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View Poll Results: What Religion Do You Practice/Not Practice and Why?

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  • I'm an atheist

    36 27.48%
  • I'm agnostic

    25 19.08%
  • Buddhism

    6 4.58%
  • Hinduism

    1 0.76%
  • Islam

    2 1.53%
  • Christianity

    39 29.77%
  • Other

    22 16.79%
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  1. #91
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    i wasn't going to respond in here, but i was tagged, so i guess i will.

    i have a really hard time with the concept of 'religion.'

    i'm one of those people @Lark talked about, who's all for the spiritual. spiritually, i identify as Christian. i believe in Jesus and the holy spirit and God the father. funnily enough, Jesus taught about abolishing 'the old way' aka, all the religious rituals and hard legalistic rules that were being practiced, and being led by the spirit of God which is Love. so that fact that it's even considered a religion seems contrary to me.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  2. #92
    Senior Member Rambling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    Mindless ritual is mindless in that it puts to sleep the critical mind and wakens the imaginative mind.

    The imaginative mind has great depth. And as we go deeper, we discover more and more. We discover rooms within rooms, within rooms, within rooms, until at the deepest level, imagination becomes reality.

    And when imagination becomes reality, we enter a space that must be protected, so we call it sacred.

    And sacred space is protected by sacraments.

    @Rambling
    Indeed those may be very true statements about your experience of ritual, and I certainly do not deny the power of ritual - it is certainly at the least a scaffolding structure by which the soul of man can reach into spirituality...but I was discussing Christ from the gospels, which you do not quote, since the rooms verse is not quite what you say, since Jesus was talking about His Father's House, not ritual at that point in John 14.

    I do not think ritual *is* ultimately the fire of Christ Himself. Of course it may have a purpose of being a diving board from which a connection is attempted. But Jesus taught that He in coming down gives life to the world, not that humans can ascend to the throne of God through their own efforts. The veil of the temple was torn top downwards...not bottom upwards...if you wish for an explanation which uses images.

    The doctrine of the Eucharist was from Pope Innocent in AD 1215...before that time it was treated and discussed in a different way.

    I have every intention of using every part of my mind in seeking to follow Christ...I do not think He has ever called me to put my mind to sleep in any way; but rather to wake up and use intentional and intelligent love to serve Him in the way He calls me to act. You sound like you are trusting the leader of your service - what if he or she is incorrect in their doctrine or in love? Would you not notice?


  3. #93
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I'm not sure Mole ever attends a service.
    Some of us are discussing this abstractly, not describing our own particular ways of doing or not doing things.

    So how do you follow Christ? You're speaking of things as "givens" where in reality you're believing in a specific depiction of god that can't be shown to be true, in your own interpretation of what you think it means to follow that depiction of god, referencing doctrine that is just as arbitrary and handed to you as the truth.

    So I think it's good that you are holding in your mind the sense of "keeping your mind awake" and trying not just to go through motions; at the same time, the fact you seem to be participating in a doctrinal set that was handed down to you by others and using it as the parameters of your life and behavior is in a sense "not using your mind" to filter the world around you and come up with your own intepretation. When you use the phrase "keeping your mind awake," it means something different to you than it does to those who start from scratch rather than taking a certain set of doctrines as a foundation for your beliefs.

    I think it's important to keep that in mind, because it explains some of the disagreement. You might find value in that set of handed-down doctrines that you have decided to follow, which is fine; but if you don't acknowledge the nature of that being a choice versus something proven and self-obvious, then it's a different use of the mental faculty.
    "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

  4. #94
    Senior Member Rambling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not sure Mole ever attends a service.
    Some of us are discussing this abstractly, not describing our own particular ways of doing or not doing things.

    So how do you follow Christ? You're speaking of things as "givens" where in reality you're believing in a specific depiction of god that can't be shown to be true, in your own interpretation of what you think it means to follow that depiction of god, referencing doctrine that is just as arbitrary and handed to you as the truth.

    So I think it's good that you are holding in your mind the sense of "keeping your mind awake" and trying not just to go through motions; at the same time, the fact you seem to be participating in a doctrinal set that was handed down to you by others and using it as the parameters of your life and behavior is in a sense "not using your mind" to filter the world around you and come up with your own intepretation. When you use the phrase "keeping your mind awake," it means something different to you than it does to those who start from scratch rather than taking a certain set of doctrines as a foundation for your beliefs.

    I think it's important to keep that in mind, because it explains some of the disagreement. You might find value in that set of handed-down doctrines that you have decided to follow, which is fine; but if you don't acknowledge the nature of that being a choice versus something proven and self-obvious, then it's a different use of the mental faculty.
    If you are not describing what you actually do, but discussing abstractly, then you are not answering the thread question which was about what you *practise* and why.

    Laying that aside, I took the bible as a guide to life when I was fifteen and attempted from scratch to discover which parts of it worked in practice in my own life and which parts did not. I won't bore everyone with the details but it was and *is* proved to be true in my lived experience.

    I note that such evidence is personal to me; if another person were to attempt the experiment it would be personal evidence to them. However to me this evidence carries more weight than the lack of it would do.

    There is as I noted already plenty of historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. It makes sense to me to follow someone who has solved the problem of death...even if that makes my life here more complicated or difficult at times. I prefer solid historical foundations to developing my own pick and mix spirituality...but I test it out, I have not swallowed a bunch of handed down traditions or beliefs or doctrines without thinking...

    G.K. Chesterton — 'The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.'

  5. #95
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambling View Post
    There is as I noted already plenty of historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. It makes sense to me to follow someone who has solved the problem of death...even if that makes my life here more complicated or difficult at times. I prefer solid historical foundations to developing my own pick and mix spirituality...but I test it out, I have not swallowed a bunch of handed down traditions or beliefs or doctrines without thinking...

    G.K. Chesterton — 'The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.'
    Quoting Chesterton is irrelevant here. I'm well aware of my own degree of sincerity and how much I sacrificed and invested in that exploration (which is still always ongoing even after four decades). I'm also well aware of why I stepped outside that fold: It was an act of courage based on preserving my own intellectual integrity, and by choosing to live honestly, I lost a community and life I had invested in for many many years. It cost me dearly.

    There is not "historical evidence" for Jesus' resurrection, as much as we have no real record of the specifics of Jesus' life except the religious books themselves under scrutiny. Yes, MacArthur and Strobel and those guys always step in and make arguments from authority or use some twist of logic to suggest their beliefs are more reasonable; but in the end there's not the hard evidence you're claiming.

    (I don't have nearly the issue if you just say the idea of God being willing to die for you so you can live, even if you don't deserve it, is hugely inspiring to you. There's nothing wrong to invest in a faith that inspires and motivates you and embodies your values. But as soon as people start suggesting "historical evidence" broadly, that then brings the argument to, "Well, if you just look at the evidence you'll believe like I do," and well, here we are.)

    What do you mean by someone who has "solved the problem of death"? Again, that's just a doctrinal belief, and various religions would make that claim; you can't actually produce anything that adds any specificity to what the problem is or how it was solved. And there are various beliefs I could hold that allow me to resolve anxiety over death. Yet to me, believing something doesn't necessarily make it true. Death is a painful issue to deal with and necessarily ambiguous; I find Merton more comforting in that regard, in terms of being honest about the ambiguities. But everyone has to come to terms with death. It's not really a "problem to solve," it's a reality to be faced.

    Anyway, I don't want to get into a detailed argument over beliefs here, which is more than the thread was meant to handle, although at the same time it's hard to have a thread like this where there's not a bit of bumping heads. In the end, these are just basically my broad reflections on the matter.
    "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
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  6. #96
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambling View Post
    I took the bible as a guide to life
    The printing press was invented in 1440 and the first book printed and distributed was the Bible. So before the printed Bible we lived in a spoken culture, and even the Bible in manuscript was read out aloud in church. After the first printed Bible we started to develop a literate as opposed to a spoken culture.

    And our new literate culture we valued what could be seen, we valued a rational rather than an metaphorical interpretation of the Bible. We read the Bible alone for the first time and came to value personal testimony.

    So before 1440 we lived in a spoken culture called Catholicism, and after 1440 we started to live in a literate culture called Protestantism. And now we are all Protestants.

    Except in 1840 the game changed again and we invented the electric telegraph, leading to the telephone, the wireless radio, the television, the computer and at the internet. And as I write we are moving from a literate culture to an electronic culture. And the literate culture is now the content of the electronic culture.

    The new electronic culture is quite like the traditional spoken culture that we lived in for 200,000 years.

    So for 200,000 years we lived in a spoken culture, then for about 400 years we lived in a literate culture, and now we are living in an electronic culture quite like the traditional spoken culture.

    And the new electronic culture is metaphorical just like the old spoken culture.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I'm not sure Mole ever attends a service.
    It was only last Sunday I attended a service at Saint Christopher's Cathedral, Manuka, Canberra.

    The service still had the remnants of the age-old spoken culture overlaid with literate Protestantism.

    I notice they are still reeling from the revelations before the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse. And I notice they do not realise what a treasure trove they have remaining from the old spoken culture.

    They have a treasure trove from the traditional spoken culture that is ideally suited for the electronic age. But they are still in thrall to literate Protestantism and it is going to take them a while to realise the cultural riches of millennia that will find their home in the new electronic culture.

  8. #98
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    ^^ I sit corrected.

    Carry on.
    "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

  9. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    If only this were true, but the nine year Irish National Judicial Enquiry into child abuse found that the child abuse was committed, aided and abeted, and covered up by an international institution.

    And as I write Australia is conducting a Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse, and listening to the public evidence it is highly likely the Royal Commission will also find the same international institution committed, aided and abeted, and covered up child abuse.
    Well, pedantically you are correct. But my point was that there is nothing inherent in Catholicism that causes people to do wrong; rather, people choose to do wrong and happen to be Catholic. Any position of power or influence gives one the opportunity to do evil; but those positions don't cause people to do evil. When Stalin killed millions of his own people, was it because something about being the leader of Russia inevitably results in evil, or because he was an evil man? If you choose the former, as you have, it's a rather intractable problem. The world needs leaders, and there will always be positions of power and influence. If people are powerless to resist temptation, where does that leave us? I prefer not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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    /Nohari
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  10. #100
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    My sister was told "no processed foods--no 'white' foods" which she took to mean 'wheat bread instead of white, no junk foods, no potatoes either' in her diet she was given by her doctor. I challenged her and said, "potatoes are not junk food nor are they processed at all... So why do potatoes rank up there with donuts? And isn't flour processed the same way regardless of if it's wheat or white?" and she had no answers to give me. Without any science laying the foundation, the rules that really seemed clear to her were suddenly arbitrary and .. well.. stupid.

    A lot of debate, science and evidence based practice, and even more personal opinion based on personal experience all went into answering my question after that. And the personal experience was necessary.. She knew onions were a good-for-her food and don't require banning despite clearly falling under the 'white' umbrella and this diet saying she shouldn't eat them. Sugar was a bigger criminal in her diet than potatoes. She feels better when she gets to eat whatever she wants at least two times a week, and she knows her weakness is sweets and prepackaged foods. Even so, she can still follow the diet knowing those things aren't really true and see if the diet works for her or not and try to reason why as she goes.

    If I were to replace such a simple thing with a more complex issue like killing a person... While society can account for debate (via court rulings and sentencing), and evidence based practice (with laws and what's generally acceptable and what studies are showing and if those studies are valid or not), only the person can fill the void of the last bit. Is there ever a time it's okay to kill another human truly and absolutely? It's a question only people can answer and the answer is subjective to whatever society agrees upon. Having society on the same page generally is beneficial to everyone.. and religion is a great unity tool. Even if the message is stupid in some sections (like women can't teach and should be silent) the bigger over-reaching messages (Jesus's story of the fish and bread shows he accepted EVERYONE who was there and fed them, regardless of if they were douchebags or nice people, and thus people should accept others and help without judgment) are not invalidated by the writings of humans in times long ago where saying those things was okay in society at the time.
    That anecdote about your sister is a great analogy.

    I guess I can accept as a fact of the human condition that some people need structure to be handed down to them, and don't want to think about the details. But at the same time, I find this fact terrifying. When it's just a diet -- okay, whatever, a person is only making her own life duller by following the letter of the law without question, so to speak. But when one is making decisions that affect others, this attitude is responsible for holding society back. For example, I know a generally wonderful religious woman who objected to virtually everything a particular politician stood for, except one particular thing. But because this one particular thing is a huge moral hangup for her congregation, she helped vote him into the office of the POTUS. And despite all the death and stupidity he caused, she did it again four years later!

    It's infuriating, and awfully depressing.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    Wicca has some... writings that are considered fairly standard. No big Bible-esque thing, the idea is to create your own (commonly called a book of shadows) masterpiece filled with your experiences, ideas, spells (what wiccans call prayer), and encounters. Sometimes people mooch off of other books because they have wiser words or they're just too young to have experience truly yet or.. simply want to experience things from another person's perspective. Nothing wrong with that.
    Sounds great, thanks for the info!

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I take issue with Buddhism because while zen is enlightenment and all of that is cool sounding or whatever... it seems like the way to get there is to lack spirit and zeal in things. I just can't vibe with a message that doesn't emphasize the richness one gets from competition, challenge, and feeling things intensely both good and bad. Taken slightly wrong, the message can quickly turn into 'be apathetic about everything and you won't care enough to suffer anymore.'
    Fair enough. I wrote a paper on Buddhism about a couple years ago, and it is a...spartan philosophy/faith, in a way. I once heard a Buddhist monk comment on his love for playing soccer, and how this seemed to contradict Buddha's teachings. He said something like "As Jesus knows that Christians are not perfect, Buddha knows that I am not perfect, and accepts my pastime for what it is." But still, not for everyone.

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