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tiredofwork last won the day on April 24

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About tiredofwork

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    sleeping, mindless scrolling on meaningless tangents, tending my desktop zen garden
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    i'm a nobody just looking to hangout with some chill folks.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Ignostic Agnostic Panpsychist Pantheism

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  1. I think for me the big "wait a second..." moment was when a lay preacher said that the Bible proved evolution was false and said it had to be false or the Bible wasn't reliable. The stuff he said wasn't very convincing - I'd have to believe almost in a soft form of theistic solipsism or the truman show for it to be real, and that seemed odd. The next thing was that God wanted everyone to have a "rich and full life" and that it meant finding work, finding healing, etc. The people who found it stayed at the church, but oddly enough more people would trail out after going through the "church groups" for a few weeks. Then the gossiping and rumors, and the preaching perfect morality for members, etc. The part that gets me is that I love the book of Ecclesiastes - but all the commentaries on it tried to shove it away or reconstruct it to focus on how it points of the New Testament. When I'd read an archaeologist's take on it, or a religious scholar's take on it, it would conflict with the commentary... I also learned about the Ebionites, which really really really made me think about my views. In that sense, it was helpful to learn of multiple interpretations from Ehrman and Eisenman. It boils down to - it has to be perfect, or it has to not be. Tillich in that vein, helped make it real - and then Peter Rollins helped a good bit after...
  2. I think there's also an economic argument against a strict belief systems. It seems like the richer the society, the less the belief. Also, the more the education, the less literalist the beliefs. I don't have handy links but I'll try to find them - basically East Germany is one of the most atheist regions in the world, but it is the poorer part of Germany. Other countries have more secularity and are overall more prosperous with less inequality. I think it kind of shows that religion is kind of a crutch to try and get through stressful situations, and is abandoned when it isn't needed. Kind of like doing a palm reading before a big interview, or doing a tarot before thinking of quitting a job. Or praying when there's mass unemployment, etc. - although I've seen some research showing once someone/a society achieves a broad level of non-religiousness or secularity, major disasters don't shift back to religiosity, it just shifts to other coping mechanisms and perhaps more non-religious spiritualism/mysticism.
  3. At the end of the day, regardless of intent or outcomes, Dawkins definitely got the "discuss" part he asked in the original tweet. At the end of the next day, I think the important thing is that people are trying to do the right thing, and disagree with each other - not because they want to put down other groups (for the most part, obviously there are exceptions to this that should be deplored) - but because they have non-humanitarian disagreements, i.e. it's not about debating the worth of a human, it's more a debate about the identity and meaning of existence (ontological disagreement). I can't speak for who is right or wrong - I just don't know enough about the issue to be intelligent - I'm just grateful to be alive in an age that cares so much about getting the value of a human life right, on both sides of the equation (excluding those that find limited value in life dependent on their own views/belief systems).
  4. Thanks everyone for the thoughts on this! It's good to know I'm not the only one trying to figure this stuff out.
  5. I think most folks here will approach the question from a logical perspective. For me the biggest reassurance is not being alone. I'd recommend googling Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln's views of religions. Also George Washington (though it will be very limited). Another good one is Andrew Johnson (regardless of what he did as president, his views on religion make for interesting reading). Taft is another good presidential read in religion too. Nixon was very interesting as well. Basically - I'd recommend looking at world leaders or whoever you look up to, find the ones that also struggled, doubted, and found strength in the courage of their convictions. It helps to be not be alone, even if you feel alone without friends nearby.
  6. The thing for me is that I'm open to miracles and miraculous events - seems like a probability type thing honestly, and perspective too. Someone else's miracle is my lucky break, etc. The thing that gets me with this is non-Christian miracles. Stories of people giving up drugs w/o religion, stories of people being healed in Hinduism, or having visions of the Gods, etc. Something else that gets me is previous "miracles" that didn't turn out, i.e. the shroud of Turin. That was a huge let down. Also all the hype about Bible codes, prosperity gospel (we see the successes, but how many failures are there?), finding the ark, etc. it's all depressing. The thing that actually gives me hope is stuff like this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6EPuUdIC1E). The effect of the mind on the body, and mindset is truly remarkable, and I'm very open to the impact of how mental states can affect health/wellness outcomes that can lead to "prosperity." It's kind of a mental ladder I have: Event: my door handle suddenly snaps down and then up again after I close the bathroom door Immediate response: ghosts! Secondary response: take a breath Tertiary response: naturalistic assumption - it must've been something physically acting on the door Reaction: check the door Result: find the towel that fell off the towel holder onto the door handle and caused it to flip suddenly
  7. Honestly it's pretty hard - the gist of the research I've read is that most presidents were deist leaning, w/ a few notable exceptions - w/ most of the exceptions being non-trinitarian, w/ universalist leanings (John Adams). Even as recent as President Taft were not trinitarian (Taft once wrote "I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus" as the reason he turned down the presidency of I think it was Yale? Because it belonged to a trinitarian denomination at the time). George Washington basically went to church because he had to, but never did communion. He wasn't the type of man to write books, so we can't say for certain, but the practices of like minded deists of the time was to do likewise, so most historians infer his deeper convictions - especially in light of his freemasonry. There are still strong strains of universalism in some modern presidents (Harry Truman, though a Baptist, once basically said everyone who is religious gets to heaven, and that Jews, Muslims, and Hindus all worship the same God as Christians). As far as writings, I'd recommend just googling Abraham Lincoln religious views, and Winston Churchill religious views - those were the most detailed and interesting from an Ex-Christian perspective I'd say. Thomas Jefferson is already pretty well known, so not a lot to explore. He was a Deist, but technically maintained membership in the church for legal reasons. Andrew Johnson was actually surprising - he got attacked in his day for attending Catholic services - he liked that you couldn't buy a pew in the Catholic church, not even for a president - and never had any affiliation with a religious sect. A lot of presidents moved churches or stopped going to church in adulthood, so it's hard to see what their inner convictions were. It seems like Ronald Reagan believed deeply in a God, but viewed religion in general as positive, so perhaps not as dogmatic as evangelicals make him out to be. Nixon was technically religious, but actually believed religion was going away and would be replaced by a secular culture that developed everyone to their full potential, and felt that religion was only good in as much as it made ethical human beings that yearned for peace (minus some serious prejudices he had for others). Trump was basically non-theistic in that he didn't really ponder religion or have an affiliation. Ford and Carter might have actually been the most religious presidents according to some of the historians I've read (in a very limited way). I guess the gist of it was that if these "great men of history" (regardless of their good/bad actions, they were worth remembering in some capacity) could have such widespread and deeply held and private views, there was no reason I was locked in to the view I grew up with. A lot of these folks purposefully went against the way they were raised to become something better, different, and unique - and led/allowed others to find their best selves in their own time. I know there isn't a lot of links - it really was mostly googling and finding .edu pdfs, etc. to look through, or Wikipedia. It was just really comforting at the time if that makes sense.
  8. Hi all, My "testimony" isn't so much about abuse or hatred or any real enmity, it's mostly a matter of waves of change over time. I am not an addict to drugs/alcohol, or suffered any abuse/wrong-doing. It can be said that I am an addict of philosophy, history, and religion. The struggle I've had is that I always want certainty and despise ambiguity. Part of that is wanting to find reason for belief in specifically literalistic/supernatural Christianity. I wasn't raised that way (the only of my parents that expressed supernatural inclinations was my mom, who vaguely wanted to see everyone she loves in heaven - as long as they were nice people [regardless of their beliefs/religion]). My childhood in church was between the ages of 4-6 at a Rhode Island Lutheran church, and my parents just wanted me to learn right from wrong, not much else. I'd struggle with the undefined lines of life, and I'd confuse historicity as evidence, and would explore alternative religions throughout my early life. The hardest thing I did to myself was finding videos or books to watch/read that would purportedly show well credentialed academics showing where stuff in the bible was, what happened, and general cultural background, and then the apologists take it and add just a slight spin on it to point out how it proved the bible as-is. The contradiction videos where experts try to deconstruct contradictions in biblical accounts to prove there is no contradiction were particularly addictive. The problem I made for myself was that I also limited myself to Christianity. If I thought the tomb of Abraham made the bible true, I was also disregarding evidence of the Buddha's life, evidence of Amaterasu, evidence of Rumi, Krishna, and others. I was confusing history with theology, and the two are not the same. I think the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey are great in this regard - Troy and Ithaca are real places and have a lot of archaeology and data behind them. The kings in the stories actually lived. The accounting of the wars and journeys home are likely reflective of some sort of actual history that took place - but the stories as-is are not valid as-it-happened tellings. They are great oral traditions for when you are sitting around a campfire with friends, drinking wine, and telling tales to each other. They are great stories to raise children to prize glory, honor, fighting, adventure, and courage. Good stories to reference in oratorical speeches to whip up opinion towards one policy or another. But an exposition on what actually happened in the Trojan War? Not so much. Just because it is historical, does not make all the truth claims about it accurate or precise. Until I figured this out recently, I'd keep reverting back to Christianity when a new "discovery" popped up on YouTube and seemed to show well-credentialed people backing it up. I also had to learn to research the people giving me information to see if their credentials were actually legitimate... Eventually, I came upon the concept of Ignosticism (essentially the idea that the word "God" - or any other unnaturalistic word is impossible to define in a way that can successfully capture all conceptions or definitions of God in a way that can be proved or unproved). That helped me move forward towards an Ignostic Theism, but I still would relapse into explicit Christianity because it was a great way of connecting to a sense of a higher power (in the form of Pentecostalism). Unfortunately I always had a struggle because the church message and the church in life were two very different things, and the theological and teleological conceptions were hard to swallow. Especially since my best friends where I'm from were all Muslim, Atheist, Hindu, or doubted creationism. The other problem I had was the emphasis on moral perfectionism within Pentecostalism, when I come from a Lutheran tradition that emphasizes the need for "small sins" in life to remain sane and capable of avoiding the "big" sins (i.e. the Saint/Sinner duality/ying-yang). Breaking with Christianity is incredibly difficult, and I'd like to think it's a matter of growing into a larger identity now (with an undetermined label as yet), with my experiences in forms and strains of Christianity helping me in understanding the human condition in new and better ways. My goal now is to understand it from as many religious angles as possible, but within the frame of Being and Existing. The greatest liberation for my sanity was Paul Tillich and Peter Rollins. While Tillich remained a Lutheran clergyman, and his own story is truly epic in its own right, I want to take his thought and his ideas (and also Nietzsche's) and apply it to all the religions of the world, and all the philosophies, in a very academician (in the ancient Roman style) way, which is to say - not in an apologetic way, but with a lens to identify what is useful, what falls flat, what is untenable in the modern world, what is believed, and the history and stories of the view which can help me grow. Nietzsche is helping me out in this regard with his acceptance of the Dionysian element in the human psyche (while Tillich acknowledges it and provides it a somewhat cyclical bent) that I find helpful - the goal being to bring out the best of Dionysus and Apollo. Not a Jedi, or a Sith, or a Gray Jedi - something else entirely. Not a Stoic, or an Epicurean, but perhaps more along the lines of Cicero - just trying to figure out the multiple ways to look at life, and how to accept what is, imagine what might be, and how to express the darker natures of mankind in a healthy and non-harmful way. Reading Abraham Lincoln's, Winston Churchill's, Ethan Allan's, Thomas Paine's, Hume's, and Spinoza's views on religion and George Washington's attitudes toward religion has been immensely helpful (especially Lincoln/Churchill) in remembering that I keep good company and have good examples to draw from for people to model my own life on. Edit: Forgot to note - where I've recently settled on as an identity of sorts is "Ignostic Agnostic Panpsychist Pantheist." The way I frame this for myself is as follows: Ultimate reality = Ignostic The idea that defining "the ground of being" is impossible You can't define 1/0 - something like that Pragmatic response to reality = Agnostic Due to the limited capability to understand the incomprehensible, being skeptical seems to be the natural way to approach reality Understand what is likely to be the way it is - i.e. collect evidence and remain open-minded Cultivate a skeptical mindset towards all absolutist positions any which way Idealized reality = Panpsychist The hope being that the fundamental reality is idealistic in some capacity (though not necessarily supernatural) Idea that creation out of chaos is an inevitable fact/reality of existence itself As an idealized reality, it is not reality - it is a hope upon which to focus identity/philosophical learning towards Pragmatic response to ideal reality = Pantheist The "blunt object" of the ideal - kind of like the platonic theory of forms - it is the chair for the idea of a chair Everything is inherent creation itself in some capacity (though not in a supernatural way) and in some way definable as containing elements of a "divine spark" With divine spark falling under the parameters of the ultimate reality (Ignosticism) and thus being impossible to define As a result, the "blunt object" uses a "blunt definition" that will not always work, and will not always be perfect However, it can be refined over time, expanded, contracted, and used in contemplation
  9. As a libertarian, I related to this video. Reminds me of the thought behind the non-aggression principle. Or Lao-Tzu's Daoist philosophy of the ideal ruler being one with a very light touch. Applying both to the individual and to society. Even as a thought process, it seems to make sense to me, i.e. decentralization. As long as there is a shared basic set of principles, complex systems can emerge from the "chaos" that benefit everyone, versus if it is imposed from above. I think the hard part is agreeing on a basic set of commonplaces (i.e. shared understandings, almost like the golden rule, ten commandments, etc.) that a society can agree to, and enforce with each other. The hard part is ensuring enforcement with the least possible force/coercion, and while maintaining the maximum amount of personal ties to the shared commonplace.
  10. I'd say worship can be (not is) defined as remembrance + connection + emotional (somber or exuberant). A form of emotional bonding to a perceptual past-state that involves a first, second, or third-person narrative structure that ties the self to that past perception. I.e. "ancestor worship" being more about remembering the dead departed (potentially turning into the more modern version of worship we are familiar with after succeeding generations build elaborate beliefs/rituals around it).
  11. Hi all, Wanted to get everyone's thoughts on charitable giving, ethics, etc. Basically the quandary I encounter is wanting to do good in the world (i.e. effective altruism to some degree). The problem is that it is hard to find good organizations to give to. The other problem is understanding the quantifiable impact these organizations have (fuzzy math is a real problem for most organizations). The other thought is that perhaps the most effective giving is interpersonal, i.e. giving to family and friends, or otherwise doing things within one's circle that do not involve institutions in any capacity. I wanted to get everyone else's thoughts, experiences, references, etc. on this question/issue to see if there are arguments that institutional giving is worthwhile, and that there is a way to have a truly quantifiable and measurable impact, or that giving interpersonally is more effective, transparent, and meaningful, etc.
  12. I think the biggest thing I'm trying to cultivate in myself is more imagination, and also more cynicism/pessimism. Also decisiveness. I also am very lazy, and trying to understand the limits of human willpower - essentially the opposite of self-help/confidence boosting books/lectures/etc. I don't buy the hype about "grit, hustling, increasing willpower, positive thinking, growth mindset, etc." Just trying to build a mind that appreciates my mortality, limitations, and the mortality and limitations of others, and to make the most of my go around in this life, and what I can do to make others have better lives in the best way possible (I have not solved this, and still thinking deeply on this).
  13. https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/10/religion-for-the-nonreligious.html Warning - long read linked. The TL;DR is that sentience is a continuum, and we as individuals should strive to cultivate higher sentience, or at least a more evolved experience of our own, and that this will result in a better outcome for everyone. I like the idea, and I bought his Truthism shirt, but I don't know it will catch on, the way I don't expect "Brights" to catch on (no offense to Truthists or Brightists). As for the historicity and reliability of the religious impulse in humanity, I'd argue that the data is not clear, and that there hasn't been enough study of religiosity of society. There was one metadata study done that showed a correlation between advanced religious concepts and population density over time, but it is very generalized, and already has many opposing analysis showing otherwise. There's a major problem of definition involved as well - how do we define true religiosity, how do we define spirituality, what role does ritual play in social identity, etc. I'm not qualified to really get into any of those, but I'd think that even though there are quite a few people who if pressed would say they are Christian and go to church, would only go to church for a funeral - and only believe in God when rent is due, and the paycheck is extra tight right now. Not that there's anything wrong with that - it seems like magic was an important part of ancient cultures and even ancient paganism was more contractual - stemming from the thought of trying to contract with or somehow control or shape external factors to improve everyone's lives/society. I'd argue that there were some key realities that shaped religiosity historically, and these variables have changed over time, and so the rationalization of religiosity has adjusted to an extent - however - it does not have the flexibility needed anymore for the conditions we are in. I'd argue that instead of religion going away, our definition will change, and the majority viewpoint will adjust to a point where religion is more about doing things to increase one's luck in life, or to at least psychologically improve oneself, or cope with the hardships of life. I also think that superstition will likely never go away, although the religious underpinnings will change. Instead of this being a new phenomenon, I think the key change will be definitional from a scholarly perspective. An example of a society where there are hints of general secularity/non-theistic thought would be ancient Scandinavian society. Looking at the Havamal (https://pitt.edu/~dash/havamal.html) the first 79 verses are not religious at all, and are typically dated to be the oldest part of the Havamal, with everything else being added on to it. As former Christians I'd think we are all familiar with Ecclesiastes (and the awkward ending it has). I'd propose that we will also have a more secular society at some point. Something more non-theistic and eclecticly luck-based spirituality, housed in broadly religious rituals (i.e. agnostic about God, doesn't go to church, does yoga, prays to/in nature, reads world myths, keeps a journal, has a weekly spiritual meetup or volunteer group, etc.). Again, nothing new - it seems to be a thing throughout history from my very limited knowledge. At the end of the day, I just don't think there will be a major revolution in religion the way some hope for, kind of like how everyone thought Deism would be a thing in the 1700s. https://www.epoch-magazine.com/post/unless-i-see-these-things-i-will-not-believe-atheism-in-medieval-europe <- another good read for non-religiousness in societies of the past. So I guess as far as morality goes, I'd argue that our existing paradigms are changing for the circumstances we find ourselves in. I think we will return to a digital version of trabalism/nomadism that humanity has had at numerous points in time, and that our definitions of in group and out group will change. I do not think our underlying societies will change very much at all, i.e. "nothing new under the sun..."
  14. I think part of the reason I left christianity is because the church didn't live up to the morals it seemed to preach. Some of the most memorable things my mom would say would be "well that part of the bible doesn't matter anymore" or "that's the bad part of the bible." She used to worry I was becoming too religious in high school, and she's afraid of evangelicals being cultists (she's old-school ELCA Lutheran religiously). My parents would've rather I become Jewish like my uncle versus more fundamentalist christianity, and my parents both made it clear I had to learn evolution even though the school didn't teach it. So going to more fundamentalist churches in Florida over time grated on what I grew up with, and I just couldn't take it anymore. Plus the whole quoting the same passages and using it differently. And learning how passages were altered for particular messages. In fact, I watched a video the other day going into the grammar of leviticus and how it condones homosexuality (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBx3EXg2ypk) - and then seeing how a christian is disfellowhipped at the old pentecostal church because they came out. If anything, I took the morality of the religion I was raised in seriously, and by taking it seriously it helped me leave it for the sake of personal intellectual/emotional honesty.
  15. I have a contrary perspective that I hope helps in some capacity. I'd say hobbies in general are good, but I'd also be honest and say I have very very few hobbies, and it's gone down with time - I work long hours and I'm just darn tired. Part of my prior christian mindset is that napping and not doing anything is sinful and bad, but I think that's also part of wider culture (USA/politics/religion/philosophy/etc.). If you're tired or don't want to do anything or just want to nap, or watch TV, I think moving past the concept of sinfulness of rest is good. Here's a short story that gives me peace, and I hope it does for you too! Hobbies are great, but rest is also good! https://www.sloww.co/tourist-fisherman/
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