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Religion Answered

In your own words, how do you feel about religion? I myself am still not sure.


The whole idea behind religion itself might be true, or not. One religion may be right, all religions may ultimately prove to be right, no religions are right, God might exist, or not. There's basically no way for us to be 100% certain whether religion (or specific religions) are right or wrong. I myself am an agnostic theist - the whole 'theist' thing is basically just influence from the way I am raised and the kind of people I grew up with. I'm pretty neutral about the whole thing, and in all fairness I'm open to change. I guess you can say that I'm 'playing it safe'. Or not. Who knows?

well after speaking to a christian pastor and having some.. personal experiences.. i have seen that God is real but theres no way to comprehend it.

I guess you can say that I'm 'playing it safe'. Or not. Who knows?

You're thinking along the lines of Pascal's Wager (make sure you read the criticisms as well).

You are absolutely right. I was endlessly wondering on my particular way of thinking, and you cleared up a lot of stuff by directing me to that article. Thank you very much.

There is a saying that 'Religion is institutional, Spirituality is personal'.

Most people are born into families with some kind of religious belief. The point is that religious is generally a 'belief based system'. Meaning, you have to believe. As a result many people make it personal because almost all religions stress that THIS is the one and only true way to god, and all others are wrong.

All religions (Christian, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) branch out into multiple sects. These are variations or branches from the original belief or philosophy. As a result there is no shortage of choices, if you are 18 years or older you should feel free to experience as many of these that you can or want to.

Most groups are friendly and open to people who want to experience their religion. You shouldn't have to join, or pay anything other than the customary offering that is taken at a service. A lot information is available on-line, so you can do some research to understand the fundamentals.

In case you haven't guessed it by now, religion or spirituality is a personal choice. You pretty much have to figure out which one meets your needs. I once heard it said,  "There are many roads. All of them ultimately lead to God."

But science has proved stuff that the bible says god made.

Can you give an example? I guess an alternative is to be an atheist, not to believe in any deities. Atheism versus Theism ... no belief in deities versus belief in deities. There are scientists and doctors who do not believe in God. For them the problem is simple, 'you can't prove to me God exists'. It's pretty much an atheists point of view.

example: just how my science teacher has told me how earths atmospere was formed from volcanoes and stuff but it makes sense, and sounds more probable than just earth popping up and people are there, and who knows which religion to believe?

Therein lies the issue. Religion wants you to believe 'poof' the earth was created. Science wants you to believe (yes believe) that there is a very methodical, scientific method for earth's creation. Interestingly enough most of science's solutions are theory. Meaning lead scientific minds want you to believe in their theory. I'm not putting down science, but pointing out that science and religion both have their 'theories' about how things work. While even I have to admit that science seems to be able to provide plausible explanations for the physical world around us, religion keeps edging its way back in. Take DNA for example. I don't believe there's a scientist on earth who would state that this happened by random chance.

In your example about how earth's atmosphere was formed, while science can explain how it happened, who engineered it to happen this way? Was it random chance, or was it designed to work like it does? If you agree this had to be designed this way, then ask who was the engineer?

If you want to learn about the physical from a spiritual standpoint read a book called "The Autobiography of a Yogi". It's available in most bookstores.

well its not just earth you know, other planets were formed the same way and are either over the process and outlived their time or are still forming. But there are some things that cant be explained that religion gives an answer to.

Carefull, though, as religion doesn't really give any answers beyond simply guessing since science hasn't yet come through. It's a fine point but a point to understand for sure. The Bible and Christianity (which is my most familiar area) have had all sorts of "answers" throughout history only to be proved wrong as science progressed. Think earth-centered universe; earth-centered solar system; disease as a punishment, etc. Again, if it makes you feel better, fine but make sure you aren't sacrificing your intellect for an easy answer. Neil deGrasse Tyson has a wonderful presentation on this very subject. It is well worth a look! http://www.haydenplanetarium.org/tyson/read/2005/11/01/the-perimeter-of-ignorance

MrSillyGuns: You are correct, and in fact it goes both ways. There are things science can't explain, and other things religion can't explain.

I think you need to keep asking questions both on religion and on science. Analyze everything you hear. Each person develops what they think is the correct answer, and that evolves and changes over time. There may come a time when some new information may take a theory (religious or scientific) you've previously dismissed and make it plausible.

But you assume that scientific theories are the same as religious theories when you are absolutely mistaken. Science makes a hypothesis then strives to find proof/disproof of said hypothesis. Science is not afraid to be wrong and too not know the outcome. Your argument, jimc4567, is the "god-of-the-gaps" argument which is simply intellectually dishonest. You posit that simply because we don't know from where something came, we will never know so therefore it must be god. I will say that there are numerous scientists that will say that DNA DID come about randomly and naturally. (Dawkins, Tyson, Hawking, any respected scientist). I will grant you that technically all of science is theory but not the dumbed down, no proof or understanding "theory" to which you seem to subscribe. I always say one should be skeptical. Short of actual proof or experimental and reproducible data, one should not simply "believe" in something. (see Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc, etc).

jbhuffman, this dialog was a discussion with a high school student who is having difficulty working through the conflicts presented by science and religion. My intent was to provide a balance between the two. Neither science nor religion has all of the answers.

I do no subscribe to the god-of-the-gaps theory. I know that religious and scientific theory are not the same thing. Religion makes little effort to prove their theories. Science has many theories, many of which will never be proven.

My statement about all scientists believing DNA is not random is grossly overstated. I do believe there are going to be quite a few as we get further into deciphering the structure.

I too believe in the scientific process, and that one should be skeptical about both scientific theory and religious belief.

Again, I'm trying to help someone through a conflict that I don't know that I'll be able to be successful.

there are a few books that could be considered: The Language of God, written by the Head of the Genome project a few years back, has presented a scientific and balanced view in my opinion. And it is a really cool book to boot if you are interested in the human genome.

I apologize as I didn't quite see that this was a younger person posting what could be a rather serious bit of deliberation. I am also happy to hear that you don't subscribe to the aforementioned "god-of-the-gaps" theory. With that all said, it is disheartening to simplify something so much that its meaning is changed. If this person is in fact a high school student then why simplify it at all? You need to make sure that you simply address the issues as they are and not expect or assume that the person will not understand. Treat everyone as a rational thinking, literate adult and backtrack (should the need arise) from there. I do not believe that DNA will be any different from any other theory or idea that was attributed to a god that later was solved (for all intents and purposes) by science. Science is always evolving, religion is not (at least not willingly: see Galileo). Either way, this is a discussion for another thread in another place and time. I will say that this person will in fact have learned the volatility of a question such as this! Debate is always fun (or should be). Finally, I apologize if I might have come across as harsh but I fear that too much is simplified to the detriment of the population! Be well, J

"Religion wants you to believe 'poof' the earth was created. "

To be fair, globally, most theists are happy to use their religion to guide their lives, and use science to describe the Universe.  It's a bit double-think, but OK if you realise that huge chunks of most "holy books" are allegorical, or describing the Universe as best they can with a bronze age grasp of reality.

Unfortunately, the most vocal face of religion (specifically christianity here) actually represents the minority view of creationism / bible literalism / Levitican laws.


Speaking personally, if a theist or deist is going to tell me that the Universe (or any small part of it) was created by a deity, then they are going to come up with some b****y strong evidence to back up their claims, especially if they are going to claim evolution is wrong or the Earth is only a few millennia old.

Fortunately, that whole subject is, really, off-topic for a forum on a Maker site.  Anybody who wants to discuss that should take it to a dedicated forum, or stick to PMs.

Indeed, it is almost impossible to understand the two creations of the Bible as being anywhere near literal. They must have been written to teach other lessons, but not a science lesson.

I don't think I disagree with anything you've stated.

To paraphrase Red Dwarf "someone made that up to prevent you all from going nuts"


Um, but a robot is already nuts (and bolts) :-)

And do you agree with that? The only reason we have all these religions is to keep people going? I did enjoy the video. LOL very interesting way to discuss an idea.

Life would be a lot easier with only one religion. I find it as a way for people to discriminate others...

yes it would but everyone has different takes on how the world has been created and who to pray too, blah blah blah.

Not everyone....theistic evolutionists beleive wholeheartedly in evolution, and the big bang. It is the time that science can not see back to, before the big bang, that intrigues the philosophers and believers in God.

Yep there are a few books that could be considered: The Language of God, written by the Head of the Genome project a few years back, has presented a scientific and balanced view in my opinion. And it is a really cool book to boot if you are interested in the human genome.

How about everyone just becomes independent?

A word of warning - this subject often brings out the worst in people.

Be prepared to face the decision "should I delete this topic?"

As long as the subject remains general, and no one starts trying to defend or prove a particular religion, things should be ok.

I remember the old fights, where someone would bring up religion, and then everyone would kill digital sheep, and throw their pixilated remains at each other on the forums.... We have since abandoned such useless fodder.

Yep. (Mostly) everyone's pretty much burnt out on all these old debates (religion, war, drugs, politics, etc etc ad nauseum). Sign of maturing fora. :)

Thanks! That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me all day! (Wait - "human"?)

Yeah, he should have said "any" and not "human", eh? ;-)

I don't want to make an argument or anything just curious about other peoples opinions.

Up front I wish to express I look forward discussing any questions you wish to ask about religion in general. At the same time, I will promise you that I will not know every answer. I bet you may also have heard the phrase "it's not a religion, it's a relationship." This actually only works for some of the monotheistic religions because there is actually a relationship you can have with God. But i like this idea because of the intimacy so obviously found in a relationship, rather than a religion. A relationship directly affects you and constantly requires you to participate for it to work. A religion, on the other hand (as said above), resembles more of a system. Systems can run even with a changing "crew." Nothing is going to stop functioning if you are no longer participating. I hope you kind of understand what I mean by that. I also kindly disagree with the first post, in the area of a religion "meeting your needs," because that would be arguing for relative truths. You cannot get to the same place on different paths in the world of religions. Ah yes and one last thing... I'm curious to hear what things science has proven that you were referring to and what exactly you mean by that.