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  1. Marshmallow
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    Marshmallow Member

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    Anyone up for theology?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Marshmallow, Jul 18, 2009.

    These usually end badly, so lets keep it friendly guys. :rolleyes:

    I do not know if these kinds of things are frowned upon here, nor do I know if this has been done here before. However, I am in the mood to debate, and religion is always a goldmine of emotion.

    So tell me:

    Do you believe in a higher power? Do you follow an established religion? Why or Why not?
     
  2. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm always up for a little theological discussion. :)

    I absolutely do. To me, the world just doesn't make sense without factoring some sort of higher power into the equation. However...

    No, I do not. I was raised in a very religious home and attended church regularly until I turned 21. Then I decided that while organized religion may work for some people, it doesn't really do it for me. The way I see it, there are people who need the sort of structure and support that an organized religion, whichever they may choose, provides, and then there are others who are much happier living their own personally spiritual way. I'm definitely in the second group.
     
  3. Marshmallow
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    Marshmallow Member

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    Ah.

    So what sort of higher power do you believe in?

    Do you actively participate in any rituals?
     
  4. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I believe in God...not the whole vengeful god thing so much, but a God that's sort of like our parents only more...omnipotent, I suppose.

    And no, I don't actively participate in any rituals. I pray when the need arises, but that's about it.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    To answer your questions: I don't believe in a higher power, and so I don't follow any religion. IMO, the arguments presented against the existence of a higher power are more convincing. Also, I have never really felt the need or want for a supreme being.
     
  6. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    Higher power? I'm not gonna say that there are not more advanced species out there than we are, if you think of the size of the universe, it seems relatively unlikely that there are no other planets with life on them out there. But as for ideas of reincarnation or an after-life or even god or several gods, I must say that I myself do not believe.
     
  7. Marshmallow
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    Marshmallow Member

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    Why don't you believe in a God Ragnar? Have you just never considered it or what?
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    FAIR WARNING - potentially inflammatory topic

    As with every thread dealing with controversial subjects, this one will be closely watched. As long as everyone remains respectful toward everyone else's beliefs, the thread may continue.

    FAIR WARNING! In the past, we have simply closed the thread when it gets too heated. This time, whoever takes it to the point that requires it to be closed will also be subject to an infraction.

    We have had a very poor track record with contraversial threads in the past, and this is why we will follow a zero-tolerance policy on this one.

    So please keep the tone respectful at all times.
     
  9. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Meh, we can generally talk about anything as long as it doesn't turn into a flame war.

    I'm pretty agnostic when it comes to the subject of a higher power. To be more precise, I'm a polytheistic agnostic. I don't think it's possible for one being, even a god, to control everything. There is simply too much varience in the universe and here on Earth for that to be possible, in my opinion.

    In a manner of speaking, yeah it's an established religion. I'm a pagan. To be more precise I worship the goddess Athena. As for why; I've always felt drawn to Greco-Roman paganism, particularly to the Athena (Minerva in Latin). Even when I was a kid and didn't know that there were peope that still worshipped the Pagan deities, I felt drawn to her.
     
  10. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a friend who's a pagan. I've always found paganism interesting, so I was really excited when I found out she was one, because now I have someone to talk to about it who actually knows what's up. :)
     
  11. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    Uh. That comes off as extremely offensive to me...
    I don't believe in God. A lot of thought process as well as several mental experiments have led me to my current beliefs.
     
  12. Marshmallow
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    No need to get pissy mate, it's just that, where I come from, that happens to be the most common excuse. People concentrate more on living through the day than theology. If I offended you, I am sorry. What kind of mental "experiments" have you conducted? Ever messed around with LSD? Peyote? :p
     
  13. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ha, it is pretty interesting. Though one of the coolest things about it is that there is a lot of different pagan paths. You could ask twenty different pagans about their path and get twenty completely different answers.
     
  14. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    I was thinking more along the lines of Decartes, never did any drugs, never been drunk. I like to stay lucid. Even when I'm miserable.
    Where did I get "pissy" btw?
     
  15. Marshmallow
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    You didn't, I was merely wanting you to not get pissy. I was hoping that you wouldn't get offended and start throwing out personal insults.

    Which, thankfully, you didn't do, and I thank you for it. :)

    And Decartes? Do you mean Rene Descartes?
     
  16. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    My bad, Descartes. and yes.
    Dude. Throwing out personal insults? What kind of people are you used to? :p
     
  17. Acglaphotis
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    I don't believe in a higher power beyond randomness*. I never saw the need or the appeal in believing in what you can't know, it just seems inconsequential.

    *: Don't derail this into a physics thread ;)
     
  18. The Freshmaker
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    Oh boy. So, here goes my long-ass explanation.

    The short of it: I don't believe in a god, though I do not completely rule out the possibility. I am not currently involved with an organized religion.

    The long of it: I was raised Catholic. I attended a Protestant private school, so I learned a lot about different denominations of Christianity. Until I was about sixteen, I followed my religion quite devoutly. I felt like I'd asked all the right questions, and that God was the only logical answer.

    As I grew up, I looked into other religions as well. I found them all interesting, and still do.

    I began studying astronomy. There was a golden moment one day when it dawned on me how huge the universe was. I mean, it's one thing to know that it's a big place. It's another completely to get a perspective on, really, how big it is. It's humbling. And it made me think, in a universe this huge, why do we feel like we would be that special? For our minuscule planet alone to have a god that fawns over us, and keeps track of our petty lies and risque sexual practices? Who listens to our prayers about job promotions and erectile dysfunction? It seems a little preposterous to me, and a lot arrogant.

    I feel like, in the beginning, we needed gods to explain things. Why the seasons changed, why the sun set, why rains and droughts happened. And many gods have disappeared as we've discovered the real causes of natural phenomena. There are still a lot of things we haven't yet explained. But I feel that it's more constructive to say, "I want to find out what causes that," rather than to just blame it all on God.

    As I said before, I feel like it's arrogant to assume that we would be special enough to attract the focus of all the grand powers of the universe. However, I realize that it would be equally arrogant to completely discount the idea of a higher power. There's a lot about the workings of the universe that we haven't even begun to understand. However, I find the idea to be irrelevant for the time being, because I don't believe that a higher power would be of the nature of the Christian/Jewish/Muslim God.

    I appreciate that some people need religion. It's dispiriting to think that there might be no real purpose, and religion identifies a possible purpose. I think there are some really awesome, intelligent people who find comfort in religion, and that's totally awesome. But I also think that it causes a lot of unnecessary violence in the world, and that is something that I don't agree with.
     
  19. Ragnar
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    I have a very similar point of view, I just refrained from trying to explain because when I try to I ALWAYS manage to start a big fight with people a whole lot more Religious than me(infinitely more so actually).

    Other than that, do you actually think that a higher power would care about your wee bit of arrogance?:confused:
     
  20. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's very cool! I think I'm going to start looking into paganism more...it's very interesting, indeed. :)

    I feel the same about a lot of that.

    I've looked into a lot of different religions, too, and one thing that I always found interesting was that lots of them have incredibly similar beginnings. Different people, different circumstances, but the process of religious enlightenment always seems to be the same.
     
  21. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    Depends on if you believe in a petty, teetotaler-type God.
     
  22. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    I do believe in God, the God of Christianity, to be exact.
     
  23. Mercurial
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    Good luck. ;)
    Nope. I'm an atheist. I also feel that it's important to recognize that just because you are atheist doesnt mean you havent considered any other religion. Most atheists, at least the ones that I know, made a researched and concious choice. Which is how I reached my conclusion.
    Err, no. I dont follow any established religion, although I identify most closely with the UU Church, which is mainly comprised of atheists anyway. Never understood the point of UU, but I never really delved into it, either. I follow a certain philosophy however.

    I grew up in a very strict Catholic household. I decided I didnt believe in God when I was seven. I was always giving the teachers at Catholic school hell (pun intended ;) ), and I questioned their line of reasoning. I've read The Bible more times and from more viewpoints than an average Christian ever will. First I read it fundamentally, and challenged it. Got a little older, understood the symbolism, and still challenged it. I still believe the Bible was a very good moral code for the time period, but we've outgrown it, and trying to be like Jesus just isnt feasible.

    I officially left the church when I was sixteen, but I'd "left" twice before at ages seven and thirteen. My departure had to be made official because I had been confirmed at age fourteen, and this final leave is not just because I disagree with the Catholic Church's belief in God, Jesus, etc (although there is concrete proof that Jesus existed, I believe him to be merely a prophet) but because I disagree with the way the Catholic Church functions in today's world.

    I also believe that spending your actual life working for an afterlife that may or may not exist --and you are not guaranteed a spot in Heaven anyway... it just seems pointless. Enjoy yourself. That's all. And if there is a God, I think he'd be a real jerk to send me to hell, even though I've rejected him. Why? I've done my best. I'm following my heart and my mind, and I appreciate the love, the laughter, and the moon and sun, and have overcome to the best of my ability every challenge this guy has set up for me. And despite all of that, because I dont like him, he's gonna burn me? Hmm... Not so kind as he says he is...

    Just because I left does not mean that I dont get on well with members still... I just happen to think they're wrong. When I attended church, we had four priests, and I still talk with Father Richard. He's very close to our family, and although he thinks I'm wrong, he respects my decision. I still habitually confide in a more relaxed version of reconciliation with him though.

    I never really delved into other religions, but I do know the gist of the Abramic religions and Eastern religions as I took a few religious study courses. Not for me; skeptical. I just believe that there is no higher power, we are here entirely by chance, and most religions were made up to comfort and shield people from that reality. Sad but true.

    Although, if I had the choice, I'd pick wrong and happy over correct and rather upset about the whole thing. Since my final departure from the church, my outlook has been drastically more depressing and even nihilistic from time to time. It also makes funerals much harder to get through.
     
  24. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    My current avatar is the most sacred icon (other than Luke Schenn) of my religion :p
     
  25. Forkfoot
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    I think of all the "groups" of believers and nonbelievers humanity has ever produced, the atheists have come the closest to getting it right. They just don't take it far enough, in my opinion. They say they refuse to believe in anything they can't verify by their own personal experience, which, to me, is the only logical position from which to approach the human condition.

    The problem is there's no way to know anything in their experience is reliable. Their senses could be deceiving them, and the thoughts that articulate the information coming in through those senses could be flawed, or completely illusory. The ol' "brain in a jar" scenario from Philosophy 101.

    I personally not only refuse to believe anything I don't know to be true by my own experience, I also refuse to believe everything I've ever perceived through my senses and everything I've ever thought. The only thing I can know with 100% certainty to be true and accurate is something I personally experience that is completely outside the realm of thought and the senses.

    The only logical thing to do, in my assessment, is to focus my attention within, in that space between thoughts and say, "What is this experience? Who is the experiencer?" And perhaps Truth will come to know itself. Perhaps not.

    If I had to pick a label for myself, it would be "Contemplative Agnostic".
     
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