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  #121  
Old 08-18-2014, 02:16 PM
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Does faith or belief mean believing in something despite empirical evidence to the contrary? Why do that? It's like believing in magic.

Hope? Well, sure, I can tell a sick friend, I hope you feel better soon. I can hope I find a good boyfriend. But what good does that really do? It takes luck and work to find good friends/lovers.

Why are humans here? Why is anything here? We just ARE. We are in this swirl of energy we call the universe, we just happen to be a carbon based life form. I do think energy can be called love, and I could say we are here to love each other and take care of each other in this hard life we are dealt.

The Bible uses a Greek term/concept-- gnosis. Knowledge. Also sophia, wisdom, which is applied knowledge. I live my life more by those terms than by hope, belief and faith.

But that's just what works for me.
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  #122  
Old 08-18-2014, 05:19 PM
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Re (from LadyManda):
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"Why do we exist then?"
One atheist's answer: There may not be a "Why" in terms of a transcendent meaning, other than what we can build ourselves in our own lives. Technically, I believe we exist because the way the birth and development of the Universe unfolded led to the spontaneous inception of life on Earth and the subsequent evolution which ultimately populated the planet with humans. And that's why we exist. More meaning will have to be created by our own humble efforts.

Why did the Universe come into being in the first place? There are many science-based narratives to explain it, but our current technology is by far insufficient for proving anything about that. You could always add another "Why" question to precede each "Because" answer, but who says the Why/Because chain doesn't extend back infinitely?

This is not to thumb my nose at the profound spiritual stirrings the really big "Why" questions engender in the human heart. Perhaps God is the ultimate reason for our existence. I just don't know for sure.

Re:
Quote:
"You have done away with belief, faith, and hope. This makes me pose the question: Then what does it mean to be human?"
My hardcore atheist answer would be that the only built-in meaning to our humanness is the complex dance of molecules within our brains and bodies. Humans can then add meaning to what's built-in if they so desire.

Re: belief, faith, hope ... all three words have multiple meanings, from the religious to the mundane. I think we all believe something, it's just that some of us base our beliefs strictly on physical proof. Many of us have faith in the ultimate goodness of humanity without ascribing it to any God, and we all must have some hope that each new day will be somehow worthwhile, otherwise we'd all just constantly want to kill ourselves. So I for one retain belief, faith, and hope, even though they aren't centered around any church or religious doctrine.

Re:
Quote:
"Why are faith, belief, and hope useless concepts?"
I for one think they are useful concepts, I just don't think they have to be religious concepts.
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  #123  
Old 08-19-2014, 04:31 AM
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Thanks all for the great responses to my questions! It helps!

Kdt26417: I don't think that faith, belief and hope have to be religiously oriented, I was just kind boggled by Mags idea that they were useless concepts completely. But after reading her response, I see where she is coming from. I don't think I agree, but I appreciate her ideas nonetheless.

Regardless, your responses have definitely given me something to think about. I don't think it shakes my own faith at all but I like to get others ideas and opinions!
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  #124  
Old 08-19-2014, 07:29 PM
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Glad my post made sense. One of my old Utah friends has taught me that it is important for "believers" and "non-believers" to be diplomatic and seek common ground with each other. After all, we are all in the same boat, one way or another (even if each of us perceives the boat differently).
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  #125  
Old 08-19-2014, 08:13 PM
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What I don't understand is how a conversation to determine how to maintain our connection with our spirituality and at the same time be non-monogamous has digressed to a debate about the existence of God.

It is imperative if I believe Jesus is God to love my neighbor as myself.

How I love is between my neighbor and me to resolve.

Nothing changes if my neighbor happens to be an atheist, or a right wing, neo Nazi evangelical.

I just discovered Magdlyn is my homie. and if I met her I'd ask her out.
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  #126  
Old 08-19-2014, 08:26 PM
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I think its even more imperative to love my neighbors if Jesus isn't god, or there aren't any gods at all, really.

People helping people is how I go about life. My dear friends help me and vice versa. I also give back to the world through volunteer work.

loveboston, I thought you realized long ago I live near Boston! I am not sure you'd like me if you asked me out! lol I don't think Jesus existed. But if he did, or even as a Joseph Campbell style hero myth, he was married to Mary Magdalene, had sex, and maybe a baby. That's my take on it.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
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  #127  
Old 08-19-2014, 08:53 PM
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Re (from loveboston):
Quote:
"What I don't understand is how a conversation to determine how to maintain our connection with our spirituality and at the same time be non-monogamous has digressed to a debate about the existence of God."
Well, I haven't been keeping track of that, and I know that the site guidelines discourage hijacking, but it could be my fault since I tend to get off on tangents. I apologize if I have annoyed or offended.

Jesus is often seen as a teacher of love and I think that's part of what makes him so popular.
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  #128  
Old 08-19-2014, 11:09 PM
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Default Looking for Love in all the wrong places

The story of my life
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  #129  
Old 08-20-2014, 12:29 AM
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Sorry if I did get everyone off topic...It was just because of what someone else said that triggered my questions! And I still think it kind related to the topic (at least sorta). :/
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"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence." ~Erich Fromm

"Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe." ~Voltaire

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope." ~Martin Luther

Me: single, new to both intimate relationships and poly, and excited to learn more!
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  #130  
Old 08-20-2014, 12:51 AM
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I'm mulling over whether to start a Fireplace thread entitled, "Do You Believe There's a God?" Wonder if there'd be enough interest to justify it ...
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