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I think more HA members need to find God in their lives

Discuss religion and spirituality topics.

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Postby ryanx » Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:45 am

How can you believe in something that you don't believe in?

It's like believing in Father Christmas and then realizing he does not exist and now you have to force yourself to believe he exists all over again!

Shouldn't you believe in something that actually exists, rather than YOUR NEED for it to exist? How can I FIND something that isn't there? Isn't that delusional?
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Re: I think more HA members need to find God in their lives

Postby publicduende » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:02 am

zboy1 wrote:I wonder why HA attracts so many atheists and agnostics to the forum? I think besides me, ILoveBlackAmericanWomen, well-informed, fscmidt, Jester and a couple of others', everybody else seem to disparage religion and God all the time in the forum. I think that's why you have so many unhappy people on HappierAbroad. Having a spiritual life is very important in my opinion, and it is one important factor to fight against depression and unhappiness. Also, by believing in God, it gives a person meaning in their life and a moral template to live by. Do you agree or disagree with my opinion?


I think you may be confusing "having a spiritual life" with "believing in (a) God". The two concepts are not interchangeable, if you ask me. The former has to to with faith in a Higher Being and a Higher Purpose that embraces and informs the entire human project, indeed the entire universe. The latter crystallises this belief into the necessity to worship the single God of one of our modern religions, usually an anthropomorphic expression of the Sun, encrusted layer after layer of derivative mythology. The Bible and Gospels are full of "truths" taken from other cults, from Horus to Mythra, Julius Caesar (yes, he was whorshipped as a God, too) to Khrisna. And I haven't even mentioned the "institutional" aspect of most modern religions, especially Catholicism and Islam that have been chosen by countless governments as a means to impose and maintain control over the masses.

Being spiritual without being braced up by the constraints of a single religion doesn't mean rejecting God. It means embracing the concept that Infinite Love and Infinite Consciousness is all there is, and all there should be. You don't need a religion to be a better, kinder man and live harmoniously with your peers. Just the thought that we are part of the same Consciousness, tiny mirror fragments so diverse in size, shape and colour, yet all equally capable of reflecting the One, is more than enough to see yourself in the other and love and respect yourself as much as those around you. Believing that hurting the other is tantamount to hurting yourself is the only "moral template" required. Not surprisingly, Jesus himself in the Gospel wants to summarise the Decalogue in a single, concise "love your neighbour like yourself". You won't need a liturgy, or a church or a bunch of priests, or a monthly fee, or a DVD, to know and practice the statement above. Just a heart full of love.
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Postby abcdavid01 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:04 am

lone_yakuza wrote:
Jester wrote:
Billy wrote:c´mon guys religion is shit. it´s an attack on our intelligence. i understand why you want to belief it because you are afraid. but why are you afraid?


An intelligent Greek philosopher could believe in creation by Kronos, Zeus, et al., or some other Creation myth. But I don't think you'll find one dumb enough to believe in an ordered universe arising from nothing without a divine hand.

So who made us, and our world? With all that intelligence, you doubtless have an answer?

Are you afraid of the truth?


But the universe isn't exactly ordered. We are only using our human perception to view a very limited segment of what is "reality." Think of all the different animals who see the world completely differently than we do, who can perceive the world on the different wavelengths.

Or maybe other lifeforms in the universe that are not based on carbon and H2O.

Personally I think that whatever god, cosmic force, mother nature, whatever created the universe and earth and allowed for the evolution of apes into humans... they basically just created the basics and then sat back and had a laugh at what ensued.

It could all just be randomness + the forces of nature though. We humans have too limited a view and ability to view the universe to claim that there was ever a creator. But we can also never prove that there was never a creator.

So I don't think that should be the focus. What we should focus on is what philosophies are beneficial to all of us as a whole, and to focus on how we should take care of the planet and how we should treat each other, because we live on such a small planet with such limited resources.


I agree with this, but with the caveat that religious thinking is inevitable. Darwin once noticed a dog barking at a parasol blowing in the wind as if an invisible actor was causing its motion. Humans differ from animals in that we can have abstract thoughts, but it is still extremely difficult for us to do so. Instead of pure abstraction we must think in metaphors. Even if conventional religion wanes, religious thinking will still exist as a human instinct. What is increasingly happening in Western society is that new institutions are taking the place of what we call religions, but these new institutions are in fact are religions themselves.
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Postby E_Irizarry » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:22 am

=)

I feel that having a spiritual connection without a religious catalyst is fine by me.
I feel that most members on here need to be happier abroad pun intended.

And exercise their mind and bodies so that they don't turn to mush.
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Postby Winston » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:27 am

zboy1 wrote:And Winston, I mentioned in another thread that I think you need to find God again in your life. Why did you reject Christianity in the first place? I know you were a Christian, but what made you turn away from your faith? I know you're now a skeptic and even created a forum rejecting God and religion. I'm curious to know you're answer.


The answer to that is in this story:

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Christian_Story.htm

Why do you see Christianity as the only form of spirituality? What about Buddhism or New Age?

Why do you think that spirituality or morality leads to happiness? Were people happier in Victorian England? Doesn't morality simply repress people and cause inner pain and unfulfillment?

Spirituality is good for you. But it's a certain kind of happiness. Being a monk and living a pure holy life without desires will not make most people happy. Most people aren't built that way. We all need balance in our lives, and spirituality is a good balancing mechanism to a life of debauchery. If one leads a life of pure pleasure only, it will erode oneself, unless one has other things in life to balance things out, such as spirituality. But if one lives like a monk and tries to be pure without desires, that will not lead to happiness either, not for most people at least. It would result in boredom and restlessness and unfulfillment.

So you see, one can't just be purely spiritual or purely hedonistic. One needs both to balance each other out.

Our desires are there for a reason. Without desires, we would have no reason to do anything. Desires are not there simply to be suppressed.

The most morally strict people are the most uptight and rigid. They are not relaxed or happy and do not know how to enjoy themselves.

To me, spirituality isn't about praying or worshipping or being morally pure. It's about being AWARE. Awareness of everything around you, including yourself, what's going on, what's happening, the nature of reality, etc. To me, that's being spiritual. Not subscribing to a religion.

Religion has its purpose. It gives the masses who are unaware, a reason to be moral and good. That's fine. It serves a purpose in this sense, but this purpose is more like mind control rather than truth or liberation.

There's nothing wrong with believing in God. But which God are you suggesting people believe in? The problem is that religion asks you to believe everything you are told and not to think for yourself or to question things. Isn't that how you control people?

One thing I've learned is that truth does not come in a "package", like fast food. It's a life long process of finding it. One can never know the truth about everything, because at a certain level, it goes beyond your mind. That's why truth can only be revealed in steps and stages in a neverending process.

There's a price to pay for everything. If you want a simple life without thinking and just following a religion, your mind will be closed, you will not learn new things, or learn to think for yourself, or be aware of what's going on. But if you live the life of a truth seeker without religion, you may learn many new things and be aware, but you will not have the fixed stable mindset that a person with a religion has.

So you see, there are tradeoffs to everything. There is no one solution for all.

When I was a Christian, there were too many things I could not reconcile. See here:

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Christian_Problems.htm

I was happy at first when I was a Christian. It gave me a purpose, an ego boost, and something to believe in to make sense out of the chaos of my life of persecution. But after a while, I was not. Things got bad in my life. I did not have what I needed in life. God did not help me during my problems and did not reward me by giving me what I needed in life. Things just got worse and worse. I realized that my faith was just a band aid. And eventually, I realized that it wasn't based in any logical evidence or reality. Nor did it make any sense. The thing is, the more you think about it, the less sense it makes, until you no longer accept it.

Anyone can become a Christian. It doesn't require any intelligence. In fact, studies show that Atheists know more about Christianity and the Bible than Christians do.

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/28 ... y-20100928

Atheists research both sides. Christians don't.

Anyhow, if Christianity makes you happy, that's great. It serves a purpose in your life. But it's not for everyone. For some, Christianity makes them happy and brings hope and purpose. For others, it brings unhappiness in the form of confusion, suppression, etc. because it's not really compatible with a thinking mind. Likewise, morality can make some people happy, but for others, it brings lots of guilt and confusion.

There is no one thing that makes everyone happy and fulfilled. Life is not meant to be always fulfilled. Without dissatisfaction, people would do nothing but sit there and not move. That's why we are in a constant state of dissatisfaction at some level. That's why we need coping methods, hope, something to strive for, empowerment, help, support, friends, etc. But these are different for everyone.

Hope that makes sense.
Last edited by Winston on Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby well-informed » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:53 am

By far soul-winning is the hardest thing to do i feel as a Christian, truly like Christ said "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day"

I'm not a Calvinist of course, but what that drawing process specifically is; i guess its not for me to know in this lifetime.

Well-written response Winston(although i ultimately have a biased viewpoint), your right when you say Christianity isn't for everybody. I hope you do reconcile back to Christ one day, but that's on your terms and ultimately your decision. Everyone is accountable for their actions good or bad.
Last edited by well-informed on Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby abcdavid01 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:53 am

I would just like to add Winston, there are many religious (Christian) scholars who are very well read in secular philosophy and struggle with issues of morality, ethics, etc. In fact I respect religious scholars more than most atheists simply because atheism has become all about negative ideas. Modern atheists are all about disproving religion instead of just letting it lie and creating alternatives.
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Postby zboy1 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:02 am

well-informed wrote:By far soul-winning is the hardest thing to do i feel as a Christian, truly like Christ said "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day"

I'm not a Calvinist of course, but what that drawing process specifically is; i guess its not for me to know in this lifetime.

Well-written response Winston(although i ultimately have a biased viewpoint), your right when you say Christianity isn't for everybody. I hope you do reconcile back to Christ one day, but that's on your terms and ultimately your decision. Everyone is accountable for their actions good or bad.


I still think that Winston returning to Christ would be the best thing for him. He doesn't seem to be happy even with being 'happier abroad.' Sure, going overseas to escape the U.S. or any other country may temporarily make you happy, but it won't be an ever-lasting happiness that will last (as Winston is perfect proof of that in Taiwan), neither will P4P or whore-mongering. Also, I think he needs to settle down and find a good wife to marry and have a family with. I'm at that stage in life where I too, am thinking of doing that. Of course, away from the U.S. that is....
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Postby well-informed » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:16 am

Well ultimately he knows whether hes happier abroad or not.

I can't say nor judge, i haven't been as active on the forum lately

Ive never done P4P before but i can imagine how addictive that can get for some men
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Postby Winston » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:23 am

zboy1 wrote:
well-informed wrote:By far soul-winning is the hardest thing to do i feel as a Christian, truly like Christ said "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day"

I'm not a Calvinist of course, but what that drawing process specifically is; i guess its not for me to know in this lifetime.

Well-written response Winston(although i ultimately have a biased viewpoint), your right when you say Christianity isn't for everybody. I hope you do reconcile back to Christ one day, but that's on your terms and ultimately your decision. Everyone is accountable for their actions good or bad.


I still think that Winston returning to Christ would be the best thing for him. He doesn't seem to be happy even with being 'happier abroad.' Sure, going overseas to escape the U.S. or any other country may temporarily make you happy, but it won't be an ever-lasting happiness that will last (as Winston is perfect proof of that in Taiwan), neither will P4P or whore-mongering. Also, I think he needs to settle down and find a good wife to marry and have a family with. I'm at that stage in life where I too, am thinking of doing that. Of course, away from the U.S. that is....


Your singular mindset is missing two things:

1) The reason I'm unhappy in Taiwan is because I don't fit here and don't connect with the people at all. I am in the WRONG place that is incompatible with me. This has NOTHING to do with lack of religion. I can walk into a Christian church here or anywhere. Plus, Taiwan is not "abroad" to me because I was born here and am a citizen here. So I am not "unhappy abroad" here, technically speaking.

2) I've been a Christian before. Yes I do miss the unity of thought and purpose when you are a Christian. However, it ultimately leads to guilt and confusion as well. If you like to think for yourself, it's not for you. It also doesn't make sense either, the more you think about it. The thing is, I was unhappy when I was a Christian. Thus, it's a false assumption and fallacy to assume that "everyone is unhappy because they don't have Christ, and if they did, then they'd be happy". Christianity did not bring "lasting happiness". So your assumption isn't true.

Life is about periods of happiness mixed with periods of unhappiness. That's unavoidable, whether you are a Christian or not.

Settling down and getting married could get boring. There's no romance, adventure or variety in that. It becomes a life of routine, monotony and slavery. Do you see married men as being more happy? Such a lifestyle can feel like a prison. So how is that better? If you thrive on variety, adventure and new experiences, then it's not for you.
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Postby Jester » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:02 am

abcdavid01 wrote:"THE MEDIATOR BETWEEN HEAD AND HANDS MUST BE THE HEART!" - Metropolis

I'm someone who believes in determinism on a cosmic scale, but free will on a functional one. We can't examine our own neural pathways in real time after all. That may imply Creationism. I certainly do believe in evolution though. I mean, you can just look at plant and animal domestication. Why is fruit sent from farms to supermarkets typically larger than wild species? Why do they often lack seeds? What about dog breeding? This is artificial selection that no one could doubt is real. Natural selection isn't exactly a stretch.


Natural selection gives you tougher weeds, healthy apes, oranges with more seeds, etc.

It doesn't turn an orange into a banana.

Or a planarian flatworm into a ballerina.

Artificial selection can certainly have more dramatic results. Hybrids, crossbreeding etc as ou point out. But artificial selection requires Intelligence. A divine actor.

So our existence requires God. Whether Man was created out of minerals and water, or was genetically-engineered from apes, either way, God must exist, and be intimately concerned with the design of the world.

Notice I didn't quote Scripture. This is a matter of science.
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Postby Jester » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:21 am

Winston wrote:
Why do you think that spirituality or morality leads to happiness? Were people happier in Victorian England?

Hell yes! Couples had sex all the time, families were large, women were subservient. Queen Victoria herself had a happy marriage with umpteen kids. I can't believe you don't know that.

Winston wrote:Atheists research both sides. Christians don't.

Interesting point. So maybe all that intellectual research gets you nowhere.

Winston wrote:because it's not really compatible with a thinking mind.

Oh really? :lol:
Or maybe it's just not compatible with a mind that's addicted to running in circles.
:lol:

Question: What were the religious beliefs of:
Galilieo
Copernicus
Kepler
Faraday
Planck
Maxwell

You see the problem here? You can't handle the truth, so you try to comfort yourself by believing that your mind is superior. You're a world-class intellect, I'll admit, but plenty of world-class intellects have belonged to Christians.
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Postby Jester » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:22 am

abcdavid01 wrote:Modern atheists are all about disproving religion instead of just letting it lie and creating alternatives.


+1
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Postby Jester » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:32 am

Winston wrote:
Life is about periods of happiness mixed with periods of unhappiness. That's unavoidable, whether you are a Christian or not.

Damn that sounds fatalistic. Is that really what life is about?

C'mon. You know better than that.

Winston wrote:Settling down and getting married could get boring. There's no romance, adventure or variety in that. It becomes a life of routine, monotony and slavery. Do you see married men as being more happy? Such a lifestyle can feel like a prison. So how is that better? If you thrive on variety, adventure and new experiences, then it's not for you.


So you're saying Christianity is no fun because you have more fun screwing a new whore every night?

The latter sounds pretty bleak to me.

I'm a polygamist myself, but even back in my monogamist days, I knew I had a happier and more satisfying sex life than single folks. The marriage turned bad, but we had quite a run there. Happy times, for years.

(Of course there were no threesomes, you have to be a polygamist to do that when married!)
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Postby polya » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:40 am

We aren't going to prove/disprove God here! Just because you don't go to Church doesn't mean you are not religious.
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