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Old August 31st, 2008, 10:49 PM   #1
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What do you believe?

Here is your chance - simply state what you believe (or what you don't believe). There is no need for debate or confrontation in this thread. . . just simply state your beliefs.



I will start:



Here is what I believe -



I have a God of my understanding, but it is not a God that lies “somewhere out there” – my God simply lies within myself. Organized religion (specifically Christianity) teaches us that we are sinners with an angry God looking down upon us from Heaven above, constantly judging us for our many trespasses. Furthermore, Christianity teaches that Jesus will come again to “judge the living and the dead,” sending the righteous to Heaven and the nonbelievers to Hell. I believe that these teachings of Christianity are not only erroneous, but are meant to scare us into attending Church every Sunday, praying to a God that doesn’t exist, and tithing to the Church to help atone for our sins: Hence, “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give the rest to God.”



I don’t believe in Satan or evil. I do believe that Humans are less than perfect and make mistakes, leading to misunderstandings, hatred and resentments – even wars. Perhaps the biggest mistake we make is using organized religion to justify our actions – self righteousness takes over. It seems that every school of modern theology likes to point the finger and say, “We are right and you are wrong.” The need to be right all the time is – in my opinion – one of the biggest flaws of mankind.



I don’t believe I am right (even by writing this post) – I do believe that I am human: subject to the same trials, tribulations and fate as everybody else. Simply put, I believe that we all go to the same place when we die (where that is specifically, I don’t know. Nobody else really knows either – since no one has ever come back from the dead). Whether or not we are simply “food for the worms” is up to debate. I just think that it’s silly to debate that. Any reasoning man can see why. . .



I believe in science, evolution and the teachings of history. I believe that Christianity (and some other religions) want to set us back and keep us from learning the truth. I don’t believe that we are alone in the universe – how big are our egos if we think we are??



I believe that every man has a right to his opinion – he just doesn’t have a right to force that opinion on me or anyone else.

I believe in the paradox of “looking within thyself” for answers to one’s “spiritual questions,” while looking to science (and the outward universe) to explain why we are here. I believe that Christianity may just have that paradox backwards. . .



I believe that I am less than perfect – just like everybody else – no better or worse than my fellow humans. What right have I to preach to and judge others?? The only thing that I believe I have a right to is my opinion – nothing more or less.



I believe that mankind is experiencing a spiritual crisis right now – we want to move forward (progress in knowledge and intellect), but are in fact moving backwards because of religion (read: Christianity – at least here in the US). That is something that concerns me. We are in fact regressing spiritually – and if the trend is not reversed, unpredictable things could happen. . .



That is what I believe – what about you??
 
Old September 1st, 2008, 07:08 AM   #2
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I have to say, without taking time to write something of similar length, that I find myself in about the same place as you, Nightrider.



My strict Catholic background and upbringing proved to be incompatible with my inquisitive mind. One had to go, and I wasn't about to turn my brain off.



These days, I consider myself a student of life and of spirituality. (I spend time with my Bible quite often, but these days, I consider it a reference book.)



My wife also has a Catholic background and upbringing. While she no longer considers herself a Catholic, her Christian beliefs are very important to her. She and our daughter attend a non-denominational Christian church service most Sundays. I go along sometimes, especially when I know there will be an engaging and thought-provoking speaker.



We are doing our best to introduce our daughter to all aspects of spirituality, and answer her many questions. She is constantly asking questions that we do not have answers for. I love when this happens, because it means I get to do some research and introspection to determine my own feelings on a topic. In other words, she is teaching us just as much as we are teaching her. It's one of my favorite things about being a mom.



Sorry, I realize this post wandered a little from the "What I Believe" subject, but I thought this background on my life would help readers understand why I am where I am right now.



This is a great idea for a thread. I hope it will lead to good discussion and a better understanding of one another, and will NOT lead to arguing and sniping pointlessly.
 
Old September 1st, 2008, 07:47 AM   #3
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I believe there is divinity. That the spiritual and the scientific doesn't automatically have to disprove each other. There are many paths that lead to the Light, and all of them are correct for those who follow them. You have to find a path that speaks to your soul, and work toward inlightenment.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 08:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronwyn
I believe there is divinity. That the spiritual and the scientific doesn't automatically have to disprove each other. There are many paths that lead to the Light, and all of them are correct for those who follow them. You have to find a path that speaks to your soul, and work toward inlightenment.


That pretty much sums up my experiences and perspective as well.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 01:49 PM   #5
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It depends on what you mean by 'believe'. Belief in regards to a general universal meaning or truth? 'Meaning' isn't some kind of universal truth, we merely ascribe meaning to things and phenomena. It makes more sense to me if you ask me what I believe within a context, or what meaning I see in certain phenomena, as opposed to just "what do you believe".
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Old September 1st, 2008, 03:05 PM   #6
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I like this thread. When I feel like typing more than a couple sentences, I'll give mine.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 06:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katczinsky
It depends on what you mean by 'believe'. Belief in regards to a general universal meaning or truth? 'Meaning' isn't some kind of universal truth, we merely ascribe meaning to things and phenomena. It makes more sense to me if you ask me what I believe within a context, or what meaning I see in certain phenomena, as opposed to just "what do you believe".
Just answer the question. It's obvious what he is looking for.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 06:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightrider
Here is your chance - simply state what you believe (or what you don't believe). There is no need for debate or confrontation in this thread. . . just simply state your beliefs.


I believe that crapping in this thread will result in banning.




If you feel the need, just start your own thread and let the "debate" begin.



You have been warned.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 07:02 PM   #9
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I'll have a stab.

I am a believer in Christ Jesus. I believe that He was literally born, lived a sinless life, died as a sacrifice for our trespasses, and resurrected from the dead s a testimony of His deity. I believe that God is love, and demonstrated His love through His minsitry and death.



I believe in the Trinity; that God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are coequal. God is all present, immortal, all knowing, and not created.



I follow the Bible literally, which is my own choice. I believe it to be God-breathed, or inspired by God. It helps me with tough questions that go beyond the grasp of simple logic and resoning. I also believe it to be a manual on how to live while on this earth.



I was once a Satanist, a White Supremacist, and on drugs. I admired witchcraft and anything that had to do with mysticism. None of these things satisfied my thirst for understanding. I once hated myself, wanted to kill myself because of the empty void that could not be filled.



As a believer in Christ Jesus, I am now a new creature. I no longer have an empty void in my soul. I now see that my life has purpose beyond eat, sleep, and mate. I love all people, when I once hated all. I help all people, when I once wanted many dead. My faith is outward in my life as a testimony to my Lord. My faith is also inward, directed at a personal God.

If this seems narrow-minded then I'm doing a good job. Katc-you can call me stupid. Alli-you can call me intolerant. I defend your right, as Americans, to believe what you want.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 07:11 PM   #10
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I believe there is a Higher Power that transcends gender and consciousness as we know it - I usually refer to it as "The Higher Power", "Deity", "The Divine", or "Universal Energy". I believe that it is an energy that permeates the universe and everything in it, instead of a sentient, omniscient, omnipotent Being that is sitting somewhere watching us all.



The similarities between various world pantheons in the types of Gods and Goddesses (Love, War, Fertility, Home, Death, etc.) leads me to believe that the various Gods and Goddesses of the various religions are all aspects of the same Higher Power, "broken down" by man into something that we can relate to, and to help deal with whatever needs dealing with at that point.



I usually view the Deity as aspects of masculine and feminine energy, the God and the Goddess. I also embrace the idea of "Harm None" ("An it harm none, do as ye will" - the Wiccan Rede) and the thought that what energy you put out will come back to you threefold. In this way, my Path is similar to Wicca.
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