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God or no god in the mind of the person with Bipolar

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Whether or not there is a god and what that god might consist of is irrelevant. What really matters is the impact that you have in the world around you; however big or small that may be.

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I would've ended up atheist anyway; shitty life experiences just helped me to accept it at a younger age. My parents and their friends constantly tried to brainwash me, but I decided once and for all it was bullshit around the age of 12. Had I had a "perfect" life? I suspect I wouldn't have decided for sure until later in my teens/early 20s.

I ask questions. "True" ™ religion hates that. Happy childhood or not, I wouldn't have just swallowed what amounts to "because I said so" as an explanation for the whole of existience, experience, and reality. Which, as the child of fundamentalists, made an already hard life even harder for me. My concern for the truth trumped any desire I had for warm fuzzy jesus-loves-me feelings. I cared about what reality actually entailed more than I cared about pleasing stupid people with stupid expectations.

I'm okay with a decent amount of Budhism, and that Jesus dude had some good notions too. Some crazy ones, but some good ones too. Christians would do well to actually pay attention to wtf the guy said in the book they regard as holy. coughcough'neo'conservativescoughcough

Lest anyone is confused, I'd like to clarify-- a) I have no problem with people who keep to themselves unless asked a question about it and b) I don't hate religious people. I only hate non-demure religion and especially those who use it as a tool to oppress and use people who either lack the intelligence to know any better or lack any means to get by without getting tangled up in the church/mosque/synagogue, etc. I'm not going to hate someone just because they believe. Good people are allowed to have dumb beliefs; we all do in some form.

EDIT: Just read through Angelic_Cacophony's post and I must say, I agree with pretty much everything there. History agrees as well.

Edited by Anodyne Oblivion

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I don't believe in god.

I wasn't raised by religious people, so it never really entered my mind at are young age. The only religious people I have a problem with are the hateful ones. But really, I could remove religious from that sentence and it would still be true. I'm a biology student so the whole evolution thing makes sense to me anyway.

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It is impressive how often evolution is confirmed, in a thousand different ways, over and over again, isn't it?

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Do you guys care to respond to the rest of what I wrote?

Happy to:

(n.b. I agree with Olga's comments on your tone but we can put that to one side)

"I have however looked at arguments openly from both sides. After doing so I am convinced god is real."

After many years as a Christian I came to the opposite conclusion.

In good part that was because of study in the bible.

It turned out not to be what I had, literally, been led to believe.

Given that becoming an atheist cost me most of my friends and social life, and meant admitting I'd spent many years with a fundamentally flawed world view, and that if I was wrong, according to my previously held viewpoint I'd be heading for eternal damnation, I hardly made the change lightly.

"If atheists approached science the same way they approached theism then science would not exist for its foundation is based on theories, and probabilities not 100% indisputable evidence. You couldn't possibly function as a human being if you needed 100% certainty on every decision you make.",

Err, no. I've spent some time studying epistemology and I know my science and my theology in this area.

I approach the two on pretty much the same basis.

Very few things are 100% certain. But the area of fuzzy logic, probability and provisional certainty is a profitable one for thought.

"If you don't know what the evidence is for god then you haven't looked into the subject at all or enough. "

I know, and the opposite.

I differ from St Paul on his argument in Romans 1.

(for which he gives a lovely rant on the character of people such as I.)

I think there is a lot of mileage just in the contemplation of the surface of the moon, as evidence against a *benevolent* deity.

I'm aware of the Christian doctrine of "the fall" as part of the answer to eviland suffering in the world

It is viable, internally consistent, but terribly convenient: if it's good it's the work of God, if bad, the fault of sinful mankind.

Manifestly fitting the observed world, seen from the inside, but only a self-working trick, seen from the outside.

"and your static mindset."

"When the facts change i change my mind. What do you do, Sir?

I was once an active Christian believer. I am no longer such, for what appear to me to be sound and sufficient reasons.

If new evidence arises, or I am shown where my thinking has been mistaking I will reconsider, under the same process that led to my atheism.

On the original question: the existence of mental illness, even my own, is not a deciding factor in my views on the existence of God, the Christian one or otherwise.

Chris.

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If I can wade in, and not knowing really which side of the argument I fall on, except perhaps to quote Le Carre's summation/justification from "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", and I paraphrase, '....as much a matter of aesthetics as anything else'.

We are all on journeys, and some will make the rational decision to move towards atheism, others perhaps rationally towards agnosticism, or from those rationally to one of the forms of theism or vice versa. My faith experience was a move from an inherited roman catholicism, to a rebellious atheism, and then to an extreme reformed protestantism. Now, more as a result of my MI perhaps, and not being able to sift through my own history and properly contextualise much of that faith experience (manic religiosity, depressed spiritual melancholy), I am left with the rational embers of that theology. I think in that perhaps Emettman had a profound observation "internally self-consistent". From what I understand of your meaning, this is an internal consistency that flows from an a priori set of assumptions, in this case about God and the nature of the universe. I think we can all agree that to a large degree those initial assumptions are the determinant of the direction we proceed in this question.

Certainly I have wrestled in both depression and in mania, with belief and with unbelief, but in my less - for want of a better word - 'impinged' moments, there are several questions (some scientific, some theological) and unique features about the Bible (and specifically the Christ story) that remain with me, regardless of the residual state I have been left in by the most recent MI episode. As time goes on, and I have accepted that that wrestling is both a feature of my illness as it presents itself, and that also the answer to my questioning will probably not be found, at least not in this life, I become more comfortable with where I am positioned, and with the beliefs I do hold. Allowing the wrestling to exist, but not being defined by it, also gives an openness, I can be more comfortable with other's beliefs, and their spiritual journeys and experiences. Often we are asking the exact same question, expressing the exact same doubt, the difference perhaps that we fall on a different side of the fence with regard to the answer we find acceptable in the present moment.

Shalom.

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