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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Explain your religion to me! - May 5th 2013, 03:54 AM

So I decided I don't know nearly enough about all the different religions that people have, so I thought I would open up an area for everyone of all religions to explain to me what they believe. Hey, try to convert me if you want, it fascinates me finding out why people believe what they do I am an agnostic atheist, but I like to think I'm open minded and I would absolutely love for everyone of all religions to explain to me what it is they believe and why they believe it.

..

Go!


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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 5th 2013, 02:55 PM

I'll join you with agnostic atheism!

Having analysed all science, I see no logical reason that any God should or could exist.
Nevertheless, presented with evidence (NOTE that "evidence" does not constitute a feeling, it is corroborated fact), I would be willing to consider changing my beliefs!

Overall, though:
We have evidence of evolution;
There is more evidence of the Big Bang than Creationism;
OK, we don't know what caused the Big Bang. So what? It hardly instantly proves the existence of a God just because we don't know something;
Why do religions insist we must be good for God and so we please "Him" to get to somewhere good in our next life/afterlife? Can't we just be good people for moral satisfaction as opposed to for a reward?

Although it doesn't dis/prove the existence of a God, also worth noting that religion causes conflict and disharmony. I really dislike its concept, simply because of the power it unfailing has to cause despair and unhappiness.


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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 5th 2013, 04:35 PM

Atheism - a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

Why I believe it? I just don't think it's scientifically possible that these spiritual things could exist. The good thing about science is that it's true whether you believe in it or not.

Fin.

Last edited by Catharsis.; May 5th 2013 at 11:28 PM. Reason: Added in more.
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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 5th 2013, 06:48 PM

I'm Christian.

Basically it branched off from Judaism when Jesus, a Jewish carpenter with some rather radical ideas of love and God, started His three year ministry. He walked around Israel, healing people and teaching.

He knew He was God's Son, or the Messiah or the Christ; this savior had been promised to the people in the Old Testament (Torah and the Prophets) and some people saw that Jesus was the Messiah. Some people, such as the Pharisees, called Him blasphemous, and they paid Judas, one of Jesus' followers, to betray Him. So Judas betrayed Jesus and they hauled Jesus off, and in the end crucified Him, as was the Roman Empire's punishment for criminals.

He rose after three days and visited His followers, later named Christians. Then He rose into heaven and sent down the Holy Spirit to guide them. So this Messiah saved them, but not in the way they expected it. He as God's Son was pure, sinless, so when He died (and He knew He was going to die; He told His 12 disciples) He paid the price of blood for all mankind, past and present and future (the Jewish laws require an atonement of blood for forgiveness of sins; animals that are without blemish, pure and usually the firstborn). He paid for the sins of everyone, and these sins kept us apart from God, so He made Himself as the bridge between man and God. Here's the kicker: to get this gift of salvation, you have to accept it. It is a gift.

The Jewish people still await their Messiah, because they don't believe it was Jesus. And that's where Christianity came from. I summarized A LOT. There is so much more detail here, but that's the gist of it. Hopefully I explained some weird Christian things; some of these weird Christian things are ritualistic tradition however. Be sure you can tell the difference. Relationship vs. Religion.
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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 5th 2013, 08:08 PM

I'm Devout Catholic, so basically what Ally above said ^^^^^


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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 6th 2013, 05:04 AM

Atheist. Grew up atheist, questioned for a very brief time only to do research on religion ending this journey incredibly confused that thinking adult individuals could actually believe these religions, but I've come to a lot more respectful place to which I can understand the reasoning people may believe in higher powers, even if it makes no sense to me.


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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 6th 2013, 05:35 PM

I'm an Agnostic Theist.

Basically, an Agnostic Theist is someone who believes in some kind of supernatural being, but doesn't believe that there's any way of knowing. How can this be possible?

All these scientific discoveries could very well be discoveries on how a supernatural being created the universe. For instance, the big bang could've been created by a supernatural being. Evolution...supernatural being. Gravity? Super-natural being. Everything in the scientific world could've been created by a supernatural being. Therefore, science can't disprove the existence of a supernatural being; perhaps it could disprove a religion some point in the future, but not really the existence of a super-natural being unless it specifically disproves the existence of any supernatural being (which all I gotta say is "good luck with that.") Until that time comes, there's no way of knowing whether the existence of a super-natural being is true or not as it hasn't been proven or disproven. Because an Agnostic doesn't believe there is any proof, all proof lies within themselves; this means that what you believe is true is true to you, but you know that what you feel is the truth isn't necessarily the whole truth in the universe until it has been proven true. However, just because you may believe in something and it hasn't been proven true doesn't mean it's not going to be proven true. As long as there is a possibility of a supernatural being existing, there is still a possibility that your belief is true. So that's how you can believe in a supernatural being without knowing for sure, and that's what I believe. Fo sho.
   
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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 6th 2013, 09:57 PM

Agnostic Theist. Pretty much exactly what Brandon said, haha.

I believe that there could be something supernatural or of a higher power out in the unvierse.. But I don't believe there is any way to prove if there is or isn't.

I believe in facts, evolution, science, etc.. But I'm not opposed to thinking there could be some form of higher power. We just don't have the tools to tell whether or not there is, yet.

I was raised Catholic in a private catholic school/church and what not.. But I don't think I ever once believed anything they said in church or religion class.. I just did what I had to do to get by. They kind of contradicted themselves.. Teaching about evolution in science, but then the whole "Adam and Eve" story in religion class.. you know?

My dad (who doesn't identify with any specific religion) used this analogy with me earlier (pertaining to the bible), that I agreed with: In a million years, say the world is wiped out, floods, natural disasters, meteors, whatever.. Researchers dig and find a Harry Potter book, or Stephen King, or something like that.. Would they all worship it? Would they believe wizards existed, etc.. The bible is a great and interesting book, but it was written by so many people, translated, changed over the years, etc.. It's been around for how long? Does anyone honestly believe the stories in that book haven't been manipulated?

I don't know, those are just my thoughts. Haha. I have a lot of theories. I've spent a lot of time researching it and looking into it.. I'm just kind of rambling now..

But yeah. Bottom line = raised catholic, but I consider myself an Agnostic Theist. (:


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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 7th 2013, 08:56 PM

Hellenismos! Reconstructionist, to be precise.


It's the belief in the ancient Greek Gods. Of course, I don't go around butchering cows and things, but I pay my respects to them with libations and candles. My religion encourages free-thinking, curiosity, discovery, and open-mindedness. On that same note, I take the myths to be human interpretations of phenomena instigated by the Gods. In other words, not wholly true and certainly not to be taken literally. I believe in evolution and most scientific explanations for the processes of the world around us, but believe that the Gods are in control of the processes. I believe in reincarnation (like the Orphic tradition, sort of), but I believe souls eventually achieve Elysium. After they're perfected, they go onto a Heaven of sorts. If they're truly terrible, they suffer a few years of punishment in Hades, but are freed from that and allowed a second chance in another life. I also follow the Delphic Maxims, a set of life recommendations suggested by the Seven Sages and inscribed at Delphi, and I believe that they were inspired by the god Apollo(n). My religion also believes in gay rights and similar; that's a hard pill for me to swallow, having been raised in the Bible Belt of the U.S., but I'm trying to at least maintain an open mind. (My male best friend's bisexual, so I'm definitely trying to accept it, for his sake.) I also believe that duty to my family and community surpasses duty to myself. My religion teaches the virtues of self-discipline, charity, kindness, and justice. The Delphic Maxims say that we should intend to be married, but there is nothing against premarital sexual relations, unless you swear an oath to a God or Goddess that you won't sleep with anyone until you're married, which is an entirely different story. There are some holy days that focus on fertility which are enough to make one blush, days of dancing and hunting and running wild through forests, but then there are ceremonial days which are more solemn. We don't believe the Gods are the images they inhabit, or even like those images, but rather that those images are human interpretations of an idea that is nearly impossible to grasp. I personally believe (and this doesn't mean other Hellenists do) that the Gods are simply the forces behind the processes which keep the universe in order, and which I feel an overwhelming need to worship. I also believe that divine inspiration may come to those who don't believe in the Gods, as well as those who do; I also believe that all other gods are varying interpretations of the Gods, and that because of that, no idea can be called blatantly wrong, though the ideas attached to those other beliefs may sometimes be a bit hard for me to understand.

My religion is a religion of the middle line: We encourage curiosity and scientific reason, like atheists, agnostics, and scientists; but we also encourage faith. We encourage family, community, ceremony, marriage, charity, and self-discipline like good Christians and Catholics; but we also encourage freedom, fertility, the arts, and occasional drinking. We believe in the Gods, but we don't criticize others for their lack of belief, nor do we speak of our religion, unless we are asked to speak of it ("Be religiously silent," as the Delphic Maxims say). My particular strain of Hellenistic Reconstruction believes in numerous reincarnations with eventual Elysium, an idea vaguely similar to Buddhist beliefs. There are Homeric and Orphic hymns to draw from while worshipping.

I love my religion. It took me a long while to realize that, and accept myself for what I believe in. I still struggle with the fact that I live in the Bible Belt, and am the only non-Christian I know of here. Still, I've finally realized that this religion -- and no other -- suits me.


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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 9th 2013, 02:10 AM

I'll try to explain my beliefs as best I can, not sure I sure call it "religion." I believe in and try to adhere to most of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, at least those I'm currently aware of . Siddhartha Gautama Buddha lived around the 6th century BC. He was a man, not a god, and is said to have reached enlightenment or Nirvana after a long period of meditation. The Buddha's teachings center on the recognition and amelioration of samsara, the cycle of suffering and death all beings experience. Essentially, we followers must strive to eliminate grasping, attachment, and the presence of the ego in our lives through helping others and understanding the true nature of life, death, and the other "bardo" states.

My beliefs: I believe that we are reborn following death into a new existence on this Earth in accordance to some degree with our karma. I believe that it is essential to foster life, happiness, and the reduction of suffering on this planet, now. I do not believe in Hell. I believe in an "old Earth," several billions of years old. I believe in the existence of additional universes, a "multiverse," so to speak. I believe in extraterrestrial life, evolution, most tenets of science, etc. I don't put much stock in economic theory, teachings on human history, monotheism, intelligent design, etc.



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Re: Explain your religion to me! - May 9th 2013, 04:17 AM

Heads up, this is long.
Catholicism- So God made us, as His children. He loves us more than is possible for human logic to figure out. Like a parent, He'll get pissed when we're doing things he thinks are bad, but loves us regardless. He loves everyone equally, yet He also loves everyone uniquely, the way a parent does for their children. A (good) parent loves their child more than anything, and yet they feel that way about each of their children, in differing ways. He loves everyone He ever made, including Satan, but he despises the bad choices we make. Like a parent, God doesn't actually judge his kids- good parents could never throw their kids in hell.
But say a person turns to cocaine, that person will get addicted to cocaine and turn away from society, because he loves it so much. Drug addicts tend to not care what society thinks, and they'll do it anyway without regards to how other people feel. These people are imprisoned, regardless of how much theyre loved. In a way, they put themselves in jail. God doesn't throw people in hell- we throw ourselves in, if we choose not to love God(theres an example of this in the Gospel, about a prostitute. Jesus says only a sinless person has the right to judge (and stone) her. but instead of stoning her, he tells her to be good from now on) we will go to hell instead, which satan created when he betrayed God.
So that leaves sinners who still love God. They want to get into heaven, but if they still have sin, they need to wait and be purified in purgatory. Then they can go to heaven.
So heaven... is a place that we cant logically comprehend. you might say heaven will get boring, because its 24/7 perfection, but we're not there yet, so we wouldn't know if that gets boring.
People question why God allows sin. Without sin, we couldnt love, but wed be forced to love God without free will, which is more like slavery.(would you rather your wife loved you, or was forced to?) So we have the choice between good and bad. The accomplishment is huge if we love God with our own free will, so were rewarded. On the other hand, this allows suffering into the world, which makes some people think God cant be there.
The universe has too much order... it couldn't happen naturally, it needs a divine being to start it. Plus... the theory of (relativity?) says that something cant be created from nothing. I believe that God started the Big Bang, because a divine being that we cant comprehend would have to put the atom there himself, because it cant be created otherwise.
Im not sure if this is necessarily straight out of Catholicism... but it can be logically reasoned if you believe in the whole God the Father thing. I referenced the book "The Shack" quite a few times. Its a fantastic book, even if you think this is all a fairytale.


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