Could you describe your religious beliefs?

Page 2 of 4 [ 63 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

chlov
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jan 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 851
Location: My house

22 Jul 2013, 6:43 am

I'm agnostic.
I have no proof that God exists, nor I have any proof that he doesn't exist, therefore I can't judge.



lostinlove
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 12 Jul 2013
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 114
Location: NW England

22 Jul 2013, 6:47 am

I like the idea of religion, rules to follow to live a better life, treating people how you would like to be treated yourself and a community to morally help you through the hard times. But as I see that a lot of people are very hypocritical, they claim to be religious, yet I see them acting the opposite, I have become disallusioned and therefore would say that I am an athiest. I do not know if there is a god, but I am fairly sure he/she would not want all the hate and terrible actions that are done in the name of religion.



greyjay
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jan 2012
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 58

22 Jul 2013, 11:59 am

I was raised Pentecostal Christian. I've always had an interest in spirituality and mythology and a passion for plants and fairy stories. I am now a pagan, but my religion is practiced based and doesn't require dogmatic belief. I'm mixed, so my practice is influenced by the cultures of my biological family (Anishinaabe Scottish and Irish). I don't have a particular belief as to weather deities, ancestors and spirits are personified entities or simply symbols, it doesn't really matter to me. What does matter is how I relate to the world around me and that I carry myself with respect. I have a really hard time seeing humans as unique as sentient beings, but my understanding of sentience doesn't require that another being's experience of consciousness be like my own. If it did I might very well find myself excluding neurotypicals :wink:, so maybe my experience has predisposed me towards so called "animism".



Tori0326
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 293

22 Jul 2013, 12:47 pm

I was raised Baptist. I never really understood the whole praying and looking for an answer from God part. Like they can hear him talking to them. I never sensed anything like that. My mother and others also talked about how the Bible had some kind of mystical property, that the same verse could mean something different each time the read it. I really have no sensitivity to anything supernatural. When I was younger I really tried to figure that stuff out but eventually had to admit I didn't really understand what they all meant, which seems in their book to mean you're not really "saved".
After my brother died in a car accident I switched to being a Presbyterian which takes some of the mystical elements out of it but I've really not had much religious enthusiasm for the past 10 years for a number of reasons. I believe in God and I pray sometimes. It doesn't really go beyond that anymore.



littlebee
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 8 Mar 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,338

22 Jul 2013, 1:33 pm

Personally I have always loved religion since I was a young child and have studied various religions all my life. Religion and social science are my two great passions, the particular interest being how religions symbolism (or the use of language in general) can facilitate the the transformation of the mind and also how this can affect the organization and reorganization of social systems and even future generations..

benh72 wrote:
If you were to ask the Dalai Lama, or the Buddha himself about the existence or otherwise of god, they would say your thinking is better used on things that are comprehensible, and that scientific evidence confirms.
.

It is very unlikely that the Dalia Lama (or the Buddha) would say such a thing to you, as he respects the teachings of other religions. What the Dalia Lama might say is that in (various schools of) Buddhism, there are different kinds of approaches suitable for different kinds of people, and then, if the circumstances are favorable for the presentation of the tenets of a particular school of Buddhism, he might lay out that approach in such a way that the people present could understand what he was saying according to their various capacities, and how general or specific he might be in such a presentation would depend on the general audience. Of course the approach of any good teacher is to present various material in such a way that the receiver can begin to discover various facets and to test it out and so begin to little by little verify it for himself.

Quote:
I think everyone should be free to believe what they wish, but if they want to question the beliefs of others they should not consider their own beliefs to be above question and discussion
.
This surely makes sense and is a good rule of thumb to follow; however, if a presentation is being given, such as in Christianity or Buddhism, it may be helpful to understand how the concept of faith fits in with this. People often, for example, in Christianity, think that faith means to believe that something is true, even that obviously allegorical material is to be taken literally, and to me this is ridiculous. What is actually meant is something a little bit different---more to believe in the efficacy of a particular system if its approach is applied to oneself. Of course it is not possible to know certain things till near the very end: there is a saying that the proof is in the pudding, but when following a certain recipe to make pudding, one can in some ways intuit whether it is probably going to result in a good (enough) pudding or not. Maybe this is not the best example to give, but I am kind of in a hurry right now,.

Quote:
For myself, I may never truly be accepted as a Buddhist, as I would have to surrender to the triple diamond; the Buddha, the dharma (holy writings), and the sangha (Buddhist community); I'm too much of a non conformist and too cynical about the mind manipulation that goes on within religious organisations to conform and accept someone as a religious leader without question.

Any good teacher in Buddhism or any religion will encourage you to have questions, and in Buddhism there is even a teaching that tell you how to select a suitable teacher, but I am not sure how helpful that really is. One thing, the teacher in Buddhism is considered to be above the Buddha, and in many eastern religions the guru is put on a pedestal, so it is kind of hard to sort it all out, but one thing, a person is general drawn to a certain teaching according to his individual capacity. You could even say it is kind of how the wind blows him. but it could always be almost like a magnetic current depending upon how strung the desire is to find a greater meaning.

Re taking refuge in the three jewels, this really means having faith in the efficacy of that particular approach and that, put in Christian terminology, such an approach will save you. In the beginning of a Buddhist teaching (or any religious teaching) a person may feel something, and so he will take refuge, but then later. as he studies and takes various teachings and initiations. it will begin to take on a deeper meaning. But, again, to take refuge in the three jewels means to take refuge in that particular approach. Buddha, dharma and sangha are surely going to mean different things to different people. For instance to a person who has studied Buddhism very deeply, dharma may mean more than just the books that contain the various teachings of Buddhism, and buddha and sangha may take on deeper meanings, too.

Quote:
I blame a lifetime of questioning my former Catholic beliefs for this, but perhaps in a future life I will come back as a dedicated Buddhist


There are different schools of Buddhism just as there are many different Christian churches, but actually the approach of one major school of Buddhism, the Middle Way School, is very similar to most Christian churches in the way the interchange of various material is dealt with, such as in Buddhism it is said that every living creature was once ones mother, and in Christianity there is the mystery of the trinity. One major difference is that Christians believe in an external cause or deity, but I cannot say that all educated Christians literally believe in that, and if you read the book of Genesis carefully, there is indication that that is not really what is being said there, but because many Christians seem to take Genesis literally or kind of literally, then this could be seen as a major philosophical difference. I just happened to come across something the Dalia Lama said that indicates he does think this is a major philosophical difference in this respect between Christianity and Buddhism---presumably because these two views lead to two different ways of working with the functions (such as thought, feeling, motor) and so lead to a somewhat different results, perhaps.

One main point is that in order to follow any religion to the nth, or even to live a spiritual life, a person does have to make a conscious dedication to it as a kind of aim or goal, and if a person is not part of an organization where the people are dedicated in this way, so a spiritual community associated with a church or what in Buddhism is called a sangha, or even perhaps a community with a humanistic goal,then that is kind of difficult to do. However, many of these groups do have cult like characteristics, so it may be kind of difficult to sort things out. This is why a good teacher is required and how many good teachers are there? I do not think too many, so when one is so fortunate to find such a person it is understandable why he might kind of put him on a pedestal, because without the aid of such a person, then one might not have the opportunity to develop.

.



Goalie
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 10

22 Jul 2013, 1:44 pm

Studied alot of religions and came to my own conclusion that we're all linked together by waves and particles. I believe we're like cells of one central consciousness. Self aware energy.



GiantHockeyFan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Jun 2012
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,293

22 Jul 2013, 1:52 pm

I was at the gym and I was talking to a bunch of teens about this exact same thing and I should add was amazed at how intelligent these 'meathead jocks' were. When they asked me if I believed in God, I told them the question was meaningless. Pretty much sums me up: the guy who can't fit into a box. I did have past life memories as a child and had a weird life saving experience but I don't know what to call it except not its not New Age in any form. If I was forced to choose, I would say the Tao Te Ching (or Dao De Jing if you prefer) is by far the closest to the truth. While it's obviously impossible to translate Classic Chinese into English I never seem to be amazed at what an amazing bit of work it is. I love to quote from it all the time!



Panddora
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 199

22 Jul 2013, 1:52 pm

Richard Dawkins school of religion!



tall-p
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Dec 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,155

22 Jul 2013, 2:51 pm

JonAZ wrote:
Please tell me about your religious beliefs. In addition, please tell me if anything that I stated above is in error.

I am an atheist. I don't believe in any magical or invisible beings. But I do think that having a life with words swimming through our heads is the rarest, most amazing thing that happens in the universe.


_________________
Everything is falling.


EsotericResearch
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 23 Jul 2012
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Posts: 390

22 Jul 2013, 8:30 pm

Although nonpracticing, I've long been a neopagan Witch and Western Hermetic initiate. I have found that these systems have helped me gain a sense of self-understanding and balance that meditation and mainstream religion have not, because it's hands-on and heavily ritualized even beyond the Catholic Church and the ashrams of Asia. Like Buddhism, there really isn't a central authority for what I follow and nobody cares what you believe in these groups.

Like, everyone conducts ritual and gets to be clergy. Everyone gets to train to be clergy, and initiate people. It's all volunteer run from the creation of the lodge furniture on up. The initiation rituals are from the tradition of high-degree Freemasonry but a different 'system' so to speak.

As for my actual beliefs, I guess they would be atheist/agnostic. My sociopolitical philosophy is that of Confucianism mixed with many Western thinkers like Aristotle. And yeah I'm considered marginal clergy in my tradition. I'm collectivistic as opposed to individualistic, neither know nor care whether there is a deity, and define myself religiously in terms of what I do rather than what I believe.

My experiences have led me to reject the ideas of karma and reincarnation, and definitely doubt the afterlife. Karma and reincarnation have a sordid history in terms of the social construction of the Indian caste system. I also reject the idea of a 'universal life force' because I do not think anything can be that universal - nor do I feel that it's an energy, like electricity. But I know and care that what I do works for me, the on the ground reality of things. Regardless of the mechanics behind it if a candle magic spell makes me feel better I'm gonna do it.



Last edited by EsotericResearch on 22 Jul 2013, 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LongleafPine
Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jul 2013
Gender: Female
Posts: 38

22 Jul 2013, 8:44 pm

Goalie wrote:
Studied alot of religions and came to my own conclusion that we're all linked together by waves and particles. I believe we're like cells of one central consciousness. Self aware energy.


Oh, that's exactly what I think but couldn't have said it so well.



Teasaidh
Raven
Raven

User avatar

Joined: 26 Jun 2013
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 102
Location: Kentucky

22 Jul 2013, 9:23 pm

I was raised pentecostal. My father is a pastor, and he moved us overseas as missionaries when I was almost 9. As a young adult, I was baptized into the Orthodox church, but eventually came to the realization that while I enjoyed the ritual, I had no faith in the beliefs behind those rituals. I was a practising pagan for a few years, but as with orthodoxy, I was drawn to the ritual not the faith. I am an atheist (a 6 on the Dawkins scale).

I consider myself a pagan atheist because I still celebrate the pagan holidays (Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, etc) as a way of marking the passage of the year, and I still hold to many of the pagan teachings of tolerance, respect for nature, and learning to become more self aware and introspective. I like to study mythology as a way to understand the human psyche. However, I don't have any belief that there is a supernatural force of any kind.


_________________
?To be yourself in a world that is
constantly trying to make you
something else is the greatest
accomplishment.?
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


EsotericResearch
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 23 Jul 2012
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Posts: 390

22 Jul 2013, 11:11 pm

Awesome Teasaidh. Looks like we're in the same boat. But me coming from the ceremonial magic side.



cyberdad
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Age: 53
Gender: Male
Posts: 16,610

23 Jul 2013, 1:04 am

As Karl Marx so eloquently wrote, religion is the opium of the masses...not that I'm a Marxist :wink:



Adamantium
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Feb 2013
Age: 1020
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,863
Location: Erehwon

23 Jul 2013, 1:12 am

I was raised an atheist, and felt very deeply that religion was offensive rubbish. As a child I was a 7 on the Dawkins scale.

I developed a system of meditation as a way of coping with my deep depression, anxiety and alienation when I was in Middle School. It was very much like vipassana and focused on tactile and proprioceptive perception.

I had a sort of personal mythology that was based vaguely in a pastiche of Celtic and specifically Welsh mythology, but understood this as useful psychological metaphor rather than a reflection of an external reality.I read "The Tao Teh King by Lao Tzu Interpreted as Nature and Intelligence by
Archie Bahm" and found it fit my perspective quite well. I did not think of any of this as spiritual or religious but one day I had a very profound spiritual experience after meditating and then thinking about some issues within my celtic mythological frame of reference. It was a very moving experience, and it felt like making some kind of contact with a transcendent being or energy. I found myself in the strange position of feeling emotionally that it was real and believing intellectually that it was a psychological phenomenon with no external reality.

I studied Tae Kwon Do and Karate for many years and buddhist meditation was part of this. I found a book of my father's called "The Teachings of Huang Po" that I had previously flipped through and dismissed as nonsense and found that it was now making sense to me. I began to study and practice Buddhism in earnest and again had a very profound spiritual experience. I attended teachings by the Dalai Lama and Pema Chodron and my sense of the dharma grew, but at the same time I could not help but notice that as a religion, Buddhism has the same problems as every other system: hierarchy leads to abuse.

Judaism and the Tanakh were a special interest for several years and after immersing myself in that language and thought I read the Bible in it's entirety. I was surprised to find that a lot of the biblical stories that I had found ridiculous as a child actually made sense to me when I read them with the same approach that I had learned to apply to Huang Po or the Zen koans. Then I had a profound spiritual experience of an explicitly Christian character.This was unsettling to me as Christianity seemed opposed to everything I believed, but I tried for some years to explore this and joined a very progressive Methodist Church. I had some wonderful experiences in that system but when I moved I discovered that church was not at all representative of the denomination and the local Methodist churches in my new environment had all the features of religion that I always found repelent.

My conclusion is that spiritual experience is an internal psychological process that can take many forms. There are aspects of it that are common to all people and this is what makes religion work, but the true experience is an inward one and religions attempt to package an experience that is beyond definition or description into a small system of rules and creeds. It doesn't really work.

I am glad I explored these experiences because they made me more tolerant of people who are spiritual or religious, but I really only believe in science--or, more accurately, I believe that there is a mystical aspect to religion that is based on a real psychological experience and this is something that can not only be experienced but observed. Science is the only reliable guide to external reality.

I still meditate and sometimes pray. I respect all these traditions, as long as they are not denying reality (which a lot of their followers want to do) I am grateful for the experiences I have had in each of these mythological frameworks. They have enriched my inner life. If human beings were fundamentally rational, these systems would not exist, but we are emotional creatures driven by powerful and irrational impulses living with these results in religion and spirituality.



Relicanth7
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 30 Sep 2007
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,896
Location: 'Murika... (Insert explicit word here) yeah!

23 Jul 2013, 1:24 am

chlov wrote:
I'm agnostic.
I have no proof that God exists, nor I have any proof that he doesn't exist, therefore I can't judge.


Hisenburg, +1

However things are not just random, chaos is a form of order, this is enough cause to believe that there is some governing principle that causes all of these recurring phenomena.


_________________
~Aaron, the professional doormat.