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What's your religion?

mr.awesome

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cool quote from my brother, this was a few weeks ago and i obviously dont remember it word for word but it went along the lines of this..

"Im agnostic. i dont think theres a guy up there pulling all the strings. i believe in karma. i do my best to be nice to people and to be a good person, and if there is a God and hes going to punish me for that i think thats stupid."

pretty bluntly said haha, hes a very business-oriented man and for him to be pondering such things in conversation with me in the first place was kind of mind blowing cause he wasnt talking about his business :p
there is a large kernel of truth behind what he said. I am a follower of jesus christ but being open minded here.. if you gotta have a philosophy on how to live your life i thought he has a good standpoint.
 
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Ginkgo

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They're fictitious but still convey a moral truth. So whether Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, or the prodigal son really did squander his family inheritance is quite irrelevant. Not to mention there are distinctions between the historical books like Maccabees or Kings I&II(to give two examples) and say the Book of Job or Proverbs. It's been argued that the Bible as well as other ancient texts don't necessarily fall into modern categories of fiction or non-fiction; but might constitute an entirely different genre called "Faction".

How would one interpreting the Bible this way regard a moral axiom within a parable? Like, let's say that the story of the Israelis (Children of Israel, not the Israeli Defense Forces) and Moses receiving the 10 commandments is a parable. But the 10 commandments themselves were meant to be morally imperative within the parable.

Also, what happens when someone turns the parable inside out in a morally relativistic way? Like, let's say that Obama reads the story of King David sending a man into the vanguard of an army for the sole purpose of claiming the warrior's wife after the slaughter. Obama says "Damn, that's a good idea". (cuz it actually is a pretty rad idea). Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Or is the moral truth meant to be conveyed by theologians rather than a layman or a President?
 

sui generis

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cool quote from my brother, this was a few weeks ago and i obviously dont remember it word for word but it went along the lines of this..

"Im agnostic. i dont think theres a guy up there pulling all the strings. i believe in karma. i do my best to be nice to people and to be a good person, and if there is a God and hes going to punish me for that i think thats stupid."

:yes: I agree with this.

Do you know what type your brother is, out of curiosity?
 

Coriolis

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How would one interpreting the Bible this way regard a moral axiom within a parable? Like, let's say that the story of the Israelis (Children of Israel, not the Israeli Defense Forces) and Moses receiving the 10 commandments is a parable. But the 10 commandments themselves were meant to be morally imperative within the parable.

Also, what happens when someone turns the parable inside out in a morally relativistic way? Like, let's say that Obama reads the story of King David sending a man into the vanguard of an army for the sole purpose of claiming the warrior's wife after the slaughter. Obama says "Damn, that's a good idea". (cuz it actually is a pretty rad idea). Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Or is the moral truth meant to be conveyed by theologians rather than a layman or a President?
I like your line of questioning. Many people have trouble finding the figurative value in the Bible.

The one distinction I would make is that the Bible stories generally identified as parables, namely the ones Jesus told like "The Prodigal Son", are usually regarded as fictitious. Like Aesop's fables, they illustrate a moral, but no claim is made as to their literal or historical truth. The stories of Moses and the ten commandments, or David and Uriah, however, are presented as historical truth, in addition to whatever moral or figurative value they contain. I tend to view such accounts as legend. There may be threads of historical truth in them, but it is the theme and broader plot arc that are important, much as in historical fiction.
 

r.a

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i was raised catholic. i rejected it during early adolescence. some years at catholic school helped speed the process.

subjective experience turned me towards occult studies during most of my 20's.

i've rejected a lot of that too.

buddhism resonates with me, but its hard for me to interpret the need for it to be a religion. its a way of being. thats how it should be, imo.

i understand the need most people have for religion. i mean, we have so many other inherent tendencies, like our violent nature. it's something that comes with the package of being a human. since cavemen were clobberin cavewomen over the head and scribbling mastodons on walls, some form of religion has existed.

to answer the original question, i don't believe in much of anything. the only thing that i am sure exists is the now we are experiencing together. and it is what it is.

Flying_Spaghetti_Monster.jpg
 

KDude

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How would one interpreting the Bible this way regard a moral axiom within a parable? Like, let's say that the story of the Israelis (Children of Israel, not the Israeli Defense Forces) and Moses receiving the 10 commandments is a parable. But the 10 commandments themselves were meant to be morally imperative within the parable.

Also, what happens when someone turns the parable inside out in a morally relativistic way? Like, let's say that Obama reads the story of King David sending a man into the vanguard of an army for the sole purpose of claiming the warrior's wife after the slaughter. Obama says "Damn, that's a good idea". (cuz it actually is a pretty rad idea). Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Or is the moral truth meant to be conveyed by theologians rather than a layman or a President?

To be fair, cases like King David were considered wrong within the story itself. It's 5 AM here and I can't be bothered to look up the passages, but David's kingdom slowly split, and never reached an ideal. I would go so far as to say that the whole tale served as a model for later stories, like the downfall of Camelot/King Arthur. Besides, even before he became king, the prophet Samuel warned the people of Israel that they should have never wanted a king in the first place. There's probably no "parable" other than that.

On the flipside, fast forward hundreds of years later, and you have the "Son of David", Jesus of Nazareth, say that the "Kingdom of God is within you." A complete shift away from politics.. but this is something that Old Testament may have been trying to suggest to begin with (like in Samuel's warning).
 

Fluffywolf

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Follow nothing, reject nothing

Yeah, same. Not quite Atheist, although most closely Atheist technically. But without the rejecting part. Also not Agnostic, I don't believe that there could be something. I don't believe there is nothing. I just don't believe. :cheese:

It's more like being apathetic towards belief I suppose. It's just no issue so I don't need to believe in anything. :D
 

Lark

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I like your line of questioning. Many people have trouble finding the figurative value in the Bible.

The one distinction I would make is that the Bible stories generally identified as parables, namely the ones Jesus told like "The Prodigal Son", are usually regarded as fictitious. Like Aesop's fables, they illustrate a moral, but no claim is made as to their literal or historical truth. The stories of Moses and the ten commandments, or David and Uriah, however, are presented as historical truth, in addition to whatever moral or figurative value they contain. I tend to view such accounts as legend. There may be threads of historical truth in them, but it is the theme and broader plot arc that are important, much as in historical fiction.

Good points, in the Gospels themselves Jesus explains his use of metaphor to the disciples when they misunderstand his parable of the sower.

This is one of the reasons that apparent biblical/scriptural literalism in many of the schismatic Christian churches baffles me, when it is plain that God incarnate did not profess such a belief then why do his followers stick so adamently to it?
 

ragashree

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Yeah, same. Not quite Atheist, although most closely Atheist technically. But without the rejecting part. Also not Agnostic, I don't believe that there could be something. I don't believe there is nothing. I just don't believe. :cheese:

It's more like being apathetic towards belief I suppose. It's just no issue so I don't need to believe in anything. :D

Translation: Lazy Atheism. :yes:
 
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Ginkgo

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Here's a question for believers:

How do you gain conviction in your beliefs in the wake of so many others being tossed about? Is it a personal thing where you identify with what you want in a belief system, or is it more of a process of discovering the most reasonable truth? Or a combination of both?
 

Lark

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Here's a question for believers:

How do you gain conviction in your beliefs in the wake of so many others being tossed about? Is it a personal thing where you identify with what you want in a belief system, or is it more of a process of discovering the most reasonable truth? Or a combination of both?

I was thinking about this today, one of my favourite authors Francis Wheen has attacked what he thinks is the irrationalism in publishing about angels, fairies, tarot, astrology etc. with great vehemence, I think rightly, while falling short of attacks on religion. I thought about this today when looking at a "mind, body and spirit" section of a bookshop, I surveyed what was there and thought, realistically, I'd be more interested in reading the history or philosophy offerings.

AC Grayling has had a field day with this BTW he repeatedly talks about sky fairy and sky tyrant and stuff like that, Dawkins goes further with his inclusion of all the beliefs of pretty varied, diverse and disparite sources into a single battery of absurdity. Grayling and Dawkins are different, in print they can seem the same but in interviews Grayling appears like the more affable character, much as I may differ with him all the same.

However, realistically there are athiests and athiests, there are also naturalists and naturalists and also agnostics and agnostics, I dont generalise about them so I dont accept generalisations about belief systems originating from faith communities either. They arent all created equally, some I do believe are inventions of man, whatever merits they have I dont believe they are divinely ordained.
 

BlackCat

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Ah it's a shame that this thread doesn't have a poll.
 

Coriolis

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How do you gain conviction in your beliefs in the wake of so many others being tossed about? Is it a personal thing where you identify with what you want in a belief system, or is it more of a process of discovering the most reasonable truth? Or a combination of both?
The more religions I have learned about, the more I have come to see common threads in them. I have thererefore long ago abandoned the idea that one religion or spiritual path is better than any other. There are many paths to the divine, and each of us must find our own way. My conviction in my particular expression of belief comes from (1) the connections or commonality it has with others' beliefs; and (2) the degree of personal fit or compatibility it provides. I could reach the same goals through many religions, but will do best in the one that speaks most meaningfully to me.
 
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Lark

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The more religions I have learned about, the more I have come to see common threads in them. I have thererefore long ago abandoned the idea that one religion or spiritual path is better than any other. There are many paths to the divine, and each of us must find our own way. My conviction in my particular expression of belief comes from (1) the connections or commonality it has with others' beliefs; and (2) the degree of personal fit or compatibility it provides. I could reach the same goals through many religions, but will do best in the one that speaks most meaningfully to me.

I tend to consider it like mathematics, there is only one correct answer, sometimes people reach it even though their working out is different or even wrong, however there's still just the one answer.

I'm a bit hesitant about personal fit, I know what you mean and actually agree but I also think that you shouldnt simply tailor something to suit yourself in matters of faith and morals, I once did but I'm not sure that I do now.
 
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Sniffles

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I tend to consider it like mathematics, there is only one correct answer, sometimes people reach it even though their working out is different or even wrong, however there's still just the one answer.

That's a good analogy. I also like the Asian saying of "one road, but many paths" as well.

I'm a bit hesitant about personal fit, I know what you mean and actually agree but I also think that you shouldnt simply tailor something to suit yourself in matters of faith and morals, I once did but I'm not sure that I do now.

This often entails loving a god made in your own image, rather loving God as he actually is. So in the end you're just worshipping yourself and calling yourself god.
 

KDude

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Faith, I think, would include just the individual and God. Making personal decisions, without weighing one's thoughts against external influences or distractions, is no easy feat, but where conviction comes from. It's also potentially mad. :)

I would say I came about faith this way, but I've tried to refine my beliefs, and do seek out what's reasonable or universal as an afterthought. "Fides quaerens intellectum" (faith seeking understanding). To answer Tater's question: a bit of both.. but I wouldn't be where I am at to begin with without a personal decision.
 
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Sniffles

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But faith is also a public affair as well, and always has been. The notion that faith is purely a personal matter is largely a Protestant concept on steroids(since even Protestants acknowledged public elements of faith).
 
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