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Is religion important in your life?
Yes! I’m very active in my religion. 15%  15%  [ 4 ]
I enjoy my religion, but I wish I was more involved with it. 27%  27%  [ 7 ]
I have my beliefs but no set religion I belong to. 35%  35%  [ 9 ]
I’m interested in religion, but have yet to find one that suites me. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
I could care less about religion. 23%  23%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 26
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 Post subject: Religion
PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 6:02 pm 
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With this time of year with all the holiday celebrations, it seems that people tend to go to church more. I know this is a controversial topic, but I think it could bring up a good discussion.

How do your view religion?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 7:57 pm 
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I used to go to church every sunday. Sometimes, more than twice a week. My mother is a devout catholic, however, as I grew older I had some disagreements with assorted church doctrine.

My mother is catholic, my father is protestant and I have some certain views regarding both. Therefore the three of us sometimes get into debates. My sister used to be the same as me, but now she has stopped altogether.

I don't go to church but I still adhere to my religion and my beliefs. I'm also somewhat of a closet late Roman Empire/early middle ages history buff and having knowledge of the early church from that, it further shaped my beliefs.

However I do still adhere to my religion.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:59 pm 
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Wheee! Look at this here big ol' can of worms!

I *should* just walk away from this topic, since my views are far from 'standard'.

Let's see if I can be tactful...

In summary:

As long as religion provides people with what they need, I'm all for it.

However, I take issue with religious profiteers and/or zealots at every level, and to a lesser extent, the people that "follow" them. Especially when they attempt to intrude upon my space/rights.

Unfortunately, I also feel that a certain major religion has worked overtime (rather effectively) for a couple thousand years or so to shape society to further its own goals and/or coffers, via both covert and overt threats and manipulations.

As such, I'm thoroughly amazed that people adhere blindly to the teachings/writings/preachings handed down by those that obviously have a rather dubious set of moral/ethical standards.

It may or may not be the word of God, but regardless, it has been tainted by the hands of man.

Personally, I feel like the vast majority of us have the ability to look within ourselves and around us and instinctively know what is right, without being told what is right. And there's a term for those that don't: Sociopaths.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:26 am 
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I am a Christian, when I attend church it is usually Methodist. I am not very active in my religion, but I am extremely satisfied by it. I find it necessary for me to believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent, loving God. The particular concept of Organized Religion (especially the various Protestant Sects) does not sit well with me. Religion is an intensely personal thing, and the fact that many people adhere to a denomination and believe primarily what that denomination has for its set of values can be more than a little disturbing. When most people join a denomination they have their own distinct set of values, but overtime their values change to match that of their community. So instead of holding to their core values, they give them up and receive a different set of core values for the sake of community. I can see how this can be a good thing, but it can also be a terrible thing.

As for religious beliefs, I choose to believe in an omnipotent, omnipresent, and all-loving God. I choose to believe that Jesus was a real person, but I don't find whether or not he was the son of God to be particularly relevant to his message. As for the Bible, I choose to believe that while the depictions of Jesus in the Gospels may or may not be accurate, the message is. I don't find the letters to be of particular importance, and view them as the early Catholic Church micromanaging its individual churches, since I am not Catholic by a long shot, they are of little importance to me. I choose to believe that the Old Testament is essentially Jewish Mythology (creation myths, explanation myths, and a founding of state myth). It is entirely probable that many events are closely related to actual events, as with most Mythologies. For living my faith, I try to live up to Jesus's two main rules, pray sometimes, attend church rarely, and believe strongly in forgiveness. Finally for the Afterlife, I have no idea what happens after death, and am comforted by the fact that there is a God in this life and we probably don't need a second life.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:00 am 
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I am with Wheezel, so I will have to be tactful too...........

I personally am not religious at all, the only time you will see me anywhere near a church is for a wedding or a funeral.

Please do not get me wrong, I absolutely belive in the lord, but you do not have to attend church to belive.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:04 am 
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I know I have been absent and posting less frequent guys and I'm all for a discussion on this and so far it has been interesrting to see what you all have to say. Lets keep it as it is, light and friendly. :wink:

My views on religion are simple.

I am not religious in any way, like Grimlock Funerals and weddings and thats it. I don't care what religion you are I treat everyone as an equal.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:04 am 
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I am ANTI Religion and I posted that I couldnt care less for religion........ But............ My heart, life and soul belongs to Jesus Christ. I believe in God not religion. Religion was made up by "Man" to get things there own way. Jesus said out of all the commandments you need only follow 2, Love God with all your heart, mind, and spirit and to love your neighbour as you love yourself, and all the rest will come under these. Love GOD not religious traditions. :D Yes I am a "Christian" but I dont believe in denominations or sects. or CHurch names I see them as God moving foward showing more truth and love and then Man not seeing what is beyond it and holding onto it.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:50 am 
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I love my religion! If it wasn't for my church's leaders and members I don't think I'd be here right now. I've gone through a lot of rough moments in my life and it was my church, along with my parents, that helped me get over that hurdle in life.

I'm not very active in church, because of my work schedule mostly, but I'll never lose my religion like I did before.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:25 am 
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i believe that faith shouldnt be based on just one religion, so i try and look towards most of them if not all


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:58 pm 
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Yes I agree with some of the posts here. I want to support the idea that "Religion" per se, in today's context, has different connotations from "Faith."

Now, I see the distinction more as today's relgion incorporating various man-made tenets, structures (not literal structures), orders, and sometimes, political leverage. Faith is predominantly what one believes, and in whom (or Whom) one believes in.

IMO, the two are not mutually exclusive. Relgion can be a huge force for good, as well as villainy and the baser aspects of human beings. Bringing communities together, reinforcing social/moral values, indentifying a set of goals, striving for noble aspirations, helping your fellow man, and clarifying one's purpose in the world, and how that purpose in turn interacts with one's envrionment...all these things relgion particularly excels at that no other insitution or organization can readily match.

On the other hand religion has been exploited as a mass political tool (in modern times, fanatic Islam purveyed by Al-Qaeda-this is not true Islam) in present as well as past (the Crusades, and the promise by the pope of absolution of one's sins if they were to take up the call to arms against the "saracens"; for the Christian, absolution of sins is only possible through Jesus Christ).

Even before all the major religions of the world, when worship of the Greek and Roman gods reigned supreme and emperors were believed as divine, was religion used as a political tool, often to morbid and barbaric results. From this particular case, Christianity is born and it is quite an astonishing tale of its rise from surpressed and fobidden cult to sole official relgion of the entire Roman Empire in relatively very short amount of time, as even then it was used as a political tool.

However, for all its ill abuses by various governments, "freedom fighters", autocratic rulers, and individuals, I do not believe religion in and of itself is a bad thing.

It has just been used as a modus operandi for the less humane aspects of people to find an outlet. I once got into a prolonged debate with someone on the nature of religion, and how ultimately, it has been the root of all major wars (this was the other person's stance). My stance, and my belief, is that religion is, by its very characteristics, the most convenient way for the typical natures of man that stimulate warefare (greed, influence, power, control, wealth, etc. etc.) to be exercised with impunity.
Remove the concept of religion entirely from the psyche of the world, and just by the nature of Man do people continue to murder, enslave, steal, control, assault, and wage war on each other. Religion is just the easiest and most justifiable pretext for people to invoke for them to rationalize terrible acts. I believe that is why religion gets a bad rep.

Basically, you fault the measuring ruler instead of the school teacher chosing to wield the ruler, as opposed to an eraser (soft, blunt object) or chalk (imprecise projectile) or textbook (potential to have all other textbooks used against the teacher lol). Ha i know its a ridiculous analogy, but logically, i think it works out.

So, my post is not as light as CM would prefer perhaps, but IMO there're fortunately enough level-headed, intelligent people on here that we can discuss the topic and not have it degenerate into a full scale argument.

For what it's worth, I believe religion is man's way of conceptualizing and "incarnating" faith, as well as a way to enable something so personal to be shared and experienced relatively publically with other people, since humans are social creatures by our nature. Faith, as well as religion, has helped me tremendously in the past, and I admit I am a bit disappointed with myself for having some internal struggles regarding both...but c'est la vie.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:34 pm 
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well spoken overlord


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:03 pm 
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Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior, God is my father in heaven. I dont belong to a certain religion, but I will never lose sight of my beliefs. The bible is where I get my knowledge.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:42 pm 
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Whether or not you intend to participate in this discussion, read this.
I must step in to this discussion for a moment, with an important concern I must share with you.

While many forums strictly prohibit discussion of religion, politics, or any other 'hot button' opinion issue, we at TFL have yet to instate a rule against these discussions.

There is good reason, as you can guess, for the sites that do prohibit this discussions. Such discussions can easily turn into fundamentally or ideologically insulting topics for some forum members. Many people feel very strongly about their faith whatever it may be, and could be inflamed by remarks of those who do not share, or are opposed to, their beliefs. In a smaller internet community, these rifts can spread gaping wide, swallowing members and perhaps the whole community, whole.

It has already be addressed to me that this thread be closed, before the 'can of worms' turns into a raging firestorm, which would spread with all haste across such a small forum. I may yet be convinced to remove the thread and instate a similar rule that many other forums have adopted. I reserve the right to do this at any time without offering any explanation, as do my moderators and admins.

For now, however, I'm going out on a limb (a potentially unpopular one) to let this thread stand for the moment.

I believe that the TFL community, in our effort to be one of the nicest places on the internet, has accrued a cast of good forumers who will treat the enormous privilege and responsibility of this discussion with the utmost sensitivity and consideration for others. Further, I trust that you will not single out individuals who choose not to participate in this, neither questioning them to contribute nor question why they have chosen not to participate. Let this be an opportunity to learn about each other and share our ideas. Please do not make me regret this decision.

If you have any concerns about this thread, PM or email me immediately.


Your potentially-too-nice admin,

TT

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Here's to this thread hopefully not getting out of hand. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:25 pm 
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I think Overlord copied my paper....

(i.e. Nice job of eloquently expanding upon the things I briefly touched on in my summary!)

PS. Err, not to imply that you *actually* copied anything. Obviously, those are your original thoughts/musings.

PPS. Aaaah, the wonderful feel of eggshells beneath our feet.

PPPS. In other simpler words: I agree, Overlord.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:39 pm 
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Wheezel wrote:
PPS. Aaaah, the wonderful feel of eggshells beneath our feet.


:lol:

I think the fact that you all have managed to maintain a level of courtesy and thoughtful discussion as opposed to turning this into a bait & flame thread just goes to show what a great community of people we have here. Way to go!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:34 am 
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I hope thaat nobody took what I said the wrong :oops: I didnt mean to say that your churh or Religion is bad I just meant that God is there always listening and watching. I just see that alot of people tend to live there faith (unintentionly, usually due to bad leadership) through there church and or religion and miss out on the Real intimate times with God.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 9:07 am 
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I was raised a casual Catholic, but through a series of crises of faith, I have become a Buddhist. It has contributed in no small part to making me the person I am now, as I found my faith on my own, when I had questions and was looking for a change in my life. I think many of Jesus Christ's teachings are parralleled in Buddhism, both focus on love and compassion for others above oneself.

I am not discrediting anyone else's faith or choices by any means, my mother is still an active Catholic, and her faith brings her joy, strength, and fullfilment. She lives her faith everyday of her life.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:36 pm 
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It goes to show how great the members are at the TFL forums, that this thread can be left open. Thank you, too all for contributing.

As for my story,
I do not believe in God nor religion. I do believe that every person has a right to believe in any god, religion or faith they choose but does not have the right to impose it upon another person. No person should be villified or victimised for their beliefs or lack of and vice versa.
Just my view anyway

Is it possible to remove the poll part of this thread as I think it distracts from a person just sharing their answer to the question
Quote:
How do your view religion?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:31 am 
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The simplest way to describe my Beliefs is : I belive in God but chose not to worship him for he himself is flawed.

I grew up having Christianity force fed to me, with preachers that could never answer my questions without belittleing me, or treating me like... well... crap. And I'd watch these people who claimed to be "Christian" or "Catholic" go and commit act's and do things that they preached against. They all seemed like hipocrits to me... When I was fourteen I went to a sermon at a Baptist church with a friend, and as soon as I walked in the door I was told to leave because I was wearing all black, and had a chain wallet!

I think any person has a right to belive what they want to belive and shoudn't have to be harassed or ridiculed for it... and in MY experiance thats exactly what most religions do.

The Crusades are an example: "Belive in God the way we do or die"
I consider what the Catholic church did during those times "in the name of God" to be one of the greatest atrocites of human history.

I've studied several religions, I've read the New Testament front to back, I've had several friends of various beliefs that I've debated with and conversed... and the one constant I've seen is: Nobody looks at religon the same, and almost no one accepts every single fascet and word of thier Religion.

One of my best friends is a devout catholic, I have muslim, buddist and christian friends. All belive their religon is correct.

I've also seen things that make me belive their are powers out there other than "God"
I new a girl in high school who could chant a few phrases and her little Bic lighter would launch a 10 foot flame. I've had a good friend of mine stab his wrist with a fish hook and when he pulled it out his blood was able to melt sheetrock... produced quite a stink...
98% of religions or religious people will tell you that these are not possible, with 70% of all others will say the same... I can't make anyone belive it like, if you didn't see it you most likly won't belive it. I've met Wiccans that don't belive in powers such as these even!

Truth is it's hard to belive in something you can't see, feel, touch. But thats where Faith comes in, everyone who has posted here I'm sure has faith in there beliefs, and you have every right too...
I belive their is a Higher power, a "God" I just don't think he's the only thing out there and I don't think he has all the powers that most people belive he has.

In any case, I've always loved to talk about religion and faith.
But my biggest driving point in life is "I'll find the truth when I die"
and you don't need religion to know what's right or wrong.


Well that's my opinion... hope you all have a good day and a good life.

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