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Old November 4th 01, 03:19   #11
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

As an Atheist myself I would say that not beleiving in a god automaticly excludes all spiritiual beleifs, the universe is more complex then anyone can even guess at so the true nature of it may not exclude other forms of concousness or levels or even sublevels of awareness with in itself.

Thats why i love being an Atheist becouse my attempt to understand the Universe isnt restricted to the one size fits all classic teachings of mainstream religeons(I mean you accept there version or go somewhere else)

I'm not trying to bash the churchs here I just hate seeing people who walk through life never looking at the wonders it contains .

And on the seventh day mankind created God becouse 7 day working weeks really sucked

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Old November 4th 01, 15:50   #12
RW7427
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

Since this is turning into a religion thread, I'll quickly put my 2 cents worth in. I am a Christian. I believe in God and in the Bible, which is his word to man.

About the JMS atheist thing. I thought the correct term for someone like JMS is "agnostic". I think an atheist believes there is no God, but an agnostic believes there is one, but chooses not to believe in that God for himself. I have seen JMS show much of religion in B5, but more from a point like he's acknowledging it exists and that God exists, but that he does not believe in him personally. Am I correct in saying this or am I just hallucinating? If anyone has a clearer atheist/agnostic defintion and which one JMS actually is, feel free to let me know.

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Old November 4th 01, 16:00   #13
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

I think that JMS has stated pretty clearly that he's an atheist, not an agnostic.

I personally feel that one can still be an atheist even when one acknowledges that there are plenty of things in the Universe that we just don't know enough about.

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Old November 4th 01, 16:43   #14
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

To be an agnostic, you have to neither deny nor affirm the existence of an ultimate reality. Agnostics usually hold that any ultimate reality or ultimate consciousness (God) is unknowable for a human mind.

Believers say there is a God, and atheists say there is no God. Agnostics don't say anything either way.

JMS has said on numerous times that he, personally, does not believe there is a God.

And, when religion is mentioned, you can be damn sure that people are going to talk about it whether it be messageboard or real life. I've always been told that the few things you don't talk about when meeting someone new is religion or politics, and if you must, don't take a side immediately and try to stay middle-of-the-road.

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Old November 5th 01, 03:55   #15
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

Karanthas, I am an atheist, and I disagree with your statement that atheists cannot hold spiritual beliefs. In the context of B5, I believe that the Minbari fit this description. They do not believe in a supreme being, outside of the universe itself, and yet I would say that they are definitely spiritual. Zen and some other religions also fit this description. It is possible to believe in the supernatural, without believing in a supreme being. I think it is also possible to believe in science and the scientific method, and still believe that some of what we call supernatural actually could exist, but has not yet been proved, or explained in scientific terms. It is important to keep an open mind, even if you are not willing to accept things "on faith", as religion would have you accept God.

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Old November 5th 01, 11:41   #16
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

I had always assumed that if someone was an atheist then they did not believe in anything spiritual. Thus my confusion about JMS' belief structure.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR> They do not believe in a supreme being, outside of the universe itself <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would say that believing in the universe itself as some kind of intelligent, sentient, entity is the same has believing in a single omnipotent god.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR> In fact, it can be argued that, if there is no God, how you behave here and now is even More important because there is not going to be any "afterlife" where you can spend eternity apologising.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would have to completely disagree with the above statement. Without an afterlife there are no consequences for our actions, I do not think it makes how we behave here and now more important but rather irrelevent. If this life is all there is then in my opinion it is totally nihilistic.

Please do not take anything in this reply personally or as bashing. I just do not understand how believing in no afterlife makes our actions in this life more important.

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Old November 5th 01, 12:26   #17
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

OK, let's get this straight: the root word "theo" refers to God or gods. Theism, then, is the belief in the existence of God or gods. A-theist mean "without belief in God / gods." An atheist does not believe in God or gods.

What does this mean about the person? Absolutely nothing. He/she can still belief in astrology, ghosts, Santa Claus, or Rapunzel. He/she can be an upstanding, brilliant pillar of the community, or a sleazy hedonsistic whore-monger.

Since the term "atheist" has been used to condemn people, and still is used that way, some philosopher in the 1890s came up with the term "agnostic." It's basically a coward's way out of calling yourself an atheist for fear of being attacked and looked down upon by theists.

Agnostic means "not knowing whether there is God or not," so the person can't declare his/her beliefs. I'm sorry, but this is silly. Everyone knows in their heart whether or not they believe in God. If you do, you're a theist, if not, atheist.

As far as JMS is concerned, I would argue that an educated, open-minded atheist may be more qualified to write about religion than one who practices a faith. The atheist is not clouded by any dogma or subjectivity towards a specific set of beliefs. The important thing is that JMS doesn't bare any animosity towards theists (it is a very large misconception about atheists that we all hate or resent believers- not true) and knows enough about religion to include it in his stories. More importantly, he understands the human condition, the human mind (the duty of a writer), of which faith is crucial. If one can write of death, love, and war, why not faith?

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Old November 5th 01, 16:58   #18
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

Thanks all for your comments on the atheist/agnostic thing. It's a little clearer to me now.

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Old November 5th 01, 19:19   #19
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by impycat:


I would have to completely disagree with the above statement. Without an afterlife there are no consequences for our actions, I do not think it makes how we behave here and now more important but rather irrelevent. If this life is all there is then in my opinion it is totally nihilistic.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


OK, not sue if I can explain this properly but I'll do my best.

To me, the consequences are here and now. In this life, not the next. When I choose to act one way or another, never does the thought, "I must do this to be rewarded or punished in the next life" enter my head. I choose my own path based on what I believe to be wrong or right in the moment.



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Old November 5th 01, 20:32   #20
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Re: I\'m happy, sort of

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR> Without an afterlife there are no consequences for our actions, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Try telling that to all the people sitting in various prisons around the world.

Or the people paying Alimony because they screwed up their marriages.

Or the smokers dying of Lung Cancer.



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