What do you believe?

What do you believe?

Postby Tempo Gain » 21 Sep 2010, 23:43

I have a dream, of a thread where people can enunciate their beliefs about life and religion, without the possibility of degeneration into pointless back-and-forth arguing. Well maybe not a dream, but it seems like it might be a good idea :) And maybe not, but worth a shot perhaps.

Such arguing accomplishes little in the end, and usually isn't much fun either.

A compendium of beliefs could be an interesting thing to read though, if enough people contribute. And so anyone is invited to share their own beliefs here. However, this is a place where criticism of others' beliefs--valid or otherwise--is not welcome.

I know that sounds constraining, and normally I would say good-faith criticism of a point of view, religious or otherwise, should certainly not be discouraged. However when it comes to this topic, on this forum, it often seems to be more of a detriment than a benefit. It's impossible to pick out the pearls of wisdom from the muck on a lot of threads.

The way to criticize someone's beliefs in this thread is to respond with your own beliefs. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. Your beliefs can contradict or mesh with other beliefs, fair is fair, but direct responses to others' beliefs belong somewhere else. This is a big website, and there is plenty of room for the back-and-forth in other threads. Having a thread without it could just be a good thing.

Mod note: I'm signalling my intention right at the beginning of this thread that I will just summarily dump any trashy posts, so keep it respectful and all will be well. Tally-ho!

So here's a belief of mine:

If we insist a creator God made everything, we are left with the question of where the creator God came from. Who created God? There's no good way I have ever heard to answer that question. I think we have to recognize that we really know nothing about why we're here or where the universe came from. That could change someday as mankind's knowledge expands, but not likely in the near future in my opinion. I acknowledge my ignorance when it comes to this question, and am just happy to be here.
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Re: What do you believe and why?

Postby Dr. McCoy » 21 Sep 2010, 23:47

I believe in keeping an open mind and trying to discern reality from fantasy. I believe that nobody really knows why we are here and how we got here.
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Re: What do you believe and why?

Postby RobinTaiwan » 22 Sep 2010, 00:00

Dr. McCoy wrote:I believe in keeping an open mind and trying to discern reality from fantasy. I believe that nobody really knows why we are here and how we got here.


Sign me up and love me Jesus. :pray:

Excellent OP, by the way.
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Re: What do you believe and why?

Postby JuliaZ » 22 Sep 2010, 00:25

Right now, I believe that MOS Burger Japanese fried chicken is some of the best food I've ever eaten. Double-loves for the woman who works there at night who speaks awesome English and who, when it's not busy, is happy to try to teach me the Chinese words for the things I'm ordering, since I'd like to know. No other stranger has been so kind to me here, so even though fried chicken and fries are bad for me, I've eaten it three or four times now in 12 days. LOL

My parents and the nuns tried to make me a Catholic, but it didn't take. Even at age 4 and 5, I couldn't believe all those fairy tales, and nobody had answers to my (good) questions, like "where did god come from if he made everything?" and "if god is merciful, why are there starving people?" and "if god can see everything that's going to happen, why did he make an apple to get adam and eve in trouble?"

As you can see, I was a pain in the ass as a kid. To my mother's never-ending embarrassment, the Catholic school asked that my parents not send me back after my first year there. Academically, I was way ahead of my peers, but I wouldn't shut up, and I called them devil-worshipers for beating me for writing with my left hand. They won that battle... I am right-handed for writing... but they lost the war.

As a teenager, I flirted with the Unitarian-Universalists; there's a lot to like there but it was too churchy for me in the end. I like the Quakers and their silence; once they start talking about god, they lose me, but I like their peaceful nature and the way they lead their lives.

Ultimately, though, I'm an atheist. I just don't buy any of it. I think religion is entirely a human construct, brought about by our lack of understanding of the fearsome things that go on around us every day, and trying to make some order, sense, and meaning out of it. As I've grown older, I've become more tolerant... everyone needs their comforts, and while I think organized religion is a poor comfort, since it's directly harmed so many people, I know it works for many. I see the Bible and other 'holy' books as interesting works of historical fiction.

I do love the Flying Spaghetti Monster though. I haven't laughed so hard in ages, and I laugh every time I read that stuff. rAMEN
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Re: What do you believe and why?

Postby Chris » 22 Sep 2010, 00:50

I believe I'll have another beer. :beer:
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Re: What do you believe and why?

Postby tomthorne » 22 Sep 2010, 01:00

Why does there always have to be a 'why'?
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Re: What do you believe and why?

Postby NomNomTaiwan » 22 Sep 2010, 01:22

tomthorne wrote:Why does there always have to be a 'why'?


Thats a good question, I think sometimes the why is really hard to express...but I think we like to ask why just because we want to know what a person is thinking...sometimes the why really lets us into the person's real thoughts on the subject. With religions, its easy to have the set, established "I believe in this, this and this" (heck there are even creeds out there that make it easy!) but the why is so personal...it brings it all down to the individual! I think the "why" can be simple though, maybe a person doesnt totally know why...thats okay.

I'm converting to Judaism, I'm basically reform but I'm learning about it all through some pretty orthodox sources, I think its cool though and its really showing me the full spectrum of the religion.

I believe in G-d, one G-d. The Jewish people entered into a covenant with G-d to accept His Torah (teachings) and part of that teaching is to make this world a better place, heal the world, help people, respect the environment, make the earth a good place for everyone. I like its unsureness about the afterlife and its focus on this life now - enjoying it and elevating it to something heavenly. I like its attitudes toward life, family, happiness, and how the relationship with G-d is viewed and works.

Basically, I found a place where I feel like I really fit in. It all seems really natural, I always felt this way and I finally found people who echo what I felt deep down. I remember reading my first "about Judaism" book and being like, "Ah! Thats what I always would say/think!"

I don't agree with everything all the time that people do, trust me, but in terms of the Torah and the mitzvahs, all the core stuff...its really right for me. I'm pretty happy so far!

I like this thread, thank you! I appreciate it. :)
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Re: What do you believe and why?

Postby Tomas » 22 Sep 2010, 08:04

Well done, TG. Let's hope this thread doesn't disintegrate into shouting like so many of the religion threads.

On the "Where does God from?" question, I have no answer. I don't believe in a white-bearded personage living on another plane now, but when I was growing up I did. It was very comforting to think that way, but I eventually realized that a lot of things didn't make sense. The main issue for me was the idea that, if there really were a God, he would be as vengeful and petulant as the one portrayed by the religion I belonged to (Mormonism).

What I do know is that spiritual matter and power exists. I can feel it, any time I want to. I think this spiritual power is very much under the surface for most people. It is accessible, but we're usually too hungry, too tired, too busy, too worried, too angry, or too skeptical to access it. I don't really know where it comes from, but I know it exists. I don't use it to do faith healings or prophecies or other things like that. I use it to understand things that happen in life and advise people who ask me for advice.

I don't belong to a church, though I'd like to because church communities can be wonderful things. I just don't really feel an affinity for organized religion. But I like to meditate and access the spiritual side of life, when there isn't too much going on or too much noise in my life.
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Re: What do you believe and why?

Postby Tempo Gain » 22 Sep 2010, 11:29

tomthorne wrote:Why does there always have to be a 'why'?


Good point!
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Re: What do you believe?

Postby Stian » 09 Oct 2010, 10:09

I newer believed in anything, but I have accepted that there is people that do and when I fist came to Taiwan I went to the temples and all that stuff with my wifes family, but in recent years I have taken the step to totally reject anything religious.
A friend of me felt bad about himself for having some fun with girls and where sure he was going to hell and the people here talk about this luck all the time witch they buy in the temples so my conclusion is that religion is evil stuff that make people suffer. I'm a atheist and I will raise my children to be so as-well
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