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Old 09-07-2007, 08:35 AM   #16
RainierBeachPoet
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by gb8
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.

there are lots more than these examples of "immoral behavior" too

the scriptures were bound by a specific culture and specific time

i highlighted the importance of good interpretation of the scriptures as key. that is why literal interpretations (which generally misuse the scriptures by taking them out of context) fall short of the life giving meanings



it also relates to the wedding between "church-state". oftentimes the faith community will get coopted by the political goals/ends.

over the years, the church has suffered from this and has not lived up to the higher ideals of faith


interesting note: we are a very legalistic culture in the usa. the scriptures (and laws), in many other cultures, are seen as ideals/goals to strive to. we always fall short of the mark/ideal because of our humanity.

because we see "sins" by the church and believers is not a good reason to throw away the ideals. we do this because of the way we in the usa see our relationship to given laws


the proper place of the discipline of theology is to examine these aspects in proper relation with one another and to give understanding to our faith
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:00 AM   #17
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

Going through high school, I used to live in a small town in the deep south. Very conservative town. If you didn't go to the main baptist church in town, people thought that there was something wrong with you. You were "shunned" and looked down on. It seemed to be an oppressive force. I believe in a higher being, and that there are certain things that you need to do with your life from a moral standpoint to stay in the good graces. HOWEVER, the christian conservative lifestyle just seems really rigid--and somewhat hypocritical. People smoke, drank, cursed, etc, but as long as they showed up to church on Sunday and asked for forgiveness, then all was ok. I believe that good, slightly more middle-of-the-road Christians are less hypocritical, more accepting of diversity, and less likely to jam the "churchy stuff" down your throat. Jesus Christ was all about reaching out to his fellow man. Bible belt Christians are the exact opposite, at least the ones I met. They aren't truly following his teaching. They are following this book, this book made by men, to a rigid tee. The bible teaches some good thing, but some people take the whole thing literally, and it's not realistic in the 21st century to adhere to every single teaching.
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:19 AM   #18
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

I have a view similar to Randy that there is always a chance that a God does exist. Thats why I do look for proof, but every shred of evidence that I've seen is able to be explained through science and logic. My own nature is to question first, study second, and believe last.
I actually envy people who can take a leap of faith and believe in a higher power. But more and more I get the feeling people only go to church because they fear damnation, not because of their love of God. Oddly enough, in my area, the people who go to church are some of the worst citizens. I guess it makes them sleep better at night knowing if they repent Sunday, they can be as immoral as they want to be the rest of the week.
I do realize that religion has shaped the world, this country, and the laws used to govern it, but I feel the time for it to end is near. People shouldn't have to fear God to live moral lives. The world has changed and it is time to move on as a society.
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Old 09-07-2007, 10:36 AM   #19
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainierBeachPoet
there are lots more than these examples of "immoral behavior" too

the scriptures were bound by a specific culture and specific time

i highlighted the importance of good interpretation of the scriptures as key. that is why literal interpretations (which generally misuse the scriptures by taking them out of context) fall short of the life giving meanings



it also relates to the wedding between "church-state". oftentimes the faith community will get coopted by the political goals/ends.

over the years, the church has suffered from this and has not lived up to the higher ideals of faith


interesting note: we are a very legalistic culture in the usa. the scriptures (and laws), in many other cultures, are seen as ideals/goals to strive to. we always fall short of the mark/ideal because of our humanity.

because we see "sins" by the church and believers is not a good reason to throw away the ideals. we do this because of the way we in the usa see our relationship to given laws


the proper place of the discipline of theology is to examine these aspects in proper relation with one another and to give understanding to our faith

I would like to know why you are catholic in this case? Reading from your responses it appears that you are not akin to claiming that the bible is the true word of god. Why not be a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Sikh?
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:22 AM   #20
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by lurch67
I have a view similar to Randy that there is always a chance that a God does exist. Thats why I do look for proof, but every shred of evidence that I've seen is able to be explained through science and logic. My own nature is to question first, study second, and believe last.
I actually envy people who can take a leap of faith and believe in a higher power. But more and more I get the feeling people only go to church because they fear damnation, not because of their love of God. Oddly enough, in my area, the people who go to church are some of the worst citizens. I guess it makes them sleep better at night knowing if they repent Sunday, they can be as immoral as they want to be the rest of the week.
I do realize that religion has shaped the world, this country, and the laws used to govern it, but I feel the time for it to end is near. People shouldn't have to fear God to live moral lives. The world has changed and it is time to move on as a society.

Bingo. I was raised Catholic, my Uncle is a minister, cousins go to Christian schools, my grandparents are from eastern Europe, so basically my whole family is Christian as well.

With that said, the whole idea of hell makes me sick, it's nothing more than a violent ultimatum: believe or suffer. Having the idea of hell ingrained into a child's head should be considered child abuse. When I finally decided to stop going to church, the idea that I would go to hell forever was the hardest thing to shake, despite the fact that I knew it was a lie. If you've grown up believing somethng for 18 years, it's difficult to reverse that belief. Even now, I'll get a quick, "what if there is a hell for atheists?" thought, but at least now I can dismiss it.

I love when I go to religious websites or Borders in the Religion section and see articles or books all about how hell is real and how these people went there so they could warn us. It's nothing more than scare tactic, how about preaching the love and unity one could achieve through religion rather than threatening people?

Ugh.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:28 AM   #21
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy
Bingo. I was raised Catholic, my Uncle is a minister, cousins go to Christian schools, my grandparents are from eastern Europe, so basically my whole family is Christian as well.

With that said, the whole idea of hell makes me sick, it's nothing more than a violent ultimatum: believe or suffer. Having the idea of hell ingrained into a child's head should be considered child abuse. When I finally decided to stop going to church, the idea that I would go to hell forever was the hardest thing to shake, despite the fact that I knew it was a lie. If you've grown up believing somethng for 18 years, it's difficult to reverse that belief. Even now, I'll get a quick, "what if there is a hell for atheists?" thought, but at least now I can dismiss it.

I love when I go to religious websites or Borders in the Religion section and see articles or books all about how hell is real and how these people went there so they could warn us. It's nothing more than scare tactic, how about preaching the love and unity one could achieve through religion rather than threatening people?

Ugh.


Church sermons should be uplifting experiences--not where you hear about "if you don't do x, y, and z, you're going to hell." Many churches rule their flock with fear. The further into the bible belt you go, the more likely you are to see this type of thing. People are easier to control when you instill fear into them. It keeps them coming back, not because they are wanting to experience the joys of God and Jesus Chris, but they are afraid of eternal damnation........
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:34 AM   #22
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlh1981
Church sermons should be uplifting experiences--not where you hear about "if you don't do x, y, and z, you're going to hell." Many churches rule their flock with fear. The further into the bible belt you go, the more likely you are to see this type of thing. People are easier to control when you instill fear into them. It keeps them coming back, not because they are wanting to experience the joys of God and Jesus Chris, but they are afraid of eternal damnation........

Then when you tell them you believe something different it's, "Enjoy hell, sinner" or something along those lines. It's treated almost as a bragging right, we won't burn because we believe in Jesus sort of idea. No room for acceptance or brotherhood, talk about being hypocritical, I'm pretty sure Jesus would love all of us regardless of a few differing, insignificant beliefs.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:39 AM   #23
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Randy - would it be safe to say, you believe in nothing (no god, no religion) at the present; however you're open minded to changing your personal beliefs if proposed with not proof, but however logical and desirable ideas that seem more than possible to you?

I ask this, b/c from reading many of your posts about religion (or lack thereof) you seem to be trying very hard to find the truth, whether it be what you believe today or not.

Is that a fair statement?

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Old 09-07-2007, 11:51 AM   #24
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagat
Randy - would it be safe to say, you believe in nothing (no god, no religion) at the present; however you're open minded to changing your personal beliefs if proposed with not proof, but however logical and desirable ideas that seem more than possible to you?

I ask this, b/c from reading many of your posts about religion (or lack thereof) you seem to be trying very hard to find the truth, whether it be what you believe today or not.

Is that a fair statement?


As of right now, I'm an Agnostic Atheist, I leave the possibility of a supreme being open but it seems unlikely to me.

Of course, I am always open to new ways of thinking and using logic though. I won't be the person to look at pictures of galaxies and say, "Oh, look how beautiful it is, that must be god" or any similar statement. The natural, scientific explanations for the formation and evolution of our universe is beautiful and complex enough that I don't see why it has to be the work of a god and not nature. That said, my beliefs are always shifting. Just a few months ago I was militant Atheist but I've let some of that go.

RBP has also diagnosed me as a searcher, the only problem is that the idea of a God is so complex, I don't think the human mind can truly comprehend it.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:57 AM   #25
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

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the only problem is that the idea of a God is so complex, I don't think the human mind can truly comprehend it

God (to me) is not as simple as ABC 123. To me, God is someone (or some thing) you strongly believe in, however only through faith because you'll never see or feel his (or its) presence.

You're right, it's very complex and mentally challenging. We all have a personal idea of what God is. That's the beauty of the entire thing. No one knows for sure either way; no one knows God well enough to know the whole and absolute truth (if there is one).

It wasn't meant for us to know.
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:59 AM   #26
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

I have always wondered how the concept of heaven/hell is introduced to children. It just seems extremely harsh to take a small child aside and tell them that if they don't obey God and live according to the word, that they are gonna burn in hell forever in their afterlife. I mean, how do you break this kind of news to a child?
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Old 09-07-2007, 12:53 PM   #27
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Default mature christianity

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Originally Posted by johndeeregreen
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.

good post

many people confuse the kingdom of God with heaven and unfortunately, many will also hang on to childish understanding of the concept of forgiveness and not be able to read the wisdom that you mentionedin the book of job

i will comment more on this "kingdom of God" in a later post

the real point of good catholicism is living life to the fullest

it seems like you are moving in that direction
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:29 PM   #28
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Default Re: mature christianity

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainierBeachPoet
good post

many people confuse the kingdom of God with heaven and unfortunately, many will also hang on to childish understanding of the concept of forgiveness and not be able to read the wisdom that you mentionedin the book of job

i will comment more on this "kingdom of God" in a later post

the real point of good catholicism is living life to the fullest

it seems like you are moving in that direction

Question for you RainierBeachPoet.....

Do you have a opinion on Revelations?
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:23 PM   #29
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Default a confident God

Quote:
Originally Posted by reppy
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.)

you bring up an important aspect of religion-- community

as i mentioned in the first post, we tend toward an individualism that certainly does affect how we belong to any group

"worship" takes many forms. certainly God doesnt need our validation in order to be God-- it is for our sake in order to know where we stand

i say this to various "jesus extremists" is that:

jesus didnt come to this world to point a finger to himself and say, "worship me, worship me"
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Old 09-07-2007, 06:45 PM   #30
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Default Re: If you want to discuss INTELLIGENTLY and THOUGHTFULLY Religion/Faith, Post Here

Quote:
Originally Posted by chains5000
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

my personal opinion: i think that there are women who are gifted and called to serve the church in a priestly capacity and cannot because of our rule

rome's bent goes something like this: men and women are different and play different roles of service within the church. men and women share the inherent dignity of being a daughter or son of God

Jesus chose men to be apostles and at the last supper shared this with men only. the heart of the sacramental priesthood is the institution of the Eucharist. since only men were there, jesus mandate was that men can preside at the eucharist

i believe that there was also a scriptural basis for only men presiding but i cant think of it right now

the counter argument is that it was a patriarchal society-- of course it was only men. but it doesnt have to continue that way.

in my limited understanding, there needs to be a new scriptural basis of a change and then the will.

as a universal church, these kind of changes can come slow because there are many cultural that would not accept women priests.

many in rome just see this as a liberal u.s. movement and so many do not take it seriously. the u.s. is always seen suspiciously because we are a world power


there is more to this discussion but these are what come to mind at the moment.
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