FAITH, RELIGION, AND YOU

Posts

arcan
Having a signature is too mainstream. I'm not part of your system!
1866
No doubt there are useful aspects of religion, I just dislike the part where they try to stick in Jesus. There are televangelists who give motivational speeches and try to tell you how to live a good life, but I always think that most of the things they say make sense whether a god exists or not.
My mom went to a Billy Graham lecture once with the intent to pretty much argue with him. Mission accomplished.

She also taught me two phrases that stay near the front of my mind to this day. One being "You can go into your closet and pray" and the other "If you believe a salt shaker is your god, and that is all it takes for you to lead a good life, why would that be wrong?"

The closet thing was my mom's answer to people who thought we should all be in church every sunday, or else. She taught me that you don't need to sit in a white building, tithe, or wash other peoples feet to believe in God. The salt shaker thing means that even if you don't believe in the "God", if you believe in something and that makes you happy in life, more power to you.

All of that aside, I was sent to private schools early on. My first school was Presbyterian. When we moved, I went to a Lutheren private school and was baptized accordingly. After a year end assembly where all of the teachers pretty much stood up and said that everything they were teaching us was wrong unless it came from the bible, I told my mom I thought it was a cult. I was then moved to public schooling. It was very difficult seeing people I respected, one teacher in particular who was my favorite, saying things which sounded so insane to me.

The only time after that that my family all went to church together was one time years later when a friend of mine's little sister was getting baptized. Sitting through a Mormon service gave me strong "It's a cult!" flashbacks.

With all of that, I should probably be an atheist or something, but it would be false to call myself one, and not just because I do not put stock in labels. I've always prayed. From the time I was old enough to talk, it was a night time ritual, we said the "Now I lay me down to sleep," routine, with some extra family specific stuff tacked on at the end.

I've made a point to keep up with it to this day. In times of stress, I've done it, and it seems to help. Now, whether I'm actually opening a conduit to the divine and receiving gatorade for the soul or it is just a form of meditation that calms me and reminds me of being young and surrounded by my family, I can't actually provide an answer. I'd say both, but since I have a genius IQ, I'm supposed to be too smart to believe in imaginary friends.

When people ask what I believe, I either respond with "Something." or "Blood, bone, muscles, and flesh." I think there is something beyond, even if it is just a flow of energy as opposed to an old man with a beard. At the same time, I believe that people have to put in their own work. I saw a shirt that had the slogan "The army of the Lord. Lay down your sword and let the lord fight for you." My first thought was, Damn, I hope that isn't his approach to driving too! Close shut your eyes, and let the lord be your gps.

My study and practice of martial arts also effected my belief set. I can cause physical changes through meditation. I could go from tapping the heavy bag with my palm to breaking it loose from the chain mount just by focusing and directing my chi. I believe the truly intelligent person knows when to stop trying to come up with an answer, and when to admit what they don't know, as that is the first step to learning. The cup must be empty before it can be filled.

I guess you could say I'm more "spiritual" than I am "religious", and I am very strongly against any organized religion when it is used as something exclusionary, or just as a reason to hurt/hate others.

I kind of hate to whore some of my song lyrics out for a post closer, but they actually fit. I loved the version of Angel of Death that Danzig and Hank 3 played at the 6/6/6 show, and I do my own cover of it from time to time as a warm up or when friends request it. Lately, I added my own lyrics on at the end, basically it becomes a discussion between a believer and a sinner:

"Can you try to claim that you always knew,
or will you try to lie and bury the truth,
when you stand to be judged on the final day,
before the angel of death gets to have his say

Your time has come, its your last hand to play,
will you wager your boozing for once last chance to pray,
when you stand to be judged on the final day,
before the trumpet blast clears the chaff away

I was born on a monday, sinned on a sunday,
and every damn day in between,
yet you say there's a place for me in this heaven
of yours that I've never seen,
well one day soon, I guess we'll know the truth,
if the joke is on you or me

but tell me one thing, Mr Gabriel,
why do we live and die this way?
Alone in the dark and torn into pieces,
is it all just to make us pray?
Well someday soon, I guess we'll know the truth
if the joke is on you or me,
yeah, someday soon I guess we'll all know the truth for free."
author=Killer Wolf
I could go from tapping the heavy bag with my palm to breaking it loose from the chain mount just by focusing and directing my chi.
I don't even need to make physical contact with somebody when I use my chi.

For me I have tried both, when I was little I was inclined to religion, but then I started to question the typical questions as if God exists, then why bad things happen etc. etc. When school started, all that evolution propaganda sounded cool for me, I wanted to live in reality, so I started to watch science documentaries, digging into the subject. But as I was older and older...I found out evolution had so many flaws, just like forementioned creation theory. So I was extremelly confused, so I decided not to stick into this subject anymore. I always wanted to believe in something mightier, something above us, but I was afraid I would be disappointed. But then life kicked in, kicked me in the balls, uppercut and when I was on the ground, it pissed on me. I wont discuss it, its not important what happened, important is that, when everything from you is taken, when everything falls, when you are powerless to help your close ones, when you see your close ones suffer to the extent that they cry for death, when you see your close ones die , when there is no one to help you, when there is nothing to save you, when you cant rely on anyone or anything,when even your own body betrays you... the only thing that you can cling to, the only thing that will make you go on is faith. Faith in a better tomorrow, faith in better future, faith in something higher.

No science, no religion, but faith helps you to go on, to go trough the misery that world has to offer. Pseudo-science and religion gave us nothing but more troubles, more stupid unnecessary stuff to worry about, only fights, hatred, wars, yet they are the same, they are just extremes of faith. Its not about who is right or who is wrong, its not about if God exists or not, its just a petty quarrel of people who have serious personal issues, its not Gods fault that priest lied or used you, its not Gods fault that evolution is flawed, its fault of fanatical people, who cant get over their issues, who cant get over their trauma, their judgment is blinded, so how can they know what is right or wrong. They are just "sins of our fathers".

Yes I believe in God. World is crazy place, full of crazy stuff, not everything is logical. God gave me strength to go on and thanks to faith I am stronger than ever, I am more confident, better person, so why not ? There are so many things in life that cant be explained trough logic...I hate religious zealots the same as militant atheists, its not about the theory its about the people. You could say I am more spiritual, but I am aware of some bullshit, you need to have clear mind and balance in life, as Buddhism teaches the golden middle road.

Believe in what you want, believe what you think its right all in all its your life and no one should be telling you what to believe in and what not to believe in, thank God we have our free will. But dont be blinded by bad stuff that happened to you, afterall we are just humans, in our imperfection we are perfect.
kentona
Your mom is a hero
20844
Nothing really bad happened to me in my life. I hope people aren't assuming that I am an atheist because something "terrible happened to me" to put me off religion/faith/false conviction and magic/gods.
Isn't it usually the other way around? People start out not believing, then start taking drugs and then they find Jesus? And then they talk about it to third graders.
kentona
Your mom is a hero
20844
author=Shinan
Isn't it usually the other way around? People start out not believing, then start taking drugs and then they find Jesus? And then they talk about it to third graders.
I guess so, but after reading Bonehead's post it kind of sounded like the assumption is that the reason why people don't believe in a god is because the religion/some representative of it wronged you in some way or let you down.

I do like hearing stories about people developing a personal conviction and finding inner strength! (But I admit it bothers me to hear them attribute that strength of will, character and integrity to some god, rather than their own considerable human faculties)
author=Jude
I don't even need to make physical contact with somebody when I use my chi.


Didn't seem to work out too well for that guy, actually. I used to be able to leave a palm print on someone through a phone book and break eggs in a glass by doing a downward strike at them but not actually touching them, although it was probably just something to do with the vibrations of the glass, since I did make contact with it!

To me, it looks like that guy didn't put enough belief in blood, bone, muscles, and flesh.
I don't really have a religion. I'm kind of agnostic. I believe that there is a higher power screwing with us. I pick bits and pieces from all sorts of religions to add to my own beliefs. Some of the commandments from Christianity and LeVayen Satanism, as well as some of the principles of LeVay. I pick some ideas of Buddhism, and the concept of atheism (as in "I'm not attached to a god, just my own ideas). If that makes sense to any of you.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
Might as well learn, though this is somewhat off-topic : in what consists Levayen Satanism or what are Levay's principles?
author=kentona
Nothing really bad happened to me in my life. I hope people aren't assuming that I am an atheist because something "terrible happened to me" to put me off religion/faith/false conviction and magic/gods.
From my experience majority of atheists that I talked to, were raised in strict catholic families, had some traumatic incident in childhood or such. Of course there are atheists who just chosen not to believe in God, religion and that stuff, just because they don't see point in it,see it stupid or for other reasons. As I said its your life, believe in what you want, just don't endanger physical,psychical health or life of others...I am talking about those psycho cultists.
I was born catholic, but my family was not very serious about it. I did all of the different things through the years like the first communion and the confirmation. However, I did those things because my school would suggest that it was time. I saw all of it as something I had to do for school, and not for faith or religion.

In grade 8 I decided I had enough and I stopped taking religion courses. I then followed in the beliefs of mother and become atheist. However, through the years I realized that atheism was also a belief in something (or in this case, the lack of something), so I realized that I am actually agnostic because while I don't think there is enough proof that a god exists, I also don't think there is enough proof that a god doesn't exist. (Sorry Hawking, you haven't sold me just yet!)
Oblic
Once a member of RMN, always a member of RMN!
1752
author=kentona
author=Shinan
Isn't it usually the other way around? People start out not believing, then start taking drugs and then they find Jesus? And then they talk about it to third graders.
I guess so, but after reading Bonehead's post it kind of sounded like the assumption is that the reason why people don't believe in a god is because the religion/some representative of it wronged you in some way or let you down.

I do like hearing stories about people developing a personal conviction and finding inner strength! (But I admit it bothers me to hear them attribute that strength of will, character and integrity to some god, rather than their own considerable human faculties)


I think it can go either way. I never had a TERRIBLE experience, but I think a lot of what effected my current beliefs came from the religious community rather than an atheist. Maybe it's due to the relative boisterousness of the religious? Who knows, but I don't think one is more likely than the other.
Hmmm... Been a long time since I've been on RMN...
Anyway, to contribute to this discussion, I am somewhat proud to call my self a Christian, but I completely follow the example of Jesus Christ. Not born a Christian, I actually became a christian in my preteen years.
Regardless, I am not in the connotative sense a christian, (Not reading any of the previous pages of this post, I can only assume there were a few 'BIBLE-THUMPING-SON BITCH-NUTCASE-CHRISTIAN'-esque posts). But i am a christian in denotative sense. I make no effort to force ANY belief that I have upon someone else, as that is not what the religion is about in the first place.
I am very scientifically minded, and I understand science very well (31 on ACT!), and I partially agree with some theories presented as to the origin of species and related topics.
Personally, I believe that the world operates as a giant program and we operate on a string of giant if/then equations. Maybe that is just my bias as a computer nut.
I hope that no one is offended by anything I've said, but if so
DEAL WITH IT.

Kidding, kidding
瞬獄殺
author=Julev
However, through the years I realized that atheism was also a belief in something (or in this case, the lack of something), so I realized that I am actually agnostic because while I don't think there is enough proof that a god exists, I also don't think there is enough proof that a god doesn't exist. (Sorry Hawking, you haven't sold me just yet!)

Are you agnostic towards all religions and superstitions? Because I don't think there is enough proof for the non-existence of an endless number of religious and superstitious concepts, including concepts of god in the religion that featured in the plot of the last RPG you may have played.

There is also not enough proof that a teapot isn't orbiting the sun. Plenty of room out there in space where a teapot could be hiding. Anyone's jury still out on that one?
author=flowerthief
author=Julev
However, through the years I realized that atheism was also a belief in something (or in this case, the lack of something), so I realized that I am actually agnostic because while I don't think there is enough proof that a god exists, I also don't think there is enough proof that a god doesn't exist. (Sorry Hawking, you haven't sold me just yet!)
Are you agnostic towards all religions and superstitions? Because I don't think there is enough proof for the non-existence of an endless number of religious and superstitious concepts, including concepts of god in the religion that featured in the plot of the last RPG you may have played.

There is also not enough proof that a teapot isn't orbiting the sun. Plenty of room out there in space where a teapot could be hiding. Anyone's jury still out on that one?


...I don't catch your point, explain it please
Well, I didn't mean to come across as picking on the original poster. He probably didn't mean to say things the way he worded it

I was challenging the notion that being unable to prove a negative should obligate one to a position of agnosticism (I certainly don't think it obligates one to a position of belief). Otherwise one would have to take the agnostic stance towards any number of unlikely things.

For instance, if I were to tell you sincerely that chocobos really exist, you wouldn't be able to prove me wrong. It's not as if you--or anyone--can confirm that there is no place on Earth where a chocobo might be. You could say such-and-such staff guy of Square-Enix swears that he invented the creature, but then you just have his word against mine.

Or suppose that a Cult of the Chocobo has been growing in membership lately. Faithful members of the Cult of the Chocobo claim that the Square-Enix guys got the idea in the first place from real chocobos, which they worship in a remote area of the globe that they refuse to reveal. There is a complete lack of evidence for what they say. Nobody has ever discovered chocobo remains. Nobody has captured a chocobo on film. Nobody has collected a chocobo feather. But nobody can disprove the claim either. Do you then say, "Well, we can't prove or disprove it so I guess I'm agnostic about the existence of chocobos"? If so, prepare to be agnostic about an endless number of beliefs and superstitions.

Oblic
Once a member of RMN, always a member of RMN!
1752
author=flowerthief
Well, I didn't mean to come across as picking on the original poster. He probably didn't mean to say things the way he worded it

I was challenging the notion that being unable to prove a negative should obligate one to a position of agnosticism (I certainly don't think it obligates one to a position of belief). Otherwise one would have to take the agnostic stance towards any number of unlikely things.

For instance, if I were to tell you sincerely that chocobos really exist, you wouldn't be able to prove me wrong. It's not as if you--or anyone--can confirm that there is no place on Earth where a chocobo might be. You could say such-and-such staff guy of Square-Enix swears that he invented the creature, but then you just have his word against mine.

Or suppose that a Cult of the Chocobo has been growing in membership lately. Faithful members of the Cult of the Chocobo claim that the Square-Enix guys got the idea in the first place from real chocobos, which they worship in a remote area of the globe that they refuse to reveal. There is a complete lack of evidence for what they say. Nobody has ever discovered chocobo remains. Nobody has captured a chocobo on film. Nobody has collected a chocobo feather. But nobody can disprove the claim either. Do you then say, "Well, we can't prove or disprove it so I guess I'm agnostic about the existence of chocobos"? If so, prepare to be agnostic about an endless number of beliefs and superstitions.



I like this argument. It's the most basic argument about religion you can get: the burden of proof. I usually use the example of the speed of light (you can only DISprove that it is the fastest possible speed), but I like this example much better!

I'm stickin' to my guns until someone shows me something concrete and believable enough that shows that there is a god... but since he "works in mysterious ways", I'll probably be dead before someone could show me such a thing.