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Religious People Only: Holding Back?

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
When I first joined RF I thought it would be a place to share religious convictions and maybe hear about religions other than Christianity. I overlooked the evidence/lack of evidence thing, but that seems like a hard thing to ignore on here.

I rarely ever get a chance to explore my own convictions on religion, and cosmic purpose. I don't mind stating some of the convictions I have, but I used to make the mistake of conversing in a debate forum simply because the topic was interesting.

In real life I never get a chance to express or talk about religion in any significant way. I'm overrun by Christians in my actual life. On RF I think maybe the non religious are running the show here.
Is this difficult for you to be in this position?
Holding back is what I often have to do.



Holding back is what I have to do because the English speakers who I know are either Christian or non-religious. Also, Hindu religion and spirituality is not really something they are interested in. I mention holidays sometimes, and that’s about it. People notice that I am calm and collected and cheerful, and they are unaware that it has to do with my spirituality.



Same here.
Do you find a lack of interests outside of religion has made it difficult to socialize? (I have, but I wouldn't change a thing.)
 

osgart

Nothing my eye, Something for sure
Is this difficult for you to be in this position?
It can be very difficult because Christians, and the none religious take the point of view that their convictions are obviously true and anything else is totally irrational and absurd. Likewise I look at the both of them and find absurdity as well.

So instead of going round and round with them I just superficially agree with them. I've tried everything from agreement, to disagreement but tap dancing around the subject is what I do to avoid the clash. One of the Christians had a bout of non belief once, but that didn't last.

To me life has religious significance even though I'm atheist. Life is a grande mystery to me imbued with cosmic purposes. So I'm not theist, but I'm not exactly secular. So talking to people about big questions of religious importance is a no go for me.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
It can be very difficult because Christians, and the none religious take the point of view that their convictions are obviously true and anything else is totally irrational and absurd. Likewise I look at the both of them and find absurdity as well.

So instead of going round and round with them I just superficially agree with them. I've tried everything from agreement, to disagreement but tap dancing around the subject is what I do to avoid the clash. One of the Christians had a bout of non belief once, but that didn't last.

To me life has religious significance even though I'm atheist. Life is a grande mystery to me imbued with cosmic purposes. So I'm not theist, but I'm not exactly secular. So talking to people about big questions of religious importance is a no go for me.
What are those "big questions of religious importance" for you?
 

mangalavara

सो ऽहम्
Premium Member
Do you find a lack of interests outside of religion has made it difficult to socialize? (I have, but I wouldn't change a thing.)

Yes, it can be difficult for me to socialize for that reason. To make things easier, I listen to people, respond to what they say, and just be humorous.

I also would not change a thing. My spiritual life is rich and it is leading me to something amazing. :)
 

TransmutingSoul

Veteran Member
Premium Member
I'm directing this thread at the religious people of the forum. You decide what religiousness means to you, and whether or not you oughta participate in this (non debate) thread.

How often do you find yourself having to 'hold back' your religious experiences, thoughts, or interests? Or, is this not a concern for you?

If you do find you have to(or choose to), why is that?
It is a daily task to do so. Thus RF is like the valve on a pressure cooker, but still, can only let off enough steam to keep the pressure under control.

Regards Tony
 

osgart

Nothing my eye, Something for sure
What are those "big questions of religious importance" for you?
Why does anything at all exist?
Why in a vast void does existence provide life?
Why does life and intelligence thrive?
Why is there any intellect or functioning at all?
Why is there a fine tuned universe?
How did life climb mount improbable?

Why do we have the capacity for good and evil, love and hate, virtues and vices?

Is there an eternal reality of significance?
The impossibility of intellect, and qualities of spirit from mere physics.
The intuition I have that the universe isn't perpetual, that it most likely comes from a deeper metaverse.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
It is a daily task to do so. Thus RF is like the valve on a pressure cooker, but still, can only let off enough steam to keep the pressure under control.

Regards Tony
I'm not sure I understand. Can you further explain?
Why does anything at all exist?
Why in a vast void does existence provide life?
Why does life and intelligence thrive?
Why is there any intellect or functioning at all?
Why is there a fine tuned universe?
How did life climb mount improbable?

Why do we have the capacity for good and evil, love and hate, virtues and vices?

Is there an eternal reality of significance?
The impossibility of intellect, and qualities of spirit from mere physics.
The intuition I have that the universe isn't perpetual, that it most likely comes from a deeper metaverse.
Nice list!

I question a good bit of these myself.
 

sun rise

The world is on fire
Premium Member
On RF I think maybe the non religious are running the show here.
Part of the problem at least for me is structural. I sometimes see interesting topics in a DIR but can't post because of the rules. And there's no DIR for theist only and SBNR folk. Assuming it's possible for staff to change the setup and too bad if it died because the owners don't care, but it would be great to look at different ways of having "discussion groups" that would be flexible enough to allow a more focused exchange of thoughts.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
Part of the problem at least for me is structural. I sometimes see interesting topics in a DIR but can't post because of the rules. And there's no DIR for theist only and SBNR folk. Assuming it's possible for staff to change the setup and too bad if it died because the owners don't care, but it would be great to look at different ways of having "discussion groups" that would be flexible enough to allow a more focused exchange of thoughts.
We do have a 'theist only' forum.

And religious Q&A allows for the person creating the post to choose who can respond(as I did here, asking only religious people to respond). You could potentially use that for creating such discussions(provided there's a question you're wanting to hear answers on).
 

Link

Veteran Member
Premium Member
I'm directing this thread at the religious people of the forum. You decide what religiousness means to you, and whether or not you oughta participate in this (non debate) thread.

How often do you find yourself having to 'hold back' your religious experiences, thoughts, or interests? Or, is this not a concern for you?

If you do find you have to(or choose to), why is that?
Per Imams (a) we are are supposed to hide our inward states with God as much as possible. The Quran also says not to attribute purity to oneself, yet emphasizes to become pure. Religion and purity should not be a reputation badge. God attributes purity to who he pleases, and has shown this to be the chosen ones, and sometimes they manifest some elite servants (like Salman Farsi). Over all, it's a state between God and a person.

Actions sometimes reveal a person more so than a claim. Messengers and guides they can claim and will have proof for it.

If I start stating experiences I have and people don't believe me, I will not have proof. Even if I'm not lying, it's as if I'm lying, if I don't have proof and claim it knowing I can't prove it.

I feel this is also a draw back. So many people experience wonders and miracles and are guided, but we won't hear from them.

"The one who does not know - talks a lot about the knowledge- and the one who knows has vanished from the people".
 

Secret Chief

nirvana is samsara
We do have a 'theist only' forum.

And religious Q&A allows for the person creating the post to choose who can respond(as I did here, asking only religious people to respond). You could potentially use that for creating such discussions(provided there's a question you're wanting to hear answers on).
I do see the benefit in @sun rise post.

Theist only: Some religions are non-theist.

Q&A: a rather restricting criterion.

I too feel rather marooned between not being able to post in DIRs and the remorseless evidence/proof/rationality schtick that pervades much of RF (but then the use of the term "debate" will naturally slide towards that approach).
 
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sun rise

The world is on fire
Premium Member
Per Imams (a) we are are supposed to hide our inward states with God as much as possible. The Quran also says not to attribute purity to oneself, yet emphasizes to become pure. Religion and purity should not be a reputation badge. God attributes purity to who he pleases, and has shown this to be the chosen ones, and sometimes they manifest some elite servants (like Salman Farsi). Over all, it's a state between God and a person.

Actions sometimes reveal a person more so than a claim. Messengers and guides they can claim and will have proof for it.

If I start stating experiences I have and people don't believe me, I will not have proof. Even if I'm not lying, it's as if I'm lying, if I don't have proof and claim it knowing I can't prove it.

I feel this is also a draw back. So many people experience wonders and miracles and are guided, but we won't hear from them.

"The one who does not know - talks a lot about the knowledge- and the one who knows has vanished from the people".
Interesting point. The personal ego, "nafs (an-nafs al-ʾammārah)", feeds on acclaim or more broadly attention. So care needs to be taken to avoid feeding one's lower nature.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
I do see the benefit in @sun rise post.

Theist only: Some religions are non-theist.
Yeah, that is a drawback
Q&A: a rather restricting criterion.
It can be.
I too feel rather marooned between not being able to post in DIRs and the remorseless evidence/proof/rationality schtick that pervades much of RF (but then the use of the term "debate" will naturally slide towards that approach).
I also dislike the 'prove it' type threads, and while I can post in a DIR, I often want to hear from more than just people the have the same religion as I do.
I missed that. I had looked through all the DIRs but did not expand all forums/debate/... locations.
Its a private forum. Would you like an invite? (I'll warn you, its not terrible active.)
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
Per Imams (a) we are are supposed to hide our inward states with God as much as possible. The Quran also says not to attribute purity to oneself, yet emphasizes to become pure. Religion and purity should not be a reputation badge. God attributes purity to who he pleases, and has shown this to be the chosen ones, and sometimes they manifest some elite servants (like Salman Farsi). Over all, it's a state between God and a person.
That's interesting. I can see the value in it.
Actions sometimes reveal a person more so than a claim. Messengers and guides they can claim and will have proof for it.

If I start stating experiences I have and people don't believe me, I will not have proof. Even if I'm not lying, it's as if I'm lying, if I don't have proof and claim it knowing I can't prove it.
Do you find people often want proof?
I feel this is also a draw back. So many people experience wonders and miracles and are guided, but we won't hear from them.
I agree.
"The one who does not know - talks a lot about the knowledge- and the one who knows has vanished from the people".
Also agree.
 

Quintessence

Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
How often do you find yourself having to 'hold back' your religious experiences, thoughts, or interests?
Routinely.

If you do find you have to(or choose to), why is that?
One or more of the following:
  • Words are inadequate - words flatten the true nature of an experiences
  • It will not be understood - counterculture is routinely foreign and impenetrable
  • Minorities are disparaged - perspectives deemed of little worth or invalid
  • No need to know - personal and not for anyone other than the beholder
  • Forced conformity - escaping mainstream cultural norms is impossible
  • Excessive censorship - religion is a taboo topic of conversation and shut down
Could probably list more factors, but those are likely the main ones and each could be elaborated upon at length. To highlight the second one a bit because it seems a bit unfair, this should be understood more as an acknowledgement of the limitations of understanding. A lot of public education is about building a foundation of knowledge upon which later teachings will then become intelligible. If that foundation is absent, attempting to teach certain things will more or less fall on deaf ears. I've had this experience enough myself - not being able to "get" something until the mind is primed as it needs to be - to be salient of the limits of understanding. My religion happens to be countercultural and thus pretty foreign to many minds in my surrounding culture. It just is what it is, and as far as I'm concerned those who are meant to understand it will do so eventually. It is not something that can be forced, really. It happens or it doesn't.
 

Link

Veteran Member
Premium Member
Do you find people often want proof?
I think proof for such claims is a good thing. It keeps us from following leaders who take advantage of people. Unfortunately, Sufis for example, have leaders who claim position of inheriting the Messenger and having right to establish rituals on his behalf.

Many of these leaders even most Sufis would acknowledge are crooks that take advantage of people, but then don't see in their own leaders. They will see other leaders taking people money and controlling but won't acknowledge it their own.

The way Sufis present that there are many crook leaders but we can find a good leader who is what he claims, is unrealistic. We end up just choosing who want to follow or the first person we meet or whatever reasons, but not based on the truth.

And this especially since nothing distinguishes on leader from another.

I don't think we can choose leaders and who to follow. Even Quran shows Mohammad (s) was contended and ridiculed and people would say why not God reveal the reminder to a great man from the two cities.

I don't think we can recognize leaders if they don't have proof. I would not pick Ali (a) for example, if it was not the designation from in the Quran and Sunnah.

Once we follow the leaders from God who have proof of their pure status, that we make their teachings, a standard by which we elect government. But government and authority in that regard should not be a game and people are to really put the fallible leaders to high standards and make sure they don't deviate from it.

Simon (a) was selected by God and Jesus (a) but he is not infallible, and if he did mistakes, should be corrected, and if he deviated, abandoned. The church saw itself as infallible because it was appointed to represent God and Jesus (a) for a period of time. The same has occurred with Shiite scholars. Although divided, people don't see it's possible we have deviated much like the Church eventually deviated.

And the heart of that deviation was when scholars put themselves at a higher purity status than others. That they are to be seen as more pious and more reputable in religion.

Unfortunately, I find myself between a rock and a hard place. I can't abandon the scholars and their politics, lest, we throw away religion and it's role as a guide in all spheres of life. Yet, knowing they have deviated from major teachings, my non-revolt is like what Imam Ali (a) described about his patience with Abu Baker's caliphate... "So I adopted patience, although there was a mote rankling in my eye and a bone sticking in my throat on seeing my heritage [the caliphate] being plundered"

I will find the right means inshallah, at the right time, with the proper etiquette.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
I think proof for such claims is a good thing. It keeps us from following leaders who take advantage of people. Unfortunately, Sufis for example, have leaders who claim position of inheriting the Messenger and having right to establish rituals on his behalf.

Many of these leaders even most Sufis would acknowledge are crooks that take advantage of people, but then don't see in their own leaders. They will see other leaders taking people money and controlling but won't acknowledge it their own.

The way Sufis present that there are many crook leaders but we can find a good leader who is what he claims, is unrealistic. We end up just choosing who want to follow or the first person we meet or whatever reasons, but not based on the truth.

And this especially since nothing distinguishes on leader from another.

I don't think we can choose leaders and who to follow. Even Quran shows Mohammad (s) was contended and ridiculed and people would say why not God reveal the reminder to a great man from the two cities.

I don't think we can recognize leaders if they don't have proof. I would not pick Ali (a) for example, if it was not the designation from in the Quran and Sunnah.

Once we follow the leaders from God who have proof of their pure status, that we make their teachings, a standard by which we elect government. But government and authority in that regard should not be a game and people are to really put the fallible leaders to high standards and make sure they don't deviate from it.

Simon (a) was selected by God and Jesus (a) but he is not infallible, and if he did mistakes, should be corrected, and if he deviated, abandoned. The church saw itself as infallible because it was appointed to represent God and Jesus (a) for a period of time. The same has occurred with Shiite scholars. Although divided, people don't see it's possible we have deviated much like the Church eventually deviated.

And the heart of that deviation was when scholars put themselves at a higher purity status than others. That they are to be seen as more pious and more reputable in religion.

Unfortunately, I find myself between a rock and a hard place. I can't abandon the scholars and their politics, lest, we throw away religion and it's role as a guide in all spheres of life. Yet, knowing they have deviated from major teachings, my non-revolt is like what Imam Ali (a) described about his patience with Abu Baker's caliphate... "So I adopted patience, although there was a mote rankling in my eye and a bone sticking in my throat on seeing my heritage [the caliphate] being plundered"

I will find the right means inshallah, at the right time, with the proper etiquette.
What of smaller, more personal events, though? Not things from people that are looking to start a new religion or gain a following...
 

Link

Veteran Member
Premium Member
What of smaller, more personal events, though? Not things from people that are looking to start a new religion or gain a following...

If a person started telling me how they were abducted by aliens, I would not be interested to listen. I feel every spiritual experience should be treated the same.

I'm not saying people don't have them, but, they aren't supposed to be marketed and supposed to stay a secret. A Christian telling me their experience with Jesus spiritually for example, I would not be interested. I feel similarly, others should not be interested in my experiences.

The exception to me, is who God needs to make a reputation of purity (ie. a Prophet for example). Then we have to investigate their proof. And if we find anything disproving them, we should not follow them.
 

JustGeorge

Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
If a person started telling me how they were abducted by aliens, I would not be interested to listen. I feel every spiritual experience should be treated the same.

I'm not saying people don't have them, but, they aren't supposed to be marketed and supposed to stay a secret. A Christian telling me their experience with Jesus spiritually for example, I would not be interested. I feel similarly, others should not be interested in my experiences.

The exception to me, is who God needs to make a reputation of purity (ie. a Prophet for example). Then we have to investigate their proof. And if we find anything disproving them, we should not follow them.
I guess I'm interested in everyone's experiences. We differ there! :)
 
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