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#25753 - 04/27/08 01:00 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: odin1]
Rallem Offline
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I did not specify, but I am a Christian.

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#25759 - 04/27/08 03:36 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Rallem]
big fat pig Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
tbh, i used to call myself Christian and i read the scriptures every day looking for answers, it seemed to present more questions to me than answers, slowly realizing this i eventually just stopped... i started looking at the philosophies of other religions and came to the conclusion that faith systems were simply there to give people hope/security when reality got too rough... now i call myself a nihilist, there is no ultimate truth except that all is vanity, ultimately, on a cosmic scale, everything is meaningless and purposeless. you might say 'why live then?' i am at peace with the fact that i am merely human and that i probably won't leave a huge impact on society or on this universe; i don't desire higher power or special honors, i want my life to be meaningful to the ones i care about and leave this place knowing that i've made some kind of contribution to our species.
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#25764 - 04/27/08 04:12 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: big fat pig]
odin1 Offline
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Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 136
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Like I said in an earlier post pig, we all have our demons but can we control them- I think that is what "christianity" and other religions are trying to get across. All this other stuff such as ritualism and "religious ignorance" is rudamentary. Hey, I never go to church, I should, but I don't. Does that make me a bad person? No. Am I a saint-hell no. But I think I have what you said in your post-you want you life to be meaningful to the ones you care about. I think that says it all. Pig there are over 4X10 9th people on this earth. If most everyone thought that way, we would all live in a better place.

Best regards,
odin1
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#25773 - 04/27/08 12:47 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Originally Posted By: big fat pig
tbh, i used to call myself Christian... now i call myself a nihilist, there is no ultimate truth except that all is vanity, ultimately, on a cosmic scale, everything is meaningless and purposeless....
BFP, I presume you are a moral, ethical, loving--that is, charitable and kind--and humane being who lives by the Golden Rule. I also presume you desire to leave the world a better place than you found it. If so you, you would find yourself welcome at http://www.pathwayschurch.ca where I, a unitheist Christian, attend.

BTW, I presume you agree that nihilism is based on faith, like all dogmatic religions. Is there any evidence that life is meaningless?

With the help of all my senses, this I know: I am, and I am conscious that I exist within a magnificent and awesome physical universe, which appears to be expanding into infinity. It also appears that it will continue to do this for eternity.

BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
Furthermore, because I feel that I am not just a physical object, but, with others, I have evolved into being a mental and a spiritual being, I have a strong desire to be, along with my fellow humane--and I mean humane--beings, part of this wonderful god-like experiment.

GROUNDED ON FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE
As a unitheist, other than my faith, hope and love, I have no evidence that what was, and is, will continue to be. But until nihilists come up with evidence that existence is meaningless I will continue to believe--and I see nothing but good will result in believing that existence is, and is meaningful.

We are one with all that is;
One with earth, moon, sun and galaxy.
We are one with the vast, expanding cosmos,
And all pervasive gravity.
If people will allow me, and though it may seem odd,
I like to give a name to all that is;
All goodness, order and design:
And the name I give is GØD. smile


Edited by Revlgking (04/27/08 12:53 PM)
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#25775 - 04/27/08 06:00 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
"BTW, I presume you agree that nihilism is based on faith, like all dogmatic religions. Is there any evidence that life is meaningless?"

using that reasoning would you assume then that everything is based on faith? i highly doubt that. is there evidence that life has an ultimate purpose? all claims are empty and meaningless until credible facts are presented to support the claim. many claim that life on earth has an ultimate cosmic purpose, yet none can support it. the question of ultimate meaning and purpose remains unanswered; the efforts of humanity to answer this question throughout all of history... yielded nothing.

lets ask this innocent question: "what makes us ask?"
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#25776 - 04/27/08 06:34 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: big fat pig]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
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Originally Posted By: big fat pig
...using that reasoning would you assume then that everything is based on faith?

Yes, a definition of "faith" is key to understanding that view.

Originally Posted By: big fat pig
...lets ask this innocent question: "what makes us ask?"

Answering this may provide the key to developing "Artificial Intelligence."
IMHO
I'd point out that the "search for meaning" (in order to maintain homeostasis) is the only function of our brains, ultimately.

p.s. I've taken several leaps in logic here; if anyone is curious, I'll expound a bit). Happy Sunday smile
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#25777 - 04/27/08 08:18 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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Sam points out:
Quote:
Yes, a definition of "faith" is key to understanding that view.
Of course, Sam. Look what happens to governments when voters lose faith in them. Look what happens to the economy, the markets, whatever, when people lose faith in them.
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#25778 - 04/27/08 08:29 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
this question comes directly from the ego. people like to believe that they are special, when someone begins to ask themselves 'so what makes me special? why do i feel special?' and the general form of this question arises: 'what is the ultimate purpose/meaning of life?' and this is why people get stumped; they wish to believe that there IS some kind of ultimate purpose; that their existance is meaningful on a cosmic scale. and nobody has ever provided a universally satisfying answer to this question because there isn't one.

there is no universal meaning of existance or metaphysical explanation that will meet the cultural, social and psychological demands of every human being. this is why there are so many different belief systems(by belief systems i mean those who serve in a way to answer 'the ultimate question' and indoctrinate a 'special' purpose into the minds of followers) -and why there has never been, and never will be a single belief system to dominate the minds of all human beings. these ideas tend to be disenchanting to the mystic; such ideas are incompatible with spiritual faith.
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#25779 - 04/27/08 08:37 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
big fat pig Offline
Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 97
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Sam points out:
Quote:
Yes, a definition of "faith" is key to understanding that view.
Of course, Sam. Look what happens to governments when voters lose faith in them. Look what happens to the economy, the markets, whatever, when people lose faith in them.


i think that the general category of 'religious/spiritual faith' is not the same as 'faith between people' which still, is not the same as 'faith in one's perception/understanding.'
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#25780 - 04/27/08 09:19 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: big fat pig]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
i think that the general category of 'religious/spiritual faith' is not the same as 'faith between people' ...
BFP, I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on this, okay? As humane beings we can always give each other the right to do so, in good faith. You have your reason for believing that life is meaningless; I and others have our reasons for believing otherwise: Whichever way it ends, life is an awesome and god-like experiment. I believe we are inventing the future.

Take note: It seems to me that all inventions got their start when some inventor said: I wonder if it is possible that...I hope it is possible that ... I believe that it is possible that... Therefore, I will experiment and see what I can make of it.

Only then did the inventor get to know. I don't think that sceptics, pessimists and cynics make good inventors. How about nihilists?

It is said that what we call the grains--wheat, rye, millet, and the like, all became part of our food supply when someone saw good in certain weeds; that certain "weeds", properly cultivated could be of use as food.

BTW, thanks for the tough comments and questions. Honest doubt by sincere sceptics stimulates the brain to think. In the spirit of dialogue, keep them coming.


Edited by Revlgking (04/27/08 09:20 PM)
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#25781 - 04/27/08 09:27 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: big fat pig]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
BFP,
I sure know what you mean about cultural universality, but....

I'd argue that the is nothing but information in the universe.
Meaning is everywhere (if Life chooses to create it out of the information available).

Meaning to maintain homeostatis and evolve, maximizing entropy.
smile
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Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#25782 - 04/28/08 03:49 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
I would describe nihilism as a philosophy rather than a faith. I will allow it may be a belief, I just don't think it's a faith.

However my confusion may be due to a shift in meaning- here in Australia no one refers much to faith outside of its religious meaning and, reading the presidential candidates' speeches and the commentators etc, I think the word faith really means something entirely different to Americans, and perhaps religious people. Maybe it's like the quote- "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"- it all depends on your point of view.

cultural universality-- Also not sure of the meaning, but it sounds rather boring!!

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#25783 - 04/28/08 04:57 AM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
This is just a revision (for clarity) of the post from earlier this afternoon.

Originally Posted By: samwik
BFP,
You state: "there is no universal meaning of existance or metaphysical explanation that will meet the cultural, social and psychological demands of every human being." -bfp
I sure know what you mean about cultural universality, but....

...but devolving from your original question, 'why ask?' you write:
"...and the general form of this question arises: 'what is the ultimate purpose/meaning of life?" -bfp


I'd argue that there is nothing but Information in the universe.
Meaning is everywhere (as life chooses to create it out of the Information available).

Finding "Meaning" allows life to maintain homeostatis and evolve, while maximizing entropy.
smile

p.s. ...also bfp writes: "i think that the general category of 'religious/spiritual faith' is not the same as 'faith between people' which still, is not the same as 'faith in one's perception/understanding.' "
...yep; can't argue with that.


Edited by samwik (04/28/08 05:16 AM)
Edit Reason: add p.s.
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#25790 - 04/28/08 12:09 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
p.s. ...also bfp writes: "i think that the general category of 'religious/spiritual faith' is not the same as 'faith between people' which still, is not the same as 'faith in one's perception/understanding.' "
...yep; can't argue with that.
IMO, faith and belief are one and the same. When I say that I have faith, or a belief, I am simply saying that I am willing and ready to act, without having all the evidence and proof beforehand. I may have some, but not all.

For example, every day people take the step to get married, start a business, invest in the business of others, make friends, whatever--without having all the evidence, or proof, that the action will be a good and successful one.

BLIND FAITH AND IGNORANCE
Keep in mind I am not talking about having a blind faith. Blind faith combined with ignorance is a noxious mix. It is like taking a leap in the dark off a dangerous precipice.

SIGHTED FAITH = KNOWLEDGE PLUS REASON
Sighted faith--the kind I like--is like a careful walk accompanied by reason and in the light (knowledge) that we have. Sighted faith is flexible; it is not based on fixed-position thinking--the root cause of all unnecessary conflict, including war.


Edited by Revlgking (04/28/08 03:43 PM)

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#25791 - 04/28/08 12:44 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Revl,
In case you didn't see the Semantics thread....

faith: (Old French, feid, feit; Latin, fides)
1.) Belief in God; revelation, or the like; as soundness of faith; esp., orthodoxy in theology; in a practical religious sense, trust in God.
2.) Fidelity to one's promises, or allegiance to duty, or to a person; loyalty.
3.) That which is believed; esp., a system of religious beliefs.
4.) Complete confidence, esp. in someone or something open to question or suspicion.

"Faith," comes after "fairy tale" in Mr. Webster's book.
smile

belief: (Anglo-Saxon, geleafa, or unknown; -[believe] -belefan, belifan)
1.) The state or habit of mind of one who believes; faith; confidence; trust... as belief in God.
2.) A conviction or persuasion of truth; intellectual assent... as claims unworthy of belief.
3.) The thing believed; specif., a tenet, or the body of tenets; doctrine; creed....
4.) Ecclesiastical creed....

Belief comes after belie (another Anglo-Saxon word; hmmm... re: origins?)....
Belief comes before belittle... in Webster's.... smile

Faith (#4) and Belief (#2) seem linked by the see-saw of "evidence vs. lack of evidence."
Faith is like belief, but without the need for evidence.
smile
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Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#25792 - 04/28/08 03:39 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Sam, then there is the Latin, "fiducia". It adds the element of trust and being willing to act. In the movie, Mary Poppins there is a song about the "fiduciary bank".

But even then, there is the element of risk. People will, sometimes, betray a trust.


Edited by Revlgking (04/28/08 03:40 PM)

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#25794 - 04/28/08 04:44 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: samwik
I'd argue that there is nothing but Information in the universe.
Meaning is everywhere (as life chooses to create it out of the Information available).

Finding "Meaning" allows life to maintain homeostatis and evolve, while maximizing entropy.

Just ignore the entropy part;
but what do you think of this?

For social creatures, a lot of cooperation, trust, empathy, and altruism devolves from the need to evolve and maintain homeostasis.
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#25798 - 04/28/08 06:04 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Quote:
For social creatures, a lot of cooperation, trust, empathy, and altruism devolves (Sam. Do you mean 'is passed on'?) from the need to evolve and maintain homeostasis.
Give a for-example!

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#25799 - 04/28/08 06:16 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: Revlgking]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
hmmmm
Devolves means "follows from" or "as a consequencs of," I think; but not in a genetic way.

Webster says:...to transfer, hand down, pass on by... succession.

Agriculture, money, families, dogs (working), specialization in careers... as examples?
smile
p.s. Basically this is just saying, in order to be comfortable, we invent these examples of trust and cooperation.


Edited by samwik (04/28/08 06:18 PM)
Edit Reason: add p.s.
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#25800 - 04/28/08 07:19 PM Re: Philosophy of Religions--all religions, includ [Re: samwik]
Revlgking Offline
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Registered: 01/17/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: markham (Thornhill), Ontario, ...
Sam, I am glad to see you mentioned money and the specialization in careers as things which we have invented to make life more enjoyable for the whole of the community. This brings us, once again to one of my favourite topics:

THE NATURE AND FUNCTION OF MONEY
As you know I am so interested in understanding the nature, power and function of money--the root of much good when understood and used to help us keep the Golden Rule.

Money, and what we do to earn it, is the way we transfer, hand down and pass on, to others, things we do not immediately need to consume for our own purposes. I realize we have a thread on money, but I will ask the following question here:

I wonder how many have really taken the time to check out http://www.universalbartergroup.com and
http://www.barterworld.com

If so, did it get your interest? Or did you just dismiss it as an impractical idea.

If we are well off and have all the employment, and money you need, then we can afford not to bother any further about this.

But, if we are one of the ones, or if we have relatives and/or friends, who have been hit by the current financial crisis that is growing more serious by the day--or if we would just like to help those who have been--we need to take this seriously.

THERE ARE, BASICALLY, TWO KINDS OF CURRENCY--The national and debt-based fiat currency, controlled by the market place and the banks, and there is the local and community-based currency which comes into play when we barter with one another and help one another in families and communities.

The problem is: Our debt-based and fiat money system is currently in control and it is broken and full of flaws. It gives us our booms and busts, which only serves the purposes of greedy manipulators.

Perhaps we are rich enough and don't need any help. Or we are too apathetic and don't care about the needs of others. Perhaps we are cynical and don't see that there is any problem. Or is it that we are filled with despair and feel that there is no solution. In which category are we?

FIXING THE PROBLEM
The solution is here. http://www.flfcanada.com has been working on it since 1973. Now all we need to do is to get seriously involved by agreeing to become part of the growing barter movement and link up with the Golden-Rule kind of monetized-barter systems already out there. If anyone is seriously interested, the FLF can show you how.


Edited by Revlgking (04/28/08 07:40 PM)

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