Sciforums religion survey 2014

Discussion in 'Religion' started by James R, Dec 21, 2014.

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What do you believe? (Select all that apply.)

Poll closed Jan 11, 2015.
  1. I don't believe in God now, and I never did.

    12 vote(s)
    26.1%
  2. I don't believe in God now, but I used to.

    15 vote(s)
    32.6%
  3. I believe in God now, but in the past I did not.

    4 vote(s)
    8.7%
  4. I believe in God now, and always have.

    5 vote(s)
    10.9%
  5. I have no opinion on God/do not wish to select one of the above options.

    6 vote(s)
    13.0%
  6. I don't believe in God, but I believe there is a higher power, life force or similar.

    4 vote(s)
    8.7%
  7. I don't regard myself as religious, but I am a spiritual person.

    7 vote(s)
    15.2%
  8. I believe that human beings have a soul or life force which remains after the death of the body.

    5 vote(s)
    10.9%
  9. I believe in reincarnation.

    4 vote(s)
    8.7%
  10. I describe myself as a follower of a recognised religion.

    3 vote(s)
    6.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,199
    If religions had truth on their side from the outset then the details would not alter over time as people sought to adjust such details when flaws became apparent. That religions change over time is a strong indicator that religions are entirely man made and fictional subject only to what tale can be successful sold to the gullible majority.
     
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  3. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,199
    At its root a primary message of Christianity - love your neighbor - is extremely attractive in times of widespread warfare and strife. But that wasn't the reason Christianity rose, but instead because of political necessity. Constantine cemented his power by backing Christianity rather than opposing it, and a near choice it seems.

    As for the crusades. The pope interpreted and decreed that "love your neighbor" only applied if they were Christians, anyone else was fair game to be converted or slaughtered as needed. At that time Islam was not very strong and many of the Arab tribes were at odds with each other. If they had been left alone Islam may well have withered. But it took the onslaught of the crusader terrorists and barbarians to unite the Arab tribes and defeat the Christian terrorist invaders. Islam went from strength to strength after that.

    In essence we only have Christianity to blame for the current waves of Islamic hatred. Bin Laden often referred to the Crusades as part of his justification for his actions against the west.

    I understand that the English King Richard (the lionheart), who led much of the crusades, couldn't speak English, only French, hated the dreary wetness of England and didn't want to be there. And on his journey back to England was arrested and jailed as a common thug - such was his manner and behavior. But of course history shows him as a hero - but then history is written by...........
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
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  5. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,519
    The fact of the matter is that attaining Eternal Life is theoretically possible through "patience in well-doing" and seeking "for glory and honor and immortality ". A real Human Being accomplished exactly that, Cris. You are invited to participate in the New Humanity inaugurated by God Himself through Jesus. It's not about what was i.e. as we are now cut off from God...it's about what is and has been introduced/restored by God for any and all who desire it.
     
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  7. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,966
    Most religions promise something along these lines.
     
  8. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,519
    God's activity centered in Christ is not a religion.
     
  9. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    53,966
    So, was Jesus the son of God, and did he die for our sins?
    Did he rise on the third day?
    Is He coming back someday to judge us all?
     
  10. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,199
    From Wiki - Religion: A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.

    Your statement fits well within the definition. But more obviously any sentiments expressed around the theme of Jesus and Christ is clearly pertaining to Christianity - a religion.

    But why object? Why do you want to distance your religious belief from being defined as religious?
     
  11. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,199
    That's a specific set of religious assertions that do not appear to move the debate forward or answer any of my queries. Time to move on I think.
     
  12. Photizo Ambassador/Envoy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,519
    The redemptive activity of God bestowing Immortality to human beings is something wholly distinct from attempts by human beings to secure the same by their own efforts ('religion'...islam, etc.) According to the definition above, one could argue 'science' is in fact a religion and Sciforums a religious site. Additionally, immortality is a quest being undertaken if you will, by 'science' no? Anyway, I agree, time to move on. Take care.
     
  13. Sylvester Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    467
    Take you finger and put it between you breasts. It should line right up with you nipples but dead center.
     
  14. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,196
    That's absurd. Most religions don't claim a monopoly on truth in the first places, and most are centred around the cultural customs of a particular ethnic group or cluster of ethnic groups. Certain things maintain themselves as tradition or time-honoured custom, but other things are malleable and changeable. If a religion wasn't able to change, it wouldn't continue to be relevant to its followers. The most important thing in a religion isn't having a monopoly on truth, it is staying relevant to the culture and people from which it derives, because religion is ultimately a social construct by which a people interacts with the sacred.
    You see to have many preconceptions about how religions work and what they are, based on the exclusivist Abrahamic religions. Christianity is a very atypical religion, though, and should not be used as the baseline for studying religion. Most are rather dissimilar from Christianity and Islam.

    Various means, depending on how intense of an interaction is desired. Prayer is simple and straightforward, though a response is not always perceivable and almost certainly isn't immediate or direct.
    For other instances, altered states of consciousness are the gateway; this has been the method utilized by shamanistic priesthoods, and ecstatic religious devotees, for thousands of years. At the low end, it generally is just getting into an ecstatic and energetic mood and subsuming oneself into the ritual at hand. At more complex or involved states, it typically entails placing oneself into a trance-like state. Early humans used fasting, dance, rhythmic music, and entheogens to induce these trances. Modern techniques include hypnosis and guided meditation.
    In a few instances I experienced, meditation was the technique I used--both guided and unguided. But the vast majority of the time, I was an observer to another person who went into an altered state and acted as a medium or conduit for another entity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    33,264
    And what am I supposed to find there? I don't find a "soul" when I do that so why do you believe by doing that you can find one?
     
  16. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,883
    "Love thy Neighbour" was so attractive? Are you for real?

    "In their very deaths they were made the subjects of sport: for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights." - This is what Nero did to Christians around 65 A.D

    So the above was "attractive"?

    Cris, you've been spouting the exact same crap about Christianity in particular since I returned to these forums in December 2014 that you were 10 years ago, do you arguments or understanding not evolve.

    I tell you that you have what you desperately want and you simply regurgitate the same old. Now use your knowledge of "Islam" to slam their MODERN DAY abominations instead of playing around with Christianity, a religion which is very easily mocked, you don't even need any brains, if you don't want to learn.
     
  17. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,883
    How do you know the entity is who you think it is? Apollo for example.
     
  18. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,199
    I think your example demonstrates the issue very well. It was that very type of barbarism that Christianity/Jesus was against and why many people today find such ideas attractive. Rather than seek revenge and slaughter, instead forge friendships rather than war. This was the revolutionary message of Christianity. That message remains a good idea and relevant today.

    You do realize that at 65CE the Romans were not Christians, right?

    But the teachings of Jesus went further - the concept of turn the other cheek. Here the teaching is that vengeance is for God not man and that if man truly believes then he will have his reward in heaven and that he should not cause harm to another - that is for God to do. The Romans loved that the early Christians would not fight back and hence made excellent sport.

    And here I depart from Christian teachings since there is no heaven and no God. If attacked and you do not defend yourself and your family then you will die and cease to exist and that will help no one except the perpetrators. So love your neighbors/enemies as best you can and do not seek violence but be prepared to defend yourself to their deaths if needed.

    You appear to have entirely misunderstood what I had been saying.

    Not sure I have ever examined this theme before, but Christianity remains primarily the same crap as ever and hasn't changed, so why should the arguments against it?

    Huh? Can't work out what you mean here.

    Not studied Islam sufficiently well to make many accurate critiques yet.
     
  19. river

    Messages:
    14,309
    Hard to argue
     
  20. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,199
    I would postulate that the root of every significant world religion is a set of assertions of absolute truth, e.g. a deity or deities exist, some form of duality is real. All with very specific properties for the given religion. These form essential tenets that make a religion what it is at its core and these characteristics do not change over time in any significant manner. Each religion then has a particular mass of secondary attributes; rules, regulations, dogmas, scriptures, cultural origins, etc., all of which do or might change over time as cultures adapt and change, but there is usually heavy resistance to such changes.

    I guess I largely agree, although I'd discard the "sacred" part. I'd say religion is nothing more than a social construct. But the root absolutes cannot change since they form the foundation of the core beliefs and the religion would die otherwise.

    Once a core belief can be challenged then that would spell the death of religion, e.g. duality disproved. A common absolute truth claimed in every religion.
     
  21. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,196
    See, I don't think of the belief part as the sole primary attribute. Practices, rituals, and social interactivity aren't secondary attributes, but at least co-equal with belief and mythology. And in some religions, practice is considered to be of primary importance. In ethnic religions, the thing that marks a person as part of the culture's religion is their participation in rituals and customs relating to it. Belief in the relevant deities or spirits is strongly implied, and assumed on the part of the participants. But it isn't, strictly speaking, necessary in many cases. Religion in such contexts is structurally a community exercise in social cohesion--even though the participants might think of it differently. This standpoint is most clearly elucidated in historical Roman religion, when we see several authors who were personally skeptical of the gods nonetheless noting the importance of religion in social life and stability. But you can find similar ideas from writers based in other indigenous religious traditions.

    I again come to the point that Christianity has (for understandable reasons) become the standardized model of religion in the minds of most Westerners. But Christianity's strong emphasis on faith has rather overshadowed other aspects that tend to be emphasised in most other religions around the world. Christianity's strongly faith-based approach is atypical, and does not make for a good baseline model.

    But, in favour to your point, the three largest individual religions are the ones that postulate some absolute truth, asserted it vigorously, and evangelized over the course of centuries: Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. I would still say that they are rather atypical, though, if we are evaluating (as I have been doing) religions on a case-by-case basis rather than proportional.

    Even if you do not believe that a particular thing is "sacred", the people participating in a given religion do. And it is their perspective that matters in defining the structure of the religion in question. The dichotomy between the Sacred and the Profane is an essential part of the study of comparative religion and comparative mythology. It is something you find in virtually every religion across the world, and is the basis of what differentiates religious practice and belief from cultural custom and folklore.

    From my perspective, I see it as a matter of education and preceding knowledge. I know a considerable amount about the Greek gods, as depicted in mythology and as historically represented in cult. If I were to encounter an entity claiming to be Apollo, I would try to discern if it exhibited the personality traits and other qualities associated with Apollo by the ancient Greeks and Romans before I fully believed it. But even then, it's possible to be deceived. To an extent, that is a matter of faith; but it's no less so than trusting one's senses when trying to observe and study the natural world or human behaviour.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  22. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,883
    I did exactly the same thing(discernment etc.) when I had my encounter. I guess the method we communicated wasn't the pseudo style "telepathy" but we didn't communicate verbally. The most memorable part of the experience was the amazing love I felt from this entity.
     
  23. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,883
    Less of the bullshit Cris. You said it was an easy choice to make, to become a Christian and get thrown to the lions. Simple as. You have no respect for genuinely decent people that tried to make a better world, yet were crucified/beheaded, and still are because they simply want to live in peace.
     

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