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View Poll Results: Where are you?
God plays an active role in my life 12 25.00%
God merely watches from a distance 10 20.83%
I want to believe, but have found no evidence of God 10 20.83%
There is no God 12 25.00%
Only fools could believe in God 4 8.33%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-17-2005, 05:09 PM   #16
BigV
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Bravo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lookout123
A) You certainly do not need to take your child to church for her to grow into a "good person". you are her teacher and guidance counselor in life. there are many kind, good people who hold no religious belief whatsoever. there are many deeply religious people who act in a cruel and deceitful manner.

B) Only BigV can speak to his experience. He could have very easily reached one of the conclusions you proposed, but he didn't. coincidence? maybe. or he saw what he needed to see at a very fragile crossroads in life. is it miraculous? i don't know about that, but it seems to have been a very important event for him.

C) You are definitely not broken because you question things. In fact, if you didn't i don't believe that would be a good thing. I hold my faith very close to me - i also frequently have doubts and questions. in my view, the depth of my faith is in a state of constant flutctuation, not because of God's changing presence, but because of my receptiveness.

D) Sometimes I see Faith as very similar to Love. I believe they are actions, verbs, decisions. I love my wife very deeply - but this is real life. The "warm fuzzy" love is only there occassionally. But i wake up every morning and make a conscious decision to love my wife. it is a process, a choice more than a feeling. I think it is amusing that many people think that to have a strong Christian faith one must have blind dedication. I have had many struggles with my faith over the years, but my faith has generally come through the other side stronger in some way. Faith is first a choice to believe in something bigger than ourselves, something that cannot be proven to the satisfaction of many. That, in a way, makes it that much stronger. It takes no personal investment to believe in something that is easily verified with one's eyes. Gravity is real. I can drop an apple and see it fall 10 out of 10 times. I have no real feelings for gravity.
I would like to heartily second L123’s thoughts here, all of them. Good person/bad person and religious/faithful really don’t have any connection, but are often conflated. This is a very common example of the suggestability LB mentioned before.

I did (and sometimes still do) consider if what I saw was a “coincidence”, but I concluded that it wasn’t. A choice…

Questions are an integral, necessary part of the equation. Does a clock have “faith” in 3:15 pm? No, it’s just what happens every day on its way ‘round the dial. My questions enhance the value and importance of my faith.

Faith and love—wow, I can add nothing to improve the beauty, clarity and truth of these words. Masterful, Lookout123.
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Old 02-17-2005, 05:23 PM   #17
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labrat - lookout is right, you can teach 'christian' values without adding all the crappy christianity stuff on top, hell you can teach the 10 commandments without pointing out some people think they was written on rock by god 2000 odd years ago. The important thing is the values, not the source.
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Old 02-17-2005, 05:47 PM   #18
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I certainly believe there is some sort of God, and I suppose I would consider myself to be agnostic. I was raised Catholic (12 years of Catholic school) but remember thinking at an early age that the Bible had lots of interesting stories, but how do we know they're true? (I believe I even said this out loud once, much to the dismay of my mother who never really gave me a good answer). I've seen too many good things in the world to disbelieve in a God completely, but it seems as I get older that I am distancing myself further and further from organized religion and the concept of a "fixed" God (sorry, I don't know the correct terminology). I HATE IT when people try to force their beliefs and religion on me, and my guess is that this is a reaction to all the years of having Catholic dogma forced down my throat. So regarding the kids--I think it's healthy to expose them to different beliefs, but certainly don't MAKE them believe what you believe. It's only gonna backfire on ya.
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Old 02-17-2005, 05:55 PM   #19
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Half credit, jag

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguar
labrat - lookout is right, you can teach 'christian' values without adding all the crappy christianity stuff on top, hell you can teach the 10 commandments without pointing out some people think they was written on rock by god 2000 odd years ago.
yep. Lookout is right. The values can be taught without the context of christianity. They're important enough to convey in any way possible, hey, that's why they're called v-a-l-u-e-s.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaguar
The important thing is the values, not the source.
nope. The source IS important. While I was able to comprehend only the usefulness of these values, no more was important. As my ability to understand more grew, so did the importance of knowing more about the reasons behind the values.

Don't you remember when Mama told you "No!" and that was the end of the conversation? Then the answer became "Because I said so." and that sufficed for a while. Eventually, the yearning to know why was no longer satisfied with such an answer.

As my knowledge of the range of the sphere of influence my actions increased, as I began to be able to realize the longer term consequences of my actions, just relying on "Because it's a good idea" as the foundation to my values became less and less reliable. Sometimes there was conflict. Conflict that demanded that one of the sides must change. Was the behavior wrong or was it not a "good idea"? That's when blind or limited understanding became insufficient. I needed a larger frame of reference. Where were these ideas coming from? The answer to that question necessarily lies beyond the values themselves, and once asked in earnest, can never be unasked.

Where that path leads will vary from person to person, and for me, it led to God. It was not a short, easy or direct journey. Nor is it anywhere near over. But I do understand more than I did before. I'm more able than I used to be, and still questions and challenges lie before me. Thankfully, I have more tools to help me deal with these new obstacles.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:00 PM   #20
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I respect, and occasionally envy, the faith so many seem to hold, but I cannot bring myself to believe in this thing you call God. I believe in words and thoughts and grass and long lazy afternoons. I feel no need to look beyond the every day. This is life. I'm not living here for something greater. I am living here to live here. There is nothing else, and there need be nothing else, but today, and tomorrow, and the memory of yesterday.

Last edited by 6sickchix; 02-17-2005 at 06:00 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:02 PM   #21
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I can't respond, as this is clearly a monotheistically oriented poll...
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:09 PM   #22
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What would I put if I believe in a higher force, but don't necessarily view it as "god"?
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:10 PM   #23
Elspode
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And now, the serious answer from me.

You, me, stuff...all are the manifestation of deity. We are made of the same fabric as the rest of the universe. We possess all of the energy that flows through the universe, and we can use it...if we believe in ourselves and our relation to the All.

Call it prayer, call it magick, call it whatever you wish...the conscious accumulation and channeling of the energy that is available to you flowing freely through the All is at the core of the concept of deity. It is the stuff of Creation, of the physical, of the invisible.

You *are* God...deal with it.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:12 PM   #24
Dunlavy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode
And now, the serious answer from me.

You, me, stuff...all are the manifestation of deity. We are made of the same fabric as the rest of the universe.
What type of fabric is it? Wool is itchy....
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:15 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode
I can't respond, as this is clearly a monotheistically oriented poll...
and the christians seem to dominate the conversation at that!
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:30 PM   #26
BigV
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and an equally serious reflection on Els answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode
You, me, stuff...all are the manifestation of deity. We are made of the same fabric as the rest of the universe.
Indisputably true. To the best of my (limited) understanding, all matter and energy is fungible. What "losses" there are to entropy are like the fees charged as you change your money from one currency to another. Nothings added or subtracted; everything's still there but in different places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode
We possess all of the energy that flows through the universe, and we can use it...if we believe in ourselves and our relation to the All.

Call it prayer, call it magick, call it whatever you wish...the conscious accumulation and channeling of the energy that is available to you flowing freely through the All is at the core of the concept of deity. It is the stuff of Creation, of the physical, of the invisible.
I agree with this. I feel it is inconsistent to say the least to quarrel with someone over vocabulary, when I see so much similarity. While this is not the verbiage to which I am accustomed, I am perfectly at home with the spirit in which it is delivered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elspode
You *are* God...deal with it.
God, I hope not. Wait, does that make it so then? Magical, miraculous, mysterious, certainly, but I would be disappointed to think that I am the very pinnacle of creation. I think we disagree on a little more than just terminology here, Els. I would like to hear more from you.
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:30 PM   #27
Happy Monkey
I think this line's mostly filler.
 
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Quote:
"The atheist does not say "there is no God," but he says "I know not what
you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word 'God' is to me a sound
conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. ... The Bible God I deny; the
Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no
God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me.""
[Charles Bradlaugh, "Plea for Atheism"]
Where's this option?
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:33 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Monkey
Where's this option?
Does your quote most closely approximate your stance, HM?
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Old 02-17-2005, 06:35 PM   #29
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I think this line's mostly filler.
 
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Pretty close, though I do enjoy debating it anyway.
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:06 PM   #30
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I do not believe there is some sort of personal Almighty "who sees the sparrow fall." If this were the case, such an entity would be classified as a devil, rather than "God."

As a scientist, I have yet to see anything which proves the existance or non-existance of God. Every argument I have ever heard on the subject at last relies on "It's turtles all the way down."

I have had events occur in my life that had a probability of happening of about .00000000000000000000000000000000000000001%, and I've had such things happen to me more than twice but less than ten times in my life. These things intrigued me when they happened and continue to intrigue me now. Were they result of some God-like force? I am skeptical of this, but open to further information should any deity passing by in the neighborhood be willing to dispense it. (I don't know what catagory that places me in for the poll, so I didn't answer it).
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