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This is a sub-selection from Church members

SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

Re: Church members

To each his own, but I don't think you have the right perspective regarding personal beliefs. If what you say is true then EVERYBODY is weak-willed/weak minded. A belief system goes way beyond just religion. Look at the political parties. There are people who are overly zealous for their political affiliation...sometimes to the point that goes beyond reason. Look at sports fans. Some of them go through the same ritualistic mannerisms regarding their favorite team or sport. Everyone has a focal belief system. That's a part of human nature. To say those who believe in God are weak minded is actually narrow minded in of itself. It's likely even you believe in some sort of something beyond your own sphere of influence whether it be politics, spirituality, sports, movie stars, or Quake III. Whatever floats your boat.

As a matter of fact there are many strong willed people out there who would strongly argue your point. Believing in something or having a spiritual faith does not equate to weakness. The weakness is in not making your own choices on what you believe. While I agree organized religion in of itself is not the answer I think people who figure out their spirituality end up being stronger than those who don't.
--
When do I get my freakin' third star?!?!?

BrianDamage06
We Are The Hounds From Hell
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Rowlett, TX

Re: Church members

I would have to agree. 95% of the world's population believes in a higher power in some form or fashion.
One cannot dismiss that as weak will. To do so is pretty shallow.
--
We've got our eye on the firmaments, our hand on the armaments, our heads full of arguments, and words for our monuments.....
bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus

Re: Church members

The majority rules mentality leaves out one thing... Just because the majority rules, doesn't mean the majority is right... Case in point, the Earth used to be thought of as the center of the universe.... Minority was right on that one.... Your logic is SEVERELY flawed...
--
The war on drugs... A neverending war on freedom.

BrianDamage06
We Are The Hounds From Hell
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Rowlett, TX

Re: Church members

My logic is not flawed.
I never said the majority was "right", nor am I defending any religion. But, religion has brought out some good in people while bringing out the worst in others.
Also, I stick to the ideaology that religion has killed more people than any other single motivation, which "motivation" being the key word....sure, people kill people, but why? There are reasons hy people kill people, and religion has been the biggest reason throughout the history of humanity.
Governments are based on religious beliefs. Boundaries and borders are often defined by religious significance. Even today, governments are at war with each other because of religious differences. Israel and the PLO....Britain and Northern Ireland.....etc.
Christians and Muslims are killing each other in the Phillipines and Malaysia, Protestants killing Catholics in the British Isles, Christians and Muslims are killing each other in Asia, in America, in the Middle East....the list goes on and on.
I could make more examples, and the reference to "paganism" as posted further back in the thread serves to demonstrate the intolerance between religions that lead to underscore the motivation that leads to the deaths of people because of religious differences.
A "pagan" in Christian terms most often describes one who doesn't believe in Christ or the Holy Trinity, or was applied to the Native American peoples who were already here when the "Christians" landed....just because the "gods" of the indigenous peoples were different from theirs, they were branded "pagans", and were either converted to Christianity (the "correct" religion), or were killed....the Crusades were about perpetuating Christianity
against Islam....many died for the "religious" cause...
Infidels versus pagans....Christians versus Muslims, Muslims versus Christians, Christian versus Christian, Muslim versus Muslim, Hindu versus Muslim and vice versa, Buddhist versus Christian.....etc., etc., etc....
Where does it end? I don't see it ending anytime soon, but I have read the holiest of books from many religions as well as studied their varying histories, and I see NO distinct, solid, subsidy of violence to perpetuate the existence of one religion over another.
I have read the Bible, the Torah, the Quaran....not as thoroughly as I wanted but I have read them, as well as studied the varying histories of the governments founded on their principles, as well as the history of the religions themselves, both in college, and on my own out of sheer curiosity.
There are going to be those who want to inflame the topic based on their personal beliefs, but then that is what freedom is all about, isn't it?
I believe that if religion is going to continue to exist, then the peoples of the varying religion(s) need to realize that as a people, we must respect each other, and find a common ground. Believe it or not, for example, Christianity and Islam have a lot more in COMMON than they have different.
I, for one, believe that the events described by both religions respective holy books could have happened exactly the way they describe, given timelines and similarities of text.
Not that I specifically endorse either religion, or belong to any religion, because I don't, but, I will not readily dismiss religion on the whole, because there could be some significance to it (them).
They have defined the intolerance of the human race to this day more than any other factor.
Religion is the motivation for bloodshed, racism, intolerance, and hatred, as well as love, the world over.
We are missing, however, a link to tie them together, and that continues to drive the motivation that tears them apart even further.
That's what I think.
--
We've got our eye on the firmaments, our hand on the armaments, our heads full of arguments, and words for our monuments.....

mags2
Agent Provocateur

join:2001-07-19
SoCal

Religion for what it's *really* worth

Again, very well said, BrianDamage. Your statements represent just one of the reasons why the symbol for peace is an upside down broken cross.

[text was edited by author 2002-03-25 09:32:48]

BrianDamage06
We Are The Hounds From Hell
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Rowlett, TX

Re: Religion for what it's *really* worth

Thanks, I think.....

SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

said by mags2:
Again, very well said, BrianDamage. Your statements represent just one of the reasons why the symbol for peace is an upside down broken cross.

[text was edited by author 2002-03-25 09:32:48]

Interesting that you picked that up. Not many people figure that out. I think there is more to the peace symbol and why it's what it is than what's posted here.
--
When do I get my freakin' third star?!?!?

mags2
Agent Provocateur

join:2001-07-19
SoCal

Re: Religion for what it's *really* worth

An upside down broken cross is just one interpretation of the symbol. The origins of the logo date back to 1958 during the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in Britain. It is based in part on naval semaphore signalling the letters ND.
--
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty. -T.Jefferson

SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

Re: Church members

said by BrianDamage:
I stick to the ideaology that religion has killed more people than any other single motivation, which "motivation" being the key word....sure, people kill people, but why? There are reasons hy people kill people, and religion has been the biggest reason throughout the history of humanity.
I have to only partially agree with you on that statement. I feel religion has been the single strongest EXCUSE to kill people rather than the actual motivation.

The Crusades weren't about freeing the holy land. It was about the current church leaders wanting more wealth and land. They told the knights it is the will of God to slay the infidels. Some knights thought, "Isn't killing a sin?" so the excuse given to them was, "They are Muslims and not Christians. So it is okay to kill them." Religion wasn't the motivation. Greed was. You can probably attribute most of the killing in the name of religion to something other than the actual religion. Whether it be border disputes or cultural differences.

Look at the Bin Laden and other terrorist organizations. Most of them say they are doing it for their religion. I think we all know that's not the case. It's hate. Pure and simple. Again, religion is the excuse to carry it out. I believe ideology has taken a back seat to more secular desires when violence is involved.
--
When do I get my freakin' third star?!?!?

BrianDamage06
We Are The Hounds From Hell
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Rowlett, TX

Re: Church members

Point taken.
Even so, religion is a baseline justification for these things we've talked about-whether is was an excuse to kill or whether it was in defense of religious "right" as one sect would perceive it.
Either way, religion is a motivation, and not to say that it might not be used in conjunction with other ideas to perpetuate an agenda.
--
We've got our eye on the firmaments, our hand on the armaments, our heads full of arguments, and words for our monuments.....

SAM Hunter$

join:2001-05-11
USA

Re: Church members

Motivation or excuse? You can't have it both ways. People kill people for internal emotional reasons--period. They then may attempt to use as an excuse things such as religion, land, honor, etc. Trying to say religion kills people in that context is a dead horse. The excuse and the reason are two different unrelated things.

Do you think there is a lot of theological debate in Northern Ireland over what the Pope said versus Martin Luther? Do you think in the Bosnia area between the Croats, Serbs and the such there are Catholic, Christian Orthodox, and Islamic slogans shouted over the sound of the AK-47?

BrianDamage06
We Are The Hounds From Hell
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Rowlett, TX

Re: Church members

To me, it seems that religion is as much an "internal" motivator as anything else.
Sure, people have killed over land, etc., I could point out in the Middle East, for example, the Israelis and Palestinians are killing themselves and each other over what? Land rights, among other things, but what else primarily? Freedom to have their own "domain" where their religious values are not compromised by the other party.
Palestinians don't acknowledge Israel's right to exist, and at one point, the "destruction of Israel" actually existed in the PLO charter.
It may exist still, but I know there was quite a movement by the US specifically, for the PLO (and Yasir Arafat) to have that provision removed, so that a real peace might eventually be brokered.
Sinn Fein, I believe, had similar mandates toward the British Commonwealth on the whole.
It was after the offering of a seat in the House Of Commons that Sinn Fein changed their position toward the British government.
There are other examples too numerous to mention.
I still believe, however, that even though you could convolute issues with land matters, power struggles, politics, etc., the basis of many of these struggles is religious intolerance.
It may manifest itself into who controls what borders, etc., but religion, in my opinion, is the greatest motivator, and that these parties use religion as the justification for what it is they do, wrong or right, true or false, real or fake.
--
We've got our eye on the firmaments, our hand on the armaments, our heads full of arguments, and words for our monuments.....
jp245

join:2002-02-15
Brenham, TX

Re: Church members

I've always found it ironic, people that don't subscribe to religious beliefs are of the opinion that religion is the cause for more murder and wars then anything. Yet if you are of the opinion that there is no high power, then you should be able to see that these atrocities are done under mans ideology.

BrianDamage06
We Are The Hounds From Hell
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Rowlett, TX

Re: Church members

I have my own beliefs.
I believe that there is something more.
I also believe that even though most people on this Earth acknowledge some kind of supreme being in one form or another, and often use it for justification to kill other people, that murder is manifested by *MAN*, and as in anything else, performed by the hands of men.
God has not recently reached out and killed anyone. Man has.
God has been the motivation behind many killings, all perpetrated by the hand of man.
I still believe that religion has claimed more human life than any other single motivation.
It may be convoluted with other reasoning, coupled with other motivations or justifications, etc., but religion in its' varying degrees are the basis for most of the inhumanity that has occurred throughout our history.
--
We've got our eye on the firmaments, our hand on the armaments, our heads full of arguments, and words for our monuments.....

SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

Re: Church members

I think it's a much larger sphere of influence than just religion. If you think about it the majority of violent acts stem from a conflict concerning ones core, or personal, beliefs. Religion is just one facet of this. There has been enough talk about holy wars and death in the name of God, Allah, or any other diety on this post. What about other beliefs? The U.S. and the old U.S.S.R. were running a cold war based on differences in economic policy (among other things). As a general rule republicans hate democrats and vice versa, which stems from varying political views. The riots that followed the Rodney King trial was based loosely on racial intolerance (based on the belief that the "man" is sticking to the minorities again). What about the fights you see in sporting events? They stem from something as simple as who your favorite team is. If you really break it down all of these come from challenging someone's personal beliefs and that person reacting to the extreme in response.

In other words I think putting the load on religion alone is avoiding the larger issue. You are correct in pointing out the atrocities BrainDamage. I just think saying the majority of killings are based on religion is pigeon holing the big picture. It's likely some of the stuff I said will spurn new debates, but then again what's what we're here for.
--
When do I get my freakin' third star?!?!?

bunnywood

@snbonline.com

religion is responsible

How many mass murders would have been prevented if the people committing them didn't know that they could get away with it by using religion. Whether it's a reason or excuse a lot of killings would not have happened if upon returning home to their families people would have been treated as the killers they are instead of holy warriors. It's not just the people committing the acts that are responsible but those that condone it as well.
jp245

join:2002-02-15
Brenham, TX

Re: Church members

Well stated SR., People feel very strongly about their own beliefs, (right or wrong), and questioning them will bring out alot of opionions from everyone. Look how many respones are envoked from this dicussion.. Luckly we can do this in a civilized manner, but in other times and other countries this was cause for war or other barberic acts. But I myself believe in Jesus Christ, and to bash me for that and call me uneducated and weak minded is only narrow minded from the accuser. Do I know for sure there is a Heaven or a God, or can I prove to you there is? Of course I can't, but can someone else prove to me for sure there isn't, of course not. So why bash someone else's beliefs when there is no definate answer? But I do have faith that there is, and I defend my faith in J.C., but I chose to defend it in a cizilized manner, other's chose to defend there faith through war and aggression.

BrianDamage06
We Are The Hounds From Hell
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Rowlett, TX
Well, this thread is about the significance of religion more than anything else.
As far as the Cold War between us and the former USSR, I see your point, but would like to point out that deaths were not many and that it's basis was not religion, but economic and political, as well as that of perpetuation of a democratic system vital to the US's self preservation and vanity in being the only remaining superpower on the planet, both militarily and economically.
Now we have other countries that are as capable (almost) as the former USSR was, both militarily and economically.
China has nuclear weapons. They will be putting a man on the moon soon. The United States will no longer be the only country to enjoy that achievement. What, if anything, will the US do? That remains to be seen. History of our arrogance dictates that we will not be outdone, therefore, I'm sure something would come about.
What you mentioned about the Rodney King trial is good topic, because I see that that type of racial intolerance and prejudice goes back a long way. And, think back, to when blacks were just "negroes", subservient to the white man, and how white men used religion to justify owning slaves, etc.
Think of how leaders like Louis Farrakhan use(d) religion to promote violence and murder.
If you think about all of these issues, all of them have a religious connection in terms of philosophical similarities and motivation.
Religion is still the predominant motivation in this world that has contributed to the most deaths of humans, in all it's subtlety and convolution. Tha..tha...that's what I think....
--
We've got our eye on the firmaments, our hand on the armaments, our heads full of arguments, and words for our monuments.....

SRFireside

join:2001-01-19
Houston, TX

Re: Church members

I still think it runs deeper than just religion. As you stated the Cold War was NOT religious but the topic of communism sure did run in the same fervor for many people. As with the other examples I stated I think violence via religion is just one facet (albeit a large one) of violence via intolerance to different ideals. I suppose we agree to disagree regarding the semantics.
--
When do I get my freakin' third star?!?!?

BrianDamage06
We Are The Hounds From Hell
Premium
join:2001-08-14
Rowlett, TX

Re: Church members

I just think that religion has had more significance than say, communism.
Yes, Stalin killed about ten million of his own people, but Hitler killed many more, and religion has killed even more than that. That's my point.
--
We've got our eye on the firmaments, our hand on the armaments, our heads full of arguments, and words for our monuments.....
bmn
? ? ?
Premium,ExMod 2003-06
join:2001-03-15
hiatus
said by BrianDamage:
I would have to agree. 95% of the world's population believes in a higher power in some form or fashion.
One cannot dismiss that as weak will. To do so is pretty shallow.

That's for my prior post...
--
The war on drugs... A neverending war on freedom.

nc1165

join:2001-04-10
Delray Beach, FL
said by SRFireside:
Believing in something or having a spiritual faith does not equate to weakness. The weakness is in not making your own choices on what you believe. While I agree organized religion in of itself is not the answer I think people who figure out their spirituality end up being stronger than those who don't.

He was lambasting religion specifically. Likewise, I see it as a crutch for weak individuals to lean on which draws people in during difficult times and often times ends up putting their souls into a wheelchair rather than teaching them to walk on their own. It is also often used as a curtain for a Wizard of Oz to hide behind.

This whole topic really pops my cork. However, one thing I believe is that the relationship between religion and spirituality has been so bastardized over the centuries that it has reached the point that we have nothing but inbred interpretations of what was once a good thing. To this point, I would like to impress on you that spirituality and religion have taken such divergent paths that they no longer have anything to do with one another.

Religion is to spirituality what politics is to government.
--
If my enemy cuts me, I will drown him in my own blood.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Church members

said by nc1165:
Religion is to spirituality what politics is to government.
Now THAT is something you'll find no argument from me about. It's what I believe, and a great quote. Mind if I steal it?

nc1165

join:2001-04-10
Delray Beach, FL

Re: Church members

The first one is free. (There's more where that came from.)
--
If my enemy cuts me, I will drown him in my own blood.

mags2
Agent Provocateur

join:2001-07-19
SoCal

While I agree organized religion in of itself is not the answer I think people who figure out their spirituality end up being stronger than those who don't.



Who said anything about spirituality? You can be spritual, and not religious, the two are not mutually exclusive. I consider myself a "spiritual" person but just because I do not attend regular church services, that does not make me an atheist, per se. I believe in God, I do not -however- believe in having what I should think, do or say dictated to me by any particular religious affiliation. It is entirely up to me what choices I make and the consequences of those choices are between me and whatever divine entity I choose to believe in----whether it's J.C. or Buddha or Allah. What makes you weak willed or weak minded is when you blindly follow the mob doing and thinking precisely as they do without thinking about the consequences of those actions yourself. In other words, when you go along just to get along. That is what I meant by weak willed/weak minded. If you cannot think for yourself, then you are weak period. And no religion will save you from your own stupidity.
--
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty. -T.Jefferson

banditws6
Shrinking Time and Distance
Premium
join:2001-08-18
Frisco, TX
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Church members

said by mags2:
I believe in God, I do not -however- believe in having what I should think, do or say dictated to me by any particular religious affiliation. It is entirely up to me what choices I make and the consequences of those choices are between me and whatever divine entity I choose to believe in----whether it's J.C. or Buddha or Allah. What makes you weak willed or weak minded is when you blindly follow the mob doing and thinking precisely as they do without thinking about the consequences of those actions yourself.
Now you're making sense; I think I misread you before. Those are also my thoughts exactly. I believe in the concept of morality and spirituality, but have never been a fan of organized religion. I had a big dose of that growing up and it seemed odd the way everybody just followed the leader without ever caring why they were told to perform a certain religious act. I prefer to have a reason to believe something (a reason besides "everybody else is doing it").
--
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -Albert Einstein

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Church members

Ok, I am now finding myself more understanding of Mags statements as well. There is a great difference between an organized Religion and Spiritual Truth.

People who are exposed to too much organized religion actually usually are driven *away* because they get to experience firsthand the failings of man... the Saying one thing, Doing another, the false pretenses, the hypocrisy(sp?) and so on.

smithjm

join:2000-07-30
College Park, MD
said by mags2:
Who said anything about spirituality? You can be spritual, and not religious, the two are not mutually exclusive.
The only difference between the two is if you have a "reverence" for the God or deity that you believe in.

said by mags2:
I consider myself a "spiritual" person but just because I do not attend regular church services, that does not make me an atheist, per se. I believe in God, I do not -however- believe in having what I should think, do or say dictated to me by any particular religious affiliation.
I think where most people misread you, myself included, is the equating of "being religious" with the attendance of or following a particular affiliation, which it isn't. If you believe in God, or any other deity, and have reverence for that god, then you are religious whether you go to "church" or not.

mags2
Agent Provocateur

join:2001-07-19
SoCal

Not Buyin It



I think where most people misread you, myself included, is the equating of "being religious" with the attendance of or following a particular affiliation, which it isn't. If you believe in God, or any other deity, and have reverence for that god, then you are religious whether you go to "church" or not.

I disagree. Religious belief and spirituality are two very different things.
--
Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the boisterous sea of liberty. -T.Jefferson

Paralytic
Everything Hurts.

join:2001-11-12
Seattle, WA

Re: Not Buyin It

Spirituality is the personal relationship between an individual and the creator, Religion is the relationship between an individual and like-minded peers. There is no ritual or doctrine proscribed in Spiritualism, it is merely a recognition of the fact that all creation is of the creator. Religion applies rules and value judgements to this fact; and by doing so, creates a rift between the individual and the creator. There is nothing inherently wrong with Religion, but a Spiritual person may find it confining and superfluous.

Organized religion's primary function is social control. It generates a sense of community and commonality, as well as provides an external morality for those with underdeveloped personal ethics. The inherent danger of this is the tendency to create an "us vs. them" mentality, which has occurred many times at the cost of millions of lives. This is not only sad, but blasphemous; all major religions are based on the same core morality, and genocide is not in the rule book. To oversimplify (and to keep this brief), Spiritualism focuses on commonality between you and your creator; Religion tends to emphasize differences.

I do not consider Scientology to be a religion. By shrouding their beliefs in secrecy and attempting to withhold information from those not properly "indoctrinated" they show themselves to be a cult.

Apologies for being long-winded, I just had flashbacks to comparative religion studies...
--
If you can't laugh at yourself, I'll laugh at you.