Thursday, September 24, 2009

A peek at beliefs

~ A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

First off, what I believe. Or it might be better put what I do not believe. I am a fuzzy nihilist, a happy skeptic, I tend to hold strong to the notion that everything we experience, feel, think, touch, taste, etc is a uniquely personal and thus human experience. There is no hand turning the screw, no man pulling the strings. We are all in this thing alone, so we better try our best to get along.

Nihilism is a bit of a dirty term, it's been attached over the years to the nasty bits of anarchism, lawlessness, non conformity, those things that make the powers that be cringe. Why be so anti-establishment? What are you trying to prove boy? Nothing, I mean no harm, I just tend to take a broader look at things. I have never been one to willingly swallow the Kool Aid. Nope, not without spiking the punch first. defines nihilism thusly (I will highlight the bits that I think pertain to me):


1. total rejection of established laws and institutions.
2. anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity.
3. total and absolute destructiveness, esp. toward the world at large and including oneself: the power-mad nihilism that marked Hitler's last years.
4. Philosophy ~
a. an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth.
b. nothingness or nonexistence.
5. (sometimes initial capital letter) the principles of a Russian revolutionary group, active in the latter half of the 19th century, holding that existing social and political institutions must be destroyed in order to clear the way for a new state of society and employing extreme measures, including terrorism and assassination.
6. annihilation of the self, or the individual consciousness, esp. as an aspect of mystical experience.

Like any other school of thought, I can't really claim to be a true blue nihilist. I am not that dark. I believe that very little of what we hold to be absolute or sacred is true at all. I believe the absolute and the sacred are the apex of human logical laziness. We as a species, entrusted with this large brain, feel the need to explain our existence; we can't, we probably will never get to the point where we will, so what do we do? We create gods, religions, forms of governments, laws, systems of control. If nothing is real, everything is permitted. Fear of the unknown is the father of all human ugliness, if it can't be explained, if it is different, if it makes us question our beliefs, it must be wrong, it must be vilified, RUN!

So yes, I am a happy nihilist, an atheist, a STRONG agnostic (an atheist and agnostic you ask? Yes, I can not disprove the existence of God, I can though abhor his systems of promotion), I have socialist leanings, I am way more left then right, I am a pacifist, a lover, a proud father. I believe in the beauty of nature and art. I believe my new born child is the world's greatest invention. I am not dissatisfied with life, I just think things need further investigation. I am not one to take the easy route. I like the bumpy road. I like life because of all its warts. SO THERE. That is who I am, that is what I believe or disbelieve. Does any one else want to come out an play? I'd love for this to become a grand discussion of belief and faith.

~ And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


  1. Wow! I am thoroughly amazed at your capacity for having such a view. I share most of your beliefs, and feel that telling oneself there exists an "absolute God" without proof or fact is ludicrous, in my opinion. How could we be so bold as to feel we have learned it all? Well written Joseph!

  2. Thanks Amy. I feel it is important to share one's thoughts and beliefs. We all experience life differently, I think the trick is to share those experiences, and learn from them.

    As for God, or anything else expressed as absolutes, yep, I have been calling bull shit there for years. Now, we as non believers should not belittle those that do... that gets us nowhere. What we should be doing is expanding the debate, and broadening the search. No need to slam doors and pout, what does that do but harm feelings, and bring us right back to the start.

  3. I am starting to wonder if the question is too large. Is the idea of belief and faith something too 'sacred' for many to discuss openly in a blog... hrmmm?

  4. You said it... no one knows anything for absolute certain. Even at the quantum level, a quark isn't anything until the intention is set. By that measure, the only real thing is consciousness and perception... and we know how perception can be altered. So is logic real? Is rationality real? I say, no realer than god, or unicorns, or fuzzy baby duckies with six legs. Which is to say, all of them are real. Or unreal. And what matters it? If I choose to populate my world with ideals and ideas instead of dark 'harsh realities'... that is my perogative!

  5. Exactly. Explains my like of nihilism and Nietzsche. I can't absolutely believe anything. Every thing is tinged with human bias.

  6. Oh and where are my manners? Thank you so much for commenting cr8tiveCandy.

  7. My beliefs tend to stay right here w/ me - only a few have been privy to them as the northern bible belt can be very unfriendly to a Pagan and anyone connected to them.
    My beliefs center in the sun/moon, the elements, the seasons, the power that is in all things, and the will of people to direct that power for the good of all. But - thats just me. Do I align myself w/ any particular sect...not really, but leaning toward Celtic/American Indian aspects. Do I believe in God/Gods? I believe in powers that people refer to as God/Gods...the word God doesn't hold truth for me.
    So there ya have it...a Pagan w/ their foot out of the broom closet... be honorable and don't use the information to cause harm, it will come back to you 3 fold... :)

  8. Thanks for sharing Terri. I have Celtic roots, I can understand the appeal of paganism. Oh, and to hell with those in the bible belt who are all to willing to push their beliefs on other, but then demonize those with differing beliefs. It is they who are possessed by demons.

  9. Shadymutton: I am a long-time studier of metaphysics, divination, and several sects of magic and witchcraft (or at least thats what it is commonly referred to). The three fold law is one i live by, and believe in beyond a shadow of a doubt. I am Celtic, so i have studied the Druids a bit, and also, I feel like I'm going to burst into flames when i set foot in a church. Just the way it feels...
    The bible belt! Good god! Be careful...I've been interrogated by city AND suburban police about the exact purpose and limitations of my beliefs...and that was in CHICAGO!! Board up your windows, friend!!!

  10. Now we are cooking. Thanks Matt. I have no idea what the first half of your comment was all about. But isn't that the case with most jaunts into metaphysics?

  11. Matt: You're right, there is a special intolerance provided for Pagans by the religious 'right'... they'd prefer to have non-believers than 'other' believers living across the street. As an employee of the school system up until a week ago (unrelated btw), I have had my mouth clamped shut about any beliefs.
    My children are all free thinkers, I have an open Wiccan,(who works for the Mayor - girls got some balls) and 2 Agnostics, along w 2 non-practicing Christians. My hubby was raised Christian, (as was I - Baptist) but he says his church is in a tree stand.
    Its one thing to suffer what comes my way for what I believe - but I don't want my kids to pay a price that isn't theirs to pay... and in this town, thats very possible. Hence, the previously mentioned broom closet. :) Wish it didn't have to be that way...would love to talk at local coffeehouse the way I am right here... maybe someday my grandkids can own their beliefs publicly - whatever they are.

  12. The NAD is a coffeehouse of free expression, sorta. Thoughts, beliefs, and brand new ideas are always welcomed, never disparaged, never mocked, or shun. Debated, yes, but never judged negatively unless they are hateful or deceitful.

    It's late, I am in no mental position to be waxing philosophical any more. Sweet dreams my dear writers and readers. ZZZZ

  13. I love all your comments
    Though I am not a writer I believe that religion is the choice of the individual and nobody should be persecuted for their own personal beliefs I also believe that there should be a separation of state and religion for that matter I do not want religion to dictate what policies are pass because that would be bais. Religion = the individual Politics = the eclectic collective

    For me I am spiritual not religious I don't believe there is a book or religion out there that explains it all or has all the answers I am a bit of rebel go figure it followed me from school to religion I just don't like confines it just not flexible enough for me personally However I had some weird incidences that I would not define as religious but unknown and therefore that is why for myself I call myself spiritual

  14. Okay I have debated for 24 hours as to wheather or not I want to comment on this shit... yeah I do.. I believe in God.. this is my choice. I believe in this because I read the Bible. What I have gathered from it is this.. I am commanded to love everyone... EVERYONE... yes including you Joseph Lane.. which really isn't that difficult for me. I am not a conventional Christian.. I don't go to church. I don't subject myself to a bunch of phoney do gooders because they think what they do will get them into Heaven. I do what I do.. I help people who are hungry, I help anyone I see who needs help. If I can help, I do it. I don't ask "can I help you with that" I just do it. People are bastards, Christians, Athiests, Agnostic or whatever. People are selfish. Most people want what feels good to them. Sometimes helping people isn't about what feels good, it's about getting your hands dirty, or feeling some pain to help them get what THEY need. A hungry child?? Feed it... they're hungry. Cold???.. give up your damn coat.. can you afford another?? I challenge you, read the Bible and take what you can from it. There is some good stuff in there about being a decent human being. I've learned from the Bible how to be a tolerant human being. I am glad for this, there was a time when I would have just kicked your ass. It's your choice if you want to or not... Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. I trust what I read in the Bible. I have faith that God exists, good or bad. Amen, Hallelujah and all that shit that isn't related to Halle berry.

  15. Ha ha way to go Val, you represent Christianity with rock 'n' roll attitude. I hope through my original post I did not sound like I was judging. I tried not to spit venom at one specific group. I like to look at the actions of humanity as a whole. That is when I pass out my red cards. I would never proclaim to know the truth, I am as confused as the rest of you. I get my kicks through study and debate. Thank you Val for playing.