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Featured Define my religion

Discussion in 'Non-theism' started by siti, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Please note this is not a call out, but in another thread, quite a few people have objected to my definition of a certain - let me call it - way of thinking. I suspect that this objection is partly because the perception is that I have an opposing religious view. I'm not sure that I do and to be perfectly honest, I have no clear idea how I would define, categorize or label my religious 'viewpoint'. Certainly I have no religion - I don't go to any church, synagogue, temple or mosque - I don't have any religious affiliations at all. But my views are probably religious in nature in some sense. Here's what I think about the world/reality/God...

    1. We are all connected - not only to each other but to every other living thing on planet earth and to all the billions of stars etc. 'out there'
    2. That connection is probably mediated by a common, shared thread of ubiquitous "connectedness" that I call experience - this is a form of panpsychism - but I prefer to call it panexperietialism
    3. It is entirely possible as far as I can see that the emergence of holistic organic experiential (and perhaps conscious) wholes could occur above the level of the individual organism (like a human being for example) and may happen at the levels of communities, biomes...and onward and upward to the level of an entire universe.
    4. I have no objection to calling the possible emergent creative 'experientiality' (that may or may not be 'conscious' in the normally understood sense) of the entire universe "God"
    5. None of this conflicts with science - evolution is a routinely observed fact of nature - which means - if the whole of the universe is sufficiently 'god-like' to qualify for the title 'God' then God also evolves

    Most of the above is a consistent with process philosophy but it is expressly not 'theism' - it is 'non-theistic' IMO because 'God' whilst possible is neither necessary nor necessarily one nor necessarily the 'creator' nor any of the omnis in any of the usual senses of any of 'theistic' religions.

    It might be 'deistic' in the sense that I expressly deny God any powers beyond or above nature. It may be 'panthe-istic' in the sense that God may (but I don't suppose it has to be) 'all' of the universe. It is probably naturalistic because although I may be stretching the boundaries of what I am saying beyond what naturalistic science knows, it is not beyond what is reasonably inferrable from what we know. And if it were not for the fact that I have no issue with using the word 'God' - it might even be atheistic, because I would then just be talking about the apparently inherent creative propensity of the natural universe.

    How do you 'define' or 'label' that?
     
  2. bobhikes

    bobhikes AntiRepublican
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    Sitiism, I've given up defining my religion to others because they won't get it. They don't understand my view of god. The reason being no matter what your beliefs, your experiences and your biological make up are different than mine. You are unique so your beliefs must be unique. There are no facts that can define God or Religion so why try unless you want to create you own world religion. I certainly don't recommend that.

    A personal example: As a child I was proven to seizures with high fevers. I now believe the medicine they gave me promoted hallucinations which I thought at the time where visions. One night I swore, Mary the blessed mother came into my bedroom. After being taken off the medicine, I no longer got visions. My natural curiosity took over and I started investigating and what happened to me had also happened to others similarly. I eventually understood they were hallucinations and my life progressed. Not every one has my tenacity and will believe they were given visions. They will also tell me that I was wrong about what I concluded. I don't challenge them because I have no proof but I trust myself.
     
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  3. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    I hear you Bob! Nevertheless, I would still like those who do think its a good idea to classify religious beliefs to classify mine. It won't change what I think but it might help me to put stuff in the right relative locations in the RF forums. If I did want to initiate a 'world religion' I think I would just call it 'thinking' - but that's been tried already and it didn't seem to catch on.
     
  4. bobhikes

    bobhikes AntiRepublican
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    I can't neatly classify your beliefs. I can offer what I do.

    I am a Atheist, Agnostic Christian Toaist who is a Moderate Democratic Communist. I usually only get in trouble in the Christian Dir, they are really touchy but its probably the most experience I have which to me is funny.

    The only dir I wont ask respectful questions is the Feminist one.
     
  5. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    Just in case...

    If you think are an atheist, but are struggling with other atheists on the forum- you are not alone. Myself and @Augustus are in a sort of atheist minority on the forums being on the more materialist/anti-theist end of the spectrum.
     
  6. Koldo

    Koldo Incredible Member

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    If I had to label it, I would call it 'New Age'.
     
  7. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Shrugs. I tried.

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    Let's simplify it. I used to use a lot of metaphyic terminology; but, when I found that religion can be made rationalized, I kept with the foundation and everything else is based on my experience, culture, and upbringing.
    Point: Everything is connected.

    Universal Unitarian
    Bahai
    Neopagan
    Pantheist (which isn't a religion)

    Among others have this mindset.

    OOh goosh.

    Point: We have a common thread.

    Of course we do. We are all humans and share many experiencecs because we are human. Maybe

    Humanist (take out the "spiritual" language)
    Neopagan

    Oh, I wouldn't know. This sounds like neopagan or not even that.

    A lot of beliefs humans have don't need to fall under a religious category, though.

    Sounds like Panthenism. "Everything is connected by a universal force/god/whatever and it is seen above and maybe separate than the universe at the same time" or it could be Pantheism "All have the same interconnection by the same divine source."

    Sounds a bit Hindu but I can't verify it.

    Back to Pantheism, neopagan, and maybe look into Bahai. They belive in god but I can't remember if they believe everything is interconnected. They do believe in one source for all religions.

    Evolution has nothing to do with religion. However, religion is personal; so, you can make it a part of your religion if you like. That's towards eclectic neopagan.

    Sounds somewhat agnostic. Agnostic isn't a religion but that's what it sounds like. Pantheism isn't theistic. There is no god/entity.

    Stick with Pantheist.

    It's not a religion but that's the best I can see, that or neopagan.
     
  8. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    You're a theist, IMO.

    "Theism" doesn't just refer to classical monotheism; it applies to any god-belief. For instance, deism is a subset of theism.

    If you believe that something literally exists and believe it to be a god, you're a theist.

    More specifically, if I understand you correctly, you're a panentheist. What I get from your description is that you don't consider the universe to by synonymous with God, but you do believe that God permeates the universe. If I've properly understood your beliefs, then you fit the definition for a panentheist.

    Edit: after reading it again, I think that maybe I did misunderstand you. Maybe "pantheist" is a more accurate label.
     
  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    @siti - you say you "have no objection" to using the term "God" to describe what you believe in... but do you consider what you believe in to be God?
     
  10. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Carlita's analysis is pretty spot-on. Don't think I have much more to add to it. I'd go with pantheist or panentheist. I'd stay away from contemporary Paganism unless you start talking to us about what you do, because Paganism is much less about what is believed than what is practiced.
     
  11. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    experientialist.

    Experience is, for me, the highest authority. The touchstone of validity is my own experience. No other person's ideas, and none of my own ideas, are as authoritative as my experience. It is to experience that I must return again and again, to discover a closer approximation to truth as it is in the process of becoming in me.

    Neither the Bible nor the prophets ~ neither Freud nor research - neither the revelations of God nor man - can take precedence over my own direct experience.

    [....] My experience is not authoritative because it is infallible. It is the basis of authority because it can always be checked in new primary ways. In this way its frequent error or fallibility is always open to correction.

    Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person (pages 23, 24)

    a definite minority.............me
     
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  12. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    And I would question even that...
     
  13. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    ..which is why I use the phrase "atheist minority". ;)
     
  14. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Ah, a challenge. This shall be interesting...

    First of all, I want to point out that there is IMO no clear reason why people can't or should not conform to various labels at once, or even alternate otherwise mutually exclusive labels.

    People can and do change their opinions on whether there is some form of deity or not, even often and on a whim. That does not have to mean much at all. And in my opinion, it is not supposed to.

    As for actual religious affiliation, again, that is hardly clear-cut, nor should it. Some doctrines are mutually incompatible, but that is neither all that common nor always acknowledged. The perception that people should have exactly no religion or just one is largely fallacious.

    How much significance and consequence do you see in that?

    If it is just something that you don't disagree with when it is pointed out to you, then it would suggest little more than a lack of need in the belief of a creator God.

    If it is a Big Thing, though, that might suggest some affinity to Dharma, particularly to Buddha Dharma.

    This hints of panentheism to me. But only ever so slightly.

    I guess this only means that you are not an extreme materialist. And I mean extreme. Accepting such a possibility is IMO a lot different from believing that such is the case.

    Given that you describe that as "possible" and not as something that you believe in or even that you find particularly likely, it sure sounds that you are close to a true agnostic.

    This does not really tell me much about your beliefs either way. But it does suggest that you are not too worried about the exact meaning of the word "God".

    I agree.

    I would say that you are a deist in those moments (if any) when you believe that there is a single, perhaps universal deity that does not have much (if anything) to do with supernaturalism.

    I definitely consider you an agnostic, and probably an apatheist and an ignostic as well ("it does not matter whether there is a God / there is no clear meaning to the word God to begin with").

    I agree that you are also either an atheist or so close to being one that it makes no significant difference.
     
  15. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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  16. Baladas

    Baladas An Págánach

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    I would probably call it Pandeism. I'm not completely sure though.
     
  17. Kilgore Trout

    Kilgore Trout Misanthropic Humanist

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    Forced label matching tends to be counterproductive in regards to what purpose labels are supposed to serve.
     
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  18. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone - all helpful and insightful comments most of which I agree with.

    For the record, I think my philosophical (metaphysical/ontological) position can most succinctly be labelled 'panexperiential process physicalism'.

    When I lapse (or perhaps ascend - depending on your POV) into religious thinking I sometimes use the terms 'process pan-de-ism', 'naturalistic pan-the-ism' or 'religious naturalism' depending on who I'm talking to. I don't think any of these are 'theistic' (necessarily) - in fact I think the first two would be self-contradictory terms if they were. 'Religious naturalism' is a much broader term and could equally apply to some theistic and some entirely god-less worldviews.

    I think of it as deistic because, I am suggesting, if God does exist, it does not interfere supernaturally in any way in the process of the universe - and as pan- because I think if God does exist it must be as (no more than) the totality of physical reality.

    Of course I don't 'know' that any such 'God' actually exists and I think at present we can't know but, given that my possible deities are all based on an underlying physicalist worldview, there is no fundamental reason why we should not, in time, be able to assess that possibility scientifically. In that sense, I suppose, I am also a 'provisional agnostic'.
     
  19. Hammerheart

    Hammerheart Well-Known Member

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    I'd consider you to be a Pantheist.
     
  20. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहं ब्रह्मास्मि
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    The beliefs you describe here are quite identical to mine. However, before I apply a label, however, I would need to know if you view this possible god as immanent or transcendent.
     
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