Religion

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Re: Religion

Post by Seany C on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:15 pm

I thought God was a name.
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Re: Religion

Post by Rebellious Backbencher on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:26 pm

Interesting to see how the conversation has moved on since the one back on the X360 forum. I know that Fraser has moved a little further from agnosticism to atheism proper, and Major has changed his tune in a big way. Is anybody else on a different side of the fence than a few years ago?

Also, the majority of posts after my last have reinforced my points; could we all agree that, at its simplest - when it's merely providing a cop out from the fear of death rather than a particular code or guide - religion performs a benevolent service?
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Re: Religion

Post by gdf on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:31 pm

A service with benevolent intentions, but one that both inexorably leads to something far less than benevolent and is based upon, for lack of a better word, fiction. Self delusion as far as death goes is, as I've argued, not necessarily a good thing. Fear of death melts away when we're not worrying about being judges and can live full, rich lives on our own terms.

I suppose I agree with you to an extent, but I'd be wary of giving it too much of a free pass even at this most basic level.
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Re: Religion

Post by Rebellious Backbencher on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:37 pm

gdf wrote:Fear of death melts away when we're not worrying about being judged and can live full, rich lives on our own terms.

In my experience this isn't the case; more than once I've thought too hard about the endless nothingness of death and responded with complete dispair - I know only too well that if I was a believer this wouldn't be the case.
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Re: Religion

Post by gdf on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:47 pm

Interesting. I don't think I've ever felt that because I've never really doubted the inevitability of death. Perhaps you haven't either, but I don't doubt you'd rather have a raised consciousness than immerse yourself in self-delusion.

Perhaps you can find condolence in the fact some of your atoms will end up scattered to the far reaches of the universe? A bit of me could exist in something else long after the human race is gone, and I find that absolutely fascinating.

There was something else I wanted to add, but it ended up horribly meandering and confused. Damn.
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Re: Religion

Post by Rebellious Backbencher on Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:51 pm

Hit me regardless.
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Re: Religion

Post by Seany C on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:09 pm

It's not benevolent. I know the feeling you talk of Bob that thought process where you think about death and the inevitable nothingness you can't even comprehend because it's impossible to think of nothing or this state of 'nothingess'. Try to picture it. It'll be a colour, whether it be black or white and colours are something and therefore you're not picturing nothingness. You probably picture it as an endless featureless expanse too but how can space (as in a space around you) exist in nothingness? In fact how can you perceive nothingess? You wont have a conciousness... How the fuck can you picture not having a conciousness? And if I'm not going to exist in any form after I die why don't I jump off a bridge now? Why don't I? What's the point? Sure I'll probably lead a pretty good life and experience plenty of pleasure yet but it'll all be for nothing. Shit man, what is the fucking point? What's stopping me from killing myself and cutting out a lot of useless effort? Not hurting the ones around me who continue to exist after I die? Future experiences I haven't had yet which will be as pointless and wasted upon death as the ones I've already had? What's the deal with this fucking universe? Seriously. and when was the beginning of time? This all must of came about somehow. There must of been a first second to the universe, it can't of existed forever, for infinity, how the fuck would that work? Did the universe just appear? what did it appear from? If it appeared from something, when did the thing it appear from first exist? That couldn't of lasted for infinity either? Oh shit, just trying to understand the concept of the dawn of the universe is giving me a near literal headache. I wonder how long the human race will last? That's another thing, the sun'll hit the earth at some point in the future, so that makes leaving your mark on the Earth pointless too. And what about. what is existence? What if nothing existed? Shit, how can you even imagine that when existence is all you can picture? etc etc etc

that was basically a snippet of my thoughts most nights when I lie in bed and think about sutff. A very, very, very small snippet.
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Re: Religion

Post by Rebellious Backbencher on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:16 pm

It's interesting where the big thoughts come from. The shower's for creativeness. The bed's for self-destruction.
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Re: Religion

Post by Dont Look Angry on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:17 pm

I'm leaving this thread, my head hurts.

Good day to you kind sirs.
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Re: Religion

Post by gdf on Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:19 pm

Oh yeah, man, the whole "everything existing" thing has given me more than a few "oh shit" moments of incomprehension and a handful of sleepless nights.
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Re: Religion

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:44 am

I know the feeling you describe Bob. Sometimes I've envisioned the inevitable end and wallowed in despair. But I think that, once one has children, one experiences the sensation of "living forever" by knowing that when you die there will be someone who is a part of you that will carry on. And essentially, on the most basic of levels, that is the meaning of life. Whether we like it or not.
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Re: Religion

Post by Seany C on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:21 am

Yup, it's all about having kids. Boys too, to carry on the family name.Not that I'd love a girl any less, just means you'll have to have another one.
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Re: Religion

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:30 pm

Definitely need a boy. I doubt that I'd stop trying until I have a son when that day comes. Girls cannot inherit clan titles and the family name will go under.
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Re: Religion

Post by Black Suede on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:32 pm

Oh, man, children. I'm really not fond of the idea.
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Re: Religion

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:35 pm

I'm actually sort of looking forward to it, as long as I only think of the positive sides. But as soon as my mind wanders toward the cons I realize that it wont be for many years yet!

But, alas, I digress. This being the tea-house we should try and stick to the subject at hand.

So I pose a semi related question: Is exposing children to religion from an early age bad parenting? Discuss.
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Re: Religion

Post by Rebellious Backbencher on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:40 pm

I was raised in a fairly heavy catholic household - heavy enough for weekly mass, at least, without fail.
Hasn't negatively affected me as far as I can tell. I think, given our unique circumstances, my parents are the best parents I know of.
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Re: Religion

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:48 pm

I was raised in a completely neutral environment. My father was a christian, my mother atheist yet neither imposed any of their views on me and my sister. I was confirmed when I was 15, mainly because my mother said that was what my father would have wanted, and I didn't mind doing it in his memory. Although, I admit, I was probably a 4-3 on Dawkins scale at that time.

Religion never did it for me. It never worked as a comfort in any way, nor did praying ever lead to anything. One would have thought the almighty God would have at least considered the prayers of a 13 year old boy praying for the health of his dying, God fearing father? Disillusionment follows.

And as one grows older, studies history, politic, language and culture even the most naive should start to realize that the rules laid down in the Bible, and every holy book before it were written by human hands, by people who would surely made a killing on the fantasy novel market in todays society.

Ultimately, I'm glad I wasn't pushed one way or another. I went through phases by my own incentive and I am who I am now not because of what others have told me, but as a result of how I've digested knowledge I have accumulated from several sources through 19 years.
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Re: Religion

Post by Rebellious Backbencher on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:54 pm

Yeah; I felt as if I only ever believed in God in the same way I believed in Santa Claus: with a small nagging knowledge that, in actuality, it was all bollocks and I was really doing an unconvincing job of deluding myself.
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Re: Religion

Post by 01casey on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:59 pm

I would usually write quite a long post here, but seeing as my fingers are literally exhausted after the lengthy post in the General Chat thread, I'll leave it at the idea that praying as an activity can be therapeutic, but not necessarily just in religious terms. For example, letting my feelings out before was a prayer equivalent, as it helped me get things off my chest. It applies for other things too, like listening to certain musicians.

I just believe in living a good, happy life, with no restrictions towards achieving that happiness ultimately.
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Re: Religion

Post by Black Suede on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:03 pm

Every Sunday I went to church and Sunday school until I was 5 or 6 (around that age anyway), Christianity was the name of the game. My gran is the only one that still goes to church and our shop has never been open on the Sabbath Day. Saying that, she's doesn't strike the Bible down on me every time I or anyone else offends God. She barely does anything of the sort. She doesn't even mention it really.

Also, with school, we had prayers every time before we ate lunch, we had the Bible read to us, sing songs about Jesus, God, etc., always had plays every Christmas based on the Bible - I played Joseph more than once! Always got to sing some solos too.

I think I've always been pretty much an Atheist. I don't really think it changed me one way or the the other. Just some nice knowledge for my brain to feed on.

I was also baptised when I was a baby.
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Re: Religion

Post by Rebellious Backbencher on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:06 pm

Black Suede wrote:My gran is the only one that still goes to church and our shop has never been open on the Sabbath Day. Saying that, she's doesn't strike the Bible down on me every time I or anyone else offends God. She barely does anything of the sort. She doesn't even mention it really.

See, I'm inclined to agree with the majority of the forum-goers here that, despite my assertions that at its simplest religion can be good, Christianity has it badly wrong. However, I find it difficult to fault this sort of faith - can I really say that Suede's grandmother would be better off without faith? Is it having a negative effect on anyone else?
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Re: Religion

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:09 pm

The only thing I can point my finger at is the fact that she's keeping the faith alive, and as a result it will be carried onwards until it hits someone who becomes a fanatic fundamentalist. So not much, no.
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Re: Religion

Post by Dont Look Angry on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:16 pm

Kaptain Kaviar wrote:The only thing I can point my finger at is the fact that she's keeping the faith alive, and as a result it will be carried onwards until it hits someone who becomes a fanatic fundamentalist. So not much, no.

lol Major always finding that one loophole in an otherwise logical argument.
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Re: Religion

Post by 01casey on Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:46 pm

Seany C wrote:Snip

Ahh, that inevitable nothingness. It doesn't bother me sat here right now, but yeah, when I think about it in bed I often have to slap myself out of it. The strange thing is, we've had the sensation before, before we were even conceived. But damn, it isn't a sensation is it? It's just endless nothing. What is nothingness though? How can nothingness be something if it is nothing? Shit, onto the 'everything exists' debate now.
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Re: Religion

Post by gdf on Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:31 pm

Kaptain Kaviar wrote:The only thing I can point my finger at is the fact that she's keeping the faith alive, and as a result it will be carried onwards until it hits someone who becomes a fanatic fundamentalist. So not much, no.

That's a more blunt version of what I was trying to say above.

I think imposing religious views on children is wrong. Let them make their own bloody minds up.
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Re: Religion

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