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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am quite interested in this topic, not just because I am an INTP. But first I want to get this out of the way:
Please do not turn this into "I'm right, you're wrong" argument.
Asking questions to better understand why a person believes what they believe is completely cool but I don't want this to devolve into a petty argument filled with ad hominem.

From what I have read and personally seen, I find that most INTPs fall under agnostic all the way to anti-theistic.
I want to know, what do you believe? If you follow an organized religion or do not but still believe in some basic principles from it (I.E. you've distanced yourself from the catholic church but still believe in their idea of God).
You can explain why or just state what your beliefs are.

I was raised as a Christian, I have been an atheist for a decade, I was agnostic for quite a few years prior to then.
I am more than happy to answer any questions about being an atheist, as long as they are respectful and not condescending. I only speak for myself and not the entire atheist community (we are kind of like trying to herd cats). If you're looking for the full story of what caused me to shift towards being an non-believer, I will give it but it is quite long :tongue:
 

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I think the biggest problem is that people adopt belief rather than work on themselves. Religion and spirituality is not about "believing," at least if you get it's purpose. It's about helping man discover himself. So it ultimately comes down to becoming intimately aware of your own human experience, and the human experience in general. People out there try to point the way, and each may work for some people in some ways. But none will simply hand it to anyone - that road must be travelled by the individual alone, using his own wits and discernment during every step. Most religions started off as an attempt to help man find himself, but very few put forth the effort, as it offers little to no tangible reward and life often demands our constant attention toward other things.

Ultimately, I believe when you attempt to become aware of the human experience, you realize that the larger state of human consciousness within society is actually undivided. You're everyone, because everyone is you - the unfolding experience called your life is a natural phenomena that has been occurring forever and will continue occurring in one form or another for eternity. A systemic fault within the human mind gives the illusion of an experiencer, along with other things, and these faults can be corrected - most generally through meditation, though responsible drug use can be of some assistance I believe. The reward one gets for accomplishing this feat is health. To know with a deep inner certainty what one is, and also the conditions of life as we confront them, without hopes of changing things impossible to change, and without believing concepts we've constructed that tell us we are good or bad, or that we have a definite objective past that we too often grapple with or try to "overcome."

If that makes any sense. I'm still working on becoming more self-aware every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the biggest problem is that people adopt belief rather than work on themselves. Religion and spirituality is not about "believing," at least if you get it's purpose. It's about helping man discover himself. So it ultimately comes down to becoming intimately aware of your own human experience, and the human experience in general. People out there try to point the way, and each may work for some people in some ways. But none will simply hand it to anyone - that road must be travelled by the individual alone, using his own wits and discernment during every step. Most religions started off as an attempt to help man find himself, but very few put forth the effort, as it offers little to no tangible reward and life often demands our constant attention toward other things.

Ultimately, I believe when you attempt to become aware of the human experience, you realize that the larger state of human consciousness within society is actually undivided. You're everyone, because everyone is you - the unfolding experience called your life is a natural phenomena that has been occurring forever and will continue occurring in one form or another for eternity. A systemic fault within the human mind gives the illusion of an experiencer, along with other things, and these faults can be corrected - most generally through meditation, though responsible drug use can be of some assistance I believe. The reward one gets for accomplishing this feat is health. To know with a deep inner certainty what one is, and also the conditions of life as we confront them, without hopes of changing things impossible to change, and without believing concepts we've constructed that tell us we are good or bad, or that we have a definite objective past that we too often grapple with or try to "overcome."

If that makes any sense. I'm still working on becoming more self-aware every day.
It makes 100% sense and I truly appreciate what you have said, like I said I am a former theist. Thinking was always a bad thing, so what you wrote would have been, by my school and church's standards, wrong.
 

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To some degree it's really delightful and wonderful. I've had a lot of suffering in my life because of health issues and moreso because of awful parents, but you can really cleanse your mind and return it to its pure state (though those words shouldn't be taken too literally). Essentially thinking and thoughts are just a byproduct of a function within our organism. When a thought comes into existence, instead of being regarded as something "in the outside world," it is simply taken as something we as organisms can do - create representations of the silent experience that moves within our 5 senses. And these representations can be used as a sort of map.

Seeing through this resolves most problems of being human, at least the non-physical ones. You no longer have a definitive identity or past. Most people in some form or other feel pushed into their future actions by what happened in their pasts. Such as writing a wrong, proving wrong a sense of doubt, etc. From this perspective, there is never anything to fix. To follow a grudge with the past is to be enslaved by a phantom, something with no real existence - a conditioned image from thought shrinks your life down from an unspeakable openness to a little fart of the brain (I hate using that word but I really want to emphasize how small a thought image is compared to the openness of the silence).

I'm not enlightened by any means, yet at least... so I'm writing this partially to help myself process it under the belief that these words may be read.
 

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You can explain why or just state what your beliefs are.
I don't 'believe' in anything. Absolutes for beings with our level of intellect is nonsensical. Due to this, the only thing I can do as a rational person is put my confidence in the data collected from demonstrable scientific experimentation. This isn't putting my faith in science, it's simply taking the assumption that the explanation garnered from science is most likely an accurate one. That is literally it. That's all we can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To some degree it's really delightful and wonderful. I've had a lot of suffering in my life because of health issues and moreso because of awful parents, but you can really cleanse your mind and return it to its pure state (though those words shouldn't be taken too literally). Essentially thinking and thoughts are just a byproduct of a function within our organism. When a thought comes into existence, instead of being regarded as something "in the outside world," it is simply taken as something we as organisms can do - create representations of the silent experience that moves within our 5 senses. And these representations can be used as a sort of map.

Seeing through this resolves most problems of being human, at least the non-physical ones. You no longer have a definitive identity or past. Most people in some form or other feel pushed into their future actions by what happened in their pasts. Such as writing a wrong, proving wrong a sense of doubt, etc. From this perspective, there is never anything to fix. To follow a grudge with the past is to be enslaved by a phantom, something with no real existence - a conditioned image from thought shrinks your life down from an unspeakable openness to a little fart of the brain (I hate using that word but I really want to emphasize how small a thought image is compared to the openness of the silence).

I'm not enlightened by any means, yet at least... so I'm writing this partially to help myself process it under the belief that these words may be read.
I don't know what your musical tastes are but I want to recommend a few songs for you to listen for just the lyrics alone. So, if you don't like the genre or his style just listen for the words!

(my favorite out of the two)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't 'believe' in anything. Absolutes for beings with our level of intellect is nonsensical. Due to this, the only thing I can do as a rational person is put my confidence in the data collected from demonstrable scientific experimentation. This isn't putting my faith in science, it's simply taking the assumption that the explanation garnered from science is most likely an accurate one. That is literally it. That's all we can do.
For lack of a better term I used "believe". Plus, if you've met certain individuals they would argue that not believing is also a religion. I'm not saying I agree with that, I'm just stating that those people do exist! I wouldn't exactly call it logical lol
 

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My signature is pretty much my religion. I don't see how other religions have anything more to offer than that. But I would be interested in knowing if they did.
 

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If I had to label myself, I am Jewish. Though to be honest, I feel that I am Jewish because of the culture and community. I am somewhat agnostic, by which I mean, I think there has to be something out there, but in what form and in what capacity it has affected me are things I'll likely never know. There's the concept of something coming from nothing. I suppose there always has to have been something for everything to have formed from, but honestly it's quite odd and interesting to think that there never was a start. It's hard to wrap my head around the concept that for an eternity there was nothing and then all of a sudden, there was everything. The concept of a formative deity at least gives us an extra step along the way. I suppose I also find the idea of being able to pray and hope something will come of it as comforting. I also take comfort in the fact that I am connected to one of the world's oldest and hardiest groups. It makes no sense that Judaism has survived for as long as it has, and yet there are millions of other jews around the world today. In all likelihood, we are simply the horseshoe crab of religions, surviving because of our relatively small numbers and adaptability, but it's nice to think that there's some force out there looking after us. When you boil it down, faith and religion are very illogical, and even controlling, but that's not unusual in the world. There are a lot of stupid, pointless, nonsensical, annoyances in the world. If I somehow enjoy one of them, it's not the end of me.

Edit: I also enjoy that Judaism encourages asking questions. There's the idea that you can find an answer if you are unsure of one of the laws or traditions. I like that. Sure some of the answers aren't great, but at least I'm encouraged to look and form my own opinion. The old saying two Jews three opinions is very true, and I like that.
 

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If I had to label myself, I am Jewish. Though to be honest, I feel that I am Jewish because of the culture and community. I am somewhat agnostic, by which I mean, I think there has to be something out there, but in what form and in what capacity it has affected me are things I'll likely never know. There's the concept of something coming from nothing. I suppose there always has to have been something for everything to have formed from, but honestly it's quite odd and interesting to think that there never was a start. It's hard to wrap my head around the concept that for an eternity there was nothing and then all of a sudden, there was everything. The concept of a formative deity at least gives us an extra step along the way. I suppose I also find the idea of being able to pray and hope something will come of it as comforting. I also take comfort in the fact that I am connected to one of the world's oldest and hardiest groups. It makes no sense that Judaism has survived for as long as it has, and yet there are millions of other jews around the world today. In all likelihood, we are simply the horseshoe crab of religions, surviving because of our relatively small numbers and adaptability, but it's nice to think that there's some force out there looking after us. When you boil it down, faith and religion are very illogical, and even controlling, but that's not unusual in the world. There are a lot of stupid, pointless, nonsensical, annoyances in the world. If I somehow enjoy one of them, it's not the end of me.

Edit: I also enjoy that Judaism encourages asking questions. There's the idea that you can find an answer if you are unsure of one of the laws or traditions. I like that. Sure some of the answers aren't great, but at least I'm encouraged to look and form my own opinion. The old saying two Jews three opinions is very true, and I like that.
I agree with this. It's great despite being irrational in my religions existence (I'm a Buddhist) as two persons would have completely different opinions of certain things like the meaning of what 'vipaka' or consequences is, as I'm referencing Buddhist philosophy here.

But the fact that it somehow existed for so long, comforts me as you said, and even where I don't understand it, I can still proceed to exist despite the irrationality of it consuming me, just as it hasn't consumed itself.

Very well figured.
 

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I don't 'believe' in anything. Absolutes for beings with our level of intellect is nonsensical. Due to this, the only thing I can do as a rational person is put my confidence in the data collected from demonstrable scientific experimentation. This isn't putting my faith in science, it's simply taking the assumption that the explanation garnered from science is most likely an accurate one. That is literally it. That's all we can do.
One cannot put away one God without invoking another. As Jung said, you can take away a man's gods, only to give him others in return.

His tombstone says: "VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT"

"Called or not called, the god will be there."

The God is always there. Even if it isn't named that. Your God is science. What is above it?

Science, by its own method, is nothing but some chemical process in a human's brain. Like God. How can one chemical process be more true than the other? Either way, the only thing being affirmed is man and his methods. The divinity of science is the divinity of man.

CS Lewis put it well:

I was taught at school, when I had done a sum, to "prove my answer." The proof or verification of my Christian answer to the cosmic sum is this. When I accept Theology I may find difficulties, at this point or that, in harmonising it with some particular truths which are embedded in the mythical cosmology derived from science. But I can get in, or allow for, science as a whole. Granted that Reason is prior to matter and that the light of that primal Reason illuminates finite minds, I can understand how men should come, by observation and inference, to know a lot about the universe they live in. If, on the other hand, I swallow the scientific cosmology as a whole, then not only can I not fit in Christianity, but I cannot even fit in science. If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees. And this is to me the final test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One cannot put away one God without invoking another. As Jung said, you can take away a man's gods, only to give him others in return.

His tombstone says: "VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT"

"Called or not called, the god will be there."

The God is always there. Even if it isn't named that. Your God is science. What is above it?

Science, by its own method, is nothing but some chemical process in a human's brain. Like God. How can one chemical process be more true than the other? Either way, the only thing being affirmed is man and his methods. The divinity of science is the divinity of man.

CS Lewis put it well:

I was taught at school, when I had done a sum, to "prove my answer." The proof or verification of my Christian answer to the cosmic sum is this. When I accept Theology I may find difficulties, at this point or that, in harmonising it with some particular truths which are embedded in the mythical cosmology derived from science. But I can get in, or allow for, science as a whole. Granted that Reason is prior to matter and that the light of that primal Reason illuminates finite minds, I can understand how men should come, by observation and inference, to know a lot about the universe they live in. If, on the other hand, I swallow the scientific cosmology as a whole, then not only can I not fit in Christianity, but I cannot even fit in science. If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees. And this is to me the final test.
While I appreciate your right to an opinion, it takes away from the point of this thread.
This is to share your beliefs, not to over analyze and pick apart any other persons beliefs. If you find someone that comments and their beliefs align with yours that is great. But overall, this is not the point of the thread.
 

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It's quite contrarian to the supposed nature of the type, but I've had always had something of a bent outside of materialism and known science, because I've always thought dogmatic and rigid thinking becomes its own form of religion. I do think this is something you're born with, like most of your cognition. From the beginning of my memories, I never completely felt like the material world was real, including my (physical) body. I never really felt compatible with the physical form or even my name at times; they felt like some randomly-assigned identifications that had nothing to do with the actual me. Honestly, I never quite felt human either, only like I'm pretending to be one. I felt mentally much older than I ever was (ironically I acted much more mature as a kid than I do now, mostly because I feel like most people don't quite deserve me at my best, and partially because that type of behavior isn't really rewarded in modern society and could actually set you back in some ways), and had a sense that I existed, in some form or the other, before my actual memories started.

Obviously this isn't something you can readily articulate as a little child or contemplate meaningfully since your thoughts mostly consist of impressions, sensations, and basic emotions (tangentially, I've verified that I have memories from before I was one year old. Supposedly this isn't possible, but I've confirmed them with my parents and grandparents, so that's how I know and why I can easily keep track of my own thought processes/patterns over time). It's a bit of a problem these days, because the known world seems to call for our full immersion in it, and I feel like I don't really want that, but I'm also undeniably alive, so it's not like I have a choice. But then it feels like a half-assed existence, neither really here nor there, whatever "there" is.

I also had a lot of weird experiences, starting from way back and really accelerating once I started hanging out with a group in high school that was into some very "interesting" stuff, which I was able to witness in action firsthand. Really cool and amazing stuff that I was interested in for a while, not so much anymore because I don't see it as readily translatable to the physical world (though it'd be something impressive if it were possible).

I don't feel like getting into it in depth (don't want to sound schizophrenic or overly imaginative), but I do have some bizarre "perceptions", when I'm in the right state for it, which is some mix of zero stress, contentment, relaxed but alert, and some light focus. I start seeing a number of odd... either overlays or hidden structures in some things (mostly people). Really complicated geometric-looking shapes, sometimes fractals within shapes (which makes no sense). They don't interfere with my daily life in any way though, since they come as naturally as normal vision would, and I could break out of that state easily.

So I'm not exactly "religious", but I can't call myself a complete atheist either. I think there are rational explanations for these things (maybe I have too much DMT in my brain) and it's a little dumb to believe that current science can explain absolutely everything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am quite interested in this topic, not just because I am an INTP. But first I want to get this out of the way:
Please do not turn this into "I'm right, you're wrong" argument.
Asking questions to better understand why a person believes what they believe is completely cool but I don't want this to devolve into a petty argument filled with ad hominem.

From what I have read and personally seen, I find that most INTPs fall under agnostic all the way to anti-theistic.
I want to know, what do you believe? If you follow an organized religion or do not but still believe in some basic principles from it (I.E. you've distanced yourself from the catholic church but still believe in their idea of God).
You can explain why or just state what your beliefs are.

I was raised as a Christian, I have been an atheist for a decade, I was agnostic for quite a few years prior to then.
I am more than happy to answer any questions about being an atheist, as long as they are respectful and not condescending. I only speak for myself and not the entire atheist community (we are kind of like trying to herd cats). If you're looking for the full story of what caused me to shift towards being an non-believer, I will give it but it is quite long :tongue:
Just to reiterate, also I am interested in the beliefs of fellow INTPs due to what I have read about my personality type.
 

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While I appreciate your right to an opinion, it takes away from the point of this thread.
This is to share your beliefs, not to over analyze and pick apart any other persons beliefs. If you find someone that comments and their beliefs align with yours that is great. But overall, this is not the point of the thread.
All right.

I don't associate with any "atheist" movement. In fact, I am embarrassed, and even hostile to it. I see it as self-righteous, authoritarian and filled with false humility and group think. In case you were wondering. As an atheist, it bothers me more than any religion. I don't want to be associated with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ahhh! So much I want to reply to in this! I will try to keep it short and sweet because I need to go to bed (1am here).
It's a bit of a problem these days, because the known world seems to call for our full immersion in it, and I feel like I don't really want that, but I'm also undeniably alive, so it's not like I have a choice. But then it feels like a half-assed existence, neither really here nor there, whatever "there" is.

and it's a little dumb to believe that current science can explain absolutely everything.
I completely understand where you are coming from, I've never truly felt like I belong to this planet. I wish I could accurately describe how much I yearn to be in outer space because I know some where out there I belong. It is a dream to one day go to space because I truly feel like that is where I belong. Not earth.

Granted there are people that blindly believe everything and anything science, I try to stress that we are still at a very infantile stage in our development as a species. For example, we are still discovering new life on earth. We are only just beginning to discover things like the higgs boson (2012). We have barely made it off of our planet, I mean us as humans not technology that we have sent out. We haven't even left our galactic neighborhood yet!
I think it is very important as an atheist to be aware of this, that there is still so much to discover. We are only starting to piece important parts of the puzzle together.
That being said when people hear you say science is important to you, some tend to think you see it in this black and white way. Which, at least in my case because I can only speak for myself, is not true. I think that is what is so invigorating about science is that it is not afraid to admit when it's wrong, science (obviously I mean the people who are the driving forces behind discoveries) wants you to prove it wrong if you do have the answers.
I love that, I absolutely love expanding my knowledge. If what I thought I knew was wrong then I don't want to remain wrong. I see that in the scientific community and appreciate it. There are far too many people who are so sure of themselves that they will never stop to question, they will go to the grave never stopping to think or question. Even if they are presented with evidence to the contrary, there isn't even any thought put into ignoring this new evidence. (Just to clarify, this last part is not directed towards any person in this thread, I can't assume that about any of you. I am basing it off of countless people I have come across. It also is not limited to just theists, I have met my fair share of ignorant atheists that make me cringe that they share the same title).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
All right.

I don't associate with any "atheist" movement. In fact, I am embarrassed, and even hostile to it. I see it as self-righteous, authoritarian and filled with false humility and group think. In case you were wondering. As an atheist, it bothers me more than any religion. I don't want to be associated with it.
Then stop commenting trying to start an argument on the internet.
You're the only one trying to turn this thread away from its purpose. I can not even begin to describe how little I care about what you have to say at this point because you clearly can not handle this conversation.
 
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