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zsc – “I have ‘tried God”’ in every which way after leaving Christianity and for me, there’s just no escaping the reality that some Ultimate Reality isn’t there.”
What is Reality other than Ultimate?
Applying semantics to the infinite.
What could you expect?
Well said. Though I think Franklin may have had his tongue in his cheek.
Other than the grassroots versions of atheism that I have encountered recently in blogs and forums, I have not read any serious work on it yet. My interest has been in the other direction.
However, it has been a good exercise opening up to the lives and thoughts I find in places like this. There is a certain common ground, especially the more I “grok” the infinitude of what I refer to as God. Existence and non-existence are relative terms and not pertinent to the Entirety.
One point of divergence may be in the role that the intuitive (right hemisphere) mind plays. I like to bring it into harmony with the rational (left hemisphere) for the most complete understanding. This may account for, or be the result of, my orientation. Who can say?
godlessindixie – ” Just noting the patronizing tone of the following:”
brmckay – ‘I am always puzzled when I hear the testimony of people who ‘grew out of’ their religion, but instead of setting out on their own…they become atheists.”
godlessindixie – “See, that’s a false dilemma. Either learn to think freely or become an atheist. As if monism isn’t backed by centuries of tradition. My point is simply that we all have our influences, so none of us can really boast that we are an intellectual island.”
I apologize if I sounded patronizing, and hope that you heard it wrong.
I do not doubt your sincerity, and the validity of your atheism. I was just trying to describe a contrasting experience. The lead-in seems to have been bungled.
I do notice that a lot of Atheists that I meet or read, seem mostly motivated by an emotional reaction to the hypocrisies and irrationality of the religions that they are familiar with.
It also sometimes seems that their ability to imagine the nature of God is still constrained by the religion they left. If they give up God, it is that god that they give up.
As for me boasting about my “free thinking”, this doesn’t strike you as patronizing? ..or maybe defensive? I wasn’t saying that you, or atheists in general, weren’t also.
What I was hoping to convey was that my process has been one of sifting through the testimony and teachings. Testing the ones that seem to point forward. Looking for inspiration. Looking for resonance within. Practicing. Evolving. Not-knowing the answers as much as possible. Trusting the process and my own intention and intuition.
For me God has become a given, but I too have to protect my integrity around the “You’re going to HELL!” or the “Used Car Salesmen” type of Christians.
Sorry about the long post.
godlessindixie – “I guess we just can’t all be as enlightened as you. :-p”
Just doing doing my best, much like you. We all have our little piece of the puzzle.
If this is choir practice, just say so and I’ll keep this kind of thing to myself.
As someone raised with very haphazard exposure to Christianity by an agnostic, maybe atheist, mother. I went searching for God at 21 having never really thought about it. Awakened by Yoga philosophy, Zen practice, Mysticism etc. I arrived at a monistic understanding of God which continues to ripen at the age of 60 years.
I am always puzzled when I hear the testimony of people who “grew out of” their religion, but instead of setting out on their own; to improve on a highly conditioned but insufficient, “working model” of the Great Paradox, they become atheists.
I think that I probably owe more to my mothers lack of faith than I realize. I am a freethinker as a result, but this “free thinking” is inspired by the possibility of enlightenment.