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  1. #1
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    The All-Powerful Guys Upstairs

    OK. Before I even go anywhere with this. LETS KEEP IT MATURE and to the point. Don't start taking stabs and name calling and all that sort of shit.
    This is just something I've been thinking of, and I just want to ask you folks.

    Do you believe in God and Why? By God, I mean whatever God of any established religion, as in a God that has some sort of clear definition, by whatever your doctrine of belief is.
    And how has belief in a God or Gods helped you in life?

    This is not about superiority or smugness or anything like that. I've just for a large portion of my life been confronted with this idea of a God and its never really made sense to me, even when I was too young to question, it just didn't seem right. I just feel that its a worthy discussion to have because Religion is a very big part of just about everything, and I think every now and then a good healthy talk is needed, just to get people thinking. Because after all aren't we as artists supposed to be the ones exploring this sort of stuff?


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    I think a better question is not about a creator but if someone believes in non-corporeal evil. If you do how did it get here because if it was created you have to ask why, if it wasn't created on purpose you have to ask how did it come about and why does it still exist. I just find that a more fascinating discussion.

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    I sit on the fence. Feels like the most logical place to be. I don't have to deny, confirm or argue about anything. This mind set has helped me learn tolerance, and knowing when and when not to speak.

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    I used to be strictly atheist but nowadays I've moved firmly to an agnostic standpoint. I do not believe in a giant/human that watches us from the heavens. I DO believe, however, in a universal and infinite energy flow from which all matter has been "born" from. That is not to say that we have been taken from that energy flow, but rather we exist in it during all of the stages of our life. Many cultures have a similar view and call that energy "God" or the universal ground of being, and if that's so then yes, I believe in god.

    I should actually note that it's not only matter, but also thoughts, dreams, and other planes of existence that are part of that energy flow.

    One could even say that the Buddha nature is a reference to this infinite energy flow because when you interact with it (or embody it) the only emotions that exist within yourself are love and ecstasy.

    I also believe that universe is much weirder than humans have the capacity to understand and no matter how we look at things it will always be soiled by our tendency to look at them in a very human context.

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    Pretty much agnostic, yeah.

    I think there's a cosmic force out there somewhere, but we don't have anywhere near the ability to comprehend it's power. Putting a white beard and robe on it is just such a....human thing to do. In fact, if we use Christianity as an example (not to pick on it) most of the ideas of it just scream "3000 years ago" to me. The ideas of what people thought was real back then just seem like a group of people trying to explain the unexplainable (yes, yes "word of God", I know...but I wasn't there 3000 years ago and neither were you. So to me it's just a bunch of people who wrote some stuff down).

    Frankly, and I am honestly not being insulting here...I just can't get behind the whole Jesus idea.

    The fact that I was born an asshole (which I don't deny) and the only way I can not be an asshole in the eyes of God is to accept that his son died for my inherent assholishness is just a bit far-fetched.

    Look...I'm born the way I'm born. If the force that created me doesn't like it, then fine, but don't tell me that I need to accept something in order to not burn in hell. I feel like I live a pretty good life. While I *am* said asshole, I try to treat folks with respect, I am a functioning member of society, I'm not evil, and other than taking some pleasure from the things provided to me on this planet, I am about as innocent as it gets.

    I'm an upstanding human, dammit! And if the way I act and operate isn't good enough for the maker? Then that's his problem not mine.

    (But since I don't believe in any of that anyway, it's not like I'm talking to anyone other than myself. I'm mostly just explaining WHY I don't believe in any of that). My entire family is Christian, btw. My grandfather was a preacher his entire life. So believe me, I "get" it. I just don't believe it.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan K View Post
    I sit on the fence. Feels like the most logical place to be. I don't have to deny, confirm or argue about anything. This mind set has helped me learn tolerance, and knowing when and when not to speak.
    I think its been a point of contention what Atheism really is.
    What Atheism is, as I've gathered. Is saying that None of the gods of any established religions can be proved, therefore I can't believe that they exist. It doesn't assert that God does or doesn't exist. Just that any of the Gods presented are extremely unlikely, because there's no proof. And that "faith" isn't adequate criteria is proof.

    Thats about the Gist of Atheism. There are some Atheists (or Anti-Theists) like Christopher Hutchens who feel that we should do everything we can to get rid of religion because it is the source of most of the bad things in the world.
    Others feel more like you do I believe which is that we should just let people believe what they want, we'll just keep our non-belief or uncertainty to ourselves.

    Agnosticism i believe deals with knowledge and claiming that you are uncertain. The way most people use it is just "I don't know." Its a type of Atheism.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Jacob: The universe and all existence is certainly a dynamic equilibrium, stuff is moving back and forth trying to find a balance simply because everything is unevenly distributed. Why and how it got this way I have absolutely no clue I just don't see how that has anything to do with me really, since I can't affect my own existence other than to do what I do everyday and stay alive nor do I see how believing that helps me, other than maybe some piece of mind every now and then, which I could still get by other means.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    ...
    I should actually note that it's not only matter, but also thoughts, dreams, and other planes of existence that are part of that energy flow...
    What's your view on OBE's? I think I remember a Lucid Dream discussion with you a while back.

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    Atheism in it's essence is simply not believing in a god. Many atheists are inherently rational-thinkers and therefore use rational thought and science as a means of debunking metaphysiology.

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    I come from a Muslim familly but I'm not Muslim myself, nor part of any other religion. I am unable of believing in the stories, heaven, hell, etc

    I'm also nowhere near being a strong atheist, I find those annoying when they get pissed at believers or blame stuff on religion.

    To me religion doesn't start with gods, but with abstract language. I can take you somewhere to see an elephant, I can't take you anywhere to see justice. It's an ideal that doesn't exist but enforcing the belief it does on ourselves gives us an incentive to move towards it for better societies. Gods are generally just an additional layer, that is personifications of the concepts (e.g perfection).

    I like listening to people define "god" in their own ways though, like Jacob did earlier. My idea of god is that of an entity so perfect, powerful and serene that it doesn't care if I'm having bacon, children out of marriage or if I even believe in It.

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    I don't believe it can be proven that some kind of supernatural being doesn't exist because it's an unfalsifiable claim. No matter what tests you use, there can always be a reason manufactured on the spot as to why the test came back negative. "Oh it's invisible" "Oh, it's undetectable by technology" "Oh it exists outside of the universe." One can't really do anything with that other than refuse to disprove the claim.

    I don't feel an appeal to probability is fallacious in this subject. Since we can't disprove, we can only confirm the claim or don't answer the question at all. So what is the evidence for a supernatural entity? I don't find any. I can't say that there will never be any, just that there isn't any right now. I feel confident that there won't be based on what we understand now. So I invoke probability.

    I think religions of all sorts are ultimately negative.

    a universal and infinite energy flow from which all matter has been "born" from. That is not to say that we have been taken from that energy flow, but rather we exist in it during all of the stages of our life.
    I would consider this to be a belief in some sort of supernatural entity simply because the use of the word "energy."
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

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    I prefer to take on a "scientific" outlook on life.

    I believe that everything we know must be constantly tested, poked, and prodded to make sure that it will still hold up. There will never be a correct answer, but rather, an answer that is correct at this time. Nothing can be excepted as "truth" or this system doesn't work. If "truth" is discovered it will never be broken.
    This means I need to be open to all possible options and never rule anything out simply because it's unlikely. If observations are telling me that there is a god, then I must be ready to accept that. Then, if on further examination signs point elsewhere, I must be ready to abandon God.

    Currently, I have no reason to accept a God as a creator or ruler. I have read a few good articles disputing some of Darwin's theories, ultimately pointing to intelligent design, but I'm not convinced yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan K View Post
    What's you view on OBE's? I think I remember a Lucid Dream discussion with you a while back.
    I've never had one, and I'm not saying that they don't exist, but they don't exactly coincide with my spiritual thoughts. (I believe that our mind and spirit are still parts of our bodies despite how it seems.) I think that the OBE experience could possibly be due to an endogenous release of DMT in the brain, but I have no clue really.

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    St. Thomas Aquinas's views on the Nature of God
    Source: http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/aquinas.shtml

    Quinque Viae:

    " Part I. The Argument from Motion. (Thomas argues that since everything that moves is moved by another, there must thereby exist an Unmoved Mover.)
    Part II. The Argment from Efficient Cause. (The sequence of causes which make up this universe must have a First Cause.)
    Part III. The Argument to Necessary Being. (Since all existent things depend upon other things for there existence, there must exist at least one thing that is a Necessary Being.)
    Part IV. The Argument from Gradation. (Since all all existent things can be compared as to such qualities as goodness, there must exist something that is an Absolutely Good Being.)
    Part V. The Argument from Design. (Also named "The Teleological Argument"— The intricate design and order of existent things and natural processes imply that a Great Designer exists.)"

    and the Western Concepts of God: http://www.iep.utm.edu/god-west/
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficialLamp View Post
    I prefer to take on a "scientific" outlook on life.

    I believe that everything we know must be constantly tested, poked, and prodded to make sure that it will still hold up. There will never be a correct answer, but rather, an answer that is correct at this time. Nothing can be excepted as "truth" or this system doesn't work. If "truth" is discovered it will never be broken.
    This means I need to be open to all possible options and never rule anything out simply because it's unlikely. If observations are telling me that there is a god, then I must be ready to accept that. Then, if on further examination signs point elsewhere, I must be ready to abandon God.

    Currently, I have no reason to accept a God as a creator or ruler. I have read a few good articles disputing some of Darwin's theories, ultimately pointing to intelligent design, but I'm not convinced yet.
    I remember listening to a conversation where someone said a Banana is proof of gods existence, in how ergonomically easy to eat. People like to talk about "Well look at how perfectly fine-tuned everything is" But its not there's a lot of trial and error in existence. Things that didn't work, no longer exist. You'd figure that everything that was brought into existence would still be here if things were defined so intelligently.

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    Plus the domestic banana is quite different from a wild banana.
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

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    Quote Originally Posted by s.ketch View Post
    Plus the domestic banana is quite different from a wild banana.
    Yeah pretty sure domestic banana's are "man made" they don't occur naturally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThabisoMhlaba View Post
    I remember listening to a conversation where someone said a Banana is proof of gods existence, in how ergonomically easy to eat. People like to talk about "Well look at how perfectly fine-tuned everything is" But its not there's a lot of trial and error in existence. Things that didn't work, no longer exist. You'd figure that everything that was brought into existence would still be here if things were defined so intelligently.
    I don't remember exactly what it was, it's been awhile, but the article I read was about micro-organisms. I wish I could remember the specific name, it was something like bacterial flagium. They had a very complicated part made up of various pieces that were useless without each other. This couldn't be formed by gradual improvements because all parts need to be there.
    I should look this up again, I sensed some problems in the explanation the first time I read it, so maybe I can find some counter arguments.

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    yeah one of th earguments is for the eye, but there are plenty of examples of what is a proto eye in species. Same with the bacteria argument there steps to every part that developed over time.
    At every stage it seems to me religion tries to hold knowledge back. This is true of all religion, yet religion always fails at this you would think they would just give up but no they still argue for atavism.
    I was an altar boy for 13 years and was taught by jesuits for some of my years and they could never reconcile science and proof; at first they deny it, then they question it, then they accept it grudgingly. If religion is about enlightenment why do religions suppress knowledge? I think the closest thing to a good religious belief is deism during the age of enlightenment. Which embraced science and natural laws ans saw understanding as revealing god to them not blasphemy to be punished.

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    I'm a practicing Muslim, and yeah, I believe in God.

    For me, Islam is the guidebook that I use to live my life, and to be a better person, and to be better to others. I don't believe in using religion to judge or condemn anyone-- I, like many, just want something to help me focus my life.

    For those who are atheist or agnostic, if they feel that they don't need religion or God in their lives, or they don't believe in those concepts, I think that's totally OK. But if I can speak to the minority among those people who go one step further and regard those who practice as being insipid or brainwashed-- please don't. IMO, the beauty of the world lies in it's diversity, so let's learn to appreciate each other and our different view points.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficialLamp View Post
    I don't remember exactly what it was, it's been awhile, but the article I read was about micro-organisms. I wish I could remember the specific name, it was something like bacterial flagium. They had a very complicated part made up of various pieces that were useless without each other. This couldn't be formed by gradual improvements because all parts need to be there.
    I should look this up again, I sensed some problems in the explanation the first time I read it, so maybe I can find some counter arguments.
    Cool I mean I'm always ready to hear arguments, for or against. I think its healthy just talk about these sorts of things. I think the problem is that both sides have to be willing to admit when they're wrong about something. A lot of what I base my opinion on the matter is just a lot of arguments that I hear in real life, via the internet, media and so on. I'm privvy to sort of getting all starry eyed whenever I find somebody, who is totally eloquent and has all sorts of evidence to back up their claims, as well as a good rational approach. Ala Chris Hitchens. But Its not fair nor wise to allow those people the monopoly on the debate. I think also that people should understand that whether or not you believe in a god does not allow them to make a judgment on you as a whole.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liffey View Post
    To briefly answer the original question: yes.
    Cool. Care to impart your experience?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficialLamp View Post
    I don't remember exactly what it was, it's been awhile, but the article I read was about micro-organisms. I wish I could remember the specific name, it was something like bacterial flagium. They had a very complicated part made up of various pieces that were useless without each other. This couldn't be formed by gradual improvements because all parts need to be there.
    I should look this up again, I sensed some problems in the explanation the first time I read it, so maybe I can find some counter arguments.
    The argument is that the bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex. Meaning if you were to break it down to a previous evolutionary form, it would cease to function and kill the cells that host it. Thus, the bacterial flagellum must have been created in it's contemporary form. There are other irreducibly complex arguments too. Like the eye, and the mechanism for clotting blood.

    The problem with this argument is that it is possible for these things to exist in a less complex state and still have a function. It's just that it's a different function. The eyes of early life forms were just patches of photo-receptors. They only sensed light, there were no images or anything. But if you took the same photo-receptors out your eyes, you'd be blind.

    If you look at the parts of the bacterial flagellum, they could have very well had different functions and just came together during the course of evolution to form the modern bacterial flagellum.

    This is a really good lecture by a Catholic biologist on the subject.
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

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  27. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanya View Post
    I'm a practicing Muslim, and yeah, I believe in God.

    For me, Islam is the guidebook that I use to live my life, and to be a better person, and to be better to others. I don't believe in using religion to judge or condemn anyone-- I, like many, just want something to help me focus my life.

    For those who are atheist or agnostic, if they feel that they don't need religion or God in their lives, or they don't believe in those concepts, I think that's totally OK. But if I can speak to the minority among those people who go one step further and regard those who practice as being insipid or brainwashed-- please don't. IMO, the beauty of the world lies in it's diversity, so let's learn to appreciate each other and our different view points.
    I've always been really curious about the culture of Islam, because I think the range of people you find in Islam is the same as people you find in Christianity, that there are people who are absolutely bat-shit crazy, all the way to people who are just about as normal as normal gets.

    My curiosity has always been based in the idea that all the positives of any religion (that can be proven, and demonstrated) exist in communities regardless of the presence of that religion. So it just seems to me that there's not really any reason to follow much of what organized religion is.

    Sorry if I sound disrespectful or rude. I know its a sensitive topic.

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    I do not believe in a god.

    How ever if there is a god. I don't think he will look at me and say that even though I have been good all my life I should go to hell cause I did not believe in one specific religion.

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    My mother became a Christian two years before I was born and I had been a Christian all my life. But we were 'nomads' if you will, moving from place to place and subsequently from church to church, until a few years ago I thought they were all the same.

    Then I started noticing how churches of different denominations were bickering over lots of little things (or at least in my mind's eye.) Some denominations were excluding others or directly abhorring their beliefs, both of these churches I had been to at some point in my life. Some I even went to simultaneously because I realized the perspectives they gave me were so different.

    Later I realize (Earlier this year to present) that even though I was always told that the Bible is an infallible word of God, it's still torn to shreds and rearranged by different people to suit different perspectives on the world.

    So though I still think there COULD be a higher power I'm now agnostic, because anything that I had been told on how to interpret the good word I've been given has been so bastardized by organized religion that I had no idea what to think about my own faith.

    So yeah, Agnostic over here.

    Not to say my Christian heritage still doesn't have a strong influence on my morality - it does, but it's also been a long journey of open mindedness of others. Learning more perspectives as time goes on and actually getting to know the people I was told to 'Stay away from.' My best friend is practically a transsexual, that's how far I've come from that initially closed mindset, and I'm proud of it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by damascus57 View Post
    My mother became a Christian two years before I was born and I had been a Christian all my life. But we were 'nomads' if you will, moving from place to place and subsequently from church to church, until a few years ago I thought they were all the same.

    Then I started noticing how churches of different denominations were bickering over lots of little things (or at least in my mind's eye.) Some denominations were excluding others or directly abhorring their beliefs, both of these churches I had been to at some point in my life. Some I even went to simultaneously because I realized the perspectives they gave me were so different.

    Later I realize (Earlier this year to present) that even though I was always told that the Bible is an infallible word of God, it's still torn to shreds and rearranged by different people to suit different perspectives on the world.

    So though I still think there COULD be a higher power I'm now agnostic, because anything that I had been told on how to interpret the good word I've been given has been so bastardized by organized religion that I had no idea what to think about my own faith.

    So yeah, Agnostic over here.

    Not to say my Christian heritage still doesn't have a strong influence on my morality - it does, but it's also been a long journey of open mindedness of others. Learning more perspectives as time goes on and actually getting to know the people I was told to 'Stay away from.' My best friend is practically a transsexual, that's how far I've come from that initially closed mindset, and I'm proud of it.
    Well Beeston! you know what they say, don't open your mind too much, or your brain might fall out xD!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    I used to be strictly atheist but nowadays I've moved firmly to an agnostic standpoint. I do not believe in a giant/human that watches us from the heavens. I DO believe, however, in a universal and infinite energy flow from which all matter has been "born" from. That is not to say that we have been taken from that energy flow, but rather we exist in it during all of the stages of our life. Many cultures have a similar view and call that energy "God" or the universal ground of being, and if that's so then yes, I believe in god.

    I should actually note that it's not only matter, but also thoughts, dreams, and other planes of existence that are part of that energy flow.

    One could even say that the Buddha nature is a reference to this infinite energy flow because when you interact with it (or embody it) the only emotions that exist within yourself are love and ecstasy.

    I also believe that universe is much weirder than humans have the capacity to understand and no matter how we look at things it will always be soiled by our tendency to look at them in a very human context.

    I am along the lines of this, based on the fact that everything is relative...time...age....good....evil.....so it makes more sense that nature handles everything in a perfect balance that no human mind can comprehend. Mainly because all of our thoughts beliefs and values are all based off of conditioning. So in a balanced world even if you are "being good" it does not really matter its all part of a big picture that a thought process cannot begin to understand with its linear way of producing thought. If you have the ability to stop thinking for even a brief while and open up internally then you might get a glimpse of this but then if you try to explain it to others or yourself it become a series of thoughts and thus is lost. Sort of like the game telephone that kids play (the all line up and whisper down the line what was said by the first kid and at the end it is not the same) the amount of interpretations between thoughts, senses, feelings and history and current state (physical and emotional) make it impossible to determine what is really said. So I like to let others be, not because of right or wrong but because that is how it is and the connection between us all and paradox (good makes bad, fat makes thin, up makes down) of life makes it obvious that my efforts would be much better placed in being entirely me instead of converting others. Of course some other peoples "me's" might be someone who likes to try and convert people thus another paradox.

    To sum it up "Life is confusing and wondrous, not necessarily in that order."
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    To answer the question?


    No.
    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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  34. #29
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    I used to be catholic, and everything seemed to pointless, every sunday i went to church everyone was like in autopilot mode just going tru the motions, repeating the same thing they always did every sunday, too stupid, then my family moved to christianity and it was kinda different, people danced and shit and cried and whatever, i just didnt buy it, my parents on the other hand, totally fell for it, right now im in college away from home, and i havent gone to church since i got here, my mom believes i do though, if i tell her other wise i wont get money haha, anyways, i got to the point where believe in any god... say jesus... nor i believe there is good or evil, just a wide consciousness that we are all part off, the energy of the universe, other planes that surrounds us, i've had lucid dreams, and i've had an OBE, and all that feeds the though of jesus being the ultimate april's fool joke on humanity, so there.
    -We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

    -Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

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  35. #30
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    Yes, I believe in god.

    I consider myself a Buddhist and I wear a Buddha necklace as well; most of the time.

    However, I do not pray/chant that often, not because I do not want to, only because I only know one of the many prayers/chants; one of which my mother taught me, when I was young and recently to refresh my memory (she knows more than I would ).

    I also grew up around Catholics. All of whom are extended family members/godparents, to me. All very nice and warm-hearted people.

    I have also went to church a few times and a buddhist temple a few times. Because I never really grew up around going to those places too often, I always feel odd and out of place whenever I do go *nervous laughter*.

    Though, I will say that when I was growing up, getting up in the wee hours of the night to use the restroom, get a glass of water, etc. and seeing nothing but a lamp light and listening to a parent 'Pray/Chant in Thai/Sanskrit...that is something rather enchanting to a little kid. Same applies to going to a church. I think churches made me love any grand-scale looking architecture.
    Last edited by Monkabit; June 1st, 2011 at 10:41 PM.

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