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What are your thoughts on religion and god
#1
Hi guys, 

Just to hear your opinion on this subject. What are your thoughts on religion and god?

I was born and raised as a Muslim. I studied in a national school (afternoon session) and religious school (morning session). I finished reading Quran (the holy bible of Islam) 3 times and was also elected as the national school Imam (The man who leads prayers) during my high school years. I led hundred of students and teachers every single day. I even got an official certificate as Imam from my school. 

But deep down, I have so many questions with the religion. A lot of things just don't make sense. Also, I know I'm gay since I was in kindergarten. Islam and homosexuality don't click - No matter how religious and a good person I am, I'll end up in hell anyway. 

I am now agnostic. I have no issue believing in higher supreme, a creator and spirits but I doubt the God that I was trained to believe in is IT. That God is quite egoistic playing all of us like his version of Sims and Sim City. 

Stephen Fly pretty much sums up my thoughts.

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#2
Well I'd say I am agnostic. I think religion and spirituality is important, it's important to me and even started a (terrible) podcast on the subject. However, lately I only get requests from people who want to sell people their "spiritual awakening," for the low cost of $150/hr (that's sarcasm).

I haven't listened to Stephen Fry's video but here's what I can say, perhaps from a westerner's perspective as I don't know jack squat about the Muslim faith. It's bullshit and it is because of people. People are hypocrites of magnitudes that know no heights. Religions all almost unanimously say be kind to one another, yet we go to war and kill each other and every other atrocity imaginable, yet they are the righteous ones? Fuck that shit.

I'll give you an example. When I was 17 I worked in fast food, Hardees (some might know about Carl's Jr., same company, same products) to be specific. Sundays were usually slow but were awful because about an hour before close you would have all the evening church people come in wearing their "Sunday's best," suit and tie and so on. They were the rudest people, mind you many people in the area I'm in are Baptist and do go to church, although usually in the morning. If they weren't difficult, they would bitch at and chew out the manager over a mistake on some food, demand refunds and free stuff. Look, I'm not saying I've never been upset about a mistake at a restaurant but I've also never chewed out an employee or made ridiculous demands. That being said, I realize that non-religious people can also be douchebags, the point is that so many people sit on a high horse thinking they have better morals than others when they simply don't. I also realize there are people who try to live true to their faith, think of people like Fred Rogers (For those in other countries who might not be familiar, he was the host of the children's TV Show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) or LeVar Burton (who really should get to host Jeopardy). People tend to wear religion like it is a status symbol, like the same way someone buys a Mercedes instead of a Chevrolet.

I'm also at odds with a religion whose God or deity condemns people to hell because of their imperfection. I'm not talking about evil people who murder, rape and other terrible things, but things like I jerked off this morning and now I will spend eternity in hell because I did, or because I'm gay, or because I took the Lord's name in vain. The idea that I get my head dunked in water or that I may confess my sins to a priest (who will then go tell everyone in town that I'm a fag) just so I can go do it all over again and again is just boggling to me.

That all being said, I thankfully, did not grow up in a religious household, so a lot of what I say here is from observation and not experience. I interviewed an ex-Mormon and all I can say is there's a lot of mental abuse that takes place within the social structures. I just don't see how so many people believe in it, truly, I feel as if people claim it and use it however they want and perhaps they just fool themselves.

Do I believe in a God or some deity, I do think there is something and that was sort of the idea of starting the podcast, which ultimately hasn't done me much good. I don't have time for it and it is difficult to get the people that I really want to talk to on the podcast.... It is also a money pit... and frankly who wants to listen to me. I'm a terrible interviewer and I'm in desperate need of learning how to speak without stammering and simply paying attention.

One of the things I see so often is that we give human traits to God, God is supposed to be supernatural and all powerful, why is God bound by human emotions like rage and anger. It is as if we imagine God as being some old guy with a beard sitting up in the clouds.

This isn't meant to be a plug per se but this should give you some more insight about how I feel about things....

https://www.spiritualgardening.net/intro...-in-deity/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/...eve-in-god
https://www.spiritualgardening.net/inter...al-ginger/
https://therealwhmg.com/podcasts/existential-ginger
https://www.spiritualgardening.net/the-r...ok-groups/
https://www.mikefoley.xyz/index.php/2020...rituality/
https://www.mikefoley.xyz/index.php/2017...e-forever/
https://www.mikefoley.xyz/index.php/2016...r-meaning/

Some of these things I've posted and wrote about are almost 5 years old...Heck I doubt I could tell you what I wrote about back then but I'd like to think that what I would say today might be slightly different than what I did say... Anyway, again the idea isn't to try to plug my shit, all these websites I have cost me money, I have no ads, I make nothing from this stuff. Frankly, I'm considering letting the podcast site go simply because I don't know that I want to continue bothering with it.

At any rate hopefully there's something here that might help you or someone else. None of what I said is meant to offend anyone's religion but are my observations and apologize to anyone who might have found my remarks in my post or something in on of the articles I published...
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#3
There's simply SO much about this matter that summing up for a post reply is sure to be an over-simplification. The fact is there are the dogmatic, black and white, seemingly simple responses all the way through the spectrum to the overwhelmingly complex and multi-faceted perceptions. For me, in deliberate recovery, studying from one end to the other has grown from a strategic tool to and entertaining pass time and hobby. Your post doesn't get very specific about the "how and the why" of it all, but it does remind me of Father Leo Booth who is "famous" in the recovery world for his lectures and writings about religious abuse and how to heal and grow beyond such. One of his excerpts frames the value of "inquisitiveness" and highlights some of the essence of the subject from a more spiritually inclined side of the spectrum. I think it still applies to the other end of that spectrum as well but that's deep stuff for my time on this post.

Heart  Life's too short to miss an opportunity to show your love and affection!  Heart
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#4
BTW, I'm having SUCH a RICH blast studying the work of Chris Kratzer lately, who wrote the book "Leather Bound Terrorism." His take against conservative evangelicals is bittersweet and provocative.

http://chriskratzer.com/

   
Heart  Life's too short to miss an opportunity to show your love and affection!  Heart
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#5
Hi Jay! Nice to see you!

I think of God as a spirit that flows through everything. I am more inclined to believe Mother Earth is "God" because I feel God in nature - I rarely feel God in any kind of organized religion. In the end though - I don't really define God or let anyone else do it for me. 

I trust what I feel and I feel God all the time in different places and people and I am good with that. 

I am simplifying it alot but this pretty much sums up my feelings about it.
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#6
I don’t believe in god and think organized religion is one of mankind’s greatest mistakes. I was raised Mennonite (small global Christian Community; god is love) and liked being in the local community. Though even as a child I never believed into god, paradise, hell etc, etc. Once I moved away from home and religion, faith et al lost their meaning over time. After listening to the verbal diarrhea being spewed from all religions regarding gay people for decades, the US-Mennonite community not doing same sex weddings/not recognizing my marriage, all religion became the enemy. Good riddance.
Bernd

Being gay is not for Sissies.
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#7
I have largely the same opinion as Bernd. In fact, I would go as far as saying I am atheist. I think religion causes far more problems than it solves and I never want a part of it. Not that I believe in the existence of any god anyway.

EDIT: I have seen that Stephen Fry video before, and absolutely love it. Literally what I would say if I was better with words.
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#8
(09-16-2021, 01:13 PM)InbetweenDreams Wrote: Well I'd say I am agnostic. I think religion and spirituality is important, it's important to me and even started a (terrible) podcast on the subject. However, lately I only get requests from people who want to sell people their "spiritual awakening," for the low cost of $150/hr (that's sarcasm).

I haven't listened to Stephen Fry's video but here's what I can say, perhaps from a westerner's perspective as I don't know jack squat about the Muslim faith. It's bullshit and it is because of people. People are hypocrites of magnitudes that know no heights. Religions all almost unanimously say be kind to one another, yet we go to war and kill each other and every other atrocity imaginable, yet they are the righteous ones? Fuck that shit.

I'll give you an example. When I was 17 I worked in fast food, Hardees (some might know about Carl's Jr., same company, same products) to be specific. Sundays were usually slow but were awful because about an hour before close you would have all the evening church people come in wearing their "Sunday's best," suit and tie and so on. They were the rudest people, mind you many people in the area I'm in are Baptist and do go to church, although usually in the morning. If they weren't difficult, they would bitch at and chew out the manager over a mistake on some food, demand refunds and free stuff. Look, I'm not saying I've never been upset about a mistake at a restaurant but I've also never chewed out an employee or made ridiculous demands. That being said, I realize that non-religious people can also be douchebags, the point is that so many people sit on a high horse thinking they have better morals than others when they simply don't. I also realize there are people who try to live true to their faith, think of people like Fred Rogers (For those in other countries who might not be familiar, he was the host of the children's TV Show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) or LeVar Burton (who really should get to host Jeopardy). People tend to wear religion like it is a status symbol, like the same way someone buys a Mercedes instead of a Chevrolet.

I'm also at odds with a religion whose God or deity condemns people to hell because of their imperfection. I'm not talking about evil people who murder, rape and other terrible things, but things like I jerked off this morning and now I will spend eternity in hell because I did, or because I'm gay, or because I took the Lord's name in vain. The idea that I get my head dunked in water or that I may confess my sins to a priest (who will then go tell everyone in town that I'm a fag) just so I can go do it all over again and again is just boggling to me.

That all being said, I thankfully, did not grow up in a religious household, so a lot of what I say here is from observation and not experience. I interviewed an ex-Mormon and all I can say is there's a lot of mental abuse that takes place within the social structures. I just don't see how so many people believe in it, truly, I feel as if people claim it and use it however they want and perhaps they just fool themselves.

Do I believe in a God or some deity, I do think there is something and that was sort of the idea of starting the podcast, which ultimately hasn't done me much good. I don't have time for it and it is difficult to get the people that I really want to talk to on the podcast.... It is also a money pit... and frankly who wants to listen to me. I'm a terrible interviewer and I'm in desperate need of learning how to speak without stammering and simply paying attention.

One of the things I see so often is that we give human traits to God, God is supposed to be supernatural and all powerful, why is God bound by human emotions like rage and anger. It is as if we imagine God as being some old guy with a beard sitting up in the clouds.

This isn't meant to be a plug per se but this should give you some more insight about how I feel about things....

https://www.spiritualgardening.net/intro...-in-deity/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/...eve-in-god
https://www.spiritualgardening.net/inter...al-ginger/
https://therealwhmg.com/podcasts/existential-ginger
https://www.spiritualgardening.net/the-r...ok-groups/
https://www.mikefoley.xyz/index.php/2020...rituality/
https://www.mikefoley.xyz/index.php/2017...e-forever/
https://www.mikefoley.xyz/index.php/2016...r-meaning/

Some of these things I've posted and wrote about are almost 5 years old...Heck I doubt I could tell you what I wrote about back then but I'd like to think that what I would say today might be slightly different than what I did say... Anyway, again the idea isn't to try to plug my shit, all these websites I have cost me money, I have no ads, I make nothing from this stuff. Frankly, I'm considering letting the podcast site go simply because I don't know that I want to continue bothering with it.

At any rate hopefully there's something here that might help you or someone else. None of what I said is meant to offend anyone's religion but are my observations and apologize to anyone who might have found my remarks in my post or something in on of the articles I published...

Yes, I've heard and read about Mr. Rogers before. From my understanding, he promotes kindness through his show without hidden agenda? I'm fine if a person would like to practise religion but be sensible, show kindness, do not oppress and judgemental.

I get you. I think I've done a good job to be a good human being by being a good person. I donate and do charity, I help people etc. But in the end, all these don't mean a thing because according to Islam, I will end up in hell anyway. 

Taken the words from Stephen Fry's interview - 

“...How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It’s not right...It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?...Because the God who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac. Totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him?! What kind of god would do that?"

My exact sentiments. Why would God create misery such as holocaust and the rape of Nanking? For his own entertainment to witness from his throne? Sure, people caused the holocaust and raping those unfortunate mothers in Nanking but who created emotion, evil urge to do evil stuff? God himself. So he created all these evil stuff and then have the nerve to say he will judge and punish for the wrongdoing. If you don't want evil stuff circulating the earth then don't create evil to begin with. He sounds so wrong and we are his toys. So egomaniac as stated by Stephen Fy. 

Okay I will check the links that you've provided. (Edit: Am listening now. Uh, ever thought of doing ASMR? lol What a sexy voice. But on another note, I thought your podcast is really good. Found your channel on Spotify. Following)

Thanks for sharing your opinion. Appreciate it!
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#9
(09-16-2021, 01:57 PM)ChadCoxRox Wrote: There's simply SO much about this matter that summing up for a post reply is sure to be an over-simplification. The fact is there are the dogmatic, black and white, seemingly simple responses all the way through the spectrum to the overwhelmingly complex and multi-faceted perceptions. For me, in deliberate recovery, studying from one end to the other has grown from a strategic tool to and entertaining pass time and hobby. Your post doesn't get very specific about the "how and the why" of it all, but it does remind me of Father Leo Booth who is "famous" in the recovery world for his lectures and writings about religious abuse and how to heal and grow beyond such. One of his excerpts frames the value of "inquisitiveness" and highlights some of the essence of the subject from a more spiritually inclined side of the spectrum. I think it still applies to the other end of that spectrum as well but that's deep stuff for my time on this post.


When you wrote religion abuse, the first thing that I thought - Hmm, perhaps God/Creator creates all these and say, "Okay, I've done my stuff and you folks can do whatever you want with it." Perhaps there was no actual religion at the beginning and earth was just a white canvas and we, humans created religions for selfish reasons. We abuse the canvas for our own benefit. 

When I was younger, I was taught that prophet Mohammed was able to get water out of his hands, Moses divided the red sea and so on. Their followers believe them until this very day. The thing is if today, I tell you that I'm a prophet, have received message from God to create new religion and can do magical stuff, people would laugh and send me to a mental institute. In my country, few people have claimed they are the new prophets but yet people laughed. However, people have no issue to believe the previous prophets with no evidence whatsoever. 

Sorry Chad, I've gone random a bit.

Appreciate your thoughts on this matter. Thanks!
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#10
(09-16-2021, 08:08 PM)eastofeden Wrote: Hi Jay! Nice to see you!

I think of God as a spirit that flows through everything. I am more inclined to believe Mother Earth is "God" because I feel God in nature - I rarely feel God in any kind of organized religion. In the end though - I don't really define God or let anyone else do it for me. 

I trust what I feel and I feel God all the time in different places and people and I am good with that. 

I am simplifying it alot but this pretty much sums up my feelings about it.

Nice to see you too! One of my favourite guys in GS!

I like that. I don't like God's rules and and terms as he creates everything for his own entertainment - Whatever works for him and pleases him. At least God that I was taught to believe in. 

While I am now agnostic (or semi atheist?), I have no issue to believe in spirits around us. As weird as it sounds, I do feel like there are good spirits that are watching my back all the time. In two separate occasions, I was few seconds away from death. The second one happened two months ago, my car was few seconds away from getting hit by a logging truck. I was driving my dad to a vaccination centre. But yeah, am alive. So if those spirits are real...thanks bros for watching my back. 

Thanks for sharing your opinion. Appreciate it!
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