Gail Says:
August 21st, 2008 at 12:19 pm

I believe in what I believe because I understand it and it has a positive influence in my life. I’m not just talking about religion. I am talking about friendship, admiration and spirit.

I like how Gail put this and I feel like her statement encapsulates my beliefs in the most succinct way.

I do not subscribe to any specific faith or religion, but I will say that I like to believe that there is a higher spiritual being of some sort that is bigger than me. I do recognize that I choose to keep this belief in place due to a fear of what it would mean if we were totally random; if there was no true beginning or true end. That is when believing in a theory just feels so much better than not.

Ultimately, I believe that religion is a beautiful thing. It has spawned gorgeous art, culture, community and history.

I have great respect for faith and commitment.

The only problem I have is the divide we seem to create, that we decide to blame on our faith.

If we could truly digest the concept that we believe what we believe for separate and independent reasons, all religion would cause nothing but more understanding, and the courage to push ourselves harder.

Thoughts?

xo
Allison

Add yours Comments – 134

  • David Hayes

    on August 24, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Darwin Says:
    August 24th, 2008 at 1:37 pm
    “Because of something they didn’t know about?”

    Yes. The snake in the grass that they stepped on. The bus coming from behind them as they carelessly stepped into the road. The germ in the sandwich they ate. The lipstick on their collar that they didn’t know was there but the wife saw ….

  • Mikael

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    So your saying that not trying to find the truth is the way? Like religion? Not much in the bible for ex is correct. there is no proof of god.

    By your way of thinking if i say something and keep to it its more true then if i by investigation build up a theory. And that i am willing to change my mind if i am corrected?

    The think is science has proven many things, that we know. I mean for sure. Like say how alkali metal react with water. We have solid proof of many things and science has helped. Religion on the other hand is a stone thrown in the dark. Science is a candle, sometimes we miss understand what we see, but the fact is. Something based an anything is better then something based on nothing. You cant say otherwise. Not if you really think.

  • David Hayes

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I do think that relativity was proven by a simple test. Someone mailed a package to Canada and as soon as it crossed the border, time from the point of view of the sender slowed to a crawl. Unfortunately, that must have been the package containing Allison’s birthday present.

  • Sarynelli

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    I’m not a big fan of religions in general. That’s not to discredit anyone or their faith at all. Like Allison said, it has created beautiful forms of self expression, and many verses from the Bible, Torah, and Qur’an etc., have beautiful poetry and images.

    But to me, the word “religion” signifies an organization of people with the same beliefs towards a certain thing. And more times than not, there are certain rules and tasks and boundaries in order to get to God, or whatever it is you believe in….

    …I have a straight connection with God. Well, let me rephrase that. I don’t believe in “God” exactly. I believe in the benevolent force that binds, connects, and rules the entire universe. I believe there is something bigger than me out there, that I can’t even begin to comprehend. Am I going to put a name on it? No. I don’t have to. I just know that exists, because I feel it.

    I think that if you are genuinely a good person and do right by others, then you express the best possible version of yourself. The idea that you MUST repent, and pray, and go to a place of worship in order for God (or whatever you believe in) to love you seems absurd to me. That’s why I’m not a big fan of religions in general. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

  • candace

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    There is this wonderful saying by Leo Tolstoy that I believe makes sense.

    “Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live.”

  • David Hayes

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I personally try to have a reason for whatever I do. It may not be a GOOD reason, but I like to have some justification.

    I remember working at a place where there were about ten computer programs that were used regularly for developing new tire designs. The results were accurate to maybe one decimal place, but they were useful to get a rough idea of what we needed to know. Well, someone decided to marry the programs together so that the results of one fed directly into the other and one final conclusion was printed out. The press release that accompanied the program declared it accurate to ten decimal places. It may have printed out ten decimal places but someone was putting way too much faith on what they believed to be science. This is one thing the Bible warned about — building fine buildings on lousy foundations.

    I had some professors in college that clearly didn’t know what they were doing. As projects reached them for review, they would look at them and curl their lips in distain and say “Couldn’t you do better than that?” … then go back to reading the sport page and sipping their cup of coffee. The ego of the student would first be shattered … then the student would rush back to the dorm and start over — critically examining all that they had done and forcing a better effort out of them selves. Consider me to be the person prodding you with a stick. You will keep coming back to me with better and better evidence until you decide to take the stick away from me and poke back.

    I really enjoyed this one science fiction story about a biologist who got patent after patent in every field of study. When people were finally able to find out how he accomplished it, they found that he had bred a race of highly intelligent creatures that were maybe a quarter inch tall and had miniscule life spans. He introduced all kinds of devastating problems into their habitat and watched as the generations lived and died combating the problems until they came up with an answer. The scientist would then take the answer and patent it. They never knew the true meaning of their lives. They just did what they had to in order to survive.

  • arash

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I personally am happy that chicken did not evolve intellectually faster than human or now we were all in cages.

  • candace

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    On a smaller note. What we believe always ties into what will happen after we die. I think it is impossible to imagine what was before our birth and what will be after death…for in our minds we always existed.

  • Darwin

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    *laughing* Mikael…God talks to me. I talk to him.

    That is SOMETHING.

    And as mentioned, in a choice to believe either Mikael or God…I will always believe God.

  • David Hayes

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Oh. A proud moment in science that high school students learned in class every year and passed the lesson on to the rest of the students. For some reason, the chemistry teacher taugh his class each year the chemical formulae to reproduce a potent facimile of the odor of vomit … and the students would ernestly duplicate it and scatter dropplets of it all over the high school hallways.

  • David Hayes

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    candace Says:
    August 24th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    “I think it is impossible to imagine what was before our birth and what will be after death…for in our minds we always existed.”

    Perhaps we are inately right. Maybe what we feel is true. People who believe in reincarnation talk about the drink of forgetfulness that we take before coming back to live another life so that we don’t contaminate our next chance to learn our lessons with the experiences/prejudices of an earlier existence.

    There is the story of a very young girl whose Mother had just given birth to a baby boy. The girl kept asking when she could be alone with the baby — and acted if it was an urgent need. The parents were concerned that there might be some jealousy there and debated whether or not they could trust their daughter alone with the baby. They observed that she was always gentl with him when they were around so they finally decided to allow her to be alone with the baby … but the baby was in a crib and the baby monitor was on to listen to every sound in the room. After the girl had been alone in the room with the baby for a few seconds, they heard her whisper, “Please, tell me everything you remember about God. I’m forgetting!”

    I have no idea if that is a true story or not … or if it is true whether it has any real significance. I simply include it here because of its cuteness factor.

  • David Hayes

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    arash Says:
    August 24th, 2008 at 2:24 pm
    “I personally am happy that chicken did not evolve intellectually faster than human or now we were all in cages.”

    One rooster to every 40 hens. Hmmm.

  • arash

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Honestly david, I prefer laying eggs.

  • David Hayes

    on August 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I do it all the time … as my blog entries adequately prove.

    Are we still on the Jackass Moment topic?

  • Mikael

    on August 24, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Can you ask god something for me the next time he appear? If yes, ask him who created him, where fossils comes from and yes. Why did he make me an atheist. Since he knows everything he knew that there would be a Mikael born in 89 who would become atheist and since he did the world as he did he made me an atheist. Also, why do children die in birth. Why is homosexuality wrong. And who will win winter os. Jokes beside. Are you serious with the talking to god thing? If yes, how does this happen? In your mind or is it a voice or by signs?

  • Jim

    on August 24, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    I posted earlier and I am being proven right as I read these posts. People are arguing with each other over god v. no god theory v. fact etc. The idea is that we have religion to comfort us and some people believe and others dont and that’s fine. Why are we arguing? Let the atheists not believe in god and let the die hard believers believe. Just co-exist and get through this life as happily as you can and if that means you believe in a faith then go ahead and if you dont then dont but lets not argue over who is right or how ridiculous one theory is over another. I mean all things have their flaws even really believable ones like the big bang…lets think about it at first there was nothing then BANG all this stuff. What was before that just like who created god? If its believable that there was nothing then an explosion then stuff then why is it not feasible that there was nothing then a god then stuff. Im not going one way or another Im just saying that people will use whatever they have to to make this life worth while and all we should do as a people is respect what others think even if we dont believe it. Lets just co-exist happily.

  • George

    on August 24, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Alison If I could be seripous for a moment ( and if you’ve truely read all the posts including mine you’ll know that I never do that) I know this is off topic but I recently got bad exam results and to cut a long story short will have to do another year of school do you have any any insperational words for somone who hasn’t bothered to punctuate or or spell cheak a comment and is walking down a dark tunel with the only light being a sign that says next light 20 miles.

    Although there are lots of people whov’e got it worse than me.

  • George

    on August 24, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Arrrh now I’m just treating you like some agony aunt just forget I said anything.

  • taylor nikole

    on August 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    I used to attend another youth group with my friend a while ago…
    not this recent one, but a while back….
    I was told that I couldnt be a true Christian because I was an ‘actress’
    didn’t matter… film or theatre…
    Although her mother was a prostitute in a play… but of course that was okay.

    So i decide to choose what I want to believe in… because if what i love to do… isn’t morally right… or makes me a bad christian (if i were one)…
    then why?

    I’m just someone who is searching for answers, that will never be answered.
    I guess the only way they can be ‘answered’ is through faith and belief…
    I guess for the meantime, i just have my own

  • Lou

    on August 24, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I am a Catholic. Likely always will be. But still I have been taught by my parents (specifically, my mom) that I must respect logic and the perspectives of all others. That being said, I absolutely agree with you, Allison. Faith does seem to divide people. But think of this. (chances are you already have. you seem very intelligent) Anyone (or group) who feels very strongly about their opinions is going to defend it. If they feel threatened, they’re going to respond aggressively. It doesn’t matter if it’s religion, culture, law, or something more individual. It just happens that more wars and deaths have been caused by religion than any other subject. Mainly because the state has endorsed one single religion, and therefore it’s tainted by the local politics. Part of why the balance between Freedom of Religion and separation of Church and State is so important in this country. To set an example that it is possible to be open-minded and not be a push-over at the same time.

    Wow! I’m pretty good at trailing off 😛

  • Darwin

    on August 24, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Mikael! All jokes aside…yet another good question re: God talking…

    The answer is all of the above…as he speaks to my mind and my heart…by voice…and by signs…

    In earlier posts I gave examples of God speaking to my mind and my heart.

    Voice is self-explanatory…(never had a long speech in this manner…usually one words things that get my attention.)

    Signs…are also good…because as a native I am supposed to be more aware of such.

    There are other ways too…

    I run…have run for most of my life. Many years ago before college I was working in a department store warehouse
    downtown…lots of physical labor…plus I weight lifted and ran.

    In fact, I used to run the few miles home from work.

    One bright beautiful day I prayed before I started running as I always do…and I was feeling fantastic! Felt like I could break a speed record!

    I ran about a half mile and I was waiting for a light…feeling fantastic…and I was going to leap off that sidewalk just as the light turned green.

    Instantaneously…everything changed. I felt weak and sick and unsteady…wobbly even.

    The moment before I could have easily run twice the distnce I needed to…then suddenly I was not certain I would make it across the street.

    Where I had been strong…I was abruptly uncertain that I could outwrestle a lame gerbil.

    I saw a bus stop ahead…and I hoped I could make it all the way to it.

    The light changed…I feebly stepped off the curb with my right leg…and as I raised my left leg for another step…a car came speeding around the corner…knocking my left knee as my leg was raised to move forward.

    This spun me around.

    The car did not even stop.

    But HAD I leaped off the curb when the light changed as I had planned…

    I would have been in the middle of the front bumper of that car.

    As it was…I did not even get a bruise.

    And as soon as that event transpired…I was back to my old self.

    Healthy and strong.

    And I did run all the way back home.

    After a prayer of thanks.

  • Darwin

    on August 24, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    Taylor Nikole: Your friend did not know what she was talking about…

    OF COURSE you can be a true Christian AND be an actress.

    Pretty sure God would discourage a PORN career…but otherwise…you are good to go!

  • taylor nikole

    on August 24, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    oh and i was totally on my way to a porn career
    *cough*
    😀

  • Kirk D. aka "SPARTACUS"

    on August 24, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    The 1st law of thermodynamics states that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed by natural processes within the known universe. Everything that exists in the universe has a beginning and in a sense an end. You know the whole Einstein thing of E=mc2. My thinking is something or someone outside of this universe got this ball rolling. For me random chance doesn’t cut it.
    The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that heat cannot be transferred from a colder body to a hotter body. Energy only has one direction, thus natural processes are irreversible. Destruction and disorder are the natural flow of things. So order cannot come from disorder or randomness, all you get is more disorder.

  • David

    on August 25, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Hi there.
    Firstly, I am conscient that there´s a lot of people who doesn´t believe in God, and one of the things that they say is, “if God exists why he does not speak to me?”, well in my opinion, the relevant question should be “why we do not hear God speaking directly to our souls?”, because, he is in, deeply inside of us, waiting for the moment when we decide to let him become part of our lifes , because even if we believe in him or not he never loses faith on us. Just as a story that I remenber now says ( It is pretty much like this):

    A man ask to God:

    Father when I was well I looked two pairs of footprints behind me, yours and mine my lord, but, when I was bad, I saw only a couple of tracks behind me. Why you went away from me when I needed you the most my lord?

    God replied:

    I never went away from you my child, it is true that you saw two pairs of footprints when you were well, yours and mine, because we used to walk together, but when you were bad, it´s also true that you only saw a couple of tracks, but they weren´t yours, they were mine picking you up until the moment when we could walk together again.
    (End of the story).

    And talking about religions, well I think that all religions are the same, cause all of them believe in God, they give him other names and representations, but in the end all roads lead to Rome, which is great, and is a shame that not everybody can see it and fight for be the owner of one unique way to love God, which results pretty much absurd, cause, God is in everywhere and in everyone, so, even if you invent your own private religion, I think it´s okay cause it will be the road that you choose to get to Rome.

    From the bottom of my soul, to Allison and everyone.

    A catholic friend,

    David.

  • Mikael

    on August 25, 2008 at 4:09 am

    I hope you do understand that personal feelings is no proof of good, neither is a word or to. Nor a dream nor a face. Ive said this before, but when i was little i talked to god. Laying in my bed. And i didnt talk like voice to voice, more of i heard something and my brain recontructed it to sound like words.
    I also saw monsters outside my window after seeing a horror film. How is the god conversation more real then the monster? It is not. By the way, its very selfish to assume that god would save you. He missed to save 911, the people killed by the armies of hitler or hiroshima, but you he saved with a gut feeling. Im not saying that you should have been hit but why save you when he let the 255,000 people of hiroshima die.

  • Lizeth

    on August 25, 2008 at 8:17 am

    I felt you were saying if we could all grasp this one thing, we’d be better … that is my opinion. Each to their own. love who you love, live and let die, and rock on with God, music, love, and sex …. peace!

  • Darwin

    on August 25, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Taylor Nikole: FUNNY!

    Mikael:

    The way the “truth sets you free” is to be free from error…which also includes fear…because you cannot have fear and faith at the same time. Now again, this is an ongoing process…good days…bad days.

    But the basis of Christian faith is knowing that life is eternal…which means even after this life is over….there is more life to come.

    For everybody.

    It is the choices we make in this life which determines the quality of life to come.

    But as there IS life to come…this truth takes away the sting of death. People I know who have died I know I will see again.

    AS to why God saved me…my time allotted is obviously not yet up.

    I will try to use the time I have to be useful.

  • Scott123

    on August 25, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Oh, here we go, swimming in the deep end-again!
    What a dangerous thing to be imparting what one perceives to be wisdom.
    I have said it before, there are two realities:
    the one inside your head,
    and the one OUTSIDE your head.
    It is remarkable to me how many people, when discussing religion use the word “I”. How internal and personal it is . There is also a strong desire to impart that great epiphany of understanding to others, as though some great discovery had been made!
    I THINK we all reach a point of revelation at different points in our lives, and this creates a kind of friction between one another. Each wants to impart what they have come to understand what someone else may have already discovered and maybe even dismissed as not working for them.
    Where does that leave us?
    Like everyone else, I too must look inward. In this life, try to do good, and have faith that my neighbor will also.
    I need no bargain for the afterlife. One way or the other, I am sure I will see it.

    Your friend in the Crusades,
    Scott123
    PS I mean no disrespect to anyone. Indeed, I am encouraged by much of what I have read here. My point is, this is a dangerous topic. Very personal to Very many.

  • Mikael

    on August 25, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    You say that yet many people like myself who thinks you know something like say there is an afterlife, then realize that there is not one. Are you really so confident in you notion that you can say that you know theres an afterlife. How could you ever know that? What lives on anyway? That thing about Christians not being afraid is not true either, i have talked to may people who is afraid of many things, when i was religious i was afraid aswell. So thats just not correct. I think Christians tend to be more scared, people tell them (This does not apply to every Christian but many catholic once.) That their demons are real. That their imaginary friends are demons etc. Also there is the fare of hell. My late grate grandfather passed a few years back, he was a churchgoing Christian and he was frightened when he laid on his deathbed. So this embraceing death thing is not true. If it was, to quote Richard Dawkins – Why would you get sad when someone died, why would you not say. Great your dying, tell the lord hi from me.

  • taylor nikole

    on August 25, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Scott123:

    thats why its nice that we can express our beliefs and opinions freely.
    No one has told us otherwise… here at least…
    and thats why i respect this community…
    and I am also honored to be a part of it.

  • Robert Kappz

    on August 30, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Everyone has a religion even if they don’t realize it or see it as a religion. We all believe in things that can’t be proven. For instance I used to consider myself an atheist but I believe that everyone has the potential for good and is deep down a “good” person. I believe this though there is no way of proving it and, in fact, the evidence of people’s everyday life seems to contradict my belief (ex: serial killers and corrupt officials). But with faith in my “religion” I still believe all people have the potential for good regardless of how much evidence to the contrary there is.

  • Brittny

    on August 31, 2008 at 1:22 am

    My friend once told me that religion either pushes you to be a better person or is an excuse to do bad things. She said it better than that. I do believe in absolute truth. There is an answer to all these questions of life, the universe and everything. And it’s not all of the above. BUT I do think that spiritual/religious beliefs (or the lack thereof) should be loving and unifying rather than hateful and divisive. I think also that… logic and reason though lovely and beautiful and VITAL are overrated. There is something powerful about instinct and spirituality. Not when you’re doing math or observing/quantifying nature… but… when asking the big questions… we’re not just mammals. There’s something else going on here. And I don’t think it’s merely a fear of disorder that clues some of us into that truth.

  • Aziza

    on April 5, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    I believe in love, friendship, religion, one God (not just some being floating around and a Creator God at the top)- God is called by many names-it’s time we accept that, humanity united against gossip, lies and backbiting. I believe in freedom of speech without the scandal. Yeah you say you can talk it but who are you really destroying when you slander. I think religion is a beautiful thing- it’s a way to bring you closer to God and everyone has their own beliefs. And even without religion you can still attain that closeness. I could never claim that my way is better than yours nor can anyone tell me or even insinuate that they are better than me. People are starting to blame alot of their problems on religion through media misrepresentation, gossip,” I heard it but i don’t remember the source” and misguided interpretations. If people took the time to truly educate themselves, get rid of the ear plugs, get rid of the eye patch, and see what Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism etc is all about then they would realise that the problems are all due to our own human failings. Our own sense of pride that refuses to take responsibility for our actions. I believe in second chances, I believe in forgiveness, I believe in impartiality.