Jump to content

What Do You Believe?


Recommended Posts

I'm not sure where to post this one. Time and again I get asked, "What do you believe?"

 

That is such a wide-open question that I don't even know where to begin to answer it. I am a strong believer in Abraham H. Maslow's self-actualization theory, and humanitarian principles in general. One Christian told me, "But Maslow did not leave an empty tomb."

 

That came from a person with college education, wife of a Baptist minister, family and marriage counselor, author of several books on self-esteem. One would think she could imagine beyond an empty tomb logic, esp. with a person she knows seriously doubts the very tenets of the Christian faith.

 

With my siblings I have to first explain what humanitarian principles are, and I can expect them to reject it out of hand because it contains the word human. These people are so scared of being proud that they see the very word "self-esteem" as a dirty word. Not to mention humanism or the likes.

 

The very foundation of my value system is being true to oneself because that is what makes good people. By being true to oneself I do NOT mean doing anything and everything that comes to mind or that might appeal when one feels angry and vengeful. It means that if I'm an introvert, then be a good introvert.

 

"Good" belongs to the field of ethics or morals or whatever. Morals are culturally defined. Yet all humans (with normal intellectual and emotional capacities) seem to know deep down what "good" means. The focus is on introvert. Religion, esp. church society, does not necessarily see introversion as being good because it does not contribute so much to church socials and fellowshipping. I have actually been labeled anti-social, etc. for not participating more in socials.

 

However, lots of people have expressed appreciation for my online participation. So I think there is such a thing as a good introvert. Introversion can contribute to church life as in visiting sick people one on one, or writing letters to let people know someone is thinking of them. Putting together the church newsletter, looking after the finances, etc.

 

That's what I mean by being true to oneself. Be what you are and make sure you're doing a good job of it. Quit trying to measure up to what others think you should be. Find your talents and use them toward something you value deeply. I don't know any better way to be human.

 

But how to explain this so it means anything to Christians who ask, "What do you believe?"

 

They will be sure to reply, "Oh I believe that, too. That's part of what it means to be Christian. But what do you really believe?"

 

How do others handle that question?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good post. As far as the question posed goes; I usually just say my beliefs are a personal issue and not open to public scrutiny. If they say that I must be ashamed of my beliefs (or lack of them), I usually just reply with "How small is your penis" or "How much do you weigh" or some other personal question I feel they might be offended by. Prying is rude, period. Honestly, I think people just want to know your beliefs in order to either stomp on them or persuade you to their beliefs. I have no interest in Christian beliefs whatsoever so I don't bother conversing with those who wish to discuss them.

 

I don't think you are anti-social, and those who think you are probably have no idea what being anti-social means. You may be reclusive, and there is nothing wrong with that. I find that many overtly social people are usually lacking in something, and I think you would agree Maslow psychology can be stuck in there somewhere. Those who do not feel the need to be the center of attention are probably leading a very fulfilled life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure where to post this one. Time and again I get asked, "What do you believe?"

 

That is such a wide-open question that I don't even know where to begin to answer it. I am a strong believer in Abraham H. Maslow's self-actualization theory, and humanitarian principles in general. One Christian told me, "But Maslow did not leave an empty tomb."

 

Hahaha, I hope your reply was "big fuckin deal!"

 

With my siblings I have to first explain what humanitarian principles are, and I can expect them to reject it out of hand because it contains the word human. These people are so scared of being proud that they see the very word "self-esteem" as a dirty word. Not to mention humanism or the likes.

 

While I disagree with some core values of humanism, I find it's at least 100x better than any religion.

 

"Good" belongs to the field of ethics or morals or whatever. Morals are culturally defined. Yet all humans (with normal intellectual and emotional capacities) seem to know deep down what "good" means. The focus is on introvert. Religion, esp. church society, does not necessarily see introversion as being good because it does not contribute so much to church socials and fellowshipping. I have actually been labeled anti-social, etc. for not participating more in socials.

 

*cringe* I am not going to get into a discussion on ethics with you on this thread.

 

That's what I mean by being true to oneself. Be what you are and make sure you're doing a good job of it. Quit trying to measure up to what others think you should be. Find your talents and use them toward something you value deeply. I don't know any better way to be human.

 

What if you're a murderer...should a murderer be a murderer and make sure he's doing a good job of it? Other people think murderers shouldn't be murderers...should they not try to measure up to what others think they should be?

 

Just curious as to how your belief system fits into that.

 

But how to explain this so it means anything to Christians who ask, "What do you believe?"

 

Say "I believe in myself".

 

How do others handle that question?

 

Ayn Rand answers that question very succinctly:

 

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But how to explain this so it means anything to Christians who ask, "What do you believe?"

 

They will be sure to reply, "Oh I believe that, too. That's part of what it means to be Christian. But what do you really believe?"

 

How do others handle that question?

 

I believe what I am ignorant of, because ignorance alone is the necessity of belief. If I do not believe something, it is because I am no longer ignorant of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But how to explain this so it means anything to Christians who ask, "What do you believe?"

I answer very simply, "I believe in sincerity. 'This above all; to thine own self be true'. If there is a god, I honor him by my not worshiping him. If I worship him with doubt, I am insincere and dishonor both him and myself." Then follow this up by asking what they believe in, as you smile agreeably towards them. :grin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember the important rule, people love to talk about themselves. When people ask me personal questions, depending on who it is, I ask them the question right back, feign interest, not say anything, nod once in while, and they think we've had a great converstaion when they've done all the talking. I reserve my true self for the select few that I trust. I don't care if people think I agree with them just because I let them ramble on without disagreeing with them. I know what I know and that's good enough for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It all depends on who precisely asks the question, since some people like to pry into what's really not their business. But if it's someone I respect, or it's clearly an attempt at normal conversation as opposed to finding out what I believe so they can evangelize me, then I will explain. It's never a pat answer, as I can claim belief in several religions and philosophies, at least in part, and rarely along typical lines, so it's not something I bother talking about if I know it will fall on disrespectful ears.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What if you're a murderer...should a murderer be a murderer and make sure he's doing a good job of it? Other people think murderers shouldn't be murderers...should they not try to measure up to what others think they should be?

 

Just curious as to how your belief system fits into that.

 

Ha, that's almost too easy. A murderer should be a good murderer and not go at it half-assed. If he did, he would just be an attempter at murdering. After all, just like she said, it is his own opinion that matters on how well he does when it comes to valuing your own worth. She is not speaking of morally right and wrong. She was speaking internally, not externally. You are attempting to put an outsiders values on an internal feeling, sorry bro, just doesn't work that way. Self worth is how you feel about yourself, allowing others to influence your self worth only makes it a public worth and that negates the definition. I'd have to say you are putting up a straw man, what you said has little to do with her point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like some above me have said, it really depends on who is asking me the question.

 

If it's someone I know or trust, I will answer honestly and truthfully that I am happy not believing in the existence of gods. If it's someone I really don't know or trust, I'll just try to change the subject and do the smile and nod bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd have to say you are putting up a straw man, what you said has little to do with her point.

 

 

Since I never made an argument and just asked questions, I'm curious as to how I committed any logical fallacies.

 

It has everything to do with her point, since I'm the one asking her the question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd have to say you are putting up a straw man, what you said has little to do with her point.

 

 

Since I never made an argument and just asked questions, I'm curious as to how I committed any logical fallacies.

 

It has everything to do with her point, since I'm the one asking her the question.

 

 

 

Sir, your logical fallacy is in not carefully reading what I wrote. Go back and carefully read the OP again--read and ponder every single word and sentence. I spent a lot of time on it. I knew someone would come up with something absurd like murder. I wrote it so anyone who reads carefully will know not to raise such an absurd idea. JGJ is correct. He said:

 

Self worth is how you feel about yourself

 

To the best of my knowledge, based on what I've read and the people I've talked with, murderers do not feel good with themselves. They do not feel the deep inner peace I am talking about and describing. Nor do liars, robbers, and people who do any of the other vices listed in holy books and legal codes. Okay, I confess that there is some crap in holy books and legal codes but I think you know what I mean. Now go back and reread the opening post. If you still don't understand, ask again. But don't raise something as absurd as you did this time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly, I think people just want to know your beliefs in order to either stomp on them or persuade you to their beliefs.

 

That's what proved to be the case and I wanted to know how to prevent it from happening again. I don't like when pigs and dogs mess up and rip apart my treasures. However, I believe in sharing with respectful people. I would like to think my sisters are respectful people, but they have proven themselves otherwise. Well, I have a lot of sisters. I'm talking about these two specifically. But I don't trust the others, either.

 

I have no interest in Christian beliefs whatsoever so I don't bother conversing with those who wish to discuss them.

 

I do have an interest in what people believe and why. I am especially interested in the why. The crazy part is that they can't even answer the why beyond "the Bible says so." Mighty shallow faith that is in my opinion. I pointed out that Jesus commanded them to know what they believe so they can talk about it. No response to that.

 

Those who do not feel the need to be the center of attention are probably leading a very fulfilled life.

 

Hey, thanks :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe in life, and making it as good as possible for all sentient beings, in particular humans. Because, who knows?, it may be the only life we have. Essentially, I believe in Love. From that I derive all my specific beliefs about humanitarianism, environmentalism, science, democracy, charity, equality, freedom, beauty, truth, art, relationships, society etc etc. But, in the end, it's just about Love.

 

That, to me, is what my humanist outlook is all about. It can be quite hard to explain to people who are expecting something supernatural and have a particular mindset because of that (especially when you're both stoned, as I discovered when trying to explain humanism to my mate the other week..."It's...err...about humans being the most important thing...and...people...and science and...stuff" :HaHa: )

 

I must admit I'm a terribly opinionated person as well as being extremely open. Generally, I would not hesitate to tell anyone at all that was interested about my beliefs. But that's just me. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But how to explain this so it means anything to Christians who ask, "What do you believe?"

 

Unless I'm in the mood for an argument, I tell people it's none of their business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But how to explain this so it means anything to Christians who ask, "What do you believe?"

 

Unless I'm in the mood for an argument, I tell people it's none of their business.

 

 

Whoa! That could raise an argument in and of itself. Accusations, all kinds of nasty stuff. I can just hear some people telling me about the ignobility of not knowing what I believed if I used that aproach. Of course, that they can't give much better answers for themselves is quite another stories and should never be remembered at such times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sir, your logical fallacy is in not carefully reading what I wrote. Go back and carefully read the OP again--read and ponder every single word and sentence. I spent a lot of time on it. I knew someone would come up with something absurd like murder. I wrote it so anyone who reads carefully will know not to raise such an absurd idea. JGJ is correct. He said:

 

You can't commit a logical fallacy by asking a question. I have made no attempts to dismantle your belief nor have I submitted any criticism.

 

Apparently it's absurd to ask questions and expect straightforward answers without any hassle. Instead my question is called absurd.

 

To the best of my knowledge, based on what I've read and the people I've talked with, murderers do not feel good with themselves. They do not feel the deep inner peace I am talking about and describing. Nor do liars, robbers, and people who do any of the other vices listed in holy books and legal codes. Okay, I confess that there is some crap in holy books and legal codes but I think you know what I mean. Now go back and reread the opening post. If you still don't understand, ask again. But don't raise something as absurd as you did this time.

 

Perhaps I wont raise anything at all given the tone of your response and how you treat someone asking you a question.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Asimov, I apologize for calling your question absurd. I should have simply told you to read the post again because your questions are addressed in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But how to explain this so it means anything to Christians who ask, "What do you believe?"

 

Unless I'm in the mood for an argument, I tell people it's none of their business.

 

 

Whoa! That could raise an argument in and of itself. Accusations, all kinds of nasty stuff. I can just hear some people telling me about the ignobility of not knowing what I believed if I used that aproach. Of course, that they can't give much better answers for themselves is quite another stories and should never be remembered at such times.

 

I have no difficulty ending an unwanted conversation. Do you really care what they think? Why allow yourself to be drawn into an unwanted debate?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Asimov, I apologize for calling your question absurd. I should have simply told you to read the post again because your questions are addressed in it.

 

If I had felt that my questions were answered in it I wouldn't have asked them. I have read the post, a number of times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Asimov, I apologize for calling your question absurd. I should have simply told you to read the post again because your questions are addressed in it.

 

If I had felt that my questions were answered in it I wouldn't have asked them. I have read the post, a number of times.

 

If you really want to know my answer you will have to clarify why you don't accept the answers given.

 

Actually, your question is way off-topic. The topic of this thread is: What do you believe?

 

Not: How do you defend your beliefs.

 

You can start a new thread if you want to continue this topic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Asimov, I apologize for calling your question absurd. I should have simply told you to read the post again because your questions are addressed in it.

 

If I had felt that my questions were answered in it I wouldn't have asked them. I have read the post, a number of times.

 

If you really want to know my answer you will have to clarify why you don't accept the answers given.

 

Actually, your question is way off-topic. The topic of this thread is: What do you believe?

 

Not: How do you defend your beliefs.

 

You can start a new thread if you want to continue this topic.

 

I admit I did go off on a tangent, I did answer the question though:

 

"My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sir, your logical fallacy is in not carefully reading what I wrote. Go back and carefully read the OP again--read and ponder every single word and sentence. I spent a lot of time on it. I knew someone would come up with something absurd like murder. I wrote it so anyone who reads carefully will know not to raise such an absurd idea. JGJ is correct. He said:

 

You can't commit a logical fallacy by asking a question. I have made no attempts to dismantle your belief nor have I submitted any criticism.

 

Apparently it's absurd to ask questions and expect straightforward answers without any hassle. Instead my question is called absurd.

 

To the best of my knowledge, based on what I've read and the people I've talked with, murderers do not feel good with themselves. They do not feel the deep inner peace I am talking about and describing. Nor do liars, robbers, and people who do any of the other vices listed in holy books and legal codes. Okay, I confess that there is some crap in holy books and legal codes but I think you know what I mean. Now go back and reread the opening post. If you still don't understand, ask again. But don't raise something as absurd as you did this time.

 

Perhaps I wont raise anything at all given the tone of your response and how you treat someone asking you a question.

 

You did raise a question, true, but within that question you made a statement by inference which had nothing to do with what you were replying too..

 

Your statement was "Other people think murderers shouldn't be murderers...should they not try to measure up to what others think they should be?"

 

This goes outside the topic of what you were replying to in the attempt to make a point through an irrelevant (less to the point of the original topic of self worth) philosophical question of right and wrong, hence a straw man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry I got wrapped up with off-topic issues.

 

But how to explain this so it means anything to Christians who ask, "What do you believe?"

I answer very simply, "I believe in sincerity. 'This above all; to thine own self be true'. If there is a god, I honor him by my not worshiping him. If I worship him with doubt, I am insincere and dishonor both him and myself." Then follow this up by asking what they believe in, as you smile agreeably towards them. :grin:

 

 

Antlerman, thank you for this suggestion. I'm not sure I can pull it off but I like the idea.

 

Taphophilia said:

 

Remember the important rule, people love to talk about themselves. When people ask me personal questions, depending on who it is, I ask them the question right back, feign interest, not say anything, nod once in while, and they think we've had a great converstaion when they've done all the talking. I reserve my true self for the select few that I trust. I don't care if people think I agree with them just because I let them ramble on without disagreeing with them. I know what I know and that's good enough for me.

 

I will try to remember this "rule." I will have to rewire my brain but it may be worth the effort. Re the bolded black part, I've been worried about the ethics of that approach. It seems less than honest but on the other hand, what are the ethics of sacrificing myself to a bully. I am thinking perhaps you are right in the blue part. It does not hurt anyone and it protects oneself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could write out a long, esoteric reply in the spirit of New Age goodness, or leave some answer intended to give you deep thought (such as, "Say simply, 'I believe' or 'I do not believe'" - perhaps quite true and clever actually, depending), but as I am very, very tired right now, I'll just say, go with the old "I believe I'll have myself a drink."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your statement was "Other people think murderers shouldn't be murderers...should they not try to measure up to what others think they should be?"

 

This goes outside the topic of what you were replying to in the attempt to make a point through an irrelevant (less to the point of the original topic of self worth) philosophical question of right and wrong, hence a straw man.

 

I wasn't trying attempting to make a point into something about right and wrong, so I disagree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.