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Old 04-18-2014, 03:17 PM   #1
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Just a couple of questions on religion, spirituality and ritual

1. Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual or neither? (I wouldn't
have asked whether anyone considered themselves religious a few
years ago, because I had never much heard anyone call themselves
religious except when Sean did.) What is the difference between
the two?
2. If one of the above, do you cherry pick what feels right for you/ more in
line with you or do you follow something more according to its precepts.
3. If you are neither religious nor spiritual, do you ever pray? If so, why?
4. Believer or not, do you have your own personal rituals that ground you?
5. Do you ever rail at God in anger?
6. Forgetting about the followers of any ideology (ie, hypocrisy, etc.)
what do you find most off-putting about spirituality/religion? What do
you find most attractive?
7. If you grew up in a religion and then discarded it, do you find yourself
following some of it in a more secular way---giving up something for Lent
for instance?
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Old 04-18-2014, 06:28 PM   #2
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1. Neither. Religious is someone who identifies with an ideology, spiritual is someone who believes but likely doesn't attend services or anything like that.
2. I am constantly surrounding by family members who are religious, so I understand the merits even if I think it's all bullshit.
3. No. It's a waste of my time.
4. Not really, unless you count saying some of the same phrases over and over again.
5. I rail in anger at circumstance, which I guess is like railing at God even if it's not in name.
6. The lack of dialogue involved in it. It's a book you're not supposed to question, a hierarchy you're not supposed to question ... really, at the end of the day, a God you're not supposed to question.
7. Only things that are outwardly obvious because I pretend to still be Catholic. I go to mass when I have to, I don't eat meat on Friday's during Lent if people are around, etc.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:21 AM   #3
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1. Neither. Religion is someone blindly following and believing a book, spirituality is someone believing in something else or trying to find their own path. I find the latter much less terrifying.

3. No, why the hell would I? It has no use so I do not do it.

4. Being autistic I have plenty of rituals, I don't function well without them. None of them are spiritual though, all practical.

5. Eh, no. Again, it has no use so I do not do it.

6. Off putting about religion: How many people blindly believe what some random book written 2 millennia ago says. And how people cherry pick pieces of the book to be loudmouthed about, while ignoring others (say, homosexuality vs divorce).
Attractive: The idealogies are interesting, the whole things on norms and values is a good basis, I see it as a guideline to how morals were back then. Plus it's great food for psychologists.

7. No, nothing at all. I got the choice to stop going to church every sunday when I was 12, never went another sunday. I did attend christmas eve with my mother till I was 16 but since it was the same thing every year I couldn't be arsed to go ever since.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:24 PM   #4
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1. I'm a secular religious, I guess. I'm a searcher who hasn't found anything. I visit,
but I don't stay. I want to believe, but I don't.
2. I cherry pick from everything--Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Humanism, books,
movies, paganism. overheard conversations, comedy acts--I piecemeal my own
truth. I think when all is said and done, there is no TRUTH. Just the truth you
choose.
3. I pray sometimes. I'm not afraid to admit desperation or hopelessness or things
spinning out of my control. At that point, I don't refuse anything that might help.
It usually doesn't. But I guess it doesn't hurt. I never put all my eggs in one basket.
4. I have personal rituals--breathing patterns and places I go, things I say. I'm
comforted by ritual. I am a little superstitious, though not at a level that controls
me.
5. I scream at God all the time. I always preferred the Old Testament to the New
Testament because the relationship between God and Man was more intimate, more
equal in its inequality. You could yell at God in the Old Testament and maybe
change his mind or shame him. You lose that in the New Testament.
6. I find dogma in religion offputting. I find the ritual attractive. In spirituality, I find
the freedom and personal nature of it attractive. But I am often put off because
it often seems to offer the perks of religion without any accountability.
7. I follow some of the rituals/etc. from the church I left when I was a teenager.
I often give something up during Lent. I still like the Bible as literature.
I probably mix the pagan with religion (much like the early church did anyway
) I celebrate nature and maybe that is a different celebration. I'm not aware
of Christmas much beyond its secular practice. But I am always aware of
Easter which affects me sadly.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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1. Neither. I generally tend to define religious as people who adhere to whatever their religion of choice happens to be, whereas spiritual either means you don't want to commit but you believe in something. Not to say this applies to everyone who considers themselves "spiritual," but it seems to me it's usually the word idiots throw around to appease everyone in a discussion. To religious folks, saying "I'm spiritual" is akin to saying "I believe in a god too, it's just not your god, but you're not wrong in your beliefs." To atheists, it's "well I believe in a higher power, but it's not as rigid as thinking there's a man in the sky dictating the ways of the world." Just in case there is something after we die and they're afraid of being screwed over. And then it also applies to new age hippie stuff I find it hard to respect too much. Spiritual is you believe in some sort of higher power but don't tie yourself to a particular faith, and it's a term that usually makes me roll my eyes because I cynically see it as a wishy washy term to attempt to play both sides of a fence.

2. Not applicable

3. No

4. Not that I can think of/am aware of.

5. Not at God. I usually direct my anger toward the things that piss me off (malfunctioning technology, people, etc) and rail at them.

6. This is a good question, since I'm pretty sure 99% of my dislike of belief in things that can't be proven to exist, is based off the actions of those people. Take them out of the equation, and it suddenly becomes much more difficult for me to explain. I think it's just because I don't find it necessary. It doesn't do anything for me to believe in anything other than things that actually exist. I don't understand the point.


7. The only thing you could count here would be that I still (although more reluctantly each year) play along with the whole gift exchange thing with my immediate family at Christmas. but my upbringing in regard to religion was a very loose definition anyway, and aside from 2 or 3 years where we went to church every week, it's hardly consisted of much more than the most secular parts of holidays anyway. Practically every part of my family identifies with a different (there's a word I'm looking for here that is escaping me...subset, branch, category...along those lines) of Christianity. There's a bunch of Catholics, some Lutherans, my mom took us to a Methodist church when I was a kid, and I'm pretty sure there were some episcopalians lurking around somewhere. And then my father's side of the family is Jewish, although outside of eating some matzoh once, they're about as unobservant as you can get. So there wasn't a whole lot for me to discard anyway. I think I mentioned it last time you did one of these threads that when I was 12 I really did like going to church. But it's because it was an atypical service set up like a discussion with some singing mixed in with a very small congregation averaging about 10 people on any given week. A ton of people showed up on major holidays, so I hated going on Easter or Christmas when it turned into an actual sermon. It was cool and accepting of opinions, beliefs, lack of beliefs, and all that when it was a discussion, but once it turned into actually being preached to, I was not a fan.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonosSaint View Post
Just a couple of questions on religion, spirituality and ritual

1. Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual or neither? (I wouldn't
have asked whether anyone considered themselves religious a few
years ago, because I had never much heard anyone call themselves
religious except when Sean did.) What is the difference between
the two?
I guess both. I say spirituality is your relationship with God while religion is your relationship with whatever institutionalized religion you follow. Religion can really stand in the way of God, in my opinion. However, I think religion can provide structure and discipline for anyone looking for the meaning of life. Too much structure, and then you have a major problem (ie, fear of questioning, lack of personal relationship with God). I say I'm Christian because I follow Jesus and attend church services every Sunday. However, I no longer go to Catholic mass because I was dissatisfied with mass and felt very little connection to the other parish members. These days I attend a nondenominational, independent church, which has been a great experience for me, both personally and spiritually.

Quote:
2. If one of the above, do you cherry pick what feels right for you/ more in
line with you or do you follow something more according to its precepts.
There aren't many rituals where I go which is fine with me. One thing that really annoyed me about Catholic mass was saying the prayers like a robot every week. Sometimes it meant something to me, but other days I would wonder if the people around me really knew what they were reciting every week and if it meant anything for them. It was discouraging. Granted, I'm sure there were plenty who took to heart what they were saying, but I never knew. The cold, disconnect during mass from everyone was another reason why I left.

OK anyway, I never got most of the rituals during Catholic mass, particularly the eucharist. As for Ash Wednesday, I used to get my ashes every year, but this year I chose not to. My plans for Lent were between me and God, and not for the whole world to see like some fashion statement. Maybe next year or some time down the line, I'll get them. It is a worthy ritual and I really like the whole "from dust you are born, from dust you shall return". It is very true!

My faith and spirituality is ever evolving, just like life itself is. Maybe someday, I'll seek out rituals that mean something to me.

Quote:
3. If you are neither religious nor spiritual, do you ever pray? If so, why?
I'm both and I do pray

Quote:
4. Believer or not, do you have your own personal rituals that ground you?
I don't have much. I say my prayers every night if that counts.

Quote:
5. Do you ever rail at God in anger?
Yes. Took me a long while to get to that, but I had to. Lightning did not strike, and I'm still standing.

Quote:
6. Forgetting about the followers of any ideology (ie, hypocrisy, etc.)
what do you find most off-putting about spirituality/religion? What do
you find most attractive?
It is offputting when it is overly controlling. It doesn't make sense to be controlling about someone's journey in life. Religion/spirituality is most attractive to me when it makes me explore life, God, people, things like that.

Quote:
7. If you grew up in a religion and then discarded it, do you find yourself
following some of it in a more secular way---giving up something for Lent
for instance?
I never discarded my faith, just institutionalized religion. I'm still pondering the need and meaning of ritual and how I would benefit from it. I'm still shaking off the rituals that I did at Catholic mass, some of which I didn't fully understand. I guess ritual has meaning if it gets you to that spot in your mind, heart and spirit you need to get to. I haven't found one that makes sense to me.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonosSaint View Post
1. I think when all is said and done, there is no TRUTH. Just the truth you choose.
Do we choose it? Or are we going with what fits our individual needs? It's like this quote from Paulo Coelho: “We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It's one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it's another to think that yours is the only path.”


Quote:
Originally Posted by BonosSaint View Post

6. I find dogma in religion offputting. I find the ritual attractive. In spirituality, I find the freedom and personal nature of it attractive. But I am often put off because it often seems to offer the perks of religion without any accountability.
Agreed. That's why I say religion is good for structure, but not too much.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:44 PM   #8
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1. Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual or neither?

spiritual

2. If one of the above, do you cherry pick what feels right for you/ more in
line with you or do you follow something more according to its precepts.

As a believer in Christ, I try to follow his teachings.

3. If you are neither religious nor spiritual, do you ever pray? If so, why?

Go to next question...

4. Believer or not, do you have your own personal rituals that ground you?

Daily prayer and reading the Bible.

5. Do you ever rail at God in anger?

I have experienced confusion and doubt about God.

6. Forgetting about the followers of any ideology (ie, hypocrisy, etc.)
what do you find most off-putting about spirituality/religion? What do
you find most attractive?

When it tries to enslave it's followers in rituals and deeds.
When it breaks free from that.


7. If you grew up in a religion and then discarded it, do you find yourself
following some of it in a more secular way---giving up something for Lent
for instance?

I feel free in my faith so I don't really think about giving up something or following a church tradition.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:18 AM   #9
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1. Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual or neither? (I wouldn't have asked whether anyone considered themselves religious a few years ago, because I had never much heard anyone call themselves religious except when Sean did.) What is the difference between the two?
spiritual, yes. religious to a degree, but the amount is waning. living in the bible belt and dealing with the christian right is ruining religion to an extent, but it's mostly just as i get older, i just find there's things about being a christian in general i can't reconcile. my definitions of the two are pretty much similar to peefer's.

2. If one of the above, do you cherry pick what feels right for you/ more in line with you or do you follow something more according to its precepts.
i think everyone does. i can safely say there's no christian out there who follows every word of the bible 100%, never strays, and doesn't maybe ignore this passage or forget about this passage. as i'm a christian, i'll only get into how christians are.

4. Believer or not, do you have your own personal rituals that ground you?
yeah, i guess. i do pray sometimes but mostly what grounds me is just regular, non-spiritual stuff. listening to music will help a lot, reading, some other stuff.

5. Do you ever rail at God in anger?
no.

6. Forgetting about the followers of any ideology (ie, hypocrisy, etc.) what do you find most off-putting about spirituality/religion? What do you find most attractive?
how open it is to misinterpretation apparently. there is a lot of "because i said so" attitude, in that because it's the word of god, or the word of one of his disciples, or the word of your pastor/whatever, just accept it as truth. don't question it. that's some bullshit right there. it's sort of related to the misinterpretation as religious leaders get it wrong all the time (it's just a fact, two leaders of the same denomination even will preach conflicting things). as for its positives, some of it is good in terms of teaching morals. a lot of it is outdated, though.

7. If you grew up in a religion and then discarded it, do you find yourself following some of it in a more secular way---giving up something for Lent for instance?
the first part doesn't apply to me, but i also am not in a denomination that practises lent. i've only ever jokingly said i'm giving up something for lent, like quitting smoking (i don't smoke anyway) if someone were to ask me about it.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:11 AM   #10
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1. Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual or neither? (I wouldn't
have asked whether anyone considered themselves religious a few
years ago, because I had never much heard anyone call themselves
religious except when Sean did.) What is the difference between
the two?

Neither. But having said that I think you can be an atheist (like I am) and still be spiritual. Seeing bands like U2 and Radiohead et al is spiritual for me. For me the difference is simple... religious is religious... spiritual is something that atheists and agnostics can dig too.

3. If you are neither religious nor spiritual, do you ever pray? If so, why?

I prayed when I was agnostic, but I never felt that religious connection so I stopped praying because for me it was a waste of time.

4. Believer or not, do you have your own personal rituals that ground you?

Yes. They aren't remotely religious but I've got things that help keep me sane.

5. Do you ever rail at God in anger?

If he was real, there wouldn't be the awful shit happening around the world. Sorry if that offends you, but innocent women wouldn't be getting raped, innocent people wouldn't be getting shot, etc.

6. Forgetting about the followers of any ideology (ie, hypocrisy, etc.)
what do you find most off-putting about spirituality/religion? What do
you find most attractive?

The most off-putting thing for me is the bigotry that a lot of followers seem to imbibe in. The most attractive thing relates to my late grandmother - I asked her when she was dying if she was afraid, and she said no, because she was 110% certain she was going to be reunited with her husband (my pa, who had died three years earlier) in heaven. It was and remains the most profound thing I've ever heard in my entire life.

7. If you grew up in a religion and then discarded it, do you find yourself
following some of it in a more secular way---giving up something for Lent
for instance?

Fuck no.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonosSaint View Post
Just a couple of questions on religion, spirituality and ritual

1. Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual or neither? (I wouldn't
have asked whether anyone considered themselves religious a few
years ago, because I had never much heard anyone call themselves
religious except when Sean did.) What is the difference between
the two?
Both. I believe in God like 92% of Americans do today. Spiritual is an undefined experience of God, as U2 says, God walking through the room. Religion is a structured way of understanding and worshiping God.

Quote:
2. If one of the above, do you cherry pick what feels right for you/ more in
line with you or do you follow something more according to its precepts.
I'm Roman Catholic but can't say that I agree with everything the Church says or does. But I'd say I agree with at least 90% of it. My interpretations or thoughts about certain Catholic teachings or books in the Bible may differ from others.

Quote:

3. If you are neither religious nor spiritual, do you ever pray? If so, why?

Well, I'm both and I do pray. Many U2 songs are essentially prayers.

Quote:

4. Believer or not, do you have your own personal rituals that ground you?

I sure do.

Quote:

5. Do you ever rail at God in anger?

No, I pray to God to help the situation.

Quote:

6. Forgetting about the followers of any ideology (ie, hypocrisy, etc.)
what do you find most off-putting about spirituality/religion? What do
you find most attractive?

I don't find anything off-putting about it. I do find people's hostility towards spirituality/religion to be off-putting.

Quote:

7. If you grew up in a religion and then discarded it, do you find yourself
following some of it in a more secular way---giving up something for Lent
for instance
That certainly does not apply to me and most Americans. I feel sorry for anyone that has discarded their religion.


Quote:

If he was real, there wouldn't be the awful shit happening around the world. Sorry if that offends you, but innocent women wouldn't be getting raped, innocent people wouldn't be getting shot, etc.

God is real. Jesus was tortured and crucified. He then rose from the dead on the third day! HAPPY EASTER!
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:23 AM   #12
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Wow, way to break the thread with a holier than thou attitude...

Aren't we all entitled to their own opinions?
You THINK God is real. That's fine for you, but don't force your opinion onto Cobbler. He has his own opinion that's apparently different to yours. Yet he's not forcing his opinion down your throat. Coexist. Happy easter.
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:32 PM   #13
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1. Do you consider yourself religious or spiritual or neither? (I wouldn't
have asked whether anyone considered themselves religious a few
years ago, because I had never much heard anyone call themselves
religious except when Sean did.) What is the difference between
the two?


I am an atheist. From my own brief experience of religion as a teenager, I got the impression that "spiritual" was a term used by those trying-to-be-cool (but a decade behind the trends) youth group types who didn't want to identify with some notion of stuffy old-fashioned religion but liked to remind you that "Jesus is totes awesome". Actually back then they were stuck in the nineties and probably said "Jesus is way gnarly dude" but whatever.

So in other words, I interpret "spiritual" as "I'm religious, I just don't want to say so".

2. If one of the above, do you cherry pick what feels right for you/ more in
line with you or do you follow something more according to its precepts.


I am an atheist.

3. If you are neither religious nor spiritual, do you ever pray? If so, why?

Of course I don't. I don't eat fish, so I don't order seafood. I don't knit, so I don't buy clothing patterns. I don't like baseball, so I don't watch it. I don't believe in any sort of deity, so I don't pray.

4. Believer or not, do you have your own personal rituals that ground you?

Nope.

5. Do you ever rail at God in anger?

See #3 really. I'm not sure why I would rail in anger at something that does not exist.

6. Forgetting about the followers of any ideology (ie, hypocrisy, etc.)
what do you find most off-putting about spirituality/religion? What do
you find most attractive?


I find off-putting the irrationality and lack of evidence-based reason. I find attractive a lot of the architecture of old churches, cathedrals, mosques, synagogues, etc.

7. If you grew up in a religion and then discarded it, do you find yourself
following some of it in a more secular way---giving up something for Lent
for instance?


I did not grow up in a religion. I grew up with secularised versions of holidays with religious origins, and I have certainly only ever observed the secular aspects of Christmas and Easter. After all, I like eating.

Come at me, U2fan20 and your awful ad populum arguments.
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Old 04-21-2014, 09:55 AM   #14
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I feel sorry for anyone that has discarded their religion.
Feel free to pity someone who actually needs it, please.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:40 PM   #15
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Would you feel the same if someone has changed their religion?
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