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Topic: What Turned You Off Against Religion...?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 12:11 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What turned you off against organized religion?  Was it one incident or a series of incidents that chose you to turn against your then church?  Or was it a series of things?

Mine was a series of things, but the first thing that really turned me off was after I went to high school, I started to receive calls from the church telling me I was not living up to my pledge ($$$).  Your see, I went to parochial school and in eighth grade you were made to pledge a certain amount to the church.

I went to public high school and I started to enjoy a very active and new life at my school (sports, intramural events, and just plain having a great time being a high school kid).  I took several calls where I was reminded of my pledge and how I was not living up to that pledge.  After awhile  I just quit taking calls from the church and moved on with enjoying my life.

You were made to sign the pledge and there was no ducking it due to it being a parochial school.  It was not my choice going to the parochial school, and even then, I thought signing it was BS.  As I was a minor, I don't even think I should have been allowed to sign that pledge by church officials.

There have been many other things that have turned me against organized religion; however, this was the start of me turning against it.  I can tell you that I'm very happy being a non-believer and enjoy a great self-awareness of what my life is about and how organized religion has no place in it.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 12:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(rangersven @ Aug. 29 2013, 12:11 am)
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What turned you off against organized religion?  

The idea of needing another human to talk to God.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 12:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The general intolerance that most of them exhibit.  Plus their general support of the establishment and powers that be.  There are exceptions to be sure, but not that often.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 1:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I was closely involved with church and religion for about  20-25 years, from grade school through college, and it just became painfully obvious that the people trying to persuade me to dedicate my life to belief in faith did not really believe the things they claimed to believe, and that their references to the Bible as the source of their faith was riddled with inconsistency and hypocrisy.

At the same time I was taking more and more advanced classes in science, and found out there was a whole other interpretation of the universe and reality.

Spending four years in the Navy, with  a couple of trips to Viet Nam, helped also.  I found the church preachers to be a lot like the American Legion preachers, and both of them full of bullsh!t.

Been a happy agnostic ever since, working hard to get to atheism, if I could just get over that little logic problem.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 1:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Folks, don't let religion get between you and God.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 1:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nothing.  At least nothing negative that isn't also found in all other human institutions.

Look at our cities and their myriad of problems.  One can easily write out a huge long list of gripes!  But few of us really want to live as hermits -- even if we sometimes long for space, quiet and peace.

And I view religion and its institutions and congregations similarly.  It gets complicated when you put a lot of humans together.  But few are wired to live as hermits.  There is the personal, spiritual aspect of religion.  And then there is the community, spiritual aspect as well.

Jesus summarized for us the two greatest laws -- to love God and to love our neighbors.  And He never said either would be easy.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 4:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(rangersven @ Aug. 28 2013, 9:11 pm)
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What turned you off against organized religion?

All the nonsense.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 8:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never been turned off by organized religion, but in my 40's I came to the conclusion that it was insanity to believe in something for which there was no evidence.  So without a belief in a sky daddy I had no use for organized religion.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 10:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Until I left for college religion was a big part of my life.  My mom is still VERY devoted and as a kid I had no choice.

Once I left home I left religion behind.  All the talk about spiritual moving and feeling at peace and all that just never ever connected with me.  So my initial reason for leaving was it just meant absolutely nothing to me.

Later in life I have seen how people use religion to control others and manipulate people into doing things which are generally not in their best interest.  These days I have a VERY hard time seeing any redeeming qualities in organized religion and as a non-spiritual person see no need to even believe in something.

I am not a hermit but religious communities have never appealed to me as a place to hang out.

Being agnostic works out well...
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 10:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 10:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It was while in the Army that I first learned to party-hardy. It was that along with all those promiscuous WACS that showed me what living is all about.

I was a naive boy from North Carolina just out of high school when I joined up. Thank God I did. I may have turned out to be a conservative, religious, bigoted, car selling automaton so scared of everything that I feel I needed to own a gun, if I hadn't joined the Army.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 11:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Innate intelligence and the learned capacity for critical thinking.  

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God died. I sent flowers.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 12:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great stuff.  Thanks for sharing.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 12:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A couple disclaimers...

1. I am a practicing Christian. So take my comments accordingly.

2. Many of the same things that have turned non-religious  people off to organized religion turn me off as well. There are plenty of religious people who feel the same way.

That said, here's my actual point: one of my beefs with contemporary American religious practice is that it's way too much about what people believe, IMHO. I think organized religion would be a lot better if we thought of religion as being mostly about what you practice (i.e. how you live), not so much what you believe.

For example, when people in the gospels ask Jesus how to live the good life, be on the right path, achieve salvation, etc (these are all roughly synonymous), his answers are never about what they should believe. They are about what they should do.
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(cweston @ Aug. 29 2013, 12:41 pm)
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A couple disclaimers...

1. I am a practicing Christian. So take my comments accordingly.

2. Many of the same things that have turned non-religious  people off to organized religion turn me off as well. There are plenty of religious people who feel the same way.

That said, here's my actual point: one of my beefs with contemporary American religious practice is that it's way too much about what people believe, IMHO. I think organized religion would be a lot better if we thought of religion as being mostly about what you practice (i.e. how you live), not so much what you believe.

For example, when people in the gospels ask Jesus how to live the good life, be on the right path, achieve salvation, etc (these are all roughly synonymous), his answers are never about what they should believe. They are about what they should do.

Me thinks that your concern is more wide spread than you consider.  Something tells me that most people's real problem with faith lies with "what they should do" rather than with what they should believe.  In the final analysis, that is likely the true core issue here.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2013, 5:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cweston @ Aug. 29 2013, 12:41 pm)
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That said, here's my actual point: one of my beefs with contemporary American religious practice is that it's way too much about what people believe, IMHO. I think organized religion would be a lot better if we thought of religion as being mostly about what you practice (i.e. how you live), not so much what you believe.

Unfortunately the protestants have destroyed that notion by claiming faith supersedes works.  I have a lot more respect for a religion if doing something decent is considered more noble than simply believing in something. Believing is easy.
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(HighGravity @ Aug. 29 2013, 2:20 pm)
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I have a lot more respect for a religion if doing something decent is considered more noble than simply believing in something. Believing is easy.

Any non-believer can perform works just as numerous and noble as any believer.

Our faith, by definition, calls for our belief -- and if we truly believe in our Creator and His love for us -- then that is supposed to reflect in our love for others.  

As Christians, we are reminded in the Bible of this thing called "an empty faith".  I daresay most all religions exhort good actions and have similar warnings against "empty faiths".

So I think whatever is causing you not to have a lot more respect for a religion isn't necessarily the religion itself -- but human beings falling short.

Do you lose respect for education itself  when many students fall short?  I think not.  You would more likely look into how to attract more qualified teachers and how to increase student interest and participation, right?

Do you jeer at students who really tried hard but failed?  I think not.

But yes, there is room for reform in all human institutions (and churches are also human institutions).  And yes, it is hard not to jeer at clerics/faithful/students/anybody when they fail in the very things that they keep lecturing us about.  That's human nature too.

At the end, my belief is that ultimate judgment is between me and my Maker:  Did you love me?  Really?  Did you love your neighbor?  How so?


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(HighGravity @ Aug. 29 2013, 3:20 pm)
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Unfortunately the protestants have destroyed that notion by claiming faith supersedes works.  I have a lot more respect for a religion if doing something decent is considered more noble than simply believing in something. Believing is easy.

Ben was right on in his reply to you.  The Bible says that faith without works is dead.  But, BOTH are needed.  The faith and belief in Christ is what gets a person into heaven.  But, a demonstration of works is what backs up this faith.

I grew up in a Christian church, but was not a Christian.  I was doing good works to (in my mind) try to get to heaven.  When I found out the missing piece about faith, I became a Christian for real.  I now do good works, probably even more than before.  But, not to try to get into heaven.  But, out of gratitude towards God because I am going to heaven.  

I lived for a year in an area of India that had a heavy concentration of Muslims.  And, I found that the Koran has a lot to say about various works (5 main ones) that they have to do.  But, the standard is so high, that they are never sure if they are good enough to get to their paradise.  They can only hope, and there are a lot of back-slidden Muslims over there.  

Same with the Buddhists, which were the other half of that population.  Some of the strongest Buddhists I saw over there were Westerners who had converted to Buddhism.  But, again, the standard is so high that most of them realize that Enlightenment is out of reach, and they are going to have to be reincarnated and try it all again.

With Christians, there is not the hopelessness that most of the people of those other religions have.  Christians who have accepted Christ have the assurance for the future.  And, their lives should reflect the nature of Christ.  They won't be perfect, but that should be their goal.  Most people that have soured on Christianity in this thread or elsewhere have been turned off not by the religion, but by the dogmas or the hypocrisy that many Christians exhibit.  People are the problem, not the religion.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2013, 12:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Bible says a lot of things many that fancy themselves to be Christian ignore regularly.

Faith is exclusive. The idea a benevolent God would hold faith above real world character is nefarious to put it kindly. With all due respect and IMO the demand for faith and the entirely unsubstantiated assertion that without it one will ultimately suffer makes "faith" BASED religions no less a cult than Jonestown, Waco, Scientology, etc.

If only Good men and women could value Christ for the content of character he had in the community of this world than the world dozens of men who never knew him have claimed in his name for centuries. Imagine how many people would have lead fuller lives. Imagine how many people would not have been born into slavery or abject poverty. Imagine a world far better than the one we've known for subsequent millenia rife with subjugation, division, and all too obvious evil indulged every minute of our lives.

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2013, 12:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Burnfoot
"But, not to try to get into heaven.  But, out of gratitude towards God because I am going to heaven. '
So you are convinced that you will go to heaven because you have accepted Christ.
Is your heaven the same as the Muslim heaven or are there several heavens , one for each religion ?

If it is the same, how come you have faith and do good works but some Muslims  get there by blowing themselves and others up ?
(collateral damage is no problem here)

Now, if it is the same as the Buddhist heaven and you make good friends with some of them, will you miss them when they will be reborn into another reality ?

The Hindu version is a bit too complex for me but do you think it is worth a look ?

If you don't think the others will get there, how come they think they will ?
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2013, 3:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(burntfoot @ Aug. 29 2013, 8:01 pm)
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(HighGravity @ Aug. 29 2013, 3:20 pm)
QUOTE
Unfortunately the protestants have destroyed that notion by claiming faith supersedes works.  I have a lot more respect for a religion if doing something decent is considered more noble than simply believing in something. Believing is easy.

Ben was right on in his reply to you.  The Bible says that faith without works is dead.  But, BOTH are needed.  The faith and belief in Christ is what gets a person into heaven.  But, a demonstration of works is what backs up this faith.

I grew up in a Christian church, but was not a Christian.  I was doing good works to (in my mind) try to get to heaven.  When I found out the missing piece about faith, I became a Christian for real.  I now do good works, probably even more than before.  But, not to try to get into heaven.  But, out of gratitude towards God because I am going to heaven.  

I lived for a year in an area of India that had a heavy concentration of Muslims.  And, I found that the Koran has a lot to say about various works (5 main ones) that they have to do.  But, the standard is so high, that they are never sure if they are good enough to get to their paradise.  They can only hope, and there are a lot of back-slidden Muslims over there.  

Same with the Buddhists, which were the other half of that population.  Some of the strongest Buddhists I saw over there were Westerners who had converted to Buddhism.  But, again, the standard is so high that most of them realize that Enlightenment is out of reach, and they are going to have to be reincarnated and try it all again.

With Christians, there is not the hopelessness that most of the people of those other religions have.  Christians who have accepted Christ have the assurance for the future.  And, their lives should reflect the nature of Christ.  They won't be perfect, but that should be their goal.  Most people that have soured on Christianity in this thread or elsewhere have been turned off not by the religion, but by the dogmas or the hypocrisy that many Christians exhibit.  People are the problem, not the religion.

So, people, not religion, are the problem, yet you just finished outlining why followers of Islam and Buddhism are inherently prone to greater rates of 'failure'/hopelessness? Doesn't that seem, at best, somewhat contradictory to you? You certainly seem to be implying that those religions, by construct, impart a sense of hopelessness to a large portion of the faithful.


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If religion is a mechanism for keeping society civil, so be it.  Who's god is better?  I don't know.  Is there a god? I don't know.  Is there a creator?  Who knows.  But if there's not, our world exists though a mind blowing string of fortuitous circumstances.
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(Ben2World @ Aug. 29 2013, 5:26 pm)
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Do you lose respect for education itself  when many students fall short?  I think not.  You would more likely look into how to attract more qualified teachers and how to increase student interest and participation, right?

Ah Ben. You're a trip. Once again the topic of religion seems to cause you to shut off your brain.  Is the educational establishment telling the kids there is no need to try to learn anything as long as they go through the rituals of showing up for class? If so, then you'd have an accurate analogy.
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(burntfoot @ Aug. 30 2013, 12:01 am)
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With Christians, there is not the hopelessness that most of the people of those other religions have.  Christians who have accepted Christ have the assurance for the future.  And, their lives should reflect the nature of Christ.  They won't be perfect, but that should be their goal.  Most people that have soured on Christianity in this thread or elsewhere have been turned off not by the religion, but by the dogmas or the hypocrisy that many Christians exhibit.  People are the problem, not the religion.

Another good reason not to care for religion. This kind of arrogance and condescension towards the beliefs of others. People aren't "hopeless" just because they disagree with your religious opinions, and that's all your beliefs are, opinions. Christians want to treat their beliefs as facts, claim their faith makes them better then when it doesn't, they are quick to use the excuse, "we're saved not perfect."
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(HighGravity @ Aug. 29 2013, 5:20 pm)
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Unfortunately the protestants have destroyed that notion by claiming faith supersedes works.  I have a lot more respect for a religion if doing something decent is considered more noble than simply believing in something

I generally agree.


QUOTE
Believing is easy.
That's false, as proved by the many virulent non-believers on this forum.  However, it is easy to claim to believe.  In my experience, that's quite different than believing.
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I was raised Southern Baptist and was quite involved through my teens. Then I grew up. I still have a belief but it doesn't match anything organized. More of the Native American Great Spirit but not even that. Plus I believe all Creators from all religions are either all right or all wrong. There's not just one "right" one. The 9 billion names of God.

QUOTE
Any non-believer can perform works just as numerous and noble as any believer

I was working in PA years ago and had a "born again" working for me. We're headed down the road one afternoon when I see an elderly woman with a flat tire so I pull over. The BA asked why and I said I was going to help. He stayed in the truck and didn't. When I got back, he said "That's not going to help you get into Heaven!". "Huh? I didn't  do it 'just in case'. I did it because it was the right thing to do". He then stated that doing the right thing had to have a religious basis or 'it didn't count'.

Another reason so many organized religions are dumb.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2013, 9:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(HighGravity @ Aug. 30 2013, 8:11 am)
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Is the educational establishment telling the kids there is no need to try to learn anything as long as they go through the rituals of showing up for class...

Hmmmm.

Two comments:

1.  In some places, sadly yes.   The sadder part is that there are a LOT of these places in the US.  For example, around three fourths of high school students' reading skills are below grade level.

QUOTE
If so, then you'd have an accurate analogy.
Then by your mesure, clearly his analogy is accurate.


2.  You have made the (utterly false) assumption that the majority or even a significant portin of major religions place top priority on just the performance of ritual.  Can you name just ONE major religion that does so?  I thought so.

And if it escaped your notice, your measure of an analogy is completely false.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2013, 9:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Went to catholic grade school for 8 hard long years. Never understood it as a young kid. All the chanting, worshipping, kneeling and scare tactics. Kinda creeped me out.
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