Originally Posted by ebrillblaiddes
I think (as a moderately religious person) that there's a tendency among some people to substitute religious answers for practical ones--and I'm not knocking either, it's possible for the two to even agree, it's just that the practical answer is going to be more persuasive to someone who doesn't already believe that way. Then you also get the "I can do whatever I want as long as I repent/confess/do penance/etc." crowd...of course there are going to be problems in life for those people. Also, there are people who self-identify as a particular religion, perhaps because they were raised in it, but don't particularly follow the beliefs.
Faith is not a one-dimensional thing, is what I'm trying to get at. I could ramble on some more but I'm due at a job interview in half an hour.
Well said. I agree.
I think the move away from organized religion is not surprising. Once upon a time when the Bible was written and assembled from various sources, our scientific knowledge was very sparse. For example, lightening and thunder weren't understood, so it was easy to blame a thunderstorm on an angry GOD. The more we understand our environment, the less we depend upon a faith-based answer for everything.
My own belief is a theistic evolution. I believe in a "Supreme Being" or "intelligent design" because everything as we know it within our world is so organized and counter-dependent to not be a mere accident. At least that is what I believe.
But on the other hand, I believe that organized religion is man-made, and has become a lucrative big business, with too many denominations (especially Christian ones) more focused on the collection plate than they are in saving souls. I am not arguing against all Christianity, but I certainly believe that there are a lot of false prophets on TV begging for the Social Security checks of gullible old people so they can spend their booty on private planes, limos and mansions.
I do believe that Jesus and those others mentioned in the Bible were real people who walked the earth thousands of years ago. Was Jesus born to the Virgin
Mary? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not. Was he a great prophet and religious leader? Certainly. Was he Divine? Don't know. Are practicing Christians the only ones to know eternal life after death? Don't know.
If we look back to the days of Jesus, it would seem rather selective that only those living in and around the Holy Land would be chosen to receive the word of God through his divine son Jesus, and the rest of humanity who lived beyond the geographical reach of Jesus' preaching would be doomed to hell because they were Buddists or Muslims or Jews. That part just doesn't make sense to me.
I also wonder how the Christian Church and other religions that are based on the divinity of a once human being would react if some day it is proven that intelligent life exists somewhere else in the vast universe?