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What do you think about religion?

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Are you religious? If so which religion are you? What do you get out of being religious? If you are not religious why not?
6 years ago, May 15th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #35318  
B Posts: 228
That makes me feel way better about being someone how is moving in the direction of becoming Buddhist!!! Thank you for that post Mel! Reply to this

6 years ago, May 15th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #35322  
Buddhism and the Dalai Lama are two different things.
It is kinda like Buddhism chose the Dalai Lama and not the other way around.
Reply to this

6 years ago, May 17th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #35542  
B Posts: 228
Of course, but I still feel that people connect the two and he is just in general someone that I think holds the respect of many (although certainly not all) people. Reply to this

6 years ago, May 17th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #35564  
What makes you want to become a Buddhist Maya?
I suppose all religions can connect us with our spiritual side and one particular one works better than the others for some people. Reply to this

6 years ago, May 17th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #35582  
B Posts: 228
I have moved towards it i the last few years. i was born and raised (partially, but not very strict) Roman Catholic. I did not mind the religion per se, but as i got older i just kind of felt that it didn't quite fit me. When i began studying other cultures and other religions in more detail, i started trying to figure out what did fit me better. I read several books on Buddhism and one in particular (the name of the book and author escapes me at the moment) which really drew me to it. I especially liked the emphasis on living our lives to be the best person we can be right now, without the ultimate goal relating to an afterlife (this can be debated by those who believe in reincarnation, but he stated that to be Buddhist you do not have to believe in this). I also liked that it is more of a 'philosophy' which I put in quotes because that's technically the wrong word, than a religion in the traditional sense. I like the sense of inclusion - i have friends that hold Buddhist beliefs but also attend a Christian church. I am still learning a great deal about it through reading and talking with other Buddhists. I must admit though, that I do still enjoy the Christian holiday celebrations with my family, even though they are now more family oriented and less religion-oriented. Reply to this

6 years ago, May 18th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #35609  
I think likening it to philosophy is the way to go. Things like reincarnation are just symbols anyway. Believing in them or not is not the relevant part. They are not necessary for many these days and they hinder some in finding the true roots of religion.

Nothing wrong with enjoying the celebrations of Christianity without being a Christian. Many of them were originally pagan holidays anyway. Reply to this

6 years ago, May 21st 2008 No: 7 Msg: #35953  
HI from Thailand
i am Buddhist... i am happy to hear that you want to become a Buddhist : )
the Buddha Taught a lot of things
Two extremes are to be avoided : the extreme of indulgence in sensuality and worldly pleasures, and the extremes of austerity, mortification and self-torture. Austerities produce confusion and sickly thoughts, while sensuality is enervating and makes man a slave of his passions. One should follow the Middle Path which keeps aloof from both extremes. One should satisfy the necessities of life, and keep one’s body in good health and one’s mind strong in order to comprehend the Four Noble Truths :

The first Noble Truth is the existence of suffering : Birth is suffering, sickness is suffering, old age is suffering, death is suffering, Sorrow, dejection and despair are suffering. Contact with unpleasant things, not getting what one wants are suffering. Suffering must be comprehended, and its cause given up.

The Second Noble Truth is that the cause of suffering is craving or desire. Craving for pleasures, wealth, power, even craving for rebirth, create eventual suffering because of inherent greed and lust.

The Third Noble Truth is that anyone can eliminate the cravings (and thereby, the suffering) on his own, without the need of Gods and priests to direct our beings.

The Fourth Noble Truth is the path leading to cessation of suffering. Known as The Eightfold Path it consists of : Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.

Buddha taught these fundamentals of what was to become one of the world’s great religious philosophies - a way of life towards individual salvation, and a path that is today followed by countless millions.

Thailand is perhaps the only country in the world where the king is constitutionally stipulated to be a Buddhist and the upholder of the Faith.

if you wanna know more maybe .....come over here : )

take care Reply to this

6 years ago, May 21st 2008 No: 8 Msg: #35957  
Are all the Kings of Thailand so important Koi, or is it just the current one?

Mel Reply to this

6 years ago, May 21st 2008 No: 9 Msg: #35970  
all the Kings of Thailand ,Mel Reply to this

6 years ago, May 21st 2008 No: 10 Msg: #35973  
Thanks Koi Reply to this

6 years ago, May 21st 2008 No: 11 Msg: #35975  
Hi Mel.. can you explain me about Roman Catholicism ,Orthodoxy,Protestantism, Christianity ...

Jesus Christ is the son of GOD am i right? so who is GOD?

i know a little bit but i wanna know more : )

Sawaddi and take care

koi Reply to this

6 years ago, May 21st 2008 No: 12 Msg: #35977  
I am not religious at all Koi but I was born in a country which was/is predominantly Roman Catholic and I went to a convent school there so know quite a bit about it. The nuns made sure of that.

Yes, Jesus is the son of God. His mother is the virgin Mary. Yes, you heard that right. She had a baby while she was still a virgin. That is how the story goes. The pope is head of the Catholic church and always lives at the Vatican in Italy.

Christianity as far as I know is all the religions which believe in Jesus and the teachings of the Bible. Maybe there are people here who can give more information about Christianity in general than I can. I was thought by the nuns and society that there is only one right religion and that is Roman Catholicism. There was little information given to us about the others.
I dont know much about Orthodoxy or Protestantism because there were few of them in Ireland when I was growing up.
I think Protestantism was invented by King Henry VIII of England. He wanted to remarry but the Catholic church does not allow divorce. He demanded another religion for England to fix that. Reply to this

6 years ago, May 21st 2008 No: 13 Msg: #35985  
B Posts: 228
I have been to Thailand but only for a few days and i definitely want to go back (and plan on it). From what I understand (from friends who are Buddhist and from traveling) there are different types of buddhism? I have a friend who is Japanese and says it's slightly different and i was told the same thing when i was in Korea. Is that the case and if so do you know what the differences are? i have read a book on the four noble truths which i found very interesting - was one of the first things that got me more interested in Buddhism.

As for Catholicism (Roman) I might be able to answer some questions as I was born and partially raised catholic and went to a catholic high school (although i will say they did a good job of talking about some other Christian religions as well). Mel is right i believe in that all religions that believe in Jesus as the Messiah are considered Christian, which evolved from Judaism (sp??) sorry - which eventually became the group that does not believe Jesus was the savior and believes the Messiah is still yet to come. As for the differences among Christians, Protestantism did arise from Henry VIIII wanting to remarry. Methodists (I believe) do not believe in the Virgin Mary, they believe she was just Jesus' mother and it was not an immaculate conception. I do not know many of the other differences other than the fact that Catholics i believe are the only ones that do not allow women or married priests, but i may be mistaken on this. I also know that some religions, such as Wesleyan, have levels and depending on how "committed" you want to be, you are at a certain level - e.g. the highest level obstains from all alcohol and there are other guidelines (obviously) that determine what level you are committed at. So that's a very random summary but if anyone has any questions, i might be able to answer them or at least give it a shot. Reply to this

6 years ago, May 22nd 2008 No: 14 Msg: #36014  
The Protestant movement actually started in Germany, with Martin Luther. Some of his writings influenced Henry VIII as he was 'arguing' with the Catholic Church about his first marriage. When King Henry VIII split off from the Roman Catholic church, he started the Anglican, or Church of England.

The founders of Protestantism wanted the scriptures available to all the people, because they believed the scriptures taught the real truth about God and salvation. To put it simply, they thought the Roman Catholic Church were corrupt and were controlling too much in people's lives. Protestantism encompasses several denominations, all of which had their beginnings in the Protestant Reformation.

None of this would have been possible if Guttenberg hadn't developed the printing press when he did. By printing the Bibles, and letters and treatises of men like Martin Luther and Henry VIII, information was spread beyond the elite, to the people who would fill the new churches developing. Reply to this

6 years ago, May 22nd 2008 No: 15 Msg: #36022  
There are two things I dont talk about when drinking, religion and politics. Since Im always drunk when I visit travelblog, I cant comment! Reply to this

6 years ago, May 22nd 2008 No: 16 Msg: #36035  
Yes Maya, there are different types of buddhism : )
1.Theravada Buddhism
2. Mahayana Buddhism

Theravada Buddhist counties are Sri Lanka,Cambodia,Burma,Laos,Bangladesh and Thailand

Mahayana Buddhist counties are Tibet,Korea,China,Japan,Mongolia,Nepal,Vietnam and Indonesia

but between Theravada Buddhist counties there are different types also...as same as Mahayana Buddhist counties too.....

and there are different sectfor example in Japanese Buddhism :they have a different sect ; Jodo sect ,Tendai sect ,Zen sect ,Shingon sect ,Nichiren sect ect...

hi Stephen Paul!! i agree with you ; )
Reply to this

6 years ago, May 22nd 2008 No: 17 Msg: #36047  
B Posts: 102
Yikes - attempts to condense religious believe systems/explanations into forum posts. This could get interesting/confusing/incomplete... Reply to this

6 years ago, May 22nd 2008 No: 18 Msg: #36059  
I suppose we cant condense travel philosophies and belief systems into forum posts either but we try because we find it entertaining, interesting and informative. Reply to this

6 years ago, May 22nd 2008 No: 19 Msg: #36061  
Hi,

Love Stephen Paul comments on that one....I raised my glass to you Paul!
Keep travelling, keep diving...keep meeting people...and the world will be a better place....if only we could fly greener.... Reply to this

6 years ago, May 22nd 2008 No: 20 Msg: #36088  
B Posts: 102
Mell - Yeah, I certainly didn't mean that we shouldn't...it definitely can be informative, etc. I wrote that post way too late at night, so perhaps it didn't come off right.

But I do think it's a bit trickier than travel philosophies. Countless volumes for all the religions written over several mellenia are indeed hard to condense into a forum though. And it's started off with some instances of people explaining religions that they claim to not even profess.

For example:
- The Protestant movement was not started by King Henry (though this has already been corrected by tannismc)
- Methodists do indeed believe in the virgin birth but not the Immaculate Conception...though I'm sure one can find people in all strains of their religions who differ on certain beliefs. (For the record, I'm not Methodist

One could easily write large books comparing just the different versions of the Protestant church. After Martin Luther made the initial break, Protestants have continued to protest themselves ever since...thus resulting in dozens of versions of the non-Catholic Christian belief system - Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Calvinism, Baptist, etc. Once the adherence to the central authority of Rome was out the window, it was open season on creating one's own interpretation of things (sorry if that sounds pejorative to the Protestants out there). So although there are many common beliefs amongst all the branches of Protestants, there are areas of differing. Protestants generally rely solely on the Bible for their source of their beliefs...which leaves interpretation open to each reader...which then results in the multiple factions above.

The Catholic Church is a bit easier because they have a central authority - and thus a consistent declaration of beliefs in the Catechism. (Have fun reading that over your coffee break). Thus Catholics rely both on the Bible and the Tradition/authority/history of the Church as the source of their beliefs.

So I guess the danger I've seen already is the digging too far into the details with explanations of a rather complex topic by someone who doesn't profess belief in a particular system. I don't mean offense to those who tried...you're noble for trying. I'm just saying it can be tricky.

Not sure if this is any better:
WikiChristianity

In closing I'll give my best effort at the "Christianity in 100 words or less"

-God created people.
-People sinned.
-Because of the sin, the relationship between man and God got hosed up.
-God came to the world in a tangible form in that of Jesus Christ...the Son of God.
-Jesus was tortured and killed by crucifixion by those in power...and then Resurrected from death 3 days later...thus exerting his power over death and sin.
-He offers this power over sin (Salvation) to those who believe in him...thus restoring the opportunity for communion with God.

That's my best shot at it without getting into doctrinal specifics.

To be clear...go ahead and discuss...I'm just sayin' it's a tricky one.

Damn...I tried to just sit here and drink my virtual beer like Stephen. I'll go back to that now. Though it's 9:30am...so perhaps orange juice? If you've ever read my blogs...you'll know I can start rambling...and I have again.

(oh, and I hope that I don't go to Hell for linking to the 'Buddy Jesus' picture from Dogma. but it cracks me up)
Reply to this

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