Author Topic: Non-dogmatic theism  (Read 1505 times)

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Offline Torchickens

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Non-dogmatic theism
« on: January 24, 2018, 12:33:11 pm »
Does anybody else here identify as an agnostic-theist?  :)

I'm not sure how to express it but I love God, while rejecting dogma at the same time. Many religions have a structure of accepting ideas as definitive truth but I personally don't feel this is what I believe in as we aren't born with a guidebook to life; while there is science ideas merge and create a chemical reaction; this creates diversity.

And I firmly believe everything has two sides even this very expression, not as an assertion but like a parable we never truly know something, however faith in the flow, trust and love must persist.

Is life an illusion? Does anything matter. I feel it depends on the flow of things, it can be as black and white as you feel or as flowery as in your sweetest dreams. But it doesn't necessarily mean life is meaningless; because it's comforting to give life a narrative I believe life does have a meaning and God does listen to our prayers, and the effects are working even if it's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There are no rights, and wrongs and everything is beautiful but sometimes we don't have the energy to see it, that's the beauty of unconditional love. At the same time love can transcend even unconditional love; we do want to avoid pain, we do have favourite things and personalities, and this is how God gives us our individuality. It's all relative and depends on your perspective.

But I think too if you treat others with respect, karma is real and will come back to you.

Agnostic-theism also correlates with my sexuality and gender. I find comfort in mystery, the moon, who is said to be feminine, like the woman I know I am transitioning into; even though our body doesn't always like things like low mood, both this and trying your hardest to have a modest attitude make us more insightful. However I respect my shadow side.

Truth is not definitive nor can ever be adequately described. But I learned a grateful heart is the mother of all virtues; and all material things relating to the self are only a resonating gift for our unknown fate and path ahead.

Offline AnneK

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Re: Agnostic-theism
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 12:43:08 pm »
Quote
Does anybody else here identify as an agnostic-theist?

Nope.  No use for religion in any way, shape or form.
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rmaddy

Re: Agnostic-theism
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 12:49:33 pm »
Using the word "agnostic" when you say that you believe that there is a God who listens to your prayers is just choosing the wrong word.  You're not agnostic at all.  You know (gnosis) plenty.  You're a non-dogmatic theist.  I suppose you might say that you are "agnostic about the virgin birth" if you really have no opinion about it, but theism (essentially, the belief in a personal god) and agnosticism as identity labels are incompatible.  Agnostics do not believe that capital-G God answers their prayers.

Offline Torchickens

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Re: Agnostic-theism
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2018, 01:02:11 pm »
Using the word "agnostic" when you say that you believe that there is a God who listens to your prayers is just choosing the wrong word.  You're not agnostic at all.  You know (gnosis) plenty.  You're a non-dogmatic theist.  I suppose you might say that you are "agnostic about the virgin birth" if you really have no opinion about it, but theism (essentially, the belief in a personal god) and agnosticism as identity labels are incompatible.  Agnostics do not believe that capital-G God answers their prayers.

Oh OK. Thanks. I'll update the thread title.

rmaddy

Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2018, 02:58:32 pm »
Why?  That would invalidate the discussion.  Play it where it lies, and let's all learn something.

Offline Torchickens

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Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2018, 03:11:59 pm »
Why?  That would invalidate the discussion.  Play it where it lies, and let's all learn something.

I beg to differ because I created the thread not necessarily about agnostic-theism but what I felt and if anybody related with it (which in the original post are the same arguments even though the title now has a different label).

I feel philosophy is not just about intellectual discussion but because people wonder about life and want constructive input. I don't like your tone and it just feels condescending.

rmaddy

Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 03:21:42 pm »
I beg to differ because I created the thread not necessarily about agnostic-theism but what I felt and if anybody related with it (which in the original post are the same arguments even though the title now has a different label).

I feel philosophy is not just about intellectual discussion but because people wonder about life and want constructive input. I don't like your tone and it just feels condescending.

That's on you.  My words can be read in a positive, "let's-discuss-this" light or as a slam.  Your choice, but I'm not going to own it.  I participate when I'm interested.

Cindy

Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2018, 07:03:14 pm »
 :police:

I have removed one comment and given the author a smite for being rude.

Torchickens, if you wish to post discussions about philosophical concepts then you will have argument and discussion - that is the nature and intellectual rigour of philosophy.


Offline Lady Lisandra

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Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2018, 07:41:09 pm »
I don't worship any specific god, but have a few which I like, like Tot, the moon, Sarasvati. As you, I'm non-dogmatic. I take only what I believe or feel is true or works for me, so the only difference between us both is that you are devoted to a single god.
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Dianne H

Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2018, 12:03:57 pm »
The problem with religion today is that over the centuries men have divided it and twisted it for pomp or money.

One belief fills pews and justifies straight people. Another does likewise for cisgender people.

One belief will do likewise for trans people and another for gay people.

The human mind can twist scripture any way we choose to find what pleases us. That doesn't make it true, but appealing.

When it comes to the Christian faith we can see that straight and gay, cis and trans shall all have members who either hear "well done" or "depart from me." This is clear in Jesus' words if we use them all.

There are trans people who feel that way for a very distinct reason. Far be it from any group to tell them they are going to hell. Only the Lord has that right.

If I am understanding the opening statement right these dogmas cause more harm than good.  It is up to the individual to seek the will of God in their life as best they can and rely upon his mercy if they are wrong, myself included.

As for myself, I have had trans feelings from my youth which I deal with in my way. None of such follow any church's dogma and may not be right for others.

I do cherish my trans friends and thank God I am not alone.

I hope this opinion doesn't offend anyone.

May everyone have a blessed day.

Offline Roll

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Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 08:52:08 am »
While I don't quite share some of your feelings on right and wrong (I believe that while much of what we label right and wrong is neutral, or rather in a gray area, there nonetheless does exist a threshold upon which passed is absolute right or absolute wrong), I'm not too far off from your general idea all things considered ("non-dogmatic theism"). At least not compared to most other ones.

I consider myself a Deist. I believe in a God, but I do not believe that God exists in a form remotely akin to what religion teaches. I believe we have fallen prey to our tendency to anthropomorphize everything around us in an attempt to better relate to it. The idea of God as an individual, as we consider an individual, just doesn't work for me. Einstein had a quote that played at the well known teleological "watchmaker" argument.

Quote
"I see a pattern, but my imagination cannot picture the maker of that pattern. I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?"

I like this quote very much. I believe that the teleological arguments are sound, as are some original mover arguments. (I cannot recall who it was, but I remember a story about two major philosophers debating during Enlightenment, I think using Aquinas's ideas as the basis for the argument. The atheist in the end conceded the validity of the argument, but said that it was irrelevant because it did not logically prove a specific God, in that case the Christian God.)

Going back to the watchmaker analogy and Einstein... If you find a watch on the ground one day, and begin to take it apart piece by piece, dismantling it to see how it works, you will be quick to realize that everything appears as though it were designed to work together. Each piece has a purpose, each purpose a piece. Now there are two options... 1) This watch was the product of pure chaos and randomness. Nothing within it could not exist within nature, and given an infinite amount of time those things would eventually fall together in a specific pattern that worked in this fashion. 2) A designer built it. Occam's razor says go with the hypothesis that has the least amount of assumptions. Well, there are a TON of assumptions in option 1, including about the nature of time. In option 2, there's only one assumption.

I look at the design of the world and I infer a designer. But that is where it ends. I look at causation and I see an original mover. But that is where it ends. I infer a God, but not a specific God. I also know that we humans are absurdly limited creatures in the scheme of things. Einstein is right, we can't even perceive 4 dimensions, when there are potentially infinite. We can't perceive the true nature of time, and we can't even perceive the true nature of our own physical reality (most of what you see at any given moment is extrapolation and not "real", simply assumptions your brain has made based on previous data). What chance do we have of conceiving God? Yet nonetheless, I believe God exists.

Ergo, Deist. :D Belief in God without knowledge of God.

However... I do add an extra wrinkle to that of my own choosing. I consider myself a morally Christian Deist. What does that mean? Well, I don't know <not allowed> about God, but I know that once you strip away the millennia of corrupted messages and fire and brimstone that came later and focus on the basic philosophy of Christianity, it sounds pretty good to me. (Which isn't to say those basic values aren't shared by other religions, simply that it is easier for me to place it in context of Christianity culturally.)
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Offline Torchickens

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Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2018, 09:19:02 am »
Torchickens, if you wish to post discussions about philosophical concepts then you will have argument and discussion - that is the nature and intellectual rigour of philosophy.

Thanks Cindy. Will keep it in mind.  :)

I'm sorry rmaddy as I was quite abrupt and my post got emotional. I challenged you, but I think my own post may have come across a bit harsh at the time too.

Offline BT04

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Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2018, 10:10:45 am »
As a polytheist I have dogma - or taboos, we call them - but I chose to obey them because without them I wouldn't have good relationships with my gods. Sometimes there's wiggle room for ones I don't like, sometimes there isn't and my relationship to them suffers for it. But these are not things, by any stretch of the imagination, that the entire world "ought" to obey. It's more like having a friend who's allergic to peanuts, so the "taboo" is that you don't bring anything with peanuts over to their house. That's just... being a good friend.

That said, I have one foot in the theological "personal god" camp and one foot in the "impersonal gods" of polydeism. I have personally had too many experiences with and about the divine to discount the existence of anthropomorphized facets of the powers, though I do lean more toward an immanent polydeism these days where the vast majority of these beings are unknowable and inaccessible to us, and cannot be moved by mortal appeal. Basically, that they are so much their material jurisdictions that most of the time you will get no big response, and at best many little, personal responses. In fact, I often have to remind myself that my god still do listen and are still there, even after months of "radio silence".

But at the end of the day I am not the most important part of my religion, and making myself feel good isn't the point of belief. I've never been one for this whole modern application of utilitarianism where we're only ever supposed to do things that make us happy right now, duty or obligation be damned. That's the extent of my dogma I guess - though that's more a philosophical tenet than spuriously applied theo-logic.
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Re: Non-dogmatic theism
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 12:58:38 am »
I have personally had too many experiences with and about the divine to discount the existence of anthropomorphized facets of the powers ...

I enjoy reading people's personal accounts of interactions with deity. That's kind of where "the rubber meets the road" in religion, imho.

I'm non-dogmatic in the sense that I don't believe everyone needs to believe as I do. At the same time, I have definite notions of right and wrong, in some instances, that I believe transcend the boundaries of personal belief.

Quote
But at the end of the day I am not the most important part of my religion, and making myself feel good isn't the point of belief. I've never been one for this whole modern application of utilitarianism where we're only ever supposed to do things that make us happy right now, duty or obligation be damned. That's the extent of my dogma I guess - though that's more a philosophical tenet than spuriously applied theo-logic.

I don't believe the gods exist to serve us. But I don't believe we exist to serve them, either. I think we exist for relationship. I guess that means my religious practice is autocentric (is that a word?), or at least centered in the relationship between myself and my Goddess.

I definitely agree with your thoughts on immediate gratification.

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