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Religion

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by Shiny Lyni, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. Shiny Lyni

    Shiny Lyni 2016 Singles Football

    Religion's always been a touchy subject for a lot of people, and it's hard to talk about it without people bashing one another. However, I've been curious as to what the people at 'Charms think of religion, truthfully, and I think it could help us understand one another better if we discuss about it.

    Personally, I go to a non-demoninational Church, though I lean towards being more Baptist than anything else. Even though I'm Christian, I'm not against other people who're non-Christian and tend to accept everyone and anyone into my friends' circle. I don't believe that Christians are better than everyone else, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In fact, most Christians could probably be even worse than "regular" people, because they act so high and mighty and think they're so much better than everyone else and all. We're hypocrites, I won't deny that, but no one can be perfect, right? And no, that's not an excuse; it's a fact, but that doesn't mean we can't try to follow what we say.

    Anyways, outside of what I believe in religiously, I think that, philisophically, religion is important in society because it gives people a sense of morals and helps keep people together. What better way to tie people together than to give them a common belief system to, well, believe in? Thanks to the development of religion, humans know what to do and what not to do, since, as Machiavelli so wisely says, "all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope".

    On the flip side of things, we have seen religion do the very opposite of what it's supposed to do. Because it's only natural for humans to have differing opinions; one religion cannot be for everyone, as we found out during the Protestant/Catholic Reformation period. Religion has been the source of violence for many centuries, and still is in some cases. Religion also ties us down and doesn't allow one to freely express themselves. Some can even argue that religion has no basis; how can we believe in something that we cannot prove or see? This is one question theologians and others have struggled to answer over the years, and still we do not have a valid reason why we should.

    So, all in all, is religion good or bad?
     
    #1 Shiny Lyni, Sep 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. Hm. I don't quite know what I personally would call myself- for the longest time, I've been more atheistic. I was raised Catholic until after my first Communion, then my parents let me choose for myself what I wanted to believe in. Honestly, I've been drifting towards "I don't know, and I really don't care" as my religion recently. In general, I'm accepting of any religion or belief, as long as I am shown the same respect in return. I would never ostracize a person based on religion. Also, I tend to love speaking about this topic to people who do believe differently than I- seeing things in a new light is always fun, and for most of the people that I have chosen to speak to, the conversations have been enlightening and friendly. ^__^

    I never like posting opinions on religion, though, because I'm always worried I'll accidentally offend someone. I will say, thogh, that I believe that religion is a good thing- it gives people hope, happiness, and something to believe in. It gives them an unwavering constant in an ever-changing universe. I think it's wonderful that people have a choice as to what they hold dear to their heart- and hence people who try to "convert" will admittedly anger me to no end.

    I will not disrespect an entire religion- one cannot make generalizations after knowing only a few members of the sect. But I will say that I lose all respect for a person if they try to convert me to their set of beliefs. For instance, there is a member on another forum that I am on- someone who is a rather arrogant Christian who has made multiple attempts to convert myself and other atheists on the board, using techniques ranging from "olololo atheists are stupid" to "I worry for your soouuuul". I know plenty of other awesome, respectful people who identify themselves as Christian, and this guy just seems to be an offense to them.

    Wow, I rambled here for a little bit. My main point is that I think religion can be a beautiful thing, something that uplifts even the heaviest heart. But, at the same time, it also can make people arrogant, or even radical. I suppose religion is... *sunglasses* a mixed blessing. Yeaaaah.
     
    #2 SineCosineTangent, Sep 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  3. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    I'm just making a note. Because this subject is very flammable, I or any of the other admins/mods will lock this if we smell smoke. Be mature, guys :V Express what you think, but do so in a, well, mature manner. I know you folks can be civil.

    Now, personally, the following vid expresses how I feel currently regarding my faith.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EieFdXy_HwM

    Words to the poem in teh spoiler box, since it's hard to make out what he says sometimes.
    I am a Christian. I’m sorry.

    I’m sorry for the way that I come across
    So fair and faith friendly and full of myself
    Judging your spiritual health by the words that you say
    And the way that you dress, and the things that you do
    Or maybe just judging you.

    I’m sorry for the way that I live my life
    So confident of my own beliefs that
    I would never even think to think about thinking about yours

    I’m sorry for the wars.
    Ivory clad Crusaders mounting steeds and drawing swords
    With such a spirit that if The Spirit spoke they wouldn’t hear
    But you see the sword of the spirit was not a sword but the Word
    And the Word was with God and the Word was God
    And they preached this as they marched on the Holy Land
    Singing and Praying and Killing and Slaying
    And purging and healing and raping and stealing
    It’s ironic that they lined there pockets in the name of God
    Just like the priests who line their pockets in the name of God
    Just like the people that you can’t stand, because they always raise their hand
    And spread their faith and hate and judgment in the name of God

    I’m sorry that I take God’s name in vain
    Or rather I’m sorry that I stain the name of God
    Defending my selfish actions as selfless actions pertaining to the will of God

    I’m sorry for being intolerant
    For trying to talk down to you
    For trying to talk over you
    For not letting you talk

    I’m sorry for not walking the walk
    For being a hypocritical critical Christian
    Criticizing your pagan lifestyle while my lifestyle styles itself
    Just like the televangelist’s hair
    All slick and sly and slippery
    As the silver syllables slide their way into your ear

    But see that’s my greatest fear
    That the steps I take won’t match the words I speak
    So that when I speak all you hear of me
    is a weak hypocritical critical Christian
    Doing one thing, but saying another
    Loving my friend, but hating my brother
    It’s a show.

    I’m sorry I get drunk on Saturdays
    and go to church on Sundays to pray
    for my friends who get drunk on Saturdays

    And on that note,
    I’m sorry for making the church about the pews and the cross
    And the walls and the steeple
    Because see the building is not the church
    The church is the people

    I’m sorry that I hate you because you are gay
    I’m sorry I condemn you to hell because you are gay
    Instead of loving I jump to hatred
    Mouth open and tongue preaching
    Eyes open but not seeing that you are the same as me
    Just a fucking human being

    I’m sorry that I only hang out with Christian friends
    And we do nice Christian things
    Like pot luck dinners and board game nights
    While in the night a man beats his girlfriend again
    Another homeless man died again
    Is this the way that my own crowd has been?
    But here I am with the same friends again
    But see what I always forget is that Jesus didn’t come
    to hang out with the priests and the lords.
    No, He hung out with cripples and beggars and whores

    Love

    I’m sorry for history
    For native tribes wiped out in the name of the church
    Lodges burning stomachs churning and yearning for justice
    And mothers screaming and pleading
    Pleading for the young ones
    As they are dragged away to church schools
    Where they were abused
    I’m sorry for the way that I refused
    To learn your culture
    Instead I just came to spread the Gospel
    And the plague

    I’m sorry that I stand at the front doors of abortion clinics
    Screaming at 15 year old girls as they enter
    Instead of waiting at the back door to hug them as they leave

    I’m sorry for taking my wars and my faith to your lands
    When historically it was on your lands that my faith was born
    And in the face of the storm, I realize that
    If God is Love and Love is God
    Then why are we shooting instead of sharing?
    Why are we launching instead of learning?
    Why are we warring instead of walking together?
    Why are we taking instead of talking together?
    Why are we bombing instead of breaking bread together as brothers?

    You see I think that God looks down and He’s sad
    And from His right hand throne above
    Jesus asks where is the Love?
    And if it takes Wil-I-Am and Justin Timberlake
    Asking that same question for us
    To start asking that same question
    Then where the fuck are we headed?

    So I will take this stage to be my chapel
    And this mic my confession booth
    And in the presence of God, the few,
    and the blessed I confess, that
    I am a Christian. I’m sorry.

    Now, I can't say I believe with "religion" as a whole, but really, you're always part of a religion by the word's definition, even if you're the only person who shares your beliefs - just means you're the only person in that religion. (and you should get busy converting >:0 loljk ) Religion is a word that has many connotations. There's the proper definition of the word, and then there's everything else that comes with it.

    I personally believe that, my faith at least, is more a life-style choice, but I can't deny that, like I said above, it's still a religion. What I don't like is that with most 'proper religions' they put a label on someone, and that keeps the people who believe in that religion within a set of limits. The people can't really go outside of those limits without being in violation of something or a deviant, which isn't all that healthy in my opinion. I can't tell how many times I've met people who's beliefs stifled their imagination, their thoughts, and whatnot. A quote from the movie 'Saved' works nicely. "If God wanted us all to be the same, then why did he make us so different?"

    The problem with religion is that the people who take part in it accept just whatever they told, and turns most of the religion into a bunch of like-mind robots. People just believe what they're told, or they're just accepting the religion that their parents are a part of. People rarely actually take a step back to look at their beliefs for themselves, and just let a pastor/priest/rabbi/whatever shove whatever down their throats. And it's an environment for when people do think for themselves and decide to be different they're often ostracized. For example, several Christians believe that God created the known universe through the big bang and evolution. I personally think it's a logical assumption, (I actually haven't given enough thought into the topic to actually decide how I think the universe came about.) but several other Christians would be offended by that idea. Why? I'm not sure, but they would be. One of the things I believe in is also another example: I think it's ok to be gay, lesbian, bi, whatever. I don't think God disagrees with that, based on my own thoughts and research I've done into the subject. However, I think I'm going to have even less friends than the evolution-believing Christian. Why is this? Because the majority of the Christian churches "leaders" have decided that this type of thinking is wrong, and so all of their flock nod their heads in agreement and glare at the people being different.

    People rarely decide for themselves what to believe, and it's sad, because that's the problem with religion. That's what makes religion dangerous. People aren't meant to be identical. People are meant to be individuals with beliefs that differ, even if only slightly, from the next person. People are meant to think for themselves, they're meant to question things. When they don't they get turned into sheep led by the leader or leaders of the religion, who can easily use their flock as an army (army of sheep yes, bear with me) to hurt and destroy, whether intentionally or unintentionally. People need to decide for themselves what to believe in, and then they need to be able to take a stand.

    I think if people realized this then it would be so much easier to accept people who don't share your beliefs. There's no reason that Christians and Muslims shouldn't get along, there's no reason that theists and atheists shouldn't get along. It's all a matter of respect and acknowledging people's right to believe what they want and not judging them for it. And if we could all accept each other then I really doubt that wars would continue - wars based on beliefs anyway - there's always going to be somebody who wants to rule the world, like Walt Disney and Google's co-founders :X

    That is my problem with religion, is that despite the fact that most of the religions preach love, people don't seem to be capable of following that teaching. Or they practice a conditional sort of love. "I'll love you if you act like this, or be like me." Or they say things like the dreaded "I don't hate you, I hate your sin." Please, ever wonder how many people actually mean that when they say it? I know I do, and part of me would rather not know the answer.

    Of course, that is the current state of religion today. What we have emerging slowly but surely is a "new" way of thinking (that actually isn't all that new if people followed their religion in the first place.) that wasn't seen a hundred or maybe even fifty years ago. As the older generations die off they are replaced by newer generations that will hopefully redefine the word religion and its connotations into something positive.

    Also, Sine has a good point, because she looked at the bright side XD *is me is always gloom and doom.* I agree with what she said completely.

    So I suppose my answer is this: religion, as it is right now for the /most/ part, is bad. But in the future? Hopefully that won't be the case.

    One can hope, hm?
     
    #3 Sem, Sep 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  4. Religion is a poison and a scourge. I doubt we'll see its disappearance in my lifetime, but I hope that one day everyone will have access to higher education and not need to cleave to tribal belief systems concerning gods and spirits. How much time has been wasted debating the words of long-dead schizophrenics?
     
  5. ...

    Well, before this thread gets closed, I'd like to say that I'm a Mormon. I believe in God, the Eternal Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ and in The Holy Ghost.
    Yes, I'm in one of those proselyting religions and my boyfriend is actually in Germany right now trying to get people to convert. Sorry if that offends you, but mostly the missionaries talk to people who are interested, so you probably wouldn't see them much except if they knock on your door and ask if you want to hear their message. If ya don't, they leave.

    Now that that's out of the way...
    I believe that God created the universe and life using what ever tools He has. If it was a giant explosion to make this physical place, okay. If He used evolution to create the many different creatures on this Earth, fine. Or if He used something that we don't quite understand as human beings yet, I guess we'll find that out later when it gets revealed to us. Science used to be trying to find out how God did something, not trying to prove that He doesn't exist. I'm a science geek, and I find that there are too many things that couldn't just have happened randomly to have the world and humanity exist as it is.

    Personally, I think it's a good thing for people to have something to believe and hope in, even have a set of standards to live by. It might seem a little backwards that rules can give freedoms, but they're really there to protect you. You don't have as much control when you're high on some mind altering substance as you would have when you don't take it.

    For my life, my religion has been a backbone, a way to find friends and something to stand up for. It's helped me be free from things that would hurt me and it's helped me find myself. Religion hasn't done that in everyone's life, but I think it's done enough good that it shouldn't be called a poison or a scourge. Is it perfect? No, but neither are people. Just because you don't agree with the idea, it doesn't mean that it's evil. Personally, I can see God in too much of life that I wouldn't be able to deny His existence, but I'm not going to tell you that the way you see the world is the wrong way. I might try my darndest to convince you, but if you don't really care, I won't really push. That's just what I believe.
     
  6. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    I was born and raised Catholic, but at the moment I don't identify myself with any religion or belief system (not even atheist). I respect people who believe in a religion, seeing as I think that they can teach very good lessons and morals to people, I just get really annoyed with the extremists/fundamentalists. They just ruin it for everyone else and give religion a bad name.

    I'm more than willing to accept anyone's faith so long as they are willing to accept mine. I tried to make it my duty to learn as much as I could about a whole number of religions, and as thus I respect them. Like SCT said, it's just kind of annoying when you run into those people who try to do nothing but convert you to their view points (the same goes for atheists too); I just want my beliefs to be respected as I respect others. Simple as that.

    Religion can be a good thing, but it just gets some negative connotations because of the small, radical minority. I think religion as something that can teach people to be better people is a good thing, it helped to teach me. It's just no longer really for me, but I fully respect everyone who is religious and I love that they have that in their life. ^^
     
  7. Magpie

    Magpie Feathered Overseer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Hmmm, goodness...where to start :V

    First off, I'd say that I've always been interested in religion. Each faith has an interesting and different history, all of which I love reading about. I'd say it goes hand in hand with my love of Mythology. I respect and love that through faith, people can achieve wonderful acts of kindness and greatness. I love the fact that it gives so many people the ability to walk forward, full in the knowledge that they are never alone. Religion brings peace to so many... however, I also dislike the fact that on the other end of the spectrum it can divide the world.

    I'm not a fan of organised religion. A good chunk of my family are christian, but I have never felt that I should be one. To be honest, I find the labels of religion quite pointless. It's my belief that the mainstream Religions are in fact the same Religion, just with a different way of looking at things. They have different books and Prophets, different views and ideals - but the core is the same. If you look at Christian stories, you'll find the same stories written on the walls of Egyptian ruins. Horus the Falcon headed God was born to Isis through 'magical' means, and was born on the 25th of December. The statues of the two look exactly like those of Mary and Jesus. Coincidence? Conspiracy theory? Maybe. But that's the way I look at it. Religion has evolved, and become what we know today - but the roots remain the same. We're all born from the same tree, we just sit on different branches, so caught up in labels and who's correct that we argue and fight. What should unite us, only divides us.

    I'm certainly not an Atheist. If there is one thing that has been constant throughout the history of man, it's the belief in the Gods, or Higher Powers. Be it Father Sky and Mother Earth, Horus and Hathor, The One True God... people have found strength within them and their image. That can't be a bad thing. The sad thing is the people who hide behind the label and use it as an excuse to commit acts of hatred. I feel that religion is something we should learn about, and learn to respect. Just understanding the beliefs of others would make the world of difference. If there is an evil, it's ignorance. I'm not a Christian, but I've read the Bible. Who am I to judge the faith if I don't know what the hell I'm talking about?

    On another note, I've always wanted to sit and talk to someone who doesn't believe in Evolution. I was taught it in science as a FACT. I wasn't even aware of the religious aspect of it until later when I came across it myself. Here is not the place to do it, but I'd really just love to hear another perspective and to learn about it from a religious point of view. One thing I've always wanted to ask is the opinion on Dinosaurs. A silly question maybe, but there you go XD
    Religion is actually something I love to talk about and learn about, but sadly as has already been mentioned - it's a subject people can get very defensive over very quickly.

    As for myself... I'd say I'm a mix of many Religions. I follow what I feel is true for me, because I believe that that is all any God could ask of a person. The reward of the doer lies in what they have done. I don't believe in Good and Evil. Is it wrong to steal food to save your starving family? Is it wrong to love another, be they of the opposite gender or not? So yeah. I follow what I believe is right, with a good hint of respect for the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. All hail Re ~ :D

    I'll make the statement here that I hope my views in no way offend anyone. They certainly aren't meant to ♥
     
    #7 Magpie, Sep 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  8. I have been raised as a Lutheran, and continue the Lutheran interpretation of Christianity with a few modifications. I am for homosexual marriage, for the right to abortion, and other left wing characteristics. However, the main part of Lutheranism is that faith alone makes a Christian. In this way, it makes sense that all the people in third-world countries who cannot afford the resources that other divisions require can be called Christian. I find it kind of odd that the Baptists only deem those baptized to be Christian, and other things.

    However, I do think that no one can really know whether a God really exists, so it is better to believe in something then to find out after one is dead and be doomed to Hell. In addition, with other religions, I am perfectly okay with them as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. (i.e., you don't want to have an abortion? Fine. Just don't limit it for others.) I think some are really fascinating, like Wicca. It worships a combination of what we can see and what we can't, like nature and the spirits inhabiting it. The God and Goddess are also very interesting, as in a way they combine all gods (and God) into a masculine and feminine that cover all aspects.

    As for atheism and agnosticism, I am accepting of it. People may believe whatever they wish. One does not need a god (or God) to be good.

    Nevertheless, I possess some odd views that put me at edge with other members of my family. If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, why do we have to pray? Why wouldn't He just know? In addition, our 'monotheism' is really just a bunch of other god's roles crammed into one/three. The Father is similar to Zeus, Poseidon, etc. in the way He controls the elements, creation, emotions, etc. Jesus (or the Son) is the outreach part of a god, teaching others to treat each other well. The Holy Spirit is the conversion/blessing element of the Trinity. In a way, the gods of other religions could have been divisions of duties of the Christian God.

    Overall, even though I am Christian, I am open to other ways of thought and modifications to what I know.
     
  9. Hoo boy. I doubt my post will be as long as some of the other fantastic posts above me. I hope everything in this post is without offense, and will do Him and my beliefs justice.

    I'm a Christian. Not in the "I'll shove my Bible down my throat as I burn your Qur'an to a pile of ashes" sense, but in the "I Love you" sense. And really, that's it. I suppose I could be considered a member of the "Red Letter" movement, or perhaps the progressive Christianity movement. I've been raised and currently belong to a United Methodist Church, and for the most part, I see eye-to-eye with some of the beliefs. But that's not what I focus on. Church doctrine, to me, isn't what is important.

    What Jesus said, while He was here, is what's important. What's in the New Testament is important. I've yet to get my hands on a copy of the Qur'an to read it, but, seeing as it's from the same God, I honestly don't see why it can't be important as well. I'm not saying that the writings of the Old Testament, nor should all the writings of the New Testament be totally accepted as fact -- they were written for a different culture, in a different time.

    But really, what's most important if you ask me is Love, and that's exactly what Jesus was preaching. Love God, Love each other. It's that simple, and yet so many people over look it. For me, Love is wanting the best -- God's best -- for a person. I'm confident that, as 1 John 4:8 puts it, "...God is Love." I don't hate you because you're gay, and if you want to get married, be my guest. While all life is sacred, I'm pro-choice -- whatever is best for the current situation of the mother, but don't use it as birth control or gender selection...(let's not get into that topic, too...). Science and religion can, and do, coincide if you ask me.

    As for religions, as far as they go, sure. Whatever gives you Hope, whatever teaches you to Love, sure. I mean, the Dalai Lama is a great guy, and he's got stuff figured out, if you ask me. Maybe not every religion is true, but really, I'm pretty sure most of them all. And I wish I was more educated on this subject (I'm working on it...) but I'm afraid to speak too much of other beliefs lest I get something wrong.

    He does know, but praying is letting Him know that we want Him to know, and want Him in our lives. (If that makes any sense. And I'm sorry that's kind of direct. Just trying to offer insight)

    Now, I didn't write this little poem, but the woman who did is incredible, and I totally agree with her; God is Love.
    What is God?
    I’m confident when I ask that question every mind and heart
    Will start to pick apart such a question
    While simultaneously making it their mission
    To piece together a sufficient definition
    A universal composition
    Or perhaps their very own rendition
    Of what God is
    Every mind and heart may also get the impression
    That by imposing such a question
    That I’ve made the suggestion
    Of offering my very own profession
    Of what God is
    Well, I can’t say that such conviction lay within these lines
    But perhaps somewhere inside and around me
    On every side and up above,
    I carry the sneaky sense, the faithful belief
    That God is in fact the very definition of love
    And I’m sure this thought is nothing new
    Simply something you all already knew
    That this love that is God, God that is love
    Is all around and inside each and every one of you
    But here is my little twist to the mix
    How many of you remember this:
    That such an abundant and unconditional love is neither
    Yours or mine to own
    That such a pure and powerful love is only ever felt,
    Ever truly known
    When it is shown
    Through all that we are
    In flesh and bone
    The rhythm our hearts beat
    That keep that pace of love like a metronome
    For every voice and every tone
    Singing in church or at home
    Belting a chorus in our cars
    Or over a microphone
    Love imbedded in simple reminders that we are never alone
    The belief is the beginning
    Action and intention the follow through
    It’s what we say and how we say it
    The ideas we hold strong to
    The long list of things we want to do
    And making them all come true
    It’s moving into
    The day when everyday this love makes another debut
    And stands steady to remind you
    That equally important as giving this love
    Is having the confidence and conviction
    To open up and start receiving
    Letting it fill you
    And keep you forever believing
    That through the good and the bad
    The ups and the downs
    Through smiles and frowns
    The tears, fears
    Beautiful and frustrating moments that life brings
    That the voice of God inside you always sings
    Taking it all and rising above
    Keeping you calm, cool and collected
    In the abundant love that is God
    And the God that is love

    I'm really sorry if I offended anybody. And I'm really sorry if I wasn't totally clear on anything...
     
  10. I'm going to start off my post very randomly and say I'm proud to be a member of such a mature community. As Sem said, this is a very flammable subject, and I'm simply amazed that all you wonderful 'Charmsians have managed to handle such a "dangerous" topic so well. I take my hat off for all of you.

    Eh, so, back on topic. I'm a Christian. I'm sorry. But yes, I am Christian, but I've been thinking about becoming an atheist when I become old enough. From the facts that we have right now, I don't think that Christianity is... Well, "my thing" (ugh, I really wish i would've come up with a better phrase than that...). I went to confirmation camp, and I had a lot of fun, but I really didn't come to "insight" or anything. Still, it was a good experience, as I became more sure of my beliefs after that, and it really helped me clear up the religious uncertainty I had before that. My simply amazing friend told me about his beliefs one day, and I was astonished. I just couldn't argue against him. I had to agree with what he was saying.

    The thing was, I knew he was atheist. I also knew he had very... Critical sights on organized religion in general and Christianity in particular. He and my other friend were always talking about religion, evolutionism and creationism (which I will not go deeper into just so that I won't accidentally offend anyone). I was talking with him on the bus once, and he told me that yes, he is an atheist, but he doesn't deny there is a God/Gods. He said he is very open, and if someone can show him evidence he would accept that religion. I found this absolutely amazing. This line of though is so open-minded and tolerant towards other religions. Simply brilliant.

    So, that is what I believe. I do not believe in any God in particular, but I'm not denying there could be a God/Gods. I have always been very interested in religion (I have a 10 in the subject ♥) and especially in foreign religions and understanding how people from other cultures might think. I am also very interesting in the "radical" side of religion (I did an essay on Black Metal this spring, arsons and that kind of stuff), but I do agree with what was stated earlier, that these radicalists are a shame to their religion in a way. I don't disapprove of Black Metal as music, I kind of like it actually, it's just the whole religion thing.

    I'd like to say that I am very open-minded when it comes to religion. I don't believe in any particular God for the moment, but i completely understand those who do. I believe in a feeling. People can describe this feeling as God, Allah, Zeus, heck, even the Flying Pasta Monster. In the end we refer to the same feeling as God. I can't describe this feeling, but most of you'll probably know what I'm referring to.

    Whew, it's been interesting to read other people's opinions and to post my own. I really hope I didn't offend anyone. If I did, PM me and I'll apologize to you personally. ♥

    Peace out.
     
  11. KoL

    KoL Expert FPS Player
    Staff Member Moderator

    His royal highness is Agnostic - more accurately, I am what's known as a "Strong Agnostic," which means I believe that the existence of any deity or supernatural force is, and will forever be, impossible for human beings to prove or disprove. For now at least, this is factually true - it IS impossible to prove or disprove the existence of a deity with current human technology and knowledge, and as stated, I do believe this will forever remain the case. I'll never be a religious man and I'll never be an atheist, since both sides are merely separated by differing beliefs, and I'm the kind of person who only values facts and sees no value in beliefs or ideals beyond whatever function they may have.

    That said, I do believe that it is very likely that some entities do exist outside of human perception...and deities as a whole would fit that category. As far as religious groups go though, I would never join one since I'd feel restricted by it if I ever did, and I prefer to be free to do whatever I want without having to follow some set of "commandments" or rules - I'm a free spirit, and prefer to remain as such. No deity would have given me free will if it didn't want me to make the most of it, after all.

    I hope none of this offended anyone, but if it did...then grow the hell up and stop being so over-sensitive.
     
  12. What I believe in isn't necessarily an actual religion but takes a bit from each and pushes forward beyond that.
    I was started to be raised Catholic and then we converted to Christianity, but since I joined the military I have jumped out of it with a new belief in beyond it. But one thing's that is mostly focused on in this religious belief is Religious Tolerance.
     
  13. I was raised Roman Catholic but I don't follow any religion. I was 12 when I first started to question it. At first it was about saints didn't understand the point behind them. As I looked more into it I found that I didn't believe in the Trinity. Then as I started to learn more I read into the Church's history. Not only Roman Catholic but Islam and Lutheran too and found that man has corrupted a good thing and turned it into what people think of it today. In the end I choose not to follow any religion and just live my life.
     
    #13 charmander91, Oct 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  14. Aah, Religion. The reason some kids at my old primary school got bullied. There is nothing wrong with Religion. I don't believe in God, or Jesus, or Buddha, but some people do. Live with it and don't make fun of their culture. (I do believe in cloud bunny Budda, though!)
     
  15. IMO, religion is just yet another thing you get bashed for. Don't get me wrong: I'm not constantly insulted, but I know a lot of people who are. I'm a "Christian": I don't go to church since the only one we can drive to twice a week, well, we hardly learn anything. (It's more just screaming kids and Apples to Apples.) I believe in God, I pray to him and whatever. I don't like most Christians though because, like Shiny said in her first post, they usually think they're better than others.

    And no, I'm not bashing any other Christians here. :>
     
  16. Personally, I think that religion is the manifestations of people's hopes and dreams and that they help them, one way or another, to improve their lives. For example, I believe that God is people's 'unobtainable goal', the highest possible state of being. If people obey God's rules then they are better and more fulfilled people. Even if we don't know if God technically does or does not exist, if he/she is influencing countless people's lives then on some level they exist. I think religion is a great experience and life choice and no-one should be made to give it up.
     
  17. Sem, your poem made me cry. It doesn't matter what your religeon is or if you have freckles or sticky out teeth you are who you are and no-one can change you. *sniffle* Anyways like Louie I am also non-religeos but I used to be buddist. Buddists respect the natural environment abd think killing is wrong. The reason why I am no longer religeos is because of all the crime and rebelion and sin it is hard to belong to a religeon if you feel an overwhelming desire to rebel to fit in with so many individuals around you.
     
  18. I am a christian. I was raised in a christian church. My Father is a pastor of a non-denomination church. I have never questioned the existence of God or of Jesus Christ. A God creating the universe instead of evolution, in my mind, makes mores sense.
    Gods existence can be proved by nature. The cells of the body each functioning the way they do just seems to complex for a large explosion to make.
    The bible makes sense when you try to fit science and history into it instead of the other way around. I truly believe that my lord and savior Jesus Christ died for me on the Cross.
    If this is offensive I'm sorry. I believe that all other religions are wrong, and that if you do not except Christ as your savior you will be sent to hell. God is a god of love, but will punish those that are against him.
    Also, For those that wonder if God is real why does he not show himself. One, Why would God, The most powerful, holy, and pure being, show himself to you? Two, if God did show himself, would people believe in him because of faith or just because of plain evidence?
    To my fellow believers, Dont ever doubt God's existence, the evidence is around you. And stay strong to your faith for our reward is Heaven and an Eternity with our Lord and God.
     
    #18 Dragoon Flare JR, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  19. It's kind of heartwarming to see such a large diversity coexisting in such a friendly community.

    I, for one am an atheist, simply because I find the concept of God unbelievable. That doesn't make me a bad person, mind you- I have a set of morals and rules I adhere to simply out of common decency. I have an issue with lying, bullying, and hypocrisy, which is essentially where the social aspect of being an atheist comes from. So when I was a Christian, I was constantly bullied by other Christians who didn't fancy that I believed in evolution.

    But don't get me wrong. I'm not saying every Christian is a hypocritical thug. I've had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful Christians in my life, so many wise, incredible individuals. I really do respect your religion. It's a beautiful, wonderful, inspired set of beliefs, with a really truly good message behind it.

    So, Dragoon Flare, I might be going to 'Hell' for what I think, but that doesn't mean, we can't still get along, aye? ;D
     
    #19 tyranitarrific, Dec 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  20. When we did not know what made the heavens and the stars, when we did not understand the sun or the moon, when we could not fathom death or the end of things, we gave ourselves a way to deal with reality. This method was religion and it has lasted for many thousands of years in one guise or another, helping people and giving them a morality. Or at least, it did. The answers became unsatisfactory and we yearned for more, for something that was solid and measuarable, something we could reproduce. Perhaps it was a insatiable desire to understand the world around us or perhaps it was greed: the need to have something which was "ours".

    Well, we asked for the scientific method. In Europe the church reviled and damned those who would better society. The Catholics controlled the populace by having Latin sermons held to the illiterate. The third son became a priest because he did not get the land nor the backing in the military. The kings and queens ruled by divine right - religion and the state were inseperable. That was the way it always was.

    We have advanced so quickly and so suddenly, it's like a train going downhill without breaks. In the century gone we have seen the fall of empires, the joining and splitting of peoples, equal rights given to people who treated as less than dirt. It is only natural that in a time of such upheaval and uncertainty that people would hold to the old ways, the safe ways and the known ways.

    But we don't need religion anymore. We don't need an invisible sky god, or the death worshippers, or the threats about the afterlife. We can, and have, seperated morailty from religion. We are answering the great questions. What we discover might not be satisfactory, but so what? It's ours - we can question it further. Our mysteries are mysteries no longer. Does that mean the universe is any less beautiful? Are you kidding me? Our existance is the result of utterly random, nonsensical, deadly circumstances and yet here we still are.

    Our consequences should be in the life, not in the supposed continuation after it. Forgive me for voicing Nietsche here, but we can't expect man to better itself because of some arbitary possibility. And I can't abide a belief system which damns a person to hell for being in love. I see the harm religion has caused, but I know the good it has done as well. Science, also, has caused much strife but also much good. It is regulated though; religion knows no such restraints.

    I am agnostic.
     
  21. Personally, I am en Evolutionist/Atheist/Communist. So there probably is NO God in my opinion. If there were, my life would actually be good. And I think religion is being rendered obsolete by science. The Bible to me is mythology, maybe with some exaggerated history in there. I am trying NOT to offend anybody. That's just what I believe.
     
  22. So, Dragoon Flare, I might be going to 'Hell' for what I think, but that doesn't mean, we can't still get along, aye? ;D
    [/quote]

    I have friends who are Atheists and even Hindu, it says nothing in the bible about hating non-christians. So yes we can be friends
     
    #22 Dragoon Flare JR, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  23. Nim

    Nim

    I am an atheist for sure, but I don't think I'm a bad person like Alot of priests and "men of god" say we are. I was brought up by a catholic mother and a father who couldn't care less about religioun and would try and sneak away as soon as the idea of church was resided. So I have had both sides of the story and have decided by reading the old testiment that I dont believe god to be a very nice guy and I wouldn't feel comfortable praising someone who kills firstborns and allows his son to be brutally tortured, but hey that just me.
    I have nothing against religious people, don't get me wrong some of my friends are religious, I guess people can have there own opinion an that's the only thing I believe everyone should believe in.
     
  24. I am an open and proud atheist. I was raised by a protestant father and humanistic mother, and at young age I had to go to the church- Which is oddly why I am atheist; I dreaded church. Mostly because I found it boring. My view on religion is that every person is entitled to believe in whatever he or she wants, and should be allowed to practice it. I know a lot of christian folks with whom I have friendly relationships, and religion is no issue at all for me, as long as it's not too extremistic.

    One thing I do feel a lot of religious people have to learn is to leave other people alone. Everyone is allowed to believe whatever they want to, but for goodness' sake, don't try to convert others to that religion, don't say people who don't believe in your religion are inferior to you and your fellow believers or that they should go to the worst place possible to be tormented for eternity after leading their lives just because they don't.

    Although I am not fully opposed to christianity, I have to admit that I approve of a lot of things that most Christians don't approve of, such as abortion under particular circumstances and gay marriage. It's another part of my 'let people make their own choices and let them live the way they want to'-mentality. Like labbeling your children, making sure that they'll follow your religion when they grow up. That's where my Dad failed I guess, seeing as none of his six children are even agnostic.

    I believe in the power of science. Science is what brought us to the level of society where we are in now, having made achievements such as breaking the sound barrier and standing on another body in space, our moon in this case. Of course it's true that science has it's lesser sides, such as weapon development, but when used correctly, science is an amazing thing. Well, multiple amazing things.

    Aye, that's the wa uh-hu uh-hu we like it~
     
  25. Sir Red

    Sir Red Charms' Caped Crusader

    I didn't really touch on it in my first post, but I actually have a reason for my lack of religious faith. I was born and raised Catholic, and there was a time in my life that I wanted so badly to believe it and to be one of those people that when times are tough they "find God"...but I didn't. It was just me there struggling alone and forced to deal with my stuff myself, nobody "sent by God" to help me or to make things easier for me. Even then, though, I didn't completely give up on religion.

    What really made me change my mind wasn't by looking at Science and accepting that as my truth like so many people did, I simply looked at religious teachings and then looked at the real world and came to the conclusion that I just could not believe it. I was taught to believe that there was an all-powerful, all-knowing, benevolent being who above all else loves us and watches out for us...and yet, when I looked at the world and all of the war, the pointless death and destruction, the people starving and dying in alleys each and every day...I just couldn't believe that somebody supposedly so powerful and loving could allow these things to happen...I just could not.

    That's what "made me lose my faith"...although I wouldn't say I ever really had to strong of one, what with my parents never really putting too strong an emphasis on religion (which is something that I thank them for, allowing my siblings and I to come to our own choices and conclusions about life).

    I still stand by what I said in my first post, I believe that religion can still serve some good in the world. It can instill lessons and morals into people, but it should never, EVER be taken as concrete law. That's when we get radical fundamentalist who kill others who don't agree with them by reading into something that isn't there and then try and justify their actions by citing religious reasons. That type of shit is what sullies religion for others when it can be a good thing.
     
  26. I'm in no way a hypocrite, I stick to my atheist beliefs, but think about it; doesn't this statement apply for religion as well? That it has it's lesser side but is an amazing thing when used correctly? I think that the bottom line is that the world's not black and white ('cept for in Unova 8D *shot). In the end there's no such thing as wrong or right, just what we believe. There's no way science can prove how we and the universe were created. You choose to believe what the scientists tell you. And belief is what religion's all about. So technically, by definition, science is a religion of it's own.

    And this was my deep session for the day.
     
  27. Atheism is a belief system, Weeds, just agnostism and theism are, but the idea of science is that it has results which are measurable and can (theoretically) be done by just about anyone, given the right amount of time and equipment. Religion doesn't make us all flying nuns.

    I'm curious to know how you came by this, given that 500 hundred years ago we didn't know what held us to the earth, and at the turn of the 20th century we still didn't really know what was inside the atom (turns out there's a lot of empty space).
     
  28. He killed the firstborns to save his people from A empire that was enslaving them, raping them, beating them, and killing their firstborns. He allowed his son to be brutally tortured, once again for the people same people from their sins.
     
  29. To me, it feels like people are taking the atheist part to lightly. Being an atheist means to think of religions as nonsense and having no beliefs at all. My friend says he's an atheist, but I can asure you that there is much more in atheism than not just believing in a higher power. As for myself, I do believe in some sort of God, even if I don't feel very christian. I never go to church, I never pray etc. I'm very open to other religions, as I have friends that is both muslims and jews.

    Sorry if I offended anyone.
     
  30. Princeton says atheism is simply not believing in dieties. Whilst yes, that tends to lead to atheists thinking of theists as being a bit... funny and that religion in and of itself is nonsense, it does not lead to all of them believing that. And you certainly don't need to be an atheist to think of religious folks as being a bit funny (particularly when it comes to people such as NOM).

    As I already said, religion has had a valuable role in society, but the vicious clingings-on to it is showing how much it is dated - at least in that regard, where it is the be-all and end-all of your life.
     
  31. M'kay, my beliefs are in essentiality, Christian. My Dad still drags me to church, though he has pointed out that once my sister makes her confirmation, I can believe and practice fudge all. I am a christian, believe in God however I believe that you need only be present in Church on important days eg. days of obligation. You don't have to trek to a swanky building to talk to God. People should feel free to pray wherever.

    I'm happy to let others practice their own religion. I have a great interest in mythology, so I believe in other deities as well. I also approve of some beliefs that Christians would sometimes frown on. Gay marriage, abortion if it endangers a woman's life(but not for convenience) for example.

    I have no problem with the church, and I find a lot of priests are genuinely nice people. However in my parent's time, the church had too much power, and forced it on people. Thankfully now, the power of it has settled down a bit.

    Finally, all religions boil down to this (and I'm quoting from Homer simpson now) So what if some of us don't eat pork, so what if some of us don't eat beef. But we all love chicken. Peace and chicken is my motto for life :3
     
    #31 Indie, Dec 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  32. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    Awhile ago I'd written a reply to this topic that I didn't end up posting. I think since then my opinions have shifted slightly, and they're probably more genuine now than they were before.

    I don't believe religion can be defined as good or bad, nor can atheism or anything in between. Like with everything, it's all based on perspectives. I also don't believe that one religion is more valuable than another. While Christianity is obviously the dominating religion on this forum, it'd be naive to speak as if it is the only one. All religions serve a purpose, and they all have their place. We're humans. We're not higher beings. We truly do not know anything about this universe. If someone wants to believe life has meaning, I see little reason to deny such.

    What matters most in this situation is how us humans express our beliefs, whatever they may be. You can shove atheist opinions down someone's throat just as easily as you can religious beliefs. Radicals and extremists from all walks of life can be scary people, but again... it's all perception. While I believe that all extremists are bad, that they should never interfere with someone else's living, I'm sure many of my own beliefs would be considered extreme. Such is life.

    “Shades of grey wherever I go
    The more I find out the less that I know
    Black and white is how it should be
    But shades of grey are the colors I see.”
     
  33. Oh goodness, a religion thread. Well, i'll try to explain myself...

    Basically, I was raised without any religion. I was never really exposed to many aspects of religion until about the 6th grade, when my oldest sister converted to Judaism. I then became very interested in religious teachings at that point. I even read the Bible at some point. But, I never really believed in any of the things I was reading. Then came high school, where the mere mentioning that I was athiestic led to death threats and whispered insults. I talk to some of my friends on the subject, but some of them are very fundamentalist in their beliefs so I try not to bring it up. I believe that religion itself is not a bad thing- it can teach moral values and bring people together- but that some people who follow it can use it as an excuse to get away with a lot of terrible things.
     
  34. I was born Christian but during my early age our family is not that active going to church. When my family was converted to another church we became more active. We started to have a family Bible study. I am happy that until now we are still intact in going to the church.
     
  35. Well, religon for me is a big matter, I am Christian, I was raised that way, and I strongly believe in God, but other religons fascinate me to no end, I love to learn about them, infact I have friends that are Buhdist (I dont know if that's the correct spelling), Muslim, Jewish, and my Girlfriend is Catholic. I think it's ok to be friends with people of other religons, but, I need to be carefull around them, I dont want them to talk me into converting to their religon.
     
  36. I'm what you'd call and non-practicing Catholic... I may not go to church, I may not be confirmed, I may not be baptized... But I'm still Catholic... I'm a really tolerant person, as Christians, we're supposed to be; I have many friends with many different beliefs and we all get along, I'm surrounded by many non-judgemental people, which is a good thing... My best friend is a simple Christian, my Girlfriend is a practicing Jehova's witness (which does complicate our relationship, a lot...), a good friend of mine is Muslim, a few good friends of my family are Buddhist, my mother is an Agnostic, and my mother's best friend is a practicing Catholic. First thing's first, I'd like to make this clear: Catholics and Jehova's witnesses are, INDEED, Christians. Some people like to say, "Oh, you pray to Virgin Mary, not Jesus or god" to Catholics, and "Oh, you praise Jehova, not God" to Jehova's witnesses... First off, Catholics have statues of the Virgin Mary holding her son Baby Jesus, we still worship god and accept CHRIST as our holy savior, making us Christians, because thats what ties Christians together. Second, Jehova is one of the many, many, many, many, many, many, many names of God, 'nuff said. Do I believe in God? Yes. Do I think God answers my prayers? So far, it seems like he has. If I pray and all of that jazz, how am I non-practicing? Well, I've never been Baptized, and Frankly, I don't plan to be, also, I don't follow all of the ideals, I repent for what I think is wrong, not what the Catholic Church generally thinks is wrong, I also believe in certain things that don't tie into the religion, I believe in a mixture of Creation and Evolution. Basicly the only thing that ties me to my Catholic roots is that I make a cross before I pray and I make a cross when I pass a resting place, or dead body(normally roadkill). I doubt I've done so, but if I've offended someone, I appologize.
     
    #36 The iFlare, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  37. Doesn't Jehova mean god anyway way would people think Jehova's witness's aren't Christians. They obliviously never listened to them when they go door to door
     
    #37 charmander91, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  38. In my opinion, the use of Jehovah is simply another way to refer to God. I've heard of other names such as Yaweh, so Jehovah doesn't seem so unusual. The use of the word 'God' is to refer to the deity with a proper noun as the word 'god' is usually a noun. Simplifying the name to the public could have made the concept of a great deity easier to grasp.
     

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