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Honest-ism

Somewhat Reluctant Agnostic
Mar 30, 2022
26
17
Southeastern USA
... because we aren't jumping into any religion that we can't prove is right, but waiting for the definitive answer from God Himself. We're keeping our minds open for the one we can't doubt, that doesn't seem suspiciously like mere human invention in places. Asking us for money; declaring that believing in invisible, unreproducible things is the main virtue when in this life that's usually a bad idea; seems a likely fake to me.

If there were a God or something like that, He/She/It/They could probably blast any crap we had taken up with right out of our minds when it was time to talk directly to us, but still... for me, it's like there's a throne room in my "house" (mind, heart, whatever) and I keep it empty and cleaned up for immediate occupation.

Not that I'm not tempted to try yet another religion; I am, but that should be another thread. AgnosticBoy, you said I could. :)
 
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I would not limit agnosticism to religion, although I think there are some religious/spiritual truths to be found. It is something deeper than that. In my experience, agnosticism is the purest approach to truth. In other words, it is the most unadulterated approach in that it frees the mind from all or some of the most common mistakes that atheists and religionists tend to make in seeking truth. Perhaps we can even say that it is the purest state of the intellect. This can also be applied in politics, philosophy, and science so that's why I don't limit it to religion.

I think many agnostics discover these ideals naturally by getting caught in some state of evolution that's between religion and atheism. While in this middle ground, they find ways to avoid the mistakes of both sides while also embracing the positives of both. Thomas Huxley was the first to put this into words when he coined the word agnosticism.

My most recent attempts at religion led to me taking away all the parts that were good and/or valid. It has not led me to accepting the entire package of any system.
 

Honest-ism

Somewhat Reluctant Agnostic
Mar 30, 2022
26
17
Southeastern USA
Something I recently found while searching around the internet: The state of not knowing but thinking there must be "something out there":
 
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Something I recently found while searching around the internet: The state of not knowing but thinking there must be "something out there":
It was a short but good read. Thanks for sharing! Here are some areas I highlighted...

The Netherlands Institute for Social Research who needed a label for a phenomenon that they and others had noticed, the phenomenon that people who aren’t affiliated with any specific religion aren’t necessarily atheists.
Although they came up with "ietsism", I also think "agnostic" is consistent with their description.

Ietsism is, I believe, another word for ‘searching’.”
"Searching"? This is sounding more and more like the agnostics I've encountered. The ones that I've encountered here and elsewhere are genuine searchers.

And here's the challenge... explaining the psychology or philosphical underpennings of these types of agnostics or "ietsists"... I did find this statement...
History professor Christiane Berkvens-Stevelinck has a more positive view of ietsists, who according to her may be “people who are averse to dogma and who have rediscovered the source of an uninhibited philosophical and theological curiosity, namely a sense of wonder for the unknowable, the unseen, the Mystery.”
"people who are averse to dogma and who have rediscovered the source of an uninhibited philosophical and theological curiosity"

Bingo!

This is the mindset that I've found to be prevalent in a lot of agnostics who search. Now an "uninhibited philosophical and theological curiosity" would be a very fun and interesting way of searching for answers. You aren't limited to one perspective, its very open-minded, etc. I left out the other part about "the wonder for the unknowable" because saying it is unknowable is a philosophical view/conclusion itself. That does not apply to my agnosticism although it may fit others.
 

Honest-ism

Somewhat Reluctant Agnostic
Mar 30, 2022
26
17
Southeastern USA
Well, I've been off looking at religions, looking for one I could follow, and keep hitting brick walls. They all (the major ones anyway) say something that makes me think they haven't really been talking to God. So I guess it's back to agnosticism for me.
Darn it.
That doesn't in any way prove that there's no God, though. It just indicates to me that He/She/It/They was or were probably not talking to the founders of those religions. Or if He, etc. , was, it's not for me to know right now.
So I'm back to respectful agnosticism. I still keep a place, a hope, for God if He, etc., ever wants to contact me in a way that I can believe isn't just a human invention.
 
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Honest-ism,

I also don't believe that science is enough or good to search for God, however, I do believe we need a way to verify that it is God, even if it's not through scientific means. Just reading about God in a book won't do it for me. Perhaps a spiritual experience that points me to something extraordinary would do the trick (something that applies to the real world)!
 
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Honest-ism

Somewhat Reluctant Agnostic
Mar 30, 2022
26
17
Southeastern USA
I'm back, after another period of trying to have a religion. I just can't do it. I try, because I think life is better with a belief in the good things about religion, and you have a ready-made social group, and other things, but it just fails. I think it's being surrounded by everydayness that does it. I get my nose out of the scripture and look around and think, "How could you look at this and see a God in it?"

I still don't think I can say there isn't one. AgnosticBoy, as for what would prove it to us, I guess we'd know it when we saw it. Some Christians say that they just felt the Holy Spirit coming into them. I'll take that if it happens. Or something visible.. but would we believe it? There's so much everydayness in the world, it would have to be something big enough to outweigh that.

I'll let you know if it happens to me, and you do the same for your experiences, okay? I don't expect it. That doesn't prove anything, but it gives me the way I'm going to live. For the sense of purpose I hoped to get from religion, I'll substitute what I used to have, such things as getting the supper cooked, making the house neat and semi-clean, and getting to bed 7 hours before I'm getting up in the morning.
 

Honest-ism

Somewhat Reluctant Agnostic
Mar 30, 2022
26
17
Southeastern USA
Agnosticism is far too important to allow itself to being restricted to matters of theism.
You're right, of course, and AgnosticBoy has said the same thing. Religion is just my current fascination, or was until I gave up (again.) The difficulty of knowing anything about anything, oddly enough, doesn't bother or interest me as much. Maybe it's because it just is that way, and only in religion is there a popular system for dealing with it. For everything else, I make my assumptions about the world and live with them and seldom think about it.
 
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I'm back, after another period of trying to have a religion. I just can't do it. I try, because I think life is better with a belief in the good things about religion, and you have a ready-made social group, and other things, but it just fails. I think it's being surrounded by everydayness that does it. I get my nose out of the scripture and look around and think, "How could you look at this and see a God in it?"

I still don't think I can say there isn't one. AgnosticBoy, as for what would prove it to us, I guess we'd know it when we saw it. Some Christians say that they just felt the Holy Spirit coming into them. I'll take that if it happens. Or something visible.. but would we believe it? There's so much everydayness in the world, it would have to be something big enough to outweigh that.

I'll let you know if it happens to me, and you do the same for your experiences, okay? I don't expect it. That doesn't prove anything, but it gives me the way I'm going to live. For the sense of purpose I hoped to get from religion, I'll substitute what I used to have, such things as getting the supper cooked, making the house neat and semi-clean, and getting to bed 7 hours before I'm getting up in the morning.
You are undecided and I respect that. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that would love to have you on their side. OR they might even tell you that you have to pick a side and so pick one for you. I think that effort to claim that agnostics are atheists have died down some.

Keep searching! I think agnosticism at least gives us the tool or mindset to search, so at least you've found that. Some people don't have a good standard to search AND lack answers. That's bad on both fronts.
 
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Honest-ism

Somewhat Reluctant Agnostic
Mar 30, 2022
26
17
Southeastern USA
Oops, miscommunication! I'm not searching any more. I'm just keeping an open mind in case something happens to make the existence of God a more natural assumption. My searching didn't find any religions that didn't set off a Human-Invented Baloney warning. Of course that doesn't mean I claim there isn't a God. I just want to leave the subject, same as I left What Is Reality, and get on with my life. Hmm, isn't that how Candide ended?

It's a little harder here, in the Southern US, which is very religious. People will ask you what church you go to. I used to say I hadn't found the right one yet, but now, in order to be honest, I'll have to say that I don't go to church. That might be a good thing-- "Agnostic Awareness."

Have you seen the latest Pew Research figures on religion in the US? There are still few people who declare themselves to be atheist or agnostic, but a lot who say they're "nothing in particular." The atheists, agnostics, and nothing-in-particular people are up to 29% in the latest figures I found. So maybe saying you don't go to church is no longer such a problem socially. Everybody probably knows one, maybe even here.
 
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2Dbunk

Recalcitrant, etc.
Apr 20, 2022
30
7
The Great Southwest - NM
www.putin-trumpdogshow.com
Worldview

I'm Atheist only to avo--

Honest-ism said (in post #5):

Well, I've been off looking at religions, looking for one I could follow, and keep hitting brick walls. They all (the major ones anyway) say something that makes me think they haven't really been talking to God. So I guess it's back to agnosticism for me.
Darn it.
That doesn't in any way prove that there's no God, though. It just indicates to me that He/She/It/They was or were probably not talking to the founders of those religions. Or if He, etc. , was, it's not for me to know right now.
So I'm back to respectful agnosticism. I still keep a place, a hope, for God if He, etc., ever wants to contact me in a way that I can believe isn't just a human invention.



AgnosticBoy said (in post #6):

I also don't believe that science is enough or good to search for God, however, I do believe we need a way to verify that it is God, even if it's not through scientific means. Just reading about God in a book won't do it for me. Perhaps a spiritual experience that points me to something extraordinary would do the trick (something that applies to the real world)!



AB: Science never is or was about God! Comparing God and Science is like comparing the twi-light zone to enjoying your morning coffee – you take them at face value.

H-i: Why is it that so many people are searching for the “One true religion?”

Religion is really just a sub-phylum to Philosophy, not the other way round. I know, I know, philosophy has given ground to the bullying of religion, agitated by its warmongering departments (at least the ones I’m familiar with).

It took millenniums to get the number of gods down to one. Why is it so difficult to cull the last one standing? Especially when there are two attitudes (maybe more) beseeching the same god, fighting and maiming each other – please discount the Trinity.

Philosophy is so much more peaceful – almost sedentary. Personally, I find it tranquil to live and let live.
 
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B

Bill

Guest
The problem with spiritual experiences is that you can never be certain what caused them. We humans have a highly developed temporal lobe which provides us with having deep empathy with others. In ancient times, this was very useful for the unspoken synchronization of hunting packs, and ancients with a high capacity for empathy tended to have higher survival rates than those with less.

When neural emf excites the temporal lobe, it can generate a feeling of empathy. And if you are on your own, the only thing to empathize with is an invisible super being.

Sources of neural emf include drugs, excitement, randomness, illness and, to complete the list, supernatural stimulation by one or more gods.

Indeed, people suffering from temporal epilepsy are treated as being "blessed" in some cultures, because of the high incidence of Religious Experience they undergo.
 

2Dbunk

Recalcitrant, etc.
Apr 20, 2022
30
7
The Great Southwest - NM
www.putin-trumpdogshow.com
Worldview

I'm Atheist only to avo--

Bill writes:
When neural emf excites the temporal lobe, it can generate a feeling of empathy. And if you are on your own, the only thing to empathize with is an invisible super being.

Sources of neural emf include drugs, excitement, randomness, illness and, to complete the list, supernatural stimulation by one or more gods.

My answer:
Bill, when I'm alone, the remotest thing I have empathy for is a supernatural entity or thing! Though it may be disputed that I am short of the quality, I do feel that I have empathy for many things, either when I'm alone or not.

There was a time in my youth when I was convinced I was stimulated by the supernatural -- but not now, or for the last sixty years. Would you say I lack empathy when my conservative friends call me a "bleeding heart liberal?" I see a lot of mind and heart rending actions in the world today and am torn that I can do so little to rectify them. But I don't drink to world peace anymore (or pray for that matter) -- I do what I can on my putin-trumpdogshow.com or other forums, to empathize with the downtrodden and confused of the world.
 
B

Bill

Guest
For empathy to occur, neural stimulation of the temporal lobe is required. When you are alone, maybe you are sheltered from any such stimulation.

There was once a device called the God Helmet which could trigger neural emf in the temporal lobe, Experimenters reported experiences akin to Religious Experience so often, that is how the device acquired its name.
 
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2Dbunk

Recalcitrant, etc.
Apr 20, 2022
30
7
The Great Southwest - NM
www.putin-trumpdogshow.com
Worldview

I'm Atheist only to avo--

For empathy to occur, neural stimulation of the temporal lobe is required. When you are alone, maybe you are sheltered from any such stimulation.

There was once a device called the God Helmet which could trigger neural emf in the temporal lobe, Experimenters reported experiences akin to Religious Experience so often, that is how the device acquired its name.

Hi Bill,

There is a reason that you refer to the God Helmet in the past tense. The study's results have yet to be replicated by independent entities (scientific press - Nature, academics and documentarists). Those trying to replicate Persinger's experiments say that "... pschological factors must have played an important role in prior experiments." -Wikipedia

You said in post #13
Sources of neural emf include drugs, excitement, randomness, illness and, to complete the list, supernatural stimulation by one or more gods.
That is an-all inclusive statement - not predicated on any conditions such as being "sheltered." What, pray tell, shelter are you talking about?