Which religion do you practise and how did you conclude it was right for you?

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posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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As an atheist, in recent months I have found myself conducting a bit of market research into the religious options on offer. I am interested in gaining some perspective and insight into what members here believe and how it came to pass that your chosen faith is right for you.

Do you believe your faith to be the only way or is there room for others to believe in and follow other doctrine and still wind up in the same heaven promised to you?

I mention that I am an atheist as I currently follow no religion per say but have always been spiritually inclined and believe in a higher power / creational force.

Thank you for any and all contribution.
edit on 22-10-2012 by Dreamkidd because: Grammar




posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 05:39 PM
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My mom told me it was the right one. The beliefs were instilled in me at a young age, I am incapable of critically examining their claims.
edit on 22-10-2012 by TsukiLunar because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 05:51 PM
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I'm not sure if I "practice" any religion. I believe in a higher power though. I also pray and say thanks to the universe for everything I have, keeping me and my family safe and for future blessings it give me. Growing up i was brought up Christian. To me, most religions are either hateful to another group or just don't make sense.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 05:53 PM
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I am atheist because I accepted that death is the end of being spiratuly and physically.

I would say that you are more of an agnostic from what you have stated.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by Dreamkidd
 


From what you said, I would call you an agnostic theist... Search about it and tell me if it doesn't reflect your position much better than saying you're an atheist


Cheers



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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I am a Christian, because it resonates with me (in comparison with Judaism and Hinduism, the only other religions I put any time into researching.) I am now a Roman Catholic, after about 30 years of being a Protestant, because, once again, it resonates with me and I appreciate the way that it encourages daily interaction with God. But I may vacillate back to Protestantism in the future, this is still a faith in progress.


I am a strong skeptic who came to God through science and reasoning, so my path is not a common one. Good luck on your journey, where ever it may lead you.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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I was a Christian... now leaning towards Buddhism and have all but removed the concept of mono and poly theistic attributes to to either of their origins.

I'm big on causality and to pretend to know what created 'God' is unknowable, so why worship one level of creation and make claim that it is responsible for the creation of everything after... 'something or someone' created your god... although we could go on a never ending debate about quantum mechanics and a 'universe from nothing', yet... you will still lose...

Time moves on and manifests, there's an underlying principal to all things.... and many of their references and conceptual metaphors I agree with.

I would never claim to completely adhere to either philosophies, as 'dogmas' have a history and tendency to abandon, regardless of conscious awareness.

No matter what some bible head wants to claim, they obviously shared and copied one another.... thank you trade routes and they are very compatible. In the end of the day Buddhism wins and is mainly verifiable.

I don't care to change anybodies mind or what not.... but yeah, down with Abrahamic religions.

If you do care to learn some interesting things, there is a great 'lecture' on youtube that is by Professor Lewis R. Lancaster, I don't recall the exact title, but it's something like '21st century Buddhism'.

Remember.... Jesus went to India right?



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:01 PM
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Recovering Catholic over here. I was super into it when I was younger because of the influence of my grandmother. I think what appealed to me was the ritual/supernatural aspect. I can still recite the mass by heart and I will still never take communion without going to confession first. But when I hit about 17 I started exploring other faiths and ways of thinking and asked my grandmother for advice. I got the biggest tongue lashing ever. At that point I realized the only way stay "true" to one faith was to cultivate ignorance and ignore things that didn't fit with the church's teaching.

Now I'm a student of all faiths and can see the commonalities between them. I have direct spiritual experiences all the time, some of them bordering on miracles. I choose to call god the universe and am not afraid to ask for what I need. (I've found it's important to be very, very specific, and true of intention, if you want an answer). I'm a big fan of the Virgin Mary as an intercessor and frequently pray the rosary. Something of a mixed bag over here. Definitely not an atheist. More anti-religion than ant-god.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:02 PM
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It looks like I am definatly more Agnostic than Athesit.

Making progress already. I am defiantly searching for something more substantial spiritually.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:04 PM
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Do you believe your faith to be the only way or is there room for others to believe in and follow other doctrine and still wind up in the same heaven promised to you?


We are all engaging the world through the instrument of mind, if that mind is turned inside on itself through the practices of the particular religion, then the muslim and the christian ultimately have achieved the same thing/ found the same place. But lets say the doctrine fills you with preconcieved notions of what you are supposed to find when you seek God, if that predjudice prevents you from going deeper into your mind towards...the truth... well then the religion has revealed its limitation.

I am religion- thats all.


edit-felt my own story less important but here it is


I grew up indoctrinated into Protestant Christianity, and boy did I believe it. Into early 20's it all seemed pretty empty to me and was maybe time to let my 'system of beliefs' go or to engage with spirituality seriously. And I did. I've pretty much read all the scriptures of the various religions and found them to be rooted in similar ideas, that some dude, whether it be Jesus or Mohammed or some saint from India had a deep spiritual experience and everyone following after them formed a system around that experience and believed in it- so came religion.

Having no interest in religion (been there done that... had no experiences etc.) I looked at the methodology of these religions, by far, hinduism and its texts (specifically the yoga sutras of Patanjali) have clear methods for spiritual experience. and so I practiced the ethical principles (not stealing or lieing or killing etc.) and the physical practices of yoga and meditation, breathing excercices and there I had my first little taste of what I believe to be the nectar of the religions.

So today I dont say I am part of any religion, I do visit different religious institutions from time to time, and besides group meditations they all feel relatively normal, nothing super-natural or spiritual to be found there.
edit on 22-10-2012 by el1jah because: (no reason given)
edit on 22-10-2012 by el1jah because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:14 PM
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Rather than take the word of 'authority figures' i.e. priests, scientists, celebrities, teachers etc as 'proof' or 'evidence' (because we know their interpretation holds no authority over our own and are equally as valid), I am creating my own belief system based on my own account of the universe.

Submitting to another's ideas over one's own turns us into hosts for parasitic thoughts.
edit on 22-10-2012 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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The closest thing to my view on religion is a quote by Swami Vivekananda




The teachers of the science of Yoga, therefore, declare that religion is not only based upon the experience of ancient times, but that no man can be religious until he has the same perceptions himself. Yoga is the science which teaches us how to get these perceptions. It is not much use to talk about religion until one has felt it. Why is there so much disturbance, so much fighting and quarrelling in the name of God? There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause, because people never went to the fountain-head; they were content only to give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, and wanted others to do the same. What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him? If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.


SOURCE- Introduction: Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:20 PM
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I suppose I would be defined as an animist. I came into the world as such.

You can not conclude what is right or what is wrong. Right and wrong are intuitive. You do not sit and think it over to try and know. That confuses. You just simply understand what is right and what is wrong.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:30 PM
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Thank you all for your posts and contributions thus far.

el1ijah, im feeling what you said below;


Originally posted by el1jah
But lets say the doctrine fills you with preconcieved notions of what you are supposed to find when you seek God, if that predjudice prevents you from going deeper into your mind towards...the truth... well then the religion has revealed its limitation.

I am religion- thats all.


I have never been down with the "sold on fear" mentality and as another poster mentioned above, there has been more bloodshed over religion than anything else throughout history.

In recent times i have started attending Christian church and am really enjoying the social interaction and sense of community present. Everyone is really cool but, i cant get past the "believe in or go to hell" ideology.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:33 PM
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Originally posted by el1jah
The closest thing to my view on religion is a quote by Swami Vivekananda




The teachers of the science of Yoga, therefore, declare that religion is not only based upon the experience of ancient times, but that no man can be religious until he has the same perceptions himself. Yoga is the science which teaches us how to get these perceptions. It is not much use to talk about religion until one has felt it. Why is there so much disturbance, so much fighting and quarrelling in the name of God? There has been more bloodshed in the name of God than for any other cause, because people never went to the fountain-head; they were content only to give a mental assent to the customs of their forefathers, and wanted others to do the same. What right has a man to say he has a soul if he does not feel it, or that there is a God if he does not see Him? If there is a God we must see Him, if there is a soul we must perceive it; otherwise it is better not to believe. It is better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.


SOURCE- Introduction: Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda


what is your religion? does it have a title or is it a way of life?

Do you feel your soul?



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:44 PM
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reply to post by Dreamkidd
 


yeah the notion that all my buddies were going to hell because they believed something different was what did it for me too. I just couldnt take religious people seriously anymore.

Churches HAVE to exsist simply because short of our close family most of us are trained to ignore or outright take advantage of our fellow man. So the church allows us to extend our family in a sense to teach us how to be good and civil to eachother. If people practiced what their religions preach, they would PERCIEVE not just believe that we are all children of the same source and we'd be treating eachother wonderfully, better then we treat ourselves even. Religion would be obsolete! Thats why I stress the fact that you and your instrument of perception (the mind) where all your senses culminate is the only door to true religion.

I like to think of the books of religions as a boat, you take that dusty old thing across the river and then you leave it tied up on the shore, you let it go. So yeah religion is not necessarily a bad thing but it seems most religions have "put the cart in front of the horse".
edit on 22-10-2012 by el1jah because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 06:51 PM
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reply to post by Dreamkidd
 


I was raised in the Catholic faith. Went to (or should I say forced) to go to a private Catholic school. Had to attend mass everyday before school. Later went on to become an alter boy for the next 4 years. Sometimes I attended mass 7 days a week because I would have to serve for funerals, weddings and Sunday mass.

I no longer follow the catholic religion. I still believe in God, but my experience changed my perception of organized religion. It's funny, because a lot of friends I knew who were alter boys and went to private schools changed their religious perspective too.

What changed my perspective?

1. Seeing priests who lived high on the hog, owning boats, big cars and having church women serving dinner for
them (lobster, steaks, you name it). While the majority of the church congregation was very poor.

2. Seeing how wicked nuns and priests acted. They had us kids terrified to the point we didn't dare act out of line. (Having seen student's knuckles being hit with a ruler, faces being slapped, ears being pulled, hair being pulled) had me wondering if this is considered God's work what the heck was bad?

3. Confessions - I always questioned why I had to go through a priest to ask for God's forgiveness. Half the time as a kid, I would go into confession and make things up because I couldn't remember all the bad things I did. Let's see, I swore 5 times, I lied 3 times...


4. Hypocrisy - If you believe in the 10 commandments, the 1st one states "I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me." Yet Catholics pray to man made saints and have statues of these saints. What about the old lady down the street that was always helping people in the neighborhood? She was never drafted into saint hood.

"I shall not kill," yet this same religion supports sending their daughters and sons to kill foreigners because their government tells them so. Did you ever see the Virgin Mary statue in Italian festivals with dollar bills pinned to her gown? Looks very sacrilegious to me. I would think the last thing God would care about is money. I can add more, but I digress.

5. The Catholic religion really believes during mass the wine and bread is turned into the body and blood of Christ. It's not just symbolic, it's what you truly must believe. I can tell you for certain, being an alter boy, the wine and wafers don't change composition or taste.

6. It's a business, pure and simple. No religious organization should be granted tax exempt status. With all their bingo nights, casino nights, daily cash offerings, spaghetti dinners and festivals, the last thing they should be allowed to do, is have their congregation and the rest of the population pick of their taxes. They get the same city services as everyone else. Ever notice their churches or entertainment halls ever falling in disrepair? Yet look around the neighborhood, and the same people who are depositing money into their baskets are seeing their homes fall in disrepair.

7. When they prevented us from taking pictures of my daughter's first holy communion. They wanted us to buy their video and pictures at $25.00 a shot.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by Dreamkidd
 

To be honest, I've never felt "my soul".

But through practicing meditation I've learned (and I could be wrong) that there is only 'soul' not one soul, just... soul, think of it as a big pot of energy that everything is made of. Its the source of my consciousness, it comes from some vast space I cant really understand and somehow it is funelled into my existence deeeeep in the recesses of my mind. Now, my mind is a collection of my past experiences, those experiences make me... me, I am the sum of those experiences, thus how can I actually see the whole pie while cutting it up in my mind through identity. SO... once the vast ocean of energy we are calling 'soul' hits that place in my mind where my identity is formed it becomes 'mine' and thus is limited. So in trying to dig into myself deeper and deeper I catch glimpses of that energy and so come the lights or sounds or entities of this vast space. But there is no 'me' there, just observation.

That sounds abstract I know but its the clearest way I can think of describing what I actually think it is.

Now if I tried to recommend something or tell your read this or that, well, thats going to just add to your own identity. So the trick is to approach a set of practices as dictated by whatever religion, take those practices up seriously, and let the resulting experiences be your truth, not the text that led you there. If you strong arm me into naming a book, pick up a copy of Vivekananda Lectures: The yoga sutras of Patanjali (you can read it - HERE)

If you are more into the occult stuff not so religious maybe venture into hermetic philosophy (try a book called THE KYBALION)

and remember this all sounds very philosophical and sort of up in the air, very RELIGIOUS (Oh noes!) but there is a very physical side to this, feeling your energy system, cleansing your nervous system, diet and fasting are all important aspects towards spiritual growth.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by WeRpeons
 





3. Confessions - I always questioned why I had to go through a priest to ask for God's forgiveness. Half the time as a kid, I would go into confession and make things up because I couldn't remember all the bad things I did. Let's see, I swore 5 times, I lied 3 times...


The older I get, the more I understand the true purpose of confession. It's a way to unburden your soul, like an early form of therapy. Giving voice to our own self doubts and regrets is the first step to getting over them. The forgiveness you ask for is actually from yourself.



posted on Oct, 22 2012 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by Dreamkidd
 


Hi Dreamkidd,

I am a 3rd generation Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Christian. Despite growing up as one I have done much research into my own version of Christianity and others in the past few years and see that it is not only supported through history, science, archaeology but it's doctrinal stance out of other Christian denominations is not only consistent with understanding of the Bible all the way through but an Adventist's close analysis of scripture has enabled a few more doctrines of most other mainline versions of Christianity which help understand the character of God better, the purpose of our life on Earth and just generally better in explaining why things are the way they are.

Adventist's hold that the Genesis account of creation and the stories in the Old Testament literally happened and have been recorded accurately and can generally provide independent evidence to support that stance. Another main area that is emphasized in Adventism is understanding of Biblical prophecy, both past prophecies already fulfilled and future prophecies. SDA's generally hold that they have a unique and important role to play in the world (not only to draw Christian's back to a right understanding of scripture now but) during the last stages of Earth's history when the final test and great deception will come that will be used to separate all the world into 2 main groups and eliminate lukewarm believers (to decide who remains in the 'book of life' or not). SDA's see that the knowledge God has unveiled to them means that God has placed great responsibility upon them to distribute the information properly to the rest of the world.


Do you believe your faith to be the only way or is there room for others to believe in and follow other doctrine and still wind up in the same heaven promised to you?


Adventist hold that God 'winks at' people's ignorance and only judges someone based on their knowledge, understanding ect...While everyone's life circumstances are different, even those who have never heard of Jesus before will be judged fairly (God' knows a person's heart and character) of whether they remain in the 'book of life' or not and receive an eternal inheritance. God wants people to seek after and follow Him sincerely based on the best of their knowledge. Adventist think that there will be people in Heaven from many various walks of life and faiths (because of the manner in which God judge's their life) that saying that you're a Christian or an Adventist doesn't mean anything ('by their fruit you will know them'...God doesn't want people who honor Him with their lips and not their heart....or people who say they do things in God's name but don't know/have a personal relationship with Him).

Adventist hold that the highest and most complete understanding of God and His ways are taught in the Adventist Church (that we are His last days church on Earth, the symbolic Laodicean church of Revelation 3:14-18), and having such teaching gives one the best opportunity to know God and follow Him the way He wants for us the best but does not guarantee one will follow that teaching.

I will be happy to field any questions or requests for more information you have





 
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