When I say we are judged based on scientific beliefs which we either hold or don't hold, I'm talking about things like miracles in which the laws of physics and nature are defied. That kind of stuff seems to be completely unrelated to how well we treat our neighbor.
Ah, but I don't actually believe in those kind of miracles - like the miracle at Lourdes. The only kind of miracles I truly beleive in, and i do not have to 'believe' because i see them every day, are the miracles of nature and science and medicine. And they are not based on laws which defy physics. And I do agree with you - for me, it is about the human relationship and how people treat one another. I think that the doctrine of the Holy Trinity speaks more about human relationships - there is the so-called, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now I'm rambling.
Believing that things which defied the laws of physics and nature actually occurred isn't a choice one makes.
Unless I am misunderstanding your meaning here, I agree with you. It is more based on being swept away by the beliefs of others, hysteria is very contagious. And I think these kind of beliefs are much more psychological in nature than in reality. People have a great need to believe in something larger than themselves, to believe that there is a power greater than themselves capable of changing and transforming and going against nature law. But it is understandable in humans and perhaps though it may be illusion to us - well, who is to say that in a sense they are not luckier than we are in not believing or choosing to believe.
Perhaps it isn't so much an evil god but one who does not see an entire picture...or more of an entire picture - one which does not see that there is both darkness and light - they aren't evil so much as lacking in clarity and light and humility.
If God is all knowing and all powerful, then he would see the entire picture.
When I said the above, I was not referring to an actual god, but to the god which we project. When I once believed, I did believe in an all-knowing and all powerful god - but let us say that if by some miracle
I came to 'see' Something which began all of this, I wouldn't find it necessary to believe that that Something was all knowing and all powerful. But I can readily understand because of the workings of the universe and nature, how we have come to 'believe' and to sense this. But I think it is more of a psychological necessity than anything else in us humans. Based on the way in which we treat one another and what transpires in the world, it might just be a really cruel god, if in fact it is an all knowing and all powerful one.
If you were God, why would you grant eternal life and/or a spot in heaven based on a belief we don't really have control over?
For myself, I would not. Human beings are very complicated creatures. If we were all wonderful profilers who worked for the FBI, we might come to understand human nature. I think there is as much, if not more, dark energy and matter within us as there is in the universe at large - and that's saying a lot. What 72% and 23% or something like that?
How could being granted eternal life possibly be based on belief alone...when belief is simply a leaf spiralling through the wind anyway?
Wouldn't it make more sense to base it on how we treat our neighbors and how we treat ourselves - or more importantly something we can easily choose?
Yes - this is why I like the "theory" of reincarnation. I think a large bit of community service goes a long way toward teaching and raising awareness in all ways.
What kind of a club do you think it should be?
I actually do not belong to any clubs. I like to fly free.
Do you consider reincarnation to be a physiological process? Is it something that happens as part of our human nature or is it imposed upon us by some kind of supreme being?
Physiological - human nature? If there is a soul, then what physiological? Wouldn't it be more like "spiritual"? I don't actually like the word "imposed" perhaps designed might be a better word. My, I certainly do have problems with some words. For me, at least, if there were to be reincarnation, and the chance to make restitution, to learn, to seek absolution, I wouldn't think much in terms of an imposing god as one who from knowledge and wisdom and love, ordained a better, less wasteful way.
Not necessarily true. It has to do with how willing we are to accept those who have beliefs which are different from ours. If you believe that thousands of 200 foot tall pink unicorns roam the plains of western Kansas and I don't - do I hold that absurd belief against you or do I hold you in just as high regard as I would if you didn't have that belief?
We do not have to accept the beliefs of others but we can respect their choice to believe them. Of course, if those beliefs are causing harm to them or to others, we must try to raise their awareness and give them something to think about, no? of course, if they chose not, then we have to walk away.
Depending on the beliefs, we might not necessarily hold them in high regard, insofar as silly beliefs and illusions go, but as human beings who have worth and value in other ways, yes, we can still hold them in our regard. You know, some beliefs are more rational and reasonable than others (even if they are not true- and who knows - I am just saying). It's the really far-fetched ones that I have trouble with.