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Old 02-22-2013, 10:30 AM   #2201
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Well, I don't think you are wrong in your thinking...the personal little rant by the troop leader was unnecessary. I agree 100% with what you said back to him and laughed a little as I was reading I also understand that something might be taken out on your son and I really hope that does not happen. I mean, he said his piece, you said yours...even steven, right? That's how I think anyway.

I also want to say that I agree with your statement about Bones...that kind of thing really grates my nerves as well. The Atheist has an epiphany...blah blah blah...yeah yeah yeah. I hear ya!
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:05 PM   #2202
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Hi Kim and thanks for your comments, they were really interesting. I live in New Zealand (where not even the police carry guns) and I have been watching the whole American gun debate with interest. That there is a shortage of ammo to the extent that the scouts are having to canvass their troops is scary.
I support your right to reply to the troop leader - he needs to know that not everyone feels the way he does, and I also agree that his comment about 'anti gun zealots' was wildly inappropriate. But when I read that you are a little fearful about some retaliation against your son I felt really sad for you, that you live in such a twisited society.

Well done you for starting to stand up for your beliefs (or lack thereof!) with the the people around you, and I have to say that I am also disappointed when metaphysical stuff comes into a good programme (or book). Grrrr!!
Stephanie
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:45 PM   #2203
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I should say that I don't have a reason to think that he would do something it is only a feeling that you never know how irrational people will react to opinions that differ from their own. And you hear so many stories about christians doing very un-christian like things to people with different belief systems that it makes one a little wary.

I really want to visit New Zealand some day, it sounds like such an incredibly beautiful place!
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:23 PM   #2204
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I really want to visit New Zealand some day, it sounds like such an incredibly beautiful place!
I hope you can come here too. It is not only very scenic but full of reasonable rational people, like me!
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:23 PM   #2205
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Kim, my first thought was that I hope scouting wasn't too religious at that troop, unless it was sponsored by a church and meeting at the church; it still shouldn't be but I understand it then, at least. But scouting requires a belief in some kind of deity, one does not have to be religious at all.

But that wasn't your issue. Yeah I think it was very unprofessional of him to send that out. If there is any fuss, you would probably be within your rights to send a copy of that to someone higher up. Hopefully there would be no need.

Are you still on the mailing list? I was wondering if he might go, oh crap, her kid's not in the troop any more, delete. Or would you have to do that yourself. Just curious.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:18 PM   #2206
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I asked that he remove my name from the mailing list since we are no longer in the troop. Hopefully I won't have to deal with him anymore. His kids are in my school district but I think they are older than my son. Aside from him, the troop was a pretty good group of people. I never felt that religion doctrine was being forced on my son so the religious aspect of it never really bothered me.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:32 PM   #2207
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That's good, Kim.

I do hope that as more of us non-obnoxious, gentle, regular people step forward and say "I don't believe" - it'll be easier for others to stop demonizing us.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:54 AM   #2208
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Amen
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:39 AM   #2209
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It seems to have gotten a little quiet around here... can I ask a question?

Okay, first... I still consider myself an agnostic, but reading this thread has me wondering a bit if, well... to paraphrase something I read elsewhere, "An agnostic is just an atheist without any guts". So as I find myself leaning a bit more towards complete atheism, it seems that one of the things I can't quite reconcile for myself is a long-time feeling that "some things happen for a reason".

So I'm curious. It seems that most of you here are atheists (as apposed to agnostics), so I'm wondering - do any of you believe in any kind of fate or karma? I'm wondering if there could be some other "scientific" explanation for it... perhaps something WAY over my head, like Einstein's theory of relativity - that things I perceive as "going to happen" have already happened and I'm just tapping into another another dimension... or something.

Or maybe there could be some sort of scientific "like attracts like", which might explain karma.

So - not that this is a bad thing, and not that all atheists feel the same way - but do you think being an atheist mean I must believe that life is completely random?

(And yes, I realize I think too much, LOL.)
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:52 AM   #2210
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Well, I SAY things like "Karma is gonna get you for that" but I don't really think that it will happen that way. Sort of a happy accident if it does Kind of like how I move out of the way when my husband says he is Catholic...to save myself from the lightning strike or when my daughter says something nasty and then stubs her toe...God punishing you for being nasty!
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:17 AM   #2211
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It seems to have gotten a little quiet around here... can I ask a question?

Okay, first... I still consider myself an agnostic, but reading this thread has me wondering a bit if, well... to paraphrase something I read elsewhere, "An agnostic is just an atheist without any guts". So as I find myself leaning a bit more towards complete atheism, it seems that one of the things I can't quite reconcile for myself is a long-time feeling that "some things happen for a reason".

So I'm curious. It seems that most of you here are atheists (as apposed to agnostics), so I'm wondering - do any of you believe in any kind of fate or karma? I'm wondering if there could be some other "scientific" explanation for it... perhaps something WAY over my head, like Einstein's theory of relativity - that things I perceive as "going to happen" have already happened and I'm just tapping into another another dimension... or something.

Or maybe there could be some sort of scientific "like attracts like", which might explain karma.

So - not that this is a bad thing, and not that all atheists feel the same way - but do you think being an atheist mean I must believe that life is completely random?

(And yes, I realize I think too much, LOL.)
Thanks for waking up the thread! And I like to think that atheist, agnostics and skeptics do think more or more deeply than perhaps others do.

Good question! It caused me to do some thinking. I guess I would think of karma being true along the lines of - if you're nice to people most people will be nice to you, or if you are a violent person it is likely that you will experience violence at the hands of others. But at the same time, you don't necessarily have nothing but good things happen to you just because you are generally nice or have been nice in past lives

I don't believe in fate. It seems like fate would require you to believe in a divine power of some sort who has already decided things that will happen to you. I can't think how the random universe would be ordered to make certain things happen.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #2212
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Well, I SAY things like "Karma is gonna get you for that" but I don't really think that it will happen that way. Sort of a happy accident if it does Kind of like how I move out of the way when my husband says he is Catholic...to save myself from the lightning strike or when my daughter says something nasty and then stubs her toe...God punishing you for being nasty!
Your response actually makes me wonder something else. (See, I think too much, LOL.) I wonder how many atheists use common phrases that don't really fit what they believe - and if that's because their beliefs have changed, or just because it's something others have said? (I've become more conscious of things I say since coming to this thread, and how they might be perceived by others.)
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:17 AM   #2213
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Thanks for waking up the thread! And I like to think that atheist, agnostics and skeptics do think more or more deeply than perhaps others do.

Good question! It caused me to do some thinking. I guess I would think of karma being true along the lines of - if you're nice to people most people will be nice to you, or if you are a violent person it is likely that you will experience violence at the hands of others. But at the same time, you don't necessarily have nothing but good things happen to you just because you are generally nice or have been nice in past lives

I don't believe in fate. It seems like fate would require you to believe in a divine power of some sort who has already decided things that will happen to you. I can't think how the random universe would be ordered to make certain things happen.
Yes, I can see how karma should work at least some of the time, in terms of people returning favors, and smiles being contagious - that sort of thing. And true or not, it doesn't change my ethics. I try to be a good person because it's the right thing to do, and because I care about people and our planet - not because of fear of punishment or wish for a reward.

And maybe some of what I've thought of as fate is simply me making something happen... like meeting someone and knowing they will be an important part of my life. Maybe it's me simply sensing a kindred spirit. (Can I use the word "spirit"?)

It's nice to think that things work out like they should, and that everything happens for a reason... but maybe there's something to be said for us making the most of every situation ourselves, and creating our own fate.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:24 PM   #2214
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And maybe some of what I've thought of as fate is simply me making something happen... like meeting someone and knowing they will be an important part of my life. Maybe it's me simply sensing a kindred spirit. (Can I use the word "spirit"?)

It's nice to think that things work out like they should, and that everything happens for a reason... but maybe there's something to be said for us making the most of every situation ourselves, and creating our own fate.
From what I have read, this probably comes from human pattern seeking behavior. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. We like to think that meeting someone "was meant to be." But in reality it's our brains trying to make sense and order in our world. It's the same as people who think it's a miracle to see the image of jeebus in a piece of toast
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:38 PM   #2215
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It seems to have gotten a little quiet around here... can I ask a question?

Okay, first... I still consider myself an agnostic, but reading this thread has me wondering a bit if, well... to paraphrase something I read elsewhere, "An agnostic is just an atheist without any guts". So as I find myself leaning a bit more towards complete atheism, it seems that one of the things I can't quite reconcile for myself is a long-time feeling that "some things happen for a reason".

So I'm curious. It seems that most of you here are atheists (as apposed to agnostics), so I'm wondering - do any of you believe in any kind of fate or karma? I'm wondering if there could be some other "scientific" explanation for it... perhaps something WAY over my head, like Einstein's theory of relativity - that things I perceive as "going to happen" have already happened and I'm just tapping into another another dimension... or something.

Or maybe there could be some sort of scientific "like attracts like", which might explain karma.

So - not that this is a bad thing, and not that all atheists feel the same way - but do you think being an atheist mean I must believe that life is completely random?

(And yes, I realize I think too much, LOL.)
That is an excellent question about the randomness of life.
Life isn't totally random because even at an atomic level (atoms and stuff) there are scientific princples operating. I was interested that your example was 'like attracts like' because with atoms and protons and electrons, it is particles with opposite charges that attract. But I think you were meaning people? That people with similar interests attract each other? That is also true, often you can get talking to a stranger at a bus stop, say, and find you have heaps in common.

There are some 7 billion people in the world, all interacting with each other at different levels so naturally, every now and again, there will be a seemingy haphazard or random chain of events that ends with a lotto win or some other momentous occasion for someone. But the chain of events, no matter how unlikely each event was individually, had to end with someone actually buying the ticket which is not a random act.

We also have very selective memories and we remember and tell others the 1 in 100 times things that worked out, not the 99 times that things didn't. I remember a Christian friend of mine delightedly telling me God had sent her a sign they were going to have another baby. They were staying in a small beach house and the shower gurgled a long time before spraying water. They interpreted this as god showering them with blessings. However beach houses in NZ (or baches as we call them) are generally slapped together and are notorious for dodgy plumbing. You can interpret anything to your advantage if you want to.

Good things can happen to good people sure, but where is karma when truely horrendous things happen to good people? Karma, to me, is another way of wanting to believe there is a cosmic balance of justice. And wanting to believe this tells me more about the psychology of being human than it does about how the universe operates.

I think when people say 'some things happen for a reason', it is another way of saying 'God moves in mysterious ways'. I don't believe in fate, karma or any other cosmic spirit or energy that is in any way concerned with human lives. It is comforting to think that bad people will get their comeuppance, just as it is comforting to think that good people will get rewarded but it doesn't make it true. It is common sense not karma that tells us that if we are nice to people they more likely to be nice to us. If I sow 100 seeds, or am nice to 100 people, I will get a certain rate of return. That is mathematics coupled with either plant physiology or human psychology - it isn't karma.
Stephanie
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:43 PM   #2216
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From what I have read, this probably comes from human pattern seeking behavior. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. We like to think that meeting someone "was meant to be." But in reality it's our brains trying to make sense and order in our world. It's the same as people who think it's a miracle to see the image of jeebus in a piece of toast
I agree with you. One thing that makes us human is the need to make sense of our world and things that happen to us. Invoking fate is a quick and comforting way to do this.
Stephanie
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:25 PM   #2217
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I think when people say 'some things happen for a reason', it is another way of saying 'God moves in mysterious ways'. I don't believe in fate, karma or any other cosmic spirit or energy that is in any way concerned with human lives. It is comforting to think that bad people will get their comeuppance, just as it is comforting to think that good people will get rewarded but it doesn't make it true. It is common sense not karma that tells us that if we are nice to people they more likely to be nice to us. If I sow 100 seeds, or am nice to 100 people, I will get a certain rate of return. That is mathematics coupled with either plant physiology or human psychology - it isn't karma.
Stephanie
I loved your whole post, but wanted to note that I have actually said out loud that this is something I miss most about not believing. It was comforting, when you personally are unable to do something about a certain wrong you see, to think that the wrongdoer would rot in hell for eternity.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:29 PM   #2218
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Your response actually makes me wonder something else. (See, I think too much, LOL.) I wonder how many atheists use common phrases that don't really fit what they believe - and if that's because their beliefs have changed, or just because it's something others have said? (I've become more conscious of things I say since coming to this thread, and how they might be perceived by others.)
I spent most of my life as a believer, albeit not practicing much for a lot of years. But I still find myself saying things the way I used to. Sometimes a phrase is half out before I catch myself.

I think most people wouldn't notice or care, really.

But I'm trying to be aware of it, just for myself.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:26 PM   #2219
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I do that, say something like OMG or stuff, but to me they're just common phrases. I do try to weed them out. Considering how often people around us say things, it's not surprising they end up in our language.

Here there's alot of "Have a blessed days" thrown about. I don't feel wrong to say "you too" back. I just figure my definition is different than theirs.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:34 PM   #2220
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I find myself saying AMEN when someone says something I agree with or something that I hope will come to pass. My understanding is that the word means - So be it - which in itself is not religious, but it has certainly come to be associated primarily with christian prayers. Nevertheless, I intend to say it when the spirit moves me. Ooops, not spirit in the religious sense. Hmmm, this is hard. I now and then catch myself saying Thank God - such as when I find my car keys in the garbage or I am not as late for a funeral as I thought I was.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:47 PM   #2221
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...Good things can happen to good people sure, but where is karma when truely horrendous things happen to good people? Karma, to me, is another way of wanting to believe there is a cosmic balance of justice. And wanting to believe this tells me more about the psychology of being human than it does about how the universe operates...
This is one of the reasons that I like the idea of reincarnation. It allows for the possibility that karma is still at play, but perhaps on a level we can't see. But I can see what you mean. At least perhaps I can blame my reluctance to completely embrace atheism on simply "being human" instead of a lack of guts.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:55 PM   #2222
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I spent most of my life as a believer, albeit not practicing much for a lot of years. But I still find myself saying things the way I used to. Sometimes a phrase is half out before I catch myself.

I think most people wouldn't notice or care, really.

But I'm trying to be aware of it, just for myself.
Yes, I would say very few people would notice or care... except here in this thread, LOL. I've definitely become more aware of my words because of all of you. But that's a good thing - perhaps it will make me a little more authentic, true to myself, or something.

(And I just have to say I love the quote in your signature... which seems rather fitting just now, LOL.)
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:19 PM   #2223
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This is one of the reasons that I like the idea of reincarnation. It allows for the possibility that karma is still at play, but perhaps on a level we can't see. But I can see what you mean. At least perhaps I can blame my reluctance to completely embrace atheism on simply "being human" instead of a lack of guts.
Yes, it is definitely human to want some being/entity/force in control when things are going badly and there isn't any local justice. To be attracted to ways of thinking that allow for this is natural, not a lack of guts. While I don't believe in god, I believe that people are basically decent and that for all the ill in the world there is much more good.

How about that - I do 'believe' in something after all!

Stephanie
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:11 PM   #2224
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This is one of the reasons that I like the idea of reincarnation. It allows for the possibility that karma is still at play, but perhaps on a level we can't see. But I can see what you mean. At least perhaps I can blame my reluctance to completely embrace atheism on simply "being human" instead of a lack of guts.
A lack of guts!! LOL

I am actually an agnostic, NOT an atheist, but I always tell people in general that I'm an atheist, because I think that when I tell someone that I'm "agnostic" they might get the impression that I'm still searching, or that I'm open to the possibility of God existing.

No, I'm NOT searching. I am 100% certain that I don't know if any god (not just the Christian God) exists, and I'm 100% sure that I will never know, no matter how many times friends or family try to shove it down my throat that there IS a god, and it's THEIR Christian God. BUT, I don't give a flying bleep whether or not a god exists; it's not important to me.

I am actually open to the possibility of a god existing, but if I say that, it gives people the wrong impression. It is simply that I don't know, so all of those possibilities are there for me. But the overriding factor here is that I. Don't. Care. if a god exists or not. It would be like if someone were to vehemently insist that a certain Sarah Jane DOES exist. I would shrug and say "okay". But I wouldn't change my views to match hers, nor would I love and worship her, even if a whole mob of people insisted that this Sarah Jane would, in exchange for my change of political beliefs, save me from hell.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:41 AM   #2225
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It seems to have gotten a little quiet around here... can I ask a question?

Okay, first... I still consider myself an agnostic, but reading this thread has me wondering a bit if, well... to paraphrase something I read elsewhere, "An agnostic is just an atheist without any guts". So as I find myself leaning a bit more towards complete atheism, it seems that one of the things I can't quite reconcile for myself is a long-time feeling that "some things happen for a reason".

So I'm curious. It seems that most of you here are atheists (as apposed to agnostics), so I'm wondering - do any of you believe in any kind of fate or karma? I'm wondering if there could be some other "scientific" explanation for it... perhaps something WAY over my head, like Einstein's theory of relativity - that things I perceive as "going to happen" have already happened and I'm just tapping into another another dimension... or something.

Or maybe there could be some sort of scientific "like attracts like", which might explain karma.

So - not that this is a bad thing, and not that all atheists feel the same way - but do you think being an atheist mean I must believe that life is completely random?

(And yes, I realize I think too much, LOL.)
One can never ever think too much, I love it when someone poses this type of question.
There is the multiverse theory out there which I can't even pretend to understand more deeply than to say that there are multiple, parallel universes occuring. If it turns out to be true then maybe that has something to do with it? My personal opininion is that there is a scientific answer to everything. We just may not be capable of extracting the answers yet. The only thing that pisses me off about dying without an afterlife is that I won't be around to see all the amazing things that science will eventually uncover.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:44 AM   #2226
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And I am with Sophie, I am open to there being some type of god (even though I don't really think there is) I just don't believe in any way that it can be of the current version supplied by humanity.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:49 AM   #2227
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Your response actually makes me wonder something else. (See, I think too much, LOL.) I wonder how many atheists use common phrases that don't really fit what they believe - and if that's because their beliefs have changed, or just because it's something others have said? (I've become more conscious of things I say since coming to this thread, and how they might be perceived by others.)
I have always said that I tend to compare God with Santa or Cupid...I don't believe in Santa but I still say "be a good boy or Santa won't bring you any toys" to my husband. To me they are just phrases...things to say...
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:16 AM   #2228
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We also have very selective memories and we remember and tell others the 1 in 100 times things that worked out, not the 99 times that things didn't. I remember a Christian friend of mine delightedly telling me God had sent her a sign they were going to have another baby. They were staying in a small beach house and the shower gurgled a long time before spraying water. They interpreted this as god showering them with blessings. However beach houses in NZ (or baches as we call them) are generally slapped together and are notorious for dodgy plumbing. You can interpret anything to your advantage if you want to.

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Did your friend have a baby?
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:47 AM   #2229
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One can never ever think too much, I love it when someone poses this type of question.
My personal opininion is that there is a scientific answer to everything. We just may not be capable of extracting the answers yet. The only thing that pisses me off about dying without an afterlife is that I won't be around to see all the amazing things that science will eventually uncover.
I agree with the scientific answer theory. There may be forces we haven't discovered yet, or never ever discover, because we don't have the equipment to detect them, but that makes them rather unlikely to be concerned with the fate of humanity.
Stephanie
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:01 PM   #2230
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No, I'm NOT searching. I am 100% certain that I don't know if any god (not just the Christian God) exists, and I'm 100% sure that I will never know, no matter how many times friends or family try to shove it down my throat that there IS a god, and it's THEIR Christian God. BUT, I don't give a flying bleep whether or not a god exists; it's not important to me.
I suppose I'm pretty sure, too, that I'll never have these answers... but somehow it hasn't stopped me from a LOT of searching. I think my questions are taking a new direction now, but it's still hard to imagine achieving the kind of acceptance you seem to have. I love how comfortable you seem to be with not knowing.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #2231
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One can never ever think too much, I love it when someone poses this type of question.
There is the multiverse theory out there which I can't even pretend to understand more deeply than to say that there are multiple, parallel universes occurring. If it turns out to be true then maybe that has something to do with it? My personal opinion is that there is a scientific answer to everything. We just may not be capable of extracting the answers yet. The only thing that pisses me off about dying without an afterlife is that I won't be around to see all the amazing things that science will eventually uncover.
Yes, this is exactly what I was wondering! (Thanks Kim!) If the multiverse theory were true, it could explain "fate" without there being any god or spiritual force or intention behind it. I realize that that would mean it really isn't "fate", but it could still feel that way.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:11 PM   #2232
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I suppose I'm pretty sure, too, that I'll never have these answers... but somehow it hasn't stopped me from a LOT of searching. I think my questions are taking a new direction now, but it's still hard to imagine achieving the kind of acceptance you seem to have. I love how comfortable you seem to be with not knowing.
Well, nobody knows.

Even those who emphatically declare over and over that "their" god is real, do not "know."

They take it on faith. Faith is praised and lauded in religion, it's considered a good thing, a virtue. That is, of course, designed to keep the flock from questioning.

In fact, when someone tries to assure me about their god, I remind them of the importance of faith in their religion, the doubting Thomas is made fun of, you are supposed to believe without knowing. If you knew, you wouldn't need faith.

Faith in Santa is required to believe, and we don't think that's so cute if someone still believes after a certain age. What would you think of an 18 year old who still believed in Santa? They would be crazy, nobody can fly around the world with magic reindeer and visit all those homes in one night.

I have no problem believing in the spirit of Santa, that is, the Santa that is ME, finding out what my kids wanted and wrapping it for them, even when they didn't believe. I would say, "If you don't believe, all you get is sox and underwear!" But literally believing in Santa? No.

And yet millions have no problem believing in a god or gods.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:30 PM   #2233
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I agree with the scientific answer theory. There may be forces we haven't discovered yet, or never ever discover, because we don't have the equipment to detect them, but that makes them rather unlikely to be concerned with the fate of humanity.
Stephanie
While a part of me (the normal "human" part, LOL) would like there to be reason and meaning and cosmic justice, I think the simply inquisitive part of me would still be happy to have some things - like fate and karma - explained by science. Maybe I should have said that I wonder if there's a scientific explanation for what we perceive as fate and karma.

I don't disagree with the idea that it seems unlikely that there is any force actually concerned with the fate of humanity, which is kind of why I brought this up. I stopped believing in a god that actually takes a personal interest in me a long time ago, and started looking for other spiritual paths that made more sense... and eventually ended up here, just about ready to discard all of them. But I can't help feeling that there's still much in my life that can't be explained by our current understanding of science... such as what I have perceived as karma and fate. I'm just wondering if they have a scientific explanation that we just haven't discovered yet (such as the multiverse theory thing). Does that make sense? (I'm sure I'm sounding crazier by the minute, LOL. But at least y'all are chatting. Thanks for everyone's thoughts here!)
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:45 PM   #2234
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While a part of me (the normal "human" part, LOL) would like there to be reason and meaning and cosmic justice, I think the simply inquisitive part of me would still be happy to have some things - like fate and karma - explained by science. Maybe I should have said that I wonder if there's a scientific explanation for what we perceive as fate and karma.

I don't disagree with the idea that it seems unlikely that there is any force actually concerned with the fate of humanity, which is kind of why I brought this up. I stopped believing in a god that actually takes a personal interest in me a long time ago, and started looking for other spiritual paths that made more sense... and eventually ended up here, just about ready to discard all of them. But I can't help feeling that there's still much in my life that can't be explained by our current understanding of science... such as what I have perceived as karma and fate. I'm just wondering if they have a scientific explanation that we just haven't discovered yet (such as the multiverse theory thing). Does that make sense? (I'm sure I'm sounding crazier by the minute, LOL. But at least y'all are chatting. Thanks for everyone's thoughts here!)
I really don't believe in fate or karma. I had to think about it. But I don't see it. I see too many things that contradict those ideas. I think it's more wishful thinking on the part of humans who see injustice. If they existed, wouldn't we see it in action more?


And thanks for bringing up these things to think and talk about. Not crazy at all! It's a journey.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:45 PM   #2235
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I can't help feeling that there's still much in my life that can't be explained by our current understanding of science... such as what I have perceived as karma and fate. I'm just wondering if they have a scientific explanation that we just haven't discovered yet (such as the multiverse theory thing). Does that make sense? (I'm sure I'm sounding crazier by the minute, LOL. But at least y'all are chatting. Thanks for everyone's thoughts here!)
Kitty, I am wondering if you can give an example of karma or fate? Are you meaning when things seem to work out 'too well' to be coincidence? I personally can't think of anything that has happened to me or that I have heard of happening to anyone else that I felt needed a multiverse type theory explanation, so I am not sure I am decoding 'karma' or 'fate' the way you are.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:55 PM   #2236
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Kitty, I am wondering if you can give an example of karma or fate? Are you meaning when things seem to work out 'too well' to be coincidence? I personally can't think of anything that has happened to me or that I have heard of happening to anyone else that I felt needed a multiverse type theory explanation, so I am not sure I am decoding 'karma' or 'fate' the way you are.
Stephanie
Okay, it's too late for me to make sense tonight, but I'll come up with something and get back to you tomorrow.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:24 PM   #2237
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Kitty, I am wondering if you can give an example of karma or fate? Are you meaning when things seem to work out 'too well' to be coincidence? I personally can't think of anything that has happened to me or that I have heard of happening to anyone else that I felt needed a multiverse type theory explanation, so I am not sure I am decoding 'karma' or 'fate' the way you are.
Stephanie
Stephanie, I gave it some thought, and... well... I really can't come up with anything that couldn't be explained by coincidence, or "humans seeing patterns where there aren't any", or wishful thinking, except...

I think it comes down to this. My own personal experience with what seemed like fate has everything to do with my perception. It "felt" like too much to be coincidence. There was a VERY long chain of bizarre and extreme events that had to happen for me to meet my husband. (We've been happily married for 15 years.) Now, you could say that the chain of events really was random and coincidental, and had nothing to do with him, and that if I hadn't met him, I would simply have met someone else, or lived a different life. And I couldn't argue with that logic. But it "feels" like I was supposed to meet him, and the chain of events "feels" like much more than coincidence.

I think the part I find hardest to explain is those times when I did something really illogical, or totally out of character for me simply because I felt compelled... and then amazing things happened.

(This is getting long... I'll start another message.)
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:50 PM   #2238
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Okay, no way to give a "short" example, so I'll apologize up front for a long story.

I worked retail for years before deciding to try and find an office job. I started out with a temp agency, to get some experience. There was one place I worked at for just a week. It was nothing amazing, a typical office job. People seemed nice enough, but I couldn't specifically say why this was any different than the other offices I was sent to.

Maybe six months later, I have decided that the new permanent position I found isn't a good fit for me. I give my notice, planning to go back to the temp agency until I find something better. But instead, I find myself looking up the number to that office I mentioned above. I don't know why, but I called them and asked if they might be looking for some permanent help. I really nudged them a bit, said I'd love to work there. This is VERY out of character for me. I'm bashful to a fault, and have never looked for a job when one wasn't being offered. But this time, I asked... and then asked again... and after some conversation, they agreed to take me in part-time, just on a temporary basis, "and we'll see how it goes". I took it - even though I knew I couldn't afford to live on part-time. I just had a feeling that I was "supposed" to work there. Within a week, they moved me to full-time, and within three weeks, I'd been given a permanent position and a raise.

And this was the job where I met my husband. We were (are?) a very "unlikely" couple - two people that never would have just "met" and "dated". We worked together for 2-1/2 years before we admitted that there was a spark.

(This was actually a very small part of the LONG chain of bizarre events... but that is much too long a story for this forum.)

Stephanie, I promised you an example, and this was just one, but you're right - I know this won't convince anyone. And the truth is, even my wonderful husband doesn't believe in fate, LOL. So you've given me something to think about. Maybe I've just been seeing what I want to see.

(Maybe I'm just an incurable romantic.)
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:54 PM   #2239
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Okay, no way to give a "short" example, so I'll apologize up front for a long story.

I worked retail for years before deciding to try and find an office job. I started out with a temp agency, to get some experience. There was one place I worked at for just a week. It was nothing amazing, a typical office job. People seemed nice enough, but I couldn't specifically say why this was any different than the other offices I was sent to.

Maybe six months later, I have decided that the new permanent position I found isn't a good fit for me. I give my notice, planning to go back to the temp agency until I find something better. But instead, I find myself looking up the number to that office I mentioned above. I don't know why, but I called them and asked if they might be looking for some permanent help. I really nudged them a bit, said I'd love to work there. This is VERY out of character for me. I'm bashful to a fault, and have never looked for a job when one wasn't being offered. But this time, I asked... and then asked again... and after some conversation, they agreed to take me in part-time, just on a temporary basis, "and we'll see how it goes". I took it - even though I knew I couldn't afford to live on part-time. I just had a feeling that I was "supposed" to work there. Within a week, they moved me to full-time, and within three weeks, I'd been given a permanent position and a raise.

And this was the job where I met my husband. We were (are?) a very "unlikely" couple - two people that never would have just "met" and "dated". We worked together for 2-1/2 years before we admitted that there was a spark.

(This was actually a very small part of the LONG chain of bizarre events... but that is much too long a story for this forum.)

Stephanie, I promised you an example, and this was just one, but you're right - I know this won't convince anyone. And the truth is, even my wonderful husband doesn't believe in fate, LOL. So you've given me something to think about. Maybe I've just been seeing what I want to see.

(Maybe I'm just an incurable romantic.)
Hi Kitty, Thank you for sharing your story. I think you are a romantic and that is a lovely thing to be. It is also perfectly possible to be a romantic without believing in fate.

I think that part of people's perception of fate, especially when it comes to meeting someone and falling in love, is due to the misconception that there is just one person out there for each us, and as it is statistically unlikely for us to find that one person on our own then we latch on to the idea of fate. And when the relationship works out we think 'phew, that was lucky, if I hadn't taken that job/trip/volunteer work I would never have met my husband/wife', and then we work backwards to see all the steps that led us to that person. For example if my partner's family hadn't decided to emigrate from Ireland when he was 8, I would never have met him but I can't believe that fate would be prepared to disrupt a family to that extent just for me. Fate is convenient and comforting, but the truth is, as you have suggested, that in fact we all have the potential to live very happily with quite a number of people.

Another thing to ponder: Do you see fate as only a helpful influence or do you see it just as likely to be damaging? If it was fate that lead you to your husband and a happy marriage, is it still 'fate' for the women who end up in domestic abuse situations? Did fate tweak their lives in unexpected directions on purpose in order that they end up with someone who beats them up? To me that is an unpalatable a belief system as a God that destroys houses on one side of a street with a tornado but not the other. Fine for the people who thank God for saving their house - but what about their neighbours? I just don't get that kind of rationalisation.

I really appreciate you raising these questions. It is good to have to think about why I believe (or not!) the things I do (or don't!)
Stephanie
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:07 PM   #2240
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Kitty, I have also been thinking about it, but bear in mind I got sick last night and have slept most of today.

But it reminded me of something and for the life of me, I can't quite put my finger on it, so I'll try to explain what I remember and maybe tomorrow, I'll have caffeine again, and my brain will wok.

I think it was something I read maybe in one of Dawkins' evolutionary books (the science ones he's written) that I didn't finish (heavy tome).

The idea was that people say, look at all the things that had to happen for man to be here, how can you say a god didn't guide that? And he was quite deftly pointing out looking backwards is not ... reliable? That if you really think about it, and go back to the start, each random thing that happens simply progressed on for millions of years, and *we* think man is a great "achievement" perhaps, but maybe it could have been even better if ...(fill in the blank). I simply don't have the words in my head that I read. But it made sense to me when I read it!
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