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Theistic Isolationism

Arnox

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This is a somewhat redundant topic after my last topic, so if you already read that, you can just skip this one if you want. This topic is much more for me to precisely nail down exactly what I believe at least nowadays until further notice. As far as I know, there isn't really an official term for what I believe. Closest that I found was apatheism but even though that's close, that's not really what it is. I searched through Wikipedia's articles on religion and did some web searching but I couldn't find anything precisely matching what I now think, religiously. With that out of the way then, let's define exactly what this is.

Theistic isolationism is the belief that a god or gods or, at very least, some kind of spiritual afterlife absolutely does exist, but that any gods or spirits encountered, both in this life and very possibly the next, are unreliable or even downright malicious and are not to be trusted with full-on worship or even regular communication. Even just talking to any gods or spirits is a risky business so very often riddled with vagueness and manipulative tactics. By extension, this means that theistic isolationists consider the fellow humans they live with to be much more worthy of trust and communication than any paranormal entity as, at least with other normal living humans, the power dynamic is the same, or to put it another way, the playing field between other living humans is level.

Beyond that, although not a requirement at all to be a theistic isolationist, this belief synergizes very well with the belief in what are called egregores. Egregores are theorized to be paranormal entities that are created by the sheer belief of a group or perhaps even just one person. Egregores range anywhere from shockingly beautiful to ugly and terrible, and the power they have, at least in this physical world, is decided on how much faith and belief is behind them. For me at least, this would quite neatly explain the chaos that so deeply characterizes the general world of religion and would also explain why such entities would even care about this little planet at all.

Theistic isolationists, simply due to their very beliefs, must completely "go it alone," religiously speaking, not wanting to accept any direct help from other entities lest they become entangled in the entity's actions, lies, or conflicts with other entities. They believe at least in the self and in maximizing self-sufficiency. That one's self, one's cognition and consciousness, are the only final things that can be counted on, and that personal happiness and personal power are what should be fought for. A theistic isolationist may or may not also prioritize helping people to some degree. For me personally, I do definitely prioritize helping some people.

This is just a personal update on this topic in regards to my latest findings at this time.

Although I've stated this before in the OP, I am periodically reminded that the road of a theistic isolationist is a spiritually lonely one. And by extension, this includes Atheism as well I suppose. The difference though is the atheist's inner belief and assurance that there's nothing spiritual out there. Nothing more to see in that regard. Just more exact scientific principles and physics and matter blindly going about the path they're on and nothing else. Such a perspective does, at least, bring closure, but the isolationist has no such reprieve.

As I've continued on with my life, I've looked into many spiritual things and have observed other spiritual things that have happened to both me and other people, but trying to make sense of all of it sometimes feels like trying to make sense of a fractal, where one sees roads splitting off into more roads splitting off into more roads... Trying to look ahead to where all those roads end seems to be a fruitless endeavor. There's always more to see. More experiences you hear about. More to learn. And along all those roads are advertisements. Billboards. "Follow this road and see eternity!" "Follow this road and you'll know bliss!" "Follow this road and you'll learn your true purpose!"

All of these roads seem to have some kind of problem with them or another, much like how I began to see the cracks in my own LDS religion. Despite all that, one is sometimes sorely tempted to just pick a road that most appeals to their inner desires and stick to that, but for a theistic isolationist, to do so would be to give up trying to hold as much to the truth of things as possible and submit to one diety or another. Or maybe even multiple deities. I don't know. There's a lot of fucking roads. Perhaps this fractal of roads merely represents the fractal of possibilities within the human imagination. Whatever one thinks, there it is.

In the end, a quote from a romantic comedy comes to me. "I don't have all the answers. I just like to try to live in the moment, if I can." And perhaps that's the best any of us can hope for right now. Whichever road you're on though, if you truly deeply believe it to be the right one, I wish you the best on your walk.

As long as, you know, your walk doesn't unjustly harm other people in their own walks... If so, then I might have something to say, to say the least.
 
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Vendor-Lazarus

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Very fascinating read. Not only because it's rare to see anyone break away from a previous belief (for which congratulations are in order. That takes will-power.), but also because I thought I was familiar with most theist and deistic concepts. This was a new one, and a bit of an outlier in that it moves away from considering spiritualism benevolent.
 

Arnox

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it's rare to see anyone break away from a previous belief (for which congratulations are in order. That takes will-power.)
Well, I don't really deserve any congratulations here as I was metaphorically shoved into this system of belief on multiple fronts.

This was a new one, and a bit of an outlier in that it moves away from considering spiritualism benevolent.
Yeah, it's basically the antithesis of benevolent spiritualism, and there's a lot of words for it. Spiritual independence, spiritual defensiveness, or spiritual paranoia, whichever one might prefer.
 

Houseman

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Do you no longer identify as a member of the LDS?

Also, why do you believe that gods, spirits, or the afterlife exists?
 

Arnox

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Do you no longer identify as a member of the LDS?
That is correct. I do not. (Wow, it seems so weird to say that now after all these years.) I DO definitely think there is at least one powerful entity behind it, but I am no longer assured of their reliability/truthfulness. With that said, I do still have smaller lingering beliefs from the LDS religion that may or may not be disproved later. Who can say. Actually, there's a lot of LDS beliefs that eerily make a ton of sense.

Also, why do you believe that gods, spirits, or the afterlife exists?
I've seen a lot of personal evidences of the paranormal in one facet or another (I've even seen one person I was talking to remotely influence the results of random.org on MY computer. They had some ability with magick apparently. And yes, I repeated this over two or three times with different random.org applications.), and regardless of what one may think, there is one fact about the LDS religion that simply cannot be disputed. There is no way that some upstate New York podunk farmboy pulled the entirety of the Book of Mormon out of his ass. Not even if he (somehow) had access to an expert at the time. He had to have some kind of supernatural help. Now, whether that help was malicious in nature or not, again, who knows, but I don't wish to trust that entity any longer.
 

Arnox

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Do you believe an entity created humanity?
I have no idea anymore. Both the LDS and regular Christian origin story of humanity are now in question. Could easily be a lie told by an entity to increase their standing with people on this planet.

"Oh, see, I/our group created you~ We have kinship! You should fight for me."

It is just another account in a sea of other origin stories about life given to us by very questionable spiritual entities.
 

Houseman

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I have no idea anymore. Both the LDS and regular Christian origin story of humanity are now in question. Could easily be a lie told by an entity to increase their standing with people on this planet.

"Oh, see, I/our group created you~ We have kinship! You should fight for me."

It is just another account in a sea of other origin stories about life given to us by very questionable spiritual entities.
If an entity did create us, and another entity tried to take credit, I would think that the first entity would not allow the second entity to do so, assuming the first entity is more powerful than the second.

I would think this would be a given, since, if the second entity had the power to create and the desire to be recognized as the creator, he would have just created us and wouldn't need to lie.
 

Arnox

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If an entity did create us, and another entity tried to take credit, I would think that the first entity would not allow the second entity to do so, assuming the first entity is more powerful than the second.

I would think this would be a given, since, if the second entity had the power to create and the desire to be recognized as the creator, he would have just created us and wouldn't need to lie.
There's an awful lot of assumptions in there. We're assuming for starters that the true creator would care whether someone falsely claimed they were the creator or not. Perhaps the true creator is very hands-off with the universe and just lets it run itself.

It also assumes that a creator that is more powerful than other powerful spirits actually exists. Maybe there's multiple creators with at least more or less equal levels of power. Maybe this planet is just one of many deific battlegrounds.
 

Houseman

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We're assuming for starters that the true creator would care whether someone falsely claimed they were the creator or not. Perhaps the true creator is very hands-off with the universe and just lets it run itself.
Sure, but then, if a creator wanted to go hands-off and let humans and other spirits just do whatever and then not care about any of it, then why create us at all?

If this creator, for some reason unfathomable to us, does not care, then why not trust the spirit that does care enough to lie about it? At least the lying entity is interested in us!

It also assumes that a creator that is more powerful than other powerful spirits actually exists.
That part isn't so much of an assumption. It's reasoned out:

"I would think this would be a given, since, if the second entity had the power to create and the desire to be recognized as the creator, he would have just created us and wouldn't need to lie."
 

Arnox

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if a creator wanted to go hands-off and let humans and other spirits just do whatever and then not care about any of it, then why create us at all?
This is one of those times I was talking about where the LDS religion has a surprisingly good answer. Free agency. There must be an opposite in all things. Maybe the actual creator feels like, for better and worse, lies, even from spiritual entities, must simply be a part of life just as truth must be.
 

Houseman

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You can still provide free agency and some measure of care and protection, especially if you love your creation. For example, a parent won't shield their child from every single danger or mishap. A parent might warn a child not to mess with a cat, but if they persist, the cat might retaliate. The child will learn a valuable lesson.

But the same parent won't let their child get mauled by a mountain lion or a pit bull. A parent who loves their child does not go completely 'hands off'.

So, why create us? I think that creation is an act of love in itself, and thus, reveals something about the creator.

Unless, of course, the creator was raped, and had no choice but to create us, and was also powerless to abort us, or just kill us off as a mercy.
 

Arnox

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You can still provide free agency and some measure of care and protection, especially if you love your creation.
Is that really what's going on though? Humanity on Earth has to suffer some extremely brutal things. There's an interesting LDS scripture as well where God just flat out says we're the worst world of them all.

Unless, of course, the creator was raped, and had no choice but to create us, and was also powerless to abort us, or just kill us off as a mercy.
Well, there's a dark perspective. Don't think I agree with it, but it's interesting nonetheless.
 

Houseman

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Is that really what's going on though? Humanity on Earth has to suffer some extremely brutal things. There's an interesting LDS scripture as well where God just flat out says we're the worst world of them all.
I don't know, but the argument is: if we were purposefully created, then that demonstrates something about the creator, that he created us for a reason. The creator is probably not malicious or uncaring towards us, because if he hated us and just wanted to wipe us out, he either could do so, or would have never created us in the first place.

So I think it's reasonable to believe that a creator cares about us.

As you say, we have to, and have had to, suffer extremely brutal things, so we may question how this 'care' is demonstrated.
 

Arnox

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So I think it's reasonable to believe that a creator cares about us.
I don't know about caring, but I think it is at least safe to say that if a creator did exist, they are at least neutral towards us. Who knows. It could even be that we're all cogs in an unbelievably massive universal machine running for some purpose entirely unknown to us.
 

Arnox

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Cogs have a purpose. Someone cares if a cog breaks.
Yeah, but the usual repair is to find another cog to replace it with. Also, such a creator would very, very probably be so beyond making mistakes that nothing would need to be addressed for the machine to reach its final desired state.
 

Arnox

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This is just a personal update on this topic in regards to my latest findings at this time.

Although I've stated this before in the OP, I am periodically reminded that the road of a theistic isolationist is a spiritually lonely one. And by extension, this includes Atheism as well I suppose. The difference though is the atheist's inner belief and assurance that there's nothing spiritual out there. Nothing more to see in that regard. Just more exact scientific principles and physics and matter blindly going about the path they're on and nothing else. Such a perspective does, at least, bring closure, but the isolationist has no such reprieve.

As I've continued on with my life, I've looked into many spiritual things and have observed other spiritual things that have happened to both me and other people, but trying to make sense of all of it sometimes feels like trying to make sense of a fractal, where one sees roads splitting off into more roads splitting off into more roads... Trying to look ahead to where all those roads end seems to be a fruitless endeavor. There's always more to see. More experiences you hear about. More to learn. And along all those roads are advertisements. Billboards. "Follow this road and see eternity!" "Follow this road and you'll know bliss!" "Follow this road and you'll learn your true purpose!"

All of these roads seem to have some kind of problem with them or another, much like how I began to see the cracks in my own LDS religion. Despite all that, one is sometimes sorely tempted to just pick a road that most appeals to their inner desires and stick to that, but for a theistic isolationist, to do so would be to give up trying to hold as much to the truth of things as possible and submit to one diety or another. Or maybe even multiple deities. I don't know. There's a lot of fucking roads. Perhaps this fractal of roads merely represents the fractal of possibilities within the human imagination. Whatever one thinks, there it is.

In the end, a quote from a romantic comedy comes to me. "I don't have all the answers. I just like to try to live in the moment, if I can." And perhaps that's the best any of us can hope for right now. Whichever road you're on though, if you truly deeply believe it to be the right one, I wish you the best on your walk.

As long as, you know, your walk doesn't unjustly harm other people in their own walks... If so, then I might have something to say, to say the least.
 

Houseman

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John 6:60 "When they heard this, many of his disciples said: “This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?”"
66 "Because of this, many of his disciples went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him"

These people thought they saw "cracks" in Jesus, and abandoned him.
 

Arnox

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John 6:60 "When they heard this, many of his disciples said: “This speech is shocking; who can listen to it?”"
66 "Because of this, many of his disciples went off to the things behind and would no longer walk with him"

These people thought they saw "cracks" in Jesus, and abandoned him.
I do not abandon religions or philosophies just because they aren't convenient. That is what the disciples did there. Rather, if the thing doesn't align up with logic or goes directly against my personal experience as to how things are, that is something that I will take issue with for that religion/philosophy.
 
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Houseman

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do not abandon religions or philosophies just because they aren't convenient. That is what the disciples did there. Rather, if the thing doesn't align up with logic or goes directly against my personal experience as to how things are
How do you know these disciples abandoned Jesus because it was no longer convenient, rather than "not lining up with logic/going against personal experience"? They said that the speech was "shocking". Considering the context, Jesus was talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. That is shocking to someone taking that literally. Cannibalism seems to be pretty squarely against logic and personal experience.

Getting orders that aren't "logical" or don't make sense comes up repeatedly in the bible. Moses and the Israelites were guided to the red sea, and the people began to panic, thinking that they were trapped, and were going to be caught by the pursuing Egyptian army. They didn't know that God was going to open up a path for them.

When the Romans were attacking Jerusalem, Jesus had given them prior warnings to flee when the time was right. The Romans surrounded the city, and then left without an explanation. This was the moment to flee. Those who heeded those warnings were saved. Those who thought "The Romans are gone, there's no danger, according to logic and my personal experience, I will stay" suffered the consequences when the Romans returned.

It seems like just trusting in yourself is the most convenient thing to do.
 

Arnox

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How do you know these disciples abandoned Jesus because it was no longer convenient, rather than "not lining up with logic/going against personal experience"? They said that the speech was "shocking". Considering the context, Jesus was talking about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. That is shocking to someone taking that literally. Cannibalism seems to be pretty squarely against logic and personal experience.

Getting orders that aren't "logical" or don't make sense comes up repeatedly in the bible. Moses and the Israelites were guided to the red sea, and the people began to panic, thinking that they were trapped, and were going to be caught by the pursuing Egyptian army. They didn't know that God was going to open up a path for them.

When the Romans were attacking Jerusalem, Jesus had given them prior warnings to flee when the time was right. The Romans surrounded the city, and then left without an explanation. This was the moment to flee. Those who heeded those warnings were saved. Those who thought "The Romans are gone, there's no danger, according to logic and my personal experience, I will stay" suffered the consequences when the Romans returned.

It seems like just trusting in yourself is the most convenient thing to do.
Hm. An interesting conundrum. I guess I would say for the first part that the disciples probably should have guessed or at least asked Jesus if he was speaking metaphorically or literally. And even if literally, then they should have asked how everyone who was his disciple could possibly partake of him? They didn't ask that, so the only other conclusion is that they found it too inconvenient to ask, and thus, too inconvenient to follow him.

Sometimes, trusting yourself IS indeed the most convenient thing to do, but in this case, as it relates to Theistic Isolationism, trusting in yourself instead of a premade path is actually one of the most inconvenient things to do. You can choose Road A, or Road B, or you can go into the woods through the backcountry and hack away at the brush for hours, trying to make your own path through the thickets. There's no one there to guide you, spiritually protect you, do the work for you, or even to tell you what is right or wrong.

You can certainly look at and study the many other roads and their philosophies, techniques, and maybe religious beliefs, and you actually definitely should, but regardless, it demands that you analyze everything on its own merits, and you don't allow yourself to be blinded by any biases, whether they come from others or yourself.
 

Houseman

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You can choose Road A, or Road B, or you can go into the woods through the backcountry and hack away at the brush for hours, trying to make your own path through the thickets. There's no one there to guide you, spiritually protect you, do the work for you, or even to tell you what is right or wrong.
You also don't have to follow anyone else's rules and restrictions, or submit to anyone else's guidance or punishment. You don't have to get up early to go to church, donate money, time, and energy, or change yourself to fit in with other people's expectations.

You can do what you want, on your own schedule. And that alone makes it more convenient.

Hacking away the thickets in the backcountry is a bad example, because nobody knows if that's what you're really doing, nor is there any reason to believe you are making active forward progress. You could be just taking a nap under a tree for all we know. In the LDS, for example, there are "ranks", that can be a marker of their progress. We could say that someone with a higher rank is the evidence of their progress. We don't know what progress, if any, you have made.

If you said something like "I HAVE to wake up at 6 every other day to stand on the street corner and count passing cars, or else I'll be demoted to squire and need to wear a bag over my head for the next 12 weeks", then maybe I'd be like "that's rough buddy"
 
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