Happy Ghost in the Sky Day

who’s down with the G.O.D.? I used to be christian. then i realized that i don’t like being treated perpetually like a child who’s supposed to feel guilty about being alive.

I am most certainly not down with God. But I am still spiritual, which tends to confuse a lot of people.

I’m a Christian for the country club benefits.

Reminds me of the Louis CK video I just (re-)saw this morning. (NSFW: Language)


If you like Louis CK you should check out Talking Funny, it’s a hour long talk about comedy btwn him, Chris Rock, Seinfeld, and Ricky Gervais. Hilarious and insightful. It’s interesting to see their dynamic.

…can’t imagine how awesome it must of been when he used to open for Seinfeld.


Sometimes, I wish I could believe in something like god. It must be nice to truly believe you will go to heaven or some afterlife, instead of just facing oblivion.

^ I completely agree. I’m jealous of religious people. Their lives are so much easier secular humanists like myself. How do we find meaning in a seemingly meaningless world?

For my part the only place I find meaning is on top of a mountain or on top of a teenage Scandinavian chick. It would be much easier if I could just go to church.

I think you’ll probably not get a “representative sample” here. Alladin (who I really like, and think is one of the coolest posters around) has been openly hostile to religion, and a lot of the content in the Water Cooler is stuff that would turn most Christians away. Not to mention, a lot of the personalities (Blake) seem like they would be very condescending to a religious person.

I, for one, am a practicing Christian. I grew up Christian, then quit going to church for several years, then started going again in my 30’s.

Same boat, although if I hit a 19 yo Scandinavian on the top of a moutain I think I’d buy into something.

^ This. I’ve known some pretty smart guys that battled with losing their faith and found a way to rectify things and make peace with their religion. I’m envious of them and hope someday I get there. It seems like it would add purpose and the idea of an afterlife seems like it would be life changing. But I feel like my cynicism keeps getting in my way.

I was thinking this. And I’m not a fan of the mocking of relgion (when it’s peacefully practiced), it just seems really condescending. Ever since I became agnostic life seemed a lot more meaningless, and I didn’t feel a need to go around bragging about it. Anyhow, hope you enjoyed Easter mang.

It’s funny when your wife is a Catholic and you don’t believe in anything, as it is in my case. You hear a lot of “shut uuuup!” when the topic comes up.

Hard to fathom that a Catholic would marry a non-believer. Or that a non-believer would marry a Catholic.

I dated a Catholic once and had a hard time with it. But she was also a Texas A&M grad.

There were a lot of stupid rituals, tradition-for-tradition’s sake (that nobody understands but you have to follow or you get ostracized), a lot of mindless groupthink, and a severe dislike for anybody who dares to challenge their beliefs. And then there was the Catholic part, too.

I few days before he died, I asked my dad (a lifelong athiest) if the imminence of the end had changed his mind on anything. He said that he found the idea of an afterlife appealing but he couldnt’ see any evidence for it and couldn’t bring himself to believe. But he did say “It would be a huge shock to suddenly arrive and realize ‘What? All of that was really true??’”

Personally, I’m agnostic about the metaphysical stuff. I dont’ see any evidence (that’s why it’s called ‘faith’), but I also feel that the universe is more complex and full of things we don’t see or understand than we can know, so I don’t quite rule it out. What I do know, however, is:

  1. human beings use religion to maniplate and control each other, and have for thousands of years, so whatever divine message there might be is almost certainly not what comes out of pulpits.

  2. there is some value in community and traditions that bring us together.

  3. none of us know for sure what the truth is about that, even if we feel we know for sure.

  4. Some of us have a need to feel the presence of a supernatural (Voltaire: “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.”) there is some research suggesting that our minds are set up in such a way that we need to have explanations for things. Before we had a large body of scientific knowledge, all this structure could do was presuppose some kind of agency onto things, such as gods. Later it imposed hierarchies, which led to monotheism. Interestingly, this research has been used by both sides to suggest both a) God is a psychological illusion, and b) evidence that God created a way for us to know or see Him.

  5. why a God (or gods) would take a personal interest in our affairs is beyond me. For all I know, we could be some leftover experiment that went wrong. I feel that if God truly cared for us the way some religions suggest, He wouldn’t keep leaving us in the dark under pain of after-life torture. And if he didn’t care for us, why would he bother torturing us in the afterlife if we weren’t just what he wanted.

  6. I’ve often thought “what if heaven and hell (assuming they exist)” are the same place, and it’s the attitude you bring that determines how you experience it.

  7. I try to figure out how the existence of a soul can be reconciled with what we know about the brain. And one possibility is that the brain is not the seat of consciousness, but in fact a kind of antenna that picks up consciousness from elsewhere. This would perhaps be a way that a soul could connect with a body without inhabiting it. When the brain and body dies, the soul would not be dead because the soul does not inhabit the body, it simply controls the body and gets feedback from it. I don’t necessarily believe this is reality, but it is a plausible mechanism by which one could have an immortal (or at least long-lived) soul and still have a mortal body. Butterflies and birds are known to be able to follow the Earth’s magnetic field, so perhaps there is some field that connects our bodies to our souls.

  8. Where do new souls come from? Are they created coincidentally with new bodies, or are they ensouled at some point (interestingly, Catholic doctrine used to hold that fetuses were “ensouled” some time after conception - I forget how long, but something like 14 weeks, which would of course change the abortion debate if it had remained the doctrine).

Ok, those last points were not things I “know,” but the main thing is that I don’t mock people for private beliefs, but I do resist people using religious beliefs to try to control other people who don’t share them (or even those who do). That means our public morality needs to be based on philosophical principles, rather than religious ones. It seems to me that if God really wants us to know and love Him, then he would make recognition of Him part of our own personal journeys, and not demand mindless obedience to others who speak in His name.

^ Yeah, she’s not a fanatic follower of her religion, but still is a Catholic. She doesn’t go to church on most Sundays and doesn’t follow most of its arbitrary rituals, but believes in God as it is defined by that religion.

I agreed to have a religious wedding because it was a deal breaker for her, so I thought what the hell, it’s one time.

Belief in heaven has the negative flip side of belief in hell. Life would be a lot more fun if the prospect of going to hell had not been pounded into my head for years.

Ignorance is a bliss right? I’ve always felt those who are only partially religious only do it as a worst case scenario. They understand a lot of the concepts seem like complete bs but practice just in case it turns out correct. I’m on the same page as those who state they are agnostic – does that make me a hypocrite?

Religion is a cultural thing as much as a belief system for most of the people I know. I mean, most of the Christians I know spends as much time acting non-Christian as the atheists or Jewish people I know.

I was raised Catholic and one of the things I never understood was if heaven is great why not live a really good but dangerous life and then go to heaven sooner. I mean, the world compared to heaven is shit, so why not just go to Congo in the 90s and try to prevent a village massacre with your bare hands or something. You’d be doing good here while at the same time getting into heaven sooner.

Yeah, I was a bit of a messed up kid.

This is called “Pascal’s Wager.”

Basically, it says that if God does not exist, and you act in this life as if he does, then you really haven’t lost that much. Yes, you had to abstain from alcohol and extramarital sex and attend church services, but that’s small taters compared to the alternative.

The alternative is that God DOES exist, and you act as if he does not, then you burn in hell for ever and ever and ever, which could have been prevented by a little self-control in this mortal life.

So Pascal decided that he would “buy insurance” buy choosing to believe in God and follow the commandments of the church. The idea his flesh regenerating and burning every day for the next trillion years didn’t appeal to him at all.