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Questions from a curious atheist..

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by BeautifullyChaotic, Dec 6, 2011.

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  1. BeautifullyChaotic

    BeautifullyChaotic Well-Known Member

    Please, don't turn this into a hateful debate between religious and non-religious people, I'm just trying to understand religion, all religious people of all faiths are welcome to answer; Christianity, Buddisim, Muslims and Jews and any other religion. And please, don't preach at me, I'm not looking for a sermon, just curious about all religions in general after a conversation with a few Christian and Atheist friends.

    What is it about your religion that makes you believe? Not just faith, but what evidence do you have or what has happened to you personally in your life to give you this faith?

    I only ask here because this is a forum surrounding depression and I have seen many many of my fellow posters state that they do believe in one God or another, and that makes me sad because if you have something divine to hold onto, why are you still so depressed?

    Again, this is not meant to be a debate or an outlet to preach about your religion and try to convert me or anyone else; I am not searching for religion, I just want to understand religion and religious people in the hopes I will gain more respect for these points of view and better my outlook on the different types of faith this world has to offer. I respect everyone's religious choices and their right to believe whatever they believe and as an Atheist I ask for the same respect in return, but I do wish to have a better understanding of the religious mind.
  2. Null

    Null Well-Known Member

    Personally I'm a agnostic atheists (those who do not believe any deity exists, but do not deny it as a possibility).

    To be honest I had like 1000 word count post constructed for the answer to your question... But to be honest I got depressed writing it... and it felt like I was bitching too much... so I deleted it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2011
  3. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    How to define faith...hmmmmm
    I guess the only thing I can say is, you either have it or you don't.
    I cannot remember a time that I didnt have it.
    Even during times of doubt, and they have been many, I never really lost it, it just kind of went on the back burner.
    I do know it has seen me through some of the darkest times of my life and that I once experienced something so powerful, that no matter how bad things get, that experience has stayed with me.

    Hope that helps.
  4. gloomy

    gloomy Account Closed

    I'm definitely not an atheist… but I don't really have any specific belief either. I guess I pick and choose-- but I also believe in God. I'm not completely sure what it is, but I'm sure that it's there.

    To me, not believing in God is sort of the same as not believing in aliens. Sure, we haven't been able to find any aliens (well, actually I think we HAVE found aliens that crashed to Earth on Meteorites), but most intelligent science-minded people agree that aliens definitely do exist… in fact, we know that there's water on other planets and we know that life probably arrived on Earth while frozen in comets (so we're all basically aliens)… but still, knowing all of that, some people would still say that there could never be any aliens and we're completely alone in the universe… even when it all just seems so glaringly likely that we're not.

    I don't think it's a white guy with a beard and I definitely don't think that it follows any of the rules that some of the religions have laid out… but yeah, I think at this point that it's just really closed-minded to deny that there could be a God. Basically, I think that if you can imagine something, then it's probably real somewhere…

    So I guess with me it's not really faith so much as the odds.
  5. houseofcards

    houseofcards Well-Known Member

    I'm a Theravada Buddhist, which means I basically don't believe in a god, but look at the Buddha as a role model. Buddha isn't an almighty being, wasn't born solely to show people "the way", and once lived a normal life before heading out to seek enlightenment. There's a big difference between different schools of Buddhism, but I'm just talking from the Theravada perspective.

    What is it about your my religion that makes you believe? Well, I'll never know if I'll reach Nirvana since it can take more than a lifetime (in the Theravada world it can take less than a lifetime) but the Dhammapada, or the teaching of the Buddha, is looked at as if it was written by any random person. We judge it, believe what we want, discard what we don't, and only believe what we want ourselves to believe. I like the feeling of being in a group of people where not necessarily every single person interprets the book and suttas the same way. After practicing for a while I felt an emotional change in myself, am able to talk to people without bursting out in anger, and I'm able to love my enemies just as much as I do my closest friends.

    I totally get why you intended to make this thread and hopefully it doesn't become a religion bashing one, I want to know how Christians and Pagans and Catholics and all these other people interpret life and why they have the faith they have - what motivates them to practice it.
  6. dice

    dice Well-Known Member

    Wow everything seems respectful thus far. I really thought this would quickly go off into a religious flame war. Anyway I myself am Christian. My parents are also Christian but never really took me to church or anything. I believe what I do because I believe a miracle was performed when Jesus was killed only later to be resurrected. I have read the new testament but not the old. I do not believe everything in the bible and don't feel it is supposed to be taken literally in every regard. I do not feel god has any interaction with us in our lives though. I feel that god created the universe but then left us be to have us live under our own free will. I don't believe in prayer for this reason, though I have resorted to prayer at some of my darker moments.
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