Philosophy

Chat with others about dyspraxia and share your experiences.

Are you religious?

yes
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33%
no
12
67%
 
Total votes : 18

Postby monkey » Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:49 pm

i used to be into witch craft (there are many different types), and then half way through my last year in school became a christain, its a long story relly. enough to say that my brother and i were both 'given to saten' and 'dedicated to God' in our local church with a few weeks of each other. the sence of my twisted parents i supose. as for they type of christain, the church i was dedicated in was a Baptist chuch i was baptised in a church taht claimed to have no denomination and currently go to teh salvation army. they have a comunity youth group which i have been in fro a couple of years and is made up maily of the type of people that dont fit in well in society most come from abusive homes and more than half the attendences have a learning disorder. i know of two people involved who have Dyspraxia, a number with dyslexia and heeps with ADD or ADHD. unfortunetly becuase of the type of people who turn up the congregation of the church are being very negitive as they see us as a bunch of truble makers, in reality were a bunch of teenages (and around 5 homeless adults) who meet together because we cant find any where else we fit in. there is so much positive stuff comeing out of it though. most of us consider each other to be our real family and so we have a kind of suport that you might find in a family. a number have found the suport they needed to come of drugs and several are in the process of coming of drugs. the damage in the comunity at the moment caused by P is hidious. and watching it is heart reanching. my brother who is prehapes an undiagnosed ADHD will probebly be stuck with P's damaging effects for the rest of his life. but hes on his way out of that stuff. some of you may be curious taht since he has been taking P and other drus (herorin and pot) he has found that even when he's not high he has trouble with walking into things and his speach has deteriated, his short term memori has become shocking, sound familya. my younger sister takes pot and may have debled in speed, its not much but i have noticed how she is slowing down, her speach... everything. i wonder wether the brain damage caused by taking drugs effects simila areas to that of a person with a learnind disorder or more spacificly Dyspraxia becuase of the co-ordination problems ive noticed alot of them develop. one boy i know who has been takeing P for a cople of years is considered by many to be 'gone' now. his speech has become unintelagable and he moves around with an increadible amount of clumsiness. no one expects him to live much longer, he's only 16. it anoys me when people put so much blame on these kids. some of them wornt given the choice. one boy was put on drugs by his parents, they started him on pot when he was 8... he became addicted, becuase of that addiction he is then looked down on by society, but i ask what good that does. i have alot of respect for all the users i know, why? they are my friends and family and they are kind and loving people with a horrible problem thats eating them alive. teh salvation army chruch is a contradiction in a way, the leadership open up there reasorsers to these kind of comunity projects and yet the congragation complain, when they come acrose us they are arogant and belitle us with a need to put us back in our bad boxes. as one of the christains in this group i fully admit to being ashamed of the behaviours i see other christains present. did not Jesus him slef make friends with postitutes, wasnt it him who said to love your neibor as your self and to love your enemy. these teenages dont need fingers pointed at them, that teachers them to despise christainaity, in effect a christain exibiting this kind of behaviour fails to point to God and instead points away form him. the people who came of the drugs did so with the love and suport of thosue (including christains) around them not through blaim and condemnation. i know no one is perfect but sometimes when your stearing down teh end of a finger it feels as though the right to finger pointing is reserved for the few perfact people that sit in teh same pue every sunday and know there bibles back to front.
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Postby parnassus » Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:29 pm

I think you're right, Monkey. Knowing the theory (in this case, the Bible) is very different to putting it into practice. In The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare wryly remarks that most people are capable of telling people how to behave perfectly, but can't do a thing when it comes to showing them how.

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Postby parnassus » Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:07 pm

I want to resurrect this thread in order to solicit opinions on evangelism. Has anyone ever tried to convert you? And if so, to what?

I ask this because I am having a bit of trouble from some born-again evangelical Christians. The fact that I am Christian seems to have completely escaped their notice - according to them, Roman Catholics are little better than out and out pagans.

I think I'm doing a pretty good job of fending them off, but this kind of thing gets rather irritating - especially when they dredge up the tired (and completely false), "You worship Mary," argument.

Has anyone else experienced this?
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:29 pm

parnassus wrote:I want to resurrect this thread in order to solicit opinions on evangelism. Has anyone ever tried to convert you? And if so, to what?

I ask this because I am having a bit of trouble from some born-again evangelical Christians. The fact that I am Christian seems to have completely escaped their notice - according to them, Roman Catholics are little better than out and out pagans.

I think I'm doing a pretty good job of fending them off, but this kind of thing gets rather irritating - especially when they dredge up the tired (and completely false), "You worship Mary," argument.

Has anyone else experienced this?


A couple of moths back, my mother opened the door to receive a parcel we had been delivered to us. The woman delivering it noticed that we had a crucifix on our wall. She asked if we attended church, and my mother onfirmed that we did. The woman then asked which church we attended and my mother told her it was the local Catholic Church. The woman then started shouting abuse and said that my family weren't "real Christians". :evil: :evil:
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Postby fuzzy » Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:53 pm

*I hope this message doesnt offend anyone- this is my personal opinion and I dont hate religious ppl!*

I was brought up as a Catholic but dont belive in God now. I learnt about the Holocuast when I was 11 and that was like a slap in the face. I just thought 'God wouldnt do that to innocent people', and I stand by that argument. Millions of people die each year in third world countries becuse they cant get sufficent health care, or they cant afford to eat. Why would God people through that? If God really cared about ppl he wouldnt let them starve when theres food wasted across the Western world? This world is too unjust, too undemocratic for me personally to beleive in God.

Having said that, I do have faith- in myself and others around me. I believe that everthing happens for a reason and that life is a learning process. I also reckon you only get one shot at living and that you have to make the most of every situation your in.

Also- I disagree with Mattie about religions not causing wars- although thats the wrong term, they fuel them; give the aggrivators an excuse. For example, The divide in Ireland is purely based on Catholic and Protestant rivalry. Look at the South Bank- rivalry between jews and muslims; thats gone on for nearly one thousnad years, dating back to the 1st crusade. That does not mean that I blame relgion or religious ppl for all the ills in the world, because your right- if it wasnt religion, ppl would argue over politics and other secular issues. Its not the religion thats aggresive; its those use it as an excuse to start a war, becuse there is no such thing as a Jihad (Holy War)- it contradicts itself.
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Postby monkey » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:20 am

i dont take people who try and convert me that seriously. i find them a little amusing, and very controdictive usualy. a person makes a better evangelis by the way they live and treat other people, not by stalking people and trying to feed there religion down there throuts.

what i do find is that people have become so defence becuase of all the people who have tryed to feed them stuff that Chrisatins who dont behave int hat way often get the back lash from it. i had this friend, we grew quiet close, both of us had been through bullying in school and both had been 'spcial needs'. then one day he aksed me if i was a christain, i said 'yes i am'. from that day he started to moke me, i chose to ignore this thinking he'd eventuly get over his new discovery. he didnt, it propelled and propelled, i had become friends with his mum(a pagan) who i got on very well with (i used to be a witch) and to her it was iralivant that i was now a christain. his sister also became my friend, while he eventuly shut of all comunication with me. i later herd from his sister that he had labeled me a bible basher. when i asked her why she told me 'i dont know why none of it makes alot of sence'. i let it go and stoped trying to get in contact with him. one day he truend up to Satilight, and i went to talk to him, he was in his car and after realising he wouldnt speak to me i turned to go back inside to find that he had started his car. he tryed to run me over. i made it in side unhert which was luky. ive sent him a message saying that its all fine, but he wont speek to me at all. i have come to put it down to, defensiveness possibly corsed by past herts. 'christains' another words. alot of people treat me differenct if they find out, but i never with hold that information if i am asked. i my self have been at the sharp end of the stick with religious people. as for Catholisism, i have ment many people that are 'christain' and are anti it. i my self am not. it has belifes that are a little different, but so do all the different bruanches of the Christain faith. when it comes down to it, its not what every one else thinks that maters.
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Postby fuzzy » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:41 pm

That guy sounds like an absolute tit! He tryed to run you over becuse your religious?! Physco!
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Sat Jul 23, 2005 7:04 pm

You should tell your local mental health authorities about this guy. he's obviously mentally ill, and if he doesn't get help he could hurt a lot of people, including himself.
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Postby monkey » Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:47 am

only christains that were his friends or family (his sister is a christain and he has also tryed to run her over) so technicly as long as he never becomes a christain hes safe from himslef. now days i just find it a little funny.
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Postby parnassus » Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:05 pm

Hello Fuzzy,

Your message didn't offend me - I found it very interesting. As part of my Religious Studies A-Level, we learnt about Judaism, and one of the modules was 'Post-Holocaust Theology - Jewish Responses to the Holocaust'.

The beliefs of some Jewish theologians mirror yours exactly. Recalling his first night in Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel wrote one of the most moving poems I've ever read: Never shall I forget that night...which murdered my God and turned my dreams to dust. Rubenstein argued that God Himself had died in Auschwitz, if indeed he had ever been there before.

But some theologians (survivors of the camps) wrote about a Jewish concept called hester panim - God hiding his face. This belief comes from the Book of Isaiah. They argue that because God gave human beings freedom of choice, it is possible for evil men to inflict horrific suffering on others. It is the price we pay for freedom. Some even argue that good things did come out of the Holocaust, as Rabbi Albert Friedlander documents in this book With God in Hell. One of our A-Level exam questions was 'The twentieth-century Holocaust was one of the greatest strengths of modern Judaism. Discuss', and I actually argued in the affirmative - because in my opinion the surviving Jews have worked nothing short of miracles to come through that disaster with their culture and integrity intact. If the mass murder was the greatest tragedy the twentieth century has seen, then surely the survival was the greatest triumph?

Other theologians argue that it would be fatal for the Jewish people to abandon their belief in God and their faith in themselves, because that would give Hitler a victory from beyond the grave. Ironically, Rubenstein's core belief (that God is dead) is identical to that of Hitler's pet philosopher, Friedrich Nietszche. It would be rather odd for modern-day Jews to adopt that belief.

I personally believe that God had nothing to do with the Holocaust. People did that to other people, because of free will, but ultimately the righteous won the day. I find it very inspiring to read the testimonies of Orthodox Jews who survived the camps. If their faith was strong before, it's cast-iron now. But some, like Wiesel, lost all hope. Everyone tries to interpret the world in a way that makes the most sense to him, I think. Sometimes that involves casting off, and sometimes it involves hanging on - whatever it takes to live a wholesome life.

If God really cared about ppl he wouldnt let them starve when theres food wasted across the Western world? This world is too unjust, too undemocratic for me personally to beleive in God.


Once again, I believe that God is not responsible for that. We are. I once came across the following parable:

A man died and ascended to Heaven. Standing before the Lord, he confusedly asked, "God, why have you let so many of your people starve and suffer? Why didn't you do anything to help them?"

God sighed. "I did," he said. "I sent you."


Its not the religion thats aggresive; its those use it as an excuse to start a war, becuse there is no such thing as a Jihad (Holy War)- it contradicts itself.


I agree with you there. There is such a thing as a just war, I think, but killing can never be sanctified.

Did you know that jihad doesn't actually mean 'holy war'? It is a crude translation that has been hijacked by extremists (most of whom are illiterate peasants) and the Western media. The term actually refers to an internal struggle - the battle that the Muslim soul must wage to become holy. In true jihad, you are up against no one but yourself. The word derives from the Arabic ijtihad, which can best be translated as 'independent reasoning'. This links in with the concept of free will again.

I agree with Leon Trotsky - 'religion is the opium of the people'. It can fuel wars, it can blind people, it can make them deaf to compassion or logic. But opium is also a painkiller, and can even be used as medicine in some cases. Likewise, religion can fuel charity - the good works of Mother Teresa, for example. I have heard people argue that you don't have to be religious to do what Mother Teresa did, but that doesn't make sense to me. I have yet to meet any atheists who would willingly give up every single possession, from television to tooth-floss, and go to live in a Calcutta gutter with lepers and AIDS patients.

Bearing all this in mind, religion is both the best and the worst thing to happen to the world.

Hello Monkey,

Has your old friend had a bad experience with Christians, or something? Why is he so opposed to Christianity? I know people who are wary of the religion, but I don't think they would ever take to mowing people down in a car.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby fuzzy » Sun Jul 24, 2005 4:52 pm

Hey Panassus,

No I didnt know that about Jihad- Thanks for telling me! Ill have to point that out to my history tutor at some point! Well Im gald that I didnt offend you. A lot of what you siad about the Holocaust made sense- Iv never really considered it from the angle that you took- that Hitler would have won if Jews loose faith in God as thier culture would be destroyed; its a very valid point. But it is undertandable that ppl would loose faith in God after that- what do you expect after seeing your own family and friends be murdered?

I totally disagree with your comment about Mother Teresa- I think its a bit unfair to firstly presume that athiests are selfish- just becuase they are not devoting thier lives to an entity that there is absolutly no scientific proof of. Du think all the athiest sceintists working on cures for terminal illnesses are not trying to make the world a better place? Eveyone contributes to the world in some form, regardless of what thier beliefs are. You also cannot generalise every relgious person- there are degrees to which ppl comit themeselves to in a relgion- Mother Teresa was an extreme (but a good person obviously). By genaralising athiests into the one category, you are also generalising all Christians as being similar to this one individual- you cant do that. Not every religious person is good- look at Catholic preists that abuse altarboys, the Vatican covering it up, paying off the families? What about the wealth and greed of the Vatican in comparison to the Third World countries that they claim to aid? I am not claiming that all religious ppl are bad or greedy etc- Im just pointing out that although the church, as you highlighted, has undoubtably done good and has a positive influence on the lives of many, it has also done wrong and is a prime example of hypocracy.

Again- I hope this doesnt offend you (or anyone else reading this) but this is a topic I feel very strongly about.

Ta ta!
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Postby parnassus » Sun Jul 24, 2005 6:43 pm

But it is undertandable that ppl would loose faith in God after that- what do you expect after seeing your own family and friends be murdered?


I think that rather depends on the person. Some people lost their faith, others didn't. I know a few Holocaust survivors. Most of them continue to believe in God, but one renounced all faith when her father was selected on the ramp at Auschwitz. It's difficult to understand why some continued to believe, and others didn't - as I said before, I think people interpret the tragedy in whatever way makes the most sense to them.

I totally disagree with your comment about Mother Teresa- I think its a bit unfair to firstly presume that athiests are selfish- just becuase they are not devoting thier lives to an entity that there is absolutly no scientific proof of.


I don't presume that atheists are selfish; I never have. Perhaps I should have expressed myself more clearly. One of my friends is training to become a doctor and she plans to go to the Third World to treat poor people for free. She's an atheist. I meant that no atheist would be prepared to renounce absolutely everything for the poor. They might make large donations to charity, do volunteer work, search for the cure for cancer, etc., but they are unlikely to sacrifice their entire lives and give up all their possessions, the way a nun would. There is no atheist organisation equivalent to Mother Teresa's sisters. Arguably her nuns weren't even devoted to an 'unproven' supernatural entity, but to the service of other people - although it is true that loving your neighbour and loving your God are one and the same in Christian teaching.

If there is a God, then it logically follows that he wrote the rules of science. Reading a book does not necessarily tell you much about its author. This is why I don't understand why people try to prove the existence of God via physics. If it were possible to prove his existence, then what would be the point in having faith? Believing in God would be no more difficult than believing that Paris is the capital of France or that the Battle of Hastings happened in 1066. I think the element of uncertainty has to be there, otherwise faith is valueless. It takes courage to believe in something that is beyond sentient knowledge - courage, and patience, and hope. If you could see God, then all that wouldn't be necessary, and we'd be reduced to plastic animals in his toy farm. The finite mind can never hope to comprehend the infinite (for this reason, no physicist will ever fully understand the universe) but it is rewarded with snatched, fragmentary glimpses from time to time.

Not every religious person is good- look at Catholic preists that abuse altarboys, the Vatican covering it up, paying off the families? What about the wealth and greed of the Vatican in comparison to the Third World countries that they claim to aid? I am not claiming that all religious ppl are bad or greedy etc- Im just pointing out that although the church, as you highlighted, has undoubtably done good and has a positive influence on the lives of many, it has also done wrong and is a prime example of hypocracy.


This is true. The church is made up of men who are trying to aspire to a perfect ideal. No human being can ever be perfect, so even the most religious of people fall short of their goal time and time again. Some people in the church, I suspect, aren't even religious at all - they are just on the lookout for power. But I have never thought for one moment that all religious people are good; that would be a very naive notion to hold. But it would be wrong to blame God for what human beings freely choose to make of themselves.

As for the sex abuse scandals in the church...I'm a little sceptical about the colours in which they are painted. According to the official stats, the highest rate of child sexual abuse is found in schools and other educational establishments. The second highest rate is found in the healthcare profession. Yet teachers and doctors haven't been vilified to the same extent that priests have. When I tell people I'm Catholic, they often make some coarse wisecrack about the sexual tastes of priests - even though clergymen definitely don't have a monopoly on child abuse, if the NSPCC's figures are to be believed. I think this is because everyone expects priests to be perfect, holy beings, whereas they aren't so shocked if an 'ordinary' person does something cruel and horrible to a child. They're still shocked, yes. But they don't raise such a fuss as they do for priests. This is why I feel that general opinion towards the RCC is unfairly skewed - the agnostic public tends to judge religious people by a higher standard than the one they set for themselves. But that's a separate issue.

Overall, I prefer to focus on what people do rather than what they believe - action is a safer gauge of character. This is why I am opposed to evangelism, because evangelists tend to act a bit like thought police - they are more concered with what's going on in your head than what you do in your daily life. Everyone needs a private space to retreat to, and it's unnerving when people try to invade your mind.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby fuzzy » Sun Jul 24, 2005 7:54 pm

Although priests arent the biggest abusers of children, I think that your right in saying the public is most shocked when kids are abused by them. The Catholic Church is self proclaimed as 'Gods voice on earth'- His representitive to mortals. Therefore ppl are shocked by the fact that the Church- the centre of thier faith, the core of thier religion, is responsable for what is undeniably a large amount of child abuse. It is horrifying that anyone can abuse a powerfull position to abuse children, but it is worse when that person is the representative for your faith. Now obviously not every priest is a peadophile; probably not even one in 20. But its that small percentage of priests who are commiting these acts that are tarnishing an arleady blackened reputation; this is one in a long line of embarrasing incidents which has lead not only to public outcry but also to the falling numbers in Church attendance.

Also- faith I dont think would be valueless if God was proven- as the Bible says, after Jesus rose, the diciple Thomas didnt believe it was possible that someone could come back from the dead. So Jesus turned up and showed Thomas his stigmata and spear wound in his side and Thomas fell to his kness and had absolute faith from that moment onwards- this streghnthened his faith but didnt weaken it, so if this principle applies to one the Son of Gods 12 disciples, it should therefore also apply to other Christians, eh?!

Nice debating skills- you should join the society at Cambridge! :D
Last edited by fuzzy on Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Sun Jul 24, 2005 9:09 pm

I try to Evangelise, but not through words. Jesus said "Love one another as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples." I don't think that anyone can show as great a love as Jesus did, but I believe by being a loving person, I will convince other people that Chrstianity is a force for good, something they want to be part of.
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Postby fuzzy » Sun Jul 24, 2005 10:24 pm

I dont agree with evanglism (is that the right word/spelling?) because I think that ppl should be allowed to make up thier own minds.
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