Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by drp, Dec 3, 2007.
What is your religion and what do you think about atheists?
I am quite religious.. Just not christian, jewish, muslim, or any of those other established religions. In fact I have a big problem with most of the established religions, as many of them simply do not practice what they preach. (One, that shall remind nameless to avoid a flame war, in particular seems to forget the nature of its prophet.)
To me, religion is something that is very personal, and should not be stem from the culture or society, rather each individual should decide for themselves and make their beliefs actualy their own. It certainly has nothing to do with the traditions and such that people seem to focus to heavily on. One really needs to understand the philosophies and history of the world before deciding on how to answer questions like "what is the meaning of life" and etc.
As for atheists. They're fine. I'm sure many of them have their own moral code and such, just like how many people who claim to be religious lack a moral code.
holyshit very well put. im not religious and dont believe in a higher power, but i do admire your view that faith should be a personal thing, and not established. good for you man.
Im an agnostic buddhist. I dont really know what to believe, but I tend to be in agreement with the moral guidelines of buddhism.
I'm a Catholic. Love the Pope, in fact his new book (Jesus of Nazareth) is really fantastic. I think even if you're a protestant you'll get a lot out of it.
What do I think of atheists? That depends on the atheist, I guess.
I will say though, generally speaking I have a lot more respect for agnostics. They can be more honest unless they're using their "indecision" (for lack of a better word) as a way to hide from really investigating things.
Books that changed my life: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton. Lewis used to be an atheist and Chesterton was agnostic before his conversion.
You know, the nice thing about both of those guys (particularly Chesterton, I don't know as much about Lewis) is they were good friends with atheists and other people that totally disagreed with them. One of Chesterton's lifetime sparring partners was George Bernard Shaw, who could not have been more philosophically different from him.
And yet you would never find a better defender of Shaw than Chesterton. Both could be found at the pub having beers and discussing away. It's so different now, seemingly, sadly polarized and a lack of love and trust between people.
Raised Jewish and stuck with it, though I consider myself to be more spiritual than religious. In short; I figure as long as you're generally a good person and don't do something stupid like kill someone, you're pretty much set. How and what you believe doesn't really make a difference, as long as you have the right idea; give thanks every once in a while, don't do the major sins (murder, adultery, etc.), and give to charity once a year. Oh, and the meaning of life & the universe is 42
this man speaks the truth.
Well, I did my research after deciding Christianity might not be for me(god loving everybody but apparently hating gays was why I decided to start researching other religions (no I'm not gay)), and I decided, after reading the bible, learning about other religion's beliefs, and reading how each religion came to be, that this is what I believe: (some of you may take offense to this)
There is no God, or if there is one, he doesn't give a damn about us or isn't actually aware we're here (aliens anyone?)
Evolution is more-or-less correct, it's just question on how we initially got here.
If there really is a God, Jesus was definitely not his son, although I suppose it wouldn't be that much of a stretch to believe that Jesus was a 'chosen one'.
Christians, not Catholics, more-or-less have a belief system that works well, considering God Loves All, and it doesn't particularly matter whether or not I believe in what they believe, they still have a good sturdy religion.
All other religions are fine too, except maybe Satanism, that's kinda weird, worship the guy who apparently eternally tortures people (he must get tired, going around torturing humans all day), and as long as you don't actually intend to fight against another religion, you should follow your beliefs. (I'm looking at you, Iran.)
Jews are cool, since they managed to stay around for so long, even if everybody else hates them (why? They were essentially the original religion...)
Edit: How could I forget, Buddhists are awesome too.
Hrmm I think you need to research more about religions. Satanism isn't about worshiping the christian Satan, and like so many other things, is nothing like how it is in movies and tv. Judaism is far from the "original religion", which has only been around for about 3000 or so years.
As for there being no God. It all depends on how you define "god". If you mean God as in the creator of all, then I would have to disagree because then anyway that the universe was created can then be defined as "god". In the 1600s/1700s, a popular philosophy among the "intellectuals" was deism. Which basically states that God created the universe and then abandoned it. Essentially turning on "the machine" and leaving it running. I think its very hard for someone to deny that somehow this universe was created by some means. (I'm sure someone will try to bring up Descartes proofs up as a way to debunk that statement, but still.)
My beliefs. This is a question I have been asking myself a bunch for the past couple years.
I was raised in a Catholic family that went to church every Sunday and all holidays. Both my parents are amazing people and my Dad especially has an insane amount of patience and understanding for other people. He has probably had the most influence on what I believe today. He would always emphasis that no matter who you are dealing with they have a reason for what they are doing and if you understand that reason you will see that it is not really up to you to judge that person.
For instance when you are dealing with that super annoying telemarketer you have to understand that while you hate getting interupted during your dinner they are just doing their job so dont be rude to them, tell the politely but firmly you are not interested, wish them a good evening, and go back to dinner. Those two guys over there kissing is kinda sick, but it is their choice and who are we to judge them?
I lived my entire youth firmly indoctrinate with the entire Jesus loves you and will always love you. He loves you no matter what you believe, who you are or what you have done and he will always forgive you.
Yet, then I started to listen and understand what the preists were saying, and what the Pope was saying. That if you "sin" you are going to hell, that there are Cardinal sins that god will not forgin, that if you two men fall in love that is in itself is not a sin, its only a sin if they express that love. That you cant have a woman as a leader of a church.
Another thing I just accepted was that priests could not get married yet are expected to offer marriage counseling and conduct marriage ceremonies between other people, oops, between men and women. How is someone who has never been married, never experienced marriage supposed to tell married couples how to live their lives? For a while we went to a church where the priest was married (became a protestant priest then switched to catholicism, always a priest, always married, a nice loophole if you ask me). And he was the best priest I have ever met. His sermons on the bible would be drawn from his family life, why cant regular priests get married?
Jesus's message was a message of Love thy neighbor as thyself, to try to understand other people and their viewpoints. It was not about how to follow decades of tradition, it was how to break with that tradition and not fit with a certain mold but instead to do what you felt deep down was the right thing to do. To love people as you love yourself. To UNDERSTAND people as you understand yourself. To try and learn what you can about them so you dont make hasty judgements and in your haste dismiss someone as insignificant or just annoying. To recognize other people as Human beings and not a "group". To look at your taxcollector and see the person, not the job.
Instead of looking at the big issues we are worried that god might not like gays getting married. We are worried god might not like women being priests. We quibble over whether humans decended from Apes.
Which brings me to my next big complaint. Why can't traditionally religious people look past their blind faith to logic? Why cant you have faith GUIDED by logic instead of faith guided by just faith?
So in summary I am still unsure what exactly I believe but I do know that I do not really like organized religion. That while I like to believe there is a God I see him as a greater being that sees our short lives flash by in an instant and is more concerned with the greater paths of humanity than the day to day lives.
I am christian, and about what intraman said.
there are 2.1 billion christians in the world. i beleive 50 million or so of those actualkly follow it
From what I've observed it's more like 1%.. but I'm a cynic so, as the kids say, heh.
If I haven't said already then I'll say it now, people generally take religion a bit to seriously, y'know.
I was raised Catholic, but not very strict about certain things, my parents just gave me the options to learn and follow as much as i wanted. I think religion is great in general, although some of the people that follow them aren't, such as the extremist groups that want to change everyone else.
Anyways, I dove into Philosophy for awhile and it made me think differently about the world and things, all of my philosophy teachers were atheist or didn't believe in god at least. They were nice guys and great people, but didn't believe in miracles, god, or anything else. They tended to follow things in a scientific approach, meaning it has to be tested and give results in order to even be considered. Which is what makes the God topic so hard, because theres no way to test it, or to confirm or dis confirm.
Some of the things that happen in our world are too incredible to be by chance, and too specific to be random. I think miracles happen all the time and i think that faith is huge because it bears the believe in something without having to test it or prove it all the time like science. My last teacher didn't believe in God and tried to always explain things out with science and the human mind. I think there may be things the human mind may never be able to understand and maybe were not suppose to. We can always talk about the way things were created scientifically, but never why. My teacher would bring up the creation of the Universe, the big bang theory, how the universe follows perfect laws, etc...
and i asked him once...
Well how were the Laws of the Universe created since the big bang and all existing things follow these laws? Did they just magically appear and have perfect rules for everything at the exact instant the big bang happened or what?
He never really answered the question and i left the class a bit let down.
His class really pushed me to keep my faith and believe in things that didn't have to be proved to me.
But yeah... I stopped going to church as often, and i believe too many things have been twisted over time and are political, but i still am Catholic and believe in God.
I've had some experiences in my life that helped me believe that too, even though my teacher would say my mind was playing games with me, or i remember it differently or some other kinda psychological thing, but i know it was none of that stuff.
Man i wish someone that died could just respawn again and tell us what the hell happens, lol.
Yes, I suppose. As far as the Roman Catholic Church is concerned, I'm one of them. As far as I'm concerned, I gave that up ages ago.
I'm Buddhist, through and through. I don't kill anything, I don't drink, I don't curse, and I don't sleep around with anyone... other than my wife of course I meditate, I live a vegan lifestyle and eat a vegan diet. I stop to care for injured animals on the side of the road, I work in the Animal Welfare field and take Ghandi's quote "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated" as an absolute truth... even though he was Hindu
I also play TF2 in my spare time...
Me too. Basically, I just don't want to be associated with these groups. It is all very alien to me. I had always thought until quite recently that people only believed in this stuff metaphorically. It shocked me that people believed physically. I never had much exposure to religion, so I'm just in this neutral area as far as ideology goes. That said, I think I'm a much better Christian morally than most actual Christians. I've never done "the drugs" or drank "the beer". I've never missed a day of school in my life. I've never had "the sex". Christians are big on the celebacy, right? Not that this is intentional. I'm just waiting for that atheist gamer girl.. who is not fat. I'm going to be looking a while for that huh?
What were we talking about?
Although technically a Christian, I consider myself spiritual. It's funny how faith is faith, and is something you do without proof, because it was only when I stopped looking that I was given the proof. I went atheist, or at least agnostic, for a few years. I have manic depression, and at that age I didn't even know that, but obviously the idea of believing in a loving God seemed absurd. I did, however, take a philosophical interest in other religions, and read up on some of them, even tried partaking in rituals and such. Eventually I came across Qi Gong, which used a form of meditation, and essentially one time I meditated, something strange happened, but after the experience I felt touched by something of a higher order, I believed in God again almost instantly, became pacifist, was quite an experience! Although after all this, I still believe your moral code is what sets you apart, what makes you worthy in God's eyes, why would he care whether you believe in him or worship him, so long as you value life and the feelings of other people, I'm sure he'll be happy.
Oh, and please don't use Descartes, he was such a dreadful philosopher, with his bloody triangle and silly arguments to prove God's existance. I'll tell you one of his arguments because it will make you laugh. Imagine someone comes up to you, and offers you a choice between two things in his hands. In one hand, a real ?50 note, and in the other, an imaginary one, which would you pick? The real one! Because the real one is better, because you can spend it. Real is better than imaginary. Now he would move on to defining God, whether you believe in it or not, after all, if you don't believe in something, you must define what it is you don't believe in! We would sum up that God is a perfect being that created the Universe, that is what we do or don't believe in. Now we go back to the note, real is better than imaginary, and since God is perfect, he must always have the best option in order to be perfect, and since real is better than imaginary, he must be real...stupid or what?
hah! yes quite stupid. I have a theory that he only came up with that to avoid the Inquisition. Either that, or perhaps some evil demon told him. heh.
One interesting "Proof" or explanation of why you should believe in god goes kinda like this (I am going to butcher it, but I think I have the general theme down)
In life you have two choices. The first is to believe there is a god, the second is to believe there is no god. If you believe there is a god then it follows that you believe there is some kind of life after death. If you do not believe there is a god, then you believe that your current life is all you have. What do you lose by believing there is a god? Nothing really, so by believing in god you at least have a chance to get into the afterlife, whereas if you do not believe in a god then you have no chance. Therefore even if a god does not exist it makes more sense to believe in a god.
So I am not really saying this is what I believe, but as long as we are talking about interesting philosophical ideas I figured it was relevant. My issues with it is that if you are saying that you believe in a god for selfish reasons, then how sincere are you and that this sounds like some religious person trying to justify their faith, rather than trying to convince other people.
edit: I felt that I needed to elaborate; I'm not religious at all, religion has always weired me out from a young age, now when it comes to the question of a God, I'm a fence sitter.
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