

Is there no common ground between believers and nonbelievers?

Which of us does not believe peace is more important than war?

Which of us does not believe children need to be loved and have discipline to grow up happy and productive?

Which of us does not believe it is better to have many people with similar means than to have huge discrepancies in income, with a few being uberrich and many being close to destitute?

These questions go on and on. It is our humanity that keeps us caring about each other, not whether we believe in god or not.

I believe we all would be better off if we were to cut each other some slack and respect what we see that is good, not pick at what we do not agree on.

Jobot, thank you for picking up on the oxygen/god reference. And I am sorry you had something forced on you that you did not feel right about.

You have survived what you did not feel comfortable with. That has to be empowering.

As long as we do not force OTHERS the way we do not want to be forced in our own lives, I think we have found the right road for ourselves.

No one gets up in the morning saying, today I am going to be absolutely wrong on issues. Yes, we all feel we are right or we would change our minds. Sometimes we do change our minds, but it seldom is because someone pressured us into it.

I respect the ability of each person to know what is right for her/himself. It took me 40 long years to start on that road, but it was the right road for me and I hope to stick with it. I have been on that road longer than it took me to get to it, so I have found my comfort zone.

And I am happy for each person who has found his or hers.


Wow Dori. I am speechless. You absolutely put something into words that I often feel but couldn't find a way to put it.

We can all have oppossing views but manage to live among each other and get along.

The one thing I find so beautiful and unique is our differences. What a boring world we would have to live in if we all believed the same, dressed the same, drove the same car, acted the same, etc.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:55 am 
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The one thing I find so beautiful and unique is our differences. What a boring world we would have to live in if we all believed the same, dressed the same, drove the same car, acted the same, etc.
_


How true sadie, how true!

Amazingly, we have found even the tight knit rightwing have differences with each other. I never suspected that.

But life WOULD be boring if we were all alike. I would like a little more alike where I live, but those are the breaks.

Heard a saying, "It doesn't take all kinds, but we HAVE all kinds!" So often I think of that...

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