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argo navis
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 09-04-2007 13:47 Edit Quote

Hmmmm... questions will come as they flow.

What is the purpose of religious belief to you?
Did you experience "revelations" at some point?
How would you feel is someone close to you expressed he had a revelation?

Just to get an insight in how religious belief, when deep, applies and is perceived by different people.

WebShaman
Lunatic (VI) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

IP logged posted posted 09-04-2007 16:49 Edit Quote
quote:

argo navis said:

Hmmmm... questions will come as they flow.

What is the purpose of religious belief to you?



l think it is a crutch to help someone to "explain" and accept what they cannot encompass with their mind. For example the question Is this all there is? Is there nothing more?

quote:
Did you experience "revelations" at some point?



I have experienced things that I attributed at that time to revelations, but now I accept that they were not such things.

quote:
How would you feel if someone close to you expressed he had a revelation?



Hmmm...since my own experiences and finally insight into what they truly were, I normally would leave them to their beliefs. I do not consider it my responsibility to try to educate others according to my experiences or insights. After all, I could be wrong.

quote:
Just to get an insight in how religious belief, when deep, applies and is perceived by different people.



Np.

WebShaman | The keenest sorrow (and greatest truth) is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities.
- Sophocles

Gideon
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: rooted on planet Mars, *I mean Earth*
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 09-10-2007 07:25 Edit Quote

Those are some really good questions there, argo. Are they for personal research or for a group or just because you were bored at work and decided to ask some theological questions? Well, whatever the reason, I'll try to answer you as best as I can:

Many people use religious beliefs, as Webshamman stated, to answer the questions of purpose in life. Others use it to direct morals and codes of conduct. Some people use it for comfort. Others for greed and control. Personally I think I'm one of those who explored "religion" in search of truth. Unfortunately there's a ton of tradition, mystery, and foreign vocabulary in the way of truth. So it does get a bit disappointing sometimes. However, it is cool being able to work through it with the one who created it...

About revelations...are these special revelations about universal truths or about personal truths? The one I accept and embrace, the other I am leery about. Personal revelations are both wonderful and exciting. They are the "ah ha!" points in a person's life. Points where God shows them something to do, or points them in a direction that seems like a breath of fresh air in contrast to where they had been. I personally have had several of these "ah ha!" moments, and pray for more in this life to come. I have also seen many others who get those moments, and I'm not worried about it at all.
As for universal truths...those can be tricky. When a person says that they have been given a special "revelation from God." Personally I'm under the impression that God doesn't change. I could be wrong, but if I were I doubt I would still be sitting in my chair. I would be floating since He decided to change the laws of gravity and physics. So if He doesn't change, if He doesn't mess up what He has already set forth, then the "special revelation" should fit into what has already been deemed as revelation. If God doesn't change from one point to the next, then His revelations shouldn't be contradicting or changing each other.

I hope these thoughts from Gideon has helped your religion search.

"For reason is a property of God's...moreover, there is nothing He does not wish to be investigated and understood by reason." ~Tertullian de paenitentia Carthaginian Historian 2nd century AD

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: the dungeons, corridor 13, cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 09-10-2007 17:26 Edit Quote

First a little bit of OT about myself and how I define human nature for myself.

I'm not a religious person. If you want you can call my belief in myself and my judgment a religion of egoism. I believe that every persons main and only motivator is the inner wish to do good to himself. However in no way is this bad or unethical because we live in a limited environment and a society of endless diversity. It's the pressure of better or stronger ideas and the limits of the environment that suppress lesser ideas. It's how we work, how our brains work and how the society works. We learn to make the right choices by having the positive outcomes of situations add weight to the actions leading to (and that we associate with) that outcome. Positive outcome is always personal because it produces an emotion or a feeling. Whenever we perform an action we hope to eventually receive a positive reaction from the environment. The complexity of the environment depends on our perception of it and the positivity of the reaction or outcome depends partly on our experience with previous similar or linked situations. So to say that on a basic level everyone is an egoist and this is what drives us. I also believe in peoples inability to accept a vision of reality that differs from their own so to say a conflict between perceptions of reality which is one reason behind why I'm writing this and even wars over religion.

So my answers to your questions.

1) I believe that religion is a way of finding comfort and peace just as I try to find my peace through my belief in myself. Religion is also a way of control and a way to power but not for everyone. Religion means different things to different people. Words that could be associated with religion do not necessarily describe it however they may shed light on aspects of it: submission, faith, repression, war, peace, forgiveness, revenge, power, belief, money... the list goes on forever. These same words could be used to describe humanity and life in general.

2) In some point in my life I realized that there is no 'hope' but it is alright. There is no afterlife and there is no god. But there is a powerful way of communicating ones vision of happiness and peace to others and that is religion.

3) If by revelation you mean something like 'Eureka! I've found god!' then I assume the person to be inferior in mental abilities which is obviously arrogant and just a stupid way of thinking but if you want an honest answer then this is it.


I'm not really good at writing in general and I'm even worse at doing it in English so forgive me but this is also my style to expect the reader to really think with me to really understand the meaning behind my words.

Gideon
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: rooted on planet Mars, *I mean Earth*
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 09-11-2007 04:02 Edit Quote

Sorry to interrupt your thread, argo, but what is your primary language Arthurio?

"For reason is a property of God's...moreover, there is nothing He does not wish to be investigated and understood by reason." ~Tertullian de paenitentia Carthaginian Historian 2nd century AD

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: the dungeons, corridor 13, cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 09-11-2007 08:50 Edit Quote

Estonian

edit: why?

(Edited by Arthurio on 09-11-2007 08:52)

argo navis
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 09-11-2007 19:58 Edit Quote

Hello all, few weeks no see.

Well, Gideon, glad the theme moves you and thank you for your time. I personally have very special beliefs, am of catholic confession but more inclined towards
other religions and philosophies. This questionning stems from a real world case which I have been wondering about for some time now :
a person who, after a huge disappointment in one crucial choice, turned to religion and recently admitted to a revelation, without wanting to tell me the details
(the relatives thought that person was going nuts when they heard).

That person is extremely succesful in many areas, and deeply insecure as far as emotions are concerned.
Ability to make strong decisions for self appears weak in that person, but not in all occurences.

So here, I am exploring psychology rather than my own faith.

With a question in mind, I admit : where is the line between faith as a "joyful celebration" and sects and manipulation?
And is there such a thing as a "typical sect candidate"?

I know firm believers who essentially apply their beliefs to a healthy couple, family, lifestyle.
I now know persons who are torn between their nature, what they perceive as sin, their ability to choose, and "assisted choices".

When does one stop or commits to take charge of such a person?

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: the dungeons, corridor 13, cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 09-12-2007 01:00 Edit Quote

I'm in no way qualified to advise you on this but these are my thoughts and personal opinions. I hope they help.

I'll use 'she' because you avoided mentioning that person's sex.

Secrecy about the revelation only means insecurity in her beliefs. Most probably suppressed comprehension that what she claims is untrue. Why she suppresses that understanding is probably because she tries to escape from the torturing emotional problems such as shame and anguish. What she truly needs is to overcome her self esteem problem and to accept her mistakes however this is probably not the easiest thing to start with. What she needs right away is love, closeness and acceptance however she needs this from the right person or people. What she does not need is a poor substitute for reality that only delays her having to confront with her demons. She must feel like she needs to find a place of sanctuary, a dreamworld to hide away from the worldly troubles and the people who remind her of those. She needs a helping hand to pull her out of that pit but not to support her forever but to help her become strong for herself and by herself.

I notice you use the word 'sect' in a in a negative sense with implied association to some kind of evil or wrongness. But how would you then call a religious group which has a more ethical religion than the religious group that it derives from? Also doesn't using "joyful celebration" sound kind of belittling?

argo navis
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 09-12-2007 01:22 Edit Quote

It is not what I meant. Joy and enjoyment of life as a wonderful gift (whoever gave that) are among my top most values : in fact, "life" itself is my God,
for it has the power to change the world around. So while I think beliefs in "images" of a defined God are belittling (because, as a human, I am not allowed to the nature of God,
cannot get to "know" for real what stands above - why would I praise an image, a perception?), I honor "cults" when they are bringing to the individual.
Adding to oneself, making oneself "more".

As opposed to "sects" in a capitalist perspective : as opposed to movements that constrain people to financially supporting their "cult" to a large extent.

If that defines "sects" clearly enough...

Arthurio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: the dungeons, corridor 13, cell 3736
Insane since: Jul 2003

IP logged posted posted 09-12-2007 09:55 Edit Quote

Yeah I know what you mean. Around here a certain religious group visits old people's houses and convinces them to sign over their houses and belongings in return they invite the old people to live (and die) in the little churches that they build for that particular purpose. Business as usual.

However aren't you saying some contradictory things here? You say that life itself is your God and then you say that you as a human are not allowed to the nature of God and to understand what stands above. Are you saying that you as a human won't be able to understand life or are you saying that you don't want to or need to? If that's it then I could agree with you on that life is wonderfully and incomprehensibly complex. But do you find peace in not 'really knowing' and not trying to understand your God?

I could not live with that peace.

argo navis
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Jul 2007

IP logged posted posted 09-12-2007 11:56 Edit Quote

It's more about accepting my condition (not able to understand). My perception is my senses mixed with my beliefs, individual to me to some degree,
and limited to the city I live on a single planet lost in infinity.

Creation is about billions of galaxies where utterly complex things happen every single second.

I devote a "cult" of sorts to life in that I try to enjoy it and respect it. I turn to it as a sort of "God", completely detached of dogma, simply as the most complex
and admirable "oddity" I am faced with everyday. Life is hard, good, bad, happy, sad, it MOVES beautifully and constantly in unpredictable ways.

"not being allowed to the nature of God" is a reference to, and a common trait of major monotheist religions : representations of God should not be made by humans according
to the coran. The subtlety here is "believing in a man made IMAGE of a God" as opposed to "believing in an abstract concept of spirituality".

I don't need a face, a "mask" to put on my goals in spirituality. I can believe (in higher levels of existence), act according to my beliefs (by praising and enjoying life),
and still refuse to try and "guess the ways of the lord".


Now, do I find peace in "not really knowing"? Better. I find rejoicing about the surprises that life will bring a wonderful thing.
I find that without hurt today, my next happiness would taste "less", that if my life was made according to a plan and I could read that plan beforehand,
it would spoil it all. I find "excitement", not peace, and I like it.



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