The Art of Believing

It has been suggested, for countless of times, that the primary reason as for why the debates between freethinkers and religious people rarely ever come to a nonbelligerent end is that these two opposing sides hold a downright conflicting ideology. Religionists generally insist that human reason has its limits and therefore unable to reach the divine, implying directly that freethinkers are but a band of arrogant mugs that wander aimlessly without proper ‘guidance’, or so they say. On the other hand, freethinkers are almost viscerally convinced that religionists are trapped in the desert of circular reasoning, rejecting reason and stubbornly embracing illogical faith for eternity. To speak the truth, both sides (stereotypically) may as well be setting up straw mans to refute their respective foes’ claims.

As for the believers, most freethinkers are presumably aware of the false understandings religious apologists are fond of making; since most freethinkers started off inside the church. And it really is easy to spot several misconceptions; nevermind the complex distinction between strong and weak atheism, a typical religionist might not even comprehend that agnosticism is not meant as another word for atheism. Thus as it would be lengthy to explain the believers’ “sins” towards freethinkers, it may be more intriguing to discuss what a freethinker might have misunderstood about a typical religionist.

So what exactly is this faith thing? Is it true that religion teaches its adherents to shun their reasoning potentiality, using doctrines of damnation as a tool to keep them under control? If it turns out to be otherwise, how did this trend surfaces? And, more importantly, how does this affect the spirit of intellectual liberty?

And it appears to me that the concept of “believing” is way more complex than it seems…

The Initial Conception of Faith

The concept of “faith” as “a belief that one holds despite of the abundance of evidences against such belief” might not be universal among believers after all. Grew up in the moderate Islamist environs of southeast Asia, I can tell that such stand is not even popular— let alone be universally accepted.

I hypothesize the following, regarding the mindset of believers surrounding me, which might be much more complex than popular freethought view;

One and the Same

Allow me to reiterate this popular freethinking sentiment; these allegedly gullible believers embrace their doctrines out of ignorance, and refuse to employ their reason (which is the only way out) due to their conviction that one should not rely on it otherwise wanting to be misled by the devil.

This is (or may) not the case.

I lack the adequate familiarity with sample societies often used by mainstream freethought, say Christians; Moderate Islamists would be the religious circle I am most familiar with. And, growing up among them, I am able to judge that, to them, “faith” is not a term used to refer to “belief without evidence”. Nor is “reason” a “tool used by the devil to mislead humanity”. Instead, it seems perfectly evident to me that mainstream believers (at least the ones that I encountered) generally think of them as pretty similar things. Perhaps even one and the same. Instead of “have faith, suspend reason”, it is “think, therefore you believe”.

Let me remind you about the widely-quoted verse of the Bible;

“The fool says in his heart; ‘There is no God.'”
Psalms 53:1

This scriptural doctrine glorifies reason, as it dubs the atheists as “fools” as in “the ones that are deficient in intelligence”. And as we observe the Quranic teachings, we can see for ourselves that the Mohammedan scripture is in reality putting a very heavy emphasis on believers as sensible persons (i.e. reason-friendly);

“Verily, in the creation of the heavens and of the earth, and the succession of night and day: and in the ships that speed through the sea with what is useful to man: and in the waters which God sends down from the sky, giving life thereby to the earth after it had been lifeless, and causing all manner of living creatures to multiply thereon: and in the change of the winds, and the clouds that run their appointed courses between sky and earth: [in all this] there are messages indeed for people who use their reason.”
The Cow: 164

(Emphasis added)

Given the Quran’s poetic, rhyming nature, such ending in verses are pretty much common. That is, such claim that believing is the result of using reason is repeated over and over.

So it appears to me that actually reason is (or was) a much respected entity in religiosity. Think about it, aside of using the sword (which undeniably occured), the only tools available for religious expansionism were open debates and sermons. The gospels recount the story about Jesus preaching to the people, urging memorable doctrines such as the way-ahead-of-its-time “turning the other cheek” practice. The Islamic sources’ accounts are strikingly similar, tirelessly promote the image of Prophet Mohammed as mostly a preacher during his initial prophethood years in Mecca. Considering that preaching is persuasion that relies entirely on reason, one should get the idea that the concept of “faith” as some kind of suspension of disbelief actually must have come much much later.

Religions such as Christianity and Islam (along with its alleged previous forms like Abraham’s and Moses’ religions) started off as a cult in a generally nontheistic societies— or so it is taught to religionists. Now, nevermind about the historical accuracy, what really counts is really what is being taught to the believers. So most Biblical (and Quranic) stories are retelling chronicles of a prophet (or the like) preaching morality and religious doctrines to a largely apathetic-ignorant societies. A minority of people later joined his cause despite the apparent hostilities from the governing majority, and the story tipically ends with the believing minority leaving town whilst God smiting the entire heathen population with his wrath, although latter prophets’ stories ended with a relatively varied endings. One might wonder, why would the small minority be following the prophet (or so the scriptures are trying to suggest)? It is not likely that it is due to knowing the impending danger (yes, that; God and his bad hobby of smiting things). I would assume that religion is at this time employing, no less, reason. It is indoctrinated to children that believers believe, not because of fear, not because of the atheistic conception of “faith”, but because of reason. At least initially, reason is religion’s ally, not its adversary. Let us formulate this conception of a “classic” believer’s mind;

  • Freethinkers:
    instead of

    “The ones that used reason excessively, and went astray due to its usage.”

    would be

    “The ones that are ignorant; does not use their reason to see the clear evidences of the truth.”

  • Believers:
    instead of

    “The saved ones that have faith in God and religion, in spite of the opposing evidences.”

    would be

    “The ones that are enlightened; use their reason and saw the clear evidences of the truth.”

The conclusion? In the beginning, there was no such thing as suspending one’s reason to embrace religion. Reason was originally viewed as the path to God (or instead, to be blunt, religion), rather than the path away from it. It is pretty much understandable secularly, assuming that religion is but a manmade effort built in order to understand the divine, rather than a revealed holy sanction. During the time of its birth, it may as well be said that scriptural doctrines were in quite a harmony with reason.

I shall explain on how believers turn their backs on their trusted weapon, reason, and demonized it, in a later subchapter. For now, I would explicate how does this initial, unadultered concept of faith-reason marriage affect an average believer.

Not Necessarily a Numbskull

Hence the concept of reason as something whose usage must be limited in order to understand religion is, dare I say, alien to mainstream believers— where “mainstream believers” refers to believers that practice their religion but are not actively learning theology. People I encountered almost never thought of reason as something wicked, instead, a gift from God in order for us to reach him and his religion, a concept that is potentially amusing to nonbelievers. They would instead argue that they believe because of reason, and will be genuinely puzzled by the idea of restraining one’s reason in order to believe. Yes, they’re the kind that poke fun of atheists every now and then with aphorisms such as; “Atheists are people who believe that once upon a time, boom, and everything came to be suddenly for no apparent reason at all.” (by the way, I do think that the primum movens argument is really powerful).

In short, these people believe that instead of forgoing its use, they must use reason to counter criticisms against their respective faiths. To make it shorter, the doctrine is; all criticisms should be able to be answered logically. And indeed in practice, these people never abandon their reason and yet their beliefs were unshaken. How come? But of course, at this point one would wonder about their responses concerning litmus tests of religions such as scriptural consistency or scientific accuracy. Now that scriptural consistency is somehow unpopular, because it can be interpreted in such a way that evades repugnance, the latter was used exhaustively.

What do you want to start with? Whether their doctrines were compatible with modern cosmology? Or modern biology, macroevolution theories included? Somehow, these staunch believers managed to harmonize them with their scriptures. These, I see, were done by either of these following methods;

  1. The first is to deny that the scriptures contradict modern science. As we can see, the earth being round as a marble and revolving around the sun does not bother religionists much, despite several questionable scriptural contents that provoke the thought of religion teaching otherwise. In fact, nowadays there are claims that the Bible (or the Quran for that matter) actually contains modern concepts of cosmology— miraculously, of course, or so they say. Though one might then wonder why didn’t the ancient believers notice the peculiarity (“This book says the earth is round! What the hell!?”), most of the time their arguments are quite sound.
  2. The second is to deny modern science. While this might sound like suspending the usage of reason to you, it’s not exactly the case. Take the creation-evolution controversy for an instance. Surely you aware of the abundance of the creationists’ allegedly “scientific” rebuttals to the evolution theory? Heck, they even erected a museum out of it! Now this seems quite real to them. They used their reason: they saw the creationism propaganda, and believed it. No suspension of disbelief involved. The abundance of evolutionary biologists to them is but a laughing matter. For them, according to the creationism propaganda, evolution is a bull. A hoax. Reason told them so. Period. Of course, one might protest that these people commited the double standard fallacy and didn’t cover both sides of the story— for, indeed evolutionary biologists have much more to say. But that is not the point. The point is, like I said, no suspension of disbelief involved. A huge Islamic sharia website I visited even has this dismissal about the existence of dinosaurs; they claim that Rex and co. never existed, and are naught but the results of Hollywood‘s far-fetched imagination. They dismissed the idea so easily, just like that, without proper arguments.
  3. The third one would be akin to the one a teacher once said to me in a biology class; before proceeding to teach about evolution, he said some sort of disclaimer, stating that “this is science’s viewpoint, the religious one might differ; both are possibly right“. How the hell people can believe to conflicting thoughts such as that is, with all due respect, beyond my limited understanding.

And as you can see, given such methods and (do forgive my rude remark) enough dose of ignorance, people actually can have a (non-liberal) faith in a particular religion without forgoing the use of their reason.

Additionally, perhaps it’s worth noting that several very liberal branch of Islam, such as Dr. Shabbir Ahmed‘s and Free-Minds‘ alternative Quran translations are almost completely in agreement with modern science; though in the process they discarded the entire concept of Islamic hadith and consequently being labelled as heretics by the mainstream mosques (which disagreed with modern science, by the way).

This is one funny thing freethinkers must understand. Believers can think of freethinkers just in the same fashion freethinkers think of believers; ignorant. Reason-wise. Dear God.

Suspension of disbelief: An evolution in religion

Speaking of life being the survival of the fittest, religion evolved, despite of its alleged disagreement with the concept. As aforementioned, the unadultered concept of “faith” actually never included the idea of limiting the use of reason. Rather, faith in God is rather meant just as faith in evolution. Or the fact that the Holocaust occured and the Greeks won the 2004 European Cup. Empirical evidence should be involved!

Then when did the devious change take place? Since when is “faith” be some kind of reason-restraining mechanism? When, and how? For the question “why”, though, I think we have the answer. Survival of the fittest. The religious concept of faith evolved because otherwise it will kick the bucket.

Discoveries kill

It is really quite easy to understand; the progress of science would be one of the most integral factors of the gradual ruination of religion. For an instance, religion, at the very least literally, suggests a very poor understanding of the cosmos. The account of Genesis may be aesthetically charming but is scientifically a bloody mess. Even if you can take it figuratively, one would have every right to object as for why God would deliberately obscure his message, presuming he really wanted to be heard. This is precisely why religion generally abandon reason; it’s kind of an eye for an eye, for reason had left them. Religion is a fixed thing, and when the tentative science actually flew higher than it, it can no longer afford to employ science (and hence, reason) as one of its instruments. And so the day came that reason can potentially provoke man to doubt religion instead— thus it’s perfectly understandable that religion, in self-defense, try to establish a belief that reason can be wrong. This was when the evolution take place.

I believe that it would be more comprehensible to explain how this phenomenon actually happen in a more zoomed-in scope. How did a believer learn to renounce and discredit reason?

Sayonara reason

Think about my hypothesis concerning about the reason-friendly (must I note, non-liberal) believers. How can they do so? How can they never doubt, when there’s every reason to doubt their suspicious (though not necessarily wrong) faiths? It is ignorance and their lack of information. Consider the first method; what if they hear about less popular scriptural contents that actually promote false cosmology? Some things are harder to justify than the others. Then they might wonder whether God deliberately used figurative speech excessively or they’re merely trying to justify something desperately. Or the second method; what would happen if they’re being exposed to the overwhelming evidences of things they’ve dismissed so easily solely on the basis of religious apologetics?

Below are several major foundations on which such virgin concept of “marriage of faith and reason” might finally be shaken. They keyword is information, as the believer dwell out of ignorance by receiving more knowlegde.

  1. Discovering powerful offensive arguments
    Welcome to the unpleasant state of cognitive dissonance. A believer which holds the notion that reason would not contradict religious doctrines may then consider changing mind upon finding a powerful argument against the truth of his/her faith. Note that they might act apologetic instead when it comes to scriptural errors, insisting that the doctrines and reality are in complete harmony. Or alternatively, suggest that “real” reason would not contradict reason, and the heathens and doubters should revise their thinking.

    But nevertheless, in both ways they do suggest that this time around reason is potentially misleading. Though they’re not explicitly claiming that people should shun it instead, at this stage it would seem like recommend such “cowardice”. Now that reason can be misleading, their mindset would change; there are two safe passages to the truth— use reason very well (as in the true Scotsman fallacy thing), or shun it (and follow the doctrines) to be safe. Note that, at this stage, although they have yet to give up the concept of reason as a tool to reach God, they have already promoting the act of forgoing its use as an alternative, equally riskless, path.

    Following this downfall of critical mindset, we might consider suggesting them about the omnipotence paradox, which is a super-powerful litmus test. Can an omnipotent God make a stone so heavy he himself couldn’t lift it? It is highly likely that cases like this would be the turning point; in which a believer betray reason in order to save his/her faith. The response made to counter the omnipotence paradox would perhaps even be the first time a believer will mouth; Our finite reason cannot comprehend the infinite. Bang.

    But of course, wiser believers can find a way out of this; such as redefining God’s omnipotence, much like what Thomas Aquinas did. Indeed, amongst staunch apologetics, sophisticated philosophies do exist. Thinkers such as Alvin Plantinga or Keith Ward do offer liberal theories that science may find more pleasing. But pragmatically, I do not think freethinkers, strong atheists included, would have a problem with this. Religious liberalism typically (if not universally) embraces modern humanism, one thing the orthodoxy might dangerously lacks. The disagreement between liberal religionists and freethinkers is practically piffling, for this kind of believers do not have problems with issues such as free speech or proportional secularism. I.e., this kind of believers do not denounce freethinkers. This kind of believers are not bigots. Conversely, I believe that freethinkers ought to do the same, that is, to be liberalized. Freethinking is not an antonym for bigotry; one can be a bigoted freethinker. The problems humanist freethinkers have against religion should be concerning critical issues like religious terrorism, freedom of expression, or the repression of science— not because religion simply believes what freethinkers do not believe. Therefore, reason-friendly believers that argues well for their faith rather than escaping via the reason-has-its-limitations scenario should not bother the freedom of thinking.

  2. Encountering religious fundamentalism
    Another common awakening mechanism would be the rise of fundamentalism. This issue would be rather universal; from the rise of American Christian fundamentalism Sam Harris so critically observed to the ultimate dystopia the Taliban government had shown the world a couple years back. There’s a classic exit that religionists are very fond of using, that it is but extremism. Whenever a band of terrorists blow themselves up in the name of their respective religion, moderate believers would, almost always, claim that they have “misunderstood” the religion’s teachings. This may, and may not, be true. It may be, because it is the inherent nature of texts, holy texts included, to be ambiguous— after all, a saint like Rumi and a teenage antichrist like bin Laden gave heed to the very same book. It may not be, because the moderates often aren’t even aware of the extremists’ motives, which often happened to be scripturally sound (at least at the first glance).


    One shining case study where there are much less ambiguities would be the allegedly Islamic practice of polygamy amongst Islamists. Truly, it is almost intuitively against every sense of women rights to allow a man to possess four wives (and not the other way around, by the way), yet it is universally accepted among the clergical bodies that polygamy is permitted by the Quran. There are, of course, certain branch of Islamic liberalism that deny this notion, but considering their heretical label, their influence is infinitesimal.

    It is arguable that all of the three monotheistic religions are inherently mysogynous by today’s standards— at the very least the traditional interpretations of their respective teachings. The polygyny issue is no different; it is tough even to the staunchest of believers to comprehend the reason why God would decreed the obvious injustice. Several apologetic justifications were made in order to harmonize the religious law with modern moralism (or, to be blunt, common sense); ranging from practical defenses like the male:female population ratio and cultural values to downright weirdness such as the pseudoscientific account of women being psychologically secure within a polygynous culture.

    But what these apologists cannot do is to deny that, by anyone’s snap, intuitive judgement, polygyny is a conspicuous iniquity. A popular, widely-used apologetic line was the (allegedly) aphoristic “Human reasoning has its limits; God knows what’s best for us. What we might see as bad, is in reality good, if seen by the ultimate wisdom; which, unfortunately, we cannot reach.


    And this sentiment is, surprisingly, scripturally sound for Muslims (which are previously being told to prioritize their reason);

    “Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.
    The Cow: 216

    (Well, yes, that reads warfare. But nevermind the seemingly not-so-peaceful ideology behind this verse for now. Let us be fair and assume that the verse refers to self defense.)

    While it bears a striking similarity with the aforementioned dilemma of “discovering powerful offensive arguments”, this second dilemma is in truth more powerful— because it allows no way out whatsoever. Esoteric understandings might work when it comes to denying religious doctrines’ alleged scientific and logical weaknesses, but in this second case the believers would be forced to belittle the importance of reason (unless, of course, they take another shot of ignorance). When we’re talking about the omnipotence paradox, for example, we might redefine the concept to elude the paradox (a la Aquinas). When we’re talking about the scriptures’ allegedly poor understanding of the cosmos, we might take the verses figuratively. But when it comes to the more difficult-to-counter criticisms such as an obsolete standard of morality, one cannot help but to “admit” the limitations of reason. Though, again, it must be noted that several ultra-liberal religionists actually survived by denying the universally accepted interpretation entirely. They survived, but it makes them so much heretical in the eyes of mainstream masses that perhaps they should be considered as freethinkers rather than religionists— therefore harmless. And they’re in no way of supporting the suppression of religious freedom, for they typically oppose this fundies idea just as much as Richard Dawkins does. And nothing else matters.

But concerning the “reason has its limitations, so shut the hell up” notion, it should be noted, though, that this fideistic premise suggested by these pessimists of the churches are not entirely implausible. Like Antony Flew once wisely observed, it is entirely possible that the world (ours, at least), is governed by some kind of malevolent force that deliberately revealed his words in a dopey fashion, whilst playing hide-and-seek with his subjects; along with a plan on throwing them to a fiery pit (namely, hell) in case they failed to find him. That is, this childish deity would purposely mixed serious warnings pertaining to his silly little game with obscure verses that provoke thoughts of poor science and obsolete myths. Naturally then several educated people would opt to disbelieve the whole story, consequently falling to his cute little trap. And, of course, this he will savor.

Given that such heretical stand is true, it is, of course, easy to counter several arguments against his existence (particularly Epicurus‘ naughty objection). The aforementioned omnipotence paradox, for an instance; is it not plausible that this wicked deity really did seal our reasoning capabilities? And, to broaden our horizons a bit, omnipotence does not necessarily linger amongst infinity. As Anselm of Canterbury proposed, surely the quality of being almighty (as in the Hulk Hogan thing— he can’t make a burrito so hot he himself couldn’t swig it, but he can make a burrito out of you) would suffice for one to claim God-hood.

Nevertheless, it is perfectly reasonable to disparage such possibility. To quote Dawkins, “We could all be wrong about the Flying Spaghetti Monster“. Or rather, using the more diplomatical approach of Tom Paine in his revolutionary work Age of Reason, whenever we encounter an idea that’s not wholly plausible, we are “not obliged to believe it“.

The complex art of believing

To reiterate the conclusions so far; it seems pretty convincing to me that religions in their core doctrines pretty much respect reason as a critical aspect in faith. Believers are taught that faith is the result of using reason. This should practically be true as well; during the early periods of their developments, religions generally did not discourage the usage of reasoning, and even promote its utilization amongst their adherents. Because it must be understood that the roots of nowaday’s great religions were born in the past circumstances where their ideas were more acceptable than ever. They were far less peculiar, their claims made adequate sense, and there weren’t so much common knowledge around that can be utilized to doubt their truths.

Although, yes indeed, for freethought’s roots are just as ancient, religions did suffered from intellectual challenges from the doubters. But this trend has little influence— religious scriptures were still putting a heavy emphasis in reason. That is, despite several (alleged) minor inconsistencies, pure religious teachings in the beginning did not consider reason as a believer’s adversary. And then, over the time, as human understanding progresses, faith and reason clashed; resulting in a split which gave birth to religious mindsets. Faith evolved, and now exists in varied forms. The keyword is evolution.

There’s no fixed rule in formulating human mindset, therefore I have taken the liberty to use the question of whether faith compatible with reason as a litmus test. Several other parameters had taken my interest, but I finally settled in this one, for it covers other questions such as whether one should forgo the use of reason or not. In this circumstance, you see, “faith” would be defined as, for the sake of clarity, “what the commonly accepted edicts teach”. Whereas “reason” would be represented by the notion “what the current human understanding acknowledges as logical”. Additionally, to split up the results to further subdivisions, I divided each belief orientations based on their style of interpreting religious teachings. Here, a conservative would take the scriptural verses as words of warning (which must be understood perfectly) whereas a progressive would take them as words of advice (and is in favor of esoteric interpretations).

Belief Orientations

“Is faith compatible with reason?”
(Both represented by mainstream religious edicts and modern science respectively.)

Direction

Conservative

Progressive

Yes.

Pragmatic Believers

Intuitive Pluralists

No, and faith should adapt.

Revolutionary Liberalists

Outcast Adherents

No, and reason should adapt.

Staunch Evangelists

Miracle Seekers

Don’t care.

Resolute Fundamentalists

De facto Apatheists

To elaborate;

  1. Pragmatic Believers

    “As far as I’m concerned, faith is reconcilable with reason. Nothing is wrong, and you don’t fix what ain’t broken.”

    Your everyday believers; they do not typically learn theology, and took for granted what’s given to them. Consequently, they are unaware of the clash between science and religion present nowadays (which is undoubtedly happening), for religious belief itself is not an integral part of their lives. They practice their religion, but more like a cultural meme rather than a divine sanction. They generally have respect for adherents of other religions (though sadly, not so much for freethinkers), lack evangelistic wills, and though are not all that passionate about their respective religions, cannot even think of leaving it. It’s conservativeness— let everything stay the way they were.

    Using evolution-creationism controversy (again) as a sample case, a pragmatic believer may, or may not, believe in the evolution theory. Pragmatic as they are, one of them may believe in the evolution theory (believing that the account of Genesis is figurative), and another may believe in the “creation science” (believing in creationist propaganda that evolution is a hoax). They excel in self-deception, and hold that faith and reason is reconcilable— they would refuse any debates that would potentially render them to change that notion. Fortunately, they focus more in religion’s good nature, and do not linger in the realm of religious extremism (often dismissing the idea by accusing the extremists of ‘misunderstanding’ religion). In short, they view religion as a practically insignificant, but resolutely inseparable, part of living.

  2. Intuitive Pluralists

    “Faith wouldn’t contradict reason. Faith is reason. Reason is faith.”

    Intuitive pluralists are natural philosphers that happened to have a religion (and in good terms with it). They’re not well-informed about religions nor philosophy; so, they’re basically pragmatic believers that noticed religion’s (another disclaimer: at least its mainstream interpretation’s) strange values. One litmus test would be the notorious problem of hell. An intuitive pluralist would then use the moderate, pragmatic-believer-esque set of dogmas to ruminate about the case, and usually would agree that people of other religions should be permitted to enjoy the bliss of paradise.

    The weakness of intuitive pluralists would be their lack of scriptural support in order to confirm their liberalized beliefs. Intuitive pluralists think independently, much like freethinkers do, but set boundaries around them on the basis of religion. They often clash with the fundies because their efforts to introduce humanist, liberalized religious values are often not scripturally sound. They typically accept (or, know) only the basics of religion, and later shape them with individual thinking. And it’s worth noting that intuitive pluralists (most of the time) do not reject any forms of modern science, firmly believing (albeit perhaps lacking in contemporary religious decrees and jurisprudences) that the scriptures would fit in.

  3. Revolutionary Liberalists

    “The purest form of religion wouldn’t contradict reason, but the current clerical sentiments don’t necessarily represent that.”

    In a way, revolutionary liberalists are like the drunken intuitive pluralists splashed with cold water. This type of believers realized that the clergical bodies present in the world today mostly are not in favor of several issues regarding modern humanist and scientific values. They acknowledge this. And they’re assuming that instead of their religion being wrong, it was being wrongly interpreted (which is entirely plausible, of course). Revolutionary liberalists stress esoteric interpretations and promote the basic, universal values of religion.

    A revolutionary liberalist assumes that while the gist of religious teachings should be timeless, at one time in the past, it was affected by external cultural values and therefore corrupted. So what they are calling is not exactly another evolution in religion, but rather a reinterpretation, or, in another way, the act of cleansing religious commandments from the dirts of cultural values. Unlike intuitive pluralists, the liberalists are able to debate with the fundamentalists with scriptural arguments, albeit from a different, more esoteric, standpoint. This particular belief orientation is arguably common amongst religious intellectuals that cared about the future of society’s religious life, yet didn’t affiliate themselves with conservative religious constitutions.

  4. Outcast Adherents

    “True teachings are in harmony with reason, but most people misinterpreted them. Don’t trust the clergical edicts, for the scripture actually supports what secular science holds to be true.”

    Following religion’s long history, along with the feuds it has made with reason, groups of people demanding radical changes appeared. It is a trend that’s ineluctable, due to religion’s tendency to rely heavily in written scriptures. As it was said before, texts are inherently ambiguous— a single sentence can be interpreted to so many ways. Some people interpret it in a fashion that greatly differs from the mainstream understanding, resulting in small cults that’s practically new religions in their own rights.

    By this notion I am not referring to the downright ridiculous, eccentric, and suicidal cults, for they’ll simply be fundamentalists with differing band of prophets— but rather to the cleverly liberal intellectual societies akin to the Quakers. A very rare minority, typically their understanding of religion is in agreement with the current zeitgeist’ moral standards, and generally take a very figurative approach to the scriptures.

  5. Staunch Evangelists

    “Faith may be illogical at times, but just believe them anyways. Science may have misunderstood the nature, and moreover, this might be one of God’s trials on humanity.”

    Here comes the first band that opted to limit their reasoning capabilities. They openly admit that modern science is incompatible with religious teachings; and concluded that science must be wrong. Typical staunch evangelists do not buy scientific evidences and simply dismissed the scientific hypothesis because the scripture says otherwise.

    Unlike pragmatic believers or intuitive pluralists, they’re well-informed about their religion and understood about the existence of the science-religion conflicts. Due to their passion towards their respective religions, they usually attend extra religious clubs. It is in such clubs that they heard of the conflicts, in the form of the apologetic works made to counter the critics— which is why they’re pretty much biased. They fell in love with their faith, and would defend it at all cost. A typical trait shared by the believers of this type would be their doubt towards modern science— and their frequent affair with the realm of pseudoscientific apologetics.

  6. Miracle Seekers

    “Science is tentative, therefore can be wrong. In the long run, science will eventually conform to what religion teaches.”

    Strikingly similar to the aforesaid staunch evangelists, only that their motive of keep believing leans more to the side of reason than blindfolded fear. They rely on miracles to confirm their belief— Miracles happened, therefore religion must be correct. Ergo, eventually what contradicts religion will turn out to be false. A notion that’s contrasting with the staunch evangelists who believe for no apparent reason at all.

    Note that because an alleged miracle can confirm any kind of postulates, a miracle seeker’s stand may range from extremely conservative to extremely liberal. Though yes, the pricipal rule of “faith over reason” would remain intact. A miracle seeker is potentially very commited to his/her faith, and even rather bigoted.

  7. Resolute Fundamentalists

    “It doesn’t matter what science or reason or whatever says. Just believe or go to hell.”

    You know these guys. Resolute fundamentalists hold that the scriptures are meant as commands; it is not meant to be questioned. Logically this is but a form of circular reasoning, but that is enough for them. If their religion agreed with science, so be it. If it’s the other way around, so be it. Vamoose and don’t bother.

  8. De facto Apatheists

    “I don’t know. Let’s talk about something else.”

    What to say, these people don’t care whether their religion contradicts science of not, and do not even attempt to conserve its practice. De facto Apatheist do not view religion as an integral part of their lives, and is indifferent towards its practices and teachings. They live their lives in a largely secular proportion, and though will admit being an adherent if asked, they rely mostly in purely instictive thinking that is virtually unaffected by religious values.

And furthermore, to describe the principal differences between groups that share the same notion, but with differing scriptural approach;

Head-to-head comparisons

Orientations

Compatibility

Incompatibility

Pragmatic Believers

Mainstream religious values do not contradict modern science.

Insists in the importance of conserving ritual practice and symbolic elements.

Intuitive Pluralists

Stresses universal moral values and implicit worships instead.

Revolutionary Liberalists

Religion should have been consistent with science, and the apparent inconsistencies came from the possibility of religion being misunderstood.

Only desires to change rulings that are considered as obsolete; limited to nonspiritual edicts, even.

Outcast Adherents

Demands radical changes; even to the point of changing the whole disposition of religion.

Staunch Evangelists

Belief is more important than science, hence reason should be suspended if it’s incompatible with faith.

‘Condemns’ scientific heresies altogether.

Miracle Seekers

Merely doubts the current understanding of modern science.

Resolute Fundamentalists

Whatever happened, changing religious values would be irrelevant.

Practices religion with perseverance.

De facto Apatheists

Practically indifferent towards religious practices.

And as we can clearly observe, indeed there are a number of approaches that can be made to a certain conception.

As the Dust Settles

Observing the fashion that is used by believers to hold their respective faiths, I am convinced that believing is in reality a complex resultant born from numerous gradual processes, involving several outside factors; ranging from personal experiences, educational backgrounds, personal philosophy, and, of course, the amount of information (and misinformation) received during one’s lifetime. When someone believes in the truth of a certain religious claim, s/he is not necessarily be restraining one’s reason. Believers may be ignorant about the centuries-long clash between scientists and the church, or even simply don’t care.

They can also being fed with false claims concerning scientific facts, ranging from pseudoscientific accounts to cleverly-built hoaxes. There are also alleged miracles, which oftentimes cannot be empirically verified. Whenever an objection about the truth of one religion be delivered, one might use an esoteric interpretation to render it somehow logical. Following this, the objector might even raise the question as for why the message of God be so obscure. The debate then continues, and one cannot help but wonder how would the conflict end. There are so many possibilities, so many options.

What about the truth claims of religion? Is religion true? How many of them? One? Two? Or perhaps more? Is Christianity true? Which understanding of Christianity? Or is it Islam? Which version? Even if they’re true, what then? What would the truth of a religion imply? The fate of all souls who ever lived, as in the heaven/hell scenario? Or will freethinking prevail? Assuming that it’s true, will that be of importance, had the conception of “souls” turn out to be false? We won’t be able to know the answers anyways. Is that a good thing? Or is that not?

Now, if religions are all false, how to get rid of all of them? Some people refused to talk about it. Some of those who refused are potentially dangerous to intelectual liberty. Some are not. What about them? And what about alternative interpretations? Do they make sense, or simply far-fetched ideas? If one religion is true, what would be used to confirm its truth?

Is religion an obsolete meme that survived through the ages because of the selfish nature in their doctrines?

Or is religion absolute truth, and freethinking is but a form of escapism?

If I were to answer that ultimate question, I’ll be blunt; to quote Robert Ingersoll, “We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know.

In God We Trust. RosenQueen, company.

65 thoughts on “The Art of Believing

  1. Kadang saya rasa alasan pacar saya untuk tetap menjadi atheis itu benar. Pusing, terlalu complicated. Bahkan dalam satu agama pun masih banyak alirannya, yang mana yang mau dipilih, alasannya apa. *puyeng liat tulisan ‘alasan’ lagi*

    Tapi memang sih, untuk mempercayai sesuatu, diperlukan alasan. Jujur saya akui, sulit untuk percaya Tuhan hanya dengan alasan: “Tuhan itu ada! Noh, percaya aja! Masuk neraka kamu kalau nggak percaya!” Nah loh, alasannya apa?

    Dan giliran saya mencoba untuk bertanya, mereka malah bilang:

    “Nggak usah ditanya! Kamu meragukan Tuhan, heh!?”

    Nah, kalau gini gimana saya bisa percaya?

    Akhirnya saya sampai pada keputusan simpel (untuk sementara). Alasan saya percaya Tuhan ialah, mempunyai harapan. Contoh kecilnya waktu saya hampir mati ngelawan Yian Kut-ku di MHF2, tidak terhitung berapa kali saya berdoa kepada Tuhan.

    Aihhh…
    *ambil aspirin*

  2. @ auriNgoNpaiSte
    Ya mbok jangan terlalu dianggap serius. Saya cuma menyampaikan uneg-uneg seperti biasa.😛

    @ saRe’
    Kalau nggak jadi di-DO sih, masih computer science.😕

  3. Now, if religions are all false, how to get rid of all of them?

    Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…Ignore…
    Calm and make a bomb!😆

    *puwashh… bisa balas komen model begini di blog yg uda wafat*:mrgreen:

  4. [OOT]
    Njrit! Header-nya si Morello?😯
    *mupeng*
    [/OOT]

    Eh, Ged… mau ikutan bikin Islam Protestan? Wacana kawan-kawan di daerahku di sini…😛

  5. Calm and make a bomb, ya?😛

    Iya. Buat penyeimbang fundamentalis yang mengira masuk surga dengan bikin bom dan bunuh orang seenaknya😎
    Jangan calm like a bomb, bisa tewas sekalian dengan bomnya😆

  6. @ alex
    Yang kayak JIL aja udah diancam bunuh sama fundies, apalagi yang protestan?😆

    [OOT]
    Soul Powernya itu, lho.😳
    [/OOT]

    @ Natt
    Jangan memelintir makna kata-kata!😆

  7. Is religion an obsolete meme that survived through the ages because of the selfish nature in their doctrines?

    IMO ini penjelasan paling masuk akal buat saya.

  8. Woi, teganya nulis panjang-panjang pas gw lagi pusing ama pleading.

    Btw, which place that I belong? Somehow I got the feeling that you shall put me at Pragmatic Believers. Trust me, I am pragmatic because the truth is relative.

  9. @ danalingga
    Ndak diwajibken, kok…🙂

    @ warnetubuntu
    Mungkin dengan alasan yang sama dengan mas Sora.🙂

    @ Nenda Fadhilah
    Either the pragmatic believers or de facto apatheist, the latter is less likely.

    Trust me, I am pragmatic because the truth is relative.

    If the truth is relative, we don’t need law. There’s a certain degree of relativity and somehow something can be concluded, but pragmatists are pragmatists.:mrgreen:

  10. Gotcha, you fell into the trap. lol

    If the truth is relative, we don’t need law.

    We still need the law, since morality changes faster than law therefore law is more sustainable to hold on.

  11. saya mempercayai, bukan hanya karena berdasarkan pada apa yang bisa saya pikirkan. Tapi, more than that, karena apa yang bisa saya rasakan.

    wah, nyambung ga ya😕

  12. terlalu panjang buat dibaca pas jam kerja😆

    *save dolo ah*

    hmmm… tapi kalo diliat dari bagan diatas… gw paling mendekati outcast adherent kali ya?😛

  13. ahhh~~~~ boso linggis…..

    *fast reader mode on*

    lhga di fast reader juga makan waktu lama

    *keluarkan soft bullet*

    *save as HTML*

    ada yang tau kamus online bahasa linggis…???

  14. How dare you insult me with this long long journey article.👿
    My lecture was angry to me, ’cause I spent my time at the lobby (God Bless the Internet!) rather than at her class.😈

    And it really is easy to spot several misconceptions; nevermind the complex distinction between strong and weak atheism, a typical religionist might not even comprehend that agnosticism is not meant as another word for atheism.

    In my point of view, I’ve found some of my friends don’t know about concept of atheism nor strong and weak atheism. Hasty generalization, eh? (How pity they are… as a student of International Relations department. “Agnosticism, what is that?”😆 They said)

    Like Nenda said before, “truth is relative.” Te-hee~ There is a ‘ridiculous vice-versa’ between freethinkers and believers.😆

    Honestly, maybe I’m a freethinker (eh, maybe a believer?).🙄

  15. [mode Indonesia = on]

    *baru dateng*

    *baca*

    PUANJANG banget… =_=!

     

    IMO, sebetulnya post ini bisa dibagi jadi tiga bagian, menurut subbabnya. “initial conception of faith”, “evolution in religion” sama “kinds of believers” bisa jadi tiga buah post yang semuanya bermutu tinggi lho.😛

    [mode Inggris = on]

    Well, I wouldn’t add much for the three sections of discourse you have up there; seems that I’m on the same way. Instead, I’d comment on the conclusive part, “As The Dust Settles”. ^^

    Now, if religions are all false, how to get rid of all of them? Some people refused to talk about it. Some of those who refused are potentially dangerous to intelectual liberty. Some are not. What about them? And what about alternative interpretations? Do they make sense, or simply far-fetched ideas? If one religion is true, what would be used to confirm its truth?

    Well, as far as I was concerned few months ago, religions and spirituality are mainly about personal experience. With that weighing subjectivity, you can’t find an exact answers that will satisfy everyone… or so I think.😕

    Quoting Hiruta-san, it’s just between that person and the God himself; should He does exist.

    Is religion an obsolete meme that survived through the ages because of the selfish nature in their doctrines?

    The term “obsolete” itself is relative by nature. Some Talibanese look at their regime happily, while most people outside them looking down upon it — saying that it is “centuries left behind” and dystopic by nature.😉

    IMHO, as you have said about zeitgeist. Every religions are bound to be static, but it is the progressive nature based on the teachings to differ them. One can choose a religion and apply it with a dose of progressive elaboration; that prevents its being obsolete by some degree.

    Else, to stay exactly true to when Jesus, Buddha, or Muhammad was around. That means any progress in science, sociality, and technology deemed inconservative; there come a religion as “obsolete”.🙂

    Or is religion absolute truth, and freethinking is but a form of escapism?

    By assumptions that God exists and that a religion is clear, uncorrupted, and comes directly from Him, that religion become absolute. But sadly, even if it is absolute in its truth, more interpretation is still needed… and that divides the believers into the groupings you’ve just mentioned. ^^

    Graphically I’ll write it as:

     

    God’s direction
    |
    |— single-essence, pure religion
    ……|
    ……|-divided by eras & culture
    ………|
    ………|-Axial age beliefs
    ………|-Jewish
    ………|-Christianity
    ………|-Islam

    But alas, so many people interpret religions very differently from others. Even in the same religions we have differentt sects. Of course this yield gnash-and-claw in progress — reminds me battles that happened during the Crusades: there were Shias, Sunnis, Catholic, Catharis, Greek Orthodox, and other factions available. ^^

    With religions on for such disappointment, we have the wide-varying kind of believers that spread all around many religions available. The very conservatives became fundamentalists, and the most-disappointed became freethinkers or even atheists.

    Yup, freethinking is an escapism from the disappointment from the religions’ mainstream. But, interestingly, religion isn’t automatically an absolute truth — no one can really hold that “a certain religion’s practice is what God would agree” — as the single-essence-message from God has branched into so many different religions and sects and practices.:mrgreen:

    Whew, it’s lengthy already. (o_0)

    But for a final note,

    Observing the fashion that is used by believers to hold their respective faiths, I am convinced that believing is in reality a complex resultant born from numerous gradual processes, involving several outside factors; ranging from personal experiences, educational backgrounds, personal philosophy, and, of course, the amount of information (and misinformation) received during one’s lifetime.

    Yup, can’t agree more for this.🙂

  16. I must apoligize for my lack grammar…I’m not good in english and other language, FYI

    In my point of view, I’ve found some of my friends don’t know about concept of atheism nor strong and weak atheism. Hasty generalization, eh? (How pity they are… as a student of International Relations department. “Agnosticism, what is that?”😆 They said)

    nay…you’re still 18, how can you judge your friends… IMO, the one who use generalization here is you bro… in this age esspecially in this era… teen ussually search for their potential not their faith… of course you can blame their parents…. but my point is, not all of boys at your age know about agnosticism… even my-60-years-old-neighbours don’t know what agnosticism is….

    arrrrgggggghhhhh…. how can they use english as an international language….

  17. @ cK
    Saya ikut bahagia kalau anda merasa muda lagi.:mrgreen:

    @ Nenda Fadhilah
    Morality?😆 Morality is there due to the existence of objectivity. If the truth is relative, morality does not exist.🙂

    @ p4ndu
    *kasih air putih*

    @ eMina

    saya mempercayai, bukan hanya karena berdasarkan pada apa yang bisa saya pikirkan. Tapi, more than that, karena apa yang bisa saya rasakan.

    David Kosher mengadakan bunuh diri massal juga karena ia percaya pada apa yang dia ‘rasakan’.🙂 Antek-antek bin Laden meledakkan bom mobil pada awal tahun 1990-an juga karena mereka percaya pada apa yang mereka ‘rasakan’. Taliban mengeksekusi Zarmeena di hadapan orang banyak karena mereka percaya pada apa yang mereka ‘rasakan’.

    Sampai kapan kita mau diperbudak apa yang kita ‘rasakan’?🙂

    @ Tito
    Memangnya master masih tergolong believer?:mrgreen:
    Ahem, ya, yang terdekat kayakya itu, deh. Lewat pandangan saya, lho.🙂

    @ celo
    Kenapa nggak coba transtool-nya Dictionary dot com?😛

    @ rozenesia
    Tapi katanya ente agnostik, ya memang milihnya jadi susah begitu.😆 Btw, orang di sekitar nggak tahu terminologi agnostik?😯 Sama kayak di sekitar saya…😦

    @ sora9n

    IMO, sebetulnya post ini bisa dibagi jadi tiga bagian, menurut subbabnya. “initial conception of faith”, “evolution in religion” sama “kinds of believers”

    Fetish sama entry blog yang panjang-panjang lagi kambuh.:mrgreen:

    Well, as far as I was concerned few months ago, religions and spirituality are mainly about personal experience. With that weighing subjectivity, you can’t find an exact answers that will satisfy everyone… or so I think.😕

    Indeed this would be the toughest part; one would claim that s/he just “knows” that s/he’s right, and would stay that way in spite of weak arguments. What’s worrisome about this stance is that one could justify just about anything by (questionable) inner convictions— resulting in David Koresh incorporated.😕

    Must we really tolerate in “personal experiences”? Considering that people have started worshipping Thor and Odin and the like again these days, I somehow doubt religion will perish, even if it’s wrong.

    The term “obsolete” itself is relative by nature. Some Talibanese look at their regime happily, while most people outside them looking down upon it — saying that it is “centuries left behind” and dystopic by nature.😉

    IMHO, as you have said about zeitgeist. Every religions are bound to be static, but it is the progressive nature based on the teachings to differ them. One can choose a religion and apply it with a dose of progressive elaboration; that prevents its being obsolete by some degree.

    This, I agree.🙂

    By assumptions that God exists and that a religion is clear, uncorrupted, and comes directly from Him, that religion become absolute. But sadly, even if it is absolute in its truth, more interpretation is still needed… and that divides the believers into the groupings you’ve just mentioned. ^^

    Yes. Religions rely very heavily in poetic texts, that are, of course, ambiguous by nature.

    Yup, freethinking is an escapism from the disappointment from the religions’ mainstream.

    Depends. Usually, freethinking is most of the time an escapism from religion, but over the time, one would usually change its view— except apatheists. Works for every kind of -ism’s, I suppose.

    But, interestingly, religion isn’t automatically an absolute truth — no one can really hold that “a certain religion’s practice is what God would agree” — as the single-essence-message from God has branched into so many different religions and sects and practices.:mrgreen:

    But we have plenty that would happily insist that God would agree with them.:mrgreen:

    @ celo
    Jadi yang salah masyarakatnya, nih?
    *kirim petisi pengakuan agnostisisme sebagai agama di Indonesia*

  18. Morality?😆 Morality is there due to the existence of objectivity. If the truth is relative, morality does not exist.🙂

    Morality changes with due course of time. If you remember, in 60s in America it will be shameful for an unwed mother to have a child, unlike today in same area. Some true to slavery and abortion.

    Btw, then my college is cooler then; since some of my friends know the terminology, even though it doesn’t really mean that we talk about this.

  19. Morality changes with due course of time. If you remember, in 60s in America it will be shameful for an unwed mother to have a child, unlike today in same area. Some true to slavery and abortion.

    Yes, I wrote a lengthy writing about that. But if the truth is relative, one could justify everything, perhaps even effectively negating the “morality” basis of lawmaking.

    Hence, there would be law, but just as law. Not as a moral standard.

    Btw, then my college is cooler then; since some of my friends know the terminology, even though it doesn’t really mean that we talk about this.

    Never tried to talk about it in my college. I know noone from my college, you see.

  20. Must we really tolerate in “personal experiences”?

    No, no; accepting it as personal judgment does not automatically mean that we have to tolerate it, should it breach the reasonable boundaries. The point is, we can’t verify the absolute truth of God/religion.

    With this condition, our only dependable basis are (in example) philosophy, ethics, and morality. That is the boundary… perhaps, even though it is also relative. I’d rather devise an enhanced moral standard developed from golden rule, should the exact measurement be taken against the religion’s maniacs’ madness. ^^

    Considering that people have started worshipping Thor and Odin and the like again these days, I somehow doubt religion will perish, even if it’s wrong.

    For that, I personally think that mythical deities wouldn’t be able to compete against monotheism — the base of most religions we have these days. Too many paradoxes monotheism can answer while multiple deities can’t.

    E.g. about the gods’ conflict of interests, human’s free will, destiny, prima causa, and some others. I’d rather have monotheism as the most logical conception of God/metaphysical realm to date. ^^

    Usually, freethinking is most of the time an escapism from religion, but over the time, one would usually change its view— except apatheists. Works for every kind of -ism’s, I suppose.

    Ah, so every -ism a kind of escape from (mainly) another -isms? You show the shining point there.😀

    Agreed, people always elaborate and change views when deemed necessary.🙂

    But we have plenty that would happily insist that God would agree with them.:mrgreen:

    “Every man in town says Layla loves him,
    But none knows that Layla rejects them in their back”

    (a rough English translation of so-called-Layla-nursery used by Islam fundies around here — you know about Salafy/Wahhabi groups)😆

  21. No, no; accepting it as personal judgment does not automatically mean that we have to tolerate it, should it breach the reasonable boundaries. The point is, we can’t verify the absolute truth of God/religion.

    With this condition, our only dependable basis are (in example) philosophy, ethics, and morality. That is the boundary… perhaps, even though it is also relative. I’d rather devise an enhanced moral standard developed from golden rule, should the exact measurement be taken against the religion’s maniacs’ madness. ^^

    Indeed, rather than finding a basic, natural rule in which all laws should be based upon, we should concentrate in formulating a working ruling system. It does not matter even if we have to borrow its conceptions from religions— even the most obsolete and ridiculous (and extincted) ones.

    For that, I personally think that mythical deities wouldn’t be able to compete against monotheism — the base of most religions we have these days. Too many paradoxes monotheism can answer while multiple deities can’t.

    Depends. The contemporary understanding of the monotheistic concept is the collage of several preceding conceptions. The reason why the current concept of monotheism is more favorable now is that it lacks antrophomorphic qualities.🙂

    When one speaks of a ‘One True God’ nowadays, it would be of the complex Gnostic concept of a perfect, seemingly emotionless God, rather than the (allegedly) playful-and-walking-around-wrestling-with-Job God found in the Tanakh.😆

    Ah, so every -ism a kind of escape from (mainly) another -isms? You show the shining point there.

    Well, every -ism is being erected by someone who, supposedly, previously lived in another -ism, so…

    (Wait, is that a causal loop?😕 )

    “Every man in town says Layla loves him,
    But none knows that Layla rejects them in their back”

    (a rough English translation of so-called-Layla-nursery used by Islam fundies around here — you know about Salafy/Wahhabi groups)😆

    Hohoho! And why Layla anyways?😆

  22. The contemporary understanding of the monotheistic concept is the collage of several preceding conceptions. The reason why the current concept of monotheism is more favorable now is that it lacks antrophomorphic qualities.🙂

    Thus, eliminating the humane-error-potential that might have been attributed to God(s).😀

    Since humans aren’t perfect, IMHO.😉

    Well, every -ism is being erected by someone who, supposedly, previously lived in another -ism, so…

    (Wait, is that a causal loop?😕 )

    Evolution, perhaps. Not necessarily looping IMHO… someone who has ever set foot (and displeased) to one -ism would step to other, but it’s quite rare that he/she got back to the place he/she was ever in. ^^

    Though it’s also possible that loops occur… maybe when that particular person has a more developed point of view toward that -ism he/she ever despised.😕

    Hohoho! And why Layla anyways?😆

    Maybe because she is (said-to-be) the legendary girl in Arabia, who implied his forcefully-deprived-lover fell into madness. Because she was forced to marry another man, that’s the case.😛

    See [Layla and Majnun].

  23. Yes, I wrote a lengthy writing about that. But if the truth is relative, one could justify everything, perhaps even effectively negating the “morality” basis of lawmaking.

    Hence, there would be law, but just as law. Not as a moral standard.

    This held true, however; morality often taken as consideration in lawmaking. If you know international law, there is a peremptory norm namely jus cogens. Very basic norm that even UN Charter cannot amend it. It only can change with due course of time. Btw, your theory namely legal positivism.

    Yes, one could deliberately made a law as their wish however any kind of law that contravene with the public wills and morality is hard to sustain.

    Perhaps, if you learn about Social Science more, you will see that there will be no single truth about a matter. One can argue from both side and both of the view is true. It’s not about math that 1+1=2.

    Never tried to talk about it in my college. I know noone from my college, you see.

    I knew it…

    @Sora9n
    What I do remember about Layla is one of Layla’s reincarnation has made Eric Clapton become a mad man. Hence the name.

  24. sorry for my lack grammar… just practicing

    btw, I’m not disscuss about your entry… I’ve disscuss about roze’s comment…. honestly, I’ve not done read your entry yet… tryin to accomplish it

    @ celo
    Jadi yang salah masyarakatnya, nih?
    *kirim petisi pengakuan agnostisisme sebagai agama di Indonesia*

    nay… the one who blameable here is… rozenesia (IMO) and peoples who judge that other people is in the same level with them….

    we’re born different, live different, and die different….

    if you know what the meanings of agnosticism exactly, it doesn’t means that every peoples around you know it too….

    *yay…I’ve post some comment in english.. please tell me to correct if I’ve done mistakes*

  25. @ Nenda Fadhilah

    Euh… it was said in the wikipedia page, that Eric Clapton drew the inspiration from the folklore. Perhaps the two Laylas are actually connected each other.😀

  26. @ sora9n

    Thus, eliminating the humane-error-potential that might have been attributed to God(s).

    Precisely.

    Evolution, perhaps. Not necessarily looping IMHO… someone who has ever set foot (and displeased) to one -ism would step to other, but it’s quite rare that he/she got back to the place he/she was ever in. ^^

    Not really— I do think that many eventually submitted to the peer pressure. You are either what’s around you, or the exact opposite; environment plays a vital role in one’s mindset.

    So, I suppose many actually “gave up” and went back to square one. Perhaps just like an apatheist that once got fired up and came clean as an unbeliever. In the end, s/he settled down and went back believing (at least on the outside) because (perhaps) the uproar s/he created was too much and it doesn’t worth it.

    @ Nenda Fadhilah
    Uh, okay, okay. Good, whatever that means.😕
    Like I said before, rather than trying to formulate a morality system from a totally secular source, it would be better to just forge a working system in a form of a collage of past laws adjusted to the current zeitgeist.

    @ celo
    Jadi solusinya sebaiknya dibagaimanaken, ya? Supaya agnostik dan atheis dan religionis dan segala jenis manusia bisa koeksis dengan tenang?😛

  27. Pingback: Input and Output « Generasi Biru

  28. Pingback: You, Me, and Agnosticism « all hail rozenesia™

  29. Mau ikutan komment bahasa inggris, tapi nanti malah gak keburu🙂

    Pertama tentang konsep toleransi yang disinggung di tanggapan Kopral atas pernyataan Sora, agak dejavu bagi saya karena sore tadi saya membaca di Gramedia buku “filsafat di masa terror”. Buku ini membincangkan pendapat Habermas dan Derrida tentang makna Terror, salah satu pendapat yang diungkapkan adalah tentang konsep Kesanggrahan (hospitality), suatu konsep yang agaknya lebih tinggi dari sekadar Toleransi. Berupa ” kewajiban
    unik seseorang terhadap yang lain berupa kemurahan hati dan membuka
    diri dalam pembentukan konsensus yang berlangsung secara terus-menerus tanpa akhir ” http://id.shvoong.com/social-sciences/1693788-melampaui-kosmopolitanisme-politik/
    Menurut saya, dalam pembentukan konsensus ini berarti kita harus siap menerima berbagai personal experiences dari setiap orang.

  30. Pingback: WHAT THE FU*beep* IS THIS??? « Celoteh Bebek Jamuran…

  31. kalau saya lihat, kategorisasi di atas justru sebagai pisau saat membelah suatu kasus. Dalam konteks islam, Anda bisa saja menjadi intuitive pluralist saat membahas masalah hukum cambuk, revolutionary liberalist saat membahas masalah poligami, miracle seekers saat membahas Isra’ Mi’raj dan resolute fundamentalist saat membahas masalah puasa.Root of all evil-nya kan pisaunya kebalik-balik saat membedah sesuatu.Btw, salut buat upayanya dengan menerjemahkan konflik freethinkers dan believers lebih komprehensif utk lepas dari jebakan straw man.

  32. Menurut saya , semua karena pembatasan penggunaan alat untuk memahami realitas hanya menggunakan pikiran , media yang penuh keterbatasan.
    Dan hal ini akan menimbulkan segala bentuk pertentangan abadi ketika pikiran mencoba memahami realitas yang diatas batas kemampuan pikiran bekerja ( pikiran bekerja berdasarkan memory ).

    Kenapa kita tidak mencoba memahami hal2 diluar dunia realitas dengan media yang lain yaitu media batin , dan ini sudah menjadi hal yang jamak bagi ahli spiritual. Akan tetapi….
    Jangan pernah digeser , dirubah , dipengaruhi dan didistori oleh pemahaman pemahaman yang sudah ada lama dialam bawah sadar anda yang merupakan proses hasil pemikiran. Sebab jika hal ini terjadi maka kita akan sama dengan yang lain bahwa pemahaman yang kita dapat adalah pemahaman versi inilah atau versi itulah yang menjadi sumber perpecahan.

    So biarkan alam yang akan membuka rahasianya sendiri…

  33. Pingback: GunawanRudy[dot]Com» Blog Archive » You, Me, and Agnosticism

  34. ANDJROTTO!
    Kenceng bener situ nulisnya. Kuliah di mana Bro? Manteb!
    Tapi kalo saya pragmatis sih orangnya. Maksudnya… ok, say if an atheist dies then he/she ceases to exist. On the other hand, if someone with a faith to religion, if he/she dies then he/she may go to heaven (or hell for that matter). Nah, diliat aja untung ruginya😀 kalo si beragama mati ternyata Tuhan gak ada, ya udah, investasi ibadah angus. NAH LO, kalo si atheist mati dan ternyata Tuhan itu ada, habis lah dia… Maka dari itu gue ambil jalan aman aja daah… hhehehehe.
    Peace out! Salam kenal!

  35. Sesungguhnya, ada jauh lebih sedikit kehendak bebas dari pada yang orang pikirkan. Kondisioning kita (keinginan biologis kita untuk bertahan hidup dan maju, dikombinasi dengan penglamn kita) membuat pilihan2 pasti jauh lebih sering daripada yag lain. Bgaiamana lagi kita menjelaskan kemmpuan kita, dalam banyak kasus, untuk meramalkan perilaku manusia?

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