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Old 12-14-2005, 09:49 PM   #1
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Questions for Religious People...

This is a completely serious post, and I don't want it to end up in a flame war, or nasty comments or anything because i am honestly curious, and would like someone who is religious, for any religion to answer these questions, as I'm agonostic to the nth degree.

How can you believe in God? What makes you believe there is a God, besides the Bible which, frankly is seen by non Christians as a story book?

Why if someone is religious do they not welcome death. Like when they are terminally ill etc? If you believe in Heaven arn't you looking forward to going there and seeing other family who have passed on?

Do you believe other religious people from other religions are wrong? Like say, as a Christian do you believe Islam is wrong, or vice versa, even though you both believe in the same God?

If you are religious, do you believe the bible dictates your life? Like the actually scriptures and verses and stuff in it actually mean something in someones life today, even though it was written so long ago?

How many of you who are religious, were NOT brought up with religioin and made your choice to become religious as an adult?

and lastly, can you understand how someone like myself, who was brought up without religion (but given information about different religions in case i was interested in one of them) and believes the world was created by the big bang, and sees all the heartache and sorrow and then seens crazy fundametalists from all religions just screw up this world more, can you actually see my point of view. Can you understand how easy it is to NOT believe in a God? To believe that religion is only a tool for people to feel better about their life and give it some meaning and purpose?

Thank you for reading, and i hope someon responds because i am really interested and no one my friends are religious at all, so i have no one to ask!
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:58 PM   #2
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"How can you believe in God? "


Have you ever tasted a strawberry?
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:00 PM   #3
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Yeah see, you say something like that, and i piss myself laughing. How does that even ANSWER my question? Yes i've tasted a strawberry, they are my favourite fruit. But do i believe a stawberry was made because of a God? No.

Can we get some real answers here!
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:06 PM   #4
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Ok I´ll bite... let me roll one first.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:14 PM   #5
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Re: Questions for Religious People...

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy

How can you believe in God? What makes you believe there is a God, besides the Bible which, frankly is seen by non Christians as a story book?
I don't believe in God because of the Bible, but because I just have a very strong sense of something more than the eye can see. It's not rational or scientific or based on a historical document, it's just that there is a feeling, a sense of comfort that there is someone out there. I don't know how else to answer it, but I do feel 100% there is a God.


Quote:
Why if someone is religious do they not welcome death. Like when they are terminally ill etc? If you believe in Heaven arn't you looking forward to going there and seeing other family who have passed on?
Well, because we are still human and we still love our families and our friends and we are attached to them and don't want to leave. Or we love life and feel that maybe our stories are unfinished. And not everyone really believes you will necessarily see family members there or recognize them - the concept of the afterlife is pretty varied among different religious folk.

Quote:
Do you believe other religious people from other religions are wrong? Like say, as a Christian do you believe Islam is wrong, or vice versa, even though you both believe in the same God?
Personally I think we all believe in the same God, but we arrive to him in different ways. You will find that many people will disagree with me here, so this is a personal question more than anything. Basically I think God revealed himself to people in different ways, maybe sometimes in a way that helped them see or accept him more easily. However, I do understand that some people, for example if they are Christian feel that no other God is a means to salvation and I understand why they believe that.

Quote:
If you are religious, do you believe the bible dictates your life? Like the actually scriptures and verses and stuff in it actually mean something in someones life today, even though it was written so long ago?
Most certainly not. I don't hold the Bible to be the final authority and I most definitely don't believe the Old Testament holds any laws for me either. There are some beautiful passages there, but I don't use the Bible as an arguing point nor does it dictate my life or permeate my social fabric.

Quote:
How many of you who are religious, were NOT brought up with religioin and made your choice to become religious as an adult?
Not me. I was brought up in a family which was religious, but not very much so. My parents did not push us to go to church once we got older and don't insist on it now too. In fact the less involved they became in wanting us to maintain our faith, the more we were interested in doing it ourselves. But neither my brother nor I are really very religious people. He'd rather volunteer with school kids than go to Mass, for example.

Quote:
and lastly, can you understand how someone like myself, who was brought up without religion (but given information about different religions in case i was interested in one of them) and believes the world was created by the big bang, and sees all the heartache and sorrow and then seens crazy fundametalists from all religions just screw up this world more, can you actually see my point of view. Can you understand how easy it is to NOT believe in a God? To believe that religion is only a tool for people to feel better about their life and give it some meaning and purpose?
Of course. I know many people who are agnostic or atheist and I don't think they are blind or ignorant or anything like that. And looking at our current world, I sometimes wonder if we'd all be better off with your viewpoint.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:18 PM   #6
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I think that if anything ever brought me to God it would be the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

But usually I cleave to agnosticism or at most Deism:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:33 PM   #7
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That is quite a list of questions dazzlingamy.

I'll get you a response in the morning.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:37 PM   #8
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Re: Questions for Religious People...

Great questions, dazzlingamy. I respect your perspective.

Actually, the iron horse has a great point. Think about what he's asking for a minute. Why does a strawberry taste good? Why do we as humans enjoy them? Why does it exist for us to eat? Why does it provide nurishment and vitamins to our bodies? There seems to be a lot of logic behind it all -- and that's just a strawberry. Why do we have teeth to chew the strawberry and a tongue to taste them? Why does a strawberry turn into a turd? Sometimes evidence of God is most obvious in the details.

As far as your other questions . . . I'll try not to be long-winded.





Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
How can you believe in God? What makes you believe there is a God, besides the Bible which, frankly is seen by non Christians as a story book?
I believe in God for many reasons, one of which is the Bible. There are numerous prophecies in the OT that are confirmed in the NT -- including things nobody would've just been able to simply do to fulfill them, such as the fact that Christ's legs weren't broken after his crucifixion -- the common practice was that they were to speed up the suffication. Plus, the Bible has proven to be a reliable source for historians to go to -- it's never been proven wrong by historical artifacts or whatever.
The other reason I believe in God is because of just pondering nature and everything he created. I think science is evidence of a loving God. The top reason I believe though is because of my realtionship with him. I see him work in my life every day. I see very specific prayers answered. (See my journal to get a glimpse of how God worked in my wife's life.) The same relationship is available to you. I'm not saying that to win you over or get conversion points. I just tell people that because it's the coolest thing ever to have a relationship with God. You just got to accept Christ and ask for forgiveness. That's it.


Why if someone is religious do they not welcome death. Like when they are terminally ill etc? If you believe in Heaven arn't you looking forward to going there and seeing other family who have passed on? I think a fear of death is a very natural thing. I don't think if you fear death that means you don't have faith. It's scary. It's sad too. If I die tomorrow, I'm leaving behind a beautiful wife, and two little boys and many other loved ones. However, I know since I do have a relationship with Christ, I have nothing to fear on the other side.

Do you believe other religious people from other religions are wrong? Like say, as a Christian do you believe Islam is wrong, or vice versa, even though you both believe in the same God?

As close-minded as it sounds, yes. But it's not close-minded if you think about it. Christ said "I am the way, the truth and the life, nobody gets to the father but by me." Do you really think if God became human, came down and expereinced what we do and suffered a terrible death in our place for the sins we committed that he would allow us to take another way -- especially our own way? Also, what's the standard. If you have a room of people of different faiths, what's the standard? The truth is the standard is Christ, and the crap thing is we can't live a perfect life like he did. The COOL thing is, he died in our place -- the spotless lamb imagery found in the OT -- so when we seek forgiveness through him, we're seen as "righteous." (Not in the surfer sense of the word, either.) Also, a God that dies for me is the kind I want to worship. If you've seen "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," that's the story of it all right there.


If you are religious, do you believe the bible dictates your life? Like the actually scriptures and verses and stuff in it actually mean something in someones life today, even though it was written so long ago?
The Bible is just as relevant today as it was when it was written. I try to live up to God' word, but I fall on my butt every day. I have a lustful, judgemental, angry, greedy, bitter heart, but he's willing to see past it. The cool thing is he knew I would be this way(see above comments). We all are, but he still loves us.
And, to clarify, I don't see the Bible and its commands as rigid rules that cramp my style. It's the total opposite. It enhances my life and guides me to the life I was meant to live. Think of a child's basketball game without refs -- fouls would be committed like crazy, there'd be no out of bounds and soon fights would break out. The game works better with some boundaries.

How many of you who are religious, were NOT brought up with religioin and made your choice to become religious as an adult?
I was brought up in a Christian home, but I gave it the middle finger for a few years. I had to find my own identity. Believe it or not, Bono helped me in this area big time.

and lastly, can you understand how someone like myself, who was brought up without religion (but given information about different religions in case i was interested in one of them) and believes the world was created by the big bang, and sees all the heartache and sorrow and then seens crazy fundametalists from all religions just screw up this world more, can you actually see my point of view. Can you understand how easy it is to NOT believe in a God? To believe that religion is only a tool for people to feel better about their life and give it some meaning and purpose?

Of course I see where you're coming from! Bono's right when he sang how the world is FUBAR. But it's us who screwed it up. We cause the heartache, the sorrow and we're the crazy fundamentalists. Religion is our problem. I'm a Christian in the sense that I read the Bible, pray to God and try to have a relationship with Christ. I'm not a Christian because I go to church, sing songs or listen to my pastor. That doesn't make you a Christian. Religion doesn't equal Relationship.

Thank you for reading, and i hope someon responds because i am really interested and no one my friends are religious at all, so i have no one to ask!
No problem. I hope I didn't cause you to jab your eyes out. I respect where you're coming from. These are valid questions everyone -- including Christians -- should ask. I promise though, when I look at the world thorugh Christ's eyes and through the Bible's perspective, it makes much more sense.

I hope that helps.

If you have any questions, I'm at coemgen17@hotmail.com.
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:39 PM   #9
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Holy crap, I guess I see that I was, in fact, long winded.

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Old 12-14-2005, 11:30 PM   #10
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Re: Questions for Religious People...

[QUOTE]Originally posted by dazzlingamy
[B]

These are great questions dazzlingamy!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy

How can you believe in God? What makes you believe there is a God, besides the Bible which, frankly is seen by non Christians as a story book?
As mentioned by someone else here, for me, it is more of a feeling; of looking around at this beautiful mess and knowing there is someone out there who created this. I think of the intricacies of life, i.e., the sunset, the birth of my two daughters, the human body, etc...and know that we can't be here just 'by chance', that we can't be here due to a 'big bang.' An intelligent design must have an intelligent designer.

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Why if someone is religious do they not welcome death. Like when they are terminally ill etc? If you believe in Heaven arn't you looking forward to going there and seeing other family who have passed on?
I do look forward to seeing those who have gone before me. Like my recently deceased Grandmother said to me one time, "I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid to die." I do fear my last breath, but I believe there is something better out there.

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Do you believe other religious people from other religions are wrong? Like say, as a Christian do you believe Islam is wrong, or vice versa, even though you both believe in the same God?
Actually, I don't believe that "all roads lead to the same place," so to speak. I know that is very popular with people, but when you look at the claims that Jesus made, "I am the Way, the Truth, and Life; and no man comes to the Father but by ME". This is a very radical statement to make and closes the door to there being another road that would lead to the same God. A couple of books that I would recommend reading are: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity and Lee Stroebel - A Case for Christ. Alot of people call Jesus a "good man" and Lewis does a fine job of debunking that be referencing that Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or who he said he was, the Son of God. Strobel was an atheist who worked as an investigative journalist with the Chicago Sun Times and his wife became a Christian. He set out to prove there is no God. What he found was (what he believes) overwhelming evidence for the existence of God. He is now a Christian and has written other books as well (Case for Faith, Case for Easter, etc.) Both are great reads.

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
If you are religious, do you believe the bible dictates your life? Like the actually scriptures and verses and stuff in it actually mean something in someones life today, even though it was written so long ago?
Absolutely! Read the book of Proverbs, there are so many truths there that apply today. The entire bible can apply from the book of James where Paul talks about how dangerous a person's tongue is (i.e., gossip, etc.) to the Life of David (he is referenced in the bible as a man after God's own heart, yet he struggled with lust, had an affair, and killed his mistresses' husband, etc.; yet God forgave him, because God could see his heart). The life of David is a perfect example that no one is ever too far gone or no sin is unforgiveable.

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
How many of you who are religious, were NOT brought up with religioin and made your choice to become religious as an adult?
I was brought up in a religious family, but have struggled with (and still do to some extent) with making my beliefs mine (i.e., separating what I believe versus regurgitating what my parents believe). For me, this also applies to how my political views play into my religous beliefs. My parents would never think of voting for a democrat and were shocked when I told tham I voted for Kerry during the last election. For me, G.O.P. does NOT stand for God's Own Party. Another excellent read is Jim Wallis - America's Politics-Why the Right is Wrong and the Left doesn't get it.

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
and lastly, can you understand how someone like myself, who was brought up without religion (but given information about different religions in case i was interested in one of them) and believes the world was created by the big bang, and sees all the heartache and sorrow and then seens crazy fundametalists from all religions just screw up this world more, can you actually see my point of view. Can you understand how easy it is to NOT believe in a God? To believe that religion is only a tool for people to feel better about their life and give it some meaning and purpose?
Yes, absolutely. It is much harder to believe (in God) than not to. Having said all that I have above; ultimately, I am just like you...a seeker. We all are really. It sickens me to read that Pat Robertson talks about the overturning r v. w, a ban on gay marriage, and a strong national defense makes for a Godly nation. That is not my idea of a Godly nation, nor is it biblical really. I always have to remember that people are not perfect , but God is. Many wars have been started in God's name, that is that people started these wars, not God. I will recommend one last read, a magazine called Relevant magazine, they have a website you can check out too. It is put out by Christians that are impacting our culture. There are movie and music reviews (Christian and secular artists) and articles written by Christian and secular writers , etc. A couple of months ago there was a cover story on Moby and they interviewed him and he referenced at one time he was an atheist. One of his friends was a youth pastor and they had a discussion about God and this friend told him to start with the Gospels (i.e., the first four books of the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). These are the books written about Jesus Christ's life and death. After reading these, Moby became a Christian. I guess it depends on how much evidence we need to believe - some need to see the holes in His hands and His pierced side to believe and others can read or hear the word and will believe. FYI - examples of both of those are referenced in the bible as well (i.e. doubting Thomas and the book of Acts).

Quote:
Originally posted by dazzlingamy
Thank you for reading, and i hope someon responds because i am really interested and no one my friends are religious at all, so i have no one to ask!
Like I said above, all are great questions, hope I gave you something to think about. Sorry for the lloonngg post.

Bean.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:33 PM   #11
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Nice job, Bean. Beatiful post.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:53 PM   #12
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Can I ask a question too?

Actually it's kind of brought up by some of the answers, but it's something that's bugged me for decades (well, not bugged me terribly, but in context it does...).

If you believe that this world is too complex to not have been made or designed by someone or something intelligent, well...who or what made that intelligent thing or being in the first place?

I mean I don't get why if a god can either always exist or come into being from nothing, then why can't this world or the makings of this world have done the same thing?

I'm not asking this to knock anyone's belief, but if you explain the origins of the universe by saying god created it...how do you explain the origins of god?
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:56 PM   #13
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I'm not "religious" but I have strong beliefs... So let's answer your question

How can you believe in God? - Ahh... nice question. God is everything and nothing. God is what links all the beings and things. God is... me, you, them. I can believe in God because I feel that we are all linked by energy, and God is what human call energy. Atoms, you know ? Smaller than that... Everything. I can believe in God because it makes sense if we think it's not a person, but a whole.

What makes you believe there is a God, besides the Bible which, frankly is seen by non Christians as a story book? - Bible is full of... hem... shit ? Ahahah. Its genesis was taken from the Sumerians as its heroe from other beliefs, so the traditions. So no... I believe in God because of Science and because of beliefs like Bouddhism and the Tao Te King that I had a lot of fun to read.

Why if someone is religious do they not welcome death. Like when they are terminally ill etc? - People are scared of the unknown. When have you heard a human say "Man, death is so nice ! You should try it someday !" ahahah... I'm not scared personaly, but I understand that a lot might be... They don't really know the other side and that's why.

If you believe in Heaven arn't you looking forward to going there and seeing other family who have passed on? - I don't believe in... "Heaven". so I'll pass this one

Do you believe other religious people from other religions are wrong? Like say, as a Christian do you believe Islam is wrong, or vice versa, even though you both believe in the same God? - Nope. There is good in every religion, and bad. An Islamist is not more right than a Christianist. Both are at the same level because they believe in the same values and God in the end, don't they ? Only, the way they interpretate their religion is different. That's why there's so much conflict.

If you are religious, do you believe the bible dictates your life? - I don't believe in the Bible.

Like the actually scriptures and verses and stuff in it actually mean something in someones life today, even though it was written so long ago? - The problem is not that it was written long ago... it's that it was modified and its texts are not original ones

How many of you who are religious, were NOT brought up with religion and made your choice to become religious as an adult? - Hm... I've been baptised when I was a child but resigned Christianity not long after, lol. I started reading about other religions aroung 14-15. But I really started exploring seriously and taking descision at the age of 16. I'm still discovering right now, soon 17.

and lastly, can you understand how someone like myself, who was brought up without religion (but given information about different religions in case i was interested in one of them) and believes the world was created by the big bang, and sees all the heartache and sorrow and then seens crazy fundametalists from all religions just screw up this world more, can you actually see my point of view. Can you understand how easy it is to NOT believe in a God? To believe that religion is only a tool for people to feel better about their life and give it some meaning and purpose? - If it would be so easy to believe in God, nobody would fear Death. Nobody would ask themselves questions because they would know. But the truth, even in religion, is hard to reach. I understand you perfectly and believe in science too, because religion and science, in the end, are directly linked. But yeah, religious associations is a king of brainwashing... I agree totaly
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by indra


If you believe that this world is too complex to not have been made or designed by someone or something intelligent, well...who or what made that intelligent thing or being in the first place?

I mean I don't get why if a god can either always exist or come into being from nothing, then why can't this world or the makings of this world have done the same thing?
Great question, indra. It doesn't make sense logically, especially to all of us humans because we ourselves were created. Think about this though, if the universe is God's masterpiece, and in that masterpiece we have the lovely aspect of a thing called time, then that means he also created time. So if he created time, then he must be outside of it, does that make sense? He's not restricted to time. He's above it because it's something that came from him. Therefore, he's always existed. I know that's hard to wrap our heads around because it's outside of our logic, but if he's God, then he's going to be outside of our logic. We're just his creation. We're an "intellectual tortoise, racing with your bullet train."

Psalm90:2
"Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God."

That's my explaination at least. Does that make sense?
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:38 AM   #15
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How can you believe in God? What makes you believe there is a God, besides the Bible which, frankly is seen by non Christians as a story book?

Oh words can be so misleading. Because words are not feelings, and none of what I am to describe that can´t possibly be described in words, is of your own experience. Additionally, it is impossible to put certain things into words. The only way I can attempt to reply will be long and very personal, hope you don´t mind..

I believe in God because I have felt him. See, when I was 15, 16 years old, I did not.. not really believe in God I guess. I was raised in a Catholic family, but there were so many contradictions in the Bible (plus the friends who I hung out with were disillusioned freaks so it wasn´t really a topic). Also, I was definitely critical of what I had learned about the history of (my) Catholic church, and by questioning the church I also questioned God and his very existence.

That all changed when new persons enriched my life. Does it sound uncommon when I say that in some way, love has led me to God? ...I believe in God because I met God twice in my life. And both times, it happened when I looked in the eyes of lovers. And both times, amazingly, I talked with them after it happened and they had exactly the same indescribable sensation .

The feeling is that everything is one. Only a couple of seconds. All the energy is totally connected. It is a different truth, a kind of unconsciousness, a way of non-thinking.. no thought passed through my mind. Yet, if there is something I knew - it was real. A reality different from the way we live. It´s like, everything was clear for a moment, know what I mean? There are no questions. There´s no question whether there is a God or not. Its the pure joy, the pure essence of life. One. Now. [side comment to whom it may concern.. also different from later experiences in meditation or shamanism. It was not about breathing slowly, stepping out of your head or anything. Not getting into another place. It wasn´t necessary to call the spirit, it just happened out of the blue].

The first time that I had this experience, it influenced me so deeply that I said.. if there is something I call God... ever in my life.. it is that existance, that deeper meaning, that one-now-unity.. all the universe - .. energy. Some people call it different names, others insist that this is rather the holy spirit and God is a father figure, all of that doesn´t make a difference. So I was like... ahaaaa! There is a God! with 17. The second time it happened I was 20. And again, the person with who I had this experience, spoke of the exact same things.

Later on I began to be interested in all kinds of religions; I am brought up with Catholicism and stand by the roots of this religion.. but know a lot about other religions. This has to do with the way I lived, I had certain negative and positive experiences; and apart from that count the studies in,.. but lets elaborate at another point. I just need to state that the rest of the post might include other authors too - all that knowledge comes from them and I am thankful for it.

I call a man a theist, a believer, when his outlook is positive, and a man whose outlook is negative, an atheist, a non-believer. To be a believer has no relation at all to believing in the existence of God, and to hold such a belief is completely unnecessary. To see what is, to know what really exists, is the way of the theist, of the believer; to see what does not really exist is the way of an atheist.


Why if someone is religious do they not welcome death. Like when they are terminally ill etc? If you believe in Heaven arn't you looking forward to going there and seeing other family who have passed on?

Death of loved ones has been to painful for me up until now to really ... welcome death as a friend. All our fears center around dying, and we build up immense security to protect ourselves when the essence of life itself is so fragile. Death is like a shadow: you can try to get rid of it, but you never will, it will always follow you.

Some say it is better to turn around, face the shadow and look it straight in the eye. Then the fear of death can disappear. People are afraid of dying because they think they still have to do something in their life, they have not completed it. A man who has lived a fulfilling life, a man who has tasted ecstasy, who has lived every single moment with passion, who has completed his life, will know when his time has come - only he can welcome death with open arms.

Do you believe other religious people from other religions are wrong? Like say, as a Christian do you believe Islam is wrong, or vice versa, even though you both believe in the same God?

No, I believe people from other religions are right. There are parallels in all world religions. The names of the deities are different, the life and stories of the prophets and saints, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and so many others, differ.. but if you read the books you will find many parallels.. truths that are overshadowed by the twist the writers gave them because the writes lived in different times, societies etc. - you have to dig deep, but when you read the start of the Kabbalah you will find parallels to Genesis etc.

The unique principles are rather... cosmic than bound to a certain religion or society.


If you are religious, do you believe the bible dictates your life? Like the actually scriptures and verses and stuff in it actually mean something in someones life today, even though it was written so long ago?

The Bible does not dictate my life, but influences my decisions. lol, may sound dangerous come to think of it, but it doesn´t influence me in the way like.. ok, now I have to open page 439 to see what I have to do. Nah.. I am a searcher.. I have read many books.. you can read many books yet not come to know God. Many people think they have found the ultimate truth in the Bible.. while they overlook that they have no real familiarity with God at all. In fact, no one has... it´s not like you could go to the next rock concert with God... yet spirit surely manifests through music.


and lastly, can you understand how someone like myself, who was brought up without religion (but given information about different religions in case i was interested in one of them) and believes the world was created by the big bang, and sees all the heartache and sorrow and then seens crazy fundametalists from all religions just screw up this world more, can you actually see my point of view. Can you understand how easy it is to NOT believe in a God? To believe that religion is only a tool for people to feel better about their life and give it some meaning and purpose?

Sure I can understand that. Especially when I see how fucked up the world is. This is why it is our duty to regain paradise on earth. One doesn´t have to believe in Jesus or anything else to do good work in his spirit, to help the needy and to feed the poor.

Time will tell if you will change your opinion.

My replies just scratch the surface - there is much to say, especially on death. It may be enough for a start.

Blessings!
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