Jonathan H. B. Lobl

Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, VonNoble said:

Labels.   Perhaps that very issue is what drove a goodly number of us to join ULC.

 

Even that causes confusion. 

 

Is the UNIVERSAL LIFE (some reference to God who ever was and every will be)......thereby making this

church somehow tied to the notion of God?

 

OR is UNIVERSAL LIFE a reference to the fact that we reincarnate and our impact upon

mankind moves forward beyond death  in some way?

 

OR was it just a version of trying to come up with a no denominational concept at the time?

 

Labels are such pesky devils. 

 

I suspect like many - I have toyed with several and never quite find an exact match up.

The other problem for more than one of us  - when I do find one that sort of fits we 

can't quite affix it.   I seem to find (almost as quickly as I settle upon one) - I find all

too quickly,  a few other people sharing the label who are far

afield to one side or the other - with the basic beliefs.   They quickly put on and 

sport the label without a commitment to adhere to the basics (or ever for pity

sake to understand the basics) 

 

Radical extremists seem to be on the bell shaped curve of every label

so it makes it difficult to wanna join in.  If you are guilty by association with the dunderheads

you end up spending a bunch of valuable time explaining, apologizing or being frustrated

by the least of your brothers.    Time better spent doing good quietly.

 

It is enjoyable to see the lengths to which creative writers do wordplay to invent

proper labels.   I am seeing that the labels we choose are diversifying into numbers

akin to that of snowflakes and fingerprints.   

 

Not having a label is also problematic as it  smacks of not winnowing down

beliefs enough to find a common denominator with others.  Being label-less too i

s a bit faulty in presentation. 

 

Labels are a convenient starting point, a quick reference tool for us to smell out

those who are alike and different from us.   Unfortunately many people never

get beyond them.  

 

Labels can become the yardstick by which others judge your hypocrisy.  So they work

to attract and repel people in about equal measure.

 

Forgive the rambling.....

 

von 

 

 

 

 

You have stated some great truths.  It is difficult to communicate with others with no label at all.  Then we look at some of the people who have taken on the same label; and it's guilt by association.

 

As a matter of ULC history; Kirby got started by putting a big sign on his garage.  The sign only said "CHURCH".

 

When people wanted more detail, it became "Universal Church".  "Universal Life" was a later development.  Based on this, I'm certain that Kirby had no hidden agenda about God or reincarnation.  Of course, Kirby changed over time.  For part of his life, he was a traditional Christian preacher.  Some of his later sermons looked a lot like Atheism, without the word.  

 

 

:mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I can't stand groups with no sense of humor.  They're no fun at all.  

Amen.

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/2/2017 at 4:56 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

They are similar.  I think when I use the agnostic label, I get sucked into fewer silly arguments.  Except for the extremists.   I have had to leave a few atheist sites on Facebook.  I made the mistake of saying agnostic there.  It wasn't pretty.  It's amazing how quickly they gang up.  

humans are tribal. I find that I often want to correct people about the "real" ULC. I suspect it is because i have come to feel a member of the tribe ULC and the ULCM is not that tribe.

As to the original question.. I identify as Agnostic. I lean Athiest, but the term is not consistently understood, so using it often leads to misconceptions. Agnostic is not even well known, so it allows a chance to explain. I suppose I could say "questarian" and define it as I like.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Yesterday, I was around some people I had just met who were having a conversation about religion. I was asked the question "What do you believe?" My response was a near-instant "Not a whole lot." It got a good reaction.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, kokigami said:

humans are tribal. I find that I often want to correct people about the "real" ULC. I suspect it is because i have come to feel a member of the tribe ULC and the ULCM is not that tribe.

As to the original question.. I identify as Agnostic. I lean Athiest, but the term is not consistently understood, so using it often leads to misconceptions. Agnostic is not even well known, so it allows a chance to explain. I suppose I could say "questarian" and define it as I like.

 

 

I have discovered that a lot of people are so ignorant, it's staggering.  If you say "questarian" -- people will think you are talking about horses.  I know.  It's stupid.  Such is the state of things.  A few years back, when I was using the Pantheist label, people got it confused with Polytheism.

 

I also know how Atheism gets misunderstood.  I still remember one party in particular.  I was making casual conversation.  I was asked what my religion was.  I said "Atheist".  The next thing I knew, I was getting lectured about mutual tolerance and respect.

 

I also remember the time that I was shopping in my local grocery store.  A classmate rushed up to me -- with her room mate -- and said -- "This is the Atheist I was telling you about." Like I was an exotic species.   One of those jaw dropping moments that clings to my memory.  

 

Truly, I don't mind friendly conversation.  I enjoy it.  What I don't enjoy is getting dragged into stupid conversations by ignorant fools.

 

Back to the thread.  When I want to speak with intellectual precision, I say "Agnostic".  I am Agnostic about God.  I don't know.  When I need to be so clear in my meaning, that the person I'm talking with will understand, I say "Atheist".  I do not just mean Christian Fundamentalists.  I have also had to resort to the Atheist label with Islamic oafs. Agnostic was too subtle for them. 

Share this post


Link to post

I guess for me I don't really understand the true meaning of the words agnostic or atheist. Why do you all feel this way?  

 

From what I've learned from friends who call themselves agnostic, they feel like they are on the fence. Not sure if they believe or not. As for Atheist, my understanding is that they feel God had no hand in what happens here. 

 

Now, I don't want to be ignorant in my thinking or my speech, so can someone help me understand?  Am I correct in what I believe these words to mean?  Why do you feel the way you do?  

 

Keep in mind my questions are to learn about others and not to argue truths. 

Share this post


Link to post
45 minutes ago, FredClaus said:

I guess for me I don't really understand the true meaning of the words agnostic or atheist. Why do you all feel this way?  

 

From what I've learned from friends who call themselves agnostic, they feel like they are on the fence. Not sure if they believe or not. As for Atheist, my understanding is that they feel God had no hand in what happens here. 

 

Now, I don't want to be ignorant in my thinking or my speech, so can someone help me understand?  Am I correct in what I believe these words to mean?  Why do you feel the way you do?  

 

Keep in mind my questions are to learn about others and not to argue truths. 

In it's simplest form A/atheists simply do not believe there is a G/god (s). An Agnostic does not know, and therefore neither believes nor disbieves if there is a G/god (s). An A/atheist cannot feel G/god had no hand in what happens because they believe there is no G/god. 

Edited by Brother Kaman

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Brother Kaman said:

In it's simplest form A/atheists simply do not believe there is a G/god (s). An Agnostic does not know, and therefore neither believes nor disbieves if there is a G/god (s). An A/atheist cannot feel G/god had no hand in what happens because they believe there is no G/god. 

 

Thanks for the clarification Kaman. I never really understood those terms.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, FredClaus said:

I guess for me I don't really understand the true meaning of the words agnostic or atheist. Why do you all feel this way?  

 

From what I've learned from friends who call themselves agnostic, they feel like they are on the fence. Not sure if they believe or not. As for Atheist, my understanding is that they feel God had no hand in what happens here. 

 

Now, I don't want to be ignorant in my thinking or my speech, so can someone help me understand?  Am I correct in what I believe these words to mean?  Why do you feel the way you do?  

 

Keep in mind my questions are to learn about others and not to argue truths. 

 

I would be happy to discuss these matters with you.  Please.  Small bites.  If you ask too many questions all at once, or if they are too vague, it's difficult to respond.  Please, be specific.

 

Now then, how can I assist?  

 

:mellow:

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, FredClaus said:

I guess for me I don't really understand the true meaning of the words agnostic or atheist.

There is no true meaning. The words all have multiple meanings, like pretty much any word older than a couple decades. There is a very good chance that if you ask four self-proclaimed agnostics what the word means, you'll get four different answers, all of them equally correct.

Share this post


Link to post
On 9/1/2017 at 8:40 PM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I thought it might be a fun topic to discuss the different labels.

Which label do you like? 

 

I would profess not to care about such ephemeral things, but apparently the rank I've got here is Cherished Friend and I must confess I rather like that one. I've been called worse. :cool:

 

On 9/3/2017 at 8:59 AM, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I can't stand groups with no sense of humor.  They're no fun at all. 

 

I was thinking about joining the nihilists, but I didn't see the point. :smoke:

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Kingfisher said:

 

I would profess not to care about such ephemeral things, but apparently the rank I've got here is Cherished Friend and I must confess I rather like that one. I've been called worse. :cool:

 

 

I was thinking about joining the nihilists, but I didn't see the point. :smoke:

 

 

I was going to join the anarchists, but the rules were too harsh.     :D    

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

I was going to join the anarchists, but the rules were too harsh.  

I tried to become a materialist, but I failed the physical.

Edited by mererdog

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, Kingfisher said:

[...] I was thinking about joining the nihilists, but I didn't see the point. :smoke:

 

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

I was going to join the anarchists, but the rules were too harsh.     :D    

 

3 hours ago, mererdog said:

I tried to become a materialist, but I failed the physical.

 

But I jus't can't become an atheist, I don't believe in denial... 

Share this post


Link to post

The label I use depends greatly on my audience. 

When speaking with "I'm not religious but I'm spiritual" types, I refer to myself as a secular humanist. 
When in rational discussions with people of sound mind, I'm an agnostic atheist (a solid 6.9/7 on the Dawkins scale). 
When getting rid of Saturday morning door-knockers and people passing out flyers in the park, I'm a blasphemous apostate. 

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Uasal said:

The label I use depends greatly on my audience. 

When speaking with "I'm not religious but I'm spiritual" types, I refer to myself as a secular humanist. 
When in rational discussions with people of sound mind, I'm an agnostic atheist (a solid 6.9/7 on the Dawkins scale). 
When getting rid of Saturday morning door-knockers and people passing out flyers in the park, I'm a blasphemous apostate. 

Greetings to you my sister,

 

While I am indeed a pretty committed Christian, I absolutely detest, as you put it, the Saturday morning door-knockers  Most of them, since I don't subscribe to their understanding of the faith, refuse to consider me to be a Christian at all, and do not hesitate to tell me all about it.  So one day I took a lesson from the "Blues Brothers". and offered to purchase the youngest lady of the group of three who had come to persuade me to read a copy of the Watchtower.  They have not been at my door since.

 

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Uasal said:

The label I use depends greatly on my audience. 

When speaking with "I'm not religious but I'm spiritual" types, I refer to myself as a secular humanist. 
When in rational discussions with people of sound mind, I'm an agnostic atheist (a solid 6.9/7 on the Dawkins scale). 
When getting rid of Saturday morning door-knockers and people passing out flyers in the park, I'm a blasphemous apostate. 

 

You sound like fun.  Welcome to the board.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Rev. Calli said:

Greetings to you my sister,

 

While I am indeed a pretty committed Christian, I absolutely detest, as you put it, the Saturday morning door-knockers  Most of them, since I don't subscribe to their understanding of the faith, refuse to consider me to be a Christian at all, and do not hesitate to tell me all about it.  So one day I took a lesson from the "Blues Brothers". and offered to purchase the youngest lady of the group of three who had come to persuade me to read a copy of the Watchtower.  They have not been at my door since.

 

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

 

Wait, what? You offered to buy her????

 

I invited them over for Bible study on Saturday mornings. I visited their Kingdom Hall a few times and got to see how they conduct their services. One of the elders came by on Saturday bringing one or two other members of the congregation. Some times I even got guest elders from out of state. I think they came by for about six months before they finally realized that they weren't going to persuade me to change my theology, the doctrines that I adhere to nor forgo the symbolism and holidays of mainstream Christianity. I will say this though, I now know more about Jehovah Witnesses than I would have ever thought I was going to know even a few years ago.

Edited by Pastor Dave

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Pastor Dave said:

 

Wait, what? You offered to buy her????

 

I invited them over for Bible study on Saturday mornings. I visited their Kingdom Hall a few times and got to see how they conduct their services. One of the elders came by on Saturday bringing one or two other members of the congregation. Some times I even got guest elders from out of state. I think they came by for about six months before they finally realized that they weren't going to persuade me to change my theology, the doctrines that I adhere to nor forgo the symbolism and holidays of mainstream Christianity. I will say this though, I now know more about Jehovah Witnesses than I would have ever thought I was going to know even a few years ago.

Greetings to you my brother,

 

My way got rid of them immediately.   Your way took six months.  

 

Seriously tho, much of the doctrine and practices of the JW's I am very familiar with, having done much research on Escatology and denominations that stressed the coming last days while I was in Seminary.  For a time, the denomination was also pretty strong in the Milwaukee area, having their missionaries out every Saturday and some weeknights going door to door. When I owned my coffee shop, they were even known to come in there to try to Proselytize.  Even after telling them multiple times I'm ordained in the Methodist church and very unlikely to change my views, they were adamant.  Finally, I resorted to the big guns.  Fortunately, they didn't take me up on my offer.  It would have been hard to explain to my wife:evil:

In solidarity,

Rev. Calli

Share this post


Link to post

When push comes to shove, we are all Agnostic, everything else is faith. 

 

An agnostic is anyone who doesn't claim to know whether any gods exist or not. Since nothing outside of a material or physical existence can be proven, any phenomenon beyond what can be observed, is unsubstantiated and cannot be known, it can only taken and accepted by faith or conjecture. In other words, no one knows nothing, labels are just an indication of what we've chosen to believe. An Atheist can no more know that a god doesn't exist than a Christian can know that a God does exist, but each has faith in what they've chosen to believe. The truth is not what we think, it exist beyond what we know. If we are honest with ourselves, we probably all start out as Agnostic, then we start to think and attach a label to what we conclude... jmo

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now