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Hi From A Devout Agnostic :)


romansh
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Joseph kindly asked that I introduce myself.

 

So here goes.

 

Hi

I am what can be considered an agnostic, and I suppose by some definitions an atheist. But that is a semantic battle I have little interest at the moment.

 

I am a moderator and administrator of a little known agnostic forum. It's motto is A forum for people of all persuasions. So if anyone is interested to see the dark side - they are more than welcome, :rolleyes:

 

I have been thinking about Spong's works and wanted to find out more and his website pointed me here. I don't know for how long I will stay as our little agnostic forum can be a black hole for time. Anyway I posted a link to a Spong video and I got the expected reponse from our resident fundamental Christian - that Spong is not a Christian. If any one would like a peek, here is the thread. Anyway I will trawl though Spong forum to get alternative points of view.

 

My apologies if I have broken some cardinal sin in linking to another site.

 

My influences in life - the universe (I tend to be monistic in outlook). But from a pluralistic point of view my wife, my late son James, my family and a pretty good science education (despite the material the pedagogues had to work with) have been huge influences on me.

 

Two authors that have shaped me Douglas Adams and Joseph Campbell. I have never been terribly Christian, my peak would have been when I was confirmed as a skeptical 17 year old (Lutheran). I could never get the hang of the literal bits one requires to be a traditional Christian.

 

Enough about me.

 

Have fun

 

rom

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Welcome Rom,

 

I probably could label myself as an agnostic and a Christian at the same time. Agnostic in the sense that I have no idea if a God exists, although I lean toward there maybe being 'something' behind all 'this'. And I do hesitatingly call myself a Christian in that I consider Jesus an exemplar for living a worthwhile and rewarding life (but I also think there are a number of others, it's just that I'm most familiar with Jesus). Of course that wouldn't go down so well with your poster who denounces Spong, but I'm pretty sure (and pleased) that it would meet Spong's criteria.

 

You are welcome to stay as long or as short as you like. I hope you enjoy reading and particpating in the forum. There are a diverse range of views held here which always make for interesting discussion.

 

Cheers

Paul

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Rom,

 

Thanks for the introduction. Self-labels aren't all that important here and semantic battles accomplish little in my experience and i can relate to your disinterest in such . I do like your forum motto.

 

Have been away for a few days in TN with limited internet access so haven't responded until now.. Link is fine as your mention and intentions seem to me to be fine. Interesting site and discussions from a cursory view of mine.

 

We could certainly use more activity in our Spong forum. Most of the Spong newsletter members prefer the expanded scope of our entire discussion board rather than limiting discussion to his newsletters and that area. Have read many of your posts here and it seems to me you bring an interesting and insightful perspective.

 

Make yourself at home.

 

Joseph .

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Rom,

Thanks for the introduction. Self-labels aren't all that important here and semantic battles accomplish little in my experience and i can relate to your disinterest in such . I do like your forum motto.

 

Thanks for the welcome Joseph and Paul.

 

In some ways I agree with you here Joseph, but semantics are important. What would happen if I were to suggest someone who is a follower of Spong is not a Christian. I suspect I would be put on the mat pretty sharpish and quite logically so (from my perspective). Just try calling me an atheist and see what happens . :rolleyes:

 

On the otherside:

Imagine the word tree. For me it conjures up some non-descript deciduous thing. But do I include insects, birds animals in my thought? Do I include rain, air, rays of sun? Do I strip the soil, moisture and nutrients from the tree; what about lichen mosses and other flora? Where does a tree stop and the rest of the universe begin? This is what a label does, not always well, but it splits things into is and is not.

Edited by romansh
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In some ways I agree with you here Joseph, but semantics are important.

 

I agree. Without semantics, language would be just a bunch of meaningless sounds (by definition). But, sometimes we can get hung up on trying to make fine distinctions when it is unnecessary or serves some ulterior purpose.

 

George

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Agnostic in the sense that I have no idea if a God exists, although I lean toward there maybe being 'something' behind all 'this'.

The way I look at it is - I have a pretty clear vision of what god is not, but I'm far from sure what god is. Then perhaps I'mtrying to parse into is and is not?

I agree. Without semantics, language would be just a bunch of meaningless sounds (by definition). But, sometimes we can get hung up on trying to make fine distinctions when it is unnecessary or serves some ulterior purpose.

Ahh purpose, there's another quandry.

Edited by romansh
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The way I look at it is - I have a pretty clear vision of what god is not, but I'm far from sure what god is. Then perhaps I'mtrying to parse into is and is not?

 

I think 'is' and 'is not' are useful categories especially on this subject. Or, maybe a better agnostic first-cut division would be 'could be' and 'is not.'

 

George

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I think 'is' and 'is not' are useful categories especially on this subject. Or, maybe a better agnostic first-cut division would be 'could be' and 'is not.'

George

 

I think I understand what you are saying here, but I would say necessary rather than useful. I suspect it is the only way we can communicate.

I think this quote by George EB Box is insightful.

All models are wrong, but some are useful

 

Three questions come to mind:

1) if the is and is not model is wrong what is a more accurate model.

2) what is wrong with the more accurate/useful model. And finally:

3) what is wrong with Box's model that All models are wrong, but some are useful

 

 

I could chase my tail here for a long time.

 

:)

Edited by romansh
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Romansh, You brought up a good point how words can hurt or elate. They can be a weapon, I choose them as toys to play with because I can't describe the abstract that is becomming my reality as I move from the concrete to the subtle strata and back.

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In some ways I agree with you here Joseph, but semantics are important. What would happen if I were to suggest someone who is a follower of Spong is not a Christian. I suspect I would be put on the mat pretty sharpish and quite logically so (from my perspective). Just try calling me an atheist and see what happens . :rolleyes:

 

 

Well yes Rom, your point is well made but there is no disagreement as my quote did not mean to imply semantics was not important. It said "semantic battles accomplish little in my experience " and also what you call yourself here (your self label) is not that important that we would disagree what you call yourself. And in fact, we do certainly take objection to telling anyone they are not what they label themselves. It serves no useful purpose here except to provoke. So while we may ask for definitions or related questions it is most taboo and has gotten some banned here who insist they must call someone who labels themself by a certain religious label that they are not..While a person is free to think as such here, it is always wiser here to leave it unsaid.

 

Joseph

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Welcome Ramansh. It is good to hear form you. It is funny when I go to a Quaker meeting. There are people of all persuations in the meeting and yet it is hard to tell who is who in the meeting and I am not sure it matters. Labels are often not clear descriptions of people. It is good to hear from you.

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