Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Where do you fit?

I dislike labels, but if I had to choose I guess I am probably closer to a 7, though to be fair I also don't like to say I am 100%^ certain of anything.

In my opinion all that the Atheist label indicates is that I am somebody who requires actual proof of a supernatural explanation to a phenomenon, and lacking that will ALWAYS assume that whatever it is falls within the natural, and therefore scientifically explainable, realm.

Oh and if science cannot YET explain it, based on all of the things we once thought of as mystical and now know to be natural, my position is that science WILL someday advance to the point where the explanation will be considered obvious, and people will be stunned that WE were once so puzzled.


  1. Replies
    1. Anonymous9:23 PM

      I dunno G...when supernatural b/c natural, and the flat world is indeed round and I do believe in dog...

      look at that perfect little bee or flower...not saying it was dog, but someone aligned all that DNA the very design that prehistoric man has made long before microscopes? In nature there is order. It is not chaos? Not random.
      But ya the dog did it... ;-p

    2. Leland3:57 AM

      9:23, those of us who fit into wither 6 or 7 feel simply this way: After 4.5 BILLION YEARS, a LOT of things can occur just by random happenings!

    3. Leland5:27 AM

      oops! Should read "either", not wither!

    4. Anonymous7:56 AM

      Divine order. But "whose god" or Dog (I love to look into the eyes of a dog, and tell me there is no soul!)
      I don't believe in "God" as some supreme "anger bear" watching if I do something bad! :(
      No. But there is a divine energy that is good, can make order out of chaos.
      Earth is like school. We come here to play for a certain while then go somewhere else to talk about what we learned here, how we might better "serve" next time around.
      Then we get to come back and meet our friends on IM or see the people who will stay up there a long long time b/c they didn't learn the lesson. Like RWNJ who are greedy, mean, and prejudiced.
      And the lesson is LOVE. In Autobiography of a Yogi Paramanhausa talks about the Heart being like a radio beaming out Love, and receiving love.
      It does bug me that everyone uses God to describe this or that I prefer the term Goddess or just dog. It doesn't matter really.
      Feel the LOVE and Love your fellow man.
      Its LOVE. Call its god, dog whatnot, it is divine
      and not random down to the littlest seed that if watered will sprout.
      When the world was "discovered" to be round it was round all that time! But someone saying the world was round was considered crazy! But the world was still round.
      I can't classify myself.
      I'm a Theosophist, a Rosicrucian, a pagan, a witch. I see magic all around. Everyday, even here.
      Namaste IM'rs!

    5. Anonymous3:19 AM

      @Anonymous 7:56 AM

      I like the way you think.

  2. Anonymous6:33 PM

    The above definition of agnostic is sooo wrong.
    Agnostics believe that existence or non existence is unknowable; science will never prove there is no god and theists will never prove there is one.

    1. Anonymous7:33 PM

      science will never prove there is no god and theists will never prove there is one.

      EXACTLY! It's all based on belief which is always subject to interpretation. Any empirical treatment of the subject is fruitless. It lies in another realm altogether. What makes something 'real'?

    2. Sounds like something the Dalai Lama said.

  3. Byaka6:59 PM

    I'm a 6. My 15 yo son is a solid 7. Hubby's probably in the 5 range.

    1. Anonymous10:11 AM

      I would be a 7, but a few years back during a trip with my mother to Pennsylvania, I was giving presenting my arguments on how God didn't exist.

      I was in the passenger seat, and no one else was with us.

      At the literal exact same time that I wrapped up my argument and announced it all as hooey, the necklace I was wearing (silver Celtic cross from my late grandmother) came unfastened from my neck and dropped down my shirt.

      It was the end of the day, & the necklace had been on all day. Nothing was broken, simply the clasp was undone.

      And the timing of it was just... creepy.

      I'm still an atheist... but a 5 rather than a 7. I still can't believe in a god, I've tried. There are too many uncertainties, incongruous hypocrisies. Not the least of which being knowing "which god is real?", and if you choose wrong, you're going to hell. What if you've never been exposed to the "right" religion?

      It's like looking for a glass of wine in a roomful of poison chalices, without even knowing if the wineglass is in the room. "Choose, or we'll torture you. But if you choose wrong, you will have a slow and agonizing death."

      So... my choice is to not choose. I will live my life the best that I can, touching as many people on the way. And when I die, I will have no regrets- and if there is a god, I may be pleasantly surprised.

      Or I may not be. But I won't have a single regret!

  4. Anonymous7:00 PM

    I'd say I'm a 5 or 6. Probably a 5.5. :)

  5. Anonymous7:01 PM

    I don't see a number that corresponds to where I fit.

    I don't believe in the Supreme Being God of the Christian Bible I was raised to believe in.

    I do believe there is more to existence than the physical life I am living now and that the spirit that animates my current body will survive in another form. I lean towards belief in reincarnation, based on all the reading I have done in this area in the past 40 years, if the surviving soul is so inclined to return to physical form.

    But the purpose of it all? I have no fucking idea.

  6. Boscoe7:02 PM

    What always bothers me about stuff like this is:

    A: The definition of "God" is always limited to some Judeo-Christian specific which skews the debate to either validating or invalidating a specific narrow viewpoint and loading the debate with all kinds of superfluous baggage. As if you cannot believe in the possibility of "God" without also accepting one of the prefab belief systems and its attendant literature. It's like a multiple choice quiz about what your favorite color is, but the only choices given are black or white.

    B: The idea that Science/Nature and "God" have to be mutually exclusive concepts.

    I'll keep typing it until my fingers turn blue; being certain there is no God is no less crazy that believing you know exactly who God is. The only rational point of view is agnosticism.

    Admit that you don't know what you don't know and free your mind. How can you learn anything if you think you already know the answers?

    Money is meaningless, extremist viewpoints are the root of all evil. ;P

    1. Anonymous8:52 PM

      "Admit that you don't know what you don't know and free your mind. How can you learn anything if you think you already know the answers?"

      Brilliant. Thank you Boscoe for stating what should be obvious!

      We get man-made images of "God" from any and all 'religious' text (that's idolotry, folks). Simply making God male or female looses the mark. Think big. Better yet, stop 'thinking' with your human brain and start 'feeling, sensing something' in your soul, in your spirit.

      I say that the essence of what we mean by GOD is in everything, everything. Not good or bad, simply present, the essence of Life.

      Relax, let go of old programming, and as Boscoe says, admit that there is something that you don't KNOW yet. Let yourself experience it, then you will know it. Then you won't need books or teachers to tell you what God is any more, because the Life Essence is within you, and that's the only place you will find it and know it. Enjoy!

    2. Anonymous9:17 PM

      First you must agree on semantics. What do you mean by the word GOD? A mythological superior 'man' made in the image of the writer??? Or the all knowing all present aliveness and powerful energy of the Universe. "The Force and Intelligence behind the creation of the Universe. LIFE.

      First, we must all decide what we mean by the word GOD.

  7. Following up on Anonymous 6:33
    Agnostics feel that they simply don't have the information necessary to prove or disprove the existence of a god. Theists and atheists, on the other hand, require the same measure of suspension of disbelief. Both purport to know the (currently) unknowable.

    Awaiting further instruction, I remain agnostic.

    1. Leland5:32 AM

      Steve, thank you. You have just put your finger on a major point. I used to consider myself as a 7. Even as recently as a comment I made above!

      You comment has pointed out to me a major flaw in my thinking. I will have to give some serious thought to whether or not I should be an agnostic.

      Always open to knew thoughts!


  8. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Now you know I still love you, Gryphen. Consider the possibility of God.

    I'm a 1 by the way. I know, I know, I'm assuming it based on faith and what some call ignorance. But, also am basing it on evidence; evidence that I experienced. That's all I want to share.

    I try to imagine believing there is no God. I'd try to do the best I could in my life but would feel there is no order, no hope. I'd be mad that the world could exist for millions and millions of years and my life span was only a small faint time on earth. Why do living beings die and why do the seasons replenish year after year after year, charged by the energy of the sun which lives forever, or until it might implode or fizz out a billion years from now. I'd be pretty depressed.

    But, I still get depressed. The difference is there's this tiny seed of hope that something wonderful, a wonderful Creator has a plan for all this and all of us.

    Good night, G., sleep tight and know those twinkling stars which shine on you, sit in the midst of an eternal force which provides for us, and created you as unique and special and curious and caring.

  9. Anonymous7:19 PM

    I don't "believe" in the God portrayed in the Bible or the Gods of mythology. I am #1 and #7. I find it very likely there is an intelligent source, and for lack of what to call it, mankind came up with "God". There are many alternate universes and dimensions of life, some invisible, due to frequency levels. The earth plane atomic structure is slower, so there is physical manifestation. I am more of an Einstein theorist.

  10. I tend not to care which way the discussion about belief in God or Gods goes but I agree with #4 and I believe (pun intended) that existence and non-existence are less likely to be proven either way since it would take a miracle (pun intended) for God to appear in some dramatic fashion as proof of his existence. He hasn't appeared, to date, and there is no way to prove that He won't. Therefore I am hedging my bets (just in case) and identifying with #4.

  11. I'm in there somewhere, but I'll be hung if I can figure out where I fit in as a pagan/buddhist.
    Typical. I'm such a non-conformist.
    M from MD

  12. where's the choice for none of the above? "God" as defined by religious institutions is the world's biggest problem. If a person truly seeks "GOD", then it becomes moot as to how that is manifested.

  13. Anonymous7:45 PM

    I'm a 1.

  14. Anonymous7:48 PM

    Anonymous6:33 PM

    '''The above definition of agnostic is sooo wrong.
    Agnostics believe that existence or non existence is unknowable; science will never prove there is no god and theists will never prove there is one.'''

    The very fact that you are here and typed that comment proves that there is a God.

    1. Eduardo3:44 AM

      No, it doesn't

    2. Leland5:28 AM

      Greed, Eduardo.

    3. Leland5:43 AM

      RATS! I am NOT typing worth a crap today! That should read Agreed, not greed!

  15. Anonymous8:38 PM

    What about the category of 'Who cares?'. I don't believe or disbelieve in 'God'. It doesn't matter to me whether 'God' exists or doesn't exist. I don't focus my life or my actions in life on this. I try to be a good and kind person, an honest and compassionate person and reap the results of what that brings. I've experienced deeply painful times in life and found my way through them. I don't know if 'God' had any hand in anything, good or bad, occurring in my life, and it doesn't matter.

    What matters is that I continue to learn and grow and deepen in my personal consciousness. That I find the magnificence and beauty in each moment, the light in the dark places, the splendid details in life's tapestry.

    When one experiences deep pain, loss, grief, depression, one comes out of it on the other side with a profoundly different view of life. Whether 'God' had anything to do with that new awareness, I guess I'll never know...and it doesn't matter. I'm simply grateful for this new view.

    1. Anonymous1:27 AM

      To this I say AMEN!

      From another one who has made it through to the other side.

  16. Anonymous8:50 PM

    I'm at about 5 on the scale. Maybe 6.

    1. Paul - Minnesota12:50 AM

      I also feel the same about myself.

      I'm at least a 5. Perhaps a 6.

  17. Anonymous8:54 PM

    The issue to me isn't where one is on a theism scale, but what one does with one's position.

    I would consider myself to be a strong theist- I believe, I've had personal experience, I don't question the existance of the gods. Just don't argue with me, because you won't convince me. That said, though, I don't really give a rat's ass what other people believe or don't believe so long as they leave other people alone.

    The problem isn't with theists. It's with their behavior. They're often rude.


    1. My sentiments exactly.

  18. I'm a 1, except my god is the Ether.

    It's an awesome god, and connects us all together and with the Universe through the shared space between the atoms of the molecules.

    1. Anonymous11:30 PM

      Beautifuly said! Much better than my reply to Boscoe.

      Well said! Thanks!

  19. Anita Winecooler9:00 PM

    I'm a 7. But I have one question, Why is there a "Pure" Agnostic, when the other flavors are called "Strong"?

  20. No doubt in my mind, although I consider myself a follower of Christ's teachings, I'm a number 7.

    1. Leland4:07 AM

      Exactly, Duncan. It is what I base LUCFT on.

  21. Pron between a 4-5 right now.

    Still have some fog remaining from 20 years of Southern Baptist Indoctrination.

  22. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive. Critical thinking and religion are not mutually exclusive. Religion does not necessarily equate with the supernatural. Assumptions about what is in someone else's brain cannot succeed. You are only projecting your own stuff onto that person/s.

  23. Anonymous12:01 AM

    Gryphen had another thread like this on Jan. 4th I think, about spiritual people and mental health. Just want to observe that the comments on both that thread and this seem so mature and thoughtful and intelligent, I have to wonder if it is the same people who leave comments on Sarah Palin threads. If so, I guess the subject matter really matters. Good to see that S.P. is fading into an ember. Thanks y'u all, for sharing your feelings on this subject, one that I am very interested in. I guess I am a 2. My belief in God, or a divine creative power, comes mostly from observing Nature, the incredible diversity and complexity and perfection of this world we live in and all its creatures including us humans (not to mention the universe beyond). How could all this just happen to be, without divine purpose and creation? I have not personally had a life-changing experience in an alternate reality, or dimmension, but I know people who have. ...So, I don't know. But life seems a lot more interesting with the idea that there are alternate realities and other dimensions and a guiding power. So I guess I'll stick on that. I just won't agree to be of any one religion, I will give equal credence to all religions, and then just stand on my own.

  24. Anonymous2:26 AM

    There is a common error in the interpretation of the meaning of Agnosticism. It comes from ancient Greek meaning without knowledge. It is therefore a knowledge proposition while Atheism is a belief proposition. So you can be both an agnostic (not knowable) and an atheist (I don't believe), or an agnostic theist (it is not knowable, but I still believe).

    1. Leland5:40 AM

      Interesting twist, 2:26.

      I have to agree that this is one of the most challenging threads I have seen on IM, 12:01. Challenging in that some truly "blinding" thoughts have been put forth that are well thought out - at least from a question angle.

      Kind of like a really good teacher putting a question to the class and sitting back and watching.

      It's Imagineering on religion and religious thoughts and ideas. I love it!

  25. Anonymous6:06 AM

    I was a "1" when I was 6 years old. Gradually went to 2 then 3 in my teams. I am 54 now and a solid 7.

  26. Anonymous6:14 AM

    I'm a 7.

  27. Chella7:23 AM

    I was clinically dead for 4 minutes.

    My heart had stopped, my lungs had shut down. I was in full cardiac arrest with full respiratory failure.

    During that time, my brain was deprived of oxygen, and my body had begun the process of death.

    But I came back. I am only of the 5% of people to survive cardiac arrest, and the doctors told me that it was most likely due to my age (26) that they were able to restart my heart in time so I wouldn't suffer brain damage.

    During the time I was dead; my brain was sending signals frantically, the core of my brai and my brain stem fighting frantically to hold on.

    There was nothing but flashes of light, no dead relatives, no pearly gates for me to face judgement in which I would have surely been sent to hell for my heathen secular ways.

    Nothin but silence, and the chemical and electrical impulses of a brain depraved of oxygen.

    When I was brought back, I found myself in the ER of a catholic hospital, with a priest by my side. He asked me if I was alright, and if I had seen the light.

    I didn't understand what was happening. I didn't know I had died. Apparently I had been given my last rights.

    I asked to see the doctor, who welcomed me back. He explained to me what happens to the body and the brain during death. The brain floods with chemicals and your neurons flash in its dying throws.

    I didn't have a near death exp. I experienced death.

    And there was no god there to meet me on the flip side.

    To me, that was very reassuring.

    7.all the way.

    1. Randall8:07 AM

      Me too - I died too.
      No kidding - I had a heart attack and the doctor was putting in some stents and I died on the table - was dead for five full minutes.

      They hit me with the paddles but I didn't respond so they turned up the juice and hit me again... and again... and again...

      I had paddle-brands where the defib amperage burned my skin. (They don't put them side-by-side on your chest like you see on TV - my brands were one beneath my right pec and one on my left side, about six inches below my armpit.)

      I saw things, sensed things when I was dead.

      I experienced things.

      I'm often amused when in a room full of religious fools speculating on what comes after death, since I'm the only one there that has actually died...

      My daughter - who IS a cardiac nurse (but wasn't MY nurse, of course) - still has the EKG and EEG readouts and all that stuff. She looks at that stuff and says it's amazing that I'm alive.

      Feels kind of amazing.

      I'm a 7.

  28. Leland7:50 AM

    Thank you Chella - and congratulations on rejoining the living! (At least, I hope that you feel congratulations are due.)

    I have often thought that what you described would be a normal experience, kind of like when HAL was being shut down. A slow degradation of everything until - nothing.

    MY feeling has always been that with those who claim to have "seen the light" and relatives and etc., that it was because of the confusion and stupid questions like what the Priest asked you. Kind of like implanting ideas and happenings that really weren't there.

    I am not knocking anyone else's experience, merely wondering and questioning. However, I do wonder how many experiences like yours are suppressed by religious people.

    1. Chella9:20 AM

      I do enjoy being back, and I find it kind of cool, like I belong to some kind of selective club. I've been to the far side, and I promise you, death isn't as scary as people make it out to be.

      It's actually quite calm. And quiet. And if "paradise" in the "afterlife" means a long and restful sleep, as someone who suffers from chronic insomnia, I'll take it!

      I feel those that say that theyve seen heaven and relatives do so because they have their preconceived notions of an after life, and that's how they interpret the brain frantically trying to get things running again and things start to shut down.

      The science of death is absolutely fascination.


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