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Chris
03-23-2013, 12:29 PM
You can, as I understand it, be a Buddhist and not believe in God though it could be said Buddhists do believe in a higher power that I think they put faith in but do not worship.

What about Judaism, Christianity, Islam? Judaism seems to me to believe in a higher power and worship God, make covenants with God, but God is not personal, social perhaps but not personal. Christians, and I think Muslim, believe in and worship a personal God.

What are your thoughts on this?



(I know this could be a touchy topic, but this thread is posted under the forum area "On the Serious Side" so please keep comments appropriate and contribute to discussion. Thank you.)

KC
03-23-2013, 12:37 PM
I always thought that personal god(s) was more of a western/west Asian thing. Obviously there are eastern religions with more gods, but eastern religions like Buddhism, Jain, and Taosim are coherent without belief in any god.

Chris
03-23-2013, 12:43 PM
Yet eastern religions do accept a higher power, don't they?


And the West did have Deism, which is similar to Eastern religions.


I read or heard somewhere that you can be Jewish (religious) without believing in God.

KC
03-23-2013, 12:47 PM
Yet eastern religions do accept a higher power, don't they?


And the West did have Deism, which is similar to Eastern religions.


I read or heard somewhere that you can be Jewish (religious) without believing in God.

I think a lot of them are more ambiguous, less centered on a deity, where you can have theistic and atheistic believers in the same fiath. That's at least the case with Buddhism, the other two maybe not that simple.

Chris
03-23-2013, 12:58 PM
Yea, if I went to a Buddhist and said what I said he'd probably slap me upside the head and tell me to try again, grasshopper.

The topic question is really wode open for thoughts....

Captain Obvious
03-23-2013, 03:09 PM
Isn't that kinda what "spiritual" means?

Chris
03-23-2013, 04:33 PM
Isn't that kinda what "spiritual" means?

Einstein would agree: "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

roadmaster
03-23-2013, 10:31 PM
Saying someone is religious can mean a lot of things.

Chris
03-24-2013, 12:34 AM
Saying someone is religious can mean a lot of things.

Right, it's sort of an open-ended question. What about Christians, in general, can you be a Christian and not believe? What about Christian Atheists? Their stance seems to be believing in God but living as if He doesn't exist.

TheDictator
03-25-2013, 01:25 PM
Right, it's sort of an open-ended question. What about Christians, in general, can you be a Christian and not believe? What about Christian Atheists? Their stance seems to be believing in God but living as if He doesn't exist.

One can be religious and not believe in God. One can not be a Chriatian and not belive or live the life of a Christian. Christianity is based on having a relationship with God. That Relationship is a personal one. The word Christian means Follower of the Christ. So to be a Christian you have to follow the ways of Jesus Christ.

Ivan88
03-30-2013, 07:43 PM
She's gonna believe in some god pretty soon.
2176
But the folks in the Sinogog of Satan are religious and don't believe in God.
However, they do believe in the god of the ego who is really the God most folks follow.

Guerilla
03-30-2013, 08:06 PM
I agree with Cpt obvious, it should be spiritual not religious. Religious, for me, implies rules, and strict adherence to tradition. It's almost a cultural thing. That's how I see most western religions, as religious not spiritual. Eastern religions I feel are more spiritual because their beliefs are more philosophically based, and they put more emphasis on how you should live life rather than on how you should worship.

Dr. Who
03-30-2013, 11:22 PM
I agree with Cpt obvious, it should be spiritual not religious. Religious, for me, implies rules, and strict adherence to tradition. It's almost a cultural thing. That's how I see most western religions, as religious not spiritual. Eastern religions I feel are more spiritual because their beliefs are more philosophically based, and they put more emphasis on how you should live life rather than on how you should worship.
Religious can either mean being devoted to faith or scrupulously and conscientiously faithful to anything, like running. Spirituality involves development of the spirit, which does not require a deity but does not exclude a deity. Athiesm eschews the existence of any deity, but does not exclude spirituality. By definition Buddhists are athiests, but are essentially spiritual. Chris's question about Judaism and a lack of whorship of a deity can only mean Kabbalah, which is also followed separate and apart from Judaisim and seeks to define the nature of the universe, the human being, the nature and purpose of existence.

Mister D
03-30-2013, 11:38 PM
Contemporary "spirituality" means that one is a self-absorbed jackass who can't be bothered with anything that isn't conducive to one's desires. IOW, it's for people who like the idea of religion but refuse the discipline and standards that religion (lets call it genuine spirituality) entails.

Chris
03-30-2013, 11:40 PM
Contemporary "spirituality" means that one is a self-absorbed jackass who can't be bothered with anything that isn't conducive to one's desires. IOW, it's for people who like the idea of religion but refuse the discipline and standards that religion (lets call it genuine spirituality) entails.

That's a shame that's all it means to you.

Religion changes too.

Mister D
03-30-2013, 11:42 PM
That's a shame that's all it means to you.

Religion changes too.

Contemporary "spirituality" is both a sham and a shame.

Chris
03-30-2013, 11:43 PM
Religious can either mean being devoted to faith or scrupulously and conscientiously faithful to anything, like running. Spirituality involves development of the spirit, which does not require a deity but does not exclude a deity. Athiesm eschews the existence of any deity, but does not exclude spirituality. By definition Buddhists are athiests, but are essentially spiritual. Chris's question about Judaism and a lack of whorship of a deity can only mean Kabbalah, which is also followed separate and apart from Judaisim and seeks to define the nature of the universe, the human being, the nature and purpose of existence.

My understanding of Judiasm is they do not worship a personal God: "Judaism seems to me to believe in a higher power and worship God, make covenants with God, but God is not personal, social perhaps but not personal. Christians, and I think Muslim, believe in and worship a personal God." Not that lack worship of God.

Dr. Who
03-31-2013, 12:01 AM
My understanding of Judiasm is they do not worship a personal God: "Judaism seems to me to believe in a higher power and worship God, make covenants with God, but God is not personal, social perhaps but not personal. Christians, and I think Muslim, believe in and worship a personal God." Not that lack worship of God.
Most of classical Judaism views God as personal, meaning that humans have a relationship with God and vice versa. Much of the midrash (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Midrash), and many prayers in the siddur (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Siddur) portrays God as caring about humanity in much the same way that humans care about God.
Harold Kushner (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Harold_Kushner), a Conservative rabbi (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Rabbi), writes that "God shows God's love for us by reaching down to bridge the immense gap between God and us. God shows God's love for us by inviting us to enter into a Covenant (brit) with God, and by sharing with us God's Torah."[7] (http://thepoliticalforums.com/#cite_note-7)
According to Judaism, people's actions do not have the ability to affect God positively or negatively. The Book of Job (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Book_of_Job) in the Hebrew Bible (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Hebrew_Bible) states:
"Gaze at the heavens and see, and view the skies, which are higher than you. If you sinned, how do you harm God, and if your transgressions are many, what do you do to God? If you are righteous, what do you give God? Or what does God take from your hand? Your wickedness [affects] a person like yourself, and your righteousness a child of humanity."
Any belief that an intermediary between humanity and God could be used, whether necessary or even optional, has traditionally been considered heretical. Maimonides (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Maimonides) writes that "God is the only one we may serve and praise....We may not act in this way toward anything beneath God, whether it be an angel, a star, or one of the elements.....There are no intermediaries between us and God. All our prayers (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Prayer) should be directed towards God; nothing else should even be considered."
Some rabbinic authorities disagreed with this view. Notably, Nachmanides (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Nachmanides) was of the opinion that it is permitted to ask the angels to beseech God on our behalf. This argument manifests notably in the Selichot (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Selichot) prayer called "Machnisay Rachamim", a request to the angels to intercede with God. Modern printed editions of the Selichot include this prayer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Judaism

Chris
03-31-2013, 12:06 AM
Most of classical Judaism views God as personal, meaning that humans have a relationship with God and vice versa. Much of the midrash (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Midrash), and many prayers in the siddur (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Siddur) portrays God as caring about humanity in much the same way that humans care about God.
Harold Kushner (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Harold_Kushner), a Conservative rabbi (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Rabbi), writes that "God shows God's love for us by reaching down to bridge the immense gap between God and us. God shows God's love for us by inviting us to enter into a Covenant (brit) with God, and by sharing with us God's Torah."[7] (http://thepoliticalforums.com/#cite_note-7)
According to Judaism, people's actions do not have the ability to affect God positively or negatively. The Book of Job (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Book_of_Job) in the Hebrew Bible (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Hebrew_Bible) states:
"Gaze at the heavens and see, and view the skies, which are higher than you. If you sinned, how do you harm God, and if your transgressions are many, what do you do to God? If you are righteous, what do you give God? Or what does God take from your hand? Your wickedness [affects] a person like yourself, and your righteousness a child of humanity."
Any belief that an intermediary between humanity and God could be used, whether necessary or even optional, has traditionally been considered heretical. Maimonides (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Maimonides) writes that "God is the only one we may serve and praise....We may not act in this way toward anything beneath God, whether it be an angel, a star, or one of the elements.....There are no intermediaries between us and God. All our prayers (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Prayer) should be directed towards God; nothing else should even be considered."
Some rabbinic authorities disagreed with this view. Notably, Nachmanides (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Nachmanides) was of the opinion that it is permitted to ask the angels to beseech God on our behalf. This argument manifests notably in the Selichot (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Selichot) prayer called "Machnisay Rachamim", a request to the angels to intercede with God. Modern printed editions of the Selichot include this prayer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in_Judaism

I think you're missing my point, that the Judaic God is social, not personal.


Most of classical Judaism views God as personal, meaning that humans have a relationship with God and vice versa.

Humans as a group.


Much of the midrash, and many prayers in the siddur portrays God as caring about humanity in much the same way that humans care about God.

Humanity as a whole. Humans as a group.


Harold Kushner, a Conservative rabbi, writes that "God shows God's love for us by reaching down to bridge the immense gap between God and us. God shows God's love for us by inviting us to enter into a Covenant (brit) with God, and by sharing with us God's Torah."[7]

With "us" as a group.


According to Judaism, people's actions do not have the ability to affect God positively or negatively.

People, as group.

Though Job is a rare instance in the Jewish Bible about a personal interaction between a man and God, I still read it as Job representing his people.


Could I be wrong, sure. But what you have given me only confirms my understanding.

Dr. Who
03-31-2013, 12:12 AM
I think you're missing my point, that the Judaic God is social, not personal.
But how is this much different from the Christian view:






Humans as a group.



Humanity as a whole. Humans as a group.



With "us" as a group.



People, as group.

Though Job is a rare instance in the Jewish Bible about a personal interaction between a man and God, I still read it as Job representing his people.


Could I be wrong, sure. But what you have given me only confirms my understanding.
Some rabbinic authorities disagreed with this view. Notably, Nachmanides (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Nachmanides) was of the opinion that it is permitted to ask the angels to beseech God on our behalf. This argument manifests notably in the Selichot (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Selichot) prayer called "Machnisay Rachamim", a request to the angels to intercede with God. Modern printed editions of the Selichot include this prayer.

Would this not indicate a personal relationship.

Chris
03-31-2013, 12:32 AM
Some rabbinic authorities disagreed with this view. Notably, Nachmanides (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Nachmanides) was of the opinion that it is permitted to ask the angels to beseech God on our behalf. This argument manifests notably in the Selichot (http://thepoliticalforums.com/wiki/Selichot) prayer called "Machnisay Rachamim", a request to the angels to intercede with God. Modern printed editions of the Selichot include this prayer.

Would this not indicate a personal relationship.

Is Judaism not like any other religion with individuals believing differently? In general, though, I think it is a social rather than personal religion, covenants are made between God and not the individual but the people, and punishments for failing to live up to the covenant are suffered by all.

zelmo1234
03-31-2013, 12:35 AM
Absolutly! Here is a little food for thought on easter morning!

It takes a lot of faith to believe in evolution. when you have billions of years of fossils and it takes millions of years for one organism to evolve into another one? And yet we have NO examples of one animal, bug, reptile, or dird that was in the process of that evolution?

That is some serious faith! And that makes evolution a religion in my book!

Mister D
03-31-2013, 12:36 AM
Is Judaism not like any other religion with individuals believing differently? In general, though, I think it is a social rather than personal religion, covenants are made between God and not the individual but the people, and punishments for failing to live up to the covenant are suffered by all.

Prior to the Reformation Christianity was the same way. That is, one did not have a personal relationship with God.

Dr. Who
03-31-2013, 12:40 AM
Is Judaism not like any other religion with individuals believing differently? In general, though, I think it is a social rather than personal religion, covenants are made between God and not the individual but the people, and punishments for failing to live up to the covenant are suffered by all.
Perhaps you are correct, but it has been my impression that Christian, Jew or Muslim alike, in times of difficulty, all call on God to intecede.

Chris
03-31-2013, 10:19 AM
Prior to the Reformation Christianity was the same way. That is, one did not have a personal relationship with God.

Yes, there was a transition from social to personal, from community to individual.

Chris
03-31-2013, 10:22 AM
Perhaps you are correct, but it has been my impression that Christian, Jew or Muslim alike, in times of difficulty, all call on God to intecede.

Not saying they don't. Moses called on God but as an intermediary between God and the Chosen People. Perhaps I overgeneralize and should simply say the focus was more on the group, on establishing a social order. Christianity started off that way but as D points out changed during the Reformation.

Newpublius
03-31-2013, 11:27 PM
Not that I'm an adherent of this school:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_naturalism

Common
04-01-2013, 09:52 AM
I think you can be moral and not believe in god, but religion is based on the belief of god, so I dont see how you could have religion not based on god. Unless of course its voodoo or snake lovers religion etc. I guess im speaking mainly for the main religions. Christianity, Judaism, islam

Chris
04-01-2013, 10:54 AM
I think you can be moral and not believe in god, but religion is based on the belief of god, so I dont see how you could have religion not based on god. Unless of course its voodoo or snake lovers religion etc. I guess im speaking mainly for the main religions. Christianity, Judaism, islam
Buddhism. Many if not most Eastern religions.

Dr. Who
04-01-2013, 05:32 PM
Contemporary "spirituality" means that one is a self-absorbed jackass who can't be bothered with anything that isn't conducive to one's desires. IOW, it's for people who like the idea of religion but refuse the discipline and standards that religion (lets call it genuine spirituality) entails.
What makes you think that spiritual people don't contemplate all of the same moral issues as the so called religious people (i.e. those belonging to faith groups)? In my experience most practitioners of the various religions simply pay lip service to their faith, show up for Church on Sunday or Synagogue on Saturday and do what they please the rest of the week. I have met very few Christians or Jews who actually practice the teachings of their faith. Perhaps those people who don't make a show of being spiritual work harder at achieving it.

nic34
04-01-2013, 05:51 PM
"God is a concept by which we measure our pain."

Mister D
04-01-2013, 05:54 PM
What makes you think that spiritual people don't contemplate all of the same moral issues as the so called religious people (i.e. those belonging to faith groups)? In my experience most practitioners of the various religions simply pay lip service to their faith, show up for Church on Sunday or Synagogue on Saturday and do what they please the rest of the week. I have met very few Christians or Jews who actually practice the teachings of their faith. Perhaps those people who don't make a show of being spiritual work harder at achieving it.

I didn't day anything about moral issues. In my experience, well...see above.

Dr. Who
04-01-2013, 06:25 PM
I didn't day anything about moral issues. In my experience, well...see above.
If not morality then what? The essence of all religious teaching boils down to moral precepts and achieving perfect adherence. Everything else falls into the category of theistic culture. Whether you believe "God" is a God of love or a God of wrath, or whether God demands personal sacrifice, or whether you must offer prayers to God. These are the cultures of the particular faiths, but what they all essentially preach is morality.

Mister D
04-01-2013, 06:35 PM
If not morality then what? The essence of all religious teaching boils down to moral precepts and achieving perfect adherence. Everything else falls into the category of theistic culture. Whether you believe "God" is a God of love or a God of wrath, or whether God demands personal sacrifice, or whether you must offer prayers to God. These are the cultures of the particular faiths, but what they all essentially preach is morality.

Your constant whining about what you call organized religion should clue you in. Your attitudes, quite frankly, are typical of the people I referred to. No wonder you felt compelled to respond. Sorry, but the way I see it is that you want religion without...well the religion.

Dr. Who
04-01-2013, 06:52 PM
Your constant whining about what you call organized religion should clue you in. Your attitudes, quite frankly, are typical of the people I referred to. No wonder you felt compelled to respond. Sorry, but the way I see it is that you want religion without...well the religion.
Sorry, but you have not explained your take on religion. By the way, I'm not whining - you were the one who attacked spiritualism of the non faith based variety. The fact that you have a fairly narrow and traditional view of personal spirituality is your right, but does not obviate the right to other non-traditional views. If one practices spirituality on a daily basis, it is a religion, by the way. Additionally, if you are secure in your beliefs you should not be rankled when someone questions the basis for those beliefs.

If you didn't want a response, why did you post?

Mister D
04-01-2013, 08:48 PM
Sorry, but you have not explained your take on religion. By the way, I'm not whining - you were the one who attacked spiritualism of the non faith based variety. The fact that you have a fairly narrow and traditional view of personal spirituality is your right, but does not obviate the right to other non-traditional views. If one practices spirituality on a daily basis, it is a religion, by the way. Additionally, if you are secure in your beliefs you should not be rankled when someone questions the basis for those beliefs.

If you didn't want a response, why did you post?

Spirituality means whatever you want it to mean so that you've taken this personally is no surprise. Now you have your right to non-traditional views and I have my right to hold them in disdain. Do I demand answers when you criticize "religion" however you may understand it? Furthermore, I'm not rankled. I'm just telling you what I think of modern "spirituality".

Chris
04-01-2013, 08:50 PM
Religion is whatever people want it to mean as well.

Dr. Who
04-01-2013, 08:59 PM
Spirituality means whatever you want it to mean so that you've taken this personally is no surprise. Now you have your right to non-traditional views and I have my right to hold them in disdain. Do I demand answers when you criticize "religion" however you may understand it? Furthermore, I'm not rankled. I'm just telling you what I think of modern "spirituality".
Actually I don't take the discussion personally at all. I am very secure in my beliefs and quite willing to discuss them. What I do take umbrage with is your inability to discuss anything without labelling the person with whom you disagree as a whiner or some other negative appellation, which I think given your obvious intelligence, is beneath you.

Mister D
04-01-2013, 09:13 PM
Actually I don't take the discussion personally at all. I am very secure in my beliefs and quite willing to discuss them. What I do take umbrage with is your inability to discuss anything without labelling the person with whom you disagree as a whiner or some other negative appellation, which I think given your obvious intelligence, is beneath you.

I've discussed several things with you (granted, the themes are recurrent) and have only this once referred to you as a whiner. It was uncalled for and I apologize.

Dr. Who
04-01-2013, 09:22 PM
I've discussed several things with you (granted, the themes are recurrent) and have only this once referred to you as a whiner. It was uncalled for and I apologize.
Apology accepted.

spunkloaf
04-04-2013, 01:19 PM
The lines can be blurry when people start talking about God and religion. I consider myself to possess the mental capacity to understand religion enough to responsibly partake in it, however I choose not to. I don't trust other people's understanding of their own religions. It's kind of self-absorbed of me, I know. I just don't like the social dogma and the hypocrisy it brings.

I like to think that if God is there, I would be forgiven for being agnostic in such a confusing world.

I also think that I carry the true message of most religions, love. I think that message is lost or at least depreciated among the details of Christianity. Too many people focus on what is written as a sin and what is not a sin, and nobody really follows their hearts anymore.

I do have respect for religion, and I think it should always remain free.

roadmaster
04-05-2013, 05:17 PM
I also think that I carry the true message of most religions, love. I think that message is lost or at least depreciated among the details of Christianity. Too many people focus on what is written as a sin and what is not a sin, and nobody really follows their hearts anymore.
I remember Jim Jones and he was always preaching love and never focused on sins, had many followers. It's ok to love the person but not the sin. It wasn't hard to figure why he had so many people. They wanted someone to tell them everything they did against His words was ok. Never understood why or how these people could be so blind.