Agnostic Looking For A Good Debate On Religion.

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JaryT
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24 Aug 2014, 3:21 am

As the title says, please share your views on religion(s) with me.



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24 Aug 2014, 5:47 am

To me, after 35 religious years, I now believe all religions are a combination of philosophy and constructed notions of deities. Over the thousands of years, those constructions have evolved to become quite complex.

But I wouldn't strip the world of religions. They have contributed to philosophy, culture and architecture in amazing ways.


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24 Aug 2014, 5:54 am

Narrator wrote:
I wouldn't strip the world of religions. They have contributed to philosophy, culture and architecture in amazing ways.


Hmmm, in some ways you are right, but IMO the world would be a lot better place without Islamic or Christian fundamentalism. There would certainly be less wars and less division amongst humanity. I also dislike the way some religious people try to distort or limit the education of people. Christian and Muslim fanantics try to stop evolution being taught in classrooms and some go as far as trying to push creationism into science classes... this is just plain wrong. Similarly Islam generally prohibits women from having an education or doing various professions or requires them to undergo genital mutilation.

Other than the things you mentioned above, I think religion is largely a curse in today's world and I'd go as far as to describe fundamentalist religions as a disease.


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24 Aug 2014, 5:55 am

If you are not looking for a debate on religion you have probably come to the wrong place :lol:

You will certainly get what you asked for.



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24 Aug 2014, 6:23 am

TallyMan wrote:
]Hmmm, in some ways you are right, but IMO the world would be a lot better place without Islamic or Christian fundamentalism. There would certainly be less wars and less division amongst humanity.


I would have to take issue with that. Perhaps surprisingly coming from me.

As an atheist, but analytical one, I'm at pains to point out that there is logical fallicy in this argument. No nobody reasonably support extremism, however the idea if the religious ideology suddenly disappearing alone would stop future war is assumptive.

The reality is our violence in inherent to animal behavior, and factors like testosterone, frontal lobe variations, etc. Religion is a very power meme no doubt, and it a very effective way of pulling support toward a cause. However you cannot rule out the possibility of some thing as powerful in the absence of this religion.

However from historical account, we do know the overall trend is we have become less violent not more. It is just a small world these days. We find violence less acceptable, which is why it concerns us much. Not to to say we are not still violent.



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24 Aug 2014, 6:25 am

Perhaps you were purely talking from the behavior aspect of extremism, and in that respect I would agree with you.


Just I've heard this logical fallacy a lot, and I'm not one for logical fallacies. I'm not making a moral point it just doesn't make sense.



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24 Aug 2014, 6:35 am

0_equals_true wrote:
Perhaps you were purely talking from the behavior aspect of extremism, and in that respect I would agree with you.


Yes; because the fundamentalist religions have a strong policy of proselyting, which is nothing short of an act of aggression. Even if the proselyting isn't a case of "convert or die" it still engenders divisions and hatred amongst people of different religions or sects and can be a catalyst for fighting or outright war.


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24 Aug 2014, 7:21 am

I'd agree with what narrator said but I'd extend discussion of one angle;

A great many of the philosophies that carried a lot of detail-depth and perhaps enough appeal for people to carve huge blocks of stone and haul them all over the place in the ancient world were the result of those societies exploring consciousness and finding ways to probe into their subconscious minds. That kind of exploration became slightly vogue again in the 1960's with LSD and mushrooms becoming popular, the last time in recorded history that a whole bunch of westerners were getting together and using psychedellic drugs was the Eleusinian mysteries of Greece which stopped in 425 AD and the last time you had a major movement of people doing this without drugs before the 20th century was the alchemists and Kabbalists of the renaissance era. Part of that of course was the seeming inner-world ban put in place by organized Christianity and Islam which both seemed to see the 'fantasy' world as the plane of the devil and by extension at least in people's renderings of Deuteronomy this was pharmakeia or 'sorcery' which would land you straight in hell.

Growing up Catholic one of the things that bothered me is that they would never, ever, tell you what made a saint. You could read about all the behavioral symptoms but you couldn't really figure out the causes, ie. how someone who heard the same message became so transformed by it as to give their life to public service and stand out in history whereas most people can at best show up for an hour per week for wine and crackers. Similarly when I spent some time with fiery nondeominationals many seemed to think there was something so innately special with Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel or 'God called them' (hence we have no right to try to walk in their footsteps or any attempt to do so is contacting 'satanic' or deceptive energies) - it left absolutely no room for people to actually grow or do anything proactive with their inner lives, the superficial machination of a walk with God seemed to be allowed just not the substance.

What all of this tells me though (ie. a review of the old world mysteries) - at a minimum and to engage the materialist perspective first - is that profound regimens of positive psychology, even to the point of building incredibly useful and artfully rendered synaesthesia from various visualization techniques repeated enough over time, is something that's been done as far back as humanity has organized itself into groups large enough to call cultures and perhaps farther back. When someone realizes they can control the levers of their own happiness by way of directing their own mental states and motivations they've found a way to rise above the miseries that people get when they're constantly doing little more than just reacting to what the external world gives them. It's a door I think we should be more proactively reexamining today.

The profound additional possibility - that the geometric shapes of consciousness perceived to be floating out there by mystics and theurgists of the past may indeed hint at something of a collective unconscious or subconscious at which point such shared archetypal beings may be floating around within the depths of all of us.

That's possibility is part of why I enjoy pursuing this stuff further in my own life - ie. I'd love to start bringing these experiences in and then see if I can properly gauge for myself what their basis is. As for a universal deity punishing people for trying to explore their own minds - especially trying to find Him/Her of all things - it just doesn't make sense to me at all. Best I can reckon, especially with the modern scholarship of the Old Testament and its Babylonian exile authorship, is that it was largely a reaction to the conquest they experienced but also that the ban on inner-world exploration could have been for two reasons - first that it was one of many things they'd done intensively before getting conquered by Babylon but also it was competition with the priesthood for a commoner to be a wonderworker or claim spiritual contact that the priestly class wished to organize and claim only for itself. While its true that we like having medicine largely reserved for our trained Md's and that this might have been a similar call for streamlining and standard-setting the public means of expression for social cohesion, the way in which they went about it doesn't seem like the ends justified the means - particularly when we look at how literally it all has been taken.



azaam
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27 Aug 2014, 11:21 pm

Are you seeking the truth? Allah (God) will show it to you if you are sincere in finding the truth and following it.

I will give you the key to finding the guidance from Allah. Read these few line from the 1st Chapter and ask Allah to guide you to His religion.

"In the name of Allah (God), the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.
Amen." Quran (Surat Al-Fatiha)

"Say (O Muhammad) He is God the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone." Quran

My advice: Read the translation of the Noble Quran and ponder upon what God wants from you and you will conclude that it is divine in every way. Bear witness and say, "There is no God but Allah and none has the right to be worshipped but Him and that Jesus is his prophet and Muhammed is His last prophet."

That saves you from a punishment and your sins will be forgiven and a new record starts.


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27 Aug 2014, 11:57 pm

azaam wrote:
Are you seeking the truth? Allah (God) will show it to you if you are sincere in finding the truth and following it.

I will give you the key to finding the guidance from Allah. Read these few line from the 1st Chapter and ask Allah to guide you to His religion.

"In the name of Allah (God), the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.
The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
You alone do we worship, and You alone do we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those who have received your grace;
not the path of those who have brought down wrath, nor of those who wander astray.
Amen." Quran (Surat Al-Fatiha)

"Say (O Muhammad) He is God the One God, the Everlasting Refuge, who has not begotten, nor has been begotten, and equal to Him is not anyone." Quran

My advice: Read the translation of the Noble Quran and ponder upon what God wants from you and you will conclude that it is divine in every way. Bear witness and say, "There is no God but Allah and none has the right to be worshipped but Him and that Jesus is his prophet and Muhammed is His last prophet."

That saves you from a punishment and your sins will be forgiven and a new record starts.


Any chance that you are going to provide the merest of pieces of empirical evidence that your god exists? If not you are just talking drivel.


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28 Aug 2014, 1:43 am

Italics are my edit of the following...

azaam wrote:
Are you seeking the truth? Allah / God /Jehovah / Parvardigar / Vishnu / Harvesp-khoda / Pashupati / The Jade Emperor / Brahman / Krishna and a whole host of others will show it to you if you are sincere in finding the truth and following it.

So many think that they have the one true way, and they either say it outright or infer it. So many constructs that have evolved over thousands of years to become the complex centers of the various religions.

azaam wrote:
That saves you from a punishment and your sins will be forgiven and a new record starts.

And there you have it... the sting in the tail. People are in need of saving from their sins. Why? Because believers of one construct or another say it's so.

But the worst part is this. Through sin you are controlled by their formula for being saved. And belief in anything else means you will perish. (Cavaet: Not all religions say this, but they all infer a better voyage for your soul if you follow their rules.)

This is just another expression of evolution's 'survival of the fittest.' Survival is part of the DNA of life. And people who preach afterlife survival are addressing that part of us that is driven to seek survival. They and only they have the true answer. SMH


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28 Aug 2014, 6:34 am

Ex-Catholic. I've gone back and forth on the view that the existence of a god is demonstrably improbable. These days I think merely that belief in the existence of a god cannot be rationally supported. I also think that it demonstrably "does not matter" whether a god exists, at least not to beings in our epistemic condition; by this I mean that if a god exists, there is demonstrably no rational basis for altering our behavior or attitudes (given our limited perspectives) in response to this fact.

I submit two arguments. The first is from David Hume. The second is, as far as I know, my own (though clearly inspired by the problem of evil), formulated within the last couple years or so. I'm more confident in the second than in the first. Critical feedback is welcome.

Arg. 1: Belief in the occurrence of a miracle can never be justified by appeal to testimony.

Quote:
(1) If a miracle has occurred, then a law of nature has been suspended.
(2) People are known frequently to have mistaken beliefs and tell lies.
(3) If a miracle has been alleged, then either (a) the miracle has occurred, or (b) the person responsible for the allegation is mistaken or lying.
(4) It follows from (1) that (3a) entails the suspension of a law of nature.
(5) It follows from (2) that (3b) does not entail the suspension of a law of nature.
(6) When evaluating conflicting explanations of some phenomenon, rationality requires us to favor the explanation that is least conflicting with our knowledge of nature.
(7) It follows from (3) through (6) that if a miracle has been alleged, rationality requires us to favor the explanation that the person responsible for the allegation is mistaken or lying.


Arg. 2: If God exists, then there is no rational basis for altering our behavior or attitudes in response to this fact.

Quote:
(1) By definition, God is both truly good - hence his willingness to minimize the existence of what is truly evil - and able to minimize the existence of what is truly evil; he also has a privileged, undistorted perspective on reality, with access to truths that defy human comprehension.
(2) Cancer kills some children.
(3) It follows from (1) and (2) that if God exists, then from his perspective, the world would be no better (or even less-than-ideal) if cancer killed fewer children.
(4) From our natural perspective, child cancer is terrible; it makes the world considerably worse than it would be if cancer killed no or fewer children.
(5) It follows from (3) and (4) that if God exists, then our natural perspective on child cancer is actually false.
(6) It follows from (5) that we cannot know whether any of our value-judgments are actually true or false - and not merely in agreement with our natural perspective.
(7) It follows from (6) that we cannot possibly know what is favored or disfavored by a truly good God; we cannot know how, if at all, it is possible for us to earn his favor and avoid his disfavor.



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28 Aug 2014, 6:44 am

JaryT wrote:
As the title says, please share your views on religion(s) with me.


Well, you certainly picked a great place to start that debate, as almost everyone here has different viewpoints and that makes sense.

No human views the world precisely the same; we are all subject to the power of our emotions, our memories, and the restraints of what culture and or religion teaches us about what culture and or religion considers reality.

The problem is that culture and religion is used very often to subjugate and control people generally to control reproductive freedoms and collect material goods for greater success at subsistence. This issue appears more salient as earlier humans move from a hunter/gatherer way to agriculture and storing/collecting goods for a rainy day, if you will, and humans who have evolved to live in relatively small groups with around 150 to 200 social contacts, requiring greater restraints when living in huge social groups for social order, preventing anarchy that will certainly arise if proper controls are not put into place.

Culture and religion, particularly when the government does not provide adequate social welfare, is the glue that provides a workable solution for human societies to co-exist; not always peacefully but again a workable solution.

First of all, I personally think a working definition of GOD must be explored before this topic can even be discussed.

In my opinion, a concept of GOD most definitely exists at the the core element of all science; as an example the golden spiral mean, of 1.618 that is seen all throughout nature from galaxies down to the Quantum physics level.

In my opinion, a working definition for me for GOD is the interdependent relationships of all things everywhere all the time now.

Well, a person may say, duh, yes, science evidences that; so what.

I agree with everything techstepgenr8tion says, and have personally experienced the higher human potential through relative free will of looking within, deep within, and finding the non-verbal abilities to control my emotions and empower myself with what some people might understand as supernatural abilities if I tell someone what I have been able to accomplish in the last year, factually as such.

No, I do not believe in the supernatural.

An analogy I use is the used car analogy; where one buys a car and there is no manual and one must learn the special features of this car by trial and error.

When one works with the patterns of the interdependent relationship of allitis, another analogy I use for GOD, there is incredible power of human being, i.e. a higher power
to be gained, but again, nothing supernatural; just instinctual and intuitive abilities that to this point, no college or textbook can bring a person to other than finding it within in their own path.

Sparks of inspiration from the paths of other folks, yes.

But each individual must find their own way to this higher power, per their own unique experience and perceptions of life, that will never precisely match the life of anyone else, no matter disorder, disability, or language/culture/religion of origin.

So at this point one might ask, okay, all that talk is just talk, put up or shut up.

Well, here's the thing, I've painstakingly documented the benefits of finding this higher power and real life effects that many people would likely enjoy, whether they admit to or not.

Obviously this GOD I believe in and evidence is totally a GOD that is an interdependent relationship of ALL of nature.

And the evidence is this, concisely put.

And provable for anyone who wants to research that for themselves.

I lived 5 years with the worst pain disorder known to mankind, type two trigeminal neuralgia; the moderator here, Tallyman, can tell you how severe that is if you don't believe me when I tell you that modern medicine considers this disorder the worst pain known to mankind. Best analogy if you've experienced it, is if you've had your teeth drilled and the novocaine does not work.

Except in my case it was like someone was drilling my right eye and ear, making the use of my sight and hearing effectively useless for 5 long years.

I was also diagnosed with a total of at least 18 other medical disorders, including Sjogren's Syndrome (my eyes quit making tears with this auto-immune disorder), Fibromyalgia, and dysautonomia where I could not raise my arms up over my head without almost passing out.

My doctors gave me no hope of recovery, and since no drugs would help me, basically sent me home to suffer; yes they gave up.

But, I did not give up.

Yes, I did carry a metal chain in a Bicycle basket; not that I wanted to commit suicide, but if the pain got to the point I would have to hang myself with that metal chain on a tree where no would find me, for two long years, with the relative necessity of that task looming before me.

Somehow I accommodated myself enough to the pain to turn my computer monitor down all the way and start typing to escape the pain.

I went on an inner journey of the one, techstepgenr8tion, speaks of, that no one will ever fully understand but me, as it for the most was a non-verbal journey, that cannot fully be put into words.

The evidence of what that journey did for me, is in real life now, a year after being a shut-in for five years, in the bedroom of my home for the most part.

Still with the lowest measures of testosterone of a 75 year old man, measured at precisely 181 in my most recent doctor's test a few months ago, I can lift 720LBS in free weights with my legs, which is witnessed by the folks at my military gym I still have privileges to work out as a retired federal civil service worker, now at age 54.

I dance every Thursday Night now as of tonight for 23 consecutive weeks at a place called Seville Quarter in the RAVE dance style with college kids mostly under age 25.

If you call Seville quarter tonight, and ask them who the most innovative dancer is, they will tell you it's that big guy around 230Lbs with the shades on.

If you ask anyone, that works in the dance area.

People come up to me and shake my hands and high five me every time I dance, and ask me to come back again just to watch me.

Yes, that's a miracle of human potential form, as I was so uncoordinated before that I had to watch my wife walk, to walk in a straight line in the mall, documented on this website long before this change of what can be described as an awakening or enlightenment occurred in my life last Summer.

I have developed a style of martial arts dance walking that I have documented at 2000 miles as of last week, in one year, on my Nike GPS sports watch.

Beautiful young girls come up and bump and GRIND with me on the dance floors, and yeah I got the photos of the girls to prove it.

Yes, I am monogamous and married, but my wife doesn't mind if I play a little bit like this.

And yes, the GOD I know has no problem with free human sexuality, and in fact promotes it everywhere in life, naturally, obviously, if you will.

In fact the GOD I know is both the GOD of LOVE, in social cooperation, as well as the GOD of excellence in human potential; yes totally in alignment with core elements of evolution and reproductive success.

In my opinion, fundamentalist religions are anti-GOD or even Anti-Christ if you will, as some uncovered sacred texts like the Gospel of Thomas indicate the real man Jesus may have been closer to a Yogi and classical pantheist than any structured and enforced fundamentalist religious text.

The idea that Jesus is the only Son of GOD or Muhammad is the last prophet is just a way for psychopathic leaning individuals to control the herd for profit and to control reproductive freedoms as the two do go hand in hand.

But the potential for highest human potential that I have definitely proved does exist, and none of my doctors can explain it; and the religious therapist, calls it a real life religious type miracle.

I call it an all natural miracle, that most people do have potential access to but never have the same opportunities I had through removal from culture, incredibly difficult medical disorders, and no choice but to look within to find it.

What I can say is this.

Belief, Faith, Hope, and Sacred Unconditional Love are the most powerful elements of human being that exist.

These elements are real tangible phenomenon for those who experience these powerful feelings and emotions, that bring real life results.

The path one finds to use these tools, and make the best of their life, is an individual one that cannot be controlled by anyone else, particularly religions mass produced to control the big social herds of humans.

And no, I'm not going to provide any links as I have been warned here not to 'so call' promote myself.

But, in fact, I've only ever been trying to help folks here, know their is a much higher potential for human potential, that can effectively bring a person to Friedrich Nietzsche's ideal of an all natural superman.

Ironically, now I do nude art, and even my wife who has been a naysayer of many of the elements of my journey, as she is raised extremely fundamentalist Christian, and can't understand how 'GOD' would 'promote' free sex and such as that, admits that my straight male nude art, I do now in renaissance style, yes in the flesh and age 54, is better than the statue of King David, as far as the male sex appeal thingy goes, and my wife has extremely high standards for that.

I do it, to prove GOD exists, in me, and what real human potential can be, at the core level of what makes any animal strong.

Reproductive success.

Fortunately for my wife, I live among the 30 percent or so folks that the Kinsey report suggest are inherently monogamous.

Otherwise by this point, I might be in real trouble, in more ways than one.

Additionally Kung Fu experts have identified my own developed martial art, as one that comes with Kung Fu expertise, that I practice openly at my military gym.

But again, never had a dance lesson, and never had a martial arts lesson.

All instinctual, all intuition, all of what I describe and define as the Higher power of GOD (the interdependent relationship of all things)

I always giggle a little bit, when folks attempt to put chains on GOD, when they say this dude is the only son of GOD or this dude is the last prophet.

It's a big Universe, and in reality no one wants a promotion and responsibility like that.

But there are folks who create the promotion to subjugate and control others.

Not surprising that current scientific studies put the clergy overall in the top ten professions of psychopathic checklist leaning tendencies.

The story is as old as history; some folks with little empathy love to manipulate others for personal gains.

There are no money making ploys on my blog; it's all to share the potential higher power of GOD, for evidence that yes.

It does exist.

And again, no doctor can explain it, as 'REAL YOGI's' don't often visit western cultures.

So yes, I believe the real man Yeshua aka Jesus was an occultist in the natural sense like me, and a classical Yogi leaning pantheist like me too.

Call me a Christian.

But not a modern christian by far.

The original reported version of Yeshua instead; as true priest of human nature aka Christ priest.

All natural and evidenced as such.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ubhy1y_2E[/youtube]


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28 Aug 2014, 8:43 am

A god who could create a universe would be beyond comprehension. Just try writing a story about a god that is beyond comprehension - it can't be done. So we anthropomorphize 'it,' and oddly that is supposed to make it more credible.


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28 Aug 2014, 9:20 am

Narrator wrote:
A god who could create a universe would be beyond comprehension. Just try writing a story about a god that is beyond comprehension - it can't be done. So we anthropomorphize 'it,' and oddly that is supposed to make it more credible.



Exactly, all religious texts have this inherent flaw. Anyone writing about God neessarily has to anthropomorphise because we have no language and no capacity to conceive the inconceivable. We cant even wrap our heads around quantum physics let alone God



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28 Aug 2014, 5:54 pm

MJPIndy wrote:
Arg. 1: Belief in the occurrence of a miracle can never be justified by appeal to testimony.

Quote:
(1) If a miracle has occurred, then a law of nature has been suspended.
(2) People are known frequently to have mistaken beliefs and tell lies.
(3) If a miracle has been alleged, then either (a) the miracle has occurred, or (b) the person responsible for the allegation is mistaken or lying.
(4) It follows from (1) that (3a) entails the suspension of a law of nature.
(5) It follows from (2) that (3b) does not entail the suspension of a law of nature.
(6) When evaluating conflicting explanations of some phenomenon, rationality requires us to favor the explanation that is least conflicting with our knowledge of nature.
(7) It follows from (3) through (6) that if a miracle has been alleged, rationality requires us to favor the explanation that the person responsible for the allegation is mistaken or lying.

I tend to see arguments in debate really being, like anything, the a priori pool of any given presenter which matches the specific flavor of their life, personality, and experiences. The things they'd consider possible or impossible, the things they'd claim mankind to truly know or only maybe know, etc.. Admittedly it's REALLY tough out there to deal with all the data we have in front of us. So many given fields of knowledge you could chase the details your entire life and only become an expert in a niche to then pass up everything else. Its partly why I don't like debating people much anymore - a person's ontology is their personal module of religion, whether they claim to be religious or otherwise, and people who seek to really evaluate the quality of their bubble are rare enough that its far better just to run into someone like that, realize you jive, and PM back and forth than start a thread on an internet forum and try to have it out.

Just thinking of how many times in my life I felt like I really knew pretty much all of the basic 'stuff' and flavors of stuff important to figure out what was really going on with humanity on this planet and how many times and ways I criss-crossed from theism to atheism and back I realize just how convincing anyone's pool of beliefs can be regardless of what they have. Since debates are won by passion but passion doesn't necessarily denote that the person with the most passion has the most truth - it kinda turns the thing into drudgery.

MJPIndy wrote:
Arg. 2: If God exists, then there is no rational basis for altering our behavior or attitudes in response to this fact.

Quote:
(1) By definition, God is both truly good - hence his willingness to minimize the existence of what is truly evil - and able to minimize the existence of what is truly evil; he also has a privileged, undistorted perspective on reality, with access to truths that defy human comprehension.
(2) Cancer kills some children.
(3) It follows from (1) and (2) that if God exists, then from his perspective, the world would be no better (or even less-than-ideal) if cancer killed fewer children.
(4) From our natural perspective, child cancer is terrible; it makes the world considerably worse than it would be if cancer killed no or fewer children.
(5) It follows from (3) and (4) that if God exists, then our natural perspective on child cancer is actually false.
(6) It follows from (5) that we cannot know whether any of our value-judgments are actually true or false - and not merely in agreement with our natural perspective.
(7) It follows from (6) that we cannot possibly know what is favored or disfavored by a truly good God; we cannot know how, if at all, it is possible for us to earn his favor and avoid his disfavor.

I think the one thing certain of us have no matter what is the desire to make the most of this life possible, to get it as 'right' as we can in reference for what our own internal fiber calls out for, and for those whose lives are filled with seeking self improvement, especially self-improvement for the sake of both them and the people around them, grabbing those next few feet of possibility will always be the goal because it's what makes some people tick. In this case ontological and spiritual beliefs would have a lot to do with how they categorized whether they'd spend more time at the gym, in a a lab, or in meditation among so many other things. If they believe there's no God but but believe humanity needs a lot of love and nourishment - they'd turn themselves more fully outward. If they believe that God is the point we're all going back to then they'd do their best to make big steps in that direction as well.