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  1. #31
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post

    I think your god does expect you to behave altruistically (see earlier comment). Paul seems to be saying without good intention, deeds are valueless.

    And thou I bestow all my good to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
    - 1 Corinthians 13:3

    And, as we know, charity comes before faith...

    So, your expectations of what your god requires of you are at some odds to the writings in the Good Book you profess to believe in vigorously.

    How do you explain this inconsistency other than the peculiarities of whatever strain of Calvinism you subscribe to?


    You have not proven that charitable giving is equal to altruism which is the belief and practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well being of others.

    Having the right intent and having no intent are two different things.

    Charity/agape merely means to have loving intent. It does not necessarily mean you cannot have a selfish intent to seek your own happiness.

    Altruism requires one to do something without any expectation of getting anything in return. Yet the very verse you point to illustrates that we reap what we sow and there is a correlation between how much we sow and how much we reap. So I don't think its wrong to sow more so that you can reap more. God wants us to sow with good intent, but I would argue selfishly seeking joy in God is part of that good intent.

    The very fact that "God loves a cheerful giver" seems to indicate that he wants his followers to be seeking happiness in him as they go about obeying him. I don't think he wants altruistic robots do good for the sake of good.



    In which case He is irrelevant. The "seeming" part is in your head and others that share your views.
    Wow. You know with absolute certainty that if the biblical God does exist that what he does is totally random. That's quite a statement.



    Your first sentence is irrelevant and your second so general as to be pointless. What does "order in the world" actually mean, for example?

    Remember: your god likes a cheerful giver.

    Stay cheerful, Beefeater.
    The order in the world is self-evident. I don't even need to argue for it. If you cannot see it, than you are blinding yourself.



    One last thought. Think about human relationships. Do you want someone to love you and to do good acts for you out of no self-concern? Personally I rather be in a relationship with someone who does good acts for me not only because it is the loving thing to do, but because she finds happiness in doing them for me.
    Take the weakest thing in you
    And then beat the bastards with it
    And always hold on when you get love
    So you can let go when you give it

  2. #32
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    In Holland the role of religion has changed.

    From a ninety percent attendance at church, the churches are now empty and the Dutch believe religion is toxic.

    And the Dutch no longer take even a prophylactic dose, so they have lost their immunity.

    While the Dutch Islamists have taken an overdose and butcher film makers on the street and drive members of parliament out of the country and rape girls not wearing the hijab.

  3. #33
    Senior Member Snoopy22's Avatar
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    Religion is how we show our faith to the physical world.

  4. #34
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for your thoughts. This has been very helpful for me. I have some followup questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    The religion I am a student of is unconventional but has an objective common among most religions: to live a more purpose-driven life (thank you Rick Warren for that excellent phrase).

    For me, it is not for the sake of purpose, but because I believe in the purpose(s) of choice.
    So, do you find the religious community helps/supports you in this endeavor? Is this why you participate?


    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    I find it interesting that you're asking about what meaning it gives to life. In the end, it isn't so much of a "meaning" as an "attitude." It's a way of becoming. Ideally, it is something that brings you wisdom without having to endure the trials and pain that most people require to learn wisdom. And when you have that wisdom, that attitude, that faith, that is what enables you to endure through the bad times, and rejoice more fully in the good times. ... and actually I'm misstating that a bit there: it enables you to rejoice even during the bad times.
    Can you explain it a little more? Do you think the "attitude" is specific only to people who are followers of a religion, or do you think it can be found the introverted way as well?


    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    Are you asking why people are religious or why religious people think they are religious?
    I'm asking why religious people want to be religious.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Amongst other reasons, I seek after God because I want to be happy.

    I don't seek spirituality merely within myself, because in my experience I am a poor source of truth. I want my spirituality to be based on facts and truth, so I look outside myself. My faith community provides me with answers as to how to seek after and value God both in action and in word.
    Do you feel like your own sense of God aligns almost perfectly with that of your faith community?


    Quote Originally Posted by Craft View Post
    My answer is answer(and quite a practical one). I tire of this "live ignorant" world.
    So how does the faith community/religion help you with your weariness? (sincere question)


    Quote Originally Posted by RedruM View Post
    When I was 20 years old I started to develop bleeding in my stomach. Then at the age of 21 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal stomach disease (A SEVERE case of chronic pancreatitis) and given between 5-7 PAINFUL years left to live. After five years of deteriorating from my disease I ended up meeting a Catholic spiritual healer that started talking to me about Jesus. He told me that he could take me through a spiritual healing process and that if I turned my life towards God that I would feel the healing power of Christ. I went through the process and as of October 20th, 2007 I have been completely healed. It’s a long story how this all happened , so this is just the gist of it. Since then I have become Catholic and now work helping other people who are sick. What happened to me is a medical impossibility; so if someones wants to see physical evidence of God’s existence then all you have to do is go and check my medical records.

    Religion saved my life. Without it I would be dead or doing life in prison. (oh ya.. I used to be a ruthless gangster too.. religion also gave me the moral compass I strongly needed.)
    Wow. I cannot argue with it. Not that I want to argue with anyone who is posting on this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Beyond basic spirituality, religion gives me a system of life to work from. Christianity, and beyond that, Judaism have been around for a long time and in that time, there is a lot of accumulated wisdom.

    I see no reason to either mindlessly follow any system, but neither do I find it necessary to reinvent the wheel. I mean, I do have a good, strong conscience and a decent mind, but I'm not Ghandi or Einstein and even if I was, I have only one lifetime to learn from personal thought and experience. I'm fine with borrowing wisdom from those who have gone before.

    I guess I am also a bit of a mystic by nature and my early exposure to the life and teachings of Jesus kind of set my compass in that direction. I have little doubt I would be religious regardless of whether or not I had early exposure to religion, though, because even as a Christian, I tend to like Wiccans and appreciate what I know of their religion.
    Question for you: do you attend church? If so, how is participating in the church community different than following the teachings/ideals in the Judeo-Christian tradition? Do you need church to borrow the wisdom from those who have gone before?

    (p.s. I don't know much about the Wiccan tradition either, but I do like ceremony and celebrations of nature and time. I hold observances on the solstices and equinoxes and find it very meaningful, especially a lot of the symbolism of traditions and stories associated with those holidays...)


    Quote Originally Posted by Snoopy22 View Post
    Religion is how we show our faith to the physical world.
    Why do you think we need to show our faith to the physical world?
    Last edited by Patches; 12-20-2013 at 02:05 AM.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  5. #35
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    Ha ha ha... perhaps I am somewhat ridiculous with this... I just want to understand.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  6. #36
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    My religious beliefs are a way of life, so they permeate everything about me.

  7. #37
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    Ok... another question.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    The external search for spirituality, however, is just as valid as the internal one. You learn as much by sharing faith with others as you do by trying to discover the answers to your questions on faith within yourself.
    It's not necessary to belong to a religion to do this though... so why organized religion?
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by IZthe411 View Post
    My religious beliefs are a way of life, so they permeate everything about me.
    For me, religion is poetry.

    And I notice that poets create religion, prophets abuse religion and priests do it to death.

    And like poetry, religion is very nice in small doses.

  9. #39
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    For me, religion is poetry.

    And I notice that poets create religion, prophets abuse religion and priests do it to death.

    And like poetry, religion is very nice in small doses.
    Well put.

    People do abuse it and use it to their advantage. Not all. That's the stuff that gets highlighted. There's less focus on the millions who, because of their beliefs, are better neighbors, coworkers and friends.

  10. #40
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Charity/agape merely means to have loving intent. It does not necessarily mean you cannot have a selfish intent to seek your own happiness.
    If you do something for selfish reasons (such as reward in the afterlife) then you are not being altruistic. But distinguishing a good deed done freely and one done selfishly would be difficult to discern - a job for your god, perhaps? That He may be familiar with Corinthians is a gauntlet you may have to run.


    Altruism requires one to do something without any expectation of getting anything in return. Yet the very verse you point to illustrates that we reap what we sow and there is a correlation between how much we sow and how much we reap. So I don't think its wrong to sow more so that you can reap more. God wants us to sow with good intent, but I would argue selfishly seeking joy in God is part of that good intent.
    I can except you believe this but fail to understand why.

    The very fact that "God loves a cheerful giver" seems to indicate that he wants his followers to be seeking happiness in him as they go about obeying him. I don't think he wants altruistic robots do good for the sake of good.
    Ah, an Old Testament man. Good. Please do bear in mind that this is your Bible, not mine. For your god is a socialist god, who cancels debts every 7 years and requires you to spread your wealth.

    Wow. You know with absolute certainty that if the biblical God does exist that what he does is totally random. That's quite a statement.
    Could you explain, other than "mysterious ways" how randomness in any way validates your belief in your god. If it looks random, and behaves randomly then it might as well be random (think of a duck). Irrelevant, as far as the man on the street is concerned. Maybe He is too big or even two small to notice his weird creations; maybe he's bored; maybe he decided to abdicate His powers and chill out?

    The order in the world is self-evident. I don't even need to argue for it. If you cannot see it, than you are blinding yourself.
    Well, I'll be charitable and assume our definitions of the word "order" differ. But, whatever your definition the perception of order lies with the perceiver, so I'm inclined not to call you out on anything other than your view that some ultimate truth has been made available to you and that those who cannot see this are blind. I doubt if your vision in these matters is any better than the next man.

    One last thought. Think about human relationships. Do you want someone to love you and to do good acts for you out of no self-concern? Personally I rather be in a relationship with someone who does good acts for me not only because it is the loving thing to do, but because she finds happiness in doing them for me.
    How can you tell? Really?

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