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View Diary: It's Okay To Need Jesus (43 comments)

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  •  I consider myself agnostic (11+ / 0-)

    and if I have  the definition wrong then so what.  As Gandhi said, "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians." I am very turned off by many of the churches today and some of the people in them.  If you study the history of religion you will find that it has been used over and over to gain power and do some pretty awful things in the name of God.  I am not saying that all Christians are bad, because many of them are wonderful.  We just don't hear about them much.  

    I do believe you are right.  There are many people that need a belief in God to feel better about the shit that is thrown at them in this world.  It is something that, to them, is constant.  But to me, it should be a quiet faith.  It shouldn't need to be loudly proclaimed to make it so.  When someone is constantly talking about how we should all believe as they do, that tells me they have no faith.  They just want everyone to agree with them to validate their own shaky belief system.  

    Prayer is for self reflection, not to ask an unknown, unseen being to do something for you.  Obviously, Rick Warren doesn't use prayer for self reflection because if he did, he might be a better person.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:41:54 AM PDT

    •  Good Point About Consolation (10+ / 0-)

      Too often, critiques of religion on the Internet are focused on supplication -- the kind of prayer where people ask God(s) for things.

      "Give me a new Lexus!" etc.

      But there are several forms of prayer, including expressions of gratitude, devotion, adoration and the like, as well as prayers for consolation and for aid in accepting things about this world and life that we cannot change.

      People seek out consolation through prayer in the same way people seek it out through music or art. People do want a sense of universal belonging, of understanding and of acceptance of their being and part of nature.

      Reason often fails these great challenges. If it were sufficient, we wouldn't need Mahler or El Greco or Julian of Norwich.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:50:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  God is whatever people imagine, or feel, or think (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, whoknu, Had Enough Right Wing BS

      Him or Her or It to be. Much the same way that "love" is whatever we make of it.  Perhaps they're both imagined ideals that we can, if we so choose, believe in to the extent that they become determinative forces in our lives.

      But does God actually exist, independently of human imaginations, desires, and fears? Ask it this way: does Democracy? Does Justice? Does Truth? Music?

      Organized Religions are attempts to codify and formalize and unify what I would call the "God impulse". By that I mean the human need to explain (for reasons both practical and psychological) the unknowable mysteries of existence and consciousness, of life and death. The need to share and communalize these explanations, and to give meaning and purpose and direction to these things, to this situation.

      But always, always, organized Religions devolve into being more about organization itself, than about whatever God or purpose they were first meant to serve. More about practical power and control than about anything else. Still people trust in them, for want of anything more reliable to trust.

      Many educated people think that science or empiricism is the final arbiter of truth, and that this obviates the need to believe in anything supernatural. That everything , the entire universe, is natural and ultimately explicable from a rational standpoint. Maybe they are right. But this not a wholly satisfying point of view, and it might not even be wholly accurate.

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