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Thread: Trent Reznor and Belief in God

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalChaos View Post
    It's really weird seeing people use "belief in god" and "religion" interchangeably.
    "He dreamed a god up and called it christianity."

  2. #62
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    The family life is changing Trent. His kids are making him a better person. He realizes how important his family is and what it means. The privacy for his family is important and he also knows the importance of his fans. Trent is a great family man and great entertainer! Enjoy the music

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    I'm a deist but I'm not seeing this because there is no specific text referring to same, and any interpretation of lyrics should be supported by the text .

    Reznor has been writing about his problems and questions with/about God since Day One, but Theologians with Ph.Ds write huge scholarly articles about this shit all the time. If you aren't questioning, you aren't educated. And the stuff from Reznor's private journals (which became song lyrics per his interviews) read very very very much like the questions a lot of people who believe in God ask all the time, including theologians; the lyrics point to dilemmas we experience all the time. Reznor's lyrics obviously indicate that he was raised by devout churchgoers.

    When you're down, you often blame God because you don't want to blame yourself. Also, see Genesis about free will. Reznor has converted Milton's "Paradise Lost" to song form, regularly. For profit.

    Why on earth would you respect Reznor's music "less" if he was writing from a personal perspective, still believing in God yet writing about the Angel/Devil aspect of living his life? Sin, the Devil, God reaching his fucking arm through just to push you down, the Devil wants to fuck you in the back of the car, etc., that's all indicating that he was BELIEVING this stuff and it affected him, it's all personal stuff, a part of his belief system that he questioned, and it's likely to still be there in some way, you can't just "undo" that shit.

    Artists are artists because of who they are and their reflections on their experiences; not for what you want them to be or your experiences. And, really, that's a good thing.
    Your not quite overt but still very present tone of condescension is duly noted. It is misplaced, in my estimation, however. 1.) Reznor need not spell it out explicitly in his lyrics for it to be fairly obvious that his philosophy on metaphysics and the mythologies that attempt to explain them lies somewhere between deist and antitheist. 2.) I apply critical analysis to every concept I encounter as a matter of philosophical inquiry, which I try to make an almost daily endeavor. This isn't so much an indicator of education, as all people who never received one are perfectly capable of doing philosophy. 3.) It appears that you are projecting your own existential struggles onto Reznor's often quite vague lyrics. That's perfectly okay; we all do it. But to treat your interpretation as anything more than conjecture is a little presumptuous. Which leads directly to: 4.) It's no secret, especially around here, that Reznor's lyrics came from his personal reflections in his journals. However, it is common practice to dress up the original lyrical concepts in descriptive imagery, rhetorical flourish and metaphor. 5.) I'll say what I said before another way: It is, of course, my own speculation --though it is based on quite a bit of evidence-- that Reznor does not believe in a personal and judgmental capital-G GOD at present time or any time in the not-so-recent past. And it has been explicitly stated that he has nothing but antipathy for at the very least Christianity, but by extension, probably all three of the dominant monotheistic, Abrahamic religions; this being the case even if he was indoctrinated into such belief as a child and held to those beliefs for a while (which is anyone's guess). So, for him to swing that direction now would mean that he had abandoned all the evidence and reason that a critically thinking person uses to set those beliefs aside in the first place. That being the same critical analysis that we can be quite sure made him a critic of US foreign and domestic policy (which, lyrically anyway, was dressed up in imagery and metaphor). And yeah, it would diminish my respect of him and make his music less enjoyable; I guess I have trouble separating art from artist. That ties in with what you said about art and artists, so it shouldn't be surprising that if I don't like the person, I wouldn't like their art either. To take it to the extreme (and invoke Godwin?), I wouldn't want anything to do with Hitler's paintings, no matter how aesthetically appealing they may be, because I know what courses through the mind of the artist and find it repulsive. And, really, that's a good thing.

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    Last time I checked there's a song on HTDA's Welcom Oblivion called 'Strings and Attractors' which is clearly a reference to string theory. Sorry peeps, there is no God, but you do get to live out all the possible paths your life can take, so if your life sucks, rest assured that there's another you out there having a good time. There are other references in TR's music that reference this belief. No God.
    Last edited by Promethean; 08-14-2013 at 01:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Promethean View Post
    Last time I checked there's a song on HTDA's Welcom Oblivion called 'Strings and Attractors' which is clearly a reference to string theory. Sorry peeps, there is no God, but you do get to live out all the possible paths your life can take, so if your life sucks, rest assured that there's another you out there having a good time. There are other references in TR's music that reference this belief. No God.
    If there is a hell, I'll see you there.

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    You can project any belief structure on Reznor through his lyrics. That's the fun of the introspective, conceptual rock star after you're old and/or wise enough to stop treating them as a role model. Personally, I think his writing took a more atheistic turn around his sobriety. Whether that's auto-biographical is anyone's guess. Even more so now that the concept appears to be looking into his past or into a parallel universe or whatever. Use your time to better yourself instead of passing judgement on something that doesn't pertain to you.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaze View Post
    "He dreamed a god up and called it christianity."
    are you kidding me? cmon
    its a lyrical representation of a complex thought. you don't take it as a literal and all inclusive sentence. I see lyrics that reference control and the fabrication of a religion (including a fabricated god) for the purpose of control. That doesn't exactly rhyme with the rest of the song though.

  8. #68
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    File this topic under "Who cares?"

    I don't consider myself religious, but if Trent has "found God" or whatever you want to call it, so be it. It doesn't bother me, and I don't think it should bother anyone else.

  9. #69
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    Yeah, maybe it's because I've never been one to completely immerse myself into speculation or sometimes even basic understanding of Trent's lyrics in general (like every other artist's lyrics I hear--I'm absolutely more of a music guy), but if he did come to say he had "found God" (or what have you in the world outside of ours as we know it), the songs I've grown so fond of would still just have largely personal meanings to me, no doubt in mind. It might be interesting to reflect on them with a new perspective, and maybe it'd be cool. The bottom line though would be, and is--that was then and this is now. You know...positively things do and will change in this world. Watch out!
    Last edited by Amaro; 08-15-2013 at 11:59 AM.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeCornhole View Post
    And yeah, it would diminish my respect of him and make his music less enjoyable; I guess I have trouble separating art from artist. That ties in with what you said about art and artists, so it shouldn't be surprising that if I don't like the person, I wouldn't like their art either. To take it to the extreme (and invoke Godwin?), I wouldn't want anything to do with Hitler's paintings, no matter how aesthetically appealing they may be, because I know what courses through the mind of the artist and find it repulsive. And, really, that's a good thing.
    Really? If you found out that Reznor believed in some kind of "God" (and often was pissed off at the organized religion Christian "God"), you'd no longer like Reznor's music? (I'm assuming you're not really comparing that to Hitler.)

    Here, Reznor said he was "anti-organized religion. He's said this a bunch of times, in various interviews. In one, he said this:

    "There are just some things that don't seem very fair in the world, like this fucking hypocrisy of organized religion. I just don't understand how people can blindly believe a bunch of the shit they're fed, to believe it so that they don't think too hard about other issues. 'Be a good boy and you'll go to heaven.' If it works for you, fine, but it doesn't work for me and that pisses me off because I kind of wish it did."

    Again, as was mentioned by @DigitalChaos , there is a difference between religion and belief in "God"(s), which you know of course. How one defines "God" is another matter, probably more appropriate in the Religion thread. See Spinoza for instance.

    (I was not serious when I said I'm a Deist, I was just being a pain in the ass. Deism is an organized religion, so that's out if we're to take Reznor's interview quotes seriously.) As to my own beliefs: I'm a Goddess and worship myself every Tuesday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Promethean View Post
    Last time I checked there's a song on HTDA's Welcom Oblivion called 'Strings and Attractors' which is clearly a reference to string theory. Sorry peeps, there is no God, but you do get to live out all the possible paths your life can take, so if your life sucks, rest assured that there's another you out there having a good time. There are other references in TR's music that reference this belief. No God.
    Wait, doesn't Mariqueen write the HTDA lyrics? Oh, this is getting fun.
    Last edited by allegro; 08-15-2013 at 12:09 PM.

  11. #71
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    He also said "Why in the name of god would I ever want to return" in Sunspots. I really just see it as a figure of speech, but it doesn't matter. The music/presentation will still be amazing

  12. #72
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    Wow, who cares about this??????? Nothing will change if that is the case. Like everyone has said, his lyrics have always said "god" in them. The music wont change. I dont mean to be a dick, but this thread kinda sucks. Isnt there already a religion thread, because thats what this has turned into. Whoever said "this matters as much as TR cares what religion you are" got it right.

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    This is when I wish we had some of the old board archived because I could link Achamoth's 400-page "Closer" (to God) thread hahaha.

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    The a song of ice and fire references are the only reason i keep checking this thread. Fucking hilarious. I agree that he follows the Drowned God and Damphair.

  15. #75
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    Simply because someone uses 'god' in talking, or in art, doesn't mean they do or don't believe in it. Sometimes it depends on who you're talking to. I don't believe in it, but I'll say 'man proposes, god disposes' when talking about the weather to clients. I don't think it matters if he believes in it, and I don't think we'll ever know. His songs take on different meanings to each of us I expect, regardless of the belief set that TR had or didn't have when writing them. Most of us can probably relate to the teeth-gnashing aspect of the human condition that he expresses in more than a little of his material or we wouldn't be on here. The story of job in the bible is a pretty interesting piece of lit., for example, whether you are a believer or not.

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    I'm an atheist, and I say "goddamnit"... does that mean I'm secretly religious?

    this thread should just be titled "Trent Reznor's Possible New Belief in Himself"

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    Quote Originally Posted by allegro View Post
    Really? If you found out that Reznor believed in some kind of "God" (and often was pissed off at the organized religion Christian "God"), you'd no longer like Reznor's music?
    K... I'm going to try to be very precise so we can move forward. Indeed, for the very reasons you've cited, I'm not inclined to believe that Reznor believes in a "personal" god. This is largely because the idea of a vaguely "humanoid" character as god is such a patently obvious human (male, to be exact) creation. The god of Abraham is just a huge sponge for man's projection. Back on point, as I mentioned earlier, if he currently or ever believes in some kind of "god" as more of a force of creation or as the substance or nature of everything (Spinoza [who I'm a fan of]), that's perfectly fine with me and I'd have no beef with him or anyone else who is inclined to believe such a thing. But to accept the idea of a personal god who whispers in certain people's ears and interferes in (and judges) the minutiae of human affairs is, in my opinion, a blatant abandonment of reason. For TR to go from Spinoza (or whatever) to that would mean that he was no longer the person who made all the music I love any more. Feeling that we can identify emotionally and philosophically with TR is a reason many of us enjoy his music, I'd venture to guess; so, knowing that he and I had a huge philosophical gulf would taint my ability to identify with his music any more. Example from earlier: I haven't been able to enjoy Megadeth since I heard DM talking up Rick Santorum and babbling about chemtrails. Maybe it's just me. And yes, Hitler was a HUGE exaggeration to help illustrate what is better explained above.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComradeCornhole View Post
    K... I'm going to try to be very precise so we can move forward. Indeed, for the very reasons you've cited, I'm not inclined to believe that Reznor believes in a "personal" god. This is largely because the idea of a vaguely "humanoid" character as god is such a patently obvious human (male, to be exact) creation. The god of Abraham is just a huge sponge for man's projection. Back on point, as I mentioned earlier, if he currently or ever believes in some kind of "god" as more of a force of creation or as the substance or nature of everything (Spinoza [who I'm a fan of]), that's perfectly fine with me and I'd have no beef with him or anyone else who is inclined to believe such a thing. But to accept the idea of a personal god who whispers in certain people's ears and interferes in (and judges) the minutiae of human affairs is, in my opinion, a blatant abandonment of reason. For TR to go from Spinoza (or whatever) to that would mean that he was no longer the person who made all the music I love any more. Feeling that we can identify emotionally and philosophically with TR is a reason many of us enjoy his music, I'd venture to guess; so, knowing that he and I had a huge philosophical gulf would taint my ability to identify with his music any more. Example from earlier: I haven't been able to enjoy Megadeth since I heard DM talking up Rick Santorum and babbling about chemtrails. Maybe it's just me. And yes, Hitler was a HUGE exaggeration to help illustrate what is better explained above.
    Ok, oddly enough, I agree with pretty much everything you've said, here, and I totally understand what you're saying. Glad we clarified.

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    Hoo-ray! Reviewing that, I wasn't as clear or precise as I wanted to be, but I'm glad we're on the same page. I guess I'm also trying to say that going from acknowledgement of some kind of nebulous, perhaps even conscious force in the universe (or the universe itself) to embracing the position that you KNOW what or who god is and believing what other people claim to know about him seems like, well.... crap. Stated a better way, going from the humility of doubt to the smugness of supposed certainty really irks me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GentlemanLoser View Post
    Also to be frank, he's older (though you wouldn't know it to look at him, damn, he and Bowie must be hanging around the same fountain), more seasoned, and people seem to have a bit of a spiritual awaking as they get on top of their lives. How many of your parents have become more active in their religious activities since you became an independent adult? It just seems to be a thing, and I always wonder if/how my belief s will sway as I get to that indistinct age.
    I think it's just that when people get older, they think about death more and want to hedge their bets (so to speak) because their death is coming up sooner. But with that said, I realized today that we already have the answer. In Came Back Haunted, he says "I don't believe." So there you go. As plausible a proof as most of the others posted in this thread so we can put this to rest now.
    Last edited by Kyle; 08-15-2013 at 11:59 PM.

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    Do I see a man who has openly found god? Not really. Do I see a man who has openly found peace and happiness in his life? Yes. Abso-fing-lutely. And I am a big fan of that.

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    Trent Reznor's Possible New Belief in God

    Whoa, somebody needs to get off their high horse.

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    I'm in the atheist leaning agnostic camp. I'm never 100% sure about anything and always leave room for my mind to be changed. I enjoy debate of any kind, including religion and faith. It's very difficult to find anyone who can rationally debate it though.

    I wasn't raised to follow any type of religion. My parents were, and they rediscovered their faith shortly after I moved out. I'm guessing its something about them feeling their mortality and their perception that "the world is getting worse." They don't attend any sort of church. They just read the bible and that's it. That's pretty respectable to me (even though they drive me fucking insane trying to make me "see" god). The bulk of my issues surrounding faith in a higher being stems from organized religion. There are a LOT of people who have strong faith in a god but do not attend any sort of church. They really don't get any sort of recognition in every day culture. When you understand this, it adds a very different dynamic to the whole thing.

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    No chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volk View Post
    I'm an atheist, and I say "goddamnit"... does that mean I'm secretly religious?

    this thread should just be titled "Trent Reznor's Possible New Belief in Himself"
    I've always seen Reznor's recurring lyrics regarding believing or beliefs, to refer to him believing in himself, conquering self-doubt, etc.
    I highly doubt Reznor has a new found belief in 'God'.

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    Not to stir the pot, but to revisit this in light of the Find My Way premiere & lyrics:


    Lord my path has gone astray
    I'm just trying to find my way
    Wandered here from far away
    I'm just trying to find my way

    You were never meant to see
    All those things inside of me
    Now that you have gone away
    I'm just trying to find my way

    Oh

    I have made a great mistake
    I pray the lord my soul to take
    Ghosts of who I used to be
    I can feel them come for me
    Looks as though they're here to stay
    I'm just trying to find my way

    Oh

    [???]

    I have been to every place
    I have been to everywhere
    I'm just trying to find my way
    Oh dear lord, hear my prayer

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    Quote Originally Posted by butter_hole View Post
    Why God? Why not Allah? Rah? Vishnu? Xenu?
    Vishnu is a deity in a pantheistic religion, as is Ra. God and Allah are the same word in two different languages (english an arabic,) which are, as far as i can tell, both describing YHVH, the "God" of Abrahamic monotheism.
    Fuck..im rambling. What i'm trying to say is that "god" is not the NAME of "god" in christianity. God is a synonym for deity. God does NOT = Christianity.

    As for "trent believeing in God," well...i've always figured he believed in god...to whom is he talking in Terrible Lie?

    Just sayin

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    Quote Originally Posted by elevenism View Post
    God and Allah are the same word in two different languages (english an arabic,) which are, as far as i can tell, both describing YHVH, the "God" of Abrahamic monotheism.
    Actually, not really. If "Allah" was just the Arabic word for God, then the Arabic call to faith would be "there is no god but God" which is kinda asinine. God is a title, Allah is a name. YHVH is the name of the Judeo-Christian god, but Allah is the name of the Muslim god. Since American WASPs don't realize that there is a world outside of theirs, they just use the name God to refer to YHVH, when it's really just his title. Many of these are the same people that think that if Jesus spoke English than so should the rest of the world, goddammit. And YHVH, Jesus and Allah come from the same root (i.e. Abraham, Old Testament etc.), but there are definite differences between the two. Jews believe in the Old Testament/Torah. Christians believe in that same book, but with additions that modify the meaning of the Torah, kinda like the Special Edition of the Torah. I don't know if Moses shoots first though. Islam believes in the Torah and New Testament mostly, but they give it second place behind the writings of Mohammed, and basically (and here's where I'm getting into parts that I might be a bit off on) believe that the Jews modified the Torah. It's not really about JHVH, but about Allah. Esau was favored instead of Jacob, etc. And they differ in their beliefs on the New Testament in that Jesus was a prophet and not the Messiah or son of God or God in the flesh, etc.

    Most of this is referring to people who actually know the roots and beliefs of their religion. The average American religious person just figures it's all the same because they don't even know much about the god they believe in (or don't believe in), let alone the one other people believe in to know the difference.

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    Meanwhile, back in 1989...

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    Trent's beliefs or lack thereof don't affect me at all.

    I listen to music by people who are satanists, christians, etc. and I'm an atheist. Their beliefs have nothing at all to do with the music I enjoy. It does not matter at all.

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