Before I start:


Though I am sure it didn't need to be said.

I was just wondering, for the religious among us, how do you feel your beliefs have affected your outlook on life? Has it helped? Not helped? Or even made it worse?

For the Atheists among us, have you ever wished you did believe? How do you think the absence of religion has affected you?

For me, I'm not religious. I was brought up a Christian but very quickly strayed mostly due to the community being quite hateful of anything different (At the particular Church I went too, homosexuals were shunned and they were incredibly racist) which I know isn't a resemblance of the entire faith but it left an impression.

I usually consider myself Agnostic, rather than Atheist as I am open to the idea of a deity. I have on multiple occasions attempted to place myself among some really loving and caring Christians, but I find myself unable to make myself believe it no matter how hard I try.

I often feel life would be easier if I believed, because it would add purpose to an otherwise very empty life and would give me reason to look forward to what God has in store for me. The absence of a God just means life goes on, then it ends. Which isn't exactly enthralling. But on the other hand I don't expect God would approve of me, I doubt he'd have much positive things waiting for me in the afterlife.

So, what about you?

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24 Replies

  • Catholic guilt has a lot to answer for, I reckon....

  • As I am Christian , I can only speak from that perspective.It is flawed, as is anything touched by man. If you followed the teachings of Jesus , it would be beautiful, but I don't think man is capable of it. Our egos get in the way. The Bible has been rewritten, translations differ, it's any ones guess what the true meaning is. I do believe in God, and that Jesus is the son of God, but I would never force my belief on another. I also think we must be missing something like a more evolved version because I don't think men are the top dogs and I don't think homosexuality is a sin. There's more , but you can see how I feel. I am not afraid to stand before God. I don't imagine He's always pleased with me, I do feel He loves me. Pam, a child of God

    Please don't reply to this if you are going to point out the error of my ways.

  • I've often thought the same. I'm Agnostic, as I mentioned, but when pondering a belief in God I've always felt that, we are likely missing a lot of required information.

    One time while communicating with a friend of believes very strongly in God, I quizzed as to why, if God is omnipotent and benevolent then why does he allow people to suffer. Rather than the usual "God works in mysterious ways" that I often hear. He came back "Because the Bible was written y man, by mans perspective. We believe him to be all powerful because we cannot fathom that level of power. Not because he has infinite power" Which kinda struck me.

    Opened up the idea to me that if he is to exist, he may be very different than explained originally by many, mostly uneducated people, in a time when our understanding of the world was incredibly limited.

    I really like this idea, as, maybe in some kind of weird way, if he's to exist, e may not be too different to you or I.

  • The Bible says we are made in the image of God . So does that change the way you think about God? I don't think it is referring to physical looks. Is God more like us or do we have the ability to be more like Him?

  • It does quite a lot. If he were all powerful and all knowing, I don't think I'd want to believe. I could never love someone who stood by and did nothing. But if he's actually not like that at all, he wants to help but he just can't. Then it makes sense.

  • I do know what you mean...I'm sometimes quite envious of people who have a strong faith in whichever god they believe in...must give a structure to their lives.

  • This is what I was getting at, though I make way more sense in m head than on paper. The religious people I know are very happy with themselves, or at least appear to be.

    Perhaps just knowing someone is watching you. Someone cares about you. Someone is waiting for you in Heaven. The people you have lost are at peace, surrounded by their loved ones among God. That's sounds like it'd feel pretty good.

  • It may not mean a lot to you, but it means everything to some.

    Just wanted a glimpse into that world.

  • I'm sorry I didn't mean to diss those who believe. I was brought up a catholic! which in my day had you dammed if you didn't believe however you tried to live a good life and however much you willed the faith into your life. You could go to confession be absolved of the most heinous of sins. And as long as you were a catholic. Be assured of a rosy afterlife. However you could be a saint and not be catholic and that was you done for. I think the thing that scares me witless is the teaching that I was made god's image. I looked around and saw mans inhumanity to man. And the rest is history.

    I agreed to believe must be a comfort. And who knows. Not me. And in my darkest hours I have longed to see the light so to speak. I search but have not found. I still search.

    It's a bit like being born blind. You either can see or you can't. Sometimes not a choice.

    I think we should look out for each other whatever our flag

    God only gave us one commandment.

    Be nice.

    Think about it. Followed that and you can't go wrong.

    Perhaps that's our purpose. Could be a wonderful world 🌎

  • Buddhism is a philosophy , not a religion. I'm not disparaging it, but Buddha never claimed to be a God. Of course there has to be a purpose. Every religion encourages its' followers to serve mankind and therefore God.

  • Buddhism is still a religion, a religion doesn't have to have a god, just a higher power. Doesn't have to be sentient. Nature itself, even.

  • Buddhism doesn't claim to be a religion, and isn't recognized as such.

  • 'Tis in the UK, but that only really requires enough people to write it down in the census.

  • Oh you are an odd bunch. It's what I love about the Brits. Pam

  • We almost made "Jedi" an official religion! We gave it a good shot.

  • May the force be with you today.

  • • What is Buddhism?

    Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.

    • Is Buddhism a Religion?

    To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. It is a philosophy because philosophy 'means love of wisdom' and the Buddhist path can be summed up as:

    (1) to lead a moral life,

    (2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and

    (3) to develop wisdom and understanding.

    True I've lifted it. But ain't that what's a the heart of everything. And if you can't find your god it's the next best thing.

  • The definitive answer comes from Buddha himself. You can read his writings they are quite clear. If you like Buddhism as a religion you can call it that , but it doesn't make it so. Why is this important to you?

  • Lifted or not, it explains clearly and precisely...thank you

  • I have never doubted that there is a God - but that certainly hasn't saved me from suffering some really dark periods of depression in my life. I think it is tempting to think that a belief in god saves you from the sense of worthlessness that depression brings but that certainly hasn't been my experience.

    At no point during the periods of depression did I feel that God didn't love me - but I did feel hugely guilty and uncomfortable that I really didn't want to be alive.

  • Personally i just wished there was something worth believing in. The god all these religions speak of cant be any good because religion has killed more people than anything else in the history of mankind.

  • Yes there is something worth believing in ... believe in yourself.

  • I am an ordained minister of the church of the flying spaghetti monster.a true pastafarian. Lopk it up. It is a real religion and a bloody good laugh. It helped me with my depression because i laughed so much when i signed up.

  • I have always known that Santa Claus et al were fictitious and that religion is just a scam invented to mind control others (e.g. to justify heinous crimes). However, I never spoke my mind out of courtesy. Lately I have done more deep thinking and realised that perhaps that kind of "silence" is not ethical when more and more people are being made so miserable believing in such nonsense. And to add insult to injury, telling them they are sinned and deserved the maddening torment, basically spiralling their deep depression into eternal insanity with no way out.

    Believing in some kind of higher intelligence out there is not perverse in itself, it can be comforting (like meditation). What I find disturbing is that people would still want to worship a fabricated Being whom Mark Twain had described so truthfully:

    "... a God (omniscient+omnipotent) who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites a poor, abused slave to worship him! ... If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.”

    I don't think there is any point in proving the existence of God(s). One thing for sure, if He did exist, he would be furious that people keep making things up in His name and put words into His mouth. The non-believers would stand a better chance to be sent to Heaven by a just God if they ever existed.

    When your happiness is built on blind faith, it'd be as solid as a sand castle or as useful as a chocolate teapot.

    If you want to be truly happy, be grateful and be passionate etc. Believe in yourself instead, if you are a decent person.

    The good news is "being happy" can be learned.

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