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Old 09-07-2007, 12:17 AM   #1
RainierBeachPoet
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Default If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

lately, i have browsed through some seriously flawed religious threads.

frankly, i chose not to post because the discussion was less than engaging and at times downright disrespectful.

in this thread, i humbly ask you to post only if you desire to enter into a decent and respectful interchange of ideas regarding religion, faith and morals

i will do my best to listen to your perspectives/experience and comment accordingly. i am not the smartest person in the world but i think i can advance a healthy understanding of religion and faith



my perspectives include, but are not limited, to the following:
  • i am a practicing, active catholic
  • i dont believe that there is a perfect religion/church because we bring our human imperfection into all organizations and interactions
  • i believe that there is no conflict between faith and reason
  • i believe that theology and the other disciplines (biology, history, geology, ethics, astrology/cosmology etc.) are complimentary. there has been much development in all disciplines. the human intellect is truly a gift
  • i believe the bible is ALWAYS interpreted and ought not be interpreted literally
  • if one's primary way of worship and understanding of God is through emotion, there will be much lacking in his/her human development
  • i believe that God is ultimately a mystery but through revelation we do know of various aspects of God as trinity
  • God is the good, the true, and the beautiful
  • i believe that ethics/morality are to be universally considered. in other words, if something is good/right, bad/wrong, it is true for all human beings even with cultural differences.
  • in the past, theology's conversation partner was philosophy but a better conversation partner is cultural anthropology (not excluding the other disciplines)
  • i believe that religious extremism/fundamentalism gives good religion a bad name
  • i believe that individualism and privatism are two factors that make faith/religion in the usa challenging
  • i believe that religion that dives into partisan politics gets coopted but good religion must address moral issues
  • i believe that good religion helps us live in right relationship with self, others and God-- in a word, love
  • i believe that good religion shapes one's character which in turn changes ones actions
  • i believe that it is actions, not intentions or belief that shows others who one really is
  • i believe that religious pride is so close to looking like the truth, but is very subtly, an evil
  • i believe that justice, peace and the integrity of creation are aspects of love
  • i believe that the love of money (or other things) more than God can lead people astray from truth
there is much more. these are just a few aspects of what has shaped my framework for seeing the world, others and the big questions of who are we and our purpose in this world

your comments or questions?
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

I think the concept of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent being is awesome. However, I can't bring myself to fully believe that such a being exists. I leave a small possibility of it open, but the more I learn about the universe, the less likely God seems plausible, at least in the sense of any dogmatic god. Maybe some sort of intelligent energy though?

I do wish that I could meet all of my deceased family members and idols in the afterlife though. I would sit down and jam with Jimi then discuss battle strategy with Napoleon. I'd also want to sit down with god and ask all of the unknown questions about life, history, the universe, etc.

Maybe God would let us go back and view any point in time! I'd go see the dinosaurs, building of the pyramids, the battle of Troy, and all kinds of other historic events. Not to mention visit alien planets!! Sweetness!!

Last edited by Randy : 09-07-2007 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:02 AM   #3
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Default chardin and unity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy
I think the concept of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent being is awesome. However, I can't bring myself to fully believe that such a being exists. I leave a small possibility of it open, but the more I learn about the universe, the less likely God seems plausible, at least in the sense of any dogmatic god. Maybe some sort of intelligent energy though?

I do wish that I could meet all of my deceased family members and idols in the afterlife though. I would sit down and jam with Jimi then discuss battle strategy with Napoleon. I'd also want to sit down with god and ask all of the unknown questions about life, history, the universe, etc.

Maybe God would let us go back and view any point in time! I'd go see the dinosaurs, building of the pyramids, the battle of Troy, and all kinds of other historic events. Not to mention visit alien planets!! Sweetness!!

there was a french jesuit theologian AND scientist named Teilhard de Chardin who advanced these thoughts regarding intelligent energy

regarding the desire to unify loved ones as well as all creation-- i think this is another dimension of love--- unity. being all in all and the ultimate oneness of life

as humans, we can only put this reality to words and concepts that make sense to us as humans

thomas aquinas' axiom is: the knower knows in the mode of the knower

humans know in human ways

it is what makes the concept of the incarnation awesome
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: chardin and unity

Our civilization has changed more in the last few centuries than the last few thousand years. It seems very unlikely that Judeo-Christian religions would survive the next few centuries.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: chardin and unity

I believe that I really dont need God or a religious belief to live a good life. I believe everything I have done in my life is by myself and only by myself with no help from a supreme being.

I dont need religion to have a sufficient and life a have a state of well-being.

To me, religion is overrated and can be a crutch. Some people actually believe they couldn't live without God. Honestly, that's just dumb. They use God as a crutch then someone to praise.

Some christians turn me off and I am looked down upon and automatically judged when christians ask me what church I go to and I reply, "i dont go to church." Sometimes they do it in front of you with a strict, "oooooo" or do it behind your back.

And, I dislike how religion tends to be a force in politics and if i am less religious then my religion wont get in the way of politics.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: chardin and unity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawker
I believe that I really dont need God or a religious belief to live a good life. I believe everything I have done in my life is by myself and only by myself with no help from a supreme being.

I dont need religion to have a sufficient and life a have a state of well-being.

To me, religion is overrated and can be a crutch. Some people actually believe they couldn't live without God. Honestly, that's just dumb. They use God as a crutch then someone to praise.

Some christians turn me off and I am looked down upon and automatically judged when christians ask me what church I go to and I reply, "i dont go to church." Sometimes they do it in front of you with a strict, "oooooo" or do it behind your back.

And, I dislike how religion tends to be a force in politics and if i am less religious then my religion wont get in the way of politics.


As an active Christian, I can say with the utmost confidence that I couldn't live without God.

I don't understand how people can live this life without the hope of something better. If this life is as good as it gets, that's pretty pathetic.

And yeah, Christians are hypocrites just like atheists, or Catholics, or Buddhists. But, you have to agree that you're making a huge generalization about all Christians.

Humans aren't perfect, the church isn't perfect.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: chardin and unity

Here's my deal.

I was baptized Catholic, but I don't go to church. Why? Because I don't think it's necessary to lead a good life, which is what religion is supposed to be guiding towards.

I've had premaritial sex, I've jerked off, I've lusted, I've used condoms, I've coveted material things... but I don't think that makes me a bad person. I believe in the afterlife, and if these things are going to keep me from going through those pearly gates, then f*ck it. There is no way one cannot live a good life even if they are petty sinners.

That's my views. I've been blessed with my health, my family, intelligence, and athletic ability (among countless other things we all take for granted). I believe I am leading my life the very best I can. If God is really as trite as to deny people from the Kingdom of Heaven because they stole a chocolate bar at age fifteen and never repented, then that's not something I want to be a part of.

Humans aren't perfect - God isn't even perfect. Read the Book of Job - He displays very human actions and human sins, like pride. It's just... it's a deep matter. What if it's just a fairy tale to help us lead good lives and be comfortable when we're dying. That's possible...likely eve. And frankly it terrifies me that there is nothing beyond this, because then...what's the point?

Bottom line is that I believe in, and love, God. I think that that and living my life as to the best I can in according with the blessings I've been give is enough.

Just how I see it.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: chardin and unity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny37
As an active Christian, I can say with the utmost confidence that I couldn't live without God.

I don't understand how people can live this life without the hope of something better. If this life is as good as it gets, that's pretty pathetic.

And yeah, Christians are hypocrites just like atheists, or Catholics, or Buddhists. But, you have to agree that you're making a huge generalization about all Christians.

Humans aren't perfect, the church isn't perfect.

What do you mean when you say that? If God was proven wrong, would you commit suicide? To me, that's what I think people would do.
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: chardin and unity

I like certain parts of religion, but dislike most. If there was a church I could goto once a week that was friendly, open to everyone, with some sort of strucutre and community events, that focused more on the stories of religious texts in their time and only focusing on the positive aspects (be good to others, don't lie, steal, cheat, etc.), and didn't ask me to "worship" God .. I would go.

As it is though, I don't like the idea that I have to submit to one certain set of beliefs and worship God. Is God so vain that he wants me to worship him constantly? Can't I just live a good life and occasionally give God props?

(edit: I guess what I'm saying is that I enjoy the structure of organized religion, yet detest the dogma. I've met some of the nicest and coolest people ever just hanging at church events. I don't know, maybe atheists do similar stuff -- I'm not atheist -- but as long as they didn't discuss their atheism with me or try to force it on me, I'd go there if they had similar events. I like good natured fun without religious attachments, even if the people involved were religious.)

Last edited by reppy : 09-07-2007 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 09-07-2007, 04:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: chardin and unity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Penny37
As an active Christian, I can say with the utmost confidence that I couldn't live without God.

I don't understand how people can live this life without the hope of something better. If this life is as good as it gets, that's pretty pathetic.

And yeah, Christians are hypocrites just like atheists, or Catholics, or Buddhists. But, you have to agree that you're making a huge generalization about all Christians.

Humans aren't perfect, the church isn't perfect.

Are you serious? How about improving current conditions instead focusing on something that supposedly happens after you die. We should all hope for something better in THIS life, for ourselves and the generations. I hope we can find a way to reverse or slow global warming, I hope to eliminate our dependancy on foreign oil, I hope for an end to middle eastern conflicts, etc etc.

To say that this life is "pathetic" shows nothing but flawed ignorance and naivety on your part. Life is beautiful, this may be the only one you get so do something grand with it rather than dismiss it as "pathetic"; what horrible pessimism.
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Old 09-07-2007, 05:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

RBP, In your opinion who do you think wrote the bible, is it a direct translation of god's words, and why wasn't it written in a more literal style?
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

RPB, also in regards to the Bible what do you think of the more immoral aspects within it. For instance allowing slavery, torture, murder and genocide.
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: chardin and unity

Quote:
Originally Posted by final.wrath
Our civilization has changed more in the last few centuries than the last few thousand years. It seems very unlikely that Judeo-Christian religions would survive the next few centuries.

perhaps

but there are over a billion christians in the world today more than anytime in the past...

someone gave me a john lennon quote the other day that said something like: christianity will cease to exist at the end of our lifetime.
(anyone have the exact quote?)

karl rahner, the great german theologian that helped construct vatican II said, in the 1960s, that we cannot imagine the new forms that christianity will look like in the upcoming centuries. that i my guess--- it will have such different forms to what we see today

the future is always about speculation...
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Old 09-07-2007, 07:58 AM   #14
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

What do you think about women not being able to be priests in the Catholic Church?
It's a bit contradictory for the Catholics to believe people is equal and then exclude half its followers.
http://www.womenpriests.org/index.asp
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:21 AM   #15
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Default general bible thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jabes
RBP, In your opinion who do you think wrote the bible, is it a direct translation of god's words, and why wasn't it written in a more literal style?

good questions jabes

in brief, all sorts of people wrote the bible. authorship in biblical times was much different than the way we generally see it today. the bible better seen as a type of "library"-- a collection of books instead of just one book.

the oldest accounts in the hebrew scriptures (the old testament) are almost 4,000 years old. these were oral cultures that transmited these stories orally. the hebrew people were a very small tribe; these stories in genesis were like campfire stories that the tribe shared to explain their roots/history and faith relationship with their god.

i suppose this is how most of us hear truth-- through story-- more than through technical (literal) accounts



there were many tribes in the ancient near east who did similiar acts. imo, it is a very human sensibility to try to make sense of this mystery we call god and we try to understand it was best we can

the hebrew scriptures continued to describe and respond to this ongoing faith relationship affected by the historical development of the hebrew people and the land of israel.

these stories became written onto parchment for ceremonial use but most people did not know how to read-- only the highly educated (which was pretty rare for most)

the christian scriptures (the new testament) were chosen by the church as descriptive of this new community's understanding of God because of the person of jesus of nazareth.

again-- these were faith experiences that were primarily shared orally but eventually became written (i am no biblical scholar) that reflected the community's experience. in this sense, the community of believers (the church) was primary, not the scriptures, in the definition of our human understanding of God

obviously, these scriptures had been set after the last book, revelation, was written
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