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LiveForChrist1

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

201 posts in this topic

My point with using the inanimate object (the red ball) is quite simple. The ball is a physical, real thing. The ball will be the the same regardless of who you give it to. Now a person is more complex than a ball, of course they are, but the same princible applies. You can introduce one friend to another and, while there's no guarantee they'd like each other that wasn't the point I was getting at.

Let's say you were introducing friend a to friend b and friend a was a black woman. Now friend b isn't guaranteed to like friend a, but what they can't do is state that friend a is an asian man.

That was the point I was trying to get across, not that they'd like each other or not (of course that's not guaranteed) or that they'd share any interests, but any friend you introduce to another would (physically) be the same friend that you know and not something else entirely.

Now with god, that guarantee is simply not there. You can try and introduce someone to your idea of god, but they can see something entirely different to you do. Ie you could see a god that loves anyone unconditionally and you introduce someone else to your god. They, instead of seeing a god that is loving, see one which hates the people they hate. In other words they see something completely different to you.

Other people read the same bible you do and what do they see? Excuses to kill or enslave. There may be wisdom in there, but there's an awful lot of excuses to harm other human beings, excuses that sadly persist to this day. Same with other religion texts. Look at your example there the bible may say to love others as ourselves, but I've seen many times of christian people discarding that in a heartbeat,

Personally, it could do with a rewrite for modern times, to remove the excuses and confusion. People won't, though. For some people others suffering isn't a good enough reason to change.

We can but hope things change, but sometimes I wonder.

Well the first thing I'll say is how do you know that's god? How can you be absolutely sure this thing is god and not something else?

Then there's the whole 'god is inside people' thing. Personally I don't want god or anything else 'inside me' in that way. I am a person, an individual and I have no desite to have something else sharing the wheel of my life. It's much why I don't follow religions. What I do is primarily decided for by me. I dont restrict myself based on god or the bible. I do what I do and I know that I'm 100% responsible for what I do.

See something I find disturbing about that particular thing, is that you love others because god says so or wants you to. So what? Are you loving people becuse you genuinely do, or only because your god says so?

I don't need god to care about others. But at the same time I'm not going to blindly love and respect people. I don't love those that murder peopl and I dont respect those that use scripture as an excuse to discriminate. Why should I, or anyone, love and respect people like that, those that genuinely make others lives a misery are worthy of neither.

Being connected with god becomes your crutch and prop. It replaces all others.

Personally I prefer being as I am now. You'd probably see certain things in my life as a prop or crutch, but they're not to me. I don't put people down to build myself up. im not afraid of being afraid or feeling any other emotion. I am very much my own person. Im true to myself and I dont need god for that.

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..

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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Wrong!

Your comment shows that you precisely have NOT done that. It is a naive but ill-informed belief to think that other religions somehow teach the same values as Christianity.

Fact is, different religions teach extremely different value systems and morals.

Your assumption is based on wishful thinking, not on fact.

No my friend, this easy cop-out does not work. All religions can not possibly be true, so if you want to take Pascals bet, you have very bad odds indeed.

I didnt say that. I said "I" can read the bible or another religious book and find the same truths. Someone else might read them all and find different truths. But the same truths are in many of the modern religions because they all evolved in a transition period form nomadic pastoralism to settled agrarian society,. and were attemts to codify new understnadings, new realities, and new laws and customs, as society changed.

However, if you hate yourself and your fellow man, you will find a very different truth in any book from what you will find if you love yourself and your fellow man (to take an extreme example)

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.

Religions also appeal to our need for regulation and order, both of which which bring stability and thus security/safety.

They create relevant social order for different societies and so, of course, a religion from a pre- agrarian society will be different to one from today. There is a temple in turkey about 15000 years old. Arcahaeologists note that it was used for many hundreds of years, but as society evolved from a nomadic pastoralist one to a settled agrarian one, the people changed their deities and what they worshipped. Images of the old gods were defaced or broken up and new more relvant ones instituted That doesn't mean that the same god or cosmic consciousness is not existing to inform the people of the time. it is just tha tas peoles lives knolwledge and understanding evolve so do their most urgent needs And hence their gods must evolve with them to meet thise changed circumstances and needs; OR the way they perceive and understand their god(s) must do.

A sapient and responsive god will adapt itself to the needs of a culture and of individuals, just as you or i would do if we went to work in another time, place or culture, and wanted to help the people there..

If you read the ancient greek stories of Aeneas etc you see a story of changing societies and of changing gods/worship. The people of the time felt the old world was coming to an end, and a new one was begining. The new order was symbolically, and in reality, characterised by Rome. while the fall of the old order was the destruction of Troy and the decline of the Achaean states, and even the destruction of Santorini in a devastating volcanic explosion. And the gods and religions changed with the change in order.

None of this disproves the idea that, underlying all of this, was a human connection to the same universal god also worshipped by sumerians jews christians and muslims. What is the differnce between pythia or sybil from ancient greece and a catholic priest from the first millenia AD?. What is the difference between a druid shaman, a mayan one, or an asiatic one, or a modern person with the same connection to the great spirit.

But we are, in a way, trapped within our personal and cutural world views. It is hard to think outside the box of current attitudes; yet it can be done, with training and education or wide reading.

It could be done in the past as well. The human mind is capable of it. I have read thousands of historical, cultural, and science fictional novels, which have helped me to see how wide man's imagination and vision can be.

All religions contain some truth, because all of them contain, in part, an attempt by humans to integrate with god and to understand the nature and wishes of god (Except for deliberately created and constructed religions designed with deliberate human purpose)

People learn early the benefits of a personal relationship with god, and also of a faith based relationship. These benefits are physical and marked. They include longer, healthier lives, and better health and happiness. Anyone who deliberately choses to ignore them is a little bit feeble minded, in my opinion. (or has a tendency to masochism)

Edited by Mr Walker

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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.

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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.

Not necessarily. Religions evolve to match the cultural requirements of people. Thus the religions of the book are adaptations from a nomadic pastoral existence, to a more settled agrarian based society. Just as shamanism and paganism represented early mans close connection to the natural world. I is likely that, if all humans developed collective amnesia about religion, we would soon develop ones suited to our modern urban and post industrial era.

That might include nature/environmentally based ones, and gaean type religions, but would also include ones designed to promote social order and well being in a modern urban society. Eg how to get on living "cheek by jowel" with a dozen or more neighbours. We have about 16 neighbours over our boundary fences, and none of them have children, or it would be a lot more

Edited by Mr Walker

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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.

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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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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
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I believe in the Christian God.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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

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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

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I do u got a problem wit it

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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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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.

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.

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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 :)

~ Regards, PA

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

You are already mixing completely different descriptions in your own sentence. How in the world can you claim that something concocted to "make sense of the world" is the same as something concocted to "benefit one or more people" (which typically includes the founder of the religion in question).

And of course there are other ways religions can be created, as I for example mentioned with Jedi-ism (which is based on a Hollywood movie).

Again, your desire to somehow create inter-faith harmony is understandable and touching. But it is also very naive and ill-informed.

Edited by Zaphod222

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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.

Thats because your post shows you dont have a clue about the actual construction and evolution of human religions The egyptian pharoah doesnt create the religion, not even the one you are thinking of who became a believer in that religion and then tried to make it the state religion.. Mohammeds motivation wasnt as you see it.

Every human religion, as I posted previously, comes from about 3 sources and they all can only exist because of the way human cognitive thought patterns construct belief,

Yes of course they are all the same thing despite different theologies etc Human language is the same thing despite al its different variants. The cause and effect of al languages is the same. Ditto for almost all religions.

The idea is to pick the one which works best for you, which fits your own ethics moralities cultural values etc. For example take the 3 religions of the book. I could easily live in any of them, relate to the god in them etc. i could, and partly am,also jainist pagan gaean buddhist sikh etc. Humans just like to belong to groups, and so they choose to separate themselves. Thats ok as long as the separation is amicable and doesn't cause conflicts.

True belief in any religion will produce the same positive results in a human being as measured by statistics, but some religions in the way they work have more benefits, and others have some dangers. eg a religion involving handling snakes, compared to one which emphasises; vegetarianism, non smoking, non drinking, and plenty of physical exercise and fresh air.

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You are already mixing completely different descriptions in your own sentence. How in the world can you claim that something concocted to "make sense of the world" is the same as something concocted to "benefit one or more people" (which typically includes the founder of the religion in question).

And of course there are other ways religions can be created, as I for example mentioned with Jedi-ism (which is based on a Hollywood movie).

Again, your desire to somehow create inter-faith harmony is understandable and touching. But it is also very naive and ill-informed.

Didnt you read the sentences. Religions have about 3 sources. Most are a construct of evolved cognitive thought patterns in humans. Children create them independently and adults do the same. Then there are religions which result from personal experinces involving contacts with gods angels supernatural and parabnormal events etc. like paul /saul or who have met and follow someone like christ or buddah And finally, yes there are ocasionally small religons which are created by a person to benefit themsleves or their clan But these are rare and generally temporary, unless they offer the same advantages to a human being that the other forms of religion do.

However every human who choses to believe, what ever their belief, does so by a process studied as the construction of human belief. Iit has cognitive and psychological drivers which make it almost inevitable that a human being will tend to believe. We have to be specifically taught how not to believe by being taught other forms of thought. So what every "starts their motor" it is kept running by this process.

Interfaith harmony lol I am speaking from facts. I have no interest in interfaith harmony. BUT unless all humans find spiritual wisdom to match our inellectual knowledge, we wil never survive into species adulthood. In my opinion a relationship with god is entirely personal. No church, no religion required. Just you, and god, and the environment around you.

So any one can be with god. I dont need to promote something like interfaith harmony(havent heard that term for years by the way) But I will tell people that any of them; from atheist to pagan can connect physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, etc. with god. Your religion, or lack of it, is irrelevant. I guess that is interfaith, in that it will equally upset all religious believers who think their faith is an exclusive path to god.

Edited by Mr Walker

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I think we are here to learn. The saying "know thyself"...is a great saying. Sometimes people think they would react a certain way in a situation and they find when they are in that situation they act nothing like they thought they would. Some people show courage and some don't. People change as they grow and their ideas and thoughts change with them. I wouldn't look at any mistakes you made as wrong, even if they were moral mistakes. Look at them as a learning experience.

We don't hold our children totally responsible for their actions because they are too young to understand that what they have done is wrong. Same with us....many of us are at a level of just not understanding life totally....that's why age and experience is so important....it's how we learn. If there was a God, he wouldn't fault you or I for our mistakes. He would forgive us as we would our children. That's how I see much of humanity....children, learning to be wise, independent, loving adults.

I totally agree - hence my sig. I honestly believe that people do the best based on what they know, if they knew better they would do better (and I do mean truly KNEW OR KNOW better not just in principle or theory or a socially functioning level of morality, but in seeing within themselves what motivates their words and actions in different situations).

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Yes, I do believe in God. God who is one for all of us, keeping religions separate..And he himself comes and gives knowledge about who he is to his children in this age when we are seeking him out. I happen to come across the BKWSU (Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University) to get all the answers i needed. It is not a religion. It gave me an understanding of who God is and his purpose in our lives.

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And finally, yes there are ocasionally small religons which are created by a person to benefit themsleves or their clan

Oh really now. I would argue that these are the actually the majority of religions. God-kingdoms, where the ruler is the personification of god, were historically the rule rather than the exception. And they continue today with e.g. islam, where the ultimate goal is to create the world-wide Caliphate, where the Caliph is both worldly ruler and the executor of Shariah law.

Edited by Zaphod222

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