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  • How to go on being a non believer of religions?

    Where in interpals will I find a teacher for being a non believer of religions? Just curious and asking, or do I just keep knowing and learning from books how it is to be a good person? Perhaps, sciences, maths, philosophy, etc?

  • #2
    Originally posted by vixendane View Post
    Where in interpals will I find a teacher for being a non believer of religions? Just curious and asking, or do I just keep knowing and learning from books how it is to be a good person? Perhaps, sciences, maths, philosophy, etc?
    "Goodness" has nothing to do with religions. Our history of religious wars, massacres, hatred and whatnot should make that evident to anyone. Atheism is just as guilty: Maoist China, the USSR, the Khmer Rouge should also make evident that atheism ain't got a clue about what "goodness" is either. Philosophy? LOL...are you kidding?!

    So that leaves science and mathematics in your reasoning. Science has nothing to say about what is good or bad. It is often fraught with fraud and lies and twisting of the truth for profit or pride. Forget about that. Mathematics and the applied sciences will show you what works...there's a dim candle there that may lead you towards what you are searching for.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by vixendane View Post
      Where in interpals will I find a teacher for being a non believer of religions? Just curious and asking, or do I just keep knowing and learning from books how it is to be a good person? Perhaps, sciences, maths, philosophy, etc?
      Being a non-believer in religions and other faith and religious dogma is best cured with a healthy dose of critical thinking skills

      As for "being a good person".. unless you have some psychological or psychiatric condition such as being a sociopath, then being a moral person should come naturally to you - after all it is programmed into our genes and is an integral part of the vast majority of people in humanity.

      Learning about the sciences, maths and philosophy beats the hell out of most of the poorly written crap that constitutes dogma associated with faiths. Definitely sex for the brain in comparison with poorly formulated and often contradictory fairy tales and other sky daddy fiction.

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      • #4
        Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot all came from religious homes and received religious education. The same is true for Kim Il-Sung among others. Interestingly Pol Pot went to a Catholic school and Kim was from a Protestant Christian family, not at all typical for these Asian countries.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by -Lauri- View Post
          Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot all came from religious homes and received religious education. The same is true for Kim Il-Sung among others. Interestingly Pol Pot went to a Catholic school and Kim was from a Protestant Christian family, not at all typical for these Asian countries.
          A religious education devoid of critical thinking skills enabled these people to seamlessly flow from dogmatic contradictory bullshit with a skydaddy into dogmatic contradictory bullshit with skydaddy replaced by gods of a more human form - Marx and Lenin.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by vixendane View Post
            Where in interpals will I find a teacher for being a non believer of religions? Just curious and asking, or do I just keep knowing and learning from books how it is to be a good person? Perhaps, sciences, maths, philosophy, etc?
            Do you think you need to learn to be a good person when you don't believe in one of the religions?

            About what things in particular are you in doubt?
            In dir muß brennen, was du in anderen entzünden willst. What you wish to kindle in others must burn within yourself. [Aurelius]

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vixendane View Post
              Where in interpals will I find a teacher for being a non believer of religions? Just curious and asking, or do I just keep knowing and learning from books how it is to be a good person? Perhaps, sciences, maths, philosophy, etc?
              Why would you need a teacher ? Are you SUCH a follower ? Forget about and don't worry about what others might think ,,,decide for your self..
              If you wish to be a good person,find yourself a book about ethics most acceptable to the country and society in which you live..

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              • #8
                I went from Christian to atheist to agnostic, and now I'm trying out something called gnostic. I think religion is important to us, but conventional religion won't be able to emancipate modern thinking man. It's best if you would avoid identifying with your belief system too much, but instead wear it like a mask that you put on and off as it conveniences you, and when you have it off, look at life and reality without any preconception or bias. After all, all you have of life is your experience of it, and there is no religion, teacher or god higher than the one in yourself.

                If you absolutely need a teacher, here are some people I learned from:

                Terrence McKenna


                Alan Watts


                Manly Hall


                If you have any questions.

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                • #9
                  "Inspiration is needed in math, just as much as in poetry" - Pushkin after meeting with Lobachewski.

                  “Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas” - Einstein.

                  Last edited by dmitri11; 07-17-2017, 08:46 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I'm in no way religious, and I do not see myself as an exclusively "good man". I try to live to the extent I can and I try to not judge people I do not know. If a friend tell me something about another person I'm inclined to believe him/her and if the friend tell me something "bad" about the other person I try my best to find out what I feel about that person before I make a judgement.

                    But, how do one live a "good" life?
                    1. Earn a lot of money and succeed in life.
                    2. Be popular and respected.
                    3. Be content with your situation and try to develop.

                    1. Let's use the Socratic Method on this:
                    1.1 Clarify further: You need to make a lot of money and succeed in life to be happy.
                    1.2 Think about contradictions: Taken from http://www.businessinsider.com/psych...r=US&IR=T&IR=T (16.23, 2017-07-30)
                    "If you want to get really depressed about success, look at what happened to the heroic astronauts of the 1960s and '70s. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, returned home from the historic Apollo 11 mission and became an alcoholic. Severely depressed, his life unraveled. Aldrin burned through three marriages and wrote two memoirs about his misery."
                    1.3 Then number 1's clarification must be false or incomplete.
                    1.4 Develop the original statement.
                    1.5 Repeat step 1-4 until you get a statement that works.
                    1.6 The result is true.


                    2. Here we could also use the Socratic method, but since I am doubting that you even read this much, I'll just say look at Presidents, Celebrities and Judges. They are quite rarely characterized as "The happy people". Right?

                    3. Be content with your situation and develop yourself. Here we have something that is worth thinking more about. Trying to be content with your situation and develop yourself. I.E read. Play. Learn. Learn one thing and become a master in it and you'll get 2-3 for "free" (even though mastering a skull isn't free, it takes work and dedication).

                    I think religion has failed mankind by providing a false way of being happy. But does that matter in the face of happiness? Well, i would rather choose truth every day.

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                    • #11
                      The framing of the original question could use some touching up but there is an interesting point there to be filled out.

                      I'm going to answer this related to my own interpretation of what Nietzsche was warning about, related to the end of belief in religions. It doesn't work as an appeal to his authority because he was all over the map, so you can evaluate the ideas on your own.

                      Per my take he saw it as a problem that we were basing current morality on religious ideas, on those teachings, and we were also in the process of losing our belief in those religions. The problem: those guidelines, a moral code, were functional, but they were in danger of being phased out along with a literal belief in a God that probably was always something of a fiction.

                      Around that time period (I lose track; I'd have to check to put it in order) Kant and the Utilitarians (Consequentialists, one branch of them) were trying to replace ethical grounding with philosophical ideas but it wasn't going all that well. They could've been clearer on it themselves but they were sort of assuming everyone knows what the "right thing to do" is and then figure out other ways it was already grounded, aside from a belief in a religion. Kant's attempt related to determining what reason dictates related to morality, and the Utilitarians tried to figure out how maximizing the interests of the people involved could generate it.

                      My take on why that doesn't work is that morality works best at the societal level; that's what it's designed to be doing, maximizing the greater good if everyone joins in. If no one ever lies society functions better (although that's a bit of a simplification). Then next people figure out that if no one but them ever lies it works well for them, and society doesn't suffer that much for it, and after that some degree of lying as acceptable is agreed upon once everyone is already doing it anyway.

                      On the next level people realize that other people know who is honest and who isn't, and deal differently with people that are honest, so it's back to being better not to lie.

                      Leaving all that aside, society really does work when somehow a balance is struck between those types of trade-offs and adopted positions. I can tell you from personal experience living in Thailand what happens when corruption is widely accepted in society; things still work out, but it's not so efficient. Ordinarily capitalism (the free market based economy, not the parts related to democracy and elected government that sometimes get mixed together) has the flaw that it promotes the unequal distribution of wealth, that some people earn a lot more than others. Add in significant amounts of corruption and all the ways a governing system might build in to protect against that, to offset it, are no longer functional.

                      So what did Nietzsche propose as a solution, given that he thought religion was finished for sure, and had no faith in academic philosophy either? That part isn't completely clear, but he seemed to express that we might be able to move past our limited self-awareness related to why we do what we do, or don't do what we don't do. The part about the "overman" was never really formulated as a clear system that was supposed to evolve but I take his general message as an odd form of optimism. The world as we knew it was surely coming to an end but there was potential for a better world to evolve from that transition. Of course he was probably guessing that the change-over wasn't going to be pretty.

                      How ugly, and in what forms? Just read the comment section of any online article, or a good bit of what is posted in this forum. For now nonsense has totally overtaken any form of sense. We see morality as whatever we want it to be, as arbitrary as a choice in clothing style; we haven't yet come close to putting the ideas back together.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by john_in_bkk View Post
                        The framing of the original question could use some touching up but there is an interesting point there to be filled out.

                        I'm going to answer this related to my own interpretation of what Nietzsche was warning about, related to the end of belief in religions. It doesn't work as an appeal to his authority because he was all over the map, so you can evaluate the ideas on your own.

                        Per my take he saw it as a problem that we were basing current morality on religious ideas, on those teachings, and we were also in the process of losing our belief in those religions. The problem: those guidelines, a moral code, were functional, but they were in danger of being phased out along with a literal belief in a God that probably was always something of a fiction.

                        Around that time period (I lose track; I'd have to check to put it in order) Kant and the Utilitarians (Consequentialists, one branch of them) were trying to replace ethical grounding with philosophical ideas but it wasn't going all that well. They could've been clearer on it themselves but they were sort of assuming everyone knows what the "right thing to do" is and then figure out other ways it was already grounded, aside from a belief in a religion. Kant's attempt related to determining what reason dictates related to morality, and the Utilitarians tried to figure out how maximizing the interests of the people involved could generate it.

                        My take on why that doesn't work is that morality works best at the societal level; that's what it's designed to be doing, maximizing the greater good if everyone joins in. If no one ever lies society functions better (although that's a bit of a simplification). Then next people figure out that if no one but them ever lies it works well for them, and society doesn't suffer that much for it, and after that some degree of lying as acceptable is agreed upon once everyone is already doing it anyway.

                        On the next level people realize that other people know who is honest and who isn't, and deal differently with people that are honest, so it's back to being better not to lie.

                        Leaving all that aside, society really does work when somehow a balance is struck between those types of trade-offs and adopted positions. I can tell you from personal experience living in Thailand what happens when corruption is widely accepted in society; things still work out, but it's not so efficient. Ordinarily capitalism (the free market based economy, not the parts related to democracy and elected government that sometimes get mixed together) has the flaw that it promotes the unequal distribution of wealth, that some people earn a lot more than others. Add in significant amounts of corruption and all the ways a governing system might build in to protect against that, to offset it, are no longer functional.

                        So what did Nietzsche propose as a solution, given that he thought religion was finished for sure, and had no faith in academic philosophy either? That part isn't completely clear, but he seemed to express that we might be able to move past our limited self-awareness related to why we do what we do, or don't do what we don't do. The part about the "overman" was never really formulated as a clear system that was supposed to evolve but I take his general message as an odd form of optimism. The world as we knew it was surely coming to an end but there was potential for a better world to evolve from that transition. Of course he was probably guessing that the change-over wasn't going to be pretty.

                        How ugly, and in what forms? Just read the comment section of any online article, or a good bit of what is posted in this forum. For now nonsense has totally overtaken any form of sense. We see morality as whatever we want it to be, as arbitrary as a choice in clothing style; we haven't yet come close to putting the ideas back together.
                        Different philosophers over the centuries have merely been paraphrasing different potential what could be called in evolutionary and biological terms "moral survival strategies",

                        There is nothing metaphysical about "morality". Non-human animals display elements we normally describe in terms of "morality" such as assisting "for the common good", "sharing" and even aspects of fidelity to life-long sexual partners. All of these of course have their pros and cons from the prospective of propagating future generations either for an individual or whole populations.

                        Similarly, morality operates like that in human populations - but perhaps in a far more complicated manner given that human beings are substantially more intelligent and have greater complexity in social and other interactions with each other.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by vixendane View Post
                          Where in interpals will I find a teacher for being a non believer of religions? Just curious and asking, or do I just keep knowing and learning from books how it is to be a good person? Perhaps, sciences, maths, philosophy, etc?
                          Don't listen to what other people think. Find your own truth and path based on your own experiences.

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