Religion: A fact of life, containing truth, whether we like it or not

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Nrets, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. Nrets

    Nrets Member

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    I just had a revelation, a brief twinge of intense spirituality.
    What better place than to share it with LPSG.
    This is not going to have anything to do with sex.
    Anyway, so many people here and everywhere else bash organized religion.
    Especially Christianity.
    But lets focus on the good of religion for a minute.
    First off I personally think all accepted forms of order are religion.
    Let me explain, The most religious people I know are a couple of atheists named Mom and Dad.
    They repeatedly told me growing up that there was no God.
    I think that was no small contribution to the panic attacks I occasionally suffer nowadays.
    But Mom and Dad are religious as hell. No pun intended.
    They believe in the state.
    They believe in laws.
    They believe in order.
    In education.
    In traditional male and female roles.
    They believe in all this to such a degree that any deviation is filtered as weird, which creates another contribution to my personal angst.
    But this is not about me, it is about the good of religion.
    This is about how everyone is religious to some extent whether they want to believe it or not.
    My 84 year old Dad has been an atheist since they told him his Dad died while he was stationed on Saipan in 1945.
    More recently when I asked him about God he gives me an agnostic answer like "I don't know". My feeling was WTF, Man. You told me there was no God.
    But I don't get angry. Its to be expected.
    He is old. His heart is literally getting tired.
    The light may be permeating his skull whether he wants it or not.
    The details are unimportant.
    The point is I have always felt there was truth in all religions. But I neglected to actually look close enough at any particular religion to find any of that truth for myself.
    I kept my mind opened, but I occupied my time drinking beer, working, going to school, hanging with friends and busting various parts of myself, physical and spiritual.

    Recently I have been feeling the spiritual twinges more and more often for many reasons. Details unimportant.
    Since we live in a predominantly Christian culture, I have taken close look at Christianity.
    What prompted this post was that I found some of the truest things I have ever read while looking at the wikipedia entry for In & Out Burger.
    They have a few amazing verses cited...John 3:16 Revelation 3:20 Proverbs 3:5 John 14: 6 Nahum 1:7.
    My revelation after reading is that I was so closed off to this stuff.
    Now that I have really read it, I have immediately have my own interpretation:
    It doesn't matter what your religion is, truth in Christianity will be reflected if you consider that God is reflected in all people.
    I don't know if this works for other religions but it works for Christianity...
    Every single passage in the bible is about having faith in God.
    You need to be able to give up what is most important to you, perhaps your child, and still have faith
    Just have unquestioning faith in God.

    If you consider that your friends and lovers and everything alive has God reflected in it and you treat them as the bible says to treat God, by having faith in them, then you create true love which is truly eternal.

    And perhaps everlasting life.

    . I think I just had a spiritual awakening.

    Now I just need to get over the petty hangups that hold me back...
     
  2. SpeedoGuy

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    I'm encouraged to hear you've found a path that's rewarding and enlightening to you. Good luck on your journey.
     
  3. Guy-jin

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    If God is reflected in all individuals, what need is there to have faith in him?

    We simply need to love each other to display our love for God.

    Therein lies the source of spirituality for an Atheist like myself.

    I feel I have no need to believe in God as long as I do my best to treat others with love and respect, and to understand them.
     
  4. Axcess

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    In what way you are talking about god as a cosmic energy or a personal god ( an old man sitting in his throne in a cloud with rays and thunders) ?
     
  5. _avg_

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    All religions serve a function and most (all?) have some benefit, but this is not to say that there is (any?) truth in the message of any given religion.

    Similarly, your parents have a personal philosophy (which sounds a lot like Secual Humanism), but that is not to say it is a "religion." Forgive my pedantry, but from a socio-anthropological point of view, a religion must have the following 6 dimensions:

    1) Social -- "Outsiders and Insiders," and the relationships within and between these groups
    2) Doctrinal -- Codified answers to sp. "big" questions (theological and cosmological)
    3) Mythical -- Stories about the origin, ending and history of the world; usu. meant to introduce and answer the "big" questions/issues from (2)
    4) Ritual -- Acts or behaviours exepect to be performed with regularity or consistency
    5) Ethical -- A code of conduct for everyday living
    6) Personal/Experiential -- The meaning (1-5) hold for the individual; how they experience the above and the effect it has on them

    These dimensions characterize, but do not define, "religion." And while broad enough to make "patriotism" a kind of "civil religion," they cannot apply to atheism, which is essentially a doctrinal position. That is to say, atheism is not really an "ism" at all; rather, "atheist" is a label applied to a person's answer to the question "Do you have theistic beliefs?" The answer to this question is black and white: either you have theistic beliefs or you do not. "I don't know" is not a valid answer, which is why "Agnosticism" is not a religion, either; rather, it is a commentary on the content of one's knowledge as it applies to the question -- one can be an "Agnostic Christian," thinking that we can't know whether God exists or not but beliving He does regardless.

    Indeed, the Agnostic Christian exemplifies "faith" --that is, 'belief without evidence.' Likewise, the martyr for Islam exemplifies "faith." Most if not all practioners of religion demonstrate and advocate 'faith,' and the "outsider" must wonder just what they should have faith in. Having faith in eachother is basically the main tenant of Secular Humanism, and it doesn't suprise me (given your upbringing) that you might express such a belief. (Ever read Richard Dawkin's essays on "memes"? Quite worthwhile, I should say)

    Reverence for eachother and for all things need not invoke a diety, however, so the outsider might wonder "Why God? Why Christianity?" (Dawkins has an answer, BTW) I'd encourage you to follow this line of questioning, to continue your 'spiritual inquiry' with other religions, and I am reminded of a quote by Stephen Roberts: "I contend we are both atheists; I simply accept one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you don't accept all other gods, you will understand why I don't accept yours."
     
  6. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Dick Cheney??
     
  7. simcha

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    Does anyone else smell sulfur?
     
  8. HazelGod

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    Brimstone indeed, my friend.
     
  9. Nrets

    Nrets Member

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    I see what you are saying. I guess I am a Agnostic secular Humanist.

    I can totally see my parents being secular humanists. I can see myself having reflections of that in my own life, too. However, I have intensely spiritual feelings that make me believe in a greater power than is seen on the surface.

    Whether it be in the cosmos, in the human spirit or in a glass of Jim Beam and Coca Cola, this feeling tells me there could be a God.

    But I wont say that there is definitely one. Cause I don't know. Part of the reason for my post is that I don't feel I need to believe there is a God in the sense of single-all powerful being that created everything in order to be spiritual. I don't even think it necessarily makes me less religious that I don't believe in God in that sense.

    I see your point of contention here. I have to be part of something with those 6 values you listed to be religious; What I am expressing is spirituality wihtout religion.

    Well, I am going to prove, using the 6 guidelines you gave, that everyone IS religious.

    I will use my Dad as the first example.

    1) Social -- "Outsiders and Insiders," and the relationships within and between these groups

    My Dad talks about God and his lack of existence with their friends and my born again sisters.

    2) Doctrinal -- Codified answers to sp. "big" questions (theological and cosmological)

    "There is no God, how can we be so arrogant as to believe we are so special that we must have some creator" Or something to that effect is what my Dad always said.
    he says he understands infinity and that it is ok to be infinite or to exist in an infinite space without any explanation.

    3) Mythical -- Stories about the origin, ending and history of the world; usu. meant to introduce and answer the "big" questions/issues from (2)

    My Dad believes in the myth that the government is ultimately going to do what is right. He is a patriot. His myth lies with the state. He has faith in social security
    I guess the neocons are hells angels.

    4) Ritual -- Acts or behaviours exepect to be performed with regularity or consistency

    He ritually pays his taxes with fervor. I think he actually has made errors in the governemnt's favor. Everyone send a dollar to my house to make up for my Dad's carelessness.
    He has been covering all the non-payers.

    5) Ethical -- A code of conduct for everyday living

    He never breaks an everyday law. Sometimes he has gross slip ups in other areas...but respect authority is a code in Dad's world

    6) Personal/Experiential -- The meaning (1-5) hold for the individual; how they experience the above and the effect it has on them

    My Dad for some reason could not deal with the death of his Dad and decided that his Dad's death proved the non-existance of God.

    Although I was half joking at times, my point is that everyone has religion.

    Show my an atheist and if I spend time with them I can fill out each of these categories with various things they do.

    I will even make a fictitious atheist off the top of my head:

    1) Social -- "Outsiders and Insiders," and the relationships within and between these groups

    Avoids getting too close to overly religious folk. Avoids talking about religion with religious family members. Hangs out at buddy's house and smokes lots of weed while watching Kevin Smith movies and listening to metal.

    2) Doctrinal -- Codified answers to sp. "big" questions (theological and cosmological)

    The answer is that we spawned accidentally out of atoxic soup of oxygen and nitrogen. There.

    3) Mythical -- Stories about the origin, ending and history of the world; usu. meant to introduce and answer the "big" questions/issues from (2)

    Big Bang. Scientific explanation to existence in the absense of God.

    4) Ritual -- Acts or behaviours exepect to be performed with regularity or consistency

    Hangs out at Starbucks frequently and smokes Nat Shermans. (don't laugh, I know so many atheists, and they all seem to have replaced religious ritual with everyday rituals.)

    5) Ethical -- A code of conduct for everyday living

    Most atheists seem pretty peaceful, and without God telling them not to kill. So clearly they have a code to live by.

    6) Personal/Experiential -- The meaning (1-5) hold for the individual; how they experience the above and the effect it has on them

    They went through some soul searching and came to the conclusion that there is no God.

    I guess that you are right that there are atheists who do not have one central thing in their life that counts as religion, but we all have things that fit each of those categories.

    I think talking is almost a religious experience. I feel in talking we already have done most of the things that comprise religion.

    Right off the bat if you talk to people you are being social.
    You are being doctrinal also because some of the ideas must have come form someone elses doctrines

    I think the fact that we can string together random sounds so as to convey really specific ideas is fucking nuts...and I find it quite mystical.

    I am not sure what ritual there is that has to do with talking, but I can say right off the bat that everyone has some ritual they do, cause if they didn't, no one would ever be on time anywhere looking halfway decent.

    Even has some sort of ethics while talking, or else we would talk to each other all the same. Like computers.

    Everyone filters the world a certain way because of things they picked up talking.

    I just think living is a religious experience.
     
  10. bobabooey69

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    Too long did not read..lol!
     
  11. Freddie53

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    Thre are several points being left out so far.

    One thing being left out of the equation about God here is the question is there more to humans than just a physical presence. Our brains have an electrical wave that is unique to each of us. Is there a spirit of some kind that is a part of us that either was began when we were born or conceived which ever you take on that is or is there absolutely nothing except the physical which has a beginning, conception or birth and a definite end, death. At this point in time, no human can prove the existence of a spiritual part of us that is eternal or just a physical part that ends all about us when we die.

    The answer here requires faith. Faith in a spiritual part of our being or faith that there is nothing about us except the mental part that we refer to as our brains.

    A second issue is what is the greatest being in the universe. Is it human beings here on planet earth. Are there other beings our there that are much smarter than we are. Just because we havn't found them doesn't mean they aren't there.

    At what point does a being who is definitely smarter than us and having that being worshiped as a God happen?

    The answer is that it does require faith to believe most anything. Some people don't believe there is a god whatsoever in any form or fashion. That can't be proven to be so. It takes some faith to believe there is no god as well as to to believe that is a god.
     
  12. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    wow, what a long rambling list of ideas, haphazardly connected if at all, interspersed with completely arbitrary assertions not a one of which is backed up by any evidence or argument whatsoever. Not even a relevant anecdote. You tell us to focus on the good of religion, then don't say anything at all about the good of religion instead going off on a tangent about your parents. You assert that "everyone is religious," and that "God is reflected in everything" but give no examples of how this is and don't even attempt to explain what you mean. You tell us there is truth in all religions but then focus on only one and don't tell us anything about even that one religion that you feel is inarguably true. You cite as the most religious people you know your two atheistic parents and the best reason you can come up with for why they are religious is that they believe in the state?

    Are these the kinds of spiritual revelations one should expect to come from searching for truth in wikipedia articles about In and Out Burger?

    The reason you can find so many passages in the Bible that seem to suggest you should trust in your blind faith to an unseen deity is because so much of the Bible doesn't make any blasted sense. The more confusing and counterintuitive it is the more you can just say "oh the Lord works in mysterious ways" and call it a day. Why would a loving God go around smiting innocent people and demanding unthinkable sacrifice from even his most loyal of followers? Oh, it's just a way to test their faith in His divine will and that all will be right with the world if we submit to His plan... better not to actually think too hard about any of it, just submit. Believe blindly. Have faith.

    I'm sorry, man, I don't mean to be an ass... but that was all over the place and I have no clue what you were trying to say or what point you were trying to make. Except maybe that you're hungry.
     
  13. BigDuder

    BigDuder New Member

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    there are better places
     
  14. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    HAHAHA

    maybe for better revelations than this one
     
  15. B_New End

    B_New End New Member

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    1) sounds to me more like you are trying to fight your dad, than find God.

    2) To say being raised told there is no god --> panic attacks? Ridiculous! If it were true, then people who were raised believing in God would not have panic attacks..... but they do.

    3) I find it interesting that you said John 3:16 was one of the verses that got to you, since it is the crux of Christian religion, and a disprover of other religions, (pretty much says Jesus is the son of God, and was crucified because man is inherently evil)


    I have started to discover religion and spirituality myself, but I don't need a book to tell me where to find god. Personally, I find whatever it is I am looking for when I am alone with the mountains.
     
  16. D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah

    D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah Account Disabled

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    Yes religion is a fact of life. God and his existence has no factual evidence.

    I like your father choose to believe in , laws, state, justice, karma, education and the notion that all men and women have enough mind to form their own opinions about what and who they wish to believe in. Therefore i do not believe that god i reflected in everybody but everybody own personal choices are reflected upon each other
     
  17. Nrets

    Nrets Member

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    Well of course you wouldn't get what I am saying; you called In N Out Burger "overrated" in another thread. That was a key part of getting what I am saying.
    No seriously though. I was just trying to say that organized society is llike religion. I guess I rambled on cause I was in a sort of zombie state of insomnia.

    No shit? Where?


    I also find it in the mountains.

    You say I am trying to fight my Dad. Probably.

    The panic attack thing is interesting.

    I have a spiritual aspect, but I get them anyway. I know it's partly genetic.
    I feel that if I had been told that God will sort things out as a kid, I would not have grown up with anxiety.
    Perhaps the religous people who get them do not have enough faith. They lack some of the spiritual aspect.
    I didn't know the deeper meaning of John 3:16.
    And it is fitting that it is totally ironic. I am often unintentionally ironic.

    I was saying I respect all religions by stating my respect for a religion that gets tons of flack: Christianity.

    When Christians are not startig Holy Wars, they have good principles.

    Also I was trying to convey that you can be truly part of a religion without necessarily believing in it the way the next guy does.
    God is subjective.
     
  18. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    :biggrin1::biggrin1::biggrin1::biggrin1: okay, I readily admit that I do not understand the spiritual nature of In and Out Burger that some seem to enjoy.
     
  19. SpeedoGuy

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    To many people, scraping some of the letters off an "In and Out Burger" bumpersticker reveals the following spiritual fact of life containing truth:

    In and Out urge


    :smile:
     
  20. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Oh, now I get. Of course.
    Very spiritual.
    Tnx., SG.
    (This one really had me stumped.)
     
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