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December 26th, 2006 #1
Are any of your Christian, or Muslim, or Buddist or some other type of faith?
I'm just really curious, I've never been the most religious person, I've been a catholic all my life, but I never really practiced, I only went to church when forced and I would have considered myself an aethiest until recently.
My parents have started going to an evangelistic church and I've heard about all the singing and over-the-top sort of stuff that goes on in these places and I was a little bit unsure of it all. They did however seem to get a lot happier than I've ever seen them, they seem content and happy for the first time ever and their worries seem to have disappeared and a whole lot of good things have happened to them since.
Now, I'm usually more than a little skeptical when good things happen like this, I'd even put it down to simply a more positive outlook on life causing more doors to open. Then I thought, maybe thats the power of strong belief, the entrusting of one's way in life to an external unverifiable (by all our scientific means) source.
There are chapters in the bible which say that the good things you get are blessings, and the bad things you get are teachings and tests for the soul. Or they could also be viewed as a convenient way of saying why god doesn't interject to stop bad things. Then again, belief in god has in many hard times given courage to the weak and allowed them to perform bravely in the face of unfathomable terrors, whether God is real or make belief, there is no questioning His ability to affect those who believe in him...even if he is merely a creation of mankind.
One of the troubles I feel that we have in our society is apathy and cynicism, they've both become by way of popular media "stylish" traits, and as much as I'd like to believe I am above all that nonsense, I have to say I am more than guilty of many of the same things I loathe.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've decided to give my faith its first true go, to let go of my fears and worries and to entrust my fate to a greater being. And it is not so much whether He exists or not, but the fact is, my worries have gone down, I'm more positive and I feel more at peace practicing many of the moral teachings of the bible - not bitching about people, practicing temperance, etc.
For the first time in a great while, I've felt truly refreshed and optimistic about the future - and the thing is, even being the analytical scientific minded person that I am, I think I will continue to believe in a benevolent God.
Thoughts, personal stories? I know this isn't a usual topic for the lounge, but hey, there's all sorts of stuff floating here so...
Hide this ad by registering as a memberDecember 26th, 2006 #2
Agnostic I suppose, but was raised french catholic (well roman catholic, but with some added cultural flare I suppose)
Even though I don't believe, I still go to church on chrstmas to make papa happy. It was nice though, because with the right priest, you don't have to believe in god to know how the idea of god helps;
The priest went through a bit of a speech, the idea of it was 'how do I make this christmas joy my own' He said that JOY stood for Jesus. Others. You;
IE: Jesus and others, BEFORE you. That's how to make that joy your own. Even if you take jesus out of the equation (OY) you still have others being thought of before yourself. Nice speech, guy is really festive too (from nigeria, I suppose they don't have too many somber traditional french services there) and everyone loved it.
December 26th, 2006 #3
Magic Man, this put a smile on my face =)
I personally have some of my own beliefs...
I don't take so much a "Low-key approach" to Christianity (as many people would call it), but I just choose not to shove my beliefs in other people's faces. If I were to be as christian as I wanted around here... I think people would hate me. It isn't so much the fear of people hating me, but I wouldn't want someone with Muslim beliefs always posting "And may Allah Bless you!" after every post, because I am not Muslim- the same goes for "God bless ya dude". I might post that in Mr. Visions' sketchbook or something, but not in Marko's or Androids or someone who I know is an atheist.
This is more of a personal ramble, so don't bother reading it-
But honestly, almost every day I look at the sky, watch the clouds and the sunset and the colors and stuff all around us, and I think it's amazing anyone could be an atheist. Some atheists (the more radical ones, mind you) believe science is the bane of religion- if science can explain it, God didn't make it- is sort of their mind set. Einstein, Newton, Plato- they looked at science as a way of explaining God's creation, not disproving it- and when I look at the sky, at GIANT MASSES OF WATER just sitting there floatin above our heads, and looking at things pretty like flowers and things as gigantic as mountains, and things that sound as nice as birds or rivers- Just looking at our SKIN, at how complex we are as beings- it just helps me to affirm my faith in God. I mean- we, as creators ourselves, alot of us tend to look at things scientifically, technically- and I can't believe there are people who can paint like Flynt and Dobsky and Whitaker- and there are still people who don't believe in any kind of Higher being. I had always imagined artists would be more religious than atheist, though I guess I was wrong there =\.
Alot of times I imagine what humans would be like if we were colorblind. Someone would come up with this radical idea of color, and nobody would believe them, even though it was ALL OVER THEM, it WAS THEM, It was IN FRONT OF THEM. But because they COULDN'T SEE IT, They didn't believe in it. But it would make things look so much better.
One of Android's portraits said something like "I was thinking about God today.. about the existance of an infinite being, and my mind was blown." I haven't heard anything of Android and religion since though.
December 26th, 2006 #4
I guess you can say I pay lip service to my Catholic church. I don't believe in the supernatural, but I still enjoy going to the mass every Sunday to meet my friends and worship with them.
I probably should've discussed this with my priest by now, but I kept putting it off.
December 26th, 2006 #5enjoy going to the mass
It think it's sort of funny that you enjoy the worship and things with your friends, but don't believe in the supernatural. Alot of the times people like to believe in God, but not worship him.
December 26th, 2006 #6
I'm Roman Catholic as well. I think someone who goes to mass, and doesnt worship still benefits from being around a community. Like someone else said, having the right priest helps make things interesting. Before confirmation we had to write an essay on what we think god is. To say it simply, the brother was rather surprised, plus he liked it. I am an agnostic though, and I think I dissapoint a couple family memebers, but it doesnt bother them to much and I don't really care. I share Jeris story.
December 26th, 2006 #7
You don't have to beleive in a higher being to be emphatic tho. Being agnostic, atheist, etc doesn't make you a bad person...And beleiving in any of the known religions won't make you a good person either.
I'm personally amazed about how increible this planet is, how complex everything came to be, etc. But I've always thought that saying that god created it all diminishs it. Of cource people beleiving in god would strongly disagree....And I don't mind .
The one thing that bothers me is the fact that atheism is a labeled, organized group that it's against religion. By all means it should be called antitheism...and organizing into a flag against other religions makes it lose the point of not having a religion.
But "god"?...personally I don't buy it...I could pretend I do, but that's not the idea.
Last edited by Shamagim; December 26th, 2006 at 05:11 PM.
December 26th, 2006 #8
Little personal rant and rabble.
Faith is defined as a the assured expectation of things hoped for yet not precieved (thats how I learned it). Meaning that you expect it to be true despite having evidence to prove that it is fact ( by relation true).
All my life I've been cursed with a very scientific mind. Not so much a feeling one. This one is certainy different, I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. 22 out of 23 years. Currently Inactive. The conclusion I've drawn thus far is that people choose what they have faith in. Choose what they want to believe beyond the defined Physical Laws. Faith is the subject more so then God or "worship". A sort of cost/benefit analysis of Religion in general (For those who choose a faith late in life). Most of us are turned on to a particular religion when we are young by parents, or relatives. Few young people choose God themselves intially. Faith is a cultivated aspect of religion it isn't developed rapidly but through analysis of good or bad events that happen because of ones faith or lack there of.
Scientifically speaking prayer, faith, belief in a Higher Being or a Supreme 'Caring' Being has been PROVEN statically to improve physical, emotional, mental, and social health. You could say it's healthier to Believe than not to.
The Problem is with the Selfish Mind. I feel that the individual belief system falls into one or two catorgories. Believers and NonBelievers. If i was say that i healed a man's cancer with only a touch and I told an Atheist christian and a Jew. Neither would believe me.
But tell the story of Miracles of Jesus or Hanukah when ceremonial oil (one days worth)lasted eight days longer then. The Atheist wouldnt believe me, however based on faith alone the Jew would. Why his/her personal belief system Allowed them to do so. Faith here is purely mechanical. Faith becomes very curcumstantial because "supernatural forces" are active in the times the Bible was written and aren't TODAY.
I definitely think that there is a measurable ruler in the positive aspects of faith. But all to often one is reminded of the limitations the human mind has in acting in a way that is pleasing to their "Sovereign"
Many Atheists have a overall feeling that their fate is in their hands not the hand of a invisible omnipresent being.
For now I feel like staying away from Organized Religion in general. For so long I felt so forced, I grew tired of the constant guilt trips.
Transition from Art Critic to Artiste - Diligence, that's all I need.
December 26th, 2006 #9
December 26th, 2006 #10
I'm a Roman Catholic... I used to volunteer in my local church... And just recently, I attended a Life In The Spirit seminar that was really inspiring... I'm with JUSTIN to not shove my religion in other's faces... This might sound corny, but living a good Christian example is just as effective as preaching to others... Yup, that's corn for you...
LONG LIVE YOKO KANNO!!!
December 26th, 2006 #11
I hear a lot of catholics in the same boat as Jeri who's idea of church is simply a traditional thing, to meet up with friends etc, but the idea of worship has diminished from why they go to church.
I think my faith( as a Christian) comes from the amazing things that have happened like the prayers that have been answered, not from the stories or the Bible etc.
But I do believe that faith in something can lead to a richer life, but thats not to say someone without faith cant lead a fulfilling life.
December 26th, 2006 #12
Well, I've been baptized evangelic but with hindsight, I'm more of an atheist, don't belive in a god or a higher power. But that doesn't exclude the thought that belief does do good things and increase positive thinking. As you said, many people have been encouraged by faith and by belief in god and that's a really good thing concerning belief.
Belief isn't limited to a belief in a certain god, it's always faith in yourself and what you make out of it. Over and out.
December 26th, 2006 #13
I would consider myself a Devotional Nondualist. Meaning I don't accept the dualistic illusion we call reality and I'm devoted to the loving, compassionate, unified single source. Some may call it God, Allah, the Absolute, but I don't believe that it can be anthopomorphised. I believe that we are both cause and effect of it, because when this temporal illusion is stripped away, it simply IS. When we simply ARE, we have no fears, doubts, anger etc and remain joyful and loving, which are the highest ideals from any religious or spiritual viewpoint (and I suspect even some Atheists and Material Reductionists share this idea). Faith is the belief without physical proof that we are perfection at the core and the egoistic survival mechanisms that spawn the world's negativity as well as internal conflicts are only products of a linear illusion. With faith we can lift the veil of maya and become what we truly are.
December 26th, 2006 #14Registered User
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I'm a nihilist.
Hemingway said: "All thinking men are atheists."
I think Hemingway was quite right.
December 26th, 2006 #15
i have no religion. i dont know if i believe theres a god or higher power or not. One of the main annoyances i have of some religions and people is the belief that you have to follow a certain mold to go to heaven or else you're damned. If you're not with us you're against us type of beliefs.
I feel strongly that anyone can be a good person under any religion or lack of a religion, any race, sex, way of life, etc, etc.
oh and congrats magic man. im glad you've found some happiness.
December 26th, 2006 #16
Eastern Orthodox Christian technically, but I'm an atheist. Technically agnostic, but I lean so far towards atheist that I might as well call myself that.
I never found the religion thing to be anything but a chore my parents put me through on some religious holidays and when I look at the world I see a big giant beautifully complex machine that just runs itself. Works for me, complies with the physical laws we have discovered and doesn't require me to take any real leaps of faith in relation to 2000 year old texts.
Dunno, I guess I'm just not very spiritual. I am struck by a feeling of majesty and awe when viewing reality sometimes, but I just don't feel compelled to credit a God with it.
December 26th, 2006 #17
Hey guys, I've been reading the Artist's Way, its a cool book about higher creativity and getting past mental blocks, and a large part of it is that art is a spiritual path and that God is a large part of it.
However, the author then goes on to say that God doesn't nessesarily have to be that old archaic version, God could simply be an acronym for:
Good Orderly Direction.
December 26th, 2006 #18
With all of its complexity and its imperfection and darkness, I look at the totality of the universe and see something breathtaking. I am moved deeply, spiritually by the magnitude and depth of it all. A grain of sand holds wonders for me. The compassion of my fellow humans gleams. A million million acts of everyday kindness that go on, unobserved by the masses – there is so much beauty there. We are amazing, our surroundings are amazing; the laws of nature that fuel it and hold it all together are amazing; I am humbled and moved to song by it all. Every event of darkness in our existence acts as a foil so that the light and the good stands out. Someday, perhaps I will be a good enough artist to show my fellow travelers through time how beautiful this whole experience is.
Oh, and I’m an atheist.
I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.
Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
December 26th, 2006 #19
You know, whoever wrote that article that Romance linked to sure makes a lot of generalizations for trying to dispel generalizations about atheists. He said many religious people claim that the crimes committed by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. is a product of 'unbelief' - This is a huge generalization. Several of his arguments are founded on generalizations. "Atheism is not connected to science"? That's a load of BS. This guy needs to hang out with more religious people.
He keeps saying things like "... and that doesn't Justify Jesus rising from the dead, or that he is the sole savior of humanity..." That is why it's called FAITH. That is what faith MEANS. To believe in something that is unsure. To believe in something justified and proven is to KNOW IT. Not have FAITH in it.
From the atheist point of view, the world's religions utterly trivialize the real beauty and immensity of the universe. One doesn't have to accept anything on insufficient evidence to make such an observation.
No offense but he doesn't even say "Some of Them [Christians/Jews/Muslims]", or "Certain Sects of Them [Christianity/Judaism/Islam]", He just says "Them".
And I never said "People should believe in God when they look at the world", I just said "I don't know how they can deny the existence of a higher being."
And about the colorblind remark- The color doesn't represent beauty of nature, it represents God, just fyi.
December 27th, 2006 #20Registered User
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While I see what atheists fell( religion being big bad bummer), I don't quite feel that I can just say that religion is directly a bad thing, thus I would consider myself agnostic.
Fighting for peace is like Fucking for virginity.
December 27th, 2006 #21
hey magic man all I can say is if your going the route of faith, it is going to be tested rather harshly someday. Im just saying be prepared so you can identify it. From what little experience I can share...Cheers mate!
December 27th, 2006 #22
Justin - Some valid points. It is unfortunate that the author of the article generalized to bolster his opinion, as there are some things in the article that many Atheists may relate to and believe. I suppose we can add this article to the list of many other writings and opinions on faith that generalize to support their claims.
I guess I consider myself uncertain at all times. All beliefs being individual, pushed and pulled by experience and emotion. Like snowflakes, no two alike.
Last edited by romance; December 27th, 2006 at 05:47 AM.
December 27th, 2006 #23
[ Author's note: This is my first post, and as such I would like to greet you all ]
I am an Evangelic Christian, and I found my faith through study and observation a few years ago. I used to be a strong agnostic - a confused person who consumed various new-age religions - and I was desperately trying to find answers to the defining questions regarding life, the universe and everything. Then, one day, somebody recommended me to try the Bible. I scoffed at first, thinking that the Book is nothing but an old collection of factual errors and fairy-tales, but I gave it a go nonetheless. I skipped the Old Testament ( at first ), and dived into the meat of the whole charade - the Gospels.
The 'transformation' took a while. I read the Bible for a couple of months, discussed it with non-believers and believers alike, and started to gain some insight into the deeper teachings of the said tome. Certain things started to make perfect sense - the concept of sin, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the describtion of God as a God of Love, for example - and little by little I started to notice how unified and complete the Bible was. I found out that it was heavily interpretable, and as such I am not a fundamentalist by any means - but all in all I realized that the Book has endless depth. I could read it every day for the rest of my life and it would still give me new answers and insights on my death-bed. Indeed, even if you are an atheist, I would recommend you to dig deep into the Bible - it is a very intelligent describtion of human nature and life in general, if nothing else. Every little thing about our concious and sub-concious behaviour is explained - sometimes in very simple, and sometimes in more complex terms.
While I am a pretty strong believer these days, I do not rub it on anyone's face either. I try to understand every view and opinion, and leave all 'judgements' and 'decisions' to God Himself. It is not my duty to condemn people - my only duty is to love my fellow human beings, and keep my own, personal faith. Besides, I also believe in the strenght of actions ( rather than mere words ).
Anyways, see you guys ( and girls ) around. I am pretty excited about this community in general ( since I am what one would call a 'wannabe' artist ).
December 27th, 2006 #24
I find atheists interesting because atheism is just as faith based as christianity. Science hasn't disproven the existence of a god, so I can hardly put my faith in the fact that there is no god.
December 27th, 2006 #25
For a long time I resisted calling myself atheist for that reason, aesir. I don't deny that God exists, I just see no reason to believe in him, and think that his existence is extremely unlikely. Saying that you're absolutely sure God doesn't exist is a statement of faith. But by most definitions of the word, that's not what an atheist believes. In fact, it's the lack of belief that defines atheism for most of us. We had this conversation just a few weeks ago in a different thread, with a great quote by Douglas Adams on the subject.
Whatever each of us believes, I think we can all agree with Seedling. The universe is mindfuckingly beautiful and strange and wonderful and we're all lucky to live in it.
December 27th, 2006 #26
I consider myself painfully analytical and pragmatic most of the time - so I suppose if I were to slep a label on my beliefs I'd call myself an Athiest... erring on the side of agnosticism. It really depends on how one would define "God".
December 27th, 2006 #27Registered User
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My personal view of the Cosmos is that we do not, cannot know anything with absolute certainty. We have overwhelming probabilities that virtually guarantee predictability, to a point, but that is not absolute. We all see a different universe, and in the existence I'm experiencing it is not important to know why it exists or why I'm supposed to be a good person. It is comfort enough for me to be aware that it exists at all, to appreciate the fact that I'm me, here, now, and perhaps my universe is my inverse looking back at me. Believing in no absolute purpose frees me to explore any path that I'm presented with, and my faith, if you'd call it that, albeit the very concept would be turned inside out, perhaps you might call it my absolute comfort, lies in the only absolute I hold: I am me, here, now.
Put in practice, it boils down to "Dont worry, be happy." You need neither permission nor a reason to be happy, it's your life. I'm always happy, always fascinated, amazed, captivated by some aspect of simply being. I'd call it nirvana if I didn't have this blasted addiction to ballpoint pens.
Last edited by M.C.Barrett; December 27th, 2006 at 07:03 AM.We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
-T. S. Eliot
ArenaNet Artists' Sketch Blog
December 27th, 2006 #28
I have my own religion, Tomotheism
We believe in the persuit of happiness and the happiness of those we choose to surround ourselves with, and uhm ... hrm that's about it.
I'm currently accepting members! Romance joined in San Francisco, seriously!
Edit: Oh and Magic Man, do eeeeeeeet man! Explore it! As a member of Tomism I can tell you that happiness is all that matters
December 27th, 2006 #29
I created my own religion as well. (with the help of some friends ... we were so bored that day).
Our main god is a tuna (the DARK TUNA) and its all about beeing lazy and some really fat guy called "archie noah".
we have 11 commandments but until now only 3 were written down because the dark tuna is just to lazy...
uhh... shut up and draw.
▄▀▄▀▄▀■ - GORILLA ARTFARE - ■▀▄▀▄▀▄
December 27th, 2006 #30
Hey Idiot that sounds just like me religion
seriously though. I dont worry about this kind of thing. Whether i get to heaven, ellysian fields, hell, get reincarnated, achieve nirvana etc has no bearing on my life. Im gonna be a good person just to be a good person. If i can bring someone happiness, show them kindness or change their life by doing what i do and being me thats amazing. Thats what i strive for. And all i ask of them is they pass it on. Be nice to the next guy and so on. Thats all i care about. And maybe that means nothing in the whole picture of it all. Or maybe you believe that the beating of the wings of a butterfly can cause monsoons across the world but hey its how i roll and i like it so far.
Why concern yourself with what will happen or what has happened? Its a waste of energy. Put it all into the here and now and maybe you can make a difference. And maybe trying is all it takes.