Do belief and logic have to be enemies?

by new light 44 Replies latest jw experiences

  • LittleToe

    Questions are good, and are the foundation of critical thinking

    I find difficulty in believing that Homo Sapien Sapien evolved in this way just so my sperm can find a home, especially given the longevity of the species.
    It seems to me to be one of the weakest links in a sliding fallacy argument leading to disbelief.

    Maybe the logic of this believer is in error

  • Nosferatu
    Has anyone hear successfully integrated their highest beliefs with their skepticism/logic?

    I have. I strongly believe that the most important person in my life is myself. Everyone else comes next, but it's entirely my decisions that will affect my life, and I have complete control over who I want in my life and who I don't want. In some cases, it's easier said than done especially when people force themselves into your life.

    One thing I keep in mind is it doesn't matter who comes and goes in my lifetime, I will always be able to rely on myself.

    These are the reasons I don't base any of my happiness on the existance of another person (including a significant other) nor any god. These people should ADD happiness to my life instead of being the foundation for it.

  • StinkyPantz
    Was I wrong for believing in the Divine?

    No. At the time it most likely fulfilled a need.

    Am I hurting myself now by denying Its presence?

    I ask myself this too at times but I tend not to think so. Thing is, what do you mean by "Divine"?

  • new light
    new light

    Under74: It's not a need to have things explained, but rather to have a spiritual touchstone. I've come to realize that without any beliefs, I tend to be more than a little Hedonist. Perhaps it's just the rebound effect from being overzealous for a few years. It seems that it may be a good thing to have a "spiritual hero" to look up to when we get in a rut. That voice, that higher calling is always present, but we tend to drown it out by our actions and desires. When we are in this unaware state of being, a little hero worship or maybe some reminding words could be of value to get back on track. They do not have to come from a specific source or set of beliefs, though.

    Narkissos: I am kind of floored by your words. Really? How long do I have before everything crumbles, if I understand you correctly?

    AlmostAtheist: Thanks for your words. If you are struck with a desire to pray, why not follow it? Perhaps you have found the same road block I have.

    GreenPalm: Wow, that was unexpected. Thank you for your gold-hearted wishes. It sounds like you are in the place I am trying to rediscover. Your words really had a calming effect.

  • AlmostAtheist
    If you are struck with a desire to pray, why not follow it? Perhaps you have found the same road block I have.

    I wonder about that too, and I'm open to the possibility. Currently I am working under the impression that I am acting out of habit. I was always a prayerful person, I rarely felt that my prayers were by rote or mundane, and if I caught myself doing that I would immediately apologize to Jehovah, explain that I wasn't really into it, and would more or less start over. I can accept that a twenty year habit of that would not go away quickly.

    On the other hand, if I'm still struck with such desires a year down the road, well, that might be the time to look into it more.

    You might benefit from reading over all the good posts in a thread I started about belief in God. I still reread it from time to time, the people responding put a lot of heart in their responses.

    If nothing else, let's enjoy the journey, eh? ;-)


  • new light
    new light

    LT: Good point. It seems to me that our spiritual half remains relatively unchanged over the course of our history, and perhaps it is this part of our consciousness that is true and constant, the half we should believe. Is it just a happy accident? Why do we have this higher calling? It does lead to wondering about a Creator, a meaning behind all this brain activity. For now though, in my tiny little world, it is just brain activity. I am, in fact, skeptical of listening to it because of what it has led to in the past. But it is apparently hardwired into the brain, something that must be dealt with at some time.

    Nos: I agree. It's not always easy to live that way, but I agree.

    Stinky: By "Divine", I mean the higher calling that exists in each of us, our "conscience". I am not saying whether it was implanted by a Creator or not, just that it exists and does exert a force when listened to.

  • Midget-Sasquatch

    I think they play off of one another in a way.

    I once read the hypothesis that the more popular beliefs are concepts that fit into the few archetypal templates people have (e.g. templates for PERSON, ANIMAL, TOOL, NATURAL OBJECT) but also have one counterintuitive detail that makes them stand out from other prosaic entries in our minds. But here's another interesting point. The more popular beliefs have counterintuitive details that still leaves in place all the rest of the default inferences that go along with that template, so one can still make many inferences.

    Ghosts are popular beliefs because they are just like "PERSONS" except for the counterintuitive details that they're non-material and walk through walls. But we still can infer logical actions attributable to other people.

    The idea of gods that are watching us and they notice everything we do but then forget them instantly is a rather useless religious idea because it stops any other inferences cold. There's nothing else to go on from there. So it looks like the more popular beliefs and logic seem to work together.

    I've got to look deeper into this. Hopefully I've portrayed it correctly.

  • Narkissos


    Sorry if I sounded blunt or overreactive. I reacted, indeed, to the element of choice in your post:

    I was faced with a distinct choice: follow the "God" consciousness or follow my comfortable little self that has been constructed over a lifetime with a little remodeling this past year.

    As if you could choose. We are what we are, complex beings with a host of conflicting desires and the additional expectation to be one.

    When I was a teenager I thought I could choose "God" (JW version) against the "world" (idem). The only thing I did was spending the next 15 years trying to escape my own shadow. Had I made the opposite choice I am quite sure that I would have been running from another ("spiritual", "religious" or whatever) shadow.

    What will necessarily "crumble" is what you build with just a part of yourself, ignoring the rest. Accepting your complexity or contradictions is what you are bound to do sooner or later. Allow yourself to be selfish sometimes because you are, allow yourself to be unselfish sometimes because this is also what you are. A time for everything. Neither better nor worse than you are: Ecclesiastes. True "spirituality" imo.

    Yeah I'm getting older.

  • LittleToe

    A holistic view that I can endorse.
    IMHO it's made easier following ego-death, though

  • new light
    new light

    Narkissos: Thanks for the follow-up. I think I see what you meant, that any major life choice is bound to fail if it is based on only part of our personality, or something close to that anyway.

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