• Thorongil
    3.2k
    Let's try and determine some of the religious demographics or lack thereof of this forum, shall we?

    Edit: Maybe put "other" if you want to see the results of the second question but are not religious.
    1. Do you consider yourself a religious person? (71 votes)
        Yes.
        34%
        No.
        58%
        Maybe. I will clarify in a post.
        8%
    2. To what religion do you belong? (71 votes)
        Judaism
          1%
        Christianity
        24%
        Islam
          3%
        Hinduism
          0%
        Buddhism
          3%
        Taoism
          0%
        Other: I will let you know in a post.
        69%
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.6k
    Is there an option to set up a poll such that If i select "no" for "are you religious" that I then don't have to select a religion?

    (add Pastafarianism? :p )
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Yeah, I realized that after I made it. Just put "other" in that case.
  • unenlightened
    3.6k
    I am a self-made man who worships his maker.
  • Buxtebuddha
    1.8k
    For what it's worth, I label myself as being Christian, but not a Christian. I don't believe in the Christian God, but I do still identify with much of the Christian tradition, which I suppose makes me a religious person.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    which I suppose makes me a religious person.Heister Eggcart

    I don't see how.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    821
    Do you consider yourself a religious person?Thorongil

    Not if being a religious person requires belief in a personal (and so bewilderingly human) God.

    To what religion do you belong?Thorongil

    Formerly, a member of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Now, Stoic.
  • Buxtebuddha
    1.8k
    If one would go to church, appreciate much of a sermon, the Church, its writings and traditions, and believes in God - we'd call them religious. But if they don't believe in God, but do/appreciate all the rest, they're not religious? Hmm, sounds like I fit the "spiritual but not religious" category ;)
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    Now, Stoic.Ciceronianus the White

    nemo judex in sua causa (Y)
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Yes, perhaps you do. I think religion necessarily involves both belief and practice. If you have just the latter, then you might be called spiritual. Alternatively, if you have just the former, then you might be called dogmatic (in the pejorative sense).
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Formerly, a member of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Now, Stoic.Ciceronianus the White

    When you phrase it like that, I don't know why you left, lol.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    I am a self-made man who worships his maker.unenlightened

    Not particularly surprising.
  • Wayfarer
    7.4k
    Western convert to Buddhism from a Christian cultural background but brought up in non-religious family. Read a large number of spiritual books and some philosophy and have developed a syncretic approach basically Buddhist in orientation but with some ideas from Christian Platonism.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    821
    When you phrase it like that, I don't know why you left, lol.Thorongil

    It's a rather daunting list, isn't it? One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic--these are the Four Marks, or Attributes, of the (true) Church. "One" because God is one, and the Church is the Body of God (Christ). "Holy" because the Church has a special mission, i.e. it is set apart for a special purpose by God. "Catholic" because it's universal. "Apostolic" because the Church carries on the tradition of the apostles, and the Pope is the successor of St. Peter, and the bishops the Pope appoints are thereby appointed by the authority of that apostle.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Yeah, I knew the basic idea, and I'm actually attracted to Catholicism myself.

    Do you mind telling us the thumb-nail sketch of why you went from Catholic to Stoic?
  • Ciceronianus the White
    821
    nemo judex in sua causa (Y)TimeLine

    An interesting and legitimate caution. But although a Stoic partakes in Nature and the creative intelligence which permeates it, and so can be said to have an interest in it, a Stoic doesn't judge Nature in the sense referred to in this legal maxim. So, I think I'm okay.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    821
    Do you mind telling us the thumb-nail sketch of why you went from Catholic to Stoic?Thorongil

    The Church derived a good deal from Stoicism and ancient philosophy in general, so I think an appreciation for it has always been there. But I think it unreasonable to believe in a personal God, God becoming man through an "immaculate" conception, working miracles while on Earth, being crucified by Romans, coming back to life 3 days later, coming to judge the living and the dead, heaven and hell, and the rest of the doctrine I think a true Catholic must believe. It's too cluttered and too confining a conception of God for me. I find it hard to believe such a God created or abides in the universe. We're a very small part of the universe. The Stoic conception of an God immanent in nature is one I find appealing and doesn't require that I accept the various, and sometimes strange, views of divinity popular in the late Roman Empire which Christianity absorbed. The ethics of Stoicism is admirable. It provides an example of a way of living morally and tranquilly and doesn't demand a commitment to the supernatural.
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    An interesting and legitimate caution. But although a Stoic partakes in Nature and the creative intelligence which permeates it, and so can be said to have an interest in it, a Stoic doesn't judge Nature in the sense referred to in this legal maxim. So, I think I'm okay.Ciceronianus the White

    I appreciate the mutually interconnected and interdependent ontology vis-a-vis the virtue of existence and being a part of nature, but in the case of radical evil along with consciousness and free-will, I find myself drawn to the categorical imperative. How you live your life, your frame of mind and the decisions that you make reflect your overall clarity to become a part of this nature, but does it not also enable you to judge it?

    I'm on my phone, will love to write more on this subject but alas, off to work. Until this evening.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    Who's the Judaism? Genuinely curious.
  • Chany
    352
    Agnostic. I would say atheist but that is only really towards certain conceptions of gods inside popular religions. I consider myself generally open to some arguments for something supernatural and do not think many of the atheistic approaches to theism meet a good standard to label theism false. To be honest, I find some atheists to be even more annoying than their theistic counterparts.

    However, I effectively live a secular life, so I am not religious.
  • Janus
    7.3k
    As to whether I think of myself as religious, I chose 'maybe' for two reasons. First it would depend on what is meant by 'religious'. And second, since I think of being religious as the state of having achieved or undergone a radical conversion, and since I am certainly not radically converted. but may be partly so, I chose 'maybe'.

    On the choice of religion I chose 'other' because I am not an adherent, or even an aspiring adherent, of any kind of organized religion. The religion I believe is closest to the truth is Christianity.

    I also want to clarify that by "conversion" I mean an actual transformation of one's way of being, and not simply an experience that causes one to become an adherent of some faith that might be believed to guarantee personal salvation, or a disciple of some set of practices, that might be believed to lead to personal liberation, enlightenment or some such thing.
  • Wayfarer
    7.4k
    The other poll question, 'open to conversion', prompts me to say a few things about 'conversion'.

    When I first encountered 'spiritual philosophy' (I put it in quotes, because I'm never very happy with the word 'spiritual') it was through popular Eastern mysticism titles, like Autobiography of a Yogi, and Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. At the time I discovered them, I didn't think of them as being religious books at all. I thought that 'spiritual enlightenment' was a completely different matter to what had been taught to me as 'religion'. Had you asked me at the time, I would have said that i was not interested in religion, and that these kinds of books weren't religious books.

    But over the years my view changed. One thing that changed it was Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind ( a series of informal lectures on Soto Zen). One point that is stressed in Soto Zen is 'sitting (in meditation) without any gaining idea'. The message was, learn to sit 'zazen' - then commit yourself to that practice every day. But don't think you're going to gain something from it! Because that becomes a 'selfish gaining idea', which is self-defeating and undermines the very point of sitting in the first place.

    So then I started to realise that devoting yourself to such a practice, whilst consciously not trying to 'get something from it', is a religious practice. because of the spirit in which it's done.

    Voila - conversion.

    (After pursuing that kind of practice for some time, I came to re-appraise my understanding of Christian religion. I think, maybe, had I been exposed to that kind of approach to Christianity, I might have stayed with it, but I find that the kind of religious activities that go on in Christian churches aren't generally informed by that kind of understanding.)

    But, with respect to the question of conversion - conversion experiences are basically 'aha' moments. They're those moments when suddenly - it's always suddenly - you see or realise something that you had never known or appreciated previously. It's like - oh, that's what that means. And when you see it, it changes how you see many other things. It's actually a kind of re-configuration, literally a transformation of perception. The Greek term for it is 'metanoia' (the meaning of which ought to be clear from even an amateur grasp of Greek philosophical terminology.) But that re-organisation or re-configuration of cognition is what 'conversion' means - it's not simply adopting a self-description.
  • darthbarracuda
    2.9k
    Do you consider yourself a religious person?Thorongil

    No.

    To what religion do you belong?Thorongil

    None.

    Buddhism is chill though so I said that.
  • Thorongil
    3.2k
    None.

    Buddhism is chill though so I said that.
    darthbarracuda

    Then you shouldn't have. Don't fook with my polls, man!
  • lambda
    76
    To what religion do you belong?Thorongil

    Apostolic United Brethren.
  • Bitter Crank
    7.7k
    I protest that I am not a follower and try to convince myself that I am not, but for all practical purposes I'm a believer. I grew up in the Methodist Church and became a Lutheran for convenience because the front door of the church is about 150 feet away. My state of belief is confusing to me because I spend so much time quarreling with the tradition and its presentation.

    I liked my religious up-bringing, so I have not found fault with religion, per se.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    I was raised in an extremely conservative Evangelical Christian environment (in actuality, I had Reformed Presby-leaning parents [just found that out recently, gee thanks] who home-schooled my brother and I, within the context of a super Evangelical church environment, which then changed to a not-very-Baptist Baptist church around middle school). Nowadays I vacillate between my own weird form of Existential Christian Mysticism, and a sort of ironic Nihilism (apologies for how agonizingly pretentious that sounds). What I mean by ironic Nihilism is the feeling that life has a definite, profound meaning (esoterically), but the structure of society (both religious and secular) is unable to realize any potential for the actualization of this meaning (exoterically), on a spiritual level, which results in a feeling of meaninglessness. And my Christian upbringing has left me with a neurotic, messianic feeling for the whole of humanity, where I feel the need to reconcile the esoteric with the exoteric. Which is why many of my posts may come off as psuedo-philosophy, on topics like porn, imagination, etc. I'm more interested in how the unchartered depths of philosophy and religion can interface with the average person, which is to say, with humanity. But these broad strokes generally undergo a lot of crossfire, which I'm use to.

    So, for me it's about the disconnect between the ideal and the practical. And I'm ultimately an idealist in every way. And that's why I vacillate.

    I said "Other" under the first pole, and "Christian" under the second, even if neither is exactly accurate.
  • Benkei
    1.9k
    Raised Catholic, now an atheist with appreciation of the divine as a state of being.
  • TimeLine
    2.7k
    But, with respect to the question of conversion - conversion experiences are basically 'aha' moments. They're those moments when suddenly - it's always suddenly - you see or realise something that you had never known or appreciated previously.Wayfarer

    Thank you for sharing, you do write your personal experiences with such clarity that, regarding the above mentioned, for me it is not a realisation of something that I had never known or appreciated, but rather a realisation of something that I did know, something subconscious that I may have always felt but failed to articulate and so the 'aha' moment is almost like making sense of these feelings. I had an aha moment one time when I was 15 on a long train ride to the country and I had an old copy of The Last Days of Socrates, where ironically my journey in life probably started to begin.
  • Wayfarer
    7.4k
    for me it is not a realisation of something that I had never known or appreciated, but rather a realisation of something that I did know, something subconscious that I may have always felt but failed to articulate and so the 'aha' moment is almost like making sense of these feelings.TimeLine

    Actually that is much nearer to what I probably meant to say. It is that recognition, not of something you didn't know previously, but the meaning of something you knew already. Which, I think, is very near the meaning of Plato's 'anamnesis', 'un-forgetting'.
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