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Can you explain why you have faith in your religion? (1 Viewer)

Jesus is the only one who really provides hope and Judaism laid the ground work for his coming. Most organized religions have piled on so much legalism on Christ, which is pretty ridiculous seeing that Jesus was completely anti-legalism. I don't see how anyone can make it to heaven through Islam. It is the most condemning religion there is. Of course many will consider that hate speech, but i see it as an inherently oppressive religion which can never get out of the dark ages.
:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:
As always, stellar input. Let's hear your answers to life
Thats easy1.Dont get married before 30

2. Try LSD at least once (it will change your life)

3. Weed should be legal

next question
4. Be excellent to each other.

5. And party on, dude.
This guy gets it

Pretty easy and simple way to live your life.
I guess it doesn't apply to posting in the FFA?
They're clearly rules and maxims that are followed when we're at our best, and ignored when we feel like telling people like you to go #### a brick down the throat of your first born son, and eat the byproduct for clarity.
People like me?

 
My comment is this "thought" experiment I read somewhere. If all religions completely disappeared, it is highly unlikely, well impossible, that the same belief systems would redevelop over the years. New religions might develop, but they would be entirely different from the existing sects we have now. On the other hand, if all science based knowledge also disapperead, over time the EXACT same principles would be rediscovered. This tells me all I need to know about any religion. It is made up!

 
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Jesus is the only one who really provides hope and Judaism laid the ground work for his coming. Most organized religions have piled on so much legalism on Christ, which is pretty ridiculous seeing that Jesus was completely anti-legalism. I don't see how anyone can make it to heaven through Islam. It is the most condemning religion there is. Of course many will consider that hate speech, but i see it as an inherently oppressive religion which can never get out of the dark ages.
:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:
As always, stellar input. Let's hear your answers to life
Some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.

 
My comment is this "thought" experiment I read somewhere. If all religions completely disappeared, it is highly unlikely, well impossible, that the same belief systems would redevelop over the years. New religions might develop, but they would be entirely different from the existing sects we have now. On the other hand, if all science based knowledge also disapperead, over time the EXACT same principles would be rediscovered. This tells me all I need to know about any religion. It is made up!
So you make assumptions and draw conclusions upon those assumptions which match the beliefs you had prior to making those assumptions. Brilliant logic.

 
My parents made me go to church when I was younger. Once I turned 18, stopped going unless it was a Wedding or Funeral and kept it up for 20 or so years.

But then went back to church on the invitation of a friend. Found the Lord, was re-baptisted and was happy for a while. But then things happened in my life that began to re-question my faith.

Right now, I am going to my church for the Fellowship. I am not feeling the presence of the Lord in me right now. I hope it will come back
You bring up a new question. Do you have to have religion to believe in God?
I think most religious people would say that merely believing in God is not religion.

 
My comment is this "thought" experiment I read somewhere. If all religions completely disappeared, it is highly unlikely, well impossible, that the same belief systems would redevelop over the years. New religions might develop, but they would be entirely different from the existing sects we have now. On the other hand, if all science based knowledge also disapperead, over time the EXACT same principles would be rediscovered. This tells me all I need to know about any religion. It is made up!
Interesting.

 
Religion provides an afterlife. It's depressing to most people to think that they and their loved ones end when they die. They also want to think that life has a larger purpose, and that the wicked are ultimately punished while the good are rewarded. That's why religion is so compelling to most- and always will be IMO.

Also Otis you are 100% correct about your "choice" of religion being based on where you grew up and who you parents were. Don't be misled by that statistic about 41% of Americans changing religions during their lifetimes. They're not changing away from Christianity. They're choosing one sect of Christianity over another. The percentage of people converting, in this country, to Judaism or Islam or Buddhism is very very small.

 
"Because I do."

I don't know if I'm the best person to answer this question, because I've spent a decent part of my life functionally trying not to believe what I do, which is, incidentally, fairly different from what my parents believe, though they also identify as Christians. In college and then for a period after I was divorced, I wanted nothing to do with religion/God. But I always come back to it. I'm not sure why. I'd like to say it was because of some obvious intellectual puzzle that I have figured out that you too can figure out, but that's just not true. I simply believe this. Not because I want to, I chose to, or it seemed like the best option. Because I do. Pretty crappy answer to trot out in a thread like this, but it's the one I've got.

 
"Because I do."

I don't know if I'm the best person to answer this question, because I've spent a decent part of my life functionally trying not to believe what I do, which is, incidentally, fairly different from what my parents believe, though they also identify as Christians. In college and then for a period after I was divorced, I wanted nothing to do with religion/God. But I always come back to it. I'm not sure why. I'd like to say it was because of some obvious intellectual puzzle that I have figured out that you too can figure out, but that's just not true. I simply believe this. Not because I want to, I chose to, or it seemed like the best option. Because I do. Pretty crappy answer to trot out in a thread like this, but it's the one I've got.
That's fine, but are you willing to accept the fact that if you had been born and raised in Indonesia, in all likelihood you would be a Muslim?
 
Jesus is the only one who really provides hope and Judaism laid the ground work for his coming. Most organized religions have piled on so much legalism on Christ, which is pretty ridiculous seeing that Jesus was completely anti-legalism. I don't see how anyone can make it to heaven through Islam. It is the most condemning religion there is. Of course many will consider that hate speech, but i see it as an inherently oppressive religion which can never get out of the dark ages.
:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:
As always, stellar input. Let's hear your answers to life
Some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
You left out and a fat assed lady.

 
"Because I do."

I don't know if I'm the best person to answer this question, because I've spent a decent part of my life functionally trying not to believe what I do, which is, incidentally, fairly different from what my parents believe, though they also identify as Christians. In college and then for a period after I was divorced, I wanted nothing to do with religion/God. But I always come back to it. I'm not sure why. I'd like to say it was because of some obvious intellectual puzzle that I have figured out that you too can figure out, but that's just not true. I simply believe this. Not because I want to, I chose to, or it seemed like the best option. Because I do. Pretty crappy answer to trot out in a thread like this, but it's the one I've got.
That's fine, but are you willing to accept the fact that if you had been born and raised in Indonesia, in all likelihood you would be a Muslim?
Your inference that the only reason I believe what I do is because I was born in 'Murica is noted. I would agree that there are many people who profess faith out of convenience due to where they are born. I would say that applying that toward any one person you don't know is pretty foolish.

 
It's not the only reason Proninja but I would argue that's it's nearly decisive. Statistically, that's what the numbers suggest. Of the people who are born and raised in Indonesia, there are religious Muslims, non religious Muslims, different sects of Muslims, and a small minority who reject Islam in favor of a different religion or no religion. Same here with Christianity.

 
Also I never wrote that they choose it out of convenience- that would be insulting, and it's not at all what I meant.

 
It's not the only reason Proninja but I would argue that's it's nearly decisive. Statistically, that's what the numbers suggest. Of the people who are born and raised in Indonesia, there are religious Muslims, non religious Muslims, different sects of Muslims, and a small minority who reject Islam in favor of a different religion or no religion. Same here with Christianity.
I am pretty sure we have Muslims, Hindus, Jews, athiests, agnostics and all sorts of beliefs here in good ole 'merica.

 
It's not the only reason Proninja but I would argue that's it's nearly decisive. Statistically, that's what the numbers suggest. Of the people who are born and raised in Indonesia, there are religious Muslims, non religious Muslims, different sects of Muslims, and a small minority who reject Islam in favor of a different religion or no religion. Same here with Christianity.
I am pretty sure we have Muslims, Hindus, Jews, athiests, agnostics and all sorts of beliefs here in good ole 'merica.
We certainly do. What percentage of the population are they? And more importantly, what percentage of Americans who are raised in a Christian household grow up converting to a non Christian religion?
 
It's not the only reason Proninja but I would argue that's it's nearly decisive. Statistically, that's what the numbers suggest. Of the people who are born and raised in Indonesia, there are religious Muslims, non religious Muslims, different sects of Muslims, and a small minority who reject Islam in favor of a different religion or no religion. Same here with Christianity.
I am pretty sure we have Muslims, Hindus, Jews, athiests, agnostics and all sorts of beliefs here in good ole 'merica.
I bet not your parents though. See?

 
It's not the only reason Proninja but I would argue that's it's nearly decisive. Statistically, that's what the numbers suggest. Of the people who are born and raised in Indonesia, there are religious Muslims, non religious Muslims, different sects of Muslims, and a small minority who reject Islam in favor of a different religion or no religion. Same here with Christianity.
I am pretty sure we have Muslims, Hindus, Jews, athiests, agnostics and all sorts of beliefs here in good ole 'merica.
I bet not your parents though. See?
My mom who raised me is a spiritualist, whatever that is. You lose.

 
It's not the only reason Proninja but I would argue that's it's nearly decisive. Statistically, that's what the numbers suggest. Of the people who are born and raised in Indonesia, there are religious Muslims, non religious Muslims, different sects of Muslims, and a small minority who reject Islam in favor of a different religion or no religion. Same here with Christianity.
Sure, but you applied it directly to me. I agree with your theory in general. I don't agree with your blanket application of it.

A hypothetical on where I would have ended up on the religion spectrum if I'd been born elsewhere is useless, because I wasn't.

 
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I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X.
99%? Really??

I'm pretty sure humanity is a more reflective than that. It's not exactly a rare occurrence to either question your faith or wonder about the meaning of life. I would think almost the opposite - I bet 90% of humans at one time or another ponder "does God exist" "why am I here or" "is that all there is?"

I had an interesting conversation with my 15 year old a few weeks ago. He is starting to think about existentialism and what role religion should play in his life. He goes to mass every week to placate his mom but makes a point of refusing to go when he visits here (we don't attend services). He was amazed to realize his 5-1/2 year old half-sister has been to church once in her life (funeral). Anyway, he said that he found it interesting that science might cause you to adjust/alter what you believe (presuming you take a literal approach to biblical accounts) while he'd never heard of science changing based on religious belief.

I haven't been to services in over a quarter century, but I did encourage my son to keep questioning and keep searching. I think finding greater meaning in life is a very common search. Some find the answer is believing in God. For me, it's more about service to others. But I think it's a worthwhile quest.
I am a pious Catholic and an existentialist. I don't want existentialism to get a bad rap. :)

 
So Jon, if I understand you correctly, your mom was not a Christian, but as an adult you rejected her beliefs and chose Christianity. Is that correct?

If so, then the question becomes why you chose Christianity over other religions? And my contention is that the fact that you live in the USA played a decisive role in that decision. Had you grown up in Mumbai, you would have been much more likely to choose Hindu or Jain.

 
It's not the only reason Proninja but I would argue that's it's nearly decisive. Statistically, that's what the numbers suggest. Of the people who are born and raised in Indonesia, there are religious Muslims, non religious Muslims, different sects of Muslims, and a small minority who reject Islam in favor of a different religion or no religion. Same here with Christianity.
Sure, but you applied it directly to me. I agree with your theory in general. I don't agree with your blanket application of it.

A hypothetical on where I would have ended up on the religion spectrum if I'd been born elsewhere is useless, because I wasn't.
You're right and I apologize for applying it to you specifically. You may very well be an exception; I wouldn't know. But I believe it's a decisive factor for most people. Perhaps not the 99% that Otis asserted, but pretty damn close all the same.
 
A comment in another thread, which is a rehash of a comment we see in all the religion threads, was along the lines of "From my viewpoint, my belief in X is based on faith. It can't be proven or disproven."

Just curious as to whether there is a rational basis for folks deciding to put faith in a particular unprovable over another unprovable. I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X. Does that bother you? Do you ever consider that, had you grown up in a different hemisphere, or been born to parents in a house up the road, you might well have a completely different blind faith (that could neither be proven nor disproven)?

Not trying to throw stones at the believers, just curious to get past the hocus pocus and right down to an honest intellectual discussion. The answer at the end of this may be "yeah, I recognize none of this is rational, but it makes me happy and gives me some good constructs around which I can build my life and my family's lives," and if so, that's cool by me. But if it's something more than that, curious to hear that too.

TIA

Mods please file under "religion threads"
Faith is by definition unprovable by empirical methods, but that doesn't mean it's unprovable to the individual. I have had plenty of experiences which together comprise the foundation for my faith. I have a relationship with God that is unique and simply explaining it would be like trying to explain my mother's love for me. If you had a mother, you would know exactly what I'm talking about. If you didn't grow up with a mom, you wouldn't understand no matter what words I used. The best we'd be able to do is to try to approximate it with a metaphor linking it to something you do understand.

Luckily, while I can't explain a mother's love by suggesting you just try it out by going out and getting a mom, I can suggest to a nonbeliever that if you pray for a relationship with God, He will respond.

 
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I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X.
99%? Really??

I'm pretty sure humanity is a more reflective than that. It's not exactly a rare occurrence to either question your faith or wonder about the meaning of life. I would think almost the opposite - I bet 90% of humans at one time or another ponder "does God exist" "why am I here or" "is that all there is?"

I had an interesting conversation with my 15 year old a few weeks ago. He is starting to think about existentialism and what role religion should play in his life. He goes to mass every week to placate his mom but makes a point of refusing to go when he visits here (we don't attend services). He was amazed to realize his 5-1/2 year old half-sister has been to church once in her life (funeral). Anyway, he said that he found it interesting that science might cause you to adjust/alter what you believe (presuming you take a literal approach to biblical accounts) while he'd never heard of science changing based on religious belief.

I haven't been to services in over a quarter century, but I did encourage my son to keep questioning and keep searching. I think finding greater meaning in life is a very common search. Some find the answer is believing in God. For me, it's more about service to others. But I think it's a worthwhile quest.
I totally believe -- without any data -- that 99% of the people in the world who follow religion probably follow the very same religion that their parents follow. It would be interesting to see the data. The ultimate conclusion I would draw is that one's choice of religion isn't driven from personal preference or exploration at all -- they're just generally told to believe in something, and so they believe in it. No doubt there are folks who find their way to a different religion from the one they were taught growing up, but I bet they are outliers.
Absolutely we follow the same religion our parents follow. I would say it's a very serious thing to cast off the religion of one's parents, and shouldn't be done lightly. In the vast majority of cases, faith begins with witness. The testimony of a believer sparks belief in one's self, this is true in all kinds of faith, including religious, and typically one's parents are highly credible and supremely influential in the faith of children.

That said, what starts with the parents can't stay there. Just like anything your parents taught you, you end up either casting aside or validating for yourself. For example, just because my father had rules about taking out the car that I might have disagreed with vehemently when I was a teenager, does that invalidate the need for the rule now that I am the father of a teenager? Does the fact that my father had the same rule that I now employ make me feel like it's jsut some hocus pocus and that I'm not thinking for myself? Not at all.

In the same way, if my parents tended properly to my development and more importantly if I myself have tended to my development since I reached the age of reason, I have some beliefs which I share with my parents and they shared with theirs regarding the faith. I don't cling to these beliefs in an unthinking way, I assimilate them because of the way I have come to view the nature of reality, and I am not at all ashamed to say that the Holy Spirit has been the instrument of that belief. Had I not tended to my faith development I would have different beliefs right now. And in fact in many ways I do have different beliefs from my mom, who was also a cradle Catholic.

The good news is that the Holy Spirit is not limited by your childhood experiences. He will act on you no matter what your background or current situation. All he needs is an open mind and a seeking heart yearning for truth to ask Him.

 
So Jon, if I understand you correctly, your mom was not a Christian, but as an adult you rejected her beliefs and chose Christianity. Is that correct?

If so, then the question becomes why you chose Christianity over other religions? And my contention is that the fact that you live in the USA played a decisive role in that decision. Had you grown up in Mumbai, you would have been much more likely to choose Hindu or Jain.
Let Otis admit his theory might be off a little, before we completely lower the bar for him.

 
My mother grew up devoutly catholic and went to catholic schools through college. I still don't know what my father believes, but I suspect he is mostly atheist/apathetic about religion. My mother distanced from catholicism after she went to college and moved away from home. But she always held onto a hint of faith to hedge her bets. She now identifies mostly with being a jew from a religious perspective, but she is atheist by all accounts.

I never went to church as a child unless I asked my parents or if I went with friends. My mother was pretty good about exposing me at my interest. I frequently went to Friday night synagogue with a jewish friend of mine. But otherwise religion mostly bored me.

I was a very strong math and science guy in school, so logic, proof, observation, common sense and the the scientific method direct my beliefs.

 
I know some good people who are not religious who deserve to go to "heaven" and a bunch of religious people who do not.

 
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I know some good people who are not religious who deserve to go to "heaven" and a bunch of religious people who do not.
According to fundamentalist Protestant Christian theology, my grandmother, who was one of the kindest people I ever knew, is burning in Hell right now, while some of the Nazis who murdered her parents, sisters, and brothers are in Heaven (because before dying themselves, they accepted Jesus and begged for His forgiveness.)
 
I know some good people who are not religious who deserve to go to "heaven" and a bunch of religious people who do not.
In my world view, neither you nor I nor anyone you know deserves to go to heaven.

 
Jesus is the only one who really provides hope and Judaism laid the ground work for his coming. Most organized religions have piled on so much legalism on Christ, which is pretty ridiculous seeing that Jesus was completely anti-legalism. I don't see how anyone can make it to heaven through Islam. It is the most condemning religion there is. Of course many will consider that hate speech, but i see it as an inherently oppressive religion which can never get out of the dark ages.
You can always tell when a jihadist moderates the FFA. Everyone gets dinged except for posts to rate the seven virgins.

 
I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X.
99%? Really??

I'm pretty sure humanity is a more reflective than that. It's not exactly a rare occurrence to either question your faith or wonder about the meaning of life. I would think almost the opposite - I bet 90% of humans at one time or another ponder "does God exist" "why am I here or" "is that all there is?"

I had an interesting conversation with my 15 year old a few weeks ago. He is starting to think about existentialism and what role religion should play in his life. He goes to mass every week to placate his mom but makes a point of refusing to go when he visits here (we don't attend services). He was amazed to realize his 5-1/2 year old half-sister has been to church once in her life (funeral). Anyway, he said that he found it interesting that science might cause you to adjust/alter what you believe (presuming you take a literal approach to biblical accounts) while he'd never heard of science changing based on religious belief.

I haven't been to services in over a quarter century, but I did encourage my son to keep questioning and keep searching. I think finding greater meaning in life is a very common search. Some find the answer is believing in God. For me, it's more about service to others. But I think it's a worthwhile quest.
I totally believe -- without any data -- that 99% of the people in the world who follow religion probably follow the very same religion that their parents follow. It would be interesting to see the data. The ultimate conclusion I would draw is that one's choice of religion isn't driven from personal preference or exploration at all -- they're just generally told to believe in something, and so they believe in it. No doubt there are folks who find their way to a different religion from the one they were taught growing up, but I bet they are outliers.
Absolutely we follow the same religion our parents follow. I would say it's a very serious thing to cast off the religion of one's parents, and shouldn't be done lightly. In the vast majority of cases, faith begins with witness. The testimony of a believer sparks belief in one's self, this is true in all kinds of faith, including religious, and typically one's parents are highly credible and supremely influential in the faith of children.That said, what starts with the parents can't stay there. Just like anything your parents taught you, you end up either casting aside or validating for yourself. For example, just because my father had rules about taking out the car that I might have disagreed with vehemently when I was a teenager, does that invalidate the need for the rule now that I am the father of a teenager? Does the fact that my father had the same rule that I now employ make me feel like it's jsut some hocus pocus and that I'm not thinking for myself? Not at all.

In the same way, if my parents tended properly to my development and more importantly if I myself have tended to my development since I reached the age of reason, I have some beliefs which I share with my parents and they shared with theirs regarding the faith. I don't cling to these beliefs in an unthinking way, I assimilate them because of the way I have come to view the nature of reality, and I am not at all ashamed to say that the Holy Spirit has been the instrument of that belief. Had I not tended to my faith development I would have different beliefs right now. And in fact in many ways I do have different beliefs from my mom, who was also a cradle Catholic.

The good news is that the Holy Spirit is not limited by your childhood experiences. He will act on you no matter what your background or current situation. All he needs is an open mind and a seeking heart yearning for truth to ask Him.
Heeeaaard that
 
Psychopav said:
Rohn Jambo said:
I know some good people who are not religious who deserve to go to "heaven" and a bunch of religious people who do not.
In my world view, neither you nor I nor anyone you know deserves to go to heaven.
:goodposting:

I'm pretty strongly of the opinion that people who say "I'm a good person" don't know themselves very well.

 
I chose a religion that fit with my existing beliefs about the universe and was flexible enough that if those beliefs changed I thought it could accommodate them.

 
I'm a pessimist by nature. I assume there is no afterlife, no god, etc. and if, when I die, it turns out there's this awesome place surrounded by pearly gates, then that's be a pretty awesome surprise. I'll gladly eat crow.

I was raised Catholic, my parents still are, but I can't be a part of any organized religion anymore. Most are way too restrictive and unaccepting of anyone different (gays), are hesitant to accept science and advances in medicine if it conflicts with scripture, and Sunday mornings are for sleeping in and cooking breakfast, not going to church and saying the same prayers you said last week over and over like sheep. I don't think any of this is what Jesus would have intended.

I have a lot of respect for people who can both believe in God but reject most organized religion's archaic views, and can think for themselves when it comes to equal rights, and science/medicine.

 
Otis said:
A comment in another thread, which is a rehash of a comment we see in all the religion threads, was along the lines of "From my viewpoint, my belief in X is based on faith. It can't be proven or disproven."

Just curious as to whether there is a rational basis for folks deciding to put faith in a particular unprovable over another unprovable. I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X. Does that bother you? Do you ever consider that, had you grown up in a different hemisphere, or been born to parents in a house up the road, you might well have a completely different blind faith (that could neither be proven nor disproven)?

Not trying to throw stones at the believers, just curious to get past the hocus pocus and right down to an honest intellectual discussion. The answer at the end of this may be "yeah, I recognize none of this is rational, but it makes me happy and gives me some good constructs around which I can build my life and my family's lives," and if so, that's cool by me. But if it's something more than that, curious to hear that too.

TIA

Mods please file under "religion threads"
Hi Otis,

I appreciate the question. And it's a good one. You ask, "I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X. Does that bother you?"

I would answer, "Sure". Anytime one believes something it's a good thing to ask yourself why. And one thing to consider are things like you're asking - would it be different if I'd been in different circumstances?

Would I have the same faith I do now if I'd been born in China to Chinese parents? Fair question. Honest answer has to be "I don't know". I have heard though that the number of new Christians in China is growing very quickly. Even in the face of opposition. Would I have been one of them? Who knows? I don't think there's really any way to answer that question. So I'll be honest in that I don't give it a ton of thought. I do know quite a few Christians who have parents who are not.

Another hard thing to think about is what about the people in super remote areas of the world who haven't heard about Christianity? Or any other religion? What about them? That's a hard one to imagine too.

What I do feel like I have to think about is the situation I'm in here. I have heard. I do know about it. That's probably most of us. So then, we have to decide what we do with that information. I know it has detractors, but I always thought Strobels book, The Case for Christ asked the question in a pretty good way - what if hearing about Jesus was sort of like being on a jury? And your job as a juror was to hear the "case" presented by both sides and then make a decision. Any court case has two sides. One side says he did it. The other side says he didn't do it. They present their reasons and the jury makes a decision. I doubt every juror is completely sure. They just feel like given the evidence, they make a call. That's kind of how I see this.

On the hubris of being so certain that your way is the only way - I fall less in line with that than some. It seems to me that my time is better spent being known as what I'm for rather than what I'm against. So I don't spend a lot of time thinking my way of thinking is so superior to any other religion. I have made my "call" and Christianity is my choice. But I think it works better when you don't go around acting so proud about it or that you're somehow superior. Is that theologically correct? I don't know. I just know it's how I feel.

Over the last few years, my thinking has kind of angled toward the idea of what I said above that Christians might be better off if we were known for what we're for. Not what we're against. Carvey's Church Lady with the wagging finger hits way too close for many people. That is funny. But it's not very attractive.

They don't get near as much attention as the guys yelling but writers like Donald Miller, Bob Goff and Anne Lamott are much more in line with how I see things. Relevant Magazine has some good things too.

I know that's maybe not a very good answer to your question. But it's sort of how I see it. And good question. Always good to ask questions.

J

 
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Otis said:
A comment in another thread, which is a rehash of a comment we see in all the religion threads, was along the lines of "From my viewpoint, my belief in X is based on faith. It can't be proven or disproven."

Just curious as to whether there is a rational basis for folks deciding to put faith in a particular unprovable over another unprovable. I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X. Does that bother you? Do you ever consider that, had you grown up in a different hemisphere, or been born to parents in a house up the road, you might well have a completely different blind faith (that could neither be proven nor disproven)?

Not trying to throw stones at the believers, just curious to get past the hocus pocus and right down to an honest intellectual discussion. The answer at the end of this may be "yeah, I recognize none of this is rational, but it makes me happy and gives me some good constructs around which I can build my life and my family's lives," and if so, that's cool by me. But if it's something more than that, curious to hear that too.

TIA

Mods please file under "religion threads"
Hi Otis,

I appreciate the question. And it's a good one. You ask, "I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X. Does that bother you?"

I would answer, "Sure". Anytime one believes something it's a good thing to ask yourself why. And one thing to consider are things like you're asking - would it be different if I'd been in different circumstances?

Would I have the same faith I do now if I'd been born in China to Chinese parents? Fair question. Honest answer has to be "I don't know". I have heard though that the number of new Christians in China is growing very quickly. Even in the face of opposition. Would I have been one of them? Who knows? I don't think there's really any way to answer that question. So I'll be honest in that I don't give it a ton of thought. I do know quite a few Christians who have parents who are not.

Another hard thing to think about is what about the people in super remote areas of the world who haven't heard about Christianity? Or any other religion? What about them? That's a hard one to imagine too.

What I do feel like I have to think about is the situation I'm in here. I have heard. I do know about it. That's probably most of us. So then, we have to decide what we do with that information. I know it has detractors, but I always thought Strobels book, The Case for Christ asked the question in a pretty good way - what if hearing about Jesus was sort of like being on a jury? And your job as a juror was to hear the "case" presented by both sides and then make a decision. Any court case has two sides. One side says he did it. The other side says he didn't do it. They present their reasons and the jury makes a decision. I doubt every juror is completely sure. They just feel like given the evidence, they make a call. That's kind of how I see this.

On the hubris of being so certain that your way is the only way - I fall less in line with that than some. It seems to me that my time is better spent being known as what I'm for rather than what I'm against. So I don't spend a lot of time thinking my way of thinking is so superior to any other religion. I have made my "call" and Christianity is my choice. But I think it works better when you don't go around acting so proud about it or that you're somehow superior. Is that theologically correct? I don't know. I just know it's how I feel.

Over the last few years, my thinking has kind of angled toward the idea of what I said above that Christians might be better off if we were known for what we're for. Not what we're against. Carvey's Church Lady with the wagging finger hits way too close for many people. That is funny. But it's not very attractive.

They don't get near as much attention as the guys yelling but writers like Donald Miller, Bob Goff and Anne Lamott are much more in line with how I see things. Relevant Magazine has some good things too.

I know that's maybe not a very good answer to your question. But it's sort of how I see it. And good question. Always good to ask questions.

J
Joe, are you saying that you let your kids choose their own religion?

 
Otis said:
A comment in another thread, which is a rehash of a comment we see in all the religion threads, was along the lines of "From my viewpoint, my belief in X is based on faith. It can't be proven or disproven."

Just curious as to whether there is a rational basis for folks deciding to put faith in a particular unprovable over another unprovable. I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X. Does that bother you? Do you ever consider that, had you grown up in a different hemisphere, or been born to parents in a house up the road, you might well have a completely different blind faith (that could neither be proven nor disproven)?

Not trying to throw stones at the believers, just curious to get past the hocus pocus and right down to an honest intellectual discussion. The answer at the end of this may be "yeah, I recognize none of this is rational, but it makes me happy and gives me some good constructs around which I can build my life and my family's lives," and if so, that's cool by me. But if it's something more than that, curious to hear that too.

TIA

Mods please file under "religion threads"
Hi Otis,

I appreciate the question. And it's a good one. You ask, "I suspect that in 99% of cases, your decision to have faith in X is based solely on the fact that you grew up in a certain part of the world and had parents who decided to tell you to have faith in X. Does that bother you?"

I would answer, "Sure". Anytime one believes something it's a good thing to ask yourself why. And one thing to consider are things like you're asking - would it be different if I'd been in different circumstances?

Would I have the same faith I do now if I'd been born in China to Chinese parents? Fair question. Honest answer has to be "I don't know". I have heard though that the number of new Christians in China is growing very quickly. Even in the face of opposition. Would I have been one of them? Who knows? I don't think there's really any way to answer that question. So I'll be honest in that I don't give it a ton of thought. I do know quite a few Christians who have parents who are not.

Another hard thing to think about is what about the people in super remote areas of the world who haven't heard about Christianity? Or any other religion? What about them? That's a hard one to imagine too.

What I do feel like I have to think about is the situation I'm in here. I have heard. I do know about it. That's probably most of us. So then, we have to decide what we do with that information. I know it has detractors, but I always thought Strobels book, The Case for Christ asked the question in a pretty good way - what if hearing about Jesus was sort of like being on a jury? And your job as a juror was to hear the "case" presented by both sides and then make a decision. Any court case has two sides. One side says he did it. The other side says he didn't do it. They present their reasons and the jury makes a decision. I doubt every juror is completely sure. They just feel like given the evidence, they make a call. That's kind of how I see this.

On the hubris of being so certain that your way is the only way - I fall less in line with that than some. It seems to me that my time is better spent being known as what I'm for rather than what I'm against. So I don't spend a lot of time thinking my way of thinking is so superior to any other religion. I have made my "call" and Christianity is my choice. But I think it works better when you don't go around acting so proud about it or that you're somehow superior. Is that theologically correct? I don't know. I just know it's how I feel.

Over the last few years, my thinking has kind of angled toward the idea of what I said above that Christians might be better off if we were known for what we're for. Not what we're against. Carvey's Church Lady with the wagging finger hits way too close for many people. That is funny. But it's not very attractive.

They don't get near as much attention as the guys yelling but writers like Donald Miller, Bob Goff and Anne Lamott are much more in line with how I see things. Relevant Magazine has some good things too.

I know that's maybe not a very good answer to your question. But it's sort of how I see it. And good question. Always good to ask questions.

J
Joe, are you saying that you let your kids choose their own religion?
Hi John,

Yes. You can't "make" your kids choose a religion. You can influence them of course. And I hope they'll choose Christianity. And yes, I'll encourage them to choose Christianity because as a parent, I think that's the right choice. But faith is something personal. There comes a time in every person's life when their faith becomes their own. It's the only way for it to really be real I think.

J

 
jon_mx said:
Mohawk said:
My comment is this "thought" experiment I read somewhere. If all religions completely disappeared, it is highly unlikely, well impossible, that the same belief systems would redevelop over the years. New religions might develop, but they would be entirely different from the existing sects we have now. On the other hand, if all science based knowledge also disapperead, over time the EXACT same principles would be rediscovered. This tells me all I need to know about any religion. It is made up!
So you make assumptions and draw conclusions upon those assumptions which match the beliefs you had prior to making those assumptions. Brilliant logic.
PLEASE do not even go there concerning logic. Are you trying to tell me that your belief system is based on logic of any sort? Come on. Religion is man made, intended to comfort those that need comforting. Science IS logic. I made no assumptions. All I said is that your made up system of belief in some sort of god requires stories and myths to make it comforting. Science stares long and hard into the nature of the universe. Tell me Jon, where are there assumptions in that?

 

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