06-06-2013 02:20 PM
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  1. Aquila's Avatar
    @NIT and @msundrstood, thanks for sharing all that. Others too of course, but really interesting personal accounts.

    I'm not religious at all, but I suppose I am Catholic if being baptized Catholic and not doing much else still makes me Catholic. I know that nobody was saying otherwise, but in today's secular world I see the church and organized religion as one of the last places where manners, decency, morals, charity, love, respect, forgiveness, and helping the needy, poor, and sick takes place and is taught.

    I know that the church is full of all kinds of hypocrites and deviants as well as claiming moral superiority as the word of Christ or whatever, but maybe because I was never a victim and I don't see morals being taught anywhere else, as well as all the faith based charities, I see the church largely as a force of good. Again, I'm not suggesting anyone was insinuating otherwise, but I wanted to put my two cents in.

    Nexus 7 via Android Central App
    I definitely appreciate that and I agree 100% we need more ways to teach people to be decent to each other. I know you didn't say this, but you bring up another interesting point. There are arguments that without religion, there would be no morals. If God wasn't real and the bible wasn't true, how would we know murder is wrong? That absolute morality comes from a divine source. This creates two very immoral paradoxes that I hope we quickly evolve our way out of through education and better philosophical appreciation of logic and decency.

    1. Only believers are moral, non-believers are immoral and thus should be looked down upon, smote, destroyed, branded as heathens etc. or converted to belief so that they can be good people.

    If we could get over this one, the world would instantly be a better place. We could appreciate people by their acts, not their labels. This of course applies to more than just religion, but how much time is spent talking about "Islamic Terrorism"? We divide an categorize ourselves too much already, no need to look for reasons to do it.

    2. If God isn't real, sentient, perfect and guiding humanity through constant daily interaction with everything... then good and evil are just words and no one can know what is right. 2a You have to be good or you'll go to Hell or 2b if you are good you will go to Heaven.

    I'm much more proud of a person who does the right thing because it's right (honor) or because it makes them feel good (integrity), rather than they do it out of fear of punishment or for a reward. Those latter two are childish incentives that shouldn't be necessary in a truly moral world. They rule via fear: fear of the punishment or fear of not getting the reward. This is a fundamental psychological question for parents and teachers... do you want your children to do the right thing because they're afraid of you being angry or because they want to please you? Or do you want them to do the right thing because you taught them how to make good decisions? Do you want to live in a society ruled by fear or by reason and trust?

    That last question... is 99.99% of what's wrong in our culture. The motivation for everything we do seems to be fear based... fear of some punishment or fear of not being rewarded. Our best moments as a society are when people abandon their "training" and reach out and help someone who needs it. Not when we crush each other in a misguided attempt to stand atop the pile of corpses long enough ... long enough for what? To be remembered? To have a few moments of pleasure at the expense of those under heel? To win? Win the most money? The most fame? Win what?

    05-26-2013 03:12 AM
  2. jdbii's Avatar
    I think philosophers have a way to answer your 1 and 2 questions or paradoxes. It is a sticking point for me the idea that "I believe in such and such" therefore "I am morally superior." As much as we would like to live in a world based on trust and doing the right thing, there has to be some fear - like fear of starving to death, or fear of not paying the rent - or else we would all die. I prefer earthly fears to motivate me.

    Nexus 7 via Android Central App
    Aquila and Blaize19 like this.
    05-26-2013 03:29 AM
  3. Aquila's Avatar
    I think philosophers have a way to answer your 1 and 2 questions or paradoxes. It is a sticking point for me the idea that "I believe in such and such" therefore "I am morally superior." As much as we would like to live in a world based on trust and doing the right thing, there has to be some fear - like fear of starving to death, or fear of not paying the rent - or else we would all die. I prefer earthly fears to motivate me.

    Nexus 7 via Android Central App
    Right, agree 100% that fear is one of the primary mechanisms of survival.. we've evolved the way we are and inherited the genes of the survivors. Fear by itself is normal and can be helpful... but we don't need to invent reasons, like "that person looks different, sounds different, etc." We're smart enough to overcome the silly irrational fears, like "we're sick because she's a witch" while still acting logically in the face of danger.
    msndrstood, jdbii and Blaize19 like this.
    05-26-2013 03:35 AM
  4. bigdaddytee's Avatar
    The new pope just said to judge people by actions, and that through those "good" actions, even an atheist can be redeemed.

    Strange times, no?

    Sent from the (4.2 updated) redheaded stepchild of the Nexii
    Aquila and msndrstood like this.
    05-26-2013 07:52 AM
  5. MikeA86's Avatar
    I never see if anyone respond to threads so I may not follow up on this.
    Point 1: hypocrites are everywhere, even outside of church. Every parent I've met is a hypocrite. Limiting that title to those in church isn't accurate.
    Point 2: I've lost a friend who was an evangelical atheist. He hated Christians because they were intolerant, but cut ties with me because I brought up several holes in the argument of big bang and evolution, citing scientists and scientific laws as my evidence. I've found many who believe in science to also be intolerant and unwilling to entertain a different point of view.
    I can't speak to the actions of everyone who claims Christ as their savior. However I realized the truth of God a few years ago and think that a book called One Heartbeat Away by Mark Cahill addresses a lot of the questions people have and he cites physicists and scientists as his evidence, including Stephen Hawking who we all know is an atheist. If you're interested you can get the book online or I'll buy it for you. As I've said though, I don't get notified when someone responds to a thread I've posted in so you'd have to pm me.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Android Central Forums
    badbrad17 likes this.
    05-26-2013 08:43 AM
  6. MikeA86's Avatar
    The new pope just said to judge people by actions, and that through those "good" actions, even an atheist can be redeemed.

    Strange times, no?
    That's not biblical at all and im angry that someone in his position would make such a statement. Where one spends eternity is too serious too play fast and loose with the truth.



    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Android Central Forums
    05-26-2013 08:45 AM
  7. rexxman's Avatar
    I saw the word Agnostic used a few times in this thread. I'll share a funny definition of an Agnostic (I don't remember the source).

    "An Agnostic is an Atheist with commitment issues"

    Ok, so we now have discussions going on about religion and politics. Dare we go for the trifecta? :-)

    Posted via Android Central App
    Aquila likes this.
    05-26-2013 08:53 AM
  8. omniusovermind's Avatar
    I find myself in a unique position to answer this because I work as a correctional officer. The short versions? Here you go:

    They got caught
    They're unjustly incarcerated/ oppressed by "the man", god is on their side
    It's the cool thing to do in jail
    Brownie points for parole

    99% of these poor persecuted holy men will attend a bible session and then bully, gang-attack, and stab another weaker inmate 5 minutes later. And let's not forget the god-squad who volunteer their time coming into the jails as volunteers to preach to these dirtbags. Take a wild guess what percentage of these agencies minister to victims and families? I'll give you a hint: it's a really round number. My dream job in all honesty would be to work in a non-democratic society's prison system but get to live in a democratic society.
    Blaize19 likes this.
    05-26-2013 09:10 AM
  9. msndrstood's Avatar
    I saw the word Agnostic used a few times in this thread. I'll share a funny definition of an Agnostic (I don't remember the source).

    "An Agnostic is an Atheist with commitment issues"

    Ok, so we now have discussions going on about religion and politics. Dare we go for the trifecta? :-)

    Posted via Android Central App
    I think its personal for everybody. If you believe, fine. If not, that's fine too. My problem is with people who want you to believe what they believe. Just stop it. Why do believers feel like they are responsible for other's beliefs?

    That goes for religion, politics and choice of phone.

    What?! ...I'm msndrstood.
    via Gnex
    palandri, jdbii, Blaize19 and 1 others like this.
    05-26-2013 09:34 AM
  10. MrHost's Avatar
    That's not biblical at all and im angry that someone in his position would make such a statement. Where one spends eternity is too serious too play fast and loose with the truth.



    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Android Central Forums
    So many catholics have taken offense to that statement. He is stating that even an atheist can find salvation through Jesus. He is also stating that the more good acts a person does will lead them to the truth and then they will believe.

    Not sure why people are getting upset because the pope said, in laments terms, you can still find Jesus and be saved.

    Posted via Android Central App
    05-26-2013 10:21 AM
  11. MrHost's Avatar
    As a Christian myself, I have to agree that there are many right/left wing religious types. They are the unfortunate public perception because they are more vocal.

    Many ask why do our beliefs have to be pushed on non believers. My response has always been because there are many people who are pushy. Believer or not.

    I would like to state that truth and faith are two very different things. Faith is not something to be proven. Atheist don't have faith in science! They believe the efforts using science will prove what they believe. A truly faithful person doesn't look to science for religious answers. They look to God and the Bible for answers.

    Posted via Android Central App
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    05-26-2013 10:31 AM
  12. MrHost's Avatar
    It's an interesting show.

    They'll show you something from 3000 B.C., give you their theory on it and you'll say, ya maybe.

    Then they'll show you something else from 3000 B.C., give you their theory on it and you'll say, that's pretty far fetched. I doubt it.

    Then they'll show you something else from 3000 B.C., like a design cut into a rock, and professional stone cutters will examine the cut under a microscope and compare it to all other stone cutting methods and their only conclusion is it's a match to a cut made by a powerful laser. That makes you think and say wow!
    I love this show and your description is right on... Plausible, that was kinda out there, and then wow, that is convincing.

    Posted via Android Central App
    palandri and msndrstood like this.
    05-26-2013 10:32 AM
  13. MrHost's Avatar
    I saw the word Agnostic used a few times in this thread. I'll share a funny definition of an Agnostic (I don't remember the source).

    "An Agnostic is an Atheist with commitment issues"

    Ok, so we now have discussions going on about religion and politics. Dare we go for the trifecta? :-)

    Posted via Android Central App
    What is a Jew that believes in Jesus?
    A Christian... I love that one...

    Posted via Android Central App
    05-26-2013 10:38 AM
  14. MrHost's Avatar
    lmao.

    Ironically, I was also raised catholic and can vouch for much of what she has said.

    Catholicism is what originally began my questioning of Christianity.

    For anyone who is interested, I consider myself Agnostic.
    If you don't feel you agree with your church, check another one. Probably not another Catholic church, try another Christian church. See if their thoughts are more in line with yours or if they can answer the questions you have.

    Not all questions will have answers as much as we want them too.

    One thing I have found is that open mindedness can be closed on both sides of believers and non believers.

    I find some things much harder to explain from my faith stand point and people claim it is because I'm close minded.

    For instance: Gays right to receive same benefits as a married couple. I believe in this whole hearted. Do I agree that gay couples should be allowed marriage? No.

    Marriage was a religious term way before the government adopted it. I believe the government should drop marriage as a legal type if civil union and make all civil unions =(equal).

    I got married because I wanted to profess my love and devotion to God and my wife. If I just wanted to tell the government I'm married and want them to know, I would have gone to the court house.

    Yet because I see two different topics in one being discussed I'm closer minded. The government should have resolved the issue and debate by removing marriage as a term and this whole issue from the religious side would have been much less. Except for this nuts saying homosexuals are committing one of the greatest sins, which is not correct. No one sin is greater than another.

    I'm Christian and I sin everyday. I know that, the lord knows that. That is all I care about.

    I'm personally tired of the judging too. Priest and pastors and deacons are called hypocrites because they don't meet some standard. If they are acting in a way unbecoming like getting drunk often, sexually molesting and such then they are beyond hypocrites. Parents almost all do the same thing with their children, do as I say not as I do. I do!

    There is a difference in being an adult and being a child. I believe morals are built off this same idea.

    Posted via Android Central App
    palandri, Blaize19 and badbrad17 like this.
    05-26-2013 11:02 AM
  15. llamabreath's Avatar
    ^^^
    Well written.
    05-26-2013 11:11 AM
  16. llamabreath's Avatar
    I find myself in a unique position to answer this because I work as a correctional officer. The short versions? Here you go:

    ... They're unjustly incarcerated/ oppressed by "the man", god is on their side..
    That's an interesting angle, i can't believe that that one never crossed my mind!

    They're incarcerated/oppressed by "the man" (which of course must be the Devil) and God is on their side because they were unjustly incarcerated. Heh.. makes perfect sense (in a twisted mind). They seem to ignore the crime they committed, but that gets rationalized in their mind too.

    05-26-2013 11:31 AM
  17. palandri's Avatar
    ...I'm Christian and I sin everyday....
    That statement generates a couple of questions. Don't you think what sect you belong to has a lot to do with where you're born? I mean, if you're born in the middle east, don't you think it would be more likely that you would be brought up a Muslim? or if you were born in Asia, you would more likely be brought up a Buddhist or Taoist?

    Why do you sin everyday if you know it's wrong? That really confuses me.

    Thanks!
    msndrstood likes this.
    05-26-2013 11:33 AM
  18. llamabreath's Avatar
    That statement generates a couple of questions. Don't you think what sect you belong to has a lot to do with where you're born? I mean, if you're born in the middle east, don't you think it would be more likely that you would be brought up a Muslim? or if you were born in Asia, you would more likely be brought up a Buddhist or Taoist?
    I most definitely agree; we are a product of our environs.

    palandri likes this.
    05-26-2013 11:38 AM
  19. badbrad17's Avatar
    I find myself in a unique position to answer this because I work as a correctional officer. The short versions? Here you go:

    They got caught
    They're unjustly incarcerated/ oppressed by "the man", god is on their side
    It's the cool thing to do in jail
    Brownie points for parole

    99% of these poor persecuted holy men will attend a bible session and then bully, gang-attack, and stab another weaker inmate 5 minutes later. And let's not forget the god-squad who volunteer their time coming into the jails as volunteers to preach to these dirtbags. Take a wild guess what percentage of these agencies minister to victims and families? I'll give you a hint: it's a really round number. My dream job in all honesty would be to work in a non-democratic society's prison system but get to live in a democratic society.
    Although I dont doubt that the majority of the scum in prison will take any opportunity to get an upper hand. Be it for parole or something else. But I will speak from personal experience. I have a very close friend that I met over 20 years ago. He had a problem childhood and made some bad decisions and ended up in prison. While there he did claim to accept God and Christ and dedicated himself to being a Christian. He got out of prison, continued in his faith, got married, raised a family and is running a successful company.

    I only wanted to make this post as so often we paint in extremes. Every inmate who finds hope may not be sincere but there are many that are. The same goes for the people who dedicate their time to come in and visit the inmates.

    Sent from my Nexus 4
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    05-26-2013 11:39 AM
  20. badbrad17's Avatar
    I think its personal for everybody. If you believe, fine. If not, that's fine too. My problem is with people who want you to believe what they believe. Just stop it. Why do believers feel like they are responsible for other's beliefs?
    There are different reasons why people try to convert others. I believe it could be a few different reasons.

    1. They have found something that has changed their life experience and want to share that with the people they know or meet. This can be true on many levels. Cell phones come to mind.

    2. They believe it to be a commandment given in the Bible which says "Go into the world making disciples of..."

    3. They like to annoy people.

    I personally believe that when we change our perspective we can see a different reason that people want to share their faith. I say this more from a biblical perspective more than a man made religious perspective. So for this example I would omit Catholicism, Mormons, Jehova Witness as these have at some point interjected man's sway on what is a written in the bible. It is not for me to exclude any of these people from salvation as only God can decide on this.

    So if we were to agree that what Christ taught was true and the things he did were actual events, then we as believers would then accept that there is either salvation or damnation. If a person believes this then they are not just trying to make you believe something for their own benefit but they are doing it out of compassion. There are many analogies that can be used, but if Jesus was not a liar, or crazy person then we have to decide on what his life meant. He said that he came to bring living water. This seems like an odd statement unless you understand the benefit of quenching your thirst. Why would I not want to offer water to a thirsty man? And why would that person be angry at me for offering it? Quite often pride is the culprit. We desire to be self serving and independent. We don't want to have to believe that we are accountable to someone or something greater than ourselves. This is the very foundation of why most posts here are critical of the created and not the creator. People suck. We are inherently evil. We have proved this in religion, politics, prison and in more ways than can be counted. But God doesn't let us down. Jesus taught the truth.

    Many who have posted here have stated that they think of spiritual things and they are trying to find truth by scientific ways. This is possible, but all science is flawed until we have all the answers. And unfortunately we don't have all the answers. Scientific theory requires faith. Lots of it. So although many will adamantly disagree, the belief in unequivocally proven science is in and of itself similar to a religion.

    I do believe in the God of the Bible. Am I a raving lunatic that blindly believes in things without any basis? Absolutely not. Do I have all the answers to all my questions? No, but neither does the scientist. The only difference is that I can compare science to what is written in the Bible and get factual reference. Scientists go quite often solely on faith and theory.

    Here's to hoping we can have some good discussions people and thanks to Jennifer for being involved as moderator.

    Sent from my Nexus 4
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    05-26-2013 12:08 PM
  21. badbrad17's Avatar
    To be clear, I think religion is false, not the possibility of there being more to the story than what's observed.
    I think I agree with you. Religion is a man made thing. But truth is not. Most critics of religion usually look at how people have failed for this reason or that reason. Yet the Bible is not conformed to religion. It is a life book. Sometimes it tells a story, other times it predicts the future, very often it teaches us how to have better productive lives. The sad part is that we as people are not content with following the instructions found in this book. We always want to change things and impose our ideas on something that doesn't need fixing. For example the concept of penance, the rosary and other fabricated Catholic rituals are not defined principles that are stated in the Bible.

    I believe in logic. I believe that if we read the Bible and treat it like a historical document with valuable principles and don't apply the religious dogma to it we will get a much better perspective on who God is and why Jesus was such a critical and key figure in our history and future.

    I found truth on my own. I had very little religious upbringing. So I do believe that God found me. I have no other way to describe it. I had nothing to go on other than what I learned on my own. So I would suggest that anyone who is a deep thinker to forget what you've been told, forget how someone else has acted poorly. Forget religion. We need to look only at ourselves and challenge God to reveal himself. But we need to make the first step. Call it prayer, call it a conversation. Just say, God if you are real then prove it to me. I think you will be surprised by the results. God wants us to know him.

    Sent from my Nexus 4
    05-26-2013 12:38 PM
  22. badbrad17's Avatar
    I would also like to add to @ NothingIsTrue, that although there are some things to be debated on some of the translations of the new testament, the Old testament is one if not the most perfectly preserved historical document in the world. The Jewish scribes were meticulous at writing and also memorizing the scriptures. Even young Jewish children would memorize many of the books of the old testament by heart before they were over the age of 12.

    Sent from my Nexus 4
    05-26-2013 12:45 PM
  23. gollum18's Avatar
    I could go on and on about the hypocrisy of catholicism but as an atheist I'll shut my mouth this time.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
    05-26-2013 12:53 PM
  24. Aquila's Avatar
    This is much more civil a conversation than I would have guessed, but going to drop out while we're ahead. This is one of the most deeply personal conversations we can engage in and we all know my knack for not picking the best words... I really don't want to upset anyone. Thanks everyone for keeping it easy going!

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
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    05-26-2013 12:57 PM
  25. llamabreath's Avatar
    I could go on and on about the hypocrisy of catholicism but as an atheist I'll shut my mouth this time.

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
    I welcome all views (sometimes ), just keep it respectful, as hard as it might sometimes be.


    jdbii and Aquila like this.
    05-26-2013 01:04 PM
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