Kind of weird question...

Cassandra022

I'm actually on several forums that discuss this kind of thing quite frequently, and the numbers don't seem to support this assumption. In general, the more secular a society it is, the less crime and violence it seems to have.

word.
the way i see is, morality as derived from [organized] religion is basically taking pre-digested moral code and trying to apply it as best you can, in some cases with limited critical thinking about the process ie. 'religion says X is wrong and i have faith in religion so X must be wrong' type logic, and possibility of genuinely well-intentioned misinterpretation...

vs. no religion, wherein you are in the position of having to derive your own moral code. Is X wrong? By what standards do I judge wrong? Why are those standards the ones I choose? its led to a lot of rather meaningful internal dialogue for me, using logic to really pick apart things...

i'm not trying to belittle religion here. i think most religions are very beautiful and they help a lot of people, and that's a good thing. but i just don't see ensuring morality as one of their positives/why they are important.
i don't believe in an afterlife, in any kind of karma system per se (though i really do like the idea philosophically) or in souls, or anything like that. no supernatural/higher reason or consequences for me not to be a horrible, selfish, terrible person towards everyone around me. i still spend a lot of time consciously thinking about the fact that, quite the contrary, i'd really like to have a compassionate, positive effect on people/world around me to the best of my abilities...
 

Milfoil

Every belief, even a belief that there are no Gods, Spirits or healing energy is a belief. Whatever you believe doesn't stop you from being concerned enough about a friend or comrade to support them in difficult times by wishing them joy.

Different cultures and their belief systems around the world hold different values and morals true. Whether we ascribe to that religion or belief doesn't mean that they don't influence us, our government, politics, law etc.

I guess, in answer to the original post, what you believe or don't believe is secondary to what you do to help others.
 

GryffinSong

word.
...i just don't see ensuring morality as one of their positives/why they are important.
i don't believe in an afterlife, in any kind of karma system per se (though i really do like the idea philosophically) or in souls, or anything like that. no supernatural/higher reason or consequences for me not to be a horrible, selfish, terrible person towards everyone around me. i still spend a lot of time consciously thinking about the fact that, quite the contrary, i'd really like to have a compassionate, positive effect on people/world around me to the best of my abilities...

Here's the thing that a lot of religious people (especially conservative or fundamentalist) don't seem to understand. Those of us who don't believe in god still have empathy towards our fellow humans. We can still imagine ourselves in other's shoes. Furthermore, most people want to live in a society where we don't fear for our lives at every second. The way to do that is to be kind to each other, and hope for the same from others. I'm always saddened when people expect non religious folks to be monsters. In fact, looked at it objectively, I'm probably more moral than most people I know. It doesn't take a fear of hell or other punishment to make for good behavior.

My philosophy is that we're all different in some ways, and we're all the same in some ways. It doesn't matter what we believe, as long as we respect each other.
 

BodhiSeed

dunno, i guess, what i'm asking here exactly...insights/thoughts/comments?

How about just saying you'll keep them in your heart and thoughts? I have a husband who doesn't believe in a "God" so we have this discussion often. But I think sometimes knowing that someone is there for you, even if it is only in thought, can be comforting. As the saying goes, "Pain shared is half the pain, and joy shared is twice the joy."
 

Debra

I've benefited greatly from prayer threads and am most grateful for middle-of-the-night support from people here. Whenever someone holds you in their heart and wishes you well, whether or not that's heard by a god, it's good.
 

Bhavana

I'm actually on several forums that discuss this kind of thing quite frequently, and the numbers don't seem to support this assumption. In general, the more secular a society it is, the less crime and violence it seems to have.

while this may be true, and an interesting thought, are there really any societies that are wholly secular? Even if you have a mostly non-religious government, for example in Scandinavia, you still have the majority of the people believing in God or some higher power.
 

celticnoodle

I call myself a Catholic, and I do practice the faith, somewhat. That said I do not believe "God" is this old gent sitting on a throne in the skies above, watching over us, much like we watch tv.

For me, I believe we are all an energy that works together, sometimes in sync with each other and sometimes not. As such, our energy is what makes up the "Godlike" energy, I guess. So, for me, I do also believe that we are capable of great and wonderous things, including sending powerful prayerfil energy and healing energies to those who need it. I firmly believe in guides, spirits angels and prayer. Who knows though, maybe I am deluding myself, but I don't think so. I honor everyones right to believe and practice as they wish, too, as long as they can also extend that same honor to others too.

If I am fooling myself, then I hope I continue on in my belief, because I rather like what I feel is true.:D

Why practice a Catholic faith then you may ask ofme? Perhaps because it is a familiar thing for me, having been raised Catholic and going through Catholic schools, and working for years in the Church as the Director of Religion, too. Some of it has made me who I am today, and has helped me to see that faith is important to have. For me, a prayer is a wonderful ball of energy that can do wonderous things.

I think I will always feel this way.

Great discussion btw. :)
 

Briar Rose

If you replace the word PRAYER with VIBRATIONS it shows how it works.

The first sentence in my ecology book reads something like this:

Energy never dies. It can be transformed or made into something else, but it never can die.

So then, if we are energy, then we have to be transformed into something else, so this means that we never truly die.

I love the prayer threads, and I am so grateful for the loving support I received during the time of my beloved soul mate dog Blacki crossing over. I don't know what I would have done if I wasn't pulled out of my doom and gloom by the power of prayer.

Also, it is scientifically proven that atom and molecules are popping in and out of this environment. And the question is, where do they go? The only conclusion is that they must go to a different dimension.


Check out YouTube and type in Quantum Physics. Perhaps you'll like the talks where science meets spirituality. It makes much more sense to me than organized religions.
 

VGimlet

I always send off good energy to someone in need of it, because I am more of a believer in positive energy - but I think it's all good. Prayers, healing energy, good vibes. I keep people who are in need of positive energy in my thoughts.

I am not personally a christian, and I never have been. My family was interested in the spiritual side of life, just not through christianity, and we had a lot of discussions about it when I was a kid.

The power of prayer, or good vibrations or positive energy is not negated, in my opinion, by religion or lack thereof. Just my feeling.
 

Richard

I am probably not a Christian, although I have an affinity to a mystical interpretation of it, somewhat similar to that described by the Theosophist Annie Besant in Esoteric Christianity.

Back when I was a more conventional Christian, I did not really believe in the efficacy of petitionary prayer. I was too much of a Calvinist to believe that God would (or could) alter what he knew was going to happen, since his omniscience extended into the infinite future. Logically, prayer could have no effect on what was going to happen anyhow.

Now I think that strict Calvinism is rather silly. Quantum mechanics indicates that strict determinism is impossible. Prayer (or visualizing white light or some other New Age thingie) may really do something. It can certainly do no harm.