clearing up some confusion

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    Apr 06, 2012 4:03 AM GMT
    I found these diagrams while surfing the net. I hope they clarify and enlighten.
    I'm agnostic (in the blue region of the first Euler diagram), BTW.
    I wish there is a religion-only board. You can ignore this thread if you already know these stuff.




    After all, Christianity evolved.

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    Apr 06, 2012 1:14 PM GMT
    Wait a minute!

    there is only ONE christianity! Yer bullshitting us!

    Its in the bible!

    (version 2,453)icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Apr 06, 2012 1:39 PM GMT
    I take issue with the last graph. The C train and the E train dont intersect.
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    Apr 12, 2012 2:40 AM GMT
    <----------------- non-denominational gnostic person here

    I take issue with the agnostic - gnostic - theist - atheist definitions...

    gnost: "has experienced"
    theist: "thinks there is"
    atheist: "thinks there is not"
    agnost: "knows not what to think"

    Gnostic is from the greek "to know through direct experience".. the difference between a theist and a gnostic is that a theist believed in a g-d through hearsay... a gnostic is a specific ancient Christian idea that g-d can be experienced directly, so that you do not have to believe in the bible or any prophet, or even jesus, or be of any denomination whatsoever, to be able to believe in g-d.. belief is in fact, entirely superfluous, what gnosticism is about is directly experiencing the divine rather than going through a set of rules or dogmas to describe it for us, since rules and dogma about g-d have to be incorrect (g-d is beyond all that).... thus, you also cannot "convert" to gnosticism, since there is no "faith" for you to hold on to.. all you can do is to seek direct experience of the divine.. nothing else

    It is clear why the churches quickly stamped out gnosticism... without a fundamental body of rules, the priests could no longer have followers, it would be the equivalent of religious anarchy... Something similar happened among followers of Buddhism in the east (whose influence reached to the west and mingled with gnosticism) as it is said the Buddha originally instructed people not to pray to gods, nor to worship statues, nor to believe his word, but rather to seek the truth within ourselves.... This was also quickly overtaken by a monastic order (similar to the churches) where the layman had to follow the instructions of the monks rather than seek the truth within...

    Now, I am not going to say that all religions seek to control people, but I will say that most of modern religions require the followers to "do as they are told" by a priest caste... there are still a few schools which do not operate this way, notably the Quakers i know of, there are also certain islamic schools, certain Hindu schools as well... but the mainstream is generally a political system which keeps the priests in power, and significantly enriches them (includes catholicism, most protestant churches, most islamic sects, Tibetan buddhism, yes, that one too, practically all hindu temples, etc.)
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    Apr 12, 2012 2:47 AM GMT
    Thanks for posting the cut and dry diagrams. Now if I could only find where I belong in the diagram myself at the moment, I can stake an opinion.
    Post Edit:
    You think it'd be easier to decide what I believe, being part of a mostly all religious Catholic/Christian family, and the son of a Pastor. No joke.
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    Apr 12, 2012 3:14 AM GMT
    Something I forgot to add about gnosticism... since in gnosticism, the divine can be experienced only directly and not described, it can also not be named or conceptualised as such... therefore, a theist and an atheist would both be the same thing to a gnostic, as they are simply taking a concept and making a decisive decision as to its existence or not... this, to a gnostic, is really a waste of time, since the very use of concepts is a waste of time, so therefore, discussing them and making a decision about its existence based on anything, be it rational thinking or feeling, is really pointless... Once it is experienced, any gnostic knows that it cannot really be conceptualised... this aspect of the divine is very well explained in Taoism: "the Tao that can be explained, is not the true Tao".. it is equivalent to saying "if you think you know you probably don't" .. since we cannot "know" the divine in the sense that we know facts... we can only know it within the experience of it, and not outside of it... where concepts are necessary

    As for agnosticism, this is closer to gnosticism, as they suspend the "need to know" which is, as I explained before, an aspect of gnosticism.. in order to experience the divine, the first step is to let go of the need to know anything through concepts.. as in some schools of Buddhism: "empty oneself" and why meditation is practiced to achieve it... Meditation however, is not a prerequisite, thee experience of the divine can also happen through, say, chemicals which alter your state of consciousness, or through activities which focus your mind, such as music, sports, dance, sex etc.. hence the amount of sex cults and musical traditions and particularly the spinning dance of the Sufi saints in Islam.... or whirling dervishes.... anything which alters the state of consciousness can allow one to stumble upon the gnostic experience, it cannot be reached by pure intention or mental thinking or even regular sensation... once the state is reached, all intention and mental thinking is gone, and sensation is heightened in all directions, like what happens after a good jog, or an intense work-out, or an intense focus on a particular job can do it... sometimes, people call it "the zone" or "the flow"