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Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by TransmutingSoul, Nov 3, 2021.

?
  1. Yes it is!

    16 vote(s)
    34.8%
  2. No it is not!

    10 vote(s)
    21.7%
  3. Yes and No, I can explain.

    18 vote(s)
    39.1%
  4. I am Undecided

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. I offer Quotes from a Faith to demonstrate.

    2 vote(s)
    4.3%
  6. I offer my thoughts of faith in response.

    4 vote(s)
    8.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    The purpose of this OP is to explore our Choice of Faith, is it a choice, is it not?

    I have read in other OP's on RF where people say it was not a choice, that their Faith was a natural process that required no choices.

    To an extent I agree, as I see God has created us all in the same image, with the same potential of Spirtual Virtue.

    On the other hand I see we need education to find that potential and that if we go it alone thinking we do not have a choice, then it may be we miss many choices that are available. My guess is, as I am yet to do so, is that if I searched all the Holy Books, we would find the advice, that to embrace faith, one must make a choice between what was offered by God, over preference to ones own ways. I do know the Bible offers that as a choice to be 'Born Again' from the flesh to the spirit.

    As a Baha'i there is clear guidance as to how God offers it is a choice, this is one such passage.

    "O My servants! Through the might of God and His power, and out of the treasury of His knowledge and wisdom, I have brought forth and revealed unto you the pearls that lay concealed in the depths of His everlasting ocean. I have summoned the Maids of Heaven to emerge from behind the veil of concealment, and have clothed them with these words of Mine -- words of consummate power and wisdom. I have, moreover, with the hand of divine power, unsealed the choice wine of My Revelation, and have wafted its holy, its hidden, and musk-laden fragrance upon all created things. Who else but yourselves is to be blamed if ye choose to remain unendowed with so great an outpouring of God's transcendent and all-encompassing grace, with so bright a revelation of His resplendent mercy?"

    Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 327-328

    Does your Faith have such guidance?

    Is a faith and all we do in that faith based in choices we have made?

    And/Or

    Can we have a faith without making choices?

    So all the best and it will be interesting to ponder the replies people offer.

    Regards Tony
     
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  2. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    In theory the choice of faith is your own choice. BUT so much depends on where you are born and which faith your parents practice.

    If you are born in India you are most likely to be a Hindu, born in Indonesia a Muslim, born in USA a Christian
     
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  3. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    Exactly what I was going to say.

    In fact, I suspect that for most people, they are born into a religious tradition, which may result in faith or may not. If it does not, the most likely choice people will make is to stop practising any religion, rather than choosing a different one.
     
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  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I would say that we have to choose and that God gave us free will so we could choose to believe or not believe in Him, but that does not mean everyone will be able to choose to believe in Him. The same applies to choosing a particular religion. I think we all have the capacity to choose but that does not mean we will be able to use it..

    According to my religion, we all have the capacity to recognize God, but I do not think that everyone will be able to use their capacity, for various and sundry reasons. Whether or not they will be held to account for their failure only God knows.

    “I have perfected in every one of you My creation, so that the excellence of My handiwork may be fully revealed unto men. It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure?”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 143

    “He hath endowed every soul with the capacity to recognize the signs of God. How could He, otherwise, have fulfilled His testimony unto men, if ye be of them that ponder His Cause in their hearts. He will never deal unjustly with any one, neither will He task a soul beyond its power. He, verily, is the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.” Gleanings, pp. 105-106
     
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  5. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    I agree, one cannot ignore the fact that religions reflect the ignorance and prejudices of the human cultures and epochs from which they emerged. The fact they have had to evolve in line with objective scientific facts, and evolving human morality in post industrialised democracies, says it all to me.
     
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  6. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    Yes I see that is indeed a contributing factor, that faith can be inherited by Nature and Nurture.

    I know many faiths have an age of maturity where it comes a time to make that choice in faith, so there is that to consider.

    I wonder if the many branches of Hindus have that ceremony where a child is accepted into the faith?

    Also @exchemist

    Regards Tony
     
  7. Orbit

    Orbit I'm a planet

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    When you are raised into it, it's not a choice. When you get older you may realize that you do have a choice and change/leave your religion. If you weren't born into it, it's definitely a choice.
     
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  8. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    The choice is: Who do you place your faith in?
    And you can choose nothing.
    And you can change your mind.
    And you can choose yourself.
    And you don't have to choose one.
    You can choose your spouse too.

    Faith can also be transcendent and ineffable.
    And it can also absolve the need for further choices.

    Whereas faith leads to hope; doubt leads to despair.
    Thus, even a fool can be wise and even the wise can be foolish.
     
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  9. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    Yes agreed, but I must add I am of that faith also.

    I can not see how life is no a choice of actions, it may be my black and white look at life.

    For instance if someone asked me out for a chat, then they had to make a choice to do that, if I accepted that was a choice, etc.

    Regards Tony
     
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  10. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    I don't think you choose what convinces you, or choose to be convinced by something. But you do have choices in how you express your belief, and what kind of due diligence you do when looking for answers.
     
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  11. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    That is not what this OP is about, I would appreciate that you do not choose to reply to this OP if that is all you can offer.

    Your choice is not to have a faith, that is a choice.

    It is also a choice to use faith for good, or for your own agenda, as it is with all our choices, based in faith or no faith.

    Regards Tony
     
  12. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Faith, IMO, religious or otherwise is a state of ignorance. It is a condition of not knowing.
    I don't mean this derogatorily. Just when we lack knowledge we have to put our trust into someone or something else.

    I don't see ignorance as a choice, just a lack of knowing.

    There exists a lot of things to put your faith into. And, you being the ignorant, uh.. person that you are, have no way of knowing whether what you place your faith into will actually lead you to knowledge or further ignorance. The problem with most religions I've been involved in is that they promise knowledge but ultimately only offer more faith.

    From religion, I've come to expect only faith, a continued state of ignorance. When we, we're lacking knowledge, we don't really have a choice to make. We just kind of stumble into whatever we find before us and hope for the best.
     
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  13. Sheldon

    Sheldon Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry but that is errant nonsense, you can speak for yourself, but you don't get to tell others who see through the vapid nature of faith, that it leads to despair?

    That last platitude is an utterly meaningless deepity.

    There is literally nothing one cannot believe using the vapid bias of faith, it is therefore objectively useless in determining the validity of a belief.
     
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  14. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    I see that is sound reasoning. I see that is how faith does unfold.

    First we have Nature and Nurture.
    Then we reach Maturity and we have free adult choices
    We can then choose our nature and nurture, or we use our adult reasoning to choose other paths.

    Regards Tony
     
  15. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Participation in a religion is a choice.

    Belief isn't a choice, but it's influenced by our choices (e.g. what we choose to read or who we choose to associate with).
     
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  16. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    Yes, faiths do have rituals when they deem you mature enough to be formally a member. I know I was confirmed at the age of 12, I could then take the communion wine and eat the bread. (I still saw the light only a year or so later)
     
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  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Great idea for a thread. :)

    Agreed. We have free will so we can make choices although we cannot always choose what we might want to choose since free will is constrained by many factors.

    Free will is simply the will/ability to make choices based upon our desires and preferences. Our desires and preferences come from a combination of factors such as childhood upbringing, heredity, education, adult experiences, and present life circumstances. How free they are varies with the situation. Certainly what we refer to as “free will” has many constraints such as capability and opportunity. However, we can make choices as otherwise we would just be like pre-programmed robots. For example, people choose to get married, go to college, or have children, since nobody chooses for them.

    Whether we can choose a religion I don’t know. From what I have seen on this forum choosing a new religion or changing from one religion to another religion is not as easy as 1 - 2 - 3. I think that whether we will do that is related to fate and predestination.
     
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  18. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    From a Faitg perspective, it is said our highest capacity and the apex of knowledge is the recognition of God and Submission to God.

    So see the quandary, what you have offered about Faith becomes applicable to the Athiest stance.

    So how do we find the balance so we do not have endless debate over how we build a united world?

    Can people of faith and those with no faith agree on the virtues we need to implement as one people on one planet, is that possible?

    Regards Tony
     
  19. TransmutingSoul

    TransmutingSoul Veteran Member
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    I see that is the true baptism, that of choice.

    Regards Tony
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Who said anything about using faith for determining the validity of a belief? That is what evidence is for.
     
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