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XYlophonetreeZ
03-03-2006, 09:52 PM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?
2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?
3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?
4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?
5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?
6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?
7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

nieh
03-03-2006, 10:07 PM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?
The fact that there were a countless number of religions throughout the history of existence and at most only one of them is 100% correct. Not to mention that the religions are formed by man, not by god himself, so they're faulty by definition. I do believe in a god of some sort, but not in any religion that's been built up around him.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?
Fear? Something missing in their lives? So they can give themselves a reason why things happen the way they do or something to fall back on when things go bad? Or maybe they just genuinely believe it's correct. Depends on the person.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?
I explained in the first thing. I don't believe any religion is correct.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?
Productive in what sense? I'm not sure I understand this one. It's no more useful than any other sort of philosophical discussion except that it's slightly more common.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?
No and yes depending on the circumstances.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?
The belief that there's something when you have no proof to show it. I also kind of think there's the thought that something good will come despite not knowing for sure. I suppose I've experienced it. I believe in some sort of god but I've never seen his picture.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?
I don't know and you don't either

Italia311
03-03-2006, 10:56 PM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?
The fact that there are numours other beliefs out there, and science...physics, I think those are reasons why people woudn't believe.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?
I am sort of religious..I believe in some things that it stands for and other things I don't agree with...

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?
History really...I think Mormens (spelling) and Born again christians are sort of fucked up...

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?
Counterproductive

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?
I don't really know. I think people deeply involved with religions and such should care...they probably do...

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?
Pretty much what neigh said...the belief in something and not having proof...

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?
Sure...

T-6005
03-03-2006, 11:56 PM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

Doubt

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?

There are too many reasons to list. The need to believe could be one, but it's an incomplete one, considering the fact that not all religions are based on being orthodoxies. Orthopraxies do exist all over the world.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

Again, doubt. The opposite of faith.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

It is very productive, in the sense that some use religion as a basic worldview. Finding out why people hold the beliefs they do and how they interpret those to fit their own lifestyles is fascinating.

As for the other - how exactly can reading something that is inherently fallible in the face of subjectivity be interpreted correctly?

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

People should care. There can always be good lessons to be learned in even the most overquoted of religious texts. "The Golden Rule", for example, surfaces in many, many religions. Same with the hatred of capital crimes and such.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?

I think faith sort of defines itself. I'm not blase and uncaring enough to define it as a blind belief, but I can't personally say what it is. And I think that, as a past Christian, if I'd ever truly experienced faith, I wouldn't be agnostic right now.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

Legitimate? Absolutely. I clearly wish we knew exactly what was up with the beyond, so that I didn't have to be agnostic, but the existence of doubt (both the doubt of the existence of God, and the opposite), put both atheism and religion in check for me.

Nina
03-04-2006, 12:11 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious?

I have a hard time believing that a god exists. And that keeps me from believing everything else that is religious. It is not like I am against values like "You shall not kill", but I dont consider them religious, just reasonable values that everyone should have. I think that people came up with the bible, and it's not like everything that's in it is total crap. But relating everything to god is, in my opinion.
Although most of you may not believe that, I consider myself very logical. And...honestly? God and his creation doesnt sound logical to me.

2) Why are people in general religious?

The problem is that we cannot explain everything yet. Even if the theory of Evolution is correct, we still havent figured out yet WHY exactly the universe started to exist. Obviously there are theories, but then we still havent figured out yet what made the e- move in the first place, etc. etc.. There will probably always be something that we cant explain, simply because our brain cannot imagine it. And because of that, people have created a god to understand "Yeah, some "thing" is higher than us and knows everything and can do everything and that thing is able to creat all that", to feel secure.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

As I have said, it just doesnt convince me that a god exists. I dont have anything against other beliefs, as long as they 1) dont try to force me into it 2) dont believe in things I just consider WRONG (--> I believe in killing people to free them).

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

Depends. If we have exstremists on either side, it wont lead to anything worthy. But if people are open to new opinions and are in a discussion with people who know how to discuss and give reasons, it might eventually change their mind, which is not really a bad thing.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

Religious works? If you mean jobs like being a priest...
I dont really think so. I think a lot of people are exaggerating when it comes to this. But jeez, I mean, to each their own.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?

I dont belief in faith, at least not in the religious way. I guess the word "faith" also means "belief" in the general term, correct? But either way, I wouldnt call anything I believe in faith. I just call it opinion, or fact, or value (depending on what we are speaking about).

1) My opinion is that honey tastes REALLY bad.
2) 4+4=8
3) People should not kill other human beings.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

Of course. It just means that you are unsure, and dont have an opinion yet. What's there to hate?

Sin Studly
03-04-2006, 12:21 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

Because I'm tru punx.

Vera
03-04-2006, 12:51 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

The real reason is that I'm being complicated with the whole thing.. That is, I want to be religious but I don't want to convert and the religion that would be "natural" to be according to my surroundings, (Evangelist-Lutherians make up 80%+ of Finland), I just can't swallow their teachings. The Bible and the whole Christian faith has become so distant and dislikable to me. I couldn't swallow the father, the son and the holy ghost no matter what. It doesn't work for me.

However, I can't accept another faith system as my own since I dislike the idea of being a religious convert to a religion that's indigeous to an area other than my own. That's to say, I'd feel like a phoney if I converted into Buddhism or Hinduism or even Islam. They're so tied, especially Hinduism, to the area where they originated from. Also, a lot of the forms they take place in the Western world, are cult-like or deviate from the original teachings of the religion - like Hare Krishna is way different than Hinduism.

I used to have a problem with matching the scientific worldview and any religion, but nowadays I see them as separate, as they should be, and kind of hope I had faith in something high above. I sort of do, as a matter of fact, but I miss the communal, social and ritual part of religion. I want to know what my god is, instead of just praying to some undefined spirit out there.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?

I think people are religious because it's in our nature to be. I guess it's a part of psychological drive of a human being. When we don't have science, we look at religion and mythology to explain why the world is like it is. When we have science, we look at religion to give us meaning in life, a sense of purpose. What is a good life? is a question asked so many times. Religion gives an answer to that.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

I don't ..feel like I do that? I see religions as equal. I dislike Christianity but I don't dislike Christian faith or Christians. I do dislike fundamentalists of any religion but I don't look down on their faith or religion per se, just their way of practising it with violence and discrimination of others.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

I think it needs to be done but I don't know if it might lead anywhere. I suppose it might be best if the conversation was left to people of faith, experts of religion as opposed to people of non-faith only.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

Scriptures etc, it always depends on a religion how and by whom they should be interpreted. Look at Islam - they have two people of essentially the same faith, but differences in deciding who should interpret Quran. The Bible seems to be open for anyone's views. The Vedas require academic and religious knowledge to be interpreted and Buddhism doesn't have much written sources.

It's kind of like.. You can't say that a certain religion's holy texts should be re-interpreted if you have no authority in the religion itself. However, I do think it's safe to oppose to any policies practised by a religion that offends the basic human rights. That's to say, if it says in a book that a woman should be slapped twice a day, it doesn't matter if it's the holy word to these people, it's still wrong.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?

Faith is belief and trust in something bigger and wiser than yourself, something non-material. I've experienced it up to a certain point.. Never really strongly.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

Yes. I'm agnostic myself. I just don't know and have difficulties resting my belief on some view in particular as explained in question 1.

I kind of doubt my lack of religiousness because earlier I used to doubt all religiousness.

GreenTerror
03-04-2006, 01:17 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

I'm not religious because it just seems overrated. I've noticed that over-religious people tend to be facists (well, the majority at least) as well as flood their own mind with all of their own bullshit and base alot of their choises on it, making life a dull and miserable cycle. And there is no proof that any religion is correct, so why put your faith into something you don't know is really there? Why pray if no one's listening?


2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?

I believe that people are religious because they cannot grasp the simple idea that there is nothing there, no afterlife. You just rot in the ground, whether you were a cereal killer/rapist, good neighborly type that goes to church every change given, or just the average nine-to-five-er. We all have the same fate, no matter what we believe, or how we live.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

I choose to be Atheist because I know I'm not wasting my time on nothing and having false hope. I was raised Christian, heard all the stories and threats, and it all sounds like complete bullshit to me. I honestly don't see how anyone can believe it, but I suppose they think the same about their beliefs as I do my own, so I can't judge there. None of us really know who's right, and we won't find out until we're dead. Which really sucks if you think about it.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

In a philosophical sense, I'd say it's productive because at length, you delve deeper into the theory and ideas of different religions, and compare them to others, as long as it doesn't turn into a "listen to me, I'm right, you're wrong" discussion. Then it's completely pointless, because, again, none of us know who's wrong and who's right. It's a never ending circle of argument.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

I think there are too many to interpret them all correctly without fucking up somewhere along the line. So, some yes, some no. And yes, people should care, because if somehting gets the wrong interpretation or disagrees with one, someone's going to get pissed off and say something about it. It all falls back into opinions and personal beliefs again.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?

Faith, believing in and depending on something under any and every circumstance. I have had faith in God at one time, as I said, I was raised Christian, but a few years ago I began to question why things in the world were the way they are and why nothing was done by "God". The more I thought about it, the more I began to not believe.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

Sure. Like any other religion, but without the believing.

T-6005
03-04-2006, 01:20 AM
GT - you sound exactly like me in 8th grade. I made a huge point of being a complete Atheist.

Nowadays I figure - where's the harm in doubt? And I mean, you look around, and there are definitely things that cannot be empirically solved, so why not look to possible explanations in the nonstandard ways?

GreenTerror
03-04-2006, 01:21 AM
This is a great thread, by the way.

GreenTerror
03-04-2006, 01:25 AM
GT - you sound exactly like me in 8th grade. I made a huge point of being a complete Atheist.

Nowadays I figure - where's the harm in doubt? And I mean, you look around, and there are definitely things that cannot be empirically solved, so why not look to possible explanations in the nonstandard ways?

There's where I get to question myself: There are some things that just can't be explained, so it seems the only logical explanation would be a higher power. Such as, the creation of the universe, where the hell we all came from, etc.

As I said, the whole thing is a never ending cycle of questions, arguments, and opinions.

T-6005
03-04-2006, 01:27 AM
There's where I get to question myself: There are some things that just can't be explained, so it seems the only logical explanation would be a higher power. Such as, the creation of the universe, where the hell we all came from, etc.

As I said, the whole thing is a never ending cycle of questions, arguments, and opinions.
Well, that's exactly my point - why exactly would you choose to be an atheist, if there are so many unanswered questions?

Do you think that they will eventually be answered by science, or are you trying to simplify your view of the universe's workings?

That's the question, really. Why not indulge in a little doubt?

GreenTerror
03-04-2006, 01:47 AM
I do wonder to myself what made everything if there was never a God, or any higher power whatsoever. But let's say there is a God that made this all possible, after the universe was made, did that God just die? Or is he just sitting on his ass watching us? And how do we know he ever existed?

As for the science thing, I can't really say they'll eventually be solved by science, because if that were possible, woulden't you think they'd have done it by now? But they could be overlooking an essential element that's key to solving these questions. So maybe they will be eventually solved by science.

I suppose it could be a half and half between simplifying and science.

Cycles, cycles, cycles...

And thank you for having this discussion with me. I'm enjoying it. :)

T-6005
03-04-2006, 02:15 AM
Well, all this doubt - personally, it's what drives me to go with the philosophy of doubt, which is agnosticism. All of these questions, instead of a strong belief in disbelief - you see what I mean?

And you're welcome.

Kerr
03-04-2006, 02:39 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?
I find that a lot of the rules and principles within a lot of religions tend to limit the freedom of any human supporting it. This is why I don't at all support religion.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?
It is down to being brought up by parents who are religious or simply engraved in the culture the child has been born into e.g. in the case of Islam. However, other people might well be religious just want someone to turn to, or in the case of older people, need a "friend" due to loneliness.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?
A lot of things humans do is sin, whether it is for real good or not, and a fair amount of this sin e.g. not boning a woman before being married, is something I and most humans would be doing. I just don't want to be too limited. And, I guess doubt is there as well. It is simply human nature to do these things or feel feelings like jealousy. It is natural. I find it unnatural to try and stop these things, and I wouldn't be at my current age happy to have these principles forced on me. There is the rational side too - come on, a fiery place lead by some red guy in a goatee (or in the bible, what was actually a beautiful angel called Lucifer) where you'll be sent to for fucking before marriage? Do me a favour.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?
I am not 100% sure of what the question is asking, but I will try to make some sense of it: I suppose developing understanding of other religions through philosophy can be productive, especially in the case of those who blatently go "religion is gay lol" (like I simularly used to when I showed less regard and maturity for other general things)

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?
I am personally not a religious person myself so I don't know what goes through the mind of a religious person, hence wouldn't understand so much. This might be why some attitudes are a bit negative. So the answer is, I don't really know. But, should anyone care? No, they should stick to their own beliefs and non-beliefs. Live and let live for fucks sakes.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?
Faith is one of those words of which I can't find the words to describe, even though I kind of have an idea what it is. But I've never had faith myself. I never found it rational that a "god" exists at all.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?
It is hard to answer - it is understandable why some might not want to rule out the possibility, especially if they think they might want to find faith when they become older or are lonely. Yet, I generally think (for reasons stated) that athiesm is a better belief, hence I rule out any possibility of a more powerul being which can leave me burning forever.

There are two more things I wanted to say too:
1) A mate of mine, quite intelligently, said that religion is most probably a set of rules made up by some very clever people many many years ago, to enforce moral values, and threaten hell to those who broke these rules. It makes sense, but you can never be sure - unless you could go back in time. But I support this theory. I also believe science (once they actually come up with a solid theory with solid evidence) has more rational explanations (belongs more in 1)
2) Those who decided to give up their faith had more freedom, but were no happier. So for some people, I guess having this superior being to turn to may have done something.

Not Ozymandias
03-04-2006, 03:18 AM
1) Sanity and common sense.
2) Because they're too weak to accept the true nature of existence.
3) Because I'm right.
4) It's pointless unless you look at it as fiction.
5) No, but it's inevitable. Religion's purpose is to keep morons in line and ease their terror of death. When you design something that can only appeal to morons you can't be surprised when they misinterperet it.
6) Pass.
7) Agnosticism is fucking clownshoes, it's just a bunch of atheists who are either too gutless to fully accept reality or want to appear "open-minded".

Vera
03-04-2006, 08:21 AM
Re: none of the religions are "correct".

But that's kind of the thing about religion. It's about believing in something, having faith. Rules of science, being able to prove some phenomenon as real, shouldn't apply in the realm of religion, as rules of religion shouldn't apply in the field of science. Anyone who mixes the two up is abusing either religion or science.

To a believer it's not about proof, and it shouldn't be. We're talking about a thing you can't really prove. To put it another way, to a believer no proof is necessary - to a non-believer no proof is enough.

(We could, in theory, prove that the scriptures of a certain religion are wrong, historically or plain scientifically - like "Jesus couldn't have turned water into wine", but it feels kind of pointless to me. It doesn't make 30% of this world turn away from Christianity because they just believe.)

I used to be so anti-religion but lately I've come to realize that whether or not one is religious him/herself, it's evident that we as a species are geared toward having faith in some superior being. Religion's always been there and it probably always will.

Nineteen Seventy Nine
03-04-2006, 08:31 AM
To start out, I'm Catholic.

1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

Hell.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?

Hell.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

I don't believe one is better. I somehow believe we all go by the same God but people think it has different names and things. But otherwise, I was told to believe in God, and I do.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

Well someone pretty much had to look at it that way to start out but nowadays we just follow what everyone else is doing.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

Not as much. And people don't tend to care at all.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?

Belief.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

It isn't the best.

the_GoDdEsS
03-04-2006, 08:37 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

Doubt, as many people have mentioned here. I don't feel like a religious person at all. At least, I don't practise my religion. This is a super difficult topic to me and it's rather hard to find myself in it. I was raised without a religion but all of my family was strongly Catholic. It was because at that time both of my parents worked as teachers and during the regime if you worked for the state and ideology, you could not have a religion. They'd follow every step you made. And so my parents did not want to risk to bring themselves and us into any danger.

As a small child I used to claim old women invented God because they were bored and had nothing better to do than go to church. My grandmother was known as one of the most sincere and good religious woman who'd read out loud in the holy mass. She died when I was still "pagan" and was unhappy about it.

I joined the Catholics at the age of ten. Out of a pure selfish thing. I liked the beautiful white dresses the girls wore to church. Gradually I started building up my faith and got christened at the age of 10+ something. I went to church on a couple of Sundays, been to a couple of confessions and confirmation. I stopped attending around the age of 17 and fell into doubt again.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?
Maybe people are religious out of Fear and Hope. For me it's sometimes both of them. Sometimes it's just the Hope. Sometimes it's just the selfishness in me that wants some higher help when I'm absolutely desperate. Or I start questioning everything. I do not want to believe in a God that is the same as us people. Because people are not the epitome of Good. They're a co-existence of Good and Evil. So if there's a God to me, it's a concept of the Good, not an old white bearded guy.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?
Because it's something that's always been around me. And it seems sane. Except for being against anticonception, homosexuality and priests getting married. And the shallowness in it is what I mind. I do not like organised religion. It's a very personal thing to me. I don't need to attend a mass.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?
It's something you can discuss forever and never reach any common conclusion. You just won't know for sure until you die maybe.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?
Definitely not interpreted correctly. I've had experience with translations and they can completely change the meaning of things. Seeing that the Bible got translated so many times up to now, it can't be the way it was.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?
I don't have an answer to this. Maybe it's the good feeling I get. Maybe it's the rush of happiness after something I've been longing to have. Maybe it's the wishes coming true. And hopes. No idea. If they ever do.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?
Maybe.

JoY
03-04-2006, 08:43 AM
before I start answering like mad, I'll just say I'm undecided on the subject & wouldn't blindly either deny, or confirm God's existence.

1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

science,
physics,
the fact *we* thought up religion & came up with the Bible, etc, & it's stories,
everything that goes wrong with this planet supposedly under God's eyes,
the fact religion in itself causes a lot of this misery,
not having a final negative answer on whether God exists.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?

hope,
strength,
not having a final negative answer on whether God *doesn't* exist,
environment, upbringing & parents, (nurture)
fear for hell,
love for heaven,
support.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

*shrugs* open mind? not excluding any possibilities & not stepping on anyone's toes.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

counterproductive. it's tiring, it won't lead to new insights & the discussion often leads to a subjective argument/row, because the people involved in the conversation all personally view religion in a different way. it's inevitable. (?) discussing personal views on religion, however, can be very productive & good conversation-material.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

who am I to judge whether they are interpreted correctly, or not? I don't think there's a general way of interpreting things anyway. I believe everyone does that in his/her own way, which shapes 'their' religion as they bring it into practice. personally I don't take the Bible too seriously & view everything as a possible metaphore, which allows me to even accept the Bible from a scientific point of view.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?

as a general form of hope, strength, support & everything faith stands for & offers you. I've experienced all of these things & whatever is out there, even if everything has only been my own doing (which would pretty much ruin the magic) & a matter of coincedence, it's helped me a whole lot.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?[/QUOTE]

is that *my* view as you'd describe it? in that case, it's better than blindly following a certain belief (even if that's the belief that there isn't a God) & not accepting anyone else's view on things. ignorance, hatred, fear & closed mindedness are the worst enemies we know. if anything won't hurt us, it's religion, or anyone's view on religion. it's what people do with those.

XYlophonetreeZ
03-06-2006, 12:19 AM
I find that a lot of the rules and principles within a lot of religions tend to limit the freedom of any human supporting it. This is why I don't at all support religion.
This seems like a really dumb thing to say. Freedom in what sense? Does freedom mean being tru punx and anarky and being able to do whatever the fuck you want? And don't any "rules and principles" limit freedom? Also, just because you personally choose not to follow those rules and principles is no grounds whatsoever to not support religion "at all." It's not really the kind of thing that needs to be supported or not supported anyway. People are going to be religious and others and going to choose not to be.

And forgive me if I misinterpreted your comment about freedom. I really hate the word "freedom" because people use it all the time without knowing what it means in the context they're using it. You'd probably have to talk to ten people before you could find two who have the same definition of "freedom." Maybe I'll try that sometime.

On the whole, however, I've mostly liked the responses here. I even got a fucking clownshoes! One thing I'll point out is possible hypocrisy (or confusion) on the parts of those who said that they were agnostic yet still saw value in discussing religion philosophically. I just don't see how that works. I think a lot of self-proclaimed agnostics don't realize that agnosticism isn't only admitting to not knowing what's there, it's a belief that we can't know. If you just don't know and are still searching for meaning, then you're not agnostic. You're not anything, really. Although I'm sort of in that state right now and I've still told people I'm agnostic, because if you just tell everyone "I don't know," then religious people around you will think it's open season on you and try to convert you. I know this from experience. Whereas, if you say you're agnostic, you sound less easily persuaded.

wheelchairman
03-06-2006, 12:33 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?
I was raised religiously. At the age of 12 I asked myself why I believed in God, and I couldn't think of an answer. So I stopped.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?
When it comes down to it, it preaches acceptance of your crappy conditions. You can accept the fact that you will have to do a shitty job to support your family for the rest of your life. Because you know this sacrifice will get you into heaven.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?
Explained in Question 1.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?
Counterproductive. Religions are faith based. The truest base of faith is belief in defiance of logic.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?
Who am I to say whether or not someone believes in their religion correctly?

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?
Defined in question 4. And yes, probably. My first relationship was very faith based for me. But that is interchangeable with disillusionment.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?
I don't really know what the definition of a legitimate world view is. And I could care less.

XYlophonetreeZ
03-06-2006, 01:40 AM
Time for me to answer my own questions. Was going to earlier, but when I got the time I didn't really feel like it.

1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

I want to believe in something, and it's sort of similar to what others have said. There are tons and tons of religions. Christianity has by far been the most prevalent in my life. So maybe I'll try it, I might think. But why? Because I live in the US and lots of people around me is Christian? Well, yeah. Maybe I'll research some. Buddhism sounds cool. But anyone who converts to a religion because it sounds "cool" needs to step back and reexamine their life. Still, I think I could still pick Christianity or something and not really worry about that dilemma too much.

But that's not really what keeps me from religion. That's what almost keeps me from it. What does keep me from it is the fact that I can look at my best friend, who is a very devout Christian and also the most sensible, non-hypocritical Christian I've ever known. First I saw him, I saw some other friends, and I could detect their faith. I think some of it even rubbed off on me at one point. But then I can look at Buddhist monks who make every move of their entire lives out of devotion for their religions. And the list goes on, and I'd be a complete fucking asshole to deny that they feel some kind of faith. Look at them. It's their whole life, all revolved around this intrinsic feeling that they absolutely know the answer, beyond any doubt. And if I believe in one, that means I don't believe in another. If I subscribe to a religion, and end up finding true faith in whatever, then I'm calling everyone else who has ever felt faith in anything else stupid. I've had numerous discussions with my aforementioned best friend about religion, most of them basically about why I'm not quite a Christian just yet, and he's got an answer to anything I say. He's good. He doesn't go around trying to convert people all the time, but he's heard all the objections and knows how to shut them down. Not to brag, but I mentioned this dilemma to him and for the first time ever during one of those discussions, he fell silent. I made it clear that I wasn't about arbitrarily subscribe to a religion that inherently insults others' ways of life by calling their faiths wrong.

Also, I can't just immediately declare faith in something and actually feel it or believe it. It's like falling asleep. We lie in our beds, closing our eyes, breathing in and out, and basically pretending to be asleep until it actually happens. You have to fake it until it becomes real.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?

This whole thread was actually just going to be the first question, but I thought this was an important question that all religious people need to ask themselves. I'd like to think people are religious because they've seen some kind of light, to be corny, but more accurately I think most are religious because of cultural and familial surroundings.

Religion has done wonders for the world today. People subscribing to religious codes of morals has drastically influenced actions for centuries. I think that on the whole, religion has done lots more good for the world that bad (although lately, people seem to be working very, very hard to make the bad catch up.)

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

Tough for me to answer. I already mentioned that it's stupid to pick a religion because it sounds "cool" or because it's what you're surrounded by and you're afraid to explore further, but realistically you'd be hard-pressed to find a reason to subscribe to anything any other way unless something extraordinary happened.

I definitely believe in A god. Studying biology (which oddly tends to make most people atheist) and just casual observation of the world makes me believe that everything's coming from one place. I think a personal source of the universe makes more sense than an impersonal source. There's a Chronic Future verse that I'm fond of that accurately describes my view on the personal and functional nature of the universe:

My biggest fear in life is that the universe works.
I guess to be blessed we had to be cursed first.
Well obviously waiting on honesty hurts worse
than arguing over how much the dirt's worth.
If that type of magic, when creative spurts burst
can turn to a flat line from hospitalized bird chirps,
would you line up with me to be the first cursed
to prove to this nervous Earth
the universe works?

By the way, I've decided that if I were indeed to become a Christian, I would do so only acknowledging that if the content of the Bible is true and accurate, that it isn't the whole truth. I would remain somewhat comforted by believing that there is also a lot of stuff that God simply does not want us to know, which is something that almost all of the Christians I've met have never considered.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

Discussing religion in general can be productive and interesting. Discussing within a single religion is OK as long as it's basic talk about the beliefs of the religion, but if it goes too deep then it hurts itself. I think it's very counterproductive to sit in a group and ask "Why did God do this? Why did God do that?" in one of those "Bible study" groups or what-the-fuck-ever. I think once one understands what's there, one can only ask "why?" so many times before you start speculating over stuff that isn't there. Like I said, if there is a god, I believe that there is stuff that we just aren't meant to know, and it's better to accept that. It's stupid anyway. God's all-knowing, huh? Well, then he knows that we're not going to figure everything out.

Christianity is drastically hurt by the fact that preachers, priests, and ministers are obligated to come up with new sermons EVERY SINGLE FUCKING SUNDAY. With a couple of million religious speakers in this country and 52 Sundays a year, it doesn't take too long for the indulgent bullshit to kick in. And other religions are hurt in much the same way.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

Probably not. Lots of translation, many translations, too much dogma over the years has added to the legit texts (Constantine was the worst at this) and now shit's being grossly, and deliberately, misinterpreted so that people can find shit. Just go to www.bible.com to see people freely interpret scripture to suit their own agenda. And it's all over the place. That's sofa king retarded.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?
I refuse to deny the existence of faith, but the fact that people are able to feel similarly about many different religions may prove that it isn't what people think it is. It shows that it's probably coming from within our own minds rather than from the supernatural. Although it still seems to be a direct consequence of spiritual devotion, from what I've seen. And I did have some form of faith until it was wrecked by a sporadic thought- that mentioned earlier about insulting others' faith which is just as valid as mine.

And I think many others hit the nail on the head when they described faith as belief free from logic.

Oh yeah, and WAY too many people are afraid to mention faith in intellectual conversation.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

Not for me. I'm too introverted to be agnostic. I may tell myself that I'll never know greater answers, but that doesn't give me rest. I'll keep torturing myself with the thought. I sort of have to believe in something. And all the agnostics who claimed to see value in philosophical religious discussion really made me think that I'm probably not in the minority as far as this goes. I think most people want to believe in something; and even though agnosticism IS a belief of some sort, it doesn't give answers, which is what our human brains typically want.

Vera
03-06-2006, 03:06 AM
Great post, Xylo.


Maybe I'll research some. Buddhism sounds cool. But anyone who converts to a religion because it sounds "cool" needs to step back and reexamine their life.

Yeah, exactly. Like that faith test that's online. You can't just do it and suddenly become Buddhist because the religion agrees with you 95% of the time. I've always felt like if you convert, you need to believe, you need to feel it and you need to really, truly find the answers you've been looking for in that religion and in that faith.


And if I believe in one, that means I don't believe in another. If I subscribe to a religion, and end up finding true faith in whatever, then I'm calling everyone else who has ever felt faith in anything else stupid.

This I kind of want to disagree with. After all, some feel that all religions speak of essentially the same thing. To choose one over the other shouldn't really be a choice, since you're either born into a religion or then you discover it - find the answers, start to believe etc. I mean, that's how it should go.

Maybe it's not "proper" religiousness to accept others of different faith, I think it's evident in the history of religion that many religions have that "This is the truth and anything outside is untrue"-spirit that makes them look down on people of non-faith or people of another faith. I think Christianity especially, since it has that thing about converting people as a huge part of it.

Maybe it is like that. Once you have faith, you start looking down on others who believe in a different kind of deity or practise different beliefs than you because every religion essentially thinks it's the true one. I guess this is one of the features religion needs to survive.

Though, one can look at Japan and see that people practise multiple religions. They celebrate Buddhist holidays, have Shinto shrines and pray to a Christian god. In theory, perhaps, it's not impossible to have faith and accept the faith of others - or even incorporate parts their faith into your own.


Also, I can't just immediately declare faith in something and actually feel it or believe it. It's like falling asleep. We lie in our beds, closing our eyes, breathing in and out, and basically pretending to be asleep until it actually happens. You have to fake it until it becomes real.

God, this is like, exactly what's been going through my mind lately.


Discussing religion in general can be productive and interesting. Discussing within a single religion is OK as long as it's basic talk about the beliefs of the religion, but if it goes too deep then it hurts itself.

Not to mention people themselves.

I agree. Discussing religion in general, as we do here, is fantastic. It makes people question their faith, question their non-faith - that's healthy.

However, sometimes dialogue between people of two different religions on religion or a certain religious phenomenon, is a receipe for a disaster.

I'll give you an example. I go to a forum on Indian cinema. Now, that's a pretty shallow topic and fun should be had by all. And it is, 90% of the time. It's when things turn to religion that things can get nasty. You have a large population of believers on the forum - some Christian, some Hindu, some Muslim. Some Sikh and Parsi, too, and one or two Buddhists.

It seems like the problems all come down to religion being personal to people. To put it short, you can insult my mother and we can discuss it and work around that and still be friends, but if you insult my religion, you're my enemy. And the thing is that one doesn't know what offends someone and what doesn't. One Hindu may laugh at a joke while another will ge deeply hurt over it. And you can't walk on egg shells all the time.

Also, the dialogue between two believers is nearly impossible. You can have a Hindu ask a Christian about something concerning Christianity and the Christian will tell the Hindu about it with the authority of "I'm a Christian, I know my religion". All is well if the Hindu accepts everything being told. But if they disagree or make the mistake of comparing something to Hinduism or find something unagreeable in Christianity, there's a problem that can't really be worked out through debate. You can be the most tolerant, open Christian, but you still probably won't stand someone telling you your religion is wrong or flawed in some way (flawed as in the core teachings of Christianity are wrong - not just a phrase in the Bible is wrong).

It's understandable but highly dangerous. A recently the Danish cartoon debate made a Muslim and a Christian debate each other's religions, both probably with numerous misconceptions & prejudice and of course, the idea that their own religion was the correct one. Naturally, misunderstandings took place on both sides and they weren't able to settle the debate, both offended and angry over the whole thing.

Peaceful co-existence between believers? Possible, as long as we don't even try to discuss other people's religions. Cultural practises (women's circumcision is not a religious custom) we can discuss and even judge, as well as human rights violations, but the core beliefs of a certain religion .. well, it can get very, very dangerous.


re: Agnoticism is a belief.

I always saw it as

A theist believes there is a god.
An atheist believes there isn't a god.
An agnostic doesn't believe there is a god.

Is even not believing a belief? Tough to say, really. I think everyone has faith in something, whether it just be in human goodness, human evilness or a divine being. It's just another thing whether you throw your life upon that belief, whether you practise it, or whether you keep quiet and keep it in your heart.

Vera
03-06-2006, 03:13 AM
Also, one thing I've noticed from people's answers is that they seem to see religion as the religion they once belonged to while some others reply and consider religion on the whole, all the major world religions and other religious practises.

After all, the world doesn't just contain the theist religions born from the semitic tradition (Judaism, Islam, Christianity), there are many essentially atheist religions out there.

Though I suppose whenever someone says "I'm atheist" in today's world, they mean "non-religious" since I don't think any supporter of Jainism would actually define themselves as atheist - they wouldn't understand the word's meaning since it comes from the Christian tradition.

That_Guy91
03-06-2006, 03:54 AM
Somebody make sure this thread is still around in like 12 hours. I want to answer it but I have no time right now.

honey
03-06-2006, 05:14 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?
I don't believe in God, I don't believe there's anything up there, I don't think there's anyone powerfull enough as in all religion stories/myths. But I'm not keeping others from it, I just say what I think, that's all.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?
People like to think someone is responsible. That they're responsible theirself, they don't wanna see.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?
Because I don't believe in any religion, it makes me care less, if not at all.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?
It's not productive in any way.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?
No.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?
Faith is believing in something, and trusting it. And no.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?
I don't know, and I don't care.

T-6005
03-06-2006, 06:41 AM
I made it clear that I wasn't about arbitrarily subscribe to a religion that inherently insults others' ways of life by calling their faiths wrong.

Sanni's right - I agree, great post. If you're looking for a religion that encompasses a bit more in the manner you spoke of, though, you might want to check out -

The Baha'i Faith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bahai)

I'm not telling you "Oh look, convert to this, it's like what you were talking about!", but you might want to read up on the basic tenets of the religion. I found them interesting.

reader
03-06-2006, 07:41 AM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

I don't believe. I am a materialist.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?

Something to believe in, loneliness, absolution, servitude

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

There is nothing that exists beyond the physical realm.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

Depends, there's a thriving mini economy of it. Undergrads go to uni, study philosophy, this keeps profs employed. They write books, undergrads buy these books so do many others. So yes it's useful to earn money. It's not counter productive because first you must define what productive is. Is it positive welfare effects? If yes it's productive.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

It intrigues me how much a religious text is like a legal statute. The courts (priests, sha's, mystics, prophets etc.) interpret the statute (holy books etc.) how ever they please to garner some end game. They will read into the book whatever they please, ignore what ever they please. They will extract underlying principles and extend them, restrict them. The end game is important. And yes we should care. Change the end game to positive ends, we have a beneficial interpretation. Change it to negative ends (terrorism) and well ya know.

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?

Faith and hope for me go hand in hand. Many have wondered how a man can survive without faith, it's not the faith that's so important it's the hope. God gives some people hope, religion gives less people hope and people are my faith/hope. And yes I experience it in varying degrees mostly everyday of my life. Some days I do not. Those are the dark days.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

Not a materialist world view, no. The answer is obvious although circular. If everything exists in the physical universe, then everything can be explained by laws of physics. If everything can be explained by the laws of physics then god can be too. Thus the answer is a matter of logical-positivism. But if god is empirical fact, he ceases to be god in many peoples views.

But since we're discussing a dualist universe of gods and religion then yes, of course it is. Because our theories of knowledge are only applicable to the universe they were formed in. Unless super-symmetry extends to gods worlds. But then that would be another material world and we're back to square one. The problems religion and philosophy posit us are not problems properly so called. The reason they are not solved is because the question is wrongly formed. An analogy might be what does + added to X equal? We will never know, it's beyond any theory of knowledge to explain it because it's a stupid question and we should shut up asking silly questions.

Outstanding thread, made me think.

Kerr
03-06-2006, 01:55 PM
This seems like a really dumb thing to say. Freedom in what sense? Does freedom mean being tru punx and anarky and being able to do whatever the fuck you want?
No, I wasn't implying that.


And don't any "rules and principles" limit freedom? Also, just because you personally choose not to follow those rules and principles is no grounds whatsoever to not support religion "at all." It's not really the kind of thing that needs to be supported or not supported anyway. People are going to be religious and others and going to choose not to be.
True. Yes, all rules and principles limit freedom. I understand how the "rules" of society also limit freedom. In fact, a lot. Like I said, though, even I am very unsure whether I would want to pursue a faith then of older age, for reaons relating to loneliness and having something bigger to turn to (I think I stated that in my last post...), but as it stands, I'd choose to not follow a religion.


And forgive me if I misinterpreted your comment about freedom. I really hate the word "freedom" because people use it all the time without knowing what it means in the context they're using it..
I suppose I didn't put it clearly enough. I guess, from what I know of some religions, they limit freedom more than society (for example, some actions which are be of human nature like wanting to have sex/having sex before marriage, which a lot of religions disallow), hence I choose not to be religious. I should have put it that way. I guess I really did have second thoughts on using that word without explanation.

coke_a_holic
03-06-2006, 02:16 PM
1) A few reasons, many of which seem totally lame, which I admit. I'm lazy. I said it, I'll say it again, I am too lazy to go to church or even consider waking up early enough to on Sunday (or go to Synagogue on Saturday, for that matter). Also, if there is a God, why does he/she/it care about us so much? There are billions of stars in this galaxy alone, why would one planet revolving around one star mean so much as to make a "Chosen People" and whatnot? I'm not saying I don't believe in some higher power, but I doubt that there's one that considers us as much of a masterpiece as Sunday School says. The only reason we believe that, in my opinion, is because man is genetically conceited and believes that we we are the pinnacle of creationism and blah, blah, blah.

2) EDIT: Because they feel like they want to have a purpose in life. It's much easier to get through life thinking that you were created for some reason and that you will carry out your purpose at some point in time.

3) That's how I was raised. I'm not gonna try and bullshit some answer, that's the truth.

4) It is productive because the more open one is to others beliefs, the less likely they are to become unable to accept any other beliefs as true besides there own.

5) I don't think they've ever been interpretted correctly, and I don't think any human CAN interpret them (save the writer(s))

6) Faith is just a blind hope that something is how you expect. It's using no prior knowledge or information that can be proven to further one's beliefs in something that doesn't have a definite existence. I think I have felt faith before, but I am unsure, it's not something that is easily detectable.

7) No, it's just a way to get out of the "why don't you believe in God?" argument they get from the J-Man's followers. Although, agnostics definitely have a better view of it than the general Athiest, they're basically the same religion under different names for different ideas of one's on beliefs. Athiest: No God, all you guys are idiots. Agnostic: I don't think there is a God, but I'm willing to think that there could be one, so don't bother picking a fight with me.

Yep.

BREAK
03-06-2006, 03:37 PM
1. I sinned and got away with it.
2. Magic prayers WORK, dammit.
3. No one else's beliefs make a lick of sense whatsoever.
4. Religion and philosophy don't mix, like two dicks and no chick
5. I don't care enough to make up a cool-sounding answer.
6. Stating the obvious.
7. It's for the lazy.

Betty
03-06-2006, 11:05 PM
1) If you're not religious, what's keeping you from being religious (and if you are, what do you think keeps others from being religious)?

Contradictions
Regarding Sanni's comments: I can't grasp how a person can believe with all of their heart in something, a religion, but at the same time remain honestly 100% open to other religions also being valid. This does not make sense to me. Like, sure the end goal may be the same in all cases. But it seems absolutely ridiculous to live your life based on one religion if you still think others could be valid. How? How does this make sense? The entire concept confuses the hell out of me. I can understand maybe believing in a god, praying to this god, having specific morals, while never really committing to any one religion... this makes sense. But actually following a religion, what, arbitrarily? ...

Need for scientific proof
Regarding agnosticism: I have seen a couple definitions pop up but I'm pretty sure it means you believe you cannot prove, nor DISPROVE, the existence of god. Hence you remain open to both possibilities, but don't believe you will can know for sure. Although I'd like to think that I can expand this definition and claim that I can't know for sure at this point in time, but that it is theoretically possible to learn the truth. I'd imagine at this point you could choose to live your life as if there maybe is a god in hopes that this will pay off for you (half assed religion?) or you could live your life as if there wasn't a god. I classify myself as an agnostic, or "agtheist" if you wish. I don't know if there is or isn't a god, but I live my life as if there isn't one.

Faking is hypocritical
Even if I wanted to believe, which I don't really, I honestly can't fake it. I hear about it, I hear the contradictions, the preachings, and it just sounds like a bunch of hooey. It seems like a waste of time to worship or pray to something I don't even really believe in. I figure to get anything out of it, I would need to believe, otherwise it's hypocritical and not worth my time. I figure in order to believe, I need to have some sort of "sign". I need a vision, a communication with god, a miracle, etc. If this happens, I may change my mind. If god is out there, there should be a sign. Until then, yeah, I just can't fake it.

Worshipping is cultish and scary
ALSO, it doesn't make sense to me that you can only be "saved", ie go to heaven or receive god's mercy or whatever, if you have faith in him/her/it. What happens to the rest of the world (atheists, agnostics, other religions alike)? They go to hell? As soon as hell becomes necessary for things to make sense, I really can't digest that concept. Seriously, a hell? I am going to hell? If you are a good person, why should you suffer the wrath of god simply because you did not worship this god? Because ultimately religion comes down to worshipping. And how could a good and ever-loving and ever-giving god require people to worship him/her/it? Wouldn't god be humble?

As you can see, there are way too many inconsistencies, and ultimately, typing this, I cannot believe that I should need to worship or pray to a god, it seems ridiculous. There might be one, sure. But I see absolutely no reason to join a religion.

2) If you are religious, why (if not, why are people in general religious)?

-Because you were raised that way and it has been pounded into your subconscious.
-You need to fill that "void" in your life
-You need answers, meaning, etc.

3) What is your reason for favoring your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) over other religions?

Agnosticism: seems to be much, much more logical.

Catholicism: I was raised a catholic. Even now, since it's everything I have been exposed to since I was a child, it's probably the only religion I could seriously consider being true.

4) Is it productive, counterproductive, or neither to discuss religion at length in a philosophical sense?

I'd like to think that any form of dicussion is productive. Some discussion is obviously much more or much less productive, but I never like to think that one is actually worse off for having discussed a topic.

5) Are religious works being interpreted correctly nowadays, and should anyone care?

This question assumes that there is actually a correct interpretation. I'd like to think most religious texts are just stories that can be pretty much interpreted at will. I think we should care as soon as these interpretations are used for "bad" and not "good".

6) How do you define faith, and have you ever experienced it?

True unbridled belief. When you believe in your heart and your soul and your mind and every ounce of your being that something is true and that is how it was, is, and always will be.

I don't believe I have ever experienced it but I have met people who have. And if there was anything that would ever convert me, it would be speaking with these people. Notably, my parents. They have told me stories of experiences they have had that seriously freak me out.
-My father praying to St. Theresa to find a job and then finding a white rose on his car and then getting a job the next day.
-My mother literally seeing god (she told the story very well, it was freaky)
-My aunt couldn't get pregnant. She tried for years. In vitro fertilization, over and over. My dad wakes up in the middle of the night, 15 years down the road, and informs my mom that my aunt was pregnant and she would be having a boy. And she was. And she did. Freaky stuff.

7) Do you think agnosticism is a legitimate world view?

Absolutely.

And if I may have a take home message, this is something that just really clicked in my mind while typing this up and thinking about things:

Believing that there IS a god and believing that you should actually worship and pray to this god in order to live your life are two entirely different things. It is absolutely logical to believe that there is/could be a god, but that there is no reason that your life should revolve around him/her/it.

Vera
03-07-2006, 12:48 AM
Betty, what I basically meant is that one recognizes the similarities between religion and their views about people as beings and god. It's not really about staying open to all religions, it's about recognizing them as important to the people believing in them and thus not entirely following this "my religion rocks, yours sucks"-logic and remaining respectful.

But as I said earlier, I became doubtful whether this can actually be done since nearly every major world religion seems to carry a notion that they're the only one and their god(s)/spirit/supreme being/teachings are the right one(s). Especially the monotheist ones.

Re: the definition of agnostic, it pretty much means "doesn't know if god/whatever exists". Since..

Gnosˇtic Audio pronunciation of "gnostic" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (nstk)
adj.

1. gnostic Of, relating to, or possessing intellectual or spiritual knowledge.

Add a- and it becomes negative. I think there's only really a problem when someone starts debating that agnostic = atheist or atheist should be agnostic or something of that sort.

Not every religion carries a notion of Hell or a similar place. ;p

You're true about inconsistencies, though. The Bible especially is full of contradictions, which is why you'll have one Christian who is liberal and tolerant and one who is a raging fundie. Quite obvious that even though both believe and follow Jesus, they go by completely different texts in their religiousness.


Believing that there IS a god and believing that you should actually worship and pray to this god in order to live your life are two entirely different things. It is absolutely logical to believe that there is/could be a god, but that there is no reason that your life should revolve around him/her/it.

True. The thing about today's world is probably that many people have religious beliefs, even the smallest ones, but they don't go to church or practise these beliefs in any way. Which is probably why in Finland for example people are leaving church - even if they have religious beliefs of some kind, they don't feel the need to practise them, or they don't match the main religion. People of the church are of course all worried but the fact is that with globalization religiousness is changing. Also because of the change in society, it's also becoming more and more personal. It doesn't need a religious community around it. It can just be belief within oneself.

So you'll have those, to quote a Pablo Fransisco show, "girls who say they're not religious, they're spiritual".


4. Religion and philosophy don't mix, like two dicks and no chick

Lolz Thomas Aquina was a fag.