Author Topic: Belief in nothing  (Read 1584 times)

Fractal

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Belief in nothing
« on: Jul 19, 2013, 09:35:13 PM »
Hello all.
Let me preface this post by saying that it is not my intention to stir anything up, criticise or upset anyone.

I read this part of the forums every now and then with a mixture of envy and it must be said, bewilderment.
Envy because there seems to be some very good discussion and support from GBers who totally know their stuff and engage with it most enthusiastically without decent into spiteful comments or name-calling.
Bewilderment because most if not all of the topics on this forum have no place in my life. I don't believe in God, ghosts, spirit guides, astrology (especially astrology!), KarmaIf I and I don't believe in fate, neither do I think that coincidences happen for a reason. When I meet anyone who refer to themselves as 'spiritual', I really want to press them and drill down into what that actually means but I don't want to be rude.

Again, let me say that I certainly don't want to deride anyone holding beliefs different to mine.

I know this stems from having no experiences at all that I couldn't explain, or read something that instilled some belief in me, for example, I've never seen something that I thought could be a ghost, I find the notion of the existence of a God (or Gods) quite implausible and somewhat laughable if I'm honest.

I don't use this word unknowingly but some people seem to have 'faith' in - and I'm struggling to find the proper description here - so I'll say, things that cannot be proved and I'm really very interested in finding out how people came to develop a belief or interest in things, for want of a better word, spiritual.

I'm not trying to be provocative so please don't jump on me.

Fractal


Offline Blythe

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Re: Belief in nothing
« Reply #1 on: Jul 19, 2013, 09:56:56 PM »
Hello Fractal,

I wouldn't say you have a belief in 'nothing' just because you don't believe in ghosts and some of the ideas discussed in this part of the boards.
Surely you believe in science and rational explanation?

 
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ellis

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Re: Belief in nothing
« Reply #2 on: Jul 20, 2013, 10:24:11 AM »
Dear Fractal

I have had many so-called paranormal encounters, almost died a lot and seen the white light and the tunnel, worshipped god & goddesses & the whole lot, but I agree with you and I myself reckon there's clearly no 'god' only an 'o' missing from the word (ie 'good').  I like a bit of ritual, and I have the fullest of respect for whatever people believe but my faith and belief is in the one life we've got and the good that there is in it; innit.


 


Offline pixellite*

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Re: Belief in nothing
« Reply #3 on: Jul 20, 2013, 01:05:09 PM »
So, in the OP I interpret this thematic question: how is it that people come to have a 'faith' in things, I don't understand it because I don't have any such faith/belief in the unprovable.

People come by their faith metaphysics in all sorts of ways. Some have a background steeped in it, some seek out different things and settle in one that is right for them. But I don't think that this is really the interesting part of the matter.

The crux of it is, imo, what actually is 'belief'. Fractal you mention 'cannot be proved' and a lot of people use this sort of language in a very Western-scientific materialist context, which is the high fashion at the moment, with the likes of Charlie Brooker, Ben Goldacre, etc being staunch atheists and every Guardian columnist throwing their atheist hat in to their articles even when it's not relevant to the topic.

The thing is, if you subscribe to the 'proof of science' you are actually investing faith in the scientific method. This is called Scientific Realism.

The scientific method is known to be flawed in many ways, prone to gross error, and subject to revolutions of knowledge every now and then - like, big ones. And besides, putting all of your metaphysics-in-the-universe in with the science-y kids means that all you are doing is deferring your beliefs to the assertions of a 'higher knowledge', i.e. 'scientists'. In other words, an atheist belief system is just another belief system with all the others.

To re-state the purpose of scientific method: knowledge cannot be established if there is any conjecture - what is unknown to us is unknown, and science holds that no new conclusions can be drawn until there is measurable, repeatable proof beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, it is hypocrisy to state things like "of course there is nothing after death." Because the human condition is that we just. do. not. know. It would be unscientific to state that you do.

I would like to see a lot more atheists admitting that this is the case. I think we could achieve so much more.

Personally, I love science and and into all things maths, physics, biological, astronomical, philosophical, quantum, and metaphysical. I find that the more philosophy and quantum physics you get into, the more you sense how malleable reality is. As a human with no stated 'beliefs' on a metaphysical slant, you could try to play with your reality and see how much it is affected by your conscious thought. Then you would enjoy the "God made man in his own image" vibe, just a little bit.

:D
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slacker-onAndon

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Re: Belief in nothing
« Reply #4 on: Jul 20, 2013, 04:49:50 PM »
I believe in chaos, creature eating creature and whatnot. I don't like it and it has no neatending. It might even be nothing as it is ultimately futile.

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Re: Belief in nothing
« Reply #5 on: Jul 20, 2013, 09:57:33 PM »
I don't use this word unknowingly but some people seem to have 'faith' in - and I'm struggling to find the proper description here - so I'll say, things that cannot be proved and I'm really very interested in finding out how people came to develop a belief or interest in things, for want of a better word, spiritual.

Fractal


Spiritually - or whatever word fits.
To find a point to living and a desire for humanity to want to evolve into 'more than'.
I have tempered this desire to just me. Fuck everyone else.

Historically.
Interest in truth. Actual truth, fact, not theory, or guesswork.

Together: science and religion to me are attempting to find answers to the same questions. Different side of the same coin. Both are flawed by a ridiculous rigidity that doesn't allow for questioning or admission of error, or just an honest 'we don't know'. Stories are told as truth, theories are presented as facts. I'm interested in Truth. Big T. Answers that are both spiritual/religious/whatever and also scientific.


« Last Edit: Jul 21, 2013, 12:08:31 AM by Plus One »

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Re: Belief in nothing
« Reply #6 on: Jul 20, 2013, 10:21:30 PM »
^ Like.

Also I would like to highlight a distinction though, between 'spiritual' and 'religious'.

The former being one's own relationship with one's reality / metaphysics / the universe, the latter being a formalised structure, obligations, practices etc. A lot of meaning associated with the etymology of 'religion', amongst them is 'to bind fast'.

For me, the simple answer to Fractal's question is, I grew up in an environment where spirituality was how we lived. We talked about life and our place in the universe in spiritual terms. Nowadays though, I don't see a clear distinction between pure mathematics / quantum physics / philosophy and the 'spiritual' lexicon. They are all on a continuum.
..they gained appreciation of the fine structure of the cosmos which often eluded their male counterparts..

valerie

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Re: Belief in nothing
« Reply #7 on: Aug 01, 2013, 03:18:30 PM »
We have concrete & abstract words. We call a refrigerator a refrigerator and it stores food<concrete.
We experience happiness,sadness, ecstasy, love hate, apathy,empathy,etc. < abstract words.

Why are we attracted to certain people? pheromones ? why is happiness different for everyone? why do most people wish they had a loving partner?  Why does it break our hearts when someone leaves us, by choice,that is?

To me,the abstract words are in the spiritual realm of mystery.  I believe in an "unidentifiable" force which is what renders me agnostic. However, i believe there is an intangible "something" that is unexplainable, yet omnipresent.

Subsequently, i see life as a mystery. I have watched plants warn each other prior to a hurricane. Arthur C. Clark a scientist & a Sci Fi writer expresses this in his novelLost World I have seen animals clear out before a hurricane. One can say,this is simple science.


Because of abstract feelings, the beauty of nature,art, literature,music & love, i believe there is an unidentifiable "something" and my mantra is,"Life is a mystery. Do your best to enjoy it"