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Thoughts on Organized Religion

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posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: addygrace

Cool. I don't enjoy barking at people, though it may seem otherwise on ATS.

I think — and this is totally off topic — that you might profit from a slightly more forgiving view of those whose beliefs are not the same as yours. I'm not sure how compatible that is with your Calvinism — assuming, and I don't believe I am wrong, that you are one of those who believes in the doctrine of election.

For the record: I think it is possible to be a Christian without believing in the divinity of Christ, or even in the existence of a divinity at all. You don't have to believe in the divinity of Plato to be a Platonist, or in the divinity of matter to be a materialist. All you need to be a Christian is belief in a set of principles, and acceptance of the very radical idea that your love need not be confined to those genetically or culturally related to you.

The people we've been talking about — Roman Catholics, Orthodox and the rest — have far more than that. They believe, as you do, in the divinity of Christ. They believe that it is through him that Man obtains salvation from God. To reject their description of themselves as Christians suggests a certain exclusivism, an I'm-better-than-you-are attitude towards those who don't sing the Hallelujah Chorus to the same arrangement as oneself. That does not strike me as Christian; then again, neither does the doctrine of election.

Before today I had never heard of the Doctrine of Election. I looked into it, and I have to say, I really need to look into it some more. It seems to bring up a paradox. Do we choose God or does he choose us. The Bible seems to say both so, as I said, I need to look into it some more.

When I speak about things that have to do with religion, I speak of them from the perspective of my beliefs. So when I say a Christian must be born again, because the Bible tells me so, I speak of it from my own personal beliefs. If it was revealed to me that the opposite was true, then my beliefs would change. Sticking to the teachings of the Bible I still believe you must be saved. Reading the Bible I don't see any contradiction to this.

People that make fun of " born again " Christians seem to have a problem with the idea of God, not certain interpretations of the Bible.

As for you, I'm not sure based on your posts in the past, what it is you believe. You seem to know a lot about world religions and all their nuances, but at the same time, you also come across as a materialist. That to me is a conundrum. If there is no super natural, why spend so much time on various religions?




posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: addygrace
Just to clarify, as a Christian, I have most certainly thought about the idea behind the Doctrine of Election, but I have never heard of the actual Doctrine.



posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 12:32 PM
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a reply to: addygrace


People that make fun of " born again " Christians seem to have a problem with the idea of God, not certain interpretations of the Bible.

As someone who has seen any number of Catholics, Anglicans and even Dutch Reformed Calvinists fulminate against the 'born again' 'churches' (and their damnable success at winning converts from these mainstream persuasions), I would say you were wrong.


I looked into (the doctrine of election), and I have to say, I really need to look into it some more.

And today you have learned something new. Did you ever conceive of receiving theological instruction from an atheist?

Speaking for the opposition (as an atheist I get to play Devil's Advocate for both sides in this controversy), I would say that God chooses you. Meaning He chooses the people who will choose Him. After all, God is said to be omnipotent, and if that is the case then He can certainly foresee the future, and know who will be saved and who will be damned at the Last Judgement.

If omnipotence, omniscience and linear time are all accepted as true, there is no other possibility. Never mind the philosophical contradictions engendered thereby. But this leads us towards the central flaw in Christian theology, namely theodicy, and I don't wish to rehears that ancient argument here.

Suffice to say that my advice stands. Reflect, if it sweetens the pill, that God moves in mysterious ways, and that He is no respecter of persons, even in the matter of election.

There are more things in heaven and earth... ah, but that's Shakespeare. My Bible, not yours.


edit on 15/11/14 by Astyanax because: 'batten' is a Shakespearean word.



posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: addygrace


As for you, I'm not sure based on your posts in the past, what it is you believe. If there is no super natural, why spend so much time on various religions?

Sorry, I missed this earlier. I am, as I said, a scientific materialist — an atheist, if you will. I don't believe in any God that you would countenance. Nevertheless I am also, I am beginning dimly to realize, still a Christian of the Anglican persuasion, both ethically and culturally, although I could not answer to most of the Thirty-Nine Articles.

So why, as you very properly ask, am I so interested in religion?

One answer: I am a student of human nature. It is grist to my mill as a writer, an historian and a former advertising man. Religion is one of the salient manifestations of human nature. Religion is Psychology Illustrated — profusely and colourfully.

Another answer: I have a deeply religious personal and educational background, and although I have long since lost my faith, the questions to which religion purpotes to supply answers still have great relevance to me.

A third answer: I love art, history, folklore, music, ritual. Above all, I love stories, the more far-fetched the better. Religion is a rich source and inspiration of all these things.

I love going to a Shaivite kovil and participating in the arathi with all the various trappings, the burning camphor and the holy ash and the sacrifices of water, fruit and flowers, the strictly prescribed movements, the barbaric, often sanguinary idols, the bells and the chanting, all that stuff. Equally, I love the grandeur of High Church Anglican ritual, although my years as a sleepy choirboy at Matins have dulled the shine of the experience to some degree.

A fourth answer: people are funny, and never funnier (and more heartbreakingly fragile) than when they are making things up to preserve their illusions.

A fifth answer: I grew up in a country of many cultures, sects and faiths, and I've always been nosy about my neighbours.

Are you satisfied?


edit on 15/11/14 by Astyanax because: of bad marksmanship.



posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 07:13 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: addygrace


As for you, I'm not sure based on your posts in the past, what it is you believe. If there is no super natural, why spend so much time on various religions?

Sorry, I missed this earlier. I am, as I said, a scientific materialist — an atheist, if you will. I don't believe in any God that you would countenance. Nevertheless I am also, I am beginning dimly to realize, still a Christian of the Anglican persuasion, both ethically and culturally, although I could not answer to most of the Thirty-Nine Articles.

So why, as you very properly ask, am I so interested in religion?

One answer: I am a student of human nature. It is grist to my mill as a writer, an historian and a former advertising man. Religion is one of the salient manifestations of human nature. Religion is Psychology Illustrated — profusely and colourfully.

Another answer: I have a deeply religious personal and educational background, and although I have long since lost my faith, the questions to which religion purpotes to supply answers still have great relevance to me.

A third answer: I love art, history, folklore, music, ritual. Above all, I love stories, the more far-fetched the better. Religion is a rich source and inspiration of all these things.

I love going to a Shaivite kovil and participating in the arathi with all the various trappings, the burning camphor and the holy ash and the sacrifices of water, fruit and flowers, the strictly prescribed movements, the barbaric, often sanguinary idols, the bells and the chanting, all that stuff. Equally, I love the grandeur of High Church Anglican ritual, although my years as a sleepy choirboy at Matins have dulled the shine of the experience to some degree.

A fourth answer: people are funny, and never funnier (and more heartbreakingly fragile) than when they are making things up to preserve their illusions.

A fifth answer: I grew up in a country of many cultures, sects and faiths, and I've always been nosy about my neighbours.

Are you satisfied?

Yes. Great answer. At least now I see where you're really coming from. Often times in debates like these, it often comes down to;

God's real.
No he's not.
You can't prove it.
I know because you can't prove a negative.
That's your burden not mine.
Nope, you claim God, so the burdens on you.

We see people as either atheist or a creationist. But people are much more interesting than that. The mind is constantly bending and shaping thoughts in the future.

Yeah, I believe in God, but how I got there is important, also. Your atheist, but how you got there is important. It's much easier to understand one another from the background to our answer to the question of God. That's why it annoys me when I constantly read things on ATS about the ignorance of one group or another. You used to believe in God, now you don't. I used to be atheist, now I'm not. Neither of us are different people. Neither of us lost critical thinking skills along our journeys. They're just journeys until we die.

There is one fascinating aspect of this whole thing, though. Why are people so curious about religion, and why are humans so worried about the afterlife?



posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: addygrace


Yes. Great answer. At least now I see where you're really coming from.

It was the best answer I could give, but I'm not sure it's the right one. My interest in religion is natural to me and I have never really questioned it, any more than I question my interest in music or evolutionary biology. People don't, do they? At best they'll give you, as I did, a story about how they came to be interested in the topic, or else — as I also did — offer you some kind of pop-psychological answer. As far as I know, everything I said in my previous post is true. However, a psychologically acute observer may be able to show that the real reason for my interest in religion lies deeper, in a place invisible to me.



posted on Nov, 16 2014 @ 09:35 AM
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a reply to: addygrace


There is one fascinating aspect of this whole thing, though. Why are people so curious about religion, and why are humans so worried about the afterlife?


People feel a sense of urgency when they realize the fair is about to shut down...tickets left over, so many rides - never enough time

:-)



posted on Nov, 16 2014 @ 10:24 AM
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originally posted by: addygrace
There is one fascinating aspect of this whole thing, though. Why are people so curious about religion, and why are humans so worried about the afterlife?


Because nobody wants to leave the party while it's still going, nobody wants to die.

I'm curious about religion because people actually believe the claims made by aincent people in 2014, pretty fascinating IMO



posted on Nov, 16 2014 @ 09:15 PM
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a reply to: Astyanax

You are most welcome. :-)

I found the study to be enlightening. Everyone should read it. Don't you agree?

Kisses and love.
edit on 16-11-2014 by Not Authorized because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 16 2014 @ 09:33 PM
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a reply to: Prezbo369

Love the quote by Sagan on your signature. So true.

Sometimes, you just need to throw a hotdog down the hall to see who goes off to fetch it.

Thanks for your participation. :-)
edit on 16-11-2014 by Not Authorized because: (no reason given)

edit on 16-11-2014 by Not Authorized because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: Hoosierdaddy71

I am open to the truth. If truth is something that does not bode with my ideals, i still accept it. I just have an issue with blind faith.



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: Not Authorized

I feel many "organized" religions are in need of updating their views. Too many are hung up on the sacredness of their beliefs, though I fear they never will. That is why I am not a part of a religion like that.

If you are interested in something different, check out the Urantia Book. It is presented in such a way as to allow for growth and change. It speaks of a Universe teeming with life, and as such, there will be vastly differing views of God and our relationship with him.

The eternal truths discussed are just that, eternal. They can be relevant at any stage of human development. What changes from age to age is how it is portrayed and the language used. This is the big blunder of most religions. They try to inspire with the trumpet blasts of the middle ages when their message would be much more effective if it were updated to be more appealing to modern people.


edit on 10-12-2014 by UB2120 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 09:54 AM
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originally posted by: Not Authorized
a reply to: Prezbo369

Sometimes, you just need to throw a hotdog down the hall to see who goes off to fetch it.

Thanks for your participation. :-)


No thanks, I'm married.....?



posted on Dec, 31 2014 @ 11:41 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: addygrace


People that make fun of " born again " Christians seem to have a problem with the idea of God, not certain interpretations of the Bible.

As someone who has seen any number of Catholics, Anglicans and even Dutch Reformed Calvinists fulminate against the 'born again' 'churches' (and their damnable success at winning converts from these mainstream persuasions), I would say you were wrong.


I looked into (the doctrine of election), and I have to say, I really need to look into it some more.

And today you have learned something new. Did you ever conceive of receiving theological instruction from an atheist?

Speaking for the opposition (as an atheist I get to play Devil's Advocate for both sides in this controversy), I would say that God chooses you. Meaning He chooses the people who will choose Him. After all, God is said to be omnipotent, and if that is the case then He can certainly foresee the future, and know who will be saved and who will be damned at the Last Judgement.

If omnipotence, omniscience and linear time are all accepted as true, there is no other possibility. Never mind the philosophical contradictions engendered thereby. But this leads us towards the central flaw in Christian theology, namely theodicy, and I don't wish to rehears that ancient argument here.

Suffice to say that my advice stands. Reflect, if it sweetens the pill, that God moves in mysterious ways, and that He is no respecter of persons, even in the matter of election.

There are more things in heaven and earth... ah, but that's Shakespeare. My Bible, not yours.



I grew up in a Methodist church and the part you wrote about God being omnipotent is what we were taught to believe first as very young children . I've been agnostic most of my life though.
The part about it that I cannot grasp or come to terms with is this: If God already knows who will be believers and who will not, how do we have the "free will" to choose? If he is the Creator of Everything, then he would either 1. know who will or won't be a believer at the beginning of creation, or 2. he would decide who will or who won't be believers at the beginning of creation. "Free will" doesn't work with either of those two scenarios, but yet, we are somehow given the "free will" or believe or not believe. How am I to make that decision all by myself if God already knows the end result? That can only mean I didn't get to choose. I could even argue that for everyone that is not a believer (hypothetically if God is real), that he is to blame for all the non-believers because HE created us, therefore, he is responsible for our actions and beliefs. Then there is the argument that if he already knows or even IF there is "free will", I never signed up to be a part of this "test".
I hate to think if God created us and he is actually willing to make some of us suffer in "Hell" for all of eternity just because we used our brains a different way than the next person.
Not the kind of God I would want to worship, sorry.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 01:17 AM
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a reply to: Not Authorized

Your zeal to eradicate a belief system that you are not aligned with IS a religion. You're the other side of the same coin. There are no Truths with a capital T that you can prove or disprove any more than those who you wish to eradicate.

The only truth any of us have is our own truth, with a small t. Our personal truth. To attempt to force your truth on others is tantamount to violence.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 03:20 AM
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originally posted by: Jamie1
a reply to: Not Authorized

Your zeal to eradicate a belief system that you are not aligned with IS a religion. You're the other side of the same coin. There are no Truths with a capital T that you can prove or disprove any more than those who you wish to eradicate.

The only truth any of us have is our own truth, with a small t. Our personal truth. To attempt to force your truth on others is tantamount to violence.


Please show me where I tried to "prove a truth"?
I gave my personal thoughts on a specific characteristic of the Christian faith that I had personal experience with, and gave examples as to why I feel that way. Your statement does not address anything I commented about.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 07:08 AM
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I find from time to time it's helpful to insert some actual facts into a thread.

Deaths caused "In the name of Religion", over the last 2 THOUSAND years...approximately 2 Million people

Deaths caused at the hands of atheists, in JUST the 20th Century...approximately 100 million. And "Religion" is the bad guy in this movie?

Source: Hawaii.edu (yes, that's a college,someone studied this)

It is atheists who follow myth. They have, not even one original thought, only simple regurgitation of the same old BS urban legends.

Moral relativists, hedonists, individualists and minimalists. Look what those traits do to a dictator of a country. Very scary. Steer clear of atheists. Millions of people have died at the hands of atheists.

Christianity is what has allowed the modern world to become modern. Promote progress through organized religion, don't promote regression, due to atheism.

Marana tha!! Come Lord Jesus!!


JMJ, AMDG



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 01:56 PM
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a reply to: Ignatian

Counting the numbers of deaths on both sides of this argument is not in anyway a measure of morality, you must know that having an immoral belief has a bearing on the morality of the individual - religious or otherwise.

You do realize that there is no "atheist doctrine" or atheist holy book people can use to justify anything at all, on the other hand holy books such as the Quran and Bible DO have text that can be made to justify just about any evil deed and even outright dictates such atrocities.
Assuming a god (any god) killed virtually every living thing on earth, then he is by definition a genocidal tyrant, earning the lowest moral position we know of.
Indeed anyone who continues to support such a murderer, knowing His actions, must be on the lower moral rung also.

So... atheists win on a technical knockout!

Good luck on your zombie Jesus.. I wouldn't hold your breath, the physical laws of nature say your going to be waiting an eternity. In the meantime you will pass and insert the lie into the next generation, just as it has been done to you.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 03:55 PM
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Of course I know there is no "Atheist Doctrine", because there is no such thing as an atheist. It's just a word. An excuse.

a reply to: flyingfish


edit on 1-1-2015 by Ignatian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 03:59 PM
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originally posted by: M4ngo

originally posted by: Jamie1
a reply to: Not Authorized

Your zeal to eradicate a belief system that you are not aligned with IS a religion. You're the other side of the same coin. There are no Truths with a capital T that you can prove or disprove any more than those who you wish to eradicate.

The only truth any of us have is our own truth, with a small t. Our personal truth. To attempt to force your truth on others is tantamount to violence.


Please show me where I tried to "prove a truth"?
I gave my personal thoughts on a specific characteristic of the Christian faith that I had personal experience with, and gave examples as to why I feel that way. Your statement does not address anything I commented about.


Maybe I misinterpreted your intention. As read your OP as asking for advice on a systematic way to dissuade people from organized religion because you believe those religions are harmful to society.

So what exactly did you need help with?



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