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A Matter of Faith


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Poll: A Matter of Faith (15 member(s) have cast votes)

Theism

  1. On the whole, I believe that at least one deity exists. (5 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  2. On the whole, I believe that no deity or deities exist. (10 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

Agnosticism

  1. I assert my belief as stated in Question 1 explicitly: that a deity or deities exist, or that they do not, and regard this belief as a matter of fact. (6 votes [40.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.00%

  2. My belief as stated in Question 1 is implicit, and I regard the existence or non-existence of a deity or deities as unknown or unknowable. (9 votes [60.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.00%

Conversion

  1. My beliefs as stated in Questions 1 and 2 are exactly the same as those I was raised with. (1 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  2. My beliefs as stated in Questions 1 and 2 are substantially similar to those I was raised with, but not identical thereto. (2 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  3. My beliefs as stated in Questions 1 and 2 are related to those I was raised with, but substantially different therefrom. (2 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  4. My beliefs as stated in Questions 1 and 2 are completely different from those I was raised with. (10 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

Intervention

  1. I believe that a deity or deities exist and intervene in the world. (3 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  2. I believe that a deity or deities exist, but do not intervene in the world. (2 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  3. I do not believe that a deity or deities exist. (10 votes [66.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

Invocation

  1. I believe that a deity or deities exist and can be communicated with through prayer or invocation, and may intervene upon that communication. (2 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  2. I believe that a deity or deities exist and can be communicated with through prayer or invocation, but that this communication cannot or does not result in divine intervention. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. I believe that a deity or deities exist, but cannot be communicated with through prayer or invocation. (3 votes [20.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.00%

  4. I do not believe that a deity or deities exist, but believe that change may be imposed upon the world through prayer or invocation. (1 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  5. I do not believe that a deity or deities exist, and believe that change cannot be or is not imposed upon the world through prayer or invocation. (9 votes [60.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.00%

Organization

  1. My religious beliefs exist within, or I consider myself part of, an organized religious framework and a specific religious denomination. (2 votes [13.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.33%

  2. My religious beliefs exist within, or I consider myself part of, an organized religious framework, but not within (or part of) a specific religious denomination. (1 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  3. My religious beliefs (or lack thereof) do not exist within an organized framework of religion. (12 votes [80.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 80.00%

Congregation

  1. I regularly attend religious services. (1 votes [6.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.67%

  2. I attend religious services, but only irregularly. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. I only attend religious services on or at specific dates or times, such as holidays. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. I only attend religious services such as weddings and funerals. (9 votes [60.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.00%

  5. I never attend religious services. (5 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

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#1 *Anastasia

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 11:38 AM

A few recent topics have surfaced issues of religion, and they've piqued my curiosity about the approach of the Invictae to faith. As such, I've made this poll to try to ascertain where we all fall with regard to issues of religion.

 

I have not asked questions specifically regarding what religious affiliations people hold, because there's a lot of variation not only in what terms people may identify with, but what those terms mean to those who identify with them. Instead, questions are about religion in a broader sense, and I've done my best to provide a wide range of options for questions to allow people to select that which best reflects their beliefs.

 

Ever conscious that these sorts of issues may be sensitive for some people, votes are anonymous; as the questions themselves obviously can't paint perfect pictures, though, I encourage you, if you're comfortable doing so, discussing your responses and what they mean to you. I also strongly encourage everyone to be on their most polite behavior. We will certainly not agree with everyone else's beliefs, but I hope we can at least maintain the decorum necessary to respect each other's personal touchstones of faith (regardless of religion), and not be utter cunts to one another. 'Kay? :wub:

 


 

I consider myself an agnostic theist. I believe in the existence of a god—the Abrahamic God common to Jews, Christians, Muslims, Bahá'ís, and Rastafari—but I fully accept that my belief is very much that: a belief. I consider the question of the existence of God to be unknown and likely unknowable.

 

This Abrahamism is certainly related to those beliefs I was raised with, but also certainly very much distinct from them. Indeed, pinning down exactly what beliefs I was raised with is in itself a rather difficult task; I consider my upbringing to be Christian, having attended numerous churches as a child with friends and extended family, as well as a Catholic school, but my home life was not particularly religious, and I doubt my mother would consider herself a Christian. Also of note is that the myriad churches I attended in my youth—Roman Catholic, Seventh-Day Adventist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, and others—all had variously incompatible theological positions, and I fully believe that my exposure to this wide range of beliefs, which were still all ostensibly Christian, has influenced my current religious syncretism and my firm belief that what are today often termed the 'Abrahamic faiths' are more properly sects or denominations of an overriding religion of Abrahamism.

 

In junior high school, I converted to Theravāda Buddhism, but never considered myself to be practicing. My gradual return to Western religious tradition occurred sometime between 2013 and 2014. I'm still not really practicing; I don't attend religious services, though this is more of an issue of my nonconformity to Christianity specifically, which is really the only religion going around these parts. Within the umbrella of Abrahamism, I'd say I lean more towards Islamic traditions than Christian ones, and might be convinced to get out of my house for congregation if I had a mosque to attend.

 

Perhaps the most difficult parts to answer of my own poll are related to prayer and intervention. While I certainly believe I can communicate with God through prayer, and certainly do ask for His intervention, my agnosticism does invariably get the better of me when I stop to ask myself whether or not I believe those prayers to be answered, or answerable. My response to the poll ended up being that yes, I believe God may answer prayers, but I somehow feel as though this is an even stronger affirmation of faith than my belief in God itself.





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#2 He who posts

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 11:44 AM

All these words. TL;DR version in simple English of poll and OP please.


Edited by xoindotnler, 23 September 2016 - 12:31 PM.


#3 Redezra

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 10:50 PM

Oooh! A religion thread that isn't "Redezra gets in a word war" :D I shall do my best to not fuck it up :)

 

Okay so, I was brought up as a very hardline, sort of Irish brand Catholicism catholic, along with my brother (and actually most of my family but hey). Attended church on sundays, was a main character in the after school youth club, would actually pray for other people, you know the usual. As I got older, I went further and further over to the fundamentalist side of things. I honestly believed that Satan was out there trying to get people to do bad stuff, and would actually dick over my friends to try and save them.

 

But then a couple of things happened. See I always saw the hard sciences as integral to the functioning of creation, they were the gears God had made, and understanding them brought you closer to Him. And as we probably all know, that's an insane viewpoint to have because it just leads to really crazy conflicts. Secondly, my grandmother died two days before christmas following an extremely painful fight with pancreatic cancer, and the parish support base didn't really do a good job of supporting me through that. These things happened at about the same time, I had a crisis of faith, and unfortunately I knew more of the bible, waaaay more of the bible, than the local priest, and directed questions about faith mixed with science based on facts from both kinds of book are practically impossible to answer well when you have not been able to study beforehand. So it occurred to me that everyone had lied to me my whole life. There was a truth, it just wasn't anything that was in the Bible.

 

I spent most of my high school years being worried that there was a God, somewhere, and they'd be pissed at me for just up and abandoning them cause their followers were shit, and every now and then I'd pray to them by myself, but eventually I had read enough about physics and astrophysics specifically, and a lot of philosophy (I like to imagine my secret second subject is philosophy), along with a lot of theological history and could sort of see the family tree of religions... that I came to the conclusion that theistic gods can not exist. Deistic gods? Possibly, but I doubt it.

 

So these days I'm a gnostic atheist, the literal flipside of Ana :P. I do not see a place for any god in the universe. There's no proof yet, but I feel it's only a matter of time till we do. It's like things like Gravity, or Evolution, we may not have it all pinned down yet, but there is not going to be a theory revision in the future that says Gravity or Evolution don't exist. There's a current towards absolute causal knowledge of the universe, and it's flowing away from theistic gods. I am particularly against the gods of any structured religion, because I feel they are philosophically untenable, and I feel if more people knew that, they'd worship their own idea of god and it would be damn near impossible for someone with intimate knowledge of religious belief to manipulate vast swarths of the population.



#4 voidoid

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 11:29 PM

"I do not believe that a deity or deities exist, but believe that change may be imposed upon the world through prayer or invocation. (1 votes [14.29%])"

 

How does anyone square this thought?

 

I grew up in the rural south of the US, the buckle of the bible belt where conformity was as expected and legally enforced as it is today in much of the Islamic world.  You'll never get southern baptists to admit that, but it is true.  Oh, did I mention that my dad was a minister and we lived in the little house next door to the church.  Everyone in town knew me because I was the preacher's kid.  Fortunately for me my parents came from a tradition of valuing education and an open debate of differing opinions.  We were more or less run out of the little towns to the big city because of my parents' view on civil rights in the 1960s.  

 

There I was fortunate to get a scholarship to an academically rigorous, but Presbyterian affiliated prep school.  The classes were awesome with the exception of the required religion classes.  To my parents' credit (minister and school teacher) they completely supported me when I failed my religion class because, on the final exam, I argued that there was no god.  My atheism is not a lack of belief.  I am a devout atheist and am firm in my belief.  YMMV.  I fully support that the government should protect everyones' right to their own beliefs, but leave me the hell alone to mine.  I will stick to believing in double-blind, peer-reviewed tests and leave faith to those of you who need willful self-delusion for comfort.  </rant>

 

-v


Edited by voidoid, 24 September 2016 - 12:05 AM.


#5 Redezra

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 11:40 PM

Woah voidoid, don't do a me :P keep it coooool~



#6 voidoid

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 12:04 AM

Sorry, but I'm an old fart and don't speak emoji.  What does "don't do a me  :P" mean?

 

And I've never been cool.  Just a grumpy curmudgeon.


Edited by voidoid, 24 September 2016 - 12:04 AM.


#7 *Anastasia

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 12:31 AM

"I do not believe that a deity or deities exist, but believe that change may be imposed upon the world through prayer or invocation. (1 votes [14.29%])"

How does anyone square this thought?


'Twasn't my vote, but I can share my take on it. It's a position I espoused, more or less, when I was Buddhist, and broadly the same position I've heard from a few people on the spiritualist/new age spectrum. In short, prayer does not necessarily have to be directed towards God, and the view is (or at least my view was) that if you put a given energy into the universe, the universe will reciprocate it.

I viewed it as very much an extension of the philosophy of karma: that which you give will also come unto you. However, I've also heard the idea expressed in much more Christian terms as well, invoking the very theist Matthew 18:20—'For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them'—in the broader sense of anticipating change to be brought about through mutual prayer or meditation towards a common goal, regardless of which deity, if indeed any, multiple people pray unto.

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#8 Redezra

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 01:36 AM

Sorry, but I'm an old fart and don't speak emoji.  What does "don't do a me  :P" mean?

 

And I've never been cool.  Just a grumpy curmudgeon.

 

Because historically these topics result in cataclysmic arguments. And I'd like to avoid that :)

 

"I do not believe that a deity or deities exist, but believe that change may be imposed upon the world through prayer or invocation. (1 votes [14.29%])"

How does anyone square this thought?


'Twasn't my vote, but I can share my take on it. It's a position I espoused, more or less, when I was Buddhist, and broadly the same position I've heard from a few people on the spiritualist/new age spectrum. In short, prayer does not necessarily have to be directed towards God, and the view is (or at least my view was) that if you put a given energy into the universe, the universe will reciprocate it.

I viewed it as very much an extension of the philosophy of karma: that which you give will also come unto you. However, I've also heard the idea expressed in much more Christian terms as well, invoking the very theist Matthew 18:20—'For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them'—in the broader sense of anticipating change to be brought about through mutual prayer or meditation towards a common goal, regardless of which deity, if indeed any, multiple people pray unto.

 

That's basically what I thought, yeah.



#9 Thrash

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 06:33 AM

1,2,4,2,3,1,4



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#10 Shokkou

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 08:51 AM



#11 Redezra

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 10:29 AM

Nuh uh, your mother!



#12 slimshadyinc

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 06:34 PM

I don't really know what you would call my beliefs. I do believe there is a God, but it's not the one you would find in holy books. I call it fate, I believe everything that has happened or ever will happen has already been planned long ago. And no amount of prayer can change anything that happens. But I believe in karma too, I think it has a slight effect on this world, what you do now effects what happens later on. I believe in reincarnation too, but for a personal reason. So if I had to pick one it'd be Buddhism, but even that doesn't match up completely with my beliefs either. So yeah, I guess I got my own thing going.

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#13 voidoid

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 11:53 PM

Because historically these topics result in cataclysmic arguments. And I'd like to avoid that :)

>And that is exactly why I think religion is the most evil, destructive thing that man ever invented. We can be kind and compassionate to each other without superstition. There is no need for the adolescent, "my god can beat up your god."

Edited by Anastasia, 25 September 2016 - 10:02 AM.
Fixed formatting, lol


#14 voidoid

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 11:55 PM

 

Because historically these topics result in cataclysmic arguments. And I'd like to avoid that :)

 

>And that is exactly why I think religion is the most evil, destructive thing that man ever invented.  We can be kind and compassionate to each other without superstition.  There is no need for the adolescent, "my god can beat up your god."

Anastasia never said that, but I don't know how to fix the formatting.  That is mine, and mine alone.



#15 Redezra

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 12:06 AM

Lol :P

 

I don't think you understand Voidroid. I've tried kicking faith out of people, it doesn't work.



#16 voidoid

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 12:22 AM

I don't give a shit what other people believe.  That is your and their right.  What I'm pissed off about is everyone I live near who insists that I have to agree with them.  They see someone who looks like them but refuses to hate the people that they hate and it befuddles them.



#17 Shokkou

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 08:26 AM

I don't give a shit what other people believe.  That is your and their right.  What I'm pissed off about is everyone I live near who insists that I have to agree with them.  They see someone who looks like them but refuses to hate the people that they hate and it befuddles them.

"I don't give a shit what other people believe. That's why I go to online communities and proselytize my beliefs, denouncing differing beliefs as evil, as vehemently as any fundamentalist."

 

Fixed that for you.



#18 *Anastasia

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 10:03 AM


 
Because historically these topics result in cataclysmic arguments. And I'd like to avoid that :)
 


>And that is exactly why I think religion is the most evil, destructive thing that man ever invented.  We can be kind and compassionate to each other without superstition.  There is no need for the adolescent, "my god can beat up your god."

Anastasia never said that, but I don't know how to fix the formatting.  That is mine, and mine alone.


Fixed it for you. IP.Board does some weird things sometimes. :P

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#19 He who posts

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 02:34 PM

MjCB3IZ.gif



#20 *Anastasia

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Posted 25 September 2016 - 03:05 PM

Because historically these topics result in cataclysmic arguments. And I'd like to avoid that :)

>And that is exactly why I think religion is the most evil, destructive thing that man ever invented. We can be kind and compassionate to each other without superstition. There is no need for the adolescent, "my god can beat up your god."

 

 

I don't give a shit what other people believe.  That is your and their right.  What I'm pissed off about is everyone I live near who insists that I have to agree with them.  They see someone who looks like them but refuses to hate the people that they hate and it befuddles them.

"I don't give a shit what other people believe. That's why I go to online communities and proselytize my beliefs, denouncing differing beliefs as evil, as vehemently as any fundamentalist."

 

Fixed that for you.

 

In different ways, I agree with both of you. Certainly, on first read, I found Voidoid's comment to be a bit aggressive, and I agree that it doesn't do much to illustrate the maturity of irreligion over religious beliefs. But at the same time, there's quite a difference between denouncing religion, as he did, and denouncing differing beliefs. What religious beliefs each of us have, or what faith we have in the cultural legends whence religion is born, are not dependent upon religion; religion, rather, is dependent upon those beliefs.

 

A few years ago I shared a quote on these boards: 'I've got nothing against God—it's his fan club I can't stand.' This seems to me to demonstrate the point of contention here, and I feel that one can, as Voidoid did, denounce religion for the harm it causes without denouncing people's beliefs.



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