Respectful Conversation

@Bensen32 (6948)
United States
October 2, 2019 3:10pm CST
While thinking of my last post I thought I would pose this question to you all that feel up to sharing with us. I ask just because I am curious, I am hoping we can have a honest and respectful conversation. What are your beliefs about religion? What religion do you practice and what brought you to this belief system? I will go first. I do not believe in God, I do not follow any religion. I would say I am drawn to a nature belief or maybe even the Norse Pantheon. How did I get here? I was raised Catholic by my parents, at about 7th or 8th grade, I really started to question if I believed what I was being told. Was this something that I actually believed or was I just accepting what I was being told? I questioned. I told my parents that I was no longer going to go to church that it was not right for me. I left it till I got in high school and I started to look at other religions, Lutheran, Methodist, Protestant, that again didn't sound or feel right to me. I was friends with a kid in school that was Jewish and I asked about talking to him and his parents and they were nice enough to talk to me, again no good. I spent time reading at the library about Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism. Again, although I found many of the things I was reading about, none of them jumped out at me. I joined the Marine Corps and in my travels around the world I often reached out to the local area religions and tried to learn what I could there and see if anything hit home. Although I have read much on religion over the years I will fully admit I am not even close to understanding much of it. I know that in my search I have remembered conversations with my grandfather from when I was a young boy and he would tell me about the Norse Mythology and I have always found it very interesting and I have always loved nature and being out in the forest. I guess I have a hard time believing something that I can't see, hear, feel and touch. I know some say well it's called having faith, I guess that is just something I just don't have. I mean no disrespect to any one of any faith. I am just sharing my experience though life. Perhaps some people in my life are right, on my death bed I will be begging forgiveness or perhaps I will pass on to the endless darkness and cease to exist.
9 people like this
9 responses
@LadyDuck (246180)
• Switzerland
3 Oct
Now it is my turn. I am Italian, so I was raised Catholic, I went to Church every Sunday because my parents thought that was the way to educate their children. Both my husband and I are not at all religious. We do not go to Church, we read about others religions because it is interesting to know also what the others think and believe. Do I believe in God? To be 100% honest I am not sure. I am not sure because how can you imagine someone that is defined as extremely powerful and generous and good could allow that some humans are killed, children raped and tortured? Why? Is that because the "The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons"? Is that divine justice? I disagree!
4 people like this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
3 Oct
Oh good point, I also at times have thought about that and how could a all powerful being and a just being allow innocent children be treated so badly. Oh so many question.
3 people like this
@LadyDuck (246180)
• Switzerland
3 Oct
@Bensen32 Too many questions and no serious replies to our questions. There is nothing to prove that what has been written is true. For hundred of years our ancestors wrote nothing, then someone decided to write the Bible. So many years after the "creation of the world", why?
2 people like this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
3 Oct
@LadyDuck Not to mention in the passing of the story till someone got around to writing it down it didn't change along the way? You can't even pass along a story for a day and have it stay the same between a few friends.
2 people like this
• Lenox, Georgia
4 Oct
I don't practice any religion. I have an amazing relationship with Jesus. God loved us so much He sent His only son to die for our sins on the cross. He's amazing! God loves us so much. =) And being a follower of Jesus means loving others, being selfless and not caring about the standards of the world. It's not about rules like people think...
3 people like this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
4 Oct
As I have said in a private conversation before and I will say it again, I really respect how you put it out there, maybe people now are afraid or are uncomfortable to say how they believe. I think it is great even though I don't have the same beliefs. Couldn't people just love each other and be selfless without Jesus? I wonder how you (and I use that in general) or people can say well that good thing that happened was the work of God (or Jesus) but then not blame the bad things on the same. Do good and bad things just happen in life?
2 people like this
• Lenox, Georgia
4 Oct
@Bensen32 Jesus is love-He's the definition of the ultimate sacrifice-laying His life down for us. How much more love can you get? It's a different kind of love once the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, things don't offend you anymore and things of this world don't affect you the way they used to. It truly is amazing, selfless and life changing. We realize once we have Jesus that it's not about us-it's about what He did for us on that cross. John 10:10 in the Bible says The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. People who don't read the Bible don't realize and they DO blame God which is why they want nothing to do with Him. Many people are blaming the wrong one. You almost never hear people blame the devil when bad things happen do you? I know I do not... Just answering your question. =)
1 person likes this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
10 Oct
@LovingMyBabies Fair, I certainly don't have the answers I just see things from my perspective and feelings. I certainly don't think someone should not believe, especially if it makes them a better person. If they treat others with respect and kindness due to it, I am all for it. We need more of that in the world.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (44956)
• Canada
4 Oct
"I am hoping we can have a honest and respectful conversation." Me too! "What are your beliefs about religion?" Religion should make us good people that love their neighbor and will not do anything to hurt someone else. "I guess I have a hard time believing something that I can't The story of the discovery of DNA begins in the 1800s…." We didn't know germs existed until someone invented a microscope. We didn't know about many galaxies until someone invented a powerful telescope though they were there for billions of years. The DNA was there for a long time before we learned about it in the 1800 hundreds. "I know some say well it's called having faith." Faith comes about only after we are given evidence and are convinced of something. If nobody ever loved us we would not know about love and it would be hard for us to believe in love. If there was no one we could trust, we would not know about trust. If you keep thinking, searching, reasoning, and observing you will find that God is as real as anything you can "see, hear, feel and touch" and a lot closer to you then you realize!
3 people like this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
4 Oct
I see your point that we don't know till we know but for me, I don't know I have not been convinced...and I will even say "yet" I can't tell the future so I suppose maybe some day that will change but as for today I just don't. I am in no way try to say people who believe are wrong or that they shouldn't believe what that want. Just for me I don't see it. At the beginning you said religion should make us good people. Would you agree you don't need religion to be a good person?
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (44956)
• Canada
5 Oct
@Bensen32 God has given us a conscience and so it is possible to be a pretty decent person without religion. However, only true religion will help us build a close relationship with God and inherit everlasting life. Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible (AMP) 6 But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
2 people like this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
10 Oct
@1hopefulman Maybe I will get bonus points for looking and reading and searching for some truth, I just haven't found it for me I guess. Maybe it's all part of his plan
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Oct
Asatru is the Norse Religion that I most recently have researched. When I say "Most recently" it has still been several years. I am sure a lot of others can claim this as well, but I have several people on both sides of the ancestral line that have been preachers. My own grandfather was a preacher at one point. He, nor my own parents ever forced religion on us. I never regularly went to Church. I've been to a Baptist Church, A Methodist Church, a Catholic Church, A Non-Denominational Christian Church (Can you count that if it's where you got married? well I am.) and a Spiritual Church. Oh! And a Hari Krishna gathering, been to one or two of those. I now define more as as an Agnostic of sorts. I believe in reincarnation but I don't necessarily believe in a God, or a heaven and hell.
2 people like this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
3 Oct
I think looking into or studying other religions is very interesting when you see how other people believe. I always find it interesting to hear how people got to the way they think.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Oct
@Bensen32 I did a lot of studying into other religions in my young adult years. I've known two people who are Wiccans as well. I found that to be an interesting belief system. I've read into Druidism as well. If I was forced to choose, I probably identify more with those who worship and respect nature.
3 people like this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
3 Oct
@ScribbledAdNauseum I did look into Wicca too and found it pretty interesting. I guess I like solid proof of things before I can believe them.
2 people like this
• United States
11 Oct
Your 7th paragraph really hit home for me. I was raised Eastern Orthodox by maternal indoctrination and very slim pickens of the religion Calvinist on the paternal side yet going to church every Sunday morning that mom and pop went and expected us kids to go, we did. By age 12 when I lost my greatest friend and family member my maternal grandma, I began the doubts about a loving God, an eternal home, yadda yadda. When I was old enough to quit attending church and seen in my own right as an adult who could make her own decision, it was not taken well... at first. I have read and studied many different religious beliefs and found them fitting for who established them but those also did not suit me, I felt closer to anything godlike when I hug trees, eat berries off the ground or chirp to the birds when hiking. Sometimes it makes my family cringe cause I have shunned the organized part of religion which they seemingly embrace by being so natural instead of conforming. "You can't find God in the forest' said birth daddy when we were growing up; while Grandpa always reminded me you will find a spiritual uplifting in everything you walk on, ingest, inhale, view from long or short distances and especially what you sense from your soul. Me thinks spirituality is not as easily able to control, faith not at all, but religion well honestly it is seriously controlled and not especially by those that have our best interest now or later when we die but corrupt manipulators who have their own hidden agenda.
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
11 Oct
I understand and agree organized religion does seem very controlling. It seems to me that they are trying to control way to much. I like my free will. I feel the most freedom when I am out in nature and taking it all in.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Oct
1 person likes this
@stringer321 (4979)
• Kiryat Ata, Israel
10 Oct
Your honest words touch the hearts of everyone who wonders what is this life for, what created us, why do we live all this life and then die... I am a Jewish, not too religious, and not secular. I want to feel and not just believe in GOD. The kaballah is just for everyone who start asking those questions. We learn how to feel the force that created and manages everything around here. We, humanity, has a property that is we are selfish, we think only about our own. We destroy the nature, enslave animals, consume the nature resources and it looks like... What will we do if everything is automated, we get food, and never have to work again, so, what then ? Game over ? We learn about the ancestors who discovered a way to feel the system of rules we cannot recognize by vision, hearing, smelling, sensing and taste...we practice it with our classmates. The thing is the opposite of selfishness. We cannot understand that or feel that but we can develop a sense as we progress.
1 person likes this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
11 Oct
Yes, it kills me that "we" as a people keep tearing down nature to build and build and then many complain that the wild animals are in their back yard. Well if you didn't keep taking their home they wouldn't be in yours.
1 person likes this
• Kiryat Ata, Israel
11 Oct
@Bensen32 we are the only species that wants more and more. This is what brought us a progress in technology, medicines, culture and more. In the deep levels of the tiny particles of material, there are things a lot harder to explain by simple mechanic laws, photons, have a weird behaviour, that behaviour depends on the beholder. Many things that happen somewhere in the world, have consequences everywhere else eventually. On politics, a dictator tries to enforce a law, eventually, people will do what they need to do to survive, and the dictator will see he cannot do everything he wants, he depends on the people too.
1 person likes this
@buenavida (9254)
• Sweden
5 Oct
I can see there are many unanswered questions here. I would recommend those who want answers to go to the jw.org site and see the interesting videos, many informative articles and you can also request a free Bible study in a time and place that is convenient for you. I hope you search the site, as I and millions of people have got answers to their questions. You can choose from hundreds of languages - the site is written and translated by volunteers all over the world
1 person likes this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
10 Oct
I will have to check that out, thank you
1 person likes this
@buenavida (9254)
• Sweden
10 Oct
@Bensen32 I hope you will, and like the site!
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (76394)
• United States
16 Oct
I do believe in God and tend to believe many Christian principles, but I guess I am not a lock, stock and barrel believer. Too many inconsistencies and things that make me question..but also too many reasons not to dismiss it.
1 person likes this
@Bensen32 (6948)
• United States
16 Oct
Fair, I find it hard to find things that convince me that any of it is true and a lot more not to believe it.
@vsai2008 (11101)
• India
5 Oct
Sadhguru answers a question from a person who is unable to connect with either of his parents’ religions, and is wondering whether religion is important. #Un...
1 person likes this