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Old 04-25-2005, 06:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Religion

With the passing of Pope John Paul ll, perhaps some reflection on religious beliefs is appropriate. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs concerned with explaining the origins and purposes of the universe, usually involving belief in a supernatural creator and offering guidance in ethics and morals. It also consists of any of several institutions with their own beliefs, rituals, and teachings. Throughout history and even still today, most religions claim to be the one true religion and all others are considered either phony imitations or some sort of heretical sacrilege. It is a sad reality that most people do not recognize the benefit of what can be learned from other religions along the way of their spiritual journey. If one studies the major religions of today such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism etcetera they will find more similarities than differences. They are guides for how to live and grow spiritually. Some would argue that religion has been one of the biggest causes of humanity's problems but others counter that it is the misinterpretation of religious tenets that causes strife. Still further, many people see religion as a form of control over the masses whereas others see it as a necessary shield against evil influences.

I had the opportunity to read a book recently concerning near death experiences {NDE}. The book was a compilation of individual testimonies by those who left their bodies temporarily and returned to tell about their experience. The author characterized their stories and then pointed out the large similarities and small differences in each of the NDE's. Two personal friends of mine have had an NDE and shared their experience with me. I've also communicated with a deceased friend by way of a psychic medium. All three sources agreed that upon death of the body, we travel through a tunnel toward a bright, warm and loving light. Upon entering the light, we are given a life review. During the life review, we re-experience all the thoughts, words and actions that came from us. Anything negative is re-experienced as though we are the person on the receiving end of our negativity. For example, one of the contributors to the book re-experienced the event where he had severely beaten another man although this time, he felt the blows he had administered. The whole premise for experiencing the light appears to be an opportunity to examine what we have learned along our spiritual journey. In conclusion, it appears that Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius, and Buddha were all very wise men who made a significant impact on humanity teaching spirituality as it applied to a specific civilization. Perhaps if humanity could somehow integrate all these religious belief systems toward the goal of one spirituality with God, we could finally begin to see the emergence of world peace.
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Old 04-25-2005, 06:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Jesus is that dude. He isn't about religions or cultural lines or anything like that.

Jesus is for everybody. Some people just don't want to be 'Christian'...
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Old 04-26-2005, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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some excellent points...perhaps religion will someday evolve into spirituality
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Old 04-26-2005, 04:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOEBIALEK
perhaps religion will someday evolve into spirituality
..not while it is still such a convenient and effective
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form of control over the masses
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Old 04-26-2005, 04:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not arguing that religion can't be/isn't a part of controlling the masses. But what masses? How? Is it just a general statement, or are there specific masses (that you, of course, are smart enough to figure out and avoid)?
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Old 04-26-2005, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is it just a general statement, or are there specific masses (that you, of course, are smart enough to figure out and avoid)
Yes its a general statement, I'm not so good with the specifics.

I guess I meant the masses that need a government or religious leader to define their morals for them.

What more guidance does anyone need than "do unto others" / "live and let live"

And whether its coincidence or "something greater", I naturally seem drawn to people who are more into relativism than dogma.
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Old 04-26-2005, 07:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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is this the type of religion we are talking about?

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Old 04-26-2005, 09:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Or perhaps NDE's could be a process of the brain, as its flooded with dopamine to ease the "mental" trauma of death. As the blood flow ceases, so does synaptic firing, memories come back (similar to drowning?) perhaps subconscious memories (say of guilt) flood to the surface?

And if it was up to religion, we wouldn't be having this converstion.

On the other hand, I'm a big supporter of spirituality. Its good for your health. Its good to give purpose to your life. Its part of what makes us Reasoned beings. And imo, it is Reason that evolves humanity in the right direction. Not unwavering, unquestioning servitued to doctrine.
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Old 04-27-2005, 04:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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For me, 'religion' is a stepping stone for spirituality. Its not doctrine, its awareness of what I do that harms me and how not to do it. Relative to my own experience with life.

Even if this NDE stuff is caused by chemical reactions in the brain. Whats that change? Isn't everything a chemical reaction experienced by the conscious self?
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Old 04-28-2005, 10:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kiWikkid
What more guidance does anyone need than "do unto others" / "live and let live"
Well, you need the power or love or whatever it takes to actually live according to rules like those.
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Canuck Wisdom
Even if this NDE stuff is caused by chemical reactions in the brain. Whats that change? Isn't everything a chemical reaction experienced by the conscious self?
I thought NDE's were peoples "experiences" of their spirit leaving their body, that it wasn't a physical thing.

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or whatever
Now we're getting into semantics. And how do you define "power", "love".

These are things I want to define myself, using reason and logic, not ancient texts, or politicised rhetoric.
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I',m not sure what they are. Just saying. In my opinion, even a miracle can be scientifically explained.

If the walls of Jericho were knocked down by an earthquake, or a sonic wave, does that make it any less Gods work?
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kiWikkid
Now we're getting into semantics. And how do you define "power", "love".

These are things I want to define myself, using reason and logic, not ancient texts, or politicised rhetoric.
I can't beat Paul's definition:

1 Corinthians 13:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
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Old 04-28-2005, 02:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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As for power, it can't be conveyed in words, only experience.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

2 Timothy 1:-7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Forgive me father, I'm stoned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck Wisdom
even a miracle can be scientifically explained.
aha here we go again, I thought, a miracle was a supernatural act of God, something science cant as yet explain, hence the requirement of faith.
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If the walls of Jericho were knocked down by an earthquake, or a sonic wave, does that make it any less Gods work?
So are you saying God creates all earthquakes? (if so you must use the phase "he works in mysterious ways" alot), or just the earthquakes that have religious significance?

You'll thank me later I'm only trying to strenghten your belief system by being a pedantic bastard.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Faith isn't just an invention to come to terms with the unexplainable.
It's more like a power.

Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Romans 10:17
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Nice passages and hi-lites funky_unkle.

But it's probably easy to find pearls of wisdom in the Koran as well.

I just think its a shame that these simple teachings have gotten lost in the sermonising that has been preached to fit "the chuches/mosques" myopic worldviews.
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Old 04-29-2005, 01:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiWikkid
But it's probably easy to find pearls of wisdom in the Koran as well.
I'm sure you can, but you won't find a saviour.

And yes, it's a shame that the simple gospel has been twisted like it has. The saddest thing is people don't want anything to do with Jesus because they're appalled by christianity.
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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i can think of much sadder things, honestly

:1peace:
:leaf:
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Old 04-01-2008, 06:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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