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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:52 pm    Post subject: icon_question 2G18 - 14: Religion Reply with quote Back to top

Hey! Religion! This is what you get for badgering about hot topics.

Do you believe there is a god or even multiple gods? (I will henceforth refer to one god for ease of language. Forgive me, polytheists!)

If you believe in a god, do you think it created the universe or is it simply a powerful denizen of the universe?

Do you follow an organized religion? If not, did you used to? How concerned are you with literal interpretations of scripture etc?

On the flip side, are you an atheist? If so, what makes you prefer to believe there’s no god rather than “I dunno, maybe there is maybe there isn’t” agnosticism?

Pretty sure we can work out what the correct view on all of this is by the end of the week. Check!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:44 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

The RDM was raised Catholic. He's an atheist now. He was super into theology for a while, up until around his junior year of college. Then, one day, he realized he no longer believed. It was a huge relief.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:13 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I grew up not religious, though I knew enough Christians and didn’t think too much of it one way or the other. I considered myself agnostic for awhile once I started to think about it at all, and then decided I identified more with atheism. I think a turning point there was when I came across an interview with Douglas Adams where he explains quite articulately (and probably humorously) why he’s an atheist.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:09 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Still no religion here. Believing in a magical wish-granting man in the sky just isn't my ting.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:40 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Hey! It's me, the only religious person on SG since Cyan left. I believe in an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God, creator of the universe, the multiverse, and anything else there is.

I do not believe in multiple gods, other than the Trinity, which is almost multiple Gods, even though the doctrine says it totally isn't even a bit. Any less than omnipotent god would not be a god at all in my theology. So great, if Zeus exists he's a superhero (or more likely supervillain or just superasshole) or a demon, but not a god. I don't believe that Zeus exists though. Just hypothetically.

The only way I'm concerned with literal interpretation of scripture is I'm concerned about how stupid and wrong it is. I do believe in a fairly literal interpretation of much (but not all) of the Gospel, but beyond that not really.

I'm pretty much a Catholic so I believe in organized religion more or less. That said, I'm about the most anti-organization in general kind of person you'll meet who's still sort of pro-organized religion. I mean I get culty vibes whenever anyone is too gung-ho into activities of any particular group, church or otherwise. Also, these days I've grown pretty disillusioned with the American Catholic Church and its often transparent pro-Republican agenda. I'm totally cool with Pope Francis though. Just not a huge fan of all my local churches.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:27 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I’m french do you better believe I was born to a catholic house hold.
Well. Lapsed catholic.

As a grown up I don’t give a shit. Which is to say I’m agnostic I guess? I don’t even care about knowing what I am to be honest.

MY wife is catholic and lapsed. We send our kids to catholic school for pragmatic reasons (we are minorities and that’s the only way you get good schooling in french outside of Quebec). It’s cute that he believes in nice fairy tales, but we’ve (the We is really important here as it’s part of the compromise we are having as parents) also been telling them how some of them are just plain wrong, with the hope that they make up their own minds later in life.


My sons first communion is this weekend and I guess I have to go to church or something. I will not be doing the communion.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:04 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I was raised Catholic, and for a time was very devout. I went to Catholic schools for my entire K-12 education. The Church's social justice message resonated very strongly. For me, that message was the strongest proof of the righteousness of that faith, and the importance of social justice has always been central to my personal philosophy and ethics. However, as time went on, I became increasingly upset with the disconnect of the message and the actions of both parishioners and clergy. For one hour on Sunday, everyone seemed to agree that we were called on to care for the impoverished and the downtrodden, to be stewards of creation, to make this world a better place for all through faith and good works. But the rest of the week, these were Reagan-era conservatives that loved blaming the poor for their own problems, and failing to acknowledge the systemic means of oppression that kept so many in socioeconomic stagnation. One of many inconsistencies I would subconsciously catalog in my head for later. If what had happened next had never taken place, I imagine I would still have become an atheist, though I certainly wouldn't have gone through the virulently anti-theistic phase I remained in well through my mid-20s.

I became one of the Church's many victims of sexual abuse. I do not want to discuss it in any more detail except to say, like many others, my abuse was covered up and hidden with the use of threats of both worldly humiliation and eternal damnation. But the abuse was not what caused me to come to the conclusion that the Christian god did not exist, it was the later revelations of how widespread the abuse was, and how aggressively the Church acted to protect predatory clergy. In one sense, it was a relief to know I wasn't the only victim, but I was also disgusted by that relief, because it came from the knowledge of other victims' suffering. Between the Boston Globe expose, learning of things like the Magdalene Laundries, Catholic hospitals stealing babies from single mothers, etc. I had no reason to believe Christianity had any validity to it. To me, the idea of an omnipotent being allowing that kind of sickness in His name was impossible to accept. I had become deeply anti-theistic and viewed Christian faith as corrupt by man-made design. Christianity, to me, became an excuse people used to feel self-righteous while they did things they knew were immoral, because of course, God would forgive them (to say nothing of the cognitive dissonance that would settle in upon realizing God would probably also know these people were completely full of shit.)

I spent a long time trying to find some sort of faith that not only advocated for social justice, but stridently put those principles into practice. I explored a lot of faith traditions, and the idea of a reality without a supernatural did not occur to me for many years. I didn't even know what an atheist was until I was out of high school.

Now I suppose I would identify as a secular humanist. I don't necessarily reject the possibility of the supernatural, so one might be tempted to say that's agnosticism, but I don't really see any convincing evidence, and I stopped looking for it a long time ago. In practice, I live as if there is nothing supernatural except in stories and in the minds of the faithful. So it's more accurate to identify as atheist.

While I am still viscerally averse to organized religion I don't really think much of personal faith one way or the other. It can inspire good people to be better or it can convince them to commit wrongdoing in the name of faith. It can keep bad people more in check, or it can be a cover to be even worse. As with most ideologies, it draws out and reinforces what selfish desires are already in peoples' hearts and minds, and having been involved in the atheist community (a real thing that actually exists), the various flavors of atheism are not exempt from that, either. I don't think the world would be better with or without religion, but I do think it'd be a lot better of people in any group were better at self-policing - calling out wrongdoing among their own peers. We all collectively suck at doing that.

EDIT: "Selfish" is the wrong word to use; I probably should have left that word out. I meant that, whatever your nascent worldview and virtues/vices, certain aspects of a belief system, whether that's faith, politics, philosophy, etc. will resonate very strongly. And whatever the things you want out of life for yourself, or for others (altruistic, selfish, or neither), belief becomes a guiding principle to the ends you're seeking and strengthens those characteristics of the self.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:28 am    Post subject: icon_great  Reply with quote Back to top

Fack me.

Thanks for sharing.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:00 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah that is... just brutal. Much respect to you for pulling through and for being able to talk about it.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:06 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

The abuse I experienced was fairly mild compared to a lot of others. It only went on a couple of weeks before I found effective ways of avoiding being alone with my abuser. The threats and coverup were worse, because that went on for years until we moved.

I should also point out I don't necessarily feel animosity towards people who still identify as Catholic. I don't conflate it with tacit approval of the Church's crimes, in the same way most US Catholics don't think contraception is wrong.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:18 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I’ll credit the Catholics with some fancy looking churches. There are about a million of them in Montreal. Though I could see this feeling more than a bit oppressive if you’re a lapsed Catholic or worse, an abuse victim.

I live by this one, about this far away from it but on the other side. Disclaimer: this picture does not accurately represent the present urban landscape of my neighbourhood.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:59 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

That's horrible. I have no idea what my relationship with the Church would be if I went through that. As it is, it's already strained from the politics that too often pervade American Catholic churches and that hypocrisy where they're so quick to criticize what they perceive to be the sexual immorality of others, but refuse to police themselves on what everyone agrees is immoral. It's also a reason I really can't get behind beatification of John Paul II. He presided over most of this and while his role in the cover up maybe isn't entirely clear, it's pretty hard to believe he had no involvement at all.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:23 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Ironically Benedict, the most publicly disliked of the last 3 popes, was also the most aggressive in investigating and removing abusers from active ministry. Granted, I don't know much about how well Francis' zero tolerance policy has gone in practice, since I haven't kept up with Vatican-related news since the 2016.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:40 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Apparently it seems like JPII even interfered with Ratzinger in that regard before he became Benedict. I'm not sure the degree to which that's confirmed but the general idea seems to be Ratzinger wanted to go after someone and JPII stopped him.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:44 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Wowza. That sucks right there. The RDM has long thought he had a closeish call when he was a kid (he'd asked his parents about being an altar boy, and they'd decline. Some time later, the priest was mysteriously shipped off to Guatemala and no one would talk about it.) but nothing like that. It's sort of nuts how commonplace abuse must have been...and how, despite everything else, they really still managed to keep it hush-hush throughout the peak of the crisis.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:42 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Since I kinda dragged us a bit off topic from religion into institutionalized abuse, I will shift gears back. So we've got people who were raised without religion and some who are still either practicing or nominally religious.

One of my friends is married to someone who was raised as an atheist, and so was never exposed to a lot of what's old hat for those of us who weren't. They used to babysit for some friends who were Mormon, and that involved reading children's versions of stories from the most boring and repetitive religious text ever (Seriously. I don't have anything specific against Mormons, but if you ever need a non-medication sleep aid, try to give that thing a read). Even the children's version of a few of the stories were mortifying to him; he was genuinely surprised about genocide in Noah's Ark, basically everything that happened to Job, all the plagues God set upon the Egyptians, etc.

The reason I bring this up, is I wonder what the perspective is of those who were raised in secular homes. What was your interaction like with religion growing up, and what was your impression of those around you who practiced this or that faith? Have you ever had peers or teachers/mentors/coworkers, etc. who made a concerted effort to convert you? How have you experienced the growth of other non-religious people or religious apostates in your community as you've gotten older?

For those still at least nominally practicing, what are your thoughts about people becoming increasingly non-religious, or "spiritual" without a particular religious faith to identify with? Do you think this trend will continue to a plateau, or do you think there's going to be a sharper upswing or downturn in your lifetime? What changes have you seen within your local faith communities, and do you see an effect due to increasing irreligiousness of society as a whole?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:01 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I'm disappointed in it though I understand it to some degree. It's particularly disappointing to me when it comes to my own siblings. As far as "spiritual" goes, fairly or not I often take that as code for "not spiritual at all but wants to be thought of as deep." What really bothers me is when people use the word "spiritual" to mean "not religious" as though religious people aren't spiritual. As far as the trend goes, as a person of faith I can't see religion dying out completely, but as a cynic, I don't necessarily see the trend reaching a plateau or reversing anytime soon just like I don't see the trend of hypocritical evangelicals dominating American Christianity changing anytime soon. Particularly when those who oppose them are increasingly abandoning religion.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:28 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I was raised some type of christian for a while. I think protestant since I'm not feeling too guilty about ditching it and I only ever heard about Lent on here. I was baptized so warlocks cannot make potions from my rendered fat.

I had some focus on the family christian values tapes growing up. I remember something called Magee and Me with some cartoon and live action hybrid. I played a bunch of those cheesy christian video games. My mom would take me to Church a bunch when I was young but that petered out over time.

I remember asking my mom how all those bible stories could be true since they were pretty far out there. Her view was that they were allegories and not to be taken literally. That was more or less my view. If god's message to Adam was to not eat an apple and something as that could go wrong due to self interest, then how could the entire bible get through without the fallible nature of the writers coming through?

As of now I'm generally an athiest with a dash of hopeful agnostic. If we go the multiple god route then may Zeus was a crazy alien teleporting down and probing like crazy. Fun to think of.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:41 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

eightman wrote:
I was baptized so warlocks cannot make potions from my rendered fat.


. This sounds like something that would happen in one of your drawings with the victim alive while it was happening.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:01 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Lord Golbez wrote:
eightman wrote:
I was baptized so warlocks cannot make potions from my rendered fat.


. This sounds like something that would happen in one of your drawings with the victim alive while it was happening.


childhood memory of the movie "Warlock"
http://www.i-mockery.com/halloween/greatest/warlock.php

Good times!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:06 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Wow. I saw that movie, but I don't remember that.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:14 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Lord Golbez wrote:
I'm disappointed in it though I understand it to some degree. It's particularly disappointing to me when it comes to my own siblings. As far as "spiritual" goes, fairly or not I often take that as code for "not spiritual at all but wants to be thought of as deep." What really bothers me is when people use the word "spiritual" to mean "not religious" as though religious people aren't spiritual. As far as the trend goes, as a person of faith I can't see religion dying out completely, but as a cynic, I don't necessarily see the trend reaching a plateau or reversing anytime soon just like I don't see the trend of hypocritical evangelicals dominating American Christianity changing anytime soon. Particularly when those who oppose them are increasingly abandoning religion.


What do you mean by disappointment? Is it a sadness that you may not be in the same place in the afterlife, or does it stem more from a sense of betrayal against God? That they're not able to see the reality you do? Or am I completely off base?

There are some evangelicals trying to take back the narrative of who gets to define how American Christianity reveals itself. John Pavlovitz is one such person who is a particularly outspoken progressive Evangelical, and has only gotten more vocal after the 2016 election. I do see a lot of progressives leaving organized religion, but also I see a lot of conservative and proto-fascist secularists, too. People like Jordan Peterson and Richard Spencer, or even youtube personalities like Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad) or Andrew Anglin (the guy who runs the neo-nazi Daily Stormer website and lies about living in Nigeria while dodging subpoenas from people bringing criminal suits against him), even most of the people who still post on /pol/ regularly.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:18 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I just have a visual memory of a lightly rocking swing with a pile of meat, skin and offal dangling off of it. Don't know if that's a true memory or not, google-image-search-fu isn't finding it.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:20 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

No. It's not the afterlife thing. I don't believe people go to hell or whatever just for not believing in God. I guess it's more the latter.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:24 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

sometimes people want to eat their hot dogs without the buns.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:07 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

When the RDM and his wife got married at a nice hotel, with a judge officiating, his aunt told him that he wasn't really married because God wasn't involved. The RDM thought that was pretty nice.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:39 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I grew up secular, so I was surprised several times in my life my religion. I don’t remember my childhood super well, but a few small things I do remember...

- Just realizing some people really believed in God was interesting to me. I wasn’t told to not believe in God, but it took me awhile to appreciate that for some of my friends it went beyond “maybe there’s a god, who knows”.

- Finding out that some people believe the Earth was created only thousands of years ago was a bit flabbergasting. I feel like I only really started to appreciate this in my early teens.

- One of the first places I can remember really realizing how violent, misogynistic and awful some of the bible stories are was on this website where they were humorously reenacted in Lego... what was it called? The Brick Gospel or something?

- Going to a church service—something I’ve still done very few times—is super weird to me. I feel like I’m playing along to something that only happens in TV and movies.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:05 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah, Brick Bible. http://thebrickbible.com

RDM wrote:
When the RDM and his wife got married at a nice hotel, with a judge officiating, his aunt told him that he wasn't really married because God wasn't involved. The RDM thought that was pretty nice.


This is why most of my non-nuclear family wasn't even told about the wedding until it was over. The first person to get all sanctimonious about it was one of my uncles, who is also a serial adulterer, and whose first marriage was never annulled by the Church.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

RDM wrote:
When the RDM and his wife got married at a nice hotel, with a judge officiating, his aunt told him that he wasn't really married because God wasn't involved. The RDM thought that was pretty nice.


I also got married at a nice hotel. My wife was pregnant and we weren’t getting married because of that.

My wife’s grandpa said it would’ve been better if she had been knocked up accidentally (also implied: by not me) and then got married in church.

Thankfully everyone disagreed in silence and we just let him ramble on, because what’s the fucking point of arguing with that type of implacable logic.

But my wife remains the only person in her family that has a “sham” civil marriage.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:18 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

How does one go about implying that she should be knocked up by someone else?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:29 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Lord Golbez wrote:
How does one go about implying that she should be knocked up by someone else?


He stared at me the whole time.
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OfflineMitsurugi CP
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

It's so nice that there is at least one person in every family that will spoil other peoples' enjoyment of something because it didn't happen exactly they way they wanted it to happen.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Mitsurugi CP wrote:
It's so nice that there is at least one person in every family that will spoil other peoples' enjoyment of something because it didn't happen exactly they way they wanted it to happen.


Yes. While the motivation was religious, I don’t blame that on religion, rather on her grandpa being a shitty person that day.

My wife’s equally religious grandmother told her later “it’s good that you tried him out before getting married”. Which was pretty hilarious to hear from a 90+ yo.


Last edited by WaWard on Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

In case it wasn’t clear: she was approving the boning.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:20 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I would have also interpreted it as a tongue-in-cheek dig at grandpa.
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OfflineLord Golbez
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Was it just approving the boning or was she also looking askance at you. Like "it's good you tried him out before getting married, because he looks like that nerd from the playstation commercials."
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:32 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:32 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Lord Golbez wrote:
Was it just approving the boning or was she also looking askance at you. Like "it's good you tried him out before getting married, because he looks like that nerd from the playstation commercials."


No. She has a huge crush on my baritone voice.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:37 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

Fuck yah other thread derailed! Check!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:47 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I had a very religious phase in my teens, although my parents were never overly religious. I'm lutheran-protestant (the other major German religion that split off catholicism in the 16. century), so it was a regular thing to take one year of religious studies to be introduced into the community (an act called "confirmation"). Most kids around the age of 13 do it even if they don't care about religion at all, because at the end there's big celebration and you get a lot of money from family and friends' family. A lot of kids use that money to afford their driver's license or something similarly expensive.

For me it was a pretty fun time because the Christian youth group of our community was very active at that time, so I stayed even after my confirmation was over. It was a great place to be for a 14-year old who didn't have any particular direction in life. Everything about faith came to me bit by bit as would be expected when you spend your puberty in a group of people that you look up to. Later I became part in the organisation team, and I learned some skills during these years (speaking in front of people, playing the guitar, leading small teams, singing in a choir, being more confident in general). I developed a strong belief in God and the christian teachings, which laid a stronger focus on the new testament, while the old testament was treated more like a collection of allegories instead of the literal truth.

When I got older and moved away from home, I drifted more and more away from the belief I had, likely due to heavy exposure to the internet where there are a lot of active atheists making counterpoints to what I used to believe. Right now I would consider myself an agnostic although I still remember my church years very fondly. It just so happened that I took a more scientific world-view. I also picked up a few ideas about power structures in human societies.

I think the core problem with religion I have is that it is a powerful tool to exploit people and it's almost impossible to draw the line from where the true faith ends and the power play begins. Assuming that the idea that religion can be used to control larger groups of a population is not new, I cannot even be sure that the scripture is not tainted by a political agenda of its time. Nowadays the extent of the manipulation becomes more apparent, when religion is used for political gain (Republicans in the US, CSU in Bavaria/Germany), or for personal gain (tv pastors, pedophiles being protected by the church).

Fortunately I was in a situation where I was able to witness a pretty pure form of religious faith in my life so I know what religion can be in contrast to what it often actually is.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote Back to top

I was raised a Catholic and as most people in France I don't really like discussing about my religious beliefs in public (except as part of a somewhat philosophical discussion on the broad topic).

I consider myself an agnostic and I mostly judge people by their actions rather than by what religion they claim to follow. I'm basically a Humanist, which is very unoriginal for a French person.
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