Do you have faith, sushi?
I have this old memory when I, as a kid, lost a precious toy. Asked God to help me find it, but to no avail. I blamed God for this misfortune and declared that I no longer believe.
Now I would say I am an agnostic, but I think I really want to find God. God, as someone to talk to, to confess to and to find support in. Lately I faced a lot of difficulties and praying helped me. I even made few liabilities, that I now struggle to accomplish.
When things go well I forget about my prayings and obligations, there is that thought that it is all my work and not some old dude above my head. Until now I went by this and it made me feel like a tiny, tiny man.
I really want to believe, but something is stopping me. Please, share something about yourself.
I don't believe in anything, with the exception perhaps that I don't believe in anything.
I don't believe in any god worth worshipping. I used to have faith, at least that God would protect me and protect the things I was grateful for, until something unimaginably horrible happened and I lost it all. I desperately needed help for a long time afterwards, pleaded with God for it, and none came.
To me, if God exists, he is one who betrays freely.
church is a once a week club where sober and successful people hang out
I'd rather go to church than a bar tbh
it's not just spiritual, religion also has a social aspect of it as well
atheists who don't go to church often miss this component of it
I can't help but see all churches as nothing more than cults.
I believe there is at least one other higher being, and that being is instrinically tied to this material universe (not apart and distinct from it, as with Judaism)
furthermore, that the interaction of one with the universe is significant, that the overall purpose of life is to transcend this material existence, and to understand the process by which the supreme being/universe is self-creating
I don't have a good framework for this thinking yet
I believe in god but I don't pretend to know anything about him. I consider myself christian in culture at the very least, and I would say I'm a supporter of the church in gwneral. I like catholics a lot, they seem like they look after their own properly. Lots of denominations are too "open" for my liking.
Even if not spiritual, a religion may serve to keep a group working together and looking after one another. Thats the real reason every town would have a church.
If they start caring more for people outside their group then I think it fails at its most important function of keeping a society united, cooperative and secure.
I expect my views are very outspoken though so it's not like I'm going around telling people their way is wrong. I just keep such opinions restricted to people who ask or in the actions I take.
Well, the reason we think cults are bad is because they often turn out to be hotbeds of insane, immoral doings. The Jim Jones cult ended in a mass suicide; other cults only exist to provide a harem for an abusive sex addict. But, some fringe churches aside, the case is not similar in most churches. It might be different where you live; where I live church means a weekly meeting of generally friendly believers who listen to a priest. There isn't much room for a sex cult there.>>5626>I believe there is at least one other higher being, and that being is instrinically tied to this material universe (not apart and distinct from it, as with Judaism)
Interesting. There was a philosopher called Benedict de Spinoza who thought that the world was God. That is, all that exists is the same thing as God and he is not apart from the things He created. The physical universe is the physical manifestation of God and all the minds of people and animals are the mental manifestation of God. Sounds like you might be on to something similar.
My opinion on religion is that it's fantastic if it helps you out and enriches your life, but as soon as you feel like forcing said religion on others you can shove a rusty pitchfork up your ass.
That's why I'm not a huge fan of christians and especilly muslims.
Yes, I identify as a Christian. I grew up Catholic but I felt like services were more like rituals. I had a time where I identified as agnostic until I realized alot of my issues stemmed from my lack of faith in others, myself and ultimately a lack of faith in God. So I started searching, took a religious studies class in college to learn about different Faiths. I really liked buddhism's middle way idea and still do, although my visit to a Buddhist temple showed me that they do worship Buddha like a god even though they say they don't. Anyway, I was drawn to becoming a born again believer because the church I visited taught from the Bible in a way I could understand, and I felt something personal at the church I decided to attend. I was a huge pothead and dabbled in substance use (nothing hard) and I thought I'd always be like this until I accepted Jesus as lord and savior of my life, then I found I didn't need it. I also found it interesting how Christianity is the only faith where salvation is yours to accept freely, whereas other faiths make the believer do so many good works and hope they've done enough to get to heaven.
I'm not perfect, I still struggle with personal stuff but I know that Jesus is my savior. I know it's hard to believe for some of you out there, I was agnostic once myself and wouldn't believe a post like the one I'm writing if I were to come across it ten years ago, but here I am.
I hope your search for God leads you to Jesus. Be wary of the media's portrayal of us and visit a few local churches and make your own judgement. Good luck and God bless.
I had ego death and saw "god". To me, it's much more than some guy in the sky, god is the eternal rhythm of the universe, life, experience, something indescribable in words. I still consider myself as agnostic, but I felt something larger than me, and it has made me think about life in so many different ways. I would highly recommend it if that's what you're looking for. It's something personal, and I feel not touched by a lot of faiths.
Oh also to add, I think the idea of the Tao makes a lot of sense after psychedelics. Yin and yang, in and out, being and not being, togetherness and separation. To me, it seems there is an order to everything, and a constant ebb and flow with how things act.
I am deeply interested in mysticism. I actually spent a month with the Carmelite nuns. I have two years before I have to make the decision to enter officially though.
I was raised to be religious (basically grew up in a Lutheran church), and although I enjoy reading the bible and other religious scriptures, I mostly do it for self improvement and self belief. This helps me when I have to ignore parts that I do not agree with.
> there is that thought that it is all my work and not some old dude above my head.
Maybe you're right. After all, it was you that experienced whatever happened. You actions(be it direct or indirect) caused them to happen. take the time to appreciate your accomplishments. You decided to seek God out in order to gain some form of stability. That was your doing.
I was taught that God is all around us. In my opinion, the Holy Trinity is a good starting point. Holy Spirit is the one I connect with the most. So the wind, the tree branch, that dog you saw yesterday and our feelings/thoughts are all a part of God. I focus more on the feeling of receiving mental strength and being understood. Helps me feel empowered when I realise that everything in this world is connected. The Sushi a few posts above this one explained it better that I did. "God is the eternal rhythm of the universe, life, experience, something indescribable in words."
But at the end of the day, how you view and use the religion is up to you. As long as it benefits you I'd say that it's working. if you don't feel comfortable with where you're at, try reading up on different religions and viewpoints. Hopefully you'll gain enlightenment and peace.
Wow, that's interesting. What was life like with the nuns?>>5650>I still consider myself as agnostic, but I felt something larger than me, and it has made me think about life in so many different ways.
But you were having a hallucination. I don't really understand how you can draw conclusions about the universe from a temporary alteration of your brain chemistry.
I'm not a religious person myself, i was an atheist materialist for some time and that fucked me up really hard, to a point i had a strange lucid dream were i was on the verge of disappearance and desintegration and i couldnt see a reason to keep living and the only thing that made sense on that moment was suicide. When i woke up it was like atheism was the most retard idea ever, and its kinda how i feel till today. I've messed up with the occult for some time after that, but it wouldn't fill my void. Tried some practices from eastern religions like islam, hinduism and buddhism to no avail.
I tried going back to my religion too, but it doesn't feel aesthetically pleasing enough, i honestly am more about aesthetics than theological solidity, which made me live in a paradox between the Catholic church that once was or that could be and a pantheon inside my own head, divine beings i can feel as if they were me in strange times and lives. All this batshit insane post just to say: go read Chesterton, he might do for you what he couldnt do for me.
Yeah that's my holdup. A lot of people feel the same thing so it's hard to discern whether or not I actually saw god. Nonetheless, I have faith in what I experience, and believe emotion or experience to be a reflection of some truth. Not an attack on rationality, but I believe there is some value in trusting one's perceptions. Even if they don't line up 100% with reality as we can test beyond ourself, what we perceive is part of our reality.
I was raised by not very religious parents which didn't try to force me into believing or not believing, and after being kinda religious as a kid I ended up being an atheist (despite going to a primary school where religion was considered. We went to pray once a year and had religion lessons)>>5660
Imo religion is not the only way to fill the void. But it works I guess>>5675
I've always seen reality as something real, concrete, and that would exist even without me. As such my subjective view is imperfect and partially untrue: if I mistake a ball for a brick, it's still a ball. If I get hit by it I don't get hurt even if in "my reality" I would. All the fear I'd feel while seeing the brick/ball fly towards me would be a mistake, and nothing more.
I have faith that there are universal systems in place that we cannot ever or maybe just do not yet comprehend, and I believe that various religions probably touch on aspects of those systems and even sometimes come close to understanding them. That said I don't devote my life to any of that sort of thing or follow any specific belief system, but I think there's "something" there as far as spirituality or the soul or whatever you want to call it goes, if that makes any sense. I guess I'm just a few shades away from being truly agnostic.
Faith kinda means believe without evidence right? In that view, it's a sin. I wanna have happiness and productivity regardless of how things are, and that is probably mixed up in some ways of regarding faith.
Faith is kind of hard to describe, you believe unwillingly on something even if that belief if small, and use this belief to fuel yourself in life. Think of it as a motivator
"Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself."
t. the CCC
Technically speaking there is not a single thing you can believe that has evidence simply because all logical systems are inherently incomplete and need axiomatic starting points that you take for granted and are unprovable by design. For Abrahamic religions that starting point is generally 'God exists', with a few others that differ depending on which branch of which religion you subscribe to. You could argue that 'God exists' is a much more substantial statement than 'between any two points you can draw one and only one unique line', but that I think is a losing battle; you can't actually prove either one without resorting to a new unprovable axiom, and both are things that are obvious to those who take them for truth.
I'm not religious but I'd say I'm spiritualistic, which isn't exactly the same thing, but also hinges on believing something you can't touch, see, or really prove. On some level I think it's more important that you believe in something that you can't prove rather than something you "can" (e.g. science, which is still not truly provable; even beyond the brain in the jar hypothesis, one of the core assumptions of science is that its rules are spacetime invariant, which is inherently not possible to prove), and I'm a physicist.
Fundamentally, science can tell you what will happen or what did happen, but it cannot tell you something which is arguably more important, what should happen. I've heard it said that physics split the atom, chemistry perfected the fuel, engineering designed the bomb, and biology studied the fallout, but none of them could tell you whether or not it was right to drop it. Science is a very cold discipline, and I think that it's not really something you can base your life around because what the provable will tell you is only what is and is not, not what should be and should not. Someone who only thinks about what is and has no notion of what should be is basically just a robot that can respond to stimuli.
Yah but the human mind contains all human morality and is a physical object which can be studied. It's just an unbearably complex matter of reading the desires out of the human minds, calculating the most coherent combination of those minds desires, and calculating a sufficiently optimal strategy to move us towards that coherency.
The problem here is that coherency does not inherently mean correct and also doesn't force anyone to subscribe to the basic axioms that whatever worldview it comes up with relies on. Optimal strategies don't mean desireable ones, and a sufficiently broad optimal strategy that actually does apply to everyone would just amount to no moral system at all.
Personally I think one of the biggest pitfalls people fall into is thinking that just because you can't find an absolute morality, that morality therefore doesn't exist. You don't need something to be provably so or universally true in order to believe in it, especially for something that basically is only relevant to you, if that makes sense. It's not necessarily a true thing that e.g. rape is inherently a bad thing, but that doesn't mean you can't believe it is anyway.
I barely ever think about it. I am inclined to believe in God, but I don't really care much what's his or her nature, name, appareance, or anything really. I just think he (for lack of a better pronoun) /is/, but I generally despise religion. I think they are coercive and defeat the purpose of religion in the first place. They make people hate each other and do damage to one another. You'll perhaps argue it does not, but experience shows otherwise. I don't think God cares if I eat carrots. Yet followers of religion will constantly nag you about almost anything. I think religion is like pop science while true spirituality would be the actual theoretical physics in this analogy.
But every time I think of God I cannot help but be overwhelmed by my sheer ignorance on the subject. So I blithely forget about him in my day-to-day , and generally about anything that I cannot comprehend. Sometimes I wonder why some people seem to /need/ a religion and actively look for that kind of stuff. In my case the same drive is directed to mathematics, numbers, geometry.
tl;dr I believe there's some god but who cares and religion is s***.
The phenomenon you're talking about has as much to do with our modern culture of individuality trumping all as religion itself, though I won't deny the power structure of organized religion can make it pretty annoying to 'hermit' spiritualists.
One of its historically important roles was as a unifying force by basically giving people a prebuilt, fairly robust moral framework, which is why Westerners tend to think of eastern philosophy schools as religious even when they explicitly have nothing to do with the divine or mention it only tangentially; it's not really because of the usual "religion and philosophy are the same thing there" because they were the same thing in most of the world during that time period, see the boom of Christian and Islamic philosophy. You could argue that allowing people to build their own morality is more important, but you could also say that most people aren't capable of doing that coherently and that if they did you'd end up with a chaotic society where nobody agrees with anyone else's morals.
I believe that if a god does exist, all records of its existence have been wiped and replaced with false prophets and texts. And that if that god does exist, it is indifferent to mankind's existence and survival altogether.
But I kind of agree with you here. It's not that I wish to have faith in a god of some sort, but rather just someone I can turn to for reassurance whenever I need it. Someone I trust to that extent, who'll be able to guide me through my worst days.
I am christian. The hardest thing for me growing up in protestant circles was reconciling my lack of emotion with my faith. Everyone around me had a conversion story, or stories of repentance and feeling the spirit or whatever. I never had that and it caused me a lot of guilt. But I always felt compelled to believe.
Then as I grew older I saw those same pious people fall away from the church or turn outright against it, sometimes with the same zeal with which they defended it!
Then I read some theology and learned that faith is actually supposed to be more fundamental than just your "feeling" or your "zeal". Then I started reading the bible as an adult and thinking about the people in it as humans rather than heroes, and realized most of the time they probably felt pretty shitty about life rather than filled with rapturous joy.
Then I was diagnosed with depression and learned that it was normal for me not to feel much emotion. Now conversely I have much less guilt about my faith, even if I feel like shit most days.
tl;dr i learned faith is more than your feelings
>but you could also say that most people aren't capable of doing that coherently and that if they did you'd end up with a chaotic society where nobody agrees with anyone else's morals
Have you looked at our world at present?
Anyway, I do come to realize that most people are tools, unwilling to think for themselves and instead defer their decisions to their society or some hierarchy. On the other hand, as per the previous statement on deferring to the culture, this also means that without a hierarchical structure, a society develops a moral (perhaps even spiritual!) code of it's own in a sort of grassroots manner. This is mostly transmitted via oral tradition and kept alive in the idioms and sayings of the common people. It is believed the Daodejing came to being as a compilation of common wisdom of the ancient people of china, for example.
As for eastern religions, well buddhism I don't know in depth, but so far hasn't seemed very harmful for me. I am interested in the scriptires from India (Vedas), but the only contact I've had from them isn't hasn't been very nice. I me n those Hare Krishna people. Though what they have to say is quite beautiful, they fall into the same patterns mentioned in my other post (that's where the carrots comment came from, actually).
Generally it seems like such structures create an unhealthy form of competition and hierarchy that take the focus from the actual intended goal of spirituality and into the social structure itself. One is left not talking to god, but trying to look well in the eyes of the fellow followers.
That and trying to differentiate oneself from the /others/ who hold some other belief, or being coerced to follow habits (even in clothing and diet) which are not germane to the spiritual path but are proper of the particular religious society one engages in, and not those that can be identified with the "opposing" band (we're at the petty little game of the flags here, not unlike politics or soccer teams or linux users)
But everyone's path is their own I understand, I just wouldn't touch religion with a 10 foot pole.