The God Questions - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-17-2012, 12:50 AM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 01:15 PM
The God Questions

We've done this periodically, but people's views change, people's experiences change. Believers become nonbelievers; nonbelievers become believers; searching continues or stops or becomes indifferent. Spirituality vs. religion, agnostic vs. atheist, believer vs. believer.

Over the years here, I've seen varying beliefs and expressions. A lot of self-identified spiritual people, some religious. (Sean may be the only person on the forum who specifically identified himself as religious, but not spiritual.)
Budding Buddhists, conservative Christians (as opposed to rightwing fanatics), liberal Christians (as opposed to leftwing fanatics), religious and nonreligious Jews and, I believe, Muslims. And I'm sure a few pagans, although I don't remember anyone specifically identifying themselves as such.

So what is the state today of those who consider themselves believers, would-be believers, used-to-be believers, questioning agnostics? Also, for practicing pagans, assume "or goddess" is implied.

1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years?
Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to
another search?

2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life?

3. Where do you disagree with your specific religion, if you practice one?
Is your religion as much a cultural/social belonging for you as it is
personal belief?

4. What causes you doubt?

5. Is there a war on Christmas?

6. Do you believe in a personal, involved, intervening God or an indifferent
or detached God who lets things play out without intervention.

7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior?

8. Where do you succeed in your religion/spirituality? Where do you
fail?

9. Did you continue in the faith you grew up in or did you change faiths?

10. Do you think people may create a God that mirrors them? Is God
subjective or objective? Is God open to interpretation, differences
in opinion?

I'm curious to hear the answers. I'm curious to hear other questions.
__________________

__________________
BonosSaint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 01:13 AM   #2
45:33
 
cobl04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: East Point to Shaolin
Posts: 55,037
Local Time: 04:15 AM
I was christened as a baby. But this year I've become an atheist. Not militant, I find that very ugly, but it pleases me a great deal to see secularism becoming more widespread.

For example a lot of Scout groups here in Australia have made it so that the line about doing "my duty to my Queen and to my God" are no longer mandatory, which I find very heartening. I did Scouts and I always found it uncomfortable as a 13, 14, 15-year-old kid having to pledge that I will do the right thing by a Queen I couldn't give a shit about and a God I never had any real connection to.

One thing that annoys me about fundamentalists is that whenever things like this are brought up many complain about how we're becoming a sinful, godless society, that it's a disgrace that will result in repercussions, how disrespectful and disgusting it all is. It's got nothing to do with that - for me, if someone is religious than that is a personal thing and they can practice that, they can include the line about God in the scout promise. But it's not fair to put that on everyone else when not everyone believes.
__________________

__________________
cobl04 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 01:17 AM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
PhilsFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Standing on the shore, facing east.
Posts: 18,876
Local Time: 12:15 PM
1. Five years ago, I probably still identified as Catholic. I currently identify myself as Catholic around family members or if I'm filling out a form and atheist in all other situations.

2. No.

3. I disagree with most Catholic teachings, specifically strict Bible interpretations and most statements from the Vatican. I still maintain a good sense of camaraderie with fellow Church members back home, though. It is most certainly still a social part of my life.

4. It's not one thing that causes me doubt. It's the lack of anything to not cause me doubt. It just makes much more sense that there is no God. It makes much more sense that religion is invented.

5. Absolutely not. The concept is absurd.

6. Neither. And if one were to exist, it would have to be the latter. The former isn't helping you get an A on your paper while allowing Sandy Hook to happen.

7. N/A

8. N/A

9. I was raised Catholic.

10. I think people believe in whatever suits them the best. The cognitive dissonance of picking and choosing what parts of scripture to listen to and what parts to ignore is embedded deep within many religious people.
__________________
PhilsFan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 02:04 AM   #4
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Kieran McConville's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Auto Dafoe
Posts: 9,600
Local Time: 03:15 AM
1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years?
Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to
another search?


I don't think they have changed so much as taken more and more of a back seat. I read a lot of history and religion is inseparable from culture. I've come to see it as something on a continuum along with political and other movements as a simple feature of the landscape. On that basis it is interesting.

2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life?

Yes, sort of, but then again, I don't know. I think there probably is something like 'god' but that it is vastly, monumentally indifferent.


7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior?


I have simply no idea. If as I suspect 'god' is something like the final mind from the universe that preceded this, god is rather like what they quip about nation states in re. international diplomacy; it has interests, not friends.
__________________
Kieran McConville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 04:02 AM   #5
Vocal parasite
 
Axver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: 1853
Posts: 151,027
Local Time: 04:15 AM
I think it's a shame some questions are loaded towards religious belief. I would have thought more people here are atheists than theists; perhaps this thread will show whether I am right or wrong.

1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years?
Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to
another search?

No. Just. It was a little over five years ago that I publicly stated I am an atheist to the few very religious friends who still did not know that I had abandoned the last vestiges of (a very liberal) Christian faith.

2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life?
Absolutely not.

3. Where do you disagree with your specific religion, if you practice one?
Is your religion as much a cultural/social belonging for you as it is
personal belief?

I disagree with atheists who pretty much introduce the trappings of religion to atheism. I thought the gigantic atheism conference recently held in Melbourne was absurd, and awkwardly close to one of those batshit celebrity megachurches.

4. What causes you doubt?
Hard to doubt when I don't believe.

5. Is there a war on Christmas?
Of course not, but then Christmas is effectively a secular holiday in Australia and New Zealand anyway.

6. Do you believe in a personal, involved, intervening God or an indifferent
or detached God who lets things play out without intervention.

I believe the notion of "god" or "gods" is incoherent, ill-defined, and ludicrous. If there were a deity of any description, I would believe he is either an apathetic and detached entity or malevolent.

7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior?
N/A, but when I was a Christian I was a universalist and I still consider that an accurate interpretation of the Bible.

8. Where do you succeed in your religion/spirituality? Where do you
fail?

N/A, though I suppose sometimes I fail in being tolerant or in not being condescending towards people who are still religious. I consider tolerance and understanding of different viewpoints to be an important part of my general worldview and ethics.

9. Did you continue in the faith you grew up in or did you change faiths?
I was not raised in any faith and grew up an atheist (or perhaps an apatheist). I had a brief but very strong flirtation with religion as a teenager. I soon returned to atheism.

10. Do you think people may create a God that mirrors them? Is God
subjective or objective? Is God open to interpretation, differences
in opinion?

I think "god" is largely a political tool of power, moulded to suit local/cultural/social circumstances. For this reason, as a historian, I remain deeply interested in the role and decline of religion as a social phenomenon.
__________________
"Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." - Søren Kierkegaard

Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

U2gigs: The most comprehensive U2 setlist database!
Gig pictures | Blog
Axver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 04:36 AM   #6
Blue Crack Addict
 
The Sad Punk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: VEGA INTL NITE SKOOL
Posts: 28,691
Local Time: 02:45 AM
1. Yes, around five or four years ago I spent a lot of time search just where I stood spiritually. I explored a number of different religions, from Islam to paganism, to settling as an agnostic for a while, but now I would define myself as atheist. I don't want to spend my whole life wondering about what lies beyond, or if there's some god out there that lives specifically for our needs. I have some pretty harsh opinions on the idea of a "spritual journey" now anyway, as I think it can be completely detrimental to someone's life without balance, that it can ruin them from the inside. I can't see the point of it anymore. I'm alive now, and I think that it's truly wonderful that I even live, that this planet is able to thrive in the first place.

2. I don't see why there should be. Sure, I've occasionally wished that there was something beyond for people I've cared about who are now deceased, and for people close to me who do believe in these things. But that's the thing - just because I want to believe it doesn't mean I should. I'd also like to believe there's a dinosaur theme park on Saturn but that doesn't mean there is one.

4. Why shouldn't I doubt? Why should I even believe in the first place?

5. Don't be silly.

9. I grew up Christian. I was pretty damn Christian in particular from when I was 14-16. I started questioning when a bunch of people I knew died within a month, including two grandparents in a single weekend, and again when I was invited by some Christian friends to a massive Jesus rock n roll bullshit church thing that I found so utterly baffling, soulless and frightening that I had a panic attack, ran outside and listened to my iPod instead. I'd never felt so unloved than in a room singing with a couple of thousand other people about how Jesus apparently loved me.

10. I think all believers have, to some extent, their own interpretation of the god/s they believe in, with obvious outside cultural influences that may or may not also affect them. Of course, I'm of the impression that gods have been invented to mirror people for tens of thousands of years anyway.
__________________
The Sad Punk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 05:36 AM   #7
Paper Gods
Forum Administrator
 
KhanadaRhodes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: a vampire in the limousine
Posts: 60,607
Local Time: 11:15 AM
wow, it looks like i'm the first christian to answer this.

1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years?
Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to
another search?

i'm not sure, i don't believe so. i might have become a slightly more liberal christian, but in terms of religious beliefs i think i feel the same now as i did in 2007.

2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life?
i guess. but if i'm wrong, it's not like it changes anything; i'll already be dead. i just try to act the best i can not so i can get into heaven or whatever, but just because i don't want people to think i'm a colossal asshole.

3. Where do you disagree with your specific religion, if you practice one?
Is your religion as much a cultural/social belonging for you as it is
personal belief?

hahahaha. it's not the religion but those who practise it. i have a big problem with christians who say homosexuality is a sin, abortions are sins, condoms are sins, etc. i also have a big problem with the sunday morning christians who are only a christian when they're in church. then they cut you off in the parking lot and don't hold the door for you at chili's. i guess since they tithed for the week, they've bought their way into heaven according to the pastor of their megachurch so everything's cool.

4. What causes you doubt?
once you start to learn, you start to doubt everything you've learnt previously. that's not just religion, but everything. i mean, as we get older we start to doubt santa's real. people doubted the earth was flat as they learned more about our planet. as i learn more about science it just makes me start to wonder if it isn't all just a pack of lies. i already don't believe in creationism, how could i? so then it makes me wonder how can i be a christian if i don't believe in what's supposed to be such a fundamental part of christianity - it's the first fucking page of the bible.

5. Is there a war on Christmas?
lol no. christmas is a pagan holiday anyway, and i roll my eyes hard at this "jesus is the reason for the season" bullshit anyway. no he isn't. but if it helps some people sleep at night fine, but huge six foot lighted crosses on lawns looks so fucking tacky. so do bible quotes.

6. Do you believe in a personal, involved, intervening God or an indifferent
or detached God who lets things play out without intervention.

umm...i don't know. i've never given any thought to this. i guess the latter would be more like fate, meaning our stories have already been written, whereas the former would be if we were truly fucking things up (or say if a person was sick), god could step in and do something? it's such a cop-out but i believe in a little of both. i believe our stories are mostly written but god can intervene at times.

7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior?
no. i think that has a negative connotation, as if some of us just aren't plain good enough.

8. Where do you succeed in your religion/spirituality? Where do you
fail?

i'm not sure. if i were a catholic i'd say i just plain fail at everything. i could be a lot less quick to anger and watch what i say when i'm upset.

9. Did you continue in the faith you grew up in or did you change faiths?
yes, i was baptised a presbyterian and have always considered myself christian. i've just become far more liberal than i was when i was younger, and now i consider myself non-denominational rather than a particular denomination.

10. Do you think people may create a God that mirrors them? Is God
subjective or objective? Is God open to interpretation, differences
in opinion?

i can't speak for everyone of course, but i don't. but of course god's open to interpretation, as there's certainly lots of different interpretations out there. i'm certainly open to listening to others, as long as there's something more than just "well this is how i feel because i said so and that's just how it's gonna be" behind their opinion.
__________________
KhanadaRhodes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 05:43 AM   #8
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 01:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axver View Post
I think it's a shame some questions are loaded towards religious belief. I would have thought more people here are atheists than theists; perhaps this thread will show whether I am right or wrong.
I loaded toward belief because I am curious about belief. I understand agnosticism/atheism. I've always made my agnosticism clear here. I'm not really curious as to whether people believe, but the variations and nuances of it. While I much prefer Hitchens and Dawkins to CS Lewis, an atheist can discuss why he/she does not believe, but there aren't many variations in how one does not believe. I definitely want to open up this discussion well beyond Christianity because Christianity is not the be all and end all of religion and spirituality. I'm much more interested in personal belief than church belief. (That being said, I am very fond of a lot of religious people and have learned many things from their generosity and approach. I've also learned the same from nontheists. I've never separated the two)

I don't see a war on Christmas; however, I do hear talk about it from otherwise reasonable people around where I live and while I think it is a talk-show manufactured hyperbole, I consider Christmas a secular holiday (with religious overtones) so would not notice. I don't think I would notice if a display had a creche or did not.

And beyond the God issue, if you consider yourself spiritual, how do you express it, how do you define it? I certainly don't think God is a necessary element to spirituality.
__________________
BonosSaint is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 09:22 AM   #9
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Pearl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 5,653
Local Time: 01:15 PM
1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years?
Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to
another search?

Not really. While I still believe there is a God, my attitude has changed mainly because this has been a really rough year for me. It's hard to trust in God when there's so much insecurity and dead-ends in life.

2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life?

I do believe it is possible - whether it is reincarnation or Heaven/Hell.

3. Where do you disagree with your specific religion, if you practice one?
Is your religion as much a cultural/social belonging for you as it is
personal belief?

I was raised Catholic and the only time I ever consider myself one is around Lent where I get my ashes and take a closer look at lie. Where I live there is a large Catholic population, but I suspect many are involved for cultural reasons because many here are of Italian descent.

I don't agree with a lot of what the Pope says, especially when it comes to women's issues and gay rights. I find it very hard to be loyal to an institution that considers SSM the end of civilization and women being priests a "crime" yet turns a blind eye to child abuse. I wish I could find a church, however small, that reflects my beliefs but there are not too many where I live.

4. What causes you doubt?

Like I said, things have been tough for me so I find it hard to believe in hope and love, which makes me wonder if there really is a God.

5. Is there a war on Christmas?

Sort of, but I think some like FOX News makes it worse than it is. I do notice some non-Christians seem to despise the very word Christmas and make no secret about that, even during casual every day conversation. In grad school, I casually mentioned that I was going to do my Christmas shopping one weekend and this Jewish guy got upset and told me "You mean holiday shopping". I was like, "No, my family celebrates Christmas not holiday". So yes, there might be to some degree.

6. Do you believe in a personal, involved, intervening God or an indifferent
or detached God who lets things play out without intervention.

I really think it depends if you allow God into your life. I also think some people blame God too much on all the bad in the world, which is odd because they also say God gives everyone free will. So if He allows people to do what they want, how is it His fault when things go wrong?

7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior?

Perhaps both.

8. Where do you succeed in your religion/spirituality? Where do you
fail?

I'm too stubborn in my relationship with God, that's a problem.

9. Did you continue in the faith you grew up in or did you change faiths?

I stayed in Christianity, but not in Catholicism for the most part. I describe my beliefs as one foot in Christianity, the other in free form spirituality.

10. Do you think people may create a God that mirrors them? Is God
subjective or objective? Is God open to interpretation, differences
in opinion?

I do believe God is open to interpretation and that interpretation is effected by different cultures and time periods. Which is why it is hard to rely on the Bible and other ancient texts about God because that was such a different world back then.
__________________
Pearl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 11:34 AM   #10
Breakdancing Soul Pilgrim
 
UberBeaver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: the most serious...douch hammer ever
Posts: 20,318
Local Time: 12:15 PM
1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years?
Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to
another search?

No. Nor have I found anything new. I think you need to be (or really follow) a scientist to figure out the next step.

2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life?
Yes, but nothing like we are generally taught. I believe in dimensions, I also believe none of "this" is "real". I think it's a simulation of some sort.

3. Where do you disagree with your specific religion, if you practice one?
Is your religion as much a cultural/social belonging for you as it is
personal belief?
I was Catholic. I like it from a traditions point of view, but I don't have much use for most of it's teachings. I follow the "Don't Be A Dick to Others" philosophy. I find Catholicism to be rather hypocritical and complex. There's no reason for it to be either.

4. What causes you doubt?
Reason.

5. Is there a war on Christmas?
Only in the minds of those that want to feel persecuted.

6. Do you believe in a personal, involved, intervening God or an indifferent
or detached God who lets things play out without intervention.
If anything, a guy who built a program and said, "Let's see what's happens now..." If he was involved at some point, chances are he will get bored eventually and walk away.

7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior?
I would hope a little bit of both. But probably not judging. He built the program, let him judge himself.

8. Where do you succeed in your religion/spirituality? Where do you
fail?
I don't know what that means.

9. Did you continue in the faith you grew up in or did you change faiths?
I was never big into the whole Catholic thing. I never got much out of it. If you ask me though, I will tell you I'm Catholic.

10. Do you think people may create a God that mirrors them? Is God
subjective or objective? Is God open to interpretation, differences
in opinion?
Belief is that which gets you through. Call it God or whatever, it makes no difference. Even the most hardcore atheists believe in something, whether it be supernatural or not; there is belief in some kind of "right", "good" or "order".

Just don't be a dick.
__________________
UberBeaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 11:54 AM   #11
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BEAL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: San Diego
Posts: 3,572
Local Time: 05:15 PM
1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years?
Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to
another search?

No. I'm an atheist, and with every day I'm more and more convinced that the religions of the world are bogus. While some provide good to people, I don't think they're necessary as I'm a good person without faith in a God(s).


2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life?

No. Zero evidence of an afterlife, and doesn't make sense. Our brains create our awareness of self. The voice in our head, our thoughts, our actions, everything that makes us...us is inside the brain. Once it turns off, so does everything else we have.

If there is some other dimension that our, for lack of a better word, soul go to, none of us can possibly know it until we're dead. So why worry about it? Enjoy the thoughts and experiences you have now.

3. Where do you disagree with your specific religion, if you practice one?
Is your religion as much a cultural/social belonging for you as it is
personal belief?

I obviously don't have a belief, but I do disagree vehemently with religions or groups of people that use their faith in God to discriminate against others. Deny basic rights, health, and pass on judgement for being nothing more than someone being themselves. While I support your right TO believe in a God, I do not support the belief itself and feel it's best kept personal.

4. What causes you doubt?

My doubt is that civlization can get over 2000-5000 year old superstitions to get anything accomplished or create a better society. Eventually those beliefs that deny rights to others, or cause pain and suffering become less and less. But then you see a tragedy like this past weekend and rather than solve problems, we're told it's because we deny a god.

5. Is there a war on Christmas?
Not even close. Xmas is everywhere. Trees and decorations go up as soon as summer is over in malls. There are shows on tv, radio, music, etc etc etc. No one is trying to take xmas away. What atheists/secularists are trying to do is make sure public property or forums are NEUTRAL. If you're going to celebrate xmas on a public or gov property, please respect all other religious celebrations too.

Since that is a bit difficult or cumbersome, having the public/gov areas be neutral is best method.

6. Do you believe in a personal, involved, intervening God or an indifferent
or detached God who lets things play out without intervention.

No. Though if you believe in a creator who has no involvment besides the start, there's no way to deny it's existence. So really no difference between no god and a god at that point. Also leaves the question of who created the creator. Endless loop. Save yourself the headache

As for intervening God, leaves the mystery as to why God acts, and more troublesome, why God chooses not to get involved. When something good happens, God is praised. When something bad happens, it's mysterious ways or humans are blamed with free will.

Logic states that if God is responsible for creating the good, then he's equally responsible for creating the bad. He can't get a pass because it reflects poorly on him. But then logic isn't at play in these discussions.

When we have these horrible events, Either God couldn't do anything to stop it. Chose not to, or doesn't exist. So he's either impotent, evil, or fairy tale. Obviously I am on the last answer.

7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior?
Doesn't exist so no he doesn't. Not sure why you'd worship a god that does judge you over silly things like sex or gets jealous of false idols.

8. Where do you succeed in your religion/spirituality? Where do you
fail?
I fail to have a religion

9. Did you continue in the faith you grew up in or did you change faiths?

I was raised cathloic by my parents. Not my choice. I never believed, but I was forced to go. I'd play with GI Joes during mass, and I did just enough to get by in CCD class or whatever it was called so I could be confirmed. My parents weren't real church crazy, as we'd go maybe three times a year. But they were very admament about me becoming confirmed. I was probably more disapointed there weren't many good looking gals in class with me

10. Do you think people may create a God that mirrors them? Is God
subjective or objective? Is God open to interpretation, differences
in opinion?

Well, the bible reads like something written by 2000 year old barbarians. The way the OT seems to relish in genocide, murder, discrimination, and sacrifices is kind of sickening. The NT really isn't much better other than you've got a new character that talks more about love than anyone in the OT. Nothing earth shattering, and you'd think a book either written by god or inspired by god would do more to inspire it's creations.

God either exists or he doesn't. Unfortunately there's no proof, just people's opinions which those are subjective. You can have your own opinions, but not your own facts.

Also, I do get tired of hearing a "militant atheist". While I can agree that there are some very pushy atheists (i may even be considered one), consider the comparasion to militant religious folk. A militant xtian bombs an abortion clinic, a militant muslim detonates himself in a market square. A militant atheist argues with you.

While annoying to be argued with, I'd take that over getting killed.
__________________
BEAL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 12:45 PM   #12
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
trojanchick99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Los Feliz, CA (between Hollywood and Downtown LA)
Posts: 8,090
Local Time: 09:15 AM
1) No, but I have been more comfortable in telling my friends that I'm atheist. I still haven't told my family as they are religious and it would cause more harm than good.

2) No.

3) As I'm atheist, I only have disagreements with how people express their beliefs, bothe believers and non-believers. Just as I don't want someone telling me I'm going to Hell on a daily basis for not believing, I think it's just as insulting for people to harangue believers.

4) Nothing really. I have seen no evidence there is "higher power".

5) I think that our country is trying to secularize itself and that many people are becoming more sensitive to the fact that there are people who aren't Christian. That's a good thing. I think it's silly to call it a "War on Christmas". The funny thing, is in this country, I feel Christmas has become a secular holiday. I celebrate it, I have friends of many religions who buy christmas trees. For me it's about celebrating with family.

6) I don't believe in God.
7) See above
8) I'm not spiritual.
9) Half of my family is Catholic, half non-denominational Protestant. However, neither of my parents were churchgoers, for which I'm profoundly grateful. I will say this. When my father died, his funeral mass was very comforting. I greatly appreciate the ceremony and tradition of the Catholic rites.

10) I think people create a God to suit their purpose.
__________________
trojanchick99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2012, 09:33 PM   #13
Blue Crack Addict
 
Moonlit_Angel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: In a dimension known as the Twilight Zone...do de doo doo, do de doo doo...
Posts: 19,266
Local Time: 11:15 AM
1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years? Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to another search? Eh, not really. Occasionally I debate just giving over to atheism altogether, but at this point and time I tend to just be, "Don't know, don't really care one way or another" about it all-that's how I've tended to be for some time now. Religion just isn't really enough of a factor in my life. If I do search, I search out of curiosity more than anything else. I'm willing to question, I love the discussion, I like hearing what religious people have to say, and I'm open to possibilities. But I don't feel like something's "missing" in my life by not being religious.

2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life? I'm fascinated by the concept, I guess I'd say. I like the idea of reincarnation, I like the thought of loved ones who've passed on keeping watch over my family, I like the idea that said loved ones are at peace in some other realm somewhere. I can't say these are things I think to be true, it's more just that I think it'd be nice if those things were true and existed.

3. Where do you disagree with your specific religion, if you practice one? Is your religion as much a cultural/social belonging for you as it is personal belief? Were I to belong to a religion, I wouldn't agree with the parts where God seems deeply obsessive and judgmental about things like who you sleep with or who you're attracted to. I'd like to think, if God exists, he's more concerned about helping the poor and stopping wars than things like that. If God sends someone to hell for liking someone of the same sex, but a mass murderer goes to heaven because they happened to believe in the "right God", then that's kind of fucked up in my eyes.

I know some people have a hard time separating their religion from their cultural/social settings. But ultimately, I think it's wise to keep it on a personal level. If your religion compels you to do good in your community, fantastic, but non-religious people feel compelled to do good, too. The idea that religion NEEDS to be a part of society in order for good things to happen doesn't make sense to me. If you need to be told to do something good by a faith, instead of just doing something good just because it's the right thing to do, the necessary thing to do, then that seems strange.

Your religion can dicate your own life choices all you want it to. But don't try and make me or anyone else live by your religion's views.

4. What causes you doubt? Stuff like what happened on Friday at the school, definitely. It's really hard for me to believe there's a loving, caring god out there that would actually allow things like that, or any other violence and tragedies, to occur. I know people argue that that sort of thing is "man's sin and not the control of God", but first off, that doesn't explain natural disasters, then, and second, that still leads to too many complex questions-God's all knowing and knows people will sin like that and doesn't stop it, he's all powerful and still can't stop it, he can't control us and gives us free will-all of those things just seem like too easy of excuses to explain away why these things can happen. So either God exists and is actually a heartless bastard (which some religious texts acknowledge), which makes me wonder why on earth he's worth worshipping, or he doesn't exist at all.

And I also find myself thinking about some of the things religious people insist happened regarding the creation of the world and Jesus coming back and this and that and it all seems so unrealistic to me. I just can't wrap my head around how people can honestly believe in the Bible in a literal sense.

5. Is there a war on Christmas? No. Last I checked, I and plenty of other people here are still allowed to celebrate the holiday. People are trying to make a war where there is none because some people have to get offended about the smallest, most pointless things (and I say this to both sides). It's a tired, pathetic argument that pops up every year and I really think everyone involved in it needs to just shut up.

6. Do you believe in a personal, involved, intervening God or an indifferent or detached God who lets things play out without intervention. I'd have to think, if God exists, he/she/it would have to be involved on some level. It doesn't make sense that God would create this universe, this world, these people...and then say, "Okay, I'm done now." and move on, without at least showing a slight interest in what everyone and everything he created is doing.

7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior? To some extent. I do think, if a God does exist, he/she/it would focus more on behavior. Actions speak louder than words, and all that.

8. Where do you succeed in your religion/spirituality? Where do you fail? I succeed in the sense that I think I'm very willing to question things and not take whatever religious/spiritual people say at face value. I think that's a very important part of religion and spirituality that more people would do well to utilize. I fail in the sense that I do think it would do me well to educate myself better on various religions, simply because, first off, what I do know about various faiths is interesting to me, and second, it helps in understanding history and the world at large. Plus, if I find myself in a debate on religious matters, it would help to have more knowledge to back up my points better, too.

9. Did you continue in the faith you grew up in or did you change faiths? Nope. I was raised Lutheran and when my grandma was alive, we went to church most Sundays. I was too young to really pay attention to the particulars of my specific church, but from what my parents tell me about it, it was generally a pretty open, accepting church. But then my grandma died, and given that my parents weren't very religious (actually, my dad wasn't religious at all), and the church started bringing in aspects of the Catholic faith, which we're not a part of, and all that, we soon stopped going altogether.

I was never all that invested in the church when I did go, either-religion and spirituality is one of those things where, if I do practice it, I want to do it on my own time in my own way. And that's continued to this very day.

10. Do you think people may create a God that mirrors them? Is God subjective or objective? Is God open to interpretation, differences in opinion? Absolutely, God mirrors people's personal beliefs. God is whatever each individual person wants him/her/it to be. I think God's always going to be subjective and open to interpretation until the day he actually, physically comes to Earth and tells us exactly what he thinks and wants. Right now all we have are the words that people claim they heard him say and things they claim he did. And that's not enough proof for me.
__________________
Moonlit_Angel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 03:45 PM   #14
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Winterfell
Posts: 3,825
Local Time: 01:15 PM
1No. In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.
2Yes
3Gays will not be going to hell. I wouldn't personally support an abortion but wouldn't tell anyone else not to get one.
4Nothing
5No. That's just to sell stupid books
6A little of both. God or a creator is everywhere. Look outside, it's beautiful
7As long as you're a good person when it comes down to it and do good things everything should be peachy
8

9Always a Catholic
10God is God. I can't pretend to define God for anyone else. Spirituality should be personal. As should religion
__________________
Steved1998 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 04:30 PM   #15
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,486
Local Time: 12:15 PM
1. Have your beliefs (or lack thereof) changed in the past five years?
Have the searchers found anything? If not, have they gone on to
another search?


not too much. i suppose i'm slightly more open to the idea that more than just what we might call "energy" isn't destroyed when we die, but that's based on a very subjective personal experience that i won't go into here. i remain pretty firmly agnostic but also aware that there was something before us and something after us and the idea that our bodies are tapped into that for the period that our bodies are alive has some appeal to me, emotionally and intellectually. but i'd say that more so than 5 years ago i am



2. Do you believe in anything beyond this life?

pretty much answered that above.



3. Where do you disagree with your specific religion, if you practice one?
Is your religion as much a cultural/social belonging for you as it is
personal belief?


i was raised Roman Catholic, so i disagree with pretty much the whole thing. though i find much to admire in the "Jesus message" and also admire the Catholic commitment to social justice for the poor. i admire how religion can function as a source of positive identity and create a sense of community and give structure, meaning, and purpose to some individuals.

i'd say that Buddhism holds more appeal to me, and i find it very calming (as opposed to actually comforting) ... but not all of Buddhism is so nice. karma seems a little bit nasty to me, at least insofar as it's used to explain why bad things happen to (seemingly) nice people. i think it's best understood more as a practice and philosophy than a religion, and that's perhaps why it works best for me. it doesn't offer answers but rather a framework through which to view the world. i'm also not comfortable with the gradual losing of one's individuality through the pursuit of "one-ness" with the universe. i think it's fine to want to visit such a state of collective consciousness, but i don't know if that's where one would actually want to live. and it also seems to contrast with what i've experienced as a suggestion to the possibility of our individuality passing over death, for a period at least.



4. What causes you doubt?

i doubt everything. i think our brains are highly subjective, and the fact that reality itself can bend with the addition of substances to our brains lets us know that the world only "is" as much as our biological abilities allow us to. this isn't quite to say that the world doesn't exist independent of our perceptions, but it is to say that we cannot have any knowledge that isn't entirely subjective. there's a there there, but we only experience it through a filter.


5. Is there a war on Christmas?

people really enjoy the feeling of being under siege by something.


6. Do you believe in a personal, involved, intervening God or an indifferent or detached God who lets things play out without intervention.

i think this question puts onto "God" human characteristics. if there is a God, it always was and always will be, and that's about the end of that.


7. Does your God judge? If so, does he judge on belief or behavior?

again, making God in man's image.


8. Where do you succeed in your religion/spirituality? Where do you fail?

i fail in Buddhism because it's an interest but not a practice -- i'd like for it to become a practice, but my life doesn't seem to allow for that right now. i think i succeed by actively participating in student/teacher dialogues when i do attend classes, because this is supposed to be the core of Buddhism, that it's transmitted knowledge.

as for Christianity, it's hard to know. i think it's so distorted that i don't know what it really is.

9. Did you continue in the faith you grew up in or did you change faiths?

i didn't change so much as i grew up and out of the faith i was raised in. it wasn't hard to take a good long look at Catholicism, and much of Christianity, and think, "well, that's bunk."

my interest in Buddhism is kind of like having an interest in yoga, only it's for the mind rather than the body. i should do it more.


10. Do you think people may create a God that mirrors them? Is God
subjective or objective? Is God open to interpretation, differences
in opinion?



yes. clearly, yes.
__________________

__________________
Irvine511 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com