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  1. #21
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    @Rasofy... no, I never killed anyone but I betrayed a lot of trust and took advantage of a lot of people and I pushed people away who I shouldn't have, which are all pretty horrible

    I've changed my ways pretty dramatically, but it doesn't set things right and a lot of those people can never be apologized to... moving forward is necessary, but forgiving yourself is necessary in order to keep living with yourself

    @_Poki_ and why isn't it a fun boat with jolly rogers and gangplanks and such?

    @Nerd Girl the problem there is the fact that no matter what I've tried I just don't believe... in which case any god who would condemn me for that is an asshole who I don't believe is worth having any faith in

    @Coriolis I've learned, I've changed, I've apologized to those who I could apologize to but it can't change the past... I grew up in the rural midwest and have seen some spectacular abuses of religion by people almost akin to the mob bosses on tv who go to confession and consider themselves to be good people because they said a few prayers about the fact that they had someone killed... I still feel guilty though

    @shortnsweet I will cut him

    @Jennifer it's funny how universal the human experience is... religious people and non religious people can fall on either side of the guilt divide... despite popular belief religion has no monopoly on guilt or forgiveness I suppose

    it shouldn't effect so many aspects of life if humans are meant to keep sane though should it? how do people even get through the time period after pulling things together from being a bad person?

    @Lark perhaps believing things even may have a biological basis in a way?

    the idea that a deity would forgive you if you were genuinely sorry seems to give people some feeling of relief though, which seems unfair

    @kelric if I knew what was best for me I wouldn't be in such a quandary!

    @EvidenceOfRedemption believing just doesn't click with me despite being raised within a religion...
    I think there's a "God shaped hole" Whatever but I think that cultural distortion is enough that people are alienated by the very idea.

  2. #22
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Hmmm, your OP was interesting because I never got the impression that Christianity specifically makes forgiveness 'easy'. I attended church in middle school but I'm relatively well read on the bible and Protestant beliefs for a non-church going adult. It was always my impression and even taught in bible study etc. that...what is it? oh yeah to err is human but to forgive divine. It's actually a very difficult process for a person to grapple with which is why the analogy of Christ dying on the cross is always used. If he could do it, why can't you? And yes, guilt is a huge aspect of Christianity.

    The idea that there is order in the universe, that you were created with purpose, or that there is at least hope for compassion in the world , etc. those ideas are comforting. Religion in general can be comforting as it gives order and meaning to the world.

    At the same time, atheism works because that belief system also puts order and meaning to the world, specifically the meaning you want it to. Atheists can be extremely moral people because there is no other system to fall back on and the onus is only on you to do right by the world.

    So if that's what you mean by 'religion makes things easier' - are you struggling with the idea of embracing a religion as opposed to atheism?

    If you want to be a 'good person' and know that there is balance with the world, with or without religion, start with yourself. As for the people in the past you are now feeling guilt about, in some instances a letter (actually sent or not) helps and so does learning some lessons and acting differently in the future. Some things, especially with people who are no longer living, you will have to come to terms with on your own. And that can take a very long time.

    As for religion, I don't like mixing say Buddhism or Taoism with the Abrahmaic religions because in theory, tenet, practice, and organization, they are soooo different. If you are interested in looking further at religion or alternatives to your particular Christian upbringing, especially in regards to forgiveness and human suffering, try taking a look at Buddhism. If you want another perspective on 'order and meaning in life' look at Taoism.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  3. #23
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    To be honest, considering the issues cited in the OP I wouldnt suggest considering religion at all, not even the eastern "religions" I would suggest consider stoicism, perhaps Epicurius too, although Epicurius himself as opposed to those who interpreted his opinions.

  4. #24
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I think there's a "God shaped hole" Whatever but I think that cultural distortion is enough that people are alienated by the very idea.
    If God is everything, is Whatever a hole?
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

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  5. #25
    Senior Member EvidenceOfRedemption's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Hmmm, your OP was interesting because I never got the impression that Christianity specifically makes forgiveness 'easy'. I attended church in middle school but I'm relatively well read on the bible and Protestant beliefs for a non-church going adult. It was always my impression and even taught in bible study etc. that...what is it? oh yeah to err is human but to forgive divine. It's actually a very difficult process for a person to grapple with which is why the analogy of Christ dying on the cross is always used. If he could do it, why can't you? And yes, guilt is a huge aspect of Christianity.
    It's more about acknowledging the holiness of God, and seeing yourself in a truthful way. It leads to change, and hope, and a relationship, not guilt. Guilt is not a part of Christianity! This is often twisted in so many ways. See:

    10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

    Guilt is a form of death, a fallen form of sorrow that doesn't bring salvation. True sorrow is followed by a wise change of heart, wisdom being the fear of God, coming from the hebrew word "pachad", meaning dread.


    Here's more about the heart of God and the true nature of Christianity...

    The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

    9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


    How many people like the tax collector are snubbed at the church you go to, or have been to? It might be time to find a new one.

  6. #26
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    I don't think that religion is necessarily a cop out, but organized religion is frequently a cop out for those who don't want to digest the content of what their religion really offers. Since just about every popular idea has some venue for easy service, this isn't a good reason it dismiss religion all together, though a lot of well known people have stopped practicing simply because they felt that organized religion was too corroded to be valuable to their spiritual lives. I think it's a cop out for those who use it to deny harsh truths about how the world works. I think it's a cop out for those who would use it to stifle curiosity and a spirit for understanding alternative viewpoints.

  7. #27
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.
    I'm not really sure what the difference between "illusory happiness" and "real happiness" is, in this context.

  8. #28
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    I think that organized religion is no more a cop-out than individualized religion, why are people always coming down so hard on organized religion lately? Is it because of the horrible things organized religions have done in the past? Is it because individuals with crazy ideas are better than groups with crazy ideas? If so, why? I think that, for the most part, the bad name organized religion gets is pretty much a cop-out.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  9. #29
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    As for religion, I don't like mixing say Buddhism or Taoism with the Abrahmaic religions because in theory, tenet, practice, and organization, they are soooo different. If you are interested in looking further at religion or alternatives to your particular Christian upbringing, especially in regards to forgiveness and human suffering, try taking a look at Buddhism. If you want another perspective on 'order and meaning in life' look at Taoism.
    I would normally not recommend Tibetan Buddhism, but it might be worth checking out for some of you ex-theists. It seems that ex-xtians here like it better than other traditions(Dalai Lama is kind of like Pope, lolol);but, if you want to get into a religion that's practically dogma free, check out Buddhism in the Zen tradition(there's a few divergent lines to choose from). I like how it fits into that gray area between philosophy and religion, while avoiding any nonsensical talk of gods and claiming knowledge of what occurs beyond death. The major Buddhists traditions have tossed around a lot of weird ideas, especially about what reincarnation consists of, but I guess some people like to be told what happens after death rather than hypothesizing on their own.
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    I'm not really sure what the difference between "illusory happiness" and "real happiness" is, in this context.
    This is Karl Marx speaking. So perhaps illusory happiness is related to false consciousness.

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