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  1. #41
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    To start off- I'm not intentionally anti-religious by any means- I grew up with a mother who loved to go to church and has the pleasant and gentle view that God's there for us whether we want him to be or not, and he loves us all equally. This should have been a good grounds to feeling SOMETHING towards God, I'd think, but apparently it wasn't

    To make it more confusing, I even spent 4 months living in a convent as part of a room and board package once... they were cool nuns, they loved humanity in general and had such an optimistic and non-judgemental attitude towards it. They really DID put their faith into good works to help the poor, the sick, the un-spoken... even if the people in question weren't even Christian- they were wonderful people, but I still didn't FEEL anything

    I've gone to various different types of churches- I've been to temple several times, I have gone to mosque on several occasions, to a few pagan celebrations... I've studied Hinduism, Buddhism and have even attended a Ba'hai service and still I don't feel that I fit...

    What's up with this God fellow and why does he taunt me so?

    I would LOVE to beleive in something, have a community of a sort and have that feeling of safety, calm and acceptance that people can find with religion but it just doesn't click. Part of this is because I feel that who I AM doesn't quite jive correctly with a lot of religions- for some I'm too exhuberant and fascinated by sensory experiences, for some I am an evil sinful harlot... and I can't stand the idea of a religion that would send anyone to Hell... if I couldn't do it I sure as hell don't want to beleive in a God who would

    And it's not that I'm an atheist either- I beleive in something- just the thought that I can't quite put my finger on it really bugs me... religions fascinate me, I love reading about them, but I can't manage to fit in

    What sort of sick bastard of a deity would do that to a person?
    Well, I'd say that your epistemological preferences aren't doing you any favors. If you're looking to know that God exists through a feeling, then I think you're going to be disappointed in your quest to know God. Even if you had this feeling, how would you know that God existed? Perhaps the feeling was caused by the mushrooms in your salad, or perhaps you unknowingly ingested some LSD, or... etc.

    Feelings are neither true nor false. It is the interpretation of a feeling that is either true or false. Feelings lack cognitive content, but propositions, (e.g., "God exists"), have cognitive content.

    If I were you, I'd focus on this:

    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    And it's not that I'm an atheist either- I beleive in something- just the thought that I can't quite put my finger on it really bugs me... religions fascinate me, I love reading about them, but I can't manage to fit in
    Continue to work on clarifying what you believe. Once you can put your finger on it, you can look to see if anyone else sees the world the way you do, for it is those who believe as you believe who will be your friends and the members of your community; y'all will share the deepest values and will be able to work together in order to promote those values, thus enriching your lives.

    Now, does God hate you? I don't know. Do you hate God?

  2. #42
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its not so much a case of being punitive or eager to make people feel the consequences of their actions, the reality is simply that there ARE consequences. For instance do you blame God or Gravity if you walk off a cliff and die?
    As Sim says, the question is, "Is hell real?" Sure, there are ramifications to everything (cause and effect), but is hell real, and is it actually one of them?

    (This is what I dislike about much religious discussion -- too many things are assumed.)

    About all we can observe is the living hell that people go through with addictions, as you say, Lark. But an actual hell? Who knows?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #43
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Katsuni... you said what I think about Bible God... it's like when Stewie Griffen said "I love God, he's so deliciously evil!"... I have issues with Christianity in a way because it doesn't really make sense to me... and I've had a good 18 years of sunday school, bible school and having to read the bible to ponder that

    AO... I don't think you get my point

    durentu- actually, I'm not really interested in being religious in the perspective in which I was brought up in it... it didn't make sense to me so it didn't resonate- which probably explains why I have a long history of reading books on science during church and quit going once I moved out I was actually lent a copy of the I Ching by a nun and found it to be somehow a lot more calming than anything that I had read in the Bible- the sense of balance... almost a stillness, which is something I need to learn and want to embrace in a way... however, living in central Indiana kind of limits one's resources on other religions

    Lark, you just reminded me of another reason why I really am discomforted by the Bible- the idea of predestination... Judas being destined to tell on Jesus and then sent to hell?! That's downright mean! And I guess the point that I didn't agree with the cultural filters I grew up around isn't much help either

    to gromit- I want a sense of calm somewhere... otherwise I'm going to start eating the paint on the walls soon or something

    DiscoBiscut... you definitley have a point- T and beleif aren't mutually exclusive- one of the most strongly spiritual people I know is an ENTP...

    Orobas- I like the concepts of the eastern religions in a lot of ways more than the western ones in a way- that things like knowlege are included has always made me happy ... and you're right- the more "heavy" religious exposure in youth, the more fun it seems to zap out of it if it doesn't connect in a way
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  4. #44
    Ginkgo
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    Do you love yourself, whatever?

  5. #45
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    She's a TP; don't expect much Fi. I feel like this argument has really missed the point. The arguments for Hell, God, etc. being illogical are intended to show inductively that there is a very low probability that Hell even exists in the first place. Your argument seems to work only for people who already believe in Hell but are complaining that it's unfair.

    So when people point out how nonsensical the idea of Hell really is, telling them, "It doesn't matter if it's illogical because it's real and them's the facts yo" doesn't really contribute anything meaningful because you've failed to show compelling evidence that Hell exists at all, and reason points to a high probability that it doesn't.
    I was replying to the original poster who seemed to be suggesting it was unfair and why would you believe in a God which would create it or permit its existence.

    Anyway, some of the depictions of hell and hades are absurd, although I will say that as a state of seperateness from God it can be experienced in this life or the afterlife and its a CHOICE people make, though some people deal with the consequences of that choice well, existentialism etc. are interesting.

    The it doesnt exist as opposed to its unfair is a different question, you are right about that.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    The arguments for Hell, God, etc. being illogical are intended to show inductively that there is a very low probability that Hell even exists in the first place. Your argument seems to work only for people who already believe in Hell but are complaining that it's unfair.

    So when people point out how nonsensical the idea of Hell really is, telling them, "It doesn't matter if it's illogical because it's real and them's the facts yo" doesn't really contribute anything meaningful because you've failed to show compelling evidence that Hell exists at all, and reason points to a high probability that it doesn't.
    This is only directed at the existence of God part of your argument (bolded).

    If there were compelling evidence it wouldn't be called faith... Would it?

    And without the requirement of faith, believing in a higher power would be like believing the sky is blue... Easily provable, yet not very meaningful.

    Also, your arguments are sounding more lawyerly by the minute!

    (hope all is going well)

  7. #47
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    As Sim says, the question is, "Is hell real?" Sure, there are ramifications to everything (cause and effect), but is hell real, and is it actually one of them?

    (This is what I dislike about much religious discussion -- too many things are assumed.)

    About all we can observe is the living hell that people go through with addictions, as you say, Lark. But an actual hell? Who knows?
    Well the point I was making is about assumptions too, why assume its all the actions and work of God? Whether you're talking about determinism in a this wordly sense or not.

  8. #48
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Some would argue that the fact that it bugs you that you're not feeling it means you're feeling it.
    ^^^ This.

    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    to JJJ- the fact that I don't feel a CONNECTION is what's bugging me... just going through the motions is a pretty pathetic way to look at a religion- if it doesn't resonate I can't see what the point is
    This was my thought upon reading your OP. Most everyone who believes feels this at one time or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I would say that you already see God (or whatever you want to call him/her/it) everyday, you just don't realize it.
    ^^^ This.

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    FWIW, I once had to leave a worship service because I really needed to go stand outside in the rain. I needed to feel God out there, not in a stuffy building singing stupid songs. I imagine if anyone realized what I was doing they must have thought I was a complete kook. Maybe rightfully so.
    Nope, not a kook.


    It took me a long while to find my own connection to God. It's rather personal, not easily shared, and definitely not suitable for evangelization. At most, I want how I live to be an example, and perhaps others might find their own way via that example.

    Here is a short path. It may not be your path, but it is -a- path.

    God made us in His image, or so it is said. I don't take that to mean that God looks human, but rather that our insides, our spirit, is like his. We have within us a divine spark, that is part of Him. (One can almost imagine Carl Sagan saying, "We are made of star stuff," at this point.)

    More to the point, God made us to love. That is our purpose. That is the message repeated over and over. When we don't love, we hurt. There is something inside of us that just wants to love, to care, to share, and we know we are missing something when that isn't happening.

    The problem is, we ask the wrong questions. Why did God do this or that? Why is the world full of evil? Why doesn't God love me?

    Like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, wherein Deep Thought the computer determined the answer to the question of Live, the Universe and Everything to be 42, but didn't know the question ... we have the answer, but we've lost track of the question.

    Love, first. Do what you were made to do. You probably have all sorts of reasons why not. Too busy, other concerns, everyday problems getting in the way. But that's just life, and life will always "get in the way," if you let it.

    Love, first. Express it. Act on it. Be it. Connect with the divine spark in others.

    Eventually, one can connect the dots, and the dots draw a picture of God. [No, not really ... it's a metaphor ... geez. ]

    It is by the act of loving that one begins to understand how God can and does love you.

  9. #49
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Here's a nice read which you might enjoy. Very holistic, very gentle in its definition/interpretation of divinity. Living Buddha, Living Christ

    I saw it at a friend's house and read the first two-ish chapters... it was refreshing and so so so beautiful.

    Maybe one way to think of it is less like you have to follow a recipe and more like you have sort of a general idea of what you'd like for the dish and then you can select different ingredients and try different combinations until it begins to taste like something you would like to eat.

    What I'm saying is that it's okay to pick and choose as you try to figure things out. You don't have to love the whole bible, you don't have to love everything about a particular denomination. Find what is GOOD to you, no matter the source, what resonates with your core beliefs and then build from there. It's okay to say "that part doesn't make sense to me" and it's okay to say "I love that part."

    Yes, have an idea what you want/hope for but don't be afraid to let things surprise you...


    p.s. you already know this, but I think you are SO AWESOME.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  10. #50
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    and I never get the feeling of wonder and awe in the presence of a church or holy book that I do in staring at the night sky or looking at a forest... churches just seem to have taken the spirit out of religion in a way
    I actually left my last church because of that. I had the feeling that the people there tried to box me in and make me behave a certain way and somehow removed all the magic and beauty that is in God and Christianity in the process (something that you shouldn't do to an Ni+Fe user, we thrive on the sense of the mysterious). In my current church I am much happier because people are able to question and to express themselves and their gifts freely.

    A Christian book I recommend is Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller, this guy is awesome and I can completely relate to his original, questioning but still childlike approach to Christianity. Also anything by Philip Yancey is great, again he questions a lot and delves deeply into faith instead of just doing the whole "That's how it is. Full stop." thing.

    I wish you all the best on your journey. You are a beautiful soul already, whatever happens. (pun intended )

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