Ok, I hope to make this as minimally controversial as possible. Looking at the most recent poll, I see that more then a few people are listed as "very religious". So, to those people, I pose the question "Why?"
What got you started in religion?
Why do you stick with your religion, and not a different one?
How do you stick to your religion, when there are so many things in this world that tell you not to, or why you shouldn’t?
Hi Bryan, controversy is a good thing as it implies varying opinions thus thoughts…..
discussion is necessary to create understanding.
I can understand your questions, however I can not help you with that as I am not religious. I am also not against religions ;) but, I have a question…. in your final question you are stating that many things tell people not to have religion, or should not believe.
What are those things?
Bryan, I’m not religious, but I did grow up with 14 years of catholic school and going to church every Sunday, so I had plenty of exposure. I’ve met plenty of wonderful people who were very religious with strong faith. The people who can believe their religion fully (while avoiding judgement and accepting others) and have unshakable faith in God are very lucky. I think that organized religion is not for everyone, but it is everything for some people. Such faith gives comfort in our unpredictable wild world, and I personally do not possess that kind of faith. But it sure makes the journey of life a little more exciting in my eyes
I dunno how prevalent it is in everyone elses lives, but for me I feel like I’m seeing alot more athiest-ness around me, most of my friends are, I see all sorts of websites about it… Maybe its just that I see that because my family is super religious and there are bible verses all over my house.
I never grew up in a religious environment. I believe there is something after this and some greater being guiding this mess of stars, complex life and emotions like a conductor in an orchestra, but I don’t believe any specific religion conveys what the evidence is giving me.
I have never wanted to be an atheist, it seems to bleak of an existence if we have no purpose. I’ve attended Mormon church, looked at other belief systems and discussed these things since I was 12 with my friends, yet I still had not really found something I thought was logical until I had an epiphany. (turns out my epiphany was the same as whoever started astral projection, my epiphany and the astral projection afterlife are basically the same in terms as what things are.) I believe that it is more likely that we are all connected by the means of this greater cluster of souls that is our subconsciouses.
That would explain a lot wouldn’t it? The Christian bible says that we all have a part of the holy trinity in us, The holy spirit. This would be a part of the greater whole.
Hell is explained by like attracting like. All the negative and bad souls would collect in one area and suffer together, but the good souls would goto ‘heaven’ where positive emotions are abound.
And since we are all part of the greater whole, we can sometimes be ‘psychics’ and twins can feel if the other is in danger because they came from the same general area in ‘God’.
As for my code of how to act, it is basically the same as christianity. Don’t kill one another, dont steal from another because he worked hard for what he has, and you should too. Follow the golden rule, don’t do to others what you wouldn’t do to yourself.
These are my views, I hope to see yours :) I love trying to understand another person’s views on life, religion and happiness. That’s why I love this site :)
I was raised Catholic but never quite felt like it fit me well. I’ve always had strong faith in God though just wasn’t sure what 2 do with it or what religion would fit my beliefs and understanding the most. So I spent years not attending a church feeling quite lost. When I finally hit an all time low. I was desperate for this “God” to comfort me. And it finally hit me and my Spirituality took off. I felt so connected so eager to learn about all religions. So that’s what I did I read a wide variety of religions. My eyes became open to new things. I probably connect with Buddhist and Christianity the most. But I respect whichever religion or non religion people choose. I do understand that some people can live a good life being very good people without any belief and that’s all good with me. But I think most people can feel a connection with a Higher power or seek to. Studying every religion definitely gives you a new perspective on religion.
I used to take Christian lessons in church and Islam lessons at school… and I was very confused for a long time because many things were conflicting… and sometimes I was very scared not to pick the “right” religion… I used to believe in both.. now I don’t really know what to believe in, although I really like the idea of God being the whole universe and with the law of attraction… I guess I will continue learning about all the different religions, but believe in what I want to believe…
Well, just to add, heres a handy dandy guide to seeing all the different religions:
kathryn; i agree with you…it is not about religion…it is about you connecting to the god within you…it is also important to accept you are the power in your life…you are the only person who has the power to change you…you are doing just fine btw…clearing your mind will help you to move forward :D
alex; you seem to have a great deal of home work under your belt…it is impressive just how much knowledge you have sifted through to come up with your own opinions…i am impressed…you sir are doing just fine…keep learning…i have a feeling you will :D
Controversy is fine so long as it stimulates a respectful discussion. I wouldn’t consider myself religious, and at the same time I don’t consider myself an atheist either. More of an agnostic; I simply don’t know, but at the same will not deny the existence of a greater power. I don’t see it necessary to follow any sort of established religious guidelines unless they happen to be in concert with your own personal truths and beliefs.
I don’t appreciate the fact that religion oftentimes seems to regard itself very highly, carrying with it a sort of superfluous esteem. I don’t believe we know anything for certain and to push an agenda with any kind of unquestionable authority would be ignorant. However so long as we all remain respectful of each others differing beliefs and values there’s should be no reason to overly condemn or absolve any existing religion.
The religion I would most closely associate myself with is Buddhism, though I consider Buddhism to be more of a way to live your life rather than a religion. The betterment and empowerment of self, our potential as human beings, supporting one another, as well as striving for change and peace! All you need is love. :]
In life we need balance and religion is the balance to science. Science teaches us about the natural world and religion teaches us about the supernatural world. I do believe there is a supernatural world and religion gives us faith in this world. Without religion more people would give up on the search for further discovery of what is supernatural and mysterious. Science concentrates us with logic and reasoning, while religion infuses us with faith and a sense of curiosity and intrigue. We need this faith as a society to move forward and continue to think and come up with new ideas. If everything in life is merely natural, then eventually all will become understood. Then what?
Michael; your goal is to learn how to live an enlighten life (your words)…religion was created by man to keep people in there place…not to seek enlightenment…as long as you choose to believe in religion you will not be able to be enlighten…although you do admire Buddha and some of his teachings (this is a good thing) but even Buddha said to seek enlightenment one ‘must close his eyes and go within…religion was not the way’…after he died the people around him decided to create a religion with his name attached to it…this was not Buddha’s idea…
so; i will suggest, you listen to Buddha and close your eyes and go within…here you will find the enlightenment you are seeking :D
I agree with robert taylor!
To add, I think that anyone who is not an atheist is religious. Their “religion” just doesn’t fall into the big four or so (christianity, judaism, islam, and hindu, etc…) If you believe in the power of the universe thats essentially believing in a form of g-d. If you get enough ppl who completely agree with your ideas and lifestyle, you’ve formed a sect or religion. Now start meeting up on a regular basis. The customs will develop based on what you believe your lifestyle should be. Call yourselves something, and start wearing some kind of symbol to identify yourselves with one another. :) lol, you might be the next messiah.
personally, I believe in my own form of g-d and its great power. was born and raised Jewish and still stick to many of its customs (for many diff reasons.)
Im not a fan of organized religions and have never been raised in a religious light, my parents have no beliefs. This being said I believe in multiple pathways to God. Adherents to one religion cannot possibly be the only ones who are accepted into heaven, that is just unreasonable thinking. The way I live my life draws upon many religions and cultures; I follow no set of guidelines. Construct your life in your image and live wholesomely. Show God you appreciate life by smothering others with kindness and treating your body and the Earth with respect.
All that I am sure of is that when I die I will meet God. What he does with me, whether it be eternal life, damnation or reincarnation is a mystery.
My views are very similar to Kiley’s. Basically, just be a good person (whatever you consider to be good). Pick up guidelines as you go through life, because the only constant in life is change, and that in and of itself is not a constant.
I was confirmed as a Lutheran, but stopped going to church afterwards. I guess I didn’t see the point in going to church and making an “appearance” to my small town community for an hour when I could easily worship God or our creator on my own time in a more personal way. I believe god is a part of us, and I definitely believe in an afterlife. If we are made of energy, then we can truly never be destroyed only transformed or transported.
After getting into college and studying religion on my own time I realized how similar many of the stories in the old testaments of the three major religions are (sometimes the only differences are names in the stories.) When I realized that Abraham was the father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I was like what?! It seems to me that most people focus on the differences that have been preached instead of the similarities. Do more for others than you do for yourself, be loving, caring, you get the idea.
When books are translated over thousands of years I think there are going to be a few screw ups. As far as, science vs. religion. I think if God did come and explained how things work scientifically to civilizations or people a few thousands years ago. Anyone who would’ve preached it would’ve most likely been burned on the stake or crucified. :) (Sorry, was that too soon?)
Anyways, what I think is important is for people to study, research, and make up their own minds. Don’t ever set your beliefs in stone though. They should change and expand as you come across new information.
By the way I absolutely love your website, and plan on becoming a devoted member.
watchin that pbs news hour about syria
damn, i’m startin to think that jack van impe is right..haha
no but seriously i hope obama wins next time and there is no apacolypse..and the republicans will look like assholes..
but we will all forget about it all in few years anyway..
if my religion ruled there would be no holy buildings..
worshiping would be everywhere..
and we exist within something i call god for lack of a more defining word
we wouldnt need shoes or pavement
cars or industry
a kind of nature worship
not worship really
but to understand
if you believe in god or not, you can live a life with purpose, if you don’t believe in god you must do anything you want with no regrets, knowing this life doesn’t last forever, you’re gonna be worms food soon, so fuck it and live now! If you believe in god, live expecting no ending, live believing death doesn’t exist! and live with that purpose, but don’t believe in religion, religion is just a path but not the ultimate path, you learn things from it and go ahead where your intuition takes you… I just would follow a religion that preaches the “nosce te ipsum”
Religious people are full on, am I right? They preach many things and if we fall short on but one we are damned. The whole path to salvation is so complex. I have a simple philosophy, “Try not to harm those who try not to harm others”. I believe if I remain true to that one thing then it would be a harsh God to send me to Hell.
I love the concepts of “if someone slaps you in the face, present the your other cheek that it may be slapped also” and “continue loving your enemies and pray for their salvation” but I also believe that if a man can stop a crime but chooses not to he is liable. Of course there are cases where a trivial crime is not worth dying for but some things you just can not allow.
But I could be wrong, I am no genius. I believe in God and love the teachings of Christ, but as for every minute aspect of my life being controlled by other peoples interpretation of the Bible, well…
I do not ascribe myself to one religion. I feel as if it is more harmful than beneficial for you spiritually. I believe in a higher power, and I like to talk about it with people, and so often I find people drawn back by the subject. I think its a shame so many are unwilling to talk about the concept, and the idea, because to me it’s one of those mysteries that have always been there, that no one can prove, disprove, and it takes a stab at some of the biggest questions life is about.
I think a problem with modern religion is that many of them have not evolved with the people. People get caught up in the moral dilemmas that religions talk about, instead of the bigger picture. Does it matter if someone believes what happened in the bible actually happened? The underlying message is of great importance. Same with most every religion, and their religious documents. I think to ignore it is a slap in the face to humanity, because its been such a big part of humanity for so long.
I didn’t always believe in a higher power, in fact my logic told me it was impossible when I was young, especially after attending church a few times. It just didn’t make sense. When I got into science however, my ideas changed, and I realized that it’s the most probable thing to me. It makes sense now.
Gotta go with Ayn Rand on this one:
“The real issue as far as man is concerned, is that when you accept such an important issue as the creation of the universe on faith you are destroying your confidence and the validity of your own mind. It has to be either reason or faith. I am against god for the reason that I don’t want to destroy reason.
Because then it gives man permission to function irrationally, to accept something above and outside the power of their reason and superior to reason
If you go by emotions, not reason, it means you’re going against reality. Something exists, something is right and you say no, I don’t like it because I want to believe something else.
I think it’s a bad sign psychologically. It is a sign of a psychological weakness, a man who is afraid to stand on his own mind and has no responsibility. Because it is the absence of proof that brings on false thinkers. Every argument for the existence of god is incomplete, improper and has been refuted and people go on and on because they want to believe. Well, I regard it as evil to place your emotions, your desire above the evidence of what your mind knows.”
I’m not sure I’ve ever agreed with anything more in my whole life than with the statements of Ayn Rand in that interview.