13
   

And so it goes.

 
 
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 08:49 am
Somewhere a dog barked and I felt compelled to reread "Slaughterhouse Five" for the first time in 30 years.

A couple of things sent me here. One was seeing the movie "Oz The Great and Powerful" and wondering if China Town was supposed to be Dresden. The other was reading "How Children Succeed" wherein nearly ever researcher talked out the book "Learned Optimism". Thinking about Dresden and optimism made me think about Billy Pilgrim.

As I'm reading I start realizing that "And so it goes" is sort of like a little prayer he says whenever someone dies. I'm reminded of how a Muslim would say "Peace be upon Him" whenever Muhammad, and anyone deserving respect, is mentioned.

So I start wondering whether optimism is really kind of a religion and I'm thinking maybe it is.

What do you think?



 
Ice Demon
 
  0  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 10:59 am
@boomerang,
Is this one of those awkward moments where you forgot your house had stairs, and had to use the dumbwaiter to get upstairs.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 11:00 am
@boomerang,
Boom there's a correlation, both looking forward to something that might not happen
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 11:16 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

a Muslim would say "Peace be upon Him" whenever Muhammad, and anyone deserving respect, is mentioned.


My whole life, I've said "I'm lucky" or "God was with me" when something worked out well for me.. Lately, I've started to think about and to say "I'm blessed".

I tend to watch many football games and basketball games, when I've got the time and I've noticed how many college and professional football and basketball players will say after making a touchdown, or a basket, "I'm blessed".

I like how "I'm blessed" sounds. It makes me remember that God is truly everywhere and that those of us who have a belief in a higher Being are blessed to be both alive and able to acknowlege the presence and glory of God.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 03:22 pm
@Miller,
Quote:
I tend to watch many football games and basketball games,


That's not an example of you blessed. That's the earthly beginnings of your eternity in hell.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 03:42 pm
@JTT,
The inventor of a sport that loosens the participants' brains no doubt cooks in hell
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 04:38 pm
@dalehileman,
There is a correlation! I was looking around today and there are several studies showing people who identify as religious score higher on tests of optimism.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 04:45 pm
@Miller,
I think those small rituals of acknowledgement can be very comforting.

I think acknowledging someones assistance, be it G/god or human, can help one feel more optimistic just from the reminder that we aren't alone.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 04:46 pm
@boomerang,
I've said "and so it goes" for decades now, definitely from Vonnegut, but had lost the precise context of his usage. I use it as a wry take on how life works yet again.

Which in a way is similar. But I don't make a personal jump that saying that is religious. By that I don't mean that it's not god-related, it never has been that for me, but that it's not used in a ritualized way by me, at least not on purpose. More of a connector phrase to an author I cared about in my past, a verbal wink to him.

On optimism being religion connected, I'll save that for another day.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 04:59 pm
@ossobuco,
I'm not saying religion and optimism are related, I'm saying optimism is a religion in it's own right -- it's a way of looking at the world through a particular lens.

It's a conscious decision to respond to the world in a particular way, based on a certain set of beliefs. Like the belief that people are mostly good and will do the right thing and living your life in the truth of that.

God can be a part of that but s/he/it isn't essential.

As far as Vonnegut's context -- "So it goes" is what the beings of Tralfamador say when someone dies, indicating that the state of being dead is just a state of being, not the beginning or the end (because there is no beginning or end).
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 05:03 pm
@boomerang,
Ah, thanks, now I get that.

Damn, those people annoy me..
similar to their opposites.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 05:04 pm
The other day I was listening to David Foster Wallace's speech "This Is Water" and it's really about optimism too -- about looking at the world and trying to make sense of it in a way that includes other people.

Good stuff!

This Is Water:



0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 06:04 pm
I don't think it's a religion. I think its chemistry, wiring. I've known seriously pessimistic people who were religious. How else do you explain Doomsdayers?
But I do believe there is some truth in believing things can happen. I've known enough naysayers to know they can talk themselves into a hole. I also know really positive people who seem to shake off bad stuff and always come out smiling.
Then again, they say that a shot of botox between the eyebrows has the same affect. Because you cant get worry lines, they can't worry.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 06:22 pm
@Ceili,
I'm thinking that maybe I just define religion differently than most. I think humanists and atheists and those people who say "I don't believe in God, I believe in science" are all religious. The only people I think are unreligous are agnostics/skeptics (which I consider myself even though I'd like to believe in something).

From what I've been reading optimism can be learned -- and it's a very beneficial thing to learn.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 06:25 pm
Definition of RELIGION
1
a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion>
b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2
: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3
archaic : scrupulous conformity : conscientiousness
4
: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 09:33 pm
@boomerang,
Number 4 sounds like one's political life.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2013 09:38 pm
@JLNobody,
But one's politics CAN be one's religion, can't it?
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2013 01:17 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
But one's politics CAN be one's religion, can't it?


Yes, indeed . . . just as one's religion can become one's politics, so political ideology can be one's religion.
0 Replies
 
Ice Demon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2013 08:18 am
@boomerang,
As a figure of speech, yes. I can see how the two categories can affect each other, but not become synonymous with one another.
I still don't buy your phoney baloney, and I will explain.
All religions are a belief system, but are all belief systems a religion? I don't think so. If it were, morality becomes a religion, science or beliefs based on evidence becomes a religion, atheism becomes a religion, pragmatism becomes a religion, altruism becomes a religion, and so does agnosticism.
You're juxtapositioning the word belief and religion and trying to equate it by oversimplification, and committing a category error.
So, what say you?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2013 08:38 am
@Ice Demon,
What say I?

I say I'm not selling anything here. I'm not religious and, according to my scores on several online optimism tests, I'm not an optimist either.

I say " here is an idea that I have based on several things I've come across while reading. I keep thinking about it and I wonder how other people feel about it".

I don't at all doubt that atheism is a religion. I question whether the other things are so I'm asking -- are they?

I think they very well could be, in many cases, as they provide a central tenet for a person to build their life around. I think a belief system that informs a persons every day life qualifies as a religion.

As I said earlier, I don't think agnosticism counts as in it's really nothing more than a shrug and a "I don't know."
 

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