What do you believe?

Aug 2010
AlphaMike505 said:
The 21st century should be an age of reason and critical thought. Where can we find a community of people that live by these principles? The scientific community.

In science we are taught to challenge, investigate and re-challenge the prevalent thought of the day and investigate the world around us without fear of what we may find.

In religion adherents are taught to put aside their instinct to seek out the truth and accept as truth things that fly in the face of common sense. Those who refuse to accept the doctrine are dismissed to an afterlife in hell.

I ultimately hope that religion will go the way of Ogres, werewolves and other things supernatural . Into folklore as nothing more that fairy tales.

Some very interesting and introspective opinions and beleifs expressed in this thread. Strange that some of us have difficulty expressing ourselves about what we do believe.

Myself? Difficult to express. If one believes in the Bible, than you are reading the words of about 40-50 different authors, over 5,000 years, writing a story, that has a surprising chronological order and story to it.

Put 40-50 historians, philosophers or religious "experts" into a room together, give them a common topic, and have them each write a book about it, and see what you get? Probably 40-50 different stories, surprising how the Bible didn't turn out that way.

Divine inspiration? I don't know. To believe modern Christianity, one has to believe in Judaism, as the coincidences in the life and history of Jesus of Nazareth, are contained in the Old Testiment, while his history is contained in the New Testiment.

However, the version of Christianity that comes down to us, really isn't Jesus gospel (which means Good News), but Saul of Tarsus, Paul or St. Paul, if you are of the Roman Catholic Church.

Paul, according to the Bible is struck blind on the Damascus Road by a blinding light, and hears a voice asking why he is persecuting my people. The obvious reference is to the new sect of Jews who follow the Nazarine Jesus's message. He is ordered to go forth and preach Jesus' gospel to the gentiles, but first goes to Jerusalem, where he meets with Simon-Peter and James, Jesus's eldest brother, the "beloved" apostle, who are the "keepers of the new church" founded by Jesus. He receives their permission to preach that gospel to the gentiles, accompanied by Simon-Peter, who walked and talked with Jesus.

Paul's "conversion" is seven years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth. So his idea of the man is divine - and that is the gospel he preaches throughout the known world at the time. Since he never knew Jesus, and only has the recollections of the man from people who did know him, and believe in him, plus his own dramatic conversion, Paul teaches a divine version of the man as the Son of God, not exactly the gospel of Jesus himself, although close. So our understanding of Christianity is somewhat adjusted by man - Peter and Paul. Mark's gospel is of Jesus' life, as told by Simon-Peter, who knew Jesus. Some Bible historians believe Mark was a son of Peter.

It also is interesting to note that the Bible was put together by men, at the Council of Nicea, where the Roman Catholic Pontiff decided what would go in, and what was to stay out. The Catholic Bible today is the result of that council - divine inspiration, or just interpretation by a man, who the Catholic's believe is Christ's representative on earth?

Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation later, in challenging the Catholic version of the church's activities, essentially throws the baby out with the bathwater, and eliminates the pontiff; the saints; Marian worship and devotion; the mystery of communion; and confession through an intermediary, and allows you to speak directly to God, in the form of Jesus, and seek salvation and forgiveness by personal confession.

What I am saying then, is that organized religion has a number of "faults" as you follow it back to its source, that can't be explained by either Judaism, Catholic or Protestant Christianity, of which the Western world is founded on, Judeo-Christian principles.

Religion is belief. You can be born into a Jewish or Christian family, raised in their religion, attend all the rights and ceremonies associated with it, take all the sacraments, but if you don't believe, you are not a "member" of that religion.

Which leaves us with what do I believe. What I don't believe is that Jesus of Nazareth was a God, more of a Jewish teacher, although how he came up with his gospel, which is strange for its time, one has to take on Christian belief. His actions and ideas during his public ministry are very strange for a Jew in the first century AD.

If he is the son of God, than an all powerful, all knowing, and extremely angry God, is somewhere in the vast universe, keeping track of all of our sins and actions on a scorecard. At some point - and it has been a long time in human years, he will come back to earth, judge the faithful, reward them, and cast the sinful and unfaithful into eternal damnation, and hell. Those who are rewarded, will have their soul reunited with their human bodies.

At death, it is hard to reconcile the idea that we will see our "maker" who will judge us then, and either reward or punish us. Isn't it more likely that at death, we will remain asleep as "souls" only to come forth when the trumpets of the angels blow to meet our maker and be judged at the end of times? Sort of a paradox.

I believe in order in the universe, its balance, in nature, laws (gravity, the orbits of our planets, the life of our sun), the balance of our own internal, frail bodies, love, the free will to do as one wants, whether good or evil, believe as one wants, the presence of some type of higher power that keeps it all in balance, and working the way it should.

How it all came about? That is a matter for individual philosophers and everyday people to decide and believe. A belief in an afterlife, the continuation of a "soul" is not something that organized religion came up with. In fact, mos modern organized religions are pretty much the same.

When the first chimps and lemur's stood upright and began to walk around, and discover and invent things, essentially evolving with intelligence beyond that of their animal ancestors, they noticed that members of the tribe went to sleep and never woke up. When buried, everytime science finds a human remains with pots, pans, cups, weapons, money, even servants buried in, or near those remains, it reflects that community had a belief in an afterlife, and that is a long, long, long time before any human-type community began to write and interpret mankind, and the why's of the Earth, which is essentially what organized religion is...........Stan
Aug 2010
I am a Christian,... I believe and stand on the Word of God and on the Bible, in which I take literally and believe it is God breathed, without error. I am spiritual and not religious, I believe by faith. I also believe that science is also a belief born of faith, that everyone has faith even thought it might only be in themselves.

As a Christian I believe that God is the measure of all things, that God tells me what is good and bad/right and wrong. He has set absolute morality and I know what the boundaries are. I believe the person who doesn’t get their moral compass from God…..makes his up to suit the lifestyle he chooses to live. Some of God rules are tough, (might be why people do not want to believe in Him as they don’t want to be told what to do) but nevertheless I am commanded to follow them.

The person who tries to live without God sets his own rules.

I believe we are born with free will and because of this much evil has been done in the name of a lot of religions, Christianity and atheism included. I believe we are not born good, that each one of us has the ability to hurt and damage others.

I believe Jesus was not a hateful person and showed love even to His enemy. If Christians show hatred towards anyone they are disobeying God and they are breaking a commandment. However like I said no one is perfect, we attempt to be like Christ but know we can never attain His perfection. We do the best we can and our fruits should show the love of Christ that is in our hearts. Non-christians however hold Christians to this standard of perfection and unless they are perfect (which is impossible to be in the first place), they are seen as failures and the religion a failure as well.

I believe the Christians absolutist position is not only true, but consistent and compassionate.

I believe the apostle Paul said it best that, "IF you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you...if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name."

I believe what Jesus said…. that those who would follow Him would face trials and persecution. He was right. People have been making pot shots at Christ for centuries. When people curse using His Name, no one complains but if you speak about Him with respect or pray in His Name, people claim you offend them.

I believe there is power even in His Name. It brings comfort and healing to millions as it has throughout the ages...but also provokes in others venomous hatred and offense. It is for this reason that I believe Christians like me who believe and use the Name of Jesus and insist that He is the one and only way to God" based on scripture are viewed as being narrow minded religious bigots who represent a threat to society.

Christ is the center of my life.
Aug 2011
Blantyre, Malawi
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?? [/FONT]

You're description of Christianity in the beginning is that of a Catholics warped view.
Jun 2018
United States
Apostle's Creed

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary: Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead: He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty: From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost: The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints: The Forgiveness of sins: The Resurrection of the body: And the Life everlasting. Amen.

Nicene Creed

I BELIEVE in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God; Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God; Begotten, not made; Being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man: And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried: And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures: And ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of the Father: And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Ghost, The Lord, and Giver of Life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the Prophets: And I believe one Catholic and Apostolic Church: I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins: And I look for the Resurrection of the dead: And the Life of the world to come. Amen.
Jun 2018
United States
You're description of Christianity in the beginning is that of a Catholics warped view.
I disagree. His view on Christianity is his own. There are heretics in all denominations, Protestant and Catholic. His view on Christianity is from an illiterate atheist perspective.
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Sep 2018
cleveland ohio
Agnostic theism, agnostotheism or agnostitheism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a god or gods, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. The agnostic theist may also or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of the god or gods that they believe in. Agnostic theism, agnostotheism or agnostitheism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a god or gods, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. The agnostic theist may also or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of the god or gods that they believe in. Agnostic theism, agnostotheism or agnostitheism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a god or gods, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. The agnostic theist may also or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of the god or gods that they believe in. Agnostic theism - Wikipedia