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Author Topic: Monotheistic religions disturb me.  (Read 4153 times)

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Offline Moondazed

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Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #25 on: June 26, 2006, 09:28:57 PM »
My spirituality revolves around balance... I believe that balance is desirable and given the opportunity, nature will seek it.

Too many deer?  They become diseased...

Too many people?  Same scenario...

I subscribe to the Gaia theory... the Earth is an entity... we can function as lifeblood, white blood cells, or cancer, and it will react accordingly.

My 2 cents :)

Offline Zakharra

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2006, 11:34:37 PM »
Quote
I subscribe to the Gaia theory... the Earth is an entity... we can function as lifeblood, white blood cells, or cancer, and it will react accordingly.


 Cancer with nuclear technology.

Offline Wrathie

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2006, 06:04:58 AM »
I am, when I think about it, completely atheist, for much of the logical argument summarised here... it's nice to see there are others who have been following the same thoughts.

I agree that we cannot have free will while we are a creature defined by pre-programmed responses to our stimulie (whereas 'preprogrammed' means continually reprogrammed by those very stimulie), and therefore there would be no point in an omnipotent etc deity even creating us in the first place... it would already know what ultimately happens to us anyway.

It starts to fall down when you consider quantum unpredictability, which suggests that maybe we don't have free will, but there is random chance, which could (over millennia) sufficiently adjust our responses to the point that our ultimate responses are completely unpredictable... but that's still not concious free will.

Anyway, a deity would be observing the random instances from the beginning, which means we're just an interesting stage in the development of those amoeba which were around a few billion years ago. Our moral code is nothing more than a developmental phase, another step in our evolution to assist us in working in packs, and hardly something that an all-powerful entity would bother writing books about.

If nothing else, to something that has been around for all time (or possibly exists outside time), the whole time period that humanity has existed in is nothing more than the briefest blip on the timeline. It's hard to imagine, on the scale of the universe, that we're important at all.

Nah, I'm going with the view that, if there's really an uber entity out there, it couldn't be bothered to notice that we exist, and religions are just complicated pleading with the thunder not to hurt us.

Humblest apologies if my rather unforgiving view has offended anyone. Just stating my perspective :)

Offline DarkestDreams

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2006, 06:07:44 AM »
  Cancer with nuclear technology.

Which is the best summary I've heard in years on humans: from my point of view, humans are incredibly good at destroying themselves, directly or no. I sometimes wonder if the current increase of tsunamis and other destructive forces is due to global warning and the like, or something more basic like Earth fighting back. If I were Her, I know I would..


I've got some catching up to do with regards to this thread. I think we humans have an innate craving to feel that we are in control of our own lives. Free will, if it exists, is an extremely powerful thing. Yet I side with the notion of the "human robot", if you will. I believe people are nothing more than extremely complex machines. Of course, this notion stems from my Master's Degree in Artificial Intelligence. If humans are machines, will it be possible, some day, to create machines that we would consider human? The biggest argument against it is the notion of free will, of passion, of creativity. It reminds me of a great scene in the movie I, Robot, where Will Smith tries to convince Sonny (the robot) that he is just that, a machine. "Can a machine paint a masterpiece?" A valid question, it seems. Sonny's reply: "Can you?" *smiles*

Ah, but I digress from the topic of this thread. Religion. I see nothing wrong with a monotheistic religion. I see something wrong with men's interpretation of it. Do not all religions, mono-, duo or polytheistic, in essence pursue the same thing? Harmony, acceptance, love..love for eachother, for oneself, for Nature? Unfortunately, the spirit of most, if not all, major religions out there has been currupted by men (as in the species). The power of Belief has been recognised eons ago, and with power comes corruption. It is an intrinsic characteristic of humanity to crave power over all else. Including one's own wellbeing.

Today, we are the disease. Tomorrow, perhaps we might realise we are the cure, as well..if we wish to survive as a species, I belief we must.

To put things in perspective, I am, if anything, a passive Wiccan. Passive, for I do not participate in ritual. I'd love to. But nor do I have someone to guide me (she moved to the UK and is not likely to be back soon), nor am I as of yet able to throw off the shackles of science that limit my views of the unseen.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2006, 08:52:00 AM »
 I think the increase in human suffering from natural disasters is becuase we, as a race, are living in more places than ever before. Take the last year. The hurricanes in the US, the tsumani in the Indian Ocean, and disaters in other places. Those would not have been as bad as past disasters mainly because humans mainly were not living in the areas affected. As population increases, people move into areas that previously didn't have homes.

 The US Gulf Coast had hundreds of billions in property damage, because there are more people living on the coast than ever before. The objective thinking on the enviroment is that this is a cycle. Nothing more. 'Global warming', if it's happening is very likely not human created. The Earth has been far warmer in the past and far colder. With very rapid temperature changes too.

 Many people say that we humans are causing it, well what if it's beinc caused by a increase in the sun's temperature? Nothing we humans can do to change that or stop it in anyways. It's sometthing we'll have to deal with.

 Wether or not there is a diety or dieties.

Offline Wrathie

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2006, 09:18:33 AM »
*nods* it's apparently very difficult to get anything even remotely close to accurate data about tempratures further back than a couple of hundred years... almost no time at all in the great scheme of things.

Most of those in the know suggest that rather than causing the warming, we're running the risk of destabilising it. It's less the pollutants and more the stripping of all the environment-stabililsing foliage that is really causing trouble.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2006, 09:21:24 AM »
Well I have one problem we as a race are not a biological disease. We are the Primary Dominant Species and our existance affects the others for good or ill. They must adapt to our existance not us to them until the Creative Power of the Universe decides to replace us by our own invention or some other mechanism. Like the race of dinosaurs that died out due to natural events be it an impact by a space body or disease or some combination.

If a species dies out because it cannot adapt to us then its the way of nature and is not wrong or evil just the cycle of life taking its natural course.

Now I'm not saying we should not conserve resources or animals if it does not interfer with OUR species in a way we have to suffer such as wearing furs unless necessary since they are a perfect insulator in harsh cold climates. Eating fish that are endangered when we have fish farm options is not right especially killing sharks for their fins alone. That is different than limiting our right to build homes and other vestiges of human civilization to protect a jumping rat or a spotted owl- we by natures design must come first.

As for global warming climates change and we will either adapt or suffer based on our Manifest Destiny as a species to dominate our planet. But we are a damned hard species to kill off so something of mankind will survive I have faith in that.

Offline Wrathie

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2006, 09:28:57 AM »
Well, not being a believer in Destiny, I'd say we're more the Primary Disruptive Species. Even from a purely selfish perspective, most of our activities seriously damage the complex ecological structure around us (global warming aside), putting not only ourselves but every other species around us in danger. We may arguably be the next stage in evolutionary development, but we are a long long way away from the natural course of life. If we aren't careful, we're going to develop past our ability to maintain our own environment... after all, a deitic definition aside, that is essentially what Good and Evil means :)

Our best bet is to get the hell off the planet, and live in a controlled biosphere (that will be a LOT simpler than the evolved ecology currently surrounding us) and let the planet alone to heal itself as best it can.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2006, 09:33:22 AM »
Face it what are the odds of humanity as a species dying we could have a limited nuclear war and some humans would survive in a fashion. Sooner or later their will be a biological correction and humanity will be culled be it again of our doing or natures.

Offline Wrathie

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2006, 09:41:42 AM »
You're right, we're remarkably tough as a species considering how fragile we are as individuals. To address your specific example, it's quite hard to have a limited nuclear war... most nuclear nations are apparently pretty enthusiastic about the 'everything we got' approach... but it's impressive how much we can survive.

Having said that, we would then have more problems to deal with. It's hard building a stable population from a small base, just ask any ecologist who works with endangered species. One nasty disease and viable populations can be decimated, especially since we'd probably be back to the dark ages, if not before. Paranoia, depression, idealogical differences... the survivors are just as likely to kill each other off. Another quirk of our species... we have virtual resources to fight over, not just physical.

We think of ourselves as this massive presence, something close to seven billion individuals on this massive ball of rock. We forget that we're these tiny specks on a tiny speck, and all it would take is one big rock intercepting us to reset us back to a few scattered remnants barely hanging on to life. Far as I'm concerned, that's humanity dead...

Deitic benevolence or otherwise, we need to get our eggs out of one basket. Everyone is all for colonising other planets, but that just gives us a repeat of the same problems. Space stations are where it's at :)

Offline DarkestDreams

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2006, 10:56:45 AM »
I believe the main problem lies in that humans do not adapt themselves; rather, they adapt the world around them, and more often than not in a destructive manner. To claim that we are the superior species is, in my humble opinion, the Ultimate Arrogance. Yes, we are hard to kill. Perhaps that is why we keep trying to commit suicide..

As a side note, I believe diseases are neither evil nor good. They are there to preserve the balance of things. In our quest to fight disease, we are upsetting this balance.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2006, 10:58:49 AM by DarkestDreams »

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2006, 12:49:53 PM »
I couldn't agree more with Wrathie and DarkestDreams... I find it sad that a species that follows religions that encourage "dominion" over the other beings on this planet aren't smart enough to consider the full impact and consequences of its actions.  Nuclear power has been discussed in another thread, and I mentioned there that it's a perfect example of not looking at a life-cycle study of something before assessing its value.  Antibiotics are a good example of a good thing that humans abused to the point of dulling its usefulness. 

Well I have one problem we as a race are not a biological disease. We are the Primary Dominant Species and our existance affects the others for good or ill. They must adapt to our existance not us to them until the Creative Power of the Universe decides to replace us by our own invention or some other mechanism. Like the race of dinosaurs that died out due to natural events be it an impact by a space body or disease or some combination.

If a species dies out because it cannot adapt to us then its the way of nature and is not wrong or evil just the cycle of life taking its natural course.

Now I'm not saying we should not conserve resources or animals if it does not interfer with OUR species in a way we have to suffer such as wearing furs unless necessary since they are a perfect insulator in harsh cold climates. Eating fish that are endangered when we have fish farm options is not right especially killing sharks for their fins alone. That is different than limiting our right to build homes and other vestiges of human civilization to protect a jumping rat or a spotted owl- we by natures design must come first.

As for global warming climates change and we will either adapt or suffer based on our Manifest Destiny as a species to dominate our planet. But we are a damned hard species to kill off so something of mankind will survive I have faith in that.

This strikes me as the Ultimate Arrogance that was mentioned... who decides what's important enough to be preserved and what gets its habitat bulldozed for another stripmall?

Cockroaches are harder to kill than humans, I guess I'll put my faith in them.

The objective thinking on the enviroment is that this is a cycle. Nothing more. 'Global warming', if it's happening is very likely not human created. The Earth has been far warmer in the past and far colder. With very rapid temperature changes too.

 Many people say that we humans are causing it, well what if it's beinc caused by a increase in the sun's temperature? Nothing we humans can do to change that or stop it in anyways. It's sometthing we'll have to deal with.

"Objective thinking"?  A subjective word... what's objective to you may not be to me.  There are arguments for both sides, I guess we each look at the evidence and decide who we believe.  Much like choosing whether I'll follow a book of words that men wrote down and claimed to be the word of "God"...

What if it's being caused by things that we're doing?  It strikes me as irresponsible to future generations to be so selfish that we do what's easy, instead of trying to control our environmental footprint.

Note: I am not picking a fight with anyone here... my comments are made in the spirit of debate and sharing our thoughts.  I'm always curious what leads people to have views that oppose mine, since I only know for sure where mine came from :)

Offline DarkestDreams

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2006, 02:15:54 PM »
Note: I am not picking a fight with anyone here... my comments are made in the spirit of debate and sharing our thoughts.  I'm always curious what leads people to have views that oppose mine, since I only know for sure where mine came from :)

Darn..and there I was hoping for some wrestling ;)

The theory that the Sun is warming up is a very valid one. After all, it is the natural course of stars. Some day, billions of years from now, She will supernova and the world as we know it will end. Fact. But is that a reason to strip our planet from the few defenses it has, now? Is that a reason to just continue on destroying our ozon layer, our rainforests, our oceans? There is no denying that we do just that. If one chooses to deny global warming, one cannot deny what is right before our eyes. Look at our rivers. Look at the sky on a clear day. Aside from those places where humans are few and far between, are skies still truly blue? Nay. If you look closely, it is not hard to see. We are destroying our planet. We may seem to be tipping the balance in our favor -our average live expectancy has never been higher, and our standards of living are high to say the least- but in the end, I fear we'll lose.

This world is filled with choice. Religion is one such choice. We can all chose to follow one God, a Goddess, multiple Deities, or none at all. "Harm ye none, do what thou wilst". If I would have but one thing I could make every man, woman and child see in this world, it would be the truth of that statement. Exercise your choices. Take the chances you are offered. Take sides. Fight for what you think is right. But in doing so, do not harm another. Be it man, beast, plant or element. For all harm you do to them, you do to us all...

Offline robitusinz

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Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2006, 12:21:01 PM »
I think God is like me.

First, I think there's a God.  Whether it's one god, or many gods, it doesn't really matter.  I find the word God, with a capital G, is a convenient terminology.  I don't really want to define what or who God is...it's not that important.

Second, I think that God is like me.  He starts all these projects because he thinks they're fun, then lets them go just to see what happens.  If I were God, I'd have a ton of different Earths in different dimensions, where I did different things...we just happen to be on the Earth where Humanity exists.

Third, we're probably God's favorite Earth.  Simply because of all the funny shit we do.  War, violence, sex, drugs, compassion, love...the range of human emotion is fascinating.  Take God's Magnifying Glass (because, obviously, he's playing a super advanced version of Sim City), then zoom down to any one household out of the billions on the planet, and you're bound to see something that's amusing, either dramatic or comedic.

So, the simple conclusion is that God is lazy and has ADD.

C'mon...like you've never just thought, "Oh shit, what if a volcano erupted in Time Square?!"

That's what God is for.

Offline Wrathie

Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2006, 02:06:23 AM »
So, the simple conclusion is that God is lazy and has ADD.

C'mon...like you've never just thought, "Oh shit, what if a volcano erupted in Time Square?!"

That's what God is for.


Oh great, thanks... I'm going to sleep well now...

:P

Offline MadPanda

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Re: Monotheistic religions disturb me.
« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2006, 11:03:42 AM »
In defense of polytheism: the competition at least keeps the gods honest, and the plethora of choices is definitely more suited to a market economy.  Multiple variations of a monotheistic faith is like having your choice between a dozen varieties of cola...but no root beer or orange soda, lest you be called a heretic or an infidel.  ;D