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Old 10-14-2011, 06:02 PM
 
2,379 posts, read 2,610,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HipFlask View Post
Reality. Certainly not god.
What else is there besides what we think? "Reality" is in our minds - it's subjective & relative & ever-changing - that's life.
God is in our minds... God represents our hopes, our drive, our continual life-force... What other "reality" is there besides God?
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar22 View Post
I know what you mean. Leaving my church community, and the many good friends that came with it, was the hardest part about exiting Christianity. I wish there was some sort of church-like group for non-religious people, just for the community aspects of it.
There is, it's called a bar........ haha. In all seriousness though, I honestly believe that if you took the religious aspeect outof it, you would be left with a room full of people just sitting there. You would have to find something that would unite all those oresent.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
I would have to say that one of the biggest reasons I dont go to a church to partake in all the things that I enjoy about it, is because ifb I did, that sense of community and togetherness, that brotherhood, would all be a lie, not really there, because it would be built on such.
I agree. I originally wanted to stick with my church, but I realized I couldn't keep living a lie. I'm an agnostic atheist. I can't pretend to be an evangelical every Sunday just to stick with my community. It would feel like I was living a double life.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vejadu View Post
Honestly, there's no way for us to know until we die and we either meet our maker in the afterlife or simply cease to exist. Those who don't believe in God will answer accordingly (usually rudely or condescendingly, as evidenced by some of the previous posts) and those who do will answer the existence of God in the affirmative (and often with a message of damnation for the nonbelievers.) That's where the majority of these types of threads end up -- as a shouting match between the Spaghetti-monster joking, insult-throwing "intellectuals" and the fire and brimstone rhetoric of believers.

This thread might as well be asking are you a believer, Atheist or Agnostic. Those are the answers you are going to get, but you need to decide for yourself. Learn about various religions with an open mind and see if any of them resonate with you. If you come to the end of the road without finding any feelings of truth from any religion, that's OK too.

Know that many of those who try to steer you towards or away from religion feel they're doing what they believe is best for others. Believers feel they're saving others from damnation by bringing them to God. Nonbelievers think that individuals can live a better, more fulfilling life on earth without the illusion of God. Unfortunately, many don't communicate that in a constructive manner. Shouting that you're going to burn in hell or that you're a unintelligent twit who still believes in fairy tales isn't going to win any converts.
Similarly, there's no way to know until we die whether or not we will be reincarnated as a bear, a dragon, a carrot, a leprechaun, or Bilbo Baggins.

Hopefully, most people won't take that fact as actually meaning there's some possibility that they'll be reincarnated as any of the above.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theophane View Post
If all these so-called delusions are chased away, nihilism (the belief in nothing) is what remains.
You don't have a clue........... obviously. You desperation to express your superstition based hatred makes you look foolish.

But believing in nothing would still be preferable to believing the murderous bastard depicted in the ancient superstitions of religion, that will send you to suffer for eternity in lakes of fire, because he loves you.
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Old 10-14-2011, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
You don't have a clue........... obviously. You desperation to express your superstition based hatred makes you look foolish.

But believing in nothing would still be preferable to believing the murderous bastard depicted in the ancient superstitions of religion, that will send you to suffer for eternity in lakes of fire, because he loves you.
Haven't you heard AshNat? There are a lot of Christians who dont find the "hell doctrine" preferable or favorable, so they ignore it!
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper 88 View Post
SuperSoul, this is something I have often wondered about. While I do not believe in religion or what it has to say, I do enjoy the sense of community that comes with it. That brotherhood and togetherness of sorts, that you dont seem to find anywhere else. I don't attend a church, { I used to } but have considered doing so for the mentioned reasons. I find it all to be a great spectacle, the entertainment of being told a bedtime story by the preacher, {} the music, the fellowship, the sense of changing someones life by doing charity work. { and yes, I realize I can do charity work without going to church.

I wonder how many people who do attend church dont really believe, but just enjoy the general atmosphere that comes along with church life?

Is that the case with you Supersoul? Or are you a believer?
Thanks for your kind response.
Honestly, I like the church activities better - like volleyball, can teach more about spirituality & working together than some of the preaching.
I imagine many people don't believe EVERYTHING fed them... Like my dad, doesn't believe it all & lives accordingly. Yet, to this day, he faithfully attends church every Sunday, visits people & is visited by people from church. He started out playing church softball & developed friendships & that's what inspired him to join the church.

I believe some (but not all) about the religion I associate with (LDS/Mormon). I believe in personal revelation - that we communicate directly with God. I also believe in eternal progression (that we existed spiritually before life & will continue after death). Joseph Smith was very progressive (even for now, but esp. in the 1800s) to teach that "As God once was, man is & as God is, man can become." Most misinterpret this to mean we think we could be perfect Gods in this life - which is ridiculous. But if you consider, "The kingdom (experience/interpretation) of God is within" along with eternal progression, it makes sense.

Another concept I like is taking religion more symbolically & less literally (which Mormonism & general Christianity struggles with). For me, Mormonism has been an awesome springboard for my spirituality, but not the end-all. Most consider Adam & Eve as literally the 1st people, despite archeological evidence otherwise. Yet, in the LDS temple, it is taught that Adam & Eve represent us, male & female... & that it was good for them to take the fruit of knowledge (AWARENESS) - so they could learn & progress & have more joy - our purpose!
I also like the strong sense of community - how everyone pitches in to help each other - in church & when needed outside of church... & world-wide.

Still, there are aspects that really bugged me & I still sometimes have to remind myself that I too, used to believe similarly & that we're all "works in progress." It helps to post on StayLDSforum with people struggling similarly. "James Fowler's Stages of Faith" also helps put things in perspective. Stage 5, answers how someone who didn't believe the same could be involved religiously without feeling hypocritical.
Fowler's stages of faith development - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A similar inconsistency... We may not agree with our nation's leaders or philosophies of Congress, but we still choose to live here, right?

Last edited by SuperSoul; 10-15-2011 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
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SuperSoul, you do touch accurately on the well-known positive cultural/social aspects of a community church. Any gathering of like-minded and supportive hominid individuals will likely have a net positive social effect, especially when their beliefs are so crucial, as they see it, to their end-lives.

Sadly, this same sort of mutual confidence building and aggrandizement could be almost as well achieved in a chess or lawn bowling club, and to see that many people enjoying what is, IMHO, a grand delusion is a sad commentary on the critical-thinking skills of my fellow man.

But the personal spiritual world is indeed not always easily understood nor validated.
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:46 PM
 
2,379 posts, read 2,610,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
SuperSoul, you do touch accurately on the well-known positive cultural/social aspects of a community church. Any gathering of like-minded and supportive hominid individuals will likely have a net positive social effect, especially when their beliefs are so crucial, as they see it, to their end-lives.

Sadly, this same sort of mutual confidence building and aggrandizement could be almost as well achieved in a chess or lawn bowling club, and to see that many people enjoying what is, IMHO, a grand delusion is a sad commentary on the critical-thinking skills of my fellow man.

But the personal spiritual world is indeed not always easily understood nor validated.
I agree!
It would be awesome if people could keep it more simple... join together for the simple unity factor of all wanting to learn new perspectives (Gospel=Good news). Maybe we get bored too easily - which symbolism is supposed to help, but it has backfired since most take it literally.
And we need a stronger driving motivation than bowling or chess. Nothing much more motivating than life & death, right?

We are all in a sleep, of a kind - with limited awareness - so we're all illusional. We pick & choose what we want to focus on to the exclusion of everything else.
Over several years, 4 of a friend's children died from various causes. When she was informed of the last one dying, she was so overcome with pain or shock, that she fainted. Her husband was abusive, but she still loved him... then he had a stroke & was disabled... after years of caring for him, he died. She was so depressed... until she heard that she could be with her family again... that families are eternal. It changed her life around - she got involved with the church - serving & being served & is happy.
Yeah, it may be largely an illusion she bought - but it helped her find meaning & happiness.

I also think it helps when one embraces the simple, "functional" illusions... not the dysfunctional illusions from religion (or Atheism). And really - who knows what we'll experience after physical death? I have reason to believe we continue as some type of energy after life.

Last edited by SuperSoul; 10-16-2011 at 06:54 PM..
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
2,756 posts, read 5,267,865 times
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Rather than being delusional, I like to think of the different religions of the world as akin to spokes on a wagon wheel. They are all in slightly different positions, and take slightly different paths, but nonetheless lead to the same central, most important place.

Peace Out, hombres.
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