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Having A Paradigm Shift


godlessgrrl
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I think... um, I think... umm....

 

I think I'm on the way to becoming an atheist.

 

There, I said it.

 

I got in a smackdown on CF today. (I smacked down an arrogant fundy, then was smacked down by an even more arrogant fundy.) Later tonight I was reading some more of Riane Eisler's "The Chalice and the Blade" and thinking about mythology, religion, and the whole works. And it just sort of dawned on me that people have been following one kind of religion or another since at least the Paleolithic, and if it wasn't the violent male gods so popular for the past 5000 years, it was the sexy, life-giving mother goddesses of the 50,000 years before that...

 

But... the gods - they aren't real.

 

The gods, the myths, the stories, the tales, the histories, the religions, everything - it's all a reflection of humanity.

 

The gods, they always do things that people do. The stories are always about situations people get into - marriage, birth, death, family issues, the lot. The myths are the same the whole world around. It doesn't mean at all that mythology is any less colorful or vital or rich or whatever - but it's not about the gods. It's about people.

 

It's all about people at varying levels of technological development and with varying levels of scientific practice trying to figure out why their world is the way it is. I wouldn't call a Stone Age guy looking at the growth of spring plants and attributing it to a Mother Goddess stupid, he was just working with a different knowledge base than we do now. I wouldn't even say that the people who thought the sun stood still in the sky were dumb either, maybe they saw some weird freak of nature and didn't know how else to explain it. But it's still all about trying to figure out the world.

 

I can seriously dig and value that process of trying to figure out the world. I don't think that's ever really stopped. I think that's what makes us a bit apart from other animals, what makes us human.

 

Why does stuff like this seem to take so damn long to sink in with me? :scratch:

 

I suddenly feel both like the most powerful being in the universe, as well as the smallest and most insignificant being in the universe.

 

Boy, 2006 is already shaping up to be a busy year...

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Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa whoa... okay, here's another Freaky 4:00 AM Thought (even though it's still only 3:30):

 

If all these years, human beings have been creating mythologies and gods that are just reflections of humanity... then... then... maybe all this time we've just been worshipping... ourselves?

 

Whoa. :twitch:

 

I really shouldn't stay up this late. :HaHa:

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Gwen, I have to say congratulations!

 

:clap::clap: :clap: :clap:

 

Religion and all other mythology are interesting, but hardly believeable. Not that I know too much about every/any religion, I just kind figured that it's a coincidence that most "gods" take the shape of humans, and are as emotionally fragile as humans with their love/vengence/hate etc.

 

It's all interesting in Anthropology and art, but vacant in practice.

 

Oh by the way, I don't find it shocking that we worship ourselves - mental masturbation is necessarry sometimes. Too bad they took it as far as they did.

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If all these years, human beings have been creating mythologies and gods that are just reflections of humanity... then... then... maybe all this time we've just been worshipping... ourselves?

I think it's true that we've created god(s) in our own image. Even the gods who are supposedly invisible or who have animal forms are still attributed with human thoughts and desires and emotions.

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If all these years, human beings have been creating mythologies and gods that are just reflections of humanity... then... then... maybe all this time we've just been worshipping... ourselves?

 

Yup. And all those great things that the gods did were really great things humans did. And all the people who use belief in a god to get over addictions or depression are really getting over these things on their own power. Humans are really great, its a shame we feel a need to hand over our greatness to our own delusions.

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All this time we've maybe been worshipping our super-magnificent-powerful capriciously benevolent or vengeful selves concocted with magical thinking at the age of five. :shrug:

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Attagirl, gwenmead. You're getting there.

Looks like you do some pretty good thinking at four in the morning.

 

I had a sig for awhile that said "I'll worship any gods who aren't man-made. (none) "

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Attagirl, gwenmead. You're getting there.

Looks like you do some pretty good thinking at four in the morning.

 

I had a sig for awhile that said "I'll worship any gods who aren't man-made. (none) "

 

Heh, thanks Mythra, and thanks to all who've responded so far.

 

I worked out the altercations I had with the aforementioned fundies, fwiw. But y'know, I don't think I can go back. (Jeez, not like making civil peace with a fundy would make me any less of an atheist, or whatever the hell is happening...) In the morning I thought about lighting a candle on one of the house shrines, and I just couldn't. It was like I just sort of stopped and was stuck thinking, "What exactly is this here for? What am I honoring? What does this really mean?"

 

Heh, yeah, I guess I do my best thinking at night... maybe I was a night watchman in a past life, who knows.

 

Whew. 2006 is gonna be a wild ride, I can already tell... :woohoo:

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It's sort of like reading that passage in the OT where

god shows his backside to one of the prophets (can't

remember which one off the top of my head), and you

find yourselff asking, Why would god need a

backside? For that matter, why should any deity

resemble human beings in the slightest?

 

Congrats on your newfound insight! :woohoo:

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Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa whoa... okay, here's another Freaky 4:00 AM Thought (even though it's still only 3:30):

 

If all these years, human beings have been creating mythologies and gods that are just reflections of humanity... then... then... maybe all this time we've just been worshipping... ourselves?

 

Whoa. :twitch:

 

I really shouldn't stay up this late. :HaHa:

I feel humans used human qualities, human language, and human understandings to communicate notions about god(s) in the only way possible; through human language they gave god(s) human qualities in order to achieve human understanding. What other way would there be to describe an unknown? It doesn't prove there is no god or prove there is. It only proves that people are trying to describe the unknown with known things in order to achieve an understanding that would transcend human limitations.

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If all these years, human beings have been creating mythologies and gods that are just reflections of humanity...

"I believe that gods exists to the extent that people believe in them. But that doesn't make God any less "real". Indeed, it makes God all the more powerful. So, yes, I believe in, and, maybe, to some extent fear, the God in your head, and all the gods in the heads of believers. They are real, omnipresent, and something approaching omnipotent." - Vince Sarich

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I feel humans used human qualities, human language, and human understandings to communicate notions about god(s) in the only way possible; through human language they gave god(s) human qualities in order to achieve human understanding. What other way would there be to describe an unknown? It doesn't prove there is no god or prove there is. It only proves that people are trying to describe the unknown with known things in order to achieve an understanding that would transcend human limitations.

 

NotBlinded.... I like the way you think ;)

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If all these years, human beings have been creating mythologies and gods that are just reflections of humanity... then... then... maybe all this time we've just been worshipping... ourselves?

 

Exactly. Religion in general is the ultimate self-insert (aka Mary Sue for those familiar with the term). In a badly written story, an author writes in the perfect wish-fulfillment main character. The Mary Sue (or Marty Stu for the male version) is everything the author secretly wants to be, yet the author usually doesn't realize it.

 

http://www.merrycoz.org/papers/MARYSUE.HTM

 

Anyway, I think religion is a similar concept, but the wish-fulfillment character is extended to the point where it becomes a deity, where its creator literally thinks it is able to fulfill the creator's or believer's wishes.

 

Want god to vanquish all your enemies and torture them forever? Okay.

 

Want god to answer all pf your prayers (wishes)? Okay, but we'll say that he only says yes to some of them because we really can't explain why not all of them are answered.

 

Want god to be female? Okay.

 

Want god to be the peaceful, lovey dovey, hippie type where hell doesn't exist and everyone gets to go to heaven, no matter what? Okay.

 

And so on. God is really the ultimate Mary Sue.

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I suppose I can't help but notice how much like any given believer god seems to be, and how much god seems to believe the same things any given believer does.

 

The multiple denominations of Xianity make more sense to me now, in this context. Everybody thinks Jesus looks like them.

 

It's just sort of interesting how paranoid homophobes have a god that hates gay people, and easygoing people have a forgiving image of god, and well... basically what Amethyst said, about the Mary Sue thing.

 

Hmmmmmm...... <insert sound of mental hamster wheel rotating here>

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It's sort of like reading that passage in the OT where

god shows his backside to one of the prophets (can't

remember which one off the top of my head), and you

find yourselff asking, Why would god need a

backside?

 

I believe it was Moses that saw the Holy Rump.

 

As for why would god need a backside; I suppose it's for all us puny humans to kiss. I have a different plan in mind for the divine ass, involving my cleated foot.

 

If all these years, human beings have been creating mythologies and gods that are just reflections of humanity... then... then... maybe all this time we've just been worshipping... ourselves?

 

Exactly. Religion in general is the ultimate self-insert (aka Mary Sue for those familiar with the term). In a badly written story, an author writes in the perfect wish-fulfillment main character. The Mary Sue (or Marty Stu for the male version) is everything the author secretly wants to be, yet the author usually doesn't realize it.

 

http://www.merrycoz.org/papers/MARYSUE.HTM

 

Anyway, I think religion is a similar concept, but the wish-fulfillment character is extended to the point where it becomes a deity, where its creator literally thinks it is able to fulfill the creator's or believer's wishes.

 

Want god to vanquish all your enemies and torture them forever? Okay.

 

Want god to answer all pf your prayers (wishes)? Okay, but we'll say that he only says yes to some of them because we really can't explain why not all of them are answered.

 

Want god to be female? Okay.

 

Want god to be the peaceful, lovey dovey, hippie type where hell doesn't exist and everyone gets to go to heaven, no matter what? Okay.

 

And so on. God is really the ultimate Mary Sue.

 

The exact description of God in our image. Well, now that we have that figured out, who wants to volunteer to share the word with your local christian cult? (This info should go over with a resounding thud among them!)

 

Also, the whole concept of Mary Sue is why much of Christian fiction sucks.

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