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bluup10
08-18-2006, 06:02 AM
Ok. So I started thinking. Yeah, and I was wondering what, if any, religious beliefs you have?

Christian?
Buddhist?
Muslim/Islam?
Jewish?
Mormon?

My list is not exhaustive, so please excuse me if I left out your religion/religious belief.

And, if there's anyone here who falls into this category: Spiritual , please can you tell me what that's about? Just curious cause I can never understand it.

Peace. Chill. (Oh god, that makes me sound very hippy-like, doesn't it?)

yankeeyosh
08-18-2006, 07:17 AM
There definitely is one. There is too much coincidence in my life for there not to be one. And I am Jewish.

allie1105
08-18-2006, 07:21 AM
I am Catholic, and I believe in God. My husband comes from a huge Catholic family (he is one of ten brothers and sisters - all the same parents!), and when I met him I was pretty inactive. Now, I go to chuch each Sunday and to all of the holy days...and I have to say, I like it. I'm open minded when it comes to religion, though - definately more of a liberal. I think that its important to be faithful (for me) but also to explore the beliefs of others. You might learn something :)

labrat2111
08-18-2006, 07:42 AM
I was raised catholic but my beliefs now are closest to agnostic. Basically it comes down to would I like to believe there is a God? Yes. Do I know there is a God? No. Is it possible there isn't a God. Yes. So overall the best I can say is there might be a God but it's hard (or maybe even impossible) to prove or disprove -- just have to have faith whether you're an atheist or religious.

But sometimes I do wonder why if there isn't a creator why we are even here. Why isn't there just nothing? of course if there was nothing there would be no one to ponder why there is anything.

biodork
08-18-2006, 07:46 AM
I'm an atheist.

I don't believe we have any purpose here, other than to survive just like all the other animals. Lucky for us! Bad luck for the rest of the animals.

Krishna
08-18-2006, 08:24 AM
Yes, there is a God. And I'm Catholic.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 08:36 AM
I am agnostic. I think make either the one of the following statements is a fruitless excercise because it is unprovable:

1. God exists.
2. God doesn't exist.

Basically, I don't really deal with the notion of God in everyday life. I could care less if there is nothing out there bigger than us or if we are the end all and be all of everything. I also could really care less about any supposed afterlife. I must say this about the afterlife: the thought that my great-grandmother (who died when I was 20) can see what I do even in my most private moments creeps the hell out of me. I loved her very much, but I would rather have her totally dead and nonexistant than to be able to spook around and follow up on my life.

CityGal
08-18-2006, 08:36 AM
I was raised going to Catholic/Christian churches, went to an Amish Church a few times, and have even gone inside some synogogues. I was never baptised into any religion, but the majority of my family is Catholic and Christian. Do I believe in God? No. Well....not the institutionalized form of God. I believe there could be a higher power, but there would be no way of proving or disproving it. Is God a female or male? For me good is neither....I kind of think this super being is a blob somewhere in the universe. ha. It is the Blob.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 09:10 AM
Yeah my mom and dad never went to church either (also the church didn't grant them an annulment for their divorce). They made us (the kids) get confirmed to keep the grandparents happy.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 09:12 AM
I believe in God, in the sense that I believe in a higher power, etc. I'm Christian (Lutheran, specifically). I like organized religion, at least, I like being a part of my particular branch of it, but don't think it's necessarily something you have to be a part of to believe in God or identify yourself as spiritual. My mother was raised southern Baptist (casting out the demons, hellfire and brimstone, fear of God and such), and converted when she and my dad got married. I'm not into church as she was raised with it, i.e. fear of punishment, never being good enough in the eyes of God. The God I've been taught about isn't like that. If those were teachings I was raised with, I wouldn't be a fan of church, religion, or probably God. But the concept I was raised with was a model of unconditional love and forgiveness.

Winter Storm
08-18-2006, 09:17 AM
I am agnostic and I don't believe in the biblical god.

I do think there is a possibility for a creator or higher power that keeps everything in the universal aligned but I do not think whatever that power is falls into the perfect defined form written in the bible, that we are created in its image, that it watches over us or is at all involved in our individual lives.

I also do not believe in an afterlife.

and1grad
08-18-2006, 09:19 AM
I'm not sure if there is or isnt a God. I know I dont believe in religion tho.

biodork
08-18-2006, 09:23 AM
Yeah my mom and dad never went to church either (also the church didn't grant them an annulment for their divorce). They made us (the kids) get confirmed to keep the grandparents happy.
My parents never went to church also. But then they became religious and started going to church after my grandpa died, and also because a coach they had at their gym was religious and to make sure he actually wanted to stay and coach they went to his church with him.

And then my grandpa for some reason thought he was going to hell before he died and made my grandma promise to go to church so she wouldn't, even though she's an atheist herself. But she's been going. I don't get that...

lonestar
08-18-2006, 09:25 AM
we were told that by getting confirmed we were doing a good job of keeping up appearances (for the g-parents) and also it was a way to get some extra cash.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 09:30 AM
I know a lot of people get forced into church by family, etc., but it's funny to me, because my family could care less whether or not I'm churchgoing, it's never really come up. My dad always went, my mom went sometimes, and we always went as kids because Sunday School was fun and then when I got older, because I sang in the choir, which was always a really good, spiritual experience for me. Confirmation could be a drag, but my friends were there, much like school.

But nobody ever forced me or pressured me to go. I think that's one reason I like it...I was allowed to come to it on my own.

paiger81
08-18-2006, 09:30 AM
we were told that by getting confirmed we were doing a good job of keeping up appearances (for the g-parents) and also it was a way to get some extra cash.

LOL! My parents told me that they would "prefer" that I get confirmed in the Catholic Church when I was 16(average Confirmation age) then, once I was "old enough" to make an "educated decision" as to what religion I chose to believe in, I could change if I wanted to. I personally loved my Confirmation classes as our class actually had our teacher tell us we were heathens & going to hell. She was fired from the Church & ended up having to go to services out of town, lol.

I very much believe in God/Higher Power. Most of the beliefs of the Catholic Church I agree with, so I do consider myself a Catholic.

meatwad
08-18-2006, 10:00 AM
I'm an Alvian.

allie1105
08-18-2006, 10:10 AM
I was raised to go to church every Sunday, and to lead an honest life. I think that being apart of an organized religion is a good thing, and can help you form your values and morals (not that you have to be part of an organized religion to have either of those). I think that organized religion is good AND bad - when people start to use it as a form of power, its bad. I am not well versed on the problems that religion causes, but I do know that many wars are fought due to the argument that my God is better than your God. Its too bad that it has to be taken too far - I know that many religions want to convert as many people as possible, but to really believe in something, it has to come from within. Only YOU can decide what is right for you, and what you believe in.

For me, Catholocism is a good fit. I was raised that way, and enjoy going to mass. I especially enjoy going to the latin masses, but they are few and far between. I like to present it in a positive light, and I would never tell someone who believes in something different that they are wrong and catholocism is the only way. It says in the bible that you are not supposed to judge, so I don't feel that judging someone's faith is my job.

phaedra
08-18-2006, 10:12 AM
I'm a Christain and believe in God, though I don't go to church. I believe God isn't the fire-and-brimstone type, but rather is all about the love and as long as you're a good person, treat people decently, then you get into heaven, despite what exactly you believe in. For example, I can't see him damning someone to hell because they happen to be a religion other than Christain, or because of their sexual orientation. Do I know I'm right? No, of course not. But there are so many options of what God could be, I just choose to stick with my gut feeling about him and hope I'm right in the end. :D

paiger81
08-18-2006, 10:16 AM
For me, Catholocism is a good fit. I was raised that way, and enjoy going to mass. I especially enjoy going to the latin masses, but they are few and far between.

In my area, they are reverting back to Latin masses. They teach us pieces of the Latin mass at a time, so that by the time Lent rolls around, we should be back to full Latin masses. It's pretty cool.

allie1105
08-18-2006, 10:32 AM
In my area, they are reverting back to Latin masses. They teach us pieces of the Latin mass at a time, so that by the time Lent rolls around, we should be back to full Latin masses. It's pretty cool.

Not to sound stupid, but I like it better than the regular new, roman catholic mass. I hate how the newer mass involves EVERYONE - from the lectors, the singers, etc. It used to be that you go to mass to hear the priest. I feel a lot more connected spiritually when I go to a latin mass.

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 10:40 AM
I think I believe in God, although lately that has been waning. The bible on the other hand is complete bullshit. Word of God my ass. The bible was written by men, and a council of men decided what was going into the bible. God did not dictate to the church lady what to put in the bible. If you are fundamentalist Christian who believes the bible word for word, I feel very sorry for you. There are too man inconsistencies and contradictions for something so Godly and supernatural as the Bible.

Winter Storm
08-18-2006, 10:43 AM
I think I believe in God, although lately that has been waning. The bible on the other hand is complete bullshit. Word of God my ass. The bible was written by men, and a council of men decided what was going into the bible. God did not dictate to the church lady what to put in the bible. If you are fundamentalist Christian who believes the bible word for word, I feel very sorry for you. There are too man inconsistencies and contradictions for something so Godly and supernatural as the Bible.

I feel you on all that as I also believe the bible is completely man-made and full of flaws and inconsistencies.

But let's try not to get into religion and faith-bashing. I know we just had a thread like that a week ago.

allie1105
08-18-2006, 10:45 AM
I think I believe in God, although lately that has been waning. The bible on the other hand is complete bullshit. Word of God my ass. The bible was written by men, and a council of men decided what was going into the bible. God did not dictate to the church lady what to put in the bible. If you are fundamentalist Christian who believes the bible word for word, I feel very sorry for you. There are too man inconsistencies and contradictions for something so Godly and supernatural as the Bible.

I don't think you should believe anything word for word. I believe that the bible is a great guideline to use, and you can learn from the stories that are illustrated. I believe the bible is very subjective, but if you look at it with an open mind, you can learn a thing or two.

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 10:45 AM
I feel you on all that as I also believe the bible is completely man-made and full of flaws and inconsistencies.

But let's try not to get into religion and faith-bashing. I know we just had a thread like that a week ago.

It's not bashing, it's just pointing out truths. I have no problems with religion, people can worship the Tooth Fairy if it makes them feel better. Just dont' tell me some bullshit.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 10:47 AM
In my area, they are reverting back to Latin masses. They teach us pieces of the Latin mass at a time, so that by the time Lent rolls around, we should be back to full Latin masses. It's pretty cool.


Your town has the most latin religious name in America!

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 10:47 AM
I don't think you should believe anything word for word. I believe that the bible is a great guideline to use, and you can learn from the stories that are illustrated. I believe the bible is very subjective, but if you look at it with an open mind, you can learn a thing or two.

I could learn from the bible that I should stay away from women on their period? Or that God likes to kill babies? Or am I supposed to take only the good parts from the bible? That's where the problem lies in. The bible is not a buffet where you can pick what you want to believe. It's the word of God, it's all truth, the nasty and the good.

Winter Storm
08-18-2006, 10:47 AM
It's not bashing, it's just pointing out truths. I have no problems with religion, people can worship the Tooth Fairy if it makes them feel better. Just dont' tell me some bullshit.

I'm referring to your 'feeling sorry' for people for follow and believe in the bible. I'm sure they don't need our pity and we'd probably get a bit miffed if they offered us theirs. Just sayin'.

paiger81
08-18-2006, 10:50 AM
The bible is not a buffet where you can pick what you want to believe. It's the word of God, it's all truth, the nasty and the good.


It's the word of God, as told by man who is a fallible creature. I do not pick & choose what to believe, I see it as a guidebook, not a literal account.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 10:54 AM
I could learn from the bible that I should stay away from women on their period? Or that God likes to kill babies? Or am I supposed to take only the good parts from the bible? That's where the problem lies in. The bible is not a buffet where you can pick what you want to believe. It's the word of God, it's all truth, the nasty and the good.

Where are the dinosaurs?

paiger81
08-18-2006, 10:56 AM
Where are the dinosaurs?


LOL, to this day,the wierdest experience I've had with religion is being in 3rd grade, prepared to watch "The Land Before Time" and having one of my best friends pulled out of class because her parents did not believe in dinosaurs because it wasn't in the bible :huge:

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 10:56 AM
It's the word of God, as told by man who is a fallible creature. I do not pick & choose what to believe, I see it as a guidebook, not a literal account.

Agreed. And looking at the Bible as a historic document, written by people like any other, really doesn't affect my faith. My faith doesn't have much, if anything, to do with who wrote the Bible. The Bible is equal parts stories, historic narrative, fables and parables used to teach, poems and hymns, and philosophies, to me. It is to Christianity what mythology was to Greek and Roman worship systems...a medium to explain things in ways people could understand.

My faith has much more to do with things in the world that I don't have an explanation for other than there being a supreme being. Not a book that is the collaboration of centuries' worth of people's thoughts on God and politics and history. It's an interesting book, but it is what it is, which is the product of a lot of people.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 10:59 AM
I have it on tape!

Actually, Samuel L. Jackson is going to be reading the Bible for a new tape/CD version - they're calling it Snakes on a Bible...

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:00 AM
It's actually amazing how many everyday quotes and turns of phrase actually have biblical roots...things people say every day that are just part of the vernacular, now, and are not used at all in a religious context, that you really don't even think of as being biblical in origin. Talk about cultural impact.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:02 AM
I have it on tape!

Actually, Samuel L. Jackson is going to be reading the Bible for a new tape/CD version - they're calling it Snakes on a Bible...

James Earl Jones would kick sooo much more ass. He's got the "I am your father" bit down cold. :p

lonestar
08-18-2006, 11:02 AM
I like Sam Eliot...Western/Cowboy style God.

allie1105
08-18-2006, 11:02 AM
I could learn from the bible that I should stay away from women on their period? Or that God likes to kill babies? Or am I supposed to take only the good parts from the bible? That's where the problem lies in. The bible is not a buffet where you can pick what you want to believe. It's the word of God, it's all truth, the nasty and the good.

I think that if you read what the authors are actually trying to advocate, you could learn a lot. Also, you are right about the fact that God did not personally sit down and write the book, and that it was written by men. Of course there are discrepencies - what human is perfect? If you are going to be devoted to a certain organized religion, yes, you should believe its teachings - but who has the universal explanation to what it all means? You don't just "pick what you want to believe". Its how you interpret it.

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 11:03 AM
I'm referring to your 'feeling sorry' for people for follow and believe in the bible. I'm sure they don't need our pity and we'd probably get a bit miffed if they offered us theirs. Just sayin'.

Hey you know I love ya, but don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say I felt sorry for people who believe and follow the bible. I said I felt sorry for fundamentalists who take it word for word.

But likewise, I don't understand the logic behind picking out of the bible what you want to believe. Can someone who's a practicing Christian explain this?

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:03 AM
I like Sam Eliot...Western/Cowboy style God.

If God were a cowboy, he would definitely look like Virgil Earp.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 11:04 AM
I love that movie...

paiger81
08-18-2006, 11:04 AM
But likewise, I don't understand the logic behind picking out of the bible what you want to believe. Can someone who's a practicing Christian explain this?

Didn't I just expain??

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:05 AM
I just got the collector's version/director's cut.

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 11:06 AM
Didn't I just expain??

You said you see it as a guidebook. Clearly you believe some things in this guidebook, and don't believe other things. How are you picking what guides you and does not?

lonestar
08-18-2006, 11:09 AM
probably by making reasonable assumptions based on what is relevant to today and what is not.

paiger81
08-18-2006, 11:11 AM
You said you see it as a guidebook. Clearly you believe some things in this guidebook, and don't believe other things. How are you picking what guides you and does not?

Well, my beliefs are not solely based on the bible, they are based on my religion as a whole, so even though I've read the bible in it's entirety (3 times, actually) I don't always feel that every story in there is a telling me what I'm supposed to think about birth control or marriage or gay rights, ya know?

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:12 AM
You ALWAYS pick what guides you and what does not. Everyone picks and chooses how they live their lives, what they put stock in, and what they don't, as well as what they interpret in what ways. Religion, and what you believe in general, is pretty individualized.

For me, Christian teachings pretty much boil down to the Golden Rule, and that's what's really the only thing that's important and carries any weight. The stories, parables, teaching tools, all that is just a collection of ways set up to teach people. But the main thing and the only thing that matters is that love is the most important thing. If all Christians could cut out the filler and latch onto that central concept, 99% of the grief and conflict over religion could be eliminated.

Winter Storm
08-18-2006, 11:12 AM
Hey you know I love ya, but don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say I felt sorry for people who believe and follow the bible. I said I felt sorry for fundamentalists who take it word for word.


Isn't that the same thing? And never fear, I wouldn't put anything in your mouth.

I was just trying to keep people from downing others here. Seems like many religion threads here have a tendency to do that a bit.

allie1105
08-18-2006, 11:13 AM
Well, my beliefs are not solely based on the bible, they are based on my religion as a whole, so even though I've read the bible in it's entirety (3 times, actually) I don't always feel that every story in there is a telling me what I'm supposed to think about birth control or marriage or gay rights, ya know?

This is exactly how I feel about the bible. It is supposed to be a tool that you use to form your beliefs - and it is all up to how you interpret it.

meatwad
08-18-2006, 11:15 AM
This is exactly how I feel about the bible. It is supposed to be a tool that you use to form your beliefs - and it is all up to how you interpret it.

Yeah, but unfortunately for Catholics, you have to believe what the Church interprets for you.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 11:15 AM
For the religious among us, I think it boils down to weather you worship a diety (God) or worship her book (Bible). I don't see how worshipping God requires one to adopt every principle, statement, declaration in the bible.

cheshrcarol
08-18-2006, 11:17 AM
I don't believe in God, but I find the historical roots of the bible really interesting.


It's actually amazing how many everyday quotes and turns of phrase actually have biblical roots...things people say every day that are just part of the vernacular, now, and are not used at all in a religious context, that you really don't even think of as being biblical in origin. Talk about cultural impact. One of the most interesting things to me is the modern use of the word gospel. As in "gospel truth" - meaning completely true. But they're written from four perspectives, decades after Jesus' death. And if you read the gospels, they don't all match up when recounting the same events.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:18 AM
For the religious among us, I think it boils down weather you worship a diety (God) or worship her book (Bible). I don't see how beleiving in God requires one to adopt every principle, statement, declaration in the bible.

For some of us, it also boils down to this principle: striving to let love, compassion, and forgiveness guide you in life (i.e. living in the way we're told that Jesus taught). Pretty basic. The "begats" and the prophets and kosher rules and restricitions, while all interesting enough, don't really have much to do with that simple edict. Act in love and treat others well.

paiger81
08-18-2006, 11:18 AM
Yeah, but unfortunately for Catholics, you have to believe what the Church interprets for you.

Not true. There are progressive Catholic churches.

In 1981, no Catholic churches would baptize me because I was considered a bastard, since it was my mother's second marriage. They had to go 3 hours out of town (they were living in Houston at the time) to Bay City, TX where a Catholic priest who was known for being progressive baptized me because he felt that no where in the bible did it claim I was going to hell.

Winter Storm
08-18-2006, 11:21 AM
It is supposed to be a tool that you use to form your beliefs - and it is all up to how you interpret it.

Here's my question: if the bible is to be interpreted however you want, then how do you know that how you are interpreting it is correct? Does it matter?

If 5 different people with 5 copies of the same bible all have 5 different interpretations, which one will be following the closest to god's intended word? How will you know?

I just feel that if it is suppose to be the word of god, there would be only one true interpretation.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 11:24 AM
I don;t think it matters...there probably is no one "correct" interpretation...some interpretations may be more tolerant than others, some more rational, ect...but its hard to argue with belief.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:26 AM
I don't believe in God, but I find the historical roots of the bible really interesting.

One of the most interesting things to me is the modern use of the word gospel. As in "gospel truth" - meaning completely true. But they're written from four perspectives, decades after Jesus' death. And if you read the gospels, they don't all match up when recounting the same events.

Yup, Matthew, Mark, and Luke's accounts are really pretty interchangeable and John's is notably different in many ways. Those for are the canonical, or synoptic gospels. There were also more gospels, the apocryphal gospels, that didn't make it in, too, due to questions over authorship. Like any history, it varies greatly based on the perspective of the writer, and since they were originally written in different languages (possibly Aramaic, then on to Greek...and also handed down from the oral tradition), there' always the question of what is lost in translation, and lost along the way.

cheshrcarol
08-18-2006, 11:26 AM
I just feel that if it is suppose to be the word of god, there would be only one true interpretation.Yeah, me too. I also don't understand why, if God is all-powerful, why can't he/she have written the book themselves and created it in all languages so that there would be no confusion?

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:28 AM
Here's my question: if the bible is to be interpreted however you want, then how do you know that how you are interpreting it is correct? Does it matter?

If 5 different people with 5 copies of the same bible all have 5 different interpretations, which one will be following the closest to god's intended word? How will you know?

I just feel that if it is suppose to be the word of god, there would be only one true interpretation.

It doesn't matter. At least not to me. Like I said before, the main thing for me to take from it is to treat others well. That's what I take from the life of Jesus, which is the most important thing. There are discrepancies in details, but to me, the central thing is not that rough to interpret.

meatwad
08-18-2006, 11:29 AM
Not true. There are progressive Catholic churches.

In 1981, no Catholic churches would baptize me because I was considered a bastard, since it was my mother's second marriage. They had to go 3 hours out of town (they were living in Houston at the time) to Bay City, TX where a Catholic priest who was known for being progressive baptized me because he felt that no where in the bible did it claim I was going to hell.

Right, but Church law still all follows through a hierarchy. If the Vatican decreed that that priest was a rogue and denounced all of his work, then your baptism would become null and void. I doubt they would ever do that, but one of the reasons I'm not Catholic anymore is because disagreeing with Church doctrine is basically a sin because it's considered the same as disagreeing with God's will.

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 11:29 AM
I wouldn't put anything in your mouth.

Too bad. I always had a yearning for that strap-on you have.

paiger81
08-18-2006, 11:30 AM
Right, but Church law still all follows through a hierarchy. If the Vatican decreed that that priest was a rogue and denounced all of his work, then your baptism would become null and void. I doubt they would ever do that, but one of the reasons I'm not Catholic anymore is because disagreeing with Church doctrine is basically a sin because it's considered the same as disagreeing with God's will.

Right, but instead of decreeing that priest rogue, the Church changed its views & now ALL children are baptized regardless of parental 'sins'.

Winter Storm
08-18-2006, 11:30 AM
I don;t think it matters...there probably is no one "correct" interpretation...some interpretations may be more tolerant than others, some more rational, ect...but its hard to argue with belief.

See, this confuses me (probably because people I've known take the bible for its literal word). But if there isn't one correct interpretation or true word of god, why even follow it to begin with? If one person believe sex was created for marriage only and the other believes it doesn't matter as long as you're a good person, then how much credibility does the bible really have?

You could really write your own bible in that case.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:31 AM
Right, but Church law still all follows through a hierarchy. If the Vatican decreed that that priest was a rogue and denounced all of his work, then your baptism would become null and void. I doubt they would ever do that, but one of the reasons I'm not Catholic anymore is because disagreeing with Church doctrine is basically a sin because it's considered the same as disagreeing with God's will.

It's also the same issue everyone involved in the Protestant reformation had, and why they stopped being Catholic as well. No living person has the power to call the shots on another person's faith.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 11:31 AM
The other thing to consider is that there is a reason why some scholars spend their entire lives studying and interpreting historic texts like the Bible, Torah, Koran, ect...because they are so open to interpretation...they are "open source"...there is not one true reading...

meatwad
08-18-2006, 11:33 AM
Right, but instead of decreeing that priest rogue, the Church changed its views & now ALL children are baptized regardless of parental 'sins'.

That's right. But the Church views things like abortion and gay marriage as sins and condems them both. Which is why I get so confused when someone says that they're Catholic AND Pro-choice. You can't really be both unless the Church changes it's stance on those issues.

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 11:33 AM
Well, my beliefs are not solely based on the bible, they are based on my religion as a whole, so even though I've read the bible in it's entirety (3 times, actually) I don't always feel that every story in there is a telling me what I'm supposed to think about birth control or marriage or gay rights, ya know?

I don't know what you mean by "my religion as a whole", but I'm guessing you mean the tradition and culture that goes along with Catholicism? Because in most other sects of Christianity, their beliefs are based on interpretations of the Bible. There isn't anything else to base interpretations/beliefs on.

weary
08-18-2006, 11:34 AM
how does everyone have the energy to keep having this same arguement? :googly:

(is that roadkill? no.....it's that horse that was beaten to death a while ago. people still give it a good thump whenever they pass it, but no one ever picks it up and tosses it out...)

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:34 AM
See, this confuses me (probably because people I've known take the bible for its literal word).

Yeah, this isn't true of all Christians. It depends on the particular denomination's belief system. My mom grew up in a tradition that said the Bible was literal. My tradition does not. I'm comfortable with my tradition.


But if there isn't one correct interpretation or true word of god, why even follow it to begin with?


If one person believe sex was created for marriage only and the other believes it doesn't matter as long as you're a good person, then how much credibility does the bible really have?

To me, this is getting caught up in details...the only credibility that matters to me is that there is, I believe, a supreme being, and that people were created to act in his/her/its image, i.e. try to live lives of goodness, kindess, compassion and forgiveness. All the other rules and restrictions and discrepancies on what you are and aren't supposed to do are just things born of human agenda along the way and don't matter. All that really matters, IMO, is treating people with decency. That's the whole point.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:36 AM
how does everyone have the energy to keep having this same arguement? :googly:
[/SIZE]

Hah, I've always been super interested in religion, and can discuss it all day! Fascinating stuff, at least to me. So I'll keep discussing it.

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 11:37 AM
To me, this is getting caught up in details...the only credibility that matters to me is that there is, I believe, a supreme being, and that people were created to act in his/her/its image, i.e. try to live lives of goodness, kindess, compassion and forgiveness. All the other rules and restrictions and discrepancies on what you are and aren't supposed to do are just things born of human agenda along the way and don't matter. All that really matters, IMO, is treating people with decency. That's the whole point.

That was beautiful.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 11:39 AM
Are you being shitty, or serious?

old_school_soul
08-18-2006, 11:58 AM
Are you being shitty, or serious?

Serious. Jeesh.

weary
08-18-2006, 12:00 PM
Serious. Jeesh.

LMAO. i was waiting just to see your reply. she wouldn't have to ask if you weren't such a [wise]ass! LOL. :razz:

SmilesSoSweet
08-18-2006, 12:07 PM
Right, but Church law still all follows through a hierarchy. If the Vatican decreed that that priest was a rogue and denounced all of his work, then your baptism would become null and void. I doubt they would ever do that, but one of the reasons I'm not Catholic anymore is because disagreeing with Church doctrine is basically a sin because it's considered the same as disagreeing with God's will.

So does that mean my confirmation isn't valid because the priest that confirmed me was charged with 38 counts of child molestation and then a few months after that he commited suicide?

I also know A LOT of babies that were baptized in the Catholic church whose parents weren't married or married after the baby was born and some didn't even get married in a Catholic church either. But I know that there are still churches that won't accept the child and won't baptize them either.

Oh and I do believe in God.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 12:10 PM
Sorry, I'm used to the Gospel According to Jessie getting shit on on the boards. But that's cool. My beliefs are built around a pretty simple concept. Theology is complex, my interpretation of it is not.

meatwad
08-18-2006, 12:16 PM
So does that mean my confirmation isn't valid because the priest that confirmed me was charged with 38 counts of child molestation and then a few months after that he commited suicide?

I also know A LOT of babies that were baptized in the Catholic church whose parents weren't married or married after the baby was born and some didn't even get married in a Catholic church either. But I know that there are still churches that won't accept the child and won't baptize them either.

Oh and I do believe in God.

You should write your Bishop and ask him about the baptized babies thing. I'd imagine you still are confirmed unless they church nullified it, which I doubt they would do.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 12:18 PM
So does that mean my confirmation isn't valid because the priest that confirmed me was charged with 38 counts of child molestation and then a few months after that he commited suicide?

I also know A LOT of babies that were baptized in the Catholic church whose parents weren't married or married after the baby was born and some didn't even get married in a Catholic church either. But I know that there are still churches that won't accept the child and won't baptize them either.

Oh and I do believe in God.

You should read The Power and the Glory by Grahame Greene...it deals with similar subjects (ie. does the moral weakness of a priest lessen the power of the sacraments that he administers?)...great book.

flesh_gordon
08-18-2006, 12:34 PM
I was raised a Roman Catholic, went every sunday for 16 years until I got old enough and my parents decreed that I should go If I wanted to. I stopped. I don't know if it's television and movies have killed me but I found hearing the same story for 16 years to get stale. Jesus is born, killed and resurrected every year and nothing new evvvvvvveeeeeeerrrrrrrrr happens.

I think that waiting for the second coming of christ is like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive. It's never going to happen.

I think it's that 16 years of going, but I feel a heavy heart saying that I don't think there is a god. Which is weird, because I believe in the afterlife. But I don't think those two are tied together. I feel that there's too much Ill going on in the world to justify that a god exists. A god that would allow such monstrosities to occur on his planet, is not a god that I want part in. I believe the use of Free Will was a loophole that Religion could use to say that bad shit happens to good people.

I can also not fathom a god who would create such a beautiful planet/solar system/universe and then leave us alone for eternity...

I Find the only redeeming quality that Religion has is supporting good morals and values... which I think I man is generally good and can find those morals on his own.

I think the sooner the world realizes that Religion is a moot point, we'll all be better off.

paiger81
08-18-2006, 12:42 PM
That's right. But the Church views things like abortion and gay marriage as sins and condems them both. Which is why I get so confused when someone says that they're Catholic AND Pro-choice. You can't really be both unless the Church changes it's stance on those issues.

Well, for me I am pro-choice & a Catholic. I, personally, would NEVER get an abortion & do see it as a sin. However, I would NEVER tell someone that they are committing a sin by having an abortion because I feel beliefs and religion is a personal issue & I would never impose my beliefs onto another person.

meatwad
08-18-2006, 12:46 PM
Well, for me I am pro-choice & a Catholic. I, personally, would NEVER get an abortion & do see it as a sin. However, I would NEVER tell someone that they are committing a sin by having an abortion because I feel beliefs and religion is a personal issue & I would never impose my beliefs onto another person.

But I'm pretty sure the Church doesn't see the difference. I'd have to talk to a bishop or something to see what the 'rules' are on that, but I've always been of the understanding that declaring yourself pro-choice was the same as advocation in the eyes of God or something and was considered a sin. One of those "To be Catholic is to be anti-abortion in all it's forms."

embrassezla
08-18-2006, 12:47 PM
The most natural, intellectually pleasing philosophy for God I have come across is Atman/Brahman (http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/GLOSSARY/ATMAN.HTM) in Hindu philosophy.

I've read the texts, but I'm interested in learning more, perhaps taking a class or something. It really is beautiful and, if you are inclined to consider the possibility of a "higher power", rings truly natural as opposed to human-defined.

paiger81
08-18-2006, 12:48 PM
But I'm pretty sure the Church doesn't see the difference. I'd have to talk to a bishop or something to see what the 'rules' are on that, but I've always been of the understanding that declaring yourself pro-choice was the same as advocation in the eyes of God or something and was considered a sin. One of those "To be Catholic is to be anti-abortion in all it's forms."

That's great and all (SARCASM) but I'm still a Catholic & still Pro-choice & the Church sure as hell isn't kicking down my door casting me into hell :huge:

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 12:53 PM
As a protestant, I have to say I'm really big on the days when people who couldn't get behind the politics and heirarchy of the Catholic church said, "Well, forget you, we're starting our own church, then, because we think you're full of it." Bwah.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 12:55 PM
damn rebels. couldn't they just keep in line?

shimma
08-18-2006, 12:56 PM
Ok. So I started thinking. Yeah, and I was wondering what, if any, religious beliefs you have?

Christian?
Buddhist?
Muslim/Islam?
Jewish?
Mormon?

My list is not exhaustive, so please excuse me if I left out your religion/religious belief.

And, if there's anyone here who falls into this category: Spiritual , please can you tell me what that's about? Just curious cause I can never understand it.

Peace. Chill. (Oh god, that makes me sound very hippy-like, doesn't it?)

I'm a Rastafarian. And yes, I believe in God.

bluup10
08-18-2006, 12:58 PM
Wow.

6 pages!!! That took me forever to read. That's what happens if you leave for 5 minutes!!

I'm an athiest.That's the British spelling,people, don't get excited!

I've been an athiest since I was 15 or 16

I do respect other people's beliefs and I guess I'd like to believe in a God but I just can't.

And I got my badges today!!! Yeah!!! I've got all sorts....My favourite one is the "Hate Free Zone" and the "Don't like Abortions? Then don't have one!!"

Ha Ha Ha

I think Religion is just one way that divides us. BUT. Even if we get rid of it, there'll be something else to divide us, once more.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 12:58 PM
But then I wouldn't have a religion I like, that showcases things like, "Hey, we don't hate gays or women pastors, or people who get abortions, and we don't think that any clergy is the be-all and end-all authority on religion or anymore holy than anybody else, we don't think that anybody goes to hell, and we don't think that it was right of the church to ever brainwash and scam people into thinking they could buy loved ones out of hell by giving more money to the church clergy and Rome." So I'll take the rebels' stance, that being the case.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 12:59 PM
And I got my badges today!!! Yeah!!! I've got all sorts....My favourite one is the "Hate Free Zone" and the "Don't like Abortions? Then don't have one!!"


You don't have to be an atheist to agree with these sentiments. Just saying.

meatwad
08-18-2006, 01:01 PM
That's great and all (SARCASM) but I'm still a Catholic & still Pro-choice & the Church sure as hell isn't kicking down my door casting me into hell :huge:

Well that's one of the reasons I quit. It doesn't matter if you get caught. God sees all!!!! And I'm not trying to piss on anyone's beliefs, I'm just explaining what I remember from being raised in the Church.

bluup10
08-18-2006, 01:02 PM
Well, for me I am pro-choice & a Catholic. I, personally, would NEVER get an abortion & do see it as a sin. However, I would NEVER tell someone that they are committing a sin by having an abortion because I feel beliefs and religion is a personal issue & I would never impose my beliefs onto another person.


Ha Ha Ha

That makes 2 of us. I'd also NEVER have an abortion but I'm pro-choice. I used to be vehemently pro-life until my mom (Heavy Religious Fanatic) told me she's pro-choice and what's wrong with it??

That's when I was still heavily influenced by religious people...Weird, he?

So. If I were to fall pregnant right now, it'd screw up my life completely but I'd have the baby. End of story.

It was MY mistake, the Devil didn't make me do it. So, I have to bear the consequences.Not the baby.

Makes sense?

meatwad
08-18-2006, 01:02 PM
You don't have to be an atheist to agree with these sentiments. Just saying.

You don't have to be religious to disagree with them either.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 01:06 PM
Good point...although I have to say you're the only anti-abortion person I've ever met whose stance has not been admittedly religiously-related.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 01:07 PM
But then I wouldn't have a religion I like, that showcases things like, "Hey, we don't hate gays or women pastors, or people who get abortions, and we don't think that any clergy is the be-all and end-all authority on religion or anymore holy than anybody else, we don't think that anybody goes to hell, and we don't think that it was right of the church to ever brainwash and scam people into thinking they could buy loved ones out of hell by giving more money to the church clergy and Rome." So I'll take the rebels' stance, that being the case.

wow you were the last person I thought would be knocking on another religion (Catholicism I mean)...my mom is Lutheran (sometimes, other times she is pepiscopalian or presbyterian)...they don't believe in hell?

meatwad
08-18-2006, 01:12 PM
Good point...although I have to say you're the only anti-abortion person I've ever met whose stance has not been admittedly religiously-related.

I'm funny like that. :D

SmilesSoSweet
08-18-2006, 01:18 PM
Well, for me I am pro-choice & a Catholic. I, personally, would NEVER get an abortion & do see it as a sin. However, I would NEVER tell someone that they are committing a sin by having an abortion because I feel beliefs and religion is a personal issue & I would never impose my beliefs onto another person.

I'm the exact same way. I'd never get an abortion, but I can't stop someone else that wants to get one. I'm Pro-Choice, but I chose Life. Does that make sense?

For me it's not just my religion where I get all my morals and values. It's my culture, my political party, my environment, where I've been, etc. that ALL play a factor in who I am and what I believe in. So I do have a little beef with the Catholic church about how they view certain issues, but I still attend mass and just try to be a good person over all.

I have mentioned this on another post before. I have an uncle that's gay. I'm all for his happiness. I remember telling a friend who is 100% (meaning she follows the Catholic church to a "T"!) and she was like, "I know you love him as your uncle, but he goes to Church he can be heeled and become a better person." Um, my uncle isn't sick. He's gay. He's not in pain or wanting any healing, so I never understood this.

If I get married I'd like to get married in the Catholic church, but if my future husband isn't Catholic I won't force him to convert, unless he wants to as I won't convert to another religion either.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 01:19 PM
wow you were the last person I thought would be knocking on another religion (Catholicism I mean)...my mom is Lutheran (sometimes, other times she is pepiscopalian or presbyterian)...they don't believe in hell?

I actually like a lot of the rituals and traditions of Catholicism, but there are other things I don't agree with, and among them are the politics and power plays of Rome, the church's stance on homosexuality and abortion, the idea that confession needs a clergy moderator to be valid, rather than being something between you and God, and most of the power exerted by clergy. The root of the reformation was that the clergy was too powerful and corrupt. I don't believe that pastors are above worshippers. This flies in the face of the way Catholicism operates. There are lots of other issues I have with Catholicism as a protestant, and these are only some of them, but there are components I like.

Lutheran theology is rooted around salvation by grace...this is the concept that everyone is saved because Jesus died on our behalf. Grace is not asked for, it's not revoked, it just is. Because Jesus died, people don't go to hell, and are automatically forgiven any and everything. That was the point of him dying, so we are saved. Hard to go to hell, that being the case.

meatwad
08-18-2006, 01:27 PM
Peter - "Is this really the blood of Christ?"
Priest - "Yes, my son."
Peter - "Wow! This guy must have been wasted 24/7!"

steph78
08-18-2006, 01:31 PM
Well, for me I am pro-choice & a Catholic. I, personally, would NEVER get an abortion & do see it as a sin. However, I would NEVER tell someone that they are committing a sin by having an abortion because I feel beliefs and religion is a personal issue & I would never impose my beliefs onto another person.
I'm Protestant, not Catholic, but I totally agree with the above statement. I definitely believe in God and something inside me tells me abortion is not right (I feel a lot stronger about this now that I have been carrying a baby around inside me for six months...I could never personally have an abortion myself after this experience). BUT, I am not a big fan of pushing my beliefs/opinions on others...I don't think it's my place to judge others or decide what's right and wrong for them. What's right for me might not be right for someone else in very different circumstances.

My denomination (Methodist) is big on developing a personal relationship with God and doing your best to live a good life rather than worrying so much about converting everyone else to our way of thinking. We are big on evangelism through service projects and doing good for others rather than ramming our beliefs down people's throats. :) This suits me pretty well, since I sure don't appreciate having other people's beliefs pushed on me!

paiger81
08-18-2006, 01:33 PM
If I get married I'd like to get married in the Catholic church, but if my future husband isn't Catholic I won't force him to convert, unless he wants to as I won't convert to another religion either.

Kirk & I go round & round about this. If I were to get married, I probably would do it in the Church. Kirk wouldn't have to convert (raised JW, now not religious, simply believes in God), if a kid came up, I would want my kid baptised Catholic & raised Catholic. Kirk gets SOOOOO pissed off about it & says he would never force his child into a religion, ever.

So.....probably no kids with Kirk ;):

weary
08-18-2006, 01:36 PM
i'd like to pose a question to all the "i would NEVER have an abortion" folks:

if you'd been raped, would you still have the child? and if your answer is yes, would you raise it or give it up for adoption?

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 01:37 PM
I'm Protestant, not Catholic, but I totally agree with the above statement. I definitely believe in God and something inside me tells me abortion is not right (I feel a lot stronger about this now that I have been carrying a baby around inside me for six months...I could never personally have an abortion myself after this experience). BUT, I am not a big fan of pushing my beliefs/opinions on others...I don't think it's my place to judge others or decide what's right and wrong for them. What's right for me might not be right for someone else in very different circumstances.

Agree. I don't think abortion is wrong. I do think that it's most likely wrong for me (although I can think of circumstances where I might feel it's right for me, but I lean more that it's not). And it's DEFINITELY not my place to tell anybody that they're right or wrong.



My denomination (Methodist) is big on developing a personal relationship with God and doing your best to live a good life rather than worrying so much about converting everyone else to our way of thinking. We are big on evangelism through service projects and doing good for others rather than ramming our beliefs down people's throats. :) This suits me pretty well, since I sure don't appreciate having other people's beliefs pushed on me!

Same with mine. Those are common threads among non-fundamentalist protestant denominations. Our evangelism is also being a good example of how to treat others. Not, "Hey, believe what I believe." Just living ideals and leading by example.

I like to learn other people's beliefs. I don't like to be told, "If you don't believe this, too, you're fucked." Nobody knows that. It's ALL just ideas we take on faith. But nobody knows. That's kind of the point of faith, being okay with not knowing. So for anybody to say they know 100% that they know all the secrets and the "one truth," well, that's just bullshit, IMO. I just try to live life the best I can, and trust that that's what I'm supposed to be doing.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 01:39 PM
i'd like to pose a question to all the "i would NEVER have an abortion" folks:

if you'd been raped, would you still have the child? and if your answer is yes, would you raise it or give it up for adoption?

I don't honestly know.

But I'm not an "I would never have an abortion" person, either. I might in that cirucumstance. But there's just no way to know without being there. And I've not been, thankfully.

paiger81
08-18-2006, 01:40 PM
if you'd been raped, would you still have the child? and if your answer is yes, would you raise it or give it up for adoption?

I would give it up for an adoption.

My views on abortion, come first on a religious basis, secondly on having watched a cousin go through a botched abortion that left her unable to have kids.

weary
08-18-2006, 01:41 PM
I don't honestly know.

But I'm not an "I would never have an abortion" person, either. I might in that cirucumstance. But there's just no way to know without being there. And I've not been, thankfully.

yes, be thankful. i wouldn't wish it on anyone. that is a situation where i can say NEVER. i would NEVER wish rape on anyone.

but abortion? i cannot say that i would NEVER have one. and i'm a mother.

NEVER is a very extreme word.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 01:45 PM
Exactly. I firmly believe you can't know what's right for you until you're faced with a difficult choice. Everything up to that point is pure conjecture and while high minded, could go totally out the window.

I can see how rape victims both would and wouldn't want abortions. The thing that sticks most in my head is the emotional trauma of having an abortion on top of the emotional trauma of being raped would be so very difficult for me to bear, I think. But so would the emotional trauma of giving up a child to adoption, or the emotional trauma of raising a child of rape. So there's just no way to suppose I'd know what I would do.

weary
08-18-2006, 01:46 PM
Exactly. I firmly believe you can't know what's right for you until you're faced with a difficult choice. Everything up to that point is pure conjecture and while high minded, could go totally out the window.

I can see how rape victims both would and wouldn't want abortions. The thing that sticks most in my head is the emotional trauma of having an abortion on top of the emotional trauma of being raped would be so very difficult for me to bear, I think. But so would the emotional trauma of giving up a child to adoption, or the emotional trauma of raising a child of rape. So there's just no way to suppose I'd know what I would do.

yes, EXACTLY.

steph78
08-18-2006, 01:46 PM
i'd like to pose a question to all the "i would NEVER have an abortion" folks:

if you'd been raped, would you still have the child? and if your answer is yes, would you raise it or give it up for adoption?
I would still have the child - BUT I'm married and am having sex with my husband on a very regular basis so I think I'd have to assume that any pregnancy was a product of sex with my husband, not a product of the rape. I guess I'd always have a little "what if" in the back of my head but I'd really rather have the child than terminate a pregnancy that is likely my husband's child.

I honestly don't know how I would answer this question if I were not married, though - that changes a lot of things. I'm sure it would be a really tough decision.

steph78
08-18-2006, 01:54 PM
Same with mine. Those are common threads among non-fundamentalist protestant denominations. Our evangelism is also being a good example of how to treat others. Not, "Hey, believe what I believe." Just living ideals and leading by example.

I like to learn other people's beliefs. I don't like to be told, "If you don't believe this, too, you're fucked." Nobody knows that. It's ALL just ideas we take on faith. But nobody knows. That's kind of the point of faith, being okay with not knowing. So for anybody to say they know 100% that they know all the secrets and the "one truth," well, that's just bullshit, IMO. I just try to live life the best I can, and trust that that's what I'm supposed to be doing.

Yeah, we've had this conversation before I think. I've been to Lutheran churches and felt very comfortable because of how similar it is to my own church.

I like learning about other people's beliefs, too - it's always very interesting to me. One thing I REALLY liked about my confirmation class was that they took us to services at all kinds of other places of worship just so we could see how all the other religions/denominations worked and really make a choice rather than just joining the Methodist church by default because it was the church our parents attended. We went to Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Unitarian, AME churches and a synagogue, and I think it was really educational for all of us.

bluup10
08-18-2006, 02:25 PM
I would give it up for an adoption.

My views on abortion, come first on a religious basis, secondly on having watched a cousin go through a botched abortion that left her unable to have kids.


I'd probably think differently if this were to ever happen to me. That's for sure. But, right now, I wonder "Why???"

Why adoption?

paiger81
08-18-2006, 02:32 PM
I'd probably think differently if this were to ever happen to me. That's for sure. But, right now, I wonder "Why???"

Why adoption?


Well, we are using the guise of me being raped, I'm also assuming that the morning after pill didn't work(cause that'd be my immediate want after being raped). I just don't know that I could raise a product of my rape. I'd have to give it up for adoption in hopes it would have a better life.

lonestar
08-18-2006, 02:53 PM
wow this conversation got pretty dark real fast.

CoffeeCup
08-18-2006, 02:54 PM
I have an open-minded approach to religion. Personally, I wouldn't say that I am religious. I enjoy reading about different cultural perspectives on the nature of God, etc.

I was born a Hindu, wouldn't say that I am a devout one, though. I have a copy of the Bible which I read sometimes. I also have a hardcover copy of the Gita, which I read time to time. I have had people try to convert me to Christianity and Islam before, but I'm not really into religion enough to actually convert to anything else.

I would say that I believe in God, as to the true nature of God, I have no idea.

Xander
08-18-2006, 04:00 PM
..."If you don't believe this, too, you're fucked." Nobody knows that. It's ALL just ideas we take on faith. But nobody knows. That's kind of the point of faith, being okay with not knowing. So for anybody to say they know 100% that they know all the secrets and the "one truth," well, that's just bullshit, IMO. I just try to live life the best I can, and trust that that's what I'm supposed to be doing.
Agreed, but you're taking a rational view on faith. The problem with the fundamentally faithful is they're willing to bet their lives (and souls) to their beliefs. That said, they know it's the "one truth" and that you're wrong.

We're talking about not outwardly stating, "you're wrong" when their very existence is based on that "fact." While I'd rather be around racists that keep it to themselves than outwardly express that belief, at the end of the day, they're still racist at heart, and I guess I'm intolerant of intolerance. :rolleyes:

What omnipotent being expects obedience and allows misery? Do I believe in a God? No. And I'm willing to bet my life (and "soul") on that. ;)

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 04:19 PM
Agreed, but you're taking a rational view on faith. The problem with the fundamentally faithful is they're willing to bet their lives (and souls) to their beliefs. That said, they know it's the "one truth" and that you're wrong.

I'm not sure it's POSSIBLE to take a rational view on faith...you can't reason hope and belief in things you don't know to be true. And we're splitting hairs, but believing something to be true, and knowing something to be true aren't the same. Is what I believe wrong? I don't know. It might be. But I'm not really worried about it, because I have faith that it's not. Nobody has to agree with me. So it's not the one truth, it's just what I believe, and when it shakes out in the end, I'll know for sure. Right now, not knowing, but having faith is good enough for me. I'm not worried about my soul.


What omnipotent being expects obedience and allows misery? Do I believe in a God? No. And I'm willing to bet my life (and "soul") on that. ;)

Expecting obedience? Not as I've been taught. We're known to be flawed, it's a given that we're imperfect, and it's forgiven.

Allowing misery? It's a question I don't have an answer to, and the hardest thing for people to answer in terms of faith...how can you have faith when there is bad in the world. The closest I can come to explaining my perspective is that I have faith that it will get better. Life, and any misery in it, is temporary. Another thing I take on faith.

zen_mistress
08-18-2006, 04:52 PM
I believe in God but I cant really say I know what God is. When I think about what God possibly could be, I get rather confused.

I am into meditation and try and do it twice per day. I do it partly to relax, and partly because I sometimes wonder if there could be another way of being, of perceiving the world... "Doors of Perception" etc...

The dreams I have and the pictures I see while going off to sleep are pretty rich and symbolic, and I wonder at their source.

Xander
08-18-2006, 05:05 PM
...believing something to be true, and knowing something to be true aren't the same.
Right, but the extremely religions can't (or won't) make this distinction. That's what I meant by a rational view. What they believe equates to what is.


Expecting obedience? Not as I've been taught. We're known to be flawed, it's a given that we're imperfect, and it's forgiven.
How about worship? Prayer? ...at least mindfulness. That's what I meant by obedience. Are these not expected? Why do we even need forgiveness from an all-powerful, all-knowing, benevolent God?

I'm more or less just throwing out these questions that swirl in my head. I'm not trying to start a philosophical debate that has no resolution.

My perspective on suffering is that it's like any other human condition (happiness, dread, empathy, apathy, etc.) and is good like all human conditions as long as it's experienced in moderation. Even too much joy can ruin a person's consciousness, like Siddhartha within his castle's walls.

wordsmith
08-18-2006, 05:25 PM
Right, but the extremely religions can't (or won't) make this distinction. That's what I meant by a rational view. What they believe equates to what is.


How about worship? Prayer? ...at least mindfulness. That's what I meant by obedience. Are these not expected? Why do we even need forgiveness from an all-powerful, all-knowing, benevolent God?

I'm more or less just throwing out these questions that swirl in my head. I'm not trying to start a philosophical debate that has no resolution.

My perspective on suffering is that it's like any other human condition (happiness, dread, empathy, apathy, etc.) and is good like all human conditions as long as it's experienced in moderation. Even too much joy can ruin a person's consciousness, like Siddhartha within his castle's walls.

I can agree with that. And I agree, there is no resolution. A big part of my faith is being okay with there not being any answers.

lostindc
08-18-2006, 08:19 PM
Jewish

I don't necessary believe in the concept of an external God in the traditional sense but more of an internal God that essentially flows through and is part of everything. Kind of like the Asian concept of Chi.

That said I think it is terrible and absurd that people kill each other over the concept of a (benevolent) God (especially when their concepts are quite similar).

vivo
08-19-2006, 01:32 AM
I am agnostic and I don't believe in the biblical god.

I do think there is a possibility for a creator or higher power that keeps everything in the universal aligned but I do not think whatever that power is falls into the perfect defined form written in the bible, that we are created in its image, that it watches over us or is at all involved in our individual lives.

I also do not believe in an afterlife.

heard of deism? some prominent founding fathers were deists. i think a large proportion were deists.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/deism.htm

Quotations:
bullet "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. " Albert Einstein.
bullet "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own - a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in Nature." Albert Einstein
bullet "Members of the United Deist Community hold the belief that God is discovered through Reason -- but the task of discovery is never over. We each pursue a lifelong intellectual odyssey; harvesting from the tree of knowledge all the wisdom that we can. Members are encouraged to participate in fellowship with other members, continuing the search for Truth together. Our open minds and open hearts are changing the world with love and deeds, as no other religion can." Excerpt from the United Deist Community web site.
bullet "We believe that God designed and created the world, and governs it through natural laws that can be discovered through reasoning, observation, and experience. We feel that God does not reveal himself to us through inspired or revealed texts or by supernatural means, but through creation itself." Excerpt from the Peace Dale Christian Deist Fellowship's web site.
bullet "I freely believe in God as being discovered through nature and reason, rejecting revealed religion and its authority over humanity. I believe that all humans are equal. Further, as God has not shown favor for one people over another and has given us all that we need, that we should follow God's example and give to others as we can." Excerpt from the United Deist Church's web site.

horizontal rule
Overview:

The word "Deism" is derived from the Latin word for God: "Deus." Deism involves the belief in the existence of God, on purely rational grounds, without any reliance on revealed religion or religious authority.

Deists:
bullet Do not accept the belief of most religions that God revealed himself to humanity through the writings of the Bible, the Qur'an or other religious texts.
bullet Disagree with strong Atheists who assert that there is no evidence of the existence of God.

They regard their faith as a natural religion, as contrasted with one that is revealed by a God or which is artificially created by humans. They reason that since everything that exists has had a creator, then the universe itself must have been created by God. Thomas Paine concluded a speech shortly after the French Revolution with: "God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon."

horizontal rule
History:

The term "Deism" originally referred to a belief in one deity, as contrasted with the belief in no God (Atheism) and belief in many Gods (Polytheism). During the later 17th century, the meaning of "Deism" began to change. It referred to forms of radical Christianity - belief systems that rejected miracles, revelation, and the inerrancy of the Bible. Currently, Deism is generally no longer associated with Christianity or any other established religion. Then, as now, Deism is not a religious movement in the conventional sense of the world. There is no Deistic network of places of worship, a priesthood or hierarchy of authority.

Deism was greatly influential among politicians, scientists and philosophers during the later 17th century and 18 century, in England, France Germany and the United States.

Early Deism was a logical outgrowth of the great advances in astronomy, physics, and chemistry that had been made by Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, etc. It was a small leap from rational study of nature to the application of the same techniques in religion. Early Deists believed that the Bible contained important truths, but they rejected the concept that it was divinely inspired or inerrant. They were leaders in the study of the Bible as a historical (rather than an inspired, revealed) document. Lord Herbert of Cherbury (d. 1648) was one of the earliest proponents of Deism in England. In his book "De Veritate," (1624), he described the "Five Articles" of English Deists:

1. Belief in the existence of a single supreme God
2. Humanity's duty to revere God
3. Linkage of worship with practical morality
4. God will forgive us if we repent and abandon our sins
5. Good works will be rewarded (and punishment for evil) both in life and after death

Other European Deists were Anthony Collins (1676-1729), Matthew Tindal (1657-1733). J.J. Rousseau (1712-1778) and F.M.A. de Voltaire (1694-1778) were its leaders in France.

Many of the leaders of the French and American revolutions followed this belief system, including John Quincy Adams, Ethan Allen, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison Thomas Paine, and George Washington. Deists played a major role in creating the principle of separation of church and state, and the religious freedom clauses of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

We have been unable to find estimates of the number of Deists in North America. Although both the U.S. and Canada census document religious affiliations, many Deists are listed under Freethinkers, Humanists, persons of no religion, etc. Many Deists who feel a need to join a spiritual community of searchers for truth become members of congregations associated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.

horizontal rule
Beliefs and Practices:
bullet Deists base their belief in the existence of God on their observations of design found throughout nature. The Discovery Institute in Seattle, WA share this belief and developed their theory of Intelligent Design as an alternative theory of origins to compete with Creationism and Evolution.
bullet Most Deists believe that God created the universe, "wound it up" and then disassociated himself from his creation. Some refer to Deists as believing in a God who acts as an absentee landlord or a blind watchmaker. A few Deists believe that God still intervenes in human affairs from time to time.
bullet They do not view God as an entity in human form.
bullet They believe that one cannot access God through any organized religion, set of beliefs, rituals, sacraments or other practice.
bullet God has not selected a chosen people (e.g. Jews or Christians) to be the recipients of any special revelation or gifts.
bullet Deists deny the existence of the Trinity as conceived by Christians. They often view Jesus as a philosopher, rabbi, teacher and healer, but not as the Son of God.
bullet They believe that miracles do not happen. The "world operates by natural and self-sustaining laws of the creator." 2
bullet A practical morality can be derived from reason without the need to appeal to religious revelation and church dogma. "Most Deists believe humans are too innately noble to require supernatural coercion and threats of eternal damnation to behave morally." 11
bullet Most Deists view God as having departed from nature. Thus, prayer makes no sense to them. However, some pray to express their appreciation to God for his works. The latter generally do not ask for special privileges, or try to assess the will of God through prayer, or ask God to perform miracles.
bullet Most Deists do not actively evangelize the public.

lonestar
08-19-2006, 01:40 AM
The Church of FSM...I love the eight commandments and unintelligent design...

The Gospel of the Church of FSM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gospel_of_the_Flying_Spaghetti_Monster)

bluup10
08-19-2006, 03:22 AM
The Church of FSM...I love the eight commandments and unintelligent design...

The Gospel of the Church of FSM (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gospel_of_the_Flying_Spaghetti_Monster)

Tell us more!!!
You might just find yourself a convertee in me!! :cool:

ebruening
08-19-2006, 09:07 AM
I grew up Catholic. Both sides of my family are staunchly Catholic. My parents sent me to 13 years of Catholic school, and are quite faithful to the church teachings. However, I'm now an agnostic. I turned away from Catholocism because my particular diocese is extremely conservative. I also turned away from Catholocism, because I don't believe (and never have) that the Catholic church is the "one, true faith." Do I believe there is a higher power than myself? Yes. I believe that all religions are reshaping the same basic story, and that all contain an element of the truth. I don't see myself going back to any organized religion in the future, but if I did, I'd likely choose Greek or Eastern Orthodoxy.

RoseDelight
08-19-2006, 04:18 PM
My religion is sikhism, and I certainly don't practice it.

I'm not a great believer in God, but that doesnt mean I'm an atheist. I'm probably more spiritual. I believe there is something out there but don't know what it is :confused:

Winter Storm
08-19-2006, 06:48 PM
heard of deism? some prominent founding fathers were deists. i think a large proportion were deists.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/deism.htm

Quotations:
bullet "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. " Albert Einstein.
bullet "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own - a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in Nature." Albert Einstein
bullet "Members of the United Deist Community hold the belief that God is discovered through Reason -- but the task of discovery is never over. We each pursue a lifelong intellectual odyssey; harvesting from the tree of knowledge all the wisdom that we can. Members are encouraged to participate in fellowship with other members, continuing the search for Truth together. Our open minds and open hearts are changing the world with love and deeds, as no other religion can." Excerpt from the United Deist Community web site.
bullet "We believe that God designed and created the world, and governs it through natural laws that can be discovered through reasoning, observation, and experience. We feel that God does not reveal himself to us through inspired or revealed texts or by supernatural means, but through creation itself." Excerpt from the Peace Dale Christian Deist Fellowship's web site.
bullet "I freely believe in God as being discovered through nature and reason, rejecting revealed religion and its authority over humanity. I believe that all humans are equal. Further, as God has not shown favor for one people over another and has given us all that we need, that we should follow God's example and give to others as we can." Excerpt from the United Deist Church's web site.

horizontal rule
Overview:

The word "Deism" is derived from the Latin word for God: "Deus." Deism involves the belief in the existence of God, on purely rational grounds, without any reliance on revealed religion or religious authority.

Deists:
bullet Do not accept the belief of most religions that God revealed himself to humanity through the writings of the Bible, the Qur'an or other religious texts.
bullet Disagree with strong Atheists who assert that there is no evidence of the existence of God.

They regard their faith as a natural religion, as contrasted with one that is revealed by a God or which is artificially created by humans. They reason that since everything that exists has had a creator, then the universe itself must have been created by God. Thomas Paine concluded a speech shortly after the French Revolution with: "God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon."

horizontal rule
History:

The term "Deism" originally referred to a belief in one deity, as contrasted with the belief in no God (Atheism) and belief in many Gods (Polytheism). During the later 17th century, the meaning of "Deism" began to change. It referred to forms of radical Christianity - belief systems that rejected miracles, revelation, and the inerrancy of the Bible. Currently, Deism is generally no longer associated with Christianity or any other established religion. Then, as now, Deism is not a religious movement in the conventional sense of the world. There is no Deistic network of places of worship, a priesthood or hierarchy of authority.

Deism was greatly influential among politicians, scientists and philosophers during the later 17th century and 18 century, in England, France Germany and the United States.

Early Deism was a logical outgrowth of the great advances in astronomy, physics, and chemistry that had been made by Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, etc. It was a small leap from rational study of nature to the application of the same techniques in religion. Early Deists believed that the Bible contained important truths, but they rejected the concept that it was divinely inspired or inerrant. They were leaders in the study of the Bible as a historical (rather than an inspired, revealed) document. Lord Herbert of Cherbury (d. 1648) was one of the earliest proponents of Deism in England. In his book "De Veritate," (1624), he described the "Five Articles" of English Deists:

1. Belief in the existence of a single supreme God
2. Humanity's duty to revere God
3. Linkage of worship with practical morality
4. God will forgive us if we repent and abandon our sins
5. Good works will be rewarded (and punishment for evil) both in life and after death

Other European Deists were Anthony Collins (1676-1729), Matthew Tindal (1657-1733). J.J. Rousseau (1712-1778) and F.M.A. de Voltaire (1694-1778) were its leaders in France.

Many of the leaders of the French and American revolutions followed this belief system, including John Quincy Adams, Ethan Allen, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison Thomas Paine, and George Washington. Deists played a major role in creating the principle of separation of church and state, and the religious freedom clauses of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

We have been unable to find estimates of the number of Deists in North America. Although both the U.S. and Canada census document religious affiliations, many Deists are listed under Freethinkers, Humanists, persons of no religion, etc. Many Deists who feel a need to join a spiritual community of searchers for truth become members of congregations associated with the Unitarian Universalist Association.

horizontal rule
Beliefs and Practices:
bullet Deists base their belief in the existence of God on their observations of design found throughout nature. The Discovery Institute in Seattle, WA share this belief and developed their theory of Intelligent Design as an alternative theory of origins to compete with Creationism and Evolution.
bullet Most Deists believe that God created the universe, "wound it up" and then disassociated himself from his creation. Some refer to Deists as believing in a God who acts as an absentee landlord or a blind watchmaker. A few Deists believe that God still intervenes in human affairs from time to time.
bullet They do not view God as an entity in human form.
bullet They believe that one cannot access God through any organized religion, set of beliefs, rituals, sacraments or other practice.
bullet God has not selected a chosen people (e.g. Jews or Christians) to be the recipients of any special revelation or gifts.
bullet Deists deny the existence of the Trinity as conceived by Christians. They often view Jesus as a philosopher, rabbi, teacher and healer, but not as the Son of God.
bullet They believe that miracles do not happen. The "world operates by natural and self-sustaining laws of the creator." 2
bullet A practical morality can be derived from reason without the need to appeal to religious revelation and church dogma. "Most Deists believe humans are too innately noble to require supernatural coercion and threats of eternal damnation to behave morally." 11
bullet Most Deists view God as having departed from nature. Thus, prayer makes no sense to them. However, some pray to express their appreciation to God for his works. The latter generally do not ask for special privileges, or try to assess the will of God through prayer, or ask God to perform miracles.
bullet Most Deists do not actively evangelize the public.

This is a big long. Do you think you could provide a succinct summary? :googly:

Kitty
08-19-2006, 07:21 PM
I am baptized catholic but I am an atheist.

wordsmith
08-19-2006, 08:35 PM
Only if both people are extremely conscious that their choice is what works for them and them alone, and accepts the other persons choices at least to the point where they won't knock it. People who can really make this work are rare, though, I think.

Whether or not there are children or are going to be children in the picture makes a difference, too. I would imagine that if either parent expected to raise kids in their particular belief (or lack thereof), that would be a potential problem. I grew up with a family where one parent was atheist, the other was protestant, and the kids were raised neutrally and left to decide if they wanted to follow anything in particular or not. But if you really wanna raise your kids in church and your spouse really doesn't want to, or the reverse, that's going to become a problem.

vivo
08-19-2006, 09:31 PM
This is a big long. Do you think you could provide a succinct summary? :googly:

here's something from another website
http://moderndeism.com/index.html

Deism is a reason-based faith that postulates a belief in God through a foundation of Reason, Personal Experience and Nature (nature of the universe) with emphasis on freethought rather than a foundation of Divine revelation(s) and Holy texts. Essentially, through the use of Reason, Godís existence is revealed by the observation of nature and our own personal experiences. For the Deist, the order and complexity found in nature coupled with our rational experiences of nature leads to a belief in God.

there are christian deists. ive also read that it's the fasteest growing religion in the us from 1990-2001 from some sites although it still has small small #'s. there's mmore stuff on teh site of course.

CoffeeCup
08-20-2006, 05:46 PM
The most natural, intellectually pleasing philosophy for God I have come across is Atman/Brahman (http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/GLOSSARY/ATMAN.HTM) in Hindu philosophy.

I've read the texts, but I'm interested in learning more, perhaps taking a class or something. It really is beautiful and, if you are inclined to consider the possibility of a "higher power", rings truly natural as opposed to human-defined.

I'm a Hindu, and I read your link, that is one of the fundamental concepts in Hinduism. One of the basic Hindu viewpoints is the concept of duality. That the universe exists in inter-linked equal and opposite forces of interaction. For instance,

Male/Female
Night/Day
Life/Death
Good/Evil
Love/Hate
Internal/External

Atman refers to the internal soul that is part of an external consciousness, as described in that link, makes up the larger view of an inter-linked Supreme Spirit that produces cyclical effects from the external consciousness back to the internal consciousness and vice-versa.

The Hindu texts are extremely complex, they aren't really something that you can just grasp right away. It would probably be better to take a class if you are interested, so you can learn the concepts in a structured way from a qualified teacher.

Xander
08-20-2006, 07:15 PM
Most all religions have their beauty (not all), but I'll just interject that Hindus are not immune to the ugly and vicious nature of humanity in the face of religious indoctrination.

Religious identity for what? Hope, purpose... cultural division, transcendental segregation... I question any belief system (religious or not) that purports peace but supports separation, whether inherent or consequential.

Video on Hindu hatred. (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9101562255306616976)

CoffeeCup, I'd really like your feedback on that video, if you don't mind.

wordsmith
08-20-2006, 07:17 PM
With anything humans are involved in, including ALL religions, there is the threat of hatred and intolerance and violence...because these things are human nature. Nobody's immune.

Xander
08-20-2006, 07:28 PM
Nobody's immune.
I love everyone. Group hug!

wordsmith
08-20-2006, 07:31 PM
Hah, you're not THAT far from me. Where do I line up for my free group hug? I promise I won't try to convert you to Lutheranism. That's not what we do. :)

CoffeeCup
08-20-2006, 07:36 PM
Most all religions have their beauty (not all), but I'll just interject that Hindus are not immune to the ugly and vicious nature of humanity in the face of religious indoctrination.

Religious identity for what? Hope, purpose... cultural division, transcendental segregation... I question any belief system (religious or not) that purports peace but supports separation, whether inherent or consequential.

Video on Hindu hatred. (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9101562255306616976)

CoffeeCup, I'd really like your feedback on that video, if you don't mind.

Ok, I'm watching that video, but I'm not getting sound for some reason. I've watched about half of it so far. I'll watch the rest later.

The hardcore religious types ruin it for everyone. I agree that many have used religion for their own purposes, to further hatred and seperation. I read earlier that you don't believe in God. That's your choice, you have the right and I respect your right. The religious people who try to force their opinions and resort to violence, etc, are lunatics.

The Hindu/Muslim conflict has been going on for ages. It doesn't look like it will ever end. Both sides have committed horrible actions against each other.

Xander
08-21-2006, 01:50 AM
Hah, you're not THAT far from me. Where do I line up for my free group hug? I promise I won't try to convert you to Lutheranism. That's not what we do. :)
There's plenty of hugability for all, so we'll have to get a bunch of QLCers into Chicago. Soon. :huge:


I read earlier that you don't believe in God. That's your choice, you have the right and I respect your right. The religious people who try to force their opinions and resort to violence, etc, are lunatics.
If only everyone was as open minded as you...

I don't believe in God, but that doesn't mean I have no beliefs. You know that feeling of connection people have regarding close family? It's intangible, yet that connection is sometimes so fierce it's almost palpable. I believe in reality--the totality of all things possessing actuality, existence, or essence--which leads me to feel a lessor version of this sense of connection with all things, material and not.

In the vastness of reality--our universe--matter is rare. Even more rare is the beautiful blend of basic elements that form nucleotides, DNA, life. Ever increasing increments of life eventually produce self-awareness, as it has on our planet. Life is the core of my beliefs. That connection I feel to all things flow in and as life itself. But self-awareness holds the hope of my beliefs.

It's hope that individuals will become self-aware--moving into the post-conventional level of moral development on the scale of universal life ethics--and realize how all the universe is connected. More specifically, hope that individuals see and accept the interconnectivity of all life and life's intrinsic, absolute and inalienable value.

If this happens, as it has happened with me, you will never need external faith, never feel alone, always have a sense of purpose... you will know who you are and where you fit in our often scary-and-confusing-as-hell (and beautiful... so beautiful) reality.

That is what I believe. But I'm overly optimistic, if not emphatically unrealistic. :rolleyes:

and1grad
08-21-2006, 09:38 AM
...we'll have to get a bunch of QLCers into Chicago. Soon. :huge:
*cough* Good luck with that :razz:*cough cough*

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 10:09 AM
Well, you never know. Xander might actually not bail. *cough, cough* :rolleyes:

Trillian42
08-21-2006, 12:47 PM
James Earl Jones would kick sooo much more ass. He's got the "I am your father" bit down cold. :p

My brother has listened to the James Earl Jones reads the bible CDs. LOL

workaholic?
08-21-2006, 01:50 PM
For me, Christian teachings pretty much boil down to the Golden Rule, and that's what's really the only thing that's important and carries any weight. The stories, parables, teaching tools, all that is just a collection of ways set up to teach people. But the main thing and the only thing that matters is that love is the most important thing. If all Christians could cut out the filler and latch onto that central concept, 99% of the grief and conflict over religion could be eliminated.

We actually discussed this in a lot of detail at my Bible study last night. The scriptural support for this belief is found in Galatians 5:14 "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" and in Matthew 22:36 "Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?" 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, "Love others as much as you love yourself." The Bible states that if this one commandment is followed, all others will follow as well.

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 01:55 PM
That's been my understanding, as well. It's the whole key of the teachings (and not really any different than the roots of a lot of other belief systems).

bluup10
08-21-2006, 02:14 PM
You don't have to be an atheist to agree with these sentiments. Just saying.

Oh of course not. But you'd have to be "open-minded". Besides, those are the more "tame" badges I got.

My favourite is the "Jesus Saves! by using double coupons and shopping wisely"

lonestar
08-21-2006, 02:18 PM
That's been my understanding, as well. It's the whole key of the teachings (and not really any different than the roots of a lot of other belief systems).

Yeah but what if my neighbor is an asshole?

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 02:19 PM
That's actually pretty funny (says the Christian who puts no stock in the "born again" thing).

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 02:20 PM
Yeah but what if my neighbor is an asshole?

Point is, odds are good you're probably an asshole, too...so do unto others, all that jazz. ;)

bluup10
08-21-2006, 02:20 PM
That's actually pretty funny (says the Christian who puts no stock in the "born again" thing).
He He He
?
Huh? Mind explaining that one? If you don't mind, of course?

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 02:24 PM
Sure. Not all Christian traditions are the "born again" variety, in that we don't all believe you have to take conscious steps to earn God's love, a place in heaven, etc.

The point of Christianity is of course rebirth in metaphor, but my tradition teaches that this was done when Jesus died...we baptise as infants as a symbolic reminder of being forgiven any and everything due to Jesus' death...but to us, this is all a given, thanks to grace (discussed earlier on the thread). It's not something you have to earn by becoming "born again" as an adult or what have you.

This is a point of contention between various denominations within Christianity...some sects say, yeah, you do have to be actively "born again." Some say that infant baptism is invalid because it needs to be an individual's conscious choice, etc. I don't come from either of those schools of theology and dogma.

lonestar
08-21-2006, 02:27 PM
I think under Catholocism since I was baptized and confirmed all I have to do is get the final rights and I am in like flynn...talk about the loophole of a lifetime! Any religion where a Kennedy qualifies for heaven is a religion for me. As an agnostic, it is at least a pretty good way to hedge my bets.

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 02:29 PM
Salvation by grace is actually the loophole of a lifetime...you're already forgiven whatever, even before you did it.

lonestar
08-21-2006, 02:32 PM
I thought you had to confess in all religions...I didn't think there was such a thing as autopass.

Xander
08-21-2006, 02:46 PM
Xander might actually not bail.
Na, I will. ...unless you can promise dancing penguins.

As for the Golden Rule, what about pedophiles and masochist? I live by the Free Market rule ( :huge: ): Do and live as you will as long as you do not impose costs on others.

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 02:47 PM
We have creeds that are confessions...but it's more an acknowledging. It's all already forgiven. That was the point of the crucifixion.

Lutherans believe that salvation is by God's grace alone, and that people can't do anything to earn or achieve it (or lose it). It teaches that all people are imperfect, and that it's forgiven, and we're given the gift of salvation. Faith and trust in God's grace is all that's asked.

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 02:50 PM
Na, I will. ...unless you can promise dancing penguins.

Hah. Meet me at the Lincoln Park Zoo.


As for the Golden Rule, what about pedophiles and masochist? I live by the Free Market rule ( :huge: ): Do and live as you will as long as you do not impose costs on others.

Yeah, that's where it gets tricky...because you have to ask, can you forgive somebody who does something really awful? That's why it ain't easy. But that's why the Golden Rule exists.

It's exactly why many Christians aren't pro-death penalty, though...the idea that it's not any human's place to determine that another should die.

Xander
08-21-2006, 02:51 PM
Lutherans believe that salvation is by God's grace alone, and that people can't do anything to earn or achieve it (or lose it). It teaches that all people are imperfect, and that it's forgiven, and we're given the gift of salvation. Faith and trust in God's grace is all that's asked.
So what if I have no faith or trust in God's grace?

What does everyone think about the antropology of religion?

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 02:53 PM
Can't help you if you have no faith or trust. I can't imagine what that must be like. My personal belief, though, is that nobody gets turned away. From what you wrote, though, earlier, it sounds like you do have faith and trust (in the world, in an energy, in order, etc.). A connection, a purpose, all that. You just call it something else. Just my reading.

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 02:55 PM
What does everyone think about the antropology of religion?

I dunno...elaborate more?

lonestar
08-21-2006, 02:58 PM
I not religious myself, but am interested in the development/history of religions...

So even someone with no faith, such as myself would be saved if God was Lutheran/if that is the true principle....

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 03:04 PM
Totally interested in the development of belief systems...goes way back to my childhood fascination with Greek mythology. All cultures have their creation stories...interesting stuff.

CTGirl
08-21-2006, 03:12 PM
Totally interested in the development of belief systems...goes way back to my childhood fascination with Greek mythology. All cultures have their creation stories...interesting stuff.

Agreed. I'm not a fan of organized religions myself, but I find them very interesting from a psychological perspective - how different cultures have created very different religions as a means for coping with the uncertainties of the world around them

Xander
08-21-2006, 03:19 PM
Hah. Meet me at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Wow, I haven't been there for years. It's still one of the last free zoos, right?


It's exactly why many Christians aren't pro-death penalty, though...the idea that it's not any human's place to determine that another should die.
This is a paradox in my beliefs, where a person's life is invaluable, yet expendable. But to save writing an essay, I'll leave it at that.


...it sounds like you do have faith and trust (in the world, in an energy, in order, etc.). A connection, a purpose, all that. You just call it something else.
I suppose if you want to call reality God, then yes, I have faith and trust in that. But this "God" has no consciousness or agendas or requirements, and can hardly single itself out as the "son of God" as we are all part of this "God" and of equal potential.


I not religious myself, but am interested in the development/history of religions...
I know the moment I stopped believing in God. It was in church as I daydreamed, counting the seconds... then from mumbled prayer, one word came to focus like a blind man seeing for the first time: Worship.

Worship was a word I had always associated with "faithless savages" who'd sacrifice animals and virgins for their gods. I have no idea where this association came from, but it made me realize that the faith I grew up with--Catholicism--was no different from other religions.

My point is, if you go back in time, one step at a time, someone thought up a new idea. I'm talking about "the gaps" theory...

lighthouse4life
08-21-2006, 03:25 PM
Wow, I don't check QLC for 48 hours and I have 16 pages to catch up with in a single thread! Was interesting reading though :).

I am Muslim. The post about deism is interesting since I have always viewed faith in God to include reasoning, observation of nature and personal experience. I tend to take religion as a personal issue and do not go about ranting and raving about its merits, even I have encountered people who do so. Generally, I do not mind them. People who bother me are those who warp and miscontrue the original teachings in order to obstruct justice, oppress people and just be overall unpleasant.

A serious phenomenon that is due to multiculturalism within muslim communities is the transposition of culture into religion. That in itself is a huge problem, and alot of people my age who are muslim express the same concern, namely that some (usually an older generation) have a distorted understanding of the faith and do a bunch of things that are unacceptable by many standards including their own religion's.

So basically, yes I believe in God. My understanding of Him is that of a limitless, caring sustainer that is very close to me, but that also has certain demands of me (towards Him, myself, and others).

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 03:28 PM
Wow, I haven't been there for years. It's still one of the last free zoos, right?

Yup, part of the Chicago Park District.



But this "God" ...can hardly single itself out as the "son of God" as we are all part of this "God" and of equal potential.

The concept of the trinity, and God being part of us (and us a part of him/her/it) actually speaks to this, but yeah, that would be a book and a half itself to get into.

lighthouse4life
08-21-2006, 03:30 PM
Agreed. I'm not a fan of organized religions myself, but I find them very interesting from a psychological perspective - how different cultures have created very different religions as a means for coping with the uncertainties of the world around them

I do agree that certain political/religious leaders use religion to "tame the masses", but I disagree that religion is entirely some kind of cultural invention based on keeping fear away. Blind dogma, and not religion, is the opium of the masses. Then again, it depends on which religion.. but generally a faith is supposed to lead to more open-minded people who can think for themselves and choose a better life.

Trillian42
08-21-2006, 03:39 PM
Personally, I have really been introspective on these questions the last couple of years, and have come to several conclusions about my beliefs. First, I consider myself spiritual, but not religious. I believe there is a Force or Forces in this world which have an effect upon every existing thing. This is probably what many religions call God, Allah, etc. I also believe we all have at least one spirit guide and also guardian angles looking over us. I believe in the other side, what some people will refer to as an afterlife, and that we are here on this plane of existence to learn and perfect our soul, which may take many lifetimes. My beliefs align most closely with the ideal of Novus Spiritus (www.novus.org) although not 100% and I do not consider myself a Christian.

I do not believe organized religions are for me, because most of my experience is they tend to tell you what to believe or how to believe, when I think they should be teaching how to look inside yourself and figure out for yourself what you believe instead of just blindly following what you are told. Some will say, "Well that is having faith", and I agree, only I think it is having faith in others over faith in yourself, and that is not how I want to live my life. I do think they can provide excellent life guidance and a sense of community, and will hopefully someday come accross a church that I feel aligns with my beliefs.

CTGirl
08-21-2006, 04:29 PM
I do agree that certain political/religious leaders use religion to "tame the masses", but I disagree that religion is entirely some kind of cultural invention based on keeping fear away. Blind dogma, and not religion, is the opium of the masses. Then again, it depends on which religion.. but generally a faith is supposed to lead to more open-minded people who can think for themselves and choose a better life.

I don't know a whole lot about your religion specifically, so I can only speak in generalities, but from what I have seen of organized religion (not the religion you may hold for yourself alone) the whole purpose is to NOT have people think for themselves.

Now, keep in mind that I also did not say anything about "fear" and so I think you are misinterpreting my words a bit. I do not believe that all religions are about people blindly following a leader who promises to assuage their fears, but I do believe that they provide the sense of belonging and explanation of purpose/existence that human beings generally crave.

I generally prefer to see people develop their own personal system of beliefs about such things, and not categorize themselves into a religous "group"

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 04:32 PM
I do believe that they provide the sense of belonging and explanation of purpose/existence that human beings generally crave.

This, I agree with...but thinking and interpreting for myself has never been something I've felt my religion prohibited me from doing. Which is why I have a bit of a problem with being termed a sheep who blindly follows and doesn't think for myself. (not saying you've said this...just that it's been said).

CTGirl
08-21-2006, 04:39 PM
This, I agree with...but thinking and interpreting for myself has never been something I've felt my religion prohibited me from doing. Which is why I have a bit of a problem with being termed a sheep who blindly follows and doesn't think for myself. (not saying you've said this...just that it's been said).

Yeah, I certainly wouldn't go as far as to say that anyone who follows a religion is a "sheep." What I am saying, though, is that the existence of religious groups makes becoming a "sheep" possible. While intelligent people like yourself can have your own values and opinions while following a religion at the same time, there are others who cannot and will blindly follow any religious teaching they are fed, and in that I see the danger of organized religion.

lighthouse4life
08-21-2006, 05:00 PM
Now, keep in mind that I also did not say anything about "fear" and so I think you are misinterpreting my words a bit. I do not believe that all religions are about people blindly following a leader who promises to assuage their fears, but I do believe that they provide the sense of belonging and explanation of purpose/existence that human beings generally crave.

I generally prefer to see people develop their own personal system of beliefs about such things, and not categorize themselves into a religous "group"

Fear was referring to people's insecurities and uncertainties, which you had mentionned in your post. You and I agree that people should think for themselves, but unfortunately for us, anything more than urging these people to do so makes us a victim of what we are denouncing.

I do have two questions that are hovering in my head:
1-If someone thinks for himself and decides to be a part of a "group", is that inferior to someone who thinks for himself and decides to have his own belief system? If so, then how is it inferior?

2-Since when was being a member of a religious affiliation meant uniformity of thought, action and to some extent, appearance? I can simply look at my faith to see so much diversity, and alot of differing opinions even among spiritual "leaders". I believe this to be a good thing. This might be due to the fact that in mainstream islam, spiritual leaders are not given absolute power over believers. Who do I consider my leader? Not a single human, but only God and prophets who I believe were simply humans chosen as examples who surmounted considerable spiritual and material obstacles during their times.

The point is- even when a person thinks they are taking the easy way out by blindly following a group, they are really inevitably confronted to essential questions that really test their allegiance to this group.

On a different note, a reason why I do not usually bring religion up is because initially I am perceived as a "normal" (ugh, I hate that word), or let's say an "acceptable" person with much the same concerns, interests and doubts as anyone on this board. Once the religion issue pops up, then suddenly I become an odd person with a cryptic life. I am not saying you are like that, nor did anyone on this board insinuate such a thing. It is just my general perception, which I hope is false...

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 05:11 PM
Yeah, I certainly wouldn't go as far as to say that anyone who follows a religion is a "sheep." What I am saying, though, is that the existence of religious groups makes becoming a "sheep" possible. While intelligent people like yourself can have your own values and opinions while following a religion at the same time, there are others who cannot and will blindly follow any religious teaching they are fed, and in that I see the danger of organized religion.

Also the danger within any established social order. The existence of any group makes becoming a sheep possible. Sheesh, from high school social circles to national political parties, people of a certain personality type will blindly accept a whole lot rather than think for themselves. But that doesn't mean that everyone in a given social circle or who ascribes to a particular political party is automatically an unthinking, bleating sheep...and it doesn't for those ascribing to a particular religion, necessarily, either.

There will always be the weak-minded in society...and they're going to get caught up in any number of things. Bad leaders will take advantage of those people. But those bad leaders are found outside of religion as well as within.

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 05:20 PM
On a different note, a reason why I do not usually bring religion up is because initially I am perceived as a "normal" (ugh, I hate that word), or let's say an "acceptable" person with much the same concerns, interests and doubts as anyone on this board. Once the religion issue pops up, then suddenly I become an odd person with a cryptic life. I am not saying you are like that, nor did anyone on this board insinuate such a thing. It is just my general perception, which I hope is false...

I concur, here.

I def. feel that it's something that sets me apart, which is funny, because most people who know me personally wouldn't really probably put my religious notions at the top of notable things about me, because I'm really not evena little bit in-your-face about them, seldom bring them up unless asked. People in our age group who do have (or are comfortable voicing when appropriate) strong religous convictions are something of an anomaly, and I do think that finding that out about me probably makes me an oddball in the eyes of many, even though in life, I don't go around saying much about it at all. It's odd to me, because people will think you're completely cool, relatable, etc. until they find out that you buy into religion, and then all of a sudden, whatever they thought was cool or relatable seems to vanish..."deal's off," kinda.

and1grad
08-21-2006, 05:23 PM
I don't know a whole lot about your religion specifically, so I can only speak in generalities, but from what I have seen of organized religion (not the religion you may hold for yourself alone) the whole purpose is to NOT have people think for themselves.

Now, keep in mind that I also did not say anything about "fear" and so I think you are misinterpreting my words a bit. I do not believe that all religions are about people blindly following a leader who promises to assuage their fears, but I do believe that they provide the sense of belonging and explanation of purpose/existence that human beings generally crave.
I agree...except I do think fear has a lot to do with most religions.

wordsmith
08-21-2006, 05:28 PM
I agree...except I do think fear has a lot to do with most religions.

I do, too, and they don't work for me.

My mom was raised, as noted, in a very fear-based sect of Christianity, southern Baptist. As a small child, she was constantly terrified of going to hell, of demonic possession, of eternal damnation. I can't see any point in any of that, it doesn't jive with Christianity as I know it. Not all are based in fear. Mine is based in forgiveness and love. No demons to be cast out, no threats of hellfire, no damnation.

lighthouse4life
08-21-2006, 06:20 PM
I do think that finding that out about me probably makes me an oddball in the eyes of many, even though in life, I don't go around saying much about it at all. It's odd to me, because people will think you're completely cool, relatable, etc. until they find out that you buy into religion, and then all of a sudden, whatever they thought was cool or relatable seems to vanish..."deal's off," kinda.

"deal's on " occurs for me when :
- I'm online (articulate enough with proper grammar, so I "pass the test")
- I'm on the phone (accent free, bilingual, another "pass")
- I'm with people who are appreciate who I am and what I do (no prejudice or preconceived notions for the most part).

Otherwise with the average person that I meet in the hussle-bustle of daily life, I never get that chance. By contrast, I get questions like "do you understand english/french" or "Oh my god, poor thing, you're married- who arranged it?". Notice the blatant difference in the quality of the interaction. I try not to let it bug me and simply ignore those incidents, but I have to admit that when this is the initial manner with which strangers approach someone, at some point that person will start to be downright cynical and potentially suspicious.

CTGirl
08-21-2006, 06:22 PM
Also the danger within any established social order. The existence of any group makes becoming a sheep possible. Sheesh, from high school social circles to national political parties, people of a certain personality type will blindly accept a whole lot rather than think for themselves. But that doesn't mean that everyone in a given social circle or who ascribes to a particular political party is automatically an unthinking, bleating sheep...and it doesn't for those ascribing to a particular religion, necessarily, either.

There will always be the weak-minded in society...and they're going to get caught up in any number of things. Bad leaders will take advantage of those people. But those bad leaders are found outside of religion as well as within.

Exactly, I think there's a part of human nature that leaves us (some of us at least) susceptible to such things. There will always be people out there to take advantage of those people who are weak in their own self-concept and just want to "belong" - hence the formation of cults.

flesh_gordon
08-22-2006, 04:49 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts on either the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Gospel of Thomas?

I'm sorry if this is re-hashed but I'm curious.

J-girl
08-22-2006, 04:57 PM
To answer the OP- I believe in God. I am Sikh and I pray once in a while. The thing I like about my religion is that one of the main faux pas is to NEVER berate another religion and another one is we are not supposed to believe in caste system. Sadly the so called religious people never follow that. And I also like how their is no organized church hierarchy- anyone can go and lead prayers. There is certain symbolism that goes pass my head but I am sure someday I will understand.

CoffeeCup
08-23-2006, 05:02 PM
If only everyone was as open minded as you...

I don't believe in God, but that doesn't mean I have no beliefs.
In the vastness of reality--our universe--matter is rare. More specifically, hope that individuals see and accept the interconnectivity of all life and life's intrinsic, absolute and inalienable value.

If this happens, as it has happened with me, you will never need external faith, never feel alone, always have a sense of purpose... you will know who you are and where you fit in our often scary-and-confusing-as-hell (and beautiful... so beautiful) reality.

Actually, that is a Hindu belief. The view that all life is interconnected. That's what I meant when the Hindu texts describe a "universal interlinked consciousness".

The Hindu beliefs were not really supposed to be used as a religion, the Hindu beliefs were made into a religion over time. Hinduism is supposed to be more of a method of analyzing the world and a guideline to life. There are theories in the ancient Hindu texts that apply to modern sciences such as physics, today. For instance, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. That is a belief that is contained in the Hindu texts.

IndecisiveGeek
08-29-2006, 05:56 AM
I do believe in God but I am not religious.

I was a devout christian for much of college and a blind follower before that for my entire life.

I started to question my beliefs very strongly and despite my desire to believe I no longer could. I had to many unanswered questions, to many 'issues' with the beleif and no matter how many people I spoke to or books I read or how much I prayed, the doubt just kept growing.

So its now been a few years since I became agnositic. I don't think anyone knows all the answers. I don't think the human mind can comprehend God.

So I told my parents a few weeks ago that I no longer believe.