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Thread: Which religion?

  1. #21
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    I do all I can to help my fellow man, but don't think that God loves me any more or less if I show up on Sunday to sing songs and throw a few bucks in the basket.
    I get what you're saying there.. but the purpose of the church is much grander than all that. You're looking at it from a selfish point of view, rather than the purpose of church in the first place.

    I hope you don't support Universal healthcare if this is your thinkings.. The point of the church is to give a little to receive a lot. Surround yourself with a strong support group, under a beautiful setting you contributed to building, allow your pastors to devote their full attention to God and deliver to you the analysis of the bible, and mayhap more important, provide a place for people curious about christianity to go to and learn, and thus expand the network, the support group, etc. It's a really wonderful cycle if upkept properly. Churches do missionaries, reach out and support the secular part of the community, and generally work for the greater good of your area (I know, not all churches are that way, don't burn me at a stake.) such as giving financial support to those fallen under hardships, donating to local support groups, offering free children's activities and counseling/advise, etc etc etc.

    The aspect is: Throwing 5 bucks in a pot every week isn't much to ask for, in exchange for supporting your community, religion, and fellow christians. You attend every sunday because, lets face it.. life gets hectic, and schedules relax as 'priorities' occur. Having a set aside schedule of attendance just promotes good christianity.
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  2. #22
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Can I be a pastafarian?

    That looks fun. And tasty.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    I would stay none religious. Since in this case you would know that God actually exists.
    Also you would know that all religions lead to pretty much same outcome.
    So, why I would choose anything?
    In the case you are forced the entire thing loses its point.


    Once the God is a proven fact there is no more such a thing as belief.
    The only thing that stays open here is what the God will actually do with you.

    But as I have said before : Living a aferlife with a human mind can't be a good outcome.
    Why I claim that is a long story.


    Conclusion: I can't relate to the question.
    For once I completely agree with you (not that I usually disagree with you, just I normally don't resonate with things you say). Especially with the point that if God was suddenly able to be a proven fact, then what is the point of choosing a religion. There wouldn't be a point. If anything, it would solidify my current understanding of the universe to the point where I would just say, "Thanks, but no thanks" and continue being nonreligious. I suppose I would be somewhat intrigued that one of the big questions had suddenly been answered...

    I think I might be more prone to asking God a myriad of questions regarding the nature of his existence and what he thinks about the whole "where mankind is headed" sort of thing. It's quite possible that as a theoretically omniscient and omnipotent being that he would not have noticed what was happening or would have no particular comment.

    Or I would definitely ask why he would insist on me being a devout member of something that is really nothing more than a structure placed over the same mythical undercurrent. Why would the structure matter so much if it's the underlying myths that are what's being paid attention to? Wouldn't the rituals get in the way of the real message?
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  4. #24
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    I have a problem with organised religion, spirituality is very important to me but I have no interest getting involved with any set religion, if it works for others thatís great but my experience has shown me nothing but hypocrisy or worse. The beliefs and practices of Buddhism appeal the most but never in an organised way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    One that does not have very stringent requirements on organized participation.

    Religion is best if it's between the believer and their God, IMHO.

    I do all I can to help my fellow man, but don't think that God loves me any more or less if I show up on Sunday to sing songs and throw a few bucks in the basket.
    Amen!

    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I get what you're saying there.. but the purpose of the church is much grander than all that. You're looking at it from a selfish point of view, rather than the purpose of church in the first place.

    I hope you don't support Universal healthcare if this is your thinkings.. The point of the church is to give a little to receive a lot. Surround yourself with a strong support group, under a beautiful setting you contributed to building, allow your pastors to devote their full attention to God and deliver to you the analysis of the bible, and mayhap more important, provide a place for people curious about christianity to go to and learn, and thus expand the network, the support group, etc. It's a really wonderful cycle if upkept properly. Churches do missionaries, reach out and support the secular part of the community, and generally work for the greater good of your area (I know, not all churches are that way, don't burn me at a stake.) such as giving financial support to those fallen under hardships, donating to local support groups, offering free children's activities and counseling/advise, etc etc etc.
    I believe religion should be looked at from a selfish pov in the sense that you must do it for your own deeper spiritual reasons, I have no problem with people who look at it for the reasons you mentioned but that is certainly not the way I see it nor would it provide any kind of spiritual comfort for me. A sense of community is great, helping others is great but these things are not the same as your spiritual beliefs and do not need to be mixed, I can get involved with different charities and non-religions community groups for the kind of support youíve mentioned.

    The aspect is: Throwing 5 bucks in a pot every week isn't much to ask for, in exchange for supporting your community, religion, and fellow christians. You attend every sunday because, lets face it.. life gets hectic, and schedules relax as 'priorities' occur. Having a set aside schedule of attendance just promotes good christianity.
    Again, great that it works that way for you but I would never attend church because it promotes good 'anything', I would go for my own spiritual needs or not at all.

    You have to recognize that some people see organized religion as shallow in terms of their spiritual needs, what it can provide to you it cannot provide to me. Neither is right, just different and what works for each of us personally.
    Last edited by Kasper; 04-09-2009 at 12:32 AM. Reason: Just thought I'd mention that I feel so dirty for using US spelling but I couldn't be bothered turning off my US spell check

  5. #25
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    I would choose to be what I currently am, a pantheist. Which is more of a philosophy than a religion, but oh well.
    "Can you set me free from this dark inner world? Save me now, last beats in the soul.."

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  6. #26
    See Right Through Me Bubbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I get what you're saying there.. but the purpose of the church is much grander than all that. You're looking at it from a selfish point of view, rather than the purpose of church in the first place.

    I hope you don't support Universal healthcare if this is your thinkings.. The point of the church is to give a little to receive a lot. Surround yourself with a strong support group, under a beautiful setting you contributed to building, allow your pastors to devote their full attention to God and deliver to you the analysis of the bible, and mayhap more important, provide a place for people curious about christianity to go to and learn, and thus expand the network, the support group, etc. It's a really wonderful cycle if upkept properly. Churches do missionaries, reach out and support the secular part of the community, and generally work for the greater good of your area (I know, not all churches are that way, don't burn me at a stake.) such as giving financial support to those fallen under hardships, donating to local support groups, offering free children's activities and counseling/advise, etc etc etc.

    The aspect is: Throwing 5 bucks in a pot every week isn't much to ask for, in exchange for supporting your community, religion, and fellow christians. You attend every sunday because, lets face it.. life gets hectic, and schedules relax as 'priorities' occur. Having a set aside schedule of attendance just promotes good christianity.
    I appreciate this post. Catholics get a bad rep because most of us consider our own religion a list of customs and rules. If that's why your religion is to you, honey, that's not a religion at all--that's an organized set of things that make you think you're being religious. I do go to Mass every week. Not because I think God will smite me if I don't, but because I want to do that, as a little sacrifice, to show my belief in him. Same goes for the tithes, too; it's especially nice if you're helping bring that money physically to someone in need. I go to confession not to "undo" my mistakes, but to admit them freely--and apologetically--so that I can be stronger the next time temptation comes my way. I'm against the idea of my religion being a litany of do's and do-not's, and it hurts to see people think it's that way. So again, thank you, kyueei.

    Um, getting off-topic, sorry! Basically I like Catholicism too much to leave it. I feel connected to the world spiritually through it.
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  7. #27
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    I'm with Halla here, religion in it's own is selfish. You can go to church for more benefit if you choose, but in the end it's all about your own spiritual path and your own beliefs.

    Also basically everything Trinity said.
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  8. #28
    See Right Through Me Bubbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCat View Post
    I'm with Halla here, religion in it's own is selfish. You can go to church for more benefit if you choose, but in the end it's all about your own spiritual path and your own beliefs.

    Also basically everything Trinity said.
    +1. But it's a good selfish, I think. Sometimes it's even healthy. I mean, if you're doing religion for someone other than you, well...uh...that's not good. Not good at all. o.O
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  9. #29
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Buddhism

  10. #30
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I get what you're saying there.. but the purpose of the church is much grander than all that. You're looking at it from a selfish point of view, rather than the purpose of church in the first place.

    I hope you don't support Universal healthcare if this is your thinkings.. The point of the church is to give a little to receive a lot. Surround yourself with a strong support group, under a beautiful setting you contributed to building, allow your pastors to devote their full attention to God and deliver to you the analysis of the bible, and mayhap more important, provide a place for people curious about christianity to go to and learn, and thus expand the network, the support group, etc. It's a really wonderful cycle if upkept properly. Churches do missionaries, reach out and support the secular part of the community, and generally work for the greater good of your area (I know, not all churches are that way, don't burn me at a stake.) such as giving financial support to those fallen under hardships, donating to local support groups, offering free children's activities and counseling/advise, etc etc etc.

    The aspect is: Throwing 5 bucks in a pot every week isn't much to ask for, in exchange for supporting your community, religion, and fellow christians. You attend every sunday because, lets face it.. life gets hectic, and schedules relax as 'priorities' occur. Having a set aside schedule of attendance just promotes good christianity.
    I love you dearly and respect you , but must admit I disagree with much of your response in principal, most of which is determined by the way I grew up, but I have checked/re-checked my beliefs over time as I have matured and they remain unchanged.

    GIVEN:
    I'm an Army brat, I never lived anywhere more than 2 years when I was a kid, so I never bonded with or benefitted from a particular congregation. My neighbors were my family, we took care of each other, regardless of creed or anything else.

    ELEMENTS OF MY VIEWS:
    (1) A local church is much less of a problem than a state church, national church, or international church. Why? At the local level money collected can be dispersed according to local need. At the international level, money collected is used at the discretion of leaders who have a big chance of dispersing the money in a politically motivated manner, in direct conflict with the views of many national, state, or local congregations. For instance, most Catholics would not have wanted any of their tithed $$$ or basket funds to go toward the defense of priests that commited sexual abuse against children of their parish(es) or to go toward settlements for the abused as it should not have happened in the first place.

    (2) Also, let's be real here. The first Bible was written almost 60 years after the crucifiction of Jesus Christ. Christians in Jerusalem dispersed in a radially from the city, as they thought they were next. The New Testament was as oral history for many decades, and when ultimately written down and compiled, was canonized, and hence subject to the editorial opinions of men with an agenda. If you have a room of 60 people, and you speak a simple sentence into the ear of the first person in the room, and they speak what they heard to the second person's ear, and them to the third, and so on and so forth, the 60th person's sentence when spoken to the first person in the room is NOTHING like the original verbiage. Thus, oral relay of knowledge, especially over time, is inefficient and subject to a large amount of error.

    (3) The teachings of Christ are very similar to those of Rabbi Hillel, and I have heard (in a western civilization lecture as an undergraduate student 15 years ago) the simplified intent of each referred to as "Kerygma", or (1) Faith in God that he is the one true God, and (2) Love for your fellow man as if they were Christ himself (or something damn similar to that). So, I am of the belief that I can do these things without anyone telling me how to implement them in my daily life.

    (4) I attended a Catholic mass about a year ago. The priest started the mass with the following statement: "Let us reflect on how we have failed to serve God this week." I looked at my 3 year old daughter, and my 6 year old daughter, and they were confused, and after they got bored and frustrated I took them home and let my wife finish attending the service. How hdid my sweet little girls fail to serve God that week? Kiss my a$$.

    (5) I am not one who feels any type of spiritual completeness out of performing random rituals, like making X's over my forehead, chin, and chest; or eating a water wafer while pretending it is the body of my God, or drinking wine from a chalice with hundreds of people's germs on it. Whatever, not for me. I feel closer to God when I help someone repair their home, help an old man start his chainsaw so he can prune his bushes, or donate money out of my paycheck every two weeks to Shriner's Children's Hospitals. That's more my cup of tea.

    (6) Let's not forget that the Old Testament and the Epic of Gligamesh both contain the same great flood story (Noah's Ark ), despite being texts from different cultures in different lands. Why? Due to the eruption of the island of Delos, and the flooding of the old world (e.g. Babylon = Epic of Gilgamesh, and Israel = Old Testament) from a great tidal wave. That same tidal wave actually moved the Greek city of Knossos, on the isle of Crete, far from its original coordinates, only to be discovered by the German archaeologist Hermann Schliemann in the early 1900's, thus confirming its effect on a third culture in the region at the same time.

    (7) Finally, I do not appreciate the religious right getting behind the political machine of this nation, forcing anti-abortion legislation, and then turning a blind eye to helping families with young children that are in need of money, support, and guidance. You want to exert your will on others so they cannot have an abortion, then you get to help pay for and care for the kids as far as I am concerned, and I am not pro-abortion, I am against it, but I do not feel it right ot force my will on others as such through legislation.

    CONCLUSION
    So my dear friend, all I can say is that organized religion is not for everyone, me inlcuded. I do not slight anyone that benefits from particpation in it as such, but I myself have never, or at least not yet anyway, been compelled to become a participating member of any parish. My kids go to camps at local Methodist churches during Spring Break and Christmas, when school is out. I am thankful for these churches and their programs, but I remain comfortable being a consumer of their services as a neutral, third party consumer.

    I hope you don't hate me, I'm just explaining my thoughts and beliefs for the sake of honesty and clarity.

    -----------------------------------------------

    One last note, I am a big believer in God. Even after completing 3 of 4 years in a BS in biology, my beliefs were not swayed. Why? You tell me how anyone but an omnipotent, all knowing, all powerful being, was smart enough to make DNA so simple, yet so complex, that in plants the molecular structure/carbon skeleton of chlorophyll is (almost) EXACTLY like that of hemoglobin, only that chlorophyll has a Magnesium core, and hemoglobin's is Iron? Both are central molecules in the life giving metabolisms of plants and animals respectively, who are both mutually dependent on each other. no scientist could do that, no random association of molecules in the ocean could do that, even over millions of years.

    The law of conservation of energy states that energy is not created or destroyed, only that it changes form. When we die, our life energy moves on, out our physical bodies (hopefully I will still be buff when I die) and on to its next universe of existence, which I think is where it came from in the first place, in heaven with God, ready to tell him all that it experienced after he gave it free will and a body to experience a physical life with...



    -Alex

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