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Thread: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

  1. #1
    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    I'm sure we've had this discussion before, but here we go again!

    How important is it to you that what you believe is supported by objective facts?

    Over this past year, I've felt as though I'm waking up in regards to my world view. Beforehand, I really believed beyond doubt that God is present in this world, interested and directly involved in the every day and special occurences, too. Now I'm beginning to re-assign my religious experiences and beliefs about people and God into a more secular stance. I've found that nearly all of my experiences and beliefs still have depth of meaning if I reframe them into an atheistic-agnostic world view.

    For me, I've found that extremes (such as a completely Holy, loving, just, all-powerful God) can no longer fit into what I observe in the day-to-day. My view of the nature of God and what it is capable of is transforming. I'm in mourning for all I've lost, but I also feel empowered.

    Objective facts are very important to me when I'm making claims of what my God would be capable of doing. Wouldn't acts of God as described in the Bible require observable evidence? So far, I have not been able to assign any occurence in every day life to the kind of God that has been described to me without being able to explain it through mundane causes. This might not mean God doesn't exist, it just might mean that my view of God was wrong. It gives me pause before I bandy about phrases such as: My God wants to heal you completely! Or, My God is going to send sinners to Hell! My God can save you from whatever drama you're currently experiencing! The fact remains, I don't know if God will or even can do any of that. I'd much rather focus on my subjective experience of religion and it's secular value.

    At the moment, the only thing that is keeping me to my faith are my subjective experiences. When I am leading worship especially, I feel and other people report a change in the room that is like thick air or electricity. I feel like I'm tuning into a sense beyond my five senses, I pay attention to that feeling and try to interpret that feeling through music for my congregation. Some Sundays, people have gone to my Pastor and reported physical healing and a sense of enduring wellbeing. I can't say that I know for sure what is making these experiences happen, but they are very special and valuable to me and my congregation, so I keep facilitating them.

    How about you? How much do you value objective observations in relation to religion and every day life? What do you know of your God/Goddess through observations or subjective experience?

  2. #2
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    it sounds like you have invited something into your worship space to me spirits are all around us and they may find you of interest.
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    My thinking is that if subjective beliefs don't match objective reality, then something is funky. I don't know if it's subjective beliefs or objective reality that's at fault, or if the apparent discontinuity is do to an incomplete understanding of factors involved

    So this is where I engage in experiments to determine what's goin' on.

    Consider the Secular Humanist.

    A secular humanist is a theist, a Gnostic, a Muslim, a Jew, a pagan, a chitti-chitty-bang-bang, or whatever, is a person who admits "I don't know if there is a god, and I don't care if there is or not. But what I do know is that humans suffer, and suffering hurts, so anything I can do to lessen that suffering is worth doing."
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    i am your student MASTER omomommm
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


    nothing but the shadow of what was

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  5. #5
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    Quote Originally Posted by Azvanna View Post
    I'm sure we've had this discussion before, but here we go again!

    How important is it to you that what you believe is supported by objective facts?

    Over this past year, I've felt as though I'm waking up in regards to my world view. Beforehand, I really believed beyond doubt that God is present in this world, interested and directly involved in the every day and special occurences, too. Now I'm beginning to re-assign my religious experiences and beliefs about people and God into a more secular stance. I've found that nearly all of my experiences and beliefs still have depth of meaning if I reframe them into an atheistic-agnostic world view.

    For me, I've found that extremes (such as a completely Holy, loving, just, all-powerful God) can no longer fit into what I observe in the day-to-day. My view of the nature of God and what it is capable of is transforming. I'm in mourning for all I've lost, but I also feel empowered.

    Objective facts are very important to me when I'm making claims of what my God would be capable of doing. Wouldn't acts of God as described in the Bible require observable evidence? So far, I have not been able to assign any occurence in every day life to the kind of God that has been described to me without being able to explain it through mundane causes. This might not mean God doesn't exist, it just might mean that my view of God was wrong. It gives me pause before I bandy about phrases such as: My God wants to heal you completely! Or, My God is going to send sinners to Hell! My God can save you from whatever drama you're currently experiencing! The fact remains, I don't know if God will or even can do any of that. I'd much rather focus on my subjective experience of religion and it's secular value.

    At the moment, the only thing that is keeping me to my faith are my subjective experiences. When I am leading worship especially, I feel and other people report a change in the room that is like thick air or electricity. I feel like I'm tuning into a sense beyond my five senses, I pay attention to that feeling and try to interpret that feeling through music for my congregation. Some Sundays, people have gone to my Pastor and reported physical healing and a sense of enduring wellbeing. I can't say that I know for sure what is making these experiences happen, but they are very special and valuable to me and my congregation, so I keep facilitating them.

    How about you? How much do you value objective observations in relation to religion and every day life? What do you know of your God/Goddess through observations or subjective experience?
    i am sorry you seem to be having a crisis of faith, i have always thought you had a good grasp of the spirit of what is the path to inspiration and discovery of much deeper connection to your deity.
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


    nothing but the shadow of what was

    witchvox
    http://www.witchvox.com/vu/vxposts.html

  6. #6
    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    My thinking is that if subjective beliefs don't match objective reality, then something is funky. I don't know if it's subjective beliefs or objective reality that's at fault, or if the apparent discontinuity is do to an incomplete understanding of factors involved
    this is what i'm trying to figure out as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    So this is where I engage in experiments to determine what's goin' on.
    tell me more?



    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    it sounds like you have invited something into your worship space to me spirits are all around us and they may find you of interest.
    We call it the Holy Spirit. We have some truly beautiful moments altogether in worship when its present.

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    i am sorry you seem to be having a crisis of faith, i have always thought you had a good grasp of the spirit of what is the path to inspiration and discovery of much deeper connection to your deity.
    On the contrary! I don't feel like I'm in a crisis. I feel completely secure. In my view, if God is really there in the way others have said He is, He won't mind my deviation. If he's not there, no harm done. I may come back to a place where I am more certain. But I don't feel that being certain is necessarily an indicator of maturity at times.

  7. #7
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    To answer your questions.

    I believe that objective facts are important, but also that we don't know everything and that not everything can be explained scientifically. I have experiences that make me believe in the astral plane (or some sort of energetic otherness we can only experience in our minds, whatever name you give that). I have felt the energy raised in ritual and know it can't be explained scientifically. I have messed around on a ouiji board, by myself, and I know that the pointer was moving under my fingers (it almost moved out from under my fingers it moved so fast a couple times). I've seen things at work that make me believe in something "other". So yeah, I totally believe in subjective things. I don't use those things to discount science or reality though.

    And I've never believed in a benevolent god power. So I've never had a conflict of faith on that point to overcome. My experiences with the divine is completely subjective and I'm not sure science could disprove divinity for me, because I believe it is something completely outside of scientific explanation.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

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  8. #8
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    I don't require objective facts to support my beliefs, but I do require that whatever objective facts exist do not oppose my beliefs. Just because we can't prove something objectively, does not mean that it does not exist. So there is plenty of room in the scientific side of my brain for deities, non-corporeal entities, Otherworlds, magic and the supernatural. My spiritual worldview also inherently facilitates a harmonious blending of objective facts with subjective experiences... just because we can explain the scientific processes behind an event, doesn't mean that there is nothing Divine or spiritual within those scientific processes. I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me, science doesn't preclude spiritual.

    But then I have never believed in the sort of spiritual that precludes science. So I haven't ever had the crisis of faith of realising that what I believe can't be possible.

  9. #9
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    we create what we need to hang our beauty and duty on,with no stone to build our temple on if there is no factual body of truth,then we allow only that thing that can cover our desperate need for a rock to anchor our wish for connection to an energy of possibility that can save us from the feelings we quest in folly. what is has always been our treasure we pile up in our dreams of that we call heaven,and seek a path to a reality of desire for peace in belief. but i ramble in this small garden dropping seeds of conviction.

    - - - Updated - - -

    the words above are not truly mine,i am only a tool of another to pass these words to this medium.
    MAGIC is MAGIC,black OR white or even blood RED

    all i ever wanted was a normal life and love.
    NO TERF EVER WE belong Too.
    don't stop the tears.let them flood your soul.




    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=186&dateline=1330020104

    my new page here,let me know what you think.


    nothing but the shadow of what was

    witchvox
    http://www.witchvox.com/vu/vxposts.html

  10. #10
    Moderator Azvanna's Avatar
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    Re: Subjective meaning vs Objective Facts and their role in your religion

    Just tackling the thought that subjective meaning doesn't need to have roots in objective reality..

    Doesn't objective reality show you what is possible? What is the point in believing something about yourself or your god if there is no influence on the matter that's around you? I know there's the belief that thoughts make our world.. but surely positive thinking can only take you so far..

    If religion has no basis in objective reality, then how can it effect objective reality? Wouldn't it be more honest to reframe spirituality into atheistic terms?

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    .... i have always thought you had a good grasp of the spirit of what is the path to inspiration and discovery of much deeper connection to your deity.
    I also meant to say thanks for this. I feel like my next inspired step [/i]is[i] this one for x reasons..

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