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Author Topic: What if we're wrong?  (Read 30227 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Topic Start: October 31, 2008, 08:22:26 pm »

It's one of those questions that always gets asked by people trying to convert - what if you're wrong.

This isn't an attempt to convert, just a thought-game.  Take a good long look at your religious beliefs - and ask.

What if you're wrong?  What would change?  What wouldn't change?  Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy?

**

Personally, nothing would really change.  I'd probably change the tone of my essays to a more atheistic standpoint - OTOH, mine pretty much come across that way anyway.  I'd still live my life much the same way - I'd be a little bugged by Apollo giving me tasks, but even that I'd do what I used to do - chalk it up to some other part of my psyche and go with it.  (what astonishes me is that He put up with that ...)

So, next?  What if you're wrong?
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« Reply #1: October 31, 2008, 08:36:46 pm »

What if you're wrong?  What would change?  What wouldn't change?  Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy?

I was once raked over the proverbial coals for having the temerity to suggest that faith of any breed isn't truly faith if it has never been tempered in the fires of doubt.

Frankly, if I am wrong, then I am wrong.  I would rather be wrong and possessed of my own mind, soul, and beliefs than right and working purely under someone else's Will.
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« Reply #2: October 31, 2008, 08:41:57 pm »

It's one of those questions that always gets asked by people trying to convert - what if you're wrong.
This isn't an attempt to convert, just a thought-game.  Take a good long look at your religious beliefs - and ask.

What if you're wrong?  What would change?  What wouldn't change?  Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy?

So, next?  What if you're wrong?

Well of course I could be wrong but then again, who is to say that my relationship with the universe is "wrong" but someone elses is right? Some will tell me I am wrong because I do not accept deifying the forces and cycles of nature and the universe.

Someone will tell another they are wrong for using Buddha as a medium in which to relate to nature...no matter what any of us thinks, says or does...there will ALWAYS be those who look at the other as wrong, deluded, delusional, heathen..the list goes on.

Point is I am not going to waste precious life energy fretting about whether my path is right or wrong..if it is then my intuition will guide; besides, by whose standards do we feel we must be judged?
What way is right? Who is right? These questions will go on as long as humanity, in hubris, insists on forcing their ways on others as "the only way".
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« Reply #3: October 31, 2008, 08:52:05 pm »

Well of course I could be wrong but then again, who is to say that my relationship with the universe is "wrong" but someone elses is right? Some will tell me I am wrong because I do not accept deifying the forces and cycles of nature and the universe.

I'm not sure you understood my question -

Presumably, there's a truth underneath it all, yes?  Of SOME sort - might be something we'd never guess, but there's SOMETHING.  reality doesn't just change on a whim.  (or I want lots of money and a publishing contract RIGHT NOW.  so there).  So - what if that underlying reality is something completely different than you think it is, and you discover that?  What do you do?
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« Reply #4: October 31, 2008, 08:52:44 pm »

I was once raked over the proverbial coals for having the temerity to suggest that faith of any breed isn't truly faith if it has never been tempered in the fires of doubt.

I've always felt faith needs to feel doubt to be anything other than blind belief.  Faith is in spite of doubt, not running screaming from doubt.  y'know?
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« Reply #5: October 31, 2008, 09:11:25 pm »

What if you're wrong?  What would change?  What wouldn't change?  Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy?

I can accept the doubt, and often I do in fact doubt. But I think that's a good thing sometimes; it forces me to rethink things- my beliefs, their impact on my actions etc- and often my faith is affirmed at the end. Therefore, I think doubt can be a good thing.

If I were to find out that I were wrong in my beliefs then first and foremost #1 I would be at a loss, #2 I would consider that I was in fact crazy because if those are not the Gods I'm speaking to, who on earth are they? and finally #3 I would get over it (at least I hope I would) and live my life the same way as I have been doing. I wouldn't all of a sudden turn a blind eye to the amazing things that my religion has brought into my life just because that religion turned out to be flawed.

Of course all of this is hypothetical, but I would at least like to think that my reaction would be that way.
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« Reply #6: October 31, 2008, 09:12:10 pm »

I've always felt faith needs to feel doubt to be anything other than blind belief.  Faith is in spite of doubt, not running screaming from doubt.  y'know?

I completely agree.
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« Reply #7: October 31, 2008, 09:42:51 pm »

What if you're wrong?

If I were to find out for 100% certain that I was wrong, the first thing I would do is figure out what that would mean for me personally.  If there were no consequences for being wrong, and I didn't find the truth all that appealing, then I would cheerfully go on being wrong, just with a new awareness that I was purposely 'choosing' to be wrong, rather than just an admission that it was possible.

If there were consequences to denying the 'real' truth, and they were negative, then I would rearrange my beliefs, and if necessary my life, to align it with the truth I had learned, unappealing or not.  Real is real - I have to take daily medication and can't throw out my wheelchair even though I haven't used it in a couple of years, wishing and denying it won't change it.

Essentially, it would be the same as now - I have a truth I align my life to.  If I learned for sure I was wrong, I would re-align as much as I had to. (or wanted to, if the realer truth actually was more appealing than the one I have now)

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« Reply #8: October 31, 2008, 09:49:55 pm »

It's one of those questions that always gets asked by people trying to convert - what if you're wrong.

This isn't an attempt to convert, just a thought-game.  Take a good long look at your religious beliefs - and ask.

What if you're wrong?  What would change?  What wouldn't change?  Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy? ....

What if you're wrong?

If I found out that I was wrong, I would adjust my worldview a bit and continue on with life pretty much as I'm living it now.  Minus a few rituals and prayers. Smiley

People who would drastically change their behavior outside of religiously-prescribed behaviors (i.e. religious food restrictions vs. everyday treatment of others) make me a little nervous.  I don't think religion should be the main reason to be a decent human being in this world, but that's just me.  Part of my criteria when I searched for a religion was to find one that matched my values and ethics.

I happily admit to anyone who asks that I could be wrong about my religious beliefs.  I'm a human being with limited perception and knowledge, after all. 

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« Reply #9: October 31, 2008, 09:55:47 pm »

Essentially, it would be the same as now - I have a truth I align my life to.  If I learned for sure I was wrong, I would re-align as much as I had to. (or wanted to, if the realer truth actually was more appealing than the one I have now)
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What Absent said.

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« Reply #10: October 31, 2008, 10:09:34 pm »


What if you're wrong?  What would change?  What wouldn't change?  Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy?


I guess how I would change would depend largely on what is "right".  If there is no God, I would stop praying and not much else would change.  If all known deities really exist, I would try to get to know Brigit better.  If Jesus is really the only path to salvation, I got some 'splaining to do.

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« Reply #11: October 31, 2008, 10:26:50 pm »

It's one of those questions that always gets asked by people trying to convert - what if you're wrong.

It's always possible, but showing that worldview is wrong would not prove any other particular worldview correct. That is where many our to convert others (in religion) by proving the other's belief's wrong often forget. It's not an either-or situation: my beliefs or your beliefs. Both could be wrong (and some other belief correct), both partially correct, etc.

Quote
What if you're wrong?  What would change?  What wouldn't change?
 

Proving my beliefs wrong would probably not change much of anything important. My morals are independent of my religious beliefs, for example -- that is, they don't depend on some deity to dictate them for me. I would have to start looking around for some other set of beliefs, however.

Quote
Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy?

I've always had doubt, that's part of looking at the universe realistically. My views of it may indeed be wrong as they are based on limited information. New discoveries are made all the time.
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« Reply #12: October 31, 2008, 11:49:01 pm »

So, next?  What if you're wrong?
I am wrong, well it is very probable that I am wrong. Then again, I think everyone is wrong. This is just my personal opinion, but I don't think any religion or faith is right and I am fine with that. We all choose a faith that speaks to us for one reason or another, mostly though, the religion or faith we pick helps us communicate with the Divine on a comfortable level.

I am fine with the doubt, because if there wasn't any doubt, we would not be willing to challenge ourselves, we wouldn't be willing to learn anything new, or to experiment, or change... I think things would become stagnat.

If I were to find out tonight that my theory is completely wrong, that some religion on this planet was the 'true religion', I doubt I would change all that much... at least at first. It would have to be a slow change and if it was something I just didn't feel comfortable with, I wouldn't do a thing differen't. Even if I was in a religion of 1, if I don't feel comfortable, I am not going to change.
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« Reply #13: November 01, 2008, 05:27:23 am »


What if you're wrong?  What would change?  What wouldn't change?  Can you accept the doubt, or is doubt the enemy?

I think doubt is incredibly important, to keep us looking through the possibilities.  In the end, that was what turned me to atheism after several years of interest in paganism and magic.  When I took a step back, looked at the events of my own life, looked for causation, etc etc, I simply wasn't seeing anything which indicated influences beyond the norm.  The world to me appeared to be behaving exactly as a godless and magic-less world would behave.  When I came to that conclusion, I had a choice.  I could go on trying to believe, as I already had done in recent years, or I could embrace what I was seeing, and accept what seemed to be the most likely explanation.  At the time, it was a very uncomfortable thing for me to do.  I know I don't really give that impression off now, but back then I really would have rather believed in magic and deities.  But I consider myself a scientist, and I would have been at odds with myself if I had denied what I saw in favour of what I *wanted.*

So, if I found out I was wrong?  Well, that would have to take some pretty good, non-vague evidence, but I think this thread is assuming something convincing demonstrating a different truth.

In which case, I would accept the better proof/ explanation, and possibly explore it further.  I believe in following the evidence, which brings me back to the role of doubt/ skepticism.  It's all very well to find a particular explanation appealing, but if data shows flaws in that approach, it's time to start working on something better.  Science won't get anywhere otherwise.
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« Reply #14: November 01, 2008, 06:22:35 am »

It's one of those questions that always gets asked by people trying to convert - what if you're wrong.

(I have a terrible cold and my head feels like stuffed with wet cotton balls, so if this is incoherent, forgive me.)

I don't think, that you can be wrong.
Because I don't think you can be totally right in matters of believes, higher powers and so on.

'The' truth - if it exists in that sense - is waaaaaay out of our reach.
So while I think it matters personally how you name things and how you explain things to yourself, I don't think it really matters cosmically speaken.

Whatever helps you to connect is ok. We're all wrong, and we're all right.

What I firmly believe: It is never a This-OR-That, it always can be a This-AND-That as crazy as it may seem. Even the impossible is possible and just because the thought that opposing things can be true at the same time, makes our small brains hurt, doesn't mean that it couldn't be that way.

And if there is a higher power with a sense of humour, I guess it's highly amused about us, how we struggle to get 'it' right, and fight over being right or wrong.
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