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Confessions Of A Reformed Atheist


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I think when we're all teenagers, the hip thing to do is ignore God and pretend like there's nothing out there. I don't know if it's because my family liked sleeping in on Sundays, or whatever, but Church never held much interest for me. Even the times when my girlfriend in high school asked me to attend, I always felt out of place. I felt weird being asked to take things on faith, that an all knowing being was watching me, that a man 2,000 years ago died on the cross and if I believed in Him, I would go to heaven. I not only didn't believe he died on the cross, I doubted whether or not he even existed! For quite some time, I didn't feel spiritual, or believed in any God whatsoever.When I was 20 years old, I was an RA in college. Part of being an RA is going to retreats. This particular retreat was held at a Bahai camp. For those of you who haven't even heard of the Bahai faith, don't worry, you're not alone. If you want to know more, look at wiki's explantion here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BahaiEssentially it's a faith that accepts all faiths and all man as a unity of God. It says that all religions are the same, it's just a different way of looking at them. The best explanation I heard, was imagine nine different blind men hanging onto a different piece of an elephant. Each blind man is going to have a different outlook on what an Elephant looks like. Bahai respects each's religion's take on what/who God is. I like that. I like it a lot. It also doesn't accept contribution in any form. There's no tithing. They just ask you I'm sure I'm prolly the only one in the forum who follows this, but does anyone else know about Bahai? I'm very interested in getting into it and learning more about it. I know it sounds like a splinter cult, but I don't think it is. At least no more or less than any other major religion. I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are on this religion.

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Essentially it's a faith that accepts all faiths and all man as a unity of God. It says that all religions are the same, it's just a different way of looking at them.
what's the point of god then? seems pretty useless.
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The best explanation I heard, was imagine nine different blind men hanging onto a different piece of an elephant. Each blind man is going to have a different outlook on what an Elephant looks like.
:D ... :D ... :club: ... :D ...nope...still dont understand.
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I don't really think it sounds like a religion as much as a theology/philosophy. If you can't really tell who God is, then you can't really worship/teach much, huh? Unless you took like the top 10 religions, and taught only their consistencies.

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I agree with Donkslayer . . . it sounds more like a philosophy than a religion. I'm not sure what I think about a "philosophy" where there is no absolute. It sounds like it basically tells you to believe what you want . . . so in essence . . . what is the point of it?

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I agree with Donkslayer . . . it sounds more like a philosophy than a religion. I'm not sure what I think about a "philosophy" where there is no absolute. It sounds like it basically tells you to believe what you want . . . so in essence . . . what is the point of it?
I agree that it seems more a philosophy than a religion, but disagree that it has no point. All religions are philosophies at heart, then are given whatever rules and procedures that resemble what we recognize as a religion.Read the Wikipedia page, it has some interesting stuff. Basically, it is a religion based on acceptance and peace. The stuff about Bahaullah being a messenger of god bothered me, since many people believe in different, none, or many gods. Saying he is a messenger of god implies a certain belief in a certain god or system of gods, which does not fit in with the basis of acceptance of all religion.that seems a minor point though. whether its a philosophy or a religion, it seems positive and interesting.
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I think when we're all teenagers, the hip thing to do is ignore God and pretend like there's nothing out there. I don't know if it's because my family liked sleeping in on Sundays, or whatever, but Church never held much interest for me. Even the times when my girlfriend in high school asked me to attend, I always felt out of place. I felt weird being asked to take things on faith, that an all knowing being was watching me, that a man 2,000 years ago died on the cross and if I believed in Him, I would go to heaven. I not only didn't believe he died on the cross, I doubted whether or not he even existed! For quite some time, I didn't feel spiritual, or believed in any God whatsoever.When I was 20 years old, I was an RA in college. Part of being an RA is going to retreats. This particular retreat was held at a Bahai camp. For those of you who haven't even heard of the Bahai faith, don't worry, you're not alone. If you want to know more, look at wiki's explantion here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BahaiEssentially it's a faith that accepts all faiths and all man as a unity of God. It says that all religions are the same, it's just a different way of looking at them. The best explanation I heard, was imagine nine different blind men hanging onto a different piece of an elephant. Each blind man is going to have a different outlook on what an Elephant looks like. Bahai respects each's religion's take on what/who God is. I like that. I like it a lot. It also doesn't accept contribution in any form. There's no tithing. They just ask you I'm sure I'm prolly the only one in the forum who follows this, but does anyone else know about Bahai? I'm very interested in getting into it and learning more about it. I know it sounds like a splinter cult, but I don't think it is. At least no more or less than any other major religion. I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are on this religion.
i know a fair number of people that consider themselves bahai. they're very happy people. i hope your decision works out for you, too.
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That's bahai's view on other religiions, but they themselves have holy books and scriptures, it truely is a religion just an accepting of other religions one. I don't know much about bahai ism, but they have a bahai temple about a mile frome where I went to college in willimette, ill, a near north suburb of chicago, right on sheridan road ( the road that lakeshore turns into north of chicago) A pretty beautiful place, but if bahai really doesn't take contributions, I don't know how the hell this thing got built.

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what's the point of god then? seems pretty useless.
What's the point of God in any religion? With the Bahai, he's still the same God. Just a total sum of all of God's wisdom throughout the world's religions. Essentially no one religion is any more "right" than any of them are wrong. It's the idea that all the religions are right. That's what I like the most about the Bahai faith. I never got why God would create mankind and then say, OK, Christianity is the one true religion, so that means a full two thirds of the world are going to hell. In my ever present wisdom, I made a baby be born into a place where all they will ever know is Islam, which means you're never going to know Jesus and accept/bring him into your heart. Essentially, it seems like he's condemning that person to hell. What about the native tribes in the middle of South America that has never seen a white face, never known what Jesus is? I never understood why God would say, "OK, I created you, but then condemnded you to Hell because you'll never know that in order to get to Heaven, you need Jesus in your heart. But, meh...I know that won't happen...so I guess you'er going to Hell. The very idea of Heaven and Hell isn't so much that you're burning like it's described in the Bible. It's just a matter of your closeness to God in general. The further away you are, the more in Hell you are. But that doesn't apply to that tribe in South America. So long as they follow their religion and try to apply themselves to their version of God, the closer they will be in his Kingdom.I like that idea.
I don't really think it sounds like a religion as much as a theology/philosophy. If you can't really tell who God is, then you can't really worship/teach much, huh? Unless you took like the top 10 religions, and taught only their consistencies.
I quoted this before I replied to the quote above...but I think I answered that question. God in any religion is totally unknowable because we as Human Beings lack the understanding/perception to know God. A Bahai is just as comfortable studying the Bible as they are the Quoran (I know I misspelled that...I apologized). Incredibally enough, even Scientology falls under the Bahai faith. Essentially every religion teachs the same thing. Be a good person and you'll get into Heaven. Be a bad person and you'll go to hell. That's the point of the Bahai faith. It takes all the parts good and bad from all religions and teaches you how to be a better person.
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Ricker, I'm going to bat grammar clean-up for you, "Quran" or "Koran". Been out to Sycuan lately? I'm in need of a session, maybe sometime this week..
lol...thank you kindly...I thought I saw it written as Quran...but I managed to make an amalgamation of the both. I can't make any poker runs this week....I'm killing myself at work. I've got a pretty large project in the works that I can't really talk about yet. But when it comes down, I think people around SD are gonna be pretty stoked.
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lol...thank you kindly...I thought I saw it written as Quran...but I managed to make an amalgamation of the both. I can't make any poker runs this week....I'm killing myself at work. I've got a pretty large project in the works that I can't really talk about yet. But when it comes down, I think people around SD are gonna be pretty stoked.
Oh so you pull a DN and annouce a huge sick project... that you can't talk about just yet.. bollocks! Well, when you get a chance to make a run give me a holler.
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Oh so you pull a DN and annouce a huge sick project... that you can't talk about just yet.. bollocks! Well, when you get a chance to make a run give me a holler.
PM me your cell/phone number....
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ricker,would you say that Christianity is true then?
I'd say Christianity is a version of the truth. Wikipedia does more justice than my limited understanding of it (you gotta understand that this is my first foray into researching this religion), but according to the Bahai faith, each religion is right in it's own respect. I know this sounds counter intuative, but each religion is right, and each one is wrong. It's about the unity of religion. The idea that we're all saying the same thing different ways.
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What's the point of God in any religion?
dunno, i'm agnostic.
It's the idea that all the religions are right. That's what I like the most about the Bahai faith.
most differing religious beliefs are directly contradictory, so to say they can all be right in any sense is even more pointless than fundamentalism. if god can be anything you want why bother with god at all.
I never got why God would create mankind and then say, OK, Christianity is the one true religion, so that means a full two thirds of the world are going to hell. In my ever present wisdom, I made a baby be born into a place where all they will ever know is Islam, which means you're never going to know Jesus and accept/bring him into your heart. Essentially, it seems like he's condemning that person to hell.
so in other words christianity is wrong.
The very idea of Heaven and Hell isn't so much that you're burning like it's described in the Bible. It's just a matter of your closeness to God in general. The further away you are, the more in Hell you are. But that doesn't apply to that tribe in South America. So long as they follow their religion and try to apply themselves to their version of God, the closer they will be in his Kingdom.
creating your own personal designer religion based on your personal values? why not make yourself god and worship yourself? that makes more sense.
God in any religion is totally unknowable because we as Human Beings lack the understanding/perception to know God.
then how do we know he exists at all?
Incredibally enough, even Scientology falls under the Bahai faith.
lol
Essentially every religion teachs the same thing.
no they don't, unless you make up your OWN personal non-literal interpretations of them all that fundamentalists would never accept to try to make them fit together. again, bothering with that is even more pointless than fundamentalism.
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dunno, i'm agnostic.
I used to be too
most differing religious beliefs are directly contradictory, so to say they can all be right in any sense is even more pointless than fundamentalism. if god can be anything you want why bother with god at all.
Because the idea of God is that there is a benevolent force guiding us through the universe. That there is a higher power that man are not meant to understand.
so in other words christianity is wrong.
I'm not saying fundamentally Christianity is anymore wrong that what Islamist believe, or what the Jews believe. Like I said, I know it's counter intuative, but every single religion gets it right, in their own way, and every single one gets it wrong as well. It's the idea that there very idea of religion is united through the common thread of a higher power.
creating your own personal designer religion based on your personal values? why not make yourself god and worship yourself? that makes more sense.then how do we know he exists at all?
Not at all. It's the idea of unified religion as a whole.
lol
It's not like I don't have trouble swallowing that anymore than you do. But according to the Bahai faith, that's what's going on.
no they don't, unless you make up your OWN personal non-literal interpretations of them all that fundamentalists would never accept to try to make them fit together. again, bothering with that is even more pointless than fundamentalism.
I guess it's somewhat comparable to one big jigsaw puzzle that man is never going to be able to solve. I'm certaintly not qualified for the job.
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can you guys try and fix up those posts, i'm going blind trying to read them. maybe split them up into two?thanks
I know, I don't know why the quoting option isn't working...I'll work on it.
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That there is a higher power that man are not meant to understand.
then why bother? what's the point of even paying attention?anyway i was more trying to point out that if that is what you believe why would you want to endorse fundamentalism in any way? why justify fundamentalism by saying it is "part of" the truth of god, since fundamentalism is necessarily exclusive? if you want to believe in a generic benevolent creator aren't you better off pointing out that fundamentalism is WRONG, rather than "part right"?
It's the idea that there very idea of religion is united through the common thread of a higher power.
many religions believe in multiple higher powers, or the power of a collective whole or whatever. religious belief is much too varied and complex to lump in that way.
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then why bother? what's the point of even paying attention?anyway i was more trying to point out that if that is what you believe why would you want to endorse fundamentalism in any way? why justify fundamentalism by saying it is "part of" the truth of god, since fundamentalism is necessarily exclusive? if you want to believe in a generic benevolent creator aren't you better off pointing out that fundamentalism is WRONG, rather than "part right"?many religions believe in multiple higher powers, or the power of a collective whole or whatever. religious belief is much too varied and complex to lump in that way.
Here's the real deal...in all honesty, I don't know even close enough to argue intelligently regarding this point. I don't know much about Bahai so far as what I've read online so far on Wiki and on the Bahai website. I would need at least a few more years of deep reading in my newly chosen faith than the self admittedly pathetic amount of what I know right now. The idea of Unity of All religion and mankind really appeals to me which is why I first posted on this topic. I am way too ignorant to argue this point intelligently so I will have to defer until I learn more about this religion.I do thank you for reminding me of my obvious ignorance thus far :club: ...I promise I'll read more and look into answering your question.
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Essentially every religion teachs the same thing. Be a good person and you'll get into Heaven. Be a bad person and you'll go to hell.
This is incorrect. The Bible doesn't saying anything like this.Also, your quoting is messed up because the post is too long. You won't be able to fix it now, but when you are the last post and it does that, just highlight half the post in full edit mode and then apply edit. Then make a new post and paste the other half and post again... it will appear as one long post in the right format.
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This is incorrect. The Bible doesn't saying anything like this.Also, your quoting is messed up because the post is too long. You won't be able to fix it now, but when you are the last post and it does that, just highlight half the post in full edit mode and then apply edit. Then make a new post and paste the other half and post again... it will appear as one long post in the right format.
The Bible isn't a religion. It is a religious text.
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The Bible isn't a religion. It is a religious text.
Very True, but it implies that I was talking about Christianity, since 'the Bible' implies the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, the only religions I could be referring to are Christian based religions.
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