Author Topic: Hey everybody  (Read 131 times)

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Offline wiswit

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Hey everybody
« on: October 12, 2014, 01:04:45 PM »
I have been a member of this forum for little more than two months now and I have decided to officially introduce myself. The reason I have waited this long is because, as opposed to the friend who recommended me to take a look at this forum (and as I have come to learn FROM many other members), I have had little religious experiences. I have just recently begun to think about religion, try to understand it and its effect on people. To that end I wish to engage in discussions and to learn your views on various matters.

Here is an outline of my experience with religion:
Being brought up, I was never told to do or don't do something because of god or scripture. My parents would say that I have been brought up with religious (at least partly) values and understanding, based on their own religion. My parents grew up in an Islamic country but left when they were about 25 years old. They are muslim but they interpret the quran themselves and use only those parts they think are valid and useful. By doing this they are not really considered to be muslim by even some of their own family members.
I have read some of the replies on this forum regarding 'cherry picking' from scripture to ones own liking. The first verse in the quran says it is a book of which there is no doubt...so I understand that it seems strange that one can do that and still claim to be (in this case) muslim. However, my parents maintain the argument that one must evolve with time and interpret scripture with our current knowledge.
Yesterday I told my parents that those values that they consider important do not necessarily origin from the quran (in their case because they are muslim), it can also be found in other religion or atheism. I argued that the reason they are muslim, in my opinion, is more due to cultural reasons rather than religious reasons. I finally asked them; 'What defines who you are, the fact that you are a muslim, or the fact that you grew up with certain principles and values that you believe in?' My dad said that religion has had an influence in shaping who he is, though I do not know to what extend and whether it is different than how Christianity influences someone who grows up in, say, South America.

What I try to understand is whether religion could be useful in my life or not. I do that to understand how I can best live my life. I do not believe in monotheistic religions because the explanation provided in the bible (I went to a catholic primary school) or quran (I recently started to read it) seems, thusfar, illogical. I will continue in reading the quran because I find it important to at least know what I talk about when I discuss, which is something that was kindly suggested to me by one of the members here. I have learned quite a lot from members, read through their posts, their personal experiences and I wish to continue in doing so.

Looking forward to your views! 
Kill one man, you are a murderer
Kill a million, and you are a Conqueror
Kill them all, and you are a God

~Jean Rostand (Thoughts of a Biologist, 1938)

Offline Foxy Freedom

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Re: Hey everybody
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2014, 02:34:23 PM »
I don't think that something which is untrue can be useful in your life, except to tell you the mistakes which other people make and why they make them.

The things which will be useful to you, will depend on what you want to do with your life.
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Offline wiswit

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Re: Hey everybody
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2014, 02:58:12 PM »
To me it is interesting to understand why they choose to believe what they believe in. I do not necessarily point that out as a mistake, even though there is no evidence to suggest that it could be true. I think whether it is a mistake or not depends on how they exercise their believe, or don't exercise it. I am equally interested to understand why you (not you specifically, but anybody) do not believe in god. This is why I am here, I suppose.

What I want to do with my life...seems a bit vague. For now I want to understand some important questions that I have. That is why I find this forum so interesting, because people really make an effort in explaining their point of view, share their experiences and knowledge.

Thanks for your reply ;)

edit: typo
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 03:00:58 PM by wiswit »
Kill one man, you are a murderer
Kill a million, and you are a Conqueror
Kill them all, and you are a God

~Jean Rostand (Thoughts of a Biologist, 1938)

Offline wright

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Re: Hey everybody
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2014, 03:10:07 PM »
I find at least a general knowledge of the major religions useful, even interesting. For insight into different cultures, religious beliefs and writings are helpful. And I've always been fascinated by myths and creation stories.

Thanks for the personal history; your parents sound like thoughtful, open-minded people and they seem to have taught those qualities to you.

As to my own views... In brief, I was raised with very little religious background, finally deciding I was an atheist at age 11. In my late 20s I became severely depressed and converted to Christianity, which lasted for about 15 years. The total lack of evidence for a god, along with the barbarism and cruelty endorsed in the Bible, returned me to atheism about 9 years ago, and I doubt that will change again.

Hope to see you around the forums, wiswit.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline wiswit

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Re: Hey everybody
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2014, 03:33:15 PM »
Thanks for sharing that wright. I must say that I am shocked that so many people, such as yourself, have had such experiences with religion. Due to the environment I was brought up in I never saw, let alone understand, any of the issues the people indicate that they have (had) with religion. I have had (probably to some extend I still have) a naive view regarding the impact, especially negative impact, it can have on people.

Here to change that. Thanks for your post.
Kill one man, you are a murderer
Kill a million, and you are a Conqueror
Kill them all, and you are a God

~Jean Rostand (Thoughts of a Biologist, 1938)

Offline wright

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Re: Hey everybody
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2014, 04:10:43 PM »
I really don't see my experience with Christianity as very negative, just ultimately too divorced from reality for me to keep my religious faith. Losing that faith wasn't entirely painless: my belief in god helped (at least for awhile) alleviate my depression, and losing it meant I also lost that solace.

But I've since learned to cope with depression in other ways, and really don't miss my old faith. It was, in the end, a self-deception.

And we're all naive about things outside our experience. Recognizing one's ignorance is an important part of learning.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline wiswit

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Re: Hey everybody
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2014, 05:10:44 PM »
And we're all naive about things outside our experience.
I don't really know if that is a good thing.

Quote
Recognizing one's ignorance is an important part of learning.
I agree. All that remains is to replace ignorance with understanding  ;D
Kill one man, you are a murderer
Kill a million, and you are a Conqueror
Kill them all, and you are a God

~Jean Rostand (Thoughts of a Biologist, 1938)

Online LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Hey everybody
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2014, 07:57:59 PM »
Welcome to the forum.
After being a Christian for a long time I felt something was missing.
I searched the writings of Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, the Tao Te Ching and anything else I could get my hands on.
Hoping to find how it all fit together.
But the bottom line was I found no evidence of a living god in my life.
So now I am an atheist.
And I am relieved that there is no god denying me everything I pray for.
I accept reality.
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline Aurora

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Re: Hey everybody
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2014, 01:30:24 AM »
New to site, saying hi and welcome.