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Old 01-26-2009, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
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No, you don't have to be evil in order to be religious. That would mean that the overwhelming majority of people in the world are evil which they obviously are not.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:43 PM
BST
 
Location: Powell, TN
451 posts, read 1,020,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostdestroyedlife View Post
When I was younger I had a pretty traumatic childhood, I believed in god because I had nothing else and that is what I was brainwashed to believe, finally around 18, 19 I began questioning it and realized it was all a load of crap

I notice the people who abused me however are still stead fast in their belief

Also whenever you hear about born again Christians they are usually people who have done something horribly wrong and they need forgiveness

Is there a point for a decent person to be religious, do you have to be evil or have some horrible skeletons in your closet in order to be a believer?
Sorry to hear about the abuse you suffered in the past. I hope you're on a pathway toward healing.

Lots of religious people in churches like to hear dramatic conversion stories...you know, "compare and contrast how I was then with how I am now." After you hear a lot of those stories, it's easy to believe all Christians were once evil incarnate. What kills me is the ones who will tell one story publicly, and then abuse young kids secretly. It's those who have the most power and authority who are more likely to be the perpetrators...such as priests, pastors, teachers, etc. Your average Joe Christian? Not so much.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Leaders in all walks of life are succeptible to it - religious or not. Your abusers may have hung the name Christian around their necks (and yours)...but the actions were definitely not Christ-like. Please don't categorize all of us by their misdeeds. I hope there are many more decent people than not whom you would call 'religious.'
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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As Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg said:

"with or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil;
but for good people to do evil; - that takes religion."
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:59 PM
 
5,532 posts, read 5,721,468 times
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You will find in churches the same people as in a random survey of the Grand Central terminal in NY. However, wrong doers and people with twisted minds also find comfortable shelter in religion, any religion. I just read an article about the notorious david berkowitz, aka son of sam. He is still in prison for murdering 7 people and badly injuring other 15 in 1977.
DB was the adopted child of a poor (and childless) jewish couple who loved and cared for him (his testimony) and raised him jewish. Now, at 54 and after 31 year in jail, he has converted to christianity and is waiting for christ's help...
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
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oberon_1 wrote:
Quote:
I just read an article about the notorious david berkowitz, aka son of sam. He is still in prison for murdering 7 people and badly injuring other 15 in 1977.
DB was the adopted child of a poor (and childless) jewish couple who loved and cared for him (his testimony) and raised him jewish. Now, at 54 and after 31 year in jail, he has converted to christianity and is waiting for Jesus help...
I remember his case very well and he struck me as someone who was mentally ill. He made some bizarre statements to the police regarding the motive for his crimes which didn't come across as an act to get an insanity verdict. He'll obviously never get out of prison so his conversion is probably not a ploy to get out early on parole like many others that you read about.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
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God requires us to love him? WHAT? is God narcissic? Why would one who created everything, everybody...i.e. ALL, need love or praise from a person? Perhaps that person needs something to love and cherish--but God requires it? God Needs it?

I thnk to be religious is to be truly alone. Once you find out that you are truly alone, and are not much more important than a piece of dust, you become religious--out of defense. In that manner, I think Jackyfrost01 is right.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:40 PM
 
5,532 posts, read 5,721,468 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
oberon_1 wrote:

I remember his case very well and he struck me as someone who was mentally ill. He made some bizarre statements to the police regarding the motive for his crimes which didn't come across as an act to get an insanity verdict. He'll obviously never get out of prison so his conversion is probably not a ploy to get out early on parole like many others that you read about.
Not to hijack the thread, but here are the facts:
He claimed that his neighbor's dog was possessed by ancient demons and it persuaded berkowitz to kill people. Later he admitted that he made up the story to plead insanity. The dog belonged to his neighbor (Sam) and it annoyed DB (who couldn't sleep) with his barking. DB was denied early parole in 2002. You are probably correct about the reason behind his conversion.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:59 AM
 
4,997 posts, read 13,550,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esselcue View Post
Good post, Mattie (rep to you), but, actually, it is not possible to change your personality, no matter what you do. You also cannot force yourself to believe something (although you can talk the talk) nor can you force yourself to love others. You CAN learn to "accept & respect" others and you CAN learn to make better decisions in life. This goes for Christians, Atheists and everything in between.
When I talk about changing your personality it means that you change how you view things. People can learn to be more loving, they can learn to accept others, they can learn to not be angry or hateful. But when I said that many are sweet on the outside until you rile them it means to me that they have only learned to talk the talk. A shy person can learn to not be shy, etc. That is all, at least to me, changing your personality. A person can learn to respect the law and to not steal for example, not because God says it is wrong, but because of a deep conviction within them. And this also goes for Atheists and everything in between, just as you said.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:11 AM
 
4,997 posts, read 13,550,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BST View Post
Sorry to hear about the abuse you suffered in the past. I hope you're on a pathway toward healing.

Lots of religious people in churches like to hear dramatic conversion stories...you know, "compare and contrast how I was then with how I am now." After you hear a lot of those stories, it's easy to believe all Christians were once evil incarnate. What kills me is the ones who will tell one story publicly, and then abuse young kids secretly. It's those who have the most power and authority who are more likely to be the perpetrators...such as priests, pastors, teachers, etc. Your average Joe Christian? Not so much.

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Leaders in all walks of life are succeptible to it - religious or not. Your abusers may have hung the name Christian around their necks (and yours)...but the actions were definitely not Christ-like. Please don't categorize all of us by their misdeeds. I hope there are many more decent people than not whom you would call 'religious.'
I am sorry to hear that this person was abused too, but to me it is what I would expect to happen. I agree that power corrupts, and I have seen it in every religion, almost, that I have ever been in. I understand what you mean by your average Joe Christian not being so corrupt, but I tend to think that most will follow suit. For example, if a minister or guru shuns a member, the others will follow. But then you have families that are Christian, and they are abusive to their children, and nothing happens to the family members.

Basically, I have seen more corruption in religion than I have seen saintly people. Basically, I don't think that the Christian religion helps anyone to become kind, loving, tolerant, non racist, etc.

Each religion may teach you something. For example, the Jehovah's Witnesses taught me to not be a racist, and yet they also taught me to shun others, and then when I was kicked out I learned compassion for those that were shunned, because I knew then what others were going through. And so they taught me that shunning was wrong. They also got me out of my shyness back when I was young.

From the Buddhist religion I learned that you had to work on learning compassion and loving kindness, you had to work at not lying, stealing, etc. that meditation was not going to turn you into a loving person. Not unless you had the experience of being one with all that they all talk about. And yet in Hinduism I was taught that meditation did all this, and yet I saw so much corruption by the gurus and by the people that I left, and yet it doesn't mean that some people in those religions were not loving, but all in all even those religions shun you if you don't accept their beliefs. There is not much freethinking in any religion.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Under a bridge.
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Religion requires evil. Without evil, there would be no point in religion, would there?
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