Why do you believe in YOUR religion

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by sherry, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Actually Sir, I am the graduate of life and death...and you have no idea who you think you are talking DOWN to...

    Be that as it may...enjoy your time here.

    v/r

    Joshua
     
  2. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Why all this concern about talking down and up? You posted a reply and I posted in the spirit of the reply. What's wrong with being honest? In older times it used to be respected as humor. But in those days we didn't defend the human condition so strongly and were willing to admit our failings.

    Mark Twain would no longer sell in these times of political correctness and we are all the worse for it IMO.

    Only fools fight in a burning house.
     
  3. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    :: shrugs ::

    To each their own. :)

    I will add that worship is not necessarily ritual. For me, worship and ritual are overlapping behaviors but there can be ritual without worship and worship without ritual. I'm not sure that ritualizing being a natural human behavior is directly related to worship being a natural human behavior. And both seem to be varied tendencies in populations-- hence, you feel no need to worship and I just naturally do it. It's not about need, it's just about how I experience my own life.
     
  4. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.
    JEREMIAH 10;23

    Mankind thinks it can go alone and work things out, but he wasnt created to rule himself independent of God , so thats why it only has led to failure , he wasnt created to do it himself . not for much longer though, DANIEL 2;'44
     
  5. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    But worship is not more than that? Is it not also a declaration of bias to one way of thinking? I see it as a superfluous decoration or fetter, dependent on the individual and their expression of it. As it is not required to appreciate nor study anything it is an add on. An add on religious leaderships have exploited to its full potential as a brainwashing device. Worship is not a singular act. It is a ritualised behaviour that involves a lot of dumb repetition that serves no purpose other than affirmation of the extant paradigm. So in that sense it can be viewed as an enemy of reason?

    tao
     
  6. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    You are looking at it as an observer, from the outside looking in. How can a heart-felt, spontaneous expression be "excess baggage"?

    One of the most expressive features of Islamic devotional practice is the forward-leaning posture adopted at the beginning of a prayer session. The musculoskeletal involvement has a kinesthetic quality, such that the body remembers the spiritual emotions. The act of prostrating helps recall those emotions. This is a valuable part of daily practice.



    The attitude of worship reflects a state of the heart. The act of worship itself can be used to bring into focus who we really are and to clarify our intention to meet the challenges of life in a manner that is pleasing to the L_ord. It is possible to worship anywhere and at any time.
     
  7. Nick_A

    Nick_A Interfaith Forums

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    Quite true. Posture and movement can effect emotions and even lead to the experience of sacred emotions. Tibetan sacred dance is practiced for just that reason.
     
  8. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    Sorry if I misread you. Taken one way I could surely agree. The many possible meanings of 'free' is one of those curious things that is worth exploring.
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Hmmm.

    Which is it?
     
  10. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Because of why it is heartfelt and not really spontaneous but ritual, learned behaviour.

    I see something quite different when I watch the supplicatory prostration of Muslims in prayer. It reminds me of a poor dog with a brutal master. The dog that wags its tail between its legs in fear as it in terror approaches its master for some scrap. The act of prostration is a device of indoctrination, of brainwashing by ritual physical reinforcement. Dance and other forms of ritualised spiritual activity of the physical kind produces endorphins that give one a natural high. This is nothing to do with the quality of the belief system, it a biochemical fact. Just because it is deliberately misrepresented in religion as evidence for the power of that religion shows the insidiously deceptive nature of the organised religions very well. Ritualised prayer in prostrate supplication can be seen in any social mammalian group with a strong alpha male/female hierarchy. It is the reinforcement by alpha and junior of one station, ones position. A power ritual the churches just love to use.

    tao
     
  11. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    That would be the position you want to argue. To me the meaning is humility before G-d, which is a totally natural expression.


    It seems you see everything through the same lens.


    As an expression, prostration does not necessarily have anything to do with doctrine, Again, it is a natural expression. It may be done by one person, without a institutional context. Btw, the prostration posture is considered a form of yoga by some.

    When someone humbles him/herself before G-d, that has no meaning as far as submission to earthly rulers. Also, it may not involve supplication.

    Regarding social status and hierarchy, you may be interested in my forthcoming installment on the priesthood where I document the phenomena you're talking about in substantial detail. You and I are on the same page at times on some things. The difference between you and me: I don't equate religion with institutional/historical forms.
     
  12. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Not necessarily.

    You are welcome to see it however you wish. You have a biased way of perceiving religion in general and, it seems, even personal worship practices, so naturally you will perceive all of those behaviors through your own biased lens. That is just what happens when one makes up one's mind that a certain behavior of others means a particular thing for all (basically, ethnocentrism).

    I see my own worship as neither decoration nor fetter, since the heart of my worship is a state of consciousness (not a behavior) and it is a state that is freeing for both my emotion and my reason. Rather than binding me to a particular belief or group association, it frees me to be an individual connected to the Divine. It actually frees me of the fetters of what others (the nation, a church, whatever) tells me I should be, and allows me to find my true self, independent of others' definitions of me and God.

    I don't expect you to buy it, though. I've explained this many times and you insist that all religion and spiritual practice, all belief in God, is at best superfluous and at worst harmful. I'm kind of sick of explaining it, to be honest, since I've done so many times without any acknowledgement that your own interpretations of others' behaviors may not be the correct ones.

    Personally, I steer clear of assuming the effects and reasons for others' behaviors. We can speak of a diversity of reasons and effects, but to make broad-sweeping statements as you do is inaccurate, unscientific, and... to be honest, just plain arrogant.

    Says you.

    We aren't exploited or brainwashed without our permission. People choose to be lazy and have others tell them what to do. If not religion, people choose Marxism, Communism, Nationalism... any other "ism" to make them feel part of a group and have meaning, without the work of personal exploration. It ain't religion... it's human nature.

    Says you. Thanks for defining for me that my singular acts of worship don't qualify. I was confused there for a moment without your guidance on the matter... :rolleyes:

    And what, exactly, is the extant paradigm I am affirming when I worship, by myself, in ways I myself have created as expressions of my experience of the Divine, without a church body? You assume all sorts of things that completely ignore the diversity of people's actual worship experiences...

    You assume ritualization, when I already explained it is not always ritualized.
    You assume repetition, when it is obvious if you study world religion in even a rudimentary fashion that worship is not necessarily repeititious.
    You assume that worship is tied to a particular religion and authority, a particular paradigm, when it can (and is, in some cases) be otherwise.

    Basically, as is usual, you assume a lot of things that are unfounded and not evidenced in data. You ignore human diversity. Then you insist that your assumptions and analysis (both of which are highly biased) are correct. Forgive me, after pointing out the actual data and problems of ethnocentrism multiple times now, if I find it annoying.

    By you. You are determined to see it that way, so you will. Which is also an enemy of reason.

    Sorry, Tao, but it seems you are quite closed-minded to others' discussion of even their own experiences. You insist on defining for others what their experiences, reasons, and consequences are without the slightest knowledge of these things.

    I choose to think that people actually are not stupid, mindless creatures. That they actually just *might* have something to share about their own lives, and that their ideas about their own behaviors and consequences of them just *might* be valuable. That I *might* not know everything about everyone else. But then, I'm sure it's just my worship practices and belief in God clouding my reason to see others as equal to myself, as beings with insight and not as some sort of drones. I'm sure my belief that everyone is a child of the Divine clouds my reason so that I am unable to see how "fettered" everyone is by spirituality, how inferior their intellect is to that of the atheist, how "superfluous" their behaviors are... :rolleyes:

    Indeed, I'm sure that the faith practices of the likes of MLK Jr. and Mother Theresa were chains that bound them to the existing structures of inequality (that is why they so effectively battled them), that their intellects were dull indeed to be unable to see the superfluity of their prayer and worship, their belief in God. No, these things couldn't *possibly* have actually *helped* them or others...
     
  13. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    I have not made up my mind. I just state what I believe to be the best working model of reality, which is of course always open to change with new information. I do not present myself here either to proselytise my beliefs nor as a spokesperson for science. My bias is my own and I take it into account often in my discussions here. But what am I meant to do....agree with you when I do not? Often, given your expertise in your field, you will correct me and I will be grateful. There are greater truths and there are lesser truths sayeth the Tao. The artist in me paints with both brushes. But always a picture I can imagine being real.

    I do understand what you say but maybe I do fail to acknowledge that I do too often.

    I am not an expert in any field, as I have emphasised far too many times here. I am often broad sweeping. I am not wholly scientific. I am regularly inaccurate. But I am not arrogant. I with full integrity put forward my own personal point of view on many subjects. I am not here to champion the views of yourself, which appear good and sound to me, but to put forward my input in my way. I dont pull many punches on occasion, but often that has stimulated the debate at hand. In addition I believe my addition in my own style is not altogether unrequired here. Imagine I had written that last quoted paragraph to you?






    I have tried often to emphasise my views in their broader sweeping sees little distinction between any ideology, political, religious or philosophical. The same monkey they all be.



    Your singular acts are plural and amount to your chosen ritual and I never offer guidance. Blind leading the blind and all that ;)



    Your paradigm is, I believe, the one you state in your posts and more.

    I am having trouble grasping why you try to separate worship from ritual behaviour. It seems to me a bit silly to say they are not.

    Basically I am me and I can be annoying. I blame my dad for it.





    Slightest knowledge? Yup thats what I have...know anyone who has any more?

    They are....!! And I am no different ;) .
    To me they often appear that way. What can i say?

    how do you quantify value of that kind with what 'worship' is? I see no connection. Rather you are reflecting your own way of thinking and saying I am wrong for not sharing it.


    I am sorry I upset you Path. I believe what I said was an honest evaluation of the ritual of worship. One that can be supported in debate. How dare I tear away the superfluous in this philosophical quest for truths.


    :)

    tao
     
  14. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    It seems to me that you interpret others behaviors through your own model of reality, rather than being open to multiple models- that is, being open to others' interpretations of their own behaviors. This is what I am getting at. We all have one or more models of reality. But one can view reality through only their own model, or be open to various models, understanding that others' models may be as valid as their own.

    Certainly not. But there is a difference between agreeing with me and being open to the idea that for others, worship may be what they say they are doing, not what you think they are doing... and may mean what they say it means, not what you think it means. It is openness for which I press. I don't agree with many ideas about worship, but I believe that every person may provide valuable insight into their own behaviors, and that different behaviors may be right for different people.

    For you, worship may be superfluous, and I have never claimed that you should be anything different than what you are (an atheist). What makes me bristle is that you assume that since worship is superfluous or binding for you, it is so for others, rather than acknowledging the value of others' ideas about their own behaviors.

    I do hope you understand, Tao, outside of facts I never try to correct. I am not trying to correct you now. I just try to press for openness, as I believe that upholds the dignity of each person and recognizes the value of each person's beliefs. Much of this post was sarcastic and tongue in cheek- sometimes it's just my mood. Nothing was said in anger, though I felt mild annoyance at the assumption of superfluity and bondage in others' practices, since it assumes a priviledged position of understanding.

    Well, naturally. I'm simply doing the same, as I see it. If you felt that some activity was really important to you and explained this, and I informed you that it is a mindless, stupid thing to do with surely no value whatsoever and is a total waste of time... you'd find me a bit presumptuous too, yes?

    It is one thing to say that in your own experience, worship is superfluous and binding for you. It is another to say that for all people, worship is so... but they just haven't realized this truth the way you have. Can you see the difference? The former, I would never even debate, and would find to be an interesting viewpoint. The latter, I find arrogant.

    Indeed- I'm not saying to pull punches. I'm just not pulling them either. :) I welcome your debate stimulation- I'm just reponding.



    I meant that some of my worship acts are done individually, not communally, so it is not all about fuzzy-warm group belonging and upholding some existing paradigm that keeps us oppressed and under the thumb of The Man. And the heart of my worship is not ritualistic.

    My point is that I do not follow a paradigm that upholds any existing social order or religion, so my own worship is actually counter to what you yourself are saying worship does (that is, keep people in bondage) and is also key to a very non-superfluous part of my own life (that is, railing against bondage). My worship is, in fact, deeply counter-cultural. So it sort of stands your assumptions about the functions (or lack thereof) of worship on its head.

    My point was worship is a sort of neutral activity. It could be superfluous or the cornerstone to a person's existence. A fetter or the key to freedom. Who is to say what it is for another?

    I separate worship from ritual because it may be ritual and it may not be. Worship, for me, is first and foremost a state of consciousness. It is an awareness. Ritual is a certain type of behavior and it is not always an act of worship. An American birthday party is a ritual that has nothing to do with worship. So is gang initiation, hazing in fraternities and sororities, and christening a boat. Lots of rituals have nothing whatsoever to do with worship. Conversely, worship may involve ritual, or it may be entirely spontaneous action that is not ritualistic at all.

    So, I separate the two because you can have one without the other. So they are not the same thing, nor is one dependent on the other.

    I blame my grandpa. My mother's father. LOL What can I say? He passed his "fire" on to all of us... :eek:

    My point is that we all have slightly more knowledge of ourselves (generally speaking) than we do of others. So when we assume things about others, we are doing so with less knowledge than when we speak of our own experiences. This is why I speak of what worship means to me, but refrain from assigning what it means to others. I speculate (with MLK Jr or Mother Theresa for example) and generally those speculations are based on interviews or other works I read about those people. But I do not assume that my views are correct, except with regards to my own life.

    I guess exactly what you do say. ;) I guess I just give people more credit than you do.

    No, I am pointing toward openness. Based on their own words that I have read, I would say their faith mattered for their life's practice. That is what they themselves have indicated. You may see no connection, but they did and they talked about it. I choose to give value to people's interpretations of their own actions, and their views of their own lives rather than insisting my own view of their life is the right one. In this case, I am not reflecting my own way of thinking, but rather pointing out that everyone is different, and the best source of information about any individual... is that individual. You know the old saying... assumptions make an ass out of u and me. Rather than basing everything on my own connections, I base my view of others' behaviors at least in part on their own connections. I'm not saying you are wrong for not agreeing with me. I'm saying that assuming things about other people whilst ignoring their own understanding of their own lives is more than a bit presumptuous.

    LOL I'm just debating- it's what I do! That's part of why we're here, yes? Though I feel bad about this poor OP'er because that's not what she asked for at all, yet it seems to plague this thread...

    I was annoyed, but I'm not upset. I doubt much could really upset me here on CR. There's just bigger fish to fry in the real world, you know? This is the escape destination for thinking for me.

    :)

    Path... or poo... depending on how you see it. LOL :D It's all about perspective!
     
  15. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    It sounds like taking off your self and getting into a God shower. Is that how it feels?

    Chris
     
  16. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    LOL- you know, Chris, I never thought of it that way, but it kind of is that way for me! I'm trying to ditch the Kim clothes and just connect to God, make the totality of all I experience, all I do, all I am... God.

    That's what I was trying to get at when I said worship is more a state of consciousness for me than what I'm doing. Kind of like if the shower could just follow me around and I could do other stuff while showering? LOL :p At least, that's what I'm shooting for. I fall far short and typically hop back and forth between Kim clothes and the shower throughout the day.

    To carry the metaphor beyond where it probably should end, some worship practices that religions generate would, I believe, be the equivalent of hopping in the shower while your clothes are still on. It rapidly gets you uncomfy so it entices you to shed the layers. But of course, it is entirely possible to just stand in the shower fully dressed, and so never feel the water against your skin. It's even possible to stand in the shower with an umbrella. ;)
     
  17. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    That is a good way to put it because there is something coming back from it. It is not like there is a void or black hole when I empty myself & I suppose there is some great expectation. It has been a year since I have actually been there. The conditions have to be just right, perhaps mutual? like the conditions needed for a refreshing rain?

    Unlike something taught as in teacher/pupil, or repeated practice like sit stand kneel, read this prayer (no no no)... rather it is something more or less that is discovered.

    But the same type of worship can be done to & through humans by serving, loving, forgiving, honor, reaching out & sincere though not exactly the same or as potent as the god shower. That is about the best way I can describe it.

    It is kind of like you embrace the invisible & it embraces you back?
     
  18. dbanks82

    dbanks82 New Member

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    It has been interesting to hear all of the various views on how people found their religion. I really delight in hearing what things move people to choose a religion. What I have found is we all have different upbringings as well as personal life experience that shape our views. I am a mormon and I have chosen this religion because of my personal experiences. I believe that the mormon religion has brought me closer to God and helped me and encouraged me to be a good person. At the same time I believe all religions are good as long as they promote peace and love. I try to understand all religions and develop a sense of appreciation for all. I believe that is the key to peace in the world is moving past prejudice to create a better society. I think even here in the United States we have a long way to go.
     
  19. mee

    mee Interfaith Forums

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    Why do you believe in YOUR religion



    because it is the one with abundant true knowledge about the bible DANIEL 12;4

    Eespecially in these the last days .


    and it is very good :)
     
  20. saddha

    saddha New Member

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    I read the books of almost all the world religions and in the beginning I thought Hinduism was the most advanced due to meditation -- although there were beautiful gems of wisdom in all of them.

    I didn't know Buddhism actually had any holy books, you can't find one sacred text in any book store -- although you can buy Bibles, Qurans, Gitas -- no Buddhist books except by buddhists -- but none ever quoted Buddha.

    So I literally thought, "Gee, if Buddha was so smart then how come his 4 Noble Truths are so childishly simplistic?"

    Then I found the Tipitika translated into English in the NY public library -- WOW! I was like, if there ever was a God that can be called God, it is in this -- The 4 Noble Truths expounded by the Buddha in his words-- was incomparable!
    !
    The entirety of ALL existence and non-existence can be categorized in just these 4 truths!

    I've never looked back!
     

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