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The God Poll

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Poll: The God Poll (79 member(s) have cast votes)

The God Poll

  1. I believe in God. Of an organized religion form. (IE: The Christian God) (27 votes [36.49%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.49%

  2. I believe in God. Of an unorganized religion form. (IE: God is simply a higher divine being or a sentient consciousness of the universe/nature. For example, Mother Nature) (14 votes [18.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.92%

  3. I do not believe in God but I believe in an unconscious organization to the universe. (9 votes [12.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.16%

  4. I do not believe in God at all. There is no one at work behind the scenes. Everything is random. (4 votes [5.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.41%

  5. None of the above. (20 votes [27.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.03%

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#21 silverwind

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 02:57 AM

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No one should be treated like that for their faith...PERIOD!

Agreed.

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But, and I say this at my own peril, I feel you are just as wrong by branding all Christians the same and pretty mush saying it is okay to treat them the same.

I don't recall "branding" anyone anything.  I don't find Christians to be evil.  In fact, not more than 15 minutes before posting here, I was having a pleasant discussion about religion with one.  My only point is that I've grown tired of Christians who constantly act as though they are the ones society treads upon.

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And Silverwind, don't get me wrong I am holding nothing against you, I do understand but as the saying goes "Two wrongs don't make a right". :)

Agreed.  And I hold nothing against you, or against Christians in general.

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I hope some day you get to interact with Christians that practice what Jesus teaches.

I'd rather interact with all sorts of people who practice what common decency teaches. ;)
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#22 Kimmer

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 03:26 AM

I selected #1. Since I'm no longer attend church, I'm not nuts about the phrase, "Of an organized religion form" (I do understand the intent though).

LoP brings up a good point, and I'll take a stab at telling you why I don't speak up about religion, or my beliefs in the Bible. I hate arguing/discussing about religion/faith. It's a very personal thing, and while I can discuss and agree to disagree with folks over politics and other things ... I get really touchy about the whole religion thing. There is at least one current thread here that I find highly offensive, yet I've stayed out of it because I know that I won't remain rational. For some reason when we all begin to discuss religion/faith/the Bible ... things quickly become personal.

At another board, there is a post about homosexuals and religion ... everyone immediately began taking pot shots at those who might agree with the so-called funny post. It's very hurtful and it's mean spirited.

I don't take pot-shots at those who believe differently than I do. In fact, a couple of very dear friends are members here, and we are on opposite sides of the coin on this issue - yet I think no less of them and I have never told them they are "evil, wrong, an outsider, mislead, heartless, and a million other horrid things". Why? Like I said, this is a personal decision. I don't slam you for your beliefs, and I would ask the same respect from you. Sadly, that's not what happens when it comes to religion/faith.

Now that I've babbled, I'm out of here ....
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#23 GiGi

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 03:51 AM

I voted "none of the above"  The universe is a great mystery and can't be contained in the mind of man.

I agree with Kimmer that it is a personal thing and hard to share.  No one in the world believes exactly the same way as I do.  Arguing personal differences is really futile as in the end no one will change their mind.  Discussing beliefs on the other hand can lead to better understanding of the great mystery.

I must admit too, I get a little leary of folks proclaiming to be Christian.  This being because of so much has been done in the name of that religion to hurt folks (same for Muslim).  But I look at each person as an individual and see where they are at, if they don't use their beliefs as a way to beat other folks up I am okay.  I just take a little longer to open up until I know where they are at.
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#24 QuiGon John

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 03:51 AM

I sort of hope this will be my last post on this subject, because as LoP notes, discussing this sort of thing makes me a bit uncomfortable.  I can much more eloquently express my ideals in my writing.

Nonetheless, here is what I believe.

* I believe the Universe is too well-ordered, too beautiful, to have come from nothing.  I've never seen anything in this life come into being spontaneously that had any sort of reason or logic to it: Why should I believe life itself began that way?

* I believe that the Creator of all this operates on a level so far above us that we really can't know exactly why things are the way they are.  But I do believe there is a purpose, a truth of some sort.

* I believe we can and should try to seek that truth, in our imperfect way.  I believe the Bible and other holy books contain that truth, although unfortunately only imperfect men were available to write it down, and therefore it is necessary to interpret such things and try to grasp the essential message God is sending, rather than always interpreting things on the strictest level.

* I am a Christian because I believe the message of love sent by God through Jesus Christ is the closest humans have been able to come to figuring it all out.  I am Roman Catholic, but I was taught my religion largely by a Protestant school, so I incorporate some elements of their beliefs as well.  When you get right down to it, I think the differences between particular Christian denominations aren't very significant, anyway.  We're all going in the same direction.

* While acknowledging that I believe in Christianity, I do not believe we're infallible.  There are other belief systems that also are reaching for the truth, and I think it's quite possible that everybody's right about a few things.  I would define "believing in Jesus" more as "believing in the things he taught" rather than "believing in him," per se (although I, personally, do believe in Him.)

* I often struggle, then, to know just how I should express my belief or what level of "preaching the Word" is acceptable.  The reaction of non-Christians to strenuous attempts at evangelism has led me to believe that you're never going to convert anybody who doesn't care to be converted, anyway-- the best thing to do, then, is simply tend to my own life and hope that I can show people along the way that there is another road, a truth, something to believe in.

* But I acknowledge that I may be wrong about that, or about almost anything else.  There's a line in a song: "If I am a Christian, I am the least of all."  That's me.  I figure one of these days, in this life or after it, God is going to whack me upside the head and explain to me that I've made a great many mistakes and have, in fact, been quite a jerk when you get down to it.  My only hope is that He's extremely forgiving, and I hear He is...

That, in a nutshell, is what I believe.

#25 Han

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 03:54 AM

My apologies everyone for the wording. This poll was created on a spur of the moment after reading the bible thread. I should have made things clearer.

The first choice was intended as whether you believed in a particular, "commonly recognized" god. For example, the Christian God or the Buddha's pantheon of gods or the Catholic God or the Hindu God, etc. A God described by a organized form of religion.

The second choice describes Gods/Divine beings that are not usually "commonly recognized" as gods. For example, Wiccan divine entities, Mother Nature, Father Heaven, etc. (Note, this isn't to say that Wicca is not a valid religion, just not a commonly known one).  

The third choice says there are no God(s) but the universe itself has a way of working things out. Unconsciously structuring itself to become a form of some sort. This is where I would put things like Karma, where if you do something good, somehow it will be returned.

The last choice is for pure atheists. There is no God at all. Everything is random. And to clarify the everything is random thing, it means there are no divine or outside forces at work to influence events other than the actions of the individual themselves.

I was trying to create a spectrum of choices from a specific belief in a specific form of god towards no belief in any divine entities at all. I hope I haven't screwed up anyone's voting.  :blush:

--
Han
Han

#26 Morrhigan

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 04:03 AM

I picked none of the above.

The word "God", to me, suggests sentience and consciousness. I don't believe in a conscious deity. My concept of the deity is more Taoist - the divine is in all things, flows through all things, springs from all things. Kinda like the Force, lol, though I don't attach the good/evil dualism to it that they did in the Star Wars movies.

This formless concept of deity is difficult for the human mind to grasp, so our tendency is to project ourselves onto it - to anthropomorphize, so we can relate to it. In some cultures, the different aspects of deity are personified by dozens, hundreds, even thousands of gods and goddesses. One of the fascinating things about Christianity is that it tries to reconcile all of the different aspects into one deity, which is why the God of the Old Testament seems like an almost entirely different being from the one in the New Testament. Er, sorry, went off on a tangent. What I'm trying to say is this: I believe in the Divine, but I think that any attempt to view it as a conscious being is just humanity projecting its own consciousness onto something it can't understand.

Most of all, though, my beliefs are subject to change. Cuz, y'know... I could be wrong. :p

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#27 Han

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 04:24 AM

I am an atheist. I do not believe that there are any gods out there because of many reasons. Too many to list them all here. I prefer to believe in science and logic.

I don't believe in god because I haven't seen any proof of his existence. When people ask how could the beauty of the universe not possibly be the work of a god, I want to point out that its all math. In math, complex structures of great beauty turn out to be simple math formulas that can be easily understood. There is no divine-ness in this. Applied to the universe as a whole, everything can be explained scientifically once you know the laws and the math behind it.

Humanity is just a higher form of life, no more different than an animal, albeit an animal with a few more features. We are a product of evolution, self organizing ourselves to become what we have today. We became the way we were because we needed to survive. We evolved features and abilities to survive. No god created us because why would he create a flawed creature? With all his powers, he could create a perfect creature to worship him. If you say that he WANTED a flawed creature and created us, then I ask why would he do something like that? To test us? To torture us? That would mean he is nothing more than a scientist doing experiments on us and we are nothing more than mice to him.

We created god when we couldn't find a reason for things happening around us. When it rained, it was god crying. When the sky thundered, it was god pissed off. As human society developed, the idea of god became more and more detailed like writing a really good story. It also became a way for people to keep other people in power by proclaiming that god wanted things done a certain way and people would be punished if they didn't do it that way. Enter religion. At least, that's how I see it. That's why I do not trust any religion.

Anyways, that's just how I see things and I may be wrong. No offense meant to anyone.


--
Han
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#28 Laoise

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 05:26 AM

I really have no idea what is true, but for now, I've chosen to put my faith in with the science that says there is no higher power.  In my opinion, there is no higher power, therefore  no higher power can control anything about the universe.  (That doesn't mean things are random.... It's not random that the ball you throw comes back down, is it?)

I know there's a pretty good chance that I'm wrong, but there's also a chance that I'm right.  I've made plans for the possibility of being wrong: I made a deal with someone that, if we're wrong about the whole no-god thing, whichever one of us die first will save the other a good seat in hell! ;)
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#29 Nikki Peppermint

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 06:23 AM

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By Han: The second choice describes Gods/Divine beings that are not usually "commonly recognized" as gods. For example, Wiccan divine entities, Mother Nature, Father Heaven, etc. (Note, this isn't to say that Wicca is not a valid religion, just not a commonly known one).

Worded this way I voted for number 2.  Well, for the most part.  Wicca is something I'm studying because it's interesting and seems to fit with my life right now.  But should something better come along, I have no problem changing my beliefs.  Mostly I'm agnostic and this is the first spiritual path I've found that matches what I feel and believe in.  It's inviting to me because for the most part, after adhering to a very few basic principles, I can pretty much do and believe in whatever I choose.


#30 Lady of Mystery

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 06:40 AM

LoP's comments reflect a great deal of what I feel as well.

After having engaged in some conversations of Christianity on this board recently I think it will be my last.

I think it is a wise choice to simply keep still and not state what one's religious beliefs are ESPECIALLY if one is a Christian.

Lady

#31 QueenTiye

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 06:47 AM

{{{{{{{{{{{{{LoM}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

{{{{{{{{{{{{{LoP}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

I have to agree that it has often felt like this is the right position to take... but I hope that you don't take it...

You have no idea how relieving it is for me to read your comments!  While I don't claim the title "christian" for myself - my beliefs are similar enough for me to also (often) feel like I ought not have anything to say at all... but this board is weakened everytime we lose a voice...

QT

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#32 ChanceVS

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 07:00 AM

These questions are always tough.  As I'd read a little way before I voted, I saw that using the author's thoght process, I should vote for Option 2, as Wicca is not "commonly known."  I would have selected Option 1 had I not read that, but I don't really have a problem with that.

Based on some of the posts here, I had a couple of thoughts I wanted to share.

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By Nikki Peppermint: Wicca is something I'm studying because it's interesting and seems to fit with my life right now. But should something better come along, I have no problem changing my beliefs. Mostly I'm agnostic and this is the first spiritual path I've found that matches what I feel and believe in. It's inviting to me because for the most part, after adhering to a very few basic principles, I can pretty much do and believe in whatever I choose.

I'm glad you are enjoying the exploration of Wicca, and finding it a good fit for your life.  As a member of a teaching group, I have found a number of individuals become interested in Wicca, and then find through their searches that there may be a better path for them elsewhere, so I appreciate your comments on that.   Like protestent Christianity, there are a number of Traditions within Wicca, and while many are eclectic and are based more on shared values than beliefs, many others have very structured belief systems.  Someone from one of those Traditions might have been troubled by that last bit.  No worries, just pointing it out for conversation purposes.

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By Lady of Mystery: I think it is a wise choice to simply keep still and not state what one's religious beliefs are ESPECIALLY if one is a Christian.
I'm sorry you feel this way!  Religion, like politics is a volitile subject, but also like politics, it is one of the formative principles of any society.  I understand that many Christians feel as you do, and I wonder if there is something to be learned from the observation that many Christians, Wiccans, Athiests and others seem to share the same discomfort when they open themselves for a discussion of faith.  

Anyway, keep the faith!  :D

Interesting thread...

ChanceVS

#33 Shalamar

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 07:14 AM

I would like to appalude every one here,  for we as a group have headed, wandered..leapt, followed...

into some of the darkest terrority that humanity has even encountered, created..indulged in...

and we have spoken so deeply, from the heart and soul ,spoken about beliefs and thoughts that in other ages would have possibly provoked violence or worse.

I thank you all...

Might I say to the Christians, to All of us in fact, please do not be afraid, at least here, for if you are afraid then we have failed.

I believe that every individuals Truth...Beliefs, what ever you wish to call it and define it as.. is at least a little different from every one elses, and that those differences do not invalidate, but enrich.

Infinite Diversity, Infinte Combinations...
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#34 Neptunian

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 07:32 AM

The only answer I can give is this: I don't really know what I believe.

And I'm not that bothered by it because I have some sort of an inherent faith of an undefined shape that I find sufficient. :)

#35 EChatty

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 07:33 AM

I am a Christian, and I believe in God, the bible and everything in it.

And I trust Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.


#36 QueenTiye

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 07:44 AM

LTA, on Jun 23 2003, 04:34 PM, said:

Who wants a cup?
Me... :)

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#37 Bossy

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 07:55 AM

LTA, on Jun 23 2003, 03:34 PM, said:

I am a Christian, and I believe in God, the bible and everything in it.

And I trust Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.
Hey, thanks for boiling all the longwindness I wanted to contribute to a few short statements! :)

Now, I can just say ....... What she said!

Bossy - who doesn't think she's fooling anyone about not saying more ;)
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#38 prolog

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 08:05 AM

Atheist.  The universe doesn't seem to be random, but what differentiates me from many religious people I know is that I don't feel that necessarily implies the existence of some form of God.

#39 Mary Rose

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 08:27 AM

I've gotta go with option one.  While I don't consider myself overtly religious I do consider myself a Christian.  How good of one I am is an entirely different matter but I do try.  

I won't get all long winded but I will say that as long as you respect my beliefs I will respect yours.   That's all.
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#40 usmarox

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Posted 24 June 2003 - 12:48 PM

I'm quite happy with my view of God...I always try and explain it as an elderly gardener pottering about in his shed and poking a plant now and again.  As far as I'm concerned, God takes a hands-off approach to managing the universe and just nudges it gently when he feels the need.

Anyone remember the ST:TNG ep with Q in? where he takes Picard back to a primordial Earth, and the pair of them are standing over a rock pool sort of thing, and Q says words to the effect of "Oh look.  Those two RNAs have missed each other.  I suppose that means humans will never evolve."  That's the sort of thing God does. Just provides a gentle push in the right direction.  Everything else is down to the seven fundament constants to sort out.
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