Theological Forums

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  1. Jessie L Watson profile image94
    Jessie L Watsonposted 8 months ago

    I couldn't help but notice an abundance of religious forums on my feed. I'm not sure if this is merely a mistake on part of my content algorithms or if these demographics are unique to HubPages. Most of which are those who are arguing for the supremacy of their religion over others. What baffles me is that most religious texts are so multilayered and philosophically profound if you care to look deep enough or read between the lines, yet the discussions are relentlessly superficial. I consider myself a quasi-Christian but I'm a psychologist by day so the space between those two schools of thought is where I derive most of my spiritual significance.

    Chris Rock has a hilarious new stand-up special on Netflix. He said something to the effect of "religion is like salt, a little bit can make a meal better but too much completely ruins it".  Needless to say, I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment.

    If we enter these conversations with the intention of bludgeoning others with fundamentalist points of view then it becomes an obvious contradiction. A general lack of respect for others. It's like going to the gym every day but making the doorman at a hotel carry your bags up to your room. What's the point?

    In contrast, we have another tendency in the west to avoid topics like religion which I believe has led to a lack of understanding of religion altogether. What we should be teaching others is how to have a civil conversation about a difficult topic.

  2. Mamerto profile image93
    Mamertoposted 8 months ago

    My take on this is that whoever claims that their religion is superior is probably malpracticing their religion. There is no great religion, just a great religious practitioners. Christian believers are under the same God, hence there is no point arguing who had the best sect.

    It is all about respecting one's belief and not forcing one's belief. By the way I'm a Catholic smile

    1. Jessie L Watson profile image94
      Jessie L Watsonposted 8 months agoin reply to this

      +1

  3. Tamarajo profile image96
    Tamarajoposted 8 months ago

    "If we enter these conversations with the intention of bludgeoning others with fundamentalist points of view then it becomes an obvious contradiction."

    Well stated!

    Sadly, forum questions revolving around politics or religion appear to be bait for enticing folks into the sticky web of "bludgeoning" style arguments, rather than platforms for discussion.

    I agree.  What's the point of that?

    1. Readmikenow profile image96
      Readmikenowposted 8 months agoin reply to this

      I was not raised in a religious home.  I had a strong feeling there was a power greater than ourselves at work in our lives.  I always believed this was undeniable.  So, I believed in God.  My next step was to choose a religion.  I spoke with Hindus, and I respected what they said, but didn't have a connection.  I even spoke with Muslims.  I read the Koran but most people don't know about the Hadith.  I found that way too restrictive for me. I then met with a Buddhist.  This was close.  I liked the peace and desire to reach enlightenment.  It still didn't feel quite right.  I also spoke with people of the Shinto religion.  I have family members who are dedicated Jews and spoke with them.  I felt close and part of it but no deep connection. So, I started studying the Bible.  I felt a connection to Jesus and his teachings.  My problem?  I don't have an established Christian religion that makes me comfortable.  I'm still looking.  My relative are very upset I'm not Catholic.  So, I was speaking with a Muslim friend.  We believe that its possible for a religion to choose you.  He believes the Christian religion chose me like the Muslim religion chose him.  We do agree that there is an afterlife and without that thought, nothing we do here would make sense to us.  So, we often talk about the afterlife.  I believe there are many Jews, Christians, Muslims and others who go through the motions of their religion.  There are others who want to bolster their ego and social acceptance by being a super follower.  Then there are me and my friend who find ourselves with a feeling and and understanding of the spiritual world but don't know exactly what it all mean.  I think there have been many people like us throughout history.

      1. jackclee lm profile image81
        jackclee lmposted 8 months agoin reply to this

        Just remember, religion is a personal matter. It cannot be coerced one way or another. Faith is a mystery. Some people have more than others...but to deny in a Supreme being is illogical.
        There are just too many supernatural events that cannot be explained away.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 8 months agoin reply to this

          "Just remember, religion is a personal matter. It cannot be coerced one way or another."

          Tomás de Torquemada might disagree with that statement...

          "There are just too many supernatural events that cannot be explained away."

          First, you only assume some events are supernatural...because you cannot explain them.  Ignorance may produce faith but it cannot produce knowledge; that you (or anyone else in the world) cannot offer proof of natural causes does NOT mean there are none.

          Secondly, denying a god of all is illogical...but so is the claim that there IS one.  Again, ignorance is not a reason to make up an answer - it's OK to be ignorant, to recognize that none of us have all the answers.

          1. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
            Kathryn L Hillposted 8 months agoin reply to this

            Where did your consciousness come from, wilderness? There is only one of each of us. That is truly amazing. I think God did it.

          2. Readmikenow profile image96
            Readmikenowposted 8 months agoin reply to this

            Wilderness, two questions.

            1. Do you believe there is a spiritual world?
            2. What do you believe happens when you die?  Is our existence just a natural occurrence?  If so, how did this existence begin?

            Scientific theories are like religion....they require faith.  Darwin's theory has been proven to have many mistakes by other scientists, and that is just the beginning with scientific theory.

            https://www.wired.com/2014/12/fantastic … y-screwed/

      2. Jessie L Watson profile image94
        Jessie L Watsonposted 8 months agoin reply to this

        @Readmikenow

        This may sound airy-fairy but I think people from certain parts of the world are born embodying the faith of their ancestors. Carl Jung alluded to this idea in his investigation of archetypes. I'm not sure if it's possible for someone in the West to be a "Buddhist" or a "Hindu" because these religions aren't just a list of guidelines or philosophical epithets, they have entire cultures embedded within them.

        1. janshares profile image97
          jansharesposted 8 months agoin reply to this

          Hi Jessie, it's funny I found my way to this forum today. The energy here is very good, feels like real discussion. I wanted to share that I attended my first Buddhist funeral today for my friend's 87 year old father. He was a practicing Buddhist for 54 years, living right outside Washington DC in a very westernized community. There is apparently a very active Buddhist community that has found a way to blend their faith and teachings with western culture. As an African American who was stationed in Japan and was drawn to the religion, he was somewhat of a maverick when he returned to the States in the 1960s. He and his wife were able to respect each other's faiths and raise their daughter (my friend) to respect the same. We attend the same church (Episcopalian). The Buddhist service was beautiful and meditative. I was honored to attend.

          I see no reason to debate whose religion is better or best. We should be able to appreciate the sacredness of all faiths as long as the common denominator is love, peace, and to be better human beings.

          1. Jessie L Watson profile image94
            Jessie L Watsonposted 8 months agoin reply to this

            That sounds very interesting! You're very fortunate to have been a part of that. It's also not often that Christian types accept Buddhist traditions. A friend of a friend once told me how they traveled to a Buddhist temple and felt that the vibe was "evil". How on earth they arrived at that conclusion is beyond me. Perhaps it's just fear of what they don't understand.

            Thanks for sharing!

        2. Readmikenow profile image96
          Readmikenowposted 8 months agoin reply to this

          Jessie,
          I've always been fascinated by individuals who go against their culture religion to pursue another type of belief.  I met a woman who was raised in a devout Catholic home who became a Sikh.  I met a Muslim who became Christian.  I've spoken with former Christians who converted to Judaism.  The list goes on and on.  I still believe it's possible for a religion to choose you.  I've seen very devout atheists become Christians and more.

  4. Rupert Taylor profile image97
    Rupert Taylorposted 8 months ago

    I long ago stopped paying any attention to the forums in which people of various political or religious persuasions slug away at each other. They are simply platforms for ranters with no attempt at intelligent debate.
    I am concerned that such "discussions" are migrating into this forum, which is a place for writers to help one another in developing their craft.

    1. Jessie L Watson profile image94
      Jessie L Watsonposted 8 months agoin reply to this

      You've mentioned something like that before. People seem to use the freeform discussion forum for whatever they feel like. Seems implicit in the title.

  5. Jw Worcester profile image81
    Jw Worcesterposted 8 months ago

    Each religion has key tenants.  Christianity has two that the others don't have.  Number one that God came down to us to be reconciled to Him.  Second is that only by believing in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus we must believe in God's Son Jesus to be reconciled to God.

    The Bible itself claims to be the very Word of God.  Many church goers do not hold fast to these tenants.  And many who claim to be reconciled to God live "unchanged" lives.  Christianity must be considered on the message itself.  It's as easy as falling over a cliff to use church people to discredit it.

 
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