What are your religious views?

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What are your religious views?

Deeply religious - I follow a strict religious code and trust my life to a higher authority
22
19%
Somewhat religious - I believe in a higher intelligence watching over us
38
32%
Agnostic - I'm on the fence; you really can't say either way at this time
29
25%
Atheist - I don't believe there is a higher intelligence watching over us
29
25%
 
Total votes: 118

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lucidinthe sky
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby lucidinthe sky » 08 Feb 2013 09:14

Ryan wrote:Religion is a wonderful way to learn ethics and morals.Take the bible for example... while I don't personally believe it's "the word of god"... it is full of really great stories that, when taken on their own, provide amazing lessons in how to spiritually grow.


For a lot of people religion provides a starting point for learning moral values. Others don't really need it. I grew out of the restrictions that religion imposes fairly quickly, finding that I needed to move beyond it to to progress spiritually. I also don't believe that there is a judgemental God that's going to punish people who misbehave which was a problem for me with Christianity in particular. The bottom line is that we should do the best we can to love one another, that's something I can agree with most religions about.
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Summerlander
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Summerlander » 08 Feb 2013 16:12

Ryan wrote:Now obviously, religion also has it's bad side... the zealots and fanatics, for example. However, you can't judge a religion based upon them, it's their choice for them to act the way they do.


Actually, the behaviour of fanatics is influenced by specific passages from their sacred books. So religion should not be immune to judgement in any way. The people who brought down the World Trade Centre, who have been labelled "terrorists", were acting upon their faith and beliefs. And many of the religious moderates even found it admirable.

Bin Laden only behaved the way he did because he believed in the literal word of the Koran. He and his men were influenced by clear instructions in such book that one must seek out infidels, even if it means having to visit the furthest reaches of this earth, and expunge them. He who does this will bypass judgement and go straight to heaven even if he dies in doing so. No wonder then that martyrdom is an attractive prospect to many Muslim men when their own religious doctrine promises heavenly compensation for what they perceive as heroic acts against the enemies of Allah.

This is not something that Bin Laden or Al Qaeda came up with to subjugate their warriors against the West. There was no need for inventions. All one needs to do is take the Koran literally (and let's face it, how else can one interpret such specific instructions).

I suggest you take a look at the Koran before presuming that religion is blameless, Ryan. Also, if you have missed the Biblical passages I have quoted previously in this thread, take a look at Deuteronomy and suss out what Christians are supposed to do to people who worship other gods according to their lord.

Religion is fertile ground for irrationality and hinders ethics. Religion also makes wild claims about spiritual experiences that are part of the human condition. The spiritual facet of human beings has been hijacked by religion so that this one can reinforce its credibility. Meanwhile, one does not have to believe in anything in particular to have such experiences. They are natural and related to the mystery of consciousness.

Religion poisons people's minds and twists the truth. The only philosophy that has really explored human spirituality to its full potential and has not chastised those who pursue the exploration of altered states of consciousness is Buddhism in its purest form (before the corruption of irrational mysticism). Meditation is a great tool and a great start for those who pursue this. It is also been scientifically established that meditation can promote well-being as it effects individuals physiologically and psychologically.

Meanwhile, religion as a whole, apart from inciting war, is completely retrograde when it comes to scruples. The faithful are, after all, only paying attention to the pleasant bits of their holy books, the passages that promise a heaven to the kind and a hell to the wicked, and are using that as motivation to behave in our civilised society.

Religious moderation has come about with the rise of secularism and the promulgation of scientific discoveries. Because of that, a portion of the religious have been forced to ignore great portions of their holy scriptures and adapt their exegesis accordingly. This, in itself, should tell the whole world that religion is a giant farce. If people want to use this farce in order to learn how to behave because they lack imagination, then I can't help them any further.

Bottom line: You don't need religion. Morals do not come from religion. I'm an atheist and I am a loving and kind human being. I don't have to believe in a God to help others either. I have been raising thousands of pounds to help a four-year-old boy in his battle against cancer and I regularly donate to charity. Meanwhile, there are some people who know about this and haven't given a dime as they believe that they are helping by praying to their lord.

Religion = unethical poison
Last edited by Summerlander on 08 Feb 2013 22:49, edited 3 times in total.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

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R99
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby R99 » 08 Feb 2013 18:52

Ryan wrote:.

When I say spiritually grow, I mean become a better person and more towards Love. :)

Now obviously, religion also has it's bad side... the zealots and fanatics, for example. However, you can't judge a religion based upon them, it's their choice for them to act the way they do.

Actually, you even see it in metaphysical circles... actually, if you look closely, you'll see it in this very thread. ;)[/quote]
okay Ryan i agree with u about love, being a better person is the important thing, and thats what all religious views about. one thing i dont agree with is that having bad side in religion. its not possible, the only bad side is lies within the human heart.
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Summerlander
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Summerlander » 08 Feb 2013 22:44

one thing i dont agree with is that having bad side in religion. its not possible, the only bad side is lies within the human heart.


Where have you been? One look at history and you cannot ignore the millions that were massacred in the name of faith. Not to repeat the quotes from religious scripture that encourage and decree the slaughter of unbelievers or those who dare to question the "unquestionable" in case I upset lucidinthe sky there. :roll:

And then people wonder why I probably repeat myself here...

C'mon, folks, we've already established that religion has a very bad side and the bad outweighs the good. Holy books explicitly instruct believers to commit atrocities without question. This is a kind of evil that doesn't originate in people's hearts. It comes from ancient texts written by illiterate people with superstitious beliefs about reality and its content has found its way in the hearts of the faithful. No confusion there! Now, can we progress in this conversation? :cry:
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Ryan
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Ryan » 09 Feb 2013 21:03

R99 wrote:okay Ryan i agree with u about love, being a better person is the important thing, and thats what all religious views about. one thing i dont agree with is that having bad side in religion. its not possible, the only bad side is lies within the human heart.

People choose how they use the information they receive in this physical reality.
You're 100% correct. It's the choices of the individual who follows a religion that determines the good/bad. But then, that goes for just about everything. This means that religion doesn't have a bad side... or a good side for that matter. Religion is a tool, just like everything else... how one chooses to use that tool will provide your label, but that is the individuals choice not the fault of the religion.

You've got a good head on your shoulders R99. :)
Last edited by Ryan on 10 Feb 2013 00:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Peter
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Peter » 09 Feb 2013 21:06

This thread is a little better but still some jabs that are personal. As moderator I will now start deleting posts without warning if I feel they would be offensive if directed at me.

This is a discussion board not a public bar so please discuss, contribute and be tolerant of others views.

Peter
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lucidinthe sky
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby lucidinthe sky » 10 Feb 2013 01:34

R99 wrote:When I say spiritually grow, I mean become a better person and more towards Love. :)


I'm going to say AMEN to that. If you are going to follow God or any religion, the real goal is to love. I don't think it's right when people think they are better than others and become judgmental. No matter what your religion is.

Ryan wrote: Now obviously, religion also has it's bad side... the zealots and fanatics, for example. However, you can't judge a religion based upon them, it's their choice for them to act the way they do

Actually, you even see it in metaphysical circles... actually, if you look closely, you'll see it in this very thread. ;)


This is true. Being judgmental and intolerant is my biggest problem with religion. As long they don't try to dictate what I can do in my life, they should be free to believe what they want. No one needs my permission for that.
Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world? Morpheus

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Summerlander
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Summerlander » 10 Feb 2013 06:44

What if you know those beliefs are certain to bring about an action that will cause the deaths of tens of thousands? Are you not going to do anything to prevent the dangerous action? Will you just wait for it to happen and continue to allow the root cause to go on knowing fully well that if it happened once (that such adherents of those beliefs acted upon what they believed), in all likelihood more similar atrocities will be committed?

Nobody is talking about policing thought, I'm talking about beliefs that demand action against others. And religion has discriminated against others who hold different worldviews and continue to do so.

Religion can also impede progress - as I mentioned earlier when Arab nations prioritise religious chanting and penitence over rebuilding their war-ravaged lands. If we take a country like Spain, we immediately see that it produces more in a year than all the Arab nations put together. Spain has translated more books into Spanish than the entire Arab world translated into Arabic since the 9th century. But Western civilisation has also suffered with religion. If not for Christianity, for example, we probably would have had the Internet by the 16th century.

It's very simple and logical...

If you have a rat infestation, you don't just take out the few that have caused damaged, you take out the whole colony and leave no room for procreation. Please note that in my analogy, the word "rat" is not being used as a dysphemism for a Muslim person. The suicide bombers, who caused much terror, were faithful to their creed. Their holy book demands that they become murderous zealots as the quickest way to heaven and they believe killing is fine as long as God has ordained it. These people have been robbed of any sound reasoning and their beliefs compel them to reject any form of real edification.

I'm not saying the people who subscribe to Islam are the problem here. I am saying that the tenets of their religion is what needs to be removed... or at least RADICALLY changed. If Islam was more like Jainism it wouldn't be so bad as Jainists wouldn't harm a thing, not even a flea (although this belief might be detrimental to crops if agriculturists became Jainists as they would not be able to do anything about pests :mrgreen: ).

All types of people rape and kill, be they theists or atheists, but religion also helps these criminals to mask themselves. How many priests and bishops have sexually molested minors? And what's more, the Pope tries to brush it all under the carpet...

EDIT:

I think I've expired my input in this thread. Feel free to answer the questions I have posed or to refute any of the affirmations I've made that you don't agree with. I just wanted to finalise here by stating the following:

The majority of scientists don't believe in God based on the fact that this one remains only a hypothesis. God is supposed to operate the universe and our lives (according to Judaic-Christian-Islamic faith but disregarding Deism). This means that evidence for His existence should be scientifically detectable. So far, no controlled experiment provided an observation that cannot be explained by natural means which would, as a result, force science to seriously consider the existence of a world beyond matter. Again, I apologise if this doesn't sound good to some but I'm just highlighting facts here.

Studies have been conducted on prayer. All evidence shows its ineffectiveness. Is God asleep at the wheel? Doesn't he answer to prayers? The evidence in this area strongly suggests his non-existence. Remember Bruce Almighty? I love that film. It depicts what would happen if all the prayers were answered. If prayer worked, or if God obliged to your every wish, the effects of this should be observable. Unless, of course, God is a capricious entity. Millions of prayers have been said every day for thousands of years and yet not a single miracle has been scientifically verified - and remember that asking for a life improvement and then winning the lottery the following day is not proof of anything (such event, although highly unlikely, is still possible and thus natural means can explain it - the chance in probability is still there!!)

Likewise, revelations from the lord in mystical experiences lack confirming evidence. Often, believers misinterpret such experiences through their faith and underestimation of mind power (the real origin of their experiences). If anything, the experiments that Michael Raduga has conducted demonstrate the creative power of our minds and there is no reason to believe that what people experienced before was supernatural and not the product of phase states, dreams, and other hallucinatory experiences.

Equally, no evidence for intelligent design of life on Earth is found either. The Fibonacci sequence in nature is not proof of design either. The complexity in the structure of life is certainly not evidence as some like to claim. Life looks exactly as it should according to Darwinian evolution.

When we were more ignorant, religious powers were more content, and then, the more we learned, the more challenged they felt in maintaining their doctrine. To use a famous example, there was Ptolemy with his geocentric ideas that appeared to support religious belief and they loved him. Along comes Copernicus and says that we are not the centre of the universe and that the planets, including the Earth, revolve around the sun. They wanted to stamp him out. Galileo, his successor, also encountered the same troubles. Their theories, which proved correct, contradicted biblical passages - e.g. the Earth was not supposed to be moving!

The universe didn't need a creator either (check out legitimate Lawrence Krauss if you haven't already: he'll explain why as well as giving you a good understanding of what nothingness is in physics - creationism has got nothing on him... nor anything for that matter!!). It required no miracles to manifest itself. If you don't like the Big Bang theory (even though the evidence for this one is still visible in our skies), you might like the theory of a multiverse where our universe originated from another. The latter can be hard to grasp but it is still far more substantial than the creationist debacle. Everything looks exactly as it should if there were no God.

The blind faith of religion in the world makes people acquire warped thinking as they passionately hold on to infeasible concepts and ideas. Because of this, a lot of them (especially the zealots and the devout) lack paying attention to evidence.

Finally, most religions claim that we have a soul. Again, no mentally induced phenomena that are independent of brain chemistry is found. God is also said to be the source of morality and yet no evidence for a supernatural origin in human behaviour is found. People of faith generally behave no better than those who have no faith, and, in some cases, God worshippers can behave a lot worse. But this isn't just about God worshippers. Spiritualists, or people who consider themselves to be spiritual, can be just as bad (go on spiritual Forums and see how you are received if you propose the materialistic worldview and deny the existence of spirit in your humblest opinion... )

Religion did help to bring people together in the birth of civilisation, mostly to get people to compromise with one another, for many, it provides comfort (although I'd rather see people finding comfort in facts rather than, ahem, fairy tales), and, it was and still is being used as a means to control. But never forget that our moral behaviour evolved socially. This is fact.

By the way, I hope you guys have heard of sociologist Herbert Spencer. He coined the term "survival of the fittest". I think you will find this link I found interesting:

http://www.bolender.com/Sociological%20 ... pencer.htm
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Ryan
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Ryan » 10 Feb 2013 08:16

lucidinthe sky wrote:This is true. Being judgmental and intolerant is my biggest problem with religion. As long they don't try to dictate what I can do in my life, they should be free to believe what they want. No one needs my permission for that.

Oh yeah, tell me about it. LoL

I see that same kind of judgmental and intolerance even in the wonderful world of spiritual practice. Except in this case, it's people pretending to be someone they're not... purely to feed their own ego. It's quite disheartening and saddening to see it. The really sad part is that it's blatantly obvious, except to the person pretending. Oh well, as I say... they'll figure it out and move on, or they'll crumble under the own weight of their lies eventually. :)

But yes, I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion. People need to be free to believe what they want to, as long as it doesn't hurt another person, that is. Everyone comes to their own conclusions on their own time... THAT is when it's most powerful and most moving to the heart.
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lucidinthe sky
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby lucidinthe sky » 10 Feb 2013 18:55

Ryan wrote:
But yes, I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion. People need to be free to believe what they want to, as long as it doesn't hurt another person, that is. Everyone comes to their own conclusions on their own time... THAT is when it's most powerful and most moving to the heart.


Right. That's the important thing, that we don't let any one group dictate what we are allowed to think or believe. I find it very enlightening to have so many different approaches to spirituality. I don't agree with a lot of them, but there's often something I can learn from each one so I try to keep an open mind and listen. I'm really hoping that we can get to hear some more different perspectives on God/religion similar to when this thread began.
Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world? Morpheus


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