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Old 05-01-2017, 12:44 PM   #51
nowitsover
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

Religion has caused more misery in every stage of human history than any other single idea.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:58 PM   #52
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

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Originally Posted by karmarein View Post
Religion isn't about some mystical magical rules brought down from the sky. It's about a code of values, ethics, philosophies, and standards to govern society.
Tell that to the woman tied to a stake burned alive by the church... all in the name of Jesus Christ.

Religion is for weak feeble minded.

I am not an atheist. I am an agnostic. I do believe in the possibility of some form of higher power but it is in no way represented by our current religion... Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, or the Easter Bunny.

Last edited by nowitsover; 05-01-2017 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:44 PM   #53
Toe Jam and Earl
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

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Originally Posted by nowitsover View Post
Religion has caused more misery in every stage of human history than any other single idea.
Pure conjecture and total hogwash. Anyone can take a bad idea and claim it is backed by a religion. Does that make it the religion's fault? Misery is caused by things most religions are against: greed, selfishness, a desire for power/glory. But even then, the "idea" of religion isn't what I would defend. Religion as an idea is only worth the truth contained within.
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:22 PM   #54
Emmanuel G.
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

Alright, got some time in front of me

So this will be long, you don't have to read it, but to sum it up, I have found myself to become more and more religious over time. Starting out as a proclaimed atheist, I am now absolutely convinced about religion, but not in the way one might expect.

I've been raised a christian so this is the vocabulary and cultural references that I usually employ, however my "faith" can be applied to any religious framework (Living where I live, there are tons of moderate muslims I can share ideas with, as well as a good amount of traditional christian -the majority-)

Now I won't go into too much details, but at some point in my life, early adulthood, I had to face a great personal challenge, and I was seriously contemplating suicide. My Grandmother was an extremely devout christian, she believed the bible to the letter, and oddly enough, she was still the one who opened me to the concept of faith and its practical applications.

Using traditional scriptures, she still managed to get through to me at the time with an extremely important concept: faith.

So what is "faith"?
To me, faith is the absolute belief that everything that ever happens, happens for a very specific reason.
It's also the acceptation that said reason, at a given time, will be out of our understanding.

Which brings me to the next question "what is, then, religion"?
Religion is some sort of "manual" on how to behave and how to act, when faced with any given life challenge.

The idea, that I've tested time and time again now, is that if you behave "correctly" through challenges and adversity, you will be rewarded ultimately.

So what is "correct behaviour"?
It's not complicated really

- Speak the truth (this is the most difficult for most people)
- Forgive those who do you harm, and most importantly, forgive yourself (which is one of the reasons why you need to speak the truth, so you realize who you are and fix your issues)
- Give love to others, be compassionnate and empathetic
- Be patient and don't look for shortcuts
- Have faith in yourself
- Realize your life is a gift and attempt to act meaningfully towards yourself and others
- Don't judge others
- etc...

Basically, try to be the best human being you can


The idea of "God" itself is extremely difficult to express. In my opinion, we are very far from the idea of a conscious being watching every move we make.

But scriptures do give us hints about what "God" is, again, I won't go in depth here (I'd be happy to discuss this in private tho), but there is one idea that constantly comes back, and that idea is both "God" and also demons, actually live within us. Again, not as beings, but as a part of our very selves.

God is virtue within yourself, courage, truth, patience, resilience, strength
Demons are all the "short cuts", "easy way outs", little lies we tell to avoid the big conversations, lies we tell to ourselves.

For example, I've worked in sales for many years, and many salesmen admit that if you want to be successful, you kinda have to be a bad person and lie.
This is, if you will, the act of selling out your soul, in that you accept to do something that you know is bad, in exchange of monetary gain. You compromise your own integrity in order to make more money.

On the other hand, if you would want to be honest in sales, it would still be possible, but it will prove to be much harder to succeed.

But in the long run, I know (from experience, being an entrepreneur now) that being honest will pay more and longer than being a dishonest salesman.

When you give in to your lowest instincts, when you lie, when you cheat, and when you hate or fear, you surrender control of your lower self.

And if you keep doing it again and again and again, eventually, you're going to end up in hell.
And sure enough, when you always try to take the easy road in life, you usually end up living a pretty awful life after some time. This can be observed time and again, just by walking the streets, homeless people, drug addicts, or just general losers.

But if you give it your all, if you work hard, be patient, nice to others, honest, speak the truth, and don't judge others, eventually, you're going to make a great life for yourself and also for others around you, again, speaking from personal experience.

Faith is the belief that the above is true. Everything happens for a reason, and while we're oblivious to the grand scheme of things, just by believing this, and following the general guidelines, everything will eventually turn out ok.


But when it gets tricky is that by "turning out ok", I don't mean you're going to be rich and successful in society.
Rather, it means that you will find peace within yourself, and it'll actually all become easier and easier with time, you won't get mad anymore, you will appreciate life more, and you will have great influence upon others.

From there, you can probably work out financial success if that is what you desire but it will become less important as you would probably have achieved a kind of happiness that can not be bought.

But it doesn't mean you won't face challenges and hardships anymore, although it does make going through them significantly more easy as you would then realize and accept that if everything happens for a reason, the hardship ahead holds the promise of future great improvements.

The topic is extremely complex as it is all encompassing.
But we are far from the "god" who looks down on you from his cloud, and the magic jesus that walks on water.

Religious figures, such as Jesus for example, I think too many religious people just believe that Jesus story is scientifically accurate.
I'd rather see it as a story, like a blueprint for being the best possible human being (thus becoming yourself the "son of God"). If I had to take a guess, I'd definitely think that this is a fictional story from top to bottom. Just like most of the scriptures.

Now it's extremely important to realize that due to way too many translations over way too many years, by way too many people and in way too many languages, that most of the bible's original text is most likely lost forever. So I think it would be a huge mistake to take it for face value to begin with.


Where I disagree with traditional religious people is in rituals. For example the confession, christians just have to go in the booth, tell their "sins" to the priest, then say a few prayers and they're all cleaned up.

Now, how I see it, when you do a "sin", something bad, that hurts someone else. Being penitent isn't about saying a few prayers and forgetting about it.
Being penitent is accepting the fact that because of you, someone else's life has become worse. Accepting the fact that you can't do much about it anymore. Ask for forgiveness, and try to forgive yourself, also accept that you will live with that guilt until you die, this is being penitent, it's about accepting that on that occasion, you have been a bad person towards someone else, and there has been consequences. Ask for forgiveness, and try to move on regardless.

To be penitent, you need to be true to yourself, true to others, speak the truth, admit that you have surrendered control of your actions to your lower self, accept the consequences, and move on. And this is much more difficult to do than just saying a few lies to some priest.

The prayer "our father" is pretty cool too, actually. I don't know it in english, but basically, it does give lots of pointers on how to behave in life.

About being grateful if you have enough to eat, a place to live
About forgiving others and forgiving ourselves

These are very important keys to happiness in life, but also if you want your life to be meaningful, you have to learn to be grateful for your life itself, so you can then show others how to be grateful and make the most of their own lives.


So Religion, faith taught me all that, and this is how I try to live my life. And since I started, my life has improved significantly on many different levels, including financial. I have better friends around me, I am a better father and a better person in general, I'm more grateful for the little things, I don't stress out in difficult situations, I'm more patient, I work harder (because I realize how precious life is and how important it is to make it meaningful), I'm not angry or fearful anymore, I'm just more happy.


Now as a side note, I must say I have been blessed (pun intended) by a couple of very profound spiritual experiences and while I don't remember any of them very clearly, I can remember, at that time, the certainty of it, for these short moments, it all made perfect sense. It's extremely hard to describe, but one of these moments I had the chance to share with my girlfriend and I think we couldn't stop crying in utter amazement for nearly half an hour.

So at this point in my life (I'm 39) it's a certainty for me, not only do I believe in some sort of grand design (I actually believe the world is absolutely perfect, but in a way we can not appreciate), but I also believe I have seen, if only a tiny glipse of proof.

Now the tragedy of it all, is that I fully understand that it's not my job to convince anyone of anything here, I couldn't if I tried, I know that.

We all have to cease our opportunity for our own spiritual awakening, most of us will never have it, and that's fine.

But if I learned anything in my journey, is that all religions really say the same thing if you read between the lines.




Another interesting perspective would be the gnostic perspective that, if I understand it well, would stipulate that Abraham's God is actually some sort of "demon" that feeds on humans killing ourselves over it.
As a metaphor, I would tend to actually agree with that idea.

But no, I don't believe God is some old bearded dude shooting lightning from the clouds if we misbehave. It's much more absolute than that (more like some sort of mathematical formula that would explain everything in the universe).
And I don't believe demons are ugly little winged beings that torment us, demons are living within our lower selves, fear, anger, hatred, lazyness, resentment etc...)
And God is what expresses itself when we do good, but also whenever we are creative, art, music, they're all human made universes, and a way to express the divine within by creating whole worlds, characters, storylines.
Especially in music (I must say I'm biased here)




The flaw with my belief is that it tends to work great with confirmation bias. I understand that. But since it significantly improved my quality and appreciation of life, I'm happy to just roll with it. Plus, I've had my own experiences, two of which are extremely hard to deny.


Anyway, I'm done being the forum's crazy guy, thanks for reading, feel free to comment, criticize, appreciate or whatever not trying to convince anyone here, just telling my story, for what it's worth.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:24 PM   #55
festeringZit
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel G. View Post
Alright, got some time in front of me

So this will be long, you don't have to read it, but to sum it up, I have found myself to become more and more religious over time. Starting out as a proclaimed atheist, I am now absolutely convinced about religion, but not in the way one might expect.

I've been raised a christian so this is the vocabulary and cultural references that I usually employ, however my "faith" can be applied to any religious framework (Living where I live, there are tons of moderate muslims I can share ideas with, as well as a good amount of traditional christian -the majority-)

Now I won't go into too much details, but at some point in my life, early adulthood, I had to face a great personal challenge, and I was seriously contemplating suicide. My Grandmother was an extremely devout christian, she believed the bible to the letter, and oddly enough, she was still the one who opened me to the concept of faith and its practical applications.

Using traditional scriptures, she still managed to get through to me at the time with an extremely important concept: faith.

So what is "faith"?
To me, faith is the absolute belief that everything that ever happens, happens for a very specific reason.
It's also the acceptation that said reason, at a given time, will be out of our understanding.

Which brings me to the next question "what is, then, religion"?
Religion is some sort of "manual" on how to behave and how to act, when faced with any given life challenge.

The idea, that I've tested time and time again now, is that if you behave "correctly" through challenges and adversity, you will be rewarded ultimately.

So what is "correct behaviour"?
It's not complicated really

- Speak the truth (this is the most difficult for most people)
- Forgive those who do you harm, and most importantly, forgive yourself (which is one of the reasons why you need to speak the truth, so you realize who you are and fix your issues)
- Give love to others, be compassionnate and empathetic
- Be patient and don't look for shortcuts
- Have faith in yourself
- Realize your life is a gift and attempt to act meaningfully towards yourself and others
- Don't judge others
- etc...

Basically, try to be the best human being you can


The idea of "God" itself is extremely difficult to express. In my opinion, we are very far from the idea of a conscious being watching every move we make.

But scriptures do give us hints about what "God" is, again, I won't go in depth here (I'd be happy to discuss this in private tho), but there is one idea that constantly comes back, and that idea is both "God" and also demons, actually live within us. Again, not as beings, but as a part of our very selves.

God is virtue within yourself, courage, truth, patience, resilience, strength
Demons are all the "short cuts", "easy way outs", little lies we tell to avoid the big conversations, lies we tell to ourselves.

For example, I've worked in sales for many years, and many salesmen admit that if you want to be successful, you kinda have to be a bad person and lie.
This is, if you will, the act of selling out your soul, in that you accept to do something that you know is bad, in exchange of monetary gain. You compromise your own integrity in order to make more money.

On the other hand, if you would want to be honest in sales, it would still be possible, but it will prove to be much harder to succeed.

But in the long run, I know (from experience, being an entrepreneur now) that being honest will pay more and longer than being a dishonest salesman.

When you give in to your lowest instincts, when you lie, when you cheat, and when you hate or fear, you surrender control of your lower self.

And if you keep doing it again and again and again, eventually, you're going to end up in hell.
And sure enough, when you always try to take the easy road in life, you usually end up living a pretty awful life after some time. This can be observed time and again, just by walking the streets, homeless people, drug addicts, or just general losers.

But if you give it your all, if you work hard, be patient, nice to others, honest, speak the truth, and don't judge others, eventually, you're going to make a great life for yourself and also for others around you, again, speaking from personal experience.

Faith is the belief that the above is true. Everything happens for a reason, and while we're oblivious to the grand scheme of things, just by believing this, and following the general guidelines, everything will eventually turn out ok.


But when it gets tricky is that by "turning out ok", I don't mean you're going to be rich and successful in society.
Rather, it means that you will find peace within yourself, and it'll actually all become easier and easier with time, you won't get mad anymore, you will appreciate life more, and you will have great influence upon others.

From there, you can probably work out financial success if that is what you desire but it will become less important as you would probably have achieved a kind of happiness that can not be bought.

But it doesn't mean you won't face challenges and hardships anymore, although it does make going through them significantly more easy as you would then realize and accept that if everything happens for a reason, the hardship ahead holds the promise of future great improvements.

The topic is extremely complex as it is all encompassing.
But we are far from the "god" who looks down on you from his cloud, and the magic jesus that walks on water.

Religious figures, such as Jesus for example, I think too many religious people just believe that Jesus story is scientifically accurate.
I'd rather see it as a story, like a blueprint for being the best possible human being (thus becoming yourself the "son of God"). If I had to take a guess, I'd definitely think that this is a fictional story from top to bottom. Just like most of the scriptures.

Now it's extremely important to realize that due to way too many translations over way too many years, by way too many people and in way too many languages, that most of the bible's original text is most likely lost forever. So I think it would be a huge mistake to take it for face value to begin with.


Where I disagree with traditional religious people is in rituals. For example the confession, christians just have to go in the booth, tell their "sins" to the priest, then say a few prayers and they're all cleaned up.

Now, how I see it, when you do a "sin", something bad, that hurts someone else. Being penitent isn't about saying a few prayers and forgetting about it.
Being penitent is accepting the fact that because of you, someone else's life has become worse. Accepting the fact that you can't do much about it anymore. Ask for forgiveness, and try to forgive yourself, also accept that you will live with that guilt until you die, this is being penitent, it's about accepting that on that occasion, you have been a bad person towards someone else, and there has been consequences. Ask for forgiveness, and try to move on regardless.

To be penitent, you need to be true to yourself, true to others, speak the truth, admit that you have surrendered control of your actions to your lower self, accept the consequences, and move on. And this is much more difficult to do than just saying a few lies to some priest.

The prayer "our father" is pretty cool too, actually. I don't know it in english, but basically, it does give lots of pointers on how to behave in life.

About being grateful if you have enough to eat, a place to live
About forgiving others and forgiving ourselves

These are very important keys to happiness in life, but also if you want your life to be meaningful, you have to learn to be grateful for your life itself, so you can then show others how to be grateful and make the most of their own lives.


So Religion, faith taught me all that, and this is how I try to live my life. And since I started, my life has improved significantly on many different levels, including financial. I have better friends around me, I am a better father and a better person in general, I'm more grateful for the little things, I don't stress out in difficult situations, I'm more patient, I work harder (because I realize how precious life is and how important it is to make it meaningful), I'm not angry or fearful anymore, I'm just more happy.


Now as a side note, I must say I have been blessed (pun intended) by a couple of very profound spiritual experiences and while I don't remember any of them very clearly, I can remember, at that time, the certainty of it, for these short moments, it all made perfect sense. It's extremely hard to describe, but one of these moments I had the chance to share with my girlfriend and I think we couldn't stop crying in utter amazement for nearly half an hour.

So at this point in my life (I'm 39) it's a certainty for me, not only do I believe in some sort of grand design (I actually believe the world is absolutely perfect, but in a way we can not appreciate), but I also believe I have seen, if only a tiny glipse of proof.

Now the tragedy of it all, is that I fully understand that it's not my job to convince anyone of anything here, I couldn't if I tried, I know that.

We all have to cease our opportunity for our own spiritual awakening, most of us will never have it, and that's fine.

But if I learned anything in my journey, is that all religions really say the same thing if you read between the lines.




Another interesting perspective would be the gnostic perspective that, if I understand it well, would stipulate that Abraham's God is actually some sort of "demon" that feeds on humans killing ourselves over it.
As a metaphor, I would tend to actually agree with that idea.

But no, I don't believe God is some old bearded dude shooting lightning from the clouds if we misbehave. It's much more absolute than that (more like some sort of mathematical formula that would explain everything in the universe).
And I don't believe demons are ugly little winged beings that torment us, demons are living within our lower selves, fear, anger, hatred, lazyness, resentment etc...)
And God is what expresses itself when we do good, but also whenever we are creative, art, music, they're all human made universes, and a way to express the divine within by creating whole worlds, characters, storylines.
Especially in music (I must say I'm biased here)




The flaw with my belief is that it tends to work great with confirmation bias. I understand that. But since it significantly improved my quality and appreciation of life, I'm happy to just roll with it. Plus, I've had my own experiences, two of which are extremely hard to deny.


Anyway, I'm done being the forum's crazy guy, thanks for reading, feel free to comment, criticize, appreciate or whatever not trying to convince anyone here, just telling my story, for what it's worth.
You equate Roman Catholicism and it's un-Scriptural practices (confession to a priest) with Christianity. There are millions of Christians that think that things like that are a bunch of hogwash.
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:06 AM   #56
Emmanuel G.
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

yes there are, but ultimately I'm fine with it (as long as they don't intend physical harm on me for that)

as said, I do believe the world is absolutely perfect, so I try my best not to be bothered and accept whatever comes to me, deal with it to the best of my abilities, and in the end be rewarded for it, one way or another. It's one of the most consistent things in my life, it works for me and until it doesn't anymore, I'll keep going like that, but I doubt it will ever stop working, been through hell and back a few times with that life philosophy, and I turned out just fine (financial difficulties, divorce involving a kid etc...)

Still happier than ever and at peace with whatever happened to me in the past, looking forward to an amazing future to an already amazing life.

Now if others want to believe whatever and think I'm a moron for that, I'm fine, still happier than them and living a better life than most people on the planet. I'm fine with people not happy with it, it's their problem, not mine. I feel pity rather than hate, and genuine compassion for them as well, as I know where they are and what they suffer from, for having been there myself.

I won't force "help" on them, but my door will always be open to anyone in need of support.

And while it doesn't correlate with christian (since we're taking this frame of reference) litteral interpretation of scriptures, it does exceptionally correlate with it on a metaphorical perspective. Which leads me to believe that under the appearances, there may very well be something to religion, buried deep within the words.

"The sacred mushroom and the cross" takes a very interesting approach to stuff like the dead sea scrolls and offers an estimation of the original text in the original language, and attempts to work ethymologically from there in order to try and figure out what the hell did they meant when writing this.

The results are very surprising, and caused the author to basically lose his career. But since the 90s, his research have gained serious traction and his results are taken into consideration, allegedly of course.

Anyway, "The sacred mushroom and the cross", you can find it for cheap on amazon and there are probably pdf versions out there too. It's technical and somewhat hard to read, but very well worth the effort.

Not saying I believe that, but I like to entertain the idea, amongst others, but ultimately, I don't know, I can only go from personal experience and observations, and I'm a very happy person, living a very fulfilling life, trying to do my best to do good around me and do meaningful things.

On a side note, since we're on 2+2, Poker amazed me in its approach and attempt to mimic real life on a very unexpetedly deep level (I could develop on that, but I wouldn't yet)

to me it can be obvious how everything is related and connected, but I know there is no other way to figure this out than to experience it for yourself, words are way too primitive and limited in order to truly express what "God" is (and I believe Jews aren't allowed to mention "God" by name, which I completely understand the logic behind)
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:05 AM   #57
Yadoula8
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

Lol cool! To me, religion is a puzzle. All I'm trying to do is discover the truth behind it. I don't go for mindless belief. So right now I'm considering how a person could 'take on' somebody else's Karma.
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Old 05-03-2017, 01:53 PM   #58
walkby
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yadoula8 View Post
Lol cool! To me, religion is a puzzle. All I'm trying to do is discover the truth behind it. I don't go for mindless belief. So right now I'm considering how a person could 'take on' somebody else's Karma.
If you're referring to what Jesus did on the cross, He could do it because He chose to.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:28 PM   #59
Toe Jam and Earl
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel G. View Post
Religious figures, such as Jesus for example, I think too many religious people just believe that Jesus story is scientifically accurate.
I'd rather see it as a story, like a blueprint for being the best possible human being (thus becoming yourself the "son of God"). If I had to take a guess, I'd definitely think that this is a fictional story from top to bottom. Just like most of the scriptures.

Now it's extremely important to realize that due to way too many translations over way too many years, by way too many people and in way too many languages, that most of the bible's original text is most likely lost forever. So I think it would be a huge mistake to take it for face value to begin with.
If the Bible contained no miracles, nobody would questions its authenticity (specifically New Testament). It is filled with authority figures, locations, and can be cross referenced with many different sources; even dates match up. The books are written by different authors and also cross reference each other as to the actual events surrounding Jesus and the Apostles. It is not written as a fairy tale. The authors intended it to be read as an eye witness account.

Believing the books of the Bible are not representative of the original manuscripts is a gross error and not supported by the facts. Here is an excerpt from Wiki: (not the best source i know, but way better than your pure conjecture)
The New Testament has been preserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work, having over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian. The dates of these manuscripts range from c. 125 (the P 52 papyrus, oldest copy of John fragments) to the introduction of printing in Germany in the 15th century.
There are more manuscripts that preserve the New Testament than there are for any other ancient writing, the exact form of the text preserved in later manuscripts may not be identical to the form of the text as it existed in antiquity but are agreed by most scholars to be 99.5% identical in content, with the differing .5% attributed to minor variations such as spelling. These variations are not seen to affect the meaning or interpretation of NT scriptures and are usually given reference to as in-page footnotes in most of today's bibles.

Quote:
Where I disagree with traditional religious people is in rituals. For example the confession, christians just have to go in the booth, tell their "sins" to the priest, then say a few prayers and they're all cleaned up.

Now, how I see it, when you do a "sin", something bad, that hurts someone else. Being penitent isn't about saying a few prayers and forgetting about it.
Being penitent is accepting the fact that because of you, someone else's life has become worse. Accepting the fact that you can't do much about it anymore. Ask for forgiveness, and try to forgive yourself, also accept that you will live with that guilt until you die, this is being penitent, it's about accepting that on that occasion, you have been a bad person towards someone else, and there has been consequences. Ask for forgiveness, and try to move on regardless.

To be penitent, you need to be true to yourself, true to others, speak the truth, admit that you have surrendered control of your actions to your lower self, accept the consequences, and move on. And this is much more difficult to do than just saying a few lies to some priest.
Why do you assume those who go to confession don't experience the same soul searching you describe here? Why are they assumed to be lying about their repentance and sincerity?

Quote:
But if I learned anything in my journey, is that all religions really say the same thing if you read between the lines.
No they don't. I can't understand how people have this viewpoint. My religion believes in a literal God, of three distinct persons. My religion believes Jesus is the second person of the triune God, a man that literally walked the earth roughly 2,000 years ago. My religion believes that just being a good person will not lead to eternal bliss in heaven; if you deny Jesus as Lord you are doomed to eternal torment. Tell me again how this is really the same thing as you believe, or Muslims believe, or Jews believe, or Buddhists?
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:36 PM   #60
Toe Jam and Earl
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Re: how does anyone believe in religion don't understand

Quote:
Originally Posted by festeringZit View Post
You equate Roman Catholicism and it's un-Scriptural practices (confession to a priest) with Christianity. There are millions of Christians that think that things like that are a bunch of hogwash.
LOL. The guy writes 1,900 words on his pagan ideals and beliefs. He thinks facts about Jesus are fabrication and that the "god" of the Bible is in fact a metaphor for the good deeds a person does instead of the omnipotent creator of the universe. And after stepping all over your God, your response is to distance yourself from Roman Catholicism; the PROTEST must run deep.
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