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Thread: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    Broadly speaking - I have seen people divide into two general poles:

    Those who (at one pole) are anti-dogma, who seem to believe that a fixed set of rules, ideas, beliefs, etc. are antithetical to true spiritual development, and, therefore one must explore and experiment to achieve true spiritual development.

    The other pole consists of those who are anti-"cafeteria-style" religion, who seem to think that a "take what is right and leave the rest" approach is an easy way out of the discipline and self sacrifice required for true spiritual development.

    What are your thoughts on this?
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    Supporter Hawkfeathers's Avatar
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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    It's really all cafeteria style , but the dogmatic are only sampling fewer dishes.

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    Nihilistic Goddess Medusa's Avatar
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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    In all honesty? I'm sorta a fundamentalist when it comes to my Satanism. I tend to side eye when people pick and choose in their religion. I feel as if they truly believe that their beliefs and practices are THE WORD of their deity, then when you pick and choose, you are telling me just exactly how much you really deep down believe in that deity as being THE WORD.

    Now this is just in an academic sense. I already believe your religion is false, so it doesn't matter if you follow it 100% or pick and choose. So I pretty much just stay silent about that.

    (and when I say false, I know some may get upset. I don't mean to be insulting. I don't think less of any of you because my beliefs are probably in the same boat as yours. It's just the most accurate word I can think of).
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    I pick and choose my religion, because I don't believe religion comes from deities.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    I, myself, am a utilitarian. What works, works, what doesn't doesn't - so I pick & choose.

    There is no implied judgement on others in that statement. Different people have different goals and values, and different natures. What works for me may not work for any other randomly selected person.
    Last edited by B. de Corbin; 10 Jun 2016 at 18:49.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    I pick and choose, basically forming my own religion. Blindly following, and forcing others to follow is a major no no to me. It seems so obvious to me that all religion is changed through human interaction and interpretation, that I cannot believe that anyone is espousing the One True. It is a giant game of telephone. I doubt there is such a thing as One True Religion. I have to pick and choose based on consistency, observation, and the best of my critical thinking. This will be flawed, but it will be truest to me.

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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    I have tried to understand my needs and especially those needs that are more "universal" in order to put a practice to my spirituality.
    I have an engineers mind (thanks dad) and a will to be understanding (thanks mom) of the greater picture. If you feed a stray cat you may in fact kill it because it will come to depend on you. People who have humming bird feeders are like this. The feed the humming birds until it is past time for them to migrate. They die because there is no food this late in the year for their migration. Even if the don't try to migrate the birds run out of food because the feeders will freeze and they starve to death. I told my wife, "if you want to feed the humming birds then plant the flowers they feed on. That way the birds will know when it is time to migrate.
    People have very different spiritualities but can practice the same religion if it caters to the most important parts of spirituality. If you try to follow a religion that doesn't fit you may find that your spirituality suffers.
    Last edited by DragonsFriend; 11 Jun 2016 at 14:13.

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    Fundamentalist Dumuzi's Avatar
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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    What are your thoughts on this?
    My opinion is that you should follow the truth no matter what. So it has less to do with these two different concepts and more to do with following what's right. I mean if you're following or believing in something false, does it really matter if you take all of it or just pick parts of it? This is why I believe the bigger question here is, is what I'm following true or not.
    Do they not, then, ponder about the Qur‘an? Had it been from someone other than Allah, they would have found in it much discrepancy. [4:82]

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    Head Above Water habbalah's Avatar
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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    The other pole consists of those who are anti-"cafeteria-style" religion, who seem to think that a "take what is right and leave the rest" approach is an easy way out of the discipline and self sacrifice required for true spiritual development.

    What are your thoughts on this?
    This is assuming that people who form their own path, like me, have no spiritual discipline and make no self-sacrifice. Speaking only for myself, "leave the rest" means not adopting things that I feel are either wrong or unsuited for me, not because it's taking the "lazy way out". I still have my own morality and things that I have given up because they're appropriate to my spiritual path, and will ultimately make me a better person.

    Does that make my approach better than having a structured dogma? Only for myself. But something that has always bothered me about people who do have a strict religious code that they're supposed to follow is that they pick and choose anyway. Granted, my largest experience with this is mostly with Christians, and picking and choosing which parts of the Bible are and are not still to be followed, but I also know of Muslims who drink and have sex before marriage, Wiccans that violate "harm none", and so on.

    Which is better? Depends on what works for you. But personally, I couldn't be part of a religion that had stipulations that I had to deliberately ignore because they either contradicted my own morality, or I think are asinine in this day and age.
    “You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” -- Bruce Lee

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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Religious certainty vs. religious exploration

    I am kinda of the belief that if my spiritual side becomes way to much work,then it is missing the whole point of spiritual freedom,love and understanding,and you know spiritual life should mainly be FUN!!!!
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