what is the deal...belief in god or just cultural stuff - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-19-2004, 03:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a thought.... do you think you know people who really believe in God or just go to church, say prayers... light candles.. or go to temple, go to seder...fill in the blank for all the religions.... anyway, they do stuff but really, really don't believe in god. ..know what i mean?

I honestly know a lot of people who truly believe in God. But I also know people that when asked...will say they don't know if there is a god. but they do all the traditions.

what is that all about? I ask with genuine curiosity.

i guess my feeling is... why bother if one doesn't believe... do you know what i mean?



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#2 of 10 Old 04-19-2004, 08:38 AM
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Why bother? B/c there are all sorts of wonderful experiences and revelations, comfort inherent in ritual whether or not one 'believes' in the Deity. How about one walking in a labyrinth in a meditative space? No belief, per se, there but loads of wonderful insights and experiences in that.

The act itself is worthwhile, imo. Can anyone prove that prayers actually reach the Deity? No. But science has proven that the act of praying is good for humans (reducing stress, bp, enhancing immunity, etc.)

How does the Bible say it...I don't recall exactly but something about man not being made for the Sabbath but the Sabbath created for man, I think?

Belief, as you call it, isn't necessary to the spiritual experience. Spirit can be felt and fulfilled in ritual, prayer, lighting candles, walking to the mountain top without a belief in God.

That's the Good News.

Edited to ask: what the heck do you mean by 'just cultural stuff'? That 'cultural stuff' is extremely meaningful to some of us, m'kay?
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#3 of 10 Old 04-19-2004, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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all good points.

of course for me rituals etc all make sense since i believe in god.

but i see your point for why nonbelievers engage in them, thanks.

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#4 of 10 Old 04-19-2004, 02:41 PM
 
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I'm an atheist and I truly do not see the point of it all. Lighting a candle? To Whom? For Whom? Praying?? To Whom? I HATE hypocrisy and attending church and doing the rituals while not believing in what you are doing is as bad as it gets. Bah.
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#5 of 10 Old 04-19-2004, 02:54 PM
 
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There is religion and there is spirituality. Religion is the ritual aspect, or as you call it the cultural aspect. Spirituality is where the beliefs come in.

Ideally I suppose they coincide, but I don't see why they have to. I also don't see what the big deal is personally. I don't consider it hypocrisy to go to church or do any religious holidays, etc. when you are unsure of your beliefs or doubting them or rejecting them or whatever. My guess is that the VAST majority of Americans believe in some sort of higher power but don't believe verbatim all the teachings of their particular religion. But they stick with their religion because religion has a great cultural importance to a lot of people - it is deeply connected to a sense of self and family, and I think saying that if you aren't sure about God or if you know you don't believe in God then you should reject all aspects of that culture is unnecessary for a lot of people, who don't struggle with it as having to be some sort of rigid, black-or-white stance. To each his own, on that front.
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#6 of 10 Old 04-19-2004, 03:37 PM
 
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But they stick with their religion because religion has a great cultural importance to a lot of people - it is deeply connected to a sense of self and family,
This says it for me, thanks.
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#7 of 10 Old 04-19-2004, 10:45 PM
 
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I think some people who don't belive are hoping that the ritual aspect of it anf the fellowship with other believers will strengthen thier faith.

or they are tring to cover the butts incase they are wrong. Or please pothers, fit in socially.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#8 of 10 Old 04-19-2004, 11:40 PM
 
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or they are tring to cover the butts incase they are wrong.
This made me :LOL
I remember my mom saying when I was young that churches were full of scared old people trying to get right before they died.
:LOL Is it any wonder I was agnostic till my twenties?
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#9 of 10 Old 04-21-2004, 02:46 PM
 
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Um, believing in God isn't a prerequisite for many religions...

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#10 of 10 Old 04-21-2004, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Um, believing in God isn't a prerequisite for many religions...
interesting. I didn't know that. always learning here!

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