You know how I am very skeptical of religiosity, however, there is, for me, a deeper consideration about all this apparent need for "faith" and "beliefs."
It's all about inspiration and what gives us humans impetus. There is a need to look beyond the mundane and the forces that might drag us down into the mud.
All manner or artistic media seem to be directing us back to life, to overcoming those dark forces. Whether we see this as an indulgence, a refusal to accept reality, we still can gain from art an enormous amount of encouragement that supports us in survival against the odds.
Whilst writing this post I am listening to the Te Deum of victory by Frederick Handel. I find the beauty in this music, as in the setting itself, to be amongst the highest expressions of human emotion. I cannot help being enthralled by the planning, training, practice and orchestration that goes into such beautiful sounds.
Someone who has had bad experiences of this sort of religious expression will probably turn their back on it. That is fair enough. We cannot all have the same reactions to any situation. Those who can join with me in listening, hopefully with a decent pair of headphones, without interruption from telephone or children, might care to share their feelings.
Why is it that you repeatedly fail to recognize that you have "faith" and "belief" too? Is it some sort of needed comfort in indecision? I wonder why the assertion that there is no God takes a great amount of faith is not realized.
Is it scary? just kidding.
I do wonder why you feel the urge to deny your own faith...
I know you do not want to call it faith for the life of all that is good and perfect; shiny and beautiful. But why ISN'T it faith??? Didn't you get YOUR information from books or television? Me too! we da same faithful in opposite directions.
Let's make it fair...
Do you have evidence that your book learning is not faithfuller than my book learning?
As you have so often demonstrated, Cgenaea, if there is any faith, it's a very individual matter and not one I will discuss with you. You would be wasting time if you tried to convince me of your beliefs....
Suffice to repeat that I do not accept the existence of an "after-life" for this person of Me after my physical death, therefore I do not accept the existence of a "god" for the same reason. Period! No discussion on that.
However, my posting of this discussion does show that I attach great importance to experiencing all and everything that this current life offers to me. Failing to honour the opportunities would be such a waste of time and the opportunities only occur once. If you accept my right to own this position, this understanding, then please continue with your discussion.
I know jonnycomelately. Your faith is secrecy while mine is offered to all... I think that's cheating. Nevertheless, the ideas that you have about there being no God are not from an eyewitness perspective.
We gotta "believe" in someone. We all choose the best credibility in our own eyes (or Jesus').
So, basically, if religion inspires someone to create something for you, personally, to enjoy then you respect it. But, if you can't gain, personally, then you can't accept that it had value? Does that sum it up?
Haha. I don't think I am that mercenary!
I am just saying that although religious dogma and belief in god, the after-life etc., do not square wth my thinking and understanding, I am not so dogmatic as to say religion is totally devoid of purpose or benefit.
Each of us will see and feel differently about any work of art. If it was someone of the past, executing a work of art which conveyed his/her inspired thoughts of a religious nature; and I with many others in turn also become so inspired, then surely that is good.
From this understanding I am not against religion per see.
That's interesting. I sometimes wonder about the apparently transcendent nature of many classical works. I consider them to be possible evidence of an ability to tap into the harmony of the universe.
You are right in that their inspiration inspires us but that doesn't mean much, in the grand scheme here. We are, after all, a small part of life on earth. But I've read studies have been done where plants benefited from classical music being played. They grew better with less attention. To inspire a plant is no small feat.
Sure, and that information about the plants can also be interpreted by us in different ways.
Those with a scientific (is it the left brain) outlook, will say something like, "probably the sound waves, or the extra carbon dioxide from our breath, etc...."
Those with a religious way of thinking will say it's the Divine Nature of things. And various other aspects which are beyond me right now.
Suffice to say that each of us, if we are inspired, will benefit from such beautiful phenomena, in our own sweet way.
My husband has always told me that he's heard it said that every great story is just a retelling of the Bible...
For anyone who wishes to believe that, it will inspire.
It appears to be the other way round, the Bible is just retelling stories, some great, some not.
Beautiful music is beautiful because it is harmonious. A siren is disharmonius, so it is annoying. The roar of a lion is scary because it is disharmonius. We perceive beauty in harmony. The same can be said about visual beauty, that things are beautiful to us because they follow the laws of harmony. The closer a face or form is shaped in harmonious proportions, the more beautiful it is perceived to be. The reason iphones and credit cards all have the same shape is because that particular shape fits the Golden Ratio. People design things to be appealing based on harmonious ratios. Maybe it isn't even done intentionally, but the ends are the same because someone might work on something until it looks "right".
The air raid sirens that we heard during WW2, often during the night, were designed I believe, to get people tense and ready for emergency action.
The actual sirens were operated by hand, turning a wheel that gradually increased in speed and therefore producing higher and higher pitch.
The warning siren never reached its top note, as it subsided in speed at regular intervals, producing a sort of "minor" and discordant mix of sounds, undulating for several minutes. A drone, depressing, tension-filled sound, mixed with other sirens in the area, perhaps 4 at a time. Then we would hear aircraft overhead, usually several, and they also had a "beat" to their engine sounds, because the propellers were not synchronized. The V1 rocket propelled, pilot-less aircraft, nick-named "doodle-bugs," came later and were again extremely tension-creating. Whenever I hear this on films of that era, a shiver runs up my spine.
PS ... this is an audio clip if you wish to hear what the siren sounded like. http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips … /6975.html
The all-clear siren, on the other hand, did go right up to full speed and gave a concordant, continuous "home" note, much more calming which came as a relief - "we have survived." I was only just 4 years old when the war ended in Europe, but the memories are fixed in my mind. How strong are the "artistic" aspects upon our psyche! What is it about our 5 "senses" that has such deep affect upon us? And how religion has used these natural phenomena to influence our lives!
I feel that jonnycomelately has been very respectful in his posts. He has explained his position, and how he respects people's right to their own beliefs and religion, whether they choose to be open about them or keep them private and personal.
Unfortunately, Cgenaea, it seems to me that you are being disrespectful in return. You choose to openly discuss your beliefs and faith, and if people challenge them you do not accept this and say that they simply haven't seen the light: "the ideas that you have about there being no God are not from an eyewitness perspective".
You also criticise jonnycomelately for choosing to keep his own beliefs/faith personal by saying he is "cheating". So is the solution to just agree with you and openly trumpet your beliefs, as long as they're the same as yours?
This is the kind of attitude I find exhausting and that casts aspersions on other people who are religious, who don't try to convince or enforce their beliefs on others or arrogantly assume that they know better if someone says they don't believe in God or that Jesus was the son of God. I think this is also the very reason some people are against religious education - they are afraid it will be taught by people who see non-believers as people needing help or in denial.
Since religion plays a part in the lives of so many others, and can help some people in their daily lives, there is certainly a place for it. However, personally, I see this as no more than a treatment or a preference for something - it may work wonders for you, but let other people figure out if they like, want or need such a thing.
Thank you for sharing thatt Okapina. Yes, I also get tired of that attitude which denies any other point of view. I refuse to be drawn into another useless and argumentatve slanging match. Let her go elsewhere for her entertainment. Life is too short.
I'm sorry if I was not meeting your par of excellence in my conversation with jonnycomelately. We have a history here. We talk all the time. You are kinda new to my eyes, so how you have assessed the situation is from a new person's perspective. I do not pick on jonny. Nor do I disrespect jonny. I ask him about the faith that he so adamantly holds closely to chest. As well as his desire to ensure that the faith I hold is unfairly scrutinized because he has had a bad experience with it. I am fine with whatever stance he takes. His decisions do not affect my immediate surroundings. Discussions should be fair don't you think? If we are discussing music, I would expect to have to explain my love of 70's and 80's Motown as well as some R&B of today though the new kids sound kinda crazy to me; while i suspect his choices come from the elevator collection. It's a matter of taste. Why not discuss everyone's matters Faith and not just tear Christian leanings down?
I seriously do not believe that you are trying to lay a guilt trip on Cgenaea... I truly hope that she doesn't fall for it. She said what she meant, she challenged Johnnycomelately and I am certain that he is old enough to handle it....
It never ceases to amaze me how "lopsided" these discussions can be. The freedom to agree or disagree will always be available .... no one has to agree with anyone else, but, everyone in practicing good form should refrain from talking down to those who oppose them.....
I appreciate that Leslie, but muddy waters abound in this section of Hubpages. We have been hijacked so often where a hub has gone into 1000s of postings and ultimately got us nowhere useful.
I have tried to lift the quality of this discussion. Hopefully we wll gain some brightness and joy from it without recourse to negativity.
Thanks again for your comments.
Likewise, I'd like to thank Cgenaea and LeslieAdrienne for their comments. This has certainly been eye-opening, and it seems words have been put in my mouth. I am sorry if it seemed that I was talking down to anyone, but I would like to point out that at no point did I "tear down Christianity". I haven't even specified my own "faith", and I was simply analysing the conversation unfolding before me, but it seems people have already presumed certain aspects of my personality. Like Jonnycomelately I'd rather not descend into an argument or add to any negativity so I'll take my leave from this discussion post. Here's hoping I don't tread on someone else's toes in another! I hope you all have a pleasant weekend.
I think it is odd people think atheists must all have had a 'bad experience'. I have had wonderful experiences. A Christian church provided free tutoring that helped me get into university. I have never had a bad personal experience with a religious institution nor a serious bad experience (that left me upset) with a religious person.
I think everyone should learn *about* religions. Religions are important in our cultures. But that does not pre-suppose people should feel the need to follow any of these faiths. they may, they may not. I never have.
It does amuse me that in art and history classes I often notice the religious symbolism before any of the believers around me do. Most recently when looking at the unicorn tapestries in the Cloisters and recognizing the origin in Obama's speech of reference to "To whom much is given..." (Luke).
Beautiy for many is in the eye of the beholder, some find war, or the cross beautiful, to me its represents too much suffering.
Prefer to find beauity in truth and happiness or in my art work aim to make love, visable.
Religion often want to live in the pass I would rather live for the future.
Most of the best living is. living in the now.
I don't think you need to appreciate the religious to appreciate art in general, but religion is deeply imbued into a lot of artistic traditions and so it can add to one's appreciation of them.
Probably my favorite artwork of all is a large painting by Colin Macahon called "I AM". Knowing that Yahweh translates as I am helps me in appreciating the meaning of the work as intended by the artist--
Has anyone been able to view that video clip which I mentioned in an earlier post?
Here is the link again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOt4VDDjuYQ
Some of the aspects which attracted me to it - first the grandeur of the setting. The accoustics of the cathedral, where George Friderick Handel was christened, lend (to my ears anyway) to the beauty of the music.
I suspect some of the instruments being used were authentic from Handel's era. Modern instrument making has obviously advanced, and great attention is paid to technicalities for the purpose of public broadcast. Everyone involved has to apply their expertise and dedication towards the end result.
The biblical references throughout the performance don't worry me in the slightest. They convey to me the deeper needs of others. Call it psychological, or whatever you like. There is obviously some of this need within myself. Some will not have any feeling for this kind of music at all. All these possibilities are what make our world so rich and challenging. Where would we be without that challenge?
I did watch it last night.
Unfortunately, though, I got distracted by other videos and went off in a whole different direction altogether and ended up watching several hours of videos on how music affects the brain, musical geniuses, and so on.
But this topic is very interesting, I just don't have anything useful to say about it at the moment.
I have always struggled to connect to classical music despite it being very much a family tradition and flirting with playing flute and oboe until a singular lack of talent interfered.
But FWIW here is the painting I mentioned-- http://www.nzmuseums.co.nz/account/3332 … 6/Gate_III
Similar thing, very deeply religious in iconography, but I don't feel that makes it exclusive to Christians in appeal.
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