posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 08:14 PM
Before I start, let me apologize if this topic is a regurgitated one. I've looked back at quite a few pages of posts and have not found anything
similar thus far. However, if it has been a past topic, I believe that it should be reposted since this board seems to be filled with vicious circular
arguments that simply take up space. My question to you all is a broad one: What do you believe, or not believe in exactly? How did you come to the
conclusions you've made about what is 'true', what is not, and what thought processes went through your minds to lead you to these viewpoints? I'd
prefer if this was done without attacks on others' views. This has proven to be a fruitless effort and always comes down to scripture quoting, and
outright personal attacks. Please feel free to 'prove' your point of view however. Why am I doing this? I'm just curious to see where you all stand
on religion, and if I can learn anything else that might help me further formulate my own beliefs.
I was born a Christian and took to heart the whole "heaven and hell" concept, fearing God, angels, saints, the whole shebang. I never questioned it
mainly because my entire extended family is Christian and I thought it was normal to believe in what I'd been told. When I hit about 14 or 15, I
started to take a good hard look at my beliefs. Well, they weren't really my beliefs, they just existed as what had been instilled in me my entire
life, beliefs I took to be the only truth up until that point. I took apart everything, and looked at all the major religions: Buddhism, Taoism,
Sikhism, Hinduism etc.
I compared ideas and explored many other possibilities. I tried to take nothing for absolute truth and started from the ground up. I looked at Heaven
and Hell concepts. I didn't believe in Hell. Why would God, if He existed, condemn our souls to torture for all of eternity? I had been told by my
religious teachers that God was in every one of us....that our souls were a 'part' of God. Would God send part of himself to Hell? Would this even
be possible if God is pure good? God, in so many interpretations took on surprisingly large number of human characteristics such as anger, which I
just didn't think made any sense. I also looked at the incongruencies in the Bible, researched some Biblical stories like Noah's Ark, and learned of
gaps between when events happened, and when they were written down.
For example, I learned through watching the History channel that the story of Noah's Ark was passed down verbally for something like 1000 years or so
before being written down. I looked at the story logically and found what I thought to be much exaggeration. Humans could not possibly survive in a
boat for the time period listed in the Bible (I believe it rained 40 days and nights, but they were stranded for a year, at least according to the
history channel. I have to look more into that). The Babylonian account was taken shortly after the alleged event and was much more logical in my
eyes. There were other exaggerations as well, like how Noah was said to be 800 years old in Genesis. It was common back then to record people as
having grossly extended lifespans out of respect. I thought to myself....if parts of the Bible don't add up, if stories were passed down from word of
mouth for long periods of time before being written down, and if the Bible was rewritten in parts by corrupt clergy in the middle ages to possibly
control the masses, how much could I really take to be fact?
I went from being Christian to non-practicing Sikh, from Sikh to Buddhist. In the end, what I believe in, in a broad sense, is that there is a 'God'
in the universe, but this God is not a personified diety. I like to think of God more in terms of an all-encompassing 'energy' that exists in
everything living and possibly non-living as well. God isn't responsible for everyday events, there are no miracles, no angles, saints, or paradise,
heaven, hell or any other final resting place for our souls. I believe in reincarnation and that we have souls, which are really just our spiritual
energy but I don't believe in this absolutely. I share many Buddhist beliefs including Nirvana. That wouldn't discount my above statement because
Nirvana is a state of non-existance. I take the Jewish view of Jesus, that he was a nice guy, but not the son of god (at least not the 'son' in the
literal sense that many Christians I know of believe). The prophets I believe were enlightened, but had no contact with a being known as God (I know
this is a generalization). I support the concept of evolution and believe in God, but I'm not sure if the universe was created by God.
So that's my generalized view. I'm probably forgetting a lot and will edit this accordingly. I hope you all will add to this, and I look forward to
reading all the different viewpoints that exist.
[edit on 16-6-2005 by zhangmaster]