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So, I might as well be an atheist.

#1IamvegitoPosted 9/23/2013 8:14:25 PM
Basically, I've been on this road for a while. I don't hold any supernatural beliefs, and I hold those who do in contempt. I feel "religion" is destructive in the Marxian sense - it distracts people from actual problems in their lives and allows them to project their hopes/ aspirations/ etc. on some 'afterlife.' I'm also not convinced that my beliefs (liberation theology) require the whole "God" aspect to still be valid. The problem with theism, as it tends to manifest, is that it demands God act inconsistently in the world, and is vulnerable to theodicy issues.

The issue here is that I consider myself "Christian," in that I follow the teachings of Jesus, particularly in regards to social justice/ opposition to Empire.
I
I've gone through a sort of three-step path over the past couple weeks:

1 - Process Theology. This is where I've been for a while. Basically, God doesn't act in the world, but has aspirations for how humans should act. Basically, it boils down to "love your neighbor as yourself" taken to its extreme. There's no "sin" or "salvation" here, no afterlife, just human movement toward a better reality - the "Kingdom of God." The problem here is that calling myself "Christian" conjures up images of Evangelicals/ people praying and hoping for an afterlife. I'm getting sick of trying to rebrand, and these people seem to think I agree with (what I perceive as) their nonsensical beliefs. Ditching this identity would help, but I don't think that would be fair to the dead guy who I try to remember and emulate.

2 - God is Dead/ Deism. This is the logical progression after the process theology. God was vulnerable, and may have had hopes that God was willing/ partially able to act upon in the past, but can no longer do so. It helps to explain how prophets have turned up from time to time to deride the status quo, and allows for an out on the question of "why the world is so s****y now."

3 - God never existed. All of the prophets of the past, including but not limited to Jesus and Moses, were mistaken about the existence of "God." They had a faith in an alternate reality, and ascribed it to some sort of being that wasn't there. This still allows for for affirming that alternate reality, and simultaneously removes all ideas of its otherworldliness. This seems like an easy choice to me, except for the removal of the power of hope. If there is no power behind the alternative, how can I be convinced that our process of becoming will lead to it? That makes this option rather depressing, as our current reality sucks.

So that's what I'm thinking about, 263. It isn't particularly coherent, but I haven't really collected my thoughts into one place yet. Feel free to weigh-in, ask questions, or let the topic die at your leisure.
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"A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid."
#2LinkFanaticPosted 9/23/2013 8:53:33 PM
Sounds like you're too afraid to drop the Jesus label because Christianity still holds a place for you. Which there's nothing wrong with that, and you'll tend to sort through your own beliefs over time.

Good luck with whatever happens.
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SSJ Gotenks is santa clause, because he can fly around the planet in one night. - ShaolinAced
#3JonWood007Posted 9/23/2013 9:26:38 PM
Yeah, these things take time, you don't deconvert overnight. It does happen in phases. Took me 3 months to deconvert, and that's only after I realized it was actually happening. Before that, I was questioning, wracking my brain, and slowly compromising my beliefs as I've found more and more of it to be false.
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#4KikelingyglerPosted 9/23/2013 9:42:31 PM
Iamvegito posted...
I don't hold any supernatural beliefs, and I hold those who do in contempt...
...I consider myself "Christian," in that I follow the teachings of Jesus....
...calling myself "Christian" conjures up images of Evangelicals...
...I don't think that would be fair to the dead guy who I try to remember and emulate...


If you actually want to know what I think: Let them be confused. Do what feels right.
#5Iamvegito(Topic Creator)Posted 9/23/2013 9:56:11 PM
LinkFanatic posted...
Sounds like you're too afraid to drop the Jesus label because Christianity still holds a place for you. Which there's nothing wrong with that, and you'll tend to sort through your own beliefs over time.

Good luck with whatever happens.


Nah, screw "Christianity." Jesus was a cool dude, though.
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"A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid."
#6Faust_8Posted 9/23/2013 10:23:16 PM
Forgive if I'm wrong, but I don't recall any of Jesus' teachings as being exclusive to him and him alone.

You can easily emulate what he said without solely attributing it to him, since quite frankly, others have said the exact same thing basically.

You mention "love thy neighbor" but Jesus is hardly the first or the last to say something along those lines.

Basically, what I'm saying is the values that you cherish are not truly "Christian" values. They're values that are present in Christianity/Jesus but not owned by them. In the same way that "don't give in to fear" isn't exclusively a Franklin Delano Roosevelt nugget of wisdom.
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I'm not against religion. I'm against all bad ideas, held for bad reasons, prompting bad behavior.
#7Iamvegito(Topic Creator)Posted 9/24/2013 6:22:23 AM
Faust_8 posted...
Forgive if I'm wrong, but I don't recall any of Jesus' teachings as being exclusive to him and him alone.

As far as the particulars of standing up to the destructive power of a global hegemon on the people it controls, he's pretty much top-tier.
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"A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid."
#8Nitro378Posted 9/24/2013 7:19:21 AM
Iamvegito posted...
Faust_8 posted...
Forgive if I'm wrong, but I don't recall any of Jesus' teachings as being exclusive to him and him alone.

As far as the particulars of standing up to the destructive power of a global hegemon on the people it controls, he's pretty much top-tier.

You are joking right? Have we forgotten:

Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

or

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
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Zombie Clement Attlee 2015 --- (Zombie) FDR/Sanders 2016
If you want friends in Washington, get a lobbyist - me
#9Iamvegito(Topic Creator)Posted 9/24/2013 8:17:59 AM
Nitro378 posted...

Nitro, you are clearly trolling if you think Deutero-Paul is the same person as Historical Jesus.
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"A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid."
#10Nitro378Posted 9/24/2013 8:26:13 AM
I don't understand differences in theology like that so gud. I just know that that's what it says in the bible, surely that's not a good sign for resisting authority. And even if we stick to what's attributed to Jesus, how about 'render unto ceasar what is ceasar's'?
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Zombie Clement Attlee 2015 --- (Zombie) FDR/Sanders 2016
If you want friends in Washington, get a lobbyist - me