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  1. #61
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helios View Post
    [Adherence to religion is scarcely so benign. I can do without birthday parties, romantic relationships and clubs. Most religious believers, however, tend to predicate their entire existence on their religion; a fortiori, they are dependent on their religion for their happiness-and particularly dependent upon fellow believers and whatever grand being they've elected to worship.
    If you went and read a bit about Unitarian Universalists, you'd probably be a lot less opposed to it. The local church opens up its services with a poetry reading, or maybe a Siouxian song. It's mostly about the community experience.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    look what just crawled in...

    The interdependence of individuals is a fact of life and a healthy state of being too, attacking religion because it involves each is a bit telling about the crippled state of existence which anti-theists invite us to share in.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Helios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    look what just crawled in...

    The interdependence of individuals is a fact of life and a healthy state of being too, attacking religion because it involves each is a bit telling about the crippled state of existence which anti-theists invite us to share in.
    Are you responding to me?

  4. #64
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Like most great monotheists, Lark enjoys being unclear and talking to himself.



  5. #65
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    To me, this OP was pretty unique.. I was with Marm, Taoism was the first thing I thought of when I was reading through the OP.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  6. #66
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    Hmm..I'm agnostic..and technically I'm atheist (in the sense that I don't claim to be a theist..) but I also think it's important to at least be conscious of your spiritual side (if in fact we have one). I'm planning to "convert" to some religion that I will choose with my spouse for the benefit of our children. I grew up Catholic...so naturally Catholicism is not an option.

    I don't necessarily believe in god but I recognize his importance in society. I don't think of infinity as a number as it fails to do what numbers do. But the concept of infinity is important in math. I hope the comparison isn't lost.

    My point is...religion is nothing more than a system of thought that attempts to teach humans to be a certain way. Especially in these modern times, which religion you choose is arbitrary. The focus shouldn't be so much on "which religion" but "what the point of religion is".

  7. #67
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mkenya View Post
    Hmm..I'm agnostic..and technically I'm atheist (in the sense that I don't claim to be a theist..) but I also think it's important to at least be conscious of your spiritual side (if in fact we have one). I'm planning to "convert" to some religion that I will choose with my spouse for the benefit of our children. I grew up Catholic...so naturally Catholicism is not an option.

    I don't necessarily believe in god but I recognize his importance in society. I don't think of infinity as a number as it fails to do what numbers do. But the concept of infinity is important in math. I hope the comparison isn't lost.

    My point is...religion is nothing more than a system of thought that attempts to teach humans to be a certain way. Especially in these modern times, which religion you choose is arbitrary. The focus shouldn't be so much on "which religion" but "what the point of religion is".
    I think you pretty much nailed it in my case. Often times, with religious rituals and ceremonies I feel like alien being discovering an element of human culture I am unfamiliar with. When I was invited to a wedding, I must admit, the religious aspect of the ceremony kind of threw me off since I hadn't gone to church, and I felt quite awkward. I could understand the purpose behind the rituals, but I felt like a fish out of water. I was accustomed to nurturing my spirituality through connecting with the world around me, noting the interconnectedness of nature with the universe, and entertaining the possibility of there being a God and feeling His presence within nature and the universe... without having to go through a set of rituals to get there... I just could perceive it. I create my own meaning in life, following my own roadmap. The thing is, when people ask you what religion you are, there really isn't a label to define the type of spiritual roadmap I have, since it is based off of Christianity, but it has more of a connection with nature and the universe as well. It's a grey area, and in my scientific brain I like to classify things! LOL I'm accustomed to being able to define things... and my spirituality isn't something that can be labeled specifically.

    Finding community is one part of the equation... but the essence of my spiritual/religious question is less to do with finding a place to belong per se, but more about understanding the cultural aspects of religion in general, so then I don't seem like a cultural idiot. LOL It's worth exploring to understand what is going on.

    It can be very likely that the spiritual road that I have been on my whole life is the best for me. Hard to define exactly which religion it fits into, but I feel an immense spiritual connection to the universe around me. Understanding what different religions are about is a part of increasing knowledge of the universe and humanity. I suppose what I am actually searching for is truth, wisdom, and love, and each of these three things makes life meaningful.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    Often times, with religious rituals and ceremonies I feel like alien being discovering an element of human culture I am unfamiliar with. When I was invited to a wedding, I must admit, the religious aspect of the ceremony kind of threw me off since I hadn't gone to church, and I felt quite awkward. I could understand the purpose behind the rituals, but I felt like a fish out of water.
    That's natural. If you're not used to it, it can be quite awkward at first. You have to get used to it, and that can take some time. I speak from experience.

  9. #69
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    My personal religiosity is three ideas, 1) life & death are both inevitable, 2) everything alive is more similar than different, & 3) nothing is ever repeated. Those are the only three statements I can make that hold true for every observation I've ever had of 'life, the universe, & everything.'

    The idea of an afterlife is actually vaguely depressing to me, in that it seems like some kind of archive. Everyone is eternal, & once we die we simply go somewhere else to be stored away forever. It's a beautiful idea in that it promises eternal individual love, but in the end it's... oddly meaningless. It's far more beautiful to me to think that we're born, here for an extremely brief time & do the best we can, & then die to let other things be born.
    Last edited by FunnyDigestion; 06-29-2011 at 10:27 AM.

  10. #70
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    Lately, I have been experiencing a spiritual rebirth. For a couple years, throughout my college experience and up through my early 20s I kind of lost faith in religion in general because I disliked the tension between religions (especially after seeing religious wars and such with terrorism) and how I felt that the rules for each religion didn't quite ring home for me. Furthermore, I went through kind of an existential crisis... contemplating the existence of the afterlife, and with a background in science, I had thought that basically what happened to us when we die is that our bodies just sit there and decompose, and what keeps our spirits alive is in the hearts and minds of our relatives. The trouble is, even though this may be what reality is... something deep seated in my heart wants to be spiritual. Previously I had considered myself to be a free-spirited liberal Christian... I didn't really go to church or anything, but I still believed in God and had more of a personal connection with Him as a spiritual guide. Even when I was experiencing an existential crisis in my early 20s, I still had moments where I would pray to God... usually in times of spiritual crisis.

    The thing is, I want to belong with a group of believers that are tolerant towards others with differing spiritual views, accepting of science and the theory of evolution, allow women to make their own decisions about reproduction, allow women to be spiritual leaders, more accepting of the LGBT community, value compassion towards others and that human suffering is more of a test of faith and is caused by humanity on its own. I also feel a deep spiritual connection between other people and me... as well as a deep connection between myself and the universe and nature. I suppose I have a liberal view towards religions, because they all explain the same type of thing, just in a different perspective. This can get a bit brain boggling, especially when you see things from different angles.
    My experience has been similar, though I discarded my childhood religion for different reasons. The short response is that, if you remain patient and open to new experiences and perspectives, you will find your way, as I did and I'm sure many others have.

    The longer response is twofold. (1) You either believe something, or you don't. It doesn't work to try to make yourself believe things just because people tell you to, or you feel you should, or you are surrounded by other people who do. You will probably find it unsatisfying to participate in a religious group that proves to be at odds in any significant way with your own beliefs. To take this into account, however, you must have a clear idea of what you believe. This is what took me a long time to determine, and though I learned much from books and websites and people, I ultimately had to look within myself for the answer.

    (2) You mention being uncomfortable with religous ritual. Ritual, by nature, assumes repetition, and you may become more comfortable after participating several times. You might, on the other hand, just be attending the wrong kinds of ritual. I used to think ritual in general was worthless until I discovered ritual that was meaningful to me, ritual that I was able to influence, and that now grows deeper and more beautiful with each repetition. If you can find a church or congregation that is open to variation in individual beliefs, it then might be worth considering whether the common practice of the religion resonates with you. This, after all, is what your faith group will do when you are together.

    An aside: UU is a good suggestion, but congregations can vary considerably. I have known some that are indistinguishable from mainline protestants, and others that are practially pagan. Giggly is right: just visit around until you find the right one, and don't be surprised if your evaluation shifts and you move on again, having learned something valuable.
    Last edited by Coriolis; 06-29-2011 at 11:23 AM. Reason: word left out
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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