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Author Topic: Why would anyone be religious?  (Read 3152 times)
angus
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« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2012, 03:07:52 pm »
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You actually equate Jesus to the Taliban?

No, not Jesus.  You. 

angus, obviously I haven’t been referring to your son, but to you and your logical approach...

Fair enough.  That was really directed at John.

Obviously, it is logical to assume the child would be more likely to esteem Christian values if his parents were living a life in agreement with faith in Christ...

I appreciate your advice. 

Hey, on a related note, if you had to put a children's book about bible stories in the library under either fiction or non-fiction, where would you put it?  Like, just for the sake of argument, say it's a book called "Stories from THE BIBLE:  Old Testament Stories Retold" and suppose it was written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Geoffrey Patterson.  Suppose it has a chapter on The Creation, and on Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses and the Bulrushes, etc.  Suppose you had to put this book into the youth section of the local public library, and you either had to organize it with the fiction books or the non-fiction books.  Where do you put it?
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« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2012, 03:34:48 pm »
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You actually equate Jesus to the Taliban?
No, not Jesus.  You. 

You lost me, bro.  But I am interested in your answer.

How is stating “Consider Noah : by faith he built an ark, and saved not only himself, but his whole family” more like Taliban than Jesus?

---
I appreciate your advice. 

Hey, on a related note, if you had to put a children's book about bible stories in the library under either fiction or non-fiction, where would you put it?  Like, just for the sake of argument, say it's a book called "Stories from THE BIBLE:  Old Testament Stories Retold" and suppose it was written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Geoffrey Patterson.  Suppose it has a chapter on The Creation, and on Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses and the Bulrushes, etc.  Suppose you had to put this book into the youth section of the local public library, and you either had to organize it with the fiction books or the non-fiction books.  Where do you put it?

I would place religious texts in the reference or religion section.
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« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2012, 07:18:21 pm »
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You lost me, bro.  But I am interested in your answer.

How is stating “Consider Noah : by faith he built an ark, and saved not only himself, but his whole family” more like Taliban than Jesus?


I guess it was the whole post, or better yet, the whole dialogue:

Quote
...I am asking you to examine the purpose of:

1) parents sending their children to seek Chirst, yet not seeking Him themselves.

2) parents who are content with allowing the church to teach their children, and not teaching the child about Jesus themselves....

How scholarly.  How very agenda-driven.  You seem to have a good sense of humor about almost everything else, even sensitive issues like federal judicial appointments, but when it comes to religion, and in particular Christianity, you get very serious.  Maybe I picked the wrong word.  My arabic is a tad rusty, so I went to look it up in my Hans Wehr Arabic-English dictionary and Taalib means "student" or "claimant" or "applicant" or "seeker of knowledge" which is what I thought, and the plural is slightly different.  Then I looked on line and found that "talibaan" is actually Pashto plural for students.  Close enough.  I'm sure they borrowed the word from Arabic.  And when the word is used in the United States, it's usually on the news, usually negative, and usually refers to a particular type of students.  They are a militant political group.  Okay, you're not really militant in a literal sense, but you're definitely political, definitely agenda-driven, and definitely a "seeker of knowledge" and very strict about your own interpretations of scripture.  I think Taalib is right.  (not Talibaan, technically, since there's only one of you, but close enough.)  FWIW, I'm a bit of a Taalib myself, when it comes to certain issues.

The book question arose today.  They boy had some wicked diarrhea and vomiting today, beginning at about 5:30.  Woke us up.  Since my wife had a more hectic schedule, I played full-time parent today.  Called the school and said he'd be absent.  I did have a lecture at 9, so I took him with me and put him in my office with two books for that 50-minute period.  One book was "Jack in the Beanstalk" and the other was the one I mentioned.  But I didn't stay at work long.  Cancelled my office hour and took him to a clinic.  The physician on duty said she thought it was a 24- to 48-hour virus, no antibiotics recommended, but rest and liquid and a very bland diet.  Turned out she was right.  He's much better now.  In fact, by about 3:30 he was better, and wanting to go out and play ball and ride the bicycle.  Right at the time school dismisses he was all better.  Funny how that works.  Anyway, today was music and a spelling test and reading quiz.  I always try to emulate what they're doing in school if he's absent, so he doesn't waste his mind, so I made him play some songs for me on the piano, and I made him spell a bunch of words for me, and I quizzed him about the books he read. 

When I asked him about the Bible Story books--which was from the public library, I should point out.  Today's public schools, unfortunately, wouldn't even think of stocking such books, as I have pointed out in this thread--he commented that even though it was an apple book, it reminded him of an orange book.  (Apparently in his school, there are Apple Books and Orange Books.  Apples being fruits that you have to eat in one sitting, starting from the outside and going sequentially toward the core.  Oranges, so long as you peel them, can be taken one wedge at a time, and in any order, and the wedges will keep, unpeeled, for quite a long time without oxidizing, so you don't have to eat it in one sitting.  When I probed more deeply, I found that this is how his school discriminates between fiction books, which must be read chapter to chapter, in order, and non-fiction books, which may be referenced and order isn't important.)  The fact that he commented that the Bible Stories book was an Apple Book may make your point for you.  It would not have occurred to a child whose father had not always prefaced all religious discussions with "Some people believe that..." to call the Bible Stories book an Apple Book.  Especially since the local public library has it marked with a series of Library of Congress Call letters making it seem like a regular Youth Reference (i.e., non-fiction, or orange) book. 

Just thinking out loud, I guess.
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« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2012, 08:12:28 pm »
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(Apparently in his school, there are Apple Books and Orange Books.  Apples being fruits that you have to eat in one sitting, starting from the outside and going sequentially toward the core.  Oranges, so long as you peel them, can be taken one wedge at a time, and in any order, and the wedges will keep, unpeeled, for quite a long time without oxidizing, so you don't have to eat it in one sitting.  When I probed more deeply, I found that this is how his school discriminates between fiction books, which must be read chapter to chapter, in order, and non-fiction books, which may be referenced and order isn't important.)

You know, I find that division of books into apples and oranges to be quite charming.  That would make an anthology of short stories or poems an orange book unless the individual items were laid out in some sort of thematic order or were part of a shared continuity. So it isn't a strict fiction/non-fiction correspondence.

However wouldn't Banana Book be a better term for an Apple Book?  There isn't any reason you can't take a bite from one side of an apple and then take the next bite from the other side.  However, a banana needs to be eaten in a linear sequential order.
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« Reply #54 on: March 28, 2012, 04:48:32 am »
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So, a while back my nephew came back from third grade and asked his parents who this "Jesus" guy his classmates were talking about was.  My brother-in-law explained the basic story (my nephew had no clue what a "virgin" was, so it was difficult), and at the end, my brother-in-law explained the Resurrection.  My nephew solemnly said, "he was the first zombie."

The kid's going to turn out all right.

Mikado, if that story is true, it gives me hope not just for your nephew, but for all of our sick sad Jewdio-christian culture.
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« Reply #55 on: March 28, 2012, 01:17:33 pm »
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So, a while back my nephew came back from third grade and asked his parents who this "Jesus" guy his classmates were talking about was.  My brother-in-law explained the basic story (my nephew had no clue what a "virgin" was, so it was difficult), and at the end, my brother-in-law explained the Resurrection.  My nephew solemnly said, "he was the first zombie."

The kid's going to turn out all right.

Mikado, if that story is true, it gives me hope not just for your nephew, but for all of our sick sad Jewdio-christian culture.
except, the NT doesn't present Jesus as a zombie after resurrection.  so, it seems that your "hope" is only a deliberate misrepresentation.
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot. Comin' for to carry me home.
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« Reply #56 on: March 28, 2012, 01:59:11 pm »
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How is stating “Consider Noah : by faith he built an ark, and saved not only himself, but his whole family” more like Taliban than Jesus?

I guess it was the whole post, or better yet, the whole dialogue:

Quote
...I am asking you to examine the purpose of:

1) parents sending their children to seek Christ, yet not seeking Him themselves.

2) parents who are content with allowing the church to teach their children, and not teaching the child about Jesus themselves....

How scholarly.  How very agenda-driven.

But, the only agenda is salvation, as it was when Jesus blessed the little children - he also used them as an analogy for adults seeking salvation:

Mark 10:14 “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

So, there really is no reason for you to be surprised someone inquired about the kid’s parents. 

---

You seem to have a good sense of humor about almost everything else, even sensitive issues like federal judicial appointments, but when it comes to religion, and in particular Christianity, you get very serious.

What is more serious than salvation, angus? 
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Do not fight with one another over my banning.  I've enjoyed the time I have spent with all of you, but the time really has come for me to leave.  It is what I want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Y_GLT4_9I

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
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« Reply #57 on: March 28, 2012, 10:53:03 pm »
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I'm an alterboy.  I'm religious, but I form my own views.  I no longer pray "Hail Marys" or to the saints because I believe in praying to God and God alone.  So while I believe it is an integral part of my life, I don't like to force it on others.  I form my own views, and I don't like the bureaucracy of organized religion.  In adulthood I'll probably go to the nearest church to my house.  I consider myself a Christian and don't like the sectionalism of "Lutheran vs. Episcopalian" etc.  I don't believe the Bible is to be interpreted 100% literally, but I dont think any less of those who do.  But I can tell you that me and two friends of mine, one Christian, the other atheist, went to Christian club at school for the pizza, and my atheist friend lit up, started bowing his head during prayer, and got excited, asking my questions, etc. afterwards.  So while some people choose to find God, I don't think any less of someone based upon their religion.  Some make that decision voluntarily because it gives them spiritual fullness.  I'm not looking for a debate, but a polite discussion.
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« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2012, 08:15:01 pm »
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(Apparently in his school, there are Apple Books and Orange Books.  Apples being fruits that you have to eat in one sitting, starting from the outside and going sequentially toward the core.  Oranges, so long as you peel them, can be taken one wedge at a time, and in any order, and the wedges will keep, unpeeled, for quite a long time without oxidizing, so you don't have to eat it in one sitting.  When I probed more deeply, I found that this is how his school discriminates between fiction books, which must be read chapter to chapter, in order, and non-fiction books, which may be referenced and order isn't important.)

You know, I find that division of books into apples and oranges to be quite charming.  That would make an anthology of short stories or poems an orange book unless the individual items were laid out in some sort of thematic order or were part of a shared continuity. So it isn't a strict fiction/non-fiction correspondence.

However wouldn't Banana Book be a better term for an Apple Book?  There isn't any reason you can't take a bite from one side of an apple and then take the next bite from the other side.  However, a banana needs to be eaten in a linear sequential order.
The Bible was written as an orange book.  I mean, it wasn't written in the order we have it now. Nor do most people read it from cover to cover.
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« Reply #59 on: April 07, 2012, 08:35:16 pm »
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Mikado, your nephew sounds like an FF.

Anyway, the obvious question in response to this is "Why would anyone be non-religious?" or perhaps better, "Why should I be non-religious?"
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« Reply #60 on: October 21, 2012, 07:44:55 pm »
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LCBC today.

We have been living in Pennsylvania for about three months, and the wife has been bringing up the idea that we should take the boy to church for a while, and I can tell she's getting serious, so last Sunday I took my bicycle out for a long ride, looking for a big come-as-you-are interdenominational megachurch.  I found one, and decided that's where we can go.  It's on the other side of the tracks, where the population is much denser and the buildings taller and closer together.  It's called LCBC.  No indication anywhere about what it stands for.  (I'd decided it was Lancaster County Bible Church, at some point.  Turns out it's "Lives changed by Christ" as I learned today.)

Starts at 11.  We sauntered in at 11:05ish today.  Free coffee.  Decaf or Vanilla Creme options are available as well.  I'll just have the regular, thank you.  No scones, but there were "doughnut holes."  For the unitiated, it's a small, spherical doughnut.  I didn't try it.  I'm not a fan of doughnuts to begin with, so even if it's a small sphere rather than a large toroid, it's still a doughnut.  There was also steaming hot water with tea bags, for those who prefer tea.  

The children's program was called "Zooplosion" but apparently is also called KidVenture Island.  I got a cup of Joe and then signed the boy up for that.  The tinkertoy/lego/barbie doll time was just ending when we got into the big room full of about a hundred children ranging in ages from about 3 to about 10.  His circle of 2nd graders had maybe 15 people.  Today's lesson was about forgiveness.  I hung around for a few minutes just to make sure he wasn't going to start making paper airplanes or shooting spitwads from his straw or otherwise doing anything weird.  Once I sensed it was okay, I went into the main chapel with my wife.  

When we walked in there were stage lights of alternating colors filtering through smoke or liquid N2.  The effect was very Pink Floyd.  There was a deafeningly loud band playing hard rock, made worse by the fact that the only row where we could find two empty seats together was near the front.  When the music died down the teacher, or pastor, or whatever they called him came out.  He was maybe mid-40s to early 50s and wore blue jeans, sneakers, and an untucked shirt, mostly unbuttoned.  He started talking about salvation.  Very upbeat.  He read from Ezekiel 18 and Jude and 2nd Thessalonians.  There were big LCD screens on the walls which showed the passages he read, and showed him in close-up when he wasn't quoting scripture.  He talked about the view that after death there's nothingness, and about another view that said after death you get re-incarnated in some other body, human or animal.  He then mentioned that there's a view that there's a life after death but that you might have to spend some time in purgatory, depending upon your life.  He then said that his understanding didn't really fit any of these models.  He was all about Jesus' sacrifice, and that the sacrifice meant that you don't have to be perfect to go to Heaven.  He showed a video of the local fire department, and likened saving people from fires to carrying the message of Jesus and salvation.  It was a fairly coherent message.  Upbeat.  All smiles.  He was really into it.  He then passed around little squares of cloth to all 900 or so in attendance.  They stank of smoke and burnt bacon.  They were meant to.  He said he wanted us to perceive the aroma of rushing into a burning building to save someone.  He wanted us to write someone's name who was irreligious or whatever on it.  I wrote angus on mine.  He said that if we couldn't think of anyone's name, then we must be spending too much time in church, and that we needed to get out a little more, and mentioned the fact that there were about 500 thousand people in a ten-mile radius and that statistics showed that only about 20 percent of them went to church on a regular basis.  He wasn't judgemental, and was seriously in love with Jesus and confident in his beliefs.  He wished us well, reminding us that Jesus died for us.  At the end there was some more very loud rock music.  The whole time the lights had been very dim, except for the colored rock-stadium stage lights.  As the main lights came on, I could see that it was a very diverse crowd.  Young and old.  Black and white.  Rich and poor.  

Afterward, we went back to Kidventure Island to pick up the boy.  He looked bored, and I kinda regret getting there late as he didn't have time for the early activities.  We showed our bar code scanner symbols that they'd given us which matched the one on his nametag sticker.  I guess that's how they prevent kidnapping.  Ever security-conscious, we are, even in church.  Anyway, on the way back to the car I asked him if he was a good boy and he said he was, so I said we could go to the science factory later, and that could have his choice between pizza, Chinese, and Vietnamese for lunch.  He picked Chinese.  Over lunch I asked him about what they talked about.  He said it was about a king whose son asked him for his inheritance.  It was unusual because normally you don't inherit your father's money until the old man dies.  But this boy was impatient.  The father gave him the money.  Unfortunately, the son squandered the money on lavish parties, or at the casinos or whatever.  When he was broke, he went back to his father with tears in his eyes, and a little afraid.  But the father accepted him, and in fact was joyous to see his son alive and well.  I'm not sure he really got whatever message they were sending, but I was satisfied that he was basically paying attention, and not making paper airplanes or spitball launchers.  

I don't know if we'll have to go again next week.  Of course I won't bring it up, and I'm kinda hoping she'll forget about it as well, but if she brings up church, I'm okay with LCBC.  I'm a little torn about when to arrive.  Arrive too early, and I have to sit through all that christian rock.  Arrive too late and the boy won't have time for legos and roughhousing before the KidVenture lesson.  Life offers such tough decisions.  I guess we could go early enough for him to play, but then we could sit in the foyer sucking up the free coffee and tea till the band stops playing.  
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« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2012, 08:04:10 pm »
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Getting back to the original topic,

Socially, religiosity is a way of problematizing or at least lending some much-needed complexity to the privileging of certain ways of looking at reality that when their privilege is unquestioned impose their own, often oppressive, absolute intellectual laws just as much as dictatorial religious bodies in previous eras did (and still do in many places).

I assume this is referring to science?

Here are my reasons
1. Revelation- the truth is revealed to you, and when you try and say this, you are labelled religious.
2. Faith- you have faith in God, and so are labelled religious
3. Meaning in Life- no explanation needed
4. The Establishment of Identity- to set yourself against others
5. To Be Comforted- to be confident against the trials of the world
6. To Be Loved- to have a personal relationship with a higher being
7. Vertical Integration (With One's Ancestors and Descendants)- a way of finding community
8. Horizontal Integration (With One's Community)- a more immediate way of finding community
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« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2012, 09:19:50 pm »
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I could try and answer the question of why I am not religious and why others I have talked to either are religious or not.

I was raised religious by my mother.  Both me and my brother were.  My father was an atheist and anti-religion, and he was rather vocal about it, but for some reason he didn't really mind us being taught about religion.  As I grew up and went to college I had the opportunity to interact with people of different beliefs.  By seeing all these different views on the supernatural and morality I realized how arrogant it is for a certain religion to claim that they are the ones who know what is right.  I am now agnostic, not because I believe that all religions are necessarily wrong about (there's probably some truth in all of them) but because I think that as a species we haven't evolved to the point that we are capable of understanding the world's greatest mysteries .  And well if anyone can provide answers to theological answers it's science, not some book written centuries ago in an era when the earth was believed to be flat and the center of the universe.
Also regarding morality, I soon came to the conclusion, that I would rather make my own rules than trust a religion's outdated moral code.  I think I am educated enough and certainly more educated than people who lived thousands of year ago to make up my mind on what is right and what isn't.

Other people I have discussed this issue with have told me different stories.
My mother has told me for example that she doesn't really give any thought to whether what the religion's holy books say are true because religion to her is what brings the community together.  Even my atheist father has come to accept that belief now that he's getting older.
My brother was of the same opinion until recently, but now he is really bothered by the entanglement between church and state and is beginning to reject religion.

My brother used to be in a relationship with a girl from Eastern Europe who had grown up an atheist in her communist religion and she simply didn't understand the concept of religion and why some people feel it is so necessary.  My mother was thoroughly confused by the fact that there are actually people who have not grown up with religion.  I am sure some of the uber-religious people here feel the same way.

I have also had girlfriends from countries where spirituality is a really big part of the culture, but not religion.  My Korean ex-girlfriend for example had told me that she really wanted to read the Bible.  When I asked her why, she said that because she never had a religion, she wanted to get a better understanding of how religion has shaped western culture.
Another ex-girlfriend of mine whose parents were Japanese would like to visit churches.  I had mentioned to her that churches bring out all these bad childhood memories and she couldn't understand me because to her religion was something really exotic and mysterious.

So yeah, there are many different perspectives on religion.  We all have different stories and I try not to be too judgemental when I meet someone who I think has funny beliefs because I don't know where they're coming from.
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« Reply #63 on: December 06, 2012, 09:09:32 pm »
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Socially, religiosity is a way of problematizing or at least lending some much-needed complexity to the privileging of certain ways of looking at reality that when their privilege is unquestioned impose their own, often oppressive, absolute intellectual laws just as much as dictatorial religious bodies in previous eras did (and still do in many places).

I assume this is referring to science?

Only among other things.
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