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s-m-r

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14th February, 2011 at 17:34:48 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk
Nice editorial btw.



Yeah, I had a pretty hearty laugh myself; figured it would be nice to post here.

 
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Silveraura

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14th February, 2011 at 19:02:13 -


Originally Posted by s-m-r
Not to reopen a done-and-dusted "discussion," but here's an editorial authored by a rabbi, entitled "An Open Letter to Atheists."

More support for the faithful, I reckon.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-adam-jacobs/an-open-letter-to-the-ath_b_818489.html

I'd hate to consider this a done and dusted discussion though, because it really is/was a good thread topic and will probably not be brought back up without someone saying "It's already been done."

 
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Johnny Look

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14th February, 2011 at 19:34:11 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk
It seems to me that the people who hate religion the most are the ones that are the most immoral.

Nice editorial btw.



Where did you get that idea ? Where I'm from I can tell you right away it's the exact opposite, I can't stand most of the people who goes to the church I used to go as a kid. Phony people with huge egos who have no problem lying and stabbing each other's backs, but hey who cares they go to church every sunday their seat in heaven is more than secured. In the other hand, most of the best persons I know don't believe in god/don't care. I would give my two arms to save their lives and I'm sure they would do the same for me. I can't say the same for any religious person, except for my mother.

Also that article is downright ridiculous, he's basically taking several swipes at atheists (basically calling them ignorant and posers along the way) and then saying "but hey let's discuss this peacefully and please stop trolling religion-related blogs".
I chuckled several times while reading the article, but the part where he says that no one can call themselves "atheists" because they don't know everything and never observed god is pure comedy gold.

Edited by Johnny Look

 
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Silveraura

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14th February, 2011 at 20:23:03 -


Originally Posted by s-m-r
Not to reopen a done-and-dusted "discussion," but here's an editorial authored by a rabbi, entitled "An Open Letter to Atheists."

More support for the faithful, I reckon.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-adam-jacobs/an-open-letter-to-the-ath_b_818489.html



Right off the bat:

"The first point I'd like to explore is that there really are no true atheists. It seems to me that in order to claim with certainty that there is no God you would have to have knowledge of the totality of the universe - seen and unseen - and I don't think any of you guys are ready to make that claim."

As soon as I read this, I just walked away. Because I knew that I was going to be slapped in the face with a ton of extreme ignorance and arrogance. He couldn't even get the definition of an atheist right. An atheist is a person who does not believe in God, not someone who knows for a fact that he doesn't exist. That's like saying no Christian is truly a Christian because he doesn't know for a fact that God exists... and he doesn't.
Everyones beliefs are just that, beliefs. Whether or not you choose to be ignorant and/or arrogant or you choose to educate yourself and try to figure out what works out best for you, is your choice. But if you're going to set up a discussion, the worst thing you can do is make your first statement completely and utterly foolish.

Edited by Silveraura

 
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UrbanMonk

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15th February, 2011 at 02:33:59 -


Originally Posted by Johnny Look
I can't stand most of the people who goes to the church I used to go as a kid. Phony people with huge egos who have no problem lying and stabbing each other's backs, but hey who cares they go to church every sunday their seat in heaven is more than secured.



Just because someone goes to church doesn't mean they're not immoral, neither does it mean they're going to heaven.

There are phony people everywhere, so what's new?

I saw a professing atheist praying before.


Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
As soon as I read this, I just walked away.



I knew you would.
I think it was you that posted something a couple of years back that said you hated it when someone called you an agnostic.

 
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15th February, 2011 at 06:09:59 -

Whether you believe in God or not (unless there is a religion I'm not paying attention to ) then it is pretty much certain pets won't be going to heaven (apparently they don't have souls ).

If you have pets you care about, consider signing up here! http://www.postrapturepetcare.com/ (I think it's a joke, but I found it quite hilarious reading through it )

 
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Silveraura

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15th February, 2011 at 19:09:09 -


Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
As soon as I read this, I just walked away.



I knew you would.
I think it was you that posted something a couple of years back that said you hated it when someone called you an agnostic.

A couple years back is irrelevant though because a couple years back, I was an atheist. A lot can change in a couple of years, but for me, becoming a Christian was not and will not be one of them. But I know what it's like to think like an atheist and despite not being one anymore, it really does piss me off to see people use incredibly weak arguments against them. Most of them really are incredibly intelligent and well thought out people. They just tend to be arrogant, narrow and close minded.

 
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15th February, 2011 at 20:11:28 -

What are you now?

A humanist?

 
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Johnny Look

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15th February, 2011 at 20:44:18 -

"Just because someone goes to church doesn't mean they're not immoral, neither does it mean they're going to heaven."
Sure, but neither does it mean that atheist people are immoral just because they are atheist.
From what I can see however it seems a lot of people are too confident that believing in god and going to church is all you need to be a good person.

"I think it was you that posted something a couple of years back that said you hated it when someone called you an agnostic. "

Are you saying you agree with what the author of the article said ?

edit:

"What are you now?

A humanist?"

I don't know if you're trying to mock his faith or not, but if you are I hope you're aware that his beliefs are as valid as yours.

Edited by Johnny Look

 
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Silveraura

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16th February, 2011 at 01:24:00 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk
What are you now?

A humanist?



Wow, really? I can't tell if you're being ignorant or an asshole.

Either you paid absolutely no attention to anything I've said in my previous posts (reading only what you wanted to respond to) or you're trying to make fun of me. Neither of which, I can assure you, go over well.

This post has gone 13 pages without any real immature fighting or bickering. Don't ruin it now.

And on the off chance that you truly didn't catch yet it... I am Wiccan.

 
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UrbanMonk

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16th February, 2011 at 01:44:32 -

Yes, I don't usually read a whole page of text, I just skim and reply.

So what made you decide to be Wiccan?

 
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Silveraura

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16th February, 2011 at 02:13:17 -

Edit: If you're serious about asking me why I decided on Wicca, please do not just skim through this. I assure you, it's not a painful read. I tried to keep it short and sweet. I separated a lot of my individual thoughts so that it wouldn't seem like one huge paragraph.

Long story short, after being a strong atheist for years, a very good friend who was initially Christian (through family), picked up a book and after reading it, started telling me all about Wicca, what it really was, what it really meant, and how it made so much more sense then anything she's been lead to try and believe in the past. Most notably in her situation, Christianity. The first thing she said about Wicca was that it encompasses the idea that every form of faith, no matter how abstract, is correct. That is of course, if you aren't trying to convince other people that they're wrong, and that you're not using your faith to harm anyone. Also keep in mind that theres a difference between your faith being correct, and using your faith to be correct. If it works for you, it's right. That doesn't mean you can use it to predict or get what you want. If you think that's going to happen, it's not right for you.

I had done my own research into Wicca myself around the same time, coincidentally but I was still very hesitant to believe any of it. The internet is a horrible research for Wicca. I have yet to find a good solid source online.

Eventually after hearing her talk about it for a little bit, it started making a lot of sense. And mind you, she is incredibly intelligent, especially when it comes to the human body, psychology, and is a very deep thinker. Rarely ever makes a fool of herself.


I decided to get the book she told me about, which in case you're interested, is: Wicca Demystified, by Bryan Lankford
http://www.amazon.com/Wicca-Demystified-Practitioners-Friends-ebook/dp/B002B557D2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1297821823&sr=8-1
It's a very open minded read, and explains not just Wicca, but the whole idea behind why people might choose to become Wiccan, fact from fiction, it goes into the holidays, and history, science, death, etc. In fact the table of contents itself is basically like one big FAQ.

After reading through the book, it didn't take long to realize, that was exactly what I was: Wiccan. It was like finding my name, finding home after being lost my whole life. It was truly amazing.

I continue to read books on it, to expand my knowledge on it, and I'm always asking questions and looking into things. After officially feeling comfortable calling myself Wiccan, I was impressed to find out how many of my friends were actually Wiccan and I never knew it. They were very collective and kept to themselves about their faith.


Both a pro and a con to Wicca is how unlikely a Wiccan is going to approach you and tell you about it. Many Wiccans, including myself, believe that the way people choose to worship divinity is entirely their own so to try to convince someone our way was the "correct" way would be arrogant. This leads a lot of people to either have no idea what it is, or have a lot of misconceptions about it. Most aren't even exposed to it enough to even consider that it might be right for them. Especially since the response from most people is so negative.

PS: It's also important to note that Wicca is only one of many forms of faith which are all encompassed under pagan or neo-pagan theology. Wicca itself is a very new faith and today, has almost no real structure, just a set of idea's that most who consider themselves Wiccan, tend to follow, such as the Wiccan Rede: "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"

Wicca today, is more or less is a preservation of the rituals, beliefs, and myths, that were held by many pagans before The Burning Times.

Edited by Silveraura

 
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UrbanMonk

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16th February, 2011 at 02:53:32 -

I didn't skim.


Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
...has almost no real structure, just a set of idea's that most who consider themselves Wiccan, tend to follow, such as the Wiccan Rede: "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"



Ok, so I have heard some things about Wiccan, since I know someone who was Wiccan.
She said that Wiccan teaches spells and such, I don't know if it's true or not.

I will refrain from Googling it since I prolly wouldn't get a direct answer.

"The Burning Times" - Are you referring to the book burnings?


I would have to agree with: "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
Religions that don't hurt anyone don't bother me.

Religions I have a problem with are one's that teach their followers to harm others, either to convert or just for the heck of it.

Or religions that twist what the Bible says (Writing their own version of the Bible, changing things, ect.)
This may not seem like much, but it's a pain because it creates misconceptions about Christians.

 
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Silveraura

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16th February, 2011 at 03:22:23 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk
I didn't skim.


"The Burning Times" - Are you referring to the book burnings?



No, I'm referring to the time whenever the Catholic church convinced the world that witches were evil and anything relating to pagan theology was branded as devil worship.




Originally Posted by UrbanMonk

Ok, so I have heard some things about Wiccan, since I know someone who was Wiccan.
She said that Wiccan teaches spells and such, I don't know if it's true or not.



This is true but it's not the same as what you see in the movies. We do typically use things such as wands, a cauldron, etc but again, not anything like what you see in the movies.

See, how spellcraft works is entirely bent around intent. In a way, it's kind of adjacent to prayer. We may use things such as colored candles, burn specific herbs, or perform special rituals, but it's largely as an aid to help the human psyche. The human mind is a powerful thing. Nothing supernatural is happening however the second you doubt yourself or the spells your performing, the magick is instantly lost and nothing will come of it.
A good example: You can do as many love spells as you want, but nothing will happen if you never actually try and talk to someone with the intent on finding love. And even then, nothing may still happen. Same with if you find a penny heads up and you put it in your pocket or sock or whatever. If you truly believe if will bring you good luck, it will bring you good luck.

In addition, many of the items you find at a Wiccan altar, tend to serve a more symbolic function, rather then literal. Gerald Gardner said it himself, the tools you use for magick are only tools until they're no longer needed.

There are a lot of theories or explanations for why this works, but one thing is certain. It does work. Otherwise we wouldn't continue to do it. Just like prayer. Would you continue to do it, if you honestly didn't believe it were possible? And furthermore, would you continue to pray if it never worked?

Also, contrary to popular belief... Wiccan and Witch are not synonymous. You can be both, but just because you're one doesn't mean you're the other. Typically Wiccans who do perform spell or witchcraft are more likely to consider themselves a witch, which is fine because it's still true and usually opens the opportunity for further investigation by whoever is obviously going to want to know more. And typically Wiccans who don't tend to make spell or withcraft a part of their life, will just refer to themselves as Wiccan.

I personally have tried a little spellcraft but every time I read more, I learn more about how it works, why it works, and what it actually is, and I'm just not confident enough with myself to expect results from anything I do. But then again, no one ever stops learning, we're always trying different things and experimenting. Hence the term practicing witchcraft.

One thing that almost every reliable source will tell you however, is that Wicca is not some kind of fashion statement, role play, or fad. Anyone who treats it as such, is disgraceful and not a true Wiccan. If you see someone walking around with black clothes, white makeup, pentacles handing all over place so they're impossible to miss, and threating to put hexes on everyone, chances are pretty good, they're just an attention whore.

Edited by Silveraura

 
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UrbanMonk

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16th February, 2011 at 04:05:03 -


Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
See, how spellcraft works is entirely bent around intent. In a way, it's kind of adjacent to prayer. We may use things such as colored candles, burn specific herbs, or perform special rituals, but it's largely as an aid to help the human psyche. The human mind is a powerful thing. Nothing supernatural is happening however the second you doubt yourself or the spells your performing, the magick is instantly lost and nothing will come of it.



So are you saying it's just a placebo?

I agree that the human mind is a powerful thing.
There are many mind tricks out there that can help people to overcome emotional stress, or to help one become more confident, ect.


Originally Posted by SiLVERFIRE
Also, contrary to popular belief... Wiccan and Witch are not synonymous.



Traditional Witchcraft and the Spellcraft you described above are indeed very different.
Do you consider yourself a Witch as well as a Wiccan?

 
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