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Rev. Calli

What does your belief system require of you in these times?

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9 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

B e lief in G/god is not an end all motivator.

I would never suggest otherwise. Did you think that I had? 

Edited by mererdog

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3 hours ago, Dan56 said:

If a believer thinks there are repercussions for doing horrible deeds, then it motivates them the same way that going to prison motivates you to keep the law. A nonbeliever doesn't fear God's wrath, so self-interest to do good isn't a motivating factor. 

I think the difference is "motivation"... There's no downside to an Agnostic for having no compassion.. They aren't inspired to be compassionate like normal people are because there's nothing in it for them. 

Well, that is both factually wrong and personally insulting.

Edited by mererdog

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14 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Did you think that I was Agnostic about compassion and mercy?  

No. You understand that compassion and mercy are not caused by agnosticism- that many agnostics are not even slightly nice people? You understand that compassion and mercy also exist in religious people?

On the other hand, you understand that we all have nonreligious motives to do bad? You know, greed, jealousy, ire, stuff like that? 

Edited by mererdog

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9 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

If there had never been religion, "G/god," people would have found other motivations to do great and horrible deeds.

I agree completely and that is the lion's share of my point.

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5 hours ago, Dan56 said:

If a believer thinks there are repercussions for doing horrible deeds, then it motivates them the same way that going to prison motivates you to keep the law. A nonbeliever doesn't fear God's wrath, so self-interest to do good isn't a motivating factor. 

I think the difference is "motivation"... There's no downside to an Agnostic for having no compassion.. They aren't inspired to be compassionate like normal people are because there's nothing in it for them. 

Life in a society that values kindness, is a better place to live, than  where people are mean to each other.  I call that self interest.

Being an emotional cripple is a major downside.

What do you mean like normal people?  That's insulting.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, mererdog said:

No. You understand that compassion and mercy are not caused by agnosticism- that many agnostics are not even slightly nice people? You understand that compassion and mercy also exist in religious people?

On the other hand, you understand that we all have nonreligious motives to do bad? You know, greed, jealousy, ire, stuff like that? 

I never heard of an Agnostic terrorist.  On the other hand, there is the KKK.  A group of Christian terrorists.  A group that uses a burning cross as the symbol and instrument of terrorism.  A group that has killed more Americans and spread more terror than Islamists.

Alright.  The KKK does not represent the majority of Christians.  Judging by prison populations, Christianity does not keep Christians from committing crimes.

Maybe being Christian isn't enough.  Maybe people need to be compassionate.  Being Agnostic does not, of itself, make people better, or worse, than they would have been otherwise.  Strong God beliefs are also not, of themselves, enough to make people good.

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3 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

Yes.

Huh. I have no belief in God or gods, so it would be more than a little odd for me to think that....

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7 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I never heard of an Agnostic terrorist.  

You likely never will. Not because there aren't any, but because of how terrorism is reported. If a terrorist is not Muslim, their religious views are rarely mentioned by the press.

Meanwhile, back in my nihilistic youth, I knew a lot of violent criminals who were agnostic and atheist. Almost all of their families thought they were Christians, though, and quite a few of them were "Christmas and Easter" members of churches. It is pretty much a given that if they ever did anything newsworthy, their lack of belief in deity would never get mentioned....

And it is always worth remembering that you are way more likely to get shot over money or sex than God.

Edited by mererdog

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8 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Maybe people need to be compassionate.  

I tend to agree. Compassion grows when we simultaneously care for ourselves and see ourselves in the other. This suggests that to help others be more compassionate requires a focus on the good we all share. Do you agree?

Edited by mererdog

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3 hours ago, mererdog said:

I tend to agree. Compassion grows when we simultaneously care for ourselves and see ourselves in the other. This suggests that to help others be more compassionate requires a focus on the good we all share. Do you agree?

Yes.  I do agree.  In the end, what we have in common, is more important than the many things that separates us.  

What we don't need is holy war based on "I'm right.  You're wrong.".

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21 hours ago, mererdog said:

Well, that is both factually wrong and personally insulting.

I disagree.. I wasn't saying that you have no compassion, just that a person is not as incentivized to be good when there's no punishment for being bad. My motivation is not to burn in hell, but nonbelievers don't worry about that. The reason you don't steal a car is because there's a law against it and you'll go to jail (punishment). That's normal..

19 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

Life in a society that values kindness, is a better place to live, than  where people are mean to each other.  I call that self interest.

Being an emotional cripple is a major downside.

What do you mean like normal people?  That's insulting.

I meant that the majority of people believe in something beyond the here and now, so they have more of an incentive to do good. Agnosticism assigns no penalty for being incompassionate, so the downside presents no long term repercussions for them. 

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Hi, Rev Callie. 
 

Pleased to see you active on here again. When I drifted off, it seemed you had gone dormant. 

Drive by posting, this is. Most of you haven't seen my ugly mug about here for a long time. I may try to start being a thorn here again, but, I also got's stuff, so we shall see. As to the question in the original post.. 

My belief is that we are in what is probably an existential crisis for the country and possibly the world. I don't view Trump as Hitler. I think he is a bit more like Caligula. Bit Trump is a puppet, so none of that matters.

My belief system is agnostic, but, even so, there are a few things I am finding hard to doubt. First is that there is probably no such thing as free will, and second is that humans are an extinction level event for planet earth. Those seem Nihilistic, I suppose. They certainly don't, as beliefs, compel me to any specific action or inaction. And yet, despite those beliefs I feel compelled, nonetheless. (which tends to support my contention on free will.) So, I must resist the destruction of the the rule of law and the constitution that underpins that law. I kinda doubt it will help..

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

I disagree.. I wasn't saying that you have no compassion, just that a person is not as incentivized to be good when there's no punishment for being bad. My motivation is not to burn in hell, but nonbelievers don't worry about that. The reason you don't steal a car is because there's a law against it and you'll go to jail (punishment). That's normal..

I meant that the majority of people believe in something beyond the here and now, so they have more of an incentive to do good. Agnosticism assigns no penalty for being incompassionate, so the downside presents no long term repercussions for them. 

The punishment for being uncompassionate is lacking compassion. It is far worse than hell.

 

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3 hours ago, Dan56 said:

The reason you don't steal a car is because there's a law against it and you'll go to jail (punishment). 

No, Dan. I don't steal a car because I believe it is wrong to steal and I made a commitment to do only what is right. I don't have faith in God, but I have a conscience.

The vast majority of atheists and agnostics have morals, ethics, and motivations virtually identical to those of our believing neighbors. Motives come from what you do believe, not what you don't, though. So I am no more likely to have the same motivations as a random agnostic than you are to have the same haircut as a random Christian.

If you call one group "normal" you call all others abnormal. Calling someone abnormal is an insult. Less insulting word choices you could have used include "average" and "common". I mention it only because I never thought  the insult or inaccuracy was intentional. Tongues are hinged on both ends, eh? 

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

I don't need incentive from some supernatural being to act with compassion.  

I suppose a good test of that claim would be whether you treat people with compassion when they dispute the claim.

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16 hours ago, kokigami said:

Hi, Rev Callie. 
 

Pleased to see you active on here again. When I drifted off, it seemed you had gone dormant. 

Drive by posting, this is. Most of you haven't seen my ugly mug about here for a long time. I may try to start being a thorn here again, but, I also got's stuff, so we shall see. As to the question in the original post.. 

My belief is that we are in what is probably an existential crisis for the country and possibly the world. I don't view Trump as Hitler. I think he is a bit more like Caligula. Bit Trump is a puppet, so none of that matters.

My belief system is agnostic, but, even so, there are a few things I am finding hard to doubt. First is that there is probably no such thing as free will, and second is that humans are an extinction level event for planet earth. Those seem Nihilistic, I suppose. They certainly don't, as beliefs, compel me to any specific action or inaction. And yet, despite those beliefs I feel compelled, nonetheless. (which tends to support my contention on free will.) So, I must resist the destruction of the the rule of law and the constitution that underpins that law. I kinda doubt it will help..

 

 

 

3

Greetings to you my dear brother,

It is good to hear your voice again my friend.  It's been a long time since we shot the bull in my old coffee shop.  

I myself am a firm believer in free will.  While I can see many difficult challenges facing our world, my faith reminds me that as long as we will to do good, will to change for the better, nothing is beyond humanities grasp.  Certainly, I do not see us as preordained to self-destruction.  I dimly remember being in first grade during the Cuban missile crisis, and participating in a duck and cover drill, with our teachers saying that if we take those simple steps of getting under our desks and covering our heads, we would survive an Atomic bomb attack.  Of course, that was a lot of horse hockey, considering my school was not even a mile away from what at the time was the biggest complex of oil refineries in the country and only about 7 miles from downtown Chicago.  My point is though is that we came to within a cat's whisker of global destruction.  Fortunately, the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States both looked down the abyss of our own making, and choose to step back.  

As to your contention on your own position on free will, knowing you, I would suggest that what compels you is not some outside irresistible force making you merely and actor in some scripted play, but rather your own innate goodness that keeps you from giving up, and encourages you to speak your truth against the evils you see, even if you think that it is a wasted effort.

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

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On 2/20/2017 at 7:13 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

You're suggesting that we need ideological convictions to do something good.  No.  We don't.  We need humanity.  Not ideology.  

Greetings to you my brother,

A very good point.  IMHO, the person who acts for the good out of love and compassion is (and forgive me for this metaphor because I know you do not share my particular faith) more truly Christian, even if they do not accept Christ, then one who acts out of fear of punishment from God.  

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

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17 hours ago, mererdog said:

If you call one group "normal" you call all others abnormal. Calling someone abnormal is an insult. Less insulting word choices you could have used include "average" and "common". I mention it only because I never thought  the insult or inaccuracy was intentional. Tongues are hinged on both ends, eh? 

Yes, I meant no insult.. I meant normal in the sense of majority, if most people believe the same thing, then its considered the norm.  Whereas, a minority who believes differently, would not be like normal people.. Poor wording on my part..

And I understand that Agnostics can have compassion, but its not part of a fundamental belief, so I don't think the motivation is as strong in the absence of an official charitable creed that teaches and promotes compassion. Not many Agnostic charities around. 

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