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HolyGround >> It's Gone...


6/27/12 2:25 PM
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JitsuGuy
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My faith... I think it's gone... Completely gone. My ability to believe in and embrace something with very sketchy "proof" has faded.

Now, I just like to discuss it in hopes that my faith may return... Except that I would hope my faith would be based on more concrete evidences but then again, that would undermine the purpose of faith wouldn't it?

So here I am... Not only a defector from the church, but from the faith. I sure hope there is something in next life but if my conscienceness fails to exist, what would I care?

Maybe I should try shrooms to experience "God" like Rogan does.
6/27/12 2:50 PM
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BallaMMA
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What caused it to leave you? Phone Post
6/27/12 3:31 PM
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JitsuGuy
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I don't see God. I see the real world, with laws and order that doesn't require a super-natural force to exist.

I see inustice rule, I see corruption rule, I see evil rule. It kind of undoes the existence of an "all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving" creator.

I guess I got to the point in my life where faith in the unobservable seemed juvinile.
6/27/12 3:41 PM
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BallaMMA
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Have you ever heard of Gerald Schroeder? Phone Post
6/27/12 3:51 PM
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BallaMMA
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If so, you should check out some of his work. Perhaps a YouTube video titled, scientific proof of god, Antony flew. Phone Post
6/27/12 4:03 PM
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JitsuGuy
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No, but I'll check it out.
6/27/12 4:05 PM
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BallaMMA
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It's about 30 minutes, if you have the time. Phone Post
6/27/12 7:42 PM
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reverend john
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send me an email with your phone number and we'll have a chat.

pinned again 2001 at yahoo dot com

rev
6/27/12 8:38 PM
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DyingBreed
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If you take the time and effort to call this man ^ you will not regret it



You may just be needing another experience in his presence. Seek him without forcing it, let it happen, and be willing to experience whatever he wants you to experience. We were created to have relationship with him, so why would he refuse to "show up"?

Just that simple


If u don't have the faith to go even this far, ask for it, and God will give that as well.

But do give the rev a call. He is FAR from narrow-minded Phone Post
7/2/12 1:10 PM
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JitsuGuy
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explodin - Op. I was positive your faith was gone during your defected from mainstream church thread. Reading your posts from the op in the thread to your last post, there was 0 doubt in my mind you had as close to 0 faith as anyone could have. I hope you live a happy life with or without faith in God in your life. <img src="/images/phone/apple.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/>



At some point it turns into hope. I hope God is real. I just hope he's nothing like his followers make him out to be.

I just got tired of having faith in things that - based on this world, were similar to having faith in unicorns or pink elephants. I live in the world I can observe now... Not the possible non-existant one I cannot.

But yeah, it all started to unravel around when I started that other thread asking the questions I've asked.
7/5/12 9:40 AM
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prof
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JitsuGuy,

I was going to write more but I'm not sure you are still around. So just a question:

Given you wrote: "I just got tired of having faith in things that - based on this world, were similar to having faith in unicorns or pink elephants."

Why do you still hope God is real? Can you not see the positive in giving up beliefs in unreal things for reality?

Cheers,

Prof.
7/5/12 9:50 AM
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JitsuGuy
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Because this life is injust... Corruption rules the world, people are born with the deck that's delt to them and for many it's simply not in their favor.

I hope because I want to believe that things even out somewhere down the line... That the massive imbalances of this life are righted.
7/5/12 10:24 AM
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reverend john
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but how much injustice is there because of our selfishness?

rev
7/5/12 1:07 PM
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prof
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JitsuGuy,

But is this "hope" you have something worth "wasting time" on?
In other words, does it rise beyond anything like "Well...that would be nice." It would be nice if I suddenly came upon a huge inheritance from some unknown relative...but while such fortune is a nice idea, it's not something I would waste any time "hoping" for, given there's not reason to think it true. So I wonder what status your hope-God-exists might have as far as mental energy devoted to the idea.


When you say you "want to believe" that things even out in a supernatural realm or whatever...do you really mean that? I'm sure you don't really want to believe things that aren't true. It would be nice if I had the power to move objects with my mind, but I don't "want to believe it" just because it's a nice idea - that way lies craziness or irrationality (and we generally want to understand the truth about reality - it's how we work, even if the way we go about it can end in distortions).

I'm just wondering if, like many who lose their faith, you are suffering from "faith/religion hangover" in which the longing for some of things you believed remains, at least for a while. One problem with leaving religions, like Christianity, can be that the religion has indoctrinated you to see morality, value, purpose, meaning and justice as dependent upon the God of that religion. When you can no longer believe that entity actually exists, you are left with a certain disorientation "Oh no, so now those things don't exist!" or "Damn, where do I get those things now? And now many of my hopes have been dashed about reality!"

It may seem that it is "having to deal with reality itself" that brings on these issues. But it isn't necessarily the case; rather, you are dealing with the false assumptions, false beliefs and false promises drilled into you about reality by the religion. The particular psychic stress many find leaving God behind tends to be the fault of the residue of religious assumptions clashing against the real world, not of reality per se. There are costs for anything and that includes religious belief. Once you accept the idea of a Supreme Being behind the fabric of reality then any thinking, conscientious person must find themselves asking "Why..Why?" questions about the world. There are so many things about life that bring up the motivations of any supposedly "good" Supreme Being, that you will spend energy trying to address. These are questions someone without faith in a God never have to deal with, never have to ask, never have to stress about. Most get over it as the residue fades away and they find they can find all those things without the religion, as the residue of those beliefs fade away replaced by more happiness.

I certainly agree that life is not just. But I see a great amount of good in the world that inspires, and the lack of justice only inspires more desire to make things as just as possible. And instead of "hoping" for some Supreme Good in a non-existing realm, I look to the true, the real good that is
in sight every day: the good, and the inspirational, that comes from real people. It can start at home with my sons: my youngest is so empathetic, so caring about others and displays such empathetic/emotional maturity sometimes that I find myself more inspired to model him, than have him model me. My older son (14) just when I thought he was entering
the "too cool" teenager phase was brought to tears a couple nights ago. We asked him what was wrong but he said nothing, he was crying because he was happy. We'd just been swimming
at a public pool and a very happy, cute baby boy held by it's mother was playing and had locked eyes with my son for a while with a big grin. It affected my son so much he was brought to tears simply by thinking of how happy the child was, and by his hope that the baby remain that happy. I found it inspiring.

There are so many great acts by people in every realm of endeavor from which to find awe and inspiration. Watching Peter Higgs wipe away tears as it was announced they had, after fifty years of staggering inquiry, found good evidence for the particle he'd predicted, is an incredible story of human intellect, discovery, and human endeavor. When you realize no God has ever done anything for humans, when you realize that we have achieved everything thus far on our own, including the knowledge we have and all the good people do, I find this huge grounds for inspiration and optimism.

I could go on but I hope you see my point: With religion or without, the world has enough suffering and sadness to trouble to any sensitive mind. But religion can add to this other costs (the costs of constantly trying to fit the square peg of faith into the round whole of experience and reality, etc), and if you feel some despair at this time I'm suggesting it may not have to do with reality per se, but perhaps with "religion hangover" in which you are slowly shedding false ideas and desires imbued by your religion.

Of course, none of this means you have to keep moving away from "faith." Others will make the case for you to move back.
I'm just offering the perspective of not having religious faith.

Cheers,

Prof.





7/5/12 1:14 PM
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reverend john
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For some reason I find your post very disturbing Prof

rev
7/5/12 1:44 PM
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prof
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That's interesting rev.

You are quite familiar with my atheism so my post can hardly be surprising. I take an optimistic "glass half full" look at humanity rather than one of pessimism and despair, so what in particular would be disturbing about that post?

Cheers,

Prof.
7/5/12 1:51 PM
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Ridgeback
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 There is no religious neutrality.  You trade one theory of reality by which to live your life with another (or you simply drift and unconsciously live according to a theory of reality you never consciously consent to).  The issue isn't "I gave up on religion" but rather "by what creed will I live my life?"
7/5/12 2:29 PM
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reverend john
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I find some of it offensive in the sense that you seem to imply that believing in God you don't fully appreciate good things in life. And that you cannot truly fight for justice if you think eventually God will bring it about. That the idea of our hope that our work, will not be in vain is somehow dishonest.

And though it may be the furthest thing from your mind, it feels like you are attacking someone who is perceived to be vulnerable. Like I said, it just feels icky to me.

with all due respect to you, if I found a Jewish person, or a Muslim person struggling with their faith I may or may not react in the same fashion.

rev
7/5/12 2:30 PM
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prof
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Ridgeback you've been hammering away at that theme for some time and in general I agree you are right. (Though the "no religious neutrality" phrase can itself be hiding some confusions - not every theory of reality is religious, or the term takes on a hopeless generality).


"The issue isn't "I gave up on religion" but rather "by what creed will I live my life?"

Yes and no. Yes, in giving up one creed (religion) you are left asking what is going to replace it. That's why I included my own view: Being there is no God, on what grounds can we find to keep our chins up, vs descend into pessimism?
I exaplained that plenty of good and inspiriation for doing so can be found in humanity all by itself.

But the "I gave up my religion" does play a part in the question in scenarios like these, because you have to re-examine your assumptions along the way, including those assumptions that hang on from your religious belief. Some assumptions may survive scrutiny and remain in your world view; others might be best left behind.

Prof.




7/5/12 2:55 PM
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prof
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reverend john - I find some of it offensive in the sense that you seem to imply that believing in God you don't fully appreciate good things in life. And that you cannot truly fight for justice if you think eventually God will bring it about. That the idea of our hope that our work, will not be in vain is somehow dishonest.


Yeah, you are reading into it what I didn't put in or argue.
I wrote about the reasons for finding good and inspiration in a world, without having to appeal to a belief in a God. I didn't once say or imply Christians do not appreciate good things in life, or fight for justice etc. Just that belief in a God is not necessary to be inspired to do so. And it is just that worry which many people leaving their faith have: what basis will I have to do the good things that once seemed to depend on my belief in God?

That said...Christianity is a hydra of attitudes, theology and opinions, as you well know. I think there ARE some reasons to think some Christians can somewhat miss the mark in their attribution of The Good, due to their keeping their eyes on the bulls-eye of God. It is just so typical to see Christians thanking God for their fortunes, over the realities that actually helped them, especially the people.
They "thank God" they got their new house. Or thank God they got over drugs. Or thank God the bullet missed their heart and they survived, or they survived their heart attack. What I want to hear is these people actually thanking the REAL entities that actually produced the results they are thankful for. For instance, the doctors or emergency workers who IN FACT were responsible for the results they are thanking a non-existent God for.

This point was made so well by Daniel Dennett after he suffered a serious heart attack. He wrote a well known letter after surviving called "Thank Goodness"

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dennett06/dennett06_index.html

In which he thanks all the relevant people and fields who actually led to his survival. There is no miss-placed thank you to a Being who did nothing at all, while others worked so hard for the result. (And even when Christians do acknowledge the contributions of other people to their good fortune, they tend to still keep sending the thanks upwards to God as the instigator somewhere along the line, even if the good is eventually worked through God's creation).

So, yeah, I think there is actually in a good number of cases reason to think that sometimes religious belief can lead to a displacement of someone's "appreciation" of good things.




reverend john -
with all due respect to you, if I found a Jewish person, or a Muslim person struggling with their faith I may or may not react in the same fashion.

rev


I prefer to treat JitsuGuy as an adult, as a big boy, who can handle peeking at various viewpoints. He has already read just the type of arguments I've been giving, and people in his situation have already begun to look at criticisms of their religion and alternative philosophies. Pick up any number of books on these subjects and you'll find exactly the same issues and arguments I've just made. No need to pretend his is sheltered, or needs sheltering. He can read or not read what he wants, reject what he wants etc.

I feel it is to treat him honorably, to present him with the best case I can make for a view and think he is able to consider alternate viewpoints in his journey.

Prof.




7/5/12 3:09 PM
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reverend john
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which implies I am not treating him as an adult

rev
7/5/12 4:02 PM
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JitsuGuy
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reverend john - but how much injustice is there because of our selfishness?

rev


A whole hell of a lot... And massive amounts of people go without due to someone elses selfishness, not their own.
7/5/12 4:30 PM
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reverend john
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Exactly, the question I ask is not why is there injustice, but how am I contributing to it, and what can I do to fight against it. I also have hope that God leads and empowers me to become more just than I can be otherwise, and is leading us all towards the restoration of the entire cosmos

rev
7/5/12 4:59 PM
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prof
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reverend john - which implies I am not treating him as an adult

rev


But what in the world could you have meant in writing "it feels like you are attacking someone who is perceived to be vulnerable."

?

I was not "attacking" him at all. You are calling JitsuGuy
"vulnerable." Vulnerable to what? Thinking too much? He has already been privy to and part of debates on various sides of these issues. He's already stated that he can't believe in things with sketchy proof and that his faith is already "completely gone."

What in my post could be nefarious in this situation or be the source of some unjustified conduct?

There seems to be a double standard: when a Christian or former Christian presents his doubts among other Christians, it's pretty standard to see replies like: "keep the faith, I felt like you did once but give God another chance, reach out to him again..." etc are standard Christian responses.

But respectfully present a non-Christian view - even to someone already versed in the controversies who has no more faith - and then you describe it as "taking advantage" of the vulnerable. I really do find this gives little credit JitsuGuy, as if these questions need to be tippy-toed around, other viewpoints held back around him.

My post was respectful, honest, presented because I care about JitsuGuy's situation and state of mind, and clearly meant to present optimism into his situation. Explain how exactly that can act to "harm" or take advantage of JitsuGuy. That you nonetheless consider that to be wrong and portray JitsuGuy as "vulnerable" implies that is because a post like mine may further solidify his lack of faith, which implies that Christian faith IS the way to go, hence one is "vulnerable" to losing that faith. But the issue is whether that is actually the case, so you can't just play that card.


reverend john -

with all due respect to you, if I found a Jewish person, or a Muslim person struggling with their faith I may or may not react in the same fashion.


What if they wanted to discuss their lack of faith and the reasons for it? Then, do only re-affirmations of previous prejudices, assumptions and beliefs get a pass? Why?

I'm aware that JitsuGuy has been part of many discussions, pro and con faith and the Christian religion. He has explicitly stated in this thread:

"I guess I got to the point in my life where faith in the unobservable seemed juvinile."

You act like it is "taking advantage" of poor little JitsuGuy to offer an opinion that re-affirms where he has already arrived - and to even point out reasons for optimism for where he has arrived.

Why?

Prof.





7/5/12 5:19 PM
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prof
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reverend john - Exactly, the question I ask is not why is there injustice, but how am I contributing to it, and what can I do to fight against it.


Your efforts against injustice are to be applauded.

But I can't imagine that, really, someone as intelligent and as caring as you are hasn't wondered WHY a Good God who could help so many people would allow so much injustice and hence suffering to go on under his gaze. Surely this has troubled you at some points? I think you'd be pretty unusual if that weren't the case. It's not for nothing so much Christian thought exists on theodicies.

reverend john -I also have hope that God leads and empowers me to become more just than I can be otherwise, and is leading us all towards the restoration of the entire cosmos

rev


But it's in the cracks of such declarations that I see the issue I raised earlier. If you do a good thing for someone, how much credit are you willing to take for it? It seems you will want to pass much of the credit on to God for the goodness that you do. Logically, that entails the same attitude toward many other people (most likely other Christians) - attributing to God much of the credit for the good that they do.

I would want to attribute the good to exactly the one who deserves it: you. Or anyone else doing good. My mother, for instance, does so much good for people (she's a Christian-lite, my father in law also does a lot of good, though he is atheist). I think I ought to aim my awe, my appreciation and moral acclaim at her, not misdirected to a being who does nothing or does not exist.

BTW, I think it's ultimately best to find inspiration in the good that people do, not necessarily in "good people." I certainly think that someone who does a great amount of good deserves admiration, and can be something of a model. But the danger in concentration on "good people" vs "good acts" is that, as we know, no one is perfect. We can end up deifying or putting the whole person on a pedastel, and should we find out the person has defects, it can shake the foundation of our optimism. Rather, the fact that anyone does good, in the face of all our vulnerabilities, is a more sturdy object of inspiration (at least to me).

In other words, I can venerate the good you do Rev, and also attribute that good to YOU, without the danger of deifying you or placing my faith in humanity based on EVERYTHING you (or I or anyone else) will do.

Not sure if I explained that well, but there it is.

Cheers,

Prof



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