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  1. #41
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    If you say don't go over the fence you put into the mind the concept that one CAN go over the fence
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  2. #42
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    Yeah.....on that note I think I'll delete my previous post. My apologies folks!

  3. #43
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    I come more and more to the conclusion that religious belief, or lack thereof, is something that takes place long before all concious considerations. It's not really a decision. You can't argue someone into faith (if taken seriously), and you also cannot argue someone out of it.

    I also get the impression that when it comes to the very basis of faith, the mindsets of believers and non-believers are almost impossible to understand for the other one. You can only go so far trying to (intellectually) understand other people, but I'll never truly understand what it feels to 'believe', and someone who believes probably has troubles to accept that it's not because I haven't found my own personal way yet or believe in the wrong things etc. etc.; it's because I find that the very concept of religious belief is fundamentally alien to me.

    I think you either belief, or you don't. It's as simple and as complex as that.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

    -τὸ γὰρ γράμμα ἀποκτέννει, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ζῳοποιεῖ-

  4. #44
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    Why believe in Christianity???
    It humbles me.

  5. #45
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
    I come more and more to the conclusion that religious belief, or lack thereof, is something that takes place long before all concious considerations. It's not really a decision. You can't argue someone into faith (if taken seriously), and you also cannot argue someone out of it.

    I also get the impression that when it comes to the very basis of faith, the mindsets of believers and non-believers are almost impossible to understand for the other one. You can only go so far trying to (intellectually) understand other people, but I'll never truly understand what it feels to 'believe', and someone who believes probably has troubles to accept that it's not because I haven't found my own personal way yet or believe in the wrong things etc. etc.; it's because I find that the very concept of religious belief is fundamentally alien to me.

    I think you either belief, or you don't. It's as simple and as complex as that.
    It's quite nice. I think it feels like you're sure of your existential security, so your mind is free to pursue other goals. (It feels) like being in love with the world around you.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  6. #46
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88reconcile88 View Post
    I was thinking, how can I go to church and obey specific commands, rituals, teachings etc... When there is tons of religions out there who all have different commands, rituals, teachings etc... And each different religion believes that their religion is the unquestionable truth and everyone else's religion is false. Now obviously ( no logically) not all of the existing religions can be true at the same time. Does each believer think that their religion is correct, and that obeying will bring them peace? If one is right, then the others are wrong.
    Consider your average person who has a family - spouse, kids, siblings, parents, whatever. He loves and respects them, supports them, trusts them, is true to them above all others. How can he do that when there are so many other families out there who all have different customs, rules, traditions, etc.? Religion is a bit like this, except families don't usually go around claiming that theirs is better than everyone elses, and indeed the only true family in town. Religions often do. You can put your family, or your faith, first without putting down everyone else's.

    As for the rest, many have already addressed it. Not all religions claim to have the only truth. Yes, all religions are in essence true, though along the lines of Lark's comments, some make it harder to get to "the answer" than others. Many of these impediments, though, are more cultural than theological.

    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    What if they are all true simultaneously?
    They are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd Girl View Post
    How does one objectively discuss religious faith? (Something which is, by definition, impossible to view objectively.)
    Faith is not, by definition, impossible to analyze objectively, but that objective analysis will only go so far. Then it runs into values and other subjective considerations. The objective analysis entails considering the claims religions make, evaluating them against their own standards for internal consistency, and comparing them with objective reality. Many religions unnecessarily attempt to make objective claims which can in no way be supported. This just makes their adherants look foolish and willfully ignorant. It is usually in the subjective claims and their interpretation that the real universal truths are to be found.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Jennifer, can you discuss that in more detail? All of the variants of Christianity I'm aware of are pretty clear on their assertion that all the other variants are wrong and either will not be saved or will go to Hell, depending upon their belief system.

    How can you be an actual Christian (rather than simply a deist or pantheist who thinks Christ a.) probably existed and b.) was a good guy) and still believe that, say, a Buddhist will also be "saved"? Do you consider "salvation" synonymous with "enlightenment"?
    By the highlighted do you mean that each Christian denomination believes the other Christian denominations are wrong, or that each believes non-Christians are wrong? I have not seen much of the former, with the exception that some Protestant denominations say Catholics are not Christian. Many more are likely to espouse the latter. This is required only if one takes a literal view of the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    From serious study of all the world religions I have thought this for some time, it is possible that God has spoken in as many ways as there are peoples and languages and dialects.

    On the other hand I do think that religion is like mathematics, its possible to get the right answer but the working out is wrong, its possible to get near to the right answer with different working out too but in the end there's only one right answer.
    Remarkable. You have hit the nail on the head with the highlighted. But in math there is often more than one correct way to get the right answer. An incorrect way, after all, would get that answer only by luck. I prefer the analogy of there being many paths up the mountain, though all will reach the same summit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Because you believe it is right and good to evangelize the entire earth to stop believing in any "wrong" or "inferior" heathen pagan religion that suggests there are goddesses as well as gods, or that the force of the universe is a balance between feminine and masculine energy. Because you want to stop all social programs that don't punish women for being unmarried and not subject to a man.
    Genesis 1:27 (New International Version): "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." To overlook the feminine divine is to deny half of the image of God, even by Biblical standards.

    So finally, @ the OP: Why believe in Christianity? Because it speaks to you, inspires you, and helps you become a better person. (If something else does all this for you, believe in it instead.)
    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...

  7. #47
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    The first question we ask of a work of art is, does it work? In other words, does this particular work of art succeed in suspending my disbelief. And some do, and some don't.

    It is exactly the same with religion. For some, Christianity suspends disbelief, but Zeus or Poseidon don't succeed in suspending disbelief.

    And for some, Islam suspends disbelief but Hinduism does not succeed in suspending disbelief.

    For some, Mormonism succeeds in suspending disbelief, but for these same people Scientology does not succeed in suspending disbelief.

    So the interesting question is not about a particular religion or work or art, but the interesting question is, how do we suspend disbelief?

  8. #48
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Hatter View Post
    I come more and more to the conclusion that religious belief, or lack thereof, is something that takes place long before all concious considerations. It's not really a decision. You can't argue someone into faith (if taken seriously), and you also cannot argue someone out of it.

    I also get the impression that when it comes to the very basis of faith, the mindsets of believers and non-believers are almost impossible to understand for the other one. You can only go so far trying to (intellectually) understand other people, but I'll never truly understand what it feels to 'believe', and someone who believes probably has troubles to accept that it's not because I haven't found my own personal way yet or believe in the wrong things etc. etc.; it's because I find that the very concept of religious belief is fundamentally alien to me.

    I think you either belief, or you don't. It's as simple and as complex as that.
    Those are very good points and I couldn't agree more. Well said.
    I'm never wrong, I'm just sometimes less right

  9. #49
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    @Coriolis, that's exactly what I feel like it is! An incitation to war! My tribe is better (and thus more deserving of resources) than your tribe. This is why I have trouble with atheists as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The first question we ask of a work of art is, does it work? In other words, does this particular work of art succeed in suspending my disbelief. And some do, and some don't.

    It is exactly the same with religion. For some, Christianity suspends disbelief, but Zeus or Poseidon don't succeed in suspending disbelief.

    And for some, Islam suspends disbelief but Hinduism does not succeed in suspending disbelief.

    For some, Mormonism succeeds in suspending disbelief, but for these same people Scientology does not succeed in suspending disbelief.

    So the interesting question is not about a particular religion or work or art, but the interesting question is, how do we suspend disbelief?
    By relating to all and seeing the similarities.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  10. #50
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post
    My tribe is better (and thus more deserving of resources) than your tribe. This is why I have trouble with atheists as well.


    Because your tribe is better than theirs, or because they say theirs is better than yours?

    Please consider. :p
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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