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Where does your faith come from?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by LucyDuke, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. AAHZ

    AAHZ Infamous Polytubby

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    that is something i am still searching for ;)

    i have only been to catholic churches, but i am looking for others...
     
  2. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    I was born into fundamentalist Pentecostalism, and became an active fundy in my high school years. Throwing myself into my parent's faith never did anything for me, though: it didn't do a thing for me as a person and actually contributed to all of the problems I was having with depression, anger, self-pity, and so on. I have been for a little over a year and a half an nontheistic humanist -- and that HAS done wonders for me. It's not humanism itself, but the role reason and empathy play -- very fulfilling. I have a blog where I've posted my deconversion story.
     
  3. IglooDude

    IglooDude Enforcing Rule 34 Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I was raised Catholic (my mother Catholic, my father Presbyterian). I just went along with it though even in high school I was questioning God's existence. Once I went away to school and in the Navy beyond I labelled myself Christian but in practice have been agnostic. One thing that I can point to that was a fairly definitive point in my journey of faith was the passing of one of my aunts - the most faithful and religiously observant (and by the way a decent, caring, good person in the non-religious sense too) in my immediate family, she was continually beset with health issues her entire life, and her last few years were lingering, painful, and a burden on her sister and brother-in-law. A God which allows that to happen clearly doesn't give a damn (so to speak) about my worship or belief.

    My wife is an evangelical Christian; she and I occasionally attend Sunday services. I've promised to keep an open mind and not attack her beliefs, and she has promised to respect my agnosticism and not proselytize.
     
  4. Masquerouge

    Masquerouge Deity

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    That was a powerful testimony :goodjob: I'm glad you're happier now :)
     
  5. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    God was sick of people who knew Him rejecting Him: Lucifer, Adam, Peter, etc. and so He painstakingly obfuscated His presence so that people would reject Him due to reasonable doubt. I'm a victim of this.

    No; actually my deconversion was for a myriad of reasons, tough to go through entirely. Basically I've had to reject the god I was raised to believe in (as a false concept) and have formed a tool-kit of reasons (so I actually disbelieve in the Christian god) over time. Whenever a new god is presented to me, I can use this same tool-kit to disprove the god enough for my satisfaction. On top of that materialistic explanations continue to crop up which explain not only 'spiritual' phenomena but disprove previous religious assertions.

    And, to nibble at Erik's bait, I think people automatically assume that the being answering their prayers is the Creator. There's no logical reason, though, that the being responding to prayers needs to be the Creator. Every religion that conflates the two and includes Scripture, seems to get things horribly wrong.
     
  6. shadowdude

    shadowdude cynic in training

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    I was raised in a religious way, more so than most people are in today’s society. My level of indoctrination into the Catholic faith went well beyond just going to church on Sunday or holidays as most people do. I was required to attend numerous catechism classes, was forced to go to bible studies, had to say the rosary with my family every night, dragged to church youth groups etc. My parents were and still are religious fundamentalists who accepts the bible as the literal truth of God. During the summer, besides taking me to church virtually every day, they also took me along for “spiritual adoration”- sitting in a room with the consecrated bread that Catholics believe is Jesus Christ. I sat there for hours reading the Bible because there was nothing else I could do. In short, I was essentially exposed to all the workings and beliefs of the church whether I wanted to be or not. Despite all the indoctrination and programming from such a young age, I never really believed in my religion. It was so plainly irrational and hollow that I never bought into truly believing the dogma that was forced upon my impressionable mind.

    However, I still took comfort in religion- it provided answers about life that nothing else could. Religion provided a moral compass for me: an absolute right and absolute wrong that I used as a standard by which to judge my actions. I just accepted church as a given part of life, decided to be a “good” person and pushed all thought of religion into the back of my brain to be thought about “later”. However, I have now completely rejected Christianity and no longer use it as a basis to judge moral standards.

    Without belief in religion I am forced to answer the question “What is the meaning of life?” Before, from a religious aspect, I would have said that life is a place to love and serve God so that you could be with him in heaven. Now that I have rejected that notion, there is no belief of any concrete substance that I can replace it with. Instead, I am forced to admit the inability of the human mind to comprehend the answer to that question. Perhaps life has no meaning; perhaps it’s meaning is whatever I wish it to be. In either case I admit that I don’t have the answer, so I will just have to continue living life without knowledge of why exactly I exist.
     
  7. puglover

    puglover Disturber of Worldviews

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    I was raised in the Christian faith, my father being the associate pastor of a large charismatic church. Since then my family has left that church due to certain flakes on the fringes of Christianity bringing illogical and foolish ideas, but that is a long story and doesn't relate to me as much as my father. We've since been to several churches, and over that time I was exposed to a wide range of doctrines and beliefs from many denominations on the spectrum of Christianity. It came time for me to evaluate my beliefs, and as I grew I honed my arguments, shed meaningless superstitions, and grew in my belief.

    I am still a Christian, but a stronger one than I was in my childhood. If I had to put my beliefs in a category, I would say I am more aligned with the conservative Presbyterians, and I hope that I can earn a degree in the ministry and become a teacher of the Word like my father, perhaps starting my own church someday.

    I don't trust in Christ merely by faith or simple childhood instruction. I believe God can be seen with logic and interpretation of the Scriptures. I accept Christ's sacrifice for my salvation, and believe in an destiny for all of creation. Those beliefs drive me in what I do.
     
  8. Erik Mesoy

    Erik Mesoy Core Tester / Intern

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    I seem to recall that you've discussed this somewhere else. My response in turn would be that I'm assuming that the being answering my prayers is the Creator because my prayers are addressed to the Creator and the answers are consistent with what I believe with regards to the Creator, but have you had a thread on this already where we can continue this discussion?
     
  9. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    I actually was discussing something subtely different, I think. My previous statements were mostly about how the prayer-response was an illusion. Or that there are good indicators that it is reasonable to think so.

    I realised the other day, though, that even if there was an outside agent communicating with us via our prayers, there is no a priori reason why this agent must be the Creator.
     
  10. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    If someone has in a way formed a recepient of some of his thoughts, in the form of a god, then it is reasonable to accept that at any rate the phenomenon of those thoughts being sent to such a recepient (made by thoughts/emotions itself) is as real as any other mental phenomenon.
    It is a bit as in literature; if you have created a character to which you are reffering, that character already exists in the world of the story. In this way you could think of religious discussions with such a 'god' entity as similar to poetry, or action (where you are reacting to other people).

    I agree with El Machinae that if the being to whom the thoughts were being sent was indeed an outside one, then it would not have to be a creator but merely a being capable of telepathy. But if telepathy is out of the question, then there are simply uncountable other possibilities for the brain to create a shadow of a person, constructed from many different elements, and present it as something felt as strong and distant as an imagined creator.

    A good example of this, from the world of literature, is the ghost. Ghosts are presented as haunting old houses, or wastelands, and represent a forgotten order of beings, moving outside of the cosmic circle of living entities. Modern literary analysis has been quite involved with the archetype of the ghost, and has a number of theories to provide for its explanation. One of them is that the ghost stands for a repressed half-part of the father, which survives exiled, and retains the ability to destroy the child. The jewish god has many such characteristics, as the punishing god. Infact the judaeo-christian god is made up from two distinct halves, one evil and one good, with its own ethics being presented as its reason for being ultimately evil (destroyer of all, man, devil, even its own son) and at the same time ultimately good, but with a hidden reason (that only itself can realise the 'wisdom' of its ways).
     
  11. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Justice guaranteed

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    I was born and raised a Buddhist, so that's where my faith comes from, I guess.
     
  12. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Night Elven Ghost Agent

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    I only learn more about Buddhism in my Comparative World Religions class. To be honest, I am impressed with their teachings and trying to integrate them into my own faith.
     
  13. Aptenodytes

    Aptenodytes Chieftain

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    My parents are Christian so I guess that's where mine comes from.
     
  14. Eran of Arcadia

    Eran of Arcadia Stormin' Mormon Retired Moderator

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    Without arguing about the validity of prayer as a means of truth, I will just explain that it convinces me.

    I was raised in an LDS home. However, my mother and a number of siblings leaving the church to become Catholic, as I began attending Catholic school, forced the issue for me somewhat. Now, (and with all due respect . . .) I never could accept Catholicism as a viable option, and years of Catholic school has tended to enforce that. But I was aware that believing simply because everyone at church did, wouldn't work. So I sought answers on my own. I had a number of spiritual experiences - some in direct response to specific prayers - that led me to conclude a) that God existed and b) that my particular religion was His church on earth.

    It is worth noting that at this point, my theism and my Mormonism are pretty well connected, coming from the same source, and that if I ever left Mormonism (which honestly I don't see happening, but theoretically it could) it would be not to another religion but to agnosticism or "weak" atheism.
     
  15. Ansar

    Ansar Détente avec l'été

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    I was raised as a Catholic (but my family doesen't go to church).
     
  16. Stylesjl

    Stylesjl SOS Brigade Member

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    Never raised with any religion, except I did attend scripture in primary school (and soundly made my hostility known). And so now I am a heathen unbeleiver who shall burn in hell for all eternity :D
     
  17. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    I had a "sudden realization" moment, when it all made sense. It wasn't really "born again" as I had never left the church, it was just a moment when I stopped doubting. It was later that I realized that organized religion is poop on a stick, THEN I left the church, but continue to practice Protestant Christianity.
     
  18. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    So you admit that your spiritual experiences could have possibly been caused by something other than God? (or that you might change your mind about it at some point in the future?)
     
  19. Cuivienen

    Cuivienen Deity

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    This was more or less my situation. We were technically Presbyterian though I think my parents were highly uncomfortable with the idea of predestination. When I was young, we went to church every Christmas and Easter, then eventually only on Christmas, and finally not at all, partially due to the objections of my brother and I (and later my sister), who all decried church as boring.

    I remember overhearing a conversation between my parents at the time that they were worried, not that we were faithless, but that we weren't growing up the same they did. My mother was particularly worried about this. There was no apparent attempts thereafter to make our family more religious, however, so I can only assume that my parents decided that growing up the same way they did was not important.

    Shortly after my brother and I turned 15, however, my parents suddenly found renewed interest in religion, but this time not in Presbyterianism. They brought us (more like dragged, almost literally in my brother's case) to a meeting of the local chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Association. While I had come to associate church with lengthy, boring sermons accompanied by excessive pomp and ceremony, I enjoyed congregation for the first time. I also found UU far more in tune with my own beliefs than I had come to see Christianity; while Christianity has many great core concepts, they are too often ignored and obscured, and UU does not demand prostration before a god. My entire family converted and thereafter attended congregation semi-regularly, as was typical among our fellow UUs. (Meetings are generally on Sunday but sometimes fall on Saturday, and no one attends every meeting.)

    My extended family has extremely varied religious beliefs. On my mother's side, my uncle is part of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran church. (Those are the crazy Lutherans; he's a religious fanatic.) My eldest aunt is Catholic, my second-eldest aunt is Baptist, and my youngest aunt is atheist. My mother is UU. All five were raised Presbyterian, so you can see that predestination is not popular in the modern world. On my father's side, my elder aunt was Presbyterian, my younger aunt was Quaker, and my uncle is Buddhist. My father is UU; all but his eldest sister converted away from Presbyterianism as well.
     
  20. aussieboy

    aussieboy Fidei Defensor

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    Raised Catholic, basically learned my faith from my parents, didn't actually look into it in detail until I was about 12 though, when I read about apologetics, have been a voracious reader of such literature ever since.

    I started to believe Catholicism was more than just cultural mishmash when God helped me through some of the hardest times of my life. I can't prove it to you, it is faith, which is ultimately unprovable.
     

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