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For some reason on the topic of religion, people usually find themselves heavily believing in the one they occupy and sort of waving away others. I've found that only very few religions even tolerate being a part of any other religion. I, as an agnostic observer, view each religion as equal. In my opinion, one is no more validated than the next, even if some seem a bit outlandish (Pastafarianism). So basically, all religions are as correct as they are wrong in their own rights. As a visual aid, I've come to picture a sphere that is directly in front of you, where the visible plane represents a religion. Turning the sphere ever so slightly would reveal a new plane, thus a new religion, that is no more a plane than the last. There are an infinite amount of planes, infinite amounts of beliefs, and infinite possibilities. I hope to ease tension sometimes faced on religious conversations to some degree with this proposition and possibly introduce a new idea.

  • Jun 2 2013: Yendis,
    I actually really like this idea, and can relate to what you feel.
    If I were to categorize myself, I would also say I am an agnostic. But in truth, I have enormous respect for any and all religions, even to the point of being slightly envious, as I am oblivious as to what a powerful belief in faith feels like.
    • Jun 8 2013: I have also thought a little of what it is like to believe in something that is not tangible. I would consider myself mostly incapable of this, as I would rather have results than faith that it'll happen eventually. The only question I have with that undying belief is to how people can stand to do so with such vigor, yet they essentially put their faith into ideas. It's a captivating movement, and theists have also said it gives them "strength." I have never been envious, but rather curious how someone can do this. From what I can tell, most seem to credit whatever religion they follow when good fortune is about, and say "It's for a reason," or "I probably deserve it," when misfortune is about. I would suppose that it comes down the fate vs. chance, which is basically depending on how you look at it.
      • Jun 8 2013: Yendis,
        you've worded my thoughts exactly. I once wrote a blog called 'God is a Frying Pan', about my desire to be able to grasp onto belief, the way strong believers do. I suppose, the more I am aware that it is intangible, the more removed I will be from every truly believing! I suppose background and upbringing play a role in this too - my parents were products of Catholic schools in the 50's, and their experiences were anything but positive. My father would literally go pale if he saw a nun walking in the street, for example. Needless to say, religion was respected, but certainly not stimulated in our house.
  • Jun 2 2013: Religion is tedious. Why concern oneself with it at all? Why say you're an agnostic? You know good and well the world is not flat, no super nature pokes itself into nature and suspends the constants of physics to honor personal requests for reality customization. Weather is not caused by a god or gods. All the reasons religions existed make sense in the absence of simple understanding. Why even give it any power at all. I used to consider myself an atheist. And then and anti-theist because I despised what theism has done to the world and to my own family. It pollutes everything. Then I realized that I could get peace if I stopped giving it power in any way by defining myself by lack of it, hate of it or just on the fence "I don't know" agnosticism or Deism. I don't have the problem anymore. The believers are the ones in varying stages of delusion or w/e. I feel like I ripped myself out of the secondary placenta that my family put me inside of and had me walk around in before I had a choice. But it's gone. What am I now that doesn't imply what I'm not? A "free-thinker" just doesn't do it for me. Cosmic citizen. Nah. I had to come up with something of my own. It's not a religion or an anti-religion. It's an order that sees that in some religion is some good but most hierarchical BS used by exploiters to set themselves up as authorities. So my order encompasses authority and authoritarianism and hierarchy and the freedom from them that the cyberspace metaphor makes possible if and when the world ever starts working directly on a virtual reality that complements and provides answers to the limitations of physical reality. I call it "facilitarianism". I used to think of it as the antithesis of authoritarianism, but wisdom has set in to make me realize it is best viewed as merely a conventional balancing opposite whose application provides a choice between two orders that work in both physical and virtual reality. I find it closest to being spiritual without supernature
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      Jun 2 2013: Hi James,
      You've sure got a lot to say on a subject that you don't concern yourself. :-)
    • Jun 8 2013: This is an interesting approach to the topic, but to say all religions invalid simply because it is improbable ("Weather is not caused by god or gods,") isn't fair. You must realize that before the world was proved round, the only thing you could go by it what you know, and that is that the world is flat. A good way to view this is that "you don't know what you don't know," in that you aren't aware of what isn't there. To make this an analogy to religion, the belief in a flat world would be any of the theisms, poly or mono, and the proof that the world is round would be evidence that there are no deities of any sort. By being neither atheist, anti-theist, or any theist for that matter, there would need to be proof that the metaphorical world is indeed round, but that is not to say I disagree with your thoughts. The passive approach to a void of religion, or order as you called it, is one of I have never thought of before, so thank you for that. My personal view on the topic of religious imposed authority is basically the same, but I do not think that the majority of religions has the authoritativeness property in mind, maybe the minority, of course that is always up for debate. I would like to hear of the cyberspace metaphor you mentioned.
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    Jun 1 2013: If one religion claims to have all the truth it will be difficult for the true, dedicated followers of that religion to not "wave away" other religions whose teachings conflict with theirs. After all, data which conflicts with truth is false. You advocate accepting what you believe to be false? Why would you do that unless you really did not believe your religion was true? In which case it really does not matter whether other religions agree with yours or not. Throwing virgins into volcanoes becomes no less meaningful spiritually than wearing holy underwear. Simultaneous viewing of every part of the surface of a sphere is not possible. Are you adapting that truism to religion and saying the single perspective allowed by a certain religion cannot allow one to experience the fullness of the sphere? That is called "syncretism". It is not new. If you accept a piece of information as essential, necessary truth and I directly refute that information and teach the opposite, are you going to capitulate and accept my view AND yours as both being true? That is logically impossible. Have I missed your point sir?
    • Jun 2 2013: "You advocate accepting what you believe to be false? Why would you do that unless you really did not believe your religion was true?"
      Considering that this a direct question and not using 'impassive you', then yes, my beliefs could easily be false were I to have any in the field of religion. As an "agnostic observer" essentially I don't have any solid views confined to one religion. That said, volcanic virgins and sanctified underwear mean no more and no less than each other to me. Also, I have never heard of syncretism, so thanks I'll look into that. Lastly, I understand that it's impossible, which comes to my problem with religion: the conflicts. If people understand that there will be differences, why not simply get over it? Why not accept it? I would suppose it comes down to human nature and all, but even still it's silly to fight over and disregard other religions. All in all you haven't missed the point at all.
      And to ZX Style, I was referring to geometrical planes.
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        Jun 2 2013: If you ask me to "just get over my spititual convictions" I would be unable to comply. My hope is built on the gift of Faith God has given me. To capitulate, or abandon, it is not possible. I do understand there are differences in spiritual beliefs, boy do I understand that, but that does not enable me to fall for the fallacy of sycretism and blend the spirtual truth I understand with someone else's conflicting teachings. If your point is asking why don't people get over it, then my response is not everyone is an agnostic. Many people live by the tenets of their chosen spiritual belief system and they simply can't "get over it". Keep searching Mr. Tasker and thanks for your thoughtful contribution to TED Conversations. God bless you and yours.