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View Poll Results: Your level of observance?
Non-practicing/secular form of religion 19 44.19%
A little observant 3 6.98%
Middle-of-the-road observance 10 23.26%
Strict adherence to religious rules 4 9.30%
Don't know 7 16.28%
Voters: 43. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-01-2011, 01:58 PM   #231 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by VEGANGELICA View Post
Geddy, I like this thoughtful point you make about how struggling to do those things we find difficult but important can be very uplifting.
Well it's true. The reward for persevering and sticking to whatever you're trying to acheive will nearly always outweigh the initial difficulties and problems of doing it.

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Some of the actions I've taken in my life that were most meaningful to me (such as deciding to become vegetarian and then vegan out of concern for other animals) were ones that required me to break out of my habits and old way of thinking as I worked toward a goal that felt more in keeping with who I was or wanted to be.
Sometimes it's those habits and old ways of thinking which can be the most damaging. They essentially act as filters and color any other feelings or actions. Discovering what you really think or feel is mostly about bypasing and getting rid of these.

I'm currently going through psychotherapy, and one of the biggest parts of the process is really about finding out what internal rules or thoughts I've formed for myself, why they've been formed and how I can deal with them to get rid of them. Some of these thoughts, such as my feeling I'm never good enough, have been quite damaging.

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I've never thought of myself as observing any kind of religious belief in becoming vegetarian and then vegan...it was more observing my *own* feelings...yet I do remember when I learned about Buddhism and Hinduism that I felt comforted to know that what I felt had been given a name (ahimsa) because so many other people felt the same way as I:

I think it is interesting how I ended up deciding to be vegetarian when I was an isolated child in a meat-eating family and community...while halfway around the world there were huge numbers of people who had taken this same path as part of major spiritual religious philosophies. I would have liked to have known that at the time.
Sometimes these things go beyond being about any one religious system or a particular system. Going to what you say in the last section of your post about how principles should and do stem from internal principles, it seems that well before you found out about the name of these principles and things you were thinking (the ahimsa thing) were known to you, you were already very much in tune with them.

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I see how spiritual organizations, whether secular or religious, can help encourage people to achieve their personal goals, which may actually be the goal of thinking more about others. Then observing the organizations' ideals for behavior is a way to practice using your will to obtain your own goals, such as the goal of living a healthier, kinder life.

I'm never sure to what degree my Unitarian Universalist background as a little child influenced my future choice to become vegetarian for the first time in elementary school, and later vegan as an adult. I imagine that thinking about the UU concepts helped set the stage for me to think about other sentient beings besides humans, since Unitarian Univeralist principles (themselves derived from a variety of religions including Buddhism and Hinduism) include...

* The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
* Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

As a child learning about these concepts, I felt that justice for "all" should include my animal kin, and I would best respect them by not eating them, just as I would not want to be eaten.
That would make sense. I'm a believer that my upbringing among people of all sorts of different races, religions and backgrounds may have served to point me in the direction I'm going in now with regard to religion. Bear in mind my family isn't particularly religious. It was school and socially that I started to meet people of other religions, other cultures and languages, and really learn for myself about spirituality and religion. Made me really think and get out the vaguely Christian rut of my family.

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Ideally, I feel that observing a spiritual concept about a way to behave shouldn't be about observing a rule that is external to yourself, but instead should revolve around observing how the concept resonates with what is already inside you. I can see how having a spiritual organization of people who uphold a value that resonates with what you feel is very core to who you are would enable you to better observe what is in your own self, and follow your conscience rather than just move rather thoughtlessly through life, copying what others do and not listening to your own inner voice.
This is what Judaism teaches. Judaism teaches that mere blind faith and practice is a bad thing indeed, whether it be belief in God or following a mitvot or keeping Shabbat. It's not just some external law which has to be followed but something which you have to find some connection with personally on a mental and emotional level.
For example, I keep Shabbat because for me personally, the idea of a representation of what it is like to be in the World To Come is important for me personally. The structures of Shabbat help me acheive that goal of being able to dedicate myself to G-d in a way which is to me personally meaningful. So the whole concept of Shabbat isn't anything 'new' to me in some ways, but it simply agrees with something I already held to be important.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:25 PM   #232 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Neapolitan View Post
Lets see you just insulted Jacob, Jesus and Mohamed, their respective religions and observes of those religions in one fell swoop, and for what?
To break that absurd taboo according to which all religious figures are, by definition, more "respectable" than the rest of human beings (past, present and future) on this planet.

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Originally Posted by Neapolitan View Post
(...) so 1 depends on 2 - I don't see why you think there is a distinction between the two.
I was stating a general approach to the matter. That is, from a global point of view, not necessarily religious. I mean, the main question was: why would anyone (religious or not) follow those principles? And my aim was to contrast moral autonomy with blind obedience.

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Originally Posted by Neapolitan View Post
Really I don't get your reference of "a goathers-village's local boss," maybe you mean Abraham, but it also could be Jacob who is associated with sheep since he took care of Laban's herd, it isn't as sardonic as the others (maybe it is maybe it isn't), but anyway your knowledge of Judaism (the Bible) is wanting, the two people whom were given the law were Noah and Moses, not Abraham or Jacob.
It doesn't matter. I just wanted to remark the eminently rustic nature of the three Abrahamic religions' origin.

Peoples create their religion in their own image and likeness. And the historical and geographical context play a key role here. People's knowledge of the physical world has a reflection on their religious world. Thus, a narrow husbandry geographic area corresponds with a narrow and simplistic religious view.



"On Earth as it is in Heaven"

Exactly. On Earth as it is in Heaven. Or In Heaven as it is on Earth. Or in other words: in religion (and therefore in morals) as it is on the land. Physical sheeps projected on moral sheeps. Sheep. The stupid animal par excelence, who always needs to be guided. Only suitable for blind obedience. - "Abraham, kill your son!" - "At your orders, my Lord!"


As an opposition, the Greek Civilization. Explored the entire Mediterranean Basin:



Comparatively speaking, an immense richness of knowledge on diverse lands, peoples and cultures. Therefore, a complex and elaborated mythology, as a highly refined cultural creation. The Iliad, The Odyssey, Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles' tragedies, etc. Complex characters immersed in a complex web with complex moral dilemmas, in a wide range of psychological and ethical descriptions. And even nowadays we can extract valuable philosophical teachings from those ancient Greek texts (see, for instance, Martha Nussbaum's essays on the subject).

The hero Prometheus stole fire (symbol of knowledge) from Zeus and gave it to men. And Ulysses represents the achievement of moral autonomy. -"I, god of the Sea, condemn you to wander around the World for your lifetime." -"Go f*ck yourself, Poseidon. I'll return to Ithaca." And Ulysses returned to Ithaca, indeed.

In short: Greek heroes rebel against the gods in pursuit of truth and freedom. On the contrary, the three "religions of the book" establish submissive and conformist models of moral behaviour.


Quote:
"Now that I look back, I realize that a life predicated on being obedient and taking orders is a very comfortable life indeed. Living in such a way reduces to a minimum one's own need to think."

Adolf Eichmann, nazi criminal. Die Welt (memoirs).
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Last edited by Zaqarbal; 04-07-2011 at 07:55 PM. Reason: a typo
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:06 PM   #233 (permalink)
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mine is more of a case of selective autonomy

i only pick the bits of the Bible I agree with, then I follow it (no restrictions of food)

if it's nonsensical, i rebel (Earth created 6,000 yrs ago)
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:32 PM   #234 (permalink)
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It doesn't matter. I just wanted to remark the eminently rustic nature of the three Abrahamic religions' origin.
"Abrahamic Religions" is a misnomer, the fact is Abraham never started three religions, he is only mentioned in those religious texts.

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Originally Posted by Zaqarbal View Post
Peoples create their religion in their own image and likeness. And the historical and geographical context play a key role here. People's knowledge of the physical world has a reflection on their religious world. Thus, a narrow husbandry geographic area corresponds with a narrow and simplistic religious view.
So that can't be so bad if it is simplistic, so it follows lex parsimoniae why is it ok for athiest to habitually invoke Ockham's Razor when one mentions God, if one says "God created the universe" that too complicated because of Ockham's Razor, but when it comes to religion "simplicity" is not good enough? Sometimes the mark of genius is doing something in a more simplistic way than others would do.

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Originally Posted by Zaqarbal View Post

"On Earth as it is in Heaven"

Exactly. On Earth as it is in Heaven. Or In Heaven as it is on Earth. Or in other words: in religion (and therefore in morals) as it is on the land. Physical sheeps projected on moral sheeps. Sheep. The docile animal par excelence, who always needs to be guided.
As far as sheep being "stupid" I have to object, that's only your understand of sheep, it doesn't reflect how they feel about themselves and they are a lot smarter than you think they are.

We are all born without knowledge and need to be taught and guided, we all learn from someone else. George Lucas said that a person will always be in need some mentor, someone to help them even till old age. He studied all religions around the world and to him that relationship between a teacher and a student is important, and something he explored in his space epic - Star Wars.
So even if a person says he rejects religion, there is some philosopher or other writer he reads and study, as if that person needs to be guided by them.

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Originally Posted by Zaqarbal View Post
Only suitable for blind obedience. - "Abraham, kill your son!" - "At your orders, my Lord!"
The Akeidat Yitzchak is one of the most import stories in the Bible. Stories from the Bible are very interesting and are food for thought, and comentaries are just as enlightening.

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Originally Posted by wikipedia
But according to Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz (Chief Rabbi of the British Empire), child sacrifice was actually "rife among the Semitic peoples," and suggests that "in that age, it was astounding that Abraham's God should have interposed to prevent the sacrifice, not that He should have asked for it. "Hertz interprets the Akedah as demonstrating to the Jews that human sacrifice is abhorrent. "Unlike the cruel heathen deities, it was the spiritual surrender alone that God required." In Jeremiah 32:35, God states that the later Israelite practice of child sacrifice to the deity Molech "had [never] entered My mind that they should do this abomination."

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Originally Posted by Zaqarbal View Post
As an opposition, the Greek Civilization. Explored the entire Mediterranean Basin:

[CENTER]
I don't share your view that the ancient Hebrews were just rubes herding sheep and therefore less cosmopolitan or philosophical than other civilizations or religions. Reading the Bible you would learn that in their stories they also came in contact with other people wether they were captured, enslaved, sought alliance with, the only difference is that the plot of their story was to hold fast to their faith.

"lt's the centurion's faith that wins him divine favor." - (Randy Quaid) Kingpin
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Actually, I like you a lot, Nea. That's why I treat you like ****. It's the MB way.

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Old 04-08-2011, 02:06 PM   #235 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Zaqarbal View Post

Exactly. On Earth as it is in Heaven. Or In Heaven as it is on Earth. Or in other words: in religion (and therefore in morals) as it is on the land. Physical sheeps projected on moral sheeps. Sheep. The stupid animal par excelence, who always needs to be guided. Only suitable for blind obedience. - "Abraham, kill your son!" - "At your orders, my Lord!
If I truly believed that God was telling me to do something, I would do it.

Although this would likely be the result:
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:24 PM   #236 (permalink)
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My religion doesn't have "rules". I believe things. I suppose there are certain things that would stop me from truthfully being able to say I am a participant in my religion if I did them, but I don't want to do those things, so it's not really a rule. How am I supposed to answer this?
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:17 PM   #237 (permalink)
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^Huh?
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Old 04-17-2011, 05:14 PM   #238 (permalink)
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^Huh?
My religious identity is Pagan. I choose this term because it describes who I am. I'm not going to stop myself from believing or doing anything because it isn't in line with Paganism. If that happened, I would just stop calling myself a Pagan.
This, in contrast with some other religions, where people are like "I can't to that, I'm _____!"
In essence, my identity determines my religion, not vice versa.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:02 PM   #239 (permalink)
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i observe religious people wasting their lives and having racist biased views. but thats me, the hardcore atheist.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:07 PM   #240 (permalink)
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i observe religious people wasting their lives and having racist biased views. but thats me, the hardcore atheist.
^ This
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