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Is Religion Simply A Security Blanket? INTELLIGENT Discussion With NO FLAMING

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posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by sharpmind77
 


Heavy philosophy, man. Bordering on psychoanalysis. You seem to take a keen interest in what makes people tick, and it makes for thought-provoking reading.

There seems to be a hint of 'bank balances outweighing faith-related issues' within the issues you raise that form hindrances to some people being honest with themselves in terms of beliefs.

To be fair none of us is immune to temptation. Let's face it, the choice of comfort vs. principle is a life-long struggle for all of us.




posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 11:51 AM
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This has become a popular thread on the topic of spirituality verses organized religion.

I learn this when taking a college course in Music History from an agnostic
who was employed by the private Presbyterian college I attended.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 11:58 AM
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Is religion a security blanket?
To some people it definitely is. In fact I would say that to most people it is. They think that as long as they follow the 10 commandments or whatever their religion preaches that they will go to heaven and thats it. I believe that to others, religion is a focus. It allows them to have faith then channel that faith to perform tasks. I was raised mormon even though I do not practice anymore. I don't think that it matters what faith you belong to but the that you HAVE faith. I have seen with my own eyes some things that science could not explain.I will never underestimate the power of prayer or faith even though I don't practice it anymore.

I had an experience one time when I was highly faithful as a youth where I needed to find a lesson book in order to prepare for a class that I was supposed to give later that day.

I looked everywhere for it, looked for over an hour to no avail.
I got down on my knees and prayed fervently for help to find this manual(which I had not seen in months) and after about 30 seconds after I finished my prayer, I felt a tugging on my heart, like a string had been tied to it. I followed the string to the back of the house to the storage room. I lifted up a box that was in a corner, and looked in the box below it, a couple of books down, there was the manual that I had been searching for.

Many of you will dismiss this as I knew where it was all along. I really didn't. The tugging of the string feeling was so strong that I could have closed my eyes and found it.

Did God answer my prayer? I am inclined to say no. However I do think that my faith was focused enough to be able to accomplish a task that would have probably been impossible.

I believe that so many attribute this to God or a higher power. Perhaps it is a higher power that when we are focused are able to tap into and manipulate to our desires. I cannot explain this. I believe that we do not know our own potential. Most religions are basically the same with the belief of a God or Gods that created us Have most the Earth's inhabitants been wrong? I doubt that. I think that the Terra Papers explanation is the most plausible even though I don't agree with a lot of it.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by T0by
reply to post by pause4thought
 

Marriage could be seen as a security blanket too.

That's actually a perfect comparison.

For some people, religion is a security blanket just like for some people marriage is security...for others it's more than that. If you're on the outside of a religion looking in, as with some marriages, you wonder, "What exactly are they thinking?". Great comparison, again.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 01:05 PM
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I personally do not like to talk about religion, cause it gets messy.

But when i do, Most of those i talk to about it always seem to say the same thing. "It is not a religion, Its a lifestyle." This statement shows that religion, at some point, stops being something simple to believe in, but something to practice in daily life.

I've meet people that have used it for a comfort blanket sure. But i have also meet people that live it. I even know somebody that is going to live a life as a mercy worker overseas. So i guess my answer would be Yes and No. It all depends on the person.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by Skydancer
This has become a popular thread on the topic of spirituality verses organized religion.

I learn this when taking a college course in Music History from an agnostic
who was employed by the private Presbyterian college I attended.



Well spirituality, i don't really have a stance on the 'human spirit' and after life yet..

My only ideas for the spirit being a probable idea:
---------------------------------------------------------
Idea:
- The spirit may in fact be a free form node of 'energy' which evolved with our species over millions of years. These nodes would have started as simple neural connectors that maintained circuit mapping for each species through evolution.
- This would explain the consistent development of human brains and neural networks which were dubbed a mystery. Think of it like this: Bacteria begins life with a 5 feature neural node spark.. Over millions of years, the species is capable of developing say 25 features every minute it is alive and functioning.
Growth and stimulation encourage the node to expand, being fueled by the energy of the creature.
- After millions of years, the node has evolved with the species and resulted in a complex neural network that maintains trillions of links and un-mappable circuitry even by todays standards.

The node will maintain its form as this energy point/nexus (Imagine a coton-budd or dust brush for theorized pattern) throughout the physical life & acts as the master 'spark' & 'historical record' of neural activity, mapping and bodily functions.
Imagine - each hair of the node has a specific connectivity requirement and will only connect to a human mind not already occupied/controlled already - when the node nears a vacant target, it is drawn in by a mother giving off signals that are unknown today (Its a theory).Once close enough, it can attach.

The node will attach itself firstly by its master or central component. Once connected, the node will chart the outward development of the human brain and extend throughout the body's neural network, slowly mapping the growth along the way and slowly correcting any growth issues that may arise. This idea would possibly answer the questions around brain development - since the brain is mapped using an external energy-node that has evolved with human life, we ultimately try to answer this question.

When someone dies, constant bodily functions cease and areas of the brain stop talking and as a result the node will start to 'slip' out of connectivity as a result of shutdown.
After D/C, the ex-human node would then split into it would split into (2) separate nodes as a result of the human brain polar separation. The split nodes share the same function and will drift apart until they are pulled towards a new baby and its mother.

Interesting:
1) Reduplicative misidentification is when someone has a delusional stage where they feel connected to them selves but not in their current location in a sense. Support for split nodes and possibly connectivity until both sides reach a certain age in their new body?

2) Many birth related issues due to brain related issues or heart failure may be a result of a previous node's last moments before D/C. If for example someone suffers a bullet wound to the heart and the node D/C's early, it may do so without a complete circuit of hairs and therefore be missing the parts that ultimately resulted in heart failure for the new born.

When a node connects to a new born and fails to make it past 4 weeks.. I theorize that the node either fails/dies or ends up connecting to a new species. The reason i make this claim is, during development a node would be distributed and under pressure to accelerate growth. During this stage it seems unlikely the node would retain its previous fully-human signature as a result of it being spread through the body during development.

My eyes are bleeding now.. Time for bed..



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 01:16 PM
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I am much like you. I believe in the existence of a higher power, but dont buy into a religion which is in the end a political machine with political goals.

I think the first thing that should be realized by everyone is religon should be a PART of your life, not what drives it.

The driving force of ones life should be being content and happy with purpose and aiding your fellow man in positive progress of the human race (that should be your goal in life if you believe or dont believe in God)

Problem with religon is the lack of logic behind the principles and practices. When one applies logic, that is when religion gets muddy.

For instance...take abortion...

Abortion, according to people of a strong religious background is wrong...for the most part.

However, using logic...if you believe in an all-knowing, all powerful God whom had a plan to begin with, then a fetus that was aborted was part of the plan and thus was never given a "soul" to begin with.

Same can be said about the idea of "good" and "evil" really, a universe created by an omniscient being with infinite power I would say "good" and "evil" are one in the same and thus neither even really exist...truly an omniscient being wouldnt concern himself with such silly things...really, the true goal of a God would be the progression of creation. Ergo, you have no good and evil...but progression, and evils precieved by man would really end in the ultimate good of progession...

Point in short, religion lacks logic thus hard for me to swallow (please no priest jokes)



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 01:17 PM
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I haven't read all the pages but I skimmed through most of it.

Religion is a security blanket but it's also so much more than that.

1) Religion makes sense of the Universe by saying "God did it". This is a weight lifted off the mind. We all wish to know our origins, and it can be confusing to not have the answers, so we create our own which have no factual bases.
2) Religion pushes morality. Morals, believe it or not, are all about ego. When you show love to an enemy instead of hate, you put yourself on the high horse. Many Christians, whether they know it or not, sit from this perspective and enjoy it.
3) Religion solves the fear of the unknown by making it known. We fear the dark because we have no control. We fear death because we have no control. Religion is an attempt to regain that control. It is not, however, exclusive to religion. Many atheists also believe in an after life.
4) Religion makes the Universe all peach and cherries. The truth isn't always fun. We live, we die, we rot. Who wants to believe that except for the very few who prize the truth over emotional security.

There are also several things that religious people have that they would not without religion. Faith, hope, love of life, morality. All these things are not exclusive to religion. Religion is simply the fasted road to these things. However, if one embrases the truth, he/she will atain these attributes with a much stronger foundation. The truth is that we don't know it and probably never will, and we are only kidding ourselves by saying we do. Accept this and accept what we are as humans to move on. If you make life about one thing, make it be to embrace the truth.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by Dave Rabbit

Are people religious because they really believe?



No, it is because they don’t want to live by faith they want to live in this world by their five senses.


Originally posted by Dave Rabbit

2. Do they simply go through the motions because they are too afraid of the consequences.... just in case there is a Heaven or Hell?



They are not going through any motions; they are doing what all people do who yield their members in service to the creation rather than the creator.


Originally posted by Dave Rabbit

3. Is it simply a security blanket because they want to believe that there is something better after they die and would be miserable if they didn’t believe there was something at the end of the religious rainbow?




Religion is a bribe from Moloch to lure away the heart of a man, so that the man will not seek to utilize the power which God has made available to all who will believe without respect to persons or religion.

There is no security in religion; a man cannot serve two masters.

There is nothing we can do physically that has any effect upon Moloch, the God of this world as the bible calls him, he can only be harmed, and his plans obstructed, when we manifest spiritual power in reality, anything less like religious rituals and practices is meaningless to him.

Behind all religion is a demon because God is a living God, life is His to give not religion.

Death is the great power of Moloch, the ruler of this world and all of its kingdoms.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 01:42 PM
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reply to post by TruthParadox
 


Truth, very cogent response.

Personal opinion, religion....or, I should be specific, "organized" religions have been mostly an empty promise, for those who are too weak-willed to think for themselves.

We know that in the era, the centuries of human civilazation, in many sectors of humanity, the 'religion' was, and still is, used to exert 'control' over those who are not 'in the know'.

Guttenberg, and his invention of the printing press, in Europe, must have brought fear to the 'high priests' of the era. They KNEW that normal people would eventually learn to read, even though they had been kept ignorant. So, the Powers adapted....and kept the lie going....ANYTHING to retain their 'power' over the masses.

Compare this scenario to other major World religions....(didn't want to single out Christianity, but it needed to bew mentioned).

Hinduism, Buddahism.....far pre-date Christianity, yet they are truly a more 'peaceful' discipline, according to history.

Of course, Judaism also pre-dates Christ, but it is inextricably intertwined, as is Islam. THIS is MY premise....these 'organized' religions are just fodder for the masses, and they skew, as needed, by those in power.

A purely 'spiritual' being does not need these artificial constructs. Every individual has a perfect right to believe as they wish. NO ONE has the right to impose on another's beliefs. BUT, these 'organizations' do just that, they impose on a person's right to believe as they will.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 02:08 PM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 

That was a great, well rounded post. Nothing like an accurate history lesson to expand the mind and broaden perspectives.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 02:24 PM
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REMINDER

The purpose of this thread is to get individual perspectives on the three questions I asked. A lot have told personal stories, which I loved the most, some have chosen to state their case based upon their own personal beliefs and faith..... and..... one or two want this to turn into a DEBATE.

Let me make this perfectly clear AGAIN. This is not a debate but an intelligent exchange of ideas about my questions asked. If you want to respond to someone or ask a question, that too is fine. But posts where you are asking for evidence and all that crap..... NO MORE. You either respect those who have poured their souls out, tell your own stories, ask courteous questions if they are sincere.... or DO NOT POST. If another person starts this BS they will be WARNED followed by a POSTING BAN. The overwhelming majority have played by the rules.... those of you who do not.... BEWARE.

Again, to those of you who have made intelligent contributions, THANK YOU!.

Dave



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by Dave Rabbit
 


This, to me, is what makes this thread profound! The 'No Flaming Rule' is pure genius and is why I keep coming back to read the posts! Keep on truckin' Dave! YOU ROCK!



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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1. Are people religious because they really believe?
i don't know..


2. Do they simply go through the motions because they are too afraid of the consequences .... just in case there is a Heaven or Hell?
that is possible...

3. Is it simply a security blanket because they want to believe that there is something better after they die and would be miserable if they didn’t believe there was something at the end of the religious rainbow?
i don't know,sounds possible


from what i understand the religions were set up to control the masses by the Annunaki/sumer...

Jesus the Christed one came down to help us out,but evil reigns here so he was taken out like JFK,John Lennon,MLK,Bill Cooper,Phil Schnieder,etc.etc.

Mother/Father God the creator force has nothing to do with religion..

from what i hear this planet is the only one with religion and the only one that uses money..everything here is set up for control.

the dark cabal are about divide & conquer..we are all one and need to unite...racism was created to divide/conquer..this must end


much love to you all..

namaste



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by Dave Rabbit
 


Thank you! I think this is a wonderful thread. I have enjoyed reading a lot of the posts. I especially appreciated your intimate revelations.


I used to be religious for most of my life and considered myself a Christian. I now, no longer do.

Yes, God is a reality to me. I believe in him completely...we have a love & dislike relationship...and we both see other people!


I had to examine my whole belief system when I started to coach/counsel those who are part of organized religion. I just heard way too much, to be able to turn the other cheek, and ignore what I have come to learn; is covered over by religion (and I mean, all!). A whole lot of secrets!!

During this time and thereafter, I started to think long and hard as to whether God would approve of any religion, with what I knew?

I have heard your story too many times to count! And so much of the time it involved religious authorities or leaders. Would God be part of so much hypocrisy?

I was on a treadmill meditating on all of this (about 11-12 yrs. ago) when I came to a decision: I said out loud to God, "If this is your true religion and this is the truth, and you approve of religion, then you cannot any longer be my God. I divorce myself from you! I can no longer be part of the lie."

It was a momentous time for me and one that was cathartic and life altering. I then had to make a decision as to whether I believed he actually existed or not. Well, I had too much proof in my life that there is a higher power, and things that could not be answered by science or by coincidence. So I did not throw the baby out with the bath water, but, I decided to see if the God I was choosing to explore, was different from the religious one.


"1. Are people religious because they really believe?
2. Do they simply go through the motions because they are too afraid of the consequences .... just in case there is a Heaven or Hell?
3. Is it simply a security blanket because they want to believe that there is something better after they die and would be miserable if they didn’t believe there was something at the end of the religious rainbow?"



1. Some most definitely are part of religion because they believe. Some, if not many, have genuine strong belief in what they are taught.

2. Yes, many do participate in religion because they have fear of the consequences. Fear becomes their higher power!

3. Religion takes on all types of security situations. The free floating anxiety of developing an independent relationship with God on ones own, without structure, is far too fearful of a situation for most. People on the whole are followers, and need structure and guidelines, and authorities to follow, and at times: even to worship.

There is a comfortable feeling being with like minded people (I almost called them individuals but that would be inaccurate. For religion teaches conformity and there is little space for individualism).

Often though, what I see and certainly hear is; the actual worship of one's religion and all of it's beliefs and doctrines, instead of God.

"Religion is for those scared of hell. Spirituality is for those who have been there!" - Anon.



[edit on 22-9-2008 by MatrixProphet]



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 03:32 PM
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i don't think i've seen anyone mention the "red pill" and "blue pill" analogy from The Matrix here yet...

personally, i think everyone should take the "red pill" because there are MANY sides to a story, but there's only one truth. right? well, take for instance all the religions in the world... from all i've researched my entire life, i've seen many, many similarities between the religions, and they all say the same basic thing. i'm sure someone on this site has already compared religion similarities before on a thread, so the information is out there, if not right here on ATS, if you'd like to see the proof for yourself. the "red pill" allows us to see the "light" together.

taking the "blue pill", on the other hand, allows for everyone to believe anything they want - religious tolerance. now to me, if the human race is going to advance spiritually at all, we ALL need to be on the same page! all these religions can't all be the correct or right one, can they? of course not! there's only ONE Divine Creator, and most religions say that they are the true "way", and dismiss the others as being incorrect. how can that possibly be so, if there's only one true way to worship God?

i've always believed, even before i started heavily researching it, that religion is simply a social tool used to control and manipulate the masses. it's unfortunate, too, that we've been so misled away from the true nature of spirituality and God, that to undo "their" mess could take longer than our lifetimes. i sure hope i'm wrong, though!


people just want to feel like they're doing the right thing, but i think religion is almost a "failsafe" - an easy way out - for those looking to get into Heaven. i think William Bramley, in his book, The Gods of Eden, sums up modern religion best when he talks about Martin Luther:



Because Luther’s confessionals were unsatisfactory, he felt compelled to invent another way to escape the “karma” cycle enforced by the rewards and punishments of his monotheistic God. Luther therefore developed the idea that God would allow Jesus’s pain and suffering on the cross to become the “boomerang” for everybody. In other words, by “believing in” Jesus, you will not spiritually suffer for the bad things you have done in the past because Jesus has already suffered for you. This is a wonderfully magical notion, but it is hardly a philosophy of responsibility, nor is it fair to Jesus that he should be expected to take the brunt for everyone else’s wrongs.

More importantly, Luther’s solution simply does not work. Many people do feel and act better after “proclaiming Christ” because they have acknowledged their spiritual existences in a way they had not done before and they often begin more ethical behavior as a result, but their act of belief has not caused them to overcome the many other barriers which stand in the way of complete spiritual recovery.

Protestants continued to practice confessional, although it was no longer considered vital for achieving salvation. Practical knowledge of the spirit was also largely ignored. Luther’s method amounted to “quickie salvation”: a simple act of belief. Luther taught that salvation was guaranteed by God for as long as a person continued to adhere to a belief in Jesus as Saviour.





posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 03:38 PM
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reply to post by Raud
 

Hello Raud,
Thanks for bringing that story up. It brought back some memories when I was a wee-boy and had listened to the story at bedtime. The story, although originating in India, is almost certainly a Buddhist parable, attributed the man - Gautama Buddha himself. The story is of 6 blind men wandering upon an elephant, one finding the tail, another the ear, another the leg, etc. feel exited that they have seen something new (elephants were common in India then
). They chance to meet up with a wise man (a non blind man) or the king and tell him the exiting news. However, they soon find that their individual descriptions do not match with the others, and therefore start fighting among themselves.

You certainly did get the moral of the story though (my respects). If GOD is so "huge", creator of the universe, beyond good or evil, beyond time, etc, how can we as mortals say that we "know" him. It is quite possible that we have touched only a part of HIM. If we accept that arguement then the only way in which we can "know" what GOD looks like is by amalgamating the information from all religions, and yes, even the athiests cause they may have touched a different part of HIM that the others did not. All roads lead to GOD (this idea is borrowed), but can only reach GOD once they have united and become one.

To the Anonymous Poster age 19
(cannot think of any another way of addressing).
If you believe in "something" being the start of all creation, say the big-bang, you are perfectly logical in questioning the science that says that the universe began out of nothing. As you say, life has to come out of life, so there must be something that must have started the universe - could be god. To your question regarding what came before this "god" - THERE WAS NO BEFORE, the universe did not exist and therefore TIME did not exist. This "energy" could have been there for eternity because there was no concept of time. The clock started to tick only when the universe was born - at the big bang. If you have a belief and faith, please do not let this be the stumbling block.

The rest of the post may now go off topic, but I think I should still relate it. I was fortunate to grow up with Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. This is the time (Ramadan) when Muslims eat food & drink water only before sunrise and after sundown, and the food they eat after sundown is deeelicious. We friends would take turns sometimes in keeping this "fast" with our muslim friends and therefore get invited to their house for the after sundown dinner. We never did this all that the same time, because like myself, my friends' families were not exactly affluent and could not afford 5 extra mouths to feed every day, we usually took turns. I admit it was selfish (oooh the food), but would Allah condemn us to damnation just because we did not belive in Him.

During the same time, Christians in the sub-continent believe that burning candles in front of the image of the diety and praying is good. We would all contribute to buy the candles and all go to church to burn candles in front of the diety. Would the Christian God condemn all the rest to hell because we did not believe. Food for thought.

Conclusion - do not spite someone for what they belive in, they are actually walking along with you, albiet on a different path. Also do not try to convert everyone, because if you do that in the end everyone will see less and less of the elephant.

PS : I am an athiest because I choose to be so, and I have already posted my personal views on the subject earlier in the thread.

Thanks Dave for starting this thread - the best thread ever, and thanks to everyone who contributed to this discussion.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 03:43 PM
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1. Are people religious because they really believe?


Some are, some aren't.


2. Do they simply go through the motions because they are too afraid of the consequences .... just in case there is a Heaven or Hell?


Some do, some do it because they truly believe and "feel" the energy flow.


3. Is it simply a security blanket because they want to believe that there is something better after they die and would be miserable if they didn’t believe there was something at the end of the religious rainbow?


Overall, I think this is the case. People build a support for themselves out of religion, to justify their existence, to have an explanation for things, to have something good to expect, to carry them through bad times.

I conclude this for the reason that seldom do people "get religion" when things are going well. It is only when things are going poorly, or when they, themselves, are depressed or down. Few people have said, "Hey! Life's great! Things are going my way! I must be missing something... Let me devote myself to a God!"

When they are down or things are not working out, it feels better to believe that some dogma or another that promises it will get better when this life is all over.

[edit on 9/22/2008 by Amaterasu]



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 03:46 PM
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Let me throw in my .02:


[B]1. Are people religious because they really believe?

2. Do they simply go through the motions because they are too afraid of the consequences .... just in case there is a Heaven or Hell?

3. Is it simply a security blanket because they want to believe that there is something better after they die and would be miserable if they didn’t believe there was something at the end of the religious rainbow

I think that it depends on the person.

Some people are what many here would call the "sheeple" or I personally like to refer to as the "Sleepers."

These are the people that beleive one religion absolutely (this includes atheism for the purpose of this discussion.) They are looking for something to distract them from the "Real" world (either the pain of the physical world, or the unknowns of the spiritual world.) and religion is convenient.

I often think that everyone is addicted to something. Many people who never ingest a substance get their "fix" from religion. The "Sleepers" will never change their opinion, no matter what; they either need the security or enjoy the apparent superiority of being right (sometimes both.)

Now, I beleive that one of the good things about religion is the rituals and sense of community, but I abhore it when someone uses their religion to justify their own sins or beleives that they are better or someone else is worse based on their form of worship.



posted on Sep, 22 2008 @ 03:48 PM
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reply to post by plato63
 


The more I read this thread, the more amazed I get! The elephant parable analogy was simply profound, and has actually given me yet another way to look at my own spirituality! You are a wise man (or woman) plato63!



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