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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. #81
    Senior Member Rambling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The last part there is interesting, maybe it reflects an alienation with tradition which has spread even to those who depend upon tradition or who ought to have the greatest appreciation for it.

    Jesus was a traditional Jew you know, he practiced many of the precepts, as he understood them, which is important as he had a greater understanding than many but there are Jews who have indicated that Jesus was one of many itinerant preachers, such as the Essenes or, laterly, hasidics, even some contemporaneous agnostic jewish schools of thought.

    Its all there in the sayings of Jesus himself, directly.
    Jesus was born a Jew, true. However he was directly opposed to the hypocrisy he saw in the Jewish leaders of the religion of his day, describing them as vipers, for example in Matt 12:34. He managed to offend them in Luke 4 to the point that they tried to throw him off a cliff. He intensified the situation by driving out the street traders in the Temple, the most sacred place of their religion, see Matthew 12:21 onwards and he claimed to be God Himself frequently enough (the many I am sayings in the gospel of John, for example) that the religious Jewish leaders of his day demanded his death andr the common Jewish crowd of the time said that they were happy for his blood to be upon their heads. Hardly a standard or traditional adherent of Judaism, and certainly not accepted by the Jewish religious leaders...in fact he died underneath a rather sarcastic sign labelling him as their king.

    I actually think that the practice of mindless ritual is
    1) far from Christ himself
    2) something he explicitly rejected in all its forms (try Matthew 6:7 "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again" - but this theme repeats through many variations...
    3) something which causes its adherents to think that they are safe when they are in fact not safe at all.
    4) dangerous since it leads people to avoid thinking for themselves

    However Jesus did accept, practise and indeed fulfil the old law, in the process breaking open a new way of living for those who accept him and put his words into practice. Since he is risen, it follows that it is possible to know him and live life out of his Holy Spirit. This is very different in practice from following a list of rules, since nobody can *ever* fully keep every rule. Consider Romans 7 for a fuller discussion of this point.

    There were others who claimed to be messiahs around the time of Jesus; it is perhaps noteworthy that no others succeeded in rusing from the dead.

    Much of what passes for Christianity in church buildings today is from pagan rituals introduced into Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD. There have always been Christian groups who have stayed completely out of the religious format, for example, the Moravians.

  2. #82
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    Apatheist

    I don't put any value in the idea of belief.
    You Fluffywolf - you don't put any value in the idea of belief yet you suspend your disbelief anytime you turn on the TV, or go to the movies, or open a book, or even engage in a conversation.

    And your suspension of disbelief is practised and supple. You suspend your disbelief for an appropriate time, then you appropriately enter your disbelief. You move seamlessly between the suspension of disbelief and disbelief.

    Another way of putting it is you move seamlessly between your imagination and reality.

    You have achieved a major life goal.

    What a piece of work is Fluffywolf, how noble in reason, how
    infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
    admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
    a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals.

    @Fluffywolf
    Likes Evee, The Wailing Specter liked this post

  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambling View Post
    Jesus was born a Jew, true. However he was directly opposed to the hypocrisy he saw in the Jewish leaders of the religion of his day, describing them as vipers, for example in Matt 12:34. He managed to offend them in Luke 4 to the point that they tried to throw him off a cliff. He intensified the situation by driving out the street traders in the Temple, the most sacred place of their religion, see Matthew 12:21 onwards and he claimed to be God Himself frequently enough (the many I am sayings in the gospel of John, for example) that the religious Jewish leaders of his day demanded his death andr the common Jewish crowd of the time said that they were happy for his blood to be upon their heads. Hardly a standard or traditional adherent of Judaism, and certainly not accepted by the Jewish religious leaders...in fact he died underneath a rather sarcastic sign labelling him as their king.

    I actually think that the practice of mindless ritual is
    1) far from Christ himself
    2) something he explicitly rejected in all its forms (try Matthew 6:7 "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again" - but this theme repeats through many variations...
    3) something which causes its adherents to think that they are safe when they are in fact not safe at all.
    4) dangerous since it leads people to avoid thinking for themselves

    However Jesus did accept, practise and indeed fulfil the old law, in the process breaking open a new way of living for those who accept him and put his words into practice. Since he is risen, it follows that it is possible to know him and live life out of his Holy Spirit. This is very different in practice from following a list of rules, since nobody can *ever* fully keep every rule. Consider Romans 7 for a fuller discussion of this point.

    There were others who claimed to be messiahs around the time of Jesus; it is perhaps noteworthy that no others succeeded in rusing from the dead.

    Much of what passes for Christianity in church buildings today is from pagan rituals introduced into Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine in the fourth century AD. There have always been Christian groups who have stayed completely out of the religious format, for example, the Moravians.
    I dont think its possible to keep completely out of the religious format, as you call it, like I've said before I see religion as either conscious or unconscious but as a constant, now that's both in the broadest possible sense of a kind of leitmotif, incorporating an object of devotion and frame of orientation, and specifically as a tradition such as with Christianity.

    A lot of what you describe here smacks of reformation era concerns, without wishing to give insult I tend to believe that sort of thinking is stuck in a moment, that moment being the reformation, and generally does not appreciate that that moment was not ahistorical and also needs to be understood contextually.

    There are reasons why then and since a variety of movements would have choosen to present a specific version of events as facts, including the presentation of a dichotomy between religious tradition and the vagaries of a personal relationship with Christ, and also deliberately employ exaggeration where it is politic to do so.

    Although that said I would understand that there is an equal and opposite tendency which has asserted order, tradition, consistency and authority when it has been politic for it to do so.

    I cant think of anyone ever defending "mindless" ritual or traditions some how, although I am sure that what one would assert are "meaningful" rituals and traditions, which any culture or subculture will employ (consider the example I gave of comic con and geek culture), another would assert is "mindless" by their understanding.

    The Jewish authorities of Jesus day found the sign about his being the king of the jews to be insulting and objected to it, the recorded differences between Jesus and various Jewish factions illustrate pretty diverse opinion within a single religious community, the pharisees, sadducees and scribes all had their own individual differences with one another, aswell as with Jesus as an independent tendency, and also John the Baptist before him.

    I've read about this being a feature of Jewry, the opinions between the first and second temple differ for instance upon the existence of an afterlife or eternal punishment or reward and personal survival of the deceased consciousness. Pretty fundamental questions. Its something I've seen portrayed well in literature and other media and mediums too, in fact it is something I like about Jewish culture as it is portrayed in those mediums.

    However, I would assert that until Pauline Christianity, the stage just before most of the reformed churches would assert the church was Romanised, that there were different factions within the church, some of which were more traditionally judiac, such as James and Matthew (ironically Matthew is considered the source of the blood libel and to actually be anti-semitic, I would suggest strongly that the fault lay with those making the interpretation).

    While asserting that tradition is anathema, the "irreligious", if that would could be used in this context, congregations do maintain their own tradiitons, such as solo scripture, which to my mind are absurd but then I dont hope to persuade anyone on that point, better individuals than I have discoursed upon the point.

  4. #84
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    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

  5. #85
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nihilogen View Post
    That's why a lot of atheistic scientists strike me better than a lot of agnostics, because they came to their disbelief in a creator out of LOGIC, not this "ethos" bullshit.
    Atheism is not disbelief in a creator. It is belief in the absence of a creator.

    As a scientist myself, I have yet to see an attempt to prove the existence of a creator pass the test of logic.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I'm a Christian.

    Trying to explain it or justify it just lends credence to the premise that it should be (or needs to be) explained or justified (which is ridiculous).
    There is more intellectual honesty in this simple assertion than in any attempts at justification, though sometimes there is beauty in the explanation.


    Quote Originally Posted by robowolf View Post
    The idea of organizing rituals and stuff. When you introduce a structure into someone else's life, if they accept it, everything they do(/believe) within that structure becomes routine, something that it's there and is a constant, and this leads them to never question it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rambling View Post
    I actually think that the practice of mindless ritual is
    1) far from Christ himself
    2) something he explicitly rejected in all its forms (try Matthew 6:7 "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again" - but this theme repeats through many variations...
    3) something which causes its adherents to think that they are safe when they are in fact not safe at all.
    4) dangerous since it leads people to avoid thinking for themselves
    You are both correct about mindless, unquestioned ritual, but ritual need not be so. If this is your experience of ritual, then you are doing the wrong rituals, for the wrong reasons. Ritual can be full of sensory experiences with direct and significant personal meaning, but not if it is some one-size-fits-all generic ritual imposed or dictated by some external authority.

    Then again, we must be clear what we mean by "mindless". Ritual can occupy the physical, conscious body, freeing the subconcious to surface and share its treasures. We go "through" the ritual, to something beyond. Mole has the right idea:

    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.
    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...

  6. #86

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    I absolutely believe in God, but I don't really practice any religion in the true sense of the word. I was raised Catholic, and while I don't buy a lot of the Catholic dogma, I've never felt any reason to turn on Catholicism or denounce it like so many of those raised with religion do. I don't think there is a "right" religion, but since I'm comfortable with it, on the rare occasion I go to a service it is a Catholic one. I think any number of religions are a path to God. I disagree with those who think religion is a net detriment to the world. I think a lot of the horrible things committed either in the name of God or in the professional capacity of clergy are simply things that are human nature; they are committed by humans, not institutions. Were there no religion, these things would find other avenues of expression. When we find a corrupt politician, we throw him in jail, we don't abandon democracy. I believe that the vast majority of priests, nuns and lay volunteers have honorable intentions, and the good, kind, charitable work they do is reason enough for me to hold a positive view of the Church.

    What I actually believe probably makes me a Deist or an ignosticist. I believe in a creator God, and I believe in one because it's the best explanation my rational mind can come up with for why we're here. The Big Bang happened, the universe expanded, and here we are. But why? Science is very good at answering questions that begin with "how", but spirituality is better at answering questions that begin with "why". To me, answering the question of "Is there a God?" with science is like measuring the temperature with a ruler. I believe they're complementary systems of inquiry, not incompatible ones, and I can't have a productive debate with anyone who disputes that idea. I'm not interested in converting atheists; they have very good reasons to believe what they believe (or don't believe), and like my own, their conclusions won't change without a fundamental change in how they perceive the world.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari
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  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I think a lot of the horrible things committed either in the name of God or in the professional capacity of clergy are simply things that are human nature; they are committed by humans, not institutions.
    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.

  8. #88
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    I guess the best term that would fit would be pagan. And not so much a practice as a way of 'walking toward' or 'becoming'. It is my own and something that cannot be duplicated by another...a very personal thing.

  9. #89
    Senior Member riva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chickpea View Post
    i was raised jewish-ish and there are certain traditions I like, but I can't rly be bothered to keep
    up with it. i like religions in theory but in practice my eyes glaze over.
    Chana considering that you are an FP and from what i know of you I have complete faith in your ability to follow all 613 laws given by god especially for the jews.

    Good luck.
    .
    Likes AphroditeGoneAwry liked this post

  10. #90
    The Green Jolly Robin H.
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    i have a sort syncretic religion/spirituality which was laid on a foundation of universality and does not discriminate or divide but rather unifies. It was constructed in a style of piecemeal whereby I ran holding up my belt-less pants, being impoverished and hungry and malnourished, and made it a goal of life and death to grab every good seed off the good ground lest I end up like Jonah or Odysseus over troubled waters.

    Well, I ended up over troubled waters and learned the ways of Varuna's and Ingrid's net, and the pneumatic net of consciousness, but it was no easy task like Huck going down the river with Tom.

    But I'll tell you something, I'm the better man for it. I'm the good man now you see, preaching the new wine, and every bead of sweat in every pile has it in.

    So that's all...

    Selah, Selah, Selah
    Gabriel, Sachiel, and Michael
    Cherubim and Seraphim,
    Amen.
    "i shut the door and in the morning
    it was open
    -the end"




    Olemn slammed his hammer and from the sparks on the metal of his anvil came the spheres of the heavens.

    Sayrah blew life into the spheres and they moved. From her wheel she weaved the names of people in to mystery.

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