A different point of view

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MSN42's picture
A different point of view

I just happened to find this forum by mistake and I was immediately intrigued. I read several threads with debates between Christians and atheists. While I cannot call myself an atheist, I very much sympathize with atheist arguments.

I was raised Catholic, which in my opinion, is the worst of all Christian faiths. A few years after a good friend had a rather negative experience with a member of the clergy (while serving as an alter boy), I was expelled from Catholic school because MY personal beliefs were not tolerated (yet students belonging to other ORGANIZED religions were accepted without judgement). At age 15, I chose to publically and permanently abandon Christianity in front of all my family and peers. I would consider myself a staunch atheist until about age 40.

I know many readers would think me insane, but I now identify myself as Pagan. Or, at least my beliefs are closer to Paganism than than they are to Christianity and not quite close to atheistic anymore at all.

Anyway, I just cannot buy into an "Invisible Guy in the Sky" who made everything, and controls everything. I do believe there is a greater force at work that people do not comprehend. So call me crazy for worshipping the sun and the moon, but at least each offers some type of measurable power (solar energy, moon's effect on the tides). And believe me, I know the scientific reasoning behind those forces, I just find them to be quite divine. The way I feel when I am close to nature (forest, lake, beach), is also divine to me.

As for Christians, they don't offend me. It does irritate me how intolerant they are of my beliefs. I live in a very Christian neighborhood. My neighbors are always trying to "save" me, while I never try to correct their erroneous thinking. They say I should not celebrate holidays even though all the holidays they celebate have Pagan roots. I am called a "Satinist" even though my belief in Satin is less than an atheist's belief in "god." I cannot wear or display symbols of my faith at work, at my kids' schools, or the YMCA, while Christians walk around with crosses on thier necks all the time. That level of oppression is worse than blatant racism. People of my faith have been tortured and brutally murdered for their beliefs for centuries.

So after reading many of those disgusting verses from The Most Epic Fantasy Story Ever Written, I am convinced that I will never feel differently, no matter how many fictitious stories the Christians quote. Now, I know that I opened a can of worms, but I enjoy giving lecture and spouting off opinions rather than debating. My apologies if I don't resond to a challenge.

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Nyarlathotep's picture
MSN42 - So call me crazy for

MSN42 - So call me crazy for worshipping the sun and the moon...

Well at least they actually exist; that's a big improvement over Christianity!

Tin-Man's picture
@MSN42

@MSN42

Howdy! Welcome to the AR. While I can't speak for everybody else, I personally have no problem with Pagans. Hell, I'm married to one. lol As a result we have a few Pagan friends as well. And I would choose to hang out with a group of Pagans ANY day of the week as opposed to mingling with a group of Christians. (Pagans understand my humor. Christians tend to turn red and run away crying. *chuckle*) Besides, Pagans throw great parties and have some pretty cool rituals. So, jump on in and make yourself at home. Blessed be.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
No problems at all with

No problems at all with Pagans unless they behave like evangelical christians or worse, start babbling on with Gairdner's New Dawn or Crawley and the Wiccan fraud.

As TM said jump in, have fun and wallop the theists!

ZeffD's picture
Welcome MSN.

Welcome MSN.

" I do believe there is a greater force at work that people do not comprehend."
That supports the conclusion I come to, that some people are just superstitious and some aren't. It depends on (1) one's comprehension of coincidence and (2) willingness (in the superstitious) or caution (in the non-superstitious) about following intuition and biases.

One should only believe anything to the degree the belief is justified by reason and evidence. The difference between the superstitious and those of us who aren't is the latter stop there. It is also important to remember where the sources of evidence for a belief.

"Christians don't offend me". It is not that I take offence, I have objections, to Christians or any other religionist. I don't think there is such a thing as harmless superstition, so organised religion spreading superstition through faith schools, religious courts, "In God We Trust" on walls and currency, child genital mutilation (circumcision), Creationism, ritual animal slaughter and so forth should be opposed, I think. (Whether it "offends" me is moot).

I have no automatic objection to individuals being superstitious as it is not something they can necessarily avoid or "stop doing". I may object when their superstitious beliefs affect their actions and those actions affect others, as all of us should do whether we are superstitious or not.

'Freedom of and from religion' should be the principle and religionists frequently omit the "from" bit. Some demand 'respect for' and even 'obedience to' their beliefs, such as not drawing pictures of Mohammed. Religious satire should be entirely harmless but it can cause rioting and killings. There lies the problem and secularism is the answer. We only need 'secular' and 'atheist' while organised religion is prevalent.

Cognostic's picture
@MSN42

@MSN42
Debates are find and admittedly we do a bit of Christian bashing around here; however, in your post
we got a whole lot of information about what you don't believe in and how you could never believe in the Christian faith and very little about what you do believe in. Have you thought of applying the very same logic that you are using on the Christians to question your own Pagan ideas?

What rational, logical, valid assertion can you make for your current belief system? What do you actually believe and why do you believe it?

Cognostic's picture
@MSN42: So call me crazy

@MSN42: So call me crazy for worshiping the sun and the moon, but at least each offers some type of measurable power (solar energy, moon's effect on the tides). And believe me, I know the scientific reasoning behind those forces, I just find them to be quite divine. The way I feel when I am close to nature (forest, lake, beach), is also divine to me.

I get that the sunrise and the sunset are amazing. I get that the sun provides energy to life on earth. I get that this is an amazing process. I actually like to lie on my back and look at the sky and feel the earth rotating. I get that the moon is amazing and has some amazing effects on the tides and such. I even believe it affects human emotions though the science does not support this. I worked in hospitals and it just seems a bit true to me. And still with all of this... How do you get to "DIVINE."

You are telling me that the moon's effect on the tides is divine? I have no idea what you are talking about. What is it you are asserting is divine - just a feeling that you have? Psychology calls these "Peak Experiences." Everyone has them. How are they divine?

chimp3's picture
Welcome!

Welcome!

Terminal Dogma's picture
You actually feel the Earth

You actually feel the Earth rotating, remarkable. You could hire yourself out to astrophysics for experiments.

@OP.

Cognostic's picture
I thought so too but all my

I thought so too but all my applications have been returned with "Why don't you sit on these rejection notices and rotate."

Tin-Man's picture
@Term-dog Re: Feeling the

@Term-dog Re: Feeling the Earth rotate

What's the big deal? There's been plenty of times over the years I've felt the Earth rotate. For some strange reason, though, I always wake up the next day with a bad hangover. Must be the after-affects of motion sickness, I suppose. *scratching head*

Sheldon's picture
https://youtu.be/stU7VqWLFXc

https://youtu.be/stU7VqWLFXc

enjoy....you're welcome...

Tin-Man's picture
THANK YOU, SHELDON! That was

THANK YOU, SHELDON! That was awesome! LMAO *tears streaming down face*

Cognostic's picture
I think they stole that idea

I think they stole that idea from me!!!

Qu@si's picture
"for experiments."

"for experiments."

no..don't do that, don't turn your self to them....they will rip you apart,
dissection.

*shivering while covering ears* *eyes wide open*
sedate me T-man
*vietnam flashback*

David Killens's picture
I see a beautiful sunset, I

I see a beautiful sunset, I am walking through a forest and examine new growth with glee. I marvel at the beauty of a flower petal. But I never attribute anything spiritual to what I witness. I perceive the beauty of nature and enjoy the aesthetics. But I also understand the processes that are in play, and that is what blows my mind. At no time (for me) does any spiritualism or worship creep into my thoughts.

I marvel at the long journey a plant took in evolution, I enjoy the processes that operate on the molecular level, I can go on in detail, but every level of examination is wonderful for me.

Current theory is that the moon was torn off the earth's crust in an impact with a large celestial body. The rubble eventually formed into our moon. But it's orbit was much closer to this earth, and the earth was spinning much quicker. But tides have a drag on this planet's rotation, and it is slowly slowing it's revolutions per day. And because it is slowing, the moon's orbit is slowly growing larger.

That, to me is mind boggling, and I did not need anything spiritual to feel what I feel in my brain. I just needed science to make me sit back with my mouth agape.

Sheldon's picture
Excellent post, why people

Excellent post, why people feel archaic mumbo jumbo superstition adds anything to the marvel of the material universe I have no idea. Only a moron marvels at vapid creation myths, instead of marvelling at the vast diversity of evolved life, and the elegant scientific explanation of the fact in the theory of evolution. I pity such stupidity and ignorance.

David Killens's picture
I have to apologize for

I have to apologize for partially plagiarizing Feynman. It was on the back of my mind, and I finally found the appropriate video. For me, this one video sums up many things I believe in.

If there is anything I am willing to ask of the members of this forum, please watch this video. It is much more than pure gold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=cRmbwczTC6E

Tin-Man's picture
@David Re: Vid

@David Re: Vid

That was beautiful, man. Thanks for sharing.

CyberLN's picture
Hi MSN42, welcome to AR.

Hi MSN42, welcome to AR.

Qu@si's picture
Zup Msn42...welcome to AR..

Zup Msn42...welcome to AR..

feel free to scavenge from those topics..

i guess we got few pagans here..

Stone Jade's picture
@MSN42

@MSN42

"I do believe there is a greater force at work that people do not comprehend. So call me crazy for worshipping the sun and the moon, but at least each offers some type of measurable power (solar energy, moon's effect on the tides). And believe me, I know the scientific reasoning behind those forces, I just find them to be quite divine. The way I feel when I am close to nature (forest, lake, beach), is also divine to me."

Welcome!

I can identify with the experience that being in nature is divine. It feels spiritual to me to. I struggled with those sensations for a while after I stopped believing in the supernatural (since I shouldn't be having spiritual experiences), but I came to realize that I was just experiencing awe and wonder. And maybe even bordering on worship. I can be moved to tears by a tree or cloud or bird or breeze. I'll get goosebumps, lose my breath or have a surging experience of love toward whatever aspect of nature. But that's just because nature is damned amazing. It seriously blows my mind. And don't even get me started on outerspace.

the universal's picture
It is the honest Atheists

It is the honest Atheists that have always held my ear.
I wish all atheists were as honest as You. Thanks.

CyberLN's picture
@ the universal,

@ the universal,

“...the honest Atheists...”
“I wish all Atheists were as honest...”

I can’t quite put my finger on why I find your post disturbing, although I do find it that way. Perhaps it’s because it sounds like an intimation that folks who are identified as atheist are typically or frequently dishonest.

“...the honest Atheists...”
Just who are they? What do you suppose makes them honest? Honest about what? Do you say the same about theists?

“I wish all atheists were as honest...”
How do you know how dis/honest anyone is? How do you measure it?

I’m just not convinced you’ve been, well, honest here.

Cognostic's picture
@MSN42 "I do believe there

@MSN42 "I do believe there is a greater force at work that people do not comprehend.
You get that this sentence is an oxymoron. People don't comprehend it but they know it is there. This is self contradictory. If you do not comprehend it, how is it there,. If you do comprehend it, what is it that you think you are comprehending?

You are just using buzz words with nonsense and nothing real to back them up. How do you get to "DIVINE'

Cognostic's picture
@MSN42 "I do believe there

@MSN42 "I do believe there is a greater force at work that people do not comprehend.
You get that this sentence is an oxymoron. People don't comprehend it but they know it is there. This is self contradictory. If you do not comprehend it, how is it there,. If you do comprehend it, what is it that you think you are comprehending?

You are just using buzz words with nonsense and nothing real to back them up. How do you get to "DIVINE'

MSN42's picture
Thank you all for the warm

Thank you all for the warm welcome! I am always sympathetic to athiest views even though mine are different. At least I am rarely ever forced to listen to their opinions UNSOLICITED (sometimes I willingly place myself in that situation). We may think differently from eachother, but at least we can agree that Christians need to stop their evangelical nonsense, stop judging people, and Stop oppressing people for believing differently. Finally, I would give the same advice to some of you that I give to my college students: read carefully, and don't add information that isn't there (I can feel the Earth rotate...LOL!)

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