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Featured What does a person have to do to believe?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by illykitty, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. illykitty

    illykitty RF's pet cat

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    There's a series of questions that popped into my mind while I was thinking about belief and whether it is a choice. If it is a choice, then surely there is a way to achieve belief. So here's the questions:

    In your religion, what does someone who doesn't believe have to do to believe?

    Does this process take a long time?

    If your belief involves god(s), do your god(s) reply back in a voice, a sign, or something else?

    How do you know it to be real and not your imagination?

    What if this person does everything but still doesn't believe?

    You can answer the questions however you want, you can pick and chose the ones applicable or if the questions aren't quite right, you can explain your perspective.

    I personally don't have any answers because I don't have a belief, per say but I'd love to hear from different religions. I am open to challenging my non-belief.

    Edit: remembered some religions don't have gods or aren't so deity focused, so edited the questions to be more inclusive.
     
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  2. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    Have faith
     
  3. illykitty

    illykitty RF's pet cat

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    Faith in what? How does someone without faith get faith?
     
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  4. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Well, first off, whatever you believe (or put faith in, or trust), would have to be based on what’s real, ie., accuracy and truth, right?

    If you will please, tell me what you know to be true.
     
  5. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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  6. illykitty

    illykitty RF's pet cat

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    Me, people around me, things confirmed by my senses or if that isn't correct (senses have blind spots), then things I can at least test to verify for myself by following logic and the scientific method step by step. There's also reasonable assumptions, based on things you know, for example, I assume my husband loves me, based on his actions, affection, words, etc. I could be wrong, but it's more likely that it is true. Especially since he has nothing to gain from deceiving me and everyone about it.

    Of course though I am limited, I cannot possibly know everything, very far from it. Hence I have to trust in things like scientific consensus, which is peer reviewed so that we cannot have just any Joe make claims without others verifying it. The result has to be replicable by anyone and this is why I trust it. I cannot 100% know it to be true, and it's possible that for now, it may be the best we can do and later on prove to be incorrect, but this is the best method I know of to come close to objective truth.

    And I also make sometimes guesses, based on some limited knowledge. And sometimes it can take some time for me to evaluate, but if I am shown to be wrong, I can change my mind.
     
  7. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Total immersion in the religious lore. Surround yourself in every aspect of the religion. Music, symbols, go to the church of that religion, hang out with folks of that religion. Repeat the religious practices of that religion as often as possible.

    Depends on the person. How skeptical you have become in life.

    Again, it seem to depend on the individual. If you can dive into it with an open mind you're more likely to experience more audio and even visual experiences. Some can be a very realistic experience.

    Can't really, but it can seem very real to you. You know when you imagine something. You are consciously aware of imagining, in control over it. A "religious" experience can seem like a real experience that you have no conscious control over.

    Some folks are too consciously skeptical. Some folks can set their skepticism aside. For others this is very difficult, maybe impossible. Still immersion seems to break down the toughest skepticism.

    My experience has come from investigating several religions. However at the time, my mind was very open to the possibilities of these religions being true. I don't know how common such openness is among people. Even now I suspect I could set aside my skepticism, dive into any religious belief and have religious experiences supporting that religion.

    You basically have to convince your subconscious mind of the reality of the belief. Then your subconscious mind will provide the experiences to support the belief.
     
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  8. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Transatlantic Slave Trade (Kwame Akoto-Bamfo)

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    I'ma answer this in two perspectives. Buddhism, which I take as fact but for some reason I don't have discipline to practice. Art which is my religion or way of life, I do practice and it is my soul.

    Having said that,
    Practice. From what I know of the Dharma (teachings of life, basically) there is no Belief. It's all practice. We read the suttas to understand the theological part and delve into the deep stuff when we have a question but the answers aren't from the book, that's reference. it's all practice. That's what The Dharma is, really, a Practice not a belief system.

    So, the word believers is inappropriate, practitioners is better.

    As for art, same thing. Though I find those whose passion is art already have this so we cultivate our passion through various mediums. It's a practice too.

    Yes. The Dharma is a life long practice. Preferably with a teacher but not all of us have that advantage.

    Art doesn't take a long time when one is devoted to the time doing art rather than the final product. If you are doing a painting, it can take awhile. Like religion, it brings out ones expression so it's not an overnight process; religion isn't either.

    Not that I know of. There are gods in The Dharma. Some believe in them others don't. Some actually believe The Buddha speaks to them, so it depends.


    With gods? It's an experience so anything coming from the mind that benefits ones life can be fact or imaginary it wouldn't matter. I don't see imaginary as bad though.

    A lot of god beliefs are head has but since its cultural used and externalize, it manifest into life.

    The two compliment each other.

    Depends on the faith. In The Dharma no one expects you to believe then practice. We figure when you practice that determines your path of what you believe.

    For example, I read a lot of books on meditation. There are so many types. Some temples I went to bow all the way down and lay on the floor on ones stomach in prayer. Some kneel and touch our forehead to our face down palms representing The Buddha feet. Others half bow others full.

    I learned this by practice. Reading it in a book sounds off. When you do it (if not raised to do it any other way) you basically called to the one most comfortable.

    But without practice beliefs can go every which away but never confirmed by actual experience.
     
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  9. Hockeycowboy

    Hockeycowboy Well-Known Member
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    Wow, you mentioned some things that I was thinking of, like having faith in people, either good or bad. That comes with time, their building up a reputation with you.

    Everything worthwhile takes time. And be open to anything that is unknown....that is key! For a person to grow and be willing to adjust or change their POV, they must be humble, hungry and honest, examining all the facts, and skeptical of circumstantial evidence.

    I don’t know exactly where I’m heading with this, I will respond further, later. But I appreciate your honesty.

    Take care.
     
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  10. illykitty

    illykitty RF's pet cat

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    I'm quoting this part only because I have a direct reply to it, but I can think of instances where imaginary anything could be bad, if one is convinced it is real. I doubt I would ever reach such a point, but a perhaps extreme example is where good people do bad things because they think that is what god wants. It doesn't need to be physically hurting another, it can be emotional, even if the person's intentions are good. For example, someone who believes god doesn't approve of same-sex relationships might be hurtful to someone who engages in such a relationship, but in that person's mind they're doing the right thing, because they want this person to be approved of by god.

    Otherwise I loved your perspective, and I can see how art can be a religion, or at least a religious experience... You can express what you feel at the core of your being.
     
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  11. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    Once we understand and accept the fact that we can't know anything for certain, then we have to understand and accept that all things are possible (even if they appear improbable).

    Having accepted that all things are possible (even if improbable), and that we, as limited and finite human beings cannot prove them otherwise, then we have now opened the door to choice through our own honestly and humility. And after this door has been opened, it falls to each of us to determined for ourselves what we will choose to trust (believe) in as being true in the face of our inability to prove it to be so. And if we are logical, reasonable people, we will make that choice based on how such belief effects who we are, how we behave, and how our behavior effects those we care about.

    Once our delusion of 'knowing the truth' has been dispelled, we are left with the choice to believe, or not to believe that _____ is true according to our experience and point of view.
     
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  12. illykitty

    illykitty RF's pet cat

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    This reply is pretty much why I'm asking these questions. You've given me some points to think about, especially the bold part. But since I am so indecisive, it might take a while for me to chose.
     
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  13. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    As you see, I self-identify as Advaita/Pantheist/spiritualist.

    I don't really think of my beliefs as 'faith' but as believing what I have found is the most reasonable understanding out there.

    I at one time was a so-called atheist-materialist. My encounter with the study of the paranormal convinced me that there is more to our reality than is understood through scientific materialism. What is this 'more'? This led me to the study of wisdom traditions that discuss their views of this 'more' and then progressed to the point and purpose of life itself.

    So my point is that I have strong religious beliefs but I would not call them 'faith' but rather the most reasonable and intelligent understanding out there. My appreciation of eastern (non-dual Hindu) and so-called New Age thinking has really no close second at this time.
     
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  14. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    1 My religion is the religion of Love. With or without God/Deity are both okay. Be Loving/respectful towards creation/nature etc is sufficient.
    2 If you don't believe in Religion, you can also believe in your own Higher Self. That can take quite a while also
    3 I do believe in "God" and I do get reply in voice, vision, signs when my common sense and brains can't figure it out myself
    4 I know it to be real and not imagination out of many years of experiences [asking questions and receiving answers]
    5 Not everybody needs to believe in the same thing to reach the Goal.
     
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  15. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man.

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    I think notions like faith get started with somebody or something you actually trust enough without ever realizing the basis of what it is that you're being introduced to.

    It wouldn't be so bad if it was provisionally based allowing the possibility that the belief may or may not be true. It would at least allow for some discernment.

    Faith doesn't have that, and is essentially an all-or-nothing endeavor.
     
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  16. Ellen Brown

    Ellen Brown Sorry, just trying to sort the NONSENSE
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    Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
    For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

    Not of works, lest any man should boast.


    I was not raised with religion, though my parents believed in God, though they were abusive and angry. In my late 20's, with two pre-pubescent children running around, I became fearful of messing them up so they were as bad as I. The very next day, my journey into religion began. In the 45 years since, religion is largely punitive, but for me belief in God, Allah SWT, YAHWEH has only grown.
     
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  17. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    In your religion, what does someone who doesn't believe have to do to believe?

    Protestant Christianity ingrained in the minds of many a westerner that religion is about what you believe, or that religion equates to faith or is faith-based. Religion, even Protestant Christianity, is about much more than what is believed. It's about what you do in your day to day life, it's about relationships and community, it's about tradition and history, it's about your sense of self or identity, and then some.

    What I say to folks who don't believe is "you don't have to "believe." That's not what religion is about, especially not religions like mine." Recognizing that many religions are not faith based is an important first step. You really don't have to believe.


    Does this process take a long time?

    With respect to the process of recognizing that religion is never solely about what is believed? I suppose it depends on how attached your mind is to that Protestant idea that religion equates to being faith-based. Some folks are good at paradigm shifting or letting go of ideas that do not suit their way of life. Others are not. In general, though, I'd say given the pervasiveness of the idea of "religion = faith" in Western culture, don't expect it to happen overnight or something.

    If your belief involves god(s), do your god(s) reply back in a voice, a sign, or something else?

    Sometimes, but it's not really about that for me. It's about paying due respect to things I deem worthy of worship. It's about celebration and gratitude, as it were, and a healthy dose of humility and recognizing one's place within the world. Even if I got no voice, sign, or anything from the gods at all I would still worship them. I don't agree with the strings-attached approach of "if you don't respond to me right now, I won't worship you, so there!" I don't think that's a good way to approach these kinds of relationships, but that's my own personal style I suppose.

    How do you know it to be real and not your imagination?

    I don't see a difference between the two, so I do not ask this question. Well, to be more precise, I notice that things which are labeled "imaginary" are experienced as richly as things folks call "not imaginary" and have a powerful influence that should not to be trivialized or devalued. Whether or not something is imaginary is irrelevant. There is power either way. Fie the fool who offhandedly dismisses the power of story, idea, and imagination. It is an unfortunately common thing in my culture.

    What if this person does everything but still doesn't believe?

    Not a problem. As mentioned, religion is not about what is or isn't believed. It's about many things, only one of which may be belief. Honestly, it comes down to this question - what do you want to believe? Do that. Whatever that is. If you don't want to believe, don't. If you do, then make it happen.
     
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  18. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Start with a frontal lobotomy. :D

    Ok, that was me being funny. Seriously though, you should never believe anything you are unable to experience or know. There's plenty of old crusty books spouting disinformation to people or warding away from the direct things that would allow them to answer these questions themselves. Real spiritual experiences need to be cultivated and developed, and yes take a lot of time.

    Voice, signs, direct communication mentally... yes. :D Did it start that way? No. Does that happen all the time, no.

    My imagination isn't that creative. :D
     
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  19. illykitty

    illykitty RF's pet cat

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    I'm always looking forward to your replies, given any topics, because you have a very outside of the box perspective. I admire that and it gives me another angle to consider. It's sometimes difficult to do given society that surrounds us, even if one hasn't grown up in that religion. It's also very difficult for me to change my preconceptions, even if I know they are false. I've learned that outside of the religion quest, but that is another topic.

    I guess my problem isn't so much that I don't think the imaginary has no value, but that sometimes it has too much power. You could say I fear where it takes certain people. Think of the atrocities committed by people because of their strong beliefs, which doesn't have to be religion. I know there's good too out of it, but my fear of the bad side of it is pretty strong.

    I suppose it also takes a certain amount of self-trust, esteem and confidence to put value in one's own imagination or subjective reality. Perhaps it's the biggest reason why I have a hard time wrapping my head around this, I don't trust what my mind tells me, since I know it's dysfunctional.

    I already know more or less what I want to believe, I suppose it's a matter of trusting that. Have you ever struggled with these things?
     
  20. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    I think the real question is which religion/belief to place your faith in.

    I'd think the best would be a religion that aligns with your own moral values.

    Many of the religions I got involved with, I ended up having different moral values from. It's difficult to continue in a belief that teaches a set of moral values you end up not being able to accept.
     
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