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Problems With Religion

I used to say I was atheist.  How easy it is to say that you do not believe in anything, that you are free from religion and all of its splendor.  You have nothing to fear, nothing to have to worship.  You had nothing, in a very literal sense.  So then I began to explore the possibilities of religion.  How complicated they are!  You must be this, and learn that, and this particular thing or person is not allowed.  Just to throw this out here, my mother is bisexual.  So that basically shot down and killed hundreds of well-known religions right there.  I love her very much, and I support her in everything that she does.  No ******* religion is going to tell me that my mother is unholy, or unclean, or bound for hell.  So then I went to the "beginning to become very popular" wicca religion.  And for some of you out there, Wicca is not a Devil-based religion.  In fact, they don't even believe in the Devil.  They say that to give evil a name is to make it strong, so basically they just ignore the Devil and Hell all together.  I liked Wicca, but worshipping nature and so many different gods and goddesses was kind of blowing my "just a little bit religious" thing clean out of the water.  I wanted to have a little bit of faith, not a sudden downpour of gods from above.  So I guess now I'm agnostic.  I believe that there is some sort of power, being, entity, whatever you want to call it...but I don't worship it.  I don't even have a name for it.  Maybe it could be the Almighty Agnostic, god to all those of unsure religious beliefs.
LiquidFire89 LiquidFire89 18-21, F 32 Responses Sep 6, 2007

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Just know that you are not alone. I know I have those lonely days where I feel vastly out numbered and completely foolish for having alternative views. Truth is though, no human being is qualified to judge another human being for his/her spiritual beliefs, plain and simple. If anyone had definite answers they would be a very very wealthy and famous individual. Keep doing what you're doing, feeling what you're feeling, and most of all keep reading. You will get where you want to go just fine.

Kudos to you honey and your mom. I understand. It takes great courage to shout to the world who we are and believe in ourselves fearlessly !

All the best.

You can be spiritual and nothing more. I was a good christian but then i felt so embarrassed. Stupid was more like it. So i gave that up. Wicca was my next choice. I still dont believe in all of it.
We dont need religion in our life. It was man made. Just be natural, enjoy nature and get on with life. Nothing to think about. Dont waist any more time on the subject. Blessed be my friend. :)

I'm curious, what would you say to a ped0phile or a rapist who said he was just being natural, enjoying nature and getting on with his life?

I was agnostic for two years before I found Judaism. I personally do not care about what religion you are as long as you live a good life. If you want to say "I belong to this religion." or something research all religions and go far beyond the surface.

I am a Muslim and feel really happy with my religion. I worship, pray and talk to the almighty (the one and only) who said to me via Qur'an. I just never understand why people prefer to be an agnostic than to believe a God.

:-) I think higher powers should 1) not be so obsessed only with humans and 2) should be self-actualized enough not to need our worship.

Based on what evidence did you come to these conclusions?

Deism, is the belief in God and the rejection of any religion that tries to validate any form of faith. Deism holds that God does not intervene with the functioning of the natural world in any way, allowing it to run according to the laws of nature that he configured when he created all things. God is thus conceived to be wholly transcendent and never immanent. For Deists, human beings can only know God via reason and the observation of nature, but not by revelation or supernatural manifestations (such as miracles) – phenomena which Deists regard with caution if not skepticism.



I do not know if I am a Deist or not, I do know I support this philosophy above any other I have come in contact with. I do not know if I believe in Divine Creation by one God. I am open to the possibility that creation was everybody idea. I am open to the possibility that nothing had meaning until the complexities of evolving awareness gave it a reason to have meaning.



The only thing I do know is that truth can only be found when one has an open mind to see the existence of truth plainly.

How do you know Deism is true?

I think that you have hit the nail on the head here.Religion will tell you that the morals they espouse are the only morals and deviation is deviant! Morals are not the sole domain of the religious or there would be no confession or that ridiculous concept of original sin. I am Atheist, happily. I do have Christian and Muslim friends who I accept as people, seperate from beliefs. I disbelieve on a logical perpective, but that in no way makes me rigid to anothers system of theist adherence. As my father would say, "Acceptance does not require agreement, and disagreement need not create discord."

Thing is, mankind doesn't treat acts like ped0philia, the gunning down of innocent children, racial bigotry, sadism, genocide, gang rape and serial murder as just socially unacceptable behavior, like, say, picking your nose at the dinner table. Rather, these cause shock and horror and are treated as a moral abominations - acts of evil.

On the flip side, love, equality and self-sacrifice are not just treated as socially advantageous, like, say, bringing a girl flowers on a first date, but, instead are treated as things that are truly good.

Now, irrational beasts don't have **objective** morals. When a lion savagely kills another it doesn't think it's committing murder. When a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle snatches prey away from another it doesn't feel it's stealing. When primates violently force themselves onto females and their young they’re not tried and convicted of rape or ped0philia. Obviously, then, we certainly didn't “inherit” our **objective** moral sense from them.

**Objective** morals do not come from science either because science, by it's very nature, is morally nihilistic. Where, then, do we get our **universal objective morals** from?

Interesting. I feel the same right now, as you did when you were looking at all the different religions. But I think you can take a bunch of their ideas, like the ones you find agreeable, and leave the rest. I'm reading some Buddhism material right now and the oldest stuff has a lot of practical value. Buddha concentrated not on metaphysical things but on living a meaningful life. I value a lot of his teachings. I also think what the Gospels said about Jesus, you know, that he was in essence a pacifist, I think that has tremendous value. But in the end, I'm agnostic. I don't know about god, or enough about him so I just refuse to answer the question whether he exists or not. It's funny because most religious poeple i come across, even devout ones, don't have a clear conception of what exactly god is. I just want to mention one author to you though, one who I am lucky to have found recently: Alan Watts. Look at some of his books on amazon and the reviews. He may be what you're looking for (I'm reading his book right now called The Book. It's amazing)

I'm curious, what religious texts, if any, have you read and studied in their entirety?,

Your last sentence basiclly explains what i belive in

@Shellfinder,



Thanks for the preaching, but no thanks.

I was very confused at one time about religions. So, I asked God. What is truth? He answered me.

During the night I got awakened. I couldn't think, just hear. Sort of frozen. He said to me...

"I am the Great I am..the Alpha and the Omega. Cast off what is unnecessary, hold tight to what is good, and remember that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior forever and ever"



These words have answered every question, every trial I have endured, and given me the most peace ever. Believing is something you ask for, its a craving, for love in its purest form. What we want in this life, is to love someone, and be loved in return. The kingdom of God is within you already, He is there, waiting for you to love him...it is like a rose pedal, unfolding and pulling away the layers, one at a time slowly. Enjoying every single layer until he reveals himself to you. Believe like little children. Keep asking him...he is there for you, like a loving father.

Or the possibility remains that you brainwashed yourself. May I ask you this. If you had never heard of scripture, would you still know Christs name? What questions have you asked that are pure of outside influence? Have you discovered any truths that are simply true and require no further explanation? If any piece of your belief system is not your own then how valid is your testimony? Do you believe in God or is your belief really nothing more then your trust in a book? Books can be burned away, a true testimonies cannot.

Well, i guess we've been on the same experience. i was baptized as a Catholic, but i was agnostic since i was little. i went into wicca, i liked the principles and stuff, but i still questioned the existence of the divine being. In short, i am still an agnostic. tho i adhered to the pagan/wiccan principles for quite sometime, i still don't know if there is an almighty being out there. but hey, i enjoy being agnostic. this is what i call freedom.

Please clarify something for me if you would. How does belief in your Creator make you a prisoner? I don't understand the connection.

No society that rejected religion as it developed? The Soviet regime in Russia certainly did, as did the Maoist regime in China. We all know what happened to the sovs, but the Maoists seem to be doing just fine with an atheist society.

From the Original Catholic Encyclopedia.

oce. catholic. com/index.php?title=Bible (added spaces)



More sources (some of them protestant):



"After looking at the evidence, one can say without a doubt that, yes, the Bible is truly God’s Word."

gotquestions.org/Bible-God-Word.html



"Christians are confident that one's belief in the Bible as God's Word and the final authority for faith and life is documented and well founded. This conclusion has never been more valid in all of history than it is today."



faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/questions-of-christians/is-the-bible-really-gods-word



***Sources fixed ***

"Christians believe that the Bible is inspired by God yes, but that does NOT in ANY way mean that it is to be intrepted literally"



Now, if the god you believe in told you to do something. Would you not do it? I mean.. really?



They have found excuses to not follow literally what they do not agree with.



Christians reserve the right to what is to be literally taken. I was raised Catholic I know how it all works:

It is to be taken literally when is about love or when it supports their arguments. If it goes against society morals, human rights, or is considered to be inappropriate, then they will take it out of context or ignore it.



Giving credit, Christians have been able to adapt to the changes in human morality. Something that Muslims are failing miserably.



Do I think they should follow literally what the bible say? NO. That would be terrible for everyone.

Would that mean they should stop believing what the book says? My opinion: YES.

Will they do it? NO, they will pick and choose what is to be taken literally, like they have been doing it for years.

How do I know? First hand experience.





" It is not hypocritical to be rational while one seeks spiritual development."



When did I say that? I said:



" I think that if you are going to call yourself to be part of a group, you better be an active member and accept/practice the traditions and basic beliefs of that group. Or else I will think you are a hypocrite."



I was targeting you because It seems to me that you have not experienced being part of the Catholic church. You have shown a terrible misunderstanding of Catholic traditions. Yet you claim to have chosen Catholicism as you faith. Tell me something, have you been Baptized? You are not part of the group until you have been baptized, you are expected to accept that you believe in the trinity, to attend mass every Sunday and take the eucharist, to confess your sins to a priest at least once a year and to accept the Bible as the word of god (they mention this in mass after EVERY verse read in the bible).



Not long ago I attended a Catholic mass and they still regarded the verses of the bible as god's word. Since you did not provide support I went ahead and investigated:



What Catholics have to say about the bible:



"The Bible, as the inspired record of revelation, contains the word of God; that is, it contains those revealed truths which the Holy Ghost wishes to be transmitted in writing ... The Bible not only contains the word of God; it is the word of God. The primary author is the Holy Ghost, or, as it is commonly expressed, the human authors wrote under the influence of Divine inspiration. It was declared by the Vatican Council (Sess. III c. ii) that the sacred and canonical character of scripture would not be sufficiently explained by saying that the books were composed by human diligence and then approved by the Church, or that they contained revelation without error. They are sacred and canonical "because, having been written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author, and as such have been handed down to the Church". The inerrancy of the Bible follows as a consequence of this Divine authorship. Wherever the sacred writer makes a statement as his own, that statement is the word of God and infallibly true, whatever be the subject-matter of the statement."



Emphasis "The Bible not only contains the word of God; it is the word of God."



From the Original Catholic Encyclopedia.





More sources (some of them protestant):



"After looking at the evidence, one can say without a doubt that, yes, the Bible is truly God’s Word."





"Christians are confident that one's belief in the Bible as God's Word and the final authority for faith and life is documented and well founded. This conclusion has never been more valid in all of history than it is today."





"The Bible is God's Word"

http://www.believer.com/



--------------



You really have to stop and read what I write. And anyway, you can be spiritual in any way you want. You do not have to be tied to a religion.

Let us drop the debate then.



I just want to add my position on being Christian and not taking the bible as God's word:



The bible is the holy book of Christianity, Judaism and their ramifications. To be a Christian you have to believe that the bible is god's word, which prophesied the coming of Jesus Christ as savior. You have to act according to the bibles word. If you do not agree that it is god's word or do not think the bible is the full word of god, then you you are contradicting yourself.



I do not encourage people to be closed minded. However, I think that if you are going to call yourself to be part of a group, you better be an active member and accept/practice the traditions and basic beliefs of that group. Or else I will think you are a hypocrite.



When someone says that he/she have chosen to be a Catholic. I am assuming they went trough all the required steps to be a Catholic including RCIA and Baptism.



With this said, I encourage people to use logic and reasoning to lead their lives, instead of dogma. I think this will lead them away from organized religion.



By definition, Atheists should not believe in any god or devil, Agnostics should not claim they know of the existence of a deity, Satanists should not regard Jesus as their savior and Christians should not say their holy book is not the word of god.



I agree the bible has some great philosophical teachings. I accept that I have learnt a good deal from reading it. However, I disagree with away more things in the bible and do not believe it is some sort of god's word, nor I believe Jesus is a savior since I do not believe in the whole final judgement story. That, among other things, is why I do not call myself a Christian.



For the record, I am and Agnostic Atheist.

Why don't you believe?

I like debating with people that can set up and analyze claims;



"is an untenable argument. There is no way that the evidence of harm can be weighed against the evidence of good, and is thus a "belief" taken on faith by those who support it."



True, just as;



"Evolutionarily there is evidence that societies benifit from having a spiritual construct through which to understand the world."



There is no, that I know, concrete evidence to support that ALL societies (living and death) have evolutionarily benefited from religion. We would also have to define what an "evolutionarily benefit" mean in order to have a good start.



What I meant is that many, if not most, of the global tragedies are related to religion. The Holocaust (Jew is a religion), sept. 11th, the crusades, the inquisition, jihads, among others. Sure religion has done good things, however, how can we weight that against what I previously said?



"The separation of religion from the institutions of government is not a "rejection" of religion, it is only a recognition of religious pluralism which exists in modern society"



Yes it is. Recognizing religion pluralism is different than separation of state and religion. A nation can have a national religion, with no separation with the state, but still recognize other religions. You are allowed to participate with your religion, but not allowed to legislate for/against any religion. These are two different topics.



Perhaps, "rejection," was not a good word to describe what I mean. What I meant is that since there is a separation of religion and state, there should not be any religious influence on the construction of society. Which clashes with your claim:



"All existing societies have a religios construction"



...

"According to the CIA the population of the US has the following religious demographics "



I am not saying that the US prohibits religion.



"Your next claim is counterproductive to your argumentation. That, "Religion has been programmed into people since ancient times as an answer of the unknown. There have been, probably, hundreds of thousands of religions due to this." The claim religion has been programmed into people is evidence that there is something about it that is net beneficial to humanity and society. "



Not it is not. Just because something has been there for a long time does not mean it is beneficial, in scientific standards. Also, just because traditions are taught to next generations means all those traditions are beneficial. Human sacrifice, for example.



Now, since in many religions, christian for example, indoctrination is done at a very young age, before it can be rejected/questioned by the subject, people has it programmed in their brains. Their brain is taught to accept claims without questioning them. They are taught to fear. I think this is a very dangerous situation, which has no benefit to the individual. I think this is what causes religious extremism. This is what causes wasteful debates, such as ID. This is what causes hate crimes. This is what causes bad government officials that are elected just for belonging to a certain church. This is what causes Crusades, Jihads, 9/11s, and so on. My opinion of why religions do not benefit society.



"As to your claim that most religious groups have agendas. You make this sound like it is necessarily bad. Not all agendas are bad, and EVERY group has an agenda, or the group would not exist. People join groups for a reason. "



True, but we also know that many of this groups may have hidden agendas that many of the people in such groups do not know about. Now, you were claiming the below:



"I do not believe the faith one chooses matters,"



It does matter because you could be in a "faith" that harms, directly or indirectly, other people. If you agree with that then that is another story. But, if you have a choice, like you say, would not you prefer a "faith" with a clean record?



"In the section where you , "use our (sic) own analogy against you (me)" you fail to meet the standards of scientific reasoning in your argument. First, you have not provided a single example of a country which has actually rejected religion. "



This sounds like a straw man argument. I said "There are societies, still surviving, that have rejected religion into their systems." You already acknowledged that this means the separation of state and church. I never said that the US, or any other country, prohibits the participation of religions.



By prohibiting the legislation of laws pro/con religions and by failing to establish a national religion, the state rejects the inclusion of any religion into the system.



According to



Austrailia, Mexico, the US, Germany, among others, have a separation of church and state.





"In response to your example: the idea that the colonists had more advanced weaponry does explain that they "won" but having better technology does not mean that one does not have religion (i.e. there is not a directly inverse relationship between the two) and the colonists were very religious. This is the failure to separate the variables."



Both had religions/faith. However, one had more advanced technology. The one with better technology won. My claim was, and is, that Science and Technology increase the chances of survival of societies regardless of them having faith, or not. You are the one claiming that Faith is the one that increases the chances of survival.



"You fail to give an example of any society that has "rejected" religion, and also fail to address the impacts of religion on human psychology. " Again, straw man argument?





"While this statement is true it does not in any way prove that religion does not. All three of these things increase the chances of survival"



I claim that Science and Technology do. You are the one claiming that Religion does.





"First, why does god need to be a creator?



I did not say god was the "creator." If you are a Catholic you must believe that god is the "creator," and that the bible is the full word of god. If otherwise, you are not a Catholic.



"Secondly, no educated person reads the creation myths in the Bible as if they are historically and scientifically accurate." If you are a christian, you should. The bible is the full word of god (the creator of everything), according to christian religions.



"They are myths which are meant to teach moral ideals." There are many other publications that do as well.



"Also, belief in something does not prove that it is true." Totally agree.





"Scientists used to believe that there was an "ether.""



Some scientists used to accept the theory that mentions the "ether.," would be a more accurate statement. All theories may be replaced at some point.



I have read the bible and found some atrocities that do not teach any morality. Such as Lot being raped by his two daughters.



My conclusion was also flawed in purpose. oh well.



"Finally, let us no longer pretend that science should have any bearing of religion or religion on science. Let us do what our fore fathers did in a first step. Let us put religion in it's place, away from politics, away from science..."



I totally agree with you. However, I do not think here is the place to post that for most of the people here are not pushing for religion to be incorporated to science and politics.

"But this logic is flawed, a lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack," True



"Evolutionarily there is evidence that societies benifit from having a spiritual construct through which to understand the world. "



The harm gotten from the "spiritual construct through which to understand the world." is greater than any benefit.



"All existing societies have a religios construction." Not true.



"This indicates that there is an evolutionary (natural selective) benifit to "faith."" Flawed logic. There are societies, still surviving, that have rejected religion into their systems. US is one of them. Just because statistics say that a society has a majority of certain religion, it does not means that such religion benefits society as a whole.



Religion has been programmed into people since ancient times as an answer of the unknown. There have been, probably, hundreds of thousands of religions due to this.



" (I chose the Catholic faith, you can read more about that in a story I have posted). I do not believe the faith one chooses matters, as long as it meets basic philosophical requirements (which I will not go into unless people ask via messaging me)."



This is really dangerous. It does matter what group you participate with. Most religious groups have agendas. They promote fear and blind obedience. Specially the christians group (Catholics are christians as well). They are well known for using their followers to fulfill hidden agendas. Read below quote:



"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

Voltaire.



Now. let me use our own analogy against you, using actual support. Science and Technology benefit societies in a natural selection form. The societies that use Science and technology have increased life span, enjoy better health, they have better equipped armies, they provide better education, they have better weaponry and better quality of life.



Support:

The colonists had more advanced science and technology when they came to the Americas. Therefore they enjoyed better weaponry. They defeated the natives (who had faith in something) thanks to that advanced weaponry (Science and technology).



Conclusion:

A belief does not increase or decrease the chances of survival (natural selection). However, science and Technology does increase the chances of survival to societies.



Most Scientists, the providers of science and technology, reject the existence of an intelligent creator. Therefore, that creator does not exists.

Hehe. Yeah I considered becoming Wiccan myself as I was drawn to some aspects of the religion. But I decided I would make a horrible Wiccan as if I can't even bring myself to believe in one god how could I believe in several? And the whole magic thing was hokey to me too. I suppose I am just too tragically skeptical for any type of spirituality. :-p

I find complete honesty in your description of your relaionship with angosticism. I agree with much of what you say. You have a kindred spirit here.

Auaumn3

I find complete honesty in your description of your relaionship with angosticism. I agree with much of what you say. You have a kindred spirit here.

Auaumn3

I find complete honesty in your description of your relaionship with angosticism. I agree with much of what you say. You have a kindred spirit here.

Auaumn3

LiquidFire89, as you have found out religion is NOT for the benefit of society.



I like your anger at this because of the obvious love you have for your mother.



Oh, there's a Hopeful Agnostic forum too. Read Dawkins God delusion if you get a chance.



Just watch out for those Atheists! Although at least they don't quote stuff about codswallop from the Bible.

Atheists are not a threat. I don't know where all this fear of Atheism comes from. It's like saying beware of the people who stepped out of the ring and no longer fight. Not knowing what to believe in caused them to stop believing in everything. I say this if you fear Atheism you are secretly like them. You don't know what to believe, so you let your fear dictate your action.

Totalitarianism is by necessity atheistic which is why it has always been atheistic in scope.

These brainwashed children with gnostic atheism, teaching them that there was no such thing as God even though they had no evidence to support their positive claim. They also brainwashed children to believe atheists were more rational that theists because the latter suffered from insanity which is why they believed in God in the first place. The combinations of all this dehumanizing brainwashing fueled their psychotic bigotry and hatred for all theists just for being theists.

Historically, that's how the indoctrination of the religion of Gnostic Atheism was carried out. As such, Gnostic Atheism is a ferocious enemy of freedom and a threat to all free-thinkers.

It is liberating when you let go of your dogma and search for something else. I too consider the possibility that there is something out there but I am not sure exactly. But it may be a neutral entity of love. Maybe all people who have had life transforming experiences have encountered this entity and It transformed their lives. People all around the world are having these experiences. I have a website. I will post it at the bottom of this comment. Try to keep searching for the truth guys.



http://loveistheonlysalvationmessage.wetpaint.com



P. S. I used to be a Christian and my family still is. Now, I consider it to be unprovable. But my website is the message that I now believe in.

How did you come to conclude it was indemonstrable and unverifiable?

I too am agnostic. I tend to lean more towards there is a god than there is not. But, I don't doubt the possibility either way. I used to be brainwashed by about every religion out there and never found god or the truth in any of them. I am happy being agnostic and have never felt more FREE.

Agnostic means open to any and all possibilities. I stipulate that I am open but I lean whatever way seems most relevant at the time.

Free to do what? How does faith in God make anyone a prisoner?

I CAN UNDERSTAND YOUR FEELING ABOUT RELIGION.MY HUSBAND AND I LEFT THE CHURCH 3YRS BECAUSE HOW ORGANAZED IT WAS.WE HAVE A HOME GROUP NOW, WE TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING LIKE LIFE ISSUES, OF COUSE THE LOVE OF CHRIST.WE EXCEPT EVERYONE GAY STRAIGHT WE DONT CARE . JESUS IS LOVE SO WE SHOULD COME IN LOVE AND NOT JUGDE ANYBODY. I HOPE YOU FIND PEACE IN YOUR JOURNEY.

How do you pick and choose which parts of the Bible to follow and which parts to ignore?

I believe in a higher power, but not in all these religions, in believe in spirituality, is this agnostic? Science contradicts too much of what religions teach that is what turns me off about organized religion. But I feel the need to believe in something after life on this earth is over.

If I may, in what specific ways has science refuted the Bible?

You reveal yourself to be a special girl in the love for your mother. Ken Wilber, I think you would enjoy reading him, calls God "spirit unfolding." I think your search is what makes you an agnostic.

I have given this a lot of thought like a LOT of thought and I recently wrote it down - let me know what you think - Read it slowly and see. It isnt like perfect but I think it is well - the truth



www.livingchaos.wordpress.com

I attempted to read but the grammatical errors on something you have chosen to be deliberate in (It is the truth!) makes it incredibly hard to understand enough to agree, disagree, or admit to one or the other in cetain portions. To write the 'literal' truth in poetry is also not the greatest medium to choose either.