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#17539 - 01/03/09 04:53 PM Is religion needed?
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
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Why Religion is a Necessity
It is my contention that humanity, in general, needs religion. Whether they practice some form of a major religion like Christianity or Islam, or lean toward Atheism or Agnostic, all people need religion.


While religion has been described as consisting of "the belief that there is an unseen order, and that our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto," (Hopfe 5), religion has also been tied to belief systems, morality, and life beyond death. Some view religion as anything that dictates morality.

Atheism, a contradiction of many religions, deals with the one thing we in this culture associate with religion: god, or the lack there of. The belief that there is not a god is as much based on faith as the belief that there is one. This act of faith, of believing in something that can not be proven, and allowing that supposition to guide your actions, is a good description of religion.

Hinduism is based in the faith of reincarnation. There is no proof of another life, or any life after death, and yet they unfailingly believe that they will be reborn, and that karma will set them free from life and death.

By faith the ancient people of many cultures offered up sacrifices to their gods in supplication, with no proof that their prayers were heard.

Modern science has taken up the project of proving faith with scientific experiments on prayer and meditation. Does it help with healing?

Faith healers of many religions have, for centuries, prayed over the sick and dieing in the belief that their prayers will be heard and save or cure them. They cited cases which seemed miraculous, some who rose from the dead, and those on their death-bed who made a miraculous recovery. (Fox-Rose 79-80)

Article-->http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/111541/why_religion_is_a_necessity.html

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Own opinion
While I at average say religion is not very needed within the 21th century, it still has some benefits to other people who are in need to believe in "something" to have a hold on. Of course, many religions have their useless "holy wars" to try to convert people to what they think is "righteousness". (What is right or wrong is worth another topic if some need to feel the urge to define it..). But what about some good things some religions have done? Some religious inspired groups actually have helped people who were in need. What about these people? Can we actually say they are ignorant while actually try to achieve something?
However I know some of the answers some people here will provide I'm still interested if they can give valuable arguments to strengthen their answer.


Edited by Dimitri (01/03/09 04:54 PM)
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#17540 - 01/03/09 05:49 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dimitri]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3883
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 Quote:

The belief that there is not a god is as much based on faith as the belief that there is one. This act of faith, of believing in something that can not be proven, and allowing that supposition to guide your actions, is a good description of religion.

This opinion pisses me off. Always has. It is a patent error in reasoning that is all too common, and reproduced even by those that claim to be intellectuals.

The only reason the word 'Atheism' has any meaning whatsoever is because we live in a society that is heavy on fantasy. Think about this a second. This a word that exists purely to state an opinion that someone DOES NOT hold. Why is there no word for people that don't believe in ghosts or aliens? Aextraterestrialist? Aghostist? Stupid right?

Atheism isn't a religion, a worldview, or even a claim to anything, really. It isn't an 'ism' by any logical reckoning. Some people associate whole epistemic/ontological systems of thought to 'Atheism' but that's ridiculous.

Atheism is saying 'I don't believe in god/s' No more, no less.

And it takes no more faith to say that than it takes faith to state any other patently absurd proposition isn't true. Even the most die hard religious zealot would agree it wouldn't take any measure of 'faith' to say there is no such thing as the flying spaghetti monster. Is there any difference between the FSM and the christian god ontologically speaking? Absolutely not.
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#17541 - 01/03/09 06:28 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
The Zebu Offline
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Registered: 08/08/08
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Loc: Orlando, FL
Exactly, exactly, exactly.

If a person's belief in a God weighs the same as a person's nonbelief, then my belief that there is an invisible pink unicorn in my closet is just as legitimate as a person's nonbelief in my own wild claim.

Religion, to me, is "any kind of life philosophy that a person defines themselves by and may express through ceremony and ritual", which is why I identify "Satanism" as my "religion". But it is unique among religions in that it is the only one based on internal principles rather than external.

I also agree in Atheism as the "null hypothesis", and that it's ridiculous to assume that there are other schools of thought automatically attached to this term.

Every person is born an Atheist, after all.

Of course, the masses need belief in Gods and Angels and Messiahs because they are too brittle to face the realities of the universe. That's fine by me, so long as they don't try to blow me up because of it.
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#17543 - 01/03/09 06:42 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: The Zebu]
Dan_Dread Offline
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For the record I also identify Satanism as a religion. My religion.

Jake once made a useful distinction between 'inward facing' and 'outward facing' god belief. They are essentially the same with a few important distinctions;The most important of them being the god 'inside' exists, in a demonstrable fashion. Not like those 'other' gods!

In that, I suppose, I am not really an Atheist. But the word is married to it's cosmological definition, and that is the sense that most understand it. So in that sense, I identify as one.
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#17544 - 01/03/09 08:04 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
blsk Offline
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Loc: salem or
So far I am convinced that the idea of MORE, that being life after death, an unseen caring god, and so on(of course fluctuating depending on the faith), is merely a flaw in our mental capacity, our asset. The same way any other animals assets may be its downfall when not properly applied. We are very social animals and we need comfort. Our mental capacity is great for survival. It has application in every aspect of it. With its complex ability comes many other factors, one being the balancing of emotions. When we experience a great amount of loss or hardship in our physical world, we withdraw. Much like any animal when abused. Our minds(our best defense)start fishing for confidence-boosting comfort as that is when we think best. Mind you making things up is what we do. We are innovative creatures. We take from what we see and come up with neat ideas that would go well with it. We are more complex than we can handle. Was it the progressive developement of free time that caused our minds to begine analyzing self with no current situation to work on?

I wholly agree with you both, Dan and Zebu. Typical to try to make a connection of belief in nothing to a god.
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#17555 - 01/04/09 01:28 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
daevid777 Offline
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In agreement all around...

However, just asking... do any of you perform any "magical style rituals"? And if your answer is yes, how does that fit into the "non-belief"? Merely a type of confidence booster, perhaps, a dramatical enactment of what is already present? This is based on curiousity, how an Atheistic, Suitheistic, (with potential for Polytheism) "religion" negotiates with the "superstitious act of ritual, or ceremony".

Oh, and Dan, I think it would be "Anextraterrestrial", and maybe "Aspiritual", how about "Antizombie" (that fits me, I'm against Zombies, for the most part)... if my Greek is correct...
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#17565 - 01/04/09 12:22 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: daevid777]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Ritual? Sure, sometimes. It is a method to 'shake things up' in my subconscious, so to speak. As someone with a compatibalist outlook on the whole freewill vs determinism issue, I see much of free will as illusionary. I don't think our conscious mind exerts near as much control over our realities as most like to imagine. I think much, if not most, of what we do is controlled 'behind the scenes' so to speak.

As such, I think it can be very powerful to exert control, or at least learn what we can, from our subconscious. Ritual, for me, has always been an effective way to do that.
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#17585 - 01/04/09 06:45 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
blsk Offline
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Posts: 298
Loc: salem or
I have often wondered about that myself. But maybe I am getting caught up in the more trendy description of "ritual." Would I go through a motivational process of thought? Yes, but just to psyc myself up. Get the juices flowing and maybe up my determination. Does that qualify as "ritual?" I have always had the idea of ritual consisting of calling on some invisible being/spirit creature. Other than what I just mentioned, I do nothing to qualify as such.
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#20049 - 02/09/09 09:18 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
Fallon Offline
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Registered: 12/10/08
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Loc: UK, Swindon
tbh, i think all religons cause wars, just look at the one now, thought it's to stop terroism, the people we are at war with now, they want everyone to be muslims.

Years ago, there was the "Holy War" Where the christians went to war with non-christians and it was a mass slaughter.

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#20055 - 02/09/09 01:00 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Fallon]
Ringmaster Offline
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Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 205
Loc: Salem Oregon
Yes it is true that religion causes war. There is no debating this (in my opinion.) But that is just the nature of thing honestly. People wiping each other out is natural.

I think it is darwinism at its finest, the most stubborn of religions will come out on top. It seems like the best form of population control as well because the morons who can't accept the fact that there is someone who believes different then them seems to be the most blind of fools in my book.

The only thing you can really do with this "issue" is sit back and laugh with delight that the unfit and weak are weeding themselves out.
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#20064 - 02/09/09 06:47 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
I can understand the materialist view/model. And you raise a good point here Daevid!

For answering your question rituals are not my cup of tea. That's an aspect of zen I liked: the "bareness" of its rituals.

But I could also say I do my own little rituals each time I need it. Each time a brand new ritual, specifically adapted to me and the circumstances of the moment. This could be another view.

But aside rituals, I can deny the ??? experiences I had & I still have. Call them "mystical", "spiritual" or "fucking illusions" experiences as you want, I don't care. But they're real for me!

For coming back on Dan's post about inward vs. outward I would like to point out that :

1. Not all religions have a "God" (zen)
2. Even the all external "God" of the 3 monotheist religions lead the true seeker on this path to an inward movement, an introspection. The inner God is also present in these religions and labeled as the holy spirit, the nature of buddha...

I personally think that every religion has and even needs those two aspects. When I walked on the Xian path, my conception of God changed over the time. From a personal form it became more and more a concept with no form. A concept of "the good".
Being in a system of belief where your God is seen a someone looking at what you're doing will normally lead you to put your life in question, to make your own idea of what is "God" for you. It should lead you to put your life in question and start an inward process.

In Satanism, despite it appear all inward, there is still a need of a symbol of Satan.

I could describe my "mystical" experience in many different ways as I can see people having made the same kind of experiences in all religions and even philosophies, think about "the Meditation" of Marcus Aurelius.

From a Satanist perspective I would say there is "me" and "I", there is "myself" and "my Self". Through meditation or some other esoteric path, you first escape the "everlasting dream of life" where you identify yourself with the stream of your thought. You were lost in your thoughts and driven by your emotions like a puppet hanged to some pieces of string. Now you can look at your thoughts and your emotions...
Later you experience the "contact" with your inner God...
And if it happens you can keep this contact during your day to day activities, you will act differently. You will use your rational thinking when you need it instead of being drawn in your thought flow. Instead of being driven by ideas put in our head by education, school, religion, society... or by feelings underlied by such thoughts, you act accordingly to your own belief, your own definition of the "Right", the "Good", the "What has to be done". You start acting by instinct, like an animal. You just use your rational thinking for solving concrete day to day problems. You don't think about what you should do (as a good father, or a good boss, or a good Xian, or a good Satanist...). You just do it! And your thoughts, your feelings and your body all move together in the same direction.

I quote Marcus Aurelius in his Meditations on that :

 Quote:
... if you hold steadily to this, expecting nothing and avoiding nothing, only seeking in each passing action a conformity with Nature and in each word and utterance fearless truthfulness, then you will live a good life. And from this course no man has the power to hold you back


When you act like this, you really do what you will, what Your God will, what your Self will... And I think it's the only way to act truly morally or ethically !

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#20065 - 02/09/09 07:07 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: daevid777]
Zoid Offline
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Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 109
Loc: USA - New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: daevid777
However, just asking... do any of you perform any "magical style rituals"? And if your answer is yes, how does that fit into the "non-belief"?


I do magic. I use methods I've developed for myself, very direct and literal rather than symbolic. My intent in these workings is to bring about events that I wish to occur. My Sorceror's Lie (to use a term coined by Carlos Castaneda) is that all consciousness is connected in the collective unconscious.

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#20071 - 02/10/09 06:06 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
Zoid Offline
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I'll continue with my thoughts on magic, which fall squarely in the LaVeyan framework, as I have adapted it to myself. I think this answers the question, "Is religion needed?" - a question often asked of Satanists by people who don't understand why atheists would perform rituals or in any manner set foot in the realm of the mythic.

I tend to think in terms of mind and heart. I associate mind mostly with Lesser Magic, and heart mostly with Greater Magic. This isn't absolute, of course. There is bleed-through at the edges.

Lesser Magic is grounded, in my own practice of it, on what I have very recently formulated for my own benefit as the Nine Virtues of the Satanic Mind: attentiveness, discrimination, prudence, cunning, realism, practicality, skepticism, cynicism, and what I call “the executive function,” that which selects from the other eight the one that will be given the most energy at any given moment, and how much energy, and for how long. These virtues are the internal architects of the Satanist's undefiled wisdom, and lead the Satanist to doing what is "right," which means, doing that for which the right time has arrived, or, more succinctly, right timeliness.

Right timeliness is the application of the wisdom contained in a diabolical passage of the Christian bible, a passage that seems to have been fiendishly inserted by a minion of hell. It begins, "To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Greater magic is grounded, in my own practice of it, on what I have very recently formulated for my own benefit as the Thirteen Virtues of the Satanic Heart: sensuality, fondness, justice, jealousy, largesse, terribleness, majesty, disdain, cold-bloodedness, inscrutability, hate, relentlessness, and rapacity. These virtues are, literally are, the vital existence of the Satanist, and the engine of indulgence.

Greater magic, as I employ it, is the invocation of one or more of the Thirteen Virtues of the Satanic Heart on the mental plane with unbridled intensity so as to successfully send a message through the collective unconscious to the target of the working, which might be oneself, or any other conscious entity, which, as far as I'm concerned, includes any animal, right down to the amoeba. Think an amoeba is useless? Then presumably you haven't experienced dysentery.

In a very general sense, the message sent would be, "Do as I will shall be the whole of the law." This is deification, and the command to serve that which has been deified. What are the attributes of godhood? The Thirteen Virtues of the Satanic Heart. The collective unconscious recognizes these and is responsive to them. The message is transmitted. Events occur that otherwise would not have.

This is how an Atheist practices religion.

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#20093 - 02/10/09 08:40 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
The AntiChris Offline
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Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 60
Loc: Pennsylvania
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread


And it takes no more faith to say that than it takes faith to state any other patently absurd proposition isn't true. Even the most die hard religious zealot would agree it wouldn't take any measure of 'faith' to say there is no such thing as the flying spaghetti monster. Is there any difference between the FSM and the christian god ontologically speaking? Absolutely not.
The reason why non-dogmatists still regard it as faith is because of the simple fact that by making a declaration of Atheism, one is making an assertion of a world view/model/paradigm (whatever). These assertions imply that one has a definite "knowing" of how the "true" universe works. In this case the assertion is that the universe definately works without any type of intelligence levels greater than or comparable to human or even other than human. It replaces the word mystical in many cases with "the subconcious" and other psychological terminology which are all still abstract concepts. Atheism "is" an either/or supposition with no room for other interpretations.
The only way one can assert this is if one has faith or omnipresence.


Edited by The AntiChris (02/10/09 09:16 PM)
Edit Reason: clarification
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#20103 - 02/10/09 11:43 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: The AntiChris]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
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If one refuses any and all decisions based on the fact that one is not 100% sure of both all of the variables and the outcome, one will be rendered immobile.

Indecision is a weakness, quite counterproductive. That is part of why I think 'agnosticism' is shit.

Nobody ever knows everything about anything, however we can know enough to make informed decisions based on the information that IS available. On matters of cosmology, there is no evidence or sound theory that leads to anything resembling the concept of god or gods. The information that IS available leads in an entirely different direction.



Lets not forget that all 'Atheism' means is 'a lack of a belief in god/s', or more specifically, a lack of belief in a personal god;ie one that watches you and cares, on some level, about your well being.

Are you agnostics really so afraid to lack a belief in gods/toothfairies/whatever? Keep a little extra belief around just in case?
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#20108 - 02/11/09 12:13 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
daevid777 Offline
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Registered: 08/30/07
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Loc: Hell's Pisshole, Texas
What if I am "My own... Personal... Jesus"?

I guess I'm not an Atheist... by any definition.
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#20109 - 02/11/09 12:35 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: daevid777]
The Zebu Offline
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Registered: 08/08/08
Posts: 1646
Loc: Orlando, FL
I don't call myself an Atheist for a few reasons.

I believe in a cosmic creator/destroyer. He is named Azathoth. He sits in the center of ultimate chaos, piping away on thin reeds and shitting himself, like all blind retard-gods do.

Silly mythology aside, I actually do ascribe the cosmic creation/destruction idea to a "God", although this "God" is rather impersonal, and by no means anthropomorphic, and lies beyond the sphere of human comprehension.

So when I get into arguments with religious people, they usually give a "deer in the headlights" look when I tell them I'm not an Atheist. Because they're so used to viewing the idea of "God" as this limited, dogmatic definition, they typically shit themselves whenever anybody presents an idea called "GOD" that does not fit the mold of what they've been told all their life of what "GOD" is supposed to be.

As far as a PERSONAL god goes though, that role is left to myself.
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#20110 - 02/11/09 12:49 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: The Zebu]
Dan_Dread Offline
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It doesn't matter what properties you cook up in your imagination for your 'god' to have. It's all the same.

Faith is faith is faith. The beginning of all unwisdom.
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#20128 - 02/11/09 05:34 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
Zoid Offline
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Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 109
Loc: USA - New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Lets not forget that all 'Atheism' means is 'a lack of a belief in god/s', or more specifically, a lack of belief in a personal god;ie one that watches you and cares, on some level, about your well being.


On other forums I've watched the discussion of Atheism go round in circles, for any of the following reasons:

1. Person X sees a difference between (A) believing there is no god and (B) not believing there is a god; meanwhile, Person Z refuses to acknowledge, or is unable to understand, that distinction.

2. Person X sees a difference between (A) believing in a personal god and (B) believing in an impersonal principle of order in the universe; meanwhile, Person Z refuses to acknowledge, or is unable to understand, that distinction.

3. Person X sees a difference between (A) believing in a god and (B) believing in an afterlife; meanwhile, Person Z refuses to acknowledge, or is unable to understand, that distinction.

4. Person X sees a difference between (A) believing in a god and (B) believing reality has domains no scientific apparatus will ever detect; meanwhile, Person Z refuses to acknowledge, or is unable to understand, that distinction.

In my view, Person X in each of the above scenarios is exercising discrimination, one of my Nine Virtues of the Satanic Mind. Person Z either lacks that virtue or refuses to admit possessing it due to some ulterior motive, such as mild (or not so mild) trollishness.

As for myself:

1. I claim there is no such thing as a personal god because I don't see a reason to claim otherwise and I tend to favor Occam's Razor.

2. I claim mathematics as the impersonal principle of order in the universe, and I strongly suspect we haven't begun to scratch the surface of that claim.

3. I claim there is an afterlife because claiming otherwise irritates me.

4. I claim reality has domains no scientific apparatus will ever detect, and I employ greater magic as a way of testing my hypothesis.

Obviously number 3 hinges on number 4.

I consider myself an Atheist.

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#20134 - 02/11/09 07:29 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
ortho Offline
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Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 25
Loc: France.Paris
Hy!
There a conception in gnostic text:
"The Son of God of Hell,who has created the world, and every things it contains climbed up to the Holy Sky changed in appearence of a beautiful angel of light: Lucifer.He told them that what they lived was no good and it will be better to come on earth with Him,where He will give them many things, beautiful women and the possibility to gouvern and to have power on others, to exercice themselves with gold and money. They followed Him and Felt down IN new clothes which were in reality shealths of flesh. For live to live they are looking for Light wich really is inside themselves, through remembering". (text from Gnostic School or Church during XII and XIII centuries, in the south of France, destroyed by catholic crusade,"La croisade des Albigeois".

It is the fact of reincarnation;

In Vedantic tradition from India the individuality has 4 goals:
"Dharma" (Duty of parents,children and religon -cast, which are the expression of the Universal Order, or Cosmic Law),
Artha, Wealth which is necessary to live and to preserve your family of sickness,etc...it gives you a confortable home to live, and to get:
"Kama", pleasure, in food ,sex ("Kama sutra"), music, sport...etc
But they have to be resorbed or to conduct, to drive you to:
"Moksha", the Liberation of the cycle of birth and rebirth.("Samsara").
In concern with rebirth, you have to study this question with Tibetan Lamas, witch have a practice of "necromancie"( you can also have look on the experiences of some "medium" through Spiritism.
I've practised a little bit with them and I've been astonished...but I think to be realistic on these planes.

Eliphas Levi in "Ritual and Dogma of the High Magick", explained how He did to invoque (-cke?) spirit out of death...

May be there is some preolpe who can accept to tel us his-her- own experience?
Bye!

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#20135 - 02/11/09 07:46 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Indecision is a weakness, quite counterproductive. That is part of why I think 'agnosticism' is shit

I understand and agree on this view, but at the same time I understand and agree with this :

 Quote:
It is only DOUBT which will bring mental emancipation. Without the wonderful element of doubt, the doorway through which truth passes would be tightly shut, impervious to the most strenuous poundings of a thousand Lucifers.
That's why I want to keep a little share of this doubt with me. I know I don't know and there is no mean to know...



 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Atheism is saying 'I don't believe in god/s' No more, no less.
...
Lets not forget that all 'atheism' means is 'a lack of a belief in god/s', or more specifically, a lack of belief in a personal god;ie one that watches you and cares, on some level, about your well being.

In this perspective, I'm not an Atheist because I believe that there is a God that watches me and care at all levels about my well being. It's my inner God which I could call also call my "SELF" or my own God.
Nevertheless, I think I'm in line with TSB :
 Quote:
It is a popular misconception that the Satanist does not believe in God. The concept of "God", as interpreted by man, has been so varied throughout the ages, that the Satanist simply accepts the definition which suits him best. Man has always created his gods, rather than his gods creating him. God is, to some, benign - to others, terrifying. To the Satanist "God" - by whatever name he is called, or by no name at all - is seen as the balancing factor in nature, and not as being concerned with suffering. This powerful force which permeates and balances the universe is far too impersonal to care about the happiness or misery of flesh-and-blood creatures on this ball of dirt upon which we live.


Using the Zoid canvas for myself I would say that I'm:
1. not believing there is a god (external & personal one); and believing in my inner God which is my source for moral & ethical behaviour.
2. believing in an impersonal principle of order in the universe; in more subtil planes of the reality than those usually percieved.
3. prefering to believe there is not afterlife because it helps me keeping that feeling of emergency that it's HERE and NOW or nowhere and never. Life is so short!
4. believing reality has domains no scientific apparatus has detected yet.

So, I personnaly could be viewed as an Atheist (cause I don't need a dad taking care of me) and as a believer (because through my "mystical" experiences I know that the inner God exists). Having walked a little bit on the RHP, I even have not much difficulties in saying "I'm my own personnal Jesus" ;\)

I'm just unspeakable...

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#20137 - 02/11/09 08:08 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Fabiano]
Zoid Offline
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Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 109
Loc: USA - New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: Fabiano

1. not believing there is a god (external & personal one); and believing in my inner God which is my source for moral & ethical behaviour.

3. prefering to believe there is not afterlife because it helps me keeping that feeling of emergency that it's HERE and NOW or nowhere and never. Life is so short!


Do you believe your inner God will cease to exist when your body no longer sustains life?

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#20138 - 02/11/09 08:50 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
Honestly, rationally I don't know. But even if I would know, what would it change for me ?

Would I act in a different way ?

Perhaps this inner God is a Sparkle of that powerful
force which permeates and balances the universe impersonnal
and this Sparkle will return to it's origin.

Or perhaps this inner God is just something part of the body and not accessible by science. In that case, no body anymore, no God anymore...

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#20160 - 02/11/09 02:54 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Fabiano]
Diavolo Offline
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Registered: 09/02/07
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If religion wasn't needed it wouldn't be there. Evolutionary it had to make sense at some level. Personally I divide humans into two classes; the believers and the non-believers. Without going into trivialities that certain things are assumptions one can't avoid.
By belief I don't even fixate on god but throw all accepted unknowns in that group; afterlife, magick of supernatural nature, hell even the collective unconscious.

Read an interesting article on religion today:

Born believers: How your brain creates God

D.

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#20171 - 02/11/09 05:41 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
Dan_Dread Offline
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 Quote:

3. I claim there is an afterlife because claiming otherwise irritates me.

4. I claim reality has domains no scientific apparatus will ever detect, and I employ greater magic as a way of testing my hypothesis.


Then that , in my book, puts you in the exact same camp as the rest of the believers. Once you believe something by faith, it doesn't really matter what it is. You have left reality and entered lala-land.
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#20172 - 02/11/09 05:44 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
Dan_Dread Offline
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 Quote:

In this perspective, I'm not an Atheist because I believe that there is a God that watches me and care at all levels about my well being. It's my inner God which I could call also call my "SELF" or my own God.

This is the distinction between autotheist and Atheist.

I personally use the word 'Atheist' because it deals with my cosmological position. 'Autotheism' doesn't really deal with cosmology.
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#20188 - 02/11/09 07:56 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
Zoid Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Then that , in my book, puts you in the exact same camp as the rest of the believers. Once you believe something by faith, it doesn't really matter what it is. You have left reality and entered lala-land.


I agree. I just happen to find this particular lala-land congenial, harmless, and psychically strategic, that last one because an ego that won't be extinguished is a likelier candidate for deification than one that will. Realism may be offended but practicality isn't.

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#20194 - 02/11/09 08:22 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
Dan_Dread Offline
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 Quote:

an ego that won't be extinguished is a likelier candidate for deification than one that will.

Oh? Why is that?

I think you are again confusing the 'hollywood' concept of deification with the real deal. Oh well.
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#20195 - 02/11/09 08:24 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Fabiano]
Zoid Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Fabiano
Honestly, rationally I don't know. But even if I would know, what would it change for me ?

Would I act in a different way ?


No, I don't think you would. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you and I share a common trait. I think we both hold propositions in our heads because we find them psychically strategic. These propositions serve us well, they support our intent, and that matters more to us than whether they satisfy a particular truth test. Am I right in my interpretation of your outlook?

To me this is a kind of magic. It works because the propositions are ones that are open to question. If I held to the proposition that the sky is never blue but is always green, this would be absurd because the proposition is demonstrably false. But the proposition that my ego will never be extinguished is open to question, as is the proposition that within you is a higher self of moral authority. We might both be correct, or both be incorrect, or any inverse pairing thereof. But we hold propositions in our heads that serve our intent, and that is what counts for me, and perhaps for you as well.

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#20197 - 02/11/09 08:31 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
Zoid Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Oh? Why is that?

I think you are again confusing the 'hollywood' concept of deification with the real deal. Oh well.


Ritual magic requires suspension of disbelief. It is easier for me to suspend disbelief with regard to supernatural power if I hold in my head the proposition that my ego is inextinguishable. If this isn't the case for you, or if you don't engage in ritual magic, then my statements don't apply to you. In ritual magic, subjective reality is all-important, and each of us can only work with what we have.

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#20198 - 02/11/09 08:32 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
The AntiChris Offline
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 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Nobody ever knows everything about anything, however we can know enough to make informed decisions based on the information that IS available. On matters of cosmology, there is no evidence or sound theory that leads to anything resembling the concept of god or gods. The information that IS available leads in an entirely different direction.


I consider myself a "model" agnostic which applies not only to gods but any type of certainty. When it comes to making an informed decision I'll deny any personnel god put before me. My problems with the term Atheism is mostly one of semantics and certitude. Many times I see the term Atheism apply to a broad array of god definitions not only the personnel god. I take into consideration intelligence as a property of the universe and the possibility that it may not only exist exclusively in a human skull. Some people equate that view with god but to me that's not necessarily the case. For all practical informed decisions I carry myself as an Atheist. Since agnosticism also deals with the problem of the acquisition of knowledge (especially in the light of General Semantics), the failure to be able to define god (ignostic), I like this tem in the interest of philosophical clarity.


 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Are you agnostics really so afraid to lack a belief in gods/toothfairies/whatever? Keep a little extra belief around just in case?

I see slapping generic labels on people makes it easier for you to feel as if your winning an argument. Do you find that works well for you?
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#20202 - 02/11/09 09:11 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: The AntiChris]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Don't be ridiculous. You applied that label to yourself.

Also, I was not 'arguing'. I was just highlighting why agnosticism is an inherently weak position that doesn't really hold under any sort of scrutiny. I don't really expect you to understand why that matters.


Edited by Dan_Dread (02/11/09 09:12 PM)
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#20204 - 02/11/09 09:19 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: The AntiChris]
blsk Offline
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(3. I claim there is an afterlife because claiming otherwise irritates me)

-That is the whole of how religions grasp such a huge audience. People do not like insecurity, the unknown, and the like. People have to know what is going on...or at least convince themselves that they do. That is why CNN-and-like newscasters still get the audience they do. The majority(unless retarded) will admit that the news they recieve is at least 50% bull-shit, yet they watch. They watch because they would rather hear bull-shit and take from it what they are comfortable with than admit they truly know nothing about what is going on in the world. They do not want to face everyday knowing they know nothing. Basically, as you stated in your post, it is a comfort factor. The whole of people who "believe" may be "strong," you may be "brave," but you are all, the whole of you, cowards. Every last one of you. You are afraid you are nothing more than a fraction of a second. You are afraid that you, in all your might, are nothing more than wormfood. Simply because you have the capacity to convince yourself that there is more, you think it is okay, you think that is it so. None of you have any reason whatsoever to think there is a "god." You are sad and lame.

...and might I add, delusional.


Edited by blsk (02/11/09 09:21 PM)
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#20207 - 02/11/09 09:41 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
Zoid Offline
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 Originally Posted By: blsk
They watch because they would rather hear bull-shit and take from it what they are comfortable with than admit they truly know nothing about what is going on in the world. They do not want to face everyday knowing they know nothing... You are afraid you are nothing more than a fraction of a second. You are afraid that you, in all your might, are nothing more than wormfood.


So with regard to the afterlife question, are you agnostic or a definite naysayer? Whichever you are, what is your reward for holding that position? Is it self-esteem?

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#20209 - 02/11/09 09:56 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
blsk Offline
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What makes you think you or I are deserving of a reward? What makes you think we are deserving of anything? That is a question for fairytales. The night in shining armor gets the maiden! the martyr gets salvation! I do not believe any of it for a VERY simple reason. I have no reason to. Why should I? Why should I believe there is anything more? Because I was told so? Sorry, need more than that. I look around me, I look at nature(the only fact there is) and I learn from it. I have no reason to think there is more, so I wont.
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#20212 - 02/11/09 10:03 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Belief in consciousness existing free of the brain is archaic and medieval. Beneath any real thinker.
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#20214 - 02/11/09 10:06 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
blsk Offline
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Exactly. It is like I have said before. The brain is an organ, the mind is what it does, it is more a verb than a noun. When the brain dies, so does the mind, much like the pulse when the heart dies.

Edited by blsk (02/11/09 10:07 PM)
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#20216 - 02/11/09 10:25 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
Jake999 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
There's GREAT freedom in knowing that there is nothing beyond this thing we call life. It frees you to know that you have this one shot to get it right, for good or for ill, it all boils down to what you make of it here and now. You learn quickly to take responsibility and with that responsibility, control.
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#20217 - 02/11/09 10:34 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Jake999]
blsk Offline
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Thank you Jake. That(I hope I am not getting off topic here) reminds me of the very meaning of Satanism. It is, in essence, "satanic" to rebel, to question, to oppose those you are tought are unopposable, unquestionable. There is THIS life. You have NO reason to think otherwise. The christian ideal is to "marry in the faith!" Fuck that! Love who you will, hate who you will, do what YOU will(not"god") and if any oppose..QUESTION who you will! The why and the wherefor!
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#20225 - 02/11/09 11:34 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
The Zebu Offline
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Registered: 08/08/08
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Loc: Orlando, FL
The afterlife is one of the few concepts that most people will not let go of easily, even if they don't call themselves "religious". It is because the human mind, in its instinct of self-preservation, creates a sort of irrational "need" to believe in things like the afterlife, because accepting the reality would be too sanity-crushing for much of the human race.

Some say that when faced with oblivion, life becomes meaningless, but like Jake said, it actually GIVES life meaning, knowing that it's all we have, so we know it counts for something.

-------------

Edit: HELLZ YAH, 4,000th post in the General Conversation forum. I rock. Oh yeah.


Edited by The Zebu (02/11/09 11:36 PM)
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#20226 - 02/11/09 11:41 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dan_Dread]
The AntiChris Offline
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Registered: 10/24/08
Posts: 60
Loc: Pennsylvania
I was speaking of the way you choose to narrow your understanding of how agnosticism works and is applied. Your obtuse opinion of weakness does not change the fact that a healthy agnosticism towards everything, including one's own sacred cows, is the only reasonable position an intellectual can take. Growth dies with any position of dogmatic certainty. As far as what matters?
 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
I don't really expect you to understand why that matters.

I think I am starting to understand why clinging on to a certainty that doesn't exist matters to you.
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#20229 - 02/11/09 11:57 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: The AntiChris]
The Zebu Offline
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Apparently nobody cares about my totally awesome 4,000th post... you're all a hopeless crowd.

Edited by The Zebu (02/11/09 11:57 PM)
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#20230 - 02/12/09 12:02 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: The AntiChris]
blsk Offline
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Registered: 09/22/08
Posts: 298
Loc: salem or
( in its instinct of self-preservation, creates a sort of irrational "need" to believe in things like the afterlife, because accepting the reality would be too sanity-crushing for much of the human race.)

-Well that is my point exactly. The reason people cannot comprehend nothingness is because it goes against the entire purpose of contiousness all together. That is my point. The purpose of the mind is to create a constant flow of contiousness. To ask it to do anything other is like asking your eyes to hear or your ears to see. That is not what they do. Need I really go on?



(I was speaking of the way you choose to narrow your understanding of how agnosticism works and is applied)

-How can you possibly narrow agnosticism? To be "agnostic" (and please, for the sake of others, if you want to get into a debate of semantics PLEASE p.m. me) means that you HAVE to keep the option open for there to be a god; you also have to keep the option open for faries, goblins, ghosts, and the like in order to be truly honest with yourself as far as posibility is concerned. If not you are showing favoritism; you are showing favoritism to a judeo-christian-like "god"or"creator." How honest, then, are you being with yourself?


Edit: HELLZ YAH, 4,000th post in the General Conversation forum. I rock. Oh yeah.
HIGH-FUCKIN-5!!!!!i'M DRINKING TO IT AS WE SPEAK!!!


Edited by blsk (02/12/09 12:04 AM)
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#20231 - 02/12/09 12:08 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
daevid777 Offline
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Registered: 08/30/07
Posts: 951
Loc: Hell's Pisshole, Texas
My six year old daughter asked how old my cat is... I told her ten years old...

I told her that my cat is older than she is... then she asked me where she was when my cat was a kitten...

Wise ass...


4,000th post! Hooray! Awesome!
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#20233 - 02/12/09 12:15 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: daevid777]
blsk Offline
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I'm sorry, I read your post over a few times and still I fail to see what that has to do with the topic at hand. Your daughter asked about life(basically), what does that have to do with what we are talking about?
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#20234 - 02/12/09 12:22 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
daevid777 Offline
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Registered: 08/30/07
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Okay, right on, sorry if that was "cryptic"...

In her simplicity, she brought down the world...

As this applies to "agnosticism" - what would I tell her? "She didn't exist..." true statement?

Taking the next step - when she dies... "she won't exist..."

Are these things separate, maybe I'm just reading too much into this discussion?
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#20236 - 02/12/09 12:35 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: daevid777]
blsk Offline
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Registered: 09/22/08
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Okay...unless you have TOTALLY thrown me for a spin, I think what you are getting at is that she is asking questions you are not comfortable with. She is getting into a topic you do not know the "best" answer to. Between you and me, seriously, what is wrong with the truth?? Aside from (self-destructive)pride what is wrong with saying "I don't know?" Failure and unanswered questions are only a hinderance for people of faith, they are so because "god" has no answers. Having all the answers is a faith-based idea. You are not less perfect for it, you are realistic. There is no real correct answer for your child at a young age. Do not help them understand that you don't know, just help them understand WHY you don't know...that will make THEM seek the truth.
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#20237 - 02/12/09 12:53 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: blsk]
daevid777 Offline
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Registered: 08/30/07
Posts: 951
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No... I guess I'm not making my point clear...

Thanks, though, I think you were being "nice" *shudder*, and I appreciate it... (I told her she wasn't born... and she wasn't around - she accepted this, btw)

I was making a now ridiculous "allegoric reference"... if some here actually believe that some kind of "soul" lives on in some kind of "afterlife", then the question of "before conception" would be a sort of "jumping off point".

I mean, if we are "immortal" in "spirit" as suggested, where are these guys now? And are they just hangin' around waiting to incorporate a physical human body or something?

Bad, misunderstood, "joke", I guess.
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#20248 - 02/12/09 05:10 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Jake999]
Zoid Offline
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Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 109
Loc: USA - New Jersey
First a quote by Dan_Dread:

 Originally Posted By: Dan_Dread
Belief in consciousness existing free of the brain is archaic and medieval. Beneath any real thinker.


As I try to grasp the motivations for affirming ego extinction, I conclude that pride/vanity/self-esteem is one of them, certainly for Dan_Dread and blsk. Fabiano and Jake have offered this other one:

 Originally Posted By: Jake999
There's GREAT freedom in knowing that there is nothing beyond this thing we call life. It frees you to know that you have this one shot to get it right, for good or for ill, it all boils down to what you make of it here and now. You learn quickly to take responsibility and with that responsibility, control.


The pride/vanity/self-esteem motivation doesn't compel me for the simple reason that my vanity arises from different origins. For example, I am vain about my ability to program myself with propositions that serve my intent. If a medieval/archaic proposition served my intent, I would program myself with it and admire my ability to do so.

The "one shot to get it right" motivation compels me quite strongly, but I find it easy to take a "one shot to get it right" attitude without affirming ego extinction, and I'll explain why. There appear to be three possibilities:

1. Ego extinction.
2. Ego continuance in a domain no scientific apparatus can detect.
3. Ego continuance minus memory via reincarnation.

Number 3 doesn't preclude number 2 as an interim experience.

Now, if there is ego extinction, I get one shot to live this Zoid life the best I can. If there is ego continuance in a domain no scientific apparatus can detect, I still get only one shot to live this Zoid life the best I can. Finally, if there is ego continuance minus memory via reincarnation, I nevertheless get just one shot to live this Zoid life the best I can.

Incidentally, I have taken quite a liking to this "one shot to get it right" proposition, and am in the process of programming myself with it, as it very definitely serves my intent.

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#20260 - 02/12/09 09:24 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
ortho Offline
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Registered: 01/03/08
Posts: 25
Loc: France.Paris
what is the ego?
"Cogito ergo sum" , Descartes.
What is religion?
"religare", to connect (people together).
What is the background of any religion?
( in Asia, in America, in Europe, in Africa, in the middle of the Ocean...etc...?)
Education, and childhood.
What's your parents have given to you is bringing you will, to resist or to developpe this point of view as they put in your head, in your brain as a "brain washing" in every part of you, the taste to eat something during meal, your point of view for show'off,for fashion with clothes, for your image you have for sex in the most inconsciouss part somewhere in your libido.
Why do you like this sort of man or girl, why do you prefer this woman than this man or this other woman?
Religion is the same.No one is absolutely free from childhood.
If you are connected with the "egregore" the "sanctus spiritus" of this assembly you are felling OK with it, until you practise is going to take some attitude, or fashion.
May be you are following or participating to some rituals at home alone or during sabbat with other members (halloween,etc...)
May be you haven't anyone.
For christians they rejoice during Easter and some attitudes are done during the same time, also for hindous or buddhists, muslims,etc.If you do something out of their habits, they look at you as an E.T.
It is the same in a soccer matches.Here in France we have some people who become savages and absolutely crazy when they are going to a match with their friends (a sort of "Holligan").As soon they come in the stadium they seem to be catched by a big "ego" a big "form" who creates uncounscious act and "wrong" attitudes.They want only to fight or to beat someone.(Why not? or why they do so?)
They are able to said, later, even if they have killed a man: "I don't remember at all what it happened!what I done! "
That is the possibilty for every people to lose their mind, and the sense of life and responsability- in front of the society-
Satanisme is interesting for me because, It brings you to a sense of responsability, a sens of awareness in a sens of liberty: I can act as I want as long I'm responsible and conscious of what I want and what I do.
The true nature of the ego is there, now!
Bye.

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#20262 - 02/12/09 11:47 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Dimitri]
Master Magick Offline
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Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 63
Loc: New York, USA
What's amazing is that this post has 4 pages of replies. (though some of the responses have been fun and or insightful re: the OP)

The simple answer is No.

The slightly less simple answer is. No, even though alot of people 'feel' the need for religion, they don't 'need' it anymore than they need a big screen tv or a new pair of shoes. Just because the herd has been prgrammed to feel a need for something, does not mean the need exists.

An even less complicated answer would be, read the first reply to the OP. That pretty much tied it up.
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#20266 - 02/12/09 02:03 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Master Magick]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
Well, quite straight and simple answer : "No"

Now, some straight and simple questions :

- Do you consider yourself as a Satanist ?
- Do you consider Satanism as a religion ?

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#20267 - 02/12/09 02:25 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Fabiano]
Master Magick Offline
pledge


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 63
Loc: New York, USA
 Originally Posted By: Fabiano
Well, quite straight and simple answer : "No"

Now, some straight and simple questions :

- Do you consider yourself as a Satanist ?
- Do you consider Satanism as a religion ?



Appears to be directed at my reply, so:

1. Yes. Always have been. Satanism as a religion being given a name for me after reading TSB somewhere around 1976. Even though I already lived by most of what was described there.
2. Yes. Satanism as defined in TSB is a religion. It doesn't matter what I think it is.
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#20285 - 02/12/09 08:44 PM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Zoid]
Fabiano Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 374
 Originally Posted By: Zoid
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you and I share a common trait.
...
But we hold propositions in our heads that serve our intent, and that is what counts for me, and perhaps for you as well.


Ooops, it seems I missed this one. Sorry Zoid.

Look at what I already posted here:
 Quote:
Based on my own experience, the "mechanism" of my personal magic can me summarised to:
- Will, Volition
- Intuition. Listening to my subconscious.
- Auto-manipulating myself. Modelling my own mind in order to better deserve my goals.


Few days ago, I read here
 Quote:
how we choose to look at the world, will shape the reality of your world.

I think it goes in the same direction...

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#20303 - 02/13/09 05:11 AM Re: Is religion needed? [Re: Fabiano]
Zoid Offline
member


Registered: 01/24/09
Posts: 109
Loc: USA - New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: Fabiano
Look at what I already posted here:
 Quote:
Based on my own experience, the "mechanism" of my personal magic can me summarised to:
- Will, Volition
- Intuition. Listening to my subconscious.
- Auto-manipulating myself. Modelling my own mind in order to better deserve my goals.



Yes. We clearly are in sync in this regard. I will be posting a thread that follows this line of thought: "Satanic Will & Satanic Heart."

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