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  1. #641
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    I was raised protestant (Assemblies of God) but I've largely fallen away from that faith, for the following reasons:
    1. I don't believe in evangelism - how can I possibly claim with absolute certainty that my way is the "right" way? Who am I to force my beliefs onto others?
    2. The AG church tends to encourage a culture of guilt. Yes, we as humans are innately flawed and we do bad things, but I think Jesus and/or God would be a lot more forgiving than a lot of their modern-day disciples.
    3. I cannot in good conscience attend any church that vilifies homosexuality.
    4. I cannot in good conscience attend any church that promulgates white privilege.
    5. At times I'm not sure I still believe in God.*


    *But when it comes down to it, yes, I do believe in "God," not necessarily the God of Christianity, but in some sort of higher power. I don't believe in Hell, and I'm not sure I believe in Heaven either (it's hard to imagine that Heaven would exist without Hell, but at the same time it's hard for me to believe there's not SOME sort of afterlife).

    What I do believe:
    I believe we all should do our best to be good people (to be good stewards of the environment, to be kind to each other, to work to make the world a better place).

    I believe that creation theory and science are not mutually exclusive (isn't it possible that God created the earth and the heavens... by means of the Big Bang??)

    I believe that the Bible is largely metaphoric, not meant to be taken literally, and also that it was written by imperfect human beings hundreds of years after the events took place.

    I believe that we all can have our own relationship with God, with no need for intermediaries.

    I believe that God speaks to us in strange ways.

    I believe that God loves us. All of us.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

    My blog:
    TypeC: Adventures of an Introvert
    Wordpress: http://introvertadventures.wordpress.com/

  2. #642
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle99 View Post
    I believe that creation theory and science are not mutually exclusive (isn't it possible that God created the earth and the heavens... by means of the Big Bang??)
    Well I often point out that the Big Bang theory was first proposed by a scientist who was also an ordained priest.

  3. #643
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle99 View Post
    I believe that creation theory and science are not mutually exclusive (isn't it possible that God created the earth and the heavens... by means of the Big Bang??)
    Despite what people think they are about equal when it comes to proposing origins, natural philosophy can not account for or explain origins, the best it can do is suggest it is a mystery but exclude certain hypothesis including theism.

  4. #644
    Junior Member Danikov's Avatar
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    I don't believe in God. I believe in people, all fundamentally the same, suffering from the human condition- able to grasp the concept of the self and mortality, while grappling with the illusions of choice and purpose.

    In regards to attitudes to creation, I embrace Darwin's strange inversions- reducitio ad simplicitas rather than reductio ad complexus (deistic religions tend to run according to the thinking that complexity must be begotten by greater complexity, eventually arriving at an all encompassing complexity that is God; Darwin chases things in the other direction- complexity grows from simplicity).

    I have no belief in lives before or after this one. This terrifies me sometimes, but it's a truth I force myself to accept.

    It does frustrate me how people 'chose' their religion by what feels right, but I understand how faith and spirituality is axiomatic on trusting your feelings and I see how that gives rise to many religions. For me, not liking it doesn't make it any less true.

  5. #645
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle99 View Post
    What I do believe:
    I believe we all should do our best to be good people (to be good stewards of the environment, to be kind to each other, to work to make the world a better place).

    I believe that creation theory and science are not mutually exclusive (isn't it possible that God created the earth and the heavens... by means of the Big Bang??)

    I believe that the Bible is largely metaphoric, not meant to be taken literally, and also that it was written by imperfect human beings hundreds of years after the events took place.

    I believe that we all can have our own relationship with God, with no need for intermediaries.

    I believe that God speaks to us in strange ways.

    I believe that God loves us. All of us.
    Amen. Very well stated. With each passing day, science is able to explain more of how the universe came to be as it is, but it will never explain why. To each question, the right method of inquiry.

  6. #646
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    And to questions without answers: god. Maybe there is no 'why?' outside the human mind.

  7. #647
    your resident asshole
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    I don't know if this is OT or not but...

    I don't really like the fact that you're "forced" to believe in one set of ideals. When I used to go to church, all they would tell me is... believe this or you will SUFFER for ALL OF ETERNITY in the FIERY PITS OF HELLLLL!!!!. Frankly, I don't like that sort of thing. Now, I've heard of Universal Unitarianism (sp?). From what I've heard it's a church, but more of a world religion class. It's sort of for you to sample other religions and learn about other people's customs. I do find other religions interesting and would definitely like to attend one of these sometime. If I had children, I would probably bring them to a place like that rather than a church/mosque/whatever. I think it's important that you decide in your own beliefs.

  8. #648
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    I'm curious about the number of religious people here. Why more of them are doubtful than what I see in real time? This may be due to the fact that the internet attracts certain kinds of people, or it may be because the internet provides a reservoir for people to dump their feelings aside from the general public, kind of like a catharsis that's a bit more liberated than what is socially acceptable in public.

    I also see patterns in the arguments against most major world religions.

    Many of the moral arguments I find to be inapplicable. While I am normally swayed by that line of thinking, I also notice that humanity tends to form certain standards for itself that tend to converge with religious ethics. In other words, many of the same fundamental moral precepts are universal in culture, religion, and law, while the more minute ones (which, are oddly the more controversial) are not.

    Moral relativism is a huge factor here, but that should be cast aside from ethical principles. It is true that all people are moral, but whether they can follow external guidelines is crucial to the livelihood of society.

    I tend to see certain universal truths found in religious doctrines. I think that many religions aim in a certain direction, and that goal is something that society needs. According to anthropological studies, everyone finds a way to orient themselves and relate to the world. For most people, this takes the form of religious affiliation, national affiliation, or something of that sort. Everyone needs something bigger than themselves to be. And that very thing that is bigger than them might need them too.

    Putting a label on myself has always been unsettling for me. Not my own beliefs, nor do anyone else's, coincide with alot of the categorization people throw out there. Hardly anyone's a "hardcore" liberal or conservative. Hardly anyone has the exact same structure of belief as what is commonly presented. Likewise, those beliefs rarely coincide with rreligion.

    So I have to say that the primary purpose of religion is social affiliation with people who have the same broad set of beliefs you do. We all need an affiliation of some sort.

    I feel as though I am extremely individualistic, too much so to invest wholeheartedly in any institution. Even "not having an institution" is a kind of institution now in days.

    I think I just suck.

  9. #649
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Agnostic, not a religion though.

    There might be, there might not be.

  10. #650
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funkadelic View Post
    Wuhh..that's pretty real, skylights. I'm digging what you're saying. Keep shining on.
    i'm glad it was able to resonate with you. sometimes i consider what i believe and think maybe i'm a bit nuts, but, well, maybe we're all a bit nuts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Sometimes we find large hoof marks in soft soil - marks of the cloven hoof. And sometimes at dawn and dusk we hear the most delightful pipes that leaves us wistful of we know not what.

    But when a little animal is lost and afraid we put our faith in Him and lo and behold, that which was lost is found.

    But if you want to find our what happened to Little Portly at the Gates of Dawn, and if you have always wondered what the Wind in the Willows is whispering, click on -

    The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: Chapter 7
    ya know what, i've never fully read the wind in the willows, because the beginning of the book didn't really captivate me. but i really enjoyed that chapter. thanks for sharing it.

    panentheism... i like the wordplay.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm not rude to them, my dad used to invite them in and long, long talks to them about faith and politics, they where mainly Americans but there was one scot one time. He has a book of mormon from them too. They never turned up after one year there was a crisis in the home and we had to tell them to forget about it. Prior to that they used to visit in twos each year.
    i've always wanted to do that, but never really felt comfortable cause i don't think my parents would approve, and it's their house - and they don't seem to come to dorms. whenever i get my own non-dorm place i'd like to chat with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek
    I don't know if this is OT or not but...

    I don't really like the fact that you're "forced" to believe in one set of ideals. When I used to go to church, all they would tell me is... believe this or you will SUFFER for ALL OF ETERNITY in the FIERY PITS OF HELLLLL!!!!. Frankly, I don't like that sort of thing. Now, I've heard of Universal Unitarianism (sp?). From what I've heard it's a church, but more of a world religion class. It's sort of for you to sample other religions and learn about other people's customs. I do find other religions interesting and would definitely like to attend one of these sometime. If I had children, I would probably bring them to a place like that rather than a church/mosque/whatever. I think it's important that you decide in your own beliefs.
    UUism is the shit. check it out for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unitarian Universalist Association
    There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:
    • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
    • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
    • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
    • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
    • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
    • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
    • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
    and then the sources they acknowledge, are, summarized: personal experience; words and deeds of humans; wisdom from world religions; teachings on love; humanism; spirituality. there's a huge focus on learning and the individual's journey in discovery. pretty awesome imo. :] the services are nice if you kind of miss church but can't handle the strict tenets, too. one of my favorite services i ever went to was on emerson.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danikov
    It does frustrate me how people 'chose' their religion by what feels right, but I understand how faith and spirituality is axiomatic on trusting your feelings and I see how that gives rise to many religions. For me, not liking it doesn't make it any less true.
    i think that even though i have affection for what i believe, and it's based off of what i feel to be true, there are some things about it that scare me too. i trust that there is some kind of ultimately good purpose, but i have no idea what comes next, or how much suffering is yet to be. it's definitely somewhat frightening.

    to reference the great albus dumbledore... i chose to believe what feels right, not necessarily what feels easy.

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