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Featured What is the purpose of religion divine or nihilism

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by dfnj, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for repeating this topic but it keeps coming up. A lot of atheists and non-religious types keep throwing around the evidence based argument in my face. I recently responded to someone saying in response to "all religions are the same" comment that they are not the same because they ALL contradict each other. I continue to disagree because I believe everyone's dogma is absolutely true from each person's point of view. And all religions are true. The contradictions do not matter.

    Here's what I believe is the purpose of religion. The purpose of religion is to answer the four great existential questions:

    1. Who am I?
    2. Why am I here?
    3. What does it all mean?
    4. What is going to happen to me when I die?

    These questions cannot be answered objectively based on evidence. They are essentially unanswerable questions. People are generally uncomfortable with unanswerable questions so people invent religion so they can be comfortable.

    It really doesn't matter how you answer these questions. On the cosmic timescale everything we do is meaningless. But it is also meaningless that it is meaningless. So we might as well choose meaningful. So what people do when they invent religion is they choose answers to these questions that give them greatest possible amount of divine meaning in their lives.

    When people answer these questions they do so with an article of faith. An article of faith is taken to be true without any supporting evidence. An article of faith is assumed to be true. Then based on a set of articles of faith, a person will live their life as if those articles of faith are proven to be true.

    For some people, they cannot accept articles of faith. For some people, they want to choose a religion based on evidence. What they are looking for is to make a "decision" on how to answer the great existential questions. Where as most spiritual or people more open to religion "choose" to believe what they believe. The difference between a choice and a decision is very important.

    Is it "right", is it "wrong", who knows, who cares. Either you live a divine life or one based on nihilism. Each of us chooses how we want to BE. Choose. Just BE. It's all good!
     
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  2. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Sure, believe what you want.
    Even nihilism is a belief.

    I just accept that there are somethings that I will never have an answer for. Having no answer for these question changes nothing. I still have to go about my actual life generally seeking happiness I suppose.

    Do people need a belief to make them happy? Seems unnecessary to me.
     
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  3. bobhikes

    bobhikes infinitologist
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    I have no problem with all religions being right but I would also include atheism as being right. I do have a problem with divine life or nihilism. Life can have a purpose without the divine. There is far more life on this planet than just humans.
     
  4. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Evidence is the conduct and result of someone living out their morals, beliefs, or religion. A lot of it cant be given as evidence because of one, pride, two the feeling one is holding something special, or three its too personal.

    If there is no evidence for say belief in god, why believe? Why put your trust in someone you are not convinced by Your Own reasoning he exists?

    Its not more of evidence but that Some atheist want universal ones so if a believer says X is a fact, they should be able to demonstrate a line of reason so others will know the same regardless our beliefs.

    For example, I dislike math. If you told me 2x and Y is 1 over 5z (I made it up) I dont have to like math for you to demonstrate how this problem is true. I can disagree with you but the point is demonstrate it as something worth believing or disbelieving. But if the believer cant have that type of universal discussion of their factual belief, maybe they can rephrase their statement. "I believe...." type of thing.

    All religions dont lead to the same goal. We may all have the same motives (you dont need a religion. Humans are humans regardless) but our goals are different as well as our maps and roads...

    But to one who "gets it" and still believes, they have my hats up. Many grow up in their faith or hard converts that they want to know nothing else. Bugs the bananassas out of me but there it is.
     
  5. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing wrong in thinking it is unnecessary. I'm not sure there is a "right" way to answer these questions. I think we can at least both agree there is no objective way to answer these questions. At some point, each of us is making subjective judgments on how best to answer these questions. I respect your subjective judgments and please respect mine. As I said, it's all good.
     
  6. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    I do not disagree with the idea life can have a non-divine purpose. But having a divine purpose, oh boy, that's exciting! Again, as I said, how you choose is your choice. It's all good including atheism (atheism meaning not having any belief in god or gods). It's all good.
     
  7. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    To provide a meaningful concrete answer to the four great existential questions.

    As I said, people choose to believe in articles of faith. It is not a decision based on "reasoning". What you are looking for does not exists. Many theists know this to be true and still choose to have faith. This sentiment on your part is like someone claiming atheists "deny the existence of God therefore atheist are irrational.". Atheism is the absence of belief nothing more. Same thing here. You are injecting the idea of "decision" based on "evidence" into the conversation when theists are not including it.

    I can't argue with your opinion. All I can do is disagree with it.

    What "bugs the bananassas" out of you is an interesting point of focus. We only criticize and hate in other people what we do not like about ourselves. Maybe what is bugging you is the idea that someone else is comfortable having irrational answers to questions you have no answers for. Maybe you need think about it. Maybe you have a lack of faith in your own set of beliefs. I don't mean this in a bad way. I'm just pointing out there are reason why people invent belief systems with articles of faith.
     
  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    There is evidence but its personal, subjective, and not universal. Finding universal answers to this is like running around in circles trying to catch your tail.

    I dont know about all atheist. No god exists so as an atheist I reject there is an idea of one. I cant reject something none existant. As for theists, they have evidence and reasoning for their beliefs. The issue is trying to fit their beliefs in another persons equation to answer those questions. Like fiting a circle puzzle piece in your square hole type of thing. Some theist trying to prove their circle is perfect and squares are not. Some atheist are trying to fit theist circles in their square holes and feeling disappointed when it doesnt fit.

    That would be more interesting if you knew me in person.

    I never called myself an atheist. I wasnt indoctrinated. Was never raised around christians. Never knew what a god is. If I hadnt moved and knew RF, Id probably be the only "atheist" out of the loop of this god thing. I had better and more important things to do during my life.

    Sounds like youre a seeker and want to find questions to life so you find meaning in it. You probably searched for a long while but maybe you are young and still learning about spirituality. Who knows?

    If this is false, its because its an assumption based on two posts on an internet forum.

    The answers to questions is trust yourself. It is not a bad thing to have faith without reason. Maybe thats whats stopping you. When you hit a brick wall with a belief without reason, you go back the way you came. Push forward. Life doesnt give answers. You find them in yourself.
     
  9. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    1. Who am I?
    2. Why am I here?
    3. What does it all mean?
    4. What is going to happen to me when I die?“



    Hmm the above is accurate, and religion is mostly clueless we can see that is a fact. So I would say generally speaking the below is a normal answer in spectrum for believers, non believers, and agnostics. A strange bunch but right-handed people are wierd..

    1. Who am I?
    flavor of the day
    2. Why am I here?
    Flavor of the day
    3. What does it all mean?
    Flavor of the day
    4. What is going to happen to me when I die?“
    Flavor of the day.

    EASY!!! Pick a flavor and we can do debate. "No my rocky road is way better than that crap strawberry....,"

    Funny the questions have no
    PRESENCE apparently that is irrelevant to religion..Well some times it accidently slips through the door but it's usually then presence. It's small and hard to read. And when they try and explain it, it's flavor of the day.. See the above.


     
  10. Phantasman

    Phantasman Well-Known Member

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    A religion is belief in a doctrine defined by creeds. Man has created many doctrines. Therefore many religions. Man does not have the ability to create a perfect doctrine, though most believe that their particular doctrine is right, or most correct (in life).

    Like the Desiderata says, "there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself".

    Be better than those of any doctrine you come across. And you will rise above them.

    Religion saves no one.
     
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  11. Gerry

    Gerry Well-Known Member

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    I believe that all religions are true.
    That’s why I believe they’re all the same.
    It makes no matter which you attend.
    The religion won’t change the person.
    Which also means a religion isn’t necessary.
    So no religion is true too.
     
  12. hughwatt

    hughwatt Member

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    Hi, it's a question that will arise again and again.

    I agree there are contradictions in all religions that's why you have so many. But there are some things I'd like your thoughts on.

    "ALL contradict each other." - Would you expect them to agree on everything? If religion is man-made and Man by nature has the will to think freely why would we all come to the same conclusion?


    Then why do people switch religions over time?

    In what way are they all true? That you say "..contradictions do not matter," in itself is a contradiction of "..all religions are true."

    "Religion" in its core meaning does not mean any of these. The word actually means to bind. People are born by nature religious since we all have some set of rules to govern our lives. The non-religious may disagree but not one person who ever lived lived without law. Do they all agree? No. Should we expect them to?

    I'll perhaps come back to your other points some time if you reply.
     
  13. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I suppose they won't matter to the extent that people do not impose the consequences of their beliefs on others.

    Unfortunately, that is a pretty severe limitation.


    That is one way of defining it. Personally I would remove the fourth item, but many seem to disagree with me on this.


    Except that we do not exist in a vacuum as individuals. As it turns out, much of the purpose of religion is arguably to ensure that we do not.

    Our purposes and actions are supposed to have meaning. It just happens that it isn't cosmic in nature. But that is very much unimportant, despite cravings to the contrary.

    Maybe it is just me, but I think we should all aim a bit higher than that.

    I somewhat agree.

    I think you are being too reductionist here. There is definitely such a thing as misguided beliefs, and beliefs do not so easily conform to such a dychotomy in the first place.
     
  14. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    Ha,ha, if only it were true.
     
  15. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    People change their favorite ice cream flavor all the time.

    They are all true if you accept their articles of faith as being true. I have no way to prove the old Testament God does not exist. But if people live their lives with the faith that He does exsit then that is what I meant by all religions are true.

    Religion is not a contest to prove which articles of faith are objectively the right ones.



    Did you even read my post? I said the purpose of religion. I did not say what religion means. I think you are just being argumentative.



    I do not think you questions are relevant to the conversation.

    Don't waste your time.
     
  16. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    And there is no way to be objective about which science is "good" science and which science is "junk" science.

    The OP has nothing to do with religion being "true" or "false". It has to do with the purpose of religion which is to answer certain questions with concrete answers. And people who adhere to a particular religion have a set of articles of faith. Articles of faith are a set of statements considered to be true without any proof or evidence supporting them. Once people choose to have faith, they live their lives accordingly.

    I'm amazed how quickly the conversation always turns to a value judgment over religion or a discussion of evidence. If you don't have any faith there's nothing wrong with you. I'm just pointing out what people of faith are doing and why it is meaningful to them. I am not trying evangelize atheists to switch camps.
     
  17. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Well, technically there is: good science is objective.
     
  18. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I tend to think of Dogen when it comes to the existential questions.

    1. Who am I?
    Answer: MU

    2. Why am I here?
    Answer: My parents.

    3. What does it all mean?
    Answer: It means you want an answer to the question.

    4. What is going to happen to me when I die?
    Answer: Haven't died yet. From what I can tell however, the heart stops, the brain ceases to function, and you start to decompose.
     
  19. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Hey. Your assumption made me laugh a bit.
     
  20. TheBannerofHomuraAkemi

    TheBannerofHomuraAkemi Active Member

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    You may find this hard to believe, but I believe in God and at the same time I have some very Nihilistic views in my life.

    I find the whole concept of Evangelical Christianity to be pointless. No matter how many people you bring into the faith other will disbelieve and receive eternal damnation. So what's the point of doing it? Because God commands it? Well God Commands you to feed and shelter the poor, but Evangelical Christians often ignored it and look down on the unfortunate. I've been guilty of this as well. What this long rant can really be summed as there is no hope for Humanity. It can't be saved.
     
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