What are you looking for?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by emong, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. emong

    emong Well-Known Member

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    To the members who come here regularly:

    What are you looking for? Why do you come here? For what reason do you spend time posting on this board?

    Is it reenforcement of your beliefs?
    Is it to make yourself heard?
    Is it a need to connect?
    Is it an opportunity to educate?
    Is it an opportunity to debunk?

    Why is it important to you?
     
  2. WHKeith

    WHKeith Well-Known Member

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    For me, it is the opportunity to establish dialogue between members of different faiths within a safe, loving, diverse and accepting community. What Brian has established here with this forum is an amazing and a precious thing--free and open communication between believers of different faiths in an atmosphere of respect, understanding, and peace.

    For me, personally? I once was a born-again Christian and narrowly and dogmatically blinkered, a thorough-going religious prig certain that I was right and everybody else was wrong. Then I was an atheist, both blind to things of the spirit and attacked for my lack of faith. Now I am a practicing witch, a member of a community not exactly well-liked or tolerated by American Christians or by rational atheists, and a community that itself, despite claims of religious tolerance, has been known to Christian-bash as well as to be guilty of intolerance within its own ranks.

    It seems to me that the great evil here is ignorance, that the only way to battle ignorance is through education, and that the best means to accomplish this is through open communication. I can't believe that we'll eradicate all fundamentalism of whatever flavor here, but we CAN touch hearts and minds one person at a time, by talking, sharing, learning, and understanding.

    In so far as each of us is able to set aside prejudice and see that the other guy might have a useful view of life's path--not the whole answer, mind you, but simply a valid and useful apprehension of faith and spirit--this forum becomes an incredibly valuable tool for growth and understanding. The diversity of thought, belief, and paradigm here is a fantastic window on the diversity of human thought, and the power of the human spirit.

    So my reply to your list would be "None of the above". . . not even the opportunity to educate, since that assumes a position of superiority on the part of a teacher and a lack on the part of the student. Unless, of course, we understand this as primarily educating ourselves.
     
  3. Chronicles

    Chronicles Well-Known Member

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    Do I need to justify why I am ehre as well? :)

    Actually, okay, I will - simply put, I've always been compelled to start up this project - like an instinct that I could not ignore.

    The prototype was an MSN community called "Theism Debate", which was spawned on the fly, without much forethought (hence the silly name!), but after a good 18 months it had around 600 members.

    I felt very restricted by the MSN format, and after having dabbled on the wider web through my chronicles site(s), I felt that I had the confidence enough to finally bring this project out to some sort of frutition.

    I did start off with "foundationist.org", which was supposed to be a new philosophy in the making - an expression of my personal beliefs, and heavily based on comparative religion analyses. But I completely failed to express and explain what was otherwise described as "re-inventing agnosticism".

    After just two weeks I started turning it into a general "comparative religion" forum and site - it lasted 10 days, then suffered a very serious server crash. I took the opportunity to relaunch everything revamped as "comparative-religion.com". Now the site has firm direction, and is expanding with certainty. The eventual aim is to make it a major inter-religious community and resource site on the internet.

    And that's why I'm here. Just instinct. :)
     
  4. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste,

    thank you for the topic.

    my purpose... well.. leaving aside for a moment that "i" don't exist...

    my purpose here is manifold.

    primarily, i am here to learn from people that actually practice other traditions. it's all well and good to read of the practices, however, to actually speak to those that practice, well... that is something that i value quite a bit as it lends insight into aspects of the practice that may not be touched upon in a book.

    secondarily, i am here because i enjoy conversation about religion and spirituality and i find that in my own circle of friends, they have already closed thier minds in regards to this subject... either they have a religion and they are convinced it is correct or they have none and are convinced that all of us that do are simplisitic.

    thirdly, i enjoy answering questions about my tradition as i have discovered that there is quite a bit of strange information around about Buddhism, what it is and why we do it. eh... an homage to my own ego perhaps, i really do not know. i try to be mindful of that, though, so that i can speak from a position of egolessness.

    a tertiary reason that i am here is that, due to my work, i find myself with lots of time on the internet.. and, quite frankly, i would rather spend that time discussing things that have some import to me rather than discussing the latest movies or what have you.
     
  5. littlemissattitude

    littlemissattitude Creative Thinker

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    Interesting questions, emong.

    I came here for several reasons. First of all, I am and always have been fascinated by belief. In fact, at university my mentor and I aimed my Intercultural Studies major directly at the anthropology of belief systems. Most of the upper division courses I took looked, in one way or another, at how belief systems - not just religion specifically, but philosophies, political systems, even science - shape every aspect of every individual's life.

    Secondly, I am in a place in my own spiritual development right now where I am leaving one particular belief system and considering others, including the possibility of constructing my own from scratch. Which I think we all do anyway, but usually within the context of already-established paradigms. Basically, I'm trying to answer the question of whether I want to align myself with another established religious institution or not. My experiences with the system I am on the way out of have not been as positive as they should have been, which is one of the reasons why I am getting out of it (another reason being that I came to the realization that I just do not believe many of the doctrines specific to that system). I am already out of it intellectually and spiritually, but not yet completely separated from it physically - for a number of reasons.

    Thirdly, I came here not so much to educate as to be educated. Although I have been exposed to a number of religious traditions and belief systems, there are many that I don't really know a lot about other than what I've gotten from classes and out of books. Here, I have the opportunity to enter into dialogue with individuals who hold a wide diversity of beliefs. This gives me a chance to see how individual believers (or non-believers, as the case may be) live their beliefs on the ground, on a day to day basis - which is often much different than the ideal forms of religions presented in a formal setting (scripture, books, classes, and so on).
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    You have presented a fair and thoughtful question, emong. Thank you.

    I stumbled here quite by accident, doing some personal research into primitive religion (no slight intended).

    Now that I have found this place, it seems to me a great place to interact with others in a thoughtful, respectful, and intelligent manner.

    I suppose the need to connect and interact with intelligent people, for educational purposes, is a fair and reasonable assessment of why I am here. I also think that having my faith and beliefs challenged allows me to grow. Growing without challenge creates a spindly and weak tree, whereas a tree that overcomes challenge is stronger for the effort.
     
  7. JJM

    JJM Well-Known Member

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    I found This site while looking for A site with the Apocrypha that was separated into verses instead of just the writing. I Write in order I guess to be heard in the sense I'd like to see how others react to my Ideas, but more to try to learn what others think. I'd like to revise my own beliefs so that I can better understand God. I also think that most religions especially ones that have lasted till now has some speck of truth in them and I'd like to learn about the similarities. I guess the real reason that I stay here is I find Debating and discussing things fun and Religion is my favorite subject.:D

    _____________________________________________________________
    I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
    Socrates
     
  8. louis

    louis Well-Known Member

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    looking

    What are you looking for? Why do you come here? For what reason do you spend time posting on this board?

    From Louis....
    I'll try to answer one at a time.

    Is it re-enforcement of your beliefs?
    NO - I've never HAD any religeous beliefs ....

    Is it to make yourself heard?
    Maybe - At least to put my own thoughts out there for
    others to examine and show me any flaws I missed.

    Is it a need to connect?
    Yes - I always like to hear from people smarter than myself.

    Is it an opportunity to educate?
    More like - To GET educated.

    Is it an opportunity to debunk?
    That's a definite "NO" - I don't feel qualified to say
    who's right or wrong.

    Why is it important to you ?
    It's not that "important" - just idle intellectual curiosity
    on my part - I don't expect to read anything here that
    would "change my life". I LIKE my life just the way it is.

    But... there's always a risk that something could
    "get to me" whether I want it to or not.
     
  9. louis

    louis Well-Known Member

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    why ?

    What are you looking for? Why do you come here? For what reason do you spend time posting on this board?

    From louis...
    I have already tried to answer this, but I'm not
    satisfied with what I said. I'll try again.
    There's a movie scene in which a young woman asks an
    older man to "teach her stuff" - and he replies :
    "Do you want information or wisdom ?"
    To be honest, all I really want is information.
    The only world I know about is the one I live in as a
    material being - I know nothing about "the supernatural"
    or any exisistence beyond my life on Earth. And I don't
    much care what happens after I'm dead.
    But, if "believers" are right, then this world must be a very
    different place than the way it APPEARS to my senses!
    I'd just like to find out if "believers" actually KNOW
    any more about THIS WORLD than I do or are they
    just interpreting things differently ?
     
  10. louis

    louis Well-Known Member

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    why I'm here

    First of all, I am and always have been fascinated by belief.

    From Louis...
    Greetings - I also have been fascinated by belief, but
    form the viewpoint of an outsider.
    I have listened to many believers, before and after
    discovering this website, but I have yet to understand
    what moves them to believe.
    I have never felt any of the things they describe -
    such as the need to be part of something "bigger
    than myself" or to get closer to "God" - whatever
    that is. I'm here trying to settle whether it's me
    or them - do believers see something I don't see
    because of a mental disability on my part ?
    Or do they see no more than I but just interpret
    it differently ?
     
  11. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    why i'm here

    to learn...to hear other people's stories, beliefs, dreams...to share...to practice writing my thoughts, which helps me think them better...to challenge my beliefs, prune the bad, strengthen the good...to see myself as others see me... to sometimes think deep and darkly, other times to be light and laughing...to try to understand others and so at least take that small step toward peace...to learn...
     
  12. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Thread necromancy. :)

    So, why are you here at CR?
     
  13. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    LOL... because God talks through people.
     
  14. Francis king

    Francis king Well-Known Member

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    emong, u ask....

    What are you looking for? Why do you come here? For what reason do you spend time posting on this board?

    Is it reinforcement of your beliefs?- no, as I don't have beliefs, in the strict sense of the word... i have ideas about things, yes, but these ideas are far from original, and I am aware that these ideas may change over time...

    Is it to make yourself heard?-no, as nobody really listens to me round ere anyway..lol

    Is it a need to connect?-no, i go to the pub for that...

    Is it an opportunity to educate?- no-but I'd love to be that clever...

    Is it an opportunity to debunk?- occasionally, when the mood takes me, but thats not my main motivation

    Why is it important to you?

    maybe ur making assumptions about the nature of forum dwellers?- sure, there's loads of tub thumpers, and ppl seeking affirmation, etc, etc but the majority of ppl round ere are quite intelligent, which makes it a bit different than ur usual run of the mill forum, which is nice, and u can freely question ppl and find out more about their different traditions and practises, etc...

    I come ere as I have loads of free time and spend a great portion of my day bored out of my tiny mind- none of my pals like to bang on about religion for hours as most of them think religion is beneath them and they are too clever to believe in supernatural things...

    so, places like CR give me an excuse to find out more about religion, and ppl, my two favourite things... I'm not looking for anything in particular, but have found a place to exchange opinions and thoughts on a diverse range of subjects, and in the process maybe learn a little about myself too...

    nothing too hardcore...
     
  15. Muslimwoman

    Muslimwoman Coexistence insha'Allah

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    Hi Emong

    Unlike many others who have stated they stumbled accross the site, I came looking for it - well for an interfaith discussion forum. I am aware that I live in a closed community and I wanted to learn about other faiths and see how the Muslim community interacts with non Muslims. To find out what misconceptions people have of Islam. To be honest I never actually expected to post anything - now look at me!!

    Salaam
     
  16. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Gotta love it, three years after Luna's last post she blew life back into a beautiful thread! kudos

    I'm here because some my friends are here.

    Why did I come, I thoroughly enjoy interfaith discussion as well as discussing the intracies of my own faith, as well as learning more about others.

    Communication I believe is the key to peace....and peace is a worthwhile endeavor.
     
  17. lunamoth

    lunamoth Episcopalian

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    Just noticed this cyberpi. I think this is a beautiful idea, and I agree. :)
     
  18. LeoSalinas22

    LeoSalinas22 merely a shadow...

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  19. Faithfulservant

    Faithfulservant Well-Known Member

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    Im not looking for anything per se. I have found that which I seek. I come here because I believe this is where my ministry is... I know that this irritates many people but I can only say it like this.. if you had a medicine that you knew would save a dying mans life would you withhold it because you dont want to make him uncomfortable by talking about his condition or would you give it to the man to save his life?

    I think a little of it is all of the things listed. Like they make up the whole.

    Its important to me because its important to my God.
     
  20. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    I stumbled across it.

    I never really expected to get as involved as I have in an interfaith site. Before that, I thought all interfaith sites were for idle, useless talk that weren't going to change the world or provide anything insightful on how to think about religion.

    I've now come to value what I read on an interfaith site. I discovered that discussing and talking about something, though not for debate or debunking of opposing views, is not so pointless and hopeless after all. I believed that I've gained a lot more from CR than I've contributed...:D (if you know what I mean)

    Most of my thinking back then was dominated by creeds and dogma. Whenever I thought about religions, I always thought in terms of their "apparent foundations," not how people might possibly approach them as people, as autonomous beings not manipulated by impersonal logic. I've now come to understand what it means to think outside of creeds and dogma without undermining the meaning of a religion.

    Overall, the experience has been worth it. Yes, I did sacrifice a lot of my time to do it.
     

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