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    by Laura » Tue May 24, 2016 10:43 pm

    Hey folks - I'm a long time forum member (woot 6 years+) & fan of 70K (and after going in 2011 & 2012, I shall at long last return in 2017!) :beerwink: :mrgreen: :P :party: :beerhorns:

    I've recently read a number of books by Sam Harris - who has now become one of my favorite authors/thinkers of all time. This guy totally rules, let me tell you. About a week ago, I started posted on his official forum and thought I'd share what I wrote there tonight. It seems that many of my metalhead friends are agnostics/athiests, so I thought this conversation might be relevant here. :heavydrink:

    How many forumites here never felt a kinship with any of the major religions?

    As long as I can remember, I felt absolutely zero* inclination toward believing in or following any of the major world religions. Being raised by secular humanist types likely explains this. My parents never called themselves that, nor did they ever bad-mouth religion per se. Rather, the emphasis in our household was love of reason, love of education, love of art, love of beauty, love of music, love of nature, love of love, and so on. Believing in Jesus as the son of God, Noah’s Ark, or any other fantastical supernatural presept was simply a non-issue - not even warranting a mention or a thought (due to its utter silliness & waste of precious time I suppose). I knew people whose parents were religious, of course, but that fact did not warrant my interest either, quite frankly. Even though there were friends of mine who went to church on Sunday, none of them were holy-roller born agains by any stretch of the imagination, so the role of religion in my mind & experience was again - a non-issue.

    If and when I even casually attempted to entertain the thought of some supernatural god or angel or life after death… my mind simply did not / could not / had no desire to…“go there.”

    So, this could be largely due to my upbringing, I’ll grant you that. However, I have a few very close friends who were raised in very religious households. Ultimately they rejected it because it simply never set right with them, even from a young age. And then there are a few acquaintences who were raised without faith & found it later on their own….but, they are an anomaly.

    I try to imagine what it must feel like to be in the mind of someone who is a believer - particularly in any of the big three of Judaisim, Christianity & Islam. Try as I might, I can not imagine any future circumstance, where I might be inclined to “see the light.” In short, my mind quite literally hits the wall when venturing anywhere near that path.

    Does this bother me in any way?

    Hell no!! (Haha)

    However…. to me, the entire enterprise re which I speak (and why I am raising it here among people who no doubt have given it serious thought) garners great interest. I acknowledge that I lack the neuroscience education & know-how of a Sam Harris. What I do know is only conjecture of consciousness as I have experienced it. I have no faith in a supernatural god because it simply can not connect in any meaningful way with any sense of common sense to which I have ever been aligned. How & where this thought process lies is a mystery & I do not expect to crack it in my lifetime. There was a time years ago when I sought the truth with a capital T. Many years later to now, I’ve given up on that goal as an impossibilty & feel fairly content in living & dying without knowing. Accepting that I will live & die without knowing (and btw expecting absolutely *nothing* after death) is actually quite liberating.

    What say you? ????

    * \m/

    **ramble, ramble, ramble…. haha, I normally spend my time on forums & online in general talking about information science & music… this is a first re religion.**
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    Re: Religion

    by cowboy71 » Wed May 25, 2016 2:35 am

    I love your posts Laura - always so eloquent and wordy :D

    As far as religion goes, Mum was very religious (Anglican). Always attending church (and making us kids attend until we were old enough to say otherwise!), and she was even a religious education instructor in the primary schools in our district.

    I drifted away from the religious side of things in my teen years, but then drifted back for a while when I went to Uni, attending the Church of Christ.

    I still kinda believe, and do not listen to black or satanic metal because of that, and conversely enjoy Christian metal and kinda give christian metal a bit of leeway because of that (as to say, I would listen to a christian metal band purely because they are a christian metal band, whereas I wouldn't give a black/pagan/satanic metal band that luxury).

    My mindset now is that I do not like organised religion, and avoid churches except for weddings and funerals. As for the bible, a lot of it I think is BS, but I'm pretty sure someone called Jesus did exist. Was he the son of God? Is there a God? Those questions I'm not so sure about :P

    I used to say when I "was a christian" that it was just as hard for me to comprehend that we are all just here because of a huge number of coincidences, as it is for non believers to comprehend that we were "made by God".

    So yeah - I think my response is probably every bit as ramble-y as your post :P :D
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    Re: Religion

    by Daenerys » Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:14 am

    Yay, Laura's coming back to 70K! :heavydrink:

    Laura wrote:.......
    How many forumites here never felt a kinship with any of the major religions?

    I have some extra time today and religion fascinates me, so I'll bite ;) I was raised in a Roman Catholic household (grandmother was 100% Italian, mother went to Catholic school). However, my father is an engineer with a "there is no gray, only black and white" mentality and my mother is really a "mystic" Catholic (she believes in Numerology, Astrology, reincarnation and the like but in the context of it being performed through God's hand) so I was definitely encouraged to think for myself (something that I feel makes people less likely to jump onto a religious bandwagon). I was also fortunate enough to have intimate exposure to different religions throughout my life. One of my best friends was Jewish and I would celebrate Passover and Hanukah with her, and several of my friends in highschool were Indian with hardcore Hindu family so I would dress up in full Indian attire and celebrate with them as well. One of my other friends was Mormon - I tried to read the book of Mormon out of curiosity but just couldn't get through it.

    All these experiences have led me to believe that all religions are essentially the same. There's a higher being and a mythology associated with it, you perform certain rituals to keep this being happy and/or avoid its wrath, and depending on how well you do this you either end up in a good place or a bad place. And some people require this to believe that they're doing the right thing, or that their life has meaning, or that they're a good person.

    I've never found that I needed any of that. I've always been science minded, which I also think makes committing to a faith or religion very difficult. But I've also embraced the things that I've encountered in my life that don't adhere to science, without requiring an explanation of it being from a "higher power". I enjoy the mystery of not knowing. I don't feel that the good or bad things in my life are the result of any kind of divine intervention. Therefore I make it easy on myself - I'm agnostic. I believe that at this time we can neither prove nor disprove that a God exists. Both blind faith - and on the other end of the spectrum, atheism - are too simple to me. It's easy to say yes or no; it's a lot more thought provoking to me to say "maybe" :P
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    Re: Religion

    by ANTIKRISS » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:29 pm

    I have no respect for religion. Never did, and never will.
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    Re: Religion

    by captaingabbeh » Tue Jul 05, 2016 12:43 pm

    I've got a few minutes at work, so I'll join the rambling.

    I was raised VERY Catholic, actually - like, I was baptized and had my first communion and all that shit as a child. So yeah, I certainly *felt* religious as a kid - we went to church every weekend, my school banned Harry Potter, we were encouraged to pray daily, etc. Religion's a big part of my family, especially on my dad's side - my grandmother's extremely Catholic, and we come from a very Catholic culture (seriously- the Acadian anthem is a hymn to the Virgin Mary).

    Religion fell apart for me when I was old enough to start a) spending more time away from my parents and b) start learning more about the world (and how it didn't line up with what my school was telling me a lot of the time). I think I started going "no wait what that doesn't sound right" when I was around 14 or so, but my parents insisted I keep going to church with them until I was 18. After that, I was basically an atheist minus a brief period when I gave a non-denominational church (they had a latte bar, I used to joke that it was Hipster Christian) another go with an ex-boyfriend. They're comfortable now with me and both my siblings being atheists, but getting there was not fun, and I had a really rocky relationship with them for a couple years. Ultimately, they chilled out a lot, I still go to mass with them from time to time because it's a big deal to them, and they're really nice about it when I do go. I kind of see going to church as a culture/family thing when I do go, not a religious thing. It's not for everyone, but it works for me.

    Fun fact - these days, Ma is a lot less conservative, and keeps threatening to go on 70K if they ever bring Apocalyptica back. We might have to see if she can manage the rest of the bands, though...

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    Re: Religion

    by bleedingkyo » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:35 am

    Atheist here.

    I have a pretty strong intolerance of religion. I think religion causes a large number of the problems in the world not to mention hatred and general stupidity. I understand why religion used to be such a big deal and I even see how religion was "necessary" at some points in time but I personally can't fathom how in this day and age religion is still such a common and strong thing.

    Heres my backstory: I was not really raised religious. My father is adamantly atheist and my mother is maybe a bit more agnostic but she enjoys poking fun at religion now and then. I don't have any strongly religious people in my family either, at most there are some people who believe in a god but don't practice or affiliate with any group.
    But when I was a child they were not as openly against it as they are now. I guess with the internet and finding more acceptance of being anti-religion they started to have more of an opinion. When I was a kid they basically didn't say much, but didn't think church was "harmful" like they do now. I did actually go to sunday school once upon a time. It was a really relaxed type of church though, and when I was older and asked why they sent me when they think its bullshit they said 1. Everyone in the town went so we didn't really think much about it and 2. you would get to see your friends from school there. It was my mom who wanted me go, and mainly because she was afraid her more religious colleagues and friends would judge her (she no longer gives a shit, thankfully). My Dad and her actually had a huge fight over the issue because he didn't want me to go to "brainwash sessions" as he called it, and he was very relieved when I said I didn't believe in it and I didn't want to go anymore.

    That experience is another reason I hate religion especially when its pushed on kids. At the time I did not know that I was "allowed" to not believe in it. So many things didn't add up, I asked a lot of questions and I was not satisfied with the "answers". When I was 8 I decided it was crap, but I thought something was wrong with me for "not understanding" it so I pretended I did. When I was 10 I had enough and threw a big fit before sunday school one day, because I hated it so much. I didn't know why I hated it because I was too young but looking back it was boredom, frustration, and being told things I didn't agree with. I was so surprised when my parents were actually happy I didn't want to go anymore, because they thought I liked it. I really thought I was going to be in deep shit. And this was at a pretty lenient church so what goes on at the stricter places is downright terrifying to me. I consider pushing religion on kids extremely unhealthy.

    In highschool there were a lot of jesus freak kids. I was not "anti-religion" like I am now, I just simply wanted nothing to do with it. I found acceptance in the very small "devil worshipper crowd" at school. (They were mostly just metal, goth, scene kids, or other atheists...but you know..high school) Naturally I was bullied by the jesus freaks even though I had no problem with them. They made it their mission to "save me" from the devil worshippers because they thought I was better than them and could be still saved. lol. This is what really made me despise religion, especially Christians. I just wanted to mind my own business but they had to stick their nose in it. The "Christians" treated me like shit because I didn't accept Jesus as my lord and savior, but the so called "devil worshippers" accepted me and didn't give a fuck how I dressed, what I believed in, or what music i listened to. If we agreed, great, if not..who cares as long as I wasn't shit to them, so that was an interesting revelation in my teen years.
    I dated a guy in late highschool who was a "follower" LaVeyan Satanism so I learned a bit about their ideas. There are a lot of things I still like from there but I prefer to not be associated with anything. I follow a lot of humanist and free thinker groups, I enjoy Richard Dawkins and others. I just try to avoid "following" any group or person completely because I believe that leads to a lack of free thinking. I like to take ideas I like from different sources but ultimately making my own decisions.

    I agree with the OP about "dying and expecting nothing" being liberating! I can live my life for myself, and for now. Rather than living for an "afterlife". In my mind, death is probably like before birth. That thought is rather comforting.

    (I wrote this at 4 am while waiting on the band announcements so sorry if some things might not make sense and its overly wordy :lol: )
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