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      06-04-2012, 09:53 AM   #1
JesterEXW
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What do you believe? Starting a Poll (kinda)

I was inspired to create this post due to some comments in various threads floating around. It seems that people are intrigued by the spectrum of beliefs held by BMW owners and were curious as to what demographic we all fit into. Below is Dawkins' Scale of Belief; it can be used to determine how religious we truly are. It does not differentiate between theism/deism which I see as an issue so I wanted to add a "notes" section for that and any other thoughts.

Hopefully nothing like this was done already but I thought it could be fun.

Here is what I felt would be a good post procedure:

Location (could be important to ID trends)

Number (Based off of the scale below)

Religious Identification (What you see yourself as, i.e. Catholic, Atheist, Mormon, Hindu, Agnostic etc.)

Notes (For any clarification or commentary you may have, even an explaination of why you believe or do not could be interesting)

DAWKINS SCALE OF BELIEF

1 - Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung: "I do not believe, I know."

2 - De facto theist. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. "I don't know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."

3 - Leaning towards theism. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."

4 - Completely impartial. Exactly 50 per cent. "God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."

5 - Leaning towards atheism. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."

6 - De facto atheist. Very low probability, but short of zero. "I don't know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."

7 - Strong atheist.
"I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung knows there is one."
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      06-04-2012, 10:06 AM   #2
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Since I am the originator, only fair I post to this as one of the first, so here ya go:

LOCATION: United States, Washington DC area (but lived all over via the military and raised in CT)

NUMBER: 6

RELIGIOUS IDENTIFICATION: Atheist

NOTES: None right now, wanna let this thread get going.
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      06-04-2012, 12:27 PM   #3
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NUMBER: 6.5

RELIGIOUS IDENTIFICATION: Atheist

NOTES: While in my mind I certainly believe there is no higher power, I would deem if there was, that power would certainly laugh at present day man made religion.
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      06-04-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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Location: Florida

Number: 2.5

Religious Identification: Believe in god, not christian or catholic, just believe in "god" and whats written in the bible. Something like...

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      06-04-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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Location: Midwest
Number: 1
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Notes: At your deathbed, atheists, you'll be wishing you had faith and a belief in God throughout your life. Otherwise you'll have nothing and you'll realize that at the end.
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      06-04-2012, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90SoFlo View Post
Location: Florida

Number: 2.5

Religious Identification: Believe in god, not christian or catholic, just believe in "god" and whats written in the bible. Something like...

The above, while I do find funny, holds little value in an intellectual manner. Not to say there are no good arguments for belief, but the picture does an injustice to your motivation perhaps. It is simply a visual representation of "Pascal's Wager": Meaning it is better to believe than not since you've only got something to gain. This is flawed because if the faith is not genuine and you are doing it for self-preservation (as the img projects) then an omnipotent god (like the one in the Bible) would see through this endeavor and likely not view it in a kind light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvosM3 View Post
Location: Midwest
Number: 1
Religious Identification: Christian Orthodox
Notes: At your deathbed, atheists, you'll be wishing you had faith and a belief in God throughout your life. Otherwise you'll have nothing and you'll realize that at the end.
As far as regrets about belief on my deathbed, I seriously doubt that. There is the chance that I will have regrets, but I hope to live a full and moral life even as an atheist so that when my time is up I will have much to be happy about. I will contend also, since your words seem to carry a certain amount of accusation with them, that as an atheist I am capable of living a MORE moral and full life than you.

Firstly, I believe it is likely that this is my only go-around and if that is true then i wish to make the most of it. I do not believe that there is a paradise waiting on the other side so my only option is to make this life as close to a paradise as I can. I do not waste my time fretting over the judgement of a higher being, instead I embrace the moments given and attempt to do best with those.

Secondly, I believe that my morality is innate and more pure than that of one trying to enter heaven. I do not avoid bad deeds and embrace good ones for fear of repercussions from a god. Nor do I do good for hope of reward such as heaven. I do these things because my moral compass tells me to, I do good for the sake of good. This is a much less selfish route than those weighing decisions based upon what they have been told in a book or those awaiting a reward.

Didn't want to start a debate, but I feel as it is your right to post something of that nature it is my right to respond in kind. Also, I do not take offense to what you said. I think that an honest, open exchange of ideas is healthy and will lead to greater understanding for all
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      06-04-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvosM3 View Post
Location: Midwest
Number: 1
Religious Identification: Christian Orthodox
Notes: At your deathbed, atheists, you'll be wishing you had faith and a belief in God throughout your life. Otherwise you'll have nothing and you'll realize that at the end.
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
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      06-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonX View Post
“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”
-Richard Dawkins

Fantastic quote and summarizes the healthy skepticism we all exhibit in most cases. The primary difference (which Dawkins eludes to) is that at least atheists remain consistent in their skepticism as opposed to being selfishly selective.
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      06-04-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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Did you guys really expect not to get trolled in this thread?
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      06-04-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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Haha, no of course there will be trolling and flaming but still worth talking about. That stuff doesn't upset me, I'll just try to have an intellectual exchange with them and if that doesn't work then move on.
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      06-04-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
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LOCATION: Salt Lake City

NUMBER: 2.0

RELIGIOUS IDENTIFICATION: LDS (Mormon)

NOTES: Knowing that there is a God, in my opinion, implies one has moved beyond faith to pure knowledge. This, in my opinion, would require first hand knowledge of said God by way of personal witness. I have strong faith that God exists but do not know based on my definition of what knowing signifies. My faith is based on many personal experiences, studying the gospel (both Christian and others) and attempting to live it, and innate feelings that I cannot deny at this time.
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      06-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litt View Post
LOCATION: Salt Lake City

NUMBER: 2.0

RELIGIOUS IDENTIFICATION: LDS (Mormon)

NOTES: Knowing that there is a God, in my opinion, implies one has moved beyond faith to pure knowledge. This, in my opinion, would require first hand knowledge of said God by way of personal witness. I have strong faith that God exists but do not know based on my definition of what knowing signifies. My faith is based on many personal experiences, studying the gospel (both Christian and others) and attempting to live it, and innate feelings that I cannot deny at this time.
Your notes did a good job of explaining the number you selected, makes sense to me!
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      06-04-2012, 03:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesterEXW View Post
Secondly, I believe that my morality is innate and more pure than that of one trying to enter heaven. I do not avoid bad deeds and embrace good ones for fear of repercussions from a god. Nor do I do good for hope of reward such as heaven. I do these things because my moral compass tells me to, I do good for the sake of good. This is a much less selfish route than those weighing decisions based upon what they have been told in a book or those awaiting a reward.
I realize that many professed religious people follow the precepts of their beliefs because of this (fear). Personally, I do it for similar reasons as you. I do, however, find that religion can help focus the moral compass. Some of the best and most genuine people I have met have been atheist and some of the worst have been "religious." It is hard to paint anyone with a broad brush in my opinion.
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      06-04-2012, 03:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvosM3 View Post
Location: Midwest
Number: 1
Religious Identification: Christian Orthodox
Notes: At your deathbed, atheists, you'll be wishing you had faith and a belief in God throughout your life. Otherwise you'll have nothing and you'll realize that at the end.
This explains a whole lot.
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      06-04-2012, 03:32 PM   #15
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ID: Christian, Southern Baptist
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      06-04-2012, 03:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litt View Post
LOCATION: Salt Lake City

NUMBER: 2.0

RELIGIOUS IDENTIFICATION: LDS (Mormon)

NOTES: Knowing that there is a God, in my opinion, implies one has moved beyond faith to pure knowledge. This, in my opinion, would require first hand knowledge of said God by way of personal witness. I have strong faith that God exists but do not know based on my definition of what knowing signifies. My faith is based on many personal experiences, studying the gospel (both Christian and others) and attempting to live it, and innate feelings that I cannot deny at this time.
This is what keeps me believing when I start to question my faith
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      06-04-2012, 03:56 PM   #17
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Notes:
I've had interesting discussions with religious folks, who insist that if you profess a belief in God, and accept him as your personal saviour (whatever that means to you), then even if you do so on your deathbed, after having lifed a life filled with bad deeds, you will be admitted into Heaven, whereas if you do not do that, then you will not be admitted into heaven, regardless of the kind of life you have lead.

This means that heaven could be filled with murderers, rapists, child molesters, and the like, who have all experienced some 11th hour "conversion", while people who have led a good life, helping others, possibly even saving lives, if they were not professed believers, then they are not allowed in. If that is in fact true, then I'm not sure I'd necessarily WANT to be admitted into that sort of heaven...

Also, to comment on the diagram representing Pascal's Wager: that assumes that the 1 God you have chosen to believe in is the "correct" one. There are literally billions of people who do believe in a God, but not the same one as Christians. What if Muslims [or insert other religion here] are the one who had it right all along? You think Sundays spent at your local Baptist church will save you from eternal hellfire? That might even be looked upon as worse than worshipping no Gods at all, at least then you could argue you did not disrespect Allah by idolizing another.

"Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6,000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities.

So next time someone tells me they believe in God, I’ll say “Oh which one? Zeus? Hades? Jupiter? Mars? Odin? Thor? Krishna? Vishnu? Ra?…” If they say “Just God. I only believe in the one God,” I’ll point out that they are nearly as atheistic as me. I don’t believe in 2,870 gods, and they don’t believe in 2,869." - Ricky Gervais
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      06-04-2012, 04:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
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This is what keeps me believing when I start to question my faith
Its sad that most people haven't experienced them yet. You can tell by what they believe in. Because when something happens to them, its pretty obvious.


*continue trolling now*
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      06-04-2012, 05:22 PM   #19
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JUst gonna leave this here

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      06-04-2012, 05:36 PM   #20
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Notes: Reason for the .5: While i believe and know that God exists i can not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to a nonbeliever that God exists. In the same way that a nonbeliever can not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to a believer that God does not exist.

For me personally, there have been far to many "coincidences" in my life for me not to believe.
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      06-04-2012, 05:46 PM   #21
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Number: 5.5

Religious Identification: Raised with a touch of Catholic and Lutheran when young since parents were each. Have moved towards Atheism.

Notes - I know many of the bible's stories from my youth, probably more than my religious friends. I saw it more as a moral guide, but as I grew up, it just became more of common sense. My parents were not strict and pretty much let me choose my religion (or lack thereof). My analytic nature and personal experiences have shaped who I am.
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      06-04-2012, 05:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP0WER View Post

Notes: Reason for the .5: While i believe and know that God exists i can not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to a nonbeliever that God exists. In the same way that a nonbeliever can not prove beyond a shadow of a doubt to a believer that God does not exist.

For me personally, there have been far to many "coincidences" in my life for me not to believe.
Good point. I don't think I'll ever be a 7 for the exact same reason.

I wish I had more "coincidences"! Some will say they are open to interpretation I guess.
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