What is your religion?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Asmodeus, Aug 23, 2014.

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  1. As any keen-eyed Iwakuan will know, religious topics often degenerate into bear poking and narcissism.

    HOWEVER, in those few golden moments before the thread is locked, we see some great insights into what people believe and hold sacred.


    What system of beliefs do you have?

    [Atheists and believers alike... please do not troll, criticize other beliefs, back-talk to previous posters, spam jokes or enforce your ideas on others. We have a rare opportunity here to show how grown up we are.]
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  2. For myself, I follow Hermeticism.

    I'm a sucker for "total systems" - i.e. beliefs that attempt to explain the totality of ideas, civilizations and cosmic destiny. Hermeticism is great because it blends elements of Tarot, Paganism, Astrology, Angels and Alchemy. It's like everything I read while I was growing up has been consolidated into a systematic structure.

    For me, Hermeticism was a great next step after I had exhausted Christianity. It took me further into ideas of what man can achieve through his personal empowerment, how the angels play into this endeavour in their many forms, and how enlightenment can help us climb the World Tree towards the heavenly state.

    Hermeticism draws in the Joseph Campbell world of narrative arcs, and how the literary protagonist is in essence seeking alchemical perfection. It preaches a future unity between the male and female spirit, and the sanctity of the Heavenly Androgyne. And it also incorporates many of the Jungian processes of psychotherapy. The idea of meeting your archetypes, confronting your other gender and climbing the rungs of the Cosmic Ladder is a fantastic way of looking at spirituality, psychological recovery, narrative and human relations.

    Hermeticism derives from Ancient Egypt and has extended into most branches of Western thought, including Shamanism and Wicca. What I love are the resonances. I love how you can liken Jesus to a Shaman; how you can see angels as equivalent to Jungian archetypes. How you can relate the ideas of Alchemy to the modern study of Quantum Physics.

    Like I said, it's like a big blob of a religion that sucks in and aligns with the best ideas of our history. Sure, it's cherry picked. But it's a religion that acts like a person. It takes the best of the things around it and tries to make sense of them.

    As above, so below.
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  3. I believe in myself, because no other can do for me as well as I can do it for myself.

    Though I do like the ideas and practices behind paganism and Wicca and those things, curiosity, but if it brings you comfort I can't poke fun at it.
  4. I am a Anglo Saxon Buddhist 8D

    I treat all humans like my brothers an sisters and always consider whether my actions are something that will ultimately and inevitably benefit the whole of the human race.

    I through my religion, detach myself from the material and push my self to the physical limits to achieve inner peace.

    I worship my ancestors and respect my parents, regardless of my feelings, in my family there is no complaining or crying, as a child you speak when spoken to and you take the word of your parents and elders as something sacred.

    Fortunately for me my parents turned out pretty ok after I hit adult hood but my grandparents and monthly visits to the temple kept me from returning to Christianity's salvation.

    I have found a place within myself and on this earth that I wish I could be at all moments of everyday that I live and through my life I am slowly piecing together my past lives to achieve inner peace.

    I believe that we are all one and through my heritage I study into Norse mythologies and worship nature and the laws of the universe, I give myself to the chaos of its nature and allow it to work through me to answer my higher calling, to be and do as I was born to.

    I live everyday in remembrance of my families philosophies and morals.

    Between Buddhist philosophies and worship and Anglo Saxon affinity for nature I have found my niche in the universe while I live through the pains of life.

    In many ways I am always preparing my soul for that higher consciousness.
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  5. I am an atheist, taking on the least strict formulation in that I 'lack a belief in deities and the supernatural', an imo natural consequent of my overall adoption of skepticism.

    That being said, in terms of positively defining my world view, I hold empiricism and the natural sciences (most especially logic and mathematics) in very high regard. I also like to read up on both classic (mostly Greek schools or from the Scientific Revolution) and modern philosophies to broaden my understandings on what others have formed over sublime topics like morality, purpose (telos, not techne), and theories over knowledge and belief.
  6. *squint*

    I grew up in the middle of religion warfare between my Mom who chose to be a Jehovah's Witness to piss off her mom, and my Grandmother who called herself Christian even though I don't recall her ever being religious eeeeveeer. So for awhile, I was very angry and confused on the whole god front because both of them pretty much just used religion as a weapon and all I ever heard was all the ways I was disappointing god. D: When I got in to my angsty teen years I did some religious research in to a few different religions, because I wanted to know what they were REALLY about, without all the agenda-filters on. I found that most religions share the exact same values, and are pretty much the same package, just with different names, stories, and a few new rules.

    For me, I don't believe in a sentient god. An almighty being(s) making conscious choices that affect our lives. Nor one that's just hanging out watching. It dun make any sense to me. >> BUT I do believe that there are powerful forces at work. So god isn't this deity, it's eeeverything. Cosmos, universe, all that is. I'm not aligned with any religions and I am not really spiritual. Though, sometimes I kind of wish I had that as a part of my life, cause it can bring you more structure and inner peace? But I have never really "felt" any religion I came across, and I am not interested in halfassing something that important. O_O
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  7. Raised Roman Catholic. However, as I grew older, I found myself disagreeing and questioning far too much to remain a follower. I guess you could say I'm the type who needs to experience something for herself before really believing in it. (Go on, ask me if I believe in the paranormal. You'll think I'm crazy.)

    I didn't like the way our Religion class in the Catholic school system sugar coated all of the atrocity throughout history.
    I certainly didn't like that in public high school, we were taught that evolution was the absolute truth and that all religion was make-believe.

    I've seen so much ugly from both sides of the coin that I decided I wasn't going to take any sides. Instead, I would focus on what's beautiful and similar and how both sides can influence society in a positive light.

    Do I 100% believe in a god? Nope.
    Do I 100% believe in evolution. No way.

    Not having a solid belief leaves me with many unanswered questions but you know what? I'm fine with that.

    But that doesn't mean I don't respect the opinion that is different than mine. It certainly doesn't mean that any opinion different than mine is any less worthy.
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  8. Pastafarian
  9. My parents both came from semi-religious families (my father's a lot more then my mom's) but we were never that religious while I was growing up. Each of us have sort of settled into our own individual belief systems over time though. My mom doesn't usually ask and it never comes up around any of my other relatives. Personally I'm an Eclectic Wiccan, although I did a lot research on different religions and belief systems before deciding that was the one for me.
    #9 Cosmic Fey, Aug 24, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  10. I was raised Roman Catholic by birth, but I turned away some time in my early teens. By twenties I, like many my age, was convinced that I knew all there was to know about the world and religion, as well. As I got older I did a far amount of drugs, which lead to some light shamanism and a touch of Buddhism. Mostly finding ones self and learning about the "inner you" via controlled drug ingestion and spiritual guides. Though all these things had a part in my ever developing spirituality, it was the latter two that really molded my view in terms of religion and the like.

    I don't often share my religious beliefs as I tailored them for me and only me. They answer my questions and do little to nothing for anyone else. And it is for this reason that I do not even bring up that I have any such views. However, this is one of the more civil threads I've ever been part of, so I will share this once.

    I believe that all living things have some manner of energy and when we die, people in particular, we are brought to a huge collective of energies that all mingle together in one big proverbial pot. Within, they share their experience and knowledge. I believe that it is this that we see when we are near death. This is the various heavens, and the mass of us is the gods we witness. When we speak to our gods we speak to this. I also think that this mass spits us back out, with a new mix of energy to try and see if we fit better. Eventually we will all fit together like pieces of a puzzle. Constantly bring in new things to make new things until something happens.

    What will happen? Well, I'm not quite sure on that, to be honest. I never think about it. I'm content with what I thought up and I use it to remind myself that I can be hurtful or kind to the world but I am only being so to myself. So the old adage of treating others the way you want to be treated gains a larger perspective.

    That's about it.
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  11. I am a Christian.

    I believe in Yaweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
    I believe in Jesus the son of God, raised by a carpenter, who went on to teach of love and forgiveness and demonstrated those traits in his life. I believe in the man who chose to spend time with prostitutes and tax collectors instead of his own spiritual leaders, who chose fishermen to help him rather than the Levite priests. I believe in the man who was sentenced to death on the Roman cross. And yes, I believe he died for the sin of the world and was raised again three days later.

    Call me crazy if you like, but it's what I believe.

    And I believe in "loving thy neighbor as thyself." Christ taught love over everything else. He taught compassion and caring, that people should look after each other and help those in need. And he lived it. I believe that actions can and do speak louder than words.
    I believe in the Bible and the words printed there.
    After all how can anyone expect another person to meet a standard when that person does not already agree that said standard actually exists? I believe in living out what I believe to the best of my ability and that I have no right to point fingers when I myself am not perfect.

    I do not believe blindly. When I was in college and had to choose for myself whether what my mom had taught me was her faith, or mine as well, I did a lot of research, a lot of fact checking, and a lot of reading before I came to the decision that yes, I did believe in Christ.

    For anyone who's currently trying to decide what faith they will or will not follow (if any) I highly recommend doing your own research.
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  12. Another one raised Roman Catholic, though not in a very strict manner. We stopped attending church around age 10, and we haven't actively practiced in 11 years. My mother still believes in God; my dad, I have no idea. He was never Catholic. He was Lutheran, and even then I never heard much from him in the way of religion or beliefs. My brother is an atheist (I think?) and I'm agnostic. Most of my family are not 'active' Christians, except for one aunt/uncle and their kids. They are the only people in my family that will probably never discover my sexuality until I'm engaged, and that I guess is the test. I mean, multiple times I've seen anti-gay marriage things sitting around, even stuck on the fridge, or said by my uncle. However, my cousins... not so much. Tumblr may not be a great place, but if it was good for one thing, it was that.

    Idk what I'm really rambling on about here. I don't have much of a belief system. I try very hard to believe in a higher power, an after life, maybe rebirth, but my mind asks too many questions. "Just believe it" isn't good enough for me. I have a petrifying fear of death and really believe some belief system would help with that, but I just... can't commit to it. I can engage myself with a form of religion, but I know, just like with Christianity, I'll be asking too many questions to really be a part of that faith. It's all very scary for me. I'm truly jealous of those people so devoted to their faith, so sure of it. I love learning about religion, really.
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  13. I'm agnostic I should say, raised Christian, so yeah, I've heard and still hear a lot of Nonsensical sounding stuff. I'd like actual physical proof before believing something's real, and I hate when I'm hit by that "what about air..etc." crap, either we know it as real, fake, "magic", science, or something we currently can't solve..

    Though, I do lean more towards Buddhism, Cause I cherish pretty much everything, I'm grateful for my birth and I patiently await my death. On that note, I'd gladly end it if something worse than dying by my own hands were standing before me. That's one reason Christianity disgusts me to a degree, it practically says that "The savior will have a plan" but where's the humanity in that, If you truly are in a hopeless situation and know you're going to die a indescribable death, why put your trust in something you are completely unaware of (besides spiritually which is actually pretty similar to a self-group social relation, people generally act the same about sports or music), and instead meet that awful death in an already truly hopeless situation...(Unless you really want to fall into magma; for example.) Off that note, sorry, about ranting on about suicide as an example.

    I personally don't care for religion, I just want to pamper myself and heck, my close friends and family(maybe) while we're still here, not when we're dead, we don't have working bodily functions without being alive right? how would we feel or even see that we're being pampered, takes the fun out of being in Heaven or, the Navel of the World, or The World Tree, or Elysium, or a Deva, right?.(just to name a few)
    In all honesty, I think religion was once man's way of saying "Hey!, my life has a purpose, and so does yours! We clearly weren't spawned by accident due to a logical means that we're currently too undeveloped to understand. "
    But that's just me.
    No offence to anyone or anything, that for whatever reason found this offensive.
    I love you. I'll even take off my chestguard and let you punch my squishy human skin.
    I'm lying, but religion is kind of a weird topic, it's like languages or people, theres so many of them, and ALL of them are complex.
  14. I have no religion. I've found no answers attributed to the supernatural to be plausible and am more comfortable admitting I do not know or understand something than to conform to a view that lacks evidence.
  15. Unfortunately for me, I have a natural predisposition against religion partially due to the way some people tend to abuse it nowadays. Though it's mostly because of my parents, as they tried to force me to believe in their religion without ever giving me any say. For a while, I did believe in it, until I realized that I didn't truely believe in it and was only attempting to in order to please my parents, which I no longer care enough to actually do. So, in other words, I'm agnostic, I accept the possibility of a god or gods, but refuse to believe in one unless suitable evidence is presented, which likely never will be.

    That being said, my hat goes off to those much braver than me that are capable of putting all their faith into something that could very easily not be true.
  16. I'm agnostic. Depending on the day I can be nearly atheist due to my analytical nature, to some weird blend of western naturalist daoist (I don't type taoist because lingual history show how badly the Wade-Giles system screwed up). The universe is freaking amazing. We are star stuff, we are a part of the natural order of things, we are observers and doers and our greatest enemy is ourselves!

    Are there things out there that science can't explain? Of course. Is it unexplainable? No! Science should not be viewed as a belief system but a tool! A tool that is constantly being improved (& occasionally being used improperly). A belief system to me is a lot like a hypothesis. It's an educated guess due to a lifetime (human or civilization) of observation and trying to put pieces together that are of many differing fields, from social, to physical. If you're not putting it to the test though, you get dogma!

    So what do I believe? I believe I don't have all the answers, but neither do you and the important thing in this life is to make life better for those around you, human and animal alike, and if that is too much for you, just don't make life worse.
  17. I'm agnostic also. I was raised in a Christian home, my mom going to church and my dad not so much. But both were the mostly accepting kind. When I got around 10 or 11 , I just stopped going. My sister in law who lives with us is more of the crazy, obssessed type Christian. That of course was a problem considering that I have lesbian, atheist, and wiccan friends. Most of my family doesn't even know is agnostic, only my mom. She was cool with it, but of course didn't like it. That I can thank her for.

    I guess the reason I turned away from Christianity is because of my stay at a Christian school. You start to see the flaws nobody wants to mention. As in: If you've never even heard of God, you're still going to hell. It's okay for Christians to lie, cheat, and steal, but the minute another Christian says their gay, they will immediately go to hell. All of these things I disagreed with. The last straw was really my own personal problems. After getting major anxiety and depression, I prayed nonstop. For days I would pray any chance I got. Nothing ever got better. Only worse. So I stopped having faith.

    I'm still very scared to tell my family. I'm already rejected because of certain things, and things will definitely get worse. All my friends know, but all of them are Christians like the rest of the people in this stupid country town. I don't even know if I should tell them. :(
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  18. I'm curious - is empiricism itself not a total system?

    Must everything have a destiny, or purpose?

  19. Okay, I'm sorry, but I couldn't read this without feeling the need to correct a few misconceptions. I promise I'm not going to rant or anything, just give a few verses and try to answer those questions.

    Again, this is what I believe through both what I was taught and my own research. Take it as you will.
    And Please, no one feel like you have to read it. It's perfectly fine if you ignore me :)

    Falcon's attempt to answer some questions on Christianity,
    because she couldn't leave well enough alone.

    First - having friends outside the faith, through all different walks of life is NOT a bad thing.
    Look at the people Christ spent his life with. Prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, beggars, Fisherman, physicians, gentiles, carpenters etc. Not the priests or nobility as was expected of the Messiah. And then there's this.
    Notice he did not say "love like minded people," what he said was "love your neighbor." Directly following that (In Luke 10) is the story of the good Samaritan. I might point out that the Jewish and Samaritan society hated each other. What Christ was saying is that it doesn't matter who a person is, where they're from, what they believe, what their life style look like, Everybody is deserving of love. There are numerous other passages like this the summation of which is this: Love People, period.
    (Note: When I say love in this context I mean friendship, kindness, compassion, help etc.)

    Second - Those who have never heard the gospel DO still get a chance at heaven
    This one is a little tricky as it is never addressed obviously. However there are several verses that strongly suggest that a provision had been made for those who've have never had the opportunity to hear (and some scholars argue about it). They are:
    There is also a passage in Revelation but as I can't find the exact reference I'm not going to quote it. I prefer it if people can check for themselves. :)

    C.S. Lewis has a passage at the end of the "Last Battle" that actually illustrates this point quite nicely. In it a Calormen soldier, Emeth, finds himself in Aslan's country (for the purposes of the illustration, heaven) and meets Aslan. Emeth is then given a choice, the same choice all the other characters have had prior to getting to Aslan's country, but Emeth himself has never previously had a chance for.

    Third - People who classify as LGBT etc. do NOT immediately go to hell
    I'll be honest, when I hear people say otherwise it annoys me to no end.
    It IS possible to be a Christian and LGBT.
    However, the Bible does classify homosexuality as a sin, but then we already know the Bible says that.
    What annoys me is the fact that many people who claim that "Homosexuality = hell" fail to take into account that the Bible also classifies any sort of sexual action outside of marriage as a sin. In fact it lumps homosexuality together with things like premarital sex, adultery, incest, bestiality, and some argue masturbation. I've never heard anyone claim that the woman who gets pregnant outside of wedlock is going to hell immediately, it's all in the same category.
    Christ takes it a step further and tosses in lustful thinking. (Seriously, show me a single adult in this world who has not struggled with lustful thinking as some point, myself included.)

    The point is not all the rules and regulations we are supposed to follow, the point is that no matter how badly we screw up (and everyone does) Christ and his love is still there. And we are supposed to help and love one another, not condemn or judge. There are a great many Christians who have missed the point entirely and I'm sorry to anyone who's ever had questions or concerns and been treated poorly for it.

    Again, this is only what I believe and the verses I use to back it up.
    I honestly hope the above will help the understanding of the addressed questions.
    #19 Falcon, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
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    I'm one of those dirty, godless atheist types you may have heard people getting angry about from time to time.

    Not atheist in the sense of "I KNOW FOR SURE THERE'S NO GOD YOU STUPID BIBLE-THUMPING HILLBILLY", more the sense that I believe there is no God but don't think you'll ever be able to prove one way or the other. Deities exist outside of evidence, after all. I've had my Hitchen-ite, anti-theist phase; these days, I go for a more laissez-faire attitude to the whole thing. So long as you're not trying to fuck with the education of children or demand special treatment to the detriment of others, I don't really have any issues with religion. It's just not something I go in for.

    Guess I'm just a bit too much of a materialist, though that's not for lack of trying. I'm open to exploring the supernatural or the strange. I've sat in seances (didn't do anything for me). There's a deck of tarot cards sitting on my desk (I don't there's anything mystical about the practice at all, but it's great for introspection). Last year, some friends and I re-enacted the opening to every shitty horror movie ever and snuck into an old abandoned house that's supposedly haunted (didn't see any ghosts, but I did nearly get a healthy dose of asbestos poisoning).

    Maybe something, someday, will change my mind. But until then?

    I ain't buying that shit.
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