What's your religious experience?

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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby Matt the Czar » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:35 pm

I knew the Verdi one from a Quittich game by EA. :D

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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby 52xMax » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:48 am

There's nothing wrong or contradictory about admiring art, even when it represents something you don't believe in or are in opposition. D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a nation" is considered a brilliant piece of art (it's rated 100% in rotten tomatoes), and anyone who watches can attest to its technical accomplishments, way ahead of its time, as well as compelling storytelling. It doesn't mean that all the critics who reviewed the film are members or sympathizers of the KKK, or that they agree with the message of the movie in any way, but there is something awe inspiring about the achievements of the human mind, and art is a very straightforward way of speaking directly into our souls, and keep in mind that I am using soul in a poetic way.

One of my favorite things to do when visiting central Mexico is going to the colonial style churches and admire them, both from inside and from a distance. They are beautiful buildings all around. I would also love to visit Vatican city someday and see Michelangelo's frescoes on the Sistine chapel, as well as all the other beautiful paintings, sculptures and architecture on display. That doesn't make me a Catholic anymore than reading the Odyssey would make me a Zeus worshiper, or visiting the pyramids would mean that I wish the ancient pharaoh's dominance would be restored. Any human capable of emotions would react in a similar way in the presence of beautiful art, be it ancient poetry, classical music, or modern films.

Of course, art is subject to interpretation, and ideas inform our taste in a significant way. But I think for the most part when this happens, it's because we let our conscious minds be an obstacle into something that speaks directly to our subconscious. Our souls, if you will.

I will leave you with a magnificent musical piece, from Bach's "Matthew Passion", this is "Mache dich, mein Herze, rein" (Arise pure, my heart)


Apropos of nothing, this is on Richard Dawkins' albums he would take to a deserted island.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby BROWNRECLUSE » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:47 am

I've been mulling over how to exactly state my current situation with regards to religion and faith.

I think the best way I can describe it is that I'm on the sideline now.

To begin, I was baptized and raised Episcopalian. I knew people who were Catholic, Baptist, and various other denominations, and I always took comfort that the Episcopal church seemed less intrusive and demanding than others. I also felt like it was ok to believe in God and at the same time understand and believe in science, like that the universe was created via the Big Bang. The clergy at my church never made it a point to belittle science. They encouraged love and tolerance.
(My experience may vary from yours)

Over the years, I drew further from the structure of the church, and a bit from God. My parents were active in the church and were proud of their faith.

I had a boss and a coworker who were men of faith. Both of them were mentors to me, and I owe a lot to them for helping me with my career and my development as a professional. They often showed me that there is a lot of good that goes on that we often miss or don't recognize. They were never preachy about their relationships with God, and I appreciated that.

Almost 8 years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian cancer. After being angry at God, the world, and everyone else, I made a concerted effort to try and rekindle my faith as my mom underwent treatment. I attended church, prayed often, and tried searching for answers. I wanted to truly believe again, I wanted to be closer to God. At first, the prognosis was better than anticipated, but further tests done after a long and horrendous regiment of chemotherapy and radiation revealed her cancer spread to her lungs and brain.

My mother died in her sleep in her bed 6 years ago, having been eased into passing with a morphine regiment.

It was her passing that really got me angry with the notion that "God has a plan for everyone". What god would allow anyone to suffer through all of that agony? My mother never lost her faith during her illness. I lost mine after we buried her.

My father is an agnostic now. He eventually remarried and is happy, but my mom's death drove him from organized religion.

I find myself wanting to hear God again, because I feel like I need reassuring that there is something more out there, that I'll have a chance to see my mom again in the hereafter. But I haven't figured out how to hear him again. And I'm not sure if I ever will.
...
...
...
Sorry if this seemed like a bunch of rambling.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby DoglovingJim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 5:08 pm

Religious experience?

I like the sound of this Jesus guy, he was a manly man. Endured a rough youth as a son of a carpenter, a tough trade. He never asked for wealth and was also somewhat of a communist because gave those who had faith in God whatever they needed, healing the sick and feeding the poor. Not for profit but because they believed that he could help them.

(This sense of communism is humorous actually as the modern view of communism was one without God, completely atheist as religion was deemed to be the "opiate of the masses". A known side effect that occurred however was that in those states the populations developed personality cults around the leaders [Even if they didn't want it such as in the case of Lenin] Essentially turning them into the "gods". I actually always wondered how large scale communism would have went if it was religiously based. A classless society with only God above mankind, any forms of corruption/greed would also have been believed to lead to eternal damnation and being of good and pure character would ensure that you would reach salvation in your next life.)

Anyway back to topic, this man angrily stood up for the sanctity of the temple and kicked the money changers out. Smashing their tables to the ground. He had the courage to be painfully tortured and executed for his beliefs, rather then dismissing everything he believed and live another day. He wasn't here to live in luxury with the high priests, he was with the poor and all those rejected by society. Because they were the ones that needed him most.

He didn't come from a position of wealth or power, he was just a normal man who spoke against the corrupt leaders. Leaders that would judge another for their sins and punish them accordingly despite committing those sins themselves, leaders of hypocrisy.

He preached for a sort of brotherhood, comradeship. "Loving thy neighbor", if everyone was like that we wouldn't be killing each other. After his death followers such as Paul continued this trend, allowing gentiles to sit and eat with him. Traveling far and wide and allowing even gentiles to join this brotherhood, where before salvation was only permitted for the sons of Abraham. Along with the rest of the apostles he was willing to die for this belief as well.

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I always had a belief in God and it was something that grew stronger and stronger as I aged. Reading the stories of heroes from that old testament and the dedication of those in the new testament somewhat inspired me growing up. All I can say now is that my body is a temple of God therefore I was always obliged to keep it in the best shape I could manage, therefore I have been blessed with relatively good health.

Catholic meant universal, glad to be a part of it.

It's past 3AM so this could have been simply a bunch of mindless rambling, so I will check up on this tomorrow and edit it if I made mistakes or have anything more to add. Needs a couple of dog quotes somewhere I'm sure of it.

EDIT: I still need dog quotes... not sure where to put em.
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Last edited by DoglovingJim on Wed Dec 16, 2015 11:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby cmsellers » Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:55 pm

You know, I thought I posted in this thread, but apparently I didn't.

So...

childhood
Neither of my parents were religious. My mother is a lapsed Catholic, my father is a lapsed something-or-other; the religion his parents followed depended on which church was most popular in the town they lived in.

My mother apparently believed that children raised without religion are prone to religious fanaticism later in life (because St. Augustine? I don't know.) and also wanted us to have the nice parts of religion like she had. Since she had a lot of gay friends, she took us to an open and affirming church in whichever town we lived in: an Episcopal church in one town, a UCC church in another. It's the UCC church I remember. The UCC church was also unitarian in theology, so when I later learned about saints and the Trinity my first (and continued) reaction was "How the hell is that not polytheism?"

I mostly went to Sunday School, until I was too old for that an went to the real church. I got a Bible as a prelude to baptism, but made the mistake of trying to read and follow all of the begats. Also, church was boring compared to Sunday School, so I decided I wanted to go only on Christmas, Easter, and Palm Sunday, and my mother was cool with that.

Then, around 11, I was watching a PBS documentary on evolution. I knew that there were people who didn't believe in evolution, since my father told me that the Mormons believe that dinosaur bones were planted by Satan. But Mormons were some weird religion I didn't know much about. So seeing my first evangelical sing a song about how Adam was his ancestor and not a chimpazee was a shock. So too was his insistence that the Bible needed to be taken literally. I'd never accounted for that before, but checked and saw that the Bible verses he quoted were true, and concluded that the Bible was therefore false. Oh, I no the theological arguments against Biblical literalism now, but since I already concluded the Bible is false I can't suddenly conclude it's true again, just not literally.

So good job televangelical dipshit, whoever you are; in your hatred of science you irreversibly shattered my faith. And that seems to be a common theme. The rise of the religious right has lead members of mainline denominations to increasingly become either evangelical or non-religious.

When my grandmother died (a little before I lost my religion), I attended my first ever Catholic service, delivered by my great uncle, a Catholic priest. It was weird, all the iconography, and the fact that people took styrofoam instead of bread and wine instead of grape juice, but that you were only supposed to take communion if you were Catholic. (At the UCC, you can be an atheist Muslim Zoroastrian in the employ of Satan and they won't care if you take communion.)


adolescence
My mother had a lot of Jewish friends, growing up, pretty much all Reformed. We went to synagogue for Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, sometimes to their houses on religious holidays. My father had Hindu and Buddhist friends, but we didn't see them much and they didn't talk about their religion. Basically all the religious people I knew growing up were Reform Jews, UCC, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, or Episcopal, with a small handful of liberal Catholics. And I knew a lot of non-religious people.

The first Muslim I met was a guidance counselor at my school who wore a headscarf and didn't talk much about her religion. I assumed that she was a liberal Muslim because I didn't personally know any religious conservatives, and because she was really into Hindu mysticism (which doesn't seem like something mainstream or conservative Muslims would approve of), but I don't really know.

In college I met a lot of Muslims, including some who were quite conservative, but didn't really talk about their religion. Most people I hung out with were irreligious. Lapsed Catholics, secular Jews, atheist Hindus, no reason to talk about religion. Though I do recall annoying an atheist Nepali friend by calling him a Hindu. I felt that since he has a caste, he's at least a cultural Hindu, but he wanted nothing to do with that superstition.


adulthood
After college I went to Korea, where I learned that Buddhists are a lot less obnoxious when they're more than just white people who are really into yoga, and Christians are a lot more obnoxious in a country without a long Christian cultural tradition. Korea is roughly 1:1:1 Buddhist:Christian:irreligious, so I met all types and liked the Buddhists best. You might think that being irreligious I'd like the irreligious Koreans best, but Korea has to be one of the most shallow, materialistic, and fast-paced places on the planet. Visiting Buddhist temples and watching monks at work and prayer was a welcome respite from all that.

Oddly in Korea I had an inexplicable desire to convert to Islam (specifically Alevism), despite believing that Mohammad was basically the L. Ron Hubbard of the Seventh Century. Turkey cured me of that, not because I saw anything bad about Alevism (Alevis are generally much more liberal than Sunnis and never in-your-face about their religion like some Sunnis are), but because meeting actual Alevis and seeing Cems in person took it from an abstract "this religion is nice in principle" to a concrete "this is a real religion that people actually believe in, and I don't."

Turkey, of course is a very secular country, though the AKP is working hard to change that. But the call to prayer is almost always delivered via megaphone these days, and usually at a volume louder than the muezzin could do on his own. The worst calls to prayer were in Konya (one of the most religious cities in Turkey), where I literally got migraines as the result. The next-worst were in Izmir (the most secular city), where I was always woken up by the morning one. I feel like if your job is muezzin, part of that job is climbing the minaret five times a day, as an expression of your devotion. I feel like that's part of the point. I also feel like and that the call to prayer should never be louder than a human voice.

I also had an unpleasant experience where a guy at the place I always ate breakfast in Izmir took me to his friend's "bookstore," which turned out to be a religious bookstore in a dingy building in a back ally, and I recieved a load of free anti-atheism pamphlets. That was the only time anyone proselytized me in Turkey.

I did observe in the southeast some of the sanctimonious hypocrisy that goes along with religion (apart from the minaret megaphones). The worst example was a very smart teenage girl who wanted to go to school in Ankara, get her degree, then live in Poland, and do typical teenage things like date boys in the meantime. He father expected her to go to college for two years in the city we were in, then marry one of his business associates and be a dutiful wife. He also never let her leave the house when she visited him in Poland. She dutifully acquiesced to all this, possibly under the threat of an "honor killing." Meanwhile, this lovely father was having an affair with his Polish secretary, because of course he was.

Also, when I got back to the United States, I discovered that my grandmother's brother-in-law had converted my great aunt to an evangelical Baptist sect around the time of their marriage, and had been working on my grandmother for the past decade or so. A couple years back, they finally converted her into a born-again evangelical. She still loves us, but she now watches Fox News and believes the Earth was literally created in six days.


So the short of this is: I love the beauty that religion can create: the songs, the stories, the buildings, the feasts, the traditions, and Mr. Rogers. I am strongly in favor of liberal denominations. The Quakers, the UCC, the Alevis, the Reform Jews, and the liberal members of other sects; I admire them all and wish I could persuade myself to believe. But I fucking hate the sanctimonious (and often hypocritical) assholes who wish to apply their religious law to the rest of the world.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby Tesseracts » Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:03 am

I don't have religious or spiritual beliefs. However, when I speak to atheists I find myself weirdly unable to relate to their experience. Seems they mostly don't experience any metaphysical feelings at all. I feel the exact same things religious people feel, especially during activities like meditation or stargazing, but I conclude that is the result of my mind and my mind alone.

For example, I spoke to someone recently who said he had no beliefs at all until he took magic mushrooms. It made him feel like everything in the universe was connected. I told him I felt the same thing when I did mushrooms, but it's a drug and not real. He told me that was "fascinating" and it seemed like he couldn't understand why I would think that at all. (For the record I have felt the same things 100% sober, this is just the most recent example of this subject coming up.)

It's like most people can't understand why I would draw a line between my emotional mind and my rational mind, and the fact that people don't get this I find depressing and alienating. Or maybe it's just artists who don't get it, I don't know.
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I occasionally wonder if my life would be better if I could be helped by some metaphysical power who is not myself. Maybe I would not bother to wonder this if I didn't hate myself so much. We all have dreams.

Chances are I will write a longer post here at some point in the future, since this is something I have a lot of thoughts on. This is the short version.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby SilverMaple » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:32 am

This is something I've been thinking a lot about since Christmas. Maybe writing it out will get my thoughts straight, or as straight as they can be with all the uncertainties I have about this.

My dad's side of the family is German Mennonite (no, not the horse and buggy variety - those are Old Order Mennonites, whereas most Mennonite churches are a more typical, modern Protestant variety with an emphasis on pacifism and charity), and my mom's side is Ukrainian Catholic. Both of those consist of fairly tight-knit groups with cultural elements that extend beyond just religion. It probably seems like an odd mix, but there are fairly large populations of both groups in the area of Canada I live in. (My surname and its slight variations are ridiculously common here, but when I travel, I encounter quite a few people who have trouble pronouncing it, or who say it's unusual.)

My parents' idea was to give my sister and I the best of both worlds, and they agreed on going to the Mennonite church, but enrolling us in the Ukrainian bilingual program at school. It was a good idea in theory, but not so much in practice. Going to Sunday school, I was surrounded by kids who spoke German and went to an entirely different elementary school. Meanwhile, I was already having a very, very hard time fitting in at my elementary school, and being the only one with a non-Ukrainian surname, as well as the only non-Catholic, didn't make it easier. I remember all the confused looks I got when one of the other kids asked me if I went to catechism, and I asked what exactly catechism was.

Despite efforts from the pastors (and no effort from most of my teachers), I was always kind of an outsider, not fully immersed in either culture. Most of the kids at church were nicer than those at school, but I was still on the fringes (they all went to a different school than I did and often talked about that, and would speak German amongst themselves, which led to me sitting in silence a lot of the time). I went to choir, youth group, and Bible camps, but the feeling of not-quite-belonging persisted. I still believed in God, though - I had been told he existed for all of my life, and I saw no reason why he shouldn't.

Around high school, though, my family's churchgoing tapered off, and since I had never really felt like a part of the church anyways, I didn't complain. I had also begun to learn more about science, other religions, and how pointlessly cruel and chaotic the world could be. Over a matter of years, I became more and more uncertain of God's existence - I didn't see any definitive evidence for it, and I wondered whether the only reason I believed in the Christian God was because I had been raised that way - who was I to say that he was the "correct" god, when so many other religions would say otherwise?

So, today, I'm agnostic. I have no freaking clue whether God, or some kind of spiritual being(s) exists, and there's no way to be certain. I'm indifferent towards the idea of religion itself - people do terrible things in the name of it, and try to force their beliefs and values on others, but they also do excellent things in the name of it (the Mennonite church is chock-full of charity work and volunteering). A common sentiment I see on Cracked and TCS is something along the lines of "believe what you like, so long as it doesn't harm anyone else", which is pretty much my philosophy.

I want to believe that there's a loving being watching over us, that there's some purpose to existing, and most of all, that there's an afterlife, because the idea of just...not existing terrifies me. I was taught that in order to reserve your spot in heaven, you just had to acknowledge that Jesus died so we'd be forgiven of our sins, and to accept God as your lord and saviour. I could say those words as a sort of "insurance" to make sure that spot is reserved, but it wouldn't be with unwavering belief or conviction, and I don't think that's good enough. Maybe one day I'll try again, but for now, I just don't know.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby Jack Road » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:37 am

Your picture was interesting, Tess, although I don't understand why they used an empty stairwell as a backdrop for that text. Ah well. Art. I never will understand it.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby DoglovingJim » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:45 am

Jack Road wrote:Your picture was interesting, Tess, although I don't understand why they used an empty stairwell as a backdrop for that text. Ah well. Art. I never will understand it.


Picture? What pictu

Tesseracts wrote:
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Wait, what text are you talking about?
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby SandTea » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:29 am

Atheist and agnostic are not mutually exclusive

belief =/= knowledge


...sorry, just one of those pet peeves.

I get wanting to believe, being an X-files fan, but I don't get actually believing theres any god without evidence.

I get that "evidence" is subjective for the religious (allah helped me get a parking space close to walmart!) but I don't get why that is the only area where the religious do this (Bigfoot was trying to scare me away from his cave with random noises!)

I get the feeling of something "greater than yourself" exists but, for the life of me can't figure out why anyone would attribute that to a 'thing' that doesn't want me to eat crab. FU, crab is delicious!

And I totally get wanting everyone to think the same way as the royal "I" even though I recognize that is an impossible situation.

Short story shorter- I don't get why religion is exempt from reason.



OH! I remembered why I started writing this. I wanted to bring up an idea I heard somewhere (its prob everywhere like one of those "things atheists say" videos that I'm sure exist). How sure are we that "god" is the good guy anyway? I mean he apparently punished me because a woman wanted knowledge a long time ago. The "satan" bad guy seems like more of an egalitarian union worker than some torturer. In fact the "god" killed way more folks, like way more and the "satan" was cool with me eating crab. I'm just sayin', it's like asking a murder suspect if he's guilty.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby Jack Road » Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:30 am

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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby IamNotCreepy » Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:12 am

Wow, there are a lot of recovering Catholics on this board. I guess that’s due to the international group assembled here.

Jamish – do you work at IHOP?

Anyway, here is my story:

I grew up in a small, Protestant Charismatic Nondenominational Christian church. They believed in the Biblical story of Creation and denied evolution. That being said, they were a very loving group. There wa never any talk about shunning people, or for calling people out for their sins. They believed in the two most important commandments: love God, and love each other. They very much adopted the “love the sinner, hate the sin” credo.

My parents (and by extension, my sisters and I) were very involved in the church. In middle school, I was voted “the next Billy Graham”. Although my faith was very strong, I never felt comfortable proselytizing or approaching strangers about my faith. In general, I don’t like people, so I hate it when people approach me or try to sell me something.

When I left home to go to college, I stopped going to church for a while. Between work and school I had little time off, so I just didn’t get around to going to church every Sunday. After a couple years, I was invited to church by a girl, and started going, even after she stopped going. I started reading my Bible every day, and I really dove back in. It was a real comfort for me at the time – I had a crappy job, no girlfriend, and I had no idea what I was doing with my life.

It was at this time that there was a growing cognitive dissonance between what I had been taught, and the evidence from science and my own feelings. I always loved science, but I had bought into the ideas that the science behind evolution was a lot of guesswork without any hard evidence. I never looked too hard at the evidence, and I would seek out sources of information that confirmed my views (things like Intelligent Design).

While in college, I had a sort of epiphany. I was taking an astronomy class, and the professor mentioned that the stars in the sky are so far away that it would take millions of years for their light to reach us. He specifically cited this in an effort to disprove the Biblical account of Creation. Although the science is correct, I felt this was inappropriate; however, it did get me thinking. There was also the issue of the Grand Canyon – it took millions of years for the river to carve its way and make the canyon like it is.

I came to the conclusion that when God created the Universe, He didn’t create a “baby” Universe. He created an “adult” Universe. After all, He created Adam and Eve as adults, not babies. So why not create a world that already had some age to it? Maybe He created a world that had seen some evolution, and when He created the stars he placed their light already reaching Earth. I knew that this was a stretch, but it was enough to quell the cognitive dissonance. I knew that even if this theory was not correct, there were infinite possibilities to reconcile the ideas of evolution and Creation.

So I stopped worrying about it. There would never be evidence that could disprove Creation, and likewise I knew that I would never in this lifetime get evidence that evolution was not true. Since I knew that it had no bearing on my everyday life, I didn’t focus on that aspect of my faith. I decided to focus on what had an actual bearing on my life.

So, for the past several years, I have really been contemplating what is in the Bible, and what I believe. I previously thought that the Bible was infallible (not a literal interpretation, but the idea that it was without error), but through the process of exegesis I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t. I have been in a period of deconstruction. I have been taking a hard look at what I believe, and a lot has faded away.

I had increasingly felt myself making excuses for my beliefs, and I knew that wasn’t unhealthy. I had always been taught that certain things (like gay marriage) wrong, but I finally ran out of excuses and realized I couldn’t really justify those beliefs.

I have deconstructed my faith, and brought it back to the basics – love God, love people. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Act in love towards other people. Put their needs above your own. Most everything falls under this. I’ve learned to stop worrying about specific hot-button issues. Christianity is a tightrope walk between love and justice – upholding the moral right versus acting with mercy. I’ve decided if I’m going to err, I will err on the side of love.

In some ways, I feel like this is the least religious and faithful I have ever been. On the other hand, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. No more guilt about whether I’m breaking some minor moral law or issue. If I mess up, I mess up, and my conscience is clear.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby Piter Lauchy » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:02 am

Up until I was 14 or so I was a firm believer in God. I wasn't really religious, in that I didn't practice Christianity. I didn't go to church, I didn't pray, I didn't read the bible. But I believed that there was a God, mainly because I was very uncritical and naive and would just believe what people of authority told me. In this case, that would be my parents who weren't very religious themselves, but believed in God.
At some point, I became more critical and started to question things. That was the time when my depression really kicked in. It had always lingered somewhere in my mind, but when it started to define me, I utterly rejected any concept of God.
Fast forward a few years. My mother finally knew of my depression and introduced me to Eckhart Tolle. Basically, he teaches a modernized version of Zen-Buddhism. Even if you're not into the spiritual side of things (which I obviously wasn't and still not really am), his teachings are based on logic, like all worthwile philosophy. Tolle and Zen-Buddhism played a big part in my recovery, but I don't really consider it a religion.
For all intents and purposes, I'm an Apatheist. I don't care if there is a God. I don't want to spend time thinking about them. They don't have any influence on my life and I think there are far more important and interesting issues that need to be addressed before we determine whether there's a higher power that can't be proven nor disproven.
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The Oatmeal wrote:Live life passionately and love everyone like they are family, because Jesus is always with you. Jesus loves you seriously bigtime. He'd hug you until your eyeballs exploded out of your skull if he ever met you. He'd windsurf across oceans of dead Nazis which he personally slaughtered just to tell you that your new haircut is the bee's knees. [...]
Praise Jesus, especially when it's sunny outside because Jesus would totally be cool with you praising while you get a nice tan.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby JamishT » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:18 am

IamNotCreepy wrote:Jamish – do you work at IHOP?



I did indeed, but I am glad I don't!
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JamishT was a heck of a guy,
With a devilish twinkle in his eye.
With his hand-picked flowers,
And his feel-good powers,
He made all the girls blush and sigh.
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Re: What's your religious experience?

Postby Tesseracts » Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:37 am

Piter Lauchy wrote:For all intents and purposes, I'm an Apatheist. I don't care if there is a God. I don't want to spend time thinking about them. They don't have any influence on my life and I think there are far more important and interesting issues that need to be addressed before we determine whether there's a higher power that can't be proven nor disproven.

When I was 13 or so, I was in this Unitarian Universalist class where we wrote about our beliefs and discussed them. I wrote about all the reasons why the existence or non-existence of God would not impact my life. I feel like the other kids interpreted this to mean I believe in God, which really annoyed me. To this day I am still disillusioned that nobody ever understands anything.
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