1. Subscribersonhouse
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    02 Dec '05 14:20
    Thinking of all the people who have started religions or claim to have
    been mandated directly by god, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahaula,
    David Koresh, etc. What is really going on here?
    You have a person who claims to be speaking for god.
    Then you have people who believe him or her. It seems it takes
    both groups to cause some religion to form. Obviously the followers
    have no way of knowing if someone claiming to be the messenger
    is just hallucinating and happens to have persuasive powers or
    the real thing.
    I am trying to think through a plot of a story where a group of
    people are selected for atheistic or agnostic views and forming
    a new society where religion will not show its ugly head, where there
    will not be a built in rationale to kill just based on believe systems
    like we have now, Crusades, Jihads abound in our civilization, if you
    can use that word to describe our sick planet. So the thing I am
    wrestling with is say its a couple hundred years on, our fledgling
    colony then develops a person who thinks god has spoken to him or
    her and then tries to convince others.
    What could happen? Would the society put that person in therapy
    or jail or banishment? Would it do any good? Would some form of
    this happen maybe only a few years on in spite of the fact there are
    thousands of people in this colony who don't believe in god or
    are indifferant? That is to say, is such a process inevitable or could
    it be weeded out of our lives such that we can truly live in peace
    without having to referance our daily lives to some proported god?
    That is to say, live good lives depending only on our inner sense
    of right and wrong without needing a god to speak to us about
    such matters.
  2. Coventry
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    02 Dec '05 14:27
    People are always looking for answers to their own existence. I am convinced that persuasive orators will always attract a following if their premises sound reasonable enough without too much investigation. If someone stood up in the middle of any market place in Britain today and spoke out on some weird idea with enough passion for long enough, sooner or later someone would put their hand up and say..."that makes sense to me, I'll go along with that."
  3. Standard memberRBHILL
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    02 Dec '05 17:17
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Thinking of all the people who have started religions or claim to have
    been mandated directly by god, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahaula,
    David Koresh, etc. What is really going on here?
    You have a person who claims to be speaking for god.
    Then you have people who believe him or her. It seems it takes
    both groups to cause some religion to form. Obviously the fo ...[text shortened]... n our inner sense
    of right and wrong without needing a god to speak to us about
    such matters.
    That is what praying is all about.
  4. Standard memberKnightWulfe
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    02 Dec '05 18:44
    Originally posted by Stives
    People are always looking for answers to their own existence. I am convinced that persuasive orators will always attract a following if their premises sound reasonable enough without too much investigation. If someone stood up in the middle of any market place in Britain today and spoke out on some weird idea with enough passion for long enough, sooner or lat ...[text shortened]... someone would put their hand up and say..."that makes sense to me, I'll go along with that."
    I agree here. People will always seek to define their existance, explain the unexplainable.
  5. Standard memberHalitose
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    02 Dec '05 19:09
    Originally posted by KnightWulfe
    I agree here. People will always seek to define their existance, explain the unexplainable.
    Hold on. I thought you said you were an atheist. Doesn't your ideology lean more toward agnosticism?
  6. Standard memberKnightWulfe
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    02 Dec '05 19:111 edit
    Originally posted by Halitose
    Hold on. I thought you said you were an atheist. Doesn't your ideology lean more toward agnosticism?
    I am - I use the term "people" as to a body of individuals, not specific to the individual...besides, I have sought to determine why we, as humans exist.....and my beliefs lean towards those within the Theory of Evolution. I never said that belief meant religion. 🙂

    edit to add: It is very often that people assume a synonymy of religion and belief. I do not.
  7. Standard memberHalitose
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    02 Dec '05 19:26
    Originally posted by KnightWulfe
    I am - I use the term "people" as to a body of individuals, not specific to the individual...besides, I have sought to determine why we, as humans exist.....and my beliefs lean towards those within the Theory of Evolution. I never said that belief meant religion. 🙂
    agnosticism n.:
    1)The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
    2)The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.

    atheism n.

    1)Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
    2)The doctrine that there is no God or gods.

    These are simplified definitions which can be divided into -weak and -stong versions, but your assertions, especially about "unexplainability" lean towards the former, since atheism asserts the nonexistence of "unexplainability". Atheism denies the existence of the supernatural, you however have witnessed what you would define as such, this just doesn't follow. Perhaps you could go through some atheist manifesto's to see what the ideology truly entails.
  8. Standard memberKnightWulfe
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    02 Dec '05 19:30
    Originally posted by Halitose
    agnosticism n.:
    1)The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
    2)The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.

    atheism n.

    1)Disbelief in or denial of the existence of God or gods.
    2)The doctrine that ...[text shortened]... . Perhaps you could go through some atheist manifesto's to see what the ideology truly entails.
    Actually...check that thread.... I was using the typified definition of "supernatural." In actuallity, I believe that all that exists is within the natural order thus nothing exists that is supernatural.
  9. Standard memberHalitose
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    02 Dec '05 19:36
    Originally posted by KnightWulfe
    Actually...check that thread.... I was using the typified definition of "supernatural." In actuallity, I believe that all that exists is within the natural order thus nothing exists that is supernatural.
    Ah. Okay. Makes sense now.
  10. Standard memberRemoved
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    02 Dec '05 22:31
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Thinking of all the people who have started religions or claim to have
    been mandated directly by god, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahaula,
    David Koresh, etc. What is really going on here?
    You have a person who claims to be speaking for god.
    Then you have people who believe him or her. It seems it takes
    both groups to cause some religion to form. Obviously the fo ...[text shortened]... n our inner sense
    of right and wrong without needing a god to speak to us about
    such matters.
    This is why I always promote the bible. Anyone can say what they want, and some will follow if it sounds interesting enough. On the flip side there are just as many that trash the bible but don't reveal their sources to back up their trash talk,ie., it is unreliable.
    Then I have to stop and think, perhaps what they read or heard concerning the bible( when they say it is unreliable) is erroneous too. I have found that usually the "experts" that trash the bible are just plain God haters themselves. And yet, the book has weathered many a storm...and it is still here. So when I hear of people like the ones you mention, the first place I look is the bible to see if what they say is so.

    Isa 40:8
    8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
    (NKJ)

    1 Pet 1:24-25
    24 because "All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,
    25 But the word of the Lord endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
    (NKJ)
  11. Subscribersonhouse
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    03 Dec '05 04:34
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    This is why I always promote the bible. Anyone can say what they want, and some will follow if it sounds interesting enough. On the flip side there are just as many that trash the bible but don't reveal their sources to back up their trash talk,ie., it is unreliable.
    Then I have to stop and think, perhaps what they read or heard concerning the bible( w ...[text shortened]... the Lord endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
    (NKJ)
    I guess what I am driving at is whether people can build a society
    without the need of 'bibles' but have enough inner strength to wend
    their own ways through the vissitudes of daily life.
    We all know the results of simply legistlating religion to be illegal,
    I.E. Communist china,etc. It seems people will make new religions
    if the old ones disappear for whatever reason.
    My thinking is this kind of behavior is ultimately harmful to society in
    that it inhibits further real spiritual growth if indeed such a thing as
    real spiritual growth is possible. It might be there is a center in our
    brains hard-wiring us to religious convictions. If so, my story line would
    be totally convoluted in my attempt to find a way to a society that can
    rely on its inner strength and not have to continually referance an
    external supernatural being, something I have rebelled against since
    I was 8 years old.
    If the hard wire idea is correct then it may take an evolutionary step
    to make us able to deal with life on our own power. Of course the
    religious among you would call such a developement, engineered by
    man or a result of evolution (something a lot of religious people would
    deny out of hand in the first place) abominable.
    I don't think that would be abominable at all. I think we grow in such
    a way as to unlock whatever there is to unlock in our incomprehesible
    universe without resorting to constant reference to an imagined god.
    And of course the religious among you would defend to the death
    the idea that it could be any other way. This is what I want to prove
    possible. I imagine I am not the first to think this way, which is an
    understatement, more of an admission I have not done my homework
    to find other work of this kind. I am sure it must be out there, if
    anyone knows about such speculation and where such speculation
    might lead, please let me know. I would like to study such and see if
    I can twist it to my own ends in my story line.
    Religious people are going to believe what they will and I would not
    nor could not change anyones mind about that. What I fervently wish
    is a way to advance the human race or at least a colony of the human
    race to go beyond religion.
    The various levels of atheism seem to point to the idea they believe
    not that there is no god but such a being is highly unlikely.
    And I assume by extension, that supernatural phenomena are by their
    very definition not supernatural at all but if they exist they are part
    of the natural course of events in our universe. I think there is
    evidence of that already, not from anecdotal ghost stories or such but
    from solid astronomy. I am referring to the 'dark matter' embedded in
    our universe of solid matter, or rather it may be the other way around,
    since our kind of matter is in a large minority considering the
    staggering amount of 'dark matter' in our and most other galaxies.
    This stuff could be the source of 'supernatural' phenomena.
    Of course what I am saying is total speculation, you hear that, people?
    SPECULATION only. But what if that dark matter is a kind of mirror
    universe or say the other half of what is evident in our universe,
    a kind of doppleganger universe stuck to ours by gravity?
    It could be there are dark matter stars, planets, life, people (probably
    much unlike us) and maybe forces that connect us. If so it could
    explain a lot of what we call supernatural. For instance suppose there
    are really 'souls', some kind of organized energy representing each
    one of us and it somehow makes it over to the other side, the dark
    matter universe. It could be the repository of 'spirit energy' the
    stuff of shamanism. I think it very worthwhile to pursue this possiblity
    of scientifically digging into the heart of this dark matter and prove
    one way or another my theory about it. I think it will become a subject
    for deeper purusal as time goes on when the instrumentation allows it.
    I think eventually it will be figured out just exactly what dark matter is
    but one thing for sure, its a whole universe of stuff that doesn't seem
    to react much with anything in OUR universe and that alone seems
    suspicious to me.
    All of which may or may not have anything to do with the possiblity of
    a completely self powered society. The religious will of course
    denigrate that with the moniker 'Godless'. That is precisely what I am
    after, a society that can stand on its own two feet without the need
    for prognosticators, interpreters of the "True God" and such.
    Why would we need all that if we were strong enough internally to
    be able to govern our own lives without it? Maybe I am dreaming
    an impossible dream but I will dream it nonetheless.
  12. Standard memberRemoved
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    03 Dec '05 23:46
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I guess what I am driving at is whether people can build a society
    without the need of 'bibles' but have enough inner strength to wend
    their own ways through the vissitudes of daily life.
    We all know the results of simply legistlating religion to be illegal,
    I.E. Communist china,etc. It seems people will make new religions
    if the old ones disappear f ...[text shortened]... own lives without it? Maybe I am dreaming
    an impossible dream but I will dream it nonetheless.
    I see your point, but how or where would one begin to solve the riddle of the "dark matter"? What you propose would have at one time been intriguing for me too. I have always loved Star Trek for the technology and the way everyone is civil with what seems to be an absense of racism.
    But...knowing what I know now, that is, that man is born with a "sinful" nature" this would seem more of a fantasy to me now.
    So many people, even Christians do not understand the ramifications of a sin nature. And it is sad because it's all over the bible. New and Old Testament.
    I laugh especially at this time of year with the common phrase "Peace on earth and good will toward all men". The bible says there can be no peace. How could one make peace with Satan? Which BTW is another sad part of scripture that not many believe either.
  13. Standard memberOmnislash
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    04 Dec '05 08:13
    It is my humble opinion that the ideal (if perhaps impossible) scenario would be for neither society nor religion to press upon the other. The sociological and the theological truel under the 'live and let live' principle. Unfortunately, both have/are/will be used as forms of control, and as such one will perpetually feel obligated to subjugate the other. As with all forms of control, that which operates outside of the controllers grasp is dangerous to the control structure.

    In our hypothetical utopic society, I can envision much more home grown religious groups (grass roots if you will). Likewise, I can see a sociological structure devoid of the typical nonsensical restrictions and proselytizing common in todays systems. Idyllic and sublime, but also nothing more than a pleasant fantasy at this point in history.

    At the risk of oversimplification (which this inherantly is), the need to operate in an orderly manner and the desire to fathom origin and purpose need not clash as mightily as it does today.

    Best Regards,

    Omnislash
  14. Subscribersonhouse
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    04 Dec '05 15:08
    Originally posted by Omnislash
    It is my humble opinion that the ideal (if perhaps impossible) scenario would be for neither society nor religion to press upon the other. The sociological and the theological truel under the 'live and let live' principle. Unfortunately, both have/are/will be used as forms of control, and as such one will perpetually feel obligated to subjugate the other ...[text shortened]... m origin and purpose need not clash as mightily as it does today.

    Best Regards,

    Omnislash
    Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, I think if a society such as I suggest
    gets started ( I am thinking here of a sci fi story where an incredibly
    intelligent and creative person secretly solves the problems inherent
    in interstellar travel and arranges to take a few thousand atheists
    and agnostics to maybe the next galaxy over, like Andromeda, to
    found a new civilization where religion does not raise its ugly head)
    I think that just putting people in such a situation, however well
    meaning would probably end in much the same as has gone on
    before on earth, namely the NEED for some religious activity
    hard wired into mankind. That seems to be the main theme of the
    human race. So my solution would revolve around the said super
    smart dude realizing that and also realizing the only way around that
    is to jump start the evolution of the human race to make humans
    at least twice as smart on the average as they are now, smart enough
    so they never look at some natural phenomena ( I am assuming the
    jump start has been done and its now a thousand years later, the
    new society having to rise on its own from something like an 18th
    century civilization in america) so they can look at say, an aurora,
    and not automatically make the assumption the gods are pleased or
    unpleased with something they are or are not doing.
    They would look at such a natural event and even in the absence of
    scientific knowledge, would think, wonder exactly what does that,
    instead of automatically linking it to how we are living our lives.
    I think thats the only way such a society would have a chance to
    really mature past all this deadly religious warfare going on now and
    for the past 5,000 years or more. The problem as I see it is exactly
    as anthropologists have shown, we have had anatomically modern
    brains for at least 100,000 years so we haven't evolved much at all
    since we figured out fire, which is what the human race desperately
    needs to get out of this terrible bind.
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    04 Dec '05 15:23
    Actually, now that I think about it, I remember hearing a teaching once about this very thing. It was a bible teaching mind you, but the teacher was talking about the one thousand year reign. This is a time in prophecy where unbelievers will live peacefully for a thousand years! This is also a time when Satan and his cohort's are "chained up" for the duration of this particular time.
    Anyway, after the thousand years, Satan is loosed and his "influence" is felt throughout the 4 corners of the earth and this is when man gets together and curses and challenges God. Of course the rest you know, Satan is sent into the lake of fire, etc.
    He also said that the reason for this is to fulfill promises made in the old testament to Isreal. But it also is to show man's need for God, because even though man lives peacefully for the thousand years, there is still the sin nature to deal with. Man still has the "potential" to do evil, even though it can be restrained.


    Rev 20:2-3
    2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
    3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
    (NKJ)

    Rev 20:7-9
    7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
    8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
    9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
    (NKJ)
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