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After reading and listening to people dispute their belief or lack of belief, I believe it's harder to explain than with just a "yes" or "no". Tell me what your thoughts are on this topic because honestly, I don't want to confirm nor deny any entity that may or may not exist.

Can God(s) exist and not exist at the same time? What about the afterlife? What do we do here and now to ensure we prosper in the afterlife, if there is one after all?

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There are 14 Replies

Can God(s) exist and not exist at the same time?


This is very binary, though your definition of "exist" matters. There is a group of people whom believe God exists, but does so outside of time, which would also mean outside of the universe. By most conventional definitions, He then exists, but not really, since existence implies he's here. Mind you, i'm not in that group, though, but I did use to be. XD

What about the afterlife?


It either does or does not exist, but does that matter? Everyone's worried about a life after life, but does that really matter at the end of the day. Strict Judaism doesn't really have a concept of an after life, last time i checked.

What do we do here and now to ensure we prosper in the afterlife, if there is one after all?


Depends on which God exists, if any. You need to establish which one exists long before you try to establish if the afterlife even exists. Then, you should establish whether or not the afterlife even exists, long before you establish how to get there.

Posted November 5th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak

There are definitely more nuances than the average person thinks. I've had people basically explode on me for trying to tell them that there's a difference between believing that something doesn't exist and not believing that something exists.

Posted November 5th by nullfather
nullfather

Linguistic and mental nuance. Remember, reality itself is not subject to our thinking and interpretation of it. Our perception of reality, but not reality itself.

Posted November 5th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak

There's no point trying to separate reality from our perception of it; without our perception of it we would have no access to it whatsoever.

It's a bit like asking "are there other universes that we can't interact with?". There's no way to prove or disprove any idea about other universes because we lack the perception of them.

Thus, all that we understand about our reality is inherently tied to our perception of it.

Posted November 5th by Xhin
Xhin
 

I'd even argue that we don't know for certain whether reality is objective or not. It could be nothing more than a shared subjective experience that only follows rules because the things doing the observing of it have their own rules that they follow.

Ever notice how dreams follow their own peculiar rules? Does that mean dream universes are real just because they follow rules? What the difference between a dream experience and a waking experience?

In the end, everything we know comes back to some subjective experience -- the experience of observational perception, the experience of gaining knowledge, the experience of memory.

Posted November 5th by Xhin
Xhin
 

Such a hard pill to swallow. To never really know the answers. It leaves one into a state of depression or inebriation, depending on how you look at it. In my personal case, depression. In my personal case, I'm more upset that I don't know the answer rather than given the worse possible punishment.

Thank you everyone for your insight.

Posted November 5th by OWA, who loves OWA OWA, who loves
OWA, who loves OWA OWA, who loves

Well all you have to do is look at *why* you want to know the answers, because there are other ways to accomplish that goal whatever it is.

Posted November 6th by Xhin
Xhin
 

After reading and listening to people dispute their belief or lack of belief, I believe it's harder to explain than with just a "yes" or "no".


You know the feeling you get when you see some place for yourself for the first time after hearing about it, or maybe it's a concert for a band you've heard but never seen, or meeting an online friend for the first time. It's this feeling of "okay this is actually real, wow". Belief in God is a lot like that. You skip the whole seeing/physical evidence part and go right to the "this is actually real" feeling. Sometimes this happens when you're an anti-religion atheist and you're like "wat".

What do we do here and now to ensure we prosper in the afterlife


Living your life for something that *might* happen because someone told you so is a terrible thing to do. If the afterlife is so important, we'd be there instead of here. Instead, there's a reason we're here and we have to make *this life* count, not be focused on what happens afterwards.

Posted November 6th by Xhin
Xhin
 

It leaves one into a state of depression or inebriation, depending on how you look at it. In my personal case, depression




Posted November 6th by nullfather
nullfather

There's no point trying to separate reality from our perception of it; without our perception of it we would have no access to it whatsoever.

It's a bit like asking "are there other universes that we can't interact with?". There's no way to prove or disprove any idea about other universes because we lack the perception of them.

Thus, all that we understand about our reality is inherently tied to our perception of it.


It's tied, i will not deny, but the issue with preception and not separating it is that "my reality" and "your reality" become very different. This allows for a host of problems, including mental issues where people hide from reality, so that the parts of reality they hate are not part of "their reality."



Looks more like hedonism than nihilism. With nihilism you see both. I most certainly have seen it first hand. Usually the right side is what you see for a while, then it goes to the left side when hedonism gets boring.

Posted November 6th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak

Looks more like hedonism than nihilism. With nihilism you see both. I most certainly have seen it first hand. Usually the right side is what you see for a while, then it goes to the left side when hedonism gets boring.

Meanwhile in France:



Edited November 10th by Louis De Pointe du Lac
Louis De Pointe du Lac
No love = No future

when you're an anti-religion atheist

Here's a question, why are people anti-religion? What has religion done to them to earn such enmity? I've asked that who knows how many times, and people either avoid the question, or cannot give me a straight answer. The hate is palpable, but it seems that nobody can name the root of it.

I'm more upset that I don't know the answer

What if the answers are available, but they don't confirm your bias? People deny reality by asserting that all of truth is contained within their comfort zone. Anything to the contrary is dismissed as not being reality.

"my reality" and "your reality"

I can work with that, but what about people who put their foot down and assert that their reality trumps other people's reality? Is truth subjective?

Thus, all that we understand about our reality is inherently tied to our perception of it.

But one cannot perceive God(with eyes at least). A lot of people think this gives them the right to assert that God does not exist because of the "out of sight, out of mind" principle.

Posted November 10th by GC/MS
GC/MS
 

Here's a question, why are people anti-religion? What has religion done to them to earn such enmity? I've asked that who knows how many times, and people either avoid the question, or cannot give me a straight answer. The hate is palpable, but it seems that nobody can name the root of it.


It's a complicated answer. The short answer is, it's not the religion, which is why you never get the answer. Psychologically, those who hate religion are having trouble hating the followers, so they want to blame the religion instead. Especially when the people you should be hating or angry at are large in number or is a close friend or family member. Religion isn't all that different from other forms of ideologies, but you can't hate ideology, which is why they can't come up with anything specific that affects all religions. It's like trying to hate manhood because you've dealt with a few bad men. Can you come up with something concrete that hateable that applies to all men? No. Now, you can hate a specific man, and you can hate a specific religion. However, upon hating a specific religion, you typically find that the religion being hated upon doesn't have much reason to be hated, so it's easier for you to lie to yourself that it's the religion you hate. In reality, you just can't bare to face the fact that you're misdirecting your hatred, because admitting that your parent, sibling, spouse, teacher, or whatever is what you have a problem with is quite painful.

What if the answers are available, but they don't confirm your bias? People deny reality by asserting that all of truth is contained within their comfort zone. Anything to the contrary is dismissed as not being reality.


You hit the nail on the head with this one. But for the sake of all those who would be confused, now you must explain that the reason people do this is to avoid pain. It's not just outside of your comfort zone, as some people can fight that, but the most entrenched issues are due to mental anguish.

I can work with that, but what about people who put their foot down and assert that their reality trumps other people's reality? Is truth subjective?


Truth is the antithesis of subjective.

But one cannot perceive God(with eyes at least). A lot of people think this gives them the right to assert that God does not exist because of the "out of sight, out of mind" principle.


That's the thing with "our reality." It is not truth, but merely our perception of truth, or "our best guess." The problem with humans is that we're not really rational. We like to think that we are, but we're not. We can be deceived, which means our perception of reality can be different from reality. The terms "my reality," "your reality," etc are phrases that refer to the perception of reality, not reality itself.

Posted November 10th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak

And here comes the most uncomfortable fact of life: nobody's perception of reality could possibly handle the complexity of reality, therefore everybody's wrong, just some people are closer than others.

Case in point, understanding something is by taking it's properties and putting them inside your head, and letting your artificial reality in your head clunk around. Fortunately, this artificial reality clunking around ends up being faster than reality. How? Because we simplify everything, so that only certain important properties go into our heads. Some such properties include "that rock is going to fall" translates to "in my artificial universe, that rock is already falling." As we understand the situation before us, we filtered out those moments between now and when it actually falls. This is what gives us that predictive measure: we skipped some inconsequential details (that it hasn't fallen yet). We can see signs that suggest that it will, but that doesn't mean that it has. And, should it fall from high enough, in our heads, it's already terminal velocity and isn't dealing with wind resistance, which allows that rock to hit the ground in our artificial reality before it ever actually does hit the ground, allowing us to figure which way to step so as to not be squished by it.

This leads to another issue: we can't simulate any thing that is more complex than our minds, which is why we simplify things, due to capacity issues. This leads to the cold hard fact that we ultimately can't understand ourselves to the entirety. Fortunately, we don't actually have to. Most details don't matter, so we can be surprised. I don't need to know which atoms on my feet are carbon atoms, for example.

Edited November 10th by Kohlrak
Kohlrak
Reply to: Is belief binary?

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