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What is your faith?


Guest Night Phantom
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I'm Jewish by heritage and culturally. Not so sure about it religiously, though. But the great thing about Judaism is that you don't have to have a belief in God to be a Jew. I believe its the only major monotheistic religion that isn't faith-based at its heart. I feel extremely strong about my cultural heritage, however.

 

 

I am starting to subscribe to many of the Buddhist belief systems. Its very similar to what I grew up with; but I wouldn't call myself Buddhist at all, I just find its precepts absolutely fascinating. That, and the Dalai Lama is one of the wisest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I am hoping one day to actual see him in person. I need to start reading more to get a broader understanding, but I like my start.

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I'd encourage all who consider themselves atheists or agnostics to spend 2-3 minutes each week reading an on-line sermon from whatever faith you want. And devote the same level of concentration and thought to it that you would to analyzing sports, your job, your classes, or anything else that you're passionate about.

 

Why?

In the interest of making the most of your life.

Expanding your mind.

Thinking about things that you normally would never think of.

Agree or disagree, it's only 2-3 minutes a week.

Why not?

 

For me, if I'm "expanding my mind" I'm going to an art gallery or picking up a philosophy book, listening to Bach or Radiohead, or watching a program about deep space, or reading about sociology or the human mind. Or you could just take a lot of drugs. To each his own.

 

And that's not meant to sound pompous, heck I'm an idiot. And maybe the churches I go to on occasion just suck, but I can't ever, EVER recall attending a service as an adult in which the message of the day made me think "wow that's amazing! I have NEVER thought of it that way before!" That said, I'm not an expert on eastern spiritual faiths and I'm sure I could find some appealing aspects to something like Buddhism if I really had to choose one.

 

I'm more interested in why people are religious in the first place.

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I'd encourage all who consider themselves atheists or agnostics to spend 2-3 minutes each week reading an on-line sermon from whatever faith you want. And devote the same level of concentration and thought to it that you would to analyzing sports, your job, your classes, or anything else that you're passionate about.

 

Why?

In the interest of making the most of your life.

Expanding your mind.

Thinking about things that you normally would never think of.

Agree or disagree, it's only 2-3 minutes a week.

Why not?

 

Spending a lot more than 2-3 minutes a week reading about, discussing, and pondering religion, spirituality, and existence is how I came to be an atheist in the first place.

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I'd encourage all who consider themselves atheists or agnostics to spend 2-3 minutes each week reading an on-line sermon from whatever faith you want. And devote the same level of concentration and thought to it that you would to analyzing sports, your job, your classes, or anything else that you're passionate about.

 

Why?

 

Yeah, this doesn't make sense. I've tried religion and decided it wasn't for me. I'm ok.

 

 

You've truly tried religion? Have you tried a career? Have you tried a family? Have you tried living a comfortable life on your own wages? Have you lived a life on your own yet? No. Yet you have already tried and given up on religion? Whatever.

 

Not saying I am an authority on this subject, but you're just some random teenage kid at a mediocre (I'm being kind here) college. You haven't truly 'tried' and devoted yourself to life yet. Stop limiting yourself like that.

 

edit: I'd love to see the religious board/topic back here on marlinsbaseball.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

I'd encourage all who consider themselves atheists or agnostics to spend 2-3 minutes each week reading an on-line sermon from whatever faith you want. And devote the same level of concentration and thought to it that you would to analyzing sports, your job, your classes, or anything else that you're passionate about.

 

Why?

 

Yeah, this doesn't make sense. I've tried religion and decided it wasn't for me. I'm ok.

 

 

You've truly tried religion? Have you tried a career? Have you tried a family? Have you tried living a comfortable life on your own wages? Have you lived a life on your own yet? No. Yet you have already tried and given up on religion? Whatever.

 

Not saying I am an authority on this subject, but you're just some random teenage kid at a mediocre (I'm being kind here) college. You haven't truly 'tried' and devoted yourself to life yet. Stop limiting yourself like that.

 

edit: I'd love to see the religious board/topic back here on marlinsbaseball.

That's tremendously insulting.

 

You're clearly saying that you're more of an authority than Bob, and that his experiences and perceptions are invalid. Don't bandy words.

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As my name implies, I'm Jewish and married to a non-practicing Roman Catholic.

 

My family was never religious while I was growing up but I learned more about my religion and other religions by singing in their services. I sang at an Episcopal Church for 15 years and 3 different Temples for the past 27 years. Before the Episcopal church, I sang at Community, Baptist, Methodist and Congregational Churches. What I found was we are more alike than most care to admit. I've witnessed moving sermons in each one and found peace at each service. Am I betraying my Hebrew faith? I think not.

 

Spirituality can be found if you want to find it. It cannot be forced upon someone. And I believe you can be highly spiritual without being highly religious.

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That's tremendously insulting.

 

You're clearly saying that you're more of an authority than Bob, and that his experiences and perceptions are invalid. Don't bandy words

x2

 

edit: I'd love to see the religious board/topic back here on marlinsbaseball.

 

 

So you can continue to proselytize and keep spreading your narrow-mindedness and prejudices...?

 

Spending a lot more than 2-3 minutes a week reading about, discussing, and pondering religion, spirituality, and existence is how I came to be an atheist in the first place.

Yep - just a modicum of introspection reveals all religion for what is it truly is... Trouble is, most people are afraid of freethinking and the institutions that need mindless andriods like to keep them that way...

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I don't think The Godfather meant to be insulting and I'll offer my interpretation of what he was saying.

 

 

Bob is a good poster and I think most of you would agree. And for his age, I would classify him as very intelligent.

 

 

But sometimes Bob comes across as if he's got it ALL figured out.

 

 

He's 19 years old.

 

 

I'm much older than he is and I definitely don't have it all figured out. I think Godfather was simply suggesting that a teenager does not have enough life experience to simply declare that religion is not for them.

 

 

BTW, I'm Roman Catholic but not practicing.

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To those that have never heard any words from the leader of a congregation that have given them pause, peace, evoked new thoughts...I'm sorry for you. But I also can't recall any pearls of wisdom from a priest, minister, or Rabbi, in the first 25 years of my life. It happens that I've had a more interesting Rabbi for the last few years. I'll be happy to post the weekly sermon from my Rabbi. Reading his weekly sermon via e-mail is the entirity of my involvment with organized religion. My life isn't that frenetic that I can't afford myself the 2-3 minutes each week to read his thoughts. And every now and then his words say something to me about everyday life, and our existence as a whole, that adds something, makes me think, makes me feel better(or worse). Most of you know I'm one of the older posters here and I'm still trying to figure it all out. I know that I never will. And I also know that I'd be a fool to shut myself off from a different POV.

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You've truly tried religion? Have you tried a career? Have you tried a family? Have you tried living a comfortable life on your own wages? Have you lived a life on your own yet? No. Yet you have already tried and given up on religion? Whatever.

 

Not saying I am an authority on this subject, but you're just some random teenage kid at a mediocre (I'm being kind here) college. You haven't truly 'tried' and devoted yourself to life yet. Stop limiting yourself like that.

 

edit: I'd love to see the religious board/topic back here on marlinsbaseball.

 

Wow, this is one of the more insulting things posted on this board in a while, to be honest. You truly don't know anything about my life or what I've experienced, and it is completely unfair of you to judge me as if you did. I have struggled with religion all of my life, because I truly want to believe there is something else out there, and I'm not closed off to the idea that there is. But at this point in my life, I don't feel the need for religion in my life.

 

It doesn't mean I'm closing myself off to religion forever, but a relationship between one and one's God, in my opinion, is a deeply personal thing that you cannot force. Reading scripture every week won't help me find God, or if it will it will create an artificial relationship with God that doesn't truly mean anything.

 

I am not writing all religion off, I am just saying for me, at this time in my life, it doesn't do it for me. I admire people who feel strongly about their religion, but not if it comes at the expense of being open minded to other people and ideas. That is where I draw the line with anything, really.

 

And I'm not really sure what my age or college I go to. A 19 year old kid at Harvard who has a deep relationship with a Christian god doesn't have it anymore figured out than I do, but you wouldn't criticize them for it. It's hypocrisy, clear and simple. You are looking down on me because I have expressed an idea you are uncomfortable with, and that is OK, it is your prerogative, but don't see how a 19 year old devoting their life to God is any different than a 19 year old deciding they aren't religious, or they don't want religion in their life. They have just as much life experience, and they are deciding what they believe just as much, and neither has truly tried anything in life, so essentially what you are saying is, despite being given free will, 19 year olds have no place making their own decisions.

 

And cheap shots about my school are extremely uncalled for. You obviously don't know alot about FIU if you are calling it a mediocre school, as it is anything but.

 

I don't think The Godfather meant to be insulting and I'll offer my interpretation of what he was saying.

Bob is a good poster and I think most of you would agree. And for his age, I would classify him as very intelligent.

But sometimes Bob comes across as if he's got it ALL figured out.

He's 19 years old.

I'm much older than he is and I definitely don't have it all figured out. I think Godfather was simply suggesting that a teenager does not have enough life experience to simply declare that religion is not for them.

BTW, I'm Roman Catholic but not practicing.

 

I disagree, I think he fully meant to be insulting.

 

But I'm not sure what age has to do with it. I'm not declaring "f*** RELIGION FOREVER". I'm saying "Religion is not for me, now". I think anyone should be entitled to say that, because I agree, nobody my age has it all figured out. I would, of course, argue that most people of any age haven't figured out most things, and that is OK.

 

Religion is not a mental thing. It is not something you think about logically, because logically, you cannot prove there is a God (I apologize if this comes off as condescending, I don't want to be the a**hole atheist). It is based on faith, and I simply don't have any faith. I've had doubt as long as I could remember, and when I've gone to church and felt unfulfilled, it isn't because I think I've got it figured out. It is because I didn't feel anything.

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I am starting to subscribe to many of the Buddhist belief systems. Its very similar to what I grew up with; but I wouldn't call myself Buddhist at all, I just find its precepts absolutely fascinating. That, and the Dalai Lama is one of the wisest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I am hoping one day to actual see him in person. I need to start reading more to get a broader understanding, but I like my start.

 

 

I've always kind of been interested in Buddhism, attempted to practice it a little more once I graduated college. I couldn't stick as closely as I wanted, but the beauty of Buddhism is you choose how strictly you want to practice.

 

Personally, I grew up in a Christian family and attended parochial school for 7 years. Since then I've dabbled in other beliefs, not so much to find one particular religion but to learn about the belief systems. Personally I call myself agnostic, simply because I don't want to pigeonhole myself into one religion.

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Guest Night Phantom

Yep - just a modicum of introspection reveals all religion for what is it truly is... Trouble is, most people are afraid of freethinking and the institutions that need mindless andriods like to keep them that way...

:| So not having faith is free thinking but having it is?

 

I like it when people exhibit the exact characteristics that they 'hate' in others.

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Yep - just a modicum of introspection reveals all religion for what is it truly is... Trouble is, most people are afraid of freethinking and the institutions that need mindless andriods like to keep them that way...

:| So not having faith is free thinking but having it is?

 

I like it when people exhibit the exact characteristics that they 'hate' in others.

 

This was the type of sentiment I was trying very hard to avoid implying in my post. It's very easy to be insulting when discussing faith, and I try very hard not to be.

 

Others, not so much.

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I was gonna say a lot of what Bob just said. You don't have to reach a certain age for your beliefs to be valid. And we all reserve the right to change our minds about anything at any point in our lives. It doesn't matter how many times you change your mind, if you have strong convictions at any given time, then your beliefs are as valid as anyone else's--provided there's no evidence to support arguments on either side, which, in this case, there's isn't.

 

I find that there are two common traps that SOME religious people fall into, which can be kind of insulting to others:

 

1. The belief that just because religion is extremely important to them, it should be of extreme importance to everyone else. This idea that anyone should read religious sermons or whatever for 2-3 minutes a week...why? Why should bobbob do that any more than Godfather should read 2-3 minutes of quantum mechanics every week? Let bobbob do what he wants.

 

2. There is some tendency to equate faith with good and non-faith with bad. That's the one that really bothers me. Every time I hear someone complimented as a God-fearing man, I wonder what does that really tell me about this person? Nothing. And yet, to some, this seems like the greatest compliment you can give. I mean, does he live a decent life because he's God-fearing, or because he knows right from wrong? Would he go around smiting people if not for fear of God's reprimand? Whatever, I digress. The point is that non-believers should not be viewed as somehow deficient in character, and yet, sometimes I sense an underlying current of anger towards them in some of these posts.

 

Anyway, as for me, I don't really believe in a God, per se, at least not as a fully conscious entity, as most of the popular organized religions would have it, but I do believe that people are made of more than just a bunch of molecules and chemicals, that our thoughts and actions are more than just the product of chemical interactions. There's something that liberates us from the prison of scientific inevitability, we are in control of our own destinies. So, I guess, in that sense, I'm at least minimally spiritual.

 

But I did mark Jewish. L'chaim!

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To those that have never heard any words from the leader of a congregation that have given them pause, peace, evoked new thoughts...I'm sorry for you. But I also can't recall any pearls of wisdom from a priest, minister, or Rabbi, in the first 25 years of my life. It happens that I've had a more interesting Rabbi for the last few years.

 

I don't like it when people say things like this. To me, it comes across as "I was once in your position, but now I've matured, and someday you will too," as if my disbelief in a deity and lack of interest in religion is just some phase that I will eventually get past once I "see the light".

 

It isn't. I don't believe in any deities because the concept doesn't logically make sense to me and never will. Therefore, I don't need to be assured that someone is looking out for me and that there is a place for me after I die. I lead a secular life because I feel that religion, in its current form, exists to provide a comfort for people that, due to my disbelief, I don't need or want. To me, there is no difference between listening to the theologies of Judaism or Christianity and reading about the ancient Greek gods.

 

I am glad some people find what they are looking for in religion. But it's not for everybody. And to suggest that one is somehow missing out because he doesn't need it in his life is unfair.

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I was gonna say a lot of what Bob just said. You don't have to reach a certain age for your beliefs to be valid. And we all reserve the right to change our minds about anything at any point in our lives. It doesn't matter how many times you change your mind, if you have strong convictions at any given time, then your beliefs are as valid as anyone else's--provided there's no evidence to support arguments on either side, which, in this case, there's isn't.

 

I find that there are two common traps that SOME religious people fall into, which can be kind of insulting to others:

 

1. The belief that just because religion is extremely important to them, it should be of extreme importance to everyone else. This idea that anyone should read religious sermons or whatever for 2-3 minutes a week...why? Why should bobbob do that any more than Godfather should read 2-3 minutes of quantum mechanics every week? Let bobbob do what he wants.

 

2. There is some tendency to equate faith with good and non-faith with bad. That's the one that really bothers me. Every time I hear someone complimented as a God-fearing man, I wonder what does that really tell me about this person? Nothing. And yet, to some, this seems like the greatest compliment you can give. I mean, does he live a decent life because he's God-fearing, or because he knows right from wrong? Would he go around smiting people if not for fear of God's reprimand? Whatever, I digress. The point is that non-believers should not be viewed as somehow deficient in character, and yet, sometimes I sense an underlying current of anger towards them in some of these posts.

 

Anyway, as for me, I don't really believe in a God, per se, at least not as a fully conscious entity, as most of the popular organized religions would have it, but I do believe that people are made of more than just a bunch of molecules and chemicals, that our thoughts and actions are more than just the product of chemical interactions. There's something that liberates us from the prison of scientific inevitability, we are in control of our own destinies. So, I guess, in that sense, I'm at least minimally spiritual.

 

But I did mark Jewish. L'chaim!

When I see Lee misinterpreting my words that's one thing. I haven't read enough of his writings. But when I see you Mabdul, misinterpreting, then that tells me I'm not expressing myself properly. You're pretty good with reading comprehension. For the record, and to clarify what I said in my initial post in this thread......I believe in God. I leave open the possibility of a deity(just in case :shifty ), but my primary belief is that God exists as the collective soul of humanity. I believe that there's something that exists that's beyond pure science. Beyond our understanding. But I'm hardly a zealot about it. I've said that the sum total of my "religion" encompasses 2-3 minutes a week. And I'm saying that those 2-3 minutes enrich my life. And I'm not judging anyone, prosteletizing, or playing the age card. Anyone here can do what they want.

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I'm Christian, but I don't see myself as being religious (even tho I attend regularly to church). I try (I'm human as well) not to use my beliefs to condemn anyone or to judge. Religion for me is mostly about man rules around a certain belief.

 

I have recently changed my spiritual approach. I want to grow in my relationship with my creator, rather than to be at peace with those around me (including parents, and loved ones).

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I was gonna say a lot of what Bob just said. You don't have to reach a certain age for your beliefs to be valid. And we all reserve the right to change our minds about anything at any point in our lives. It doesn't matter how many times you change your mind, if you have strong convictions at any given time, then your beliefs are as valid as anyone else's--provided there's no evidence to support arguments on either side, which, in this case, there's isn't.

 

I find that there are two common traps that SOME religious people fall into, which can be kind of insulting to others:

 

1. The belief that just because religion is extremely important to them, it should be of extreme importance to everyone else. This idea that anyone should read religious sermons or whatever for 2-3 minutes a week...why? Why should bobbob do that any more than Godfather should read 2-3 minutes of quantum mechanics every week? Let bobbob do what he wants.

 

2. There is some tendency to equate faith with good and non-faith with bad. That's the one that really bothers me. Every time I hear someone complimented as a God-fearing man, I wonder what does that really tell me about this person? Nothing. And yet, to some, this seems like the greatest compliment you can give. I mean, does he live a decent life because he's God-fearing, or because he knows right from wrong? Would he go around smiting people if not for fear of God's reprimand? Whatever, I digress. The point is that non-believers should not be viewed as somehow deficient in character, and yet, sometimes I sense an underlying current of anger towards them in some of these posts.

 

Anyway, as for me, I don't really believe in a God, per se, at least not as a fully conscious entity, as most of the popular organized religions would have it, but I do believe that people are made of more than just a bunch of molecules and chemicals, that our thoughts and actions are more than just the product of chemical interactions. There's something that liberates us from the prison of scientific inevitability, we are in control of our own destinies. So, I guess, in that sense, I'm at least minimally spiritual.

 

But I did mark Jewish. L'chaim!

When I see Lee misinterpreting my words that's one thing. I haven't read enough of his writings. But when I see you Mabdul, misinterpreting, then that tells me I'm not expressing myself properly. You're pretty good with reading comprehension. For the record, and to clarify what I said in my initial post in this thread......I believe in God. I leave open the possibility of a deity(just in case :shifty ), but my primary belief is that God exists as the collective soul of humanity. I believe that there's something that exists that's beyond pure science. Beyond our understanding. But I'm hardly a zealot about it. I've said that the sum total of my "religion" encompasses 2-3 minutes a week. And I'm saying that those 2-3 minutes enrich my life. And I'm not judging anyone, prosteletizing, or playing the age card. Anyone here can do what they want.

 

If I'm misinterpreting you, what is your point then? You're just stating that you get something out of 2-3 minutes of reading sermons each week? It seems your deeper implication is that everyone should do the same. Your original post "encourages" those who consider themselves to be agnostics or atheists to do so. In the post I last quoted, you said you feel "sorry" for those who get nothing out of listening to leaders of congregations. You then said for the first 25 years of your life, you didn't get anything out of listening to them either. While it may not be what you meant, that says to me "someday you'll see what I mean."

 

I leave open the possibility of a deity as well. I don't know for sure that there isn't a god out there. But until I see evidence that there is, I cannot believe. I see no point in having faith.

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Interesting to me that a few jewish people who don't believe in god still mark jewish. Do you separate being jewish through heritage/culture from judaism being your religion? I wouldn't think they'd need to be one & the same. Just curious.

 

Perhaps a "spiritual but no organized religion" option in the poll might have fit.

 

I think where some of the posts here can get misconstrued is that those who get some fullfillment or enrichment from their religion or relationship with god perhaps wish that others could feel the same way and get that same enrichment. Which in and of itself is fine. I'm sure those people are sharing something positive. But it can also ruffle some feathers.

 

I've had plenty of occasions back when I was a teenager when I'd meet someone for the first time and have that person smile and say "It's good to meet you Chris. Do you know that Jesus is your lord and savior?!" And I'm kind of like "ooooookay, nice to meet you too."

 

But that goes the same for some on the nonbeliever side. Some are complete a-holes. I don't think it's necessary to insult people to express that you don't share in their beliefs, because all you do is turn the conversation hostile. We're not going to see some massive shift in the % of people who aren't religious over my lifetime. Any change is going to be very slow, whichever direction. I'm in the vaaaaaaast minority and certainly have to allow for the possibility that I'm 100% wrong.

 

FWIW, I'm in my 30s and my feelings haven't changed much from 18. Any adult will tell you they're wiser than they were at 18, but it doesn't automatically invalidate how you felt back then either.

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Im jewish, proud of it, and will always be jewish. Hope my kids and wife are the same. I go to temple only on major holidays and am not at all religious. We light the candles on shabbat, eat chala, and make the prayers for the chala, wine, and candles, but thats it. What I like about being with rabbis though is that they do everything possible to help you. At least all the rabbis I know. When my grandpa was sick, we went to visit the main rabbi's grave, prayed, and when we got back, he was out of the hospital. And theyve saved our lifes a lot of other times also. Also, when I went to BarMitzvah classes, I had a state of peace for a couple days after. I dont believe, rabbis dont believe, someone would be jewish without believing in god though. Jews can only believe in ONE god, not two, not three, not any other number other than one. You think youre jewish, but you arent jewish by religion. Gifted classes in my school are 90% jews and non gifted are maybe 10% jews.

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