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Old 2013-01-23, 01:35   Link #3381
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Indonesia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I can't rule out a supreme being but then I can't rule out faeries, pixies, dragons, and unicorns either.
Vexx-san, you believe in faeries, pixies, dragons, and unicorns?

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
For daily life, a mild form of buddhism combined with modern physics works. All you can really know is "now" so just do the nicest things you can "now" at each and every "now".
Ah...Islam also has it too. “When it’s time to work (to earn wealth), work like you’ll live for a thousand years. When it’s time to pray, pray like you’ll die tomorrow”. The point is to be a good person and enjoy your everyday life and to always give it your all when doing your duty (as a muslim, parent, student, employee, doctor, etc) and, furthermore, to be happy both in this life and afterlife.
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Old 2013-01-23, 02:03   Link #3382
Vexx
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Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
Vexx-san, you believe in faeries, pixies, dragons, and unicorns?
Heh, i didn't say I *believed* in them. I don't really *believe* in anything. I have working models of reality that I modify as I learn more. I just can't *rule out* invisible beings. I can only say there is no evidence for them. I do think it is *poetic* to attach motivation to movement or fields of influence. That is the basis for animism (e.g. folk Shinto, folk beliefs in Europe, etc)

A dust devil or tornado is an example of temporary complexity. So is a human being. They are simply different orders of complexity. The science of complexity theory and emergent behavior is fascinating.

I'll modify my "don't believe in anything" a bit ... I *believe* in the importance of friends, close ones, treating other people the way I'd like to be treated, stopping others from harming people. But even those are simply variations on the Golden Rule or empathy - a trait shared by most mammalian species (even rats).

Quote:
Ah...Islam also has it too. “When it’s time to work (to earn wealth), work like you’ll live for a thousand years. When it’s time to pray, pray like you’ll die tomorrow”. The point is to be a good person and enjoy your everyday life and to always give it your all when doing your duty (as a muslim, parent, student, employee, doctor, etc) and, furthermore, to be happy both in this life and afterlife.
Any sustainable belief system should (and usually) does have this at its core. Now if we could just get rid of the broken dysfunctionals who use their belief systems to hurt others, we could all have a picnic.
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Old 2013-01-23, 02:17   Link #3383
Qilin
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I've posted a bit in this thread, but I realized that I never really answered the question:

I'm officially a Roman Catholic, but in practice, I'm probably much closer to atheism than anything else. Aside from that, my philosophy of thought leans toward a cross somewhere between Nihilism and Zen Buddhism. But I disagree with the idea of using labels to refer to religion since I see it as more of a manifestation of individual experience. As such, there will always be subtle differences between the beliefs of each individual person that overgeneralized labels simply cannot capture.
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Old 2013-01-23, 02:32   Link #3384
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Zen Buddhism avoids most of that. What one finds with the variants of Buddhism in many countries is that the priests did something akin to what Christianity did as it swept the world. They merge local indigenous beliefs into the "new way". So if your Buddhism worships gods or treats the Buddha like some god, it is likely a transplant from whatever belief system existed in the area before hand.
I think Buddhism tends to be put on a bit of a pedestal, when historically it shares many of the excesses that radical Christianity does, in particular a tendency to inspire messianic and millenarian cults (think Ikko-Ikki or White Lotus). Otherwise they're fine.

Personally, I find all the varieties of "Paganism" to be the most fun. I think they most directly relate to the Human experience, though they tend to be a lot lighter on "spiritual enlightenment" as found in Buddhism or Christianity.
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Old 2013-01-23, 03:15   Link #3385
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Personally, I find all the varieties of "Paganism" to be the most fun. I think they most directly relate to the Human experience, though they tend to be a lot lighter on "spiritual enlightenment" as found in Buddhism or Christianity.
Agreed, even the darker elements are "fun" (as long as we're not sacrificing someone so the crops grow better to appease the Jackass Demi-god o.O)
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Old 2013-01-23, 09:49   Link #3386
ChainLegacy
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Massachusetts, US
Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I think Buddhism tends to be put on a bit of a pedestal, when historically it shares many of the excesses that radical Christianity does, in particular a tendency to inspire messianic and millenarian cults (think Ikko-Ikki or White Lotus). Otherwise they're fine.

Personally, I find all the varieties of "Paganism" to be the most fun. I think they most directly relate to the Human experience, though they tend to be a lot lighter on "spiritual enlightenment" as found in Buddhism or Christianity.
The reason I find Buddhism intriguing is that the early Theravada Buddhists were more akin to philosophers than religious practitioners. Later Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, as Vexx explained, became muddled with folk religion (and to be honest, I think you've also got the telephone effect going on - even without any elements of folk religion, the message seemed to become distorted). The 'true' early philosophy of Buddhism is quite different from what came later, though some Theravada sects retain some of that message. Zen Buddhism's focus on meditation and enlightenment is also closer to the original message, but they still have funky stuff going on that's really far removed from early Buddhism.

Speaking of philosophy and Buddhism, from a historical perspective, I find the intersection of Hellenistic cultures and Buddhism on the fringes of Alexander's conquered realm particularly fascinating. I'd have liked to have seen what these early syncretic Mahayana sects with Greek influences were like. Probably quite different from the Mahayana sects of today.

Last edited by ChainLegacy; 2013-01-23 at 09:59.
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Old 2013-01-23, 09:53   Link #3387
willx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
The reason I find Buddhism intriguing is that the early Theravada Buddhists were more akin to philosophers than religious practitioners. Later Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, as Vexx explained, became muddled with folk religion (and to be honest, I think you've also got the telephone effect going on - even without any elements of folk religion, the message seemed to become distorted). The 'true' early philosophy of Buddhism is quite different from what came later, though some Theravada sects retain some of that message.
This makes me somewhat curious as to do some research on the particular sect of buddhism or hodgepodge of personal beliefs that my extended family espouse to if not in full faithful acceptance but at the very least in practice. We're not talking 4-5 people, my extended family is in excess of 200 .. Come to think of it, it reminds me of Japanese-style shinto with a pantheon of gods, the highest of which is the Buddha, but also includes stuff like "God of the Earth", "Demon King Enma" and the "Emperor of Heaven"

It boggled my mind really how anyone could take it seriously since nearly half my knowledge of it came almost directly from watching "Journey to the West" when I was younger..
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Old 2013-01-23, 10:12   Link #3388
ChainLegacy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
This makes me somewhat curious as to do some research on the particular sect of buddhism or hodgepodge of personal beliefs that my extended family espouse to if not in full faithful acceptance but at the very least in practice. We're not talking 4-5 people, my extended family is in excess of 200 .. Come to think of it, it reminds me of Japanese-style shinto with a pantheon of gods, the highest of which is the Buddha, but also includes stuff like "God of the Earth", "Demon King Enma" and the "Emperor of Heaven"

It boggled my mind really how anyone could take it seriously since nearly half my knowledge of it came almost directly from watching "Journey to the West" when I was younger..
It might be one of the Pure Land sects. They're a little hard to take seriously from a philosophical point of view, but I love Chinese and Japanese folk religion... I've been reading up on Chinese folk religion and myths lately and they're very fun, especially the "Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors..." Then there's a fellow called the golden emperor, I believe, who is above them even further... Yeah, lots of emperors, which is very interesting to me when you compare it to the folk religion of my ancestors, the Gaels of Ireland, or other parts of the world. You can see the very strong roots of civilization on the Chinese way of thinking.

I am also a huge fan of European 'pagan' religions like Vexx and Don. I'm particularly fascinated by the druids of Ireland and Britain. The parallels one can find between mainland Celts, Germanic tribes, and Atlantic Celts points to an interesting degree of cultural continuity from groups that seemingly would be isolated if we are to accept the Roman viewpoint of them as primitive savages.

Not to leave it out - I'm also quite intrigued by early Judaic religious beliefs. I went to a Catholic high school and actually enjoyed reading the Old Testament quite a bit from a sociocultural/historical perspective despite being an agnostic myself.
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Old 2013-01-23, 10:31   Link #3389
DonQuigleone
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Chinese and Japanese folk religion is "fun" in a manner similar to "western" paganism (and also Hinduism).

In terms of western paganism, I was raised on Graeco Roman mythology, though I also enjoyed Norse/Germanic mythology (but less of that is written down). There is a certain level of continuity between Mediterranean Paganism, Germanic Paganism and Middle Eastern Paganism.

In terms of Irish mythology, I didn't read as much of it, it's not quite as "prestigious" as Classical mythology.

To go back to Buddhism, I actually think there's a lot of similarities between Christianity and Buddhism. Both of them put a higher emphasis on Philosophy then myth making, and both "hijacked" indigenous beliefs to an extent. This particularly applies to Catholicism/Orthodoxy, and less to the various Protestant sects. Both also have a messianic twist, and both put an emphasis on form of meditation and spiritual cleansing.

Evangelical protestantism is a bit different though. While on paper it's very similar to Catholicism, in practice it's very different. In Evangelical Protestantism it's all about the personal relationship with Jesus, and the emphasis is taken off theology and ethics. It doesn't really matter how you behave, if you believe in Jesus you've got a ticket to heaven. In Catholicism is more... prescriptive, and encourages a kind of self hating attitude (in that you have to restrain your lesser impulses). However Catholicism has also been getting more evangelical of late, though the hierarchy is still pretty orthodox.
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Old 2013-01-23, 10:32   Link #3390
willx
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If you're interested in "origin" religions of the various modern religions as well as cultural roots of concepts now commonplace, might I recommend a nice light read, called:

The History of Hell ~!

http://books.google.ca/books/about/T...MC&redir_esc=y

I read it years ago and it traces the evolution of thought of how a concept of "Hell" came into existence in modern religion as well as the history of what the "afterlife" was thought of prior to the construction of this concept. It traces the roots from religions prevalent in Babylon and Mesopotamia as well as Christianity's roots in Judaism and Zoroastrianism.
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Old 2013-01-23, 15:16   Link #3391
monster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
In Evangelical Protestantism it's all about the personal relationship with Jesus, and the emphasis is taken off theology and ethics. It doesn't really matter how you behave, if you believe in Jesus you've got a ticket to heaven.
My thoughts on this:

The idea here is that, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, salvation cannot be achieved through good works, but only by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

That said, when asked about the greatest commandment, Christ gave two:

1. Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Thus, I do believe that doing good/behaving well toward others has an important part in one's life as a Christian, only it is not done to achieve salvation, but as part of loving God.

As Christ also said:

"Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me."

and

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
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Old 2013-01-23, 16:34   Link #3392
ChainLegacy
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by monster View Post
My thoughts on this:

The idea here is that, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, salvation cannot be achieved through good works, but only by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

That said, when asked about the greatest commandment, Christ gave two:

1. Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
2. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Thus, I do believe that doing good/behaving well toward others has an important part in one's life as a Christian, only it is not done to achieve salvation, but as part of loving God.

As Christ also said:

"Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me."

and

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
Do you believe that a person who lives virtuously, as described in the Bible, but does not believe is condemned to Hell? Or purgatory (is purgatory even accepted by Evangelicals)? Or could they possibly get into heaven out of sheer 'ignorance?' How about someone who has never been exposed to Christianity at all? Or someone who was raised Hindu, Muslim, or any other major religion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
If you're interested in "origin" religions of the various modern religions as well as cultural roots of concepts now commonplace, might I recommend a nice light read, called:

The History of Hell ~!

http://books.google.ca/books/about/T...MC&redir_esc=y

I read it years ago and it traces the evolution of thought of how a concept of "Hell" came into existence in modern religion as well as the history of what the "afterlife" was thought of prior to the construction of this concept. It traces the roots from religions prevalent in Babylon and Mesopotamia as well as Christianity's roots in Judaism and Zoroastrianism.
Looks interesting. One thing I recall is that the 'three wise men' referenced during the birth of Christ in the Bible were also called three magi - which was the Grecco-Roman way of referring to a holy man of Zoroastrianism. They were considered to be masters of astrology by the Greeks, reading the stars for the birth of Jesus. Apparently, their religion was not considered incompatible with the Messiah of Judaism being born, but then again, the interpretation of the magi was inaccurate and filtered through the lens of Greek understanding. This is also from where we obtain the English 'magic' and 'magician.'
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Old 2013-01-23, 18:01   Link #3393
monster
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Do you believe that a person who lives virtuously, as described in the Bible, but does not believe is condemned to Hell? Or purgatory (is purgatory even accepted by Evangelicals)? Or could they possibly get into heaven out of sheer 'ignorance?' How about someone who has never been exposed to Christianity at all? Or someone who was raised Hindu, Muslim, or any other major religion?
Based on the Bible, I believe that no one is capable of "living virtuously" according to the standard that God has set. That is the reason why Christ was born, died, and raised. That is also the reason why Christians are commanded to spread the gospel of Christ to others.

As an aside, I don't believe in the idea of purgatory.
Quote:
Looks interesting. One thing I recall is that the 'three wise men' referenced during the birth of Christ in the Bible were also called three magi - which was the Grecco-Roman way of referring to a holy man of Zoroastrianism. They were considered to be masters of astrology by the Greeks, reading the stars for the birth of Jesus. Apparently, their religion was not considered incompatible with the Messiah of Judaism being born, but then again, the interpretation of the magi was inaccurate and filtered through the lens of Greek understanding. This is also from where we obtain the English 'magic' and 'magician.'
I don't think it's a matter of their religion being compatible, but about God being able to interact with any individual, Jew or gentile, believer or nonbeliever, etc.
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Old 2013-01-23, 22:03   Link #3394
willx
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Looks interesting. One thing I recall is that the 'three wise men' referenced during the birth of Christ in the Bible were also called three magi - which was the Grecco-Roman way of referring to a holy man of Zoroastrianism. They were considered to be masters of astrology by the Greeks, reading the stars for the birth of Jesus. Apparently, their religion was not considered incompatible with the Messiah of Judaism being born, but then again, the interpretation of the magi was inaccurate and filtered through the lens of Greek understanding. This is also from where we obtain the English 'magic' and 'magician.'
It is quite interesting actually. My godsis studied archaeology and anthropology so we used to spend a lot of time researching the beginnings of various religions and their origins and precursors. The lesson from history is that nothing has been around as long as anyone thinks .. nor will it last as long as anyone believes ..

Our way of life, what we believe, these things are all so transient .. heck, the internet itself hasn't really been around that long!

PS: This was random, but there was someone showing a "Million Dollar Home" on the "Lifestyle" or something network. Their house included a functioning academic library with a 1st edition copy of the King James Bible. He said it was worth around $200,000 and is amusing because at printing the letter "v" did not exist.. so "Leviticus" was "Leuiticus" ..
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Old 2013-01-24, 01:42   Link #3395
aohige
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Originally Posted by willx View Post
It boggled my mind really how anyone could take it seriously since nearly half my knowledge of it came almost directly from watching "Journey to the West" when I was younger..
I don't find a godlike monkey being birthed from an egg in a stone any less likely than a burning bush telling you it's the incarnation of the Creator, and he sculpted your ass out of mud.
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Old 2013-01-24, 17:09   Link #3396
Green-ill
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I'm Muslim, not a super religious 1 but religious to an extent
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Old 2013-01-24, 17:55   Link #3397
BradleySmith
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i am a christian
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Old 2013-01-28, 15:51   Link #3398
ZGoten
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I am an atheist. On paper however, I am a Christian. But that doesn't mean anything here in Germany, except that you have to pay taxes monthly. I'm too lazy to change that, though.
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Old 2013-01-28, 17:43   Link #3399
kyp275
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I was raised Catholic, now happily agnostic.

Not that it's stopped my mother from trying to convert me to Buddhism
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Old 2013-01-28, 18:59   Link #3400
Anh_Minh
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I am an atheist. On paper however, I am a Christian. But that doesn't mean anything here in Germany, except that you have to pay taxes monthly. I'm too lazy to change that, though.
Germany has religion-based taxes? Wow, I thought that was only for theocracies.
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