are you religious and if so what religion/share your story (my rant/get off my chest)

i'm feeling really confused right now and want to see what others think. my life recently has been a struggle for a various reasons and i started looking to religion as something that might improve my life and bring comfort/strength. i totally get that a lot of people find religion a joke and don't believe in any kind of god. i am kind of one those people. at one time i swore i was a satanist lol. i don't know what i am so believe me i ain't here to preach.

i was born as a christian (protestant) and baptised. growing up my school (it was non-denominational) would teach us about christmas/easter etc and we'd go to church at those times. the city (and to some extent the country) i'm from has very strong religious history and not necessarily for good. everyone is so focused on what school you attended to figure out what side you're on as there is a bitter hatred between cathlotics and protestants. the thing is the protestant side most people, from my experience, have never read the bible or gone to church (outside of school). catholics, again from my experience, tend to be the more likely to attend church, pray, read the bible. remember i said i'm from the protestant side because that was what my dad chose. my mother is catholic.

as a kid i loved christmas/easter and all the other religious stuff. well, i wouldn't have called myself a christian but i found it all fun. i mean what kid wouldn't love presents and chocolate? anyway, for the last ~20 years religion hasn't interested me. in fact during my teenage years it pissed me off. i hated that i had been baptised and had a religion chosen for me. i've never really understood religion but i was curious about it to some degree. over the years some people have tried to preach to me and get me to go to church but i noped out. i think religion causes the world a lot of harm but i believe that if it brings someone comfort and strength to get through their day and that the person doesn't cause anyone any harm/bother then what does it matter? it's when people use it to hurt people that it crosses the line.

so anyway like i said for the last few years have been tough. i don't want to get into it too much but recently i feel so overwhelmed. i struggle with mental health such as depression and severe anxiety. i have a drinking problem that has developed over the last ~7 years. basically, i feel like my life is going nowhere. i've tried going to doctors and taking medication but 15 years on i don't feel any better. if anything i feel worse. i've been so against religion for most of my life now but i thought what harm can it do to try it out? so i bought a bible (i considered stealing one) and have started reading it. outside the confusion, a lot of stuff doesn't sit right with me but at the same time there is some comfort in it. i feel like there is so much to give up if i embrace it and in a way it feels like i'm betraying myself. i struggle to have complete faith/trust in god/jesus but reading it seems to bring some calm to my mind. part of me thinks it's just a phase and that in a week or two i will just stop reading it (most likely) but i think there must be something in all of this and it feels so odd that i am so interested in it. i don't know if that makes sense.

i don't want to come off as an obssessed religious person. i'm still keeping a really open mind. i have only come to christianity because it's by far the most common religion here. i'm more than happy to look into other religions or maybe i will eventually decide it's really just not for me. i guess the TL;DR of this post is asking you, if you are religious, how you got into and/or accepted it and what it means to you?
 
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nush

Member
I'm "No religion" not atheist as I don't want that label. I'm a free agent, I'm cool with all of you and can pick and choose the advice and perspective from any of the assigned books of life. It's very liberating. You need to find the solutions in yourself and with your support network, a single book isn't going to help you.
 

DeafTourette

Older than air but younger than the foundations of the earth
I was raised Baptist in my hometown... And once .. for a whole year, I really stopped believing.

But one day, literally, I looked outside and pondered everything around me. The rain, the grass, the animals, the sky, etc ... Looking at all of those things re-awakened my belief and strengthened it! I'm not a fanatic but I believe the Bible to be truth.

When I moved away, I went to a non-denominational church but as time went on, I saw the pastor as a charlatan. Using the faith of others to enrich himself.

Over time I went to churches I was invited to. Never became a member.

What I've come to understand is that mankind is flawed. Just like it says in the Bible. We are looking for things and using anything to fill the void we have inside. Drugs, sex, violence, etc. Mankind is so flawed that some will use religion as a source of power to feel powerful over others. This is how it was during medieval Europe. This is how it is today. Abusing others to gain some semblance of power. Even at the cost of someone's life and livelihood.

But if you have questions about the Bible and the stories within... I would be happy to help. I believe it's true.
 
I'm "No religion" not atheist as I don't want that label. I'm a free agent, I'm cool with all of you and can pick and choose the advice and perspective from any of the assigned books of life. It's very liberating. You need to find the solutions in yourself and with your support network, a single book isn't going to help you.
i do agree with you. i feel that the answer is not in a single book but picked and chosen to what suits you. i'm just checking out the bible first.
 
I was raised Baptist in my hometown... And once .. for a whole year, I really stopped believing.

But one day, literally, I looked outside and pondered everything around me. The rain, the grass, the animals, the sky, etc ... Looking at all of those things re-awakened my belief and strengthened it! I'm not a fanatic but I believe the Bible to be truth.

When I moved away, I went to a non-denominational church but as time went on, I saw the pastor as a charlatan. Using the faith of others to enrich himself.

Over time I went to churches I was invited to. Never became a member.

What I've come to understand is that mankind is flawed. Just like it says in the Bible. We are looking for things and using anything to fill the void we have inside. Drugs, sex, violence, etc. Mankind is so flawed that some will use religion as a source of power to feel powerful over others. This is how it was during medieval Europe. This is how it is today. Abusing others to gain some semblance of power. Even at the cost of someone's life and livelihood.

But if you have questions about the Bible and the stories within... I would be happy to help. I believe it's true.
i honestly haven't read a lot of the bible yet. very little infact as i hardly knew where to start. i did start at genesis but was quickly overwhelmed so jumped to Matthew in the New Testament.

the things that i'm conflicted about so far are how men seem to be treated more important than woman which i don't think is fair. i get it eve was created from the rib of adam so get the bible's argument that men are superior as they are meant to be created in gods image. there also seems to be a lot of focus on geneaology. that doesn't bother me but it is a bit tedious/confusing. the thing that i'm really struggling with is if i can believe in god. for most of my life i've been questioning everything and keeping an open mind but i feel like to believe in god i need not question many things and just trust in him. at this point it feels like a book is wanting to tell me how to life my life. not god. maybe i can learn to have faith in god but im so conflicted and confused.
 
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Maiden Voyage

Gold™ Member
Agnostic, leaning toward no 'creator'. Life is a wild ride. I don't think any of us could have predicted Relativity or Quantum Mechanics, so I don't really care to speculate much on what's beyond. Human consciousness, similarly, is a bit perplexing.

There is a ton of societal disadvantages if you do not partake in the social aspects of religious following. I'm happily willing to accept those rather than feign belief.
 
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sunnysideup

Banned
I am not religious. There where no religion present where i grew up. I don't really have an belief, and the more i think about it the less sense it makes thinking about it. There are no satisfying answers.

I do believe in organized religion though. As a social function and guidance. I would like to part of a church of some sort.
 

BigBooper

Member
Christian, Protestant non denominational. Faith is a strange thing and I don't think you would very well accept people preaching at you, so I don't want to do that, not that I like doing that anyways.

For the faith part though, I just wanted to make it clear that it is a choice. It's not something you can figure out and make sense of, so in that regard I think you are on the right path. Unfortunately, I'm waiting on an appointment right now so can't respond with much depth right now.
 
Raised n baptized Presbyterian, the most milquetoast of the various offshoots of Christianity.
It's weird though, as a kid I believed in Santa and the tooth fairy, but I never bought into religion. By the time I hit my teen years I was a militant punk rocker atheist.
I didn't find God in AA when I got sober at 35, I guess most people would label me an agnostic nowadays. Whenever I take those online religious quizzes for shit n giggles I always lean heavily Buddhist.
 

Peggies

Gold Member
There used to be some Muslim members on NeoGAF but I don’t know where they went. Maybe their disgust at the politics thread put them off? Many controversial opinions there.
What was so disgusting about it especially for Muslim Gafers?

On topic: well I was baptized Catholic but religion is not a big thing for me or folks I know. My grandmother was a wee bit religious I guess and I liked that it helped her coping with shit in life. Otherwise I like the tradition and churches (the buildings).
 

FunkMiller

Gold Member
I am a very proud and happy atheist, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

Fundamentally I believe it's a huge mistake to build your outlook on life around a non-existent god (of any denomination) because you are giving yourself a foundation for life that is on very shaky ground. It's like trying to build a house on air.

Good mental strength and resilience comes from a solid footing - and you get that by having a practical, sensible and realistic way of perceiving the world, which comes from eschewing religious doctrine, in favour of an actual understanding and appreciation of what's around you. There's more joy and awe to be had from understanding how a supernova functions, or why that yellow flower looks and smells so lovely, than there ever will be from reading two thousand year old books written by primitive humans.

Okay, it might not seem like a good thing at first to accept and understand that the universe has no plan for you, but it's actually ultimately very freeing and healthy to appreciate that the only thing in this universe you are beholden to is yourself, and the people around you.

The most grounded, sensible and calmest people I know are fellow atheists or sometimes agnostics. While nothing guarantees you happiness, I'd strongly argue that atheism gives you the best chance of achieving it through self improvement, brought on by the secure knowledge that only you are responsible for your life - nothing and no one else. There are no safety nets, shortcuts or easy ways out. If you feel like you are struggling with your mental health OP, I can heartily recommend leaving religious doctrine behind, and embracing the surety and security of a religion free life, where you'll stop looking outward for answers, and look inside yourself instead.





also you get to eat babies
 
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kanjobazooie

Mouse Ball Fetishist
I guess I could be considered a pantheist, if people even still use that term. Mainly because I'm a bit spiritual and also firmly against the idea that human life is meaningless when compared to the vast universe (I still respect people who think that way).

How I came into this state of mind? Well, there are countless religions in the world. If Christianity was the true religion, then I feel that Muslims/Jews/others were given the short end of the stick just because they weren't born in the right place to be Christians, and vice versa. I don't think it's fair that geography or the environment plays a part in this.

If there was really one true religion, why didn't the revelation reach everyone equally? Why do some people have to make the effort to learn about it to accept it, or even be physically forced to accept it? At the same time others were just born into it and therefore wouldn't have to make that effort..?

Maybe there is a god, maybe there isn't, or maybe there are thousands of them.
But if there is one God or a hundred Gods, I don't think they would give a shit about how one worships them. I don't think they'd even care that their creations would worship them. They would just want their creations to do good and continue life.

Anyway, I believe that religion and spirituality are personal things, so I really don't like using any labels to describe people.
And I will never mock anyone for their belief.
 
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zeorhymer

Member
Christian as a kid. Atheist in my 20s and 30s. Agnostic now.

I realized that atheism it doesn't help the next generation nor does it make the world better. The me me me mindset just makes people and actions hollow. I started to mentor/tutor kids as well as sponsor them for college. Since I won't be having children, the feeling of guiding the next generation and watching them grow is very satisfying.
 

Amiga

Member
Muslim. I believe the soul is eternal. it was created buy God on earth and resides for a brief time to define itself. the life and choices we make in the good and bad times are what define it. the numerous aspects of life and my experiences confirm for me the one great will.
It seems you are starting your own contemplations. take your time and be very sincere with yourself. because this is what the ultimate cost is, yourself. don't be swayed by those who have given up on themselves and would push you to do the same.
In Islam the story of creation and history of man is mostly the same as in the Torah/Bible. I believe in Jesus as prophet like Moses and Abraham. Mohamad was sent to confirm and further their legacy.
the prophet warned of people exploiting religion to gain power over people. and that this was the reason mankind keeps fragmenting. God sent the prophets to remind man that he is originally one nation, but men then later alter Gods words to conspire against one another. so the problem is always man.

There used to be some Muslim members on NeoGAF but I don’t know where they went. Maybe their disgust at the politics thread put them off? Many controversial opinions there.
Still here, not may relevant topics to bring it up the religion.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
i think religion causes the world a lot of harm but i believe that if it brings someone comfort and strength to get through their day and that the person doesn't cause anyone any harm/bother then what does it matter?
It gets to the core of how a person interprets reality and decides what's true. If they use a method of reasoning that gets them to believe things that aren't true, there is a mechanism that exists in their brain to get them to believe other things that aren't true too. The community, fellowship, and sociological benefits are real, of course, but the foundation isn't. On the one hand, that same mental framework might get someone to think zodiac signs are real, which is relatively harmless, but on the other hand, that same mental framework could also justify things like homeopathy, or thinking that gay people are bad and need to be condemned.

i've been so against religion for most of my life now but i thought what harm can it do to try it out?
Some people need religion in their life as a moderating force, and if it works for you great. However, if you're being honest with yourself, you have to recognize that it's merely a crutch you're using to mask more deeper, more fundamental problems with yourself.
 

12Goblins

Lil’ Gobbie
i mean, just take a step back and look; if you ask 100 what they think is the nature of God and reality is, you'll get a 100 different answers... Had I been born in Saudi Arabia, i'd be a practicing Muslim, but I was born in France so I was raised to be a Catholic. it's all non sense undisprovable and contradictory folk lore to help people navigate the difficult and painful journey we all have to go through, and being religious means being able to put the nonsense stuff aside so you can have "my truth". I admit at times it would be nice to delude myself to given a semblance of purpose and fulfillment, but I personally believe this comes at a price, and I "choose" not to because it's a bad foundation to build all other knowledge on, and will just be a giant crutch for the rest of your life (see all religious people in general lol).

that being said, a lot of religious people are better people than I am, so what do I know :messenger_pensive:

we know our brains aren't equipped to understand the metaphysical nature of reality, so why are we just making shit up?
 
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Dai Kaiju

Member
During my years as an "edgy" atheist, I would mock God and Christians at any opportunity if it meant getting a laugh out of someone. I've said (and done) too many blasphemous things to keep track of and if God hadn't shown me the grace to save my life twice I'd be rotting in hell right now.

I was raised Catholic, decided the idea of God was stupid at 13, and had Jesus reel me back in 6 years ago at 27. A lot of crazy, one in a million coincidences kept happening to me. Everyday. All day. It got to the point where everything felt scripted...pre-written. My non-spiritual mind couldn't make sense of it but it became very clear that something or someone that I couldn't see was in complete control of my life.

You're on the right track. The comfort you described from reading the Bible (even though you don't understand it very well) is God's way of encouraging you to keep at it. Stick with the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John for now. I REALLY wrestled with having to change what I believed about practically everything. I was actually really upset about it so I empathize with you. Jesus never said being a Christian would be easy but I highly recommend staying where you are since that's what you were born into. Exploring different spiritualities will just leave you confused and disillusioned. Besides, you can't go wrong serving the God who created and controls the universe. Just make sure you remember to repent of your sins. I didn't at first. I didn't think I had to because of my preconceived notions of who God was...but I really wish I had.

Also, I went back to the Catholic church but felt called to leave and find a different church. The whole basis of Christianity is the Bible and Catholics don't follow it. After some church hoping, I was able to find a biblically centered, non-denominational church with a good pastor.

GAF is largely spiritually dead, so I don't recommend asking for advice here. PM me if you want.
 

Keihart

Member
Budhism doesn't have gods right? maybe look into that and you won't have to struggle with forcing you to believe in one?
Just saying tho, i have very little insight into religion from a personal stand point.
 

bitbydeath

Gold Member
Nah. I’ve attended church with friends a couple times and witnessed a few religious weddings in my time but it all seems a bit too crazy for me.
 
I am a non-denominational Christian. Don't really label myself as a Baptist or Methodist, etc. I personally believe a Christian is a Christian. You try your best to follow Jesus and His words. I have had a lot of great conversations with people who are Christians and people who aren't. From my experience, it boils down to what you experience, what you know. Some people grew up with parents who taught them how to "behave" like a Christian, but not how to "be" a Christian, which is why I think a lot of people who were raised in a Christian house eventually become atheist or agnostic because Christianity without love is just a religion of do's and don'ts. I don't adhere to a religion. I love and have a relationship with Jesus.

When I read the Bible, I experience something very similar to what you talked about OP. An unexplainable peace takes over my mind, and all the worries and stresses of life don't seem that big of a deal anymore. I believe that is God's way of showing His love. Reminding me that no matter what may happen, mistakes I made or evils that people do to me, He is in control, and His love for me outweighs the terrible pains of life.

Anyways, I just thought I would share a little about myself since I read your post and felt like you are experiencing something I have gone through myself. God is leading you to Himself. I say give Him a fair shot and allow Him to speak into your life through His word. I will be praying for you, OP, and I hope your life gets better soon!

If you want to talk more, feel free to dm me.
 

NahaNago

Member
Christian and grew up in a nondenominational church. I don't go to church right now though. Most of my family are still very religious except for my sister. I kind of do miss the days when I was a more devout Christian.

I've been wondering about the label of Christian. A person who struggles to not do bad things who get saved will still be a person who struggles to not do bad things and will eventually fail. So someone saying he is a Christian doesn't really mean much to me since that is between him and God.
 
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MachRc

Member
Grew up Christian, fondest memory of my grandmother was walking to church with her in the evening. Read Christian books, like Pilgrims Progress, the Bible maybe 3-4 times.
We tend to look for some guidance in faith when we are down and out. Alot of reborn Christians in jail... soldiers for Christ.
Around the time I was 19, I noticed our church was more of a fashion show than anything else.
Keeping up with the jones and what not.

Stopped going to that church and towards my 30s I attended a church where most of the parishioners were homeless people. Its strange but i really like this church.
I dont know how it stayed open for so long but there were like 12 members of the church and 7 of them were the family of the pastor. (Pastor died last year of covid along with his wife real tragedy)

Since that church was so far away I started attending a larger community church near by.
I have two children so I believed it would be good for them to be in a community
Met a good friend at church, lots in common. He had extra bible study for him after church , didnt think much of it.

I was at a church picnic at a large park where there were group activities like potato sack racing, tug of war, football frisbee
and I was just chatting with my new guy friend about something(probably video games)
and then we came across the twin daughters of the pastor.

These two little 10 years old girls, one of them said out loud towards my friend, exactly this, "my daddy told us fa**ots go to hell and burn"
Then I realized that the extra prayer bible study was so that my new friend could get saved and get help and prayers to stop being gay.
This was like 2015.

I
didnt see him anymore after that. And I swear I never went to that church again or any church after that
Fucking piece of shit pastor, who the fuck teaches their fucking 10 year old daughters these sick hurtful words.
I still cant believe that shit happened.

During my divorce and the terrible way I lost my children, I prayed and prayed thought alot of Job(the bible guy) and how the lord takes and giveth.
I went through much suffering.

It wasnt the praying that helped me in my turmoil , it was my parents, my-wife-then-gf.
Only satan listened when i prayed it seemed during those ordeals.
Something sort of clicked in my head, that I need stop believing and praying to god for change. That i needed to believe in myself and empowered myself to make the change.
Instead of praying for things to go my way or for evil people ..to stop being evil,
I went out and made the change for myself, and I accosted and challenged this evil in court and through my own accord and my own actions got myself to where I am today.
I started believing more in myself then in god.
More willpower, less hoping it would turn out okay.

I feel today i have in more common with Satanists, then church members. So the original post where OP says
" i am kind of one those people. at one time i swore i was a satanist lol."

I sort of agree to that as well. I am tired of praying for change when i need to go out and make the change myself.
Maybe it was just something I had to use and go through so I can deal with the suffering I went through. Maybe my ordeal just changed me and I became an atheist.
But again, only satan listens to me when i pray.
 
Im atheist, but I would say that you are looking for something to fill a void and give you guidance so that you can be happier.


There are no rules; literally everything but family is pointless including religion, but also capable of helping you. If you pick something (sustainable) and stick with it, it may just become a part of you and will help fill that void. But it’s not magic, you have to really sink your teeth into it.

The problem with believing in god is that in the end it’s still up to you. So it’s more about the community that you are in rather than god itself.
 
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StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
I'm not religious. Most people in my fam arent either. Easter and Christmas are just excuses to get days off work, spend money and eat a turkey with family. And when my nieces and nephews were kids we do chocolate easter egg hunts for laughs when I'd be a cheap fuck buying dollar store chocolate eggs. When it's done everything goes back to daily life.

I dont even know what Easter and Christmas even stand for except it's a Christian thing and I think Xmas has to do with Jesus on a cross.

As someone who isnt religious getting through life myself like every other person, all I can say is:

- Keep close fam and friends. I'm in my 40s, single and most people I know are married with kids. There's no weekly hang outs anymore like being young. It's more like a quarterly hang out. Some people I havent seen face to face in ages. It might come down to FB messages. But thats all ok, because you got to accept life goes on and people have their own lives to live. But if you got good fam and friends they will always respond. GRabbing dinner or catching a hockey game might be tough, but at least you can have some fun texting or emailing each other. Maybe you got some good fam and friends that can give you advice? Maybe you are too embarrassed to ask for help? I dont know how old you are, but it gets to a point in life (unless you only know assholes) people are old enough to help each other out. Maybe if youre 20 years old and young, everyone you know just cares about going to college and they are likely to laugh because 20 year olds always think they know everything despite living at home and paying no bills, but if your peers are older with kids, "most" people should be mature enough by then to give you a hand if they know you well

- Make a list of things to do. I do it myself. Even for basic shit like grocery shopping. But for key home tasks to do, I have my master list. When things get done it's an accomplishment. My master list at one time was: Do a will, fix my roof, shop around for property management company, re-do my ratty lawn and things like this that take some time and effort to scratch off the list

- Sounds like you are drinking too much. Cut that down. Hard to focus if you're boozed up too often. Also a waste of money

- If you want to get into religion for comfort, that's fine. Some people do it, some don't. I don't. For me, feeling better and accomplishing things comes from me. Not scripture. If I'm desperate (never have been except one time I needed to borrow money instead of a bank), I go to family.

Back in the early 2000s, I was living on my own and everything and was down to my last $1000. I borrowed $1000 off my bro so I could have some buffer money in my bank account at $2000. I paid him back a year or two later giving him $1,100. He laughed. When you got supportive family, he didn't even expect or care I paid him back. He was surprised and laughed when I peeled out a cheque to pay him back. I forced it on him and he cashed it. I always pay my debts, even as family. But you can see some family (like my bro) doesnt care about family debts so much. Knowing him, he probably already forgot about the grand until that day.

And if you think $1000 is nothing that's fine. When I got into investment properties for the first time (now I got to juggle a tenant and two mortgages etc...) its a daunting thing. If you got good family to help you out, all the better. When I'd talk making money with another older brother and told him I might need some tips what to do, he thought I meant money help, not how to handle running a property. So his first offering was if I was short getting a mortgage and needed $100,000 or anything just tell him and he's send me the money! I just wanted tenant tips and boring shit like that.

In other words, my priority rank of feeling better is:

1. Me (includes no substance abuse)
2. Help from fam/friends (keep good relations so you all help each other out).
3. Never done it, but I guess religion if wanted to get into it
 
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That bit in the Bible from Romans about the creation(Nature) testifying about the Creator implies being a witness to this testmony as providing connection with and understanding of God is one of my favourite passages. Unhitches the revelation from priestly influences and Christian religious institutional dogma. Find that it's misused in those settings.

That's more in tune with my Hermetic disposition expressed as an occult researcher and Thelemite.
 

I_D

Member
I am unequivocally atheistic. I'm not "an atheist" because that has too many connotations. The point is that I do not believe in any form of deity at all.



That being said, there is a lot of good that comes from church/temple/etc.
I would make an argument that religion is one of the worst things humanity has ever produced. Gatherings with lots of like-minded and canonically-nice people, however, has plenty of benefits.

If you need friends, church is an excellent place to look. If you need support, church is an excellent place to look. There are a lot of positives to be had.

Why not give reading the Bible a shot? What do you have to lose?
A worst-case scenario is that you continue to doubt, or even solidify your doubt; in which case you will end basically as you are now.
A best-case scenario is that you find comfort, and your life improves, even if just emotionally.



I say this with reservations, I will admit.
I find the idea of faith, the core concept of most religions, to be utterly horrific in terms of damage to society. The concept of believing without proof is the antithesis of how I want to live my life.
Based on your OP, I suspect you have relatively similar feelings.

That being said, if reading a book gives you comfort, that's all there is to it. Do you really have to follow it to the Nth degree? Why not just get comfort from it, and leave it at that?
If it makes you question things, so be it. Maybe you'll end up with a more positive outlook on life. Or maybe you'll just end up back right here where you are. Either way, there's not much to lose.
 

Amiga

Member
It gets to the core of how a person interprets reality and decides what's true.

the problem is people with ambition and lack of sympathy deliberately using any tool to dominate other people. that tool could be labeled "science/reason".
seeking comfort for comforts sake is self delusion. true religion is about ultimate truth. practicing religious people give up a lot of pleasures and comforts in life and put up with misconceptions of people about them.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
I am unequivocally atheistic. I'm not "an atheist" because that has too many connotations. The point is that I do not believe in any form of deity at all.



That being said, there is a lot of good that comes from church/temple/etc.
I would make an argument that religion is one of the worst things humanity has ever produced. Gatherings with lots of like-minded and canonically-nice people, however, has plenty of benefits.

If you need friends, church is an excellent place to look. If you need support, church is an excellent place to look. There are a lot of positives to be had.

Why not give reading the Bible a shot? What do you have to lose?
A worst-case scenario is that you continue to doubt, or even solidify your doubt; in which case you will end basically as you are now.
A best-case scenario is that you find comfort, and your life improves, even if just emotionally.



I say this with reservations, I will admit.
I find the idea of faith, the core concept of most religions, to be utterly horrific in terms of damage to society. The concept of believing without proof is the antithesis of how I want to live my life.
Based on your OP, I suspect you have relatively similar feelings.

That being said, if reading a book gives you comfort, that's all there is to it. Do you really have to follow it to the Nth degree? Why not just get comfort from it, and leave it at that?
If it makes you question things, so be it. Maybe you'll end up with a more positive outlook on life. Or maybe you'll just end up back right here where you are. Either way, there's not much to lose.
I agree with this advice.

The one I would add is no matter how much better church and religion makes you feel better, you still got to translate that to real world actions. No book or priest is going to pay your rent or mortgage for you. And unless you get lucky networking with people there, none of them will help you get a good job either.

So if religion gives you better piece of mind, all the better. It's now time to take action.
 

I_D

Member
I agree with this advice.

The one I would add is no matter how much better church and religion makes you feel better, you still got to translate that to real world actions. No book or priest is going to pay your rent or mortgage for you. And unless you get lucky networking with people there, none of them will help you get a good job either.

So if religion gives you better piece of mind, all the better. It's now time to take action.

Yep, I second this, too.



If you start being positive, roll that shit forward into more positivity. Go update your resume. Go do some applications for better jobs. Go ask somebody out. Go on a hike. Do whatever.

It took me a long time to recognize this, but it's so obvious in retrospect: What do you have to lose?
The absolute worst-case scenario in almost any situation (other than something dangerous) is that you end up right back where you currently are. Putting yourself out there and reaching for stuff has damn near zero negatives.

I know that dealing with mental/emotional issues is about as tough as it gets. But keep telling yourself the aforementioned truth, and then acting upon that truth, and things will get better.
Religion may help. Religion may not.

What do you have to lose?
 

Amiga

Member
I don't think it's fair that geography or the environment plays a part in this.

In Islam we believe everybody is born on the Fitra(natural way) and may change later. the condemned are those who deliberately reject after learning the truth. those who don't have the true knowledge didn't make a real choice to reject. Muslims who learned about their religion don't have excuses, so more responsibility.
 

Yoshi

Headmaster of Console Warrior Jugendstrafanstalt
i do agree with you. i feel that the answer is not in a single book but picked and chosen to what suits you. i'm just checking out the bible first.
But how does that make any sense whatsoever? You can surely pick stories you like the morale of, but when it comes to the core, how the world came into being, it is even more unreasonable to assume one can arrive at the truth by cherry picking stories from different mythical books than to pick one and claim it contains the truth about how the world came to be.

I am not religious and I do not think that any life happenings could change that, because me having bad luck is no basis whatsoever to adopt a conviction about scientifical facts.
 

*Nightwing

Member
Couple of points to try and communicate my thoughts and put together. Sorry if it’s too incoherent:
  • Humans are both logical and emotional creatures. Two sides of the same coin.
  • Science fits the roll as the epitome of the logical mind. I inversely believe religion (or it’s modern substitutes) the pinnacle of the emotional mind.
  • It’s human nature to abuse power especially since the abuse of power is the norm in society. Absolute power corrupts absolutely
  • Balance is needed in all aspects of life. Balance by extremes (work hard play hard) will always leave a deficit in the end and never function in a healthy manner.
  • Disrupting a personal balance of an individual generally makes it easier to manipulate them as thier focus will naturally shift to whatever deficiency in thier life is in inbalance.
I have always been religious and felt a metaphysical connection to both nature and a sense of universal existence. A sort of reverence and acknowledgement for a higher power. Not to mention the effect of neglecting the emotional side of my own life leaves me empty as a person searching for more despite however well off i might be.

The problem I have in resolving this is there is no religion that the people in charge of it do not try and twist and mold the religion to fit thier narratives in order to manipulate and control thier congregation by abusing thier power. It’s a blanket statement I stand by for space reasons as this is getting long enough and either way you have to search for yourself.

A more personal observation most might not agree with but I think is important is free will. I was born and raised catholic and have been to most types of Christian sect churches. Have quite a bit of study in Judaism including studying the Torah. I also studied Buddhism, Zen and Taoism. Also began studying Islam although I never finished the Koran as this is when I gave up on any organized religion. My personal view is they all seem to boil down to we have the choice on how to live our lives, and the only point in life is the outcome of that choice we chose to make beside the details differentiating them.

This is too long already so let me jump to the conclusion it boils down to:
Don’t be a dick. And when faced with decisions that either choice will lead to some harm, always pick the one that hurts others the least. And humble yourself least the universe do it for you and show how insignificant you truly are. Try and make moments with other people special moments. If there is no point to life, by trying all of this you will at least be able to look back on your life from your deathbed with limited regrets and hopefully satisfaction

edit: feeling the internal need for religion but not finding any in the world to meet my needs, I still consider myself a non practicing catholic and it is my chosen religion
 
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Winter John

Member
If your looking to ease your mind you'd probably be better off looking into something more peaceful like Buddhism. Or one of them pyjama religions.
 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
I was raised in a household where my mother made us go to Church. She took us to revivals and large auditoriums where TV evangelist would gather. I grew up with the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) always on in the background. I would hear my mom tell my dad he had to write a check because God was going to bless us. I saw these men and women on TV beg for money. My mom on the floor shouting at the top of her lungs. It didn’t feel right. I still think my mom never obtained much in her life because she held onto religion. It really made me hate organized religion. I’ve been at a Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist, and a lot of churches. I can’t say I enjoy that life style. I had a bad stint as a teenager and the families from the church we attended were broken after attending the church. I don’t believe God is in the church. Nothing about the church saved innocent children from predators. I’ve pretty much been as secular and as open minded as I could ever be, currently. I don’t dismiss the idea that there is a God. I just don’t think organized religion is doing any of us any good. They sure do have good intentions and they help out their community. I just have a hard time justifying everything. A man could have easily made this stuff up or the church could have done the same thing just to control the poor.
 

DeafTourette

Older than air but younger than the foundations of the earth
I was raised in a household where my mother made us go to Church. She took us to revivals and large auditoriums where TV evangelist would gather. I grew up with the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) always on in the background. I would hear my mom tell my dad he had to write a check because God was going to bless us. I saw these men and women on TV beg for money. My mom on the floor shouting at the top of her lungs. It didn’t feel right. I still think my mom never obtained much in her life because she held onto religion. It really made me hate organized religion. I’ve been at a Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist, and a lot of churches. I can’t say I enjoy that life style. I had a bad stint as a teenager and the families from the church we attended were broken after attending the church. I don’t believe God is in the church. Nothing about the church saved innocent children from predators. I’ve pretty much been as secular and as open minded as I could ever be, currently. I don’t dismiss the idea that there is a God. I just don’t think organized religion is doing any of us any good. They sure do have good intentions and they help out their community. I just have a hard time justifying everything. A man could have easily made this stuff up or the church could have done the same thing just to control the poor.

Funny thing... Jehovah's Witnesses don't do that. Giving to the organization is totally voluntary. So is the amount if you DO give. Unfortunately, people believe tithing still is the "law" of the Bible... It isn't. Jesus fulfilled the law so many of those laws that would harm us today are no longer a thing/have to be observed.

I've been the Kingdom Hall meetings and it's always nice. Chill and the approach to the Bible (through bible study) is very logical and congruent with science. Some things in the Old Testament (like cleanliness) was something many in the world hadn't even thought of. Like quarantining sick people and that something (not a demon) made people sick.

That was already far ahead of medieval Europe.
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
I’m a massive atheist
There wasn't a second in my life, where I have been religious, but boy let me tell you, that you posted cringe.

You can't go beyond "I don't believe..."

You can be anti-theist, but that's different sort of thing.
 

Burnttips

Member
I had a vision the other day where I saw Jesus holding my daughter's hand and me holding her other hand walking through a field of grass and flowers. The land had the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. I started to cry and heard a voice ask me why was I crying and I got startled and opened my eyes. It was real, it has never happened to me before and had such power of love. I think if it happens again I'm going to look down as I've heard people do in the bible.
 

Rentahamster

Rodent Whores
the problem is people with ambition and lack of sympathy deliberately using any tool to dominate other people. that tool could be labeled "science/reason".
That's a human problem in general. You can just as easily label that tool "religion", as historically religion has been used as an excuse many times in many cultures to hold dominion over others.

seeking comfort for comforts sake is self delusion. true religion is about ultimate truth. practicing religious people give up a lot of pleasures and comforts in life and put up with misconceptions of people about them.
Ask 100 religious people what "ultimate truth" is, and you'll get 100 different answers. It is very subjective and depends on their religion's particular teachings or dogma. On the other hand, 5 +5 will (almost) always equal 10.
 

MaestroMike

Gold Member
i guess karma and the middle way make sense to me. for karma I feel if u screw someone over ur gonna get screwed over sooner or later even future generations may take a hit for the actions that you do today and if u get fukked over don't seek revenge or try to get justice unless its a huge hit where satisfaction must be demanded, but if its not a big deal just take the hit and move forward you'll be stronger in the long run while the other person will maintain their weakness thats going to hit them sooner or later. for the middle way I guess don't pursue happiness and try not to be sad. try to feel neither be like the terminator a man on a mission focused and guided by reason. don't let yourself be too controlled by man's natural desires/urges that can make u waste valuable time/resources that did not need to be spent. if ur happy u get comfortable and u don't challenge urself and if sh!t hits the fan u might not be prepared/ready to get yourself out of the hole you're in. if ur sad you may be pushing yourself too hard, not resting enough or not going at a nice, steady pace or may be deficient in some nutrient or low on energy reserves. realistically you should aim for a series of small, mini highs and lows oscillating between the two where u feel nothing in between. if u find urself getting too excited start moving/working or if u find urself get super irritated stop what you're doing, chill and breathe/take a break and maybe get something to eat or go to sleep/take a nap. I guess its fine to get excited for special occasions like on ur birthday though but just know big highs make it easier to suffer big lows. little, small mini highs/lows will bring you more stability and make life less stressful in the long run. walk a lot and eat ur beans/greens and veggies, nuts/seeds and fiber and eat slow and steady throughout the day to slow down the chemicals that go to ur brain that create the highs/lows. focus on going at a nice slow and steady pace like a tortoise.

High Five Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles GIF


edit: I guess buddhists call this state you want to aim to be in nirvana - (in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.
 
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