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The Benefits of the Simple Faith - A Spirituality Discussion

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  • The Benefits of the Simple Faith - A Spirituality Discussion

    Our society has developed a love of complexity and a need for psychotic levels of analysis when figuring out the mysteries of the world. We also want our conclusions empirical with no unanswered questions. Through this we often tout outselves on an intellectual high ground with a tendency to look down on those whose spirituality is simple, who can't provide a cross indexed list of why they believe what they believe with experiments and research data on every page.

    But I wonder how much good it actually does us.

    I admit I'm one of the worst offenders. With a Christian faith that was lost at first but won back through analysis and is tested routinely in the theatre of scientific debate my spirituality has lots of nuts and bolts of research and experimentation. And I love to debate with all people, even challenging those of my own faith on issues I have questions over. I tell myself I want the truth, not just some dogmatic feel good version. And I do.

    But I also lose a lot of sleep, have a great deal of spiritual stress, and am often ill at ease with the world. That is the price of any inquisitive mind. The science behind it is easy enough to understand. When your desire to understand is your motive then you gain satisfaction from learning and frustration from ignorance. And since there will always be more that you don't know and never could know that there is that you can understand, you are more likely to be frustrated in your efforts.

    I found myself falling into the trap of thinking critically of the simple faith, but the more I examine it, the more I see how funtionable it is. Two shining examples of a simple faith I can see are in my Compassion sponsor kids, and in the nearby Amish community.

    I sponsor a young fellow in India. Despite living in poverty he's one of the happiest kids I know Despite being almost 14 and in what is supposed to be the height of adolescent angst, he is cheerful, friendly, and hard working. And by no means is he "unsophisticated" as those of a simple faith are often accused of being. He's very intelligent and well educated, loves history and learning, and has a vocabulary almost bigger than mine. But he has that simple faith, the childlike trust that God is there, in control, and it all works out in the end. I feel a heavy irony that he looks to me as a teacher in that regard.

    And it isn't just him. The whole of the Christian community he lives in is the same way.

    Same goes for the Amish, cheerful, pleasant, polite. Never anxious, never bitter, they live their simple faith and they are happy. And although they may lack the heavy education that we in the electrical world posess, they are still people of a keen intelligence.

    But the happiness is the thing I noticed most of all. That's the thing that caught my eye. Because although I love to learn and feel the need to crack every mystery I can with deduction and research, and now having bitten from the fruit of the tree of knowledge will always keep coming back for more, I never gained any deep seated fulfillment from it. I can understand why Solomon wrote Proverbs to praise wisdom and then, later in life, wrote Lamentations which can best be summed up in the phrase "Life sucks and then you die".

    And I've found the science behind it. Again it has to do with motive. These people of a simple faith enjoy learning and aquiring wisdom, but unlocking every single answer to every single question isn't their obsession in life. They are content that there are things beyond their understanding. Their primary motive is to worship God and love their families - by which they mean everyone they come into contact with. That is what they gain fulfillment from. And since it is a goal easily accomplished, much more easily so than figuring out whether the chicken or the egg came first, they are more often fulfilled and more often happy while we scratch at the dust for answers we can't get and walk away frustrated.

    Just a thought for the day.
    Last edited by Pirateship1982; 24 May 10, 13:26.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    Okay, you are all right with your Faith. Good for you.

    Now explain to me why people wish to tear down your beliefs and foundations.

    The fact that they are atheists is their choice, but the fact that you are not really upsests them. Why?
    "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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    • #3
      Karma, you don't need to believe in anything else if you believe in karma.

      I can't explain karma in scientific terms (and I don't ever expect to be able to do so).

      I am a firm believer in a lot of science, science that allows me to sit here and state there is no God and mean it absolutely. But all I am doing, is saying the Bible (any flavour of the thing) is a worthless waste of paper.

      I'm willing the throw the Torah and the Koran and any other old archaic book on the heap of that statement too.

      And I have a book that proves a lot of science and history books belong in the fireplace where they would be more useful as well. Try reading The Encyclopedia of the Britannica sometime and remain proud of some of the utter idiocy that we have believed to be knowledge from the past.
      A loooooong read that can be very depressing when you consider all the stupid crap that can't be blamed on religion.

      But through it all, karma remains as impossible to beat, and as real as it has ever been for me.

      Do enough good deeds, just for the simple sake of being a nice guy, with no justifications based on imaginary people pointing a gun to your head and demanding you do it or you'll suffer, and see what happens.

      I can NOT explain why my life has so much positive good in it.
      But I DO try damned hard to do my very best, every day, to make other's days a little better.
      And it's not the specific action, or the magnitude of the offering, it's how much did you WANT to do what you did.
      Because I beleive that karma is all based on intent, and nothing else.

      Thus, no matter how much you donate to charity, it is likely that no amount will be enough, if YOU didn't really have to explend any REAL effort on your part in the giving.
      A rich man actually WORKING on a weekend at a soup kitchen, is giving more than X dollars he won't miss from a bank account.

      Karma is not something you can bullshyt either. Karma knows all and sees all. You can't hide from karma. If what you did is wrong, and you KNEW it was wrong, you can't escape the fact you knew it. And karma will know too.

      With karma, you need no rules, no laws, no teachings, because you only need to do your actual real best, and karma will be happy. You don't need to be told what you can and can't do, you should already be aware of it. Only people that are really idiots won't know. And you can't blame the stupid for stupidity.
      Life is change. Built models for decades.
      Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
      I didn't for a long time either.

      Comment


      • #4
        ..really!?

        (HERE'S A SCARY THOUGHT)



        EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED THUS FAR IS WRONG!!!

        ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
        IN MARE IN COELO

        Comment


        • #5
          why not?

          Originally posted by les Brains View Post
          And you can't blame the stupid for stupidity.
          Sure you can... they just won't get it....
          ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
          IN MARE IN COELO

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jose50 View Post
            (HERE'S A SCARY THOUGHT)



            EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED THUS FAR IS WRONG!!!

            I suppose you having just learned that lesson are thus asserting that I am in fact right if you are indeed wrong?
            Life is change. Built models for decades.
            Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
            I didn't for a long time either.

            Comment


            • #7
              ...abso-friggin'-lutely!!!
              ARRRR! International Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19th
              IN MARE IN COELO

              Comment


              • #8
                Whoops! Typo note, I meant to say Solomon went on to write Ecclesiastes. My bad. I thought of the opening phrase "Meaningless" and thought lament.
                A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by trailboss49 View Post
                  Okay, you are all right with your Faith. Good for you.

                  Now explain to me why people wish to tear down your beliefs and foundations.

                  The fact that they are atheists is their choice, but the fact that you are not really upsests them. Why?
                  I have two theories, both of which give me the chance to play psychologist.

                  The first is passive aggressive God anger or diatribe by proxy. Most secularists say they hate all faiths but you don't hear extended diatribes over Sikhism, Taosim, or Zoroastrianism. It's always Christianity - sometimes Islam - but usally Christianity, and never anything else. My diagnosis is that they are angry at God, specifically the Christian God. But you can't rage at a God you profess to believe does not exist. Even if they secretly think he does exist and are just pissed off at him, what can they do? If you spit at the sky you get nothing but a wet forehead. So they go after his earthly subjects. They can attack us, both verbally and physically, and we claim to be his servants and children anyway, so naturally so we become the proxy targets for a beef that is actually between them and the almighty.

                  The second is subconcious fear. There is a saying among ministers that the Good News is only good to the saved. If you are not saved the news is terrible, becuase it means you are in hot water. If there is even the slightest shred of possibility that we are right that puts them in a very dangerous condition. That makes our very existence a threat to their well being and they know it - conciously or subconciously, and to quell this fear they have to mock, and minimalize the opposition - and convert or kill, depending on the country, said religion into nonexistance because as long as it lives it is a reminder that they could be wrong and in dire straits as a result.
                  A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jose50 View Post
                    (HERE'S A SCARY THOUGHT)



                    EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED THUS FAR IS WRONG!!!

                    So if I just learned that by you teaching it to me...isn't that now wrong also, and thus everything before I learned that is now right.
                    Later - Tater
                    "Why I have a greater affinity to Israel than to the Muslim world after 9/11: Watching a death-match fight on Animal Planet once, I found myself instinctively rooting for the mammal over the reptile."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pirateship1982 View Post
                      I have two theories, both of which give me the chance to play psychologist.

                      The first is passive aggressive God anger or diatribe by proxy. Most secularists say they hate all faiths but you don't hear extended diatribes over Sikhism, Taosim, or Zoroastrianism. It's always Christianity - sometimes Islam - but usally Christianity, and never anything else. My diagnosis is that they are angry at God, specifically the Christian God. But you can't rage at a God you profess to believe does not exist. Even if they secretly think he does exist and are just pissed off at him, what can they do? If you spit at the sky you get nothing but a wet forehead. So they go after his earthly subjects. They can attack us, both verbally and physically, and we claim to be his servants and children anyway, so naturally so we become the proxy targets for a beef that is actually between them and the almighty.

                      The second is subconcious fear. There is a saying among ministers that the Good News is only good to the saved. If you are not saved the news is terrible, becuase it means you are in hot water. If there is even the slightest shred of possibility that we are right that puts them in a very dangerous condition. That makes our very existence a threat to their well being and they know it - conciously or subconciously, and to quell this fear they have to mock, and minimalize the opposition - and convert or kill, depending on the country, said religion into nonexistance because as long as it lives it is a reminder that they could be wrong and in dire straits as a result.
                      Nah, it's just easier to spell 'god'. Have you ever really been able to say half the names of Central American dieties? And they insist on putting consonants together that just hurt the tongue in general.

                      Then you have some faiths like Shinto, where everything has a god in it and that's just too much work keeping track. Besides, have you seen some of their festivals? I've seen school girls riding massive phallic symbols down the street. I can't really understand them let alone hate them.

                      Some faiths are just too funny to pick on. I mean, the Hare krishnas are a hoot. Their tune is catchy though.
                      Life is change. Built models for decades.
                      Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                      I didn't for a long time either.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Simple faith" keeps simple people happy. Believing is so much easier than thinking for oneself.

                        Asian girls riding giant phallic symbols and Les isn't interested?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                          "Simple faith" keeps simple people happy. Believing is so much easier than thinking for oneself.
                          Yet you take the word of others (on faith) for evolution. As if you actually have done any thinking for yourself relative to evolution.

                          Fact is atheists have a double standard for proof/evidence. For Chritianity that have to see/touch God before they believe...for things like evolution (science) they accept the word of total strangers...even though history is full of examples of how wrong science has been.
                          Later - Tater
                          "Why I have a greater affinity to Israel than to the Muslim world after 9/11: Watching a death-match fight on Animal Planet once, I found myself instinctively rooting for the mammal over the reptile."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by les Brains View Post
                            Nah, it's just easier to spell 'god'. Have you ever really been able to say half the names of Central American dieties? And they insist on putting consonants together that just hurt the tongue in general.
                            Well you have a point there. If you had to rant about Huitzilopochtli you'd be at the computer all day!
                            A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                              "Simple faith" keeps simple people happy. Believing is so much easier than thinking for oneself.
                              Simple faith keeps everyone happy, not just the simple. It is scientifically sound principle that those who do not lust for what they cannot have are going to be happier than the ones striving so desperately for what is out of reach. These people are just as smart as you or I and just as well educated, if not more so.(I'd pit my junior high Indian friend in a contest of knowledge against any graduate of our High School system any day of the week.) And I garantee our level of ignorance in matters of the unexplained is no lower than theirs. But there are two key differences between the two of us. One, they aren't so prideful that they refuse to admit that most of the world is beyond their understanding and will remain so. Two, this fact doesn't bother them.

                              -

                              Oh, and I'll give you a third. While you and I are bound by our competetive nature to hose the forum down in intellectual testosterone, these kind people wouldn't even bristle at you calling them simple. They'll love you anyway. It's no wonder that they remain happy and cheerful even amid blinding poverty while guys like us go ape every time gas jumps a nickle.
                              A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                              Comment

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