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Featured Is Salix an Atheist?

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by SalixIncendium, Jan 6, 2019.

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  1. Atheist

    5 vote(s)
    22.7%
  2. Pantheist

    11 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. Insufferable Narcissist

    2 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. It doesn't matter. Salix's fashion sense is to die for.

    4 vote(s)
    18.2%
  5. Other (describe below)

    6 vote(s)
    27.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    I go back and forth on whether I'd label myself an atheist or a pantheist. I'm interested what the forum membership's take on this might be.

    For those who don't know, I identify as a nondualist, essentially Advaita Vedanta minus the formal education and some slight variations on views.

    I recognize Brahman as Absolute Reality, of which I, through the Atman, am the same. However, I recognize Brahman only in It's Nirguna aspect (without qualities), and do not recognize or have the need to recognize a Saguna aspect (with qualities), so while I see the avatars/messengers/gurus/sages as enlightened beings, I do not recognize them as deities.

    So essentially my view of 'God' is Nirguna Brahman, or the Absolute, which, while the observer or witness of Maya, is not an active participant or the decision maker in 'temporal' affairs. In other words, I view God/Brahman/Absolute as pure consciousness.

    One might first think I'd be a theist of sorts, because I believe in something greater the human perception, but where I struggle with the word is that it implies a supreme being that interacts with its creation, which is not at all my view.

    Pantheist might work, as everything I perceive in temporal reality the illusion of Maya, which, while an illusion, is indeed Brahman. But there's that root word, 'theist,' that gives me pause.

    So what do you, the fine members of RF, consider my view to be? Is Salix an atheist, a pantheist, or something else entirely? I'll answer any questions that might help you to clarify my worldview.
     
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  2. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    I think that one must self-classify. What if anything do you consider a god?
     
  3. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    I agree, but I've never been know for my impeccable decisiveness.

    There is no anthropomorphic god as such in my view, only Nirguna Brahman/the Absolute, which is pure consciousness as mentioned in the OP.
     
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  4. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Yet you have a god concept. Most everyone does. Words mean things to people. What does the word god mean to you?
     
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  5. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    I do my best to avoid the term whenever possible because of the confusion it causes when relaying my views, but I find myself using it when speaking with others that may not be familiar with Hindu or mystic terminology.

    In conversation, I've used God (with a capital G) to describe the my "god concept" as you have coined it...to describe Brahman or the Absolute.

    I use the word god (with a lower case) as a common noun.
     
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  6. Jollybear

    Jollybear Hey

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    What about deist? That kind of God dont interact with us.

    If you are pantheist, are you saying the universe itself IS God?

    Also, why do you believe God never interacts with the creation he made?
     
  7. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Because I don't believe a supreme creator.

    I'm saying the universe, as you perceive it, is illusory, a dream of 'God.'

    Because I have seen no evidence or have had no experiences as such.
     
  8. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    But why would you do that. A universal soul is not necessarily any more a god than the Atman is a god-- unless you endow them with god attributes.
     
  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    So it sounds like you consider what you believe in to be God. If that's the case, I'd say you're a theist.
     
  10. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    Which is why I avoid using the word 'god' other than to communicate my views of something greater than my ego-self to those unfamiliar with terms such as Atman and Brahman.
     
  11. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Resident Hermit
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    I suppose that depends on how one would define the term God, but I can see your point with regard to my consideration. What are your thoughts on my issues with the term 'theist' described in the OP?
     
  12. Jollybear

    Jollybear Hey

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    Ok, i see....so, why dont you believe a supreme creator?

    Thats interesting. So, the universe is within Gods mind. Is it kinda like those Nasa pictures that show certain space pictures that look like eye balls? Ever see those?

    I agree with this to an extent. Since God is infinite, hes bigger then the universe, hence the universe must be WITHIN him. However, at the same time, i think God transcends the universe since he has always existed, whilst the universe had a beginning.

    However, another question, the actual God 'outside' his mind, what is he like?

    How would you describe peoples enecdotal experiences with "God"?
     
  13. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Criminy, there are so many descriptions of god & gods out there.
    So my "god concept" is far less defined than....say...my "Harry Potter concept.
     
  14. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    IMO, all that matter is how you understand the term.

    A Rastafarian and I might agree on the facts of the existence of Haile Selassie, but this doesn't make me a theist, because I don't regard Haile Selassie as a god even though the Rastafarian does.

    The question of whether someone is a theist comes down entirely whether they regard something (or multiple things) that they believe in as god(s).

    To me, "theist" just means "someone who believes in at least one god."

    I don't really get what you said about the term "pantheist" (sorta) working for you but "theist" not. To me, "pantheist" just describes a type of theist, so every pantheist is also a theist.
     
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  15. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Sounds like you are using god as a similie or metaphor. That is very different than saying a god exists. Saying you are searching for your holy grail does not mean you believe in the holy grail.
     
  16. Salvador

    Salvador RF's Swedenborgian

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    How is pantheistic divinity distinguishable from natural materialism? If nature is God, and if God is nature, then why not just call God nature, why the big fuss with equating nature with God?
     
  17. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    It is true. But your god concept still exists.
     
  18. Salvador

    Salvador RF's Swedenborgian

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    According to the scale of belief, my belief is rated as strong agnosticism, which means I don't know if God exists, because the reality of God's existence is absolutely unknowable to me, but I'm on the verge of weak atheism, which means I don't think God likely exists, so then I'm willing to say I don't believe in God. So then, I'm teetering between strong agnosticism and weak atheist.

    [​IMG]

    Where on the scale of belief do you consider yourself to be?
     
  19. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    As does your Harry Potter concept.
     
  20. Curious George

    Curious George Veteran Member

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    Absolutely. I also think that it is noteworthy that my Harry Potter concept is less categorical than gods. But even if we are talking about a specific god, i see ypur point.
     
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