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How many of you do and don't believe in God?


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#106    Zaphod222

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:41 AM

View Postdarkmoonlady, on 20 January 2013 - 05:45 AM, said:

The Universe is old enough and vast enough that I do believe something we perceive as a god exists, however not the biblical god. I myself believe in Nature/Goddess, in that the earth is our home. If tomorrow every trace of religious thought and texts disappeared including our memories, Christianity (along with other book religions) wouldn't come back at all while nature based religion which rely on the seasons and the observations of the sun, moon and stars, would I think come back as something similar.

So you are Spinoza follower. Not a bad philosophy, but as unfounded as all the others. What is so hard about acknowledging that we simply do not know.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

#107    Zaphod222

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:47 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 January 2013 - 05:15 AM, said:

The basic  purposes of religions and spirituality work for all humans (even very modern ones) for very real reasons based on our psychology and cognitive development.

Wrong again. You are simply repeating the same well-meant, but ill-informed fallacy in different words.
There is no common "basic purpose" for all modern religions, let alone for all religions.

There are very different religions out there, created by very different people for very different reasons.

Pontificating about "all religions" is like declaring that all books are the same. Fact is, they are not. I can understand your desire to find a nice, warm and fuzzy solution that puts all under one roof, but reality is simply different.

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#108    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

View PostZaphod222, on 20 January 2013 - 08:47 AM, said:

Wrong again. You are simply repeating the same well-meant, but ill-informed fallacy in different words.
There is no common "basic purpose" for all modern religions, let alone for all religions.

There are very different religions out there, created by very different people for very different reasons.

Pontificating about "all religions" is like declaring that all books are the same. Fact is, they are not. I can understand your desire to find a nice, warm and fuzzy solution that puts all under one roof, but reality is simply different.

Ive heard this all before; by exclusivists, fundamentalist, jihadists and other extremists. It is very simply wrong. If humans create religions, then they do so for evolved cognitive purposes, just as we  create philosophy and logic. Faith and religion serve basic fundamental human needs and as all humans are basically the same, those needs are the same across time and space.  Thus all created religions serve a common human purpose or purposes and this is very easy to see in a study of comparative religion or theologies or sociology or psychology or philosophy.
Languages are all different but all evolved and exist to serve a common purpose. If you can think and speak you can LEARN any language beause we all have built into us the capacity to do so. Same with religions.
If god is not a construct but real,  then all forms of worship and connection are of /with the same entity, whether  a believer realises this or not. The religions of the mongols, aztecs, mayans,  christians, jews, pacific islanders, and all humanity,   spring from the same source. Either from within ourselves or from  human experiences with  one actual god.
Now humans both divide them selves into groups on the basis of many things, and also develop a  them and us mentality We are secure with the familiar and predictable/known, and insecure/afraid of the unkown different or unpredictable. And for good evoved reasons  Once we realise that we are all the same and united by our  sameness, then differences, while they may remain cannot separte or divide us.

I am human first; white, rich, australian, english speaking, male, etc., a distant second. Actually, to be true, I am sapient first and i would share a commonality with any equally sapient entity, be it another animal or an artificial intelligence. But as we know only one sapient entity(ourselves) for sure,it is safe to put my humanity first. If chimps or dolphins were sapient like humans, then i would include them as my brothers, and as one with me, and not allow any divisions along species lines.

Ps of course every book is the same. Its content may vary, but its form, structure, purpose, organisation etc is generally identical  And something can be learned from every book.

The quote you used is meant to be understood like this. It doesn't matter if you worshiped the sky mother under genghis Kahn, aestarte in persia, Ishtar in bablylonia, gaea, the spirits of nature like pagans or jehovah, allah etc. Or thor, odin, aphrodite, baal, mithras, zeus, mercury etc.

Your worship and faith serve the same human needs. They WORK for humans and are an evolved property of human intellligence. That is why they exist, and continue undiminished, 100000 years or so after we began religious belief. Just like language.


Ps again. Modern science quantifies and qualifies the benefits of spiritual belief. They are wideranging and significant. That is not opinion it is measured scientific fact. There are many complex reasons for this, but in itself it is a good enough reason to believe, even if there were nothing to believe in.


For example if I knew scientifically, that belief in the spagetti monster added 10 years to my life improved my physical amd mental heal h outcomes, allowed me to control my pain levels and  emotional responses than i would chose belief even in something as silly as the spaghetti monster. it would be the logicla thing to do. My belief would be in the verifiable outcomes but transferred to the  spaghetti monster by a conscious act of will .

Edited by Mr Walker, 20 January 2013 - 11:50 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#109    TheLastLazyGun

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 06:55 PM

I believe in the Christian God.


#110    shadowhive

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 January 2013 - 04:43 AM, said:

To address your first point. I often forget that most people only hold constructs of god and base their relationship on belief in that construct. And you are correct about the difficulty in introducing another person to a construct, but you can do it.  We teach children how to love hate and feel empathy envy etc. Those are all constructs..

You can introduce children to constructs quite esily as they are pretty much 'blank slates' but introducing an adult to a construct (or trying to rid n dult of one they were tugtht as  child) is much more difficult.

Quote

In my case, however, I could introduce my friend to a physical real and powerful entity. They might not see it in the same way I would, or relate to it as I do, but then they might not see my wife in the same way i do either, or relate to her as I do.

God to most is still a concept. Even if you think of it as physical and real, you still have people seeing it as the concept instead. As opposed to introducing someone to your wife where they couldn't see her as somethin you know shes not (ie  6 foot tall hamster). With your wfe you know your introducing someone to the person that is your wfe, but with god you hae no ie if the other person is seeing the same thing you are.

Quote

Yes, the bible needs a rewrite, but more importantly people need to read it with a modern mind, not one from the first millenia BC. I dont connect to god, using a mind from 2000 years ago, so why should i interpret a book about him with such a mindset?

The problem is the leadership. Theyre stuck with  mindset 2 centuries out of date and guess what happens People blindly do what they say like sheep. Or worse, tke the ideas and run with them.

Quote

The bible tells us clearly why the world suffers, and what each of us has to do to stop that suffering. So does secular humanism, and many other (than christian) spiritual beliefs.

Suffering will always happen in one form or other. You can (say) stop all wars and eliminate poerty, but people would still suffer. The bible doesnt say how to cure  disease. There'd still be people with mentl health issues. There'd still be people suffering because someone they cred aout died. There's no way to end all suffering, just to end the big things.

Quote

How do I know a dog is a dog? God and dog are labels we attach to certain concept or objects. If an object or concept meets the parameters assigned to that label, then it IS the thing labelled. The entity i know fits fairly firmly inside the parameters humans assign to the label god. Thus god is a reasonable label for it. But of course it (god) is what it is. It doesnt think of itself as god, that's just one of our labels for it.

And like it or not you have god inside you, just as you have a conscience inside you. It might not be comfortable or convenient, and of course anyone can refuse to accept it, but humans by nature are a integral part of god and vice versa. Realising this consciously (or just believing it to be true)  does, of course change our basic nature, how we think, and how we chose to act.

It sounds like a parasite. Especially with the 'like it or not' part. Personally I don't want such a thing inside me, intruding upon myself unbidden. Changing our nature, how we think and act, also doesn't sounds like something that's particularly positive and certainly doesn't sound like something I'd prticularly want to be party to.

Quote

A person wil change utterly  when they accpet this fact, or believe it, and many people are scared stiff of even the idea of  such utter change. In a way they will be a new person (the bible describes this as being born again but it is not restricted to biblical theory it jus tis.) And most of us are naturally terrified of suddenly finding we are no longer who we had been for years, but an entirely new individual. So we refuse to face it and stay as we are, even though that is a very limited version of what we could be.

In other words a person is completely destroyed by this god and ecomes something else. Again, that doesn't sound like it's a good thing. Quite the contray in fact.

Quote

MAybe some people use god as a prop, as others use alcohol or  material wealth. But god is not artificial like those things Because it is integral to us, it is no more a prop or a crutch than our heart or our brain. I look at it as a natural bionic enhancement, which is a part of being human. I want to be ALL i can be, not anything less. In being all I can be, i can make more of a  constructive difference to the world, and to others. ANd why live, if you are not making a difference by living?

And if ALL of us were all we could be; wise and compassionate etc., without fear, lust, envy, hate, anger or loneliness to divide us from each other, think what our world could be like.

People don't need god to make a difference. God sounds worse then drink or drugs.

As I've said before, severing those emotions is a terrible idea. It's when we take any of those things in extremes that problems arise. The same can be said for compassion (putting people out of their misery when they don;t want it), love (killing for love) or removing emotions 'for their own good'. Having access to all emotions, good and bad is what makes us rounded indiduals. Removing ny is a bd thing and not ust tht, it's foolish and careless, regardless of the intent.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
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#111    The Silver Thong

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:02 PM

View PostTheLastLazyGun, on 20 January 2013 - 06:55 PM, said:

I believe in the Christian God.


So did I till I figured out that adults lie and do it often.  Religion or a god of any kind is controled by man to control man. If there is a god and he cares he would slap the people that think they know or can speak for him or it. Simple as that.

Sittin back drinkin beer watchin the world take it's course.


The only thing god can't do is prove he exists ?

#112    sslama

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

Maybe we should define God first before asked if we believe in her.

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#113    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:20 PM

View Postshadowhive, on 20 January 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:

You can introduce children to constructs quite esily as they are pretty much 'blank slates' but introducing an adult to a construct (or trying to rid n dult of one they were tugtht as  child) is much more difficult.



God to most is still a concept. Even if you think of it as physical and real, you still have people seeing it as the concept instead. As opposed to introducing someone to your wife where they couldn't see her as somethin you know shes not (ie  6 foot tall hamster). With your wfe you know your introducing someone to the person that is your wfe, but with god you hae no ie if the other person is seeing the same thing you are.



The problem is the leadership. Theyre stuck with  mindset 2 centuries out of date and guess what happens People blindly do what they say like sheep. Or worse, tke the ideas and run with them.



Suffering will always happen in one form or other. You can (say) stop all wars and eliminate poerty, but people would still suffer. The bible doesnt say how to cure  disease. There'd still be people with mentl health issues. There'd still be people suffering because someone they cred aout died. There's no way to end all suffering, just to end the big things.



It sounds like a parasite. Especially with the 'like it or not' part. Personally I don't want such a thing inside me, intruding upon myself unbidden. Changing our nature, how we think and act, also doesn't sounds like something that's particularly positive and certainly doesn't sound like something I'd prticularly want to be party to.



In other words a person is completely destroyed by this god and ecomes something else. Again, that doesn't sound like it's a good thing. Quite the contray in fact.



People don't need god to make a difference. God sounds worse then drink or drugs.

As I've said before, severing those emotions is a terrible idea. It's when we take any of those things in extremes that problems arise. The same can be said for compassion (putting people out of their misery when they don;t want it), love (killing for love) or removing emotions 'for their own good'. Having access to all emotions, good and bad is what makes us rounded indiduals. Removing ny is a bd thing and not ust tht, it's foolish and careless, regardless of the intent.

Because we (you and I) have different perceptions of "god' we have vey different reactions to "him"  and feelings about "him". You dont want the god you perceive inside you. I love having the god I know inside me, but i wouldnt want god as you perceive him to be, in me either.

Emotions at  a human level are mostly learned intellectual constructs we choose,  with just a strong leavening of biological response. And so it is wise not to act on hate, but to act on love, not to act on greed or envy, but act on charity or altruism. Not to act in anger but to act dispassionately. If you love someone, you wont kill them unless they ask you to, as an act of love, and even then you would be conflicted. If you hate someone, you dont need any other excuse/reason to kill them.

We can teach these truths (new concepts/ ways of thinking) to a adult, and an adult can totally change. In religious terms it is what  is called a conversionary experience and one can literally become a new man (in their world view) but it is a cognitive/psychological change which can also be achieved without religious influence. One of those major light bulb moments of  realisation; the result of long study or meditation/reflection, or  of new experiences.

If we can't recognise, and control, and choose our emotions, we are trapped into acting on all of them, as are all other animals. If we can recognise and control them, we may choose our responses using wisdom (such as knowledge of consequence) and logic.

The ultimate ability in this is to choose not to feel the negative, destructive emotional responses. They serve no good purpose compared with logic or with creative positive emotional reactions. If you need, or want, to decide to choose anger or hate in a situation you still can, but you have the ability simply not to feel anger or hate etc.

It makes "you" and your society more human not less,  (unless you think it is a necessary part of being human to hate, be enraged, be envious greedy etc.) but more importantly  it makes us more humane, "civilized", safe, and constructive; with a better chance to progress, and survive; as individuals, as societies and as a species. And you know what? I learned all this not from any religion but from decades of watching star trek (and of reading many classic  tales of science fiction) Id worked it out before i was a teenager and later studies in philosophy, psychology, sociology, cognitve development, and history,  studies just confirmed the scientific basis for it all.

Finally no human has to suffer. Yes they have to feel pain, but suffering is something we can choose not to do. Suffering might serve some useful purpose, but its not for me, and i refuse to be a sufferer.

Edited by Mr Walker, 20 January 2013 - 11:34 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#114    SubjectDigamma

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:15 AM

I do u got a problem wit it


#115    csspwns

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:16 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 January 2013 - 11:34 AM, said:


Ps of course every book is the same. Its content may vary, but its form, structure, purpose, organisation etc is generally identical  And something can be learned from every book.


You arent correct here because not every book has the same organisation and structure because manga books are read right to left not left to right

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#116    shadowhive

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:32 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 January 2013 - 11:20 PM, said:

Because we (you and I) have different perceptions of "god' we have vey different reactions to "him"  and feelings about "him". You dont want the god you perceive inside you. I love having the god I know inside me, but i wouldnt want god as you perceive him to be, in me either.

Your god is different to the one i mostly associate witht he term. However it's no less insidious in my eyes just because its modus operendi is different.

Quote

Emotions at  a human level are mostly learned intellectual constructs we choose,  with just a strong leavening of biological response. And so it is wise not to act on hate, but to act on love, not to act on greed or envy, but act on charity or altruism. Not to act in anger but to act dispassionately. If you love someone, you wont kill them unless they ask you to, as an act of love, and even then you would be conflicted. If you hate someone, you dont need any other excuse/reason to kill them.

We can teach these truths (new concepts/ ways of thinking) to a adult, and an adult can totally change. In religious terms it is what  is called a conversionary experience and one can literally become a new man (in their world view) but it is a cognitive/psychological change which can also be achieved without religious influence. One of those major light bulb moments of  realisation; the result of long study or meditation/reflection, or  of new experiences.

If we can't recognise, and control, and choose our emotions, we are trapped into acting on all of them, as are all other animals. If we can recognise and control them, we may choose our responses using wisdom (such as knowledge of consequence) and logic.

The ultimate ability in this is to choose not to feel the negative, destructive emotional responses. They serve no good purpose compared with logic or with creative positive emotional reactions. If you need, or want, to decide to choose anger or hate in a situation you still can, but you have the ability simply not to feel anger or hate etc.

It makes "you" and your society more human not less,  (unless you think it is a necessary part of being human to hate, be enraged, be envious greedy etc.) but more importantly  it makes us more humane, "civilized", safe, and constructive; with a better chance to progress, and survive; as individuals, as societies and as a species. And you know what? I learned all this not from any religion but from decades of watching star trek (and of reading many classic  tales of science fiction) Id worked it out before i was a teenager and later studies in philosophy, psychology, sociology, cognitve development, and history,  studies just confirmed the scientific basis for it all.

Finally no human has to suffer. Yes they have to feel pain, but suffering is something we can choose not to do. Suffering might serve some useful purpose, but its not for me, and i refuse to be a sufferer.

I agree on some things. I agree that certain emotions shouldn't be acted on and they should be controlled.

BUT I disagree (strongly) with removing any emotion, regardless of how negative that emotion feels. Those emotions make us human and if you cleave them off, you become less and less human. Is it good to feel anger or hate? No. But I still want to feel them. Just like I still want to feel the sadness and loss when someone dies even though the feeling is bad.

There have been quite a number of films, novels and shows focussed on dystopian futures, where society has decided to rid people of their emotions. The situation is never positive generaally because once someone decides one emotion needs to be shed, it eventually leads to more and more until there's nothing left.

I too, have watched Star Trek and yes, I hope we can adancce to the sort of society we have there. But you'll also note that the human characters didn't shed their emotions to achieve that future. The characters were still experienced fear and anger and hatred. Sometimes they even acted on those emotions, despite themselves.

Suffering or not is your choice. But you hae to realise two things: first that choice is yours and yours alone. You can't force (or expect) others to do the same. Second other people are in situations where they do suffer and can't escape it.

So just take off that disguise, everyone knows that you're only, pretty on the outside
Where are those droideka?
No one can tell you who you are
"There's the trouble with fanatics. They're easy to manipulate, but somehow they take everything five steps too far."
"The circumstances of one's birth are irrelevent, it's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are."

#117    Paranoid Android

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:37 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 January 2013 - 11:34 AM, said:

Ive heard this all before; by exclusivists, fundamentalist, jihadists and other extremists. It is very simply wrong. If humans create religions, then they do so for evolved cognitive purposes, just as we  create philosophy and logic.
If you're saying that religion meets an individual's needs then I perhaps agree.  However, if you're arguing that all religions basically teach the same things, then I would definitely disagree.  It's popular and non-offensive (to most) to say that all religions are basically the same or teach basically the same things.  But I believe it is a comment made in ignorance.  Saying all religions are the same is about as accurate as saying "all Asians look the same".  For someone who has no contact with Asians it may seem true, but the more you get to know Asian people (or any nationality, I'm just using one race as an example) you can easily tell that they aren't all the same.

Just my thoughts :)

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#118    Zaphod222

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:35 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 January 2013 - 11:34 AM, said:

Ive heard this all before; by exclusivists, fundamentalist, jihadists and other extremists. It is very simply wrong. If humans create religions, then they do so for evolved cognitive purposes, just as we  create philosophy and logic. Faith and religion serve basic fundamental human needs and as all humans are basically the same, those needs are the same across time and space..

Oh really now.
When an Egyptian king invents a new sun god and move his capital to the desert in order to cut out the existing class of clerics..... when Mohammed creates a religion that makes himself the perfect man and absolute ruler and declares that there will be no peace before the whole world is subdued..... when Buddha declares there is no god and absolute achievement is freedom from worldly desires and re-birth.... when Jesus creates a new form of Judaism that puts compassion and selflessness in the center.... when Lord Mahavira declares that all life is sacred and ultimate pacifism is the only way to live life..... when Ron Hubbard creates a religion because finds out in this way his organization can escape taxes..... or when Spielberg SciFi movie becomes so popular that people start practicing the religion of alien planets presented there....THAT IS ALL THE SAME TO YOU?!

And I could go on for pages.

Good grief, what a barrel of purely wishful thinking.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." (Salman Rushdie)

#119    Mr Walker

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

View Postcsspwns, on 21 January 2013 - 03:16 AM, said:

You arent correct here because not every book has the same organisation and structure because manga books are read right to left not left to right
Oh yes, and kids books have pictures and comic books have more pictures etc and now we have e books. But in general my point is correct. Books are the same "thing." Only the content in them is different. All religions are the same "thing." Only the content in them is different.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#120    Mr Walker

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 21 January 2013 - 05:37 AM, said:

If you're saying that religion meets an individual's needs then I perhaps agree.  However, if you're arguing that all religions basically teach the same things, then I would definitely disagree.  It's popular and non-offensive (to most) to say that all religions are basically the same or teach basically the same things.  But I believe it is a comment made in ignorance.  Saying all religions are the same is about as accurate as saying "all Asians look the same".  For someone who has no contact with Asians it may seem true, but the more you get to know Asian people (or any nationality, I'm just using one race as an example) you can easily tell that they aren't all the same.

Just my thoughts :)

~ Regards, PA
No of course all religions dont teach the same thing, just like all books don't teach the same thing, but in general all religions have two or three sources. They are constructed from human cognitive thought patterns as childen and adults try to make sense of their world. They are the result of a spiritual revelation or expereince, or they are made up to control or to benefit some one or many people. I'd hardly say the aztec religion or the mongols was the same as the christian one but they worked because they served the same human needs. All asians ARE the same, if your denominator is human.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.




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