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what's your personal religion?


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#31    redhen

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:47 AM

View Postthird_eye, on 27 June 2013 - 11:06 PM, said:

And with that out of the way Red, you need not abstain any longer ...

I was baptized in the Roman Catholic rite, and that can't change, well it would be really difficult lol. Basically I am non-practicing.
I believe in the golden and silver rules.


Pai Chu-yi (772-846) was one of China's greatest poets and a devout Buddhist. Once when he visited a monastery he asked the abbot to tell him the most essential teaching of Buddhism. The abbot then recited the lines from the Dhammapada; "Commit no wrongs, perform good deeds, and let your thoughts be pure. Thus do all Buddhas teach.". This failed to impress the greatest poet of the age, who said "Every child of three summers knows these lines. I want to know the most profound teaching of the Buddha". The abbot replied "Every child of three summers knows these lines, but white-haired men of eighty still fail to put them in practice". Hearing this, the poet bowed low and returned home deep in thought"

- paraphrased from the Platform Sutra - the Zen teaching of Hui-Neng




I agree with the first of these 5 videos, but then it gets weird, well maybe not for UM.


#32    Beany

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:38 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 27 June 2013 - 01:53 PM, said:

Modern people in advanced countries can find many pleasures and don't suffer all that much if they control their desires.  Most people around the world are not so fortunate, and spend their days in toil and uncertainty.  Other sentient beings on the planet definately are even worse off.  In the fullness of time we all must deal with the aging and death of our loved ones and of ourselves.

In short, life is a b****, and then we die.

This is I know the opposite of the (to me) sentimental posts seen above, but it is the reality of life.  I think the foundation of religion must be the recognition of that reality and the avoidance of trying to whitewash it.

In my world life isn't a b****. It has its ups & downs, but I hold life to be the greatest gift we can be given. In no way would I attempt to speak for others, we each have our own experiences & thoughts about lives, but my reality is mine. Who's to say that less fortunate people ( and that is a subjective qualifier itself) don't experience moments of joy or gratitude or fulfillment? Don't fall into the trap of believing everyone thinks the way you do or experiences life the way you do, or understands it the way you do, or has reached the same conclusions. It's been my experience that on the whole, human beings are capable of rising above circumstances and overcoming many of life's hardships. Maybe we see them as victims, but many of them certainly don't see themselves that way.


#33    Beany

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:40 AM

View PostDarkwind, on 27 June 2013 - 05:16 PM, said:

Oh my, the last couple of months, umm most everyday. It is not like I don't have ups and downs and totally lose it, that is life, but I have come to the place within myself where all is one and I am at peace.

This kind of says it all. Enjoy.

I know from experience that doesn't happen by accident, that you made that happen with a lot of self-reflection, education, & experience. It was good to here John Fogarty's voice again. I have a lot of good memories attached to his music.

Edited by Beany, 28 June 2013 - 02:42 AM.


#34    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 03:02 AM

When I point out that life is a b****, I am just being realistic.  It does not mean we are necessarily unhappy.  That is acheivable in even the worst conditions, but I think more easily acheivable if you are realistic and recognize that the cards are stacked against you.  It permits more patience, and more stoicism.

The first of the Four Noble Principles is that life is suffering.  We suffer discomforts, pains, itches, nausea, grief, worry, fear, nervousness, failure, heat, cold, thirst, hunger, revulsions, and frustrations.  We age and we die and we eventually realize that all pleasures are self-limiting and lead to excess and loss.

The Buddha would not say why this is the way it is, only that this is the way it is.  I think that it derives from natural processes, especially natural selection and the struggle for survival and how evolution has wired us with instincts and desires and with a system of rewards and punishments designed to do nothing more than pass our genes into the next generation.

Armed with this understanding, we can deal with it and develop a detachment that in the end makes us much better off.


#35    danielost

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 03:45 AM

Redhen there is not a gold and silver law.  There are two gold laws

Christ said the most important law was to love god.  He then said the second one was just as important, love your nieghbor.

I am a Mormon.  If I don't use Mormons believe, those my beliefs only.
I do not go to church haven't for thirty years.
There are other Mormons on this site. So if I have misspoken about the beliefs. I welcome their input.
I am not perfect and never will be. I do strive to be true to myself. I do my best to stay true to the Mormon faith. Thanks for caring and if you don't peace be with you.

#36    redhen

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:02 AM

View Postdanielost, on 28 June 2013 - 03:45 AM, said:

Christ said the most important law was to love god.  He then said the second one was just as important, love your nieghbor.

I wasn't framing those maxims in Christian terms, from wiki

"(Positive form of Golden Rule): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
(Negative form of Golden Rule): One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (also known as the Silver Rule)."

To me it seems a natural evolution of the reciprocity and empathy we see in other apes, and other more distant species.


Of course there is another more cynical meaning; Those who have the gold, make the rules. :)


#37    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:10 AM

Some sort of basic axiom is needed if one is to be rational about moral behavior, rather than just going with what "feels right."

To me the foundation is Kant.  When contemplating an act, consider whether you would be willing to let anyone else in the same situation do the same.

This has some problems but at least it gets one's personal interest out of the formula.


#38    Zaphod222

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:57 AM

View Postredhen, on 27 June 2013 - 10:41 PM, said:

The definition of religion denotes something that binds or ties people together. This is also why I abstained from this poll.

You think that things that bind people together are bad?

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

#39    White Crane Feather

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 05:29 AM

View PostBeany, on 27 June 2013 - 04:59 AM, said:

Every now & then I experience a perfect moment, like tonight. A cool breeze blowing, the big dipper directly overhead, the sound of the surf so loud it sounds like it's on the next block, and a quiet mind. Having these small moments fills me with gratitude. This is my own personal religion. No dogma, no explanations, no excuses, no written words, no prophesy, no fear, no guilt, just simply being.

Anyone else have these moments? They never last very long, I try not to hold on to them, they're always unexpected, and I know it will come around again. In the meantime, chop wood, carry water.
For me it's the face of my sons especially when they are two year olds. There is a moment just before bed time when they are fed, happy, and tired and they start stare into your face, give you little kisses, and touch your face. Sometimes I really wonder if I am stareing god in the face. Simply perfect. I do everything I can to anchor these moments in my mind.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#40    redhen

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:18 PM

View PostZaphod222, on 28 June 2013 - 04:57 AM, said:

You think that things that bind people together are bad?

They can be, but no, not necessarily. Religion is just not my cup of tea, although the study of it is fascinating.


#41    Cherrypress

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:30 PM

I'm alive. End of. Why would I feel the need to subscribe to some particular belief system???
That more then likely was only relevant due to my geographical position and thus exposure?

Especially when your dealing with such an important question, to be so egotistical that I could say my belief system is the truth, merely because I just so happened to be brought/lived in one particular place and time...  Take me back to Ancient Greece, I'd be pretty damn sure I was right to believe in Zeus!
Or how about take me now to somewhere in the Middle East, guess what I'm right as well, Allah is the way!! Fortunately people's consciousnesses are slowly waking up...


#42    Beany

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:48 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 28 June 2013 - 04:10 AM, said:

Some sort of basic axiom is needed if one is to be rational about moral behavior, rather than just going with what "feels right."

To me the foundation is Kant.  When contemplating an act, consider whether you would be willing to let anyone else in the same situation do the same.

This has some problems but at least it gets one's personal interest out of the formula.

Perhaps the golden rule would be the axiom? I don't know whether you would consider it a formula, but it's simple enough that anyone could follow it, and it operates independently from religion. I taught my kids that doing the right thing often has no extrinsic reward, often just the opposite, but the the intrinsic reward is priceless. In my family, we call that ethics.


#43    Beany

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 01:53 PM

View PostCherrypress, on 28 June 2013 - 12:30 PM, said:

I'm alive. End of. Why would I feel the need to subscribe to some particular belief system???
That more then likely was only relevant due to my geographical position and thus exposure?

Especially when your dealing with such an important question, to be so egotistical that I could say my belief system is the truth, merely because I just so happened to be brought/lived in one particular place and time...  Take me back to Ancient Greece, I'd be pretty damn sure I was right to believe in Zeus!
Or how about take me now to somewhere in the Middle East, guess what I'm right as well, Allah is the way!! Fortunately people's consciousnesses are slowly waking up...

I am sometimes amazed at how the "truth" can sometimes become a barrier to understanding or compassion. Especially since as you pointed, perceptions of truth are often determined by culture & society. Life is what it is, maybe it's what we bring to the party that matters.


#44    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:07 PM

The Golden Rule has the problem that the person is personally in how it operates.  If you would like something, then do it for others, but what if what you would like is wrong?  If I'm on a jury and have to decide the defendants guilt or innocence, were I the defendant I would like to be acquitted, so the Golden Rule says I should vote to aquit -- regardless of the evidence.


#45    Frank Merton

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 02:10 PM

The vast majority of mankind until quite recently has believed whatever they were raised to believe.  Children go through a period where they learn their conscience (the rules of behavior), their language, their religion and other beliefs (so deeply that they aren't even aware of them as beliefs but see them as obvious truths) and even the rules of physics that apply (such as the difference between up and down).  This foundation is wired into us so strongly that few even today break free and is how religions manage to perpetuate themselves down the generations with only gradual change.





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