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Religion
08-23-2012, 05:47 PM (This post was last modified: 08-23-2012 06:02 PM by John Smith.)
Post: #1
Religion
I've learned the two fastest ways to end a friendship are talking about Politics and Religion, and I've already posted in the Politics thread so I might as well make the Religious thread to put the final nail in the coffin.

I am completely and totally atheist and believe in no such God or Afterlife. I think Religion can make good moral codes and helps people who need it. I am indifferent to what you pray to as long as you aren't stoning gays and cutting women's heads off for getting knocked up before they get married.

tl;dr #YOLO

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08-23-2012, 06:57 PM
Post: #2
RE: Religion
I was born Jewish. I never really believed much of the religious doctrine (most of the stories, reasons behind the holidays, literal scripture readings, etc.) but the belief in a personal God did stick.

Around the age of 11 or 12, I was grounded (again), and not enjoying an unpleasant evening sitting in my room, on my bed, punished from using the phone, TV, videogames, or even from sleeping. I turned my thoughts to Philosophy, with Timetravel being one of the first things I tackled.

Eventually, after many occasions of being grounded, I got to thinking about religion, and I gave it some good hard thought. I eventually realized through a lot of thinking that religion itself, as well as any belief in a God, just didn't make sense. I realized that if I put my religion and religious beliefs to the same level of scrutiny that I put towards everything else in my life (and I do mean everything, as most people learn from a young age to practice skepticism in general), that it was all a bunch of hogwash.

And the process of deconverting began. I started looking at things from a different light. No more was my curiosity or imagination satisfied with the gut instinct: "God did it." Everything, in my perception of course, became much more unlikely, and therefore much more beautiful. I realized how, if life COULD exist without a God, then our current existence as we know it would certainly qualify as a possibility. From there, I realized how, similarly to natural selection, religion and superstitions could (and necessarily, would) spring from the unknown. We all have an instinct to be afraid of the unknown. Would it not make sense for primitive humans to make up theories as to why everything was the way it was? Wouldn't those theories be limited to the knowledge of the humans at the time? Isn't that exactly what every religious scripture IS?

I deconverted mentally before my Bar Mitzvah, which I went along with to appease my mother. I even told my Rabbi that I was an atheist a couple weeks before the event. He didn't seem to care. I theorize now that it is because membership to that temple (and holding the Bar Mitzvah event) costs $$$, which goes to the Temple. Profit.

Anyways, that's a small backstory as to why I'm an atheist. I could go further into why I've developed into an anti-theist, and an aggressive one at that (though by aggressive, I do mean in the nonviolent sense). But I won't.

Wall of text over.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-23-2012, 08:08 PM
Post: #3
RE: Religion
I am a Christian, though I do not claim a particular denomination.

Sure, I've questioned my beliefs multiple times but I still have come back to my base faith. I do not follow the Bible blindly by accepting every sentence in it as irrefutable fact. I know that it is a book and has been edited and designed to fit peoples ideals. I do follow the general teachings and message of the Bible.

When I began questioning my faith again in college, I took religious studies courses to learn more about the religion that I have been told to follow my entire life. I now minor in religious studies.

I honestly thought that the more I learned about Christianity and its history, the less I would believe. But my belief has still held strong.

I know that being a Christian carries some negative connotations nowadays, but I don't force my beliefs onto others. I don't start pointless debates. Though I will defend my beliefs if I need to.

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08-23-2012, 08:11 PM
Post: #4
RE: Religion
(08-23-2012 06:57 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  I was born Jewish.

Richard Dawkins would like to have a word with you.

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08-23-2012, 08:20 PM (This post was last modified: 08-23-2012 08:21 PM by 1KidsEntertainment.)
Post: #5
RE: Religion
(08-23-2012 08:11 PM)Truthordeal Wrote:  
(08-23-2012 06:57 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  I was born Jewish.

Richard Dawkins would like to have a word with you.

Hah! Touche.

(08-23-2012 08:08 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  I am a Christian, though I do not claim a particular denomination.

Sure, I've questioned my beliefs multiple times but I still have come back to my base faith. I do not follow the Bible blindly by accepting every sentence in it as irrefutable fact. I know that it is a book and has been edited and designed to fit peoples ideals. I do follow the general teachings and message of the Bible.

When I began questioning my faith again in college, I took religious studies courses to learn more about the religion that I have been told to follow my entire life. I now minor in religious studies.

I honestly thought that the more I learned about Christianity and its history, the less I would believe. But my belief has still held strong.

I know that being a Christian carries some negative connotations nowadays, but I don't force my beliefs onto others. I don't start pointless debates. Though I will defend my beliefs if I need to.

I feel like this thread is too broad/general to have a real discussion, but it'd be interesting to hear what you believe and why.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-23-2012, 08:47 PM
Post: #6
RE: Religion
I'm Catholic.

Thanks for all the good times.
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08-24-2012, 01:47 PM (This post was last modified: 08-24-2012 01:48 PM by Stephan.)
Post: #7
RE: Religion
My beliefs and your beliefs are our own business as long as we're not removing from other people the choice to have their own beliefs. That's the furthest I'll go into talking about religion.

I have provided nothing to this thread. Angel

EDIT: Holy shit, when did this thread get over 7,000 views already?!

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08-24-2012, 02:02 PM
Post: #8
RE: Religion
(08-24-2012 01:47 PM)Stephan Wrote:  My beliefs and your beliefs are our own business as long as it doesn't cause you to hurt or harm another person in any other way.

Fixed that for you.

And one could easily argue from this point that promoting your religion is a way of hurting or harming another person, especially if one could prove that it's indoctrination or some form of mental abuse (which you can, actually).

I respect when a person doesn't use their religion to harm others, sure, but I will never respect their religious beliefs until they give me a reason to.

But the whole "Why can't we all just get aloooooooooong" attitude is ignorant of the great harm that religion causes in this world, even by the religiously moderate.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-24-2012, 02:27 PM
Post: #9
RE: Religion
I think this thread got so many views so quickly because people were expecting some epic religious battle between the various Christian and atheists sects here.

Let me give them what they want. Hey, 1Kids, my God can kick your god's ass.

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08-24-2012, 02:35 PM (This post was last modified: 08-24-2012 02:35 PM by 1KidsEntertainment.)
Post: #10
RE: Religion
That's both an unsubstantiated an obvious claim at the same time.

Since my god doesn't exist and perhaps neither does yours.

Way to go paradoxing it up, asshole.

Also, WTF @ the view count?!

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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08-24-2012, 06:31 PM
Post: #11
RE: Religion
The view count is so high because the title of the thread is hot-topic buzzword. We had over 500 visitors yesterday, which means they're 99% bots viewing the forum, this thread in particular. Lucky for us, we have a pretty good anti-bot registration system in place.
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08-26-2012, 03:33 AM (This post was last modified: 08-26-2012 03:49 AM by Innagadadavida.)
Post: #12
RE: Religion
Anyone who follows me on twitter already knows all this but here goes...

I am a former devout Christian turned proponent of rational thought and intellectual honesty. I am proud to admit I spend many hours (mostly at work) pondering life, death, the universe, and the truth. Several drug experiences have also shaped my view of existence. But more documentaries than I'd like to count have made an impact on my views. I believe life on Earth is the result of perfect conditions rather than the other way around. I believe life as we know it is a more complex form of chemistry that will arise any time the right conditions are met. I see humans as animals, not in a derogatory sense, far from it; I see our behavior as a more complex and sophisticated version of animal behavior. Not only do I believe our distant ancestors were apes, but I also believe we are apes and I am fucking proud of being an ape. Apes fucking rule. But with this view I feel a connection to the Earth and the life that inhabits it more so than I ever had under an organized religion.

I believe that religion was a sociological tool that is largely outdated by modern sensibilities and I see it as on its way out. A perfect example of this in action is myself and 1KidsEntertainment's views. Another example is how The Hawk does not follow religious dogma as described in the Bible the way his parents or grandparents may have. His children or grandchildren could possibly finish his path of deconversion if he does not. And this sequence of events has been happening all over the civilized world for generations, and it will continue.

I don't think consciousness is anything special. I see it as an inevitability given enough time and enough competition for survival. I think its one of the coolest damn things to arise on Earth but its definitely not all we make it out to be. After all, we still do everything the beasts do (eat, sleep, fuck, die), we just understand it a little better. Fate and destiny are illusions. Its a coping mechanism that developed from a wrong-headed view of the universe. Purpose and reason are unique attributes to human interaction and should not be applied to the world at large. There is no reason for existing, to think otherwise is egotistical. Humans have no more of a purpose than the moths hanging out on your porch. But the beauty in that is that we get to decide what our fate and destiny is. My idea of a purpose for humans is to protect our animal brothers and sisters, and to use our ingenuity to start traveling the stars and settling on other planets and spreading our influence. There is no limit to what we can do. Our distant descendents will have access to knowledge and technology that we can not even fathom and everything we do today is working toward that future. We owe it to our ancestors who worked for a better tomorrow to continue that work. We are all connected in this way. What a beautiful fucking thing life is. There is no religion that can fill me with as much inspiration and appreciation as the truth.

Morality is purest when its uninfluenced by law and religion. I believe religious morality is a joke, but worse than that, wrong. When you do the right thing to please a god or to avoid punishment, you're being truly selfish. I don't believe all religious people only do the right thing because of this reason, because I believe morality is hard-wired in our brain. But I have a problem with the view that without religion there is no morality. I think that is one of the worst things you can say about anyone who isn't yourself. After all, everyone is an atheist. Some just have a few less gods than others.
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08-26-2012, 04:49 AM
Post: #13
RE: Religion
I was a christian until I was about fourteen. I devoured the bible, listened to sermons whenever I could, and constantly got into arguments with non-christians. I guess it was sporting to me, a way to sharpen my skills at becoming an evangelist. Old ladies at my church fucking loved me.

But it never quite clicked with me, and it took me a while to admit it to myself, but I was never trying to learn as much as I could about my own religion because of some love I had for a god. It was because my brain couldn't rationalize what I already knew, and I sought to counter that by learning even more. It did not occur to me for some time that I could simply... not believe these things. They were presented to me as facts from birth, and dammit I was going to make sense of them.

But eventually I found myself arguing with a devout christian, I'm not sure why... I mean we were on the same side right? But I wanted to share my secret seeds of doubt, I wanted him to prove to me why I didn't have to worry about anything. I had already done this dance with sunday school teachers, preachers, and in christian chatrooms. But this time something was different, because I asked myself, "Why am I arguing with this guy?" And I finally realized I didn't have to rationalize these wonky beliefs, I could just let them go. They could go not make-sense somewhere else.

My conversion was rather quick, which sucked because I had just spent like 60 bucks on a bible with my name embroidered on it. At first, it was kind of rough. I disappointed a lot of people. My lack of faith has only come up once with my parents, and it was a catastrophe.

But that's not the case today, I've never been happier with my lot in the universe. And while I try to avoid being hostile towards religious people, I think religion does more harm than good and is a disservice to an intellectual society. It needs to be stopped. Over time my closest friends have all denounced their religion, and I like to think I had a small role in their decision by having such conviction in my own beliefs (or lack thereof).

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08-26-2012, 05:13 AM
Post: #14
RE: Religion
I'm agnostic, but I lean toward atheism. I believe it's possible for a god to exist, but right now, I don't have any reason to think that there is one. I grew up Christian and switched views when I was maybe 16 or so. After a certain point I just realized that I couldn't accept certain facts about the world while still believing in God.

Religion is kind of a touchy subject for me. Since the rest of my family is Christian, it was hard coming to terms with the fact that I really didn't believe in God. I flagellated myself about it for the longest, and even today I harbor a certain amount of guilt over ostensibly being the only one in the family who can't believe in or care about something so important to everyone else. My beliefs have caused some tension between me and my relatives (my parents, mostly) and I usually have to actively resist the temptation to resent religion entirely. I know it'd be wrong to do so, since believing in something like that isn't inherently bad and some people need it, but it's caused me a lot of grief that I'd like to forget.

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08-26-2012, 05:17 AM
Post: #15
RE: Religion
(08-26-2012 05:13 AM)Snarkeet Wrote:  Religion is kind of a touchy subject for me. Since the rest of my family is Christian, it was hard coming to terms with the fact that I really didn't believe in God. I flagellated myself about it for the longest, and even today I harbor a certain amount of guilt over ostensibly being the only one in the family who can't believe in or care about something so important to everyone else. My beliefs have caused some tension between me and my relatives (my parents, mostly) and I usually have to actively resist the temptation to resent religion entirely. I know it'd be wrong to do so, since believing in something like that isn't inherently bad and some people need it, but it's caused me a lot of grief that I'd like to forget.

I feel the pain you and OoziHobo write about. I'm about as far from any organized religion as I think possible. But there's no way in hell (lol hell) my family will ever find out. I'm still in the closet in that regard. As well as my love for men. I'm in the closet about that too.

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08-26-2012, 05:22 AM
Post: #16
RE: Religion
(08-26-2012 05:17 AM)Innagadadavida Wrote:  But there's no way in hell (lol hell) my family will ever find out. I'm still in the closet in that regard. As well as my love for men. I'm in the closet about that too.

My parents were a lot more accepting of my love for men than they were about my lack of love for Jayzus, funnily enough.

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08-26-2012, 05:23 AM
Post: #17
RE: Religion
Gotta love that man butt. Way better than girl pussy in my honest opinion. Heart
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08-26-2012, 05:31 AM
Post: #18
RE: Religion
You're preaching--HAHA--to the choir.

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08-26-2012, 01:28 PM
Post: #19
RE: Religion
(08-23-2012 08:20 PM)1KidsEntertainment Wrote:  
(08-23-2012 08:08 PM)TheHawk Wrote:  Hawk's random blah blah blah

I feel like this thread is too broad/general to have a real discussion, but it'd be interesting to hear what you believe and why.

Sure, though I warn, it may get a bit rambling at times.


I am definitely in the minority on this thread it seems.

I don't feel that it is organized religion that is the root of all troubles and evil in this world. What I do believe in that regard is that it is the people who organize religion that have caused the problems. If you look back at the history of Christianity for instance, much of what the Catholic Church did during their time as the dominate world power was in direct opposition to the methods and teachings of Jesus. But at the time, no one in the public knew that because the Church did not allow those who could not read Greek or Latin to have a copy of the Bible in their language. The masses had to memorize verses taught to them by priests who, often times, were in turn following the will of their superiors instead of the will of God as told by the Bible.

As Inna said, I don't really follow the dogmatic teachings of the church. My Christianity professor jokingly refers to me as a heretic, much like herself.

I am still resolute in my faith, more so now than when I followed the structured teachings of the church. I still have respect for organized religion, but I feel that I am capable of interpreting the Bible on my own rather than having a preacher whom I don't agree with interpret it for me. It may be arrogance on my part, but I do feel closer to God since I began my studies.



MY HISTORY

When I was a kid, I wasn't a Christian. My parents sent me to a Christian school because it had good testing scores. They themselves were not believers. My dad had grown up Baptist, but had left the faith due to not liking the depressing damnation and hellfire sermons that he grew up with at his church. I began to question Christianity and wanted to learn more about it. I was the only child in my class who was not a Christian, and the only not Baptized. So, my parents began going to church. They tried a few different ones, but never found a church they liked until we happened upon one near our hometown. That preacher made me believe. He is to date the only preacher I have ever enjoyed a sermon by. I know it is corny to say, but he had the spirit. Or he was a damned persuasive speaker. Either way. Boom. Whole family baptized and devout. THen we moved away and I started getting distant in my beliefs.

I eventually stopped believing. Because of Pokemon of all things. My maternal Grandfather had converted from a self described life of heathenism and sin to Pentecostalism. He even eventually became a preacher. I do not agree with most of his views and find him to be a hypocrite, but I digress. He found out I was an avid Pokemon fan and sent my parents information about how Pokemon encouraged devil worship and various other ill behaviors. My parents, who wanted to seem like good responsible parents, seized my video games, cards etc. and forbid me to use anything Pokemon related ever again. They even cancelled our cable subscription so I couldn't watch any other anime like Pokemon. (jokes on them though, Digimon came on FOX and I liked it better anyway hahahahahahahaRock)

I was struck by the sheer stupidity of the situation. I could not understand why God would not want me to watch a show that encouraged: Honesty, friendship, social interaction with others, good triumphing over evil and other generic shonen themes.

I never told my parents this, but I stopped believing at that point. At 10-12 years old I felt that religion was hypocritical. I didn't know jack about it and my parents didn't either. We were just blindly following words from a millenia old book being interpreted by men who looked like they were around when it was written. I just went through the motions with my parents at church, tuning it all out and ignoring everything.


I didn't begin evaluating religion again until my Junior year of high school. I began reexaming religion as a whole. I read everything I could find on religion but none of it made sense to me. So, uncharacteristically, I gave up. I would not look at organized religion again until Freshmen year of college.

It was in the school's mandatory religious studies course that I began taking a new interest in religion. Rather than preaching Christianity and trying to shove it down my throat or condemn my lifestyle choices, as every other thing I knew about Christianity had done, this course actually did something that no other resource i had interacted with had done IT EXAMINED CHRISTIANITY!!!

We were being taught the historical side of it as well as examining it's core themes. This made sense to me. The more I learned about it, the more I began to regain faith in God. I realized that I did not have to go to church to have a saved soul. I could worship in my own way, outside of the strict and oppressive methods that the churches I had visited employed. I could embrace God without being constrained by the shackles that organized religion had tacked on to the message.

I have a hard time summing up my views on God. I believe in him. It is the rest of it that gives me trouble. The Bible. I never understood why people took it so literally. I view it as a book, and like any book it was written by people and even more so edited by people over the centuries who have influenced it with their own agendas.

I believe the overall message of the book, but through my Christianity classes I have come to learn that many of the sections that I have issue with were in fact later edits or additions. After reading the book cover to cover, multiple times, I feel that I have a good grasp on the key themes and messages of the book. And I feel that I have a firmer faith in God because of my scholastic study of the Bible.

It is flawed, but it has a great message and set of guidelines by with I can live my life. I can now recognize those elements of the Bible because they are no longer clouded and obscured by the alterations and structure of organized religion

Sorry that I kinda rambled there.

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08-26-2012, 07:34 PM
Post: #20
RE: Religion
What I find interesting, Hawk, is that you presented no evidence for God, but rather described your journey. It feels to me, though obviously only through a mere synopsis of your experiences, that you've been predisposed to believe in a God and were looking for people to give you more reasons. When it conflicted with what you wanted, you abandoned it, and when you were allowed to examine the religion in a stress-free environment, you chose to accept it.

Do you have any actual evidence outside of the Bible? And if not, how, as someone who has had classes on the subject, could you ignore the "bad" parts of it? How do you know that the Bible is inspired by a God? How do you know that Christianity is more correct than, say, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Paganism, etc?

I'm not saying it wasn't an interesting read, mind. I'm just saying that I think you misunderstood the question.

What evidence makes you believe in a God? And from there, how do you jump to the Christian God?

Call me converted if anyone can provide me with actual evidence. I'd rather admit I'm wrong than BE wrong.

Chances are, if you're reading this, it's after reading a ridiculously long post by me, something harshly phrased or confrontational, and/or me being stupid. I want to apologize for my above post, and end this signature with a quote of wisdom to soothe your soul.

"Ho ho..hoho hoho..santa for the wondering thismust be a joke in your series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"
~A scholar beyond his time

[10:10:35 PM] Airrest (Eric): YOU WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
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