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Discussion Starter #1
During my research on the INFJ, I recall multiple times where it was stated that we tend to waver towards religion and spirituality

As I've seen on the forums, there are certainly a number of us that seem religious

I am not religious in the least

I believe I am far too analytical to be able to cope with the thought of being governed by some unforeseen entity

(But also due to heavy cynicism, I believe most people only go to church to earn what I call "Soul Insurance")

Instead of immersing myself into faith, I look at the values taught by that faith and 'adopt' them as my own

I have done this with Christianity, Paganism, Buddhism, and so on

What I have comprised I call my "Ideology"; rather, a collection of values and guidelines

In my eyes, if I were a teacher of great wisdom and spirituality, I'd rather have my lessons epitomized and myself forgotten

I've read before though that what I do is a big religious no-no, because it apparently makes me a Satan worshipper (So I guess you can see where I got that from)

Aaanyway, what I want to know is this: What is religion to you?

Ready? Religious debate is GO!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And I do hope this goes without saying

But please recognize that I am simply asking a question and mean no offense

Any ignorant sort who decides to start the crusades in my thread will be met with equal or greater ignorance
 

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My views are the same as yours. I take what works and what makes sense to me based on my intuition and discard the rest. My influences are Christianity, Taoism, Zen, Confucianism. At this stage I am more interested in dealing with mastering life I suppose and so that is what my beliefs or ideologies focus on.

I think that all religions, beliefs and ideologies have something to offer. I only wish that it didn't have to be a zero sum game where we insist that one is right at the expense of another. I'm sure if we look hard enough, we can reach some kind of compromise instead of killing each other over the best ideology that is ironically for the salvation of the human soul.
 

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Same has happened with me. I read about many religions ever since age of 12-13. At the core they really teach the same values so I have found no reason to belong to any particular one but rather hold on to the values they teach.
 

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I'm a pretty strong Christian and here are some of my insights... the term 'religion' has its negative connotations and is technically a worldly word but I'll continue to use it. I don't think that your ideology and belief necessarily have to be separate things... it's just you have to find how they work together. The idea of religion is purely man made and that's why a lot of Christians won't call Christianity a religion (they call it a relationship) and if you look back to Abraham and God, that's what he had, a relationship. I think the reason for creating such an organized and structured institution is so that people don't misrepresent God or His message, ie. cults. Obviously there are some Christians who have gone astray and hate gay people or interrupt funerals, but they're obviously lost and shouldn't be seen as Christians.
 

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i'm mostly of the belief that there is no god, but that doesn't mean the world is meaningless. i've more or less settled upon the belief that the sum of life on earth equals god, and can be something to be trusted in. have faith and hope in life and the bad times will pass easier and you'll learn more from the experiences, and if worst comes to worst, one day we'll all be sucked back into the cycle of life, eternally living free of our problems and worries. i think we have some sort of pure eternal soul inside of us, but eternal only in moments and memories; it's not going anywhere when we're through. but it's through this soul of ours that ultimately gives us free will of our actions, which are constantly being persuaded by emotions and experiences, for better and worse. so in my mind i am a gift from god, but god isn't listening to my prayers more than the spider in the corner of the room is. but we're all connected through god, so i can still get comfort from my prayers. ha, i don't know. religions are great for their morals, but my beliefs are the only ones i've found that i can truly believe in without feeling like i'm lying to myself, yet still get satisfaction and comfort spiritually.
 

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I suppose I am in line with y'all, with a few differences. Like you I believe that having good values, and the strength to stick to them is best.

I love learning about other religions and seeing where the core is similar. I also enjoy trying to ascertain where they veer away from the spiritual and start to encroach upon human territory. I believe that religion is a man made institution and is therefore subject to all of the fallacies, corruption, and blindness present in any such human institution. The truths that they are founded on, however, I believe to be universal. Which is why, in my opinion, you can find them at the core of most religions.

My beliefs are probably disturbing to some people who are content to know only what they are taught.
The reason that I love God is because I was raised to love God. I feel that God and I have the same beliefs. Love everyone, most importantly those who are hardest to love. Spread peace all around you. Pray without ceasing. Those are the things I keep close to my heart. Regardless of whether God is real or not, these are my beliefs. It does not matter if it turns out we really are soulless, godforsaken creatures. I will follow what is in my heart.

Perhaps God is not to me, what God is to a lot of people. God to me is the embodiment of my ideology. The face I put on the spiritual world.

The things I have learned from studying other religions leads me to believe that there is a spiritual force which exists, whatever we call it matters not. It exists inside of us. I believe the human mind is incapable of understanding the truest truth. That is why when one catches a glimpse of enlightenment, zen if you will, they cannot relate the experience to anyone who has not experienced it them self.

If I were to be classified religiously I would be Christian. But my ideology, as you put it, is different than most people who would call themselves Christian.

My influences are varied, but I keep them mostly to beliefs that I feel in my heart. Love, peace, and cosmic wisdom, I reckon. Buddhism resonates with me more than most, although I see the human influence in it as well. Through the small amount that I have learned of buddhist thought thus far, I feel like there is much more than meets the inner eye to the parables and teachings in most theology. It seems that some religions/philosophies have skewed their messages over time. Until now they are mere shells of what they once were. Humankind has warped their teachings into things which are used for evil purposes and some even dissuade believers from the closer examination of the meanings behind the original teachings.

In short, my ideology is this: Love your self truly. Love everyone truly. Know peace.

The problem is, that the world does exist with or without us. So we are a part of it. Finding peace inside ourselves is good, but what about the peace of others? Should we strive to help others along their own paths? Or is it just if we let them be, as long as we don't hinder them? What about having to act violently in order to save another innocent person. Is that good?

So many questions still. -_-
 

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Oooh, also, what do you all think of good and evil?

To me good is anything that helps. Evil is anything that causes harm.

Neither one is right nor wrong universally. But, performing evil will have negative effects on the soul. Performing good positive effects on the soul. (Soul, or whatever you want to call it)
 

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To me good and evil are two opposite ends of the same measure of things in our lives. Good is anything that benefits us. Evil is anything that causes harm like you said. Not surprisingly good is often associated with good physical well being and positive societal norms. While such things as death and anti-social behavior are called evil.

However once you die good and evil no longer matter. If you envision this universe but no people in it, what would you say is good and what is evil? These two opposites are only relevant within human existence. The universe existed for over 13 billion years before live evolved and neither good or evil existed for all this time. These are subjective qualities that exist only in our understanding.
 

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I might not be a Satan worshipper, but I'm sure I would be burned for being a witch :crazy: I only noticed it the other day, finding that a lot of the topics I'm interested in, which I discovered under 'science' or 'unnamed' could actually fit in the genre of sorcery.

I was raised Catholic and although I don't attend mass anymore, if I were to find a way around my social anxiety I would like to still go there on my own time because I'm very drawn to the atmosphere. The dark brick walls, stained glass, statues and paintings of martyrs..and alas, melancholy music of organ and piano :)
Actually I find aesthetics to be the path for me to spirituality.. that I don't really research other religions, but I do focus on their arts. Reasons for why they style their environments the way they do, the way they dress. It all has meaning, philosophy. Zen buddhism, different forms of Christianity, etc. But I don't take their ideas as my own or choose what I relate to. Just separating me from myself by looking at others, it helps me look at myself at other angles.
Aside from this, I'm also into what some of the scientists are after these days, and then there are things that are not under the umbrella of self-discovery but are just for amusement but have their own way of getting me more in touch with that...

I can't really answer the good vs evil. I just feel like things, harmful or not, can lead to growth. There will always be someone who learns something in a situation. Not to say you invite terrible things into your life, I think it is all a choice you have to make.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Finding peace inside ourselves is good, but what about the peace of others? Should we strive to help others along their own paths? Or is it just if we let them be, as long as we don't hinder them? What about having to act violently in order to save another innocent person. Is that good?
People will learn if they want to learn, otherwise, they will remain comfortable in their ignorance and any attempt to move them will be seen as hostility and will be met with such

Letting people 'do their own thing' boils down to a matter of what is right vs. respect. If you know they're on the wrong path, it is not your duty to help them-- but know that you are doing no harm in trying

As to your last question, you already know the answer to this-- Acting violently in an attempt to save someone is just a matter of a means to an end. You know you're doing the right thing, right?

But this is only my opinion

Thank you for your insights

EDIT: As to the good and evil question...

Good and evil are human concepts and only thusly so

Is a hawk evil for swooping down to kill a rabbit?

Then again, I prefer to be neither good nor evil

I find the line discerning the two to be quite blurry sometimes
 

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I love religious debates/discussions. I was born an atheist, at least I think I was. As far back as I can remember, which is somewhere around five or so, the issue of god(s) did not compute. I was raised in a Baptist family, though my immediate family rarely went to church, and religion left a terrible taste in my mouth, and I admit a certain biased dislike for the various monotheisms. I also have an undeniable tendency toward iconoclastic behavior, though I have largely become more tolerant in my not-quite-old age. I know I should nurture, but, man, it’s hard sometimes.

I think I am nearer to an INTJ than an INFJ regarding my views on religion. I am the eternal skeptic. For me, doubt is the default stance, and the leap of faith should be avoided at all costs. Yet, at the same time I realize that I am a limited creature, with limited senses, and that there are many phenomena beyond my comprehension, or even my ability to discern them. This does not mean that I am so hungry for answers that I will bypass reason in favor of a cathartic quick-fix

I currently consider myself a weak atheist, in that, given sufficient evidence, I would concede certain elements of religion, perhaps even god(s). I arbitrarily dismiss any claims rooted in divine revelation, as well as any belief in god(s) that is the result of circular logic. Together these two account for most, if not all such claims.

I tend to live by Occam’s Razor. Given two possible explanations for a phenomenon, I choose the simpler one, the one that seems more likely and requires the least speculation. Most important of all, I never make assumptions, at least where faith is concerned. If, for me to explain something, I must at any point make an assumption resembling the leap of faith, I stop there and simply content myself with only knowing that much of the puzzle. I realize that the results will not always be correct, but it is more logical in the face of a dearth of empirical evidence. If something is proved to be true, I incorporate it into my worldview, if it is subsequently refuted, I dismiss it. I know that this is a imperfect method, but it makes more sense than making stuff up.

The closest I can come to explaining the depth of my skepticism is by citing the notion of the Fair Witness from Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. In the book a fair witness is a a person trained to state only what she or he sees, and to not make assumptions or jump to conclusions. For example, if a Fair Witness were asked the color of a house in the distance, she would respond, “It is red on this side.”

I do possess a certain spiritual nature, likely, at least in part, due to my INFJness. I have studied various religions and philosophies, and, like others here, have chosen the particular principles that make sense to me. Of course, I get at least as many insights from novels and personal experience. Though I am a weak atheist inasmuch as god(s) is concerned, I nevertheless possess a worldview heavily influenced by Stoicism and Taoism, with a pinch of Pantheism and Buddhism thrown in. I cannot be a Satan worshipper, because I do not believe in Satan.

According to my perception and research thus far, I believe that the universe and everything in it is composed of energy and matter. Everything is one. There is no greater power running the show. The universe operates by certain natural laws, and these are the only absolutes. Humans are but one tiny species, on one tiny planet, in one tiny solar system, etc. I believe that humans and other creatures and objects are incapable of acting unnaturally, incapable of doing anything outside the absolute natural laws of the universe. Everything, every behavior, is normal, though it may be subjectively undesirable on a wholly local level for certain creatures. I believe in reincarnation insomuch as deceased organisms are returned to the great pool of energy and matter, and that they eventually become something else. I have seen no evidence thus far to suggest the existence of a soul. I also freely admit that I could be wrong on one or more (or all) of these points, and that the same is true for everyone other worldview.

"If you see the Buddha on the road, kill him."
 

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I do not believe in a higher power.
I'm spiritual about things, like guru attitude about it I think everything is balance, like If I'm having a shitty day I know it will balance out right If just get through it.

I have a feeling tho, that in the future I will maintain more information about what I really believe and what I don't.
 

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I'm not really sure whether I believe in god or not, it depends on the day.
I was brought up in an extremely religious home, but over time I just came to realise that not much of it made sense.
These days, I think I have an even stricter moral compass than most religious people, I suppose I've taken my ideas from a variety of religions, but mostly I think it's just what seems right and fair to me.
 
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