Does a person need to believe in a religion to be essentially good?

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posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 01:32 PM
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I ask this as an honest question, and to be truthful, I ask it reluctantly here. I was raised in a religious family, however, at a very young age, while attending the religious schooling, I began to point out various inconsistencies in the scriptures. This was, from a young mind (about 7 or 8), a way to try to better understand it all and was purely out of innocent curiosity.

However, it was not well received by the "instructors" there and I was removed from the class for being a "disruptive influence". Well, that was my indoctrination of what they wanted....don't ask questions or you will be branded a trouble-maker and shunned. I was not welcomed back, and my family had a hard time after that because of the result.

So here I am almost 40 years later, and I am still a good person. I have no arrest record, I do no illegal drugs (even though I was raised in one of the worst drug infested areas of my town). I went to college, received my degrees, and am successful with a family. I try to do what I can to help others in need, and friends know all they need is to ask and I will be there for them.

All of this, without following any brand of organized religion. So, are ones deeds and what is in ones heart and mind what makes them a good person, or what religious tribe they follow?

I honestly want to know the opinions of those here in this forum. But, I do not want it to devolve into a hate filled shouting match. If it does, I will ask the mods to remove the thread and be done with it all.

Thanks.




posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 01:39 PM
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I don't honestly think so. You sure sound like a good person and thats absolutely nothing at all to do with religion. That's down to yourself. It's you who has choose to be good. I have no problem with religions at all. I will be in church tomorrow evening. And I'm not sure what I believe in to be honest



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


Goodness comes from one's ability to empathize with others. It's something that humans are born with and develop naturally in the midst of loving home environments or influences. You don't need to have religion to be a good person.

You do however need some time of loving caretaker in the early years of your development. Anyone for any amount of time can make huge differences in the level of empathy a person exhibits later in life.

edit on 5-12-2013 by OrphanApology because: f



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 

For a candid opinion of a young atheist on the subject, here is an extract (which I've quoted before) from the diary I was writing in my atheist days;

"I had a rather drastic shock last Tuesday [18th], at approximately half past five in the Periodicals Room of the History Faculty Library. I was musing on the fact that my philosophical and political opinions are all becoming very amoral... I’ve already come to realise that my philosophy, taken in the abstract, leads to the destruction of all morality. I think it is a fact of observation that I have any morality at all only because it suits me, and I am forced to recognise that religious people are right in thinking that religious belief is necessary for the bonds of society. If everyone else reached my position, not all of them would hold it in their interests to abide by the rules. "
The "drastic shock" was another pyschological self-observation not relevant to this topic.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


We are the sum of our deeds IMHO

I'm not religious, although my family are (including my wife), however I believe that a non religious person that has a good soul, has nothing to fear.

I've seen hateful crimes including dead kids, and bits of kids in the name of religion.

I'm guessing you're way is better.

Just my 2 cents

Cody



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
It's one of the beatitudes listed in the bible.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 



Wonderful question, and an important one.

My belief and my understanding is this: NO. A person can be good without religion. In fact, a person can go to heaven without religion.

Check out Romans 2:7
To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

In fact, all of Romans 2, to me, really sounds like non Christians are saved so long as they follow the moral laws (etched in their hearts by God). Paul describes that non-Christians can be saved by their good works.

Now people that meet these standards are probably very special indeed. I myself would fall short. Thank God, Jesus has me covered.


edit on 5-12-2013 by VegHead because: Oops! Sorry I had to change my Yes to a No when I realized how the original question was worded. Sorry for any confusion ... the rest of my content is unchanged.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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Simple no BS answer.
No. And that is why they fear us.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 02:20 PM
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Does a person need to believe in a religion to be essentially good?


NO!!
I know atheists who are better people than some of the so-called religious 'god fearing' people.
Check out this thread - Stoning People to Death
Check out the 'religious' people on that thread who would have no problem picking up a rock
and bashing in the head of another human being for 20 minutes until that victim is dead.

edit on 12/5/2013 by FlyersFan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 02:22 PM
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There are good atheists, and bad/evil Catholics, Christians, Muslims, etc.

Religion doesn't dictate a person's heart or morality.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 02:27 PM
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The answer in NO, and from what i gather religion is a way of following a belief. So with so many ways to follow , one must ask if it can be done without a gathered consumption of the same beliefs. I personally am not a follower, so you know where I stand. You have the right to chose if you want to have faith, follow or just have your own peace of mind.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 02:33 PM
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Religion simply allows us to omit all the bad deeds we've done and still call ourselves "good" people.

Praise Jesus!



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


It doesn't make you a bad person in the slightest, i'd say it was a very wise move, the reason you were branded a trouble causer was because you simply didn't just accept what you were told.

Just out of interest do you believe in God?

I do, but only for the last two years, I did religious studies at school but only remembered the very basics, but when i picked up a king james bible about 2 years ago i saw the inconsistencies immediately. I don't see any reason to join a religion at all, who is anyone else to dictate what passages from the bible mean? thats our choice to interpret the passage for our selves.

On a slightly different note, my last boss hated that I could see the inconsistencies in the rubbish that came out of his mouth as he tried to used NLP on me and my colleagues, because I could translate to them what he had really meant, and they could see that was I was saying was right, anyway, after working with him for 6 months (i'd been with the company for 4 1/2 years) I handed my notice in, he offered me more money than what I was leaving for but I declined without hesitation. Then when I started my new job my employee asked my previous boss for a reference and one of the questions my employer asked was 'would you employ this person again?' and he answered 'no'. when i questioned him he said 'i was a disruptive influence on the rest of the team'. The only reason i used this example was to show that anyone who tries to question the normal flow of things is quickly branded a trouble maker, as you were.

Stick to your guns and do what is best for you, only you knows what that is



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 02:47 PM
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Lets keep it civil folks, shall we? No need for bashing any religion or belief, whether you believe it or not. I see a few posts here that could be construed as attacks, and I will not have that in this thread. I ask if you cannot discuss this with civil fingers, please refrain from posting your personal rants.

If you feel so inclined, please start a rant thread for that type of discussion, it does not belong here.

Thank you to those that have answered civilly, and I respect your responses.

PS: I welcome responses from any religious faction here, as long as it is a civil discussion.
edit on 12/5/2013 by Krakatoa because: Fixed spelling and other fat-finger errors


ETA: I just read the post above asking if I believe in God. Well, it shouldn't matter one way or the other ,should it? If the good is truly from within, and expressed in a positive manner without, do you need a belief in something external at that point? I'm not trying to evade the question at all, only to posit whether the belief in a larger "being" is needed to be a good and honest person. Is the threat of "eternal damnation" needed for everyone just to force you to do good things? If so, then those deeds are not from within, but are a coerced action under threat...am I correct?

edit on 12/5/2013 by Krakatoa because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 03:17 PM
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OP, you answered your own question by citing the life you now lead and that you aspire to.

The real issue here is the guilt you continue to feel for having been 'the troublemaker' for asking questions early on. It's fascinating how long a childhood guilt trip can hang on... and how asking questions is somehow heresy; it's the antithesis of a free society and a true religion wouldn't shun questioners.

You might be interested in Joseph Atwill's theory that the Romans invented Jesus to circumvent their problem with the Jews that were actively fighting Roman rule:




posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 03:21 PM
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signalfire
OP, you answered your own question by citing the life you now lead and that you aspire to.

The real issue here is the guilt you continue to feel for having been 'the troublemaker' for asking questions early on. It's fascinating how long a childhood guilt trip can hang on... and how asking questions is somehow heresy; it's the antithesis of a free society and a true religion wouldn't shun questioners.

You might be interested in Joseph Atwill's theory that the Romans invented Jesus to circumvent their problem with the Jews that were actively fighting Roman rule:



Thanks, I'll try to watch it if I get the time...really. However, the childhood guilt you mentioned is not due to being branded disruptive, not at all (I wouldn't give then that satisfaction to be honest). However, I do feel a bit of guilt for what it did to my family....they were innocent and should not have had to endure that negative feedback from the believers. That only confirmed and cemented my resolve at that point.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 03:36 PM
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aboutface
reply to post by Krakatoa
 


"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
It's one of the beatitudes listed in the bible.


Who is truly PURE in HEART?



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 04:06 PM
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ChesterJohn

aboutface
reply to post by Krakatoa
 


"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
It's one of the beatitudes listed in the bible.


Who is truly PURE in HEART?


Jesus Christ... cool dude, true rebel.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 04:07 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 

Please better define what `good or bad` is as one person`s good could have detrimental consequenses for another and one person`s evil can work out for the benifit of others. There is only varying shades of grey as most things like this is rather is subjective. There are also those who hide behind their `goodness` just to get away with outrageous evil or others who claim to be `evil` yet are the most endearing people around.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 04:26 PM
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No, you do not need to belong to a religion to be good. Many people who belong to religions are not good. Being honest and considerate are good traits as well as helping others in need.

I am sure some religious people will disagree with this but if they do than they aren't interpreting things right.





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