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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. #281
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Guess you haven't been looking at the middle east enough.
    . . . where most of the victims have been other Muslims.
    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...

  2. #282
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Guess you haven't been looking at the middle east enough.
    It probably is easier to deal with differences of opinion by imagining those opinions different from your own are a result of ignorance. So long as that works for you and you're satisfied with that I suppose you're unlikely to think any differently. Good luck with that.

  3. #283
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riva View Post
    @Coriolis, @Evee, @Fluffywolf, @kyuuei, @msg_v2

    Please tell me what other gods you worship. Don't bore me by saying that you are an agnostic. Please accept my apologies if you have already mentioned this and I have missed it.
    While I recognize agnosticism as the only logically defensible perspective, I have personal belief in deity. To me, deity is a unitary but infinitely multifaceted concept, such that humanity's various gods and pantheons are just representations of the same divine entity. People relate to different facets, and this can change over time as well, much as a man who is an instructor to you might be a brother to me; and much as your instructor might later become your colleague.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    It probably is easier to deal with differences of opinion by imagining those opinions different from your own are a result of ignorance. So long as that works for you and you're satisfied with that I suppose you're unlikely to think any differently. Good luck with that.
    I find quite often that those differences of opinion are in fact based on ignorance. This may be partly a result of the fact that I hesitate to form strong opinions on topics on which I have little knowledge. This seems to have little bearing on my luck, which is more a result of my own research and preparedness, but I can't say the same for the holders of the ignorant opinions.
    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...

  4. #284
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I find quite often that those differences of opinion are in fact based on ignorance. This may be partly a result of the fact that I hesitate to form strong opinions on topics on which I have little knowledge. This seems to have little bearing on my luck, which is more a result of my own research and preparedness, but I can't say the same for the holders of the ignorant opinions.
    I'm sorry that's been your experience, I wouldnt let it colour your opinion of everyone though.

    If you are going to assume or attribute ignorance on the part of someone you are discussing a topic with why bother engaging in a discussion with them at all?

    I'm never that sure about people I discuss things with until they demonstrate otherwise, given an opportunity they'll generally do so quickly, repeatedly, leave the evidence for most everyone to see.

  5. #285
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Like most of my ilk I practice no recognisable religion, more I accept the world around me whilst waiting for the explanation to reveal itself.

    I hold myself and myself alone accountable for my ethics, I blame no external authority corporeal or otherwise.

    I believe in what I think unless I am given reason to doubt it but once given reason I will interrogate it rigorously.

    Why I got to this point is a longer and more involved piece of thinking and one that may offend those who do feel belonging to a religion but hopefully not to those of a simpler faith. If you read on you do so of your own accord and I will hold you as accountable for your decision regarding this as I would myself.


    Something which made sense to me and took me further from organised religion
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogma (1999)
    Rufus: He still digs humanity, but it bothers Him to see the shit that gets carried out in His name - wars, bigotry, televangelism. But especially the factioning of all the religions. He said humanity took a good idea and, like always, built a belief structure on it.
    Bethany: Having beliefs isn't good?
    Rufus: I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier...
    A quote for those who believe they have the "truth"..
    (Yes it's from a TV series but the idea holds weight beyond the medium I first found it in)
    Quote Originally Posted by Babylon 5: Meditations on the Abyss (#5.14)" (1998)
    G'Kar: If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth, for understanding. Too often we assume that the light on the wall is God. But the light is not the goal of the search; it is the result of the search. The more intense the search, the brighter the light on the wall. The brighter the light on the wall, the greater the sense of revelation upon seeing it! Similarly, someone who does not search, who does not bring a lantern with him, sees nothing. What we perceive as God, is the byproduct of our search for God. It may simply be an appreciation of the light, pure and unblemished, not understanding that it comes from us. Sometimes we stand in front of the light and assume that we are the center of the universe. God looks astonishingly like we do! Or we turn to look at our shadow, and assume that all is darkness. If we allow ourselves to get in the way, we defeat the purpose; which is to use the light of our search to illuminate the wall in all its beauty - and in all its flaws. And in so doing better understand the world around us.
    The piece from Babylon 5 probably best sums up my position on faith and what I practice. I try to shine the light and look for information whilst constantly checking that I'm not getting in the way.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #286
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Wasn't there a big thing at one point that Jesus was more likely to be black?
    I think it was Jesus being Middle Eastern, due to he and Jerusalem being in well...the Middle East.

    Also yes, Dogma is such a fun movie! George Carlin as a priest and Chris Rock as a disciple...

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    The piece from Babylon 5 probably best sums up my position on faith and what I practice. I try to shine the light and look for information whilst constantly checking that I'm not getting in the way.
    I like that quote, and I feel like it could be used in an even wider metaphor to illustrate the distinction between...hm, atheism and agnosticism? Or spirituality and I'm-not-even-spiritual?

    Anyhow, one -ism is actively searching for something with their lamp, while the other -ism is happy to be in the dark, confident that any grand Truth will surely make itself known with or without a search. (Also, we have cat-vision. )

  7. #287
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    It probably is easier to deal with differences of opinion by imagining those opinions different from your own are a result of ignorance. So long as that works for you and you're satisfied with that I suppose you're unlikely to think any differently. Good luck with that.
    Though it might appear that I am implying your ignorant on this, that's not the case. I'm fairly certain you're aware of the strife in the middle east. Pretty everyone does and you'd have to be living under a rock not to notice it. Thus, I made the assumption that you're aware. I just found the statement to be completely silly which is why I said what I said in a sarcastic like manner.

    The fact of the matter is, if you announce your disagreement or rejection of Islam in parts of the middle east, you are indeed putting your life at risk. In some areas this is belief is punishable by death.
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  8. #288
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm sorry that's been your experience, I wouldnt let it colour your opinion of everyone though.

    If you are going to assume or attribute ignorance on the part of someone you are discussing a topic with why bother engaging in a discussion with them at all?

    I'm never that sure about people I discuss things with until they demonstrate otherwise, given an opportunity they'll generally do so quickly, repeatedly, leave the evidence for most everyone to see.
    I don't consider someone ignorant of a topic until they do in fact demonstrate it. Why discuss something with an ignorant person? Everything I know, at some point I did not know. I learned it somehow, often through discourse with someone more knowledgeable than I. If the other person is ignorant, I can share what I know with them. If it turns out I am ignorant on the topic, I can learn from them. Not bothering to discuss is a recipe for perpetuating our collective ignorance.

    @Xander: I agree with most of what you wrote, and have long avoided organized religion for similar reasons. It is interesting how your quote uses light as a metaphor. As I read it, light is not the result of your search either, but rather a tool you use in conducting it. You could use other tools instead or in addition. What the light shows you is the result, but of course you will find only what is available in the area of your search.

    I have never envied people of simple faith. To me, that was just one small step away from blissful ignorance. I don't look down on people just for not sharing my faith, though. If I look down on anyone, it is on people who don't understand their own faith, who can't explain it in any rational or coherent manner, and who don't even bother to think about it and question it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    Though it might appear that I am implying your ignorant on this, that's not the case. I'm fairly certain you're aware of the strife in the middle east. Pretty everyone does and you'd have to be living under a rock not to notice it. Thus, I made the assumption that you're aware. I just found the statement to be completely silly which is why I said what I said in a sarcastic like manner.
    One can be aware of an ongoing situation, but remain ignorant of its causes and precise nature. Many westerners who attempt to analyze the situation in the middle east fall into this category, though I am not specifying Lark among them.
    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...

  9. #289
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    I like that quote, and I feel like it could be used in an even wider metaphor to illustrate the distinction between...hm, atheism and agnosticism? Or spirituality and I'm-not-even-spiritual?

    Anyhow, one -ism is actively searching for something with their lamp, while the other -ism is happy to be in the dark, confident that any grand Truth will surely make itself known with or without a search. (Also, we have cat-vision. )
    I'm not sure about all these isms.. I tend to think of myself as neither an ism believer nor an ist. I'm kinda anti ist, well anti strong views which don't stem from a good set of principles.

    Can we not have one of these groups that just "Oh you sit in the middle and wait to see who's got good points"? I could go for that one.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #290
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    @Xander: I agree with most of what you wrote, and have long avoided organized religion for similar reasons.
    Odd, most people at least give me a small kicking for being anti church.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    It is interesting how your quote uses light as a metaphor. As I read it, light is not the result of your search either, but rather a tool you use in conducting it. You could use other tools instead or in addition. What the light shows you is the result, but of course you will find only what is available in the area of your search.
    It also leads my mind to recall the idea that you should be careful when you set out to look for something that you don't just find exactly the way you expect because you're only looking for affirming data.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I have never envied people of simple faith. To me, that was just one small step away from blissful ignorance. I don't look down on people just for not sharing my faith, though. If I look down on anyone, it is on people who don't understand their own faith, who can't explain it in any rational or coherent manner, and who don't even bother to think about it and question it.
    Whilst I see your point I liken it to one person trying to validate their choice of a bag which is totally unsuited to the task of carrying items without crippling the carrier as compared to someone who simply states "I just like it". There's a simple honesty to the latter whilst the former comes across as desperate grasping for validation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    One can be aware of an ongoing situation, but remain ignorant of its causes and precise nature. Many westerners who attempt to analyze the situation in the middle east fall into this category, though I am not specifying Lark among them.
    A logical error in fact, to believe that the result can be easily tied to the cause.

    Though I have to wonder if many of these "complicated issues" are not simple issues where the parties involved just want to keep disagreeing so they feel like they can score points.

    Always seems to smack of a lack of an answer to the question "how much is enough?".
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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