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Extremely - I attend church 2 or 3 times/month 7 9.72%
Moderate - I attend church between 6 to 12 times/year 4 5.56%
Minimal - I attend church on holidays and for weddings 8 11.11%
Non-religious - I generally do not attend church 53 73.61%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-29-2005, 12:07 PM   #41
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pinion you just had to start crap didnt you!


Ok Kids here are my thoughts on belief systems. Everyone has one. Some people believe money is the road to happiness, some people think they will find it in kids or a spouse, some look for such delight in Jesus Christ and some look for it in the teachings of Buddha. The simple fact is we are all striving for more and we all believe that we know or can find the best (if not the only) way to get what we desire. I am in desperate pursuit of Jesus because I know deep in my loins that there is more to this world than just the physical. More than that though is that my entire life has been a series of unmistakable opportunities to shape and form me into who and what I am today. I do not, nay Can Not believe that these consequences were not the laid out plans of a omniscient creator.

So regardless of whether you seek to find your happiness in existing like the taoist, or you are trying to work your way to paradise like the muslim, or are in passionate pursuit of a living Jesus, or think that all of it is a load of bullshit. You believe in something. Therefore we always have that to regroup with eh?


ya'll like how this entire post was almost pointless?
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Old 06-29-2005, 12:14 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by voyd@Jun 29 2005, 06:14 AM
I guess the cliched answer would be that \"good\" and \"bad\" don't really absolutely exist...but are all* ultimately subjective points of view - that can change with one's POV.* Any event can thus be considered both \"good\" or \"bad\" depending on different perspectives...

exactly. If there is no "god" and there is no "devil" then we have no absolutes to base our theory of right and wrong on. Without absolutes our entire society fails.

So where do you think we get these feelings, even as children of fair and unfair, right and wrong?
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Old 06-29-2005, 01:06 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by jakethepunk@Jun 29 2005, 01:13 PM
exactly. If there is no \"god\" and there is no \"devil\" then we have no absolutes to base our theory of right and wrong on. Without absolutes our entire society fails.

So where do you think we get these feelings, even as children of fair and unfair, right and wrong?
Generally speaking, "evolution." In other words, all our morality stems from naturally-selected self-preservation survival instincts/strategies. We are the results of those who wanted to survive. Cuz, those who didn't, didn't pass down their "suicide" genes and hardwired behavior to create us. It's not to say they were "bad," just that they didn't survive to pass down those traits today...

In short, we normally put the needs of our kids first, then us, then family, then species, etc etc. Our "compassion" for something is generally proportional to the genetic divergence/distance between us and it. We will be much more empathetic to a dog than a grasshopper. And also inversely proportional to any competitive or survival threat it poses to us. We will lose compassion for and fear a bear more than a ladybug.

This is why murdering humans is "wrong" but murdering a sheep is not (by Biblical morality). All very humancentric. And also very dogmatic - as a child might find both "bad," until he is taught otherwise later (that only the first is).

But in reality, one less human on this planet would save the lives of countless plants and animals that would otherwise have been consumed/destroyed to support that human's existence. So, it'd be "good" from THEIR perspective. Morality is only as absolute as your frame of reference. And like Einstein said, it's all relative...
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Old 06-29-2005, 02:36 PM   #44
 
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In my life, I've vascillated between different ideas of religion. I was christened a Catholic...by high school, I considered myself atheist...in college, I began exploring spirituality...and now, I have discovered what may be the best reflection of my personal views, B'nei Noach. Called "The Path of the Righteous Gentile," I aim to follow the Seven Laws of Noah, which are:
1 - Establish courts of law
2 - Do not blaspheme
3 - Do not worship idols
4 - Do not murder
5 - Do not commit adultery
6 - Do not steal
7 - Do not eat the limb of a living animal
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Old 06-30-2005, 11:01 AM   #45
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i got to church every sunday. but thats bc its my parents church and seeing as i am a minor... i kind of have no choice... (which sucks)

I used to be really religious (Christian) but then one day i just stopped. So now i don't know if I'm atheist or agnostic.

So I didn't vote cuz... I go every week, yet I'm no way near religious.
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Old 06-30-2005, 10:11 PM   #46
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Beergal, i'm proud to be catholic i've just lost faith in it...i know that doesn't make much sence, but whenever i go to chaple i do feel at ease, i have my own reasons for losing my faith but i don't think i've lost it just that it isn't that strong. See if i ever have children i would want them cristened, for no other reason that it was beside me all my life, never changed the way i was but it was a stable thing (any gardeners out there that have stuck a rod into a plant to help it grow, well same applies)..........see my thing is that i'm a good person but in my 27 years have had nothing but shit so i'm sorry if my faith lapses over time
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Old 04-30-2006, 02:08 PM   #47
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I consider myself to be religious but I very rarely go to Church. I was born an Anglican but raised Quaker. The Quaker belief is that while they have meetings for worship every Sunday, God is everywhere. For me its not about how many hours you are in Church for , it about how you try and live your life and what you believe. I am not a Quaker anymore but I have taken that piece of Quakerism with me on my spiritual journy.
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Old 04-30-2006, 03:25 PM   #48
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^^^ Well after seeing this post I believe in resurrection.

I'm not religious at all. I'm an atheist but you could call me an agnostic because I think that the existence of God is irrelevant and undecidable. You can assume he does exist, doesn't exist, or neither, and not have any problems.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:46 PM   #49
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judaism interests me. i went to yom kippor at a local temple last year. interesting, it was. things like that just don't *stir* me. you know? maybe i'm heartless or have no soul or something. oh well.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:03 PM   #50
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^^ I get that Penn. I'm Jewish by birth/heritage, but, like above, not religious. I've actually been trying to find a good liberal rabbi to help me reconcile my beliefs with my feelings of Jewry.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:14 PM   #51
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I remember that love is what God wants us to do and we are all sinners so the bible teaches us to be careful not think we are righteous.
I am hopeful for life and the afterlife when I think about the Catholic religion. I am proud of the Church and the Pope, for sending a message of openness which welcomes anyone and everyone from any background coming to it to worship God. I have heard it said that religion teaches people to feel like failures which I found a good answer to in Pope Benedict's new book. In the Pope's book he says that we are holy or at least we cam share in the Lord's holiness when we act like Jesus Christ, or his holiness is shared with us. I was raised Catholic but I have enjoyed the religion more recently which has been strengthened by experiences in Rome. My travel interest in Rome was non-religion based but it enhanced my belief to experience a Jesus celebration at night in Piazza Navona where people were dancing and I fellowshipped with other believers. Norman Vincent Peale says that this is the best joy life has to offer in his book the Power of Positive Thinking. I have recently returned to Maine where I save money by living at home because I want to travel and paint. I listen to radio broadcasts of a born again Christian station and I question the association with a denomination when I can read the bible until I think in the apostles creed how it recognizes and believes in the lives of saints. Through studying art history I learned about the worship of saints during the time of the plagues and the faith people had in praying to Mary and Saint Francis to end the plagues. I have prayed for a saints intercession when I needed something miraculous to happen and it miraculously did happen on a trip to Italy. St. Jude is the patron saint of miracles and the hospital which gives free treatment and is a leader in cancer research gives its name to St. Jude the patron saint of miracles. On tv I saw that a child received free care there. I am sure that it has performed miracles and God blesses many there. When I go to my local Roman Catholic church I feel good and inspired by the company, and shared prayer of others and I love praying and finding new ways to pray. For this the Catholic religion has answered my prayers to.

I search for new ways to pray and I went in to a Catholic church one Sunday and the subject was prayer. It was just before travelling to Italy on my first solo trip which probably made me seek God and pray way more than usual. I needed Him to hear my prayers and grant them. In mass the priest said that in the news there was a car accident caused by a person talking on a cell phone;
"Has anyone ever heard of someone getting into a car accident while they were praying?" the priest asked.
He then shared a prayer technique with us that was in four parts. First, express humility, then adoration, then regret for sin, and then provision. I realized I could be doing anything else being busy and not focusing on him so I spent an incredible amount of time each day praying and it paid off in the most amazing travel experience in of all places Rome. I am probably going to attend a biblestudy class for the first time with some Christian co-workers and I am writing about travelling and God-willing I will contribute to Tpunks travel stories.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:46 PM   #52
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Theology and history and goegraphy (and art) are so interesting!
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Old 05-01-2006, 12:41 PM   #53
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I was raised Mormon.... however, I no longer consider myself a Mormon. Nor do I consider myself religious. Organized religion is not for me, doubt it ever will be. I do consider myself spiritual though. My spirit is very independent, which...when asked to remain contained within one organization...I've felt suffocated, controlled, judged and extremely unhappy. It's as if I've been asked to close my eyes, stop listening, discontinue the use of my brain and to stop the natural desire I have to use all of my senses...which, are what help me navigate my way through life. But as an independent being, capable of learning and growing...my spirit is most happy when my mind is free to choose how I want to contribute to this world.

Sooo, that's how it is for ME. I can't say how it is for anyone else. Organized religion may be the right compass for most people to navigate through life. But, for some reason...that compass doesn't work for me.

Once I think I really know what it is that I believe, and try to define "it"....my beliefs have already grown and shaped themselves into something slightly different. Every day, small and/or large impressions are made on my life....giving me that much more insight into what it is (or isn't) that I believe about the purpose of my own existence.



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Old 05-01-2006, 02:57 PM   #54
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nice to see that a bunch of folks can talk about a flashpoint issue without totally losing it.

i studied religion as a major college (historical/comparative focus, not seminary) and the one thing i notice to all good ideas is that they get corrupted when a bunch of men get involved. most faiths started with a set of great ideas that got corrupted when a bunch of guys get together in a room make all the rules. once that happens it easily becomes a dumping ground for the prejudices, fears, and failings of the guys at the table.

i don't believe in heaven or hell. and i'm proud of everyone who does the best they can and aren't doing it out of fear of eternal damnation or guarantee of a happy everafter. that being said, i kind of have a problem with groups of people who honestly believe that decent, honest, moral, ethical, caring, generous people won't go to heaven without following some set of rituals, following the seven sacraments or being born again. my god wouldn't care.

and though i am as guilty as the next guy in taking shots at most forms of organized religion, in a lot of ways i know that that is a load of crap too. by making generalizations like that i am being as ignorant as the side of the family that tried to convert my side every time we see them. as much as it is dismissed as the cause of most of the conflicts in the world, it also does a lot of good for a lot of people. i guess you can't talk about something as broad as religion without taking into account that it is really just a product of the people that participate.

that's all, i promise not to pontificate so much on any other posts. religion and spirituality have always been a huge interest of mine, so it is hard to resist.

omisan: opiate was one of my top ten albums of the 90's. lots of cigarette smoking an very loud solo car singing to that one in high school.

kindraDC: had a few friends of mine grow up mormon and then leave the church. that's a big move, especially of the rest of your family's still observing. nice to hear you're doing well.

thejake: i really dig the fact you're making the effort to find jesus without an orthodox umbrella. definitely liked a lot of what jesus said, or things we can prove he said through some of the canonical and non-canonical gospels (thomas, etc.), and it amazes me how much power the bible give to people like paul, who never even met him.

one thing you mentioned that i'm not sure i agree with is that it is absolutes that keep society together. i've always found that it is the absolutes, or points of view that embrace making divisions like that make great, obedient societies, but that they don't do humanity any favors. i come from the point of view that there is no one truth. just varying points of view.

peace out ~C

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Old 05-01-2006, 04:34 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by soma77@May 1 2006, 04:57 PM

kindraDC: had a few friends of mine grow up mormon and then leave the church. that's a big move, especially of the rest of your family's still observing. nice to hear you're doing well.
[snapback]116729[/snapback]
Thanks Soma... (I'll drink to that! )

Most of my family are still devout Mormons...except for myself, my two brothers and my Dad.

Somehow....we managed to get out....
Unfortunately, scars remain ( Mormon Inc.)...but, I'm relatively healthy now.


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Old 05-01-2006, 07:09 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by KindraDC@May 1 2006, 07:34 PM
Thanks Soma...* * (I'll drink to that! )

Most of my family are still devout Mormons...except for myself, my two brothers and my Dad.*

Somehow....we managed to get out....
Unfortunately, scars remain ( Mormon Inc.)...but, I'm relatively healthy now.*
[snapback]116760[/snapback]
glad most of your immediate family go out. one of the folks i was referring to did it by himself and his family still has to pretend he's dead. the scarring sucks but you guys are better off.

and yes, now that you're out we can drink to that. coffee, guinness. just about anything you'd like, though booze of coffee would be an appropriate to the old gang.
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Old 05-01-2006, 10:36 PM   #57
 
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wow, this is an intensely interesting thread to read. I was raised Roman catholic which is what my mother is, but my father was raised Ukrainian Orthodox and was athiest by the time I was born and left any sort of religious upbringing to my mother. We went to chuch without my father, but I often went to the Ukrainian services because the rest of my dad's family still practised it. It was really interesting going to both of these Masses growing up, seeing these really old religions that were once the same. But now they're different! It's insane to think that the differences in these churchs make one better than the other!
This is why I can't say I'm happy with organized religion. They all believe in a higher power, but the rules to get there are just traditions that some people started to disagree with, thus starting their own different religion with more traditions that different others disagree with. Maybe there's something bigger than us, but i can't know that. and yes, i'll be the first to admit that i'll start asking/praying to that random presence(which could just be a comfort thing) on occasion. it's impossible not to, i think. But I can't say I would ever be able to accept what organized religion tells me to do.

On the other hand, I love churches/synagogues/temples. not the big new mega churches with tv screens and whatnot, but ones that have meaning. i might not agree witht the religious rules of the people in it, but i feel that there is a lot of love and hope and faith put into these structures. When i travel, i always go to the churches and try to see a service. And whenever any of the choirs I've been in has an opportunity to sing in one, it's always the most memorable experience.
If anything, music is my faith, and i don't mean that in a sappy way. Religious music or otherwise, it can express all emotions, give hope, reassurance, tell a story of vengence and dispair. it's amazing that when i sing a certain song, i can start crying from one emotion or actually laugh with another.
Sorry this went on a rant, but I totally understand why people have religion in their lives. I have friends of all faiths some more strict than others. But I think just getting to sing the Bach Mass in b minor in a huge old cathedral is all the religion i need. and what i like most about it is getting to feel what religion meant to a certain person. How people 200 years ago would feel about their god after they heard the piece it for the first time. it's an awe inspiring feeling.
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Old 05-01-2006, 11:40 PM   #58
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Since everyone is stating what they believe, I will try myself with help from Scripture.

I believe in God, the father, the creator of heaven and earth. Christ His only Son, whom He sent to earth to cleanse the sin that entered our world in the garden. I believe that Christ is the only way to heaven - (Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. no one comes to the Father except through me - John 14:6) - and that we must repent - "For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God" Romans 3:23 - to be redeemed in Him. Because "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23. Accepting Christ is accepting eternal life. Christ gave his life for you and I, and He rose again!

Well, there is kinda a Sunday sermon. A bad one, but that's what I got right now at this time of night when I should be studying.

Astro - Yes there is differences in those denominations, I'm not very familiar with them, but I think both at the core of their beliefs is Christ.


Maybe I can write more after finals.


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Old 05-03-2006, 05:06 AM   #59
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My first post made no sense atall so I'll give it another go

I was brought up Irish Catholic and hated the church for a long time, but I've come to realise religion isn't in itself a bad thing. Originaly religion and belief in God would have been a great liberation it took the power away from kings and lords and made everyone equal. The church was originaly just a meeting point for Christians and got twisted. They are using God to empower themselfs. I do think that religion has a place if everyone has the same beleifs there would be no conflict having people break away because they don't agree with particular bits creates conflict and leads to cults.

I don't see the bibles as the word of God, I see them as an attempt by the minds of the time to explain the mystry of life, and fair play they wheren't far off in some respects.

Sceintists that research the big questions like string theory and the theory of everything even admit to themselfs at times that there's no better explanation for a universe this perfect (if the slightest detail of this universe was different, like the weight of an electron none of it would be here) is that something created it.

I don't think evolution or the big bang proves that God isn't real, theres a certain inevitablity built into the universe and the way things in it work that goes beyound co-inkedink.

I'm very open to the God theory but I don't think he's anything like in the bible, they depicted him as a king solving problems as they arose because it's all they knew at the time. As far as I can see if there is a God based on what we know today that depiction has to be wrong.

So, God, Religion - good. Powermongering people - Bad.
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Old 05-05-2006, 12:28 PM   #60
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Not religous, more mystical. For me they had it right before decided that god was to be judge and measure of all things beautiful. To be honest though, i have never considered any religions, as my family were not in any way religous.

Unfortunately now after studying philosophy for four years i now don't believe in reality either. In fact none of us do. In the utterly nonsensical words of a very wise man:
''Fundamentally no-one believes in the reality of his or her own existence. That would be too sad.''
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