Religions co-existing

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Dreamscape, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    I know God, there is absolutely no question in that regard. What religions and people do or say in His name is irrelevant to His existence.
     
  2. Joline3

    Joline3 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    that is quite irrelevant to the thread question though..
     
  3. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,642
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    I almost never get involved in the religious debates because there is always so much strong emotion involved in them. To head some of that off let me just say that by presenting my views I am in no way telling anyone else what I think they should believe. I’d also add that just because my beliefs are different from someone else, that doesn’t mean that I disrespect their beliefs either. In essence, what is relevant to me may not be relevant to anyone else. I get that so don’t anybody take offence here because my perspective is probably a little weird compared to most.
    I grew up in an atheist household, so nobody can say that I was indoctrinated by my parents into my religion from a young age. Yet I did start going to church in my late twenties and it’s been an interesting process going from “atheist” to “believer” (I hate both terms BTW) to say the least. At this point in my life I’d prefer to say I went from “unaware” to “aware” actually. Some things I learned about myself along the way:
    1. I always knew God existed, I just didn’t recognize him/her/it in my life until much later.
    2. I have always possessed 2 kinds of knowledge: the rational, logical, learned kind that we usually associate the word “knowledge” with and the other kind that just is. Call it “intuition”, a “feeling” or a “vibe” - it’s the kind of thing you don’t talk about because people will think that you’re crazy. :D I call it my “barometer” and it is sometimes at odds with my logic. I believe that barometer helps to guide me along the path of life and that the knowledge it gives me comes from God. I can ignore it if I want to (or if my emotions get the better of me :p), but I’ve learned that no good ever comes of that. Trusting that knowledge and its source is the essence of my faith. It isn’t logical. It isn’t even rational. It just is.
    3. I have to make a distinction between religion and faith. Faith is a personal thing between me and God while religion is where I get together with a bunch of other people to discuss my faith. This is one reason why I belong to a religion at all: not to be told what to do or what to believe, but to have some dedicated time each week in my crazy schedule to think about my faith. I don’t always agree with everything about my religion and I think that is a very good thing actually. I know without a doubt that God doesn’t agree with everything about it either because my “barometer” tells me so. Of course I do agree with plenty of stuff about it too which is the other reason I’m a member.
    If I couldn’t separate my faith from my religion I’d have to accept that my religion was the ultimate authority and submit myself to its will. The term “blind faith” comes to my mind: blinding myself to God so I can serve my religion instead. Frankly that just doesn’t make any sense to me. My religion is supposed to support and deepen my faith, not compete with it. Furthermore, if my faith was blind I wouldn’t be at all tolerant of anyone else’s beliefs. As such, I believe that religions can certainly coexist peacefully together: just as soon as their followers choose to give up what I call “blind faith”.
    100% agreement with this Cloudy. All kinds of religions can and have been used to create division between people and as a tool to control people but this is a human failing in my opinion, not a divine one. Worship of any kind can be and is used all the time by humanity as a tool for control: celebrity worship is used in marketing perfume and makeup for example. If religion was to fall by the wayside, people seeking to have power over others will just find a different tool to use in exerting control over them. This is why I make a distinction between faith and religion. I don’t have to and shouldn’t accept every single tenet of my religion as truth because human failings and hidden human agendas can be involved in it sometimes. If what I’m being told by my religion doesn’t resonate positively with my internal barometer I discard it as humanity pushing its own agenda for its own reasons.

    Ironically, it was science that helped me to recognize God. There are uncountable subatomic particles in every cell in my body. They all interact to form atoms which interact to form molecules, which form cellular components, which interact to form a functioning cell that lives. It’s AMAZING to me that something like this can even function because the odds that something will go wrong with all of that complexity seem to be quite high. Then I think of all the millions of cells in my body that work together to make a functional person (that is a matter for another debate BTW :p) and I think: wow, how is this possible? The whole world is full of countless organisms that all interact with each other to form a functional ecosystem. Then there is the solar system and how it is uniquely able to support such a planet.... and the universe, so much of which we know little to nothing about. Science paradigms would have me believe that this all came about randomly but logic tells me that is statistically unlikely. Actually it’s virtually impossible. I don’t believe that this entire phenomenon was random at all. In this, my logic is not at odds with my barometer.
    I agree that atheism may be growing because of the environment. People are soooooo busy these days and when they’re not, many fill the rest of their time with mindless entertainment. Few people take the time any more to think about this stuff or to slow down and listen. I think the fact that all of us care enough to debate the issue is a great thing because it makes us think and critically evaluate our beliefs. Furthermore, I agree with Turambar. I think it’s possible that religion may not be mainstream in the future and may become something that is mostly private. That saddens me. In spite of the harm religion has caused, I’ve also seen it do some powerfully good things when like-minded “believers” get together, pool their resources and follow their faith.


    My feeling exactly... in far fewer words...lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  4. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    30,512
    Likes Received:
    361
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Belgium
    Ratings:
    +383 / 0 / -0
    Well in any case I think it is good you have this barometer. I think that your approach how to distinguish faith from religion is certainly a good one. And how you explore your faith is what shows that it's certainly not blind. I think you're a great example of a religious person (as in someone who believes in a deity to explain why I name you by that term, if you don't mind), S.J.
     
  5. Heaven's Cloud

    Heaven's Cloud Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings:
    +42 / 0 / -0
    You obviously draw strength from your beliefs, S.J. and it shows in how you carry yourself every day, even on this forum. I can only ever have respect for that. People can see it as weakness, but their experience will never be your experience. So what other people see in your choices and beliefs is irrelevant when you can draw such strength from a source that they don't have. I've always found you to be a most appealing personality, and that's what's important to me. How you came to be that way is in itself very significant. Even though I'm not a believer, I can still encourage you to keep following your barometer, because I like all the positive things I see in you.

    In the past I've seen mathematical figures concerning how unlikely that it is that the universe came about by itself. And though I never did enough research on my own to verify any of those figures, I will say that they were staggering, and if they were indeed true, I think they would be enough to at the very least make most rational people stop and think about things. It's one of the main reasons why I've never discounted the possibility of a god. I rarely totally discount any possibilities on the subject of a god. My own ignorance will not allow me to. I try never to state as fact something that I have no way of proving.
     
  6. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    254
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +423 / 2 / -0
    I think my views must be more in line with yours on this subject, S.J. I think you covered a lot of things that I wanted to say but couldn't really articulate. :p

    What I am now is a result of many factors. I had a secular upbringing, then became a born again Christian before I turned twenty, and was one for close to two decades. And, now? Well, now I am something different again, I suppose. Although I will probably never step into another church again, there are aspects of my time in that culture that were positive (along with the bad), and I'll carry those experiences with me until the day I die. That's not a bad thing. I say learn from your past, enjoy the present, and keep pushing into the future and its unknowns.

    And this is the point at which the idea of religions co-existing steps in for me. It's an important idea, and one that I must grasp if I'm to have any hope of getting along with people from different walks of life. Whatever my personal beliefs may or may not be (now or in the future), if I can't learn to put those and ego aside when I'm interrelating with other people then I have no business being a part of society. If I won't suffer other modes of thought to live, as it were, then I should realistically expect that others would treat mine with contempt too. It does lead me to wonder if the need to be right (and being seen to be right) is more important to some of us than simply learning to live and let live. I do wonder where that stubborn refusal to allow others to have their own minds ultimately springs from. Is it fear? Is it hubris? Is it a little from both columns?

    Seriously, so what if people hold different beliefs to mine? So what if they're Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan, Atheist or whatever? I frankly don't care. What I do care about is if they use that prism through which they view the world to bludgeon me into line with what they think I should think. Having our own minds is the last great freedom that we all share. We should cherish that. We should protect that. If we don't then we face the potential risk of losing our freedom to any curmudgeon (or worse, tyrant) who thinks their ideology is the only one that deserves to exist. Don't get me wrong... let's talk about these things, and let's test and question our ideas, but let's at least try to do it with a smidgen of respect for our fellow human beings.

    In short, perhaps we could all stand to get over ourselves once in a while. Everything we think we know about what everything is, nearly always isn't. That's why there's science. That's why there's religion. These are merely products of what are essentially inquisitive minds - restless souls even. We question. We look for answers. It's what we do. And we are all of us groping in the dark. Our desire to shed just a little more light on the unknown is what unites us all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  7. Joline3

    Joline3 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    That's just so beautifully said :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,784
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Not in Amsterdam :)
    Ratings:
    +189 / 0 / -0
    You know, thank you for pointing this out. I tried earlier to bring this across - but I sort of failed. I probably couldn't express it this well from my perspective, either.

    Anyway. This is why I think religion has a future. And to answer Joline's question from post #46: we will still have religion 100 years from now. And, I feel, 1000 years from now. Exactly because people will try to answer the questions of life from SJ's perspective.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  9. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    7,802
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    VDNH Station,Moscow
    Ratings:
    +97 / 0 / -0
    Don't know what you non-believers are saying....but I am glad for the revival of the faith in Russia.As it was prophecized that it would happen...

     
  10. Heaven's Cloud

    Heaven's Cloud Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings:
    +42 / 0 / -0
    The positive messages in this show always embodied my vision for the future.
    This clips is no different. Simply put, it illustrates my hope that religions can co-exist into the future.
    For those who have never seen Babylon 5, the year is 2258, and it is a story about a quest to achieve peace in our galaxy...

     
  11. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Messages:
    5,642
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +298 / 2 / -1
    Well said Eph, well said :)


    Very cool Cloud... never saw that episode but yeah, that would be a nice vision for the future.
     
  12. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    254
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +423 / 2 / -0
    Thanks JoJo and S.J. :)

    I love that this show attempted to wrestle with such themes in such a nuanced way, Cloudy. You have excellent taste sir.
     
  13. kwlanford

    kwlanford Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Texas
    Ratings:
    +60 / 0 / -2
    The answer is NO they cannot. If they could they would have already. The only way would be if god himself came down and said "Hey knock it off here I am!" even then they wouldn't co-exist because there would only be the one. Naaa even if God did come down there would be factions claiming he was the anti-god. Then those two would fight LOL
     
  14. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    6,350
    Likes Received:
    254
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings:
    +423 / 2 / -0
    Actually, you do bring up an excellent point about human nature here. It's why we seem to quibble over everything, be it religion or science or sport or whatever else. This can partly be a necessary evil, but can also be something that topples over into unnecessary acts of evil.
     
  15. Heaven's Cloud

    Heaven's Cloud Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,179
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Ratings:
    +42 / 0 / -0
    I have to wonder whether the bad is outweighing the good. And if it is, how long it will take for one to destroy all the rest.

    Not all of them are engaged in open warfare.
     
  16. Dreamscaper

    Dreamscaper Royal Hamster Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    134
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    Ratings:
    +249 / 3 / -0
    That's because this thread isn't where that comment was supposed to go, lol. Rather confused, didn't remember that I started a thread like this (names are close...) then was confused that I posted in it... >.< Apologies.
     
  17. Joline3

    Joline3 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0
    Oh, I didn't mean anything by it, so no need to apologize xD I was just confused and thought you would elaborate on it, but I got my answer now :D
     
  18. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    7,802
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    VDNH Station,Moscow
    Ratings:
    +97 / 0 / -0
    "There can be no peace or coexistence between the Islamic faith and non-Islamic societies and political institutions. The failure of these institutions to function and the instability of these regimes in Muslim countries, manifest in frequent changes and coups d'état, is most often the consequence of their a priori opposition to Islam, as the fundamental and foremost feeling of the people in those countries."-Alija Izetbegovic,President of Bosnia and Herzegovina.From his Islamic Declaration(1970s).The man who declared Bosnia independent and that led to war.
     
  19. JNK

    JNK King of tards

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Messages:
    5,909
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Bern, Switzerland
    Ratings:
    +138 / 4 / -2
    "Their nazi rhetoric and form kept them at the fringes of political life for several years, sending to their ranks only hardcore nationalists with a penchant for militarism. As such GD was, in its early years as a political party (circa mid-1980's) more of an organization like the Nazi S.A. (Sturmabteilung), the "brownshirts", rather than a bourgeois party similar to all the rest. It is because of that heritage that GD still follows in many respects the conduct of the S.A., such as the well-known nazi salute, marches in disciplined army-like formations, the use of brute force to impose their will on all the rest, the cult of personality for their leader and other such methods characteristic of the early Nazi thugs."

    "It was the substitution of their German-looking image with a more Greko-Orthodox clothing that brought Golden Dawn to the centre of the already influential and institutionalized Greek ultra-nationalist movement. Though certain changes in palaver and appearance are evident, the national socialist core of their ideology remained in tact and has in fact found distant ideological siblings within the most profound prejudices of the Greek society. It is at this point where an objective analyst, must digress from the mainstream critique of Golden Dawn in examining those widespread presumptions that provided the fertile soil so to speak, for the flourishing of the nazist misanthropy."

    by Protesilaos Stavrou
     
  20. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    Messages:
    7,802
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    VDNH Station,Moscow
    Ratings:
    +97 / 0 / -0
    And what exactly does Golden Dawn have to do with Religions co-existing?That's a political party.