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November 20, 2012
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Organized religion vs religious belief

:icondidj:
Didj Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
In my casual observation, I've noticed quite a few people of a particular faith disassociating themselves with the organized religion aspect of their faith. Heck, even this forum's own Bible verse spouting lunatic who could never grasp the proper use of pluralization (you all know who I'm talking about) proclaims that he does not associate himself with any organized religion. Perhaps it's because people don't want to be associated with such negative aspects like the pedophile priest scandal or the Westboro Baptist Church. Or it could be that our modern ideals of free speech and personal freedom has allowed people to pick and choose what they want to believe rather than having an old man in a big funny hat tell them what to believe. Kind of makes me wonder how many people of faith still attend church service.

What are your thoughts on this?
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Devious Comments

:iconblack-allison:
Black-Allison Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
I feel it is best to separate yourself from any particular organized religion so I can finally judge people for who they are and not the mandates of their religion. It sounds prejudice, but if you support gays, had sex before marriage and you're not traumatized by it, pro-choice, or haven't paid your church taxes you are not fucking Catholic. Once I had to explain why I'm not Christian and I said for example well I believe gays should be allowed to get married about it and then a Catholic replies to me "well me too." Well then you aren't bloody Catholic are you?
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:iconlittlecorax:
LittleCorax Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
I think some of it depends on your definition of faith. I'm a very faithful person, but to me, being faithful is quite literally, being full of faith. And faith, for me, is the complete acceptance of the beliefs I have acquired through my life as a result of my experiences both physical and spiritual.

I don't have "a religion," nor do I associate with any, despite many having an aspect or three that are identical or similar to one or more of my beliefs. I have been to church, but have gone as a courtesy to friends or family. But ultimately, I find the idea of church.. odd. And the energy every time I have gone has always made me uncomfortable, as if it knows I'm not "one of them" and doesn't really want me there.

I don't know. I just can't seem to get behind the idea of needing or wanting someone else to tell me what to believe and how to act according to some "being" whose existence has to be taken on belief alone, and then being told that if I don't believe in it (the being, It's tenets, etc), I'm not only wrong, but am going to so to some horrible place to suffer....

Especially when, if everyone supposedly goes to one of the two-three places, regardless of if they believe in "Him" or whatever for eternity.... where do the stories come from what these places are like, since no one comes back? Tales, supposedly told to people by things whose existence can only be taken on belief alone.......

Yeah... People just take all of it way to literally, and that's probably half the problem.

I suspect there are a lot of people who've either lost their faith, or are distancing themselves at least sub-consiously, if not consciously, because some part of them realizes that what they need to do is follow the guiding ideas and principles, rather than take it so literally like the organized aspect tends to.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Going out on a limb, here, and guessing :iconanarchintheuke:? :lol:
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:icondidj:
Didj Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
If your guess was about who I was referring to when I said "this forum's own Bible verse spouting lunatic who could never grasp the proper use of pluralization", then you guessed wrong.
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:icondragonflae:
Dragonflae Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
Really? Huh.

There must be more of them than I thought :stare:
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:iconchurchx:
Churchx Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
its like atheism isn't it, you don't call yourself a group although you all have the primary belief of "there is no God or Gods" can it not be the same for other religions, sure we attend church services but that doesn't make us an organisation. I think we (as in the church) have lost sight of what's important, we've become such a power that our image in the world is more important, this is why i go against there being a "head of Church" there's a lot of power with that position. also i think its a lot of people trying to seem "cool" because for some reason having a religious belief makes you "uncool" not sure why but i've never let it bothered me. good question btw :)
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
Actually at one point the church was the most powerful organization in the world. It has only slowly lost that power as time has passed.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Religion is organised terror as atheists together couldn't organise a chook raffle.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
We're getting better at it there are tons of rallies now.
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:icontdroid:
tdroid Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012
I'd say that I don't mind people believing in God if it is just a personal thing that doesn't affect others. Some religious people try to affect others and this is, as far as I understand it, more common within the religious organizations than with individual people, and I am against that. I'm sure people can draw a conclution of what I think about the OPs question from this post.
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:iconspudfuzz:
Spudfuzz Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've always seen it as that you either believe fully, or you don't. You don't get to cherry pick which parts you pay attention to and which ones you ignore, and nor do you get to decide that this 'God' will hold off 'punishment' just because you went half way. The bible itself is very clear on all of this.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
"And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16"

"If there be found among you ... that ... hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them ... Then shalt thou ... tone them with stones, till they die. Deuteronomy 17:2-5"

"They found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. ... And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones.... And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-56"

Do you kill people for these actions like your Bible says? If not then you are a hypocrite.
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:iconspudfuzz:
Spudfuzz Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Was that directed at me? Because I'm not religious. :O_o:

But those were the kinds of things I meant anyway in regards to cherry picking.
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:iconragerancher:
Ragerancher Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
It was as I thought you were a Bible literalist. I'm yet to meet one whp has followed those parts.
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:iconkausawolf:
kausawolf Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So your saying someone has to believe 100% of something or nothing at all?
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:iconspudfuzz:
Spudfuzz Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
When you have a religion that gets it's entire ethics/moral/ belief code from a book with clearly written rules, then yes.
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:iconlittlecorax:
LittleCorax Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Excellent point, but... Considering the Bible has so many versions, some of which leave things out (Lilith, Adam's first wife), or change things (mary magdeline being implicated as either a disciple or whore), because whoever was in power or had the most influence wanted it that way.... it would seem cherry picking the beliefs is sort of part and parcel of the whole thing, no? I mean, when many still have the word "Version" in the name or have some other way to distinguish one version from the other, do we really even know or have access to the "original" text that would ideally be what should be followed? No, we don't. Either because there wasn't one, or it's been lost to time, and/or like any oral tradition, the details of any written version were modified by the writer for any number of reasons.

And really, isn't that what half of the various religions are anyway? A variation on a core set of ideas? A cherry picked version that differs just enough from the others that it can be called it's own "religion" even if still under the umbrella of a more general title such as Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Muslim, etc.
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:iconkausawolf:
kausawolf Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah okay.
There are a lot of religions/beliefs that allow you to stray from the bible and question it and find your own answers.
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:icondeizzan:
Deizzan Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012
I've heard this often enough. In fact, when I was younger I used it as a way to describe they way I felt before I was mentally mature enough to fully explore the possible implications of there being no higher being/force/existence. Personally I find that the most common uses of the "I believe in X, but I'm not religious" are often:

- people who have chosed to follow their own definition of belief
- people who have become alienated from their church
- people who have lost faith in their church/religion
- people who haven't fully been able to make a break from religion

While these examples obviously can't cover every possible explanation, they are the ones I am most familiar with. Personally, the one statement from any side is the insistence that one interpretation of any belief/unbelief is the correct one and all others are wrong. I see the word "true" often placed in front of various groups and am often compelled to ask what makes that group the "true" group. The most common responses are personal interpretations that only seem to reinforce my skepticism of their version being any more true than the other versions.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Everyone wants to start their own branch.
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:iconspudfuzz:
Spudfuzz Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconfsmplz: For lo, our lord and saviour was he who created branches in the beginning.

Noodles for everyone! :iconallthethingsplz:
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
If you profess a faith that is by definition a community, and then shun membership in any community that claims to embody that faith, then you're not really much of a believer.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
There is no God, only mental illness.
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:iconzinc-tails:
Zinc-Tails Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I view it as a natural process. The slow degradation of the establishment brought about by the information age. With the ability to view a million, million different viewpoints and faiths, and the limitless access to negative coverage (like the pedo-priests and what not) the once firm grasp of the established religious order is beginning to crumble and weaken.

Add to that the proliferation of science and education eroding the foundations of the organized movements and we get a clear picture of what is happening.
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:icontheawsomeopossum:
TheAwsomeOpossum Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
There's a lot of people these days who feel religious, but don't adhere to a specific group. More of a personal relationship with God, with no preacher in between, I should say. That isn't to say that those who use a preacher don't have a personal relationships with God; it's just that this other group doesn't feel the need to have an intermediary. Not that an intermediary is a bad thing either though (I'm a member of a church with some degree of intermediary). So yeah... they feel religious... but don't feel churchy =p.
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:iconkalinka-shadows:
Kalinka-Shadows Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
The whole 'personal relationship with God' or 'Personal relationship with Jesus Christ' is a marketing ploy, nobody has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ unless their Schizophrenic. Even then it's all in their heads.
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:iconcadfrust:
Cadfrust Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you miss the point of both those phrases. It's a way of making people examine what their faith means to them, of what God and Christ mean to them, what they represent even. Acceptance of the way the world is, Seeing a better or more peaceful life through their faith, or just something to comfort them in regards to the inevitability of death. Those two phrases are more poetic and philosophical than anything else. Most people understand that it is not an actual "personal relationship". It is a spiritual one, one built on giving people a sort of peace of mind. At least, its supposed to be.
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:iconmpsai:
MPsai Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012   Digital Artist
I see it more as a way to give their words authority or an out to say someone just can't understand the religion like they do because the creator of the universe talks to them and is their best friend.

See also: [link]
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:iconcadfrust:
Cadfrust Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
All I'm going to say at this point is that the religious people you have grown up with are very different from the ones I've grown up with. I've met a few fanatics and closed-minded people, But most the people I know do not mean it that way. Maybe it's because rural people are more laid back. I dunno. By the way, excellent use of video source. You really know how to debate properly and for that I salute you.
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:iconlittlecorax:
LittleCorax Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Just depends on the community- many of the rural folk I know tend to be rather die-hard and rigid about their religion, and have issues with anyone who deviates or goes against it. *shrug* But that's humans for you.
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:iconcadfrust:
Cadfrust Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
We're in the transition between generations. I imagine things are going to be very different, or at least moderately different, in the next 20 to 30 years as the baby boomers step down and their children or grandchildren take over. Not to say the source of conflict is entirely based on generational conflict, but I imagine it does have an impact.

Also, I will smack whoever brings up the 2012 apocalypse right through their monitors, whether they do it jokingly or not. I am very certain there will be a 20 to 30 years from now.
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:iconlittlecorax:
LittleCorax Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
True enough. You only have to look at your own family to see the impact of the generation shift.

Considering that even the Mayans, who created that calender believed, and still do, that it wasn't the end of the world, only the end of an era, I'll be more than happy to help you smack them. :D
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:iconkalinka-shadows:
Kalinka-Shadows Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
I see it as a party line, and a party line that Protestant Christians parrot to try and put Protestant Christianity above other religion, when no such distinction exists.
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:iconcadfrust:
Cadfrust Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Fair enough. I just see it as a way that Christians fit the idea of introspection into their daily lives. Though I suppose many do not understand the meaning behind the phrase. Or maybe I am the one who does not understand. After all, my personal faith veered away from Christianity a long time ago. I simply appreciate what good Christians, regardless of their denomination, can be like.
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:iconkalinka-shadows:
Kalinka-Shadows Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012
The line "Personal relationship" with Jesus serves a dual purpose. It's a Protestant talking point to mislead people, but also, to exclude people as Catholics and Jews are said "not to have a Personal relationship" will not go to Heaven. It's a recent term too.
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:iconcadfrust:
Cadfrust Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I can understand that point of view in regards to the statement when in reference to Jesus, But when in reference to God I simply don't find it that exclusive. From what you say and what I do sadly know, yes, many of those who use that term do probably mean it in that way. To me, however, the phrase "Personal relationship with God" is very subjective. What is "God"? What does "God" mean to me? How does "God" affect my life and my beliefs? What this boils down to, however, is that I think we may be arguing two different things here, and might not be entirely in disagreement. Your first statement was just vague enough that I misinterpreted it and took it the wrong way as an attack on my sense of what those phrases mean, rather than what you meant them to mean.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional General Artist
While I think your chosen examples are kinda extreme, I do think the general idea that people don't want to be associated with the negative aspects of religion is the driving factor. Probably along with the idea that Jesus preached against dogma, which as far as I can tell is not exactly true. It's more blind adherence to dogma and hypocrisy that were his targets.

I would imagine people continue to attend because they still believe in aspects of the faith and get something out of engaging with it on a communal level. It might also be the sense of belonging to a group and having that identity.
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:iconlittlecorax:
LittleCorax Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
And yet, sadly, I've met more people who follow the "bible" with the traits of blind adherence and hypocrisy than I've met without them. That is one thing that's always amazed me about the human species- the ability to believe something so whole-heartedly that they completely forget or conveniently ignore some of the most important principles of what is supposed to be their faith, and do exactly what it says they shouldn't.

I do agree on the second part though- I think some do still believe, but I think a lot just get something out of it in a group that they can't, don't, or don't think they can, get out of it by themselves.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional General Artist
Yes, it's very ironic, isn't it? But honestly, I wouldn't single Christians out for that, it's a tendency noted in many wisdom traditions.
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:iconlittlecorax:
LittleCorax Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
Didn't intend to. :) That's why I used the word "bible" without the capital B and in quotes. With so many versions of the Bible depending on the faction, I figured that would pretty much cover them and make it open for people read it more as "sacred text," "holy book," or whatever collected work of tenets/principles they want to see it as rather than the strict image that's typically conjured with the capital letter

Also, it's just people I've personally met. I've no doubt there are people like that of every religion, I just haven't really met any. Or at least, haven't gotten into any discussions or conversations with any... But then, religion is a topic I routinely try very hard to avoid unless unless, like here, I see a demonstrated rational, intelligent, and civil debate/discussion.
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:iconsaintartaud:
saintartaud Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional General Artist
The only problem there is that "bible" has a number of uses besides the Christian Bible, so it might actually be more confusing. Personally, I don't think the differences between canon are so vast that you aren't generally talking about the same book. More or less.

But yeah, I think much depends on the approach to interpretation one takes. Also, a lot of Christians (at least the ones I've known) haven't read the Bible all that deeply and depend more on what's filtered through priests and ministers. I won't lie and say I've read it all, but I've read good chunks and worked to understand more of the history/culture surrounding the content.
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:iconajglass:
AJGlass Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
   ...rather than having an old man in a big funny hat tell them what to believe.

          I exist!
     :santa:


         No, you're just a hallucination!
     :evileye:


          I'm telling you, I exist!
     :santa:


          I swear, that's the last time I spike the eggnog.
     :paranoid:
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:icondeguerre:
Deguerre Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
From that little badly-drawn icon alone, I knew exactly who that's supposed to represent.

Surely that counts for something?
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:iconajglass:
AJGlass Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Yes, it shows you've been brainwashed by Christians who are hell bent on making you believe that a fat man can fit down your skinny chimney. :lol:
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:icondeguerre:
Deguerre Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't have a chimney, you insensitive clod.
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:iconajglass:
AJGlass Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Then maybe he's discovered how to come through the heating vents!? :ohnoes:
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:icondeguerre:
Deguerre Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There you are with the personal pronoun "he". I suspect you're secretly a believer in the anthropomorphisation of the season.
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:iconajglass:
AJGlass Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
I'm pretty sure Santa is male.
The beard sort of gives it away I think. ;)
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:icondarkmedina:
darkmedina Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012
What if "he" is actually a female Dwarf?
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:icondidj:
Didj Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
It's a Christmas miracle!!!
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