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Old 03-26-2014, 03:44 AM View Post #21 (Link)
2sh4r (Offline)
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I'd argue that the world isn't inherently utilitarian. There's no need for people to have some kind of greater purpose behind their belief that provides some kind of use. If they feel right doing what they're doing and they're not harming anyone else, why is it of any consequence to the rest of us?
I guess this is just a difference in opinion. [Edit: that was really confusing so I removed it]

I believe that personal growth comes from an individual understanding his/her inner self, including his/her actual beliefs. Personally, if I understood that subconsciously I didn't believe in Hell, I wouldn't be able to convince myself consciously to believe in it for simple convenience sake. I would rethink my entire belief.
  
						Last edited by 2sh4r; 03-26-2014 at 03:53 AM.
Old 03-26-2014, 03:54 AM View Post #22 (Link)
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Originally Posted by 2sh4r View Post
I guess this is just a difference in opinion. People should recognize internally that they do not believe, instead of contradicting their speech with their actions. I think people who truly understand their inner beliefs and question them and really think about them are somehow more enlightened than people who just do things because it feels good. Perhaps I am wrong. That is my personal philosophy. Personal growth comes from personal knowledge of oneself.
Lol, well, I figured we'd have divergent opinions. I don't think you have any power or right to declare what people should and should not do with their lives. I find this authority to be arbitrary.

I think personal growth comes from knowledge of oneself, too, but no one has complete knowledge of oneself, or else we would never err. Perhaps the Christians who "believe for the sake of believing" know other aspects of themselves better than they know their Christian beliefs. Perhaps because their beliefs are so engrained in their culture they take said beliefs for granted. There are likely aspects of yourself that you're just as ignorant to, perhaps those aspects are different or less apparent.

Edit: Lol, well, too late! I already responded! And I think I got the gist of it, anyway. It didn't strike me as too confusing.


Originally Posted by 2sh4r
I hope I'm not being really vague again. I am referring to the example of my friend who claims to believe in Hell but does not really preach forgiveness despite being a caring person.
Perhaps he believes that in being a caring person he is, in a sense, preaching.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 03:56 AM View Post #23 (Link)
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I don't think you have any power or right to declare what people should and should not do with their lives. I find this authority to be arbitrary.
I apologize for the way I phrased. If you look up, you will see I rephrased it.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 04:02 AM View Post #24 (Link)
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Originally Posted by 2sh4r View Post

Also, by a meaningless society, I mean a society in which people do things for reasons they don't fully understand or support. "Because my ancestors did it" "Because everyone else is doing it" "Because that's all I've ever known". It just seems closed-minded to me. If you do it because its all you've ever known, that's all you're ever going to know.
Ah, ok! That makes more sense. However, I think that in some parts of the US, and some corners of American culture, a more "meaningful" society can form. (in quotes b/c I'm working with your definition -- not sure how I'd define it). This is because in those parts people are free to choose what they believe, or have enough exposure to different cultures and ideas to interrogate their own more deeply. One is not obligated to follow a particular religion in order to fit in, have friends, get a job, go to school, not be put in jail, etc. This allows exploration and choice of belief - something that wasn't always optional in the past, at least not publicly, and at least not within Western European culture. I think it's possible to explore beliefs and discover what you truly believe even in a context where a particular religious tradition is basically required; many religious and philosophical thinkers were able to do this, and to introduce new ideas. But I also think that it might be easier in some places, now, to determine for ourselves what we believe.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 04:03 AM View Post #25 (Link)
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I take too long to phrase these, Dabs has done it already.

Originally Posted by 2sh4r View Post
I believe that personal growth comes from an individual understanding his/her inner self, including his/her actual beliefs. Personally, if I understood that subconsciously I didn't believe in Hell, I wouldn't be able to convince myself consciously to believe in it for simple convenience sake. I would rethink my entire belief.
Growth is not always the goal, there is maintenance. Happiness. Self-deception is a wonderful thing, a subconscious practice as well as conscious, and we're mostly very good at it. It keeps us happy, keeps us alive. This dichotomy of faith and action.

If you believe that self-knowledge is important, it's good you're advocating it. I do find it interesting that you advocate changing belief to suit action, more than action to suit belief-- I do the same. But others prioritize their faith. Much of the difference is (yes) what we've been taught or shown.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 04:06 AM View Post #26 (Link)
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I think personal growth comes from knowledge of oneself, too, but no one has complete knowledge of oneself, or else we would never err. Perhaps the Christians who "believe for the sake of believing" know other aspects of themselves better than they know their Christian beliefs. Perhaps because their beliefs are so engrained in their culture they take said beliefs for granted. There are likely aspects of yourself that you're just as ignorant to, perhaps those aspects are different or less apparent.
Thats true, but, I think, if somebody pointed those out, I would at least try to understand it and consider it, instead of rejecting all together simply because I don't want to go to Hell or I don't want to accept that I don't truly believe. But again, perhaps this is a difference in opinion.

Perhaps those who keep life simple and stick to their doctrines no matter what understand something that I don't.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 04:08 AM View Post #27 (Link)
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Growth is not always the goal, there is maintenance. Happiness. Self-deception is a wonderful thing, a subconscious practice as well as conscious, and we're mostly very good at it. It keeps us happy, keeps us alive. This dichotomy of faith and action.
Yep, that's what I meant by that last sentence of that last post.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 04:13 AM View Post #28 (Link)
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Ah, ok! That makes more sense. However, I think that in some parts of the US, and some corners of American culture, a more "meaningful" society can form. (in quotes b/c I'm working with your definition -- not sure how I'd define it). This is because in those parts people are free to choose what they believe, or have enough exposure to different cultures and ideas to interrogate their own more deeply. One is not obligated to follow a particular religion in order to fit in, have friends, get a job, go to school, not be put in jail, etc. This allows exploration and choice of belief - something that wasn't always optional in the past, at least not publicly, and at least not within Western European culture. I think it's possible to explore beliefs and discover what you truly believe even in a context where a particular religious tradition is basically required; many religious and philosophical thinkers were able to do this, and to introduce new ideas. But I also think that it might be easier in some places, now, to determine for ourselves what we believe.
I understand that. I live in upstate New York, in a town called Ithaca. Its a unique combination between liberal townspeople and outertown conservatives. Nobody is required to follow a particular religion to "to fit in, have friends, get a job, go to school, not be put in jail, etc." There are many ideas, and people are exposed to them, yet many still just believe without really understanding why they are believing in that thing. This choice annoys me because of my own personal view of the world.

Again, I admit the possibility that I am incorrect in my world views.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 04:17 AM View Post #29 (Link)
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Originally Posted by 2sh4r View Post
simply because I don't want to go to Hell
This isn't simple to a Christian, there's this weight to Hell. Even once the faith is rejected, if religious parents have "done their job" well enough, the fear of God and the fear of Hell can remain. Subconsciously, at least. You don't have control over your entire mind.
(You may be lucky enough to control most of your mind-- or you may subconsciously deceive yourself so that you think you've control. Always possible.)

My mum grew up 30mi up the lake from Ithaca, just throwing that out there.
  
						Last edited by lalodragon; 03-26-2014 at 04:21 AM.
Old 03-26-2014, 04:21 AM View Post #30 (Link)
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if religious parents have "done their job" well enough, the fear of God and the fear of Hell can remain. Subconsciously, at least.
Damn. Religious parents sound scary.

(You may be lucky enough to control most of your mind-- or you may subconsciously deceive yourself so that you think you've control. Always possible.)
Haha
 
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