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28001. thoughtful - 3/15/2006 9:18:33 PM

and yet god is, by definition, manmade.

and how does your trusted and revered way to live differ from a philosophy?

28002. PelleNilsson - 3/15/2006 9:25:36 PM

Yes. Would that definition allow, for example, Stoicism or Epicureism to be seen as religions?

28003. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 9:29:36 PM


Philosophy= The love of wisdom

Religion = A way to live

Cosmology = a way of viewing the world/universe

[Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?]

28004. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 9:47:42 PM

Yes. Would that definition allow, for example, Stoicism or Epicureism to be seen as religions?

Sure. Anything can become religion. Haven't you ever seeen it used in that sense? • a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance : consumerism is the new religion.

28005. thoughtful - 3/15/2006 9:54:10 PM

while your definition of philosophy is in the dictionary, it's not what I usually think of when I think of philosophy. Rather:

Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.

The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.

The discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology.

Under religion we have:
Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

One clearly focuses on belief, the other on reason. One is more self-directed, the other one of following and worship.

28006. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 10:16:15 PM

The definitions I've used have to do with the roots of the words and are, I hope, much more elastic in their meaning.

One can have a philosophical belief or a rational faith in something. One's focus is one's prerogative. One can have a false rational belief about anything. What's your point?

Are you looking for a neat, black and white, right or wrong kind of answer?

The word "water" will never quench your thirst or get you wet–it can only point to the experience of it. Under that qualification, who can criticize someone's belief if they have never experienced what the believer has.

That's why I like Zen. It's a philosopy, a cosmology and a religion that only points to eternal patterns in the moment, helping one to appreciate and comprehend them as they unfold.

28007. thoughtful - 3/15/2006 10:39:13 PM

See, to me, rational faith is an impossibility.

28008. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 10:50:07 PM

Why? Haven’t you ever had a mystical experience that defies reason? Do you think falling in love is rational? If I said to you that something was a controlled accident or that someone was a sophisticated primitive, wouldn't your mind be able to grasp such contradictions?

t-ful, you're too smart and aware to have an inflexible mind.

28009. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 10:53:28 PM

I have a rational faith that death is nature's way to help us all eventually relax.

I can't prove it, but I believe it and have faith that from a certain relative viewpoint, I'm correct.

28010. anomie - 3/15/2006 11:10:57 PM

I think a rational faith is unnecessary. If one is rational, he doesn't need faith. If one has faith, rational arguments mean nothing.

Otherwise, this reminds me of the atheiest vs agnostic discussions. Picking nits over definitions.

Religion plays fast and loose with many word references anyway. I'm always surprised when religious people think what they're saying makes perfect sense.

28011. anomie - 3/15/2006 11:12:55 PM

Death = Relaxation? Not only can you not prove it, but I don't think you can even make a rational argument for it. It's unclear to me why you would want to.

28012. anomie - 3/15/2006 11:14:10 PM

In fact, wouldn't we call you a "stiff" at that point?

(couldn't resist)

28013. thoughtful - 3/15/2006 11:22:28 PM

Sorry, no. Call me inflexible then. Zero is zero. Zero cannot be nonzero.

Faith to me means accepting that for which there is no evidence. Faith means an unquestioning belief to the point where even questioning it means that you've lost your faith. Thus it can never be examined rationally. Faith is an extremely strict and tough standard in my view.

This is not to be confused with the fact that people can be irrational and people can be wrong and people can be irrational for rational reasons.

If I had a 'mystical' experience such as seeing a ghost, I wouldn't have faith in it. I would however question it as something I experienced or at least thought I experienced for which I may not currently have an explanation. But that doesn't mean not looking for one, or not believing that an explanation exists. Just as at one point in human history, fire was a mystery. One could respond with faith in accepting the existence of fire and treating it with reverence and awe but never understanding it's nature, or one could respond with reason, questioning what makes fire, what snuffs fire, what the chemical processes of fire are and so on.

And love can be either rational or irrational, but that's not the same as faith.

28014. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 11:26:02 PM


It was a half-serious joke, but I didn't say death is equivalent to relaxation. I was merely pointing out that death was an end to the struggle for survival. I have no doubt that the compulsion to believe in God, for some people, is often because they (or their egos) can't personally (and rationally) accept death.

28015. anomie - 3/15/2006 11:30:01 PM

Would be nice though. I never claim to know what is or isn't on the other side. Existence on this side is no more likely than the other.

28016. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 11:34:41 PM

Well, using your own logic and criteriaI, although "zero" is a concept and faith is a concept, one is a number and can't be something else, while faith has multiple meanings. You're obviously adamant, t-ful; but I'm not trying to change your mind. You can argue for your own limitations as long as you like. I was only trying to answer your question and express what I meant.

28017. thoughtful - 3/15/2006 11:41:20 PM

I like to think there is some kind of life after death...otherwise it's all such a colossal waste, which of course it may very well be. But I don't like to think that.

But I would hardly call that faith.

And while i often think of the gods playing with my life...things like making sure i hit every red light when i'm running late for an appointment...it most likely is just the randomness of events and the biased way with which I perceive them.

But I would hardly call that faith.

28018. thoughtful - 3/15/2006 11:46:49 PM

Yes, wiz, if you want to call me limited by facts and logic, then I fully confess to being so.

You may not have been trying to change my mind, but I was trying to change yours.

But alas you seem to be quitting the discussion so soon.

28019. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 11:51:23 PM

There is life after death–just not for those who've died! Besides, why would you even care?

You're alive now and any thoughts about an afterlife ( again, using your own reasoning) are irrational and unprovable–mathematically or verbally.

28020. TheWizardOfWhimsy - 3/15/2006 11:51:56 PM


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